Monday, November 05, 2012

Was It Global Warming When Stronger Hurricanes Hit the East Coast in the 1950s?

By professional weather forecaster Joe Bastardi

The following three articles by me have dealt in some degree before the fact on the matter of Hurricanes and climate change.

This Storm Is Long Overdue!
Increased U.S. Hurricane Threat in Coming Years
Hurricanes and Climate Change

It is frustrating to be out in front of the hurricane threat on the U.S. Coast, and then have people who either have not looked, or have, and are simply ignoring the facts, come in after the fact and make their claims. I have referred to these people as weather "voyeurs." They only look when it suits their purpose. In the private sector, our fight is every day, and the knowledge of the past and the reasons for the weather and climate are the foundations for any success in the future. A good meteorologist has to know his weather and climate history or he will fall prey to the whims of the computer models. Perhaps you saw some of that with Hurricane Sandy. Until the middle of the week before the storm, the U.S. generated model was taking the storm out to sea and there was denial in some circles that Sandy was going to come back and hit the coast.

Of course, the usual suspects piled on the disaster train once it became obvious, to push their AGW agenda. They are nowhere to be found before the fact, but certainly come out of the woodwork after. I leave the reader to judge the tree by the fruit on it.

Here are a few reminders that will assure you that a storm like Sandy is well within the realm of what nature can, and in reality, should do, especially given the cycle we are in, which is very similar to the 1950s (cooling Pacific, with a still warm Atlantic). This cycle was forecasted years ago by Dr William Gray from Colorado State, and for my money, he was spot on. As with many visionaries, he was scoffed at, and what is particularly galling is now that it is happening, people pushing AGW try to discredit him. But his generation of meteorologist that did not rely on computers had a keen sense of the past and actual weather rather than the virtual reality type forecasting that seems to be in vogue today. Example: Look at the ride the climate models have taken us on. Their forecast for warming has obviously gone astray as seen here.

You have seen the chart many times, but it does not get old, nor does the fact change that the earth is no longer warming, but CO2 is going up. That chart should be enough to debunk the AGW idea on hurricanes since if the earth is not warming, it can't be warming that is causing more hurricane hits. The other problem is that there are not more hurricane hits -- the total global tropical activity is down! The Global ACE index (accumulated cyclonic energy) which gives us an objective way at looking at total global tropical cyclone activity, has tailed off to record low levels.

So we have two objective measurements saying that:

a.) The earth is no longer warming.
b.) Tropical activity is not getting worse.

Interestingly enough, as if to teach a lesson to the Nobel Committee, the tropical activity started tailing off most strongly after Al Gore was awarded a Nobel prize for his movie "An Inconvenient Truth." The actual Truth is the opposite (which is inconvenient, though apparently largely ignored by Al Gore.)

But the irony grows even richer when one considers the fact that hurricane hits on the U.S. Coast were greatest when there was less CO2!

Now, if I wanted to demagogue this in the spirit of some of the AGW advocates, I could say, "Look, more CO2 drives down hurricane hits!" But I know there is no proof of that. But I also know that given the actual facts, it's certainly not leading to more hits!

Finally, the cycle we have entered is one that should lead to more storms hitting the East Coast. This happened in the 1950s -- the Pacific cooled, the Atlantic was in its warm cycle, and the resultant climate pattern lead to drought and heat over much of the nation in the summer, and increased hurricane hits on the East Coast. The facts are clear: The 1950s had a road map of destruction up the East Coast, not 2 in 2 years (by the way, neither Irene or Sandy were major hurricanes by the 1950's standards, so one can say we still are not close to where we were. Sandy was a major hurricane on my power scale, which I am trying to replace the Saffir Simpson Scale with ... another story for another time.) But this map speaks for itself.

By the way, the destruction of Sandy, as bad as it was, is not the "ultimate" storm by any means for the Northeast, the same way Katrina was not the "ultimate" storm for New Orleans. While not wishing to bore you with the details, in my hurricane talks I cover the tracks of storms that would cause the most damage to the various areas of the coast that have been hit over the past 20 years (again we have been lucky compared to the 1940s and 1950s.) If you are interested in this, I do give talks on this and please feel free to contact the office on it. The more people I can get my message out to, the more I can do to counter the distortions that are out there.

