Just where are those grid killing tornadoes anyway?

http://bsnotebook.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/kerry_tornado_swiftboat.jpg?w=640

John Kerry and Tornadoes – not a good mix

Warren Meyer over at climate-skeptic.com is a bit fired up over the NCDC sponsored, Los Angeles PR firm processed, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. He’s running a series. This is #4. Full report available here: GCCI Government Report

GCCI #4: I Am Calling Bullsh*t on this Chart

June 17, 2009, 11:36 am

For this next post, I skip kind of deep into the report because Kevin Drum was particularly taken with the power of this chart from page 58.

electrical-outage

I know that skepticism is a lost art in journalism, so I will forgive Mr. Drum.  But in running a business, people put all kinds of BS analyses in front of me trying to get me to spend my money one way or another.  And so for those of us for whom data analysis actually has financial consequences, it is a useful skill to be able to recognize a steaming pile of BS when one sees it.

First, does anyone here really think that we have seen a 20-fold increase in electrical grid outages over the last 15 years but no one noticed?  Really?

Second, let’s just look at some of the numbers.  Is there anyone here who thinks that if we are seeing 10-20 major outages from thunderstorms and tornadoes (the yellow bar) in the last few years, we really saw ZERO by the same definition in 1992?  And 1995?  And 1996?  Seriously?  This implies there has been something like a 20-fold increase in outages from thunderstorms and tornadoes since the early 1990’s.  But tornado activity, for example, has certainly not increased since the early 1990’s and has probably decreased (from the NOAA, a co-author of the report):

tornadotrend

All the other bars have the same believability problem.  Take “temperature extremes.”  Anyone want to bet that is mostly cold rather than mostly hot extremes?  I don’t know if that is the case, but my bet is the authors would have said “hot” if the data had been driven by “hot.”  And if this is proof of global warming, then why is the damage from cold and ice increasing as fast as other severe weather causes?

This chart screams one thing at me:  Basis change.  Somehow, the basis for the data is changing in the period.  Either reporting has been increased, or definitions have changed, or there is something about the grid that makes it more sensitive to weather, or whatever  (this is a problem in tornado charts, as improving detection technologies seem to create an upward incidence trend in smaller tornadoes where one probably does not exist).   But there is NO WAY the weather is changing this fast, and readers should treat this whole report as a pile of garbage if it is written by people who uncritically accept this chart.

Postscript: By the way, if I want to be snarky, I should just accept this chart.  Why?  Because here is the US temperature anomaly over the same time period (using the UAH satellite data as graphed by Anthony Watts, degrees C):

usa-temp

From 1998 to today, when the electrical outage chart was shooting up, the US was actually cooling slightly!

This goes back to the reason why alarmists abandoned the “global warming” term in favor of climate change.   They can play this bait and switch, showing changes in climate (which always exist) and then blaming them on CO2.  But there is no mechanism ever proposed by anyone where CO2 can change the climate directly without going through the intermediate step of warming.  If climate is changing but we are not seeing warming, then the change can’t be due to CO2. But you will never see that fact in this helpful government propaganda piece.

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64 Responses to Just where are those grid killing tornadoes anyway?

  1. One of the drawbacks to internet journalism is it’s so much more complicated to line my birdcage now.

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    Anthony: Thanks for the Kerry-Swift Boat “photo”.

  3. Karl says:

    NBC nightly news did the most one-sided, biased report on this release last night. In the piece it was stated the Midwest has “already seen warming of 7 degrees.” After the past couple of winters and the cool spring, I’m sure there’s a lot of viewer skepticism out there.

  4. Smokey says:

    John Kerry is such a clueless bozo. Here he is in what I like to think of as “Thurston Howell IV and Lovey” [from Gilligan's Island] : click

    Look at that grin. Could he be any more insufferable?

  5. Lee Kington says:

    American Thinker has an entry titled:

    Did ABC Fabricate Projections of an Underwater Southern Florida? (Updated)

    It has a video of the ABC broadcast covering the Global Climate Change Impacts In the United States Report.

    The closing update is….

    ** Update 6/17/09 1910 EDT

    AT reader Mike Malone pointed me to the White House website, and to the fact that the graphic ABC misrepresented as part of the official report is, in fact, a slide from the PowerPoint presentation used to launch the report yesterday. That leaves two questions: Why was this startling (albeit alarmist standard issue) claim included in the frantic speech-making event yet excluded from the actual report? And why did ABC deliberately imply otherwise by creating the animation depicting the report being turned to a page containing the claim? Any guesses?

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/06/did_abc_fabricate_projections.html

  6. rbateman says:

    They aren’t going to get much money by selling warming when it’s getting colder.
    Of course they know they committed the ultimate error when they blurted out Global Warming causes cooling.
    A lot of folks caught the ironic nature of the renaming attempt.
    Not going over well. MSM is frantic trying to stop the damage.
    Too late.
    10′s of millions of ordinary folked dropped it like a hot potato.
    Warming causes Chilling is what is stuck in people’s heads, and it’s the butt of every streetcorner joke.
    The USS GoreStall is taking on water….not because of catastrophic sea rise, but because of the huge hole amidships.
    Struck the Iceberg of Cooling.

  7. Melinda Romanoff says:

    Of course, you MUST ignore UV degradation of PVC HV line coatings as a function of time. I’m sure those lines strung in the 50′s and 60′s are as fresh as a daisy.

  8. astronmr20 says:

    Was reading Meyer’s article earlier today.

    I honestly don’t see how they could possibly get away with this chart.

    It’s rediculousity in the purest sense.

  9. Jeff Id says:

    I love the ‘propaganda’ wording. This puppy is should backlash on them…big.

    There is just too much bad information and it’s all over blogland. Someone will pick it up eventually.

  10. astronmr20 says:

    They are pushing hard now.

    If they can float the lie for only a few more months, they may in fact be able to pass legislation that makes this incredible scam concrete.

  11. Mike Bryant says:

    Looking at the US temperature chart compared to the grid disturbances chart we can see that the increase in disturbances is NOT caused by temperatures. So what is it? Could severe storms have doubled in the last few years because of the slight DECREASE of temperatures? I know that there have been blackouts and brownouts in Texas. Since Texas has the largest percentage of wind power in the USA, could that be a factor? Perhaps the numbers should be broken down by state, state temperatures and state use of windpower. Have states like California and Kansas, who have been turning down permits for coal fired plants, contributed to grid failures? I’d say that’s a pretty good bet. What about nuclear power? When will we start building these plants again?
    These are only a few of the really telling questions that the grid failure graph raises…
    This grid failure graph points the finger at poor management in the highest corridors of power. It does NOT give any support to the failed CO2=CAGW hypothesis.
    The grid failure is a proxy of the failure of failed political leadership.
    Mike

  12. Dan Evans says:

    Increases in grid disruptions may have more to do with changes in the grid than changes in the climate. Our electric grid has become loaded to maximum capacity. Under present conditions, any type of weather event that causes an outage will more likely to cause a “significant incident” if power is unavailable from elsewhere.

  13. K-Bob says:

    Do reasonable people of sane minds really believe this crap? Either I’m losing it myself or the regular Joe is lost in space. Should we riot in the streets like they are doing in Iran? It seems to catch the MSM’s eye anyway. I would like to see Anthony propose a date and some sort of activity that will let the rest of the US (and world) see that there is a portion of society that is fed up with this crap! Does anyone have any ideas?

  14. Lark says:

    A huge jump in windstorms on this chart, “climate change lowers wind speeds” six posts back; and both of them supposedly due to global warming. Oh well, I guess it’s okay as long as they’re consistent.

  15. D. King says:

    K-Bob (20:01:19)

    Either I’m losing it myself or the regular Joe is lost in space.

    http://www.televisiontunes.com/Lost_In_Space.html

    It’s not you!

  16. Tom in Texas says:

    K-Bob (20:01:19) : “Should we riot in the streets…”

    I believe the next U.S. “riot” will be 912.

  17. Jason Bair says:

    Tack on this little gem from the AP and Weather Channel

    http://www.weather.com/newscenter/specialtopics/slideshows/globalwarmingeffects.html?page=1&scheme=article-vert-plain.css

    EXACT Opposite from what we’re seeing the past couple of years.

  18. Michael Hauber says:

    And this is what the report ‘Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States’ has to say about this chart:

    ‘….Although this figure does not demonstrate a cause-effect relationship between climate change and grid disruption, it does suggest that weather and climate extremes often have important effects on grid disruptions. We do know that more frequent weather and climate extremes are likely in the future, which poses unknown new risks for the electric grid.’

  19. Karl says:

    Jason Bair (20:33:23) :

    Tack on this little gem from the AP and Weather Channel

    It’s perfectly logical TWC would highlight this. Its owner GE will stand to gain big-time from AECS.

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    Perhaps the Loony Lefty grid instability caused by government mucking about with the provision of electricity (ala Gov. Grayout Davis in California) has something to do with it? A graph of grid instability vs government interventions might be enlightening…

    Here in California we can definitely say that the “blackouts” were attributed to “hot weather” when the grid failed to deliver enough during very hot days… yet they miraculously stopped with the removal of Gov. Gray Davis and the reversal of the “buy at minibar prices on the spot market only” insane government mandated policies.

    Want a stable grid? Get government out of it. Period.

    Yes, I’ve “been there, done that” for over 1/2 century. The bottom line is pretty simple: Grid stability is inversely proportional to the degree of government involvement. I’ve seen a fair sample, and the trend in pretty clear… (PG & E had to field the complaints. Prior to being mucked with, they had small hours to power restoration at most. Post mucking, it was frequent rolling outages several times a summer for several hours… Now? With Grayout gone? Can’t remember the last outage.)

    Politicians and lawyers make bad engineers and worse economists (and absolutely horrid business managers). Put politicians (most of whom seem to have law degrees) in charge? To quote Gomer: Surprise surprise surprise!

  21. D. King says:

    Jason Bair (20:33:23) :

    Tack on this little gem from the AP and Weather Channel

    Unbelievable! Just lies.

  22. Bill Illis says:

    Here is the actual US monthly anomaly (NOAA) in the manner we are used to seeing – anomaly F from average, seasonally-adjusted with 1895 to 2009 baseline.

    http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/3491/usmonthlyanom.png

    Not particularly useful of course.

    Here is the same data with a 12 month moving average which is a little more helpful in terms of seeing the trends. 1934, 1998, 2005 are the peak years.

    http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/8913/ustempsf.png

    Keep in mind, the trend for these temps have been adjusted upwards by 0.765F from the raw data.

  23. Brendan says:

    Mr. Smith almost has the reason. The number of weather related grid failures has increased because the grid is saturated. Population continued to grow, and the grid, which was built over the last century, has not. So we are pouring more power through the same grid, meaning hotter temperatures, and pushing the system ever closer to electrical saturation. So it doesn’t take much to push a power electrical device over the edge when its already tippy toeing there. And the reason we are near that saturation is a desire not to build more grid infrastructure, because, you see, soon every house will have a solar panel, and we can abandon the grid! Its so simple!! And when every house has a govt mandated solar panel, then, magically, the grid will not be as close anymore to its saturation point, and so, alternative energy will indeed have reduced grid failures. But not because it has dropped temps….

  24. Flanagan says:

    Mike (and others): why focus only on US temperature to correlate with US tornadoes? The temperature has been increasing at the level of the seas surrounding the US and also in the Arctic, and I’m quite sure this must influence local weather. For example, in north-western Europe, the weather is mainly dictated by the jet stream and what is happening in the North Atlantic.

  25. tallbloke says:

    K-Bob (20:01:19) :

    Do reasonable people of sane minds really believe this crap? Either I’m losing it myself or the regular Joe is lost in space. Should we riot in the streets like they are doing in Iran? It seems to catch the MSM’s eye anyway. I would like to see Anthony propose a date and some sort of activity that will let the rest of the US (and world) see that there is a portion of society that is fed up with this crap! Does anyone have any ideas?

    Yes.
    A 4th July independence day celebration of the integrity and goodwill of the founding fathers and modern day truth tellers. A party in your local park with leaflets available for anyone to pick up with the salient facts presented.

    At the top, Al gore with a “The debate is over” quote of some kind. Below this an image of the Rushmore monument with a couple of juicy quotes beneath.
    E.g. George Washington: “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
    Thomas Jefferson: “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
    Abe Lincoln: America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

    Below that, a copy of Anthony or Bill Illis’ graph of U.S. temperature trends, again with a couple of juicy quotes from Lindzen, and Spencer, along with their qualifications and titles. Maybe also a web link to WUWT and the 31,000 petition
    At the bottom, a question posed about the taxes to be levied and the zero impact they will have on climate. Are *YOU* willing to pay for this with your wages and liberty?
    end with another quote from a founding father:
    Jefferson: All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

  26. Well, this ad headed up this post, so I responded as you can imagine ;-)

    Nottingham Declaration
    Signup to the Nottingham declaration and help the climate
    http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

    ah, shoulda told them about the NIPCC report.

  27. TonyS says:

    Could it be that the electric utility companies in the last decade invested less in their grid in order to increase their profits? To stay competitive with all those fancy new financial products that offered those high profits? And that led to a worse grid conditions with more outages?

    Just a thought.

  28. Pat says:

    “TonyS (02:30:57) :

    Could it be that the electric utility companies in the last decade invested less in their grid in order to increase their profits? To stay competitive with all those fancy new financial products that offered those high profits? And that led to a worse grid conditions with more outages?

    Just a thought.”

    Well, the Victorian State Govn’t in Australia solved their maintenace costs, they privatised the utilities in 1999, I think it was. Even less infrastrcuture spending, but higher utility prices. One could suggest that the lack of maintenance could have lead to one of Victorias bush fires as one was started by a downed power line. It has been a disaster for Victorian power consumers, higher prices, no upgrades. And now they are considering re-nationalising power utilities.

    Here in New South Wales, the state Govn’t are/were considering selling off utility assets (I suspect wanting to shed the responsibility of carbon taxes from itself on to consumers, one possible reason), the sell off failed. It would be political suicide for them to do that.

    There is, apparently, a crisis here along the Murray/Darling rivers. Clmate change is being blamed for the lack of water flowing in the rivers and basin. Never mind that 50,000 farmers draw water from the river systems for irrigation. That changed recent with a federal Govn’t buyback of water rights.

    In the UK, Thames Water is owned by MacQuarie Bank (MB), the famous “Millionares Factory” of Australia. Of course MB are extracting all proffits from Thames Water users faster than they can repair infrastructure (Asset stripping).

  29. Gary says:

    Bring on the Cap and Trade. Its the best thing that can happen. When people start to hurt there wont be 10 people scrutinising the evidence and data torture but millions. The like of Hanson and Mann better start putting up barricades around their homes.

  30. matt v. says:

    Anthony
    Just another example of how latest government climate report ignores past NOAA findings.

    OAA REPORT-REANALYSIS OF HISTORICAL CLIMATE
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY –ES.1, PRIMARY RESULTS AND FINDINGS
    [see 2.04. 2009 blogs at WUWT]

    Annual, area-average change for the period
    1951 to 2006 across North America shows the
    following:
    • Seven of the warmest ten years for annual
    surface temperatures from 1951 to 2006
    have occurred between 1997 and 2006.
    • Virtually all of the warming since 1951 has
    occurred after 1970.
    • More than half of this warming is likely
    the result of human-caused greenhouse gas
    forcing of climate change.
    • Changes in ocean temperatures likely explain a substantial fraction of the human caused warming of North America.

    [Likely according to their definition means more than 66% probability]

    LATEST WHITEHOUSE REPORT

    1. Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.
    Global temperature has increased over the past 50 years. This observed increase is due primarily to human induced emissions of heat-trapping gases. (p. 13)

    It would appear that we have gone from global warming in which more than half of this warming is likely [66% or more] human caused but of which changes in ocean temperature likely [ again 66% or more] explain a substantial fraction of the human caused warming in North America. So only 0.66x 0.34= 22% is left as human induced. This is not “primarily human induced”

    Also the noted or extra warming period has gone from the 7 very warm or record years during 1997-2006 to back again 50 years of warming between 1959- 2009

    Ocean temperatures are not even mentioned anymore

    You can make things a lot worse than they really are by how you rewrite the facts.

    Not at all unequivocal

  31. Wally says:

    One thing to really notice is that the Y-axis is number of incidents. A local thunderstorm and a hurricane would appear to both be one incident. One thunderstorm event might take out power to a few thousand homes (must be some minimum in the reporting level) to a hurricane, even a minor one, that can take out the power to millions of homes.

    As suggested by others above, I would not be surprised at all if the level of damage to report an event has not changed over the years.

  32. old construction worker says:

    TonyS (02:30:57) :
    ‘Could it be that the electric utility companies in the last decade invested less in their grid in order to increase their profits? To stay competitive with all those fancy new financial products that offered those high profits? And that led to a worse grid conditions with more outages?’

    Bingo. We have a winner.

  33. Chris Wright says:

    That graph – and probably the whole report – is about as believable as the Iranian election result.
    Chris

  34. Stan W says:

    Slightly off topic, but the 6/17/09 Cincinnati Enquirer had a front page article about potential plans of building a new nuclear power plant in Ohio. A sign of sanity maybe? Although still not confirmed (announcements where anticipated on 6/18/09) a lot of state politicians appear to be on board.

    Ironically one of the motivations given was the possibility of impending carbon tax. Well, as they say, every cloud does have a silver lining.

    Update: another front page article in the Enquirer today (6/18/09), it’s real the Governor and at least 2 members of the US Congress are on board. The Sierra Club did have its usual grossing. This could get interesting.

  35. realitycheck says:

    Re: Dan Evans (20:00:43) :

    “Increases in grid disruptions may have more to do with changes in the grid than changes in the climate. Our electric grid has become loaded to maximum capacity. Under present conditions, any type of weather event that causes an outage will more likely to cause a “significant incident” if power is unavailable from elsewhere.”

    Great point – I’d like to see that top figure plotted against installed wind-farm capacity for example. The spiky nature of wind generation is a huge problem for the grid.

  36. Steve in SC says:

    Some inciteful comments here.
    I would like to add that most of the power outages that I have seen have been due to poor maintenance of the local distribution lines. Overgrown rights of way contribute to the downing of lines due to tree limbs at the slightest hint of a breeze or ice and snow. Also aged and unstable power poles help out as well. The electric distribution infrastructure is aging and a lot of it has gone well past its normal service life. That coupled with the utility companies paring their maintenance staffs past the bare bone level is a recipie for disaster. I don’t doubt that the outages are increasing and I don’t doubt that some of it is due to weather. I will maintain, however, that most of these outages could have been averted with proper maintenance. Just my $.02

  37. Dave in Canada says:

    The data that the chart is based can be found here http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/disturb_events.html

    The thing about this type of chart is that it’s meaningless because there’s no perspective…

    It could simply be the result of a change in policy for reporting. http://www.doecirc.energy.gov/incidentreporting.html

  38. William R says:

    Could it be that the massive increase in grid-disruptive wind storms is due solely to the increased reliance on wind energy? Using this graph to push the global warming agenda isn’t just wrong, it’s intentionally dishonest. Are people really this naive?

  39. Dave in CA says:

    Related to my last comment:

    Here’s an excerpt from a 2000 Report http://www.eia.doe.gov/calendar/asa/04132000ASA.doc

    When we tell the respondents this, they look at this along with the reporting obligations: Are the surveys mandatory or voluntary? How is EIA proposing to use the data, and why we need it? Then they make a decision on whether or not they are going to report.

    From 2007 http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/fednotice/411form.pdf that the huge spike follows this.

    It talks about a EIA 411 form that is mandatory for reporting…..Interesting

  40. William says:

    I’d believe the thunderstorm/lightning as a major cause of disturbance. We’ve had some nasty storms in central Florida, but no tornadoes. This is case of bad grouping. If you put people into categories like this, you would be called an ignorant racist.
    So next time the NWS issues a “severe storm warming” I can expect a hurricane, not a thunderstorm to come through? (oops a Goreian slip)

  41. Pamela Gray says:

    When I was a child, we would have outages that lasted for days and even as long as a week in Wallowa County. We don’t get that anymore. Now the outages are “blink” outages and are more frequent. But certainly less harmful than the days long outages we used to have once or twice a year. Could it be that the reporting has changed because the outages have changed? One outage in 1960 was monstrous compared to one “blink” outage today.

    There are other non-weather related alarms that have been sounded in much the same way. For example, we now count many more children having autism than we used to. But then the definition of acceptable levels of autism like behavior has changed. Some folks say that autism rates are increasing because something in the environment is causing it. It is likely due to changes in definition and therefore diagnosis. While there may be truth in an increasing environmental cause, it’s affect would be very small small compared to how we now define and screen children for autism. So too this graph.

  42. Gary A. says:

    Regarding Dave in CA’s posts. There also is a form EIA-417 that each operator is supposed to report. It has changed over time. In 2005 it looks like there were changes specifically geared to clarifying who must report and what type of incidents. If these reports are used for generating the overall reports, they must look at the narrative descriptions of the events because the check off box appears to just be “Weather or Natural Disaster”.

  43. George Bruce says:

    Just when you think sanity might be returning, we get this:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=a63vnEwzft94

    Where do they get their data? I can’t seem to find it in the article.

  44. Aron says:

    If it cost tax dollars to produce this BS chart then those responsible should be sued. Let’s be frank and honest here. There is a lot of money and power being invested in this propaganda and just pointing out the lies does nothing because politicians and mainstream media thinks you taxpayers are just plebs who should be drained of even more money. Until you represent a threat to them, cause someone high profile a major well known embarrassment or sue someone high profile, you are nothing to them. They are sticking their middle finger up at your children and laughing…all the way to the bank with your money.

  45. Gary Hladik says:

    Steve in SC (07:14:23) :

    “I would like to add that most of the power outages that I have seen have been due to poor maintenance of the local distribution lines. Overgrown rights of way contribute to the downing of lines due to tree limbs at the slightest hint of a breeze or ice and snow.”

    We moved to the hills of Silicon Valley (where ultility lines are still on poles) some 20 years ago. For the first few years we would have 1-3 significant power outages per winter. Then PG&E went on a campaign of tree trimming in our area, and for the next several years we had zero winter outages.

    Pamela Gray (08:49:30) :

    “When I was a child, we would have outages that lasted for days and even as long as a week in Wallowa County. We don’t get that anymore. Now the outages are “blink” outages and are more frequent.”

    “Tiny tim” tropical storms; “sunspeck” sunspots; “blink” power outages. What’s next? F0.5 tornadoes?

  46. D. King says:

    George Bruce (09:55:09) :
    Oceans Rising Faster Than UN Forecast, Scientists Say
    Where do they get their data? I can’t seem to find it in the article.

    They make it up!

  47. Thunderstorms and tornadoes kind of electric things, like sunstorms. Who knows perhaps kind of that lazy “jet stream” NASA found in the sun, but here on earth?.
    If terrestrial electromagnetic field (Ap index low) is low then all these atmosphere gadgets (‘terra-spots”) decrease in number. Bad luck for armageddon forecasters.

  48. Jeff Alberts says:

    William R (08:12:56) :

    Could it be that the massive increase in grid-disruptive wind storms is due solely to the increased reliance on wind energy? Using this graph to push the global warming agenda isn’t just wrong, it’s intentionally dishonest. Are people really this naive?

    In some cases it’s due to people and communities not wanting to keep tree limbs clear of the power lines.

    A couple years ago in the Seattle area we have a pretty bad wind storm which caused major power outages all over. One community, Woodinville, had refused PSE’s suggestion to remove some trees and radically trim back others to prevent just such a thing. As a result, their power was out a LOT longer than other places which had maintained sensible conservation with respect to trees and power lines.

  49. Tom S says:

    I followed the link for the data (Footnote 216 in the report). It takes you to this website:

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/disturb_events.html

    If you follow the links, it appears you can get old reports, but none from the 90s. I clicked on the report from 2000:

    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/ftproot/electricity/epm/02260103.pdf#page=153

    There is a table of major outages (Table B1, p. 153). According to the GCCI report, there were a little over 30 weather related outages in 2000 (graph, p.58). However, the report from 2000 lists a total of 30 events (weather and other). Of those 30, I only count 13 listed with a weather cause. Perhaps I am looking at the wrong data?

  50. Mike Lorrey says:

    the big grid disrupting storms were ICE STORMS in the WINTER with extreme cold, that took down trees overgrown over powerlines all over the northeastern US. So, a sign of global cooling, not warming.

  51. timetochooseagain says:

    Why do they only show the aggregate of all effects? Why not show them separately? It looks to me like the “trend” is entirely due to windstorms and hurricanes….Look at temperature extremes-I don’t see any increase in the purple only, or light blue…or beige. Maybe some wildfire, and maybe some “undefined”…whatever that is.

  52. Wally says:

    went to the eia forms linked above and looked at this year to date. Some of the incidents involved 1 customer, Some 100,000s but quite the mix. A much better indicator than number of incidents would be total customers or total power in megawatts.

  53. Pamela Gray says:

    Re: maintenance. I have traveled to Jamaica. The power lines there snap regularly because of moss build-up on the lines. If there ever was a country fraught with poor maintenance of roads and other form of infrastructure it is that island. Much of their infrastructure was put into place by countries that “owned” them. Once they declared their independence, they were left to govern themselves and build infrastructure maintenance for infrastructure they did not create. Consequently the roads and wires are a patchwork of repaired and monkey-rigged sections that often fail in light of poor conditions and heavy storms. If we are not careful, we could be walking in their shoes with our own roads and wires.

  54. Wally says:

    “Mike Lorrey (12:05:29) :
    the big grid disrupting storms were ICE STORMS in the WINTER with extreme cold, that took down trees overgrown over powerlines all over the northeastern US. So, a sign of global cooling, not warming.”

    Some ice-storm produced power outages are a result of warmer temperatures. If an area that normally gets snow warms a little and gets ice instead. In areas that constantly get ice, most of the trees have already lost most of their vulnerable branches. Area that are normally colder may have a lot more tree damage from an equivalent ice storm.

    I did look at the data for the plot for the years 2002 to 2006 and the number of incidents increases a lot more than either the total power out or the number of customers affected. Both went up because not much was reported in 2002. But both power and customers peaked in 2004 while the number of incidents kept increasing. It would have to be looked at in great detail but my guess is more things are being reported that may have been skipped in previous years.

    Also the numbers are meaningless. One incident could mean 1 customer or the entire island of Puerto Rico. The 1 customer could be one house, or PP&G.

  55. Wally says:

    I’ll take back the one house for an incident. The standard is to report over 100 MW, plus other things that could be smaller if they effect the national grid, like vandalism and fuel shortages. Many of the reported events are much smaller than 100 MW though.

  56. jkshaws says:

    I have lived in Oklahoma City for 20 years. Last year and this year we have had a sharp decrease in Tornado activity.JS

  57. Larry Hamlin says:

    The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) maintains consistently defined major U.S. grid disturbances statistics. This data shows major grid disturbances declining since 2002. The total number of major U.S. electric grid disturbances by year are as follows: 2002 – 24, 2003 – 23, 2004 – 19, 2005 – 15, 2006 – 12, 2007 – 15, 2008 – 15. This NERC data is far superior in quality and consistency than the mystery data contained in this propaganda climate fear junk article.

  58. Wally says:

    Larry, The data in the report is not a mystery, you can look up the source data, it just has no meaning as far as climate change in concerned. The data behind the plot at least for 2002 to 2006 also showed drops in the amount of power interruptions for all causes. It was the total count that went up a lot. So lots more smaller incidents are getting reported than in the past.

  59. Johnnyb says:

    Gee, has anyone thought to correlate the increase in weather related grid disturbances with the increase in wind power capacity?

  60. pkatt says:

    hmmm if I followed their links right the origonal sits at
    http://www.globalchange.gov/

    Weird .. I didnt even know such a site existed.. its frothy koolaid

  61. _Jim says:

    Melinda Romanoff (19:28:41) :

    Of course, you MUST ignore UV degradation of PVC HV line coatings as a function of time. I’m sure those lines strung in the 50’s and 60’s are as fresh as a daisy.

    ???

    Residential ‘drops’ (lines dropped from the power pole/transformer to the a residence or business) may be insulated, but I don’t recall ever seeing any distribution or HV Transmission lines being ‘coated’ with any material …
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    .

  62. _Jim says:

    Mike Lorrey (12:05:29) :

    the big grid disrupting storms were ICE STORMS in the WINTER with extreme cold, that took down trees overgrown over powerlines all over the northeastern US. So, a sign of global cooling, not warming.

    Hmmm …

    a) actual ‘grid’ collapses or -

    b) simple loss of residential distribution lines due to tree entanglement?

    The later, I would think.

    Technically, you’re not really part of the ‘grid’ once out on one of the ‘spokes’ of the wheel (speaking of the topology) and into the ‘distribution’ part of the network (past the substation). Substations are/can be fed via one or more HV Transmission lines and this is where ‘the gird’ aspect can begin to come into play (more than one feed, feeds in parallel from several generations centers, ties/interties between different control areas, etc)
    .
    .
    .

  63. _Jim says:

    TonyS (02:30:57) :

    Could it be that the electric utility companies in the last decade invested less in their grid in order to increase their profits? To stay competitive with all those fancy new financial products that offered those high profits? And that led to a worse grid conditions with more outages?

    Just a thought.

    Perusing through some of the reports, plans, reliability reports on the NERC website, I would say that is not quite the case, and maybe not even close, but I might be challenged to support that contention so won’t go quite that far.

    New routes/Transmission lines *have* been proposed *and* built.
    .
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    .

  64. Charlie says:

    Evan Mills defends his graph!!!!

    http://eetd.lbl.gov/EMills/pubs/grid-disruptions.html

    Not an example of confirmation bias. This is an example of confirmation BLINDNESS. He can’t see the unreliability of the data when it’s staring him in his face.

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