In a recent column, Walter Williams tried to discredit the idea that atmospheric CO2 levels are causing climate change (“Climate Change a Ruse for Socialism,” March14). He did so by noting that “460 million years ago, CO2 concentrations were 4400 ppm, and temperatures were about the same as they are today,” thereby implying that CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature are not connected.
Mr. Williams failed to add that another determinant of Earth’s temperature, the sun, was weaker 460 million years ago. The sun was so weak that at least 3000 ppm of CO2 was needed in the atmosphere just to prevent an ice age. Thus, rather than discrediting the role of CO2 in regulating Earth’s temperature, his example affirmed it.
Today, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest since the development of human civilization. Humanity’s greatest challenge is stopping its increase.
Calculating the global mean temperature record is complicated. For an explanation of why and how adjustments must be made to the raw data from weather stations see “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change” by Robert Henson or read “Instrumental Temperature Record” on Wikipedia.
As much as we fixate on global air temperatures, more than 90 percent of the heat gained by Earth has gone into the oceans. That record shows a steady and inexorable climb, demonstrating clearly that Earth is warming in a manner consistent with the increase in greenhouse gases.
Leslie Grady Jr.
*How Hot Is It? Daily News-Record, February 13, 2015
Shortly after 2014 melded into 2015, we were told – ad infinitum and nauseam – that the former was the “hottest year on record.” The implication: Man is so intent on baking the planet, so get ready for more of the same. Year after sweltering year.
But what if this isn’t so? What if the only things getting cooked are the data on which these lamentations are based? That seems to be the case. Francis Menton, who writes the Manhattan Contrarian blog, points his readers to Christopher Booker of London’s Telegraph, who calls into question 2014’s distinction as the “hottest year on record,” employing words such as “fraud” and “scandal.”
The basic charge cited in both articles was this: To quote Mr. Menton, “The past has been cooled to make the present look warmer by comparison.” At first blush, this sounds so diabolical as to totally strain credulity. So how, really, can such an allegation be credibly explained?
Simply stated, intrepid researchers such as Paul Homewood and Tony Heller have culled historical data from myriad weather stations across the globe – from Paraguay to Siberia to upstate New York – and found a similar pattern of tampering: “one-way adjustments” downward. That is, the willful rejiggering of data to establish evidence of irrefutable, and perhaps irreversible, global warming.
Consider Mr. Booker’s summary of Mr. Homewood’s findings:
“Homewood has now turned his attention to the weather stations across much of the Arctic, between Canada (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded. This has surprised no one more than Traust Jonsson, who was long in charge of climate research for the Iceland met office (and with whom Homewood has been in touch). Jonsson was amazed to see how the new version completely `disappears’ Iceland’s “`sea ice years’ around 1970, when a period of extreme cooling almost devastated his country’s economy.”
Mr. Menton concludes that “hottest year on record” declarations have been tendered without proper – or any – examination of satellite data. And none of the reports trumpeting the distinction (whether in Scientific American and The New York Times or by the BBC), he says, refer to these data.
“[A]nybody who follows this issue even a little,” Mr. Menton writes, “knows that beginning in 1979 the U.S. government at great taxpayer expense has put up satellites with sophisticated instruments to get much more accurate measurements of world temperatures than previously available. … Luckily it’s not too hard to figure out what the satellites say.”
And that is? Precisely this, notes Mr. Menton: “2014 was not the hottest year, nor close, but rather tied for 6th/7th place in the 36-year record … 0.3 degrees Celsius cooler than the warmest year, which was 1998 – 16 years ago. Now 0.3 degrees C may not be a lot, but it’s also not a little in a record that only varies by about 1.2 degrees C from coolest to warmest year.”
No wonder Mr. Menton calls climate change, formerly known as global warming, “the greatest scientific fraud of all time.”
A recent editorial in the Virginian Pilot reported on the defeat of the Virginia Coastal Protection Act put forward by Republican Del. Ron Villaneuva, R-Virginia Beach, and Democratic Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico. Virginia would have joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
This “East Coast cap and trade program lets states sell carbon allowances to utilities, with a goal of reducing emissions,” the Pilot reported. Money raised through the program would have prepared for sea-level rise and sinking land along our coast, bolstered our renewable energy industry, and assisted coal miners whose jobs are shrinking rapidly.
Too bad my local legislators did not support this market-driven way to create jobs and retrain workers whose jobs are going away. Are Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon, and Del. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, among state lawmakers who for years, the Pilot claimed, “have dragged their feet rather than addressing the threat, sacrificing the long-term security of critical assets and communities to partisan crusades and gamesmanship”?
The Atlantic Ocean has risen 18 inches at Sewells Point in Norfolk. Del. Ron Villanueva, R-Virginia Beach, introduced The Virginia Coastal Protection Act.
The goal of the bill is to reduce heat-trapping emissions and raise money for coastal adaptation. This is accomplished by allowing states to sell carbon allowances to utilities.
Virginia would join 10 other Eastern states in a program that would raise $200 million per year for Virginia toward coastal adaptation. Also, a portion of the funds would strengthen renewable energy programs and help to economically diversify Virginia’s dying coal region. Unsurprisingly, Dominion opposed the bill and it failed. Ron Villanueva, a Republican, but he gets it.
The people on the coast, the U.S. military, and the politicians know something must be done. Virginia should be the jewel in the crown of the Eastern Seaboard, not a dark hole of ignorant policy.