December 21, 2004

Where’s the Party?

Filed under: Temperature History

2004 may be the fourth-warmest year on record, but we haven’t had a real first record-setter since 1998, so it’s hardly an indicator of a torrid warming clip.

Preliminary data indicate 2004 is likely to come in as the fourth-warmest year in the surface temperature record. Yet despite all the gloom-and-doom hoopla, we haven’t had an all-time record since the big El Nino year of 1998—a clear indicator that the planet, while warming, surely isn’t doing so at a torrid clip.

December 10, 2004

Open Letter To Senator McCain

Open Letter to Senator John McCain concerning the misuse of Science that occurred during the November 16th, 2004 hearing held before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

Dear Senator McCain,

During the Global Climate Change hearing that was held before your committee on Tuesday, November 16th, 2004, you wondered aloud “Who are these people?” who contend that the recently released Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) did not tell the whole truth about past, present, and potential future conditions in the world’s Arctic regions. To help answer your question, presented below is a preliminary list of scientists, who, based upon their recently published research results would have provided a more comprehensive picture of arctic climate. For the sake of Science, let’s hope that their exclusion was simply a matter of oversight or scheduling conflict.

December 8, 2004

A Natural Oscillation

Filed under: Antarctic, Climate Changes

A new paper casts doubt on recent claims that ozone depletion and global warming have combined to lower Antarctic temperatures. In fact, similar changes have taken place during the time before widespread release of greenhouse gases and ozone-destroying chemicals.

Earlier this fall Drew Shindell and Gavin Schmidt of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) published a report in Geophysical Research Letters—accompanied by NASA press releases and much fanfare—in which they claimed the observed cooling trend over the last 30 years in Antarctica was caused by a combination of global warming and the ozone hole. That cooling trend, they warned, is likely to “rapidly reverse,” resulting in enhanced warming over the South Pole during the next 50 years. Their press release promised certain disaster for the region by way of “ice sheets melting and sliding into the ocean,” leading to “greatly increasing sea levels.” This is another example of how somebody somewhere will inevitably assert that any current climate trend of any type is caused by anthropogenic global warming.

December 7, 2004

Nature lays (another) egg

Filed under: Climate History

Once again, the most influential scientific periodical mixes political bias and scientific hijinks, touting climate change hyperbole just in time for Tony Blair’s ascendancy of the G-8.

Nature magazine hasn’t ever been very shy about printing really loosey-goosey stuff just when the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) needs a boost or when our friends at the UN had some glitzy confab coming up on the next bad climate treaty.

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