Hurricane forecaster: It’s “crazy” to blame global warming on humans

posted at 5:45 pm on April 30, 2007 by Bryan

Ah, scientific consensus.

The United States’ leading hurricane forecaster said Friday that global ocean currents, not human-produced carbon dioxide, are responsible for global warming, and the Earth may begin to cool on its own in five to 10 years.

William Gray, a Colorado State University researcher best known for his annual forecasts of hurricanes along the U.S. Atlantic coast, also said increasing levels of carbon dioxide will not produce more or stronger hurricanes.

He said that over the past 40 years the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined compared with the previous 40 years, even though carbon dioxide levels have risen.

Gray, speaking to a group of Republican state lawmakers, had harsh words for researchers and politicians who say man-made greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming.

“They’re blaming it all on humans, which is crazy,” he said. “We’re not the cause of it.”

Gray is no fan of the Goracle.

Gray, 77, has long criticized the theory that heat-trapping gases generated by human activity are causing the world to warm.

In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this month, he described former U.S. vice president and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore “a gross alarmist” for making the Oscar-winning documentary that helped focus media attention on global warming.

On Friday, Gray complained that politics and research into global warming have created “almost an industry” that has unfairly frightened the public and overwhelmed dissenting voices.

That’s where he’s wrong. It’s not “almost an industry.” It is an industry.

In this market, consultants or companies estimate a person’s or company’s output of greenhouse gases. Then, these businesses sell “offsets,” which pay for projects elsewhere that void or sop up an equal amount of emissions — say, by planting trees or, as one new company proposes, fertilizing the ocean so algae can pull the gas out of the air. Recent counts by Business Week magazine and several environmental watchdog groups tally the trade in offsets at more than $100 million a year and growing blazingly fast.

That’s big business. So what are they selling? One airline says, “snake oil.”

Toby Nicol, easyJet’s communications director, said the company had been shocked by how much money carbon offsetting firms wanted for their service. “We have been quite surprised at the percentage that the offsetting companies would like to take out of the scheme for administration costs. Between 25% and 30% of every pound put in by consumers would go into administrating the company and that was simply too expensive,” he said.

“There are a lot of people who have dived into the market who are desperate to make a margin from it. There are too many snake oil salesmen in the business.”

Snake oil or not, the facts won’t stop the likes of Thom Friedman from trying to replace the red, white and blue with green.

More: Before they turn the flag green, environmentalists ought to see red.

Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.

Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.

Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.

Spirit and Opportunity still need to purchase their carbon offsets, just in case.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

He’s going to be called an enviro-nazi, will lose his funding and be fired from his job in 5……4…..3…..2…..1

Defector01 on April 30, 2007 at 5:46 PM

Uh, not to be a grammar nazi, but Hurrican needs an E.

Bad Candy on April 30, 2007 at 5:50 PM

It’s spelling, not grammar, and it was a typo. They do happen.

Bryan on April 30, 2007 at 5:52 PM

The Quote:

“Gray also said warming and cooling trends cannot go on indefinitely and believes temperatures are beginning to level out after a very warm year in 1998.

‘We’re going to begin to see some cooling,’ he said.”

Jaibones on April 30, 2007 at 5:52 PM

Didn’t some study say there is a correlation between global warming and typographical errors? ;)

Bradky on April 30, 2007 at 5:53 PM

how can we trust gore’s movie if he has a hurricane spinning the WRONG WAY on his movie posters!!??

crr6 on April 30, 2007 at 5:53 PM

I know typos happen but I thought I’d be helpful. Spelling, Grammar, whatevah!

Bad Candy on April 30, 2007 at 5:53 PM

It’s spelling, not grammar, and it was a typo. They do happen.

Bryan on April 30, 2007 at 5:52 PM

BOOM SHAKA LAKA!!!!

PinkyBigglesworth on April 30, 2007 at 5:57 PM

I wonder if High Priestess Heidi Cullen will succeed in getting Gray excommunicated from the weather community.

eeyore on April 30, 2007 at 6:02 PM

Gray’s already been character assassinated up and down the aisle by the Global Warmists. Unfortunately, questioning somebody’s motives actually does nothing to call into question their ideas, which always stand on the merits of evidence, not intention.

