Recent hearings on the subject of global warming before the House Committee on Small Business, chaired by Rep. James Talent, R-Mo., made public the following findings, all documented in the scientific literature:
* Observed changes in global warming during the last decade are several times lower than projected by the climate models, which served as the basis for the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Furthermore, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chief Bob Watson made the public admission that the models, on which the United Nations based its climate treaty, were "wrong."
* In recent decades, variations of regional and global temperature trends have lessened, there have been no changes in global precipitation patterns, flooding occurrences in the United States have not changed and droughts have become less frequent.
* Warming that has been observed in recent decades has been confined mostly to Siberia and northwestern North America in the very coldest winter air masses.
* Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are increasing at a rate below the most conservative U.N. scenario; carbon dioxide is being increasingly captured by vegetation leading to a greener Earth; atmospheric concentration of methane is not likely to increase much for the next 100 years.
* The warming effect of carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere was overestimated by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by 15 percent.
* The Kyoto Protocol (proposed reduction of carbon dioxide emissions) will have no discernible impact on global temperature, even 50 years from now.
Testimony by Dr. S. Fred Singer, president of The Science & Environmental Project, cited additional scientific findings:
* Geophysical historical data do not support the claim that a warmer planet would be catastrophic. Studies of tree rings, ice cores and ocean sediment cores indicate that the Earth's temperature was considerably warmer than today at 1,000, 3,000 and 6,000 years ago. Global temperature changes, as rapid and large as those forecasted by climate models, have occurred in the past with no detrimental effects.
* The climate models used to predict future warming have not been validated; current models cannot handle clouds and other important climatic parameters.
* Surface-based temperatures, which we have read about during this summer's heat waves, are subject to local and urban (heat island) effects. Furthermore, these temperatures cover only a small fraction of the globe.
* Empirical evidence indicates that a modest warming of the Earth will lower sea level, by increasing evaporation from the oceans with subsequent increased deposition of snow on the polar ice caps.
* There is no "scientific consensus" that global warming is occurring. More than 17,000 scientists in the United States, including 2,300 specialists in the field of climate change, have signed petitions against the Kyoto Protocol.
So far, the hearings have shown that climate science does not support the Kyoto Protocol to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 5.2 percent, which is arbitrary, purely political and in no way science-based.
Also, the hearings revealed that the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientific report was deceptively altered to convey the misleading impression to the public that there is a "discernible human influence on climate' which will lead to catastrophic warming.
The recently reported errors in satellite-measured global temperatures, arising from changes in satellite orbit, remain to be fully assessed. According to John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville: "The orbit decay effect is real, but because of compensating factors, it does not change the data set by much."
Christy states that the initially corrected satellite data show no temperature trend for the period 1977 through 1997.
Readers may write to Charles Hosler at The Chapel Hill Herald, 106 Mallette St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516.
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