NRDC’s ridiculous weather IS climate “sound the general alarm” map

People send me stuff. Today it is this web page from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), another official sounding NGO modeled in the WWF funding style of wail n’ beg.

The first thought that went through my head when I saw this web page was the scene from the classic movie Mr. Roberts where the captain, portrayed by James Cagney, finds his palm tree missing and runs through the ship shouting “sound the general alarm!, sound the general alarm!, sound the general alarm!“.

Here’s the introduction:

Climate change increases the risk of record-breaking extreme weather events that threaten communities across the country. In 2011, there were at least 2,941 monthly weather records broken by extreme events that struck communities in the US. Check out the interactive map below to find out what events hit your area from January to October 2011.

And here’s the map:

Gosh, how terrible that there were so many records, right? Hardly any room left to plot any more. That probably explains then why NRDC simply ignored hundreds to thousands of records that didn’t fit the weather is now climate narrative.

The first clue that this really isn’t an accurate portrayal of US weather records comes from the (i) mouseover on the map key (visible on the web page but not in the still graphic).

They completely ignore low temperature records, but pay attention to record snowfall, as if somehow snow and cold are not connected. The lack of lows is confirmed in the methods page:

Methods for Developing NRDC’s “Extreme Weather Map 2011″

A. Criteria for Events’ Inclusion in the Map: Record-Breaking

“Record-breaking” was defined as exceeding the monthly maximum for each event type over the past 30 years. We included two different types of weather event information to build the “Extreme Weather Map 2011″: (1) specific record-breaking weather events linked to a meteorological station location (i.e., point events with latitude and longitude); and (2) record-breaking events that covered larger, multi-state areas and that were notable for their large geographic extent, unusual intensity, or that generated significant damage costs that have already been estimated at over $1 billion.

B. Link to Climate Change

Furthermore, we were interested in mapping some of the types of extreme weather events that have occurred in 2011 and whose occurrence is linked to the influence of climate change. With the November 18, 2011 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s SREX report — “SREX” being the acronym for The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation — some of the linkages between climate change and extreme events have been drawn even more sharply than ever before. For example, the SREX summary finds at least a 66 percent chance that extreme temperatures and coastal extreme high water (which contributes to flooding) have worsened as a result of human activities. And looking to the future, SREX projects that if carbon emissions continue unabated, it is likely that the frequency of hot days will increase by a factor of ten in most regions of the world; that heavy precipitation will occur more often; and that the wind speeds of storms will increase (see the IPCC SREX Press Release). It’s likely, too, that climate change will intensify drought in the future and that, coupled with extreme heat, wildfire risks will increase.

On the other hand, there are other types of extreme events for which the net influence of climate change is not yet understood fully. These include extreme events like tornadoes, which occurred in 2011 and inflicted significant damages and tragic effects in US communities. Because additional studies are needed to determine the potential influence of climate change in affecting tornadoes’ occurrence and severity, we chose to not include these types of events.

  • Record Temperatures: Monthly Highest Maximum Temperature records and Monthly Highest Minimum Temperature records (i.e., daily records that were higher than recorded temperatures previously set for that month in the period of record for that temperature station) were compiled for 2011. Records, by state from January through November, were downloaded by month and compiled as of November 15, 2011 from NOAA-NCDC. The NOAA-NCDC dataset is based on the historical daily observations archived in NCDC’s Cooperative Summary of the Day dataset, and on preliminary reports from Cooperative Observers and First Order National Weather Service stations, and as such is subject to change. (Data was downloaded from these sites: http://ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/records/monthly/maxt/2011/08/00?sts[]=US and http://ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/records/monthly/himn/2011/07/00?sts[]=US.)Values that only tied with prior monthly temperature records were not counted as broken, for mapping purposes, and were removed from the dataset. The Period of Record (POR) represents the number of years with a minimum of 50 percent data completeness. All data was from stations with a POR of at least 30 years. Because the calendar year 2011 is not yet completed, and because there is a lag in full reporting of record-breaking temperatures to the online NOAA-NCDC dataset, the records that ended up in our map have dates ranging from January 1, 2011 to October 31, 2011.The Record Temperature icon means that the monthly highest maximum temperature, the monthly highest minimum temperature, or both exceeded the previous records set at meteorological stations located within the designated county.

No mention of lows or minimums, as if somehow “extreme” is only a one way number.

I’ll give them credit for not shouting that tornadoes are linked to climate change, but that probably has to do with the fact that this myth has been repeatedly shot down and they didn’t think they could sell it with wail n’ beg since people could easily find articles like this one. Too bad they missed this non-linakge to floods. Ditto for wildfires which has an inconclusive link and may have more to do with land management policy than anything else.

They miss all sorts of record low events.

For example, the January 21st 2011, record cold event, while notable by NWS/NOAA standards, merits nary a peep by the NRDC in their map.

