Headlining Again: Flirting with Insufferable

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 10:22 PM GMT on February 09, 2015

Headlining Again: Flirting with Insufferable

Two weeks ago, on January 25, a public affairs representative asked me if I wanted to make a statement in advance of the historic blizzard predicted for the Northeast. After that conversation, a little write up was released offering me up as an expert for the press. My comment was that I didn’t think the storm should be conflated with climate change, and I had doubts about it being “historic.” This, of course, assured that no one would call me in advance of the blizzard. My more pithy comment, that it would be historic in the sense that it was consistent with history, did not carry the day either. Given the way the forecast and the reporting unfolded, I have been given an opportunity to be completely insufferable.

Here’s a little record of the news cycle on my Tumblr site.

Given that my last blog was on the role that we scientists sometimes play in fueling climate-science controversies, the blizzard seems like a natural follow on. In fact, the 2011 piece with Christine Shearer, “Changing the Media Discussion on Climate and Extreme Weather,” used the example of event attribution as a place where scientists fuel headlines that are not always productive.

Here are the three reasons that I declined to conflate the storm with climate change and to talk about a potential “historic” event.

1. The practice of trying to attribute some portion of a storm to climate change is a no-win practice. I understand the curiosity that leads to public interest. I understand the curiosity of the scientific investigation of event attribution. I am not convinced that there is any policy relevance of event attribution.

We have one climate, the Earth’s climate. We have one atmosphere. If we focus on the atmosphere, then we have weather that occurs in the atmosphere, and we have the climate of that atmosphere. Weather and climate are both ways that humans describe temperature, moisture, winds, etc., in this case, associated with the atmosphere. Weather and climate are not separate and independent things; they are different descriptions of the same measures of the atmosphere. If climate changes, weather changes. If weather changes, climate changes. Therefore, every weather event occurs in our changing climate on our warming Earth. Since our understanding and description of weather relies on temperature, moisture, wind, and how they vary, it is unrealistic to imagine that weather events are not influenced by the changing climate.

The questions of how an event differs, today, in our warmer climate from a similar event in the past, can be addressed, but such a determination relies upon statistics and statements of probability and likelihood. Conclusions are never definitively verifiable. Probability and likelihood are notoriously difficult ways to communicate in quiet consultation, and even more difficult in newspapers, on the radio, television and online. Probability and risk are just made for conflicting headlines. The conclusions are, therefore, by definition, uncertain, and uncertainty can always fuel both sides of a rhetorical or a political argument. Therefore, as with marking one temperature record after another, attribution headlines obscure what is important about climate change.

2. As in my series on the not so “super El Nino,” predicting an extreme event as super, historic or unprecedented mostly sets the predictor up as a foil to those interested in maintaining the turmoil of conflicting headlines. Extreme events are rare, and an event that is more extreme than any previous extreme event is rarer. Therefore, many things have to come together to justify such a prediction. I count on the dispassionate language of science-based organizations to describe model forecasts. The appearance of imprecise adjectives of extremes should be expected to fuel an extreme-fascinated society into its next exercise of false urgency and compulsion for crisis management. When I was asked to comment on whether or not a historic storm was likely for a particular place at a particular time, the forecast was far too distant in the future; too many things had to come together, perfectly, to justify such a prediction.

3. I am not a weather forecaster. I have worked with outstanding forecasters. I have managed the building and verification of weather-forecasting systems and climate models. There were a number of attributes of the model prediction that raised yellow flags. This included the fact that weather-forecast reporting, now, has the gamesmanship of Euro versus U.S.

What were the yellow flags? The forecast was for a fast moving disturbance to move across the continent, to interact with a front off of the East Coast, to grow, and to move to the north and east. The first yellow flags were a lot of moving parts and growing. Then, there is a set of aspects that put up more warning flags. There is the need to get water from the warmer-than-normal ocean, transport that water, and convert it to rain and snow. These are aspects of modeling that are difficult to represent and more different to link together.

Within the model, there are events occurring on different measures (scales) of space and time. The evaporation of water is represented in the models in areas on the Earth’s surface that are a few kilometers on their sides. The actual evaporation occurs in much smaller representative areas and depends on many unrepresented details of the Earth’s surface. The evaporation, the transport, and the conversion of water from liquid to vapor, from vapor to water, ice and snow, must be organized into moving and growing storms whose geographical extent is from 10 to 100 times larger. We want to know the transition line between rain, sleet and snow. Then, after all of these elements of a storm are collected together and forecast into the future, we ask the model to give us an answer that distinguishes Manhattan from Queens from Hauppauge. We want answers separated by smaller distances than the smallest distances that the models represent. The expectations are not in realistic alignment with possibility. There are too many things that have to come together in the 24-48 hours of the forecast to justify the hyperbole of super, historic and unprecedented.

Weather and climate models are amazing and powerful tools. They help us think about what the weather and climate will do. They help us think about how to prepare. They also have intrinsic, sometime irreducible limitations. With regard to this weather forecast, if a model represents the surface of the Earth with patches of surface than are 10 km on the side, then the uncertainty associated with a particular weather event is more like 50 to 100 km (Recent effective resolution paper). Within that range of uncertainty, the forecast of the 2015 Northeast blizzard was spot on.

