Posts Tagged ‘Frank Sherwood Rowland’

Qing-Bin Lu, Associate Professor Physics and Astronomy Department, University of Waterloo, Ontario

At Qing Bin Lu’s own webpage he offers this quote

“The younger participants in this Discussion should take note how vigorously science rejects novelty. This rejection mechanism is as necessary as the one that operates in living organisms; it prevents the birth of monsters. However, it has the additional effect of making us inherently conservative.” John C. Polanyi, Faraday Discuss., 1997, 108, page 467

Q B Lu is a man who offers a unique theory on global warming- it is manmade, it has been warming, it is not CO2 [that reached saturation some time ago, but it will start cooling because it is both solar activity and CFCs.

Dr. Lu’s newest paper “Cosmic-Ray-Driven Reaction and Greenhouse Effect of Halogenated Molecules: Culprits for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change” was published in International Journal of Modern Physics B Vol. 27 (2013) 1350073 (38 pages), available online at: ; an earlier version was published at .

So is Q B Lu a victim of an inherent conservative scientific community or simply suffering a Galileo Complex?

Qing-Bin Lu Revives Debunked Claims About Cosmic Rays and CFCs

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.

For a detailed response to the criticism of the paper by QB Lu can be found here.

Peer reviewed paper dismissing the findings of QB Lu from his original version in 2011 [PDF]

Skeptical Science criticism  ending with the paragraph-

Frankly, the paper is a non-story.  It may seem like news due to the grandiose claims of overturning the vast body of scientific evidence supporting CO2-caused global warming, but it is very rare for a single paper to accomplish this type of feat.  More often the single paper claiming to overturn the body of established scientific research is wrong.  That is clearly the case for Lu (2013), which is based on assuming rather than proving the hypothesis, unphysical curve fitting, and misrepresenting the cited research.

Moreover, this study isn’t new.  It’s actually the third Lu has published about his CFC warming hypothesis.  The first two were addressed by RealClimate, two peer-reviewed published responses, Skeptical Science, and others.  Andrew Gilkson at The ConversationClimate Science Watch and Rabbett Run (here and here) are also good resources for debunking Lu’s latest effort.


Where did Q B Lu get his inspiration? CFCs and their replacements after the Montreal Protocol are GHGs and there was a sceptic theme some years ago that suggested the ozone hole was allowing more solar energy to enter the atmosphere. For a guide the Real Climate website did an article back in 2005  .  Curiously the concern about CFCs and the Ozone Hole and AGW ended up entwined in public opinion.

Smear tactics [from the BBC 2005]

All the delaying tactics, denials and obfuscations bring to mind what happened in 1974 to two American scientists, Professor Sherwood Rowland and Dr Mario Molina. They coolly set out the evidence that the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigeration, aerosols and air conditioning were eating at the ozone layer which protects mankind and plants from dangerous ultraviolet radiation

They were at once smeared as scaremongers. The manufacturers ran an all too successful campaign to fog the issue. A lazy media bought into it. The public got bored and bamboozled. And as they did so, millions more tons of the pollutant were added to the atmosphere.

Thirteen years later when the world finally woke up to an ozone hole bigger than anyone had predicted, there was a swift international agreement – led by the US – to find alternatives to the CFCs. In the meantime, great damage had been done.

Frank Sherwood Rowland best-known work was the discovery that chlorofluorocarbons contribute to ozone depletion. Rowland theorized that man made organic compound gases combine with solar radiation and decompose in the stratosphere, releasing atoms of chlorine and chlorine monoxide that are individually able to destroy large numbers of ozone molecules. It was obvious that Frank had a good idea of what was occurring at higher altitudes when he stated “…I knew that such a molecule could not remain inert in the atmosphere forever, if only because solar photochemistry at high altitudes would break it down.”[4] Rowland’s research, first published in Nature magazine in 1974, initiated a scientific investigation of the problem. The National Academy of Sciences concurred with the findings in 1976 and in 1978 CFC-based aerosols were banned in the United States.

The Denial Industry [Real Climate]

In the public debate, many of the climate contrarians (such as Fred Singer) got their start denying that CFCs were affecting ozone, using many of the same arguments they now use about climate change (CFCs are heavier than air! it’s all the sun! the science is uncertain! the scientists are KGB agents! any controls will cause untold misery in the developing world!), and for much the same reasons. But through this all, Sherry Rowland strode tall (literally – he was 6 ft 5 in), and played a large role in debunking some of the wild claims (such as the idea that it was all volcanoes).

S. Fred Singer still at the forefront of denying the dangers of CFCs in 2010 with a Heartland Institute policy document.

Yet in spite of the hardships caused by the hasty phaseout of CFCs and other suspected ozone-depleting halocarbons, the EPA has never questioned the adequacy of the science that forms the basis for its phaseout policy. The facts are that the scientific underpinnings are quite shaky: the data are suspect; the statistical analyses are faulty; and the theory has not been validated (3,4). The science simply does not support this premature and abrupt removal of widely used chemicals — at great cost to the economy.