Are Extremes Increasing?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

As the result of an untimely rush of blood to my head, I posted the first comment on an article at PhysOrg entitled On this flooded island of homeless people, climate change has never been more real. Pulling out all the stops to tug at our heartstrings, the article talks about some homeless folks in Sacramento, California who apparently believed the recent drought would last forever. The story was also picked up by the LA Times and other papers. Of course, the LA Times can’t call them “homeless”, that’s not politically correct these days. The term currently used by noble virtue signalers is “unhoused” …

[Lest you think I am without compassion for the homeless, please read my posts “Fixing The Brakes“, “Fixing The EGR“, and “Wandering In Wonderland“. But I digress …]

In any case, here’s the backstory. As a result of thinking the river would never rise again, or perhaps not considering the river at all, a number of the “unhoused” took up residence on a spit of land jutting into the Sacramento river called “Bannon Island”. And of course, 100% predictably, after the last several years of little rain the recent strong rains slowly transformed the spit. First, it turned back into an island, then into a partially-flooded marsh. As the photo above shows, now these unhoused people have to travel to/from their unhouses by raft. Shocking, I know, and obviously a clear sign of “climate change” to the climate ignorati.

My comment was:

When California was dry over the last few years, that drought was blamed on “climate change”, and the people on Bannon Island were high and dry. Mostly high.

Now that we have rainfall again, Bannon Island is partially submerged, and the people on Bannon Island are wet, but likely still high … and that is also blamed on “climate change” …

You guys are a joke. If both wet and dry can be blamed on climate change, then EVERYTHING is the result of climate change. And that’s just nonsensical.

Get a grip. California has had both floods and droughts for untold millennia. And if you live on a low-lying spit of land in a riverbed, you can’t be surprised if the rain may flood your home.

Duh.

w.

Likely somewhat harsh in retrospect, but I don’t care for folks who turn human foolishness and lack of foresight into some kind of bogus climate morality tale.

Amid the usual mud-throwing personal attacks on me that are the typical response of people who have no scientific ammunition, someone said:

It is pretty clear even to high school students: more energy in a system with high contrasts and processes of mixture leads to increased extremes, on either side. You don’t even need earth science for this, of which much can influence the outcome, exacerbate or dampen events.

To which I replied:

While this may be true in theory, recently in fact there has been LESS annual variation in rainfall in Sacramento. Variations in the 1800’s were larger than today. See here for the actual data. (Note there is missing data for a few of the recent years.)

Unfortunately, the PhysOrg website doesn’t allow images in comments. If they had, I’d have posted up this graphic.

Figure 1. Monthly rainfall, Sacramento, CA. Source: KNMI

Of course, this was not convincing to the gentleman, who once again resorted to a personal attack, saying “It is true in practice and you are not a climate scientist.” I had to laugh at that, given that my work has been cited by the IPCC as well as in a Congressional submission to the EPA, and Google Scholar lists ~ 200 citations to my various scientific articles.

However, it did give me an idea about how I could measure “climate extremes”. I decided to take a look at a trailing standard deviation of the Sacramento rainfall data. “Standard deviation” is a measure of the spread of the data. If we’re currently getting more extremes, meaning more wet years and also more dry years, then the standard deviation of the recent data should be greater than that of the earlier years.

A “trailing standard deviation” measures the standard deviation of some number of years previous to a given year. I used a 30-year trailing standard deviation in the graphic below, meaning that each data point in time represents the standard deviation of the 30-year period prior to that time. Why 30 years? Well, calculations over that length of time are generally said to represent the climate rather than the weather. Here’s the result.

Figure 2. 30-year trailing standard deviation of the monthly rainfall in Sacramento, California. Photo shows one of the unhoused inhabitants of Bannon Island considering the vagaries and peccadilloes of the weather.

“Great,” sez I, “done deal!” … however, as has happened more than once, during the night I woke up and thought “Hang on, I left something out!” Grrr … what I’d left out is the fact that as the average rainfall decreases, as has happened in Sacramento, we’d expect the standard deviation to decrease as well. So Figure 1 was not showing what I wanted to investigate.

Of course, that kept me tossing and turning the rest of the night, until I got up early and redid my calculations by expressing them as the 30-year trailing standard deviation divided by the 30-year trailing mean (average) of the values. This removes the effects of the change in the mean over time. Here’s that result.

Figure 3. 30-year trailing standard deviation of the monthly rainfall divided by the 30-year trailing mean (average) of the monthly rainfall, Sacramento, California.

So that was encouraging. The shape of the curve changed, but the conclusion of decreasing extremes was unchanged.

Upon seeing that I had another thought, viz, “Well, maybe I’m missing short-term increases in extremes that are masked by looking at a 30-year time span”. So instead, I looked at 6-year trailing standard deviations divided by 6-year trailing means as shown below.

Figure 4. 6-year trailing standard deviation of the monthly rainfall divided by the 6-year trailing mean of the monthly rainfall, Sacramento, California.

Clearly, despite generally rising temperatures and “more energy in the system”, the variations in rainfall in Sacramento have been getting less extreme, not more extreme … go figure.

At some future date I might take a look at some other datasets … any suggestions regarding what data might be revealing gladly accepted, but no guarantees. Ars longa, vita brevis


California rain is important to me because I live in a redwood forest about six miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, an hour and a half north of San Francisco … and the rain continues to fall. Supposed to rain every day for the next ten days, looks like a real frog-strangler. No complaints from me, though, it fills the water table so our water well will produce in the upcoming summer.

My best to all, wet or dry, housed or un,

w.

As Is My Custom: I ask that when you comment, you quote the exact words you are discussing. This lets everyone know exactly who and what you are discussing, and it avoids many of the misunderstandings that plague the Web.

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Tom Halla
January 11, 2023 10:07 am

Of course, a proper green has no idea of what a standard deviation is, and does not care to learn.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 11, 2023 10:24 am

A proper green thinks Conservatives are deviant

bnice2000
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 11, 2023 11:15 am

To a leftist/AGW stall-wart, mathematics is racist, hence irrelevant.

Only what they “feel” is happening, matters.

Richard Greene
Reply to  Tom Halla
January 12, 2023 1:14 pm

Climate Howlers and Green Dreamers know all about other “deviations”

Last edited 17 days ago by Richard Greene
Decaf
January 11, 2023 10:12 am

‘As the result of an untimely rush of blood to my head, I posted the first comment on an article at PhysOrg entitled On this flooded island of homeless people, climate change has never been more real.’

I am familiar with those untimely rushes of blood to my head, as well as the tossing and turning following a less-than-perfect comeback, as I figure out how to make my point even more perfectly, because of course that will convince them. Lately, I realized that the people to whom I address those refutations will never bow to logic or reason. They know only the supremacy of their own words.

Bryan A
Reply to  Decaf
January 11, 2023 10:29 am

Statistically speaking homeless people tend to conglomerate in areas where homes aren’t located. Homes aren’t located in areas where rainfall runoff gathers. But homeless encampments also gather in places where rainfall runoff gathers. The homeless should relocate their encampments to higher ground, perhaps the area surrounding the Governor’s Mansion.

derbrix
Reply to  Bryan A
January 11, 2023 12:47 pm

Quite unlike the vast majority here on WUWT, for a period of 2½ years from 2012 to 2015, I was one of those homeless veterans. Finding a place to sleep at night that is somewhat secure yet out of the way is filled with problems. Finding a semi-permanent place is even more difficult.

May be difficult for many to understand, but there are levels in homeless encampments, it’s not just a mass of people situated somewhere. Usually the veterans find the best places that are on higher ground, yet still concealed. The somewhat more stable homeless surround the veterans and rings of progressively less stable form around that core.

While I wasn’t in California, I was in northern Florida where it does rain quite often, so higher ground is much more preferable. But that higher ground is also much more developed which means getting rousted often.

PCman999
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 11, 2023 2:12 pm

That would have been good to include in the original blood-rush reply, as well as a comment that the eco-loons are blatantly exploiting the homeless, poor, racialized, etc., for political gain, yet all their policies make things more expensive and jobs less available.

DavsS
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 12, 2023 5:08 am

So the NYT is useful for something?

Loren Wilson
Reply to  Bryan A
January 11, 2023 5:30 pm

Plenty of people build in the flood plain due to the perverse incentive of taxpayer-subsidized flood insurance. People build next to rivers and stream, next to the beach, and on barrier islands. In my town, a couple of subdivisions were built inside the local flood control reservoir. Barker reservoir in Houston has levees than extend well into the populated area. These houses are built several feet below the spillway elevation. I can only assume that some palms were greased.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Bryan A
January 12, 2023 4:00 am

And Pelosi’s back yard.

Editor
Reply to  Decaf
January 11, 2023 12:21 pm

If the people to whom you address refutations will never bow to logic or reason, then you are writing for the benefit of third parties who may well bow to logic or reason. You are also making it impossible to claim truthfully that no-one has refuted.

Richard Greene
Reply to  Mike Jonas
January 12, 2023 1:16 pm

Leftists don’t debate
They character attack
A debate in favor of leftist positions can’t be won, that’s why.

Clyde Spencer
January 11, 2023 10:13 am

… the 30-year trailing standard deviation divided by the 30-year trailing mean (average) of the values. This removes the effects of the change in the mean over time.

At some future date I might take a look at some other datasets …

That is essentially the approach I used to demonstrate the lack of evidence for increasing heat waves.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/06/the-gestalt-of-heat-waves/

Duane
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 11, 2023 11:19 am

Any system will tend towards a steady state with zero extremes unless something within or external to the system causes instability. It matters not how much energy is in the system.

The sun and all stars are great examples of this. Nothing in the universe is more energy packed than a star at some point in its life cycle (from initial birth through maturity and ending in a black hole). Yet stars are extremely stable, with very little variation in the performance of the star in terms of energy content, temperature, energy and matter transfer, and so forth as related to the total energy content of the star (which of course is a function of the fusion process that converts its mass into energy).

Earth’s weather is grotesquely more unstable than the performance of the sun, or any star. Be it on daily weather extremes (temperature, wind speed, precipitation, etc.), or seasonal extremes, or long term climatic extremes. The the vastly higher energy sun just keeps chugging away with very little change … at about the same constant temperature, emitting about the same light energy, and experiencing energetic releases of material across its surface.

Editor
Reply to  Duane
January 11, 2023 12:56 pm

“Any system will tend towards a steady state with zero extremes unless something within or external to the system causes instability.”. Now that is a nice clear statement. And that in turn is why I prefer the old Second Law of Thermodynamics (eg. “There cannot be a net transfer of heat from a colder object to a hotter object without work”) to the new law (eg. “the total entropy of a system either increases or remains constant in any spontaneous process; it never decreases”). Funny how it seems to be very difficult now to find any statement of what the Second Law of Thermodynamics actually is. I’m sure that many years ago you could easily find the old definition in a clear single sentence and that a few years ago, you could easily find the new definition in a clear single sentence. Now it seems quite difficult to find any statement of the law in a clear single sentence. eg, Wikipedia‘s page begins with two different statements and neither is the new definition – and I don’t think they got either of them right. Or maybe the new definition has been abandoned? If they have abandoned it, that would be good. Next, they need to abandon the ridiculous “years BP (Before Present)”, which is already 72 years out of date.

slowroll
Reply to  Mike Jonas
January 12, 2023 10:57 am

An old professor I remember saying that the first 2 laws of thermodynamics are simple: the first law states that regarding energy one can only break even. The second law says you cannot even do that.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Duane
January 11, 2023 6:42 pm

Any system will tend towards a steady state with zero extremes unless something within or external to the system causes instability.

Do you have a citation for that claim, or are you claiming to be the authority? I think that should be amended to read “Any system with negative feedback loops …” I seem to remember reading that the B2 stealth bomber was so inherently unstable that it couldn’t be flown by a human and required a computer to make continuous, instantaneous adjustments to the attitude controls to keep it in the air. I would consider the B2 to be a “system.”

Yet stars are extremely stable, with very little variation in the performance of the star in terms of energy content, …

Except for a 22-year cycle of varying intensity and spectral output, accompanied by variations in the frequency and intensity of coronal mass ejections and sunspots. Sol apparently brightened significantly in its early years, and can be expected to increase its size to include the orbit of Earth as a Red Giant, before collapsing into a White Dwarf. It is unlikely to become a Black Hole. The point being that a star has such longevity that, compared to human lifetimes, it appears to be stable — until it isn’t. However, viewed in the context of its lifetime, it experiences significant changes without any external influences. Like any living organism, it is born, goes through stages, and eventually dies of old age.

Last edited 18 days ago by Clyde Spencer
Eric Vieira
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 12, 2023 1:42 am

This aerodynamic instability is a typical feature of combat aircraft.
Typical is the inverted V configuration (wrt vertical axis) of the wings compared to a normal V for standard aircraft. This makes them much more maneuverable compared to civilian planes. The pseudo-stability is achieved thanks to computer technology that reacts extremely rapidly to keep the plane under control.

Last edited 17 days ago by Eric Vieira
Citizen Smith
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 12, 2023 10:57 am

Or as has been said by many cribbage players: You can’t go below zero.

ResourceGuy
January 11, 2023 10:14 am

Media and policy extremes have clearly increased–along with debt.

Bryan A
January 11, 2023 10:18 am

Extremes aren’t increasing statistically speaking. But Extremists definitely are.

John Hultquist
January 11, 2023 10:18 am

I love it when an author uses self-portraits in the text.
Well done, Sir. 🧑‍🎄😂

Giving_Cat
January 11, 2023 10:20 am

Here on the generally/usually bucolic “Gold Coast” (Ventura to San Luis Obispo Counties) we are experiencing rain bordering on heavy rain. Did people think the Santa Clara River with banks a quarter mile apart but also sometimes dry was some ancient artifact?

The local “public” radio station is all over the climate change meme regardless. Somehow they fail to mention they are paid extra to work climate change into any story.

ClimateBear
Reply to  Giving_Cat
January 11, 2023 7:40 pm

Here in Oz there has been large floods courtesy of a La Nina (Wet season in Oz. El Nino is dry), a negative Indian Ocean Dipole ( more wet from the west and other unusual coincident effects such as net easterl winds on the east coast meaning rain systems stay around for longer in given locations. You know what happened? The flood plains all flooded! Weird but true and obviously caused by CATASTROPHIC CLIMATE CHANGE. Never mind thet the flood plains have formed over the millenia since the last Ice Age caused by …. similar unusual but recurring conicident large scale systems. Fancy that, natural causes which is why (if you listen carefully) you will hear ‘the highest flood level since 1897/1925/1954/1976/1990’ etc.

Theyouk
January 11, 2023 10:21 am

Greetings from Sacramento, and happy new year to all.
The document at this link https://cepsym.org/Sympro1996/Goodridge.pdf (which has likely circulated amongst this crew many times already) is not ‘proof’ of anything, but is a fun read over a cup of coffee for the alarmist ilk who don’t believe that any extreme rainfall events ever existed in CA before this year (and it does not cover the CA Flood of 1605 which dwarfed the 1861-62 event).
Willis–Interesting dissection; thank you. I was not expecting to see any clear trend at all; bit of a surprise there. Now if we could just get the main ‘dumps’ over the next week to focus on the watersheds for Lake Shasta and Oroville, where there’s still plenty of capacity and a need for more snowpack.

Phil.
Reply to  Theyouk
January 11, 2023 4:10 pm

Oroville has been filling up nicely over the last week (faster than 2019 when it filled up last):
https://oroville.lakesonline.com/Level/

ResourceGuy
January 11, 2023 10:22 am

Can the homeless people sue based on linear predictions of continued drought and its material cost to living standards and possessions?

Old.George
January 11, 2023 10:32 am

 “Well, maybe I’m missing short-term increases in extremes that are masked by looking at a 30-year time span”
Even 30-year spans seem too short to judge climate change. Each data point should be the average at least the prior 60 years or even a century. In my opinion, shorter-term intervals reveal absolutely nothing about climate, only weather.

rckkrgrd
Reply to  Old.George
January 12, 2023 7:09 am

Agreed. 30 years can only represent a short term trend in weather at best. It is probably chosen because that is the longest with consistently derived data, of sufficient quantity and quality, so that apples are not compared to apples.
Many so called climate scientists are not constrained by this problem and will use mixtures of data to support their claims. I am sure I do not have to name the suspects. They are at best very poor statisticians.
It is too bad we do not have a thousand years or more of satellite data. That is about the shortest period I would trust to show climate variations and trends.

rckkrgrd
Reply to  rckkrgrd
January 12, 2023 7:11 am

Sorry. Apples compared to oranges

mleskovarsocalrrcom
January 11, 2023 10:43 am

Propaganda, plain and simple. Capture a narrative and push it to the limit and to hell with the facts. “Facts”? “We make the news”.

Hivemind
Reply to  mleskovarsocalrrcom
January 11, 2023 6:29 pm

“make”, as in “manufacture”.

honestyrus
January 11, 2023 10:48 am

Willis should get with the program. Any unwelcome weather is caused by catastrophic climate change. I have models to prove it.

PCman999
Reply to  honestyrus
January 11, 2023 2:32 pm

Any unwelcome thing, or anything that can be twisted into being considered unwelcome, is considered caused by CO2 and global communism and poverty is the only solution.

No one living in saner times and 30-90° N or S would have considered gentle warming of a fraction of a degree per decade a bad thing and certainly not an emergency!

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  PCman999
January 12, 2023 4:11 am

And especially when the “base” used to set the amount of “change” is The Little Ice Age, the coldest period during modern human civilization, and a period of misery, suffering and death.

Warming climate during an INTERGLACIAL period during an ice age is GOOD NEWS, not a “catastrophe.”

Richard Greene
Reply to  honestyrus
January 12, 2023 1:18 pm

Bad weather = climate change
Good weather = just weather

Tusten02
January 11, 2023 10:50 am

Listen to the recent you tube meeting between Jordan Peterson as interviewer and Richard Lindzen, professor of dynamic meteorology. Do we have to worry about climate change? Yes, says Lindzen, in 5000 years when a new ice age will be emerging.

Fran
Reply to  Tusten02
January 11, 2023 3:23 pm

Well worth the time. Lindzen comes across as too nice to ever go for the jugular in an argument, probably his worst fault.

doonman
Reply to  Fran
January 12, 2023 12:42 am

Actually, it’s an asset.

rckkrgrd
Reply to  Fran
January 12, 2023 7:16 am

Not a fault that applies to Mr. Peterson. He shows little hesitancy in expressing what he discerns as truth. Very refreshing, even when you don’t agree with him.

Richard Greene
Reply to  Fran
January 12, 2023 1:20 pm

Lindzen has been getting in some insults at Climate Howlers in recent years and he actually advised people to ridicule climate scaremongering. I’ve been ridiculing leftists since 1973.

Rick Wedel
Reply to  Tusten02
January 13, 2023 1:12 pm

Thanks for the advice to listen to this interview. I just did, and it is outstanding and well worth the time.

Michael in Dublin
January 11, 2023 10:54 am

If every weather condition – heat and cold, floods and drought, fierce winds and lulls – are all indicators of climate change then nothing is an indicator of climate change. That is inescapable logic that climate alarmist seem to sorely lack.

rckkrgrd
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
January 12, 2023 7:19 am

Refer to it as climate change AKA global warming to expose some of the hypocrisy. Going along with the tactic of the name change strengthens the alarmist position.

JCM
January 11, 2023 10:58 am

Relative warming increases evaporation; relative cooling increases condensation. What’s worse? i don’t know.

It’s the condensation periods you need to worry about when it comes to excess rainfall and overland flow.

And it’s all relative. The intensity of squeezing out the sponge (cooling/condensation) is proportional to delta T.

absolute temps make little difference, it’s about intensity of variation.

JCM
Reply to  JCM
January 11, 2023 3:04 pm

Looking more at the big picture, it should be evident that during periods of global cooling more intense precipitation events are likely. During periods of global warming, more intense drought periods are likely.

The unproven AGW hypothesis, due to emission of trace gas, assumes relative humidity to remain constant. So, the level of saturation of air does not change. A similar “squeeze”, regardless of initial temperature, will result in a similar amount of excess to be precipitated out.

Using this physical explanation, an uptick in heavy precipitation events should be associated with global cooling, not global warming.

rckkrgrd
Reply to  JCM
January 12, 2023 7:25 am

Uh, the ice ages are associated with drying. This is usually explained by water locked up in glaciers or less exposed water surface, but the ability of cooler air to hold moisture must have some affect.

JCM
Reply to  rckkrgrd
January 12, 2023 12:03 pm

during glaciation thousands of metres of ice accumulates on land, until it doesn’t, and deglaciation begins.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  JCM
January 12, 2023 4:17 am

Yes. Temperature DIFFERENTIALS increase ‘extreme’ weather, and temperature DIFFERENTIALS are DECREASING with “global warming” because of HOW the increase in AVERAGE temperature occurs.

The tropics remain pretty much the same, the poles and higher latitudes experience the most warming; daytime highs see little change, nighttime LOW temperatures aren’t as cold. All of this DECREASES temperature differentials.

The only thing getting worse about the weather is the HYPE about the weather.

Richard Greene
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
January 12, 2023 1:22 pm

How dare you speak of basic meteorology 101?
That there is real science:

COMING CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS PROPAGANDA IS SO EFFECTIVE THAT IT PREVENTS MOST PEOPLE FROM ENJOYING TODAY’S WONDERFUL CLIMATE. 

U.S. HURRICANES MAKING LANDFALL HAVE BEEN IN A DOWNTREND SINCE THE LATE 1800s. 

MAJOR US TORNADOES HAVE BEEN IN A DOWNTREND SINCE THE 1950s. 

US HEAT WAVES, DROUGHTS AND FOREST FIRE ACRES BURNED PEAKED IN THE 1930s. 

THE 1930s STILL HAVE THE MOST US STATE MAXIMUM HEAT RECORDS OF ANY DECADE, BY FAR. 

strativarius
January 11, 2023 11:08 am

“”Are Extremes Increasing?””

Only in terms of propaganda, for example…

“”Oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022, analysis shows

The records, starting in 1958…””

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/11/oceans-were-the-hottest-ever-recorded-in-2022-analysis-shows

So obvious, aren’t they

Peta of Newark
Reply to  strativarius
January 11, 2023 12:02 pm

I just had to..
Grauniad says 200 Zettajoules in the top 2,000 metres

For the ocean, area= 3.5e14 m2 that becomes 7e23 grams of water

So =0.286 Joules extra per gram
At 4.2 J/g/K I get a temp rise of 0.068 Kelvin (Celsius) or 0.1224 Fahrenheit

Errrrmm, how did anyone measure that?

Grauniad and whoever their source is/are, are lying.
Lying by omission in that they don’t explain their numbers or their context

They will get their reward in due course

strativarius
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 11, 2023 12:12 pm

Rather you than me!

PCman999
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 11, 2023 2:35 pm

That’s why they always cry about the energy increase instead of quoting what they actually measure which is the infinitismal temperature increase.

AndyHce
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 11, 2023 5:51 pm

They will get their reward in due course

I suspect the check is in the mail

Graemethecat
Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 12, 2023 4:24 am

Grauniad journalists are utterly innumerate, and fail to understand that subtracting one huge number with a wide numerical uncertainty like total ocean heat content from another huge number with a wide uncertainty is a completely meaningless exercise.

Richard Greene
Reply to  strativarius
January 12, 2023 1:23 pm

“”Oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022, analysis shows
The records, starting in 1958…””

The accurate records start with ARGO floats about 20 years ago

voza0db
January 11, 2023 11:11 am

As the result of an untimely rush of blood to my head, I posted the first comment on an article at PhysOrg entitled On this flooded island of homeless people, climate change has never been more real.

Funny! I would guess that the rush was diverted to the lower head! Only this explains why waste time in a site such as PhysOrg.

But anyway… Majority of the herds of modern moron slaves DO NOT KNOW anything about Climate and Weather. What they “know” is what they see on the TV set (and most recently on their smartbrainsphones) and if the TV set says that “Climate Change” is a man-made phenomenon than NOTHING you can say/write will change the little piece of brown matter that exists in the Skull of the modern moron slaves. Majority is not able to engage in Critical Thought.

So no surprise the comments written…

One thing I always find funny and have good laughs is when I see the constructions we build in flood plains being flooded after an Raining. Cracks me up.

Duane
January 11, 2023 11:12 am

Without resorting to review of ANY data it is obvious that this complainer doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground about science.

More energy in any system has absolutely nothing to do with extremes – as the real world has already shown us. Total energy says nothing about time dependent and spacial dependent distribution of outputs from the system. A perfectly stable system, regardless of its energy state, will have equally stable outputs. A less than perfectly stable system will vary in its performance in accordance with instabilities and the factors that control them.

That’s all you need to tell this idiot.

PCman999
Reply to  Duane
January 11, 2023 2:48 pm

The idiot part comes from thinking that CO2 and other gasses give the atmospheric system more energy – that can only come from the Sun and the climate priests assure us the Sun is perfectly constant and no feedback loops apply to any of its variations (unlike magical CO2).

At best, CO2 is an insulator and would therefore dampen the system – obviously holding in the heat, slowing down cooling at night, etc. But the CO2 in the air would also catch and re-emit the relevant frequencies of the Sun and spread out the energy, for lack of a better way to put it, given lack of caffeine. Think of the difference in daily extremes of temperature between the dry Sahara, and the Amazon that is insulated by all that water vapour.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  PCman999
January 11, 2023 3:22 pm

Exactly right PC, but if you could convince college ‘educated’ kids that the extremes aren’t increasing, they will simply turn around and start shrieking that we are losing the extremes at an increasing pace because of climate change! Kids in the future won’t know what snow or summer is!!

Keith Woollard
Reply to  Duane
January 11, 2023 5:24 pm

the “more energy = more extremes” is an argument I hear often. I think they teach it in “how to argue with an evil climate denier 101”
My answer is that clearly then Antarctica has the most pleasantly stable weather on the planet

Graemethecat
Reply to  Duane
January 12, 2023 4:33 am

An alternative way of explaining this is to point out that weather is driven by differences in temperature between zones on Earth, not by absolute temperatures. By warming the Earth, the temperature contrast between the Poles and the Tropics is reduced, leading to diminished extreme weather. Global cooling therefore increases said extreme weather. Evidence for this comes from typhoons and hurricanes, which were both more frequent and more intense during the Little Ice Age.

rah
January 11, 2023 11:24 am

Thanks for your hard work Willis.

The only way anyone can claim that extremes are increasing is by ignoring past data and evidence from past scientific studies and weather events published in newspapers.

With the hurricane season not meeting expectations and tornado strengths decreasing that leaves them droughts and floods and boy how they are playing up what is going on in California now, despite the fact that it has happened several times before when CO2 levels were considerably lower.

Doug
January 11, 2023 11:31 am

Thanks for doing the work Willis. I was aware that the “increasing extremes” mantra did not hold up to standard deviation analysis. I suspected though, that there must be some areas that were seeing more extremes…..surely the west coast precipitation, for example.

Guess I was just a victim of the steady drumbeat of news. I love your graphs, and saved them to my collection. The graphic of the homeless is great for this forum, but one with a plain background might help when I’m dealing with the other crowd, for whom data must look very official, or be dismissed as fake.

Michael
January 11, 2023 11:42 am

I’m sure Willis knows this, but some may not. That river height in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a function of the very large drainage area, northwards of 47,000 mi^2 which extends from almost Oregon to Tehachapi, just about every bit of California that is neither coastal nor LA. All that water flows out the very narrow Carquinez Strait. Mix this idea with some Winter Solstice high tides.

This is what it looks like today

These islands of the delta are mostly man-made by early 20th century farmers who built levies in the swamps to take advantage of very fertile peat soils. Willis’ favorite thing guvmet came along and started telling the farmers just how they may-or may not maintain their levees which caused many levees to fail, notice the failed Frank’s Tract on the map near Brannon Island.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Michael
January 11, 2023 6:56 pm

I think that ground squirrels and beaver played a role in Frank’s Tract levee failures.

Richard Greene
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 12, 2023 1:28 pm

Ground squirrels and beavers cause climate change, scientists say, and it is worse than they thought !
Headline in next day’s newspaper.

palenque
January 11, 2023 11:45 am
John Hultquist
Reply to  palenque
January 11, 2023 12:31 pm

“ArkStorm”
Etymology: a 1,000 (k) year Atmospheric River = ARk Storm

garboard
January 11, 2023 11:59 am

i believe urban outdoorsman is the correct term .

garboard
January 11, 2023 12:04 pm

i believe urban outdoorsman is the correct term . …The West Without Water is The book on californias’ history of droughts and floods . not as bad now as in the past.

B Zipperer
Reply to  garboard
January 11, 2023 9:07 pm

Garboard,
Thx for the book suggestion.
As to homelessness I suggest Michael Shellenberger’s “San Fransicko”.
It is a current look at homeless policies, mainly in SF & California, but also compares
outcomes/policies elsewhere [including Europe]. I haven’t finished it yet but the
discription of in-fighting among the Progressives on which [ineffective] policies to pursue
was enlightening.

Anyone who lives [or builds] in a river bed [or a flood plan] has some lose screws or is
smoking something, which according to Shellenberger, are the root causes of much of the “unhoused” problem. That and policies that effectively encourage such behavior.

rwbenson66
January 11, 2023 12:04 pm

I like your analysis in this article.

I think your most compelling statement is the following:

If both wet and dry can be blamed on climate change, then EVERYTHING is the result of climate change. And that’s just nonsensical.”

However, logic and data will not change the mind of someone who has their mind made up.

John Steinbeck described California weather very well way before Global Warming / Climate Change / Crisis.

East of Eden – John Steinbeck – Published 1952
 
Chapter 1 – Description of the Salinas Valley – Paragraph 10
 
“I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley. The water came in a thirty-year cycle. There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass. Then would come six or seven pretty good years of twelve to sixteen inches of rain. And then the dry years would come, and sometimes there would be only seven or eight inches of rain. The land dried up and the grasses headed out miserably a few inches high and great bare scabby places appeared in the valley. The live oaks got a crusty look and the sagebrush was gray. The land cracked and the springs dried up and the cattle listlessly nibbled dry twigs. Then the farmers and the ranchers would be filled with disgust for the Salinas Valley. The cows would grow thin and sometimes starve to death. People would have to haul water in barrels to their farms just for drinking. Some families would sell out for nearly nothing and move away. And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
January 11, 2023 12:08 pm

So much of the claims about “increasing extreme weather” are really about the increasing costs. As Roger Pelke Jr. has demonstrated multiple times, this is mostly due to the increasing value of major infrastructure in areas at risk. When adjusted for GDP disaster costs are holding steady or declining.

What also has to be considered is the cost inflation due to increasing involvement of federal agencies. While it seems attractive to locals to have access to the seemingly infinite federal largess, it comes with an army of bureaucrats to insure every penny is spent the “right” way with the “right” contractors. All of this increases costs and delays.

The 1900 hurricane pretty much destroyed the city of Galveston, killed somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 of its residents and left approximately another 10,000 homeless. This is much worse than any US natural disaster in the years since, especially as Galveston’s population at the time was less than 40,000. The survivors picked themselves up the day after the storm and set to work cleaning up the damage, raising the island by 17 feet and building a seawall. Galveston managed to complete these ambitious engineering projects by 1910 on their own.

See this summary from the Texas Almanac.

jshotsky
January 11, 2023 12:15 pm

Nor in reference to any specific statement, but the media today floored me. They said they hadn’t seen that much rain in the last 80 years. So I, as usual, ask the question “what was special about 80 years ago?” Well, that was the decade after the dust bowl years, in the 1930’s. Yes, it was shortly after the last ‘peak’ warmth of the early 1900’s. Just about where we are right now.
Yes, climate does change, all the time. It is either getting warmer or cooler It just isn’t caused by a trace gas that is vital to life on earth. One part in 2400. Try to find a black grain of sand in 2400 white grains, and ask yourself if that black one could ‘heat’ the rest of them, if you heated it and dropped it into the pile and then ‘well-mixed’ it. See the problem?

theradiantsausage
Reply to  jshotsky
January 11, 2023 4:59 pm

It’s amazing. Back in November with the huge snowfall in Buffalo, I was watching news casts from that area (I’m in Iowa) and the news “reporters” were out interviewing locals and they talked to this dude at a gas station, who said, “I’ve lived in Buffalo my entire life and I’ve never seen anything like this…”, blah, blah blah. Apparently he had completely forgotten that almost 8 years to the day, a VERY similar lake effect snow happened.

To be fair, he could have been on vacation and didn’t ‘see’ it, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

Hivemind
Reply to  theradiantsausage
January 11, 2023 6:36 pm

If he hadn’t said it, they wouldn’t have shown the clip.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  theradiantsausage
January 12, 2023 4:48 am

The nature of “lake effect” snow is also very compartmentalized. Buried in snow here, bare ground just a few miles away.

So it’s quite possible he “never saw anything like it,” by pure chance, even though “IT” has happened to many residents of Buffalo at many times in many different places.

Editor
January 11, 2023 12:36 pm

Willis,

Not being a statistics-savvy person, perhaps my comment is dumb, but it’s not intuitively obvious to me that:

“…as the average rainfall decreases, as has happened in Sacramento, we’d expect the standard deviation to decrease as well”

Not that it changes your point, but shouldn’t we test to see if this is true also?

rip

Phil.
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 11, 2023 4:16 pm

Nice job Willis, did you look at the distribution? If an exponential then shouldn’t sd/mean be 1? I know other distributions have been used for rainfall so I was wondering about this location.

Phil.
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 11, 2023 6:26 pm

Agreed Willis, appears to be more likely that it’s drying rather than increasing extremes. I remembered that different distributions had been used, I wasn’t sure how the divide by mean would work with the exponential.

Grumpy Git UK
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 12, 2023 5:40 am

Surely using the Average or mean immediately reduces the “extremes”?
Wouldn’t using Max, Min and Range give a better indication?

