New Climate Change Report: More Scary Scenarios from Climate Extremists
Just before the House of Representatives voted on a massive climate bill, the government released a report on climate change. It reiterated the Oscar-winning theme from An Inconvenient Truth – impacts from human-induced climate change are already occurring and that they are going to get worse. Much worse.
But the report is so extreme that it would make Al Gore blush. The authors appear to have learned much from the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate – be extreme and loose with the facts. Oh, and that timing is everything, especially when it comes to congressional legislation.
The report is so extreme that I’m not sure where to start. Fortunately, Bradford Plumer, writing in the New Republic, has highlighted what he sees as its scariest scenarios. I’ll start there.
Plumer first notes that the report claims the mainland United States is likely to warm from 7°F to 11.5°F by 2090 – 1°F per decade. The report states temperature rose more than 2°F over the last 50 years but fails to mention that it fell more than 2°F in the 25 years before that. So from 1934 to 2008 (75 years), the net effect has been no change in air temperature over the United States! Thus, the rise in CO2 over the past 75 years – a period accounting for most of the industrial emissions – has had no effect whatsoever on air temperature. The extreme figures cited by the report come from climate models, which always have strongly linked air temperature to rising CO2 and provide the basis for the ‘scary’ scenarios that Steve Schneider of Stanford University has argued scientists are pressured to offer up to get the public’s attention…and provide them with financial support.
Plumer’s eyebrows are raised again by a slide showing that by 2080, Washington DC will experience 90 to 100 days each year – more than three full months – with air temperatures above 90°F. And places in the Deep South will experience more than half the year with temperatures above 90°F! But these are the same models that for years have been criticized for producing physically impossible high maximum air temperatures. Why? Because they fail to take into account the fact that Washington DC, for example, is surrounded by water. In swampy environments, about nine times more energy is used to evaporate water than to raise air temperature. The only way these ridiculous scenarios are likely to play out is if the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and all their tributaries dry up. Not very likely!
The map shown by Plumer from the report is very telling. It compares the number of days per year in 1961-1979 for which the air temperature exceeded 90°F with model prognostications for 2080-2099 from the worst case model scenario. Hmmm…why 1961-1979? The National Climatic Data Center – of which the lead author of the report, Thomas R. Karl, is the director – uses 1971-2000 for its climate ‘normal’ period. Why shorten the time period to 19 years and select earlier dates for the report? Could it be that the comparison is made much more striking given that 1961-1979 were the coolest 19 years of the last three-quarters of a century, when the media were all aghast with scares of global cooling?
Karl also told reporters that Chicago will see heat-wave deaths rising by a factor of ten by 2100. But don’t confuse him with the facts as many scientific articles have shown that cities which were adversely affected by heat wave mortality in the 1960s and 1970s have become less sensitive to extreme conditions because of improved medical care, increased access to air conditioning, and biophysical and infrastructural adaptations. Chalk one up for technology!
No respectable alarmist publication would be complete, however, without the requisite scare of sea-level rise. Historically, sea level has risen only about 7 inches over the past century and that rise has remained surprisingly constant. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, indicated that sea level rise by 2100 would be between 6 inches and, in their worst case scenario, 17 inches. But in keeping with the alarmist fantasy of this report, Plumer notes that sea levels are to rise 3 to 4 feet by century’s end. That’s an overstatement of the IPCC’s worst case scenario by at least a factor of two! How can this report ignore the ‘scientific consensus’ that is the IPCC? When you need to offer up scary scenarios, it seems acceptable to deviate from the IPCC ‘party line’, although I doubt anyone will criticize the authors of this report for it.
The full report offers up such a scary, extreme view of climate change that it could qualify for one of Al’s movies – The Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock, that is. But unlike this report and An Inconvenient Truth, at least Hitchcock’s movies were entertaining…and believable!