Weather and climate models are powerful and dispassionate tools. They have no control over how we take that information, determine knowledge content, describe that knowledge, react to that knowledge and use that knowledge. There are those trained in interpretation of forecasts and the prediction of weather events. There are those trained in the identification of vulnerabilities and assessment of risk. There are those trained in response to perceived risk and in response to realized risk. There are those trained in communication, and those trained in capturing audience. Increasingly, we allow our communication to be framed by those experts in capturing audience; we watch stories flame in news cycles that are rife with inaccuracy and incompleteness. We allow the foibles of communication to damage the chain of expertise for making and using forecasts.

This weekend Dean Smith died. Dean Smith has a larger-than-life iconography in sport, society and life. Smith was notorious for causing chaos at the end of basketball games when Carolina was trailing. In that chaos was opportunity. Weather, climate and the relationship of weather and climate play out in public, where there are many chattering voices looking for attention and audience – mine included. The desire to predict, for rightness and for attention motivates us to take distinguishing positions that differentiate us from others. This is chaotic. Then there are those in the climate-change conversation who are deliberately chaotic. As scientists claiming to advocate knowledge-based decisions, we must understand that we step into this world of natural and manufactured chaos. There are things we do repeatedly, record marking and event attribution amongst them, which help fuel the chaos, and obscure what is important about climate change.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 144 - 94

Page: 1 | 2 | 3Blog Index

144. atifa
6:21 AM GMT on December 03, 2015
I think the admin of this website is really working hard in support of his website,
because here every stuff is quality based data.
Great post. Keep writing such kind of info on your site.

http://crackprolink.com/avast-antivirus-10-4-2233 -crack-patch-serial-key/
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
143. atifa
1:59 PM GMT on December 02, 2015
I think the admin of this website is really working hard in support of his website,
because here every stuff is quality based data.
Great post. Keep writing such kind of info on your site.

http://crackprolink.com/jetbrains-phpstorm-9-x-pr o-crack-and-full-activation-code/
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
142. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
7:07 AM GMT on February 17, 2015
RickyRood has created a new entry.
141. BaltimoreBrian
2:05 AM GMT on February 17, 2015
John can you post your list on #137 on my blog? Thanks!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
140. JohnLonergan
1:30 AM GMT on February 17, 2015
Fun times in the twit-o-sphere

It all started when Sou posted this at HotWhopper:

Confessions of deniers at Judith Curry's blog

You may remember when Anthony Watts at WUWT posted a self-portrait of a denier, which brought out a whole host of other self portraits - predominately from engineers. Now Judith Curry has invited deniers to write about why they reject climate science (archived here). I think it was an open invitation to all, but since her blog is denier paradise, most of the comments are from - you guessed it, climate science deniers.

There were several people who wrote more than one of the 133 comments (as archived). I counted only eight people who accept the science. The rest rejected science (a couple were non-committal). Some described themselves as lukewarmers or fence-sitters. Others were more hard-core.

...Some of the stated reasons for rejecting climate science:
Suspect "motives of the UN/IPCC"
"attempts to scare the public re. extreme weather events being linked to climate change" (here)
"mightily impressed" by disinformation
"attempts by the UN and the Progressive Green Mafia to reshape the entire world economy" (here)
"Really Cold in lots and lots of places yesterday and today" (here)
Money ("billions of dollars")
Has "serious doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the global historic temperature records" (here)
"Many of the people pushing the danger are radical extremists" (here)
Found a denier article on a denier blog and was converted
Rarely read any climate articles except those on denier blogs (here and here)
Has "always reacted against conventional wisdom" (here)
Couldn't find AGW in the temperature record (really)
"the entire basis for the movement rested upon cherry-picking and lies of omission" (here)
"got dragged to a lecture by Chris Essex" (here)
Personal incredulity (and strawmen) "the whole idea that some scientists have the global climate system accurately modelled just pegged my BS meter" (here)
"finally had access to the tremendous body of skepticism about AGW" (here)
"read a friend’s copy of Andrew Montford’s book, ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’" (here)
Has "the feeling that I’m being hustled" (here)
"It struck me as very odd that the ground thermometer readings would continue to be preferred when the satellite measurements became available" (here)
Felt cheated because he sold his house based on his reading of an article in the NY Times (here)
Willingly fell for disinformation from McIntyre and McKitrick (here)
Climate science "was being promoted with a very left wing slant which made me suspicious" (here)
"Not worried about global warming because there is an enormous cold reservoir in the deep oceans that could be employed to cool if it doesn’t deliver the next ice age already on its own." (here)
"Global warming always struck me as stupid because everything that was said to be ‘unprecedented’ was so obviously not." (here)
"It seemed to me that we were, possibly, being manipulated." (here)
Read a Michael Crichton novel "Got into this after reading State of Fear. Before that didn’t realize there were non-crazy people who were actually skeptical." (here)
"the effort to “disappear” the MWP was a watershed moment for me" (here)
"I lean toward the view that the effect on temperature of the large increase in anthropogenic CO2 is small, barely if at all detectable " and in the same comment "reminded us that Mt. Pinatubo was a big event affecting the atmosphere" (here)
"I am a skeptic perhaps mostly because of the work of Dr (sic) Tony Brown" (here)
"I am unable to understand how replacing one out of 10000 molecules in the atmosphere with another one of a meager “greenhouse gas” could possibly disrupt the planet’s entire climatic system to such an extent" (here)
"It seemed like a lot of hype, and darn little in the way of good arguments. " (here)
"After Florida had two severe hurricane seasons in a row, home insurance rates skyrocketed" (here)
"Any warming since 1979 is offset by cooling in 1958-1978" (Yes, really! here)
Judith's blog - how she must swell with pride: "I have only been visiting Judith’s blog since September 2011 but even this shorter period has been enough to make me less open-minded and more convinced that the AGW hypothesis is generally based on sloppy science and even sloppier reasoning when it relates climate change to the advocacy of carbon reduction policies." (here)
"I noticed a lot of people were making huge money from it" (here)
Writes like he really believes this nonsense: "The scientists really were fiddling to get the right results, ruining the careers of people who had different scientific views and refusing to show where the data and workings for the papers used by the IPCC came from." (here)
"I suspect that this government-born new virgin birth of “global warming” is not a scientific issue, now, any longer, but will be a justification for global fascism, in the name of good.. ….as always. ….smile." (here)

well Dame Judith wasn't too happy and called Sou out on twitter; Eli Rabett takes it from there click to view twitter feed

