The Scientific Argument against the Paris Climate Agreement

By Patrick J. Michaels

Cato Article Link


The key misconception is that all of the warming since the Industrial Revolution — 0.9 degrees Celsius — is a result of human activity.


Hardly. Since the beginning of reliable global temperature records in the late 19th century, there have been two periods of significant warming that are statistically indistinguishable in magnitude. The first period ran from 1910 through about 1945, with a temperature increase of around 0.5 degrees Celsius. There could only be minimal human influence on this period, simply because humans had not emitted very much carbon dioxide.


After a slight cooling, the second one began sometime around 1976 and ended with the big 1998 El Nino. This period was likely in part due to a greenhouse effect.


The reason this period was affected by greenhouse warming is because the lower stratosphere cooled at the same time, which is a prediction of greenhouse theory. If, as some people maintain, “it’s all the sun,” then the whole atmosphere would warm.


Interestingly, when the lower atmospheric warming paused after 1998, the stratosphere also stopped cooling. What’s happening now is quite unclear as surface temperatures are constantly being readjusted.


So, after allowing for a small bit of other influence on the second warming, we’re left with the notion that the maximum warming caused by humans is somewhere between 0.4 and 0.5 degrees Celsius — half of the total since the Industrial Revolution.


This has huge implications. If, as the Paris Agreement erroneously assumes, all of the warming of 0.9 degrees is a result of human activity, there is no way that the aspirational goal of 1.5 degrees can ever be met. Thanks to the huge thermal inertia of the ocean, current models show there’s between 0.4 degrees and 0.6 degrees of warming on the way, even if emissions were capped at 2000 levels.


That’s a total of 1.5 degrees already guaranteed. Meeting the 2 degrees objective allows only an additional half of a degree in wiggle room. The Paris Agreement only mitigates about 0.2 degrees of warming. Again, believing in those models, that would be an additional warming of over 2 degrees Celsius this century.


There are other, more reality-based approaches to estimating future warming, and these point to a 21st century increase of closer to 1.4 degrees Celsius. Adding that to the maximum human contribution to-date of 0.5 degrees yields 1.9 degrees, meeting the Paris objective without the Paris Agreement.


Carbon Calculator page:

Sorry, Major Kong (h/t to “Dr. Strangelove”), those are the figures.  That’s the right answer. Assuming the IPCC’s value for climate sensitivity (i.e. disregarding the recent scientific literature) and completely stopping all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. between now and the year 2050 and keeping them at zero, will only reduce the amount of global warming by just over a tenth of a degree (out of a total projected rise of 2.619°C between 2010 and 2100).



You Ought to Have a Look: Parisian Promises

By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger

Cato Article Link

April 6, 2015 8:59AM


Even the U.N. now is beginning to realize that meeting a 2.0°C warming target is virtually impossible—this despite rather absurd new calls for the target to be lowered to 1.5°C.

But no matter the details, any U.S. plan will never contribute much to mitigating future global climate change. 


Here’s why: even under the assumption we cut our fossil fuel emissions 100% by the year 2050 (the President’s  plan only calls for cuts of about 80%), the amount of future global warming that will be averted is about 0.05°C by the year 2050 and 0.14°C by the year 2100. That’s it!  Fourteen-hundredths of a degree—that’s what all the hubbub over carbon taxes, power plant emissions restrictions, Keystone XL pipeline, electric cars, ethanol, etc. is all about. Fourteen-hundredths of a degree. And even that is being generous, because it assumes a climate sensitivity to greenhouse gas emissions that is a good 50 to 100 percent greater than what many new scientific studies are pointing to. If we do the same calculation using a climate sensitivity of 2°C rather than 3°C, the warming averted by the year 2100 drops to 0.10°C (one-tenth of a degree).


You can see all this for yourself using our global temperature savings calculator—a great tool (based on a model developed in part by EPA funding) that everyone contemplating greenhouse gas emissions limitations ought to have at their fingertips.


To get a sense of the temperature savings from what the U.S. is intending for Paris, use our tool and select a “CO2 Reduction” of 80% from the U.S.—that scenario matches very closely to the current U.S. plan.


You’ll find a grand total of about 0.11°C of temperature savings by the end of the century. Too little to matter. Impossible to verify. Scientifically insignificant.


All in all, pretty much par for the course when compared with the other INDCs.


We’ll continue to track the Road to Paris. But thus far, it is a Road to Nowhere.



Section for a video or follow-on comment/h2>

We should revisit occasionally what the proper role of government is.   As the constitution was a good sense of direction, we need a core set of principles to add in order to deal with the future.


So many want to engineer society, remove risk, assist certain groups, rather than let individuals thrive and raise communities.  Why?


Is Democracy where we all "get it good and hard" or is it the best means to a free society?


Should we roll with the special interests, or make the government achieve its proper role, what is that role, and how to do this?


When do deficits and governments become too large?


Government is becoming more elitist while trying to sell corrections to problems it created, what makes this possible?


Could include a pic

This could also be inserted into the field above, or erased


Currently as a society, we are having a most difficult time discussing political issues.  What is driving this?   And why a rebirth in political culture would be a good thing.


Market Economy

Are "markets" dead as some would conjecture? Or is free enterprise what got us here?


Economic Theories

At the heart of economics there are several possible economic schools of thought, the essence of these schools of thought and how they relate to our lives.


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