Monday, March 01, 2010


What Al Gore Gets Wrong

Here is Al Gore's three page op-ed in the NYT from Saturday. It is a remarkably weak response to all that has been happening since the whistleblower revelation of e-mail and code from the University of East Anglia, home of the Climate Research Unit (CRU). Here and here are good responses to it, focusing on why the mistakes in the IPCC 2007 report (AR4) really matter. The so called consensus does not survive their revelation, as Mr. Gore blithly purports.

I'll go with pointing out continued inconvenient untruths Gore is still pushing with links to the sources that debunk them. Gore writes: global-warming pollution traps heat from the sun and increases atmospheric temperatures.

Yes, there are 4 major gasses which trap heat--water vapor, Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane, and Nitrous Oxide; but water vapor (beyond our control with 70% ocean surface) is by far the most important one, doing at least 85% of the warming and probably 95%. CO2 indeed warms with some of the wavelengths of light that don't work on water vapor, but there is a diminishing effect with more CO2 and at 390ppm diffuse in the atmosphere, 95 to 97% of the warming CO2 can do is already done. That means that future doubling of the CO2 in the air will have very little effect, assuming there are no negative feedback systems. Gore's still in the lab while the Deniers are talking real world.

These pollutants -- especially carbon dioxide -- have been increasing rapidly with the growth in the burning of coal, oil, natural gas and forests, and temperatures have increased over the same period.
But we know that correlation (happening at the same time) is not causation, (happening because of). You're proposing a theory about the future, Mr. Gore, you want us to make gigantic changes in how we live--it's up to you to prove that our increasing CO2 is causing the whole world climate to change.

Almost all the ice covered regions of the earth ar melting--and the seas are rising.

Well, most of the glaciers are retreating (but not all) and some of coastal ice faces of ice fields in Greenland, Alaska and the Antarctic Peninsula are retreating, but in the interior of Antarctica and Greenland, the ice is getting thicker. Because we're in an interglacial, the seas have been rising, slightly, but our most accurate measurements show a recent slight decline. So, in two words--not rising.

Hurricanes are predicted to grow stronger and more destructive, although their number is expected to decrease.

How destructive a hurricane is depends a lot more on where it hits than on how strong it is. Of course hurricanes cause more damage lately, they hit built up coastal regions. Gore said in his propaganda movie that global warming was causing more and more powerful storms around the world. He's had to back off the 'more' but even the 'more powerful' is wrong as this chart shows. Cyclonic energy is at a 30 plus year near minimum. There is no detectible global warming signal in this arena.

Droughts are getting longer and deeper in many mid-continent regions, even as the severity of flooding increases.

Logic dictates that one thing, supposed global warming, cannot be responsible for two opposite effects--both too much rain and too little rain. Droughts are not getting worse in any way and, again, the 'severity' of flooding is more a product of riparian development than any meterological phenomenon.
He's just repeating the same major errors in the IPCC report. They are still not true.
UPDATE: I missed one. Greater water vapor on the East Coast is the same as the 30 year average and shows no sign of increase during the latest period of warming. Another day, another lie revealed.


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