Another fantastic claim shot to hell: weather begets climate belief

Americans believe climate change connected to location and local weather

Researchers found local experiences and temperatures drive belief or non-belief in climate change

usa-warming-beliefs

A new study finds local weather may play an important role in Americans’ belief in climate change. CREDIT Michelle Gilmore

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

A new study finds local weather may play an important role in Americans’ belief in climate change. The study, published on Monday, found that Americans’ belief that the earth is warming is related to the frequency of weather-related events they experience, suggesting that local changes in their climate influence their acceptance of this worldwide phenomenon.

“One of the greatest challenges to communicating scientific findings about climate change is the cognitive disconnect between local and global events,” said Michael Mann, associate professor of geography at George Washington University and co-author of the paper. “It is easy to assume that what you experience at home must be happening elsewhere.”

The researchers found that Americans who experience more record highs than lows in temperature are more likely to believe the earth is warming. Conversely, Americans who live in areas that have experienced record low temperatures, such as southern portions of Ohio and the Mississippi River basins, are more skeptical that the earth is warming.

The study notes that part of this dichotomy may be because of the early terminology used to describe climate change that suggested the earth was simply warming – not changing in innumerable but measurable ways. This might have led residents living in areas that experienced an unusually cold winter to doubt that climate change is occurring.

“Who do Americans trust about climate change; scientists or themselves?” said Robert Kaufmann, professor in the department of geography and the Center for Energy & Environmental Studies at Boston University and lead author of the paper. “For many Americans, the answer seems to be themselves.”

The researchers also found that a recent period of lower-than-average temperatures offset the effect of a long warming period, further supporting their findings that people’s belief in climate change is local and experiential.

The scientists note the importance of differentiating between weather, the temperatures of a relatively short period of time such as a season, and climate, the average temperatures over a period of 25 or 30 years. Emphasizing the difference between weather and climate may help scientists more effectively communicate about climate change.

The paper, “The Spatial Heterogeneity of Climate Change: An Experiential Basis for Skepticism,” was published in Proceedings National Academy of Sciences.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/12/13/1607032113.abstract

###

Abstract

We postulate that skepticism about climate change is partially caused by the spatial heterogeneity of climate change, which exposes experiential learners to climate heuristics that differ from the global average. This hypothesis is tested by formalizing an index that measures local changes in climate using station data and comparing this index with survey-based model estimates of county-level opinion about whether global warming is happening. Results indicate that more stations exhibit cooling and warming than predicted by random chance and that spatial variations in these changes can account for spatial variations in the percentage of the population that believes that “global warming is happening.” This effect is diminished in areas that have experienced more record low temperatures than record highs since 2005. Together, these results suggest that skepticism about climate change is driven partially by personal experiences; an accurate heuristic for local changes in climate identifies obstacles to communicating ongoing changes in climate to the public and how these communications might be improved.

Significance

We develop a simple heuristic to measure local changes in climate based on the timing of record high and low temperatures. The metric shows local cooling and warming in the United States and captures two aspects of experiential learning that influence how the public perceives a change in climate: recency weighting and an emphasis on extreme events. We find that skepticism about whether the Earth is warming is greater in areas exhibiting cooling relative to areas that have warmed and that recent cooling can offset historical warming. This experiential basis for skepticism of climate change identifies obstacles to communicating ongoing changes in climate to the public and how these communications might be improved.


Anthony comments:

So I’ve read the study, and it’s got one clear problem that I can see, which is obvious from their map – they didn’t account for local media exposure and political bias. Below is a map of how counties voted in the 2012 election, compared to Mann’s climate belief system map. Reds are right leaning (Republican), Blues are left leaning (Democratic). I’ve used this map, because it’s closer to the timeframe of the polling data from Mann’s study, IMO.

mann-belief-vs-voting-map

If you compare the grey areas, where belief in global warming due to weather events is high, you’ll note an obvious pattern: The darkest areas in Mann’s map match many of the bluest areas of the voting map. Places like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Miami, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Washington, DC and Chicago all have strong correlations with voting records.

This suggests that Mann’s study is pure bunk, and is more related to political leanings and media outlets for those areas pushing the AGW meme, than it has to do with weather.

Another Manntastic fantastic claim, shot to hell.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: Well, I’ve made a mistake. The Michael Mann listed as author of the paper is not the Michael E. Mann, of Penn State, but a person of the same first and last names of George Washington University.  The headline and last sentence have been corrected to fix that misidentification. (h/t to Roman M in comments) -Anthony

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113 thoughts on “Another fantastic claim shot to hell: weather begets climate belief

  1. Anthony, since “climate crisis,” my choice for what is being pushed, IS political, not science, it follows that political ideology would match. If anything, Mann’s paper is proof that its a political issue, not a science issue. He just misinterpreted his own evidence – as usual.

    • Now, it is to be primarily psychological. http://pics.uvic.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/FINAL%20Social%20mobilization-Sussman%20Gifford.pdf is a new good example.

      Also, in education which I cover, K-12 relies on virtual reality to alter the mental images of how physical reality works and what constitutes cause and effect. They have even developed a term-Guiding Fictions- to cover things that are not true but it is useful to have people believe anyway.

      Motivating desired behaviors is always the focus.

      • Robin,
        It’s called indoctrination and is especially pernicious in the California school system. I’ve spoken to many millennials about this and it’s absolutely clear that our education system has warped their developing minds to believe what they are told about climate science by reinforcing catastrophic claims with fear mongering while only mentioning skeptics and their science in a denigrating manner, if at all. No longer are students taught to apply due diligence to both sides of an argument and think for themselves. Nearly every one of them points to one of the various hockey stick temperature plots as ‘proof’ and not one of them understands the nefarious data manipulations from which the hockey sticks emerged nor are they aware of data that does not result in hockey sticks. They are simply manipulated to believe that these plots represent reality which to a large extent is the result of progressivism dumbing down the population.

      • Robin,

        I skimmed through that publication. It would be quite amusing if it wasn’t so deeply disturbing. They accept as an epistemological truth the premise of catastrophic man-made global warming and assume that all that is needed is to “encourage action on climate change” through “social mobilization.” The whole focus is on targeting, behavior modification theories and techniques, how to fool most of the people most of the time, etc., Never once is there the least hint that they might be wrong.

        At least they recommend working with experts, but wait…

        5.3 Work with experts
        Utilities and government regulators that are familiar with traditional program implementation strategies (e.g., rebates or incentives) may be tempted to create and administer behaviour change programs on their own. We caution against this because traditional programs differ in important ways from social science-based behaviour programs.

        Talk about grandiose delusions of narcissism, it’s not the utilities, government regulators (and by extension, others in other related disciplines) who are the experts, it’s the social scientists.

    • Mann’s paper above, greatly lowering George Washington University’s esteem, is anpother classic case of correlation is not causation.

      They did not connect nor prove their claim; Mann simply compiled two realms of data and went “Voila, I have proved my confirmation bias!”

      The fool.

  2. The researchers found that Americans who experience more record highs than lows in temperature are more likely to believe the earth is warming
    ===
    ..and since record highs have been declining for decades

    Anthony’s right though…it’s political
    …either that, or it’s something in their water

    • they didn’t account for local media exposure and political bias…
      ===
      Or universities, liberal bias, sanctuary cities, chicken farms, etc…

      • The academics who have escaped the Ivory Tower to ruin society with their harebrained theories need to be corralled, shoved back in the Tower, and locked in for the rest of their academic career. Let them convince each other how smart they are, but don’t let them do any more damage.

  3. “We postulate that skepticism about climate change is partially caused by the spatial heterogeneity of climate change, which exposes experiential learners to climate heuristics that differ from the global average.”

    I postulate that skepticism about climate change is totally caused by the total inability and unwillingness of CAGW alarmists to back up their claims in a scientific manner, intead resorting to fear, adjusted data, faulty computer models, and totally unsubstantiated claims.

    • + 1.
      It would be interesting to do a similar study to see if the populace actually believe the Mannian “science” any more or the more honest science we see here.

  4. Not a new finding – something similar found the same thing in 2013.

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n2/full/nclimate2093.html?message-global=remove

    “Climate change judgements can depend on whether today seems warmer or colder than usual, termed the local warming effect. Although previous research has demonstrated that this effect occurs, studies have yet to explain why or how temperature abnormalities influence global warming attitudes. A better understanding of the underlying psychology of this effect can help explain the public’s reaction to climate change and inform approaches used to communicate the phenomenon. Across five studies, we find evidence of attribute substitution, whereby individuals use less relevant but available information (for example, today’s temperature) in place of more diagnostic but less accessible information (for example, global climate change patterns) when making judgements. Moreover, we rule out alternative hypotheses involving climate change labelling and lay mental models. Ultimately, we show that present temperature abnormalities are given undue weight and lead to an overestimation of the frequency of similar past events, thereby increasing belief in and concern for global warming.”

    • Keeping it simple. When a predicted hot spell (that doesn’t end up being very unusual) is promoted as evidence of catastrophic global warming to come, the kiddies get scared. When the adults get actual record breaking cold and it is ignored by the media or attributed to global warming, the adults get suspicious.

    • Assumptions and confirmation bias.

      As before, nothing was actually proven, assumed only.

      Though, the evidence over time strongly implies that CAGW believers are astoundingly gullible. All it takes are claims from alleged authorities, and they swoon over bad research in droves.
      Peer review between best buddies only.

  5. The most recent decade would be freshest in peoples minds.

    And according to the USCRN, there has been NO warming in the USA in the past 10-11 years.

    (And this is the best un-adjusted data in the world)

  6. Pressure campaigns to get local TV forecasters to pin alarmist labels on “extreme weather” such as Climate Central’s “TV Mets” program to “leverage the power of trusted messengers” works in subtle ways. Our local news in Vancouver calls “average” temps “normal” whereby anything not dead on average is “abnormal” hence “scary”. Temperatures above 20C on regional maps shown in molten red, spread the message.
    When local conditions in Vancouver fail to measure up, imported footage of Australian bushfires is regularly brought in. This year’s high rainfalls in Australia have created a most inconvenient drought drought.

  7. Read the label before taking: “The authors declare no conflict of interest.”

    “This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. (Naomi Oreskes) is a Guest Editor invited by the Editorial Board.”

    “Edited by Naomi Oreskes……and accepted by Editorial Board Member Hans J. Schellnhuber”

  8. It occurs to me is that UHI is greatest in urban areas where the belief in global warming is greatest. We might have a spurious correlation going here.

    • Well Urban Heat Islands tend to prefer to be in Urban areas, where it tends to be warmer.

      Why go to where it is colder to get warm.

      g

    • Not the same Mann you may think it is…

      …said Michael Mann, associate professor of geography at George Washington University and co-author of the paper

    • Aphan at 11:19
      At the university level geography is considered a “spatial” subject in contrast to non-university people who think geography deals with the physical land. Thus, gender study in urban versus rural areas fits. Likewise, lending by banks in areas of different ethnic patterns. It is “space” and “patterns” and linkages. Years ago there was an interest in “migration streams.” One such helps explain why there are many “old time fiddlers” and their music in Idaho and Washington States. A friend from Idaho, a left handed playing fiddler, will be back east this week playing at, I think, tree lighting and other celebrations.
      This from her hometown newspaper, the Idaho Prress-Tribune.
      Katrina Nicolayeff /strong>

  9. So a study had to be done to determine that recent weather events influence a person’s view on climate change? OK.

  10. Michael Mann is only an associate professor of geography?? I thought he at least had a science background

  11. We postulate that skepticism about climate change is partially caused by…

    Or maybe it’s related to the calibration or ideology of one’s bullshit detector.

  12. I thought that Mann is a climastrologer, not a psychologist (the part that is pseudo science). Apparently in pseudo sciences ‘experts’ in one are experts in all of them. No surprise that Cook is an ‘expert’ in climastrology and Mann in psychology,

  13. Gee wizz – Mann is an “ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF GEOLOGY” ??!!!
    At George Washington University, a place I have never associated with the
    study of geology before. I didn’t even realize they taught any geology courses
    over there, in Northwest Wash D.C.
    At any rate, Mann’s study is an perfect example of his incompetence with respect to simple scientific (natural, not controlled) experimentation. One can hardly avoid the obvious (which Mann has managed to do) : that belief in global warming is very closely tied to political beliefs. Failure to recognize potential or actual independent variables in a natural experiment , where causation can be demonstrated more reliably, is the primary reason that natural experiments are inferior methods of getting at causal relationships, and often lead to false, disastrous conclusions. Natural experiments heavily depend upon excellent knowledge of the area in question, as to potential causal relationships, and even this doesn’t guarantee that variables unknown/unmeasured aren’t having significant effects (in this case political beliefs).
    Any undergraduate science student of experimentation would get a failing grade if they had designed a study like this one by Mann. He is simply incompetent. I guess this sorta makes it offical.

  14. Looks like a classic example of groupthink bias. People feel better about expressing something when they’re comfortable their peers won’t react skeptically. That comfort results in increased participation. Large population centers are also larger pools from which groupthink can spring.

  15. Has anyone done a numerical cross correlation analysis between the politics and belief in a CO2 caused catastrophe? How about an anomaly plot where red regions that believe in the broken science and blue regions that dispute it are plotted? Comparing the two, the first would be nearly complete correlation coverage of the US while the second would some scattered small dots of anti-correlation. Apply a t-test and the certainty of political bias will be undeniable.

  16. “The study notes that part of this dichotomy may be because of the early terminology used to describe climate change that suggested the earth was simply warming”
    As far as i know, then the first effect of CO2 is warming, and all the climate change stuff should be caused by that warming.

    • Low-information citizens tend to make uninformed decisions. Hmmmm….go figure….
      “Low-information is as low-information does…”

    • And Pope Francis is a CAGW advocate so religion may also be a factor.
      I’ll need several $M of funding to do an extensive study of CAGW belief v. RCC population.
      I may need additional funding for intensive research in exotic venues where religion and local customs merge into ambiguous hedonism. Not yet certain on how to control the study; but, trust me, I’ll work something out.
      EVOE!!!

  17. Didn’t this all start when this correlation was demonstrated by Jim Hanson and Senator Wirth scheduled their hearing on the warmest day of the year and shuting down the air conditioning?
    So its definitely not new info and it says more about gullibility and deceit than climate.

  18. Jesus, Captain Obvious is sort of Santa Claus of science nowaday : he seems to be working 8760 hours a day, delivering everywhere, although nobody ever saw him and he never sign his work himself.

  19. The problems with this paper are more fundamental than Anthony suggests.

    Kaufmann et al. extensively discuss their right-hand variable of interest, temperature, but they are almost completely silent about the left-hand side, belief. This variable is taken from an earlier paper by Howe et al. It is based on 12 nationally representative samples of about 1,000 observations each. The samples are for different years, of course, something that Kaufmann and co overlook. More seriously, there are 3,000 counties in the USA, so that a 1,000 strong sample will leave many counties unobserved. Howe et al. interpolate their data to obtain coverage for all counties. Kaufmann et al. do the same: They interpolate weather station data to counties.

    In the end, therefore, Kaufmann regresses imputed, spatial data on imputed, spatial data. Chances are they found that the spatial imputation schemes are similar.

  20. “The study notes that part of this dichotomy may be because of the early terminology used to describe climate change that suggested the earth was simply warming – not changing in innumerable but measurable ways.”

    Measurable ways? What measurable ways? Would love to see a “before the change” and “after the change” illustration of that.

    This implies they know what is normal climate, and can show that normal has changed to abnormal. Another outlandish, unprovable claim by climate alarmists.

