Hiding the Decline – It Was the Sulphur, Guv

A coal and fire.
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Warming Us Up. And Cooling Us Down. Or Something.

The Daily Telegraph reported on the 4th July that Man-made climate change evidence has been ‘hidden’ by sulphur emissions.

The report is of a study by Robert K. Kaufmann and Michael Mann of Boston University, Heikki Kauppi of the University of Turku, Finland and James H Stock of Harvard. The study attempts to explain why the world has in fact not been getting warmer over the last few years, despite the “accepted fact” that man-made global warming is making it warmer.

The study itself is entitled

Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998 – 2008

Their conclusion is that the Chinese are responsible for halting the climate change, because their burning of coal has released large amounts of sulphur into the air. The sulphur particles act as a cooling agent, counteracting the global warming. The authors emphasise that in the long run, the carbon dioxide from burning the coal will predominate, and lead to a resumption of the warming.

Get that! The study is claiming that global warming has been caused by burning fossil fuels – and now the recent lack of global warming is caused by … burning fossil fuels!

Since the very start of the industrial revolution, the carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have been accompanied by sulphur emissions. That is why the Victorians had nicer roses than we do (because the sulphur killed black spot) and one of the reasons why London smog actually killed people.

But these scientists are claiming that the Victorian sulphur failed to stop global warming, but suddenly now sulphur emissions are overwhelming the carbon dioxide effect.

Their global warming theory predicts that warming should have continued through that decade. And it didn’t. The obvious conclusion is that their thoery just may actually be wrong.

But no. Their response is to assume that their theory is right, and cast around for explanations as to why its predictions could be wrong, while the theory remains right.

This is not science. It is religion. It reminds me of those ever more intricate mechanical devices that were made hundreds of years ago, to explain the movements of the planets, before it finally became accepted that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around.

There is another significance to this, though. And that is that climate scientists are beginning to accept that their theory has a problem with the observed facts.

This new study is at least accepting that there is a problem with the theory, and trying to address it.

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3 thoughts on “Hiding the Decline – It Was the Sulphur, Guv

  1. I wonder what the Chinese think of this “theory”?
    Does it imply that sulphur rather than CO2 is acidifying the oceans?
    Are we in for a deluge of acid rain?
    Should the Chinese ramp up their sulphur emissions to save the planet?

    • Good point about the acidifying oceans – assuming, of course, that they really are acidifying! I can imagine that proving that would be a bit like trying to prove the world is warming.

      I think the Chinese are ramping up their sulphur emissions regardless of saving the planet!

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