Wednesday, 11 April 2012 10:16

Were March Temperatures Proof of Global Warming?

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Record warm temperatures throughout mid-March have had at least one predictable outcome: the global warming alarmism is back in fashion this Spring. Despite the fact that even advocates of the theory are only willing to say that manmade climate change "likely contributed on the order of 5% to 10% of the magnitude of the heat wave during 12-23 March," this fact is being kept far from the headlines.

Record warm temperatures throughout mid-March have had at least one predictable outcome: the global warming alarmism is back in fashion this Spring. Despite the fact that even advocates of the theory are only willing to say that manmade climate change "likely contributed on the order of 5% to 10% of the magnitude of the heat wave during 12-23 March," this fact is being kept far from the headlines.

An article by Andrew Freedman for climatecentral.org (“Global Warming May Have Fueled March Heat Wave Odds”) gives a sense of the tenuous nature of the claims by the theory’s advocates:

According to several top scientists, the March heat wave that has shattered records across a wide swath of the U.S. bears some of the hallmarks of global warming.

In email conversations on Wednesday and Thursday, those same scientific researchers who specialize in studying the role climate change plays in influencing individual extreme events — a burgeoning field known as  "extreme event attribution” — said global warming may have made March's soaring temperatures more likely to occur, although they add that natural variability has played a key role as well.

In fact, attempts to link the warms days of March to theories of global catastrophe are being couched more carefully than the environmental jeremiads of a few years ago — apparently advocates of the global warming theory have not forgotten the debacle of the UN “global warming” conference several years ago in Copenhagen, when world leaders were greeted by temperatures more befitting a new ice age. The brashness of old forecasts of the effects of global warming has been replaced by guarded discussions of “influence.” Thus, Freedman notes:

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in October 2011 found that the local warming trend in the Moscow area had increased the expected number of records per decade there by five times what it otherwise would have been. The study also found that there is an 80 percent chance that the 2010 July monthly heat record would not have occurred without global warming.

This study would suggest that global warming is an enabler of extreme heat events, making them more likely to occur, but not necessarily causing each specific one, or accounting for each characteristic of a particular event.

In some ways global warming acts as an accomplice in a crime, not necessarily pulling the trigger, but still playing a significant role.

But the existence of global warming is what continues to be disputed — as well as the role mankind may play in such global warming. Declaring manmade global warming to be an “accomplice” skips the part of the proof where one establishes the existence of that accomplice. Given the admission several years ago that fraud had taken place in the effort to substantiate the global warming theory, the pronouncement of the influence of said warming — even in a very minor way — remains unproven.

In fact, other studies have purported to examine far vaster time periods than the recent decades taken into account by proponents of the global warming theory, and they have found that far more longterm weather patterns may be at work in any climate change which is taking place.

Miguel Llanos’ report for MSNBC.com included several facts which further undermine the “rush to judgment” concerning the influence of global warming on March temperatures in the United States:

So what made for a warm March and first quarter for the contiguous U.S.? [NOAA climate scientist] Crouch cited the cyclical weather pattern La Niña, which has been weakening but is still around, and changes in Arctic and Atlantic weather patterns that in the previous two winters had actually helped set cold records.

The Arctic pattern, in particular, was "a complete flip," said Crouch, and that kept the jet stream, as well as cold air, farther north than normal in winter and allowed warmer temperatures in from the Gulf of Mexico.

In fact, according to Crouch, the previous high — established in 1910 — was only .57 degrees cooler. Rather than fretting over a theoretical “influence” which even the theory’s advocates are affording an ever-shrinking role, for the growing number of Americans who no longer believe in global warming, the salient point of March’s warm temperatures was an early end to high heating bills. 

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