Commenter George montgomery is the early favorite to win the internet with

George Montgomery said...
"The advanced degrees makes it fairly ludicrous to refer to them as science 'deniers'"
There's no arguing with "ludicrous" logic like that; it's an exemplar of "fairly" putting the 'twit' into 'twitter'.

Dame Judith seemingly has given up all pretense of being a legitimate scientist.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
139. Xandra
12:51 AM GMT on February 17, 2015
Neil deGrasse Tyson:

"I dream of a world where the truth is what shapes people's politics, rather than politics shaping what people think is true."

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
138. RevElvis
12:31 AM GMT on February 17, 2015
Climate Change Poised to Make Infectious Disease Outbreaks More Frequent

As the catastrophic Ebola outbreak showed the world recently, the modern age of global air travel has made it far easier for disease to spread. But climate change, which is shuffling habitable zones for pathogen-carrying animals, is poised to make future outbreaks of infectious diseases such as Ebola, H1N1 and TB worse, and more frequent.

In an article published Sunday in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, two zoologists studying parasites in drastically different environments--one in the Arctic, the other in tropical zones--relay what 30 years of research have taught them about the future of disease,...

Article At Newsweek.com
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
136. JohnLonergan
12:16 AM GMT on February 17, 2015
Quoting 134. BaltimoreBrian:

Addendum: see #137

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
135. Xandra
12:01 AM GMT on February 17, 2015
Quoting 124. JohnLonergan:

Doug Craig:

Michael Mann tells it like it is

What I love about science and scientists like Michael Mann is the focus on reality. As a psychologist, I don’t want to waste time on fiction. I can’t help someone who lies to themselves and me about their issues and concerns. My interventions are successful when we address what we know to be true and what we can actually control.

When it comes to human-caused global warming, conservatives live in a bubble where they create their own version of reality. As Dr. Mann so aptly stated, they don’t just deny the reality of our changing climate, they deny the basic physics taught in our high school and college classrooms. And the maddening part is they are completely comfortable doing so while they deny that they are denying. They love it inside their bubble because they can keep physical reality somewhere else.

Remember global warming means hotter atmosphere over land and ocean and hotter oceans.

And hotter oceans means bigger storms and our hotter atmosphere means more moisture which increases precipitation volume associated with rain and snow storm events. Physics. Basic science.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
134. BaltimoreBrian
11:14 PM GMT on February 16, 2015

*** Fiery oil train crash forces W Virginia towns to evacuate

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
133. barbamz
11:01 PM GMT on February 16, 2015

Fox Glacier's spectacular retreat from Brian Anderson on Vimeo.

Fox Glacier – a time lapse video of slope failures as the glacier retreats
Landslide Blog, 15 February 2015
The spectacular Fox Glacier in New Zealand is a very popular tourist attraction on the South Island – Wikipedia estimates that around 1000 people visit per day. Sadly, the Fax Glacier is retreating rapidly, in common with most glaciers as they respond to the effects of climate change. ...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
131. JohnLonergan
8:23 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
So, how warm was January?

More ...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
130. JohnLonergan
6:13 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
This image of Stephen Schneider's Memorial at Stanford was posted at Rabett Run

The inscription on top reads "Teach your children well'
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
129. Naga5000
4:56 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
Quoting 125. RevElvis:

The 12 terrifying ways researchers think human civilisation is most likely to end

1. Extreme climate change
2. Nuclear war
3. Global pandemic
4. Major asteroid impact
5. Super volcano
6. Ecological catastrophe
7. Global system catastrophe
8. Synthetic biology
9. Nanotechnology
10. Artificial intelligence
11. Future bad global governance
12. Unknown consequences

independent.co.uk (LINK)

What do we win if they are right? Oh...wait...nevermind :(
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
128. Xandra
4:40 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
From Phys.org:

Satellite images reveal ocean acidification from space

Total ocean alkalinity from space. Credit: Ifremer/ESA/CNES

Pioneering techniques that use satellites to monitor ocean acidification are set to revolutionise the way that marine biologists and climate scientists study the ocean. This new approach, that will be published on the 17 February 2015 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, offers remote monitoring of large swathes of inaccessible ocean from satellites that orbit the Earth some 700 km above our heads.

Each year more than a quarter of global CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production are taken up by the Earth's oceans. This process turns the seawater more acidic, making it more difficult for some marine life to live. Rising CO2 emissions, and the increasing acidity of seawater over the next century, has the potential to devastate some marine ecosystems, a food resource on which we rely, and so careful monitoring of changes in ocean acidity is crucial.

Researchers at the University of Exeter, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Ifremer), the European Space Agency and a team of international collaborators are developing new methods that allow them to monitor the acidity of the oceans from space.

