Saturday, 27 August 2011

Princeton professor Happer: Increased CO2 levels "an overall benefit"

William Happer, professor of physics at Princeton University, explains why present and future levels of CO2 are NOT a threat to humans, animals or plants. On the contrary, increased carbon dioxide levels could actually be a benefit. The supposed ill effects of more CO2 are from flawed computer models:

What atmospheric levels of CO2 would be a direct threat to health? Both the United States Navy and NASA have performed extensive studies of human tolerance to CO2. As a result of these studies, the navy recommends an upper limit of about 8,000 ppm for cruises of 90 days and NASA recommends an upper limit of 5,000 ppm for missions of 1,000 days. We conclude that atmospheric CO2 levels should be above about 150 ppm to avoid harming green plants and below about 5,000 ppm to avoid harming people.

That is a big range, and our atmosphere is much closer to the lower end than the upper end. We were not that far from CO2 anorexia when massive burning of fossil fuels began. At the current rate of burning fossil fuels, we are adding about 2 ppm of CO2 per year to the atmosphere, so getting from our current level of about 390 ppm to 1,000 ppm would take about 300 years—and 1,000 ppm is still less than most plants would prefer, and much less than either the NASA or the navy limit.

Yet there are strident calls to immediately stop further increases in CO2 levels and reduce levels back to the 270 ppm pre-industrial value that was supposedly "the best of all possible worlds". The first reason for limiting CO2 was to fight global warming. Since the predicted warming has failed to be nearly as large as computer models forecasts, the reason was amended to stopping climate change. Sancta simplicitas. Climate change itself has been embarrassingly uneventful, so another rationale for reducing CO2 is now promoted: to stop the supposed increase of extreme climate events like droughts, hurricanes or tornados.
But dispassionate data show that the frequency of extreme events has hardly changed and in some cases has decreased in the 150 years that CO2 levels have increased from 270 ppm to 390 ppm. Other things being equal, doubling the current CO2 level in the atmosphere will increase the surface temperature by about 1 C. This modest warming, together with documented benefits to plant life, would be an overall benefit. The supposed ill effects of more CO2 are from computer models in which water vapour and clouds multiply the modest direct warming by factors of three, four even 10. Observations show no evidence for these large ``positive feedbacks."

Read the entire article here

Warmists will most certainly try to attack anybody who dares to challenge their holy models. But they will not be able to use their usual "flat-earther" invective against professor Happer.

1 comment:

A K Haart said...

This is the other side of the coin isn't it?

CO2 could well be too close to the lower limit and a rising concentration may offer huge benefits for crop growth and food production.