Climate Pessimists

Strangely1, the WSJ suggests that climate change is a problem, and worries about our planet’s future. I don’t think Sharon Begley is going to be invited to the Exxon-Mobile annual Climate Change Is Bogus retreat in the Bahamas this year.

Sharon Begley: Science Journal –

…20 years after scientists first warned that greenhouse gases would alter the planet’s climate in dangerous ways, it is possible to assess who is being more realistic. Starting with the first report of the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1990, critics have called its projections foolishly apocalyptic. Some earlier reports did miss the mark on a few counts, but not in the way the “realists” contend. In some cases, the reality of climate change has been even worse than the alarming forecasts.

A number of greenhouse projections were spot-on, while others underestimated how radically gases such as carbon dioxide, emitted when fossil fuels burn, would alter climate by trapping heat in the atmosphere. The world’s surface temperature has increased one-third of a degree Celsius since 1990 — the upper end of projections, according to scientists led by Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research, in Germany. Their analysis appeared last week in the online issue of the journal Science.

With sea level, climate change has outpaced the projections. Satellite measurements show that the waters around the world rose 3.3 millimeters per year, averaged from 1993 to 2006. The IPCC foresaw 2 millimeters per year. “The main message of our [analysis] is to those who have claimed that IPCC is exaggerating climate change or is painting unduly grim future scenarios,” says Dr. Rahmstorf. “Unfortunately, this is not true; the real climate system is changing as fast as, or in some components even faster than, expected by IPCC.”

Ice in arctic seas also is melting faster than expected. (Though that doesn’t raise sea levels; melting ice on land does.) It now covers 11% less area than it did in 1978, and 20% less in the late summer. “That’s about double the mean model projection,” notes physicist Joseph Romm, author of a new book on global warming, “Hell or High Water.

…The IPCC got it right when it projected more downpours and droughts. Already, precipitation falls less often, but when it rains it pours. The basic idea that global average temperatures would rise has also been spot-on, with 11 of the past 12 years among the 12 warmest since instruments began recording temperatures in 1850. Because climate models can’t zero in on extreme weather events, though, except to say they will occur more often, they failed to foresee disasters like the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed some 26,000 people.

In focusing on global averages, climate projections make the coming changes sound gradual, slow, sedate. That’s how ozone loss was originally portrayed, too; no one foresaw the sudden ”ozone hole“ over Antarctica. It remains to be seen if climate reality, too, can suddenly tip into an extreme.

Part of the problem is so many idiots insisting on making stupid jokes about global warming every time the temperature drops, as if proving that global warming is a myth. No, you idiots, cold weather is part of the model too!

Glenn McCoy Idiot - Al Gore is Fat

  1. a repost to test if my RSS Feedburner feed is fixed, or still fracked []

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