Wild Weather


Since 1992, there have been more than 6,600 major climate, weather and water disasters worldwide, causing more than $1.6 trillion in damage and killing more than 600,000 people, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Belgium, which tracks the world’s catastrophes.


As is often the case with these alarmist scares, the numbers they quote are given without any context.

According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (EMDAT), which he quotes, the death toll in the last two decades has been stable and running at a fraction of earlier decades.  

http://www.emdat.be/result-disaster-profiles?period=1900%242014&disgroup=group&dis_type=%27Flood%27%2C%27Mass+movement+wet%27%2 4Hydrological&Submit=Display+Disaster+Profile

According to the Centre, the death toll in 2013 was well below average at 21122, and this year so far is running at just 1594.

US Climate Extreme Index


In the United States, an index of climate extremes — hot and cold, wet and dry — kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has jumped 30 percent from 1992 to 2013, not counting hurricanes, based on 10-year averages.


The index he refers to, of course, is the one that counts a mild winter as extreme. It is the same index which regards 1936 as one of the least extreme years, although it had the 2nd coldest winter on record, and the hottest summer. NOAA’s system is so sophisticated that it averages the two together to make the year average!

The reality is that landfalling hurricanes at an all-time low.


Extreme cold winters are a thing of the past.


Hot summers are no more extreme than in earlier decades.


Droughts are not as severe as in the period up to 1960.


And we have had three years with record low numbers of tornadoes.


Economic Costs


NOAA also keeps track of U.S. weather disasters that cost more than $1 billion, when adjusted for inflation. Since 1992, there have been 136 such billion-dollar events.

Worldwide, the 10-year average for weather-related losses adjusted for inflation was $30 billion a year from 1983-92, according to insurance giant Swiss Re. From 2004 to 2013, the cost was more than three times that on average, or $131 billion a year.


Such figures are utterly meaningless, because they reflect changing economic and social conditions, rather climatic factors.



It’s almost a sure thing that 2014 will go down as the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping


According to more accurate satellite measurements, this year is running as only the 7th warmest since 1998.




The world’s oceans have risen by about 3 inches since 1992 and gotten a tad more acidic – by about half a percent – thanks to chemical reactions caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide, scientists at NOAA and the University of Colorado say.


Sea level has been rising steadily since the mid 19thC, with no evidence of long term acceleration.

In the last ten years, the rate of rise has decelerated by 44% to less than 7 inches per century.

Oceans have been becoming slightly less alkali, and not more acidic, assuming any changes have been measurable.

Sea Ice


Every year sea ice cover shrinks to a yearly minimum size in the Arctic in September – a measurement that is considered a key climate change indicator. From 1983 to 1992, the lowest it got on average was 2.62 million square miles. Now the 10-year average is down to 1.83 million square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.      That loss – an average 790,000 square miles since 1992 – overshadows the slight gain in sea ice in Antarctica, which has seen an average gain of 110,000 square miles of sea ice over the past 22 years.


In the last two years, Arctic sea ice extent in September has seen a strong recovery from the 2012 record low, and is close to 2005 levels.


Meanwhile, global sea ice area has been above average for most of this year.




The effects of climate change can be seen in harsher fire seasons. Wildfires in the western United States burned an average of 2.7 million acres each year between 1983 and 1992; now that’s up to 7.3 million acres from 1994 to 2013, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.


Many forestry experts state that wildfire acreage is lower now than historically, and that fire suppression policies after 1950 have created the fuel for the bigger fires we have been seeing in the last decade or so.

Nevertheless, wildfire acreage has been declining during the last decade.


Greenland & Antarctica


And some of the biggest climate change effects on land are near the poles, where people don’t often see them. From 1992 to 2011, Greenland’s ice sheet lost 3.35 trillion tons of ice, according to calculations made by scientists using measurements from NASA’s GRACE satellite. Antarctica lost 1.56 trillion tons of ice over the same period.


GRACE satellite data only began to be collected in 2002, so we simply don’t know what has happened since 1992.  Moreover, margins of error, and issues such as glacial isostatic adjustment make any trends over such a short period of time meaningless.

CO2 Emissions


Scientists simply point to greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide, that form a heat-trapping blanket in our air.


Between 1998 and 2013, annual global emissions of CO2 increased by 48%, according to CDIAC.

During the same period, global temperatures have been flat.