- - Monday, October 27, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It isn’t easy to be a weather alarmist these days. The weather just won’t pay attention to the learned professors. Really destructive hurricanes haven’t disturbed the Atlantic or Gulf coasts in nine years. Temperatures nationwide have been, when unusual, on the cool side. Temperature readings gathered by satellite show the Earth’s surface temperatures have leveled off since 1998. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. What’s the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that insists the sky is falling, going to say in its synthesis report on Thursday?

The case against carbon dioxide — the stuff we breathe out and plants breathe in — has never been weaker. The climate doom criers insist that CO2, as a “greenhouse gas,” causes planetary temperatures to rise. According to the measurements of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, global average carbon dioxide levels are currently higher than ever, up 8 percent since 1998. So why have we been in a “pause” in global warming for the past two decades if CO2 and temperatures are directly linked?

In a study published last month in the journal “Climate Dynamics,” scientists Judith Curry and Nicholas Lewis show how the currently fashionable climate simulations get it wrong. A doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide has much less effect than alarmists suggest. Other studies published in the journals “Nature Geoscience” and “Earth System Dynamics” have arrived at similar conclusions.

The science is anything but settled, but you won’t hear any doubt from the ideologues at the Environmental Protection Agency. They’re poised to crack down on coal-powered power plants after the elections through a “clean power” plan that cracks down on “carbon pollution.” The EPA’s scheme will drive up the cost of electricity by billions of dollars per year. Other carbon-dioxide restrictions threaten recent advances in extracting oil and gas from shale rock formations that have sparked an unprecedented domestic energy boom. According to the EPA, the health effects of carbon dioxide include “rising global temperatures, rising sea level, changes in weather and precipitation patterns, [and] changes in ecosystems, habitats and species diversity.”

Just as temperatures aren’t rising, neither is the level of the sea. Weather changes, of course. It wouldn’t be weather if it didn’t. No weatherman in history got all his predictions right all the time. The Farmer’s Almanac, which predates the rise of carbon dioxide, gets its predictions right only about half the time. That’s a track record of accuracy that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can only wish it had.


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