Watts Up With That
WUWT has previously covered a press release from The OAS on the paper, now, Mike Smith, a CCM at WeatherData Inc. writes at Meteorological Musings:
Another Shabby Attempt to Tie Increased Tornadoes to Global Warming
The paper, Tornado Activity is Occurring Earlier in the Heart of “Tornado Alley” brings up some interesting points about the peak of tornado season occurring earlier in the spring in the conventional “tornado alley” of the Great Plains. The paper is an attempt to link global warming to a change in tornado season between 1954 and 2009. Its primary conclusions appear sound. That result is not surprising given the rise in global temperatures during that period of time (see graph).
My objections are not with the primary thrust of the paper. It appears to be a useful addition to the literature.
My objection is the paper’s attempt to make the change in the time of the peak tornado season into something sinister. For example, the first sentence in the paper (it appears in the Abstract) is,
“Tornado frequency may increase as the factors that contribute to severe convection are altered by a changing climate.”
It also says,
“The lack of evidence is due in part to sampling effort: the number of reported tornadoes has increased over time [Dixon et al., 2011].”
The reference to Dixon has to do with Dixie tornado alley, not the one in the Great Plains.
So, let’s go through this yet again. Let’s begin with all tornadoes of F-1 intensity or greater:
Even though world temperatures have risen, there is absolutely no upward trend in tornadoes. This is especially surprising given the storm chase program that started in 1972 and Doppler radar installations beginning in 1991. There are many small tornadoes that now get into the books that never would have been recorded a half-century ago.
Mike has further graphs and analysis here: Another Shabby Attempt to Tie Increased Tornadoes to Global Warming
I suggest you bookmark his website, and may I recommend his book Warnings: The true story of how science tamed the weather.
I’ve read it, and I’ve lived and experienced much of what he’s written about in the quest to make forecasting, especially severe weather forecasting, more accurate, timely, and specific. For those of us that prefer practical approaches over the rampant speculation on mere wisps of connections to climate, this book is for you.
Derek Alker shared Chuck Wiese's photo.
September 22 at 6:01am
OH YES, you are very, very STUPID love.
BECAUSE there is no greenhouse effect. It IS imaginary. You believe in a pseudo science based upon a falsified paradigm that is ONLY politically correct Climate has always, and always will change perfectly naturally. Belief in homocentric global
warming is, and will be remembered as the largest mass "mistake" in human history.The vast majority of man made climate change believers -
1) Do not even know what, nor have never looked at what the greenhouse effect "theory" is.
2) Do not know what the scientific method is, or who is supposed to use it, what it is supposed to be used for, nor when to use it.Answers to the two statements above
1) For those that have not looked up what the greenhouse effect "theory" actually is, and why it is currently taught in the deliberate stepped manner it is, then this link might be helpful.
2) The scientific method is for ALL. It is inclusive, it is NOT exclusive. It is so “we” the people can check what the “experts” tell us is so, and so that the scientists have a structure by which they can work together.
The scientific method is five very simple stages -
i) Observation - We observe something, preferably with empirical data / measurements.
ii) Hypothesis - Hunch to explain observation.
iii) Experiment - The hypothesis makes predictions of what will happen, these can be tested by experiment.
iv) Theory - IF the experiments confirm the hypothesis, then an explanation has been proven.
HOWEVER, at every stage the proposer must try to disprove his / her own hypothesis and experiment. ALSO, all work associated with observation, hypothesis, and experiment should be made available for all, so they can check too.
v) Law - This is when a theory has “passed” the scientific method, no one can show anything of significance wrong with it. BUT, even Laws, in the scientific method are not above question. As Lord Huxley stated many years ago,
“It only takes one ugly fact to destroy the beautiful theory.”
