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Notable Quotes & Comments >> News Blog >>

WHAT CLIMATE CHANGE SKEPTICS ARE SAYING

NEWS BLOG

 


Steward, whose non-profit group touts the positive effects of additional atmospheric CO2, says Obama’s use of executive authority to address climate change echoes one of his notorious campaign promises.

\"He said I am going to bankrupt the coal industry and energy prices will necessarily skyrocket. He said that. It’s on tape. It’s public,\" Steward said.

\"So, it looks to me like he’s just trying to follow through with that instead of going through the Congress . . . He’s just going to do it by executive fiat and tell the EPA to get it done.\"

Americans can expect the tighter regulations to raise the price of energy, Steward says.

\"[That] will effect everything – utility bills and food supplies and transportation . . . and it’s going to hurt the poor people the most because they’re the ones that don’t have any optional dollars to spend.\"

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Greenpeace Co-Founder Tells U.S. Senate Earth’s Geologic History ‘fundamentally contradicts’ CO2 Climate Fears

Selected Highlights of Dr. Patrick Moore’s Feb. 25, 2014 testimony before the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee:

“Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. There is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.

Humans are a tropical species. We evolved at the equator in a climate where freezing weather did not exist. The only reasons we can survive these cold climates are fire, clothing, and housing…It is “extremely likely” that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.

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Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

Of all of the world’s chemical compounds, none has a worse reputation than carbon dioxide. Thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control of energy production, the conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide is that it is a dangerous pollutant. That’s simply not the case. Contrary to what some would have us believe, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit the increasing population on the planet by increasing agricultural productivity.

The cessation of observed global warming for the past decade or so has shown how exaggerated NASA’s and most other computer predictions of human-caused warming have been—and how little correlation warming has with concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. As many scientists have pointed out, variations in global temperature correlate much better with solar activity and with complicated cycles of the oceans and atmosphere. There isn’t the slightest evidence that more carbon dioxide has caused more extreme weather.

The current levels of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, approaching 400 parts per million, are low by the standards of geological and plant evolutionary history. Levels were 3,000 ppm, or more, until the Paleogene period (beginning about 65 million years ago). For most plants, and for the animals and humans that use them, more carbon dioxide, far from being a \"pollutant\" in need of reduction, would be a benefit. This is already widely recognized by operators of commercial greenhouses, who artificially increase the carbon dioxide levels to 1,000 ppm or more to improve the growth and quality of their plants.

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Former NASA Scientists Conclude:

Washington, D.C.-Just as President Obama vowed in his inaugural address to \"respond to the threat of climate change,\" The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS)-a research team composed of several retired NASA scientists and engineers-today released a preliminary report summary concluding that \"there is no convincing physical evidence of catastrophic anthropogenic [human caused] global warming.\"

The team, which has expertise in physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, biology, data analysis and interpretation, and complex systems modeling-and no current ties to the energy industries-has spent the past year analyzing the evidence for global warming in order to determine to what extent can human-related releases of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere cause earth surface temperature increases that would have harmful effects.  The report can be viewed online at: www.TheRightClimateStuff.com.  A press conference presenting the report will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. this evening at 7:00 p.m.

\"There is no convincing physical evidence of catastrophic man-made global warming,\" said Leighton Steward, a team organizer and chairman of Plants Need CO2.  Leighton Steward, a scientist, environmentalist, and New York Times best-selling author, has been a leading advocate of continued global warming research. \"This is not settled science and this group supports more government-sponsored climate change research to remove critical areas of prediction uncertainty.\"

\"Instead of attempting to make costly public policy decisions of dubious effectiveness based on unvalidated computer simulations predicting earth’s future surface temperature-we strongly recommend taking our time to improve our knowledge of the critical factors driving temperature prediction uncertainty,\" said Leighton Steward.  \"There is no impending climate disaster that requires immediate action.  We need to get the science right first, and then determine the proper public policies.  Forcing our nation to prematurely use the most expensive energies in the world will kill jobs and is a recipe for economic suicide.\"

Many in the group publicly criticized NASA last year for the space agency’s role in advocating that man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major cause of climate change while ignoring compelling empirical evidence that calls the theory into question.  They believe that alarming and premature predictions of a climate disaster with so little empirical data to support these claims, would eventually damage NASA’s reputation for excellent and objective science and engineering achievement.

The Right Climate Stuff preliminary report summary has Six Key Findings:

1. The science that predicts the extent of anthropogenic global warming is not settled science.

2. There is no convincing physical evidence of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

3. Computer models need to be validated before being used in critical decision-making.

4. Because there is no immediate threat of global warming requiring swift corrective action, we have time to study global climate changes and improve our prediction accuracy.

5. Our U.S. government is over-reacting to concerns about anthropogenic global warming.

6. A wider range of solution options should be studied for global warming or cooling threats from any credible cause.

The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) is a national team of scientists with expertise in physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, biology, data analysis and interpretation, and complex systems modeling.  The team has spent the past year analyzing the evidence for global warming in order to determine to what extent can human-related releases of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere cause earth surface temperature increases that would have harmful effects.  Visit The Right Climate Stuff online at www.TheRightClimateStuff.com

For more information or to arrange an interview with Leighton Steward, contact Stephen Manfredi at
(202) 222-8028 or stephenmanfredi@gmail.com

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SUMMARY OF PRELIMINARY REPORT

The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) research team is a volunteer group of more than 20 scientists and engineers who are primarily retired veterans of our manned space program. We began our investigation into the controversial issue of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) in February 2012.  We have reviewed, studied and debated available data and scientific reports regarding many factors that affect temperature variations of the earth’s surface and atmosphere.  We have also studied the well-documented beneficial, as well as potentially detrimental effects, of more CO2 in our atmosphere. This report provides a summary of findings that we have reached at this point into our investigation.

1.  The science that predicts the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming is not settled science.
 
2.  There is no convincing physical evidence of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.  Most of the alarm regarding AGW results from output of unvalidated computer models. We understand scientific arguments regarding how doubling CO2 in the atmosphere over a hundred years or more (if possible) can have a small direct warming effect, but we question the accuracy of feedback simulations in current models computing climate system responses that amplify CO2 effects.  Efforts to estimate climate sensitivity to CO2 based solely on physical data have large uncertainties because many factors affect global temperatures, and CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere after the earth warms due to other factors.  While paleoclimate data clearly show CO2 levels rise and fall in the atmosphere hundreds of years after temperature rises and falls due to other causes, the evidence is very weak to support claims of a catastrophic rise in global temperatures caused by CO2 emissions related to human activity.

3.  Computer models need to be validated before being used in critical decision-making.  Our manned aerospace backgrounds in dealing with models of complex phenomena have convinced us that this rule must be followed to avoid decisions with serious unintended consequences.
 
4.  Because there is no immediate threat of global warming requiring swift corrective action, we have time to study global climate changes and improve our prediction accuracy. While there are many benefits due to some global warming, the major threats appear to be associated with a net loss of Greenland and Antarctica ice sheet mass that would contribute to a gradual sea-level rise.  The history, current trends, and specific causes of ice sheet melting and ice accumulation by precipitation must be better understood before determining how best to respond to threats of accelerated sea-level rise.

5.  Our US government is over-reacting to concerns about Anthropogenic Global Warming. More CO2 in the atmosphere would be beneficial for forest and crop growth to support the earth’s growing population, so control of CO2 emissions is not an obvious best solution to hyped-up concerns regarding AGW.  Eventually the earth will run out of fossil fuels and alternative energy sources will be required.  Market forces will (and should) play a big role in this transition to alternative energy sources.  Government funding of promising research and development objectives for alternative fuels appears to be a better option at this time than expenditures of enormous resources to limit CO2 emissions.

6.  A wider range of solution options should be studied for global warming or cooling threats from any credible cause.  CO2 effectiveness in controlling global average temperatures or sea levels has not been established. More reliable and greater control authority may be available from engineering solutions that would accommodate the beneficial aspects of more CO2 in the atmosphere.

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More Evidence Against a Methane Time Bomb

Over at Watts Up With That, Anthony Watts has highlighted a recent press release from the German Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel announcing the preliminary findings from an expedition this summer to the Greenland Sea (off the coast of Spitzbergen). The expedition on the German research vessel the Maria S. Merian was aimed at investigating the release of methane from the seafloor-one of the many potential apocalyptic positive feedback pathways which lead from an initial warming instigated by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Watts drew attention to the press release because the researchers were reporting that contrary to expectations, the release of methane from the seabed was found not to be a recent phenomenon (i.e., a result of global warming), but instead that many of the gas outlets had been active for long before local ocean temperatures have been rising.

According to the press release:

Above all the fear that the gas emanation is a consequence of the current rising sea temperature does not seem to apply.

And also, although the full details from the expedition’s data collections will not be known for several months, the scientists suggested that

[T]he observed gas emanations are probably not caused by human influence.

In Watts’ coverage, he contrasted this announcement with a rather alarmist one from a few years ago bemoaning the detection of the dreaded methane positive feedback loop, another step to our climate demise. Watts’ headline succinctly summarizes the current situation:

\"Remember the panic over methane seeping out of the Arctic seabed in 2009? Never mind.\"

And this is not the first time that evidence has been found that runs contrary to the methane apocalypse storyline.

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Sea Level Acceleration: Not so Fast

Sea level rise is a topic that we frequently focus on because of all the gross environmental alterations which may result from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, it is perhaps the only one which could lead to conditions unexperienced by modern societies. A swift (or accelerating) sea level rise sustained for multiple decades and/or centuries would pose challenges for many coastal locations, including major cities around the world-challenges that would have to be met in some manner to avoid inundation of valuable assets. However, as we often point out, observational evidence on the rate of sea level rise is reassuring, because the current rate of sea level rise from global warming lies far beneath the rates associated with catastrophe. While some alarmists project sea level rise of between 1 to 6 meters (3 to 20 feet) by the end of this century, currently sea level is only inching up at a rate of about 20 to 30 centimeters per hundred years (or about 7 to 11 inches of additional rise by the year 2100)-a rate some 3-4 times below the low end of the alarmist spectrum, and a whopping 20 to 30 times beneath the high end.

To get from here to catastrophe surely requires a significant acceleration in sea level. And, because disasters pay scientists handsomely, a lot of people have been looking. Here is how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fourth Assessment Report summed up its investigation:

Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3] mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8] mm per year. Whether the faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variability or an increase in the longer-term trend is unclear. There is high confidence that the rate of observed sea level rise increased from th3 19th to the 20th century, the total 20th-century rise is estimated to be 0.17 [0.12 to 0.22] m.

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Hansen Is Wrong

In his recent press blitz, NASA’s James Hansen tries to tie extreme weather events, such the current drought affecting much of the central U.S., to anthropogenic global warming. But the real world argues otherwise.

Hansen is quite adept at timing global warming pronouncements with extreme weather events. Recall that it was during a similar hot, dry period back in the summer of 1988 that Hansen first testified to Congress that global warming from human greenhouse gas emissions was impacting current weather events-testimony which many credit as giving rise to the global-warming-is-going-to-be-bad movement. But then, as now, the tie-in between weather events and human changes to the atmospheric greenhouse effect is tenuous at best, and tie-ins to specific events are ill-supported and ill-advised. In the best case, the anthropogenic emissions-driven rise in global temperatures has a small ancillary impact on a specific extreme weather event, but in the vast majority of the cases, its role is nugatory and undetectable.

