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Guardian Jump On The Extreme Weather Bandwagon Again

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | May 28, 2016

image

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/may/27/meteorologists-are-seeing-global-warmings-effect-on-the-weather

 

The Guardian have dredged up a US meteorologist, Paul Douglas, to come up with a list of “extreme” weather events, which he then uses to claim that climate change is making worse.

 

Whatever happened to normal weather? Earth has always experienced epic storms, debilitating drought, and biblical floods. But lately it seems the treadmill of disruptive weather has been set to fast-forward. God’s grandiose Symphony of the Seasons, the natural ebb and flow of the atmosphere, is playing out of tune, sounding more like a talent-free second grade orchestra, with shrill horns, violins screeching off-key, cymbal crashes coming in at the wrong time. Something has changed.

Let’s start by looking at some of his claims:

 

A warmer atmosphere is increasing water vapor levels overhead, juicing storms, fueling an increase in flash floods in the summer, and heavier winter snows along the East Coast of the USA. “All storms are 5 to 10 percent stronger in terms of heavy rainfall” explained Dr. Kevin Trenberth, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. “It means what was a very rare event is now not quite so rare.”

 

Yet even the IPCC tell us they can find no evidence that floods are getting bigger or more frequent on a worldwide basis:

 

image63

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/the-ipcc-floods/

 

And as far as the US is concerned, the USGS say:

Only one of four large regions of the United States showed a significant relationship between carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and the size of floods over the last 100 years. This was in the southwestern region, where floods have become smaller as CO2 has increased.

 

 

Storms? Surely any US meteorologist worth his salt must know that tornadoes have been getting much less frequent, and, more particularly, less violent since the 1970s.

 

 

EF3-EF5

http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/images/tornado/clim/EF3-EF5.png

 

 

 

 

He goes on to rehash the thoroughly discredited theory of Jennifer Francis that Arctic warming is making the jet stream more sluggish and wavy, bringing weather blocks.

If he had bothered reading HH Lamb, he might have found out that the same sort of weather was occurring when the world was cooling after the Second World War. This was what Lamb had to say in his volume, “Climate, History and The Modern World”:

 

ANOTHER TURNING POINT

Over the years since the 1940’s, it has become apparent that many of the tendencies in world climate which marked the previous 50 to 80 years or more have either ceased or changed…. It was only after the Second World War that the benign trend of the climate towards general warming over those previous decades really came in for much scientific discussion and began to attract public notice.

VARIABILITY INCREASES

Such worldwide surveys as have been attempted seem to confirm the increase of variability of temperature and rainfall [since 1950].’’

In Europe, there is a curious change in the pattern of variability: from some time between 1940 and 1960 onwards, the occurrence of extreme seasons – both as regards temperature and rainfall has notably increased.

A worldwide list of the extreme seasons reported since 1960 makes impressive reading. Among the items included:

1960-9 – Driest decade in central Chile since 1770’s and 1790’s.

1962-3 Coldest winter in England since 1740.

1962-5 Driest four-year period in the eastern United States since records began in 1738.

1963-4 Driest winter in England & Wales since 1743; coldest winter over an area from the lower Volga basin and Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf since 1745.

1965-6 Baltic Sea completely ice covered.

1968 Arctic sea ice half surrounded Iceland for the first time since 1888.

1968-73 Severest phase thus far of the prolonged drought in the Sahel, surpassing all 20thC experience.

1971-2 Coldest winter in more than 200 yrs in parts of European Russia and Turkey: River Tigris frozen over.

1972 Greatest heatwave in the long records for north Finland and northern Russia.

1973-4 Floods beyond all previous recorded experience stretching across the central Australian desert.

1974-5 Mildest winter in England since 1834.

1975-6 Great European drought produced the most severe soil moisture deficit that can be established in the London (Kew) records since 1698.

1975-6 Greatest heatwaves in the records for Denmark, Netherlands  and England.

1976-7 Severest winter in the temperature records (which began in 1738) for the eastern United States.

1978-9 Severest winter and lowest temperature recorded in 200 yrs in parts of northern Europe, and perhaps in the Moscow region. Snowfalls also extreme in parts of northern Europe.

This shortened list omits most of the notable events reported in the southern hemisphere and other parts of the world where instrument records do not extend so far back. Cases affecting the intermediate seasons, the springs and autumns, have also been omitted.

These variations, perhaps more than any underlying trend to a warmer or colder climate, create difficulties for the planning age in which we live. They may be associated with the increased meridionality of the general wind circulation, the greater frequency of blocking, of stationary high and low pressure systems, giving prolonged northerly winds in one longitude and southerly winds in another longitude sector in middle latitudes.

Over both hemispheres there has been more blocking in these years… The most remarkable feature seems to be the an intensification of the cyclonic activity in high latitudes near 70-90N, all around the northern polar region. And this presumably has to do with the almost equally remarkable cooling of the Arctic since the 1950’s, which has meant an increase in the thermal gradient between high and middle latitudes.

