The Primary Driver Of Climate

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The Cause Of An Ice Age

It has been known for over 110 years that the primary driver of climate on Earth is variations in the planet’s orbit and rotation. Because the Earth’s orbit is elliptical, some seasons are longer than others. Depending on which way the planet’s axis is tilted at any given time, this can either mean either long summers, or long winters.

Precession of the Earth’s axis over time produces alternating cold and warm periods, and opposite in the opposite hemispheres.

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Long before climate science went completely brain dead under the stewardship of James Hansen, this was well understood, and was also understood to be the cause of the MWP – which the Climategate criminals  have since tried to erase.

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30 Responses to The Primary Driver Of Climate

  1. rishrac says:

    That was discounted as unimportant by the IPCC. Pages and pages were written that dismiss that argument. Otherwise, it would have made its way into the models. They claim that those factors were taken into consideration.. the warming is unprecedented and not the cause of any natural forcing. That’s what they said. I think you can guess which side I was arguing.

    • stpaulchuck says:

      I think they really missed a bet there. Just think of the massive NASA and research budgets to change the Earth’s orbital eccentricity!! And it would have the benefit of being scientifically provable from empirical data!

      But then snake oil salesmen are only interested in the sale, not the product.

  2. Centinel2012 says:

    Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    Apparently we have forgotten a lot. We knew more a hundred years ago it would seem. I have been working on this aspect for almost a decade now and I agree this is more right than any of the believers at NOAA, NASA as well as the British counter parts and the IPCC.

    • B says:

      The deliberate dumbing down really got moving about 100 years ago.

      Knowledge of natural cycles has been exploited for thousands of years so one man can rule over over another.

      • Ed Martin says:

        This blog is just ‘the place to be’ for intelligent people.

        Wish that we were a political movement with Gail to run up against Hillary. Bubba & Hillary Clinton would be trying to hide somewhere in Dogpatch, Arkansas. 😉

  3. mjc says:

    To think that nothing other than human action is responsible for a change in climate in the last 150 yrs is nothing but hubris. That somehow, in a period so short, it’s less than a blink to the geological timescale of the planet, humans have supplanted the natural drivers of climate so completely as to be our downfall, is beyond stupid.

    • Gail Combs says:

      The only real impact humans are having is releasing the CO2 that was bound up in coal back to the atmosphere. This is a VERY GOOD THING!

      Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California.

      The Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society – Biological Sciences: Carbon dioxide starvation, the development of C4 ecosystems, and mammalian evolution


      The decline of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the last 65 million years (Ma) resulted in the ‘carbon dioxide–starvation’ of terrestrial ecosystems and led to the widespread distribution of C4 plants, which are less sensitive to carbon dioxide levels than are C3 plants. Global expansion of C4 biomass is recorded in the diets of mammals from Asia, Africa, North America, and South America during the interval from about 8 to 5 Ma. This was accompanied by the most significant Cenozoic faunal turnover on each of these continents, indicating that ecological changes at this time were an important factor in mammalian extinction. Further expansion of tropical C4 biomass in Africa also occurred during the last glacial interval confirming the link between atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and C4 biomass response. Changes in fauna and flora at the end of the Miocene, and between the last glacial and interglacial, have previously been attributed to changes in aridity; however, an alternative explanation for a global expansion of C4 biomass is carbon dioxide starvation of C3 plants when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels dropped below a threshold significant to C3 plants…….

      Smithsonian Environmental Research Center: Almost all plant life on Earth can be broken into two categories based on the way they assimilate carbon dioxide into their systems. C3 plants include more than 95 percent of the plant species on earth. (Trees, for example, are C3 plants.) C4 plants include such crop plants as sugar cane and corn. They are the second most prevalent photosynthetic type…. The Smithsonian practice a bit of misdirection per usual by leading people to believe C4 plants are crop plants and CO2 increases will only benefit C3 plants endangering C4 plants and by implication our food supply.

