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Monday, February 1, 2010

Predicting the Global Weather

Recently, a strong winter storm struck the U.S. Midwest and South. It was one of the strongest winter storms in recent memory to strike the American South. Parts of Tennessee and North Carolina saw nearly a foot of snow. Here in Northeast Georgia, winter storm watches and warnings were issued. Forecasters predicted several inches of snow and a significant amount of ice. However, the predictions fell far short of what actually occurred.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Friday evening (1/29/2010) and well into Saturday. “Freezing rain, sleet and snow is expected to hit North Georgia tonight and continue into Saturday. A line north from Ellijay to Helen could see seven to nine inches of snow. Ice accumulations there could reach three-quarters of an inch,” was the forecast as late as 11 p.m. Friday evening.

By Saturday evening, there was very little snow on the ground in the whole state of Georgia. In North Hall County where I live (within the warning area), there was no snow and hardly any ice. Even the temperature forecast I saw Saturday morning for the rest of the day was very inaccurate. According to the weather report, the temperatures were supposed to be well below freezing by sundown. As of 10 p.m., according to the Weather Channel’s website, our temperature was 34 degrees.

Now, I don’t mind an inaccurate forecast. I’m very used to them, especially in the winter in this area. I’m sure it happens all over the U.S. and the world everyday. Even with all of our advanced technology, weather forecasting is a very tricky business.

However, the missed forecast with this recent weather event highlights the kind of folly that is behind all of the doom and gloom predictions coming from Al Gore’s disciples. Even people who know what they are talking about have a difficult time predicting accurately the local weather just days, and sometimes even hours, in advance—yet the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) community would have us drastically change our energy policy and enact crippling emission controls based on their dire predictions about the global climate that are decades and sometimes centuries in advance.

To be accurate in weather forecasting, it helps when one’s forecasts are based on sound science. Recent events are shining more light into the shady “science” that is behind AGW and its ominous future climate predictions. Building on the Climategate scandal, it turns out that the world has been mislead about multiple matters concerning the future global climate.

In 2007 the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), which supposedly incorporated the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. (This is the report which led to the IPCC winning the Nobel Peace Prize, shared with Al Gore.) One of the central claims of the report was that the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could disappear by 2035.

It has been revealed in the last couple of weeks that this conclusion was based on a short telephone interview given by a little known Indian scientist, Syed Hasnain, 8 years prior to the IPCC report. Hasnain recently stated that his comments in the interview were nothing more than mere speculation, unsupported by any research. Also, the IPCC’s climate chief, Rajendra Pachauri, was made aware of the faulty glacier information prior to the Copenhagen conference, yet said nothing while the world had gathered to discuss radical change in global energy policy. (The push for such change was and is greatly rooted in the IPCC’s report.)

Pachauri has since admitted that the report may also contain other glaring errors. According to Fox News, “In AR4 scientists wrote that 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest in South America was endangered by global warming. But that assertion was discredited this week when it emerged that the findings were based on numbers from a study by the World Wildlife Federation that had nothing to do with the issue of global warming—and that was written by a freelance journalist and green activist.”

Given all of this, it’s no wonder that the ongoing Public Priorities poll by Pew had the issue of global warming ranked dead last, even coming in two points lower than last year. The January 25 poll had global warming 21st out of 21, just below trade policy and lobbyists, in its list of policy priority issues as ranked by the U.S. public. (At the top of the poll were the economy, jobs, terrorism, and social security.)

It is becoming increasingly clear that AGW is nothing more than, as Australia’s Ian Plimer put it, “the new religion of First World urban elites.” With the mounting evidence against it, and the continued crumbling of its “holy” documents, it’s developing into a rather poor religion, at that.

Copyright 2010, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

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