NOAA also keeps track of U.S. weather disasters that cost more than $1 billion, when
adjusted for inflation. Since 1992, there have been 136 such billion-dollar events.
Worldwide, the 10-year average for weather-related losses adjusted for inflation
was $30 billion a year from 1983-92, according to insurance giant Swiss Re. From
2004 to 2013, the cost was more than three times that on average, or $131 billion
Such figures are utterly meaningless, because they reflect changing economic and
social conditions, rather climatic factors.
It’s almost a sure thing that 2014 will go down as the hottest year in 135 years
of record keeping
According to more accurate satellite measurements, this year is running as only the
7th warmest since 1998.
The world’s oceans have risen by about 3 inches since 1992 and gotten a tad more
acidic – by about half a percent – thanks to chemical reactions caused by the absorption
of carbon dioxide, scientists at NOAA and the University of Colorado say.
Sea level has been rising steadily since the mid 19thC, with no evidence of long
In the last ten years, the rate of rise has decelerated by 44% to less than 7 inches
Oceans have been becoming slightly less alkali, and not more acidic, assuming any
changes have been measurable.
Every year sea ice cover shrinks to a yearly minimum size in the Arctic in September
– a measurement that is considered a key climate change indicator. From 1983 to 1992,
the lowest it got on average was 2.62 million square miles. Now the 10-year average
is down to 1.83 million square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data
Center. That loss – an average 790,000 square miles since 1992 – overshadows
the slight gain in sea ice in Antarctica, which has seen an average gain of 110,000
square miles of sea ice over the past 22 years.
In the last two years, Arctic sea ice extent in September has seen a strong recovery
from the 2012 record low, and is close to 2005 levels.
The effects of climate change can be seen in harsher fire seasons. Wildfires in the
western United States burned an average of 2.7 million acres each year between 1983
and 1992; now that’s up to 7.3 million acres from 1994 to 2013, according to the
National Interagency Fire Center.
Since 1992, there have been more than 6,600 major climate, weather and water disasters
worldwide, causing more than $1.6 trillion in damage and killing more than 600,000
people, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in
Belgium, which tracks the world’s catastrophes.
As is often the case with these alarmist scares, the numbers they quote are given
without any context.
According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (EMDAT), which
he quotes, the death toll in the last two decades has been stable and running at
a fraction of earlier decades.
According to the Centre, the death toll in 2013 was well below average at 21122,
and this year so far is running at just 1594.
US Climate Extreme Index
In the United States, an index of climate extremes — hot and cold, wet and dry —
kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has jumped 30 percent
from 1992 to 2013, not counting hurricanes, based on 10-year averages.
The index he refers to, of course, is the one that counts a mild winter as extreme.
It is the same index which regards 1936 as one of the least extreme years, although
it had the 2nd coldest winter on record, and the hottest summer. NOAA’s system is
so sophisticated that it averages the two together to make the year average!
The reality is that landfalling hurricanes at an all-time low.
And some of the biggest climate change effects on land are near the poles, where
people don’t often see them. From 1992 to 2011, Greenland’s ice sheet lost 3.35 trillion
tons of ice, according to calculations made by scientists using measurements from
NASA’s GRACE satellite. Antarctica lost 1.56 trillion tons of ice over the same period.
GRACE satellite data only began to be collected in 2002, so we simply don’t know
what has happened since 1992. Moreover, margins of error, and issues such as glacial
isostatic adjustment make any trends over such a short period of time meaningless.
Scientists simply point to greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide, that
form a heat-trapping blanket in our air.
Between 1998 and 2013, annual global emissions of CO2 increased by 48%, according
During the same period, global temperatures have been flat.