Did the U.N.’s IPCC Report Exaggerate CO2 Increases to Hype Global Warming?

Those who have been following the manmade global warming debate are well aware that every time the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues another dire pronouncement, the media report the bad news every hour on the hour.

However, what if a new scientific study concluded that the IPCC cherry-picked data concerning CO2 levels in the past in order to make it look like today’s levels are out of the ordinary. Would the media report that?

Well, an article written by scientists Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project was published on Monday making exact this claim (emphasis added throughout):

While Antarctic ice core records supposedly 'prove' a significant increase in CO2 in this period, there are serious problems with this data.  Besides the fact that ice bubbles take about 80 years to form and so cannot give a single year accurate measure, the continual freezing, refreezing and pressurization of ice columns may greatly alter the original composition of the air trapped in the bubbles. Nevertheless, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many others have accepted as meaningful the ice core results that indicate a pre-industrial CO2 level of 280 parts per million (ppm), in comparison with today's 385 ppm.

The most accurate way to determine the atmosphere's average CO2 content is to simply conduct a direct chemical analysis at many different places and times.  Fortunately, there are more than 90,000 direct measurements by chemical methods between 1857 and 1957However, in what appears to be a case of 'cherry-picking' data to fit a pre-determined conclusion, only the lower level CO2 data were included when the pre-industrial average was calculated (see below graph where data used in the averaging is highlighted).  This is the average that was used to supposedly 'validate' the long term ice core records on which Al Gore and others depend.

Wait a minute. So, the IPCC only incorporated the lower CO2 data to calculate the amount of the gas present during the pre-industrial period? Doesn’t that basically guarantee that today’s numbers would be significantly greater? Isn't that what is referred to on Wall Street as "cooking the books?"

Of course, in this case, the book-cooking is to advance global warming hysteria:

In a new scientific paper in the journal Energy and Environment, German researcher Ernst-Georg Beck, shows that the pre-industrial level is some 50 ppm higher than the level used by computer models that produce all future climate predictions.  Completely at odds with the smoothly increasing levels found in the ice core records, Beck concludes, "Since 1812, the CO2 concentration in northern hemispheric air has fluctuated, exhibiting three high level maxima around 1825, 1857 and 1942, the latter showing more than 400 ppm."

Hmmm. So, that means that since 1812, there have been three years when CO2 levels were higher than today’s, with two of them occurring in the 19th century before the start of the Industrial Revolution. And, this assessment is supported by another scientist’s work:

In a paper submitted to US Senate Committee hearings, Polish Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, a veteran mountaineer who has excavated ice from 17 glaciers on six continents, stated bluntly, "The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic [human] causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false."

As such, the article concluded:

Clearly, the federal government must immediately convene open, unbiased hearings into the science of climate change, something that has never happened in Canada.   If the science driving CO2 reduction plans is as 'solid' as environmental lobbyists would have us believe, then they have nothing to fear.

But, if it is wrong, as increasingly it appears to be, then we stand on the verge of the largest, and most costly, science scandal in Canadian history.

As this is clearly occurring in America as well, the onus is on our media to actually report skeptical scientific studies such as this so that the United States doesn’t get sucked into the largest, and most costly, science scandal in its history.

Or is that asking too much?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.