SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is the opinion of Kelleher & Associates Environmental Mgmt LLC regarding rising CO2 levels and Global Warming and their interrelationship with fast melting glaciers:
Dear President Elect Trump, NOAA, EPA and interested parties:
I am among the country's top environmental engineers and have been used extensively over the past several decades by the California Courts as a neutral fact finder who helps case special masters and litigating parties resolve legal disputes over who is liable for legacy pollution of contaminated properties without the need for trial. Within this role I am provided many linear feet of technical reports, pleadings, case summaries, expert witness reports, etc. I conduct a dispassionate unbiased review of the data and provide the case special masters and litigating parties with concise unbiased conclusions and recommendations that cannot be used at trial. In so doing, I have developed an uncanny ability for quickly seeing the forest through the trees when it comes to assessing massive amounts of technical scientific data. Given all that is at stake and because it is right up my alley, I felt a moral and professional obligation to apply my special talent and experience to the vitally important question at hand. In conducting my review over the holidays, I reviewed data published on the NOAA website and many others.
Background – Data from polar ice cores shows that the earth's climate going back many millions of years is aptly described as the cycling of major and minor advances and retreats of glaciers from the poles separated by brief interglacial periods of relatively warm weather. During the past 420,000 years there have been four major ice ages with a frequency of about 100,000 years with the prolonged cold intervals in between comprised of roughly 20,000 or 40,000-year cycles of minor advances and retreats. According to NASA, the natural cycle of ice ages is triggered by perturbations in the earth's axis and its elliptical orbit around the sun as they relate to the amount of thermal energy the earth receives from the sun. In about 1860 A.D. global temperatures started rising, rapidly marking the end of what is referred to as the Little Ice Age which commenced in about 1300 after a period of global warming called the Medieval Warm Period that commenced in about 1000. Commencing in the 1860s atmospheric CO2 levels began to slowly rise concurrent with sea levels indicating that glaciers were melting/retreating toward the poles picking up steam in the late 1800s and 1900s. According to EPA, CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels did not reach levels of concern to climate scientists until about 1950.
Conclusions – The collective climate data is telling me that rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 is a signature identifier/direct result of rapid glacial melting and is not the cause of either today's or historic rapid global warming. In my opinion, NOAA has failed to produce any factual evidence that would stand up in court supporting its claims that the current period of global warming is out of the ordinary much less the result of human activities. As I see it, the only way that NOAA could possibly substantiate its controversial claims that current temperature increases are a cause for major concern is by restricting its analysis to the current and immediately preceding interglacial periods and providing hard scientific proof that current data differs significantly from the parallel data for the handful of very similar past intervals when CO2 levels suddenly took off and spiked---with the focus on temperature. I predict that any attempts to provide such proof will be frustrated by accuracy and resolution limitations in using ice-core data. Moreover: 1. The start of the current period of rapid global warming coincides very closely with an ultra-giganormous sized solar flare striking the earth in 1859 strongly suggesting a relationship with solar storms/solar activity. The glaciers were already in full retreat from this or some other cause circa 1950 when fossil fuel CO2 emissions reached levels of concern to climate scientists. 2. There is nothing unusual about CO2 spiking during interglacial periods. This is the second major interval of CO2 spiking that has occurred during the current interglacial period and CO2 spiking occurred at frequent intervals during the immediately preceding interglacial period about 120,000 years ago. I found the published ice core data for the prior periods of rapid change to be of grossly insufficient resolution and reliability to draw meaningful comparisons with current data. I have no reason as a neutral fact finder to believe the current spiking period is significantly different than the prior ones with respect to temperature which is all that really matters. 3. Except for the incidental correlation I discuss in item 4 below, I found no correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and upward global temperature trends. For example: (a) CO2 was flat lined at about 275 ppm throughout the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age; (b) during the last four ice ages, the glaciers were in both full advance and full retreat at 250 ppm; and (c) rapid increases in CO2 during glacial retreats tend to lag behind rapid increases in temperatures. 4. Instead, I found vast unambiguous evidence that rapid CO2 increases occur only when rapidly melting/retreating glaciers are interacting with the earth's oceans and atmosphere in creating rapid global warming, rising seawater levels and signature rapid atmospheric CO2 increases. The available evidence shows a linear relationship wherein rapidly melting glaciers cause atmospheric CO2 levels to rise higher and higher the closer the retreat gets to the poles, reaching levels far in excess of what can be attributed to Henry's Law governed interchanges with a slowly warming ocean surface. By all appearances the excess CO2 in the atmosphere very slowly reenters the oceans once the glacial retreat stops. 5. I found that there is at least a five-fold effect that explains the well-documented atmospheric CO2 spikes as glaciers rapidly melt/retreat: (a) Henry's Law related increases from the warming of the average surface temperature of the oceans combined with deep seawater up-welling; (b) the CO2 escaping the melting ice; (c) the CO2 degassing due to rapid warming of the massive deluge of frigid fresh water cascading across the land and glacier surfaces and then forming a floating skin of warming freshwater at the ocean surface; (d) the CO2 degassing from the deeps due to disruptive/turbulent effects on thermoclines; and (e) the CO2 emitting from bacterial decomposition of massive amounts of organic matter that had been trapped within and under the retreating ice and is being exposed to air. 6. I found overwhelming evidence that once a major or minor glacial retreat gains sufficient momentum, it becomes self-sustaining for a certain geologic period of time and causes rapid global warming on its own with incidental atmospheric CO2 increases. 7. I conclude that the driving force behind the self-sustaining glacial retreat has to be the greenhouse gas effect of the massive amounts of water vapor resulting from item 5(c) above taking into consideration that the warming effect is produced in the very areas where it is needed most. 8. I cannot tell how much the CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels commencing in 1950 have been incrementally contributing to the current rapid climb in atmospheric CO2, but I consider the increases a potential blessing to humanity rather than a threat. This takes into consideration the fact that the current interglacial period has already lasted longer than the last creating concerns that the glacial tide is about to turn. Once the current melting stops, high levels of atmospheric CO2 could hopefully help stall the onset of what could be the next major ice age.
Recommendations – President Trump should remain skeptical and charge the director of NOAA with evaluating my conclusions and request a response to be reviewed by a panel of qualified civil and environmental engineers. With the identification of the true driver of glacial retreats (lots of water vapor continuously hovering over the actively melting areas), I claim to have debunked the published and widely accepted climatic theory that increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 had an important greenhouse gas effect in accelerating the ending of the ice ages. Rather than fret and rant about global warming, I suggest everyone enjoy it while it lasts.
I warrant that I have conducted my investigations impartially and believe my conclusions are sufficiently supported by valid scientific evidence to stand up in a court of law.
Disclaimer – This press release contains the personal opinions of an American citizen based on his understanding of technical data and his experience as a neutral court consultant. Despite my professional standing, I am not claiming to be a professional engineer nor a consulting engineer given where I reside. California, unlike the rest of the country, does not grant licenses to environmental engineers given a long standing preference by its licensing board to rely primarily on state registered geologists to protect the state's lands, indoor air and waters.
Brian T Kelleher
Principal, Kelleher & Associates Environmental Mgmt, LLC
San Jose, CA 95121
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