One of America’s most influential global warming skeptics, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers, has finally admitted that global warming is “caused by man.” Brad Johnson has the story.
During the hottest year ever recorded, following the hottest decade ever recorded, Russia is burning under heat not seen for at least 1000 years. Heat waves have set records throughout the United States and throughout the world. A monsoon season of unprecedented intensity has displaced tens of millions of people across Asia, threatening the nuclear states of China, Pakistan, India, and North Korea. The largest iceberg to calve from Greenland in fifty years has added to its precipitous decline of ice mass since 1980. Decades ago, scientists predicted these consequences of burning fossil fuels and heating the planet.
Yesterday, in what CNN anchor Rick Sanchez billed a “good, smart conversation,” Myers actually recognized the reality of a “consequential global warming caused by man,” when not repeating climate-denier talking points:
Is it caused by man? Yes. Is it 100% caused by man? No. There are other things involved. We are now in the sun spot cycle. We are now in a very hot sun cycle. there are many other things going on. But, yes, a significant portion of this is caused by greenhouse gases keeping heat on the shore, on the land, in the atmosphere that could have escaped without those greenhouse gases, so, yes, it’s warmer. . ..
There is absolutely something going on here for this summer being the hottest and some of the water that we have in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico the hottest ever on record which could cause a pretty significant hurricane season still to come.
Unfortunately, “scientist expert” Chad Myers (actually a bachelor-degree meteorologist, not a climate scientist) also made the blatantly false claim that we are “now in a very hot sun cycle.” In fact, the sun is just emerging from an extremely low two-year minimum of activity, with years to go before it will reach another peak. Since 1980, average solar irradiance has been on the decline, even as global temperatures have risen.
Myers has long abused his role at the “Most Trusted Name in News” to misinform the American public about the science of climate change. In October, 2005, Myers promoted the debunked idea of negative cloud feedback overwhelming global warming. In January, 2006, Myers promoted the debunked idea that urban heat islands were distorting official temperature records. In December, 2008, Myers told Lou Dobbs “to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant.” In April, 2010, Myers admitted the planet was warming, but accused climate scientists of corruption, questioned climate models, and implied that the sun is driving global warming.
Myers and Sanchez also promoted other denier canards, from petty jokes about Al Gore to a mention of winter in South America:
So it’s the coldest winter on record in Bolivia. Okay. So. Well does that counteract? Probably not. They’re having millions of fish killed because they’re freezing to death literally in Bolivia.
In fact, it is only the coldest winter in Bolivia in 47 years, not the “coldest winter on record.” In contrast, Russia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Niger, Sudan, Belarus, Ukraine, Cyprus, Finland, Qatar, St Helena, Solomon Islands, and Columbia have all seen all-time record-high temperatures this year. The global average temperature is at or near record highs, far above the long-term average. Fortunately, global warming has not yet gotten so extreme that record lows are never set “” but they are now greatly outpaced by record highs.
It’s an encouraging sign that Myers is now speaking more truth than misinformation during the killer summer of 2010, but the damage of his years of propaganda can never be undone.
SANCHEZ: I want to bring in Chad Myers. I trust him when he looks at stuff like this. What’s your take?
MYERS: You have to understand that 10% of an iceberg is above water. Above the surface. 90% is below. So there’s an awful lot of ice down below that you can’t see. It’s like the oil we can’t find. There’s more below than on top.
SANCHEZ: If it’s floating, that means all that stuff is eventually going to melt.
MYERS: Wouldn’t it be great to drag that where they need it in Russia? Hook it up to a ship and drive it right off to Moscow and put all the fires out.
SANCHEZ: What do you make of the situation in Moscow? 700 people a day dying, serious.
MYERS: You have asthma, people with respiratory problems, and they are literally passing away in the heat and in the smoke. 104 was the high temperature in Moscow last week. They don’t have air conditioning. like the guy said this is like going up to Yellow Knife up into Canada. There’s no such thing as air conditioning up there. You don’t need it.
SANCHEZ: Let me ask you the $60,000 question people always ask when they look at situations like this. If you listen to the right, they will tell you, as soon as they see a big snowfall in the winter, [in loud person voice] “See? Al Gore? You’re wrong. There is no such thing as global warming.”
MYERS: Right. Whenever he tries to have a global warming conference it snows.
SANCHEZ: They say, see, you’re wrong. Which is as irresponsible, and these are my words not yours, but it would seem it’s as irresponsible as every time there’s a lot of hot weather to go out and say [in loud person voice] “See? There is global warming.” The fact of the matter is, these things happen. And you usually don’t want to draw media conclusions from any of it but there are people who will be out there and they will say, “Well, you got 700 people dying in Moscow. You got a heat wave in the United States. And now Rick Sanchez is showing me this thing floating out there off the coast of Antarctica.” Is there any reason they should make any kind of “”
MYERS: I don’t think there is any question this is one of the hottest summers on record for many people, for millions and millions of people.
SANCHEZ: So? So?
MYERS: So it’s the coldest winter on record in Bolivia. Okay. So. Well does that counteract? Probably not. They’re having millions of fish killed because they’re freezing to death literally in Bolivia.
SANCHEZ: Right. I guess what I’m getting at and putting pressure on you “”
MYERS: No, bring it on.
SANCHEZ: Okay. Is there anything from your perspective “” and I know you are one of many scientist experts out there “” that would lead you to believe that because these three things are happening right now we’re more apt to be able to prove or somebody out there is able to prove that there is a consequential global warming caused by man? That’s the big part of this question.
MYERS: Is it caused by man? Yes. Is it 100% caused by man? No. There are other things involved. We are now in the sun spot cycle. We are now in a very hot sun cycle. there are many other things going on. But, yes, a significant portion of this is caused by greenhouse gases keeping heat on the shore, on the land, in the atmosphere that could have escaped without those greenhouse gases, so, yes, it’s warmer.
SANCHEZ: Let me ask you one final question then since you say that. Is it possible that these things could have happened independent of all of that and just been a natural phenomenon that happens on earth from time to time? These three.
MYERS: It does happen from time to time. The problem is, yes, we have video of this island. Okay. 50 years ago do we have video of an ice island on Greenland?
SANCHEZ: But the guys on the Titanic wish they had.
MYERS: Some kind of radar, yes. exactly. And Moscow? There are more people living in Moscow now but those fires are amazing. Those are literally devastating fires.
SANCHEZ: A good point. Interesting the way you’re putting that in perspective. The difference is the media attention on the things at the time. That doesn’t mean it isn’t in effect but it doesn’t mean it is the only conclusive effect.
MYERS: No. there is definitely something going on. It’s like being a cafeteria meteorologist. I want to pick that today. I’ll pick that today. I’m going to have the jello. I’ll have the fudgesicle. Whatever it might be. There is absolutely something going on here for this summer being the hottest and some of the water that we have in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico the hottest ever on record which could cause a pretty significant hurricane season still to come.
SANCHEZ: That’s a good, smart conversation. I thank you for having it with our viewers.
This Wonk Room cross-post is by Brad Johnson.