I was asked yesterday why I had not posted "Think Progress'" (a liberal, pro-global warming group) unscientific attempt to tie Wednesday's tragedy to 'global warming' on this blog. I replied that I was so disgusted by it that I didn't want to give them the publicity.
This morning, I heard from Al Gore in the form of this ad in my email:
Aside from being in horrible taste, is there any substance to their contention that global warming caused these storms? No.
Scroll down three postings and you will find a graph I created (using data from the pro-global warming British Climate Research Unit or CRU) that compares global temperatures during the previous worst two tornado outbreaks in the South and the similar "Superoutbreak" of tornadoes in 1974 that affected the South and Midwest. You'll see that temperatures during these similar outbreaks were cooler than today's. If warm global temperatures were required to spawn Wednesday's tornadoes, these earlier tornado outbreaks could not have occurred.
If that graph does not convince you there is no linkage between the tornadoes and 'global warming,' allow me to point out that earth's atmospheric temperatures, according to the latest measurements, are colder than the 1981-2010 average!
Because there are more than 5,000 new readers of this blog this week, I want to briefly state my position on global warming: It is probably a net small problem. I say "net" because there are positive aspects of a warmer climate that, to an extent, balance the negatives (i.e., more global food production due to longer growing seasons and more atmospheric CO2).
I do not rule out the possibility that Al Gore and the IPCC might be correct that it is a major problem. However, temperatures are running below their projections, apparently due to the La Nina, a change in ocean status known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and the last few years of an unusually quiet sun. The IPCC, in its reports, claims that the warming effect of carbon dioxide would overwhelm those other factors. So far, they are incorrect. If the cooling trend continues another 2-4 years, I believe it is fair to judge that IPCC's hypothesis is falsified.
However, if temperatures rise back (in spite of the factors listed above) to the levels predicted by the IPCC, then there is cause for real worry. At that point, I would join those calling for major mitigating measures. I also agree with my friend Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. that finding much less expensive de-carboned energy sources makes a lot of sense. I agree that using the atmosphere as a sewer may lead to other negatives that we cannot anticipate at this time. Developing those sources will take time.
In the meantime, since temperatures have been more or less flat for the past dozen years, there is no 'climate crisis.' We can afford to see how this plays out the next several years before spending -- literally -- trillions of dollars.