We’ve all heard the terminology. An extreme event happens — a flood or heat wave — and soon after it is characterized as a “1,000-year event” (or it doesn’t have to be 1,000, it could be any number). This week I watched one of the world’s most visible climate scientists, Michael E. Mann, go on national TV and in process show that he had no idea what the concept actually means.
Let’s start by correcting that climate scientist who expressed a popular misconception (about which climate scientists should know better). A 1,000-year flood does not refer to a level of flooding that comes around every 1,000 years.
by R. Pielke, Mar 29 2023 in ClimateChangeDispatch
Today, in the first of two posts, I explain how the IPCC made several misleading claims related to tropical cyclones.
The IPCC’s failures are both obvious and undeniable.
I will walk you through them in detail. Once again, I conclude that the IPCC needs reform. Mistakes can creep into massive assessments, to be sure, but the failures I document below are unacceptable. [emphasis, links added]
The first failure never rose above the depths of Chapter 11 of its AR6 Working Group 1 (WG1) report. The second is a bit technical and is much more significant – having made its way into the Summaries for Policymakers (SPMs) of both WG1 and the Synthesis Report released last week.
Before proceeding, let me reiterate that the IPCC is not just one report or one group of people. It is many things and comprised of many different people. Its products are of uneven quality, and even individual chapters in the same report can be of very different scientific quality.
Feel helpless when trying to assess the veracity of “climate doom is looming” claims? Don’t give up trying to understand the relevant basics because you don’t need to be a scientist to do so.
There is a rather simple way to get an idea about what this is all about. Even without a scientific background, most people have at least a good common sense. And that’s all it takes to get a grasp of how energy flows back and forth between earth’s surface and the skies.
Today in Part 5, we look at the linkage between the allegedly CO2-driven rise of air and sea surface temperatures on the one side and the disconnect between these increases and their strangely weak to insignificant impact on rainfall and hurricane intensity”.
Variability of cloud effects vs “greenhouse gas” effects
In the last chapter, we have seen that there are some discrepancies between the global warming trend as claimed by the official climate science and the local evolution of rainfall, which should be a direct consequence of higher temperatures since this causes more evaporation. This seems not to be the case e.g. for Germany, see Fig. 1:
by G. Dickie, Mar 16, 2023 in ClimateChangDispatch
Heatwaves unfolding on the bottom of the ocean can be more intense and last longer than those on the sea surface, new research suggests, but such extremes in the deep ocean are often overlooked.
A team of scientists with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has conducted the first assessment of marine heatwaves along North America’s continental shelves.
They found that these bottom heatwaves ranged from 0.5 degrees Celsius to 3C warmer than normal temperatures and could last more than six months — much longer than heatwaves at the surface.
“We simply don’t have a ton of instruments on the ocean bottom along continental shelves,” said study co-author Dillon Amaya, an NOAA climate scientist. “The ocean is a powerful thing. It destroys instruments that we have in the water for too long.”
by P. Homewood, March 1, 2023 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat
The new study uses computer models to assess Atlantic storms going back to 1949, and to peer into the future to see what storms will look like in 2100. The authors, climate scientists at Princeton University, found that the flood and wind risk posed by storms has steadily increased.
The problem will only get worse in the coming decades. “The frequency of intense storms will increase,” explains Ning Lin, a climate scientist at Princeton University and the lead author of the new study.
About the Global Warming Policy Foundation 10
It is widely believed that hurricanes are getting worse as a consequence of climate change. This belief is fuelled by the media and some politicians, particularly when a bad storm occurs. This be- lief is reinforced because the damage caused by hurricanes is much greater nowadays, thanks to increasing populations in vulnerable coastal areas and greater wealth more generally.
But is this belief correct, or is it a misconception? This study has carefully analysed official data and assessments by hurricane scientists, and finds:
• 2021 and 2022 recorded the lowest number of both hurricanes and major hurricanes glob- ally for any two year period since 1980.
• The apparent long-term increase in the number of hurricanes since the 19th century has been due to changes in observational practices over the years, rather than a real increase.
• Data show no long-term trends in US landfalling hurricanes since the mid-19th century, when systematic records began, either in terms of frequency or intensity.
• Similarly, after allowing for the fact that many hurricanes were not spotted prior to the sat- ellite era, there are no such trends in Atlantic hurricanes either.
Globally there are also no trends in hurricanes since reliable records began in the 1970s.
Evidence is also presented that wind speeds of the most powerful hurricanes may now be overestimated in comparison to pre-satellite era ones, because of changing methods of meas- urement.
• The increase in Atlantic hurricanes in the last fifty years is not part of a long-term trend, but is simply a recovery from a deep minimum in hurricane activity in the 1970s, associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.
