Saturday, November 3, 2012

"The Only Accurate Part of This Cover is 'Stupid'"

On Wednesday, October 24, when Sandy was south of Cuba, I wrote a piece on this blog asking what the "over/under" was on the amount of time before someone blamed the storm on global warming. Turned out, it was an invalid question because, without my knowledge, it had already been done! As if we never had hurricanes in the past. Nonsense! As Roger Pielke, Jr. accurately points out, we are -- in reality -- in a hurricane "drought."

Till now, I have resisted the temptation to write about the inane and misleading attempts to tie Hurricane Sandy to 'global warming,' preferring to concentrate on the more important and immediate issues involving the quality of the weather forecasts and recovery progress.


So, at least for the moment, I defer to Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.'s comment on global warming and Sandy,


If you'd like to know why both of us believe that to be the case, click here for Roger's insightful Wall Street Journal article.

Anthony Watts' has a detailed explanation showing how, as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have increased, U.S. hurricanes have decreased via research from Steven Goddard. That's right, decreased.

The bottom line: There is no scientific evidence that ties Sandy itself or increased rates of hurricanes in the U.S. or worldwide to "global warming."
  • Note: If the traffic metrics are correct, we have over ten thousand first-time readers over the past ten days. So, because global warming/climate change/climate weirding, etc., etc. is so political let me briefly explain the state of the science:
  • Yes, the earth is clearly warmer than thirty years ago. 
  • Earth's temperature the last 15 years has been flat. This is a surprising turn of events, they were expected to continue to rise.
  • Most all of the solid scientists who believe global warming is a serious threat agree with the above that there is no solid evidence the disasters are increasing when corrected for inflation and wealth.
  • Yes, the Arctic ice has been melting while Antarctic ice has been increasing.
  • The Arctic ice melt seems to be more driven by soot darkening the ice rather than temperatures.
  • The sun has been behaving oddly in recent years. Some believe cooling will result starting in one to two years.
  • As to where earth's temperatures are headed from here, I have no idea. Neither does anyone else, especially with the solar uncertainty.
  • Finally, I'm what is called (in the lexicon of global warming) a "lukewarmer." I believe humans, on balance, warm the planet. But, it is more gradual than Al Gore acolytes believe and, at present, there is nothing catastrophic about it. 

I'm a board-certified consulting meteorologist and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

4 comments:

  1. I happen to be one of the new readers who found this site because of super storm Sandy. Though I completely disagree with several of the "science" points made above - I greatly appreciate the forecasting / storm specific info provided on this blog.

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  2. Mike, you and Roger Pielke Jr have had excellent posts on Sandy. Thanks.

    For new readers, Roger has a summary post at

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-summary-of-sandy-discussions.html

    along with

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/11/mayor-bloombergs-deft-climate-politics.html

    that are highly recommended.

    I agree with the Stupid nature of the Bloomberg magazine cover, but I found Anthony's plot of 'US Hurricane Strikes vs Atmospheric CO2' to be bogus; CO2 has only been at 390 ppm briefly compared to 280. One must normalize by amount of time spent in at a CO2 concentration, and even then, the data set is probably too small to get any reliable statistics.

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  3. @ Trey. Your point about normalized time for each Co2 increment is appropriate. Take a look at this which IS normalized. It is both tropical cyclone number and their energy, combined: http://policlimate.com/tropical/global_running_pdi.png

    As you can see, there is a downtrend rather than up.

    @Carfree. Thanks for hanging in there. If you can tell me the specific scientific point(s) you disagree with, I'll be happy to do a posting about it and provide the documentation.

    @All Readers: This is in no way a political issue for me. I have children, want grandchildren and consider myself an environmentalist in the Barry Goldwater mold.

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  4. Mike,

    A lot of people don't understand what "100-year storm" means. It's for a specific locale, not for the nation as a whole.

    Sandy was a 100 year storm for what, all of 150 miles of coastline? Sandy was *not* a 100 year storm in Cape May, nor in Islip.

    Katrina was also a 100 year storm from what, New Orleans to Biloxi? But not even in Lafayette, Pensacola, or even parts of Plaquemines parish.

    Irene was a 100 year storm in parts of the Catskills and Vermont, but no where else.

    Even Ike was a 50-100 year storm from Galveston to Port Arthur.

    But much of the coast hasn't been hit by 100 year storms during the last, oh, 100 or so years, eh?

    Yet we keep hearing the refrain in the media, including from Mayor Bloomie himself, that 100 year storms seem to be happening every few years.

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