Home » Comment and analysis » Reflections on the future of our Planet’s climate.

Reflections on the future of our Planet’s climate.

Uberto Crescenti: Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Geologia Università G. d’Annunzio Chieti-Pescara (Italia) e-mail : crescent@unich.it

Translation and comments by Franco Maranzana, Consulting Geologist
e-mail francomaranzana@gmail.com

Abstract. The article deals with the prediction of the future climate  of our Planet. At present we have some  reliable data  on the past through the historical studies of the climate. They cannot be projected towards the future.  Hence, the catastrophic predictions of the IPCC and of those adhering to this organization, These predictions cannot be seriously taken into consideration but they influence the world economy because of the application of the Kyoto Protocol which, only in 2013, has mobilized some 160 billion dollars on the so called carbon tax.

In the occasion of the  Lectio Magistralis  at the Royal Society of Arts of  Edinburgh, on  31 October 2011, Matt Ridley stated :” Never  count  on the consensus  of  experts about  the future. The experts deserve to be listened to themes related to the past.  Futurology is  pseudoscience”. Such a statement very seldom can so well be applied to  the field of climate predictions.

As known, the IPCC (an organization of the UN,  constituted mainly to demonstrate that the Global Warming of our Planet since about 1880 is caused by mankind) relies its predictions on the base of mathematical models.  But, how is it possible to make predictions, if  all the  causes which concur to the determination of the climate are not known ? Further to the astronomic causes on which the well- known  Milankovich ‘s cycles are based, other factors are considered important such as:    the activity of the Sun particularly the number of sun spots  (see  the book of  Ernani 2014), the mutation  of the Moon (Gasperini and Chierici 1997), the movement of continental plates   and volcanism (Bonardi 2009), the geomagnetic phenomena  controlled   by the deep activity of our Planet (De Santis et alii 2011),  the activity of oceans and  cosmic rays (Noor van Andel 2011).  It is therefore, practically impossible, at present,  to count on  correct  information on the  causes of   climatic variations and consequently to obtain  corrects evaluations on predictions through  mathematical models  (Visconti 2007a, page165-167, Visconti 2007b).

Franco Prodi (2011), on the same issue stated : “ It is clear that now we have models producing scenarios but no answers to the request for the knowledge of future climate. We have then important ties to  the  understanding of climate. We can  say the science  has complied when it carries explanations and predictions. In the case of climate we have neither explanations nor predictions”.

The observation of fig 1 confirms the fact that climate cannot be predicted from  mathematical models  (from Climatemonitor, 15 January 2014).

FIG1

Fig. 1 – Comparison of the lines (“spaghetti”) on the prediction of climate’s temperatures from  various  models matching  the effective behavior of the variations recorded with  atmospheric balloons  (circles) e with satellite measurements  (squares).

In spite of these objective difficulties to obtain reliable predictions, the IPCC and all those sustaining that mankind is the main contributor the  Global Warming of our Planet, because of the emission of Green House gases, especially CO2 ,  continue to propose a catastrophic future. On the other hand, if the so called “catastrophists” are numerous,  the skeptical are numerous too, but the last ones are not in line with the mass media which generally amplify the terrible scenarios concerning the  environmental future  of our Planet. Let us see these issues a little more in depth.

 

The history of climate.  The history  of our Planet can be visualized through sciences such as the Earth Sciences ( Geology, Paleontology , Crescenti 2008 ),  the History of Climate , the chronicles of the past and the variations of agricultural activities (Mariani 2006, 2013), ‘Archeology (Ortolani e Pagliuca 1994,1995, 2004),  and the variations of the extension  of glaciers . In the first case we can obtain information from the “birth” of the Earth (about  4,5-5 billion years ago ) . Leaving aside news already known, worthwhile mentioning the climate  variations recorded in the last 400 thousand years   detected from the study of samples taken from the cores of boreholes in the Vostok glacier in the Antarctic (Orombelli 2005).  During this interval, there were cold phases  of 90-10 thousand years with warm phases of  about 10-12 thousand years. After the last warm phase in the Holocene about  11,5-12 thousand years ago , there should be consequently a new cold phase. In fig.2 ( Mariani, 2013) the thermic Holocene graph  and that of CO2 are  shown. In the last  4,000 years four climatic optima and the lack of correlation between  temperature and CO2 are well noted.

FIG2

Figure 2 – The top graph shows the   thermic fluctuations in the Holocene, from the analyses of the cores obtained from drilling GISP2 of the Greenland  plateau (Alley, 2000).  Noteworthy  the  optimum, climatic Holocene.

The bottom graph shows the Holocene fluctuations of  CO2  derived from the cores of the glacier EPICA Dome C [diagrams produced  by prof. Hole Humlum, available in the site   (www.climate4you.com).

If we consider instead, a shorter temporal interval relative to the last 1,000 years with the succession of  the warm medieval period  to the small glacial phase , we are likely to  continue in the warm phase which is the one we are living now. At this point we lost any certainty: will it be hotter or colder? The prediction on  historical basis, that is the projection of the past behavior  of     our Planet  to the future, is very difficult, indeed.  It is worthwhile to overlook the warm medieval phase with temperatures of 1-3 degrees higher than today (Monterin 1937, Crescenti e Mariani 2010a e 2010b, A.V.Cerutti 2013, etc.). In the 2001 report the IPCC  stated : “ …. the  actual knowledge does not consent to sustain  that globally synchronous periods of a particular hot or cold in the whole terrestrial globe could have existed  and the terms “warm medieval period” and “small glacial era” have limited significance and cannot be assumed over the whole globe.”. The IPCC in fact erases decades of studies on the history of the climate, well documented by monumental works from authors of great scientific standing  (Lamb 1996, 1977, 1995, LeRoy Ladurie 1967, 2004, Pfister 2004, just to quote some of them) and also has the bravery to state that that the decade  1991-2000 was the hottest of the last millennium. In fig. 3 (R. Kipp 2009) the general diffusion of the Warm Medieval period  is presented over the whole Planet. Recent publications  also confirm the climatic variations during the last millennium (Acciari, Bisci et alii, 2014, Caruso et alii 2014).

The Warm Medieval period  is an issue not well “digested” by the IPCC. Moreover during the Middle  Ages, when, as already mentioned , global temperatures higher than the present  ones were recorded, all the catastrophic events announced by the promoters of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) did not happen, such as desertification, flooding of coastal zones, increase of extreme events and so on, which are, instead, predicted for our future.

FIG3

Fig. 3 – The Warm Medieval Period in the world (from Kipp.2009)

The sea level.  Among the news  of greater impact as a major worry for the population is certainly that of  the accelerated  increase of sea level. It is inferred that because of the melting of the Arctic  and Antarctic glacier cover  as well as that  of mountain glaciers, due to the increase of global temperatures , the sea level will become higher in a destructive manner , with catastrophic scenarios generating deep emotions.   Even in this case, we need to complain that the IPCC does not take into account the history of our Planet . About  20 thousand years ago ( Blanc 1942, Vai and Cantelli 2004)  the level of the central Mediterranean was about 120-140 meters lower than present. Between 20 thousand and   10 thousand years ago,    the level raised about 100 m to reach in the next  4-5 thousand years the present level, which remained more or less constant. The maximum increase happened  between 20 e 10thousand years ago, during the cold spell which preceded the Holocene warmth. Such an aspect demonstrates that the variations of sea level also depend upon  causes not easily identified,  as,  for example, the possible variations of the lithosphere  (the more superficial part of our Planet  with a variable thickness (10 to 50  km)  floating over the underlined asthenosphere.

  1. Barone (2013) explains rather well this issue, particularly over the uncertainty relative to evaluation of the variation of sea level with such a conclusion: “ the  probability that the increase of sea level  is accelerating is equivalent to the probability that the same event  is not accelerating !” 

