Whac-a-moling Seth Borenstein at AP over his erroneous extreme weather claims

borenstein_instant_expert

Maybe this is why Mr. Borenstein can’t get his science right, anyone who thinks of themselves as a “instant expert” is bound to make mistakes. Image from: NYU Carter Journalism Institute

Comments on Yesterday’s paean to Global Warming

Guest post by Dr. Richard Keen,
Meteorologist Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder

It’s like playing whac-a-mole. After every major storm or unusual (or even slightly interesting) weather event, some non-investigative reporter gets hold of the usual suspects to write an article about how it’s all due to global warming. Then it’s up to knowledgeable folk like Joe D’Aleo, Anthony Watts, Bill Gray, James Taylor, Steve Goddard, and many, many others to write a data-based rebuttal to “whac” the nonsense back down into its hole. But then, as in the game, it always pops up again. Today I’ll draw the short straw and try to whac the mole back down once more.

The article in question is a piece by Seth Borenstein (again) of AP (again) titled “Climate contradiction: Less snow, more blizzards” (again). Borenstein talked to Michael Oppenheimer, Mark Serreze, and other “leading federal and university climate scientists” (again). If you really want to read it, it’s at

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_SNOW_GLOBAL_WARMING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-18-11-33-15

But you might find the annotated version more rewarding:

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/no_surprise_psuedo_scientists_now_blame_blizzards_on_warming/

Borenstein’s story starts off with a valid point:

“With scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple of years, some scientists have pointed to global warming as the culprit.

“Then when a whopper of a blizzard smacked the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow in some places earlier this month, some of the same people again blamed global warming.

“How can that be? It’s been a joke among skeptics, pointing to what seems to be a brazen contradiction.”

So far, so good. It IS a brazen contradiction. So what do the global warming apologists say?

Borenstein continues,

“But the answer lies in atmospheric physics. A warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump, more moisture, snow experts say.”

So they’re saying that since a warmer atmosphere can “hold” more moisture (technically quite incorrect in itself), there’s more moisture to produce more snow. How much moisture is there?

At -10C, aka 14F, each kilogram of air can “hold” (as they say) a maximum of 1.8 grams of water vapor. If all that condenses out as snow, you’ll get 1.8 grams of snow from that kilogram of air rising in a Low or along a front. That would likely be a cold, fluffy snow. Warm the air up to 0C (32F), and the water content of the air doubles to 3.8 grams. Then the same storm will produce twice as much snow, or at least twice as heavy a snow (since the warmer snow won’t be as fluffy). Most big snow storms occur with temperatures close to the freezing point.

water_vapor_capacity_air-tempSource: http://web.gccaz.edu/~lnewman/gph111/topic_units/Labs_all/Water%20Vapor%20Capacity%20of%20Air.pdf

Now let’s kick in some global warming and raise the temperature to +10C (50F). The water content doubles again to 7.6 grams, so the snow storms will again produce twice as much snow.

What? You say it can’t snow at 50 degrees F???? Well, then you know more physics than these “snow experts”!

The biggest snow storms occur at temperatures near freezing, and warming CANNOT make them any bigger because of two corollaries of a well-known physical law:

1. The freezing point of water is 0C (32F), and ice or snow cannot form above this temperature.

2. Short of a presidential executive order, the freezing point cannot be raised to allow for more moisture to be available.

Like the speed of light, it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law, and it clearly states that warmer cannot equal more extreme snow.

Now, the AGW apologists will gin and jerry their models to violate these physical laws, but one can also make pigs fly on a computer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49wJAkz8X1M

Onwards….

“The United States has been walloped by twice as many of the most extreme snowstorms in the past 50 years than in the previous 60 years, according to an upcoming study…”

Well, you can look at the same data and draw different conclusions. May I refer you to a piece I wrote for the Science & Public Policy Institute, “ARE HUGE NORTHEAST SNOW STORMS DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING?”, at http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/ne_storms.pdf

philadelphia_snowfall

Chart 1 compares yearly winter snow totals (in blue) with winter mean temperatures (in red). The small circles are for individual winters, and the heavy lines are 30-year running means (since climate is defined by some, such as the WMO, as a 30-year average). The winter temperatures are plotted upside-down to show the correlation better. And the correlation is that warm spells, like those in the 1930s, 1950s, and 1990s, have less snow overall than cold epochs like the 1900s, 1910s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Simple plots of winter temperature and snowfall data for Philadelphia show two obvious things:

1. Colder winters have more snow and more big snow storms, in contradiction to the warming hypothesis. This would be obvious to most folk, but the warmers have a way for denying the obvious with clever theories.

2. Over the past 125 years there has been little or no trend in either winter temperatures or snowfall.

Chart 2 is a direct comparison of yearly snowfall with winter temperatures. The correlation coefficient (square root of R2) is greater than -0.5, which is not bad for anything in climate. It clearly shows a trend for more snow during colder winters, and less snow during mild winters. Philadelphia’s average annual snow fall is 20.5 inches, and the coldest winters produce about twice that amount, while the warmest winters are almost snowless.

Chart 2 is a direct comparison of yearly snowfall with winter temperatures. The correlation coefficient (square root of R2) is greater than -0.5, which is not bad for anything in climate. It clearly shows a trend for more snow during colder winters, and less snow during mild winters. Philadelphia’s average annual snow fall is 20.5 inches, and the coldest winters produce about twice that amount, while the warmest winters are almost snowless.

Less obvious, but apparent in closer scrutiny of the charts, is a small 60-year cycle in snow and temperature. These correspond well with the “Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation” (AMO), a huge oceanic cycle enveloping the entire Atlantic Ocean from the equator to Iceland. Joe D’Aleo has written extensively on this; just go to ICECAP.us, Wattsupwiththat.com, or other honest climate websites and do a search for combinations of “snow”, “AMO”, and the AMO’s Pacific cousin, “PDO”.

You can check this article, “Reliving the 1950s (and 1890s): the 60 year cycle” at

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/reliving_the_1950s_and_1890s_the_60_year_cycle/

Although I was raised in Philadelphia, and was present for the regional climate shift from hurricanes in the 1950s to the cold snowy winters of the 60s (due to the AMO, of course), I realize not everybody considers the city the center of the universe. Expanding to the entire Northeast, NOAA’s “Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS)” also shows no overall change in the snow climate of the northeastern U.S. Read all about it at “Big Snows: Northeast U.S. and Colorado”

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/big_snows_northeast_us_and_colorado/

The Colorado part of that article has the same end point: giant storms in Colorado are not increasing or decreasing; out in the Rockies it’s all el Niño. More at:

“Thirty years in the Bull’s-eye: a climatology of meter-class snow storms in the Front Range foothills”

http://hydrosciences.colorado.edu/symposium/abstract_details_archive.php?abstract_id=155

Now movin’ on up to the South Side, Borenstein asks us to “take Chicago” (please!), which, along with the Northeast, has “been hit with historic storms in recent years”. The 2011 Blizzard was certainly impressive, with 21.2 inches of snow containing 1.57 inches of water equivalent. Not bad, but officially, it was a bit shy of 1967’s “Big Snow” (they didn’t use excessive superlatives like “superstorm”, “megastorm”, or “storm of the century” back then; “Big” was sufficient) which dumped 23.0 inches. More importantly, the water content of the storm was 2.40 inches, 53 percent greater than the recent blizzard. It would take 6C, or 11F, of global warming to produce that much more moisture, according to the warmers. Indeed, the Big Snow was warmer than the 2011 version, with temperatures close to freezing during the snow. Two days earlier Chicago enjoyed a record maximum of 65 degrees and the Midwest suffered its largest January tornado outbreak on record. One of the 32 tornadoes was a F3 monster in Wisconsin, the northernmost wintertime tornado in US history. I had moved to Chicago by then (follow the snow, I say), and although the ’67 storm fit perfectly the warming scenario now espoused by Serreze, Oppenheimer, and the like, I don’t recall anyone linking it to Global Warming 46 years ago. Not even Mayor Daley. Extreme weather is not new. Read more about these wild storms at:

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/?n=2011blizzard

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/?n=67blizzard

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dvn/?n=01241967_tornadooutbreak

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=jan241967tornado

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_St._Louis_Tornado_Outbreak

There’s more nonsense in Borenstein’s article, but frankly, neither the taxpayer, the canola oil companies, or the Rockefellers pay me enough to spend all night refuting it all. Actually, they pay me nothing.

[Added/] And one more thing, about that “ragged edge”….

“Strong snowstorms thrive on the ragged edge of temperature – warm enough for the air to hold lots of moisture, meaning lots of precipitation, but just cold enough for it to fall as snow,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. “Increasingly, it seems that we’re on that ragged edge.”

Let’s look at some data to see if that’s the case.  Here’s climatological means, 1971-2000, for three substantial cities supposedly on the “ragged edge”:

NE winter climo

Taking the usual 10:1 snow to precipitation ratio, 31% of the precipitation falls as snow.  That means most of the precipitation already falls as rain, and always has (at least since weather records began).  That would place Boston, New York, and Philadelphia on the
warm side of Serreze’s “ragged edge”, a fact supported by the above freezing mean temperatures for these places.  Any warming – should it occur – would push that “ragged edge” even farther north and away from the cities.  That would mean more rain, less snow, and fewer big snow storms.

Since the winters aren’t getting warmer, it’s all a moot point. [/end addition]

The AGW gang summarize their apologetics by claiming they knew it all along.

“when Serreze, Oppenheimer and others look at the last few years of less snow overall, punctuated by big storms, they say this is what they are expecting in the future.

“It fits the pattern that we expect to unfold,” Oppenheimer said.

“Ten [unnamed] climate scientists say the idea of less snow and more blizzards makes sense: A warmer world is likely to decrease the overall amount of snow falling each year and shrink snow season.”

They’d have a point if they had said this five or ten years ago, before the recent round of big eastern storms. But they said no such thing. The last IPCC report claimed snowfall would decrease, and made no mention of larger snow storms in the northeastern US. In 2000, Oppenheimer himself lamented his daughter’s unused sled and that “the pleasures of sledding and snowball fights are as out-of-date as hoop-rolling”.

http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/new-york-times-2000-sledding-and-snowball-fights-are-as-out-of-date-as-hoop-rolling/

Now Oppenheimer & Co. are trying to explain their way out of their dead wrong assessment without admitting the sad truth – that Global Warming, like Barney, is a dinosaur from their imaginations. And we – you – the taxpayer – are paying the AGW gang to cover their errors.

As for the changing climate,

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” — Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV

And the climatologists,

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782

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

UPDATE 1PM PST: I’ve contacted AP by both email and telephone per this page here:

http://www.ap.org/company/contact-us

So far the email has been ignored. Perhaps others will have better luck at getting a correction. An upcoming story on WUWT will further illustrate why Seth Borenstein has made a grievous error.

I spoke with a person named Corelaee, and her response was to simply ask me to talk to Seth directly, which we know will be a waste of time. So I’ve asked to speak to someone who can intervene. Keeps your fingers crossed.

UPDATE2: 4PM PST I’ve added some new content per Dr. Keen’s request between the [Added/] [/end addition] tags. See also the related story below. – Anthony

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136 thoughts on “Whac-a-moling Seth Borenstein at AP over his erroneous extreme weather claims

  1. Average people, who lack the attention span or willingness or both to pay attention to the lovely discussion Anthony has assembled here, may drive the industrialized world into extraordinary debt and dysfunction — all in the name of bunk scientific claims.

    Part of this, as I have written, is the wedge people have put between themselves and the outdoors. People believe they love nature, even as they flee it.

  2. “3.8 grams of water vapor. If all that condenses out as snow, you’ll get 1.8 grams of snow from that kilogram of air rising in a Low or along a front. That would likely be a cold, fluffy snow. Warm the air up to 0C (32F), and the water content of the air doubles to 3.8 grams”

    Typo? 3.8 doubles to 7.6 .

    REPLY: Typo fixed, thanks. Also, source table added – Anthony

  3. Just read this article in the Denver Post. My wife brought it to my attention. It was so full of misinformation that I told her immediately after reading, at some point today, there will be a definitive rebuttal on WUWT. So, I got on & here it is already ! Good work!

    My favorite quote from the article ….” …. the United States had an above-average snow cover for the past few months. But that’s a misleading statistic … ”

    Oh, where to start with that one. I guess it’s only misleading when it doesn’t support your hypothesis. They go on to say that the snow pack is extensive but thin. So, you are saying it’s been cold & dry ? But the whole article is about it being warmer & wetter. You can’t have it both ways.

    I think the biggest aggrevation of this article is that it is printed as “news” & that editors ether don’t have the skills to see this is an OpEd piece, not news or that they actually know it should be an OpEd piece but they choose to print it as news because it fits their political preferences. Either way, it’s just bad bad journalism.

    My wife just reminded me …. ” remember to breathe “. These things do get me wound up :))

  4. They should have just stopped where they were a couple years ago: “Global warming causes colder winters.” But no.. they can’t help themselves…

  5. I read this newspaper article on page 3 of our very local newspaper. It ran around in circles as far as I could determine, trying to justify the “theory” of AGW. Unfortunately, most of the public does not have enough science education to critically think for themselves that this was just GIGO.

  6. Oddly I just had a huge discussion on just this topic last week with a greenie weenie nut job. Trying to explain basic science, like it has to be freezing to snow, is an exasperating exercise with these people. She doubled back and contradicted herself about 10 times but still would not surrender to logic. She also could not comprehend that percipitation is driven by many factors beyond the moisture capacity of the air. She hear “Global Warming, humidity, SCARY WEATHER!” and that’s all she needed to be a convert. Not to mention No’easters happen every single year, several times, and usually a couple develop just like this one did, it just happened to dump all the snow on Boston rather than Binghampton or in the Poconos or some other sparsely populated area.

  7. Typo alert: Simple plots of winter temperature and snowfall data for Philadelphia snow two obvious things:
    Shouldn’t this be “show”?

    REPLY: Fixed thanks – A

  8. I saw this article yesterday and thought of just how stupid it was then. I’m glad to see it addressed. Keep whacking those moles.

  9. The US Pacific Northwest has gotten more snow in recent winters, due to the climate being colder and wetter than average, not due to warming. December 2008 saw the biggest Seattle area snowstorm in 50 or so years. The temps were in the teens and low 20s F much of the time. The snow stuck around for a week. The following few years gave us very cold Novermbers and Decembers, but very mild Januaries and Februaries. The snows came in Nov and Dec, very little in Jan and Feb.

    It’s been so cool up here since then, we’ve really not had a summer in all that time. I’m hoping I’ll be able to mow my lawn in a Tshirt this year, instead of a sweatshirt and jacket, in August.

  10. Looking at it another way, a mass of warm air could adsorb a million pounds of water vapor at Point A. That takes an input of (roughly) 970 million BTUs. Sunshine. The tradewinds, etc., move the vapor to Point B, where it cools and dumps out as rain. That requires getting rid of 970 million BTUs, no small task, but happens all the time. The system is in balance, overall; in = out. But wait, it’s not snowing yet. To form snow, the vapor has to lose another 144 million BTUs to go from liquid water to solid. The system is out of balance by that extra 144 million BTUs lost. Losing heat more heat than was put in is characteristic of a cooling world, not a warming one. “Heat makes snow” is about as big a lie as was ever told by scientists. It’s clear they’re making this up as they go.

  11. Drudge carried the piece yesterday. So, I wonder if next winter is even drier and contains no big east coast snow events will we be back to “Cold, snowy winters will soon be a thing of the past” narrative?

  12. One other thing. About the Big Snow Chicago Snow of 1979: I believe it was Lake Effect snow. The forecasters missed a significant change in wind direction and Chitown got hammered with no warning. It cost Mayor Bilandic his job.

  13. “The last IPCC report claimed snowfall would decrease, and made no mention of larger storms. ”

    really?

    Some excerpts

    Regionally, the changes are a response to both increased temperature and increased precipitation (changes in circulation patterns) and are complicated by the competing effects of warming and increased snowfall in those regions that remain below freezing (see Section 4.2 for a further discussion of processes that affect snow cover). In general, snow amount and snow coverage decreases in the NH (Supplementary Material, Figure S10.1). However, in a few regions (e.g., Siberia), snow amount is projected to increase. This is attributed to the increase in precipitation (snowfall) from autumn to winter (Meleshko et al., 2004; Hosaka et al., 2005).
    ############################################
    Increases in winter precipitation for the NH

    “In keeping with the projected northward displacement of the westerlies and the intensification of the Aleutian Low (Section 11.5.3.3), northern region precipitation is projected to increase, by the largest amount in autumn and by the largest fraction in winter. Due to the increased precipitable water, the increase in precipitation amount is likely to be larger on the windward slopes of the mountains in the west with orographic precipitation. In western regions, modest changes in annual mean precipitation are projected, but the majority of AOGCMs indicate an increase in winter and a decrease in summer. Models show greater consensus on winter increases (ensemble mean maximum of 15%) to the north and on summer decreases (ensemble mean maximum of –20%) to the south. These decreases are consistent with enhanced subsidence and flow of drier air masses in the southwest USA and northern Mexico resulting from an amplification of the subtropical anticyclone off the West Coast due to the land-sea contrast in warming (e.g., Mote and Mantua, 2002). However, this reduction is close to the inter-model spread so it contains large uncertainty, an assessment that is reinforced by the fact that some AOGCMs project an increase in precipitation.”
    ###########################################################
    More increases predicted, depending on the region. Go figure. Reading is fundamental

    In a study of precipitation extremes over California, Bell et al. (2004) find that changes in precipitation exceeding the 95th percentile followed changes in mean precipitation, with decreases in heavy precipitation in most areas. Leung et al. (2004) find that extremes in precipitation during the cold season increase in the northern Rockies, the Cascades, the Sierra Nevada and British Columbia by up to 10% for 2040 to 2060, although mean precipitation was mostly reduced, in accord with earlier studies (Giorgi et al., 2001a). In a large river basin in the Pacific Northwest, increases in rainfall over snowfall and rain-on-snow events increased extreme runoff by 11%, which would contribute to more severe flooding. In their 25-km RCM simulations covering the entire USA, Diffenbaugh et al. (2005) find widespread increases in extreme precipitation events under SRES A2, which they determine to be significant.

    ##############################################

    Still More predictions of increases. Reading is mandatory.

    The ensemble mean of the MMD models projects a general decrease in snow depth (Chapter 10) as a result of delayed autumn snowfall and earlier spring snowmelt. In some regions where winter precipitation is projected to increase, the increased snowfall can more than make up for the shorter snow season and yield increased snow accumulation. Snow depth increases are projected by some GCMs over some land around the Arctic Ocean (Figure S10.1) and by some RCMs in the northernmost part of the Northwest Territories (Figure 11.13). In principle a similar situation could arise at lower latitudes at high elevations in the Rocky Mountains, although most models project a widespread decrease of snow depth there (Kim et al., 2002; Snyder et al., 2003; Leung et al., 2004; see also Box 11.3).
    #################################

    Artic increases in precipitation

    The spatial pattern of the projected change (Supplementary Material Figure S11.28) shows the greatest percentage increase over the Arctic Ocean (30 to 40%) and smallest (and even slight decrease) over the northern North Atlantic (<5%). By the end of the 21st century, the projected change in the annual mean arctic precipitation varies from 10 to 28%, with an MMD-A1B ensemble median of 18% (Table 11.1). Larger (smaller) mean precipitation increases are found for the A2 (B1) scenario with 22% (13%). The percentage precipitation increase is largest in winter and smallest in summer, consistent with the projected warming (Figure 11.19; Table 11.1). The across-model scatter of the precipitation projections is substantial (Figure 11.19; Table 11.1). The Tebaldi et al. (2004a) 5th to 95th percentile confidence interval of percentage precipitation change in winter is 13 to 36% and in summer 5 to 19% (Supplementary Material Table S11.2).

    Antarctica

    Almost all MMD models simulate a robust precipitation increase in the 21st century (Supplementary Material Figures S11.29 and S11.30; Table 11.1). However, the scatter among the individual models is considerable. By the end of the 21st century, the projected change in the annual precipitation over the Antarctic continent varies from –2% to 35%, with a MMD-A1B ensemble median of 14% (Table 11.1). Similar (smaller) mean precipitation increase is found for the A2 (B1) scenario, with values of 15% (10%). The spatial pattern of the annual change is rather uniform (Supplementary Material Figure S11.30). The projected relative precipitation change shows a seasonal dependency, and is larger in winter than in summer (Supplementary Material Figure S11.29). The Tebaldi et al. (2004a) 5 to 95% confidence interval for winter is –1 to 34% and in summer –6 to 22% (Supplementary Material Table S11.2). The projected increase in precipitation over Antarctica and thus greater accumulation of snow, without substantial surface melting, will contribute negatively to sea level rise relative to the present day (see Section 10.6). It is notable that the most recent model studies of antarctic precipitation show no significant contemporary trends (Van de Berg et al., 2005; Monaghan et al., 2006; Van den Broeke et al., 2006; see Section 4.6).

    ##################################

    I suppose it would be too much trouble to actually read the science. Much easier to pick cherries. At this point you have these choices.

    1. Argue that the text does not mean what it says
    2. Apologize for misleading folks
    3. Attack me
    4. Change the topic.
    5. Attack some other part of the science and gish gallop away.
    6. Admit you didnt read the document you criticized
    7. Ignore the findings
    8. Attack models that predicted the very thing you deny they predicted.
    9. Post a you tube video of kittens

  14. I lived outside DC in the mid 80’s, we had 2 really large snows, each dumped over 20″ of snow. They both happened with the same weather pattern.
    A low came up the east coast out of the gulf, and then was hit by a cold front coming out of the north west. Where those two systems collided produced huge snows.
    The big Boston snow was the same pattern, just the path of the systems, and where they collided was different. And it sounds like the Big Chicago snow was the same thing, warm moist air out of the gulf, got walloped by a cold front, only this time it happened a few hundred miles to the west.

