Thursday, March 3, 2016

Interview of physicist William Happer on CO2 and warming.

Doubling the carbon dioxide concentration will probably cause a warming of around 1 degree Celsius, close to the theoretical, feedback-free value. A warming of 1–2 degrees Celsius will be beneficial in itself by lengthening growing seasons and cutting winter heating bills. Remember that most of the warming will be in temperate or polar latitudes—not in the tropics—and [the warming will mostly occur] at night, not during the day. . . .

In addition to the direct beneficial effects of modest warming, there will be a huge benefit to agriculture from more carbon dioxide. By the standards of geological history, with hundreds of millions of years when carbon dioxide concentrations were several thousand parts per million, we have been in a carbon dioxide famine over the past tens of millions of years, with low concentrations of several hundred ppm. More carbon dioxide will increase crop yields, make plants more tolerant to droughts, and will shrink deserts. Yet, we keep hearing about “carbon pollution.” Carbon dioxide is beneficial, not a pollutant.