President Obama is in Alaska for three days to tout his climate change agenda, intending to use the picturesque state as a backdrop, but a prominent climate scientist says the facts tell the opposite of story of the one Obama is presenting.
A summertime trip to Alaska makes for a useful visual for the president’s call for urgent action to combat climate change.
“President Obama will travel to Alaska on Monday to call for urgent and aggressive action to tackle climate change, capitalizing on a poignant tableau of melting glaciers, crumbling permafrost and rising sea levels to illustrate the immediacy of an issue he hopes to make a central element of his legacy,” wrote the New York Times on Sunday.
While the Times may accept the administration’s narrative for what’s happening in Alaska, Dr, Tim Ball, former University of Winnepeg climatology professor, isn’t buying it.
“The premise you set for your debate sets the stage and when you set it falsely, then you can say whatever you want,” said Ball, who notes that global temperatures have been dropping since the turn of the century, thus the change in terminology from global warming to climate change.
Activists are also spending less time discussing temperatures and more time pointing to more extreme events like tornadoes, droughts, cold snaps and heat waves. Ball says there’s a shred of truth there but it’s being badly distorted.
“Yes, there’s been slightly more extremes. That’s because the jet stream patterns are changing, because the earth is cooling down. All the arguments about sea level rise, about arctic ice disappearing, if you recall it’s not that long ago that our friend Al Gore was saying that there would be no summer ice in the arctic. I think the year he set for it was 2014. That proved to be completely wrong,” said Ball.
Far from the “melting glaciers” and “crumbling permafrost,” Ball says ice is growing in both polar regions.
“They had record Antarctic ice the last two years. Everybody thinks [measuring ice] is very simple, ‘Oh, you take a satellite image and measure the area.’ It doesn’t work that way. You can have water on top of the ice and the satellite doesn’t see that as ice. It sees it as water. You also get the ice breaking up and the satellite systems that they use can’t distinguish between broken ice. Is it 90 percent covered? Is it 80 percent covered?” said Ball.
“They don’t make those kinds of distinctions. One of the things that causes change is changing wind patterns. That’s what I mentioned earlier. The jet stream patterns have been changing and that’s been causing shifts in the way the ice forms and the way the ice breaks up,” he explained.
Ball says reliable climate models suggest a cooling period that may well last and deepen over the next 25 years. He says it’s all predicated on a noticeable decrease in solar activity.
“When there are lots of sunspots the earth is warm. When there are very few it’s colder. The sunspots are not actually causing the temperature to change. They’re a manifestation of changes in the magnetic field of the sun. As the magnetic field of the sun varies, it controls the amount of cosmic radiation reaching the lower atmosphere. That determines the amount of cloud cover we’ve got, which then, in turn, controls the temperatures,” said Ball.
Despite the data being clear, Ball says none of that matters to those pushing the climate change agenda. And he says the agenda may well come to a head later this year.
“In November, in Paris, is a very large climate conference at which they’re going to try essentially reconstitute the old Kyoto Protocol to shut down or blame developed nations for burning coal and creating CO2 and then transfer wealth from the wealthy nations to the poorer nations,” said Ball.
As the earth gets cooler, Ball says the climate change activists are forced to create more and more urgency because science is not their side.
“As things don’t turn out as they’re forecasting it to turn out, then their credibility disappears.” said Ball. “You’re going to see more and more of these claims about extreme conditions. Of course, the president’s exploiting that with his visit to Alaska.”