Climate expert Michio Kaku: "El Niña" or global warming causing snowstorms, or something

Dr. Kaku on CBS Early Show

by Dr. Ryan N. Maue

Kaku showed up on the CBS Early Morning show on Groundhog day, and it sure felt like it.  Essentially parroting his CNN.com opinion blog from last week, Kaku eloquently, as if reading from the Presidential TelePrompter, butchered the field of climate science in his tortured explanation of global warming fueled snowstorms.  Please, someone from the Climate Change Rapid Response Team issue a press release with all of your names on it repudiating this nonsense.

And, someone tell Kaku that El Niña does not exist.  Go back to talking about aliens and supervolcanoes on Coast to Coast AM instead of trying to raise your profile, push your book, and make money off of the extreme cold weather hurting millions of Americans.    West of the Rockies…

CBS Early Show:  Video of Extreme Winter Weather Explained

Kyle Drennen at the Media Research Center helpfully provides a transcript of the video nonsense, with a very helpful host Chris Wragge participating:

CHRIS WRAGGE: Here to explain why we’re having such extreme weather is physics professor Michio Kaku of the City University of New York and author of the upcoming book, ‘Physics of the Future’ Doctor, good to have you with us. I think everyone wants to know, very simply, nine storms in seven weeks, why is this happening? Why is this happening?
MICHIO KAKU: Well, snowstorms take place when dry, ice-cold weather from Canada and Alaska bump up into moist, warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. Monster storms like this are caused by fluctuations which draw more icy weather from the north and there’s more moist air in the Gulf of Mexico because of increased temperature.

[X] No.  The Gulf of Mexico does not have “increased temperature”.  It is actually historically, anomalously cold right now.  Does he know that the non-stop infiltration of Arctic cold blasts actually chills the Gulf of Mexico?  The La Nina has cooled the entire planet due to changes in the tropical eastern Pacific.  It’s anomalously cold as well, as cold as it ever was in the past 30-years or maybe more.

WRAGGE: What are some of the theories behind this extreme weather, though?

KAKU: One theory says it’s random, natural fluctuations in the weather. For example, we have something called El Nina in the Pacific around the equator, which is helping to divert cold air into the United States. And also the North Atlantic oscillations, air currents in the North Atlantic, which again is helping to pull down, pull down more cold air into North America.

[X] Random?  El Nina?  Divert cold air.  North Atlantic oscillations helping to pull more cold air down.  WTF is this?

WRAGGE: I think a lot of people* want to talk about global warming and thinking that that may actually come into play here. Is that accurate? Is that having an effect on what’s going on?

KAKU: Yes. It seems to violate common sense, but as the Earth begins to heat up, that means more moist air in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on average. Which creates more precipitation, and eventually more snow. So global warming is caused when sunlight hits the Earth, and turns into infrared, red radiation, heat radiation shown here, and it’s sort of like a roach motel, light checks in but the heat does not necessarily escape.

[*] Editor’s note: Only the liberal media and Democrat Party wants to talk about global warming during the coldest winter in a long time, in order to further their job “killing” green policies.

[X] When you say something violates common sense, then it probably does!  More moist air in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on average: well, not this year.  Roach motel?

WRAGGE: So I think the other big question people have, is this going to – I mean is this going to continue? Or is there a light at the end of the tunnel? 

KAKU: Global warming simply says more oscillations. So we have fluctuations, but on average, temperatures are going to rise. Remember, last year was the hottest year ever recorded in the history of science, next to 2005, since 1880. So the Earth is heating up. We can debate exactly what’s driving it. But, hey, get used to it. We’re going to have more energy sloshing around the Earth, more extremes, and swings. Flooding in one area and ice-cold temperatures in another.

[X] More oscillations?  Where is he pulling this out of?  So, global warming is going to cause the same weather events we have seen since time immemorial?

WRAGGE: Is this the same weather pattern, though, that’s affecting us that’s affecting other regions around the world? You’ve had problems in Brazil with mud slides, Australia’s going through some weather issues now. Is this the same? 

KAKU: Similar. El Nina, cold weather around the equator, is contributing to what’s happening in Australia. And I was in Brazil just two weeks ago, where they had monster mud slides, killed hundreds of people because of flooding. Massive flooding. And it’s summertime now in Brazil.

WRAGGE: In El Nina, what are the patterns here? Is it every couple of years?

KAKU: Yeah, El Nina and the North Atlantic oscillations go back and forth every few years and they last a few months. And so we have both effects helping to bring down cold air from the north, while the Earth itself is heating up, creating more moisture in the Gulf of Mexico. And when the two meet, watch out.

Garbage in, garbage out.  However, when you combine an all-knowing theoretical physcist with a book to push and the liberal media, you get more than garbage — you get “unadulterated trash”.

Open question:  the use of the term “denier” is used as a pejorative by alarmist climate scientists to describe those that do not buy their prescriptive policies for “saving the planet”.  If the shoe fits wear it — as Trenberth said at AMS.  In this era of new civility, instead of “alarmist”, should the politically correct term of “Useful Idiot” be investigated for potential inclusion into the scientific discourse?

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February 2, 2011 11:04 am

Speaking of Groundhog Day, how can he see his shadow on a rainy/snowy day? I CALL SHENANIGANS/SHAM!

beesaman
February 2, 2011 11:10 am

And he has a doctorate, in what, finger painting?

David Davidovics
February 2, 2011 11:12 am

AH – hahaha!
“LA NINA”
Priceless!

FS
February 2, 2011 11:13 am

roach motel?
just product placement – better check his product endorsements.
evidence one side is being funded by big pest control

Jeremy
February 2, 2011 11:14 am

The shameful thing is that one of our national news hours; at a time when the middle east could erupt into serious trouble, North Korea nearly caused war, China is leaving us in the dust economically, and the nation still has no federal budget… is asking why snow is falling.
I never really wondered what a nation being almost systematically lied to looked like. It’s interesting watching from the inside and seeing real stories, important stories, ignored one by one for such nonsense as cats rescued from trees, winds blowing, and make-believe missile launches. Thank god the internet came into it’s own as a source before this despicable media we have in the developed world became completely incompetent.

