Tag Archives: hurricanes

New Climate Science Rule — No Anecdotal “Proof” allowed

Mr. Obama gave a speech at the UN yesterday.   I didn’t see the speech, but I did read the Washington Post article covering it.  We heard that climate was

  • changing faster than our ability to address it
  • The alarm bells are ringing, we cannot pretend we do not hear them
  • the once distant threat of climate change has now moved firmly into the present.

The article went on to say that Mr Obama:

ticked of a list of recent U.S. weather disasters – from Hurricane Sandy to the drought in the West – as evidence that the once-distant threat of climate change has “now moved firmly into the present.”

I felt like I was in a 2006 time warp, watching An Inconvenient Truth, and listening to Al Gore talk.  The approach and the key talking points were virtually indistinguishable.   So many mistakes.  Mistakes Al Gore made in 2006, and Mr. Obama repeated some 8 years later.

  • The change in climate is not accelerating.   The opposite is happening.  The world warmed rapidly in the 1990’s and peaked in 1998.  Since then the world has had virtually no change in world temperatures.   Carbon levels are higher, but climate has not changed.  The 2014 UN Climate Assessment blames the dampening of the Ocean’s and insists that the warmth will come some day.   Right now the world is not warming.
  • Hurricane Sandy was a relatively routine storm as far as Hurricanes go.   Atlantic hurricanes have become less frequent in recent years.  Florida has not had a hurricane hit its shores in 9 years, a record.  2013 set records for low activity and 2014 has continued the trend.   This does not mean they won’t accelerate in the future, but it does mean that, so far at least, Atlantic hurricanes have not increased in intensity or frequency because of climate change.
  • Multiple recent studies show that the drought in the West is consistent with the historical weather pattern of the region.   Last month I visited Mesa Verde National Park.   The Indians that lived in Southwest Colorado for close to 1000 years, moved away some 800 years ago after 24 years of drought.

The world is a big place.  Anecdotal evidence can be found to support any climate argument you want to make.  Ice in the Arctic is melting more rapidly than in the recent past, but at the same time Antarctic Ice is growing at record rates.  Both are short term localized events that prove absolutely nothing.

Sure it’s warmer than it was and man is probably partially responsible.  But the climate changes wildly all by itself.   It’s really difficult to distinguish between natural climate variation and man caused events and so far at least, UN computer models have been inconsistent in their predictions.

1709 was a really cold year in Europe.  Really cold.  And the world was warmer than it is today some 10,000 years ago.  Both were part of the world climate changing without the assistance of man.   Anecdotal evidence doesn’t really prove anything.   Let’s stop pretending it does.

Yes carbon is accelerating and it would be better, probably, if it weren’t.  And we should try to do more to impact our planet less.  But are we really sure that Mr. Obama was correct when he said:

There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other; and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.

Maybe, maybe not?   My favorites are destruction of the Oceans and over population.  If we could get  people in the poor countries of Asia and Africa to procreate less, I’d like our chances better.     Let’s meet in 86 years and see who’s right.

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What’s a Humberto

Humberto is the first hurricane of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  It formed off the coast of Africa yesterday.  CNN filed a report.  If Humberto had formed a few hours later it would have set a record as the latest first hurricane in Atlantic Hurricane reported history, whatever that means. After all a mere 100 years ago we didn’t even name storms.

https://i1.wp.com/s.imwx.com/dru/2013/09/f29c450f-d958-4b3b-8bb8-ac702c83e1c3_320x180.jpg

The Atlantic season runs from June through November each year and peaks on September 10th.  In a normal year we would have had 3 named hurricanes by now.  Humberto formed off the coast of Africa.  Had it formed 50 years ago we might have missed it.  It is a relatively small storm that will likely not last very long and will probably never threaten land.   It might not have been counted at all just 50 years ago.

2005 was a really bad year for hurricanes, particularly if you lived in Florida or in New Orleans and points East when Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast.   Al Gore used the Katrina event as proof of global warming gloom and doom in his 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth.  He went on and on and on.   Every year since Al published his docudrama, hurricanes have been less severe than 2005.   We have now had seven and one half years of relatively mild hurricanes since the record setting season of 2005.

Why is it that bad hurricane years are equated to proof that global warming is serious and imminent while mild seasons prove nothing?     Hmmm.  One bad season, seven going on eight good ones. Maybe Mr. Gore was wrong?   Time will tell.

Hurricane Prediction Time, Remembering Katrina

Last week the experts in Colorado predicted a relatively mild  2012 Atlantic hurricane season .  Years ago I was interested in the predictions because I had a relative that lived in Fort Myers; now I give some credit for my interest to Al Gore.

Yup.  Al Gore.  It all started in 2006 when I saw his film An Inconvenient Truth.  I actually found his film conveniently untruthful in many ways.  The film converted me from a mild global warming believer into a confirmed skeptic.

In the film, Mr. Gore blamed the Katrina event, and tropical cyclones all over the world on man caused global warming.  His argument was based on the notion that the oceans are warmer so hurricanes are much worse since they form over oceans.

Unfortunately for Mr. Gore, his favorite UN agency, the IPCC disagrees.  They state in their 2007 Synopses Report that most of the recent warming has occurred over land in northern climates.  They also say there is no clear evidence that hurricanes have been impacted by anthropogenic global warming.  The do say it might happen in the future.

Hurricanes are tropical systems, they need warm water.  The tropics have not  warmed significantly in the last 50 years.  The warming of the oceans has been primarily in the the North Pacific, the North Atlantic and the Arctic.  Hurricanes don’t form there.

Maybe I should cut Mr. Gore some slack, his film was released in 2006, and the IPCC Synopses Report was not released until 2007…but naaaa, Al should have known better.   I am never a fan of mixing politics and science…and Hurricane Katrina got the Al Gore science/political misinformation treatment in spades.

Many people are particularly upset by Mr. Gore’s politicizing of science with his extensive use of the Katrina event.  FEMA did a poor job, as did the mayor of New Orleans and the governor.  The Corps of Engineers and the civilian boards in New Orleans also made many judgment errors.

It was a case of many people not preparing for an event that everyone knew would come some day, an event that was not particularly extraordinary in a weather sense. Katrina was a Category 3 hurricane when it hit New Orleans.  It really is a story of failed human behavior. Perhaps we should be asking ourselves if it is wise to live below sea level adjacent to very warm water in hurricane country.

I know a good or a bad hurricane season doesn’t prove anything about global warming.  It is but a single data point ….and we need lots of data over a long period of time to really understand….but every year we don’t have a bad hurricane season,  Mr. Gore looks silly…and I like that.

PS.   We have had 6 relatively mild Atlantic Hurricane seasons in a row since Mr. Gore released his film.