Month: December 2017

An interesting tweet across came I Destroyers of wealth. https://t.co/UPUw8DMHdA — Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) December 31, 2017 It contained the following graph First we need to recognise that capacity is nowhere near the same as average delivered power. I think … Continue reading

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December 31, 2017 at 11:43AM

BBC’s Fake Claims About Hurricanes

By Paul Homewood

 

Another grossly misleading piece of propaganda from the BBC:

 

image

The past year has been a busy one for hurricanes.

There were 17 named storms in 2017, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes (category 3 or higher) – an above average year in each respect.

The 10 hurricanes formed consecutively, without weaker tropical storms interrupting the sequence.

The only other time this has been recorded was in 1893.

Are these storms getting worse? And does climate change have anything to do with it?

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As usual with the BBC, it is what they omit that makes their report so dishonest.

Let’s look at some the claims:

 

1) This Atlantic hurricane season has been particularly bad.

There was Harvey, which pummelled the United States in August.

It brought the largest amount of rain on record from any tropical system – 1,539mm

It caused the sort of flooding you’d expect to see once every 500 years, causing $200bn of damage to Houston, Texas.

Ironically, this was the third such "one every 500 years" flood Houston had suffered in three years.

 

They conveniently ignore the fact that tropical storms like Harvey are actually very common in Texas.

For instance, Tropical Storm Amelia was far more intense than Harvey, dropping 48 inches of rain in just four days in 1978, rather than the six days Harvey was spread over.

During Tropical Storm Claudette the following year, an incredible 43 inches of rain fell on Alvin in Texas in just 24 hours, still a record for the US as a whole.

What made the rainfall, and subsequent flooding, so bad this year was that Harvey became stuck over Houston for six days, because of entirely natural meteorological reasons.

Claims about “500 year floods” are simply statistical nonsense.

 

2) September brought Irma, which devastated Caribbean communities. It was the joint second strongest Atlantic hurricane ever, with sustained winds of 185mph.

In fact there have been three other Atlantic hurricanes as powerful, or more so, just since 1980. Hurricane Allen was the strongest, with wind speeds of 190 mph in 1980. Gilbert and Wilma, in 1988 and 2005 respectively, also had speeds of 185 mph.

It is plainly evident from such statistics that there has been no trend towards stronger hurricanes since 1980, and that they occur every decade on average.

 

3) Next came Hurricane Maria – another category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 175mph – which destroyed Puerto Rico’s power grid.

Many hurricanes spin themselves out over the sea, and either do not make landfall at all, or do so at much reduced strength.

The fact that Maria hit the tiny island of Puerto Rico at full strength was simply bad luck.

Much more significant is the fact that the entire US had, until Harvey, gone a record 11 years 10 months without a major Atlantic hurricane making landfall.

 

4) Finally, Hurricane Ophelia span past Portugal and Spain – the farthest east any major Atlantic hurricane has ever gone.

The only evidence that Ophelia even reached Cat 3 came from one particular set of satellite data. Other satellite measurements suggested it never got stronger than a Cat 1.

But much more significant is the fact that such satellite measurements have only been available since the 1970s, and arguably not comprehensively so since even later.

We simply do not have the data to know whether major hurricanes followed Ophelia’s track in pre-satellite days.

 

5) Despite this, 2017 wasn’t the worst year in some key respects.

Nor did it have the greatest number of storms – that was 2005, which saw an incredible 28 named storms, including seven major hurricanes. One of them was the infamous Hurricane Katrina.

The reference to 2005 is probably the most dishonest statement of the lot.

Because of satellite monitoring, we now have the ability to spot storms in the middle of the Atlantic. Because of this, we can now identify many more shorter lasting storms. We therefore “name more”.

Equally, we can spot storms that reach major status for just a day or so, which we could not do in the past.

 

6) But 2017 was probably the costliest. Estimates for the cost of the hurricane season vary and continue to be revised, ranging up to $385bn.

This has nothing to with the severity of the weather, and simply reflects the much greater wealth, level of development and population nowadays, particularly in vulnerable areas.

There is certainly no doubt that many hurricanes in earlier decades caused far more damage and loss of life, than any this year.

 

7) It has certainly been a bad year. But over time, are hurricanes getting worse?

There have been 33 of the strongest category 5 hurricanes since 1924. Eleven of these have occurred in the past 14 years.

chart showing a dot for each category five hurricane since 1924.

Again, this ignores the fact that we now have the ability to constantly monitor storms in mid ocean, through the use of satellites.

Prior to the 1970s, we only had hurricane hunter aircraft, which did not provide full coverage. Prior to their introduction in the 1940s, there was no systematic observation at all.

Meteorologist Michael Mogil put this neatly into perspective:

fig002-hurricane-stats-as-shared-on-twitter-with-ancillary-info-170919_thumb

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Worse still, re-analysis work by NOAA’s leading hurricane scientist, Chris Landsea, shows that the strength of the many of the most powerful hurricanes would have been under estimated in the 1940s and 50s, because aircraft simply did not enter the centre of those hurricanes in those days.

So what we now call a Cat 5 storm would more than likely only register as a Cat 4 in those days.

 

To get a more meaningful perspective, we can look at NOAA’s analysis of major Atlantic hurricanes, which shows no trend since the 1950s.

This year, (not included in the graph), there have been six major hurricanes. Yet the record year was 1950, when there was eight.

Again, it needs to be pointed out that direct comparisons are not possible with pre-1950, because of observational practices.

 

MH

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The BBC report ends by saying:

 A warmer world is bringing us a greater number of hurricanes and a greater risk of a hurricane becoming the most powerful category 5.

But, as have seen, there is no evidence at all that either statement is correct.

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December 31, 2017 at 10:57AM

Simple Math: US CO2 Emissions Irrelevant to Climate

Proof that a carbon tax would accomplish nothing. Here’s the analysis from a 2012 column of mine in the Washington Times. ### Carbon taxes won’t save the planet Global warming is excuse for economy grab By Steve Milloy November 16, 2012, The Washington Times Global-warming alarmists are hoping Hurricane Sandy and President Obama’s re-election will … Continue reading Simple Math: US CO2 Emissions Irrelevant to Climate

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December 31, 2017 at 10:20AM

Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that have caught my eye these past weeks.

In a somewhat futile attempt at information management, I’m doing some ‘house cleaning’ of my online files, so that I have a fresh start for the new year.  New Year’s resolution is not to let more than two weeks pass between reviews!

Best wishes to all for the New Year!  I’ll try to put together a ‘looking forward’ post for tomorrow.

Climate science

Nonlinear response of mid-latitude weather to the changing Arctic  [link]

A multivariate estimate of the cold season atmospheric response to North Pacific SST variability [link]

Cooling in northern Asia–defying global trend–now linked to longer-lasting weak spells in

Greenland’s ice is melting, but it might not raise sea levels as quickly as some models have suggested. Why? The word of the day is “moulin.” [link]

Climate connection: unraveling the surprising ecology of dust [link]

A long view of global wildfire. [link] We find that global biomass burning declined from AD 1 to ∼1750, before rising sharply between 1750 and 1870. Global burning then declined abruptly after 1870.

News from ECMWF: Shaping the future of supercomputing in numerical weather prediction [link]

Contribution of deformation to sea-ice mass balance: a case study from an N-ICE2015 storm. The fastest and most efficient process of gaining sea ice volume is through the mechanical redistribution of mass as a consequence of deformation events. [link]

7 New (2017) Papers predict forthcoming solar minima [link

12 New Papers: Regions in North Atlantic, Pacific, And Southern Oceans Are Cooling As Glaciers Thicken, Gain Mass [link]

The Maunder minimum & the Little Ice Age: an update from recent reconstructions & climate simulations [link]

Snow cover and vegetation-induced decrease in global albedo from 2002 to 2016 [link]

New science paper shows that the diurnal cycle is incorrectly represented in models leading to uncertainty in projections [link]

Ocean surface temperature variability:  Large model-data differences at decadal and longer periods [link]

Impact of Volcanic Eruptions on Decadal to Centennial Fluctuations of Arctic Sea Ice Extent during the Last Millennium and on Initiation of the Little Ice Age

Geothermal heat flux and its influence on ocean abyssal circulation [link]

Mechanisms of interannual- to decadal-scale winter Labrador Sea ice variability [link]

New Paper: Humans Caused Central U.S. To Cool By -0.35°C Since The 1940s As Crop Yields Soared [link]

Jakarta’s subsidence crisis. [link] Subsidence there is orders of magnitude faster than sea-level rise.

Special issue of Advances in Atmospheric Sciences presents new research towards a predictive understanding of climate change and its linkage with Eurasian mid-latitude weather [link]

Samwell Tarly  has released his long-awaited paper on the climate system of the Game of Thrones world in “The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of King’s Landing.” [link]

“Observational evidence of European summer weather patterns predictable from spring” – [link]

Scientists stunned by massive snowfall increases among Alaska’s highest peaks [link]

Autumn Cooling of Western East Antarctica Linked to the Tropical Pacific [link]

Svensmark in Nature:  Increased ionization supports growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei [link]

Documenting 120 years history of 350 Greenlandic glaciers.  Changes in peripheral glaciers linked to NAO [link]

25 Papers: Natural Forcing Explains Why The Globe’s Oceans Have Been Recently Warming AND Cooling [link]

Sunspot Number Second Differences as a Precursor of the Following 11-year Sunspot Cycle [link]

Time of observation adjustments to daily station precipitation may introduce undesired statistical issues [link]

A twisted path to equation-free prediction for complex dynamical systems [link]

Decrease of tropical cyclone genesis frequency in the western North Pacific since 1960s [link]

This is really interesting. Science Under the Ice [link]

Now in NatureClimate – The far reach of ice-shelf thinning in Antarctica [link]

2017 paper on Arctic ice variability over the past 10 thousand years. Polar bears lived through all of these natural variations and it seems unlikely are much affected by recent man made ones. [link]

A reminder that natural climate change can have substantial impacts. How climate change and disease helped the fall of Rome [link]

5 New Papers: Climate And Weather Events Become LESS Erratic And Severe During Warming Periods [link]

Better land management could get us over 1/3 of the way to a 2 degree climate target.[link]

Tamsin Edwards:  How soon will the ice apocalypse come? [link]

Bi-decadal solar influence on climate, mediated by near tropopause ozone [link]

Read this compilation of some of the forefront ideas in western boundary current research and the influence on carbon [link]

Volcano and ship tracks indicate excessive aerosol-induced cloud water increases in climate model [link]

EXTREMELY INTERESTING. Causal feedbacks in climate change [link]

New Antarctic temperature reconstruction  shows consistently higher values in first millennium. Nothing unusual in recent values. [link]

Oceans may produce twice as much organic carbon material as usually measured: re-examining a critical part of the global carbon cycle [link]

The melting Antarctic ice stream that is currently adding most to sea-level rise may be more resilient to change than previously recognised. [link]

20 years ago ECMWF started using the 4D-Var data assimilation technique. Find out how it works and why this was such an important step.[link

Examining our eyes in the sky. A recent paper in Reviews of Geophysics explored the challenges of validating data collected from Earth observation satellites. [link]
.

Social science & policy

“The forests of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi — as well as those in Europe — are being destroyed to sustain a European fantasy about renewable energy.” Fred Pearce on biomass [link]

Virtually every scenario for staying below 2°C now relies on a technology that barely exists. [link]

What is so wicked about wicked problems? [link]

Rethinking policy ‘impact’: four models of research-policy relations [link]

Richard Tol: Economic impacts of climate change. Climate change will reduce the economic burden of cold winters, but this benefit will soon be dominated by other, negative impacts of climate change. [link]

Andrea Saltelli:  What is wrong with evidence-based policy making and how can it be improved?[link]

Ross McKitrick:  the case for a review of the science behind the Endangerment Finding begins with what the EPA Inspector General found in 2011.

Best overview yet of why CO2 buildup in humanity’s isn’t solvable by pricing emissions or other drivers of clean-energy shift – & what’s happening with CO2 *removal* technologies. Huge issues there imagining gigaton/year scale. [link]

Inequality in nature and society:  similarity between inequality in nature and society – chance alone drive 1% of the individuals to control 50% of the resources – mechanism: random fluctuations in gains/losses (stocks, weather, etc) blow up to create extreme inequality

Before Warming A Bit, Antarctica Underwent 1,900 Years Of Cooling

Rival Framings: A Framework for Discovering How Problem Formulation Uncertainties Shape Risk Management Tradeoffs… [link]

 

About science & scientists

Why do intellectuals seem so disproportionately attracted to “progressive” political views and government-centric means of remedying social ills?

Suffering for the love of birds.  A scientist’s battle to save birds — and now her career. [link]

In celebration of Freeman Dyson’s 94th birthday — Infinite in All Directions

Filed under: Week in review

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December 31, 2017 at 10:19AM