AMS TV weathercaster survey on climate raises eyebrows

From Alabamawx.com by Bill Murray

A survey of weathercasters’ feelings on global warming was published in this month’s edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It had some interesting findings. There were 121 respondents. 94% of the respondents had at least one of the three major seals.

Television meteorologists are the official scientists for most television stations. The overwhelming majority felt comfortable in that role for their stations. The majority agreed that the role of discussing climate change did fall to them.

The eyebrow raising responses:

“Respond to this IPCC conclusion: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” Only 35% agreed or strongly agreed. 34% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

“Most of the warming since 1950 is likely human induced.” A full 50% disagreed or strongly disagreed. 25% were neutral on this question. Only 8% strongly agreed.

“Global climate models are reliable in their predictions for a warming of the planet.” Only 3% strongly agreed and another 16% agreed. A full 62% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

“Respond to one TV weathercaster’s Quote saying “Global warming is a scam.” Responses were mixed. The largest percentage was neutral, at 26%. A total of 45% disagreed (23%) or strongly disagreed (22%). 19% of the respondents agreed with this statement and 10% strongly agreed.

The amount of uncertainty found in this survey tells that even the most educated and motivated communicators are still uncertain about the truth on this issue. Interesting article.

The entire text can be found at: http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/90/10/pdf/i1520-0477-90-10-1457.pdf

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CPT. Charles

An interesting pattern.
For the ‘data-related’ positions, #2 & 3, experience speaks. What weatherman hasn’t had his predictions ‘laughed at’; caution and modesty go hand in hand.
For the ‘political’ positions: #1 & 4 the responses are more polarized. Here, IMO is the reflection of their regional ‘markets’ and the current ‘debate climate’.
As it’s been shown over and over again, having the ‘wrong’ opinion could cost you your job.

Pete D.

“Respond to this IPCC conclusion: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” Only 35% agreed or strongly agreed. 34% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
I believe that the figure of 35% should be 45%.

Keith Minto

In Australia most of our weather presenters are young, blond and attractive. Either that or they are comedians. They would be amazed to be called ‘the stations official scientists’ although years ago this was different when our ABC had David Ellyard explain rather than present weather.
The response to question 17 was telling, but how much of this uncertainty is made public?

D Boon

“Respond to this IPCC conclusion: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” Only 35% agreed or strongly agreed. 34% disagreed or strongly disagreed.”
I think it says 45% agreed or strongly agreed (28+17).

Bulldust

Interesting results. I note the great faith that was placed in the models by the weathercasters, which I found somewhat bemusing.
I had a look at the climate site that was supposed to purport a neutral stance in the debate and watched the video on ice core drilling in Greenland (PBS) to study the Eemian period. Most of the presentation was very even-handed, but one bloke just couldn’t resist taking the correlation between geological timescale CO2 concentrations and temperature to mean that the correlation backed up the AGW argument…
Repeat after me correlation =/= causation … ommmmm oommmmm … I feel better now.

Andrew P

On the one hand it is discouraging 34% disagreed with “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” That is not disputable and I wonder what that 34% were thinking. And 29% said global warming is a scam, which it clearly is not (entirely). So that group of ~30% wasn’t very objective.
However, there was clearly a large group which acknowledged warming and that global warming is not a ‘scam’ but still were skeptical of climate predictions. This is the part that was telling to me. Only 19% agreed that climate models are reliable. And only 24% agreed most of the warming since 1950 is very likely human induced. There’s clearly a large objective pool that acknowledge warming, and acknowledge global warming is not a complete scam and probably that CO2 is a GHG, but are still skeptical of AGW theory and predictions.

Bulldust

To echo Keith Minto (18:35:13):
Channel 7 weather presenter:
http://www.australian-media.com.au/news/13100/natalia-cooper-to-replace-jeff-newman/
CHannel 9 weather presenter:
http://www.9perth.com.au/Nine-News/Angela-Tsun.aspx

What is not clear is the degree of education of the respondents.
I have generally found the TV meteorologists will full degrees in meteorology to be the most skeptical of the IPCC’s contentions.
Those with lesser training tend to be more impressed with the IPCC.
Of course, there are exceptions in both directions.

Keith Minto

“Respond to this IPCC conclusion: “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” Only 35% agreed or strongly agreed. 34% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
I think that is 45% and 24% respectively.
“Most of the warming since 1950 is likely human induced.” A full 50% disagreed or strongly disagreed.25% were neutral. Only 8% strongly agreed.
For consistency add the 16% agreed to make 24%

Douglas DC

AL Gore is suppposed to be in Portland Or. Tomorrow.Might be interesting to follow the
Weather. This article gives me hope that not all have drank the Kool-Aid..

Andrew P (18:51:12) :
On the one hand it is discouraging 34% disagreed with “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” That is not disputable and I wonder what that 34% were thinking.

Perhaps they were thinking about the recent years of non-warming.
Or perhaps they were aware of the condition of the weather sites.
Or perhaps they were aware of GISS positive adjustment factors, or their ignoring of UHI.

Mr Lynn

“A survey of weathercasters’ feelings on global warming . . .”

I don’t want to hear about their ‘feelings’. I want to know what they think, assuming they do.
In point of fact, it doesn’t really matter what these meteorologists think (or feel) about ‘climate change’, or even what the public thinks (or feels). The Powers That Be don’t give a rat’s behind about public opinion, and even less about the empirical facts.
My wife keeps saying, “Someone has to tell them that it’s false; there isn’t any problem!” But the world’s elites (in government, the UN, NGOs, the big banks, the universities, and major corporations like Shell and GE) don’t care. They have an agenda, which the Goracle let slip: it’s called ‘Global Governance’. ‘Climate change’ (née ‘Global Warming’) is just the excuse.
So long as they are convinced that perpetuating an imaginary crisis called ‘Climate Change’ will help them achieve their political and financial goals, it doesn’t matter whether the crisis has any basis in scientific fact.
Maybe if enough ‘skeptical’ scientists can sway the public to the point where elected politicians refuse to go along, for fear of losing their seats, then there may be some hope. But this is a rearguard battle. The elites have the high ground and are running rampant.
What the public needs are champions: in politics, sciences, and even the arts, who will stand up and challenge the elites on their own turf.
/Mr Lynn

Gene Nemetz

In how many ways can I say WOW!

Gene Nemetz

“Most of the warming since 1950 is likely human induced.” A full 50% disagreed or strongly disagreed. 25% were neutral on this question. Only 8% strongly agreed.
This line is enough to end the whole global warming farrago! —at least for the average person. Steven Schneider, James Hansen, and Al Gore, et al, may never quit. BUT WHO CARES!

John F. Hultquist

A few years ago I lost all trust in TV weather people. I wrote to tell the station weather presenter the visuals they used showed 12:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. and with respect to time these two things were undefined, and they should figure out which was which and use NOON and MIDNIGHT. I got back a none-too-polite note telling me TV meteorologists had decided otherwise. The person did not explain how they decided – maybe they used one of these scaled questions.

Doug in Seattle

I have found that with scientists in my field that their degree of skepticism (at least vocally) is directly proportional to their politics. What’s really frustrating are the ones who know the science is crap but follow the political line anyway.

Jeff L

Keith Minto (18:35:13) :
What ever happened to Rob Gell in Melbourne?

Geo

I seriously don’t know who this result should surprise. It’s been clear to me for at least three years now that the meteorologists are a major bulwark of *informed and trained* skepticism on this issue.
Surely Anthony would give this one a “Duh!”?

Pearland Aggie

Anthony,
I just want to know what a person has to do to get a hat tip 🙂 I guess it’s always possible that everytime I send you something someone else beats me to it, but that seems unlikely. What’s a guy go to do to get a h/t? LOL

[too much of an example of Godwin’s Law ~ ctm]

