‘Paleotempestology’ – the new Mann science

I missed this announcement yesterday, but when I saw the word “paleotempestology” today, I immediately thought of Dr. Michael Mann, mainly because he throws tempests and everybody else studies them as examples of scientific silliness aka Tabloid Climatology™. Sure enough, after reading the breathless press release, he’s involved. – Anthony

What Paleotempestology Tells Scientists about Today’s Tempests

GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition: Technical Session, Wednesday, 7 November

Boulder, CO, USA – Understanding Earth’s paleo-hurricane record cannot be more timely and important in a light of Hurricane Sandy, which shocked the U.S. East Coast last week. Talks in this Wednesday afternoon session at the GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, integrate field, lab, and model analysis of past hurricanes and future scenarios, covering a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.

Session co-organizer Daria Nikitina of West Chester University says that “gaining understanding of past events provides the context for future coastal vulnerability. Given predicted global warming, the frequency and magnitude of severe weather events will probably increase and with it the likelihood of more coastal devastation” like that witnessed in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut last week, as well as associated weather events further inland.

Presenter Scott P. Hippensteel of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will talk on “The effectiveness of traditional paleotempestology proxies in backbarrier marshes from the Southeastern Atlantic Coast” at 2:55 p.m. Writing for the Geological Society of America’s science and news magazine, GSA Today, in 2010, he notes, “Growing populations and recent hurricane activity along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines have made clear the need for a more accurate and extensive record of storm activity” (GSA Today, v. 20, no. 4, p. 52). He also writes that “the field of paleotempestology has never been of more importance,” especially “in the current period of climate change” (GSA Today, p. 53).

As early as 2001, presenter Jeffrey P. Donnelly of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution addressed “Sedimentary evidence of intense hurricane strikes from New Jersey” (Geology, v. 29, no. 7, p. 615). In the article, he warns, “Intense storms present a significant threat to lives and resources and can result in significant alteration of coastal environments.” He discusses, “The most famous storm affecting the New Jersey shore in the twentieth century was the Ash Wednesday northeaster of March 5–8, 1962… Storm surge associated with this storm overtopped many of the barrier islands of the New Jersey coast and deposited overwash fans across backbarrier marshes there.” In Wednesday’s session, Donnelly will speak about “Late Holocene North Atlantic hurricane activity” at 1:35 p.m.

Michael E. Mann of The Pennsylvania State University, who spoke earlier this week in a late-breaking panel on Hurricane Sandy, will deliver a talk on “Relationships between basin-wide and landfalling Atlantic tropical cyclones: Comparing long-term simulations with paleoevidence” at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday.

Heading the session with Nikitina are Andrea D. Hawkes of the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Jon Woodruff of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Hawkes is a co-author on the Donnelly talk; Woodruff is a co-author on a talk presented by Christine M. Brandon, also at U-Mass-Amherst, “Constraining hurricane wind speed at landfall using storm surge overwash deposits from a sinkhole in St. Marks, FL.”

GSA’s Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division and International Section cosponsor this session, along with the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) 588: Preparing for Coastal Change.

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63 Responses to ‘Paleotempestology’ – the new Mann science

  1. John says:

    I reckon Mann couldn’t be outclassed by the weather channel naming winter storms, he had to coin a new phrase.

  2. Rich says:

    “Earth’s paleo-hurricane record” – just because you can put something in a sentence doesn’t mean it exists. There is no “paleo-hurricane record”. (And doesn’t sticking ‘paleo’ on the front sound so much more sciency than saying ‘ancient’?).

  3. Doug Huffman says:

    Doctor Michael Mann needs to be forgotten and shunned just as Doctor Michael Bellesiles has been. He is the disgraced author of Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture and the first infamous professional to claim that the dog ate his homework.

  4. John West says:

    Mann is a presumtologist.

    Presumtology: The science of jumping to conclusions.

    http://www.dougwalton.ca/papers%20in%20pdf/09jumping.pdf

  5. jonny old boy says:

    Most scientific research has a solid purpose. I see none with this. Hurricanes are complex to predict and understand in depth, yet the bigger picture is obvious. They are one of nature’s giant air-conditioners and balancing engines. The ancient records will yield little strong evidence of anything meaningful since most of the other parameters essential for detail conslusions will be absent. Are there really enough idiots in the world/USA to fall for this sexing-up of a low category hurricane event ? If one takes the time to study fossilised surfaced coral deposits in the carribean , one can quickly find out that in the last million years there was actually a 1000 year period without ANY atlantic hurricances hitting the carribean at all !! Why was this ? no one knows but there have been previous “paleotempestologist” trying to find out so it looks like someone may have beaten Mann to the work, if not the stupid name. :0)

  6. Bill says:

    Rich,

    I think you are very wrong. In fact, you are so wrong, you are paleowrong. :)

  7. Gary says:

    Measuring sandy strata in salt marsh sediment cores will provide another proxy of historical climate and should be welcomed as another source of information. As usual with such datasets, the analysis an interpretation must not overreach and extrapolate beyond the levels of certainty. Of course, the temptation to do so by researchers invested in a preset conclusion is high, so it’s important to cultivate the critics and give them access to the data and analytical methods. Maybe this line of investigation can be given a special WUWT page like the sea-ice page?

  8. An Earthquake in Japan on Jan 27, 1700 caused a 300 ft high crest in certain Oregon river valleys due to the funnel effect and the wave approach angle. http://www.kval.com/news/43278592.html

    The largest tsunami struck Gilbert Bay, Alaska July 9, 1958 when a rock slide triggered a 1700 ft wave. http://geology.com/records/biggest-tsunami.shtml

    Life on Earth is a calculated risk that is impossible to control with government control of just ONE BENIGN, THREE ATOM, NATURAL TRACE GAS….except in the minds of anti-Carbon crazies. .

  9. Ian W says:

    They are unwilling even to accept recent accounts from the 1950′s of eastern seaboard hurricanes so why spend time going back to pre-history unless it is just rent-seeking for new research grants?

  10. FerdinandAkin says:

    Colbert can now invent a new schtick to go along with “Truthiness”. He can call it “Sciencethiness”.

  11. Gary Pearse says:

    Hmm…. worst storm to hit NJ was in 1962 (when it was very cold!) – they didn’t discuss the 54- 60 seasons when a a brace of October hurricanes pummeled the east coast – in two years there were 5 hurricanes of strength 3 to 5. I know they know about it because WUWT ran the story a few days ago.

  12. L5Rick says:

    When I scanned the headline of this piece, I read ‘Paleotempestology’ as Paleo-Epistemology. I suppose that the Mann switching to philosophy was just wishful thinking.

    Seems to me that studying prehistoric (pre-1900) storms could be useful in debunking the “unprecedented” nature of our current storms. Just don’t let the Carbon Cult do it. They’ll sculpt a hockey stick and “hide the decline.”

  13. tty says:

    Identifying storm deposits in back-barrier swamps (and some other depositional settings) is fairly straightforward. Interpreting them is not so easy.

    Firstly: is a particular deposit due to a hurricane or a tsunami? Some putative Pleistocene “hypercanes” have also been interpreted as tsunamis.

    Secondly: how high was the barrier at the time when the deposit formed? As anyone with experience of coastal geomorphology knows dune barriers change constantly.

    Thirdly: what was the average sea-level at the time? It is always changing though slowly (like now)

    Fourthly: did the storm hit at high, low or intermediate tide? At spring or at neap? No way to know before historical records started, and probably not even then. Are there any good tide-tables for New Amsterdam in the 1630’s for example, when it is known that two very strong hurricanes hit, and if so did the Dutch record the time of day they hit?

  14. Ken Coffman says:

    Forgive me if someone else pointed this out, but this is classic…and on-topic.

    http://xkcd.com/1126/

  15. Gary Pearse says:

    I think Paleotwisterology was an attempt to enhance the “discipline” with a Britishy-sounding scientific word. They don’t realize the British will have a laugh about that. I trust everyone will have a laugh about that. Well everyone with a sense of humor. It opens the door to a lot of Paleohidedeclinology.

  16. PaulH says:

    “A kind
    Of excellent dumb discourse.”
    - William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act 3. Scene 3

  17. Jeff Alberts says:

    I would imagine the error bars on any “paleo-hurricane record” would be so large as to make the entire thing meaningless.

  18. Jeff Alberts says:

    I expect an offshoot of this “discipline” will be Paleoteapotology.

  19. Sean says:

    Mann is quoted on Wikipedia as claiming that the 1 foot of the flooding during Sandy is directly caused by global warming induced rising oceans.

    He is such an idiot as are the breathless fools at Wikipedia that reprint his hyperbole. Odious cretin is what comes to mind.

  20. Chuck Nolan says:

    Let me get this straight.

    Scott P. Hippensteel said
    “The results of these studies suggest that only the most robust storms produce a durable sedimentological or micropaleontological record of hurricane landfall and such a record is often destroyed via bioturbation before it is preserved in the marginal-marine strata.”
    Michael Mann said
    “we use the large-scale fields of the climate model simulation to force a model of tropical cyclone genesis, tracking, and intensification”
    So…………..
    Scottie said he can’t measure all of the hurricanes.
    Mikey agreed but says it’s okay cause he can make some up. He can even tell us how bad they were.

    Did I get that right?
    cn

  21. Tom O says:

    I believe that studying the effects of earlier hurricanes is about as useful as studying pimple outbreaks on juveniles. What 100 mph winds and 10 foot storm surge did to a coast that had trees nearly to the beach and no houses can not be equated to what 90 mph winds and 9 foot storm surge does to a coast line that has had sand dredged up on it and a coast line that has been denuded of trees and replaced by flat sided buildings. You are not comparing apples, you are comparing carrots to tomatoes. It is senseless to compare Sandy to a hurricane that hit the same area 100 years ago because it isn’t even close to the same area in reality. By the way, was the damage done by Sandy figured in pre 2008 real estate prices or post 2011 real estate prices?

  22. Edohiguma says:

    Sean, that goes hand in hand with Pachauri’s claim that the 3/11 tsunami was made worse from a claimed 17 cm sea level rise. It should be noted that, according to Keio university, the tsunami was 40+ meters in some areas. So if we take Pachauri’s claim seriously, “global warming” turned an up to 39.8 meter tsunami into a 40 meter tsunami. Yeah, makes really a lot of a difference.

  23. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:

    Faux Science Slayer says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:11 am

    That 1700 Earthquake happened on the Cascadia subduction zone, not Japan. The tsunami hit Japan. Not to be alarmist, but Cascadia is due. And it WILL happen, as paleoSEISMOLOGY demonstrates….at a period of around three hundred years. Methinks Obummer should impose a fault tax.

  24. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:

    Edohiguma says:
    November 8, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Not to mention the sudden 2-meter subsidence of the Sendai plain during the earthquake. 17 cm….ooooooo!

  25. Caleb says:

    RE:tty says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:40 am

    And fifthly, when a storm does wash-over a dune, and spread a layer of sand onto the peat of a tidal marsh, it tends to be at one point along a stretch of barrier dunes. Half a mile down the same dune the water does not wash over, so the same storm does not deposit a layer of sand to mark its passage. Therefore you need to take a number of cores down the entire length of a marsh, behind a barrier dune, and perhaps only one will display the characteristic layer of sand that marks the passage of a large storm at high tide.

    I am all for such research, (as long as it doesn’t raise my taxes or depress the general economy.) Besides learning about the history of storms, it is likely a greater understanding of a geology-in-flux will occur. After all, the sea-levels were three hundred feet lower, only ten or so thousand years ago. The entire ecosystem must migrate uphill as oceans rise, and then back down again as sea levels fall with the advent of the next ice age. To me, such changes are interesting.

  26. john robertson says:

    This is a subsect of the internationally recognized religion of climatology?From the entrails of small animals to super-computer G.I.G.O some aspects of our nature does develop very slowly, the old Gods were all masters of climate chaos and controlled the storms, the wind the rain, now its new names and same old religion.
    Mr Mann and friends are the greatest gifts to all hoping for a speedy end to ‘wetting oneself about the weather”, perhaps we should post on their twitter sites faunning accolades to encourage this behaviour. Sort of like creating more of the aerosol that causes these characters to pause from their gnawing at the root of society and come out into the open, hat tip to???
    As politeness and good manners now appear to be mistaken for fear and surrender,so these nitwits become braver and louder, that all can bask in their wisdom. Is the modern expert truly one who knows more and more about less and less?
    Time to abandon the Phd logo and reinstate High priest.

  27. I think we need to get our head straight on this. 1. The new term is nothing but showmanship and should be dismissed. 2. The papers all appear to be interesting and quality. We geoscientists have been doing this kind of stuff for a very long time. Perhaps if more people would pay attention they would do a better job of siting things like power-plants next to oceans.

  28. Cam_S says:

    Hmmmm…
    Anthony’s previous thread (Fashionable words and climate science) got me thinking…
    Could “Paleotempestology” become another fashionable climate word?

  29. beng says:

    Does anyone else want to take their fist and (self-snip) that smug mug?

    New name for Mann — scurriloligist.

  30. pat says:

    About time. scientists have been wondering for years what to do with all the exact data collected on storms during the last 20,000 years. We need someone like Mann to create an encyclopedia organizing this vast body of knowledge. /

  31. Juice says:

    Paleotempestology? Seriously? It’s getting ridiculous, people.

  32. higley7 says:

    johnny old boy said: “They [hurricanes] are one of nature’s giant air-conditioners and balancing engines. ”

    Perfectly put. Imagine how much heat energy is moved from the oceans to the air and the tropics to temperate zones. One could not imagine a way of accomplishing this faster.

    Having sat out Hurricane Agnes in 1972 on a small sailboat on the Chesapeake, it was amazing how calm the weather was for almost two weeks afterwards—no sailing, only motoring. There was no energy in the atmosphere—it was spent. It felt like the aftermath of a world war with a light grey pall over the entire region.

  33. Fred says:

    Climate Scientology . . .

  34. Perhaps “paleodeceptiveologist” fits better.

  35. Steve from Rockwood says:

    In a world of paleotempestology, Mann is a teapot dictator.

  36. Kaboom says:

    Paleoidiocy, the study of morons who lived in a far past, will certainly want a piece of Mann for study.

  37. F. Ross says:

    “paleotempestology”
    …takes place in a “paleoteapot” no doubt.

  38. Duster says:

    Caleb says:
    November 8, 2012 at 7:50 am

    RE:tty says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:40 am

    …After all, the sea-levels were three hundred feet lower, only ten or so thousand years ago. The entire ecosystem must migrate uphill as oceans rise, and then back down again as sea levels fall with the advent of the next ice age. To me, such changes are interesting.

    Sea level would have been somewhat higher by then, “only” about 100 feet lower. The LGM was about 7 kya to 9 kya earlier and even with both “Dryas” events intervening sea level had been rising since the LGM. Another movement of ecosystems that took place is a long, slow stampede of forests northward about 1,000 km IIRC.

  39. Tim Clark says:

    Paleoloology-science of dredging up old sh1t.

  40. oldseadog says:

    Since there have not been any storms like this before (according to The Team, anyway), should the term not be NEOtempestology?
    (My spellchecker doesn’t like that word.)

  41. vukcevic says:

    Here is a new gem from Mann’s mate Grant Foster:
    “The disappearance of landfast ice caused by man-made climate change affects tectonic stresses, which could impact the likelihood of earthquakes, tsunamis, even volcanic activity.”
    Neosklimaphobos !

  42. Ric Werme says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Hmm…. worst storm to hit NJ was in 1962 (when it was very cold!) – they didn’t discuss the 54- 60 seasons when a brace of October hurricanes pummeled the east coast – in two years there were 5 hurricanes of strength 3 to 5.

    These storms are well known and well studied. They do not need to be discussed as “paleo” because they aren’t. Also the hurricanes you refer to had the decency to keep moving and hence didn’t damage the land as much as the 1962 storm did. Nor did they have the long fetch that brought so much damage in 1962.

    One good thing that came from Sandy is I found a good resolution aerial photo showing three of the breaches on Long Beach Island at Harvey Cedars, and my brother found a photo of the wreckage of my grandparent’s house. I don’t know if I can get them upload to my 50th anniversary post about the storm, I’ve been too busy to try.

  43. Martin Clark says:

    As others have observed above, storm surge breaching of barrier dunes is highly unlikely to be continuous. Same with wind speeds.
    I recall a post-cyclone damage survey where a substantial code-compliant structure was destroyed, but a mere 200m down the shoreline an old shack, held together by coat-hanger wire and bailing twine, was completely undamaged.
    “Paleotempestology” (like tree rings) would be great for cherry-picking.
    The current trend of alarmists experiencing existential angst is to move on to something else, but the problem with “dirty weather” is that there is too much real data to fudge, and too many people with decades of expertise.

  44. DM Dickson says:

    Interesting how little gets said about hurricanes during Mann’s suspect period of 150 years prior to the present, when contemporary accounts and measures are simply not to be trusted. The climate hysteria model demands that from here forward all phenomena of whatever sort are to be seen as indicative of a catastrophe that’s now, and suddenly, well underway. The behavior of weather prior to the sacred era is not to be alluded to. The hurricane(s) of the 20′s for instance, when Lake Occachobee in Florida was blown entirely out of its banks and many hundreds of people drowned, possibly as many as two thousand. Here’s a contemporary description of what happened in Florida in the year 1926, when TWO hurricanes struck South Florida in a period of four days. (What would the more hysterical of the Climatistas say (and do?) if such a disaster were to strike the U.S. today?)

    U.S.
    1926 U.S.A. Hurricane Relief
    20th September 1926 : Following the severe hurricanes that hit Florida and Miami in particular President Coolidge has asked the nations people to help and give donations to the American Red Cross. The government has sent eight coast guard ships to Miami and the Florida National Reservists have been called to active duty to help distribute help and assistance . The most damage was caused by the second hurricane just 4 days after the first which cut off all communications to Palm beach and Miami. Relief trains with food , medical supplies and clothing are arriving hourly from all parts of the United States. The new city of Hollywood just 17 miles from Miami is totally devastated with just 1 building left standing. First reports indicate 200 people have died in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas and 800 in Miami and wind speeds for the hurricane reached 140 MPH. The hurricane then went through Pensacola in Northern Florida with wind speeds still at 100MPH and the area was evacuated.

    Full Size Original Here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Miami_beach2.jpg

  45. DM Dickson says:

    It appears that Mann has found himself hobnobbing with a passle of real honest to god earth scientists, and feels it necessary to cloak his bovine excreta in the most intentionally obtuse and turgid esotericisms he can strain to bring forth. Once one hacks through the intentionally confusing and disingenuous hopper of his godawful prose, it’s pretty obvious what he’s (still) up to. Jeffrey Donnelly seems like an honest broker, and I have no doubt that he and others may be directing a lot of their commentary toward the likes of Mann. Hard to be sure.

    JEFFREY DONNELLY: With a series of high-resolution reconstructions of hurricane-induced overwash from high deposition rate sites from across the western North Atlantic we document patterns of event occurrence dating back as much as 4500 years. Some sites preserve annual laminations with interbedded overwash sediments that provide exceptional chronological control.
    Translation: We use the best empirical/observational methods we can to directly calculate historical storm patterns of those hurricanes that actually made landfall.

    Now comes our favorite carnie huckster…
    MANN: Substantial uncertainties exist regarding the long-term relationships between various measures of Atlantic Tropical Cyclone (TC) activity, e.g. annual total named storm counts vs. major landfalling U.S. hurricanes.
    Translation: We have no idea whatsoever how many un-named hurricanes of whatever size or intensity were generated at sea for the thousands of years preceding satellite technology.

    MANN: Evaluating relationships from historical observations is perilous, as the records are short, spanning little more than a century, and observational biases potentially become quite substantial in earlier decades.
    Translation: Before we had all this super-modern 21st century technology, folks probably just made up all the stuff about how extensive or powerful the storms they experienced actually were. I mean, we all make stuff up, right?

    MANN: Comparisons are further hampered by the fact that these biases may have differential impacts on different quantities.
    Translation: Some folks might have thought they damn near got drowned when in fact they actually only damn near got blown away..?

    MANN: Here, we instead examine the relationships between various measures of Atlantic TC activity using the idealized framework provided by a climate model simulation subject to estimated natural and anthropogenic radiative forcing over the past millennium (AD 850-1999). Following the downscaling approach of Emanuel et al [K.A. Emanuel et al, Hurricanes and Global Warming, Bull. Am. Met. Soc., DOI:10.1175/BAMS-89-3-347, 2008]
    Translation: You’ve got to use the cool stuff you made up to calculate other cool stuff (that you also make up). Wow. This could make my hockey shtick look like something that couldn’t get on America’s Got Talent.

    MANN: We use the large-scale fields of the climate model simulation to force a model of tropical cyclone genesis, tracking, and intensification. This process yields synthetic long-term basin-wide seasonal TC histories with realistic statistical attributes. Using the simulated TC histories, we examine relationships between basin-wide TC activity, landfalling TCs, hurricanes, land-falling hurricanes, and major U.S. land-falling hurricanes on timescales ranging from the inter-annual through centennial.
    Translation: I can do this all night. Because like I say, I can use cool, made up stuff to produce other cool made up stuff. Exponentially.

    We also use these synthetic TC histories to assess the limitations of inferences that can be drawn from networks of geological records of past landfalling hurricane activity.
    Translation: And I can use all my own made up stuff to criticize and refute stuff I don’t like that might get discovered by guys who don’t talk very much but actually go out and dig and get dirty looking at actual real stuff.

    JEFFREY DONNELLY: The marked decline in the number of large storm deposits, which began around 600 years B1950, has persisted through present with below average frequency over the last 150 years when compared to the preceding 4000 years. Enough said

  46. Mycroft says:

    Anthony
    Please,Please Please when ever you have a post pertaining to this odius Mann don’t use a picture of him.It’s has the same effect on me as some one running their nails down a blackboard..Its the arrogant smirk and the beady eyes.
    thanks

  47. Gunga Din says:

    A tempest in a tree rot.

  48. mfo says:

    Perhaps Mann could give a talk on Affidavitology. He could use as an example his testimony in response to the Petition brought against him and the University of Virginia by the American Tradition Institute requesting certain emails.

    The testimony of Michael Mann was given in a sworn affidavit in which he stated:
    “A true and correct copy of my curriculum vitae is attached hereto as Exhibit 1.”

    This “true and correct copy” of his CV which formed part of his sworn affidavit stated:
    “2007 Co-awarded (with other IPCC authors) the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.”

    The Notary Public and Mann both signed Mann’s affidavit on July 23 2012 with the statement:
    “Michael E Mann……personally appeared before me this day and having been by me duly sworn deposes and says that the facts set forth in the above affidavit are true and correct.”

    Mann’s CV would presumably have been included in the affidavit to give an outline of his background so as to give his testimony credibility. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize would be a very significant enhancement to the credibility of Mann’s testimony in the sworn affidavit.

    As Mann was not awarded the prize as he claims I wonder what his explanation would be for making a false claim in his CV which he swore was “true and Correct” in his affidavit.
    http://www.atinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Part-1-2012-07-24-Mann-Affidavit.pdf
    http://www.atinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Part-2-2012-07-24-Mann-Affidavit-2.pdf
    http://www.atinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Part-1-2012-07-24-Exhibit-1-to-Mann-Affidavit.pdf

  49. apachewhoknows says:

    Fool a Mann,
    Mann the fools,
    Tools for fools,
    Waste of thumbs.

  50. apachewhoknows says:

    Make thyself mad mann, mr mann.

