Challenging the basis of Kyoto Protocol

Russian scientists deny that the Kyoto Protocol reflects a consensus view of the world scientific community.

There were periods in the history of the Earth when CO2 levels were a million times higher than today, and life continued to evolve quite successfully,”

agrees Vladimir Arutyunov of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Chemical Physics.

Moreover, greater concentrations of CO2 are good for life on Earth, Dr. Sorokhtin argues, as they make for higher crop yields and faster regeneration of forests.

Therefore, higher concentrations of greenhouse gases registered today are the result, not the cause, of global warming.

As western nations step up pressure on India and China to curb the emission of greenhouse gases, Russian scientists reject the very idea that carbon dioxide may be responsible for global warming.

Under the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, it is human-generated greenhouse gases, and mainly CO2, that cause climate change.

“The Kyoto theorists have put the cart before the horse,” says renowned Russian geographer Andrei Kapitsa. “It is global warming that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not the other way round.”

Russian researchers made this discovery while studying ice cores recovered from the depth of 3.5 kilometres in Antarctica. Analysis of ancient ice and air bubbles trapped inside revealed the composition of the atmosphere and air temperature going back as far as 400,000 years.

“We found that the level of CO2 had fluctuated greatly over the period but at any given time increases in air temperature preceded higher concentrations of CO2,” says academician Kapitsa, who worked in Antarctica for many years. Russian studies showed that throughout history, CO2 levels in the air rose 500 to 600 years after the climate warmed up.

Therefore, higher concentrations of greenhouse gases registered today are the result, not the cause, of global warming.

Critics of the CO2 role in climate change point out that water vapours are a far more potent factor in creating the greenhouse effect as their concentration in the atmosphere is five to 10 times higher than that of CO2. “Even if all CO2 were removed from the earth atmosphere, global climate would not become any cooler,” says solar physicist Vladimir Bashkirtsev.

The hypothesis of anthropogenic greenhouse gases was born out of computer modelling of climate changes. Russian scientists say climate models are inaccurate since scientific understanding of many natural climate factors is still poor and cannot be properly modelled.

Oleg Sorokhtin of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Ocean Studies, and many other Russian scientists maintain that global climate depends predominantly on natural factors, such as solar activity, precession (wobbling) of the Earth’s axis, changes in ocean currents, fluctuations in saltiness of ocean surface water, and some other factors, whereas industrial emissions do not play any significant role.