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Educating Seth Borenstein

December 5, 2014

By Paul Homewood

 

image

 

Seth Borenstein has been ratching up the nonsense ahead of the Lima conference in this AP piece.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the more than two decades since world leaders first got together to try to solve global warming, life on Earth has changed, not just the climate. It’s gotten hotter, more polluted with heat-trapping gases, more crowded and just downright wilder.
The numbers are stark. Carbon dioxide emissions: up 60 percent. Global temperature: up six-tenths of a degree. Population: up 1.7 billion people. Sea level: up 3 inches. U.S. extreme weather: up 30 percent. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica: down 4.9 trillion tons of ice.
"Simply put, we are rapidly remaking the planet and beginning to suffer the consequences," says Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.
Diplomats from more than 190 nations opened talks Monday at a United Nations global warming conference in Lima, Peru, to pave the way for an international treaty they hope to forge next year.
To see how much the globe has changed since the first such international conference – the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 – The Associated Press scoured databases from around the world. The analysis, which looked at data since 1983, concentrated on 10-year intervals ending in 1992 and 2013. This is because scientists say single years can be misleading and longer trends are more telling.
Our changing world by the numbers:

WILD WEATHER 

Since 1992, there have been more than 6,600 major climate, weather and water disasters worldwide, causing more than $1.6 trillion in damage and killing more than 600,000 people, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Belgium, which tracks the world’s catastrophes.
While climate-related, not all can be blamed on man-made warming or climate change. Still, extreme weather has noticeably increased over the years, says Debby Sapir, who runs the center and its database. From 1983 to 1992 the world averaged 147 climate, water and weather disasters each year. Over the past 10 years, that number has jumped to an average 306 a year.
In the United States, an index of climate extremes – hot and cold, wet and dry – kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has jumped 30 percent from 1992 to 2013, not counting hurricanes, based on 10-year averages.
NOAA also keeps track of U.S. weather disasters that cost more than $1 billion, when adjusted for inflation. Since 1992, there have been 136 such billion-dollar events.
Worldwide, the 10-year average for weather-related losses adjusted for inflation was $30 billion a year from 1983-92, according to insurance giant Swiss Re. From 2004 to 2013, the cost was more than three times that on average, or $131 billion a year.
Sapir and others say it would be wrong to pin all, or even most, of these increases on climate change alone. Population and poverty are major factors, too. But they note a trend of growing extremes and more disasters, and that fits with what scientists have long said about global warming.
It’s this increase that’s "far scarier" than the simple rise in temperatures, University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles says.

 
TEMPERATURE

 
It’s almost a sure thing that 2014 will go down as the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping, meteorologists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center say. If so, this will be the sixth time since 1992 that the world set or tied a new annual record for the warmest year.
The globe has broken six monthly heat records in 2014 and 47 since 1992. The last monthly cold record set was in 1916.
So the average annual temperature for 2014 is on track to be about 58.2 degrees (14.6 degrees Celsius), compared with 57.4 degrees (14.1 degrees Celsius) in 1992. The past 10 years have averaged a shade below 58.1 degrees (nearly 14.5 degrees Celsius) – six-tenths of a degree warmer than the average between 1983 and 1992.

 
THE OCEANS

 
The world’s oceans have risen by about 3 inches since 1992 and gotten a tad more acidic – by about half a percent – thanks to chemical reactions caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide, scientists at NOAA and the University of Colorado say.
Every year sea ice cover shrinks to a yearly minimum size in the Arctic in September – a measurement that is considered a key climate change indicator. From 1983 to 1992, the lowest it got on average was 2.62 million square miles. Now the 10-year average is down to 1.83 million square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
That loss – an average 790,000 square miles since 1992 – overshadows the slight gain in sea ice in Antarctica, which has seen an average gain of 110,000 square miles of sea ice over the past 22 years.

 

ON LAND

 
The world’s population in 1992 was 5.46 billion. Today, it’s nearly a third higher, at 7.18 billion. That means more carbon pollution and more people who could be vulnerable to global warming.
The effects of climate change can be seen in harsher fire seasons. Wildfires in the western United States burned an average of 2.7 million acres each year between 1983 and 1992; now that’s up to 7.3 million acres from 1994 to 2013, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
And some of the biggest climate change effects on land are near the poles, where people don’t often see them. From 1992 to 2011, Greenland’s ice sheet lost 3.35 trillion tons of ice, according to calculations made by scientists using measurements from NASA’s GRACE satellite. Antarctica lost 1.56 trillion tons of ice over the same period.

 
THE AIR

 
Scientists simply point to greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide, that form a heat-trapping blanket in our air.
There’s no need to average the yearly amount of carbon dioxide pollution: It has increased steadily, by 60 percent, from 1992 to 2013. In 1992, the world spewed 24.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide; now it is 39.8 billion, according to the Global Carbon Project, an international consortium.
China has tripled its emissions from 3 billion tons to 11 billion tons a year. The emissions from the U.S. have gone up more slowly, about 6 percent, from 5.4 billion tons to 5.8 billion tons. India also has tripled its emissions, from 860 million tons to 2.6 billion tons. Only European countries have seen their emissions go down, from 4.5 billion tons to 3.8 billion tons

http://www.laketahoenews.net/2014/12/how-climate-has-changed-earth/

 

 

So let’s deconstruct it piece by piece.

 

 

Wild Weather

CLAIM

Since 1992, there have been more than 6,600 major climate, weather and water disasters worldwide, causing more than $1.6 trillion in damage and killing more than 600,000 people, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Belgium, which tracks the world’s catastrophes.

 

FACT

As is often the case with these alarmist scares, the numbers they quote are given without any context.

According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (EMDAT), which he quotes, the death toll in the last two decades has been stable and running at a fraction of earlier decades. 

 

image

http://www.emdat.be/result-disaster-profiles?period=1900%242014&disgroup=group&dis_type=%27Flood%27%2C%27Mass+movement+wet%27%24Hydrological&Submit=Display+Disaster+Profile

 

According to the Centre, the death toll in 2013 was well below average at 21122, and this year so far is running at just 1594.

 

US Climate Extreme Index

CLAIM

In the United States, an index of climate extremes — hot and cold, wet and dry — kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has jumped 30 percent from 1992 to 2013, not counting hurricanes, based on 10-year averages.

 

FACT

The index he refers to, of course, is the one that counts a mild winter as extreme. It is the same index which regards 1936 as one of the least extreme years, although it had the 2nd coldest winter on record, and the hottest summer. NOAA’s system is so sophisticated that it averages the two together to make the year average!

 

The reality is that landfalling hurricanes at an all-time low.

 

multigraph

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei/graph/6/01-12

 

 

Extreme cold winters are a thing of the past.

 

multigraph

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei/graph/2/12-02

 

 

Hot summers are no more extreme than in earlier decades.

 

multigraph

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei/graph/1/06-08

 

Droughts are not as severe as in the period up to 1960.

multigraph

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/cei/graph/5/01-12

 

And we have had three years with record low numbers of tornadoes.

 

torngraph

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/#data

 

 

Economic Costs

CLAIM

NOAA also keeps track of U.S. weather disasters that cost more than $1 billion, when adjusted for inflation. Since 1992, there have been 136 such billion-dollar events.

Worldwide, the 10-year average for weather-related losses adjusted for inflation was $30 billion a year from 1983-92, according to insurance giant Swiss Re. From 2004 to 2013, the cost was more than three times that on average, or $131 billion a year.

 

 

FACT

Such figures are utterly meaningless, because they reflect changing economic and social conditions, rather climatic factors.

 

Temperature

CLAIM

It’s almost a sure thing that 2014 will go down as the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping

 

FACT

According to more accurate satellite measurements, this year is running as only the 7th warmest since 1998.

 

ScreenHunter_1409 Dec. 05 13.29

http://data.remss.com/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_3.txt

 

 

Oceans 

CLAIM

The world’s oceans have risen by about 3 inches since 1992 and gotten a tad more acidic – by about half a percent – thanks to chemical reactions caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide, scientists at NOAA and the University of Colorado say.

 

FACT

Sea level has been rising steadily since the mid 19thC, with no evidence of long term acceleration.

In the last ten years, the rate of rise has decelerated by 44% to less than 7 inches per century.

Oceans have been becoming slightly less alkali, and not more acidic, assuming any changes have been measurable.

 

Sea Ice

CLAIM

Every year sea ice cover shrinks to a yearly minimum size in the Arctic in September – a measurement that is considered a key climate change indicator. From 1983 to 1992, the lowest it got on average was 2.62 million square miles. Now the 10-year average is down to 1.83 million square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
That loss – an average 790,000 square miles since 1992 – overshadows the slight gain in sea ice in Antarctica, which has seen an average gain of 110,000 square miles of sea ice over the past 22 years
.

 

FACT

In the last two years, Arctic sea ice extent in September has seen a strong recovery from the 2012 record low, and is close to 2005 levels.

 

image_thumb72

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/arctic-ice-continues-recovery-so-death-spiral-claims-are-rehashed/

 

 

Meanwhile, global sea ice area has been above average for most of this year.

 

global.daily.ice.area.withtrend

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

 

 

Wildfires

CLAIM

The effects of climate change can be seen in harsher fire seasons. Wildfires in the western United States burned an average of 2.7 million acres each year between 1983 and 1992; now that’s up to 7.3 million acres from 1994 to 2013, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

 

FACT

Many forestry experts state that wildfire acreage is lower now than historically, and that fire suppression policies after 1950 have created the fuel for the bigger fires we have been seeing in the last decade or so.

