Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.
I'm sorry to have to disagree with our President the first day of his second term in office but the above statement is simply unsupported by the science.
President Obama used the word, "impact." The U.N.'s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its latest Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events (SREX) in December. The IPCC is the group that was the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize along with Al Gore.
Using its "Summary for Policymakers" here is what the latest science says pertaining to "impacts."
Long-term trends in economic disaster losses adjusted for wealth and population increases have not been attributed to climate change, but a role for climate change has not been excluded. (page 8)
No increased losses attributable to climate change.
What about the storms themselves?
There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. (page 6)
You can verify for yourself there is no upward trend by going to Dr. Ryan Maue's web site and looking at the index of world tropical storms and hurricanes that measures both number and the storms' intensities. You can see there is no upward trend in the data ending November 30, 2012 (which includes Hurricane Sandy):
|Data goes back only to 1970s due to lack of world satellite coverage prior to that time.|
Click to enlarge.
The IPCC says,
There is low confidence in observed trends in small spatial-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems. (page 6)
If anything, the trend in major tornadoes (F-3 or greater) is down according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which, of course, is part of our executive branch of government and ultimately works for President Obama:
The IPCC SREX says,
There is medium confidence that some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. (page 6)
At worst, drought is a wash. My study of rainfall trends in south central Kansas (admittedly a small geographic area) shows that droughts are less common the last two decades.
The bottom line: President Obama's statement about climate is unsupported by current climate science.