Is Climate Change the “Defining Challenge of Our Age”? Part 3 of 3

Part III: Where does global warming rank among future risks to environmental health?

challenges_of_civilization

Guest essay by Indur M. Goklany

NOTE: Entire 3 part series is now available as a PDF here

In Part 1 of this series we saw that even if one gives credence to the oft-repeated but flawed estimates from the World Health Organization of the present-day contribution of climate change to global mortality, other factors contribute many times more to the global death toll. For example, hunger’s contribution is over twenty times larger, unsafe water’s is ten times greater, and malaria’s is six times larger. With respect to ecological factors, habitat conversion continues to be the single largest demonstrated threat to species and biodiversity. Thus climate change is not the most important problem facing today’s population.

In Part 2 we saw that even if we assume that the world follows the IPCC’s warmest (A1FI) scenario that the UK’s Hadley Center projects will increase average global temperature by 4°C between 1990 and 2085, climate change will at most contribute no more than 10% of the cumulative death toll from hunger, malaria and flooding into the foreseeable future. It would simultaneously reduce the net population at risk of water stress.

Clearly, climate change would, through the foreseeable future, be a bit-player with respect to human well-being.

Here I will examine whether climate change is likely to be the most important global ecological problem in the foreseeable future.

As in Part 2, I will rely on estimates of the global impacts of climate change from the British-government sponsored “Fast Track Assessments” (FTAs).

The following figure, which presents the FTA’s estimates of habitat converted globally to cropland as of 2100, shows that the amount of habitat lost to cropland may well be least under the richest-but-warmest scenario (A1FI), but higher under the cooler (B1 and B2) scenarios. Thus, despite a population increase, cropland could decline from 11.6% in the base year (1990) to less than half that (5.0%) in 2100 under the warmest (A1FI) scenario.  That is, climate change may well relieve today’s largest threat to species and biodiversity!

One reason for this result is that higher atmospheric concentrations of CO2 might make agriculture more efficient, and this productivity increase would not have been vitiated as of 2100 by any detrimental impacts of higher temperatures.

The next figure shows that in 2085 non-climate-change related factors will dominate the global loss of coastal wetlands between 1990 and 2085.

[In this figure, SLR = sea level rise. Note that the losses due to SLR and "other causes" are not additive, because a parcel of wetland can only be lost once. For detailed sources, see here.]

Thus we see that neither on grounds of public health nor on ecological factors is climate change likely to be the most important problem facing the globe this century.

So the next time anyone claims that climate change is the most important environmental problem facing the globe now or whenever, ask to see their proof that climate change outranks other problems.

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65 thoughts on “Is Climate Change the “Defining Challenge of Our Age”? Part 3 of 3

  1. An interesting reality jumps out when you study Mann’s bristlecone proxy data and the infamous “hockey stick” graphic his process produces. The reality the tree ring data and Mann’s graphic reveal is that nothing has done more to “GREEN” the planet in the past few decades than elevated levels of CO2 in the presence of mild sun-driven warming. That’s the natural science. In the face of huge volumes of data and studies to the contrary, political science has twisted this reality in a truly breath-taking Orwellian manner into 1) warming similar to the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Warm Period is bad, 2) warming is caused by an infinitesimal trace gas essential to life supporting photosynthesis, 3) human’s 3% annual contribution to a CO2 starved biosphere is putting the planet at some sort of risk. Just how high would fuel bills have to be elevated by Cap Tax to cut world hydrocarbon output by 1/3, or net 1%? What would such a reduction do to accumulations of CO2? That’s right, it’s quite literally in the noise, if you know anything about control theory. The cost is off the page. Like this recession? Then just wait for Cap&Tax. All of this then begs the question, “If humans can’t reasonably be expected to control the production of CO2, how they can possibly be responsible for the, as yet unproven, horrors of Global Warming?” The answer is, “they cannot and are not responsible.” The true proxy is the political science myth of Global Warming, foisted on a scientifically illiterate public as a distracting red herring to deal with the operational and economic exigencies of permanently declining oil production worldwide without actually revealing or discussing in the open media the most critical national security issue of our time. Doubt this assertion? Then just read all of the IPCC technical reports together with the most recent IEA oil production forecast. Too hard and time consuming? Okay, then just relax and believe the propaganda.

  2. OT:
    “GDP Growth of 6.3% Might Vanish Into Thin Air”
    Commentary by William Pesek
    May 1 (Bloomberg)
    [snippets:]

    “About 93 million of Southeast Asia’s 563 million people live on less than $1.25 a day. The only way to boost their living standards is rapid and efficient growth. The financial crisis will set back Asia’s prosperity goals. Yet what about the secondary, longer-term effects of today’s turmoil?

    “Climate change is a big one.
    …………
    “Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are uniquely at risk from rising temperatures and sea levels because of their 173,000 kilometers (108,000 miles) of coastlines. Their economies rely on farming and forestry, which need stable rain and temperatures for maximum production. Asia is seeing increasingly extreme weather, water shortages and forest fires linked to climate change.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a9ertXfJXA1k&refer=home

  3. This article naively assumes that people from these unproductive areas will be able to migrate to more productive ones at will and that they are going to be welcomed with open arms by the indigenous residents. It just aint gonna happen. Not without a fight. So how many people have been pencilled in as dying this way? And how many from more intense hurricane activity?

    The worst affected areas are already struggling from climate change and as it gets worse, from the continuing rising temperatures (despite the disingenuous attempts to deny it with cherry picked data) things are going to get much worse. Sea level will also rise as it has always done in the past from melting ice on land and the increased speed of glacier movement.

    Sure a few glaciers in the southern hemisphere are advancing but the vast majority globally are retreating and speeding up. It is also worth mentioning that during the Little Ice age the glaciers in the Southern hemisphere did not advance much, if at all.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/05/01/2556106.htm?site=science&topic=latest

    Further evidence that the Little Ice age only had a major effect on parts of the northern hemisphere. And thus reducing the perceived impact of lack of sun spots.

    • dennis ward:

      Seriously, can you name one place where people are struggling from demonstrable human induced climate change and not just normal drought, hurricane or other types of weather cycles?
      I’d love to hear where that is and see a 100 year record of the previous conditions. Really, just one. One single death or other evidence of suffering that you can definitively attribute to global warmening, climate changeling, or weather extreminening. I would like a name of a person. Not some extrapolation by multiplication of small effect over large population as the UN and bad epidemiologists are wont to do.

      Hint: New Orleans was hit by an ordinary, regularly common Cat 3 Hurricane. Bad levees don’t count as climate change.

  4. If there is a common theme in this whole non-debate,
    it is that these folks believe they can dictate to the
    rest of us. What they universally ignore, is that technology
    is not static; just like the climate.

  5. OT but relevant I think is this post at World Climate Report which examines what the effect of the US will be of reducing its carbon footprint as proposed under the Waxman-Markey Bill:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/04/30/what-you-cant-do-about-global-warming/#more-376

    Shows that – “looking at the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill that is now being considered by Congress, CO2 emissions from the U.S. in the year 2050 are proposed to be 83% less than they were in 2005. In 2005, U.S. emissions were about 6,000 mmt, so 83% below that would be 1,020mmt or a reduction of 4,980mmtCO2. 4,980 divided by 1,767,250 = 0.0028ºC per year. In other words, even if the entire United States reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 83% below current levels, it would only amount to a reduction of global warming of less than three-thousandths of a ºC per year. A number that is scientifically meaningless.”

