FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Ebola Kills In Africa – Climate Scientists Chase The Ambulances
Climate Science Is To Science What John Edwards Is To Ethics
Image Credit Retraction Watch Blog
The grant money must be drying up like California. Maybe someone on their 5th Post-Doc felt driven to succeed by any means available. I’d prefer to believe that the latest pathetic meme-push to blame Africa’s terrible Ebola Outbreak to !GLOBALWARMING! is the pathetic last-gasp of a bankrupt research team attempting to cash in on enviro-scare Inc. just one more time. Or maybe Stephen Glass has a new gig with The Washington Post.
But no, this is the standard line you’ll get from a lot of environmental scientists when the topic of disease gets comingled with the fiction of IPCC Climate Forecasts. This 2009 article by Sonia Shah forms the basis for the latest !GLOBALWARMINGEMERGENCY!
According to the IPCC’s 2007 assessment, a 2- to 5-degree F increase in the average global temperature could lead by 2100 to longer seasons of malaria transmission in Africa and a 5 to 7 percent extension of the disease into higher latitudes. Coupled with projected population growth, the changing climate could nearly double the number of people at risk of infection from dengue fever by 2080.
The Shah article essentially repackages a 2002 article from Photogrammetric and Remote Sensing entitled “Climatic and Ecological Context of the 1994-1996 Ebola Outbreaks.” The researchers of this piece stated the following:
Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks occurred in 1 975-1 979 and 1994-1996 within tropical Africa. It was determined from Landsat satellite data that all outbreaks occurred in tropical forest with a range of human intrusions. Meteorological satellite data, spanning the 1981 to 2000 time period, showed that marked and sudden climate changes from drier to wetter conditions were associated with the Ebola outbreaks in the 1990s.
So given a background where a major Ebola outbreak is causing great human misery in West Africa, the recent science on disease outbreaks has been co-opted by the IFLS wing of the Climate Science community. Angela Fritz and Jason Samenow, the tellers of scary tales for the Washington Post, frighten us with the following:
As the globe warms, precipitation extremes are projected to increase. Periods of drought are expected to become more frequent in some areas while heavy rain events, when they occur, are forecast to become more intense. Presumably, those areas which see precipitation variability increases – with abrupt shifts from extremely dry to extremely wet periods – would be most vulnerable to Ebola outbreaks. But projecting future changes in precipitation on the regional scale is difficult.
So let’s examine what hasn’t been mentioned in above post. When Sonia Shah (referenced above) projected a miniature real-life version of Stephen King’s The Stand, she based her projections on a 2-5 degree Fahrenheit increase in average global temperatures by 2100. Given the 17 year and 10 month period from October 1996 to June 1014, this 2-5 degree global heat wave is not bloody likely. An alternative model that is not as arbitrary shows us that average temperature has risen by 0.31 degrees Centigrade between 1981 and 2014.
So that gives us an increase of about 0.55 Degrees Fahrenheit in 33 Years. This would equate to 0.017 degrees Fahrenheit per year. Or, a prediction of 1.7 Degrees Fahrenheit per century if we assume this model registers enough of an increase to escape the natural variation. We will know the singularity before !GLOBALWARMING! causes !EBOLA! to wipe out the planet.
But in the meantime; dead African children getting eaten by flies gives us an awesome Global Warming bumper-sticker campaign which is how we all know science gets done these days. Increasingly, Climate Science is to Science what John Edwards is to any sense of personal or professional ethics.