Hurricane Sandy: Part n

by Judith Curry

Hurricane Sandy is having many repercussions beyond the obvious damage.

NOAA and the NHC

While the forecast for Sandy has been widely lauded and contributed greatly to minimizing damage and loss of life, exactly how much credit here is deserved by NOAA and the NHC?

Kerry Emanuel has a hard hitting op ed in the WSJ entitled Why America is Falling Behind the World in Storm Forecasting.  Excerpt:

Why have we fallen so far behind? While there are many nuances to this answer, the basic reason is a failure of political will. The Europeans spend somewhat more on numerical weather prediction and run their models on larger and faster computers; they have also been more effective that we have in involving academic researchers in the development and improvement of their models. They appear to recognize that the monetary savings of skillful weather forecasts far outstrip what governments spend on the weather enterprise.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has an article entitled Why Europe Deserves Your Respect:  They Had First Word on Sandy.  Marshall Shepherd, Professor at University of Georgia and President-elect of the American Meteorological Society is quoted extensively.  Some excerpts:

Specifically, while U.S. computer models still had Hurricane Sandy dying in the deep Atlantic, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, located in the United Kingdom town of Reading, declared that Sandy was about to give the northeastern United States a devastating right hook.

Budget cuts have already pushed the government-fueled weather forecasting industry to the edge, Shepherd said. The National Weather Service currently survives on less than $1 billion a year. Even deeper cuts are in the offing.

“It’s a national disgrace,” University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass charged earlier this year. U.S. firms are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to obtain proprietary data from European forecasts, he reports.

Cliff Mass’ essay was discussed previously on U.S. weather prediction: falling behind.

On the thread Hurricane(?) Isaac,  I described how modern ensemble based hurricane forecasting (used for example by CFAN and WSI) were far outperforming NHC hurricane forecasts.  Now I see from Mike Smith’s blog that even Accuweather outperformed NHC on the Sandy forecast.

The problem with the NHC forecasts is more fundamental than the NOAA GFS model not performing very well.  The NHC forecasters are using 20th century forecast methods, while the private sector is using 21st century ensemble based methods.  The NHC does a ‘poor mans’ ensemble, pooling the deterministic runs of different forecast models.  They use only the NOAA GFS deterministic forecast to force the regional models (e.g. GWRF, GFDL) which they have counted on to provide better track and intensity forecasts (which have been all but useless because they are being forced by the erroneous large scale fields from the NOAA GFS forecast.)

This is a problem that requires more than a good forecast model and money to fix.  The National Hurricane Center needs to catch up with the private sector (and university research) and enter the 21st century of ensemble based hurricane forecasting.

An interesting development:  Mike Smith of Accuweather has a new blog post The  National Weather Service should not investigate itself.  Excerpts:

The National Weather Service has put together a “service assessment” team to review its performance in Hurricane Sandy. I recommend they stop right now and not waste our money.

Instead, the NWS should ask the National Research Council or some other independent organization to do an independent assessment of its performance along with that of Mayor Bloomberg and other emergency officials. We need a comprehensive overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the warning system and response.

The NWS service assessment (SA) program is badly broken. The Joplin tornado SA was a complete joke. It never mentions its own mis-location and misreporting of the tornado’s location and direction of movement. The SA report issued in the wake of the April 27, 2011, tornadoes in the South omitted several crucial issues.

I’m a huge fan of the NWS (as anyone who has read Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather can attest), but I also believe we have to be scientifically honest in order to continue to improve as an applied science. The NWS is hardly disinterested in its own performance.

Its global warming (?) stupid (?)

Bloomberg’s Businessweek  cover story is Its global warming stupid.  ThinkProgress has some excerpts, but the title pretty much says it all.

As a result of Sandy, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed President Obama in the U.S. Presidential race, in an article entitled A vote for a President who will lead on climate change.  Excerpt:

Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be – given this week’s devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.

In following the U.S. Presidential polls, President Obama seems to have received a ‘bump’ from Sandy, with the effective response by FEMA and his reassuring public statements.  Mitt Romney, in contrast, had previously argued for the dismantling of FEMA and turning over responsibility to individual states.

While Sandy was arguably not a black swan in terms of geophysical events, it might turn out to be a black swan in terms of Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy.  The Daily Climate just posted an article Sandy rewrites the election.  We’ll see.  Excerpt:

You don’t have to be a climate scientist to sense the catastrophic change in weather. Mere days before the election, even a few hardboiled conservatives are shifting their views. GOP New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, confronted by Hurricane Sandy, has abandoned “Small Government” to embrace his new best friend, President Barack Obama. And conservative New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has now endorsed the President over Mitt Romney. 

Solidarity among hurricane scientists/forecasters and climate dynamicists

A few climate scientists have been speaking out about a link between Sandy and AGW, in this Scientific American article quotes Jon Foley (expert on climate impacts and food security) and Raymond Bradley (paleoclimatologist).  I have also seen similar statement from Michael Oppenheimer (political scientist).  Munich Re is also making statements on this.

While the politicos are pushing hard on a link between Sandy and global warming, the scientists who actually understand this (i.e. publish in the area of hurricanes, mid latitude weather dynamics, climate dynamics) seem united in agreement that there is no link between Sandy and global warming.  This unity is most apparent among twitter exchanges, but you can see it in the media also if you actually keep track of who are the real experts on this (and not just climate impacts ‘experts’).

How can anyone make a credible argument that Sandy is associated with global warming?  The main link that people talk about is high sea surface temperatures being associated with increased hurricane intensity.  Yes, the sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic are high this season.  But of the 10 hurricanes we’ve seen this season, only one reached major hurricane status, and it was a relatively wimpy Category 3.   The storm surge?  Can anyone make a serious argument that order 10 cm of sea level rise made a difference in Sandy’s storm surge?  Scientific American is pushing the idea that the sea ice minimum is causing negative NAO, and influenced Sandy’s behavior.  Predicting the variations of NAO is very difficult beyond a few weeks since it varies all over the place, particularly during autumn.  Linking this to Sandy  in any sensible way seems highly implausible.

Politico

The best article I’ve seen on the Sandy-AGW issue is from the Politico  Sandy and Climate Change: Its Complicated.  Some brief excerpts:

Curry has published research tying increases in global hurricane intensity since the 1970s to rises in global temperatures. Still, she said, “Every time you have one of these events happening, you have people stretching” to attribute it to climate change —and it is “unconvincing and it’s misleading.”

“We have little theory to help us understand the connection between climate and such complicated weather events, so making any sort of connection between Sandy and climate change, even in terms of probability, would be very dubious,” James Kossin said.

One inconvenient truth: While scientists have conducted numerous studies on links between temperatures and hurricanes, no real research exists on how climate change would affect hybrid storms like Sandy, said Kerry Emanuel, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

361 responses to “Hurricane Sandy: Part n

  1. Stupid people believe global warming that stopped in 1997 caused Sandy.

    • Take out one word and add one word and you’ve actually said something that comes close to being true. It should read:

      “Stupid people believe global warming stopped in 1997 and caused Sandy.”

      • I love watching the deniers flail around looking dumb and denying the trend is flat.

      • Again, you are conflating near surface temperature with “global” warming. Not the same thing– nor even close. You do know what the word “conflating” means don’t you? See:

        con·flate (kn-flt)
        tr.v. con·flat·ed, con·flat·ing, con·flates
        1. To bring together; meld or fuse: “The problems [with the biopic] include . . . dates moved around, lovers deleted, many characters conflated into one” (Ty Burr).
        2. To combine (two variant texts, for example) into one whole.

      • sunshinehours, Sandy’s devastation in the Northeast does not excuse 30 years of fraudulent government data that Al Gore and the UN’s IPCC used for AGW scaremongering – http://tinyurl.com/8v3csed

        Like Humpty-Dumpty’s fall, Climategate shattered their credibility.

        This former supporter of the United Nations is convinced Climategate, illegal immigration, and worldwide unrest are part of the UN’s plans to form a totalitarian one-world government.

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1681

        With deep regrets,
        - Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

      • r gates, your denial is cute.

      • R Gates Again, you are conflating near surface temperature with “global” warming

        Again, these figures are the only really reliable figures we have.