    All that effort, all that cost and for what?

  6. I believe reports show that there has been no increase in hurricane activity and that the number of hurricanes in any period is entirely random. In fact the worst period for hurricanes was at the beginning (1910 or 11, I believe) of the last century. But we all know that any event can be blamed on climate change, and is; see http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  7. jeez, I would like to back your challenge to dennis ward.
    I’ve found it difficult to find the 100 year data I’d like to see, for example for storms and draughts. But when I could find the data there was never any correlation with carbon dioxide or even the actual global warming that has occurred. One example is Australian rain fall data. Despite the great Australian drought, in fact the data provided by the Australian government shows that the overall rainfall for the continent has been steadily increasing in recent decades. The problems are regional and as such may well have nothing to do with global warming. Even in regions where rainfall has fallen in recent decades, the 100 year data shows that the rainfall is simply returning to early 20th century averages.
    Hurricanes are well documented. The ACES measurement shows no trend that could be linked to CO2 or global warming, and indeed the trend appears to be falling in recent years. If more property has been damaged it’s simply because people insist on building more stuff in hurricane zones. Again, sea level rise appears natural with no global warming trend.
    So, and with this in mind, I would like to back your challenge:
    .
    dennis ward, could you please name a region where it can be proven that large numbers of people have died due to global warming and provide data for the past 100 years for that region that demonstrates the conditions correlate with CO2/global warming and were not within the bounds of natural variability. Many thanks!
    Chris

  8. I will third the challenge to Dennis Ward. Please provide specific verifiable data to back up your assertions. We would all like to see it.

  9. On more recent data, projections suggest that there will be a Dust Bowl from Southern California to Oklahoma and Kansas.

  10. @ dennis ward (00:33:20) :

    The simplest answer to your post is no, that’s not true–to every point.

  11. There are things that could be done to reduce carbon emissions, but the Greens won’t talk about the only other solution, which is nuclear power. Instead they want to put up these idiotic windmills which will never be able to replace a single base load generator plant.

    I’m all for doing sane and rational things, that will lower the cost of energy and keep the world progressing towards a better future. I love nature and wild critters, and do not wish to see God’s Creation destroyed, although I do not believe that CO2 will ever be able to do it. Thing is, sane and rational things do not make people wildly rich for doing nothing, for that you need fiat markets and political cronyism.

    Mind you I have nothing against the people who work hard, plan their futures, provide a benefit to mankind and are otherwise more blessed than me with brains and talent becoming wealthy. Nothing wrong with being rich, so long as you earned that money honestly.

    If the Greens were serious, instead of being the tools of General Electic, they would suggest replacing all coal powered electricity generators with nuclear over the next 50 years. They would support building a high speed rail here in America, to reduce or eliminate the need for short haul air flights or highway travel in a car. Doing just these 2 things would reduce CO2 more than the stupid windmills ever could, but the Global Warming advocates are anti-nuke, not because GE can’t build a nuclear reactor, but because their profit margins are not as high for a nuclear reactor, and by building the stupid windmills first they do not decrease the demand for a reactor, because a windmill cannot and never will be able to generate a base load.

    Sad thing is, as a lover of nature and a conservationist, I hate to see nature destroyed in the name of a scheme that does nothing to enrich humanity, but rather serves the interests of a mega corporation, T. Boone, various members of the landowning class, and clever traders and political hacks making the big bucks and saddling the common man with the increased energy costs and lost opportunity.

    Freedom is really easy, and it does not need an army of scientists, statisticians and economists producing junk science and statistics to confirm their preconcieved conclusions. Barry Goldwater, another conservationist, warned us, “The government that is big enough to give you everything that you want is big enough to take everything that you have.” I do not know if Barry foresaw the rise of the environmentalist/public health lunatic nanny state, but certainly Ben Franklin did when he stated, “Those who would sacrifice a little liberty for a little security would deserve neither and lose both.” Now that the lunatics are running the asylum, I am willing to risk everything for liberty, while sacrificing nothing for the security statism promises to provide. Even old King George would have thought these people were nuts, well maybe…

  12. dennis ward (00:33:20) :
    Well said
    jeez (01:56:47) :
    Seriously, can you name one place where people are struggling from demonstrable human induced climate change and not just normal drought, hurricane or other types of weather cycles?

    France

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2003-09-25-france-heat_x.htm

    PARIS (AP) — The death toll in France from August’s blistering heat wave has reached nearly 15,000, according to a government-commissioned report released Thursday, surpassing a prior tally by more than 3,000.

    United Kingdom
    In the United Kingdom, a record-breaking 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) was recorded in Brogdale Orchards, one mile (1.6 km) southwest of Faversham, Kent on 10 August 2003. The previous highest recorded temperature was 37.1 °C (98.8 °F), recorded in Cheltenham.[5]
    A retrospective analysis published in 2005 showed that the heat wave caused 2,139 excess deaths in the UK for the period 4–13 August 2003.[6]

    Italy
    18,257 people died in Italy,[8] where temperatures were at around 38 °C (100 °F) in most cities for weeks, according to eurosurveillance.org.[citation needed] Other sources reported a much lower figure, not only for Italy, but for other countries as well. New Scientist magazine reported 4,200 deaths in Italy and Spain attributable to the 2003 heatwave.[9] The Guardian reported 1,000 deaths in Italy, 4,000 in Spain.[10]

    Portugal
    There were extensive forest fires in Portugal. Five percent of the countryside and ten percent of the forests (215,000 hectares[11]) were destroyed, an estimated 4,000 square kilometres (1,500 sq mi). Eighteen people died in the fires and there were 2100 heat related deaths over all[12]. Temperatures reached as high as 48 °C (118 °F) in Amareleja.

    The Netherlands
    There were about 1,500[15][16] heat related deaths in the Netherlands, again largely the elderly. The heat wave here broke no records, although 4 tropical weather designated days in mid-July, preceding the official wave, are not counted due to a cool day in between and the nature of the Netherlands specification/definition of a heat wave.[17]

    Spain
    There were 141 deaths in Spain[citation needed]. Temperature records were broken in various cities including 45.1 °C (113.2 °F) in Jerez , 41 °C (106 °F), with the heat wave being more felt in typically cooler northern Spain. Thus, record temperatures were reached in Sevilla [18] 52.2 °C (126.0 °F), Gerona [19], 38.8 °C (101.8 °F) in Burgos [20], 38.6 °C (101.5 °F) in San Sebastián [20] , 36 °C (97 °F) in Pontevedra [21] and 36 °C (97 °F) in Barcelona.[22]

    [edit] Germany
    In Germany, a record temperature of 40.4 °C (104.7 °F) was recorded at Roth bei Nürnberg, Bavaria.[citation needed] But some experts suspect that the highest temperatures occurred in the upper Rhine plain, which is known for very high temperatures. At some stations (private stations, for example Mannheim or Frankenthal), temperatures over 41 °C (106 °F) were reported, but not recognized by official statistics. With only half the normal rainfall, rivers were at their lowest this century,[citation needed] and shipping could not navigate the Elbe or Danube. Around 300 people[23]—mostly elderly—died during the 2003 heatwave in Germany.

