Issue #62: U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Continue to Decline
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports U.S. carbon dioxide emissions during the first quarter of 2012 were the lowest since 1992. With more and more U.S. power plants switching from coal to natural gas, the decline is likely to continue and the reductions are likely to be permanent.
The decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions is striking when we compare U.S. emission trends to global emission trends.
In 2000, U.S. emissions totaled 5.9 billion metric tons, while global emissions totaled 23.7 billion metric tons. Accordingly, in 2000 the United States accounted for 25 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
By 2010, however, U.S. emissions fell to 5.6 billion metric tons, while global emissions rose to 31.8 billion metric tons. Accordingly, in 2010 the United States accounted for just 18 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
If the U.S. emissions reductions in early 2012 hold throughout the year, U.S. emissions this year will likely fall to merely 15 percent of the global total.
These reductions in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are taking place without all-intrusive, economy-wide, government-imposed restrictions. Yes, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that punish coal power plants are somewhat responsible for the shift to natural gas power, but so too are technological advances and new natural gas discoveries that have dramatically reduced the price of natural gas.
For those who truly care about reducing carbon dioxide emissions, now is a time for celebration. For those who care only about transferring money and power to government, now is a time to intensify their attacks.
IN THIS ISSUE
Droughts are becoming less frequent … Majority of warming since 1850 is natural, study finds … Precipitation data contradict alarmist assumptions about drought … Pace of sea level rise is slowing … Antarctic Peninsula had much less ice 150 years ago
DROUGHTS ARE BECOMING LESS FREQUENT
The Palmer Drought Severity Index shows U.S. droughts are becoming less frequent and less severe in recent decades, climate scientist Patrick Michaels explains in National Review Online. Producing the data in straightforward charts and explanations, Michaels reports, “There is no relationship whatsoever between global-warming-related U.S. temperature and drought.”
SOURCE: National Review Online
MAJORITY OF WARMING SINCE 1850 IS NATURAL, STUDY FINDS
Warming since 1850 is mainly the result of natural climatic variations, according to a newly published paper in the peer-reviewed Global and Planetary Change. The scientists identified several cyclic climate variations during the past 4,000 years and analyzed their causes. Applying what they learned about natural climate cycles and the signatures of their causes, the scientists reject the notion that human activities are the primary cause for recent warming.
SOURCE: Global and Planetary Change
PRECIPITATION DATA CONTRADICT ALARMIST ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT DROUGHT
A team of European scientists reports that real-world data show drier soils increase the frequency of summer convective thunderstorms. The findings contradict alarmist computer models programmed to assume positive feedback loops will increase summertime drought as the planet warms.
SOURCE: Watts Up With That?
PACE OF SEA LEVEL RISE IS SLOWING
Since 2003, the pace of sea level rise has been slowing, satellite data show. The slowing of sea level rise is occurring despite the increasing use of groundwater for irrigation, which studies show has a significant impact on sea level.
SOURCE: World Climate Report
ANTARCTIC PENINSULA HAD MUCH LESS ICE 150 YEARS AGO
The Antarctic Peninsula ice mass has significantly grown since 1855, ice core records show. The findings are reported by a team of scientists in the peer-reviewed Geophysical Research Letters.
SOURCE: Geophysical Research Letters