Jim Clarke

“The wide range of opinion on the IPCC conclusions. . . says to me that we need to explain more on how they reached those conclusions; what is the evidence that backs them up, and what is the level of confidence?”
“Perhaps because this group works so closely with weather models, which are much more volatile and less reliable than longer-term climate models, they project that same unreliability onto one of the areas all climate models agree on: warming of the planet.”
These are just two of the statements that really ticked me off. The first implies that the reason these meteorologists don’t agree with the IPCC conclusions is because the IPCC just hasn’t explained the science very well. On the contrary, the science is explained well enough. It is just amazingly lame and insufficient. The second statement implies that the meteorologists are inappropriately applying a bias to the climate models because of the failures of forecasting models. Isn’t it more likely that the failure of the climate models to show any accuracy at all is the reason for the lack of confidence?
I disagree with the IPCC. I am not stupid. I am not uniformed. I have studied the evidence and the arguments and found them more than questionable. The inability of the IPCC to recognize the natural influences of the oceans on historical global climate is simply scientific malfeasance.
Mr. Wilson’s conclusion: “Future research should evaluate the efficacy of these various outreach efforts to determine which produce the best outcomes, including a best-practice series that showcases examples of TV weathercasters successfully communicating to their audiences the science of climate change.”
What are the “best outcomes”? What defines “successfully communicating”? The implication is that total adherence to the AGW orthodoxy is the only acceptable outcome; the only successful communication.
George Orwell continues to prove his forecasting expertise far beyond the ability of climate scientists.
This survey reveals that I am not alone, not that I am uneducated.

Frank K.

I found the comment about climate modeling to be interesting/humorous:
“Since model-based prediction is a crucial component of climate science, three questions addressing their use followed (Table 4). Almost two-thirds of this sample disagreed that “global climate models are reliable in their projections for a warming of the planet” (Q. 20), with n = 3.65 indicating how strongly this group rejects this basic premise of general circulation models. Perhaps because this group works so closely with weather models, which are much more volatile and less reliable than longer-term climate models, they project that same unreliability onto one of the areas all climate models agree on: warming of the planet.”
So the author (mistakenly) must believe that climate models are more “reliable” than short term forecast models? Maybe he doesn’t realize that they are solving essentially the same equations, except the climate models have many more non-linear, coupled parameterizations, questionable assumptions, poorly known boundary conditions, “fixers”, filters, and unphysical numerical devices to keep the equations from diverging over long temporal integration periods. Perhaps he can show us all evidence of this “reliability”…
The more disturbing theme of this article, however, is the notion that since meteorologists haven’t universally drunk the AGW koolaid, some “reeducation” is necessary so that they too can go out to their TV audiences with the AMS approved global warming propaganda…

OT but any one who wants to write to Australian politicians about the climate, Copenhagen treaty etc their email addresses are linked here for ease,
http://www.stevefielding.com.au/forums/viewthread/466/

Keith Minto

Jeff L (18:35:13)
Don’t know Rob Gell, but here is his web site.
http://www.robgell.com/

Frank, my thoughts exactly…
Although both the IPCC synthesis and the AMS Statement on Climate Change note the human fingerprint, half of this sample disagreed with the consensus that “most of the warming since 1950 is very likely human-induced.” Just one-quarter of the sample agreed (16%) or strongly agreed (8%) with the statement. Clearly, many on-air meteorologists continue to question climate science. Lesson plans that address how scientists are attributing climate change to anthropogenic causes may help address those concerns.
Translation – the propaganda is not working, prepare for reeducation!
I could not believe I was reading that.
This is like throwing atomic bombs at the AMS position statement, which was clearly reached by the handful of council members and not the organizations members.

Alan D. McIntire

The number 1 controller of weather is water in all of its phases, and meteorologists, unlike climatologists, deal a lot with water.
Annual rainfall (I believe this is from Trenberth’s energy balance
paper) averages 1m/year
http://homepage.mac.com/williseschenbach/.Pictures/trenberth_mine.jpg
Latent heat flux = 1000kg/m2*2.26MJ/kg/3600/24/365= 71.6 W/m2
The forcing for water vapor is supposed to be about 15 watts for a
doubling.
The increase in temperature from from a doubling of CO2, without
feedback, is acknowledged by everyone to be about 3.8 watts/m^2, which
would result in an increase of around 1C. I’ve seen actual estimates
ranging from 0.7 C to 1.2 C. With a 1C increase, the saturation level
of water vapor would increase 7%. That 7% increase implies a
[(ln 1.07)/(ln 2)] * 15 watts = 0.0677/0.6931 = 1.47 watts/m^2.
So an initial 3.8 watt CO2 increase results in a Water Vapor multiplier of
(3.8 + 1.47)/ 3.8 = 1.39. The final effective warming due to the multiplier effect would be
1/(1-.39) = 1/.61 = 1.64
1.64 * 3.8 = 6.23 watts.
(235/228.77)*390 = 400.62 watts
Correction for non blackbody earth:
(235/228.77)*368 =378.02
(378.02/368)^0.25 =289.94
That’s if there was NO increase in precipitation, NO change in convection, No
change in clouds.
Trenbeth’s figures give about 390 watts in heating the surface
directly, 22 watts convection, and 78 watts in latent heat, somewhat
higher than my computed estimate of 71.6 watts/m^2. Climate models
predict an increase in precipitation less than the increase in
humidity, around 3% rather than the full 7%.
Multiplying my 71.6 watts by that 1.03 increse in precipitation gives
73.75, for an increase in watts of 2.1 in latent heat of
vaporization. Using Trenbeth’s 78 watts gives a 2.34 watt increase. The net increase in SURFACE
flux with a doubling of CO2 and water vapor feedback would be
6.23 -2.34= 3.89. If there was a 3% increase in clouds in addition to 3% increased
precipitiation,
that same 3% increase would increse earth’s albedo from about 0.3 to 1.03*0.3 = .309.
The net wattage hitting earth’s surface from the sun would drop from about
235 watts to 0.691/0.7 or 0.987*235. Multiply the wattage increase from the CO2 and water
vapor positive feedback by the cloud negative feedback and you get
(396.23/390)*.987 = 1.003 or a net increase of 1.17 watts, and a temperature increase of
(391.17/390)^ 0.25 = 1.00075 * 288 = 288.216
with a doubling of CO2-
a drop in the bucket-
Note that John Christy reported on an acutal experiment in increasing water vapor, due to
irrigation of the San Joaquin Valley.
http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/68739.pdf
Daytime temperatures dropped slightly during the summer, nighttime temperatures increased
significantly due to vapor condensation at night, preventing large drops in nighttime
temperatures- A. McIntire

Actually I find this very reassuring, especially 16. and 17. A straw poll of colleagues (scientists/engineers) would likely produce a similar spread of results. I would also perhaps expect different results (among colleagues) if the poll were F2F or anonymous, such is the need to be seen to conform in the environmental field.
On a professional level (where I can’t openly be a skeptic for various reasons) I have conversations with people discussing all the benefits of a technology for current environmental drivers. We stick to ‘the script’. Recently I have started to test the waters occasionally by dropping the ‘if’ word (such as ‘if we continue to warm’), into conversation. Sometimes there is a pause and we exchange ‘the look’, then we carry on talking about how the technology will contribute to a smaller carbon footprint.
Unfortunatley even highly intelligent, educated people are still susceptible to blind belief if they have not investigated the ‘issues’ for themselves, and current ‘Environmentalism’ is such a strong, all pervasive doctrine. It is not politically correct to question it.

Keith Minto

twawki (20:40:18) : Thanks for that, a good resource. The pro AGWers are today ramping up their doomsday propaganda for Copenhagen, we should reach our elected representatives with a response.

rbateman

Standstill ‘snapshot’ statitistics are only 1/2 the story.
AGW is losing ground to the notion that it is a scam.
It has nothing to do with saving the Planet, nor does it address the problems facing Earth.
Yelling fire on a crowded planet is so last century 🙂

Gene Nemetz

The Weather Channel should stop all the green shows. Jim Cantore can drop the looks of doom about global warming. He may not be aware that most meteorologists don’t agree with him.

AlanG

Alan D. McIntire (21:22:08). I would love to follow what you are saying but find it too cryptic. Any chance you could expand it, explaining the terms as they are introduced? It would be much appreciated and worthy of a post in my view.
Water/cloud feedback is THE core issue. Nothing will persuade me that the Earth is the only body in the known universe that emits less radiation if it warms. The temperature history clearly shows that warm years are followed by cool years and visa versa. At most the planet warms or cools for two years in a row, never three. That to me is negative feedback at work – a warmer earth emitting more radiation. If the atmosphere was saturated with water vapor AND cloud cover was 100% then the warmers might be right but it isn’t.
Nice to see a bit of science here again!

