by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
This isn’t to say that climate change is the sole cause of the extreme heat that’s been suffocating much of the country this summer. Fingerprinting a single extreme-weather event as evidence of global warming–be it a heat wave, major storm, drought or flood–takes years of intensive study, though researchers are beginning to make such connections. The sheer number of factors that influence individual weather events is immense. But we do have a pretty good idea of how climate change will play out in the years to come–if it continues uninterrupted–and it will be a lot like this summer, last spring and last winter.
One suspects climatologist Patrick Michaels would be among the first to quibble with Walsh’s pronouncement, given the actual data on climate change.
Kokai: How about in just general terms of global warming. We’ve heard continued talk about global warming for decades now, and does the data show that we’ve had any global warming for the past decade or so?
Michaels: The surface temperature in most records — there’s one that’s different — but most records show no … significant warming since late in the year 1996. That’s quite some time ago. We are over 15 years now without any warming trend.