Nov 18, 2012
Reality denier: Raving warmist Jeff Masters, ignoring the latest peer-reviewed science on drought
Tom Nelson Blogspot
Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog : Lessons from 2012: Droughts, not Hurricanes, are the Greater Danger | Weather Underground/Weather Channel’s last stand
We should not assume that the 21st century global civilization is immune from collapse due to drought. If we continue on our current path of ever-increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, the hotter planet that we will create will surely spawn droughts far more intense than any seen in recorded history, severely testing the ability of our highly interconnected global economy to cope. The coming great drought disasters will occur at a time when climate change is simultaneously creating record rainfall and flooding in areas that happen to be in the way of storms. Global warming puts more heat energy into the atmosphere. That means more more water will evaporate from the oceans to create heavier rains and make storms stronger, and there will be more heat energy to increase the intensity of heat waves and droughts. It all depends upon if you happen to lie on the prevailing storm track or not which extreme you’ll experience. In the future, if you’re not being cooked in a record drought, you’re going to be washed away in a record flood.
Little change in global drought over the past 60 years : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
Justin Sheffield, Eric F. Wood & Michael L. Roderick
Nature 491, 435 to 438 (15 November 2012) doi:10.1038/nature11575
Received 23 July 2012 Accepted 11 September 2012 Published online 14 November 2012
Drought is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future as a result of climate change, mainly as a consequence of decreases in regional precipitation but also because of increasing evaporation driven by global warming. Previous assessments (TH) of historic changes in drought over the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries indicate that this may already be happening globally. In particular, calculations of the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) show a decrease in moisture globally since the 1970s with a commensurate increase in the area in drought that is attributed, in part, to global warming. The simplicity of the PDSI, which is calculated from a simple water-balance model forced by monthly precipitation and temperature data, makes it an attractive tool in large-scale drought assessments, but may give biased results in the context of climate change6. Here we show that the previously reported increase in global drought is overestimated because the PDSI uses a simplified model of potential evaporation7 that responds only to changes in temperature and thus responds incorrectly to global warming in recent decades. More realistic calculations (PM), based on the underlying physical principles that take into account changes in available energy, humidity and wind speed, suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years. The results have implications for how we interpret the impact of global warming on the hydrological cycle and its extremes, and may help to explain why palaeoclimate drought reconstructions based on tree-ring data diverge from the PDSI-based drought record in recent years.
Enlarged a, PDSI_Th (blue line) and PDSI_PM (red line). b, Area in drought (PDSI <−3.0) for the PDSI_Th (blue line) and PDSI_PM (red line).
Nov 14, 2012
The Climate Change Lies Ramp Up Again
By Alan Caruba
Within days of the election, Rasmussen Reports said that “While there was little talk of climate change during the president campaign, the number of U.S. voters who see global warming as a serious problem is at an all-time high.
A survey reported on November 9th found that “68% of likely U.S. voters now say that global warming is at least a somewhat serious problem, including 38% who think it is very serious. Thirty percent (30%) don’t see global warming as a serious problem, with 12% who think it’s not serious at all.”
There’s nothing like a devastating Hurricane Sandy and a follow-up “nor’easter” to get people thinking that “climate” is changing, but the simple unadorned fact is that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle since 1998. It’s getting colder all over the world.
Meteorologist Tim Kelley says “Sandy is not an unprecedented storm. The 1938 hurricane was worse, and was followed by major hurricanes in 1944 and 1954; three major hurricanes in 16 years. We are fortunate to have gone nearly 60 years without a comparable storm here in the northeast.”
“The alarm and fear of anthropogenic (manmade) global warming is a major distraction,” said Kelley, “and a waste of resources that could otherwise go to helping humanity.” There are some simple truths that most people just don’t get. “Heat on Earth comes from our Sun and is stored in our oceans. Small fluctuations in solar and oceanic cycles draft any impact on climate when compared to the influence of anthropogenic CO2.”
“From a scientific perspective,” says Kelley, “it’s almost unfathomable that we have been duped into believing the scare generated by climate change alarmists.” And, yet, clearly a lot of people have been and continue to be duped.