Ron de Haan

We should undertake our own survey and ask the questions in reference to the data, not the IPCC references.
Besides that, I think the outcome is quite positive for a subject as politicized as Climate Change and the fact that some tv personalities have lost their job for openly taking a stand against the Climate Change doctrine.

Fully 50% disagree with AGW, only 24% agree. The “consensus” is gone, poof.
Surely a consensus is more than a majority, more than a plurality. A consensus is darn near a unanimity. But in this case, regarding AGW, the believers are a tiny minority!!!!
The “consensus” about AGW is not just dead, it’s way dead.

I wonder if this can force Heidi Cullen to think one more time about freedom to think sceptical about AGW?
http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_11392.html
“Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval”.
Aah! This Medieval time of ours, I hate it!

Frank K.

vjones (21:31:19) :
“On a professional level (where I can’t openly be a skeptic for various reasons) I have conversations with people discussing all the benefits of a technology for current environmental drivers. We stick to ‘the script’. Recently I have started to test the waters occasionally by dropping the ‘if’ word (such as ‘if we continue to warm’), into conversation. Sometimes there is a pause and we exchange ‘the look’, then we carry on talking about how the technology will contribute to a smaller carbon footprint.”
This is very sad…this almost sounds like something that would have occurred in the old Soviet Union. B y the way. despite what the AP says, we aren’t “continuing to warm”…why can’t we just state a fact?
Gene Nemetz (22:53:55) :
“The Weather Channel should stop all the green shows.”
What’s “The Weather Channel”? I haven’t watched it in years, ever since the Heidi Cullen debacle. By the way, did you notice how the author of the BAMS article whitewashed the whole Heidi Cullen incident?

David D.

Meteorologists are not climate scientists. Whether they feel it’s their role to disucss and understand climate or not. Many TV meteorologists do not have degrees in a pure scientific sense, many have degrees that focus on communications and in the liberal arts.
I have a MS in meteorology from a research institution and would not consider myself an informed climate scientist.

David D,
Why are you selling yourself short? Meteorology is a more mature science, while climatology is on a steeper learning curve. We know more about predicting the weather 5 – 6 days out than we do about predicting the climate 50 – 60 years out.

David D.

I’m not selling myself short. Climate science is not about predicting the weather, it’s about looking at long term trends from a variety of records. Conclusions are then drawn to attempt to correlate variables and interpolate them into the future.
This has almost nothing to do with running a week long weather model that predicts atmoshperic fluid dynamics.
Meteorologists, in my opinion, know just enough about climate issues to make them dangerous, but are not well enough informed to let them decide public policy or serve as a proxy for climatology.

John Galt

It would be interesting to know the educational backgrounds of the survey respondents. How many are AMS certified, how many have a degree in Meteorology or a related field? How many have degrees in communications, broadcasting or a non-scientific field?
For decades, the most popular TV weatherman in town simply presented the reports from the NWS, had no actual training in meteorology and did no forecasting on his own. Those days are long gone in most major markets.

pyromancer76

Frank K (20:28 11/17) “The more disturbing theme of this article, however, is the notion that since meteorologists haven’t universally drunk the AGW koolaid, some “reeducation” is necessary so that they too can go out to their TV audiences with the AMS approved global warming propaganda…”
I commented on an earlier thread on Eric J. Barron’s editorial in the 10/30/09 Science Magazine. His point is about ABSOLUTE CONTROL of “climate” science/information. “Will U.S. cities or states simply pick one climate model as a basis for decisions? Will information be defensible as the best available? The level of authority required DICTATES [my emphasis] that a National Climate Service be established.” Barron is director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, UCAR, Boulder CO.
With this information in mind, read the original article that Bill Murray analyzes. It is by Kris Wilson with a copyright to the American Meterological Society. “…This sample of AMS weathercasters repeatedly expressed their desire to have access to ‘independent’, ‘unbiased,’ and ‘reputable’ sources of data and information that present ‘both sides’ of the issue.” (p. 1463) Guess who will educate them? UCAR with its National Center for Atmospheric Research!!! “‘Weathercasters want a really good reference list, especially sources they can go to for up-to-date information…so we’ve added that, as well as the graphics for on-air and the PowerPoints that can be adapted to the large amount of public service they perform.’ The new climate-change course, ‘Fitting the Pieces Together’, is available online at http://www.meted.ucar.edu/bmet_training.php.”
I know my conspiracy radar keeps working overtime. But…if more and more TV weathercasters have less and less science/climate education, and if they get their climate education from unfriendly (to science and to the U.S. ) folks like Eric Barron who choose climate dictatorship….Well, Anthony’s readers can take from here.
Anthony, do any of your readers with national outreach have actual (not pseudo-) climate science information with “graphics for on-air and PowerPoints” for educating both TV weathercasters and for the general public about the scientific method, that the science is never settled?
Also would these UCAR courses for “weathercasters” be interesting for review by WUWT?

Sandy

“Meteorologists are not climate scientists.”
Correct, when meteorologists talk rubbish and their predictions fail then they have an awful lot of industry on their backs (Airlines, farmers &c.). Thus one can quickly tell the good ones.
These failed meteorologists who call themselves scientists maybe judged by the science they do. Look for rational argument, clearly presented data, both raw and processed and a willingness to try and understand the processes involved in climate.

Gene Nemetz

Meteorologists are not climate scientists?
So the climate scientists like Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer aren’t qualified. Meteorologists aren’t qualified.
Looks like no one is qualified, I reckon. 😉
Send an email to the Weather Channel letting them know they better stop talking about global warming and to get rid of that green emblem they use sometimes. They aren’t qualified.

Russ R.

Most educated people that look at the IPCC process in a neutral way, would realize it is a political organization that had a pre-determined solution to a pre-determined problem, and has just assembled “a team” to produce the desired product.
They deny any natural climate variability, and determine any warming must come from human activity, because they have ignored any other possibility.
I am a little shocked that they can keep this charade going. I think most people are busy, and assume that they are being told the truth, by people of “science”. It reflects poorly on all people that work in science, and the weather forecasters are the public face of weather information, and they must be getting uneasy over the possibility of getting blame when this IPCC scheme is exposed.

Chuck near Houston

for Bulldust (19:03:02) and Keith on Aussie weather presenters:
Heck Yeah!
Oh and these girls probably don’t have degrees in climatology either, but they do raise temps a bit:
http://www.chron.com/sports/photogallery/NFL_cheerleaders_2009.html
Best Regards,
Chuck

Gene Nemetz

Is mother nature qualified? She says it’s getting cooler. Did you see what’s she’s doing with North Pole ice?
DMi
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
JAXA
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
Did you hear about all her record cold and snow last month? And she didn’t even go to college!

Alan D McIntire

In response to AlanG. From the earlier post by Willis Eschenbach, there’s a link to Trenbeth’s figures. About 490 watts hits the earth’s surface – a combined total from the sun and from the atmosphere. Of this total, 22 watts goes into
convection, 78 watts into latent heat from water vapor, or 100/490 =20% of the total. AGWers have stated hurricanes will increase in frequency with global warming. I figured that if rainfall increased 7%, with a doubling of CO2, that 78 watt total would have to increase 7% also, for a 5.46 watt increase. That’s more than the IPCC figure of a 3.8 watt increase from doubled CO2, so obviously water vapor increases have a huge negative feedback.
I wanted to understand where the 78 watt figure came from. I remember a high school experiment where we heated water for so many minutes until it started boiling, and plotted the linear increase in temperature. After the water
started boiling, it stayed at the same boiling temperature. What we were doing was measuring the latent heat of vaporization. It takes over 5 times as much heat to vaporize water as it does to raise the temperature from 0 C to 100 C.
I did a google search and read that average rainfall over earth’s surface averages 1 meter per year. 1 square meter covered 1 meter deep in water
contains 1000 kg of water. For 1000 kg to rain out, heat will have to go into evaporating that 1000 kg per square meter of water. It takes 2.26 thousand kilojoules per kilogram to evaporate water. Watts is a measure of joules per
second, there are 3600 seconds in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in a year.
(1000kg/m2)*2.26Million J/kg/3600/24/365= 71.6 W/m2
So the abve equation was computing the number of Joules per second averaged over the year going into evaporating water. My figure was 71.6 Watts per square meter assuming an average rainfall of exactly 1 meter per year. Trenbeth’s figure was 78 watts, so I was in the right ballpark in estimating 1 meter per year of rain.
AGWers also assume a water vapor feedback. I read that a doubling of water vapor is supposed to result in a 15 watt increase in surface temperature, so I used that figure.
From an algebra class many years ago I remembered that a series
1 + 1/2 + 1/4… = 2
1 + 1/3 + 1/9 = 1.5
and in general
1 + 1/n + 1/(n^2)=… sums to 1/(1-n).
I assumed water vapor would increase 7% with a doubling of CO2, resulting in
a feedback. The next part was computing the feedback amount.
The increase in temperature from from a doubling of CO2, without
feedback, is acknowledged by everyone to be about 3.8 watts/m^2, which
would result in an increase of around 1C. I’ve seen actual estimates
ranging from 0.7 C to 1.2 C. With a 1C increase, the saturation level
of water vapor would increase 7%. That 7% increase implies a
[(ln 1.07)/(ln 2)] * 15 watts = 0.0677/0.6931 = 1.47 watts/m^2.
So an initial 3.8 watt CO2 increase results in a Water Vapor multiplier of
(3.8 + 1.47)/ 3.8 = 1.39. So water vapor has a 1.39 multiplier effect.
That increased water vapor will lead to additional warming, leading to the
series I referred to above. The sum of the series will be
1 + 0.39 + (0.396)^2 +….. etc.
I plugged that into the 1/(1-n) equation to get a multiple of
1/(1-.39) to get a 1.64 multiplier for water vapor.
You WOULD get that large feedback if there were no increase in rainfall, no increase in clouds, but some of that additional heat will have to go into evaporating water, hence the negative feedback.

David D.

One month’s data is hardly proof of a longer term trend. Long term perturbation is the issue at hand, not how cold last October was.
Don’t confuse meteorology with climate. Short term weather patterns aren’t the same as decade or century level analysis.

WAG

David D is absolutely right. Meteorologists study how local variables will influence weather patterns over the next few days. Climatologists study how many more variables interact over time on a global scale – a much more complex endeavor. For example, a meteorologist might be able to tell you how current ocean currents will affect rainfall next week, but I’m going to guess that few of them have ever studied how heat exchanges between the deep ocean and the surface affect changes in ocean currents over time. It’s the difference between being an expert on one component of a system, and understanding how the entire system functions as a whole.
Also note that few TV meteorologists are RESEARCH scientists – they are not actively pursuing new knowledge. To make judgments on the most recent science, you have to be actively participating in its production, not relying on the science learned in school 30 years ago.
Also, a primary reason meteorologists tend to be skeptical is that they’re well aware of the difficulties predicting the exact weather a few days out. But ironically, it’s actually easier to predict the climate 50-60 years from now than it is to predict next week’s weather, because over longer time periods, short-term variability (the part that’s hard to predict) doesn’t have any effect. No one’s trying to predict what the global mean temperature will be in 2050 – what matters is whether between 2045 and 2055, that figure is a couple degrees warmer than today.
And Smokey – I’m going to trust the guy with the MS in meteorology when he says studying weather and climate are apples and oranges. David D is probably pretty qualified to recognize his own limitations.
(Note: this does not logically imply the opposite–that if you trust David D’s claim that meteorologists are not qualified, then you must also trust the poll respondents who say they ARE qualified. Psychologists have well-documented humans’ tendency to overstate their qualifications – it’s called the “Dunning-Kruger Effect.” The less competent someone is, the more they lack the self-awareness to recognize their own limitations. On the other hand, Dunning and Kruger found that the MOST competent people tend to sell themselves short. So when you have two people with the same degree, one of whom claims that degree qualifies him as an expert while the other one claims it does not, you should likely trust the person who says he is not an expert.)
*What’s the over-under for the # of comments saying I must be suffering from Dunning-Kruger myself? 🙂

Bill P

Network-style forecasters with turbans, caftans and crystal balls can drum up network share for only a short time. But I’d think most miss enough short-range (24-hour) forecasts to understand their own fallibility. I suspect most learn not to wear egg on their faces.

David D. (08:21:31) :
“Don’t confuse meteorology with climate.”
That has been repeated endlessly on WUWT. Glad you’re on board.