Saturday, August 4, 2012

Global Warming in U.S. Wildly Overestimated, New Study Shows

I posted Anthony Watts' announcement at my sidebar a week or so ago. Watts Up With That? released a major research paper on Sunday, July 29: "New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial."

I skimmed the paper. It's not too long. And pretty interesting. Doctor Zero has a summary, at Human Events, "THE DEBUNKING OF GLOBAL WARMING CONTINUES." And following the links takes us to James Delingpole, "Global Warming? Yeah, right":
What Watts has conclusively demonstrated is that most of the weather stations in the US are so poorly sited that their temperature data is unreliable. Around 90 per cent have had their temperature readings skewed by the Urban Heat Island effect. While he has suspected this for some time what he has been unable to do until his latest, landmark paper (co-authored with Evan Jones of New York, Stephen McIntyre of Toronto, Canada, and Dr. John R. Christy from the Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama, Huntsville) is to put precise figures on the degree of distortion involved.

For the full story go to Watts Up With That NOW!

There is, of course, one very, very sad aspect to this story – and truly it pains me to mention it but journalistic duty compels me to do so – and that's the dampening effect it may have on the grandstanding of a hapless fellow by the name of Professor Richard Muller.
Yes, the Richard Muller thing. It turns out that Muller, a UC Berkeley physicist and erstwhile global warming skeptic, published a breathtaking op-ed at the New York Times the day before Watts' paper came out. See: "The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic." Read it at the link. Not only does Muller do a complete about-face, he also fingers humans "as the cause" of so-called global warming.

But what really got me going here was a post from radical history professor (and Middle East expert, not climate science expert) Juan Cole, "The Collapse of the Climate Change Contrarians and the End of Coal." Cole is responding to Professor Muller's turnaround. I recommend the whole thing, but this paragraph captures the spirit:
Since 1750, humans have begun altering the climate in a steady and systematic way, overwhelming the ability of the earth to absorb the CO2 and causing it to build up steadily in the atmosphere, producing long term effects on surface temperature. Human activity in the past 250 years has interrupted and reversed a 2000-year long natural climate tendency toward cooler temperatures. If we go on the way we have been, spewing ever more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we will produce a tropical planet with no ice on it and will forestall any further ice ages for at least 100,000 years. Since there are places humans now live, such as cities in Sindh, Pakistan, that already reach over 130 degrees F. in the summer, likely the planet we are creating will have large swathes of uninhabitable scorching places on it. Climate change will involve extreme weather events like massive storms, and these in turn may damage the ozone layer, sunburning us all to death. [Bold is in the original.]

You see, if it really is humans who're causing all of this, then boom!, we can get rid of fossil fuels and implement the United Nations-approved supranational environmentally-sustainable socialist redistributionist green energy program. It's as simple as that!

And one more thing. The New York Times has an amazing surprise of a report, which is the perfect conclusion to all the blather about CO2 this and NOAA that. See: "Who Are Your Sources?":
Two years ago I traveled to southern Indiana to write about a House race between an incumbent Democrat, Baron Hill, against a Tea Party-supported Republican, Todd Young.

Mr. Hill said he believed that climate change was real, human activity was causing it and government must act to address it. He voted for a cap-and-trade bill that passed the House by a narrow margin in 2009. Mr. Young said he was skeptical about the human impact on the climate and that any global warming trend was probably a cyclical phenomenon. His Tea Party supporters agreed with him, and he won the contest by 10 percentage points.

A number of voters who supported Mr. Young and shared his views on climate change told me they got much of their information from Fox News, a handful of radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and the Bible.

As part of The Agenda series in The Times, I’d like to explore more deeply where people go to learn about the state of the earth’s climate, which sources of information they trust the most, whether people change their minds and, if so, what causes the shift of opinion.

Some of the best work on these questions comes from Yale University and George Mason University, which have jointly run a project on climate change communication for the past several years.
I can't comment on the Times' "Agenda" series. Mostly, what the article shows is that the debate on climate change is completely political. It's barometer for partisanship and ideology, and one's orientation toward the proper role of government. And because the stakes are so high, it's doubtful that there will ever be any meaningful consensus on the science itself. No amount of carefully conducted studies, rigorously vetted and peer reviewed, will convince either side. Especially since the scientific process itself has been corrupted by the very same people and institutional forces who have the most power over the political agenda. I'm referring to the Climategate Scandal. The best source on that is Steven Hayward, "Scientists Behaving Badly," and "Climategate (Part II)." Also, "Why the Climate Skeptics Are Winning."

And because this is political, the policy outcomes on climate change will continue to reflect the balance of political power. The Obama administration has relied on bureaucratic mechanisms [EPA] to implement its green energy agenda. It can't do it through the Congress because there's no political support for such radicalism. And if the Republicans can retake the presidency and retain the House in November, then perhaps the U.S. can start moving toward a new comprehensive energy policy that protects the environment and builds on new technologies, while exploiting the breakthroughs in extraction that will allow the U.S. to reduce reliance on Persian Gulf oil.