So, like a zombie, climate change is back after the politicians managed to say nothing about it during the long campaign, plus three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate. It has been around since 1988. The greatest charlatan and buffoon the political class has produced, Al Gore, became the face of the global warming hoax. In 2009, when the emails between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists were exposed, it became clear that they were fearful that the new cooling cycle would end their grants and funding.
Headlines blared regarding the hoax and then they were forgotten, ignored.
No matter how many times the facts are presented, the global warming/climate change liars just produce some new report or study proclaiming that “97% of climate experts agree that humanity is causing global warming and other problematic climate change because of our greenhouse gas emissions.” That was the message of the Doran/Zimmerman global warming poll in April 2008 and published in January 2009. As Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition pointed out, the survey has been thorough debunked. It doesn’t matter.
Just after the election, Environmental Defense Fund president, Fred Krupp, congratulated President Obama on reelection, saying he expects the 113th Congress to “make global climate change” a top priority.
Friends of the Earth, another environmental powerhouse, expressed similar thoughts. “In his acceptance speech, President Obama acknowledged the ‘destructive power of a warming planet.’ It is ironic that the outcome of a campaign so marked by the silence of both candidates would be definitively influenced by Superstorm Sandy, but history will show that the winds of Hurricane Sandy blew President Obama back into office.”
Surely some voters looked at the hurricane and concluded that it was “proof” of global warming and/or climate change. It was only proof that hurricanes have been occurring before and since the dawn of mankind.
It was proof of the gullibility, the ignorance of simple facts about the climate, that vast multitudes of Americans have been indoctrinated to believe when they attended school and by the constant media exposure of the repeated lies about global warming.
Ignored in the midst of this is the way such lies get translated into government policies that do immeasurable harm to the economy.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute called on President Obama to take reasoned steps
- Suspend and re-open the rulemaking process for the EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions regulations and other major Clean Air Act rules designed to close coal-fired power plants and raise electric rates and cancel the revised offshore drilling plan and revert to the much-more-ambitious 2008 plan.
- Open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration
- Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline
- Stop the EPA from interfering in state regulation of hydraulic fracturing.
- Suspend the Renewable Futures Standard for 2013 so corn prices can stabilize and
- Suspend, for obvious reasons, the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program to “green” energy companies.
That’s the real impact of all the climate change hogwash. Hurricane Sandy left a wide swath of Americans in the dark prior to and during the election. The bunkum about greenhouse gas emissions will impede the steps the nation must take to ensure sufficient energy to keep the lights on from coast to coast.
Oct 31, 2012
It’s the AMO stupid
By Joseph D’Aleo, Weatherbell Analytics
We are already hearing that Sandy and any forthcoming wild winter weather relates to the post 1979 record arctic ice melt which alarmists incorrectly attribute to greenhouse gases. However, the fluctuations of arctic ice are the result of the same patterns (multidecadal in nature) that cause storms like Irene and Sandy and wild winters. Sandy broke the storm tide record for the Battery in NYC with a 13.88 foot AMLW level. The previous record was 11.2 feet set in the great hurricane of 1821 in the Dalton solar minimum. That storm was stronger than Sandy (1821 was a CAT3) but the surge came at low tide and with Sandy right at high tide, enhanced by a full moon. Also global see levels were a foot lower then. This was a comparable event. Of course back then there were no tunnels and subways, buses and cars, 100,000’s of people versus the 8 million today. So the event is not unprecedented as brainless bloggers, politicians and environMENTAL opportunists suggest.
Bill Clinton used “It’s the economy stupid” to help get elected in 2000.
My response to those in the met community and the left leaning trolls in the media that wants to put the blame for Irene and Sandy and any cold winters we have been getting on the melting of the arctic ice in summer due to greenhouse gases is: “It’s the AMO stupid”.
The AMO which goes through a 60-70 cycle favors more frequent hurricanes and more landfalls. We saw that in the period from the 1920s to around 1960 and again after 1995. In the first warm period mid century we had 11 major east coast hurricanes. We have had at least 8 since the AMO has warmed again in 1995. The last two years, the northeast got the brunt with irene and Sandy.
This is especially noticeable with major (CAT3+) hurricanes as JB and Ryan and my friend Dr. Bill Gray has shown.
And for the arctic ice the University of Alaska Fairbanks has shown the Atlantic is the key to the extent of the ice in the arctic.
