Experts Reject Notion that Global Warming Is Causing More Floods

Published July 1, 2008

The National Wildlife Federation released today (7/1/2008) a statement claiming global warming is to blame for the current and recent flooding along the northern Mississippi River.

Climate experts contacted by The Heartland Institute refuted those unsubstantiated assertions. Their comments below may be quoted or you may contacted them directly.

“North American flooding tends to become both less frequent and less severe when the planet warms, although there have been some exceptions to this general rule. Hence, although there could also be exceptions to this rule in the case of future warming, on average we would expect that any further warming of the globe would tend to further reduce both the frequency and severity of flooding in North America — which, of course, is just the opposite of what the world’s climate alarmists continue to claim would occur.”

Craig Idso, Ph.D.
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
[email protected]

“Alarmists have adopted the can’t-lose position that all extremes of weather — cold, warm, wet, or dry — are all due to global warming. They blamed the frequent tornadoes of the late winter and spring on global warming, even though the number was not at all atypical of a La Niña year. Southern Wisconsin and much of the Midwest have had a rough winter and spring, but it has been the antithesis of global warming.

“The record snows, severe weather, and heavy rainfall have been the result of rapid cooling in the northern tier of the United States and Canada, not global warming. The flooding exceeded the floods of 1993 following the eruption of Pinatubo, which produced a similar cooling with a strong suppressed jet stream that brought a steady stream of storms and flooding.

“Rapid warming, such as took place in the 1930s and again around 1980, leads to drought and record heat. The alarmist movement is reeling after the warming stopped in 1998 and cooling began in 2002, accelerating in the last year. Their claims have now morphed from warming to focusing on the extremes typical of La Niña and the colder decades to try to keep their hoax alive.”

Joseph D’Aleo, Ph.D.
Executive Director
International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project
[email protected]

“There has been no ‘global warming’ for the last 10 years, so the floods can’t be caused by it.

“The IPCC has repeatedly said (rightly, for once) that it is not possible to attribute individual extreme-weather events such as the Mississippi flooding to ‘global warming’; and it is well known that the main reason for the flooding is the attempt to confine very long stretches of our continent’s largest river between levees rather than allowing it to spill out onto the flood-plain.

“There is no indication that flooding here or elsewhere has increased beyond natural variability. In the UK, for example, where similar noises were made during last year’s summer floods, it transpired that far worse floods were recorded as having occurred in various parts of England since the Middle Ages.”

Bob Ferguson
Science and Public Policy Institute
[email protected]

Nothing in this Media Advisory is intended to influence the passage of legislation, and it does not necessarily represent the views of The Heartland Institute. For further information, contact Dan Miller, executive vice president, The Heartland Institute, at 312/377-4000, or [email protected].