Reaching 400 ppm of CO2 Is No Milestone

Published May 14, 2013

[The following is a letter to the editor I submitted the other day to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. They will certainly not publish it, so I publish it here. — Edmund Contoski.]

Your paper states atmospheric carbon dioxide  has reached 400 parts per million, a level that “has not been this high for at least 3 million years.” But 90,000 (!) measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide were made between the years 1812 and 1961 and published in 175 technical papers. These measurements were made by top scientists, including two Nobel Prize winners, using techniques that are standard textbook procedures.

Ernst Georg Beck made a monumental compilation of these carbon dioxide measurements and graphed five-year averages, which smooth irregularities and show trends rather than an individual year that might be an anomaly.  His work shows an average of 440 ppm carbon dioxide for the years 1820 and 1940.

Furthermore, ice cores show over 400 ppm in 1700 A.D. and 200 A.D., as well as 10,000 years ago. Samples from Camp Century (Greenland) and Byrd Camp (Antarctica) range from 250 to nearly 500 ppm over the last 10,000 years.

There is abundant other evidence that global warming alarmism is false, but you won’t print:

Medieval Climate Optimum

The above is based on sediments from the Sargasso Sea. It shows the earth was much warmer 500 and 900 years ago and that there were even warmer times 500 BC and 1000 BC. All of these times had no factories or automobiles. They also had far smaller human populations, who devoted much less land to agriculture and cut far fewer trees. Note, too, that now we have barely reached the average temperature for the last 3,000 years. The chart also shows the current warming trend began more than 250 years ago, before the Industrial Revolution. It was a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age.

Greenland Ice Core Temps

This puts “global warming” (the slight upturn in the lower right) in perspective with the last 4,000 years of temperature in Greenland.


This intriguing chart by J. Oerlemans shows records of 169 glaciers. It shows they have been receding since 1750, with the trend accelerating after about 1820. The electric light bulb and the telephone hadn’t been invented yet. (Thomas Edison wasn’t even born.) The first commercial electric power plant was not built until 1881-82. Henry Ford began assembly line production in 1913, but by then half of the glacier loss from 1800 to 2000 had already occurred. And 70 percent of the glacier shortening occurred before 1940.


Siberia’s Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake. It contains more water than all five of North America’s Great Lakes combined. Fed by over 300 rivers and far from the moderating effects of any ocean, it offers a pristine, uninterrupted sedimentary record that permits a highly accurate reconstruction of temperatures over a broad area.

Anson MacKay, author of the study, says: (1) “Warming in the Lake Baikal region commenced before rapid increases in greenhouse gases;” he dates the warming from around 1750 A.D.,, long before industrial development led to the increase of greenhouse gases. (2) The warming trend began from one of the coldest periods in the last 800,000 years. (3) These coldest periods in the past were always followed by sharp, large temperature increases that couldn’t possibly have been caused by human activity. (4) The latest warming is puny compared to the many much warmer periods in the past.

You newspaper never prints any of these scientific facts—but has plenty of room for the latest propaganda about global warming and carbon dioxide.

[First published at American Liberty.]