Bjorn Lomborg: Droughts: For drought, the IPCC concludes “there is low confidence in attributing changes in drought over global land areas since the mid-20th century to human influence” (IPCC 2013a, 871). Moreover, it concludes “there is low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought” with drought having “likely increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and likely decreased in central North America and northwest Australia since 1950” (IPCC 2013a, 50). The IPCC repudiated previous findings from 2007, saying our “conclusions regarding global increasing trends in droughts since the 1970s are no longer supported” (IPCC 2013a, 44). This was because new data showed no increased global drought (Sheffield et al., 2012; van der Schrier et al. 2013), and one study even showed a persistent decline since 1982 (Hao et al., 2014), while the number of consecutive dry days has been declining for the last 90 years (Donat et al., 2013, 2112).
Floods: The USGCRP summarizes the IPCC to say they “did not attribute changes in flooding to anthropogenic influence nor report detectable changes in flooding magnitude, duration, or frequency” (USGCRP 2017, 240).
Wildfires: While deforestation has reduced the amount of forests, it is likely that fires in forests have declined even in percentage of the remaining forest areas across the past century.
Hurricanes: The IPCC concludes that we cannot confidently attribute hurricanes to human influence: “There is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to human influence” (IPCC 2013a, 871). Indeed, globally, hurricanes are not getting more frequent: “current data sets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century” (
Sea level: Globally, over the past 30 years, rising sea levels have not resulted in more land underwater. Adding up all the coastal land lost and reclaimed, it turns out that the total coastal area has increased by more than 13,000 km² (Donchyts et al., 2016). This is perhaps most visibly the world's largest coast reclamation of the 80 km² of Palm Island and adjacent islands along the coast of Dubai, but across the world, many countries have shaped and extended their coastlines by land reclamation. Bangladesh, despite popular understanding, has net added about 480 km² of land in the face of sea level rise.
In the last 500 years only some 80 mammals are recorded as having gone extinct. In his book, More From Less, Andrew McAfee, a board member of HumanProgress.org, discusses how relatively rare recorded extinctions are – with some 530 across all species in the last five centuries. More importantly, he notes, the rate of extinction “appear[s] to have slowed down in recent decades; for example, no marine creatures have been recorded as extinct in the last fifty years.”
Matt Ridley, another board member and frequent contributor to this site, argues that despite the human population doubling in the last half-century, “the extinction rate of wild species, especially in the most industrialized countries,” seems to have fallen rather than increased. While absence of evidence isn’t the same as evidence of absence, and there might be millions of unrecorded species in the world’s oceans and tropical forests, the most aggressive claims rest on shaky foundations.
CNN: Jon Aars, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute: "Polar bears are optimistic animals," Aars says. "It seems that they are quite resistant, and they are doing quite well despite the fact that they've lost a lot of their habitat." Despite the odds, Svalbard's polar bear numbers do not appear to have decreased in the last 20 years, he says.
Hulme: "January 12021, a new World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) climatological standard normal came into effect. The ‘present-day’ climate will now formally be represented by the meteorological statistics of the period 1991-2020, replacing those from 1961-1990. National Meteorological Agencies in member states are instructed to issue new standard normals for observing stations and for associated climatological products. Climate will ‘change’, one might say, in an instant; today, the world’s climate has ‘suddenly’ become nearly 0.5°C warmer. It is somewhat equivalent to re-setting Universal Time or adjusting the exact definition of a metre." ...
"So, what is the significance of the move to a new 1991-2020 WMO normal in January 2021? On the one hand, it is a pragmatic move to redefine ‘present-day’ climate for operational applications to that of the most recent 30-year period. On the other hand, it puts into play a third climatic baseline. Already existing is the ‘pre-industrial’ climate of the late nineteenth century and the ‘historic’ climate’ of 1961-1990, the latter about 0.3°C warmer than the former. And now there is the new ‘present-day’ climate of 1991-2020, in turn about 0.5°C warmer than the ‘historic climate’ of 1961-1990." ...
"Combining a climatic tolerance of 2°C—or indeed 1.5°C—with a pre-industrial baseline yields a very different climate target than, say, using a 1986-2005 baseline, the period widely adopted by IPCC AR5 Working Group I as their analytical baseline. The choices of both baseline and tolerance are politically charged. They carry significant implications for historic liability for emissions (La Rovere et al., 2002), for policy design (Millar et al., 2017) and for possible reparations (Roberts & Huq, 2015)."
Christopher Monckton: "At long last, following the warming effect of the El Niño of 2016, there are signs of a reasonably significant La Niña, which may well usher in another Pause in global temperature, which may even prove similar to the Great Pause that endured for 224 months from January 1997 to August 2015, during which a third of our entire industrial-era influence on global temperature drove a zero trend in global warming. ... As we come close to entering the la Niña, the trend in global mean surface temperature has already been zero for 5 years 4 months.
However, the new Pause is at a surface-temperature plateau 0.3 C° above the old Pause."