January 20, 2020

Ozone, Not Carbon Dioxide

Timothy Birdnow

Researchers at Columbia University have published a study arguing that half of the 20th century atmospheric warming in the Arctic was caused by ozone depletion.

From the article:

A study published today in Nature Climate Change by researchers at Columbia University examines the greenhouse warming effects of ozone-depleting substances and finds that they caused about a third of all global warming from 1955 to 2005, and half of Arctic warming and sea ice loss during that period. They thus acted as a strong supplement to , the most pervasive greenhouse gas; their effects have since started to fade, as they are no longer produced and slowly dissolve.

Ozone-depleting substances, or ODS, were developed in the 1920s and '30s and became popularly used as refrigerants, solvents and propellants. They are entirely manmade, and so did not exist in the atmosphere before this time. In the 1980s a hole in Earth's layer, which filters much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun, was discovered over Antarctica. Scientists quickly attributed it to ODS.


Scientists at Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory used climate models to understand the effects of ODS on Arctic climate. "We showed that ODS have affected the Arctic climate in a substantial way," said Lamont-Doherty researcher Michael Previdi. The scientists reached their conclusion using two very different that are widely employed by the , both developed at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Considering that almost all planetary warming in the last century occurred in the latter part of the 20th century, this seriously calls into question the notion that carbon dioxide is the culprit. In fact, this drops the warming well below the margin of error.

How long can the charade of carbon dioxide as the primary driver of climate be maintained? It continues to fall apart as new research shows CO2 has less and less to do with anything.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:31 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 At the risk of sounding like a climate freak, I have to point out that we now have two arguments which contradict each other. One arguments says that there is no temperature increase, and the other one says that temperature increase is caused by ozone depletion rather than CO2 increase.

Posted by: Bill H at January 20, 2020 12:24 PM (vMiSr)

2 Bill, all of the warming we have witnessed occurred between 1980 and 1998, when it pretty much stopped. The Global Cooling crowd shifted to Global Warming at this point. They have refused to acknowledge that temperatures have stopped rising.

The point of this post is to illustrate that the Climate Change crowd wants  to have their cake and eat it too.

The purpose of this research is undoubtedly to suggest we can "fix" global warming just as we "fixed" ozone depletion. Note that they claim "half" of "arctic warming" is involved, thus maintaining the fiction that we have work left to do. Of course, the point is if they want to go here they have to admit their theory doesn't work.

There has been no "missing heat" found in the oceans, either, which is how they explain the "pause".

Nobody who understands this issue disagrees that there has been some warming. But those of us on the "denier" side say that natural variability and solar-related phenomenon as well as things like land use change are responsible and carbon dioxide plays at most a minor role. It is carbon dioxide as the primary driver that is in dispute.

So if this is true (and I don't know that it is) it is very damaging to the carbon dioxide argument.

As I pointed out, it is rather like the Medieval "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" argument. At some point you have to say it's just plain silly.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 20, 2020 01:29 PM (ICXB/)

3 ODS -- now lemme see, that's Ozone Derangement Syndrome, right? I remember when that's all the Left talked about. And as Tim pointed out, "we" actually did something about it. Now it's rare that you hear those folks yammering about holes in the Ozone Layer. They're too busy worrying about atmospheric CO2, which is something totally different and not fixable the way the ozone problem was fixed.

Regarding holes in the Ozone Layer, does anybody really know whether there were actually holes in the Ozone Layer back, say, a hundred or more years ago, before mankind started messing atmospheric ozone up? There is such an alarming tendency for the Gang Green to assume that everything began right at the time they started looking around.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 20, 2020 03:00 PM (05Pmo)

4 Dana, as I recall there has been research done that suggests that very thing. The polar regions are susceptible to a weakened ozone - and mainly we're talking about Antarctica, not the arctic. But we've got no really good proxy data on that. 

I rather suspect it ties in with the Earth's weakening magnetic field more than with cfc's, but I have no proof. The ozone hole was most prominent when the Sun was at the Grand Maximum, then it weakened as the Sun weakened. Coincidence?  Maybe, but maybe not.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 21, 2020 07:37 AM (ubm9I)

5 That's a good point. I've seen articles recently that say the Earth's magnetic poles have been flying around like break dancers on speed. I suppose the Warmiacs will blame that on AGW (why not; they're blaming everything else on it), but is this perhaps a chicken-vs-egg kind of thing? Or a correlation-without-causation thing, ultimately relating only to the ozone density fluctuations?

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at January 21, 2020 10:26 AM (rqGjD)

6 No doubt they'll try to argue the poles are moving because of atmospheric warming - I guess they'll say the increased air density from water vapor evaporation is making the whole planet wobble and this is making the poles wander.  Ridiculous, but so is the basic argument that we are all going to die because of one extra carbon dioxide molecule in every ten thousand of air.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at January 22, 2020 07:04 AM (cBBeO)

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