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Admiral’s ‘Layman’s’ Review of Evidence Finds No Human-caused Warming

September 30, 2016

Climate Change Weekly #226

Retired Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, former chief of naval operations and commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, has undertaken a review of the evidence for the claim humans are causing dangerous climate change or anthropogenic global warming (AGW). He carefully considers the research the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims proves AGW is occurring, and he also takes up the claim “97 percent” of scientists agree AGW is occurring and dangerous. Hayward concludes the evidence does not support either the AGW theory or that such a consensus exists.

Hayward points out IPCC’s review of climate research was bound to be flawed from the start, because the governments supporting IPCC’s establishment through the United Nations limited the scope of its research. As Hayward writes, “The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open, and transparent basis the scientific, technical, and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change …” Because IPCC was charged with studying only the human causes of climate change, it ignored the myriad natural factors that influence or even drive climate change, including solar irradiation, volcanic aerosols, ocean decadal currents, winds, planetary orbital effects, and other natural variability. From the outset, the climate claims made by IPCC were a case of “garbage in, garbage out.”

AGW theory is based on the assumption that increasing human greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels for energy use, are causing global warming. IPCC and other climate alarmists say the correlation between global temperature change and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) since the beginning of the industrial revolution proves this assumption is true. Leaving aside the fact correlation does not prove causation, Hayward uses a series of powerful graphs to deftly show no such correlation exists.

For millions of years of geologic history there was no correlation between rising and falling temperatures and rising and falling carbon dioxide levels. More recently, for the past several hundreds of thousands of years, carbon dioxide levels have fairly consistently risen hundreds of years after temperatures began to rise. In other words, carbon dioxide was the lagging indicator, not the leading indicator, that climate was changing.

Since the industrial revolution, during some periods temperatures rose before carbon dioxide did, during other periods a rise in carbon dioxide levels preceded rising temperatures, while at other times carbon dioxide emissions rose while temperatures fell or remained relatively stable. In short, Hayward shows, not only is there no causal connection between rising carbon dioxide levels and rising temperatures, throughout history one can’t even find a consistent correlation between the two phenomena.

After disposing of the theory changes in greenhouse gas concentrations drive climate change, Hayward tackles the misguided but persistent claim of a “consensus” among scientists that humans are causing global warming. As others have done before him (see Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming), Hayward shows the claim is based on flawed research. Each of the multiple surveys of the literature that supposedly show 97 percent of scientists agree with AGW grossly over-count the number of published articles explicitly accepting AGW. As Hayward writes, “The 97 percent so-called ‘consensus’ is a manufactured, politically correct number that is unable to withstand rigorous analysis.”

By contrast, Hayward points to a survey conducted by the American Meteorological Society of its members in which just 39.5 percent of the respondents said human-caused global warming is dangerous. Also countering the claim of consensus is a petition signed by 31,000 scientists stating there is no convincing evidence human greenhouse gas emissions are causing or will “cause catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate.” So much for the so-called AGW consensus.

Hayward ends by examining what the 2015 Paris climate agreement requires and what it would accomplish if its signatories actually kept their commitments. His verdict: “Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades.”

Anyone reading Admiral Hayward’s work with an open mind will recognize there is a vigorous debate taking place in the scientific community over the causes and consequences of global warming, and government proposals aimed at “preventing climate change” will be futile at best.

-- H. Sterling Burnett

SOURCES: Admiral Thomas B. Hayward


IN THIS ISSUE …

New report: No carbon dioxide-driven warmingHidden costs of UK climate policiesUniversity rejects fossil fuel divestmentConditions for efficient carbon pricingRecent weather is natural, not human-caused


NEW REPORT: NO CARBON DIOXIDE DRIVEN WARMING

When EPA released its CO2 endangerment finding in 2009, the main line of evidence it used to justify regulating greenhouse gas emissions as threatening human health was the existence of a “tropical hotspot” where global warming would be most apparent. There should be enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere -- the “fingerprint” of global warming.

That hotspot doesn’t exist in the real world, according to a new report by economist James Wallace, climatologist John Christy, and meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo.

Analyzing 13 critical temperature time series from satellites, weather balloons, weather stations, and ocean buoys, the researchers found the so-called “tropical hotspot … simply does not exist in the real world.” Moreover, taking El Niños into account, “there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about.”

