Another Climate Propaganda Story Promoting the Normal as Abnormal

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

Almost every day there are stories in the media about weather or climate events that create the impression that they are new and outside of the normal pattern. None of them are. The objective is to sensationalize the story, even if it means using a meaningless period. A simple trick is to pick a period in which your claim is valid. This practice of cherry-picking the period of study is not exclusive to the media. It was a clear sign of corruption of climatology brought to a head with Roseanne D’Arrigo’s infamous comment to the 2006 National Academy of Science (NAS) panel that “if you are going to make a cherry pie, you have to pick cherries.”

That doesn’t condone the media use of the technique. All it does is illustrate why it was a convenient technique for creating a deception about what is normal. For example, a 2017 BBC headline said “Hottest June day since summer of 1976 in heatwave.” That is 41 years, which is statistically significant but not climatologically significant. A Youtube story reports “Sydney has wettest November day since 1984.” CBS Pittsburgh reported “NWS: 2018 is the 2nd Wettest Year on Record in Pittsburgh.” The record began in 1871 or 147 years ago, but even that is not climatologically significant. The ones I like are this one from North Carolina, that says, “A Look Back at the Coldest day Ever in North Carolina.” “Ever” is approximately 4.5 billion years.

Other stories focus on a pattern or change in a pattern again with the idea that it is new or abnormal. Headlines like this one from 2012, “Why have there been more tornadoes than usual this year?” Often, they are suggestive such as this 2017 New York Times story. “The 2017 Hurricane Season Really Is More Intense Than Normal.” When you read the story, you find, as is usually the case, that the caveats at the end indicate it is not unusual. The problem is the headline already set the pattern in the public mind.

The headline says, “Forget El Nino, StormFest Is about To Hit The West Coast.” The author is talking about a series of storms tracking on to the west coast of North America. The story told us

Things often calm down after January 1 during El Nino years… but not this year… with the U.S. West Coast from central California to Washington State about to be pummeled by a series of storms.   Rain, snow, wind?  Plenty for everyone. A view of the latest infrared satellite imagery shows an amazing line-up of one storm after another stretching way into the Pacific.  A traffic jam of storms.

The terms, “pummeled” and “traffic jam” are evocative and imply the pattern is unusual. In fact, it is perfectly normal to the point that there is a descriptive term for it, the Pineapple Express. This refers to the establishment of the Polar Front along the northwest coast of North America after it migrates south from its summer position off the coast of Alaska and northern British Columbia. Low pressure systems known as anti-cyclones develop along the Front all year round. The areas affected by these systems changes as the Front migrates between its more northerly summer position and more southerly winter position. The term Pineapple Express refers to the situation in the winter when these anti-cyclones generate in the region of Hawaii and track along the Front hitting the northwest coast in a series of storms. The pattern does not stop in an El Nino year but takes a different path.

These anti-cyclone systems are also the focus of exploitation of normal weather events as abnormal, in Europe. The southerly shift of the Polar Front in the Northern Hemisphere occurs around the globe. Two major factors influence the weather pattern, sea surface temperatures that fluctuate with ocean circulation, and the Rossby Wave pattern in the Circumpolar Vortex. This pattern of anti-cyclones hitting western Europe in the winter was added to the propaganda list when they started naming the storms. It linked them to hurricanes in the public mind, and it implied they were a recent phenomenon.

They are not recent, new, or of greater intensity.


A significant part of professor Hubert Lamb’s ground-breaking and monumental work on historical climatology was a long-term reconstruction of the pattern of these anti-cyclones. It fit with his claim about why he established the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

“…it was clear that the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.”

Once he created a long-term record of these anti-cyclonic systems, there was a better chance of determining the underlying mechanisms. From this, he could achieve his final objective of better forecasting. The ability to forecast defines science. If that is not the final objective the work is mostly irrelevant.

