Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 18, 2014

Warming study merits some skepticism

Those who support the theory of anthropogenic global warming, the idea that human activity is the major factor contributing to a precipitous rise in worldwide temperature averages, correctly argue that weather is not climate.

Thus, whenever a big snowstorm hits a given area and the doubters scoff, “Ha, where’s your global warming now?”, true believers point out that local weather variations will still occur even as global average temperatures rise. Weather is what happens locally; climate is the “big picture.”

This is simply fact, whether one believes in anthropogenic global warming or not.

So it is amusing, in an “isn’t it ironic” sort of way, that a new climate study out of the University of New Hampshire purports to tell us that the summer of 2100 in Southern New Hampshire may be as much as 11 degrees warmer than it is today. Not 5 degrees, not 10 degrees, not even “a few” degrees but 11 degrees. Now that’s forecasting precision! We’d be a little more impressed if the boffins of UNH could tell us accurately how many degrees we’ll see tomorrow, let alone in the summer of 2100.

The study, prepared by Climate Solutions New England and published by the Sustainability Institute of the University of New Hampshire, examined temperature trends since 1970 at three weather stations in Southern New Hampshire — Keene, Durham and Hanover - as well as data from a fourth station in Windham. The data suggest an average annual temperature rise of 5 degrees by 2050 and 9 degrees by the century’s end, with the summers at the end of the study period showing a more extreme variation of 11 degrees.

The true purpose of this climate study becomes clearer when one looks at those who produced it. The study was produced on behalf of New Hampshire’s nine regional planning agencies - that is, the policy-making bureaucrats who try to tell us how we may or may not live our lives.

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