Here’s an opportunity for crowd-sourcing a rebuttal to Climate Central’s Top Ten Climate Events of 2010. I think it is mistitled, and should be Climate Central’s Top Ten Weather Events of 2010.
Of course it OK when they do it, because as we all know, weather is not climate except when it fits the AGW narrative, which is CC’s founding mission. The Climate Central effort here with this list seems rather weak and transparent, when you look at the story behind the story for the list they have compiled.
Get a load of this paragraph:
This year also featured plenty of extreme events, from crippling snowstorms in the American Northeast to blazing heat and deadly flooding in Pakistan. Many of these events have already been at least partially linked to natural variations that occur in the Earth’s climate system.
Um, that’s called weather.
Here’s the list with some rebuttals of my own to get started. Readers please add your own in comments, and I’ll add them to this list.
1. Mid-Atlantic Cities Break All-Time Snowfall Records
Last time I checked, it takes two to tango. Cold and weather patterns are a factor also. And, can you tie single weather events to climate?
2010 appears to be a strong outlier, and before some folks get all excited about the upwards trend, let’s recall what we’ve learned about endpoints in graphing trends.
Readers can help fill in this section with more examples.
2. Flooding in Nashville, Tennessee
Gosh, it floods somewhere in the USA almost every year. For example the Great Ohio River flood of 1937. Was that caused by
global warming climate change climate disruption back then too?
3. Record-breaking Heat Waves and Droughts in Africa and the Middle East
Gosh, it gets hot there? We have about 100 years of records, some of that natural variation you allude to can’t be in play in such a short slice of the planetary history? Assume AGW is not a factor; is it not unreasonable to expect new records to be set outside of a 100 year data sample?
Readers can help fill in this section with examples.
4. Russian Heat Wave
Gee, even NOAA doesn’t think this has anything to do with
global warming climate change climate disruption:
Despite this strong evidence for a warming planet, greenhouse gas forcing fails to explain the 2010 heat wave over western Russia.
I guess Climate Central never got that memo.
5. U.S. Summer Heat Waves
2010 had heat waves, so did other years in the USA. When was it again that we had the most frequency of heat waves? Oh, yeah, the 1930’s.
And for balance:
Graph sources: Ken Kunkel of the Illinois State Water Survey, via World Climate Report
And yes, I know the graph does not go to 2010, the graphs above were published in 2006, for pre-2000 data, but perhaps readers can locate an update?
6. Pakistan Monsoon and Flooding
Isn’t there a long history of this sort of thing?
From: Khandekar M. K., “2010 Pakistan Floods: Climate Change Or Natural Variability?”
(October 2010), Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (Vol.38, No.5).
As the graph shows, rainfall records for the region prove how floods and droughts have occurred irregularly over a 150-year period and show no discernible significant trend.
Khandekar, also once a research scientist for Environment Canada, and an IPCC reviewer, sums up how Pakistan’s climate record shows no human signal:
“Among other droughts and floods, the monsoon rains were exceptionally heavy in 1917 with extensive floods over many areas of the country, while 1972 was a major drought year resulting in sharply reduced grain yields. The decade of the 1930s experienced in general surplus rains over most of India with three flood years, namely 1933, 1936 and 1938 (Bhalme & Mooley 1980). It is of interest to note that the1930s were part of the dust bowl years on the Canadian/US Prairies. A possible teleconnective link between Indian monsoon flood and Canadian Prairie drought has been speculated by Khandekar (2004).”
“A rapid transition of the ENSO phase from El Niño to La Niña between spring and summer of 2010 appears to be the key element in triggering a vigorous monsoon of 2010 over the Indian subcontinent…….the 2010 Pakistan floods, although seemingly unprecedented, were well within natural variability of monsoonal climate over the Indian subcontinent.”
7. Third Lowest Arctic Sea Ice Extent
Yes, but here’s what Climate Central won’t show you:
8. Lake Mead Record Low
Yes, but it has dipped low before, and again, is a 70 year record really enough to claim a long term event outside the bounds of natural variability?
The USGS seems to think that the Pacfic Decadal Oscillation has more to do with it:
Figure 8. Time series of average monthly Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) (upper, smoothed) and standardized anomaly index (SAI) of cool+warm-season precipitation (lower). Arrows indicate regime shifts of the PDO.
The USGS says in Precipitation History of the Mojave Desert Region, 1893–2001:
Precipitation in the desert region is modestly but significantly correlated with the average PDO (computed from October to September) in the year preceding (lag 1) and the year of the cool+warm (lag 0) season (fig. 7). The three regime shifts of the PDO are largely in-phase with the annual and seasonal precipitation time series, particularly since the mid-1940s (fig. 8). The mid-century dry conditions show this in phase relation, which coincides with a period of low indices and a prolonged cool phase of the PDO. The early neutral to positive phase of the PDO is associated, although in a complicated manner, with the relatively wet conditions during the early half of the century. The strong warm phase of the PDO beginning around 1977 is readily associated with the wet climate beginning in 1978. Of particular interest is the downward shift in the PDO beginning in 1999 with concomitant decreased precipitation that has continued through the winter of 2002 with only slight relief in winter 2003. The unusually dry climate in the Mojave Desert region since 1998 is likely associated with a nearly continuous belt of high pressure in the northern mid-latitudes that produced drought conditions elsewhere in the United States, the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, and central Asia. This global-scale drying was evidently related to unusually cool and persistent SST in the eastern Pacific Ocean (Hoerling and Kumar, 2003). The weather, SST, and surface-pressure patterns of the past several years suggest that a transition to another PDO regime is presently underway (Gedalof and Smith, 2001). This transition could affect the climate of the Mojave Desert region.
Well, that’s inconvenient.
9. Amazon Drought
Wide open for readers.
10. Final Annual Temperature Ranking
Um, no, it’s not final yet. Final is the word you use when all the data is in, we still await December. But, it seems there’s been a lot of pressure to make 2010 the “hottest year ever” in advance of the year end.