  15. I read this on the Huffington Post earlier and, after making a derogatory comment about Huffington Post readers on here yesterday, I now have to eat my own words (in public).

    Almost every comment there was of the “Global warming causes less blizzards more blizzards, yeah right?” type. Mark Serreze, and other “leading federal and university climate scientists” must surely know that they’ve jumped the shark now ?

  16. Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am
    ———————————————–
    1) I don’t know that knocking down the sentence

    The last IPCC report claimed snowfall would decrease, and made no mention of larger storms.

    knocks down the article.
    2) Depending on region seems to be key. Awful lot of ‘decreases in heavy precipitation in most areas’ followed by ‘increase in the northern Rockies, the Cascades, the Sierra Nevada and British Columbia’ followed by ‘although mean precipitation was mostly reduced‘ followed by ‘find widespread increases in extreme precipitation events’ – other simpletons like myself may also have difficulty deciphering, could you translate?
    3) I like videos of kittens.

  17. Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    “The last IPCC report claimed snowfall would decrease, and made no mention of larger storms. ”

    really?

    Some excerpts:…

    From your excerpts, it clearly says, “In general, snow amount and snow coverage decreases in the NH (Supplementary Material, Figure S10.1)”

    Also from your excerpts, they never even mention the word ‘storm’, let alone the size of storms.
    I don’t see how you refuted anything Dr. Richard Keen said. To be fair, I only read your excerpts so I may have missed it!?

  18. Thank you, Dr. Keen, for this article. I really wish there was a good way to get the msm to notice the sheer volume of scientific comment on WUWT, like this piece. Anyway, as one WUWT’s UK readers, I’m very grateful for the time you and all your colleagues here take to write up these articles for the rest of us to read.

  19. “but one can also make pigs fly on a computer.”

    With sufficient thrust one can make pigs fly in real life. Please note that I am not suggesting that flying pigs would be a good idea. :-)

  20. Mosher says; Artic increases in precipitation Most people spell it with a “c”, as in arctic. Spelling is fundamental.

  21. The CRU emails demonstrated Seth to be a willing propagandist for the cause, seeking advise on how to frame the narrative rather than seeking to understand the science.
    A real journalist might have investigated how and why he was so easily used and confused by the ‘Team”. A righteous individual might have been upset by the condescension and misinformation exposed in those emails. An honest man could claim he was abused by his trust in those experts.
    Seth Borenstein has done none of these things.
    I ignore both Borenstein and AP now,other than for checking current team talking points,as both have chosen advocacy over reporting.
    Knowing them for what they are, frees me to admire their art and invert their message.

  22. So either this is absolute nonsense or I am too stupid to understand the subtleties of AGW. I think I will go with my first choice.

  23. “Now let’s kick in some global warming and raise the temperature to +10C (50F). The water content doubles again to 7.6 grams, so the snow storms will again produce twice as much snow.
    What? You say it can’t snow at 50 degrees F???? Well, then you know more physics that these “snow experts”! …Like the speed of light, it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law, and it clearly states that warmer cannot equal more extreme snow.”

    It is you who are not thinking things through. If air over the ocean comes landward, the amt of water it contains is limited by its temp, warmer air, more H2O. You either can drive that air up a mountain (the West Coast) or smash it into a cold front (the East Coast) and you precipitate out the moisture, as either rain or snow, depending on temp. The point is, that the loading of the water happened under different circumstances than the unloading, and that AGW could change that by allowing more moisture in.

    And, as for that “law” that says air can not carry more water that it can should hold, you should have mentioned that to the early pilots when their iced up planes were falling out of the air. It turns out that supersaturated is a pretty common condition up there.

  24. The article talks about how specific humidity varies with temperature, but what about supersaturation and its interaction with super cooling? Two phenomena often at work in snow clouds?

  25. Haven’t thought if it that way, but that makes perfect sense. The physics of “how much moisture can air hold at “x” degrees has not changed since the earth formed….

  26. Of course there is more snow in colder winters. It is Global Warming that is making the winters colder. It is also Global Warming that is making it the wrong kind of snow too.

  27. I’m missing something here. You’ve effectively knocked down the idea that more warm weather = less snow, but that’s the same argument made in the article. There’s no mention to the second half of the articles’ argument of more warm weather = extreme weather. And less snow does not necessarily lead to less big snow storms (or more really; its an assumption). As far as refuting whether they predicted it or not has no bearing on the core of the article.

  28. Dr. Richard Keen,

    Thank you for your whac-a-mole post.

    Another game to play is a game like ‘Name That Tune’. A player is asked to name the conclusions of a Borenstein climate article when given just one sentence from it. But before that player answers another player says he can name the conclusions of any Borenstein climate article without needing any words from it.

    : )

    John

  29. Dr. Keen, Thanks for this post (I’ve already received an e-mail about this one from a friend).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Within tests of intellect there are often paragraphs the test taker must read and then answer questions about or, perhaps, summarize. I’ve just read a paragraph submitted by (not written by) Steven Mosher @ 8:17. It is the one that starts
    Artic (sic) increases in precipitation

    The spatial pattern of the projected change . . .

    Writing such as in that paragraph is a joke . . .

    Here’s a summary: By the end of the 21st century there will be more and less snow and rain some places and less and more rain and snow in others with a confidence of something like 5% or 95% or maybe summer might be different than winter.

  30. Mosher,
    There’s no need to attack you personally, although you whining about getting attacked is calling the kettle black, and your posts over time have evolved into AGW drone speeches.

    A long list of model failures are here, including hydrological:

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/quotes-from-peer-reviewed-paper-that-document-that-skillful-multi-decadal-regional-climate-predictions-do-not-yet-exist/

    Its pretty clear no matter what argument is presented, a climate model can be found somewhere that both supports and refutes it. This is why in my view AGW is pseudoscience.

  31. While generally agree with your sentiment, I think you have opened yourself up to some criticism in the form of over-simplfying the physics of snowfall. I think a more powerful argument is that for every 1C “average temperature rise” (whatever that is) the absolute temperature has gone up about 1/300 of a percent. Even accounting for the non-linear nature of humidty with temperature, the idea that this quantity can be measured in the form of increased/decreased, more intense/less intense precipitation is absurd.

  32. Chart 1 is wrong.

    The 1990’s and 2000s are clearly warmer than the 1930s.

    Need to edit the data to reflect that…

  33. “It clearly shows a trend for more snow during colder winters, and less snow during mild winters.”

    But, but, but… global warming causes colder winters, too. Extreme weather means it will alternate between colder winters and warmer winters, more snow and less snow. The weather will act like it always does, except even more so. Now try to falsify that! /sarc

  34. Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Interestingly, the AR4 synthesis report does not even contain the work snowfall but for a single reference to increased snowfall in Antarctica. It makes numerous references to decreased snow cover and decreased snow pack The synthesis report does not mention snow storms.

    The original NYT article quoting Dr. Oppenheimer’s comment about the sled did not attribute this quote to Dr. Oppenheimer

    For them, the pleasures of sledding and snowball fights are as out-of-date as hoop-rolling, and the delight of a snow day off from school is unknown.

    It is a construct of the author. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/15/nyregion/winter-new-york-something-s-missing-absence-snow-upsets-rhythms-urban-life.html?src=pm

    It takes careful reading to sort out the Openheimer quote from the article in this reference: http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com.

    My take is that people might be forgiven for thinking AR4 discussed decreased snowfall given the numerous references to decreased snow cover and decreased snow pack – but that is not what the summary says. Indeed, it talks about increased Winter/early Spring runoff due to warming.

  35. In my part of the world our worst snow happens when the pineapple express glides up and over the polar express and rain falls down through arctic air in great gobs. Limbs snap, Doug Firs fall down, power goes out, the pineapple express fades and the polar express settles in to create a frozen cityscape that keeps kids home from school and electric cars on their battery tenders. People die.

    I think you are painting with too broad a brush as are the story tellers on the other side. It isn’t warm everywhere and it isn’t cold everywhere with or without global climate change, but anywhere it is both you are going to get some nasty snow that could lead you to consume your fellow traveler’s liver. There is a monument to that very act at a wide spot in the road to Nevada. What the green nutters say is certainly possible, but it doesn’t require global warming or cooling – just weather. And it is definitely not unusual.

  36. jorgekafkazar says:
    February 19, 2013 at 7:49 am
    Looking at it another way, a mass of warm air could adsorb a million pounds of water vapor at Point A. That takes an input of (roughly) 970 million BTUs. Sunshine. The tradewinds, etc., move the vapor to Point B, where it cools and dumps out as rain. That requires getting rid of 970 million BTUs, no small task, but happens all the time. The system is in balance, overall; in = out. But wait, it’s not snowing yet. To form snow, the vapor has to lose another 144 million BTUs to go from liquid water to solid. The system is out of balance by that extra 144 million BTUs lost. Losing heat more heat than was put in is characteristic of a cooling world, not a warming one. “Heat makes snow” is about as big a lie as was ever told by scientists. It’s clear they’re making this up as they go.

    Yes, but it does warm!

    CO2 absorbs all that energy that was released. Then it re-radiates and warms the surface!

  37. Mark Bofill says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:36 am

    (Breaking my New Year’s Resolution again)
    Mark, please don’t try to understand a condescending and immature SM post…just say no. Your brain and intellect will thank you later.
    (Now back to my ignoring SM posts…)

  38. Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    8. Attack models that predicted the very thing you deny they predicted.

    Steve the problem is that the Models are just not that good.
    From Validation of the GISS GCM: A Study of Ocean and Climate Modeling

    However, since there are multiple feedbacks in the climate system concerning clouds, it can be very difficult to track down the particular cause of model errors in a particular region. In the case of North America, we observed that an inaccuracy in cloud cover seemed to lead the model astray in simulating many other variables, and therefore misrepresenting many aspects of climate in the United States. Although this was brought out using simulated (model) data, were able to see the effects of cloud cover on many other variables including thermal radiation, solar radiation, and surface air temperature. Previous versions of the SST model also seemed to have difficulty accurately depicting cloud cover.

    We examined the SST model vs. the observations for the summer season in the region of the continental and coastal United States (lower 48 states), the most dramatic differences between the simulated model data and the observation data are seen in the variable of cloud cover. It seems that the misrepresentations of total cloud cover in the model tend to cause simulations of other variables to be off target as well. For example, in the Gulf of Mexico, the total cloud cover is overestimated by 8.2% to nearly 40% (Figure 2). Consequently, precipitation is also overestimated, by .5 mm to over 10 mm. In addition, too much cloud cover would lead to lower net solar radiation; in a large portion of the Gulf, it is underestimated by over 100 W/m2, because intuitively if there are more clouds, less sunlight can penetrate to the surface.

    Model images of the Pacific Coast region show highly underestimated cloud cover, by approximately 25% to 75%. This leads to a higher net solar radiation than expected (by 12 W/m2 to almost 130 W/m2), because solar radiation is not reflecting off of clouds, and therefore more radiation can get through into the atmosphere. More radiation being absorbed, and then re-radiated, would lead to higher than expected surface air temperatures, shown in model images as much as 16.2°C higher than the observation data (Figure 3). There is no significant difference, however, in modeled vs. observed precipitation, perhaps because July is a dry month for this region.

    And then this paper
    Evaluation of the GISS GCM ModelE

    Results

    Upon preliminary inspection of the model’s simulation of surface air temperature it was noted that temperatures were much cooler over the Tibetan Plateau region than the rest of the surrounding region. (The Tibetan Plateau region, for our purposes, is defined to be the region between 14°N and 46°N latitude and 50°E and 125°E longitude.) As you can see in Figure 1, below, there was a large discrepancy in temperature that led us to investigate this region in more depth. It was decided to limit the analysis to July due to both time constraints and the fact that we are more interested in how the model handles extremities.

    Surface Air Temperature

    East of the Himalaya Mountains, the model underestimates the Surf_Temp within a range of 3°C and 30°C.

    Absorbed Solar Radiation

    Generally over the Himalayas and up through Mongolia and the Gobi Desert, the model underestimates the amount of solar radiation absorbed.

    Discussion

    The new version of the GISS GCM, ModelE is doing quite well in the general sense. It tends to simulate general patterns, such as storm tracks and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) quite well. In order to identify problems within the model, an in-depth study of each of these problematic regions must be completed. This enables the model programmers to make further revisions of the model, until it is the best that it possibly can be. Hence, this is an ongoing process.

    From the analysis of the Tibetan Plateau, we have concluded that the model may have problems with moist convection and orography. The model’s resolution is too coarse to deal with the drastic relief; it does not do well with mountains. The low surface temperature is linked to other factors such as too many low clouds. It seems that the clouds produced by the adiabatic cooling processes is being overestimated by the model. The manner that the model represents cloud cover should be adjusted. More research is necessary to fix this problem. Another issue was the model’s handling of the Southeast Asian monsoons. More study of moisture transport within the model should be completed so that the model correctly simulates this climatic phenomenon.

    In addition, this study was limited to the month of July. However, there are seasonal variations in climate. In order to assess the accuracy of the model for the other extreme month as well, a similar analysis must be completed for January. Once this is completed, we can have more confidence in our conclusions, and we will also be able to further speculate as to possible ways to improve the model as a whole.

    The overall goal of improving the SST model is to make it reliable enough to be used as part of the full Coupled Model. The SST model is the most primitive model; it is the base for the other two models, the Q-Flux and the coupled model. The coupled model is going to be used to make predictions, so it has to be the best it can possibly be.

    Basically any future prediction of precipitation patterns, regional temps, or cloud cover by GCM’s are suspect. The only reason they can make a close guess at global temps, is that the regional values get averaged out, smearing the high and low values out.

  39. I was taught that larger snowflakes were a result of warmer temperatures, the crystals had more time to create the flake and it fell fluffy. In cold temperatures you get smaller flakes. I’m confused now….

  40. 1. Argue that the text does not mean what it says

    I see the phrase “some models project”, but that is not a prediction, is it? I mean, do you really want to assert that a projection is a prediction?

  41. Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    “The last IPCC report claimed snowfall would decrease, and made no mention of larger storms. ”
    really?
    Some excerpts






    You are a disappointing piece of work, Steven. The quote you rail against talked about “larger storms” (emphasis mine), but in none of the examples you used did they specifically mention “larger storms” even once. They did discuss larger amounts of precipitation, but that doesn’t automatically mean larger storms–they could just as easily come as more frequent storms of the same magnitude. Epic fail on your part, Mr. Mosher. Models aren’t based on “larger storms”, are they?

    Throughout this diatribe you attack people for their lack of reading comprehension, but then you display a perfect example of just that. Then at the end you get nasty and profer a list of deviations, some of which you have repeatedly used youself when asked to show (as I have done many times) definitive proof that CO2 (for that’s really your argument here) causes global warming or weather weirding or whatever your Catastrophic Anthropogenic Genocidal Warmista buddies and you want to call it.

    You never answer the most critical of questions–the only one that really matters.

    Not once.

    And I’m not holding my breath for a response this time, either, although I find your egregious approach less than scientific and always of the driveby hit-and-run variety.

    Surprise me and show me some proof. And in the meantime, work on your own reading comprehension, which is sorely lacking–especially the last reference in your list, which appears to be nothing but verbal dunnage in support of your argument.

    Thanks.

  42. From the OP: Simple plots of winter temperature and snowfall data for Philadelphia show two obvious things:

    1. Colder winters have more snow and more big snow storms, in contradiction to the warming hypothesis.

    Actually the simple plots show no such thing about ‘big snow storms’, they just show the averages.

    The biggest snow storms occur at temperatures near freezing, and warming CANNOT make them any bigger because of two corollaries of a well-known physical law:

    Since the OP is a Meteorologist Emeritus he knows better than this so I can only assume he’s trying to mislead! In most of the big storms we’re talking about warm moist air being transported to somewhere cold (over a mountain range or over cold air in a frontal system) where it is forced to release its moisture content because of the drop in temperature. Warmer incoming air, more precip., whether it falls as snow depends on the temperature of the colder air. In the NJ/Phila area we usually get frontal snow usually preceded by rain as the colder underlying air pushes up the warm air it turns to snow, the amount that falls depends on the initial temperature of the humid air and the form of precip. on the temperature of the underlying air. In the big snowstorm in the NE recently, around Phila it was mostly rain, in NYC more snow, in Connecticut mostly snow. The amount of precip depended on the warm air that flowed in. note the nonlinearity in Table 1.

  43. To Steve Mosher,

    Nothing you have quoted says that we will get less overall snow but more severe snow storms which is what is now being claimed by the climate scientists refered to in the above article. And by the way – we have not gotten less overall snow fall and the storms are not worse than the past (obviously the only reason they are saying it is becauce it would be the worst possible of all worlds – as warmists always claim).
    If your quotes are correct and from the latest IPCC report it just means that the author got what Openheimer famously claimed (snow is a thing of the past…) and the IPCC report mixed up – it was one sentence in the article.

  44. If it’s too warm it falls as rain and not snow. So what kind of snow should be expect in 2100? Real snow or rainy snow?

    When I lived over in the UK I noticed that in winteer whenever it snowed it felt bloody cold. Sometimes it felt bloody cold with no snow. But, funnily when it rained it did not feel so cold. Why is this? Am I going mad?

  45. Too bad someone couldn’t come up with a smartphone ap game to whack such moles… caricatures by Josh of course. It would be fun to whack the likes of Borenstein (and his partners in crime) over the head with a mallet.

  46. First comment seems stuck in moderation. Another comment speaking straight to Richard’s main argument: if temperature, and its direct link to the maximum possible specific humidity for a particular air mass, has no connection to precipitation intensity, then why do we observe some of the most intense precipitation in the warmest and most humid parts of the world?

    The TRMM climatology:

  47. MIke (UK) commented

    I was taught that larger snowflakes were a result of warmer temperatures, the crystals had more time to create the flake and it fell fluffy. In cold temperatures you get smaller flakes. I’m confused now….

    Having spent most of my life in the midwest, shoveling a lot of snow, this is generally true. No need to be confused.

  48. I would say to Steven Mosher that in all that text he’s presented, I do not see the word “storms,” much less “larger storms.” (The title of the article by Borentstein is “Less Snow, More Blizzards.”) Nor do I see any language that approximates it, although granted, that is a matter of interpretation. If I read it correctly, they are predicting more winter precipitation in some regions.

    But then, most people who make their living issuing predictions are deliberately vague–and for good reason.

  49. Mosher quotes the following from the last IPCC report:

    ‘However, this reduction is close to the inter-model spread so it contains large uncertainty, an assessment that is reinforced by the fact that some AOGCMs project an increase in precipitation.”’

    You should learn from the modesty of the person that you quoted. He/she emphasized the large uncertainty of these results. Your writing suggests that you offer an airtight case.

    In any case, Mosher, all of the evidence that you provide in support of your position consists of model runs. Have you not learned that results of model runs are not evidence, at least not scientific evidence.

    If we take model runs as a substitute for empirical evidence in science then science will die and be replaced by digital bone reading. Is that what you want?

  50. A quick look at “Meteorologist Dominik Jung Turns Skeptical After Germany Sets Record 5 Consecutive Colder-Than-Normal Winters!” (google it) reveals a contrary view from Germany that is based on observed fact:

    ‘Just a few years ago climate experts prophesied that Germany would no longer experience winters with ice and snow in the future. In the 1990s there had been an entire series of milder and stormier winters. [...] However, this trend has not been observed over the last years. To the contrary: winters have again gotten considerably colder and the huge storms like those in the 1990s have more or less disappeared. [...]. Climate experts prophesied in the year 2000 that winters with snow and ice in Germany would cease to exist.”’

  51. I would think if there were any warming going on it would simply move weather behavior northward a few dozen miles. Why newly severe weather if the same thing didn’t happen southward in the past? –AGF

  52. Philly, huh!?

    Genuine:
    —Cheesesteaks with thin sliced ribeye and Italian rolls,
    —Soft pretzels baked that day with mustard if desired,
    —Italian hoagies! A true Italian hoagie is one that everyone in the room knows you brought one to work for lunch.
    —Pizza trucks on the street that sell good pizza
    —Hotdog stands where you get your order within 30-45 seconds

    —Hurricanes frequent enough in the fifties that people knew they were deadly,
    —Huge snowstorms in the sities that occurred near winters end/ springs beginning… Like the April Easter storm…

    I’ve a standing order for any friends or family visiting me from the Philly area;
    Fresh soft pretzels even if they’re bought at the philly airport stand,
    Hoagie, cheesteaks if they’re willing to bring them. Yes, the real ones are that good even a day old,
    And if possible, real bacon; the truly smoked dry bacon that does not have water added. The package substitutes at the big grocery stores are insipid damp greasy ham slices in comparison.

    The topic above. On SB’s (ever wonder if his middle name might be Oliver?) news that isn’t news; big surprise. Might be cool if someone has the time and aptitude to do a graph on his predictions across time; drought, flood, rain, dry, hot, cold, snow, big snow, no snow…

    Nice try Steve; baffle us with BS… Not a lot of real specificity;

    “…In a study of precipitation extremes over California, Bell et al. (2004) find that changes in precipitation exceeding the 95th percentile followed changes in mean precipitation, …”

    Does this mean up or down, more or less?

    “…Leung et al. (2004) find that extremes in precipitation during the cold season increase in the northern Rockies, the Cascades, the Sierra Nevada and British Columbia by up to 10% for 2040 to 2060, although mean precipitation was mostly reduced, in accord with earlier studies (Giorgi et al., 2001a). …”

    Uh, when? and does this mean up or down, more or less?

    “…Regionally, the changes are a response to both increased temperature and increased precipitation (changes in circulation patterns) and are complicated by the competing effects of warming and increased snowfall in those regions that remain below freezing (see Section 4.2 for a further discussion of processes that affect snow cover). In general, snow amount and snow coverage decreases in the NH (Supplementary Material, Figure S10.1). However, in a few regions (e.g., Siberia), snow amount is projected to increase. This is attributed to the increase in precipitation (snowfall) from autumn to winter (Meleshko et al., 2004; Hosaka et al., 2005)….”

    Increased precip due to circulation pattern changes?
    increased snowfall in those regions that remain below freezing?

    You may insist on mandatory reading; comprehending the doubletalk and attempts to baffle definite projections is darn near impossible. Instead of naming a region explicitly and making defined statements of future assesments, by year or at least decade, all of the predictions are spread across multiple paragraphs with abundant contradictions. Is it or isn’t it?

    If I’d summarized the list of ‘less snow bigger storms’ IPCC predictions you claim to document I’d end up with:
    More snow,
    Less snow,
    More extreme snow,
    Greater precitipitation,
    Less precipitation,
    Snow where it is cold,
    More precipitation on westward slopes of North American mountains,
    Less precipitation in summer on westward slopes of North American mountains,
    More precipitation in winter on westward slopes of North American mountains,
    No change in annual precipitation on westward slopes of North American mountains,

    And this is before the claims about precipitation by the end of the 21st centuary in the Artic and unknown determination in Antarctica…

    Now about the supposed predictions regarding immediate change to less snow, more extreme storms for this decade?

    Got any firm IPCC statements that declare via their models and pal reviewed studies what the weather will be, where and when this year?! Surely given IPCC’s omniscient powers of accurate prediction they published specific storm warnings for the year 2013? Oh yeah, climate is not weather; but weather is climate any time the CAGWers decide it suits their purpose.

  53. Steven Mosher says:
    At this point you have these choices.
    1. Argue that the text does not mean what it says
    2. Apologize for misleading folks
    3. Attack me
    4. Change the topic.
    5. Attack some other part of the science and gish gallop away.
    6. Admit you didnt read the document you criticized
    7. Ignore the findings
    8. Attack models that predicted the very thing you deny they predicted.
    9. Post a you tube video of kittens
    >>> Or….
    10. Point out that nothing you posted from the IPCC mentioned Northeast US snow storms.
    From Borenstein’s article…
    “With scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple of years, some scientists have pointed to global warming as the culprit.”
    I could change my sentence,
    “The last IPCC report claimed snowfall would decrease, and made no mention of larger storms.”
    to ..
    “…no mention of larger storms in the Northeastern US”
    lest some people think Borenstein or I are talking about Siberia or Antarctica.

  54. agfosterjr commented

    I would think if there were any warming going on it would simply move weather behavior northward a few dozen miles. Why newly severe weather if the same thing didn’t happen southward in the past? –AGF

    I’ve been thinking that all that would really need to happen is the Polar and Subtropical jets were to move, altering the area between jets, that could explain most of the measured warming.
    Where I live we experience weather on both side of the polar jet. The difference between a warm wet winter and a cold snowy winter is a slight difference in jet stream path.

  55. I bet if I run enough models of the 2012 baseball season I can get the Houston Astros to win the WS at least 0.1% of the time. Doesn’t mean it happened. Models are utterly and totally useless unless the entire mechanism is 100% transparent.

  56. About 13years ago, Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia had the following to say about future snowfall:

    within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

    “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”

    “Heavy snow will return occasionally, but when it does we will be unprepared.”

    “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.

    “The chances are certainly now stacked against the sort of heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters, such as Sisley, and the 19th century poet laureate Robert Bridges, who wrote in “London Snow” of it, “stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying”.”

    I guess that hasn’t worked out very well for them, so, just change the rules, and heck, might as well move those goalposts while we’re at it.

  57. trafamadore says:
    February 19, 2013 at 9:16 am
    If air over the ocean comes landward, the amt of water it contains is limited by its temp, warmer air, more H2O. … AGW could change that by allowing more moisture in.
    >>>The amount of H20 available to make snow is limited to the maximum amount available at the maximum temperature at which SNOW can form. Snow and Ice crystals cannot form above zero C, at which point the 3.8 grams/kg saturation mixing ratio is the maximum available H20. Supersaturation can push that up a few percent, but there’s still a limit that won’t change (unless global warming changes the freezing point of water).
    Beyond that limit, it’s all rain.

  58. Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am
    ……………………..
    8. Attack models that predicted the very thing you deny they predicted.
    ……………

    Alright then, I won’t attack the models. I’ll let the modelers attack the models themselves.

    “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf

    “The multimodel average tropospheric temperature trends are outside the 5–95 percentile range of RSS results at most latitudes. The likely causes of these biases include forcing errors in the historical simulations (40–42), model response errors (43), remaining errors in satellite temperature estimates (26, 44), and an unusual manifestation of internal variability in the observations (35, 45). These explanations are not mutually exclusive. Our results suggest that forcing errors are a serious concern.”

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/28/1210514109.full.pdf

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/28/1210514109

    You see when a model says to expect warmer northern latitude winters and another says to expect colder, what is there to deny? What was predicted? I can only point out the conflict.

    Warmer winters

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6735/full/399452a0.html

    Colder winters

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009JD013568/abstract

    A man with 3 watches (1 running fast, 1 running slow & 1 accurate) is never sure of the time.

  59. atheok says:
    Philly, huh!?
    Genuine:
    —Soft pretzels baked that day with mustard if desired,
    >>> Mustard is mandatory, and enough that it drips on the sidewalk.
    And scrapple, if you’re allowed to eat that stuff.
    —Hurricanes frequent enough in the fifties that people knew they were deadly,
    >>> Do Carol and Hazel ring a bell? Did the former in Wildwood Crest, which was completely flooded (but not evacuated), and the latter back in Philadelphia where I watch giant oaks criss-crossing our street.

  60. Matthew W says:
    I don’t even bother reading “articles” from Seth anymore.
    >>> Me neither, but I saw it on Drudge and thought it might be OK. Then I couldn’t go back to sleep, and stayed up all night writing my thesis.

  61. Box of Rocks says:
    February 19, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Chart 1 is wrong.

    The 1990′s and 2000s are clearly warmer than the 1930s.

    Need to edit the data to reflect that…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No they are not.
    Hansen messing with the data: 3 graphs

    An alternate method of looking at climate is the Köppen climate classification. The movement of the climate boundary in the 20th century graphs The top graph shows the last quarter of a century is not the warmest the first quarter of the century is.

    “The Köppen climate classification is a widely used, vegetation-based empirical
    climate classification system developed by German botanist-climatologist Wladimir Köppen.”

    At this point I believe a bunch of plants over Hansen and his buddies.

  62. Steven Mosher says:
    I suppose it would be too much trouble to actually read the science. Much easier to pick cherries. At this point you have these choices.

    1. Argue that the text does not mean what it says
    2. Apologize for misleading folks
    3. Attack me
    4. Change the topic.
    5. Attack some other part of the science and gish gallop away.
    6. Admit you didnt read the document you criticized
    7. Ignore the findings
    8. Attack models that predicted the very thing you deny they predicted.
    9. Post a you tube video of kittens
    ========================================================================
    Steven,

    When you quote the IPCC report, liberally dosed as it is with non-science science, how can you turn back on yourself and attack folks for not reading ‘the science’. If you would be specific about the science you would like us to read it would be helpful. Quoting block after block about non-scientific models is not helpful. As you well know, models do not produce findings. Why else would you continue to work to produce real temperature data?

    PS: I like cherries. Should be a good crop in the Central Valley of California this year since the unusually cool temps have kept the cherry trees from blooming yet. Daffodils are up and rolling though.

    pbh

  63. Matt says:
    With sufficient thrust one can make pigs fly in real life. Please note that I am not suggesting that flying pigs would be a good idea. :-)
    >>> Right. And the Pink Floyd pig I linked to was a balloon, not computer generated, but still a good metaphor for a climate model.

  64. If commenters here at WUWT over a long period of time consistently base all their comments on some kind of clear certainty of the fundamental claim that there is a danger from AGW by CO2, whether it is the moderate danger held by a lukewarmer protagonist or an extreme danger held by an alarming protagonist, then they have seen that manifold physical observations significantly contradict their certainty. There is an increasing rate of appearance in publications for observations contradicting the supporters of danger from AGW by CO2.

    Let me try, as a devil’s advocate, to take their argument position and predict their defensive and offensive tactics here at WUWT. Here are some possible tactics I think supporters of danger from AGW by CO2 would be taking:

    1 ) I would think that supporters of danger from AGW by CO2 would try the tactic of being insultingly condescending toward people presenting climate science observations that contradict their ‘certainty’ of danger. Such condescending behavior can have many styles: cryptic remarks, snarky one liners, unnecessary academic jargon and tone, excessively using third person plural grammar and open hostility . . . etc, etc.

    2 ) Also, I would think that supporters of danger from AGW by CO2 would try the tactic of indirection; indirection being the pointing out of irrelevancies in contradictory observations and obscuring the fact that the observations are contradictory to their views

    3 ) Further, I would think that supporters of danger from AGW by CO2 would try the tactic of claiming the authority of any or all of the following: the IPCC, most scientific institutions, most media, some activist academia, Al Gore copy cats like Michael Mann, censorious blogs like Cook’s and politicians. An authority argument in science is the claim that who you are determines the correctness of some piece of reasoning not the reasoning itself.

    4 ) Finally, I would think that supporters of danger from AGW by CO2 would try the tactic of claiming a superior moral ground; this is the tactic where they say that even if they are wrong they have a higher moral purpose so they think it makes them impervious to contrary observations.

    If commenters here at WUWT over a long period of time consistently base all their comments on some kind of clear certainty of the fundamental claim that there is a danger from AGW by CO2 and they do not exhibit behaviors like 1 thru 4 above in the face of contradictory climate observations, then they can be called lay skeptics. N’est ce pas?

    John

  65. I get the points of the post, but I did have a question or two: sometimes more moisture laden moist warm air, slides over cold air at the surface. Would this give you greater snow fall, or would it “condense out” as sleet or ice? If it could give you snowfall, were these the conditions that obtained during the blizzard of 2013? Or any blizzard of note? Thanks in advance for any response.

  66. Phil. says:
    February 19, 2013 at 10:19 am
    1. Colder winters have more snow and more big snow storms, in contradiction to the warming hypothesis.

    Actually the simple plots show no such thing about ‘big snow storms’, they just show the averages….

    ….Since the OP is a Meteorologist Emeritus he knows better than this so I can only assume he’s trying to mislead! …..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Or he has a lot more data that he is not showing. It is tough to be brief AND include all the data without writing a book instead of an article.

  67. Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    “The last IPCC report claimed snowfall would decrease, and made no mention of larger storms. ”

    really?

    Some excerpts

    Regionally, the changes are a response to both increased temperature and increased precipitation (changes in circulation patterns) and are complicated by the etc etc etc ………………………I suppose it would be too much trouble to actually read the science.”
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    Science ?

