Arrhenius

24 Sep 2018

Svante Arrhenius was a Swedish chemist (they didn't have climate scientists in his day) and he investigated the effect of doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide and how it may affect the global climate. This was read as a paper at an 1895 conference in Stockholm (and duly published). It was a defining moment for modern climate scientists of a certain persuasion that believe greenhouse gases are capable of causing catastrophic global warming. However, Arrhenius wrote his paper in an effort to understand the swings and roundabouts of the Ice Age. It had nothing to do with the burning of fossil fuels - or driving gas  guzzling cars. His ideas were received well at the time as the Ice Ages were a puzzle - how they came and went (Milankovitch was in the future). He said that temperatures in the Arctic would rise by 8 degrees if co2 increased substantially. However, to get to the temperatures of the last Ice Age, he thought co2 would have to shrink by nearly a half of its value (in 1895), but would only lower temperatures, globally, by one degree celsius.

The difficulties in explaining the rapidity of post Ice Age warming is still with us. What triggers melting in the northern hemisphere so quickly is a matter of uncertainty. In other words, the issue Arrhenius was addressing has never been resolved - although mainstream might not give that impression as they like to put things in boxes and tick them off. It is interesting why modern climate scientists refer back to the 1895 paper by Arrhenius - but I suppose this is what they are taught (basics of climate science theory). The strange thing is that they ignore Arrhenius 1906 paper which reduced the amount of warming to 5 degrees. This is at the lower end of model estimations in early IPCC reports. It may be that the 1906 paper was published in German and was unread by English speaking scientists - or was it not alarming enough? The really stranger point is that by accepting Arrhenius and ignoring various atmospheric research papers over the last 100 or so which dispute the idea that co2 causes runaway global warming - even ignoring the Gaia hypothesis (a one time Greenie obsession), one is left thinking the IPCC might have an agenda. Can models really be taken seriously? (see www.sepp.org newsletter of 22nd September)