Hearing on climate change & extreme weather

Reposted from Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

Posted on June 23, 2019 by curryja |

by Judith Curry

On Tuesday June 25, I will be testifying before the House Oversight and Reform Environmental Subcommittee in a Hearing on Recovery, Resilience and Readiness – Contending with Natural Disasters in the Wake of Climate Change.

The announcement for the Hearing is posted [here].  The Hearing starts at 2 pm EDT.  Based on previous Hearings from the Committee, live streaming should be available at the above link (also link to the written testimonies), and also a podcast for later viewing.

From the Hearing announcement:

PURPOSE
  • The Subcommittee will examine federal, state, and local preparations for the 2019 hurricane and wildfire season and assess the status of recoveries from the Southern California wildfires of 2017-2018 and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in Houston, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
  • The hearing will also highlight the fundamental challenges that climate change poses to federal disaster preparedness and recovery, including the link between warmer global temperatures and more intense hurricane and wildfire seasons.
BACKGROUND
  • Due to climate change, “the number of hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 in strength has roughly doubled” since the 1970s and “there are no longer distinct wildfire ‘seasons’—there are just wildfires all the time.”
  • In March 2018, FEMA removed all references to “climate change” from its strategic plans for the next four years.
  • Nearly two years after Hurricane Maria and Irma, millions of Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still living in dire conditions.  For example, the island of Vieques, where approximately 9,000 Americans reside, had one main hospital that was destroyed by Maria, but the hospital has yet to be rebuilt.  Mental health problems have also increased dramatically as suicide crisis hotlines in Puerto Rico “reported a 246 percent increase in suicide attempts from November 2017 through January 2018, compared with the numbers from the same time last year.”
  • The Governmental Accountability Office’s (GAO) audits related to the 2017 natural disaster season uncovered logistical problems with resource distribution, lack of training of responders in local customs and traditions, and insufficient coordination and information sharing between federal agencies and non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross and local community groups.

Note:  I did not see the BACKGROUND write up until Saturday (yesterday), where I spotted the ‘“the number of hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 in strength has roughly doubled” since the 1970s.  I did testify to this effect in 2006, when I testified before the same committee [link to my 2006 testimony].   I can already predict one of the questions that I will get asked in the Hearing.

WITNESSES

Mr. Stephen Costello
Chief Recovery Officer, City of Houston

Mr. Wade Crowfoot
Secretary of Natural Resources, State of California

Mr. Christopher Currie
Director, Emergency Management, Disaster Recovery & DHS Management Issues, on behalf of U.S. Government Accountability Office

Dr. Judith Curry
President, Climate Forecast Applications Network

Dr. Daniel Kaniewski
Deputy Administrator for Resilience, Acting Deputy Administrator, on behalf of Federal Emergency Management Agency

Dr. Michael Mann
Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, Director, Earth System Science Center, on behalf of The Pennsylvania State University

Mr. Omar Marrero
Executive Director, Central Office of Recovery and Reconstruction of Puerto Rico

Adrienne Williams-Octablien
Director, Office of Disaster Recovery, on behalf of Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority

You can see that most of the witnesses are on the front lines of resilience and recovery from disasters.  And then there is moi and Michael Mann.

SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS

The list of Subcommittee members is [here].  Most of these names are unfamiliar to me.  Three of the Democratic members are from California.  Two of the members are associated with the Green New Deal:

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Rashida Tlaib

Often at these hearings, only a small subset of the members actually show up. This is never predictable (at least from where I sit).

STAY TUNED

On the day of the Hearing, my testimony and text of my verbal remarks will be posted in a blog post at 1:30 pm EDT on Jun 25.

73 thoughts on “Hearing on climate change & extreme weather

  1. Thank you for being the voice of reason, Judy.

    Having testified before Congress on two occasions (most recently 2001), Washington has changed considerably since that time. The members are there to pontificate and score political points on camera rather than to learn. I wish you luck in a thankless task.

    • As it continues to cool, what makes you think Mann and the rest of them won’t just switch back to The Ice Age Cometh, Repent! Repent!? They claimed the cold in the 60s and 70s were caused by CO2 and Fossil Fuels. Then, when it warmed, they switch seamlessly to The End Of The World Is Nigh and were all gonna die from the heat–caused by CO2 and Fossil Fuels.
      I suspect they will do the same danged thing and a lot of stupid people and those heavily invested in Renewables and those who want to control the world and all the people in it, will sell the same thing for the same reasons. Logic is not the Left’s and Libs strong suit and I am beginning to think there are very evil people in the world.
      “One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.”
      ― Thomas Sowell

    • AOC’s ‘stream of unconsciousness’ utterances and hand waving is, like…. OMG! Totally!!!
      She is the socialist useful tool on the subcommittee that speaks to the vapid, mentally malleable millennials like herself.

  2. This is just absolute BS! There are no more hurricanes now than there have ever been, in my 80 years of existence! As for wild fires, they tend to follow drought, so there certainly is a ‘season’ for them. It’s called a ‘dry season’. This man is going to testify before the House Oversight and Reform Environmental Subcommittee, as an ‘expert’? No wonder all the hysteria about ‘climate change’! Apparently chicken little was right! The sky IS falling, after all! This story reminds me very much of the old fable about “The Emperor’s New Clothes”! Is everyone actually so blind that they can’t see what is right before their eyes? They are even willing to believe outright lies! OPEN you eyes, people,and see for yourself what is really happening! We are being LIED to and led to the slaughter!

    Of course, WE will be expected to pay for this folly! BIG time!

    • unfinbelievable….isn’t it

      somebody around here needs to grow a pair and get in their face with this BS

  3. With the recent report from NASA’S Ames Research Center validating Dr. Valentina Zharkova’s solar magnetic field work, I would hope that the tide is finally shifting to a more balanced, rational view of this entire climate brouhaha.

    Go get ’em, Doc Curry!

  4. If at any point you begin to wonder whether it is worth defending real science against the likes of Mann … just remember this … if it weren’t for the 1970-2000 blip of warming (likely caused by removing cooling pollutants), you could have been in the same room with the same people trying to defend why they shouldn’t all be panicking about the “impending ice-age”.

    Now that is a real threat – and given the utter madness of the lunatic Climate cult on an insignificant and almost certainly beneficial amount of warming … just imagine what Mann would be ranting and raving if it seemed like we were currently cooling.

    • As it continues to cool, what makes you think Mann and the rest of them won’t just switch back to The Ice Age Cometh, Repent! Repent!? They claimed the cold in the 60s and 70s were caused by CO2 and Fossil Fuels. Then, when it warmed, they switch seamlessly to The End Of The World Is Nigh and were all gonna die from the heat–caused by CO2 and Fossil Fuels.
      I suspect they will do the same danged thing and a lot of stupid people and those heavily invested in Renewables and those who want to control the world and all the people in it, will sell the same thing for the same reasons. Logic is not the Left’s and Libs strong suit and I am beginning to think there are very evil people in the world.
      “One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them.”
      ― Thomas Sowell

  5. “Due to climate change, “the number of hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 in strength has roughly doubled” since the 1970s and “there are no longer distinct wildfire ‘seasons’—there are just wildfires all the time.””
    Fake News……

  6. What? MORE ‘adjusted’ data? $ losses have increased due to people having more stuff and living in stoopid places. This is NOT the same as a genuine increase in hurricanes. duh!

  7. Let me look into my crystal ball:
    – AOC will be in attack mode with carefully prepared “trap” yes or no questions; denigrate Dr. Curry for suggesting uncertainty in the “science”; and will read a laundry list of current catastrophic “Climate Change” events, that obviously never occurred prior to her birth 29 years ago. (Such as this week’s refinery fire she linked to “Climate Change”.)

    – Dr Mann will rant about important and recent climate change reports, that demonstrated how climate change is very detrimental to US agriculture (as well as the cause of many other future disasters including military readiness and national security) were buried by Donald Trump; the anti-science President.

    – Some Congress Critter will channel Al Gore and become unhinged about the fact that DJT is a (D-word) and we are all gonna die!

    – All Democrats will agree that we are facing an EMERGENCY!!.

    Can someone add to the list? (before tomorrow of course.)

    Anyone wish to refute my pronositications?

    • Very well said. I have full confidence Dr. Curry will be an island of sanity in all the madness.. Dems will be in full attack mode. They will lionize Mann of course.

    • Hockey Stick Mann will whine endlessly about the persecution he has suffered at the hands of the non-believers.

      At some point, Tlaib and AOC (aka Neiman Marxist) will incoherently and tortuously drag Black Lives Matter into the conversation.

    • Dr. Mann has previously claimed that his climate science is as solid as the law of gravity. Paul Courtney had this to say about that:

      Commie bob asks for ideas in response to Dr. Mann’s killer opening re: law of gravity. My idea: “gravity” is a “law” because it has been studied enough to make predictions that come true. We know the math well enough to predict the fall rate of a cannon ball and a feather-in a vacuum. Even with that firm predictability, we can’t predict the fall rate of the feather in this room if we don’t know the air density or currents. Outdoors? We could measure air density and currents, but those would change dramatically just a few feet from where we measured. Nevertheless, gravity continues to pull (?!) on the feather at a very predictable rate.
      Dr. Mann’s “law” of climate science makes predictions about CO2 and temperatures. Those predictions have not come true. His law has not been tested in the atmosphere, or even in this room, and he has not begun to measure atmospheric conditions that affect the fall of his feather. Therefore, it’s not a law, it is not understood like gravity.
      link

      So, if climate science is so reliable, how come the models run hot? How come we can’t even reliably predict the weather beyond a few days? I do hope someone calls him on his BS.

    • George,

      The current DNC talking points on DJT call on Dumbocrats to use and keep up the racist label on him.

  8. Has the climate changed? There are still four seasons in our neck of the woods, with hundred degree or more temperature swings in the normal range. All while the Sun’s incident energy is in a steady state. The CO2 emanations and penumbras are brutal.

  9. If I may modifyy an old saying, It is difficult to get a politician to understand something if their income depends on them not understanding it.

  10. Ryan Maue scorches the Democrats today with his twitter posts:

    “Not a good look for next House hearing on climate change and disasters that furthers inaccurate information (spreads lies) from Union of Concerned Scientists on hurricanes.

    This is not in accord with current science or consensus anywhere = fraud.”

    https://twitter.com/RyanMaue/status/1142809306267639809?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    read more here:
    “House Democrats Spread ‘Lies’ About Climate Change And Hurricanes, Scientist Says”
    https://dailycaller.com/2019/06/24/house-democrats-climate-change/

    “Atmospheric scientist Ryan Maue, a hurricane expert, tweeted that the Democrats’ hearing “spreads lies” about the scientific consensus on climate change and hurricanes. The House subcommittee is chaired by California Rep. Harley Rouda and includes Green New Deal champion New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a member.

    ….
    Maue took issue with Democrats’ claim that “due to climate change, ‘the number of hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 in strength has roughly doubled’ since the 1970s” — a claim that doesn’t line up with scientific assessments from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other organizations.

    NOAA, for example, says the rising trend in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the North Atlantic is based on data that’s “not reliable for trend calculations, until they have been further assessed for data homogeneity problems, such as those due to changing observing practices.”

    • Also of note:
      There was a pretty lively and entertaining “debate” comment exchange on Ryan’s twitter post on this.

    • And in that twitter feed of comments, a one Dr Genevieve Guenther from NYC, going by the twitter handle @DoctorVive, tries to take on Dr Maue with this comment:

      “Is it part of your job description to comb through websites to find typos which you then use as a pretext to call climate science a “fraud”? Good lord.”

      Ryan’s reply was spot-on: “Your assertion that this is a case of a “typo” is flatly wrong.”

      Then some femboy beta-male tries to come to her defense, without being able to point out anything Ryan wrote was wrong.

      Note: Dr Guenther has a PhD in Renaissance Literature. And she’s taking on a PhD professional hurricane expert over hurricanes!!! Maybe she should just stick to Chaucer??? just sayin’

      So much comedy gold out there with the Left and their misinformed antics, and illiterate science and engineering attempts at science.

      My guess is she’s secretly got the hots for the young Dr Maue.

    • ”NOAA, for example, says the rising trend in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the North Atlantic is based on data that’s “not reliable for trend calculations, until they have been further assessed for data homogeneity problems, such as those due to changing observing practices.”

      OH PLEASE!!!!! How hard can it be to count???????????????????
      I swear these people are making things look harder than they are so they can justify their continuity!!!!!

      • The problem is, counts today aren’t the same as counts in 1970. Stuff could have been easily missed. And they weren’t naming every tropical depression back then.

  11. The entire issue of AGW weather is a meteorology question, not a climate question, and must include the energy available from the teeny tiny addition of human sourced fossil fuel related CO2 causing the difference between any weather system to change from a natural state to an anthropogenic forced condition and to sustain it in its new state.

    Taint ‘nuff energy. Case closed.

    • Pamela Gray sez:
      “The entire issue of AGW weather is a meteorology question, not a climate question, ”

      YOU ARE WRONG.

      No questions are allowed.

      The “science” is settled.

      The only “debate” is on how much money to spend.

      Get with the program.

      You have to know how to work the system.

      This has nothing to do with real science !

      Demand climate change reparations !

  12. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/02/18/hurricanes-climate-change-detection/#comment-2632756

    Years ago I plotted the data from this 2005 NOAA report.

    There was a decline in Category 4 and Category 5 hurricane intensity from ~1930 to 2004.

    I have found Chris Landsea’s work to be credible.

    Regards, Allan

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pdf/NWS-TPC-4.pdf

    NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS TPC-4
    THE DEADLIEST, COSTLIEST, AND MOST INTENSE UNITED
    STATES TROPICAL CYCLONES FROM 1851 TO 2004 (AND
    OTHER FREQUENTLY REQUESTED HURRICANE FACTS)
    Updated August 2005
    Eric S. Blake, TPC Miami
    Edward N. Rappaport, TPC Miami
    Jerry D. Jarrell, TPC Miami (retired)
    Christopher W. Landsea, HRD Miami
    Tropical Prediction Center
    National Hurricane Center
    Miami, Florida

    • No, he won’t use any science. He’ll just accuse anyone who disagrees with him as being an industry shill. That’s his MO.

  13. IIRC, in 2006 you noted that switching from Cat 4&5 to 3,4&5 changes the results materially, which makes it challenging to conclude anything about the more limited data set.

  14. The congress people, especially the Democrats, are not fact finding. They have already decided what they must believe. They are just looking for a way to arrive there.

    Ten years ago I took the Atlantic major hurricane annual series post WWII, and showed that it fit a Poisson distribution perfectly. The Poisson distribution has only one parameter–an occurrence rate. I then took the series and fit the occurrence rate using maximum likelihood to a linear A+Bt function. The result for B was statistically zero, and A was a constant occurrence rate. Double since 1970! I couldn’t have possibly missed that.

    • Science long ago left the Democrat’s climate change agenda.
      Now they simply “believe in science” as if it were a religion to be taken on faith.

  15. Everyone knows that CO2 is not the only ingredient in the extreme weather brew.
    It also takes frogs legs, snakes tongues, the breath of serpents and a big bucket of gnats blood, mixed up by witches and sorcerers, in cahoots with Satan, to cook up extreme weather.
    Next the lefties will be begging authorities to burn the deniers at the stake for their evil efforts.
    History is repeating itself again.
    There is but one constant in the universe, being that humans are completely gullible and will believe anything, especially if indoctrinated from birth.

