Science Says
One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

What a leaked report on climate science tells us about the link between extreme weather and climate change.

Published on: August 10, 2017
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  • Arkeygeezer

    Carbon Dioxide is a trace gas that is 0.004% of the atmosphere. It is also a natural gas generated by osmosis of plants in nature. Methane is similarly a gas generated by decaying vegetation in nature. How can trace gasses that small a per centavo cause climate change?

    The last great effort to protect the Planet was the abolition of Freon from air conditioning and refrigeration devices to “close up a hole in the Ozone lair. Guess what; we eliminated the gas, made the refrigeration industry a lot of money, and the hole in the Ozone lair is as big today as it ever was.

    • Boritz

      The HVAC industry now has a refrigerant de jour that they change often enough to make your current system obsolete the next time it requires major service. You must either pay outrageous sums for the obsoleted refrigerant or pay for a new system which is never backward compatible with the refrigerant they, with the help of legislation, are phasing out.

    • Gary Hemminger

      Very, very good points Arykeygeezer. I am tired of being told over and over again of all the impending disasters CO2 is going to cause…none of which ever comes about. This is the biggest bunch of malarky I have ever heard in my life. Mankind can control the weather with CO2. What a total joke.

      Martian atmosphere 95.32% CO2 and average temperature -85 degree F
      Venus atmosphere 96% CO2 and average temperature 864 degrees F

      If CO2 solely causes warmth, why is Mars so cold?

      • Tom

        Because it’s so much further away from the sun and has a thinner atmosphere than Earth or Venus?

      • Arkeygeezer

        The crux of the argument is whether or not man’s contribution to carbon dioxide and methane levels in the atmosphere is the cause of global warming? Will a small diminution of man’s contribution of carbon dioxide and methane levels at great cost to civilization, reduce global warming?

        Until someone can definitively prove otherwise, the answer is NO!

    • JamesDrouin

      “Carbon Dioxide is a trace gas that is 0.004% of the atmosphere.”

      Actually, it’s 0.04% and CFCs that were banned (freon was the generic name) … but you are otherwise correct; the ‘science’ for global warming and the great ozone hole, in both cases, was and is non-existent, whereas the dis-probative evidence is both overwhelming and incontrovertible.

  • Gary Hemminger

    This was not a leaked article. Even the writers of the article agree that it was already public info. But the writer of this TAI piece is correct. All of these disaster scenarios the warmist tell us about never actual occur. At some point someone will start realizing this. Also if the Earth is warming so much why does the following hold:

    Highest temperature ever recorded on Earth 56.7°C (134°F), which was measured on 10 July 1913 at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley
    Highest temperature ever recorded in Europe 118.4°F (48.0°C) was reached on July 10, 1977, in Athens
    Highest temperature ever recorded in Asia was 129 degrees in Tirat Tzvi in Israel on June 21, 1942
    Highest temperature ever recorded in Oceania was 123 degrees on Oodnadatta in Australia on Jan 2, 1960
    Highest temperature ever recorded in South America was 120 degrees at Rivadavia Argentina on Dec. 11, 1905
    Highest temperature ever recorded in Africa was 131 degrees at Tibili in Tunisia on July 7, 1931

    See a pattern here. All of these records date back decades or even a century before now. How come if the Earth is warming so much the last record on any continent was in 1977 in Greece? These are all official hot weather records. You can look them up. something is very fishy when you are being constantly told that the Earth is warmer every year and yet no continental hot weather records are being recorded for the last 40 years. You don’t have to be a statistician to know that something is amiss.

  • marcossantiago

    Jamie Horgan,

    Your depth of understanding of the science and politics of climate change is woefully shallow. You really should spend some time trying to understand the subject you are pontificating about. What is your background? What have you done to vet the material you are obviously regurgitating here.

    This sort of tripe makes me wonder how much of The American Interest content is meaningful.

    • rpabate

      Just unbelievable. TAI writers just do not know how unbelievably stupid they appear on this subject. I recommend a few books to the folks at TAI: “The Age of Global Warming: A History” by Rupert Darwall; “Climate Change, The Facts”, Institute of Public Affairs, Melbourne, Australia; “Hubris, The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change”, Michael Hart; “Truth Wars: Part I Politics, Truth and Climate Change”, Peter Hart; and “Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed”, Christopher C. Horner.

