The Whole Climate Story

By Alex Bugaeff

(This article was originally published by

  • Introduction
  • Factors That Affect Earth’s Climate – Sun, Oceans, Earth’s Crust, Cosmos, Time
  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Is the Globe Warming?
  • Do Sea Levels Indicate Global Warming?
  • How Accurate Are Global Temperature Readings?
  • Human Error and Intention
  • Can Science Ever Be Settled?
  • Conclusion



The earth’s climate changes naturally and always has. Yet, the proponents of global warming insist that changes in the earth’s climate are instead caused by mankind and that these changes will doom civilization unless something is done. They blame the burning of fossil fuels and they want to tax it to fund their political schemes.

This paper uncovers the climate change agenda. It shows that the climate changes naturally and by small increments (with the exception of catastrophic events such as volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts). It shows that the greenhouse gases named as the culprit for change are naturally as well as artificially produced and that they have relatively little effect on climate.

Climate consists of long term patterns of weather and atmosphere. The morning weather forecast is not climate, although it is born of it. To be considered climate, a pattern must persist over decades, at least, and more properly over centuries and millennia. It must be shown to demonstrate consistent attributes of temperature, wind, precipitation, humidity, and the like.

The last Ice Age was a climate pattern that ended at about 12,000 BC. During the Ice Age, much of North America was covered with glaciers. Since then, we have been in a warming period called the Holocene Interglacial (between glacial periods). Glaciers have receded, making the northern hemisphere habitable. During that time, we have had periods of relative warming (e.g. the Medieval Warm 950 to 1250) and cooling (e.g. the Maunder Minimum or Mini Ice Age 1645 to 1720).

These dramatic temperature and climate changes are caused by a complex group of factors, primarily solar activity, cosmic radiation, ocean currents, the earth’s crust, the earth’s magnetic field, and earth’s rotation and orbit. These factors have had massive impacts on the earth’s climate long before mankind’s activities. More about them later.

“Greenhouse gases” have only recently been cited as having an influence on climate. These gases consist of methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and miscellaneous other gases. Such gases occur naturally and have for eons.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been accused as the major cause of climate change in the modern age despite its being only 4/10,000ths of the total gaseous volume in the atmosphere – the equivalent of a shoebox of air in your house. The claim is that, since the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen since the earth exited from the Mini Ice Age 300 years ago, it must be guilty of warming.

The Factors that Affect the Earth’s Climate

The sun sends energy through space and impacts the earth, producing heat, wind and rain. Additional solar events intensify its effect, primarily in the form of sun spots, solar flares and other surface upheavals. The sun is the single most important factor influencing the earth’s climate. Recently, there have been few to no solar events, perhaps a forecast for a period of cooler temperatures.

Oceanic activity influences climate through two phenomena. First are Atlantic and Pacific Oscillations. Every ten to 30 years, the cold waters at lower depths tend to circulate to the surface in massive currents that force the warmer waters toward the bottom. These oscillations have a cooling effect on temperatures and other climatic elements.

Second are El Nino and La Nina – two periodic Pacific Ocean phenomena. El Nino appears when west-to-east winds predominate near the equator and drive warm surface waters toward the west coasts of North and South America. During El Nino, rain and storms increase in the western hemisphere. La Nina is the opposite – when equatorial winds predominate from east-to-west, they drive warm surface waters away from the western hemisphere, reducing rain and storms there and increasing them in the western Pacific. These phenomena typically last from six to eighteen months.

Changes in the earth’s magnetic field and its orbit appear to impact temperatures in the earth’s atmosphere more than on the surface. According to Dr. Ingrid Crossen of the British Antarctic Survey, changes in the earth’s magnetic field have resulted in cooling in northern atmospheres and warming in southern atmospheres.

Cosmic radiation in the form of gamma rays and other galactic bursts of energy has a periodic association with the earth’s climate, but a causal relationship has not been established. The strongest association appears to be that gamma rays tend to increase clouds, thus increasing rain and reducing temperatures.

As alluded to earlier, historic climate periods have been irresistible factors or trends in the earth’s climate. It is difficult to imagine that anything could have reversed the Ice Age, the Eemian and Holocene Interglacials, the Medieval Warm, or the Maunder Minimum. The complexity of the factors causing them is overwhelming. We are fortunate to live during the Holocene with its moderate climate features.

Greenhouse Gases

The so-called “greenhouse” gases (really just “atmospheric” gases) – methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and miscellaneous other gases – have been portrayed as hovering in layers above the earth’s surface, blocking solar energy from reaching us and warm air from escaping.

To some extent, this picture has validity. We need greenhouse gases to reflect excess energy back into space and to keep needed warmth from escaping the planet. Without greenhouse gases, life on earth would be very different, if not impossible.

The question is, “To what degree do greenhouse gases determine climate?” Consider the other factors – solar activity, ocean activity, activity of the earth (volcanos, quakes, magnetic fields, and orbits), cosmic rays, and historic climate periodicity – and we must conclude that greenhouse gases together play a role, but a small one.

Now, look more closely at CO2. As mentioned, CO2 consists of only 4/10,000ths of the atmosphere, or as it is cited in the reports, 400 parts per million (ppm), and its volume varies according to the seasons. It results from natural processes, such as the breathing and flatulence of the entire animal kingdom, and from artificial processes, such as the burning of fossil fuels.

Today’s CO2 level is low by historical standards. Ice core measurements indicate that CO2 has been as high as 3,000 ppm. While it is true that CO2 is increasing, it is doing so at an extremely slow rate. Here is the link to NASA/NOAA’s data posting where you can see the actual figures in real time.

What does CO2 do? How is it supposed to effect climate? Consider first that CO2 does not hover over the earth in a layer any more than the other gases do. It diffuses evenly throughout the atmosphere making it available as food for plant life and for absorption by the oceans. Beyond that, the direct effect of CO2 on climate is uncertain – it absorbs solar energy and releases it back to the surface and into space. There is only an inferential relationship between the amount of CO2 and reported temperatures. “A Primer on Carbon Dioxide and Climate,” CO2 Coalition, Arlington, VA, 2017. And,

And, we must recognize that with world population increasing, we will need more food to feed them -mostly plant food. Since plants require CO2 to grow, more plants will need more CO2, not less. “What Rising CO2 Means for Global Food Security,” CO2 Coalition, Arlington, VA, 2017.

Is the Globe Warming?

Periods of Earth warming and cooling occur in cycles. This is well understood, as is the fact that small-scale cycles of about 40 years exist within larger-scale cycles of 400 years, which in turn exist inside still larger scale cycles of 20,000 years, and so on.”

Believers in climate change as a menace contend that the globe is warming, that it is warming at an alarming rate, and that the greenhouse gas, CO2, is to blame. But, is the globe warming? We must first look to the history of the earth’s temperatures.

There have been periods in long-term history when global temperatures were higher than they are today. If technological ice core readings are any measure, the Eemian Interglacial period (140,000 to 120,000 years ago) temperatures were significantly higher. During the Medieval Warm, the melting of glaciers over Greenland allowed the populating and farming of that island, hence the name. Even during the so-called Industrial period, temperatures during the mid-1930’s were higher than at present.

Do Sea Levels Indicate Global Warming?

Sea levels have risen and fallen naturally over time with the arrival and departure of cold and warm periods. During glacial periods, sea levels were some 500 feet below their current levels. The Bering Land Bridge was exposed as a result of glaciation and people and animals crossed it from the Asian land mass to North America.

Since 1850, sea levels have been rising at the overall rate of about a half inch per year. These rates are affected primarily by the following: changes in the earth’s crust (mostly volcanic, tectonic plate and earthquake activity), by subsidence of lowland and unstable substrates, such as in Venice, Italy and in Atlantic Ocean barrier islands, by built-upon landfills, such as the San Francisco International Airport and the Manhattan Battery, and by glacial melting and growth (of Arctic and Antarctic glaciers). Sea levels can appear to rise because coast lands sink.

Dr. Judith Curry, PhD, Department Chair of Earth and Atmospheric Science, Emeritus, Georgia Tech University, estimates that at their current rate, sea levels will rise about 30 inches by the year 2100. She calculates that about half that increase can be attributed to global warming.

So, is the globe warming? Not, it appears, because of increases in CO2 or other greenhouse gases. In addition to the natural highs and lows of previous eras, during the 1970’s and 1980’s there were claims that global cooling was taking place instead and that IT was a threat to civilization. Greenhouses gases were accused of cooling the earth, just as they are now accused of warming it. So, temperatures go up and down, but are the temperatures actually as they are claimed to be?

