Erroneous Information Clouds Global Warming Debate

Erroneous Information Clouds Global Warming Debate
July 16, 2007

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

The July 13 article “Things we can all do to stop global warming” by climate alarmist Naomi Oreskes is riddled with misleading information and factual errors.

Oreskes asserts global warming is causing crop losses, yet 2006 was the best year ever for the nation’s soybean crop and the third-best year ever for the nation’s corn crop. This improves upon record crop yields in 2004 and 2005. ( http://www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/2007/01_12_2007.asp)

Oreskes asserts that global warming is causing deadly summer heat waves, yet a 2006 study in Physical Review showed that record-breaking temperatures on the East Coast are no more common than in years past. ( http://co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V10/N18/C3.jsp?Print-true)

Similarly, a just-released study of temperatures in the Midwest shows that record-high temperatures are less prevalent than in decades past.
( http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Des_Moines_JuneJuly_Records.pdf)

Oreskes claims global warming is causing polar ice to melt, yet Antarctica as a whole is getting colder and the ice sheet as a whole is growing. ( http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=1725) Moreover, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that Antarctica will continue gaining ice mass for at least the next full century. ( http://www.ipcc.ch/WG1_SPM_17Apr07.pdf) Similarly, the last two decades of the 20th century were the two coldest in Greenland since the 1910s.
( http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2006/11/17/cooling-the-debate-a-longer-record-of-greenland-air-temperature/)

Oreskes claims global warming is causing rising sea levels, yet the January 4, 2007 issue of Geophysical Research Letters reports that our current sea level trend is nothing unusual, and that sea level rose more in the early 20th century than it did in the late 20th century. ( http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007.../2006GL028492.shtml)

Perhaps next time Ms. Oreskes will report on facts rather than fiction regarding global warming.

James M. Taylor (taylor@heartland.org) is senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)