Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Climate Nonsense

As I was viewing web sites in my hotel room last night, I came across this from the Carl Pope, the chairman of the Sierra Club.

August 10, 2010

Martha's Vineyard, MA -- I certainly can't complain about the weather this week. It's gorgeous on Cape Cod, a good place this summer to escape from the exceptional chill of California's summer this year. But the newspaper suggests that globally that's not the norm. Heat waves in Russia have led to massive fires in parts of the country that are usually too wet to burn, to the loss of 30 percent of that nation's wheat crop, and to a ban on grain exports from one of the world's major producers. It's either Russia's worst heat wave in 130 years or, if you believe some commentators, in a thousand.Regardless, the death rate in Moscow has doubled.

In Pakistan, the already fragile regime of President Zardari has been pushed into even greater instability by unprecedented floods that have displaced 14 million people, the worst disaster in a disaster-prone nation's history.
More people have lost their homes in Pakistanthan lost them in the Haiti Earthquake, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and the Kashmir earthquake combined.

Mudslides in northwest China have killed over 300 people.  The high desert of India's Ladakh region has been savaged by unprecedented rains and floods. And a one-hundred square mile tower of ice broke off the Greenland ice sheet -- the biggest iceberg in fifty years.

As Mr. Pope himself writes, he is not a climate scientist. An organization that should know better, the World Meteorological Organization (part of the United Nations), issued this statement yesterday:

Several regions of the world are currently coping with severe weather-related events: flash floods and widespread flooding in large parts of Asia and parts of Central Europe while other regions are also affected: by heatwave and drought in Russian Federation, mudslides in China and severe droughts in sub-Saharan Africa. While a longer time range is required to establish whether an individual event is attributable to climate change, the sequence of current events matches IPCC projections of more frequent and more intense extreme weather events due to global warming. The Monsoon activity in Pakistan and other countries in South-East Asia is aggravated by the la NiƱa phenomenon, now well established in the Pacific Ocean.

With regard to this line of thinking, Roger Pielke, Jr. writes:

Even though the IPCC report can be parsed in many ways, I await the textual exegesis that supports the claim that the "sequence of current events matches IPCC predictions."  This will be difficult given that the IPCC didn't even make projections for 2010.  I welcome in the comments efforts to justify the claim by the WMO.

I am coming to the conclusion that there is something about the climate issue that makes people -- especially but not limited to academics and scientists -- completely and utterly lose their senses.  The WMO statement is (yet) another example of scientifically unsupportable nonsense in the climate debate.  Such nonsense is of course not going away anytime soon .

Let me see if I can add something additional: This is a chart of world temperatures (dashed = Hadley Center, dotted = NASA) versus record U.S. disasters. It is taken from my global warming talk.

The takeaway from this is that record weather events occur at all levels of world temperatures! The fact there are several extremes going on in the world right now, by itself, has nothing to do with proving global warming.

For example, take the San Diego hurricane. Even though it occurred with much lower temperatures than we have now, do you have any doubt that if another California hurricane were to occur next month that newspapers would have headlines screaming global warming!?

Its not just the United States where there is no apparent correlation, the worst known storm disaster in recorded history, the Bhola, Bangladesh hurricane (500,000 to 1,500,000 killed) occurred in 1970 with much cooler temperatures than now.

So, while I am glad that Mr. Pope is having good weather for his Martha's Vineyard vacation, his nice weather is no more proof of global warming than the record cold that has persisted in South America the last few weeks.


  1. Global warming is blamed for the catastrophic event of COOLING RIVERS in Bolivia, an event not seen in 47 years that caused several millions fish, alligators,turtles,and other wildlife cratures to die.

    Also, freezing polar waves in South America keeps coming and coming and coming. No relief from this cold weather!

    My impression is there will be a catastrophic epidemy of global dandruff attacks blamed on AGW.

  2. Eduardo,

    You are correct. There has been devastating cold in South America (where, of course, it is winter south of the equator) throughout their winter of 2010. It has received almost no media coverage here in the U.S. I suspect that is because record cold doesn't fit into the pro-GW bias of most media.

    Thank you for writing from Argentina!


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