Im Melting! Im
In another in the continuing series of Administration gaffes,
Vice President Gore recently claimed the glaciers of Glacier National Park are melting
because of human-induced climate change. And
in an appeal to the heart, he made sure there were lots of pretty pictures of the Park to
Here we present the summer
temperature history for the western climate district of Montana, which includes Glacier
Park. The data are from the National Climatic Data Center and, like most products from
that fine laboratory, the numbers have been carefully checked for quality and accuracy.
Figure 1. Summer mean temperatures in Montana Climate
District 01, which includes Glacier National Park.
The record begins in 1895. Theres no significant warming trend over the
entire period. Temperatures in the last
thirty years sure look a lot like temperatures in the first thirty years, back in the
beginning of this century.
What about the new saw that,
well...ok you guys at World Climate Report are
right about the lack of warming, but things are getting more variable. Not
here; looks like the variation from
year-to-year, while a bit more than average in the last decade, was easily dwarfed by the
1930s, a mere 60 years ago and is about the same as it was 100 years ago.
The Administrations lack of
scientific backing for this boner is even more apparent when looking at night-versus-day
temperatures. At nearby Kalispell, the
closest station taking a long record of hourly data, there is a statistically significant
warming of the night temperatures over the course of the century, but no change in the
day. Glaciers melt during the summer days,
when temperatures go above freezing, last we heard. Summer daytime temperatures display a
significant cooling trend since 1920, or the
last 75 years. The warming being touted by Mr. Gore takes place at night, when
temperatures are near or below freezing at the altitudes of the glaciers.
But the fact is that the glaciers of
Glacier are melting, and they have been doing
this for most of the 20th century, with an occasional hiatus or two, depending upon the
glacier. The reason they are melting is because the planet was cooler in the 19th century,
which was the end of the Little Ice Age.
The big glaciers in the Park, Sperry and Grinnell, began to waste around
1850 over 100 years before man could have caused itas the earth emerged from
three centuries of chilliness, centuries characterized by a European civilization
desperately trying to keep warm as the Thames River regularly froze.
Ditto: Antarctic Sea Ice
Every reader of this Report knows that temperatures averaged over
Antarctica show no net change over the last three decades. (We decided not to print this
graphic, as that would be the third time in two years!).
Also, ice-monitoring satellites cant find any net change in sea-ice
since they started up 25 years ago.
Now, the aptly named Bill de la Mare,
a Federal Climatologist in Australia, says theres been a 25 percent
reductionthats a lotin the ice
surrounding Antarctica, based upon whaling records.
The big mammals are usually caught near the edge of the ice, and records of where
they were caught indicated that The Antarctic summer sea ice edge has moved
southward by 2.8 degrees of latitude between the mid-1950s and early 1970s.
Because no one
can find a significant net warming of Antarctica since 1965, and because theres a
bit of thermal lag in the ocean (most people like to assume about 40 years), this fingers
the well-known planetary warming of the 19th and early 20th centurieswhich human
activities had very little to do withas the cause.
(Hey, thats about the same thing thats melting Glaciers
One little problem: If you remove that much white, reflective ice, the
regional temperature should skyrocket in succeeding years by about 2°C, according to NASA
climate models. But, since the 1970s,
theres been no warming. Maybe
theres something wrong with the models...or is there something less than
straightforward about using whales as thermometers?
One other thing: Theres no acceptable whaling data between
1959 and 1972! Quoting from page 58 of de la Mares article, No records
satisfied the selection criteria from 1960 to 1971 inclusive. Thats when the big change was supposed to
Data Center Climatological Division Data, National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North
W.K. de la Mare,
(1997). Abrupt mid-twentieth-century decline in Antarctic sea-ice extent from whaling
records. Nature, 389, 5760.
Unrest in Haiti!
The story that Administration
Official says Global Warming Responsible for [droughts, floods, hurricanes,
snowstormspick em] has become as ubiquitous and periodic as Unrest
in Haiti. Just recently, the President conflated the Red River Flood with global
warming (WCR, Vol. 2, No. 17). The flood was
caused by unusually heavy snowpack. But, the warmer it is, the less it snows in North
Dakota (bet you need a PhD to figure that one!).
Last year, the State Department said
an average hurricane is an example of what you get from global warming, neglecting that
climate models show a decrease in average hurricane strength as the greenhouse effect
increases, and that this has actually been observed in the Atlantic Basin.
And in February 1996, two days after
the coldest temperatures ever measured in Minnesota, President Clinton told a group of
schoolkids thats the kind of thing you get from global warming.
like thesewhich could be easily avoided by a simple checking of the factsare
increasingly draining the credibility of global warmings most powerful proponents.