Consider the destructive and history-altering impact of storms like the one that hit the Spanish Armada that attempted to invade England in 1588. Ironically, Phil Jones, who ran the CRU reputation into the ground while under his direction, wrote a good synopsis of Lamb’s work. There is also the storm of 1703 reported in great detail in the book “The Storm” by the famous author Daniel Defoe.

Marcel Leroux was an early major skeptic of the claim of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). His 2005 book “Global Warming: Myth or Reality” was impactful because Leroux was well qualified. As one review of his book notes,

In the global-warming debate, definitive answers to questions about ultimate causes and effects remain elusive. In Global Warming: Myth or Reality? Marcel Leroux seeks to separate fact from fiction in this critical debate from a climatological perspective. Beginning with a review of the dire hypotheses for climate trends, the author describes the history of the 1998 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many subsequent conferences. He discusses the main conclusions of the three IPCC reports and the predicted impact on global temperatures, rainfall, weather and climate, while highlighting the mounting confusion and sensationalism of reports in the media.

The comment about sensationalism in the media is relevant to this article because Leroux, like Lamb, also worked on a reconstruction of the anti-cyclonic systems in the North Atlantic. Leroux also worked on another later exploitation of the normal by John Holdren, Obama’s Science Advisor, the so-called “Polar Vortex.” Leroux’s 1993 work on the impact of the “The Mobile Polar High: a new concept explaining present mechanisms of meridional air-mass and energy exchanges and global propagation of palaeoclimatic changes” showed how these outbreaks of cold Polar air are a normal weather event that enter the climate record because of their regular but variable appearance and impact.

We are confronted by the unholy alliance between the political use of science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the spin doctors or, as I prefer, the professional liars, and the mainstream media, that create fake news by making the normal appear abnormal. As the Yiddish proverb observes, “Truth never dies but lives a wretched existence,” especially under such a deliberate onslaught.

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January 8, 2019 6:11 pm

“stories in the media about weather or climate events that create the impression that they are new and outside of the normal pattern”

Confirmation bias?

Reply to  chaamjamal
January 8, 2019 10:27 pm

Not really. More the difference between activism and science.

Bill Powers
Reply to  chaamjamal
January 9, 2019 10:44 am

The greatest enemy of the truth is an agenda driven press. They are free to be dishonest.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Bill Powers
January 9, 2019 1:21 pm

There is an example of what you an agenda driven ( outright liars ) press out to destroy capitalism:

January 8, 2019 6:17 pm

Dont know what you do with low pressure systems in the Northern Hemisphere but down under High Pressure systems are known as anticyclones, as in opposite to cyclone.
Cyclones, Hurricanes and storms all have low pressure at the centre unless the aliens or Donald Trump has decided otherwise.

January 8, 2019 6:39 pm

Stoms are cyclones (with a low-pressure area at their center), not anti-cyclones. This is a mistake that should be corrected.

Alan Tomalty
January 8, 2019 6:45 pm

“Consider the destructive and history-altering impact of storms like the one that hit the Spanish Armada that attempted to invade England in 1588.”

Tim, you read from the same bad history book that I did in grade school. The storm that decimated the Spanish fleet in 1588 only wreaked its havoc off the coast of Ireland and Scotland when the Spanish were heading home. They had circled the British Isles after being chased by the English part way up the east coast of England. This was after the English had inflicted at least 2 defeats of the Spanish in battles in the English Channel. So in a way the Spanish armada was a wounded animal desperately escaping the English after many of the Spanish ships had been damaged during the long trek from Spain. However there 2 more much smaller attempted invasions by Spanish fleets that were lost due to storms. These happened in 1596 and 1597.

Tim Ball
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 8, 2019 7:47 pm

No, you are reading the wrong history books. Lamb and Kington reconstructed the 1588 storm from a variety of sources including those of Tycho Brahe. Elizabeth I said the storm was proof that God was on England’s side because every time the winds blew they were against the Spanish and in favour of the English. This began as the storm moved into the English Channel and chased the Spanish all the way to the North Sea. It then blew then all the way up to Spitsbergen

The Spanish, trying to get south, were pummelled all the way to the Irish coast were the remnants of the storm finally destroyed them.

Reply to  Tim Ball
January 8, 2019 8:04 pm

Do not forget the British fire ships. The fire ships caused the Spanish fleet to cut their anchors and disperse.
The Duke of Parma did not help much either, by not showing up.
Medina Sidonia had advised the king that this would be a sad enterprise. He was correct.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tim Ball
January 8, 2019 8:09 pm

Then there were the “Divine Winds” that saved the Japanese from two invasions by the Mongols in the 13th C.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Tim Ball
January 8, 2019 9:41 pm

“The first recorded sighting of the island by a European was by Willem Barentsz, who came across it while searching for the Northern Sea Route in June 1596”

Tim, the above quote was taken right from your Wikipedia reference. The 1st European sighting of Spitsbergen was 8 years after the Spanish Armada invasion.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 8, 2019 10:08 pm

Tim, the other fly in the ointment of your Spanish Armada reaching Spitsbergen in the storm is that Spitsbergen is 2089 km from the Shetland Islands. The Armada passed between the Shetland Islands and the Orkneys and Spitsbergen is to the north east of the Shetland islands. For a storm to blow big ships like that off course for over 2000 km would take a hurricane and hurricanes don’t blow that far north.

Tim Ball
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 9, 2019 12:03 am

Typical attempt at obfuscation; I never said they went to Spitsbergen. The storm blew all the way to Spitsbergen and the Spanish fought against it trying to get west and then south. I am very familiar with the waters between Scotland and Orkney (Pentland Firth) and between Orkney and Shetland. They are very stormy waters and difficult tidally at the best of times because the North Atlantic Drift splits around Great Britain and meet in these regions.

Your comment about hurricanes not blowing that far north is correct, but anti-cyclonic systems do carry that far north on accession and the magnitude of the 1588 storm was one.

John Tillman
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 9, 2019 2:55 pm

The Atlantic storm which destroyed the Armada was probably indeed a hurricane.

The SW winds which drove fire ships into the Spanish fleet anchored off Calais are normal for the Channel. They weren’t storm winds.

Rounding Scotland and the isles, however, the Armada was apparently struck by a hurricane. Tropical cyclones routinely ventured farther north during the cold LIA than now. But even in the cool 1966, Hurricane Faith reached north of the Shetlands, and struck Norway with 60 mph winds, and affected Franz Josef Land as a low pressure area.

comment image

Colder is stormier.

Tim Crome
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 9, 2019 12:02 am

There is a small island in Northern Norway, Husøy, in a fjord on a larger island Senja, wherevthe locals have darker hair and observe a daily siesta (unknown in the rest of the country). This is rumoured to be the result of a shipwreck from the amada.

It’s in the right direction for Spitsbergen but still only about half way there!

Reply to  Tim Crome
January 10, 2019 3:24 pm

That is where the term black Irish came from. Descendants of shipwrecked Spanish sailors. Also accounts for the name Perez in the Shetlands.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 8, 2019 8:21 pm

Another factor played havoc on the Armada. On the Irish coast, plunderers, set up lights signaling “safe harbour” but they were ruses to attract the ships onto the rocks so rhey could be preyed upon. Many ships were wrecked this way, and the sailors that survived contributed the present day Irish names of Costello, Kinsella and the like. So-called Black Irish (and Black Scots) are thought to be descendents of these survivors.

J Mac
January 8, 2019 7:00 pm

The storms hitting the US west coast are typical for winter weather here in the Great NorthWet. All natural. Nothing out of the normal range of typical weather.

January 8, 2019 7:13 pm

The traffic jam metaphor is designed to appeal to Californians, who live in them every day.

Storm sequencing is just plain old meteorology – nothing more!

John Grosse
January 8, 2019 7:33 pm

The problem is the alarmists have television on their side! Everybody sees climate disasters everyday on TV. The skeptics only have learned articles, graphs and “” documents on their side to disprove the alarmists position!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  John Grosse
January 8, 2019 7:38 pm

More and more people have smart phones that can record movies of weather events, and then upload them almost instantly to the internet. More and more reports = more and more climate change. Has to be true as it’s on the internet and in colour.

Zig Zag Wanderer
January 8, 2019 7:38 pm

We get this daily in Oz. Every single weather event seems to need terms like Slamned, Smashed, Pummelled, Hammered etc.

We also get all the headlines stating that records are broken, and yet the story itself says something like ‘hottest December day since 1967’. That’s not breaking records! It’s not broken the 1967 record!

I’m surprised anyone takes it seriously any more.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
January 8, 2019 7:47 pm

Yeah, also highest temperature since records began. And when you dig a bit further the temperature was recorded at an airport. Was there an airport in Sydney when records began?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 8, 2019 9:46 pm

There was an airport in Sydney in 1788, but it only catered for boomerangs.

Joe Armstrong
January 8, 2019 8:14 pm

Dr. Ball

In the second paragraph you make a couple of references to periods of time that are,”not climatologically significant”.

Is there a somewhat consensual opinion of the minimum period of time that is climatologically significant?


Johne Morton
January 8, 2019 8:20 pm

You can do anything when you just cherry pick the timeframe. Like this past December was the coldest since the one right before it. Today was the warmest day since Monday. They play these games in economics all the time, too.

January 8, 2019 8:54 pm

In British Columbia we had some major fires the last two years. Now the news sources, Global, CTV and the liberal governments propaganda outlet the government funded CBC all reported today that climate change was the source. They where given the information from a couple of universities, university of Victoria and Simon Fraser so must be true. Oh and no facts where given. The term climate change was used a lot but at least the meteorologist weather “person” on CBC mentioned human caused climate change, again no proof. No other causes even attempted.

As for CBC being taxpayer funded the liberal government is giving out 500 million to private news outlets because they are struggling. So I guess its just a coincidence this money shows up now with an election coming up in less than a year. Naw there would be no bias now would there.

Reply to  nc
January 9, 2019 9:32 am

giving out 500 million to private news outlets because they are struggling.
Political corruption of the worst kind.

Every Canadian should and could be tax free, given our vast natural resources and small population.

Instead we have meathead politicians that give away billions for a chance to get their picture in the paper. A bunch of preening peacocks.

Look at Norway and their sovereign fund. Look at Canada and our debt.

Steven Mosher
January 8, 2019 10:21 pm

“The ability to forecast defines science. If that is not the final objective the work is mostly irrelevant.”

No forecasting here

Some forms of science aim at explanation. For example, forensic science.
When the coroner declares you died from a gunshot wound he is not doing a forecast.
he is offering a science based explanation of a past event.

Reviewing some of Dr. Ball’s work, you will find it is of this very nature. collecting observations, making sense of them within a conceptual framework, but not making any forecast.

He counts the days with winds from direction X!

Here is another science paper with no forecast, but counts the birds!

The philosophical question of “demarcation”, what is science versus what is not science, won’t be settled here, because it basically hasnt been settled in decades of philosophical efforts.

I would not however, the irony involved when an author whose CV is full of “mere” observational
science, defines science as the thing he has never apparently done.

Have a good read of those papers folks. In one he even explains chi squared tests!

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 9, 2019 1:47 am

Steven Mosher

This criticism from a self publicist and non scientist.

You work in marketing Stephen, noble employment, but you need to stick to it instead of pretending you have the faintest clue about science.

A gunshot wound has nothing to do with predictive science?

How about the analysis of the projectile to understand where it originated, what fired it, the angle the weapon was held at, the distance it was fired from, who owns the weapon, their whereabouts and the likelihood of them striking again. Are there any clues as to the identity of the assailant? Hair traces, body fluids, scratching, bruising? Who facilitates all this information if not a coroner who contributes to the science of detection?