On the left, however, the substitution of intent for evidence is relatively standard practice.

Blacklake on April 30, 2007 at 6:03 PM

The smart move here would be to invest in some snake-oil stock.

This off-set business is going to get much bigger before it goes away.

Keep your friends close, but buy stock in your enemy.

unamused on April 30, 2007 at 6:13 PM

Spirit and Opportunity still need to purchase their carbon offsets, just in case.

perfect.

Maybe all those movies were REAL.

Val Kilmer
, among others, was on Mars. He left his huge carbon footprint right there by the big face…I saw it.

shooter on April 30, 2007 at 6:13 PM

Bryan – I’ve read that astronomers account Mars’ global warming to periodic “wobbles” in its orbit that have happened many times in past. And that you cannot compare Mars’ global warming to ours.

Do you have a take on that?

lorien1973 on April 30, 2007 at 6:17 PM

PinkyBigglesworth on April 30, 2007 at 5:57 PM

I swear to God, I’m never going to be nice to another person as long as I live.

Bad Candy on April 30, 2007 at 6:18 PM

Gray has an interesting hypothesis about ocean currents. Now he needs to devise an experiment to test his hypothesis and publish the results.

RightOFLeft on April 30, 2007 at 6:27 PM

Mars isn’t the only planet measuring a warming trend. Jupiter, Saturn, and planet-oid Pluto have indicated increases as well. Just ask Fred!

Freelancer on April 30, 2007 at 6:37 PM

I know other planets show the trend as well, and I believe the warming comes from the sun and we’ll probably start cooling in a few years as expected.

I’m just curious of Bryan’s thoughts, since (I believe) he said he has experience in this area?

lorien1973 on April 30, 2007 at 6:43 PM

Hmmmm… there just may be a connection there…

Throughout the 20th century, more typewritrs were creaded, more people typeing, thus more tpyos….

The the Cmoputer revolootion…. lots more typeos…

and there is a statistical correlation to the incresee in temperatoore during that sameee periot….

Hmmmmm…. and now L33T speak…. ouch… temps a gonna go through the roof…

Romeo13 on April 30, 2007 at 6:57 PM

The Sun is a variable star. It’s our only heat source. Global warming on earth is probably caused by the Sun’s variations in energy output. Global cooling is probably caused by the same thing. That’s my take.

Bryan on April 30, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Bryan – I’ve read that astronomers account Mars’ global warming to periodic “wobbles” in its orbit that have happened many times in past. And that you cannot compare Mars’ global warming to ours.

Do you have a take on that?

lorien1973 on April 30, 2007 at 6:17 PM

Do all of the other planets have “wobbles” that cause them to warm? Because its not just Mars that’s warming. And if the wobbles are causing warming on Mars…. shouldn’t we look at the “wobble” problem here on earth before we turn our economy over to the “global warmers” and let them take our cars and our money and a sizable chunk of our freedom ?

The Global Warming fraud is a is a transparent SCAM designed to bring about global regulations and taxes. Americans should be outraged about it. What’s even worse is that its mostly American taxpayer dollars that are going to fund this scam through the money we pay to the United Nations. It needs to STOP NOW !! They are scaring our children for heaven sake ! Kids are depressed today because they think the world is coming to an end because of global warming.

Do you REALLY think Al Gore is doing this for the good of mankind ?

Maxx on April 30, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Behead those who insult Global Grifting Warming

Kini on April 30, 2007 at 7:10 PM

Romeo13 on April 30, 2007 at 6:57 PM

LOL

Bradky on April 30, 2007 at 7:11 PM

Speaking of wobbling Weval Planets… remember the Indonesian day ofter Christmas earthquake? Our planet wobbled I remember reading this, but maybe it is, maybe not .

Either way, I like the big yellow glowing thing in the sky theory.

Kini on April 30, 2007 at 7:25 PM

Gray has an interesting hypothesis about ocean currents. Now he needs to devise an experiment to test his hypothesis and publish the results.