    This is just a dog’s breakfast of modelling masturbation coupled with tongue in cheek estimates wallowing in a sauce of uncertainty. (Yes mixed metaphors can only describe it). No mention of storms that I could see. Bit like our Mr Flannery pronouncing that our dams will never fill again to their previous levels. In 2012 they overflowed.

  68. Richard Keen says:
    February 19, 2013 at 11:54 am

    trafamadore says:
    February 19, 2013 at 9:16 am
    If air over the ocean comes landward, the amt of water it contains is limited by its temp, warmer air, more H2O. … AGW could change that by allowing more moisture in.
    >>>The amount of H20 available to make snow is limited to the maximum amount available at the maximum temperature at which SNOW can form. Snow and Ice crystals cannot form above zero C, at which point the 3.8 grams/kg saturation mixing ratio is the maximum available H20. Supersaturation can push that up a few percent, but there’s still a limit that won’t change (unless global warming changes the freezing point of water).
    Beyond that limit, it’s all rain.
    ——————————————–
    Thanks for clarifying this Richard & Trafamadore, I was puzzled while reading this earlier along the same lines as Trafamadore.

  69. John Whitman says:
    February 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    If commenters here at WUWT over a long period of time consistently base all their comments on some kind of clear certainty of the fundamental claim that there is a danger from AGW by CO2, whether it is the moderate danger held by a lukewarmer protagonist or an extreme danger held by an alarming protagonist, then they have seen that manifold physical observations significantly contradict their certainty….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I can not make heads or tails out of what you are trying to say.

    My point of view is we do not even have the list of factors that effect the climate yet much less a clear understanding of whether they are 1st, 2nd, or 3rd order ‘forcings’

  70. There was an ABC World News with Dianne Sawyer last night which copied this story. ABC did zero fact checking as far as I could tell. Instead they had several climate talking heads on to repeat the mantra.

  71. Phil. says:
    > Actually the simple plots show no such thing about ‘big snow storms’, they just show the averages.
    >>> I get the same story by counting big storms, but there’s a lot more statistical leeway going this route. Do you take the number of 20-inch storms, or 10, or 6, or 4, or some other criterion? Or the NESIS counts, or the NESIS values? Or…? So the seasonal totals are a simple and ready data set. And, if you look at high snow years – more than 30 or 40 inches, say, you’ll find that most of the total is due to 1, 2, or 3 big storms. So the correlation with snow totals also correlates with storm counts.
    > Since the OP is a Meteorologist Emeritus he knows better than this so I can only assume he’s trying to mislead!
    >>> Thank you.
    > Whether it falls as snow depends on the temperature of the colder air.
    >>> Precisely; that’s my point. Rain doesn’t count in this discussion. And there’s a physical limit to how much water is available to make snow.

  72. Global warming can always explain anything that happens, only the reasoning changes. That’s why it’s a religion.

  73. Leung et al. (2004) find that extremes in precipitation during the cold season increase in the northern Rockies, the Cascades, the Sierra Nevada and British Columbia by up to 10% for 2040 to 2060, although mean precipitation was mostly reduced, in accord with earlier studies (Giorgi et al., 2001a).,

    That strikes me as a cherry that is hanging pretty close to the ground, Steve Mosher. Everywhere I’ve lived I would be amazed if natural variations couldn’t achieve that long before 2040.

    …And then someone would doubtless claim that it has happened sooner than they “predicted” (aka “It’s worse than we thought.”)

  74. Richard Keen says: “>>The amount of H20 available to make snow is limited to the maximum amount available at the maximum temperature at which SNOW can form. Snow and Ice crystals cannot form above zero C, at which point the 3.8 grams/kg saturation mixing ratio is the maximum available H20.”

    First, a cloud is not “dissolved water”, it is a fine floating mist. So your physical laws only loosely apply to clouds, which is where rain and snow come from these days.
    Second, the tendency to make clouds has to do with the amt of water that is dissolved in the arriving air. Hence, the AGW connection.
    Third, so the real question is how quickly does the cloud cool, and if cools quickly enuf, how much snow do we end up with. I am guessing the more moisture past Portland, Oregon, the more snow on Mt Hood.
    Fourth, guess we are forgetting about changes in pressure in this conversation…
    Fifth, “Ice crystals cannot form above freezing” but water after condensing out can be frozen into sleet.

    • @trafamadore I thought of perhaps snipping your comment to protect you from your own stupidity, but then I thought better of it. Just curious, are you faculty or student at Western Michigan University?

  75. Gail Combs says (Re John Whitman’s long string of words): “I can not make heads or tails out of what you are trying to say.”

    I second that. But that first sentence/paragraph was sort of amazing.

    Nevertheless, I think that I am to be more insulted than you, although I am not really sure. I just made “cryptic remarks, snarky one liners”, so, yeah, he’s talking about me.

  76. Of course Mosher forget to mention that THERE has not been any significant increase in global average temperatures now admitted by all his “adjusting” pals at the IPCC, UEA so his diatribe is c###p sorry. I think this guy is now in the pay of the AGW system after his BEST attempt. Stick to Gleick type investigations please!

  77. Richard Keen says:
    February 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm
    Matthew W says:
    I don’t even bother reading “articles” from Seth anymore.
    >>> Me neither, but I saw it on Drudge and thought it might be OK. Then I couldn’t go back to sleep, and stayed up all night writing my thesis.
    =========================================================
    You sir are a far stronger man than I am then !!
    Top notch post !

  78. Gail Combs says:

    February 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    John Whitman says:
    February 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    If commenters here at WUWT over a long period of time consistently base all their comments on some kind of clear certainty of the fundamental claim that there is a danger from AGW by CO2, whether it is the moderate danger held by a lukewarmer protagonist or an extreme danger held by an alarming protagonist, then they have seen that manifold physical observations significantly contradict their certainty….

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I can not make heads or tails out of what you are trying to say.

    My point of view is we do not even have the list of factors that effect the climate yet much less a clear understanding of whether they are 1st, 2nd, or 3rd order ‘forcings’

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Gail Combs,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Sorry you could not make ‘heads or tails’ of my long comment.

    Short form of my previous long comment is like this => Observations of climate behavior increasingly contradict the views held by the supporters of dangerous AGW by CO2. If they are not open to a skeptical scientific method / process then how they handle those climate behavior observations in comments can be predicted. If they do not act in that predicted way in commenting about climate observations which contradict their views then they do show a defacto skeptical thinking which could be considered as lay skepticism.

    I hope that short form comment helps.

    Regarding your view of the climate science situation I think there is a cause for the state of climate science which you describe. The cause in my view is that for the past 25++ years (the period of IPCC formation then their assessments) there has not been generally an actual open minded research funding process on climate. It will take creation of a complete open minded research funding process to make any reasonable objective progress on the science of our climate. I think that the shift to an open minded funding process is occurring.

    John

  79. Speaking of snow- I would like the current snowstorm I am experiencing to stop at less then 6″. It becomes near to impossible to stay on the road in my neck of the woods (2400 ft elevation in the Sierra Foothills) once this snow depth is hit (our temperature is currently about 34F on porch).

  80. trafamadore says:
    February 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Gail Combs says (Re John Whitman’s long string of words): “I can not make heads or tails out of what you are trying to say.”

    I second that. But that first sentence/paragraph was sort of amazing.

    Nevertheless, I think that I am to be more insulted than you, although I am not really sure. I just made “cryptic remarks, snarky one liners”, so, yeah, he’s talking about me.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    trafamadore,

    I do not recall ever getting a comment from you. That may be the first. I enjoyed getting your comment. Thanks.

    I usually skip your comments, only looking at your comments here at WUWT when they are cited by many other commenters who I have developed a certain level of respect for over the years at several blogs.

    However, since you seemingly self-identified as a user of “cryptic remarks, snarky one liners”, I will take your word for it. No problema.

    John

  81. John Whitman says: @ February 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Thank you for the clarification.

    IMHO, the IPCC short circuited the advancement in research because their mandate was specifically to hang CAGW on the human race and not to study the factors effecting the climate.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for mitigation and adaptation.

    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/

    In short if the research did not have the CAGW get out of peer review free card attached it got sunk.

    This is a classic example from NASA

    …Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun’s brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996. The changes so far are not enough to reverse the course of global warming, but there are some other significant side-effects: Earth’s upper atmosphere is heated less by the sun and it is therefore less “puffed up.” …

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/01apr_deepsolarminimum/

    There is absolutely no scientific reason to add the highlighted phrase but you see something similar in almost all climate related research from the last couple of decades and for a very good reason.

    The experiences of Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, past chairman of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, a participant or chairman of some 20 Advisory Groups of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Environmental Program, and past chair of the Scientific Committee of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw shows why.

    “This ice contained extremely high radioactivity of cesium-137 from the Chernobyl fallout, more than a thousand times higher than that found in any glacier from nuclear-weapons fallout, and more than 100 times higher than found elsewhere from the Chernobyl fallout,” he explained. “This unique contamination of glacier ice revealed how particulate contaminants migrated, and also made sense of other discoveries I made during my other glacier expeditions. It convinced me that ice is not a closed system, suitable for an exact reconstruction of the composition of the past atmosphere.”

    Because of the high importance of this realization, in 1994 Dr. Jaworowski, together with a team from the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technics, proposed a research project on the reliability of trace-gas determinations in the polar ice. The prospective sponsors of the research refused to fund it, claiming the research would be “immoral” if it served to undermine the foundations of climate research.

    The refusal did not come as a surprise. Several years earlier, in a peer-reviewed article published by the Norwegian Polar Institute, Dr. Jaworowski criticized the methods by which CO2 levels were ascertained from ice cores, and cast doubt on the global-warming hypothesis. The institute’s director, while agreeing to publish his article, also warned Dr. Jaworowski that “this is not the way one gets research projects.” Once published, the institute came under fire, especially since the report soon sold out and was reprinted. Said one prominent critic, “this paper puts the Norsk Polarinstitutt in disrepute.” Although none of the critics faulted Dr. Jaworowski’s science, the institute nevertheless fired him to maintain its access to funding.

  82. “Arctic Ice has … .” Whac a mole! Climate is global not regional.

    “Upper tropospheric temperatures reached … .” Ditto.

    “The UHI effect is biasing … . “ Whac a mole! Earth’s climate depends on ocean temperatures over land temperatures by three orders of magnitude.

    “Tropical rainfall is no unprecedented since … .” Whac a mole!

    “His CO2 footprint is … .” Whac a mole! atmospheric CO2 is a by-product of global warming, not the reverse by about two orders of magnitude.

    “For the sake of our grandchildren, Climate Change must … .” Whac a mole! To control climate, we must command either the Sun or Earth’s albedo.

    AGW? Global Climate/Circulation/Catastrophe Model? Whac a mole. Whac a mole. Whac a mole.

  83. John Whitman says:
    February 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm
    – – – – – – – – – – –

    trafamadore,

    I do not recall ever getting a comment from you. That may be the first. I enjoyed getting your comment. Thanks.

    I usually skip your comments, only looking at your comments here at WUWT when they are cited by many other commenters who I have developed a certain level of respect for over the years at several blogs.

    However, since you seemingly self-identified as a user of “cryptic remarks, snarky one liners”, I will take your word for it. No problema.

    John
    ——————————————–
    Not trying to kick trafamadore here, but still I must say that response was a work of art John.
    (golf clap)

  84. snaparooni says:
    February 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm
    “Couldn’t, for example, a saturated air mass at 50F mix with a cold air mass at 10F to produce a large amount of snow at 30F?

    Air masses with very different internal characteristics are unlikely to “mix” in that manner. The warmer saturated one will be more buoyant and will be forced up as it meets the cold (dense) air. Then by rising and expanding the warm air’s temperature will drop, and being saturated, the vapor will condense. Having grown to sufficient size as liquid, it will drop through the freezing air and become sleet. These varied processes will change the characteristics of both air masses and the result(s) could change.

  85. BTW, what’s up with that Seth Borenstein pic? Is he so secretly jealous of Anthony he’s trying to look just like Anthony Watts (albeit slightly younger)?

    Where’s the side-by-side comparison photos when you need them?

  86. What warming? And how can could they blame CO2 when its ability to create heat is logarithmic….it cannot over heat us….if it could all life on earth would not have developed in the first place as CO2 was 15 times todays levels 500 million years ago..
    We have been cooling for 10,000 years…..Holocene Climatic Optimum
    If we go back to the late 90’s the BBC was always on about the lack of snow for skiing in the Alps due to AGW….and when we get snow it is all caused by CO2.

  87. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    February 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm
    “There was an ABC World News with Dianne Sawyer last night which copied this story. ABC did zero fact checking as far as I could tell. Instead they had several climate talking heads on to repeat the mantra.”

    CBSnews had it up on their website for about two hours.

  88. Mosher, your drive by shooting is tiring, especially when many of your comments indicate that you only have an approximate idea of weather phenomenons and their genesis. And when your half baked knowledge is pointed out: no more Mosher, gone.

  89. Mark Bofill says:
    February 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    @John Whitman on February 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Not trying to kick trafamadore here, but still I must say that response was a work of art John.
    (golf clap)

    – – – – – – – – –

    Mark Bofill,

    Appreciate your thought.

    My goal was to be polite with trafamadore.

    WRT your reference to ‘golf clap’, did you know that there are at least 4 or 5 different definitions of it? One is a quiet respectful upper society type of applause. Another is quiet sarcastic applause for a golfer who messed up a shot. The definition I find the most fun is ‘golf clap is a particularly virulent strain of Gonorrhea caused by illicit sexual intercourse with Tiger Woods’.

    : )

    That last definition and all others can be found at:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=golf%20clap

    John

  90. Mark Bofill says:
    Not trying to kick trafamadore here, but still I must say that response was a work of art John (golf clap)
    >>> May I simply quote from two sources of greater wisdom than me…
    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.
    — Proverbs 26:4 (NKJV)
    “Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference“
    — commonly credited to Mark Twain, but could be Yogi Berra.

  91. snaparooni says:
    February 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm
    Couldn’t, for example, a saturated air mass at 50F mix with a cold air mass at 10F to produce a large amount of snow at 30F?
    >>> That happens all the time, but it won’t produce any excess amount of snow. As the 50F saturated (with 7.8 g/kg H2O) air cools down to 32F, everything that condenses out will fall as rain (since it’s above freezing), until it reaches 32F and starts freezing. But then the moisture content is back down to 3.8 g/kg, that good old limit for the amount that can make snow.
    It’s hard to sneak around physical limits.

  92. Gail Combs says:
    February 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Gail Combs,

    Thanks for your substantial reply.

    I am on the same page as you on both the history of and the interpretation of the political / ideological warping of the ‘science’ supporting alarming AGW by CO2.

    John

  93. As one reads, the mind quickly fills in the words with clues from the shapes of the letters. Then as you focus on a word, it’s actual meaning comes forward into “present” thought.

    I initially read “leading feral university climate scientists” in the last line.

    Still chuckling.

  94. Richard Keen says:
    February 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Mark Bofill says:
    Not trying to kick trafamadore here, but still I must say that response was a work of art John (golf clap)

    >>> May I simply quote from two sources of greater wisdom than me…
    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.
    – Proverbs 26:4 (NKJV)

    “Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference“
    – commonly credited to Mark Twain, but could be Yogi Berra.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    Richard Keen,

    Loved you quotes.

    And there is also this quote;

    – “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
    (from George Bernard Shaw)

    And here are some wonderful stanzas / lines selected from Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’,

    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;

    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools:

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;

    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

    John

  95. Matthew W says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:33 am
    I don’t even bother reading “articles” from Seth anymore.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Anything with the Tag Line “AP” or “REUTERS” has come to be synonymous with meaningless drivel to me so I look at the Tag Line and just skip the article or read it for amusement only if either of those appear.

  96. Matt says:
    February 19, 2013 at 9:06 am
    “but one can also make pigs fly on a computer.”

    With sufficient thrust one can make pigs fly in real life. Please note that I am not suggesting that flying pigs would be a good idea. :-)
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    This may be a bit out of place but anyone who has been unfortunate enough to be around the after math of a hog barn fire knows that pigs can fly quite a long way under their own power. But since the trajectory is unknown, it is quite dangerous. Kind of like a GCM model. ;-)

    [The mods note you did not specify the difference between flying, fleeing, and free-following pigs. Mod]

  97. I remember the Chicago Blizzard of 1967. I was an undergraduate at the U of Chicago then. I remember how nice and warm it it was the day before. Kids were running around campus dressed like it was spring. Then Bang. The blizzard hit. We were stuck in the dorm all weekend. The Dorm ran out of heating oil by Sunday night and there was a bit of delay in getting it refilled. I also accidentally started a fire in a trash can. But airing the room out put a dent in its heat.

  98. Walter Sobchak, very well put.

    No wonder hype-whores like Sorenstein, Gore, and others want to push AGW in public, ’cause there’s typically very little time or tolerance for objective, scientific processes to be considered in an open, public forum full of non-scientists. Then again, AGW has NOTHING to do with science; it’s all about central planning, submitting society to the whims of central planners, debt and finance, rule changes to benefit the pushers and so-aligned.

    Seth Boringsteen and everybody else knows AGW is a common scam like many of today’s crisis structures; full of emotion and hype for the sake of atypical folks (not observations, not facts). Unlike Boringsteen, I refuse to condemn society and submit to fear of the unknown simply because some fool talking head says to do so. And America will be far better off to dismiss their clownish act, perhaps even prosecute the frauds.

  99. Warning, this post contains spoilers if you intend to see the stage play “Yes Prime Minister “ currently playing at the Sydney Opera House after a London West End run.

    Like Adam who is the author of the link below which gives a taste of the “Yes Prime Minister” script, I saw the play – last night. The play I believe hilariously sums up to a tee the political narrative of global warming after poor old Prime Minister Jim Hacker is faced with the dilemma of having to distract the BBC from all his current woes by coming up with a super dooper story of international importance. And Sir Humphrey Appleby provides the solution.

    A must for both sceptics and CAGW believers alike.

    http://www.tameware.com/adam/global_warming/ypm.html

  100. Moral To The Story.

    Never talk to ‘Agent Orange’ deranged Vietnam ‘Failure’ Vets such as ‘Michael Oppenheimer, Mark Serreze’ among many others.

    If you see them at AGU, just turn and walk in the opposite direction, very quickly.

    Good advise.

    XD

  101. A few years ago on this site I commented that it was official “weather has now become climate” because of a story of a warm summer was caused by AGW. Of course the warming trend had flattened for over a decade before this summer and was told that you need many years of data to study a trend. Well it’s creeping up to 17 years now, still flat, more CO2, we get a cold/snowy winter and it’s NOW a sign of AGW…. Priceless

    Even funnier…. I remember folks joking about if it got any colder they would blame THAT on AGW! hehe

    Climate is now weather!! Bazinga!

  102. Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    It would be nice if you would tell us which IPCC document you are quoting. Seems a little suspicious. I downloaded the AR4 to see what it said – couldn’t match any phrases from your list. But, I did find these gems:

    Observed decreases in snow and ice extent are also consistent with warming (Figure 1.1. Satellite data since 1978 show that annual average Arctic sea ice extent has shrunk by 2.7 [2.1 to 3.3]% per decade, with larger decreases in summer of 7.4 [5.0 to 9.8]% per decade. Mountain glaciers and snow cover on average have declined in both hemispheres. The maximum areal extent of seasonally frozen ground has decreased by about 7% in the Northern
    Hemisphere since 1900, with decreases in spring of up to 15%. Temperatures at the top of the permafrost layer have generally increased since the 1980s in the Arctic by up to 3°C. {WGI 3.2, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 5.5, SPM}

    Changes in the ocean and on land, including observed decreases in snow cover and Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent, thinner sea ice, shorter freezing seasons of lake and river ice, glacier melt, decreases in permafrost extent, increases in soil temperatures and borehole temperature profiles, and sea level rise, provide additional evidence that the world is warming. {WGI 3.9}

    Climate change is expected to exacerbate current stresses on water resources from population growth and economic and land-use change, including urbanisation. On a regional scale, mountain snow pack, glaciers and small ice caps play a crucial role in freshwater availability.

    Europe: Mountainous areas will face glacier retreat, reduced snow cover and winter tourism, and extensive species losses (in some areas up to 60% under high emissions scenarios by 2080). {WGII 12.4, SPM}

    North America: Warming in western mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources.

    reduced disruption to [travel] and more frequent increased insect transport due to snow, ice

    Robust findings: Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level. {WGI 3.9, SPM}

  103. Alfred Alexander Feb 19 8:10 says

    Whac-a-moling — isn’t that the green stuff you spread on a chip?

    Alfred i like your mind.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  104. After the end of Kyoto, I took some time out from global warming … after all if countries with 85% of global emissions don’t believe in global warming, it is dead whatever our idiotic politicians think.

    A month later and I’m wondering what all the fuss was about. These guys who believe in global warming are a bunch of idiots. But worse … so are the ones who get all het up about the guys who believe in global warming. MOST PEOPLE DON’T CARE, and it is VERY VERY OBVIOUS that global warming believers have the same credibility as UFO watchers and other nut-cases.

    That doesn’t mean they don’t get publicity, but people know these academics are there to create filler material which people read when there’s no serious news.

    What I’m trying to say is they are filling a necessary niche. There isn’t always enough economically viable news to fill the papers and some days due simply to the randomness of news stories … THEY HAVE TO MANUFACTURE NEWS.

    40 years ago, government (or perhaps more accurately the media) wasted a hell of a lot of money on the idea of being able to control people through “mind control”. The press & media was full of it. Today the idea is completely forgotten (until you watch 1970s dramas).

  105. “…Richard Keen says: February 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    —Soft pretzels baked that day with mustard if desired,
    >>> Mustard is mandatory, and enough that it drips on the sidewalk.

    And scrapple, if you’re allowed to eat that stuff.

    —Hurricanes frequent enough in the fifties that people knew they were deadly,
    >>> Do Carol and Hazel ring a bell? Did the former in Wildwood Crest, which was completely flooded (but not evacuated), and the latter back in Philadelphia where I watch giant oaks criss-crossing our street…”

    Richard:
    My apologies;
    I lightened the mustard reference after decades of people reacting to the idea with disgust, (didn’t stop me from putting mustard on my pretzel). You are absolutely correct about the mustard. That is, unless you’re using some of that homemade genuinely sharp mustard from Lancaster PA. If that mustard is dripping off your pretzel, then your sinuses are also free flowing.

    I forgot scrapple, well maybe, as I also left out hogshead cheese, smoked pork chops and many other Tri-State delicacies; (real snapping turtle soup anyone? Is good stuff, caught the turtle myself, so it is fresh!).

    Hurricane Carol in Wildwood Crest; that must’ve been a worrying experience. During a fishing trip we visited a friend at his family’s house just off the boardwalk in Atlantic City and I asked why the bottom half of the room wasn’t painted. He responded that salt water had soaked into the walls during the hurricane and that he hadn’t found a paint that would stick to salt. The flood mark was about seven feet (2,1m) up from the floor, in a walk up brownstone row house; so maybe fifteen feet (5m) off the ground. Add in a few feet for an approximate sea level to flood mark of eightteen feet (6m). Yeah, that would be a frightening flood level in Wildwood Crest. Them brownstones were razed for some cheap casinos…

    Good Post!

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”; Jorge Santayana y Borrás circa 1905 in ‘vol. 1; The Life of Reason’

    Could be rephrased as, Those who adjust the past to affect the present are condemned to repeat past failures and misfortunes.

  106. Just realised that there is a lot more in common with this idea of “mind control”, brain washing, etc. etc. that believed almost as scientific doctrine in the 1970s and global warming today. Then the real science that the human mind was a machine and could be affected by e.g. drugs, led to wild speculation … which became ingrained as if it were actual science … that humans could manipulate the mind.

    When that slowly but surely proved not only to be a ridiculous idea, but the problem was not that the mind as a whole could be easily altered, but real scientists found that they couldn’t alter even small bits of the mind at all easily or safely … the media gave up.

    Likewise … changing the climate … has always been on the “wish list” of humanity. We’ve always been intrigued by the idea of stopping storms, bringing rain where there is drought. Just as the real science that humans can alter the mind (but it is hellishly difficult) sparked the non-science of mind-control. So the real science that humans can affect the climate in very small ways, has again been taken completely out of proportion by the nut-cases in society who now try to suggest we can completely alter the climate.

    So here is a prediction for you …. in 2030, families watching old dramas from the 2000s will hear strange references to something called “global warming” and the kids will think it quaint the odd things they used to believe and the parents/grandparents will …. I tell a lie. The kids will leave the room leaving the parents to goggle at the 20year old stars who they used to fancy and realise their kids are/have passed that age.

  107. What is the answer on the question Will it snow more from a m^3 of water saturated air initially at 20°C than from a m^3 of water saturated air at 10°C ?
    Well the answer is Maybe
    To produce the snow one has to first cool the m^3 from its initial temperature to 0°C and then to transform the available water to snow.
    What is important to understand is that during this cooling, the water will condense at every step even above 0°C.
    Only during this stage it will transform in rain, not snow.

    Mathematically it is very easy :
    mCpdT + Lwater.dm1 + Lsnow/water.dm2 + L snow/direct.dm3 = dQ (amount of cooling available)
    where :
    L are the latent heats for the 3 possible phase changes.
    dm1 is the amount of vapour transformed in rain
    dm2 is the amount of rain transformed in snow/ice
    dm3 is the amount of water vapour directly transformed in snow without going through rain first

    It appears clearly that this differential equation is totally constrained by dQ e.g the cooling power available.
    This available cooling is what every meteorologist knows as being the front dynamics. This cooling is provided by a mass of cold air. With a large mass of very cold air, all initially available water will finish in snow. With a smaller and warmer mass of cold air only a fraction of the available water will finish in snow.

    And this simple remark explains why the question is actually very difficult and why the answer is “Maybe”.
    It is because knowing the temperature and water content of the humid warm air which are represented by the left hand side of the equation is totally insufficient to give an answer.
    One also needs the amount and the temperature of the cold air which meets it and cools it thus creating snow (right hand side of the equation).

    As the GCM are unable to model correctly these dynamics, they can give both answers depending on the details. Either : in a warmer world there will be (regionally) more snow or : in a warmer world there willl be (regionally) less snow .
    For this reason a fair conclusion is that the GCM don’t know, IPCC doesn’t know and people who pretend they know are charlatans.

  108. I can’t resist to mention and explain an amusing paradox already noticed by many posters.
    You have all read and heard that “In a warmer world it will snow more because there will be more water in the air.”
    Well to make more snow you need not only more water but also more cooling power.
    As I explained above this cooling power is provided by a mass of cold air.
    So to make more snow one needs more cold air too.
    That’s why we can restate the above claim by : “In a warmer world there will be more cold air”
    Amusing isn’t it :)

  109. Curiously, it’s snowing a lot of big snow flakes right now @-7.8C, but the radar shows the snow as streamers off of Lake Erie, lake effect snows. We get lots of lake effect snows, when the lake has open water, cold dry air sucks huge amounts of moisture out of the lake, dumping it down wind of the shore. We live on the edge of the “snow belt”, places near the lake will get 5-10 times the snow during winter as areas 50-75 miles south. Buffalo NY is pretty famous for it’s snow, those are mostly lake effect snows. But once the lake freezes, that turns the faucet off.

  110. Richard Keen says:

    February 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm
    Mark Bofill says:

    Not trying to kick trafamadore here, but still I must say that response was a work of art John (golf clap).

    May I simply quote from two sources of greater wisdom than me…

    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.
    – Proverbs 26:4 (NKJV)

    “Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference“
    – commonly credited to Mark Twain, but could be Yogi Berra.

    Confucious was pithiest: Argue with a fool and there are two fools arguing.

  111. Without mentioning any names of course, sometimes when I read a comment heavily larded and over wrought with words; for some reason I think of the lyrics to Gilbert and Sullivan’s
    modern major general
    Here are some:
    I am the model of a Modern Major General
    I’ve information, vegetable, animal, and mineral…
    I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical
    I understand equations both simple and quad-radical.

  112. To shut down any Global Warming debate, we should just ask whoever proposes it in conversation: “can you tell us why the supposedly accurate Climate Models didn’t predict the current no-warming period of the last 16 years and also in the last 100-200 years the 30 year cycle of up/down/up/down/etc/etc temperatures?” KIS(not S) people, we don’t want to confuse them do we? HFTC.

    • Crabby commented

      To shut down any Global Warming debate, we should just ask whoever proposes it in conversation: “can you tell us why the supposedly accurate Climate Models didn’t predict the current no-warming period of the last 16 years and also in the last 100-200 years the 30 year cycle of up/down/up/down/etc/etc temperatures?”

      I’ve already heard them talking that temps are flat because the Sun went quiet, something it’s not done before (just look at TSI!), and that there isn’t any up and down, haven’t we seen the hockey stick?

      If anything they are tenacious, in a sort of like trying to scrap dog poop off your shoe kind of way.

  113. Rick on February 20, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Without mentioning any names of course, sometimes when I read a comment heavily larded and over wrought with words; [ . . . ]

    – – – – – – –

    Rick,

    The Gibert & Sullivan quite was fun.

    Here are a couple more quotes about fools from other sources:

    From Samual Clemens ( aka Mark Twain):

    ” The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.”

    from Mark Twain, as quoted in Deduction : Introductory Symbolic Logic (2002) by Daniel A. Bonevac, p. 56

    From Shakespeare:

    The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

    William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act v. Sc. 1 (1599 or 1600)

    From Aeschylus:

    It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.

    Aeschylus, in Prometheus Bound (c. 478 BC), as translated by David Grene

    From Douglas Adams:

    A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

    Douglas Adams in Mostly Harmless (1992)

    Note: all of the above quotes taken from: http://en.m.wikiquote.org/wiki/Fools#section_1

    John

  114. PaddikJ says:
    …. Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.
    – Proverbs 26:4 (NKJV)
    “Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference“
    – commonly credited to Mark Twain, but could be Yogi Berra.
    Confucious was pithiest: Argue with a fool and there are two fools arguing.
    >>> Confucious, King Solomon, Mark Twain, and maybe even Yogi…
    Now THAT’s a consensus!

  115. In every season (spin spin spin)
    It’s the same reason (spin spin spin)
    For every type of weather under heaven.

    zdp

  116. atheok says:
    February 20, 2013 at 1:55 am
    >…unless you’re using some of that homemade genuinely sharp mustard from Lancaster PA. If that mustard is dripping off your pretzel, then your sinuses are also free flowing.
    >>> I used the cheap yellow stuff, but as a kid my sinuses flowed nonetheless.
    >I forgot scrapple, well maybe, as I also left out hogshead cheese, smoked pork chops…
    >>> And Taylor Pork rolls. That kept your electrolytes high.
    >Hurricane Carol in Wildwood Crest; that must’ve been a worrying experience.
    >>> I was seven and had no worries. We rented a small bungalow with a brownstone foundation. The foundation was flooded along with the streets, and I had a blast swimming and splashing in the streets. The next morning I swam to the corner deli to get a non-fat (right!) cream roll, and days later thousands of tadpoles swarmed the dunes. The owners of the bungalow provided a little calico kitten named Peanuts, a spunky little thing despite being crippled by polio. Peanuts survived the storm, but the goldfish in the pond across the street got away.
    Another profound memory is standing on the dunes with my Dad gripping my hand, watching the misty mountains of sea water exploding just offshore.
    Carol’s category 3 eye passed 50 miles offshore, which must have been a bit closer than anyone forecast. A few years ago I read “Isaac’s Storm”, a fabulous account of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. I paused when I got to the part where the kids of the doomed city were playing and splashing in the flooded streets, just as I did in 1954. Carol stayed 50 miles away, and here I’m writing about it nearly 60 years later. The Galveston storm rolled on in and the kids were all gone within hours.
    >Good Post!
    >>> Thanks – your Philadeldelphia perspective is fun to read, too!
    >“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”; Jorge Santayana y Borrás
    >>> Which goes along with King Solomon’s “there is nothing new under the sun”. Storms like Sandy have happened before, like Hurricane Carol, the 1821 hurricane which did a direct hit on Wildwood, but no one lived there then, and the ever memorable 1962 coastal storm that put new meaning into the name of Ocean City. It’s all happened before, and it will all happen again.

  117. Bart says:
    February 20, 2013 at 12:26 am
    Steven Mosher says:
    February 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    It would be nice if you would tell us which IPCC document you are quoting. Seems a little suspicious. I downloaded the AR4 to see what it said – couldn’t match any phrases from your list. But, I did find these gems:

    #################
    AR4 working group 1.

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