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New U.S. Climate Report a 'Scientific Embarrassment'

The U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA), released last Friday, provides a superb illustration of journalist H. L. Mencken’s (1880-1950) claim:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

The 1,656-page NCA report, produced by a team from thirteen federal agencies, is riddled with imaginary hobgoblins. Especially mistaken is the NCA’s repeated reference to increased warming and extreme weather events, both in the recent past and in the future. The NCA asserts:

Observations collected around the world provide significant, clear, and compelling evidence that global average temperature is much higher, and is rising more rapidly, than anything modern civilization has experienced …

While NASA’s claim that there has been slightly more than 1 degree Celsius (1.8 deg Fahrenheit) of warming since 1880 is likely correct, there has been no additional warming since the new millennium. This is referred to as the “Global Warming Hiatus” by the climate modeling community. Contrary to the outputs of climate models that project continued warming, the Earth’s climate appears to be cooling down, with increasing cold weather extremes worldwide in the last six years.

The past two winters have been especially cold over North America. November 2018 set low temperature records across the contiguous U.S., with three winter storms as of November 28 and the coldest Thanksgiving Week in one hundred years. Among some of the cold records: 19 F (degrees Fahrenheit) was recorded at New York City’s Central Park on November 22, which was the park’s coldest Thanksgiving since 1871; on the same day, the temperature at the top of Mount Washington in northern New Hampshire fell to -26 F, the coldest ever recorded for November. This beat the previous record of -20 F on Nov. 30, 1958.

Extreme cold was also witnessed in many locales in central and eastern Canada on November 22. For example, Toronto’s Pearson Airport recorded -13.3 degrees Celsius (8 F), 0.9 Celsius (C) colder that the previous record set in 1989. Kingston saw -16.7 C (2 F), breaking the record set in 1880 by 2.7 C. Ottawa recorded -17.2 C (1 F), 1.6 C colder than the record (1895). And Algonquin Park experienced -22 C (-7.6 F), 1.4 C colder than the previous record set in 1929.

The NCA’s projections of catastrophic warming of 5 C over next 80 years is clearly at odds with the current cooling trend that appears to be the reality of climate change.

Even if warming resumes in the near future, a number of peer-reviewed papers now suggest that future warming would be about 0.5 C (0.9 F) to, at most, 1 C (1.8 F) by 2100. This is not dangerous in the least, and certainly not worth dedicating trillions of dollars to try to prevent it by attempting to reduce worldwide human-CO2 emissions.