Monday, June 3, 2013

Professor Lu, climate change and a Breach of Section 4

Update: more on this coming. ABC did not even bother to interview the author Professor Lu before broadcasting its woeful report. Professor Lu has written to ABC management to raise issues with the reporting.

The one sided story.
ABC's AM program breaches section 4 of the ABC's Editorial polices in reporting on a recently released peer reviewed paper that challenges the consensus on climate change (no surprise there!). According to section 4 "The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism."Apparently:  the ABC is guided by these hallmarks of impartiality:
• a balance that follows the weight of evidence;
• fair treatment;
• open-mindedness; and
• opportunities over time for principal relevant perspectives on matters of contention to be expressed.

ABC's woeful reporting did the following:
  • Misrepresented the qualifications and experience of the paper's author "The Waterloo research is by Professor Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, biology and chemistry at Waterloo's Faculty of Science. " Professor Lu is a Physicist, and ABC neglected to include an interesting Australian link. It seems Professor Lu gained his PhD at the University of Newcastle.
  • Did not interview the author of the paper or provide an opportunity for him to reply to criticism leveled against his work.
  • Made light of the paper "The paper has a rather wordy title". The paper is titled COSMIC-RAY-DRIVEN REACTION AND GREENHOUSE EFFECT OF HALOGENATED MOLECULES: CULPRITS FOR ATMOSPHERIC OZONE DEPLETION AND GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE.  19 words. Recent papers by ABC's critique, professional climate nag Dr David Karoly include this one:
  • Allows for the misrepresentation of the content of an international science journal. Karoly states: It has been published in a journal which appears to not normally publish articles on climate change science. A search of "climate change" in "International Journal of Modern Physics B" provides 25 results, "global warming" provides 27 results. Seems articles on climate change are quite normal in this journal.
  • ABC provided only one heavily biased opinion.
  • In the transcript Miss spells Karoly as "Kaoly"
So ABC did NOT allow for balance, fair treatment, open mindedness or any opportunity for reply. Case closed. 

STOP PRESS: Professor Lu quickly responds to some questions:
Dear Mr. Hendrickx,

Thank you for your drawing my attention to the ABC news report on my recent work on global warming. I just read the radio conversation and Dr. David Karoly's criticisms on my paper.

Here are my brief answers to your questions:

Q: "Do you have any comments regarding Dr Karoly's criticism of your paper?"

A: From reading Dr. Karoly's comments, unfortunately, it seems obvious that he did not read my recent paper published in IJMPB, not even the abstract of my paper.  For example, he argues "That prediction is wrong and is based purely on the global warming influence of chlorofluorocarbons. The replacement chemicals for chlorofluorocarbons are hydrofluorocarbons, which are used as refrigerants, have already got as large a greenhouse influence as the reductions in the chlorofluorocarbons. And, in fact, the global warming influence of these chemicals, the hydrofluorocarbons, is already growing more rapidly than the reductions in chlorofluorocarbons."  This criticism is quite wrong, as the greenhouse effect of hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs) is included in my results presented in my paper and can be easily seen even at the abstract "Then natural and anthropogenic contributions to these phenomena are examined in detail and separated well through in-depth statistical analyses of comprehensive measured datasets of quantities, including cosmic rays (CRs), total solar irradiance, sunspot number, halogenated gases (CFCs, CCl4 and HCFCs), CO2, total O3, lower stratospheric temperatures and global surface temperatures."

He mentioned the IPCC models to criticize my work. But in my paper, I do point out the key assumption in the IPCC models, namely using a logarithm relationship to calculate the radiative force of CO2 with CO2 concentration, does not agree with the observations and is wrong.  Otherwise, there is no major difference in maths between IPCC models and my calculations.  Of course, there are significant differences in physics.  And that is why I published my paper in a Physics journal.  And one can find this in the last paragraph of my paper: "This study also shows that correct understandings of the basic physics of cosmic ray radiation and the Earth blackbody radiation as well as their interactions with human-made molecules are required for revealing the fundamental mechanisms underlying the ozone hole and global climate change.  When these understandings are presented with observations objectively, it is feasible to reach consensuses on these scientific issues of global concern."

Since he is a professor, I believe that Dr. Karoly is a scientist; I would wish that he would have given his criticisms in a scientific rather than political way. Perhaps he was too busy and did not get enough time to read my paper before he made the comments.

To save my time, I think I'll stop there for this question.  

Q: "Do you think ABC's story is a fair representation of your work."
A: Absolutely, I do not think the ABC's story gave a fair presentation of my work.
Q: "Do you regard your treatment by the ABC as fair?"
A: I would not be too concerned about what they said about my work.  I am quite confident of my findings.

