The Age of Hyperbole: How Normal Weather Became ‘Extreme’

tabloid_climatology_onlyyouA media without shame drives us towards energy poverty.

By: Dr. Tim Ball and Tim Harris

Said Thomas Jefferson: “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” Jefferson’s comment may be expanded to include most of today’s mass media; this is especially true of television. As American linguist Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa said: “In the age of television, image becomes more important than substance.” It is effectively visual lying, dictated by Marshall McLuhan’s observation: “The medium is the message.” For example, TV news programs often illustrate air pollution with a smoke stack emitting water vapor, implying it is pollution when it is anything but.

Distortion and deception are accentuated by hyperbole. Television news and documentaries frequently report normal weather as “extreme weather,” implying it is abnormal and caused by human activity. But while a hurricane, for example, may inflict serious damage to our structures and cause major loss of life, it is a normal event in hurricane-prone regions, where it is foolish to live without preparing for the weather patterns of the area.

The problem is accentuated when supposedly prestigious newspapers like the New York Times present provably false information. “Summer’s Beast is Loose,” published in the Times on July 16, was an obvious attempt to sensationalize warm, but normal, summer temperatures:

Read the entire piece at

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July 31, 2013 8:25 am

There is no such thing as AGW because you cannot heat water through the surface. The sun does not “heat” the ocean it radiates it. No extra heat goes in because the ocean will not accept it. The environmental movement needs to be asked about the role of surface tension jn the global warming narrative and watch them squirm. Get a heat gun and try heating water.

Bruce Cobb
July 31, 2013 8:26 am

They’re still learning:
It means a wholly different kind of weather story than the one we’ve told for centuries, and we’re still learning how to tell it.
Give them a chance. Sheesh. Good journalism doesn’t just happen overnight.

July 31, 2013 8:45 am

The destruction of civilization and world wide poverty are not unfortunate consequences. They are necessary goals, needed in order to make the world safe for socialism. They will never let this go, no matter what the facts are. They have already proven that they can get the populace to believe any lie they want.

Martin Altis
July 31, 2013 8:51 am

When was the last time the Editorial board of the NYTs sat on a stoop?
The bubble they live in will eventually burst.

July 31, 2013 8:58 am

Extreme? They don’t know the meaning of the word. We live in a benign climate at present. Look what they had to put up with in 13th Century England-This from the diaries of Matthew Paris
—— ——–
1228 inundations of rivers in Dec Jan and Feb –in Worcester- such that no one then living had ever seen the like in their time
1229 severe winter ‘unusually bitter, waters so frozen horsemen could cross upon the ice, great snow afterwards earth covered for several days.’
1231 March to October hardly any rain anywhere in England-great drought
1233 wet summer from 23 March with great inundations of rain through the whole summer destroying warrens and washed away the ponds and mills throughout almost all England. Water formed into lakes in middle of the crops where the fishes of the rivers were seen to great astonishment and mills were standing in various places they had never before been seen.
1233-1234 severe frost from Christmas 1233 to Feb 2 1234 destroying roots of trees to four foot down then rest of year very unseasonable
1234 third unseasonable year
Wet weather in autumn choked the seed and loosened it.
1236 great floods in Jan, Feb and part of March that no one had seen the like before. Bridges submerged, fords impassable, mills and ponds overwhelmed and sown land meadows and marshes covered. Thames flooded palace of Westminster so small boat could be navigated in the midst of the forecourt. And folk went to their bed chambers on horseback
Followed by dry summer with intolerable heat that all lasted four months. Deep pools and ponds were dried up and water mils useless.
1237 great rains in February, fords and roads impassable for 8 successive days
Turbulent year stormy and unsettled
1238 great floods in many parts probably December
Cloudy and rainy in beginning until spring had passed then the drought and heat were beyond measure and custom in two or more of the summer months. Great deluge of rain in the autumn that straw and grain became rotten and an unnatural autumn which is held to be a cold and dry season gave rise to various fatal diseases.
1239 very wet weather continually from Jan to March, it has continued for four months without intermission.
1240 dry Jan to March, wet from April to December but fruitful and abundant but wet and rainy autumn greatly choked the abundant crops.
1241 drought from March 25 to Oct 28 drought and intolerable heat. Pastures withered, herds pined away from hunger and thirst
December very cold and bitter weather the like of which no one had seen before, binding the rivers killing large numbers of birds

July 31, 2013 9:14 am

Oh No! Tim Ball is channelling Al Gore’s undergraduate thesis on the role of TV in electoral outcomes .
The real quote from McLuhan is ” With the advent of television, advertising has become more important than products.”

Tom J
July 31, 2013 9:22 am

Speaking of Thomas Jefferson, he wrote something rather poignant just before his death. Jefferson was invited to a 50th anniversary gala celebrating the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776. It’s a matter of wonder to me, and surprisingly little known, that Thomas Jefferson (and also John Adams – the 2nd US President) died on July 4, 1826, the exact 50th anniversary of the Declaration he penned. Anyway, Jefferson’s health was failing and he sent a letter in his place to the celebration. It would be the last letter he would ever write. In it he wrote, “The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few, booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately by the grace of God.”
I don’t pretend to know what Thomas Jefferson would think about the great (and I think fraudulent) scientific issue of this day. But there’s no denying that the ‘general spread of the light of science’ has been twisted and distorted so as to once again insure that a ‘favored few, booted and spurred’ are once again, as throughout prior history, ‘ready to ride the mass of mankind’ upon which the political elites and rent seekers will have placed ‘saddles upon their backs.’

Gerry Parker
July 31, 2013 9:22 am

Something that plays into this is civilization and building climate control. As people spend less time outdoors, they lose contact with the variable and violent nature of weather. People who sail or farmers or foresters etc understand the true state of nature better than folks who spend the majority of their lives indoors.
Building climate control plays into this because it has reduced our direct effort to modify the indoor climate (you don’t have to chop wood etc), one simply pushes a few buttons and the perfect temperature is achieved.
My fellow sailors have noted that modern life also disconnects people from wind and it’s power. The end result being that on the occasion when one is abruptly confronted with the true condition of the natural environment, it seems extreme.
We often note how much worse the seas are when you are in them (on a boat) than after you get back on shore and are enjoying a cold beverage looking out over the water.
Gerry Parker

July 31, 2013 9:28 am

You see, they’re no longer allowed in the mainstream media (MSM) to hurl gutter level abuse at foreigners, non-whites, non-Christians or most minorities, but if you do happen to disagree with an establishment doctrine; that stricture simply ceases to apply to you. The gloves come off and the rules of civilised discourse are forgotten. You can quite safely be called a racist, redneck, elitist, denier, sexist, flat-earther (thank you for that one from the supposed democratic leader of the free world), a shill, insane, Aryan Nation, a flag fetishist, a paid protester, a conspiracy nut or whatever they need to label you, to simply avoid addressing your awkward questions.

July 31, 2013 9:46 am

oh well, I thought they burned people at the stake for that…
you know, casting spells and controlling the weather

July 31, 2013 9:57 am

Gerry Parker says:
July 31, 2013 at 9:22 am
Something that plays into this is civilization and building climate control. As people spend less time outdoors, they lose contact with the variable and violent nature of weather.
You are so right!
As a software engineer I spent most of my life in air conditioned computer rooms writing code.
When I turned 40 I had some extra vacation time, so I took sailing lessons. What a mind opening experience. Loved it so much I took up sailboat racing.
It’s very strange to talk to non-sailors about weather!

July 31, 2013 10:03 am

RMB says: July 31, 2013 at 8:25 am
…. about not heating water form above …etc…
Take a look at solar ponds.

Solar Ponds
There are 3 distinct layers of water in the pond:
The top layer, which has a low salt content.
An intermediate insulating layer with a salt gradient, which establishes a density gradient that prevents heat exchange by natural convection.
The bottom layer, which has a high salt content.
If the water is relatively translucent, and the pond’s bottom has high optical absorption, then nearly all of the incident solar radiation (sunlight) will go into heating the bottom layer.
When solar energy is absorbed in the water, its temperature increases, causing thermal expansion and reduced density. If the water were fresh, the low-density warm water would float to the surface, causing a convection current.
….the salinity gradient forms a density gradient that increases with depth, and this counteracts the temperature gradient, thus preventing heat in the lower layers from moving upwards by convection and leaving the pond. This means that the temperature at the bottom of the pond will rise to over 90 °C while the temperature at the top of the pond is usually around 30 °C. A natural example of these effects in a saline water body is Solar Lake in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt.
more here:

July 31, 2013 10:06 am

It’s not about reporting facts and truth but about perpetuating lies and distortions.
Here is ‘extreme weather‘ at a time of safer, lower co2.
Here is extreme climate at a time of safer, lower co2.

Bloke down the pub
July 31, 2013 10:15 am

While it’s reasonable to say that hurricanes are not unusual, I think it’s pushing a point to say they are not an extreme of weather.

john robertson
July 31, 2013 10:16 am

Only the concentration of people into cities could allow such a mistaken meme to take hold.
Climate controlled shopping mall, food from the supermarket, water from the tap and money from the government.Such ignorance, while being a Progressive’s heaven, cannot end well.
Extreme weather? Mush for brains.
Of course this propaganda can backfire spectacularly, after all if very storm is extreme weather, mother nature is enraged,then nature hates us, we must destroy nature. Which does seem to be the sentiments of these anti humanist nitwits.
Funny how doomspeaking over weather events has not changed since we developed language.

Bob B
July 31, 2013 10:22 am

MarkX, long wave radiation only penetrates a few mm and causes the water molecule ions to arrange in crystal like stuctures–causing what we know as surface tension with very little heating. Only visible light penetrates further and causes heating

July 31, 2013 10:29 am

Good item.
If (if) there are more “extreme” events today than in (say) the past 30 years then it seems we should be using the phrase, “The Old Normal” vs “the new normal.” It seems as what we are seeing is what have seen for the past many decades and as noted it is a just a function of over reporting and hyperbole. Nothing new in what I am saying.
Good grief when my granddad homesteaded in Alberta in the early 1900s and saw a funnel cloud he may not even remember to mention it the next time he saw his closest neighbour two weeks in the future. Today? Cell images. Instant transmission. Instant reports in TV.
In the past few years, Environment Canada (EC) has issued way more tornado warnings in Alberta. Of course, actual tornadoes are still rare. But A) Today EC has Doppler radar (or whatever it is called) and they can detect cell rotation whereas a few years ago they could not. And B) Mostly they are covering their backsides so warn people of the possibility of anything.
Next we will be seeing:
Environment Canada (EC) has just issued a “breeze and fluffy cloud” alert for southern Alberta. Residents are urged to take suitable protection as fluffy clouds could lead to all sorts of dangerous weather. Residents of Lethbridge have reported seeing clouds and seeing flags fluttering and warn that these could develop into more clouds and more wind and if that happens these could develop in to wind gusts and maybe a few showers. And if that happens, the showers could become rain and rain become hail and if it gets windy…well, woe is us. EC also reports that the winds and fluffy clouds could stay lovely and and if we have a romantic evening, they warn that unprotected sex will lead to increased global population and demands on food supply. So if you take cover from fluffy clouds under the covers, use a condom. The next warning will be published in a few minutes.

R. de Haan
July 31, 2013 11:09 am

How normal weather became extreme? Ask newspapers like The Independent:–global-pattern-of-freak-weather-8691112.html
Some of the skeptic posters could use a hand at the comments section of the Independent article.

more soylent green!
July 31, 2013 11:21 am

You don’t expect the media to verify what their sources give them, do you? Seriously, who’d have time to work on their novels if they spent all day trying to verify what some self-proclaimed expert tells them?

July 31, 2013 11:22 am

“If the water is relatively translucent, and the pond’s bottom has high optical absorption, then nearly all of the incident solar radiation (sunlight) will go into heating the bottom layer.”
Ok, but the bottom of the ocean isn’t translucent, it’s pitch black. Surely then, we should be seeing a pattern of warming in the upper layers where sunlight actually reaches first, then (maybe) an increase in the lower depths via convection?

July 31, 2013 11:39 am

Well said. Is TomJ short for Thomas Jefferson or is that just a coincidence?

Bob B
July 31, 2013 11:39 am

Chris, No the water is not translucent to long wave and conributes little to warming

Bob B
July 31, 2013 11:55 am

New learnings on water—water crystals–surface tension:
Wonderful video–go to around minute 39:

July 31, 2013 12:02 pm

KNMI has new cool feature – extreme indices calculation for daily station data, like consecutive wet or dry days, number of wet or extremely wet days per month, fraction of precipitation on wet days etc. There is no trend for local stations I checked up to now /not surprising/.

Tom J
July 31, 2013 12:07 pm

Shano on July 31, 2013 at 11:39 am
Well said. Is TomJ short for Thomas Jefferson or is that just a coincidence?
Thanks. I wish it was but it’s not.

R. de Haan
July 31, 2013 1:14 pm

According to Steven Goddard it’s because we’re ealing with criminals:

July 31, 2013 1:46 pm

RMB says:
There is no such thing as AGW because you cannot heat water through the surface. The sun does not “heat” the ocean it radiates it. No extra heat goes in because the ocean will not accept it. The environmental movement needs to be asked about the role of surface tension jn the global warming narrative and watch them squirm. Get a heat gun and try heating water.

This idiocy again! Can we please stamp this silliness out. It is embarrassing. It is like claiming the earth cannot be round because ships would fall off the bottom (“ask the shipping industry about that and watch them squirm!”). It seizes on a small fact and by abusing the heck out of it and completely ignoring the wider context blows it up into a purported “proof” that AGW is not possible.
Yes water is not easily heated from above with a heat gun. That doesn’t kill the possibility of AGW however and here is why. You don’t need to “heat” water (as in directly warm it up) from above with LWR to make it warmer. Changing the ambient level of LWR will change the rate at which it COOLS and that is enough. If you slow the rate at which it cools at night it will, over the passage of several days, end up warmer.
The oceans warm via SWR during the day. They then cool by radiating LWR at night. The two effects are of the same order of magnitude so an awful lot of heat gets shifted out of the oceans via LWR. It is true that only the top skin of the water can absorb or radiate LWR. That top skin does in fact radiate LWR at night. This cools it triggering convection; the cooler top layer sinks and is replaced by deeper warmer water that radiates LWR in turn. This overturning and cooling process goes on all night.
The ONLY reason why you can’t easily heat (as in directly warm up) water from above with a heat lamp is that if you make the surface layer warmer than the deeper layers, convection is not triggered. Hence only a very thin skin on the top of the water gets warmed. But it is false to suggest that the only way AGW could make water warmer is by directly heating it (raising its temperature). As explained above it is enough to slow the rate of cooling during those times of the day when the water normally cools, and raising the ambient levels of LWR could be expected to do exactly that.
I’m as skeptical about the “C” in “CAGW” as the rest of you. But I will not tolerate attempts to support a skeptical position using false arguments which quirte simply abuse and misrepresent physics.

Gail Combs
July 31, 2013 4:37 pm

Bloke down the pub says: @ July 31, 2013 at 10:15 am
While it’s reasonable to say that hurricanes are not unusual, I think it’s pushing a point to say they are not an extreme of weather.
They may be ‘Extreme Weather’ but they are not ABNORMAL weather.
Life is lethal and Ma Nature does not suffer fools gladly. Our technology has allowed these fools to continue living and multiply…. at least for a time. But do not worry they are busy trying to correct the problem.
“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Too bad the foolish parasites (Pauls) never bothered to find out what happens AFTER the ‘Socialist Utopia’ is achieved by the ‘Elite’.
Fabian Socialist founders were George Bernard Shaw, the Webbs and H.G. Wells. They also founded the London School of Economics where many of today’s world political, banking and corporate leaders are trained. People like David Rockefeller, John F Kennedy, George Soros and where Bill Clinton and Pascal Lamy, the World Trade Organization Director -General who is calling for ‘Global Governance’, lecture.

“The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it … If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us are driven to prescribe the lethal chamber as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations?”
Source: George Bernard Shaw, Prefaces (London: Constable
and Co., 1934), p. 296.
“We should find ourselves committed to killing a great many people whom we now leave living, and to leave living a great many people whom we at present kill. We should have to get rid of all ideas about capital punishment …
A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people’s time to look after them.”
Source: George Bernard Shaw, Lecture to the Eugenics
Education Society, Reported in The Daily Express, March 4,

How eugenics poisoned the welfare state: A century ago many leading leftists subscribed to the vile pseudo-science of eugenics, writes Dennis Sewell, and the influence of that thinking can still be seen today
For the Fabians, eugenics was not merely some eccentric hobby or sideline, but central to their social thinking. Beatrice Webb regarded eugenics as ‘the most important question’ of all, while her husband revealed the statist and dirigiste character of the movement with his declaration that ‘no eugenicist can be a laissez faire individualist… he must interfere, interfere, interfere!’ Even for George Bernard Shaw, ‘the only fundamental and possible Socialism’ was ‘the socialisation of the selective breeding of Man’.
In the years leading up to the first world war Leonard Darwin set about lobbying the government to act. He wanted to set up flying squads of scientists, armed with powers of arrest over the poor, to tour the country weeding out the ‘unfit’…. One politician who supported such draconian measures in parliament was the Labour MP Will Crooks, who described the targets of the eugenics campaign as ‘like human vermin’ who ‘crawl about doing absolutely nothing, except polluting and corrupting everything they touch’. Crooks was perhaps only outdone in his vehement contempt for what we now call the ‘underclass’ by Shaw, who believed that they had ‘no business to be alive’ and speculated at a meeting of the Eugenics Society about the need to use a ‘lethal chamber’ to solve the problem.
Another Fabian eugenicist, the writer H.G. Wells, vented his frustration and indignation in a direct address to the working class. ‘We cannot go on giving you health, freedom, enlargement, limitless wealth, if all our gifts to you are to be swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny,’ he complained,

‘…and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict upon us.’
In 1913, the eugenicists succeeded in getting the Mental Incapacity Act through parliament. As a result, some 40,000 men and women were incarcerated without trial, having been deemed to fall into various specious categories such as ‘feeble-minded’ or ‘morally defective’. …Edith Huthwaite, from Yorkshire, was categorised as a moral defective after being convicted by Ripon magistrates of theft. She was held for 18 years….

…Many early left-wing thinkers wanted government to direct social policy towards “improving” the human race by discouraging reproduction among those sections of society deemed to have undesirable genes. Supporters of state planning often found the idea of a planned genetic future attractive. As Adrian Wooldridge, author of Measuring the Mind: Education and Psychology in England 1860-1990, comments: “The Webbs supported eugenic planning just as fervently as town planning.” Beatrice Webb declared eugenics to be “the most important question of all” while her husband remarked that “no eugenicist can be a laissez-faire individualist”.
Similarly, George Bernard Shaw wrote: “The only fundamental and possible socialism is the socialisation of the selective breeding of man.” Bertrand Russell proposed that the state should issue colour-coded “procreation tickets” to prevent the gene pool of the elite being diluted by inferior human beings. Those who decided to have children with holders of a different-coloured ticket would be punished with a heavy fine. HG Wells praised eugenics as the first step towards the elimination of “detrimental types and characteristics” and the “fostering of desirable types” instead…
The eugenics movement Britain wants to forget New Statesman 1913 – 2013

Even the Gruniad verifies this: Eugenics: the skeleton that rattles loudest in the left’s closet: Socialism’s one-time interest in eugenics is dismissed as an accident of history. But the truth is far more unpalatable

Attacks on Intelligentsia: Early Attacks
In the years immediately following their accession to power in 1917, the Bolsheviks took measures to prevent challenges to their new regime, beginning with eliminating political opposition….
Bolshevik policy toward its detractors, and particularly toward articulate, intellectual criticism, hardened considerably. Suppression of newspapers, initially described as a temporary measure, became a permanent policy. Lenin considered the Constitutional Democrats (Kadets) the center of a conspiracy against Bolshevik rule. In 1919, he began mass arrests of professors and scientists who had been Kadets, and deported Kadets, Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and Nationalists. The Bolshevik leadership sought rapidly to purge Russia of past leaders in order to build the future on a clean slate.
These harsh measures alienated a large number of the intellectuals who had supported the overthrow of the tsarist order…..
The disenchantment of the majority of intellectuals did not surprise Lenin, who saw the old Russian intelligentsia as a kind of rival to his “party of a new type,” which alone could bring revolutionary consciousness to the working class. In his view, artists generally served bourgeois interests, a notion that fueled the persecution of intellectuals throughout the Soviet period….
Attacks on Intelligentsia: Renewed Attacks
The pattern of suppressing intellectual activity, with intermittent periods of relaxation, helped the party leadership reinforce its authority….
The attacks extended to scientists and philosophers and continued until after Stalin’s death in 1953….
To speak for human rights or to support freedom of expression was to question the very basis of Marxism-Leninism and the legitimacy of the party’s rule. Among those harassed and persecuted were world-renowned artists and scientists, including Nobel Prize winners Boris Pasternak, who was forced to refuse his prize; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who was forcibly removed from the USSR; and Andrei Sakharov, who was expelled from the Academy of Sciences and internally exiled to a closed city….
Attacks on Intelligentsia

This is my fourth book in a series on genocide and government mass murder, what I call democide….
In developing the statistics for this and the previous three volumes, almost 8,200 estimates of war, domestic violence, genocide, mass murder, and other relevant data, were recorded from over a thousand sources…
Just to give perspective on this incredible murder by government, if all these bodies were laid head to toe, with the average height being 5′, then they would circle the earth ten times. Also, this democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century….
. I have generally avoided, however, tales of brutal torture and savage killing unless such were useful to illustrate an aspect of the democide.
These chapters are ordered from the greatest of these killers to the lesser ones, as one can see from the table of contents. Part 2 presents the four deka-megamurderers, beginning with a chapter on the Soviet Union’s near 61,000,000 murdered, then including chapters on Communist China and Nazi Germany, and ending with a chapter on the now virtually unremembered killing of the Chinese Nationalist regime. Since these four regimes were the subjects of the previous three volumes,5 the four chapters simply summarize the democide and conclusions. I hope I will be excused for using Greek prefixes for labeling these regimes (deka- means ten or tens; mega- means million), but we need concepts for the various levels of government murder and there is no comparable English term (“murderer of tens of millions” is clumsy).
Part 3 presents in order the lesser-megamurders, those that have killed 1,000,000 to less than 10,000,000 citizens and foreigners….
After eight-years and almost daily reading and recording of men, women, and children by the tens of millions being tortured or beaten to death, hung, shot, and buried alive, burned or starved to death, stabbed or chopped into pieces, and murdered in all the other ways creative and imaginative human beings can devise, I have never been so happy to conclude a project. I have not found it easy to read time and time again about the horrors innocent people have been forced to suffer. What has kept me at this was the belief, as preliminary research seemed to suggest, that there was a positive solution to all this killing and a clear course of political action and policy to end it. And the results verify this. The problem is Power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.

THAT in a nutshell is what CAGW and Agenda 21 are really about.

Bill H
July 31, 2013 5:05 pm

Considering that heating radiation from the sun only penetrates a few meters into the ocean it can not directly heat below about 30 feet. (particulate matter, algae, etc). This deep pond theroy is only possible in perfectly clear water with out any impurities, but they fail at mentioning that.. Gee I wonder why?
This heat is hiding at great depth is such a farce yet they continue to spew it. Agenda trumps everything.. Even facts..

July 31, 2013 6:34 pm

Gerry Parker says:
July 31, 2013 at 9:22 am
My fellow sailors have noted that modern life also disconnects people from wind and it’s power.
after 20 years cruising offshore, returning home I found I could forecast the weather much better than the weather report. The weather man life doesn’t depend on getting it right.

July 31, 2013 7:17 pm

I don’t think that weather alarmism is anything new. It seems to be hard-wired into the human species. Perhaps it has something to do with almost all of our history, where weather determined whether we lived or died.
People are scared by weather, and rightly so. Civilisation is largely about finding ways to ameliorate its effects, especially on food supplies.
While I agree that a lot of rubbish about weather is a staple of the media, people who think rationally about it are a minority, IMO. That’s why it’s a staple of the media. It may also be one reason why those who promise to control it (eg the CAGW crowd) have gotten so much traction.
Many early religions were animist; things like rain-dances and similar ceremonies to appease the weather gods are a common feature. In a weird way, CAGW alarmism goes back to the most primitive aspects of humanity.

Bob B
August 1, 2013 4:04 am

cynical_scientist says:
“The ONLY reason why you can’t easily heat (as in directly warm up) water from above with a heat lamp is that if you make the surface layer warmer than the deeper layers, convection is not triggered. Hence only a very thin skin on the top of the water gets warmed”
This is plain wrong!!!!!—please watch the video above from minute 39 to 44 and you will learn why you can’t heat the water from above with long wave (heat) radiation. Most of the energy goes into assembling water crystals and not into heat.

August 1, 2013 5:24 am

Tom J [July 31, 2013 at 9:22 am] says:
It’s a matter of wonder to me, and surprisingly little known, that Thomas Jefferson (and also John Adams – the 2nd US President) died on July 4, 1826, the exact 50th anniversary of the Declaration he penned.

So true! And there’s more that is even less well known. Five years later this was repeated on July 4, 1831 when James Monroe, the 5th President passed away. While not a core founder, he was Madison’s protégé and the final Jeffersonian Republican President.
And, then again five years later exactly one week shy of July 4th James Madison passed away on June 28th, 1836. Quite an astounding set of coincidences. One might think they all held on purposefully to leave the Earth on Independence Day.
It was stunningly appropriate for Adams and Jefferson to pass away the same day on the 50th anniversary. These two were the embodiment of the most fundamental divide in American politics – Adams the focal point of the big government Federalists, and their arch-nemesis Jefferson the founder of the small government Democratic-Republicans. One can draw a direct line to the Red-Blue State divide straight back to (DR) and (F) parties during Washington’s administration when Adams was Vice-President and Jefferson was Secretary of State.
The split already was evident with the Adams-Hamilton blue state Federalist faction clashing with the Jefferson-Madison red state Republicans. In fact Jefferson resigned as SoS in Washington’s 2nd term in frustration over government growth only to come back to challenge Adams for President in 1796, although losing he became Vice-President and then focused his efforts on growing the opposition (DR) party and winning in the 1800 rematch.
Years later, after Adams angrily returned home in 1801 and after Jefferson returned home in 1809, they would correspond in private letters from around 1812 for the last 14 years or so of their lives.

Wikipedia :: Jefferson’s death … “After falling back to sleep Jefferson later awoke at eight o’clock that evening and spoke his last words, “Is it the fourth yet?”. His doctor replied, ”It soon will be”. [148] On July 4 at ten minutes before one o’clock Jefferson died at the age of 83, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and a few hours before John Adams…”

Wikipedia :: Adam’s death … “On July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Adams died at his home in Quincy. Told that it was the Fourth, he answered clearly, “It is a great day. It is a good day.” His last words have been reported as “Thomas Jefferson survives” (Jefferson himself, however, had died hours before Adams did). …”

Another amazing fact is that these four were very long lived for their era, Adams was 90, Jefferson was 83, Madison was 85, and Monroe the youngest at 73.

Gail Combs
August 1, 2013 7:43 am

Bill H says:
July 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm
Considering that heating radiation from the sun only penetrates a few meters into the ocean it can not directly heat below about 30 feet….
“heating radiation” = IR???
Solar radiation can penetrate much deeper (100 meters) but the low energy IR wavelengths of the greenhouse effect can only penetrate ~ 10 micrometers

Dat verhoogde broeikasstraling door CO2 de oceaan opwarmt is een AGW-fabel, de langgolvige infrarood straling van de atmosfeer heeft een veel te lage energie (golflengte) een komt niet dieper dan een fractie van een milimeter (10 micrometer). Dit is veel minder dan de grenslaag waar verdamping plaats vindt (500 micrometer), en dat is het enige wat de infrarood straling dan ook kan doen; helpen om water te verdampen….

Google translate:
That increased CO2 greenhouse radiation warms the AGW is a fable, the long-wave infrared radiation from the atmosphere has a lot to low energy (wavelength) is a no deeper than a fraction of a millimeter (10 micrometers). This is much less than the boundary layer where evaporation takes place (500 micrometers), and that’s the only thing the infrared radiation can do, help to evaporate water.
In other words any heating of the ocean is from solar radiation (but only to the depth of 100 meters) and not from bounced back ‘Earthshine’ If there is heat ‘Hiding in the oceans’ it is because of the changes in the amount of UV as noted by NASA – SORCE’s Solar Spectral Surprise

… the SIM instrument is the first to monitor the daily activity of certain parts of the spectrum, a measurement scientists call solar spectral irradiance.
In recent years, SIM has collected data that suggest the sun’s brightness may vary in entirely unexpected ways. If the SIM’s spectral irradiance measurements are validated and proven accurate over time, then certain parts of Earth’s atmosphere may receive surprisingly large doses of solar radiation even during lulls in solar activity.
“We have never had a reason until now to believe that parts of the spectrum may vary out of phase with the solar cycle, but now we have started to model that possibility because of the SIM results,” said Robert Cahalan, the project scientist for SORCE and the head of the climate and radiation branch at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md….
…Some of the variations that SIM has measured in the last few years do not mesh with what most scientists expected. Climatologists have generally thought that the various part of the spectrum would vary in lockstep with changes in total solar irradiance.
However, SIM suggests that ultraviolet irradiance fell far more than expected between 2004 and 2007 — by ten times as much as the total irradiance did — while irradiance in certain visible and infrared wavelengths surprisingly increased, even as solar activity wound down overall.
The steep decrease in the ultraviolet, coupled with the increase in the visible and infrared, does even out to about the same total irradiance change as measured by the TIM during that period, according to the SIM measurements.
The stratosphere absorbs most of the shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet light, but some of the longest ultraviolet rays (UV-A), as well as much of the visible and infrared portions of the spectrum, directly heat Earth’s lower atmosphere and can have a significant impact on the climate….

Effects of clouds and stratospheric ozone depletion on ultraviolet radiation trends Dan Lubin* & Elsa H. Jensen†
*California Space Institute, University of California….
ANTHROPOGENIC depletion of ozone in the lower stratosphere has been of global environmental concern for two decades, but the environmentally relevant quantity—the flux of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reaching the Earth’s surface—remains poorly quantified on a global basis. The three most important parameters governing surface UVR fluxes and trends are solar elevation, total vertically integrated ozone abundance and cloud opacity. Here we use global satellite measurements of total ozone abundance and cloud reflectance to examine how the trends in UVR resulting from established trends in total ozone abundance1,2 compare with the potentially large natural variability in UVR that results from variations in cloud opacity. We find that throughout many temperate regions—including large parts of continental Europe, North and South America, New Zealand, Australia and southern Africa—interannual variability in cloud opacity is sufficiently small that by the end of this century, trends in summer average local-noon UVR dose rates relevant to mammalian skin cancer or plant damage should be significant with respect to cloud variability.

So the amount of UV entering the ocean depends on ozone and clouds per this paper.
From NASA again.

Ozone Production and Destruction
Stratospheric ozone is created and destroyed primarily by ultraviolet radiation. The air in the stratosphere is bombarded continuously with ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.When high energy ultraviolet rays strike molecules of ordinary oxygen (O2), they split the molecule into two single oxygen atoms. The free oxygen atoms can then combine with oxygen molecules (O2) to form ozone (O3) molecules.
O2 + UV light -> 2 O
O + O2 + M -> O3 + M (where M indicates conservation of energy and momentum)
The same characteristic of ozone that makes it so valuable, its ability to absorb a range of ultraviolet radiation, also causes its destruction.When an ozone molecule is exposed to ultraviolet energy it may break back into O2 and O. During dissociation the atomic and molecular oxygens gain kinetic energy, which produces heat and causes an increase in atmospheric temperature.
Ozone production is driven by UV radiation of wavelengths less than 240 nm. Ozone dissociation typically produces atomic oxygen that is stable when exposed to longer wavelengths, up to 320 nm, and shorter wavelenghts of 400 to 700 nm. Longer wavelength photons penetrate deeper into the atmosphere, creating regions of ozone production and destruction. When an ozone molecule absorbs even low energy ultraviolet, it splits into an ordinary oxygen molecule and a free oxygen atom.
O3 + UV, visible light -> O + O2
The free oxygen atom may then combine with an oxygen molecule, creating another ozone molecule, or it may take an oxygen atom from an existing ozone molecule to create two ordinary oxygen molecules.
O + O2 -> O3 or O3 + O -> O2 + O2
Processes of ozone production and destruction, initiated by ultraviolet radiation, are often referred to as “Chapman Reactions.”….

“During dissociation the atomic and molecular oxygens gain kinetic energy, which produces heat and causes an increase in atmospheric temperature. I am not going to get into it but this heat causes the atmosphere to be more ‘Puffed-up” Back to NASA.

April 1, 2009: Deep Solar Minimum
…Quiet suns come along every 11 years or so. It’s a natural part of the sunspot cycle, discovered by German astronomer Heinrich Schwabe in the mid-1800s….
The current solar minimum is part of that pattern. In fact, it’s right on time. “We’re due for a bit of quiet—and here it is,” says Pesnell.
But is it supposed to be this quiet? In 2008, the sun set the following records:
A 12-year low in solar “irradiance”: Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun’s brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996. The changes so far are not enough to reverse the course of global warming, but there are some other significant side-effects: Earth’s upper atmosphere is heated less by the sun and it is therefore less “puffed up.” …
A 50-year low in solar wind pressure: Measurements by the Ulysses spacecraft reveal a 20% drop in solar wind pressure since the mid-1990s—the lowest point since such measurements began in the 1960s. The solar wind helps keep galactic cosmic rays out of the inner solar system. With the solar wind flagging, more cosmic rays are permitted to enter, resulting in increased health hazards for astronauts. Weaker solar wind also means fewer geomagnetic storms and auroras on Earth…..

Sept. 23, 2008: Solar Wind Loses Power, Hits 50-year Low
In a briefing today at NASA headquarters, solar physicists announced that the solar wind is losing power.
“The average pressure of the solar wind has dropped more than 20% since the mid-1990s,” says Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “This is the weakest it’s been since we began monitoring solar wind almost 50 years ago.”
Curiously, the speed of the million mph solar wind hasn’t decreased much—only 3%. The change in pressure comes mainly from reductions in temperature and density. The solar wind is 13% cooler and 20% less dense.
“What we’re seeing is a long term trend, a steady decrease in pressure that began sometime in the mid-1990s,” explains Arik Posner, NASA’s Ulysses Program Scientist in Washington DC…..
“The solar wind isn’t inflating the heliosphere as much as it used to,” says McComas. “That means less shielding against cosmic rays.”
In addition to weakened solar wind, “Ulysses also finds that the sun’s underlying magnetic field has weakened by more than 30% since the mid-1990s,” says Posner. “This reduces natural shielding even more.”
Unpublished Ulysses cosmic ray data show that, indeed, high energy (GeV) electrons, a minor but telltale component of cosmic rays around Earth, have jumped in number by about 20%

More info from Physicist Nir Shaviv in language a layman can under stand.
And the earth’s global temperature has not been increasing for the last ~ 15 to 17 years or since the late nineties….

Bob B
August 1, 2013 11:03 am

Gail, even the 10um thick surface description you list is not correct. The brand-new science shows “water crystals” growing from a “battery” effect at the air-wtaer interface causing water molecules (dipoles) to align themselves from the energy of the long wave IR. Please watch video above from about 38mins to 44mins

Brian H
August 1, 2013 5:04 pm

Dr. Ball, as a Canadian you should have a better understanding of McLuhan. His intent was to communicate that the existence and capabilities of the medium were far more important than its transient content. That there are radio, TV, phones, and the Internet affects the culture and people more (= is the message) than what they happen to be carrying (apparent messages).

Gail Combs
August 1, 2013 5:24 pm

Bob B says:
August 1, 2013 at 11:03 am
…. Please watch video above from about 38mins to 44mins
Remote Sensing of Water – GERS Laboratory at UPRM also shows IR barely penetrating the surface skin of water in slide 3.
My computer does not support video (too old)
All I found with a web search is the 18th International Couette-Taylor Workshop (Physics of Fluids Group) (24 – 26 june 2013) but it had nothing on what you are talking about. The infrared search word referred to a ” a co-rotating infrared camera”
The other papers I found were:
“Infrared Reflection–Absorption Spectrometry of
Monolayer Films at the Air–Water Interface” by Richard Mendelsohn and Carol R. Flach
Interesting but not what you are talking about.
“On the Structure of Water at the Aqueous/Air Interface”
Yubo Fan, Xin Chen, Lijiang Yang, Paul S. Cremer, and Yi Qin Gao
Again interesting
This one is especially interesting

Comparisons of the Structure of Water at Neat Oil/Water and Air/Water Interfaces As Determined by Vibrational Sum Frequency Generation
D. E. Gragson and G. L. Richmond*
…. We have employed vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG) to measure for the first time the structure of water at the interface between two bulk immiscible liquids. The OH stretching modes of the interfacial water molecules are examined and compared with analogous studies at the air/water interface. Our studies show a striking difference between the VSFG spectra obtained from these interfaces. From this difference we infer that nominally all of the water molecules at the oil/water interface are in a tetrahedral arrangement much like the structure of ice, whereas at the air/water interface only about 60% of the water molecules are in the same arrangement with the remaining water molecules being in a more random and bond-disordered arrangement presumed to be more water-like. This observation is explained in terms of the structural changes liquid water must make in order to solvate nonpolar oil molecules…..‎

And this paper:

Polarization and experimental configuration analyses of sum frequency generation vibrational spectra, structure, and orientational motion of the air/water interface
Wei Gan, Dan Wu, Zhen Zhang, Ran-ran Feng, and Hong-fei Wang
Here we report a detailed study on spectroscopy, structure, and orientational distribution, as well as orientational motion, of water molecules at the air/water interface, investigated with sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy (SFG-VS). Quantitative polarization and experimental configuration analyses of the SFG data in different polarizations with four sets of experimental configurations can shed new light on our present understanding of the air/water interface. Firstly, we concluded that the orientational motion of the interfacial water molecules can only be in a limited angular range, instead of rapidly varying over a broad angular range in the vibrational relaxation time as suggested previously. Secondly, because different vibrational modes of different molecular species at the interface has different symmetry properties, polarization and symmetry analyses of the SFG-VS spectral features can help the assignment of the SFG-VS spectra peaks to different interfacial species. These analyses concluded that the narrow 3693 cm−1 and broad 3550 cm−1 peaks belong to C∞v symmetry, while the broad 3250 and 3450 cm−1 peaks belong to the symmetric stretching modes with C2v symmetry. Thus, the 3693 cm−1 peak is assigned to the free OH, the 3550 cm−1 peak is assigned to the singly hydrogen-bonded OH stretching mode, and the 3250 and 3450 cm−1 peaks are assigned to interfacial water molecules as two hydrogen donors for hydrogen bonding (with C2v symmetry), respectively. Thirdly, analysis of the SFG-VS spectra concluded that the singly hydrogen-bonded water molecules at the air/water interface have their dipole vector directed almost parallel to the interface and is with a very narrow orientational distribution. The doubly hydrogen-bonded donor water molecules have their dipole vector pointing away from the liquid phase…..

Ultrafast vibrational energy transfer at the water/air interface revealed by two-dimensional surface vibrational spectroscopy
Water is very different from liquids of similar molecular weight, and one of its unique properties is the very efficient transfer of vibrational energy between molecules, which arises as a result of strong dipole–dipole interactions between the O–H oscillators. Although we have a sound understanding of such energy transfer in bulk water, we know less about how, and how quickly, transfer occurs at its interface with a hydrophobic phase, because specifically addressing the outermost monolayer is difficult. Here, we use ultrafast two-dimensional surface-specific vibrational spectroscopy to probe the interfacial energy dynamics of heavy water (D2O) at the water/air interface. The measurements reveal the presence of surprisingly rapid energy transfer, both between hydrogen-bonded interfacial water molecules (intermolecular), and between O–D groups sticking out from the water surface and those located on the same molecule and pointing towards the water bulk (intramolecular). Vibrational energy transfer occurs on sub-picosecond timescales, and its rates and pathways can be quantified directly.

I am not finding any thing that seems close to what you are talking about.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
August 1, 2013 5:51 pm

From Bob B on August 1, 2013 at 11:03 am:

The brand-new science shows “water crystals” growing from a “battery” effect at the air-wtaer interface causing water molecules (dipoles) to align themselves from the energy of the long wave IR.

From 1992:
Studies on the electrical double layer structure at the water/air interface
And this is just a quickly-Googled example. This “brand-new science” is old hat, the double layer “battery effect” structure has long been known, can be brought about by UV, common chemicals in seawater, etc.
Wrapping it up as “water crystals” does not make it “brand-new”, nor convey to it special newly-discovered powers.
Besides, you’ve completely ignored what was said. You’re arguing there is no heating from LWIR, which wasn’t being debated. What happens is a slowing of the loss of LWIR from the oceans, which you completely bypassed to defend (again) what wasn’t being argued.

Please watch video above from about 38mins to 44mins

On dial-up? I don’t have the hours to download just three minutes of this nonsense.
Man, I love it when I find free wireless for fast downloads like software updates, or do the anti-virus updates on the Windoze partitions in minutes vs overnight. But if DSL makes one susceptible to watching hour-long videos you know are anti-scientific garbage to demonstrate an “open mind”, it might not be worth getting!

August 1, 2013 6:11 pm

kadaka, hear, hear.
I have fast broadband, but whenever someone says “just watch this 90 minute video” as a justification, forget it. Why can’t they just explain their point?

Bob B
August 2, 2013 4:38 am

Gail, some references
Kadaka, Dr Pollock discovered some of these effects in 2003
Johanna, I did explain it but the video provides wonderful images of the “water crystals”

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