Scientists Speak Out Against AP’s Climate Change Fear-mongering

Scientists from all over the world are coming out strongly against an inexcusably hysterical article recently published by the planet's leading wire service.

As NewsBusters reported Saturday, the Associated Press published an unbelievably disgraceful article about global warming induced sea level rises supposedly destined to wipe out large amounts of American coastal communities in the next 100 years.

Sen. James Inhofe's (R-Oklahoma) communications director, Marc Morano, has received e-mail messages from all parts of the globe in the past 24 hours strongly denouncing this piece:

State of Florida Climatologist Dr. Jim O'Brien of Florida State University countered the AP article.

"The best measurements of sea level rise are from satellite instrument called altimeters. Currently they measure 14 inches in 100 years. Everyone agrees that there is no acceleration. Even the UN IPCC quotes this," O'Brien wrote to EPW on September 23. O'Brien is also the director of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies.

"If you increase the rate of rise by four times, it will take 146 years to rise to five feet. Sea level rise is the ‘scare tactic' for these guys," O'Brien added.

Climate researcher Dr Vincent Gray, of New Zealand, an expert reviewer on every single draft of the IPCC reports going back to 1990:

The IPCC never makes ‘predictions', only ‘projections'; what might happen, or be 'likely" if you believe the assumptions in the model. No computer model has ever been shown to be capable of successful prediction," Gray wrote to the Inhofe EPW Press Blog on September 23.

"Actual data on sea levels are unreliable. Long term figures are based on tide-gauge measurements near port cities prone to subsidence and damage of equipment from severe weather. Many recent and more reliable measurements show little recent change. Satellite measurements have shown a recent rise which may be temporary," Gray added.

Dr. Boris Winterhalter, a retired Senior Research Scientist and Coordinator for national international marine geological research at the Geological Survey of Finland:

"Even the worst case scenario is half of that quoted by Associated Press. This is a hype of the worst order. This whole scare builds on GCM's which we know mimic Earth processes very simplistically and are thus most unreliable," Winterhalter told Inhofe EPW Press Blog on September 23.

"I, as a marine geologist, am abhorred. I just looked at the USGS (US Geological Survey) site and am astonished that none of the references or fact sheets seem to refer to IPCC Fourth Assessment Report released this spring," Winterhalter added.

As previously noted, Richard S. Courtney had already responded to a request of my own as reported in an update here stating, "Rarely have I read such a collection of unsubstantiated and scare-mongering twaddle."

Maybe more importantly, Dr. John Christy, who appears to have been either misquoted or quoted out of context in this AP article, after responding to my requests concerning this piece, elaborated in an e-mail message to EPW:

Alabama State Climatologist Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, stated that the AP mischaracterized his views on sea level in the article promoting climate fears a hundred years from now.

"[My] discussion [with the AP reporter Seth Borenstein] was primarily about the storm surges which come from hurricanes - that's the real vulnerability. The sea level is rising around 1 inch per decade, but sea level is like any other climate parameter - its either rising or falling all the time. To me, 16 inches per century is not a significant problem to deal with. But since storm surges of 15 to 30 feet occur in 6 hours, any preventive strategy, like an extra 3 feet of elevation, would be helpful," Christy wrote to the Inhofe EPW Press blog.

"Thinking that legislation can change sea level is hubris. I did a calculation on what 1000 new nuclear power plants operating by 2020 would do for the IPCC best guess in the year 2100. The answer is 1.4 cm - about half an inch (if you accept the IPCC projection A1B for the base case.) Also, there doesn't seem to be any acceleration of the slow trend," Christy explained.

To read all the dissent and anger concerning this article, please go here.

That said, please bear in mind that as this article was published over the weekend, many scientists have yet to see it. As such, we expect to receive significantly more refutations in the near future.

However, Borenstein should be asked by his superiors to correct apparent misstatements concerning Dr. Christy's views, and should be cautioned in the future to present alternative opinions concerning this matter.

After all, anything less is not journalism, but, instead, is alarmist activism that shouldn't be tolerated at the leading wire service on the planet.

Environment Global Warming Weather Associated Press
Noel Sheppard's picture

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