Global Warmist’s Predictions Fail Miserably

George Monbiot writes often for the Guardian, a left wing British newspaper.  In particular, Monbiot talks a lot about global warming climate change.  For example, he was recently seen arguing that two years of very cold winters in the UK (contrary to official predictions that the winters would be mild) were caused by, you guessed it, global warming elsewhere:

There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere. . . . 

The weather we get in UK winters, for example, is strongly linked to the contrasting pressure between the Icelandic low and the Azores high. When there’s a big pressure difference the winds come in from the south-west, bringing mild damp weather from the Atlantic. When there’s a smaller gradient, air is often able to flow down from the Arctic. High pressure in the icy north last winter, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, blocked the usual pattern and “allowed cold air from the Arctic to penetrate all the way into Europe, eastern China, and Washington DC”. Nasa reports that the same thing is happening this winter.

Sea ice in the Arctic has two main effects on the weather. Because it’s white, it bounces back heat from the sun, preventing it from entering the sea. It also creates a barrier between the water and the atmosphere, reducing the amount of heat that escapes from the sea into the air. In the autumns of 2009 and 2010 the coverage of Arctic sea ice was much lower than the long-term average: the second smallest, last month, of any recorded November. The open sea, being darker, absorbed more heat from the sun in the warmer, light months. As it remained clear for longer than usual it also bled more heat into the Arctic atmosphere. This caused higher air pressures, reducing the gradient between the Iceland low and the Azores high.

So why wasn’t this predicted by climate scientists? Actually it was, and we missed it. Obsessed by possible changes to ocean circulation (the Gulf Stream grinding to a halt), we overlooked the effects on atmospheric circulation. A link between summer sea ice in the Arctic and winter temperatures in the northern hemisphere was first proposed in 1914. Close mapping of the relationship dates back to 1990, and has been strengthened by detailed modelling since 2006.

Frankly, these “predictions” remind me a lot of the post hoc review of Nostradamus’ writings to see if, with the full benefit of hindsight, could be construed to have “predicted” WWI, the 9/11 attacks, and so forth.  If you didn’t actually predict something before it happened, I tend to be a bit skeptical. 

Anyway, let’s look at another of Monbiot’s predictions, courtesy of Watt’s up With That.  Nine years ago, Monbiot wrote a bit about meat.  Specifically, he moralized against it:

Within as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.

The impending crisis will be accelerated by the depletion of both phosphate fertiliser and the water used to grow crops. Every kilogram of beef we consume, according to research by the agronomists David Pimental and Robert Goodland, requires around 100,000 litres of water. Aquifers are beginning the run dry all over the world, largely because of abstraction by farmers.

Many of those who have begun to understand the finity of global grain production have responded by becoming vegetarians. But vegetarians who continue to consume milk and eggs scarcely reduce their impact on the ecosystem. The conversion efficiency of dairy and egg production is generally better than meat rearing, but even if everyone who now eats beef were to eat cheese instead, this would merely delay the global famine. As both dairy cattle and poultry are often fed with fishmeal (which means that no one can claim to eat cheese but not fish), it might, in one respect, even accelerate it. The shift would be accompanied too by a massive deterioration in animal welfare: with the possible exception of intensively reared broilers and pigs, battery chickens and dairy cows are the farm animals which appear to suffer most.

. . . We can eat fish, but only if we are prepared to contribute to the collapse of marine ecosystems and – as the European fleet plunders the seas off West Africa – the starvation of some of the hungriest people on earth. It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that the only sustainable and socially just option is for the inhabitants of the rich world to become, like most of the earth’s people, broadly vegan, eating meat only on special occasions like Christmas.

Nine years into Monbiot’s ten year prediction, we are diverting massive amounts of crop-land to corn fuel production, yet global starvation appears not to have happened (though food prices have certainly increased due to this diversion), and the normal poster-child for global warming caused drought, Australia, is mostly under water. 

Maybe the global warmists should just chill out for a bit and ponder whether it makes sense to spend untold trillions of dollars to combat a problem we know so little about, including whether it is a problem at all.

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Published in: on January 25, 2011 at 10:13 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. ………..Put perhaps as simply as possible thats the speculation among some experts about the cold snowy winters experienced this year in many Northern hemisphere climates such as New York…Heres the most concise detailed explanation Ive found so far from ..Recent have shown that the dramatic warming that has been occurring in the Arctic during the past few decades along with the associated loss of sea ice cover may be throughout the northern hemisphere. Put perhaps as simply as possible thats the speculation among some experts about the cold snowy winters experienced this year in many Northern hemisphere climates such as New York…Heres the most concise detailed explanation Ive found so far from ..Recent have shown that the dramatic warming that has been occurring in the Arctic during the past few decades along with the associated loss of sea ice cover may be throughout the northern hemisphere.


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