Stick to marketing Stephen.

steven mosher
Reply to  HotScot
January 9, 2019 1:49 pm

read harder, son.
deteriming the CAUSE isnt a forecast.

Try again, your ad. homs suck.

Further, of course you can add elements that require forecasting, gunna test that with a live subject.. i think not.

The simple fact is Balls work does not contain the very thing he demands of science.

you cant address that so you will change the subject.

as always

Reply to  steven mosher
January 9, 2019 10:09 pm

Steve, I disagree. The entire science of forensics is a forecast. By using data on previous crimes, forensics forecasts that a particular weapon will produce certain injuries. By comparing the injuries to the predictions a forecast is made as to the most likely weapon. This forecast is compared to further evidence as the investigation continues.

Similarly, by comparing the decomposition of tissue with known examples a prediction is made as to the time of death. This prediction, or hindcast perhaps is compared with other evidence as the investigation progresses.

Forensics is indeed full of forecasts.

Steve O
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 9, 2019 4:45 am

I don’t know that it detracts from the main gist of the column, but that’s a valid point. I always thought if I lived my life right, I would never have to see anther chi squared test again.

Scott W Bennett
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 9, 2019 4:53 pm

In science you must not talk before you know. In art you must not talk before you do. In literature you must not talk before you think. – John Ruskin

“The ability to forecast defines science. If that is not the final objective the work is mostly irrelevant. – Dr Tim Ball”

Playing semantic games with this statement reveals that you are no “scientist” Steven.

You should be aware that a principle step in the scientific method is the hypothesis*. It is a statement used to predict the outcome of an experiment! The very first step in the scientific method is the purpose or question, it is the final objective of the process! Step two is the formation by research of a theoretical framework that can hold or support the study.

Perhaps you are contrasting “forecast” with theory but a theory has already been tested against “prediction” many times. However, testing a hypothesis can, over time, lead to the formulation of a theory.

*It is also step three of both the scientific method and the Hypothetico-deductive model.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2019 10:25 am

Mr. Masher
The entire “CO2 is Evil Cult”,
of which you are a member,
is based almost entirely on a forecast
of the future climate,
made by people who have no clue
about exactly what causes climate change,
yet they make wrong climate predictions,
decade after decade, and expect the sheeple
to ignore all their errors … as they stick to
their 1979 “Charney” wild guess
about the effect of CO2
for their next wrong forecast.

Only a stupid person would belong
to the CO2 is Evil Cult after so many
decades of observations that adding
CO2 to the atmosphere every year
has harmed no one in the past,
and is very likely to harm no one
in the future.

In fact, based on thousands of real
science experiments, and the experience
of greenhouse owners over many decades,
adding CO2 to the atmosphere
significantly benefits our planet.

I wouldn’t expect you to notice the
beneficial effects of CO2, the staff of life,
‘greening’ our plkanet, Mr. Masher,
because you are too busy
wasting our time
writing empty,

January 8, 2019 10:27 pm

Another common trick in Australia is when there have been a string of several hot days in a row in a given month the line is that if we get two more of these it will be the hottest (January for example) ever (or in the last 50/60/ etc years). Of course we do t get the extra two hot days but they get to report on it as a record anyway

Reply to  GGF
January 8, 2019 11:40 pm

BOM just recorded “Tropical Cyclone Penny” as a Cat-2, but at no time was there any actual cyclone there (let alone a Cat-2), just a cloud swirl with max gusts about 75 km/hr. But it’s real if BOM says its real–reality be damned.

Reply to  WXcycles
January 9, 2019 3:36 am

yup nullschool surface winds that I checked often never got over 71k at best, on the intake side, at sea.

January 8, 2019 10:48 pm

Good grief! Anyone who grew up in the Pacific Northwest knows that this is crap. The Pineapple Express was a regular occurrence, and you just deal with it. There’s nothing new going on here – but hey, it makes great press to assert otherwise!

Phillip Bratby
January 8, 2019 11:15 pm

“Why have there been more tornadoes than usual this year?”

I guess that about 50% of years will have more than usual and about 50% of years will have fewer than usual.

Statistics and logic are so difficult for journalists to get their heads around.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
January 9, 2019 12:03 am

More tornadoes this year (2018) ?

This was the first year ever recorded when NO major tornadoes were recorded in the entire USA!

January 8, 2019 11:37 pm

In 1922-23 the West Australian town Marble Bar enjoyed 161 consecutive days on which the temperature exceeded 100 degrees F. I am unaware that this record has been beaten anywhere since.
In January 1896 Bourke and Wilcannia in New South Wales each recorded 119 degrees F.
In December 1938 Wilcannia recorded a maximum temperature of 115 degrees F, Bourke 112 degrees F and Walgett 111 degrees F.
Hot weather is a fact of life.
A very alarming modern trend is that “green” saboteurs discourage or prevent fuel reduction by cool burning which leads to horrendous bushfires (wildfires) which are the blamed on climate change. Fuel load is the greatest single factor in fire intensity. Vastly more important than ambient temperature, as evidenced by fires in Finland, Estonia and British Columbia.

Reply to  Michael Darby
January 9, 2019 3:38 am

and BoM moved the page that had those charts easily accessible back in 09
there one day
vanished by “housekeeping” the next
i went to resend them to friends and couldnt upload whatever weird format theyd been changed to

January 9, 2019 12:35 am

Well put Dr. Ball. I only wish that the MSM would actually publish a skeptical point of view, including yours. Because their refusal to do so makes them suspect as purveyors of anything factual or truthful. Many people are becoming suspicious of the alarmists at the IPCC always issuing ‘tipping points’ in just another dozen years. Most everybody I know thinks this is a joke, and the carbon/pollution tax is just a brazen tax grab by greedy politicians using this as their personal slush fund to re-election.

All I have to do now is ask the few alarmists I know why the ‘other’ side of this debate is refused to be taken seriously , or even acknowledged? They usually say what ‘other’ side? …the science is settled. That is when I say that should be your first clue, because Science is always open to review, modification and/or correction if the facts change or new information becomes available. There is nothing they can say as a rebuttal because this is the truth. And the present facts on global warming and climate change have been subject to massive distortion the last 30+ years. Usually the alarmist keeners try and tear a strip off me, accusing me of denialism, or what are my qualifications to even pontificate on this subject. I just tell them to answer why is there no vigorous scientific debate? Because we are dealing with a religious cult I tell them if they can’t or won’t answer.

I used to keep quiet in public about the CAGW nonsense because of my work and community standing, but now I don’t care anymore and I know enough to hold my own with any alarmist scientist who claims we are on the verge of a ‘tipping’ point spiraling the good Earth into destruction within 12 years. All you really have to ask an alarmist is whether they would rather have it 2 C colder or 2 C warmer (as per current definition preindustrial) and which would be more dangerous for the survival of the human race. And whether they think the Precautionary Principal should apply to a cooling world or a warming world. The answer should be self evident to any intelligent human being. Warmer has always been better and colder has always been an intense time of serious climate change leading to the demise of many civilizations. History is full of this same story.

Steve O
Reply to  Earthling2
January 9, 2019 4:37 am

I would say that skeptics now make up the majority, so you don’t have to worry about keeping quiet anymore. In the US, only the most Leftist Democrats who come from the safest districts talk about global warming. In Canada, where the news media spew the “consensus view” on a continual basis, people chuckle about it, recognizing it as nonsense.

For anyone who thinks that the “science is settled” you can ask them to learn about John Yudkin, a nutritionist who published a book in 1972. If he hadn’t been professionally destroyed, we would have avoided 40 years of increasing obesity from “low-fat” diets. Climate Scientology today very much resembles Nutrition Science of the last 40 years.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  Earthling2
January 10, 2019 9:58 am

I like to turn the precautionary principle around on them and say that the precautionary principle demands that we not disrupt the world economy without some solid proof that it is both necessary and effective.

