Weather extremes not increasing with warming

Extreme weather makes news.  It is a tenet of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming adherents (CAGWs) that extreme weather events have become and will become ever more common as the planet warms.  However, new research in Europe, based on historical records and tree-rings, covering the period AD 962–2007, shows no trend in extreme weather events. In fact, the researchers found “A fairly uniform distribution of hydroclimatic extremes throughout the Medieval Climate Anomaly, Little Ice Age and Recent Global Warming…”

 The paper is Buntgen, U.et al., 2011. Combined dendro-documentary evidence of Central European hydroclimatic springtime extremes over the last millennium. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 3947-3959..(Link to abstract, the full paper is behind a pay wall.)

The abstract reads:

A predicted rise in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and associated effects on the Earth’s climate system likely imply more frequent and severe weather extremes with alternations in hydroclimatic parameters expected to be most critical for ecosystem functioning, agricultural yield, and human health. Evaluating the return period and amplitude of modern climatic extremes in light of pre-industrial natural changes is, however, limited by generally too short instrumental meteorological observations. Here we introduce and analyze 11,873 annually resolved and absolutely dated ring width measurement series from living and historical fir (Abies alba Mill.) trees sampled across France, Switzerland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, which continuously span the AD 962–2007 period. Even though a dominant climatic driver of European fir growth was not found, ring width extremes were evidently triggered by anomalous variations in Central European April–June precipitation. Wet conditions were associated with dynamic low-pressure cells, whereas continental-scale droughts coincided with persistent high-pressure between 35 and 55°N. Documentary evidence independently confirms many of the dendro signals over the past millennium, and further provides insight on causes and consequences of ambient weather conditions related to the reconstructed extremes. A fairly uniform distribution of hydroclimatic extremes throughout the Medieval Climate Anomaly, Little Ice Age and Recent Global Warming may question the common believe that frequency and severity of such events closely relates to climate mean stages. This joint dendro-documentary approach not only allows extreme climate conditions of the industrial era to be placed against the backdrop of natural variations, but also probably helps to constrain climate model simulations over exceptional long timescales.

In a previous post, Media pawns in IPCC extreme weather hype, I present research and graphics that show there have been no upward trends in droughts, wet weather, or hurricanes as the world warmed from the “little ice age.”

In spite of science to the contrary, CAGWs and the IPCC must continue to present their scary stories to secure funding to fight their imagined hobgoblins and gain power.  And such stories sell newspapers.

See also:

Pained Earth’s summer to forget: the rest of the story

Book Review: The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert, an IPCC Exposé

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6 comments

  1. Jon, The link you provided seems to be for a different paper than the one to which your post refers. An Author/Title search brings up a paper with that citation, but the abstract is not the one you show. Could you please sort this out for us.   JP

  2. Jon, When I see a grammatical error in the Abstract of a paper,  the alarms go off. This isn’t a blog post or comment or even a news article. This is the Abstract of a peer-reviewed journal. How can we expect that the paper was properly reviewed when they can’t even get the abstract right? I’ve been chastised for belittling certain journals, but seriously, not all journals do an equally good job of peer-review. I have spent money to gain access to some of your sources, but from the looks of this abstract, I wouldn’t spend money on this one. Did you buy the article Jon?

    The only thing I see in the Abstract that even remotely supports Jon’s headline is this:   “A fairly uniform distribution of hydroclimatic extremes throughout the Medieval Climate Anomaly, Little Ice Age and Recent Global Warming MAY question the common believe [sic] that frequency and severity of such events closely relates to climate mean stages.”  The abstract says,  “Even though a dominant climatic driver of European fir growth was not found…” You read that right, NOT found. It then proceeds to make assumptions about “hydroclimatic extremes” based significantly on the dendrochronologic analysis of the same European fir. I guess you have to pay to find out how the authors make any sense out of that. 

    Jon’s headline should read “Some precipitation patterns in a small part of central Europe may, or may not, closely relate to average climate”. The only thing I can say with confidence about this paper:  it isn’t going to be on the evening news.   JP

  3. Wow, so the editor missed a spelling mistake by authors whose primary language is probably not English!  The point here, John, do you have any evidence to support the CAGW contention that extreme weather is increasing with warming?

  4. John, the link you provide does not include the full report, the button is not active but says the report will be available in March. Only the 20-page summary for policy makers is available. That report discusses risk management and makes projections of all the bad things that could happen.

    However, my question to you was: “do you have any evidence to support the CAGW contention that extreme weather is increasing with warming?” The SFPM claims they have some evidence but presents none. All they say is that it is “likely” this or “very likely” that. So far no evidence.

    1. Jon, I share your frustration regarding the release of the Summary for Policy Makers without the report itself. Why they didn’t simply wait to release them together is beyond me.

      I have no exceptional insight on the subject beyond what I can extrapolate from the IPCC fourth assessment report. I haven’t extensively studied the literature that focuses particularly on AGW’s effect on extreme weather. The report will provide me with a framework to get up to speed on the topic. Given the fact that the full report on extreme weather is due this month, I’m going to wait until I have that information before opining generally.

      Jon, you and I both know that the media loves stories of potential calamity regardless of the possible cause. We live in a country that veritably teems with apocalypticists, and we’ve seen lots of crazy stories from the media regarding AGW. That’s why the forthcoming IPCC report on extreme weather is important. It will give us a comprehensive view of the latest scientific findings and provide a basis for continued research, debate and refinement of those findings. 

      From the looks of the Summary, I think we’re in for a storm of equivocation. I suppose that’s the nature of risk assessment. When the weatherman says there’s a 90% chance of rain, we say thanks and carry an umbrella.   JP

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