Dubious climate science about the Texas cold disaster

Reposted from Climate Etc.

by Patrick Michaels

A critique of Judah Cohen’s recent cover article in Science linking February’s disastrous cold outbreak in Texas to global warming

I’ve always had trouble with the notion that warming causes cooling. It leaves me with the squeasy feeling I get when my country neighbors insist that putting hot water in the ice cube tray results in quicker ice cubes.  That’s actually an experiment you can run, and I can assure that it most certainly does not (despite the arguments that are likely to follow in the comments section).

But it’s much harder to run a similar experiment on, say, the hypothesis that an anomalous and costly ($200 billion) cold outbreak in Texas last February was caused by global warming. Leaving out that much of the damage had to do with remarkably unprotected generation equipment—both conventional and renewable—it was very cold and windy, even by Texas blue norther standards. You just can’t stick a slightly warmer Texas in the fridge to see if it now freezes faster.

Predictably, champions of the warming-causes-cold-anomalies have come forward, with Judah Cohen, a consulting atmospheric scientist, with his theory that sea-ice changes in the arctic and snow-driven October changes in Siberia conspire to stretch the stratospheric polar vortex down to, say, Texas. Somehow his stuff always makes it into The New York Times, which is likely not a measure of its quality, but rather yet another thing to turn on their climate change alarm (which it rarely turns off).

Cohen concludes:

“Therefore, Arctic change is likely contributing to the increasing of SPV [Stratospheric Polar Vortex] stretching events, including one just prior to the Texas cold wave of February 2021.”

How he reached this conclusion is a conventional story. First, break down some target variable (in this case,100mb-heights) into characteristic patterns, and then use a General Circulation Model (GCM) to explain its behavior.  While Cohen and his four coauthors said the patterns were from “a machine learning technique”, it was actually good old-fashioned cluster analysis, something that has been around physical geography since the ice age.

Guess what.   Amplitudes of some of the clusters are going up, others are going down and, 40% have no statistically significant changes.  Cohen then correlated these changes to October Eurasian snow cover.

Given that Cohen has had some success in correlating October Siberian snow amount and geographic advance across with cold outbreaks into the U.S. (along with reductions in ice cover in the Arctic Ocean), he sought to “prove” the relationship with “a simplified GCM…well suited for isolating the atmospheric response to idealized heating perturbations”.  The model is acronymed MiMA, for Model with an idealized Moist Atmosphere. 

The word idealized isn’t defined, nor is the related reasoning, so we have to consult Chaim Garfinkel, the fourth author of the Cohen paper, and the first author of a paper describing MiMA, where we find out that it’s “idealized” because the extant GCMs are “tuned” so much that they become unstable:

“These comprehensive [general circulation] models, however, tend to be less flexible and tuned such that removing too many relevant forcings leads to unstable behavior.”

A good guess as to what’s “tuned” in the GCMs that leads to unstable behavior might be what’s left out of MiMA  – it has no clouds.  The albedo (think of “reflectivity”) of clouds exerts a net cooling particularly over latitudes away from the tropics.  MiMA artificially decreases the earth’s albedo because of its lack of clouds, from constant 27% down to about a constant 20% (in reality it is never constant), which represents a massive 25% increase in solar radiation heating the earth’s surface.

So, to this simulated climate, Cohen et al. change (raise) the albedo of Siberia and east Asia in the early fall, to compensate for an increase in October snow cover that has been detected since 1979, as well as raise the temperature of the model’s Arctic Ocean to get it to lose more ice.

And, presto-chango, the modified model stretches its wintertime polar stratospheric vortex to somehow get to Texas in February 2021.   How useful this is for his company that makes money  by selling in-advance winter forecasts.  Just think of how many billion dollars (and lives) could be saved the next time he makes such a forecast!

Indeed, Cohen goes on to note: “Third, our analysis is informative for policymakers”. He finishes by noting that it’s unwise to prepare for “only a decrease in severe winter weather” (there is some evidence Texas did this, judging from the performance of their backup gas plants, which were too cold to fire up), when  the stratospheric vortex might stretch all the way down to the Lone Star State,  as shown by his cloudless, constant-albedo model of what can only charitably be related to the earth’s climate.

So does Cohen actually get a better handle on Texas cold outbreaks in an atmosphere with no clouds and a constant albedo?  Except for Siberia, which he did brighten, which, everything else being equal, will become colder from increased snowfall precipitated by a cloudless atmosphere. This allows the big, seasonal cold Siberian high-pressure systems to get larger, increasing the likelihood that the vortex will transport some of its cold air down to Texas.

If you’re scratching your head after reading this, think of how much hair I lost reading Cohen’s paper.  It’s got a lot of pretty pictures that look seductive until you get into the details as to how they were ultimately applied by the MiMA model.

The bottom line is that Cohen et al. are going to have to be lot more convincing before I believe that a single month’s snowfall in Siberia drives the weather thousands of miles and several months away.

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Steve Case
September 14, 2021 6:11 pm

Tom Halla
September 14, 2021 6:20 pm

Eliminating clouds entirely does seem a bit extreme as a way of dealing with GCMs not handling clouds well.

SxyxS
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 15, 2021 2:39 am

Eliminating clouds from our (real)atmosphere would result in a superviolent climate.
The reasons why deserts are superhot during day and cold during night is the lack of clouds(and we all know what happens when very cold weather meets very warm weather ).
One can only imagine how massive an equation gets distorted when you remove its most balancing factor- you can get any result you like once you successfully ignore the elephant in the room .
But i’m pretty sure that judas prie…(could not resist this cheap heavy metal ad hominem ,but as the singer is gay a woke scientist may take it as compliment)mr. cohen.would even remove the atmosphere(moon “climate” is so much easier to calculate as there is almost only superhot or supercold climate) to get the wanted results if he knew he could get away with the lie.

On the other hand i feel a bit sorry for guys like mr Cohen.
40-50 years ago charlatans like Paul Ehrlich could pull any BS out of their butts to justify their malthusian agenda,but nowadays guys like Cohen have to dig really deep inside their own backcaves to find something new as most tricks have already been used and exposed long time ago.

PS
Just for fun:
Try to remove co2 from an equation to disprove AGW and they’ll crucify you within a second,
But removing the most potent greenhouse gas that exists in much higher quantities
and everything is fine as long as it ‘proves’ AGW.

So far the only place AGW really exists are fridges,as more and more people can not afford to pay their electricity bills.As result of AGW agendas they get significantly warmer.

MarkW
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 15, 2021 7:29 am

On the other hand, certain of our trolls keep insisting that models are completely accurate in their simulation of the atmosphere.

Robert of Texas
September 14, 2021 6:23 pm

Here is a fact for you – had Texas spent all that money we wasted on wind turbines and instead invested it in coal power plants (or nuclear) then the power outages would have never happened. They stockpile coal near the plant so they generally have a good supply on hand – no need to send it through freezing pipelines or in trucks sliding all over the frozen roads.

But no…we spent our money on an unreliable power source that gets even more unreliable as power demands go up due to cold. I wonder if really hot days correlate with less wind? That would be the icing on our Stupidity Cake.

Ah well, here I sit with my new power generator and piles of propane bottles just ready for the next outage which will be “Brought to you by” Unreliable Wind Power.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 14, 2021 9:18 pm

Keep in mind that renewable incentives have roots in the last century. The consensus then was a future of increasing scarcity of oil & gas and increasing dependence on foreign sources with ever-increasing energy prices. Wind energy was unreliable, but so was Middle Eastern Oil. Hydraulic fracturing changed all that, but the “alternative energy” interests are now deeply entrenched under the guise of climate-friendly “renewable energy”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Paul Johnson
September 15, 2021 7:33 am

“Keep in mind that renewable incentives have roots in the last century. The consensus then was a future of increasing scarcity of oil & gas and increasing dependence on foreign sources with ever-increasing energy prices.”

This is true.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 14, 2021 9:33 pm

Professor Google answered a question of mine:

How much does winterizing the Texas power grid cost?

The cost to construct a one-gigawatt power plant is roughly $1 billion. So, winterizing it would cost about $10 million, he said. Researchers say it would cost anywhere between $5 billion and $20 billion to winterize all plants in Texas.May 6, 2021

Then I asked him “Should Texas build more coal power plants?” The Professor became agitated and wouldn’t answer my question.

I’m for keeping him happy. Spend the 20 billion.

John Dueker
Reply to  Bill Parsons
September 15, 2021 5:56 am

That assumes it’s one size fits all. I’ve seen Texas power plants all had winterization. Maybe there are some that aren’t.

Winterization that is sufficient for 20F might fail at 19F. An entire plant can be brought down by a small instrument tubing having an inch of failed tracing or insulation.

Infrared surveys of critical lines maybe a solution but it’s only a snapshot. The heat tracing might fail right after the survey.

The history of failures and over protecting key systems along with extensive surveys will help but there’s a need for dogged persistence. The google solution sounds like using dollar bills for insulation.

Reply to  John Dueker
September 15, 2021 9:08 am

The google solution sounds like using dollar bills for insulation.”

That method would be far cheaper.

Jo Ho
Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 15, 2021 1:56 am

I can totally agree with your purchase of a new power generator and would urge everyone to buy one for the inevitable blackouts, whether in Texas or the UK, which will occur as ‘we’ proceed with this march down the ‘stupid path’ towards eliminating carbon (apart from the millions of home petrol generators!).

MarkW
Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 15, 2021 7:30 am

If they hadn’t built so many new homes with heat pumps instead of gas heat, there would have been no power problems either.

JamesD
Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 15, 2021 8:07 am

Another thing that hurt them was switching pipeline natural gas compressors from natural gas engine drives to motors, for environmental reasons. Then the green horns in charge of the grid decided to load shed those compressors, cutting off their fuel supply to their power plants.

Jim Hughes
September 14, 2021 7:11 pm

Public record. I was a guest on Talk Weather radio, out of Baltimore, in the fall of 2006. What did I talk about on air ? The Eurasian (Rutgers data called it this) snowfall total during the month of October, and how this seem to relate to the state of the upcoming Artic Oscillation the following winter. Canadian meteorologist Larry Cosgrove was on air right after me. He said you had to be careful about correlations. Hmm.. Maybe Judith Cohen eventually thought otherwise after further research. I digress

Jim Hughes
Reply to  Jim Hughes
September 14, 2021 8:48 pm

Obviously meant Judah. Brain freeze earlier.

Joe Bastardi
September 14, 2021 7:14 pm

What you own, owns you. Judah is brilliant but off the top of my head, the blend of 4 years destroys this past Feb for cold. So the question is how did these happen. ( 1899,1936,1978,1979) happen. Its the old dust bowl argument. When someone says a. drought could get as bad as the dust bowl, how did the old dust bowl happen

Dr Cohen, a hero to all that love winter ( myself included) should understand that a result in the weather creates more questions than answers, as the pursuit never ends and always changes. Such is the nature of an infinite system, no matter how we wish to box it in. below is the blend of those 4 on the left with this one. Cold happens

Screen Shot 2021-09-14 at 10.13.39 PM.png
Anthony Banton
Reply to  Joe Bastardi
September 15, 2021 2:03 am

Dr Cohen, a hero to all that love winter ( myself included) should understand that a result in the weather creates more questions than answers, “

Indeed.
And he is trying to find answers to “those questions”.
Rather that criticising from a Blog.

He is not saying that all cold waves are caused by his mechanism.
You know, and I know that that is not the case.
It may just predispose them to happen some years.

fretslider
Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 15, 2021 3:15 am

And he is trying to find answers to “those questions”.

By banging his head against models that fail every time.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  fretslider
September 15, 2021 11:32 am

They are tools to discover stuff.
It’s actually not possible to put the Earth in a lab to experiment on.
The models have only failed in the minds of denizens here, and here doesn’t matter.
I post for fun and not to try and change closed minds…..
comment image?itok=TNpESAmZ

BrianB
Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 15, 2021 5:27 pm

So, that graph is saying that in 1970 an ensemble of climate models projected that average curve of temperatures and then the observations over the next 50 years matched it that closely?
Because that would be really amazing.

But what it’s really saying is that as temperatures were observed climate models were tinkered with, and essentially backdated, until their parameters were sufficient to match previous observations. And that is still going on as models continue to overestimate future temps to the point even Gavin Schmidt says something has to be done to get a handle on their “implausible” projections.
That isn’t very amazing, at all.

Peta of Newark
September 14, 2021 7:26 pm

The Texas Weather Disaster wasn’t caused by the weather, it was caused by selfishness, greed and money-grubbing

Far too many people, everybody in fact, want cheap cheap cheap and more more more.
So they build ‘systems’, or take existing systems, and they strip out any and all ‘redundancy‘ that the system possessed.
Redundancy being ‘spare capacity’ – e.g. big on-site piles of coal, stores of gas, tanks full of oil plus generating sets/stations that are not running flat out 100% of the time

This is of course the quest for ‘efficiency‘, endlessly parroted throughout climate science as a, if not the, way to save life. the universe everything.

Yeah right, whoever claims that is only scared about their own butt and utterly devoid of all notions that increased efficiency always causes increased overall consumption. Devoid of all notions actually, usually called ‘Paranoia‘ or Headless Chickenism

But the removal of redundancy, the creation of ‘Just In Time’ systems, leaves those systems very fragile and acutely exposed to even the smallest of upset.
In the case of Texas Energy Disaster, that upset was a few flakes of snow.

But nobody ever ever ever is going to admit to their own greed selfishness and hypocrisy and so The Weather catches all the blame.

You understand now why ‘renewables’ so easily translates into ‘unreliables’?
Because the Climate System doesn’t ‘do’ redundancy. weather only moves when there is energy available to do the moving and hence why Trapped Heat is such total crap.

Trapped Heat equates to redundancy.

Thus climate science wants redundancy built into climate while removing it from everywhere else
(Don’t think about that too much, you will break down in tears and cry)

markl
September 14, 2021 7:36 pm

“relevant forcings”…. says it all.

billtoo
September 14, 2021 7:49 pm

yeah, when texas was breaking daily record colds by 15 degrees everyplace between texas and the north pole was bitter cold too. but i guess the mercator projection will do that/

Tom Abbott
Reply to  billtoo
September 15, 2021 7:46 am

Yes, the whole central United States and Canada also suffered from the same arctic cold front.

The wind practically stopped blowing over the entire area, which is what usually happens when one is under an arctic high pressure system, and this made the windmills ineffective over the entire area, and rolling blackout ensued over the entire area, even those areas that have protected their windmills from the cold. If there’s no wind, then it wouldn’t matter what preparations they made, the windmills would still not turn.

The bottom line is we just cannot depend on windmills to power our society. We are reaching the point where it is going to become obvious to everyone.

Rory Forbes
September 14, 2021 9:03 pm

Providing an easily promoted explanation for how global warming can be converted back to global cooling is the ‘Holy Grail’ of contemporary “climate science”. It’s as important to AGW true believers as Mann’s mandate was to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period. Whether it’s Judah Cohen’s exercise in mental gymnastics or some other cockamamie sciency sounding speculation; the planet will definitely begin to cool noticeably to everyone and they need the link to human causation to keep cashing in on the fraud.

nyolci
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 15, 2021 6:01 am

the planet will definitely begin to cool noticeably to everyone

When? What is your predicted temperature (anomaly) curve, together with error bars etc.? Or at least who has predicted it? What is noticeable is warming at the moment.

MarkW
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 7:33 am

Not for the last 10 years.

nyolci
Reply to  MarkW
September 15, 2021 8:00 am

Not for the last 10 years.

🙂 Something like the 3-4 hottest years on record happened in the last 10 years.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 10:10 am

Something like the 3-4 hottest years on record happened in the last 10 years

So what, even if true? There are always outliers within any trend.

nyolci
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 15, 2021 10:53 am

There are always outliers within any trend.

Exactly. We have a warming trend. Accelerating warming.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 11:04 am

I suggest you find someone to proof read your text. Clearly you did not understand what I wrote. The trend is not warming and certainly not accelerating. In fact presently there is no significant trend. You’re becoming more absurd with each passing day.

nyolci
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 15, 2021 11:12 am

The trend is not warming

Yes, it is 🙂 Furthermore, this usage is correct.

The trend is […] not accelerating

I said: “warming is accelerating 🙂

more absurd with each passing day.

Together with the scientists, right? I don’t really know who is absurd, you or I 🙂 You claim a plateu in warming (starting from 1998), and imminent cooling. We have the warmest x years in the last decade.

Last edited 7 days ago by nyolci
Rory Forbes
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 11:20 am
Enough already
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 15, 2021 12:36 pm

Yeah, its alot warmer now than during the Dustbowl Era! Oh I forgot that didn’t actually happen because the data was not “Good”
I have to check with Mike Mann.

Last edited 7 days ago by Enough already
Tom Abbott
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 8:12 am

Let’s try out this climate pattern: It was about as warm in the 1880’s as it is today, then the temperatures cooled down through the 1910’s, which was a very cold period, and then the temperatures climbed from the 1910’s to the 1930’s, where the high temperatures reached were comparable to the high temperatures of the 1880’s, and then the temperatures started cooling during the 1940’s, and then the temperatures returned to warming during the 1950’s, although the temperatures did not quite reach the highs of the 1930’s, and then the temperatures cooled from there down through the 1970’s, where some climate scientists were getting alarmed at the depth of the cold and were thinking the Earth might be entering another Ice Age, with the cool temperatures of the 1970’s being just as cool as the 1910’s, and after the Science News cover showing “The Ice Age Cometh!” in 1975, the temperatures then started to warm again, and they warmed from the 1980’s to t0 1998, where the high temperature was equal to both the 1930’s and the 1880’s, and after 1998, the temperatures started cooling again for 17 years until the temperatures reached the highpoint of the 21st century, which was 0.1C warmer than 1998, and so makes all four highpoints equal in magnitude, then after the 2016 highpoint the temperatures started cooling, and then they warmed back up in 2020, to just about the same level as 2016, and now the temperatures have cooled to the present day where we are 0.5C cooler than all highpoints since 1880, and my expectation is that in the near future we will get similair cooling as we got from the 1880 to 1910 period and from the 1940 to the 1980 period, and I would expect that we will see similar lows to the 1910’s and the 1970’s.

It looks to me like the climate warms a little, and then it cools a little, and the high points and the low points are within narrow bounds, and the pattern repeats decade after decade.

A Red Flag to me would be if the temperatures exceeded the highs of the 1930’s. If that were to happen, I would have to re-examine my position. But nothing I see causes me to think that is going to happen. It looks like it is cooling to me and CO2 is nowhere to be seen. The so-called CO2 control knob is broken. We are injecting more CO2 into the atmosphere, yet it is cooling, not warming.

My temperature excursion above is just a verbal description of the unmodified temperature profile of North America (and the world,too, I would contend).

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 15, 2021 10:18 am

just a verbal description of the unmodified temperature profile

How droll. “scientists say“; unless a temperature series has been tortured and beaten into submission, it is unusable for prognostication.

Last edited 7 days ago by Rory Forbes
nyolci
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 15, 2021 11:05 am

Let’s try out this climate pattern:

Yeah, you want to see cyclic behavior and it looks cyclic. Regardless, you have to prove that. And the evidence is against you. For example, the mid 20th century cooling has known reasons, and they have nothing to do with cycles, aerosols’ sun blocking effect (main due to sulfur from fossils) was the cause.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  nyolci
September 16, 2021 5:56 am

The evidence is not against me. The unmodified, regional surface temperature charts all show it was just as warm in the Early Twentieth Century as it is today, and they all show the same basic temperature profile as the one for North America.

1880 to 1910 = cooling

1910 to 1940 = warming

1940 to 1980 = cooling

1980 to today = warming

What comes next in this pattern, if it’s a natural pattern?

If it was just as warm in the recent past as it is today, with less CO2 in the air back at that time, then the increased CO2 in the atmosphere since the ETCWarming has added no significant warmth to the atmosphere because we are no warmer today than then. CO2 appears to have little effect on the Earth’s temperatures.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 10:06 am

What is noticeable is warming at the moment.

By whom? No one is able to feel such minute amounts of warming or cooling on a global scale.

One thing we know, with absolute certainty, after a period of warming; temperatures always begin to fall thereafter. The natural rise since the coolest point of the LIA appears to be faltering (long pauses) and has been since 1998.

Last edited 7 days ago by Rory Forbes
nyolci
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 15, 2021 11:00 am

One thing we know, with absolute certainty

No, you don’t “know”, at least not in science. This is just blabla until you demonstrate it in the scientific way. Hope you get the irony: you always accuse scientists with some bs, but you (ie. deniers) don’t provide anything except empty talk.

The natural rise since the coolest point of the LIA appears

Scientists have demonstrated that it was not “natural” and it’s not faltering.

No one is able to feel such minute amounts

The public now feels it. So far it didn’t give a damn. We have now heatwave after heatwave during a summer. The difference is perceptible even compared to what was 10 years ago. Be prepared: in a few years the latest people will show anger if you come up with denier bullshit.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 11:14 am

No, you don’t “know”, at least not in science.

If what I wrote is not true, the planet would have burnt to a cinder long ago or would be a solid block of ice. That is logic. Science must follow logic.

Scientists have demonstrated that it was not “natural” and it’s not faltering.

They haven’t “demonstrated” any such thing and you are unable to provide evidence to support your ridiculous assertion.

The public now feels it. So far it didn’t give a damn.

No human can feel such tiny variations in temperature, even if they did exist. Once again you’re confusing weather and climate.

We have now heatwave after heatwave during a summer

That is called weather.

Every time you write you prove your ignorance of the subject.

nyolci
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 15, 2021 12:16 pm

Huh, what a rant 🙂

Once again you’re confusing weather and climate.

Hm, a famous authority, a certain Rory said the following lately (not literal): “climate is the average of weather, so it is weather too” 🙂 Please get yourself together and be consistent. At least a little bit.
Furthermore, if the weather is consistently warmer, climate gets warmer too, I think this is self evident, right? One of the predicted effect is the increased number of heatwaves. We can see that now. So maybe this is not a natural variation, and certainly not a sign of a cooling that has already started.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 1:04 pm

Since your command of English is marginal, either produce what I actually said or piss off. I was referring to a specific assertion you made in which you confused weather and climate. Context is everything in English.

The weather is far from “consistently warmer”, as Tom Abbott demonstrated to you at 8:12 AM this morning. The rest of your post is just unsupported, ignorant raving.

nyolci
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 15, 2021 1:22 pm

produce what I actually said or piss off

Ranting again 🙂 a sure sign of a loser.
Tom Abbott tried to come up with some bs but this is definitely not a scientific work. He says:

my expectation is that in the near future we will get similair cooling

Yeah, this is an expectation of his. Not something he can support with any evidence apart from eyeballing a graph. Very scientific… FYI the mid 20th cooling has a well know cause, and that has nothing to do with variability. And this is just an example. Climate science nowadays has a pretty good explanation why the curve looks like how it looks. Furthermore:

A Red Flag to me would be if the temperatures exceeded the highs of the 1930’s

Temperatures have already exceeded the mid 20th century high.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  nyolci
September 15, 2021 2:45 pm

You have to remember nyolci, that to many denizens here unsceptically fed on the the likes of Heller’s graphs US temps back then constitute the whole globe and the myth is unshiftable.

The Earth is currently around 0.8C above the levels of the 40’s

comment image

Last edited 7 days ago by Anthony Banton
nyolci
Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 15, 2021 3:02 pm

many denizens here unsceptically fed on the the likes of Heller’s graphs

Yeah, I know. Furthermore, they always mix up surface and atmospheric temperature etc. They have a laughable inability to understand “anomalies”. etc etc. Debating with them is like debating with a 2 ton piece of rock. Anyway, I try not to let the bullshit go unchallenged, that’s why I write here. I won’t convince hardcore deniers. But sometimes someone comes here after a search, and he/she has to see this the slapstick comedy style version of climate science.

Last edited 7 days ago by nyolci
Tom Abbott
Reply to  nyolci
September 16, 2021 7:26 am
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 16, 2021 6:09 am

“You have to remember nyolci, that to many denizens here unsceptically fed on the the likes of Heller’s graphs US temps back then constitute the whole globe and the myth is unshiftable.”

Anthony, you say you are a retired meteorologist. Do you mean to tell me that you have never looked at regional temperature charts from other parts of the world as part of your education?

The unmodified regional surface temperature charts tell the story. They show the same basic temperature profile as the North American temperature profile. A well-versed meteorologist ought to know that, and should not be summarily dismissing that data.

The unmodified, regional surface temperature chart profiles don’t look anything like the bogus, bastardized, computer-generated, instrument-era Hockey Stick global anamoly charts you worship.

Why is that? Why do all the charts recorded by human beings look so different from the chart the alarmists use to promote Human-caused Climate Change? I say the reason is because the alarmists are pushing a political agenda, not doing science, with their bogus Hockey Stick charts.

The umodified regional temperature charts put the Lie to the bogus Hockey Stick charts.

That’s what you want to ignore.

Last edited 7 days ago by Tom Abbott
Chris Hanley
September 14, 2021 9:18 pm

NOAA tells me that coldest temperatures so far recorded in Texas were each 23 degrees [F] below zero in February 1899 and February 1933.
There is a list of all-time lowest temperatures and dates in various Texas cities scattered across the decades without any apparent pattern as would be expected if a slightly warming climate results in an increase in Arctic blasts reaching Texas.
Rather than fiddling around with computer models why not use good old empiricism to discover if there is a clear pattern in the records?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Chris Hanley
September 15, 2021 8:22 am

Its been my experience that arctic cold fronts push down into the lower 48 States once or twice every year. Most don’t go as far south as the last one in February, but Texas being in the deep freeze is not that unusual.

Rich Davis
September 14, 2021 10:15 pm

good old-fashioned cluster analysis

Analysis? Another, shorter word comes to mind

Mike Maguire
September 14, 2021 10:56 pm

  Global warming causes everything/TEXAS      
             
    https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/65704/

Texas energy messed up again
https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/71143/

fretslider
Reply to  Mike Maguire
September 15, 2021 3:17 am

Even the global warming is bigger in Texas!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  fretslider
September 15, 2021 8:26 am

That’s right! Everything is bigger in Texas! That’s what the Texans tell me.

I like Texans. They are good people. That doesn’t mean we don’t try our very best to beat them on the football field. Even our Texas players try their best to beat Texas. 🙂

Steve Cushman
September 14, 2021 11:42 pm

“their backup gas plants, which were too cold to fire up” This statement is BS. 1st ESCO’s don’t own back-up generating assets. Back-up generators are owned by electricity consumers. Excluding base load power plants ESCO’s own “Peakers” which use small aeroderivative gas turbine engines (<40,000 shaft HP). These can be dispatched quickly to handle peak loads or when intermittent power sources aren't available (iced up wind turbines or no wind or sun). The reason these peakers were offline is their fuel supply was interrupted. The interruption was caused primarily by the interruptible supply contracts they had to get the lowest fuel cost they need to not loose money. Due to interruptions in the natural gas supplies & high demand for space heating gas customers with interruptible contracts were cut off. The gas supply was reduced due to condensate in gas transmission & distribution system freezing in control valves & pressure regulators. Also, a lot of TX's gas supply is from gas wells in the state. Due to USEPA emissions regulations most of the gas engine driven gas compressors had been converted to electric motor drive. When the difference between supply & demand drops below a threshold all the electric customers who have interruptible or demand response contracts are notified to shed load from the utility. That means that a lot of the gas supply is lost. The owners of these compressors don't install standby diesel generators; because, they can't recover the amortized cost of the standby diesel generators. Natural gas customers aren't inclined to pay a premium for gas.
Only the electric utility regulator (ERCOT) can insure that the state is prepared for the next deep freeze; because, they can bake the increased capitol & operating costs required into the transmission & distribution billing rates.

JamesD
Reply to  Steve Cushman
September 15, 2021 8:12 am

There is no condensate in gas transmission. Only well head. The gas got cut off because they load shed the pipeline compressors.

Vuk
September 14, 2021 11:55 pm

Caused by global warming (?!), all nonsense. As I said the other day:

Strong vortex: warm winters (no volcanic eruptions in NH’s high latitudes)

Weak vortex: cold winters (Kamchatka, Aleuti or Alaska volcanos explosive eruptions cause SSW etc) .
See discussion (search Vuk) here

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/28/predicting-and-planning-for-the-next-polar-vortex/
and here

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/18/the-stratosphere-has-warmed-profoundly-this-month-what-are-the-implications/#comment-3164797

Zig Zag Wanderer
September 14, 2021 11:58 pm

Somehow his stuff always makes it into The New York Times, which is likely not a measure of its quality

Oh, I think it definitely is. Just not in a good way…

September 15, 2021 1:46 am

Specific events are tricky, but long data records tell an interesting story, winters are a lot better on average in many areas than they were before the dreaded molecule wreaked its havoc. Here for example are daily winter Central England minimum temperatures, note the relative absence of cold winter nights after the “climate shift” in the late 20th century:

comment image

Anthony Banton
September 15, 2021 1:56 am

“The bottom line is that Cohen et al. are going to have to be lot more convincing before I believe that a single month’s snowfall in Siberia drives the weather”

It, of course, doesn’t.
What it may do is create a feedback in terms of planetary atmospheric long-waves that in conjunction with other natural variables predispose a winter where stratospheric wave-breaking is more likely.
No more, no less

Also your “belief” and resort to incredulity has no place in science.

Last edited 8 days ago by Anthony Banton
Richard Page
Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 15, 2021 5:28 am

“It, of course, doesn’t” – a definitive NO, you are absolutely positive about this. Followed by “may”, and “more likely”, followed by the hilariously juxtaposed “no more, no less.” as if you had just made a definitive statement rather than trying to avoid making one.

If you think it is wrong, fine – but make a definitive statement on what you think is correct, don’t weasel, waffle, blather, misdirect or obfuscate. Anyone might think that you may, possibly have something to hide or, more likely, were completely unsure of what it was you were trying to say.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Richard Page
September 15, 2021 11:22 am

If you say so ….

But you could look back just 4 days to see what I posted on the very same subject.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/09/11/can-arctic-warming-linked-to-colder-winters/

And maybe then you can come back and have a go at my with more informed anger.
Why are some people on here so angry?

Last edited 7 days ago by Anthony Banton
MarkW
Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 15, 2021 7:36 am

Also your “belief” and resort to incredulity has no place in science.

When do you expect to get your irony meter back from the shop?

Anthony Banton
Reply to  MarkW
September 15, 2021 11:18 am

An obvious statement has MarkW stumbling for a derogatory dig.
Bless.

BTW: No ONES belief or resort to incredulity has a place in science.

Last edited 7 days ago by Anthony Banton
Editor
September 15, 2021 2:22 am

When the inevitable, and rapid, construction of nuclear power plants gets going these things will be one more string of detritus left as evidence of subsidy extraction while the getting is good. Let’s set about getting some engineers to do a new draft of the regulations so that they encourage construction of nuclear rather than discourage it as is presently the case.

If CO2 worries you, it doesn’t worry me, then nuclear is the obvious solution to your fears. If air pollution worries you, it does me somewhat, then nuclear solves that problem too. There are no sensible arguments against nuclear any more so objections can only be political.

Time for ubiquitous, safe, clean and cheap energy for every one. Nuclear.

fretslider
September 15, 2021 3:13 am

our analysis is informative for policymakers

That just about sums it up. It’s hopelessly wrong, but it conveys the right narrative

Sara
September 15, 2021 4:53 am

Ummm…. are you sure – really, really sure – that Mr. Cohen is from this planet of ours? Just askin’, because generally speaking, we don’t get cold weather where I live without a real source. Usually, it comes out of the northwest or down Lake Michigan – stuff like that – but sometimes comes out of other areas.

Well, you know that rain can fall out of the sky if a load-bearing rain cloud of any size passes over a spot and dumps its load while moving on rapidly. That’s happened when I was out with a camera – no warning, no cloudy stuff – but it’s a fluky thing that doesn’t happen very often, and it moves very quickly and the precipitation does have a source. There are such strange weather phenomena, but they don’t happen all the time.

And when clouds are “training” – moving along rapidly in groups – these small cloudbursts do occasionally happen. Not all that unusual, but you have to be there when they happen. You might see them happen during thunderstorms, especially if the storm is moving rapidly. But that’s part of a whole stormy system, not some vortex hopping across the North Pole to freeze Texas, for Pete’s sake.

September 15, 2021 5:07 am

Many of the gas compressors in the field that send gas to electrical plants were built with electric motors instead of gas engines. When the power went down so did the compressors and then the gas fired electrical generating plants. The time to get back up required sending generators out to the compressor stations so electricity could be generated to get gas to the plants.

JamesD
Reply to  Billyjack
September 15, 2021 1:15 pm

How many went down due to deliberate load shedding?

September 15, 2021 5:23 am

It leaves me with the squeasy feeling I get when my country neighbors insist that putting hot water in the ice cube tray results in quicker ice cubes. That’s actually an experiment you can run, and I can assure that it most certainly does not (despite the arguments that are likely to follow in the comments section).”

So, what you’re saying is that I shouldn’t have hooked my ice maker’s water inlet to the hot water line?

BWill
Reply to  Sailorcurt
September 15, 2021 7:14 am

LOL! I could see some fool doing just that thinking it would actually result in hot water in the ice cube tray. It wouldn’t…

pat michaels
Reply to  Sailorcurt
September 16, 2021 12:20 pm

I’m actually talking about filling two plastic ice cube trays, one with hot and other with cold water, and switching their positions every half hour or so to adjust for the fact that freezer temperatures are uneven. This has nothing to do with an automatic icemaker module.

Silentbrick
Reply to  pat michaels
September 17, 2021 11:20 am

I’ve never heard it claimed that the hot water freezes faster. The only reason to put hot water in the trays was to get /clear/ ice cubes. Regular water results in cloudy ice cubes, which are not as pleasing to the eye as using hot water to get very nice clear ice.

H. D. Hoese
September 15, 2021 6:36 am

If you live in Texas better that you do your homework, a few examples.
https://electroverse.net/extreme-cold-now-a-result-of-global-warming-texas-2021-the-year-without-100f/
https://www.masterresource.org/texas-blackout-2021/puct-ercot-capacity-market-rethink/  &nbsp;
https://www.masterresource.org/texas-blackout-2021/texas-grid-distortion-subsidies-reliables/
https://www.masterresource.org/texas-blackout-2021/texas-legislature-blesses-renewables-peacock-interview/
https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/06/17/why_was_66_billion_spent_on_renewables_before_the_texas_blackouts_because_big_wind_and_big_solar_got_22_billion_in_subsidies_781862.html

Not sure where the link was, came out during the freeze, but the basic reason the Texas grid went down is (1) they did not go back far enough for the reference freeze (only a couple of decades, 2010 minor), needed 1989, even farther would have helped. (2) Also the wind died, same lack of historical knowledge, and (3) various backup plans inadequate. They are still installing the turbines, one blade on a truck got hit by a train in the town of Luling, Lots of links from spectators, bad intersection by a filing station, could have been much worse. Renewables mistakes are never wrong, been making them for decades.

Of course this is more important, but better this link is lost.
“Another $2 million that same month went [FROM NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION] to the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University to “remediate microaggressions and implicit biases” in engineering classrooms. When I went to A & M we got necessary and deserved discipline with a lot more than that. University of Texas called Teasips, not really, but are now worse. University administrators suffer from badly needed discipline.

Jim Whelan
September 15, 2021 7:14 am

I am quite certain that the Texas cold snap was caused by a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon on Sept 32nd 2014.

MarkW
Reply to  Jim Whelan
September 15, 2021 7:37 am

Don’t you mean 2024?

MarkW
September 15, 2021 7:27 am

I’ve always heard that you use hot water to make ice cubes in order to get clear ice cubes. That is few to no air bubbles.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  MarkW
September 15, 2021 7:48 am

And that is actually true. Hot water holds less dissolved O2 and other gases than hot water, pretty basic. But it will take longer for your clear ice cubes to freeze than if you opted for cubes full of bubbles and used cold water. Another way to get clear ice is to leave the water sitting out at room temperature overnight so that the dissolved gasses will dissipate.

JamesD
September 15, 2021 8:05 am

More important question. Did they actually load shed the cooling water pumps at a nuke? Never got any detail on how 1/2 the cooling water pumps at that nuke got shutdown. Note in load shedding schemes it is typical to trip off half.

Chuck no longer in Houston
Reply to  JamesD
September 16, 2021 9:24 am

James, I and others have answered this every time you posted this nonsense. A power plant, nuclear, or otherwise, generates all of it’s own power to operate. This is absolutely necessary for operation. Once online, It can run indefinitely without ever being connected to the grid. A cooling pump could not be affected by load shedding event from the grid. The power plant is supplying all the power it needs to operate all of its systems independently from the grid.

The problem at STNP was related to a broken or frozen sensor instrument on one of the system inlets, necessitating the shutdown of the unit.

So for about the 12th time since you started this months ago – A POWER PLANT’S COOLING PUMPS CANNOT BE LOAD SHED!

Mike Maguire
September 15, 2021 9:07 am

Here is some good science about the SSW’s(Sudden Stratospheric Warming’s) that often trigger this pattern.
Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Global warming has warmed the highest latitudes/coldest places the most during the coldest times of year. This means that the reservoir of extreme cold building in the Arctic in Winter is LESS cold because of global warming. This means that Arctic blasts into the mid latitudes will be LESS cold. It’s hard to rationalize why the condition causing extreme cold to be LESS extreme, is causing MORE extreme cold in the mid latitudes.
  2. Until you can identify the NATURAL factors that caused the exact same patterns that led to extreme cold outbreaks in the past(some even colder), before global warming…. and rule them out AFTER global warming, it must be assumed to be caused by the same NATURAL factors that have always caused extreme cold intrusions into the mid latitudes. Dugh!

https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Sudden_Stratospheric_Warming_(SSW)

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/sudden-stratospheric-warming-and-polar-vortex-early-2021

Has global warming influenced sudden stratospheric warmings in either hemisphere or is it projected to?  Butler: For the Northern Hemisphere, the short answer is that there’s been no robust trend in SSWs observed, though there is significant variation from decade to decade, with some periods like the 1990s showing almost no SSWs and others, like the 2000s, showing one almost every year. In the future, climate models do not agree about what will happen in a warmer climate. Some show significant strengthening of the polar vortex while others show weakening.

Ruleo
September 18, 2021 9:47 am

So no one is going to address the patently false statement:

putting hot water in the ice cube tray results in quicker ice cubes. That’s actually an experiment you can run, and I can assure that it most certainly does not

Mpemba effect is very real.

It’s crap like this that often shows WUWT is dogmatic and prone to accept ‘conventional wisdom’.

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