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Skeptical meteorologist Joe D’Aleo issues point-by-point rebuttal to warmist Fed climate report

Alarmist Claim Rebuttal Overview
Below are a series of rebuttals of the most common climate
alarmists’ claims such as those made in the recently released
Fourth National Climate Assessment Report.2 The authors of
these rebuttals are all recognized experts in the relevant scientific
fields. The rebuttals demonstrate the falsity of EPA’s claims
merely by citing the most credible empirical data on the topic.
For each alarmist claim, a summary of the relevant rebuttal is
provided below along with a link to the full text of the rebuttal,
which includes the names and the credentials of the authors of
each rebuttal.
Claim: Heat Waves are increasing at an alarming rate and
heat kills.
Summary of Rebuttal
There has been no detectable long-term increase in heat waves
in the United States or elsewhere in the world. Most all-time
record highs here in the U.S. happened many years ago, long
before mankind was using much fossil fuel. Thirty-eight states set
their all-time record highs before 1960 (23 in the 1930s!). Here in
the United States, the number of 100F, 95F and 90F days per
year has been steadily declining since the 1930s. The
Environmental Protection Agency Heat Wave Index confirms the
1930s as the hottest decade.

1 This document is an October 30, 2018 update of an earlier version contained in the following filings with
EPA: EF CPP Fifth Supplement to Petition for Recon FINAL020918 and CHECC CPP ANPRM
Replacement Comment FINAL to EPA 022618, see pages 16-20.
James Hansen while at NASA in 1999 said about the U.S.
temperature record “In the U.S. the warmest decade was the
1930s and the warmest year was 1934”.
When NASA was challenged on the declining heat records in the
U.S, the reply was that the U.S. is just 2% of the world. However,
all the continents recorded their all-time record highs before 1980.
Interestingly while the media gives a great deal of coverage to
even minor heat waves to support the case that man-made global
warming is occurring, the media tends to ignore deadly cold
waves. But in actual fact, worldwide cold kills 20 times as many
people as heat. This is documented in the “Excess Winter
Mortality” which shows that the number of deaths in the 4 coldest
winter months is much higher than the other 8 months of the year.
The USA death rate in January and February is more than 1000
deaths per day greater than in it is July and August.
Clearly, there is no problem with increased heat waves due to
Climate Change.
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Heat Waves
Claim: Global warming is causing more hurric
Credible data show this is true despite much better open ocean
detection than before the 1960s when many short-lived storms at
sea would have been missed as there were no satellites, no
aircraft reconnaissance, no radar, no buoys and no automated
weather stations.
Landfall counts are more reliable. This data shows that the
number of U.S. landfalling hurricanes and major hurricanes has
been on the decline since the late 1800s.
However, the impacts on the United States has varied
considerably with time, with very active seasons giving way to
long lulls during which the public forgets the lessons from past
storms and the risks of settling in vulnerable areas. The regions
targeted vary too. The period from 1926 to 1935 was very active
in the Gulf area. After decades of no impact storms, there were 8
major devastating storms on the east coast from 1938 to 1960
then a 25-year lull until Gloria and then Hugo began another
active era.
This century Isabel in 2003, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in
2004 and Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005 all made
landfall on the mainland. 2005 holds the record for 5 category 4
and 4 category 5 impact storms. At the time, some speculated this
was the new norm for the Atlantic due to climate change.
However, after the active 2005 season and before the landfall of
two major storms on the U.S. in 2017, the U.S. had gone 4324
days (just short of 12 years) without a major hurricane landfall,
exceeding the prior record 8-year lull in the 1860s.
Harvey in 2017 was the first hurricane to make landfall in Texas
since Ike in 2008 and the first Category 4 hurricane in Texas
since Hurricane Carla in 1961. Note that there has been no
increase in Texas in either hurricanes or major hurricanes. In
2017, Irma was the first landfalling hurricane and major hurricane
in Florida since Wilma in 2005. This was also after a record lull –
4439 days. The previous record lull back to 1851 was 2191 days
from 1979 to 1985.
Michael whose tight core winds did major damage on a portion of
the Florida panhandle in 2018 had the 20th lowest pressure for an
Atlantic storm and was third lowest for a storm making landfall
behind the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935 and Hurricane Camille in
In short, there is nothing unique or unprecedented about recent
hurricane seasons or hurricanes. Active Atlantic seasons like
2004 and 2005 and 2017 were similar to 1893, 1926, 1933, 1950
and 1995. 1893 had 5 major hurricanes two of which both caused
over 2000 deaths making that year the deadliest on record at that
time. 7 years later in 1900, the Great Galveston hurricane killed
up to 12,000, making it the most deadly in U.S. history.
Strong hurricanes like Maria in 2017 with devastation on the
Caribbean islands are not unique. The Great Hurricane of 1780
killed 27,500 while ravaging the Caribbean islands with winds
estimated over 200 mph. It was one of three hurricanes that year
with death tolls over 1000.
The heavy rains associated with slow moving Harvey and
Florence led to claims that slow movement was related to climate
change. Careful analysis of the data shows a flat linear trend in
storm motion over land for over the last half century.
The most recent (2018) U.S. Government analysis of the 36 most
costly hurricane disasters in U.S. history, showed that increasing
damages are due to increasing population density and
infrastructure vulnerability, not due to storm intensity.
Chris Landsea (NOAA) in 2011 noted “instead of a dramatically
increasing trend of hurricane damages, destruction from these
storms varies on a decade-to-decade timescale with more
damages in the early 1900s, low damages during the late 1900s
to early 1920s, much higher destruction in late 1920s to the early
1960s, and reduced damages from the late 1960s to early 1990s.
Certainly, the U.S. hurricane damages from 1996 to 2005 were
quite high, but now it is evident that these were quite similar to the
decade of 1926 to 1935. So, after straightforward consideration of
the non-meteorological factors of inflation, wealth increases, and
population change, there remains no indication that there has
been a long-term pick up of U.S. hurricane losses that could be
related to global warming today. There have been no peerreviewed
studies published anywhere that refute this.”
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Hurricanes
Claim: Global warming is causing more and stronger
Summary of Rebuttal
Tornadoes are failing to follow “global warming” predictions.
Strong tornadoes have seen a decline in frequency since the
1950s. The years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 all saw below
average to near record low tornado counts in the U.S. since
records began in 1954. 2017 rebounded only to the long-term
mean. 2018 as of the end of May is ranking below the 25th
This lull followed a very active and deadly strong La Nina of
2010/11, which like the strong La Nina of 1973/74 produced
record setting and very deadly outbreaks of tornadoes. Population
growth and expansion outside urban areas have exposed more
people to the tornadoes that once roamed through open fields.
Tornado detection has improved with the addition of NEXRAD,
the growth of the trained spotter networks, storm chasers armed
with cellular data and imagery and the proliferation of cell phone
cameras and social media. This shows up most in the weak EF0
tornado count but for storms from moderate EF1 to strong EF 3+
intensity, the trend slope has been flat to down despite improved
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Tornadoes
Claim: Global warming is increasing the magnitude and
frequency of droughts and floods.
Summary of Rebuttal
Our use of fossil fuels to power our civilization is not causing
droughts or floods. NOAA found there is no evidence that floods
and droughts are increasing because of climate change. The
number, extend or severity of these events does increase
dramatically for a brief period of years at some locations from time
to time but then conditions return to more normal. This is simply
the long-established constant variation of weather resulting from a
confluence of natural factors.
In testimony before Congress Professor Roger Pielke, Jr. said: “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. Droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less
frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U.S. over the last
“The good news is U.S. flood damage is sharply down over 70
years,” Roger Pielke Jr. said. “Remember, disasters can happen
any time…”. “But it is also good to understand long-term trends
based on data, not hype.”
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Droughts and Floods
Claim: Global Warming has increased U.S. Wildfires.
Summary of Rebuttal
Wildfires are in the news almost every late summer and fall. The
National Interagency Fire Center has recorded the number of fires
and acreage affected since 1985. This data show the number of
fires trending down slightly, though the acreage burned had
increased before leveling off over the last 20 years. The NWS
tracks the number of days where conditions are conducive to
wildfires when they issue red-flag warnings. It is little changed.
Weather and normal seasonal and year-to-year variations brings a
varying number and extent of wildfires to the west every year and
other areas from time to time. The 2016/17 winter was a very wet
one in the mountains in the west, in parts of the northern Sierra,
the wettest/snowiest on record). Wet winters cause more spring
growth that will dry up in the dry summer heat season and become
tinder for late summer and early fall fires before the seasonal rains
2017 was an active fire year in the U.S. but by no means a
record. The U.S. had 64,610 fires, the 7th most in 11 years and
the most since 2012. The 9,574, 533 acres burned was the 4th
most in 11 years and most since 2015. The fires burned in the
Northwest including Montana with a very dry summer then the
action shifted south seasonally with the seasonal start of the wind
events like Diablo in northern California and Santa Ana to the
Fires spread to northern California in October with an episode of
the dry Diablo wind that blows from the east and then in
December as strong and persistent Santa Ana winds and dry air
triggered a round of large fires in Ventura County.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection, the 2017 California wildfire season was the most
destructive one on record with a total of 8,987 fires that burned
1,241,158 acres. It included five of the 20 most
destructive wildland-urban interface fires in the state’s history.
When it comes to considering the number of deaths and
structures destroyed, the seven-fold increase in population in
California from 1930 to 2017 must be noted. Not only does this
increase in population mean more people and home structures in
the path of fires, but it also means more fires. Lightning and
campfires caused most historic fires; today most are the result of
power lines igniting trees. The power lines have increased
proportionately with the population, so it can be reasoned that
most of the damage from wild fires in California is a result of
increased population not Global Warming. The increased danger
is also greatly aggravated by poor government forest
management choices. The explosive failure of power lines and
other electrical equipment has regularly ranked among the top
three singular sources of California wildfires for the last several
years. In 2015, the last year of reported data, electrical power
problems sparked the burning of 149,241 acres — more than
twice the amount from any other cause.
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Wildfires
Claim: Global warming is causing snow to disappear.
Summary of Rebuttal
This is one claim that has been repeated for decades even as
nature showed very much the opposite trend with unprecedented
snows even in the big coastal cities. Every time they repeated the
claim, it seems nature upped the ante more.
Alarmists have eventually evolved to crediting warming with
producing greater snowfall, because of increased moisture but the
snow events in recent years have usually occurred in colder
winters with high snow water equivalent ratios in frigid arctic air.
The eastern United States as an example has had 29 high impact
winter snowstorms in the last 10 years. No prior ten-year period
had more than 10.
Snowcover in the Northern Hemisphere, North America and
Eurasia has been increasing since the 1960s in the fall and winter
but declining in the spring and summer. However, as NOAA
advised might be the case, snowcover measurement
methodology changes at the turn of this century may be
responsible for part of the warm season differences.
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Snow
Claim: Global warming is resulting in rising sea levels as
seen in both tide gauge and satellite technology.
Summary of Rebuttal
This claim is demonstrably false. It really hinges on this
statement: “Tide gauges and satellites agree with the model
projections.” The models project a rapid acceleration of sea level
rise over the next 30 to 70 years. However, while the models may
project acceleration, the tide gauges clearly do not.
All data from tide gauges in areas where land is not rising or
sinking show instead a steady linear and unchanging sea level
rate of rise from 4 up to 6 inches/century, with variations due to
gravitational factors. It is true that where the land is sinking as it
is in the Tidewater area of Virginia and the Mississippi Delta
region, sea levels will appear to rise faster but no changes in CO2
emissions would change that.
