Tuesday, August 5, 2014

SO2 Resubmission

Dr. Keating:
This is a re-submission of my June 28 $30,000 Challenge submission in a more simplified format, where my claims are more easily examined for possible refutation. This is being done since the analysis of my original submission contained, I believe, a number of errors. Some additional supporting references are also included.
The claims are as follows:
1. SO2 injected into the atmosphere via a large volcanic eruption causes global cooling.
2. When the SO2 settles out of the atmosphere, global temperatures recover to pre-eruption levels, due to increased insolation. Natural warming after the removal of aerosols from the air can be considered to be a "Law of Nature", proven multiple times.
3. The Mount Pinatubo eruption injected 17 - 20 Megatons of SO2 into the stratosphere, causing approx. 0.4 deg. C. of global cooling. (Self, et al (1)
4. When the pollution settled out, there was an equivalent temperature rise of approx. 0.4 deg. C.
5. Thus, it can be concluded that the removal of 17 - 20 Megatons of SO2 from the atmosphere should cause a temperature rise of approx. 0.4 deg. C. (approx. 0.02 deg. C per Megaton. of SO2 removal, based upon the Mount Pinatubo results).
6. Due to the Clean Air Acts and similar efforts abroad, 1980 - 2000, at least 43 Megatons of SO2 were removed from the atmosphere (2), (3). This guarantees a temperature rise of AT LEAST 0.4 deg. C.--due to increased insolation--because of aerosol removal. This amount represents 83 % of the approx. 0.48 deg. C. of warming, 1970 - 2000.
7. Additional SO2 removal in the USA and Europe, 1970 - 1980, and in Europe, 1998 - 2000, resulted in enough additional aerosol-removal warming to account for 100 % of the global warming,1970 - 2000 (NASA's table of "Global Temperature Anomalies" indicates that the temperature rose 0.25 deg. C., 1970 - 1980) (4)
8. Since all of the warming 1970 - 2000 is accounted for by aerosol removal, there can have been NO measureable warming due to greenhouse gasses.
9. The IPCC graph of "Radiative Forcing Components" fails to inlude any aerosol-removal warming component, and thus is seriously misleading and should be discarded.
If you cannot refute any of the above claims, then I have proven that climate change due to greenhouse gas accumulation is kot a viable hypothesis.
Burl Henry
Regarding Claim No. 6, it should be noted that stratospheric SO2 has a finite lifetime, of perhaps 1 to 2 years.
Emissions into the troposphere from constant sources such as power plants, factories, vehicle exhausts, home heating units, and the like, have essentially "infinite" lifetimes, since they are constantly being renewed, and thus have an identical, but longer lasting, cooling effect.
(1) The Atmospheric Impact of the Mouint Pinatubo Eruption, Stephen Self, et al.
(2) EPA.gov "Air Quality Trends", Table 3.
(3) GEO-3. Global Environmental Outlook (United Nations Environmental Programme). See Table for years 1980 - 1998.
(4) NASA.gov. "Global Temperature Anomalies in 0.01 degrees C., base period 1951- 1980".
Other relevant graphs:
1. "Global Anthropogenic Suilfur Dioxide Emissions 1850 - 2005, by Smith et al, Page 10, Fig. 5.
This graph shows that the strong declines in SO2 emissions in North America and Europe are being offset by emissions from East Asia. When the two are averaged together, the result is the "pause"..
2. "Observed Tendencies in Surface Solar Radiation" Google "Images of Surface Solar Radiation". Note the pictograph with the same title, the one with red and blue arrows.
This image clearly shows the effect of cleaner air around the world (the only way that surface solar radiation could increase, since solar irradiance has been decreasing since around 1980) The cleaner air will increase solar insolation and, therefore, increased surface wqarming.
3. See the Wikipedia article on Global Dimming, Page 5..
The graph nicely shows the continuing decrease in atmospherc SO2 loading, which increases warming. However, they reached the erroneous conclusion that "in 1975 the masked effect of trapped greenhouse gasses finally started to emerge and have dominated ever since (37), when in actuality, the warming was simply due to the cleaner atmosphere.


One of the things I said about the challenge was that you could make a submission, hear my response and, in the event it was found to fail in its proof, make changes and resubmit it. This submission is the only resubmission I received. The original submission was about the Clean Air act and can be read here. This submitter felt so strongly that he was correct that I agreed to consider his submission a second time.

So, let's look at each point he makes above.

1. Yes, volcanoes emit SO2 gases, some more than others. And, these emissions can have a significant impact on the climate.

2. This is not a true statement the way he wrote it. Once the SO2 is cleaned out of the atmosphere the temperature will return to the temperature that is governed by the conditions that exist without the SO2. The SO2 can stay in the atmosphere for years and it is not a true statement to say temperatures will return to pre-eruption levels. If the climate conditions have changed, the temperature will revert to the temperature caused by those conditions. Also, I reject his claim of a 'law of nature'. If a climate scientist somewhere made this claim without proof, contrarians would be screaming bloody murder. I am not aware of any such 'law of nature' as Mr. Henry claims and he offers no proof, even though he claims it has been proven many times.

3. I'm fine with this statement. Wikipedia says the amount is 22 megatons, so that is a reasonably close figure. However, Mr. Henry neglected to include the 10 billion tons of particulate matter that was also ejected.

4. I am not sure this a true statement. I would have to see the data to say it is true. Let's just say that there was a temperature rise once the excess dust and SO2 was washed out of the atmosphere.

5. This is a 100% false statement. There is simply no truth to this statement and is why Mr. Henry is having problems. First, he attributed this change in temperature to removal of SO2 and made no mention of the dust particles. Where is that 'law of nature' he spoke of previously? But, it is wrong in another way. When humans emit SO2 it stays in the lower atmosphere - the troposphere. When Mt Pinatubo erupted it injected the dust and SO2 into the upper atmosphere - the stratosphere. This will have dramatically different results. For instance, dust and SO2 in the troposphere will be washed out in days. Dust and SO2 in the stratosphere will last for years. The conclusion that removing an amount of SO2 from the troposphere will have the same result as removing an equal amount of SO2 from the stratosphere, along with a very large amount of dust, is simply a false statement.

6. Again, this is a false statement. First, it was based on the conclusion of point number 5, which was a false one. Second, the removal of that much SO2 over a period of years does not say anything about the amount of change in the atmospheric SO2 level. Further, there is nothing said about the amount of SO2 production upramping that occurred in other countries. In fact, SO2 reductions in the U.S. and Europe were offset by increases in the rest of the world. I covered this in his original submission.

7. We have already seen that the points Mr. Henry based this on are false, so this one is also false. But, he managed to make yet another error. He used the logic that doubling the amount of SO2 removed would result in a doubling of the resulting temperature rise. This is a patently false statement. It is more of a inverse-logarithmic relationship. As an example, if you increased the amount removed by a factor of ten, the amount of temperature increase might only be about double the increase resulting from removing the original amount. I don't know the exact figures, but this is the same reason why when we increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over pre-industrial revolution amounts by 43%, the greenhouse efficiency of the atmosphere went up only 1% (thank goodness!).

8. So, we have seen that all of Mr. Henry's conclusions are based on previous erroneous conclusions.

9. The IPCC chart didn't have a component for this removal because it has been evaluated and found to not be significant. There are lots of other things that are not involved and they aren't on the charts, either.

I find it interesting that he came up with a reverse logic on the lifespan of SO2 in the atmosphere. He stated SO2 in the stratosphere has a finite lifespan, perhaps 1 - 2 years. OK. But, then he says SO2 in the troposphere has an infinite lifespan because it is constantly being resupplied. This is a false argument of the highest order. Let's put it this way, suppose SO2 had a lifespan of zero seconds, that it broke down into harmless components the very instant it entered the atmosphere. What would we care about the level of emissions if this were the case? Hey! Because its still being resupplied! This is an extreme example to make a point. The lifespan of SO2 in the troposphere is measured as a few days. This means SO2 is removed very quickly after it is emitted (actually a bad thing because acid rain is one of the big removal mechanisms). This means the atmospheric level increases only slowly with increased emissions. So, stopping the emissions will not have the same effect as removing an equal amount of SO2 in the stratosphere.

Mr. Henry's submission is full of false arguments and erroneous conclusions. This submission did not prove man made global warming is not real.

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