Dr Jamie Shutler from the University of Exeter who is leading the research said: "Satellites are likely to become increasingly important for the monitoring of ocean acidification, especially in remote and often dangerous waters like the Arctic. It can be both difficult and expensive to take year-round direct measurements in such inaccessible locations. We are pioneering these techniques so that we can monitor large areas of the Earth's oceans allowing us to quickly and easily identify those areas most at risk from the increasing acidification."

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
127. JohnLonergan
4:39 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
Tom Harris – hypocritical peddler of deceitful climate change editorials

Eight related commentaries written by Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition since mid-December are packed them with distortions, errors, hypocrisy, and more.

Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)[/caption]Starting in the middle of December, 2014 and continuing through February, 2015, Tom Harris, Executive Director of the industrial climate disruptionA denying International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), wrote at least eight nearly identical commentaries. They were published mostly in small local newspapers and websites around the United States, Canada, and South Africa. The stated purpose of the commentaries was to call for scholars and philosophers to engage in the public argument over climate disruption (aka global warming or climate change), and Harris wrote that “philosophers and other intellectuals have an ethical obligation to speak out loudly when they see fundamental errors in thinking6.” As S&R hosts an occasional feature called “Climate Illogic,” we accepted Harris’ invitation and looked through his own commentaries for illogical arguments as well as other issues of concern.
As a result of our review, S&R identified five major areas of concern and a troubling observation. First, Harris engages in what is known as “tone trolling,” attempting to distract from an argument by complaining that the language or tactics used by the debaters is offensive. Second, Harris misidentifies many logical errors he alleges are made by others and he commits several logical fallacies of his own. Third, he misunderstands how science can legitimately draw conclusions that are “unequivocal” and discover “truth.” Fourth, he demonstrates a significant lack of understanding of the scientific method in general, the state of climate science in particular, and the differing levels of expertise between climate disruption deniersB and climate realistsC. Fifth, Harris’ commentaries are found to be less about fixing the tone of a supposedly broken debate and more about undermining climate scientists, poisoning the well against any logic experts who actually engage in the discussion, and derailing the discussion as much as possible. Finally, S&R reviews the fundamental asymmetries between climate realists and climate disruption deniers and how those asymmetries enable Harris and his peers to regularly produce distortion-filled commentaries like these.

Read more ...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
126. ILwthrfan
4:36 PM GMT on February 16, 2015

Quoting 125. RevElvis:

The 12 terrifying ways researchers think human civilisation is most likely to end

1. Extreme climate change
2. Nuclear war
3. Global pandemic
4. Major asteroid impact
5. Super volcano
6. Ecological catastrophe
7. Global system catastrophe
8. Synthetic biology
9. Nanotechnology
10. Artificial intelligence
11. Future bad global governance
12. Unknown consequences

independent.co.uk (LINK)
And almost every one of those listed are interconnected or a result of Climate Change in one way or another it's only a matter to what degree.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
125. RevElvis
4:31 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
The 12 terrifying ways researchers think human civilisation is most likely to end

1. Extreme climate change
2. Nuclear war
3. Global pandemic
4. Major asteroid impact
5. Super volcano
6. Ecological catastrophe
7. Global system catastrophe
8. Synthetic biology
9. Nanotechnology
10. Artificial intelligence
11. Future bad global governance
12. Unknown consequences

independent.co.uk (LINK)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
124. JohnLonergan
2:35 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
RE 109

No, global warming doesn't lead to more snow:

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
123. JohnLonergan
1:22 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
Most of the World is Seeing Average Temperatures or Higher

...From the University of Maine Climate Reanalyzer, here are land temperature anomalies:

and sea surface temperature anomalies:

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
122. JohnLonergan
12:51 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
Most scientists think they should be active in public debates

The vast majority of scientists -- 87 percent -- think they should play an active role in debates on public policy, according to a poll of US scientists released Sunday.

Forty-three percent of those queried by the Pew Research poll also felt it was important to engage with the media.

The survey was given to 3,748 US-based scientists who are members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which publishes the journal Science and is holding its annual meeting in San Jose, California.

More ...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
121. JohnLonergan
12:43 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
Noam Chomsky: “The World That We’re Creating For Our Grandchildren Is Grim

On climate change Chomsky states:

“The world that we’re creating for our grandchildren is grim. The major concern ought to be the one that was brought up in New York at the September 21 march. A couple hundred thousand people marched in New York calling for some serious action on global warming.

This is no joke. This is the first time in the history of the human species that we have to make decisions which will determine whether there will be decent survival for our grandchildren. That’s never happened before. Already we have made decisions which are wiping out species around the world at a phenomenal level.

The level of species destruction in the world today is about at the level of sixty-five million years ago, when a huge asteroid hit the earth and had horrifying ecological effects. It ended the age of the dinosaurs; they were wiped out. It kind of left a little opening for small mammals, who began to develop, and ultimately us. The same thing is happening now, except that we’re the asteroid. What we’re doing to the environment is already creating conditions like those of sixty-five million years ago. Human civilization is tottering at the edge of this. The picture doesn’t look pretty.”
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
120. JohnLonergan
12:04 PM GMT on February 16, 2015
From Nick Stokes @ Moyhu;

January GISS up from 0.72 to 0.75°C

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
119. Xyrus2000
8:08 AM GMT on February 16, 2015
Quoting 109. Cochise111:
I predict my link will be removed for violating community standards.

No, your links are being removed because most people on here have have functioning cerebral cortexes and olfactory bulbs. They know when they smell bovine excrement and conscientiously remove it so other people won't have the unpleasant experience of stepping in it.

