November 30, 2004

A long-term perspective

Filed under: Arctic, Climate History

The newly released Arctic Climate Impact Assessment’s alarmist claims of the unusual nature of the current state of the Arctic climate are inconsistent with long-term geological records of climate change in the region.

The newly released Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) offers alarmist and highly questionable conclusions about the nature of Arctic climate and its variability. Consider the following statement, included in the Overview:

[The ACIA] is the largest, most comprehensive assessment of climate change in Arctic. The Arctic is experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on earth. At least half the summer sea ice in the Arctic is projected to melt by the end of this century [as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2], along with a significant portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet, as the region is projected to warm an additional 4-7ºC (7 to 13ºF) by 2100.

We find serious problems with all three of these major sentiments.

November 17, 2004

(Polar) Bear Facts

According to the Washington Post, a “Study Says Polar Bears Could Face Extinction.” But our scientific roundup of two years ago runs counter to that notion, and still pertains today. For those of you who missed it, and that apparently includes Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin, we offer it again.

Could polar bears face extinction? A November 9 Washington Post would have us believe that. Apparently Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin was unfamiliar with a review of the science on polar bears and climate change that we first published in 2002; that report can be found here. But first, consider the study on which Eilperin based her article.

November 15, 2004

Predictable Distortion

Filed under: Arctic, Climate History

The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group releases a hyperbolic report predicting dire consequences for the Great White North. But when it comes to accuracy, they’re skating on thin ice.

Fast on the heels of our last World Climate Report on the omission of key facts in a story on the decline of Antarctic Krill comes another high-latitude horror. It’s called “Impacts of a Warming Arctic,” a report from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) group. And it is a quintessential example of what World Climate Report Editor Patrick Michaels writes about in his new book, Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media.

November 11, 2004

Krill the Messenger

The Los Angeles Times reports that a decline in krill stock in the oceans around Antarctica could spell doom for the region’s whales, seals, and penguins. Global warming is their suspect, but a close look at the evidence is enough to acquit.

November 8, 2004

One plus one equals three

Filed under: Climate Politics

WCR Chief Editor Patrick J. Michaels, Ph.D., explains how and why pollsters and climate modelers cook the books.

I’m a news junkie. I’ve bookmarked Drudge. And when he put up the results of the morning exit polls, showing Kerry way ahead in every battleground except Iowa, I decided not to bother voting. Fortunately, I changed my mind. But how many others did not?

What does this have to do with my usual beat, global environmental issues? Plenty.

It shows how authority and science can be misused to provoke a political response.

November 1, 2004

Storm Scan

The specter of global climate change has people believing that the weather’s getting worse. But it isn’t (at least in Scandinavia).

With winter on the horizon, what better time than now to examine changes in storminess that might result in our future global greenhouse? Winter storms not only give the media a cheap thrill, but they also have real economic and social impacts.

But will future cyclones become more or less frequent and intense as greenhouse gases increase? That turns out to be a fairly tricky scientific question. Winter storms derive their energy from the jet stream. The projected pattern of temperature change (with the poles warming much more than the tropics) should produce a weaker winter jet. So we might expect weaker storms to be a harbinger of climate change. But research published in 2003 by Oliver Frauenfeld and Robert Davis showed a consistent upper-air response to warming that enhanced the upper-air circulation in some regions. Also, a moister atmosphere tends to have more rising air, which alone could produce more or stronger storms. What is clear is that the answer to the question is not at all clear.

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