This article quotes Congressman Ed Markey as saying the UN report is a smoking gun.
Democrats Say Climate Report Smoking Gun
Feb 2, 9:55 AM (ET)
By JOHN HEILPRIN
WASHINGTON (AP) - A strongly worded global warming report from the world's top climate scientists put pressure Friday on the Bush administration to reduce the United States' growing share of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.
Democrats newly in control of Congress and other critics of President Bush's environmental policies pounced on the long-awaited United Nations report like fresh meat.
"Although President Bush just noticed that the earth is heating up, the American public, every reputable scientist and other world leaders have long recognized that global warming is real and it's serious. The time to act is now," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who with GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine crafted one of a half-dozen competing bills to address global warming.
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a senior member of House panels on energy and natural resources, said that "for those who are still trying to determine responsibility for global warming, this new U.N. report on climate change is a scientific smoking gun."
It is critical that we look at this report ... as a moment where the focus of attention will shift from whether climate change is linked to human activity, whether the science is sufficient, to what on earth are we going to do about it," said Achim Steiner, the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program.One news report said, "The report blamed man-made emissions of greenhouse gases for fewer cold days, hotter nights, killer heat waves, floods and heavy rains, devastating droughts, and an increase in hurricane and tropical storm strength — particularly in the Atlantic Ocean."
"The public should not sit back and say 'There's nothing we can do'," Steiner said. "Anyone who would continue to risk inaction on the basis of the evidence presented here will one day in the history books be considered irresponsible."
But the World Meteorological Organization has said it could not link past stronger storms to global warming. The debate about whether stronger hurricanes can be linked to global warming has been dividing a scientific community that is otherwise largely united in agreeing that global warming is human-made and a problem. The IPCC Table SPM-1, page 7, footnote f says:
"(f) Magnitude of anthropogenic contributions not assessed. Attribution for these phenomena based on expert judgement rather than formal attribution studies."In other words, the IPCC admits that some of the gloomier scenarios are based on opinion; not scientific data. The media and environmental activists have seized on the sensational opinions presented in the IPCC and continue to ignore contrary facts such as are illustrated in this article from September 2004, Scientists Debunk 'Global Warming' Effect on Hurricanes.
A group of climatologists, scientists, professors and other experts in climate change on Tuesday pointed out two "misconceptions" reported in the press about hurricanes and their relation to climate change, in a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who chaired a Commerce Committee hearing examining recent scientific research concerning climate change impacts.Greens seem much too willing to accept on faith, the pessimistic speculations which promote their agenda and dismiss or ignore the evidence which does not support their orthodoxy. This leads me to distrust their motives.
"First is the erroneous claim that hurricane intensity or frequency has risen significantly in recent decades in response to the warming trend seen in surface temperature. Second is the claim that a future surface warming trend would lead to more frequent and stronger storms. We believe that both of these are demonstrably false," the scientists wrote.
They noted the National Hurricane Center reports in the last century the decade with the largest number of hurricanes to hit the U.S. was the 1940s, and the frequency of hurricanes has gone down since then.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme of the World Meteorological Organization, "Reliable data ... since the 1940s indicate that the peak strength of the strongest hurricanes has not changed, and the mean maximum intensity of all hurricanes has decreased."
"Recent history tells us that hurricanes are not becoming more frequent," the climate researchers wrote in the letter to McCain.
The second claim in news stories about hurricanes and "global warming," they pointed out, involves the question "if surface warming trends continue, are more or fewer severe storms likely?"
"Computer simulations suggest that in a warmer world most of the warming would occur in the Polar Regions. Atmospheric circulation, which crucially affects storms, is driven primarily by the temperature difference, or gradient, between the tropics and the poles," the experts wrote.
"Warmer polar regions would reduce this gradient and thus lessen the overall intensity or frequency or both of storms - not just tropical storms but mid-latitude winter storms as well (such as blizzards and northeasters)," the climatologists added.
"Again, longer periods of history bear this out. In the past, warmer periods have seen a decline in the number and severity of storms. This is well-documented in scientific journals for data extending back centuries or even millennia. If the surface temperature of the planet rises further in the future, it is likely that these declines will continue," they wrote.
It seems to me that about the only thing the IPCC report says with 90% certainty is that we’re warmer and “very likely” to stay warmer for a while. IPCC Table SPM1, (page 7) also admits that the Scientists don't know how much man has contributed to "warm spells and heat waves", "heavy precipitation events", or the "increased incidence of extreme high sea level."
The argument is not about whether the earth is warmer but about what has caused that warming and what if anything can be done about it. The alarmist reaction is to shut down all debate and immediately set about on an expensive knee jerk agenda which has no guarantee of success. It is "very likely" that money which might be better used for adaptation, will be wasted and swindled away in the massive wealth redistribution program that the greens so desperately desire.
After I had this post prepared, I noticed that we were getting some referrals from the Guardian UK. It seems Mr. Wilson liked my previous IPCC post title "IPCC Report Says- "Bend Over, Kiss Your Ass Goodbye." Personally, I thought it was a little too vulgar but it figures vulgarity would get international attention.