Monday, March 05, 2007

Ottawa U prof takes a stand against global warming

Oh boy, he thinks the greenhouse effect is a conspiracy: " Professor Ian Clark, an expert in palaeoclimatology from the University of Ottawa, claims that warmer periods of the Earth's history came around 800 years before rises in carbon dioxide levels. The programme also highlights how, after the Second World War, there was a huge surge in carbon dioxide emissions, yet global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.
The UN report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was published in February. At the time it was promoted as being backed by more than 2,000 of the world's leading scientists.
But Professor Paul Reiter, of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said it was a "sham" given that this list included the names of scientists who disagreed with its findings."
I remember him being a signature in the National Post letter to Harper to pull out of Kyoto.


13 comments:

Dominic B. said...

There will always be people who challenge common knowledge and thought. Although sometimes, they seem to make ridiculous claims, some of them were eventually proved right! Global warming is certainly not a conspiracy,and I doubdt that Prof. Clark says it is. I am not writing this to defend him...the problem is this, people tend to be either black or white....shades of grey are permitted...especially in science! Don't you think?

Ben said...

Is he tenured?

Bayman said...

So apparently Clark argues that CO2 production doesn't correlate with global warming:

"That portion of the scientific community that attributes climate warming to CO2 relies on the hypothesis that increasing CO2, which is in fact a minor greenhouse gas, triggers a much larger water vapour response to warm the atmosphere. This mechanism has never been tested scientifically beyond the mathematical models that predict extensive warming, and are confounded by the complexity of cloud formation - which has a cooling effect."

I don't know much about climatology but his argument sounds feasable to me and I can't see any obvious errors....anyone know of any evidence to the contrary?

Also check out his lab website (nothing to do with climate change)...pretty cool...geology looks freaking fun.

I believe he is tenured.

Anonymous Coward said...

Yeah he is tenured so he can afford to make those claims. I agree Sometimes it's good to have those tenured track prof challenging the dogma. However this is an attack to the greenhouse effect, which is a pretty well established phenomenon. I'm no climate scientist but i also know the lag between CO2 and temperature is well known, and there are good explanations such as runaway thawing which can release massive quantities of C02 and methane well before the overall temperature increases because of oceanic heatsinks. Again I'm no expert but i trust the scientific process. Sometimes I see tenured scientists who try to be activist and lose track of science. Scientists are aloud mistakes... I had a certain chemistry prof at ottawa U telling me the "pharmas have the cure for cancer but are not releasing it" type conspiracy . There is even a poli sci prof who believes 9/11 was orchestrated but the US government. yeah sometimes there are lone geniuses, but usually you have to be especially skeptic ... extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Anonymous Coward said...

Dominic B.? As in Dr Bergeron from Ottawa U? Nice blog. We judged the Aventis Biotech challenge together last year...

Dominic B. said...

YUP! That's me! I really like your blog! I mean REALLY!!!! It is now one of my favorites. In fact, I think your blog looks a bit like mine...mine is in french (got one in english as well).

Keep up the VERY good work...although, try to see the shades of grey :)

Best regards!

Dominic

Bayman said...

What??!!
Pharmas don't have the cure for cancer??

Bayman said...

Yeah nice blog Dom. Especially like the content although you may get a bill from our bayLAWYERS to collect on royalties for the format. :)

Anonymous Coward said...

Well I've already made that point on a previous post but Dr. Clark has some political affiliations, and some friends in the anti-global warming / big oil / big tobacco lobbies. Hopefully that doesn't influence his scientific conclusions...

Bayman said...

Ahhhh yes, every right wing political/corporate organization needs a scientist(s) to generate techno-babble smokescreens. To cloud the issues and facts in a shades of GREY fog, so to speak. (not to be confused with Aubrey de GREY, the magical wizard from Cambridge, who rides the river Cam on his magical rowboat and casts his GREY fog to confuse the basic facts of biology. Or Gandalf the GREY, a magical wizard from Middle-Earth who rides about on a magical white stallion and lifted the cursed GREY fog of darkness cast by the evil Sauron.)

Anonymous Coward said...

His stuff on endostromatolites is pretty cool: "Work in the karst regions of the Yukon led to the discovery by Bernard Lauriol and myself of this remarkable material forming in fissures within limestone outcrops. Endostromatolites, so named for their micro-stromatilite structure and hidden growth within bedrock, are ubiquitous in permafrost carbonate regions. They form by bacterial activity involving the degradation of soil organics and production of methane, leaving an unusual isotopic signature."

Dominic B. said...

Hey Bayman...the format is a total fluke! I guess great minds think alike....don't you think???

Bayman said...

Absolutely. Plus even greater minds have the vision to pick the best blogger template.