I don’t know if this was your intent or not, but you’ve managed to illustrate the problem with the “soft” sciences like climatology rather nicely. When the subject of your theory is something like a planet, there’s no real way to devise a compelling test like you can if the subject is, say, a new chemical compound or even squirrely sub-atomic particles. There are computer models, and there are ways you can test isolated things on little scales, but you can’t actually replicate a planet, and the complex, chaotic interactions of all the things at work on that scale. Hence, whatever results your experiments produce, they’ll never be as compelling as the results one can get by isolating an actual substance, measuring quanitites precisely, eliminating external effects, setting up controls, etc.

As a result, any conclusions you arrive at are going to be tenuous at best. And that’s the problem with the Global Warmists; not that they’re wrong, because there’s certainly a chance that they aren’t. But they can’t possibly know they’re right, either. And the limitation isn’t the result of lack of trying, or either good or ill intent, it’s epistemological; the subject matter itself defies the kind of confident analysis to which they pretend.

Blacklake on April 30, 2007 at 7:30 PM

I swear to God, I’m never going to be nice to another person as long as I live.

Bad Candy on April 30, 2007 at 6:18 PM

That’s OK…………… have some candy.

PinkyBigglesworth on April 30, 2007 at 7:30 PM

What ever you do, don’t read this……, or this……, but since ALGORE isn’t a scientist, for fun you can try this…….

PinkyBigglesworth on April 30, 2007 at 7:36 PM

Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.

Oh, ya think?

Sheesh.

Bob's Kid on April 30, 2007 at 8:00 PM

Nah… the Mars thing started right after we landed the Mars Rover!!!!

SEEEE PRRRROOOOFFFFFF!!!! Its all our fault!!!! Repent you Carbon Footyprint SINNERS!!!!

Romeo13 on April 30, 2007 at 8:12 PM

I know other planets show the trend as well, and I believe the warming comes from the sun and we’ll probably start cooling in a few years as expected.

I’m just curious of Bryan’s thoughts, since (I believe) he said he has experience in this area?

lorien1973 on April 30, 2007 at 6:43 PM

…”Changes in the Earth’s tilt and the shape of its orbit lead to climate cycles of around 1.2 and 2.4 million years. At their extremes both these cycles cause global cooling, expansion of polar ice sheets and changes in rainfall patterns. The extinction peaks coincided with global cooling maxima, while new appearance peaks coincided with periods of stable climate (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature05163).”

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19225735.300-earths-wobble-killed-off-mammal-species.html

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/Paleoclimatology_Evidence/

http://geography.about.com/od/learnabouttheearth/a/milankovitch.htm

The Angel Michael on April 30, 2007 at 9:48 PM

I don’t know if this was your intent or not, but you’ve managed to illustrate the problem with the “soft” sciences like climatology rather nicely

The intent of my comment was simply to point out that it’s a little hypocritical to criticize climatologists’ work for being speculative, then quote Dr. Gray’s speculation as some kind of rebuttal. (No disrespect intended to Dr. Gray, who’s a giant in his field as far as I can tell).

Also, I have a couple of thoughts on your comments…

I agree, climatology has 2 serious problems to overcome – complexity and scale. I think the situation is a little less hopeless than you depict, however.

A good comparison in terms of complexity is physiology. The human body is at least as complex as our climate system, and we probably understand a thousandth of what we could understand about physiology. Medical science has still managed to produce compelling results through a painstaking (literally, in some) accumulation of little insights.

A good comparison for scale would be astronomy. Scientists have spent thousands of years coming up with ingeneuous methods to take indirect measurements of the dimensions of our universe. Climatologists are starting to put the same ingenuity to the task of measuring things like global mean temperature.

We’re still a long, long way from a comprehensive understanding of the global climate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth investigating, and it doesn’t mean that we can’t come to firm conclusions about limited aspects of our climate. One of those aspects that we understand in a limited sense is the relationship between “greenhouse gases” and global mean temperatures.

Let’s separate the politics from the science. Just because politicians like Gore twist the most tenuous and extreme predictions into some environmentalist morality fable doesn’t mean we should disregard climatology altogether. Nor does it mean we should give credibility to scientists promoting equally unsupported claims because they happen to disagree with Mr. Gore.

RightOFLeft on April 30, 2007 at 9:49 PM

Whatever happened to The Great Global Cooling Scare of the 1970′s?

Nostalgia for The Coming Ice Age always hits when the temp tops 80.

profitsbeard on April 30, 2007 at 9:59 PM

Nor does it mean we should give credibility to scientists promoting equally unsupported claims because they happen to disagree with Mr. Gore.

RightOFLeft on April 30, 2007 at 9:49 PM

Please give us some examples of “unsupported claims” made by those who think global warming is fraud.

Maxx on April 30, 2007 at 10:37 PM

Let’s separate the politics from the science. Just because politicians like Gore twist the most tenuous and extreme predictions into some environmentalist morality fable doesn’t mean we should disregard climatology altogether.

I never suggested anything of the sort. It’s a profoundly difficult subject to study. It’s not a meaningless subject.

There are problems with your analogies between climatology and medicine and astronomy, however.

Medicine is different in an obvious way; There are billions of human beings, as well as untold mammals similar to human beings, upon which to conduct controlled studies with repeatable results. These facts alone make medicine, no matter how difficult, a hard science. This mitigates the problem of complexity.

The astronomy analogy is even less strong. Astronomy is essentially just the study of physics as it affects large bodies. There are definitely disconnects to be found between the physics of very small things and very large things–in fact, reconciling those differences is the big quandry that’s been facing theoretical physics since Einstein. But it’s all still physics, and physics can be tested under controlled conditions. Time and time again, physics has made possible the formulation of precise predictions about yet-to-be-observed astronomical phenomenon (like gravitational lensing), and these predictions have proven to be accurate. The ability to make such precise predictions based on theoretical antecedants clearly illustrates that astronomy, being an extension of physics, is rather much a hard science. This mitigates the problem of scale.

With climatology, not only are problems of both complexity and scale at work, but little or nothing is in play to mitigate either. It’s clearly not pseudo-science; it is meaningful inquiry into the physical world. But as a field of research it faces hardships that the above subjects simply do not.

Perhaps the best parallel to climatology is sociology–another frequently meaningful, but nevertheless “soft,” science.

Blacklake on April 30, 2007 at 10:50 PM

Please give us some examples of “unsupported claims” made by those who think global warming is fraud.

Not to put words in his mouth, but if he had said “unsupportable” or better yet “tenuous” rather than “unsupported,” I’d have to agree. The fact that evidence that human carbon dioxide is warming the planet is weak doesn’t mean that competing theories are strong. All the theories–carbon dioxide, increased solar activity, unforseeable fluxuations in ocean currents, etc.–are hamstrung by the same inherent limitations of the field of research. There are no strong theories, because the nature of the subject matter makes the testing of any plausible theory nearly impossible.

Blacklake on April 30, 2007 at 10:58 PM

What infuriates me about this is that state mandated tests in our public education system have questions that implicate global warming results from human activities. As a HS biology teacher I have my students read excerpts from the book “Unstoppable Global Warming” by Singer and Avery in order to balance out what they hear constantly from the media (and their textbooks and some nutroot educators). However, when I am reviewing these students for the state mandated tests I make certain that they know the usual correct answer to global warming is “burning of fossil fuels”. I find it shameful when I am teaching about the history of science and the persecution of people like Galileo and Copernicus and have to tell the students that we still have not learned the real lessons concerning science.

dawgyear on April 30, 2007 at 11:06 PM

Please give us some examples of “unsupported claims” made by those who think global warming is fraud.

I’m talking specifically about Dr. Gray saying that warming is due to ocean currents, not about skepticism of global warming. Even I’m skeptical about global warming.

RightOFLeft on April 30, 2007 at 11:07 PM

I swear to God, I’m never going to be nice to another person as long as I live.

Bad Candy on April 30, 2007 at 6:18 PM

He’d probaly rather you NOT tell him he has brocolli stuck between his teeth after dinner.

