What If This Summer Isn't the 'New Normal'?

By Keith Kloor | August 3, 2012 12:15 pm

If you follow climate-concerned bloggers and tweeters, as I do, you probably have noticed there is frequent mention of weather that implies a connection to climate change. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?

By way of example, browse Bill McKibben’s tweets. He’s become a dutiful chronicler of weather-related bad news. If you want to know that a bridge in Oklahoma buckled from the heat, or that rainfall in India’s grainbelt is 70 percent below average this year, he’s your man. This obsession doesn’t seem like a healthy habit; it’s as if he strapped himself down, Clockwork Orange style, to a continuous feed of weather news from all over the world.

But he’s hardly alone. Other climate writers diligently track the latest storm front to move in over New York City and the heat index in parched regions of the Midwest. Let it be said: Today is a good time to be a weather nerd. The heat waves and drought baking much of the United States this summer provides terrific fodder for climate activists and the environmental media.

It’s also got more people thinking about global warming, which climate activists have taken note of. They want to cement the impression that all our ugly summer weather is connected to climate change–or a harbinger of what’s to come–so they continue to play up all the record-breaking temps and drought-related misery.

But as Dan Moutal points out, there’s a problem with this tactic:

The heat-wave and drought will at some point come to an end and eventually many areas currently experiencing sweltering heat will be hit with a cold spell. It is only a matter of time.

If people’s acceptance of climate change depends mostly on whether or not it has been hot lately then as the temperature inevitably cools their acceptance of climate change will crumble. Polls are much like weather and climate; there are short-term fluctuations over-top of long-term trends. It is a shame many wanting action on climate change fail to see this.

Ah, but climate scientists are telling us that extreme weather is the “new normal.” It has been an oft-mentioned phrase this summer. Dan, in his post, explains why he finds this unhelpful in the long term:

This is the problem; reports of extreme weather will continue as long as it is hot out but all this talk of this being a new normal only works to send the wrong message to people.

When someone makes the “˜new normal’ claim I suspect many people expect that now this extreme weather will return every summer. That this is what a normal summer will look like from now on. What happens when we get a cool summer? What happens when we experience colder than normal temperatures? Won’t people start asking “what happened to this new normal?”

It’s good to see that some climate writers have their eyes on the big picture.

UPDATE: In the comments, Joshua raises, what I think, is a reasonable assumption:

maybe speaking of the new normal will cause people to think  that the odds of experiencing this kind of weather are increased with climate change, and as a result, shorten the path between where we are now and significant policy implementation that addresses the many obstacles that stand in the way.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change, global warming
  • http://www.aei.org/scholar/kenneth-p-green Ken Green

    I said the same thing to a reporter who asked me about the claims that weather=climate. The problem is, if you invoke it for heat, people will invoke it for cold as well.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Weather used to be really, really important. People planned their day, week, weekend and season around it. Everybody had almanacs, everybody read that section of the paper. (Remember reading the paper?)

    Now we all work indoors, play computer games and visit climate controlled indoor stadiums for sporting events. Weather is becoming much less important and much less real to us (in the rich countries, of course…)

    This makes it easier to exaggerate about it, or imbue it with mythical qualities. The local SF news programs now cover normal weather fronts with the rapt attention and expensive airtime once reserved for hurricanes.

    So it’s easy for the climerati to make increasingly off the wall statements about Xtreme Weather being proof of Bizarro Climate Change. We’re losing many of the real world reference points by which to judge their claims.

    Good thing some people kept records.

  • Joshua

    “What happens when we experience colder than normal temperatures? Won’t people start asking “what happened to this new normal?””

    Methinks I see an ax being ground.

    Claims that specific events were attributable to AGW, or at least associations made to suggest that that attribution existed, have happened in the past. Now I have seen many claims in the “skeptosphere” that such claims were turned into “own goals” (it’s always funny when “conservatives” suddenly become soccer fans), when subsequent cold or less extreme weather pulled the cover off the climate change hoax. In fact, I have read over and over that the realization that the climate cabal had oversold what to expect from climate change has lead to a backlash that undermined the cabal’s statist agenda to starve millions in need of cheap energy in the third world, and in Judith Curry’s terms, caused a “crises” in confidence in the work of climate scientists.

    It’s a very nice theory. But in reality, what we know, is that such assumptions (I would argue facile assumptions) about cause-and-effect haven’t been shown to be true so far (proof would require showing more than just weak correlation, with control for variables such as the economy, political influences, motivated reasoning, etc.).

    Will talking about a “new normal” have significant long-term impact on opinions about climate change should unusually hot temperatures fail to materialize next summer? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe there will be a mild dip in trends of public opinion. Maybe there will be a significant dip that will be only short-term, and turn out to be largely insignificant long-term. I think of the triumphant (and countless) last nails in the coffin and last stakes through the hear of AGW as the result of climategate (a hint: if you require more than one stake through the heart, the first ones weren’t fatal).

    And maybe speaking of the new normal will cause people to think  that the odds of experiencing this kind of weather are increased with climate change, and as a result, shorten the path between where we are now and significant policy implementation that addresses the many obstacles that stand in the way.

  • TerryMN

    Methinks I see an ax being ground.Pot, meet kettle.

  • Joshua

    Pot, meet kettle.

    No doubt. I would never suggest otherwise.

  • MarkB

    From the UK Independent: “Snowfalls are now a thing of the past” – ” According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the
    climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a
    few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
    “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said. *** “David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
    in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual
    experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes –
    or eventually “feel” virtual cold.” *** That was March, 2000. Since then, the UK has been hammered by heavy (for them) snowfalls, and this year it was still snowing in the north in April. There had been a few years of little snow – as often happens – and as a result, Drs Viner and Parker humiliated themselves in their lust for climate apocalyptics. The skeptics best friend is the climate scientist/activisthttp://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

  • Louise

    I expect that us in the UK will experience disruptive weather on a more frequent basis than ‘usual’. That doesn’t mean it will be warmer – it will be different. The Jet Stream and/or Gulf stream may change course (as has happened this ‘summer’) more frequently or even permanently. This is called climate change. It is consistent with scientific predictions.

  • Joshua

    A story that bears an interesting relationship to this post:

    New Law in North Carolina Bans Latest Scientific Predictions of Sea-Level Rise

    A new law in North Carolina will ban the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level
    will rise, prompting environmentalists to accuse the state of disrespecting climate science.


    The law has put the state in the spotlight for what critics have called nearsightedness
    and climate change denial, but its proponents said the state needed to put a moratorium on predictions of sea level rise until scientific techniques improve.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/north-carolina-bans-latest-science-rising-sea-level/story?id=16913782#.UBwPnaNdDK5

  • BBD

    MarkB

    The skeptics best friend is the climate scientist/activist

    And the sceptic’s worst enemy is empirical data analysis. Referenced recently, but clearly in need of another outing:

    Pretty picture.

