Quote of the Week – "weather is not climate", flaming edition

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

December 5, 2010 at 8:35 pm

‘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

December 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm

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.

Mike

‘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:

click for details

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101 thoughts on “Quote of the Week – "weather is not climate", flaming edition

  1. “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).”
    That’s an odd one. OK, I guess it’s specific conditions at a specific place. But what’s the specific time?

  2. The first resort of the charlatan – accuse anyone who disagrees with you of lying or deceit and keep up the smears for as long as you can. I think Mike Smith is being incredibly magnanimous here, if he had used the language Eric Steig has used against Professor Steig, I’m pretty sure there would already be a writ for libel being drafted if not issued.

  3. It is good that you chose to notice this. Jeff is too nice to put Steig’s arrogance, and ignorance, in its proper place.
    Mark

  4. Eric Steig – playground bully. If calling people nasty names like a big stupid kid is the sum of his scientific training then perhaps he’s in the wrong job and the wrong playground.

  5. If we agree to give millionaires and billionaires permanent tax cuts, will they let us abolish the Federal Reserve and have our own federal government print our own money for us tax free?
    This would be a pretty good trade, don’t you think?
    The rich really aren’t giving us anything of great value in return for our gift to them.

  6. 07/12/10
    Met Office Dumps Doomsday Sea Level Predictions
    SNIP please don’t post OFF TOPIC comments and especially please don’t report ENTIRE ARTICLES in comments. This is what links are for – Anthony

  7. Actually I’m not sure I know what differentiates a climate forecast and weather forecast. The now discontinued seasonal forecasts from the MetOffice didn’t specify specific weather on specific days, they just indicated whether it would be warmer or colder than average and that there would be more or less precipitation. They always seemed to indicate it would be warmer than average, exactly like UK climate predictions and they’d no clue what the rain would be doing, just like UK climate predictions. Even the monthly forecasts beyond a fortnight are pretty vague. So (for any climate scientists out there) when does weather become climate and what’s the name for the unpredictable gap between accurate weather forecasts and accurate (ha, ha) climate forecasts? ‘Wimate’ or ‘cleather’?

  8. A thirty year period may not seem very specific, but such a period predicted to commence some sixty years or so into the future is very specific indeed. Specific enough to scare those who hear the prophecy, regarding the dangers posed for their great grandchildren.
    Tempted as I am to e-mail my eldest gg telling him that in the event of the cold materialising that I expect to be around in his old age, he should consider a move to Chicago, I shall hold my counsel as I don’t want him to think that I have lost my marbles.

  9. I just flicked over to RC to read Steig’s stuff, which is nothing more than a vicious and illogical rant, then wandered to the bottom of the page and found a sort-of ‘cartoon’ which leaves absolutely no doubts about the editorial view at RC of sceptics. There is some worrisomely weird stuff going on in Warmist heads if this is an example of what they see as ‘humour’.

  10. UK Sceptic says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:37 am
    “Eric Steig – playground bully. If calling people nasty names like a big stupid kid is the sum of his scientific training then perhaps he’s in the wrong job and the wrong playground.”
    Mr (Nelson) Steig has read this post and all the comments therein and wishes me to convey to you his following comment……….”Ahhhhh Haaaaaaa”

  11. “Kate says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:57 am”
    Record lows are not being recorded everywhere as far as I can see, the UK, NZ and Aus. Yet, initial reports of the firest fires in Israel, although weren’t directly being attributed to “global warming”, you could feel there was a hint in the newscast. As it turned out, it was startd by a 14 year old boy.
    Just not working out for the warmists.

  12. Climate is just the average of weather. The climate models TRY to predict weather on a day to day basis which is then averaged to make a “climatic” prediction. If the weather is not right, how can the average be right? All the overs and unders may all cancel themselves out, but thats not proven, and what if there is a bias to be more over or under?
    I disagree with Steig et al. argument that climate is more predictable than weather, since the two are the same thing, climate being made from weather.
    Climate is what you expect, weather is what actually happens. The two never match, as one (in a traditional sense) is the average of the past weather, not the weather happening today. With climate models, its a forecast of the future average, but if its not right weather wise today, who can be sure it will be 10 years from now? No one does, and there are no magic crystal balls.
    It is the weather outside we are interested in Mr Steig, not the average of it all. And the alarmists constantly talk about hurricanes, storms, snow, drought, heat waves etc…all in the future and due to anthropogenic emissions – are they confusing weather and climate also?
    What about those that shout about 2010 being the warmest year? isnt that the same? (plus they fail to mention its due to a natural phenomenon!)

  13. It’s only the beginning of December and the farmers in northern Florida are facing freezing temperatures for multiples of days. Crop failures in norther Florida in the beginning of December are predicted.

  14. Kate says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:57 am
    “……the number of British pensioners dying of cold has increased from 9 per hour to 12 per hour.”
    Dear Kate. Do you have a reference for that statement? It deserves a wider publication.

  15. I suppose the real issue is that climate scientists cannot help themselves. They study climate but they inevitably have to justify their research by making weather forecasts based on their results.
    I may ‘dishonest’ and a ‘liar’ but I cannot see how climate scientists can not do this. They need to test their climate predictions and they can only be tested by comparison to the physical manifestation of climate which is weather. They do this with hindcasts but these tests raise valid concernsa bout model tuning. So they must do forecasts or predict current situations such as the tropospheric hot spot that we read so much about. I’ve read that these are ‘good’ at global levels but ‘not so good’ at continental scales. I’ve rad things from Realclimate and eslewhere that the bad fit of these models is not due t the models but to the paucity of quality data.
    So I find it very puzzling, in a way, if climate scientists, wax indignant about questions about the utility of their models in predicting weather. It is a necessary part of the scientific process that they do so so that they can be falsified.
    So of someone asks me what the difference between weather and climate is, I tell them that weather is what is used to test our ideas about climate. I so not see how this could make me ‘a lair’ and ‘dishonest’.

