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My Turn: It’s time to take a hard look at climate hyperbole

Two tornados approach  Pilger, Neb., Monday June 16, 2014.  The National Weather Service said at least two twisters touched down within roughly a mile of each other Monday in northeast Nebraska. (AP Photo/Eric Anderson)

Two tornados approach Pilger, Neb., Monday June 16, 2014. The National Weather Service said at least two twisters touched down within roughly a mile of each other Monday in northeast Nebraska. (AP Photo/Eric Anderson)

I recently read the opinion piece by Ayn Whytemare on global warming (Monitor Forum, July 13) and my first reaction was one of concern for the students at NHTI who are not being taught but are being indoctrinated instead. The bold statements grounded in fiction and the lack of facts to substantiate her claims are a poor example for young adults.

Let’s start with some of the comments Whytemare made. For example, she stated that “there is no other time in documented history where the temperature has risen so quickly.”

That is just not true. As many readers know, global temperatures have flatlined for the last 17 years. More importantly, the increase in temperatures from the mid-1970s (when we hit the end of a cold period) until the late 1990s (when the temperatures rise stopped) is the same magnitude and duration as the global mean temperature change from around 1910 to 1940 (yes, I readily acknowledge that the earth does warm at times). That is not me just saying this, it is the data from NOAA/NCDC that shows how global temperatures have been going up since the mid-1800s – the end of the Little Ice Age.

During the first half of the 1900s, the temperature rose much the same way it did when the global warming alarmists started to come out of the woodwork, and it was driven by Mother Nature, not carbon dioxide.

As a sidenote, I do not deny that increased levels of CO2 may generate incremental warming in our atmosphere, but the science certainly has not quantified it in a way that is claimed by the alarmists or substantiated by the data. It certainly has not shown how any CO2-induced impacts are detectable beyond the natural variability of temperatures on the planet.

Whytemare also states that “we have been able to reliably track temperature since the 1860s and have seen with our own eyes how temperature is related to CO2 concentrations.”

As mentioned above, the record is clear about showing how natural temperature increases in the past match her assumed man-made CO2 induced temperature rise. The problem for her is that CO2 has steadily been rising on an annual basis since 1800, but during those 200 years, temperature has fluctuated.

We had dropping temperatures from 1880 to 1910 while CO2 increased. We had dropping temperatures from the 1930s to the 1970s while CO2 increased. We have had flat temperatures for the past 17 years while CO2 increased. Any first-year statistics student can do a simple correlation study on CO2 and temperature over the past 150 years, and the R-squared value will indicate a lower than statistically significant relationship. That is yet another uncomfortable fact that the alarmists don’t like to discuss.

As part of her diatribe, Whytemare likened the IPCC process to a bunch of “doctors who want to eradicate cancer by banding together and sharing research.”

This is a false narrative. We know cancer is real. We know how it effects lives and impairs health. There are many questions about what causes cancer and how to treat it, but the impact of cancer is firmly established through scientific study. The same cannot be said of carbon dioxide’s impact on our climate.

That is where the climate alarmists fail. They refuse to admit what they do not know. They refuse to admit that the models they use to base every forecast – change in sea level, change in temperature, impact on species, economic effect, policy decision, projection on agriculture – have failed miserably.

Whytemare doesn’t even discuss this elephant in the room when it comes to climate science – the absolute failure of the climate models. It has been pointed out in many circles that the climate models used to justify thousands of policies and programs throughout the United States and the world, can’t even come close to forecasting the past 15 years of temperature.

It is also now well known that the climate models do a terrible job predicting all kinds of critical climate elements. Besides being unable to forecast temperatures very well, they do not correctly model snow, ice, ocean circulation patterns, ENSO, stratospheric cooling, solar impacts, clouds and most recently (from a new study by Amato Evan, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography) dust – which has significant impacts on aerosols, particulate matter impact on solar radiation and hurricane systems in the Atlantic.