 

The  variations of glaciers.  In the pamphlet  prepared in 2010 by the “ Ministero dell’Ambiente e Tutela del Territorio e dalla Società Meteorologica Italiana” , further to various non-exact information, at page 13, of  paragraph “Glaciers everywhere shrinking ”, there is sentence stating that the glaciers  are “  never reduced as today from at least 5,000 ”. This is not a correct statement because during the Warm Medieval period the glaciers were more reduced to what they are now, as demonstrated by various works such as  that of  U. Monterin (1937). Furthermore there is no reference whatsoever about the advancement  between 1962 and  1990, of  numerous  glaciers  in the Alps during the present warming phase as described by A.V. Cerutti (2013). On this aspect see also  fig. 4 from  C. Baroni (2010).

FIG4

Fig. 4 – Percentage of glaciers  advancing or reducing in the Italian    Alps between   1925 and 2004. A generalized phase of reduction accentuated in the fifties of the XX Century  was followed  by an advancing phase, with a maximum at the end of the seventies and the beginning of eighties.  From the nineties a generalized reduction  is characteristic for most of the Italian glaciers  (elaboration of G. Zanon).

 

On the Website , New Ice Age: “http://daltonsminima.altervista.org/category/ghiacciai-alpini”, there are many very interesting  notes, to be quoted:   “ Surprise: the glaciers of the “Veneto” region  are growing in their extension”. 11 March 2015 (Arpa Veneto); “Climate:  positive year  for the glaciers thanks to precipitation “21 November 2014 (anno idrologico 2013-2014, in Alto Adige, positive assessment  over  20 years of recording,  H Staffler).The two following contribution are also very important and deserve a little more details.

First one : “ A German meteorologist states….”  (25 November 2013). According to  Dominik Jung the  Alps  are cooling in the last 20 years. “….All analyses have given the same surprising result:  the winters in the Alps in the last decades have become significantly colder as the data demonstrate.…”. According to Jung,  the reaction to this note was that of a total silence  because the  catastrophic climatologists  do not want to talk about data which are contrary to their strong statements.. “Global warming has become a religion and the followers do not tolerate new discoveries.

 The second one, of  Andrè Roveyaz : “Storia del Clima Europeo con riferimento a quello Valdostano (Ultima Parte)” (1 June 2012). The author presents a wide sequence of data on climatic changes  in the last 5,000 years  confirming the climatic optima shown in fig.2.

His conclusion  :” The phase of “warm” climate which we are living now, is not a novelty of the last two decades ; is a modular process in act from the second half of  1800 and similar to those during the  medieval centuries or during roman times. It seems logical to assume that even in the presence of alterations of anthropic origin, the present global warming be part of  the alternating cycles of hot and cool phases which always have characterized the history of climate”.

 

Extreme events. Storms, hurricanes, floods  and tornadoes are being considered  in a rather convinced manner,    as originated by global warming.  This is the way that the mass media and others declare at any occasion  about  such extreme weather events. It is not so. Even in this case history, not certainly used by the “vendors” of catastrophes, come to rescue us.. Sergio Pinna, professor of Geography at Pisa University published in 2014  a book entitled:” The false theory  of the insane climate”.  On the cover we read: “ The available records demonstrate that the average temperature of the Planet has increase  of about 0,8°  from the half of the XIX  century until today. It is believed that such a warming is mainly produced by the increase of the atmospheric  CO2  which has induced a change in the general characteristics of climate causing a great increase- in dimension and frequency- of various extreme phenomena.   If the first part of such a theory  may enter in the field of hypothesis , not fully proven , the secondi is practically a true invention”.   A rigorous statistical study on the past demonstrates, in the volume, that   there were not sizeable changes in the occurrence of these extreme events. One of the major experts in hurricanes, Cristopher Landsea, withdrew from IPCC which was continuing on the strong view that such events were caused by global warming.

The World Disaster Report  of the  International Red Cross has recently notified that in 2013 the smaller number of natural disasters was registered relative to the last decade.