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/11646/

 

 

 

He then goes full Guardian !

 

Pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV to see signs of climate volatility sparking more weather disruption. From the mega-blaze that swept across Fort McMurray, Alberta to repeated flooding of Houston, scorching heat in India, perpetual drought from California to Australia, and a record year for global hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones in 2015, the symptoms of a warming ecosystem are becoming harder to dismiss or deny.

 

We already know that the so called mega blaze in Alberta is small from a historical perspective, has nothing to do with climate change and would have made little news if man had not built a city in the middle of the wilderness where such things happen all the time.

And what nonsense is this about drought?

There may have been a drought in California recently, one that is certainly not in any way unprecedented, but for the US as a whole, NOAA’s own figures show that droughts are much less common, or severe, in recent decades than they used to be in the past.

 

 

multigraph

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/us/110/0/pdsi/12/12/1895-2016?base_prd=true&firstbaseyear=1901&lastbaseyear=2000

 

And Australia?

 

rranom.aus.0112.5762

http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=rranom&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=7

 

 

 

Not only are rainfall totals consistently higher than the past, but the percentage of land area in decile1, the driest category, is also sharply down. This indicates that the extra rainfall has been widespread, rather than simply extreme in just a few areas.

 

raindecile01.aus.0112.24297

http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=raindecile01&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=7

 

And Accumulated Cyclone Energy stats do not support the contention that global warming is making hurricanes worse.

 

global_running_ace

http://models.weatherbell.com/tropical.php#!prettyPhoto

 

Of course, weather and climate continually change. I have little doubt that in some places and at certain times extreme weather has increased, and no doubt too that in others the reverse is true.

What is sad about these pathetic little attempts to blame everything on global warming is that they stop us having a balanced and objective debate on the subject.

 

The real reason, however, for this story is revealed when Douglas tells us:

 

In my upcoming book I interview 11 veteran television meteorologists in the United States. All of them are witnessing symptoms of climate change in their hometowns.  

May 28, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 3 Comments

Senate EPW Hearing on the President’s Climate Action Plan

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | January 16, 2014

The hearing is now concluded, I’m on a plane flying back to Atlanta.

The testimony from each of the witnesses is now online [here].  The link for my testimony is [here].

The content of my verbal remarks is below:

I would like to thank the Committee for the opportunity to present testimony this morning. I am Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I have devoted 30 years to conducting research on topics including climate of the Arctic, the role of clouds and aerosols in the climate system, and the climate dynamics of extreme weather events.

The premise of the President’s Climate Action Plan is that there is an overwhelming judgment of science that anthropogenic global warming is already producing devastating impacts. Anthropogenic greenhouse warming is a theory whose basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain. Multiple lines of evidence presented in the recent IPCC 5th assessment report suggest that the case for anthropogenic warming is now weaker than in 2007, when the 4th assessment report was published.

My written testimony documented the following evidence:

  • For the past 16 years, there has been no significant increase in surface temperature. There is a growing discrepancy between observations and climate model projections. Observations since 2011 have fallen below the 90% envelope of climate model projections
  • The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for this hiatus in warming.
  • There is growing evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxideconcentrations
  • Based on expert judgment in light of this evidence, the IPCC 5th assessment report lowered its surface temperature projection relative to the model projections for the period 2016-2036.

The growing evidence that climate models are too sensitive to CO2 has implications for the attribution of late 20th century warming and projections of 21st century climate change. Sensitivity of the climate to carbon dioxide, and the level of uncertainty in its value, is a key input into the economic models that drive cost-benefit analyses, including estimates of the social cost of carbon.

If the recent warming hiatus is caused by natural variability, then this raises the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural climate variability. In a recent journal publication, I provided a rationale for projecting that the hiatus in warming could extend to the 2030’s. By contrast, according to climate model projections, the probability of the hiatus extending beyond 20 years is vanishing small.  If the hiatus does extend beyond 20 years, then a very substantial reconsideration will be needed of the 20th century attribution and the 21st century projections of climate change.

Attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob that can fine tune climate variability on decadal and multi-decadal time scales. Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successfully implemented and climate model projections are correct, an impact on the climate would not be expected for a number of decades. Further, solar variability, volcanic eruptions and natural internal climate variability will continue to be sources of unpredictable climate surprises.

As a result of the hiatus in warming, there is growing appreciation for the importance of natural climate variability on multi-decadal timescales.  Further, the IPCC AR5 and Special Report on Extreme Events published in 2012, find little evidence that supports an increase in most extreme weather events that can be attributed to humans.

