Wednesday, September 19, 2018

USA Today op-ed ignores evidence to claim climate change had no role in Hurricane Florence

Under the above heading an article appeared which challenged an article by climate skeptic Roy Spencer.  Spencer dismissed on various grounds any connection between storm Florence and global warming. The article is a rather complex piece of formatting so I am not going to reproduce it here but it is readily accessible here.  I imagine Spencer will do his own reply to it in due course but, as a critique, it ranges from weak to hilarious so I thought I might make a few brief comments on it.

For a start two of the "4 scientists" are well known Warmists -- Kerry Emmanuel and Andrew Dessler -- so any judgments they make cannot be regarded as unbiased. Knowing that what they say will be under expert scrutiny, however, they are unusually cautious in their utterances, which enables us to see how weak their case is.

They draw on two types of "evidence" to support their conclusions: The first is "scientific studies" which are simply modelling exercises.  And, given the stellar record of failure that attends Warmist predictions based on modelling, such "studies" must be regarded as just a game played among friends.  Beyond that the studies must be regarded as equivalent to an advertisement for the sale of the Brooklyn bridge.  The studies concerned are in fact worse than the usual Warmist modelling in that they generate no testable predictions so are not science at all. They are just games.

The second type of evidence used in criticism of Spencer does at least use empirical observations.  They point to various weak trends over a limited time period.  And it is that line of argument that amuses me most.  Regardless of  how accurate their accounts of trends are, they have no way of tying those trends to global warming.  I am prepared to accept all the trends they quote as gospel but I see nothing in them that can be shown as due to global warming.  There is no way we can show that those trends are non-natural. 

You can pick out runs in any body of data but showing that they are non random requires access to the whole body of the data concerned, or at least a representative sample of it -- and the whole body of climate data spans millions of years so that is quite impossible. So the only way they can tie their quoted trends to anthropogenic global warming takes them back to their modelling again -- so it is all faith, not science.

I first put up this critique on Facebook and received the folowing spot-on comment from Roy Spencer:  "Why 4? If they were correct, it would only take 1"

Fair's fair!

Al Gore's claim about Hurricane Florence doused by scientists

Meteorologist Ryan Maue says Gore's assertion made 'without any evidence'

Another climate-change claim by former Vice President Al Gore is coming under fire, this one involving Hurricane Florence.

Mr. Gore said Friday that two major storms from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans had never made landfall at the same time, referring to Hurricane Florence, the Category 1 hurricane that struck North Carolina on Friday, and Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit the Philippines early Saturday.

“This is the first time in history that two major storms are making landfall from the Atlantic and the Pacific simultaneously,” Mr. Gore told the crowd at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, which wrapped up Friday.

He cited the storm activity on opposite sides of the globe as an example of climate change driving unusual and extreme weather, but meteorologist Ryan Maue was quick to dump cold water on Mr. Gore’s assertion.

“Al Gore just (fraudulently) claimed without any evidence that we’ve never had hurricanes in both the Atlantic and Pacific making landfall at the same time,” tweeted Mr. Maue, an adjunct scholar at the free-market Cato Institute.

University of Colorado Boulder meteorologist Roger A. Pielke Sr. also took issue with the claim by Mr. Gore, known for his 2006 climate-change film, An Inconvenient Truth, and the 2017 follow-up, An Inconvenient Sequel.

“Such statements show that he is not familiar with the history of tropical cyclone landfalls,” said Mr. Pielke in an email.

Numerous articles and even books have been written fact-checking and challenging Mr. Gore’s climate predictions and pronouncements, including meteorologist Roy Spencer’s An Inconvenient Deception, and “Al Gore’s Science Fiction: A Skeptic’s Guide to an Inconvenient Truth,” a 154-page paper by the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Marlo Lewis Jr.

In his Friday remarks, Mr. Gore also blamed climate change for driving wildfires, drought, floods, mudslides, “rain bombs,” the May water shortage in Cape Town, South Africa, and record dead trees in California.

Mr. Maue said the “first time in history” claim appeared to originate with an NBC News report last week headlined, “In rare event, Atlantic, Pacific storms churn at the same time.”

The article cited Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach, who described the busy storm season in the Pacific and Atlantic as uncommon but said nothing about simultaneous landings being unprecedented.

“The thing that’s interesting now is the Pacific is still active, but the Atlantic is very active, which isn’t normal,” Mr. Klotzbach told NBC. “I’m surprised to see the Pacific and Atlantic active at the same time.”