Such is the case with the impact of global warming on U.S. drought.

In his recent op-ed and article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (recall that the peer review process at PNAS is more like watered down \"pal review\") Hansen clearly states that U.S. droughts are being enhanced by global warming.

Hansen has a lot of weight in his corner on this one, because the standard measure of drought-the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI)-has temperature incorporated into its equation. The higher the temperature, the greater the potential evaporation term, and thus the tendency towards drier conditions. But (obviously) precipitation amount is also included in the calculation of the PDSI. More precipitation pushes the index away from drought conditions. So just because temperature is on the rise does not mean that droughts must become more frequent-changes in precipitation could intervene and counteract the influence of a temperature increase.

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Illiteracy at NASA

Apparently NASA should start distributing dictionaries to the authors of its press releases.
 
Here is the title of the July 24, 2012 NASA press release reporting on recent ice melt across the surface of Greenland:

\"Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt\"

And here is a quote from within the release:

\"Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time,\" says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data.

Now, according to our version of Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, \"unprecedented\" is defined as:

\"having no precedent: NOVEL, UNEXAMPLED\"

Dictionary.com concurs:

\"without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled: an unprecedented event.\"

So, while it may be meteorologically interesting that a series of high pressure ridges had passed over Greenland this summer with largest and warmest of these parking over the island for a few days in mid-July and raising the temperature to near the melting point of ice all the way up to the summit of Greenland’s ice cap-it is not a type of event which is unique. Rare perhaps, but not unprecedented.

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NRC Sea Level Rise Scare: Losing Sight of the Science

Last week, the National Academies of Sciences’ National Research Council (NRC) released a report Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. The apparent intent of the report was to raise global warming alarm by projecting rapidly rising seas-some 2-3 times higher than recent IPCC estimates-along the California coast and elsewhere. Based on the news coverage, the NRC was successful.

Successfully handling the media does not equate to successfully handling the science, if scientific success is judged by scientific accuracy.

The NRC was quite adept at sidestepping the inconvenient scientific literature which would have tempered their conclusions and which would have replaced alarm with prudent vigilance. Sure, global sea level will continue to rise, but the rate of future rise will likely be closer to the rise observed during the 20th century, about 8-12 inches-a rate to which coastal residents have easily adapted-than to the NRC’s upper bound which approaches some 4-5 feet by the year 2100.

How the NRC came up with a global sea level rise by the year 2100 of some 50 to 140 cm (20 to 55 inches)-is an example of using only a careful selection of available data and turning a deaf ear to warnings (made by the scientists themselves) of its unreliability for long-term projections.

Let’s review how the NRC came to make its future projections of sea level rise.

They independently extrapolated the two major components of sea level rise-ocean thermal expansion from increasing ocean temperatures and water input from the melting of ice-and then added them together.

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Addendum: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States

This report summarizes the science that is missing from Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, a 2009 document produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) that was critical to the Environmental Protection Agency’s December, 2009 \"finding of endangerment\" from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. According to the 2007 Supreme Court decision, Massachusetts v. EPA, the EPA must regulate carbon dioxide under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments subsequent to finding that it endangers human health and welfare. Presumably this means that the Agency must then regulate carbon dioxide to the point at which it longer causes \"endangerment\".

This report discusses climate-related impacts on the same sectors that were in the 2009 report. It is an authoritative report containing more primary science citations than its 2009 predecessor. In one sense, it can therefore be hypothesized that the 2009 report ignored
more global warming science than it included.

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Not So Hot in East China

While the IPCC is big on the idea that the warmth of the late 20th and early 21st century in the Northern Hemisphere is unprecedented in recent centuries, apparently that finding does not apply universally over longer timescales.

According to the Summary of Policymakers from the IPCC Fourth Assessmnet Report:

Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years.

This is basically a verbal description of the \"hockeystick\"-like temperature progression of the past millennia or so.

How that representation came to be and just how scientifically accurate it is a story unto itself, and one which continues to be assessed and reassessed over at the Climate Audit website. An interesting discussion has been taking place there as to yet another methodological flaw in the mathematics involved in multiproxy reconstructions. And another oft-discussed issue there is the very selective use of only particular proxy temperature records which are combined to produce the now-too-familiar hockeystick shape.

One proxy record that most definitely was not included in the assembly of the hockeystick is a just-published proxy reconstruction of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) from the East China Sea.

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NASA Must Stop Global Warming Alarmism (570 News Radio)
Tom Harris, Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition joins Jeff Allan to discuss the open letter from former NASA astronauts and science and technology specialists concerning the agency’s promotion of global warming alarmism. (~15 min.)
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The EPA and “Independence”

The public comment period is fast drawing to a close (June 25, 2012) on the EPA’s latest scheme to try to limit human greenhouse gas emissions (a fruitless task as far as climate change is concerned). The EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for Future Power Plants, announced on March 27, 2012, seeks to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide from new power plants to 1,000 lbs per megawatt hour. Such a standard would effectively bar any new coal-fired power plants from being built as such an emissions standard is not achievable by coal plants under current or near-term technology.

Accompanying its latest proposal, the EPA has produced a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) that \"discusses potential benefits, costs, and economic impacts of the proposed Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources for Electric Utility Generating Units.\" Chapter 3 of the RIA is concerned with \"The climate change problem and rationale for rulemaking\" and basically reiterates EPA’s version of the \"science\" behind its Endangerment Finding from December 2009, in which the EPA determined that human greenhouse gas emissions act to \"threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations\" -a finding which opened the door for the EPA to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from the U.S.
 
In order to make it seem as if they were keeping up with the latest scientific research on the topic of climate change (something which any more that a cursory inspection of the RIA reveals definitively is not the case at all), and that their opinions of the science behind the Endangerment Finding were robust, the EPA states that the Endangerment Finding has been bolstered by recent assessments by the National Research Council (NRC) which provide \"independent\" confirmation of the state of climate change science. From the RIA:

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Asian Air Pollution Warms U.S More than Our GHG Emissions (More futility for U.S. EPA)

\"The whims of foreign nations, not to mention Mother Nature, can completely offset any climate changes induced by U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reductions.. So, what’s the point of forcing Americans into different energy choices?\"

A new study provides evidence that air pollution emanating from Asia will warm the U.S. as much or more than warming from U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The implication? Efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (and otherwise) to mitigate anthropogenic climate change is moot.
 
If the future temperature rise in the U.S. is subject to the whims of Asian environmental and energy policy, then what sense does it make for Americans to have their energy choices regulated by efforts aimed at mitigating future temperature increases across the country-efforts which will have less of an impact on temperatures than the policies enacted across Asia?
 
Maybe the EPA should reconsider the perceived effectiveness of its greenhouse gas emission regulations-at least when it comes to impacting temperatures across the U.S.
 
New Study
 
A new study just published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters is authored by a team led by Haiyan Teng from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder, Colorado. The paper is titled \"Potential Impacts of Asian Carbon Aerosols on Future US Warming.\"

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Historical Imagery of Greenland Glaciers Lessens Sea Level Rise Alarm

A new study using historical images of glaciers in southeast Greenland to investigate glacier response to climate changes suggests that the recently observed acceleration of ice loss from Greenland may not be a long-term phenomenon. Instead, as marine terminating glaciers reach their grounding line and as the termini of land-terminating glaciers migrate upwards in elevation, ice loss rates from glacial discharge may slacken. According to Anders Bjørk and co-researchers:

[T]he recent high rate of retreat may come to a slowdown when retreating marine-terminating glaciers reach their grounding line and become less sensitive to the influence of ocean temperature, or through positive or negative feedback mechanisms relating to the cold East Greenland Coastal Current.

and,

Our results have implications for future estimations of sea-level rise as retreat rates for marine-terminating glaciers are likely to increase as temperature rises until glacier fronts reach the grounding line, or when cold ocean currents re-establish, whereas retreat rates for land-terminating glaciers are not likely to rise in the same order of magnitude.

Such results throw a bit of cold water on alarmist ideas that rising temperatures will lead to ever-accelerating ice loss from Greenland and accelerating sea level rise.

For example, Eric Rignot and colleagues (2011) last year documented an acceleration in the rate of ice loss from Greenland (and Antarctica) over the past two decades. They extrapolated this acceleration into the future, to arrive at potential future sea level contributions from the loss of ice sheets:

At the current rate of acceleration in ice sheet loss, starting at 500 Gt/yr in 2008 and increasing at 36.5 Gt/yr2, the contribution of ice sheets alone scales up to 56 cm [22 in.] by 2100.

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CO2 Not to Blame for Southwest Droughts?

In our last WCR, we discussed a series of articles that found that higher resolution climate models-models which include a better representation of the complex terrain features of the Southwest-produce less drought stress on the Southwestern U.S. in their projections of future climate change from greenhouse gas emissions than do coarser resolution general circulation models.

Now comes along a new paper published in Nature magazine by Robert Allen and colleagues which suggests that the drying trend which remains is being caused more by black carbon aerosols and tropospheric ozone than by greenhouse gas emissions.

Recall that increased aridity in the Southwest is one of \"robust\" climate change projections for the U.S., at least according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The primary driver for the increased aridity is the projected northward expansion of the tropical belt component of the atmospheric circulation. This expansion of the tropics leads to a drying of subtropical regions such as the American Southwest as the preferred track for mid-latitude storm systems is shifted poleward.

Observations over the past 30 years or so show that the tropics have broadened by about 2 to 5 degrees latitude (a couple hundred miles) lending support to the climate model projections that the tropics will expand due to the continued build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, the observed rate of expansion far exceeds that projected to result from GHG increases. According to Allen et al. this may be the result of \"relatively short observational record, the large natural variability of some expansion metrics, or model deficiencies.\" They set out to see if they could help identify the cause (spoiler alert: it turns out to be model deficiencies).
 
Their hunch was that other atmospheric warming agents (besides greenhouse gases)-specifically black carbon (soot) and tropospheric (low-level) ozone-may play a significant role.

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Future Southwest Drought in Doubt?

One of the most \"robust\" signals from global climate models run under scenarios of increasing human greenhouse gas emissions is an even drier climate in the Southwestern U.S. than exists there currently.
 
The 2009 report \"Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States\" from the U.S. Global Change Research Program (a report which the EPA relied upon in making its \"Endangerment Finding\" from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases) has this to say about the prospects of future drought in the U.S. (p. 33):
 
\"In the future, droughts are likely to become more frequent and severe in some regions. The Southwest, in particular, is expected to experience increasing drought as changes in atmospheric circulation patterns cause the dry zone just outside the tropics to expand farther northward in the United States.\"
 
The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC (another report which the EPA relied heavily upon in making its \"Endangerment Finding\") had this to say (p. 890):

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No sea level rise catastrophe?

As one of the central tenets of climate change catastrophe involves inundation by rapidly rising seas, we like to visit the issue from time to time here at World Climate Report. Interestingly, or perhaps some may prefer predictably, we usually are able to uncover plenty of science that indicates that the situation is not nearly so dire.

More evidence of this was published this week in Science magazine.
 
A paper by Twila Moon, Ian Joughin, Ben Smith, and Ian Howat titled \"21st Century Evolution of Greenland Outlet Glacier Velocities\" examined the flow characteristics from nearly 200 glaciers across Greenland for the period 2000-2010 as analyzed using synthetic aperture radar data collected from various satellites. Moon and colleagues assessed changes in the flow rate of each of the glaciers.
 
And what they found-much like what is found whenever the climate system is examined in detail rather than painted with a broad brush-was that the patterns of flow rate changes across Greenland were complex, both in space and time. Glaciers that were accelerating during a few years were found to be decelerating in others. Some accelerating glaciers were found in close proximity to other glaciers that were decelerating. The authors hypothesize that a variety of local factors are important in controlling the flow rate of individual glaciers including \"fjord, glacier, and bed geometry,\" \"local climate\" and \"small-scale ocean water flow and terminus sea ice conditions.\"

Moon et al. were able to make a few regional generalizations. Glaciers in the northwestern portion of Greenland typically showed accelerations thought the 2000-2010 period, while glaciers in southeastern Greenland showed a speed up from about 2000-2005 and then their flow rate remained fair steady from 2006-2010.

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Antarctica\'s ice is melting from warm water below

Here’s a graphic of Antarctic ice MELT ending in 2009 by Tedesco and Monaghan.  Note that because it is melt, the decline means that more ice is NOT melting.  
Here is the extent of sea ice in the southern hemisphere, as measured by satellite.  The increase is highly significant (at the .0001) level. These are from Cryosphere Today and are updated every few days.

Then there are the data from the GRACE satellite, which  measures the gravity anomaly (thicker ice means more gravity). This is only from 2002 to 2008 and shows a net loss of ice  from Antarctica if 87+/- 30 billion tons per year.  That’s a very small amount, actually, and raises sea level by the paltry amount of .25 millimeters per year.  This works out to a grand total of ONE INCH PER CENTURY of sea level rise.

Given the fact that the melt--which is measured at the surface--is decreasing, but that there is also a (small) net loss of ice measured by GRACE would mean that the loss is likely to be originating from underneath the ice shelves that abutt the land.  This results in a slight increase in the flow of the great ice sheets which is where the net loss is measured by GRACE. which is what is implied in the paper related to the article you sent.  Keep in mind that it is VERY small--in fact, too small to be able to measure reliably.

Further evidence for the melt-from-underneath hypothesis can be found in the satellite-sensed temperature data for Antarctica and surrounding areas.  You can see that there is some (very slight) warming in the ocean near Antarctica--even as much of the land itself is cooling.

 

The synthesis is that it is likely that there is some slight melting from undeneath, but that the sea ice--which does not affect sea level--is also increasing. That  may be because snowfall appears to be increasing over the land areas that are adjacent to this warming, which is what would be expected. After all, it’s still way below freezing, and warming the water a teense means there is more water vapor which is going to fall as snow when condensed. All of the numbers, except for the snowfall increase over the Antarctic peninsula (the point which juts out towards South America) are very, very small.

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Plant life changes \'underestimated\'

Scientists may have greatly underestimated the impact of future global warming on plants, new research has suggested.

Changes brought about by rising temperatures could be up to eight times more pronounced than experts have assumed, it is claimed.

The forecasts of earlier flowering and leafing are based on outdoor experiments in which plants are artificially warmed. But comparisons between these predictions and historical records of what has actually occurred in nature over the past 30 years reveal major discrepancies.

Scientists conducting the new research, published in the journal Nature, examined data from 50 different experimental studies covering 1,643 plant species on four continents.

Taken together, the studies predicted that every degree Celsius rise in temperature would advance plants’ flowering and leafing from between half a day to 1.6 days. However, records of nature-watching observations showed phenological events advancing, on average, five to six days per degree Celsius rise.

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Global What?

Climate change ’deniers’ not so dumb after all

The current environmental paradigm assumes that those who don’t believe in man-made climate change are less scientifically savvy, while those who do are scientifically smarter.

According to one study, however, those assumptions just aren’t true.

\"Seeming public apathy over climate change is often attributed to a deficit in comprehension. The public knows too little science, it is claimed, to understand the evidence or avoid being misled,\" said a report published in May in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study added: \"We conducted a study to test this account and found no support for it.\"

Instead, the researchers found just the opposite: Those with the highest degrees of scientific understanding were less concerned about climate change, while those who were the most concerned scored slightly lower on tests of scientific knowledge.

\"As respondents’ science literacy scores increased, their concern with climate change decreased,\" the paper said.

Rather than scientific literacy, the researchers said it was ideology that was driving the cultural battle over man-made climate change. Those who believed in individual interests were less concerned about climate change and its causes, while those who believed in pushing for social equality were more concerned.

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.
          www.nature.com, 5/27/12; www.foxnews.com, 5/28/12

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EPA’S Toxic Science

EPA’s recently announced regulations on mercury from power plants will, in fact, do nothing substantial about the amount of this element in the global atmosphere. If they were really serious, they would ban volcanoes and forest fires, which are much larger sources.

Total annual releases of mercury to the atmosphere from such natural sources are about 5,200 metric tons per year. The world’s volcanoes tend to concentrate along the Pacific Rim, where the great tectonic plates that define the world’s continents are in flux, and in the mid-Atlantic, where continental drift is expanding the Atlantic ocean, opening up huge rifts that extend far beneath the surface. Forest fires tend to take place where there are forests-especially dry ones like those in the western U.S.

Data published in the refereed scientific journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions indicate that the amount of mercury released into the atmosphere by human activities-mainly from smelting of metals and combustion of coal-is about 2,320 tons, for a total atmospheric increment (natural + anthropogenerated) of a bit over 7,500 tons per year. The human contribution makes up about 31% of the annual total.

Now it gets good, and we can see how absurd EPA’s perseveration on mercury from U.S. power plants is.

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For Wheat and Rice, CO2 is Nice

We have written about the biological benefits of elevated temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels hundreds of times, and we will never run out of new material! Evidence the results of two recent article showing how CO2 improves the yield of wheat and the competitiveness of rice.

A team of seven scientists from various agencies in China began their article noting \"In the past 100 years, the mean surface temperature in China has increased by 0.4-0.6ºC, and it is expected that the average surface temperature in western China will rise by 1.7ºC in the next 30 years and by 2.2ºC over the next 50 years.\" Furthermore, Xiao et al. report \"The annual mean rainfall decreased by about 60 mm [~2.4 in.] from the 1950s to the 1990s in semiarid regions of China, and a loss of soil moisture through evaporation increased 35-45 mm [~1.5 in.] due to the temperature increase. The rainfall and available soil moisture throughout the entire growing stage of the crops was about 100 mm [~4 in.] lower in the 1990s than in the 1950s. As a result, concerns about the vulnerability of agricultural production to climate change are increasing. For example, it is likely that evaporation will increase and soil moisture will decline in many regions as the temperature increases.\" If that is not enough bad news, they state \"There is now strong evidence that overall crop yields will decrease by 5-10% in China by 2030 as a result of climatic changes, and that the yields of wheat, rice and maize will be greatly reduced.\"

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Is the EPA Endangering Public Health and Welfare by Attempting to Mitigate Extreme Weather?

On the rationale of mitigating man-made climate change and thus limiting the occurrence of extreme weather events, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is (unintentionally) fostering a less prepared and less resilient population. As such, EPA should regulate its own actions as endangering public health and welfare.

New Proposed Rule

Back in December 2009, the U.S. EPA issued a finding that human emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) \"threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.\" This \"Endangerment Finding\" opened the door to the EPA’s issuing regulations aimed at restricting GHG emissions in the U.S. To date, the EPA hasn’t been shy about stepping through that door.

The latest in a string of EPA greenhouse gas regulations was announced just last month. This one is aimed at carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. The proposed regulation would limit CO2 emissions to 1,000 pounds per megawatt-hour of power produced, which is not achievable by coal plants under current or near-term technology. It is congruent to what a new gas-fired power plant can achieve-and thus the standard.

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Acclimation to Ocean Acidification: Give It Some Time

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels lead to an increasing amount of CO2 being dissolved in the oceans which drives down the oceans’ pH level. This is often referred to as \"ocean acidification\" and included among the list of ills that energy production from fossil fuels imparts to the environment. Type \"ocean acidification\" into your Google search and you’ll quickly be confronted with a litany of potential impacts-all bad. The Center for Biological Diversity refers to it as global warming’s \"evil twin.\"

\"We mean it this time\" our greener friends are saying about this current apocalypse. But is ocean acidification any different than the population bomb, global starvation, acid rain, ozone depletion, global cooling, and global warming-all forecast to cause the end of the world as we know it, and all falling a bit short?
It’s beginning to look like the same old same old. In what will come as no surprise to World Climate Report regulars, alarmists are overdoing things just a little. Their biggest mistake comes in assuming that the oceans’ denizens cannot deal either with the pace or the magnitude of the projected changes to the oceans’ chemistry.

The more researchers look into this, the more they report findings to the contrary.

A large and continually updated annotated and summarized collection of findings which report acclimation and adaptation to \"ocean acidification\" is maintained at the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Spend a little time there and you will come away with a completely different view of the subject than was returned to you in your Google search above. The Center also maintains a digital archive of citations to the relevant primary scientific literature, so you can see for yourself.

A new paper just published in the journal Global Change Biology titled \"Acclimation to ocean acidification during long-term CO2 exposure in the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa \" is surely soon to be an inductee in the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change database.

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Is this finally proof we\'re NOT causing global warming?

Is this finally proof we’re NOT causing global warming? The whole of the Earth heated up in medieval times without human CO2 emissions, says new study

  • Evidence was found in a rare mineral that records global temperatures
  • Warming was far-reaching and NOT limited to Europe
  • Throws doubt on orthodoxies around ’global warming’

Current theories of the causes and impact of global warming have been thrown into question by a new study which shows that during medieval times areas as far apart as Europe and Antarctica both warmed up.
It then cooled down naturally and there was even a ’mini ice age’.

A team of scientists led by geochemist Zunli Lu from Syracuse University in New York state, has found that the ’Medieval Warm Period’ approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago wasn’t just confined to Europe.
In fact, it extended all the way down to Antarctica.

At present the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the Medieval Warm Period was confined to Europe.

However, Professor Lu has shown that this the Medieval Warm Period had a much broader reach - and the evidence lies with a rare mineral called ikaite, which forms in cold waters.
’Ikaite is an icy version of limestone,’ said Lu. ’The crystals are only stable under cold conditions and actually melt at room temperature.’
It turns out the water that holds the crystal structure together - called the hydration water - traps information about temperatures present when the crystals formed.
This finding by Lu’s research team establishes, for the first time, ikaite as a reliable way to study past climate conditions.
The mineral proved that Antarctica did warm up.

Lu says that his research has no direct bearing on the current climate, and points out that his research is restricted to one area in Antarctica, and is not in itself proof that the whole Earth warmed up.

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Tropical Forests Rejoice!

When was the last time you heard good news about our tropical forests? Well, that’s just too long.

All we ever seem to hear about the tropical forests is that they are being destroyed, their destruction will exacerbate global warming, and on and on. You will even discover that some scientists think global warming destroyed the first tropical forests that evolved on our planet bringing rise to the dinosaurs! So it’s high time for some good news and World Climate Report is at your service!