January 9, 2019 12:56 am

Here in Australia the leftist institutions have got this all worked out.

Firstly the Federal Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has reconstructed the Australian historical temperature series such that measurements before about 1910 are all left out for reasons such as “quality control” and “measurement issues’ etc, despite continuous series going back to the 1850s. This allows the BOM to neatly remove the terrible Federation Drought of 1896-1903 from all discussions (similar to the “hide the decline” trick, its our “Hide the Heat” trick).

The evidence is that the Federation Drought period was much hotter than today. Accurate, properly collected temperatures were hotter than today’s “records”, Australia’s major river (Murray) ran dry, and there was a significant human death toll let alone livestock.

Excluding the Federation Drought records has allowed the BOM to adjust downwards the early temperatures of the current ACORN-Sat series commencing around 1910, through a process called “homogenization”. The +1degC downward adjustment to those early temperatures creates a huge discordance with the measured temperatures of only a few years earlier, but also creates most of the Anthropogenic Global Warming signal claimed to exist in the official Australian temperature record.

And there is a second trick from the BOM. Over the 1980-90s the BOM moved from mercury thermometers to electronic probes for temperature measurements over its 500+ Australian automatic weather stations (AWS). Trouble is the electronic probes provide an instantaneous 1 second measurement, whereas the mercury thermometers have a significantly slower response to short term temperature fluctuations. The BOM say the two methods are “equivalent” but refuse to release any comprehensive comparative study to the public to confirm this view. World’s best practice is to average instantaneous 1 sec readings over 1 minute, but the BOM steadfastly refuse to do so. And surprise surprise – a lot of new maximum “records” have been set after the electronic thermometers were introduced!

The Climategate emails show the BOM working together with the UK’s Met Office, New Zealand’s NIWA and the University of East Anglia’s CRU to get all of this methodology “right”.

Watch for it coming to a Federal Department near you soon.

Coeur de Lion
January 9, 2019 1:43 am

Re the Spanish Armada, see naval US historian Garrett Mattingley for one of the best accounts. After being dislocated from Gravelines by fireships etc, the Armada near as anything blew ashore on Dutch mudflats until a fluke shift enabled them to claw off and circumnavigate Scotland and Ireland. Stories about survivors breeding with Scots and Irish are fake news – any (very few) would have been knocked on the head by local militias instanter.

Alan D. McIntire
January 9, 2019 4:16 am

Contrary to the allegations of the CAGWers, who allege an increase in “extreme weather events”, I would think that increased greenhouse gasses should REDUCE cyclone energy and extreme weather events. Specifically, the energy for heat engines comes from temperature DIFFERENCES, not just from high temperatures. In the case of tropical cyclones it’s the water being warmer than the air that supplies the energy.

But with global warming, the air wouldn’t be getting as cold as quickly in the fall, so the energy for tropical cyclones should be reduced . This is counter-intuitive to folks who don’t know physics, but it’s why refrigerators consume electricity instead of produce it, and why tornadoes tend to be associated with cold-fronts.

Based on these stories, it looks like I’m right, and those who cry about warming increasing the frequency of extreme weather are wrong.

“Recent review papers reported that many high-resolution global climate models consistently projected a reduction of global tropical cyclone (TC) frequency in a future warmer climate, although the mechanism of the reduction is not yet fully understood. Here we present a result of 4K-cooler climate experiment. The global TC [tropical cyclone] frequency significantly increases in the 4K-cooler climate compared to the present climate. This is consistent with a significant decrease in TC frequency in the 4K-warmer climate.“
“Our record demonstrates that the frequency variability of intense landfalling cyclones is greatest at centennial scale compared to seasonal and decadal oscillations. [T]he period between AD 1600 to 1800 [Little Ice Age] had many more intense or hazardous cyclones impacting the site than the post AD 1800 period.”

“A comparison with North Atlantic and Western Mediterranean paleoclimate proxies shows that the phases of high storm activity occurred during cold periods, suggesting a climatically-controlled mechanism for the occurrence of these storm periods. … Periods of low storm activity occurred from 560 cal yr BC to 140 cal yr AD (SP9 and SP8, Roman Warm Period) and from 820 to 1230 cal yr AD (SP4, Medieval Warm Period).”
“Our work illustrates a major constraint on the large-scale global atmospheric engine: As the climate warms, the system may be unable to increase its total entropy production enough to offset the moistening inefficiencies associated with phase transitions. … On a warming Earth, the increase in perceptible water has been identified as a reason for the tropical overturning to slow down, and studies over a wide range of climates suggest that global atmospheric motions are reduced in extremely warm climates.“

So contrary to the allegations of CAGW fear mongers, more extreme weather would be an indication of COOLING rather than of WARMING temperatures.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
January 9, 2019 10:46 am

As would be agreed by any basic meteorology text…

“According to any textbook on dynamic meteorology, one may reasonably conclude that in a warmer world, extratropical storminess and weather variability will actually decrease.” – Richard Lindzen

Steve O
January 9, 2019 4:21 am

In the US, most schoolkids watch this cute little animated song video “I’m a Bill” about how a bill becomes a law. It must be hilarious to those who actually work in politics, but it represents people’s mis-impression of how the political process works.

People have similar incorrect impressions about how science works. The professional destruction of John Yudkin who identified sugar instead of dietary fat as the driving force behind obesity led to 40 years of “low-fat” diets. That’s how science works today. Scientists play king-of-the-mountain. If everyone knew the story of the history of nutrition science, not only would Climate Scientology meet a quick and ruthless end, but all science would be better.

Here’s a synopsis from a few years ago that I recently ran across again:

Steve R
January 9, 2019 4:27 am

I am curious about these low pressure anticyclones. I have never heard of such a phenomena before.

Reply to  Steve R
January 9, 2019 10:01 am

It must be a typo.

Max Dupilka
Reply to  Steve R
January 9, 2019 10:01 am

Me neither. I have been in the meteorology/atmospheric science field for nearly 40 years. Never heard of the low pressure anti-cyclone that develops along a frontal zone.
Maybe it is a new phenomena that Dr. Ball can further explain.

January 9, 2019 3:21 pm

I’m in the Sierra Nevada foothills of central California. The hype over this week’s storms is out of control. I’ve had 2.75″ of rain over 5 days. I’ve seen 3″ in one day on many occasions in the last 15 years. So far these are run of the mill storms, not even any atmospheric rivers which are common this time of the year.

French geographer
January 10, 2019 2:58 am

Thanks for your reference to Marcel Leroux (1932-2008). He has described the reality of Polar Mobile Anticyclones in 1983 in his thesis Le climat de l’Afrique occidentale et he has explained its in his book La Dynamique du temps et du climat (1rst edition 1996, 2nd 2000/2004). He was a true climatologist for instance a geographer, not a pseudo such as the IPCC “experts”.

January 10, 2019 6:09 am

“Hottest year on record!” How many times have we heard that one?

According to the GISP ice cores, hottest year on record in the Holocene was 2700BC, about 2C hotter than today.

January 10, 2019 7:38 am

The Polar Vortex, what it really is and not what some media portray it as.

“More directly, Global Mountain Torque events are also responsible for changes in the upper flow patterns that bring our weather. These mountain torque events are synoptic-scale wave trains that disperse energy across Asian and North American topography. Currently there is a significant East Asian Mountain Torque (EAMT) event – this may lead to an increase in the amplification of the upper flow over the northern hemisphere over coming days and increase the chance of blocking high pressure areas.

These mountain torque anomalies can be attributed to an increase in Atmospheric Angular Momentum (AAM) – which is a measure of how fast the atmosphere is spinning relative to the Earth’s rotation and is a complex variable that can offer insight to particular flow configurations within the atmosphere that ultimately affect the changing patterns that bring our weather.”

How does that blanket of CO2 sitting up there cooking the planet survive all this?

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