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A cross-examination of the science of global warming

| June 21, 2010 9:00 PM

A loyal Coeur d'Alene Press subscriber, Jerry Boyd, sent me the following article regarding alleged anthropologic (manmade) climate changes.

A recent cross-examination of global warming science conducted by the University of Pennsylvania's Institute for Law and Economics has concluded that "virtually every claim advanced by global warming proponents fails to stand up to scientific scrutiny."

This cross-examination, carried out by Jason Scott Johnston, Professor and Director of the Program in Law, Environment and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, summarizes the work of leading climate scientists systematically and without bias.

Here is Professor Johnston's report on that cross-examination that was also conducted by Professor Robert G. Fuller, Jr. I included the 'meat' of the 79-page document.

"Legal scholarship has come to accept as true the various pronouncements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientists who have been active in the movement for greenhouse gas (ghg) emission reductions to combat global warming. The only criticism that legal scholars have had of the story told by this group of activist scientists - what may be called the climate establishment - is that it is too conservative in not paying enough attention to possible catastrophic harm from potentially very high temperature increases.

This paper departs from such faith in the climate establishment by comparing the picture of climate science presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other global warming scientist advocates with the peer-edited scientific literature on climate change. A review of the peer-edited literature reveals a systematic tendency of the climate establishment to engage in a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties and open questions regarding many of the key processes involved in climate change.

Fundamental open questions include not only the size but the direction of feedback effects that are responsible for the bulk of the temperature increase predicted to result from atmospheric greenhouse gas increases: while climate models all presume that such feedback effects are on balance strongly positive, more and more peer-edited scientific papers seem to suggest that feedback effects may be small or even negative. The cross-examination conducted in this paper reveals many additional areas where the peer-edited literature seems to conflict with the picture painted by establishment climate science, ranging from the magnitude of 20th century surface temperature increases and their relation to past temperatures; the possibility that inherent variability in the Earth's non-linear climate system, and not increases in CO2, may explain observed late 20th century warming; the ability of climate models to actually explain past temperatures; and, finally, substantial doubt about the methodological validity of models used to make highly publicized predictions of global warming impacts such as species loss.

Insofar as establishment climate science has glossed over and minimized such fundamental questions and uncertainties in climate science, it has created widespread misimpressions that have serious consequences for optimal policy design. Such misimpressions uniformly tend to support the case for rapid and costly decarbonization of the American economy, yet they characterize the work of even the most rigorous legal scholars. A more balanced and nuanced view of the existing state of climate science supports much more gradual and easily reversible policies regarding greenhouse gas emission reduction, and also urges a redirection in public funding of climate science away from the continued subsidization of refinements of computer models and toward increased spending on the development of standardized observational datasets against which existing climate models can be tested."

If one wishes to download the entire cross examination, the website is:

http://www.thegwpf.org/ipcc-news/1059-global-warming-science-a-cross-examination.html

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SPECIAL NOTE: This climatologist still favors "a common sense approach to going green." But, I don't favor using foreign-made solar panels, wind turbine blades or other products. We need to support American businesses.

NORTH IDAHO WEATHER REVIEW AND LONG-RANGE OUTLOOKS:

Following several nice rainless days that included a warm 83 degree reading on Sunday, June 13 in town, another unusually cool low pressure 'trough' aloft pushed into our part of the country at midweek sending temperatures down more than 30 degrees in places. By Thursday morning, snow was falling above 4,000 feet in the mountains of North Idaho and western Montana. For a brief period, the snow was described as "heavy" at Lookout Pass. A few rare June snowflakes were seen even at the lower elevations Thursday morning mixed in with the chilly rains.

Our afternoon high on Wednesday at my station on Player Drive was a record low for the date of 49 degrees, 5 degrees cooler from the previous long-standing coldest maximum ever observed on June 16 in Coeur d'Alene of 54 degrees set 113 years ago in 1897.

By 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 17, our June rainfall total had reached 2.79 inches, more than an inch above the normal of 1.78 inches gauged in an entire June since 1895. Last June, in 2009, we measured 1.75 inches in Coeur d'Alene.

After an almost snowless, warm El Nino-affected winter of 2009-10, we finally saw some moderate to heavy valley rains and mountain snows reach our part of the Inland Northwest this chilly spring season, when El Nino suddenly died in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

By June 17, more than 11 inches of much-needed precipitation had fallen since March 1 in Coeur d'Alene, virtually ending the 'dire' water shortage problems in our region. Our total precipitation for 2010 since January 1 by 10 a.m. on Thursday stood at a very healthy 16.25 inches, a whopping 3.54 inches above normal and 3.62 inches above the rainfall total to date in 2009.

But, 'enough is enough' rainfallwise. We need some sunshine and warmer temperatures. Afterall, by the time one reads this article on Monday, June 21, it will be the first official day of the summer season.

I still see much warmer and drier days arriving by the end of June for at least three months until late September or even early to mid October, as a huge ridge of high pressure camps over the Inland Empire in a 'holding pattern.'

Remember, we are locked in a cycle of 'WIDE EXTREMES' weatherwise, the strongest such pattern worldwide in at least 1,000 years. Ma Nature's 'pendulum' is overdue for a swing to the hot and dry side of the meteorological scale. It's just a matter of time ... and patience.

Have a great week.

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