The perception that humans are causing an increase in extreme weather events is a primary motivation for the President’s Climate Change Plan.  However, in the U.S., most types of weather extremes were worse in the 1930’s and even in the 1950’s than in the current climate, while the weather was overall more benign in the 1970’s. The extremes of the 1930’s and 1950’s are not attributable to greenhouse warming and are associated with natural climate variability (and in the case of the dustbowl drought and heat waves, also to land use practices). This sense that extreme weather events are now more frequent and intense is symptomatic of pre-1970 ‘weather amnesia’.

The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is heavily influenced by natural climate variability. Whether or not anthropogenic climate change is exacerbating extreme weather events, vulnerability to extreme weather events will continue to increase owing to increasing population and concentration of wealth in vulnerable regions. Regions that find solutions to current problems of climate variability and extreme weather events and address challenges associated with an increasing population are likely to be well prepared to cope with any additional stresses from climate change.

Nevertheless, the premise of dangerous anthropogenic climate change is the foundation for a far-reaching plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events. Elements of this Plan may be argued as important for associated energy policy reasons, economics, and/or public health and safety. However, claiming an overwhelming scientific justification for the Plan based upon anthropogenic global warming does a disservice both to climate science and to the policy process.

Good judgment requires recognizing that climate change is characterized by conditions of deep uncertainty. Robust policy options that can be justified by associated policy reasons whether or not anthropogenic climate change is dangerous avoids the hubris of pretending to know what will happen with the 21st century climate.

This concludes my testimony.

JC comments:   The hearing was very long; not so much because of questioning of the witnesses, but there was much pontification by the committee members (much more of this than on the House Subcommittees, it seems).

Several things struck me.  All of the members seem pretty well educated on the topic of climate change.  I cannot say the same of the administrators on the first panel.

Most of the members were there for Panel 1; only a few remained for Panel 2.

I’m fairly happy with my written testimony, but was surprised that my verbal testimony went over the time limit (have never gone over before).  The questions were fairly light weight.

Andrew Dessler did a pretty good job particularly on the verbal testimony and answering questions.

All in all, a very interesting experience, but stressful since you need to pretty much drop everything to prepare your testimony (and I have a pile of things that need to be finished before tomorrow).

So does any of this matter? We’ll see.  I felt that my previous testimony to the House Committee did have an impact.

January 18, 2014 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What if we named hurricanes after climate change deniers? Revisited

350.org:

As scientific evidence shows that climate change is creating increasingly frequent and devastating storms, and with climate scientists declaring these extreme weather events as the new normal, we propose a new naming system. A system that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy.

Closing in on the November 30th ending of the 2013 hurricane season:

step6.02-01

Atlantic Hurricane Season Quietest in Decades

fig33
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global_major_freq
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku_IseK3xTc#t=66

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

IPCC Calls Off Planetary Emergency?

By Marlo Lewis | Watts Up With That? | October 4, 2013

Okay, they don’t do so in as many words. But in addition to being more confident than ever (despite a 16-year pause in warming and the growing mismatch between model projections and observations) that man-made climate change is real, they are also more confident nothing really bad is going to happen during the 21st Century.

The scariest parts of the “planetary emergency” narrative popularized by Al Gore and other pundits are Atlantic Ocean circulation shutdown (implausibly plunging Europe into a mini-ice age), ice sheet disintegration raising sea levels 20 feet, and runaway warming from melting frozen methane deposits.

As BishopHill and Judith Curry report on their separate blogs, IPCC now believes that in the 21st Century, Atlantic Ocean circulation collapse is “very unlikely,” ice sheet collapse is “exceptionally unlikely,” and catastrophic release of methane hydrates from melting permafrost is “very unlikely.” You can read it for yourself in Chapter 12 Table 12.4 of the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report.

But these doomsday scenarios have always been way more fiction than science. For some time now, extreme weather has been the only card left in the climate alarm deck. Climate activists repeatedly assert that severe droughts, floods, and storms (Hurricane Sandy is their current poster child) are now the “new normal,” and they blame fossil fuels.

On their respective blogs Anthony Watts and Roger Pielke, Jr. provide excerpts about extreme weather from Chapter 2 of the IPCC report. Among the findings:

  • “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.”
  • “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”
  • “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems.”
  • “Based on updated studies, AR4 [the IPCC 2007 report] conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated.”
  • “In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extra-tropical cyclones since 1900 is low.”

Pielke Jr. concludes:

“There is really not much more to be said here — the data says what it says, and what it says is so unavoidably obvious that the IPCC has recognized it in its consensus. Of course, I have no doubts that claims will still be made associating floods, drought, hurricanes and tornadoes with human-caused climate change — Zombie science — but I am declaring victory in this debate. Climate campaigners would do their movement a favor by getting themselves on the right side of the evidence.”

For further discussion, see my post “Global Warming: Planet’s Most Hyped Problem” on this week’s National Journal Energy Insiders blog.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on IPCC Calls Off Planetary Emergency?