Physicist and meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls was interviewed by Bettina Hahne-Waldscheck of the Swiss magazine Factum. I’ve translated and summarized the interview, paraphrasing for brevity.
Factum: You’ve been criticizing the theory of man-made global warming for years. How did you become skeptical?
Puls: Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) told us.
One day I started checking the facts and data — first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements.
To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it. The CO2-climate hysteria in Germany is propagated by people who are in it for lots of money, attention and power.
Factum: Is there really climate change?
Puls: Climate change is normal. There have always been phases of climate warming, many that even far exceeded the extent we see today. But there hasn’t been any warming since 1998. In fact the IPCC suppliers of data even show a slight cooling.
Factum: The IPCC is projecting 0.2°C warming per decade, i.e. 2 to 4°C by the year 2100. What’s your view?
Puls: These are speculative model projections, so-called scenarios — and not prognoses.
Because of climate’s high complexity, reliable prognoses just aren’t possible. Nature does what it wants, and not what the models present as prophesy. The entire CO2-debate is nonsense.
Even if CO2 were doubled, the temperature would rise only 1°C. The remainder of the IPCC’s assumed warming is based purely on speculative amplification mechanisms. Even though CO2 has risen, there has been no warming in 13 years.
Factum: How does sea level rise look?
Puls: Sea level rise has slowed down. Moreover, it has dropped a half centimeter over the last 2 years. It’s important to remember that mean sea level is a calculated magnitude, and not a measured one.
There are a great number of factors that influence sea level, e.g.,
- tectonic processes,
- continental shifting,
- wind currents,
- trade winds,
Climate change is only one of ten factors.
Factum: What have we measured at the North Sea?
Puls: In the last 400 years, sea level at the North Sea coast has risen about 1.40 meters. That’s about 35 centimeters per century. In the last 100 years, the North Sea has risen only 25 centimeters.
Factum: Does the sea level rise have anything to do with the melting North Pole?
Puls: That’s a misleading conclusion. Even if the entire North Pole melted, there would be no sea level rise because of the principles of buoyancy.
Factum: Is the melting of the glaciers in the Alps caused by global warming?
Puls: There are many factors at play. As one climbs a mountain, the temperature drops about 0.65°C per 100 meters.
Over the last 100 years it has gotten about 0.75°C warmer and so the temperature boundary has shifted up about 100 meters. But observations tell us that also ice 1000 meters up and higher has melted. Clearly there are other reasons for this, namely soot and dust.
But soot and dust do not only have anthropogenic origins; they are also caused by nature via,
- dust storms,
Advancing and retreating of glaciers have always taken place throughout the Earth’s history. Glaciology studies clearly show that glaciers over the last 10,0000 years were smaller on average than today.
Factum: In your view, melting Antarctic sea ice and the fracture of a huge iceberg 3 years ago are nothing to worry about?
Puls: To the contrary, the Antarctic ice cap has grown both in area and volume over the last 30 years, and temperature has declined. This 30-year trend is clear to see.
The Amundsen Scott Station of the USA shows that temperature has been declining there since 1957. 90% of the Earth’s ice is stored in Antarctica, which is one and half times larger than Europe.
Factum: Then why do we always read it is getting warmer down there?
Puls: Here they are only talking about the West Antarctic peninsula, which is where the big chunk of ice broke off in 2008 — from the Wilkins-Shelf.
This area is hardly 1% of the entire area of Antarctica, but it is exposed to Southern Hemisphere west wind drift and some of the strongest storms on the planet.
Factum: What causes such massive chunks of ice to break off?
Puls: There are lots of factors, among them the intensity of the west wind fluctuations.
These west winds have intensified over the last 20 years as part of natural ocean and atmospheric cycles, and so it has gotten warmer on the west coast of the Antarctic peninsula.
A second factor are the larger waves associated with the stronger storms. The waves are more powerful and so they break off more ice. All these causes are meteorological and physical, and have nothing to do with a climate catastrophe.
Factum: Then such ice breaks had to have occurred in the past too?
Puls: This has been going on for thousands of years, also in the 1970s, back when all the talk was about “global cooling”. Back then there were breaks with ice chunks hundreds of square kilometers in area.
People were even discussing the possibilities of towing these huge ice chunks to dry countries like South Africa or Namibia in order to use them as a drinking water supply.
Factum: What about all the media photos of polar bears losing their ice?
Puls: That is one of the worst myths used for generating climate hysteria. Polar bears don’t eat ice, they eat seals. Polar bears go hungry if we shoot their food supply of seals.
The polar bear population has increased with moderately rising temperatures, from 5000, 50 years ago, to 25,000 today.
Factum: But it is true that unlike Antarctica, the Arctic is melting?
Puls: It has been melting for 30 years. That also happened twice already in the last 150 years. The low point was reached in 2007 and the ice has since begun to recover.
There have always been phases of Arctic melting. Between 900 and 1300 Greenland was green on the edges and the Vikings settled there.
Factum: And what do you say about the alleged expanding deserts?
Puls: That doesn’t exist.
For example the Sahara is shrinking and has lost in the north an area as large as Germany over the last 20 years. The same is true in the South Sahara.
The famine that struck Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia was mainly caused by the leasing of large swaths of land to large international corporations so that they could grow crops for biofuels for Europe, and by war.
But it is much easier for prosperous Europe to blame the world’s political failures on a fictional climate catastrophe instead.
Factum: So we don’t need to do anything against climate change?
Puls: There’s nothing we can do to stop it.
Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection.
It’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate.
One has nothing to do with the other…