Climate cover-up at the National Academy of Sciences?

Climate cover-up at the National Academy of Sciences?

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

SALEM, Ore., April 15, 2014 — Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Do rising CO2 levels cause global warming, or does global warming cause rising CO2?

The temperature vs. CO2 data record over the last 800,000 years shows temperature changes came before CO2 changes, according to data published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

However, alarming evidence that rising CO2 is causing global warming now is found in the Arctic Ocean.

In the last 35 years approximately 67 percent of Arctic sea ice has melted while, at the same time, CO2 levels have skyrocketed. Arctic sea ice will disappear in 25-30 years at its current pace.

The level of CO2 in earth’s atmosphere is far higher today than it’s been in nearly a million years, perhaps longer. It’s elevated because of human activity. Those are undisputed facts.

Most scientists conclude that because CO2 is a greenhouse gas, human-caused, elevated CO2 levels today are causing rising temperatures.

But again, over recent geologic time, rising temperatures have driven rising CO2 levels, not the other way around.

Very disturbing is that the NAS may be trying to hide its own finding!

800,000 years of global temperature and CO2 data

U.S. National Academy of Sciences
U.S. National Academy of Sciences

The NAS combined two significant long-term datasets. The first, from  Luthi, et al, shows CO2 levels. The other, from J. Jouzel et al, shows earth’s temperature profile over the same time span.

Both sets of data come from peer-reviewed papers published in two of the most respected science journals in the world: Nature and Science. Both datasets originate from analysis of Antarctic ice core samples.

The above graph produced by the NAS combines the two datasets. It shows that temperature and CO2 levels are well correlated with each other.

The graph also shows that today’s CO2 level of 400 ppm is well above any previous level seen in nearly a million years. It’s not an exaggeration to describe the current level of CO2 as “unprecedented.” It is.

An NAS Cover-up?

For reasons unknown, the National Academy reproduces the graphed data in two different places on its website. In one place it is reproduced as Figure 3. In the other it’s reproduced as Figure 14.

Both plot exactly the same data from the same two data sources. The salient difference between Fig. 3 and Fig. 14 is captured in their nearly identical descriptions:

Figure 3. … The cyclical pattern of temperature variations constitutes the ice age/ interglacial cycles. During these cycles, changes in CO2 concentrations (in blue) track closely with changes in temperature (in red). As the record shows, the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is unprecedented  …

Figure 14. … The cyclical pattern of temperature variations constitutes the ice age/interglacial cycles. During these cycles, changes in carbon dioxide concentrations (in red) track closely with changes in temperature (in blue), with CO2 lagging behind temperature changes. …

Left out of the Figure 3 description is that carbon dioxide changes over the last 800,000 years happened close to but after the temperature changes. That means that temperature changes could not have been caused by changes in CO2. That’s a big deal.

This crucial finding related to the current climate change discussion is edited out of Fig. 3’s description by the NAS. Why?


Earth’s global temperature has leveled off in the last 15 years while CO2 levels rise ever faster. Perhaps the assumed relationship of CO2 to temperature isn’t entirely valid for earth’s dynamic climate system.

The National Academy of Sciences published two different interpretations of the same results in two different places on its website. In one place it says that temperature increases preceded CO2 changes over geologic time. In the other, NAS removes that detail.

The crucial finding, though, is that over the last 800,000 years temperature changes came before CO2 changes. Therefore, CO2 could not have caused rising temperatures.

Why then did the NAS exclude that exceptionally meaningful fact from one description but not the other?

The answer will become crystal clear should the NAS either delete Figure 14 or change its description by removing the words, “with CO2 lagging behind temperature change“.

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