    [edit] Switzerland
    Melting glaciers in the Alps caused avalanches and flash floods in Switzerland. A new nationwide record temperature of 41.5 °C (106.7 °F) was recorded in Grono, Graubünden.[24]
    [edit] Effects on crops
    Crops suffered from drought in Southern Europe, but in the north they did very well.

    [edit] Wheat
    The following shortfalls in wheat harvest occurred as a result of the long drought.[citation needed]

    France – 20%
    Italy – 13%
    United Kingdom – 12%
    Ukraine – 75% (Unknown if affected by heatwave or an early freeze that year.)
    Moldova – 80%
    Many other countries had shortfalls of 5–10%, and the EU total production was down by 10 million tonnes, or 10%.

    [edit] Grapes
    The heat wave greatly accelerated the ripening of grapes; also, the heat dehydrates the grapes, making for more concentrated juice. By mid-August, the grapes in certain vineyards had already reached their nominal sugar content, possibly resulting in 12°–12.5° wines (see alcoholic degree). Because of that, and also of the impending change to rainy weather, the harvest was started much earlier than usual (e.g. in mid-August for areas that are normally harvested in September).

    It is predicted that the wines from 2003, although in scarce quantity, will have exceptional quality, especially in France. The heat wave made Hungary fare extremely well in the Vinalies 2003 International wine contest: a total of nine gold and nine silver medals were awarded to Hungarian winemakers.[25]

    I’d love to hear where that is and see a 100 year record of the previous conditions. Really, just one. One single death or other evidence of suffering that you can definitively attribute to global warmening, climate changeling, or weather extreminening.

    There would be absolutely no point giving you temperature charts as you would simply say UHI/adjustment/cherry picking. However, a quick search on the web shows no figures approach this number of deaths.

    • bill:

      Not one of those droughts or heatwaves can be said to be outside natural variability, and of course if the climate had truly shifted, those temperatures would be happening every year in those same places.

      Seriously try again.

      From the same source you pulled those figures (go ol’ wikipedia):

      Causes of the heatwave

      An anticyclone stationed above western Europe prevented precipitation and led to record high temperatures over sustained periods. Temperatures rose to 20-30 percent above average in Europe during the heat wave, with nightly temperatures hotter than the average summer mid-day highs. The heat affected France in particular where temperatures sustained highs of 37°C for more then a week in August in some areas.[26]

      In the aftermath concerns were raised that anthropogenic climate change (/global warming) was partly the cause of such a severe heat wave.[27][28][29] However due to the nature of climate change, it cannot be defined whether or not it is the specific cause of any particularly extreme weather. Changes in climate increase/reduce the risks and likelihoods, and research has since shown that the heat wave could have happened with or without human emissions[30], while confirming that greenhouse gas emissions do increase the risk of such extreme weather. [31]

  13. jeez:
    I cannot name names — nor can I name events — where someone has died of global warming. But I can name cases where there have been deaths due to global warming legislation.

  14. dennis ward (00:33:20) :

    The worst affected areas are already struggling from climate change….

    The “worst affected areas” are already recognized to be the underdeveloped areas of the World, because they are already struggling regardless of any “climate change”.

    So what are these underdeveloped areas actually doing? As a result of their own assessments, China and India are developing through quite massive fossil fuel dependent energy programs.

    So are you saying that the Chinese and Indians are stupid in essentially rejecting AGW disasterizing?

    Bonus questions: just why did the ipcc specifically not include all of these underdeveloped countries, which contain about 5 billion of the Earth’s 6.5 billion people, as having to follow its CO2 strictures if it also believes its own imminent AGW disasterizing? Is the ipcc crazy?

  15. John A. Jauregui.
    You’ve “hit the nail on the head”. The whole AGW myth depends on “a scientifically illiterate public”. The rest of us are not so gullible.

  16. Because I have them avilable here are temp plots, enjoy!

    Here is a plot of temperature vs CO2

    Here a grape harvest and oxford plot of temperature/proxy that holds for well over 100years (found elsewhere)

    Nothing shows up as as hot as the 2003 summer

  17. jeez (06:30:04) :
    Not one of those droughts or heatwaves can be said to be outside natural variability, and of course if the climate had truly shifted, those temperatures would be happening every year in those same places.

    This natural variability has not been seen for 650 years according to grape harvest dates

    Since you claim that there is no evidence for AGW acceptable to yourself, How can anyone give you this proof?

    • You’ve given evidence for a hot summer, nothing more, just as Katrina is evidence of a bad levy, nothing more.

      Read the bottom of your own citation.

      BTW, let me know when the source code and individual station data is available from HADCRUT.

  18. Bill:

    Why don’t you also do some digging on the deaths caused by excessively cold temperatures and let me know how that works out. I would be curious to see a comparison.

  19. “Thus climate change is not the most important problem facing today’s population.”
    No kidding, birth is!

    This series starts off with absurd WHO categories in the first place. Blood pressure?
    Mortality (%)
    Blood pressure 1 7.1 12.8
    Cholesterol 2 4.4 7.9

    IT ALL ADDS UP TO 100%! Imagine that terrifying statistic!

    Someone tell me the ideal human life span please. Heart attack is the final event for everyone, it stops beating and you are then pronounced dead. How old are the people in this chart who died? I hate to bring this up but life is 100% fatal, we are born with terminal illness.
    Blood pressure and cholesterol are medical realities that increase with advancing age due to arterial aging. Who’s to say that dying of a stroke or heart attack at age 48, after a life filled with choice ribeye steaks and oysters is worse than living to 58 to die of pancreatic cancer, 68 to die of liver failure, 78 to die of a pulmonary embolism following hip surgery, or 88 to die of Alzheimers? Car wrecks? Drowning?
    How long HAVE humans lived in the past? What is the goal, that everyone on earth live three score and ten? That no one ever have any health problems?
    The categories of health are slanted from the start. Humans all need fresh food, clean water, and shelter from adverse weather. When they overpopulate an area they either migrate, have epidemics and wars, not to mention natural disasters..Humans either adjust to ever changing realities of all kinds, or they don’t.

    So the WHO is going to nanny us wealthy away from burgers and fries so we will all live forever? Who ARE these idiot Utopians anyway?

  20. Dr. Goklany, an excellent series. Let’s hope that your evidence gives many more millions of readers here at WUWT enough evidence so that the public belief in AGW/Climate Change/ Climate Sensitivity/Atmospheric Sensitivity continues its rapid southward trajectory in the polls. Then everyone will know that it is only authoritarianism using propaganda to gain control.

  21. dennis ward (00:33:20) : This article naively assumes that people from these unproductive areas will be able to migrate to more productive ones

    Pardon? I don’t see any mention of migration at all… That, for example, a dozen feet of coastline is assumed to be covered at high tide that was not covered at high tide before does not seem to me to be cause for any ‘migration’. It looks more like you have an AGW talking point in mind rather than this article.

    And how many from more intense hurricane activity?

