Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement in response to the White House’s release of its National Climate Assessment.
Chairman Smith: “The White House today released a report claiming that changes in regional U.S. weather can be attributed to manmade climate change. The climate is changing due to a number of factors, including human contributions and natural cycles. But the administration’s report includes unscientific characterizations on the connection between severe weather events and climate change and fails to explain the absence of warming over the last 15 years.
“This is a political document intended to frighten Americans into believing that any abnormal weather we experience is the direct result of human CO2 emissions. In reality, there is little science to support any connection between climate change and more frequent or extreme storms. It’s disappointing that the Obama administration feels compelled to stretch the truth in order to drum up support for more costly and unnecessary regulations and subsidies.”
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was critical of the draft National Climate Assessment, saying that “An overly narrow focus can encourage one-sided solutions, for instance by giving an impression that reducing greenhouse gas emissions alone will solve all of the major environmental concerns discussed in this report.” The NAS has also criticized “the lack of explicit discussion about the uncertainties associated with the regional model projections,” saying that “Decision makers need a clear understanding of these uncertainties in order to fairly evaluate the actual utility of using these projections as a basis for planning decisions.”
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is “high agreement” among leading experts that long-term trends in weather disasters are not attributable to human-caused climate change. Hurricanes have not increased in the U.S. in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900. The U.S. currently has gone over seven years without a Category 3 or stronger hurricane making landfall. Government data also indicate no association between climate change and tornado activity. The data on droughts paint a similar picture. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that “Climate change was not a significant part” of the recent drought in Texas. And the IPCC found that “in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, central North America ….” The IPCC also states there is “low confidence” in any climate-related trends for flood magnitude or frequency on a global scale.