Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Walker unfamiliar with climate change & the word 'most'

This line in a story about Walker's instant opposition to President Obama's market-based climate change/cleaner air plan caught my eye:
Asked at a New Hampshire town hall event in July whether he believes climate change is a man-made issue, Walker said he thinks most scientists would say there has "not been a noticeable change" in the last 15-20 years.

Most scientists would say there has "not been a noticeable change in 15-20 years?"

Or is it some, or a few?

Before we go any further to evidence that undercuts him, cut the guy some slack.

Walker's been cooped up in scores of airplane rides, RV trips across Iowa heading for all 99 of its counties and so many hours of campaign strategy and training sessions that he's missed much of the climate news of late - - California is nearly out of surface water while the land and forests is burning after years of drought, the normally cool Northwest is sizzling and glaciers are melting from Greenland to Alaska:

BARROW, Alaska — 
Here, as close to the top of the world as you can get in America, the signs are serious indeed: The Arctic Ocean is melting faster than at any time on record. This February, the sea ice that stretches from North America to Russia reached its lowest-known winter extent and began melting 15 days earlier than usual. 
That continued a three-decade trend that has seen the ocean’s ice lose about 65 percent of its mass and about half of its reach during the summer. In 20 or 30 more years, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly devoid of ice in the summer, climate scientists believe.
Here's some illustrative scientific evidence:

(The maps above compare the Arctic ice minimum extents from 2012 (top) and 1984 (bottom). In 1984 the sea ice extent was roughly the average of the minimum from 1979 to 2000, and so was a typical year. The minimum sea ice extent in 2012 was roughly half of that average.( 

And while it is not known if Walker studied oceanography or meteorology or logic before he dropped out of Marquette University in 1990 two credits short of junior status and 34 credits short of graduation - - he refuses to disclose his transcript - - Walker does claim some expertise in women's neuroscience as it relates to reproduction, and you can't expect him to be an expert in everything.

So let's look at what experts are saying about their climate data so Walker can dump his misleading talking points and verbal chaff and correct himself.

Where better to start than the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - - the agency which Walker has remade with a "chamber of commerce mentality" and stripped of many of its scientists in the budget he just signed.

Its website is still noting that there are indeed present-tense impacts of climate change and "Human activities that increase heat–trapping ("green house") gases are the main cause."

So look for more heads to roll at the agency, and since the Walker DNR deleted most of what the Doyle administration left on the agency's climate change pages, don't be surprised if this current language about climate change and Wisconsin gets edited or deleted because it lists what "scientists agree" about:

Climate Change and Wisconsin´s Great Lakes
Earth´s climate is changing. Human activities that increase heat–trapping ("green house") gases are the main cause. 
Earth´s average temperature has increased 1.4 °F since 1850 and the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 1998. 
Increasing temperatures have led to changes in rainfall patterns and snow and ice cover. These changes could have severe effects on the Great Lakes and the plants, wildlife and people who depend on them. While no one can predict exactly what climate change will mean for our Great Lakes, scientists agree that the following changes are likely if climate change patterns continue.
  • Increased summer and winter temperatures will cause increased evaporation, lower lake water levels and warmer water, resulting in reduced habitat for cold water species and a loss of critical wetland areas.
  • Decreased winter ice cover will also contribute to increased evaporation and lower lake water levels which could have severe economic consequences for our valuable shipping industry, lakeshore recreation, and coastal businesses.
  • Changes in rain and snowfall patterns (including more frequent and severe storms) could change water flow in streams and rivers and increase stream bank erosion and runoff pollution.
  • The good news is that we can all work to slow climate change and lessen its effects. To find out more about climate change and how we can all help, please visit the following links.
Now look to that series of pesky United Nations reports put together by thousands of experts worldwide over the last few years, according to the Washington Post last year:
“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts,” concluded the report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),which draws on contributions from thousands of scientists from around the world...
A succession of IPCC reports since the 1990s have drawn an ever-clearer connection between human activity and climate change. But Sunday’s “synthesis report” makes the case more emphatically than before, asserting that the warming trend seen on land and in the oceans since the 1950s is “unequivocal” and that it is “extremely likely” — a term that the IPCC uses to denote a 95 percent or greater probability — that humans are the main cause.
“Human influence on the climate system is clear,” the panel states in a 40-page summary intended for policymakers.
The Post article deals with the notion that the rate of change is pausing, as so-called skeptics like Walker ("skeptics" being less harsh than "deniers," I suppose} have suggested: 
In late 2013, when the first report of this round of the IPCC’s work came out, skeptics trained their attention on the contention that in recent years the rate of global warming has seemingly “paused” or slowed down. 
But the latest document is fairly dismissive of that idea, acknowledging that, while the rate of warming in the past 15 years has indeed been somewhat smaller than the rate since 1951, “trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends.” 
Although it is too early to say, claims about a possible slowing of global warming may be swept aside by new data: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, all-time monthly temperature records were broken four times in 2014 — in May, June, August and September — raising the possibility that 2014 may set a record as the hottest year ever. 
Also read that the so-called skeptics, an deologically-conervative group, have been found to base their beliefs on misinformation:
An extremely partial list of leading conservatives holding up the “pause” as a reason to doubt climate science models includes The Wall Street Journaleditors and their faithfulskeptical contributorsFox NewsMichael Barone; the Heritage Foundation; the American Enterprise Institute; the Cato Institute; National Review … and that’s not even descending to the level of the Daily CallerWashington Free Beacon, and so on. 
The importance of the global-warming pause, conservatives explained, was that we needed to get the science right. “One lesson of the IPCC report is that now is the time for policy caution. Let's see if the nonwarming trend continues, in which case the climate models will need remodeling,” explained the Journal’s editors. 
But fortunately we now have an answer. A new paper released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that the apparent slowdown in warming was an artifact of mis-measurement. The Earth is not warming at a slower rate. It’s warming at the same fast pace as it did the previous decade
So let's look at what NASA had to say: 
Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree
And there is this from NOAA: 
  • During June, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58°F (0.88°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.22°F (0.12°C).
  • The June globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.27°F (1.26°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2012 by 0.11°F (0.06°C). 
  • The June globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.33°F (0.74°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.11°F (0.06°C)

1 comment:

my5cents said...

"expect him to be an expert in everything." He is not an expert in anything except scamming everyone and pushing his personal agenda onto everyone. He can't be bothered to read scientific reports. He has a strategy and has to follow that regardless of what any other professional says. It all comes down to making sure all those corporations and rich people get a greater share than anyone else. If he doesn't cater to them, then they won't want to have anything to do with him. It's all about him. Even his family comes second.

I don't need to read a scientific report telling me the weather has changed. I've lived long enough to see it first hand. One thing is that I don't remember that we had such high dew points 35 years ago. Hot days, yes, but not so many muggy days. I've even seen changes in perennial plants too.