Complaint to Ofcom Regarding The Great Global Warming Swindle

2. Complete Transcript and Rebuttal

Page 82



[Prof Richard Lindzen]

This is purely propaganda. Every textbook in meteorology is telling you, the main source of weather disturbances is the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles. And were told: in a warmer world this difference will get less. Now that would tell you, youll have less storminess, you'll have less variability. But for some reason, that isnt considered catastrophic, so youre told the opposite.

[Comment 99: This statement by Professor Lindzen is completely misleading, and is apparently intentionally so. Richard Lindzen is a very knowledgeable meteorologist, and it is therefore simply not credible that he could be completely unaware of the peer reviewed research that has been published on this subject (see below), and that he could simply be expressing an ill-informed opinion rather than setting out to deceive the audience. Note that to the best of our knowledge, Lindzen has never disputed in the peer reviewed literature any of the research findings described below.

While it is true that … the main source of weather disturbances is the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles …, this statement refers to the source of extra-tropical cyclogenesis – e.g. the formation of large depressions that track eastwards towards to UK, most often in autumn and spring. The truly catastrophic storms are the hurricanes that occur in the tropics, and the remnants of hurricanes that sometimes reach the extratropics, with further adverse impacts. The formation and sustenance of hurricanes is strongly linked to several factors that may change with climate (either naturally or under anthropogenic influence):


Sea Surface Temperature (SST): hurricanes tend to form once SST rises above about 26°C, which is why the Atlantic hurricane season lasts officially from 1 June to 30 November (the season during which Atlantic SST is above 26°C, on climatological average);


Upper Ocean Heat Content: linked to SST, ocean heat is the main source of the power of hurricanes; the effect of hurricane-force winds on the ocean is to draw water up from depths of several tens of metres; if the underlying layers are sufficiently warm, a hurricane will be sustained through this heat source;


Mid-tropospheric moisture: as water vapour condenses, latent heat is released; this also provides a source of heat to power the hurricane; air has the capacity to hold more water vapour as temperature rises (according to the long-established Clausius-Clapeyron relation), hence the warmer the air, the larger the potential latent heat source;


Vertical wind shear: in the Atlantic, hurricane formation is favoured by low vertical wind shear; in other words a situation in which light winds vary little with altitude through the atmosphere.

It is now well-established that the Atlantic has warmed considerably in the last 20 years. Whether or not this regional warming is closely linked to global warming, there has been a discernible impact on Atlantic hurricanes. In the tropical Atlantic, positive SST anomalies in recent years may have contributed to increasingly severe Atlantic hurricane seasons. (Saunders and Harris 1997, Emanuel 2005, Webster et al 2005, Foltz and McPhaden 2006).

Continued …

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Comment 99: Knowingly misleading statement about climate change and stormss]


Page 82 of 176

Final Revision

Last updated: 11 Jun 2007