What's New and Cool
Sep 30, 2014
Weatherbell had last winter and spring and summer right…how about the winter

Joe D’Aleo, CCM

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For a detailed look back at 2013/14 and ahead at the Winter 2014-15 Outlook for the U.S., click here. Come to weatherbell.com to sign up for access the the world’s best models and blogs.  Be the first to know when the next snowstorm is coming, stay up-to-date with any forecast changes, and to receive our Europe and Asia winter forecasts by contacting us at sales@weatherbell.com.

Obvious failure of climate science that mainstream media ignores

Bob Tisdale

The National Science Foundation press release Cause of California drought linked to climate change found its way into the mainstream media, with science reporters around the globe adding their hype. That press release is based on the recently published study Swain et al. (2014) “The Extraordinary California Drought of 2013/2014: Character, Context and the Role of Climate Change, which can be found in the Special Supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS report)Vol. 95, No. 9, September 2014, Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 From A Climate Perspective.

I’ll publish a few comments about Swain et al. (2014) in a few days. But this post is not about that paper.

THE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT - WHO’S TO BLAME FOR THE LACK OF PREPAREDNESS?

As I was reading Anthony Watts excellent post about Swain et al. (2014), Claim: Cause of California drought linked to climate change - not one mention of ENSO or El Nino, a number of reoccurring thoughts replayed, thoughts that have struck me numerous times as the Western States drought unfolded last year and intensified this year.

Was California prepared for a drought?

Obviously, California was not prepared for a drought this intense, and the impacts of that lack of preparedness on California residents will grow much worse if the drought continues.

Why wasn’t California prepared for a short-term (multiyear) drought this intense?

The realistic blame should be the focus of climate science in general under the direction of the IPCC. In the opening paragraph of the IPCC’s History webpage, they state (my boldface and caps):

Today the IPCC’s role is as defined in Principles Governing IPCC Work, “...to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of HUMAN-INDUCED climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

The fact that the IPCC has focused all of their efforts on “understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change” is very important. The IPCC has never realistically tried to determine if natural factors could have caused most of the warming the Earth has experienced over the past century. For decades, they’ve worn blinders that blocked their views of everything other than the possible impacts of carbon dioxide. The role of the IPCC has always been to prepare reports that support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels. As a result, that’s where all of the research money goes. The decision to only study human-induced global warming is a political choice, not a scientific one. In efforts to justify agendas, politicians around the world jumped on the climate change stump and funded computer model-based studies of human-induced global warming...to the tune of billions of dollars annually.

Because of that political agenda, the latest and greatest climate models still cannot simulate the basic underlying processes that govern the naturally occurring, coupled ocean-atmosphere processes like ENSO (El Ninos and La Ninas), like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation...processes that have strong influences on temperature and precipitation in west coast states. So there is no possible way climate models, as they exist today, could forecast what precipitation might be like in the future there. And that basic problem will persist until there is a redirection of climate-research funding. Yes, funding. Research follows the money.

What value do climate model-based studies provide?

None.

The paper Pierce et al. (2013) The Key Role of Heavy Precipitation Events in Climate Model Disagreements of Future Annual Precipitation Changes in California provides an overview of why the climate models have no value when it comes to forecasts like California drought. In their abstract Pierce et al. write (my boldface and caps):

Of the 25 downscaled model projections examined here, 21 agree that precipitation frequency will DECREASE by the 2060s, with a mean reduction of 6-14 days yr−1. This reduces California’s mean annual precipitation by about 5.7%. Partly offsetting this, 16 of the 25 projections agree that daily precipitation intensity will INCREASE, which accounts for a model average 5.3% increase in annual precipitation. Between these conflicting tendencies, 12 projections show drier annual conditions by the 2060s and 13 show wetter.

[Hat tip to blogger “Jimbo” on the WUWT thread Claim: Cause of California drought linked to climate change [ not one mention of ENSO or El Nino.]

So some climate models say that daily precipitation intensity will increase and others say it will decrease. In other words, the climate science community is clueless about what the future might bring for west coast precipitation.

Some might say that climatologists for the State of California and other west coast states have been hampered by climate science. It’s tough to make recommendations to state and local governments for long-term planning when the climate science community provides them with nothing to work with.

Is California prepared for a drought that lasts multiple decades or even centuries?

Anthony Watts’s post included a graph from a paleoclimatological study of West Coast drought that showed past droughts have lasted for hundreds of years. For the original graph and discussion, see Figure 10 of Cook et al. (2007) North American drought: Reconstructions, causes, and consequences. (Note: That’s not the John Cook from SkepticalScience.)

Now I hate to make you think about bad news. But if it’s happened in the past, can it happen again?

Why are mainstream media simply parroting press releases?

