February 27, 2007

Global Hurricane Intensity NOT Increasing

Filed under: Hurricanes

Global hurricane intensity not increasing…so concludes a just-published paper by University of Wisconsin atmospheric scientist Jim Kossin and colleagues. In order that we can’t be accused of misrepresenting the authors’ meaning, here is the complete conclusion section of their Geophysical Research Letters paper [we added emphasis just for fun –eds]:

The time-dependent differences between the UW/NCDC and JTWC best track records underscores the potential for data inconsistencies to introduce spurious (or spuriously large) upward trends in longer-term measures of hurricane activity. Using a homogeneous record, we were not able to corroborate the presence of upward trends in hurricane intensity over the past two decades in any basin other than the Atlantic. Since the Atlantic basin accounts for less than 15% of global hurricane activity, this result poses a challenge to hypotheses that directly relate globally increasing tropical SST to increases in long-term mean global hurricane intensity.

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Concern for Kelp Crippled

Filed under: Plants

An article has appeared in the recent issue of Global Change Biology entitled “Little evidence for climate effects on local-scale structure and dynamics of California kelp forest communities.” Is this a mistake, a joke, or some kind of hoax? Did the authors, reviewers, and editors of this outstanding journal not get the message that global warming is destroying ocean ecosystems throughout the world? Everything on land and under the sea is enormously and negatively impacted by ongoing climate change related to the buildup of greenhouse gases – right?

Think again.

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February 23, 2007

More Ripples in the Sea Level Debate

Filed under: Sea Level Rise

The debate over future sea level rise from melting ice in a changing climate has raged for years. It is widely believed that the expression of climate change is amplified across the polar regions of Earth, and there exists some supportive evidence in historical climate records. However, much of the worry about rapid polar climate change stems from model predictions of inordinate warming in the high latitudes during the 21st century. The chain of events, then, is warming, glacial melt, and sea level rise, which is a logical sequence that makes doomsday scenarios of sea level rise easy to sell. The dogged pounding of this drum by the global warming crusaders is enough to raise suspicion that they are actively purchasing all of the high-elevation real estate on the face of the Earth!

During recent decades - a period during which alarmists claim that Earth’s lower atmosphere warmed more than at any point during the past two millennia - trends in Antarctic temperature are rather ambiguous. Several research efforts have documented rapid warming over the Antarctic Peninsula, while others have shown a cooling trend over the eastern coastline of the continent over the last few decades of the 20th century. In the interior of Antarctica, a significant increase in the surface mass balance has recently occurred despite no significant increase in precipitation. Linking future global sea level rise to Antarctic melt has been hard work, and a recent piece of research has thrown more straws on the back of the crusaders’ Antarctic camel.

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February 20, 2007

More Ice for Your Shasta

Filed under: Glaciers/Sea Ice

Warming means less ice. Simple. Intuitive. Untrue. An appealing poster child for the global warming crusade is starting to take some heat…

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February 16, 2007

The Rain in Spain

Filed under: Precipitation

What film dominated the Academy Awards in 1964 winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Music, Best Scoring of Music, and Best Sound? The answer (that should be obvious from our title for this piece) is My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. Somehow, just mention the four words “The Rain in Spain” and everyone starts humming or whistling a very famous melody from that musical.

An article in the recent Journal of Geophysical Research puts the spotlight directly on the rain in Spain as four scientists from the Universidad of Extremadura examined precipitation records from throughout the Iberian Peninsula from 1958 to 1997. We have been told many times before that global warming will impact precipitation and generally increase the rainfall for the planet as a whole. While many might argue that increased precipitation would be a good result of warming, the fear mongers claim that global warming will increase extreme rainfall events which in their eyes would be yet another disastrous outcome of the continued buildup of greenhouse gases.

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February 13, 2007

More Bad News about El Nino

World Climate Report has brought you many essays regarding articles in the scientific literature with results that challenge popular perceptions about global warming and El Niño. Don’t look now, but, predictably, this year’s El Niño has brought with it its share of climate change/impact associations. (We wonder what happened to that warm winter that El Niño was thought responsible for?).

You’ve probably read this a dozen times already, but El Niño is related to a warm pool of water forming off the Pacific coast of equatorial South America, and during El Niño periods, Australia suffers from drought and fire, the southern and southwestern United States receive significantly above average winter precipitation, and the United States as a whole has warmer than average winters. The empirical linkage underlying these connections is significant in a statistical sense, but often surprisingly weak as covered many times in World Climate Report.

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February 9, 2007

Shocking Facts about Sea Level Rise

Filed under: Sea Level Rise

One of the pillars of the global warming scare is that sea level is rising, the rise is accelerating due to ever higher global temperatures, and in the absence of some immediate policy to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, the sea level rise will inundate islands and coastlines throughout the world. Who could ever forget seeing the World Trade Center Memorial under water in Gore’s blockbuster movie? In addition, no fewer than 1.4 million websites are found if you search “Global Warming and Sea Level Rise.” Many would be shocked to find anyone daring to question accelerated sea level rise, and yet, as covered many times before in World Climate Report, the scientific literature is full of surprises when it comes to global warming and sea level rise. How many would believe that global sea level actually dropped for a period in the mid-to-late 1990s?

Well, it is true, and an article in the recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters provides some shocking news for those who never question the accelerated sea level rise axiom.

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February 5, 2007

Arctic Lessons from the Last Interglacial (Polar bears survived)

Filed under: Arctic, Extinctions, Polar

In recent years, much has been made of the warming in the northern high latitude region of Earth over the last two decades of the 20th century. Data on glacial and sea ice recession and frightening computer simulations of rising sea levels underscore the doom and gloom of the warmth in the Arctic. On top of this, global climate models are predicting that this region will continue to be a “hotspot” of greatest warming during the 21st century. And, in an effort to drive the impact of all of this home (because who would otherwise really care if the coldest places on earth warmed up a bit), a small, but vocal band of climate alarmists have attempted to convince us that as a result of Arctic warming, everyone’s favorite bear (with the exception of perhaps Teddy and/or Yogi), ursus maritimus—the polar bear—will be pushed to extinction.

The contention of climate alarmists that the late-20th century warming is unprecedented over the past two millennia has been contested with contrary scientific evidence over and over, especially in the high latitudes. As the geologic timeline that is available to the global warming crusade gets spottier, one thing is clear – they can only shorten their sights. Going back to Earth’s last interglaciation is not an option for building their argument that much of the recent warmth is unnatural—because back during the last interglacial warm period, temperatures in the Arctic were higher, and polar bears survived (obviously).

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