January 11, 2011

OH OH! Redux II

Filed under: Health Effects, Ozone

About 10 years ago, Science magazine published a paper by Ronald Prinn and colleagues with the finding that the atmospheric concentrations of the hydroxyl radical (OH-) were declining, with the authors pointing squarely to anthropogenic global warming as a likely cause. As the hydroxyl radical is particularly good as scrubbing some forms of pollution (like low level ozone) from the atmosphere, the implication was that anthropogenic global warming was inhibiting the atmosphere’s cleansing processes.

Horror, horror!

And as you could imagine, the news media eagerly ran with the story.

At the time, we at World Climate Report were a bit skeptical (big surprise there!) and pointed out that if you got into the nitty-gritty of the research results, the actual story they told was a lot more uncertain than was being portrayed—with the overarching implication that any link to anthropogenic global warming was being grossly overstated, to say the least.


July 27, 2007

Ground-Level Ozone Trends: Facts vs. Fantasy

Guest Commentary

Joel Schwartz
Visiting Fellow
American Enterprise Institute

Growing plants absorb some of the carbon dioxide emitted by human burning of fossil fuels for energy. However, according to a new study in the journal Nature, ground-level ozone (AKA “smog”) will rise during the 21st Century and stunt plant growth. This will reduce CO2 uptake by vegetation, exacerbating CO2-induced greenhouse warming.

The study, which was performed by Stephen Sitch and colleagues from England’s Hadley Centre for Climate Change Research, is based on computer modeling of current and future ozone levels. To project future emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, Sitch et al. relied upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) A2 scenario. The scenario includes projections of population, economic activity, energy use, and other factors that determined future emissions.

Unfortunately, comparison of Sitch et al.’s model results with actual trends in ozone and ozone-forming pollutants show that their study has nothing to do with reality.


August 10, 2004

NRDC Cooks Up a Recipe For Disaster

Filed under: Health Effects, Ozone

One particularly favorite recipe for disaster that global warming alarmists concoct goes like this: Assume the status quo, add a pinch of (usually dramatic) climate change, agitate thoroughly, and voila, you’ve whipped up a great calamity—animals go extinct, forests die back, human mortality increases, and so on. Primary among the many problems with this ill-advised technique is the assumption that no adaptations take place.

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