National Geographic’s Warming Warning – 10 Years Later
Anthony Watts / August 31, 2014
Geoff Sherrington writes: National Geographic Magazine had a Global Warming issue in September 2004. New instruments have given new data. By planning now, NatGeo can make a revised issue 10 years later, in September 2014.
The 2014 edition should aim to correct what is now known to be wrong or questionable in the 2004 edition. We can help. Here are some quotes that need attention. The first three have some commentary, as is suggested for the remainder.
As the informative links I share prove, an objective investigation reveals that he's plain wrong with his vague insinuation about how the National Geographic got it wrong. I've already looked at the first three items of his list (here, here and here) - the only ones he managed to comment on, leaving it up to his troops to fill in the rest.
Please notice the tactic being employed here - Anthony doesn't actually say or explain anything, except to imply most everything scientists have learned about our climate is wrong.
4. “But the recent rate of global sea level rise has departed from the average rate of the past two to three thousand years and is rising much more rapidly – a continuation or acceleration of that trend has the potential to cause striking changes…” P.19~ ~ ~
Anthony Watts with that sea level rise?
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5. “Even relatively small storm surges in the past two decades have overwhelmed the system of dikes, levees and pump stations … upgraded in the 1990s to forestall the Gulf of Mexico’s relentless creep.” P.19
Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise - http://www.pnas.org/content/111/9/3292.abstract
- From 1990-2008, population density increased by 32% in Gulf coastal counties, 17% in Atlantic coastal counties, and 16% in Hawaii (U.S. Census Bureau 2010)
- Much of the United States' densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level
- Over half of the Nation's economic productivity is located within coastal zones
- 72% of ports, 27% of major roads, and 9% of rail lines within the Gulf Coast region are at or below 4 ft elevation (CCSP, SAP 4-7)
- A storm surge of 23 ft has the ability to inundate 67% of interstates, 57% of arterials, almost half of rail miles, 29 airports, and virtually all ports in the Gulf Coast area (CCSP SAP 4-7)
6. “Vulnerable to sea-level rise, Tuvalu, a small country in the South Pacific, has already begun formulating evacuation plans.” P.19~ ~ ~
A look at this record will make clear that sea level around Tuvalu continues rising.
Dr. Nils-Axel Morner's Maldives Tree - what's up with that?
7. “The scenarios are disturbing even in wealthy countries like the Netherlands, with nearly half its landmass already at or below sea level.” P.19
Netherlands to upgrade flood defences to cope with climate change
8. “The 20th Century has seen the greatest warming in at least a thousand years, and natural forces can’t account for it all.” P.20~ ~ ~
This remains as true as it was then, with more studies adding to the clarity of our understanding of the past thousands of years.
9. “Both greenhouse gases and temperature are expected to continue rising.” P.20
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10. “Thick smoke towers over a forest near Fairbanks, one more sign that Alaska is getting hotter…. Computer models predict that CO2-induced warming could eventually raise the incidence of fires by more than a half.” P.25~ ~ ~
11. “If the West Antarctic ice sheet were to break up, which scientists consider very unlikely this century, it alone contains enough ice to raise sea level by nearly 20 feet.” P.27~ ~ ~
As true today as it was then, except that now we have definite evidence that the West Antarctic is in a state a breakup that can not be halted.
Satellite data shows from 1992 to 2011, Antarctica lost more than 70 billion tonnes of ice, and the rate of loss is now twice as high as it was in the 1990s.
West Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Collapsing - 2014
12. “Ocean temperatures are rising in all ocean basins and at much deeper depths than previously thought (NOAA)” P.27~ ~ ~
13. “Oceans are important sinks …. and take up about a third of human-generated CO2.” P.28
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Monitoring ocean acidification
14. “ … three greenhouse gases … orchestrating an intricate dance between the radiation of heat from Earth back to space (cooling the planet) and the absorption of radiation in the atmosphere (trapping it near the surface and this warming the planet).” P.29
15. (At Barrow) “There are no words, though, to describe how much and how fast the ice is changing.” P.33~ ~ ~
Barrow, Alaska: Ground Zero for Climate Change - March 2010
16. “Researchers long ago predicted that the most visible impacts from a globally warmer world would occur first at high latitudes: rising air and sea temperatures, earlier snowmelt, later ice freeze-up, reductions in sea ice, thawing permafrost, more erosion, increases in storm intensity. Now, all these impacts have been documented in Alaska.” P.33~ ~ ~
17. “The Fleishmann’s glass frog is barely hanging on …. As Earth’s temperatures rise, scientists are exploring climate’s role in a worldwide amphibian decline.” P.34
Reptile species are declining on a global scale. Six significant threats to reptile populations are habitat loss and degradation, introduced invasive species, environmental pollution, disease, unsustainable use, and global climate change
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Loss of Biodiversity and Extinctions
18. “Alpine plants are edging uphill and beginning to overrun rare species near mountain summits.” P.41~ ~ ~
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Climate change impacts on Australia’s alpine ecosystems
Binational doctoral thesis by Jeanne BODIN
19. “This is the first instance in which humans appear to be accelerating the change, and warming could take place so quickly that species will not have the time to adapt and avoid extinction.” P.41
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20. “At some point, as temperatures continue to rise, species will have no more room to run”. P.41
21. “Coral necropolis …. Increasingly the planet’s coral is in hot water, parboiled in periods of calm, sunny weather … In 1998 the world’s coral suffered its worst year on record, which left 16% bleached or dead.” P.41~ ~ ~
Considering we haven't done anything about the various threats coral reefs are facing it isn't surprising that coral destruction continues at an alarming pace.
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Coral Reefs by Anup Shah - March 2013
22. Re: turtle breeding “Storms amplify the trend (to more females) shearing away trees that provide cooling shade to nests on beaches. ‘Severe weather events … really knock the socks off in favour of the females’.” P.47~ ~ ~
"Our (WUWT) blog readers are a skilled and diverse. They will prepare and distribute the actuality of the NatGeo 2004 claims as understood in 2012."Although from reviewing the comments over at WUWT all I'm finding is shallow, heck, down right juvenal rationalizations and lots of defensiveness accompanied by too much self certitude and a fearful lack of intellectual curiosity. Instead they seem to think saving our economic corporate free market system is all that life on Earth has to offer. So sad.
As for Mr. Watts' marching orders, I wonder what kind of information they'll come up with for him. Perhaps someone will let me know when they manage filling in the blanks for Mr. Watts, or perhaps it's just another one of those 'contrarian promises' that's never actually delivered on.
It would be quite frightfully interesting to read and consider, I'm sure.
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FYI. I don't go over to WUWT too much since it's bad for my blood pressure besides being totally demoralizing to see the depth of willful ignorance some need to embrace. I recommend these websites that do spend more time catching and dissecting Anthony Watts' latest crazy-making.