by Larry Hamlin | April 22, 2021
The June 23, 1988 Democratic Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing opened the door on climate alarmism in the nation with testimony from scientific “experts” and Committee Senators who offered speculation and conjecture on a host of weather and climate topics while sharing their scientifically unsupported and sensationalized doomsday perspectives. The complete record of the hearing’s proceedings can be found here.
This hearing is often celebrated by climate alarmists and cited as a milestone in establishing the alleged legitimacy of greenhouse gas emissions as the principal cause of increased global warming that also drives other global climate conditions. The hearing was front page headline news in the New York Times.
In reality the hearing’s climate alarmist statements and claims represented nothing but conjecture and speculation driven by the political ambitions of politicians and scientists seeking fame and additional government funding. The hearing failed to address scientifically proven and verifiable climate evidence.
For more than three decades since this hearing the Democratic Party has continued to engage in scientifically unsupported climate alarmism and relied instead upon conjecture, speculation and exaggeration while concealing the failure of climate model projections and more importantly the UN IPCC acknowledgment that climate models cannot provide accurate assessments of future climate states.
A detailed review of the statements and claims made by both the Senators and scientific “experts” presenting greenhouse gas and global warming information at the hearing when viewed in 2021 after 33 years of recorded climate data reveals how extraordinary flawed and mistaken the hearings proceedings were with the numerous failed claims being completely ignored by the main-stream media that continues to celebrate the climate alarmism symbolism of this hugely inaccurate and misleading hearing.
The incredibly flawed perspectives of this hearing rather than being celebrated as a major milestone of climate alarmism success instead represent everything that is wrong about climate alarmism’s use of politically motivated and contrived speculation, conjecture, exaggeration, distortion, and deception in making scientifically unsupported claims in addressing climate issues.
The hearing was held in the Senate Dirksen Office Building in Washington D.C. on a hot 101 Degree F day during an unseasonably warm heat wave (the highest temperature on record in Washington D.C. occurred on July 29, 1930 at 106 degrees F some 91 years ago) along with a major drought also underway in the Midwest and Southeastern regions of the country.
The hearing was Chaired by Democratic Senator Bennett Johnston of Louisiana whose opening statement introduced the primary hearing topics to be addressed which were the greenhouse effect and global warming and their impact on global climate.
Those presenting at the hearing included a number of Senators along with NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, Environmental Defense Fund Senior Scientist Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, Dr. George Woodwell, Director of Woods Hole Research Center and others as noted below.
Some regions of the country were experiencing drought in 1988 that was significantly reducing production levels of soybeans, cotton, corn crops and other agricultural products. This drought became a major point of discussion at these hearings with presenter after presenter speculating devoid of any rational support that this droughts occurrence and severity were probably caused by increased greenhouse gases without offering any confirming scientific evidence regarding such claims.
The information provided below follows the course of the hearing from opening statement through subsequent presenters in order of appearance highlighting key portions of the presentations with comparisons using updated climate data since the hearing to assess the scientific legitimacy or lack thereof regarding the hearing’s climate claims. As arduous as this task is it is necessary to provide a clearer understanding of the hearing’s scientific ineptness and politically driven climate alarmist bias.
Conclusions are provided as noted in bold face type at the end of key discussion topics.
Senator Bennett opened the hearing by noting:
“The greenhouse effect has ripened beyond theory now. We know it is a fact. What we don’t know is how quickly it will come upon us as an emergency fact, how quickly it will ripen from just a matter of deep concern to a matter of severe emergency.
And what we don’t know about it is how we’re going to deal with it and how we’re going to get the American people to understand that perhaps this drought which we have today is not just an accidental drought, not just the kind of periodic drought which we have from time to time but is, in fact, the result of what man is doing to this planet.”
In his prepared statement Senate Bennett further noted:
“The current drought situation teaches us how important climate is to the nation’s social, economic, and physical well-being. The United States is currently mobilizing its political and financial resources to grapple with the enormous agricultural devastation of the present dry spell over the Midwest and Southeast portions of the United States. The present drought graphically illustrates only a small portion of the scenario which could transpire if global warming and climate change predictions are accurate.”
“Taking the proper steps to control the degree and pace of global warming will not be easy.”
“Nevertheless, the United Sates must take a concerted effort to increase its use of energy sources that emit relatively less carbon dioxide and other trace gases.”
Based upon this statement Senator Bennett had clearly tipped the Democrats hand by announcing in his opening remarks a conclusion that recent global warming is caused by increasing greenhouse gas emissions and as a consequence actions must be taken immediately to reduces these gases even before any confirming studies and analysis have even been identified much less undertaken.
Senator Bennett then turned the meeting over to Democratic Senator Wirth of Colorado to conduct the meeting. Further amplifying the greenhouse gas caused 1988 drought climate speculation Senator Wirth noted:
“In the past week, many of us have been seeing first-hand the effects of the drought that is occurring across the heart of this country. Meteorologists already are recording this as the worst drought this nation has experienced since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. The most productive soils and some of the mightiest rivers on earth are literally drying up.”
“Already, more than 50 per cent of the Northern Plain’s wheat, barley, and oats have been destroyed and the situation could get much worse.”
“We must begin to ask: is this a harbinger of things to come? Is this the first greenhouse stamp to leave its impression on our fragile global environment? I understand that Dr. Hansen will provide testimony that points clearly in that direction.”
A question asked by Republican Senator McClure of Idaho during the Q&A session of the hearing requested more scientific substance regarding the claimed connection between greenhouse gases and droughts with the response clearly exposing the speculation, conjecture and limitations of the climate “science” being addressed at the hearing.
“But that doesn’t explain the droughts of the 1930s. Was the drought in the middle 1930s a result of the greenhouse effect?”
“You will notice in the climate simulations which I presented we began the simulations in 1958. That was the international geophysical year. The measurements of atmospheric composition began at that time and have been accurate since that time.”
“It is more difficult to go back and simulate the 1930s because we don’t know what caused the 1930s to be warmer than the preceding decades. So, it is really difficult to say what caused the droughts in the 1930s.”
Regarding the numerous drought and heat wave claims made by Senators Bennett and Wirth as noted above analysis of climate information that has occurred since the hearing provides a much clearer picture of real-world heat wave and drought outcomes.
With the passage of 33 years since the Democratic Party’s politically contrived greenhouse effect and global warming hearing it is now appropriate to look at what actually happened regarding the occurrence of droughts both in the U.S. and globally using more than three decades of recorded data versus the climate alarmism speculation and conjecture expressed at the 1988 hearing concerning the mid 1980s drought as well as the occurrence and severity of future droughts in the U.S.
EPA data shows no increasing trend in the occurrence and severity of droughts in the U.S. over a period of more than a century with the droughts of the 19030s and 1950s clearly remaining the most extreme on record and dominating drought severity compared to the droughts of the 1980s and droughts of other decades as well.
EPA data also shows no trend of increased heat waves across the U.S. with the 1930s overwhelmingly dominating the occurrence of heat waves for a period of more than a century.
NOAA data on droughts shows no global increasing trend of severity of global droughts with the IPCC’s decades of regular climate reviews conducted since the 1988 hearing concluding “low confidence” in increasing global heat waves and drought severity due to the impact of increased greenhouse gases.
History has shown that the conjecture and speculated expressed at the Senate hearing between greenhouse gas emissions and the increased occurrence and severity of U.S. droughts and heat waves as well as increasing global droughts is unsupported by more than three decades of recorded global climate data that occurred after the 1988 hearing.
The Democratic Party’s hearing with their exaggerated climate alarmist claims speculating greenhouse gas emissions impacts being linked to the 1988 drought as well as likely causing future increased numbers and severity of droughts and heat waves have been proven WRONG.
The next presenter at the hearing offering views on greenhouse gases and their connection to global warming was Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana a long-time member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
The Statement of Senator Baucus noted the following key points:
“Like those who believe the stock market crash of October was a warning on the economy, we must ask ourselves if the drought we are facing is nature’s warning to mankind to clean up its act.” (As noted previously the hearings speculation regarding the occurrence and severity of droughts have proven to be WRONG.)
“The inhabitants of planet earth are quietly conducting a gigantic environmental experiment.”
“The experiment in question is the so-called greenhouse effect – the gradual warming of our atmosphere caused by an overload of carbon dioxide and other trace gases.”
“The projected increases in the greenhouse gases are predicted to cause unprecedented global and regional climate changes.”
“Temperature will increase. Current models predict an increase in average global temperature of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C by year 2030. That is an increase of about 3 to 9 degrees F in only 40 years.” (The same future global average temperature anomaly increase claims are repeated numerous times by presenters during the course of the hearing.)
“Sea level could rise from one to four feet, inundating our coastlines and contaminating drinking water supplies with salt water.” (Presumably over the next 40 years as addressed in his temperature increase comments.)
“We are talking about a situation where mankind has finally wrestled control of the planet from Nature.” (This sounds like a quote from a 1950s science fiction movie.)
“If emissions continue on their present track, we will have committed Earth to a warming of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C by 2030.”
The global temperature increases noted by Senator Baucus (along with other presenters) were derived from the NASA GISS climate model presented by Dr. James Hansen.
Figure 3 from the testimony of Dr. Hansen (Attachment A Figure 3) shown below addresses the climate model analysis of the 5-year running mean global average temperature anomaly for the period 1986 to 2060 for three greenhouse gas scenarios that were generated by the NASA GISS climate model discussed in more detail in Attachment A to Dr. Hansen’s testimony.
Scenario A (solid top line extending to 2060) represents continued increased growth of greenhouse gas emissions and shows that from year 1986 an increased temperature anomaly of about 4.5 degrees C during that period.
Scenario B (top dotted line extending to about 2030) represents continuing greenhouse gas emissions at levels consistent with 1986 emissions levels and shows an increase temperature anomaly of about 1.5 degrees C during that period.
Scenario C (bottom dotted line extending to about year 2040) represents significantly reduced emissions and shows an increased temperature anomaly of about 0.8 degrees C during that period starting in 1986.
The latest UAH satellite measured global average temperature anomaly for the period from 1979 to 2021 shows a decadal rate of increase of about 0.14 degrees C. For the period staring from 1986 to 2021 the rate of UAH global average temperature anomaly is also about 0.14 degrees C per decade which results in an increase of about 0.49 degrees C during this period.
The UAH 0.49 degrees C measured temperature anomaly increase from 1986 to year 2021 is far below the temperature anomaly increases represented by the NASA GISS model used in the Democrats 1988 hearing which shows temperature increases from 1986 to 2021 as being about 1.4 degrees C increase for Scenario A, about 1 degree C increase for scenario B and about 0.6 degrees C for Scenario C.
The Scenario A greenhouse gas emission case is closest to what has happened to global emissions since 1988 with continuing rapid growth in emissions driven by the world’s developing nations led by China and India that now account for 65% of all global emissions as well as all global emissions increases since about year 2006.
Global emissions increased 67% from 1988 to 2019 with the developing nations completely dominating this increase. U.S. emissions have declined since 2007 with reductions totaling about 1 billion metrics tons through 2019.
The UAH temperature anomaly increase of about 0.49 degrees C in the period between 1986 and 2021 is even below the Scenario C NASA GISS case (0.6 degrees C) which assumed significant reductions in global emissions that never happened.
Additionally the UAH annual global average temperature anomaly has plateaued since the year 2016 El Nino driven peak with trivially insignificant changes (hundredths of a degree C) in the annual global average temperature anomaly during this nearly 6 year-long global temperature hiatus period despite continuing large increases in global greenhouse gas emissions during this 6 year period.
Measurements of the global average temperature anomaly since the Democrats 1988 hearing clearly shows the NASA GISS climate model relied upon in these hearings grossly overstates the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures.
The claims made by numerous Democratic Party Senators and scientific “experts” about global average temperature anomalies increasingly dramatically in the future because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions highlighted at this hearing (1.5 to 4.5 degrees C temperature anomaly increase by 2030) have been proven WRONG.
Senator Baucus claimed that because of greenhouse gas driven increasing global temperatures sea level could increase and rise by an additional one to four feet over the next 40 years.
NOAA tide gauge data has been updated to include measurements through year 2020 for hundreds of coastal tide gauges stations located around the U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and various other Pacific and Atlantic Island groups.
The longest recorded period of NOAA tide gauge measurements is the station located at the Battery in New York on the U.S. east coast which has been measuring coastal sea level rise at that location since 1856 some 164 years ago.
The rate of coastal sea level rise is 0.94 feet per century or 2.88 millimeters per year and has remained consistently at that rate with a 95% confidence level of only +/- 0.09 mm/yr. (for perspective the average thickness of a human fingernail is about 0.42 mm) as shown in the NOAA data below. The longer the recorded period of tide gauge measurements at any location the smaller the 95% confidence levels.
On the west coast of the U.S. the longest measured sea level rise tide gauge is located at San Francisco with a 123-year measurement record going back to the year 1897.
The rate of coastal sea level rise is 0.56 feet per century or 1.97 millimeters per year and has remained consistently at that rate with a 95% confidence level of only +/- 0.18 mm/yr. as shown in the NOAA data below.
On the Hawaiian Islands the longest NOAA tide gauge data measurement station is located at Honolulu with a measurement record of 115 years going back to 1905.
The rate of coastal sea level rise is 0.51 feet per century or 1.55 millimeters per year and has remained consistently at that rate with a 95% confidence level of only +/- 0.21 mm/yr. as shown in the NOAA data below.
Honolulu is the birthplace of President Obama who in June 2008 after securing the Democratic Party Presidential nomination made the claim that his election would be “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
Climate science informed individuals know the oceans have been rising gradually for thousands of years since the end of the last ice age and continued to do so after Obama’s election. His misleading comments reflect the use of climate science deception and distortion as is the case for many Democratic Party politicians including those at the 1988 hearing.
NOAA tide gauge data updated through year 2020 measurements confirms that U.S. coastal sea level rise remain consistent and are not accelerating which is also the case for hundreds of other global tide gauge coastal locations under the worldwide GLOSS data measurement system.
Claims made at the Democratic Party’s hearing in 1988 that the rate of sea level rise is climbing ever higher and threatens to rapidly inundate our coastline because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions have been proven WRONG.
The hearing then moved on to the statements and presentation of Dr. James Hansen and the NASA GISS climate model used to supposedly represent the behavior of the global average temperature anomaly based upon the level of greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr. Hansen’s principal conclusions presented at the hearing are that the earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements, that global warming is now sufficiently large that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect and that the computer climate simulations show the greenhouse effect is already large enough to begin to affect the probability of extreme events such as summer heat waves with the model results implying that the heat wave/drought occurrences in the Southeast and Midwest of the U.S. may become more frequent in the next decade than climatological (1950-1980) statistics.
The EPA, NOAA and IPCC drought and heat wave data and analysis obtained over the past three decades as presented in a prior discussion clearly indicates that Dr. Hansen’s principal conclusions regarding these events increased likelihood and severity from 1988 and beyond as a result of increasing greenhouse gas emissions are unsupported by actual data.
Dr. Hansen indicated that they have made initial studies with state-of-the-art climate models as noted in the diagram below where three different scenarios (as described previously regarding the failed future temperature increases noted by Senator Baucus of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C by year 2030) of future increased levels of greenhouse gas emissions are used to attempt to portray the impact on the annual global average temperature anomaly of these different levels of emissions.
“Our studies during the past several years at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies have focused on the expected transient climate change during the next few decades”
The measured annual global average temperature anomaly data is now available for three decades after the 1988 hearings.
The graph below from a WUWT article shows the updated GISS (yellow) and HADCRUT (blue) measured global average temperature anomaly data since 1988
and also includes Dr. Hansen’s original global average temperature anomaly data (red) from 1958 to 1986.
The next graph shows the measured global average temperature anomaly increases over the last three decades (yellow and blue) that clearly show that the NASA GISS computer model temperature anomaly estimates (purple) grossly overstates the impact of increasing greenhouse gas emissions on the global average temperature anomaly. Hansen Scenario A represents rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions that reflect the reality of continuing global emissions increases that have occurred since 1986 driven by huge emissions increases by the world’s developing nations.
The significantly lower measured global average temperature anomaly data since 1986 shows a much closer relationship to Hansen’s Scenario B and C lower temperatures projections which reflect significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than have actually occurred.
There is nothing in these results that can confirm that man made actions are controlling global average temperature anomaly outcomes with these results just as likely reflecting natural climate variation driven outcomes.
It is clear that the 1988 hearing claims that increased greenhouse gas emissions will significantly increase future global average temperature anomaly outcomes have been grossly exaggerated and that the temperature increases presented in the hearing of 1.5 degrees C to 4.5 degrees C increase by year 2030 based on the NASA GISS computer model have been proven WRONG.
It is also clear that the real-world sensitivity of the global average temperature anomaly to increasing global greenhouse gas emissions has been greatly overstated with the computer model assumptions leading to this flawed conclusion also proven WRONG.
The next scientific “expert” presenter was Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
The Statements by Dr. Oppenheimer noted the following key points:
“Global mean temperature will likely rise at about 0.6 degrees F per decade and sea level at about 2.5 inches per decade.”
“These rates are about six times recent history.”
“Furthermore, as long as greenhouse gases continue to grow in the atmosphere, there is no known natural limit to the warming short of catastrophic change.”
“Because the oceans are slow to heat, there is a lag between emissions and full manifestation of corresponding warming, a lag which some estimate at 40 years.”
“The world is now 1 degree F warmer than century ago and may become another 1 degree warmer even if conditions are curtailed today.”
“If climate changes rapidly, agricultural and water resources will be stressed.”
“Even if global food supplies are maintained, one need only look at the current Great Plains drought to see the human and economic cost associated with hot, dry weather in the grain belt. Weather of this sort we can expect with increasing frequency in the future.” (The claim of increasing U.S. heat waves and droughts is unsupported by data as previously discussed.)
“Every decade of delay and implementation of greenhouse gas abatement policies ultimately adds perhaps a degree F of warming and no policy can be fully implemented immediately in any event.”
“Slowing warming to an acceptable rate and ultimately stabilizing the atmosphere would require reductions in fossil emissions by 60% from present levels, along with similar reductions of other greenhouse gases.”
Dr. Oppenheimer’s claims are addressed as follows:
Prior information regarding the rate of increase of the global average temperature anomaly as determined by the UAH satellite measured data over the 33 years from 1988 to 2021 is 0.14 degrees C per decade or 0.252 degrees F per decade which is far below Dr. Oppenheimer’s claim of 0.6 degrees F per decade increase.
NOAA tide gauge data updated through year 2020 (more than three decades after the 1988 Senate hearings) estimates that the global absolute rate of sea level rise is about 0.7 inches per decade (between 1.7 to 1.8 mm/yr.) which is strikingly below Dr. Oppenheimer’s claim of 2.5 inches per decade increase.
Furthermore Dr. Oppenheimer’s claim that each decade of delay in implementing greenhouse gas abatement policies adds another 1 Degree F of warming would mean that the three decades of continued growth in greenhouse gas emissions that have occurrence since the 1988 hearing would have considerably increased his estimates of 0.6 degrees F temperature anomaly increase per decade and 2.5 inches of sea level rise increase per decade.
The measured results (a three-decade long post hearing period) of the temperature anomaly increase (0.252 degrees F per decade) and sea level rise per decade (0.7 inches per decade) show the claim that large additional increased temperature anomaly and sea level rise outcomes will occur for each missed decade of greenhouse gas abatement delay are unsupported.
Global greenhouse gas emissions have INCREASED over the period of 1988 to 2019 by 67% (driven and controlled by the world’s developing nations led by China and India) versus Dr. Oppenheimer’s claim that a level of emissions abatement of 60% REDUCTION from 1988 levels is required to slow warming to an acceptable rate.
Measured data do not support Dr. Oppenheimer’s claims of large increases of global average temperature anomaly and sea level rise occurring if greenhouse gases are not significantly reduced since the measured temperature anomaly and sea level rise increases were far below Dr. Oppenheimer’s claims even with increasing emissions.
The claim that “there is no known natural limit to warming” as long as greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere is incorrect. The greenhouse gas warming effectiveness diminishes logarithmically with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Dr. Oppenheimer’s claim that future global food shortages may occur because of increasing droughts and heat waves is unsupported by global food production data.
Global food production continues to climb and is at record levels. Global grain production in 2020-21 is forecast to increase to a record 2.224 billion metric tons according to the International Grain Council.
Record harvests of wheat and corn are also forecast at 774 million metric tons and 1.139 billion metric tons respectively. Soybean world production is also forecast up and just shy of the 2018-2019 record production level. Global rice production is also forecast to increase in 2020-21 to a peak of 504 million metric tons.
Dr. Oppenheimer’s key climate claims presented at the 1988 hearing as discussed above are unsupported by subsequent data as follows:
Claims of increasing rates of global average temperature anomaly and sea level rise (0.6 degrees C per decade and 2.5 inches per decade sea level rise) due to increased greenhouse gas emissions are unsupported based on measured data covering the three-decade period from 1988 to 2021. These claims have been proven WRONG.
Claims that significant increases of rates of global average temperature anomaly and sea level rise will occur for each decade of delay in global greenhouse gas abatement have been proven WRONG.
The claim that there is no natural limit to future global average temperature anomaly increases due to greenhouse gas emissions has been proven WRONG.
