Claim: Global warming caused by CFCs, not carbon dioxide, UWaterloo study says

“Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are to blame for global warming since the 1970s and not carbon dioxide, according to new research from the University of Waterloo published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B this week.”

Read more at PRNewswire.

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18 thoughts on “Claim: Global warming caused by CFCs, not carbon dioxide, UWaterloo study says”

  1. 150 years of analysis saying CO2 is the culprit? That predates Arrhenius by 30+ years. And didn’t we have that little interlude with the coming of the next ice age? CFC’s caused global warming? Why not, the CO2e factors for them are quite high when you report your annual GHG emissions.

  2. We keep bumping into issues of whether warming has occurred at all. There are some stations that seem to show warming but even those records are flimsy in many cases. Anthony Watts has shown that a huge percentage of US stations are situated in ways that raise their readings. Methods and local land use have changed, which can affect the readings at historic stations. We’ve got areas reporting now that didn’t report in the early 20thC; many of those are in low altitudes and low latitudes.
    So okay, let’s say there’s been some warming, although that’s far from certain. How much? That’s even less certain than the warming itself.
    What can cause it? Maybe CFCs have had an influence, but we now bump into the other big climate/weather issue: we’re trying to understand a multi-factorial linked non-linear system with many known cycles and reason to believe in many unknown cycles, many known factors and reason to believe in many unknown factors.
    The last hurdle is this: what is the optimum heat balance for the Earth? We don’t know what Earth’s optimum conditions are, or how to measure them, or how to optimize weather conditions. If there’s been warming, it hasn’t had any measurable ill effects, although the measures to counter it have been harmful.
    If CFCs are actually the key human element in climate forcing, and if that forcing is a problem, then the problem is pretty much solved already. CFCs were useful chemicals that we replaced with reasonably priced alternatives and no loss in standard of living.

  3. Couldn’t agree more about the land station temp record. The idea that this creaky, badly maintained and supervised system can measure global temperature and detect faint influences on climate is among the more absurd things I’ve ever seen.

  4. “By proving the link between CFCs, ozone depletion and temperature changes in the Antarctic, Professor Lu was able to draw almost perfect correlation between rising global surface temperatures and CFCs in the atmosphere. ”

    It is still correlation but it is a lot better correlation than CO2 ever was. Now the problem for the nanny-staters is how to attack Big CFC, which inconveniently doesn’t exist anymore. Oh, bother.

  5. True, but the concentrations are ridiculously low. While they are on the steep end of the absorption curve, you are talking ppb or ppt levels and increases. Also, read the article he’s ignoring the Greenhouse effect entirely and proposing an entirely new phenomenon. I’m not buying it. The Greenhouse Gas effect is simple absorption and reemittance, and we have proof that it actually exists. This thingy, not so much. We’re taking this from a discussion about magnitude and effects and going back to an entirely hypothetical discussion.

  6. Watts at least thinks it’s worth investigating, so I’ll defer to his expertise.

    However, Given the crude diagram involved to match (50s-90s increase and then flatline), I wouldn’t put too much faith in it. As long at the bend is in the right place temporally, it works. The y axis becomes completely independent and can be adjusted to fit as long as the general shape. is correct.

  7. It’s worse yet when you compare the flimsy instrument record to the flimsier proxy record. But apparently Cambodians will continue to swelter in the dark because of this.

  8. If they really believe this then they have the same problem the proponents of CO2 caused global warming have. That is global warming began about 1850 which was before any significant human caused CO2 release and this would also be true for CFCs. Then in the 70’s and again from 1998-to today the warming slowed or reversed while the CO2 continued to rise or in the case of the CFCs they continued to rise as well. You can’t have it both ways. If CO2 or CFCs are SO STRONG that they cause worldwide global warming of the entire planet how is it possible for even more CO2 or CFCs to then allow global warming to stop or even reverse? Logically something else is at work here. Perhaps it is indeed the Mankovitch cycles or some permutation of these and as yet unknown factors but rather obviously it is not the CO2 or CFCs.

  9. Actually, if it fits the orthodoxy of allowing government more control and more ability to tax the people – we should accept it right away through consensus. If it could have a deleterious effect on growing government power it should be rejected. – whether true or not.

    That is how science is done these days.

  10. I’m not willing to rule out CFCs yet since correlation is at least a clue of potential. As further research has removed the correlation with CO2, further research may remove it for CFC. Just because they were wrong on CFC-ozone doesn’t meant they must be wrong about CFC -warming. Science works like that, it isn’t settled and likely won’t ever be. Unless, of course, you have become a toadie for Big Research.

  11. “further research may remove it for CFC”

    But it is just esoterica. There is no need to prove it or disprove it. Only if there were CAGW would it matter, and there isn’t.

  12. Careful Kenw, the lack of clear correlation proves that CO2 is not the sole driver of climate, but it does not prove that it doesn’t have a significant effect.

  13. The original Oregon Research Institute petition that circulated about 20 years ago contained a trace of the inverse of sun spots (abscissa) vs. temperature (ordinate). That curve showed an excellent correlation between solar magnetic field strength and Earthly temperature. Svensmark has been working on a theory that the suns magnetism protects earth from cosmic rays (high energy protons) and thereby attenuates cloudiness. Lu appears to be doing the same thing. I wonder how good his correlations look if he removes the CFC variable. Does the CFC portion contribute to a significant degree to the correlation between sun spots and Earth’s temperature? I cannot tell by reading the press release.

  14. The Fluorocarbon scam was the predecessor to our current climate scam.
    Fluorocarbons were the purge agents in the original atmospheric tests. They were not noted in the original results because they were the known purge agents in the test tanks. It was only later when the data was re-dredged that the purge agent was blamed and falsely accused of magically “wafting” into the highest elevations. In the actual world, big heavy fluorocarbon molecules settle to the earth and the only way they can rise up is for humans to rise them artificially.

  15. This only applies if it is proved that “global warming” exists. Otherwise all bets are off.


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