        Also, since the mechanism of AGW is warming of GHGs, a prerequisite for heat building up elsewhere (eg oceans) as a result of AGW, is that the atmosphere first warms as as result of the capture of heat by GHGs. So if the atmosphere isn’t warming, it cannot be said that an AGW is evident. And if despite no atmospheric warming, warming continues elsewhere (reliably measured), this is necessarily not an aspect of AGW.

        All this does though not rule out the possibility that AGW is still occurring, but its effect is small relative to other natural forces, to matter.

      • Warming of oceans is always by solar radiation. The atmosphere influences strongly the cooling part as only a small fraction of the heat the oceans receive from the sun stays there. It’s, however, not logically necessary that the atmosphere warms first.

        It must also be remembered that the warming of oceans is extremely slow when measured by average temperature of the whole water mass or all water mass at depths of less than 2000 m. If the atmosphere warms by that rate we say that its temperature is not warming at all.

        My problem with the knowledge about warming of the oceans is seen when we compare NOAA data on heat accumulation at depths 0-700 m to that over 0-2000 m. I cannot make myself believe that the present empirical data can show correctly that the latter is changing rapidly over the ARGO period while the former is changing very little. This appears so unlikely that I don’t trust the data. It’s likely that the coverage of the data is not sufficient and that there are also technical issues left. Which of the two series is wrong, I cannot tell, but the outcome is too unlikely for me to accept based on the existing evidence. (It would be natural to trust more the 0-700 m data, but what we know about earlier period fits better with 0-2000 m data. Therefore I give equal credibility to each one, but not the combination.)

      • To clarify, a necessary precondition for overall AGW is that the atmosphere warm first.
        This is not to suggest that the atmosphere must first warm before the oceans can receive any warmth from the sun (which happens anyway all the time, AGW or no AGW)

      • What determines the long term changes is the accumulation of heat in the Earth system of oceans, atmosphere and top soil. That may continue all the time at almost constant pace even when the near surface temperatures vary up and down. Many scientists believe that that’s whats going on.

        There’s also an alternative way we may have an overall warming trend but variable temperatures. That’s the case if the Earth albedo varies and makes the net energy flux vary. In that case the heat accumulation also varies.

        It’s very difficult to imagine mechanisms that would totally cancel in long term the warming influence of CO2, but it’s certainly possible to think that the warming influence is weakened by persistent changes in average albedo.

        The present main stream climate science considers the third alternative highly unlikely. Not because it would be against logic or fundamental principles but because their various results tell otherwise.

      • Saturday 3 Nov 2012: (Now, only three days before the election)

        On Tuesday 6 Nov 2012: Political leaders hope to escape the Force !
        If they succeed, Truth will lead them to another, less attractive ending: “Truth is victorious. Never untruth.” (http://tinyurl.com/cxycymt)

        Their ancessors had witnessed the force [1] on 6, 9 and 12 Aug 1945: The all powerful cosmic force of neutron repulsion in cores of the universe, its galaxies, stars, some planets and individual atoms that:

        _ a.) Expands the cosmos [2]
        _ b.) Birthed the Milky Way [3]
        _ c.) Produced all of our elements [1]
        _ d.) Birthed the world five billion years (5 Gyr) ago [1,4]

        Etc., etc (in progress here)

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1688

      • R. Gates | November 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm said: “Stupid people believe global warming stopped in 1997 and caused Sandy.”

        WRONG Gates, wrong! Stupid people are the ones who think that any GLOBAL warming ever started for the last 150years!!! because it hasn’t started – didn’t need to stop. No extra heat in the last 150y has accumulated, to boil one chicken egg!!!

        2] you don’t know what was the GLOBAL temp last year, or at 97, or 150y ago = CANNOT COMPARE ONE UNKNOWN WITH OTHER UNKNOWNS!!! Wasting your life on drivel and con data, is not very prudent / smart!

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Ah, my good friend stefanthedenier! You are proof positive why we need to hire thousands of new science teachers, and if you’re not from the U.S., then be very concerned for the quality of science education in your country. So in short, your name suits you well.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | November 2, 2012 at 11:37 said:
        ”Ah, my good friend stefanthedenier! You are proof positive why we need to hire thousands of new science teachers”

        Gates, when you cannot disprove anything i say – you resort to this… Point what I’m wrong, the way i point your lies. Baron, lies have shallow roots,- get exposed to the daylight, sooner than you think.

        Can you compare one unknown with other unknowns? that was the question!!! Barking on real proofs is what’s left for you – not other options… wander why I don’t feel sorry for con artist like you…?

      • Stefan No extra heat in the last 150y has accumulated, to boil one chicken egg!!

        And you know this because … ?

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        ‘Global warming has continued past 1997

        Apart from the observation that the temperature today is pretty much what it was in 1997. Your graph merely shows that it is warmer today than it was in 1975.

        I am taller now than I was 45 years ago…but I stopped growing (upwards) 40 years ago. Please learn the difference between ‘warmer’ and ‘warming’.

      • So temperature today during ENSO neutral is pretty much what it was in in the past during a super El Nino?

        I think you’ve made my point for me: warming has continued past 1997.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        Only one way I know to demonstrate that something is ‘warming’. And that is to regularly measure its temperature and show that the temperature is increasing.

        Whatever may be going with ENSO and El Nino and anything else you can think of doesn’t alter the awkward fact that the temperature ain’t going up.

        It isn’t ‘warming’ and it is mendacious to assert that it is.

        Unless, of course, you are using a different definition from all the rest of us. Perhaps you are a fan of Lewis Carroll?

        ‘”When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean”

        Would you care to give us your definition of ‘warming’ that does not involve a temperature increase?

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        Addendum

        Would you care to give us your definition of ‘warming’ that does not involve a temperature increase? And outline the experimental/observational apparatus & methods you plan to use to observe it?

      • lolwot

        You are looking silly when you first say “Global warming has continued past 1997″ by posting a graph that shows warming from 1975; then, when you are called on this stupid move, you toss in ENSO rationalizations for why global warming hasn’t continued past 1997.

        Duh!

        Grow up and get used to the fact that there has been a “pause” in global warming.

        Max

      • The graph shows 0.17C/decade warming from 1975 to 1997 and shows the trend from 1975 is still 0.17C/decade up to 2012. If 0.17C/decade just keeps continuing up to 2100 (or even increases) what does that mean about your claims warming stopped in 1997?

        The climate is definitely in a warmer state today than it was in 1997. Not only is OHC higher, but also surface and atmospheric temperature state is higher. Taking into account ENSO is important

        Look at Roy Spencer’s temperature graph. It’s clear that La Nina periods are warming up and temperature warming up too and this has continued past 1997.

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

        Exploiting a temporary Super El Nino peak in 1997 to claim temperature hasn’t increased is bad practice.

        In both 2011 and 2012 we have had temperatures above +0.3C. Yet we haven’t even had an El Nino, so how did it get that high?

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        ‘The climate is definitely in a warmer state today than it was in 1997′

        ….except that the temperature – the measure of ‘warmness’, says that it isn’t.

        Once again, we’re back to you using a different definition of ‘warm’ than the rest of us. Is there some other form of ‘warmness’ that doesn’t manifest itself as a temperature increase? And if so, how do you detect that it is there?

      • “Latimer Alder | November 3, 2012 at 5:33 am |
        @lolwot
        Addendum
        Would you care to give us your definition of ‘warming’ that does not involve a temperature increase?

        This either shows a lack of LatimerAlder’s understanding in basic physics or the depths at which he will try to deceive his “audience”.

        The process of warming — defined scientifically as a gain of heat — can occur without a temperature increase, as evidenced by phase transitions of water.

        http://www.physicstutorials.org/home/heat-temperature-and-thermal-expansion/phase-transition-of-water

        “And outline the experimental/observational apparatus & methods you plan to use to observe it?”
        Freeze some water with an embedded thermometer until it turns to ice. Put it outside in the sun and watch the temperature over time. It will stay at 0C while it warms, showing the same transition as the graph I linked to above.

