Today’s Chicago Sun-Times published a editorial critiquing global warming alarmism called Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny. Rather than the all too typical shutting down of discussion that goes on, the author called for open debate, and asks Al Gore to lead the way.
Gore repeatedly asks that science and reason displace cynical political posturing as the central focus of public discourse. If Gore really means what he writes, he has an opportunity to make a
difference by leading by example on the issue of global warming.
A cooperative and productive discussion of global warming must be open
and honest regarding the science. Global warming threats ought to be
studied and mitigated, and they should not be deliberately exaggerated
as a means of building support for a desired political position…. Gore can show sincerity in his plea for scientific honesty by
publicly acknowledging where science has rebutted his claims.
The author, who hails from the conservative libertarian group The Heartland Institute, goes on to discuss how many of the claims in Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth have been debunked by science:
Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is
to blame. Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological
Society’s Journal of Climate reported, "Glaciers are growing in the
Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently
claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to
Gore claims the snowcap atop Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro is shrinking and
that global warming is to blame. Yet according to the November 23,
2003, issue of Nature magazine, "Although it’s tempting to blame the
ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the
mountain’s foothills is the more likely culprit. Without the forests’
humidity, previously moisture-laden winds blew dry. No longer
replenished with water, the ice is evaporating in the strong equatorial
Gore claims global warming is causing more tornadoes. Yet the United
Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in February
that there has been no scientific link established between global
warming and tornadoes.
Gore claims global warming is causing more frequent and severe
hurricanes. However, hurricane expert Chris Landsea published a study
on May 1 documenting that hurricane activity is no higher now than in
decades past. Hurricane expert William Gray reported just a few days
earlier, on April 27, that the number of major hurricanes making
landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined in the past 40 years.
Hurricane scientists reported in the April 18 Geophysical Research
Letters that global warming enhances wind shear, which will prevent a
significant increase in future hurricane activity.
Gore claims global warming is causing an expansion of African deserts.
However, the Sept. 16, 2002, issue of New Scientist reports, "Africa’s
deserts are in ‘spectacular’ retreat . . . making farming viable again
in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa." [A more recent article also attributes this to land management, and tree-planting, but that does not change the increased rainfall the area has gotten.]
Gore argues Greenland is in rapid meltdown, and that this threatens to
raise sea levels by 20 feet. But according to a 2005 study in the
Journal of Glaciology, "the Greenland ice sheet is thinning at the
margins and growing inland, with a small overall mass gain." In late
2006, researchers at the Danish Meteorological Institute reported that
the past two decades were the coldest for Greenland since the 1910s.
Gore claims the Antarctic ice sheet is melting because of global
warming. Yet the Jan. 14, 2002, issue of Nature magazine reported
Antarctica as a whole has been dramatically cooling for decades. More
recently, scientists reported in the September 2006 issue of the
British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series
A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, that satellite
measurements of the Antarctic ice sheet showed significant growth
between 1992 and 2003. And the U.N. Climate Change panel reported in
February 2007 that Antarctica is unlikely to lose any ice mass during
the remainder of the century.
There is more reason for us to doubt the GWAs.