Articles Tagged "Pat Michaels"
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Wednesday, January 30th 2013, 1:53 PM EST
Researchers in Norway recently found that global warming is less severe than previously predicted by the United Nations climate authority, causing skeptics to argue that a growing body of data is on their side while experts cast doubt on the results.
“It’s one in a substantial number of papers appearing in scientific literature within the last year or two, reducing the forecast global warming for the 21st century,” Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.
“This is just more evidence that the sensitivity was overestimated,” he added.
However, some have urged caution in interpreting the results in the study, as it has not yet been peer-reviewed.
“But this episode underlines the problems of so-called science by press release,” writes Dr. Roz Pidcock for the Carbon Brief. ”With such a complex and sometimes controversial topic, research findings need to be carefully treated. As with all scientific research, if results are not yet published or peer reviewed, they are worth treating as preliminary.”
“You should be very skeptical — it has no good basis,” James Hansen, climatologist and head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told TheDC News Foundation in an email.
Bloomberg reports that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that global temperatures may rise 3 degrees — with a range of 2 degrees Celsius to 4.5 degrees Celsius — by 2050 Celsius if carbon dioxide levels doubled. However, after applying post-2000 temperatures, Norwegian researchers found that may rise only 1.9 degrees Celsius.
Friday, January 18th 2013, 5:48 AM EST
My greener friends are increasingly troubled by the lack of a rise in recent global surface temperatures. Using monthly data measured as the departure from long-term averages, there’s been no significant warming trend since the fall of 1996. In other words, we are now in our 17th year of flat temperatures.
Since 1900, the world has seen one other period of similar temperature stagnation (actually a slight cooling) that lasted for 30 years and ended around 1976. The current one is happening with much more putative warming “pressure,” because the atmosphere’s carbon-dioxide content is much higher than it was in mid-century.
From the Industrial Revolution to 1950, atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations rose by about 15 percent. Today, the increase is up to 41 percent, making long periods without warming either 1) increasingly unlikely, or 2) the natural result of simply overestimating how “sensitive” surface temperature is to carbon dioxide. My money is on the latter.
Now, just for fun, let’s assume that on Jan. 1, another warming trend began, at the same rate that was observed in the last such period, from 1977 through 1998, or 0.17 C per decade.
Tuesday, December 18th 2012, 6:37 PM EST
For nearly a week, a leaked draft of next year’s “Fifth Assessment Report” on climate change, by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has been burning up the blogosphere. Since it’s everywhere, I’ll take my liberties and join the party.
The most impressive figure shows how badly one of their most-cited series of predictions is faring. Explanation follows.
Wednesday, October 17th 2012, 6:28 AM EDT
Yale and George Mason University recently released a poll detailing public perception of weather and climate change. Judging from the results, it can only be concluded that Americans watch too much TV, and have no problem being tricked by trick questions.
The survey is long, cumbersome, and sometimes asks things guaranteed to get answers full of sound and fury with little significance, i.e., the trick ones.
How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements [sic]:
“Global warming is affecting weather in the United States?” (strongly agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree, don’t know/no answer).
Wednesday, September 12th 2012, 5:40 PM EDT
Following up on his 2008 promise that “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal,” President Obama has promised to do something about droughts, which are caused — in his opinion — by the dreaded global warming.
Obama gets a lot of his climate information from NASA’s Jim Hansen, an astrophysicist who heads the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. A federal employee, Hansen endorsed John Kerry for president in hotly contested Iowa ten days before the 2004 election. This year, he has been all over the media blaming the summer’s major drought on “global warming.”
Saturday, September 1st 2012, 11:55 AM EDT
The U.S. just can’t seem to buy a major hurricane. It’s been 2,535 days since the last Category 3 storm, Wilma in 2005, hit the beach. That’s the longest period—by far—in the record that goes back to 1900.
Consequently, the global warming hype machine is being reduced to running on Category 1 fumes. Hence last August’s Irene (which was barely a hurricane) and the recent Isaac (with a much more respectable wind field) became the sorry excuses used to hector the public into demanding massive energy taxes.
But didn’t last year’s Irene drop a huge amount of rain, a sure sign of its ingestion of the global warming steroid? Not really. While that argument makes the alarmist blogs and MSNBC, it neglects that, everything else being equal, if hurricanes are becoming rainier, they must be getting stronger, as the fuel that drives the kinetic whirl of the tropical cyclone is the heat released by the condensation of water. Comprehensive global analyses of tropical cyclone strength show no change.
