By Albert Köhler MSc.
(Translation, editing, subheadings by P Gosselin)
With this manuscript I would like to deal with the CO2 topic, which currently seems to be so extremely important for media and politics, solely according to the precepts of free and real scientific argumentation, but also driven by my conscience as a physicist who has been active in this field since about 1960. I am compelled by moral obligation for my fellow human beings, to whom one would expect financial sacrifices in the trillions of dollars and very significant losses in quality of life in the following years and decades, although CO2 has practically nothing to do with climate change.
After having played a major role in the development and operation of the German air pollution monitoring network for the DFG and UBA, I had the opportunity to gain a lot of experience as Chief Environment Division at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of the United Nations. I was also responsible for the office of the WMO “Panel of Experts on Meteorological Aspects of Environmental Pollution”. Its members, under the then Director of the MPI for Chemistry in Mainz, Prof. Chr. Junge as Chairman, were the world’s leading experts, mostly heads of university institutes, some of whom were also the authors of the then standard textbooks. This panel also dealt with the recently emerging interest in CO2 and its presumed impact on the climate.
Water vapor 1000 times stronger
It was then very clear that, if a quantitative, rather than the previously only qualitative, view were taken, CO2 would have to be virtually insignificant. This is because the omnipresent water vapor of the atmosphere (H2O as clouds, fog, etc.), which is present in much higher concentrations (10-20 liters/m3). Water vapor absorbs in all IR frequencies and does so 1000 times more strongly and more than the anthropogenic CO2, which in its very low concentration (20-40 milliliters/m3). absorbs far less in only two IR bands. For the IR radiation balance, anthropogenic CO2 is ineffective. The natural frequencies of the two molecules are so different because the O=C=O (molecular weight 44) atom is relatively lighter and the H-O-H (molecular weight 18) atom is relatively heavier (H:1, C:12, O:16). Thus, the two molecules are fundamentally different in their IR behavior. CO2 is not intended by nature as a climatic parameter. Thanks to its long residence time, it serves to transport organic reactive carbon into the vegetation areas.
Correlation not a causal one
Now a statistical correlation between CO2 concentration and atmospheric temperature has been found from observational data. But it is important to know that such a correlation does not say anything about which of the two variables is cause and effect, and above all it is not possible to see if the correlation is a direct causal one. Because a correlation between two variables seems to exist even if both respond in the same direction with one or more other variables. That could be clarified with sufficient data. Since the presumed connection was seen first only qualitatively, fantastic assumptions are available for a hypothesis; they need only to appear plausible. There can be no question of a fulfilled criterion. The suspected connection remains a pure hypothesis as long as not all doubts have been seriously checked and discussed.
Serious scientists blocked out
But this no longer happened, because this physical topic was already withdrawn from classical science in the 1970s, taken up decisively by politics and the media and used with zeal to make us believe that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas”. Serious scientists were no longer allowed to have their say, and since then only the hypothesis of the “climate gas CO2”, which was shaped by the media, politics, fanatical laymen, catastrophic media, self-proclaimed know-it-alls of all faculties and political parties, has been valid. In view of the mass of greener, unobjectively incited followers, the conservative parties felt compelled to do everything they could to keep their voters, but above all to win back those they had lost. This is how the many climate protection slogans and ultimately also parliamentary “climate protection” laws came into being, for which physics must not apply.
Diesel engines initially welcome
The fight for the climate is a matter of life and death. This was already shown by the first green action that initially coddled the diesel engine. According to the laws of thermodynamics, it has a slightly better efficiency than the gasoline engine because the diesel cylinder is hotter due to the higher pressure – which also produces the highly life-threatening particulate matter. The scientific literature of the 1960s had vehemently warned against the diesel engine because its unique, otherwise unheard-of particulate matter penetrates directly into human cells where it causes cancer (especially in the lungs and brain), even enhanced by all the harmful gases whose molecules adhere firmly to this particulate matter. Thousands of frequent drivers therefore have to die earlier every year. But when it came to climate protection, a human life was obviously worth nothing.
Human life acceptable price for saving CO2
In the past, environmental protection also and above all took care of human health. Today a human life for a few saved CO2 molecules is now good news for the green climate protectors. By the way, diesel drivers then opted for stronger engines because of the cheaper fuel, thus ultimately emitted more CO2 than they saved. People continue to murder without hesitation and with a clear conscience because they supposedly save CO2, a very macabre moral. The fine particles of diesel fuel cannot be held back by any filter that can be installed in a car. Filters that can do this would have to have a huge surface or would have such a high flow resistance that the engine would not be able to run well. It is therefore understandable that car manufacturers have to resort to tricks because they cannot change the laws of physics, even if politicians apparently think it is possible. There is only one possibility: The diesel engine would have to be removed from the road if one wanted to prevent thousands of deaths every year, but this seems to be no longer an issue. Killing for “climate protection”? Simply incredible! And even an electric car hardly saves any energy because it has to carry the huge battery around with it, while a carburetor car gets the oxygen it needs as an essential element from the air for free.
