Dr. Alan Carlin, an employee of the EPA since 1971, has made public his “Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act” that an EPA director blocked because it was inconvenient to their pre-determined outcome. Carlin’s study casts down upon almost every aspect of global warming alarmism and on the EPA’s “endangerment finding” regarding carbon dioxide.
The document is about 100 pages long and most of you won’t have time to read it. Fortunately, Dr. Carlin included an excellent executive summary which I’ll further condense for you here:
In the study’s preface, Dr. Carlin says that the EPA is relying on outside sources instead of doing their own research, that the outside source material is out of date and that a lot of new research has occurred since its creation, and that current data “are sufficiently at variance with those of the IPCC (the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), CCSP (the US Climate Change Science Program), and the Draft TSD (technical supporting documentation for their finding that CO2 presents a danger)” to show that the EPA “has not critically reviewed the findings by these other groups.”
Dr. Carlin also shreds the concept of a “consensus” on the issue, noting that “What is actually noteworthy about this effort is not the relative apparent scientific shine of the two sides but rather the relative ease with which major holes have been found in the GHG/CO2/AGW argument….The issue is rather whether the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis meets the ultimate scientific test—conformance with real world data. What these comments show is that it is this ultimate test that the hypothesis fails; this is why EPA needs to carefully reexamine the science behind global warming before proposing an endangerment finding.” (page iv)
In his executive summary (beginning page v), Carlin’s criticism of anthropogenic global warming theory is devastating: He notes that the hypothesis that greenhouse gases and CO2 are causing warming “fails a number of critical comparisons with available observable data. Any one of these failings should be enough to invalidate the hypothesis; the breadth of these failings leaves no other possible conclusion based on current data. As Feynman (1975) has said failure to conform to real world data makes it necessary from a scientific viewpoint to revise the hypothesis or abandon it… Unfortunately this has not happened in the global warming debate, but needs to if an accurate finding concerning endangerment is to be made.”
These data include “Lack of observed upper tropospheric heating in the tropics”, “Lack of observed constant humidity levels, a very important assumption of all the IPCC models”, “no appreciable temperature increases during the critical period 1978-1997” in satellite measurements, no inclusion of ocean oscillations in IPCC models, no inclusion of “indirect solar variability” in IPCC models, no allowance for the possibility of other not as yet understood natural phenomena, and the strong possibility that surface temperature data “may have been hopelessly corrupted by the urban heat island effect and other problems (which is why the EPA’s draft endangerment finding ignores satellite data which does not fit their distinctly political rather than scientific goal.)
Carlin then goes on to take apart the last IPCC report, upon which most of the EPA’s TSD is based, noting that:
• Global temperatures have declined for more than a decade despite atmospheric CO2 levels increasing,
• New research shows the IPCC was wrong in predicting more frequent and intense hurricanes due to AGW (man-made global warming),
• There is no evidence that Greenland is melting despite IPCC predictions,
• The recent recession has cut greenhouse gas emissions, but the draft TSD doesn’t mention it,
• New research shows that the climate probably operates with negative feedback rather than the positive feedback which IPCC models assume, and
• New research suggests the IPCC “used faulty solar data” to claim that the sun was not the cause of global temperature variability.
After taking apart the IPCC and TSD, Carlin offers his own thoughts on the issue (starting on page vii):
• The best explanations for global temperature fluctuations appear to be solar cycles
• Sunspots also appear to have an impact, though the way it works isn’t understood
• “Changes in greenhouse gas concentrations appear to have so little effect that it is difficult to find any effect in the satellite temperature record, which started in 1978.”
• Surface temperature measurements are suspect because they are so different from the satellite record, so “it appears even more unlikely that GHGs have as much of an effect on measured surface temperatures as claimed”
• “Hence it is not reasonable to conclude that there is any endangerment from changes in GHG levels based on the satellite record, since almost all the fluctuations appear to be due to natural causes and not human-caused pollution as defined by the Clean Air Act.”