Nor does this multi-state record cold event on Feb 10th, 2011 fit the sales effort narrative, even though it fits their criteria of “record-breaking events that covered larger, multi-state areas and that were notable for their large geographic extent“.

And of course, Alaska’s record breaking events like the November 17th -40F record cold don’t even make the NRDC map.

Going to the source of records, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) shows just how many daily and monthly records NRDC is ignoring.

9647 daily record lows and 370 monthly record lows isn’t chump change, unless of course you are the NRDC.

Clearly though, record highs, given the blocking high heatwave in Texas aren’t unexpected. That synoptic weather event has already been shown though to have no climate connection, much like the Russian heat wave of 2010. And of course, given the sad state of bias of the USHCN, GHCN, and COOP network operated by NCDC, with USHCN having over 90% of the weather stations compromised by heat sources, record highs are not unexpected.

What I found most interesting in the NCDC tables though, were the number of records that reflected a cooler than normal daytime high temperature with 29,336 of those compared to the 26,244 record highs. Of course, they don’t dare mention those nor the 1,859 monthly “Hi Min” temperatures compared to the 1,160 “Hi Max” records

So clearly, there’s an agenda, and record lows and cooler than normal daytime highs don’t fit the narrative. It wouldn’t be good business and dilutes the wail n’ beg effectiveness of asking for money to “Take Action“.

Oh and then there’s the $64,000 question – did extreme weather occur before 30 years ago when CO2 was lower? Sure did. Without comparing to earlier periods, this one year is meaningless. This would be a good time to remind everyone why severe weather seems to be getting worse, but is mostly an artifact of our modern age of information awareness.

h/t to WUWT reader Steve for the tip.

About these ads

84 thoughts on “NRDC’s ridiculous weather IS climate “sound the general alarm” map

  1. “Record-breaking” was defined as exceeding the monthly maximum for each event type over the past 30 years”

    Guess the planet is only 30 years old. Morons.

  2. The US Climate Extremes Database allows everyone to examine climate change trends for themselves (interactively). Good.

    Anthony is correct to warn of sources that cherry-pick climate data in service of political agendas. Needless to say, responsible citizens and scientists alike take care not to base their opinions upon cherry-picked data sets.

  3. “Record-breaking” was defined as exceeding the monthly maximum for each event type over the past 30 years”

    This must be the LOL statement of the year. Really? I *mean* REALLY? I am begining to think these people think we/us are clueless…

  4. Their interactive map is crap. The only incident that had any info in Colorado when clicked on was:
    Groundhog Day Blizzard

    A large winter storm impacting many central, eastern and northeastern states. The city of Chicago was brought to a virtual standstill and hundreds were trapped in their cars. Property damage totaled greater than $1.8 billion and 36 deaths.

    Apparently the only icons that have info are the ones that appear on a red background, so they are only ‘record’ events, not extreme events. We paid how much for this irrelevant compilation?

  5. And how many of those stations went through an equipment switch? Reading about records is not a simple exercise. Ask Jones and his tribe of yes men and women. Better yet, ask the computer programmers. U will find them in your local hospital talking gibberish. Do we have a ptsd program for those unfortunate souls?

  6. Yeah, that 30 year narrative is the real propaganda that needs to be discussed more often. It is easy to see the tactic of the alarmists in their ever shrinking window of comparative data.

    We saw the alarmism of the 90s and the “hottest in 2000 years!” reduced to 1000 years when they thought that Mann had found the holy hockey stick. Then that was completely trashed and they dropped any meaningful comparison to history and retreated to simply focusing on the warming trend of the last 150 years because THAT was settled! Then questions about the veracity of the tail end of the data started popping up and again the focus moved… now to the last 30 years, and the degree of the “slope” (ignoring that they lost any valid “slope” comparison when they lost the 2000 year argument).

    But they are losing the 30 year and slope argument even as these 30 year markers are still used in the advocacy literature.

    Now the focus has come back to the forcings and arguing AGW on an almost strictly theoretical basis again while trying to make it seem that they aren’t back at square 1 with no new theories.

  7. Anthoy bolded the 30 mins bit. That’s much better.

    This record breaking stuff is bogus nonsense. When records are first started EVERY DAY was a record breaker for the first year. Then as the years go by the number of record breaking days drops off in a decay curve. But how long would it take for there to be no more record breaking days? If one looks at temps, we have been taking records for some 100 years. The temp increments are 0.1C. If the range of possible July 1 temps is between 20 and 40C for any given location, how many slots is that? 20*10, or 200 possible temps. In only 100 years. So at best we are at the halfway point. But the extreme ends of temps are very rare, above the upper second standard deviation. So how long would it take to fill them all for all days of the year? I did a quick program to calculate that. It’s more than 3000 years! Record breaking is not about changes in the climate, it’s about accounting.

  8. Certainly, within a 30 year period of general warming, the cherry-pick results in lots of juicy sweet ones to select from…

  9. That map is scary. I am writing a huge check to the NRDC so there won’t be any more bad weather records. Only good weather, until my money runs out.

  10. I clicked the link on the first line of the post and found, for the first time, the article “How to talk to a climate sceptic”.
    At first I had the best laugh in a long time.
    After a while, though, I felt sad.

  11. ChE says:
    December 27, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Guess the planet is only 30 years old. Morons.

    Or they’ve only been keeping records for 30 years. Dolts.
    =======================================================
    lol, yeh, that’s prolly what happened. Way back then it didn’t occur to people to write stuff down. Oh sure, we painted on the walls in caves and whatnot, but …..

  12. Trouble is that if The USA continues to allow this mediocrity to persist in its government institutions eventually the world will lose respect for USA science *not to say that most climate science everywhere is unadulterated @rap. You have got to change next government and fix this or your scientific endeavours will be delayed for decades!

  13. Something MUST BE DONE or we’re all going to perish due to the increasing temps, sea level, , etc. When will all you skeptics accept that the science has been settled and stop trying to undermine the efforts of real humanitarians who are funneling money, er, I mean, utilizing financial resources to battle the onslaught of extreme weather events.

  14. Guess the planet is only 30 years old. Morons.

    Or they’ve only been keeping records for 30 years. Dolts.

    I’ve only been keeping records since 2am this morning, and my records show that the Earth will burst into flames by 3pm New Years day based on the 3 degree rise in the last 9 hours.

    Some deniars say that it’s the sun causing the warming… but I know better!

  15. Joe, not to state the obious but wouldn’t that be the rotation of Earth causing your warming trend this morning?

  16. Guess the planet is only 30 years old. Morons.

    And these people complain about Roy Spencer being a creationist. At least he figures the earth is 6,000 years old.

  17. I’ve hit the point that I’m honestly getting tired of this doomsday crap. Do all ya’ll think we are in the waning days of the hysteria? I hope so. I can’t take much more of it. But I fear we have decades of this nonsense to go, if not more.

  18. “At least he figures the earth is 6,000 years old.”

    Quote, please. Make it a cut ‘n’ paste, or retract.

  19. “Record-breaking” was defined as exceeding the monthly maximum for each event type over the past 30 years.”

    Speaking of lying with numbers.
    Point 1: When the average person see’s the phrase “record breaking”, they immediately form a belief that an actual record is being broken. They don’t think that we are talking about merely being the warmest in the last few decades.

    Point 2: We are at the end of a 30 year warm cycle in the PDO. Is it any surprise that the warmest temperatures in the last 30 years are happening now?

    These guys went out of there way to be deceptive.

  20. @jrwakefield on December 27, 2011 at 8:23

    Excellent analysis! You are absolutely correct. It’s even worse when you not only hear about breaking a record but when you also hear that it was “the fifth warmest day” or “third wettest season”. By allowing those “statistics” you are pushing the hysteria to events between one and two standard deviations. If you feel like it try those frequency calculations as well.

  21. @ David L says:
    December 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I’ve hit the point that I’m honestly getting tired of this doomsday crap. Do all ya’ll think we are in the waning days of the hysteria? I hope so. I can’t take much more of it. But I fear we have decades of this nonsense to go, if not more.
    ============================================

    It’s just getting ramped up. It will soon be 2012, and the entire media focus is on Dec 21st. NatGeo, History Channel, etc. are running “Apocalypse ” specials, and they’ve already aired some of their climate doomsday libraries. Buy some popcorn.

  22. For any given measurement (rainfall on a given date, daily maximum temperature on a given date, etc.), if such a measurement has been made for N years, the probability that a record will be set in any given year on that date, if the climate has NOT changed, is 1/N.
    If the snowfall on 1 Jan has been recorded for 120 years, then the chance that this coming Jan 1 will show a record snowfall is 1 in 121 (because by then it will have been measured 121 times).
    Given that weather records include high (highest and lowest) temperatures, low (highest and lowest)temperatures, rainfall amounts, snowfall amounts, wind speeds, that gives us 7 records that are added to each day. (7 x 365) = 2555 measurements each year at any given site.
    With a 1 in 121 chance of each measurement *randomly* setting a record, there will be an average of (2555 / 121) = 21 weather records being set EACH YEAR as any specific site – almost 2 per month.
    There is nothing remarkable about an all-time weather record being set *anywhere*.
    After a study of historical records for one city (my own, Richmond, VA) I can find no evidence that the frequency of all-time record-setting weather is increasing or decreasing in frequency. The observed frequencies at every stage of the historical record (N years, with N a variable) is statistically indistinguishable from the 1/N rule.

  23. The overuse of the word extreme really bothers me . BTW , while the map shows allegedly record high temps in areas very near to my place , the only record set locally was a new low in August ( I think ) . This was on St Simons Isalnd , GA , where it’s always hot as hades in August .

  24. Smokey,

    Excellent comment. As far as I know Dr. Spencer is an adherent of Intelligent Design and not necessarily Creationism per se. For over 50 years I never once questioned Evolution. Some excellent comments on a WUWT thread made me curious about ID so I did a little reading. The ID guys can poke some pretty large hole in the (unprovable) theory of Evolution that I had never considered. Then one day I was railing on about how AGW to taught to children as fact rather than as a theory. It suddenly dawned on me that I have been taught Evolution as fact since childhood.

    I’m still a believer in Evolution, but I have enough of an open mind to say that the ID folks are not necessarily wrong.

  25. “What I found most interesting in the NCDC tables though, were the number of records that reflected a cooler than normal daytime high temperature with 29,336 of those compared to the 26,244 record highs. Of course, they don’t dare mention those nor the 1,859 monthly “Hi Min” temperatures compared to the 1,160 “Hi Max” records”

    It does seem confusing but I think you’re reading the chart wrong. There are not 29,336 ‘cooler than normal daytime temperatures’, there were 29,336 records set where the daily low (usually nighttime) temperature was higher than any on record, that’s what the Hi Min is the way I read it…. set a record high minimum temperature for the day. There were also 26,244 record high maximum temparatures, while only 9,647 low minimum temperatures. The Low Max’s, as in “the temperature only got up to X today” we at 15,696.

    The record high definitely outnumbered the record lows for both the max and min temperature consistent with a warmer climate than existed at the beginning of the 30 year period. I’d double check the meaning of the temperature data, then if incorrect, update the article accordingly before the warmers get ahold of it.

  26. When they say ‘How to talk to a climate skeptic’
    they actually mean ‘how to talk OVER’, ‘how to outshout’,
    ‘how to silence’ a climate skeptic.
    Because they lose any actual debate, they desperately proclaim
    ‘The debate is over’.

  27. Pamela Gray says:
    December 27, 2011 at 9:00 am
    Joe, not to state the obious but wouldn’t that be the rotation of Earth causing your warming trend this morning?

    Hmm. Friction?

  28. I commend Anthony for identifying the problems with this type of story. It is important to remember that while readers of this web site understand the deliberate errors and exploitation most of the public do not. Using a thirty year climate record is scientifically deceptive, but for most people it covers their period of memory and comparison. They are also deceived because the media has increased reporting and amplified with hyperbole so they don’t have weather reports anymore, they are extreme weather reports. A recent example is the report implying more severe weather in 2011, when the story was based on the increased cost of damage from severe weather.

    Despite the evidence of corruption, misrepresentation, and deliberate falsification, not to mention the failed predictions (scenarios?) exposed through this web site and others the level of understanding among even the supposedly informed public is abysmal. Consider the comments by the Chair of the December 15, 2011 Canadian Senate Hearings that finally entertained presentations by four so-called climate skeptics.

    “You keep talking about greenhouse gases, and you say CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and then the H2O factor. There is a colloquialism in the world that has become part of our regular vocabulary  greenhouse gases. I do not think anyone really knows what they mean when they say it. Could you give a definition?”

    “You keep talking about these leaks and we keep reading about these leaks. I chair a big hospital board and every morning in Montreal I am reading in the paper about stuff that happened in my board meetings. They say, “Oh, well, it’s a leak.” Who are these leakers? Do you have any idea?”

    One of the leaked emails effectively said we must not lose the PR battle. This story is another example that they are not, because PR is about spin and you can’t spin the truth. You are unlikely to see the headline “Everything is Normal.”

  29. jrwakefield says:
    December 27, 2011 at 8:23 am
    Anthoy bolded the 30 mins bit. That’s much better.

    This record breaking stuff is bogus nonsense. When records are first started EVERY DAY was a record breaker for the first year. Then as the years go by the number of record breaking days drops off in a decay curve.

    Statistics one-o-duh. There are reliable statistics for the temperature where I live for about 150 years. The record high and low are both in my lifetime and memory. Only a dope would consider this surprising.

  30. Pamela Gray says:
    December 27, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Joe, not to state the obious but wouldn’t that be the rotation of Earth causing your warming trend this morning?

    Deniar! ;^)

  31. @ Dr. Dave,

    You will never find the ‘proof’ you seek of either ID or Evolution. All you will find are more questions. At some point you will choose to accept that fact.

  32. Last 30 years means for some reason would pre-1981 data is faulty, bad, dis-continuous, non-relevant, whatever….

    What does research say about the consistency and quality of instrumental thermometer records over time?

  33. Nukemhill, I hope u are kidding. The Sun shines at the same rate wherever it hits. It does not heat up. The Earth’s rotation simply brings your sensor into its steady beam. Tomorrow your temp trend may be different. Again, Earth’s fickle atmosphere modulates that sun beam, not the Sun, to any extent that can be detected. The direct cause of morning change in temps is not a change in the Sun, but the Earth’s rotation.

  34. Guess the planet is only 30 years old. Morons.

    And these people complain about Roy Spencer being a creationist. At least he figures the earth is 6,000 years old.

    May I be quick to point out that this is an example of “ideological bigotry”. I’m a “creationist” also,
    but I don’t use the geneologies in the O.T. to conclude 6000 years. The creation narrative is definitely vauge, and does NOT specifiy anything time wise when the “Earth was without form and void”. Perhaps you can also give an explanation for what that means?

    Please, DON’T AXIOMATICALLY ASCRIBE “believes” to people based on YOUR “prejudice”.

    I don’t even do that to the AWG people, as many of them are now “climate changers” and need to know that we skeptics are NOT skeptical of “climate change”. It happens all the time!

  35. Plots of maximum and minimum daily temperatures, rainfall, snowfall, wind speed: isn’t this the way to see increases in extreme, as opposed to average, weather? Broken down by climatic regions?

    Post-notes on a map: very useful (not).

  36. PBS have been doing a similar “record breaking heat” propaganda exercise this year.

    An analysis of these “records” in Kansas shows that nearly every station in their list is airport based and only date back to the 40’s and 50’s, thereby missing out the hot 1930’s.

    It turns that most of their “records” don’t beat 1934 and 1936.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/record-breaking-temperaturesnot-quite-what-they-seem/

  37. Anthony posts: “What I found most interesting in the NCDC tables though, were the number of records that reflected a cooler than normal daytime high temperature with 29,336 of those compared to the 26,244 record highs. Of course, they don’t dare mention those nor the 1,859 monthly “Hi Min” temperatures compared to the 1,160 “Hi Max” records”

    Ryan says: It does seem confusing but I think you’re reading the chart wrong … I’d double check the meaning of the temperature data, then if incorrect, update the article accordingly before the warmers get ahold of it.

    WUWT folks are encouraged to study and use the US Climate Extremes Database to verify for themselves that Ryan’s apprehensions are correct. For example, the number of warmer-than-normal minimal temperatures that are seen in the US on any given day-of-the-year has in fact increased dramatically in recent years.

  38. NRDC, planet saver, is using this kind of garbage to promote increased donations and grants. It seems that its deliberate use of misinformation is actionable fraud against anyone who relies upon the scaremongering and is stupid enough to give NRDC money.

  39. You can break records simply by cutting them up into little pieces, and then saying, “see they are now cut up into little pieces, and each little piece wasn’t there before, and has a unique characteristic of its own”.

  40. The NRDC’s work itself is not alarming. The fact that individuals involved in this cra….er…construction believe it is relevant/meaningful to anything productive is alarming. Pondering the amount of time these folks spent along with the wasted resouces carefully compiling some of the data while oviously purposely ommitting other data that did not fit the narrative leaves this taxpayer firmly convinced the patients are running the asylum.

  41. I always like to get the average persons opinion on things, especially those that work for a living and don’t have time for politics. My rule is that I don’t provide any feed back, this evolved from having lived in countries that had repressive dictatorships.
    The man in the street opinion seems to be that the government climate data is about as truthful as their financial data, or any other government data. From the end WWII til now I have observed the man in the street opinion go from optimism and joy to anger and frustration and then lately to cynicism. This is not a good progression for long term democracy. This evolution of opinion is not confined to the U.S.

  42. Yep, the very definition of cherry picking: find the data that fit your narrative and overlook the remainder.

    Extremely well written article. Thanks much.

  43. A physicist says: [SNIP: linking to a graph with no explanation or context is just thread-jacking. Don't do it. -REP]

    Allow me to state the point plainly.

    The plain fact is that a central element of Anthony’s criticism is just plain mistaken. The NCDC dataset that Anthony posted strongly affirms the NRDC’s thesis that the climate is warming, in the specific sense that the NCDC data show that far more temperature records in 2011 were broken at the high end than at the low end.

    Ignoring such mistakes — or leaving them uncorrected — is a kind of skepticism, but it is not rational skepticism.

  44. >> Pamela Gray says:
    December 27, 2011 at 10:33 am
    The direct cause of morning change in temps is not a change in the Sun, but the Earth’s rotation. <<

    Nonsense. The direct cause of a temperature change in the morning is when my wife turns the A/C thermostat up.

  45. jrwakefield says:
    December 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

    “I did a quick program”
    No sir, a program, for example payroll, uses addition and subtraction. As soon as you use multiplication and division you are working on a valid scientific model.

  46. Dr. Dave says: “I’m still a believer in Evolution, but I have enough of an open mind to say that the ID folks are not necessarily wrong.”

    ID is not a falsifiable hypothesis, so it’s not scientifically relevant. Explain the vagus nerve. Then explain why there are rattlesnakes and why they are all poisonous.

  47. I know that one needs to be careful with what a physicist posts, but it does seem that he has a valid point regarding number of highs verses number of lows. From at least a casual consideration, wouldn’t one expect to see a greater number of highs being set verses lows, if the climate was warming?

    I understand the part about it being deceptive in the sense of completely excluding low temp records and in any event would not put much validity in something like this trying to promote the idea of “extreme” weather events, but I’m curious about the validity of more highs than lows being set as an indicator of warming. Shouldn’t we be saying that the data does indicate a warming trend, but says nothing about extreme weather?

  48. jrwakefield says:
    December 27, 2011 at 8:23 am
    Anthoy bolded the 30 mins bit. That’s much better.

    This record breaking stuff is bogus nonsense. When records are first started EVERY DAY was a record breaker for the first year. Then as the years go by the number of record breaking days drops off in a decay curve. But how long would it take for there to be no more record breaking days? …

    There will always be new high/cold records set as long as climatic elements contain 1/f noise.

  49. “It suddenly dawned on me[Dr Dave] that I have been taught Evolution as fact since childhood.”
    You mean that one about-
    Once upon a time there was this BIG BANG and all the water suddenly appeared for the amoeba to crawl out of and onto land to evolve into all the critters you see about you today children, which naturally means some are more evolved than others..err, no God said all His Creatures were created equal…err no that was Marx who was naturally the most evolved,,err no wait a minute…

    Really puts those whacky Creationists and IDers in their proper place now doesn’t it kiddies?

  50. If the weather were random then for a given site in a given month each year for a particular measurement type the following would be expected for a high event approximately based on the harmonic series
    1,(1/2,1/3,1/4),(1/5,1/6,1/7,1/8,1/9,1/10,1/11),1/12………1/n ie each group adds to approx 1.

    In year 1 by definition a record
    In the next 3 years another record
    In the next 7 years another record
    In the next 20 years another record
    So 1/30 sites each month would expect a specific monthly record in the 30th year.

    Now 30 days in a month so 30×1/30=1 so a specific daily record for each site for each measurement in each month if it were random on average

    12 months in a year x 50 states x No sites per state x record types = 600x No sites per state x record types

    High temperature, high rainfall, high wind, high snow, high floods, high drought, high wild fires so thats 7 high types and 600×7=4,200 well past 2,941. Yes I know snow, wild fires aren’t all year round so I’m a bit high but I’ve only assumed 1 site per state so 2,941 looks pretty random to me.

    Be very afraid.

  51. Actually you have to hand it to the new Gaia worshippers. They’ve neatly blended their God and Evolution into one Great Global Gruesome Greasum as one of their disciples, none other than Australia’s appointed Climate Commissioner, Tim Flannery explains-
    “within this century, the concept of the strong Gaia will actually become physically manifest.
    “This planet, this Gaia, will have acquired a brain and a nervous system that will make it act as a living animal, as a living organism.”

    http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com/2011/02/tim-flannery-gaia-worshipper.html

  52. Dr. Dave;
    Here’s my personal alternative: Intelligent Self-Design.

    If any modification/mutation encodes a selective rule which trims the ‘tree’ of possible mutations in response to a particular environmental pressure, it will be strongly conserved and selected for. Over time, the accumulation of such meta-genes will establish a Genetic Modification Handbook and Policy Manual. See the 95% of the genome which is “non-coding” and yet highly conserved.

    This is evolved genetic intelligence, self-guiding and self-amplifying.

  53. I remember sometime in the early or mid 1970’s, when the month of March set a record for being the 1st March in Philadelphia in about 100 years to not break any records.

    Keep in mind what “normal American weather” (and that of nearby parts of Canada) is: Acting “normal” just enough to make people think there is such a thing as “normal American weather”. And. all-too-often, go screwball someway or another.

    I’m in the part of America that gets crazy weather – the part that’s east of the Pacific Ocean.

    The 48 states and nearby parts of Canada are in the “temperate zone”. It appears to me that the word “temperate” works like the word “flammable”. Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing, and temperate means intemperate – not “temperant”. In the temperate zones, especially the northern one, the weather “has a temper”!

  54. Dr Dave,
    Evolution and ID are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Put all the rules in place and a universe with all its diversity evolves. If we can figure out the rules, we will then understand all of creation. That is what science is meant to do, find the rules.

  55. wayne Job says:
    December 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm
    Dr Dave,
    Evolution and ID are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Put all the rules in place and a universe with all its diversity evolves. If we can figure out the rules, we will then understand all of creation. That is what science is meant to do, find the rules.

    =========

    ID is still god-of-the-gaps. You just infer your god made things happen that we havn’t figure out how they naturally happened. But science does progress, and your god plays a smaller and smaller roll.

  56. Tom Davidson says:
    December 27, 2011 at 9:52 am
    For any given measurement (rainfall on a given date, daily maximum temperature on a given date, etc.), if such a measurement has been made for N years, the probability that a record will be set in any given year on that date, if the climate has NOT changed, is 1/N.
    If the snowfall on 1 Jan has been recorded for 120 years, then the chance that this coming Jan 1 will show a record snowfall is 1 in 121 (because by then it will have been measured 121 times).
    Given that weather records include high (highest and lowest) temperatures, low (highest and lowest)temperatures, rainfall amounts, snowfall amounts, wind speeds, that gives us 7 records that are added to each day. (7 x 365) = 2555 measurements each year at any given site.
    With a 1 in 121 chance of each measurement *randomly* setting a record, there will be an average of (2555 / 121) = 21 weather records being set EACH YEAR as any specific site – almost 2 per month.
    There is nothing remarkable about an all-time weather record being set *anywhere*.
    After a study of historical records for one city (my own, Richmond, VA) I can find no evidence that the frequency of all-time record-setting weather is increasing or decreasing in frequency. The observed frequencies at every stage of the historical record (N years, with N a variable) is statistically indistinguishable from the 1/N rule.

    ==========

    That’s assuming every number has equal probability, like a lottary ticket. But in reality, it’s a bell curve, “extremes” are by definition those beyond the second standard deviation. Thus the middle temps would be more probable than the extremes of the range. That extends the time it would take to fill all the slots by a large factor (for my test of temps it more than tripled the time).

  57. son of mulder says: If the weather were random then for a given site in a given month each year … [analysis follows]

    Son of Mulder’s very ingenious and mathematically well-motivated model gives (approximately) the right number of records, but on the other had, Mulder’s model predicts that records are equally likely to be broken at the low end as at the high end.

    That is not what is observed, in any large climate data set. For the past decade, United States temperature records are observed to be far more commonly broken at the high end than the low end.

    That is the key point that Anthony’s commentary does not recognize.

    REPLY: Bullshit, I recognize and provide a map and pie chart addressing the issue of high temp biases, you simply choose to ignore it – Anthony

  58. “For example, the number of warmer-than-normal minimal temperatures that are seen in the US on any given day-of-the-year has in fact increased dramatically in recent years.”

    Not for Canada. TMax has been dropping across Canada since the 1930s. The number of record breaking highs has been steadily dropping, more than 75% are before 1950, and those record breaking temps now are LOWER than record breaking temps before 1950. And yes, I can back all this up with data I downloaded from Environment Canada.

    Of course the warmers can get even more record breaking temperatures by taking more accurate temps. They can increase the record breaking temps by 10 times if they get to 0.01C increments.

    They get fewer record breaking temps using C than F too.

  59. A physicist says:
    December 27, 2011 at 11:08 am

    ….WUWT folks are encouraged to study and use the US Climate Extremes Database to verify for themselves that Ryan’s apprehensions are correct. For example, the number of warmer-than-normal minimal temperatures that are seen in the US on any given day-of-the-year has in fact increased dramatically in recent years.
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    A physicist, cut the patronizing, stick around here and learn from WUWT “folks”, you may find that your arrogance is exceeded only by your ignorance.

  60. Curiousgeorge @ December 27, 2011 at 10:22 am
    “@ Dr. Dave,

    “You will never find the ‘proof’ you seek of either ID or Evolution. All you will find are more questions. At some point you will choose to accept that fact.”

    Agreed. This is right on target. At least it’s how I finally worked out a satisfactory arrangement in my ’60s. To me, creation and evolution are not competing ideas at all, but rather the answers to two different questions:

    WHAT did God do? Answer: Creation.

    HOW did God do it? Answer: Evolution, which we have not yet fully grasped.

  61. Frances Beinecke runs the NRDC.

    Their history is full of this kind of alarmism.

    ‘…In the first six months after the NRDC released its now-debunked Alar-on-apples report “Intolerable Risk,” Washington state apple growers lost $125 million. But when the New York Times cornered Beinecke on the economic impact of NRDC’s questionable (and never peer-reviewed) “science,” she was quick to blame the media. “We never set out to harm apple farmers,” she insisted…”

    The “media” she blamed was CBS, whose airing in February 1989 of the 60 Minutes broadcast, “A is for Apples” — a story based in large part on NRDC publication, “Intolerable Risk: Pesticides in Our Children’s Food”.

    She didn’t say that the NRDC, a “non-profit” group, was able to hire a PR firm (Fenton Communications) to help them “sell” their message.

    Wait – where else have we heard about Fenton Communications?

    Oh, yeah, that’s right – they’re behind Real Climate, aren’t they.

    As I said – a history of alarmism…

  62. “A physicist says:
    December 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Mulder’s model predicts that records are equally likely to be broken at the low end as at the high end.”

    No it doesn’t because windspeed can’t go below zero, rainfall can’t go below zero as examples so are bounded below hence fewer lower end records would be expected.

  63. son of mulder says:
    December 28, 2011 at 1:11 am
    “A physicist says:
    December 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Mulder’s model predicts that records are equally likely to be broken at the low end as at the high end.”

    No it doesn’t because windspeed can’t go below zero, rainfall can’t go below zero as examples so are bounded below hence fewer lower end records would be expected.

    ===========

    Include in that on any given day, at any given location, the temperature must stay within a range. For example, in Huston, July 1st can get to freezing, and wont get to 50C. Yes, there are limits. All that record breaking shows is we haven’t been taking records long enough to fill all possible temps. It’s accounting, not trends.

  64. PBS’s nightly News Hour ran a special feature Wednesday December 28th on the 2011 extreme weather in the US. Photo op after photo op of extreme weather in the US.

    The PBS news hour special noted other places on the planet also had extreme weather.

    There was no attempt to justify the assertion that 2011 had the most number of extreme weather events (compared to what period) or to explain why 2011 had the extreme events.

    Immediately following the PBS nightly news hour special were two back to back Nova specials that had more photo ops of ice melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. There was no comment that due to seasonal insolation changes (i.e winter and summer) ice does melt and form in Greenland and Antarctic. There was no discussion of the paleoclimatic record which show cyclic warming and cooling in the interglacial period or any discussion of the glacial/interglacial cycle.

    The implicate implications of the photo ops is if governments spend trillions of dollars on boondoggle “green” energy projects there will no longer be extreme weather events. It is a fact that if trillions of dollars are spent on “green” energy projects, trillions of dollars will need to be either raised in taxes or government spending will need to be reduced by trillions of dollars.

    Policy that is completely separate from observations, paleoclimatic history, and economic reality (i.e. logic and reason) is madness.

    This is not a right vs left issue.

  65. William;
    “This is not a right vs left issue.”
    Yes it is. The right wants nothing to do with governments having access to and deploying trillion$$ in green energy projects, or anything else for that matter. The left would like nothing more.

  66. @A physicist,

    You are such an amusing person.

    You see a case where they are reporting only record warm events and ignoring nearly 10,000 record cold events, completely omitting them to bias the presentation of their data considerably (and unscientifically), and then you go on to try to defend such nonsense?

    Why don’t you do a comparison of broken records throughout a 30 year period by year and see the trend, that would be interesting.

    None the less, nothing changes the fact that website OMITS all cold records. That’s misinformation they are selling to try to mess with people. And that is always wrong.

    I really wish I knew what your problem is. At first you recognize what is rational, and then suddenly you go off the deep end and lose all reading or logical comprehension. It’s.. weird.

  67. Ged says: @A physicist … I really wish I knew what your problem is. At first you recognize what is rational, and then suddenly you go off the deep end and lose all reading or logical comprehension. It’s … weird.

    Ged, your confusion arises in substantial part because:

    (1) Anthony’s comments in the concluding paragraphs (associated to the sentence “They don’t dare mention …”) reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the data presented NCDC tables.

    (2) WUWT moderators now censor all comments that discuss this misunderstanding; neither does Anthony trouble to correct it in the original post.

    Broadly speaking, these confusions arise because the brand of skepticism practiced on the WUWT forum is not rational skepticism.

    So it’s small wonder that WUWT readers are confused, eh?

  68. ‘a physicist’ commented above on what he labels a “misunderstanding”. But the misunderstanding is entirely on the part of ‘a physicist'; weather is not climate, as the article makes clear.

    ‘a physicist’ also claims that WUWT readers are “confused” because of a lack of “rational” skepticism. ‘a physicist’ apparently believes that scientific skepticism is “rational” only when it supports his own beliefs.

    On top of his usual nonsense, ‘a physicist’ misrepresents that “WUWT moderators now censor all comments that discuss this misunderstanding”. The fact that ‘a physicist’s’ comment was posted refutes that belief, but he is blinkered, so he does not see that. And if ‘a physicist’ doesn’t understand that glaring contradiction, there is no reason to take anything else he says seriously. He is simply a crank, obsessed with his easily refuted CAGW belief system.

  69. Smokey, here’s the substantive issue:

    Anthony concludes: “What I found most interesting in the NCDC tables though, were the number of records that reflected a cooler than normal daytime high temperature, with 29,336 of those compared to the 26,244 record highs. Of course, they don’t dare mention those nor the 1,859 monthly “Hi Min” temperatures compared to the 1,160 “Hi Max” records. So clearly, there’s an agenda, and record lows and cooler than normal daytime highs don’t fit the narrative. It wouldn’t be good business and dilutes the wail n’ beg effectiveness of asking for money to “Take Action“.”

    To be factually correct, Anthony should amend his first sentence by replacing the (incorrect) phrase “cooler than normal daytime high temperature” with the (correct) phase “hotter than normal daytime cool temperature” (because that is the measure that the NCDC tables summarize). Then Anthony’s following three sentences should be redacted entirely, because they no longer make sense.

Comments are closed.