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Fourth National Climate Assessment-Things You Should Know About Its Creation

Updated on December 15, 2018
Robert Kernodle profile image

I am a serious amateur who has been independently researching and writing about climate issues since 2009.

Screenshots of covers for Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 Fourth National Climate Assessment
Screenshots of covers for Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 Fourth National Climate Assessment

The Fourth National Climate Assessment is a two-volume report -- the fourth of its kind, congressionally mandated by law through the Global Change Research Act of 1990, and produced under the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).

USGCRP in Federal Government Context

Source

Development of the report was overseen by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research (SGCR) through a Federal Science Steering Committee (SSC), made up of representatives from USGCRP agencies and appointed by the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, for which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) served as the administrative agency, by establishing the report's procedures.

Federal Law

The Global Change Research Act of 1990 (which mandates the climate report) is 104 STAT. 3096 PUBLIC LAW 101-606 --NOV. 16, 1990. It was enacted:

To require the establishment of a United States Global Change Research Program aimed at understanding and responding to global change, including the cumulative effects of human activities and natural processes on the environment, to promote discussions toward international protocols in global change research, and for other purposes.

In Sec. 101. Findings and Purpose (a) (2), the following statements appear:

... human-induced changes, in conjunction with natural fluctuations, may lead to significant global warming and thus alter world climate patterns and increase global sea levels. Over the next century, these consequences could adversely affect world agricultural and marine production, coastal habitability, biological diversity, human health, and global economic and social well-being.

Enabling Spread of False Information

Although natural changes to climate are mentioned, the overriding tone seems to echo greater concerns about human-caused changes, thus establishing (in American law) a priority focus on human causes, similar to the priority focus of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This association between a federal law and an international directive is shown by the fact that the Chairperson of the Federal Science Steering Committee, of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, that oversaw development of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, was a lead author for the IPCC's Third, Fourth, and Fifth Assessment Reports (2001, 2007, and 2014) and the IPCC Technical Paper on Water (2008).

Also, the Executive Director of USGCRP [remember, the umbrella organization overseeing the report] is the person who led US Government reviews of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fifth assessment report from Working Group 1 and has been a member of the US review team for all of the other IPCC Working Group products.

Even more, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established the procedures for the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

NOAA seems to find itself amid controversy about handling temperature data in a way that insures findings of "global warming".

Should an agency in the midst of such controversy be the agency establishing procedures for a national climate assessment? -- this seemingly would extend such controversy to a major climate report.

Furthermore, clear executive ties to the IPCC and its dubious emphasis on climate models, as opposed to actual observations, seemingly would add further controversy. Thus, the fact that US law and IPCC directives both shine a light on human causes, is no coincidence. It is as though IPCC directives have tentacles into American politics, which speaks to the unquestioned reach of the IPCC.

False Statements

The first few sentences of summary findings from Volume 2 of the Fourth National Climate Assessment make blatantly false statements about extreme climate events. These false statements appear to serve as main supporting facts for the report's overall claim of human-caused disruption:

  • "More frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities."
  • "In the absence of significant global mitigation action and regional adaptation efforts, rising temperatures, sea level rise, and changes in extreme events are expected to increasingly disrupt and damage critical infrastructure and property, labor productivity, and the vitality of our communities. "

Such statements ignore the actual facts that extreme trends in droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, snowfall, and sea-level rise do not exist.

Extreme Trend in Droughts Non-existent

From NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
From NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information | Source
From Nature, volume 491, pages 435–438 (15 November 2012)
From Nature, volume 491, pages 435–438 (15 November 2012) | Source

Extreme Trend in Hurricanes Non-existent

From NOAA National Climate Data Center
From NOAA National Climate Data Center | Source
From NOAA National Climate Data Center
From NOAA National Climate Data Center | Source

The ACE Index is a standard measure of hurricane intensity -- "Accumulated Cyclone Energy". The red horizontal lines show no trends here.

Extreme Trend in Tornadoes Non-existent

From NOAA National Climate Data Center
From NOAA National Climate Data Center | Source
From NOAA National Climate Data Center
From NOAA National Climate Data Center | Source

Extreme Trend in Snow Cover Non-existent

From Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, 2016, US Environmental Protection Agency
From Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, 2016, US Environmental Protection Agency | Source

Extreme Trend in Wildfires Non-existent

From Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, June 5 2016
From Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, June 5 2016 | Source