I’ll quote the conclusion of Dr. Carlin’s executive summary in its entirety:
These inconsistencies between the TSD analysis and scientific observations are so important and sufficiently abstruse that in my view EPA needs to make an independent analysis of the science of global warming rather than adopting the conclusions of the IPCC and CCSP without much more careful and independent EPA staff review than is evidenced by the Draft TSP. Adopting the scientific conclusions of an outside group such as the IPCC or CCSP without thorough review by EPA is not in the EPA tradition anyway, and there seems to be little reason to change the tradition in this case. If their conclusions should be incorrect and EPA acts on them, it is EPA that will be blamed for inadequate research and understanding and reaching a possibly inaccurate determination of endangerment. Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until about 2030 given the 60 year cycle described in Section 2) there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain much of the available data.
Finally, there is an obvious logical problem posed by steadily increasing US health and welfare measures and the alleged endangerment of health and welfare discussed in this draft TSD during a period of rapid rise in at least CO2 ambient levels. This discontinuity either needs to be carefully explained in the draft TSD or the conclusions changed.
The rest of Carlin’s document lays out the science behind his comments and conclusions. Here’s a taste:
A major cause for concern with regard to the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect espoused by the IPCC is that a crucial implied assumption may not be valid based on real world data. The IPCC models imply that global relative humidity is a constant as a result of various assumptions about evaporation and participation. This appears not to be the case, however, as shown in the following graph. Stockwell (2008) provides a discussion of the pros and cons for EGE and concludes that it is doubtful. Ref: http://landshape.org/enm/greenhouse-thermodynamics-and-gcms/
Gregory and others say that the IPCC models all assume that global relative humidity is a constant.2 I note that this assumption would appear to imply their result since increases in temperature increase the amount of water vapor that the atmosphere can hold. This in turn results in an increased GHG warming effect, and so on and on, just as the IPCC concluded. Gregory puts it this way:
There is no physics in support of this assumption, and no way to calculate its value from first principles. This assumption means that if temperatures increase for any reason, the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere increases. But water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, so the GHE becomes stronger and temperatures increase more. The current theory does not determine this – it is only an assumption. If this assumption is only slightly wrong, it completely changes the expected response of increasing CO2 because water vapour is such a dominant greenhouse gas.
So if this arbitrary assumption does not hold, then there is no positive feedback effect. If accurate, the chart below appears to support the anti-AGW case.
On pages 54-55, Carlin also shows an interesting chart of various climate-related issues, the prediction based on the “CO2 Hypothesis”, the prediction based on the “Sun/Cosmic Ray Hypothesis”, the actual data, and which hypothesis offers the best explanation. In NONE of the 7 issues does the current alarmist theory about CO2 fit the data.
On pages 58-59, Carlin notes that the IPCC’s model predicts a “hot spot” over the tropics which is “entirely absent from the observational record. This shows that most of the global temperature change cannot be attributed to increasing CO2 concentrations.” Just as interesting as the data is the way the EPA dealt with this rather conclusive evidence against their pre-determined position: “The Draft TSD indeed notes that the lack of heating in the tropical troposphere is a problem but says that the data has been questioned. While this is being sorted out or if it is never sorted out, the prudent thing to do is to assume that the data is correct and therefore that the hypothesis is invalid until shown otherwise by new and better science. Not to do so is to take a major risk since otherwise very expensive remediation actions may be taken on the basis of a claim that data is questionable when it may indeed be correct.”
It’s no surprise that the EPA went out of their way to quash Dr. Carlin’s document. The fact that they did so is backfiring on them, however, and bringing far more attention to Carlin’s criticism than it might otherwise have received.
It’s a double-bonus for those of us who recognize “global warming” as the hoax and anti-capitalist power grab that it is: Not only is the “science” now being challenged by an extremely credible source from within the EPA, but the blatantly political motivation behind the Cult of AGW has been amply demonstrated by their telling Dr. Carlin to shut up and go work on other things.
And don’t forget, the discredited IPCC models are the claimed basis for the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill which will be the single most devastating piece of legislation ever aimed at our economy. Waxman and Markey make Smoot and Hawley look like pikers. Make sure your Senators know that you know of Dr. Carlin’s comments and that, in the immortal words of Pete Townshend, we “won’t get fooled again.”