The August 22 article “Global warming causing Mediterranean Sea to rise, threatening Egypt’s lush Nile Delta” contains exaggerated statements that deserve correction.
The article asserts that global warming will “likely … devastate” Egypt’s ability to feed itself. This will occur, according to the article, due to drought and a potential 3.3 foot rise in global sea level. But that’s not what real climate scientists say.
Regarding sea level, the June 2007 issue of Global Planetary Change reports the total sea level rise from all sources – natural and anthropogenic – is currently at a pace of only 5 inches for the entire next century. This is well within historical natural parameters. Even the alarmist UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts only 5 to 17 inches of sea level rise next century.
Regarding drought, the September 18, 2002 New Scientist magazine reports that in our current CO2-rich atmosphere, “Africa’s deserts are in ‘spectacular’ retreat” making farming “viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa.”
Moreover, the January 1, 2007 issue of Geology reports that much of Africa is “experiencing an unusually prolonged period of stable, wet conditions in comparison to previous centuries of the past millennium.” Indeed, natural weather cycles will doom Africa to a return of its usual drought pattern “unless global warming is a mitigating factor.”
World food production has always fared better in times of warmth than in times of cold. There is no reason to expect that to suddenly change.
James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute.