CNBC's Joe Kernen: Climate Science is "Witchcraft"

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:06:00 GMT

On Thursday’s Squawk Box, CNBC pundit Joe Kernen claimed that climate science is “witchcraft” for the conclusion that rising atmospheric CO2 from industrial emissions is increasing the planetary greenhouse effect. Arguing with Andrew Ross Sorkin about the news that January 2014 was the fourth warmest in recorded history for the planet, Kernen made several factually incorrect claims.

Kernen said: “The other warmer months were like in the ‘90s. Why would there be a warmer month when CO2 was 30% less in the ‘90s?”

In fact, the other warmer Januaries were in the 2000s: ‘07, ‘02, ‘03, ‘14. Five of the 6 next warmest months were in the ‘00s: ‘10, ‘05, ‘98, ‘04, ‘09, ‘13. 1998 was a warm year because of a very strong El Nino, such that some of the vast amount of heat stored in the oceans was added to the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide was 10 percent less in the 1990s, not 30 percent less. The global CO2 average for 1990-1999 was 360 ppm, which is 9 percent less than the 2013 annual average of 396.5 ppm. CO2 levels were 26 perecent less than the present day in the 1880s, and the earth was 0.8 C (1.44 F) cooler then.

Kernen has regularly questioned the science of man-made global warming and pilloried scientists and activists as the “eco-taliban.”