    Like the last couple of hurricane seasons? Oh, wait, they were duds… maybe that hurricane prediction stuff isn’t workin’ out for ya too well…

    The worst affected areas are already struggling from climate change

    OK, I’ll bite: Exactly what place has already been inundated by rising sea levels from climate change in the last 50 years? 100 years? (And a sinking atoll in the Pacific doesn’t count – they SINK due to crustal effects, not due to the sea rising…) So, show your work: Exactly how much as the global ocean risen and what place did it cause to have what ‘struggle’?

    from the continuing rising temperatures (despite the disingenuous attempts to deny it with cherry picked data)

    Like this cherry pick by AGW advocates?:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/picking-cherries-in-sweden/

    Nothing like setting your starting point right in the bottom of the Little Ice Age…

    things are going to get much worse.

    Yes, they will; with extreme cold, crop failures, and a very frozen north polar ice cap as the PDO flip has pretty much locked in a 20 to 30 year cold side of the normal cyclical changes. Add in the sleepy sun and cold is going to make it much worse…

    Sea level will also rise as it has always done in the past from melting ice on land and the increased speed of glacier movement.

    Well, the sea has not always risen. Sometimes it goes up. Sometimes it goes down. Depends on how cold it gets. Take a longer term view of things. There are ports (such as one in Italy from Roman times) that are now a fair distance away from water… BTW, glaciers move more when they grow more ice. They slow down when they shrink. It’s that mass and gravity making force stuff from the physics class…

    Sure a few glaciers in the southern hemisphere are advancing but the vast majority globally are retreating and speeding up.

    Retreating and speeding up are mutually exclusive unless you are sitting on a volcanic area. Pick one.

    Further evidence that the Little Ice age only had a major effect on parts of the northern hemisphere. And thus reducing the perceived impact of lack of sun spots.

    Still trying to erase the LIA, eh? How’s that workin’ out for ya?

    And an interesting “proof” that some single datum for one thing in one place somehow restricts the LIA to only one other place (ignoring the rest of the world…). So if it’s hot in Phoenix it can be cold ONLY in NYC? Who knew… /sarcoff>

    Then somehow a southern glacier is a sunspot / weather / climate relationship proxy.

    Well, here’s a tiny bit of clue: Glaciers grow and speed up from more snow fall at upper levels and that is NOT a direct proxy for cold. Glaciers need two things, a cold zone up slope where it can snow and not melt AND a warmer source of water down slope somewhere that can evaporate to make the moisture that later falls as snow up slope. Using glaciers as a proxy for cold confounds these two effects and can confuse hot with cold.

    Basically, glacier growth is more about the availability of water than about the degree of cold. Yes, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”! ;-)

  22. Read the bottom of the bottom of your own citation.
    jeez (06:49:05) :
    while confirming that greenhouse gas emissions do increase the risk of such extreme weather

    BTW, let me know when the source code and individual station data is available from HADCRUT

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/monthly.

    and poke arround for other hadcru data.
    ( http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/ )

    Software? for what?

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/

    this could be interesting – not seen it before

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/urban/

    Some UK data

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/stationdata/

  23. Dr. Goklany,
    This is an excellent series of articles. Would it be possible to publish a version that puts all three articles together in a single report? Of course I could do this myself, but you have done such a wonderful job that I would not want to hack it up. I would love to have a PDF to bring with me (and give to the real Chicken Littles of the world).

    REPLY: Ask and ye shall receive. Entire 3 part series is now available as a PDF here – Anthony

  24. Bill Illis (07:04:25) :
    bill, why don’t you extend your dataset farther back beyond 1958 and see how it matches up.

    Yes I looked at doing that but I really needed monthly figures.
    I had to either average the years temp or interpolate the co2. Not sure that either of those are valid.

  25. Paul (06:47:48) :
    Bill:

    Why don’t you also do some digging on the deaths caused by excessively cold temperatures and let me know how that works out. I would be curious to see a comparison.

    No figures, but see this from the European Commission:
    Deaths during heat-waves have received much media attention in recent years, and yet cold weather is even more lethal. Heart/respiratory diseases and strokes claim more lives in cold weather. Other contributing factors are influenza, social class and per capita gross national product. The main indirect threat in cold weather is carbon monoxide poisoning.

  26. I had the good fortune to attend a Christopher Monckton presentation Tuesday night. It is easy to see why Al Gore is afraid of him. He (Monckton) is a very honest man on a genuine mission to spread the truth.

    He didn’t even tell people that he has a DVD for sale on the Science and Public Policy website. He has no connections to big oil or coal. He is obviously isn’t doing this for the money. Lord knows that can’t be said of Gore who stands to make a billion if cap and trade legislation goes through in the U.S. Monckton said during the presentation that Gore told the committee last Friday that if Monckton showed up, he wouldn’t. Gore has been running from Monckton for years. As I said, it’s with good reason.

    Monckton would tear Gore apart in a one on one debate. Anyone who doubts Monckton’s abilities should view Apocalypse? No! which is a tape of a presentation he made at Cambridge.

    His presentation Tuesday is still available for free online:

    http://yct.tamu.edu/

    You can also view Monckton’s review of the 35 errors in Gore’s Sci-Fi Comedy Horror Flick:
    An Inconvenient Truth on my website:

    http://www.hootervillegazette.com/AlGoreTheater.html

    Lord Monckton’s Written works are available by following this link:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/

  27. OUTSTANDING!! Thank you for the PDF. I apologize in advance for beating what I think is a dead horse, but, am I free to print and distribute it in it’s entirety?

    P.S. (Please mod this part out) if you would like to give permission in your reply to my 07:15:40 post, that would be equally good. Of course you could shoot me an e-mail if it is not acceptable … Thanks again!! Craig

  28. Dear Bill and Dennis Ward,

    Most of the threads on this post are authored by people who don’t know exactly what is happening with earth’s climate. They have continually asked you to provide substantial evidence to back-up your points and citations. The evidence that you provide to prove your opinions are nothing more that political propaganda.

    Our solar system is a dynamic system. It has been changing, and it will continue to change for the next 2 billion years. After that our solar system will cease to exist. It will die and earth will be consumed by our sun.

    Don’t use your lifetime as a baseline for earth’s climate. The climate we have now is an aboration in the history of this planet. The level of current CO2 is quite low compared to scientifically derived historical records.

    Don’t rationalize, don’t believe political propaganda, read about history, search for provable truth, and finally, understand that the collective knowledge that the human race has to date is a small percentage of knowledge that we have yet to gain. We know nothing.

    The people who read your threads on this site are thinking people, they see through your political propaganda delivered with religous zeal.

  29. bill
    While you are matching check the cycle 23 maximum against your charts. Note: there is always a delay as the earth is not quite a F1 car. Could these climate events be solar related? PDO and AMO are also in play.

  30. bill:
    “[edit] Switzerland
    Melting glaciers in the Alps caused avalanches and flash floods in Switzerland.”

    Glaciers were growing, sometimes dangerously, in the LIA, and logically they started shrinking in the second half of the 19th century. In Switzerland, where glaciers are measured since 1880, one can see signs like “this glacier has shrunk xxx Meters since (the year) 1900″. But now people are being told that AGW is the culprit (already in 1850 ?)

  31. Dear Dr. Goklany,

    Thank you very much for your analysis and conclusions.

    I personally think that the time frames are much to big, there is still too much reliance on IPCC forecasts which are unrealistic and most important, little to non consideration is taken into account in regard to technological developments in regard to agriculture and food production.

    We already have technologies in place where crops are produced by recycling the water and fertilizer needed to grow the crops.

