Capital Briefs

Humans aren’t to blame for change at ntl. parks

This article originally appeared on heartland.org.

The climate is changing, but Professor Daniel B. Botkin believes the best-available evidence does not show those changes are humankind’s fault.

Botkin, professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California-Santa Barbara, dissects a report issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), “National Landmarks at Risk, How Rising Seas, Floods, and Wildfires Are Threatening the United States’ Most Cherished Historic Sites.”

UCS’s four authors treated research from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other global warming alarmists as accurate. Then they described the predicted effects of global warming for 16 American historic sites. According to the UCS analysis, 11 of the sites are threatened by rising sea levels and their consequences (coastal erosion and flooding); two by inland flooding; two by wildfires; and one by “extreme heat and drought.”

Botkin, who has done original research and published on the claims of human-caused warming and its possible effects on ecological systems for more than 20 years, points out to estimate the possible effects properly, one must begin with sound science. He then undertakes a short but damning critique of each of the scientific claims cited by UCS.

Concerning the link between rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperature, Botkin notes Earth’s surface and atmospheric temperatures aren’t tracking the rise in carbon dioxide. Because the models and reality diverge, the models cannot be relied upon for predictions about the future.

Regarding sea level rise, Botkin reports sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age and the current rates of sea level rise, contrary to model predictions, are not increasing. Sea level rise is a problem for historic coastal sites, but not a human-caused problem. We should have been planning to deal with natural sea level rise for decades.

Based on climate models, UCS reports 12 of the 16 sites are in danger of flooding as the frequency of severe storms and their landfalls will increase. But contra the climate models, Botkin reports, severe storm frequency shows variation over time but no overall increase. Once again, he notes, “since the climate models don’t even come close to forecasting temperature change, we cannot trust them to forecast changes in storm frequency.”

In addition, proposed threats from extremely hot days are not borne out by actual measurements, since there has not been an increase in the average number of very hot days as measured by United States Historical Climatology Network weather stations that have been in operation since 1930.

Botkin recognizes national parks and other historic sites face a variety of challenges, but the challenges aren’t due to anthropogenic warming. Some of the problems parks face are due to natural climate change, others are due to decisions made about park management. These problems have nothing to do with human emissions of carbon dioxide.

SOURCE: National Parks Traveler


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