    • What it says in plain speak-

      “This study shows it probably wasn’t a good idea to call it “Global Warming”, because when it didn’t warm up like we said it would, people stopped trusting us. So we re-branded it as “Climate Change” so we could use any weather phenomenon, even dropping temperatures, as “proof” of anything we wanted. But we didn’t really think that one through either because Climate Change is kind of an oxymoron (since all the climate on Earth has done is change) so now the only people in the US that still believe in the Church of Humans Must be Causing Bad Things are people who live in hot places, or where the weather changes a lot.”

      It’s hilarious because apparently that whole “You can SEE it! Literally look out your window and SEE the climate change happening” meme apparently doesn’t work….if you can’t actually SEE any change. And they had to fund a STUDY to figure that out! Wow. Just….wow.

  21. The study you are deconstructing is actually a dog whistle for climate extremists to increase sensationalized deceptive reporting about weather.

    • jim heath,
      Especially when you keep it on artificial life support and keep zapping it with the shocky paddles when it starts to flatline….

  22. Since there never was any credible science involved, it is then a random walk, feely thing to be molded and shaped by political science consultants.

  23. We have become a mobile society. People no longer stay rooted in one area. They move from city to city, state to state even country to country. By doing so they never develop a long term history of weather in any area. Everything seems new and different and ‘never happened’ before.
    Plus people flock to the cities which due to UHI are always ‘hotter’. This artificial warming warps their sense of reality. “Gosh, it really has gotten hotter!” As they moved from a smaller town to a large city in search of a job, or retired from a colder state to sunny Florida or California.

    Myself, I still live in the city I was born in over 54 years ago. It has certainly grown. From about 35,000 when I was a teenager to about 80,000 now. But it still takes only minutes to drive into the countryside and cooler temperatures. Those big city slickers don’t have that. They drive from city to city, all connected and never experience the temperature drop when leaving the influence of UHI.
    The only ‘weather’ event I have not yet seen a repeat of here in central Texas is the dust storms that were common in the mid 1970s. Winds would bring dust from west Texas into central Texas. Changes in agricultural practices may be keeping them from returning. Or perhaps they are just around the corner since that was 40 years ago (65-70 year warming/cooling cycle).

    • Myron,
      I agree.

      It’s also probably part of the “growing up” spacial change that intelligent people understand easily. You know, where when you are only 4 feet tall, 2 feet of snow seems like a LOT more than it does when you are 6 feet tall. Or how something that used to seem so much bigger/taller/grander/special/amazing when we were kids, now does not. It’s not the amount of snow, or wind, or rain, or storms that have changed…it’s our awareness and perception/point of view that has.

      Of course people who aren’t smart enough to understand this principle, just assume that it’s the world around them that has changed, not how they view it. (Or maybe they just never got any smarter than they were when they were 4 feet tall…….maybe we need a study to see if there’s a correlation between climate change belief and height……??)

      • Aphan,

        I don’t know, I’m grown up (though some would dispute that) and 2 feet of snow still seems like a LOT. Especially when I have to shovel it. :?)

  24. Because the duration between absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) for CO2 molecules is approximately 6 micro seconds (µs) but thermalization (the process of absorbing EMR and conducting the absorbed energy to other molecules) for any atmospheric molecule at sea level takes approximately 0.0002 µs, essentially all terrestrial radiation absorbed by CO2 is thermalized. Similarly, all EMR absorbed by water vapor (WV) is thermalized. The thermalized energy is expressed in the froth of molecular velocity and spin with molecular speeds characterized by the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. It is observed as temperature and pressure of the gas.

    Molecular species are identified as greenhouse gases (ghg) by the property that they absorb/emit EMR at wavelengths of significant terrestrial radiation (approximately 6-100 microns (µm). CO2 absorbs/emits at only one wavelength in that range (15 µm broadened at sea level to about 14-16 µm by pressure, etc.). Water vapor molecules, however, have, according to a count reported in a 1938 paper (Astrophysical Journal, June 1938, v 87, no 8, p 499) “about 170 lines in the range 75-550 cm-1” [133-18.2 µm].

    Global average WV at sea level is approximately 1.5% = 15,000 ppmv while CO2 is only 505 ppmv so there are approximately 15000/505 = 29.7 times as many WV molecules as CO2 molecules. Thus in the typical case, there are 29.7 X 170 ≈ 5100 absorption/emission ‘opportunities’ for WV plus one opportunity for CO2 for a total of 5101. If you double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, the number of opportunities increases to 5102. The resultant increase in warming effect (if any) is (5102-5101)/5101 = 0.000196. This increase of about 0.02% is insignificant.

    Climate sensitivity is not significantly different from zero.

    Identification of the three factors in an equation which matches average global temperature (98% 1895-2015) is at http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

  25. “The scientists note the importance of differentiating between weather, the temperatures of a relatively short period of time such as a season, and climate, the average temperatures over a period of 25 or 30 years.”

    The ‘climate’ can be rather different in two places with the same average temps . . on my home planet ; )

      • Seems like they don’t understand the importance of differentiating between the “average air temperature” in a specific location, and BOTH “climate” and “weather”. They seem to be assuming that ONE aspect of both climate and weather can be interchanged with either or both words freely.

  26. Maybe simple people are confused when Mann and his ilk say something along the lines of “the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were not global in scope because we found areas X and Y did not warm at the same rates and time as areas A and B.” but then turn around and say “modern global warming is global in scope, but that doesn’t mean that all areas will experience the same rate of warming and some may even cool.”

    But of course those that aren’t simple minded see it for what it is, political.

  27. Anthony — The Mann data looks a bit cherry-picked…..lots of empty space in his map with no temperature dots….a real close look shows that his own data does not really support his hypothesis.

  28. To make a fair social assessment, isn’t it necessary to measure the full scale of a thing? Why isn’t the paper seeking to also measure credulity or gullibility levels in believers in catastrophic climate change? Where is the serious study of which population is more prone to accept propaganda and emotional (ie. irrational) reports in the media, to accept malfeasance or conflicts of interest from government funded or government employed scientists? Or, must we, in typical CAGW science fashion, just ignore that half of the spectrum in the same way we ignore the benefits of more warmth (longer growing seasons, fewer killing frosts), or more CO2 in the atmosphere (plant fertilization) when calculating the “costs of carbon pollution?”

    • C’mon Mickey, you know the answer to that! you’re asking for honest, objective and balanced research. They’re looking for their next funding source and airfare to the next international PARTAAYY!!

  29. The study notes that part of this dichotomy may be because of the early terminology used to describe climate change that suggested the earth was simply warming – not changing in innumerable but measurable ways. This might have led residents living in areas that experienced an unusually cold winter to doubt that climate change is occurring

    (my bolding). Has anyone seen documentation showing measurements of these “measurable ways”? I sure as hell haven’t.

    This paper gives a bit of insight into the thinking behind the use of the term “climate change”. It looks as if they hope that most people are too dumb, or too distracted to notice that in the fantasy world of Climate Science, all the “innumerable” climate changes are driven by CO2,, which is supposed to have only one effect – to cause warming. So, logically, the supposed climate changes and “extreme weather events” must all be derived from that (trivial to non-existent) warming. In other words, they have come to realise that the catastrophic warming that was predicted has slowed down to a crawl, and are busy creating this myth that CO2 causes climate change without actually doing any warming (but without actually saying so).

    But while the Climate Science folks are carefully making warming disappear, the politicians are busy signing treaties that aren’t treaties to “limit warming” to certain arbitrary thresholds.

    And of course there are unending publications designed to show that warming is happening, and every year is known in advance to be “the hottest EVER”. This is accomplished by various tricks, of which “adjustment” is the most useful to the cause.

    This is Climate Science in action; it makes Social Science and Political Science look like particle physics by comparison. It has more in common with theological constructs like The Trinity – “they are one, but there are three of them – don’t try to understand it, just believe”. The more you can force yourself to believe in things that are logically impossible (or just plain ridiculous), the stronger your faith is, and your reward will come in due course.

  30. I propose a new statistic to shed more light on this … average global attitude.

    On a scale of one to five, how strongly do you believe that global warming is caused by human emissions of CO2? Have highly unevenly distributed polling stations situated throughout the world, … collect the data daily, … and at the end of the year, do a big ol’ mathematical average. This will give us another highly meaningful number to use in making pretty graphs and stuff.

  31. So is this Michael Mann saying the problem is not warming due to CO2 but instead that CO2 makes weather more erratic? The original theory was the earth kept in more heat than it released, leading to warming. When was the theory changed? I thought they just changed the name.

    What is the new mechanism by which CO2 makes weather be more erratic?

  32. [snip – both of my parents died of smoking related illness, and I find your comment about smoking stupid and offensive. Feel free to resubmit where you don’t try to tell me things about smoking that are both stupid and offensive – Anthony Watts]

  33. The first thing I thought of was the political biases of the locations. Failure to include this makes this one of those papers I file in the garbage after reading the M & M section. No sense even reading it! REALLY, NO SENSE AT ALL!
    Remember the Gong Show…, GOOONNNGGG…, next!

  34. “…. freak snowfall in the Sahara Desert, believed to be first time it has fallen on the unforgiving red dunes in almost 40 years. Amateur photographer Karim Bouchetata says he took the incredible pictures of snow covering the sand in the small Saharan desert town of Ain Sefra, Algeria, on December 19.”

    It looks a bit ‘f a k e’, is the event verifiable? Number of similar photos are published in the Telegraph

    • There are multiple sources reporting this, though most seem to be using the same amateur photographer’s photos. It happened in the past, so it’s quite possible it’s true. Photos of rare events often look “f a k e d” because it’s not what one expects to see.

  35. Acclimatization theory:

    Quite simply this theory recognizes the individual response to whatever the weather is and how it is interpreted at the time and then projected to onto climate awareness.

    A simple example.
    Air conditioning is more prevalent now than in the past. Mid 20th century folks moved in and out of vehicles, homes, offices, without air conditioning and as a result experienced less temperature transition shock when doing so.
    Now in the early 21st century the transition from home, office, vehicle, involves a temperature transition on the order of 10 to 30 degrees F. This creates an apprehension of hotter weather due to sensory exaggeration because of the lack of acclimatization to the hotter weather because the individual is experiencing greater isolation from the real world when predominantly residing in a climate controlled environment.
    Hence modern man is more amenable to the apprehension that climate change as Global Warming is occurring.
    Just sayin’

    • One of the biggest problems I have with Sociology/Social Sciences/Social Psychology, etc., aside from the obviously biased tilt/unquestioning acceptance of the reality of “climate change”, is that they spend a lot of grant money doing useless studies that they publish with unintelligible language that basically confirms what anyone with a little common sense and experience already knows. When I was younger (a lot younger), I used to work a summer job as a delivery driver for a small, family owned auto parts store. the store was air conditioned and the trucks were air conditioned. When it got hot in the summertime, it really sucked leaving the AC’d store, getting into the AC’d truck, then getting out in the heat to make the delivery. I used to drive around with the AC off and the window down just to “acclimatize”, though I didn’t know what they called it at the time and didn’t need to read an unintelligible social/behavioral science paper to figure that out. What a waste of a college education.

  36. The reality is that extreme weather events and sea level rise are part of the Earth’s current global climate. Even if we could cause climate change to stop, extreme weather events and sea level rise would continue unabated. A climate under which extreme weather events would not happen has yet to be discovered. So even if we could control climate change we would not know how to change it so as to stop extreme weather events. Plunging the Earth into another ice age will cause sea levels to lower at the cost of new ice sheets developing where there are currently none. If Nature has its way, there will be another ice age but it may be several thousand years in our future.

  37. Richard is correct on the fact that the belief data comes from the Howe paper that he refers to. If anyone wishes to look further at this aspect, the paper can be found at http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/full/nclimate2583.html

    Although the paper itself is behind a paywall, the Supplementary material provides good information along with Excel files containing their results not only for the question of whether it is warming but also for a number of questions including whether humans are causing it, scientific consensus, etc. A pre-publication working copy of the paper itself is available at http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2515649

    The ‘global warming question as used in Howe et al reads:

    Question: Recently, you may have noticed that global warming has been getting some attention in the news. Global warming refers to the idea that the world‘s average temperature has been increasing over the past 150 years, may be increasing more in the future, and that the world‘s climate may change as a result. What do you think: Do you think that global warming is happening?
    [Response Scale: Yes, No, Don’t Know]

    Here is how the cobbled-up beliefs by county fare against the vote for Obama in 2012 (red lines are placed at the medians of the two variables):

  38. UPDATE/CORRECTION: Well, I’ve made a mistake. The Michael Mann listed as author of the paper is not the Michael E. Mann, of Penn State, but a person of the same first and last names of George Washington University. The headline and last sentence have been corrected to fix that misidentification. (h/t to Roman M in comments) -Anthony

    Thank you for the “UPDATE/CORRECTION: Well, I’ve made a mistake……”
    We’re all still waiting for the other Mann (et al) to man up and admit he was wrong about about anything.

    Integrity matters.

  39. A parallel:

    The government says there is an obesity crisis.

    Person sees an obese person at Walmart, and thinks, “Oh, yeah, now I see. There IS and obesity crisis.”

  40. Why are the densely populated areas generally democrat and generally fall for this climate change scam? Is it that they are breathing in so much C and CO2 from all the car exhaust their brains lack the oxygen to think strait? Maybe it’s the result of living too long in those heat islands?

  41. “Local experiences?” My local experiences say nothing of global warming or climate change. The concept has to be introduced externally.

  42. It is common in belief systems, for a correlation between two beliefs. For instance, Democrat voters tend to believe in global warming. Republican voters tend to disbelieve. I haven’t read the paper, but does it make any effort to compensate for that effect?

  43. “The Sahara covers most of northern Africa and has gone through shifts in temperature and moisture over the past few hundred thousand years.
    The desert is one of the hottest and driest areas of the world today, although it is expected to become green again in about 15,000 years.”

    Well blow me down, I’ll bet the locals never knew that.

  44. This suggests that Mann’s study is pure bunk, and is more related to political leanings and media outlets for those areas pushing the AGW meme, than it has to do with weather.

    I re-read this post, scrutinizing the two maps, and I am not seeing political leaning as a clearly dominate factor to call the study “pure bunk”. In fact, I would suspect that local weather perceptions are the strongest factor, since many people think politics is “pure bunk”.

    I suspect that a combination of local perceptions and media/political alignment sets a person’s attitude towards climate change. The media can certainly amplify the local perceptions, and, in this sense, I think the study might ignore this sort of media amplification (as opposed to the sort of “amplification” we are accustomed to seeing in climate discussions).

    The media, in other words, probably dictate HOW people judge their perceptions of local weather. And political alignment probably dictates how the media relate local weather. Judgements about the weather do not exist in a vacuum, and so now I guess I am saying that the study is somewhat bunk.

  45. Looks like another case of Fallacy of Accident arising from assuming a causation from an apparent correlation. In this case there is a common cause to the liberal leanings and the belief in climate change – a deficiency of critical thinking.
    I don’t see how Gilmore’s map can be used to quantitatively correlate anything.

  46. Forget snow in the Sahara—National news (ABC) actually found out Casper, Wyoming exists! (And not even in conjunction with the solar eclipse in 2017) There was a 5 second video about the 60 mph winds wreaking havoc on driving. There were 80 mph gusts and semi tractor-trailers blown over.

    This not really “extreme” in Wyoming, but to national news, I’m sure it looked that way!

  47. I count 24 US states with a more recent absolute cold record than hot one. As there are only 50 states this suggests that any warming trend is a small one. Interestingly the colder states are much more likely to be in this group. It’s awful difficult to tamper with these records using standard homogonisation procedures, local patriots are apt to blow yer darn head off if you attempt remove Landslide, Wyoming’s all time low. So Hansen and Co leave them in their pristine state. And if the state cold extreme was recorded within recent memory but the hot one in 1936 it’s hardly surprising if the locals are skeptical.

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