by William Teach | September 14, 2013 7:08 am
I’m shocked that the Washington Post has allowed this op-ed to be published, which blows away so many of the myths of extreme weather and “climate change”, many of which have been exposed time and again by many Climate Realists
One of the most persistent claims in the climate debate is that global warming leads to more extreme weather. Green groups and even such respectable outlets as Scientific American declare that “extreme weather is a product of climate change.”
And the meme seems irresistible as a political shortcut to action. President Obama has explicitly linked a warming climate to “more extreme droughts, floods, wildfires and hurricanes.” The White House warned this summer of “increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather events that come with climate change.”
Yet this is not supported by science. “General statements about extremes are almost nowhere to be found in the literature but seem to abound in the popular media,” climate scientist Gavin Smith of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies said last month. “It’s this popular perception that global warming means all extremes have to increase all the time, even though if anyone thinks about that for 10â€‰seconds they realize that’s nonsense.”
Global warming is real. It is partly man-made. It will make some things worse and some things better. Overall, the long-run impact will be negative. But some of the most prominent examples of extreme weather are misleading, and some weather events are becoming less extreme.
Lomborg isn’t exactly a “denier”. His take on anthropogenic causation is somewhat stronger than most who are on the Climate Realist side (as I’ve written many times, I figure Man takes a 10-15% responsibility, mostly through agriculture, landfills, and the UHI). Notice he thinks the long term impact will be negative. Is that true? Depends who you ask. Modern society grew during a certain range of temperatures, and warmer (and much cooler) weather could have negative impacts. Yes, we do need to adapt.
Global warming, in general, will mean higher temperatures. This causes more heat waves – more extreme weather. But it also causes fewer cold waves – less extreme weather. Many more people die from excessive cold than excessive heat, so fewer people will die from cold and heat in the future. By mid-century, researchers estimated in 2006, that means about 1.4â€‰million fewer deaths per year. In the continental United States, heat waves in the past decade exceeded the norm by 10 percent, but the number of cold waves fell 75 percent.
Global warming will also cause more heavy rain; this is clearly more extreme. But warming will also help alleviate water scarcity – less extreme. About 1.2 billion fewer people are expected to live with water scarcity by the end of the century because of increased precipitation.
So he’s saying there is good and bad in AGW. He even takes the Warmist position that there will be fewer hurricanes but that they’ll be stronger. The fact is, climate has always changed (climate being the long term averages), and weather can change from year to year based on mostly natural conditions. Colorado flooding? We were told just a few years ago that there would be a permanent drought. Things change. When the climate eventually flips to a cool period the weather will do different things. Such is life on Earth.
Make sure to read the whole thing.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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