Climate-change news reports have become echo chambers of the press releases put out by colleges, universities and government research agencies. Individual reporters might provide a more in-depth report by asking the scientist-authors for a few extra word of wisdom.

But why aren’t the media asking the tough questions, like:

Why weren’t west-coast residents warned 10 or 15 years ago that a severe drought is just a weather anomaly away?
Why aren’t there enough desalinization plants in place to supplement rainfall deficits?
Why are the people of the west coast protesting for, and why are state governments funding, more wind farms and solar arrays when they need something more basic to maintain life there, water?
Seems to me we may very soon be seeing a reversal of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, with vast flocks of California residents migrating back to the Midwest, which also is subject to periodic droughts.

Poor planning on the parts of a few - based on politically motivated, unsound science - may make for emergencies for millions.

Sep 29, 2014
Real Climate Debate Hasn’t Even Begun

By Larry Bell

Contrary even to former Obama administration Energy Department Undersecretary for Science Steven Koonin’s admission that the climate change debate isn’t settled, there never really was one.

Koonin, who now directs New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, wrote a headlined Wall Street Journal Weekend Review story that was entirely right about thing however: “We often hear there is a ‘scientific consensus’ about climate change… But as far as computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influences.”

Dr. Koonin is also correct in noting that the issue isn’t whether or not the climate is changing because “the climate has always changed and always will” He points out that the main question remains to be about the relative importance of both natural and man-made influences which will effect energy and infrastructure policy decisions.

On this score, while he believes that humans can cause serious issues, “they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole”, whereas carbon dioxide emissions “directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1 percent to 2 percent.”

Still, there’s even very good reason to think that even this amount of human CO2 influence may be highly exaggerated.

He admits that “climate sensitivity,” an estimate of warming induced by a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration, is no different, and no more certain than it was 30 years ago. Meanwhile, global sea levels rose at almost the same rate during the first half of the 20th century as today.

At the same time, Earth’s average surface temperature rise of 0.9 degree F over the last quarter of the 20th century has slowed over the past 16 years (many say longer), while human CO2 contributions have continually risen 25 percent. Koonin adds: “Yet the models famously fail to capture this slowing in the temperature rise.” He also observes that models showing Arctic ice melting over the past 20 years forget to note almost equal growth across Antarctica which is “now at a record high.”

Incidentally, global temperatures were just as warm, or even warmer, than now from about 1910 to 1945 when atmospheric CO2 levels were lower. And let’s also recognize that no respectable surveys show consensus among experts that global warming since the industrial revolution brought smoke stacks and SUVs onto the scene is either unusual or anything to lose sleep over.

So where do the famous “climate debate is settled” and “97 percent of all scientists agree about global warming” (aka climate change) statements come from? They can be traced to an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union survey consisting of an intentionally brief two question online survey sent to 10,257 Earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago, which asked two questions.

The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

Few would be expected to dispute this. Thee planet began thawing out of the little ice age in the middle 19th century, predating the Industrial Revolution. (That was the coldest period since the last real ice age ended roughly 10,000 years ago.)

The second question: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” So what constitutes “significant”? Does “changing” include both cooling and warming...and for both “better” and “worse”?

Which contributions? Land use? Deforestation? They were also not asked whether they believed the anthropogenic (human-caused) contribution was or might become sufficient to warrant concern or the adoption of stringent government regulatory policies.

Of the 3,146 who responded (a 31 percent return rate), only a small subset of just 77 (2.5 percent) were represented in the survey statistic. These are ones who listed “climate science” as their area of expertise and had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals.

In other words, that “97 percent all scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered yes.

Get that - of the 3,146 Earth scientists who responded, 98 percent of the cherry-picked 2.5 percent who were counted in the survey agreed that humans have at least some unspecified influence on climate! That’s really a ton of consensus!

In his Wall Street Journal article Steven Koonin wisely cautions: “Uncertainty is a prime mover and motivator of science and must be faced head-on. It should not be confined to hushed sidebar conversations at academic conferences.” He concludes that “any serious discussion of the changing climate begin by acknowledging not only scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future.”

Yes. Only when that happens will the real debate begin. One where Mother Nature will have the final word.

Sep 23, 2014
Surprising PNAS paper: CO2 emissions not the cause of U.S. West Coast warming

Anthony Watts

The rise in temperatures along the U.S. West Coast during the past century is almost entirely the result of natural forces - not human emissions of greenhouse gases, according to a major new study released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

PACIFIC DECADAL OSCILLATION AND SURFACE TEMPERATURES
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Northeast Pacific coastal warming since 1900 is often ascribed to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, whereas multidecadal temperature changes are widely interpreted in the framework of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which responds to regional atmospheric dynamics. This study uses several independent data sources to demonstrate that century-long warming around the northeast Pacific margins, like multidecadal variability, can be primarily attributed to changes in atmospheric circulation. It presents a significant reinterpretation of the region’s recent climate change origins, showing that atmospheric conditions have changed substantially over the last century, that these changes are not likely related to historical anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing, and that dynamical mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also apply to observed century-long trends.

From a Seattle Times newspaper story: (h/t Dale Hartz)

The vast majority of coastal temperature increases since 1900 are the result of changes in winds over the eastern Pacific Ocean, the authors found. But they could find no evidence that those weather patterns were themselves being influenced by the human burning of fossil fuels…

Since the ocean is the biggest driver of temperature changes along the coast, the authors tracked land and sea surface temperatures there going back 113 years. They found that virtually all of the roughly 1 degree Celsius average temperature increase could be explained by changes in air circulation.

“It’s a simple story, but the results are very surprising: We do not see a human hand in the warming of the West Coast,” said co-author Nate Mantua, with NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center. “That is taking people by surprise, and may generate some blowback.”Source.

The paper:

Atmospheric controls on northeast Pacific temperature variability and change, 1900 to 2012

James A. Johnstone and Nathan J. Mantua

Abstract

Over the last century, northeast Pacific coastal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and land-based surface air temperatures (SATs) display multidecadal variations associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, in addition to a warming trend of ∼0.5-1 C. Using independent records of sea-level pressure (SLP), SST, and SAT, this study investigates northeast (NE) Pacific coupled atmosphere ocean variability from 1900 to 2012, with emphasis on the coastal areas around North America. We use a linear stochastic time series model to show that the SST evolution around the NE Pacific coast can be explained by a combination of regional atmospheric forcing and ocean persistence, accounting for 63% of nonseasonal monthly SST variance (r = 0.79) and 73% of variance in annual means (r = 0.86). We show that SLP reductions and related atmospheric forcing led to century long warming around the NE Pacific margins, with the strongest trends observed from 1910 to 1920 to 1940. NE Pacific circulation changes are estimated to account for more than 80% of the 1900 to 2012 linear warming in coastal NE Pacific SST and US Pacific northwest (Washington, Oregon, and northern California) SAT. An ensemble of climate model simulations run under the same historical radiative forcings fails to reproduce the observed regional circulation trends. These results suggest that natural internally generated changes in atmospheric circulation were the primary cause of coastal NE Pacific warming from 1900 to 2012 and demonstrate more generally that regional mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also extend to century time scales.

Sep 19, 2014
Climate Hype Exposed

by CFACT

September 18, 2014

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CFACT releases a new report on the eve of the New York UN climate summit.

The report is authored by Paul Driessen with contributions from Marc Morano.

Executive Summary

Launched in 1988 at the urging of activists opposed to hydrocarbon energy, economic growth, and modern living standards, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was originally charged with assessing possible human influences on global warming and potential risks of human-induced warming. Over the subsequent decades, however, the IPCC increasingly minimized non-human factors, to the extent that it now claims only human influences matter - and any climate changes would “threaten our planet.”

The climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex has grown increasingly wealthy and powerful. It now spends billions of dollars annually on climate and weather research, focusing almost exclusively on carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases, and many billions more on renewable energy research and subsidies that raise energy prices, cost jobs, and reduce living standards.

Indeed, laws and regulations implemented in the name of preventing climate change have increased the cost of virtually everything people make, grow, ship, drive, eat, and do. They affect our lives, liberties, livelihoods, living standards, health, and welfare. Expert analysts calculate that climate-related rules will cost U.S. families and businesses almost $51 billion and 224,000 U.S. jobs every year through 2030 on top of the $1.9 trillion in regulatory costs that Americans already pay every year.

With so much at stake, it is essential that climate research is honest, accurate and credible, and that the resultant energy and climate policies are based on sound, replicable science. Instead, the studies and reports are consistently defective and even deceitful. They incorporate every study financed by this multi-billion-dollar system that supports the “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis - no matter how far-fetched and indefensible their claims might be - and ignore all contrary studies and experts. They rely on faulty, manipulated data, secretive working sessions that revise the “science” to reflect political “summaries,” and computer models that completely fail to predict actual real-world climate trends.

Because average global temperatures have not risen for 18 years (and have even cooled slightly), even the terminology has shifted: from global warming to climate change, climate disruption, and extreme weather.

Relying on the IPCC work, the $2.5-billlion-a-year U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) issued a 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA) that claimed climate change “is already affecting” the lives of Americans in a “multitude of ways.” President Obama said its effects “are already being felt in every corner of the United States.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies use IPCC studies to justify costly vehicle mileage standards, delays and bans on oil and gas drilling and pipelines, and rules that are closing hundreds of coal-fired power plants and preventing new ones from being built.

As ClimateDepot.com director Marc Morano explains, the IPCC is “a political body masquerading as a science body.” It makes its pseudo-science fit its political agenda. The GCRP and the EPA do likewise. Their actions violate information quality laws and basic standards of sound science and peer review - to drive an anti-growth, anti-fossil fuel agenda. They exaggerate every conceivable cost associated with hydrocarbons, but completely ignore even the most obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels.

Now the White House wants to commit the United States to a new international “agreement” on climate change, energy use, economic growth, and wealth redistribution - without presenting it to Congress, in violation of constitutional requirements that any treaty receive the “advice and consent” of the Senate.

Every American concerned about our nation’s future should read this report, to understand what is happening and what is at stake. They should resist these actions by unelected, unaccountable regulators, challenge them in courts and legislatures, and demand that every study, report, and proposed rule be presented for review by citizens, legislators, and independent experts outside the closed circles of the climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex. If the climate alarmists are truly confident in their claims and have nothing to hide, they should be happy to participate in this honest, common sense approach.

See more here

Sep 16, 2014
A NEW PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY FOR METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY

Contact Anthony Watts Telephone 530-342-7291
Email contact@theoas.org Website http://theoas.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 2014
A NEW PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY FOR METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY

The Open Atmospheric Society takes a new approach to atmospheric science, becoming the first society of its kind to be a cloud-based online organization.

September 16, 2014: The Open Atmospheric Society, known as “The OAS” for short announces its formation, and readiness to accept charter members. The purpose of The OAS is to provide a paperless and entirely online professional organization that will represent individuals who have been unrepresented by existing professional organizations that have become more activist than science based in their outlook. It also aims to provide a professional peer reviewed publication platform to produce an online journal with a unique and important requirement placed up-front for any paper submitted; it must be replicable, with all data, software, formulas, and methods submitted with the paper. Without those elements, the paper will be rejected. This focus on replicability up front is not found in other similar organizations that publish scientific results.

John Coleman, Founder of The Weather Channel had this to say
It is very gratifying to hear of the formation of The Open Atmospheric Society. A new Meteorological organization and scientific publication have been greatly needed for more than a decade. It is unfortunate that the American Meteorological Society has become totally politicized and conducts itself in total violation of the basic scientific principal of open debate; encouraging competing points of view to be presented and published.

allowed my Professional Membership in the AMS expire many years ago after being an active member, attending National Conferences and reading The Bulletin of the AMS for many years. Several events occurred that made it clear to me that the society was in the control of people who were using it to complete their personal agendas and the Society would was becoming closed and dogmatic. I look forward to membership in the OAS

Joseph D’Aleo AMS Fellow, and Certified Consulting Meteorologist adds:

The AMS, AGU and other professional society editors have slow-walked and thrown up obstacles to papers that challenge the “consensus” position, usually forcing authors to go elsewhere to publish their work. They have fast tracked other papers when issues arose that threatened that position. The AMS had policy advocacy as one of the top organizational goals. A professional scientific society should only advocate for good science and leave the policymaking to those elected to determine the policies based on the very best science.

The OAS, whose motto: verum in luce means “truth in the light”, offers not only a place for a free exchange of ideas, but a unique Internet cloud-based journal publishing platform providing emphasis on open review and reproducibility requirements up-front. Here are a few points of interest:

Open membership - Associate members, anyone who has an interest in atmospheric science, can join at a basic rate, providing interdisciplinary membership. Professional full voting members, will require a degree in atmospheric sciences or related earth disciplines, or three published papers in these subjects. Student members get a reduced rate, similar to associate members with option to full member elevation.

Open journal - The Journal of the OAS will be free to read by the public. Open science - a transparent online peer review process

No other journal asks this upfront: strict OAS Journal submission requirements - technical submissions to the Journal by members must include all source data, software/code, procedures, and documentation to ensure reproducibility of the paper’s experiment or analysis by external reviewers.

Author account - each author and co-author will have accounts for collaboration, submitting papers, making edits, and responding to reviewers.

Emphasis on reasonable publication turnaround, 3 months or less.

DOI’s will be assigned and provided with each publication.

The OAS will offer press releases and web video assistance for authors to explain papers clearly and effectively to the general public. It will also occasionally offer statements and positions regarding atmospheric science as it relates to current news.

Organizational activity will be conducted entirely online - This means no costly brick and mortar infrastructure, no costly postal mailings journals, and no need for warehousing paper files and publications.
The formation of The OAS represents a new way of conducting the scientific method, and welcomes those who feel their professional interests are not being served with the current collection of professional societies who focus on meteorology and climatology. The upcoming Journal of the Open Atmospheric Society has been assigned an official ISSN publication number by the Library of Congress (ISSN 2373-5953) and is registered with CrossRef, the world’s leading scientific publication identifier providing Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) for publications.

If you would like more information about this new society, please email us at contact@theoas.org or visit online at http://theoas.org to learn more or to become a member.

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