Jim Mundy
January 11, 2023 12:56 pm

It amazes me how quickly they forget, and how the “If I didn’t see it, it never happened.” mentality prevails. The current situation brings to mind the “March Miracle” in 1991, in which after seven years of severe drought the skies opened up and it rained for the entire month of March, causing flooding, mudslides (that nearly took out a small town near Felton), flooding of the Salinas River, and the isolation of Salinas, where I lived at the time, due to flooding of all of the roads in and out of town. The good part was that it refilled all of the reservoirs, which the pundits had opined would take years. There was also a similar event sometime in the ’70s. As you stated, California has always experienced such extremes — this is not climate change, but business as usual.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Jim Mundy
January 11, 2023 3:31 pm

I remember from the 70s the scare stories about the pollution near San Francisco and LA. The smog was so bad in the hot dry summer that it, help, help, would take decades to clear. But all it needed was a proper rainstorm, some serious bucketing down, which the goddess Gaia duly provided.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Jim Mundy
January 11, 2023 7:08 pm

And, the Christmas/New Years rains of 1963-64 when the Hell Hole dam on the Rubicon river failed and took out all the steel bridges between there and Auburn. I was living in Felton at the time and going to school. It started to rain at the beginning of Christmas break and didn’t stop for at least two weeks. I had to do all my field collecting for my petrology collection in the rain.

James Snook
Reply to  Jim Mundy
January 12, 2023 9:36 am

You shouldn’t be amazed, it’s natural.

We have evolved to perceive the present as worse than the past and the future as full of threats.  It’s a survival instinct probably handed down to us by our early ancestors in the African Savannah whose survival depended on clearing their minds of past events and concentrating on immediate threats.

The result is that we have poor recall of earlier extreme events and instinctively tend to see current ones as unprecedented, indicating threats in the future. 

This also leads us to viewing the past with unwarranted rosy retrospection. the Romans had a phrase for it – “The past is always well remembered”. 

The Dark Lord
January 11, 2023 12:58 pm

its the same kindergarten science that says … “the world is warming so the polar ice MUST be melting” … ignoring the Poles “may be” warming up from -20 to -19.5 …

douglasproctor
January 11, 2023 1:14 pm

We Westerners live in a post-literate, post-technical society. By this I mean that the average citizen no longer has the capacity to read or understand what he is reading in general and understand technical material in particular. This is all strange considering we are the most educated, technologically based and (user) savvy in the history of our species.

I say this with conviction from experience: you cannot change a perception or opinion strongly held with data, facts, observations of contradictions or physical impossibility.

All you have to do to see this is consider how the NYT praises Ehrlich for his predictions and ignores Biden’ easily refuted claims of personal valor and exceptionalism. Facts don’t make the case.

The wisest person here is actually AOC: she said (paraphrase) that sometimes [always] we pay more attention to facts than to the truth. And she remains important and popular.

So your critic sees your graphs. Sure. And then he walks away with the same opinion except now also one that you are a selfish jerk who nobody should pay any attention to.

I had friends, some relatives, who dropped away once I pointed out inconsistencies in their alarmist claims. They would not counter my points. One just said she paid attention only to “trustworthy sources”. She refused to think critically for herself, question, despite being the most educated and world experienced of all of us.

We live in a post-individual “Bubble” society. The Bubble receives information from the authoritative Outside that can’t be refuted …. seriously, can’t be, because the evidence for refutation exists outside the Bubble membrane.

Good luck, Willis.

I know we have to keep bashing away or the insanity will just roll over us as it has through terrible times in other countries for more than a century. But, still, good luck.

Hivemind
Reply to  douglasproctor
January 11, 2023 6:44 pm

A longer way of saying that you can’t counter a deeply held belief, no matter how untrue, with mere facts.

douglasproctor
Reply to  Hivemind
January 12, 2023 10:21 am

Do we live in a post-literate “bubble” society?

That’s a serious question, beyond the individual psychological problem of feelings prevailing over facts. If so, our battles for common sense publuc management cannot be fought except through systems that replace a bad bubble with a good bubble, not breach it.

That would be alarming. But possibly true?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  douglasproctor
January 11, 2023 7:10 pm

One just said she paid attention only to “trustworthy sources”.

Obviously, she did not consider you a trustworthy source.

douglasproctor
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 12, 2023 10:22 am

Yeah. I get that. When I pointed out what I have seen in the mountains that refutes the climate-stability hoax of the alarmists, she refuses to discuss it. I think “trustworthy sources” means Dad in some childish manner, that authority figure who tells you he’s smarter, more experienced than you, and will make sure nothing bad happens to you, you can rely on Dad.

What I was asking was for her to consider an opinion/thought/question that came from a conservative online publication or two. She wouldn’t even read the piece to see what the question/point was. You don’t even want to if you rely on Dad. Dad – like the NYT or Xi – gives you comfort only if you decide he’s perfect.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  douglasproctor
January 12, 2023 1:18 pm

When someone refuses to consider anything that might disprove their beliefs, I think one can safely assume that fear of being proved wrong is behind their reticence.

Rick Wedel
Reply to  douglasproctor
January 13, 2023 1:20 pm

Most people are unable to properly read anything other than the most simple graph.

PCman999
January 11, 2023 2:23 pm

If the IPCC ideas on global warming are correct then CO2 is insulation not extra energy in the system, and would tend to dampen extremes.

Think of the temperatures in a well insulated water heater vs just a pot. The water heater may warm up a bit faster than an equal sized bot or boiler (though the burner’s output would be much greater than any heat lost through the metal walls of the pot), but it would take much longer to cool down.

So if the atmosphere is a heat engine with emergent phenomena, El Nino’s and Nina’s, thunderstorms and other weather moving energy around, extra CO2 will just serve to slow down the transitions from cool to hot states.

stinkerp
January 11, 2023 2:27 pm

Posting on phys.org, good for you. My account was suspended without warning and when I emailed to ask why, there was no response. I was always careful to be polite but regularly debunked their climate alarm articles. Never cussed, never called anyone names. Like Popular Science (which stopped allowing comments for the reason that it “inadvertently provided a platform for climate ‘disinformation'”) and Scientific American which has lost its mind with progressive/woke dogma, I stopped perusing the site when they went to full censorship. They don’t cater to customers who question their dogma, only to the true believers. Clearly, I’m not their audience, so I left. Let them stagnate in their echo chamber of climate misery.

Pat from Kerbob
January 11, 2023 2:32 pm

Always makes me laugh when someone posts historical data and the response is “you aren’t a climate scientist”. But comparing current data to historical data is a job for any historian with statistics training, its not a job for a climate scientist.
Explaining the results of that data search is a job for a climate scientist, W.E. did both here.

Recently i got the “you aren’t a climate scientist” line, so i posted a link to W.E.’s “where is the emergency” WUWT item and i suggested they follow the link, read the data and then tell WE he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but i warned them to bring a bag or a bucket for after Willis hand them their head, the only result i have ever seen from such a challenge.

Mr.
Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
January 11, 2023 3:36 pm

Thanks Pat.

