Weather and Climate in the Real World

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

My overall career interest is the impact of weather and climate on human history and the human condition. Much of this involved the impact on primary industries like agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. For 17 years I produced monthly columns titled Weather Talk in the largest circulation farm magazine in Canada, Country Guide. Despite the popularity with the farmers and agribusiness, I was fired because I wrote about what was wrong with the science of the global warming issue. Shortly after ending with Country Guide I began a similar column in a magazine called The Landowner and have produced monthly columns for several years now. Beyond the sin of disagreeing with the official government position on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), I spoke out about the failure of Environment Canada to improve forecasting for farmers or even consider their specific needs. While they were doing that, the Auditor General of Canada identified they spent $6.8 billion in a seven-year period (1998-2005) on climate change that produced nothing. It produced worse than nothing because a portion of the money was spent on the Canadian climate model that contributed to the IPCC amalgam of models; as Ken Gregory showed, its projection was the worst of all of them (Figure 1).


Figure 1

Farmers know that part of their success involves finding a balance between government regulations and reality. They also knew they needed better more practical information, and many went about doing it. They know as well as any group in society the limitations of government weather forecasting. Naturally, they extended their cynicism of the weather forecasts to climate forecasts.

I received a measure of the farmer’s interest in the weather and climate early in my career of speaking at farm meetings across Canada and in the northern US. My wife determined that I drove every paved highway on the Canadian Prairies over a 30-year span. I suspect farmers maintain more long-term weather diaries than any group and purchase more micro weather station, like the ones Anthony Watts sells at ItWorks than any others. At a farm meeting near Magrath (south of Lethbridge) in southern Alberta in the early 1980s, I finished my presentation that included a little on historical climates and asked for questions. A farmer stood up, and I could tell by the audience reaction that he was well known in the area. He asked if I could comment on the connection between the Little Ice Age and the Maunder Minimum. After the meeting, he explained that he was a mixed dryland and irrigation farmer and his interest developed from studying all the work done on precipitation patterns, and hydrologic models for efficient irrigation. This led him into the wider field of climate change.

My interests produced some unique areas of research. Severe thunderstorms and hail are a major problem for farmers across Canada but especially on the Prairies. It is why a hail suppression research center was located at Penhold, in southern Alberta. The problems created for agriculture are the damage from hail but also the capricious tracks of rain-bearing clouds. The annual pattern of summer precipitation involves two types. First, the steady 2 and 3-day rain systems from large low-pressure systems of the spring and fall as the Polar Front moves across the region; and second, the showers of the summer months. These result in streaky tracks of rain with one farm getting adequate precipitation while a neighbor gets none. It is a vagary of such precipitation patterns that when you get adequate rain, you also get a greater risk of hail.

An almost predictable forecast in the summer on the Prairies is, clear in the morning, clouding over in the afternoon with a chance of showers and thundershowers in the evening. The sequence is triggered by early morning differential heating of the ground, mostly determined by differing albedo. I realized how much when I bought a car with an external temperature device. I also realized that even small communities, upward of 5000 showed a small heat island effect, especially on cold winter mornings.

Adiabats form and rise and at the lifting level of condensation (LLC) the water vapor evaporated from the surface is converted to visible water droplets (clouds). This is an interesting phenomenon that is one of the few places in nature where an energy and phase change is visible (Figure 2).


Figure 2

Notice that the base of the clouds is all at the same altitude, which is the LLC. The dark bottom to the cloud indicates the density of the water droplets and their ability to block sunlight.

Each cloud can develop vertically, which depends on the amount of moisture and potential energy within the adiabat (bubble). Energy is transferred both directly from contact (conduction) with the surface as it is forming, and latent heat used for evaporation that is released into the adiabat with condensation. Some develop into a different cloud classification known as Cumulus + (or CU+). Figure 3 is a good example. The LLC is visible but also an indication of showers under the cloud. Often, on a really hot day, you can see the rain evaporating before it reaches the ground, a process called virga.


Figure 3

Eventually, some of these clouds develop into massive and powerful thunderstorms (Cumulonimbus) with heavy rain, hail, and under certain circumstances, tornadoes (Figure 4).


Figure 4

This is the classic ‘anvil head’ cloud and another place where a line of energy balance is visible. The cloud flattens out in a distinctive line when its vertical development meets the top of the Troposphere, the Tropopause. Notice there is a bulge of cloud beyond that line because the vertical winds were so strong they punched through into the Stratosphere.

In the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, various projects were undertaken with very different objectives, but using the same understanding of the mechanisms. One was cloud seeding to increase the potential for precipitation in drought-stricken areas; the other was cloud seeding to induce rain to remove the energy source from the cloud and prevent development to the stage at which hail forms. These were called hail suppression experiments. Three major areas of experimenting included Canada, the US, and the Soviet Union. There is little interest in either any more for several reasons.

