As we move further into hurricane season, we remind you that hardly a week goes by without another article appearing in a major journal on the topic of climate change and hurricane activity. We have covered many of these articles in the past, but another three articles appeared recently in the scientific literature that we found especially interesting.
August 19, 2011
August 15, 2011
Many global warming alarmists tout the notion that anthropogenic global warming will result in widespread crop failures as (projected) climate changes increasingly lead to increasingly bad growing conditions (see our article Science Fiction Down on the Farm, for some examples).
Using Al Gore’s lingo, we are quick to call “BS” on that premise, for the simple fact that that is not how things work. Crop scientists and farmers have an economic incentive to improve genetic cultivars and agricultural practices to maximize output given the prevailing environmental conditions. And, they are pretty effective at what they do. Despite the “global warming” and other affiliated and/or non-affiliated climate changes that have occurred over the past 100 years, global crop production just keeps on increasing—see our recent coverage here of this very good news.
We are clearly and demonstrably able to change agricultural practices to keep up with changing climate while increasing yields.
So much for the “dumb farmer scenario” that farmers stand by and watch their crops fail as conditions change.
But what about those future climate changes that underlie the scare scenarios? Are climate models really able to the climatic factors that are important for agriculture?
A new soon-to-be-published study finds that the models are not so hot, at least over the world’s most productive agro-region, the good-old-US of A. As we shall see, though, the pressures to say the politically correct thing still comes beaming through from the halls of Academia.
August 5, 2011
Last week, a widely-repeated pronouncement was made, that after an absence of more than 10,000 years, “wildfires have returned to the Arctic tundra” spurred by an apparent increase in lightning strikes and leading to carbon dioxide (CO2) releases from a traditional CO2 sink region. Another positive feedback to anthropogenic global warming. Oh yeah, and the fires will get worse and more widespread in the future.
But as with most dire global warming predictions, this one seems to lack grounding in reality.
Over at the Cato Institute website, WCR’s Patrick Michaels has another one of his informative Current Wisdom pieces, a place where he “reviews interesting items on global warming in the scientific literature that may not have received the media attention that they deserved, or have been misinterpreted in the popular press.” The topic this time around is the recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Robert Kaufmann and colleagues in which they conclude that one of the primary reasons that the earth has not warmed up as advertised during the past 10 -15 years is that rapidly growing sulfur emissions from China (as a result of their increased usage of coal for power generation) have acted to offset a significant proportion of the greenhouse warming.
Pat explains why this hypothesis is, well, simply wrong.
Instead, natural variability is the primary reason, along with the possibility that the climate sensitivity (i.e., how much warming will occur as atmospheric greenhouse gas levels double) is on the low side of IPCC estimates (which range from 2.0°C – 4.5°C).
Pat also details the trials and tribulations that we encountered when trying to publish this finding several years ago.
Check out all the sordid details in the article The Current Wisdom: The Lack of Recent Warming and the State of Peer Review.