If you don't want your links removed, then stop citing biased idiotic garbage from political ideologues and known paid shills. Post some real science.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
118. riverat544
5:51 AM GMT on February 16, 2015
Quoting 109. Cochise111:

I predict my link will be removed for violating community standards. Just what are the standards these days? Censor anyone who doesn't agree with AGW?

No, global warming doesn't lead to more snow:

You're right, in the global picture on climatological time scales global warming does not lead to more snow. But it does lead to more water vapor in the atmosphere which means more moisture is available for precipitation which may fall as rain or snow depending on local temperature conditions. In a study of extreme precipitation (the top 1% of storms) they found that precipitation in them in the Northeast contiguous US has increased by 71% from 1958 to 2012. Sometimes that will come in the form of snow if conditions are right.

One other point, if you took all of the excess snow they have in New England it still wouldn't be enough to make up for the missing snow in the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges this year.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
117. ColoradoBob1
2:31 AM GMT on February 16, 2015
Quoting 116. ColoradoBob1:

109. Cochise111

Your links are rantings of a fool. And poorly educated at that.

This is statement of fact , not an attack.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
116. ColoradoBob1
2:24 AM GMT on February 16, 2015
109. Cochise111

Your links are rantings of a fool. And poorly educated at that.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
115. JohnLonergan
2:15 AM GMT on February 16, 2015
Science deniers try to change the facts about climate

Anthony Watts has finally written a promo for a book put out last month by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) (archived here). The book is called, somewhat ambiguously: Climate Change the Facts 2014. Given the publisher and the contributors, the meaning is pretty obvious: Climate - change the facts - 2014.

Read more at Hotwhopper ...

The reaction to the IPA publication is slightly underwhelming.

Richard Dinatalie on twitter:

The IPA just sent me their Climate Change: The Facts book. Have already put it to good use.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
114. ColoradoBob1
2:12 AM GMT on February 16, 2015
If one is going to site here , make sure your source, doesn't site Judy Garland in the mast head.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
113. FLwolverine
1:13 AM GMT on February 16, 2015
#109 - it's not the mods who are deleting your posts, chickie, so don't beef about the moderation policy. The commenters here who follow the science are voting your posts down because of the denialist non-science and non-sense and downright lies your posts contain.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
112. Xulonn
10:50 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Quoting 109:
I predict my link will be removed for violating community standards. Just what are the standards these days? Censor anyone who doesn't agree with AGW?

No, global warming doesn't lead to more snow:
Actually, I flag such posts because they are gross misinterpretations of science from sources dedicated for ideological and economic reasons to disputing AGW/CC - in this case, the Cato Institute. It presents a strawmen, directs it's criticism at the popular press, and then claims that it overturns conclusions of climate science.

Here's my cursory overview of the travesty you posted:

1. Snowfall is related precipitation at certain temperature in real time, and not to monthly average temperatures. To relate it to average temperatures - and a rising average of temperatures - is a logical fallacy - and not science

2. "...the temperature/snowfall relationship along the entire Atlantic coast of the U.S. is negative - on average, the warmer it is, the less it snows." That may be a trend for some period of time, but without a mechanism and an examination of and understanding of the dynamics and processes involved, it is simply a short trem correlation without meaning. When I read the quotes form the 16-year-old paper on which the article was based, the point was that it snows less when the temperature is more often above freezing! Duh!!

3. The entire article does not even address the jet stream, arctic cold air masses and other factors related to AGW/CC that are the real "causes" of these storms in New England - and they are strongly linked to AGW/CC.

4. New England likely have will have some winters below normal in temperatures, and some above normal, depending on the meanderings of the jetstream and location and persistence of blocking highs. So, even with an overall increase in average monthly or annual surface temperatures, Arctic air mass intrusions can still cause epic snowstorms.

5. There is a statement in the linked article that says "Warm years tend to be low-snow years and vice-versa." So the authors say if it's colder - and it is - it's likely to snow more - and it is! Double Duh!!

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
111. JohnLonergan
10:50 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger and the Cato Institute are known pseudoskeptic frauds.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
110. Naga5000
10:35 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
#109 The Cato Institute is a free market think tank, not a scientific organization. Strict adherence to free market ideology is a predictor of science rejection (Lewandowsky 2013). So, It is no surprise that the Cato Institute rejects science. None of that matters because your link has zero to do with climate change, it's merely meaningless nonsense designed to trick ideologically biased people into believing a falsehood about science. Care to post anything based in actual research and reality? No...okay then, see you later.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
108. Creideiki
9:21 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Quoting 100. LAbonbon:

Interesting picture, but something to keep in mind, as I live in Denver now, I'm not certain that we have soil that goes down 30 cm. It's mostly an alkaline chalky clay that needs tons of remediation every year. It's far different from what I grew up with in Northern Illinois. So what moisture 30 cm down, really, would one expect alkaline chalky clay to reliably hold?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
107. ColoradoBob1
8:31 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Not really a drought per se , they have been getting storms , the kicker is the snow line has been mostly above 8,000 feet all winter. And the tallest mountain in the range is Mount Olympus' 7,979 feet,

This has been the case from California up into B.C. all season long. Very little snow has fallen below 8,000 feet. If a mountain is water tower, we're watching the ones on the west coast shrink.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
106. ColoradoBob1
8:02 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
More irony -

BAD SNOW YEAR: Snowpack in Olympic Mountains is at record low — and authorities are worried about water woes this summer

Although the Olympic Mountains have had plenty of rain this winter, snow is at a record low.

