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Some like it hot

July was hot, but a noted climate scientist questions how hot 


Brighton Beach in Brooklyn Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Some like it hot
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July was the hottest month ever recorded according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report. The scientists said July’s sizzling heat wave soared to an average global temperature 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average. The previous hottest month on record was July 2016.

But Roy Spencer, a meteorologist and principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said NOAA’s analysis is wrong, because it’s based on a limited and “error-prone” collection of mostly ground-level thermometers. His own website chart, based on satellite recording of temperatures in the lower atmosphere, shows the July increase as only two-thirds of a degree Fahrenheit: “not terribly alarming.”

Google “July heat record,” though, and it’s clear that every major network and newspaper is mega-alarmed. The Washington Post was typical in ignoring Spencer and quoting Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization: “July has re-written climate history. … This is not science fiction. It is the reality of climate change.”

The Post included in its coverage some almost-stranger-than-fiction stories: An overheated German riding his motorbike and wearing only a helmet. Two drug dealers in Belgium stuck in a cocaine-filled container and calling police to get them out before they roasted to death. But critical thinking from Spencer received nary a mention.

Roy Spencer

Roy Spencer Fox News screen capture

That’s not fair. Spencer has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, was a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA, and received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for global temperature monitoring work with satellites. He should not be excommunicated from national media just because his books, including Climate Confusion, have criticized “global warming hysteria.”

That’s especially so because much of the alarm about climate change packs a big political punch. As Secretary-General Taalas put it, the climate “will worsen in the future without urgent climate action.” Translation: more central governmental power. The claim of climate change activists that life will become harder if our days become hotter may be true. But history shows that governmental control over all aspects of our lives will certainly give us great grief.

The Bible tells us that God created climates and created humans to be His designated gardeners. The Bible does not take a position on this current debate. WORLD will try to report both sides of this issue.


Julie Borg

Julie is a World Journalism Institute graduate. She covers science and intelligent design for WORLD and is a clinical psychologist. Julie resides in Dayton, Ohio.


Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD and dean of World Journalism Institute. He joined WORLD in 1992 and has also been a university professor and provost. He has written more than 20 books, including Reforming Journalism.

@MarvinOlasky

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GEORGE A DAMOFF

Thank you. 

ED SCHICK

Years ago, many scientists predicted an upsurge in catastrophic climate change that needed to be remedied by altering the world’s use of fossil fuels. Most people believed them. These catastrophic changes did not happen. Nevertheless, most people still believe these false scientists because they are in the majority and are supported by secular educational institutions and most large media sources. Most governments are committing to do something about “Climate Change.”
I bought a bus ticket online last week that offered me the option of paying a few dollars more to “offset” my carbon usage on this bus. I felt like I was giving a small sacrifice to the climate change god in exchange for his forgiveness. (Who gets this money, and will they scrub the air from Warsaw to Olsztyn?)
The prophet Amos relayed to his people (Israel) God’s view on climate change at that time:
“I also withheld rain from you
    when the harvest was still three months away.
I sent rain on one town,
    but withheld it from another.
One field had rain;
    another had none and dried up.
People staggered from town to town for water
    but did not get enough to drink,
    yet you have not returned to me,”
If we return to the Lord, He will rid us of false science that unnecessarily alarms us and allows crafty people to exercise power over naive people for their own benefit. It is time to stop worshiping the god of climate change.

JACKIE PARFET

I fail to see how the current climate hysteria can be true based on the fact that CO2 is only .04% of Earth's atmosphere, and has been at that level for many decades and according to what I read these days, that percentage still has not changed...

 

Just Me 999

I've done my own climate analysis on 8 US and 2 European cities based on National Climactic Data Center sets (NOAA) trying to go back before 1900. Interesting things have turned up:

1) Very few - less than 0.01% of weather stations have data going back beyond 1940.

2) Historic temperature readings have been adjusted to correlate for "raw thermometer readings" - historic temperatures transitioned from Liquid in Glass (LIG) to electronic Max/Min Temp Systems (MMTS). Other factors include whether the historic thermometer was in a Stevenson screen, etc. All of these cause variations from todays electronic MMTS measurements in Stevenson screens. Time of observation has also changed over time which further impacts temperature data. And, thermometers at the same stations have been moved into different areas within that same station. Many of the historic temperature stations in the U.S were set up by volunteers "co-op" in the late 1800s and early 1900s as part of a national network of weather stations, focused on measuring day-to-day changes in the weather rather than changes in the climate. The raw NCDC data sets have adjustments in them where stastical analysis has been used to try to determine and remove bias in data sets. There is no conspiracy here but to claim that we have completely accurate historic data is not easy.

Between these two points above it is extremely difficult to make any assessment of historic data. My own research shows a slight warming trend but the adjustments make it difficult to determine if this is an actual trend or just a trend in the adjustments. Even more than the adjusted data, is the problem that most climatologists refer to a 60-year cycle in climate data, but only a tiny fraction of the data goes back that far. To make any real claim based on data we would need to have at least 200 years of good data to determine any kind of cyclical pattern, if the 60-year cycle is true - that's only slightly more than 3 cycles - three cycles would be the bare minimum to determine if the 60-year cycle is correct and what its trend actually is and we just don't have that data.

So based on this, I've found that it's just very difficult to make any claim one way or another. The converse of this would of course be that you can say whatever you want and no one can prove you wrong either.

Just Me 999

Oh, there are many cycles some shorter, some much longer. The 60-year cycle is something that is noted in historic records and some data that I have seen seems to corroborate this cycle within the limits of the data that we have at least.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_oscillation

Fuzzyface

There has also been times when it was much colder than now (ice ages) and other times it has been warmer (shipping in the artic.)  So we are within historical limits. 

It appears that there are weather/climate cycles that are much longer than the 60 year cycles you describe.

Rudy49

The Bible does not take a position on the current debate about climate change. It only charges us to be stewards of our environment. What that means is open to healthy discussion. Your personal definition is likely greatly influenced by the degree of credence you give to the current science and political hype regarding the urgency of taking some sort of action, usually through central governmental action.

There are a number of questions that need to be addressed before giving in to the current political hype. A few of them are:

(1) If, as is true, all current models for climate change are failures at accurately predicting the impact of climate change why should we base our future actions on these models?

(2) Carbon emissions in the US are currently at 1985 levels. We are leading the world in reducing carbon emissions. How will our reducing them more really help the world wide situation?

(3) When credible scientists raise questions and present countering scientific evidence they are dismissed and rediculed. Should we be following people who are unwilling to engage in open discussion addressing all of the evidence?

I applaud World for trying to stay neutral on the issue. I look forward reading about a wide range of evidence, discussion, and opinions so that I can make an informed decision about the best next steps.

JEFF

If the Bible designates us as God's gardeners, how can the Bible not take a position on this current debate? There are many issues the Bible does not speak directly to in our age. The principles to guide us are certainly there. That 'the Bible does not take a position' has to be one of the most disturbing things I've read in World.