    The most important aspect is that these new technologies dramatically reduce the land are needed. In the Netherlands for example crops are produced in greenhouses
    that are build in stores. The effect of this technology is a 75% reduction in land use for the same crop volume.

    This is the technology that could bring the world population through a Maunder Minimum but it is in need of preparation time and investments.

    This is why the current AGW Scheme is so devastating.

    It forces our population to invest large sums of money which are wasted to fight a non existing problem.

    The really sad aspect of this is the fact that this huge mistakes of underestimating our technology has been made before when the Club of Rome in the seventees predicted world wide famins within ten years which did not happen because of the “Green Agricultural Revolution”.

    I really appriciate your optimistic views but you really shoud add a high value for human kind to solve really big problems.

    The negative approach of almost any subject related to population growth and climate alarmism aimed at a reduction of our industrial output and consumption is the biggest scam of all and it should be fought furiously.

    Especially because most of the statements are based on semi science and blatant lies.

  32. Francis (05:56:02) :
    On more recent data, projections suggest that there will be a Dust Bowl from Southern California to Oklahoma and Kansas.

    The dust bowl with higher temperatures in the 1930’s was unrelated to the recent rise in CO2. We will have another one. Watt’s you point.

  33. If we have another ice age or another Little Ice Age, then that climate change will be a serious issue to deal with.

    But is warming really a problem? No. Bring it on.

    There is no reason to believe any tipping points exists, no evidence for a run-away greenhouse effect and no compelling evidence that we have experienced or will experience any climate outside of natural variation.

  34. The heat wave greatly accelerated the ripening of grapes; also, the heat dehydrates the grapes, making for more concentrated juice. By mid-August, the grapes in certain vineyards had already reached their nominal sugar content, possibly resulting in 12°–12.5° wines (see alcoholic degree). Because of that, and also of the impending change to rainy weather, the harvest was started much earlier than usual (e.g. in mid-August for areas that are normally harvested in September).

    It is predicted that the wines from 2003, although in scarce quantity, will have exceptional quality, especially in France. The heat wave made Hungary fare extremely well in the Vinalies 2003 International wine contest: a total of nine gold and nine silver medals were awarded to Hungarian winemakers.[25]

    And this is bad? Sweet Cheeks, where’s my corkscrew.

  35. dennis ward,
    Perhaps you are unaware that the AGW prediction of more and more intense hurricanes has been shown to false?
    No one is suffering from AGW.

  36. bill (06:23:20) :

    HAS THE IPCC EXAGGERATED ADVERSE IMPACT OF GLOBAL WARMING ON HUMAN SOCIETIES? by Madhav L Khandekar

    “The European summer 2003 heat wave: The heat wave in Europe during June-July of 2003 was an exceptional event and received wide publicity because of a large number of fatalities due to dehydration and heat stress which affected several thousand elderly people in France and elsewhere in Western Europe. Although an exceptional weather event, the 2003 European heat wave was by no means unprecedented and was a result of a persistent upper-level ridge of high pressure over the Continent (see AMS Bulletin, June 2004).

    Linking the 2003 heat wave in Europe to human activity is unconvincing and without any merit. Such heat waves have occurred in the past in various parts of the earth and have been triggered by various reasons, most commonly due to an anomalous but not uncommon atmospheric flow pattern. What is of interest here is that just six months earlier, the winter months of December 2002 and January 2003 were unusually cold in many parts of North America, Europe and this unusually cold winter was felt even in the tropical latitudes of Vietnam and Bangladesh where several hundred people died of long exposure to significantly below normal temperatures.

    The winter season of 2002/03 over Northern Hemisphere was much more wide-spread globally than the European heat wave of summer 2003. The IPCC authors highlighted the European heat wave as an example of human activity induced EW event, but completely ignored the unusually cold winter season of 2002/03. Also the summer (June/July/August) of 2004 was one of the coldest over most of North America. These and many other recent climate anomalies of cold as well as warm season are most certainly due to natural climate variability and are in no way associated with human activity.”

    MULTI-SCIENCE PUBLISHING CO. LTD. 5 Wates Way, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9TB, United Kingdom Reprinted from ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT VOLUME 19 No. 5 2008

  37. MarkM (07:53:11) :
    They have continually asked you to provide substantial evidence to back-up your points and citations. The evidence that you provide to prove your opinions are nothing more that political propaganda.

    What do you want then, that will satisfy you that global warming is happening and that 10,000s of deaths were caused in Europe during 2003?

    Don’t use your lifetime as a baseline for earth’s climate. The climate we have now is an aboration in the history of this planet. The level of current CO2 is quite low compared to scientifically derived historical records.

    There is no proof of co2 in the 1000s of ppm. The values are derived from (I think) geocarbsulf models.

    Assuming that the model predicts valid co2 levels then the earth during this period was completely different go here and search around – it is interesting.

    http://www.scotese.com/pangeanim.htm

    You cannot do any comparison of climates before about 50MY ago

    Don’t rationalize, don’t believe political propaganda, read about history, search for provable truth,

    I do not believe in political agenda I follow no religion I follow no political parties. I have looked at all evidence with an open mind and I believe that on balance AGW is a fact. I now know that there is nothing I could research and post that you would believe unless it shows that AGW is not a fact.

  38. Bill and Dennis,

    Please keep in mind that when you view the temperature history from the late 1850’s that it rises from lower left to upper right, but that in no way means that ‘lower left’ was normal and ‘upper right’ is abnormal. In fact it is widely accepted that the ‘lower left’ was an abnormally LOW temperature period over the recent history of humankind and that the rise to the ‘upper right’ is considered a return to more NORMAL temperatures.

    It has been recorded that CO2 levels were ~280ppm back in the lower left of the temperature chart and have now risen to ~380ppm at the upper right. Again, 280ppm should in no way be considerd normal especially as we have lots of evidence that the oceans were cooler due to the extended cool period at the time. Since cooler oceans mean more CO2 solubility and warmer oceans mean less CO2 solubility, then it is completely logical that the ‘upper right’ of the temperature curve means that a level of 380ppm CO2 just might be more normal than 280ppm. There is some significant data showing that CO2 levels of 300-400ppm existed prior to this abnormally cool period, again, questioning the assumption that 280ppm was normal.

    Before you shout that the 100ppm increase ‘exactly matches the temperature curve’, remember that the most recent calculations show that humankind has put about 3-4% of the total new CO2 in the atmosphere meaning that the other 96ppm did not come from humankind and must have come from somewhere else. The magnitude of the 96ppm addition is so large that it could have come from no known source, but a warming ocean. The numbers are even suprising to me, but that is what the data says as I understand it. (I would enjoy hearing rebuttals to this.)

    So it is entirely possible that there is very little contribution of any temperature rise directly or indirectly tied to CO2 increases…at least any anthropogenic origin. If that is the case, many argue that it is nigh to impossible for humans to reduce any temperatures by trying to reduce CO2 concentrations.

    And, as I opinioned, today’s temperatures are actually closer to the recent (say 1000 year) average than they were at the end of the 1800’s (the ‘lower left’ of the temperature curve). I think no-one would really want a return to the ‘lower left’ temperatures as it would mean a very large increase in energy consumption necessary to stay warm, a shorter growing season, lower quality of life for those in the populated upper latitudes and a significantly more difficult time in feeding the Earth’s growing population.