Atlantic water flows under the ice in the current sin the Kara and Barents sea (as does Pacific through the Bering Straits). When the AMO is -, the water is colder than normal and less melting occurs when the AMO is +.
The dips in arctic ice in 2007 and 2012 followed spikes in the AMO. The NSIDC which in 20007 was still a team of mainly objective scientists told it like it really is when they wrote:
“One prominent researcher, Igor Polyakov at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, points out that pulses of unusually warm water have been entering the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic, which several years later are seen in the ocean north of Siberia. These pulses of water are helping to heat the upper Arctic Ocean, contributing to summer ice melt and helping to reduce winter ice growth.Another scientist, Koji Shimada of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, reports evidence of changes in ocean circulation in the Pacific side of the Arctic Ocean. Through a complex interaction with declining sea ice, warm water entering the Arctic Ocean through Bering Strait in summer is being shunted from the Alaskan coast into the Arctic Ocean, where it fosters further ice loss. Many questions still remain to be answered, but these changes in ocean circulation may be important keys for understanding the observed loss of Arctic sea ice.”
The International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks showed how arctic temperatures have cycled with intrusions of Atlantic water - cold and warm.
A similar and perhaps even more impressive melt occurred in the last +AMO phase whn the US Submarine Skate surfaced at the North pole in the summer AND winter.
In 2007, NASA scientists reported that after years of research, their team had assembled data showing that normal, decade-long changes in Arctic Ocean currents driven by a circulation known as the Arctic Oscillation was largely responsible for the major Arctic climate shifts. These periodic reversals in the ocean currents move warmer and cooler water around to new places, greatly affecting the climate. The AO was at a record low level 2009-2010 explaining the record cold and snow in middle latitudes. A strongly negative AO pushes the coldest air well south while temperatures in the Polar Regions are warmer than normal under blocking high pressure.
See how the warm tripole led to negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a component if the AO in the 1960s) and the cold a positive in the 1980s.
The NAO has declined after the AMO went positive in 1995 in winter.
After the 2010/11 winter, the decadal trend numbers were astounding as to the degree of winter cooling in the US - ALL REGIONS. In December 2010, the UK had its second coldest December. in the entire record since 1659 in the LITTLE ICE AGE. The lower 48 was left out last winter though records for cold and snow were set in Alaska and parts of Eurasia.
Even with the warming rebound winter in the lower 48, the 15 year trend continues down at 2.07F/decade.
And that is true again for all regions.
Winters have been snowier too in the US and the hemisphere.
So more landfalling storms in the Atlantic Basin and low arctic ice and cold winters are the result of a warm multidecadal cycle in the Atlantic not CO2. Its natural and cyclical. The world and our climate did not begin in 1979 when we could first watch from the sky in detail the arctic ice.
The stasis in global annual mean temperatures is due to a cold Pacific and a sun entering a slumber. They are fighting the last holdout, the warm AMO.
When the AMO goes cold in 5 years or so and cycle 24 gives way to dud cycle 25, Katy bar the door.
(1) Irene and Sandy were overdue landfalling storms in the northeast during the warm multidecadal Atlantic mode that started in 1995. This is similar to the active priod from 1938-1960 when 11 landfalling impactful hurricanes occurred in the east (8 so far since 1995).
(2) The arctic ice responds to the same multidecadal Atlantic cycle and the Pacifical Decadal Oscillation. Ice in the 1950s was probably even lower than present as US submarines surface at the pole in winter and summer
(3) The warm AMO favore ths negative state of the NAO and AO which translates into colder and often snowier winters in the US and Eurasia.
(4) Its the AMO stupid.
Oct 28, 2012
Significant storm surge will impact New York City and surrounding areas
By Michael Barak, Weatherbell Analytics
Significant storm surge will impact New York City and surrounding areas during the landfall of Hurricane Sandy. The projected landfall will place NYC in an onshore wind flow through several tide cycles. Given the geometry of the New York/New Jersey coast, water will be funneled into New York Harbor. Our chief meteorologist at WeatherBELL, Joe Bastardi, has been frantically warning the public that the highly perpendicular angle at which Sandy is approaching will allow for a far more significant surge event than Hurricane Irene.
SLOSH modeling shows the areas that have the potential to be flooded during this event.
It is important to take note of the unusually low atmospheric pressure of Hurricane Sandy. The Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale is based entirely on maximum sustained winds near the hurricanes center. However, Sandy’s structure is not typical of hurricanes that exist in the deep tropics. A typical category 1 hurricane would only have hurricane force extending several tens of miles from the center. Sandy’s wind field is not concentrated near the center and hurricane force winds extend over 200 miles from the eye. As a result, significantly more seawater that normal is being driven toward the coast. The central pressure of the storm would be more indicative of a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane.
NOAA is forecasting over 10 feet of storm surge into New York Harbor. Keep in mind that the storm surge during Hurricane Irene was approximately 3.5-4.6ft. The graphic below depicts just how dire the situation will become.
Similarly, Stevens Institute modeling is also forecasting a historic storm surge for NYC.
There will also be tremendous wave action (swells over 20 feet) superimposed on the rise in sea level.
This is a life-threatening situation for the New York and New Jersey coastline. All state and local governments should take maximum precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the people.
Follow us at www.weatherbell.com for storm updates.
Unsolicited comment on Forbes.com
Jonathan Nichols 1 hour ago
It would be good for all readers to know that Joe Bastardi and Joe D’Aleo have been on top of this since before it was even a ‘tropical storm’. They also were also the first at dismissing the GFS when it was taking Sandy out to sea, insisting that it would be captured for an east coast hit more than ten days ago. I am a subscriber to Weatherbell premium and find it to be a fascinating, informative and educational site on the weather. As a farmer, I really appreciate their long term outlooks. As an investor, I have started to make some moves to try to leverage the good information they put out. Full disclosure: I don’t stand to gain anything personally by point out that WeatherBell is amazing.
Oct 23, 2012
The Disaster Business: Scientists Denounce Dubious Climate Study by Insurer
By Axel Bojanowski, Spiegel On-line
Whether it’s hurricanes, thunderstorms or tornadoes, extreme weather is big business for insurers. Now German re-insurer Munich Re claims to have found proof that man-made climate change is causing more weather catastrophes in North America. Scientists are outraged.
Insurance companies have long been in the business of betting on the dangers of weather. And it has become commonplace for large insurance companies to mail out marketing flyers to potential customers warning of an increase in inclement weather. German global insurance giant Allianz is one of many companies that have created a market for policies that “reduce the risks associated with climate change.”
Meanwhile, Munich Re, the world’s largest re-insurer of insurance companies in the event of extreme damage payments, has also announced an important finding: Natural disasters over the past 30 years have already shown the initial “footprint” of man-made climate change in North America, the German company claims. Many media outlets promptly ran last week’s press release as news, stating that a prominent insurance company had warned of an increase in the number of natural disasters. But scientists have criticized the re-insurer for rushing to reach its conclusions.
The truth is that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has in fact been warning of an increase in heat waves, torrential rains and floods. But in most cases, it has not been proven that climate change has made the weather any more extreme. In some instances there are facts to suggest this, but in most these conclusions are driven by perceptions. It is not a foregone conclusion that things will necessarily get worse. According to an IPCC report, there may be fewer cold weather disasters and storms in the future in some places.
Most Disaster Premiums Come from the US
Although it is considered a fact that humans are warming the climate through emissions, when it comes to assessments about extreme weather, the experts at the UN climate council are reserved. They argue that it could take decades before the new climate is palpable. With all the natural fluctuations in the climate, it generally only becomes apparent in the later stages that the frequency of extreme conditions is increasing. By then, of course, it may also be too late to limit climate change.
The main problem is the rarity of extreme events—and a lack of data about them. That alone makes it difficult to assess the situation. Vast amounts of data are required in order to determine whether an increasing greenhouse gas effect has already changed the frequency of extreme weather in past decades.
But Munich Re appears to feel it is in the best position to provide such answers. The company, whose most important market is in the United States, claims to have the “world’s most comprehensive database on natural disasters.”
“Well over half of the natural disaster premiums come from the USA,” says Munich Re board member Peter Röder, who is responsible for the North American market.
‘A Strong Chain of Evidence’
Roder said the company is “highly exposed” in the US, particularly in the area of hurricane insurance. At a recent talk with journalists in Munich, Roder said the company is “very satisfied” with its premiums covering weather disasters in the United States. He said the company had already factored in expectations for more intense hurricanes.