Claims that global food shortages could occur because of global average temperature anomaly increases caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions have been proven WRONG.
The next presenter was Dr. George Woodwell, Director, Woods Hole Research Center.
Dr. Woodwell noted the following key points:
“We are embarked on a period of drastic climate change.”
“We expect that that (doubling of carbon dioxide) would occur sometime early in the next century, 2030 or so.”
“We expect the means (global average temperature anomaly) to run for the earth as a whole somewhere between 1 and a half and 5 and a half degrees C.”
“The effect will be an increase in sea level of 30 cm to 1.5 m (about 1 foot to about 5 feet) over the next 50 – 100 years.”
“We have the potential, as Dr. Oppenheimer just pointed out, of changing climate zones, altering the productivity of agricultural and changing the potential of earth for fixing green plants and changing it drastically.”
“If warming proceeds rapidly enough to destroy forests (1 degree C per decade), that component can expand considerably.”
Dr. Woodwell’s claims are addressed as follows:
Previously discussed UAH satellite measured temperature anomaly data from 1988 to 2021 (33 years) shows a global average temperature anomaly rate of about 0.14 degrees C per decade or about 0.59 degrees C increase by year 2030 from 1988 versus Dr. Woodwell’s claims of 1.5 to 5.5 degrees C increase from year 1988 to 2030.
Previously discussed NOAA absolute global sea level rise rate of 0.7 inches per decade means a 50-year increase to year 2038 of 3.5 inches and a 100-year increase to year 2088 of 7 inches versus Dr. Woodwell’s claims of about 12 to 60 inches in the next 50 to 100 years. NOAA coastal tide gauge data updated to year 2020 at hundreds of locations are not showing acceleration of rates of coastal sea level rise.
Regarding potential reductions in global food production prior discussions document world record high food production levels of grains, wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, etc. Additionally, large population regions of the earth also reflect record high food production as noted in the items presented below addressing food production in China, India and South Africa.
Concerning negative impacts on global greening caused by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases NASA satellite observations reflect the opposite occurring as noted in the study below indicating that from a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetation lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years due to rising levels of CO2.
Regarding negative impacts of greenhouse gases on global forests a recent study by the University of Maryland shows otherwise as noted below.
“News headlines report a world constantly beset by deforestation and desertification, but new research suggests the planet may not be as tree-damaged as once thought.
Although agricultural expansion in the tropics has swallowed vast areas of the rainforest, climate change has allowed a greater number of new trees to grow in areas previously too cold to support them.
Scientists at the University of Maryland analyzed satellite pictures showing how the use of land on Planet Earth has altered over a 35-year period. The study, published in Nature journal, is the largest of its kind ever conducted.
The research suggests an area covering 2.24 million square kilometers – roughly the combined land surface of Texas and Alaska, two sizeable US states – has been added to global tree cover since 1982. This equates to 7% of the Earth’s surface covered by new trees”
Additionally claims that greenhouse gas increases are driving more forest fires around the world have also been shown to be wrong based on NASA satellite data as noted below.
Regarding Dr. Woodwell’s key comments we have the following conclusions:
Claims that the global average temperature anomaly will increase by 1.5 to 5.5 degrees C by year 2030 have been proven WRONG.
Claims that global sea level rise will further increase by 30 cm to 1.5 m in the next 50 to 100 years have been proven WRONG.
Claims that global agriculture production and world greening and forest growth will be negatively impacted by increasing greenhouse gas emissions have been proven WRONG.
There were a few other presenters at the hearing, but they basically continued to address the same type of claims as previously discussed.
Subsequent to the 1988 Senate hearing on global warming the UN IPCC has conducted a number of climate analysis reports and concluded that there are significant limitations to climate models being able to provide accurate future climate predictions that cannot be overcome.
The UN IPCC Third Assessment Report (AR3) was issued in year 2001 more than a decade after the 1988 hearing. That report finally acknowledged that it is not possible to develop climate models that can accurately model global climate and provide future climate predictions.
Specifically, the report in Section 188.8.131.52 noted:
“In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by generation of ensembles model solutions.”
Claims at the 1988 Democratic global warming hearing that climate models can be developed to provide accurate assessments of future climate states have been proven WRONG.
UN IPCC Assessment Reports to date provide climate model scenarios (referred to as RCPs) that are used to suggest various possible climate states in the future. The RCPs that were included in the AR5 report issued in 2013 were identified as RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0 and RCP 8.5 with assumed greenhouse gas emissions varied from low scenario (2.6) to high scenario (8.5) along with numerous other assumptions.