You did not know how successful the operation was because you didn’t know how much it would have rained without the intervention. As I recall, the best-claimed results were a 17% increase. You could not control where the increased precipitation would occur, so there were legal liabilities. The costs made the results a poor investment. One company I spoke with were cloud seeding on behalf of insurance companies after hail did extensive damage to cars in Calgary. They were not amused when I pointed out it would be cheaper to buy every car owner a heavy blanket to lay over the car. They were even less amused when a drought occurred to the east of Calgary and farmers in that area blamed the seeding for stealing their precipitation.

Across western Canada, most crop insurance against hail and other damage was provided by government agencies. I decided that the claims for hail insurance should reflect the geographic pattern of the thunderstorms and I could use them as proxy data for determining the atmospheric mechanisms in play. Working with a graduate student, we obtained the hail insurance claims for Manitoba over many years.

Initially, they were loath to give us the information. We received it with the condition that we could only use it to plot climate data. Data was by township and used to give each a rate from 1 to 7 depending on the number of claims. Not surprisingly, it provided a very distinctive plot that showed the extension of what is known as Tornado Alley (Figure 5). This explained the pattern in the context of the more extensive circulation, but we also identified a region along what is called the Manitoba Escarpment. This is a 2000-foot geologic ridge that formed the western shore of what some believe was the largest freshwater lake in the history of the world, Lake Agassiz (Figure 5). Note that Lake Winnipeg is just a remnant, and yet is the 13th largest lake in the world by area today.

The Escarpment triggers increased thunderstorm activity, and, in the region, it was most pronounced the aboriginal people had as sacred hill they called ‘thunder’ hill.


Figure 5

The record covered more than 30-years but was insufficient to detect any trend. We ran into one problem with the record, and it illustrates the potential dangers of proxy records kept by humans. The rating, and therefore the cost of insurance for each township for the following year, was determined by the number of claims for preceding years. This meant it was based on climate, not the weather from year to year.

At this point, we discovered why the limits were put on our use of the data. I assume it is safe to talk about this now because the statute of limitations is long over, and the people will have retired. It is also important to note that I don’t think what happened was a function of it involving government. We discovered what they were doing was that if the claims decreased enough that the formula dictated a decrease in rates for the following year they altered the numbers. They dropped the most recent year with the low number and substituted the highest claims year in the record. As I recall, it was 1949. This guaranteed the price would not decline.


Figure 6 (modified by the author)

Fortunately, we caught the error, and they admitted to what they were doing. However, in this case, we determined the few adjustments were within the margin of error of our data and did not negate our results.

Whenever I spoke with a farm group, I always prefaced my remarks by saying they knew more about the weather and climate on their farm than anyone else. All I could do was provide a picture and explanation of what was going on in the region, the continent, the Hemisphere and the Globe. They could then determine if the changes they saw were part of the larger picture or because of a local change. The climate research term for this is relative homogeneity. It is why you can never determine climate change from studying one station because you cannot identify and separate out what is only local change.

From an operational point of view, the Weather Service in any country doesn’t provide the information farmers need for better planning decisions. For example, they need ‘real time’ data, which is not available in most regions. They need better than one-week, six month and annual forecasts yet none of those are available. Instead, they waste time and trillions on conditions 50 and 100 years from now. They need better precipitation forecasts, but all the attention is on temperature. That was one objective of our study beyond anticipating the demand for hail forecasts.

Over the years I helped many farmers set up weather stations on their farms and always urged them to have a sensor at the same level as the ‘official’ Stevenson Screen (Figure 7) for accurate comparison with their local station.


Figure 7

I also urged them to put sensors right at the surface because conditions are so different there, and it is what happens in that 1 to 1.25 meters that are critical because it is where most of their crops grow (Geiger’s Climate Near the Ground was a superb source). One example where it is critical is the weather service does not consider moisture from condensation as precipitation. In many years, it produces enough moisture to make a difference in the success of the crop. Of course, farmers also know that later it can delay harvesting.

All the trillions of dollars spent on AGW have not improved forecasting one bit. Instead, it diverted money that could have helped those large, primary sectors of society and economy that need better and more appropriate information. It is time to close all government weather offices or at least reduce their function to data collection determined by the end users.

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Tom Halla
August 18, 2018 11:43 am

The problem is that improving forecasting was not the goal of AGW research, but reinforcing an agenda.

August 18, 2018 11:49 am

“It produced worse than nothing because a portion of the money was spent on the Canadian climate model that contributed to the IPCC amalgam of models; as Ken Gregory showed, its projection was the worst of all of them (Figure 1).”