    Public Perception of Climate Change and the New Climate Dice, James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy:

    Should the public be able to recognize that climate is changing, despite the notorious variability of weather and climate from day to day and year to year? We investigate how the probability of unusually warm seasons has changed in recent decades, with emphasis on summer, when changes are likely to have the greatest practical effects. We show that the odds of an unusually warm season have increased greatly over the past three decades, but also the shape of the frequency distribution has changed so as to enhance the likelihood of extreme events. A new category of hot summertime outliers, more than three standard deviations (3σ) warmer than climatology, has emerged, with the occurrence of these outliers having increased 1-2 orders of magnitude in the past three decades. Thus we can state with a high degree of confidence that extreme summers, such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, are a consequence of global warming, because global warming has dramatically increased their likelihood of occurrence.

    Emphasis added.

  • BBD

    Draft paper here.

  • BBD

    @ 8 Joshua.

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read about that.

  • Keith Kloor

    Joshua (3):

    The last part of your comment is a reasonable assumption, which I’ve put in the body of post, as an update.

    Louise (7):

    I’d go along with that, particularly the term “disruptive.” But you need to understand the level of rhetoric triggered by the U.S. drought and summer heat waves. It really makes it sound like what we’re experiencing is not a “disruptive” event, but a permanent feature of our climate. Hence the context for the “new normal” phrase. 

  • Joshua

    Here’s what’s interesting about posts like MarkB’s.

    I have read, many, many, many times in the “skeptosphere” about claims that snow would be a thing of the past in the UK, or similar claims. Now the theory is that the public, after being gullible (obviously beneath the average “skeptic” who because of great insight and astounding common sense realized that the claims didn’t “pass the smell test” right off the bat), and falling for the cabal’s nefarious proselytizing initially, would wise-up and see the weak foundations of the whole AGW house of cards. Final nails and final stakes would be ensue.

    But: (1) the only times that I read about those claims are in the “skeptosphere.” My guess is that only a tiny % of non-climate debate obsessed folks have any awareness of such claims. If I’m right, and the general public does not remember those claims (assuming they ever heard them), then how would they still impact public opinion? and, (2) given that we don’t have any solid evidence attributing public opinion to the inaccuracy of such claims after more than a decade, why do “skeptics” continue to believe that inaccuracy of such claims will drive public opinion in the future? 

  • http://planet3.org Dan Moutal

    And maybe speaking of the new normal will cause people to think that the odds of experiencing this kind of weather are increased with climate change…

    I hope this is correct, I just suspect it isn’t. I do think we can talk about a connection between climate change and extreme weather, and help people understand the relationship between the two. (finding a way to communicate Hansen’s 3-sigma paper to the public effectively would be a great start)

    But I think the ‘new normal’ phrase is not the correct approach, because frankly this isn’t the new normal… not yet.

  • harrywr2

    #2 Tom Fuller,

    The local SF news programs now cover normal weather fronts with the rapt attention and expensive airtime once reserved for hurricanes.

    Everybody plays the FEMA disaster dance now. The difference between bad weather and a disaster = $$$$$

    The FEMA threshold for a ‘major disaster’ is currently $1.35 per capita if calculated state wide or $3.39/capita if measured in a single county. FEMA also has ‘latitude’ in their evaluations based on ‘special circumstances’.

    Obviously, local and state officials wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t attempt to maximize the amount of money they get from the Federal Trough.

    Eisenhower averaged declaring 13 ‘disasters’ per year.

    Our current glorious leader is averaging declaring 153 disasters per year.

    http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2012/pdf/ib3606.pdf

  • Joshua

    Keith (12) –

    Thanks. I hope that you know that putting my name in the header will cause at least some guffaws: There are at least a couple of folks out there who find me quite…um….. amusing.

    Also – as a nitpick – I’m not sure I’d call it an assumption. I recognize the possibility of the blowback that is discussed in your post. I’m just questioning (skeptical about) what I see to be overconfidence and asking for consideration of alternative outcomes.

    In the end, IMO, speculation about what might happen with public opinion should, absolutely, take a back seat to clarity about what the science says. Ambiguity about association of recent extreme weather and AGW should be clarified. Speculation that mistaken understanding about attribution might have a positive benefit is not a justification for ambiguity that can be misinterpreted. 

  • Sashka

    Won’t people start asking “what happened to this new normal?

    The short answer is – no. People who are too gullible and/or have no experience in hard sciences, who are not trained to ask diffcult questions will (or already have) swallow the “theory” with hook, line, and sinker. Others won’t believe anything until the evidence is presented.

  • Joshua

    The short answer is ““ no. People who are too gullible and/or have no experience in hard sciences, who are not trained to ask diffcult
    questions will (or already have) swallow the “theory” with hook, line, and sinker.

    I was just reading some back and forth between Dan Mooney and Dan Kahan,
    where Kahan noted that motivated reasoning is probably positively associated with (Kahneman’s) “system 2″³ thinking.

    In fact, in broad strokes, the cause-and-effect between experience in hard sciences, or training about asking “difficult questions,” may actually be reversed from what you suggest.

    As for gullibility – how do you measure that in some objective fashion so as to support your statement?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    It might be useful to look at what happened with similar claims about hurricanes. A few climate scientists made quite a big deal about them, right about the time Munich Re released a report on damages. But two things happened. First, Roger Pielke very publicly attacked both Munich Re and the statements made to the press. Then hurricanes hardly ever happened. And the topic faded and the public’s attention was directed elsewhere. Tornadoes. Floods in Pakistan. Famine in Egypt. All of them similarly contested vigorously as soon as claims were made. All suffering the same fate–overhype, early death (too early, as there should be concerns about them), and moving on.The problem arises when you run out of elsewheres.

  • Sashka

    In fact, in broad strokes, the cause-and-effect between experience in hard sciences, or training about asking “difficult questions,” may actually be reversed from what you suggest.

    Not to my knowledge. Among the physisists and mathematicians I know not a single soul believes any predictions of climate science.

    As for gullibility ““ how do you measure that in some objective fashion so as to support your statement?

    First, select a bunch of people who believe in astrology, tarot cards and such. Then a control group of people who don’t. Then poll their opinions on climate change.

  • Louise

    Sashka – you going to include polling the religious regarding their ‘belief’ in climate change?

  • Sashka

    finding a way to communicate Hansen’s 3-sigma paper to the public effectively would be a great start

    I’ll be looking forward to that.

  • Joshua

    Not to my knowledge. Among the physisists and mathematicians I know not a
    single soul believes any predictions of climate science.

    Talk about non-sequitors. First, your statement is not in logical sequence with what I said. That you don’t know of physicists and mathematicians who don’t “believe any predictions of climate science” is not directly germane to questions about the relationship between system 2 thinking and motivated reasoning.

    Second, you have added a qualification (“that I know”) that takes the discussion out of the general realm to and into the realm of your own personal, anecdotal experience.

    Third, you are completely unspecific w/r/t “any predictions of climate science.” (For example, you don’t know any physicists or mathematicians who “believe” that ACO2 has the potential to warm the climate?).

    Fourth, climate science does not make predictions.

    Fifth, you are assuming that “[your] knowledge” is sufficient to measure whether or not system 2 thinking is associated with motivated reasoning (have you studied it? If not, why would you weigh in on an issue that has been studied to tell us that you don’t agree?).

    That is an impressive amount of logical fallacy to squeeze into one medium-length sentence.

    In  fact, that very statement may well be proof of my conjecture.

    Think about it.

  • Sashka

    Sorry, Louise, I’m not sure I understand the question. If you mean whether I would somehow account for religious beliefs the answer is no.

  • Louise

    I mean that if you are trying to equate ‘gullible believers’ with climate change then I think those that believe there is a deity should be included with the Tarot Cards and Astrologers. It may change your results…

  • Joshua

    I have never met a physicist or mathematician who believes the predictions of Pastafarians.

  • Sashka

    That was a rather sectarian in intent (and equestrian in its graciousness) attempt to distort. I was commenting on your suggestion quoted in 20. Not on anything else. Otherwise I would’ve quoted system 2 appropriately.
    For example, you don’t know any physicists or mathematicians who “believe” that ACO2 has the potential to warm the climate?
    Do you need help in finding references to explain the difference between prediction and potential?
    climate science does not make predictions.
    Of course it does. Just because they call it projections changes nothing.
    Fifth, I’m assuming nothing. You do.

  • Joshua

    “First, select a bunch of people who believe in astrology, tarot cards and such. Then a control group of people who don’t. Then poll their opinions on climate change.”

    How about we gather creationists and poll their opinions on climate change. What will that tell us about the association of “gullible” people and climate change?

    Should we include Roy Spencer in our group of creationists?

  • Louise

    Joshua – I got it first, I’m telling Mommy..

  • Tom Scharf

    Joshua,

    You personally have me considering a request to KK to put a block user feature in here.  Quantity is not equal to quality.  Conciseness is your friend.  You are bringing down this blog.  Give it a rest, other people want to use this playground too. 

  • Louise

    Tom Scharf – I totally disagree with you view w.r.t Joshua. His posts are usually both thoughtful and entertaining and always one of these.

  • Sashka

    Louise, people believe in all sorts of crap. But some people manage to perfectly rigorous science with some form of religion. I’m not willing to bundle them all together in one lot. But people who believe in the end of the world on a particular day, for example, should certainly be included. And many others too.

  • Joshua

    Do you need help in finding references to explain the difference between prediction and potential?

    A fair point. Allow me to rephrase.

    For example, you don’t know any physicists or mathematicians who “believe” that ACO2 has the potential will warm the climate?

    Keep in mind, Judith Curry just said that she doesn’t listen to anyone who doesn’t think that ACO2 will warm the climate. So no one you include in your group could have beliefs similar to anyone Judith listens to. Also, you couldn’t include most of the people that Watts considers to be “skeptics,” as he has said that most skeptics don’t doubt that ACO2 warms the climate.

  • Sashka

    You two can do whatever you want. Just don’t claim that it was my idea.

  • Keith Kloor

     Tom Scharf (30)

    If someone’s not your taste, just skip past the name in comment threads.  

  • Tom Scharf

    Back on topic is RPJ’s recent post on how the IPCC’s lead author misrepresented weather extremes to Congress:

    The politicization of climate science is so complete that the lead author of the IPCC’s Working Group II on climate impacts feels comfortable presenting testimony to the US Congress that fundamentally misrepresents what the IPCC has concluded.   

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/08/ipcc-lead-author-misleads-us-congress.html 

  • Louise

    Sashka, you seem to believe that there is a correlation between people with irrational beliefs and climate change. I questioned whether that same correlation would be achived if you included the irrational belief in a diety. What do you think? You had an opinion based on no facts before, why not now?

  • Sashka

    Allow me to rephrase, too.
    Among the physisists and mathematicians I know not a single soul believes any quantitative predictions of climate science.

  • Sashka

    And BTW I don’t care about Watts.

  • Joshua

    “That was a rather sectarian in intent (and equestrian in its
    graciousness) attempt to distort. I was commenting on your suggestion
    quoted in 20. Not on anything else. Otherwise I would’ve quoted system 2
    appropriately.”

    Which seems to support what I said about it being a non-sequitor. My comment was about the relationship between experience in hard sciences, or training about asking “difficult questions,”  as examples of system 2 thinking, and motivated reasoning – and in response your comment had nothing to do with system 2 thinking.

  • Joshua

    Allow me to rephrase, too.
    Among the physisists and mathematicians I know not a single soul believes any quantitative predictions of climate science.

    Fine. Re-phrase accepted. That was my point. Your original statement seemed very unlikely.

    Although I would guess that some of them “believe” in some quantitative predictions within error ranges, if perhaps not exactly the same error ranges as stated in the IPCC reports. So I wonder if you may want to re-phrase again to be more clear.

  • Sashka

    Louise, please don’t put words in my mouth. I said gullible so gullible it is.
    There is nothing irrational about climage science. It’s just too hard for most to figure out how little is really known and how much is uncertain, and to what extent.
    You had an opinion based on no facts before, why not now?
    What are you talking about?

  • Joshua

    Louise – 29.

    I learned long ago that trying to beat you to the punch would be a futile endeavor. And I am a big fan of your posts.

    Your position in the big climate debate matrix being purely coincidental, of course.

  • Louise

    Sashka – plain question. If you include Astrologers and Diety believers in the same group and call them “gullible believers” and then compare them with a control group who are not gullible in this way, do their views of climate change differ?

  • Joshua

    - 30 – Tom.

    The thought of losing your valuable input is deeply upsetting to me.

    I will take your feelings under consideration as I continue to post comments. Every now and then I’ll cut out a few words or perhaps even skip a post entirely if you promise not to leave.

  • Sashka

    Louise is right that you can be entertaining. But you can be as boring as BBD, too. Here’s what you said.
    Kahan noted that motivated reasoning is probably positively associated with (Kahneman’s) “system 2″³ thinking
    If I didn’t make it clear enough yet, I’ll will now. I deal in numbers, probabilities and equations. The expressions like “probably positively associated” have absolutely zero meaning to me. If you want me to react you have to say how probable is probable and how positive is positive. And exactly what you by associated. Until you do you are simply increasing entropy, as far as I’m concerned. And why should I care what Kahan had to say? Please spare me.

  • Sashka

    @41. No. The uncertainties are themselves uncertain at this time.

  • Sashka

    @44. I don’t know.

  • Keith Kloor

    Joshua/Sashka

    This is shaping up to be a random thread, so let me pose an unrelated question to you. Personally, I enjoy reading comments from both of you, even though you might be positioned opposite each other on the climate spectrum. (And I don’t mean the spectrum as defined by the extremes). 

    So returning to the issue of trust, let me ask you both: Who you do you trust on issues related to climate science? Note I’m not asking who you don’t trust. But assuming that neither of you possesses enough technical knowledge to analyze and pass judgement on the complexities of climate science, who do you turn to as an “honest broker”?

    Now it may be that I’m assuming wrongly about your capabilities, so please say so then. But if not, I’d like to know the climate scientists you turn to when trying to get a handle on various issues (such as climate sensitivity, uncertainty, future projections/predictions, etc).

  • Louise

    You didn’t direct your question at me Keith but I trust those who can rationally explain their theories and hypotheses using physics and who don’t begin (or even include in their arguments) anything about the cost of mitigation, etc. I have not yet encountered a contrarian climate scientist who didn’t explain his position with reference to politics (e.g. Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, etc).

  • BBD

    @ 50 Louise

    +1

  • Keith Kloor

    Louise,

    That was an oversight on my part, I apologize. But since you are an infrequent (though valued) commenter and don’t have a history of going head to head (on this blog) with others, I didn’t think to include you.

    Of course, the question should be considered open to anyone, but I didn’t want to start a whole thread on this. Maybe I should at some point.

  • Joshua

    Keith –

    Sorry for drifting so far off-topic before. Among experts in the field, I tend to “trust” Mojib Latif. I thought it was very instructive how what he said about predictions was twisted by some “skeptics.” (Although trust may need to be better defined)

    In fact, to tie him back a bit to your post, what he said was somewhat similar except from a slightly different angle (or perhaps in reverse). He said that predicted variability in future decades does not undermine AGW, but will be fodder for those who speciously wish to undermine AGW.

    The situation with him was very instructive, because when he spoke quite directly about uncertainty, what he said was twisted beyond recognition.

    A man who said:

    If my name was not Mojib Latif, my name would be global warming.

    was widely being portrayed as supporting a scientific position that was diametrically opposed to his actual position – by people who were clamoring for accuracy about the portrayal of uncertainty!

    A lack of clarity in the messaging from environmentalists takes on a somewhat different hue in that context. Again, that is not in defense of ambiguity, but to point to the complicated calculus that confounds determination of cause-and-effect w/r/t public opinion.

    There are a few random blog commenters that I trust a bit – but there the trust is less broad, and more related to specific issues.

  • Joshua

    Louise is right that you can be entertaining. But you can be as boring as BBD, too.

    I need numbers, probabilities, and equations to respond to that remark. And please include CI, error bars, a description of methods and materials (including your statistical analysis software) so that I can input in the comments of other folks here to see where I fit on the curve.

  • Sashka

    Keith, we exchanged a couple of emails at some point so you know my name, and I know you can use Google. That should largely eliminate the need for your question.

    I don’t want to pretend that I know everything – not nearly. But when I want to understand something I usually can and do it myself. I don’t need anybody.

  • Sashka

    @54: Much better!

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    FWIW, the number of people I trust wrt climate change is getting smaller, not larger.

  • BBD

    It’s not about individuals. It’s about what survives sceptical scrutiny.

  • Menth

    I don’t always trust climate scientists but when I do, I prefer Michael Mann.

    The Most Interesting Climate Scientist in the World

  • steven mosher

    BBD you realize that paper by hansen is flawed. i mean seriously.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Menth, I think you just won the thread.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    And Steve, I think you just unleashed the Kraken…

  • John F. Pittman

    Joshua stated in 53:”” In fact, to tie him back a bit to your post, what he said was somewhat similar except from a slightly different angle (or perhaps in reverse). He said that predicted variability in future decades does not undermine AGW, but will be fodder for those who speciously wish to undermine AGW.”” His statement may be true, and I would agree with it. However, this is not how the IPCC put together AR4. The methodology in chapter 10 included a limit to variability wrt 2030. At present, using UAH, the iconic claim of 0.2/decade is not supported, or the natural variability is greater and the claim that “most of most of” has to be less confident than AR4 indicated. The problem with Latif’s statement is that in a practical sense, it agrees with J Curry’s. I would point out considerations left out in such a quote. As indicated in AR4, the crossover point for switching from adaptation to mitigation, based on the 0.2C/decade and the assumed natural variability, is 2050. With either the iconic 0.2C/decade or the natural variability greater, then that crossove goes to about 2100. I agree to certain considerations about Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, etc. But I also note from the descriptions of policy by the alarmists, their crossover point is always toward the present in all that I have read, and never towards the future as current resullts indicate should be considered. As uncertainty increases, thi should not be a surprise. I see little difference in the likes of SPL versus Romm, Schnieder, and McKibben. Except all that yelling Romm and McKibben gets really old to me quickly.

  • Stu

    Beautiful weather here in Istanbul right now. A light storm followed by sunshine and lovely summer temperatures. 

  • steven mosher

    Tom. I believe I’ve told BBD that before. Anyway, with Tamino finding the same thing we found I suppose BBD may believe it.

    * personal
    Also, Will is killing! he’s been selected for pick of the Fringe..which is an additional show on top of his daily shows.

  • Joshua

    John –

    I couldn’t quite parse all the technical information in your post, but…

    At present, using UAH, the iconic claim of 0.2/decade is not supported, or the natural variability is greater and the claim that “most of most of” has to be less confident than AR4 indicated.

    You go from “is not supported” to “has to be less confident.” That’s a bit of a jump. Further, in my (non-scientific) parsing of the debate, it seems to me that there isn’t enough statistical evidence, from a short term sample, to conclude one way or another about IPCC estimates of probability for different sensitivity quantification. 

    The problem with Latif’s statement is that in a practical sense, it agrees with J Curry’s.

    First, keep in mind that I didn’t quote Latif, I only paraphrased what he said. Second, I’m not sure which statement of Curry’s you’re referring to.

    In point of fact, Curry believes that the IPCC’s ranges reflect overconfidence (or a lack of recognizing certainty). From my recollection of what he has said, Latiff does not agree with that. He remains confident about the IPCC’s assessment. His point is that short-term variability is not inconsistent with the IPCC’s long term projections, and further, he is very circumspect about predictions. 

    What is “SPL?” a reference to?

  • MarkB

    BBD @9 cites Jim Hansen. At the beginning of the Obama administration, Jim Hansen said that we (the United States) had until the end of the first Obama administration to ‘do something’ about climate change or it would be ‘too late.’ We’re there now, and nothing was done. So according to your trusted expert, the planet is now going inevitably to hell in a handbasket, and there is nothing that can be done to change it. How’s that workin’ out for you? Again – Jim Hansen, the skeptic’s best friend. It’s like we write the script, and that nutter recites it for us. ;-)

  • John F. Pittman

    Joshua your claim of “You go from “is not supported” to “has to be less confident” is not valid under the context of uncertainty. Uncertainty cuts both ways, and I understand this. The statement is correct.  The percieved correctness depends on how firmly you are in a camp or just wanting to communicate correctly. You say “from a short term sample, to conclude one way or another about IPCC estimates of probability for different sensitivity quantification”, but this is what the IPCC did, and others as well, when they talk about GW is accellerating, or its effects are acellerating. I agree with “I didn’t quote Latif” that was a bad assumption on my part. I thought you made a good and relatively true statement to his argument. Sorry. He remains confident about the IPCC’s assessment on HIS terms. “”His point is that short-term variability is not inconsistent with the IPCC’s long term projections, and further, he is very circumspect about predictions.”” Unfortunately for Latif, the IPCC was not just concerned with long term projections, and my statements as to the methodology are correct, and an indication of this is the IPCC graph that shows accelerating GW as they shorten the years, and of course, Chapter 10 of A4. So, he disagrees with THEIR (IPCC)  methodology NOW. Unless you can show he did it when AR4 first came out, using 1998-2001 as a base and endpoint 2008 to 2012 period when it became obviuos. After all, when people used the naive, meaning not having much explanatory power to draw a straight line from 1998 to some other year is naive as well. My research indicated that the meme of the short term sample was an afterfact when average global temperatures dropped and did not come abck up to 0.2C/decade, a la Santer et al, who used the “not inconsistent with” meme. Remember short term trends were used by IPCC in AR4, even though in a way this was a mehtodological error, they still did it. “”Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, etc).”” equals SPL because I mistyped. Should have been SCL. If he was circumspect earlier and now; he is consistant. But if he states as you have stated, and did not note that the IPCC was inconsistant, I have to take his conversion or claims with a grain of salt.

  • BBD

    @ 65 Steven Mosher

    Tom. I believe I’ve told BBD that before. Anyway, with Tamino finding the same thing we found I suppose BBD may believe it.

    Tamino used annual data – HSR used *JJA*. Tamino hasn’t replicated HSR, which focussed on JJA for very good reasons – explicitly stated in the paper.

    As for your now twice-repeated claim that you have found errors, have you contacted the authors yet? If not, why not? Or did you make the same apples/oranges mistake as Tamino?

    Unless and until I see better than this, colour me unimpressed.

  • BBD

    MarkB

    According to you, and many other self-taught climate ‘experts’ in blogland, Jim Hansen [one of the world’s pre-eminent climate scientists] = ‘nutter’.

    This should give you pause. Repeat the following phrase six times: ‘who on earth do I think I am’.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Jim Hansen [one of the world’s pre-eminent climate scientists] = “˜nutter’.”

    BBD, I’m going to frame that! What a marvellous summary!

  • harrywr2

    #69Tamino used annual data ““ HSR used *JJA*. Tamino hasn’t replicated HSR,
    which focussed on JJA for very good reasons ““ explicitly stated in the
    paper.
    So what reason did Hansen give for starting at 1950 instead of 1930?Hansen referring to his 1988 testimony before congress.http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_08/

    I tried to explain forcings and chaos with colored dice. One die
    represented normal climate for 1951-1980, with equal chances for warm,
    average and cool seasons. The other die was “loaded” due to forcing by
    greenhouse gases, such that the chance of an unusually warm season
    increased from 33 to about 60 percent, as calculated by our climate
    model for the late 1990s
    .

    So if I believe everything James Hansen has ever said then since the odds of ‘unusually warm’ summers were already at 60% in the 1990’s then how can the odds have increased? I like this sentence from his 2011 paperhttp://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20111110_NewClimateDice.pdf

    These extreme temperatures were practically absent in the period of climatology, covering only a few tenths of one percent of the land area.

    While we may have some ‘living human beings still alive that can remember the 1930’s…that was before the ‘period of climatology’.

  • BBD

    NiV

    BBD, I’m going to frame that! What a marvellous summary!

    What can I say?

  • steven mosher

    BBD. yes I am aware of the differences between tamino and Hansen. I’m also aware that his fundamental insight is correct. The metric hansen uses is flawed for other reasons as well which you can convince yourself of by doing some simple simulations. That is the first step you should try. create synthetic data. calculate your metric, impose a trend, calcualte your metric again.

    here is a clue. when you read a paper that introduces a metric look for

    1. references to standard accepted known settled statistical science.
    2. a proof of the metric using synthetic data if #1 is absent.

    If you see a method made up for the present case, then use your skeptical super powers and ask a question. where has this been used before? or where do they prove the method?

    That said, we can expect more extremes. its trivially true. and scientifically uninteresting.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #73,

    Why would you need to say anything?

    “The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.”

    “These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change.”

    He’s brilliant! After all the care and hard work other people have put in to limiting the potential for more weather-is-climate reputational damage by keeping their weather-climate associations indirect and circumspect, Hansen just goes ahead and does it! Perfectly normal weather than we can show has happened numerous times before has just been tied to the evidence for climate change, and by a guy you’ll have difficulty disassociating yourselves from.

    I think MarkB may be on to something. Are you sure he isn’t secretly working for us?

  • steven mosher

    BBD. wrt contacting the authors. That’s an odd question. Think ahead.

  • BBD

    Steven Mosher

    BBD. wrt contacting the authors. That’s an odd question. Think ahead.

    You’ve never said what errors you have found in the paper. But the usual thing to do is to contact the authors, surely?

  • BBD

    Sorry, hit the button too soon. It’s a draft paper…

  • BBD

    @ 75 Nullius

    Hansen might be right. And then where would you be?

    Are you a humble student of the long game? :-)

  • Nullius in Verba

    #76,

    Challenging people to contact the authors is one of BBD’s favourite rhetorical tactics. His idea is if you do they’ll provide him with a handy refutation to your argument at no cost to him, and if you don’t he can switch from having to answer the point to questioning your confidence in your own argument. It’s usually a sign he’s out of his depth and has no answer.

    It’s also supposed to inspire a suitable attitude of verecundiam; an unsubtle reminder that you’re just a nobody on the internet, not worthy to converse with great scientists as if you were an equal. Not something I’d expect to work on you, certainly.

    BBD only brought up the Hansen study again in the hope of starting an argument. He’s been told it’s deceptive rubbish before. Arguing with him is fine, if you find it entertaining, but don’t expect to make any headway.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #79,

    So might the priesthood of Tlaloc, the climate god. And if they are and we don’t worship him, then where would we be?

    On the whole, I think it’s more likely.

  • BBD

    Nullius

    Challenging people to contact the authors is one of BBD’s favourite rhetorical tactics. His idea is if you do they’ll provide him with a handy refutation to your argument at no cost to him, and if you don’t he can switch from having to answer the point to questioning your confidence in your own argument. It’s usually a sign he’s out of his
    depth and has no answer.

    I explained why I have my doubts at # 69. And this is a draft paper. Of course SM should contact the authors.

  • John F. Pittman

    How do you know he did or did not BBD? How do you know if they responded BBD? How do you know if they responded as asked? How do you know the right questions were asked or not, or the right answers were given or not?? Faith is the only thing that explains it, or you would have asked and you would have posted! You ascertations are facile, and also a defferred argument to prove a negative. DUH!!

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I have a lot of respect for James Hansen. What he’s recently come out with is really strange. He doesn’t need this. Nor does the cause he’s represented for more than 20 years.

  • Tom C

    Louise -Are we to infer from your comments that you think only atheists are qualified to be scientists?

  • Tom C

    Joshua -Your #13 is very interesting.  You say that the public does not remember the wildly wrong predictions that climate scientists make, such as “children will never see snow again”.  It is only the skeptics that remember such things, so nyah, nyah na nyah nyah.  Are you at all curious why it is that climate scientists say such things?  Does it bother you?  Do you think they should lose some measure of credibility?  Or do they have some sort of  immunity in this regard?  I don’t get your attitude.

  • biff33

    7. Louise: 

    “This is called climate change.  It is consistent with scientific predictions.”

    No, it would be consistent with Mother Nature (if it happened).  It would not be consistent with scientific predictions (from the past).  How do I know?  You can’t cite any, that’s how.

    11. BBD says”¦

    BBD, for another take, see:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/13/a-refreshing-change-on-sea-level-policy-use-historical-data-rather-than-projections/

  • Joshua

    Tom C –

    Your #13 is very interesting. You say that the public does not remember the wildly wrong predictions
    that climate scientists make, such as “children will never see snow again”.  It is only the skeptics that remember such things,so nyah, nyah na nyah nyah. 

    I didn’t recall ever saying nyah, nyah, na nyah nyah, and sure enough, when I went back to check comment #13, it turned out I hadn’t said that. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever said that (at least since I graduated 3rd grade). Is it possible that it was in a comment in another thread? Please clarify.

    Are you at all curious why it is that climate scientists say such things? Do you think they should lose some measure of credibility?  Or do they have some sort of  immunity in this regard?  I don’t get your attitude.

    Apparently, although I wasn’t discussing my “attitude” towards such claims in the comment mentioned, you seem to have inferred something about my attitude from that comment. Well, not surprisingly given that you were drawing inferences with no relevant evidence, your inference is wrong. I think that there could be a variety of reasons why scientists make inaccurate claims. I think that wildly inaccurate claims harm someone’s credibility. I think that no one has “some sort of immunity in [that] regard.” However, again, none of that is relevant to the point I was discussing in the comment in question. The point I was discussing was the impact of claims made by scientists on public opinion, and I was questioning why so many “skeptics” make facile assumptions in that regard, based, what it seems to me, on speculation and argument by assertion. You know, kind of like what you just did in comment #86?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #84,

    I respect his talents and ability. You don’t win the sort of position (and rewards) he has without them. And I do sympathise with the position he has now found himself in, (even if it’s largely his own fault).

    But he went off the rails years ago, and this current strangeness is nothing new. I regard it as a classic case of Noble Cause Corruption. He is evidently genuinely concerned for the fate of the world, and believes action is urgent. To do that he needs to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So he has to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts he might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ climate scientists frequently find themselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of them has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. You can’t do both, and I think I know which Hansen picked.

    It’s a sad story, and the worst is yet to come.

    But I have a ‘double ethical bind’ of my own. While I may sympathise a little with Hansen’s state, I still consider the consequences to be harmful – not just in terms of climate policy, but to things like the reputation of science, of NASA, to the public understanding of science, and so on.

    That BBD worships him is not surprising, and I can’t resist winding him up about it sometimes. Plus, it’s only by ridiculing the weather-is-climate thing every time it comes up that they’ll maybe pick a different balance. Hansen knows, it’s proved effective.

  • John F. Pittman

    If you want a better picture of Hansen, I suggest you read his newsletters. Should be no surprise that his writing is much better than the sound bites. He does have a POV. But then it seems most, if not all do. I think the weather is climate is a method failure. On the public side, any who could be swayed by weather, I would assume could be swayed by weather, and that would make them fair weather friends. Not someone you depend on for the long haul. Mitigation is seen by all that I have read as a “long haul.”

  • Nullius in Verba

    #90,

    “On the public side, any who could be swayed by weather, I would assume could be swayed by weather, and that would make them fair weather friends.”

    If they hear about it. The general idea is to report and highlight weather incidents supporting the narrative, and ignore or downplay those that don’t.

    There are always hot spots and cool spots (www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_monthly.html and click on ‘anomaly’) in the world. So any time of year, you can always find somewhere experiencing unusual/record warmth. Heatwaves, droughts, and floods are reasonably frequent events, and always have been. So is unusually cold weather. The general public don’t look at the statistics, though, they pick up what’s happening from what they happen to hear about; which is mostly what gets reported. In his article Hansen mentions the big heatwaves; he doesn’t mention the snow in Saudi Arabia.

    Over the past few years, sceptics have spoilt that, by publicising cold weather more widely, by playing up the global warming angle when cold weather hits the news, and by pointing out the contrast in responses – if we talk about a bit of snow being evidence against global warming we get lectured that weather-is-not-climate, that you can only judge these things from long-term trends, but the moment it turns warm again they’re back to the weather-is-climate games. It’s been a lot of fun!

    Just lately, they’ve learned a little caution, and the last few times most of them have been careful to include caveats – we can’t attribute individual events to climate change, this is just the sort of thing we expect more of, I’m not making any kind of unscientific suggestion that this warm weather is evidence of climate change and my juxtaposition of the two topics in the same paragraph is pure coincidence, honest. Many have avoided making the link at all.

    But realising this is a losing proposition in the long run, a small number have started seeking ways to be able to claim that such isolated weather events are climate change. This is going to be interesting!

    Mitigation would indeed be for the long run (not that anything seriously proposed so far would actually mitigate it), but the immediate aim is to get as much of the legislation and the institutions as possible in place. Once governments and industries and smaller nations are reliant on the measures, they become self-sustaining.

  • http://rabett.blogspot.com Eli Rabett

    Keith and Tom are taking a deep discount on whether this summer is not the new normal, but merely a pleasant interlude before it really hits the fan.

    Eli- the ever optimistic Bunny

  • http://rabett.blogspot.com Eli Rabett

    Are you at all curious why it is that Casandra says such
    things? Do you think she should lose some measure of credibility?  Or does she have some sort of  immunity in this regard?  I don’t get your
    attitude. – Hector

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I don’t know about Keith, but Tom says that Eli, as ever, is inaccurate and incorrect. What a surprise.Glad to see he’s getting his (mis) spelling advice from Joshua. I like to see the benefits of a higher education in action.As for the likelihood of this summer being the reference point for summer weather in the future, it could well be. Hot in some places, cold in others, newsworthy in the places where it’s unusual. Hysterically overplayed by alarmists wherever possible. Inaccurately characterized by idiots like the furry perfesser to score political points. Then used as a springboard for further vitriol and hysteria when their opponents react to their idiocy.When the hysterics chanted the sky was falling because of the Russian heat wave, peer-reviewed academic papers and a casual reading of the history of Russia showed they were fools.When the hysterics claimed that global warming was to blame for the revolution in Egypt, a casual look at increasing agricultural yields there showed them for the idiots they are.When the hand-wringing hysterics blamed global warming for higher food prices worldwide, they got a face full of mud when academic, peer-reviewed science showed the only connection to be the hijacking of corn for ethanol in response to global warming hysterics like the furry perfesser.Although we’ll see how Hansen’s claims play out, much of the argument has been held already and the evidence strongly leans (according to an organization called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) towards no discernible connection between current weather and climate change.And the idiot perfesser not only is involved in educating our children, he has held office and advised on water policy. Of course I’m sure the wiser among his audience have adopted the same tactics as those forced to listen to Paul Ehrlich–nod your head and do the opposite as he recommends–but I fear lest his ravings spread to people unfamiliar to his lack of intellectual rigor.There will be problems associated with weather next year. Idiot hysterics will blame them on global warming. That is the new normal.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Whoops! Formatted…I don’t know about Keith, but Tom says that Eli, as ever, is inaccurate and incorrect.

    What a surprise.Glad to see he’s getting his (mis) spelling advice from Joshua. I like to see the benefits of a higher education in action.

    As for the likelihood of this summer being the reference point for summer weather in the future, it could well be. Hot in some places, cold in others, newsworthy in the places where it’s unusual. Hysterically overplayed by alarmists wherever possible. Inaccurately characterized by idiots like the furry perfesser to score political points. Then used as a springboard for further vitriol and hysteria when their opponents react to their idiocy.

    When the hysterics chanted the sky was falling because of the Russian heat wave, peer-reviewed academic papers and a casual reading of the history of Russia showed they were fools.

    When the hysterics claimed that global warming was to blame for the revolution in Egypt, a casual look at increasing agricultural yields there showed them for the idiots they are.

    When the hand-wringing hysterics blamed global warming for higher food prices worldwide, they got a face full of mud when academic, peer-reviewed science showed the only connection to be the hijacking of corn for ethanol in response to global warming hysterics like the furry perfesser.

    Although we’ll see how Hansen’s claims play out, much of the argument has been held already and the evidence strongly leans (according to an organization called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) towards no discernible connection between current weather and climate change.

    And the idiot perfesser not only is involved in educating our children, he has held office and advised on water policy.

    Of course I’m sure the wiser among his audience have adopted the same tactics as those forced to listen to Paul Ehrlich”“nod your head and do the opposite as he recommends”“but I fear lest his ravings spread to people unfamiliar to his lack of intellectual rigor.

    There will be problems associated with weather next year. Idiot hysterics will blame them on global warming. That is the new normal. 

  • Tom Scharf

    Progress in extreme weather coverage?  Here is the latest AP story on Hansen’s extreme weather link.  It was on page 2A of our Tampa paper today.

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/story/2012-08-04/heat-waves-climate-change-james-hansen/56794570/1 

    On the surface this a typical doom and gloom the world is ending story, opportunist “weather isn’t climate unless we say so” eco-fodder that is now ignored by virtually everyone.  However, you get the sense that people are backing away from Hansen.

    Hansen is a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and a professor at Columbia University. But he is also a strident activist who has called for government action to curb greenhouse gases for years. 

    Caveat of “But” and “strident activist” noted.  Translation, the source is tainted by ideology.  I don’t recall this kind of language typical used in Hansen MSM articles.  The subheading in our paper, which is added by the local paper reads:

    An activist scientist says statistics show heat waves resulted from climate change.

    Contrast this with what they could of just as easily stated, and what we likely would have gotten just a couple years ago: 

    Statistics show heat waves resulted from climate change.

    So this is forward progress here IMO.  The press has measurably moved to questioning the sources.  And this source has credentials and hero worship from the believers.  I would agree with the above assessment that Hansen has become a liability and my guess is most people believe he can’t retire soon enough.  

  • Nullius in Verba

    #93,

    Woe, woe, alas! Earth, Mother Earth! and thou Apollo, Apollo!

    List! for no more the presage of my soul,
    Bride-like, shall peer from its secluding veil;
    But as the morning wind blows clear the east,
    More bright shall blow the wind of prophecy,
    And as against the low bright line of dawn
    Heaves high and higher yet the rolling wave..

  • Joshua

    Just curious whether anyone has a link to any kind of report on global data on trends in  record heat vs. record cold  in recent years?

  • MarkB

    BBD – #70. Twice now, you’ve ‘responded’ to my comments without dealing with my points. Doesn’t it occur to you that when you have to do that, there must be something wrong with your position? #1 – based on a very few years, British climate scientists claimed that ‘snow would be a thing of the past,’ and were humiliated when the next several years saw bitter cold/ heavy snowfalls. This is in response to Keith’s topic – notice my ability to stay on topic. #2 – you cite Jim Hansen, so I push his own over-the-top words in your face “In four years, it will be too late.” Again, you ignore the man’s plain words. Tell me what you think of Jim Hansen’s competence, in light of his own words. In light of his own words, I think he’s a nutter.

  • Tom Scharf

    I just love Hansen.  You simply cannot create a bigger self parody of climate science:

    Climate change is here “” and worse than we thought

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climate-change-is-here–and-worse-than-we-thought/2012/08/03/6ae604c2-dd90-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html 

    Science lovers everywhere should cringe.

    So after Hansen’s own models have been demonstrably shown to be significantly over-estimating temperature increase through decades of actual observations (nothing that a post-hoc 40% adjustment to the emissions fudge factor can’t correct, heh heh), he claims he was “too optimistic”.

    My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true.  

    Uuuuuhhhhh….Not.

    …it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather…there is virtually no explanation other than climate change…

    …The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small.

    Really?  The sole driver of extreme weather is now AGW?  This is laughable.  Might want to check with the NOAA, Jim.

    The real story is whether (ha ha pun) there will be anyone in the sane side of the climate community who publicly stands up to this assessment.  I predict crickets, crickets, crickets.

    I am equally revolted and amused that he gets op-ed space in the NYT and WP to print this stuff.  And the “clever” release of this paper in the height of summer will not be noted by anyone, or the convenient starting point of 1950 for this unbiased analysis.  I only hope the damage to science in general is contained to climate science.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #99,

    That’s as may be. But it’s a lot more effective to be polite about one’s opponents, even if they’re impolite about you. There’s no need to given them an excuse.

  • Tom Scharf

    Oops, I meant “aerosols fudge factor” above instead of “emissions fudge factor”.

  • Tom C

    Eli you boob.  Cassandra was always right.  The whole point of the UK-snow comments is that they were wildly wrong.  Apparently your knowledge of Greek history is as defective as you knowledge of science.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #103,

    It’s a sort of reverse-Cassandra effect.

    Cassandra was always right and yet never believed. The prophets of environmental doom have never yet been right and yet are always believed. Every time. It’s like a curse from the Gods…

  • Tom C

    Joshua -So apparently this is how it goes: 1) Climate scientist makes asinine prediction based on no evidence whatsoever; 2) Both average people and informed skeptics notice and remember; 3) Prediction turns out to be wildly wrong; 4) “Climate Communications Professional” Joshua makes snarky comments about skeptics that expect asinine predictions to weaken credibility of climate scientists.  Yeah Joshua, right.

  • Tom C

    Joshua -So apparently this is how it goes: 1) Climate scientist makes asinine prediction based on no evidence whatsoever; 2) Both average people and informed skeptics notice and remember; 3) Prediction turns out to be wildly wrong; 4) “Climate Communications Professional” Joshua makes snarky comments about skeptics that expect asinine predictions to weaken credibility of climate scientists.  Yeah Joshua, right.