One point I would like to add:  I received my PhD from the University of Newcastle. I have been very grateful, and very much appreciated the opportunities and scholarships provided to me from the Australian Government and the University of Newcastle during my study there (1993-1996).  I very hope that the best and wisest decisions are made by the Government and people in Australia.

I am also cc this email to my former PhD supervisor, Professor John O'Connor, in the University of Newcastle.

Thank you, and with my best wishes to Australian Government and people there,

Qing-Bin Lu


  1. There appears to be a storm of ABC AGW spin since the announcement of increased funding to the broadcaster. I heard Karoly this morning on AM. It was awful radio, especially given that Karoly's last paper was withdrawn.
    Can't wait to watch Q&A tonight with Bill McKibben. The post-modern ABC have been running to him recently for suitably frightening scenarios in defence of AGW. On second thoughts, I'll wash my hair!

  2. Professor Lu's paper is just another attempt to blame it all on “Evil Man” now the wheels have well and truly fallen off the CO2 meme.

    Climate goes in 25 to 30 year (roughly) cycles of warming and cooling, overlaid on a larger cycle of around 150 years (roughly) warming and cooling. Here are the periods (roughly) since we came out of the LIA:

    1850 – 1880 warming
    1880 – 1910 cooling
    1910 – 1940 warming
    1940 – 1975 cooling
    1975 – 2000 warming
    2000 – 2030 cooling

    The period 1850 to 2000 was a 150 year overall warming cycle, so it will now get progressively cooler over the next 150 years, interspersed with 30 year (roughly) warming and cooling periods. That’s how I learned it in Junior High School in 1966, and so far nothing has happened to falsify the hypothesis.

    This latest “ozone depletion theory” goes nowhere to explain the warming periods 1850 to 1880 and 1910 to 1940, which predate the use of CFC’s

    The entire “ozone hole” business is a furphy. For a start, there is no ozone “layer” to get a “hole” in it. The principal source of atmospheric ozone is sunlight striking oxygen (O2) molecules, resulting in the formation of the oxygen allotrope, “ozone” (O3). Simply put, no O2, no ozone. No sunlight, no ozone.

    The so-called “ozone hole” that “mysteriously appears” over Antarctica is a purely natural, cyclical phenomenon, the result of the lack of sunlight over the previous three months.

    Ozone concentration is measured in “Dobson Units”, which in turn are measured with a “Dobson Spectrophotometer”. Both are named after their inventor, Professor Gordon Dobson. In 1957 Professor Dobson won the “International Geophysical Man of the Year” award for his work using the entirely natural and cyclical depletion of ozone at Antarctica, to prove the existence of, and map, the upper air currents we now refer to as the “slipstream currents”, which are responsible for much of our weather patterns.

    All this was explained in Dobson’s book, “Exploring the Atmosphere”, originall published in 1962, which was one of my physics textbooks in Senior High School.

    Unfortunately Dobson’s work did not fit the requirements of post-modern science, so, like Tesla and others, he has been quietly “disappeared” from the science and history books, including the internet.

    It is depressing watching taxpayer's money (of whichever country) being squandered financing "scientists" such as Lu, AND Karoly, "discovering" parts of what was basic junior high school physics 50 years ago.

  3. When you want to argue for pure natural effects (solar or cosmic rays), you have to pass the available observed data since the 1970s:

    Here is the abstract of Lu's paper:

    "This study is focused on the effects of cosmic rays (solar activity) and halogen-containing molecules (mainly chlorofluorocarbons—CFCs) on atmospheric ozone depletion and global climate change. Brief reviews are first given on the cosmic-ray-driven electron-induced-reaction (CRE) theory for O3 depletion and the warming theory of halogenated molecules for climate change. Then natural and anthropogenic contributions to these phenomena are examined in detail and separated well through in-depth statistical analyses of comprehensive measured datasets of quantities, including cosmic rays (CRs), total solar irradiance, sunspot number, halogenated gases (CFCs, CCl4 and HCFCs), CO2, total O3, lower stratospheric temperatures and global surface temperatures. For O3 depletion, it is shown that an analytical equation derived from the CRE theory reproduces well 11-year cyclic variations of polar O3 loss and stratospheric cooling, and new statistical analyses of the CRE equation with observed data of total O3 and stratospheric temperature give high linear correlation coefficients 0.92. After the removal of the CR effect, a pronounced recovery by 20~25% of the Antarctic O3 hole is found, while no recovery of O3 loss in mid-latitudes has been observed. These results show both the correctness and dominance of the CRE mechanism and the success of the Montreal Protocol. For global climate change, in-depth analyses of the observed data clearly show that the solar effect and human-made halogenated gases played the dominant role in Earth’s climate change prior to and after 1970, respectively. Remarkably, a statistical analysis gives a nearly zero correlation coefficient (R=0.05) between corrected global surface temperature data by removing the solar effect and CO2 concentration during 1850-1970. In striking contrast, a nearly perfect linear correlation with coefficients as high as 0.96-0.97 is found between corrected or uncorrected global surface temperature and total amount of stratospheric halogenated gases during 1970-2012. Furthermore, a new theoretical calculation on the greenhouse effect of halogenated gases shows that they (mainly CFCs) could alone result in the global surface temperature rise of ~0.6 C in 1970-2002. These results provide solid evidence that recent global warming was indeed caused by the greenhouse effect of anthropogenic halogenated gases. Thus, a slow reversal of global temperature to the 1950 value is predicted for coming 5~7 decades. It is also expected that the global sea level will continue to rise in coming 1~2 decades until the effect of the global temperature recovery dominates over that of the polar O3 hole recovery; after that, both will drop concurrently. All the observed, analytical and theoretical results presented lead to a convincing conclusion that both the CRE mechanism and the CFC-warming mechanism not only provide new fundamental understandings of the O3 hole and global climate change but have superior predictive capabilities, compared with the conventional models."

  4. And here is the Section 11 of Lu IJMPB paper:

    "11. Remarks on Existing Theories of Ozone Depletion and Climate Change

    Current photochemistry-climate models68,69 cannot reproduce the observed 11-year cyclic variation of polar ozone loss, nor can they capture the essential features of polar stratospheric cooling.7 Chemistry transport models (CTMs) might partially reproduce the observed ozone, but their simulations require to use observed temperatures and winds and thus do not have the capability to predict future changes of the ozone hole.89 The ability of these photochemical models including CTMs to predict future ozone hole trends is thus very limited; improving their predictive capabilities for the ozone hole is one of the greatest challenges in the ozone research community.71 As schematically shown in Fig. 1, the CRE mechanism proposes that DET reactions of halogenated molecules can either lead to the formation of reactive Cl atoms to destroy the O3 layer or react with other species to release photoactive Cl2 and ClNO2 in the winter polar stratosphere.7,9 The latter species can also then produce Cl atoms to destroy O3, upon photolysis in the spring polar stratosphere, similar to one of the steps in the photochemical models. Thus, the CRE mechanism does not exclude any possible contribution of sunlight-related photochemical processes to O3 depletion. In deriving the CRE equation (Eq. 2), however, a simplification was indeed made that the photolysis of halogens in the spring polar stratosphere is not a limiting factor; this simplified CRE equation was originally aimed to give an approximate envelope of the long-term total O3 variation.7 Strikingly, it has been demonstrated in Figs. 4-6 that the CRE equation including no effects of photochemical processes reproduces well the observed data of not only polar ozone loss but stratospheric temperature change (cooling). This is in striking contrast to the photochemical models. This fact indicates that the CRE/DET reaction, rather than the photoactivation of halogen species in the gas phase, is so critical that it is indeed the limit factor leading to ozone loss in the polar ozone hole. Since its birth more than one decade ago, the CRE mechanism has well explained the observed data and shown excellent predictive capabilities.

    One may be attempted to argue that since non-halogen molecules such as CO2, N2O and CH4 are well-known GH gases, their effects should be input into any climate models, so should the natural solar effects. This argument appears to be logical and reasonable, particularly considering the following facts. Without the atmospheric layer consisting of these GH gases even prior to the industrial revolution in the middle 19th century, the Earth surface temperature would far below the current mean temperature just suitable for living creatures. And it has no doubts that the nature (solar) factors had affected the Earth climate significantly or severely in certain periods of time, e.g, the ice ages. However, while closely looking into possible causes of recent global climate change starting around 1970, researchers must examine any conclusions based on available observations rather than on speculations or models full of assumptions and uncertainties. Executing this practice, the present study has found that the natural factors have played a negligible role in global surface temperature change since 1970, and that the concentrations of natural existing non-halogen GH gases (CO2, N2O and CH4) were already so high that their GH effects with rising concentrations since the modern industrial revolution have been saturated (zero), that is, their continued increases have made almost zero contributions to the ozone hole and global climate change. Based on these observations, the present warming theory of halogen-containing gases (mainly CFCs), including neither natural solar nor non-halogen gas effects, reproduces the observed data well and therefore shows a strong predictive capability."

  5. I'm not so much interested in the science in this case, time tell if Lu is right or wrong. I am more concerned about the manner in which ABC covered the story. It's groupthink culture and bias on display.


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