Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
- Data Indicate There’s No Need to Panic About Rising Seas - July 15, 2019
- Trump’s Climate Modeling Reform Scorches His Critics - July 3, 2019
- Oregon Senate Republicans Fought The Law—And The Public, Not The Law, Won - June 28, 2019
Big happenings on climate front folks. On the science side, a new study presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in mid-December finds temperatures are warming at a significantly slower pace than claimed by government officials. A team of scientists examined the 1,218 U.S. temperature stations comprising the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), determining just 410 of the stations have sufficient reliability and consistency in their equipment, procedures, and surrounding environment to provide accurate temperature data since 1979. When scientists compared the temperature trends at these 410 stations with the U.S. temperature trends reported by U.S. government officials, they found temperatures warming one-third more slowly than government officials claim. The findings suggest when government officials adjust raw measurements to account for inconsistencies in equipment, procedures, and surrounding environments, the adjustments are biased toward reporting more warming than is actually occurring.
“The majority of weather stations used by NOAA to detect climate change temperature signal have been compromised by encroachment of artificial surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and heat sources like air conditioner exhausts,” said Anthony Watts, one of the study’s authors. “This study demonstrates conclusively that this issue affects temperature trend and that NOAA’s methods are not correcting for this problem, resulting in an inflated temperature trend.”
And on the policy front, a new group of gladiators joined the battle against the Obama administration’s clean power plan.
The Hill reports, a flurry of last-minute lawsuits were filed challenging the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s fight against global warming, the Clean Power Plan, just before the December 22 deadline to challenge the regulations. At least 10 parties filed lawsuits challenging the rules in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Those joining the dozens of states, energy companies, business groups, and others who have already filed suit to block the rules include the Competitive Enterprise Institute, American Forest & Paper Association, American Wood Council, Energy-Intensive Manufacturers’ Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation, Local Government Coalition for Renewable Energy, National Alliance of Forest Owners, Minnesota Power, Prairie State Generating Co., Denbury Onshore, and Biogenic CO2 Coalition.
“EPA’s Clean Power Plan violates constitutionally protected state rights by forcing set emissions standards for each state’s energy section,” said Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in a statement. “The Clean Power Plan will also result in less power at higher prices.” The lawsuits are likely to be combined with cases led by West Virginia and North Dakota challenging the rules for existing and new power plants, respectively, and are likely to eventually reach the Supreme Court, which could decide whether the rules are in line with the powers granted to the Environmental Protection Agency by Congress in the Clean Air Act and the limits placed on executive action in the Constitution.
The battle for sound science and sound policy related to global warming just keeps heating up (pun fully intended).