The Olympic Mountain snowpack had melted down by Saturday to 3 percent of average — the lowest in the state — possibly endangering the area's summer water supply and river flows for salmon runs.

The snowpack at Hurricane Ridge was measured Saturday at a mere 7.9 percent of average — 7 inches at the measurement station.

That location's annual average is 88 inches of snow on the ground on Feb. 15, according to data from the Northwest Avalanche Center in Seattle.

The previous record-low snowpack for Feb. 15 was 17 inches in 2005, said Kenny Kramer, director of the avalanche center.

The Dungeness weather station south of Sequim had no snow Thursday. Ordinarily, it would have about 15 inches in mid-February.

“There are going to be some water shortages,” said Scott Pattee, water supply specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Mount Vernon.


Not really a drought per se , they have been getting storms , the kicker is the snow line has been mostly above 8,000 feet all winter. And the tallest mountain in the range is Mount Olympus' 7,979 feet,
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
105. Patrap
6:57 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Jury in on climate change, so stop using arguments of convenience and listen to experts
February 16, 2015 - 12:15AM

Brian Schmidt

The body of evidence on climate change is not contained in one paper, one set of observations, or by one person, but encompasses thousands of people's ideas and observations. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

As a Nobel Prize winner, I travel the world meeting all kinds of people.

Most of the policy, business and political leaders I meet immediately apologise for their lack of knowledge of science.

Except when it comes to climate science. Whenever this subject comes up, it never ceases to amaze me how each person I meet suddenly becomes an expert.

Facts are then bandied to fit an argument for or against climate change, and on all sides, misconceptions abound.

The confusion is not surprising – climate science is a very broad and complicated subject with experts working on different aspects of it worldwide.

No single person knows everything about climate change. And for the average punter, it's hard to keep up with all the latest research and what it means.

More surprising is the supreme confidence that non-experts (scientists and non-scientists alike) have in their own understanding of the subject.

I am a full-time scientist whose area of expertise intersects with certain aspects of climate science. I, too, am not an expert on climate science.

But I do understand how science works. I understand that the current consensus has been reached by thousands of scientists working for decades. And I understand that the vast majority of scientists and scientific bodies, including the Australian Academy of Science, have reached broadly the same conclusions.

The academy's "The science of climate change: questions and answers" report – a document written and reviewed by Australia's most expert climate scientists – explains what we know, what we don't know and how we might mediate future changes.

These are the real experts on climate change and this is what they're saying:

Earth's climate has changed over the past century. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, sea levels have risen, and glaciers and ice sheets have decreased in size.
The best available evidence indicates that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the main cause.
Continuing increases in greenhouse gases will produce further warming and other changes in Earth's physical environment and ecosystems.
My own scientific opinions in my areas of expertise are consistent with their conclusions.

Does that mean the academy's view above is endorsed by every expert? No. Like all areas of science, ideas are meant to be contested. The facts and conclusions in this document will be challenged – this is the scientific process that has served humanity so well.

But this scientific process has led to a lot of confusion and, in some cases, I dare say, delusion within the broader community.

The body of evidence on climate change is not contained in one paper, one set of observations, or by one person – rather it encompasses thousands of people's ideas and observations.

This is why it is so important for the country's pre-eminent scientific body to write this document, synthesising all of this disparate information into a coherent assessment of the science.

It's much like getting a medical diagnosis from a panel of the country's best doctors. And while some might search around for a different opinion until they get the answer they want to hear, that is not the best way to treat the underlying problem.

Having this information in one place means that the nation's decision-makers have the best scientific opinion on the subject, so that they can stop arguing about the science, and instead focus on their job, which is figuring out the most appropriate policy response to climate change, given the best available knowledge.

The evidence is clear: human activities are changing the Earth's climate, and what we do now and into the future will strongly influence the world's weather in the decades and centuries to come.

For the future health of our world and our country, Australians, let's quit self-diagnosing on climate change, and act on the expert opinion.

Brian Schmidt is a Nobel Laureate and Academy of Science fellow and council member.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
104. JohnLonergan
6:52 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Excerpt from the Denialism Blog:

...The second interesting article is Justin Gillis at NYT’s What to call a doubter of climate change? You all probably have an idea where we stand, and we have previously discussed the problematic nature of the use of denier as it gives them easy ammo to dismiss critique of denialist tactics as ad hominem. Unfortunately Gillis fails to actually define the problem adequately, in that he fails to describe the behavior and tactics of denialism. As a result his comment section, already at about 400 at the time of writing, mostly consists of Galileo gambits and comparisons of modern denialists to Einstein or Marshall and Warren. This is a newer modification of the Galileo Gambit which hijacks the work of Thomas Kuhn to suggest the denialists aren’t hacks, but revolutionaries!

Of course, the problem is the scientific revolutions that Kuhn described weren’t accomplished using the tactics of denialism. It’s also very important to understand such revolutions don’t invalidate previous data, which are still true. Einstein didn’t invalidate Newtonian physics, he expanded upon them in areas where they don’t work, such as at high speeds or small scales. Climate change denialists aren’t advancing a radical new theory, or compiling an alternative data set, they’re nitpicking existing science and promoting conspiracy theories about fraud that routinely get pants on fire level ratings. It’s a clever tactic, but totally bogus. When Jim Inhofe says that climate change can’t be dangerous because God is in control, that’s not a scientific revolutionary speaking. That’s a crank.
So Gillis makes a critical error, I believe, in the presentation of this problem because he fails to adequately describe the tactics of denialism being criticized, because the tactics are indefensible, and documented from one side of the internet to the other. It’s psuedoskepticism, and psuedoscience, and the key from distinguishing it from actual science that has the capacity to generate a revolution is to point out that no actual science is being done by these jokers, just cherry-picking, conspiratorial fear-mongering and rhetorical tricks. I think he describes the problem well but has opened himself to undue criticism by not making the issue the tactics rather than the specific belief. (of note Gillis spoke to me in prep for this article about some of the history of the debate)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
103. ColoradoBob1
5:25 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Irony 101 -

Huge snows in New England , but they moved the Iditarod starting point.

