The current cold temperatures have brought back the "serious threat" claims made by climate change alarmists.

Richard C.J. Somerville, climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego Institution of Oceanography, wrote "Cold comfort," an op-ed recently published in newspapers throughout the country.

He grouses that people don't take the "here and now" consequences of climate change seriously — pointing out that only 40 percent of Americans see it as a threat.

Somerville posits: "the medical profession and communication experts may have much to teach those climate scientists" because "Priming patients to appreciate the value of medical diagnostic tests has been shown to make them more likely to take these tests and then act on the results."

What Somerville misses in the analogy is that the data backs up the medical case. For example, getting a mammogram catches breast cancer early and increases survival rates. The data has shown that medical science is correct.

On the contrary, the data doesn't support the claims made by climate scientists — but they just keep making them.

In Somerville's column, he offers several familiar, easily disproven statements:

· "Low-lying areas are threatened by sea-level rise" which will result in "millions of environmental refugees" and;

· "Major threats to agricultural productivity as rainfall patterns change and as heat waves, floods, droughts and other weather extremes worsen."

Because my expertise is in communications not climate, I reached out to someone who could help me: Robert Endlich — who does in fact have both the education and experience. Endlich, who served as a U.S. Air Force weather officer for 21 years and holds a Bachelor of Science in geology and an Master of Science in meteorology, offered me pages of data and documentation, which I've summarized.


Environmental Refugees

If the threat of "environmental refugees" sounds familiar, it should. The 2005 U.N. Environmental Program forecast 50 to 100 million climate refugees. In 2005 a U.N. report by Norman Myers: "Environmental Refugees, an Emergent Security Issue," predicted: "The environmental refugees total could well double between 1995 and 2010."

In early 2011, Gavin Atkins asked: "What happened to the climate refugees?" In his Asian Correspondent post, he used census records to show that the populations in the low-lying areas predicted to "flee a range of disasters including sea level rise" had actually grown — including no fewer than the top six of the very fastest growing cities in China.

Based on both in-person observation and historic evidence from Western Europe, Endlich has made a study of sea-level rise. He told me: "What may be news to many is that there is widespread evidence in the Mediterranean Basin and the English Channel coast that sea levels in Roman and Medieval periods were significantly higher than at present. The Roman port of Ostia Antica, the port at Ephesus, now in Turkey, and Pisa have histories showing the Mediterranean Seas significantly higher than today's sea levels."

 

Worsening weather extremes

Somerville stated: "The consequences include heat waves, floods, droughts, and other weather extremes." Endlich shared the following with me:

Heat Waves: Dr. Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology offered Senate testimony on Jan. 16. She showed an analysis of 982 stations from the U.S. Historical Climate Network for the 48 continental states with more than 80 years of record. The data show a strong peak of record maximum daily temperatures occurred in the 1930s, with no increasing trend in the post-WWII years when CO2 started its modern increase.

Of the 50 states, the number of state maximum record temperatures obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center, by decade, shows that in the 1930s, 23 states set their all-time high temperatures, by far the largest number of such record highs. There has not been a single state record maximum set in the 21st Century.

Droughts: The most-often used indicator of drought is the Palmer Drought Severity Index. Curry's testimony included a PDSI chart, showing the most severe droughts in the 102-year record 1910-2012, were in the 1930s and a lesser maximum in the 1950s. Data show no indication that drought severity has increased as CO2 has increased.

Floods: Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., from the University of Colorado, testified to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on July 18. He provided data from the U.S. Geological Survey, which show in the United States, floods have not increased in frequency or intensity since at least 1950, and that flood losses, as a percentage of gross domestic product have dropped by about 75 percent since 1940, based on data from NOAA's Hydrologic Information Center.

Somerville's climate refugees cannot be found. In the recent past, interglacial periods were at least 10 degrees warmer than the present with a lot less CO2 in the air; and the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm periods were significantly warmer than at present. By historic accounts, sea levels were many feet higher as recently as 1066 and 1300. His claims of heat waves, floods, and drought are easily disproven by looking at real-world data.

Climate scientists do have something to learn from the medical profession: if you want people to heed your warnings, they need to be backed up by the data.

Somerville's argument points out: "climate change does involve serious threats." The serious threat is the Obama/Podesta partnership pushing the executive order pen to punish people with new policies that kill jobs and increase energy costs all in the name of supposedly saving the planet.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE).