Ray Tomes: Human Activity is not the Cause of Climate Change, it is the Result

Posted: October 22, 2012 by tallbloke in climate, Cycles, solar system dynamics

Ray Tomes is one of the wisest people I know. His depth of knowledge and insight about the universe from the sub-atomic to the extra-galactic, and how things at all scale relate to each other is unsurpassed. His mathematical work on understanding cycles and their inter-relationships is groundbreaking. In this simply argued article, he uses common sense and logic to set cause and effect out in easy to understand terms for anyone to read.

Human Activity is not the Cause of Climate Change, it is the Result
by Ray Tomes

Many people today are totally convinced that changes in human activity are the cause of climate change. I want to show that actually, the exact opposite is true. I suggest further that most climate change originates beyond the Earth, mainly in the Sun. Firstly a list of accepted facts (even though many are not usually applied to climate change):

1. Chemical reaction rates vary with temperature. A modest temperature rise can lead to chemical reactions happening much faster. This is true of a wide variety of chemical reactions. It is taught to students of chemistry.

2. Life is governed by a bunch of chemical reactions. As such its activity is affected by temperature. In general life is more active in day time than at night, and more active in summer than winter, in other words when it is warmer. Studies of animals, birds and insects invariably show that activity varies with temperature. Life is teaming at the equator and more sparse at the poles. Humans are animals too and subject to the same causes.

3. The flow of CO2 between atmosphere, plants, oceans etc are essentially chemical reactions and their rates are governed by temperature. Chemists know that solubility of gases in water is strongly affected by temperature. Atmospheric CO2 is strongly related to partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans.

4. There are long and medium term cycles in the Sun that affect climate on Earth. Some of the well accepted solar cycles are the 208 year Seuss  (or de Vries) cycle and the 2300 year Halstatt cycle. See wikipedia. An irregular cycle of about 50-60 years is also important in the medium term. Very long cycles called Milankovitch cycles affect ice ages (23,000 years, 41,000 years, 100,000 years and 400,000 years) and are associated with Earth axis and orbital variations and are not at issue here.

5. These medium to long term cycles are observed in both solar proxies and climate proxies. It is clear that any variations in solar activity must affect the earth’s climate as near enough to 100% of heat arriving at the earth originates in the Sun.

6. Logically we should expect that these solar fluctuations will affect climate on Earth and as a result the amount of human activity. All the facts are consistent with this view put forward here. And yet no-one seems to ever consider this approach. When I have mentioned it as a possible cause I have generally been laughed at. But, no sensible argument against the ideas has been advanced.

7. Because of human ideas about the importance of humans, they got mixed up and somehow came to believe that changes in human activity are causing changes in climate. This is demonstrably false. The normally proposed mechanism is that human economic activity creates CO2 which affects temperature change. The observed fact is that temperature change precedes CO2 change. This cannot possibly happen if human CO2 production is the primary cause of temperature change.

My favourite quotation relating to cycles is relevant here:

“Life is a phenomenon. Its production is due to the influence of the dynamics of the cosmos on a passive subject. It lives due to dynamics, each oscillation of organic pulsation is coordinated with the cosmic heart in a grandiose whole of nebulas, stars, the sun and the planet.”
– Alexander L Chizhevsky

What I describe was clearly understood by this great cycles researcher at least 60 years ago.

If my proposal is taken seriously then it would suggest that when natural solar cycles and the resulting natural climate cycles lead to lower temperatures, then human activity will naturally decline and so will CO2 in the atmosphere. But the temperature changes will lead the CO2 changes once again.

If this idea is not taken seriously, then arguments need to be put forward against the above facts and logic. And all of the facts must be faced. Anyone who cannot explain why temperature changes precede CO2 changes simply does not understand what is going on.

Comments
  1. Tim Cullen says:

    Many people today are totally convinced that changes in human activity are the cause of climate change. I want to show that actually, the exact opposite is true. I suggest further that most climate change originates beyond the Earth, mainly in the Sun.

    Wise words indeed. Thank you.

  2. Hi Ray

    I understand that the argument here is to take notice of all factors that have influenced the climate change, be those external or internal. In the external part I totally agree that the Sun and other cosmic phenomenons can have huge influences, especially as they can an energy and power to influence change simply by their sheer size. However, one of the most crucial internal factors is that of the human activity, that certainly is not helping matters.

    I believe that much of global discussion is focused on this because that is the only one that human can control if they would agree to do so… I believe today’s technology does give us any capability to control Earths temperature, or any adverse external factors that can threaten it.

    Regards

  3. oldbrew says:

    Ray Tomes says: ‘‘Logically we should expect that these solar fluctuations will affect climate on Earth and as a result the amount of human activity.

    But there are ever more humans to feed, house etc (9 billion by 2050?). And is industrial activity, with all its energy consumption, going to alter much if the outside temperature goes up slightly?

  4. Truthseeker says:

    Oldbrew, since we are going into what is probably the most significant solar minimum for over 100 years, I suggest that things are going to get colder, not warmer.

  5. Entropic man says:

    On the level of long-term climatic cycles such as the Milankovich oscillations I would agree with Mr. Tomes that CO2 changes are driven by temperature. The fallacy comes in assuming that ALL temperature/CO2 interactions happen in that order.
    Two examples;-
    1) Earth enters a Snowball Earth period. The low temperatures shut down most of the biosphere and CO2 is low.. Temperature drives CO2.
    After a million years volcanic activity adds CO2 to the atmosphere.With rocks and oceans covered by ice, there is no way to absorb the CO2, which increases until its warming effect breaks the freeze. CO2 drives temperature.
    2) A self-styled “intelligent” species arises on Earth and invents industry. Its activities pump billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing an extra 3% to the natural CO2 output. CO2 increases at a time when the long term trend in temperature is downwards.CO2 increases independat of temperature
    A rise in temperature follows. CO2 drives temperature.

  6. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    Entropic man says:

    October 23, 2012 at 1:06 am

    That tiny bit of CO2 is doing an awful lot of warming!

  7. Entropic man says:

    Not really. If cAGW has caused the increase since 1880, so far what we’ve put in has probably raised temperatures by 0.7K +/- 0.1K. That is 0.24% if you start from a baseline of 288K.

    [Reply] Co2 increased by only a few ppm from 1880-1950, so you are talking illogical tripe – again.

  8. Entropic man says:

    Where did I mention 1880-1950? I was referring to the 110ppm change in [CO2] from 280ppm in1880 to 390ppm at present and the recorded temperature change over the same period.
    We disagree over the correalation (and causation) between [CO2] and temperature over this period. I find it curious that on a site which spends so much time discussing correalations, this one is always so passionately rejected.

    [Reply]It is rejected because (among many other problems) it fails between 1880 and 1950. Co2 only rose a few ppm during that period. Can it explain cooling 1880-1910? No. Can it explain warming 1910-1950? No. Can it explain cooling 1950-1978? No. Can it explain warming 1978-2012? Only if you ignore the rest of the evidence. It’s an utterly crap correlation. I find it curious you are unable to take your blinkers of long enough to look at other possibilities.