Similar conditions forced the race’s restart to move from Willow to Fairbanks in 2003, bypassing the Alaska Range but keeping it roughly the same distance. The move to Fairbanks was considered in snow-starved 2014, too, and after the board’s decision kept mushers on the traditional southern route, the bruised and beaten up dog drivers criticized officials for not avoiding what some of them described as a catastrophe. ................................. Trail Committee board member Rick Swenson, the winningest Iditarod musher with five first-place finishes, said the Dalzell Gorge coming out of Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range was passable when the board made its decision in 2014 — a week closer to the race than this year — but that it was too dangerous based on the look he got at it Tuesday. The troublesome areas had half as much snow as in 2014, and the bad spots were twice as long, Swenson said.

Swenson and other board members, including Nome musher Aaron Burmeister, flew in a fixed-wing plane Tuesday to a landing strip in the area and flew in a helicopter to hover over the boulders Burmeister said mushers and sleds bounced off of last year. There would be no bouncing in 2015, he said.

“This year, you can’t go through a rock,” Burmeister said. “There’s boulders and rocks that we’ve never seen there in 20-some years that are littering all the gorge, places that you’d never even see a rock because you’re going over feet of snow going through there. This year, you’re looking at bare ground.”

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
102. RevElvis
5:19 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Spy agencies fund climate research in hunt for weather weapon, scientist fears

US expert Alan Robock raises concern over who would control climate-altering technologies if research is paid for by intelligence agencies

A senior US scientist has expressed concern that the intelligence services are funding climate change research to learn if new technologies could be used as potential weapons.

Alan Robock, a climate scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, has called on secretive government agencies to be open about their interest in radical work that explores how to alter the world’s climate.

Robock, who has contributed to reports for the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), uses computer models to study how stratospheric aerosols could cool the planet in the way massive volcanic eruptions do.

But he was worried about who would control such climate-altering technologies should they prove effective, he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose.

The $600,000 report was part-funded by the US intelligence services, but Robock said the CIA and other agencies had not fully explained their interest in the work.

“The CIA was a major funder of the National Academies report so that makes me really worried who is going to be in control,” he said. Other funders included Nasa, the US Department of Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Guardian (Link)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
101. Xandra
1:35 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Climate warrior confronts king of denial.

Quoting 81. Xandra:

The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
100. LAbonbon
12:56 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day for February 15, 2015:

Carbon Emissions Could Dramatically Increase Risk of U.S. Megadroughts

Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the second half of the 21st century could be drier and longer than any droughts seen in those regions over the past 1,000 years. In a new study published in the journal Science Advances on February 12, 2015, scientists found that continued increases in manmade greenhouse gas emissions will drive up the risk of severe droughts. The study is based on projections from several climate models, including one sponsored by NASA.

“Natural droughts like the 1930s Dust Bowl and the current drought in the Southwest have historically lasted maybe a decade or a little less,” said Ben Cook, climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and at Columbia University. “What these results are saying is we’re going to get a drought similar to those events, but it is probably going to last at least 30 to 35 years.”

According to Cook and colleagues, the current likelihood of a megadrought—one lasting more than three decades—is 12 percent. If greenhouse gas emissions level off by the middle of the 21st century, the likelihood of megadrought will be more than 60 percent. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase along current trajectories throughout the 21st century, there is an 80 percent likelihood of a decades-long megadrought in the Southwest and Central Plains between the years 2050 and 2099.

The scientists ran 17 climate models using both emissions scenarios and then analyzed a drought severity index and two soil moisture data sets. The high-emissions scenario projects an atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 1,370 parts per million (ppm) by 2100, while the moderate emissions scenario projects the equivalent of 650 ppm by 2100. Currently, the atmosphere contains 400 ppm of CO2.

The maps above depict soil moisture at 30 centimeters below the land surface in the years 2090 to 2999. The top image shows a high emissions, “business as usual” scenario, while the second image reflects reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the 21st century. Brown areas are is drier than the 20th century average, while blue areas are wetter. The soil moisture data are standardized to the Palmer Drought Severity Index.
Read more (includes video)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
99. ColoradoBob1
12:53 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
Yet another animal in trouble on the California coast-

Sea lions desperate for nourishment dying off in alarming numbers on California coast

Each day, crates with sick sea lions arrive here and at four other locations from San Luis Obispo to Fort Bragg in what’s alarmingly become a third year of massive sea lion pup die-offs. And if the trend continues, marine biologists warn, it could deplete an entire generation of California sea lions.

One desperate and hungry pup was found Wednesday beside busy Skyline Boulevard in San Francisco, more than 1,000 feet from the ocean.

Scientists say changes in the California Current have pushed fish farther from the sea lion rookeries in the Channel Islands, where the pups are born around June. And the diminishing number of sardines and anchovies have forced nursing mothers to switch to rockfish and squid. These changes are believed to have contributed to a lower quality of milk and higher number of malnourished pups.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
98. ColoradoBob1
12:40 PM GMT on February 15, 2015
A really good piece in SA from :
Future Arctic: Field Notes from a World on the Edge,
by Edward Struzik. Copyright © 2015, Island Press.

