AP: October Snowstorms Could Be Caused by Warming...Or Actually, No

November 4th, 2011 8:30 AM

Via James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, we've learned how shameless AP reporter Seth Borenstein can be about climate change hyperbole. His latest story began: "Freakish weather disasters — from the sudden October snowstorm in the Northeast U.S. to the record floods in Thailand — are striking more often. And global warming is likely to spawn more similar weather extremes at a huge cost, says a draft summary of an international climate report obtained by The Associated Press."

Borenstein touted how AP received the final draft of a new report from "the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," but then added his introduction about the October snowstorm isn't really accurate: "The snow-bearing Nor'easter cannot be blamed on climate change and probably isn't the type of storm that will increase with global warming, four meteorologists and climate scientists said. They agree more study is needed."

Well, then again the "draft" seems more important a word than the "final," since "Chris Field, one of the leaders of the climate change panel, said he and other authors declined to comment because the report is still subject to change." But predictably, the world is only going to get worse unless the climate "mitigation" gets more radical:

The final draft of the report from a panel of the world's top climate scientists paints a wild future for a world already weary of weather catastrophes costing billions of dollars. The report says costs will rise and perhaps some locations will become "increasingly marginal as places to live."

The report from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be issued in a few weeks, after a meeting in Uganda. It says there is at least a 2-in-3 probability that climate extremes have already worsened because of man-made greenhouse gases.

This marks a change in climate science from focusing on subtle changes in daily average temperatures to concentrating on the harder-to-analyze freak events that grab headlines, cause economic damage and kill people. The most recent bizarre weather extreme, the pre-Halloween snowstorm in the U.S., is typical of the damage climate scientists warn will occur — but it's not typical of the events they tie to global warming.

"The extremes are a really noticeable aspect of climate change," said Jerry Meehl, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "I think people realize that the extremes are where we are going to see a lot of the impacts of climate change."

The final sentence is a doozy: And global warming isn’t the sole villain in future climate disasters, the climate report says. An even bigger problem will be the number of people – especially the poor – who live in harm’s way.

One of the villains in "future climate disasters" are the poor humans who reproduce too much?