And new data from Munich Re also seems to support this strategy. Since 1980, the property damage caused by weather disasters has quintupled, Munich Re has reported. “Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America,” said Munich Re’s head of GeoRisk Research, Peter Hoppe, in a company video. “Previously, there had not been such a strong chain of evidence.”
‘No Such Claims’
But scientists claim there is a lack of evidence. “The press release suggests that a ‘footprint’ of climate change has been found in loss data,” said environmental researcher Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado in Boulder. “But the report has no such claims.”
Clifford Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, added: “Most of it makes no sense and is contradictory to observed trends.”
According to the Munich Re study, total damages from weather-related disasters in North America from 1980 to 2011 amounted to $1.6 trillion, of which $510 billion was covered by insurance. Around 30,000 people died. The most expensive disaster so far was Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
Hoppe believes that the warming of oceans has precipitated hurricanes. “The higher the (sea) surface temperatures are, the higher the risk of high-intensity hurricanes. We have seen globally, but also in the northern Atlantic Ocean, that these sea surface temperatures have increased significantly already due to global warming,” he added in the video. Of course, other forces can also hinder tropical cyclones, including wind shears and dust clouds.
The Mystery of Tropical Cyclones
In order to determine whether hurricanes have, in fact, grown more dangerous or whether there are merely more housing units that have been affected by them, researchers have to find a way to make the storms of past decades comparable to one another. They calculate the effect hurricanes would have had if the number of housing units had been as dense then as it is today.
One of these studies, completed by Pielke four years ago, came to a surprising conclusion. If the same number of housing units had been built at the time, then the most damaging single storm would have been the Great Miami hurricane of 1926 , followed by Katrina in 2005 and two hurricanes in Galveston, Texas, in 1900 and 1915. The report did not find any trend in increasing intensity in hurricanes.
Pielke and two other colleagues are also set to present similarly surprising findings in an upcoming study on tornadoes in the United States that will soon be published by the journal Environmental Hazards. An analysis of 56,457 tornadoes since 1950 has shown if the same number of housing units had existed over the past six decades, then the amount of damage caused by tornadoes actually would have gone down, according to Pielke.
Suspicious Press Release
In light of these contradictions, other statements in the Munich Re study also seem doubtful. Storms and heavy rain have increased in many parts of the inland US, the re-insurer writes, referring to a three-year-old study from Cornell University. But for an “initial climate change footprint,” this source is already far too old.
The development corresponds to expectations, the insurer says. Warm air holds more moisture, which can potentially be released by stronger storms, a phenomenon that the IPCC also predicts will bring more heavy rains.
Scientists say they can prove that a stronger greenhouse effect has created heavier rain in the United Kingdom, but what happens in any given region still depends on the local atmospheric conditions. Naturally, no climate insurance premium would be limited by such considerations though.
Pielke criticizes Munich Re for its approach. “If Munich Re believes it has found the footprint of human-caused climate change in disaster data, then they should prepare a scientific paper and send it to Science or Nature, where it would be a major finding,” he says. “Releasing such claims via promotional press release suggests otherwise.”
Atmospheric researcher Mass agrees. “Climate change is serious, but hyping and distorting past trends is not the responsible way to deal with it.”
Politicians Co-Opt Climate Change
So far, Pielke says, scientists have been unable to identify man-made climate change in catastrophe damage data. There also doesn’t seem to be a trend toward stronger heatwaves in the US, despite this summer’s drought. Indeed, the data shows that droughts in the US have become shorter and less frequent in the last decades.
The scientific journal Nature recently underlined the weather problem in an editorial. Given the technical difficulties, perhaps it doesn’t make sense to automatically lump these problems together with climate change, it says. “Especially in poor countries, the losses arising from extreme weather have often as much to do with poverty, poor health and government corruption as with a change in climate.”
Meanwhile, leading politicians repeatedly attempt to use natural disasters as evidence for man-made climate change. More intense weather extremes have become a “new reality,” European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said in September. Climate change is the “new normal,” she added.
These kind of statements are likely to be welcomed by insurers, but not by scientists or the general public. A statement once made by the recently deceased Austrian climate researcher Reinhard Böhm seems appropriate: “One shouldn’t allow short-term gimmicks that enjoy a certain acceptance to bury the credibility of science.”