Is Bill Nye Smarter than a 5th Grader?

MRC screengrab

Post by Ryan Maue

It’s a wonder why the media continue to trot out the likes of Bill Nye and Michio Kaku to speak about climate change and the weather when they already have folks like Al Roker and Sam Champion on the payroll.

For some unknown reason, Bill Nye showed up on Fox News Saturday afternoon to chat with Uma Pemmaraju about tornadoes  Video Link.  The meandering answers by Nye led to many quizzical looks by Uma, who got out of the way, and let Nye demonstrate his meteorological expertise.  One should ask, as Amy Ridenour does in her off-base, satirical videos, is Bill Nye smarter than a 5th grader when it comes to understanding the weather?

And a NPR blogger wonders what motivates Climate Change Deniers?

Jeff Poor, over at the Daily Caller (where Anthony is a contributor), has the transcript:

“Well, it is very difficult to connect tornado to climate change,” Nye said. “They are small even relative to the other big picture. But i will tell you this – last 11 years are the warmest 11 years on record, since the 1800s. And there is 4 percent more water vapor in the atmosphere than has been in the past. Four percent doesn’t sound like a lot but it is a huge amount. And if you think of the Earth as a disk in space just receiving sunlight, and there are on the other of one and half billion BTU [British thermal unit]-worth of heat than there used to be. When you get that much extra heat and water vapor in the air, you are going to have more storms.”

“Notice that the floods that are probably connected to the tornadoes,” he said. “These floods – there is no Katrina or Rita, it just rain rained. When water vapor changed from a liquid to a vapor it gives up heat high in the atmosphere, or medium height in the atmosphere. And that heat up there makes it churn up more and that leads to more storms. Now, people have talked about this for years and everybody, this is serious business. The tornado is very difficult to mathematically connect to climate change. But the rains and extra warmth in the atmosphere, the extra water in the atmosphere, those are the facts. That’s the real deal.

You know, we are patriots, we are from the U.S. – I am,” he said. “And you would like the U.S. to be the leader in addressing this problem. We would like to be out in front in trying to deal with whatever it is that is holding in the heat and creating all of the extra water vapor in the atmosphere. Tornadoes are almost certainly a consequence.

“Well, there is not that many other countries that have the configuration of North America to make the tornadoes,” Nye said. “And the word hurricane is a word coined in the Caribbean. This is a unique area in that regard. We have the Gulf of Mexico and we have this access of cold air from Canada or from the Arctic. And these two things conspire to move the jet stream, and then that helps to carry the extra water vapor over the heart of North America. So, it is unique place. You don’t have tornado in Norway. The weather is set up differently. But here in the U.S., it is a serious problem.”

——–

Bill Nye should just admit he knows nothing about the weather or climate change and let the professionals like Al Roker, Sam Champion, and Michio Kaku explain it to the rest of us.

Climate expert Michio Kaku: “El Niña” or global warming causing snowstorms, or something

Al Roker believes climate change is moving tornadoes into urban areas

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95 thoughts on “Is Bill Nye Smarter than a 5th Grader?

  1. Villarini, G., et al., 2011. Is the recorded increase in short-duration North Atlantic tropical storms spurious? Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, D10114, doi:10.1029/2010JD01549

    Based on our results, it appears that the long-term record of the basin-wide shorties is sufficiently contaminated by spurious components to mask any climatically induced variation within the raw data. Moreover, based on these results and those of Vecchi and Knutson [2008] it is unlikely that a homogeneous record of Atlantic tropical storm counts would contain a statistically significant positive trend since the late 1800s. Our results provide a context for interpreting studies exploring trend behavior in the North Atlantic tropical storm activity starting prior to the 1940s. In particular, the conclusions of certain studies reporting large secular increases in North Atlantic tropical storm activity in which shorties are included [e.g., Holland and Webster, 2007; Mann et al., 2007] could be affected by what we interpret as likely spurious nonphysical trends unless an alternative physical explanation can be uncovered for the pronounced increase in shorties starting from the middle of the 20th century. Further, statistical models of tropical storm activity built using century‐scale records that include shorties [e.g., Mann et al., 2007; Sabbatelli and Mann, 2007; Mann et al., 2009] likely include an element reflecting the spurious shorties in the record.

    ======================================================
    “For tornadoes, this is because better observing technologies (and a lot more people looking) have increasingly identified small storms which were previously overlooked.”

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/05/26/no-long-term-trend-in-atlantic-hurricane-numbers/

  2. Wasn’t he in Stargate Atlantis episode (in the one they pushed climate change on poor sci-fiers)

  3. When he says “not many countries besides the US have tornadoes”, that is quite factual. Other countries do have tornadoes, but the majority of the worlds tornadoes do occur in the US because of the things he mentioned. And almost all the world’s EF4 and EF5 tornadoes occur in the US. There’s plenty of things to bash Bill Nye about, but this isn’t one of them.

    [Ryan: true, the most intense tornadoes are in the US, but the deadliest are in Bangladesh, and they are a worldwide phenomena]

  4. When water vapor changed from a liquid to a vapor it gives up heat high in the atmosphere, or medium height in the atmosphere. And that heat up there makes it churn up more and that leads to more storms.

    Wow! Did I ever get it wrong in ninth grade science class. I always thought that water absorbed heat as it changed from liquid to vapor.

    Do I feel stupid.

    cheers,

    gary

  5. “water vapor changed from a liquid to a vapor it gives up heat high in the atmosphere,”

    Because wet and dry adiabatic lapse rates have been all wrong all these years.

    Wonder if I plug in my kettle to turn cold water into steam if it will now give back electricity back into the wall?

  6. I watched this pathetic interview. According to AccuWeather, people that get paid for doing this say blaming global warming for this is just crazy they predicted it was coming last year. The air temperature between 15,000 and 30,000ft is unusually cold and when the gulf stream warm moist air meets that cold air the rotating storms start up. As for the number of tornadoes there were many more in May 2003 than this year. Usually they don’t hit cities, this time they did. This happens every spring just like clockwork.

  7. I’m old enough to remember Mr. Wizard, aka Don Herbert. He likely is responsible for starting many more kids on the road to science degrees than Bill Nye.

    http://www.mrwizardstudios.com/

    That quote about water vapor is just incredible.

    I like “hurricane is a word coined in the Caribbean” too. Maybe that’s why hurricanes never hit the western Pacific coastline.

  8. Gary Turner: I guess you fell asleep during that class. You probably sleep through the class where Al Gore explained that the center of the Earth is million of degrees. But don’t worry I sure these geniuses will tutor you for a fee.

  9. I can’t watch much History and Discovery because of the political indocrination in their programs. Not really a surprise given They are based in NYC and Maryland, respectively. Should be called Hysteria and Distraction Channels.

    Here’s what someone who lived in the USSR during Soviet times says about the direction our country is going. She recognizes too many disturbing similarities:

    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/572566/201105181917/Soviet-Propaganda-Would-Fit-In-With-USA-Of-Today.aspx

    Keep up the fight.

  10. I should apply for a job at Fox. Or that 5th grader should. ‘Meandering’ does describe his attempted answers.

  11. Gary,
    Did you not get the message.
    All the thermodynamics books from centries need to be corrected to align with Nye’s findings. He wants to be “out in front” correcting thermodynamics.

  12. We too have our resident ABC ‘science guru’, firmly wedded to AGW, Dr Karl. He is the one who when interviewing N Oreskes recently, could not even remember the CO2 concentration in the air.
    You get the drift, be vague when you are cornered.

  13. @ Wucash

    I remember that episode! Didn’t watch much of the show after that (not the only reason but it helped)

    Best I can figure, it was supposed to be a commentary on the screw brained ideas involving geo engineering and the people that push for them. Although they still had to make the eposide safe for public consumption by including the “everybody has to do their part” at the end.

  14. Bill Nye’s performances (and “aid” on Millionaire have not been overly impressive either.) Sorry Bill, you SHOULD give up the day job!

  15. Nye (Science Guy): ‘You don’t have tornadoes in Norway’
    dallas: Beautiful – Norwegian tornado footage

  16. It is a matter of language. On Mars there are dust devils. In Australia there are water spouts, willi-willis and mini-cyclones. There word Tornado is used only by people educated or have work experience in USA. Similarly with Hurricanes. These are cyclones in Australia and the Pacific area. By restrictive definitions one can always have a biggest, strongest, longest etc. I mean you can say it is the strongest willi-willi in whoop-whoop since the last one two years ago.

  17. At least with this post, I’m not being pilloried by “conservatives” who subscribed to the “Think-Tank” reasoning. Amazing how easy a target Bill Nye is, but when you mention a fellow traveler like Amy Ridenour and her outfit, all hell breaks loose.

  18. Ryan, conservatives like what you have to say scientifically as long as it fits with their ideology. Likewise liberals. These are people who are interested in advancing their political agenda, not seeking truth. If both groups are upset with you it’s a clue you are on the right track, actually.

  19. Ryan Maue says:
    May 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm
    ===========================================
    Not getting enough attention….huh?

    I honestly do not see what sort of statistics anyone can get from either hurricanes or tornadoes.
    The way they are counted has changed, so you can’t compare pre 1960’s/70’s.
    You can’t compare deaths or damage. That’s just the luck of the draw, or not.

    We get around 1000/1500 tornadoes a year, depending on who’s counting.
    Do they all hit corn or wheat fields, or all hit downtown Atlanta?
    That’s just the luck of the draw……

    Same with hurricanes. We know have the equipment to find and name storms, if even for a few minutes, that would have never been named before. And where they decide to land, makes all the difference. As bad as hurricane Andrew was, if it had hit downtown Miami, it would be a whole different ball game. If it had passed over the Keys, another different ball game.

    So, how do you compare today’s numbers with past numbers? You can’t, and there goes the claims that they are increasing or decreasing.
    How do you compare deaths and damage? You can’t, it’s just the luck of the draw.

  20. “It’s a wonder why the media continue to trot out the likes of Bill Nye and Michio Kaku to speak about climate change and the weather when they already have folks like Al Roker and Sam Champion on the payroll.”

    __________________________________________________________

    Not really. Facts are as dull as ditchwater.

    Wild-ass climate scenarios with the potential to kill millions of people, on the other hand, are ratings gold.

  21. Ryan Maue says:
    May 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Political correctness isn’t confined to any particular part of the spectrum. It’s easy to get infected and not know it.

  22. Ryan Maue says: “At least with this post, I’m not being pilloried by “conservatives” who subscribed to the “Think-Tank” reasoning. Amazing how easy a target Bill Nye is, but when you mention a fellow traveler like Amy Ridenour and her outfit, all hell breaks loose.”

    Many reactions in the other thread were bizarre, shoot-from-the-hip responses, explicable only by careless reading. I tried to watch the NCPPR video in the press release link, but it was too childish to stomach. The press release itself was badly written and not very professional.

  23. [I read the short transcript above, did not watch the video]

    I love when the expression “the worst year for x since the 1950s”… Well what the heck was happening in the 1950s/or_whenever that made it the comparison point on which to declare “Global Warming” our current culprit.

    No one on TV ever asks that.

  24. I watched this interview this morning and at one point I checked to see what channel I was watching and thought just maybe I had stopped at the rooster-gone-amok network.

  25. You don’t have tornado in Norway

    “Tornadoes are exceedingly rare in Norway and the meteorologist on duty at Storm Weather Center need convincing after checking that conditions in Østfold did not seem to be conducive to the phenomenon, newspaper VG reports.

    But after Brurok forwarded a picture taken with her mobile phone, meteorologist Frode H. Korneliussen was no longer in doubt.”

    “Tornadoes are rarely powerful in Norway and as a rule just last for a few minutes. A reader of Aftenposten’s English service managed to photograph the formation of twin tornadoes while walking in Ustedalsfjorden near Geilo on July 23. These pictures can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/basirk/sets/72157594234423646/show/.”

    http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1435029.ece

    It took one web search for Norway Tornado to find abundant evidence refuting Bill Nye’s assertion. He has obviously never done the same himself…

    Why would anyone trust anything Bill “The Science Guy” Nye says when he appears to be making this stuff up as he goes…

  26. Expected Bill Nye type statement: As the planet warms and more vapor enters the middle atmosphere, we will begin to see tornadoes and hurricanes like we did in the 1950s. :-)

  27. I expect to see comments about your partisanship again.. attacking Democrats with that vicious picture :)

  28. I’ve heard of Nye, but had to Bing Amy Ridenour. I think I’d trust Alexander Posey more about tornadoes:

    Away out west, one day,
    Two clouds were seen astray.
    One came up from the sea,
    Afar unto the south,
    And drifted wearily;
    One came out of the north.
    Away out west that day,
    A town was swept away.

    OK S.

  29. I wonder what Mr. Nye was talking about when he referred to 1.5 billion BTU extra. That doesn’t sound like all that much extra energy, on a global scale. One thousand cubic feet of natural gas has a heat content of about 1 million BTU, so we’d be talking about the energy equivalent of a single 1,500 mcfd gas well, worth about $6,000 these days.

    That’s a nice gas well, but not unusually large.

  30. Anything is possible says: May 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Facts are as dull as ditchwater.

    Ouch! I haven’t hung out with much ditchwater, but I imagine it to be quite a boring companion… :)

  31. I would love to know what psychology is behind the need be the first to do something.

    I see it in game blogs where posters simply jump onto a new thread to write “first”.
    Then there is every polio spouting off about needing to lead the world in ______.
    And every business leader, needing to be the leader in the field of _____.

    Why?

  32. “if you think of the Earth as a disk in space just receiving sunlight” – Bill Nye

    The Earth is a big disc in space? Wow, didn’t know that the flat earth theory was back in vogue!

    The last time I was on an airplane traveling across the Pacific it sure looked like a round oblate spheroid with irregularly distributed mass leading to uneven gravity distribution to me. Didn’t know the Earth switched to into it’s “flat disk phase” since. Must have missed that event. How often does this switch oscillate between flat disk and oblate spheroid?

    [;)]

  33. I think we need a reality TV contest, along the lines of American Idol, or So You Think You Can Dance….or Dancing With The Stars…..that gives us the national Global Warming Spokesperson.

    American Climatologist, So You Think You Can Do A Clever Trick, or Dancing With The Data???? Produced by Nigel Lythgoe, with Rajendra Patchauri, Richard B. Alley, and Lady GaGa as judges….how could you go wrong!!

    In the end, you’ll get a flamboyant and outspoken representative of the AGW movement who, while knowing nothing about climate, will be able to SELL climate change! With Billy Mays and Slap-Chop Vince out of the picture…We need someone who can sell an idea.

    I wonder if Harold Camping is available?? Now there’s a guy with a track record!

  34. Bill Nye the bus pass guy? He’s a stand-up comedian. Not even a funny one. He’s padding his income shagging bus passes for King County Metro, now.

    Good To Go! with Bill Nye

    He got the Science Guy moniker while doing science gags on Almost Live!, a local comedy show here in Seattle. The host, Ross Schaffer, gave him the name and he ran with it. Still is. Is not, has not worked as a scientist. Who pay attention to him? You may as well study Joe Romm for all the science you’ll get.

  35. DJ says:
    May 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm
    I wonder if Harold Camping is available??

    Now there’s a thought.
    Sounds interesting.

  36. Saw Mr. Nye doing a CNN interview on the nuclear meltdown at Fukashima… as a nuclear expert. Let’s just say that “we’re going to take a break now and be right back with Bill Nye” isn’t exactly how it went. He’s not the only one. Recall how many fields Ben Stein is an “expert” in. How many areas is Newt Gingrich an “expert” in?

  37. My children, who are now 29 and 31, were early teenagers when Bill Nye was doing his science education schtick on Disney. The reason that they “trot out” Bill Nye the Science Guy is that he has credibility with this age group today, and his handlers can depend upon him to reliably say “the right thing” about climate change, thus keeping many true believers among the faithful.

    Don’t worry about those deniers folks, yer ol’ buddy Bill Nye is here to tell ya that GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL!

  38. Ric Werme says:
    May 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm
    I’m old enough to remember Mr. Wizard, aka Don Herbert. He likely is responsible for starting many more kids on the road to science degrees than Bill Nye.

    http://www.mrwizardstudios.com/

    Mr. Wizard is largely responsible for me becoming an engineer. I still remember that his wonderful program was sponsored by The Cereal Institute. Here is a link to an interview he gave in 2000 http://www.tvparty.com/lostmrwizard.html

    He passed away in 2007 at the nice ripe age of 89. THANKS Mr. Wizard!

  39. Where did Mr Nye get the idea water vapor is going up ?

    He is just “making stuff up”!

    In reality water vapor has gone down continuously since 1950 or so.

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0147e2fc6895970b-pi

    or go to: http://climate4you.com/ [greenhouse gasses]

    That simple fact shoots down CAGW all by itself because without feedback a doubling causes only 1 degree C of warming.

    Without massive water vapor positive feedback there is no CAGW.

  40. Nye was distracted by concern that Dr. Lindzen was waiting in the wings to pwn him again, …. I was kinda hoping, too, ….

  41. I disagree with Bill Nye on his climate change stance…but I’d give him a pass on this whole idea of tornadoes being more a US problem. The US does have a disproportionately large number of tornadoes.

    …of course, TECHNICALLY global warming should weaken the temperature gradients that help form such massive storm systems, so linking it to global warming is probably just plain wrong.

  42. Bill Nye is talking out of his AUSTRAL end.

    Ewwww. TMI….I know….TMI….but heck, it is the truth.

    Sorry for all the mates down under. I don’t mean the metaphor to carry that far.

    Just a figure of speech. :-)

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

    P.S. Not sure why anybody would or should listen to him. He (Nye) has absoultely nothing to say. He is an NPR-propped automaton.

    Hey Bill! Go back to mechanical engineering. At least there are some REAL equations there. Maybe you could be of some help.

    You are of NO help, however, as the “science guy.”

  43. Ryan Maue says on May 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    At least with this post, I’m not being pilloried by “conservatives” who subscribed to the “Think-Tank” reasoning.

    EASY Dr. Maue; it isn’t ‘conservatives’ that have a lock on so-called ‘think tanks’. Don’t start something you find yourself ill-equipped to defend.

    (I’ve encountered more than my share of nit-wit PhDs out here in the field and in labs.)

    .

  44. Bill Nye is included in the “97% of scientists agree with climate change theory” figure, right?

  45. Ryan Maue says:
    May 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm
    “At least with this post, I’m not being pilloried by “conservatives” who subscribed to the “Think-Tank” reasoning. ”

    Jeez Louise, Ryan! You really don’t take criticism well, do you? We all take shots and occasional spoofing from opposing views, in our professional careers. That’s part of the usual ‘back and forth’. It can be unsettling (if you let it) and often gets worse, if you do not respond directly to requests to show your data, correlations, and proposed cause and effect relationships. In my job as an engineer, I am expected to ‘stand and deliver’ the hard data and analyses every day, to justify the assertions I make. The data and analyses are reviewed and critiqued by knowledgeable peers, before my company proceeds with financial and strategic decisions that may be based on my work. That is standard procedure in private industry… and should be the same within the taxpayer funded government agencies as well.

    I had not read the other post that you referred to, until I saw your puckish comment on this one. After reading all of the post, related links, and comments, I noted that a number of the folks on that post asked you repeatedly to provide your supporting data. You did not. Why not? Failing to do so opens you to more criticism, and rightfully so.

    As for your comment above, immediately below the link to the video you strenuously objected to was this note “The video isn’t being released to question the professionalism or dedication of NOAA experts,…..”. The ‘think tank’ was not pillorying you personally, as their caveat stated.

    Perhaps this is not about ‘think tank reasoning’ or ‘conservative pillorying’. You were asked to ‘stand and deliver’ your data and analyses… and you did not. Until you do, criticism is warranted and your analyses are degraded. The ad hominem attacks do nothing to strengthen your assertions either.

  46. _Jim says:
    May 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm
    Ryan Maue says on May 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    At least with this post, I’m not being pilloried by “conservatives” who subscribed to the “Think-Tank” reasoning.

    EASY Dr. Maue; it isn’t ‘conservatives’ that have a lock on so-called ‘think tanks’. Don’t start something you find yourself ill-equipped to defend.

    (I’ve encountered more than my share of nit-wit PhDs out here in the field and in labs.)

    ===============================

    EASY..nothing of the sorts. What’s YOUR qualifications??

    He has a point. And really WHO is ill-equipped to ‘defend’ here??

    Maybe you would do well examining “the nit-wit PhDs and labs” and otherwise GROUPTHINK phenomenon yes-men detritus bullsh*t blah blah blah…as being part of the problem….not the symptom.

    ‘EASY’….nothing…my arse….you have no authority nor say so in the ability to even pronounce that word ‘EASY’.

    But hey…thanks for the laugh.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  47. John Q. Galt says:
    May 28, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    > Bill Nye is included in the “97% of scientists agree with climate change theory” figure, right?

    I’ve always considered him an entertainer. I have no idea if he’s a scientist or not. Other than that, yeah, he’s a serious warmist.

  48. He sounds like a schoolchild who has not completed an assignment and is asked to explain it to rest of the class . Just went off on a ramble of unconnected thoughts.

  49. Why has Bill Nye become a political advocate? He used to be a fun guy on his show.

  50. I’m still wondering if Bill Nye thinks it’s ok that some global warming scientists truncated and spliced two different graphs together to do “Mike’s Nature trick”? What does the scientist in him say about that?

  51. Slightly O/T…but would any of you with 5th graders of your own leave them alone with Bill Nye?

  52. “That Nye guy looks like Pee-wee Herman. And has the brains to match”

    I’ve got to disagree on that one, Herman’s idea to masturbate in public was a considerably smarter decision than Nye’s attempt to debate with Lindzen and Joe B.

  53. I think poor Bill just got the H2O phase changes in the upper atmosphere reversed. Said “liquid to vapour” when he meant “vapour to liquid”. Being charitable.

  54. I’ve seen contradicting claims about water vapor – are there any official sites with recent satellite data? I’d suspect levels to have been high last year and low this spring, since they follow ENSO quite closely.

  55. Ric Werme says:
    May 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm
    That quote about water vapor is just incredible.

    I’m going to defend Nye on part of this one. He is being elliptical, which happens a lot in verbal, live interview situations. When you see a transcript, it looks wrong but I’ll fill in the missing bits:

    Bill Nye:
    “When water vapor is changed from a liquid to a vapor it [gains latent heat. Then it] gives up heat high in the atmosphere, or medium height in the atmosphere [as it re-condenses].

    Most of the rest of what he says is however, completely wrong.

  56. Espen says:
    May 29, 2011 at 2:56 am
    I’ve seen contradicting claims about water vapor – are there any official sites with recent satellite data? I’d suspect levels to have been high last year and low this spring, since they follow ENSO quite closely.

    They do at lower altitudes. And do make a difference at higher altitudes too. But they are not the main driver.

    The NCEP re-analysis of the radiosonde data (which isn’t as bad as the warmista make out) shows what controls specific humidity at high altitude up near the tropopause, where most of the radiation of energy to space takes place. It’s the Sun.

    See also Miskolzci’s optical thickness graph over the same period:

  57. @David

    Glad I wasn’t the only one. It’s a shame about that episode, as overall it was better than usual. At the time I wasn’t all too fussed about global warming, but the full on propaganda in one of my favourite sci fi shows made me incredibly uncomfortable.

  58. “Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    May 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    He’s not smarter than Richard Lindzen”

    Right at the start of the video that Amino posted, Bill Nye says glass holds heat in a greenhouse the same way that greenhouse gases hold in heat. That is completely wrong. Greenhouses prevent loss of heat by preventing convection. A totally different process. Did he make that up or is he being educated by other scientifically retarded individuals?

  59. It seems ridiculous to blame global warming when Temperatures fell over the past year and water vapour levels also fell by 4.0%.

    Temperatures are down 0.5C or so due to the La Nina (versus an El Nino the year before) and water vapour levels are down 1.2 g/kg (or kg/m2) or 4%.

    Look at the La Nina climate impact map (on the ENSO resources page) and see that the climate in the US and North America has been exactly that over the past winter and early spring. (Note the wet spot in the east-mid-west which is there to signify that more intense storms occur here in these conditions due to the contrast between cold and warm areas).

  60. I took a momment to check Bill Nye’s CV. Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell. No advanced degrees, if you don’t count the honorary ones, which I don’t. So he has less of a science background that I: BA in Biology and MD. You won’t see me on talk shows pretending to know everything about atmospheric science and meterology. But I know enough about science to be skeptical, especially about my own field. It seems every 5 years a widely held medical shibbolith gets smashed into bits. Climate change science is long overdue for a rigorous re-examination of the same unchallenged notions.

  61. Nye is an official of CSICOP (now CSI) and as such he is committed to the idea that peer-reviewed scientists can’t be wrong and a ragamuffin group of populistic spitballers can’t be right. His organization has made permanent role-assignments of white hats to the former and black hats to the latter.

  62. PS: I should have said, “CSICPO … is committed to the idea that a big consensus of peer-reviewed scientists can’t be wrong in a conflict with a ragamuffin group of populistic spitballers”

  63. tallbloke says:
    May 29, 2011 at 3:35 am

    The NCEP re-analysis of the radiosonde data (which isn’t as bad as the warmista make out) shows what controls specific humidity at high altitude up near the tropopause, where most of the radiation of energy to space takes place. It’s the Sun.

    See also Miskolzci’s optical thickness graph over the same period:

    http://miskolczi.webs.com/Fig10.jpg

    You should have also clued Espen on just how close Miskolczi’s figures and NOAA’s figures really are. (but you have to convert both)

    A = 1 – e^–τa = absorption
    τ a = – log( 1 – A ) = tau

    NOAA’s absorption as tau = – log( 1 – 0.84568 ) = 1.8687
    Miskolczi’s tau as absorption = 1 – e^–1.868754 = 0.84568

    Basically a close match from two different sources.

    Sometimes this very big fact stays hidden to a reader if he or she does not just stop and actually perform the conversions so they can compare, besides just the trend lines of the two graphs.

  64. My daughter came home from school and told me that her 8th grade science teacher showed a video on man-made global warming by Bill Nye, The Science Guy. As you all know, kids consider him a science guru.

    At the parent/teacher conferences, I discussed the issue of man-made global warming with the science teacher. I asked the science teacher if she was going to show Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” If so, I wanted to know ahead of time because I was going to pull my daughter out of science class on that day. The teacher shook her head “no” and said, “We wouldn’t do that.” She said that she was not supposed to interject any bias in the science class. I then said that that was exactly what she did when you showed the video of Bill Nye, The Science Guy.

    In a follow-up letter, I gave the teacher some background on Bill Nye and explained how Bill is part of Repower America (Alliance for Climate Protection). Here is a short video.

    The founder and chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection is Al Gore.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_for_Climate_Protection

    I told the science teacher that Bill Nye is acting as a surrogate for Al Gore in the public schools and that we must not confuse our kids with science fiction in a science class that is supposed to teach science fact. I asked her, “How would our kids be able to distinguish between the differences?” And, I told her, “Their future relies on their trust, and their trust is fragile.”

    I then told her that I would really appreciate having some time with the kids to present an opposing point of view based entirely on scientific fact. I received no response to the letter.

    Every parent is a warrior and must confront this scientific ignorance in our public schools.

    Keep Smiling :)
    Jeff Wiita

  65. Who can possible deny global warming when we now have a full proof proxy, in the form of how many times tornado sirens sound in and around St. Louis!

    At least, that’s apparently what they’ll teach you at Washington University, courtesy of Ursula Goodenough.

  66. Jeff Wiita

    Is Bill Nye paid by Alliance for Climate Protection to be a global warming advocate, or what they call someone that “raises awareness”?

  67. Bill Nye was always one to mix a little political agenda with his science teaching when I was a kid, but it looks like he has run completely off the science rails these days. And given his incoherent babbling here, I think he’s is now a pile of wreckage on a canyon floor.

    And Ryan Maue still does not understand the point of Steve’s latest silly video.

  68. Mac the Knife
    May 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I’m an engineer also. Some of the things that have been said to me would have made many here curl up and blow away. I guess we play rough, or use to. I don’t know about the current crop of engineers though, they seem to be a bunch of wusses.

  69. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/britain-turns-into-a-tornado-hotspot-with-100-twisters-a-year-731802.html

    The reason being the UK’s position to the ocean, closeness to Arctic air and very warm waters to the SW. USA compared has colder Artic air and warmer Gulf air meeting in tornado alley most of the time, so the tornado’s are severe/very severe at times. That’s why the ideal conditions in the USA are Spring, when the biggest difference in temperatures occur and therefore nothing to do with global warming.

    The negative PDO and lower jet stream are ideal conditions and are not sign of a warming world. The last severe occurance of tornado’s observed also occurred at a similar period with a cooling planet in the early 1970’s. (negative PDO, La Nina and low jet stream)

    If the globe was warming then this temperature difference would reduce and therefore less severe tornado’s would result. (the NOAA graph actually shows this) Anybody linking tornados with global warming have absolutely little idea what they are talking about. This is because the only scientific evidence link actually shows a decrease of severe tornado’s with a warming world, but government representives with an agenda can’t actually mention this fact.

  70. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to repeat Bill Nye’s optical experiment. Does a flask of water with 390 ppm “fountain pen” ink really look that much darker than one with only 280 ppm? Of course this does not take into account that CO2 absorption is a narrow band effect and the typical ink has a broadband optical absorption effect.

    I believe Venus is a red herring because the surface pressure there is so much higher than that of the Earth. I would not be surprised if a planet with a pure CO2 atmosphere and Earth normal surface pressure would be cooler without water vapor in the atmosphere.

  71. Yeah, it’s kind of funny reading this post on Bill Nye tonight. I just saw some program that National Geographic Network was rerunning tonight about extreme weather in 2010 that talks about how it’s getting warmer (the term “climate change” is increasingly being used in the Nat Geo propaganda these days), there’s too much water vapor in the atmosphere, that we’ve caused the warming, and how “unprecedented” this weather was. And I didn’t even hear CO2 mentioned there, either.

    The warmists have become much more subtle in their arguments, probably because they lack the evidence to claim what they previously claimed. I didn’t know you could have “too much” water vapor in the atmosphere, anyway.

  72. I wish someone would go on FOX or any other network and bring out the big numbers. How much solar energy hits Earth. What matters there is the cross sectional area of Earth. Explain that the reason the poles are cooler and why mornings and evenings are cooler is due to the solar energy having to pass through more air before striking the surface and because the energy spreads over more surface (but not cross section!) area as the location moves away from the center facing the sun.

    Also use the hard numbers of how much total energy hitting Earth varies with even a small percentage change in solar output. Explain how the warmistas use those small percentages of staggeringly huge amounts of energy, and slice up the area of Earth into tiny packets and go on about the relatively small amount of change per packet – neglecting to mention just how many billion square meters the cross sectional area of Earth is and how all those little amounts add up to a giant number.

    These people slice it up into small chunks and focus on the small changes in one small chunk to hide the reality of the real numbers. It’s long past time someone pounded them into the dirt with the numbers.

  73. “Bill Illis says:
    May 29, 2011 at 6:00 am

    It seems ridiculous to blame global warming when Temperatures fell over the past year and water vapour levels also fell by 4.0%.”

    Bill do you know if there is a graph like

    that you provided that shows how cloud cover (or insolation) varies with water vapour in the atmosphere?

  74. son of mulder says:
    May 30, 2011 at 3:09 am
    Bill do you know if there is a graph that shows how cloud cover (or insolation) varies with water vapour in the atmosphere?
    ————————-

    There isn’t a good enough dataset. The numbers that are available have changed overtime in ways that make little sense and, therefore, nobody believes they are reliable enough to use.

    This is probably the best discussion of the data.

    http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateAndClouds.htm

    The climate models build in an assumption that cloud cover will increase by 2.0% to 7.0% per 1.0C increase in temperatures because they also assume water vapour levels will increase by 7.0% per 1.0C increase in temperatures.

    I sometimes use out-going longwave radiation (which should decline as there is more cloud cover and increase when there is less cloud cover) and this seems to match the ENSO quite closely. OLR actually decreases (more cloud) when there is an El Nino and it is increases (less cloud) when there is a La Nina.

    The important thing is the spatial pattern, however. During a La Nina, cloud cover will increase over Australia and Indonesia and north-west North America, but it will decrease to near Zero over the central Pacific and the southern US. Overall, it goes down in a La Nina and up in an El Nino.

  75. savethesharks says May 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    He has a point. And really WHO is ill-equipped to ‘defend’ here??

    This is the same Chris who said: “THE FIRST THING THAT NEEDS TO GO: “Junk” computer-generated or doppler-indicated tornado”, taking a step back in time (and a generation back in capability) when something similar was done with the WSR-57, WSR-74 network (i.e., manual identification of storm features with a non-volumetric scanning RADAR using unaided human eye on a PPI alone)?

    I rest my case …

    .

  76. You can rest your case all you want. I could care less.

    You are completely sabotaging and misrepresenting what I said.

    Doppler radar is a quantum advancement in technology…and many thanks for those who have contributed in this advancement of science, as well as those dedicated specialists at NOAA and the NWS in giving us the tools to detect severe weather.

    I was making a point on the nanny state politics which have created a cry wolf phenonmenon in weather forecasting.

    And I stand behind that observation, 110%.

    _Jim if you want to live in a nanny state, then I guess that is your prerogative.

    I’ll live with a little more risk….and with that risk…be better knowledgable about the hazards that might beset us….and will not count on a computer-generated warning to help when most of the time, it is wrong.

    The cry wolf effect….its downside…is worse than not warning at all.

    BETTER WARNINGS ARE NEEDED.

    Texas has taken the lead….and are beginning to reintroduce such warnings based upon direct observation, rather than something that only shows up on radar.

    Direct observation. Hmmmm. Does that sound like something familiar?

    Here is the context of what I actually said (and I stand behind it 110%) :

    “THE FIRST THING THAT NEEDS TO GO: “Junk” computer-generated or doppler-indicated tornado (or even severe thunderstorm) “warnings”. This is the government, nanny-state BS Big Brother/Sister “protection” at its worst. When I was a kid a severe thunderstorm….meant hurricane force winds, hail, and power outages. Now every blip on the radar that “might” be a severe t-storm…IS declared one. Enough of this milk-toast, nanny-state BS!”

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

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