Energy conversion leads to waste heat
To the just mentioned thermodynamics: The efficiency of each energy conversion is determined by it. So if we convert chemical energy (oil, coal, gas) into other forms of energy (motion, pressure, electrical or potential energy, etc.) with the help of our highly intelligent technology, according to thermodynamics this happens only partially with an efficiency of usually less than 50%, on average about 20-40%. The remaining 60-80% are irreversibly lost as “waste” heat and causes a warming of the environment, especially the lower air layers. There are certain possibilities, e.g. with the combined heat and power system, to use residual heat, but here too, the law of residual heat applies to every conversion. Thus, in all energy conversions we give off about twice the amount of the used energy as waste heat to the lower air layers, a considerable amount. (By the way, every adult is also a radiator of 75 watts). So our energy consumption alone heats up the environment. And this energy consumption is of course proportional to the number of people inhabiting the earth. It allows people to enjoy all the comforts that science and technical progress provide.
CO2 leads to greening
This correlation between energy consumption and the earth’s temperature, which is determined by physics, has so far been attributed, without ever wanting to doubt it, only to the CO2 produced by the consumption of fossil fuels. The CO2 ultimately comes from the oceans. On the ocean floor, the earth’s crust is only 7 km away from the hot interior of the earth. And the volcanoes on the sea floor release magma into the sea. This results in the formation of various compounds, including CO2 dissolved in the sea surface. There it evaporates, also according to the law of partial pressure, and thanks to its extraordinarily long dwell time in the atmosphere, it then reaches the interior of large continents, where it is needed by vegetation. As the concentration of CO2 increases, the Earth’s green spaces increase, as NASA observations have shown. Nature is clever.
Water vapor almost entirely regulates the energy balance
CO2 is therefore primarily to feed us and to supply the biosphere with the oxygen released during photosynthesis. Therefore, CO2 has its 24-hour maximum at night. Nevertheless, it is insignificant for the balance of the energy radiated by the sun during the day and the energy released into space at night as infrared radiation, far more than 90% of the radiated energy. This balance is, as explained above, regulated almost exclusively by the water content of the atmosphere. Every morning we get the proof for it. After a cloudy night, the early temperature is hardly lower than the previous evening, but in the open air it is up to 10°C and more cooler than in the evening before, despite the nightly maximum of anthropogenic CO2. If you try to imagine the huge amounts of energy involved, it is easy to understand that the little anthropogenic CO2 gets completely “lost”.
Temperature rise “hardly anything to do with CO2”
The strong increase in population density, almost tenfold, a whole order of magnitude, which occurred barely 150 years ago with the beginning of industrialization, in the blink of an eye in the history of the Earth, ran parallel to the relatively abrupt rise in atmospheric temperature. As already mentioned, this has hardly anything to do with CO2. One can certainly regard CO2 as an indicator of energy consumption, but not as the cause of warming. It is not only impossible to reduce CO2, it is also completely unnecessary. All the planned, expensive, painful measures that reduce our quality of life can be spared without affecting the temperature curve.
Curbing waste heat from 9 billion people
So there are only two ways to prevent the so-called “climate catastrophe”. And these are: A clear restraint in energy consumption of any kind, and, still utopian, to push back the population of the earth, which would require a very long time, if at all possible, it would be a challenge of the century. To nourish even more inhabitants, fertilizer chemistry would no longer be sufficient. The planet is probably already overpopulated. So only the energy saving remains. Here politics, media, fanatics, Greens, misguided, notorious know-it-alls and self-proclaimed experts of all colors must abandon the past comfortable consensus strategy and leave CO2 to nature. Without the carbohydrates in our plant-derived food, there would be no more human life. But we would not burn up in an apocalyptic climate catastrophe, because instead we would all first suffocate without the oxygen obtained from CO2.
Leave the climate catastrophe threats out
But all those who present themselves so devotedly and overly self-confidently as the preventers of an apocalypse, they should realize that nature cannot be changed and that man cannot, and does not want to, fight against natural events. They should accept it with due modesty, and even inspiration. They also should not constantly imagine catastrophes and present them as the sure future for our children, who are unable to psychologically process them and therefore have to be treated psychologically, probably even Greta Thunberg.
Many easy, practical ways to save energy
When it comes to saving energy, there are still countless possibilities for heating, cooking, cooling, transport, etc. We already know this. Only a small example: When preparing meals, even a small family can easily save 1-2 kWh each if the cooking pots are not filled with water. Just a few drops and a well-fitting lid are enough for healthy steaming at a reduced cooker temperature, because to heat water from 20° to 100° you need about 80 kcal per ml, but to evaporate the 100° hot water you need another 540 kcal per ml. Where you see steam, energy is being wasted massively. That says it all. With a little thought, everyone can find many ways to save energy, there are almost no limits to your imagination. And besides, you even save money. But you can safely forget about CO2! Its removal would only bring us misfortune. And even if we could completely eliminate anthropogenic CO2, nature would simply get it back from the oceans. Even the burial of CO2 would be pointless.
No model has come true, incorrect, arbitrary assumptions
A few words about the often quoted climate models. These models are adapted to known weather data from the past and then extrapolated into the future. No model has been correct beyond a forecast period of a few months with forecasts that are still acceptable. So the question is justified how well models can predict the weather for decades and centuries. In any case, nothing that the first climate models predicted for today in 1970 came true, no meter-high rise in sea level, no 4-5° higher temperatures. Too much had been ignored in the models, they also contain some factors whose value cannot be determined experimentally and must be estimated arbitrarily. So one is easily tempted to choose them in such a way that one comes close to the hoped-for result. But because the influence of H2O was underestimated in the models, the CO2 effect had to be overestimated to get the desired prediction curve, as a Finnish academic paper recently reported.
Statistically insignificant, unmeasurable human impact
The models also calculated how much Germany can contribute to lowering the temperature by the planned reduction of CO2. Result: 7/100 degrees, theoretically, and unmeasurable. No noticeable success for two trillion euros. Creation cannot be botched up. Man cannot change the world. He cannot, as already indicated, mobilize the necessary energies. Here are some examples: Each of the approximately 7000 thunderstorms daily converts the energy of the Hiroshima bomb in one hour (which it did in a fraction of a second); a single tropical cyclone has the energy that corresponds to man’s global consumption of electrical energy in one year; and if one wanted to generate the heat that the small Gulf Stream carries, one would have to operate 110,000 nuclear power plants across the Atlantic, i.e. one every 50 meters (not km). That shows how weak humans are. Thank heavens because if man could make weather, he would have a new weapon of war. Good thing that we know so little about the weather that we cannot do it ourselves. (Spatially and temporally very limited precipitation can be influenced, nothing more). In the end, wise nature protects us.
CO2 follows temperature
Another observation gives us clues for the temporal sequence of heat and CO2 concentration. Recent palaeoclimatic studies show that in the course of the earth’s history, it became warmer first and then the CO2 increased. It must be considered that, as already mentioned, by far the largest part of CO2 on earth is found in the oceans. The concentrations in the depths are higher than in the upper layers, a consequence of the many volcanoes active on the ocean floor. By the way, the CO2 in the ocean also serves to enable the life of calcareous aquatic plants (e.g. corals).
Climate science consensus is a myth, scientists silenced
The worldwide consensus on the CO2 issue is repeatedly pointed out. This was mainly due to the fact that skeptical scientists were often silenced in an unseemly manner, and their work no longer published (also because publishers were afraid of fanatics who were ready to commit terror). Skeptics, often inappropriately called “climate deniers”, are insulted, silenced under threats or career consequences. Yet, the scientific research institutes (climate impact research) run by the state at high cost would have to be closed down if they accepted CO2 as insignificant. Many jobs would be lost. This cannot be risked. But a consensus among those (where a vast majority cannot be experts in the field – there are not that many) is not a scientific criterion.
Consensus as proof? Only to the ignorant!
Short summary, and interesting news
The planet’s climate control system regulates the infrared radiation budget with water vapor and clouds. A reduction of anthropogenic CO2, with an enormously expensive expenditure and loss of life quality, is not suitable for this purpose because of its low IR sensitivity. The waste heat inevitably generated by 9 billion earthlings according to the physics of thermodynamics can only be reduced by strict energy saving or at some point by a decrease in population. However, as already mentioned, this can be done by the diesel engine, especially as SUV. Whether politicians want to make further use of this possibility is up to their ethical standards.
What is new is that Chinese climate researchers recently reported several long-term temperature cycles with periods of varying length. These will have a roughly simultaneous minimum in the coming decades, leading to significantly lower temperatures initially in Central Asia.
It cannot be ruled out that the rest of the world will also be affected.
Albert Köhler MSc.
Germany, November 2020