Theo Barker
February 2, 2011 11:15 am

Thanks Dr. Maue for “turning on the light so we can see all of the roaches…”

James Allison
February 2, 2011 11:15 am

This guy must have attended the same science classes as Al Gore.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley
February 2, 2011 11:16 am

It’s annoying when someone whom you have previously respected suudenly starts talking BS. I found this out many years ago when a old client of mine, whom I had liked for his opinions, suddenly revealed his Christian beliefs. I also once read a fascinating book by Martin Rees (Royal Society), then discovered that he had been infected by the warming disease. Michio Kaku’s knowledge on multi-universes and space-time have been interesting to read. Then this.

old44
February 2, 2011 11:16 am

I am suprised Dr. Maue that at the 1:55 mark you missed “last year was the hottest year ever in the history of science next to 2005 since 1880”
WHAT?
[ryanm: i had to leave some low hanging fruit for others to gorge on 😉 ]

Brian H
February 2, 2011 11:16 am

Jeez. El Nina? Is that a kind of transsexual weather system or something? The hermaphrodite sibling of La Nina and El Nino?
Kaka is getting weirder by the day.
[remember, civility]

richard verney
February 2, 2011 11:18 am

He should definitely stick to his day job. I think that he will be embarassed when he checks to see what he has said and the feedback he receives.

NoAstronomer
February 2, 2011 11:19 am

Michio Kaku is an expert on global warming the same way I’m an expert on astrophysics. Meaning not at all. Come to think of it he’s not an expert on anything.
At least I’m a pretty good programmer.

Mike
February 2, 2011 11:23 am

“When you say something violates common sense, then it probably does!”
Common sense: The sun goes around the Earth.
Galileo: Nope. Careful observations and mathematical analysis show just the opposite.
Common sense: Heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects.
Galileo: When controlling for shape and size heavier objects fall at the same rate a lighter ones.
And then there is quantum mechanics. Guess we will have to chuck that bit of nonsense right out the window!

Onion
February 2, 2011 11:24 am

He’s not a useful idiot. Useful idiots unknowingly act against their own interests. He has a book to sell

davidc
February 2, 2011 11:24 am

Confirmation that the default position needs to be that they are lying. This has generally been the position within the scientific community, it just needs to be more widely appreciated. Nothing special really.

February 2, 2011 11:25 am

Dr. Maue
Glad someone is taking him to task on this. I sometimes listen to his radio show and generally like it. But he has bought the AGW party line hook, line, and sinker. I heard him interview Michael Mann concerning his 2008 proxy study. Not only did he stroke Mann’s ego by mentioning “deniers” several times, but he didn’t even bother to ask about upside-down Tiljander, a known problem that was pointed out be the “deniers” and later retracted (sort of) in a corrigendum.
I have a somewhat related question. As I mentioned in previous correspondence, I’m a long time observer of the AGW debate, since 1992 (when I got to see Carl Sagan at a seminar)… And I just realized there is something interesting in the trends for which I’ve not seen an explanation. On channel 5 global temp readings, Northern Hemisphere temps dominate. Why are NH summers – June, July, August – hotter than Southern Hemisphere summer months of November, December and January. Is it because the NH contains more land, or is there some other answer?
Thanks for your previous correspondence, and thanks for posting.
Mike @ Sonicfrog.net

Honest ABE
February 2, 2011 11:26 am

No no, you got it all wrong, Kaku is a climate genius – he discovered the El Nina phenomena, it is completely different from El Nino and La Nina, and it is of course caused by global warming.
Ugh, seriously though, I wish I could’ve been that reporter for 5 minutes and tore into Kaku’s ignorance.

adam
February 2, 2011 11:27 am

if you look on youtube you can find Kaku 20 year ago making some ridiculous predictions

latitude
February 2, 2011 11:27 am

No one that knew better would publicly make this big of a fool of themselves….
…so the only other choice is that he really is that stupid

Jeremy
February 2, 2011 11:29 am

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
February 2, 2011 at 11:16 am
It’s annoying when someone whom you have previously respected suudenly starts talking BS. …Michio Kaku’s knowledge on multi-universes and space-time have been interesting to read. Then this.

This is actually not that surprising from theoretical physicists in general. I’ve met a few and known a handful. Some of them are truly out-to-lunch. I get the sense that they start spending so much of their brain time in pure abstraction that they lose some touch with reality. The good physicists always keep their imaginations rooted in what the data says, but some get blown off the reservation and frankly lose it.
Hawking, for instance, was celebrated greatly for his theories on black holes initially. When one of his conclusions was shown to be false, he essentially spun the issue by saying that what he theorized could be true if there are multiple universes, so he then theorized that there are multiple universes. It’s kinda sad. You want to admire these guys, but they just want the fame of being the next Einstein so much that they destroy their credibility sometimes.
It’s always better to just admit when you’re wrong. People will respect you more.

February 2, 2011 11:31 am

“KAKU: Yes. It seems to violate common sense, but as the Earth begins to heat up, that means more moist air in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on average. Which creates more precipitation, and eventually more snow. So global warming is caused when sunlight hits the Earth, and turns into infrared, red radiation, heat radiation shown here, and it’s sort of like a roach motel, light checks in but the heat does not necessarily escape.”
He says it but does not understand – heating is followed by cooling, and weather is cyclical

Laurie Bowen
February 2, 2011 11:34 am

Dr. Ryan N. Maue
“Open question:” . . . . ok I’m a useful idiot, I’ll bite . . . what’s the Open question?

Admin
February 2, 2011 11:35 am

“El Niña” wow. Sure we all make mistakes and sometime words get twisted, but that is right up there with Gore’s million’s of degrees.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/16/gore-has-no-clue-a-few-million-degrees-here-and-there-and-pretty-soon-were-talking-about-real-temperature/
If this had been one of few television interviews given, I’d have given Kaku a pass for simply being nervous in front of TV cameras. It happens.
But he’s a 20+ year veteran of being on TV, so there’s no excuse.

Scott Covert
February 2, 2011 11:36 am

I think his hair is tinfoil…. I could be mistaken… or maybe the aliens are making me type this.

Douglas DC
February 2, 2011 11:36 am

Kaku’s been holding forth on Yellowstone Caldera too. Either a renaissance man or
he is outside the envelope….

richcar 1225
February 2, 2011 11:41 am

My wife had Regis Philbin on and his sidekick mentioned El Nina as the cause of the snow. It is amazing how this kind of junk science spreads.

rbateman
February 2, 2011 11:43 am

They (and Kaku) still cannot predict anything.
And besides all that, Warming causes Cooling insults right down to the level of the common man on the streets.
Kaku, Gore et al are bluffing: Flim-Flam at it’s finest, banking on the fact that there’s a sucker born every second that will buy into the wildest of scams.

Frank K.
February 2, 2011 11:46 am

I think Kaku and Gore should take their act to Las Vegas and start a second career as a comedy duo…
By the way, if someone like Dr. Roy Spencer had given a similar interview, I’m sure C-BS would have had a second segment to provide “an opposing viewpoint” from one of the usual climate publicity hounds (Schmidt, Mann, Hansen, Romm etc.).

Dr T G Watkins
February 2, 2011 11:49 am

Good to see you sitting on the fence Ryan. (lol).
Kaku joins Brian Cox, Paul Nurse and many other well known science celebrities in expressing opinions in support of the ‘settled science’ when it is obvious they have not investigated the subject themselves.
How embarrassed they will be in 10 years or less and will they apologise.

D. King
February 2, 2011 11:53 am

“El Niña”
Tolerance people, for our transgendered oscillations!

Fernando
February 2, 2011 11:55 am

Anthony.
I’m afraid of making political comments in our beloved WWUT.
Analogy,
useful idiot was used to describe Soviet sympathizers in Western countries
“Elements within the British establishment were notoriously sympathetic to Hitler. Today the Islamists enjoy similar support. In the 1930s it was Edward VIII, aristocrats and the Daily Mail; this time it is left-wing activists, The Guardian and sections of the BBC. They may not want a global theocracy, but they are like the West’s apologists for the Soviet Union — useful idiots.” (wiki)
Full idiot…..Garbage in,….recycles…. garbage out…..recycles….. extra pure garbage is obtained.
Not only was the British aristocracy. Who surrendered to the charms of a clean planet ….
Every day, day by day is the same creed.
Clearly, Michio Kaku. He wants to transform the planet into an eternal Monday.
No, No, No
El Niña….??????

Gary D
February 2, 2011 11:57 am

Of course the alarmists have been saying AGW causes severe cold and snow, just look at the film The Day After Tomorrow. The only thing is though, the hypercane is hitting Australia but the snow and cold is in the northeast US. WUWT?

bubbagyro
February 2, 2011 12:06 pm

I liked Kaku when he dealt with science fiction issues, like SETI, aliens, string theory, etc. I liked his delivery, but now see that he is a teleprompter celebrity, like someone else I know.
It will be difficult now to suspend disbelief as I watch his shows on science channel or discovery.

VICTOR
February 2, 2011 12:07 pm

the warmist are denier of the true

Laurie Bowen
February 2, 2011 12:07 pm

Douglas DC said “Kaku’s been holding forth on Yellowstone Caldera too. Either a renaissance man or he is outside the envelope….”
Douglas DC . . . . a link to what you are referring to would be nice . . . . please! That way we don’t have to search the whole site . . .

nc
February 2, 2011 12:07 pm

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
February 2, 2011 at 11:16 am
Hawking comes to mind, he being a warmer. With a mind like his you would think he could cut through the BS in no time. But maybe he is watching which way the wind blows.

Jim G
February 2, 2011 12:13 pm

Mike says:
February 2, 2011 at 11:23 am
““When you say something violates common sense, then it probably does!”
Common sense: The sun goes around the Earth.
Galileo: Nope. Careful observations and mathematical analysis show just the opposite.
Common sense: Heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects.
Galileo: When controlling for shape and size heavier objects fall at the same rate a lighter ones.
And then there is quantum mechanics. Guess we will have to chuck that bit of nonsense right out the window!”
Common sense would, of course, throw out relativity and quantum physics. Can’t bank on that. How about honest solid observational data and sound statistical analysis? Have not seen much of that in the AGW camp.

Ray
February 2, 2011 12:15 pm

Well, well Mr. Kaku, you talk about lots of cold air and cold water… then tell us, where is the heat gone then?

stephen richards
February 2, 2011 12:21 pm

Does it help you if I tell you that Kaku is a favourite of the BBC?

February 2, 2011 12:25 pm

KAKU: “Similar. El Nina, cold weather around the equator, is contributing to what’s happening in Australia. ”
Is Kaku saying cold Weather around the equator is similar to cold Weather in the northern & southern hemispheres?
I don’t understand this! is he saying the Earths climate is cooling therefore creating colder weather, causing similar weather patterns as if the Earths climate was warming therefore the earths climate is warming?
KAKU: “Yes. It seems to violate common sense.”
If it seems to violate common sense then there is something wrong with the logic behind your argument.
Where KAKU seems to be getting it wrong is when the climate is warming he says it’s man made global warming and when the climate is cooling he is also saying its man made global warming.

KD
February 2, 2011 12:27 pm

“KAKU: Yes. It seems to violate common sense, but as the Earth begins to heat up, that means more moist air in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on average. Which creates more precipitation, and eventually more snow. So global warming is caused when sunlight hits the Earth, and turns into infrared, red radiation, heat radiation shown here, and it’s sort of like a roach motel, light checks in but the heat does not necessarily escape.”
Just once I’d like to see the reference where a proponent of AGW predicted this BEFORE it happened. Seems to me there are a lot of Monday morning quarterbacks on the AGW side.

Cassandra King
February 2, 2011 12:30 pm

I have mixed up the responses of Michio Kaku in random sentences in no particular order and no matter how much I have mixed them up they still sound like the mad ramblings and gibberish of a religious nutcase who knows how to say the words but does not know what they mean. Please try it yourselves and you find it comes together exactly the same as the original, its weird and and counter intuitive but somehow it works.
Please read the original and have it fixed as best you are able in some kind of order and then compare it with my ‘mix of the month’.
“Monster storms like this are caused by fluctuations which draw more icy weather from the north and there’s more moist air in the Gulf of Mexico because of increased temperature. But, hey, get used to it. And also the North Atlantic oscillations, air currents in the North Atlantic, which again is helping to pull down, pull down more cold air into North America. more extremes, and swings. Flooding in one area and ice-cold temperatures in another.Similar. El Nina, cold weather around the equator, is contributing to what’s happening in Australia. And I was in Brazil just two weeks ago, where they had monster mud slides, killed hundreds of people because of flooding. Massive flooding. And it’s summertime now in Brazil.Remember, last year was the hottest year ever recorded in the history of science, next to 2005, since 1880. So the Earth is heating up. Flooding in one area and ice-cold temperatures in another. We’re going to have more energy sloshing around the Earth. Remember, last year was the hottest year ever recorded in the history of science and also the North Atlantic oscillations, air currents in the North Atlantic, which again is helping to pull down, pull down more cold air into North America.”
Aaaah I see it all clearly now, CAGW is simply a mixed bag of words shaken and then showered out onto the table in no particular order, it all means the same thing because its really not meant to mean anything and at the same time it means anything you want it to mean. This is Alice through the looking glass stuff, random sentences with no meaning become the wisdom of the ages, you could call it ‘word spaghetti’ speaking in tongues and the language of the Gods. Words to fill the vacuum of ignorance, words to fill the void, like trying to build a house of sand by the teaspoonful. My favourite gibberish of the piece? I am going to have to go with this little gem myself, whats yours?
“We’re going to have more energy sloshing around the Earth, ” Huuuuh! I myself not being a scientist am not familiar with this technical phrase.

max
February 2, 2011 12:34 pm

Sonci,
partially correct – the oceans are big heat sinks which tend to minimize the extremes. The primary reason, however, is that the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit combines with the precession of the Earth’s rotation to favor the NH getting more sunlight. It’s actually a pretty nifty piece of geometry if you like that sort of thing, but the short form is that summer in the NH is about 9 days longer than summer in the SH and NH spring is about 6 days longer than SH spring, with the SH getting corresponding longer winter and fall.

UK John
February 2, 2011 12:37 pm

The great man has feet of clay, he is not alone.

Dave Andrews
February 2, 2011 12:45 pm

Several years back Kaku hitched his wagon to the nuclear power/ weapons proliferation debate. At the time I was a long time activist in the UK Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
I was perusing his latest book, can’t remember the title, in my local bookshop. Expecting ‘pearls of wisdom’ all I found was ignorant mistakes. Needless to say I didn’t buy the book and have had a low opinion of him ever since.

Kev-in-Uk
February 2, 2011 12:47 pm

It’s rather sad – I have enjoyed some of his QM string theory material and he did seem to string (excuse unintentional pun) a good argument together but he is way way out of his depth here methinks. Perhaps he is either broke, just trying to secure funding or jumping on the AGW bandwagon to ensure future dinner invitations! In any event I find this display very very sad and his scientific standing and credibility has dropped through the basement.

February 2, 2011 12:48 pm

Kaku-sensei is in need of attending an undergraduate course on thermodynamics.

eadler
February 2, 2011 12:50 pm

It is pretty clear that Kaku fails as an exponent of the theory that AGW is causing the current weather pattern of snow storms and cold weather in th

PJB
February 2, 2011 12:50 pm

Having intently watched the Atlantic basin for hurricane activity over the past decade, I have concluded that the one thing that stops or reduces cyclogenesis is wind shear.
Screaming trades or local wind patterns tear the tops from the rising thunderstorms that fuel the strength and velocity of these weather phenomena. As a means of distributing excess heat they are good, but not as good, perhaps (I see a research paper coming… ) as high velocity winds going from one region to another.
Warm water temperatures notwithstanding, shear can take them all out or its absence can allow the formation of monsters like Yasi. In a global warming world, I gather that the models show less heat difference between the poles and the equator (ie less shear so more hurricanes) but the models have been wrong before. The PDO and the other oceanic cycles certainly seem to have the upper hand on historical [CO2] levels no matter how you present it.

UK John
February 2, 2011 12:53 pm

It is surprising that with all these “Great Men” of Science around in 1999 that not one of them recognised that the Y2K computer “millenium” bug was an overblown myth.
I remember approaching the then President of the Royal Society at a function at the end of 1998 and asking why he was not advising that the Y2K bug was not really a problem, I was a bit of a professional machine code junkie. After a short time it became clear to me the poor man had little knowledge of computers or software. However it did not stop him publically advising the Nation that the Y2K computer bug was a “threat to our civilisation”. Tony Blair also said it, and we wasted billions of pounds supposedly fixing software, but the truth was there was nothing to fix. I had colleagues in non english speaking countries who did absolutely nothing to fix Y2K computer bugs, and absolutely nothing went wrong.
Why would it, people such as me wrote the stuff and admitably it wasn’t very good and the software failed for all sorts of reasons, but as to date sensitivity, that was a hypothesis but after a few minutes thought it became clear there were not going to be many problems as the time and date is relative to where you are on the Earth’s surface and we somehow seemed to cope with that in our code.

FS
February 2, 2011 12:56 pm

KD
Just playing Calvin Ball
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_and_Hobbes
CalvinballOther kids’ games are all such a bore!
They’ve gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It’s never the same! It’s always bizarre!
You don’t need a team or a referee!
You know that it’s great, ’cause it’s named after me!
—The Calvinball theme song[51]
When asked how to play, Watterson states, “It’s pretty simple: you make up the rules as you go.”

juanslayton
February 2, 2011 12:59 pm

It seems to violate common sense, but as the Earth begins to heat up, that means more moist air in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on average.
Good! A claim that is subject to empirical verification…. Has anyone charted long term (or even short term) records of atmospheric humidity in the Gulf? How do current levels compare with the past?

Vince Causey
February 2, 2011 1:03 pm

Cassandra King,
It worked just like you said. The words and sentences are like the random ejaculations of a parrot. Yet most humans, if unsighted, can tell if their interlocutor is another human or a parrot. If you randomly shuffle the sentences and if it sounds the same as the original, we can then conclude the original was gibberish.

Doug
February 2, 2011 1:10 pm

Sad. Kaku is entertaining and well-spoken when it comes to astrophysics, but it’s almost laughable when he starts talking about stuff he doesn’t really know.
Same thing will Bill Nye. He’s a good entertainer, but then tries to become an authority on climate and politics, both of which he knows nothing. And Bill Nye doesn’t even have a PhD…just an honorary one. Sorry, but you pretty much have to have a PhD to be credible in the scientific community.
Stick with what you’re an expert in.

Mike
February 2, 2011 1:11 pm

On the bright side, he DOES look better groomed than Suzuki.

tarpon
February 2, 2011 1:13 pm

And what about the sun? By now most real scientist are seeing the sun, water vapor and cosmic rays as controlling Earth’s climate … What say you?

sHx
February 2, 2011 1:23 pm

“El Niña”
He didn’t say it once. He said it three times! This was not a nervous slip of the tongue.
And the interviewer (Bragge – with his lips parted like those of a fish) didn’t see the need to correct this professor of quantum physics. Maybe he was intimidated by the authority, or maybe he was too ignorant. He too said “El Niña” once.
What a shameful encounter! Shameful for journalism, shameful for climate science, shameful for Kaku and his fans.
Indeed, where is the Climate Rapid Response Team when you need them?

jason
February 2, 2011 1:28 pm

El nina? My god, its worse than we thought…..

INGSOC
February 2, 2011 1:28 pm

Nice work Ryan. Would you like some help finding the “cuckoo with Kaku” stuff? If yes, email me at the address I use to comment.
Cheers!

February 2, 2011 1:34 pm

This sounds to me like a new lecture for Dr David Morrison “The Rise of ClimatePhobia”
Dr. David Morrison during his “Doomsday 2012 Rise of Cosmophobia” lecture got riped into Michio Kaku over his promotion of 2012 doomsday theory’s last year, where Kaku proclaimed that the Earth will be destroyed by a massive solar flare similar to that in the films the knowing & 2012.
(although Dr David Morrison has been on a personal mission to disprove “Doomsday 2012” I have heard his lecture called “taking a hit” which earned him the title of “Dr Doom” I’m unsure of his views of man made global warming).
You can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9DlumvXqEw&feature=related Kaku talks at 4:40
In another news interview about solar storms when asked by the interviewer “what I’m reading here scares me to death, should I be that way?”
Michio Kaku replies “Thats right! we are talking about a potential Katrina from outer space!”
You can watch that interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_TzIUlaQok&feature=related

Peter Plail
February 2, 2011 1:41 pm

I wonder if Rupert Murray could be persuaded to do a documentary called “Meet the Warmists” and follow Kaku about with a camera. He would make a wonderful spokesman for the alarmist side.

DirkH
February 2, 2011 1:42 pm

Mike says:
February 2, 2011 at 11:23 am
““When you say something violates common sense, then it probably does!”
Common sense: The sun goes around the Earth.
Galileo: Nope. Careful observations and mathematical analysis show just the opposite.
Common sense: Heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects.
Galileo: When controlling for shape and size heavier objects fall at the same rate a lighter ones.
And then there is quantum mechanics. Guess we will have to chuck that bit of nonsense right out the window!”
As usual, the warmists compare their cult with the theory of gravitation, and with Einstein’s work. Because it’s *THAT* important and *THAT* hard to grasp. Listen warmists, all you got is a lousy *peace* nobel; not one of the important ones, now go and play with your computers again.

February 2, 2011 1:45 pm

When you know you are not going to be challenged, you let your guard down, and nonsense comes out. Indeed, pushing beyond the AGW issue, that is why liberals are such bad debaters, they have never been challenged when they need to be. In college and in the press, as long as they use the correct code words, and mouth the right talking points, the professors and journalists pass them along. So they do come off looking stupid to anyone in the know. But to those who are wide eyed and agape, they probably sound authoratative since the “interviewer” is not disputing them.

JJ
February 2, 2011 1:47 pm

Kakunuts got a little roasting when trying to be a vocano expert on Eruptions blog too. There are plenty of links to the complete story.
http://bigthink.com/ideas/26680

Hu McCulloch
February 2, 2011 1:54 pm

Warming probably increases absolute humidity in a world covered with oceans, but I don’t see why it would change relative humidity, and therefore precipitation, one way or the other.
But I guess most here would agree with that already…

John Robertson
February 2, 2011 1:58 pm

Kaku says “Remember, last year was the hottest year ever recorded in the history of science, next to 2005, since 1880. ” So it was the warmest year ever recorded since 1880? So that means he clearly admits that there are years PRIOR to 1880 that were warmer than 2010/2005/1998…
Interesting.

Zakos
February 2, 2011 2:05 pm

FAIL

DCA
February 2, 2011 2:24 pm

Dr Kaku,
Do we have a La Nino that will pull more warm air up too? :,)

JJ
February 2, 2011 2:29 pm

“Similar. El Nina, cold weather around the equator, is contributing to what’s happening in Australia. And I was in Brazil just two weeks ago, where they had monster mud slides, killed hundreds of people because of flooding. Massive flooding. And it’s summertime now in Brazil.”
So … global warming is not only causing colder, snowier winters … it is also causing colder, rainier summers.
Somebody help me out with the ‘warming’ part.
And El Nina? I thought it was inustrial oestrogen analogs that caused that, not ‘global warming’.

Cassandra King
February 2, 2011 2:33 pm

Vince Causey says:
February 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm
Cassandra King,
It worked just like you said. The words and sentences are like the random ejaculations of a parrot. Yet most humans, if unsighted, can tell if their interlocutor is another human or a parrot. If you randomly shuffle the sentences and if it sounds the same as the original, we can then conclude the original was gibberish.
Stranger and stranger isnt it? “random ejaculations of a parrot” that one made me collapse into a fit of the giggles, thanks I really needed that! May I use it again please? I will of course offer the correct attribution.
Yours
Cassie K.

Paul Deacon
February 2, 2011 2:49 pm

The first Kuku of summer…

February 2, 2011 2:57 pm

Someone help me out here. Wasn’t there a short paper by a retired NYC Meteorologist, who reviewed like 90 years worth of East Coast records, and plotted “average winter season temperature” versus snowfall and got about an 80% correlation factor?
Yep warmer weather…LESS SNOW! Debunking (at least on a regional basis) that “weather extremes” (AKA snowy winters) are associated with a warmer atmosphere.

Jeremy
February 2, 2011 3:01 pm

UK John says:
February 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm
It is surprising that with all these “Great Men” of Science around in 1999 that not one of them recognised that the Y2K computer “millenium” bug was an overblown myth.

Y2K wasn’t nearly as overblown as CAGW. Real corporations spent real capital to prepare their software systems for the changeover in year. There was a real concern about their ability to make money with the change in date.
That said, yes, there was a lot of overblown nonsense that should have been shouted down. Chief among them was the “planes falling from the sky” myth of airplanes in mid-flight losing navigation. Which for some reason is still perpetuated with the cell-phone RF signal myth.

steve
February 2, 2011 3:05 pm

On no. This is terribly embarrassing. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Kaku. Have two of his books.
This guy built a particle accelerator when he was 13 and is one of the architects of Superstring theory.
Seems even Dr. Kaku fails to apply science here.

k winterkorn
February 2, 2011 3:30 pm

The “Roach Motel” thing is precious. Kinda like the Warmist Cult: a lot of intelligent people go in, but something happens in there, and they cannot think their way back out.

Gene Zeien
February 2, 2011 3:38 pm

Can’t believe no one pointed out this typo: hurting millions of Americans. West of the Rockies…

Ray B
February 2, 2011 3:49 pm

I saw this on the toob this morning and was a little stunned. The weather warnings and school closings were running over his name banner, so I couldn’t tell who he was. My guess was that he was a physicist getting asked off topic questions because of the weather. (Lucky guess!) He sure was not in his element. I kinda felt bad for him.
Then I started wondering how many minds are sucking up this barn silt as it was broadcast throughout the network. How embarrassing.

tom s
February 2, 2011 3:55 pm

More like Dr Coo-Coo!

David L
February 2, 2011 4:01 pm

You got to give them credit. They’ve gone from dismissing snowstorms as weather and having nothing to do with climate to having everything to do with climate driven by global warming.

bubbagyro
February 2, 2011 4:47 pm

I’m sure he is not stupid. He is paid well for these utterances.

Steven Kopits
February 2, 2011 4:50 pm

Ryan –
This is a singularly poor piece here. If you want to refute Kaku item by item, do so.
For example, Kaku says:
“…we have something called El Nina in the Pacific around the equator, which is helping to divert cold air into the United States. And also the North Atlantic oscillations, air currents in the North Atlantic, which again is helping to pull down, pull down more cold air into North America.”
OK. He’s made a factual assertion: i) “El Nina”; ii) divert cold to US, and iii) NOA pulling down cold air. True or not?
You respond:
“[X] Random? El Nina? Divert cold air. North Atlantic oscillations helping to pull more cold air down. WTF is this?”
You haven’t contested his assertions in fact. You’ve just thrown a tantrum. Do you want me to be able to refute his Kaku, or merely be able to say, “Boy, did Maue blow his fuse yesterday.” That’s all you’ve helped me do.
Editor, I don’t know what you’re doing here, but stop free-lancing. “Only the liberal media and Democrat Party wants to talk about global warming during the coldest winter in a long time, in order to further their job “killing” green policies.” This is, as a general statement in the context of this article, an inappropriate and baseless assertion. You want to write an article about liberal media bias? Fine. Do it, document it, write it. But your comment was entirely unhelpful here and only served to undermine Ryan’s credibility. Remember, Ryan is the keeper of one of the key series–the ACE–in the climate change debate. If his neutrality is called into question, so will be his ACE scorekeeping.
Did you not see this? NCDC’s Dr. Thomas Peterson: “It’s a knife fight” What does Anthony accuse Peterson of? Read carefully.
Gents, take a breath. Go out, shake it off. Argue with facts, not emotion.
And Ryan, don’t ever do this again.
[ryanm: No i didn’t blow a fuse. Most of the readers here know that El Nina is a conflation of El Nino and La Nina and the fact that Kaku can’t get this right is a testament to how far out of his league/profession he is. I am not spelling it out in a long, manuscript format because Kaku is so far off target that there is no need to “refute” anything he says. You can’t have a debate with someone this uneducated or unprepared — just like Al Gore. He can’t debate anything. As for my neutrality in question — you have to be adept at recognizing and understanding sarcasm in most of my blog postings. The audience here isn’t looking for a lecture, they’re reading for entertainment and leisure. Chill out.]

February 2, 2011 4:56 pm

max wrote:
but the short form is that summer in the NH is about 9 days longer than summer in the SH and NH spring is about 6 days longer than SH spring, with the SH getting corresponding longer winter and fall.
I understand the slightly longer NH summer, but the bell curve that develops on channel 5 (aqua) is far too large and overbearing to be explained by that slight variation.

Austin
February 2, 2011 5:05 pm

Something has to take the heat out of the rain to make it snow.
And that is a heck of a lot of heat to take out.
If it was raining on the North Slope, he’d have a point.
I wonder how he would explain ice in the Gulf of Mexico.

Leon Brozyna
February 2, 2011 5:07 pm

Him again??!!!
Saw him in a sound bite on the Today show last week spouting the same nonsense (what’s causing all these storms that keep hitting the northeast? … global warming)…time to change the channel…let’s try The Country Network for something more intellectually stimulating.

John Randall
February 2, 2011 5:22 pm

Very sad. Whatever happened to “Question Everything”?

galileonardo
February 2, 2011 6:09 pm

In what I am hoping will remain a yearly sighting, I present again the Gorehog:
http://i632.photobucket.com/albums/uu44/themaverickone/Punxatawney_Al_Hi.jpg
Same message. Different year. It sure does feel like Groundhog Day. Cheers!

P.G. Sharrow
February 2, 2011 6:11 pm

An “expert” is a former drip under pressure. pg

Pamela Gray
February 2, 2011 6:58 pm

I’ve heard about these El Nina’s. But only on the back streets, dimly lit with red lights (and I have never visited these streets, cuz I’m a good girl I am). Is it possible he actually MEANT “El Nina”? Has the flock coined a new AGW term? Can it be both hot and cold? He and she? Me and you? Us and them? Black and white? Red and green? Night and day? Up and down? In and out? Dry and wet?
Apparently.

PhilW1776
February 2, 2011 7:03 pm

Kaku is media whore and a wack job anti-all-things-nuclear zealot. Protested the launch of Cassini to Saturn because the RTG power source could wipe out the state of Florida were the rocket to fail.

Menth
February 2, 2011 7:09 pm

Gadzooks! Just look at all that freakishly warm water in the Gulf of Mexico right now!
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/hurricane/12wksst.html

February 2, 2011 8:02 pm

Hoist by one’s own ethnic petard! (Being of German extraction, I would consider it an HONOR to have someone knock me down with some good German Science work.)
Here is a good paper that shows the lower the seasonal temperature, the MORE the snow!
Based on observations from Japan.
http://www.igsoc.org/annals/49/a49a084.pdf
Of course, I suppose ‘pure theory’ has its advantages. Can we quote:
“The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
Thomas Henry Huxley

Rob Yallop
February 2, 2011 8:06 pm

Mike says:
February 2, 2011 at 11:23 am
““When you say something violates common sense, then it probably does!”
Common sense: The sun goes around the Earth.
Galileo: Nope. Careful observations and mathematical analysis show just the opposite.
Common sense: Heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects.
Galileo: When controlling for shape and size heavier objects fall at the same rate a lighter ones.

“Common sense” in the context quoted here is merely the formation of a view with insufficient information to appreciate the real answer. This may be occur often enough (especially in centuries past when man lacked the knowledge and tools to understand many natural phenomena) and is therefore to be guarded against (i.e. keep an open mind), but it’s surely similar to Occam’s razor in that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it’s more likely than not to be true. The quoted examples are obvious cases where it wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean “common sense” doesn’t prevail most of the time.

Olaf Koenders, Wizard of Oz?
February 2, 2011 8:46 pm

“..KAKU: ..And I was in Brazil just two weeks ago, where they had monster mud slides..”
Using his own logic, shouldn’t he hold HIMSELF responsible for the mud slides because he was there at the time, or did he go there to specifically help, somehow?
I used to have some minor respect for this man, until – correctly put by Ryan “trying to raise [his] profile” utterly bludgeoned to death whatever was left. Hopefully, the (real) scientific community will correct Kaku’s intellectual stupidity if at all possible, or worth the trouble.
Just my 2 cents – probably far more valuable than his book..

Shub Niggurath
February 2, 2011 9:03 pm
tinfoil hat
February 2, 2011 9:36 pm

man, i miss art bell. oh well, gonna listen to some abba now …

February 2, 2011 10:49 pm

Kaku is playing the pea under one of three shells game and fooling the public. He said, “It seems to violate common sense, but as the Earth begins to heat up, that means more moist air in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on average. Which creates more precipitation, and eventually more snow. ”
An accurate version would be for warming to increase lake and ocean evaporation, which increases precipitation. In a warming world, it means more frequent and heavier warm rain, and not more frequent and heavier snow. He switched cold snow for precipitation, right at the end of the argument, the best place to do that trick!
The water cycle is not directly tied to the heating or cooling of the global weather or climatic temperatures. Kaku would have us believe that increase precipitation will induce cold. (Yes, evaporation and rain has some minuscule temperature impacts, but not that big!)
Specifically, the 2nd law of thermodynamics states that for it to be cold over a huge region, that heat had to go somewhere. The CAGW crowd claims that the Northern Hemisphere heat went to Arizona and thereby cooled a huge swath from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
Remember, if we ignore the sun, it all has to sum to zero, so for every therm it’s cold elsewhere, it needs to be a therm warmer in Arizona. Were people smelting gold on the sidewalks in Arizona in January? /sarc
Hmm… I read that the satellites monitoring Saturn have recorded falling levels of long-wave infrared. LWIR is radiated into space, as per the (disputed) greenhouse-effect model, from sunlight warming the surface and being re-radiated into space as LWIR. Occam’s Razor tells us that the probable reason Saturn’s LWIR is falling is because the solar illumination of Saturn is falling.
I read that new satellite sensors observing the sun have recorded fairly constant visible spectrum radiation, but the UV band has dropped a lot. Hmm… I remember that UV has more “oomph” than visible light, so, perhaps the amount of solar power falling on the earth has dropped?
I tried this argument elsewhere, and had it thrown in my face that I’m not a physicist. Okay, I’m a mathematician with a specialty in probabilistic methods. Does that defeat my logic?
I don’t think so.
So, Kaku’s pea and walnut shells game is to blandly switch “more snow” for “more precipitation,” and he hopes that nobody notices that he left our any explanation for how global warming becomes global cooling. I noticed that it should have been “more warm rain” and not “more snow,” but I’m not a true believer in the Church of CAGW.
Stage magicians make a living by distracting the audience and substituting things while the audience’s attention is elsewhere.
The Amazing Randy has made a living debunking magicians who want to pose as propehts and spiritual healers. The priests of the Church of CAGW need debunked, too.

the_Butcher
February 2, 2011 11:42 pm

Kaku is a funny character, and should stick to funny science.

Richard Keen
February 3, 2011 12:24 am

Max Hugoson says:
February 2, 2011 at 2:57 pm
“Someone help me out here. Wasn’t there a short paper by a retired NYC Meteorologist, who reviewed like 90 years worth of East Coast records, and plotted “average winter season temperature” versus snowfall and got about an 80% correlation factor?”
Honest officer Obie, I wrote that article. But it was about Philadelphia, and how did you know I retired? It’s a rather simple-minded analysis of a rather simple minded question with a rather simple-minded result, namely, in places where it rains a lot it’s more likely to snow if it’s colder. Apparently, however, not simple-minded enough for Kaku. Read and weep at:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/29/frequency-of-big-snows-northeast-u-s-and-colorado/
or
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/ne_storms.pdf
As for NYC, Chip Knappenberger did a similar correlation with the same result:
http://www.masterresource.org/2011/01/more-big-new-york-city-snowstorms/

pkatt
February 3, 2011 1:03 am

He should go back to space. At least there no one is challenging the mystical cure all dark matter, and multi universe theories.

Pascvaks
February 3, 2011 2:10 am

Dr. Maue you must not be ‘into’ the New Age California Mindset and ‘with’ the Post Normal Science of the moment. Technically speaking, of course you are absolutely right. But you see that is precisely the problem. California is on the Left Coast, everything here is bass ackwards. Left is right on and OK. Right is left out and NOT good. Up is a downer, really down, unless you’re on speed. And down is up, unless you get some bad stuff and that’s bad, very bad. When The Big One hits, that’ll be BAD — unless you don’t live in California, then it will be Good. Regardless of what anyone says, you can’t beat the weather (usually), it’s fantastic; and some normal people stay in the state (even though they can’t or won’t speak the lingo) because of the weather, and the cool nights, and the fresh organic fruits and veggies, and flowers, etc., etc.
[ryanm: i live in california, same as Anthony]

February 3, 2011 3:31 am

Mr. Keen: Thanks for your pointers. I hope you found the “formal paper” by the Japanese Forrest Institute that I found. Similar conclusion to yours, but (ahem, cough…obviously better quality /sarc), as it appeared in a “Peer Reviewed” journal.
It’s sad when we have to “point out the obvious”, i.e. “cold and snowy” tend to go together. Maybe some of these genieuses can’t figure this out – – – if you look at the begining of the “winter season” and the end of it, you have times when the temperature goes above 32 F. Generally (there are some odd exceptions to this, as you know because of the normal lapse rate, primarily, and “close” situations, where it will snow, while the ground ambient is 32, the form of the precipitation is RAIN. Now when you play the stupid “average temperature” game, if you have a more of your season in this realm, (>32 F) you have more of your season in the “snow turned off” realm. This may have a little to do with the general observation that a “colder” (on the average) winter tends to be a “snowier” winter (on the average.

DCC
February 3, 2011 4:23 am

Jeez. El Nina? Is that a kind of transsexual weather system or something? The hermaphrodite sibling of La Nina and El Nino?

Notice that the interviewer/reporter made the same mistake. Are we surprised that a reporter would know so little about a subject for which s/he is doing an interview?

Vince Causey
February 3, 2011 7:18 am

Cassandra King
“May I use it again please? I will of course offer the correct attribution.”
Sure, go nuts 🙂

PJB
February 3, 2011 8:04 am

Hi Ryan
From a post on an Australian blog about Yasi: “Last night on a talkback show they were talking of Yasi striking the coast at the top of the tide. A fisherman rang and said it wouldn’t happen. He said “every fisherman knows that the cyclones slow down to let the high tide flow out. ”
Any thoughts on that?
[ryanm: how would a fisherman know what happens beneath a category 5 cyclone — the surge would make the tide unmeasurable compared to it]

David
February 3, 2011 8:13 am

David L says:
February 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm
You got to give them credit. They’ve gone from dismissing snowstorms as weather and having nothing to do with climate to having everything to do with climate driven by global warming.
Yes, and strange as it is, as best as we can tell, the earth in January 2011 was the same temperature as it was in January for the past 30 years on average, but for some reason this January all the snow and tropical storms around the world were caused by
CO2. Why does the same heat content, assuming we are good at measuring that, suddenly cause more disasters?

jono
February 3, 2011 8:20 am

Could this be Mr Kaku who wrote the book called Visions, I believe I re-wrote one of his chapters, cross refernced and all, for a friend to put it back into the human arena without all the errors, the funny thing was it ended up with an offering and vision almost 180 degrees different from Kaku`s, I remember the worst example was the toasters using superconducting elements to save energy. (electrical resistance = heat generation or so my mother used to say) . I ought to buy the new book and see if it just as error stricken.
jono

reason
February 3, 2011 9:01 am

“And, someone tell Kaku that El Niña does not exist. Go back to talking about aliens and supervolcanoes on Coast to Coast AM instead of trying to raise your profile, push your book, and make money off of the extreme cold weather hurting millions of Americans.”
I think we’ve set a new record low wind-chill for the blog with this.
Deliciously brutal.

reason
February 3, 2011 9:09 am

All y’all shut up. This sort of stuff is completely plausible in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and fourteenth dimensions. Everybody knows that the gender-associations in Spanish invert in the teen-dimensions.
/kaku-impression

Rob Crawford
February 3, 2011 12:21 pm

“Seems even Dr. Kaku fails to apply science here.”
He’s gone Sagan; the studio lights are more important to him than the light of knowledge.

Ian L. McQueen
February 3, 2011 9:10 pm

Kaku-sensei, meet Alan Sokal. You share an equal facility with the English language.
http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPST/critstudies/transgress_v2_noafterword.pdf

Brian H
February 4, 2011 2:14 pm

Pamela;
Of course. Doncha ‘member? Warmcold causes wetdry! It’s a(some) known non-disproven fact(s). Non-disproveable even!

barbara
February 4, 2011 8:30 pm

Michio Kaku has never met an “official story” he didn’t like. He’s the Arlen Specter of science.

None
February 7, 2011 7:45 pm

Terribly sorry, I wasn’t aware that insults were only allowed to fly in one direction…Who am I kidding? That’s exactly what I expected.

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