      C3 plants include the cereal grains such as wheat, rice, barley, oats as well as peanuts, cotton, sugar beets, tobacco, spinach, soybeans. Most trees are C3 plants. Most lawn grasses such as rye and fescue are C3 plants. link

      A doubling of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, as is projected, would
      increase plant productivity by almost one-third. Most plants would grow faster and
      bigger, with increases in leaf size and thickness, stem height, branching, and seed
      production. The number and size of fruits and flowers would also rise. Root/top ratios
      would increase, giving many plants better root systems for access to water and nutrients.
      More Efficient Photosynthesis
      There are two important reasons for this productivity boost at higher CO2 levels. One is
      superior efficiency of photosynthesis. The other is a sharp reduction in water loss per unit
      of leaf area.
      Photosynthesis converts the renewable energy of sunlight into energy that living creatures
      can use. In the presence of chlorophyll, plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and
      water into carbohydrates that, directly or indirectly, supply almost all animal and human
      needs for food; oxygen and some water are released as by-products of this process.

      Most green plants respond quite favorably to concentrations of CO2 well above current atmospheric levels. A related benefit comes from the partial closing of pores in leaves that is associated with higher CO2 levels. These pores, known as stomata, admit air into the leaf for photosynthesis, but they are also a major source of transpiration or moisture loss. By partially closing these pores, higher CO2 levels greatly reduce the plants’ water loss–a significant benefit in arid climates.

      There are marked variations in response to CO2 among plant species. The biggest differences are among three broad categories of plants–C3, C4, and Crassulacean Acid Metabolism or CAM–each with a different pathway for photosynthetic fixation of carbon dioxide.

      Most green plants, including trees, algae, and most major food crops, use the C3 pathway, so named because the first products of photosynthesis (called photosynthate) have three carbon atoms per molecule. C3 plants respond most dramatically to higher levels of CO2 . At current atmospheric levels of CO2, up to half of the photosynthate in C3 plants is typically lost and returned to the air by a process called photo-respiration, which occurs simultaneously with photosynthesis in sunlight. Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 virtually eliminate photo-respiration in C3 plants, making photosynthesis much more efficient. High CO2 levels also sharply reduce dark respiration (the partial destruction of the products of photosynthesis during nighttime) among C3 plants.

      Corn, sugarcane, sorghum, millet, and some tropical grasses use the C4 pathway….

      • stpaulchuck says:

        I’m glad you brought that up. I keep finding posts from time to time raving that higher CO2 levels will favor the “wrong kind” of plants and damage the “good” ones. Apparently that, like everything else related to AGW, is pure bunkum.

    • Gail Combs says:

      Of Course our buddies over at SkS will tell us extra CO2 is BAD for plants for example:

      Too high a concentration of CO2 causes a reduction of photosynthesis in certain of plants. There is also evidence from the past of major damage to a wide variety of plants species from a sudden rise in CO2 (See illustrations below). Higher concentrations of CO2 also reduce the nutritional quality of some staples, such as wheat.

      There are even studies “proving” CO2 is ‘Bad.’ WUWT had a thread Now it’s more CO2 that will threaten crops “….read below the claims made in this UC Davis press release….” (CO2 has to be found purely EVIL and have no redeeming characteristics.)

      Dave Springer @ May 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm shows how they purposefully skewed the results.

      In one peer reviewed article from 2005 it was found that in durum wheat the nitrogen level in the leaves decreased with higher CO2 but at the same time the nitrogen level in the stems and seeds increased. Both biomass and grain yields increased under all nutrient and water regimes where CO2 was higher. This agrees with article which is the subject of this post. The authors measured the leaf nitrogen content and found it lower with increased CO2. However, they failed (purposely?) to grow the plants to maturity and measure the nitrogen content in the seed. It appears that the plants in the higher CO2 regime are able to use less nitrogen to generate more leaf mass and then deposit the excess nitrogen in the seeds where it will be of benefit to the next generation….
      [David goes on to quote another study that refutes the University of California – Davis study: Atmospheric CO2 and Syrian Wheat Production]
      The UC Davis study of wheat and mustard going only so far as nitrogen content of the leaves is borderline fraud if you ask me. This whole freaking AGW movement is replete with fraud. Heads need to roll. Lots of them from both academia and governments and media. Sorry to be so crude and angry but this stunt from UC Davis really chafed my hide after just a little bit of investigation of the prior art revealed its unscrupulous nature.

      It would seem CAGW ‘science’ Is the science of misdirection and propaganda and not the science of the earth’s climate.


      Successful indoor growers implement methods to increase CO2 concentrations in their enclosure. The typical outdoor air we breathe contains 0.03 – 0.045% (300 – 450 ppm) CO2. Research demonstrates that optimum growth and production for most plants occur between 1200 – 1500 ppm CO2. These optimum CO2 levels can boost plant metabolism, growth and yield by 25 – 60%.

      Randall J. Donohue et. al. – 31 May, 2013

      CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments

      [1] Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. …….Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analysed to remove the effect of variations in rainfall, show that cover across these environments has increased by 11%.…..

  4. Mat Helm says:

    I’ve only been following this blog for a month or so, but this may be your beat post yet….

  5. rah says:

    Perhaps this could explain it why so many of the “educated” buy into CAGW. Imagine Harvard grads never having the curiosity to wonder what a solstice is? Never in their lives observed that the path of the ecliptic changes during the year? Never bothered to try and understand what the tropic lines on a globe or map represent?

    • nielszoo says:

      Great point. Maybe we should remove all the clocks from the universities and install sun dials in their place.

      • rah says:

        Well my point is the lack of general education and the lack of curiosity of the students no matter what field of study they may have chosen outside of the sciences. Even if not taught in formal setting about such things a student should try to learn and understand the fundamentals of the mechanics of the world they live on.

        For example a whole lot of people who live in the northern hemisphere know what the Polaris/the north star is and that it can be used for navigation but how many people can pick it out in the night sky? Very very few from my own experience.

        Curiosity. The desire to learn. Is what is lacking here in addition to the lack of wisdom to understand that just because you have a Sheepskin from an Ivy league school or any other it does not make you knowledgeable about the things which you have not learned.

  6. emsnews says:

    The 36,000 year cycle is the creator and destroyer of religions, too. The North Star shifts over time from star to star thanks to the earth’s wobble. Nothing is stable which is why this push to have climate frozen (literally) in one spot is so very insane.

  7. Andy Oz says:

    Scientists in the pre-satellite era knew what they were talking about. They understood Mann-made Global Warming before he was born. This is a great article.

    15 October 1951 – The Worker (Brisbane)
    “World is Warming

    THIS climatic fluctuation which began a century ago and has become more noticeable in the last 20 years has been discussed since the 1920’s almost exclusively in scientific circles. Recently, however, it has become a subject of more than academic interest. The scientists hasten to assure the world that there is no immediate cause for alarm. The change is merely part of the endless cycle of heat and cold which started with the last ice age about one million years before the birth of Christ.

    There is not yet reason to assume, say the scientists, that the mercury in the world’s thermometers will now rise any higher than it would have risen during two or three other un- usually warm periods since the be ginning of our calendar. These were not years which scorched the globe as fatally as the ice ages had frozen it. But they were years of mild winters and hard summers. In some parts of Central Europe, Africa and the Americas they brought drought.”

  8. stpaulchuck says:

    Once again we have to reinvent the wheel. Between the thermodynamics folks and physics and statistics folks we have shown over and over that Mann-made climate is a joke of epic proportions.
    ‘Testing An Astronomically Based Decadal-Scale Empirical Harmonic Climate Model vs. The IPCC (2007) General Circulation Climate Models’ by Nicola Scafetta, PhD

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