Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
- Press Regularly Misses Most Important Point About Alarming Climate Projections - December 9, 2017
- Any Way You Slice It, Wind and Solar Cost More and Deliver Less than Traditional Electric Power Sources - December 3, 2017
- Utah Has Chance to Improve Science and Climate Education in Schools - November 29, 2017
While the media and various politicians continue to parrot environmental alarmists’ claims the science is settled, humans are causing dangerous climate change, real scientists, doing the hard job of actually examining evidence and providing hard data on climate changes as opposed to pontificating on disaster based on flawed models and unvalidated hypotheses from their ivory towers in academia and government agencies, continue to demonstrate nature, not human greenhouse gas emissions, dominate climate change.
For instance, an October 24 study in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B finds claims linking the spread and prevalence of coffee leaf rust (CLR) to climate change are not supported by the evidence. CLR is a fungus that kills coffee plants and is considered the most economically damaging coffee disease in the world.
The researchers used new, sophisticated high-resolution climate reanalysis to test the hypothesis climate change increased the likelihood of the 2008–2011 outbreak of CLR in Colombia. Based on their reanalysis, combined with existing experimental data, they report, “We find no evidence for an overall trend in disease risk in coffee-growing regions of Colombia from 1990 to 2015, therefore, we reject the climate change hypothesis.” Going further, the study says, “… while weather conditions in 2008–2011 may have slightly increased the predicted risk of CLR infection, long-term climate change is unlikely to have increased disease risk.”
In addition, several recent analyses show while methane emissions have surged since 2007 after declining or holding steady from the 1990s through 2006, plants and animals, not natural gas production, are responsible for the recent increase in methane emissions.
During the latter part of the twentieth century, the human share of emissions grew due to leaking natural gas operations and pipelines in the former Soviet Union. Declining production after the collapse of the Soviet Union, combined with Western companies helping Russian pipeline operators plug porous pipelines, account in part for the halt in rising emissions from the 1990s to 2006.
Climate alarmists blamed the surge in emissions since 2007 on the tremendous increase in natural gas production in the United States, a result of the fracking revolution. However, a study reported in Nature finds “methane emissions from natural gas as a fraction of production have declined from approximately 8 per cent to approximately 2 per cent over the past three decades.” The lead author of the study, Stefan Schwietzke of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “Despite the large increase in natural gas production, there has not been an upward trend in industrial emissions.”
A second study confirms the recent surge in methane emissions has come from the “output of microbes living in anoxic environments such as wetlands, landfills, and the stomachs and butts of ruminants … and the burning of vegetation like forests, bush, and crop residues.” In particular, most of the post-2006 increase in methane emissions came from densely populated countries including China, India, and Southeast Asia. Researchers disagree on the cause of the natural increase. One set of researchers believes the increase in natural methane emissions is due to increased rainfall and higher temperatures, “enhanc[ing] microbial activity in both natural wetlands and flooded rice paddies.” A second study suggests increasing “production from flooded rice fields and a growing number of livestock have been the likely culprits.”