A few days ago, I was quite horrified to watch a fellow from the South African Weather Service (SAWS) explaining on TV that the recent large hailstorm that struck Krugersdorp and parts of Johannesburg was the result of climate change. He also claimed that the Durban floods a few days after the hailstorm were also the result of climate change.
If anybody should know the difference between climate and weather, it is the TV weatherman, who is a staff member of the SAWS.
Worldwide, there is no evidence of increased weather events as a result of man-induced ‘climate change’.
You will find from the SAWS’s own records that snow fell in Springbok on July 29, 1953, which was the first time since 1927. If snow fell in Springbok now, would the TV weatherman gleefully explain that the 2017 snow was as a result of climate change, but the 1927 and 1953 falls were not?
On October 28, 1917, extreme rain and gale-force winds struck Durban and surrounding areas. The Umgeni valley was flooded for several kilometres. The Umgeni railway bridge was washed away and houses were damaged. Lives were lost. Now, how does this differ from Durban 2017? Climate change?
In 1891, on March 15, heavy rain fell in Durban, accompanied by strong winds. Rainfall of 190 mm was recorded. Climate change again?
These weather events have always occurred – they are nothing new and not related to human activities.
Okay, the SAWS fellow may have been spurred on to heights of climate enthusiasm by his American counterparts. We have heard so much lately about the hurricanes which struck the US coast. But they are nothing unusual either. If one looks at the US hurricane record from 1851 to the present, the decade with the most hurricanes was 1941 to 1950; second was 1891 to 1900 and a close third was 1881 to 1890. The lowest for the entire period was 1971 to 1980, and the hurricane incidence for 1991 to 2000 was almost as high as 1861 to 1870. Stories about more hurricanes or more powerful hurricanes striking the US are just plain and simply not true.
I am so tired of people who should know better claiming that man-made climate change even exists, let alone that it is responsible for ‘extreme weather events’.
Do readers know that there has been no global warming this century. In fact, since 1998, the atmospheric temperature has not risen. But are we told this in the newspapers? No. Why not? In fact, the warmest enthusiasts say that the flat temperature signature since 1998 is ‘a pause’. The term ‘pause’ is supposed to say that it really is happening, but that you just cannot see it at the moment. This is like saying aliens from deep outer space are regularly landing on Table Mountain. This really is true, but you just cannot see them because they are temporarily invisible, but give it time and the temporary invisibility will go away. They will then be there in all their glory.
Get the picture? Well, I guess I mean: Get the nonpicture?
We even have characters internationally who claim that earthquakes and tsunamis are the result of climate change. In the face of such claims, the claim of aliens on Table Mountains is totally reasonable.
The pattern is worldwide. In Australia, the pattern of regional tropical cyclones shows that the incidence of such storms from 1970 to 1985 was far higher than in the last 15 years – over 50% higher, in fact.
Last thought: if any climate change brings about changes in the weather, why should all such changes be negative? Think about it. Basic stats says that this cannot be the case. If you flip a coin 50 times, you will not get 50 ‘heads’.
Dr Kemm is a nuclear physicist and is CEO of Nuclear Africa (Pty) Ltd as well as chairperson of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. He sits on the board of advisers of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, based in Washington DC. He is also a board member of GoNuclear Inc and EFN: USA, both based in Colorado, US – firstname.lastname@example.org