extreme weather

Fourth National Climate Assessment, Part 2 – no science, just scaremongering

On November 23, 2018, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released Part 2 of the Fourth National Climate Assessment as required by law. [link to report] You may have read in the always credulous “mainstream” media about all the doom and gloom prophecies in the new report. Part 1 was released last November.

Both reports are based on computer modeling rather than on physical observations. Please read my comments on Part 1 here:

Fourth National Climate Assessment is junk science

Much of the latest USGCRP report is vague and unsubstantiated. It is really a political report rather than a science report. It offers no hard evidence, just vague assertions and claims that past climate change is no evidence about future climate change. It does not meet the standards of the Information Quality Act, and each page should be stamped: “Based on speculation, not hard evidence.” Part 2 is based almost entirely on one extreme climate model, Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, (RCP8.5) which is an outlier from most other models. Even the UN’s IPCC is phasing out that model.

The scaremongers have a problem. Since the first National Climate Assessment in 2000, U.S. temperatures show no net change. Nature is not cooperating with the political narrative.

 

“The problem with these sorts of ‘studies’ is the main conclusion is already made before the actual work begins. These academics aren’t studying to see if the changing climate is caused by man or nature, it’s simply accepted as faith that it’s man’s fault. So these studies are done to reinforce preconceived notions and justify jobs. These academics who conduct them have to justify their jobs and bring in grant money, government grant money; our money.” – Derek Hunter, Townhall (link)

 

4 Problems With the New Climate Change Report

1. It wildly exaggerates economic costs.

One statistic that media outlets have seized upon is that the worst climate scenario could cost the U.S. 10 percent of its gross domestic product by 2100. The 10 percent loss projection is more than twice the percentage that was lost during the Great Recession.

The study, funded in part by climate warrior Tom Steyer’s organization, calculates these costs on the assumption that the world will be 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. That temperature projection is even higher than the worst-case scenario predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In other words, it is completely unrealistic.

2. It assumes the most extreme (and least likely)climate scenario.

The scary projections in the National Climate Assessment rely on a theoretical climate trajectory that is known as Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5. In estimating impacts on climate change, climatologists use four representative such trajectories to project different greenhouse gas concentrations.

To put it plainly, Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 assumes a combination of bad factors that are not likely to all coincide. It assumes “the fastest population growth (a doubling of Earth’s population to 12 billion), the lowest rate of technology development, slow GDP growth, a massive increase in world poverty, plus high energy use and emissions.”

3. It cherry-picks science on extreme weather and misrepresents timelines and causality.

4. Energy taxes are a costly non-solution.

The National Climate Assessment stresses that this report “was created to inform policy-makers and makes no specific recommendations on how to remedy the problem.” Yet the takeaway was clear: The costs of action (10 percent of America’s GDP) dwarf the costs of any climate policy.

The reality, however, is that policies endorsed to combat climate change would carry significant costs and would do nothing to mitigate warming, even if there were a looming catastrophe like the National Climate Association says.

Just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposed a carbon tax of between $135 and $5,500 by the year 2030. An energy tax of that magnitude would bankrupt families and businesses, and undoubtedly catapult the world into economic despair.

These policies would simply divert resources away from more valuable use, such as investing in more robust infrastructure to protect against natural disasters or investing in new technologies that make Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 even more of an afterthought than it already should be. The Heritage Foundation

More Comments

“The scientists who wrote the National Climate Assessment used unreliable information that exaggerates the risks global warming poses.” – University of Colorado Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.

“This report from the climate alarmist Deep State in our government is even more hysterical than some United Nations reports. The idea that global temperatures could rise as much as 12 degrees in the next 80 years is absurd and not a shred of actual data and observation supports that. And as noted in Climate Change Reconsidered, sea levels have not been rising at an accelerated rate, and global temperatures have stayed largely the same for much of the last 20 years.” – Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D., President & CEO, The Heartland Institute

“I have never seen such blatantly absurd conclusions drawn entirely from mathematical models that use only a limited number of variables. Of course, this shoddy science by Obama-era appointees serves its real purpose: producing a preordained political outcome that puts more power and money in the hands of the United Nations.

“The physical evidence proves conclusively that sea level is not rising at increased levels. The frequency and strength of hurricanes has been declining for years, not increasing. The same goes for tornados, floods, and forest fires. In fact, there is no evidence that further increases in carbon dioxide emissions will have any deleterious effect on the planet or its temperature.

“This report is a scientific embarrassment. Not only does it rely on computer models to predict the climate through the end of the century, it relies on computer models from five years ago that have been laughably wrong, failing to get even close to reality since 2013. Happily, President Trump has on his advisory staff Dr. William Happer, who knows how flawed these models are and will advise the president to not base a single aspect of U.S. policy upon them.” – Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Science Director, The Heartland Institute

According to the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (http://www.co2science.org/):

“Real-world observations fail to confirm essentially all of the alarming predictions of significant increases in the frequency and severity of droughts, floods and hurricanes that climate models suggest should occur in response to a global warming of the magnitude that was experienced by the earth over the past two centuries as it gradually recovered from the much-lower-than-present temperatures characteristic of the depths of the Little Ice Age. And other observations have shown that the rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with the development of the Industrial Revolution have actually been good for the planet, as they have significantly enhanced the plant productivity and vegetative water use efficiency of earth’s natural and agro-ecosystems, leading to a significant ‘greening of the earth.’” Read 168-page report

Comment from the Science and Environmental Policy Project (http://www.sepp.org/):

“Humanity evolved in the tropics about 200,000 years ago during periods of extreme climate change. The current warm period, the Holocene Epoch, started about 11,700 years ago. According to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the earth has experienced three periods of climate change since emerging from the depths of the last Ice Age into the Holocene Epoch. Agriculture began during the Greenlanddian Age, the warmest time of the Holocene Epoch. Civilization began during Northgrippian Age, warmer than today, about 8200 to 4200 years ago. During the subsequent cooling, about 4200 years ago, humanity suffered and cultures disappeared. These changes appear to be unrelated to carbon dioxide (CO2). Yet the USGCRP declares that climate has been stable for 12,000 years and humanity is threatened by global warming from CO2?”

Humans adapted to Younger Dryas 

Climate change is real, climate has changed throughout the Earth’s history and will change in the future. Many times in human history climate has changed more rapidly than it is changing today, these changes are documented here and here. Probably the best example is from the end of the last glacial period, 11,700 years ago, after the Younger Dryas cold period, when temperatures rose 5-10°C in just a few decades in the Northern Hemisphere. This is an astounding 9°F to 18°F in much less than 100 years. Humans adapted and even thrived during this change, which occurred at the dawn of human civilization. Despite this evidence, NCA4 insists that recent warming is unprecedented, this is a clear error in the report. (Source)

By the way: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, between 2005 and 2017, U.S. energy related emissions of carbon dioxide plunged by 861 million metric tons, a 14% drop due mainly to the fracking revolution. During the same period, global emissions rose by 21% due mostly to China and India economic development.

Related articles:

Making climate predictions by S. Fred Singer

Reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide emissions will have no significant effect on global temperatures. See why:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Climate change in perspective

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Another climate model failure – there were no unusual extremes in drought or rainfall in the 20th century

It has been a tenet of the UN’s “authoritative consensus” that global warming will cause more extremes in weather such as dry areas becoming drier and wet areas becoming wetter. (Amazing, isn’t it how global warming can cause both drought and extreme rainfall?) Alas, a new study compared the rainfall/drought conditions of the 20th Century to the past 1,200 years in the Northern Hemisphere and found that extremes of rainfall and drought were much more prevalent in both warmer and cooler periods of the past. The study was based upon geologically preserved evidence of stream flow, lake levels, marine and lake sediments, tree rings, and historical records. Could it be that something other than CO2 and temperature is causing these conditions?

Here is a summary of the paper written by the authors (edited for readability):

Accurate modeling and prediction of the local to continental-scale hydroclimate response to global warming is essential given the strong impact of hydroclimate on ecosystem functioning, crop yields, water resources, and economic security. However, uncertainty in hydroclimate projections remains large, in part due to the short length of instrumental measurements available with which to assess climate models.

Here we present a spatial reconstruction of hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries across the Northern Hemisphere derived from a network of 196 at least millennium-long proxy records. We use this reconstruction to place recent hydrological changes and future precipitation scenarios in a long-term context of spatially resolved and temporally persistent hydroclimate patterns.

We find a larger percentage of land area with relatively wetter conditions in the ninth to eleventh and the twentieth centuries, whereas drier conditions are more widespread between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries. Our reconstruction reveals that prominent seesaw patterns of alternating moisture regimes observed in instrumental data across the Mediterranean, western USA, and China have operated consistently over the past twelve centuries.

Using an updated compilation of 128 temperature proxy records, we assess the relationship between the reconstructed centennial-scale Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate and temperature variability. Even though dry and wet conditions occurred over extensive areas under both warm and cold climate regimes, a statistically significant co-variability of hydroclimate and temperature is evident for particular regions. We compare the reconstructed hydroclimate anomalies with coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model simulations and find reasonable agreement during pre-industrial times. However, the intensification of the twentieth-century-mean hydroclimate anomalies in the simulations, as compared to previous centuries, is not supported by our new multi-proxy reconstruction. This finding suggests that much work remains before we can model hydroclimate variability accurately, and highlights the importance of using palaeoclimate data to place recent and predicted hydroclimate changes in a millennium-long context.

The study is:

Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist, Paul J. Krusic, Hanna S. Sundqvist, Eduardo Zorita, Gudrun Brattström, David Frank. Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries. Nature, 2016; 532 (7597): 94 DOI: 10.1038/nature17418

These results should not be a surprise to those who deal with real data rather than output of computer models.

For instance, in the paper: Verosub, K. 2015. Don’t worry about climate change; California’s natural climate variability will probably “get us” first. Quaternary International 387: 148, the author reports that “at least once and probably several times in the last few thousand years, there have been droughts severe enough to drop the level of Lake Tahoe by several tens of meters, which allowed Douglas fir trees to grow to maturity on exposed lake beds.” Furthermore, other data indicate episodes of extreme flooding, such as the water year of 1861-1862 that brought extensive rainfall from Oregon down through southern California and “given the historic periodicity of these events, there would be no way to prove that they weren’t natural. (source)

By the way: The frequency of 90 degree days and 100 degree days has plummeted across most of the US since the 1930’s, see graphs.

Percent USHCN days over 90FPercent USHCN state over 100F

 

See also: NOAA can’t find link between global warming and extreme weather

Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

Book Review: Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science

Doubt and certainty coverDr. Judith Curry, Professor and former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has introduced a new book by Alan Longhurst titled Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science. You can read Curry’s extensive remarks here.

Curry says, “Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science is an important new book that everyone should read. The book is 239 pages long, with 606 footnotes/references. The book is well written, technical but without equations – it is easily accessible to anyone with a technical education or who follows the technical climate blogs.” She opines, “This is a remarkable book, a tour de force. There are fresh insights in each chapter, borne of Longhurst’s objective analysis of the data and the literature. The papers he cites are from Nature, Science, PNAS, Journal of Climate and other mainstream, high impact journals.”

The author, Alan Longhurst, is a biological oceanographer at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and several books. You can download the book as a PDF file for free (4.4Mb).

In the Preface, Longhurst explains why he wrote the book. Here is an excerpt:

“The complex relationship between solar cycles and regional climate states on Earth that was central to classical climatology (and is still being discussed in the peer—reviewed literature) had been replaced with a reductionist assumption concerning radiative balance, and the effective dismissal of any significant solar influence. I found this rejection of an entire body of scientific literature troubling, and looked for a disinterested discussion of the balance between natural and anthropogenic effects, but could not find what I wanted — a book that covered the whole field in an accessible and unprejudiced manner, and that was based solely on the scientific literature: I found text—books on individual topics aplenty, together with a flood of others, either supporting or attacking the standard climate change model, but none that was based wholly on studies certified by peer—review — and whose author was inquisitive rather than opinionated.”

Longhurst writes in his conclusions:

While I am aware that the general opinion of the relevant scientific community is that no further debate is necessary after five successive assessments by the IPCC, I suggest that this is premature because these conclusions concern topics that have not yet been properly addressed by that body, and so should be accorded status in a continuing debate concerning the influence of anthropogenic effects on regional climates.

If the peer-reviewed scientific literature, with all the levels of uncertainty associated with individual contributions, has anything to say collectively in assessing the standard climate model, then a small number of conclusions may be drawn from the 600 peer-reviewed papers that I have consulted:

• — the global archives of surface air temperature measurements are unreliable estimators of the consequences of atmospheric CO2 contamination, because they are already themselves contaminated by the effects of deforestation, land use change, urbanization and the release of industrial particulates into the lower atmosphere.

• — users of these data are not able to judge the consequences of the adjustments that have been made to the original observations of surface air temperature ashore, although the limited investigations now possible show that the adjustments have changed the long-term trends that had been recorded by some reputable national meteorological services.

• — sea surface temperature is not a substitute for air temperature over the oceans because it responds to changes in vertical motion in the ocean associated with coastal and open-ocean upwelling; the resultant change in surface temperature is independent of any changes in atmospheric temperature caused by CO2, yet these changes are integrated into the GMST record which is used to estimate the effects of CO2.

• — surface air temperatures respond to cyclical changes within the Sun, and to the effect of changing orbital configurations in the solar system: the changes in the resultant strength of received irradiance (and of tidal stress in the oceans, which also has consequences for SAT) are both predictable and observable.

• — our description of the evolution of the global heat budget and its distribution in multiple sinks is inadequate for an understanding of the present state of the Earth’s surface temperature, or to serve as the initial state for complex modeling of climate dynamics. Future states are therefore unpredictable, cannot be modeled, and will certainly surprise people living through the next century.

• — the planetary heat budget is poorly constrained, perhaps principally by our inability to quantify the mechanisms that control the accumulation and loss of heat in the ocean, where most solar heat accumulates; the quantification of changes in cloud cover is so insecure that we cannot confidently describe its variability, yet clouds are the most important control on the rate of heat input at the sea surface.

• — the evidence for an intensification of extreme weather events and, in particular, tropical cyclones is very weak and is largely due to the progressively increasing reliability and coverage of weather monitoring: today’s frequency of cyclones and other phenomena does not appear to be anomalous when longer data sets can be examined.

• — global climate in the present configuration of the continents falls naturally into a limited number of patterns that are forced externally and patterned by internal dynamics. Some of these climate patterns will tend to conserve global heat, some will tend to permit its dissipation to space, while all move heat from one region to another. Two dominate the whole: the North Atlantic Oscillation that describes the flux of tropical heat through the North Atlantic Current into Arctic regions, and the Southern Oscillation that describes the strength of trade winds, especially in the Pacific, and thus the relative area of cold, up-welled water that is exposed to the atmosphere.

• — the recent melting of arctic ice cover over larger areas than 20 years ago in summer is not a unique event, but is a recurrence of past episodes and is the result of cyclically-variable transport of heat in warm North Atlantic water into the Arctic basin through the Norwegian Sea; the present episode will likely evolve in the same way as earlier episodes.

• — sea level is indeed rising as described by the IPCC and others, but the causes, especially at regional scale,are more complex than suggested by that agency and involve many processes other than expansion due to warming. Had the human population of some very small islands remained within carrying capacity, their occupation could have been permanent, but this is not the case.

• — the consequences of acidification of seawater is one of the most enigmatic questions, and may bring serious biological problems, although it seems now that (i) marine organisms are more resilient to changing pH than was originally feared, because of the genetic diversity of their populations and (ii) the history of pH of seawater during geological time suggests that resilience through selection of genomes has emerged when appropriate in the past (Sections 10.3, 10.4).

Unfortunately, the essential debate on these issues will not take place, at least not openly and without prejudice, because so many voices are today saying – nay, shouting ‘enough, the science is settled, it is time for remediation’. In fact, many have been saying this for almost 20 years, even as fewer voices have been heard in the opposite sense. As discussed in Chapter 1, the science of climate change like many other complex fields in the earth sciences does not function so that at some point in time one can say “now, the science is settled”: there are always uncertainties and alternative explanations for observations.
END

Sierra Nevada snow pack – the larger picture

According to a story in the Arizona Daily Star, University of Arizona researchers claim “The combination of drought and high temperatures that shrank Sierra Nevada snow pack and brought water shortages and destructive fires to California this year may have no precedent in 500 years, according to a study of tree-ring records.”

This makes for ominous headlines that will get some press. However, had the researchers gone farther into the past, they would have found that extreme drought and low snow pack conditions were more common, and all due to natural variation of the climate.

Here is what the IPCC has to say about North American droughts in their 4th Assessment Report:

Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

6.6.5.5 The Record of Hydrologic Variability and Change in the Americas

Multiple proxies, including tree rings, sediments, historical documents and lake sediment records make it clear that the past 2 kyr [2,000 years] included periods with more frequent, longer and/or geographically more extensive droughts in North America than during the 20th century. Past droughts, including decadal-length ‘megadroughts’, are most likely due to extended periods of anomalous SST [sea surface temperature], but remain difficult to simulate with coupled ocean-atmosphere models. Thus, the palaeoclimatic record suggests that multi-year, decadal and even centennial-scale drier periods are likely to remain a feature of future North American climate, particularly in the area west of the Mississippi River.

There is some evidence that North American drought was more regionally extensive, severe and frequent during past intervals that were characterised by warmer than average NH summer temperatures (e.g., during medieval times and the mid-Holocene). There is evidence that changes in the North American hydrologic regime can occur abruptly relative to the rate of change in climate forcing and duration of the subsequent climate regime. Abrupt shifts in drought frequency and duration have been found in palaeohydrologic records from western North America. Similarly, the upper Mississippi River Basin and elsewhere have seen abrupt shifts in the frequency and size of the largest flood events. Recent investigations of past large-hurricane activity in the southeast USA suggest that changes in the regional frequency of large hurricanes can shift abruptly in response to more gradual forcing. Although the paleoclimatic record indicates that hydrologic shifts in drought, floods and tropical storms have occurred abruptly (i.e., within years), this past abrupt change has not been simulated with coupled atmosphere ocean models. Decadal variability of Central Chilean precipitation was greater before the 20th century, with more intense and prolonged dry episodes in the past. Tree-ring based precipitation reconstructions for the past eight centuries reveal multi-year drought episodes in the 14th and 16th to 18th centuries that exceed the estimates of decadal drought during the 20th century.
Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-6-5-5.html

I understand from the Star story that the researchers used a pre-existing 500-year database of tree rings, so they cannot be accused of “cherry-picking”on purpose, although it so appears. I do not have access to the full paper, so I don’t know if the researchers tempered their claims with the longer history. In my opinion, however, based on what was reported in the Star, the researchers appear to be “crying wolf.”

Related articles:

Drought in the West
Droughts in the Southwest put in perspective

University of Arizona Scientists Find Evidence of Roman Period Megadrought

NOAA can’t find link between global warming and extreme weather

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says they can’t find a link between anthropogenic global warming and weather extremes that occurred in 2013 such as the California drought, Colorado floods, the UK’s exceptionally cold spring, a South Dakota blizzard, Central Europe floods, a northwestern Europe cyclone, and exceptional snowfall in Europe’s Pyrenees Mountains, among other things.

The NOAA report, Explaining Extremes of 2013 from a Climate Perspective, was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. You can download the 100-plus-page report here, but don’t bother. NOAA was apparently reluctant to publish this politically-incorrect document so it is filled with “weasel words.” Here is the basic conclusion in NOAA’s own words:

“This report contributes to the growing body of evidence that human influences on climate have changed the risk of some extreme events and that scientists are increasingly able to detect these changes. A failure to find anthropogenic signals for several events examined in this report does not prove anthropogenic climate change had no role to play. Rather, an anthropogenic contribution to these events that is distinguishable from natural climate variability could not be detected by these analyses. Thus, there may have been an anthropogenic role, but these particular analyses did not find one. This year, the number of events analyzed in this report has again increased, and the range of event types analyzed has expanded to include a blizzard, snowfall, and a mid-latitude cyclone.”

This finding, by the way, is consistent with one by the IPCC two years ago: “While there is evidence that increases in greenhouse gases have likely caused changes in some types of extremes, there is no simple answer to the question of whether the climate, in general, has become more or less extreme.”

In the abstract of the NOAA paper we find this statement: “The findings indicate that human-caused climate change greatly increased the risk for the extreme heat waves.” That’s what most of the alarmist press ran with. Those NOAA findings are based entirely on computer simulations rather than on hard data. Here is what the real data looks like:

Heatwave index 1895-2013

Observational data does not appear to show any trend in the occurrence of heat waves, whatever the cause, and thus provides no physical evidence that global warming is producing weather extremes.

See also:

Climate change in perspective

Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

Global Warming Still Hiding

 

National Climate Assessment Report = science fiction and politics

The new National Climate Assessment report (NCA) is an attempt by the Obama administration to scare us with dire predictions of gloom and doom and thereby justify his climate action plan and ruinous energy policy. It is sad to see such a perversion of science.  Here is a sampling of comments:

Follow the money:

Frank Beckmann writes in the Detroit News, “The administration, anxious to continue taxpayer-provided subsidies to politically-favored green energy firms that return the favor with campaign contributions to Democrats, claims it used the expertise of hundreds of ‘experts’ to come up with the findings. A cursory glance of the participants shows no participation by climate realists but leading report authors from environmental political action groups like Second Nature, The Nature Conservancy, Planet Forward, and the misnamed Union of Concerned Scientists, a group that is not made up of scientists at all and which also advocates for unilateral U.S. nuclear disarmament.”

Follow the science:

Paul C. Knappenberger of the CATO Institute succinctly sums up the theme of the report in a Washington Times Article: “Let’s get one thing clear: The National Climate Assessment is a political call to action document meant for the president’s left-leaning constituency. What pretense of scientific support that decorates it quickly falls away under a close and critical inspection.”

Knappenberger also debunks the NCA claim that heat waves are causing more deaths.

Dr. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, takes on the NCA point by point here. Among his points are:

“..there is no way to know whether the global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities [as claimed by NCA, because there is no fingerprint of human-caused versus naturally-caused climate change. To claim the changes are ‘unprecedented’ cannot be demonstrated with reliable data, and are contradicted by some published paleoclimate data which suggests most centuries experience substantial warming or cooling.”

There is “no sign of climate change impacts on agricultural yields. There are always natural fluctuations, but if there is any negative human-induced impact, it is swamped by the increasing yields due to improved agricultural practices, seed varieties, and very likely CO2 fertilization.”

Dr. Judith Curry, Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, comments:

“My main conclusion from reading the report is this: the phrase ‘climate change’ is now officially meaningless. The report effectively implies that there is no climate change other than what is caused by humans, and that extreme weather events are equivalent to climate change. Any increase in adverse impacts from extreme weather events or sea level rise is caused by humans. Possible scenarios of future climate change depend only on emissions scenarios that are translated into warming by climate models that produce far more warming than has recently been observed.”

Wryheat comments:

The National Climate Assessment claims that effects of global warming are already happening and causing increases in extreme weather events and wildfires. Well, let’s look at the data.
Wildfires: Data from the National Interagency Fire Center shows that the number of wildfires has been steadily decreasing since 1960. The number of acres burned, however, has been increasing since about 1995 due in part to changes in forest management under the Endangered Species Act. For more details see Wildfires and Warming.
Heatwaves: Looks like the 1930s surpass any we’ve experienced recently.

Heatwave Index

Droughts: No trend since 1900

Drought-trend

 

Unusually wet weather: No trend since 1900

Wet-weather-trend

 

Hurricanes: Variable, but decreasing trend since 1993

Hurricane-trend

For more data on extreme weather see the WUWT extreme weather page.
The National Climate Assessment also worries about sea level rise, although sea level has been rising naturally for the past 18,000 years. The rate of sea level rise is cyclical on decadal and multi-decadal time scales, but overall, the rate is decreasing even as the planet warms, (see Sea Level Rising?).

For real, peer-reviewed science, see Climate Change Reconsidered II (CCR-II), an independent, comprehensive, and authoritative report on the current state of climate science. It is produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international network of climate scientists sponsored by three nonprofit organizations: the Science and Environmental Policy Project, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and The Heartland Institute.

I provide summaries of and links to these reports here:
Climate Change Reconsidered II- Physical Science
Climate Change Reconsidered II – Biological Impact

 

UPDATE: Dr. Don J. Easterbrook takes the NCA apart by showing how the assertions and claims have no basis in fact.  Easterbrook concludes:

How well do the NCA assertions compare with real data? As can be seen from the data above, they diverge wildly from real data. The report is filled with wild distortions and outright fabrications. If we apply Feynman’s scientific method (if an assertion disagrees with observations or data, it is wrong) to the NCA report, we can only conclude that the report fails badly. One can only wonder why the so-called scientists who wrote the report could possibly justify making such unsupported assertions contrary to hard data.

A substantial part of the report emphasizes weather events (drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, etc). The authors don’t seem to know the difference between weatherand climate. None of the ‘extreme events’ they cite have any meaning whatsoever to climate. Single weather events can happen at any time, regardless of the climate.

The authors also don’t seem to be able to distinguish cause-and-effect relationships from artificial scenarios. They frequently point to ‘global warming’ as if that somehow proves it was caused by CO2,totally ignoring vast amounts of data showing that CO2 always lagswarming, even on a short term basis. If COlags warming, it can’t be the cause of the warming!

The most obvious shortcoming of the NCA report is all of the assertions that are contrary to hard data. But the report is also weakened by the wholesale ignoring of relevant data. Rather than discussing data and justifying their assertions, the authors simply disregard any data that doesn’t fit their scenarios.

From these observations, one can only conclude that the report is really not a scientific document at all, but rather a huge political propaganda effort.   Read full post here.

Government winter weather forecasts botched again

Super computers can be great machines, but their use by NOAA in the U.S. and by the British Met Office demonstrate the old saying “garbage in – garbage out.”

Weather and climate are complex. Even with supercomputers, if the wrong assumptions are input, then the results are often wrong. Let’s see how NOAA and the Met Office did with winter forecasts this year.

The graphic below was made last fall by NOAA showing their predictions for winter temperatures in the U.S. The orange with an “A” shows areas that NOAA predicted would be above average, the blue with a “B” is for below normal temperatures, and the white area with “EC” are equal changes of being above or below normal.

NOAA winter forecast 2013

So much for predictions.  The conditions that really happened are shown on the graphic below. (Source: NoTricksZone). The blue area is colder than normal; green is much colder than normal.

2013 US winter actual

Remember, these are the people who claim they can predict climate change 10 to 100 years into the future.

Back in November, the British Met Office predicted that this winter would be colder and dryer than normal (Source). However, this winter the UK has had record rainfalls. (Source and here).

And, (from NoTricksZone): “This year western Europe has experienced a mild winter as a parade of low pressure systems coming in from off the Atlantic has fed the continent with a steady supply of mild southerly winds. For Germany this winter will be the first mild one in 6 years after a record 5 consecutive winters of colder than normal winters.”

This year was not the first time that the Met Office got the forecast very wrong. Back in 2012, when they touted their new supercomputer which is capable of 1,000 billion calculations every second, and uses 1.2 megawatts of energy to run – enough to power a small town, the head of the Met Office claimed that this new computer “will enable the Met Office to deliver more accurate forecasts, from hours to a century ahead.” (See my post “British supercomputer botches weather forecasts”) As it turned out, spring in 2012 was one of the wettest on record in the UK.

I pick on 2012 because my wife and I happened to be traveling in the UK that June. We rather enjoyed the cool and wet weather as a contrast to an Arizona June which is hot (35-45̊C) and dry.

Results show that even with super computers, predicting the weather is a tricky business. Government agencies seem to make assumptions based on political science rather than real science. Perhaps they should consult the Old Farmer’s Almanac more often. That publication claims to get the long-range forecasts right about 80% of the time.

Climate Change Reconsidered II – A major new report on the state of the climate

Cover-CCR-II-117x150Climate Change Reconsidered II (CCR-II) is an independent, comprehensive, and authoritative report on the current state of climate science. It is produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international network of climate scientists sponsored by three nonprofit organizations: the Science and Environmental Policy Project, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and The Heartland Institute.

NIPCC’s basic conclusion: “NIPCC’s conclusion, drawn from its extensive review of the scientific evidence, is that the greenhouse gas-induced global climate signal is so small as to be embedded within the background variability of the natural climate system and is not dangerous.”

CCR-II consists of three parts: a Summary for Policy Makers (22 pages) and CCR-II Physical Science (Ca. 1,018 pages, 20Mb) are available for free download.  The third part, titled Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities, is expected to be released in March, 2014.

Approximately 40 scientists are participating as authors, contributors, or reviewers. Lead authors are Dr. Craig D. Idso, a geologist and founder and current chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change; Dr. Robert M. Carter, a marine geologist and environmental scientist and formerly professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University (Australia); and Dr. S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist formerly a professor at the University of Virginia and currently director of the Science and Environmental Policy Project.

CCR-II cites more than 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers to show that the IPCC has ignored or misinterpreted much of the research that challenges the need for carbon dioxide controls. In other words, the NIPCC report demonstrates that the science being relied upon by governments to create multi-billion dollar policies is almost certainly wrong.

What follows are excerpts of the key findings from the Executive Summary (you can read a more extensive list of findings from the executive summary here, about five pages).

• Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a mild greenhouse gas that exerts a diminishing warming effect as its concentration increases.

• Doubling the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial level, in the absence of other forcings and feedbacks, would likely cause a warming of ~0.3 to 1.1°C, almost 50% of which must already have occurred.

• A few tenths of a degree of additional warming, should it occur, would not represent a climate crisis.

• Model outputs published in successive IPCC reports since 1990 project a doubling of CO2 could cause warming of up to 6°C by 2100. Instead, global warming ceased around the end of the twentieth century and was followed (since 1997) by 16 years of stable temperature.

• Over recent geological time, Earth’s temperature has fluctuated naturally between about +4°C and -6°C with respect to twentieth century temperature. A warming of 2°C above today, should it occur, falls within the bounds of natural variability.

• Though a future warming of 2°C would cause geographically varied ecological responses, no evidence exists that those changes would be net harmful to the global environment or to human well-being.

• At the current level of ~400 ppm we still live in a CO2-starved world. Atmospheric levels 15 times greater existed during the Cambrian Period (about 550 million years ago) without known adverse effects.

• The overall warming since about 1860 corresponds to a recovery from the Little Ice Age modulated by natural multidecadal cycles driven by ocean-atmosphere oscillations, or by solar variations at the de Vries (~208 year) and Gleissberg (~80 year) and shorter periodicities.

• Earth has not warmed significantly for the past 16 years despite an 8% increase in atmospheric CO2, which represents 34% of all extra CO2 added to the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution.

• CO2 is a vital nutrient used by plants in photosynthesis. Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere “greens” the planet and helps feed the growing human population.

• No close correlation exists between temperature variation over the past 150 years and human-related CO2 emissions. The parallelism of temperature and CO2 increase between about 1980 and 2000 AD could be due to chance and does not necessarily indicate causation.

• The causes of historic global warming remain uncertain, but significant correlations exist between climate patterning and multidecadal variation and solar activity over the past few hundred years.

• Forward projections of solar cyclicity imply the next few decades may be marked by global cooling rather than warming, despite continuing CO2 emissions.

To review the links:

CCR-II Physical Science full report

Summary for Policy Makers

Extracted Executive Summary

Colorado flooding not as bad as 1965 or 1935 according to state climatologist

The current flooding in Colorado may rank among the top 10 floods in the state. Some of the news media are conflating it as a “once in a thousand years” flood.  Other media (and Senator Harry Reid ) are saying it is a sign of global warming; for instance see an NBC News report here: “The exact role of global climate change in the deluge is uncertain, but it certainly played a part, according to climate, weather and policy experts.”  Policy experts? Those policy experts should pass a law against flooding.  If global warming “certainly played a part,” how do they account for the other major floods listed below?

A report from The Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University in Boulder puts the current flood in perspective:

“As is typical of Colorado storms, some parts of the state were hard hit and others were untouched. Still, this storm is ranking in the top ten extreme flooding events since Colorado statehood,” said Nolan Doesken, State Climatologist at CSU. “It isn’t yet as extreme or widespread as the June 1965 floods or as dramatic as the 1935 floods but it ranks right up there among some of the worst.”

Among the worst, according to Climate Center data, occurred in May 1904, October 1911, June 1921, May 1935, September 1938, May 1955, June 1965, May 1969, October 1970, July 1976, July 1981, and, of course, the Spring Creek Flood of July 1997 that ravaged Fort Collins and the CSU campus.

“Every flood event in Colorado has its own unique characteristics,” said Doesken. “But the topography of the Colorado Front Range makes this area particularly vulnerable when the necessary meteorological conditions come together as they did this week.”

I was attending Colorado School Mines in Golden, Colorado, in 1965 and remember that flood. You can read about the 1965 flood details from the National Center for Atmospheric Research here.

“The Rocky Mountains have long been prone to flash floods. Native Americans warned Boulder’s founders of flooding, according to historical accounts. The U.S. Geological Survey has mapped the remnants of ancient flash floods all along the Colorado Front Range, where steep mountain canyons send debris pouring into town, along with the rocks that give Boulder its name.” (Source)

UPDATE: Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder:

On the Colorado floods: Over the past few days I’ve been engaged with a lively debate with a colleague over whether it is meaningful to proclaim that the extreme rainfall observed in Colorado several weeks ago are “consistent with” predictions of more intense rainfall associated with human-caused climate change.

Motivated by this discussion, I downloaded precipitation records from NOAA for Boulder (here in .dat), which covers a period from May 1, 1897 to August 31, 2013.

In the first half of that time period, covering 58 years or so, Boulder experienced 24 days with measured rainfall of 2 inches or more. In the second half of that period (also 58 years or so) Boulder experienced 20 days with rainfall of 2 inches or more.

How about really extreme, say 4 inches or more?  There is only one data point in the record at that level, July 31, 1919. Now, there is a second.

So what is this data “consistent with”? Pretty much anything, and that is the point.

[Source]

See also:

Media pawns in IPCC extreme weather hype

Republican critical thinking on climate change

Senate Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee have issued a 21-page Minority Report entitled Critical Thinking on Climate Change wherein they question the lack of evidence to support the Obama administration’s agenda on climate regulation.

“The EPW Minority report analyzes significant predictions and claims made by climate change scientists and activists over the last several decades regarding global warming, and then compares those predictions and claims to the most recent science. This report provides an opportunity to think critically and asks important questions about the impacts, policies and motivations related to climate change. The key sections examine the 15-year break in global warming not predicted by the models, the rate of sea level rise, extreme weather events, and the impact that unilateral regulatory action will have on the economy.”

Among the specific questions the report asks are these:

“If the computer models and predictions have been inaccurate, why is our federal government relying on these models to take unilateral action?”  And the computer models have been very inaccurate, see:More evidence that climate models are wrong.

“If global warming has been ‘worse than predicted,’ why won’t the federal government provide the data supporting this claim?”  This refers in part to the refusal by the EPA to provide data to justify their regulations.

“Given that many of these models predicted warming trends well before China surpassed the United States as the largest GHG emitter, and given the fact that emissions continue to grow at a pace beyond what was originally incorporated into the models, shouldn’t the warming be far worse than what was predicted in the worst case scenarios rather than well below predictions?”

“If the present rate of sea level rise would put the world on pace to see an increase of less than 7 inches by the end of the century, then where are the data sets the IPCC and other advocates use to come up with estimates that are in feet and/or meters?”

For background see: Sea Level Rising? and Rate of sea level rise is controlled by natural oscillations

“If empirical evidence indicates that the rate of sea level rise is decreasing, how does the IPCC claim that there definitively is a strong correlation between sea level rise and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere?  Doesn’t the science tend to indicate that there is a lack of correlation?”

“When we are unable to predict extreme weather events, and empirical evidence does not show that extreme weather events are increasing, why would some scientists/activists claim that extreme weather events are the product of human activity?”

“Did extreme weather events begin with the advent of the internal combustion engine, or does historical and geological evidence exist indicating extreme weather events have been occurring for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years?” See:

Media pawns in IPCC extreme weather hype

“Given the dynamic nature of our climate and the factors well outside of human … including lack of technology to govern these factors, is it possible to control and stop climate change through government regulations?”

This report is a political document, but then “climate science” is mostly political.  The report asks questions that should be answered before any regulations affecting our energy and electricity generation are promulgated.