To AKRONOS Main Page
To the top of  'Global Warming': An Official PseudoScience



1. The different and opposing effects ('forcings') of man-made pollution

1.1  Atmospheric anoxia and the flaws of Climatology

For our part, we have little trouble in accepting that there may well have been an increase in overall atmospheric CO2 by some 25% in the last 100 years (see below), or that this could effectively contribute to the overall anoxia of the planetarian atmosphere. Yet, the truth is that there is no firm data, no honest correlation that permits us to call this a fact, or attribute to it a reliable measure, such as a CO2 growth rate. All one can do is calculate the factual tons of CO2 released daily by man-made pollution.  There is, of course, plenty of directly measurable evidence that the concentration of CO2 over cities and urbanized coasts is definitely and substantially higher than over the rest of the planetarian land surface. This was also the case, for example, for England during the coal-burning epoch of the Industrial Revolution, or for London's combustion-engine smog crises of the 1950's.

In general, myths like those of 'global warming' thrive on the limitations - actual and self-imposed - of climatic models of the earth-sea-atmospheric system and its interaction with solar radiation.  Whatever flaws affect adversely those climatological models are only amplified, magnified by 'global warming' studies. An example in point are all three recent models that fit the notion of a 'global warming' trend [12]: they go from the failure of climatology as a science to the falsification of natural reality - which falsification is then promoted by media to the status of 'reality'.

In general, the flaws of present climatological models are a consequence of the complex failure of climatology with respect to the basic science required to understand climate and weather.  Climatology fails thrice: once, by a failure to generate an integrated model of the main natural factors affecting climate; twice, by an apparent failure to come up with an integral or integrated hypothesis regarding the different and often opposing effects of pollutants and other anthropogenic factors; and thrice, by a failure to put together what are natural and man-made factors in a manner that is scientifically adequate - and independent from social and political pressures to manufacture predetermined results - and thus adequate to the object of study, which is climate and its variations.  

To these three failures, a fourth is added - one that has led Robert Stevenson to state:

"The science of climate has been buried alive by an avalanche of ideology-based computer models" [39]

Simulation results produced by deliberately impoverished models are now treated as reality substitutes on which 'research' can be conducted, and all the 'right' kinds of answers obtained.  This flaw, however, pertinent as it may be to Official Climatology, is not intrinsic to a science of climatology.  It is only intrinsic to the political power with which that science can be wielded.  It is true that the lack of an integral approach is compensated by computer (over-)modelling which, most often, only magnifies the errors. Yet, this lack is not entirely caused by the insufficiencies of physics or physical chemistry. There is a stubborn resistance on the part of climatologists to learn the basic physics of the system - a resistance based largely on a sentimental attachment to outdated methodologies. The cybernetic compensation comes in to dress up as science what is nothing more than wild speculation and a computerized game of probabilities.  It is the sense of an endemic failure of climatology, a failure that includes even reticence to consider that which is well known to other disciplines, that leads Richard Lindzen to state:

"Unfortunately, the way current models handle factors such as clouds and water vapor is disturbingly arbitrary." 

It is. And it is a sign, in turn, of an intellectual anoxia. And when Lindzen adds - "In many instances the underlying physics is simply not known" - he is now referring to that most forgotten basic fact, the very first failure we mentioned above: that neither physics nor chemistry actually knows enough about their subject matters to be able to provide unequivocal answers to climatology questions.  

A failure to comprehend the natural atmospheric processes and their variability also means a failure to grasp the existence of any negative feedback mechanisms. Plant photosynthesis is a major sink for CO2 and water, but other processes - physical and not necessarily biological - are likely at play that can serve as such sinks. Likewise, atmospheric trapping of energy and anoxia may occur, and so may temperature variations, through other physico-chemical processes than the greenhouse effect or those mediated by CO2. Simply sweeping all these complex processes into the GHG model of 'global warming' - for example, calling ozone a GHG - does not even begin to explain anything. Even in terms of conventional electromagnetic theory, there are no IR transitions of relevance that involve ozone.  And, as we shall shortly see, statements like "ozone absorbs all electromagnetic radiation below 290 nm" are also false, an objective error.

1.2. Warming over urban environments and the different effects of pollutants

Where there is little doubt that there is consistent and anomalous warming is over the exploding megalopolis, the concentrated urban environment of deforestation and asphalt, reflective concrete, glass and metal buildings, vehicular traffic and industrial plants, where generation of pollution is concentrated. Like a viral pandemic, the urban territory spreads across the Earth's surface, concentrating in coastlines. 

Asphalt absorbs a wide spectrum of solar radiation and releases it as radiant heat (IR photons) during nighttime; deforestation impedes re-entry of CO2 into the natural biochemical cycle, removing the natural sink for CO2; concrete, glass and metal buildings reflect solar radiation back into the atmosphere, impede ground absorption of water and thus promote its vaporization back to the atmosphere; emissions from the internal combustion engine release not just CO2 and some carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, aldehydes - but, more importantly, unburned carbon compounds and oxides of nitrogen, which ultimately generate increased ground level ozone concentrations. Diesel engines, coal burning, and natural gas plants all release soot and benzopyrenes which are powerful irritants of the respiratory system and all mucosas, eyes included, and are also potent carcinogenic substances. We should just mention in passing that a veritable epidemic of sinusitis affects modern day city dwellers. 

Technological advances in car catalytic converters have been able to remove most carbon monoxide and some hydrocarbons, but this increases the CO2 release - along with the production of water vapour. The removal or reduction of the oxides of nitrogen so as to release nitrogen and oxygen gases has proven far more difficult to achieve.  Likewise, little has been done to remove sulphur and lead pollutants. 

If one sticks solely to warming, it is apparent that these pollutants have opposing actions: GHGs absorb the heat reflected from the Earth's surface, whereas volcanic dust, soot and other carbon aerosols acts as a shield, preventing solar radiation from reaching the surface. Indeed, it is well established today within official climatology that sulphur aerosols and volcanic aerosols, as well as soot and a variety of hydrocarbons from man-made pollution, function as surface and lower troposphere cooling factors, just as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are warming factors. In fact, during the 70's craze of 'global cooling', the former fact was invoked as the anthropogenic contribution that would amplify and even trigger the orbital-determined new glacial.


1.3. The real story of CO2

The notion of GHGs functioning as the cause of global warming is entirely tied in to the idea that the heat reflected from the Earth's surface and the heat radiated by it during nighttime are trapped by the increasing concentration of CO2 near the ground, instead of being released into space, thus interfering with the Earth's radiative balance and causing 'excess heat'. However, reality is far too complex to be amenable to such reductionism. Many other factors come into play. If one considers CO2 alone, as the prototypical GHG, one must realize that the problem goes far beyond the lack of an adequate science of the variations of its concentration across different epochs, or even of definitive data correlating its increase in concentration with warming and its decrease with cooling.  

Even at the level of an account of the atmospheric processes involving CO2, much too much remains to be understood, and this is rarely said. How is CO2 trapped in the ground on hazy anti-cyclonic days? How is it transported to the stratosphere? If little is known about the transport of CO2 into the stratosphere, even less is known about the stratospheric pathways for its decomposition, including those pathways that result from diurnal interactions with solar radiation and changing ozone concentrations. Even though water is the main source ('parent') of (1S) and (1D) metastables of oxygen, CO2 is a more efficient producer of (1S)O than is water [40].  CO2 is considered to be a "linear symmetric molecule" incapable of absorbing visible or near-UV photons [41]. However, it absorbs photons at the far to vacuum UV transition, in a range from 199 to 216 nm, to produce the so-called Cameron bands of CO [42]. Such photons are generated high in the stratosphere and mostly in the E-layer by decelerating electrons and positrons, and they will generate (1S)O and CO which, with vacuum-UV absorption, becomes another potential parent of oxygen metastables. In particular, in aqueous phase at very acid pH, or in the gas phase, capture of free or decelerating electrons by protons to generate atomic hydrogen (free radical), produces photon emission in the range of the Cameron bands. How these metastables of oxygen figure in subsequent conversions affecting the allotropic cycle of oxygen-ozone, becomes one of the key questions.  Likewise, what happens to carbon free-radicals.  

Of even greater concern is what happens in the lower troposphere, in particular close to the ground over the urban environment, when an acidified atmosphere traps sufficient energy to generate hydrogen free-radicals. This will produce Cameron photons, which will in turn decompose CO2, without the latter having to be transported to the stratosphere. This high energy cycle has nothing to do with the IR or thermal transitions of CO2 that are foundational to the myth of global warming. Furthermore, this high energy cycle traps far more energy at ground level in other chemical species, the allotropes of oxygen in particular, than is trapped by CO2.


1.4. Effects of carbon and sulphur pollutants upon cloud composition and cloud cover

Let us move on from CO2-fuelled atmospheric processes to take a cursory look at other processes which are affected by human activity, and which are also poorly understood, if at all, by GCM's (Global Climate Models) and 'global warming/greenhouse' interpretations. When considering carbon and sulphur aerosols, it is not sufficient to just consider how a dusty atmosphere impedes penetration of solar radiation, or how the amount of cloud cover acts as a variable absorber of IR radiation; it is also a question of the size and thickness of cloud systems, of the molecular density of a cloud and its chemical composition, of the physical action of the cloud, its type, and the meteorological system it is associated with. A doubling of CO2-induced warming can be cancelled by as little as just 1% variation in cloud cover [43-44].

Some clouds acts as cut-off filters of solar radiation, others as absorbers or 'wideband' filters.  Volcanic eruptions have been linked to supradecadal cooling, because they contribute dust to cloud formation.  So do man-made aerosol particulates. Clouds laden with volcanic aerosols, soot, sulphur and carbon aerosols are not mere 'sunshields'. They also absorb high quantities of solar radiation. The solar radiation that reaches the ground is attenuated substantially, but the energy remains in the atmosphere, trapped in the cloud system. In turn, the latter, because of its high density of carbon, permits much greater densities of water vapour and greater electrical potentials.  Less heat reaches the ground during cloud formation, but more latent heat is trapped in the cloud system. Intense electric storms, capable of holding more water per unit volume and developing greater wind speeds, are now possible. They release more heat, present weaker cold front components (less 'relief' following rain), and leave ambient air after precipitation, particularly in urban environments, prone to saturation with water vapour (fog and smog). Carbonaceous and sulphurous clouds may cool the ground atmosphere while forming, but in turn contribute to its 'anomalous' (ie man-made) heating during precipitation. However, during nighttime, they radiate heat outward into space, just as during daytime they are fed from below, by man-made pollution and, from above, by solar radiation. 


1.5. A variety of possible chemical atmospheric pathways

Stratospheric ozone is attacked by N2O (nitrous oxide) and CO2, and if the interaction is 'humidified' (hydroxylated), it results in the production of acids (HNO3 and HCO3) that fall down to the troposphere, and are released in acid rain. But in the case of CO2 it also releases oxygen, and in the case of N2O, it may engage, instead, in alternative pathways that release oxygen (only at altitudes above 20 km), while consuming atomic oxygen or ozone. Hence, production of N2O in ground atmospheres, given the 'right' energy input (see below) and in the presence of ground ozone, will regenerate nitrogen gas (N2) and oxygen (O2), while releasing IR photons. Here is an example of another pathway that releases radiative heat and, at the same time, counteracts ground ozone and restores normal chemical composition of the atmosphere.

Pathways are not simple static distributions ascertained by statistics.  They are complex,  dynamic energy shunts involved in system self-regulation. 


1.6. Nitrogen oxides and ground ozone

Perhaps the most important effect of man-made atmospheric pollution is the generation and accumulation of the highly toxic ozone at ground level and, in particular, over urban environments. The effect presents a seasonal variation that intensifies in the Spring, and has a variety of sources. The main ones are emissions of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and NO (nitric oxide). Photolysis of nitrogen dioxide by the absorption of ultraviolet photons produced by solar radiation or, more pertinently still, associated with spontaneous photon emission from the free-radical processes involved in what we perceive as the 'haziness' of smog, results in production of ground ozone and still more nitric oxide. The latter, in turn, interacts with oxygen to generate more ground ozone and near-UV photons.  Hence, the haziness of those anti-cyclonic days which are unmistakably polluted is, in very large measure, due to the chemical action of these oxides of nitrogen. Carbon monoxide (CO) has a pathway analogous to NO that generates ground-level ozone. 

Such processes of ground ozone production and accumulation are, furthermore, driven by injections of solar energy, with ozone production declining after sunset, and the pollution residuals precipitating with condensing water vapour, after transferring most of their energy to it.

Instead of focusing on the complexity of the problems, the acolytes of the myth of 'global warming' focus on CO2 and the greenhouse mechanism, as if it were the end point for thermal or energetic release. This gross oversimplification is performed at the expense of a full account of the altered chemistry of the atmosphere, in particular, of pollutant free-radical reactions that release far more energetic photons than do GHGs.

Next:  The 'greenhouse effect' misnomer
Previous:  The case for the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide