Ivar Giaever (2012) - The Strange Case of Global Warming

I am happy I am allowed speak for myself after the previous speaker here. And I’m going to talk about the strange case of global warming. I am not really terribly interested in global warming. Like most physicists I really don’t think much about it. But in 2008 I was on a panel here about global warming. And I had to learn something about it. And I spent a day or so, half a day maybe on Google and I was horrified by what I learned. And I’m going to try to explain to you why that was the case. So I also, being on that panel, became very famous because if you search on my name and on global warming together, you get roughly 40,000 hits. That’s much more than I get if I search for my name on superconductivity. So you get sort of into the system. And according to me then what I said at that time and I still agree with: Global warming has become a new religion because you can’t discuss it. And that’s not right. So it starts, just as science, comes in money forms. It’s more like old real science which I hope I do. Then what it is, we have pathological science, that people who fool themselves. And that happened quite often in science. You do something, you have a theory. You do something and my god the experiment shows it, you’re very happy and you publish and you fool yourself. You’ve got to be very careful when you publish. Then we have what we call fraudulent science, which is fortunately very rare. Some people cheat in science on purpose. And I have advice to you. If you want to cheat in science on purpose cheat on something which is not important. Then you won’t be found out. You won’t be very famous either but that’s another case. And finally I have junk science. Junk science often in the medical field. Somebody has 5 people eating onion soup and 5 people eating tomato soup and the 5 people eating onion soup don’t get as much cancer as the 5 people eating the tomato soup. And you can publish that but it’s not very good. And finally we have pseudoscience. And pseudoscience is a very strange thing. Because pseudoscience you begin with a hypothesis which is very appealing to you and then you only look for things which confirm the hypothesis. You don’t look for other things. And so the question then, what I’m going to ask: Is global warming a pseudoscience? And you can be the judge. So here it starts with these 2 people, you saw pictures of them before. If you ask who is a famous scientist in the United States, they say Al Gore. And so somebody said to me you have no business dealing with global warming because you're not a climatologist. But neither is Al Gore, you know. So that’s it. And Pachauri who is a railroad engineer. These 2 people got the Nobel Prize in Peace because of this figure here. And I am ashamed of the Norwegian government who did that. This is almost as bad a Peace Prize as when Obama got the Peace Prize when he got elected. So the Peace Prize is a difficult thing to do right I think. Now, what is this curve here? They are very famous because they made this curve famous. And this is the average temperature of the earth starting from 1860 to roughly 2000. And a temperature change, it’s going from minus .4 degrees to plus 4 degrees. They don’t know it’s so little. It’s not even fever. Now, the average over space on time for the whole earth for the whole year. Now I am dealing with temperature normally, in my normal life I grow cells in tissue culture. And I have to keep the temperature at 37 degrees. And that’s very difficult. But the earth has kept the temperature in 150 years in .8 degrees. But I don’t believe anybody can measure that. It’s impossible to measure that. And because in 1880 the thermometers were placed in various places, in 1900 they were moved, in 1950 they were moved, in 2000 they were moved. How can you figure the average temperature on the earth? I don’t think that’s possible. If I gave 10 people the job of measuring the average temperature in this room you will get 10 different answers. So that’s a very difficult thing to do. So what does it mean then, this curve here? And in my opinion probably nothing. Because I mean why does it matter if the temperature is going up .8 degrees. The average temperature, if indeed you could measure it. So from 1880 to 2013 the temperature has increased then from 288 degree Kelvin to 288.8 degree Kelvin. It’s .3%. It’s very little. And if it’s true, it means to me the temperature has been amazingly stable. I was amazed that the temperature can be so stable. And from 1975 to roughly 2000 you get this curve here and the Co2 and the temperature increased in common. And that’s what the problem is, why the Co2 causes the temperature change. Co2 has very little to do with the temperature change. Water vapour is a much, much, much stronger green gas than the Co2. If you look out of the window, you see the sky, you see the clouds and you don’t see the Co2. And then we come to the hockey stick graph, which the previous speaker showed in a little different matter. And I have to say that I have to rely on H. C. Andersen and “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. But the little boy who was innocent, he didn’t see that the emperor had clothes on and I am the little boy here. I don’t see that the Co2 is the cause of all this problem. For example, and I showed you before, the temperature going up from 288 to 288.8 degrees, .3% in this 150 years. The earth population had gone up from 1.5 billion to 7 billion. Nobody talks about that. And maybe for example that all the paved roads and cut down forests causes the global warming, not the Co2. But nobody talks about that. And actually some person do. This is Steven Chu, which is a Nobel Prize winner from 1977. And he suggests to paint all roofs white because that might help. So at least he, I know him very well, he’s a smart guy but he has been bought by the global warming people and he’s now helping Obama trying to make green energy in the United States. So how come, have you heard about the Copenhagen meeting, how come that can be. Well, it can be because of societies like the American Physical Society. I, as you heard I resigned from the American Physical Society because of this statement. American Physical Society discussed the mass of the proton. The mass of the proton is not incontrovertible according to the American Physical Society but the global warming is. You see that’s religion, that’s a religious statement like the Catholic Church says the earth is not round. And the American physical society says that the global warming occurs. I mean that’s a terrible thing. So I resigned from the Physical Society. I hope I can get 1 or 2 of you to resign as well. Now the other thing is, you see here, this statement taken directly from the American Physical Society. This says: “The global warming is occurring, if non mitigation actions are taken significant disruption in the earth physical and ecological system, social system, security and human health are likely to occur.” So let’s see, look at history. In the last 150 years the earth has got warmer according to these people but human health has got better, the social system is better, everything is better. The earth is much better now than it was 150 years ago. So why is it suddenly changing? Why is it suddenly getting worse? It’s a mystery to me. Then they had a meeting in Cancun and what we get there is typical of a paper. Oxfam report showed that 21,000 people suffered weather related deaths during the first 9 months of 2010. Twice as many as the whole 2009. These are the titbits you see in the paper trying to convince people that global warming is a terrible thing. And I think that’s a strange thing. Now we have the recent meeting in Brazil and if you read in the paper, nothing much has been coming out from that. I could hardly find it when I prepared this slide. And what they try to do is to concentrate on sustainable development. Now we can all agree with that. But one thing you should be very careful, you should not confuse pollution with Co2. Co2 is not a pollution. We are all agree that pollution is a bad thing and so on but it has nothing to do with Co2. So what is the greenhouse effect then? You have heard about it already. What it is, is that without the atmosphere the earth would be roughly 35 degrees colder. The fact that Co2 has increased from 280 to 350 ppm in a 100 years. Temperatures increased .8 degrees C. Is there a cause and effect? You can try to test that. Since 1998, which was the warmest year measured, Co2 has increased up to 396 ppm. So we can then calculate what the effect of the temperature would be. And the very simplest calculation is .8 times 14 divided by 100 is .1 degree warmer. But it is colder today. It is colder now than it was in 1998. That’s 15 years or so. How can that be? If Co2 is increasing regularly, it should be warmer but it’s not. So here you see the curve. This is the Co2 increasing, this is temperatures in 1998 and you see here, I think in 1908, suddenly it dropped maybe .5 degrees or so. Almost got rid of all the global warming entirely in one year. Do you recognise the difference in measurement is very difficult? And so you can’t really measure it. That’s what bothers me that both the people who believe in global warming and the people who are deniers accept the curve. That curve should never be accepted. So here is where the temperature is measured. This is according to NASA Goddard Institute for Space Research. So here in the United States all these dots are places where temperature is measured. Between 30 and 60 degrees, you know, United States is almost completely green. But look below 60 degrees, 60 degrees south, there are 8 thermometers. That includes the South Pole, only 8 thermometers there. How can they talk about average temperature of the earth? I don’t understand it. And furthermore if I ask this rhetorical question: What is the optimal temperature for the earth? It’s clearly not the temperature we have. That would be a miracle. But nobody knows what the optimal temperature is for the earth. It may be 2 degrees warmer, it may be 2 degrees colder. I just don’t know. But it clearly is not the temperature we have today. So Nature of course has gotten into the fact and they have a journal now called Climate Change. My friend said: “Don’t make fun of Nature. Then they won’t publish your papers.” I said: “Nature doesn’t publish my papers anyway so it doesn’t matter.” So, Nature then... This issue, I found out there were several issues, but this issue was free, so I looked up and they grow corn enough for Africa. And they found out which is a big article in this paper that they lose 1% for every day at over 30 degrees C. That’s a very difficult thing to find out. It may be true, maybe not. But if you think about the corn farmers of Iowa, that they’re probably maybe 100 times as efficient as the people in Africa because of the climate and all the things we have in the United States and they grow corn. Unfortunately what we do with that corn, we turn most of it into ethanol. And they mix; in New York State they mix 10% ethanol into the gasoline. And so it affects me directly. Every time I buy gasoline I have to by 10% ethanol mixed in the gasoline. Much less efficient and very costly for the country. Should never have done that. And they don’t mention at all in here how important Co2 is for plant life. And so if you have more Co2 the plant grows better all over the earth. If you have a greenhouse and put carbon dioxide in it the plant grow faster. Plants, Co2 of course is food for plants. And believe it or not the great trees in Bad Schachen are starving. They don’t look like that but they really are because when photosynthesis was developed the carbon dioxide was much higher in the air than it is today, so the plant has a system which is geared for a much higher concentration of carbon dioxide. So here is another thing. All these kind of things, you see, I pick and choose when I do this talk like my previous speakers picked and chose too. So I pick and choose and I really like this one. This is “the body shrinks because of global warming” and all these kind of things like the strawberries have gotten smaller these days for example. The red billed gulls, California squirrels, lynx, wood rats, large number of things get smaller because of global warming, because of the .8 degrees average. Now unfortunately this does not apply to people. My observation is that people get bigger as far as global warming occurs. So here we come then to, you see, remember everything is caused by global warming and then people, it doesn’t get any warmer so we can’t really talk about that. We have to talk about something else. Let’s talk about climate change, ok. So if I look up then it takes 30 years to define a climate according to the people who should know. So when did the climate change? Yesterday, 5 days ago, 5 years ago? I don’t know but that’s what people talk about climate change. And you may have noticed when you talk about the climate change; it’s always to the worse. Nobody says: “Oh I’m so glad the climate is changing, it’s getting better.” But nobody says that. When you say climate change, you mean it’s getting worse. And here is a thing which is difficult to see maybe. Let’s focus on this graph here. This is from the Midwest United States and this is the rainfall over 100 years. And you see the Midwest United states there was a very dry period which you call the dust bowl. Became very famous because of John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath. But you see this happened long before now. And here is 100 hundred years, a place in Africa, huge amount of rain. You see these climate things that happened always have happened. Even if you’re religious, you know about Noah, the flood in the bible. You know, that’s really a giant flood. So the climate has always changed. And then we come to people who talk specific. And the one I really like is this thing here. It says: “melting Greenland.” They don’t say the ice melts on Greenland. It sounds more adverse if you say Greenland is really melting, you know. And they show these pictures of floods. So they look at this, just to pick something. And actually if all the glaciers in the world melt, the ocean will rise 1 metre. If all the ice in Greenland melts, the ocean will rise 7 metres. If all the ice on the South Pole melts, the ocean will rise 93 metres. But the fact is that there is more ice in the South Pole now than there ever has been because it’s colder. You know that the previous speaker talked about the northern hemisphere which is getting a little warmer- But the southern hemisphere is getting colder. So that’s the way life is. Now here is a paper by, all I know about this guy is Ola M. Johannessen. He’s a Norwegian. They measure the ice inland on Greenland scientifically by using satellites. And since it’s a Norwegian guy, I’m from Norway, it has to be true, you know. And they found out the last 11 years or so the ice on Greenland has risen 5 centimetres a year, on the inland of Greenland. But you are seeing pictures from the coast. But the inland is increasing. So there are more ice on Greenland now than there was like 15 years ago. And this is a fact. If you don’t believe that you can look at Google. And here I picked up, there are several harbours in Greenland, this is the 5 coldest years measured, the 5 warmest years. These are the coldest years and these are the warmest years. The warmest years were basically in the ‘30’s. But we didn’t worry about Greenland melting at that time. And that’s true for all the temperatures in Greenland. And the coldest years include ’92 and ’93, you know. So the coldest year happened more recent than the warmest years. So we don’t have to worry about Greenland. So since it’s difficult then for the people to talk about climate change you noticed from the previous speaker talked about extreme weather. Now that’s something, you know. But every time we have extreme weather you have 100 year flood. That means it happened 100 years ago as well. You see the weather is no more extreme now than it ever would have been. When we had the big catastrophe in the United States, when New Orleans was almost wiped off the map, we had 8 hurricanes that year. Huge, the papers say this is the future, this is global warming, this is what we have to expect. The next year there was no hurricane in the United States. Nobody wrote in the papers to say there are no hurricanes, this was due to global warming, this we can expect, you know. Only when disasters happen you get into the act and say this is bad. So you feel then you have the sort of extreme weather, then you have when the ocean rises, you have to run away from it but that of course is not the fact. As the question I ask: Is the ocean level increasing? And if you look at this curve here, this is 1,000 years on this scale, 8,000 years ago, this is metres here. So the ocean has risen 15 metres in 8,000 years. If we look at the recent years, this curve here and this is the recent years, the ocean, this is now centimetres and this is 100 years. So the ocean has risen 20 centimetres in 100 years. It rose 20 centimetres in a previous 100 years and so the last 200, 300 years it’s risen roughly 20 centimetres in 100 years. But please note there are no unusual rises of sea levels. It’s not unusual. And to be sure we understand that I’ll repeat it. There is no unusual rise in the sea level. So you’ve got to... You see these are the facts people don’t want to admit to you. They say the sea level is rising. Yes, it is. It’s rising 20 centimetres a century, that’s what it does. So here then is coming back to Al Gore. This polar bear is very famous because he’s running out of ice. And the poor, the cuddly polar bears are dying. But this is the real culprit, the guy with the gun and the polar bears. And as I said I’m from Norway and Spitsbergen, it’s the protectorate of Norway, has polar bears on it. And in 1972 there were roughly hundreds to 1,000 bears there. And now in 2005 there are 4,000 bears there. The reason for that of course, you weren’t allowed to hunt them anymore. They were protected. And what everybody in Norway knows but you probably don’t know is there are more seals now than there have been for a long time. Seal is what polar bear eat. Because people have stopped buying seal skinned coats. And the Canadians and the Norwegians used to club little seal babies to make these beautiful coats. Don’t do that anymore. So there’s a huge amount of seal which is what polar bears eat. So when I resigned from the Physical Society, I got this wonderful problem by a guy named Samson and I really like that. You consider a large room, 20 feet square, 10 feet high. Actually let’s take this room. This is a very large room. And the question he asked is: “If I seal this room off, how many matches do I have to light every day to keep up with the increase in the carbon dioxide in the air due to all the cars spewing out gasoline and stuff?” There are roughly maybe 800 million cars in the world. So how many matches do I have to light in this room to keep up with the carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere, every day? And this is a good problem for physicists. I was surprised when I saw the problem. But the facts are that for this room here if you light say 1 match you’re probably equivalent to 3 years of cars spewing carbon dioxide into the air. So 1 match in this room is equivalent to all the carbon dioxide the cars in the world put up in the room. If you take this room here, it happened to be 20 years. But this room is much bigger. That’s amazing thing. So the atmosphere is much, much bigger than you think it is. And it’s a relatively easy calculation and I hope you try to do that tonight and you will learn, you know, something about that anyway. But you are sitting here listening to me and you are polluting this room with carbon dioxide as well. So how much are you doing that? Well, you need roughly 2,000 calories a day. So let’s take sugar as the food. And if you do that you have to eat 3 bowls of sugar a day which is 2,000 calories. And the sugar will weigh 450 grams. But the carbon dioxide you breathe out weighs 800 grams. More than the sugar of course because you get the oxygen from the air. So every day you breathe out roughly 800 grams of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to 400 kilos a year, speaking or 40 tonnes in a lifetime. That’s what you breathe out. But of course it’s only roughly 4% of the total emission because you drive cars and you heat your house and you drive in airplanes and stuff. So it’s only 4%. So it doesn’t help to save the world if you go on a diet. You don’t have to do that, doesn’t do much. So the Chinese policy from 19... This is what Chinese did which I admire very much because they did something about something. What they did, they had 1 child per family and the result is that 375 million Chinese have not been born. Think about that. That’s more than the population of the United States. If you are still worried about global warming, why don’t you try to get the government to limit the child to 1 child per woman? Then you have really done something. The reason people don’t do that of course it’s unpopular. The Chinese did it and it was a very brave and the correct decision I think. Another thing is that the green want this solution. When I see windmills in California I shudder because I see my tax money go out the window. Of course this is the right decision, atomic, nuclear plants. And I know about the earthquake and the tsunami in Japan which causes Germany to ban nuclear power. That was a wrong decision of Germany and I know they will reverse it. I can make any kind of bets on that. And I know here now in the tsunami in Japan, actually that was a dumb thing from the Japanese to begin with to build a nuclear power in an earthquake, prone earth quake area. But it was one of the biggest earthquakes ever had been seen on this earth. And what happened is that 100,000 people, roughly speaking, died in the catastrophe and as far as I know not a single person died from radiation. But we are so worried about radiation. That’s wrong. Nuclear power is the most safe power if you per kilowatt hour produced. So here then there are many ways to spend money. And I feel... Do you feel good using solar cells? I mean do you feel good using solar cells wasting your money, the manufacturing capability, the country and everything else, using solar cells? So here then is a real problem from New York City in 1900. You may think I’m joking but someone had written a book about this. The real problem in New York City was: How can we get enough horses? It’s not a joke, it was a real problem. And there was dead horses lying in the streets of New York at that time. And the other problem of course: How can we get rid of the horse manure, you know? And so now we laugh at that problem. But I say 50 years from now people will look at us and say: “How could these people be so stupid not using nuclear power? How could they possibly be?” So it’s a question I ask then: Are we afraid of change? And this is an American character who is not afraid, “What, me worry?”. And here is a picture of the Earth in some millions of years. The Earth is changing. Things are changing for heaven’s sake. We can’t keep still the same. This is the American foreign policy. They try to keep things the same because we have it well in America. So their policy is to keep things unchanged. But even the foreign policy of the United States can’t manage to do that. And we certainly can’t manage to keep the Earth not different. So I think we have to learn to live with change. That’s one thing. And here’s a picture of myself, my wife and me. We got married roughly 60 years ago. This is how we looked. This is how we look today. You see we have changed. And notice... Unfortunately we have changed. And notice also that a new picture is a colour picture. There was no colour when I got married. So as far as I'm concerned we have left the world in a better shape than we arrived. And this will continue. So here is some Antarctic ice core which I haven’t showed. You see roughly every 100,000 years we get an ice age. Does it happen now, you see, does it happen, an ice age? People lived, this is 400,000 years ago, people lived on the earth through these changes. But they come and they look like we are ready for another ice age. And then people say: “Oh please burn some coal, you know. Keep warming up the earth.” And the other interesting thing about this is that the blue line is the temperature and the temperature increases before the carbon dioxide. And a lot of peddling and writing and things to try to get that changed around. But the facts are that these are the experiments. So finally then we get to the end and this is from The Economist: “Don’t despair. Grounds for hope on global warming.” And if I ask the rhetorical question: Is climate science a pseudoscience? And if I'm going to answer the question, the answer is: Absolutely. So thank you very much. Applause.

Ivar Giaever (2012)

The Strange Case of Global Warming

Ivar Giaever (2012)

The Strange Case of Global Warming

Abstract

In 2008 I participated on a panel at the Lindau meeting discussing “Global Warming” and to prepare, I looked into the subject using the internet. I found that the general belief is that the average surface temperature over the whole earth for a whole year has increased from ~288 oK to 288.8 oK in roughly 150 years, i.e. 0.3% and that it is due to increased CO2. If this is true, it means to me that the temperature has been amazingly stable.
In the same time period the number of people has increased in the world from 1.5 billions to over 7 billions. Is it possible that all the paved roads and cut down forests have had an effect on the climate?
The American Physical Society think differently, however, as its public position is:

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

I believe that nothing in science is “incontrovertible” thus, in my view, APS has become a political (or religious?) society. Consequently, I resigned from APS in the fall of 2011.
In this talk I will explain why I became concerned about the climate, and terrified by the one sided propaganda in the media, In particular I am worried about all the money wasted on alternate energies, when so many children in the world go hungry to bed.

If you still believe that global warming is occurring and that the main cause is CO2 when I have finished this talk, I urge you to argue for two things to save the world:

1. Introduction of nuclear power
2. Limit the population increase by allowing only one child/woman

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