Nevertheless we are witnessing the usual statements about global warming as the responsible of hydrogeological disasters. Ermete Realacci,  Honorary President of the Italian Environment League, after the dramatic events which in  2014 hit the area of Treviso , stated : “The water bomb   fallen in the Treviso area confirms tragically the need to fight the climatic changes and to manage accordingly the territory. A useful and far reaching policy is that to give priority to the reduction of greenhouse gases” . Comments are spared.

See Crescenti (2003) for a brief list of major hydrogeological disaster, floods and landslides, during the last century.

 

Global  temperatures .  As already known, from the second half of 1800 until today the global temperature of the Planet has increased 0.8-1°. According to many scientists such an increase is part of the natural evolution of the Earth climate after the Small Glacial Era initiated   around 1450 . Reference is made to the volume prepared by  Fred Singer and others (2008) clearly entitled: ”Nature,  and not the activity of Mankind governs the Climate”. Those scientists who adhere to the IPCC views attributing global warming to the increase in the atmosphere  of  greenhouse gases, especially CO2  may have different opinions. Furthermore the IPCC has declared that 2014 was the hottest year of the last century.  On this particular issue opinions are not concordant. L. Mariani (2015)  reports that according to the Japan Agency for Meteorology and to the Climate Research Unit of the University  of  East Anglia this year was the hottest with  38%  confidence level according to  NASA; on the other hand it was not the hottest  according to the data from the satellite  MSU relative to the low troposphere  and also according to a re-analysis of Centro Europeo Previsioni Medio Termine – CEMMIT. From Fig. 5, taken from the note of L. Mariani (2013),  it can be observed that there is no relation between temperature and CO2 . While this last one has systematically increased in the past 150 years  the temperature has oscillated autonomously. Between 1940 and 1970,  there was   a flection (a period known as  Global warming hiatus)  and in the past 15 years the temperature has practically not increased even in presence of a constant increase in CO2.

Furthermore it must be noted that the research on the sunspots  activity of the past years  leads to a prediction which is totally contrary to that of the IPCC : the global temperature will decrease and we will be confronted with a new small  glacial period. Such a view is well documented by the meteorologist  Paolo Errani,  author of the book : “ Greenhouse effect and sunspots”.  Worthwhile to be quoted on the same argument  a letter of John L. Casey, director of  SSRC (Space and Science Research Center, Orlando, Florida)  sent on 10 May 2010  to Mr. Tom Vilsack,  at that  time in Washington as Secretary (Minister) of Agriculture, where, with a certain apprehension  informed about the incoming of a cold phase having  strong negative repercussions “I  vividly advise  you not to be influenced by the common thoughts  or of political correctness  or by anyone who want to make money  or conquer power  hiding the truth on the next state of climate. Instead I ask you to look at facts and then to make yourself busy to prepare the country for what is pending”.  According to  Vilsack a  lobby exists powerful enough to influence the President of USA  who has dismissed the Administrator of NASA, because he said the truth over Global Warming  . (http://www.salviamoci2012.eu/forum/forum_forum.asp)

FIG5

Fig. 5 – The red line and the blue line give the global fluctuations of CO2 and temperature, respectively, from   1850  to today. The gray line is traced to help the interpretation of the fluctuations. To be noted that  from 1850 to 1878 the global temperatures increases as CO2,  from 1879 to 1910 the  temperatures  decrease  while  CO2 augments ,  and so on. The data on temperature come from the global database of  Hadcrut4  of  Climate Research Unit of the University  of East Anglia, and those about  CO2,  from the Dutch Meteorological Service.

 

