Wuebbles gone wild – hilarious claims of ‘wall to wall’ severe weather on cable news is not science

A couple of days ago there was this PR from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I decided it was just too ridiculous to get any traction. I was wrong, an even more ridiculous press release followed this one. Only one problem; Wuebbles doesn’t understand the difference between reality and reporting bias – Anthony

University of Illinois atmospheric sciences professor Donald Wuebbles will present a talk about how climate change is increasing the number of severe weather events at the 2013 AAAS meeting.

Climate change’s costly wild weather consequences

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Throughout 2012, the United States was battered by severe weather events such as hurricanes and droughts that affected both pocketbooks and livelihoods. Research suggests that in the coming years, U.S. five-day forecasts will show greater numbers of extreme weather events, a trend linked to human-driven climate change.

Donald Wuebbles, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will discuss extreme weather in a presentation Feb. 15 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

In recent decades, multi-day heat waves and severe precipitation have become more frequent. For example, in the U.S. in the 1950s, the number of days that set record high temperatures was equal to the number of days that set record low temperatures. By the 2000s, the United States was twice as likely to see a record high as a record low.

“Human-driven climate change is in fact driving changes in severe weather, and that leads to a lot of potential impacts in both humans and wildlife that end up being costly in many different ways,” Wuebbles said.

As the global climate changes, normal weather patterns are altered. This is because the increasingly warmer atmosphere holds larger amounts of water vapor, which energizes storms, Wuebbles said.

The consequences of severe weather are much greater than the disappointment of a missed picnic or the inconvenience of a power outage. Weather-related disasters incur huge expenses, taxing both public funds and private equity. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 11 extreme weather events costing more than $1 billion each occurred in 2012.

“What we’ve seen in general is that the number of billion-dollar events has increased over the last three decades,” Wuebbles said. “It’s not just hurricanes, it’s really a number of different types of weather extremes that are increasing, and that’s what the worry is.”

In his talk, Wuebbles will discuss the current understanding of severe weather in relation to the science of climate change, as well as speak about the issues and uncertainties that will affect the U.S. and world in the coming years.

###

OK today we have this press release from AAAS:

Scientists Say Wild Weather Is Here to Stay

Cable news junkies, take heart: if you love wall-to-wall coverage of hurricanes, wildfires and superstorms, your future viewing schedules will be jam-packed.

Researchers at the AAAS Annual Meeting said that wild weather events like Superstorm Sandy and the severe Texas drought are the new normal in North America, as human-driven climate change has made these events more intense and more frequent.

This GOES-13 satellite image was captured on Oct. 31 at 1240 UTC as Sandy’s circulation was winding down over Pennsylvania. Sandy had been downgraded a remnant low pressure area. Credit: NASA GOES Project

Consider these facts:

•  In the 1950s, the number of days that set record high temperatures in the U.S. was equal to the number of days that set record low temperatures. By the 2000s, record highs were twice as likely as record low.

•  The amount of precipitation falling in the heaviest rain and snow events in the United States has increased by nearly 20% since the 1950s.

•  Since the 1970s, the Atlantic Ocean has seen substantial increases in nearly every measure of hurricane activity, from frequency to storm intensity.

“The scientific analyses are now indicating a strong link between changing trends in severe weather events and the changing climate,” said Donald Wuebbles, an atmospheric scientist from the University of Illinois. “Every weather event that happens nowadays takes place in the context of a changed background climate.”

“Globally the temperatures are higher, the sea levels are higher, and there is more water vapor in the atmosphere, which energizes storms. So nothing is entirely natural anymore,” he said. “The background atmosphere has changed and continues to change due to human activity.”

Extreme weather took political center stage earlier this week, when U.S President Barack Obama mentioned Superstorm Sandy and other severe weather events in his State of the Union speech.

However, the president was careful to note that “no single event makes a trend,” an idea echoed by the researchers at a AAAS news briefing.

“While a particular heat wave may have still have occurred in the absence of human-induced warming,” Wuebbles explained, “it would not have been as hot, or lasted this long, and such events would not occur as frequently.”

Ecologists and wildlife biologists have been steadily compiling evidence that climate change has profound effects on plants and animals, affecting where they thrive and when they breed or flower, among other events. But University of Texas at Austin biologist Camille Parmesan said some of these changes also can be driven by extreme weather events—even just a few days of extreme heat or rainfall.

Climate change interacts with other factors such as pollution and shrinking habitats to affect plant and animal populations, Parmesan acknowledged. But, she said, studies of coral reefs and other natural habitats suggest that “if we reduce these other human stresses, we actually can increase resilience and resistance in natural ecological systems.”

It remains to be seen whether humans can be similarly resilient in the face of extreme weather, the researchers said. The past holds several examples of other societies that did not fare so well under severe climate change.

Tree-ring records from the American Southwest, for example, suggest that drought during the 13th century may have driven the residents of Mesa Verde, Colorado to flee their fields and homes. “The historical record shows us a community that may have failed environmentally,” said David Stahle, a tree-ring scholar from the University of Arkansas. “We are doing the same thing now in terms of our heavy consumption of water and fossil fuels.”

Wuebbles said he has talked with farmers in the American Midwest who are already changing planting times and seed types in response to recent years of severe drought and floods. And other states are grappling with the financial implications of a future of weather extremes.

Texas State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon has been tracking the fallout from his state’s ongoing drought, which he said was triggered more by extreme high temperatures than a lack of rainfall.

Reservoirs are at their lowest levels since the 1990s, and the state legislature will meet this spring to discuss a water plan that ensures supplies for the next 50 years. “But it costs $53 billion,” Nielsen-Gammon said, “and there’s presently no mechanism to fund it.”

“Up until this point, climate change has been largely an abstract concept because some of the United States has not seen a large increase in temperatures until just recently,” he added. “The awareness of the importance of dealing with climate change is just now becoming apparent within our state.”

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

Dr. Wuebbles might do well to read and understand how the march of technology has created a reporting bias in “cable news” providing us with “wall to wall coverage”:

Read thisWhy it seems that severe weather is “getting worse” when the data shows otherwise – a historical perspective

And for his three points, the real facts are in [brackets in blue]:

•  In the 1950s, the number of days that set record high temperatures in the U.S. was equal to the number of days that set record low temperatures. By the 2000s, record highs were twice as likely as record low. [Yes, but does Dr. Wuebbles know that most of the weather stations setting new records are NEW stations that have been added since then? See graph below:

COOP_Station_count

Above is Figure 2a from NOAA/NCDC Peterson and Vose (1997), showing the change in temperature reporting stations over time for daily mean temperatures (solid line) and min/max temperatures (dotted line). Note that the number of stations added after 1950 was the biggest jump, and with so many new stations, it is logical that they’d set new records for their locations. Combine this with the growth of cities (UHI) and spectacularly poor station siting, and it is not at all surprising there are more warm records than cold.]

•  The amount of precipitation falling in the heaviest rain and snow events in the United States has increased by nearly 20% since the 1950s. [Again, this can be explained by the addition of more weather stations after 1950, with more stations with rain and snow gauges added, you’ll see more events due to better spatial coverage. Rain and snow bands can often be very narrow, particularly from thunderstorms, and so catching these is dependent on a station being under the event]

•  Since the 1970s, the Atlantic Ocean has seen substantial increases in nearly every measure of hurricane activity, from frequency to storm intensity. [ This is double plus wrong, see the graphs of Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy and Frequency below:

global_running_ace

maue_hurricane_frequency

]

And…finally…

Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. says

Let’s take a step back. The science on climate change, extreme events and disaster costs is clear and unambiguous. You don’t need to take my word for it, you can find the science well summarized in the IPCC SREX. And if you don’t like the IPCC you can find an array of peer-reviewed literature. I am happy to debate this topic with all comers as the data and analyses overwhelming support the claims below.

The only thing that has increased that is extreme, is Dr. Wuebbles opinions.

88 thoughts on “Wuebbles gone wild – hilarious claims of ‘wall to wall’ severe weather on cable news is not science

  1. And yet … I’ll be condescended to by nearly everyone I know for being an “anti-science denier” for the foreseeable future.

    I teach at a “progressive” school. When students and staff recently sang “We Shall Overcome,” I’m pretty sure I meant something different than a lot of the people at the event.

  2. The words “scientists say…” in press releases is beginning to make my top lip curl up. It’s about time real scientists dissociated themselves from wall-to-wall alarmism before the entire profession is brought into disrepute.

  3. Extreme weather sells. One of the Richmond TV stations broke into prime time to show off their new super duper double doppler max storm tracking radar by covering a large thunderstorm a couple years ago. It also might be that the cost of storm damage is related to the increased number and prices of housing in places storms and extreme weather can damage them, such as the upsurge in million-dollar beach front property.
    This is science by anecdote.

  4. The MSM are taking a beating, fake climate news is one of their last chances. Wuebbles is one other, in a line of white collar alarmists, that offers the necessary garbage to fuel the hype.

  5. If it were true that the anomalies that Dr Wuebbles has noted are due to new stations, this would result in a step change over a couple of decades or so, before reaching a new stable level.
    This would manifest itself in other measurements, like temperatures rising, then levelling off.
    hey, wait a minute….

  6. “Scientists Say Wild Weather Is Here to Stay” – so what is the point? Wild weather always has been and always will be with us

  7. Yeah, but… all you need to do is get the Hunny-boo-boo crowd to hear it once and it is a fact forever. That such a show exists goes a long way towards explaining why CAGW was such an easy sell. The dumbing of America on display for all to see.

    I’ll take Dr. Pielke’s cites (above) over Dr. Wuebbles’ opinion any day.

  8. Methinks Professor Wuebbles is scared about losing his position at the university, so he has dreamed up this rubbish (plausible only to the uninformed or the gullible) in order to drum up some – what he hopes will be positive – publicity.

    Just another demonstration that the divide between ‘climate science’ and climate facts is becoming ever wider.

  9. This is becoming absurd. Superstorm Sandy or Superstition Sandy?

    Meanwhile in the insane EU, they are trying to nail the corpse of carbon trading to the perch. A nice admission by one MEP – it is important to be “seen to be doing something” about that ghastly pollutant CO2 (sarc), just as a totem:

  10. The Texas drought was due to a mix of UHI and new weather stations. Have I got that right? What about the heat waves elsewhere last year? Were they from UHI or new weather stations?

    REPLY: No, the drought isn’t connected to weather station population, the more stations you have, the better chance you collect narrow rain bands from thunderstorms. When there is no rain, you can have a weather station every square mile and the value is still zero. – Anthony

  11. • Since the 1970s, the Atlantic Ocean has seen substantial increases in nearly every measure of hurricane activity, from frequency to storm intensity. [ This is double plus wrong, see the graphs of Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy and Frequency below:

    [Images of global and northern hurricane frequencies omitted.]

    The Atlantic and Pacific hurricane patterns are so different that comparing Atlantic to global or Atlantic to northern hemisphere is nonsensical.

    I’ll see if I can dig up a Bill Gray graph of Atlantic hurricane frequencies that show off the cyclic nature of those storms and they connection to a positive AMO. Shorter term events like El Niño, African dust storms, the Madden-Julian Oscillation, etc allow for quiet years within the positive AMO cycle.

    The real mystery is why the northeast US has been hit by so few hurricanes this AMO cycle. I expected a repeat of the 1950s by now.

  12. The sad part is, Wuebbles looks old enough to know better.

    My parents were born in the 30s, and they and their peer group laugh at all of this climate change stuff. They remember worse, they remember better. Weather is weather, it’s not stable, things change, things go in cycles, things happen at random.

    Things cost more to replace or rebuild every year, so using the increasing dollar value of “events” is either stupid or willfully dishonest. 50 years ago a house was relatively inexpensive to rebuild. Today a house is far more complex, so of course it costs more. Ditto with cars. Get the same tree blown over onto your 1957 Chevy and your 2012 Honda… which will be crushed like a tin can and which will have a dent on the roof?

    Droughts? We’ve had ‘em. In the 90s the Prairies were supposedly in a drought that would take 50 years to recover from IF rainfall returned at “normal” rates. Well, rainfall did return. The drought was broken. Things are already back to where they were before. Where was the reporting on that?

    Try telling people who remember the hurricanes of the 1940s that things are worse now. 10 major hurricanes (Cat 3 and above), vs. 4, 5, 5, and 3 in the last four decades. And hey, we didn’t exactly have satellite tracking prior to the 70s, so there is absolutely NO way to reliably know anything about hurricanes that didn’t make landfall.

    Oh yeah, I remember a few years back that the ski resorts in Western Canada were all going to be out of business. They’re not. Weather patterns similar to the ones that were common during the years they built those resorts are back, and I have little doubt the “bad” weather patterns will return eventually too.

    More moisture in the air is one that makes me laugh, out loud. No matter how much that is shown to be not just inaccurate but also ridiculous, they keep bringing it up. Too funny.

    Reasonably accurate weather tracking is very recent. Far more recent than a single 60-70 year cycle that anyone who has done even the slightest weather research knows exists. Half of that, in fact. I still am amazed that people draw straight lines to show “trends” on a sine wave.

    Extracting my point above: either Wuebbles is stupid, or willfully dishonest. I’d rather believe that, since he’s a university professor, it’s the latter.

  13. Are there still people like this “journalist”?

    I thought the role of journalists was to gather material that was new … be ahead of the game so to speak, not be about five years behind the times.

  14. I think this guy changed his first name. It used to be Barny, Barny Wuebbles, and he starred on a show called “The Flintstones.”

    …or, if that is not true, it should be, for his science is straight from Flintrock.

  15. FOR SALE
    Climate Change Crystal Ball
    In mint condition!
    Need of cash, so quick deal => nice price!
    Note! Cash only!

  16. “Research suggests that in the coming years, U.S. five-day forecasts will show greater numbers of extreme weather events…”
    Not the events – the forecasts, okay?. That God guy may control the events, but we control the forecasts. In NZ this year they broke the hottest day record – for a forecast. The day ended up fairly mild, but you could have fried an egg on that forecast.

  17. One can only hope that someone sends Dr Wuebbles a link to such an excellent rebuttal. But as has been shown many times over, public figures/entities simply cannot admit they were wrong. No upside in that course of action at all.

    Jim

  18. “Note that the number of stations added after 1950 was the biggest jump, and with so many new stations, it is logical that they’d set new records for their locations.”

    Except that all the stations last summer were setting records not just the newer ones. And the state records, city records, etc, those are on an area basis not a station basis.

    REPLY: that doesn’t change the premise, and one summer heat wave caused by a blocking high pattern has nothing to do with the issue of climate since the 1950’s – Anthony

  19. Go Illini! (the alumnus said sarcastically). Extremely disturbing if not a complete violation of scientific ethics to so thouroughly claim to be making statements of facts that are so clearly opinion. This is being done as a professor of science, no less. Selling studies that “suggest” as something more seems to be the common practice, but it’s not helpful to science or the questions at hand. And — both the practice and the conclusions here are provably wrong. A complete failure – from the U of I. All I can think is that they’ve decided to follow the path of Al Gore to Nobel glory rather than that old stodgy path that some of their previous laureates walked.

  20. My mind reels that a “professor of Atmospheric science” would be so fast and lose with facts that are so easy to falsify. It’s time to start calling them out to their Universities. The credibility of all scientists is being quickly demolished. It’s time for the profession to claw back its integrity by calling out those who destroy its integrity.

  21. Anthony can you comment about the claims of increased water vapor in the atmosphere?
    It seems to me that is the basis of the theory for the extreme weather alarmists.

  22. It really saddens me that we spend tens of thousands of dollars per year to educate students and for all that money we have someone like this teaching them.

  23. This longish presentation has interesting information about the impact of less Arctic ice-warmer Arctic on the jet stream. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xugAC7XGosM

    It explains why extreme events are getting more common: the jet stream slows down and meanders more creating longer lasting blocking patterns. The aggregate extreme event chart presented did not appear to have much of a slope. The effects are, of course, independent of the source of the Arctic warming: CO2, natural, both, other.

    One of the more interesting points Dr. Francis makes in response to a question is that avoidance will not work. If CO2 theory is correct, the damage has already been done as the CO2 impact works its way through the climate system. She advocates adaptation.

  24. eqibno says:
    February 20, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Yours is a litigious society. Can’t you get an injunction against malicious misinformation?

    His isn’t misinformation, it’s disinformation. Big difference, one is a mistake, the other is intentional.

  25. trafamadore says:
    February 20, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Except that all the stations last summer were setting records not just the newer ones. And the state records, city records, etc, those are on an area basis not a station basis.

    All stations? Really? Can you point me to one on the west coast that recorded a record high in the summer of 2012? I won’t hold my breath.

  26. “Every weather event that happens nowadays takes place in the context of a changed background climate.”
    That is secular religion for sure – to think that every bit of weather is related to climate change. And how about those special new crop seeds, that can handle both floods and drought! Wuebbles is over the top goofy. But of course he drives a car and heats his home and uses electricity.

  27. ‘This is because the increasingly warmer atmosphere holds larger amounts of water vapor, which energizes storms, Wuebbles said.’

    Wuebbles is wrong. The atmosphere warms more higher in the troposphere than at the surface which de-energizes storms. Likewise the relatively larger warming at the pole (north at least) decreases the meridional flow from the pole and de-energizes storms.

  28. Atlanitc hurricanes in number and intensity have increased since the 70s, he says? Isn’t that about the time they launched weather satellites to scan the Atlantic and see all those storms that neither come ashore or cut across shipping lanes to any great amount? If you count hurricanes reported by visual sitings, I suspect the number hasn’t gone up at all. As for intensity, since they don’t fly hurricane hunters into the majority of those storms, they “read” the intensity from satellites, thus who really knows what the true intensity is? The advances in the “science” of guessing by proxy has risen incredibly in the past 40 years or so. Not saying you can’t make an educated guess via proxies, but it’s still a guess, not a measurement.

  29. Does anybody read all the posts before witty-wobbling? I think I counted five so far? A tad inane. No matter, Since Obama’s Stealth Climate stance, a whole spate of emboldened alarmists are getting top billing. It makes my heart sink, and my stomach turn, to read these similarly-worded freak-outs. WHERE IS THE DATA? there is none.

  30. Below his picture I read:

    University of Illinois atmospheric sciences professor Donald Wuebbles will present a talk about how climate change is increasing the number of severe weather events at the 2013 AAAS meeting.

    I can’t believe that Dr. Wuebbles is not aware of the points Anthony has made regarding his claims. I can only conclude one of 3 things:

    1) He is not aware and thus does not deserve his professorship or his PHD
    OR
    2) He is following the money despite the facts
    OR
    3) He has to follow the IPCC mantra because he has to despite the facts.

    My last two points deserve due consideration because I read in his biography:

    Dr. Wuebbles is an expert in numerical modeling of atmospheric physics and chemistry. He has authored over 400 scientific articles, relating mostly to atmospheric chemistry and climate issues……………He shares in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was a member of a federal advisory committee that assessed and in 2009 published a report on the potential impacts of climate change on the United States. Professor Wuebbles is a Coordinating Lead Author for the next major international IPCC assessment of climate change that will be published in 2013 and is a leader in the next U.S. National Climate Assessment, being a member of the Executive Secretariat and the Federal Advisory Committee.

    http://www.atmos.illinois.edu/people/wuebbles.html

    Maybe all 3 points are appropriate for this charlatan.

  31. Except that all the stations last summer were setting records not just the newer ones. And the state records, city records, etc, those are on an area basis not a station basis.

    REPLY: that doesn’t change the premise, and one summer heat wave caused by a blocking high pattern has nothing to do with the issue of climate since the 1950′s – Anthony

    Okay. The point wasn’t one heat wave, it was all the recording stations in one region tend to report the same value, +- micro regional differences, as you know better than most.

    And I was wondering after I wrote that, your new station argument could be used for record lows, which we don’t seem to be getting much of these days. They should equal out in a “normal” world.

    REPLY: re: new record lows and balance – Not when proximity to heat sinks and sources due to encroachment are a factor in ~90% of the US measurement network.

    -Anthony

  32. One wonders why people can’t make the logical leap (really a baby step) from the fact that we have 24 hour news and weather coverage, a media that thrives on sensationalism, and a political system and social structure that gives far more weight to illogical emotional appeals than to facts and logical argumentation – to the “increase” in wild weather. We also, not coincidentally, have an “increase” in gun violence, when the data shows otherwise…

  33. trafamadore says: They [record high and record lows] should equal out in a “normal” world.

    Not true. A “normal” world will have cycles of warmth and cold and record highs will exceed record lows at times. They did in the 1930’s. Perhaps trafamadore can explain why he only cares about the change in ratio since the 1950’s instead of going back to the 1930’s.

  34. This hyping of weather though is par for the course with where systems thinking coupled to very graphic video gaming that creates virtual economies, ecological systems, wars, urban areas. It’s all designed to create false beliefs about how reality works. Both bad hard science like Wuebbles but also a belief that social systems like a city or economy will work and can be manipulated like a computer model. I am not speculating on this. I have tracked it back to MIT decades ago and it clearly underlies what is being introduced as project based learning, assessments, and science curriculum under the Common Core.

    It’s no accident that U of I-Urbana-Champlain is where the National Council of Teaches of English is located which does not define literacy any more as you or I would. And sees all sorts of transformational opportunities for this Systems thinking/ICT classroom. It really is a new world in terms of trying to alter the perceptual filter with new, pre-supplied and quite false metaphors to hopefully get applied in new situations. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/the-need-to-know-as-we-understand-it-today-may-be-a-lethal-cultural-sport/ is another NSF tragedy that will come to no good. And probably great harm as we cannot really evaluate what is being pushed in these online Cyberlearning curriculum. Just ask the Texans about how accessible C Scope is.

    That will be where the Wuebbles rhetoric and visuals will be reenforced. Along with all the systems theorist. Students will come to believe reality works like a created, virtual model. That will have cause and effect that mirror confusing weather and climate and creating politically useful false beliefs.

  35. Thanks, Anthony. I thought the article mentioned the effect of the Texas drought was worse more because of the heat than the lack of rain. But I take it you say Nielson-Gammon is wrong about that. It’s probably just an artefact of UHI and new thermometers.

    Do you think they need to adjust the EPA/NOAA chart (below) to take account of UHI and all the new thermometers? Maybe take out the satellite data, which looks to be wrong as well, probably because they are relatively new.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/temperature.html

  36. “But the USA is only a small part of the globe”
    (Old Warmist rebuttal now forgotten).

    “The weather is not the same as climate”.
    (Old Warmist rebuttal now forgotten)

    They have forgotten these points because the world has stopped warming and they are becoming very, very desperate people indeed.

    Now for something a little different.

    Abstract – 2012
    Persistent non-solar forcing of Holocene storm dynamics in coastal sedimentary archives

    “We find that high storm activity occurred periodically with a frequency of about 1,500 years, closely related to cold and windy periods diagnosed earlier”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1619.html#ref1

    Conclusion – 2011
    Long-term properties of annual maximum daily river discharge worldwide

    Analysis of trends and of aggregated time series on climatic (30-year) scale does not indicate consistent trends worldwide. Despite common perception, in general, the detected trends are more negative (less intense floods in most recent years) than positive. Similarly, Svensson et al. (2005) and Di Baldassarre et al. (2010) did not find systematical change neither in flood increasing or decreasing numbers nor change in flood magnitudes in their analysis.

    http://itia.ntua.gr/getfile/1128/2/documents/2011EGU_DailyDischargeMaxima_Pres.pdf

    Abstract – 2011
    Fluctuations in some climate parameters

    There is argument as to the extent to which there has been an increase over the past few decades in the frequency of the extremes of climatic parameters, such as temperature, storminess, precipitation, etc, an obvious point being that Global Warming might be responsible. Here we report results on those parameters of which we have had experience during the last few years: Global surface temperature, Cloud Cover and the MODIS Liquid Cloud Fraction. In no case we have found indications that fluctuations of these parameters have increased with time.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jastp.2011.01.021

    Abstract – 2006
    [1] The Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) has produced a combined satellite and in situ global precipitation estimate, beginning 1979. The annual average GPCP estimates are here analyzed over 1979–2004 to evaluate the large-scale variability over the period. Data inhomogeneities are evaluated and found to not be responsible for the major variations, including systematic changes over the period. Most variations are associated with El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) episodes. There are also tropical trend-like changes over the period, correlated with interdecadal warming of the tropical SSTs and uncorrelated with ENSO. Trends have spatial variations with both positive and negative values, with a global-average near zero.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025393/abstract

    Abstract – 2011
    The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project

    It is anticipated that the 20CR dataset will be a valuable resource to the climate research community for both model validations and diagnostic studies. Some surprising results are already evident. For instance, the long-term trends of indices representing the North Atlantic Oscillation, the tropical Pacific Walker Circulation, and the Pacific–North American pattern are weak or non-existent over the full period of record. The long-term trends of zonally averaged precipitation minus evaporation also differ in character from those in climate model simulations of the twentieth century.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.776/full

    See also WUWT extreme climate page.

  37. Seems a bit Blackadder-ish: you recall the episode where he puts underwear over his head, a pencil up each nostril and says “Wuebble”?

  38. From 1650 until 2005 the Sun has [on the average] been releasing more energy. This has had the effect of warming the planet. We have been in a warming period [not caused by man].

    Now, with the Sun in a funk, we are entering a cooling period. We have never gone through a long term cooling period with “scientific monitoring”. We have only had a long term warming period with “scientific monitoring”.

    With no previous examples, the complex weather nature of the planet can’t be effectively modeled. There is no way to verify the computer models. During this cooling period, as the events happen then the models can be verified.

    Viewers to the “Weather Channels” love to see “weather events” especially if they can watch a pretty girl wandering out in the rain, wind or, most of all, snow.

    All “news stations” know that extreme events attract viewers, especially if presented by a pretty woman.

  39. “Tree-ring records from the American Southwest, for example, suggest that drought during the 13th century may have driven the residents of Mesa Verde, …”
    ###
    Of course when this factoid is references it is missing a bit of context such as what the global temperature was doing at the time.

  40. Jimbo says:
    February 20, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I think Jimbo has hit the nail firmly on the head, from his own CV he is being paid to LIE.

  41. “REPLY: re: new record lows and balance – Not when proximity to heat sinks and sources due to encroachment are a factor in ~90% of the US measurement network.”

    Moored on the US measurement network. Okay, fine. But your new weather stations…shouldnt _they_ have equal numbers of record lows and highs? I mean, even if I put a new weather station in a Sears Parking lot next to the air conditioners, I would expect it to have equal numbers of record lows and highs, relative to its own self.

    and to eric1skeptic: the normal I was referring to was the normal distribution, and over the years it should tend to hold….and the time range was picked by the Anthony, not me.

    REPLY:
    You obviously don’t understand how the physics of heat sinks work, these new stations have heat sinks and sources near them. As documented. – Anthony

  42. REPLY: You obviously don’t understand how the physics of heat sinks work, these new stations have heat sinks and sources near them. As documented. – Anthony

    That’s really interesting, Anthony. Could you expand on that? You say that even relative to themselves all the new thermometers have been put in hot places so they just keep getting hotter and hotter. Like on a cold day they show hotter compared to the same cold day a year ago. That can’t go on forever, surely. Do they eventually get so hot that they stop working altogether?

    REPLY: Don’t put words in mouth, I said no such thing. Look up how the physics of heat sinks works, and you’ll understand instead of bloviating about aimlessly to score points. Though somehow, I think that’s really your intent, not understanding….

    …especially since you seem to be the now banned “Lazy Teenager” repackaged under yet another fake name. Or should I call you “Aston”??? – Anthony

  43. Here is Mr. Wobbles on the Climate Communication advisory board with the honorable Peter Gleick and Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann. You see, it’s not about the scientific evidence but propaganda.

    http://climatecommunication.org/who-we-are/advisors/

    Here they are on extreme weather and heat waves. Here they re-define the weather and try to make it become the climate.

    http://climatecommunication.org/what-we-do/publicize/

    They do this by communicating their lies and propaganda to lazy journalists.

    http://climatecommunication.org/what-we-do/assist/

    Climate change is real and has and will always happened. The weather will be variable tomorrow, next week, next year, decade. But whatever happened to anthropogenic global warming? Whatever happened to Catastrophic Anthropogenic Runaway Global Warming??? Can someone help?

  44. Martin says:
    February 20, 2013 at 8:01 am
    Do you think they need to adjust the EPA/NOAA chart (below) to take account of UHI and all the new thermometers? Maybe take out the satellite data, which looks to be wrong as well, probably because they are relatively new.

    No, keep the satelite data but take out the … adjusted… historical data.

  45. “Globally the temperatures are higher, the sea levels are higher, and there is more water vapor in the atmosphere, which energizes storms.

    Is there more water vapor in the atmosphere? I thought humidity levels were declining.

  46. No I’m not Lazy Teenager (who’s that?). I was trying to understand what you meant. If temperatures aren’t really going up, as you say, and it’s just an artefact of UHI and new thermometers.

    Trafamadore’s post was saying that even if the thermometer was put in a hot place, then relative to itself it should still show the same number of highs as lows, assuming the temperature isn’t really going up. You said not so, that’s not how heat sinks work. I figured you meant that the temperature as measured by the UHI thermometer would just keep on going up and I assumed you meant forever. I can’t see how that can be. Now you say I got it wrong. So does that mean Trafamadore was right all along? That once it settled down a thermometer should be showing equal numbers of highs as lows – assuming as you are saying that the temperature isn’t really going up.

    Sorry if I’m being a bit thick headed about all this. I’m here to learn.

    REPLY: Yes you are being thick-headed, and it seems as if on purpose. For the third time, go read about heat sinks and the physics of them. There’s your answer. – Anthony

  47. Anthony, Re your reply to trafamadore 7:42 am
    What classification scale was that pie chart? Was it the official NOAA scale or is it the Leroy 2010?

    Another thing about the error estimates of either classification. There seems to be an implied +/- symmetry in the error which further implies a 0 bias. There is no reason to belief that the sources of error are equally weighted toward the warmer and cooler. Calling it “error” is charitable. Calling it “potential bias” is far closer to the truth.

  48. REPLY: You obviously don’t understand how the physics of heat sinks work, these new stations have heat sinks and sources near them. As documented. – Anthony

    You are correct, in that I dont understand. I thought a heat sink was a simple something that smoothes out temp extremes and spikes, sort of like the block made out of aluminum in my computer that has the CP tacked onto it. I dont understand the part about allowing high extremes (albeit, smoothed) and not allowing lows.

    To make your argument hold, don’t you haf to invoke _changes_ around your new post 50s stations (your US measurement network explanation, I thought it had a component in it for new development (sources) around the temp stations)? And in your pie chart up there, your “good” stations, couldn’t you examine each station and count its record mins and maxs through time, since they were established? (you have the averages, do you have the individual daily records??) I wonder what you would find?

    BTW, my heat sink in my computer reached a record low this AM; but I have to say it was -9 C out when I walked in and it is a new 3 week old computer…

    REPLY: Snark gets you nowhere except further down. Why don’t you do some reading and original research and tell us, I’m not going to waste time on you. Here’s a good start: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/ – Anthony

  49. It always bothers me that statistics are usually quoted as from “…the 1950’s”. Did we not have weather/climate changes before that? By all accounts, the Spanish reported severe weather in the western Atlantic 500 years ago. How severe was it?

    Let’s face it, we only have “global” weather data from the late ’70’s when the first Earth resources satillites were launched. The data from the early years is no longer accurate enough to fit into current calculations (margin of error). That is not enough!

  50. RobertInAz says:
    February 20, 2013 at 7:02 am

    This longish presentation has interesting information about the impact of less Arctic ice-warmer Arctic on the jet stream. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xugAC7XGosM

    It explains why extreme events are getting more common: the jet stream slows down and meanders more creating longer lasting blocking patterns. The aggregate extreme event chart presented did not appear to have much of a slope. The effects are, of course, independent of the source of the Arctic warming: CO2, natural, both, other.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    That’s interesting. Blocking patterns are a result of what’s called “meridional circulation” patterns. The interesting part is that these patterns occur during a cooling climate.

    “During cooler climatic periods, however, the high-altitude winds are broken up into irregular cells by weaker and more plentiful pressure centers, causing formation of a “meridional circulation” pattern. These small, weak cells may stagnate over vast areas for many months, bringing unseasonably cold weather on one side and unseasonably warm weather on the other. Droughts and floods become more frequent and may alternate season to season, as they did last year in India. Thus, while the hemisphere as a whole is cooler, individual areas may alternately break temperature and precipitation records at both extremes.” There’s even a nice diagram: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/download/id/37739/name/CHILLING_POSSIBILITIES

  51. REPLY: Snark gets you nowhere except further down.

    ??

    Why don’t you do some reading and original research and tell us, I’m not going to waste time on you. Here’s a good start: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/ – Anthony

    Actually I am already somewhat familiar with your manuscript, but you are doing an apples and oranges thing. Unless it is hidden in some attached file somewhere, your metric is average temperature not record temperature. But, if the record temps mirror the averages, and if the temperature distributions are symmetric, your study could be relevant and could explain the asymmetric bias, and we dont need to worry about explaining heat sinks. Maybe we should just leave it there.

    REPLY: and he still doesn’t understand about heat sinks and how they affect both record high temperatures as well as averages, and he refuses to go read up on it. Heat sinks hold heat, making a warm day easier to reach a new high, thanks to a higher starting point from previous day. When you have a stagnant weather pattern, like Texas 2012, the heat sink problem really escalates. Lows, not so much, but it depends on the weather conditions and season and insolation, Then there’s heat sources, waste heat, which can also affect the microclimate giving it a boost. Then there is increased humidity due to irrigation, something humans do near these climate stations with regularity: moist enthalpy. Dr. John Christy proved this in California Central Valley weather stations.

    It blows my mind that you can’t see these issues, but maybe you have no critical thinking skills, or maybe you just can’t get past the mind block of CO2 CO2 CO2 CO2…. – Anthony

    -Anthony

  52. University of Illinois atmospheric junk science professor Donald Wuebbles will present a talk about how he is became a junk scientist at the 2013 AAASSS meeting.

  53. trafamadore said “and to eric1skeptic: the normal I was referring to was the normal distribution, and over the years it should tend to hold”

    The distribution of high and low temperatures should be Gaussian over the years, but I’m not sure that answers the question of why we would expect more record high events in a naturally-varying world. The answer to that is that the statistics of temperature in any or all locations varies with the weather patterns including very long term patterns. When locations like the continental US experience La Nina we get a lot of heat especially record heat from combined dryness and blocked high pressure. The 1930’s had that and I brought it up because it explains a lot of the continental US records. Others are explained by UHIE. Still others are pushed over the edge by an average 0.6C or less of global warming. But that last category has to be a pretty small factor considering the other influences can be responsible for 10C or more.

  54. It is pretty circular to promote AGW on TV and then claim that AGW is happening because the TV editorial policy is to put on as much AGW hype as possible.

  55. eric1skeptic says:”The distribution of high and low temperatures should be Gaussian over the years, but I’m not sure that answers the question of why we would expect more record high events in a naturally-varying world. The answer to that is that the statistics of temperature in any or all locations varies with the weather patterns including very long term patterns.”

    or, another hypothesis, perhaps one you have heard, is that there are more high records because it is getting warmer (because of the CO2).

  56. Anthony say,” Heat sinks hold heat, making a warm day easier to reach a new high, thanks to a higher starting point from previous day.”

    Okay, very good….and heat sinks hold cold, making a cold day easier to reach a new low, thanks to a lower starting point from previous day.

    Sorry, it works both ways. To think otherwise is silly.

  57. trafamadore, get a grip on reality. Global temperature has risen only ≈0.8ºC over the past 150 years. There are as many record lows as record highs. And that minuscule global warming occurs at night, and in the higher latitudes, and in winter.

    As a matter of fact, the temperature over the past century and a half has been amazingly flat. You’ve bought into a completely fabricated scare story, hook, line and sinker. If you used your brain you would understand that.

  58. And, BTW, I dont meant to belittle your other sources, humidity and waste heat, I agree, they can be a problem in siting temp stations. (And, do you include contrails in the humidity category…you should because I think it actually affects the temp min, based on studies from the week after 9/11) But the heat sink argument, that one isnt helping you, let it go.

  59. D.B. Stealey says:”There are as many record lows as record highs.”

    Very good, you are right, mr weasel word. But there are many more _new_ highs in the last 30 years than _new_ lows.

  60. trafamadore
    February 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm
    ###

    You are clueless about heat sinks. What else are you clueless about? BTW, Your the one who is silly to expect linear behavior out of a decidedly non linear system. Silly or a liar.

  61. trafamadore,

    Post your source re: record lows vs record highs. And make it a credible source — no SkS, RC, etc.

  62. DesertYote says:”You are clueless about heat sinks. What else are you clueless about? BTW, Your the one who is silly to expect linear behavior out of a decidedly non linear system. Silly or a liar”

    Okay. Pls explain yourself, Yotal. Exactly why am I wrong?

    D.B. Stealey says:”Post your source re: record lows vs record highs. And make it a credible source — no SkS, RC, etc.”

    right. google your own words, “record lows vs record highs”, the first page has something for everyone. I liked the one with the pie charts of 2009 to 2012…

  63. >Consider these facts:
    • In the 1950s, the number of days that set record high temperatures in the U.S. was equal to the number of days that set record low temperatures. By the 2000s, record highs were twice as likely as record low.
    >>> Well, Wuebblee-doo, another game of whac-a-mole. This story keeps coming back, despite numerous rebuttals, backed by data, showing it’s a heap of hot garbage. Wuebble’s “fact” refers to an embarassing paper by a bunch of NCAR modelers who chose to ignore data since the 1880’s and claim that only the climate since 1950 counts. Check out the charts in previous “whacs” posted on WUWT and elsewhere, including:
    “Why NCAR’s Meehl paper on high/low temperature records is bunk”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/16/why-ncars-meehl-paper-on-highlow-temperature-records-is-bunk/

    More Critique Of NCAR Cherry Picking Temperature Record Study

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/More_Critique_Of_Ncar_Cherry_Picking_Tempeature_Record_Study.pdf

    and “RIDING THE HEAT WAVES”

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/riding_the_heat_waves.pdf

    and you’ll see why they chose to ignore all those years before 1950. Including the 1930s. Half of all of the U.S. state extreme maximum records were set in that one decade along, and including that infamous decade in their analysis would have blown their story line. When you include the 1930s, the number of cold records is actually increasing in recent years, compared to the heat records. Wuebble’s “fact” is on wobbly ground, indeed.
    Dust Bowl Deniers, they are.

  64. trafamadore says:
    February 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    DesertYote says:”You are clueless about heat sinks. What else are you clueless about? BTW, Your the one who is silly to expect linear behavior out of a decidedly non linear system. Silly or a liar”

    Okay. Pls explain yourself, Yotal. Exactly why am I wrong?
    ###
    Probably because you have given your brain over to so much lefty nonsense, you are no longer able to think. That is why you are wrong.

    BTW, to find out HOW you are wrong, I would suggest reading a text on heat sink theory. A hint, a heat sink that gets its heat by converting sunlight, can only heat the surrounding atmosphere, not cool it. As soon as the heat sink reaches the temp of its surroundings, it no longer has any effect. The third order approximation for describing the heat transfer in an environment with moving air is a hideously complicated four degree polynomial in terms of the temp delta. The movement of heat within a heat sink is best described by hyperbolic geometry. I let you figure out what this means in the context of a 24 hour day were solar flux leads air temps by hours.

  65. trafamadore says:
    February 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

    “And I was wondering after I wrote that, your new station argument could be used for record lows, which we don’t seem to be getting much of these days. They should equal out in a “normal” world.

    You have put “normal” in quotes for a reason. I guess this is because the concept of “normal” with respect to station data has implied change since at least the 1930s when the idea was systematized. Given that and the fact that there seems to be some ups and downs in “global temperature” and US temperatures – Things happen that a good grasp of numbers can help with.
    I’ve found this helpful:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/03/record-temperatures-and-female-fields.html

  66. “…While a particular heat wave may have still have occurred in the absence of human-induced warming,” Wuebbles explained, “it would not have been as hot, or lasted this long, and such events would not occur as frequently…”

    Wow.

    The “new hotter world” still hasn’t managed to meet or exceed the 90-year-old world record for length of a heat wave.

    In 1923/1924, in a little Australian town of Marble Bar, there was a heat wave of 160 straight days of temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or better.

    Wiki: The town set a world record of most consecutive days of maximum temperatures of 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) or more, during a period of 160 such days from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924.

    Their source: http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/temp1.htm

    So the heatwaves of the past “…would not have been as hot, or lasted this long…”

    But that extreme weather event wasn’t the only one:

    “…In the record year of 1923-24 the monsoon trough stayed well north, and the season was notable for its lack of cyclone activity. (In fact, the entire Australian continent was untouched by tropical cyclones throughout the season, a rare event in the 20th Century). The rainfall recorded at Marble Bar during the record 160 days was just 79 mm…”

    Temps of 100 degrees or more, and only 79mm (3.11in) of rain.

    How is that more extreme than what we’re seeing today?

  67. “For example, in the U.S. in the 1950s, the number of days that set record high temperatures was equal to the number of days that set record low temperatures. By the 2000s, the United States was twice as likely to see a record high as a record low…..”

    This is unbelievable nonsense. Between 1950 and 2000 the world did get a bit warmer. After a period of warming it will always be easier to set a warm record than a cold record, simply because the base is higher.
    In my opinion, science should have nothing to do with records as they can be completely misleading. The only thing that matters is the actual trend.
    Chris

  68. John F. Hultquist says:”You have put “normal” in quotes for a reason.”

    normal distribution, that “normal”.

  69. trafamadore says:
    February 20, 2013 at 5:29 pm
    eric1skeptic says:”The distribution of high and low temperatures should be Gaussian over the years, but I’m not sure that answers the question of why we would expect more record high events in a naturally-varying world. The answer to that is that the statistics of temperature in any or all locations varies with the weather patterns including very long term patterns.”

    or, another hypothesis, perhaps one you have heard, is that there are more high records because it is getting warmer (because of CO2.)
    ———————————————————————————–
    Dude, I suppose it was all that CO2 that set almost 90% of current US high Temps at long running stations, and this despite UHI.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/89-of-us-july-14-high-temperature-records-were-set-below-350-ppm-co2/

    Now, the best way to eliminate all the legitmate questions about new stations, heat sinks, etc, etc, is to use long running continues stations. So please explain this.

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