Climate change alarmists can't explain Pittsburgh
Global warming as it's argued today is pretty much a crock.
Let's take one example to show it, with data from the city of Pittsburgh.
Back in the mid-20th century, Pittsburgh was famously filled with smog and air pollution. In recent decades, its air has become clean.
So why have Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's mean annual temperatures actually risen? Have they, really?
The following mean temperatures by month and by year for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania can be found today at Weather.gov. The data have been collected since 1871.
I created a simple spreadsheet then created three sets of data for trend line analysis: all mean annual data starting from 1871 through 2020; same data abridged from 1940 through 2020; and 1983 through 2020. The trend lines show the following:
The climate change alarmists, AKA global warming alarmists, tell us that the Earth is warming predominantly from a growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Yes, the average concentration of CO2 has changed from about 340 parts per million (ppm) to about 410 ppm over the past 40 years.
American Thinker published my article, "Global Bodies Went Off the Rails When They Scrapped Ozone, Targeted Carbon Dioxide," on March 2, 2021. The basic premise of the article was that the key influencer to global warming vis-à-vis man-made emissions was really lingering chlorofluorocarbons that were outlawed via the Montreal Protocol adopted by nations over three decades ago. The culprit was not carbon dioxide.
The operating premise of the greenhouse gas effect is that the sun irradiates the gases that further trap such heat in the stratosphere, radiating it back to Earth when the sun is not shining.
So let's go back to Pittsburgh.
The hometown football team of Pittsburgh are the Steelers. The name came before greats like Mean Joe Greene in the late 1970s and 1980s was the centerpiece of the infamous "Steel Curtain."
I still remember the 1979 Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial where Joe is walking in a tunnel after a football game and a kid gives him a Coke, and Joe tosses him his jersey.
Pittsburgh was the center of the universe for steel-making as well as smelters and other dirty industrial facilities. Coal was abundant, not only as a fuel source, but because coking coal is used to make steel. Iron was readily available, too.
I remember riding with my dad in the early '60s on a day trip to Pittsburgh. I can still picture the smoky haze as we crossed a river on one of the many famous bridges of Pittsburgh. You could smell the sulfur in the air.
I thought that if the greenhouse effect touted by the global warming alarmists is predominantly caused by carbon dioxide, wouldn't there be a more significant effect due to particles in the air based on Pittsburgh's then-obvious air pollution? Although I have not researched the subject much, my guess is there was a lot more carbon dioxide floating above Pittsburgh when all of the steel mills and smelters were working than today.
Cliff I. Davidson of Carnegie-Mellon University published an article in the Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association in 1979, titled "Air Pollution in Pittsburgh — A Historical Perspective. Note Figure 2 extracted from the report, and note the days per year of visible smoke.
See his dramatic chart at this link here.
Another figure in Mr. Davidson's article shows that from the turn of the 20th century, dustfall in Pittsburgh was as high as 170 tons per square mile to a reduced amount of the 20 tons per square mile range in the 1970s. Those particles would be suspended in the atmosphere for some time before they would be landing back on Earth. In the process, they would also be irradiated from the sun. Now look back to the initial figure with trendlines.
If most of the steel mills and smelters were closed by the mid-'80s, isn't it counterintuitive to think carbon dioxide was causing a warming trend in Pittburgh? I wonder what Scranton Joe's scientific analysis would be.
Image: Piqsels, public domain.