I was going to post a comment in a similar vein regarding the slight Willis received –

you are not a climate scientist.

My observation / question was along the lines of –

“as far as I am aware (and Prof Richard Lindzen had observed) there is no single person in the world who could have gained applicable expertise in ALL the scientific research disciplines needed to comprehensively master “climate science” .

I was hoping someone, somewhere would have attempted to list all the disciplines necessary for “climate science”.

This bloke has –

He writes –
Here is an incomplete list of what I consider to be the core scientific disciplines which have been primarily responsible for developing our current understanding of climate change and its implications –
Atmospheric and Physical Sciences: 
Climatology, Meteorology, Atmospheric dynamics, Atmospheric physics, Atmospheric chemistry, Solar physics, Historical climatology 

Earth Sciences: 
Geophysics, Geochemistry, Geology, Soil Science, Oceanography, Glaciology, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction 

Biological Sciences: 
Ecology, Synthetic biology, Biochemistry, Global change biology, Biogeography, Ecophysiology, Ecological genetics 

Mathematics, Statistics and Computational analysis: 
Applied mathematics, Mathematical modelling, Computer science, Numerical modelling, Bayesian inference, Mathematical statistics, Time series analysis

Quite a diverse field and I’ve not listed many sub-disciplines.

https://bravenewclimate.com/2008/08/31/so-just-who-does-climate-science/

Last edited 18 days ago by Mr.
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Mr.
January 11, 2023 7:14 pm

And, Michael Mann has his degrees in geology and geophysics, just like many here do. Yet, he is called a climatologist.

Rud Istvan
January 11, 2023 2:52 pm

So the homeless have become the unhoused.
Illegal immigrants became undocumented migrants.
Truths about COVID vaccination problems became disinformation.
Complete FAA ATC failure became just a glitch.
A obviously stolen election 🗳️ became the big lie.

I am reminded of a saying attributed to A. Lincoln: “How many legs does a dog have if you call its tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”

And the MSM cannot understand why their viewership is rapidly declining after Trump correctly named them Fake News?

BTW, nice analysis, WE. Different methods but same results for each of the 5 claimed increasing US weather extremes (heat waves, droughts, blizzards…) in the 2014 ‘official’ US National Climate Assessment. Essay Credibility Conundrums in ebook Blowing Smoke.

AndyHce
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 11, 2023 6:26 pm

Perhaps your undocumented should be unlicensed. With licenses the bureaucracy enforce its dicta. Without licenses they cannot so armed violence is employed.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 11, 2023 7:17 pm

The liberal mentality seems to believe that if the name of something is changed to one that doesn’t have pejorative baggage, then all the social problems will be solved. What they don’t realize is that if one calls a skunk a rose, people will soon learn to associate the word “rose” with an unpleasant odor.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 12, 2023 4:44 am

To add to your list of repellent PC euphemisms, p*dophiles are now to be called MAP’s (“Minor-Attracted Persons”).

Gunga Din
January 11, 2023 3:02 pm

Extreme Reporting? Definitely. (With a big boost after cellphone videos came out.)
Extreme Events? No.

Ireneusz Palmowski
January 11, 2023 3:17 pm

Well, the worst is yet to come. The jet stream will remain over California for many more days. 
https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/sat/satlooper.php?region=us&product=ir

Robert B
January 11, 2023 3:22 pm

“While this may be true in theory”. It’s a half-arsed postulate, not a theory.

Ireneusz Palmowski
January 11, 2023 3:29 pm

It will not be a weak rain.
comment image

MarkH
January 11, 2023 4:32 pm

It’s not just the homeless. In Melbourne, there has been some flooding of the Maribyrnong River. Of course, all of the people who built or bought houses that were built on the Maribyrnong River flood plain were complaining vociferously about the flooding. For some reason, they were surprised that their houses, that were built well below the 100 year flood level, got flooded. Why these housing developments were ever approved should be perplexing, but it’s fairly simple… lots of money for councils. City planners are supposed to be responsible enough to say, NO, you can’t put a housing estate on that river flood plain… but they aren’t.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  MarkH
January 12, 2023 8:41 am

Same thing happens here in UK Local Authorities agree to housing schemes on flood plains all the time, even when the so called Environment Agency has objections. Problem got so bad that thousands of households could not get home insurance and the Government had to step in and set up a joint scheme with the insurers. Hasn’t stopped building on flood plains though!

Robert Wager
January 11, 2023 5:25 pm

I would love to see the rainfall data correlated with La Niña cycles.

Hivemind
January 11, 2023 5:58 pm

“Homeless people”. I think, in this case, the better term would be “squatters. People using the land without paying for it.

aaron
January 11, 2023 6:28 pm

Warming seems to be making the climate more stable.

https://twitter.com/aaronshem/status/1611141654853079043

And harmful extremes exist way in the thin tails.
https://twitter.com/aaronshem/status/1126891475822891009

B7D017ED-446F-45DB-92D8-58E480731AB5.jpeg
Last edited 18 days ago by aaron
Steve Case
January 11, 2023 7:21 pm

The term currently used by noble virtue signalers is “unhoused” …
___________________________________________________

In other words, the noble virtue signalers are “unhinged”

Pat from Kerbob
January 11, 2023 7:26 pm

Isn’t california simply the North American analog to Australia?
The land of drought and floods?
When I was very young a popular song was “it never rains in california”.
I wonder how they came up with that 50 years ago

Bill Parsons
January 11, 2023 9:35 pm

‘The term currently used by noble virtue signalers is “unhoused” …’

That was so last week. A Denver government dashboard broke out the Covid infections in Denver in various shades of Black and White and then this: “People Suffering a Lack of Housing”

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Bill Parsons
January 11, 2023 9:50 pm

We’ve leapfrogged California!

Nylo
January 11, 2023 10:12 pm

Hi Willis,

Not sure if somebody already mentioned this, but IMO what you did is not the right way to check if extremes (of the flooding kind) are increasing or not, because your source data is anual precipitation, and there is a LOT of averaging in the anual thing. Technically, you could have a very wet year without a single flooding occurence, and a dry year with very strong flooding somewhere in the middle of lots of dry months.

It is entirely possible and even likely that there will have been more floods or more severe floods in wet years… but I am not sure if the correlation will be strong enough for the two things to show the same trends.

Nylo
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 12, 2023 5:53 am

Sorry, my bad.

Ireneusz Palmowski
January 11, 2023 11:29 pm

Two more Pacific lows will bring heavy precipitation to the US west coast.
comment image

January 11, 2023 11:40 pm

Willis,
With measurements, the term Relative Standard deviation has long been used for the SD over the mean.
In the 1970s, measuring devices proliferated. Some, such as those measuring light absorption after passing through a medium, had a mathematically logarithmic response, which was sometimes made into linear by in-machine electronics. This enabled a display to look linear, but it was found that the SD grew rapidly as the lower detection limit was reached. Therefore, it became practice to divide the SD by the mean of its near-surrounds to get a more uniform number. Geoff S

fah
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
January 12, 2023 2:07 am

True. Another term used for it has been coefficient of variation and it has had a fair amount of use in the physical sciences, but sometimes uttering things from statistics is treated here as speaking the language of Mordor.

Quite a while ago I had similar conversations with folks about rainfall and snowfall time series and as I recall, when the data showed cumulants over a certain time frame (like monthly or yearly) did not trend the way it was desired, the claimants shifted to intensity arguments. Namely, while the overall amount or number of things might not be increasing the INTENSITY in short time intervals was and so there. I think folks have done this with tornadoes and some other phenomena, when the trend doesn’t behave properly fiddle with higher frequency spectra in the data. All of this of course without a specific theoretical prediction of what any the results should be. So be ready for the next wave of arguments that while your data shows the monthly trend, if you look at daily or hourly variability trends it is just awful how much worse it is getting. And if that doesn’t work something else will be tried. Oddly enough just the inverse of how real scientists work, trying very hard to find where one’s theory does NOT work instead of looking just for cases where it does.

rah
January 11, 2023 11:51 pm

Concerning the rains and flooding in California.
California has seen plenty of heavy rains and flooding in the past and anyone that claims that this “atmospheric river” is due to “climate change” is either misinformed or a liar.

Summary of Floods and Droughts in the Southwestern States (usgs.gov)

What is going to happen come this summer there is also nothing new and completely predictable. These rains will bring forth a much greener spring than usual and that vegetation will dry out c0me summer and thus California is in for a worse than average wildfire season this year. The fires will probably be worse if, as many are predicting, the current weakening La Nina turns into an El Nino by this summer.

eromgiw
January 12, 2023 2:22 am

expressing them as the 30-year trailing standard deviation divided by the 30-year trailing mean (average) of the values

Isn’t this pretty much the RMS value? (Root mean square)

zzebowa
January 12, 2023 2:30 am

I liked this comment “The graph only shows precipitation”

Well, we are talking about flooding, why wouldnt a graph showing rain not be relevant? Hahaha!

And then they say ” and the last 20 years (which have been even more extreme) are missing”

Right, so climate change only started in 2003 then.

Desperate, utterly desperate to deny reality. These people are, litteraly, insane

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  zzebowa
January 12, 2023 1:27 pm

These people are, litteraly, insane

You may not be so far off. When they are as detached from logic and reality as most seem to be, it is highly suggestive of mental problems.

CampsieFellow
January 12, 2023 2:51 am

Yesterday, WUWT published an article by Kit Hansen. In the article, Mr Hansen said, “My long-term advice is “Don’t draw trend lines on graphs.”” Very confusing for us simple, non-experts when the very next day we have an article on WUWT with three graphs showing trend lines. Haven’t the foggiest idea who’s right.

michel
January 12, 2023 3:13 am

They said

It is pretty clear even to high school students: more energy in a system with high contrasts and processes of mixture leads to increased extremes, on either side. You don’t even need earth science for this, of which much can influence the outcome, exacerbate or dampen events.

I have seen this argument a few times and never understood it. As stated its literary criticism. To make the scientific case, they would have to show that the energy in the system had been measured and had increased. And by how much. In real measurable units.

And then specify exactly what ‘high contrasts’ and ‘processes of mixture’ there are, how they have changed. Again, quantified.

And then… its also not clear how more of this energy, if you could even document there was more in some relevant part of the wood, causes increased rain or less rain. Which is implied when they say ‘on either side’.

Its not a way of thinking and arguing, its a way of trying not to do it.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  michel
January 12, 2023 8:51 am

Only for weather, “energy” in the system is all about temperature DIFFERENTIALS, because it is temperature DIFFERENTIALS that drive weather, not a higher AVERAGE temperature.

In particular since the increase in AVERAGE temperature is nighttime LOW temperatures not getting as cold and the tropics remaining pretty much the same with the most warming occurring in the higher latitudes and the poles, all of which REDUCES temperature DIFFERENTIALS.

So they have it exactly backwards – it is a COOLING climate that will cause more violent or “extreme” WEATHER, NOT a warming climate.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
January 12, 2023 1:30 pm

Consider the winds that often come down off the Greenland ice cap or Antarctica. They start out very cold, but warm up from compression.

D Boss
January 12, 2023 4:47 am

I think your comebacks are brilliant, however I am reminded of Bonhoeffer’s theory of stupidity:

“stupid people are more dangerous than evil ones. This is because while we can protest against or fight evil people, against stupid ones we are defenseless — reasons fall on dead ears.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww47bR86wSc

Trying to reason with the green nutbars is like trying to explain nuclear physics to your dog: Now fido, E=Mc² and the dog simply replies “arff”….

rckkrgrd
January 12, 2023 7:49 am

Charts of 30 year or less periods mean little to me. We need charts from at least two previous 30 year periods for comparison. The data will almost certainly be less in both quality and quantity, but that is an uncertainty we have to live with.

Phil.
Reply to  rckkrgrd
January 13, 2023 8:59 am

The data Willis was using spans ~150 years so what’s your problem?

January 12, 2023 7:50 am

long ago i built an R package for all GHCN data.

but since there are hundreds of variables collected I had to take care

no point in making garbage data more available.

the first data on my chopping block was precipitation data– the very data Willis usees here

worse he appears to be using adjusted data–

more extremes?

trailing standard deviation? wow thats a crazy choice.

Mike
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 12, 2023 8:08 pm

You are way too kind to this bloke. He has delusions of superiority that no-one shares.

michael hart
January 12, 2023 9:49 am

“Get a grip”
Don’t get me started.

1977 The Stranglers – (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)

Richard Greene
January 12, 2023 1:11 pm

Willis your charts are usually the easiest to read on this website, which is great for people with poor vision, like me, but having the photograph inside the graphs here does not help. And what is that guy in the chart sitting on, a toilet?

When I was a child, the winters were cold and the summers were hot
No one complained about the weather. much less the climate.
Well, maybe a few old geezers complained about everything?
If people didn’t like the New York climate, they moved to Florida.

Today, 60 years later, the winters are still cold, and the summers are still hot. But now everyone seems to complain about the weather, and the climate. So what we have now is extreme weather and climate complaining. Which i find extremely annoying.

The current climate is about as good as it gets on this planet for humans, animals and C3 plants. But how can we conservatives enjoy the best climate in at least 5,000 years, since the Holocene Climate Optimum ended, if those LOUDMOUTH leftists won’t stop complaining about the climate and their fantasy CO2 boogeyman?

After 25 years of research, I believe the solution is to deport all American leftists to Cuba, where they will finally be happy in that Communist paradise.

Last edited 17 days ago by Richard Greene
Richard Greene
January 12, 2023 1:29 pm

The only solution to the malarkey coming from California is to return California to Mexico and demand our $15 million back, with interest.

DC Cowboy
Editor
January 12, 2023 2:00 pm

Willis,

Off topic but did you bail on Twitter or did it bail on you? You were a great follow for me & your presence is missed.

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