WORDS on WEATHER& CLIMATE

A Summary

by CRAIG JAMES

Meteorologist Craig James, new Squire columnist

Over the past couple of months I have written several articles on why I am skeptical over the claim that increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere will bring about catastrophic global warming. Al Gore and others have stated that human-induced global warming “is the most dangerous challenge mankind has ever faced.” Hogwash! That is nothing but a political statement.

The correct view of the issue has been summed up nicely by Dr. Richard Lindzen from M.I.T. in his testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology in November of last year when he stated, “It is not about whether CO2 is increasing; it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming; it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes.”

I’ve written about how as CO2 increases in the atmosphere it has a smaller and smaller effect on the temperature—a fact indeed acknowledged even by the alarmists. The catastrophic claims arise from computer models. It has been shown by many in the science community that the models have made false assumptions about what would happen in a warmer world, which leads to forecasts of way too much warming. When we have been able to test those models, we find that the real world temperatures (even if we accept the faulty surface temperature record) are below all of the computer forecasts. The models are wrong. How many more years will be needed of cooler temperatures than forecast before the alarmists acknowledge this fact?

Every instance of severe weather seems to send alarmists running to the national media to claim, “It’s even worse than we thought,” or as Time Magazine has headlined, “This is the new normal.” The alarmists seem to have no interest in actually going back through the weather records to find out whether these events have ever happened in the past. They have, and CO2 levels were lower at the time.

Several university studies as well as NOAA’s climate science investigators have found no link between any of the recent severe weather events, from the heat wave in Russia to the floods in Pakistan and Australia to the tornadoes in the southern U.S. this spring season, to increasing CO2 levels.

NOAA’s Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project forced the participants to acknowledge they “were surprised” to discover that “researchers have yet to find evidence of more-extreme weather patterns over the period, contrary to what the models predict. There’s no data-driven answer yet to the question of how human activity has affected extreme weather.”

The United States Global Change Research Program, which has spent billions of dollars in climate research and education, recently released a publication with the following information:

• Over the long term, U.S. hurricane landfalls have been declining.

• Nationwide, there have been no long-term increases in drought.

• Despite increases in some measures of precipitation, there have not been corresponding increases in peak stream flows.

• There have been no observed changes in the occurrence of tornadoes or thunderstorms.

• There have been no long-term increases in strong East Coast storms called Nor’easters.

• There are no long-term trends in either heat waves or cold spells.

What the data actually says is in most cases different than what people feel to be true.

Dr. Lindzen closed his testimony with the following comment: “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.”

I’ll leave you to contemplate those words over the next several weeks as I take some time off to enjoy Michigan and Alaska and anything else I can find to do in our short summer.

Craig James has been retired since July 1, 2008, after 40 years of broadcasting television weather. He was chief meteorologist at WZZM-TV for 12 years and chief meteorologist at WOOD-TV for 24 years. He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he received a Centennial Fellowship Award. He was also honored as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

 

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