Mr. Maue, whose comments were first reported in the Daily Caller, said the NBC article “completely missed the mark on ongoing hurricanes and their rarity.”


Climate Science Versus The FangZhi

The Fang Zhi is kind of a government gazette that has been issued by Chinese governments for thousands of years. Data on extreme weather events and famines are included in this gazette. The data show that floods and droughts are common in China and that they are periodically particularly severe.

A cyclical pattern of famines caused by severe drought followed by devastating floods may be traced back through all of recorded history in China. The period of this cycle has been estimated to be about fifty years. A peculiarity of this weather cycle is that floods and droughts can occur at the same time in China because weather in Southern China is about 180 degrees out of phase with that in Northern China. History has recorded many cases when the south is flooding from torrential rainfall while the north is in drought or conversely when the north is flooding and the south is dry.

Much of the sociology, philosophy, literature, and politics of China have been shaped by the flood and drought cycle. Some scholars go so far as to claim that all of Chinese history is a story of the people’s fight against famine caused by this calamitous cycle of weather. One of the largest infrastructure projects in history is the failed attempt to link southern Chinese rainfall with northern Chinese rainfall using a very ambitious canal network. The construction and maintenance of granaries on an immense scale has consumed a succession of Chinese dynasties while famines have been the downfall of others. The 2005 drought in Hainan and Guangdong along with torrential rains and floods in Northern China fits the known pattern of extreme weather in China.

If you truncate history at 1961, however, these weather events will appear to be unusual and unnatural. An equally unnatural cause for this kind of weather may then be assessed. In particular, those with a predisposition to the global warming/climate change hypothesis contained in the Kyoto Protocol and the UNFCCC will find in these events the kind of evidence they need to support their predisposed position (See for example, Waiting in vain for rain that’s two years late has Hainan’s farmers fretting about their future, The Nation, Bangkok, June 3, 2005).

Fossil fuel consumption has risen dramatically since 1961. The data also show what appears to be an irregular increase in the CO2 content of the atmosphere in parallel with rising fuel consumption. At the same time we find the average temperature of the earth has been rising since 1979. It is tempting to draw a causal link from fossil fuels to CO2 and from CO2 to temperature and from there to extreme weather events. These relationships appear so convincing that no further scientific evidence is sought to support the subsumed causalities.

Yet statistical analysis of the observational data do not show the correlations that would exist if this chain of causation to be true were true. The correlation argument is presented in more detail in two related posts. HUMAN CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE, SPURIOUS CORRELATIONS IN CLIMATE SCIENCE.

In the Chinese weather data, the global warming enthusiasts have been undone by the Fang Zhi. Their claim that fossil fuel consumption is to be blamed for this year’s drought in southern China and floods in northern China appears grossly childish and specious in light of history.


Australia: Greens MP cops onslaught of online abuse after supporting proposed fishing ban

It seems to me that authoritarians who try to interfere with other people's lives should expect retribution for that.  Trying to stop people from going fishing is incredibly authoritarian

A Greens MP is currently being bullied online after he showed support for the governments controversial 'lock outs'.

Justin Field's Facebook page has been flooded with cruel abuse, memes and even death threats since the New South Wales MP backed the proposal.

'You're a f***ing germ piece of s***…we will destroy you at the next election you f***ing germ…die you bastard,' one user said on Facebook. 'Prepare to get your legs broken Justin,' wrote another.

Mr Field, a Greens MP in the NSW upper house, has also been called a 'grub' and a 'maggot', with one user going as far as saying they hoped he was 'taken out of the equation'.

Mr Field's wife has also been targeted, with users demanding she make him respond to their vile comments.

The backlash began after Mr Field's vocally supported the governments plan to ban recreational fishing in 25 cities along the coast in a bid to help fish stocks recover.

Mr Field responded to the online hate in interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, acknowledging that although he expected debate and a 'certain rough and tumble in politics', people have gone too far.

He claimed that the raised platform of key figures in talk-back radio and print media have deliberately misinformed the public about the proposal.

'I think some politicians, fishing personalities and the media have been spreading deliberate misinformation to drum up fear and anger over the proposal and that has played a role in the level of hate being expressed about the plan,' Mr Field wrote.

Since the onslaught of comments, the NSW government has back flipped on the plan, just weeks after announcing the proposal.

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said on Monday they will be not going ahead with the fishing bans, calling the original proposal 'absolutely unacceptable'.

'The Government has now rewarded this appalling behaviour by effectively walking away from a Sydney Marine Park proposal,' Mr Field said on Facebook following the announcement.




Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


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