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CFC Theory Casts Doubt On CO2 Warming

Dr David Whitehouse

Research accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, Physics Reports, casts doubt on the conventional explanation that changing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are responsible for global climate change through the Greenhouse Effect.

Qing-Bin Lu is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Waterloo who has a history of studying the chemistry of Ozone depletion in the stratosphere. His latest work – a substantial 57 page report – provides new, and to some controversial, insights into the depletion of Ozone in the stratosphere. Lu believes Cosmic Rays help CFC’s deplete atmospheric Ozone.

He puts forward the case that it is not Ultra-Violet light that depletes Ozone but CFC’s – compounds that were once widely used as refrigerants – that react with electrons in the atmosphere produced when Cosmic Rays – high-energy particles from deep space – cause ionisation. He also says he has evidence for an 11-year solar modulation in CFC levels.

Investigating the basic chemistry causing Ozone loss in 2001 he carried out extensive laboratory work bombarding CFC’s with low-energy electrons showing that they are a million times more likely to release Ozone-damaging chlorine atoms this way. In 2009 he reiterated his work. Results by Francis Pope et al from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory writing in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, provided support for his hypothesis.

Lu believes that CFC’s and Cosmic Ray induced stratospheric ozone depletion can have effects on the global climate.

Ozone loss results in less absorption of solar radiation resulting in a cooler stratosphere and warmer troposphere. In addition, CFC’s are potent greenhouse gasses that have an effect that reaches from polar regions to mid latitudes.

Lu uses the EESC or the Equivalent Effective Stratospheric Chlorine index to quantify the effects of ozone depletion. He notes that the EESC index started to be significant around 1950 and peaked around 2000. According to this latest research global temperature anomalies have an excellent correlation with the EESC index.

The graphs he produces in his latest paper are intriguing. (PLEASE CLICK IMAGES TO SEE FULL SIZE.)


According to Prof Quing-Bin Lu, “These data strongly indicate that the global temperature has been dominantly controlled by the level of CFC’s, modulated by the CFC-driven ozone depletion in the past century.”

“Most remarkably,” he says, “the total amount of CFCs, ozone-depleting molecules that are well-known greenhouse gases, has decreased around 2000.”

The peak value of EESC could be linked to the now well-established standstill in global temperature observed this century. Consequently, as the Ozone Hole recovers Lu predicts 50 years of global cooling from this effect (that presumably has to be considered alongside other natural climatic variations.)

“Correspondingly, the global surface temperature has also dropped. In striking contrast, the CO2 level has kept rising since 1850 and now is at its largest growth rate.”

Clearly this work is controversial but it should be noted that it is based on laboratory experiments and atmospheric observations and not computer models of climate. It also makes testable predictions for the future.

It also counters the assertion that no peer-reviewed research challenges the CO2 consensus on the cause of global warming.