A recent article in Landscape Ecology caught our eye with the title \"Has global environmental change caused monsoon rainforests to expand in the Australian monsoon tropics?\" Is someone really suggesting that global environmental change is causing rainforests to expand? We knew we would really like this one!


The article was produced by a team of three scientists with various agencies in Australia, and the work was supported financially by Australian Research Council and Kakadu National Park. Bowman et al. note that changes have been occurring in the northern Australian home of the rainforest resulting in an expansion of the forest. The expansion is well-documented and a subject of great interest. In trying to explain the expansion, Bowman et al. report \"Average yearly rainfall has shown an increasing trend in northern Australia over the last century. Between 1910 and 1995 total annual rainfall in the Northern Territory rose by 15-18%, with the increasing trend considerably steeper for the second half of the 20th century. There was also an almost 20% increase in the number of rain days between 1910 and 1995\". They suggest \"the observed expansion of rainforest boundaries throughout northern Australia may be driven by a wetting trend.\" While it is tempting to speculate that the buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) may have been indirectly beneficial to the rainforest by causing the increase in rainfall, we wonder whether the elevated CO2 may have had more of a direct impact on the rainforest?

Bowman et al. help us out here:

\"[A]tmospheric CO2 concentration has been rapidly increasing for the last two centuries, with the increase dramatically accelerating in the 20th century. Numerous controlled experiments have frequently shown an increase in tree growth rates under elevated CO2 due to the CO2 ’fertilisation effect’, including species of trees from Australian monsoon rainforest. Elevated atmospheric CO2 has the potential to shift forest-savanna boundaries as it advantages trees and shrubs (C3 photosynthetic pathway) over (predominantly C4) tropical grasses with the consequence of changing the strongly contrasting fuel types between rainforest and savanna (grass vs. leaf litter). Thus, fire regimes may also change because woody plants can suppress grassy fuels, reversing the well known positive feedback between fire and grass cover. Elevated CO2 may also indirectly increase growth by improving plant water status. Thus, rising atmospheric CO2 may be the primary driver of the widespread woody vegetation expansion.\"

Bowman et al. go on to explain:

\"There is emerging evidence of profound changes to the structure and function of tropical rainforests, both in northern Australia and elsewhere. The expansion of northern Australian monsoon rainforests parallels reports of expansion of tropical rainforest on the east coast of Australia and increased tree growth and biomass accumulation in tropical rainforests elsewhere in the world\".

Can you believe this talk about rainforests expanding throughout the world? They conclude:

\"We consider it most likely that the expansion of rainforest patches is related to global climate change via increased rainfall and/or the CO2 ’fertiliser effect’.\"

Wow!

But not all tropical trees grow in rainforests where precipitation is plentiful; there are tropical dry forests where the trees are forced to cope with periods of low rainfall and even extended periods of drought. Such a forest exists in southern Mexico where large amounts of rainfall occur during the summer but only a few inches of rain occur from November to May. One of the common trees there is Mimosa acantholoba which is a deciduous tree that forms distinctive annual growth rings. Most of these trees are indeed in southern Mexico, but it is found in forests extending south into Ecuador (Figure 1).

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Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and High Climate Sensitivity

A few months ago, we reported on a paper in the scientific literature (Schmittner et al. 2011) that concluded that there were only \"vanishing probabilities\" that the value of the earth’s climate sensitivity-the amount of global temperature change resulting from a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide content-was above 3.2°C, and that a climate sensitivity exceeding 6°C was \"implausible.\" Now, a new paper has been published (Olson et al., 2012) that finds that the 95% confidence range for the value of the earth’s actual climate sensitivity extends only to a value as great as 4.9°C. This is yet another in an expanding list of papers that strongly suggest that that the IPCC entertainment of the possibility that the earth’s climate sensitivity is extremely high (say, greater than 5-6°C, is wrong).

As apocalyptic climate change lurks among high sensitivity values, these new findings virtually eliminate the places where it could be hiding-and relegate talk of apocalyptic climate change to that of Loch Ness monsters, big foot, and woolly mammoths in Siberia.


Roman Olson and colleagues (including Nathan Urban, also a collaborator on the Schmittner et al. project) published their new findings in the Journal of Geophysical Research. They set out to investigate the range of values which most likely contains the earth’s actual climate sensitivity using a combination of observations of the earth’s climate along with an intermediate complexity climate model developed at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. The researchers varied the parameters of the climate model, including the climate sensitivity, and then used the model to hindcast the observed changes in surface temperature (since 1850) and ocean heat content (since 1950). The model hindcasts were then compared with the actual observations and a probability was assigned to that group of parameters (including the climate sensitivity) which represented the probability that the actual observations could be produced by such a model parameter set. Olson and colleagues employed Bayesian statistics to establish this probability-a technique which employs a prior assumption about the distribution of potential parameter values (including climate sensitivity).

It turns out that the \"priors\" have a large influence on the final solution. In other words, if you already have some rough idea of the range of potential climate sensitivity, that rough idea can help guide you to a better solution when new, relevant data become available.

Back in 2007, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), the IPCC decided that instead of using an \"expert prior\" (that is, one that was guided by a rough guess) to help guide its determination of the distribution of possible climate sensitivity values, that it would use a \"uninformed prior\" (that is, as it sounds, one which adds no previous knowledge). The uninformed prior used by the IPCC was a uniform prior-the IPCC assigned an equal chance that the climate sensitivity could be anywhere in the range from 0°C to 10°C. This choice seems somewhat absurd in light of the fact that ever since the first IPCC report, from back in 1990, the IPCC has issued a rough guess that the climate sensitivity was somewhere in the 1.5° to 4.5°C range. You would think that their own \"expert\" assessment would be better than one that was \"uninformed\"-but perhaps that tells you something about how much credence they put in their own expertise!

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Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming

Editor’s Note: The authors of the following letter, listed below, are also the signatories of \"No Need to Panic About Global Warming,\" an op-ed that appeared in the Journal on January 27. This letter responds to criticisms of the op-ed made by Kevin Trenberth and 37 others in a letter published Feb. 1, and by Robert Byer of the American Physical Society in a letter published Feb. 6.

The interest generated by our Wall Street Journal op-ed of Jan. 27, \"No Need to Panic about Global Warming,\" is gratifying but so extensive that we will limit our response to the letter to the editor the Journal published on Feb. 1, 2012 by Kevin Trenberth and 37 other signatories, and to the Feb. 6 letter by Robert Byer, President of the American Physical Society. (We, of course, thank the writers of supportive letters.)

We agree with Mr. Trenberth et al. that expertise is important in medical care, as it is in any matter of importance to humans or our environment. Consider then that by eliminating fossil fuels, the recipient of medical care (all of us) is being asked to submit to what amounts to an economic heart transplant. According to most patient bills of rights, the patient has a strong say in the treatment decision. Natural questions from the patient are whether a heart transplant is really needed, and how successful the diagnostic team has been in the past.

In this respect, an important gauge of scientific expertise is the ability to make successful predictions. When predictions fail, we say the theory is \"falsified\" and we should look for the reasons for the failure. Shown in the nearby graph is the measured annual temperature of the earth since 1989, just before the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Also shown are the projections of the likely increase of temperature, as published in the Summaries of each of the four IPCC reports, the first in the year 1990 and the last in the year 2007.

These projections were based on IPCC computer models of how increased atmospheric CO2 should warm the earth. Some of the models predict higher or lower rates of warming, but the projections shown in the graph and their extensions into the distant future are the basis of most studies of environmental effects and mitigation policy options. Year-to-year fluctuations and discrepancies are unimportant; longer-term trends are significant.

\"scientists\"From the graph it appears that the projections exaggerate, substantially, the response of the earth’s temperature to CO2 which increased by about 11% from 1989 through 2011. Furthermore, when one examines the historical temperature record throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the data strongly suggest a much lower CO2 effect than almost all models calculate.

The Trenberth letter tells us that \"computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean.\" The ARGO system of diving buoys is providing increasingly reliable data on the temperature of the upper layers of the ocean, where much of any heat from global warming must reside. But much like the surface temperature shown in the graph, the heat content of the upper layers of the world’s oceans is not increasing nearly as fast as IPCC models predict, perhaps not increasing at all. Why should we now believe exaggerating IPCC models that tell us of \"missing heat\" hiding in the one place where it cannot yet be reliably measured-the deep ocean?

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STEWARD: Voodoo Environomics

President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline wasn’t, as he claimed, based on science or the environment. It certainly wasn’t based on sound economic policy, either. The decision was, in fact, the product of voodoo environomics: a destructive blend of bad science based on fear-mongering and manipulated research, the bad economics of green-job fantasies and \"starve the beast\" energy politics.

At the very heart of voodoo environomics, of course, is the much-hyped theory linking man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) and climate change. Without the world’s policy focus on CO2 emissions, climate-change alarmists would be robbed of the ammunition they need to change and control human behavior via draconian energy policies. They also would be robbed of the substantial financial support needed to continue their biased research.

When adopted as official government policy, voodoo environomics can wreak havoc on the economy and represents a double whammy for working Americans. The admitted goal of CO2-slashing schemes such as \"cap and trade\" is to jack up the price of energies like gasoline and coal to make expensive alternative energies more competitive financially. Of course, their proponents hope you don’t realize that it’s ordinary Americans who are stuck paying higher prices for utilities and gasoline.

But the hit working Americans take under voodoo environomics doesn’t end with higher utility bills and gas prices. In bowing to environmental extremists in rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline project, Mr. Obama has abandoned working Americans - or should I say unemployed Americans in search of good jobs?

In fact, Mr. Obama managed the rare feat of uniting business and labor, with both crying foul over this senseless decision. Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, decries the loss of 20,000 direct jobs and another 118,000 spinoff jobs that would have resulted from Keystone. Standing next to him, Terry O’Sullivan, head of the Laborers’ International Union of North America said, \"Blue-collar construction workers across the U.S. will not forget this [decision].\"

The application of voodoo environomics also puts style over substance. Mr. Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL won’t stop the extraction of oil from Canada’s oil sands - the primary objective behind the pressure to kill the project. Canada will proceed without pause in exploiting its oil sands, regardless of what American politicians or environmental extremists say or do.

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A Landmark Legal Challenge: Reversing the EPA\'s Regulation of Carbon Dioxide and other Greenhouse Gases

POLICY FORUM
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Noon (Luncheon to Follow)

Featuring petitioners E. Duncan Getchell, Solicitor General, Commonwealth of Virginia; Patrick R. Day, Holland and Hart LLP, Coalition for Responsible Regulation; Theodore Hadzi-Antich, Senior Staff Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation; Harry W. MacDougald, Southeastern Legal Foundation; moderated by Patrick J. Michaels, Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies, Cato Institute.

Mount Vernon Place, Undercroft Auditorium, 900 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001

The Environmental Protection Agency now claims powers so broad that it can impose the most comprehensive, sweeping, and expensive regulatory regime in American history. These vast powers will be challenged in court on February 28 and 29, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia hears oral arguments from the Coalition for Responsible Regulation on a petition to vacate EPA’s greenhouse-gas emission standards for cars and light trucks, as well as regulations on \"stationary\" sources like power plants and factories. Current proposals range as high as 62mpg for cars.

