Will Happer’s WSJ rebuttal to NOAA’s Lubchenco and Karl

Readers may recall seeing this article in Physics Today titled Predicting and managing extreme weather events by Jane Lubchenco and Thomas R. Karl

I had to laugh when I saw the “managing” part of extreme weather events. I’d love to see Tom Karl try to “manage” an F5. From what I hear, he has enough trouble just managing NCDC.

Here’s what Dr. Will Happer had to say in the WSJ:

I particularly liked this part:

There has indeed been some warming, perhaps about 0.8 degrees Celsius, since the end of the so-called Little Ice Age in the early 1800s. Some of that warming has probably come from increased amounts of CO2, but the timing of the warming—much of it before CO2 levels had increased appreciably—suggests that a substantial fraction of the warming is from natural causes that have nothing to do with mankind.

Frustrated by the lack of computer-predicted warming over the past decade, some IPCC supporters have been claiming that “extreme weather” has become more common because of more CO2. But there is no hard evidence this is true. After an unusually cold winter in 2011 (December 2010-February 2011) the winter of 2012 was unusually warm in the continental United States. But the winter of 2012 was bitter in Europe, Asia and Alaska.

Weather conditions similar to 2012 occurred in the winter of 1942, when the U.S. Midwest was unusually warm, and when the Wehrmacht encountered the formidable forces of “General Frost” in a Russian winter not unlike the one Russians just had.

Large fluctuations from warm to cold winters have been the rule for the U.S., as one can see from records kept by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. For example, the winters of 1932 and 1934 were as warm as or warmer than the 2011-2012 one and the winter of 1936 was much colder.

Nightly television pictures of the tragic destruction from tornadoes over the past months might make one wonder if the frequency of tornadoes is increasing, perhaps due to the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. But as one can read at Andrew Revkin’s New York Times blog, dotearth, “There is no evidence of any trend in the number of potent tornadoes (category F2 and up) over the past 50 years in the United States, even as global temperatures have risen markedly.”

Full story here

About these ads

35 thoughts on “Will Happer’s WSJ rebuttal to NOAA’s Lubchenco and Karl

  1. Interesting photo of power station emitting…………..steam, as the cooling towers do their thing! Usual BBC /Gruaniad practice would be to go to see one on a sunny evening, ait for the sun to start to set, whack on the good old sepia filter, then snap away to get lots of lovely photos showing dirty brown sky & even dirtier browner steam plume exiting the top of the tower. Simple tricks of the trade in scary story language! Meanwhile the warmists have shut their eyes, put their fingers in their ears, opened their mouths & shouted “La, la, la, la, la, la, la…..!” or other such psuedo-scientific approaches to a lack of warming. Interglacial started, 11,500 years ago. Interglacials last 10,000-15,000 years give or take, perhaps 20,000 years maximum. Ergo, we’re possibly in deep doo-doos, heading for an Iceage! This complete lack of honesty from the warmists is disturbing!

  2. The current meme being pushed is global weirding, as if the weather hasn’t always been weird and wonderful. They seem to follow some strange logic that the weather is getting weirder due to global warming and the weirdest part is that includes global temperatures dropping.
    ps For those who can get the BBC, Horizon on at 21.00 tonight is called Global Weirding, so expect more of the usual BS from Auntie.

  3. It was under 20 degrees F in parts of PA in LATE MARCH! An Ice Age is HERE!

    You wonder if climate scientists know what “Average” means.

  4. @ Bloke down the pub:
    I am in two minds (oh my goodness I am a schizophrenic) as to whether (weather?) to watch this as my BP may just go haywire with frustration at the predetermined propaganda programme! Be interesting to see when this was actually made & I’ll take notes ready for my equally predetermined complaint to the BBC later on about biased reporting being against the BBC’s Charter!

  5. So when it’s -10C in Chicago in April, I should be worried too? It was for me a few years back.

    The guy comes from there, he KNOWS how the weather there changes!

  6. hagendl says:
    March 27, 2012 at 5:32 am

    A brilliant way to call a spade a spade, and what a spade is used to throw out.

    I saw what you did there ;-)

  7. It all boils down to this — if a theory is true, then when A happens B should occur. Then we test this hypothesis. If the test does not match expectations, then the theory is probably wrong. Start over and repeat until you get it right.

    The scientific method lives!

  8. *****
    OP says:
    Large fluctuations from warm to cold winters have been the rule for the U.S., as one can see from records kept by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. For example, the winters of 1932 and 1934 were as warm as or warmer than the 2011-2012 one and the winter of 1936 was much colder.
    ****

    Mr Happer should be aware of the astonishing warm spell in late Jan, 1930 in the US mid-Atlantic states. Roanoke, VA, hit 87F (31C)!! Many other locations also set all-time Jan highs. Can you imagine the gnashing of teeth the press would have nowadays? I also remember “wading” in a farm-pond in late Jan 1974 when there were several days in a row of 80F (snow followed a week after).

    Mods, my email address has changed. When I change it in the reply form, can I use my old name or need a new one? TIA

    [Reply: WordPress controls these issues. Please contact them. They need to get up to speed with their software. ~dbs, mod.]

  9. Sorry for putting this here but I didn’t know how to contact the webmaster.

    Whenever I scroll down to a certain point on the main page, my browser refreshes and I get a blank page. I have to refresh manually to get back to the main page, but if I scroll down again, blam, blank page. It’s really frustrating because I can only see half the posts.

    [Reply: Please contact WordPress and inform them of this problem. It is their issue; WUWT has nothing to do with it. ~dbs, mod.]

  10. It is heartening to see the level of engagement and response to the AGW crowd in the comments of that article compared with even a couple years ago. Still, there is much work to be done. Thankful for you all on the front lines.

  11. Looks like we’re having lots of pie because we’re getting a bumper crop of cherries!

    “Dr. Jane” sure has a lot of information here, which surprises me a bit. She knows something about “environmental intelligence” and yet she responded to questions posed by both the chairman and the ranking member in a House CSJ subcommittee meeting recently with “I don’t know”. Dr. Jane didn’t know how many personnel work at 122 NWS forecast offices, Dr. Jane didn’t know how many meteorologists work in each office. Dr. Jane didn’t know that these folks operate 24/7/365 (366 this year). Dr. Jane didn’t know the role of the local IT specialist in each office. Now, to be fair, Dr. Jane does know that nearly 100 of these IT staff will be let go, replacing them with six teams of four IT specialists. But Dr. Jane didn’t know where these remote teams will be relocated. Dr. Jane didn’t know how long it would take these teams to reach forecast offices experiencing IT problems. Dr. Jane did inform the committee, however, that she knows there will be “better and more reliable service” than there is now. Huh?

    The Physics Today article fails to mention one critical aspect of this “weather-climate front”. The authors note that “Observation systems, research, and high-performance computing are absolute prerequisites for producing reliable weather and climate forecasts—and all are at risk.” Nothing here mentions any investment in the men and women responsible for assimilating this flood of data, distilling it, and giving decision-makers the information they need when they need it and in ways they can use. Why might this be? I don’t know. Does anyone in NOAA?

    [ED: my html tags may or may not work, sorry]

  12. The weather in California has been fluctuating too.

    Really weird stuff…
    first drought…
    now rain…
    weird.

    After all… how wrong can:

    ”2500 media representatives, industry representatives, policymakers and scientists”
    really be?

    http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net/

    They should hold these conferences on an icebreaker cruise in the Arctic.

  13. I REALLY enjoyed the warm temps for the past 10 days or so, but alas reality hit home last night when the temps. locally dropped to 25F. There goes my peach crop :(

  14. Here’s your carbon tax and wealth redistribution at work:

    If you attend the Planet Under Pressure Conference, there is a £35 supplemental “Carbon Offset” tax that sends the money, through a bureaucracy, to more bureaucrats in Africa and Indonesia.

    “All above fees (including the one day rate) are subject to a £35 per person carbon offset contribution. This additional fee will be included on registration.”

    http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net/offset_programme.asp

    http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net/aboutcarbonoffset.asp

    Somehow taxing the whole thing makes it Carbon Neutral and OK.

    Get ready California, You’re Next. Bend Over.

  15. Alan the Brit says:
    March 27, 2012 at 5:36 am

    @ Bloke down the pub:
    I am in two minds (oh my goodness I am a schizophrenic)

    No, just ‘fuzed. Schizophrenic literally means “shattered mind”, with inability to distinguish fantasy and reality. A split personality is a neurosis, a form of hysteria, per the textbooks. Not a psychosis like schizophrenia.

  16. This is all you need to know (from the Lubchenko/Karl article):

    “We at NOAA were able to predict most of the weather- and climate-related extreme events, but our capacity to continue to do so is seriously threatened by downward pressure on our budgets. Budgets and politics threaten NOAAs ability to observe and model weather and climate events and to deliver information to the public. NOAAs abilities to fund and conduct research aimed at understanding the causes of extreme weather and to improve the effectiveness of response to our warnings are all at great risk.”

    NOAA is doing a full-on PR blitz to save their budget…

    (Advice to NOAA – cut the budget for climate “research” and put that money into old school weather forecasts and observation equipment/data; you know, products which are actually useful…).

  17. Spot on, Professor Happer! Neither scientific method nor the spirit of Professor Feynman have been killed by the Alarmists.

  18. Added CO2 in the atmosphere helps flora and fauna….by some 10-60% since
    the LIA.
    Added warmth?…yes, get some…has always helped Homo sapiens…

  19. More about the “Planet Under Pressure Carbon Offset Programme”

    The money is being collected because of CO2 produced in Europe.
    The money is sent to Africa so the locals can….. PRODUCE MORE CO2 !!!!!!

    In Africa the money is going to manufacture wood/charcoal burners stoves that burn more completely turning MORE OF THE CARBON INTO CO2 !!!!!

    THAT IS THE MOST IDIOTIC THING I CAN THINK OF !!!!!
    IT MAKES MORE CO2 ENTER THE ATMOSPHERE !!!!!!

    If you want to reduce CO2, better to give them electric hotplates…$16.00….

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aroma-Single-Burner-Portable-Electric-Range-Hot-Plate-AHP-303/5871070

    and fix the INGA DAM on the Congo River…

    http://www.internationalrivers.org/africa/grand-inga-dam

    ————————————————- Quote:
    Here is information about the three projects supported through our programme:

    Ghana: Better cooking stoves that reduce deforestation and decrease air pollution
    (Gold Standard)

    Mali: Energy efficient cooking stoves for urban families that reduce deforestation and help prevent respiratory diseases
    (Gold Standard)

    Malaysia: Improved indigenous forest management: planting trees, capturing CO2, restoring biodiversity, and developing the local population’s economic activities
    (Verified Carbon Standard)

    —————————————————–Unquote

    Read it here:

    http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net/offset_programme.asp#projects

    The literature is deceptive in its presentation of the benefits.

    Regarding Malaysia, I have nothing against planting trees, but 25,000 hectares is a square 10 miles on each side… that’s just a speck on the world map… I’m underwhelmed.

  20. The silliest thing about weather, and by extension, climate – when it comes to discussion is the enormous myopia we all tend to have about it. For example, if New York City has a warm winter, the whole world is warming up. If they have a cold winter, the whole world is fixin’ to freeze over. Even when we talk about the mild conditions in the lower 48, we ignore our own state of Alaska, which is still having a doozy of a winter right now… and we totally forget about Europe, Asia, or anywhere else.

    When I told a friend of mine who has unfortunately been under climate indoctrination through the efforts of the University of Colorado, I believe – she thought the planet was warming. So I told her, “no, we’re running about -.12C relative to normal (now it is -.133C)” and she had never heard that. And she is studying environmental science, and, God bless her, she was more open to new information than some people, but still very entrenched in the whole CAGW mindset. It will take a lot of her own initiative to study her way out of that, and I am not sure she will do that. That is something scary – aided and abetted by a view of climate science that is anything but scientific. I did at least get her to acknowledge that the spirit of scientific inquiry relies on humility – that we DON’T know everything there is to know – and she got it. Her Christian faith no doubt helps with this as well, since we as Eastern Orthodox don’t presume to have anything right about anything… always teachable before God. That helps when dealing with science, too.

    There was a saying I remember when I was a kid that I never hear anymore: “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” I think now it is “Everyone talks about the weather, and some people try to incite panic in others to make them give large amounts of money to snake-oil salesmen who promise to do something about it, as regulated by Government organizations all over the world…”

    Funny, but I like the old saying better.

  21. May Jeopardize My Career says: “The Physics Today article fails to mention one critical aspect of this “weather-climate front”. The authors note that ‘Observation systems, research, and high-performance computing are absolute prerequisites for producing reliable weather and climate forecasts—and all are at risk.’ Nothing here mentions any investment in the men and women responsible for assimilating this flood of data, distilling it, and giving decision-makers the information they need when they need it and in ways they can use. Why might this be? I don’t know. Does anyone in NOAA?”

    Well, since Jane Lubianko already knows the answers she wants, what need is there of savants? The Revolution has no need of them.

  22. Well we all know about our Jane Lubchenko. Se’s the brainiac, who proved conclusively, in a famous demonstration (was that to the Senate or the House, or who was it, her audience ?) that corals are perfectly capable of growing in plain ordinary tap water right out of your faucet, just so long as you dye it blue with an “ordinary blue laboratory dye”, sometimes loosely known as an “indicator”.

    But as she showed they will not grow in that same tap water, if you dye it yellow with an ordinary laboratory yellow dye, and for heavens sake don’t chill it by dropping dry ice into it. Most people do recognize that corals grow in tropical waters, not chilled polar like waters.

    Nobody ever asked her if it mattered much that the plain ordinary tap water, had its usual complement of chlorine salts to rot your clothes, plus the sodium fluoride to make your teeth shiny white. I don’t remember; do they now add cough syrup to the tap water for poor folks who don’t go to the dentist or doctor; and how about Viagra for us old farts? Amazing what corals can grow in; I guess they don’t even miss the table salt, according to our Jane’s demonstration; just don’t chill it, and she’ll be right mate.


  23. Juice says:
    March 27, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Sorry for putting this here but I didn’t know how to contact the webmaster.

    Whenever I scroll down to a certain point on the main page, my browser refreshes and I get a blank page. I have to refresh manually to get back to the main page, but if I scroll down again, blam, blank page. It’s really frustrating because I can only see half the posts.

    Juice, I have the same problem.

    My solution …rather than fight it just scroll down to where you can see the Archives heading on the right side of the page and click on the current month.

  24. Prof. Happer repeats a popular misconception when he states that “The IPCC computer models predict…” As the climatologist Kevin Trenberth pointed out in 2007, the models don’t “predict” but rather “project.” Predictions are statistically falsifiable, projections are not.

    REPLY: Yeah yeah, we get it, and it’s getting old – Anthony

  25. Terry Oldberg says:
    March 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Prof. Happer repeats a popular misconception when he states that “The IPCC computer models predict…” As the climatologist Kevin Trenberth pointed out in 2007, the models don’t “predict” but rather “project.” Predictions are statistically falsifiable, projections are not.

    It’s a “misconception” fostered and shared by the Hokey Team, apparently. Remember the 90% = ‘very likely’ nonsense? Confidence intervals, and even subjective likelihood WAGs, pertain only to predictions, by that or any other name.

    Trenberth et al. pull out the “projections” card only when they need a last-ditch defense against the observation(s) that reality vociferously disagrees with their “scenarios”.

    • Brian H:

      There is a subtlety that you may have missed. In statistics, the relation from the set of “predictions” that are made by a model to the associated set of statistically independent events is one-to-one. The latter set is an example of a “statistical population.” The IPCC has yet to identifiy the statistical population. This is important.