In the end, blaming Sandy on Global Warming or "Climate Change" is, as I put it on the O'Reilly Factor, shockingly ignorant or shockingly deceptive. The facts are clear on this and not hard to see, if one simply looks!

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

Global Warming Ate My Homework

100 Things Blamed on Global Warming

Late for a party? Miss a meeting? Forget to pay your rent? Blame climate change; everyone else is doing it. From an increase in severe acne to all societal collapses since the beginning of time, just about everything gone wrong in the world today can be attributed to climate change. Here’s a list of 100 storylines blaming climate change as the problem.

1. The deaths of Aspen trees in the West
2. Incredible shrinking sheep
3. Caribbean coral deaths
4. Eskimos forced to leave their village
5. Disappearing lake in Chile
6. Early heat wave in Vietnam
7. Malaria and water-borne diseases in Africa
8. Invasion of jellyfish in the Mediterranean
9. Break in the Arctic Ice Shelf
10. Monsoons in India
11. Birds laying their eggs early
12. 160,000 deaths a year
13. 315,000 deaths a year
14. 300,000 deaths a year
15. Decline in snowpack in the West
16. Deaths of walruses in Alaska
17. Hunger in Nepal
18. The appearance of oxygen-starved dead zones in the oceans
19. Surge in fatal shark attacks
20. Increasing number of typhoid cases in the Philippines
21. Boy Scout tornado deaths
22. Rise in asthma and hayfever
23. Duller fall foliage in 2007
24. Floods in Jakarta
25. Radical ecological shift in the North Sea
26. Snowfall in Baghdad
27. Western tree deaths
28. Diminishing desert resources
29. Pine beetles
30. Swedish beetles
31. Severe acne
32. Global conflict
33. Crash of Air France 447
34. Black Hawk Down incident
35. Amphibians breeding earlier
36. Flesh-eating disease
37. Global cooling
38. Bird strikes on US Airways 1549
39. Beer tastes different
40. Cougar attacks in Alberta
41. Suicide of farmers in Australia
42. Squirrels reproduce earlier
43. Monkeys moving to Great Rift Valley in Kenya
44. Confusion of migrating birds
45. Bigger tuna fish
46. Water shortages in Las Vegas
47. Worldwide hunger
48. Longer days
49. Earth spinning faster
50. Gender balance of crocodiles
51. Skin cancer deaths in UK
52. Increase in kidney stones in India
53. Penguin chicks frozen by global warming
54. Deaths of Minnesota moose
55. Increased threat of HIV/AIDS in developing countries
56. Increase of wasps in Alaska
57. Killer stingrays off British coasts
58. All societal collapses since the beginning of time
59. Bigger spiders
60. Increase in size of giant squid
61. Increase of orchids in UK
62. Collapse of gingerbread houses in Sweden
63. Cow infertility
64. Conflict in Darfur
65. Bluetongue outbreak in UK cows
66. Worldwide wars
67. Insomnia of children worried about global warming
68. Anxiety problems for people worried about climate change
69. Migration of cockroaches
70. Taller mountains due to melting glaciers
71. Drowning of four polar bears
72. UFO sightings in the UK
73. Hurricane Katrina
74. Greener mountains in Sweden
75. Decreased maple in maple trees
76. Cold wave in India
77. Worse traffic in LA because immigrants moving north
78. Increase in heart attacks and strokes
79. Rise in insurance premiums
80. Invasion of European species of earthworm in UK
81. Cold spells in Australia
82. Increase in crime
83. Boiling oceans
84. Grizzly deaths
85. Dengue fever
86. Lack of monsoons
87. Caterpillars devouring 45 towns in Liberia
88. Acid rain recovery
89. Global wheat shortage; food price hikes
90. Extinction of 13 species in Bangladesh
91. Changes in swan migration patterns in Siberia
92. The early arrival of Turkey’s endangered caretta carettas
93. Radical North Sea shift
94. Heroin addiction
95. Plant species climbing up mountains
96. Deadly fires in Australia
97. Droughts in Australia
98. The demise of California’s agriculture by the end of the century
99. Tsunami in South East Asia
100. Fashion victim: the death of the winter wardrobe

And the list goes on. The truth is climate change is causing some of these events, but the earth’s average temperature has been increasing and decreasing since the beginning of time. Maybe the increase in UFO sightings can’t be pinpointed to climate change but certainly animals will adapt to new habitats as the climate changes. But climate change and adaptation to it is nothing new. There’s an underlying assumption that human activity is causing the climate to change in many of these stories, but the scientific consensus on what causes climate change is anything but a consensus. Temperatures have risen and fallen many times before and the earth was cooling as recently as the period from the 1940s to the 1970s giving rise to fears of a coming ice age:

“At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”

The other implication of this list is that a reduction in Co2 with cap and trade policies like Waxman-Markey and Boxer-Kerry will cure problems as disparate as hurricanes, wars, crime, hunger and…cow infertility. The problem is that no one can actually claim that a reduction of Co2 will prevent these occurrences; one can only speculate that they will be worse in a world that has more rather than less Co2. Given cap and trade’s massive economic consequences and negligible effects on the earth’s temperature, this is a bold and potentially very costly speculation.

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

Fashionable Apocalypses

Even a Warmist thinks the scares are implausible and exaggerated

In summary (I hope), the problem with the Sandy discussion is two-fold, I think:
The notion that it and the flooding and destruction was caused by climate change, that it's a binary situation and this, or something very much like it, wouldn't have happened if climate change wasn't occurring. Andrew Revkin put it well on Science Friday yesterday, and it's worth a listen.

The situation we're now in where every extreme weather event being somehow due to climate change. They are not -- hurricanes, floods, and fires have happened through history, some of them devastating. (Even drowned animals -- see below).

Here is just a small set of claims I found this morning:

Hurricane Sandy (October 2012):
Politico: "'This is an absolutely unprecedented storm,' McKibben said."

Hurricane Isaac (August 2012):
Climate Progress: "Hurricane Isaac Caps Off America’s Summer of Extreme Weather"

Colorado Wildfires (June 2012):
Brad Johnson, Think Progress: June 2012: "Obama announces an “all-hands-on-deck” response in his weekly address to the nation from Colorado Springs, after visiting the devastating wildfires, but does not mention the role climate change had in fueling the fires, including higher temperatures, more intense drought, and bark beetle infestations."

Minnesota Flooding (June 2012):
Steve Perlberg, Think Progress: "Western wildfires, record-setting temperatures, devastating floods, and other extreme weather made more extreme by global warming have welcomed us to summer 2012..... Zoo Animals Drowned in Minnesota Floods"

Hurricane Irene (August 2011):
The Daily Beast: "Hurricane Irene’s dangerous power can be traced to global warming says Bill McKibben—and Obama is at fault for his failed leadership on the environment."

Hurricane Earl (Aug-Sept 2010):
Associated Press: "Warm water, especially more than 80 degrees, fuels hurricanes. As a storm heads north, usually the water is cooler and the hurricane quickly runs out of steam. But not this time.... With global warming, water is likely to be warmer farther north than it is was [sic] for the past century,” Borenstein adds."

New England Flooding (April 2010):
Brad Johnson, Think Progress: "Global Boiling Is Washing Away The Northeast With Wild Wet Weather" (emphasis mine)

Hurricane Ike (September 2008):
Brad Johnson, Think Progress: "Global Boiling: Hurricane Ike Part Of New Era Of More Destructive Storms"

One could, of course, easily go on. And some have. (To be fair, some have not.)

Last night I started reading the novel Earth by David Brin. In a section written as a book excerpt from the year 2035, he wrote,
In ages past, men and women kept foretelling the End of the World. Calamity seemed never farther than the next earthquake or failed harvest. And each dire happening, from tempest to barbarian invasion, was explained as wrathful punishment from Heaven.

 Eventually, humanity began accepting more of the credit, or blame, for impending Armageddon. Between the World Wars, for instance, novelists prophesied annihilation by poison gas. Later it was assumed we'd blow ourselves to hell with nuclear weapons. Horrible new diseases and other biological scourges terrified populations during the Helvetian struggle. And between wars, of course, our burgeoning human population fostered countless dread specters of mass starvation.

Apocalypses, apparently, are subject to fashion like everything else. What terrifies one generation can seem obsolete and trivial to the next
I am not saying climate change will come to be seen as obsolete and trivial. Just the opposite -- it's a potential calamity of a unique order, though we're in the beginning of it -- it's the projections which are scary, which is why so many scientists are so deeply concerned about it in a different sense than any previous threat (even nuclear war -- that would be a decision based on political and diplomatic failures; climate change is due simply to how we live).

But it can become an hysteria too, while now might be happening, thanks to pushy activists like those above who are using it for their particular purposes. Even though many of them no doubt think we should be getting hysterical, blaming everything on climate change is as misleading as ignoring or denying it completely. More importantly, it's ineffective, not least because it ruins your credibility. But clearly some activists have calculated that their PR message is worth the risk to their trustworthiness.

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

Scientific fraud is rife -- except in climate science

The article below is from the faltering Leftist "Guardian".  Everything they say below is right and well judged  -- but it is amusing to see not a single mention of Warmism

Science is broken. Psychology was rocked recently by stories of academics making up data, sometimes overshadowing whole careers. And it isn't the only discipline with problems - the current record for fraudulent papers is held by anaesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii, with 172 faked articles.

These scandals highlight deeper cultural problems in academia. Pressure to turn out lots of high-quality publications not only promotes extreme behaviours, it normalises the little things, like the selective publication of positive novel findings – which leads to "non-significant" but possibly true findings sitting unpublished on shelves, and a lack of much needed replication studies.

Why does this matter? Science is about furthering our collective knowledge, and it happens in increments. Successive generations of scientists build upon theoretical foundations set by their predecessors. If those foundations are made of sand, though, then time and money will be wasted in the pursuit of ideas that simply aren't right.

A recent paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that since 1973, nearly a thousand biomedical papers have been retracted because someone cheated the system. That's a massive 67% of all biomedical retractions. And the situation is getting worse - last year, Nature reported that the rise in retraction rates has overtaken the rise in the number of papers being published.

This is happening because the entire way that we go about funding, researching and publishing science is flawed. As Chris Chambers and Petroc Sumner point out, the reasons are numerous and interconnecting:

 *  Pressure to publish in "high impact" journals, at all research career levels;

 *  Universities treat successful grant applications as outputs, upon which continued careers depend;

 *  Statistical analyses are hard, and sometimes researchers get it wrong;

 *  Journals favour positive results over null findings, even though null findings from a well conducted study are just as informative;

 *  The way journal articles are assessed is inconsistent and secretive, and allows statistical errors to creep through.

Problems occur at all levels in the system, and we need to stop stubbornly arguing that "it's not that bad" or that talking about it somehow damages science. The damage has already been done – now we need to start fixing it.

Chambers and Sumner argue that replication is critical to keeping science honest, and they are right. Replication is a great way to verify the results of a given study, and its widespread adoption would, in time, act as a deterrent for dodgy practices. The nature of statistics means that sometimes positive findings arise by chance, and if replications aren't published, we can't be sure that a finding wasn't simply a statistical anomaly.

But replication isn't enough: we need to enact practical changes at all levels in the system. The scientific process must be as open to scrutiny as possible – that means enforcing study pre-registration to deter inappropriate post-hoc statistical testing, archiving and sharing data online for others to scrutinise, and incentivising these practices (such as guaranteeing publications, regardless of findings).

The peer-review process needs to be overhauled. Currently, it happens behind closed doors, with anonymous reviews only seen by journal editors and manuscript authors. This means we have no real idea how effective peer review is – though we know it can easily be gamed. Extreme examples of fake reviewers, fake journal articles, and even fake journals have been uncovered.

More often, shoddy science and dodgy statistics are accepted for publication by reviewers with inadequate levels of expertise. Peer review must become more transparent. Journals like Frontiers already use an interactive reviewing format, with reviewers and authors discussing a paper in a real-time, forum-like setting.

A simple next step would be to make this system open and viewable by everyone, while maintaining the anonymity of the reviewers themselves. This would allow young researchers to be critical of a senior academic's paper without fear of career suicide.

On 12 November, we are hosting a session on academic misconduct at SpotOn London, Nature's conference about all things science online.

The aim of the session is to find practical solutions to these problems that science faces. It will involve scientific researchers, journalists and journal editors. We've made some suggestions here, but we want more from you. What would you like to see discussed? Do you have any ideas, opinions or solutions?

We'll take the best points and air them at the session, so speak up now! Let's stop burying our heads in the sand and stand up for good science.


New review of global climate change consensus

The Cato Institute has released a comprehensive report detailing information that wasn’t included in the 2009 report from the U.S Global Change Research Program that’s being used by the EPA as scientific support for regulating carbon dioxide emissions.

The 216-page Cato report, Addendum: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, provides extensive commentary and evidence of finding “systematic bias in the direction of alarmist findings” in the GCRP’s report. In the preface, Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies Patrick J. Michaels wrote:
   Of all of the “consensus” government or intergovernmental documents of this genre that I have reviewed in my 30+ years in this profession, there is no doubt that this is absolutely the worst of all. Virtually every sentence can be contested or does not repre­sent a complete survey of a relevant litera­ture…

    …There is an overwhelming amount of misleading material in the CCSP’s “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States.” It is immediately obvious that the intent of the report is not to provide a ac­curate scientific assessment of the current and future impacts of climate change in the United States but to confuse the reader by a loose handling of normal climate events (made seemingly more frequent, intense and damaging simply by our growing popu­lation, population movements, and wealth) presented as climate change events. Addition­ally, there is absolutely no effort made by the CCSP authors to include any dissenting opinion to their declarative statements, despite the peer-reviewed scientific litera­ture being full of legitimate and applicable reports and observations that provide con­trasting findings.

    …The uninformed reader (i.e., the public, reporters, and policy-makers) upon read­ing this report will be led to believe that a terrible disaster is soon to befall the United States from human-induced climate change and that almost all of the impacts will be negative and devastating. Of course, if the purpose here is not really to produce an unbiased review of the impact of climate change on the United States, but a politi­cal document that will give cover for EPA’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide, then there is really no reason to go through the ruse of gathering comments from scientists knowledgeable about the issues, as the only science that is relevant is selected work that fits the authors’ pre-existing paradigm.


Australian Leftist PM rejects Greens advice to increase mining tax

The Federal Government has flatly dismissed efforts by the Greens to increase budget revenue from the mining tax.

The Greens have used their 20th national conference in Sydney to spruik their economic agenda.

Greens leader Christine Milne urged the Federal Government to delay the budget surplus.

They have also commissioned costings data which reveal that a 40 per cent increase in the Minerals Resource Rent Tax would increase budget revenue by $26 billion over four years.  "If we invested it wisely we could lift Newstart, we could make sure we ploughed that money into education," Ms Milne said.

But Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she will not be heeding the Greens advice.  "We have implemented the mining tax that we believe is the right one for the nation," she said.

Senator Milne says Ms Gillard's refusal proves she has caved in to the mining industry.

"At the moment the mining tax is securing zero, it's projected to secure $9 billion, well we could take that out to $26 billion," she said.

"So this goes to the heart of the Prime Minister's claims to be the great negotiator, she negotiated a tax that has resulted in zero in the first three months."

The Greens conference also canvassed the party's core policies towards the environment, Indigenous recognition and same-sex marriage.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


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