The Global Warming Challenge

Evidence-based forecasting for climate change

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Q&A With Senator Inhofe

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Below are excerpts from the Q&A session between Armstrong and Senator Inhofe. Full Text of Examining Threats and Protections For the Polar Bear.

Dr. Armstrong, when you were talking, this chart up here, first of all, did you say that you had a paper that you wrote in 1978?

Mr. Armstrong. I was writing books on long range forecasting then.

Senator Inhofe. You were writing books in 1978?

Mr. Armstrong. Well, I have been in this field for 48 years now.

Senator Inhofe. Wow. I thought maybe I heard wrong. You are the forecasting expert, I recognize that.

When I saw this before your testimony, the fact that they’re using the five years, it is my understanding that three of those years showed normal sea ice coverage with high numbers of polar bear births and only two showed receding with a slightly less births. But the USGS used the two years. Is this correct? Or is my information wrong?

Mr. Armstrong. I know there are a lot of questions about the quality of the data. My major point is, you cannot possibly use five years of data to estimate a causal relationship.

Senator Inhofe. But even with those five years of data, you cherry picked the two worst years, that would be even more egregious?

Mr. Armstrong. Yes.

Senator Inhofe. And Dr. Armstrong, in your, well, first of all, you probably don’t know this, I have been critical of computer modeling for quite some time and the deficiencies that are there, not just insofar as polar bears are concerned, but insofar as anthropogenic gases and what effect they actually have on climate change.
In your testimony, you point out that the USGS study included various assumptions. Can you briefly outline those assumptions?

Mr. Armstrong. Yes. There were five assumptions. The first assumption is that global warming will occur. The second assumption is that polar bears will obtain less food by hunting from reduced sea ice platform. The third is that bears will not be able to adequately obtain supplementary food, using other means from other sources.

Four, the designation of polar bears as an endangered species will solve the problem and will not have any detrimental effects. And five, and I think probably the most important one, is that there are no other policies that would produce a better outcome than those based on the endangered species classification.

Senator Inhofe. Well, I might disagree, I think your first one is more significant. But that is fine.

I appreciate that very much. I regret that I won’t be able to stay afterwards, to come and thank you individually for coming. But you have come a long way, and I appreciate all five of you being here and your testimony. Thank you for allowing me to go first, Madam Chairman.

Written by climatebet

February 6th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

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