By Larry Bell
If you thought Chicken Little was a little chicken, perhaps he was just a little ahead of his time. As trumpeted in The Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) released by the White House earlier this month, “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.”
Even if you somehow imagined that dramatic climate changes haven’t been going on throughout our planet’s history, have no doubt that this ain’t just any old ordinary climate change conditions they’re talking about. Nope, you can be certain that it’s about global warming influences that our fossil-fueled smokestacks and SUVs are causing. And you can also bet your bippy that they’re all considered to be bad.
As Dr. Judith Curry, chairwoman of the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences observes: ”The report effectively implies that there is no climate change other than what is caused by humans, and that extreme weather events are equivalent to climate change.” She continues, “Worse yet, is the spin being put on this by the Obama administration.”
Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville takes this “spin” criticism a bit farther. He states that part of the report “is just simply made up. There is no fingerprint of human-caused versus naturally caused climate change.”
Meteorologist and Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman doesn’t have a very high opinion of the NCA either. He refers to the report as a “litany of doom”, calling it a “total distortion of the data and an agenda-driven, destructive episode of bad science gone berserk.”
The 829-page report’s oft-quoted banner headline is that “extreme weather events with links to climate change have become more frequent and/or intense.” The summary overview asserts that evidence confirming that this trend which is already “disrupting people’s lives” tells an “unambiguous story.”
Well, at least that’s the big message until you get to the fine print in the body of the report which acknowledges that, oops, maybe that evidence is a lot more ambiguous than they wish to have us believe. Here they admit “trends in severe storms, including the intensity and frequency of tornados, hail, and damaging thunderstorm winds, are uncertain and are being studied intensively.”
The report also observes: “There has been no universal trend in the overall extent of drought across the continental U.S. since 1900.”
In fact, many of those claims are more than uncertain. They are most certainly wrong.
Take hurricanes for example, where a century-long trend is actually down. In 2013 the National Hurricane Center stated: “There were no major hurricanes in the North Atlantic Basin for the first time since 1994. And the number of hurricanes this year was the lowest since 1982.” The U.S. is experiencing the longest period without major Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane landfall strikes since the Civil War era. The global frequency of tropical hurricanes is now also at a historical low.
As for tornadoes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that Dorothy is safer than ever back in Kansas. They tell us: “There has been little trend the frequency of the stronger tornadoes over the past 55 years.” NOAA’s U.S. Climate Extremes Index of unusually hot or cold temperatures finds nothing to be alarmed about either. Five years during the past 10 have recorded temperatures below the historical mean, and five have been recorded above.
But what about that catastrophic CO2-induced global warming all those really “sophisticated climate models” have warned us about? Well, apparently it has taken a cool shady siesta. Even NOAA admits that there has been a “lack of significant warming at the Earth’s surface in the past decade” and a pause “in global warming since 2000.”
Last year they stated: “Since the turn of the century, however, the change in Earth’s global mean surface temperature has been close to zero.”
And those “abnormal” extreme drought and moisture conditions we have been witnessing? Well again, maybe not so much after all. Floods have been occurring since the writing of the Old Testament, and California is no stranger to droughts.
While parts of the country have indeed experienced higher than average drought/moisture conditions over the past 10 years, four of those years have been below average and six have been above. Conditions during the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s when atmospheric CO2 levels were higher were more extreme. And by the way, U.S. floods haven’t increased in frequency or intensity since at least 1950.
Wouldn’t you think that instead of urging us to build arks in our back yards, the Obama administration would wish to take some credit for all this good news? Perhaps remember that this is the president who promised on the night he won the Democratic nomination that it was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
You gotta hand it to him for modesty.
Larry Bell is a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture. He is author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax,” and his professional aerospace work has been featured on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel-Canada.
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