Monday, July 23, 2012
Resorting to Lies
On the other, even a fairly modest rise in average temperatures translates into a much higher frequency of extreme events — like the devastating drought now gripping America’s heartland — that do vast damage. (emphasis added).There is no evidence that increased mean temperature does anything to the incidence of extreme weather. Unlike Mr. Krugman, I like to back up my statements with some scientific study or two, like this one. Here's a set of graphs which show no such trend.
Climate change denial is a major industry, lavishly financed by Exxon, the Koch brothers and others with a financial stake in the continued burning of fossil fuels.There is no one who denies that the climate can change. The denialists, like myself, don't believe the tiny bit of added heat from the CO2 we produce burning fossil fuels will lead to catastrophe. The amount of money given to the few think tanks who try to debunk the new Chicken Littles is less than the interest earned on the government funding of those who tell us the world is ending because of our sins, mainly involving energy use, not to mention the huge amount of money to "green" private organizations. Denial of catastrophic man made global warming is an absurdly tiny industry, the support of the mythical evil Koch brothers notwithstanding.
As documented in a new paper by Dr. Hansen and others, cold summers by historical standards still happen, but rarely, while hot summers have in fact become roughly twice as prevalent. And 9 of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.Hansen couldn't predict his way out of a wet paper bag. His '88 predictions had three scenarios; A) Exponentially more CO2 released than was then happening; B) After an increase, a return to the same amount released in the future as was then being produced; and, C) A reduced amount of CO2 produced than was then being produced. In reality 24 years later, the world is in Scenario A with China's increasing industrialization but the temperatures are well below Hanson's Scenario C. And the recorded temperatures, both from the substandard weather stations and as adjusted, are suspect. Hansn is responsible for corrupting the temperature record (that is, always adjusting the temperature up from the raw data for the last 30 years and down for the period 50 to 100 years ago). It makes the temperature record look more threatening. The 30s had the most high temperature here on North America. World wide, there has been a precipitous drop off of the number of reporting stations in the colder north. Fewer cold temperatures raise the average temperature, but it's not any hotter outside anywhere. It is simply not true to say the last 12 years have almost all of the hottest years on record. (They do only on graphs with an added .5 degrees C to the already somewhat suspect raw data).
Joseph Romm, the influential climate blogger, has coined the term “Dust-Bowlification” for the prospect of extended periods of extreme drought in formerly productive agricultural areas. He has been arguing for some time that this phenomenon, with its disastrous effects on food security, is likely to be the leading edge of damage from climate change, taking place over the next few decades; the drowning of Florida by rising sea levels and all that will come later.The dust bowl took place in the 30s when it was really hot here in America as I mentioned above. The drought then was an order of magnitude worse than the little one now. So why wasn't climate change happening in the 30s? Or in the 1880s when the hurricanes were really bad? Even though the enexorable sea level rise appears to have taken a break recently, at worst it is 3 mm per year. The sea level is always rising during an interglacial like we're in now (and a rather cool one compared to the last 3 or 4 interglacials before recorded history). That's part of how you tell it's an interglacial. In any event, 3 mm/yr in a hundred years is 300 mm which is just short of a foot. Florida seems safe from inundation for the next several generations, long after my grandchildren (theoretical, alas) have perished from old age. (And it's not rising at 3 mm per year, more likely half that).
Rather than "trash" science as Mr. Krugman accuses us of, we deniers uphold the rigorous requirements of science, which is at its most basic form a regulated skepticism. We deniers look at all the evidence and we just can't see a hockey stick pattern, which apparently is all the new Chicken Littles can see.
The history of weather is a series of sine curves. It gets worse, colder, drier, hotter and then it gets better, warmer, wetter, colder. That is precisely what it is doing now. And nothing more.
Excellent book on the dust bowl of the 30s is The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. Helluva story. Even more damaging than the drought, the poor farming techniques left the land with nothing to hold the dirt.