  • Tom Scharf

    FYI:  NOAA’s EXPLAINING EXTREME EVENTS OF 2011 FROM A CLIMATE PERSPECTIVE

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/2011-peterson-et-al.pdf 

    I will let everyone’s particular confirmation bias quote mine these results.  Just suffice it to say that Hansen’s conclusions don’t align very well here.

  • Joshua

    Tom C-Pressing “Submit Comment” more than once doesn’t increase the strength of your arguments.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Joshua, When you press “Submit Comment” it doesn’t increase the information content of this discussion.

  • BBD

    Tom, please.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    You guys love to dish it out, but you can’t take it at all. Well, at least you haven’t whined to Keith yet.

  • BBD

    @ 104 Nullius

    So you aren’t a humble student of the long game. Thought not  :-)

    With games and trends and indeed the not-demonstrably-flawed HSR draft paper in mind, have a look at a nifty data visualisation tool. Go here, and scroll down to ‘Global surface temperature’ and play around with the ‘Time series 1884 – 2010′ visualisation. Slowly drag the slider below the window back and forth. Regional anomalies dance to the music of time :-)

    There are some other interesting graphs and visualisation tools on the same page. It’s instructive to see all these different data sets grouped together.

  • http://rabett.blogspot.com Eli Rabett

    And folks, what if summers become increasingly hot and dry as compared to this summer?  And what if snow really does become a lot rarer.  Don;t discount those possibilities.-  Cassandra

  • Stu

    The IPCC apparently assigns a 50% likelihood (medium confidence) of “an observed increase in the length or number of warm spells or heat waves in many regions of the globe”.Isn’t that a numerical way of saying we don’t know?  

  • BBD

    Stu, have a play with the visualisation linked at # 112. Perhaps the IPCC isn’t as alarmist as commonly supposed? ;-)

  • Tom Scharf

    BBD,

    Do you have any issues with Hansen’s WP op-ed in #100 above?

    All we ever get from you is evasiveness, changing of the subject, answering questions with questions, and non-responses.  There is a difference between debate and boring partisan rhetoric / rehashed talking points.

    Be a man for a change, answer a direct question. Look forward to another transparent dodge.

  • BBD

    Looking at data is a ‘transparent dodge’?

  • harrywr2

    #112 BBD,

    Go here, and scroll down to “˜Global surface temperature’ and play around with the “˜Time series 1884 ““ 2010″² visualisation.

    So NASA GISS provides a visualation going back to 1884 to ‘make their case that the globe is warming’ then the director of NASA GISS puts out a study beginning in 1950 to makes his case that ‘heat waves’ have become more common.So if the data going back to 1884 is ‘good enough’ for a visualization’ why isn’t it being used as the date range for the claim that ‘heat waves are more common’.Sorry BBD, I’m always ‘suspicous’ when people keep changing the starting and ending dates on their papers.It smells of Cherry Picking.I know US History isn’t your ‘long suit’…it’s a short history…but over here we learn in our ‘history’ classes about the 1930’s dust bowl. Similar to the MWP being taught in your history classes.An ‘American Climate Scientist’ that ignores the 1930’s dust bowl does so at risking whatever credibility he has.

  • Tom Scharf

    BBD,  Not answering a direct question is transparent dodge.  Answering a question with a question is a transparent dodge.  I think you checked all the evasive boxes there in one response.  But at least you were concise.

  • David Young

    The problem here is that we have better sensing systems than ever and a hyperactive media playing up every possible disaster as worse than it is.  When hurricanes are in a record setting decline, we hear nothing about it.  When there is a drought, we hear about it as if its unprecedented.  Two or three years ago the great plains had a record wet spring.  It’s humorous to watch the Weather Channel when one of their disasters turns out to be a lot less severe than they warned of.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #112,

    I have a question for you about your visualisation. If you push the bar all the way to the left in 1884, you get a nice map in which all the world is coloured in. But there were large parts of the world with no temperature stations up until around 1940. (Which is probably the reason Hansen ignored the 1930s.) Not much in central Africa, or the central Pacific, or northern Siberia, or Antarctica back in 1884. So where did Hansen get the data from?

  • BBD

    Claiming temperature data is being used in a deliberately misleading manner is climate change denial. *All* the information about how GISTEMP and indeed HADCRUT used earlier data is publicly available and has been published in the reviewed literature. If you want to know, get off your backsides and do some reading. But you don’t want to know, do you? You are much, much more interested in climate change denial. And – to quote Nullius – I can’t be bothered to argue with denialists today.

  • BBD

    In anticipation of the usual howling, anyone who objects to the term ‘denialist’ can replace it mentally with: ‘paranoid, ill-informed, lazy, politically motivated armchair conspiracy theorist’.

  • BBD

    Tom Scharf

    All we ever get from you is evasiveness, changing of the subject, answering questions with questions, and non-responses.

    Any regular reader of this blog will see that for the self-serving rubbish that it is.

  • John F. Pittman

    BBD is right about the temperature changing motiff. Though his”” “˜paranoid, ill-informed, lazy, politically motivated armchair conspiracy theorist’.””is a bit over the top. The real question is will TOBS stand up as currently implemented or will it have to change to be accurate? My bet is a small change. How small will be the question, as in it may be a negliable amount. Though I would wish that with better science, the supposed differences with sat and land based would be put to sleep.

  • harrywr2

    #112 BBD

    Claiming temperature data is being used in a deliberately misleading manner is climate change denial

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics. Believing that people don’t use statistics to confirm their existing beliefs or bolster the case for their preferred policies is naivete.We see it in the nuclear debate all the time. The ‘health effects’ of low levels of radiation are in the ‘statistical weeds’. One side says there are no adverse health effects or even modest positive health effects and the other side says that commercial nuclear power has killed millions. The quality and quantity of the data is such that one can ‘see whatever they want to see’.http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    This agrees well with the 5.5 W year/m2 in theanalysis of Levitus et al. (21) for the upper700 m that was based only on in situ data.

    *I think Hansen has a decimal place off here.Levitus 2012http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2012GL051106.shtml

    We provide updated estimates of the change of heat content and the
    thermosteric component of sea level change of the 0-700
    and 0-2000 m layers of the world ocean for
    1955-2010. …The
    heat content of the world ocean for the 0-700 m layer increased by
    16.7×1022
    J corresponding to a rate of 0.27 Wm-2 (per unit
    area of the world ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.18ºC. 

    There was a large(alarming) change in Ocean Heat Content that coincided with the introduction of the Argo floats. Hansen proclaimed that it confirmed his models and predictions. Skeptics thought it was an artifact of a change in measurement method.Now that the Argo floats have been out there for a while…they don’t agree so well with Hansen’s 2005 ‘models and predictions’.Face with incomplete data and or conflicting data all most everyone resolves the issue with their own personal biases.

  • Joshua

    Harry -

    …and the other side says that commercial nuclear power has killed millions.

    Could you provide an example of what you’re speaking about, there?

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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