My response would be: No prob.

csdeven on April 30, 2007 at 11:26 PM

csdeven on April 30, 2007 at 11:26 PM

That’d be Bryan, not Pinky.

csdeven on April 30, 2007 at 11:26 PM

I read an article once that explained that the earth used to tilt the opposite direction. Hence all those fossil fuels under the desert. Don’t know if that’s a theory, but it was fun to mention. ha!

csdeven on April 30, 2007 at 11:29 PM

All these facts! I’m SOOOoooo confuuuuuuuzed.

Mojave Mark on April 30, 2007 at 11:32 PM

global ocean currents, not human-produced carbon dioxide, are responsible for global warming, and the Earth may begin to cool on its own in five to 10 years.

Yes – we already knew that La Niña is due in the next few years, as El Niño is almost over. They come and go – if only Mr. Gore would get the message. But what would he make his living from then? Surely, there must be a different kind of shystering for him, and a different lot of ‘lambs’ to fall for his ‘preaching’. He’s got the perfect voice for it.

Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Well, used the strike key versus the quote key, again…

Entelechy on April 30, 2007 at 11:41 PM

The fact that evidence that human carbon dioxide is warming the planet is weak doesn’t mean that competing theories are strong. All the theories–carbon dioxide, increased solar activity, unforseeable fluxuations in ocean currents, etc.–are hamstrung by the same inherent limitations of the field of research. There are no strong theories, because the nature of the subject matter makes the testing of any plausible theory nearly impossible.

Blacklake on April 30, 2007 at 10:58 PM

Really? Its impossible to figure out if carbon dioxide absorbs heat more readily than nitrogen or oxygen or some combination thereof ?

How about this little experiment. Blow up a party balloon and it will contain mostly carbon dioxide because that’s what people exhale. Blow up another party balloon using a compressor…. it will contain normal air. Put them both out in the sun for an hour and then take there temperature.

If carbon dioxide absorbs heat so much faster than the other gases then your blown up balloon should get much hotter. But it won’t be.

And your blown up balloon will contain a much higher percentage of carbon dioxide than normal air, because it came straight from your lungs. Normal air only contains far less than one percent carbon dioxide.

Is it really so hard to figure this stuff out?

Now, where is your study that shows that carbon dioxide absorbs heat or blocks heat or does anything to heat at all….. faster than normal air ?

Maxx on April 30, 2007 at 11:47 PM

Really? Its impossible to figure out if carbon dioxide absorbs heat more readily than nitrogen or oxygen or some combination thereof ?

It’s peculiar how eagerly people want to paint others into corners on this issue. When did I ever say anything was impossible? I’ve described climatology as difficult and a field of study that faces hardships, and called the testing of many climate-related theories nearly impossible. Nowhere have I invoked the specter or hopelessness, and painstakingly so.

That said, I’m sure even you recognize your balloon experiment is absurd. Using that kind of testing methodology, one could spend months mixing warm and cold air masses together in a fishtank, only to conclude such conditions don’t seem to be conducive to tornado formation, as no matter how hard I try I can’t get one to form in the tank. Real weather conditions, let alone real global climatological conditions, just aren’t that simple.

It is unavoidably, profoundly difficult to determine if man-made carbon dioxide emissions are a meaningful cause of current climate warming trends. There are too many possible intervening factors involved, alternative explanations to be had, counter-examples to be noted, and no way to create either meaningful controls for relevant experiments or even precise predictions to watch out for. As such, anybody who claims certainty–one way or the other–on the issue is engaged in an act of devotion far more akin to religious faith than scientific inquiry.

Blacklake on May 1, 2007 at 12:45 AM

My ongoing fear as with many other people is that Al Bore’s junk science will lead to junk legislation. Remember the ozone hole scare in the 90s? Even though the ozone hole is smaller now than it was in the 50s, it led to legislation, banning products based on junk science. What will be banned next?

Captain Weenie on May 1, 2007 at 12:53 AM

Maxx on April 30, 2007 at 11:47 PM

Problem is that you are not quoting their theory correctly.