    Any money spent is much, much better spent in education, medicine, pollution control and food production programs for those who lack rather than what appears to be a totally futile attempt to reduces Earth’s global temperatures by 0.0xx degrees.

  39. All I can say, again, is that this issue of global warming was a well concocted plan made in such a way that it seems to have life of its own, so being propagated as in a chain reaction by the majority of media, only being controlled by “bars” as WUWT which is absorbing any excess “radiation” like this post.
    However considering WUWT growth, chances are, THEY will becoming every day more concerned about it. So, hold on!

  40. bill
    “What do you want then, that will satisfy you that global warming is happening and that 10,000s of deaths were caused in Europe during 2003?”

    I would say that the tens of thousands of deaths in Europe from the heat wave (weather is not climate) was actually caused by state entitled, often childless, hedonists who took off for a month’s holiday at the breezy shore, as they are accustomed to doing, with no regard for their elderly pensioner parents.
    I can’t imagine a month off. I can’t imagine leaving dependent elders for that long. I can’t imagine all the doctors taking holidays at the same time. Soon, when our labor uniions take over the US and we become entitled socialists, we could see the same patterns of behavior here.
    US cities have PLANS now for heat waves, community networks, cooling centers etc. Maybe Europe does by now too. Still, US cities don’t empty out of workers during August.

  41. Bill:
    “PARIS (AP) — The death toll in France from August’s blistering heat wave has reached nearly 15,000, according to a government-commissioned report released Thursday, surpassing a prior tally by more than 3,000″

    The temperatures in France at that time were not something Floridians would worry about. But in France it is not normal to have air-conditioning.
    The main problem was that the French take their vacations at the same time if possible; so nurses and doctors were not numerous enough in hospitals and old peoples homes. Therefore the patients died in August instead of November.
    As de Gaulle once said: Francaises et Francais, aidez-moi. (With cedille of course)

  42. I just sent email to Ron and Jeff (our two Oregon senators) stating that I would work diligently next time to vote them out of office if they voted for cap and trade legislation. I kept the post short, included my misgivings about CO2 and mentioned trade winds and oceanic oscillations as major longer-term weather pattern variation drivers.

    Now would be the time to send a quick note to your senators and representatives.

  43. bill (09:19:15) :

    I do not believe in political agenda I follow no religion I follow no political parties. I have looked at all evidence with an open mind and I believe that on balance AGW is a fact

    I have a question for you which, I hope you’ll believe me when I say, is not meant to be sarcastic. It is simply what makes you think so? Or alternatively, how do you know that? As I have admitted here many times I have no particular expertise in any field relevant to climate, but I have spent a good deal of time exploring this topic and if I had to put forward one conclusion that I had to stand by it would be that people on all sides of the AGW debate seem to know a lot less than they think they do about any of it. Since more of those on the skeptical side seem willing to recognize and admit this, I have found their arguments more convincing, but I may be wrong and I’d be interested in knowing what evidence you’ve seen that caused you to conclude the opposite.

  44. Bill, I cannot believe that the heatwave of 2003 is your proof of global warming. The 15,000 people who died in France died of dehydration. Most of them died in hospital of dehydration. That is saying something really bad about French hospitals but it does not prove global warming. What is interesting is that the people who managed to be admitted into private clinics did not die. (Note to self. leave France rather than be admitted to hospital there)
    No records were broken during that heatwave.
    Cold related deaths are 20% higher than heat related deaths in every single country. In the UK and Europe, cold related deaths are increasing because of fuel poverty brought on by the carbon tax. More deaths from environmentalism.
    Katrina was a hurricane. No increase in any extreme weather event is related to global warming. Two reasons, it is not warming and if it was warming, extreme weather events would be deciining. However, all the proposed measures to protect New Orleans were stopped by the EPA and other environmental groups. The one that would have saved New Orleans was a folding gate that would have stopped the storm surge. That was not allowed by the EPA because it would have interfered with fish sex. According to Greenpeace, the problem was because people insist on living in flood prone areas. Does that make you understand how much environmental groups revere human life? Katrina acccounts for more deaths by environmentalism.
    The number of deaths environmentalism is responsible for is way over 100 Million now. The EPA, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club etc should have that on their logo’s.
    WE KILL MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. JOIN US.

  45. I just picked up the end of this. I should read it all (and I will). But for now I wanted to add my $0.02.

    I always ask whether or not a given catastrophe could have been prevented by lowering CO2. How much CO2 would we have to take out of the atmosphere before we could be sure New Orleans will never get hit by another Cat 3 hurricane? How much CO2 would we have to take out to be sure there would be no brush fires in Australia like this summer? What were the temps in France in summer 2003. Can we lower the level of CO2 to be sure France will never see such temperatures again? The answer is that, at tremendous cost, we could never remove enough. Better to fix the levies and clear the brush.

    So far I can’t think of one instance that could be prevented in the future by limiting CO2 that couldn’t be done better, cheaper, and with much greater assurance by other means.

  46. Bill Illis (07:04:25) :
    bill, why don’t you extend your dataset farther back beyond 1958 and see how it matches up.

    The CO2 vs date curve is a bit lumpy – too many proxies and there is a hump at 1950-ish But here’s the result. Wasn’t expecting this. It’s actually a bit worrying:

    approx 0.01degC per ppm increase.

    Dave Wendt (12:54:58) :
    I have a question for you which, I hope you’ll believe me when I say, is not meant to be sarcastic. It is simply what makes you think so? Or alternatively, how do you know that? As I have admitted here many times I have no particular expertise in any field relevant to climate, but I have spent a good deal of time exploring this topic and if I had to put forward one conclusion that I had to stand by it would be that people on all sides of the AGW debate seem to know a lot less than they think they do about any of it. Since more of those on the skeptical side seem willing to recognize and admit this, I have found their arguments more convincing, but I may be wrong and I’d be interested in knowing what evidence you’ve seen that caused you to conclude the opposite.

    First all prejudices need to be forgotten not all pro-AGW/anti-AGW scientists are frauds. Go to blogs of both sides – which has the science behind it. BELEIVE NO ONE ABSOLUTELY, Check out proxies – glaciers/ice on ice off days/harvest dates/check temperature plots/etc
    Not all data showing AGW has been fabricated.
    Warmer climate is not going to be acceptable.
    Then think of the consequences if your chosen side is wrong
    AGW wrong – will cost money to clean up our act and become less dependant on oil. future generations will have more fossil fuels
    No AGW wrong – sea level rise, north atlantic conveyor disruption = europe cooler, some places become unlivably hot, some places become desserts. storm increases failed crops. This will take decades to bring under control and a decade is a long time to survive.

  47. Bill,

    I would turn your argument around. If we do nothing, there is a good possibility there will be no or only slight increase in temperature. There is every possibility the world will in fact be wealthier if we do nothing to impede economic progress and mitigate the effects of any warming. See the first two parts of this discussion. I really don’t agree with many of your conclusions or suppositions. Less dependent on oil. Fine — let’s drill our own, use coal, use natural gas, use nuclear. I’m with you.

    On the other hand we may spend billions of dollars, or trillions, to reduce any warming by much less than 1 degree at the end of this century. And, to my point above. How much must we reduce CO2 to lower the temperature enough that we can be assured New Orleans will never again get hit by a cat. 3 hurricane? How much will it cost? What would be the alternatives. If it was me, money spent on proper levies might help me sleep better at night. There is no way you could reduce CO2 enough, to claim you would reduce temperature enough, to claim you were reducing hurricane strength, to make me feel any safer if the levies are bad.