      If these folks at TAI continue to think that we know empirically that CO2 is what has caused the warming we have had since the end of the Little Ice Age, and the 0.8 degrees C warming since 1880, then we have justification accusing them of willful ignorance and being part of the “Alarmist” community.

      In addition, there is every reason to think that what warming we have had and what increases in CO2 we have experienced have been net beneficial! Growing seasons are longer, and extend further north, opening up land that was once unsuitable for farming; winters and nights are milder (more people die from cold than heat); and the increased CO2 has made the significantly earth greener, increased crop yields about 15% and made plants more drought resistant. These are facts you will not learn from the MSM, academics, the pre-Trump EPA or any in the “Alarmist” community.

      • marcossantiago

        Excellent reading list. Michael Hart’s “Hubris” pulls it all together nicely. If Horgan just read the introductory part he would be way ahead of where he is now.

        This article is shamefully naive. Especially for TAI.

      • StudentZ

        There is nothing wrong with objecting to the article in a reasoned way, but why must you and marcossantiago resort to hyperbole by labeling it “woefully shallow,” “willful ignorance,” “shamefully naïve,” and “tripe”? Hogan’s criticisms of “greens like Gore” were largely ignored, and his summary of popularly accepted views within the scientific community is not radical (even if you disagree). At least you provide some examples of perspectives you do not consider “unbelievably stupid.” Still, it would be nice if those examples included a wider range of views and credentials, not just the writings from conservative pundits who have decided climate science criticism was their calling (with apparent benefits via the organizations they represent). If background is an issue here, it is worth noting that (at a cursory glance, at least) the four authors you named do not seem to have degrees in the hard sciences or anything approaching climate studies. They may have some authority when it comes to discussing politics, history, economics, or philosophy, but what is their expertise on global warming? I am assuming they are not responsible for your statements regarding the net benefits of increased CO2, but I would be interested in your sources. I am inclined to agree with you that such a counterargument to the so-called “alarmists” is not generally supported by academics.

      • Curious Mayhem

        The warming since the end of the Little Age Ice (c. 1850 AD) has just brought us back full circle to the climate at the start of the Medieval Warm Period c. 800 AD. The idea that the recent trend is due to human CO2 emissions is asinine.

        (McKitrick is a resource economist and statistician who has worked with physical scientists on the “hockey stick” and related matters. Done correctly, without the deliberate mistakes introduced by the “hockey stick,” you get a current climate that is … totally “normal” for the post-Ice Age interglacial.)

  • Kenneth Currie

    “We’re well past the point of equivocating about whether this is actually occurring, or whether humans are responsible for it—the experts we trust to delve into this problem have answered those questions definitively.”

    Seriously, Jamie? I’d suggest a bit more research on your part.

    • Arkeygeezer

      Also give us the definitive answers that the”experts we trust to delve into this problem have given. So far, I have seen none.

  • There is such a microscopically small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (approximately 400 parts per million or a fraction of 0.0004 of the atmosphere by volume), that even Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) enthusiasts recognize a feedback mechanism is necessary to amplify the effects of CO2. What AGW promoting scientists have theorized is that small increases of CO2 temperature causes increased heating of the oceans to evaporate additional water, which is a much, much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. However the specific thermal capacity of water is higher than that of CO2, and the mass of the oceans’ water is so much greater, the atmospheric CO2 will cool to ocean temperature with essentially no increase in water temperatures. This means no significant increase in ocean water evaporation and no feedback mechanism. This very simple thermodynamic argument is explored in the post Thermodynamic Effects of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Revisited. In addition, it turns out atmospheric CO2 levels are remarkably low for the well-being of the planet’s vegetation. I took a look at this subject in the post CO2 Levels In Air Dangerously Low for Life on Earth.

    There is no doubt there has been global warming ever since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850. However, the explanation is not atmospheric CO2! For a range of opinions on what the cause(s) might be, see the post What Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming

  • Tom Scharf

    Consider the opposite:

    “The last 11 years produced the most US hurricane landfalls on the historical record”

    Climate science would be near certain this was due to climate change. When the opposite happens they conclude nothing, it must be unrelated to climate change or we are just lucky. Here’s a phrase to investigate: Motivated reasoning.

    Why on earth do they believe climate change will make everything worse? If this is true, would it also not follow that global cooling would have made everything better? Call me cynical but global cooling would have been just as certain to cause catastrophe if that was the case.

  • Fat_Man

    “it’s important to remember that weather is not climate. Climate occurs over years, decades, and centuries, while weather can seldom be accurately predicted even a week out.”

    And how does that give us comfort that the same computers that cannot predict weather a couple of weeks out can tell us what the climate will be like in 80 years? Climate is an abstraction, an averaging of weather over a long time. Like any average it may be informative, or it may not. A man once drowned in a lake with an average depth of 1 foot.

    “Gases like methane and carbon dioxide work to trap more of the sun’s radiation in our atmosphere, much like the glass of a greenhouse, and increases of their concentrations lead to rising surface temperatures.”

    Wrong. A glass green house will warm an atmosphere of Argon that is monatomic and has a very low heat holding capacity. The “greenhouse gases” hold energy themselves, and cool off by re-radiation more slowly than other gases. The dominant such gas in earths atmosphere is H20. CO2 is a trace gas, that is much less important.

    “That causal chain is “settled,” as much as science can ever be.”

    As your premise is just plain wrong, your conclusion is garbage too.

    “Climate change is real and it’s happening in large part because of humanity’s industrialization”

    Again, wrong. The climate is changing. It is always changing. The really dramatic changes are the swings between glaciation and inter-glacial periods. They occurred for millions of years before our primate ancestors came down out of the trees. Most scientists attribute them to variations in the earths orbit around the sun. Beyond that, there are numerous cycles that affect climate such as the PDO and NAO in earth’s oceans. And solar cylcles such as the 2400 year Bray Cycle and the 208-year de Vries cycle also affect climate.

    “There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate,”

    Double Rubbish. There are lots of alternative explanations. It is just that the “Official Climate Scientists” have decreed that the only variable they will study is the CO2 content of the atmosphere. In a stunning display of circular reasoning, almost all of their work is based on running computer models of the climate in which CO2 content is the forcing variable. Models that they concede are based on equations that are “chaotic”. Recall that is was a meteorologist who first discovered the so called “Butterfly Effect”. The only description that does this display of ill-logic and self-deception any justice is nonsense on stilts.

    Allow me to go on. The evidence of warming is an instrumental record that is at best sooty and inaccurate. The claim of warming since the 19th century is at most 1°C. But, less than 8% of modern US weather stations are that accurate.
    The evidence of warming is in fact slender, and more suggestive than conclusive.

    “the more we study it, the more bad news we seem to uncover.”

    In the immortal words of Tonto: “What you mean we, white man”. The computer models are run day and night to create more and more frightening scenarios. But, the world is getting greener, weather is moderate, and prosperity is diffusing across the continents. A warmer world is a happier healthier world. The real way to keep natural “disasters from impinging on our lives is to become wealthier and to erect more solid buildings and public works. Storms and earthquakes that kill hundreds of thousands in the poorest countries, have an impact that is two or three orders of magnitude lower in wealthy countries. The real way to prevent natural disasters is to create prosperity.

    “We’re well past the point of equivocating about whether this is actually occurring, or whether humans are responsible for it”

    Equivocating? I am not being equivocal. If the world is getting warmer, it is a blessing. Further, the warmists have been trying and failing to make their case for a generation now. They have not been able to reject the null hypothesis. It is past time for us to defund them and get on with our lives.

  • Simpatica

    What is nonsense is the current response to the problem. The Gore’s of the world have us building windmills that are better at killing birds tan producing electricity. IF we are serious THEN the 10 year plan IS
    1) all electricity is produced by nuclear power
    2) Cars run on natural gas or electricity
    3) 100 billion dollars committed to nuclear fusion research by the US.
    4) we subsidize nuclear power for poor countries and operate the reactors for them.

    If we do not do the above THEN WE ARE NOT SERIOUS, including the windfall gold mine, of windmills and solar panels which are cute but hopelessly inadequate for anything but making money for Gore and his ilk.

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