The climate change debate may be evolving again.  In the 1970s and 80s, ozone depletion was at times touted as a dangerous cause of planetary warming, and efforts to reduce the amount of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) in man-made products got underway.  Somehow, in more modern times, climate scientists departed from the focus of ozone depletion and ultraviolet warming, and instead claimed greenhouse gases and infrared radiation were the main culprits of warming trends.  Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are believed to increase average planetary warmth.  Instead of focusing on the elimination of CFC’s, the modern focus is reducing the ‘carbon footprint.’

Dr. Peter Ward retired from the U.S. Geological Survey in 1998, and has since, devoted the rest of his life to solving an apparent mystery involving data he collected from Greenland.   While he does not dispute claims of global warming, he does say, there is a fundamental misconception regarding radiant energy that is confusing climate science.

The two types of radiant energy cited in climate studies are infrared, and ultraviolet.  The infrared radiation absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is cited by current climate models.  While some climate scientists say, only around 1% of the radiation the earth receives from the sun is ultraviolet, Dr. Ward says, ultraviolet radiation contains far more energy than infrared sources, and it accounts for the majority of warming experienced on the planet.

“My work trying to understand precisely how electromagnetic radiation is absorbed by gases and matter suggests that light in space is neither a wave, nor a particle; it is a field. It may be more productive to think of field-particle-wave triality: light is a field in space, has particle-like behavior when interacting with particles of matter making up a gas, and has wavelike behavior when interacting with extended matter through which waves can propagate.”

One thing that supposedly clouds the waters of climate change scholarship is, what Ward believes, a reliance upon the idea of wave amplitude and bandwidth.  He says the idea that light travels in waves informs current climate models.  These models were also formed during the 1970’s and 80’s.  Ward contends, modern science indicates radiant energy is simply a matter of the oscillation frequency of bonds holding the matter together, and not one of wave amplitude.

Dr. Ward says, a successful experiment proving greenhouse warming theories, has not been, and cannot be done.

Dr. Ward says, the major global warming predicted by current climate models is highly unlikely.  Not only this, but Ward believes he has found another explanation for global warming.

In a return to previous ideas about global warming, Ward cites ozone depletion as the cause of increased warming from ultraviolet sources.

However, Ward says, the major cause of this depletion may come from a source that is largely overlooked.  Ward says he found data from ice cores taken from Greenland indicating volcanic activity accompanied periods of rapid warming on the planet.  He claims, basaltic lava flows that do not form ‘aerosols’, cause warming in this manner.  On the other hand, aerosol-forming eruptions can cause cooling.  The basaltic eruption of an Icelandic volcano in 2014, Ward says, has caused a majority of recent warming.

Dr. Ward says, sceintists should be interested in the new data he is presenting, but not many of them, in his view, seem interested.

Dr. Ward believes, in the search for consensus on the climate change issue, scientists have neglected the essential practice of, consistent testing and scrutiny of the theory.  He says, “We build the edifice of science while continually trying to improve its foundation.”  “Sometimes the foundation that was most useful in building an elaborate edifice turns out to be insufficient and we have to reverse engineer a new one.”