PLUS ÇA (CLIMATE) CHANGE
February 22, 2007
Statistics suggest that while there has indeed been a slight warming in the past century, much of it was neither human-induced nor geographically uniform, says Pete du Pont, Chairman of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) and a former governor of Delaware.
Many things are contributing to global temperature changes. For example:
- Sunspot activity has reached a thousand-year high, according to European astronomy institutions.
- Solar radiation is reducing Mars's southern icecap, which has been shrinking for three summers.
- On Earth, a NASA study reports that solar radiation has increased in each of the past two decades.
- Environmental scholar Bjorn Lomborg, says the increase in direct solar irradiation over the past 30 years is responsible for about 40 percent of the observed global warming.
Further, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its latest report, is already backtracking on its previous warming predictions:
- The IPCC has halved its estimate of the rise in sea level by the end of this century, to 17 inches from 36.
- It has reduced its estimate for the impact of global greenhouse-gas emissions on global climate by more than one-third, because, it says, pollutant particles reflect sunlight back into space and this has a cooling effect.
Still, there are many holes left in the IPCC report, says du Pont. For example:
- The IPCC confirms that global warming will have little effect on the number of typhoons or hurricanes, but it does not note that there has been a steady decrease in the number of global hurricane days since 1970 -- from 600 to 400 days.
- The researchers do not explain why from 1940 to 1975, while carbon dioxide emissions were rising, global temperatures were falling, nor do they admit the "hockey stick" graph showing a dramatic temperature increase beginning in 1970s had omitted the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming temperature changes.
Source: Pete du Pont, "Plus Ça (Climate) Change," OpinionJournal.com, February 21, 2007.
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