Conclusions. This rather rapid outlook on the global warming  of our planet should make us think about the value of predictions of future climate which from the IPCC  is always quoted  with alarms and catastrophes. We believe that the data here presented  could create discussions on the scientific  validity of the IPCC particularly because it does not take into due account the history of climate which can certainly  release very useful information. Furthermore it must be remembered that its scientific credibility was severely  damaged by the activity of a Russian hacker who   in November  2009  entered in the computers of the center of research of East Anglia University  of London , a privileged consultant of IPCC,  intercepting  messages among  researchers revealing a manipulation activity  of data to adapt them to the conclusions of IPCC. The  scandal, known as Climategate,  had great echo as proved by an article  of 20 November  on the  Daily Telegraph  signed by Christopher Brooker, under a well-defined title : “Climatic, change the  worse  scientific scandal of our generation “. In the meantime several scientists withdrew from IPCC  which seemed to  blend in political directives and ideologies not scientifically shared.   More than 20 scientists left among which the Italian  G.Visconti,  and then R. Lindzen,,  C. Landsea, N. Shaviv, D. Evans, Z. Jaworowsky, D. Clark, C. Alegre, B. Wiskel, D. Bellamy, T. Patterson, P.I.Michaels, S.McIntyre, ecc.   Z. Jaworowsky (2007),  who strongly accused  PCC regarding the  Fourth Assessment Report which  must be remembered, because he defined  it the greatest scientific scandal of our time.

The prediction of the future climate in our Planet is  very complex. At present we have trustworthy data of the past through the historical studies of the climate , which, however, we cannot project into the future. It stems, anyway, that the catastrophic predictions of IPCC and its promoters  cannot be taken in serious consideration. Such predictions influence the world economy because of the application of the Kyoto  protocol  that has mobilized in 2013 more than 160 billion dollars for the so called carbon tax.

In conclusion ,to document the limited reliability of the Disasters Prophets,  let us quote a sentence from the book  of Matt Ridley  (2013): “ A rational optimist. How prosperity evolves “. The author makes a synthesis of  his work: “ The rational optimist  invites you to make  a step back to observe our  species with a different eye  to detect the grandiose achievement of humanity  which makes constant progresses from ten thousand years even if with frequent slowdowns. Then after you have seen all that , ask yourselves if the achievement is terminated or , like the optimist claims, it may have centuries or millennia still ahead of you”. According to  Ian Mcewan: “ No other book has dismantled with such a sharpness the flooding pessimism of our times “

On the rigorous research of the past, the volume of   Brian  (2009) must also  be remembered  : “The   long hot summer . How the climate dynamics has influenced civilization”.   The author, archeologist of international   recognition, makes a synthesis of  his huge work: “ Civilization was born -and still lives-during a long hot summer , but we do not know yet when and how it will terminate”.

 

COMMENTS by Franco Maranzana

 

MATT RIDLEY. I entered in communication with him more than 20 years ago with reference to his book GENOME and later on the book THE AGILE GENE. He is a biologist by trade and was the New York correspondent for the Economist. He is a very sharp writer. I had the chance of meeting him at his superb Mansion near New Castle. Matt Ridley is a very distinguished gentleman and it will be very wise to have him on our side.

 

GLOBAL WARMING. We do not dispute the fact that global warming may continue for a certain time. We are rather convinced, however,  that sooner or later  our interglacial period will terminate to enter into a colder period. We are disputing the so called Anthropogenic Global Warming ,AGW, but the “battle” against IPCC is not an easy one and we will need to be very astute and capable of delivering simple and precise messages reaching the layman and the mass media.

 

A simple “geological” suggestion: the world has witnessed many “Glaciations”, cold periods, and “Interglacials” warm periods. The geologists studied the glaciations because they lasted enough to leave traces on sediments . Similarly for the Interglacials. No attention was ever given by geologists for the transition periods, because they are short and transient. For this reason geologists never used the term Global Warming, launched recently as a menace, because mankind was the responsible for it, according the IPCC. If global warming corresponds to the transition period then let us borrow the term for every transition periods in the past. Then: every glaciation has its “global warming” including the last one which started to get into a warmer period some 22-25 thousand years ago when mankind had no industrial power at all. We have by “magic” eliminated AGW, the MONSTER.

 

 ICG: The Independent Committee for Geoethics was founded in October 2015  in Prague. I am a Steering Committee member. It has a web site under this name.

I also make reference to the Catalogue of Hot Issues on Climate Change, called CHIC. It is a complex diagram of elements intervening in the variations of climate.  Prepared by Fabio Pistella,  former CNR Director  it can be found on ICG web site for any improvements. As a matter of facts this paper will also enter the ICG Website.

 

 

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