 

Nevertheless, wildfire acreage has been declining during the last decade.

 

image_thumb19

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/a-quiet-year-for-wildfires-in-the-us-so-far/

 

 

Greenland & Antarctica

CLAIM

And some of the biggest climate change effects on land are near the poles, where people don’t often see them. From 1992 to 2011, Greenland’s ice sheet lost 3.35 trillion tons of ice, according to calculations made by scientists using measurements from NASA’s GRACE satellite. Antarctica lost 1.56 trillion tons of ice over the same period.

 

FACT

GRACE satellite data only began to be collected in 2002, so we simply don’t know what has happened since 1992.  Moreover, margins of error, and issues such as glacial isostatic adjustment make any trends over such a short period of time meaningless.

 

 

 

CO2 Emissions

CLAIM

Scientists simply point to greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide, that form a heat-trapping blanket in our air.

 

 

FACT

Between 1998 and 2013, annual global emissions of CO2 increased by 48%, according to CDIAC.

 

During the same period, global temperatures have been flat.

 

to 2013

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1998/to:2013/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/to:2013

 

 

Michael Mann says “the numbers do not lie”. I guess he is right there, which is more than can be said for Borenstein.

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11 Comments
  1. December 5, 2014 9:19 pm

    My PhD research mentor – the late Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda – knew that the nuclear force [1] that powers atomic bombs and nuclear reactors is also the one that makes chemical elements in stars !

    The well-known Hungarian Professor of Nuclear and Radiochemistry – Dr. Tibor Braun – recently described Kuroda as “The Nuclear Chemist Who Foresaw the Past: Paul Kazuo Kuroda and the Oklo Paleoreactors” [2],

    Kuroda assigned a research project in 1960 to reveal to the public: The same source of nuclear energy powers the Sun, sustains Earth’s climate and all life in the solar system today [3].

    References:

    1. P. K. Kuroda, The Origin of the Chemical Elements and the Oklo Phenomenon (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1982, 165 pages) http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Chemical-Elements-Oklo-Phenomenon/dp/3540116796

    2. Tibor Braun, “The Nuclear Chemist Who Foresaw the Past: Paul Kazuo Kuroda and the Oklo Paleoreactors” (2013, 4 pages) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/A_nuclear_chemist_who_foresaw_the_past_Paul_Kazuo_Kuroda.pdf

    3. O. K. Manuel, “Solar energy,” Advances in Astronomy (submitted 1 Sept 2014) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy.pdf

  2. gareth permalink
    December 5, 2014 11:52 pm

    I came across this surprising beeb book review today.G Parker, despite admission of being a “Malthusiast”, is worth a listen [ from 14:00 ]

    BBC[;<] RADIO 3 Free Thinking – Global Crisis 27 Nov 14

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/r3arts

    Anne McElvoy talks to the historian Geoffrey Parker about Global Crisis, his influential game-changing account of the political and social upheavals which characterised the Seventeenth Century around the world.[Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century . 2014]

    Thankyou Paul for your good work.

  3. December 6, 2014 10:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    A diligent comparison of climate hysteria and the actual data.

  4. December 6, 2014 10:38 pm

    Paul, I don’t know how you find the time for your diligent de-bunking of this sort of nonsense, but it is very much appreciated. Steve

  5. December 7, 2014 4:21 am

    Nice work. I respect the fact that you have the patience to deal with this seemingly endless torrent of misinformation, pointless factoids, and outright lies spewed from the propaganda organs of MSM.

    Thanks!

  6. catweazle666 permalink
    December 7, 2014 5:19 pm

    It doesn’t seem Mr. Boringstein is having a great deal of success, judging by this UN survey.

    A global poll of more than 6.5million people has placed climate change at the very bottom of a long list of priorities, with the finding being consistent across both genders, almost all age ranges, all education levels and in most regions of the world. (h/t Watts Up With That). Conversely, every single demographic placed “a good education” at the top.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/12/07/UN-Poll-Reveals-Global-Population-Not-Convinced-by-Climate-Change-Scaremongering

  7. December 8, 2014 2:56 am

    Reblogged this on Globalcooler's Weblog and commented:
    This is a good summary of the actual data versus the claims of the climate change machine. It’s almost funny…Almost.

  8. December 8, 2014 12:52 pm

    Thanks for another excellent rebuttal of the terrible science that is used in the name of saving the planet: a lot of scientists should be ashamed over their lack of questioning, although the media do not publish letters criticising the AGW lobby: at least they certainly don’t publish mine.

    I would be very grateful if you or one of your knowledgeable correspondents coud explain to me what is meant by “binding targets” and the commitments of the CCA. Who would be liable to whom and for what? These national commitments look very hollow except for those of the fools that run the UK who are leading us into a future of unsustainable energy pricing.

  9. December 18, 2016 10:52 am

    Reblogged this on pdx transport.

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