        It has to be deception on Alder’s part, as no one who claims a chemistry degree can be this incompetent. Can they be both? Sure, the evidence is all there. Latimer Alder belongs with Myrrh, StefanTheDenier and the other 40+ supposedly educated skeptics who inhabit this comment forum with their own provocatively strange theories of climate.

        http://tinyurl.com/ClimateClowns

      • Latimer Alder

        @webhubtelescope

        Congratulations. You understand latent heat. You’re approaching the level of understanding of a 14 year old who is not planning to specialise in science. Progress indeed. There is life after Peak Oil!

        But – just a thought- ice melts and water freezes at 0C. Water boils and water vapour condenses at 100C. Which of these two possibilities do you feel is dominant at a GAT of about 15C +/-1C?

        (And you will by now be able to guess my next question – how have you detected it in reality…not just in a lab experiment?)

      • Latimer Alder = Fake

        That’s all you have to know.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webhubtelescope

        Sorry – missed the big one…..please can you give a reputable citation for
        warming being ‘defined scientifically as a gain of heat’.

        A pan of water at 100C can gain a lot of heat without it ‘warming’. It changes state, but two thermometers reading in the liquid and gaseous phases would show an identical temperature. Neither is ‘warmer’ than the other.

      • You know, that’s why I can’t stand oily blowhards such as Latimer Alder. It really is all about deception.

        Don’t like the idea of phase change? How about attaching a contact point with a large surface area and large thermal conductivity to the mix. The high thermal conductivity acts as a thermal sink which will siphon away the heat before it has a chance to lead to a clear temperature rise. That is what the ocean does, it acts as a heat sink .

        Just can’t take this putz.

      • Webster, why get into all the tiny details before looking a setting the problem up to begin with? You have a sinusoidal energy applied, a surface that has a thermal capacity, do you use a simple average for the energy applied or the RMS value?

        Denial of RC decay curves is not very scientific :)

      • Why Pretend that there are no implications of an enso neutral period reaching a similar temperature as a past el Nino period? A climate noob might not understand the implications (climate state is warmer) but you surely know better.

      • lolwot, “Why Pretend that there are no implications of an enso neutral period reaching a similar temperature as a past el Nino period? ” I don’t think anyone is pretending anything of the sort. Most skeptics are just noting that the problem is a tad more complex than the BS analogies used to drive climate alarm. There is plenty of evidence that climate changes over longer time periods than 2 to 4 years and that F and R using short term climate adjusted for short term lags to “prove” warming is in the “pipeline” is BS.

        With lags longer than a solar cycle, ~11 years, the math has to change. You can’t use a simple average of applied solar energy, you have to use the RMS value of the applied solar and determine the “charging” rate of the various layers of heat capacity, (ocean is the biggie). So if you start with an invalid assumption, you end with garbage (use the French pronunciation).

      • “I don’t think anyone is pretending anything of the sort”

        Then why are people insisting that we can compare temperatures today with temperatures in 1997 and ignore the fact 1997 was a super el nino and today we are in ENSO neutral? It’s abundantly clear the world is in a warmer climate state today than in 1997. Pretending that the warming has stopped in 1997 requires overlooking ENSO.

        When the world is +0.3C at ENSO neutral it is in a warmer state than when the world is +0.3C in strong El Nino.

        So when you say: “Most skeptics are just noting that the problem is a tad more complex”, no not at all. By ignoring ENSO they are treating the subject too simplistically.

        ENSO variations are temporary departures from “normal”. The 1997/1998 El Nino temporarily sharply lifted temperatures above their normal level. +0.6C anomalies in that year on UAH were not “normal”. They were temporary. One day with a warmer world +0.6C anomalies will become normal. There’s a big difference between the two and it’s quite simple really so the only possibility is that skeptics are just playing dumb.

      • lolwot, “Then why are people insisting that we can compare temperatures today with temperatures in 1997 and ignore the fact 1997 was a super el nino and today we are in ENSO neutral?”

        Mainly to make alarmists look stupid. Prior to Sanders leap to 17 years being required for a significant trend, 15 years was all that was required for a significant trend. The 1997 to 2012 is not a significant trend based on the old 15 years 95% confidence level. If the current insignificant trend of about 0.04C continues for another 2 to 5 years, it would still not be a significant trend since the accuracy of the data is only +/- 0.1 C anyway. It is an inside joke which when the MET stated the, “1997 to 2012 period had a trend of 0.034 C +/- 0.011 (95% confidence)”, fell for very hard.

        It is like Taleb’s black swan, Something with an extreme impact not predictable before hand but predictable in hindsight. Translation: Dumba$$! you should have known.

        It is really quite funny watching the show :)

      • Back in balmy 1998, the “unprecedented warmth” was all caused by human GHGs.

        Now that it’s no longer warmed since then despite unabated GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, it was all caused by ENSO.

        “Fool me once, shame on you…”

        Max

      • “Back in balmy 1998, the “unprecedented warmth” was all caused by human GHGs.”

        false. I challenge you to find me anyone who at the height of the 1997/1998 El Nino was claiming human GHGS had caused 0.6C warming in the past year.

      • “Mainly to make alarmists look stupid.”

        Really you think ignoring ENSO differences between 1997 and 2012 makes alarmists look stupid? No it makes you look stupid.

        Please, do the proper job and assess the ENSO state in 1997 when comparing temperatures with that year. A world that only just reaches +0.2C during an El Nino clearly has a much cooler climate state than a world that reaches +0.2C during a La Nina.

      • {email – 4184}
        date: Wed Feb 13 09:17:10 2008
        from: Phil Jones
        subject: Re: Feb 7-8
        to: “James Hansen”

        Jim,
        Even though it’s been a mild winter in the UK, much of the rest of the world seems coolish – expected though given the La Nina. Roll on the next El Nino!
        Cheers
        Phil

      • Phil Jones again:

        Tim, Chris,
        I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting till about 2020. I’d rather hoped to see the earlier Met Office press release with Doug’s paper that said something like – half the years to 2014 would exceed the warmest year currently on record, 1998! I seem to be getting an email a week from skeptics saying where’s the warming gone. I know the warming is on the decadal scale, but it would be nice to wear their smug grins away.

      • lolwot, “Really you think ignoring ENSO differences between 1997 and 2012 makes alarmists look stupid? No it makes you look stupid.” There is no ignoring anything. The trend from 1997 to 2012 is insignificant. If you remove the same ENSO and allow for the pre-existing trend, the trend form 1980 to 2012 is insignificant. Even BartR pointed out that a trend of at least 33 years is required with likely 60 years required due to internal variability. You can’t pick any linear trend shorter than the longest natural variability cycle and say anything without caveats.

        That is why I linked you to the anti-cherry picking sequential linear regressions.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-pause-that-refocuses.html

        And,

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1915/to:1980/plot/gistemp/from:1915/to:1940/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1915/to:1940/plot/gistemp/from:1915/to:1980/trend

        Now compare your compelling proof of a significant trend to the 1915-1940 trend. When the MET says +/- 0.011 (95% confidence) or Trenberth says +/- 0.18 Wm-2 (95% confidence) that is what is known as blowing smoke up yer butt.

      • “The trend from 1997 to 2012 is insignificant. If you remove the same ENSO and allow for the pre-existing trend, the trend form 1980 to 2012 is insignificant.”

        No you get this:

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Web Hub Telescope: defined scientifically as a gain of heat — can occur without a temperature increase,

        Is that the AGW threat that we are supposed to spend $trillions averting? A gain in heat without a temperature increase?

        Are you accepting that we have on Earth a recent period without a temperature increase?

      • lolwot, you are so silly :) “and allow for the pre-existing trend.” What would that be which is not included in tamino’s humorous interlude.

      • Same physical understanding as James Hansen, circa 30 years ago. Glad to see you catch up.

      • “Same physical understanding as James Hansen, circa 30 years ago. Glad to see you catch up.” I don’t recall Hansen emphasizing that the 0.3 to 0.4 C per century that began before 1950 as being caused by something other than CO2. I am sure that he is aware that there are other factors, in fact after his initial estimates he did say the Black carbon could play a much greater role than he initially thought. I do recall the use of outdated solar reconstructions that placed more emphasis on solar prior to 1950 and that tuned models allowed northern hemisphere aerosol forcing to cause a southern hemisphere cooling.

        I am sure CO2 has an impact, likely in the 0.8 to 1.0 range, but with the wealth of new data and the apparent less than anticipated warming in certain areas globally, I would think there would be more chatter in climate circles about the exciting new developments.

      • Until about 1998. Then it cooled by .6C and then it rose some and then down down down from 2002.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/trend

        Of course HADCRUT3 is dead flat from 1997.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997/trend

      • And, quit calling it “global warming” after 1997.

        HADCRUT4 disagrees about it being global.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1997/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1997/trend

      • Although temperatures have not increased for 16 years now, lolwot still says global warming has continued. This is clearly absurd, and at very best he is playing fast and loose with words.

        A more forthright and less devious claim would be that the process of global warming may have continued, but if so has been swamped by other factors. And that quantifying this possible effect is at present still an intractable problem.

      • Tomcat

        That’s the problem lolwot and others like him face.

        IPCC AR4 tells us that over the 250 year period prior to 2005, natural forcing was only responsible for 7% of all warming while AGW was responsible for all the rest.

        Now, since 1997, we have all-time record GHG emissions and levels, yet natural factors overshadow AGW.

        What’s wrong with this picture?

        (It doesn’t make sense, that’s what’s wrong with it.)

        Max

      • It’s not intractable tomcat. You “skeptics” are pretending enso doesn’t exist as if +0.2c during an el Nino and +0.2c during a la nina are the same thing.

      • ENSO exists. As does the PDO and AMO etc. Quit denying the existence of all the non-ENSO cycles.

      • Maybe we can agree that there is still 0.46 degrees per decade warming as it has been the case since at least 1850? If there is some anthropogenic influence visible, then it must be in the difference between trends 1910-1940 and 1975-2005. The latter is slightly higher but so are average sunspot numbers at the same time, and this can also account for at least part of the difference.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1850/detrend:0.75/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1850/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1850/mean:120/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:0.75/fourier/high-pass:2/low-pass:4/inverse-fourier/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1910/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:2005/trend/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1850/scale:0.002/offset:-1.2

      • @web hub telescope

        It really is getting very tedious that whenever I ask you a question there is about a one in two chance that you will run away crying ‘he is a fake’.

        But it doesn’t make the question go away. Even if under my debonair and suave air of sophistication I were in fact Lord Christopher Monckton
        living deep underground inn a Koch Brothers owned coal mine and being paid gazillions by the Forces of Darkness to taunt the Warmists, – while being primed by Big Steve himself..it still wouldn’t make the question go away.(*)

        Shooting the messenger doesn’t destroy the message.

        Now, with that point covered, you were going to explain where all this ‘warming’ has gone that doesn’t show up on any thermometers. So far you’ve come up with a lot of theoretical stuff.’it could do this, it could do that’…..but no actual observations.

        And frankly, if the temperatures don’t change and all your ‘warming’ doesn’t show up in any measurable way, it doesn’t seem really worth bothering about at all.

        ‘Save the Planet from Global Not Very Much Happening At All’ isn’t a real good slogan.

        If you still want tot frighten yourself stupid about something that can’t be seen, can’t be felt and can’t be measured, knock yourself out. But it all sounds remarkably like an old hymn I once sang at Sunday School when I was 8yo.

        Immortal, invisible, God only wise
        In light inaccessible hid from our eyes

        Whatever you’re getting off on, it ain’t science.

        (*) Reliable witnesses from the IPCC will testify that they have seen both me and McIntyre in the same room and without LCM being present. Join our little soiree this week to verify with your own eyes:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/03/open-thread-weekend/#comment-263401

      • Latimer Alder says:

        ” So far you’ve come up with a lot of theoretical stuff.’it could do this, it could do that’…..but no actual observations.

        You ask a brain dead question :

        “Is there some other form of ‘warmness’ that doesn’t manifest itself as a temperature increase? “

        and I respond with two engineering-grade — not theoretical — explanations, complete with actual observations.

        Then you start spouting hymns and quoting imaginary things (’it could do this, it could do that’) I supposedly said.

        Hello la-la land.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Web Hub Telescope: and I respond with two engineering-grade — not theoretical — explanations, complete with actual observations.

        So that’s it, eh? You have confirmed a lack of temperature increase, and the point of mitigation is to prevent the “warming” that produces no temperature increase?

      • Thermal inertia cuts both ways. The heat is still there and it gets stored for future generations.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        I’ve looked diligently for your ‘two engineering-grade — not theoretical — explanations, complete with actual observations’

        and after careful consideration of all your posts in this thread, I can only imagine that you are referring to your description of latent heat. There are no other possible candidates in your writing.

        I must admit that in a 13 y.o. general science paper, your descriptions would pass muster. But for serious discussion in this blog and on this subject there seems to be a few things lacking….any description of how these phenomena might affect the GAT, any description of the mechanisms involved (even qualitative if quantitative is too far a strecth) and most of all any actual observations that confirm, even generally the theory that you haven’t advanced.

        So we are left with your sole contribution here being the blunt phrase ‘latent heat’.

        Excellent. Thanks Webbie. Now we can see the depth and breadth of your understanding

        Me: But Webster, the temperature hasn’t risen for 15 years! How can this be Oh Great Warming Guru?
        WHT: Latent Heat
        Me: How does that work in detail, Oh Wise and Learned Master?
        WHT: You are a fake! I refuse to answer
        Me: H’mmmm. Perhaps I need to find a new Guru. This one has feet of clay.

      • Amusing to watch the flailing concerning basic physics. Your talk of latent heat kind of ignores the fact that heat flow is described by partial differential equations.

      • Latimer Alder

        @wht

        ‘ Your talk of latent heat kind of ignores the fact that heat flow is described by partial differential equations.’

        Not *my* ‘talk of latent heat’ , O Great Guru and Master of the Clever Sums. *You* raised the subject – *you* explain it.

        If you can’t, its just the usual empty BS we have come to expect from you.

  2. David Springer

    I thought people were being too cavalier at what happens to underground infrastructure when saltwater intrudes and warned that everything from water pumps to gas pumps to sewer pumps to cash registers need electricity.

    Now imagine it isn’t just a fraction of the east coast that’s without electricity. Imagine it’s an entire continent. If the 1859 Carrington Event (coronal mass ejection from the sun) struck today the entire US would be going through what NYC is going through. Now imagine electricity is going to be out for MONTHS. It’s only been a few days and the rest of the country is still functional. This is just a tiny taste of what happens without electricity.

    • Good observation.

      You can plan all you want and you should, but a city, county, or state has to experience a hurricane like Sandy before its infrastructure weaknesses actually come to light. Nature can do amazing things.

    • David Springer | November 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm said: ”Now imagine it isn’t just a fraction of the east coast that’s without electricity”

      David, if new power stations are not built – demand increases – relying on solar -> will be regular long blackouts. That’s what the green people’s idea is. If you can’t bring Africans to American standard – pull down western economy to African standards; so we are all equal…

      2] Because the storm surge coincided with high tide = lots of damages. If you start paying top carbon tax like Australians… storm surges and hurricanes will allays arrive at low tide..

      3] stop relying on electricity – kerosene lamp cost $9,95, or two for $15 bucks – so you can have second one, for when you get out of your cave. Yes cave; because limestone used for cement releases as much CO2, when hydrated, as burning coal

      Are you still going to support the phony GLOBAL warmings, pagan theory?

    • David L. Hagen

      Springer
      Strongly support your raising the issue of preparing for the next Carrington Event. See:
      Homeland Security: What EMP action plan?
      Federal agency lacks strategy for catastrophic collapse of grid, society

      Without taking adequate protective measures between now and the time of the expected “severe geomagnetic storm scenario,” experts agree the cost from space weather-induced outages that in turn could cause “non-space-weather-related events” could run from $1 trillion to $2 trillion during the first year alone, with a recovery time taking anywhere from four to 10 years.

      Such a natural solar storm, and especially an EMP from a man-made high-altitude nuclear explosion, has the potential of thrusting the United States back to the 19th century, cutting off access to the basic necessities of life such as water and food delivery for millions of people, resulting in massive starvation.

      When the CME warning comes, the most important action is to disconnect ALL switches before it hits. Especially all utility high voltage transformers. At home, disconnect your house from the grid.

      Call your legislator, the President, and your utility and ask then to prepare.

      • Alex Heyworth

        experts agree the cost from space weather-induced outages that in turn could cause “non-space-weather-related events” could run from $1 trillion to $2 trillion during the first year alone,

        Gee, about the same as the US budget deficit.

      • David L. Hagen

        Alex
        For a more serious examination of the issues, see:
        ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE – A CATASTROPHIC THREAT TO THE HOMELAND by COLONEL ROBERT ORESKOVIC

        The detonation of a single nuclear weapon at a high altitude above the United States, or a major solar geomagnetic storm, would create electromagnetic pulses which have the potential to catastrophically impact the survivability of the United States. The electrical power grid is fragile, and is extremely vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse. Its failure would result in the loss of almost all logistical functions necessary to support our modern society. This paper will examine the causes, threats, probable effects, and what measures can be taken to mitigate the potential impact to the Homeland. . . .
        The electric power grid is singularly the most vulnerable component of our infrastructure to an electromagnetic pulse type attack or event. Such a strike could destroy our electrical power grid for years, and it is estimated that within one year up to two-thirds of the population would die from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown.

        Pulses are also created when the sun has a solar flare, which results in a coronal mass ejection. According to a 2008 report from the National Research Council of the National Academies “. . .the collapse within 90 seconds of northeastern Canada‟s Hydro-Quebec power grid during the great geomagnetic storm of March 1989, which left millions of people without electricity for up to 9 hours. . . .

        Severe Space Weather Events–Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report

        Peter V. Pry, “Provocatively Weak,” The Journal of International Security Affairs, no. 19 (Fall/Winter 2010): 67.

        Terrorists or rogue states armed with a single nuclear missile could inflict an EMP catastrophe on the United States that, given our current state of unpreparedness, would kill two-thirds of the U.S. population within the year through starvation, disease, and societal breakdown. Given current U.S. unpreparedness, the United States might never recover from an EMP attack.

        I think $1-$2 trillion is a bit of an underestimate for “kill 2/3 of US population within the year”!

        I think that magnitude of damage would justify spending the $1-$2 trillion /year to protect against it!

      • David L. Hagen

        Geomagnetic Storms: An Evaluation of Risks and Risk Assessments US DHS

        Severe Space Weather–Social and Economic Impacts NASA Science News

        Space Weather Events—Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts Rasmus Thorberg 2012

        When GIC (Geomagnetically Induced Current) flows through a transformer it causes the core to saturate, which leads to (a) increased reactive power consumption, (b) high levels of harmonics in the power system and (c) localized heating of the transformer. Point a and b are confirmed through simulations. High harmonics levels can cause protective relays to sense false fault conditions and trip. On a system level this can lead to (a) loss of production (b) local blackouts or (c) widespread blackouts. Localized heating of transformers can lead to permanent damage and spare parts and replacement units are associated with having long lead times. Communication and control systems are also subject to GIC and other solar storm related interferences. The thesis also contains a discussion about GIC risk associated to gas pipelines.

  3. This would be the first time a response to a catastrophe makes an incumbent gain votes. Usually it’s either a loss (if the response is bad) or simply a zero change (if the response is good – as voters expect a President to be able to handle crises)

    • The difference here maybe be that one candidate is on record as dismissing climate change as an issue.

      • Romney has said there is a scientific debate, which is correct. Where has he dismissed the issue? I have not seen that.

    • Bush clearly gained votes from his response to the catastrophe of 9/11. Well, until he later lost votes (for McCain/the Republican Party) from his response to the catastrophe of 9/11.

  4. The country is broke and if the federal government cannot fix a broken country how do we fix a broken city?

    Where did all the money go? And, there’s nothing to show for it. Mark Stein got it right yesterday. He said it’s like a David Niven movie where there is a bet that he can spend $6 Trillion Dollars without a trace.

  5. J. Curry How much is the US inferior methods and models is a result of inadequate budget?

    • I would say 30%. Some of the problems with with models are attributed to inadequate computer resources. But how do you explain that my company is making better hurricane forecasts than NHC on a budget of less than $300K/yr (which includes purchase of the ECMWF data?) And the fact that NCEP doesn’t engage with university researchers: if they were welcome at NCEP, they would travel there for free. Etc.

      • I do decadal ‘forecast’ on an old Pentium4 with Windows XP.

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AHA.htm

        The 15 year delay was a bit of a puzzle, but one solution appears to be on the horizon

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/OJV.htm

        from

        http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/22423/1/97-0910.pdf

      • How big a % of what the US spends annually on “Climate Change” would have to be redirected to weather forecasting in order for the latter to be on par with the rest of the world?

      • omnologos

        You have asked the right question.

        Does Dr. Curry have an estimate?

        What if two-thirds of the “climate change” funding were stopped, and half of this went to better weather forecasting.

        Would that put the USA on par with Europe?

        Max

      • Judith Curry

        Omnologos asked a good question:

        How big a % of what the US spends annually on “Climate Change” would have to be redirected to weather forecasting in order for the latter to be on par with the rest of the world?

        You can correct these figures if they are off, but here is a quickie estimate:
        It’s not easy to get a good estimate of total US expenditures on climate change R&D since this is scattered around within the various agencies like a dog’s breakfast, but the summary below indicates that this was around $16 billion in 2011.

        Note that this does not include spending to reduce emissions, enforce clean air standards, etc.

        So let’s say that this were cut back to $5 billion, with another $5 billion going into added spending to improve weather forecasting and the remaining $6 billion going toward paying off the national debt.

        The National Weather Service has an annual budget of around $1 billion. It has come under fire for budget mismanagement (and has requested an increase of $2 billion to cover the costs of new satellites, etc.).

        With an added $5 billion (and a change in management) the NWS could arguably get back up to “world class”.

        And there would still be $5 billion eft for climate change research, plus a net overall savings to go toward paying off the national debt.

        A “win-win” situation!

        Max

      • I was on loan 40 years ago to a Federal agency and I was not impressed by their ability to adapt to changing technology. That was 40 years ago and there is always hope for improvement. But shortly after 9/11, I read that the FBI was monitoring individuals and were still using 3×5 cards. Then I knew we were in trouble.

      • In the 1980s the consulting division of a major accounting firm recommended our company buy a large number of IBM Peanuts. Public or private, there is always plenty of stupid to go around.

      • ShiveringInWisconsinPleaseSendGlobalWarming

        The difference, JCH, is you don’t have to pay the private firm. So if your company was using them, then stupid was in the mirror. Try not paying the government.

      • One possibility is the allocation of scarce resources is worse in govt than private enterprise. Here’s Bastiat commenting in the mid 1800s: “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” Incentives matter.

  6. David Springer

    “While the forecast for Sandy has been widely lauded and contributed greatly to minimizing damage and loss of life, exactly how much credit here is deserved by NOAA and the NHC?”

    Limiting loss of life is what weather forecasts are good for. Limiting economic loss not so much. There’s only so far putting plywood over your windows and turning the gas off will do to avoid it. Public and private infrastructure from soup to nuts has to be built in anticipation of it.

  7. Pielke, Jr. has a blog post about the NYC plan which anticipated events such as Sandy, and discusses Bloomberg’s motivation for getting closer to Obama.

    “Mayor Bloomberg’s Deft Climate Politics

    Whatever the motivations behind Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to cite Sandy and climate change as a reason for his endorsement of President Obama, it has the effect of relocating responsibility for Sandy’s devastation from NYC City Hall to Washington, DC.

    As New Yorkers (and others) affected by Sandy’s wrath pick themselves back up and recover, attention will soon focus on the broader reasons for the disaster. While some will continue to link Sandy with energy policy decisions, important questions will have to be asked about why NYC was not better prepared, and what can be done in the months and years ahead to fix that, before the next storm barrels up the coast.

    To that end, a few excerpts from the New York City Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (April, 2009, here in PDF) will indicate that absolutely nothing about Sandy and its impacts should have been a surprise to anyone. It would be fair to ask NY politicians why the city was not better prepared for a disaster that it saw coming.”

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/11/mayor-bloombergs-deft-climate-politics.html

    • “It would be fair to ask NY politicians why the city was not better prepared for a disaster that it saw coming”

      No-one saw a disaster coming except for alarmists, and who would listen to alarmists?

      There was no scientific proof that this hurricane would hit NY. Even 1 month ago there was zero proof. It was just speculation and alarmism driven by greed for more funding by scientists.

      • Ridiculous. There was nothing about this storm that was unprecedented except where it came ashore. Just as there was nothing about Katrina that was unprecedented except where it came ashore. Just as there was nothing about the Japanese tsunami that was unprecedented. There is a long list of NE hurricanes of equal or greater strength than Sandy. There is a long list of gulf coast hurricanes of equal or greater strength than Katrina. There is a short list of tsunamis in northeast Japan that were in excess of 10m prior to March 2011. It is us silly humans that have to decide how to prepare.

      • lolwot,

        This comment is a new “low” for you lolwot. I mean, like, It’s not merely a stupid comment–nothing new there–but, beyond that, your comment treats us to the most-concentrated, choicest, most-rare, lunatic, frenetic, fruitcake hysterics in the whole history of hysteria.

        I mean, like, lolwot, you’re acting like one of those classic stereotype, film characters–usually played by some girlie-man, wimp-booger, bug-out-loser, bit-part nobody–who, in a time of imminent peril, gets, like, all rattled and starts goin’ all crazy ‘n all so that John Wayne has to give him a good healthy slap and say “Easy there, Pilgrim” to bring him back to his senses and quash his panic-attack before it can spread to others. You know what I mean, lolwot?

        Long Island was struck by a Cat 3 hurricane in 1938. EVERYONE knew that, sooner or later, another hurricane would hit NYC. So it’s a good question why nearly 75 years later the “Big Apple” wasn’t better prepared to deal with another such an event. May be good reasons why the preparation was not better, but the question is worth asking–especially of a Mayor who has had abundant time to pursue gun-control (on a national scale, no less), trans-fat, Presidential ambitions and carbon-tax, rip-off hustles.

        But that’s the problem with you greenshirt Philosopher-Kings lolwot. I mean, like, all you motor-mouth, feckless creep-outs can do is run scams; hold interminable, high-carbon-footprint, party-time, blow-out, anti-carbon conferences; produce an infinitude of self-serving, peer-reviewed “studies”; make yourself useful to your hive and crony-capitalist string-pullers; enjoy the parasite, gravy-train good-life in style; sue your critics and in the process make a Nobel-laureate manque, Mr. Potato-Head look-alike fool of yourselves; and pepper otherwise serious-minded blogs, like Climate etc., with “crusher-crew”, moronic comments.

        And then when the chips are down, you milksop whiners crap-out on everyone with your freak-out, gibbering, meltdown tizzies. Jeez.

      • “EVERYONE knew that, sooner or later, another hurricane would hit NYC. So it’s a good question why nearly 75 years later the “Big Apple” wasn’t better prepared to deal with another such an event.”

        Government is too small.

      • lolwot

        No.

        Government is not “too small”.

        It is “TOO STUPID”.

        Example: The US Federal Government spends $16 billion for “climate change research”, yet the National Weather Service only has a budget of $1 billion (which its inept leadership has mismanaged, causing a recent “budget crisis”).

        Duh!

        Max

      • lolwot,

        Yr: “Govt is too small”

        More like corrupt, big-city, lefty political machines, that thrive on empty promises, taxpayer rip-off bait-and-switch hustles, a get-mine-while-I-can mentality, a Philosopher-King sense of privilege, and a courtier culture of the best crony capitalists and politically useful parasites money can buy are incapable of responding effectively to a real emergency.

        In other words, the problem is “Bloated Government” of the lolwots and for the lolwots–lolwots whose only asset is a tool-kit of well-practiced, blood-sucker, con-man skills and instincts that are (duh!) utterly useless when the chips are down.

      • So, that is an lolwot.

      • ShiveringInWisconsinPleaseSendGlobalWarming

        “Government is too small”

        Huh, Mayor Bloomberg had time to focus on banning soda in containers larger than 16 ounces but no time for disaster response planning.

        Does the name “Nero” not come to mind?

      • The fact is the small government longed for by the myke rand’s would have far less capability of predicting, defending, warning or aiding people in the aftermath of such a disaster. The market is happy to grin and bear.

      • lolwot,

        Yr: …small govt would have far less capability blah…blah…blah”

        And small govt would mean you and your parasite pals, lolwot, would have to get a real job. And that’s the real problem with small-government, right lolwot?

        And, oh by the way, small-government that really performed competently could be loaded with capability as opposed to the big-city, lefty, political-machine “bloated”-government option you prefer with its hives-full of frivolous, lolwot incompetents that sop up the large majority of the productive resources of government while sapping the energies and talents of the “can-do” government employees.

        But it all starts in the neighborhood, lolwot, where the armed militia of ordinary, neighbor-citizens springs into action in times of natural disaster and self-organizes to preserve law-and-order, undertake rescue operations, assess the needs of those in the neighborhood, organize the on-site resources of the neighborhood, and equitably distribute the same, ensuring the infirm, elderly, mothers, and children have priority in the distribution.

        And then everyone in the neighborhood turns-to and starts cleaning up the mess (while watching out for the fallen utility wires, of course–that a part of the mandatory training received by the nation’s militia-men citizens, naturally), until helping-hand re-enforcements arrive (and let me really shake up your self-important sense of Philosopher King privilege, lolwot–slackers don’t eat, if able-bodied). You know, lolwot, as opposed to waiting around in a time of disaster nursing some shell-shocked, addled, idiotic expectation that a bozo like Mayor Bloomberg is going to show up at any moment and take care of everything.

        Not your kind of scenario, though, is it, lolwot? Serfs aren’t supposed to be well-armed and self-reliant and functional at the neighborhood level are they, lolwot. That’s work for the serf’s “professional” betters–you know, like for the machine’s sell-out, totally-controlled, keep-an-eye-on-the-little-people-while-throwing-them-a-bone-accompanied-by-a-big-razzle-dazzle-show-now-and-then “community organizers”. Right, lolwot?

        And, oh by the way, lolwot, your referring to me as “myke rand”–a real quality agit-prop zinger yah got goin’ there, lolwot! I mean, lolwot, like, you’re just the kind of smart-mouth, useless hive-creep everyone would want at their back when the chips are down. Jeez.

      • “But it all starts in the neighborhood, lolwot, where the armed militia of ordinary, neighbor-citizens springs into action in times of natural disaster and self-organizes to preserve law-and-order, undertake rescue operations, assess the needs of those in the neighborhood, organize the on-site resources of the neighborhood, and equitably distribute the same, ensuring the infirm, elderly, mothers, and children have priority in the distribution.”

        Militias from different neighborhoods would start fighting each other for resources and power. You would have a situation like Libya or Iraq.

      • lolwot,

        Yr: “it would be like Libya or Iraq”

        lolwot, you lefties come up with the most off-the-wall objections, every time, to the slightest suggestion of empowerment of us proto-helots, don’t you?

        The neighborhood “militia” I refer to would function only in a temporary capacity until conventional security and logistics services are restored, in case you didn’t figure that out–not much time for a war of conquest to be cooked-up and launched from Maple Ave aimed at Elm Ct. And, oh by the way, natural disasters, outside of corrupt, Democratic-Party entrenched, machine-politics-run, big cities, in the Southern States of America do not produce mini-Iraqs or the like despite the ubiquity of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens–quite the contrary.

        Yes, I guess there is some remote, totally theoretical possibility that one neighborhood’s militia, in the midst of a natural disaster recovery, might go on a rampage–though I think you are inappropriately projecting your own power-and-control, gulags-and-cheka, whatever-it-takes, not-so-hidden hive-ambitions onto others. . But your worry-wart concern with armed invasions of various neighborhoods is not realistic in the least. I mean, if nothing else, an armed invasion of one neighborhood, furnished with its own armed militia, by another is likely to quickly produce a much reduced attacking force big-time and force a reconsideration of the whole deal. The urban-terrain advantage is all with the defending forces in such a scenario.

        But then lefty-flakes have always claimed that an armed and self-reliant citizenry is a recipe for wild-west anarchy. But it never works out that way in Western democracies, does it, lolwot?