A Stormy Arctic Is the New Normal [Excerpt]
The Arctic is changing fast

In the summer of 2000, Canadian national park warden Angus Simpson and his colleagues were camped along the north coast of the Yukon Territory near the Alaskan border, conducting a survey of archeological sites along the coast. The sea was dead calm at the time. But they could see in the inky blue sky over the Beaufort Seas the telltale signs of a storm advancing. An hour or so after they turned in that night, the first big gust of wind blew in, completely flattening their tent and forcing them to take refuge in the cubbyhole of their boat.
It was just the beginning of a summer storm that some people in the western Arctic of Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories remember as the worst they had seen before the Great Cyclone of 2012 ripped through the region. At the height of this gale in 2000, dozens of Inuvialuit people camped on low-lying land along the Arctic coast had to be airlifted out by helicopter. The park wardens, exposed on the same stretch of low lying tundra, were forced to make a harrowing trip through 12-foot high waves to get to the safety of a ranger station that was located on Herschel Island a few miles away.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
97. RevElvis
1:52 AM GMT on February 15, 2015
Arctic Melting Opens Sea Route to More Pollution

LONDON—As Arctic sea ice continues to melt at an alarming rate, maritime traffic is set to increase—and with it the pollution emitted by ships’ engines.

A paper published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) says emissions of pollutants from vessels in the US area of the high Arctic could increase by between 150% and 600% by 2025.

Ships typically burn bunker fuel with a high sulphur content. As well as various greenhouse gases (GHGs), the engines also emit soot, or black carbon. And when this covers snow and ice, it reduces their ability to reflect sunlight away from the Earth, and so raises temperatures.

The ICCT paper says ship-borne pollutants—which include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide (NOx), oxides of sulphur [SOx], particulate matter (PM) and soot—affect local air quality and human health, as well as the global climate.
Without new pollution controls, it is estimated that global soot emissions from shipping may more than quintuple from 2004 to 2050, to a total of more than 744,000 tonnes, because of increased shipping demand.

A growing share of those emissions will occur in the Arctic, because of vessels being diverted to the much shorter Northwest Passage and Northeast Passage to cut the length of voyages

Article at TruthDig.com
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
96. RevElvis
1:47 AM GMT on February 15, 2015
New study of ancient micro-organisms suggests climate predictions are accurate

Almost every one has heard of ice-ages and many understand the term usually refers to glaciation events during the Pleistocene Epoch that started about 2.5 million years ago and ended just 12,000 years ago. Not as many are familiar with its nearest older sibling, the epoch that preceded it, called the Pliocene. But the Pliocene is of great interest to climate scientists because it's the most geologically recent analogue we have in terms of the plants and animals alive, where the continents are positioned, the amount of carbon-dioxide in the air and how much warmer it actually got as a result.

Unfortunately, ice cores and other records from the Pliocene aren't as readily available as they are for other times. But scientists working with one ancient relic, a class of tiny organisms called foraminifera, have been able to determine with precision how sensitive the Earth was to carbon-dioxide levels back then:

The result? A number that fell somewhere in that 1.5 to 4.5 degrees (Celsuis) for the Pliocene, the researchers found. Then researchers did the same calculation for the late Pleistocene ... based on a range of carbon dioxide records including ice cores. Temperatures actually changed twice as much in the late Pleistocene as in the Pliocene for a given carbon dioxide change, the researchers found.

Why? That%u2019s because the planet was also experiencing large fluctuations in the size of its ice sheets, which reflect sunlight back to space. The melting of ice as the planet warmed would have amplified the warming due to carbon dioxide concentration increases alone. When researchers subtracted out the ice sheets%u2019 contribution, though, they found that carbon dioxide%u2019s effect on warming was about the same as it was in the Pliocene.

In layperson's terms, the study bolsters the consensus of climate scientists about our immediate future, right down to polar amplification, ice sheet collapse and sea level rise.

Article at DailyKos.com
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
95. FLwolverine
10:06 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
The last few comments beautifully illustrate the point of the paper Xulonn cited. There is no amount or type or quality of information that will persuade a denialist to even question his beliefs, much less change them.

Meanwhile, all (I think I'm safe in saying all) of us AGW/CC "realists" would be eternally grateful for factual scientific information that would prove us wrong. But the denialists have nothing to offer. NOTHNG!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
94. JohnLonergan
9:27 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Global sea ice diminishing, despite Antarctic gains

Summary: Sea ice increases in Antarctica do not make up for the accelerated Arctic sea ice loss of the last decades, a new study finds. As a whole, the planet has been shedding sea ice at an average annual rate of 13,500 square miles (35,000 square kilometers) since 1979, the equivalent of losing an area of sea ice larger than the state of Maryland every year.

Comparing Arctic sea ice loss to Antarctic sea ice gain shows that the planet has-been shedding sea ice at an average annual rate of 13,500 square miles since 1979, the equivalent of losing an area of sea ice larger than the state of Maryland every year.
Credit: NASA's Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens and Jesse Allen

Read more ...

Journal Reference:
Claire L. Parkinson. Global Sea Ice Coverage from Satellite Data: Annual Cycle and 35-Yr Trends. Journal of Climate, 2014; 27 (24): 9377 DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00605.1
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 144 - 94

Page: 1 | 2 | 3Blog Index

Top of Page

Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.