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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70 thoughts on “AMS TV weathercaster survey on climate raises eyebrows

  1. 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.

  2. “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%.

  3. 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?

  4. “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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. “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%

  9. 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..

  10. 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.

  11. “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

  12. “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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!”?

  16. 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

  17. “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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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 :)

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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?

  35. “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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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? :-)

  41. 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.

  42. David D. (08:21:31) :

    “Don’t confuse meteorology with climate.”

    That has been repeated endlessly on WUWT. Glad you’re on board.

  43. WAG (08:29:36) :

    “But ironically, its actually easier to predict the climate 50-60 years from now than it is to predict next weeks weather, because over longer time periods, short-term variability (the part thats hard to predict) doesnt have any effect.”

    Could you provide some evidence for this assertion? The problem with climate modeling is that even though you’re “filtering” out the short term “weather noise,” you still have hundreds of parameters associated with the long term climate modeling, many of which are poorly understood and may even be modeled incorrectly.

    The real irony is that the same time marching numerical methods used in short term NWP forecast models are also used in the climate models! And, by the way, the governing equations for climate models (both atmosphere and ocean) are very non-linear…

  44. WAG (08:29:36) :

    “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.”

    “But ironically, its actually easier to predict the climate 50-60 years from now than it is to predict next weeks weather, because over longer time periods, short-term variability (the part thats hard to predict) doesnt have any effect.”

    It is “much more complex”, but also “easier to predict”. You are breaking with standard scientific logic, when you equate, more complexity, compounded over a greater time, with greater accuracy in predicting future outcomes.
    Climatology is just the summation of meteorological principals, and the projection of stability or instability in future scenerios. The difficulty is determining what is noise and what is signal, in a longer term forecast. So far, the determining factor for a climatologist in separating signal from noise in a chaotic system, is who is willing to pay for what services.
    Since meteorology is less based on spinning a good horror story, and more based on how the current weather will be changed by the passage of time, it is more accurate, and will be more accurate, as long as paychecks are based on different levels, of what constitutes performance.

  45. John F. Hultquist (19:45:53) :

    “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.”

    At least you got a response. Here’s a (revised version of a) letter I sent several years ago to all the Seattle TV stations, suggesting another way of making things clearer. I hope Anthony (or someone with connections to a TV news department) will pick up the ball and run with it. (Perhaps my idea has been independently invented, and weather stations are now employing it. I don’t watch TV anymore, so I wouldn’t know.)
    =======

    There is a bad habit common to the weather broadcasts at too many TV stations. When showing the high and low temperatures for the current day’s temperature in relation to the historic Normal and Record high/lows for the period, they display a table of six figures. The table typically is arranged in two columns (for high and low) and three rows (for Today, Normal, and Record). Here’s an example:

    High Low
    Today 65 45
    Normal 60 40
    Record 80 30

    This leaves the viewer with the tedious task of trying to picture in his mind’s eye what the figures mean. If a chart were used instead, it would immediately convey what he wants to know. The chart should be “scaled” each day so as to force its vertical midpoint to match the midpoint of the historical Normal temperature range for that day.

    Centered between the left and right edges of that chart there should be a single thick Vertical BAR (hereafter called “VBAR”) representing the current day’s temperature range. The viewer could see instantly if it was closer to the top or the bottom of the chart, indicating whether the day was hotter or cooler than ordinary.

    There should be a yellow horizontal band “highlighting” the Normal temperature range for the day. The VBAR’s position in relation to this band would instantly reveal whether the day so far had been warmer or cooler than normal, or neither.

    To further assist the viewer, there should be a visual way to indicate a record-breaking day. I suggest indicating historical record high by including a red horizontal band at the very top of the chart whose lower edge would represent the record-high temperature. The record low would be indicated by a blue band at the very bottom. If the VBAR came close to one of these bands, viewers would know that the day had been extraordinarily hot (or cold). Since that’s what the viewer wants to know, that’s what the screen should show.

    The temperature numbers for the chart could be omitted when the weather-person first displays the chart. This would keep from overwhelming the viewers and also help hold their interest throughout the weatherman’s presentation.

    For example, at first an image with no numbers on it might appear, and the weatherman would say, “Here’s the shape of our whether today.” (Brief pause while the audience absorbs it.) Then he’d say, “Our high was X” (the high temperature appears—i.e., a new chart that includes that number is displayed). “The normal high for today is Y” (the number for the top of the yellow band appears). And so forth for the remainder of the figures.

    It shouldn’t be hard to plug the daily high and low into a computer graphics program to produce such charts daily. (It would need to have access to a database of historic temperature data, of course.)

    This same style of chart could be used to portray other weather-related information relative to historic norms, such as the past week’s (or month’s) temperature, or the day’s rainfall or windiness. Farmers would appreciate seeing the rainfall data in an instantly comprehensible form.

  46. John F. Hultquist (19:45:53) :
    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.

    A pet peeve of mine, too. But it’s not confined to weather broadcasters. I think it’s a consequence of the limitations of computerization. It wouldn’t be hard to program ’12:00 AM’ to display as ‘Midnight’, but apparently no one wants to bother.

    I won’t be surprised to see ‘Midnight’ and ‘Noon’ become as obsolete and ultimately meaningless as ‘dialing’ the phone.

    /Mr Lynn

  47. My third paragraph beneath the table of high/low figures should be improved as follows:

    There should be a yellow horizontal band “highlighting” the Normal temperature range for the day. The VBAR’s position in relation to this band would reveal in more detail the day’s degree of normality. For instance, if the VBAR’s top extended above the upper edge of the yellow band, that would indicate an unusually warm day.

  48. please delete my previous post with the bad bolding
    WAG (08:29:36) said:
    “But ironically, its actually easier to predict the climate 50-60 years from now than it is to predict next weeks weather, because over longer time periods, short-term variability (the part thats hard to predict) doesnt have any effect.”

    Frank K. (09:02:52) asks:
    “Could you provide some evidence for this assertion? ”

    Of course. Any college dropout with an internet connection who is reasonably well read on global warming and the history of its discovery(that would be me &;>) knows that Arrhenius, with a model simple enough to work through on paper, made some predictions about 100 years ago that have been confirmed by observation.

    Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927)
    “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground”(excerpts) Philosophical Magazine 41, 237-276 (1896)[1]
    at http://web.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/arrhenius.html

    “The influence is in general greater in the winter than in the summer, except in the case of the parts that lie between the maximum and the pole. (check [1]))
    The influence will also be greater the higher the value of ν, that is in general somewhat greater for land than for ocean. (check [1]))
    On account of the nebulosity of the Southern hemisphere, the effect will be less there than in the Northern hemisphere.(check [2]))
    An increase in the quantity of carbonic acid will of course diminish the difference in temperature between day and night. (check [3][4]))
    A very important secondary elevation of the effect will be produced in those places that alter their albedo by the extension or regression of the snow-covering (see p. 257 [omitted from this excerpt–CJG]), and this secondary effect will probably remove the maximum effect from lower parallels to the neighbourhood of the poles.”(check [5][6]))

    “I should certainly not have undertaken these tedious calculations if an extraordinary interest had not been connected with them.”

    Of course, [snip] will try to conflate “inaccurate” and/or “incomplete” with “wrong”. For instance, Arrhenius overestimated the drop in CO2 for an ice age; had he had access to modern data, like the antarctic ice core delta18O temperature & CO2, he could have improved his model, but he already knew from first principles that the CO2 would drop. He did remarkably well for a paper & pencil model.

    [1]”Though most areas of the world experienced above normal temperatures, the variability from season to season was notable in the Northern Hemisphere where much of the warmth was in winter and spring over northern and central Asia and northwestern North America.” Global Surface Air Temperature Variations During the Twentieth Century: Part 1, Spatial, Temporal and Seasonal Details, Jones et al

    [2]Observed hemispheric asymmetry in global sea ice changes. Science, 278, 1104-1106, 1997. Cavalieri et al

    [3] ” In general, we find increases of several percent per decade in specific humidity (and several tenths of a degree per decade in dew point) over most of the country in winter, spring, and summer, with larger trends at night than during the day. The specific humidity increases are consistent with upward temperature trends.” Climatology and Trends of U.S. Surface Humidity and Temperature, GAFFEN et al

    [4] “…the minimum daily temperature over many of the continents rose almost three times as fast as the maximumdaily temperatures, As a result, the daily temperature range dropped noticeably,” Nighttime warming and the greenhouse effect. Kukla, G., Karl, T. R., 1993:

    [5]”Therefore, anthropogenic forcing is the dominant cause of the recent pronounced warming in the Arctic.” Arctic climate change: observed and modelled
    temperature and sea-ice variability, JOHANNESSEN et al

    [6] “Decreased snow cover extent has significantly contributed to the earlier onset of spring in the past few decades over northern-hemisphere high latitudes.” Modern Global Climate Change. Karl et al

  49. Alabamawx.com, hm? I’m sure Huntville, AL station WHNT’s Dan Satterfield will soon have a note up on his panic blog claiming that it’s invalid because “it’s not peer reviewed”, that it shows a lack of science education in this country because obviously only the few IPCC-trusting weatherfrogs do “real science”, and that anyway, he’s not going to read it (just like the surfacestations reports and article) unless it gets published in the right journal.

  50. Brian Dodge,

    You quote only Arrhenius’ 1896 paper. Arrhenius recanted his high sensitivity number ten years later, in his 1906 paper.

  51. I am not surprised at these results. Doran and Zimmerman (2009) found that 64% of meteorologists answered yes to the question below while 97.4% of publishing climate scientists answered yes. The question:

    Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    I suggest three reasons why TV weathercasters are not more aligned with the overwhelming scientific consensus:

    1) Meteorologists that are researchers or academics are far more likely to be current with the literature than those who weather forecast for a living. I worked as an intern at CBS in Boston and the on-air meteorologists there spent most of their time preparing the forecast and the subsequent glitzy production. They were certainly not researching climate data nor developing any curricula. Climate knowledge for the TV people must be gained in their off time.

    2) I noticed that more than 40% of the respondents were 40 years or older. As a 40+ aged meteorologist, I can tell you that I never had to take a paleoclimatology course nor any geology courses. Climate courses that I had to take did not discuss AGW. I wonder how many of these 40+ aged respondents had similar coursework? I actually left Penn State with my M.S. as a “neutral” on AGW. It is only after the IPCC (2001) and especially the IPCC (2007) reports that I am now convinced of AGW.

    3) As several of you have already stated, weathercasters may be having a hard time distinguishing between weather forecasting and climate prediction. They see how difficult it is to get day to day weather correct so they assume that climate predictions are useless. Of course, weather prediction is trying to predict the “noise” while climate prediction is trying to predict the “signal” – which is much easier.

    Doran, Peter T. & Zimmerman, M. K. (2009, January). Examining the scientific consensus on climate change. EOS 90 (3): 22–23. doi:10.1029/2009EO030002

    http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/ssi/DoranE0S09.pdf

  52. Scott Mandia:

    “I suggest three reasons why TV weathercasters are not more aligned with the overwhelming scientific consensus…”

    There is no ‘overwhelming scientific consensus’. That is Al Gore’s canard, repeated endlessly by those hoping to convince people that a scientific consensus argument is valid. But there are certainly push polls bought by foundations that are designed to give that false impression.

    This particular survey was done better than most. For example, asking if “most” of the warming is due to human emissions at least quantifies an amount [greater than 50%]. Most polls simply ask Yes/No questions like: “Human emissions are responsible for global warming.” But they do not say how much warming humans are responsible for. Is it 90%? 3%? 0.04%? It is left up to the interpretation of each person answering. So those polls mean nothing.

    It has been repeatedly suggested that in order to get an honest response to accurate, quantified questions, both sides must cooperate and reach agreement in formulating the questions. Can you point to a single instance in which that has been done?

    Finally, if as you say, you were converted by the UN’s IPCC reports, which were written exclusively by political appointees with specific marching orders, rather than by taking paleoclimatology and geology courses, it appears that your mind is made up. That is the difference between scientific skeptics, and those who continue to argue “consensus.”

  53. Scott A. Mandia (12:06:28)
    It is only after the IPCC (2001) and especially the IPCC (2007) reports that I am now convinced of AGW.
    That is an astounding admission, Scott. What, exactly did they teach you at Penn? Certainly not to think for yourself, or to investigate an issue with any sort of thoroughness or vigor. I’d ask for my my money back.

  54. Brian Dodge (11:36:21) :

    Wow – who knew that Arrhenius was working out 3-D solutions to an AOGCM back in the early 20th century? I guess you learn something new every day! He must have been best friends with L.F. Richardson:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Fry_Richardson

    Scott A. Mandia (12:06:28)

    “3) As several of you have already stated, weathercasters may be having a hard time distinguishing between weather forecasting and climate prediction. They see how difficult it is to get day to day weather correct so they assume that climate predictions are useless. Of course, weather prediction is trying to predict the noise while climate prediction is trying to predict the signal which is much easier.”

    AGAIN – Do you have any evidence for this? Please show us how the numerical methodologies employed in the current crop of AOGCMs are materially different than NWP…

    Here are some differential equations to get you started…

    http://www.ccsm.ucar.edu/models/atm-cam/docs/description/

  55. What strikes me most is that only a few of the vast AMS membership responded to the survery. I did not. We, as AMS members (myself included) have been downright lazy for far too long. We’ve let our organization be hijacked to the point that it no longer represents what the majority of members believe. That is going to have to change (and it is!) if this thing is to be turned around. Listen up AMS Members: stop standing on the sidelines! Let your voices be heard. Demand open and honest debate on climate change. Say what all true scientists should say everytime research is opined as fact: “PROVE IT!” Ask for a vote of the membership!

    Mark Johnson
    Meteorologist
    AMS CBM

  56. Scott A. Mandia. (12:06:28)

    1.So we can include the world renowned Meteorologist Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT in your group of “Meteorologists that are researchers or academics”. If so he’s is probably the worlds most preeminent skeptic.

    2. I’m guessing it was the exposing and subsequent removal of the fraud MBH(98) “Hockey Stick” between the TAR and AR4 that “convinced” you? Or perhaps it is the bizarre fact that it is the bureaucrats and not the scientists who (re)write the final report after the scientific draft is finished.

    3. The IPCC does not claim that their models produce climate predictions but rather climate projections. The IPCC does not claim any predictive power for their models except to say that the results are possible future scenarios. But, hey, it’s the future anything is possible.

    “Consensus is not Science”
    -Michael Crichton [RIP]

  57. Russ R. (07:25:20) :

    I am a little shocked that they can keep this charade going.

    I think they associate pollution with co2 to keep global warming going. They show steam coming out of smoke stacks and then say co2 (really meaning pollution) is damaging the world and ultimately making the world heat up.

    So much effort by ‘skeptics’ is being put in to showing co2 is not causing catastrophes to come to the world. It is doing some good. But more effort should be put in to showing people that pollution is not doing as much damage as we are being told it is. Then I think the guilt and fears about pollution would bring a quickler end to the manmade-global-warming-disaster movement.

    There is also the labeling of people that are ‘skeptics’ that if they don’t care about global warming then that means they don’t care about pollution. Which is another unfair attack on people like you and me.

  58. I see someone says we shouldn’t look at what happens over a one month period.

    So let’s look at what has happened since 1998. Is this same person up for that time scale?

    Or much better yet, let’s go back 1000 years to when Vikings lived in a lush grenn land called Greenland. They lived there because they could make money from trade. There was plenty of food from the crops they grew and fish from the rivers that are now frozen. Also It was beautiful weather in the summer!

    These would be better time scales I’m sure.

  59. Brnn8r (14:47:21) You mentioned that the IPCC does not claim that their models produce climate predictions but rather climate projections. Spot the difference ?
    Prediction:
    Foretelling of a future event. Predictions are probabilistic estimates of future occurrences based upon many different estimation methods, including past patterns of occurrence and statistical projections of current data.

    Projection:
    A prediction or an estimate of something in the future,based on current data and trends.

    Nuttin’ much in it is their?, only an attempt by the IPCC to obfuscate the issue and attempt to muddy rather than clarify to achieve a political end.

    And Scott Mandia (12:06:28) ” It is only after the IPCC (2001) and especially the IPCC (2007) reports that I am now convinced of AGW”

    Hang around here long enough and you not be ‘convinced’ of anything..Question, always question, nothing is as it seems and that to me is the excitement of Climate science, it may trend but never convince, there is always new data tomorrow.

  60. Interesting. Some folks seem to feel the UNPROVEN science of
    predicting weather patterns and trends 10, 20, 40, 60 or even 100
    years out is more reliable than current routine meterology.

    The longest term meterologists (those with 20+ years on the job)
    in our area of Ohio seem to believe that computer projections which rely on speculative or opportunistic proxy interpretations are on par
    with wooley bear caterpillar colors or “reading” various viscera and
    entrails to see the future.

    To date, the entrails, wooley bears, and computer climate projections all seem to have roughly the same descriptive success rate when compared to the plodding day to day meteorlogical
    process of recorded observation and interpolation.

    Weather may not be climate.

    Climate is weather.

  61. So Meteorologists aren’t climatologists. They just don’t get it… blah, blah, blah. Truly amazing. Its the same script, only in a nicer package: Ignore the science; “Attack” the dissenters as misinformed or evil; Repeat the mantra.

    Still the REAL problems have yet to be addressed…GIGANTIC HOLES IN THE REASEARCH FINDINGS.
    *So, lets believe the climatologist with a bent Hockey Stick and not the geologist who broke it!
    *Lets believe the climatologists with 10 cherry picked trees in Yamal without questioning the flawed methodology behind it.
    *Lets believe the NASA GISS temperature curve and not the brave TV Meteorologist who exposed a warm bias at most of the US climate stations.
    *Lets believe the 23 UN climate models and ignore what is actually happening.
    *Lets believe the climatologists that insist the arctic is warmer and not question their use of spliced station data sets.
    *Lets believe the 5 studies that the UN IPCC bases its ’07 thesis on and not the hundreds of others that dispute the findings.
    “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” – Wizard of OZ.
    Yes, climate science is different from meteorology where AGW is concerned: credibility!

  62. Scott A. Mandia (12:06:28) :
    the link to Doran’s paper is broken. The paper can be found at http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

    Smokey (12:41:25) :
    “…there are certainly push polls bought by foundations that are designed to give that false impression.” It’s not a “push poll” but an academic paper. I suspect since you didn’t note the broken link, you didn’t actually look at it before falsely describing it.
    BTW, Doran himself has published research, “Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response” in Nature- “Although previous reports suggest slight recent continental warming [9,10], our spatial analysis of Antarctic meteorological data demonstrates a net cooling on the Antarctic continent between 1966 and 2000, particularly during summer and autumn.”

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