Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Dirty Little Truth Fox News Doesn't Want You To Know About Climate Change

A quick quiz: How can you tell a climate change denier is lying? Answer: His lips are moving.

The recent incarnation of this is Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger in his article carried by Fox News this week. He wants to claim that there are these 'truths' that Obama doesn't want you to know about climate change. Well, I don't know what Obama does, or doesn't, want you to know and I really don't care. Obama is near the very bottom of my list of people that I like. But, climate change, obviously, is way up there on the list of things I care about. So, let's take a look at the list of 'truths' he claims Obama doesn't want us to know.

1. Temperature records
Bolstering this barrage of alarmism is last week’s finding from the federal government’s National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the global average surface temperature for August 2014 was the highest ever recorded for the month.

But the anomalous warmth in August still fell short of the all-time record for all months. That record was set nearly 200 months ago in February 1998. And that’s the real news. In this era of human-caused global warming, what is taking so long to set a new global temperature record?
So, let's be clear on what Mr. Knappenberger is saying, and wants everyone to buy. Record temperature after record temperature is being set and continues to be set, but manmade global warming isn't real because the one record monthly high temperature was set in 1998 and hasn't been broken yet. And, that month occurred during the period of global warming? Is that right?

In short, Mr. Knappenberger wants to ignore the entire database and make a judgement based on a single datum point. Thousands of data points to the contrary be damned. And, be sure to read what he said, not that the hottest monthly average ever recorded happened in 1998, but the hottest anomalous month occurred then. This is the month with the greatest discrepancy relative to the long-term average.

So, Mr. Knappenberger, why didn't you focus on the month with the hottest average ever recorded? Or, why didn't you discuss the year with the hottest average ever recorded? Or, the second? Or, the third? Or the decade with the hottest average ever recorded? Or, the second hottest?

The answer to these questions is that they have all occurred since 2000. That would not sit well with his denier claims.

And, that is a truth he doesn't want you to know about.

2. Temperature Anomalies

The rise in the Earth’s average surface temperature basically stopped, “global warming” morphed into “climate change,” and it has been 16.5 years since the last all-time all-month record monthly temperature anomaly was set.
What is the significance of this statement? This statement is so silly I didn't even bother researching to find out if his claim is correct, or not. The claim itself is the lie.

Mr. Knappenberger, the concern is "global warming", not "global record temperature anomaly". We need to look at one question, "Is the planet getting warmer?" The answer is, "Yes, it is". The 1980s were the hottest decade ever recorded at the time. Every year in the 1990s was hotter than the average of the 1980s, making the 1990s the hottest decade ever record at the time. Every year of the 2000s was hotter than the average of the 1990s, making the 2000s the hottest decade every recorded at the time. Every year of the 2010s has been hotter than the average of the 2000s, making the 2010s the hottest decade ever recorded. At least, at the time. Just wait for the 2020s. And, the 2030s. And,....

And, that is a truth Mr. Knappenberger doesn't want you to know.

3. Professional Deniers
Just-published research from University of Guelph’s Ross McKitrick pegs the length of the hiatus, or “pause”—the period of no statistically significant rise in the earth’s average temperature—at about 19 years. 
Funny. Ross McKitrick is a economist and takes money from the fossil-fuel industry. His work has been shown to be fraudulent. If his claims are so valid, why does he need to turn to someone like this for information? Why not use the scientific literature?

And, that is a truth Mr. Knappenberger doesn't want you to know.  

4. Not Matching Forecasts
Looking back even further, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that since the mid-20th century, observed global warming has been less than expected.
Mr. Knappenberger's claim here is that the globe didn't warm as much as some forecasts had predicted, therefore it isn't real. In other words, global warming isn't real because global warming is real, but not as bad as someone predicted it would be.

One more truth Mr. Knappenberger doesn't want you to know.

5. Computer Models
In short, all those computerized climate models that predicted large, accelerating, and generally uninterrupted warming were wrong. And it has the believers in those models scratching their heads.
Global warming is not proceeding as planned.  The climate appears less sensitive to our emissions of greenhouse gases than expected. The urgency to grant the government the authority to limit energy choice is not justified.
To be clear, the models have actually been pretty good, certainly much better than deniers claim. This is just one more denier lie that is making the Internet airways. I reviewed all of these claims about models and wrote a posting about it, which you can read here.

One more truth Mr. Knappenberger doesn't want you to know.

6. Mr. Knappenberger Has Ties to the Fossil Fuel Industry

According to his article, Mr. Knappenberger is the Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. The Cato Institute was founded and is funded by the Koch Brothers.

First, we learned he was lying. Now, we know why.

And, that is a truth Mr. Knappenberger doesn't want you to know.

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