With the stabilization of arctic ice, the rapid increase in Antarctic ice, the lack of temperature increases over the past 17 years, the lack of their forecasted hurricane extremes, the lack of any real climate changes of note – the climate charlatans are now pushing sea level rise as the reason to keep sending them money and enacting green policies. But I have bad news for them; NOAA’s latest release of mean sea level data shows no change in the long-term sea level rise that we have seen for the past 100 years.

Stations in Hawaii, Alaska, the Pacific Coast, the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic Coast – dozens of them show no real change in the sea level rise despite alarmist claims to the contrary. NOAA’s data shows the same 1.5 to 2.0 millimeter per decade rise that has been going on for a century. No increasing rates in the past few decades. The sea level sky is not falling. The only question is that with this claim now disproved by that pesky data, what are they going to say? What Cassandra-esque forecasts will we get (apologies to Cassandra because she was actually a decent forecaster)?

Which leads us to the general fallacy propagated by the climate charlatans that “CO2 is driving extreme weather” – except it is not. When you look at the long-term variability of climate impacts, what we see today is not only not “extreme,” but in many cases it is as mild as it has been in decades.

Heat extremes – false. Most localized changes in temperature have been due to increases in nighttime lows, not the daily highs, which is indicative of urban heat island effects on the temperature record, not CO2 induced warming.

Hurricane extremes – false. We are in a quiet period with respect to global cyclone activity, and we have gone the longest period of time for a major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since records began about 100 years ago.

Tornado activity at an extreme level – false. We actually have seen several years near-record lows of tornado activity, despite having several major tornado events in localized areas.

Drought extremes – false. Anyone who reads the studies and data on droughts in the United States knows two things: Droughts in the 1930s and even in the 1950s were far more severe and long-lasting than the recent droughts (which are well within the norms we see in the United States), and the droughts in the West (and specifically the current California drought) are blips compared to the historic, century-long droughts that have occurred in the past several millennia there. None of which were CO2 induced.

Rainfall extremes – false. National, regional and global data shows that there are no extremes in precipitation that are not within the range of natural variability.

Extreme lack of snowfall – False. In fact we have seen the northern hemisphere snowfall amounts record 5 of the top 100 years just in the past decade, although all of them are still within the range of natural variability. Nothing extreme, and certainly winter is not going anywhere soon.

The only extreme when it comes to climate is the hyperbole. When will the climate racketeers admit they don’t know what is going on and apologize for all the economic damage they have done to the United States and the world?

(Michael Sununu is a consultant with Sununu Enterprises LLC and lives in Newfields.)

Legacy Comments62

The bill HB 1510 "AN ACT relative to the licensure of geologists" was passed in 2000 and had nothing to do with climate change. The prime sponsor of the bill was then-Rep. Fran Wendelboe (now a lobbyist), who is definitely neither a liberal nor a Republican. The law it ceated is still on the books today, and is still is not about climate change.

How much did the lobbying cost?

Sheldon Whitehouse schools Senate Republicans (a.k.a. "The Deniers") on the reality of climate change.http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/07/30/global_warming_inhofe_still_denying_reality.html

Thanks Bruce, it is well worth watching. The deniosphere won't risk seeing it-they might actually learn something !!

Sununu's column is replete with errors of fact. For starters, he claims that arctic ice has reached "stabilization". The facts directly contradict his claim: "... September sea ice extent from 1979 to 2013 has declined 13.7 percent per decade. The recent years have shown an even more dramatic reduction in Arctic ice. In September 2012, Arctic sea ice reached a record minimum: 16 percent lower than any previous September since 1979, and 45 percent lower than the average ice extent from 1981 to 2010." While Sununu is correct that Antarctic ice extent has increased slightly over the same time, the underlying reasons for this increase are not yet fully explained, but seem likely connected to the effects of climate change in the southern oceans. "Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are geographically very different from the Arctic, and are governed by different atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns. Nevertheless, Antarctica has experienced many of the same general signals of Earth’s changing climate as in the Arctic, including general warming, ice sheet loss and faster-flowing glaciers." http://nsidc.org/news/newsroom/2014_seasonalseaice_PR.html

Sununu also repeats the climate denier meme that temperatures have not increased in 17 years. This statement is inaccurate, even if only applied to surface air temperatures, which is what he does. The rate of increase in warming of the surface has slowed--not stopped. Meanwhile, the oceans have been measurably taking up more of the extra heat our climate system is retaining. Sununu seems to think air temperatures should increase in a straight line along with CO2, but factors like El NIno/La Nina, and cyclical wind and ocean currents influence surface temps from year to year. But the overall amount of energy in the climate system is increasing, because rising CO2 levels measurably reduce the amount of infra-red radiation escaping into space. He should be comparing the rise in atmospheric CO2 with the increase in total energy (which includes the warming oceans), though here too there is not necessarily a straight-line correlation in the short term, because the unpredictability of things like volcanic eruptions can have a cooling effect on the entire system.

Sununu expresses concern that Whytemare is indoctrinating her students at NHTI. Here's a list of other groups Sununu must think are also guilty of "indoctrination". 

http://logicalscience.com/consensus/consensusD1.htm

National Academy of Sciences, United States of America
Australian Academy of Sciences
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
American Chemical Society - (world's largest scientific organization with over 155,000 members)
Stratigraphy Commission - Geological Society of London - The world's oldest and the United Kingdom's largest geoscience organization
Engineers Australia (The Institution of Engineers Australia)
Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Caribbean Academy of Sciences
National Research Council USA
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)
French Academy of Sciences
German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina
Indonesian Academy of Sciences
Royal Irish Academy
US Geological Survey (USGS)
NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)
World Meteorological Organization
Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Royal Society (UK)
Academia Brasileira de Ciéncias,Brazil
Académie des Sciences, France
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Royal Society of Canada, Canada
Science Council of Japan, Japan
Academy of Science of South Africa, South Africa
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Indian National Science Academy, India
Academia Mexicana de Ciencias, Mexico
International Council on Science 
The Petition - 11,885+ individual scientists listed by name

A petition signed by 52 Nobel Laureates, 63 National Medal of Science recipients, 195 members of the National Academies, and over 11,885+ other scientists criticizing the misuse and politicization of science in Washington. The list is continually growing so these are minimum numbers.

From the chief indoctrinator comes a list of indoctrination outfits. Did the readers know this ....100% of priests believe in GOD

Actually, there are some priests who don't believe in God.

The Sandusky Online Prayer Group includes some priests who are praying there is no God.

Aluminum stocks must be riding high! The fact you call the world's leading national and international science organizations "indoctrination outfits" and do so with a straight face, is simply one more example of exactly how untethered from reality your nonsensical posts, and those of your fellow deniers, really are. Seeing reality as composed of one or more vast conspiracies places you solidly in tin-foil land with the 9-11 Truthers, the Birthers, the John Birch Society, the anti-vacciners, the anti-flouride folks, and the Agenda 21 folks. But then, I believe you have posted nonsense about DDT before. Those who make sense of the world via conspiracy-colored glasses have as their motto: "Abandon rationality, all who enter here". And you're a self-proclaimed "real American" to boot? Recall the adage about patriotism being the last refuge of scoundrels. Only in your own mind. By your example, you continue to make the case that posters here should be required to use their real names. Were that the case, I seriously doubt you'd dare make half the posts you do.

I wonder if all the LIDV's that post here see that the CM has censored the Real Americans that wish to weigh in on this topic. Should not be long before Crank gets put on the list

ROTFLMAO...they let you in didn't they??

a 3 day period between posting and printing - yea -- that is called censorship

censorship?? Hell, it took them that long to stop laughing !!

I remain to be convinced about global warming. I truly believe much of it is about securing funding for "study" so the prof or "scientist" doesn't have to go find a real job. Remember: Publish or perish is the rule in the academic world. We have had hot spells and cold spells, wet spells and dry spells since the beginning of recorded history. Any prof or scientist who admits we have atmospheric cycles, and says this too, shall pass, is not going to secure any funding. Run around screaming; "The sky is falling!" and you'll get all the money you could ever spend. I must have missed the fact that Ayn Whytemare is a prof at NHTI. The fact we, the taxpayers, are paying to indoctrinate students with this questionable theory is troubling. Remember when we were all going to freeze in the dark? Cycles, my friend, and the hysteria kicked up by all of this just helps further Obama's goal of making the USA into a second rate country. Thank you Michael Sununu for pointing this out. The replies to this piece is to be expected. Michael should develop a pen name, because any time anyone with the name "Sununu" writes or says anything the lefties all climb out from under their lily pads.

Develop a pen name? Heck, he should've dumped his surname, altogether. I remember when Michael was a mere teenager, shooting hoops in the driveway of the north Salem Sununu home (large ranch-style dwelling). He's trying to latch onto dad's coattails here. So, how about Acid Rain, crank...just another leftist fundraiser myth?

There's a big difference. Check it out

I wasn't comparing them. I was asking you a pointed question. Please answer it.

Acid rain is measurable as to its acidity. Climate change shifts from global cooling to global warming, depending which theory has run out of gas. Science is measurable, as in the acidity of acid rain. Global warming/ cooling keeps shifting back and forth, depending on the pulse of the leftist media. I'm out of here for the evening and off tomorrow with friends; yes I do have a few; we wear Libertarian hats, NRA tee shirts and drive rollin' coal trucks with big black exhausts to smoke your Prius right out of town!

Didn't ask you for the Fisher~Price definition of Acid Rain, crank. I asked if you thought it was fact or fiction. Guess I'll have to wait at least another couple days for the answer. Hey, have fun with your friends, tomorrow. You fellas hitting Provincetown again, or Ogunquit this time? (c;

OK, you caught me before I shut it down for the evening. I do agree acid rain is fact, and it can be controlled. BTW, are you going to be in Provincetown or Ogunquit? It is sooooo politically incorrect to contribute to global warming and increasing my carbon footprint by driving all the way to the cape or to Maine, so I may go to Suncook on my tricycle. I'm soooooo sorry I won't be able to meet you there.

You're right, crank. I won't be in Suncook tomorrow. (c:

And I bet the residents of Suncook are glad to hear it!

Watch out for young driver's texting at intersections, while on your trike, bud.

scam

Contrary to what my 3 detractors would think, I read up until the first denier myth, of course that was the third paragraph. Who cares if air temperature has flat-lined, if you buy that. The oceans store 80% of the planets heat and they are on a constant steady rise to a depth of 1500 feet. The oceans are also what moderates our planets climates, do you think palm trees grow in parts of England because of their southern locale? No the ocean currents bring warm water from the equator. This letter is 100% spin from a man and company that specialize in pushing an agenda. Do we need hysteria, no, what we need is rational dialog. I for one don't believe we should wait until the problem walks up from behind and hits us with a 2x4, to start worrying.

should we wait until Greenland has lush for forests? Thats never happe..oh wait...

That was half a million years ago. The current warming is not "natural", but due to human-induced changes in the amount of CO2. We're over-riding the natural cycles of climate change caused by long term changes in our orbit and axial tilt.The fact that climate has changed before has no bearing on the cause of the current warming, which is happening at a rate unprecedented in modern human history.

why isnt it called "Whiteland" then?

Pity you didn't do some research on the topic, using those Googley tubes, and then you might even have answered your own question. Here's a hint though... the descendants of those responsible for its name could have sold Florida real estate in the 1920s. And one of them might even have been that Republican pollster/spin doctor who suggested rebranding global warming as 'climate change'.

For all the fair and balanced facts in this article, Mr. Sununu could easily be a Fox News contributor.