However, these climate scenarios are all qualified as follows:
“The scenarios should be considered plausible and illustrative, and do not have probabilities attached to them.” (12.3.1; Box1.1)
Climate models may serve useful purposes in academic and scientific studies but they are based upon conjecture and speculation since the RCP’s climate scenarios utilized are simply “plausible” and “illustrative” and have no probabilities associated with their scenarios. These scenarios cannot be used to establish accurate assessments of future climate states.
The UN IPCC high carbon emission scenario RCP 8.5 has been challenged numerous times including by former chief scientist for Obama’s Energy Department Steven Koonin for positing completely ridiculous and implausible assumptions of increases in coal use a century from now which is just one of dozens of assumptions thrown into these scenarios.
“A drumroll moment was Zeke Hausfather and Glen Peter’s 2020 article in the journal Nature partly headlined: “Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome.”
“This followed the 2017 paper by Justin Ritchie and Hadi Dowlatabadi asking why climate scenarios posit implausible increases in coal burning a century from now. And I could go on. Roger Pielke Jr. and colleagues show how the RCP 8.5 scenario was born to give modelers a high-emissions scenario to play with, and how it came to be embraced despite being at odds with every real-world indicator concerning the expected course of future emissions.”
Yet this completely ridiculous scenario has been exploited by charlatan climate alarmist media such as the New York Times to manufacture unrealistic claims trying to mislead the country and its leaders that climate impacts in the future are much more severe than expected when in fact these claims are totally bogus and represent scientifically unsupported alarmist exaggerated propaganda.
“To this day, the print edition of the New York Times has never mentioned RCP 8.5, the unsupported emissions scenario on which so many of its climate jeremiads rest.”
The UN IPCC has failed to develop climate analysis scenarios that have defined probabilities and instead simply invented scenarios using conjecture and speculation that have no scientifically defined event probabilities. These scenarios are simply tools for exploring guess work which climate alarmist schemers are misrepresenting to the public and exploited by Biden and Democratic Party politicians to push economically damaging and unnecessary climate legislation and mandates.
This is exactly what the Democratic Party 1988 Senate Hearings on Global Warming represented as exposed by the incredible number of flawed conclusions, claims and models as identified above.
In addition to the flawed climate scenarios the UN IPCC computer models are also flawed and have failed to represent global average temperature anomalies with accuracy as noted in the graph below which shows the UN IPCC models (referred to as CMIP5 generation) failing to project results anywhere close to measured global average temperature anomalies from 1979 through 2018.
The most recent climate models developed are identified by the UN IPCC as IPCC Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 models (CMIP6 generation) that utilize about 50 different sets of models (magically if you create 50 climate models where each model can’t possibly be right and average them you end up with “robust” and useful outcomes according to climate alarmist scientists) to attempt to perform climate analysis forecasts of future climate outcomes.
A recent comparison of the effectiveness of the latest spread of UN IPCC model results trying to replicate the actual global average temperature anomaly measurements covering the period of 1979 to 2019 again shows very poor agreement with the actually measured global average temperatures anomaly data (dark green) during this period. Additionally, the CMIP6 models are increasingly divergent in temperature outcomes versus the CMIP5 models which is clearly moving in the wrong direction.
The differences between the UN IPCC model outcomes and measured temperature anomaly data are statistically significant and shows the models have been invalidated.
Use of UN IPCC climate scenarios and computer model outcomes are derived through use of conjecture and speculation and completely unsuited for purposes of regulatory driven mandates and commitments that require the expenditure of trillions of dollars of global capital which can be utilized for much greater benefit in dealing with known massive global problems including poverty, education and health care.
Climate alarmism started 33 years ago at the 1988 Democratic Party Senate hearings on global warming with these hearings clearly representing nothing but contrived speculation, conjecture, exaggeration, distortion, and deception in making scientifically unsupported claims in addressing climate issues.
The findings and conclusions of the 1988 Democratic Party Global Warming hearing have been proven WRONG.
The Democratic Party’s pattern of climate alarmist distortion and deception has continued for more than three decades and is thriving under the incompetent energy leadership of Biden, the Democratic Party and their media shills who want to impose massive economic damage upon the country that will accomplish absolutely nothing regarding global climate impacts with natural climate variation much more likely controlling global climate outcomes.