Thursday, November 21, 2013

Who's Anti-Science?

Climate Depot summarizes the hype, hysteria, and hyperbole surrounding Typhoon Haiyan which may have spawned more absurd claims about climate change than any event in the last twenty years. Marc Morano reports the following asseverations uttered by UN worthies at the UN Climate Summit in Warsaw Poland on November 19th:
UN head Ban Ki-moon claimed that Typhoon Haiyan was due to climate change: "We have seen now what has happened in the Philippines. It is an urgent warning. An example of changed weather and how climate change is affecting all of us on Earth."

Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, charged that, "Climate liars like Rupert Murdoch & Koch Brothers have more and more blood on their hands as climate disasters claim lives across the world."
That's what some of the non-scientists were saying, but what are scientists saying? Here's a sample:
  • Storm expert Brian McNoldy of the University of Miami observed that, "We don’t get to pick and choose which storms are enhanced by a warmer climate and which ones aren’t."
  • Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue states that, "Over past 1,000 years the Philippines have been hit by 10-20 thousand tropical cyclones. Don't be so arrogant as to believe that human activity caused Haiyan."
    Maue went on to demolish claims that Typhoon Haiyan was the ‘strongest storm ever.’ In fact, Haiyan is the 58th Super Typhoon since 1950 to reach central pressure of 900 mb or lower. Moreover, 50 of 58 Super Typhoons with pressure of 900 mb or lower occurred from 1950-1987, but only 8 such megastorms have occurred in the past 25 years.
    Nor was Haiyan the "strongest storm ever." It ranks seventh among the strongest storms to have struck the Philippines.
  • The UN's IPCC notes that there have been "no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century."
  • Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. states that "The scientific evidence does not presently support attribution of the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on tropical cyclone behavior with respect to century-long trends, much less the behavior of individual storms. In practical terms ... a signal that cannot be seen is indistinguishable from a signal that does not exist. I am not convinced that 3 mm/year of sea level rise is a big issue in the magnitude of disaster losses."
  • Gabe Vecchi, a research oceanographer with NOAA, said that if global warming altered Haiyan, it did not do so to a significant extent. "I expect that the contribution of global warming to Haiyan's extreme intensity is likely to have been small, relative to other factors like weather fluctuations and climate variability."
  • Pielke Jr.: "Given this data, substantial research on it, and a strong IPCC consensus does anyone really want to argue that typhoon disasters have become more common?"
  • Bjorn Lomborg: "Facts don’t support the claims that climate-change caused typhoon Haiyan. Strong typhoons have been declining in the years from 1950 to 2010."
  • The Real Science website offers this: "There have been 35 cyclones in the last 800 years that have killed more than 10,000 people. Thirty-three occurred with atmospheric CO2 levels below 350 PPM. The deadliest one in 1970 was blamed on global cooling at the time."
So who are the folks who are anti-science? Are they those who, despite their inability to adduce any scientific evidence to support their allegations, claim that Haiyan was the worst typhoon ever and was spawned by global warming (could an average global temperature increase of just a couple of degrees over the last several decades really have such a dramatic effect on the weather?), or are they the scientists themselves who retort that the claims of the non-scientists are non-sense?

Meanwhile, 132 countries walked out of the UN confab because they demanded reparations of $100 billion annually from the U.S., Europe, and Australia, and those nations, somewhat uncharacteristically perhaps, declined to succumb to first-world guilt and fork over the money.

The money was allegedly supposed to compensate poor nations for the damage that will be caused by the rising of the seas and so on. Evidently, these 132 nations are as little impressed by President Obama's assurance in 2008 that he would reverse the rising of the seas as the rest of us are with his assurance that we could keep our health insurance if we liked it.