I got as far as "Sununu" on this article.

I got as far as Dirty larry on your comment...lol

Obviously, you got a little further than that, GWTW...lol.

From Sununu Enterprises homepage: While the company has conducted business in a wide variety of market sectors, some of the most prominent areas include: Telecommunications Energy Water Resources Real Estate Environmental...

Mr. Sununu might want to consider climate change in the context of Pascal's wager (look it up). Of course that might spoil the narrative of the deniers' deep-pocket backers. The fact that he cites the (politically handy but misstating the science) 17-year pause in warming is proof of his failure to understand the issue.

Oh please. Whatever the complexity of the ultimate impact, you cannot refute the human contribution to the increasing amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. That is not only controllable and the right thing to do, there is business opportunity in helping bring it about.

Hey..did you ever wonder how that Monitor landed in your driveway today? Electric chainsaws with extension cords to solar panels ..right?

Care to tell us all what % of contribution that is?

You do the math this time. You've just asked Nelle what % the human contribution of ghg is to the ATMOSPHERE. This is your chance to do the math correctly, after being shown numerous times why your repetitively wrong answer plays games with the truth. It's in the atmosphere where the greenhouse effect takes place, and it's been shown that climate sensitivity to a doubling of ATMOSPHERIC CO2 is 3 degrees C. We won't hold our breath waiting for the correct answer.

As Brucie cant do the math I will do the math for you : "by calculating the product of the adjusted CO2 contribution to greenhouse gases (3.618%) and % of CO2 concentration from anthropogenic (man-made) sources (3.225%), we see that only (0.03618 X 0.03225) or 0.117% of the greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric CO2 from human activity". What Brucie and his hoaxsters want you to believe is that the addition is 1 itsy bitsy COs Molecule to 10,000 is the end of the world - they insult your intelligence with their fear-monger alarmist predictions that have been proven wrong by the fact that it has not warmed in 17 years 10 months

BPR...again you have me ROTFLMAO !! Where could you find such meaningless numbers. But, here is something for you to think about: the tiny amount of CO2 you mention-that is what drives photosynthesis and each carbon molecule becomes part of a plant, while the O2 moves on. That tiny amount of carbon is the backbone of every tree, shrub, leaf, and blade of grass. So, what do you have to say about the thousands of square miles of rain forest that have been cut and burned-thus not putting oxygen back into the atmosphere.

LIDV Walter you may want to go to ORNL in regard to the fact that Rainforests ADD to green house gasses not subtract - "Air quality above the Amazon jungle is extremely clean during the wet season but deteriorates dramatically during the dry season as the result of biomass (See Figure 2.) Under the worst conditions, trace-gas concentrations at aircraft altitudes approach those typically observed over industrialized regions...... decomposition rates were found to be 5 to 50 times higher ...... The Amazon River floodplain is a globally significant source of methane, supplying about 12% of the estimated worldwide total .....

As usual, you managed to omit a crucial fact regarding your claims and the Amazon rainforest: air quality is reduced due to biomass BURNING--the word you just happened to leave out of your post.

I'll point out the obvious--that BPR/Sail changed the terms of reference. He put his foot in it when he specifically responded to Nelle's challenge to refute the fact that atmospheric CO2 is increasing by asking: "Care to tell us all what % of contribution that is?" I challenged him to answer his own question. He didn't. It would require acknowledging he plays games with the numbers--fooling no one except possibly the few other mis-informed posters here. To answer accurately would also require basic honesty--a quality notably lacking from his posts.

For those interested in doing the math, these numbers are a bit out of date, but close enough. http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/greenhousegases/industrialrevolution.html You can also use them to see where Lord Monckton/Sail/BPR chose to go off the rails as well.

The usual trickery by Brucie - Brucie uses statistics like drunken sailors use a lamppost - he uses them to stabilize is shaky argument never to illuminate it. His referenced source does NOT address where CO2 comes from only there is more - liberals....... sheeeeesh

You've changed the frame of reference--again--from the atmosphere to the entire carbon cycle. You just keep cutting and pasting stuff from denier sources (Monckton? Watts?) without any apparent understanding of what you're posting. CO2 is currently at about 400 ppm in the atmosphere. At the start of the industrial revolution, it was about 280 ppm. The difference, 120 ppm, divided by the pre-industrial amount, 280, yields a rounded off number of 0.43, or a 43% increase in atmospheric CO2 since about 1750. 120/280=0.4285714 or 0.43 rounded to 2 places. It doesn't get more straightforward than that. It's worth pointing out that this level is the highest the atmosphere has experienced in at least 800,000 years.

Reading comprehension for LIDV's....nellie Quote: human contribution to the increasing amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere... MY? ....what % of contribution that is.... Bruce couldn't answer as it absolutely destroys his alarmism...... the answer is = 0.117% of the greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric CO2 from human activity".

Your post is an example of garbage in/garbage out. Your source (Lord Monckton?) took two unrelated numbers, multiplied them together and produced a meaningless and nonsensical number, except that when 2 decimals fractions are multiplied, it yields a still smaller number, which was apparently Monckton's only intent. The math is nonsensical, evidently designed simply to snow the ignorant with a meaningless number. What Lord Monckton evidently did was take the % of CO2 in the air (about 3.6%), and then for some reason known only to him multiplied that number by 3.225%, which he claims to be the % CO2 from man-made sources. I'm at a loss as to where exactly this number comes from. As best I can tell, he took the annual contribution of additional CO2 (about 30 gigatons) and divided that by the total amount of CO2 moving through the carbon cycle annually (750 gigatons), which yields 0.04 (30/750) or about 4%—in the ballpark of his number. But these numbers have little or no bearing on what matters--the increasing amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The fact that CO2 is only a small % of the atmosphere's composition is irrelevant to the established fact of the greenhouse effect itself.

Thank you Michael - you articulated the issue at a level even a LIDV should comprehend. Will they? - H...E.... double hockey sticks.... No because it is their religion.

Sununu Enterprises LLC - is this a lobbyist group?

Yep...and, it is amazing the misstatements that money can buy. Since Mike's father is a well-known politico, no doubt he got some $$$ funneled to the writer,

how much did NHCPG pay their lobbyist...and for what Walter?? Do tell

Define NHCPG??

NEW HAMPSHIRE COUNCIL OF PROFESSIONAL GEOLOGISTS...you are the vice president of this..right? You dont even know the acronym of the group you are vice president of? |SO how much..and for what Walt??

The NHCPG, if it still exists, was a part of the Geological Society of New Hampshire. Vice President--ROTFLMAO. I've been retired for a decade. And, yes, I was VP for a few years.

On, and by the way, the geologists did their own lobbying and never hired a lobbyist !!

"The NHCPG has retained Greg Smith and Teresa Rosenberger of the McLane law firm to lobby the legislature." Yeah...that never happened. http://www.gsnhonline.org/publications/TGSG.25.html#update

I guess you made GWTW's day. Not least by allowing her to think she'd bogged down a poster in irrelevant trivia. But there is a difference: the NHCPG is a professional organization trying to make sure that their profession maintained certain standards for state licensing purposes, and made sure their voice was heard by the legislature. It most assuredly was not then, or now a professional lobbyist--a hired gun like Mr. Sununu. From a 1999 press release:The NHCPG has retained Greg Smith and Teresa Rosenberger of the McLane law firm to lobby the legislature. The lobbyists assisted members of the NHCPG Legislative Committee in drafting proposed legislation for the licensing of professional geologists in New Hampshire. The Legislative Committee worked long and hard, producing a bill that should be a clear benefit to the health and welfare of the citizens of New Hampshire. The bill will be introduced in the 1999 legislative session."

Heh...it was 3 days (!) between each of my comments and I still caught him up...

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