  16. Judiths latest study that was posted a few months ago concludes “Global hurricane activity since 1970 shows no significant trends in overall frequency, although there is some evidence of increasing numbers of major hurricanes and of an increase in the percentage of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes.”

    How much that percentage increase is I don’t know, its probably in there somewhere. She points out data before 1980 is not reliable

    In the study she also states

    “To address concerns about the validity of intensity data from the earlier periods, Kossin et al. (2013) developed a new homogeneous satellite-derived dataset of hurricane intensity for the period 1982-2009. The lifetime maximum intensity (LMI) achieved by each reported storm is calculated and the frequency distribution of LMI is tested for changes over this period. Kossin et al. found that globally, the stronger tropical cyclones have become more intense at a rate of about +1 m/s per decade during the period (Figure 3.4), but the statistical significance of this trend is marginal. Significant increases in the strongest hurricanes have occurred in the North Atlantic and decreases in the Western North Pacific.”

    Doesn’t seem like much to worry about. If you want coastal cities make sure you have good infrastructure to withstand winds , coastal surge and and heavy rainfall.

    • “Doesn’t seem like much to worry about.”
      How can you say that when you look at the TC graph of Onslow in Western Australia? -http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/wa/onslow.shtml
      These people are all doomed when the next overdue biggie hits them so how can you not worry about them? Have you no feelings when all they need is some windmills and solar panels to ward off the day of reckoning and impending doom?

    • The claim that “the number of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5 in strength has roughly doubled” is based on a September 15, 2005 study, which happens to include Hurricane Katrina. From 2006 to 2016 there were zero category 4 and 5 hurricanes making landfall in the US. The study published in Science magazine (Webster, Holland, Curry, Chang) is summarized as follows –
      “One 2005 peer-reviewed study showed a large increase in the number of North American hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 when comparing the most recent 15-year period to the prior 15-year period. ”
      Thankfully others have already posted more complete and more recent data. It is disturbing that this cherry-picked 15 year old headline, which is contradicted by more recent data, is the basis for national policy.

    • You should have raged as The Kernodler. That could be your evil twin, with a Van Dyke beard and everything.

  17. I rolled my eyes looking at Mikes title “Distinguished Professor of Meteorology”

    Okay someone enlighten me how do you become a “Distinguished Professor” as opposed to just a normal “Professor”.

    In my mind I was thinking does that mean he wears a suit?

    • He looks like “Bozo” the clown so that may be considered a suit.

      Every time I see him I think of the inflatable clown weighted at the bottom so that when you kick it it just returns upright. I’ll spare the readers a pic but you may have punched one when you were a kid!

    • No doubt he will introduce himself as distinguished as he has done before. A person might introduce you to another as distinguished if they have that level of respect for you, but to introduce yourself as such is equivalent to the pope introducing himself as “My Holiness” or the queen as “My Majesty”. He just makes himself look like a dick.
      Sorry, confirms that he’s a dick.

  18. Climategate was in November 2009. A lot has changed since Dr. Curry’s 2006 testimony. Almost 10 years since the eye opening climategate has led to a serious review of the earlier narrative and the assorted blogs such as WUWT has offered a venue into the circus called Global Warming and it’s derivatives.

  19. “On Tuesday June 25, I will be testifying before the House Oversight and Reform Environmental Subcommittee in a Hearing on Recovery, Resilience and Readiness – Contending with Natural Disasters in the Wake of Climate Change.”

    Good luck Judith but there’s a well worn old adage in the public circus- Never hold an enquiry that you don’t already have the answers for. The fix is already in-
    https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/scientists-give-the-thumbs-up-for-anthropocene-epoch/article27279092.ece

  20. Hmmm. Wish the correction to Curry (et al.) 2005 article weren’t paywalled! Interesting that in the original article, of the regions studied, the North Atlantic saw the lowest increase in high-intensity (cat. 4/5) as a percentage of all hurricanes, while the AR5 suggests it’s “virtually certain” that intense hurricanes in the North Atlantic have become proportionally more common since 1970. “Virtually certain” is pretty strong wording for the IPCC! However, attribution is a different story.

    Unlike some here, I hope not that Curry “gives them he11,” but that she strives to provide dispassionate, unbiased, evidence-based testimony.

    All scientists, regardless of their perspective, ought to act professionally, providing evidence rather than attacks and innuendo about those with whom they disagree. Those who haven’t have done a disservice to the profession and to the people who rely on it for their decision-making…though that doesn’t necessarily mean their research is faulty.

    • For a political committee, … dispassionate, unbiased, evidence-based testimony. is hell…..

    • “All scientists, regardless of their perspective, ought to act professionally, providing evidence rather than attacks and innuendo about those with whom they disagree.”

      Maybe you can send a stack of “thank you” cards to Mann with that embossed onto them. Maybe he’ll get the message.

      Pfft! Who am I kidding??

  21. They certainly should hold a hearing on “Recovery, Resilience and Readiness – Contending with Natural Disasters”, because Congress could help with all of those things and actually do some good. But when the add “In the wake of Climate Change” to the title, it suddenly becomes all about climate change fear mongering. The truth is that the spending on climate change reduces the available funds for recovery, resilience and readiness, which have always been underfunded as it is.

  22. My best to you entering that cesspool of ignorance and political agendas that characterize Democratic House Committees.

  23. I suspect it’s not the numbers of emergencies that are FEMA’s problems but this. Since FEMA, before 2017, including it’s former IG, has been burying FEMAs gross failures and, instead, providing itself with glowing reports, it’s likely a large portion of their failures were due to corruption and incompetency.
    As for Puerto Rico, it’s their corrupt, utterly incompetent government, the lack of a reliable electric grid long before the hurricane and the lack of a disaster plan that caused their problems. They recently found a large quantity of water and food that was never distributed.
    Also, since when have Cat 4 and 5 hurricanes increased? Everything I’ve seen says they’ve decreased.

    Retraction of 13 ‘Glowing’ Disaster Reports Throws Light on Dysfunction of Bureaucracy
    June 24, 2019
    https://dailysign.al/2X54rA9

    • I would rather there just be an unbiased scientist. His or her politics shouldn’t enter into it.

  24. Wildfires are mostly caused by human behavior – the big news one last year was caused by electric company malfeasance. others have been caused by people cutting the grass, or by other human behaviors.
    California’s population has soared in recent decades, so more humans in a dry area = more severe wildfires, and the worst ones every year happen in California. Remember Smokey the bear? Only you can prevent forest fires?

    At any rate I’ve lived on the Gulf coast my entire life and hurricanes aren’t worse now. There is an interesting thing I have noticed though, where they have started naming storms they wouldn’t have named in the past. The first named storm this year was a subtropical storm that only went across Bermuda. I’m not sure why they began giving those names, but it inflates the number and makes it appear there are more storms than there used to be. In the past that would have merely been called “a tropical disturbance”.

  25. Dr. Curry,
    I wish you continued strength of character and determination to speak the truth, in the withering face of the biased subcommittee attacks. Thank You for your continued fidelity to honest science!

    • If your browser, like mine, will not take that Youtube site, the hearing is playing live right now on CSPAN3.

  26. MODS: Hearing is airing at the moment on CSPAN 3. This note will be stale in a few minutes.

    [CSPAN repeats hearings regularly at later times and dates. .mod]

  27. WOW, I missed the beginning, but the lies produced by Michael Mann were just too many to count….Almost every proclamation about climate change and extreme weather were just out and out lies…
    They never Gave Dr Judith Curry almost any time to answer in the segment I watched live:
    Maybe look at some of these data/observations:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/extreme-weather-page/

    Too bad displays seemed not to be allowed………JPP

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