Study refutes global warming claims after severe winter weather strikes
The term global warming wasn't used much over the winter on the Gogebic Range.
With a 110-year record set for the coldest December through February period in Ironwood, as revealed by the National Weather Service office in Marquette, it was more like global freezing.
The early arrival of spring weather in 2011 and years preceding has all but been forgotten with the past two severe, "old-fashioned" winters.
Now, an international panel of climate scientists and economists released a new report Wednesday that finds benefits of global warming "greatly exceed any plausible estimate of its costs."
In other words, we'll benefit from what is now being called climate change.
The new report is through The Heartland Institute. It summarizes scholarly research published as recently as January on impacts, costs and benefits of climate change. It contains peer-reviewed studies of the impact of rising levels of carbon dioxide - a greenhouse gas produced during the burning of fossil fuels - on plants and soils, agriculture, forests, wildlife, ocean life and humankind.
The authors found higher levels of carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures benefit nearly all plants, leading to more leaves, more fruit, more vigorous growth, and greater resistance to pests, drought and other forms of stress.
They contend wildlife benefits as habitats grow and expand.
Naturally, that would make sense with the Gogebic Range deer herd, which certainly prospers following mild winters and suffers numerous losses during severe ones.
The new report contends even polar bears, long the poster child of anti-global warming activist groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, are benefiting from warmer temperatures.
"Despite thousands of scientific articles affirming numerous benefits of rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes almost no mention of any positive externalities resulting from such," said one of the report's lead authors, Dr. Craig D. Idso.
He said the report, "Climate Change Reconsidered II," corrects the "failure," presenting an analysis of thousands of "neglected" research studies IPCC has downplayed or ignored in its reports.
The authors look closely at claims climate change will injure coral and other forms of marine life. They conclude such claims lack scientific foundation and often are grossly exaggerated, pointing out corals have survived warming periods in the past that caused ocean temperatures and sea levels to be much higher than today's levels or those likely to occur in the next century.
The authors contend the world's economies are heavily dependent on fossil fuels because such fuels are and will continue to be safer, less expensive, more reliable, and of vastly greater supply than alternative fuels, such as wind and solar.
They claim dramatically reducing the use of fossil fuels would have devastating effects on workers and consumers of both developed and developing worlds, leading to severe hardship and even deaths.
The authors call for adopting new energy and environmental policies that "acknowledge current market and environmental realities to encourage economic growth as the foundation for a cleaner environment, responsible development and use of fossil fuels until superior energy sources are found," and repeal of many of the regulations, subsidies and taxes passed at the height of the man-made global warming scare.
Winter temperatures in the contiguous United States have declined by more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit during the past 20 years, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data show. The data contradict assertions that human-induced global warming is causing a rise in winter temperatures.
Several other cities in Michigan and Wisconsin also experienced their coldest winters in recorded history this year.
Data also contradict assertions that the extremely cold winter of 2013-'14 is a one-time anomaly. The winters of 2000-'01 and 2009-'10 were similarly cold across the U.S., according to NOAA data.
NOAA findings show all nine U.S. climate regions experienced winter temperature declines.
"They are all in a downtrend," the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project observed in a blog post on the cooling trend. "Not all obviously statistically significant, but no region had warming."