The implication that measured, validated, and verified Tide Gauge
data support this conclusion remains simply false. All such
references rely on “semi-empirical” information, which merges,
concatenates, combines, and joins, actual tide gauge data with
various models of the reference author’s choosing. Nowhere on
this planet can a tide gauge be found, that shows even half of the
claimed 3.3 mm/yr sea level rise rate in “Tectonically Inert”
coastal zones. These are areas that lie between regions of
geological uplift and subsidence. They are essentially neutral
with respect to vertical land motion, and tide gauges located
therein show between 1 mm/yr (3.9 inches/century) and 1.5
mm/yr (6 inches/century rise). The great Swedish
Oceanographer, Nils-Axel Mörner, has commented on this
extensively, and his latest papers confirm this ‘inconvenient truth.
Furthermore, alarmist claims that “Satellites agree with the model
projection” are false. Satellite technology was introduced to
provide more objective measurement of the sea level rise
because properly adjusted tide gauge data was not fitting
Alarmists’ claims. However, the new satellite and radar altimeter
data lacked the resolution to accurately measure sea levels down
to the mm level. Moreover, the raw data from this technology also
conflicted with Alarmists’ claims. As a result, adjustments to this
data were also made – most notably a Glacial Isostatic
Adjustment (GIA). GIA assumes that basically all land is
rebounding from long ago glaciations and oceanic basins are
deepening. The assumption is that this rebounding is masking the
true sea level rise. Alarmists continue to proclaim that their
models project a rapid acceleration of sea level rise over the next
30 to 70 years, when those same models have failed to even
come close to accurately predicting the past 25 years.
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal – Sea Level
Claim: Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland ice loss is
accelerating due to global warming.
Summary of Rebuttal
Satellite and surface temperature records and sea surface
temperatures show that both the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and the
West Antarctic Ice Sheet are cooling, not warming and glacial ice
is increasing, not melting. Satellite and surface temperature
measurements of the southern polar area show no warming over
the past 37 years. Growth of the Antarctic ice sheets means sea
level rise is not being caused by melting of polar ice and, in fact,
is slightly lowering the rate of rise. Satellite Antarctic temperature
records show 0.02C/decade cooling since 1979. The Southern
Ocean around Antarctica has been getting sharply colder since
2006. Antarctic sea ice is increasing, reaching all-time highs.
Surface temperatures at 13 stations show the Antarctic Peninsula
has been sharply cooling since 2000.
The Arctic includes the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Iceland, and
part of Siberia and northern Alaska. Because of the absence of
any land mass in the Arctic Ocean, most of area lacks glaciers,
which require a land mass. Thus, most of the Arctic contains only
floating sea ice. Greenland, Iceland, northern Alaska, and
northern Siberia contain the only glaciers in the general Arctic
Because of the absence of any land mass in the Arctic Ocean,
most of the Arctic contains only floating sea ice. Because the
arctic ice is floating, it is subject to intrusians of warmer water
under the ice during the natural multidecadal warm cycles
especially from the North Atlantic, which thins the ice and reduces
the ice extent in summer with its accompanying warmer air
temperatures. Increased ice and colder temperatures are
observed during cold water ocean cycles.
Arctic temperature records show that the 1920s and 1930s were
warmer than 2000. Official historical fluctuations of Arctic sea ice
begin with the first satellite images in 1979. That happens to
coincide with the end of the recent 1945–1977 global cold period
and the resulting maximum extent of Arctic sea ice. During the
warm period from 1978 until recently, the extent of sea ice has
diminished, but increased in the past several years. The
Greenland ice sheet has also grown recently.
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Arctic, Antarctic and
Claim: Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are causing
ocean acidification, which is catastrophically harming marine
Summary of Rebuttal
As the air’s CO2 content rises in response to ever-increasing
anthropogenic CO2 emissions, more and more carbon dioxide is
expected to dissolve into the surface waters of the world’s
oceans, which dissolution is projected to cause a 0.3 to 0.7 pH
unit decline in the planet’s oceanic waters by the year 2300. A
potential pH reduction of this magnitude has provoked concern
and led to predictions that, if it occurs, marine life will be severely
harmed—with some species potentially driven to extinction—as
they experience negative impacts in growth, development, fertility
and survival.
This ocean acidification hypothesis, as it has come to be known,
has gained great momentum in recent years, because it offers a
second independent reason to regulate fossil fuel emissions in
addition to that provided by concerns over traditional global
warming. For even if the climate models are proven to be wrong
with respect to their predictions of atmospheric warming, extreme
weather, glacial melt, sea level rise, or any other attendant
catastrophe, those who seek to regulate and reduce
CO2 emissions have a fall-back position, claiming that no matter
what happens to the climate, the nations of the Earth must reduce
their greenhouse gas emissions because of projected direct
negative impacts on marine organisms via ocean acidification.
The ocean chemistry aspect of the ocean acidification hypothesis
is rather straightforward, but it is not as solid as it is often claimed
to be. For one thing, the work of a number of respected scientists
suggests that the drop in oceanic pH will not be nearly as great as
the IPCC and others predict. And, as with all phenomena
involving living organisms, the introduction of life into the analysis
greatly complicates things. When a number of interrelated
biological phenomena are considered, it becomes much more
difficult, if not impossible, to draw such sweeping negative
conclusions about the reaction of marine organisms to ocean
acidification. Quite to the contrary, when life is considered, ocean
acidification is often found to be a non-problem, or even a benefit.
And in this regard, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated
the robustness of multiple marine plant and animal species to
ocean acidification—when they are properly performed under
realistic experimental conditions.
Detailed Rebuttal and Author: AC Rebuttal – Ocean Acidification
Claim: Carbon pollution is a health hazard.
Summary of Rebuttal
The term “carbon pollution” is a deliberate,
ambiguous, disingenuous term, designed to mislead people into
thinking carbon dioxide is pollution. It is used by the
environmentalists to confuse the environmental impacts of
CO2 emissions with the impact of the emissions of unwanted
waste products of combustion. The burning of carbon-based fuels
(fossil fuels – coal, oil, natural gas – and biofuels and biomass)
converts the carbon in the fuels to carbon dioxide (CO2), which is
an odorless invisible gas that is plant food and it is essential to life
on the planet.
Because the burning of the fuel is never 100% efficient, trace
amounts of pollutants including unburnt carbon are produced in
the form of fine particulates (soot), hydrocarbon gases and carbon
monoxide. In addition, trace amounts of sulfur oxides, nitrogen
oxides and other pollutant constituents can be produced. In the
US, all mobile and industrial stationary combustion sources must
have emission control systems that remove the particulates and
gaseous pollutants so that the emissions are in compliance with
EPA’s emission standards. The ambient air pollutant
concentrations have been decreasing for decades and are going
to keep decreasing for the foreseeable future because of existing
non-GHG-related regulations.
Detailed Rebuttal and Authors: AC Rebuttal Health Impacts
The well-documented invalidation of the “three lines of evidence”
upon which EPA attributes global warming to human -caused CO2
emissions breaks the causal link between such CO2 emissions
and global warming. {See:

Click to access ef-data-researchreport-press-release-0418172.pdf

This in turn necessarily breaks the causal chain between CO2
emissions and the alleged knock-on effects of global warming,
such as loss of Arctic ice, increased sea level, and increased heat
waves, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. These
alleged downstream effects are constantly cited to whip up alarm
and create demands for ever tighter CO2 regulation. EPA
explicitly relied on predicted increases in such events to justify the
Endangerment Finding supporting its Clean Power Plan. But as
shown above, there is no evidence to support such claims, and
copious empirical evidence that refutes them.
The enormous cost and essentially limitless scope of the
government’s regulatory authority over GHG/CO2 emissions
cannot lawfully rest upon a collection of scary stories that are
conclusively disproven by readily available empirical data.
The legal criteria for reconsidering the Endangerment Finding are
clearly present in this case. The scientific foundation of the
Endangerment Finding has been invalidated. The parade of
horrible calamities that the Endangerment Finding predicts and
that a vast program of regulation seeks to prevent have been
comprehensively and conclusively refuted by empirical data. The
Petition for Reconsideration should be granted.