…their hurricane models are the worst too

August 18, 2018 12:14 pm


Check for typo related to “…. Lake Agassiz (Figure 5). Note that Lake Winnipeg ….”

Figure 6 intended?

Nick Schroeder, BSME, PE
August 18, 2018 12:22 pm
Robert Stewart
August 18, 2018 12:28 pm

Thank you for sharing your recollections and for the nice photos illustrating the physical processes underlying the clouds we all see and often enjoy if only for their beauty and majesty. A couple of small editorial notes: your figures are a bit off beginning with Figure 5, which is the U. S. tornado alley, not Manitoba’s, and the next figure, Lake Agassiz, is identified as Figure 5 in the text although its caption reads Figure 6..

We’d all be better off if we relied solely on private forecasting services. They must stand or fall on their utility to the customer. Instead, we are held captive by demagogues who promise utopia, and utilize every crisis to illustrate how much we need them. It’s not an accident that they decline to engage in short term forecast research, instead they focus on phenomena that are of such a duration as to be beyond their mortal concerns. My progressive neighbors are now in the habit of posting multicolored yard signs proclaiming their virtues. One of their claims is that “[they} believe in Science”. If only a few of them understood the fundamental tenets of modern science, they wouldn’t have to relegate their political allegiance to an emotional belief. Instead, they could think for themselves.

Patrick Hrushowy
August 18, 2018 12:41 pm

I routinely check Weather Street in the US to get reliable forecasts for Vancouver Island because Environment Canada is rarely accurate more than two days out.

August 18, 2018 12:49 pm

In four days, the minimum temperature on the Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes will drop very much.
comment image

Reply to  ren
August 18, 2018 6:00 pm

Yes ren autumn will be coming in early this year for north and east Canada.

Reply to  taxed
August 18, 2018 10:29 pm

Read about stratospheric intrusions. These forecasts will be useful during this autumn.

Reply to  ren
August 20, 2018 6:13 am

Ren, how about expanding this into a stand alone article?

J Mac
August 18, 2018 12:53 pm

Thanks Dr. Ball!
I always enjoy your contributions here, as they bring a much needed ‘from the field’ perspective.

Growing up on a farm in central Wisconsin, I learned first hand that the best farming practices could somewhat reduce but never eliminate the vagaries of local weather. Hail, tornadoes, high winds, heavy rains, and drought could all damage or destroy a farmers hopeful investments in his crop fields. Two consecutive years of local rains bypassing a ‘small’ 150 acre farm forced many small farmers out of business, back in the 1960s and 70s. The remaining farmers in that area now typically own 1500 acres and lease more. Their fields are seldom all contiguous, rather they are deliberately bought or leased from a wider area to reduce the single point ‘weather risks’.

Reason should dictate that tax dollars be spent on government aided research that supports agricultural decision making by the individual farmer….. but ours is not a logical or reasoned world at the moment. You rightfully point out the senseless, profligate waste of spending + $1 Trillion dollars on the chimera known as ‘Climate Change’. Our highest priority must be to end this stupidity, that rewards the climate grifters with tax dollars stolen from the tax payers and further cheats us all by opportunities lost to provide real and much needed services that would make our agricultural industry more robust.

August 18, 2018 1:01 pm

I have a particular hate on for bureaucrats right now.

Bureaucrats will do whatever they can get away with. It’s necessary to make sure their legislated mandate is really clear. It’s necessary to rain crap down on them from a dizzying height when they exceed that mandate.

It wouldn’t be so bad but they arrogantly look down on their employers (us). Civil servant is an oxymoron. /rant

Reply to  commieBob
August 18, 2018 4:56 pm


/good rant

Reply to  HotScot
August 18, 2018 5:24 pm

Thanks HotScot, that was most kind of you.

son of mulder
August 18, 2018 1:11 pm

Put a chaotic jetstream in the middle of all this and you get all the answers.

August 18, 2018 1:13 pm

Hope you are aware of the big dust bowl drought coming up soon now. Every 87 years. Last one 1932- 1939. What a disaster.

Reply to  HenryP
August 19, 2018 12:19 pm

While I agree there seems to be a reoccurring 83-86 year climate signal/cycle, the dust bowel was exacerbated by medieval farming practices such as deep plowing and tillage every spring. Combined with the failed economic policies of the depression that lowered the price of wheat which led to more plowing of virgin prairie to grow even more worthless wheat and grains. Which led to a vicious cycle of land/wind erosion. However, I believe the drought itself was ultimately a product of natural variation which was just made worse by lousy farming practises of the day on a very large scale. With new modern no til farming, a dust bowel would hopefully be alleviated and minimized, although if there is no rain for long periods, even sod begins to disintegrate and blow away. Let’s hope with modern science and farming practises, we can turn the worst of that natural cycle around.

