Zbigniew Jaworowski M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc
I was saddened to learn that Dr. Jaworowski has passed away. He had a distinguished career as a first class scientist. He was Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw and former Chair of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (1981–82) he was lead investigator on four research projects of the International Atomic Energy Agency and three projects of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He held posts with the National Institute for Polar Research in Tokyo, the Norwegian Polar Research Institute, the Centre d’Etude Nucleaires, Paris, and the Biophysical Group of the Institute of Physics, University of Oslo.
I became aware of his work as early as 1992 as he published, wrote, and spoke about the problems with the ice core records and determination of CO2 levels. He was one of few who dared to challenge head on a critical piece of the global warming propaganda, the Antarctic Ice Core record. An early appearance was in 1987 with a 160,000 Vostok record by Baronial et al., which was followed by Jouzel et. al., in 1990. It was seized on as evidence of CO2 driving temperature increase. This occurred despite warnings about rushing to judgment. These warnings were confirmed in 2003 when the real, inverse relationship was disclosed.
Jaworowski was skeptical about the ice core record from the start. Here is what he wrote in 2007.
The basic assumption behind the CO2 glaciology is a tacit view that air inclusions in ice are a closed system, which permanently preserves the original chemical and isotopic composition of gas, and thus that the inclusions are a suitable matrix for reliable reconstruction of the pre-industrial and ancient atmosphere. This assumption is in conflict with ample evidence from numerous earlier CO2 studies, indicating the opposite (see review in Jaworowski et al. 1992b).
Proxy determinations of the atmospheric CO2 level by analysis of ice cores, reported since 1985, have been generally lower than the levels measured recently in the atmosphere. But, before 1985, the ice cores were showing values much higher than the current atmospheric concentrations (Jaworowski et al. 1992b). These recent proxy ice core values remained low during the entire past 650,000 years (Siegenthaler et al. 2005)—even during the six former inter-glacial warm periods, when the global temperature was as much as 5°C warmer than in our current interglacial! This means that either atmospheric CO2 levels have no discernible influence on climate (which is true), or that the proxy ice core reconstructions of the chemical composition of the ancient atmosphere are false (which is also true, as shown below).
He was especially critical of what was going on within the ice and the bubble over time claiming the CO2 record is not a measure of the annual atmospheric CO2 level, but reflects structural changes within the ice as it becomes part of lower layers and then is further compromised during extraction with the coring process.
There is a war going over climate science and as Aeschylus said truth is the first casualty. Propaganda is an effective and devastating vehicle of war so a measure of the effectiveness of a person and their science is the level of propaganda their work engenders. Few were attacked as much as Zbigniew. One reason for nasty personal attacks is when someone is qualified. Here are his remarks to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology in 2004.
“For the past 40 years I was involved in glacier studies, using snow and ice as a matrix for reconstruction of history of man-made pollution of the global atmosphere. A part of these studies was related to the climatic issues. Ice core records of CO2 have been widely used as a proof that, due to man’s activity the current atmospheric level of CO2 is about 25% higher than in the pre-industrial period. These records became the basic input parameters in the models of the global carbon cycle and a cornerstone of the man-made climatic warming hypothesis. These records do not represent the atmospheric reality, as I will try to demonstrate in my statement.”
I had another connection with Zbigniew through the work of Ernst Georg Beck, another person whose contributions are measured by the nastiness of attacks on him and his work. Zbigniew recognized the valuable work Beck produced with atmospheric CO2 levels an incorporated it into his work. He also understood the corruption of the records Beck exposed. These were used to ‘prove’ a pre-industrial level of 270 ppm necessary to support the claim that it was human industrial activity that was responsible for the increase.
It is time for people to become familiar with or revisit Zbigniew’s work.Three important papers, available at Warwick Hughes’ web site, provide a good over view here, here and here. In this day of corruption of climate science on a global scale we must be grateful for people like Zbigniew. He was a true scientist because he questioned everything. He was a great citizen because he wasn’t afraid to stand up. I know what he did was a great inspiration for me.