How Accurate Are Global Temperature Readings?

We should not assume that the temperatures reported, even by NASA, are accurate.

The earth’s temperatures are measured primarily using surface and satellite devices. Historically, surface devices consisted of thermometers housed in ventilated boxes set on waist-high stilts – “Stevenson Screens.” Starting in the 1890’s, approximately 11,000 such devices were set around the globe, most in the northern hemisphere, and were monitored by US and British laboratories. Many of these locations were in “urban heat islands” – places where heat builds up and is stored in asphalt streets and concrete buildings, thereby giving false high readings on the thermometers placed there.

Then, in 1985 big changes were begun: Stevenson Screens were replaced by a supposedly more accurate device – the Platinum Resistance Thermometer – and the number of surface stations was reduced to approximately 6,500. Also, thermometer devices were housed in buoys and were set afloat on the oceans to measure air temperatures over the seas. They have been free to drift with the currents from the beginning, raising the question of where the readings are being taken. And, all of this has introduced the question of data reliability.

From space, satellites have been “measuring” global temperatures since about 1979, but they don’t actually measure air temperature. Instead, satellites measure the radiance of earth’s features through radiometry – radio waves emitted by water, rock, soil, and the like. Air temperatures are then inferred through comparisons with trends in surface readings, as described above. That is, mathematical formulas are used to derive trends in atmospheric temperatures from the thermometer readings on the earth’s surface.

Since direct measurement of temperatures is so inconsistent, researchers have taken to applying mathematics and statistics to its analysis. If observed results stray from the expected outcomes, these researchers “adjust” the data. If the difference is too great, they may “reconstruct” past data (reduce it) so that the current data looks warmer. As Carlin, et al found, “…each new version of GAST (Global Average Surface Temperature) has nearly always exhibited a steeper warming linear trend over its entire history. And, it was nearly always accomplished by systematically removing the previously existing cyclical temperature pattern. This was true for all three entities providing GAST data measurement, NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU (Jones, IPCC).”

The sum total of the temperature accuracy question is that we cannot be sure that temperature reports are accurate or stable. The temperature devices or methods themselves, our inability to compare “apples to apples” over time because of the changes to them, and the error introduced through mathematical and other inferences cannot be relied upon to be as precise as claimed. Then, we have the issue of how the scientists’ “goals” factor in? How is human error introduced into the process?

Human Error and Intention

Climate change has been made into a “Cause” by proponents who seize it to advance their interests. Vast sums of money have been offered and expended in its research and promotion. Former US Senator Al Gore has turned it into a lucrative career for himself and his followers. Enormous research grants have been dangled in front of university faculties in return for findings of global warming.

Dr. Judith Curry, PhD and Chair, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Science Emeritus, Georgia Tech University, reports that grants became awarded only to those who would find evidence of warming – “Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment…” she said.

Al Gore aside, the current push to use global warming as a political tool probably began with Philip (Phil) Jones, an English academic associated with the UK’s East Anglia University. Jones received his PhD in Hydrology (the study of the movement, distribution and quality of water on the Earth) in 1977 and began in 1979 as a Research Associate with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, advancing to Professor in 1998.

Phil Jones was a leader in the founding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by the United Nations in 1988. He and other researchers published a series of reports which purported to prove that the globe is warming at the “alarming” rate of 1.5 degrees or so by 2100. They did this by formulating mathematical models that used CO2 as the factor by which warming was predicted. They blamed the burning of fossil fuels for the higher CO2 amounts while ignoring natural sources of it. And then, they proclaimed that this warming would be catastrophic.

The IPCC ignited controversy when it refused to release either their data or their models for analysis by outside scientists. They finally shared their data, but refused to release the mathematical models by which they analyzed it.

Using the IPCC findings, Al Gore and other warming proponents promoted policies to reduce global warming through a tax scheme he called “Cap and Trade.” Under it, corporations would pay taxes on the carbon that their businesses emitted. Gore and his adherents continue to insist that the earth is warming, that mankind is to blame and that their tax programs are the solution.

Al Gore famously cited a survey that 97% of scientists agree on the warming “theory” and that the science of warming is “settled.” He overlooked that the cited survey consisted of about 120 respondents (compared with 31,000 scientists who oppose it), that the IPCC mathematics have been withheld from scrutiny and that the Scientific Method never accepts that findings are “settled” anyway (see below).

