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Flashback: Say it ain’t so! AP’s Borenstein Reports: ‘The Wind seems to be dying down…the cause may be global warming’

Associated Press science reporter Seth Borenstein reported on June 10, 2009 that global warming may be causing the winds to die down in the U.S.

Borenstein’s article, titled “Not so windy: Research suggests winds dying down” reports:

The wind, a favorite power source of the green energy movement, seems to be dying down across the United States. And the cause, ironically, may be global warming-the very problem wind power seeks to address. Borenstein also noted: “Several outside experts mostly agree that there are signs that wind speed is decreasing and that global warming is the likely culprit.”

The article continues: “[The study] raises a new side effect of global warming that hasn’t been looked into before.” [Editor’s Note: Yes, this does appear to be an alleged “new side effect” of man-made global warming. For a complete list of alleged impacts of warming see here: A complete list of things caused by global warming – Perhaps this is why a top Japanese scientist recently compared global warming claims to “astrology.” ]

Borenstein’s article continues: In global warming, the poles warm more and faster than the rest of the globe, and temperature records, especially in the Arctic, show this. That means the temperature difference between the poles and the equator shrinks and with it the difference in air pressure in the two regions. Differences in barometric pressure are a main driver in strong winds. Lower pressure difference means less wind. [End AP article excerpt.]

But Geophysicist Dr. David Deming, associate professor of arts and sciences at the University of Oklahoma who has published numerous peer-reviewed research articles, challenged the new study in an exclusive interview with Climate Depot.

“Wait a minute! Isn’t a mainstay of global warming alarmism the claim that global warming will produce greater numbers of more intense storms?” Deming told Climate Depot on June 10, 2009.

“How can they have more intense storms from the same effect that is lessening winds? They appear to be claiming that global warming will simultaneously increase and decrease wind velocities,” Deming said. “For thousands of years, philosophers and theologians have concluded that not even God could create a logical contradiction, such as allowing something to simultaneously exist and non-exist,” he added.

Others are joining in to mock Borenstein’s article. University of Colorado Professor Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. ridiculed the AP article for what he termed a “Climate Rorschach Test as News.”

“Apparently an AP news article out today on how we don’t know if global warming is making the winds blow with less gusto is not a parody, despite all indications to the contrary,” Pielke Jr. wrote. Pielke is at the University’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.

To his credit, Borenstein did note the many flaws and lack of data associated with the study’s claims. “That information doesn’t provide the definitive proof that science requires to connect reduced wind speeds to global warming, the authors said,” Borenstein reported.

Borenstein also wrote: “The idea that winds may be slowing is still a speculative one, and scientists disagree whether that is happening… Still, the study, which will be published in August in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research, is preliminary. There are enough questions that even the authors say it’s too early to know if this is a real trend or not.” [Editor’s Note: Borenstein has slightly improved his balance in global warming reporting in recent times, despite a woeful history. See: 1) AP’s Borenstein in a PANIC: ‘Obama left with little time to curb global warming’…’cooling trend illustrates how fast the world is warming’ – December 14, 2008

2) Scientists Denounce AP’s Borenstein For Hysterical Global Warming Article – December 15, 2008

3) Kudos to AP’s Seth Borenstein for writing the most balanced of all the media’s articles about this new Antarctic study – January 21, 2009

4) Two dozen prominent scientists denounce AP’s Borenstein’s article promoting sea level fears in the year 2100 – September 24, 2007

5) AP’s Borenstein excludes scientists and peer-reviewed studies countering claims of allegedly ‘melting’ Antarctic – March 27, 2008


7) AP’s Borenstein inaccurately described scientist as “one of the few remaining scientists skeptical of the global warming harm caused by industries that burn fossil fuels’ – July 27, 2006 ]

Borenstein also cited dueling Real Climate global warming activists in his June 10, 2009 global warming wind article:

The new study “demonstrates, rather conclusively in my mind, that average and peak wind speeds have decreased over the U.S. in recent decades,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. A naysayer is Gavin Schmidt, a NASA climate scientist in New York who said the results conflict with climate models that show no effect from global warming. He also doubts that any decline in the winds that might be occurring has much of an effect on wind power. [ End article excerpt. For complete AP article go here: ]

Pielke, Jr. noted the apparent disagreement of the Real Climate activists about the wind study: “Has global warming reduced windspeeds with potential implications for wind power? Well obviously we don’t know, but if you’d like to believe that it does, you can justify that belief by citing Michael Mann. And if you’d like to believe that it does not, you can justify that belief by citing Gavin Schmidt. Climate science as Rorschach test, film at 11.”

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