John Stossel’s righteous defamation suit against Facebook

TV journalist John Stossel sued Facebook over its generic ‘fact checks’ about ‘climate change,’ saying that, because they falsely implied he was in error, Facebook had defamed him. Stossel is correct. This incessant ‘fact-checking’ bias leaves most Americans ignorant about important facts that challenge the whole climate change narrative. Most people, therefore, have no idea what the climate is really doing, and even fewer know that:

The number of strong tornadoes in the US has been decreasing for 65 years (graph created using this NOAA data):

Northern hemisphere autumn and winter snow extents have been increasing for 50 years.




There has been no significant increase in either the number of tropical cyclones over the last 40 years or the total energy of tropical cyclones over the last 50 years.


Polar bear numbers have been increasing since the 1960s.

The number of US forest fires has decreased significantly. (Many fires in the 1920s and ‘30s were controlled burns, preventing the huge fires that now plague the US. A major factor in recent uncontrolled fires is poor forest husbandry.)


While the above specifics may surprise many, it’s more significant that climate ‘scientists’ completely fail to take any other climate feedback agent into account. They point to warming and blame CO2 but, of course, correlation does not automatically imply causation.

Where is the proof of causation? In truth, it’s highly uncertain how much-increased CO2 is influencing surface warming, and how much may be due to other feedback factors.

Here’s some ‘greenhouse’ science for you:

Increasing Tropical Tropospheric Temperatures (TTTs) cause surface warming via greenhouse gases. Increasing TTTs result from H2O, CO2, and CH4 molecules absorbing and re-radiating longwave radiation, resulting in increasing Downwelling Longwave Radiation (DLR) from the tropical troposphere to the ground. (Here, ‘longwave’ refers to the infrared spectrum.) The increased TTTs and DLRs cause the increased surface warming.

However, these TTTs and DLRs are not increasing at the rate IPCC models predict. The 2015 IPCC AR5 Report says of TTT:

Upper Air Temperature.

Trends in the tropics were more uncertain than global trends although even this region was concluded to be warming.


In is virtually certain that globally the troposphere has warmed...since the mid-20th century. …. (But) there is only medium confidence in the rate of change and vertical structure in the NH extratropical troposphere, and low confidence elsewhere. (pp. 194-201.)

In other words, the IPCC AR5 report suggests that there has been some increase in TTT and, therefore, some increasing DLR, but no one knows how much. Nor does the IPCC calculate if this TTT increase is sufficient to have caused the observed surface warming.

It’s unsatisfactory for governments and corporations to bet 40 trillion dollars on ‘virtually certain’ and ‘low confidence’ data and projections.

In great contrast to IPCC lethargy, the eminent Dr. John Christy has performed these calculations and, in his ‘easy-read’ paper, has concluded from the data available that global temperatures will only rise 1.1ºc for a doubling of CO2. That is a 1.1ºc increase over pre-industrial temperatures by the time the atmosphere reaches 560 ppm CO2—which is, “not a very alarming number.

The graph below shows observed TTT warming per decade, versus climate model estimates, from 1979 to 2014.

Oceanic Cycles

But if CO2 might be less important than scientists claim, what other factors might be at play? The first obvious candidate is oceanic cycles—the AMO and PDO oscillations.


(This graph has already been detrended to remove any influence from Global Warming, so what you see are the residual effects.)

Oceans are large receptors of insolation (i.e., incoming solar energy; aka sunlight) from the sun and they transport that energy around the globe. The AMO particularly appears to mimic recent warming trends, since the cooler 1970s.

Albedo reflections

The other candidate for a feedback agent for global warming is ice-sheet albedo, a theory I put forward in my peer-reviewed paleoclimate paper on ice age modulation. (Albedo refers to the reflectivity of the surface. In particular, bright-white ice sheets can reflect a great deal of insolation back into space.) I was astounded that nobody in the 21st-century knew how ice ages were modulated, so I developed a completely novel theory. The result was a long science paper that confidently pointed the finger at ice-sheet albedo, not CO2.

What was the problem with the classical CO2-feedback model of ice-age modulation?

The first problem for CO2 controlling global temperatures is that during Earth’s many ice ages, when CO2 concentrations were high the world cooled and when CO2 was low the world warmed. This counter-intuitive temperature response strongly suggests that CO2 is not the primary feedback agent. This observation prompted me to look elsewhere for a temperature feedback mechanism.

The second factor suggesting that albedo rather than CO2 may be the primary feedback agent is that interglacial warming periods are initiated by increased Milankovitch insolation in the Northern Hemisphere (NH), but never by increased Milankovitch insolation in the Southern Hemisphere. Milankovitch insolation refers to the changes in incoming sunlight from the Earth’s orbit and wobble.

If global CO2 concentrations really were the primary feedback agent assisting this forcing, then increased insolation in either hemisphere would force interglacials. But they don’t. The fact that interglacials are only NH events strongly suggests that surface albedo may be the primary feedback agent. That’s because the great landmasses, and therefore the great ice sheets, that drive great albedo changes are all in the NH.

The third factor in favor of albedo rather than CO2 is that, during an ice age, many NH insolation maxima (lots of sunlight) produce little or no temperature response. This is an unlikely result if CO2 were the primary feedback agent but an expected one if surface albedo were the primary feedback.

In the latter case, high albedo ice sheets covered in fresh snow can and will reject most of the increased insolation during an NH Milankovitch maximum, resulting in little or no temperature response—unless, of course, the ice sheets are somehow covered in dust, thus reducing their albedo. Fortuitously, the northern ice sheets do indeed get covered in dust just before every interglacial.

The fourth factor for albedo rather than CO2 is that CO2 is a very weak feedback agent. During an interglacial warming era, the CO2 feedback requires warming from decade-to-decade to feedback-force temperatures into the next (warmer) decade. However, the CO2 feedback is only 0.007 W/m2 per decade, which is less energy than a bee requires to fly.

Conversely, reduced albedo ice sheets can absorb an extra 200 W/m2 every single year when measured regionally. Clearly, the albedo feedback is far stronger than the proposed CO2 feedback and could indeed dissipate the vast northern ice sheets in about 6,000 years.

The above points strongly suggest that dusty ice-sheet albedo, not CO2, is the primary feedback agent modulating interglacials. But why do the northern ice sheets get covered in dust just before each interglacial warming period? The answer is so counter-intuitive to most modern scientists it eludes them completely.

During an ice age, CO2 levels get so low that high-altitude plants begin to die—so the Gobi plateau turns into a CO2 desert. CO2, after all, is plant food. Without CO2, all life on Earth will die. Ice-age-induced CO2 deficits created central Asian shifting-sand deserts that blew copious amounts of dust towards the east, forming the Loess Plateau and coating the Laurentide and Eurasian ice-sheets in dust. This dust, which blew for 10,000 years, lowered the ice sheet’s albedo, allowing greater insolation absorption, which melted the ice sheets.

In sum, it was low CO2 that caused global warming during the ice ages.

Image: A satellite composite of the Antarctic ice sheet. Public domain.

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