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WHO SAYS? Climate Change to Profoundly Affect the Midwest in Coming Decades

The conflict of interest …

First and foremost, let us acknowledge that education institutions have an inherent conflict of interest when it comes to science reporting that will affect public policy. That is, there facilities, faculties and fundings provide a strong impetus to conduct those research projects that are likely to secure governmental grant funding – and there is an innate prejudice for researchers to propose research projects that are most likely to be funded.

Second, let us acknowledge that many educational institutions refuse to open their research and data to open scrutiny, claiming proprietary privileges which relate to securing additional funding for follow-on studies.

And third, at least in the case of one prominent university, the university conducted a bogus self-investigation of one of its principal researchers by limiting the scope of the inquiry, posing unasked hypothetical questions to be answered by the investigation, selecting only portions of the third-party proffered evidence, and the white-washing the entire inquiry. Unfortunately, it is not the first time that this institution has been caught with its pants down as they appeared to do the same type of self-protected investigation of a major sexual scandal. And, as a result, certain university officials are facing criminal proceedings.

The truth as we know it today …

Climate is an inherently chaotic phenomenon undergoing constant change. The Earth has been hotter, colder, with greater and lesser concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide – and all before man’s influence starting with the industrial revolution.

Carbon Dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas, greatly dwarfed by the major, and most potent, greenhouse gas, water vapor. Since carbon dioxide lags the rise in temperature by hundreds of years, it cannot be causing all of the warming effects that scientists are attributing to its effects. What carbon dioxide does, in a negligible way, is to delay the cooling of the planet. It does not add energy to the ecosystem and does not raise the temperature. A likely explanation of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide can be attributed to the outgassing of dissolved carbon dioxide in our warming oceans. The warming trend being the anticipated outcome from the Earth’s emergence from the Little Ice Age.

Most of the climate models used for scientific research do not produce facts, they produce data. And, in most cases, the data does not correlate with direct observation. In many cases, the assumptions used by these models is flawed or the assumptions simplified to the point of being incomplete. The input data itself has been highly manipulated and some scientists are deliberately using timeframes which support their hypotheses – even though an examination of a different timescale would disprove or introduce credible questions about their reported results. 

Science is not performed by consensus – but by a continual process of skepticism. Hypothesis – Experiment – Report – Confirm -- Challenge – Revise.  Most of the people citing science have a vested interest in the public policies which they are attempting to justify by science. People who blindly accept the word of a politician quoting a scientific reason for specific actions are deluded. There is no practical mechanism for altering global climate at this point in time.

So what should we think when we see the University of Michigan announce … 

Climate Change to Profoundly Affect the Midwest in Coming Decades

In the coming decades, climate change will lead to more frequent and more intense Midwest heat waves while degrading air and water quality and threatening public health. Intense rainstorms and floods will become more common, and existing risks to the Great Lakes will be exacerbated.

Climate events are mostly a function of solar output, the Earth’s position relative to the Sun, the rotational dynamics of the Earth, atmospheric water vapor and the behavior of deep ocean currents. Where the El Niño/La Niña – Southern Oscillation is one of the greatest driver of so-called adverse climate events. And there are others, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, etc.

Those are some of the conclusions contained in the Midwest chapter of a draft report released last week by the federal government that assesses the key impacts of climate change on every region in the country and analyzes its likely effects on human health, water, energy, transportation, agriculture, forests, ecosystems and biodiversity.

Three University of Michigan researchers were lead convening authors of chapters in the 1,100-plus-page National Climate Assessment, which was written by a team of more than 240 scientists.

As we have seen with the United Nations’ IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), many of the scientists have only tangential or supervisor functions and are not working scientists in the field. We have also seen basic science information distorted and magnified out of proportion to support a political agenda which includes enlarging government, raising taxes, restricting personal freedoms and other actions which do absolutely nothing to alter climate change. Other scientists who challenge the hypotheses being presented are ignored, ridiculed or demonized. Therefore, there should be a great deal of skepticism regarding any self-serving government report which has not been fully vetted by a larger population of scientists. Many of whom are afraid to speak for fear of losing funding of their projects or being derided by their peers. By the way, as for peer-reviewed studies, peer-review is a publishing process. The reviewers do not review the data nor the assumptions – they do not verify or vouch for the experimental methodology or the conclusions. They are reviewing the paper to prevent “gross embarrassment” to the publishing journal. And, as we have seen, the peer-review process in climate science has been manipulated and should be considered highly suspect.

University of Michigan aquatic ecologist Donald Scavia was a lead convening author of the Midwest chapter. Dan Brown of the School of Natural Resources and Environment was a lead convening author of the chapter on changes in land use and land cover. Rosina Bierbaum of SNRE and the School of Public Health was a lead convening author of the chapter on climate change adaptation. Missy Stults, a research assistant with Bierbaum and a doctoral student at the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, was a contributing author on the adaptation chapter.

