Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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24 January 2010

Does Global Warming Cause More Natural Disasters?

Despite the claims of the Nobel Prize winning UN IPCC AR4 report of 2007, there is no evidence that the warming of the late 20th Century caused an increase in the frequency of natural disasters!  The UN IPCC AR4 claim was based upon an unpublished report by Robert Muir-Wood, which was published later in 2008 with the new caveat that: "We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophic losses."

Note that a number of papers on the evolving understanding of the more important role of natural forces were ignored in the AR4 report of 2007 since they were published after 2005, the claimed cut-off time, for papers considered for the report.  Despite that, a major claim was based on a preliminary version of a paper which was not published until 2008 because it appeared at the time to support the idea that global warming would increase natural disasters.  Two scientific reviewers of the UN IPCC report had urged caution in making this claim, but their objections were ignored.

Global losses due to natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods have been going up at a rate of about 8% a year.  But, when population growth and more building in risky areas is taken into account, there is no evidence that global warming is contributing to the increase.  Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, is an expert in disaster impacts of climate and hosted a workshop on disaster losses in 2006, where the Muir-Wood paper was first presented.  The researchers who attended the workshop agreed in a statement that there was no evidence that global warming caused an increase in the severity or frequency of natural disasters.  Pielke says that it is still true that no link between global warming and natural disasters has been found and Mike Hulme, professor of climate change at the Tyndall Centre of the UK, agrees.

But, these inconvenient scientific facts have not prevented politicians from making the outrageous claims that there is a link between global warming and natural disasters.  The Sunday Times reviews some of these claims:
The claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters, has since become embedded in political and public debate. It was central to discussions at last month's Copenhagen climate summit, including a demand by developing countries for compensation of $100 billion (£62 billion) from the rich nations blamed for creating the most emissions. 
Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change minister [of the UK], has suggested British and overseas floods — such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 — could be linked to global warming. Barack Obama, the US president, said last autumn: "More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent."
Last month Gordon Brown, the prime minister [of the UK], told the Commons that the financial agreement at Copenhagen "must address the great injustice that . . . those hit first and hardest by climate change are those that have done least harm". 
The dogma of the religion of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming calls for increased natural disasters, so they must be linked to global warming, whether there is any scientific evidence or not. This religion is rapidly being exposed as a man-made fraud.


Krystal said...

This passage didn't give me what I wanted to know is does global warming cause more natural disasters. This passage told me that people claimed so but i would of like an answer.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

I said that the claim that global warming was causing more natural disasters has not been substantiated. In other words, there is no scientific evidence that it does cause an increase in natural disasters. If there were a great increase in tornadoes whenever their was a warming cycle, natural or not, we would have the real data to substantiate the claim that global warming causes an increase in tornadoes.

Your inquiry comes on the heels of the great swathe of tornadoes across the American Southeast which have caused 340 deaths (and very much still counting) and much destruction. Many further claims are being made that they are the result of man-made global warming. Since the claimed mechanism of man-made global warming is wrong, it is not the case that these tornadoes were the result of it. Increased CO2 causes a very slight net cooling, not a warming. It might cause a slight warming in those hours of the day when the Earth's surface is cooling, but even that is unsubstantiated.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

What I should have said is that increased water vapor causes some cooling. Increased CO2 may or may not cause some warming, but its effect has so far not been verified. Even the exaggerated warming some claim it does is so small that no catastrophic effects are even conceivable unless there was a strong positive feedback due to more water vapor resulting. However, I am confident that adding water vapor produces a negative feedback rather than a positive one. Thus, additional CO2 will not have a significant warming effect.