Does Atmospheric CO2 Cause Global Warming?


The Vostok ice-core measurements show that we are in the fifth inter-glacial period of the last 450,000 years.  Isotopic ratios in the Vostok ice core were used to determine the age of the ice, the air temperature when each layer of snow fell, and the age of the air pockets trapping the CO2.  The charts show a definite correlation between temperature and CO2 concentration.  The temperature difference chart and the CO2 concentration chart resulting from these measurements were the primary evidence shown in Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth”.


If you superimpose the chart of CO2 concentration vs the age of the air over the temperature chart vs the age of the ice; the chart shows that the temperature increases before the CO2 concentration increases in most cases and, at the end of the interglacial period, the CO2 concentration lags the temperature decrease by as much as 800 years.  This means that the change in temperature is the cause of the change in CO2 concentration, not the other way around.  This chart also shows that the four previous interglacial periods resulted in maximum temperatures of 2-3 deg above the arbitrary “zero” line compared to the current temperature deviation of 0.2-0.3 deg.  Also, notice that the temperature drops at the end of each interglacial period before the CO2 drops.  If CO2 were the main factor increasing global temperature, the temperature would never drop into an ice age.



 The chart shows the CO2 lag at the end of each ice age.  In addition, the temperature at the beginning of each ice age drops, sometimes dramatically, at the beginning of each ice age long before the CO2 concentration drops.  If the CO2 was the cause of the increase in temperature, there could never be an ice age because the CO2 would keep the temperature high.  The change in temperature is what causes the change in the CO2 concentration.






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