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U.S. National Academy of Sciences: Still More Climate Alarmism (pause, what pause?)

By James Rust -- February 17, 2014

On February 12, the United States National Academies of Sciences (NAS) issued a news release inviting the public to a joint meeting with the UK Royal Society:

On Thursday, February 27th, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and The UK’s Royal Society cordially invite the public to the release of Climate Change: Evidence & Causes, a new publication produced jointly by the two institutions. Host Miles O’Brien from the PBS Newshour will guide a discussion about the publication with authors Dr. Eric Wolff of the University of Cambridge (UK lead), Dr. Inez Fung of the University of California, Berkeley (US lead), Sir Brian Hoskins* of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, and Dr. Benjamin Santer* of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, and Professor Sir Paul Nurse,* President of the Royal Society, will kick off the event.

The publication, which is written by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists and reviewed by climate scientists and others, is intended as a brief, readable reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative information on some of the questions that continue to be asked. The publication makes clear what is well-established and where understanding is still developing. It echoes and builds upon the long history of climate-related work from both national academies, as well as on the newest climate-change assessment from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As Captain Renault said in the classic 1942 movie Casablanca, “Round up the usual suspects.” Yes,  the report “Climate Change:  Evidence & Causes” has as authors a familiar crew of fuel alarmists.

Following the above announcement, reference is made to the NAS video, “The Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change.” The video features Prof. Jim White, of the University of Colorado (Boulder), as the speaker.  Prof. White states as fact a UNIPCC chart of a 3 foot rise in sea level predicted by 2100.  This is followed by statements of possible greater than 3 foot sea level rise by the end of the century.  A 3 foot rise in sea level in 30 years is given as an example of abrupt climate change.  Prof. White points out a sea level rise of 6 inches may have caused subway flooding in New York City by the October 2012 Hurricane Sandy.

Perhaps Prof. White was influenced by the May 15, 1932 New York Times article that predicted huge rise in sea level during the 1910-1940 increase in global temperatures.

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Hurricane Sandy took place on a day of a full moon.  The height of the storm surge was reported to have been increased by six inches due to the moon’s additional gravitational pull.  Are events happening on days of a full moon considered by NAS as abrupt climate change impacts?  Experimental data shows a sea level rise of seven inches the past century with a reduced rate the past decade.  Is this another example of NAS abrupt climate change impact?

All UNIPCC statements about climate change are based on computer models that predict increased global temperatures as time progresses.  None of these computer models have shown the pause in global warming that has taken place the past 15 years(1998-to present) with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increasing 8 percent.  In addition, computer models can not explain global warming from 1910-1940 when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were not increasing and the slight decline in global temperatures from 1945 to 1975 followed by increasing global temperatures from 1975-1998 at the same rate as the 1910-1940 increase when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased about 16 percent.  Another problem with computer models is they predict a hot spot in the upper atmosphere from latitudes 30 degrees South to 30 degrees North that have shown to be non-existent by decades of radiosonde and satellite temperature measurements.  Slavish loyalty to the veracity of computer models shows a lack of common sense.

A thorough coverage of global temperatures, failures of climate models, and errors in IPCC Reports is contained in the recent document Climate Change Reconsidered II:  Physical Science published by the Nongovernmental International Panel On Climate Change October 17, 2013.  This more than 1000 page report with over 4000 references is available on-line.

The fallacy of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences joining the movement to stop fossil fuel use from global warming fears is outlined by Garth Paltridge in his essay “Climate Change’s Inherent Uncertaintiesin the February 1, 2014 Quadrant magazine.  Professor Paltridge wrote:

The trap was fully sprung when many of the world’s major national academies of science (such as the Royal Society in the UK, the National Academy of Sciences in the USA and the Australian Academy of Science) persuaded themselves to issue reports giving support to the conclusions of the IPCC [the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]. The reports were touted as national assessments that were supposedly independent of the IPCC and of each other, but of necessity were compiled with the assistance of, and in some cases at the behest of, many of the scientists involved in the IPCC international machinations. In effect, the academies, which are the most prestigious of the institutions of science, formally nailed their colours to the mast of the politically correct.

Since that time three or four years ago, there has been no comfortable way for the scientific community to raise the spectre of serious uncertainty about the forecasts of climatic disaster. It can no longer use the environmental movement as a scapegoat if it should turn out that the threat of global warming has no real substance. It can no longer escape prime responsibility if it should turn out in the end that doing something in the name of mitigation of global warming is the costliest scientific mistake ever visited on humanity. The current redirection of global funds in the name of climate change is of the order of a billion dollars a day. And in the future, to quote U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen, “a billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon we’ll be talking about real money”.

The NAS shows the lack of judgment referred to by Prof. Paltridge.  It should have been an organization that promotes careful examination of all factors involving climate change and not taking sides on areas of controversy.  Global temperature history and lack of climate model validation demonstrates lack of objectivity.

Possibly in the future this video by NAS on climate change impacts will be laughed at in the way we treat Charley Chaplin movies today.  Professor White may need to grow a small, black mustache.


James H. Rust,  Professor of nuclear engineering and policy adviser The Heartland Institute

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