Crowdsourcing the WUWT "Extreme Weather" Reference Page

(Photo credits: NOAA)

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”

Your help is needed in building the new WUWT “Extreme Weather” Reference Page. My recent article A Big Picture Look At “Earth’s Temperature” – “Extreme Weather” Update appears to have struck a cord with some of our Warmist friends, as I earned an “Extreme Denial” label from Tamino.

Apparently Tamino took issue with the fact that I only debunked the “Climate Change” = “Extreme Warming” meme from one angle, i.e. by showing that little if any warming has occurred over the last 15 years, thus claims that “Extreme Weather” has recently “arrived” and become “the new normal” are unfounded and erroneous. Tamino seemed disappointed that I had not attempted to debunk claims that there’s been a “dramatic increase in weather-related catastrophes”. He offered in support of this claim, an insurance company’s marketing materials and 3 charts (1, 2, 3) from the United States, which represents less than 2% of Earth’s surface area. Not particularly compelling.

I will address Tamino’s charts in further detail below, but the first order of business is to see if we can figure out whether there has been a “dramatic increase in weather-related catastrophes” and “Extreme Weather”. As such, I’ve created the WUWT “Extreme Weather” Reference Page and populated it with all of the credible 3rd party data on weather extremes that I am aware of. I am sure there’s more. Please post links to any credible data sources on weather extremes below or in comments of the WUWT “Extreme Weather” Reference Page, and we’ll review them for inclusion on the “Extreme Weather” reference page.

The credible global weather extremes charts I have found thus far are as follows:

Tropical Cyclones

Global Tropical Cyclone Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)y – 1971 to Present

Ryan N. Maue PhD – PoliClimate.com – Click the pic to view at source

Global Tropical Cyclone Frequency- 1971 to Present

Ryan N. Maue PhD – PoliClimate.com – Click the pic to view at source

Global Hurricane Frequency – 1978 to Present

Ryan N. Maue PhD – PoliClimate.com – Click the pic to view at source

Precipitation/Drought

Global Precipitation

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Click the pic to view at source

Global Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI)

Justin Sheffield, Eric F. Wood & Michael L. Roderick – Little change in global drought over the past 60 years – Nature – Click the pic to view at source

Tornadoes

US Strong to Violent Tornadoes (EF3-EF5) – 1950 to Present chart;

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) – Click the pic to view at source

is also significant as “Tornado researcher Tom Grazulis estimates that about 75 percent of the world’s tornadoes occur in the United States.” Chicago Tribune However, this may be misleading in that “many countries do not keep records of their tornadoes. The actual number of tornadoes outside the U.S. is not known.” Answers.com

If you are aware of any other global or semi-global weather extremes charts from credible data sources, please post them in comments.

Returning to the charts that Tamino thinks I am in “Extreme Denial” of, the first chart Tamino offers is from the marketing materials of German Insurer Munich RE:

Munich RE is “one of the world’s leading reinsurers” “with income from reinsurance premiums alone at nearly €26.5bn (2011)”. Their “What we do” section begins with, “What happens if the sea level rises by one metre? How do offshore wind farms affect risks in the shipping business?” Furthermore, if you look at this Munich RE marketing press release from November 11, 2011, you’ll see that they have a clear financial interest in marketing and promoting the “Extreme Weather” meme:

Over the last 30 years, Asia Pacific has experienced more than 50% of all fatalities from natural catastrophes, almost 40% of all economic losses but less than 9% of the insured losses.

This shows the urgent need for wider natural catastrophe insurance coverage. This can be met through a variety of measures, from traditional insurance and reinsurance, to public-private partnerships or pooling of natural catastrophe risks nationwide.

Munich Re has the expertise and experience, and is discussing natural catastrophe schemes with governments all over Asia. The support can be twofold: on the one hand, driving the discussion in greatly exposed economies to structure country-wide solutions; on the other, finding solutions for governmental infrastructure assets such as roads and bridges. Munich RE

Clearly Munich RE has a significant financial interest in “discussing natural catastrophe schemes with governments”, thus it’s marketing materials cannot be considered a credible source for unbiased scientific data. It would be akin to a skeptic posting a temperature chart from Exxon Mobil, laughable.

This Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disasters Declared chart is the second undeniable plot Tamino posted:

However, it appears more indicative of changes to the “disaster declaration” criteria versus a change in weather extremes, i.e.:

“FEMA was established under the 1978 Reorganization Plan No. 3, and activated April 1, 1979, by President Jimmy Carter in his Executive Order 12127″ Wikipedia.

“A review of data for a seven-year period from 1988 to 1995 reveals that large expenditures, as funded by supplemental bills, relate to declarations issued for the largest events. During this time period, disaster declarations were made for Hurricane Hugo, the Loma Prieta earthquake, Hurricane Andrew, the Midwest floods of 1993, and the Northridge earthquake. However, these were not the only events deemed worthy of presidential action and of cost to the federal treasury.”

“But like the tail of a comet, over 200 other declarations accounted for one quarter of such outlays, many of them of relatively minute cost and extent. While of lesser impact on the national treasury, such “low end” declarations have become, to some observers, new sources of federal spending at the local level, long referred to in other contexts as “pork barrel spending.” Congressional Research Service

“In 1996, the agency was elevated to cabinet rank.” which correlates well with the spike in Disasters Declared in the second half of the 1990s. Furthermore, if you look at this 2011 FEMA list of 99 “Major Disasters” versus these lists from 1958 and 1959 with 7 “Major Disasters” each, it seems apparent that the FEMA data is biased by changes in disaster declaration criteria, e.g. “events deemed worthy of presidential action and of cost to the federal treasury”. As such the FEMA Disaster Declaration data is not a credible proxy for “Extreme Weather”.

Third Tamino’s posted this US Wildfire chart;

however, it only shows Acres Burned, whereas the following chart shows the US Acres Per Wildfire and the Number of Wildfires Per Year:

This is an important distinction as the associated article elaborates:

This graph shows the inverse relationship between numbers and sizes of US wildfires over time. Note the greater number and smaller sizes of fires between the creation of Wilderness in 1964 and the beginning of the modern wildfire era in 1987 and 1988 (with Silver Complex and Yellowstone fires of those years), as compared with the smaller number and greater size of recent fires. One factor may be the shift in USFS policy from rapid suppression to “let it burn,” which has allowed for numerous smaller fires – previously extinguished individually — to coalesce into larger fires and singular complexes.Evergreen

For reference;

“Forest managers agree that the current fire risk is primarily a combination of two factors — higher-than-average temperatures and a profusion of fuel, the product of nearly a century of fire suppression policies.”

“Recognizing widespread overgrowth in American forests, in the late 1970s the Forest Service began reintroducing policies of prescribed burning and allowed many smaller, natural fires to burn out on their own, provided they didn’t threaten lives or property. The decision this summer to attack all fires, while not a direct reversal of this policy, does represent a departure from that practice of natural restoration, said Jennifer Jones, a public affairs specialist with the Forest Service. Scientific America

The shift in thinking was formalized in a 1995 statement of federal fire policy, and strengthened in a 2001 revision. The policy recognizes that fire is “an essential ecological process,” and that decades of trying to keep fires from burning have led, ironically, to “larger and more severe” conflagrations because of the buildup of underbrush and other fuel. USA Today

As such, US Forest Fire data is biased by “nearly a century of fire suppression policies” and “the shift in USFS policy from rapid suppression to ‘let it burn,'”, which begin “in the late 1970s”, “was formalized in a 1995 statement of federal fire policy, and strengthened in a 2001 revision.” US Forest Fire data is not a credible proxy for “Extreme Weather.”

Finally, Tamino offers this NOAA Extremes in 1-Day Precipitation chart;

which is relevant, but it is only illustrates the “Contiguous U.S.”, which is just “1.58% of the total surface area of the Earth” and the chart ends in 2011. Fortunately, this NOAA Extremes in 1-Day Precipitation – 1910 to Present – Year to Date chart;

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) – Click the pic to view at source

shows the full US, which is at least closer to 2% of Earth’s surface area, whatever that means, and the chart is current through October 2012, so it shows the drop in Extremes in 1-Day Precipitation that has occurred during 2012. This Extremes in 1-Day Precipitation chart was one of a number US climate extreme charts that were already included in the WUWT US Climatic History Reference Page, which I’ve now added, along with an array of other US centric weather extreme charts, to the WUWT “Extreme Weather” Reference Page

Tamino didn’t do so well supporting claims that there’s been a “dramatic increase in weather-related catastrophes”, “Extreme Weather” has “arrived” and is now the “new normal”. Perhaps you can do better? Please post all credible charts on weather extremes in comments and we will review for inclusion on the WUWT “Extreme Weather” Reference Page. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Please note that WUWT cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data/graphics within this article, nor influence the format or form of any of the graphics, as they are all linked from third party sources and WUWT is simply an aggregator. You can view each graphic at its source by simply clicking on it.

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Sun Spot

Dahhhh Tamino, do you think maybe population increases may have something to do with insurance claim increases not to mention a shi*$#t load of other insurance related factors that have change in the last 50 years !!!

The ICAT Damage Estimator has estimates of the damages from US landfalling hurricanes from 1900-2011, in terms of how much damage they would have caused had they hit today (thus adjusting for inflation and the amount of “stuff” in the path of each storm). Unfortunately, they don’t have a nice neat by-year summary as far as I could see, so I copied down the data and made my own spreadsheet.
I don’t know that this counts as “credible charts on weather extremes”, but I found it interesting at least. The $100B+ peak years are 1900 ($106B: Galveston), 1926 ($196B: Great Miami Hurricane plus two others), and 2005 ($124B: Katrina, Wilma, Rita, and three others).

liontooth

Isn’t the argument against the Medieval Warm Period that there is no evidence it was worldwide? Is somebody changing the goalposts yet again?

Stephen Richards

The best for a now and then comparison is Steven Goddard’s. A veritable enormous source of past anecdotal evidence of catastrophes.

Kurt in Switzerland

Good stuff.
Worthwhile to look at “Extreme Holocene Climate”, too. Too many claims by Warmists about current conditions being ‘unprecedented’…
Kurt in Switzerland

Kaboom

Discussing weather related insurance premiums with Munich Re is like talking about fire hazards with Al Capone. Neither would give you a realistic estimation on the risk unless you paid up.

oldseadog

Insurance payouts are bigger because more people are living in vulnerable places.
End of story.

oldseadog

mstickles:
Link to your spreadsheet not working.

Lewis P Buckingham

I would like to see the ‘uncorrected’ temperatures for Alice Springs and the surrounding area of Central Australia which have flatlined for fifty years.

Old woman of the north

How does anyone know what the weather was like in some places a thousand years ago if no one lived there or were able to keep a record? It is only people’s memory and recording skills (and being there) that allows us to know what happened, and how severe the weather was.
IMHO nothing in weather is ‘unprecedented’.

They look to ice core samples from the poles and make projections – not very accurate but that is my opinion.

Bob Koss

The EPA has these US Climate Change Science Program(CCSP) heat wave / temperature graphics through 2008. The 1930’s in the US were hellish.
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/heat-waves.html

Disaster declarations are influenced by elections and political parties. Where congressional seats are in play for upcoming elections, FEMA funding is more likely to be asked for and approved. The academic papers below cite much of the research on the politics of U.S. disasters.
Here is quote from recent WSJ (Cato) article: “Nor has federal disaster aid been immune from politics. History shows that the more politically important a state is, especially to a presidential re-election effort, the more likely it is to receive a federal disaster declaration.”
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/disaster-relief-bigger-government-isnt-always-better
Governors as Opportunists: Evidence from Disaster Declaration Requests
John T. Gasper Andrew Reeves September 12, 2012
http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/gasper/WorkingPapers/govreqs.pdf
The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments
Thomas A. Garrett and Russell S. Sobel (2002)
http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2002/2002-012.pdf

I agree with Stephen Richards at 11:28 am.
There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the MSM about “extreme weather events” of late. Stephen Goddard’s collection of press clippings and other related items tends to put some perspective on weather events. Some of the hyperbolic language used in describing contemporary events in the late 1800s wouldn’t go amiss in today’s press reportage!
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/bad-weather/
Scroll down for the older articles; it pays dividends to follow some of the sources given. I particularly like this one from 1800 http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=VG5bAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PP5

Mark Ro

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/torgraph-big.png
NOAA’S Inflation Adjusted Annual Tornado Running Total ??

clipe

oldseadog says:
November 23, 2012 at 11:42 am
mstickles:
Link to your spreadsheet not working.
http://www.grtbooks.com/public_files/NormalizedHurricaneDamage.zip

GoodBusiness

Great work – I reviewed it very quickly and it seems to point out that increases were started by Bill Clinton – so now we know it was Clinton/Gore that caused this to occur. Spread the word blame it on Clinton/Gore!!!!

W. Sander

Insurance statistics do not represent physical processes in reality. They count insured damaged or destroyed values. Changes in land use due to for example population groth in previously avoided areas as well as higher investment values due to tecnical progress or changes in social behaviour are not quantified. The great floods in Bangladesh for exampfe are mostly man-made and were not caused by raised sea-surface or stronger storms.
To use such data in a scientific debate is far away from real science. It’s manipulation or – which I do not believe – ignorance.

Remind me again, why does anyone listen to Tamino on these issues?
It is circular reasoning to listen to anyone on “the team”. they drink from the same trough, ‘believe’ the same fantasies and sing from the same hymnbook. They are redundant.

Bob Shapiro

“US Strong to Violent Tornadoes (EF3-EF5) – 1910 to Present chart” should be 1950 to present.

Ian W

Tornadoes in UK for what it is worth. (my highlighting)
It is claimed that the UK gets more tornadoes per square kilometre than the USA, but not more tornadoes in total. On average, around 30 tornadoes are reported each year in the UK, although these are generally much weaker than their American counterparts. However, there have been a number of notable exceptions – such as the Birmingham tornado on July 28 2005 which left a significant trail of damage.
http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/how-often-do-we-get-tornadoes-in-the-uk/

Bob Shapiro

What is Munich Re’s definition of a Weather Catastrophe? If it’s a dollar amount, then maybe it’s a moving target that should be adjusted for inflation and population density.

Many years ago a friend of ours, an attractive, intelligent single woman in her twenties, rented a house we owned for a short spell. Through the grapevine we heard that she had been unhappy recently and acting a bit strangely. My wife and I decided to call on her to make sure she was alright. When we arrived we found her generally anxious and slightly agitated. Thankfully I don’t remember the exact detail of the conversation but after an hour of patient listening and discussion explanation and demonstration our friend seemed reassured that the issue causing her anxiety was without foundation. Greatly relieved that progress had been made, we prepared to leave but before we could say farewell our friend had once again become anxious and agitated only this time it was about at totally different issue. So we sat down again and once again worked through the topic with gentle sensitivity until she was convinced that her fears were groundless. For a moment or two she seemed reassured so we reached for our coats….but before we got to the door she was showing signs of anxiety again and yes you’ve guessed it, this time about a completely different issue….
Forty eight excruciating hours later, exhausted and having talked ourselves hoarse we finally managed to get her admitted to a psychiatric unit where she was medicated and ultimately made a complete recovery.
I repeat this story because of the eerie similarities between my friend’s neurotic episode and the collective anxiety that is clearly felt by a section of the population with regard to the climate issue.
But like my friend all those years ago, it does seem that as soon as you have cleared up one source of anxiety (CAGW) another (Extreme Weather) pops its ugly head up.
I admire WattsUpWithThat because it adopts the patient (though wearying) approach of gently explaining, over and over and over again, the realities of ‘climate change’.
I detest the Warmist Clique that has made itself rich and ‘famous’ by exploiting people’s fears and Tamino surely is the most loathsome of these alarmists.

Steve C

The FEMA “Disasters Declared” chart an “undeniable plot”? Oh, come on, pull the other one. He expects us to swallow a government-sponsored chart as “evidence” in favour of government-sponsored AGW propaganda? So all they have to do is declare lots of “disasters” and that makes it “fact”? Yeah, right. And we were all born yesterday. Bull. S#¡t.
He should take a trip over to breadandbutterscience.com – specifically, the “Weather History” section. If he can read the facts of the matter James Marusek gives us there and still lie about modern weather being “extreme”, then he’s a more proficient liar than I took him for.

Chris B

How about Earthquakes? ( Graph at bottom)
http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/other/quake1.html

Vince Causey

“But like my friend all those years ago, it does seem that as soon as you have cleared up one source of anxiety (CAGW) another (Extreme Weather) pops its ugly head up.”
I agree with you sentiments, but offer one distinction. In your friends case, her anxiety was real and palpable. The faux anxiety of the alarmists, however, is a cynical ploy to try and create anxiety among the population. Nearly all those believing in this “threat”, do so for ideological reasons, and because it makes them feel correct – politically, that is.

A Few Observations:
As far as the UK is concened, since the 1980s there has been a consideable amount of building on floodplanes. This means that many of these newer properties are prone to flooding during wet weather. It also has the knock-on effect of meaning that flood water cannot soak away in the flood plane but is instead added to the downflow of the rivers – increasing the problems downstream.
On another note: Derren Brown did a very interesting TV programme about “Faith and Attribution” wherein he deonstrated that given a faith base, whether that be God, or “This Programme will be secretly watching and testing you” etc., there is a high probabiliy that the subject of this faith will believe that random events are somehow pre-destined by the object of the faith. I am sure that this extends to the faith in AGW also.

Steve C

I see something weird happened to the link I (thought I) gave above. Let’s try again.
breadandbutterscience dot com
If that fails, put the http and www bits in front and type it the old-fashioned way.
Also, the red mist made me forget to say – Good work, JTF. Again!

How about Earthquakes? ( Graph at bottom)
The virtue of the Earthquake graphs is that they illustrate the futility of trying to discern “trends” in data series that are essentially Poissonian — expressions of a more or less constant probability per unit time, with little bunching or antibunching. Yes, there are peaks and troughs. There is usually a linear trend (on any finite length segment) although it is usually not very large (and is completely insignificant).
Yet if you feed the Earthquake data to somebody and tell them it is “weather” data instead, they’ll find a way to make it be all about warming.
rgb

The carbon theologians seem to be circling the wagons. I tried to make a very reasonable substantive comment on Tamino’s post mentioned above and it was deleted without mention. Same with RC on their thread on of all things “Opening a Dialogue”. Even at SKS where my contrary comments as trunkmonkey were tolerated for years a recent effort to open a technical discusion on the inability of greehouse gasses to warm the oceans was summarily deleted.
When interest in discussing contrary views is lost, the transformation from science to theology is complete.

rgbatduke

Of course, they’d manage this with randomly generated Poissonian noise. In fact, Michael Mann’s algorithm has managed this very thing, as Macintyre and McKittrick fairly clearly showed.
rgb

u.k.(us)

Insurance encourages foolish behavior, the underwriters spread the cost among all parties.
Just more gambling, but with really good statistics/data.

