Over at The Air Vent, Jeff reviewed the book “Warnings” by CCM Mike Smith. This is a book about weather, weather forecasting, severe weather events, and the people and technology that save lives and help people in their daily lives by making weather forecasting their mission. I’ve got the book, I’ve read it, and there’s nary a mention about climate in it.
The number five comment out of the gate at tAV was from Professor Eric Steig, Real Climate contributor and author of the recently rebutted paper that purported to show continent-wide Antarctic warming, that turned out to be nothing more than a statistical smearing artifact.
Professor Steig must still be angry about his paper being effectively rebutted, because he launched a rather bizarre rant of the “weather is not climate” meme about the author’s website, while at the very same time labeling Mike Smith a “liar” and “dishonest” in the context of a book professor Steig has never read.
Eric Steig said
‘Curious’ wrote “Does it cover the distinction between weather and climate?”
Well, I have not read the book, but if you watch the video the author links to on his web site, you’ll find he uses the same lie that Lindzen does “If you can’t predict the weather 5 days from now, how can you be confident in a forecast 100 years from now.” Hello, these are completely different concepts. No one is claiming they are predicting *weather* 100 years from now (or even 10 years from now!).
Mike Smith may be a good meteorologist, but he evidently hasn’t learned this very basic difference yet. Either that, or he is a very dishonest person.
Wow, just wow.
Mike Smith replied:
Mike Smith said
Hi Everyone. I thought that instead of Mr. Steig hurling accusations about me and everyone speculating as to my positions, I would make a few comments and clear the air.
First, there is NOTHING about global warming or climate change in “Warnings.” The book has received excellent reviews and I am very proud of it. I believe that any of you who might chose to read it will enjoy it as much as Jeff did. I certainly appreciate him posting the review.
Mr. Steig says, “No one is claiming they are predicting *weather* 100 years from now (or even 10 years from now!).” I suggest, he read p. 118 of the 2009 National Climate Change Assessment. It makes a WEATHER forecast for the number of heat waves to occur in Chicago during the period 2070-2099. The is just one of the few weather forecasts in the document (i.e., a weather forecast is a forecast of specific conditions at a specific place and time). Here in Kansas, there are various predictions made about drought and reservoir levels on a sub-state basis in 2050. It is factually incorrect to say that “no one” is making weather forecasts decades into the future.
I am very well aware of the differences between weather and climate. The assertion that we can forecast climate decades into the future depends on climate models being unbiased, the errors averaging out, and their ability to forecast volcanic eruptions and changes in solar energy as as other non-atmospheric inputs. No skill (other than in hindcast mode) in any of these areas has been demonstrated. Here is a new paper on the subject: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a928051726&fulltext=713240928 From the abstract: “Besides confirming the findings of a previous assessment study that model projections at point scale are poor, results show that the spatially integrated projections are also poor.”
Finally, I don’t understand the need for pejoratives like “liar” and “dishonest.” We have never met and, to my knowledge, have never had a conversation. While we may disagree on these points, I do not doubt Mr. Steig’s good faith. I wish he would have given me the same benefit of the doubt.
‘Tis a strange world we inhabit in blogland where people accuse you of being a liar and dishonest without even reading what you’ve written.
Just in case Professor Steig reads this and decides to read the book, here it is: