A staunch liberal and former navy weather expert writes to the New York Times and his local newspaper, the Summit Daily News to correct absurd media claims connecting ‘Superstorm Sandy’ to man-made global warming.
Citing one of the world’s top meteorologists as his source Dr. Martin Hertzberg tears a hole in the cherry-picked alarmist claims made in an article by Tim Lydon, an Alaskan parks ranger and occasional jobbing journalist who gets plenty of column inches pontificating about meteorology without any apparent science training. Dr. Hertzberg is co-founder and senior fellow of Principia Scientific International, a fast-growing science body campaigning for higher standards and greater transparency in discredited government science. While the Summit Daily News has published Hertzberg’s riposte there was no such joy at the NYT. Below is an unabridged version of Hertzberg’s letter:
Tim Lydon in his 12/7/12 article entitled “Super Storms, here they come” claims that Hurricane Sandy as well as last year’s giant storm near the Alaskan coast were “strikingly similar, and both point to a climate destabilized by fossil fuel emission.” He has cherry picked two cases, but what does the totality of the data show? The data for Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) from 1972-2012 shown in Energy Tribune (which includes Sandy in the 2012 data point) shows that the 2012 (ACE) was markedly lower than the average for that 40-year period. Here is Prof. William Grey, of CSU, one of the world’s most distinguished meteorologist on the subject: “The longest recorded period of no major (category 3,4,5) hurricane landfalls in the U. S. has occurred during the last several years (2006-2012). We have also had 20 fewer major U. S. hurricane landfall events in the last 47 year period (1960-2012) than we had during the earlier 47 year (1919-1965) period. And this decrease occurred during the time of rising CO2 levels”. Where is the destabilization Lydon is talking about?
Lydon then goes on to regurgitate the rogues gallery of climate change “talking points”: “warming oceans and rising sea levels” as “observable phenomena driven by the atmospheric build up of greenhouse gases”. Again, what do the data actually show? In www.climate4you.com October 2012 update, you will find that global sea surface temperatures like near-surface air temperatures have been essentially constant (or even decreased slightly) over the last 10 years. Lydon’s suggestion that the observed current sea level rise of about one-tenth of an inch in one year’s time can have any significant effect on a storm surge of 15-20 feet in a day’s time is clearly absurd.
The climate change echo chamber of environmental activists that Lydon and his fellow “Writers on the Range” are tuned in to is no less fact deficient than the right-wing, reactionary echo chamber of the Fox News network that we liberals detest. For some authenticity, integrity, and a breath of fresh air, the reader is referred to the recent open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations. It was signed by some 130 of the world’s most knowledgeable and distinguished scientists (including Prof Grey) and is available online at the Financial Post.
That letter tells it like it is:
“The incidence and severity of extreme weather has not increased…..the hypothesis that our emissions of CO2 have caused or will cause dangerous global warming is not supported by the evidence.”
Dr. Martin Hertzberg
Former U.S. Navy Meteorologist and climate science writer
 ‘Open letter to UN Secretary-General: Current scientific knowledge does not substantiate Ban Ki-Moon assertions on weather and climate, say 125-plus scientists,’ (Nov 29, 2012) opinion.financialpost.com (accessed online: December 12, 2012).