Climate Change Weekly #28
The mainstream media has been spiking the football in the proverbial end zone ever since a paper released October 21 claimed two-thirds of global temperature stations show some warming occurred during the past century. The media have been claiming the new paper delivers a death blow to skepticism, but the paper itself brings almost nothing new to the global warming debate and instead shows how far global warming advocates are from presenting credible evidence of a crisis.
University of California, Berkeley physics professor Richard Muller analyzed land-based temperature readings from temperature stations around the world and found two-thirds indicate warming temperatures and one-third indicate cooling temperatures. As a result, “Global warming is real,” summarized Muller in an editorial he wrote in the October 21 Wall Street Journal.
Muller’s paper, however, does nothing to dispel skeptical objections to the theory that humans are causing a global warming crisis.
The case for a human-induced global warming crisis requires the demonstration of several components. These include (1) that global temperatures are rising, (2) that global temperatures will likely continue to rise in the future, (3) that the rise in temperatures is or will be sufficiently rapid and substantial to cause enormous negative consequences that far outweigh the benefits of such warming, and (4) that human emissions of greenhouse gases account for all such temperature rise or enough of the temperature rise to elevate the temperature rise to crisis levels.
Muller’s paper merely addresses the first component necessary to support the theory of a human-induced global warming crisis. This first component hasn’t been in dispute, particularly with respect to land-based temperature readings, even before publication of Muller’s paper.
Muller himself admits, “How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.”
IN THIS ISSUE
No increase in flood severity … Decline in glacial runoff not as threatening as thought… Extinctions rare except in isolated island environments … No long-term warming in continuous reporting stations … Winter weather extremes not linked to global warming … Carbon capture and sequestration not worth the cost … ClimateWiki update
NO INCREASE IN FLOOD SEVERITY
There has been no increase in the magnitude of flooding events in the United States during the past century as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey report in the peer-reviewed Hydrological Sciences Journal. Flooding in the southwestern United States has become less frequent and less severe, according to the scientists.
SOURCE: Hydrological Sciences Journal
DECLINE IN GLACIER RUNOFF NOT AS THREATENING AS THOUGHT
A growing number of studies have found substantially less surface water comes from glacier melt than previously assumed, reports the current issue of Scientific American. As a result, projected declines in glacier runoff associated with global warming will have less negative impact on water resources than previously assumed. Moreover, anticipated increases in global precipitation will have a more beneficial impact than previously assumed.
SOURCE: Scientific American
EXTINCTIONS RARE EXCEPT IN ISOLATED ISLAND ENVIRONMENTS
Extinction rates for birds and mammals are much higher in isolated island environments than in continental environments, according to a study published in Diversity and Distributions. Only six continental birds and three continental mammals were recorded as going extinct since 1500 compared to 123 bird species and 58 mammal species on islands. “Island extinction rates are much higher than continental rates largely because of introductions of alien predators (including man) and diseases.” The findings debunk assertions that climate change is the primary culprit and threat to endangered species.
SOURCE: Diversity and Distributions
NO LONG-TERM WARMING IN CONTINUOUS REPORTING STATIONS
A Goddard Institute temperature dataset of more than 600 U.S. stations that have been in continuous operation throughout the twentieth century shows a virtually flat temperature trend, reports meteorologist Anthony Watts. The Goddard Institute’s claim of consistently rising temperatures relies on data from temperature stations without long-term consistency.
SOURCE: Watts Up With That?
WINTER WEATHER EXTREMES NOT LINKED TO GLOBAL WARMING
Northern Hemisphere winter circulation patterns are linked to fairly strong solar signals, a team of scientists reports in Nature Geosciences. World Climate Report summarizes the study accordingly, “In other words, what was once supposedly caused by global warming has now been linked to changes in solar output.”
CARBON CAPTURE AND SEQUESTRATION NOT WORTH THE COST
Carbon capture and sequestration is delivering negligible results and currently does not justify the expense, writes energy economist Donn Dears. After summarizing the science and economics of carbon capture and storage, Dears concludes, “All of this money is being wasted since it’s virtually impossible to capture the nearly 6,000 million tons of CO2 produced by the United States in the first place.”
SOURCE: Power for USA
The Heartland Institute has created a Web site, ClimateWiki.org, to help everyone – from high school students to scientists working in the field – quickly find the latest and most reliable information on climate science. Please send your questions, suggestions for new pages, or improvements to current ones to John Monaghan at [email protected] And if you have new research to share, ClimateWiki.org is the perfect place.
An example from ClimateWiki, Fingerprints, reads in part:
“Is there a method that can distinguish anthropogenic global warming from natural warming? The IPCC and many scientists believe the ‘fingerprint’ method is the only reliable one. It compares the observed pattern of warming with a pattern calculated from greenhouse models.
“While an agreement of such fingerprints cannot prove an anthropogenic origin for warming, it would be consistent with such a conclusion. A mismatch would argue strongly against any significant contribution from greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing and support the conclusion that the observed warming is mostly of natural origin.”
If you have questions about the ClimateWiki or about The Heartland Institute, contact Jim Lakely, director of communications, at [email protected] or call 312/377-4000.