Man-made or natural global warming?

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As a physician-scientist (and pediatrician), I wish to interject some scientific facts into the ongoing politically-charged “global warming/climate change” topic.

First, the United Nation (UN)’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently shocked the global warming community by very discreetly announcing a retraction (27 October 2022) that “their computer-modeling estimates were wrong.”

They see “no ‘climate emergency’ between now and the end of the century.” On the basis of recent science, the UN has halved its prediction of global temperature increases by the year 2100 [1] to only about 2.5°C!

They report that global temperatures over the next 80 years are expected to rise at around the same negligible average pace as the last 80 years — about “0.017 °C per year.”

This estimate is essentially no different from the “0.13 °C per decade” satellite measurements since 1979 [2] reported monthly by Roy W Spencer (meteorologist at University of Alabama in Huntsville).

Therefore, there should no longer be any conflict between the “global warming” alarmists and the non-alarmists! There is no climate emergency!

Second, the ridiculous myth that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for global warming cannot be true. As any grade-school science student will tell you, “Plants require CO2 and expel oxygen (O2). Animals and fungi take up O2 and give off CO2. CO2 is necessary for the Cycle of Life on Earth!”

CO2 is a colorless odorless gas, comprising 0.041% by volume in our atmosphere; CO2 is not a pollutant. During the past 800,000 years of ice-core data, there is no consistent correlation between global warming and global-cooling cycles and global atmospheric CO2 levels.

Global atmospheric CO2 was estimated to be ~280 parts-per-million (ppm) before the industrial revolution and has risen to ~420 ppm today. Earth has warmed ~0.13 °C per decade since the end of the Little Ice Age (1300-1850 AD). After each of Earth’s cooling periods, there has always been a warming period — as we have today.

Few people seem to realize that CO2 levels in our lungs reach 40,000-50,000 ppm, which induces us to take our next breath. Each human exhales about 2.3 pounds of CO2 on an average day. (A person engaged in vigorous exercise can produce up to eight times greater CO2.)

Given ~16 respirations per minute for each of the 8 billion people on Earth, this means ~16 billion pounds of CO2 per day produced by all humans. Multiply that by 40 equals ~640 billion pounds of CO2 per day — which approximates the overall CO2 excreted by the total animal and fungal biomass on the planet.

Overall emissions from world-wide industry per day in 2020 were estimated to be ~16 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. If one metric ton = 2200 lb, then “total industrial emissions” = 35.2 x 109 = 35,200,000,000 (~35.2 billion pounds of CO2 per day). This means that the entire animal and fungal biomass per day puts out more than 18 times as much as all current industrial emissions!

If global atmospheric CO2 was ~280 ppm in 1750, and it’s ~420 ppm today, what is the source of this ~140 ppm increase? Various scientists have estimated that human-associated industrial emissions have contributed perhaps 100 ppm — with “natural causes” accounting for the remaining ~40 ppm of the total increase of ~140 ppm between 1750 and today. Increases in atmospheric CO2 levels have helped “green” the Earth and enhanced crop production substantially.

Lastly, a comment on “eco-anxiety disorder” — commonly seen in pediatrics more than in adult patients. This condition is caused by social media and mainstream media untruthfully predicting the “end of the world as we know it,” due to increasing global temperatures.

This panic can cause increased anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, lower birth rates, higher rates of suicide, substance abuse, social disruptions including increased violence, and a distressing sense of loss.

In my opinion, this is a serious form of child abuse. Given the recent confession by UN’s IPCC that no climate emergency is foreseen, and the fact that CO2 is unequivocally not responsible for any of this, alarmists should responsibly admit their mistaken claims — to everyone. And let’s move on, cheerfully, together, realizing we’re now all on the same page!




Dr. Nebert is professor emeritus in the Department of Environmental & Public Health Sciences at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and in the Department of Pediatrics & Molecular Developmental Biology (Division of Human Genetics), at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.