  16. Peter Miller says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:14 am
    Here is an another amusing rant from someone else who has impeccable credentials on commenting on climate change – Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
    My dear chap, I think Mr Chavez has summed up the whole AGW scam beautifully, nothing left out at all, apart from the liberal left-leaning intellectual elites who are out to make their millions from hard-pressed taxpayers within the western developed world before the well runs dry & they are found out! The real reason for all those deaths in both Venezuala & Columbia is that those people lived in poor conditions & could not escape from such extremes. Why does their Beautiful Leader not use some of his (sorry country’s) millions from oil revenues to rectify the situation by creating jobs & better social conditions instead of doing the usual socialist thing & wait for a hand out from some one else?

  17. Eric Steig calling Richard Lindzen a lair says much more about Eric Steig than it does about Richard Lindzen. It is true that if we cannot be sure about weather 5 days from now then certainly we cannot be sure about “climate” 100 years from now. Why? Because both forecasts are made by man. To think man can be more accurate in a forecast made for 100 years from now than 5 days from now because, supposedly, “climate” has less noise than weather is a more ridiculous supposition than assuming Antarctic temperature made from interpolation is just as accurate as actual instrument readings.

  18. Grumpy old Man says: “……the number of British pensioners dying of cold has increased from 9 per hour to 12 per hour.”
    Dear Kate. Do you have a reference for that statement? It deserves a wider publication.
    …Yes, I do.
    The oft-reported figure is 9 per hour but the reality is far worse than that. Check the National Pensioners’ Convention website for more accurate information.
    This is from earlier this year, and it gives the 12 per hour figure:
    http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/news/Pensioners-claim-cheap-fuel/article-614920-detail/article.html
    Pensioners can claim cheap fuel
    SHOCKING winter death statistics has spurred a Longdowns fuel company into action.
    Unique Ecofuels, a recycled wood-fuel provider, has introduced a discount for pensioners. The company, at Herniss Business Park, recycles wood waste into burnable briquettes for home heating systems.
    Anyone on a state pension will now get a 25% discount – receiving four bags of briquettes for the price of three. Each bag has around 100 briquettes. They are £3.95 each or £10 for three.
    Owner, Paul Rutter, said: “It is not just the environment we feel strongly about. We are committed to helping the local community wherever possible. This is why we have discounted our already low prices. We know it’s a small gesture, but we hope it helps.”
    He set up Eco fuels last year to deal with trade waste and offer a low-cost heating fuel.
    When the National Pensioners’ Convention announced that 12 pensioners each hour are dying as temperatures remain low and many feel they cannot afford fuel, he chose to act. He added: “These cold temperatures present a challenge for us, but it’s horrible to think of people deliberately sitting in the cold because they are struggling to afford the fuel to keep themselves warm. We couldn’t fail to act when we heard these shocking statistics.”
    For more information contact Ecofuels on 01209 861621, visit the website www. uniqueecofuels. co.uk or drop in to the site.
    [MOD NOTE: It appears your link goes to an article almost 2 years old.
    Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 15:18 … bl57~mod]

  19. Maybe Steig should tell his crimate Heidi Cullen that weather and climate are “completely different concepts” . So she’ll stop hurling such forgettable things like
    And the urgency is that the longer we wait, the further down the pipeline climate travels and works its way into weather, and once it’s in the weather, it’s there for good.

  20. Kate says December 7, 2010 at 12:57 am: “Its report sets out how to cut Britain’s “carbon” emissions [notice they still can’t manage the whole phrase “carbon dioxide”] 60% from 1990 levels…”
    ==============
    There is nothing more classically Orwellian than the use of the word “carbon” in climate propaganda, when the actual issue is (if anything) carbon dioxide.
    The former – carbon – is the dirty black stuff of Dickensian London, aka “soot.” It gets into your clothes, your hair, your lungs. Of course we’d all want to get rid of it. Only a lunatic (or a denier) wouldn’t want to scrub the atmosphere of filthy disgusting “carbon.”
    “Carbon dioxide” on the other hand is a trace gas which is an essential component of organic life. Animals and human exhale it constantly, and plants use it to grow. It’s the “fizz” you get from a bottle of Coca Cola. It comes from compost piles, volcanoes, and the oceans. You can’t see it, taste it, or feel it. It’s currently 0.04 percent of the Earth’s natural atmosphere, but has been up to 20 times higher in the past.
    I wonder what Orwell (or Edward Bernays) would be saying about today’s propaganda crusade against evil and dirty “carbon.”

  21. Ayatollah Khomeini will kill Salman Roshdi without reading his book and Professor Steig calls Mike Smith liar and dishonest without reading his book. So what is difference between Khomeini and Steig? Mike must be glad that he is still alive LOL

  22. [MOD NOTE: It appears your link goes to an article almost 2 years old.
    Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 15:18 … bl57~mod]
    Yes, exactly. It just shows how long this scandal has been going on. In the last two years the weather has got colder and fuel prices have rocketed. In Britain, fuel poverty has doubled in five years and this is set to get much worse thanks to the AGW Mafia and British politicians’ insatiable greed for taxes. Try finding any of that in our “Lamestream” media.

  23. Remember Eric Steig is a product of his environment where the game is played by invitation to pass the ball to each other. Hardly surprising to see a rant when the coveted climate ball is intercepted and shared with better than his equals at RC.
    If you live in a world of one opinion it’s hard to adjust to the concept of other views, let alone, one of “those” daring to speak and give their opinion above your moans Eric.

  24. Kate says:
    December 7, 2010 at 3:56 am
    [MOD NOTE: It appears your link goes to an article almost 2 years old.
    Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 15:18 … bl57~mod]
    Yes, exactly. It just shows how long this scandal has been going on. In the last two years the weather has got colder and fuel prices have rocketed. In Britain, fuel poverty has doubled in five years and this is set to get much worse thanks to the AGW Mafia and British politicians’ insatiable greed for taxes. Try finding any of that in our “Lamestream” media.

    Here is a little more background…
    http://www.npcuk.org/pressrel.htm
    Figures from the Office for National Statistics, show an excess winter death rate between December 2009 and March 2010 in England and Wales of 25,400 – made up of 10,600 males and 14,800 females. The bulk of these cold related deaths affected those aged 75 and over – totalling 20,600 (81% of the total). The overall figure represents a death rate of 9 pensioners an hour during the 4 month period in question.
    Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: “Since 1997, we have lost over 300,000 pensioners during the winter months because of cold related illnesses, yet the government seems incapable of acting. No other section of our society is so vulnerable and treated so badly. Pensioners see rising fuel bills and are constantly worried about whether or not they can afford to put their heating on.”

    It looks like the story has some basis in fact…

  25. ‘Weather is not Climate’ made simple:
    Hot weather – like the recent heatwave in Russia – is a function of Global Warming or Climate Change or climate. Very cold weather, the phenomenon that reliably occurs when climate summits are held, is not to be confused with ‘climate’ unless it is understood as, “Climate Disruption”. But Climate Disruption is a function of Climate Change which, in turn, is a function of Global Warming or a warming climate. So clearly, cold weather provides no indication of a cool or moderate climate but it may indicate a warming or hot climate.

  26. The calling of names is never acceptable in informed and constructive discussion. This is why I raise the issue when one our our community fall into that immature strategy, and why I am concerned that Monckton ( Formal address for a UK Lord is to use the family name) is skating on thin ice with regard to some of the language he uses in his posts.

  27. I think it is a good thing that Steig takes part. we need more of that, not less. If he could assume a less defensive attitude, then all the better.

  28. Has anyone else noticed how delicate and unstable these climate PhD’s are?
    =====================================================
    Eric Steig said
    December 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm
    The point is simply that the lack of our ability to forecast weather over a few days has little, if any, bearing on whether or not we can predict climate.
    =======================================================
    This is his strawman.
    It’s not the five day forecast.
    It’s not the ability to forecast weather over a few days.
    10 years ago, a decade, they predicted what the “weather” would be like, right now.
    They could not have gotten it more wrong.

  29. This AGW crowd engages in the psychological malady of “projection” constantly. They are the first to mix up weather and climate. Every time it’s hot or dry or there is a hurricane, they point out global warming is changing the climate. But if its cold or wet or there are no storms then it’s simply weather. If someone points out that it’s evidence against global warming, the warmists become so violently aggitated by that mixing of weather and climate. Why? Because subcontiously they do it all the time. A psychologist once said something to the effect that “one hates in others what they hate most in themselves”. It’s okay to predict there won’t be any snow in the UK this winter because of global warming, but it’s not okay to predict that it will snow in the UK this winter because there is no global warming.

  30. I came across the pensioners dying at 12 per hour information yesterday, but can’t quote the exact source because it was inside a related report on the TV and they don’t offer these videos on their website. If I dig it up again I will post a link, but in the meantime 9 pensioners dying per hour is bad enough. The more I look into this, the worse it looks.

  31. Kate says:
    December 7, 2010 at 5:35 am

    I came across the pensioners dying at 12 per hour information yesterday, but can’t quote the exact source because it was inside a related report on the TV and they don’t offer these videos on their website. If I dig it up again I will post a link, but in the meantime 9 pensioners dying per hour is bad enough. The more I look into this, the worse it looks.

    They don’t need “death panels” if cuts in heating serve the same purpose.

  32. Very interesting post. I would wonder how the assumption that climate is not weather works if there were no records of what the weather was on specific times and places. This also makes me wonder just how certain agencies can end monitoring so many recording sites (many still in operation.) and then proclaiming that they are so much more accurate than before, while having to interpolate the data for large areas due to no recording station in that area. Perhaps there should be a more “robust” collection effort and use more of the data available to improve the empirical coverage of the planet, continents, and regions. Perhaps this might improve the forecast of weather and the prediction of climate in the future. With the understanding there be no cataclysmic events in future. Meteor strikes, volcano eruptions (major).
    Just thinking,
    Bill Derryberry

  33. This from http://www.icecap.us/ about the UK’s death rates this winter, last winter, and the “official” figures from previous winters (that is, 2008).
    Dec 06, 2010
    Britain is Freezing to Death; Mounting Death Toll in Europe; NYT Changes Headlines to “Extremes”
    SNIP – Please do not report ENTIRE ARTICLES, especially off topic ones – Anthony

  34. http://www.icecap.us/ concludes their articles with the following (editorial) summary:
    On Thursday a driver who stopped to help a stranded motorist in the Yorkshire Dales was killed when he was struck by another vehicle. Read more here. See this WSJ story on the mounting cold death toll in Europe. The New York Times changed the headlines after a few hours to one more suitable for the alarmist theme that extremes are occuring “Europe Jolted by Extremes of Weather” here.
    This makes the likes of Blair, Brown, Holdren, Pachauri and his UN pirates, the enviros, the opportunists in the corporations and empty headed Hollywood ‘stars’ and Washington DC elitist politicans, and all the other wacky warmers and their enablers and cheerleaders in the lamestream media and alarmist blogs mass murderers. You see the world is awash in energy sources but the enviros and politicans are blocking access and want to push the useless alternative energy schemes which forces up the cost of energy which in the recession with high joblessness increases the number of families in energy poverty.

  35. Nick Stokes says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:24 am @ Mike Smith
    “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).”
    That’s an odd one. OK, I guess it’s specific conditions at a specific place. But what’s the specific time?
    ===============================
    Wow….coming from a great scientific mind….how can you miss that?
    I think you are just being obstinate.
    By this time, we have grown to expect such obstinance, Nick, of the CAGW acolytes such as Steig.
    But, come on man….you?
    If you can’t see the forest through those trees, then the cognitive dissonance….is worse than we thought.
    To quote Mr. Vonn Trapp when he was trying to rescue Rolf “You’ll never be one of them.”
    Come on over to the other side, Nick. You’ll never be one of them. 😉
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  36. TinyCO2 said: Actually I’m not sure I know what differentiates a climate forecast and weather forecast. The now discontinued seasonal forecasts from the MetOffice didn’t specify specific weather on specific days, they just indicated whether it would be warmer or colder than average and that there would be more or less precipitation. They always seemed to indicate it would be warmer than average, exactly like UK climate predictions and they’d no clue what the rain would be doing, just like UK climate predictions.
    That would be because the Met Office use the same models for weather and climate predictions. For weather they use a basic unified model and for climate they add a few more variables.
    I think Stumpy is right in saying “Climate is just the average of weather. The climate models TRY to predict weather on a day to day basis which is then averaged to make a “climatic” prediction.”

  37. >>(Icecap Note: the age of Dickens was during the Dalton Minimum, with very similar solar conditions to the last several years.) <<
    A correction: the Dalton minimum took place during the early 1800s while Dickens wrote during the middle part of the century.

  38. “It is good to be back in North Carolina,” Obama said Monday. “Love North Carolina, although I have to say I came down here for slightly warmer weather. What’s snow doing on the ground in North Carolina? Come on now.”
    ———————-
    “slightly warmer weather” Mr. President ?? Hire someone who’s good with “creative interpolation.” You’ll find a name or two on this thread !!

  39. In the weather is not climate department: Enjoy this webcam
    Is it Nome Alaska?
    No, its North Carolina.
    The temperature is minus 1 (F and not C).
    http://www.highcountrywebcams.com/webcameras_beechparkway.htm
    Three days of constant upslope snowfall.
    Surely CO2 is to blame.
    We’d better start reducing from 390 ppm back to 350….or this little southern ski resort is going to have as good a start to the season as they did back in the 1970s. The horror!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  40. Jeff Id should be commended for his even tempered replies to Steig’s unprofessional remarks, and likewise Mike Smith should be commended.
    Their calm behavior make Steig’s behavior look like a personally motivated outburst.
    John

  41. Madman2001 says:
    December 7, 2010 at 6:18 am
    >>(Icecap Note: the age of Dickens was during the Dalton Minimum, with very similar solar conditions to the last several years.) <<
    A correction: the Dalton minimum took place during the early 1800s while Dickens wrote during the middle part of the century.
    ============================================================
    Dickens wrote from memory, and claimed to have a near perfect photographic memory.

  42. RE:Nick Stokes says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:24 am
    *** But what’s the specific time?***
    Heat waves do not occur at a specific time, but over a period. So it still qualifies as a forecast.

  43. I noticed about 6 or 7 years ago that the Alarmists were infringing upon areas that they were not trained to deal with. Climate Science is indeed a different thing from Meteorology. However, it wasn’t the “skeptics” who were going beyond thier area of expertise. And I warned at RC back in 2005 that they (the Alarmists) might want to be careful. Even before the 2005 Hurricane Season, I noticed an increasing frequency of Alarmists using weather events (a drought, tornadic outbreak, warm winter, etc…) to justify thier theories on AGW. Once you get caught up in the game it is difficult to get out of it. And I predicted to the folks at RC (before I was censored) that they would regret thier actions. The beginning of the end for the Alarmists was the 2006 Hurricane Season. Talk about getting egg on your face.
    I think the reason why so many of these credentialed specialists fell into this trap was money and public acclaim. Climate Scientists were no longer closed up in thier small offices with tiny budgets and no public face. Sometime in the 1990s Climate Science became an exciting and agressive field of research. One could not only get large block grants, but also appear on TV!!!! Saving the World never was so lucrative and exciting. And the only way one can remain in the limelight and get the subsidies is to scare the heck out of the public. Why warn about future doom, when the present is at hand? And the 2005 Hurricane Season was a crisis that could not be wasted. Too many respected scientists who should have known better fell for the trap. From the autumn of 2005 onward predictions of impending doom became an daily staple. A day didn’t go by without a “study”, which blamed some misfortune on AGW. There were billions in subsidies to win, not to mention reputations to build.
    Yes, Climate and Weather are two different things. One is something that is, the other is a human construct devised by shaky statistics, avarice, and a desire to get that 15 minutes of fame.

  44. The very people who advocate this “climate is not weather” nonsense will cause us to miss the far more important parameters of daily lows and highs on a regional short basis. Florida is right now 50 degrees below normal for this time of year. Will this factor into the “global average” in a significant way? Of course not. What if it were to continue? Not even then. Somewhere else it is likely to be hotter than normal, so the global temperature just wriggles about a very narrow point, warming a bit here, then cooling a bit there, but nonetheless devastating to Floridians. Which is exactly why a global temperature is a dangerous statistic devoid of vitally important information about serious weather pattern variation change. In all likelihood, the ice age will commence and we will not know it. In fact, I can imagine the possibility that the global average may tick up a bit because it may get hotter in other places while it gets colder in “ice age” places. Stupid, stupid global statistic, and stupid, stupid argument over climate versus weather.

  45. Re: Michael says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:39 am
    “…If we agree to give millionaires and billionaires permanent tax cuts…”
    Interesting… since “millionaires and billionaires” tend to receive capital gains and pay capital gains taxes, not income taxes.
    I don’t know of many “poor people” (since class warfare seems to be your thing) offering stable positions with upward mobility or a benifits plan.

  46. Re: Demesure at December 7, 2010 at 3:24 am
    I think you have highlighted a pearl of wisdom which should be a compulsory part of the banner at any site covering climate issues: A frightening and shocking warning indeed!

  47. To be precise, Steig based his insults on a video linked at Smith’s website, not on the book Warnings which Steig admits he did not read. So it’s a bit disingenuous to feign shock as to how Steig could criticize Smith if he did not read the book.
    Having said that, I could not find any weather vs climate claims in the linked videos, so some criticism may be warranted. But it should be directed at the precise points that were made by Steig, not at “straw man” arguments that were not made.
    To do otherwise is to become just as “tribal” as many in the CAGW camp. Now that a more rational view is finally being accepted by more and more folks, it is counterproductive to fall into the thought traps that the CAGW camp allowed themselves to fall into.

  48. I spat my coffee all over my keyboard when I read further down the comments to where Steig returned to proclaim indignently that he would “ingore the insults”.

  49. stumpy says:
    December 7, 2010 at 1:31 am
    Climate is just the average of weather. . .

    Right. And weather is specific not only to time but to place. Does it ever make sense to speak of ‘global weather’? Then how much meaning can be imputed to the term ‘global climate’? In point of fact, the only defining property of ‘global climate’ is said to be ‘global temperature’, itself an abstraction whose referents are dubious and whose significance is tenuous at best. Yet so much is made of this vague and implausible concept that it has become the bogeyman of whole governments, terrified because a priesthood of self-described ‘climate scientists’ have prophesied imminent doom if this mythical ‘global temperature’ increases.
    And how are these proclamations any different from the Oracle at Delphi, or those of any cheap necromancer reading tea leaves or chicken guts?
    /Mr Lynn

  50. In forecasting weather, the computer models generally have a good approximation of all of the physical processes involved that will determine tomorrow’s weather. However, in forecasting climate, we don’t have nearly the same understanding of the physical process involved (solar influences, ocean cycles such as PDO & AMO, thermohaline circulation, SOI, cloud responses to changes in temperatures, etc) to make an accurate forecast.
    To say that forecasting climate is less difficult than forecasting weather shows a complete lack of understanding of what drives climate. Forecasting climate is not just forecasting an average of the weather. There are other physical process that are involved that affect the long range but not the short range. Just as a little noise in the data can disturb a short term weather forecast, lack of understanding of several of the physical processes involved can destroy a climate forecast. The influences on the scale of climate forecasting do not have an influence on tomorrow’s weather.
    Here is a simple analogy that may help to explain what I am trying to say (if you don’t look too deeply into it perhaps). We know the Coriolis Force is a weak force, but this weak force acting over a long period of time greatly influences the circulations in the atmosphere. But, the Coriolis Force has no influence on short term fluid motions, such as water going down a drain (despite what shamans at the equator may try and show you).
    Likewise, the PDO, for example will influence my seasonal forecast, but have no effect on my short term forecast. If we don’t completely understand the long term drivers of the climate, there is no way we can make an accurate forecast of the climate. It is NOT just the average of the weather.

  51. 1. Michael says: December 7, 2010 at 12:39 am
    If we agree to give millionaires and billionaires permanent tax cuts, will they let us abolish the Federal Reserve and have our own federal government print our own money for us tax free?
    This would be a pretty good trade, don’t you think?
    The rich really aren’t giving us anything of great value in return for our gift to them.
    ************************************
    Michael,
    I am befuddled. Your post seems to have little to do with either weather or climate.
    As far as “giving” millionaires and billionaires permanent tax cuts. For the most part, we are talking about their money that the government (we) are going to “allow” them keep. IT’S THEIR MONEY: THEY EARNED IT.
    Congress controls the Federal government’s income and spending. They control the economic and industrial policies. They created Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Post Office, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security-which are all bankrupt. Congress writes the tax laws and they crated the Federal Reserve. Congress is responsible for these United States being bankrupt. (When 40% of your expenses are paid for on credit and when there is no conceivable way that you will ever meet your future obligations, you are bankrupt.)
    The rhetorical question of the day: Why in the world would you want to punish successful people for what your elected representatives have done?
    For the most part, rich people are rich because they provide goods or services people value. Everything that you have, with few exceptions, comes to you courtesy of the rich. The dwelling you live in was built by a “rich person”. The electricity that lights your house was brought to you by two rich people: Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. The steel in your car was from Andrew Carnegie. The food on your table, ditto. Without the rich, your life would be “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short”.
    If you were the religious type, I would respectfully suggest that you get down on your knees and pray that the rich keep doing the things that made them rich.
    I will admit that there are exceptions. While Bill Gates earned his money, there are others that did not. John Kerry married someone else’s money and Al Gore made $100 million by fraud. I will agree that THEY do not deserve to keep that money.
    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  52. Savethesharks:
    Nick has been one of them from the first time I read his comments!
    Nick:
    A heat wave is a weather event!

  53. batheswithwhales says:
    December 7, 2010 at 5:14 am
    I think it is a good thing that Steig takes part. we need more of that, not less. If he could assume a less defensive attitude, then all the better.
    ========================================================
    Here’s the problem with ‘Steig taking part’. —- By his knee-jerk reaction and his emotive response, it is quite clear that he’s lost whatever objectivity he ever had to be effective as a “scientist”. While I don’t expect anyone to remain emotionally null, for anyone to be remotely effective as a scientist, one has to have a certain level of detachment and objectivity. Dr. Steig doesn’t appear to have such qualities in this arena. Clearly, he’s moved from scientist to advocate. Don’t get me wrong, obviously the man has a wealth of knowledge. Sadly, scientific discovery in this arena isn’t the place where he can apply it. Contrast his emotive response and advocacy with Dr. Spencer’s recent posts here. Dr. Spencer simply delivers the news of his findings. Often time, he knows his findings that he posts here are going to be met with jeers and disappointment. But his has a bit of detachment and objectivity that allows him to proceed without the impediment of emotive, subjective interpretations. Again, there isn’t anything wrong with possessing passion, but passion is ruled by the heart, not the brain.

  54. Michael says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:39 am
    …………
    The rich really aren’t giving us anything of great value in return for our gift to them.
    ======================================================
    Not unless you count jobs as anything of value. More, when was it said we were to be given anything? Why don’t we pretend that its their money and not ours to give and take from people that earned it?
    BTW, I agree with you on the fed reserve. We should find a different way.

  55. Steig should lie low these days…
    Climate is the sum of weathers on a 30 year period Dr Steig. It is in fact your neglect of weather’s evolution in Antarctica that led you to believe your own flawed statistics despite them being in contradiction with weather’s evolution over there.

  56. Why is anyone surprised by Steig’s attempt to smear Smith’s name. As Anthony pointed out his claim to fame is a paper “that turned out to be nothing more than a statistical smearing artifact.”
    Sure is fun watching these zealots blow up!

  57. My respect for Stieg / Steig [I can’t be bothered any more to look it up] has plummeted. He used to make sensible statements. But his response to the book is the usual tired ad hominem attack, the first resort of warmist antilogicians. He refuses to read the book and argue regarding the science therein; he knows that battle has already been lost. He must fall back on cant, hand-waving, and All-Holy Climate Models. Pathetic.

  58. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Being born and raised in Kansas City (a few years after Mike), and following in some of his steps, it brought back a lot of great memories. At no point in time from this book could you tell Mike’s position on AGW. It was very well written, and told a great story of the success of the Operational arm of the Meteorological world in saving lives through accurate and effective forecasts and warnings.
    I am growing tired of the “trash all non-believers” policy by the AGW crowd. To pan such a well written and effective book in this manor only goes to show that this is not about science. Only dogmatic beliefs cause such brainless activities. I respect what Mike has done in the field of Operational Meteorology, his dedication to the public has saved many real lives. People like him who have accomplished much, and contributed to society deserve better that to be trashed in this way.

  59. RockyRoad says: Kate says: [December 7, 2010 at 5:35 am] “I came across the pensioners dying at 12 per hour information yesterday…in the meantime 9 pensioners dying per hour is bad enough. The more I look into this, the worse it looks.”
    They don’t need “death panels” if cuts in heating serve the same purpose.
    For every 9 pensioners they kill, the British Government can support one more UEA/CRU parasite. Every time the winter elderly death statistics are published, somewhere in England a bureaucrat divides by nine and allows a tiny smile to cross his thin lips.

  60. Steig and his colleagues are completely dishonest when they state that climate is not weather. Climate is weather averaged over long periods of time. Of course dishonesty is Steigs meal ticket along with the rest of the charlatans at RC.

  61. Steig is bitter because his schtick is getting stale and the rubes are seeing through it.
    Con-artists often project their actions on to others when they get pressured.
    I would say that insce Steig’s major recent paper is falling apart in a very public way, and his pal Mann is melting down, the pressure Steig is feeling is not going down.

  62. Steig be a liberal, which means that, if you do not agree with him or, rather, he does not agree with you, you are either stupid (and can be dismissed as such) or dishonest (and assigned an assumed agenda which must be financed by big oil).
    Name calling is their first position AND their fall-back position.

  63. All stats on deaths from hypothermia, in the UK, must be a bit hard to gather.
    Here is part of an answer from Hansard about same:
    “Although hypothermia may be mentioned on a death certificate as contributing to the death, according to International Classification of Diseases rules it cannot be recorded as the underlying cause. An event that led to the death such as ‘Exposure to excessive cold’, or ‘Accidental fall’ may be recorded as the underlying cause, with hypothermia recorded as a contributory factor. If hypothermia were considered to be the main contributory factor, it would be reported as the ‘secondary cause'”
    So the number of deaths from same may well be considerably higher.

  64. @Pamela Gray says:
    December 7, 2010 at 6:49 am
    “…Which is exactly why a global temperature is a dangerous statistic devoid of vitally important information about serious weather pattern variation change…..”
    Pamela – an excellent observation about the use of global temperatures – and at a time the “3rd hottest year” on record message is being ramped up by warmists in the mainstream media. Thank you.

  65. OK , Michael , what exactly constitutes “our gift to them”? I really wanted to ignore your off -topic , befuddling comment , but since others have responded to it I’ll jump in as well .

  66. Hi Everyone,
    Thank you for all of the supportive comments! They are greatly appreciated. If you are interested in “Warnings,” I’m having a book signing in Wichita at 7pm tonight at the Great Plains Nature Center.
    I’m also having a book signing Sunday at 1pm in Kansas City at the Plaza Barnes & Noble. Would love to see you there.
    If you are interested in getting an autographed copy for a Christmas gift or reading a chapter online, go here: http://meteorologicalmusings.blogspot.com/2010/11/read-chapter-of-warnings-online.html
    Thanks again!!!
    Mike Smith

  67. “Nick Stokes says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:24 am
    ‘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).”
    That’s an odd one. OK, I guess it’s specific conditions at a specific place. But what’s the specific time?’
    A bit disingenuous there. In fact “2070-2099” is a “time” in the commonly used sense of a time span. The fact that it is stated in units of years rather than hours or days or weeks is a matter of efficiency in communication more than anything else. Weather forecasts normally address a time span and his assertion is that the statement that a specific number or range heat waves will take place in that time span is a weather forecast. Theoretically, individuals and organizations that placed any credence in the assertion would prepare a head of time – rather like hauling out the umbrella when there is a forecast of rain.

  68. RE: Duster says:
    December 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm
    There are many examples of weather forecasts in that document that I could have cited. Here is another. Is this specific enough?
    “By the period 2080-2099, devastating heat waves of the kind that killed more than 700 people in Chicago in 1995 will occur three times per year.” (USCCP, p. 119)
    That is a forecast of specific weather conditions at a specific place at a specific time — a weather forecast.
    I don’t understand why this is even an issue. The document says what it says and it is riddled with this type of prediction. I stand by my assertion: If we cannot forecast the number of 1995-style heatwaves in Chicago for summer, 2011, there is no reason to believe we can do so for summer, 2085.
    Now, if Dr. Steig or anyone else disagrees then I suggest they post their forecast (made by a climate model or otherwise) for number of heatwaves in Chicago for the summers 2011-15 and we’ll verify them.
    Mike

  69. Mike Smith says
    Now, if Dr. Steig or anyone else disagrees then I suggest they post their forecast (made by a climate model or otherwise) for number of heatwaves in Chicago for the summers 2011-15 and we’ll verify them.
    They tried that with snow fall over here in the UK,stating that snow fall would become a rare event……….and look whats happened in the last 12 months..twice,with more to come
    forecasting whats going to happen on the day is hard enough for the Met at the moment, look whats happened in Scotland with the “forecast” few cms..nearly a foot of snow fell and fell heavily.

  70. The much-abused “weather is not climate” mantra does make a point that the “climate is weather statistics” idea overlooks: the physical foundations of climatic variability are different from those of weather change. Ironically, far less is known scientifically about the former than the latter. That’s what makes climate predictions quite empty, with little more than political agenda and academic petulance filling the void.

  71. Moderator: I tried to use italics in the phrase “DOES make a point…”, but only succeeded in getting the critical word it omitted.

  72. Weather is not climate! We are NOT predicting weather, just your overall, average Climate, that’s all!!!
    And even though the Climate will change and be 10 degrees hotter a century from now, causing the seas to rise by 20 feet or more, with triple the heat waves and hurricanes — us climate scientists are really saying that it won’t affect your weather.
    In fact, in one hundred years hence, if you’re stuck under 10 feet of snow and perma-frost due to your local “weather” conditions, that’s just MORE proof of this Global Climate Disruption stuff!!!
    So please please please don’t confuse the 10 degree hotter temperature with your over-sized snowbanks!

  73. Why is it so widely accepted that predicting the climate is fundamentally different from predicting the weather? Climate, as I understand it, is just the average of weather over a sufficiently long time. Tomorrow’s weather forecast is also a kind of average. It might tell me that rain is likely, or even “afternoon showers”, but it still is fairly vague as to time and duration. And the most precise forecast is when I look out the window and say “looks like it’s about to rain”.
    What is different apart from the time scale?
    Or maybe the argument is that “global climate” is fundamentally different from (local) “weather”. I’d agree with that — since I only understand what one of them is. Global climate seems meaningless to me, and seems to be either a bunch of hand waving or a single number — the global mean temperature. If that’s all it is, it can’t be very useful. Quite easy to conceive of a planet, half roasting hot, half bitterly cold — uninhabitable — yet with the same global mean temperature as Earth.
    Have fun,
    Robert

  74. This is a beautiful illustration of the entire debate. Here’s Steig, an expert, a climatologist, a type of person the warmists put their entire faith into. He’s one of the consensus! If scientific consensus says so, it is probably so. And certainly, they are more credible than a bunch of laymen with a skill at blogging! And, obviously, weathermen don’t count as climatologists! They’re just a bunch of guys looking day to day and don’t have near the expertise required to engage in climatology.
    So, when a new book is released by a meteorologist and is hailed by the blogging contrarians, it must be quashed. Steig, being one of the chosen few has a bone or two to pick anyway, so, why not whip them down to the place where they need to be?
    Oh, he forgot to actually read the damned thing. He went about making an illogical argument against something that never was asserted. Thank you Dr. Steig in giving us the ultimate example of a “straw man” argument. Better yet, he also gave us a classic “ad hominem” with his summation, Either that, or he is a very dishonest person. All of that would be enough, except, he was attacking a guy that wasn’t engaged in an argument or assertion regarding climate. (BTW, a big hell yeh! to a home boy from Kansas! Sorry Mike, can’t make it to Wichita tonight and prob not K.C. this weekend.)
    So, there you have it. A well-educated person, apparently not given to intellectual curiosity, but rather an emotive response. One that will not tolerate skepticism, alternate theories, or intellectual discourse. Given that he’s a Real Climate contributor and author of climate papers, many may perceive him as a representative of the climate alarmist community. I wonder, has Real Climate distanced themselves from Steig? Admonished him? What of Steig, himself? Has he offered an apology to Mr. Smith?
    To the alarmists, I ask, first, are these people the ones you put so much faith into? And, secondly, I ask, isn’t it time you seriously reconsider your position? These people, they aren’t objective; they are subjective. They are emotionally attached to the subject they are studying. This isn’t science; it is advocacy. Not only are they not giving us the facts, they’re not attempting to establish facts. Dec 5 was just one example in a long line of examples corroborating my previous statement.

  75. Gareth, Stumpy, others: Climate is just the average of weather.
    Please, let’s not say this anymore. I know some like to make the average temperature (now and in the future) the issue on which to prove CAGW. Skeptics should not help them do that.
    Climate for a place is better described as a “pattern over time” of things we think of as weather variables. For example, the Seattle, WA area is usually warm and dry in the N. H. summer but cool and damp in the winter. Meanwhile, Charleston, SC has its peak rainfall in August when it is warmest. If you only present the “average” of these things, then you miss the “pattern.”
    Climates of places are much harder to come by then averages; see here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6ppen_climate_classification
    Anyone who thinks Earth’s climate can be defined by a simple average of temperatures must be a member of “The Team” and we should insist they have a better definition of the concept.
    Put one foot in a pan of hot water. Put your second foot in a pan of ice water. Describe your average comfort level?

  76. The NOAA National Weather Service has re-drawn climate weather zones. If you take a close look at these new zones, you will see they have carefully considered the affects of topography as well as proximity to large bodies of water. Why would they have gone to this trouble? Weather is highly influenced by latitude and longitude along with the parameters of topography. The climate weather zone between Umatilla and Union County along the Blue Mountains has been fine tuned dramatically from what it was. This is because topography drastically affects what weather systems would do to this area and thus keeps its climate within a fairly well defined type. That NOAA has re-drawn this area (as they have done to most other areas as well) speaks to this understanding that climate is a fairly stable thing in which weather varies within the outer boundary range of that climate.

  77. There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the weather/climate question so let me interject, if I may, with a very thoughtful, reasoned, erudite
    and plainspoken definition. This was offered over 100 years ago by a man highly respected and admired almost universally. This definition remains as
    succinct and relevant today as it was at the time it was first articulated.
    “CLIMATE is what we EXPECT!…..WEATHER is what we GET!” Samuel L.
    Clemens…AKA Mark Twain.
    Denny

  78. I’ve always described climate as actruarial tables for the weather. Expected ranges at specific locations based upon statistical analysis of past events at that same location. But the GCM’s are trying to map the whole world, and then use the vagaries they find for that data set to predict specific changes that go outside the established ranges based upon historical events at the locations. That is a statistical falsity.

  79. John F. Hultquist objects to the statement “Climate is just the average of weather”.
    He elaborates:
    “Climate for a place is better described as a “pattern over time” of things we think of as weather variables. For example, the Seattle, WA area is usually warm and dry in the N. H. summer but cool and damp in the winter. Meanwhile, Charleston, SC has its peak rainfall in August when it is warmest. If you only present the “average” of these things, then you miss the “pattern.””
    John, the expression is just a moniker. Why don’t you consider some sub-definitions? Say, “weather” is a state of atmosphere at a certain location S and time t. “Average of weather” is mathematical expectation of this state, again for certain S and t. In this way you have your “pattern over time” (because the expectation depends on t), and Seattle and Charleston are elements of S. Therefore, the expression “Climate is just the average of weather” is mathematically correct, and Mark Twain should be proud of his mathematical prowess.

  80. “Mike Smith says: December 7, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Is this specific enough?
    “By the period 2080-2099, devastating heat waves of the kind that killed more than 700 people in Chicago in 1995 will occur three times per year.” (USCCP, p. 119)
    That is a forecast of specific weather conditions at a specific place at a specific time — a weather forecast.”

    No. Same elementary question – what’s the specific time?
    But I couldn’t even find that quote. What I found (p 117, 2009 NCCA) was :
    “Events such as the Chicago heat wave of 1995, which resulted in over 700 deaths, will become more common. Under the lower emissions scenario, such a heat wave is projected to occur every other year in Chicago by the end of the century, while under the higher emissions scenario, there would be about three such heat waves per year.”
    Properly quoted, they are clearly talking about a climate average.

  81. James Sexton says:
    “So, there you have it. A well-educated person, apparently not given to intellectual curiosity, but rather an emotive response. One that will not tolerate skepticism, alternate theories, or intellectual discourse. Given that he’s a Real Climate contributor and author of climate papers, many may perceive him as a representative of the climate alarmist community. … These people, they aren’t objective; they are subjective. They are emotionally attached to the subject they are studying. This isn’t science; it is advocacy.”

    This is the basic justification for skepticism-plus (to coin a term). The warmist scientists and institutions aren’t trustworthy. A second look is required, conducted by scientists from off the reservation.
    This is what I said in the aftermath of Climategate: Half the embarrassing stuff can be explained away, and the rest isn’t THAT bad. BUT, given the trillions at stake, we need a second opinion. The whole field smells tainted, and we can’t take a chance. We need to take precautions.

  82. Gotta love the guy. He’s got the right name, after all 😉
    And yes, the “Global Warming” folks regularly make “Weather predictions”. A “30 year average of weather” is NOT climate. Climate is determined by things like elevation, distance to ocean, latitude, landscape. Those do not change on 30 year time scales. But regular WEATHER cycles do happen on those scales (PDO, AMO, AO). So right out the gate “Climate Science” has a lie at its core in that it tries to claim that 30 year average weather is climate, when it isn’t. Then it goes on to study AND predict changes in that 30 year weather. That’s a weather prediction. Just a bad one done on an overly broad basis.
    So all my best to Mike Smith. He’s got it right.

  83. R. Knight;
    “not THAT bad”? “explained away”?
    Not in any honest science lab or institute I ever heard of. Grounds for dismissal, with extreme prejudice. Reputation and probity are everything. If you once get tagged as a bunch of “fixers”, it’s game over.

  84. John F. Hultquist says: December 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm: “Anyone who thinks Earth’s climate can be defined by a simple average of temperatures…”
    Climate is weather averaged over ling periods of time. That is a fact, John, and I have not read a single comment that any of us that stated this were only referring to temperature. Weather involves much more than temperature. Please stop trying to redefine our statements to your narrow definition.

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