Jimbo

Here ya go…………..
* scroll down a little on this page as I have given several other references which Antony added to his post as an “Update”.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/27/another-paper-shows-that-severe-weatherextreme-weather-has-no-trend-related-to-global-warming/
“Little change in global drought over the past 60 years”
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7424/full/nature11575.html
“Dr. Ryan Maue releases new hurricane frequency data showing a negative trend in the last 30 years”
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/01/dr-ryan-maue-releases-new-hurricane-frequency-data-showing-a-negative-trend-in-the-last-30-years/
http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl1114/2011GL047711/2011GL047711.pdf
“U.S. tornado activity near low point in modern record”
After one of the busiest years for tornadoes in 2011, tornado numbers in 2012 have come crashing down to historic lows.
In 2011, there were 1692 twisters – second most on record. This year, only 882 tornadoes have touched down. (Tornado records date back to 1950*).
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/about-face-tornado-activity-near-low-point-in-modern-record/2012/11/14/9ee31a2a-2e86-11e2-89d4-040c9330702a_blog.html
“New paper finds the highest storm activity is associated with cold periods”
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/11/new-paper-finds-highest-storm-activity.html
“We find that high storm activity occurred periodically with a frequency of about 1,500 years, closely related to cold and windy periods diagnosed earlier”
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1619.html#ref1
—————————
Imagine these past weather news reports today.
“It’s worse than we thought!”
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/bad-weather/

Michael

In the middle of the usual baloney about the future, the link below will lead to a chronology of drought in the Canadian prairies over the most recent 600 years. There were 5 multi-decadal droughts in period 1402 to 2004 (the period covered by the study) over a wide area of the Canadian prairies. All of them occurred prior to 1945, only one of them occurred in the 20th century, the two most severe occurring between 1480 and 1540, which was somewhere in the middle of the LIA.
As I have recounted before on Goddard’s page, Britain’s John Palliser was sent out to assess the Canadian prairies for population and agriculture. He came back from his trip stating that the area was uninhabitable and unsuitable for agriculture. The area he assessed in the 1860’s was dubbed as “Palliser’s Triangle”. Unfortunately for him, he assessed the area at the tail end of one of the 5 recorded multi-decadal droughts.
Palliser’s Triangle is now home to more than 3.5 million people and is one of the most productive agricultural areas on earth.
It is dangerous to look at climate on a daily, weekly, yearly or even decadal scale and draw conclusions. Imagine if those 3.5 million people had inhabited Paliser’s triangle from 1480 to 1570, when the worst of the droughts occurred (3 of the 5 recorded multi-decadal droughts were in those 90 years). Insurers would not provide crop insurance because the risks would be too great. Fresh water rationing would be in full effect. In fact, it is probable that the area would have depopulated because it was uninhabitable.
Here is the chart.
http://www.parc.ca/saskadapt/adaptation-options/theme-assessments/water-drought

Kev-in-Uk

There are many issues with respect to the disaster meme. Firstly – reporting is increased, be it wind,rain, fire or drought, etc – in the last 50 year, such things have been increasingly documented and recorded, classified, etc,etc. Think of something ‘seen; a hundred years ago, by a handful of people, but today the same ‘event’ would be witnessed and recorded by many hundreds!
Also, for what its worth – I’d say that any insurance company compiled data is worthless because it is compiled by them and all they are interested in is explaining/justifying/inflating their premiums and of course making a profit! Add to that the fact that any claims by Joe Public will be ‘inflated’ and you can see we are on a loser!
As has been mentioned, flooding in the UK has more recently become an issue – but partly because of bad building practise – bad infrastructure, etc, etc. So, in the UK, I would only use official rainfall records (which again, will no doubt be improved in recording quality) over the years.
My main point is that any data related to ‘weather extremes’ needs to be throughly and carefully researched in order to draw any meaningful results. as the forest fire graph shows – what metric you ‘use’ makes a very great difference!
I would suggest that before any such data is held up as indicative – it will need to be thoroughly ‘debunked’ itself!

Jimbo

Remember this study?

February 10, 2011
The Weather Isn’t Getting Weirder
The latest research belies the idea that storms are getting more extreme……
“In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years,” atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871.”…..
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704422204576130300992126630.html

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.776/full

August 2011
“Fluctuations in some climate parameters
Abstract
There is argument as to the extent to which there has been an increase over the past few decades in the frequency of the extremes of climatic parameters, such as temperature, storminess, precipitation, etc, an obvious point being that Global Warming might be responsible. Here we report results on those parameters of which we have had experience during the last few years: Global surface temperature, Cloud Cover and the MODIS Liquid Cloud Fraction. In no case we have found indications that fluctuations of these parameters have increased with time.”
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682611000319

This really is not fair. Asking for Just The Facts!!!

Theo Barker

“2012 Could Break Record for Fewest Tornadoes”
http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/3795-2012-fewest-tornadoes.html

Mycroft

Tamino’s been on the kool aid,thought it was about time he surfaced again with some tripe, no doubt in self flagallation over Sandy muttering incantations to the two dark sith lords Mann & Gore
Come on repeat after me Grant….. Extreme weather is the new norm… Extreme weather is the new norm..Extreme weather is the new norm.LOL

Ian W

I have posted this in several areas before. But the weather we are seeing especially in the blocked, looping, meridonal jetstreams leading to continual weather of the same type – cold rain and floods in one area, droughts and heat waves in another; are precisely what one sees as the climate changes from a natural warm period to a natural cold period.
This year Europe has had lots of rain. In particular UK has had flood after flood with the rain starting just after Easter and continuing off and on with repeated deluges of ‘a month’s rain in a day’. The UK has just one such stormy day today with hurricane force gusts and heavy rain.
Well the same weather patterns happened in the same way at the end of the Medieval Warm Period as the climate moved into the Little Ice Age and the weather sounds just the same as UK has had this year. From the book “The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization” By Brian M. Fagan: –
“Seven weeks after Easter in A.D. 1315, sheets of rain spread across a sodden Europe, turning freshly plowed fields into lakes and quagmires. The deluge continued through June and July, and then August and September. Hay lay flat in the fields; wheat and barley rotted unharvested. The anonymous author of the Chronicle of Malmesbury wondered if divine vengeance had come upon the land: “Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand against them, and hath smitten them.” Most close-knit farming communities endured the shortages of 1315 and hoped for a better harvest the following year. But heavy spring rains in 1316 prevented proper sowing. Intense gales battered the English Channel and North Sea; flocks and herds withered, crops failed, prices rose, and people again contemplated the wrath of God. By the time the barrage of rains subsided in 1321, over a million-and-a-half people, villagers and city folk alike, had perished from hunger and famine-related epidemics. Giles de Muisit, abbot of Saint-Martin de Tournai in modern-day Belgium, wrote, “Men and women from among the powerful, the middling, and the lowly, old and young, rich and poor, perished daily in such numbers that the air was fetid with the stench.” People everywhere despaired. Guilds and religious orders moved through the streets, the people naked, carrying the bodies of saints and other sacred relics. After generations of good, they believed that divine retribution had come to punish a Europe divided by war and petty strife.
The great rains of 1315 marked the beginning of what climatologists call the Little Ice Age, a period of six centuries of constant climatic shifts that may or may not be still in progress.”

Nowadays people do not blame God – they lay the blame on industrial output of CO2 and try to get rich by taxing it. But the same – someone must have done something to anger God – meme. I think it is a psychological weakness in some people that is being taken advantage of by people like Al Gore, the ‘Club of Rome’ and a multitude of ‘green’ organizations all enriching themselves based on people needing someone to blame for a natural cycle,

Jimbo

Here are some points to remember about extreme weather: Perception heightened by the following.
1) Better detection (Doppler radar, satellites which did not exist in say)
2) People on the ground recording weather events with mobile phones (videos, photos)
3) More property and people today than 50 years ago.
4) Growth of cities and concentration of people (higher % of people in cities than in past)
5) Media cherry picking and alarmism (bad news sells)
6) Outright fairy tales from the likes of Al Gore who uses money to spread brazen propaganda and outright nonsense to the public.

Frank K.

Henry Galt says:
November 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm
“Remind me again, why does anyone listen to Tamino on these issues?”
I sure don’t. Like a child, the more you give him attention, the louder he screams. Just ignore him – he’s not worth it.

Sorry about my broken link for the ICAT normalized hurricane damage spreadsheet, I mistyped the start of the URL, Try this one.
As an aside, I agree with those who say damage is a lousy proxy for intensity. Since it gets used a lot on the alarmist side, though, I figured an “apples-to-apples” comparison was in order.