Science and the scientific method IS never ending, it is open and includes ALL. Anyone who says differently does not understand science, AND is not being scientific. In short, the scientific method is to protect the scientists from making mistakes, and to protect the people from being conned by incompetent, or dishonest science and scientists. This explains WHY so many who believe in the current politically correct pseudo science of homocentric global warming “Theory”, do not understand science, and are usually politically motivated too. This is because man made global warming, is, and always was a politically motivated subject / agenda / movement, by which to control us all, under a one world government headed by the United Nations and the green agenda. ALL, absolutely ALL “justified” by the pseudo science of the greenhouse effect “theory”, that IS a failed hypothesis, according to the scientific method. If only more people understood and practiced the scientific method then there would not be so many STUPID people about....
NOAA has claimed “The August global sea surface temperature was 0.65C (1.17F) above the 20th century average of 16.4C (61.4F). This record high departure from average not only beats the previous August record set in 2005 by 0.08C (0.14F), but also beats the previous all-time record set just two months ago in June 2014 by 0.03C (0.05F).” The peak warmth is in the Gulf of Alaska again (join us at WB to see why this will have a major impact on the winter in the US again).
Enlarged. Weatherbell.com satellite ocean temperature anomaly imagery.
UAH satellite derived SSTAs show it was just +0.22C globally over the oceans. There were 73 months warmer with the warmest +0.69C in May 1998 (nearly half degree celsius warmer than August).
Are Record Ocean Surface Temperatures Due to Record Low Wind Speeds?
September 18th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
The fortuitous revelation of record warm sea surface temperatures in August, only days before Climate Summit 2014, begs the question - why?
Why were SSTs so warm? (Not “Why announce it just before Leonardo DiCaprio’s coronation?")
As readers here know, I follow the “ocean products” produced by RSS from the SSM/I and SSMIS satellite sensors, and a curious thing has been shaping up in the last few years.
Global average ocean surface wind speeds have been decreasing. In fact, August 2014 had the lowest surface wind speed in about 25 years.
Even after I correct for the typically lower wind speeds that occur with El Nino approaching (-0.5 m/s wind decrease per unit Multivariate ENSO Index value), it’s still at near a record-low since the satellite record began:
SSM/I and SSMIS monthly global ocean average surface wind speed anomalies.
For those wondering what these wind fields look like, here are the average gridpoint wind speeds for August (1 m/sec is about 2 knots), both as absolute values and as anomalies (departures from the mean):
Grid point ocean surface wind speeds from SSMIS in August 2014, shown as absolute values and anomalies.
Gridpoint ocean surface wind speeds from SSMIS in August 2014, shown as absolute values and anomalies.
Why is Wind Speed Important to SST?
Wind-driven evaporation is the largest source of heat loss from water bodies, including the global oceans. Assuming a global average rate of ocean surface heat loss of 90 W/m2 (which is mostly evaporative), the August value of about 4-5% below the long-term average would mean about 4 W/m2 less cooling of the ocean surface.
Importantly, this 4 W/m2 reduction in heat loss is LARGER than the supposed anthropogenic radiative forcing of about 2.3 W/m2, the IPCC’s RCP6 current radiative forcing value. (The true radiative imbalance is actually less than that because warming has offset some of it with increase IR emission to space). The net result that the wind speed effect is probably at least 4 times the anthropogenic effect.
So, what’s my point? Natural variations in all kinds of things are going on, including a reduction in wind-driven evaporation, which likely contributed to “record warm” SSTs in August.
I have no strong opinions of why the reduction in wind speeds is occurring. Usually the best guess in climate is that it’s part of some cycle that will reverse itself at some point. Only time will tell.
The Curious Case of Record August Ocean Temperatures
September 19th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
Several people have noted the apparent mis-match between the NCDC report of all-time record warmth of global average sea surface temperatures in August, and the satellite tropospheric temperatures which are nowhere near a record.
But, as I have cautioned, there tends to be a time lag between SST warming and atmospheric warming...typically 1 month during non-ENSO conditions, and 2-3 months during ENSO. Furthermore, tropospheric temperature variations are somewhat larger than the SST variations that drive them, making direct comparison of the numbers more difficult.
You can get around both of these problems by plotting one versus the other on a graph to see if the latest behavior departs from the normal relationship previously displayed by the two variables (ocean surface temperature and oceanic lower tropospheric temperature).
If you also “connect the dots”, you get what’s called a phase space diagram. If we make such a plot for the 1997-98 super-El Nino, the 2009-10 El Nino, and the current (still weak) El Nino, it looks like this:
Enlarged Phase space plot of monthly sea surface temperature versus tropospheric temperature anomalies for three El Nino events.
Phase space plot of monthly sea surface temperature versus tropospheric temperature anomalies for three El Nino events (all begin in January, anomalies are relative to 1981-2010 averages).
The time lag of tropospheric temperature behind ocean surface temperature causes a curved trajectory in the data, as I’ve indicated with the light gray line.
What is interesting is that the “record warm” SST month of August, 2014 seems to be an outlier, with the SSTs being too warm (or the tropospheric temperatures too cool) compared to the usual behavior.
Barring some mistake in data processing, the only explanation I have for this is the possibility I blogged about yesterday, that near-record low ocean winds are allowing excessive surface warming while transferring less energy through convection to warm the troposphere. As I also mentioned yesterday, such an excursion would be due to natural variability...not due to “extra” carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which basically remains unchanged from one month to the next.
An early September winter storm in the Black Hills has dumped up to 8 inches of snow in the area, while Rapid City received its earliest snowfall in more than 120 years.
Image from WeatherBELL.com - Canadian GEM forecast ENLARGED
Jon Chamberlain, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Rapid City, said almost 1 inch of snow had fallen in downtown Rapid City by 8:30 a.m. while 2 inches was measured in higher elevations in town.
The snowfall in downtown Rapid City is the earliest in the city since 1888, the NWS said. The previous early snowfall mark was seven-tenths of an inch on Sept. 13, 1970.
Chamberlain said while it is unusual for Rapid City to see snowfall this early, it isn’t for the Black Hills.
“It’s a little on the high side, though,” he said.
Downtown Custer reported 8 inches of snow, while 7 inches was reported at Mount Rushmore. Other snowfall totals: 6 inches five miles south of Hill City; 4,5 inches in HIll City and 4 inches in Sundance, Wyo.
Chamberlain said roads in the Black Hills are staying relatively snow-free because the snow is melting once it hits the pavement and ground.
A winter storm warning is in effect until noon Mountain time Thursday for the northern and central Black Hills including the cities of Lead, Deadwood, Hill City and Mount Rushmore.
Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 12.40.45 PM
Preliminary snowfall total map for the Black Hills area.(Photo: NWS) ENLARGED
The NWS says many areas across far western South Dakota might experience a hard freeze by Friday morning as temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s and even teens in the Black Hills.
That now failed headline is from Duncan Clark in the Guardian.
And, for good measure he added:
Just a few small problems there:
Climategate gave skeptics a worldwide voice and stage
Actual temperature has been flat, not increasing
Actual solar activity has been far lower than predicted, not increasing
What El Nino?
Let’s take them one by one.
1. Climategate: I’ll give Duncan this one, nobody could have predicted this event, even though many skeptics had been correctly predicting that behind the scenes there was a lot of “team collusion” going on, which was laid bare for all to see. See our WUWT Climategate section here.
2. Actual temperature has been flat, not increasing: Yes, and since this is a British newspaper, lets use British data to illustrate it and Paul Clark’s excellent “Woodfortrees” website to show what has been happening since 2009 with British HadCRUT4 data.
3. Actual solar activity has been far lower than predicted, not increasing: A whole bunch of scientists missed this one, except Dr. Leif Svalgaard. Many were predicting a larger than normal solar cycle, instead we got the weakest one in 100 years.
This animated graph shows the progression of shrinking predictions. And here is the last three cycles down well over 50%.
4. What El Nino? I’ll let Bob Tisdale explain that one here.
We live in interesting times.
The whole paper making the claim in 2009 is available for free here.
ICECAP NOTE: This was not the first time for alarmist Lean. In much the same way Jonathan Overpeck assumed since David Deming had a paper on Oklahoma climate issues published he was “on the team” and wrote him “Hey David we have to get rid of that Medieval Warm Period, Lean assumed Richard Willson working for NASA on the Hansen team would be amenable to help her prove the sun was not increasing and the warming must be CO2 related (see here). When he pushed back, Lean said it was ok she would get Frohlich to do it.
It is not surprising that climate alarmists, who desire above all else blind allegiance to their cause, would demand all school teachers toe the “official party line” and quash any dissent on the subject of man-made global warming in their classroom. What is absurd is that any teacher, or free-thinking person for that matter, would listen to them. In the past, of course, those who would even suggest such censorship would have been ridiculed and viewed as enemies of intellectual freedom. But the ‘times-they-are-a-changin.’ News outlets such as the BBC and LA Times may benefit from freedom of speech, however, they are among the first to push censorship on those with whom they disagree.
Like all who want to limit free speech, the alarmists claim they are doing a great public service. After all, since 97 percent of total scientists are in agreement with them, why give equal (or any) press to the pitiful 3% who remain deniers? Sounds reasonable, right? Well not really.
Putting aside the reprehensible term “denier,” an obvious reference to those who deny the Holocaust (which is even more offensive to climate skeptics who happen to be Jewish), is there any validity to 97% claim? If skeptics made the same 97% pitch in reverse, would the media demand they produce a solid source or study to back it up? You bet they would! And it’s doubtful any study skeptics actually did produce would be simply accepted at face value - no, the media would scrutinize it and put it through the ringer to see if it passed the smell test. But alas, such inquisitiveness is lacking whenever a climate alarmist squeals “consensus.”
So where does this 97% mantra come from? Well one major source to be sure is an April 2013 research paper by Australian scientist John Cook [John Cook et al., Environ. Res. Lett. 8 024024]. Now Cook did claim his research showed “97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.” And others, eager to promote his study, used his research to claim that “97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing at least 50.1% of the warming of the Earth in the last quarter of the 20th Century.” But a closer look shows something much different. Cook’s data actually showed only a lame 64 of 11,944 papers surveyed made this bold claim; the rest either ignored the subject altogether (two-thirds did not address the issue at all), did not quantify any percentage of warming they perceived to be caused by human activity, or flatly rejected the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) position. A consensus? Hardly.
Indeed, the gleeful distortion of Cook’s actual findings by the alarmists (with Cook himself one of the perpetrators) is just another example of the attempt to justify the canonization of pseudo-scientific dogma despite the real-world climate data. This near-conspiratorial attempt to declare an end to scientific research which might yield conclusions that are “inconvenient” for these dogmatists would be laughable were it not for the insistence that school children be indoctrinated with their propaganda.
The politicization of “science” in the public school system is just plain wrong, as is demonizing those who disagree or doubt the party line anywhere in society. Indeed, it is especially sad to see the press, even the National Journal itself, all too often mention “the 97% solution” as if it were the gold standard, the gospel that cannot be questioned by any sane person. They are being made look particularly bad, as polls indicate, as the public becomes more skeptical of alarmist claims. A recent Rasmussen poll found only 20% of the public thinks the debate about the science of climate change is over. Apparently the 97% mantra becomes meaningless to many when real-world climate data shows no increase in global temperatures over the past 17 years.
So what should children be taught? Well, how about both sides for starters. Yes, let the alarmists make their case. But what’s the fear that students should also learn that other, very credible scientists have published peer-reviewed papers attributing significant impacts on the Earth’s climate to solar activity (or inactivity). They can be taught that the Earth’s climate changes in cycles over long periods of time, and they’re impacted by changes in tides, ocean currents, winds, volcanoes, solar activity, meteors and comets, and of course to a limited extent, human activities. What they should not be taught is to parrot a political line, but for students to think for themselves, challenge ideas, and investigate every angle. Students should be taught that the scientific method demands that all scientists be skeptics for it is by being skeptical that a number of scientific “law” that stood for centuries have been disproven by better research.
If there is any national standard, then, it must be one that takes no position on the science itself, which is ever changing, but rather on the methodology for investigating the myriad scientific questions that have been and might be raised regarding how the Earth’s climate has changed all along.
By Daniel Nebert, MD
The 2013 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that “global warming is unequivocal and human influence has been the dominant cause since the mid-20th century.” During his State of the Union speech in January, President Obama declared “the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” As a physician-scientist who has carried out basic research for more than 50 years, I agree that we should not pollute the planet unnecessarily; however, I find the above statements far beyond the truth.
Estimates of numbers of scientists who “believe” in global warming range between 40 percent and more than 99 percent. Those in disagreement have been called “skeptics,” “deniers,” and “nonbelievers.” However, “believing” and “denying” are terms used in “consensus science,” not terms in “basic science.”
What’s the difference? Basic science is defined as knowledge about, or study of, the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observations. A theory (hypothesis) is tested by performing experiments and interpreting results either to prove or disprove the hypothesis in a way to minimize uncertainty. It’s best if those doing the experiments are “blinded”, i.e. samples are coded so that those doing the experiments are not biased toward any expected outcome. These experiments must also be repeated by other groups to confirm the original findings. Only after data have been properly collected, vetted and thoroughly corroborated, do we have a conclusion - with the least amount of uncertainty needed to establish a scientific fact.
In contrast, consensus science is what the majority in a particular field of study agree upon might be true. The consensus may or may not turn out to be confirmed by further research. For example, 15 years ago simulation models predicted that all Arctic ice would disappear by September 2013. In fact, Arctic ice thickness doubled between summer of 2012 and summer of 2013. Other forecasts 15 years ago included substantial melting of Antarctic ice, warming of global temperatures, and rising sea levels. Although carbon dioxide levels have risen during the past 15 years, the Antarctic ice shelf has become thicker, there’s been no increase in global temperatures and (if anything) global sea levels have slightly decreased. Thus, these simulation models included much uncertainty and, to date, all have been proven to be invalid.
There are many instances in which “established science” has been overturned by further experiments. In other words, science is never completely irrefutable.
For example, mad cow disease and the human equivalent, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, were degenerative brain diseases of unknown cause. After 10 years of experiments, neurologist Stanley Prusiner reported in 1982 that these diseases were caused by a virus-like protein which he named “prion” (derived from “protein” and “infectious"). Almost every scientist laughed, because viruses had been well known to always be made of DNA or RNA. Prusiner persisted, however, because he was convinced the consensus was wrong. He proved to be correct and was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology for his novel discovery. Prions are now realized to affect tissues other than brain and, in fact, are found even in lower organisms such as yeast.
For decades, peptic ulcer was believed to be caused by mental stress and excess stomach acid. Following many years of experiments, physicians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren reported in 1985 that peptic ulcer was caused by Heliobacter pylori. This finding forever changed the field of ulcer research: Instead of treating ulcers with antacid medications and/or surgery, antibiotics could now kill the bacteria and cure the disease! Marshall and Warren were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology for this breakthrough.
It is a fact that Earth’s climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years. Indeed, fossil records in the Americas over the past 16,000 years have confirmed countless serious droughts lasting many decades, sometimes hundreds of years. Climate is measured in centuries; today’s global warming “scientists” are talking about weather (measured in months or years). Is it reasonable, when U.S. debt is increasing at a rate of $3.7 billion each day, for any taxpayer money to be spent on consensus science speculation?
Daniel Nebert, MD, is professor emeritus at the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He lives in Wilsonville.
Joseph D’Aleo, CCM in HLN
Hurricane Arthur (as viewed from the International Space Station) slammed the Outer Banks of NC and then brushed New England, contributed to the rains, well needed though untimely on the 4th.
Early this spring, we (weatherbell.com) predicted on this page and on our site that there would be more threats than normal to the east coast and New England this season despite the fact there would be overall less activity in the deep tropics and fewer storms that made their way from Africa (called Cape Verde storms). This was because of cooler than normal tropical water, dusty, dry air blowing off the Sahara into the high atmosphere, and increased vertical wind shear because of a developing El Nino. This shear is in the form of anomalous westerly winds at high levels that come east from the warm eastern Pacific and blow the tops off of thunderstorms that are trying to organize in waves moving west in the subtropical Atlantic.
The ocean from the Bahamas north off the east coast where the Gulf Stream carries warmth Poleward, is warmer than normal and is north of the unfavorable dry Saharan air and wind shear.
Atlantic sea temperature anomalies NHC Enlarged
Atlantic Saharan Dust layer CIMSS Enlarged
Atlantic vertical wind shear Enlarged
We forecast that old fronts or disorganized waves from the east would get their act together often closer to the mainland like Arthur did. Hurricane Carol, one of the worst New England storms organized over the Bahamas and slammed Long island and eastern New England in short order in 1954.
Arthur developed last week just off the southeast coast and feeding off the Gulf Stream, developed into a Category 2 hurricane crossing the Outer Banks of North Carolina before brushing New England in a weakened state. It brought some needed rains but is a potential omen of storms to follow.
The oceans and sun are the primary drivers to the climate regimes we find ourselves in when it comes to hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods, heat and cold, and snowstorms. In terms of the ocean, the current combination of a cool Pacific and warm Atlantic Multidecadal modes is most like the 1950s. That was a period of drought in the southern Plains like the past few years, and a decade where 6 hurricanes created havoc on the Atlantic Coast. We had Carol, Edna, and Hazel in 1954, Connie and Diane in 1955 and Donna in 1960.
The ocean cycles average about 60 years and 60 years ago was the hurricane era of the middle 1950s.
A lesson from the 1950s is that you can have multiple landfalling storms in a season, even ones with a normal number of Atlantic named systems. As the Atlantic cooled, the flurry of landfalling storms ended in 1960 with Donna. The Atlantic warmed again in 1995 and the Pacific cooled after 1998. Floyd developed in 1999, Isabel made landfall in the Mid Atlantic in 2003, Irene hit New York and western New England in 2011 and Sandy, New Jersey and New York City in 2012. Arthur made a close pass this week and there may be more.
The Atlantic will cool within the next 5 years in its 60-year cycle and then both oceans will be cold. We can rest easier in the east in the summer and fall. Our winter temperatures will accelerate down though.
The 1960s and 1970s had the oceans go into their cold phase and the sun turn relatively quiet and the globe cooled. A series of volcanoes in the 1960s also contributed by creating an aerosol layer high up that reduced sunlight. There was also a concern about what was called “the human volcano”, man-made particulates that were also blocking sunlight. This is no longer an issue in the US with scrubbers on our coal plants and cleaner, more efficient cars, but a real one in China and India.
Some leading scientists and the government then warned of the possibility of a return to the little ice age conditions we experienced from the 1600s to early 1800s. The CIA in a 1974 report said “There is a growing consensus among leading climatologists that the world in undergoing a cooling trend… already causing major economic problems throughout the world.” Sound familar? See thisLeonard Nimoy video from 1978. “Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way.”
Though Wikipedia will list reasons why this fear then never really happened, you can see evidence here that it did.
These factors cooled the globe then, but then from 1979 to 1998 when the sun rebounded and the oceans cycled back warm, the globe warmed again. Man has the arrogance to think we control the planet’s climate. We do play a role with urbanization, deforestation and locally where pollution is an issue but these effects are small and localized relative to the main, powerful natural forcings. See how US temperature cycles match to these cycles in the sun and ocean and not well with CO2, which has risen this whole period.
The solar has begun its downwards spiral after 1995, accelerating after 2000 and the oceans have begun cooling. Global warming has ceased for 12 to 20 years (depending on the data and region). As the Atlantic cools and all these three factors synchronize, look for temperatures to accelerate down. Throw in a major volcano (which can cool the earth a half degree) and we will have to cue Mr. Spock again.
We will cool like we did in the 1960s and 1970s, and, as we will explain in the next story, then potentially like the early 1800s. This will have major negative, even dangerous impacts on our region especially given the unwise and ultimately very costly energy policies of the EPA and state elected officials. Increasing energy prices also cause the cost of all goods and services to rise, increasing the stress further on those on fixed income and the poor and middle class. Dr. Frank Clemente of Penn State University explains the risk here in this IEA report.
My talk at the Heartland was on the cold and snow on the increase (around minute 17)