  48. Tim Clark (08:31:01)

    The Dust Bowl (of the 30’s) was a regional situation of “drought, high temperature, and high winds”, compounded by “poor farming practices”. But, it was temporary.
    Higher temperatures are projected for this future Southern California to Kansas Dust Bowl. And, they would be permanent.
    I’ve heard this mentioned twice: from Copenhagen, and from some Harvard study. Being from Arizona, I wouldn’ wish its climate on anyone else.

  49. 1. Several commentators – jeez, bill, Paul, Bill, Mike T, Alexej Buergin, WakeUpMaggy, Eve – got into a discussion of heat- and cold-related deaths. The differences in the number of deaths during the colder months versus warmer months in the US, UK and a number of European cities have been discussed previously in a number of posts on WUWT. See:

    95,000 Excess U.S. Deaths during the Cold Months Each Year, (12/22/08).

    Follow up to Questions on Deaths from Extreme Cold and Extreme Heat, (12/20/08). The information provided in this post is broadly consistent with Eve’s information. The comment thread on this one also provides a link to a study by Deschenes and Moretti (2007) which estimates that 8%-15% of the total gains in life expectancy experienced by the U.S. population over the past 30 years may be because of ongoing migration from the cold Northeastern states to the warmer Southern states.

    The Deadliest U.S. Natural Hazard: Extreme Cold, (12/18/08).
    Going Down: Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events/,

    2. With respect to the 2003 European heatwave, a critical question from the policy perspective is how many of the tens of thousands of those deaths could have been avoided had the Kyoto Protocol (or any other greenhouse gas emission reduction scheme) been fully implemented by all its signatories (including the US, which signed the Protocol but didn’t ratify). The answer is, unfortunately, virtually zero. I contend that if European countries had spent a fraction of the resources they expended on the ineffectual Kyoto Protocol on adaptation instead, they could have avoided thousands of deaths from the 2003 heatwave. See An Irrelevant Europe – Best for the World?

    3. Ron de Haan (08:29:16)

    RESPONSE: I agree. Time frames used in projections of impacts are way too long considering the uncertainties in the assumptions and inputs used in the modeling exercises for reasons laid out at: http://goklany.org/library/Richer-but-warmer%20RV.pdf. Moreover, ignoring secular technological change, which virtually all impacts assessments do, probably overestimates impacts by several fold, if history is any guide.

    4. bill (09:19:15) :
    I have looked at all evidence with an open mind and I believe that on balance AGW is a fact.

    RESPONSE: I doubt you not, but I think you are confusing fact with theory/hypothesis. GW is a fact, assuming surface temp data are not fatally contaminated. [Anthony’s surfacestations work raises the possibility that the US surface data might be fatally contaminated, and it is plausible that no matter how good US data might be, other countries’ data is probably worse.]

    [One may ask: what about satellite data, don’t they show warming? Indeed they do, but I am skeptical – yes that word! – that 30 years worth of data is long enough to establish a trend in the CLIMATE, particularly considering that there seem to be large scale natural cycles of longer periodicity.]

    However, the causes of GW are not facts. They are based on hypotheses and theories. One can develop hypotheses and theories as to the cause(s), and try to falsify them. In fact, to the best of my knowledge there has never been a showing that the null hypothesis that GW is due to natural causes can be rejected with 95% confidence (a standard scientific/statistical criterion). Once having done that, then one can try to figure out:

    (a) what fraction of the GW is AGW, and

    (b) what fraction of AGW is due to well-mixed greenhouse gases (e.g., CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.), and what fraction is due to other causes (soot, land use and land cover changes).

    Until this is done, one can’t be confident that CO2 reductions will have much benefit, if any.

    5. In the previous thread [part 2 of 3], Francis (21:52:57) commented:
    This is an estimate (of deaths) based on old computer forecasts …from older climate data. We now have more recent climate data (some of which has already advanced beyond its projections in those old forecasts).

    RESPONSE: I would appreciate getting references. In fact, since life is short, I would appreciate receiving the reprints/preprints. My contact information is available at goklany.org. Thanks.

    6. CknLitl
    … am I free to print and distribute it in it’s entirety? …

    RESPONSE: Be my guest. Just indulge me, and give credit. Thanks. Talking of credit, Anthony came up with the “Civilization” graphic – a most inspired move! One more reason to thank our host.

  50. MY PREVIOUS RESPONSE DISAPPEARED. MY APOLOGIES IF THIS IS A DUPLICATE.

    1. Several commentators – jeez, bill, Paul, Bill, Mike T, Alexej Buergin, WakeUpMaggy, Eve – got into a discussion of heat- and cold-related deaths. The differences in the number of deaths during the colder months versus warmer months in the US, UK and a number of European cities have been discussed previously in a number of posts on WUWT. See:

    95,000 Excess U.S. Deaths during the Cold Months Each Year, (12/22/08).

    Follow up to Questions on Deaths from Extreme Cold and Extreme Heat, (12/20/08). The information provided in this post is broadly consistent with Eve’s information. The comment thread on this one also provides a link to a study by Deschenes and Moretti (2007) which estimates that 8%-15% of the total gains in life expectancy experienced by the U.S. population over the past 30 years may be because of ongoing migration from the cold Northeastern states to the warmer Southern states.

    The Deadliest U.S. Natural Hazard: Extreme Cold, (12/18/08).

    Going Down: Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events/.

    2. With respect to the 2003 European heatwave, a critical question from the policy perspective is how many of the tens of thousands of those deaths could have been avoided had the Kyoto Protocol (or any other greenhouse gas emission reduction scheme) been fully implemented by all its signatories (including the US, which signed the Protocol but didn’t ratify). The answer is, unfortunately, virtually zero.

    I contend that if European countries had spent a fraction of the resources they expended on the ineffectual Kyoto Protocol on adaptation instead, they could have avoided thousands of deaths from the 2003 heatwave. See An Irrelevant Europe – Best for the World?

    3. Ron de Haan (08:29:16)

    RESPONSE: I agree. Time frames used in projections of impacts are way too long considering the uncertainties in the assumptions and inputs used in the modeling exercises for reasons laid out at: http://goklany.org/library/Richer-but-warmer%20RV.pdf. Moreover, ignoring secular technological change, which virtually all impacts assessments do, probably overestimates impacts by several fold, if history is any guide.

    4. bill (09:19:15) :
    I have looked at all evidence with an open mind and I believe that on balance AGW is a fact.

    RESPONSE: I doubt you not, but I think you are confusing fact with theory/hypothesis. GW is a fact, assuming surface temp data are not fatally contaminated. [Anthony’s surfacestations work raises the possibility that the US surface data might be fatally contaminated, and it is plausible that no matter how good US data might be, other countries’ data is probably worse.]

    [One may ask: what about satellite data, don’t they show warming? Indeed they do, but I am skeptical – yes that word! – that 30 years worth of data is long enough to establish a long-term trend in the climate, particularly considering that there seem to be large scale natural cycles of longer periodicity.]