Eventually, the data collected by the IPCC researchers began to show the truth – CO2 is a poor predictor of global temperatures. But, now there was too much at stake – money, power and fame. To maintain the illusion of infallibility, Jones and the IPCC falsified their data and conspired with NASA and NOAA among others to keep it quiet, but it came out anyway and was dubbed “Climategate.” Headlines, such as “NOAA Data Tampering,” and “Stunning Statistical Fraud,” abounded.

In an attempt to salvage what they could, IPCC issued reports and assessments that revised their methods, data and standards without admitting anything. . It remains to be seen whether these changes will result in submission of peer reviewed data and conformity to the Scientific Method. Phil Jones has “retired.”

Can Science Ever Be “Settled?”

The discoveries of science since the Greeks have come primarily by virtue of the Scientific Method. It’s simple, really. You surmise that some phenomenon of the natural world might be true and you make a statement proposing it – the Hypothesis. You Test your Hypothesis using accepted procedures. The Test results either support your Hypothesis or they do not. Then, you publish your Hypothesis, Tests and results so that other scientists can replicate your Tests (peer review). Their results may support your Hypothesis or not.

The more that Tests by others support your Hypothesis, the more confidence you can have that your Hypothesis is reliable. But, it can never be “proven.” Someday, a new or better test may be found that fails to support your Hypothesis. That’s the nature of scientific inquiry. It can never be “settled” and must never be. Otherwise, the Earth would still be “flat.”

CO2-caused climate change is not settled science. Just the complexity of climate and the inability to replicate findings in order to test them makes it impossible. Corruption further compromises any findings. Scientific procedures can be used to track climate and elements, but fine distinctions of a degree or so are speculative.


Climate and temperatures will fluctuate naturally, as they have for all of earth’s existence. The factors affecting them are out of the hands of mankind, except for those greenhouse gases over which we have some control, and they play only a relatively small role. It may be just as likely that we are cooling as that we are warming.

Considering all these factors, their variability and the difficulty of measuring them, it is not possible nor is it advisable for scientists and mathematicians to claim that their mathematical models should be the basis for investing monumental sums of money in a scheme that may be exactly the wrong thing. The findings and dire warnings of global warming proponents must be regarded as unfounded or even, as some have said, a hoax.

Mankind should be a good steward of the planet and those of us who seek to do so should continue to pressure planet abusers, such as India and China, to improve. But, we should not bankrupt ourselves and our nation to assuage a false guilt perpetrated by politicians and corrupted scientists. We need to be smarter than that.

2 thoughts on “The Whole Climate Story

  1. Hi Alex,

    It has been a very long time, I hope that you and family are great, as is the Berger Clan!
    Nice to have a message from you and I look to reading this story. Still working for Tyler, you would not recognize who Tyler is now – very corporate but without the mindset that will provide growth in the right direction…..
    I am still practicing change management with clients and still enjoy when I can make a difference! I keep in touch with Jim Root who is now working for Microsoft and loves his role as an individual contributor PM for their Dynamics Product.
    What have you been up to?

    My best, Laurie

  2. Hi Laurie, what a wonderful surprise to hear from you! I really appreciate the time you took to update me on your doin’s. I guess it was inevitable that Tyler went that way, but once they were listed on the Board, it’s hard not to become corporate. I value my time there with great fondness.

    It’s good to know that you’re still doing change management and enjoying it. That’s not an easy role. I tried to keep up with Jim, but we just got a case of the dwindles, same with Katherine. I’m glad that they’re both doing well (I’m a fb friend of hers and see her postings of kids, etc.).

    You knew that I had open heart surgery in ’12 and have been doing very well since…as long as I don’t do heavy lifting or shoveling snow (which, ironically, I loved). I wrote two books on early American history and have two more going.

    We are in the process of packing to move from CT to FL (next week). We vowed to stay in CT, as foul as it is, as long as our family stayed. But, they have all now flown the coop, leaving us alone. So, we shrugged and said might as well. We’re moving to Englewood, a quiet little town on the Gulf about halfway between Sarasota and Naples where we used to live (too big and crowded and $$$, now).

    I’ve been meaning to write this article for two years, at least, and decided to get it out of the way before we leave. Hope you like it. I’d love your reaction.

    That’s about it for now. Please give my regards to anyone who remembers me (with fondness, that is).

    All the best, Alex

Leave a Reply to alexbugaeff Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s