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Global Warming: A Scientific and Economic Overview

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  1. Global Warming:A Scientific and Economic Overview By James M. Taylor Senior Fellow, Environment Policy The Heartland Institute taylor@heartland.org

  2. A Little Context Goes a Long WaySource: European Science Foundation, Greenland Ice Core Project

  3. .

  4. Global Temperatures Since 1979

  5. Carbon Dioxide and Temperature • Years CO2 Temperature • 1900-1945 Minimal Rising • 1945-1977 Rising Cooling • 1977-1998 Rising Rising • 1998-2009 Rising Cooling

  6. Solar Output: A Better FitSource: Geophysical Research Letters, July and August 2000

  7. Earth’s Temperature HistorySource: United Nations IPCC

  8. U.S. Temperatures and Solar Changes

  9. The Sun is more likely the dominant driver of the recorded Arctic temperature variations

  10. A Little Context Goes a Long Way

  11. Global Temperatures Since 1979

  12. What About the Computer Models?

  13. How Have Computer Predictions Fared? • IPCC, 2001 – Computer models predicted temperatures will rise 0.4 degrees Celsius per decade. • Nearly a decade has passed. Let’s verify the predictions.

  14. Computer Models vs. Reality

  15. Why the Computer Models Fail • Scientists agree that, all other things being equal, doubling atmospheric CO2 will cause merely 1.1 degree Celsius of warming • Yet CO2 has risen only 40 percent since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution • Computer models assume “positive feedbacks” will cause much more warming than the CO2 itself • Relative humidity • Cirrus clouds

  16. Let’s Check the Real-World Evidence • Hurricane expert Dr. William Gray has for decades been reporting declining atmospheric relative humidity. • In March 2001, MIT atmospheric physicist Dr. Richard Lindzen reported declining cirrus clouds, creating a negative feedback so strong that it canceled all positive global warming feedbacks.

  17. Testing the Computer Model Assumptions

  18. What Has Aqua Satellite Found? • 1) Relative humidity is DECLINING, not increasing • Gray right, Computer modelers wrong! • 2) Cirrus clouds are DECLINING, not increasing • Lindzen right, computer modelers wrong! • This eliminates the vast majority of projected warming in alarmist computer models. • This explains why temps rose only 0.6 C during the entire 20th century, in line with CO2 physics.

  19. NOAA Humidity Measurements

  20. Longwave Radiation Evidence MIT Professor of Meteorology Richard Lindzen - “With the warming after 1989, the observations characteristically exceed 7 times the model values. … If the observations were only 2-3 times what the models produce, it would correspond to no feedback. What we see is much more than this – implying strong negative feedback.”

  21. Why Computer Models Fail • In the real world higher CO2 concentrations are resulting in declining relative humidity and fewer cirrus clouds. • This is why 20th and 21st century warming has been so gradual and benign.

  22. Levelized Electricity CostsSource: Gilbert Metcalf, Professor of Economics, Tufts University (2006) • Production costs per kWh in tax regime providing no investment preferences: • Coal: 3.79 • Clean coal: 4.37 (+ 15 %) • Natural gas: 5.61 (+48 %) • Nuclear: 5.94 (+57 %) • Wind: 6.64 (+75 %) • Solar thermal: 18.82 (+570 %) • Solar photovoltaic: 37.39 (+887 %)

  23. Federal Electricity Subsidies Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

  24. Obama on CO2 Restrictions • Interview, San Francisco Chronicle, 2008 – “I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers under my plan of a cap-and-trade system. Electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” • “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them”

  25. Economics “The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent … the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year,” – CBSNews.com, Sep. 15, 2009.

  26. Economics • Obama’s Deptartment of Treasury, Sep. 18, 2009 – Carbon offsets could cost consumers $300 billion per year [nearly $3,000 per household per year].

  27. Congressional Budget Office - 2007 According to a 2007 study conducted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a mere 15 percent would cost the average household nearly 3 percent of its income. A family making $50,000 per year would be forced to pay an extra $1,400 every year for the same goods and services it purchases today.

  28. Millions of Jobs Lost, Lieberman-WarnerSource: SAIC, U.S. Energy Information Administration Model

  29. Percent Rise in Baseline Gasoline Prices Source: SAIC, U.S. Energy Information Administration Model

  30. Percent Rise in Baseline Electricity Prices

  31. Lost Annual Household Income(in constant 2007 dollars)

  32. Percent Loss in Annual GDP

  33. U.S. vs. Global CO2 EmissionsSource: U.S. EPA, EIA

  34. Scare Scenarios Debunked • Antarctica – Cooling, ice pack growing • Arctic sea ice – Local wind patterns causing retreat • Mt. Kilimanjaro – Temps cooling, deforestation the culprit • Hurricanes – NHC, NOAA report no increase • Tornadoes - Declining • Drought – 20th century soil gaining moisture • Floods – More precipitation, but fewer floods • Greenland – Cooling for most of 20th century • Oceans – Higher CO2 benefits almost all species • Sea level – Very minor, gradual rise • Polar bears – Populations rising, not falling

  35. Thank you! James M. Taylor Senior Fellow, Environment Policy The Heartland Institute taylor@heartland.org

  36. Aerosols • “[A]tmospheric brown clouds enhanced lower atmospheric solar heating by about 50 per cent. … [A]tmospheric brown clouds contribute as much as the recent increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases to regional lower atmospheric warming trends.” Nature, Aug. 2, 2007.

  37. Africa Drought National Geographic News, July 31, 2009 – “Desertification, drought, and despair—that's what global warming has in store for much of Africa. Or so we hear.”“Emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent.“Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall. If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities.“This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago.”

  38. Africa Drought National Geographic News, July 31, 2009 – “The green shoots of recovery are showing up on satellite images of regions including the Sahel, a semi-desert zone bordering the Sahara to the south that stretches some 2,400 miles (3,860 kilometers). ““Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.“The study suggests huge increases in vegetation in areas including central Chad and western Sudan.”

  39. Africa Drought • New Scientist, September 18, 2002: • “Africa’s deserts are in ‘spectacular’ retreat.” • “The southern Sahara desert is in retreat, making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa. ... Burkina Faso, one of the West African countries devastated by drought and advancing deserts 20 years ago, is growing so much greener that families who fled to wetter coastal regions are starting to go home.”

  40. Africa Drought Africa is currently “experiencing an unusually prolonged period of stable, wet conditions in comparison to previous centuries of the past millennium. … The patterns and variability of 20th century rainfall in central Africa have been unusually conducive to human welfare in the context of the past 1400 years.” - Geology, January 1, 2007

  41. Africa Drought This phenomenon of a greening planet is not limited to the southern Sahara desert. Satellite data from 1981-1999, reported in the September 16, 2001 issue of Journal of Geophysical Research, found an 8-to-12 percent increase in vegetation across North America and Eurasia. A subsequent comment in the same journal, Journal of Geophysical Research, concluded that a concurrent rise in atmospheric CO2 was primarily responsible for the increased vegetation.

  42. Africa Drought • “[S]atellite images from the last 15 years do seem to show a recovery of vegetation in the Southern Sahara” – BBC News, July 16, 2009 • “The broader picture is reinforced by studies carried out in the Namib Desert in Namibia. … In the last decade they have seen the local river, a dry bed for most of the year, experience record-high floods. All this has coincided with record-high temperatures.” BBC News, July 16, 2009

  43. Antarctic Temps Since 1979

  44. Antarctica Geophysical Research Letters, Sept. 24, 2009 – “A 30-year minimum Antarctic snowmelt record occurred during austral summer 2008–2009 according to spaceborne microwave observations for 1980–2009.”

  45. Antarctica According to NOAA satellites, Antarctic sea ice has been steadily rising for the past 30 years and has been setting records during much of the past two years.

  46. Antarctica July 2006, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society – “Mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic loss from West Antarctica.”

  47. Antarctica Nature, Jan. 13, 2002 – Antarctica is in a prolonged and dramatic cold spell. Temperatures have been dropping 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1978.

  48. The Arctic “All time low record” for Arctic sea ice merely means since 1979, when satellites first began measuring Arctic sea ice.

  49. The Arctic • The Arctic was clearly much warmer during World War II • How do we know? Squadron of P-38 and B-17 bombers found under 268 feet of snow and ice

  50. The Arctic "Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic. … When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.” - NASA, Oct. 4, 2007