A (new) paper by Qing-Bin Lu in the International Journal of Modern Physics B is gaining attention for asserting that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), not CO2, is causing global warming. This sensationalist headline is typically repeated with little mention that Lu’s claims are not new, and they have not held up to scientific scrutiny in the past.
The following is a guest post by Climate Nexus. Text in PDF format here.
A new paper by Qing-Bin Lu in the International Journal of Modern Physics B is gaining coverage for its claim that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), not CO2, is causing global warming. This sensationalist headline is often repeated with little mention that Lu’s claims are not new, and have not held up to scientific scrutiny in the past. In fact, Lu has been promoting his theories about CFCs for years, and mainstream scientists have found no merit in them. Critics have said Lu makes a fundamental scientific error by confusing correlation with causation, and does not effectively challenge the physical evidence of the warming effects of CO2, a body of knowledge built up over 150 years.
This is not a new hypothesis and one that has been examined a lot over the last decade or so. It has not been found to be credible.
In addition, the journal it was published in has a reputation for being sloppy with peer review. This does not mean it is wrong; just reasons to be careful.
One problem with this hypothesis lies in a basic difficulty with many so-called ideas – correlation does not mean causation. There apparently is no physical process to support what he proposes.
Meanwhile there is well over 100 years of data about carbon dioxide that does support causation. So this hypothesis needs to do more than just come up with another mechanism. It also has to explain why higher carbon dioxide does not have the effect that physics suggests it does.
In science, you have to explain all the data, not just the the data you want to.