These findings are in line with those of hurricane scientists generally, as well as official bodies such as NOAA and the IPCC.
by R. Pielke, Feb 13, 2023 in ClimateChangeDispatch
This is the latest post in an ongoing series, titled “what the media won’t tell you about…”, which is motivated by the apparent systemic inability of the legacy media to play things straight when it comes to extreme weather and disasters.
Climate change is real and important, but its importance is not an excuse for the pervasive climate misinformation found across the legacy media. [emphasis, links added]
Here are the previous installments in the series, which are among my most popular posts and which have gone unchallenged.
The problem isn’t the future. The problem is what we’re doing right now. Today, humans spend more than $1 trillion every year on decarbonization, which will most likely have no measurable effect on our future climate. But it does raise the price of energy, and the current virtue-signaling environment prevents people in the developing world from reaching the standard of living we take for granted.
And yet, that same World Bank won’t lend them money to build a reliable energy grid. The United Nations and the World Economic Forum are forcing Africans to install solar and wind projects that can’t help them cook dinner, so they continue to burn trees, charcoal, and dung, destroying forests and dying of lung diseases. They are — right now — being forced to live lives we lived in 1850.
Yes, you say, but prices of solar panels are coming down! Imagine you have a car that drives really well whenever the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. No batteries, nothing, it just works. It’s not even that expensive, and it is magically zero emission. Now, can you get rid of your regular car? Or do you need to have your own back-up car for whenever the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing? You might think you could just rent or use an Uber then, but that’s exactly when everyone else needs a car, too, so you actually have to maintain your existing car, pay the insurance, make sure it’s always available, for those times when your renewable car isn’t possible and the Uber is taken. That’s twice as many cars, no matter who owns them. That’s not “sustainability.”
This isn’t easy for a lot of people to hear. It has become a matter of tribal and political identity. I know. In 1991, I wrote a book about how CO2 was changing the climate. But then I dug deeper and realized not everything was as it seemed. When I started to tell others the science wasn’t settled, I lost quite a few friends. If you have read this far, thank you for being brave. I invite you to take the next step at Climatecurious.com.
Does evidence of past extreme floods invalidate claims that climate change is making floods worse?
Could volcanic activity be a contributor to major floods in Australia? Australia is on the South Western edge of the Ring of Fire. While the Australian mainland is not very volcanically active, there have been some spectacular eruptions in our neighbourhood, such as the infamous Krakatoa eruption in 1883, or the 1815 Tambora Eruption, which is blamed for causing famine in the United States in 1816, “The Year Without a Summer”.
I see the BBC/Met Office are up to their extreme weather scam again! (Timed to coincide with COP27 of course):
To pretend that winter storms are an example of Britain’s weather becoming more extreme is utterly dishonest, as the Met Office’s State of the Climate 2021 clearly showed that wind storms have grown less frequent and intense over the years since peaking in the 1990s.
Humans are likely causing some warming, but substantial scientific disagreement exists on whether there will be significant impacts
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (November 8, 2022) – A new poll of scientists conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University found that only 59 percent of respondents think global climate change will cause “significant harm” to the “living conditions for people alive today.” That is far short of the “97 percent consensus” narrative pushed by climate alarmists and their media allies across the globe.
The survey, conducted in September and October 2022 by Fairleigh Dickinson University and commissioned by The Heartland Institute, polled only professionals and academics who held at least a bachelor’s degree in the fields of meteorology, climatology, physics, geology, and hydrology.
The key question of the survey asked: “In your judgement, what will be the overall impact of global climate change on living conditions for people alive today, across the globe?” Fifty-nine percent said “significant harm.” Thirty-nine percent said either “significant improvement,” “slight improvement,” “no change,” or “slight harm.” Two percent were not sure.
Among respondents with the most experience – those at least 50-years-old – less than half expect significant harm for people alive today. Scientists 30-years-old and younger were the only age group for which more than 60 percent expect significant harm.
Like prior surveys of scientists, the new poll shows the vast majority of scientists agree the planet is warming. On average, respondents attributed 75 percent of recent warming to human activity. More importantly, scientists disagree among themselves on whether future warming will be much of a problem.
The poll also found only 41 percent of respondents believe there has been a significant increase in the frequency of severe weather events. The majority say there has been no change or only a slight increase.
And then ask Michael Mann, Al Gore, John Kerry, and the rest of the climate cataclysm cabal to explain exactly how carbon dioxide and a few other greenhouse gases caused those massive ice sheets to grow and melt, multiple times. Just CO2 and GHG, all by themselves. They can’t do it. The CO2-driven crisis is a fable.
Widespread glaciation began some 1,800,000 years ago in North America and Europe, and about 800,000 years earlier on other continents. There were at least four, possibly five, major glacial periods, interspersed with warm intervals (like the one we’re in now) during which the glaciers mostly melted.
That last glacial epoch is named the Wisconsinan because some of the most exemplary features are in my home state. It marks the furthest extent of glaciers southward into the United States and east and west across Canada.
The article notes that “researchers estimated that about 127 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent were released by the fires, compared with about 65 million metric tons of reductions achieved in the previous 18 years.”
The Times article provided the usual climate alarmist hype that “climate change” is responsible for the California’s increased wildfire damage noting:
“Forests have long played a role in that system, with large trees sequestering carbon and helping to alleviate some emissions. But California’s new breed of climate-change-fueled fires are burning hotter and faster than those of the past, sometimes slowing the regrowth process and even converting some areas from coniferous trees into grasslands, shrubs and chaparral, the researchers said.”
However a 2021 prior WUWT article addressed the fact that year 2020 wildfire emissions likely wiped out the state AB 32 emissions reductions and also addressed in detail the huge state government forest management failures that have contributed to the states wildfire growth and increasing risks over the past decade with these critical failures hidden from view in the Times article. This prior WUWT article notes:
The LAO report notes that increased fire risks are present throughout California driven by forest conditions that have been allowed by the state to develop for decades.”
Provided below are some of the highlights (or lowlights) of the state governments forest management failures that have led directly to increased wildfire growth and risks that have nothing to do with “climate change” as addressed in the states LAO analysis and presented in the prior WUWT article.
Extreme weather events, like tropical storms, are supposed to be intensifying and becoming more frequent as the world warms, the global warming alarmists like to claim as they try to spread panic and anxiety. This, they say, is robustly supported by science and so humanity is facing dire consequences unless it stops burning fossil fuels immediately.
Today let’s use the scientific data on Pacific typhoons to see if the alarmist claims are true. These data are provided by the renowned Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Surely typhoons must be increasing in frequency year by year since the temperature has risen over the 20th century.
First we look at the number of typhoons occurring in September, since 1951:
Hurricane Ian is in the history books, having unleashed its Category 4 fury on southwestern Florida.
Even as the area slowly digs out and rebuilds, the devastation and tragedies will linger in reality and memories.
Ian was the latest of 123 hurricanes to hit the Sunshine State since official recordkeeping began in 1851. But unsurprisingly, some wasted no time trying to link Ian to the most dominant issue of our time. [bold, links added]
The increasing cost of hurricane damage can be explained entirely by more people and more property in harm’s way. Consider how much more developed Miami Beach is today compared to a century ago. Once you adjust for rising wealth, there is no trend of increasing damage.
“After adjusting for a likely undercount of hurricanes in the pre-satellite era,” writes NOAA, “there is essentially no long-term trend in hurricane counts. The evidence for an upward trend is even weaker if we look at U.S. landfalling hurricanes, which even show a slight negative trend beginning from 1900 or from the late 1800s.”
What’s more, NOAA expects a 25% decline in hurricane frequency in the future.
Because the data is compiled from the same EM-DAT database, the annual number of deaths shows an uptick from the 1990s to the 2000s. It is clear though that disaster-related deaths from extreme weather have been falling since the 1920s and are now approaching zero. This is due as much to improved planning, more robust structures and early warning systems, as it is to diminishing numbers of natural disasters. And, as can be seen from the figure, it is earthquakes – entirely natural events – that have been the deadliest disasters over the last two decades.
Ignoring all the evidence, however, the press release accompanying the latest WMO report proclaims that “Climate science is clear: we are heading in the wrong direction,” the UN Secretary-General adding, with characteristic hype, that the report “shows climate impacts heading into uncharted territory of destruction.”
A more detailed discussion of the erroneous claims of both CRED and the WMO can be found in my two most recent reports on weather extremes (here and here).
This year’s hurricane season has been unusually quiet. The USA has gotten off easy so far in terms of landfalls and damage, thus once again contradicting all the doomsday scenarios from the climate alarmists.
Mid September is usually the peak of hurricane activity. But right now it’s quiet and there are no threats to the US mainland – for the time being. Here’s the latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC):
Potential killer winter on top of acute energy crisis
On another subject, some forecasters have been projecting a milder than normal winter for Europe, which would be welcome with a red carpet due to the continent’s acute energy crisis.
However, Joe notes there are signs this may not be the case. That would mean the coming winter could become – in the current dire energy situation – the Mother of Nightmares: a bitter cold winter with energy outages. In the event of blackouts, which many experts warn have a high chance of occurring, Europe would then be facing a humanitarian and economic crisis on a scale not seen in a very long time.
“Look at what the surface maps are showing,” Bastardi says. “When you have high pressure over Greenland and Iceland, and low pressure over Spain like that, folks, that is an ugly looking situation for the winter. That is similar to 2010/11.”
Four leading Italian scientists have undertaken a major review of historical climate trends and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ is not supported by the data. Reviewing data from a wide range of weather phenomena, they say a ‘climate crisis’ of the kind people are becoming alarmed about “is not evident yet”. The scientists suggest that rather than burdening our children with anxiety about climate change, we should encourage them to think about issues like energy, food and health, and the challenges in each area, with a more “objective and constructive spirit” and not waste limited resources on “costly and ineffective solutions”.
During the course of their work, the scientists found that rainfall intensity and frequency is stationary in many parts of the world. Tropical hurricanes and cyclones show little change over the long term, and the same is true of U.S. tornadoes. Other meteorological categories including natural disasters, floods, droughts and ecosystem productivity show no “clear positive trend of extreme events”. Regarding ecosystems, the scientists note a considerable “greening” of global plant biomass in recent decades caused by higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Satellite data show “greening” trends over most of the planet, increasing food yields and pushing back deserts.
The four scientists are all highly qualified and include physics adjunct professor Gianluca Alimonti, agrometeorologist Luigi Mariani and physics professors Franco Prodi and Renato Angelo Ricci. The last two are signatories to the rapidly growing ‘World Climate Declaration’. This petition states that there is no climate emergency and calls for climate science to be more scientific. It also calls for liberation from the “naïve belief in immature climate models”. In future, it says, “climate research must give significantly more emphasis to empirical science”.
German online NOVO-Argumente looks at the forest fire situation in Germany and Europe.
Currently parts of Europe are experiencing severe drought conditions and forest fires are raging in Germany. Climate activists and the mainstream are claiming it’s climate change, and it’s unprecedented.
But NOVO-Argumente looks at the historical data going back decades and finds nothing alarming.
Over the long-term average (1993 to 2019), 1035 forest fires in Germany were recorded with an average of 656 hectares affected. The amount of damage is just 1.38 million euros. Forest fires therefore cost us about as much per year as we spend every 30 minutes on subsidizing solar and wind energy.
“No evidence of an increase in forest fires”
As the following graph shows, there is no evidence of an increase in forest fires over the last 30 years in terms of number and extent. The peaks are not seen in this chart from the Federal Environmental Agency because they are in the past. In 1975, over 8000 hectares burned in Lower Saxony alone. In contrast, in the year 2021, which is not yet recorded in the graph, there were only 548 forest fires in the whole of Germany on a total area of 148 hectares.
Climate change is real and its impacts are mostly negative, but common portrayals of devastation are unfounded. Scenarios set out under the UN Climate Panel (IPCC) show human welfare will likely increase to 450% of today’s welfare over the 21st century. Climate damages will reduce this welfare increase to 434%.
Arguments for devastation typically claim that extreme weather (like droughts, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes) is already worsening because of climate change. This is mostly misleading and inconsistent with the IPCC literature. For instance, the IPCC finds no trend for global hurricane frequency and has low confidence in attribution of changes to human activity, while the US has not seen an increase in landfalling hurricanes since 1900. Global death risk from extreme weather has declined 99% over 100 years and global costs have declined 26% over the last 28 years.
Arguments for devastation typically ignore adaptation, which will reduce vulnerability dramatically. While climate research suggests that fewer but stronger future hurricanes will increase damages, this effect will be countered by richer and more resilient societies. Global cost of hurricanes will likely decline from 0.04% of GDP today to 0.02% in 2100.
Climate-economic research shows that the total cost from untreated climate change is negative but moderate, likely equivalent to a 3.6% reduction in total GDP.
Europe is in the midst of what has been called the worst drought in 500 years. According to a drought expert with the European Commission in comments last week [bold, links added]:
“We haven’t analysed fully the event (this year’s drought), because it is still ongoing, but based on my experience I think that this is perhaps even more extreme than 2018. Just to give you an idea the 2018 drought was so extreme that, looking back at least the last 500 years, there were no other events similar to the drought of 2018, but this year I think it is really worse than 2018.”
While a full analysis of the ongoing 2022 European drought remains to be completed, so too the drought itself, which is clearly exceptional if not unprecedented. In this post, I take a close look at the state of understanding of the possible role of climate change in this year’s drought.
Specifically, I report on what the most recent assessment report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and underlying literature and data say about the detection of trends in Western and Central European drought and the attribution of those trends to greenhouse gas emissions.
The figure below shows the specific region that is the focus of this post, which includes all of Germany, most of France, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, and western Russia among other nations. …