  51. Ben Darren Hillicoss says:

    Michael Mann
    Had a plan
    to add a Paleo
    to his yamaleo
    Bring his “Ring”
    To a tempest sting
    And put some ol-o-gy
    To his temp-ra-tree

    oh yeah he did

  52. markx says:

    oldseadog says: November 8, 2012 at 10:33 am

    “….Since there have not been any storms like this before (according to The Team, anyway), should the term not be NEOtempestology?…”

    Ha ha … oldseadog nails it.

    All of these things seem to be unprecedented! (strangely enough, usually they use the phrase “…unprecedented since (date or year)…”)

  53. Brian H says:

    Money quote:

    Given predicted global warming, the frequency and magnitude of severe weather events will probably increase and with it the likelihood of more coastal devastation

    But, but ..
    – the predicted warming is unaccountably not happening
    and
    – a flattened temperature gradient tropics→poles reduces air and ocean flows.

    I.e., unproven and irrational. NOT to be used as the Null Hypothesis, under any circumstances!

  54. sophocles says:

    … when they start talking about fossilised paleohailstones we will know the
    paleocricket-bats have returned.

    (For those not in the know, the paleocricket-bats were connected
    with Piltdown Man … )

  55. BB says:

    What a Mustela nivalis!!

  56. Rich says:

    Brian H said:

    “Money quote:

    Given predicted global warming, the frequency and magnitude of severe weather events will probably increase and with it the likelihood of more coastal devastation

    But, but ..
    – the predicted warming is unaccountably not happening”
    This exhibits a common error. Actually, it’s the prediction of global warming that causes severe weather events to increase. And in fact the reporting of severe weather events has increased.

    Glad I could clear that up.

  57. Tim B says:

    the problem with Sandy is that we have more than a generation of people unaccustomed to hurricanes in the northeast. Lucky it took a direct right turn or the northward movement would have produced Cat 2 southeast quadrant winds and the “megastorm” people would be going nuts. Sandy was devasting because it’s been many decades since they dealt with a tropical cyclone and they were not prepared.

  58. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Mann, Kozar, and Emanuel’s abstract (edited for clarity) says:
    …we examine(d) the relationships between various measures of Atlantic TC (tropical cyclone = tropical storm / hurricane) activity using… a climate model simulation… over the past millennium (AD 850-1999). …we (then) use(d) the… climate model simulation to force a model of tropical cyclone genesis… This process yields synthetic (artificial) long-term basin-wide (North Atlantic Ocean) seasonal TC histories with realistic statistical attributes. Using the simulated.. histories, we examine relationships between basin-wide (North Atlantic Ocean) TC activity… and major U.S. landfalling hurricanes on timescales ranging from the interannual through centennial. We also use these synthetic TC histories to assess the… geological records of past landfalling hurricane activity.

    In clear English, they used output from one model (a climate model projection for the past 1000 years) as the input for another model (a tropical cyclone model), and projected Atlantic hurricane activity on timescales from one to a hundred years. Their projections have scientific validity because they have ‘realistic statistical attributes’. Then they used the output of the double model to interpret the geologic record.

    This is a modern day equivalent of reading goat entrails.

  59. Pamela Gray says:

    I think I can provide these folks with a valuable forward thinking vocabulary list to add to paleotempestology:

    paleoasscoldology
    paleofryeggshotology
    paleosnowmageddonology
    paleorainraingoawayology
    paleodryasburnttoastology
    paleoglobalweirdingcatastrology

    And for sometime in the future when the rest of the world wakes up:
    paleosciencenumbnutsdiscreditology

  60. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Pamela — would that make Anthony a sciencenumbnutsdiscreditologist?

    Larry

  61. Mycroft says:

    Larry
    go back to counting your toes..far less taxing for that bra…pile of mush in your head.

  62. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Mycroft says:
    November 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    ???? and just what was that supposed to signify other than you like to insult people for no good reason (and apparently have absolutely no sense of humor or sense of history of WUWT.)

    Or are you just one of those folks that feel compelled to be rude when you have nothing useful to say.

    Anthony is probably the most influential discreditor of numbnuts scientists in the world at this time.
    If anyone deserves credit for trying to bring fools like Mann down to earth it is Anthony.

    Larry

  63. jks says:

    So at which pet store can I buy a pigmy hurricane that will sit in my lap?

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