IT’S CLIMATE CATASTROPHE DU JOUR SEASON, AGAIN!

From Heartland

MAY 13, 2022
By H. Sterling Burnett

Climate Change Weekly #434

Like Pandora’s Box, global warming has been blamed for unleashing, or at least worsening, almost every manner of evil in the world—from crime to racism, mental illness to impotency, sports losses to alcoholism, wars to illegal immigration, premature births to incest among polar bears—and beyond. Almost anything one can imagine that is bad in the world, alarmists have claimed, at one time or another, climate change is making it worse.

Whereas cartoon rascal Bart Simpson regularly proclaims “I didn’t do it!”—when, of course, he usually did—climate alarmists shout “Climate change did it!” for almost any troubling trend or harmful event. Despite the lack of evidence linking the two. Or even the existence of a plausible chain of causation that would realistically link a modestly warmer world to the ills for which it is  blamed.

As I’ve documented before, even when limiting the claims to extreme weather events or natural disasters—phenomena a region’s climate provably impacts—climate alarmists often blame human-caused warming for producing contradictory or diametrically opposed weather trends or events.

Odd missives and foolish sporadic claims of climate-exacerbated ills aside, there are certain types of events climate change is, like clockwork, claimed every year to be causing or worsening. Most of these occur in the spring and summer. Interestingly, each of these weather-related events have occurred with regularity for millennia. With such regularity, in fact, they have “seasons” named after them. In particular, I’m talking about “allergy season,” “tornado season,” “wildfire season,” and “hurricane season.”

Each of these “seasons” were proclaimed long before purported human-caused climate change was first raised as a possible concern in the late 1980s. Yet now, every spring, when allergies afflict sufferers, a tornado or hurricane strikes, or a wildfire starts, one can expect dozens of headlines and on-air stories attributing the problem to climate change.

It usually begins with “allergy season.” For the past decade or more each spring people have been inundated with stories claiming climate change is causing the allergy season to begin earlier. In fact, this is the one “seasonal” problem which may be fairly linked to climate change. Extended allergy seasons are a result of the earlier onset of spring and lusher plant growth, an important beneficial impact of a warming world. As explored in two recent Climate Realism posts responding to stories published by the Associated Press and in The New Scientist, the longer allergy season is an unfortunate, but manageable, side-effect of the beneficial greening of the earth which is causing trees, plants, grasses, and food crops to grow larger, faster. This greening has contributed to the largest decline in global hunger in history. And the greater plant growth not only removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but the allergy-causing pollen emitted is great for pollinators like bees and birds.

Next up is “tornado season,” typically running from March to early June. You haven’t seen many headlines touting record-setting tornado numbers or severity this year because, with less than a month to go in the season, it has thus far been a below-average year. As I write, only 508 tornadoes of all intensities have been recorded across the continental United States in 2022, compared to 1,200 in a typical year and more than 1,300 in 2021. Indeed, as reported in Climate at a Glance: Tornadoes, the number of tornadoes has been declining for the past 45 years, with the number of strong tornadoes, F3 or higher, falling dramatically. The United States set a record in 2017–18 for the longest period in recorded history without a tornado death, and it set a record for the longest period in history (306 days) without an EF3 or stronger tornado. Even the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finds no evidence climate change is making tornadoes more prevalent or more powerful, writing, “[t]here is low confidence in observed trends in small spatial-scale phenomena such as tornadoes.”

“Wildfire season” started earlier than usual this year in the desert Southwest. Never ones to let a crisis go to waste, numerous media outlets blamed the early start of the fire season to human-caused climate change, warning it was a harbinger of worse things to come. For instance, on consecutive days in early May, Yahoo News published an article titled, “Climate change is why New Mexico’s wildfire season started early this year,” and Market Watch published one titled, “The Southwest is on fire—climate change is one reason why those wildfires are earlier and more intense.” Both stories and others published recently imply climate change is causing earlier, more intense wildfires in the desert Southwest. Climate Realism responded with data showing these claims are untrue.

Data from New Mexico show this year’s wildfires are hardly unique. From 1996 to 2013, New Mexico experienced 12 wildfires greater than 40 km2 during April in seven different years and nine wildfires started in March in three separate years. In addition, one of Arizona’s largest wildfires in recent decades, the 1996 Lone Fire, began in April.

Data from U.S. National Interagency Fire Center show wildfires in the United States burn approximately 1/4th to 1/5th the amount of acreage annually they did in the 1930s.

What is true of the United States is true for the world in general. For instance, a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research analyzing global wildfires back to 1901 reported “a notable declining rate of burned area globally.” In addition, NASA satellites have documented a global long-term decline in wildfires. NASA reports satellites have measured a 25 percent decrease in global acreage burned since 2003.

The scientist interviewed in the Market Watch story, Molly Hunter, associate research professor in environment and natural resources at the University of Arizona in Tucson, lists a number of reasons accounting for this year’s early wildfire start, none of which have anything to do with climate change. Hunter says:

This year we also have a lot of fuel to burn. Last summer, in 2021, the Southwest had an exceptional monsoon season that left green hillsides and lots of vegetation. By now the grasses and forbs that established during the monsoon have dried out, leaving a lot of biomass that can carry a fire. Often in the Southwest, our biggest fire years come when we have a wet period followed by a dry period, like the La Niña conditions we’re experiencing now.

Two additional factors cited by Hunter as contributing to Western wildfires in recent years are the spread of invasive grasses—like buffelgrass, red brome, and cheatgrass, which spread quickly and dry out early, providing large amounts of fuel for severe wildfires—and the booming human population.

Environments with invasive grasses are twice as likely to burn as acreage without them.

Tragically, increasingly the spark for wildfires is human action, through intentional arson or thoughtless negligence.

“[S]tates are also seeing more fires caused by human activities, such as fireworks, sparks from vehicles or equipment, and power lines,” Hunter told Market Watch. “More people are moving out into areas that are fire-prone, creating more opportunities for human-caused ignition.”

The U.S. Forest Service estimates up to 85 percent of wildfires in recent decades were not started by lightning strikes or other natural factors, but by human ignition.

In short, climate change is not among the various factors which have resulted in an early, but not unique, onset of the wildfire season.

Then, there is the granddaddy of all seasonal scares: “hurricane season.” This season officially begins in June and runs through November. However, as is true with the other seasonal weather events or impacts discussed above, the occasional hurricane does form outside the official season. Thankfully, no hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic or Pacific in 2022; but, as in past years, when one does, especially if it builds into a major hurricane and makes landfall, one can predict with some degree of confidence corporate media outlets will be all over it, linking it, and every other major landfalling tropical cyclone this year to climate change.

These claims will be false—as they were when alarmists made them in the past. Climate Realism has published more than 110 responses to government and mainstream media reports linking one hurricane or another to human fossil-fuel use.

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) show hurricanes have become neither more numerous nor more powerful during the past half-century of modest warming.

The EPA’s 2021 report titled “Climate Change Indicators: Tropical Cyclone Activity” states:

Since 1878, about six to seven hurricanes have formed in the North Atlantic every year. Roughly two per year make landfall in the United States. The total number of hurricanes (particularly after being adjusted for improvements in observation methods) and the number reaching the United States do not indicate a clear overall trend since 1878.

The EPA’s conclusion hurricanes have not become more numerous in recent years is unsurprising, because the IPCC’s 2018 interim report came to the same conclusion. And the NHC reports hurricane impacts on the United States are at an all-time low. The United States recently went more than a decade, 2005 through 2017, without experiencing the landfall of a major hurricane measuring Category 3 or higher—the longest such period in recorded history.

How can climate change be making hurricanes more frequent, more powerful, and more deadly, when the data show none of the claims is true? The answer is, it can’t.

So, while you gird yourselves for the onslaught of alarming stories claiming climate change is behind every pollen-induced sneeze, wildfire, tornado, and hurricane in 2022, keep your allergy medicine on hand and your home insurance paid up, and take comfort in the fact that all of these claims are false.

SOURCES: Climate RealismClimate RealismClimate at a Glance


IN THIS ISSUE … Too Hot Models Foul Up Climate Projections … Wind, Solar Struggle With Higher Prices And Material Shortages


TOO HOT MODELS FOUL UP CLIMATE PROJECTIONS

Climate modelers and scientists assessing them are once again acknowledging climate models are running too hot, meaning their projections for future climate change can’t be trusted. A new paper in the peer-reviewed journal Nature points out the “parade of ‘faster than expected’ [temperature rise] results … threaten to undermine the credibility of climate science.”

The paper argues researchers should no longer use the average of all the climate model projections, which includes models that reference Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP 8.5), the highest emission scenario ever used, because RCP 8.5 is actually impossible. Using climate models that contain RCP 8.5 results in global temperature projections as much as 0.7°C warmer than an estimate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for 2100, and much higher than actually recorded temperature trends.

“We need to use a slightly different approach,” comments Zeke Hausfather, lead author of the paper. “We must move away from the naïve idea of model democracy.”

Instead, he and his colleagues call for a model meritocracy, prioritizing results from models simulating rates of warming which most closely correspond to the rates of warming actually recorded by land-based temperature stations, global satellites, weather balloons, and ocean buoys.

Among the agencies that use the flawed averaging of all climate models and assume too great a sensitivity to increases in carbon dioxide emissions are the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. Department of Energy, the United Kingdom’s Met Office, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

SOURCES: NatureScienceClimate Change DispatchClimate Realism


WIND, SOLAR STRUGGLE WITH HIGHER PRICES AND MATERIAL SHORTAGES

Eversource, the largest energy provider in New England, initiated a review of its offshore wind ventures, which have been endorsed and encouraged by the Biden administration.

The company is undertaking a “strategic review” of its 50 percent stake in multiple joint offshore wind projects with international renewable energy giant Ørsted to determine if the projects still make good business sense. Eversource serves about 4 million customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The multi-billion-dollar joint ventures with Ørsted include three offshore wind projects: the South Fork Wind and Sunrise Wind projects off New York’s coast and the Revolution Wind planned for waters off Rhode Island.

Eversource’s review could lead to the sale of all or part of the company’s stake in its partnership with Ørsted.

Eversource touted its joint offshore investments with Ørsted as late as February 11, at a groundbreaking ceremony for the South Fork Wind project in East Hampton, New York. The groundbreaking was attended by U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D).

Despite singing the praises of its offshore wind efforts just three months ago, Eversource is now putting the brakes on. Eversource’s review comes amid difficult times for the wind and solar industries. Commodity prices for elements critical to solar panels and wind turbines have risen faster than the rate of inflation in recent months. This has resulted in materials shortages, project delays, cost overruns, and declining profits for wind and solar developers.

The Daily Caller reports the average price for wind, solar, and battery technologies increased 28.5 percent between 2021 and 2022, while the number of wind and solar project completions fell sharply, by 73 percent, between 2019 and 2021.

SOURCE: Daily CallerBusiness Wire

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ResourceGuy
May 13, 2022 2:18 pm

This is one time when seemingly innocent (and meaningless) climate scare ad placements on all the media will encourage arsonists to join in. It will do real harm this time in the name of unreal agendas.

Peter W
May 13, 2022 2:29 pm

This whole business is a bunch of ridiculous fear-mongering garbage! And I say this having listened to both sides of the issue and having studied the matter since 2006, since a visit to Glacier Bay in Alaska where I learned about the reality of the massive 65 mile long glacier which occupied the bay around the year 1900 and mostly melted during the rest of that century.

Peter W
Reply to  Peter W
May 13, 2022 2:39 pm

Correction – the glacier occupied the bay in 1800 and was mostly melted by 1900.

Scissor
Reply to  Peter W
May 13, 2022 6:47 pm

All those Yukon Gold Rush prospectors and their gasoline powered snowmobiles.

H.R.
Reply to  Scissor
May 13, 2022 7:09 pm

I think it was the drab diet of beans they ate**, but I’m open to argument.

**cf Blazing Saddles fireside bean dinner scene. You either laugh or cringe. It’s a left/right litmus test.

MJPenny
Reply to  H.R.
May 15, 2022 2:20 pm

Are you allowed to laugh and cringe at the same time?

observa
Reply to  Peter W
May 14, 2022 3:47 am

You have to keep an eagle eye out for those changes in regional wind patterns that can mask the inexorable dooming signal-
Some Antarctic ice shelves have GROWN in the last 20 years (msn.com)

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Peter W
May 13, 2022 3:24 pm

This page summarizes the ~500 year history of Glacier Bay.
The glaciers reached their maximum around 1750 and have been in retreat since, well before human CO2 emissions rocketed around 1945.
That’s not to say emissions have had no effect in the past eighty years as theoretically adding CO2 to the atmosphere is a sufficient cause but not a necessary cause of increasing temperature, that happens naturally of course; the climate is impossibly complex and the IPCC attribution of practically all the post-1950 net warming to human emissions is absurd.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Peter W
May 13, 2022 7:13 pm

Organic debris flowing out from under the Glacier Bay glaciers has been carbon dated to 7,000-5,000 BP, indicating vegetation grew then where land ice is today.

H.R.
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
May 13, 2022 9:52 pm

Well that’s *ahem* inconvenient, Mike.

Has anyone mentioned that to Algore? Greta, maybe?

May 13, 2022 2:35 pm

Molly Hunter’s comment leads to a parallel in The Great Covid Swindle. It’s known as the “dry tinder” effect. If a country has a succession of years with below-average deaths from respiratory viruses, then when there is a pandemic the figures often show a much higher spike than other countries. This is largely caused by the build up of elderly, vulnerable people in the population and not by any exceptional virulence of the virus.

Bob Weber(@coolclimateinfo)
Reply to  suffolkboy
May 13, 2022 3:53 pm

Thank you for your well-said comment. I’d not heard this either specifically identified at all nor called the ‘dry tinder effect’ before, nor had I seen anyone else state it as you did since I first addressed this issue in closing my 2020 AGU poster with the following chart (as of Nov. 7 2020), which meant exactly what you said:

comment image

I think many 2020 CV19 deaths were likely high UV Index driven heat deaths.

comment image

This year UVI is already in the dangerous red zone in the US S-SW, fomenting wildfires too.

comment image

Scissor
Reply to  Bob Weber
May 13, 2022 6:55 pm

It’s weird, Covid deaths post “vaccines” now greatly exceed deaths prior to “vaccines,” especially in G20 countries with high vaccination rates.

H.R.
Reply to  Scissor
May 13, 2022 9:55 pm

Is this where an “oops!” goes?

Rod Evans
Reply to  H.R.
May 14, 2022 6:05 am

I think the preferred expression when uncomfortable facts emerge and it is too late to put things right is, Oh Fu*k

Fraizer
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 14, 2022 10:05 am

“What difference now does it make?”

Ack
May 13, 2022 3:24 pm

Anything to distract from the Biden disaster

oeman 50
Reply to  Ack
May 14, 2022 9:01 am

Didn’t you know CO2 made Joe Biden President? Talk about a catastrophe!

DMacKenzie
May 13, 2022 4:17 pm

Speaking of CLIMATE CATASTROPHE DU JOUR….despite 12 record lows broken, climate change was not mentioned once….”chilly weather” was.
FYI the little Canadian province of British Columbia is about twice the area of France…and if 12 hot records were broken in France, the clim-media would probably break out in chlamydia…..

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/record-cold-bc-spring-1.6452465

Last edited 11 days ago by DMacKenzie
Chris Nisbet
Reply to  DMacKenzie
May 13, 2022 5:10 pm

What I’ve noticed here in NZ when it gets a bit cold is that we get ‘cold snaps’, and a comment somewhere in the article that warmer weather will return – implying that any cold weather will be very short-lived, and that warm weather is the norm.
Here’s an example – the very first google search hit for “NZ cold snap”.
https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/05/11/time-to-get-out-winter-woolies-as-cold-snap-hits-nz/

H.R.
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
May 13, 2022 9:58 pm

Funny that… I’ve never read about “warm snaps”. Are ‘warm snaps’ a thing?

