Ernst Georg Beck: A Major Contributor to Climate Science Effectively Sidelined by Climate Deceivers

by Dr. Tim Ball on May 10, 2011

in Biography,Data,History,Philosophy,Politics,Theory

I was saddened to hear that Ernst Georg Beck died after a battle with cancer. I was flattered when he asked me to review one of his early papers on the historic pattern of atmospheric CO2 and its relationship to global warming. I was struck by the precision, detail, and perceptiveness of his work, and urged its publication. I also warned him about the personal attacks and unscientific challenges he could expect. On 6 November 2009 he wrote to me,

In Germany the situation is comparable to the times of medieval inquisition.

Fortunately, he was not deterred. His friend Edgar Gartner explained Ernst’s contribution in his obituary:

Due to his immense specialized knowledge and his methodical severity Ernst very promptly noticed numerous inconsistencies in the statements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He considered the warming of the earth’s atmosphere as a result of a rise of the carbon dioxide content of the air of approximately 0.03 to 0.04 percent as impossible. And he doubted that the curve of the CO2 increase noted on the Hawaii volcano Mauna Loa since 1957/58 could be extrapolated linear back to the 19th century. (Translated from the German)

His passing warrants a revisit, especially because of the exposure of corruption and malfeasance at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Beck’s work completely undermined their major claims and assumptions about the role of CO2 in Global Warming, then Climate Change, and now Climate Disruptions.

Necessary to Make the Record Prove CO2 Caused Global Warming

A key claim of the hypothesis known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW), is that human activities (particularly industry) are producing CO2 that is causing warming and climate change. There were critical points they had to establish to prove their case. As they did with almost all issues, they created the data they needed by manipulating modern and historic records or creating computer-generated results that became ‘real’ data.

They had to show that

  • Increases in atmospheric CO2 caused temperature increase in the historic record,
  • current levels are unusually high relative to the historic record,
  • current levels are much higher than pre-industrial levels, and
  • the differences between pre-industrial and current atmospheric levels are due to human additions of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Beck’s work showed the fallacy of these claims.

19th century CO2 measures Figure 1: 19th century CO2 measures.
Those chosen by Callendar are in red.
Source: Dr. Zbiegniew Jaworowski, Statement written for the Hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Early researchers knew of the existence of a large set of CO2 measures from the 19th century beginning in 1812. They were part of the drive to determine the constituents of the atmosphere. They became part of the manipulated climate science record with a 1983 Climatic Change article, The Pre-industrial Carbon Dioxide Level. Wigley was Director of the infamous Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) before Phil Jones took over. Wigley began the decline of climate science, but it was under Jones’ leadership that the malfeasance was arranged and fully exposed in the emails leaked on 20 November 2009. In the article, Wigley established the pre-industrial level at approximately 270 ppm, even though readings ranged up to 600 ppm. It was necessary to agree with the outrageously selective work of G.S. Callendar (Figure 1) that showed a low pre-industrial level, but also a different slope to the trend.

Two other records were arranged to support the claims. One was the Antarctic ice core record, which showed a close relationship between CO2 and temperature. The other was the modern record from Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

The ice core record has several problems. There is contamination of the air in the bubble by water; different results are obtained if the ice is crushed or melted to obtain the air sample; it takes decades for the air bubble to form; the raw data was smoothed out by a 70 year moving average that removed the great annual variability found in the 19th century and Stomata Index (SI) records; closer examination revealed a major flaw in the hypothesis because temperature rises before CO2.

The Mauna Loa record is taken on a volcano where CO2 leaks from ground for many kilometers around. The process of data collection is patented and owned by the Keeling family and is modified to eliminate all “local effect”. This standardizing of the data is also applied to distribution of CO2 through the atmosphere. It is not evenly distributed at all as recent satellite data shows, yet that is the pattern built into the computer models.

Ernst Beck re-examined the 19th century data as his friend Gartner describes,

With his special meticulousness, Beck collected and analysed thousands and thousands of older measurements of the CO2 content of the air and found out that such content has been sometimes higher than today in the first half of the 20th century and also partially in the 19th century.

He found the pre-industrial level little different from the current level, and the variability from year to year was much wider than the ice core and Mauna Loa record showed. He put all the data together in Figure 2.

Composite of CO2 measurements Figure 2: Composite of CO2 measurements

It’s an axiom that the more someone is personally attacked and vilified, the higher likelihood their work is valid. We also know from the leaked emails the extent to which official climate science, controlled by the CRU people who also controlled the IPCC, worked to block publication of research that falsified their claims. One journal, Energy and Environment (E and E), showed integrity and courage led by its editor Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, but was attacked by the CRU gang. On 28 October 2009 Phil Jones wrote to Hull University trying to stop Boehmer–Christiansen from using her affiliation with that Institute:

You are probably aware of this, but the journal Sonja edits is at the very bottom of almost all climate scientists lists of journals to read.

Ironically, this is likely true because they didn’t want to read the truth. E and E published McIntrye and McKitrick’s first exposure of the hockey stick and Beck’s first major work on the 19th century record.

Ernst Georg Beck was a scholar and gentleman in every sense of the term. His friend wrote,

They tried to denounce Ernst Georg Beck on the Internet as a naive amateur and data counterfeiter. Unfortunately, Ernst could hardly defend himself in the last months because of its progressive illness.

His work, determination, and ethics were all directed at answering questions in the skeptical method that is true science: the antithesis of the efforts of all those who challenged and tried to block or denigrate him. Thank you, Ernst.