The Porto Climate Conference – It’s all Natural
Contributed by Claus U. Rieth © 2018
This brief overview references information presented by various speakers at the event. The power point presentations are in the process of being posted on line. Videos of the presentation will be available over time as they are edited.
“Basic Science of a Changing Climate” – the topic of the Conference that took place at Porto University in Porto, Portugal on Sept. 07. – 09. 2018 was attended by leading scientists in many domains, experts in engineering and critical thinkers in meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, geophysics, geology, chemistry and geography. The speakers confronted a very competent audience of about 80 people all over the globe from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, US, GB, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Portugal. The primary focus of the conference was on basic climate science, nevertheless along the way in the proceeding of the topics, questions arose about how to effectively communicate this information to the public audience.
The conference was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Letters of Porto University, Prof. Fernanda Ribiero, stating that there was a broad consensus that freedom of research is the absolute necessary basis for the progress of science.
The subsequent presentations and discussions concentrated on four aspects:
- Changes in Climate and Weather
- CO2, Climate Sensitivity and Greenhouse Effects
- Forcing Functions in Climate Change
- Observational Facts, Interpretations and Geoethics.
Nils Alex Mörner, former head of Paleophysics & Geodynamics at Stockholm University moderated the course of the conference that was hosted by Porto University’s Faculty of Letters (FLUP) and represented by Maria Assunçao Araùjo of the Department of Geography, who is a member of the Portuguese Sea Level Project, together with Pamela Mattlock-Klein. Eventually some demonstrators turned up to protest against this conference without even trying to talk to the audience.
Drivers and fare dodgers
Unanimously, all the assembled scientists put the “crisis” scenario related to human-emitted CO2 on the back seat of the climate-mobile. NO ONE supported in any way the “hysteria” in media and politics that “decarbonization” or reduction of carbon dioxide would have any constructive impact on this assumed “threat” propelled by IPCC political papers and the Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGO) lobbies that are behind the dominant media releases. Considering the quantity of water vapor in atmosphere (which is the most dominant “greenhouse” player on earth with about 1% of absolute (= 20% relative) humidity, CO2 – representing roughly only 0,04% ( = 410ppm) of the atmosphere – out of which is 94% of natural outgassing and only 6% out of anthropogenic (Veyres) – “anthropo(n)” meaning “human” and “genic” meaning origin, water vapor is the dominant factor. Consumption of fossil fuel energy and other emissions contribute only 18 ppm (parts per million) of 410 ppm of all CO2 in the atmosphere (from sea level up to 24000 feet) or 1 out of 2500 particles of the atmosphere! The main driver of atmospheric gases is water vapor, thus the ‘new’ consensus (Gervais, Harde) that CO2 from human emissions due to fossil fuel consumption is negligible.
Global Green Airbag
Compared to Venus and Saturn the Earth luckily developed what one might call an “airbag” or “Global green belt” as security features for our life. Water vapor and CO2 have a minimum of three very beneficial properties: they protect the earth from cooling – otherwise temperatures on earth would drop to an unlivable condition. They act as a thermal cushion. Second, they protect our life and that of the plants and animals from solar and cosmic over-radiation, kind of like polaroid sunglasses. Third, they assure proper growing of all the green plant life on earth. Without CO2 there would be no photosynthesis, no growth of plants below 150 ppm (Veyre, Gervais, Harde)! Global greening progressed – thanks to CO2 – more growing of veggies and fruit and cereals and algae for an ever-growing population on earth that will soon reach a population of 10 billion people. Without this Global Green Belt there would soon be more hunger and more starving instead.
Thanks to the Oceans
The oceans not only define the face of the earth from outer space as “blue planet”, as all astronauts observe full of emotions, oceans are the heat sink/tank with an enormous capacity – the total heat capacity of the water 2,7m below the ocean’s surface contains the same energy as the air column of 8000m above it. Oceans produce 50% of the oxygen by the algae they contain, as an ad in the streets of Porto tells. And oceans absorb 70% of the CO2, every year 1/10th of the atmospheric CO2, and stock it, transport it into the deep blue and there it is transformed into Calcium carbonate and other carbonates and there it sinks to the bottom as sediments. CO2 is also stored in the waters as gas. Oceans contain 50 times the quantity of all naturally emitted CO2 (and vastly more than the minor quantity of human industrial emissions). The role of the oceans is still very much underestimated as there are only few measuring points and the quantity of them is tiny compared to the surface of the oceans. Deep cold water-currents move slowly from the north to the south pole. This thermo-haline (“thermo” means “dependent on temperature,” “haline” from “hals (gr.)” for salt (concentration) circulation takes about 140 years (!) and this is one of the major drivers of climate besides water vapor and the sun (Mörner, Corbyn).
Moon, Sun and Stars
Everybody knows the tides controlled by the moon; also, all main-landers who have spent vacations on the coast of the ocean. Water level fluctuates by the influence of the gravity of the mass of the moon, more precisely said. But in space there is also the sun and the planets and their moons and the far-away stars. Mass effects add one to another – like the more people there are in a bus, the longer the distance to accelerate or to slow it down. It is also like this for the planets: if they are all in a line this makes the earth bump and slow or accelerate. (Tattersall, Zeller) Similar principles apply to the sun: the more energy it sends by magnetic and light radiation (and energy is mass by speed to the square as Einstein told us) the more the rotation of the earth speeds up. And like in a merry-go-round where the seats fly higher and more distant from the center with more speed – so, in similar fashion, ocean waters rise at the equator the faster the planet turns. This follows the effect that as the amount of water is in flux in the oceans, the sea level is rising in the equatorial zone and decreasing in the higher latitudes. And the same when solar activity is low, then sea levels rise in northern and southern high latitudes near the poles and water level decreases in a medium range of time in the equatorial zone. (Wysmuller, Mörner, Corbyn, Assunçao) Sea-level change comes and goes like the tide.
Suntan desperately needed
Just as everyone gets cold at night when sun goes down and sky is clear – the same happens to the earth. Without the sun’s radiation, earth would freeze down to the temperature of Mars, nobody would like to live here. As the earth is a net-receiver, it depends on the sun as net-donor. When sun gives much, earth is getting warmer than usual – a warm period, when sun is avaricious, earth temperature goes down and we can go ice-skating on rivers and lakes like in the 15th century in London, Amsterdam and Rome! This was what happened during the last Little Ice Age. (Solheim, Yndestadt, Scafetta). The sun’s radiation is the prior clock of the climate, the highs and lows of the radiation, (observed also by the number and length of the sunspot-number per period) made the difference for our terrestrial sages. The sun’s activity is the main direct climate driver – the Mayas and Incas knew it well!
Complexity, Chaos and Climate
In 16th century people burnt witches for the crime of ‘weather cooking’ as a drought devastated Europe and emptied wells and lakes, like the Lake of Constance – as reported from Wittenberg 1540 where Martin Luther probably assisted. People do not like weather chaos, climate chaos, they want the world to be orderly and cyclically like everything else. And if things change and it becomes worse, they want to “do” something instead of waiting for heaven or hell. Either someone has to “pay” or “confess” or “burn”. And people like it simple and hate complicated matters, in politics as in a lot of other dimensions like education, alimentation, relationships, work and fun. Nobody likes fatality today without a chance to turn it around, be it cancer or Parkinson. (Rieth) This is the time for “healers” and “quacks” and “gurus.” Climate is a complex affair – like a love affair sometimes – and we like it simple. We seek simple recipes for tricky matters. Who falls in love for maths and quants? And nonetheless this is the only way to tell the real story (Essex, Masson, Gervais, Rittaud). Simple suggestions like take this and avoid this – like methane and CO2, don’t eat meat and go vegan (so opposed to by Glatzle), stop exhaling, pay offsets as compensation for flying to Bali, confess your energy consumption, … is like a part of the simple messages of some guru-trip with the buddy driving a Rolls and people worshipping him like madmen to “his Highness.”
Porto Conference was all about that – finding a sober and evidence-based message for a complex climate issue. Honest scientific research meeting blunt degradation in a time where Medieval ‘weather cooking’ thinking seems to have gained power over Enlightenment-driven, evidence-based research.
Gut versus head, fear versus sovereignty, panic versus coolness.
The message of the second Porto Climate Conference is: Keep cool, no fear.
Climate is fine, no need to save it and no means to ‘save it’ either.
Maybe it’s even getting cooler, the history of the sun-cycles indicate current low solar activity is a harbinger of cooling.
So – enjoy life in the Global Green Airbag!
Claus U. Rieth
MBA, M.Div., phil.bot.
Director CRConsult, Rev.
No need to be a climate ‘complier’ – coerced by fear and flaming damnation.
Science is about inquiry, not compliance.