Climatologist Dr. John Christy demolishes warmists’ claims in testimony to Congress: ‘Extreme events, like the recent U.S. drought, will continue to occur, with or without human causation’

John R. Christy, PhD

Alabama State Climatologist

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

House Energy and Power Subcommittee

20 September 2012

For full text of testimony see here. & Full Hearing transcript here:

Selected Excerpts: To put it simply, Andreadis and Lettenmaier (2006) found that for the Midwest, “Droughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.” In other words, droughts have always happened in the Midwest and they are not getting worse.

Another extreme metric is the all-time record high temperature for each state. The occurrence of the records by decade (Figure 1.1 below) makes it obvious that the 1930s were the most extreme decade and that since 1960, there have been more all-time cold records set than hot records in each decade. The clear evidence is that extreme high temperatures are not increasing in frequency. The recent claims about thousands of new record high temperatures were based on stations whose length-of-record could begin as recently as 1981, thus missing the many heat waves of the 20th century. So, any moderately hot day now will be publicized as setting records for these young stations because they were not operating in the 1930s.

About 75 percent of the states recorded their hottest temperature prior to 1955, and, over 50 percent of the states experienced their record cold temperatures after 1940. Overall, only a third of the records (hot or cold) have been set in the second half of the whole period. One could conclude, if they were so inclined, that the climate of the US is becoming less extreme because the occurrence of state extremes of hot and cold has diminished dramatically since 1955. Since 100 of anything appears to be a fairly large sample (2 values for each of 50 states), this on the surface seems a reasonable conclusion.

Then, one might look at the more recent record of extremes and learn that no state has achieved a record high temperature in the last 15 years (though one state has tied Energy and Power Subcommittee 16 John R. Christy, 20 September 2012 theirs.) However, five states have observed their all-time record low temperature in these past 15 years plus one tie. This includes last year’s record low of 31°F below zero in Oklahoma, breaking their previous record by a rather

Climatologist Dr. John Christy: ‘Oil & other carbon-based energies are simply the affordable means by which we satisfy our true addictions – long life, good health, plentiful food…’

Christy: ‘Rising CO2 emissions are one indication of poverty-reduction which gives hope for those now living in a marginal existence without basic needs brought by electrification, transportation and industry. Additionally, modern, carbon-based energy reduces the need for deforestation and alleviates other environmental problems such as water and deadly indoor-air pollution. Until affordable and reliable energy is developed from non-carbon sources, the world will continue to use carbon as the main energy source.

When thinking about policy regarding CO2, one cannot ignore the immense benefits produced directly by CO2 or indirectly from in its relationship to low-cost energy. It is a simple fact that CO2 is plant food and the world around us evolved when levels of CO2 were five to ten times what they are today. Our green world is a consequence of atmospheric CO2. And, food for plants means food for people. The extra CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere not only invigorates the biosphere, but also enhances the yields of our food crops. In my view, this is a tremendous benefit to nature and to us.

Thus, if the country deems it necessary to de-carbonize civilization’s main energy sources, then compelling reasons beyond human-induced climate change need to be offered that must address, for example, ways to help poor countries develop affordable energy. Climate change alone is a weak leg on which to stand to justify a centrally planned, massive change in energy production, infrastructure and cost.