Bad Day at Black Rock for the Climate Alarmists

Not exactly Black Rock, but the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which conducted a hearing today titled: “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now.” That title alone will prompt a snicker from all knowledgeable people; climate change has been happening for millions of years, and will continue for as long as the Earth exists. Watts Up With That has a roundup; the stars of the show were Roger Pielke Jr. and Roy Spencer. You can watch the proceedings here if you’ve a mind to; they go on for close to four hours. (Be aware that there is a fair amount of dead air at the beginning; otherwise you might think that the link isn’t active.)

One of the highlights was when the assembled panel of experts was asked whether any of them could support Barack Obama’s claim that global warming has been accelerating over the last decade:

Warmists were asked: “Can any witnesses say they agree with Obama’s statement that warming has accelerated during the past 10 years?” For several seconds, nobody said a word. Sitting just a few rows behind the expert witnesses, I thought I might have heard a few crickets chirping.

Heh. You can count on Obama to be wrong about pretty much everything.

You can read Pielke’s prepared testimony here and Spencer’s here. This is from Dr. Spencer’s testimony:

The most indefensible claim regarding climate change from an observational point of view is that severe weather has increased. Meteorologists like me have long known that public perception of weather is skewed by short memories and increasing media sensationalizing of weather disasters.

During globally cool conditions in 1970 a tropical cyclone (hurricane) killed 500,000 people in Bangladesh. Records of such storms killing hundreds of thousands of people extend back to 1582. In contrast, as of this writing, it has been a record 7+ years since a major (Cat 3 or stronger) hurricane has hit the U.S. mainland. New research from northwest Florida, based upon coastal sediments, suggest that the past 600 years has been a period of weaker hurricane activity compared to the 1,000 years before that (Brandon et al., 2013). All of these facts indicate the huge amount of natural variability in tropical cyclones which exists and confounds attempts to determine whether tiny global energy imbalances caused by humans have any noticeable effect. …

There is little or no observational evidence that severe weather of any type has worsened over the last 30, 50, or 100 years, irrespective of whether any such changes could be blamed on human activities, anyway. Long-term measurements of droughts, floods, strong tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms etc. all show no obvious trends, but do show large variability from one decade to the next, or even one year to the next. While the 2003 heat wave in France and the 2010 heat wave in Russia were exceptional, so were the heat waves of the 1930s in the U.S., which cannot be blamed on our greenhouse gas emissions.

While it is true that storm damage of manmade structures increases over time, this is due to socioeconomic reasons: there are simply more manmade targets for severe storms to hit.

From Dr. Pielke’s testimony:

Hurricanes have not increased in the US in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900.

Much more at the links.

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