Bob Davis
August 18, 2018 1:21 pm

I am pastor in rural Alaska and follow this forum each day.
I am also a retired environmental scientist, having worked initially back when it was an almost entirely honest endeavor. Back in the 1970s and 80s the EPA addressed (and solved)real problems. The reduction in lead emission mandated by EPA is an excellent illustration of relatively small costs to society resulting in significant health and survival especially among children. As the scope of the environmental problems were reduced the agencies and state and local bureaucracies cast about for less significant problems to avoid budget cuts. I think this is one facet of the catastrophic anthropologic global warming (CAGW) boondoggle, but not the only one.

This particular article raises one point that is often overlooked by both sides in the CO2 and “climate change” debates–the extraordinary expense of this CAGW movement has diverted funds from more cost effective endeavors (in the case of this article, practical weather forecasting). On a larger basis, this holds true for traditional and still significant environmental issues, such as water pollution from non-point sources and developmental pressure on farmlands–both affecting farmers.

If there is a finite amount of resources (funding, scientific labors, enforcement priorities) for environmental issues, then diversion for a largely political and business interests harms the environment. Once the realization sets in that much of the CAGW is a hoax, then the environmental movement gets a black eye that further effects efforts to deal with real environmental problems.

For the true believers in CAGW, not the hustlers that lead and mislead them, this realization that resources should be dedicated to dealing with real pollutants, may be a good thing.

Bob Davis, pastor
Cantwell (Alaska) Bible cHURCH

Reply to  Bob Davis
August 18, 2018 2:53 pm

Bob, if it would let me…..I’ve give you a +100

Reply to  Latitude
August 18, 2018 4:57 pm



Angry Scot
Reply to  Bob Davis
August 19, 2018 1:15 am

I have been trying to get the exact same message across (if not so eloquently) since the beginning of this criminal enterprise known as CAGW. I was a lone voice to begin with but now, I am hitting a near-100% strike rate. The worm is turning.

August 18, 2018 1:22 pm

One example where it is critical is the weather service does not consider moisture from condensation as precipitation.

I always thought that dew was considered a form of precipitation.


Tim Ball
Reply to  Jim Masterson
August 18, 2018 1:49 pm

It is a precipitate but not counted as precipitation. You will never find it added into the total precipitation for the day. However, it can yield even inches of moisture that at ground level filters down to the plants. it is more evenly distribute than precipitation and occurs at night when evaporation is low. In one year back the 1980s, I estimated many communities across western Canada got as much as 2 inches of moisture that the provided an above average crop compared to a crop failure forecasts by those who only considered precipitation.

richard verney
Reply to  Tim Ball
August 19, 2018 1:37 am


In the Canary Islands, this is how most crops are grown.

Eg, per Wikipedia

The vineyards of La Gería, Lanzarote DO wine region, are a protected area. Single vines are planted in pits 4–5 metres (13–16 feet) wide and 2–3 metres (6 feet 7 inches–9 feet 10 inches) deep, with small stone walls around each pit. This agricultural technique is designed to harvest rainfall and overnight dew and to protect the plants from the winds. (my emphasis)

Reply to  Tim Ball
August 19, 2018 3:04 am

Dr. Ball,

I’m honored that you would take time out of your busy schedule to answer my comment.

As an amateur meteorologist, I have to ask how you would measure dew? The typical instrument used to measure precipitation is the rain gauge. One version has a circular opening 10 inches in diameter and a funnel to a collecting vial that is 1 inch in diameter. The effect is to increase the precision of your measurement by a factor of 10. The final result has to be divided by 10 to get a correct reading.

Rain is relatively straightforward (as long as it doesn’t overflow your instrument). The problems are measuring snow, hail, sleet, and frost (you have to melt them to obtain a liquid equivalent). I’ve also not seen dew (or frost) leave anything that can be measured. Here in the Northwest, some of our rain is in the form of very fine drizzle. Such drizzle rarely leaves much to measure. The usual result is that we’ve had a “trace” of precipitation (with no actual numerical value stated).

I don’t doubt your 2 inch dew figure (over a year), but how would you measure that?


Reply to  Jim Masterson
August 19, 2018 7:59 am

You could measure it, if you had an instrument on the ground in a leaf-like pattern attached to a balance-like pointer. I’d estimate that dew/frost runs about 0.01 inch per day, where I live; and that’s dependent on the local dew/frost point temperature. There is a diurnal variation to those, too; and wind vector matters. That’s on top of the about 55 inches of rain annual average, with a std dev of about 6 inches (mostly), and on a yearly basis, the dew/frost exceeds the annual hail or snow we get; outside of major hail or snow storms. Heck, my feet can detect a temperature and moisture difference between grass covered and bare ground and that’s not including gravel or other paved surfaces. I’ve also noticed that dew/frost will form on metal surfaces before it does on grass. Grass, though, you’d have to have a way to estimate transpiration, too.

Reply to  Jim Masterson
August 19, 2018 8:11 am

Derived from a hygrometer?
Simply speaking as an engineer: Perhaps a device which drew in ground level air through condensation chamber whose surfaces were similar and equal in temperature to the surrounding fauna would allow such measurement.
A simple dehumidifier set to the appropriate condensation surface temperature might suffice.

Reply to  rocketscientist
August 24, 2018 1:33 pm

I’m thinking a ground probe that measures soil moisture, maybe with an electrical current? I think it can be done, does such an instrument exist already, or did I just invent it? You would have to calibrate it, probably onsite, due to differences in dry soil conductivity. Maybe even collect a soil sample, dry it in a kiln, then measure its conductivity? Or insert it into a chamber in the instrument as the baseline reading? And I’m probably shouting into the dark forest, this thread is 5 days old already.

August 18, 2018 1:27 pm

“Notice that the base of the clouds is all at the same altitude, which is the LLC. The dark bottom to the cloud indicates the density of the water droplets and their ability to block sunlight.”
The dark bottom of the clouds in fig 2 may be a clear insight into a boundary condition whereas the condensing water vapor and the condensed water vapor is in a state of supersaturation and superheat driven by LWIR from the ground as well as the latent heat released at condensation. A sandwich condition so to speak with the lapse rate (pressure component) working one way with the latent heat released now sensible heat and upwelling LWIR working the other . I’ve been watching that lately and it happens frequently on hot sunny days when the clouds start to develop. I saw it (again) a couple of days ago (hot, sunny and humid) and the developing clouds, similar to fig 2, between those already established were really shallow and dark with no shading. There is a lot of LWIR coming up from the ground after a hot sunny morning and afternoon and the clouds can catch it from a large ground surface area. A given point on the ground emits more than just straight up. Just a thought, assume those cloud bottoms (LLC) are 5,000 ft. Now consider the emission area on the ground encompassing a radius of 5,000 ft. Consider the energy in watts per sq/m emitting at say 100 F and the cloud emitting at say 60 F. How much energy focused at the bottom is the cloud retaining ? Sure it gets some from the side but focus on the boiler plate, the dark zone.

I haven’t been able to find info I need to further determine the true component and characteristics and emission values as would relate to what I have been trying to fully explain/grasp. All I can find are averages, averages, and more averages over the globe over the year. I want to know instantaneous values as of here and now on a sunny day. I’m not going to dig out the engineering books and research for hours just to make a comment on a blog post so I hope someone will set me straight on the LWIR emissions from a given point at a given time as related to this comment.

The next time I hear average I’m gonna tell them to drive their car at night without headlights because on average the sun is brighter in the daytime than they need so they don’t need their headlights at night. Or maybe leave them shivering in the dark because it was 80 F earlier today and now it’s 40 F so 60 F is a pleasant median and they can’t be cold.

Angry Scot
Reply to  eyesonu
August 19, 2018 1:22 am

Isn’t it Mie scattering of the inbound light that gives the whiteness and since the bottom of the cloud only receives reflected light it appears grey?

Angry Scot
Reply to  eyesonu
August 19, 2018 1:31 am

As a further to my previous comment, when you fly into one of the clouds (43 years in Military and Commercial aviation) the puffy whiteness disappears immediately as the light is scattered at the boundary. I am a lapsed engineer and not a physicist. So if my assumption that the whiteness of the cloud is Mie scattering and the inbound white light is reflected and scattered in a very short path after the air/cloud boundary producing the dark interior and bottom is wrong, I am ready and willing to learn!

Reply to  Angry Scot
August 19, 2018 8:28 am

Very impressive that you can make such observations of the boundary conditions at the bottom of a cloud unless to were flying a balloon. Did you carry heavy armament in your vertical ascents? I’m sure you felt and measured any temperature variations while doing so. Sorry, but I have to stand on the ground and observe and reason and consider the possible parameters affecting my observations. Not quite the vast experience that you may have ascending in a balloon.

Angry Scot
Reply to  eyesonu
August 19, 2018 11:26 am

Aviation doesn’t equal balloons! Fighters, Boeing 747/777 and Airbus to name but a few – all too fast to make measurements unfortunately apart from a very reliable set of Mark 1 eyeballs…and the dark interiors of clouds.

Any advance on Mie scattering?