Extreme Trend in Sea-Level Rise Non-existent

Cover image of the paper by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner
Cover image of the paper by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner | Source
Chart from paper by Holgate, S.J. 2007. On the decadal rates of sea level change during the twentieth century. Geophysical Research Letters
Chart from paper by Holgate, S.J. 2007. On the decadal rates of sea level change during the twentieth century. Geophysical Research Letters | Source
Conclusion from paper by Houston, J.R. and Dean, R.G., 2011. Sea-level acceleration based on U.S. tide gauges and extensions of previous global-gauge analyses. Journal of Coastal Research
Conclusion from paper by Houston, J.R. and Dean, R.G., 2011. Sea-level acceleration based on U.S. tide gauges and extensions of previous global-gauge analyses. Journal of Coastal Research | Source
Conclusion from paper by Curtis E. Larsen and Inga Clark (2006) A Search for Scale in Sea-Level Studies. Journal of Coastal Research: Volume 22, Issue 4: pp. 788 – 800.
Conclusion from paper by Curtis E. Larsen and Inga Clark (2006) A Search for Scale in Sea-Level Studies. Journal of Coastal Research: Volume 22, Issue 4: pp. 788 – 800. | Source

Conclusion

The Fourth National Climate Assessment, therefore, falls apart because of erroneous claims alone.

Amazingly, data from the very organization (NOAA) that established procedures for the report contradict the report's major claims. This seems to be a clear indicator that the Fourth National Climate Assessment allows politics to undermine real-world observations, thereby reducing its credibility to zero.

© 2018 Robert Kernodle

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    • Robert Kernodle profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Kernodle 

      5 weeks ago

      ptosis,

      Allow me to respond:

      1. ["What a complete joke to your assertion that the FNCA made 'blatantly false statements' and your lame evidence is a chart that only goes back to 1890."]

      Funny you call what I present a "joke", which I am "asserting", when the very thing you do by saying this is to make an unsupported assertion of your own, indicating your lack of focus to see that my words ARE supported, in part, by NOAA's very charts. Do you know who NOAA is? -- it is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the same organization that established the standards for the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Their charts clearly show no extreme trends in events that the climate assessment claims threaten humanity.

      How do you suppose an organization that sets standards for the assessment can ignore its own data about a significant portion of the past, to assert a future trend that has not even been observed in this organization's history? I'll tell you how -- they defer to unproven, irrationally popularized models, as if these unproven models magically tell us truths that the past indicates are otherwise. How is it that these unproven models can ignore the fact that, for the past 225 years, an extreme trend in droughts has NOT been observed? That's the real joke.

      As for my "lame chart" ONLY going back to 1890, you obviously do not realize that this is pretty far back, in terms of data collected by living humans, and that there are NOT any charts that go back farther for these particular measures, because reliable recorded observations before then do NOT exist. That's 225 years of history where humans have recorded these observations that do NOT show any extreme trend in droughts. NO extreme trend in droughts for 225 years -- many of those later years where CO2 was "skyrocketing" by alarmist standards, and yet the future is somehow supposed to be different. How is it that those later years are in line with the earlier years where the CO2 was NOT "skyrocketing"?

      2. ["All the others [charts] are more more infantile with mere decades of climate history."]

      What's infantile is your inability to realize that four decades or six decades of real-world observations is all we have, because reliable observations before then do NOT exist. Furthermore, this time interval is most sufficient to determine real-world trends, and the charts that you call "infantile" are NOT MINE -- five of them are those produced by the very organization that set standards for the climate assessment.

      3. ["Your blatant use of pseudoscience is based on the presumption that mere assertion is evidence."]

      Now you're just making stuff up. I have shown you charts - graphs produced by highly competent, respected, scientific organizations. Five of those charts are produced by the very organization that established standards for the climate report in question. I presented merely what other experts have put out there. Unless you are calling the data products of NOAA and other professional data handlers "pseudoscience", then you are just desperately using words aimlessly to vent your cognitive dissonance over seeing the truth.

      Words mean something. Don't just write them down because they look good to you. Make sure they make sense with respect to what they reference. Yeah, your words here might fool some people as authoritative criticisms, but, to truly intelligent people, they are clearly misapplied, erroneous misuses of language. As such, you are engaging in blatant pseudo-commentary.

      4. ["Please try to come up with a little more substance next time you want to convince people your argument."]

      What an arrogant, unreasonable attempt at discrediting somebody's words. I fear that you cannot recognize substance when you encounter it, which seems consistent with people who prefer to keep their focus in the clouds. Please try to get grounded in the facts the next time you want to convince people that you know what you are saying.

    • ptosis profile image

      ptosis 

      5 weeks ago from Arizona

      What a complete joke to your assertion that the FNCA made 'blatantly false statements' and your lame evidence is a chart that only goes back to 1890. All the others are more more infantile with mere decades of climate history.

      Your blatant use of pseudoscience is based on the presumption that mere assertion is evidence.

      Please try to come up with a little more substance next time you want to convince people your argument.

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