The New Fallback Position

A friend pointed us to a recent article in the New York Times, a paper that has incidentally just dismantled its 'environment desk', to the chagrin of would-be planet-savers everywhere, one imagines. The article is entitled “Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide” and is decorated with a photograph of snow-covered palm trees in Jerusalem (now you know why they don't call it 'global warming' anymore). Anyway, the article is a long litany of weather-related woes, which as it were we have probably heard in one form or another for as long as we can remember (not a year passes without someone or other assuring us that the 'weather has never been as extreme as it is now', and usually they can also cite a statistic or two to 'prove' their case. It seems that extreme weather is rather common, actually).

Anyway there is one sentence in the article that we found really interesting. After we are assured with the aid of a long list of examples that there is indeed an unusual confluence of weather-related extremes clustered in the here and now, we learn from a Mr. Omar Baddour in Geneva (where apparently one of the great many cushy taxpayer-financed climate bureaucracies is located, in this case the 'World Meteorological Organization'):


“Such events are increasing in intensity as well as frequency, Mr. Baddour said, a sign that climate change is not just about rising temperatures, but also about intense, unpleasant, anomalous weather of all kinds.”

 

Say what? It is already suspicious enough that 'global warming' has over the years inconspicuously morphed into 'climate change' (a very convenient term, since the climate is always changing), but that seems to be in the process of acquiring an entirely new meaning now, namely 'inclement weather'.

This appears to be the newest fallback position of the AGW theorists – 'unpleasant weather' seems to be the new hallmark of the oncoming catastrophe that can allegedly only be prevented by throwing untold billions in the general direction of people like Mr. Baddour (though no longer in the direction of the NYT's 'environment desk', alas), while severely retarding economic growth and increasing government control over our lives by an order of magnitude (think incandescent light bulb; sorry, we had to mention it).

Egged on by this curious discovery, we looked around to see if there were any recent climate science-related developments that would account for this sudden adoption of unpleasant weather as the latest sign of surely impending imminent doom by the warming cult. Whether there is really a connection to what we found we cannot say, but for those who missed it, it is surely quite interesting nonetheless.

 


 

polar-bear-facepalm

Oh God, not the environment desk of the New York Times….we're done for!

(Photo via twicsy.com)

 


 

Adios, Warming?

Apparently the Met Office in London has decided to begin the year by coming clean about what has happened to the warming cycle over the past 15 years. This is actually not news, what is news is who is now admitting it. Actually, it placed the news on its home page on 24 December of 2012, apparently so well hidden that it took the UK press until January 8 to find out about it!

And this is the news:

 

“The Met Office has admitted that global warming has stalled. Officials say that by 2017, temperatures will not have risen significantly for nearly 20 years. They concede that previous forecasts were inaccurate – and have come under fire for attempting to ‘bury bad news’ by publishing the revised data on Christmas Eve.

Now a press release, published yesterday, has confirmed that over the next five years temperatures will be 0.43 degrees above the 1971-2000 average, instead of the previously forecast 0.54 degrees – a 20 per cent reduction. This rise would be only slightly higher than the 0.4-degree rise recorded in  1998, an increase which is itself attributed by forecasters to an exceptional weather phenomenon.

With all but 0.03 degrees of the increase having occurred by 1998, the revision means that no further significant increases to the planet’s temperature are expected over the next few years.

[…]

Dr David Whitehouse, science adviser to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘That the global temperature standstill could continue to at least  2017 would mean a 20-year period of  no statistically significant change in global temperatures. ‘Such a period of no increase will pose fundamental problems for climate models. If the latest Met Office prediction is correct, then it will prove to be a lesson in humility.’

 

(emphasis added)

Dr. Whitehouse is to be commended for his assessment – this would indeed call for a bit of humility, considering that these people have been keeping the world  in a constant state of alarm over the entire period of zero warming. However, a few of his colleagues may be plagued by visions of evaporating grants:


“However, Dr Richard Allan of the University of Reading said: ‘Global warming is not “at a standstill” but does seem to have slowed down since 2000, in comparison to the rapid warming of the world since the 1970s. ‘In fact, consistent with rising greenhouse gases, heat is continuing to build up beneath the ocean surface.’


Evidently, Dr. Whitehouse has neglected to extend his temperature feelers into the Atlantic ocean lately. Otherwise he'd know about this humility-precluding sub-surface condition. Another presumably tenured bien pensant weighs in as follows:


“He was backed by Bob Ward of the London School of Economics, who said it would be wrong to interpret that warming had stopped. However, he also condemned the Met Office for releasing data without an explanation of its full meaning.

‘It’s true to say this isn’t the Met Office’s finest hour,’ he said. ‘The sceptics have simply exploited that fact. I think on this particular occasion the Met Office has fallen short of the standards one would expect of them.’

