I cringe every time I see stories like the one being pushed in the Associated Press today by AP science writer Seth Borenstein.
My Way News – This US summer is ‘what global warming looks like’ http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120703/D9VP9J681.html
Even Drudge picked it up.
The amount of unsupported speculation trying to be passed off as science is nothing more than the classic appeal to authority. In this case, the “authority” is NCAR’s Dr. Kevin Trenberth, a man with so much hatred for alternate viewpoints that he refused to remove the holocaust word “denier” from his keynote address to the American Meteorological Society.
This reminds me of the Russian heat wave of 2010.
The same people made essentially the same comments, then months later the peer reviewed literature (published by NOAA researchers no less) said that it was caused by natural variation…a blocking high pressure pattern. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/09/noaa-findsclimate-change-blameless-in-2010-russian-heat-wave/
That was followed up by another paper saying the same thing: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/29/another-paper-shows-that-the-russian-heatwave-of-2010-was-due-to-natural-variability/
We have essentially the same thing happening here, a persistent quasi-stationary weather pattern, part of the normal natural variation.
As for the derecho, it is hardly new. The word was first used in the American Meteorological Journal in 1888 by Gustavus Detlef Hinrichs in a paper describing the phenomenon and based on a significant derecho event that crossed Iowa on 31 July 1877. Further, NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has catalogued them through the years. According to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, climatology, the Washington DC area gets a derecho about once every four years:http://www.spc.noaa.gov/misc/AbtDerechos/images/Jet_Stream_figs/derechoclimo.png
As I said in my essay, The idea that the recent derecho is linked to global warming is pure folly spun by people that wish to exploit any remotely plausible situation for political purposes. It happens on a regular basis, for example when they try to link tornado outbreaks to global warming: The folly of linking tornado outbreaks to “climate change”.
Or how about the disparity in “weather is not climate except when we say it is” blame game: New York Times Blames 2009’s Record Cold on Natural Factors — But Blamed Record Warmth in 2000 on Man-Made Global Warming!
Given how badly global warming is faring in the minds of the public according to the last Washington Post/Stanford poll:
…it is clear they are desperate to sell any connection because the public will probably not hear about the science studies that will follow.
It is another shameful attempt to do just that by Dr. Kevin Trenberth aided by Seth Borenstein’s media bully pulpit. I will give Borenstein at least one credit though, he asked Dr. John Christy what he thought about it and printed it:
‘…history is full of such extremes, said John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He’s a global warming skeptic who says, “The guilty party in my view is Mother Nature.”‘