The briefs of 67 petitioners have been consolidated into a single filing that will be the subject of argument. Petitioners will argue that the EPA is in gross violation of the Clean Air Act, that the proposed regulations will have no detectable effect on global temperature or carbon dioxide concentrations, and that they impose \"extraordinary costs, burdens, and other adverse consequences.\"

On March 1, following their Court appearance, petitioners in this landmark legal action will speak at the Cato Institute on the case and its historic implications. We hope you will join us in what promises to be an exceptionally compelling event.

Cato events, unless otherwise noted, are free of charge. To register for this event, please fill out the form below and click submit or email events@cato.org, fax (202) 371-0841, or call (202) 789-5229 by noon, Wednesday, February 29, 2012. News media inquiries only (no registrations), please call (202) 789-5200.

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Flowers Love CO2

As this time of the years reminds us, flowers never go out of style. Whether it is to celebrate a holiday or make up for some bad behavior, flowers just get it done every time. This has been the case for generations and will be the case from now until eternity. There is a good reason why we have flower shops on every other street corner.

According to AboutFlowers.com, \"the U.S. floral industry includes fresh cut flowers, cut cultivated greens, potted flowering plants, foliage plants and bedding/garden plants, making floriculture the third largest U.S. agricultural crop. The U.S. floral industry consists of more than 60,000 small businesses, such as growers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors and importers.\" Total revenue for these businesses is over $35 billion annually with 67% of fresh flowers being imported largely from Colombia and Ecuador. Can you name the state leading fresh flower production? California dominates the market with 77% of the US production; Washington produces 6%, Hawaii is at 4%, and Florida, Oregon, and New Jersey each produce 3% of our fresh flowers.

Commercial flower growers are fully aware that higher levels of atmospheric CO2 produce great results in indoor greenhouses, and the industry has dreamed up many creative ways to cheaply produce the magic gas. There is no doubt the CO2 creates better flowers, but maintaining higher levels of CO2 can be expensive and in some cases, not cost effective. Flowers in the real world don’t have to worry about the financial cost of higher levels of atmospheric CO2 - it is coming to them absolutely free given emissions from fossil fuel consumption throughout the world. Flowers today are growing in a world of ever-increasing CO2 levels, and research continues to show us that the flowers are thrilled with the situation.

A recent article on orchids is a case in point. The article appeared in Plant Cell Reports and was written by four scientists from several universities in Japan. While we typically think of orchids as tropical and subtropical flowers for our enjoyment, there are many varieties that grow in temperate and even cold climates. Did you know that vanilla plants are orchids? The underground tubers of some terrestrial orchids can be ground into powder and used in cooking (ground orchid powder shows up in hot beverages and ice cream). Make a trip to Reunion Island and enjoy a rum that is made from the dried leaves of orchids, or if you cannot make the trip, you can purchase any number of perfumes that are derived from the scent of orchids. All of these uses makes us wonder about the future of this highly diverse member of the biosphere.

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I Feel Duped on Climate Change

The articulate utility executive is nervous at the beginning of the conversation. He is groping for words -- not a common occurrence for the practiced provocateur. After all, Fritz Vahrenholt, 62, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, has been a rebel throughout his life. \"Perhaps it’s just part of my generation,\" he says.


He is typical of someone who came of age during the student protest movement of the late 1960s, and who fought against the chemical industry’s toxic manufacturing plants in the 1970s. His party, Germany’s center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), chose him as environment senator in the city-state of Hamburg, where he incurred the wrath of the environmental lobby by building a waste incineration plant, earning him the nickname \"Feuerfritze\" (Fire Fritz). He worked in industry after that, first for oil multinational Shell and then for wind turbine maker RePower, which he helped develop. Now, as the outgoing CEO of the renewable energy group RWE Innogy, he is about to embark on his next major battle. \"I’m going to make enemies in all camps,\" he says.

He wants to break a taboo. \"The climate catastrophe is not occurring,\" he writes in his book \"Die Kalte Sonne\" (The Cold Sun), published by Hoffmann and Campe, which will be in bookstores next week.

He has only given the book to one climatologist, Jochem Marotzke, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, to read prior to its publication. Marotzke’s assessment is clear: Vahrenholt represents the standpoints of climate skeptics. \"A number of the hypotheses in the book were refuted long ago,\" Marotzke claims, but adds, on a self-critical note, that his profession has neglected to explain that global temperatures will not increase uniformly. Instead, says Marotzke, there could also be phases of stagnation and even minor declines in temperature. \"This has exposed us to potential criticism,\" he says.

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The Sun: O Inconstant Star!

As solar activity declines and rate of global warming follows suit, it is natural to wonder whether the two are in some manner related.

Science is all over the map on this one-and is hardly the \"settled\" stuff our greener friends want us to believe. One school holds that there is little-to-no detectable relationship between solar changes and surface temperatures, while another holds that there is a strong influence and that a projected period of low solar activity over the next several decades will offset much of the anthropogenic greenhouse-gas induced warming. Of course, there are also gradations in between these poles of opinion.

Case 1 : A Large Solar Influence

One school of thought for which there is a growing scientific literature holds that solar variability is amplified through various mechanisms, can and does have a large and controlling influence of the earth’s temperature and, in fact, can largely explain the temperature rise over the 20th century. Further, there is growing evidence suggesting that the solar activity level (and output) will be on average lower during the 21st century than it was during the second half of the 20th century-a situation which would indicate significantly less warming than projected by climate models.

The grandfather of solar influence was MIT’s estimable Hurd C. Willett, who developed solar-based long range forecasts for the Weather Bureau (today’s National Weather Service) in the 1930s. Willett’s scientific fame was assured when a prediction he made 40 years in advance came true-that the Great Salt Lake, which was shrinking, would expand dramatically in the 1980s. He also told Midwestern farmers to persevere through the severe drought of the mid-1950s (which was bigger than the Texas drought of 2011) because it would be followed by two decades of plentiful yields. That, too was correct.

Studies of solar influence went into eclipse when Willett retired, after being awarded the American Meteorological Society’s highest honor, which came to be known as the Carl Gustav-Rossby Medal for excellence in research. Long range forecasters became intrigued with El Niños, Pacific and Atlantic temperature oscillations, and other factors that now drive season-in-advance forecasting.

That all changed in 1991 with a the publication of a paper in Science by Eigel Friis-Christansen and Knud Lassen showing a remarkable relationship between the length of the well-known solar sunspot cycle, which varies from its 11-year average, and Northern Hemisphere mean surface temperature. Since then, a number of researchers have attempted to explain this result, with some novel theories emerging, especially in the last decade.

The problem, which we note below in \"Case 2\", is that the observed changes in incoming solar radiation aren’t large enough to have much direct thermal effect-and yet we can see that the Little Ice Age, when surface temperatures were about a 1.5°C colder than present, was concurrent with a complete dearth of sunspots for sixty years. This period is known as the Maunder Minimum and will come up again in this discussion.

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Forget global warming - it\'s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)

The supposed ’consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ’grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.

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No Need to Panic About Global Warming

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about \"global warming.\" Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.

In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: \"I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: ’The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.’ In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?\"

In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the \"pollutant\" carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific \"heretics\" is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.

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Dr. David Evans: The Skeptic\'s Case
Who Are You Going To Believe - The Government Climate Scientists Or The Data?

Guest Post Dr David M.W. Evans

We check the main predictions of the climate models against the best and latest data. Fortunately the climate models got all their major predictions wrong. Why? Every serious skeptical scientist has been consistently saying essentially the same thing for over 20 years, yet most people have never heard the message - here it is, put simply enough for any lay reader willing to pay attention.

What the Government Climate Scientists Say

 

\"\"

Figure 1: The climate models. If the CO2 level doubles (as it is on course to do by about 2070 to 2100), the climate models estimate the temperature increase due to that extra CO2 will be about 1.1°C × 3 = 3.3°C. [1]

The direct effect of CO2 is well-established physics, based on laboratory results, and known for over a century.[2]

Feedbacks are due to the ways the Earth reacts to the direct warming effect of the CO2. The threefold amplification by feedbacks is based on the assumption, or guess, made around 1980, that more warming due to CO2 will cause more evaporation from the oceans and that this extra water vapor will in turn lead to even more heat trapping because water vapor is the main greenhouse gas. And extra heat will cause even more evaporation, and so on. This amplification is built into all the climate models.[3] The amount of amplification is estimated by assuming that nearly all the industrial-age warming is due to our CO2.

The government climate scientists and the media often tell us about the direct effect of the CO2, but rarely admit that two thirds of their projected temperature increases are due to amplification by feedbacks. They admit there are discrepancies, and go to great lengths to resolve them (see for example, Thorne, Dessler, Sherwood).

What the Skeptics Say

 

\"\"

Figure 2: The skeptic’s view. If the CO2 level doubles, skeptics estimates that the temperature increase due to that extra CO2 will be about 1.1°C × 0.5 ˜ 0.6°C.[4]

The serious skeptical scientists have always agreed with the government climate scientists about the direct effect of CO2. The argument is entirely about the feedbacks.

The feedbacks dampen or reduce the direct effect of the extra CO2, cutting it roughly in half.[5] The main feedbacks involve evaporation, water vapor, and clouds. In particular, water vapor condenses into clouds, so extra water vapor due to the direct warming effect of extra CO2 will cause extra clouds, which reflect sunlight back out to space and cool the earth, thereby reducing the overall warming.

There are literally thousands of feedbacks, each of which either reinforces or opposes the direct warming effect of the extra CO2. Almost every long-lived system is governed by net feedback that dampens its response to a perturbation. If a system instead reacts to a perturbation by amplifying it, the system is likely to reach a tipping point and become unstable (like the electronic squeal that erupts when a microphone gets too close to its speakers).  The earth’s climate is long-lived and stable- it has never gone into runaway greenhouse, unlike Venus - which strongly suggests that the feedbacks dampen temperature perturbations such as that from extra CO2.

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Will Replicated Global Warming Science Make Mann Go Ape?

About 10 years ago, December 20, 2002 to be exact, we published a paper titled \"Revised 21st century temperature projections\" in the journal Climate Research. We concluded:

Temperature projections for the 21st century made in the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate a rise of 1.4 to 5.8°C for 1990-2100. However, several independent lines of evidence suggest that the projections at the upper end of this range are not well supported.. The constancy of these somewhat independent results encourages us to conclude that 21st century warming will be modest and near the low end of the IPCC TAR projections.

We examined several different avenues of determining the likely amount of global warming to come over the 21st century. One was an adjustment to climate models based on (then) new research appearing in the peer-reviewed journals that related to the strength of the carbon cycle feedbacks (less than previously determined), the warming effect of black carbon aerosols (greater than previously determined), and the magnitude of the climate sensitivity (lower than previous estimates). Another was an adjustment (downward) to the rate of the future build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide that was guided by the character of the observed atmospheric CO2 increase (which had flattened out during the previous 25 years). And our third estimate of future warming was the most comprehensive, as it used the observed character of global temperature increase-an integrator of all processes acting upon it-to guide an adjustment to the temperature projections produced by a collection of climate models. All three avenues that we pursued led to somewhat similar estimates for the end-of- the-century temperature rise. Here is how we described our findings in paper’s Abstract:

Since the publication of the TAR, several findings have appeared in the scientific literature that challenge many of the assumptions that generated the TAR temperature range. Incorporating new findings on the radiative forcing of black carbon (BC) aerosols, the magnitude of the climate sensitivity, and the strength of the climate/carbon cycle feedbacks into a simple upwelling diffusion/energy balance model similar to the one that was used in the TAR, we find that the range of projected warming for the 1990-2100 period is reduced to 1.1-2.8°C. When we adjust the TAR emissions scenarios to include an atmospheric CO2 pathway that is based upon observed CO2 increases during the past 25 yr, we find a warming range of 1.5-2.6°C prior to the adjustments for the new findings. Factoring in these findings along with the adjusted CO2 pathway reduces the range to 1.0-1.6°C. And thirdly, a simple empirical adjustment to the average of a large family of models, based upon observed changes in temperature, yields a warming range of 1.3-3.0°C, with a central value of 1.9°C.

We thus concluded:

Our adjustments of the projected temperature trends for the 21st century all produce warming trends that cluster in the lower portion of the IPCC TAR range. Together, they result in a range of warming from 1990 to 2100 of 1.0 to 3.0°C, with a central value that averages 1.8°C across our analyses.

 

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Taking Fears of Acid Oceans With a Grain of Salt

Coral reefs around the world are suffering badly from overfishing and various forms of pollution. Yet many experts argue that the greatest threat to them is the acidification of the oceans from the dissolving of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

The effect of acidification, according to J.E.N. Veron, an Australian coral scientist, will be \"nothing less than catastrophic.... What were once thriving coral gardens that supported the greatest biodiversity of the marine realm will become red-black bacterial slime, and they will stay that way.\"

Humans have placed marine life under pressure, but the chief culprits are overfishing and pollution.

This is a common view. The Natural Resources Defense Council has called ocean acidification \"the scariest environmental problem you’ve never heard of.\" Sigourney Weaver, who narrated a film about the issue, said that \"the scientists are freaked out.\" The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls it global warming’s \"equally evil twin.\"

But do the scientific data support such alarm? Last month scientists at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and other authors published a study showing how much the pH level (measuring alkalinity versus acidity) varies naturally between parts of the ocean and at different times of the day, month and year.

\"On both a monthly and annual scale, even the most stable open ocean sites see pH changes many times larger than the annual rate of acidification,\" say the authors of the study, adding that because good instruments to measure ocean pH have only recently been deployed, \"this variation has been under-appreciated.\" Over coral reefs, the pH decline between dusk and dawn is almost half as much as the decrease in average pH expected over the next 100 years. The noise is greater than the signal.

Another recent study, by scientists from the U.K., Hawaii and Massachusetts, concluded that \"marine and freshwater assemblages have always experienced variable pH conditions,\" and that \"in many freshwater lakes, pH changes that are orders of magnitude greater than those projected for the 22nd-century oceans can occur over periods of hours.\"

This adds to other hints that the ocean-acidification problem may have been exaggerated. For a start, the ocean is alkaline and in no danger of becoming acid (despite headlines like that from Reuters in 2009: \"Climate Change Turning Seas Acid\"). If the average pH of the ocean drops to 7.8 from 8.1 by 2100 as predicted, it will still be well above seven, the neutral point where alkalinity becomes acidity.

The central concern is that lower pH will make it harder for corals, clams and other \"calcifier\" creatures to make calcium carbonate skeletons and shells. Yet this concern also may be overstated. Off Papua New Guinea and the Italian island of Ischia, where natural carbon-dioxide bubbles from volcanic vents make the sea less alkaline, and off the Yucatan, where underwater springs make seawater actually acidic, studies have shown that at least some kinds of calcifiers still thrive-at least as far down as pH 7.8.

In a recent experiment in the Mediterranean, reported in Nature Climate Change, corals and mollusks were transplanted to lower pH sites, where they proved \"able to calcify and grow at even faster than normal rates when exposed to the high [carbon-dioxide] levels projected for the next 300 years.\" In any case, freshwater mussels thrive in Scottish rivers, where the pH is as low as five.

Laboratory experiments find that more marine creatures thrive than suffer when carbon dioxide lowers the pH level to 7.8. This is because the carbon dioxide dissolves mainly as bicarbonate, which many calcifiers use as raw material for carbonate.

Human beings have indeed placed marine ecosystems under terrible pressure, but the chief culprits are overfishing and pollution. By comparison, a very slow reduction in the alkalinity of the oceans, well within the range of natural variation, is a modest threat, and it certainly does not merit apocalyptic headlines.

 

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Antarctic Temperature Trends

Almost exactly two three years ago, a prominent paper became a media darling as it, according to the alarmist website Real Climate \"appeared to reverse the ’Antarctic cooling’ meme that has been a staple of disinformation efforts for a while now.\"

The Nature paper, by Eric Steig and colleagues, made the cover on the January 22, 2009 issue.


Figure 1. Cover of January 22, 2009 issue of Nature magazine (left) showing the map of temperature trends across Antarctica as determined by the analysis of Steig et al. (right).

Despite Real Climate’s predictable take on the situation, many long-time students of Antarctic climate change (including usn’s here at WCR) yawned. It has been known for decades that there is a net warming in Antarctic surface temperature that began during the International Geophysical Year in 1957. However, what is also well known, is that the vast majority of the observed warming in Antarctica took place from the late 1950s through the early 1970s and that since then-during a period going on 40 years now-there has been very little net temperature change over Antarctica taken as a whole.


What the Steig et al. analysis did do, was to alter the generally accepted spatial pattern of the temperature change across Antarctica. Whereas previous studies showed that the warming was largely limited to the Antarctic peninsula region of West Antarctica with vast areas of cooling occurring distributed across the other parts of the continent, the Steig et al. analysis effectively spread the warming across the entire continent, both during the complete period of record since 1957, as well as during the most recent two-to-three decades

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Huh? A Reply to Nathan Urban

A few weeks ago, we ran a story about a paper which was (then) soon to be published in Science magazine which generally concluded that the earth’s climate sensitivity (how much the earth’s average temperature will rise from a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration) was likely lower than the IPCC’s best guess (which is 3°C) and known with far less uncertainty-especially at the high end. While the IPCC’s vision of the uncertainty as to the true value of the climate sensitivity included a \"fat tail\" at the high end (that is, a non-negligible possibility that the true climate sensitivity was greater than 6°C), the new Science paper put the kibosh on that notion, concluding \"In summary, using a spatially extensive network of paleoclimate observations in combination with a climate model we find that climate sensitivities larger than 6 K are implausible.\" And adding \"Assuming paleoclimatic constraints apply to the future as predicted by our model, these results imply lower probability of imminent extreme climatic change than previously thought.\"

A pretty provocative finding to say the least!


In our article, \"A new, lower estimate of climate sensitivity,\" we described the paper-by a team led by Andreas Schmittner-in a positive light, presented and commented on the paper’s main findings and conclusions, reprinted the abstract in its entirety, and included a link to where (a free version) of the paper was available at the personal website of one of the paper’s co-authors (Nathan Urban). We also included a link to another place on the web where the paper was being discussed (in a slightly more critical manner).

Shortly after our WCR post went live, it was picked up by Watt’s Up With That?, and shortly after that, the link to the paper on Nathan Urban’s site was taken down.

About a week and a half later, the paper was announced by Science magazine and was made available (behind a pay wall) in Science Express-Science magazine’s early on-line release of papers that will eventually appear in the paper version of the magazine. The Science Express publication was accompanied by a press release from the Oregon State University (Schmittner’s institution) and a lot of coverage both in the traditional press as well as at virtually every climate-related website (from both sides of the aisle).

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NAtural Variability Still Plays Large Role in WInter Climate
The last couple of winters across the central and eastern United States as well as much of Europe were on the cold and snowy-side of things, to say the least.
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Press Release: Severe Food SHortages on the Horizon
A new study by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change -- Estimates of Global Food Production in the Year 2050: Will We Produce Enough to Adequately Feed the World?
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Taking the EPA to Court
On May 20, three briefs were filed with the Washington DC Circuit Court of Appeals laying out petitions to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory initiatives concerning greenhouse gas emissions (and how the initiatives came to be).
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Global Greening Continues: Did We Cause It?
You know the story. Humans are burning fossil fuels and because of their actions, the world is now warming at an unprecedented pace. This warming is stressing ecosystems throughout the world with devastating consequences to vegetation from one end of the earth to the other.
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Volcanism Caused by Global Warming?
We all know that if you are impacted by a flood, drought, tornado, hurricane, heat wave, wildfire, tsunami, earthquake, landslide, or anything else you can dream of, you might as well just go ahead and blame global warming—after all, if you don’t someone else most assuredly will. Whether or not you’d be correct, though, is another story entirely.
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A Frog Revival
About 15 to 20 years ago, folks began to notice problems in amphibian communities around the world. At first, physical deformities were being noticed and then large population declines were being documented.
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CO2-induced Vegetation Growth Slows Global Warming
We are continually deluged with talk about positive feedbacks leading to even higher levels of global warming, but aside from the great water vapor debate, we rarely hear much about negative feedbacks which could act to slow the rate of temperature rise.
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\'Warmest Year On Record?\' The Truth Is Global Warming Has Halted
A year ago tomorrow, just before the opening of the UN Copenhagen world climate summit, the British Meteorological Office issued a confident prediction. The mean world temperature for 2010, it announced, ’is expected to be 14.58C, the warmest on record’ - a deeply worrying 0.58C above the 1961-1990 average.
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The EPA\'s And Enron\'s End-Runs Of Congress
Immediately after chances for carbon cap-and-tax legislation were swept away by a Nov. 2 Republican House cleaning, the Obama administration proceeded with its Plan B.
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Boycott the Cancun Climate Circus
Why is Australia participating in the Cancun Climate Circus? This conference is no longer about climate – it is about international redistribution of wealth and industry from the west to the rest of the world. Australia is part of the spoils they hope to redistribute.
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The EPA Permitorium
President Obama is now retrenching after his midterm rebuke, and one of the main ways he’ll try to press his agenda is through the alphabet soup of the federal regulators. So a special oversight priority for the new Congress ought to be the Environmental Protection Agency, which has turned a regulatory firehose on U.S. business and the power industry in particular.
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UN IPCC Official Admits \'We Redistribute World\'s Wealth By Climate Policy\'
If you needed any more evidence that the entire theory of manmade global warming was a scheme to redistribute wealth you got it Sunday when a leading member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change told a German news outlet, \"[W]e redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.\"
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Quaking Aspen Rejoice
The fall is here again, and deciduous trees across America are putting on their annual display of fall colors. Americans are particularly fond of Quaking Aspen trees that really know how to put on a show in the fall with leaves turning spectacular tints of red and yellow in the autumn.
';
Leighton Steward: Obama's Fuel Efficiency Plan Is 'Bad News'
Source: NewsMax
6/16/14

President Barack Obama's plan to tighten fuel efficiency for medium- and heavy-duty trucks is not good for the nation, says Leighton Steward, chairman of Plants Need C02.

