Climate Claim Fact Checks
Joseph S. D’Aleo, CCM
Below are a series of fact checks of the 11 most common climate claims such as those made in the recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment Report. The authors of these reviews are all recognized experts in the relevant fields.
For each 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.
See Impacts of Climate Change Perception and Reality by Indur M. Goklany here.
Heat Waves – have been decreasing since the 1930s in the U.S. and globally.
Hurricanes – the decade just ended as the second quietest for landfalling. hurricanes and landfalling major hurricanes in the U.S since the 1850s. 2020 saw a record 30 named storms and many Gulf impacts like the quiet solar periods in the late 1800s and this century, but the AC index ranked 13th highest. See 2020 Update showing similarities to late 1800s here and global contrasts here.
Tornadoes – the number of strong tornadoes has declined over the last half-century. More active months occur when unseasonable cold spring patterns are present.
Droughts and Floods – there has no statistically significant trends
Wildfires – decreasing since the very active 1800s. The increase in damage in recent years is due to population growth in vulnerable areas and poor forest management. See the Australia Wildfire story here. See this analysis that shows how public lands are ablaze but private lands are not because they are properly managed here.
Snowfall – has been increasing in the fall and winter in the Northern Hemisphere and North America with many records being set.
Sea level – the rate of global sea-level rise on average has fallen by 40% the last century. Where today, it is increasing – local factors such as land subsidence are to blame. See how sea level trends are being adjusted here.
Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland Ice – the polar ice varies with multidecadal cycles in ocean temperatures. Current levels are comparable to or above historical low levels. Arctic ice returned to higher levels with a very cold winter in 2019/20. Ice was highest level since 2013. See update here on the AMO, PDO ocean cycles, the Solar and Arctic temperatures.
Alaska July 2019 heat records/ winter 2019/20 cold – the hot July resulted from a warm North Pacific and reduced ice in the Bering Sea late winter due to strong storms. Record ice extent occurred with record cold in 2012. 2019/20 has been the third coldest winter in Fairbanks since the Great Pacific Climate Shift in the late 1970s.
Ocean Acidification” – when life is considered, ocean acidification (really slightly reduced alkalinity) is a non-problem or even a benefit.
Carbon Pollution as a health hazard – carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odorless invisible trace gas that is plant food and it is essential to life on the planet. CO2 is not a pollutant.
Climate change is endangering food supply – the vitality of global vegetation in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems is better off now than it was a hundred years ago, 50 years ago, or even a mere two-to-three decades ago thanks in part to CO2.
There is a 97% consensus that climate change is man-made – a 97% consensus is a convenient fiction meant to bypass the scientific method and sway public opinion and drive societal changes and policies that support political agendas.
See the detailed rebuttals here. Each section details the claim and links to a detailed scientific analysis with supporting graphics and lnks.