      The events in the statistical population are susceptible to being observed. A complete set of observed events is called a “sample.” A sample provides the sole basis for falsifying or validating the model but as the IPCC has not identified the population, a sample is not a possibility. Thus, an IPCC model can be neither falsified nor validated.

      Though global average temperatures have held constant for a decade while CO2 concentrations have increased, one cannot say that “reality vociferously disagrees with their ‘scenarios’ ” for these ‘scenarios’ are not falsifiable.

  26. Terry Oldberg says:
    March 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Brian H:

    There is a subtlety that you may have missed.

    {Sigh} Who are you lecturing and disagreeing with? Seems to me you did this once before, same topic. I am (clearly!) suggesting that the appropriation of statistical terminology by the ‘Hokey Team’ in relation to their model output is inappropriate, and that despite their pro forma denial that they are doing more than “projecting”, they carry on with using said output and analysing it as though it was just such a set of independent events, a ‘statistical population’. When called on it, they retreat to their “just projections” position.

  27. “”””” Terry Oldberg says:

    March 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Prof. Happer repeats a popular misconception when he states that “The IPCC computer models predict…” As the climatologist Kevin Trenberth pointed out in 2007, the models don’t “predict” but rather “project.” “””””

    Well I suspect that Professor Happer has every bid as good a command of the English Language as does Trenberth, and there’s not a hair’s lick of difference between Predict and Project. Both refer to suggesting what is going to happen. Will Happer I’m sure is well aware that it is window dressing.

    When the MSM “project” that XYZ politician is “projected” to win such and such an election, on the basis of 0.1% of the votes counted; they ARE making a prediction; in the CYA mode.

    If computer modelling does NOT predict, then what the hell good is it ??

    I do computer modelling all day long every day (almost); and the manufactured articles made from my “predictions” have never failed to perform like the models. And I’d get fired in a trice, if they didn’t.

    The trouble with climate computer models is that they can’t even replicate the raw data that was used to construct them. Well it isn’t really data after all, because it doesn’t conform to even the most basic rules of sampled data systems; it’s just noise.

    • George E. Smith (March 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm):

      Thanks for taking the time to respond. I disagree with you on whether there is meaningful difference between “predict” and “project.” If you wish to debate the matter with me, please inform me of same and I’ll link you into threads in which this issue has already been debated so we don’t go over old ground.

  28. “”””” Terry Oldberg says:

    March 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    George E. Smith (March 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm): “””””

    Well Terry it is hardly a matter worth debating. I will agree that those two words have different meanings (in the dictionary).

    “predict” means “this is going to happen; no matter what. ”

    “project” means “this is going to happen; but maybe not. ”

    But as used in “climate science” , both mean “this is going to happen; but of course I have to CMA.”

    And that interpretation is permissible simply because the first statement of definition of “predict” describes something that is impossible; no matter what, unless one disbelieves Heisenberg.

    But as I said, it is a matter of semantics, and not worthy of debate; so to me they are quite interchangeable; but you certainly may choose to differentiate if you like; just don’t be surprised if others don’t catch your drift.

    When persons who claim to be expert physicists; (or why else would they claim to be climate scientists ?) use words like “forcings”, “anomalies”, “trends” ; none of which can be found in any listings of standard physics nomenclature; but belong more in fields like meta-physics, or astrology, or witchcraft; when the science community has spent countless eons setting up a common language of communication; that links all sciences; then I don’t look for rigorous meaning in any word usage they choose.

    I know what Temperature is and how to measure it, so I’m not going to refer what purports to be a Temperatureto some quite arbitrary and floating basis that is not identical to zero Kelvins; so as to allow fudging by changing the basis. And I know a good deal about various forms of energy, and associated units; and “forcings” is on a par with the “pyramid inch” as a unit of any energy related quantity.

    PS These last two paragraphs, in NO way refer to you; they are simply generic observations.

Comments are closed.