Aren’t there more whoppers—the powerful Category 4 and 5 monsters that will mow down pretty much anything in their path? As is the case with much severe weather, we simply see more than we did prior to satellites and (in the case of hurricanes) long-range aircraft reconnaissance. As the National Hurricane Center’s Chris Landsea (with whom I have published on tropical cyclones) has shown, if you assume the technology before satellites, the number of big storms that would be detected now is simply unchanged from the past.
Thursday, August 9th 2012, 5:08 PM EDT
To the Editor,
NASA climate modeller James Hansen introduces his August 5 op-ed ("Climate change is here--and worse than we thought") by referring to his June 23, 1988 testimony on global warming to a joint House/Senate Committee, stating that he was "too optimistic" at that time. The opposite is true.
At that time, Hansen projected warming based upon two viable emissions scenarios--what he called "Business as Usual", or his "Scenario A", and another with emissions reductions ("Scenario B"). The warmings predicted by the two, between then and now, are, respectively, 1.26 and 1.21 degrees Fahrenheit. The observed warming, in his own somewhat controversial climate record, is 0.68 degrees.
Overpredicting warming by roughly 50% (given the obviously large margins of error in this data) means that warming has been much less than he thought.
Patrick J. Michaels, Director, Center for the Study of Science Cato Institute
Wednesday, May 9th 2012, 11:55 AM EDT
Let’s stop conflating the creationist hoi polloi with skeptical climate scientists.
My friends on the left make much of the apparent correlation between creationism and skepticism about assured climate disaster. It is the “some–all fallacy” writ large. “Some” climate scientists who happen to believe in intelligent design, a variant of creationism, also question the high-sensitivity climate model. Therefore “all” who hypothesize that warming has been overblown must also question evolution; i.e., they are ignorant dolts.
Note to the Left on this one: No one — scientist or otherwise — has yet come up with the definitive explanation of the first life forms on earth. There is no conclusive bridge between self-replicating molecules capable of mutation (a definition of life) and the primordial, lifeless, dimly-lit planet Earth of some 3 billion years ago. So even the most erudite thinkers must resort to aliens, life-bearing comets, God — or, in my case, beats-the-heck-out-of-me.
My lefty friends are somewhat condescending towards skeptical climate scientists. Who hasn’t heard of Chris Mooney’s drivel that Republicans (in general), and those who think climate change isn’t horrible (in particular), are mentally ill? I guess it’s a good way to win an argument; after all, I think the people I disagree with are nuts, too.
Sunday, February 12th 2012, 5:59 AM EST
People who claim that “the science is settled” on global warming have to be pretty unsettled by the science news in the last week.
“Setttled science”, of course, means that we are inevitably headed toward a disastrous warming of surface temperatures as forecast by some computer models, and we therefore need an international carbon tax or cap-and-trade system, pronto.
Settled science would know all of the important “forcings” and “feedbacks” in the climate system, such as the sensitivity of surface temperature to changes in carbon dioxide (a forcing) and the behavior of clouds, which could either enhance or counter warming (a feedback).
Now it appears that cloud tops are lowering, a totally unforeseen cooling feedback on carbon dioxide-induced warming. Writing in Geophysical Research Letters, University of Auckland’s Roger Davies and Matthew Molloy conclude this could be a “significant measure of a negative cloud feedback to global warming”.
The average global cloud height is linked to the average global temperature—generally, the higher the average cloud height, the higher the average surface temperature, and vice versa. The tie-in is related to the height in the atmosphere from which clouds radiate infrared radiation to space. The higher up they are, the cooler they are, and they dissipate less radiation, which means the surface stays warmer.
Saturday, December 3rd 2011, 10:36 AM EST
To: Dr. Roger Wakimoto
Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Roger, you are the head of what is perhaps the most prestigious atmospheric science laboratory on the planet, and, as such, I presume that you will always go the extra mile to protect the reputation of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its related University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).
I’m sure you have seen and discussed with your staff many of the “Climategate” emails released first in November, 2009, and then more recently, earlier this month.
Everyone agrees that the tone and content of many of them is a bit shrill and occasionally intolerant (kind of like University faculty meetings), but there is one repeating thread, by one of your most prestigious employees, Dr. Tom Wigley, that is far beyond the pale of most academic backbiting.
The revoking of my doctorate, the clear objective of Tom’s email, is the professional equivalent of the death penalty. I think it needs to be brought to your attention, because the basic premise underlying his machinations is patently and completely false. Dr Wigley is known as a careful scientist, but he certainly was careless here.
The global circulation of this email has caused unknown damage to my reputation. Also, please note that all communications from Dr. Wigley to his colleagues on this matter were on the NCAR/UCAR server.
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