    However, the causes of GW are not facts. They are based on hypotheses and theories. One can develop hypotheses and theories as to the cause(s), and try to falsify them. In fact, to the best of my knowledge there has never been a showing that the null hypothesis that GW is due to natural causes can be rejected with 95% confidence (a standard scientific/statistical criterion). Once having done that, then one can try to figure out:

    (a) what fraction of the GW is due to AGW,
    (b) what fraction of AGW is due to well-mixed greenhouse gases (e.g., CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.), and what fraction is due to other causes (soot, land use and land cover changes).

    Until this is done, one can’t be confident that CO2 reductions will have much benefit, if any.

    5. In the previous thread [part 2 of 3], Francis (21:52:57) commented:

    This is an estimate (of deaths) based on old computer forecasts …from older climate data. We now have more recent climate data (some of which has already advanced beyond its projections in those old forecasts).

    RESPONSE: I would appreciate getting references. In fact, since life is short, I would appreciate receiving the reprints/preprints. My contact information is available at goklany.org. Thanks.

    6. CknLitl
    … am I free to print and distribute it in it’s entirety? …

    RESPONSE: Be my guest. Just indulge me, and give credit. Thanks. Talking of credit, Anthony came up with the “Civilization” graphic – a most inspired move! One more reason to thank our host.

  51. Indur Goklany (21:25:46) :

    Excellent comments Indur – thank you.

    Bill,

    In science, first there is Hypothesis, then Theory (Evolution) and finally Law (Gravity).

    Catastrophic humanmade global warming is still only a hypothesis, and I would suggest it is already a failed one. All evidence suggests that the sensitivity of Earth temperature to CO2 is at most 0.3C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 280 to 560 ppm. This is not a problem for the planet.

    The sensitivity might be even lower – there has been no net global warming since 1940, in spite of an 800% increase in humanmade CO2 emissions. The only noticeable impact is that we have made little plants happy.

    Regards, Allan

  52. @bill,
    you did at least meet part of the challenge, which was to provide data over at least 100 years. But the challenge was to provide evidence that large numbers of deaths have been caused by AGW.
    You provided a very interesting chart relating to grape harvests, for which many thanks. Unfortunately it completely undermines your case. At a first glance it looked like Swiss grape harvests had fallen catastrophically as temperatures rose. But in fact the graphs are of grape harvest *days*. The values get smaller as the temperature rises. The conclusion is quite clear: as temperatures rose the grape harvests were earlier, which would probably be of large benefit to the farmers. In fact I would have thought a slight rise in average temperatures would have been of particularly great benefit in a temperate country such as Switzerland.
    .
    If anything that graph confirms a simple – and to some, inconvenient – truth, that the modest warming we have enjoyed has been of overall benefit.
    You gave a list of events that killed large numbers of people, particularly heat waves. But that’s the whole point of the challenge. There have always been heat waves, droughts and storms. The challenge is to provide data over at least 100 years to show a distinct trend directly related to those deaths that correlates with AGW.
    .
    I don’t deny that there has been some amount of global warming, though the figure of 0.7 degrees C is almost certainly exaggerated. But I know of no credible evidence that, overall, large numbers of people have been killed by this very modest warming. Quite the reverse.
    Chris

  53. Chris Wright (04:01:25) :
    You provided a very interesting chart relating to grape harvests, for which many thanks. Unfortunately it completely undermines your case. At a first glance it looked like Swiss grape harvests had fallen catastrophically as temperatures rose. But in fact the graphs are of grape harvest *days*. The values get smaller as the temperature rises. The conclusion is quite clear: as temperatures rose the grape harvests were earlier, which would probably be of large benefit to the farmers.

    My case for providing the graph was toprove that temperatures similar to 2003 had not been seen for over 150 years
    The original plot was the only one available from work. This is a more recent one showing the correspondance of higher temperature and earlier harvests. It also clearly shows that in about 150 years 2003 was the warmest.

    These plots show the corresponence of temperature and CO2 levels. The first is used to predict a rise of 2.5C from average 1961 to 1990 levels (I do not claim this to be accurate)

    And this is a simple zoom on the proxy/real data

  54. The IPCC is probably required to recognize that climate change is not most important, as the UNFCCC which drives the IPCC states that poverty has a higher priority.

  55. @bill,
    thanks for the info. I tried to find more data on Swiss wine production but without much success. Several times I found Switzerland described as ‘marginal’ in terms of grape production due no doubt to its relatively cool climate, so it seems clear that some modest warming is probably of great benefit.
    Your graphs do indeed show that some locations have become significantly warmer. But one can find many weather stations where the trend has been down over the last century, so I’m not quite sure what those graphs prove, assuming of course that they are showing real temperature increases not contaminated by UHI.
    As has been pointed out, if the global temperature had been precisely constant over the last century, high temperature records would occur quite regularly in some parts of the world. It’s in the nature of statistics. And of course low temperature records would also occur. Many low temperature records have been featured at WUWT during this winter.
    You listed several major heatwaves such as the one in France. Statistically, these will occur occasionally when a set of weather conditions conspire to cause very high temperatures. They will occur from time to time. There have been many large heatwaves and storms in the 18th and 19th centuries, so it’s nothing new. Just listing some severe weather events proves nothing. But if you can produce data that shows a clear trend of heatwaves or storms over the last hundred years or so, then let us know.
    Unfortunately it can be very difficult to find the data even with Google. For example yesterday I searched trying to find up to date data on world food production, but without much luck. I believe world food production per head of population has been steadily increasing, but the latest data I found some time ago only went up to maybe 2005.
    But when I did find the data, e.g. Australian rain fall, then in every case it became obvious that the overall trends were well inside natural variability over the last 100 years. If you want to prove your case then it’s pretty pointless listing individual weather events. As the saying goes, the trend is your friend!
    .
    The original challenge was to find evidence to justify the claims that in some regions large numbers of people had already died because of global warming. Where is the evidence?
    Chris

  56. Changing (a bit) the subject, i want to comment some old record temperatures posted earlier here: All the continental records presented in that table (except for North America and Antartica) were found to be not reliable, they were taken under not standardized conditions, as the Mildura’s 50 and Melbourne’s 47, they were not AIR TEMPERATURE but instead measured inside shelters that acted like “mini saunas”, all discontinued by BOM, some australian cities even used Glaisher Stand that had highs as much as 3 to 4 degrees (celsius) above stevenson screen in clear days. The Seville (50ºC) record was already discontinued by spanish meteorological office some time ago, today the accepted is the Murcia’s 47.8ºC, Argentina 47,3ºC Campo Gallo and Victoria’s (Australia) 48.1 in the (INDEED) record breaking heatwave this year (natural, records are expected to be broken from time to time, no doomsday here). I’m also agains climate alarmist (or AGW), but we sohuld not act like them manipulating data to validate unreliable old temperature records. Sorry for the por english, i’m a foreigner.

    Reply: Boa tarde, desculpe, nós não falamos muito de Português aqui. ~ charles the moderator

  57. Oh how I wish we could return to a more utopian time before CO2 emissions by man caused such things as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and severe drought. Before
    global warming brought about disasters like famine, disease, divorce, larger snakes, larger spiders, kidney stones and the nearly 600 items on this list: http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm.

    Having said that, I now feel compelled to suggest the following as required viewing, listening, and reading before the conference in Copenhagen:

    http://www.hootervillegazette.com/LordMonckton.html

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