Posted by Curt on 24 September, 2007 at 9:58 am. 1 comment.


The AP printed a typical scaremongering article last week on global warming that is creating some backlash from climate scientists.  A sampling from their trashy article:

Ultimately, rising seas will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting.

In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased.


Rising waters will lap at the foundations of old money Wall Street and the new money towers of Silicon Valley. They will swamp the locations of big city airports and major interstate highways.


Storm surges worsened by sea level rise will flood the waterfront getaways of rich politicians-the Bushes’ Kennebunkport and John Edwards’ place on the Outer Banks. And gone will be many of the beaches in Texas and Florida favored by budget-conscious students on Spring Break.


This past summer’s flooding of subways in New York could become far more regular, even an everyday occurrence, with the projected sea rise, other scientists said. And New Orleans’ Katrina experience and the daily loss of Louisiana wetlands-which serve as a barrier that weakens hurricanes-are previews of what’s to come there.

Florida faces a serious public health risk from rising salt water tainting drinking water wells, said Joel Scheraga, the EPA’s director of global change research. And the farm-rich San Joaquin Delta in California faces serious salt water flooding problems, other experts said.

And now a bit of backlash:

Dr. Richard S. Courtney, a climate and atmospheric science consultant and a UN IPCC expert reviewer ridiculed the AP article.

“Rarely have I read such a collection of unsubstantiated and scare-mongering twaddle. [Curt – my favorite line in the whole article] Not only do real studies show no increase to rate of sea level change, the [AP] article gives reasons for concern that are nonsense,”

UN IPCC reviewer and climate researcher Dr Vincent Gray, of New Zealand slammed the article as well:

“This [AP article] is a typical scare story based on no evidence or facts, but only on the ‘opinions’ and ‘beliefs’ of ‘experts’, all of whom have a financial interest in the promotion of their computer models,”

Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, stated that the AP mischaracterized his views on sea level in the article promoting climate fears a hundred years from now.

“[My] discussion [with the AP reporter Seth Borenstein] was primarily about the storm surges which come from hurricanes – that’s the real vulnerability. The sea level is rising around 1 inch per decade, but sea level is like any other climate parameter – its either rising or falling all the time.  To me, 16 inches per century is not a significant problem to deal with. But since storm surges of 15 to 30 feet occur in 6 hours, any preventive strategy, like an extra 3 feet of elevation, would be helpful,”

“Thinking that legislation can change sea level is hubris.  I did a calculation on what 1000 new nuclear power plants operating by 2020 would do for the IPCC best guess in the year 2100.  The answer is 1.4 cm – about half an inch (if you accept the IPCC projection A1B for the base case.) Also, there doesn’t seem to be any acceleration of the slow trend,”

State of Florida Climatologist Dr. Jim O’Brien of Florida State University countered the AP article.

“The best measurements of sea level rise are from satellite instrument called altimeters. Currently they measure 14 inches in 100 years. Everyone agrees that there is no acceleration. Even the UN IPCC quotes this,”

“If you increase the rate of rise by four times, it will take 146 years to rise to five feet. Sea level rise is the ‘scare tactic’ for these guys,”

Climate researcher Dr Vincent Gray, of New Zealand, an expert reviewer on every single draft of the IPCC reports going back to 1990:

The IPCC never makes ‘predictions’, only ‘projections’; what might happen, or be ‘likely" if you believe the assumptions in the model. No computer model has ever been shown to be capable of successful prediction,”

“Actual data on sea levels are unreliable. Long term figures are based on tide-gauge measurements near port cities prone to subsidence and damage of equipment from severe weather. Many recent and more reliable measurements show little recent change. Satellite measurements have shown a recent rise which may be temporary,”

Dr. Boris Winterhalter, a retired Senior Research Scientist and Coordinator for national international marine geological research at the Geological Survey of Finland:

“Even the worst case scenario is half of that quoted by Associated Press. This is a hype of the worst order. This whole scare builds on GCM’s which we know mimic Earth processes very simplistically and are thus most unreliable,”

“I, as a marine geologist, am abhorred. I just looked at the USGS (US Geological Survey) site and am astonished that none of the references or fact sheets seem to refer to IPCC Fourth Assessment Report released this spring,”

Dr. Richard S. Courtney, a climate and atmospheric science consultant and a UN IPCC expert reviewer:

“Global sea level has been rising for the 10,000 years since the last ice age, and no significant change to the rate of sea level rise has been observed recently,”

"A continuing rise of ~2 mm/year for the next 100 years would raise sea level by ~0.2 m as it did during the twentieth century.  And it is hard to see any justification for Andrew Weaver’s claim (as quoted by AP) that ‘We’re going to get a meter and there’s nothing we can do about it, unless Weaver is talking about the next 500 years,”

“Simply, there is no reason to suppose that sea level rise will be more of a problem in this century than it was in the last century or each of the previous ten centuries,”

That’s just a sampling, much more here.

Problem is that the AP article was read by many while only a few will ever hear of the many scientists who discount their scaremongering.  News is a business and fear sells.

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