When Wallace and his colleagues controlled for El Niños, which on average warm the oceans, and La Niñas, which tend to cool them, they found no warming trend. The recent “hiatus” in global warming can be explained by more frequent La Niñas.

“It is an accepted fact that El Niños bring global warmth and La Niñas cooling,” D’Aleo told The Daily Caller. “It is thus not at all surprising that the period from 1947 to 1977 brought cooling, 1977 to 1997 warming and we had a flat trend from 1997 [until now].”

SOURCES: James Wallace, John Christy, and Joseph D’Aleo; and The Daily Caller


HIDDEN COSTS OF UK CLIMATE POLICIES

A paper released by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) shows policies implemented in the United Kingdom (UK) to limit greenhouse gases harm UK businesses’ competitiveness and limit the UK’s attractiveness as a place to start a new business or relocate an existing one.

The UK government recognized its climate policies would lead to higher energy costs, so in order to limit the harm done to energy-intensive businesses it provided various forms of compensation to help businesses compete. Even with the compensation, those businesses are presently paying 18 percent more for energy than they would be without energy and climate policies. Businesses not entitled to compensation because the UK government did not consider them energy-intensive are paying 26 percent more for energy than they would be otherwise.

The GWPF study estimates by 2020 compensated businesses’ energy costs will be 22 percent higher, and energy costs for uncompensated businesses will be 76 percent higher than they would be without existing climate policies. These figures do not include the estimated £7.6 billion a year in renewable energy subsidies the government provides.

SOURCE: Global Warming Policy Foundation


UNIVERSITY REJECTS FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT

The University of Pennsylvania (UP) rejected calls from radical environmental groups to divest its endowment of fossil fuel holdings. UP’s Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Divestment, consisting of faculty and students, announced September 22, 2016, the social costs associated with investing in fossil fuels do not amount to moral corruption. The chairman of the Board of Trustees, David Cohen, wrote in a letter to Fossil Free Penn, one of the groups demanding UP divest its holdings in fossil fuels, the purported “moral evil” protesters linked to oil companies like ExxonMobil does not rise to a level “on par with apartheid or genocide.”

“While the Trustees recognize that the ‘bar’ of moral evil presents a rigorously high barrier of consideration, we are resolute in our belief that such a high barrier must be maintained so that investment decisions and the endowment are not used for the purpose of making public policy statements,” Cohen wrote.

SOURCE: The Daily Caller


CONDITIONS FOR EFFICIENT CARBON PRICING

According to this paper, published by the University of Calgary School of Public Policy, setting a price on carbon dioxide emissions through a tax or a fee is the most efficient way we have to ration emissions if that is determined to be a desirable policy goal. A carbon price would allow emitters – businesses and consumers – to make the most rational decisions concerning the extent to which it makes economic sense to curtail their carbon dioxide emissions.

Economics professor Ross McKitrick, the paper’s author, writes in order for carbon pricing to achieve an optimal balance between emissions reduction and economic growth, certain rules must be followed. For example, he notes, carbon pricing works only in the absence of other emissions regulations. If pricing is layered on top of an emissions-regulating regime already in place (such as emission caps or feed-in-tariff programs), it will fail to produce the desired effects in terms of emissions rationing and have distorting effects that harm the economy. He also notes the revenue from carbon taxes should not be funneled into substitute goods, like renewable power, but returned directly to taxpayers. Another rule: Before setting the price of carbon, one must first show the social costs of carbon emissions are positive – that is, the negative effects of carbon emissions must be shown to exceed any benefits they produce.

SOURCE: University of Calgary School of Public Policy


RECENT WEATHER IS NATURAL, NOT HUMAN-CAUSED

Reviewing a number of recent studies, climate scientist Patrick Michaels, Ph.D. notes since satellites began measuring lower-atmosphere temperatures in 1979, the observed warming has been only one-third of the amount forecast by computer models, with the rate of surface warming slowing since the late 1990s. In addition, a recent American Meteorological Society report examining rain data found “no evidence … for changes in extreme precipitation attributable to climate change in the available observed record.” A report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences cited by Michaels found California’s recent warming is best explained by natural oceanic temperature patterns. Concerning temperature and Arctic ice, “There’s strong evidence that the Arctic Ocean could have experienced long periods of ice-free summers for approximately four millennia after the end of the last ice age (6,000–10,000 years ago) and some evidence it was globally warmer 1,000 years ago, too,” writes Michaels.

SOURCES: USA Today and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Article Tags
Environment
Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org

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