Reply to  Angry Scot
August 19, 2018 1:11 pm

So you admit that you don’t have anything to offer with regards to my original comment and discussion. Got it. Saves from wasting any more bandwidth.

Angry Scot
Reply to  eyesonu
August 21, 2018 1:21 am

You have described the mechanism for the boundary between non-saturated air and the saturated part – the cloud. AKA the cloudbase. As laid out in even the most basic MET textbooks. A good scientist will use ALL input!

Reply to  eyesonu
August 24, 2018 1:39 pm

LWIR affects clouds? Not hardly. The air motion (convection) way overwhelms any affects you may get from LWIR. And that pretty much sums up my entire opinion on this Global Warming due to some Greenhouse Effect. The atmosphere helps insulate this old planet, so we neither gain heat nor lose heat too rapidly, but it would take a MASSIVE change in the constituent composition before you achieve an effect greater than the convective and phase-change effects of said atmosphere.

Peta of Newark
August 18, 2018 2:03 pm

The ‘dark bottoms’ are an optical illusion.
There’s a ‘trick’ you do with a piece of card with a small hole cut it it. Look at different parts of the cloud through the hole and bingo, the cloud is actually all white. Always.

May Day Parade. Moscow. Times of Yore.
Was it right that the CCCP, not wanting their parade to be rained upon (a very real possibility at that time of year at that place) would take measures to ensure a nice sunny day?
They loaded big old military cargo planes with sacks of cement and then set off, upwind of Red Square, to seek out ominous looking clouds.
Should they find one, they’d fly above it and intrepid Party Members to the rear of the plane would open the doors and use shovels to heave cement out the back – and onto the cloud.
Seemingly it worked really well – do you ever recall seeing it rain on a May Day Parade?

Personally myself, assuming I had any aerial intentions which I don’t, would use steelworks (blast furnace) slag – a very fine yet dense powder and epic soil improver to boot.
And cheaper. Steelworks would pay you to take it away in times gone by.
Vastly cheaper than Silver Iodide

Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 18, 2018 4:02 pm


The ‘dark bottoms’ are an optical illusion.
There’s a ‘trick’ you do with a piece of card with a small hole cut it it. Look at different parts of the cloud through the hole and bingo, the cloud is actually all white. Always.
Your comment is a real “trick”. I just tried it and it is a Bullshit Trick. Believe it if you want. Sounds like something of “climategate” fame. It went down in flames. Observations just exposed you.

Reply to  eyesonu
August 18, 2018 5:02 pm


Your observations disagree with Peta’s?

So write a paper and inform us all.

Rant’s aren’t credible.

Reply to  HotScot
August 18, 2018 6:16 pm

Maybe you should try his little trick. Then let us know the results.

Reply to  eyesonu
August 18, 2018 10:34 pm

Hers, I’m guessing.

Wiliam Haas
August 18, 2018 2:32 pm

The science is settled. Based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. There are many good reasons to be conserving on the use of fossil fuels but climate change is not one of them. We cannot stop the climate from changing and we cannot stop extreme weather events from happening. At best we can better prepare ourselves to endure what will most likely happen.

August 18, 2018 3:30 pm

“Despite the popularity with the farmers and agribusiness, I was fired because I wrote about what was wrong with the science of the global warming issue.”

Amongst other reasons, this is one of the reasons why I am a climate realist and not subservient to the group think of climate alarmism, the kind where ‘carbon’ is the sole culprit today in the scientific community for every instance of present day inclement weather. Which is an oxymoron in itself, since climate is a long term culmination of weather.

You have been treated unfairly by academia Dr. Ball. Lawsuits against you like the type of that scoundrel Andrew Weaver, recently turned politician (which lawsuit were recently completely dismissed) were without merit. As was Michael Mann’s lawsuit against you when you said he should be in the state pen, and not Penn State. These poor losers can’t even take a joke.

In a hundred years, when the history of CAGW is being written with the benefit of the 21st weather data in the bin, and scientific knowledge and computer power increased by orders of magnitude, your name will be remembered as a wise moderate of the fierce debates of the late 20th and early 21st century of the myriad causes of climate change. Be sure to exercise, eat your veggies and keep on contributing your excellent thoughts on these subjects, since the world is much better off if you can continue to voice your thoughts and concerns for the next 20+ years. Your work is appreciated by many farmers. All the best and keep on cruisin’ those prairie roads.

Michael in Dublin
August 18, 2018 3:36 pm

The failure of climate alarmists, to acknowledge how far their models diverge from the real world situation, needs to be exposed. While theories and models are not in themselves a problem, blind uncritical confidence in them is. We need to heed the words of the extraordinary teacher and Mathematician, George Polya, who wrote, “In theoretical matters, the best of ideas is hurt by uncritical acceptance and thrives on critical examination.” (How to Solve It). He wrote this discussing Mathematical Method but it is equally applicable to our methodology in all the sciences and especially in climate science.

Our best plans to deal with climatic changes is not to follow the self delusion that we can significantly change climate. Rather, we need to recognize how in the past our forefathers have successfully adapted to these. By improving our forecasting and appropriate contingency plans for droughts and floods we can continue to successfully adapt.

August 18, 2018 4:27 pm

comment image

I would like to invite people to read my latest 2 posts. They are:

1) Warming in the USA since 1900 (using NOAA’s new ClimDiv temperature series).
With a focus on the periods:
a) 1900 to 1950
b) 1930 to 1980
c) 1970 to 2018

2) Warming using Tavg, Tmin, and Tmax (also using NOAA’s new ClimDiv temperature series).
Will humans die from high afternoon temperatures (death by Tmax), before they get to enjoy mild nights (pampering by Tmin) ?
This post also looks at warming in the USA, but from a different perspective. Are Tmin and Tmax warming at the same rate as Tavg?

Warning – you will find many things on the global warming contour maps, and line graphs, that support your views on global warming. But you will probably also find some things that challenge your views.

If anybody wants help understanding how global warming contour maps work, then read the article on Robot-Train contour maps.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Sheldon Walker
August 18, 2018 8:17 pm

Graph 2 is clearly fake and if graph 1 is based on graph 2 data then that is fake also. Just because NOAA invents their own new data set doesnt mean their new data set is not bogus as well. Tony Heller, Paul Homewood and many others have all shown just how fake the NOAA temperature data has become. View some of Tony’s videos to understand how.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 18, 2018 9:38 pm


if graph 2 is fake, why did NOAA put a slowdown into it?

Surely a fake graph wouldn’t include a slowdown.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Sheldon Walker
August 19, 2018 7:31 am

Over the years NOAA has become more sophisticated in their tampering.

August 18, 2018 5:04 pm

I think I learned that plant ecology was once well connected with agriculture and one of their important concepts was microclimate. As noted having an easy to read thermometer driving across waters, forests and other different habitats is very instructive. Along that line there is an article on the front page of the August 15 Wall Street Journal about the shortage of botanists which is only part of the problem long known about loss of collections, field work, and now libraries. The article states “Botanists use ‘plant-blindness’ to describe the growing inability by Americans–and even well-degreed biologists– to tell the difference among even basic plants.” It’s larger than that.

A few years ago I asked a shrimp biologist about a species reported, among others, in the ‘wrong’ place. He quickly said “misidentification,” a fear with loss of history widely predicted when our department and others were overrun and displaced by molecular and other types. The article discusses this and how very few make their living anymore working on the land. The same can be said of biologists and I will offer the question is that also true of climate types?

The article states that there is “roughly one botanist on the federal payroll for every twenty million acres of land.” Not that we need more federal employees, but how many climate scientists are there per acre? Basic botany was an essential introductory course to study life, fortunately my formal education was before this changed. The article notes that botanists aren’t good advocates, unfortunate but thank goodness for their understanding real science which the ones I have known do.

August 18, 2018 5:30 pm

I recall when the Country Guide fired Dr. Ball. I was mad as hell and complained to the editor who replied with some wishy washy inanity that I immediately forgot. He was some young university graduate who was pretty sure he knew everything. I cancelled my subscription, and still feel good about that all these years later.

I had the pleasure and learning experience of about a half hour conversation with Dr. Ball at an agricultural seminar in Lloydminster many years ago. It’s great to see he’s still telling it like it is.

Tim Ball
Reply to  Len Pryor
August 20, 2018 9:17 am

Thank you for your kind words and support.

August 18, 2018 5:51 pm

Figure 2
This is a classic late morning sky that you know will lead to shower during the afternoon and early evening.
Because when you get these “dark bases” forming in the morning its a sign that the clouds will grow into showers clouds and rain by evening. Also note how sharp the clouds stand out against the sky. Which is a other sign that the atmosphere is unstable and will lead to the risk of heavy showers later in the day.

Steven Fraser
August 18, 2018 7:28 pm

Re: Hail. My grandfather farmed outside Govan, SK from 1906 until 1956. My mother told once of seeing the look on his face after seeing powerful hail flatten the wheat, ruining the field.

To survive required strength of resolve, I am sure.

Reply to  Steven Fraser
August 20, 2018 5:49 am

Here’s a Mr. Kindred from south of Wolsely Saskatchewan talking about the early days of farming the prairie:
“In 1885 we had 10 bu/ac of badly frosted wheat. In 1886 we had 80 acres under crop. Not a drop of rain fell from the time it went in until it was harvested. I sowed 124 bu and harvested 54. In 1888 we began to think we could not grow wheat in this country. We put in 25 acres of wheat, 10 to 15 acres of oats and let the rest go back into prairie. That year we got 35 bu/acre. The next year (1889) wheat headed out 2 inches high. Not a drop of rain fell that whole season until fall…….to show the optimism in 1890 we put in every acre we could. We had wheat standing to the chin but on the 8th of July a hailstorm destroyed absolutely everything. My hair turned grey that night.”

Alan Tomalty
August 18, 2018 7:36 pm

“It is time to close all government weather offices or at least reduce their function to data collection determined by the end users.”

Tim I think you are being a bit harsh on the meteorologists. Their predictions on the weather have gotten better over the years and all of us use the weather forecasts to some extent to plan our days. I use the temperature predictions at nighttime to decide what sheet or blanket coverings to use to sleep.

If you had said it is time to shut down all the climate offices, I think you would get near unanimous agreement in here.

Tim Ball
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 19, 2018 10:47 am

The climate offices are part of the weather forecasting office. Before climate became an issue it was a job that involved preparation of monthly climate reports to the WMO that nobody wanted. In most offices, it became a backwater for those who didn’t want to forecast anymore but a job people had no qualifications to do; much like counselling in schools made up of people that want out of the classroom.

To get into a weather office you needed a meteorology degree or at least a major in physics. Few had any training in climatology. It was not an issue. Then when it became one, because of politics and funding, suddenly all these experts pop up. Almost all of them became ‘climate scientists’ with little or no understanding of climatology.

I don’t agree that their forecasting has improved. All the data that I have seen that claims this is of their own creation. My point is we need data and we don’t need politics. We need data collection agencies operated by government to standardize, but then the data should be available to private companies or individuals free, because the taxpayer already paid for it and they can provide for forecasts and do research.

August 18, 2018 7:57 pm

……”and second, the showers of the summer months. These result in streaky tracks of rain with one farm getting adequate precipitation while a neighbor gets none.”
Rain showers at our rural area in central Saskatchewan were pretty much like that over the entire course of the past growing season with no general rains. In fact when I asked a local farmer how much rain had fallen at his place, he said the rain this year at his farm was like sex. His neighbor was getting it all and he was getting none.

August 18, 2018 8:30 pm

Nice essay!

The current effort to blame climate change for wildfires has likewise diverted funding and policies away from the real issues of reducing fuel loads and human ignitions. And worse climate change is being used as an excuse to cover up bad decisions. Similarly my whole motive for writing my book was due to my disdain for how bogus climate change clams were misdirecting funds and analyses away from actions that could truly make a more resilient environment.

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 24, 2018 1:52 pm

“…bogus climate change clams…”

Whether bogus or authentic, I think clams taste great in a chowder! /sarc

August 18, 2018 10:54 pm

Still no conditions for the formation of hurricanes in the Atlantic.
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Reply to  ren
August 18, 2018 11:49 pm

Typhoon is already close to Japan.
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August 18, 2018 11:04 pm

There has been a jump in the speed of the solar wind, which will increase the speed of the jet stream over the oceans.
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Alan Tomalty
August 19, 2018 12:43 am

The plants in the Northern hemisphere are really sucking up CO2 this year. 4 months ago The Bloomberg CO2 clock was 410ppm and now it reads less than 408. (407.9) to be exact and yet mankind keeps putting 1000 tons of CO2 in the air every second according to the Guardian clock. Maybe the China and India new coal plants can increase that a bit to feed the plants of the world. At this rate we will never get to doubling of CO2 . I know I know, come fall and winter time ,the net CO2 will increase up over 410 on its way to 412 probably by next spring, but it just seems so damn slow. And I’m not being sarcastic. The plants want it at 1200ppm.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 19, 2018 1:07 am

Carbon Dioxide Surface Concentration
the fraction of carbon dioxide present in air at the earth’s surface,41.390
During heavy precipitation, the amount of CO2 in the air drops (see China).

August 19, 2018 5:45 am

I find this site interesting if you are looking for non adjusted rainfall records. These are for Canada but I’m assuming these records are offered online for other countries as well. Take for example Regina Sask. The record for lowest rainfall total during the growing season (April, May, June, July, August) occurred in 1886. The dry year of 1988 wasn’t even close.

August 19, 2018 7:25 am

Currently, there are stratospheric intrusions in Australia. Visible excess of ozone.
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August 19, 2018 9:00 am

Two tropical storms merge into a big typhoon. Japan is in danger of flooding.
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August 20, 2018 6:43 am

Thank you, Dr. Ball.

August 20, 2018 12:17 pm

very nice summary, thank you

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