By: Suzanne Penegor
Oregon State Climatologist George Taylor returned to the Lane County Rubicon Society on Sept. 27th to speak as a private citizen regarding global warming issues. The political climate for Taylor has been heated since he disagreed with Gov. Kulongoski by refusing to toe the “politically
correct” political line.
Taylor said he still expects the governor to take away his title of state climatologist because of a slight disagreement on global warming issues. When Kulongoski developed the Oregon Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reductions recently, he didn’t even ask for Taylor’s input.
Taylor discussed the history of climate cycles and how, for example,
Oregon’s climate was actually much warmer in the 1930s than they are
today. Also in the early 1800s there were 2 years where we had no
summers in the US. Taylor said World War II enhanced a temperature
increase and discussed how cities’ temperatures tend to be higher than
rural areas due to human development. Taylor noted that where
measurements are taken can affect the temperatures and the data we use to determine climate changes.
Taylor said the greenhouse effect is invisible and essential to life on
Earth. He said 90% of it is water vapor and then the rest of it is
methane and carbon dioxide.
Taylor noted that the tropical pacific patterns, the El Nino and La Nina events, and the impact they have on global temperatures overall. He said humans have some impact, but not nearly as much as sunspot activity or natural disturbances like volcanic activity over time.
Taylor went on to say that those who espouse the global warming line often point to the snowpack levels. He said a Washington climatologist was fired over
climate issues that were not politically correct regarding snowpack levels and left sided concerns. Taylor said there are cyclical periods of La Nina and El Nino which effect snowpack levels.
He said the debate over sea level changes is an ongoing debate over whether the current changes are steady and reliable trends. He also mentioned how it is estimated that at the current rate, the global sea level may rise 8 to 17 inches per 100 years.
Moreover, heating the ocean takes a considerable amount of time. He
said in the 1940s there was also an increase in arctic temperatures. And in the 1970s the big concern in the media was the possibility of another ice age or global cooling.
Taylor goes on to say scientists believe that in 2020 the global climate could return to a cooler period as sunspot activity is expected to change.
Taylor addressed the issue of whether the glaciers, sharing how they are shrinking due to human impact. He said there was much melting of the glaciers before 1950 and the SUV theory was a bit off. Taylor said surface temperatures may not be the best measure of climate change anyway, particularly on where the measurements are taken.
It was noted that the Montreal Protocol banned the use of human-made
compounds that were suspected of damaging the ozone layer; however, no apparent change has occurred since that Protocol was created, so it
begs the question of whether humans really impact the ozone layer as
Taylor is a published author of several books regarding Oregon’s climate history.
Suzanne Penegor is a Local Activist serving to educate the community by building bridges to civic understanding.