A new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation concludes that there has been no increase in extreme weather events in recent decades.
Whenever an extreme weather event (such as a heat-wave, a flood, a drought or a tropical storm) is widely reported by the news media, a heated debate about its possible link with global warming is set off.
The latest example of this kind of speculation was triggered by the disastrous typhoon Haiyan that killed thousands of poeple in the Philippines in early November.
In his report The Global Warming-Extreme Weather Link: A Review Of The State Of Science Dr Madhav Khandekar, a former meteorologist from Environment Canada, examines several recent extreme weather events and discusses them in the context of the ongoing climate debate.
'The USA has had two consecutive below-average years for tornadoes, a break for a nation that typically sees more twisters than any country on Earth. one of the calmest years for tornadoes in more than two decades, according to data from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla...So far this year, through the end of October, there have been about 800 reports of tornadoes, Carbin said. In a typical full year, based on data from 1993 to 2012, the USA has more than 1,250 twisters...Since 1990, the only other year that was quieter than this year was 2002, when only 741 tornadoes were reported from January-October. The year of 2012 was also a below-average season, as only 878 tornadoes had formed by this point in the year.' -- 'The U.S. experiences about 80% to 90% of all of the tornadoes that occur across the world'
Temperatures: Global temperatures have been flat since 1998
Global Cooling: 'Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002,” writes Dr. Judith Curry, the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Extreme Weather: “It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,” Professor Roger Pielke Jr. said in his testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Hurricanes: 'Hurricanes have not increased in frequency, intensity or normalized damage in the U.S. since 1900.
Tornadoes: Tornadoes and tropical cyclones have also not become more intense or frequent since 1950 and 1970, respectfully.
Floods: U.S. floods have not increased in frequency or intensity since 1950, according to Professor Roger Pielke Jr., and droughts have become shorter, less frequent, and smaller over the last century. Globally, floods have changed very little in the last 60 years.
Wildfires: Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, the “skeptical environmentalist,” writes: “Historical analysis of wildfires around the world shows that since 1950 their numbers have decreased globally by 15%… The world has not seen a general increase in drought. A study published in Nature in November shows globally that ‘there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.’
Arctic Ice: Arctic sea ice coverage was 29 percent greater in September of this year compared to the same time last year — with ice covering 533,000 square miles of ocean more than last year.
Antarctic Ice: The south pole has also fared well, despite rising greenhouse gas emissions. Antarctic sea ice hit a 35-year record high in September — covering nearly 20 million square kilometers of ocean with ice. The previous sea ice coverage record was in 2012, meaning there have been two straight record high years.
Sea Level: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data show the sea levels only rose 1.1 to 1.3 millimeters per year from 2005 to 2012. This is actually below the rate of sea level rise from 1954 to 2003.
Scientists challenge Gore's claims: 'The idea that we are responsible for extreme weather, let alone that we can change weather patterns is preposterous.'
'Reality says that the world has not warmed for the last 17 years even as carbon dioxide, the gas Gore blames for climate disruption, has risen 8%. Reality says that we are near a record low for hurricanes, and other extreme weather is not generally increasing in severity or frequency.'