In addition, Bierbaum and Marie O'Neill of the School of Public Health serve on the 60-person advisory committee that oversaw development of the draft report, which is the third federal climate assessment report since 2000. The report stresses that climate change is already affecting Americans, that many of its impacts are expected to intensify in coming decades, and that the changes are primarily driven by human activity.

Has anyone noticed that climate change has always had a significant impact on man? And, in response, man has changed locations, improved his sheltering mechanisms and adapted protective clothing. Has anyone noted that those people who live in the extreme areas – the Arctic, Antarctica, and the deserts, all seem to thrive in conditions which would send urban man screaming for help? Does anyone notice that the scientists are speaking of climate deviations of a few degrees? And, that these scientists fail to note the beneficial effects of a warmer climate or a greater concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide? Of course not, that would interfere with the politician’s political agenda – reducing the planetary emergency to a hundred- or thousand-year phenomenon to be studied. And, one that does not require political intervention at this point in time.

If “by human activity” they mean man is putting himself in harm’s way, they are correct. It should be noted that the greater loss of life and greater property damage is more attributable to local zoning codes than harsher weather. People are building in areas where there are known climatic impacts – and that population density is increasing in these areas.

"Climate change impacts in the Midwest are expected to be as diverse as the landscape itself. Impacts are already being felt in the forests, in agriculture, in the Great Lakes and in our urban centers," said Scavia, director of the Graham Sustainability Institute and special counsel to the U-M president on sustainability issues.

In the Midwest, extreme rainfall events and floods have become more common over the last century, and those trends are expected to continue, causing erosion, declining water quality and negative impacts on transportation, agriculture, human health and infrastructure, according to the report.

Climate change will likely worsen a host of existing problems in the Great Lakes, including changes in the range and distribution of important commercial and recreational fish species, increases in invasive species, declining beach health, and more frequent harmful algae blooms. However, declines in ice cover on the Great Lakes may lengthen the commercial shipping season.

In agriculture, longer growing seasons and rising carbon dioxide levels are likely to increase the yields of some Midwest crops over the next few decades, according to the report, though those gains will be increasingly offset by the more frequent occurrence of heat waves, droughts and floods. In the long term, combined stresses associated with climate change are expected to decrease agricultural productivity in the Midwest.

The composition of the region's forests is expected to change as rising temperatures drive habitats for many tree species northward. Many iconic tree species such as paper birch, quaking aspen, balsam fir and black spruce are projected to shift out of the United States into Canada.

The rate of warming in the Midwest has accelerated over the past few decades, according to the report. Between 1900 and 2010, the average Midwest air temperature increased by more than 1 degree Fahrenheit. However, between 1950 and 2010, the average temperature increased twice as quickly, and between 1980 and 2010 it increased three times as quickly.

The warming has been more rapid at night and during the winter. The trends are consistent with the projected effects of increased concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide released by the burning of fossil fuels.

Projections for regionally averaged temperature increases by the middle of the century, relative to 1979-2000, are approximately 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit for a scenario with substantial emissions reductions and 4.9 degrees for the current high-emissions scenario. Projections for the end of the century in the Midwest are about 5.6 degrees for the low-emissions scenario and 8.5 degrees for the high-emissions scenario, according to the report.

The draft National Climate Assessment report is available at http://ncadac.globalchange.gov. A summary of associated technical input papers is available at www.glisa.umich.edu. Public comment on the draft report will be accepted through April 12. Source: Climate Change to Profoundly Affect the Midwest in Coming Decades

Notice the temperatures are reported in Fahrenheit, which seem larger than the degrees Celsius that the scientists actually use. Also, notice that the temperatures are relative to the 1979-2000 timescale and not a longer scale which may eliminate any temperature rise at all.

For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected. <Source: IPCC>

Why you can’t believe what they publish …

NOAA’s Definition and Data Contradict Their Claim That 2012 Was The Warmest La Niña Year – See the full story here.

Weather is variable …

2012 ranks 54th in extreme weather events.

w-1 <Source>

Bottom line …

Yes, climate change will continue to affect man. But, given the climate results over the past twelve years – a blink of an eye in nature’s timescale – we can’t even tell if the Earth will continue to heat or continue to cool. We do not know the frequency and amplitude of changes – but, we can be certain that the global temperature will regress to some mean value – switching between heating and cooling as dictated by nature, not man.

Like gun control, climate control is about political control and has little or nothing to do with mitigating the effects of the underlying phenomenon. If our politicians were honest, they would be providing clean water, food, sanitation and shelter to impoverished areas rather than trying to convince the world they can control the uncontrollable. If our politicians were honest, the would be working together cooperatively to solve man’s present problems – not problems which can never be measured and where nobody can be held accountable for corruption, malfeasance and non-performance.

Better the politicians work on fixing our economy – which is far simpler than fixing nature – and let the scientists continue to investigate our ecosphere without the threat of political consequences.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell