24 Hours of Climate Reality: Gore-a-thon – Hour 11

A new post containing a cartoon from Josh will appear every hour. At the end of the 24 hours, everything will be collated on a single page. Readers are encouraged to post skeptical arguments below, as well as offer comments on what has been seen from the Climate Reality Project so far.


Global warming causes flooddroughts

Horngate (from our friend EcoTretas)

African droughts are a well known and historical problem. The Sahel (left map), the vast territory south of the Sahara, for instance, has a long record of past droughts. So, every time you hear Al Gore talking about droughts, you should suspect some inconvenient truths are being omitted.

And that is the case with the Sahel droughts mentioned in the Climate Reality site above. It talks about the great Sahel drought, best known because of the “Do They Know It’s Christmas” song. What it does not mention is that since then, the Sahel has been getting greener! The Global Warming Policy Foundation did an excellent briefing paper on this. But this is no news today, and National Geographic was already trying to explain the unexplainable two years ago!

Al Gore should know about it, so he will probably be switching his focus to the Horn of Africa, where a severe drought is underway. As can be seen by the map on the left (detail here), several areas of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are experiencing famine or severe food shortage. The UNHCR has a special site on the issue.

While these droughts have caused some tens of thousands of deaths, and some 750 000 could die in the next four months, one would imagine that the IPCC would have predicted it. Think again! If you go to the IPCC page regarding the fractional change in precipitation changes over Africa in this century, you might find something shocking:

Now, if you’re not familiar with Africa’s geography, check it out again: the IPCC, in the Fourth Assessment Report, which gave them the Nobel Prize, is predicting a major rainfall increase, in the exact same region where the drought is underway! And I just can’t get it, because these are predictions for a warming world. So, something must be wrong, very wrong, inside the IPCC and their 21 models… In Page 850, in the Chapter 11 Executive Summary, they summarize it:

There is likely to be an increase in annual mean rainfall in East Africa.

Then, in Page 869, in Chapter, things are even more clear:

The increase in rainfall in East Africa, extending into the Horn of Africa, is also robust across the ensemble of models, with 18 of 21 models projecting an increase in the core of this region, east of the Great Lakes.

Where did they get these predictions? AR4 references the work of Hulme et al. (2001) and Ruosteenoja et al. (2003). The first one is intitled African climate change: 1900-2100, and has a pretty interesting Figure 13, adapted in the first graph below. It shows a nice wetting trend for East Africa, for almost all the model simulations, and for the next decades (starting immediately). The second one is a Finnish report intitled Future Climate in World Regions: And Intercomparison of Model-Based Projections for the New IPCC Emissions Scenarios. It presents an intercomparison of climate changes projected for 32 regions on Earth, including Eastern Africa. Results are presented for seasonal temperature and precipitation changes between 1961–1990 and three time periods in the future centered on the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. In the second graph below, for the period 2010-2039, most of the models show an increase in precipitation.

It gets worse. FEWS (Famine Early Warning Systems Network), which also has some very interesting data, was concluding last year:

The observed drying tendency is the opposite predicted by the 4th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC ) assessment.

Further down the document, more detail is provided:

The observed rainfall tendencies are substantially different from the results presented in the most recent (4th) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment (Christensen and others, 2007). Chapter 11 (Regional Climate Projections, Christensen and others, 2007) of the IPCC Working Group I report indicates that eastern Africa will likely experience a modest (5–10 percent) increase in June-July-August precipitation, a result our work, although not looking at the same months, suggests is unlikely.

Chris Funk, who works with FEWS, saw it coming, along with La Niña last year. In an article in Nature (registry needed) last month, intitled We thought trouble was coming, Chris gives an idea why this was mishandled:

The global climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were never intended to provide rainfall trend projections for every region. These models say that East Africa will become wetter, yet observations show substantial declines in spring rainfall in recent years. Despite this, several agencies are building long-term plans on the basis of the forecast of wetter conditions. This could lead to agricultural development and expansion in areas that will become drier. More climate science based on regional observations could be helpful in addressing these challenges.

This is the most important part. Not only has IPCC been useless in the last decade, but has been committing severe errors. But now, Horngate clearly shows us that IPCC has been contributing to several tens of thousands of deaths, because of inferior climate investigation, and misleading guidance. It is the time to shutdown an UN agency, that is doing more harm than good! And maybe, Al Gore will talk about all this inconvenience in a week…

[Edited 2011/09/09 to include citations from IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter11]

[Edited 2011/09/09 to include citations from Hulme et al. (2001)]

[Edited 2011/09/09 to include citations from Ruosteenoja et al. (2003)]


Josh put a lot of work into these, so if you like the work, drop by the tip jar. Unlike Gore’s CRP, he won’t spam you asking for more. Buy him a beer, he’s worked a long time bringing us enjoyment with only some “attaboys” sent his way.

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John Marshall
September 15, 2011 3:07 am

You would think that after getting the drought in the Horn so wrong they would bow out gracefully, apologize and go.

September 15, 2011 3:51 am

“And maybe, Al Gore will talk about all this inconvenience in a week…” from iron bars, jailed for lifetime for his deceitful deeds!

Brent Hargreaves
September 15, 2011 4:14 am

Much as I admire the light tone and humour, I must thank WUWT for its heroic and persistent challenge to the great Global Warming hoax.
The Global Warming industry for all its froth and fantasy has had a profound effect on government policy in many western countries, with mind-boggling waste. One day Al Gore’s neoapocalyptic nonsense will be dismissed by the whole of society. Until then, WUWT is doing sterling work comparing the Hockey Team’s predictions to reality. Keep up the good work!

September 15, 2011 4:18 am

Makes you wonder what AR5 will contain about models and the horn of Africa.
…and every time I see their use of the word robust (ie “robust across the ensemble of models”) I’m reminded of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride:
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. “

Joe Bastardi
September 15, 2011 4:21 am

flooddrought?? Shouldnt it be Droughtflood… Oh wait a minute that is when its dry first then rains.. like here in central Pa this summer.
Sounds like they have been watching the cartoon network program.. Catdog

September 15, 2011 4:22 am

I listened in for a short while. One message was confusing.
1) Places with low rainfall in the past have now more rainfall.
2) Places with some drought in the past have more drought now
I thought always that places with a low rainfall are the same places with some drought.
With this kind of logic one can prove anything that one wants to prove.

Viv Evans
September 15, 2011 4:50 am

Great paper, ecotretas – thank you!
This shocking example shows yet again that the IPCC and the AGW believers are damaging the lives of people, even unto death.
This happened around the globe this year – Horn of Africa, Queensland, British Isles in the past winter: bureaucrats taking for gospel what the AGW believers say, never mind that people died and are dying.

September 15, 2011 5:02 am

Most of the climate model projections / tracks look like a bunch of spaghetti tossed on a graph. To view the impact at some point in time would look like the pattern of a shotgun with bird shot. Tilt the trajectory slightly up and viola, all models show an increase / rise at impact. The point needs to be made that the pellets were all over the place to start with and the aiming was off. The aiming will be attributed to the human influence / model input. That begs the question, what was the aim?

David L. Hagen
September 15, 2011 5:23 am

22 year Hale Solar Cycle & South Africa Floods
The IPCC failed to include the impact of the Hale Solar Cycle on precipitation & floods/droughts.
In his life work, WJR Alexander showed a significant correlation between the 22 year Hale Solar Cycle and floods in the South African region – which was NOT present in evaporation.
WJR Alexamder Causal linkages between solar activity and climatic responses, Water Resources & Flood Studies, U. Pretoria, 1 March 2006
WJR Alexander et al. Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development 2007
See WJR Alexander’s publications

September 15, 2011 5:26 am

“But now, Horngate clearly shows us that IPCC has been contributing to several tens of thousands of deaths, because of inferior climate investigation, and misleading guidance.”
Now, let’s all shake our heads and keep pretending this isn’t intentional.

September 15, 2011 5:36 am

I think I get the ‘logic’ behind the model outputs: More CO2 causing Global Warming, causing more Los Ninos, causing more rain in East Africa
What we’re seeing is: Less rain in East Africa, caused by more Las Ninas (with many historical precedents), caused by…
You’d almost suspect there was reason to doubt the GCM tablets brought down from the summit of Mt Sinai by the Goracle

September 15, 2011 6:14 am

Nicely done!

September 15, 2011 7:00 am

I don’t quite get why they are going into so much pains with this wetdrought thing. There are many open niches in the market, you only need a vision to exploit them. After Evian (“naive” backwards) for example the next logical step on the water market is to sell freeze-dried glacier water packages. They are incredibly light weight, cost-efficient, easy to deliver and one only needs to add plain water to make a refreshing drink. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
BTW, I am just looking for investors to bring an ancient, yet innovative product called Xaoh* on the market. Several billion bucks would suffice for the startup. The great Nabru Dnegel is convinced already. Anyone?
* In case we don’t get sued by this outsanding company, of course.

Tony Raccuglia
September 15, 2011 7:10 am

In the book “The Weather Machine” written by Nigel Calder published in 1975, he commented on a similar drought that affected the Sahal region of Africa during the early 70s-and attributed it to global cooling going on at that time since 1950. He stated in his book that the possible cause of that drought was a large scale shift southward of the circumpolar vortex, which in turn pushed the subtropical high pressure normally over the Sahara to the south of its normal position shutting off the summer rainfall this region normally receives. His explanation makes a lot of sense. This may also explain the decrease in landfalling hurricanes-the farther south the subtropical high is pushed, the quicker these storms turn back to the east and/or get sheared and converted to extra tropical systems.

September 15, 2011 7:37 am

Dear Anthony & Josh,
Thanks for this astonishing work! Just to notice that I’ve done a followup of Horngate, including how organizations have made plannings for the future, based on this misleading guidance from the IPCC:
I’ve also included more “peer-review” rubbish, including Doherty et al., which have some pretty impressive graphics for the Horn region. The graphs are included in the link above.

Gary Swift
September 15, 2011 12:16 pm

Isn’t there only one d in floodrought?

Dr A Burns
September 15, 2011 1:28 pm

Don’t forget down under. Flannery and friends were predicting ‘perpetual drought’ before the last couple of years rain that has filled our dams. Warragamba isn’t quite full because the flow from Tallowa has been turned off to justify the desalination plant.

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