Wait up… maybe I should google “nice weather’.

Rob_Dawg
May 13, 2022 4:29 pm

> Climate modelers and scientists assessing them are once again acknowledging climate models are running too hot, meaning their projections for future climate change can’t be trusted.

No. It is not the projections that cannot be trusted. It is the scientists and their models that cannot be trusted.

Kevin Stall
May 13, 2022 4:32 pm

They claim that higher temps cause more rain. Let’s see how warm it can get before LA has enough rain to prevent wildfires. Either the are traditional occurs or it is climate change.

John in Oz
Reply to  Kevin Stall
May 13, 2022 5:47 pm

They claim that higher temps cause more rain.”

In a recent WUWT article it was stated that cloud cover has been decreasing for several years. Less cloud (ie, water vapour), less rain, one would think.

Perhaps one of our more knowledgeable contributors could explain how the CAGW claim of higher temps cause more rain thus more (catastrophic) rain vs the observed/measured less cloud cover.

Bruce
May 13, 2022 6:47 pm

In northern Ontario’s boreal forest, the fire cycle is about 100 years. This means that the boreal forest, which is most of northern Ontario, burns every 100 years. Not all of it burns at once, and some areas burn more frequently than other areas. But on average, thousands of acres burn every year. Naturally. This is never explained or mentioned by the MSM; every forest fire is reported as a ‘catastrophe’ and blamed on global warming. It’s a farce.

Robert of Texas
May 13, 2022 7:55 pm

The U.S. Forest Service estimates up to 85 percent of wildfires in recent decades…by human ignition.”

Yes, but Climate Change MADE them do it!

Tombstone Gabby
May 13, 2022 9:25 pm

Wild fires? Arizona. Had lunch today with a chap associated with the Palominas Volunteer Fire Department. The San Rafeal Fire came up in the conversation. Another friend at the table asked, “How did it start?” “The first firefighters to arrive ran into Border Patrol officers. They were chasing illegals, who started the fire.”

11,620 acres. Details at: https://www.fireweatheravalanche.org/fire/state/arizona

Look along the southern border, just east of Nogales. Click on the fire symbol.

Interesting: the “Cause” is shown as “Under investigation”. I guess it’s not politically polite to blame “undocumented emigrants”.

H.R.
Reply to  Tombstone Gabby
May 13, 2022 10:01 pm

Too busy swilling infant formula to pay attention to their campfires, I suppose.

H.R.
Reply to  H.R.
May 13, 2022 10:03 pm

Uhhh, shoulda put an /political cynicism there, I suppose. Sorry.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  H.R.
May 13, 2022 10:29 pm

G’Day HR,

“… political cynicism… “

I entered the US legally in 1970. A clean bill from the police where ever I’d lived during the previous three years. A full medical exam, including a chest xray (TB), a one hour interview at the Sydney Consulate. “Where are you going to live?” “What work will you do?” “If we have to deport you, and you have a bank account, we can take that money to pay for your deportation.” etc. And, “You will register for the draft within six months of arriving in the US.” (I did, at age 29.)

(Part of that three year period I was on the island of Borneo. Ever had your fingerprints taken with a purple ink stamp pad? Took a couple of days to get the stain off.)

I don’t hold with folks just walking across the border.

Last edited 11 days ago by Tombstone Gabby
Matthew Sykes
May 14, 2022 12:37 am

Of course without man there to make fire breaks, drop water out of planes, rake the forest floor, the litter would build up over the decades and there would be one almighty fire that would take out the entire western US. Then some decades later, exactly the same thing.

And this is natural. Many of these plants are adapted to fire and need it to reproduce.

Fires IS natural. What is unnatural is man trying to limit them.

DHR
May 14, 2022 6:51 am

Not to worry. I am sure that our new disinformation office in the Department of Justice will investigate those who disinform us about climate change effects and let us know the truth. No?

Bruce Cobb
May 14, 2022 12:36 pm

EverStupid has a goal of being “carbon neutral” by 2030. No matter what that does to electricity rates.

observa
May 15, 2022 2:47 am
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