 

(emphasis added)

How can they go ahead and just blurt out the truth! Not their finest hour!

So there has been zero temperature increase since 1998, they finally admitted it, and not only that, we are likely to look forward to another five years of 'standstill' at a minimum. First they fail to hide the data well enough (it was found by the press after two weeks…), then it turns out they published it without explaining why it really doesn't mean what it evidently means! The horror!

Who knows what will happen after the five more years of 'standstill'. Perhaps a new cooling cycle will begin?  Actually, looking at the chart below, which shows the difference between the forecast of the alarmist 'climate models' and reality, the only question we have is this: why is this not a page one story everywhere? Seems like big news, doesn't it?

 


 

No warming

Chart made from data published by the Met Office 'on the quiet' at Christmas. The 'old forecast' based on climate models versus the reality and the new forecast.

 


 

Admittedly, not even a 20 year period of zero warming 'proves' anything one way or the other. Climate change happens on much vaster time scales – and it has been happening for billions of years, with or without humans. However, that is not what the alarmists said, is it? Note that not a single one of the dire predictions made since 1980 has so far come true (still waiting for those climate refugees! Micronesia still not under water, what's up with that?). But now we have inclement weather – what more proof do you need? Unless we stop all economic growth immediately, we will all die!

Kidding aside, so much for the 'consensus' and its predictions. Appeals to the so-called scientific consensus are in any case counterproductive. Science has historically progressed through challenges to the prevailing consensus, not through blind acceptance of same. Ultimately, no scientific hypothesis is entirely safe, although some are obviously more firmly established than others (we wouldn't rate AGW as one of the very firmly established ones).  Moreover, there was a 'consensus' in the mid 1970's, after a cooling cycle had produced slightly declining temperatures for about four decades, that we would all freeze to death if we didn't immediately cover the Arctic and Antarctic in black soot so they would no longer reflect sunlight.

As an aside, to have doubts about AGW theory, especially in view of the growing body of countervailing evidence, does not automatically indicate that one believes that dinosaurs walked the earth 6,000 years ago, nor does it necessarily mean that one has an armory brimming with assault weapons. All it means is that one doesn't believe the 'debate is over'. It isn't.

 

Addendum:

We won't dwell on the near-record cold temperatures that have just been recorded in California, but we will say this:

Ceterum censeo, bring back the incandescent light bulb to the deprived citizens of the EU

 

 

Charts by: Die Presse


 

 

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8 Responses to “Global Warming Becomes ‘Inclement Weather’”

  • Mercury42:

    An update to my earlier post on landmark temperature conditions in Australia this summer;
    Some records were broken this year;

    In Tasmania, that coolish island pointing toward Antarctica, where the capital of Hobart peaked out at 41.8 degrees C, the highest since record keeping began 120 years ago.
    In Sydney, the biggest city on the continent, temperatures reached a new all-time high of 45.8 degrees C in the town centre and 46.4 degrees C further west.

    Yes, nothing again to see here I suppose…

  • JasonEmery:

    Hey Hamish–With all due respect to Pater, this is a relatively low read blog, compared to wikipedia, especially when it comes to climate science. Why don’t you take a scientific writing class, then bestow your vast knowledge on a project to correct the horrible errors at wikipedia on this subject.

    I assume that English is your second or third language. Do any of your peers have a coherently written paper on this topic in English? If so, please post a link.

  • Hamish McDougal:

    Corrected, my dearest Jason.
    Not much danger of either. You obviously don’t have degrees in Chemistry. Nor have worked in it. Nor have worked as a Water Chemist. Nor have ever worked with sea-water. I have – all of the above.
    The seas have a virtually infinite buffer – far greater than the trivial amounts of carbon [dioxide] produced by all the ‘fossil fuels’ on the planet – it resides in the limestone (calcium carbonate to the peasants) in contact with sea-water. Carbon [dioxide] from the air merely moves the equilibrium slightly – a bit more calcium bicarbonate. Idiots think that this changes the pH (about which we know more than the Greenies have dreamed). Yes, it does, slightly. Yes, it takes a bit of time to equilibrate (but isn’t it an article of the Green Faith that the lifetime (unscientific formulation – but that’s the Greenies [why do I think ‘eco-Fascists’ or the ‘Green Taliban’?]) of the EVIL carbon [dioxide] is loooonnnngg. (Longer than anyone previously has measured it).
    All (I repeat all) the so-called experiments use a strong acid (HCl, sulphuric acid) or, at least, something stronger than carbonic acid (10^4x for phosphoric et al.) .
    The amount of carbon [dioxide] in the air (Henry’s Law+ a couple of corollaries) is a function of the temperature of the sea. To at least the second order approximation. Get that right (as the Goracle didn’t), and temperature rise PRECEDES carbon (dioxide) concentrations by about 800 years – a fact that the Goracle still tries to hide! Besides the fact that any patch of sea has a pH different from the next – a far greater differential than an honest scientist would predict from changing carbon (dioxide).
    Prediction: an insignificant decrease in pH (less that the regional variation – and don’t try and scare us with 10x or 100x or 1000x the ‘acidity’ – we understand logarithmic [by definition!] scales). A small increase in bicarbonate. Business as usual.
    Find another scare, darling! There are lots of us who understand this one.

  • Hamish McDougal:

    Not much danger of either. You obviously don’t have degrees in Chemistry. Nor have worked in it. Nor have worked as a Water Chemist. Nor have ever worked with sea-water. I have – all of the above.
    The seas have a virtually infinite buffer – far greater than the trivial amounts of carbon [dioxide] produced by all the ‘fossil fuels’ on the planet – in the limestone (calcium carbonate to the peasants) in contact with sea-water. carbon [dioxide] from the air merely moves the equilibrium slightly – a bit more calcium bicarbonate. Idiots think that this changes the pH (about which I know more than the Greenies have dreamed). Yes, it does, slightly. Yes, it takes a bit of time (but isn’t it an article of the Green Faith that the life (unscientific formulation – but that’s the Greenies [why do I think ‘eco-Fascists’ or the ‘Green Taliban’?]) of the EVIL carbon [dioxide] is long. (Longer than anyone previously has measured it).
    All (I repeat all) the experiments use a strong acid (HCl, sulphuric acid) or something stronger (10^4x for phosphoric et al.) than carbonic acid.
    The amount of carbon [dioxide] in the air (Henry’s Law+ a couple of corollaries) is a function of the temperature of the sea. To at least the second order approximation. Get that right (as the Goracle didn’t), and temperature rise PRECEDES Not much danger of either. You obviously don’t have degrees in Chemistry. Nor have worked in it. Nor have worked as a Water Chemist. Nor have ever worked with sea-water. I have – all of the above.
    The seas have a virtually infinite buffer – far greater than the trivial amounts of carbon [dioxide] produced by all the ‘fossil fuels’ on the planet – in the limestone (calcium carbonate to the peasants) in contact with sea-water. carbon [dioxide] from the air merely moves the equilibrium slightly – a bit more calcium bicarbonate. Idiots think that this changes the pH (about which I know more than the Greenies have dreamed). Yes, it does, slightly. Yes, it takes a bit of time (but isn’t it an article of the Green Faith that the life (unscientific formulation – but that’s the Greenies [why do I think ‘eco-Fascists’ or the ‘Green Taliban’?]) of the EVIL carbon [dioxide] is long. (Longer than anyone previously has measured it).
    All (I repeat all) the experiments use a strong acid (HCl, sulphuric acid) or something much stronger (10^4x) than carbonic acid such as phosphoric et al.
    The amount of carbon [dioxide] in the air (Henry’s Law) is a function of (follows – for those slow on the uptake) sea temperature (by about 800 years) – a fact that the Goracle still tries to hide!
    Besides the fact that any patch of sea has a pH different form the next – a far greater differential than an honest scientist would predict.
    Prediction: an insignificant decrease in pH (less that the regional variation – and don’t try and scare us with 10x or 100x or 1000x the ‘acidity’ – we understand logarithmic [by definition!] scales). A small increase in bicarbonate. Business as usual.
    Find another scare, darling! There are lots of us who understand this one.

  • JasonEmery:

    We know the level of atmospheric CO2 is rising at about 1.5 ppm/year since they started taking annual measurements in 1958. The rise would be double that rate, except that half of produced CO2 is absorbed by the world’s oceans.

    The increase in absorbed CO2 is leading to a decrease in ocean ph, which is increased acidity. The ability of the oceans’ plants and animals to adapt to this increasing acidity is unknown.

    There would appear to be two possible outcomes. One is that the oceans continue to absorb half the incremental CO2 production, leading to a continuing increase in the oceans’ acidity. The second possibility is that the oceans reach some sort of saturation point, and their ability absorb more CO2 is impaired, leading to a much faster rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 levels.

  • Mercury42:

    The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has had to add a whole new shade to its heat index – purple, which represents 54 degrees Celsius (129F), because that place is currently on fire, setting all time temperature records. Nothing to see here, obviously…

  • Floyd:

    Regrettably, not only the EU banned incandescent light bulbs.
    Some US states followed.

    FWIW, snow in Jerusalem doesn’t prove anything.
    It has been occasionally snowing there during the winter for decades if not hundreds of years.

  • No6:

    School kids in the UK are automatically failed if they write essays on ‘climate change’ that questions the official line. This can affect their grades and futures.
    Isn’t public education great!

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