The idea behind greenhouse gasses is NOT that they absorb heat, but that reflect the suns energy to a greater, or lesser extent (depending on the gas). You have experimental problems however when you add in a complex moving mass of gas, and cloud vapor (also a greenhouse gas), and have to consider that they not only reflect heat from the sun, but also reflect some heat downward.

Now… seeing as how the earth itself is molten at its core (dig down a couple of feet and you’ll find the dirt doesn’t freeze in most places during winter)…. and the heat sink capacity of the ocean… and you have a hugely complex system… which defies our best attempts at modeling.

Romeo13 on May 1, 2007 at 12:54 AM

I planted 10 azaleas, a japanese holly and 4 flats of vinca this past weekend.

Anyone want to buy some credits?

BacaDog on May 1, 2007 at 7:26 AM

Blacklake on May 1, 2007 at 12:45 AM

Romeo13 on May 1, 2007 at 12:54 AM

So… in other words, you have no study that shows carbon dioxide has these magical properties that you claim. I’d remind you that the burden of proof is on you. If you want people to buy carbon offsets and give up their cars and vacations and their lifestyles and hand over the world economy, then you had better get busy and show how carbon dioxide contributes to the warming you claim. But clearly you have nothing.

Carbon dioxide is far less than one percent of the atmosphere and man-made carbon dioxide is far less than that. Surly if carbon dioxide has some property that can overheat the planet, especially when its in such short supply in the air, this property can be demonstrated. But you say no…. you say it all far too complicated and that the little people just can’t understand it. You ask us to simply trust you…. while those who advocate global warming have been caught in one endless and continuous lie. The Polar bears are fine, the ice caps are not melting, the sea is not rising and the weather satellites, the most sophisticated temperature sensors in the world, detect no sign of this abnormal global warming that you claim.

Oh… I remember now, you have to be a scientist to understand…. but Al Gore isn’t a scientist.

Maxx on May 1, 2007 at 12:14 PM

Maxx on May 1, 2007 at 12:14 PM

Either you called me out in that last post by mistake, or you’ve gotten a bit confused about where I stand on this issue…

Blacklake on May 1, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Do you REALLY think Al Gore is doing this for the good of mankind ?

Maxx on April 30, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Yeah, one man-kind: Algore. After all, he lost his last gig, and this is as close as he’ll ever get to being a “star”, complete with Oscar. Besides, it takes a fair income to a/c that house of his, what with the global warming and all.

The United States’ leading hurricane forecaster said Friday that global ocean currents … are responsible for global warming

The oceans affect the Earth’s temps? Hmmm, I seem to recall something called El Niño … La Niña … naw. Must have been some fictional movie propaganda.
/sarc off

IrishEyes on May 1, 2007 at 2:19 PM

You said this didn’t you ?

It is unavoidably, profoundly difficult to determine if man-made carbon dioxide emissions are a meaningful cause of current climate warming trends. There are too many possible intervening factors involved, alternative explanations to be had, counter-examples to be noted, and no way to create either meaningful controls for relevant experiments or even precise predictions to watch out for. As such, anybody who claims certainty–one way or the other–on the issue is engaged in an act of devotion far more akin to religious faith than scientific inquiry.

Blacklake on May 1, 2007 at 12:45 AM

Above is my reply.

Maxx on May 1, 2007 at 2:54 PM

You said this didn’t you ?

Above is my reply.

Ok…but that reply doesn’t seem to follow. I don’t attribute any “magical properties” to carbon dioxide. I’m a skeptic about CO2-induced, man-made global warming. I’m generally skeptical of any pronouncements made by climatologists, and this has consistently been the theme of my posts in this thread. The block you quoted was actually one of my more straightforward expressions of that skepticism.

My pointing out that “it is unavoidably, profoundly difficult to determine if man-made carbon dioxide emissions are a meaningful cause of current glimate warming trends” isn’t meant to suggest that only really smart people can accurately evaluate the situation. It’s meant to suggest that even really smart people can’t accurately evaluate the situation.

Blacklake on May 1, 2007 at 3:51 PM