"It's bad news . ." [More]
 

Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide
Source: The Wall Street Journal
5/08/13

Of all of the world's chemical compounds, none has a worse reputation than carbon dioxide. Thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control of energy production, the conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide is that it is a dangerous pollutant. That's simply not the case. [More]
 

Former NASA Scientists Conclude:
No Physical Evidence of Catastrophic Global Warming Threat
1/23/13

Washington, D.C.-Just as President Obama vowed in his inaugural address to "respond to the threat of climate change," The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS)-a research team composed of several retired NASA scientists and engineers-today released a preliminary report summary concluding that "there is no convincing physical evidence of catastrophic anthropogenic [human caused] global warming."

The team, which has expertise in physics, chemistry, geology, meteorology, biology, data analysis and interpretation, and complex systems modeling-and no current ties to the energy industries-has spent the past year analyzing the evidence for global warming in order to determine to what extent can human-related releases of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere cause earth surface temperature increases that would have harmful effects.  The report can be viewed online at: www.TheRightClimateStuff.com.  A press conference presenting the report will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. [More]
 

SUMMARY OF PRELIMINARY REPORT
The Right Climate Stuff Research Team
1/23/13

The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) research team is a volunteer group of more than 20 scientists and engineers who are primarily retired veterans of our manned space program. We began our investigation into the controversial issue of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) in February 2012.  We have reviewed, studied and debated available data and scientific reports regarding many factors that affect temperature variations of the earth's surface and atmosphere. [More]
 

More Evidence Against a Methane Time Bomb
Source: World Climate Report
9/26/12

Over at Watts Up With That, Anthony Watts has highlighted a recent press release from the German Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel announcing the preliminary findings from an expedition this summer to the Greenland Sea (off the coast of Spitzbergen). The expedition on the German research vessel the Maria S. Merian was aimed at investigating the release of methane from the seafloor-one of the many potential apocalyptic positive feedback pathways which lead from an initial warming instigated by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. [More]
 

Sea Level Acceleration: Not so Fast
Source: World Climate Report
9/10/12

Sea level rise is a topic that we frequently focus on because of all the gross environmental alterations which may result from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, it is perhaps the only one which could lead to conditions unexperienced by modern societies. A swift (or accelerating) sea level rise sustained for multiple decades and/or centuries would pose challenges for many coastal locations, including major cities around the world-challenges that would have to be met in some manner to avoid inundation of valuable assets. However, as we often point out, observational evidence on the rate of sea level rise is reassuring, because the current rate of sea level rise from global warming lies far beneath the rates associated with catastrophe. [More]
 

Hansen Is Wrong
Source: World Climate Report
8/14/12

In his recent press blitz, NASA's James Hansen tries to tie extreme weather events, such the current drought affecting much of the central U.S., to anthropogenic global warming. But the real world argues otherwise.

Hansen is quite adept at timing global warming pronouncements with extreme weather events. [More]
 

Illiteracy at NASA
Source: World Climate Report
7/24/12

Apparently NASA should start distributing dictionaries to the authors of its press releases.
 
Here is the title of the July 24, 2012 NASA press release reporting on recent ice melt across the surface of Greenland:

"Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt"

And here is a quote from within the release:

"Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time," says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data.

Now, according to our version of Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, "unprecedented" is defined as:

"having no precedent: NOVEL, UNEXAMPLED"

Dictionary.com concurs:

"without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled: an unprecedented event."

So, while it may be meteorologically interesting that a series of high pressure ridges had passed over Greenland this summer with largest and warmest of these parking over the island for a few days in mid-July and raising the temperature to near the melting point of ice all the way up to the summit of Greenland's ice cap-it is not a type of event which is unique. [More]
 

NRC Sea Level Rise Scare: Losing Sight of the Science
Source: World Climate Report
6/29/12

Last week, the National Academies of Sciences' National Research Council (NRC) released a report Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. The apparent intent of the report was to raise global warming alarm by projecting rapidly rising seas-some 2-3 times higher than recent IPCC estimates-along the California coast and elsewhere. Based on the news coverage, the NRC was successful. [More]
 

Addendum: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
Source: Cato Institute
6/25/12

This report summarizes the science that is missing from Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, a 2009 document produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) that was critical to the Environmental Protection Agency's December, 2009 "finding of endangerment" from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. According to the 2007 Supreme Court decision, Massachusetts v. [More]
 

Not So Hot in East China
Source: World Climate Report
6/22/12

While the IPCC is big on the idea that the warmth of the late 20th and early 21st century in the Northern Hemisphere is unprecedented in recent centuries, apparently that finding does not apply universally over longer timescales.

According to the Summary of Policymakers from the IPCC Fourth Assessmnet Report:

Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years.

This is basically a verbal description of the "hockeystick"-like temperature progression of the past millennia or so. [More]
 

NASA Must Stop Global Warming Alarmism (570 News Radio)
fcpp.org
6/18/12
Tom Harris, Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition joins Jeff Allan to discuss the open letter from former NASA astronauts and science and technology specialists concerning the agency's promotion of global warming alarmism. (~15 min.)
 
The EPA and “Independence”
Source: World Climate Report
6/15/12

The public comment period is fast drawing to a close (June 25, 2012) on the EPA's latest scheme to try to limit human greenhouse gas emissions (a fruitless task as far as climate change is concerned). The EPA's Proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for Future Power Plants, announced on March 27, 2012, seeks to limit the emissions of carbon dioxide from new power plants to 1,000 lbs per megawatt hour. Such a standard would effectively bar any new coal-fired power plants from being built as such an emissions standard is not achievable by coal plants under current or near-term technology. [More]
 

Asian Air Pollution Warms U.S More than Our GHG Emissions (More futility for U.S. EPA)
Source: Master Resource
6/07/12

"The whims of foreign nations, not to mention Mother Nature, can completely offset any climate changes induced by U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reductions.. So, what's the point of forcing Americans into different energy choices?"

A new study provides evidence that air pollution emanating from Asia will warm the U.S. [More]
 

Historical Imagery of Greenland Glaciers Lessens Sea Level Rise Alarm
Source: World Climate Report
6/04/12

A new study using historical images of glaciers in southeast Greenland to investigate glacier response to climate changes suggests that the recently observed acceleration of ice loss from Greenland may not be a long-term phenomenon. Instead, as marine terminating glaciers reach their grounding line and as the termini of land-terminating glaciers migrate upwards in elevation, ice loss rates from glacial discharge may slacken. According to Anders Bjørk and co-researchers:

[T]he recent high rate of retreat may come to a slowdown when retreating marine-terminating glaciers reach their grounding line and become less sensitive to the influence of ocean temperature, or through positive or negative feedback mechanisms relating to the cold East Greenland Coastal Current. [More]
 

CO2 Not to Blame for Southwest Droughts?
Source: World Climate Report
5/18/12

In our last WCR, we discussed a series of articles that found that higher resolution climate models-models which include a better representation of the complex terrain features of the Southwest-produce less drought stress on the Southwestern U.S. in their projections of future climate change from greenhouse gas emissions than do coarser resolution general circulation models.

Now comes along a new paper published in Nature magazine by Robert Allen and colleagues which suggests that the drying trend which remains is being caused more by black carbon aerosols and tropospheric ozone than by greenhouse gas emissions. [More]
 

Future Southwest Drought in Doubt?
Source: World Climate Report
5/14/12

One of the most "robust" signals from global climate models run under scenarios of increasing human greenhouse gas emissions is an even drier climate in the Southwestern U.S. than exists there currently.
 
The 2009 report "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States" from the U.S. [More]
 

No sea level rise catastrophe?
Source: World Climate Report
5/09/12

As one of the central tenets of climate change catastrophe involves inundation by rapidly rising seas, we like to visit the issue from time to time here at World Climate Report. Interestingly, or perhaps some may prefer predictably, we usually are able to uncover plenty of science that indicates that the situation is not nearly so dire.

More evidence of this was published this week in Science magazine. [More]
 

Antarctica's ice is melting from warm water below
Source: Pat Michaels - Response
5/03/12

Here's a graphic of Antarctic ice MELT ending in 2009 by Tedesco and Monaghan.  Note that because it is melt, the decline means that more ice is NOT melting.  
Here is the extent of sea ice in the southern hemisphere, as measured by satellite. [More]

 

Plant life changes 'underestimated'
Source: UKPA
5/02/12

Scientists may have greatly underestimated the impact of future global warming on plants, new research has suggested.

Changes brought about by rising temperatures could be up to eight times more pronounced than experts have assumed, it is claimed.

The forecasts of earlier flowering and leafing are based on outdoor experiments in which plants are artificially warmed. [More]
 

Global What?
Source: One News Now
5/01/12

Climate change 'deniers' not so dumb after all

The current environmental paradigm assumes that those who don't believe in man-made climate change are less scientifically savvy, while those who do are scientifically smarter.

According to one study, however, those assumptions just aren't true.

"Seeming public apathy over climate change is often attributed to a deficit in comprehension." [More]
 

EPA’S Toxic Science
Source: World Climate Report
4/27/12

EPA's recently announced regulations on mercury from power plants will, in fact, do nothing substantial about the amount of this element in the global atmosphere. If they were really serious, they would ban volcanoes and forest fires, which are much larger sources.

Total annual releases of mercury to the atmosphere from such natural sources are about 5,200 metric tons per year. [More]
 

For Wheat and Rice, CO2 is Nice
Source: World Climate Report
4/20/12

We have written about the biological benefits of elevated temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels hundreds of times, and we will never run out of new material! Evidence the results of two recent article showing how CO2 improves the yield of wheat and the competitiveness of rice.

A team of seven scientists from various agencies in China began their article noting "In the past 100 years, the mean surface temperature in China has increased by 0.4-0.6ºC, and it is expected that the average surface temperature in western China will rise by 1.7ºC in the next 30 years and by 2.2ºC over the next 50 years." Furthermore, Xiao et al. [More]
 

Is the EPA Endangering Public Health and Welfare by Attempting to Mitigate Extreme Weather?
Source: Master Resource
4/09/12

On the rationale of mitigating man-made climate change and thus limiting the occurrence of extreme weather events, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is (unintentionally) fostering a less prepared and less resilient population. As such, EPA should regulate its own actions as endangering public health and welfare. [More]
 

Acclimation to Ocean Acidification: Give It Some Time
Source: World Climate Report
3/29/12

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels lead to an increasing amount of CO2 being dissolved in the oceans which drives down the oceans' pH level. This is often referred to as "ocean acidification" and included among the list of ills that energy production from fossil fuels imparts to the environment. Type "ocean acidification" into your Google search and you'll quickly be confronted with a litany of potential impacts-all bad. [More]
 

Is this finally proof we're NOT causing global warming?
Source: Daily Mail
3/26/12

Is this finally proof we're NOT causing global warming? The whole of the Earth heated up in medieval times without human CO2 emissions, says new study

  • Evidence was found in a rare mineral that records global temperatures
  • Warming was far-reaching and NOT limited to Europe
  • Throws doubt on orthodoxies around 'global warming'

Current theories of the causes and impact of global warming have been thrown into question by a new study which shows that during medieval times areas as far apart as Europe and Antarctica both warmed up.
It then cooled down naturally and there was even a 'mini ice age'.

A team of scientists led by geochemist Zunli Lu from Syracuse University in New York state, has found that the 'Medieval Warm Period' approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago wasn't just confined to Europe. [More]
 

Tropical Forests Rejoice!
Source: World Climate Report
3/22/12

When was the last time you heard good news about our tropical forests? Well, that's just too long.

All we ever seem to hear about the tropical forests is that they are being destroyed, their destruction will exacerbate global warming, and on and on. You will even discover that some scientists think global warming destroyed the first tropical forests that evolved on our planet bringing rise to the dinosaurs! [More]
 

Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and High Climate Sensitivity
Source: World Climate Report
2/27/12

A few months ago, we reported on a paper in the scientific literature (Schmittner et al. 2011) that concluded that there were only "vanishing probabilities" that the value of the earth's climate sensitivity-the amount of global temperature change resulting from a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide content-was above 3.2°C, and that a climate sensitivity exceeding 6°C was "implausible." Now, a new paper has been published (Olson et al., 2012) that finds that the 95% confidence range for the value of the earth's actual climate sensitivity extends only to a value as great as 4.9°C. This is yet another in an expanding list of papers that strongly suggest that that the IPCC entertainment of the possibility that the earth's climate sensitivity is extremely high (say, greater than 5-6°C, is wrong). [More]
 

Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming
Source: The Wall Street Journal
2/21/12

Editor's Note: The authors of the following letter, listed below, are also the signatories of "No Need to Panic About Global Warming," an op-ed that appeared in the Journal on January 27. This letter responds to criticisms of the op-ed made by Kevin Trenberth and 37 others in a letter published Feb. 1, and by Robert Byer of the American Physical Society in a letter published Feb. [More]
 

STEWARD: Voodoo Environomics
Source: The Washington Times
2/17/12

President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline wasn't, as he claimed, based on science or the environment. It certainly wasn't based on sound economic policy, either. The decision was, in fact, the product of voodoo environomics: a destructive blend of bad science based on fear-mongering and manipulated research, the bad economics of green-job fantasies and "starve the beast" energy politics. [More]
 

A Landmark Legal Challenge: Reversing the EPA's Regulation of Carbon Dioxide and other Greenhouse Gases
Source: Cato Institute
2/15/12

POLICY FORUM
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Noon (Luncheon to Follow)

Featuring petitioners E. Duncan Getchell, Solicitor General, Commonwealth of Virginia; Patrick R. Day, Holland and Hart LLP, Coalition for Responsible Regulation; Theodore Hadzi-Antich, Senior Staff Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation; Harry W. [More]
 

Flowers Love CO2
Source: World Climate Report
2/15/12

As this time of the years reminds us, flowers never go out of style. Whether it is to celebrate a holiday or make up for some bad behavior, flowers just get it done every time. This has been the case for generations and will be the case from now until eternity. [More]
 

I Feel Duped on Climate Change
Source: Spiegel.de
2/08/12

The articulate utility executive is nervous at the beginning of the conversation. He is groping for words -- not a common occurrence for the practiced provocateur. After all, Fritz Vahrenholt, 62, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, has been a rebel throughout his life. [More]
 

The Sun: O Inconstant Star!
Source: World Climate Report
2/06/12

As solar activity declines and rate of global warming follows suit, it is natural to wonder whether the two are in some manner related.

Science is all over the map on this one-and is hardly the "settled" stuff our greener friends want us to believe. One school holds that there is little-to-no detectable relationship between solar changes and surface temperatures, while another holds that there is a strong influence and that a projected period of low solar activity over the next several decades will offset much of the anthropogenic greenhouse-gas induced warming. [More]
 

Forget global warming - it's Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)
Source: Daily Mail
1/29/12 5:38 AM

The supposed 'consensus' on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. [More]
 

No Need to Panic About Global Warming
Source: The Wall Street Journal
1/27/12

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about "global warming." Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.

In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: "I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring." [More]
 

Dr. David Evans: The Skeptic's Case
Source: JoNova
1/25/12
Who Are You Going To Believe - The Government Climate Scientists Or The Data?

Guest Post Dr David M.W. Evans

We check the main predictions of the climate models against the best and latest data. Fortunately the climate models got all their major predictions wrong. [More]
 

Will Replicated Global Warming Science Make Mann Go Ape?
Source: World Climate Report
1/10/12

About 10 years ago, December 20, 2002 to be exact, we published a paper titled "Revised 21st century temperature projections" in the journal Climate Research. We concluded:

Temperature projections for the 21st century made in the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate a rise of 1.4 to 5.8°C for 1990-2100. However, several independent lines of evidence suggest that the projections at the upper end of this range are not well supported.. [More]
 

Taking Fears of Acid Oceans With a Grain of Salt
Source: The Wall Street Journal
1/07/12

Coral reefs around the world are suffering badly from overfishing and various forms of pollution. Yet many experts argue that the greatest threat to them is the acidification of the oceans from the dissolving of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

The effect of acidification, according to J.E.N. [More]
 

Antarctic Temperature Trends
Source: World Climate Report
1/03/12

Almost exactly two three years ago, a prominent paper became a media darling as it, according to the alarmist website Real Climate "appeared to reverse the 'Antarctic cooling' meme that has been a staple of disinformation efforts for a while now."

The Nature paper, by Eric Steig and colleagues, made the cover on the January 22, 2009 issue.


Figure 1. Cover of January 22, 2009 issue of Nature magazine (left) showing the map of temperature trends across Antarctica as determined by the analysis of Steig et al. [More]
 

Huh? A Reply to Nathan Urban
Source: World Climate Report
12/05/11

A few weeks ago, we ran a story about a paper which was (then) soon to be published in Science magazine which generally concluded that the earth's climate sensitivity (how much the earth's average temperature will rise from a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration) was likely lower than the IPCC's best guess (which is 3°C) and known with far less uncertainty-especially at the high end. While the IPCC's vision of the uncertainty as to the true value of the climate sensitivity included a "fat tail" at the high end (that is, a non-negligible possibility that the true climate sensitivity was greater than 6°C), the new Science paper put the kibosh on that notion, concluding "In summary, using a spatially extensive network of paleoclimate observations in combination with a climate model we find that climate sensitivities larger than 6 K are implausible." And adding "Assuming paleoclimatic constraints apply to the future as predicted by our model, these results imply lower probability of imminent extreme climatic change than previously thought."

A pretty provocative finding to say the least!


In our article, "A new, lower estimate of climate sensitivity," we described the paper-by a team led by Andreas Schmittner-in a positive light, presented and commented on the paper's main findings and conclusions, reprinted the abstract in its entirety, and included a link to where (a free version) of the paper was available at the personal website of one of the paper's co-authors (Nathan Urban). [More]
 

NAtural Variability Still Plays Large Role in WInter Climate
SOURCE: World Climate Report
10/24/11
The last couple of winters across the central and eastern United States as well as much of Europe were on the cold and snowy-side of things, to say the least. And of course, anytime there is some type of weather misery, a particular segment of the population likes to trot out global warming as the culprit. Cold, snowy, winters are no exception (despite your apparent (mis)conception as to what global “warming” would entail). [More]
 
Press Release: Severe Food SHortages on the Horizon
SOURCE: CO2 Science
6/14/11
A new study by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change -- Estimates of Global Food Production in the Year 2050: Will We Produce Enough to Adequately Feed the World? -- reveals that a very real and devastating food crisis is looming on the horizon, and continuing advancements in agricultural technology and expertise will most likely not be able to bridge the gap between global food supply and global food demand just a few short years from now.
 
Taking the EPA to Court
SOURCE: World Climate Report
6/08/11
On May 20, three briefs were filed with the Washington DC Circuit Court of Appeals laying out petitions to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory initiatives concerning greenhouse gas emissions (and how the initiatives came to be). Of the three petitions, two were from a conglomerate of states led by Texas and Virginia, and the other was by a 80-odd member grouping on non-state parties with a variety of interests in the EPA’s regulations. A fourth brief from a collection of climate scientists followed week later. [More]
 
Global Greening Continues: Did We Cause It?
Source: World Climate Report
3/23/11
You know the story. Humans are burning fossil fuels and because of their actions, the world is now warming at an unprecedented pace. This warming is stressing ecosystems throughout the world with devastating consequences to vegetation from one end of the earth to the other. [More]
 
Volcanism Caused by Global Warming?
Source: World Climate Report
3/14/11
We all know that if you are impacted by a flood, drought, tornado, hurricane, heat wave, wildfire, tsunami, earthquake, landslide, or anything else you can dream of, you might as well just go ahead and blame global warming—after all, if you don’t someone else most assuredly will. Whether or not you’d be correct, though, is another story entirely. Over the past year, a number of volcanic events have been in the news from Europe to Hawaii and now the big earthquake in Japan and resultant tsunami has a lot of folks asking “can we blame all of this global warming.” Literally one day after the earthquake in Japan, The Daily Caller ran a story entitled “Some respond to Japan earthquake by pointing to global warming” starting with the sentence “Hours after a massive earthquake rattled Japan, environmental advocates connected the natural disaster to global warming. [More]
 
A Frog Revival
Source: World Climate Report
12/13/10
About 15 to 20 years ago, folks began to notice problems in amphibian communities around the world. At first, physical deformities were being noticed and then large population declines were being documented. The finger was initially pointed at the coal industry, with an idea that perhaps mercury was leading to the deformities. [More]
 
CO2-induced Vegetation Growth Slows Global Warming
Source: World Climate Report
12/08/10
We are continually deluged with talk about positive feedbacks leading to even higher levels of global warming, but aside from the great water vapor debate, we rarely hear much about negative feedbacks which could act to slow the rate of temperature rise. Well that is about to change. A new study has identified a negative feedback between carbon dioxide-enhanced vegetative growth and global warming—the denser that vegetation becomes, the greater the cooling influence it has on any global temperature rise. [More]
 
'Warmest Year On Record?' The Truth Is Global Warming Has Halted
Source: The Global Warming Policy Foundation
12/05/10
A year ago tomorrow, just before the opening of the UN Copenhagen world climate summit, the British Meteorological Office issued a confident prediction. The mean world temperature for 2010, it announced, 'is expected to be 14.58C, the warmest on record' - a deeply worrying 0.58C above the 1961-1990 average. World temperatures, it went on, were locked inexorably into an ever-rising trend: 'Our experimental decadal forecast confirms previous indications that about half the years 2010-2019 will be warmer than the warmest year observed so far - 1998.' Met Office officials openly boasted that they hoped by their statements to persuade the Copenhagen gathering to impose new and stringent carbon emission limits - an ambition that was not to be met. [More]
 

Minority Blog - U.S. Senate Committee on
ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC WORKS
 

More Climate Change / Global Warming Videos

U. S. Senate Minority Report:
More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over
Man-Made Global Warming

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255 Page PDF


 CO2 is Not a Pollutant

Humans inhale and exhale CO2 with every breath. How could anyone expect you to believe CO2 is a human health hazard? Read more >>

 Is Earth Warming?

NO: The Inconvenient Truth: The World is now cooling, not warming. Read more>> 

What is the causing the cooling?
If you guessed the sun.
You are correct >>

 Why Do People Believe These Myths?

  • They sincerely think they are helping the Earth, when in fact, they are doing the opposite.  Read more>>
  • They have been misinformed by people that benefit financially from propagating the myth.

 What Skeptics Are Saying 
The relationship of CO2 and Global Warming is sparking conversations around the world. Here are comments from known individuals and organizations on the topic. Notable Quotes >> News Blog >>


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