Study: Official US Climate Data Reveals No Cause For Alarm – ‘US climate has become less extreme compared to previous ages’
Global Warming Policy Foundation
A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation shows that U.S. climate has been changing very gradually, and mostly in a benign way.
The paper, by British climate writer Paul Homewood, examines official US weather sources and finds almost nothing to justify alarm.
“The temperature has risen a little”, says Homewood, “but temperature extremes are still a long way off the levels seen in the 1930s. And there has been a reduction in cold spells and climate-related deaths, so in many ways, the US climate has become less extreme compared to previous ages.”
It is the same story for rainfall. There has been an increase overall, but the wettest year on record was nearly 50 years ago. Droughts were mostly far worse in the 1930s.
“It’s hard to find anything in the records of recent weather in the US that should give anyone any cause for alarm” says Homewood.
“It’s mostly rather reassuring. From heat to cold to storms and tornadoes, there is no trend that is out of the ordinary.”
According to the recent US National Climate Assessment in 2018, ‘The last few years have seen record-breaking, climate-related weather extremes’. This is a
commonly made claim, and one that is widely hyped by the media. But what does the data say? How has the US climate changed in the last century or so, and is the climate becoming more extreme?
This study uses official data, mainly from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to analyze trends in temperature, precipitation, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, sea-level rise and wildfires. In particular, it takes account of the widely varying regional climates. It finds that:
• Average temperatures have risen by 0.15°F/decade since 1895, with the increase most marked in winter.
• There has been little or no rise in temperatures since the mid-1990s.
• Summers were hotter in the 1930s than in any recent years.
• Heatwaves were considerably more intense in decades up to 1960 than anything seen since.
• Cold spells are much less severe than they used to be.
• Central and Eastern regions have become wetter, with a consequent drastic reduction in drought. In the west, there has been little long-term change.
• While the climate has become wetter in much of the country, evidence shows that floods are not getting worse.
• Hurricanes are not becoming either more frequent or powerful.
• Tornadoes are now less common than they used to be, particularly the stronger ones.
• Sea-level rise is currently no higher than around the mid-20th century.
• Wildfires now burn only a fraction of the acreage they did prior to the Second World War.
In short, the US climate is in most ways less extreme than it used to be. Temperatures are less extreme at both ends of the scale, storms less severe and droughts far less damaging. While it is now slightly warmer, this appears to have been largely beneficial.