Accuracy in Media

Al Gore and Michael Mann were laughed off the stage – again – for claiming this winter’s cold and snowy weather, in fact, strengthens the case that global warming is a real and present danger. Shortly thereafter, a study was published that suggests the Earth will become a “DESERT” by 2050 if global warming isn’t stopped.”

A sentence early in a story from The Mirror draws the map for where its story was headed.

“Over 25 percent of Earth will start experiencing the effects of ‘aridification’ by the year 2050 if humans don’t meet the changes proposed by the Paris climate agreement,” it said. “The study claims that if the Earth’s average temperature goes up by 2 degrees Celsius over the next 32 years, the planet will start to become a desert.”

According to NOAA, temperatures are rising .097 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, meaning they will rise less than 1 degree Fahrenheit over the next century, barring any technological advance.

Even more fortunately, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which had predicted in 2007 that drought would increase water stress for up to 250 million people on Earth, came back six years later and acknowledged this was probably not going to happen.

Roy Spencer, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, brought up two huge problems with the theory. It’s not going that way now, he said, and it wouldn’t go that way even if the Earth did heat up 2 degrees Celsius in the next 32 years.

“And yet satellites have been measuring global greening over the last few decades, especially in semi-arid areas,” Spencer wrote. “Sheesh. The headline is also dishonest … it would be physically impossible. All of that evaporated water from the ocean … none of it will fall on land, huh?”

There’s also the matter of such apocalyptic predictions going wrong. In 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted emissions of greenhouse gases would drive up the temperature by 0.3 degrees per decade. Since then, the rate has been 0.12 degrees.

In 2010, a NOAA scientist predicted we would get more hurricanes and they would be more severe, with the worst storms doubling in frequency. In fact, 2017 marked the end of one of the longest droughts in strong hurricane U.S. landfalls in the last 200 years. Its predictions on increased thunderstorm and storm severity also have been reduced to “low confidence” status.

In 2001, we were warned to watch out for increased fires associated with global warming and the effects they could have on ecosystems. But the total burned each year declined by 24 percent from 1998 to 2015.

A variety of academics have predicted the end of ice in the Arctic Ocean. It was supposed to end by 2007, one said, 2008 said another and 2012 still another. September Arctic sea ice extent has not decreased since 2007.

Still others, led by former NASA scientist James Hansen, predicted global warming would lead to melting and dislodging ice covers in West Antarctica, which could lead to a worldwide rise in sea level of 15-20 feet. In fact, since 1993, sea level has risen a total of three inches.

The worst had to be the casualty predictions. John Holdren, who served as President Obama’s science adviser, predicted in 1987 that global-warming-caused famine could kill as many as a billion people. He doubled down on that in 2009, saying we still could reach that grisly goal by 2020.

But things are going the other way. There was a 42 percent reduction in the number of hungry and undernourished people from the early ‘90s till 2014. The world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, and fewer people as a percentage of the population go hungry than ever before.

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