        And, oh by the way, lolwot, don’t those menacing bruisers with the sun-glasses and the bulges in their coats that make up the security details of the greenshirt nomenklatura concern you that they might get it in their head to start taking over everything and we’d all end up like another Libya or Iraq? Or are guys with guns providing protection a good thing when it’s greenshirt big-shots getting the protection but an invitation to anarchy when it’s Joe-Six-Pack?

        Finally, lolwot, whatever you may think of militias, they are provided for in the U. S. constitution. So, I’ll go with good judgement of my country’s founding fathers rather than that of some lefty-collectivist flake like you, if you don’t mind, lolwot.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        lolwot: Government is too small.

        Too small-minded perhaps. Mayor Blumberg was awfully concerned with trans fats, soda pop, marathons and stuff, and derelict in seeing to it that the city was prepared for recurrent natural disasters.

      • lolwot,

        You’ll have to forgive mike, he has only the one string in his bow.

      • Michael,

        Yr: “You’ll have to forgive mike, he has only on string in his bow”

        I’m delighted this “discussion” has gotten you, Michael–everyone’s favorite drive-by weenie–into the act.

        And, yes, Michael, I do only have “one string in my bow”. So how many strings to you “string” your bow with, Michael. Two? Three? More?

        You doofus screw-up! You can’t even get your feeble-minded, booger-flick put-downs right, can you, Michael?–you moronic hive-cretin!

      • oh, you poor thing.

        Take it easy on him lolwot, he’s this far from a stroke.

      • O. K. Michael,

        I’m throwing in the towel–you’ve worn me out, for the moment, with your militant idiocy, mulish stupidity, brain-dead endurance and gift for spirit-killing inanities.

        Though I will note, for the benefit of the readers of this blog, that Michael is just the sort of Philosopher King “prize” you get bossing your life around when government of the lolwots, by the lolwots, and for the lolwots gets its hooks into you. Some deal, huh?

        Though I gotta hand to Michael, he doesn’t try to fake it like lolwot–I mean, like, the guy’s just brazenly in it for the trough and doesn’t try to hide it. Good Lord! Did I just say something nicey-nicey about Michael?!!

      • c’mon mike, don’t give up.

        If you try really hard I’m sure you can come up with something other than the same string of insults you’ve posted a hundred times already.

      • Michael,

        You only need one bow string for a bow for it to work. It is the number of arrows that matter, along with the quality of the acher and his bow.

        If you are going to provide witty comment, try to do better.

      • lolwot,

        You do yourself no favors with statements such as “There was no scientific proof that this hurricane would hit NY. ”

        I grew up on the East Coast. Still own (with my brothers) a place in Ocean City MD. Also have not forgotten a late season hurricane that had a similar track in the early 60’s. The next summer when we crossed the bay for our annual week at the beach, the most memorable items were all of the missing beach front houses and the huge number of for sale signs.

        In other words, every now and then you can get a big late season tropical storm. Sometimes, unlike Sandy, they can be Cat 3 or above hurricanes. The late 1950’s saw several of these storms. To say that no one could have predicted a storm would hit NYC is downright idiotic. If public officials do not understand that such a storm can occur and that steps are needed to prepare for it, then the are shirking their responsibilities.

  8. David Springer

    When it comes to climate science you might as well quote Mother Jones as Scientific American. The politicization of SciAm is a bit of a personal tragedy as I’ve been a dedicated reader of it for going on 50 years and a subscriber for 30. Stupid culture wars.

    • Another good observation. I cancelled my subscription years ago.

    • Concur with that. There is a void.

    • I tossed my last copy of SciAm in the trash can a few years ago (after Lemmonick ran the hatchet job on our hostess).

      You’re right. It was once a great magazine.

      Sic transit gloria.

      Max

    • Count me as another regular reader and occassional subscriber of SA who knows better than to waste his money on it now.

  9. Here’s another way to look at the issue of whether or not AGW “caused” Hurricane Sandy. I’ve argued before that it is wrong question and the wrong way to look at it, and that a wholistic approach should be looked at when talking about attribution. What we do know for a fact is that Hurricane Sandy is what a planet does with CO2 at around 400 ppm, but the whole system must be looked at including the ocean cycles, PDO, NAO, etc. at their current point in their cycles. (I’m struck by the fact that the last time we had two storms hit NY was also a cool phase of the PDO). Hurricanes like Sandy have struck the NE coast in the past when CO2 was at 300 ppm and less. But suppose for example, that begining in 1750 or so, that rather than CO2 going up, (40% higher now), that it had gone down, and was now 40% lower than it was in 1750– maybe hovering around 165 ppm., such as it might have been during the height of the last glacial period. Think what that would mean in terms of how much moisture and heat the atmosphere would carry. And furthermore, suppose that ocean heat content, rather than rising by about 23 x 10^22 joules over the past 40 years or so had fallen by this amount. Would hurricanes like Sandy be more or less frequent in such a world? Even basic climate modeling can give you the answer quite readily using simply heat and humiditiy analysis. It is not that Hurricane Sandy in particular was “caused” by AGW or anthropogenic climate change, but rather, that the likelihood of hurricanes like Sandy forming and striking higher latitudes with greater force may increase, and thus the take-away from this should really be:

    1) Prepare for increasing frequency of such events by hardening our water, food, energy, and other infrastructure.
    2) Plan now for adapting to a world with increasing frequency of such events
    3) To the extent that is reasonable, possible, and practical, removing ourselves from a heavy reliance on the burning of fossil fuels to supply energy for our global civilization will prove to be a good investment in our future.
    4) Global climate change (anthropogenic or not) should always be the topic of political conversation as it is inevitable, that one way or another, the rather docile climate humans have enjoyed over the past 10,000 years or so is bound to end sooner rather than later. The Little Ice Age or the Roman Warm Period were nothing compared to the kinds of changes that have occurred over the past 125,000 years. Best to prepare now for a highly variable climate and what that could mean to caring for, feeding, and otherwise tending to the needs of the 7+ Billion of us humans, who are here on this planet in such numbers primarily because we thrived so well during this doclie Holocene interglacial. One way or another, the party will end.

    • Cool phase of the PDO is associated with more Atlantic tracks and landfalls

    • Steven Mosher

      +1 on all your suggestions.

      The way i frame it is as follows. Sandy shows us we are ill prepared for even what appears to be a rather normal storm from a historical perspective.
      Given that we have some tentative evidence that the future may be worse than the past, it only seems wise to prepare for a future that is as bad as the past if not worse. In the short term, say 30 years, this will require adaptation, in the long term we should avoid making choices that commit us to a hard to replace fossil fuel infrastructure.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Steven, it will be hard to find a single energy source that offers the availability and energy density of fossil fuels, but nothing should restrain us from looking for a mix of reasonable substitutes as well as of course always having the goal of ever energy efficiency in every use we have.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steven Mosher: Sandy shows us we are ill prepared for even what appears to be a rather normal storm from a historical perspective.

        First rate comment.

        it only seems wise to prepare for a future that is as bad as the past if not worse.

        I couldn’t have said it better myself, though I have often tried.

      • Steven,

        This: “Sandy shows us we are ill prepared for even what appears to be a rather normal storm from a historical perspective.”

        is what I believe should be the top topic under discussion with regard to Sandy. Which is why I consider all of the focus on climate change and the media circus act of creating catchy names like Frankenstorm and Superstorm to be a great disservice to the public.

    • Scott Scarborough

      You say that we should look at this with a wholistic approach and then talk about CO2 levels going to 165 ppm, the level of the last Ice age. Humans barely made it through the last ice age (they say this from genetic testing, we all have very close ancestry). In the year 1750, taking us back to 165 ppm where plants barely grow (and many don’t grow) might just ensure that now one would be around to care if a hurricane Sandy forms.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I think you miss my point Scott. If 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere makes no difference to the probability of events like Sandy striking NY, then it would make no difference if we had 165 ppm of CO2. But this goes against the basic physics of a warmer and more humid atmosphere that we get with higher greenhouse gas levels. Hansen’s whole point is that altering atmospheric greenhouse composition does load the dice toward the frequency of certain extreme weather events, which I agree with, but you can’t say any specific event was “caused” by any single factor, but need to look at the state of the entire system as the cause. In short, a hurricane like Sandy might be possible in a world of 165 ppm of CO2, though its occurance would be less likely, even in a cold PDO period such as we have now.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Also, Scott, it was probably the eruption of Mt. Toba about 70,000 years ago the likely narrowed the human population number of viable breeding pairs down so low, rather than the glacial period per se. Yes, the last glacial period was tough, especially at higher latitudes, but the eruption of the massive Mt. Toba really was a tough period for humans.

    • R Gates

      Here’s another way to look at the issue of whether or not AGW “caused” Hurricane Sandy.

      It didn’t (i.e. there is no empirical scientific evidence supporting the claim that it did)

      End of story.

      Max

    • R gates,

      I would say that your 4 takeaway points are all fair and reasonable.

  10. Take it from a veteran of disaster recovery work. It is not just the NHC that will suffer, no Federal agency is going to come out of Sandy looking good, least of all FEMA. I worked with the old OEP, one of FEMA’s predessors, It performed so badly they had to cancel the name and replace it with another office called FDAA. Still an ineffectual federal agency, FDAA lasted but a short while before being changed to FEMA. FEMA still suffers from all the short comings of its predecessors (too numerous to go into here), since the system has only been improved around the edges Politicians promising to “Cut through the Red Tape” will find our public laws and entrenced bureaucrats (government employees, union officials, politicians, etc.) will thwart them at every turn. The Northeast is in for a rough and expensive recovery.

    All things considered, the weather forecasters appear to have done a resonable job. On the other hand the politicians (Obama, Bloomberg, Christie, etc.) like all their predecessors, are flying around making promises they can’t live up to. Beyond first responders, government does not have large numbers of the physical resources. Those resources are in the private sector, and organizing and getting them moving is a monsterous task.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Bill,
      so you mean that a certain candidate who was saying the goal of disaster help should be to get as much as possible to the front line as quickly and cheaply as possible was not a wicked evil man?

  11. John Carpenter

    Everyone needs a scapegoat when confronted with misfortune and blaming Sandy on climate change is no exception, particularly for politicians. Here in Connecticut we got hit pretty hard, not as bad as NY/NJ area, but we have had massive numbers of trees down on lines and no power. It is not the kind of mess that will be cleaned up and fixed in one or two days… just too many lines down to deal with. UI and CL&P took enormous heat last year for hurricane Irene and the Nor’easter. I experienced being out of power for a week after Irene and only got power back yesterday from Sandy. It seems to me people exhibit more frequently little patients now a days for being inconvenienced and without power. Blame is retribution for misfortune and politicians from Bloomberg to Blumenthal will take full advantage. Utilities are the hardest hit with blame for obvious reasons. However a year of planning and corrective actions on the part of the utilities since Irene does not appear to have made much difference in response time to power outages on such a massive scale. The politicians need another relief valve to deflect criticism that is sure to come their way for the mess. ‘Climate change’ is just the type of candy for politicians to deflect the criticisms about how ineffective their new policies are likely to be. In Connecticut new laws have been passed that will penalize utilities for having power outages that last over 48 hours. The penalty is 2.5% of their revenue. However, the new policies will do nothing to increase response time for disasters of this scale now or in the future. So ‘climate change’ will be used by our elected leaders to deflect and redirect the peoples anger and frustration away from them onto something else with the hopes of getting the electorate on board.

  12. The so-called gale of 1821 hit NJ and Ny with more ferocity than Sandy. I believe it was comparable to a cat 3. Recall that was still the tail end of the LIA, when temps were appreciably colder than today. I doubt the mayor of NYC was blaming the storm on “global warming.”

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      pokerguy, the 1821 storm, from what I can tell so far, was a typical NE late season storm, racing up the coast at high speed and impacting and leaving in a matter of a few hours. Sandy was significantly different in that regard, as well as size of its wind field. If we start getting a climate-sginificant number of Sandy’s, where a decent >200 year record shows none, this will be significant.

  13. “The National Weather Service currently survives on less than $1 billion a year.”

    Not the best quote if you are trying to sound cash strapped.

    “U.S. firms are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to obtain proprietary data from European forecasts, he reports.”

    Not the best quote if you audience is familiar with multiplication and subtraction. Sounds like the US is getting a pretty good deal in fact.

  14. Judith,

    What do you think about the pages

    http://www.hurricanescience.org

    On the first sight they seem to agree with you that no clear connection can be seen between global warming and hurricanes although they do show also extrapolations that have a very different signal.

    I noticed that people behind these pages include Kerry Emanuel and James Kossin in the Science Advisory Board picking only names from your above posting.

  15. $300K or nothing. ECMWF has publicly available limited model output as does the NOAA GFS and a few others. Even using these publicly available resources, an amateur such as myself could see the Euro whipping the GFS’s butt 8 days out.

    http://yfnwg.blogspot.ca/2012/10/hooboy.html

    On a different note, 1954-55, six major hurricanes impacted the eastern seaboard. ~60 year cycle anyone?

  16. Pingback: Zeitgeist and the Golden Calf of Global Warming | evilincandescentbulb

  17. Bloomberg is just following the money. If it’s global warming then there is more money for NYC and Bloomberg media.

    Same goes for the insurance companies. If there is a greater perceived risk they get to charge more. In fact, if the risk turns out to be false then its better for them as they will have less to payout and just collect more.

    The rest of us pay.

  18. Alexej Buergin

    The power companies have a certain number of workers, who are usually busy doing nothing but their normal jobs. There is no way they can field the number necessary to repair the damage as fast as people need.

  19. This is scary stuff. This is one subject where we do not need to fall any further behind. These ‘superstorms’ scare the heck out of me and I want to know when they’re coming.

  20. According to this: http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=a3f95ca3d8&e=d3ab024ae2 the US economy seems hurricane proof:

    This provides another example of why we need good, impartial, unbiased, objective estimates of damage costs attributable to ACO2. the ‘damage function’ needs greatly reduced uncertainty.

    And, of course, improved robust decision making methods.

  21. lurker, passing through laughing

    Bloomberg endorsing Mr. Obama, allegedly because of the President’s “climate leadership” is an entertaining diversion. Obama has not mentioned climate change in any serious way for several months. He has pushed no climate legislation for over a year. He has done nothing about climate besides getting a very dubious Supreme Court ruling on CO2. He did nothing to increase storm preparation in vulnerable Atlantic coast communities. He ahs done nothing of any substance to resolve the energy needs of America in ways to reduce CO2. Yet this faint work is what is called “leadership” by a mayor who is not taking care of his city well at all. This is not likely to have the effect Bloomberg wants. Bloomberg is probably going to wish he could get back to bullying people over super sized slurpies very soon.

  22. RGates:
    Unlike most warmists I know, my skeptical mind remains wide open. YOu seem to be arguing for something similar to Hansen’s “loaded dice” idea. If there were a clear trend toward more frequent and or more intense storms given the warming we’ve had during the last century, I’d be more persuaded. And yet even then, how are we to make a confident causal connection between that warming and rising Co2?

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Pokerguy,

      You should look at all the ways that heat and energy is transported upward and poleward in Earth’s climate system before making such a judgement. Hurricanes are big and flashy and get all the attention (much like moths being drawn to a porch light) but other equally powerful energy transport mechanisms exist…but they take a bit more work to uncover and understand.

  23. There has been a very interesting shift in the message about the relationship between hurricanes and CAGW in the Canadian MSM. In 2005, the message from the warmistas was that the intense hurricane season was definitive proof of CAGW, and in future years things were only going to get worse. As we now know that forecast was dead wrong.

    Now the message has changed. I have heard the same sort of thing from Andrew Weaver, and the science correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Bob McDonald. The story now is that no, we cannot claim that Hurricane Sandy has been caused by CAGW. But we know that temperatures are increasing, and there is more energy in the weather system. So the probability of hurricanes like Sandy occurring is increasing. If it was a 1 in 100 year event in the past, now it might be a 1 in 50 year or 1 in 30 year event. So, yes, Sandy is sending us a message that we need to do something about reducing the amount of CO2 we are producing.

    This is, of course, a very sensible change for the 2005 message. However, what is carefully not being said is that empirical data clearly shows that temperatures have been recovering naturally ever since the LIA. Since around 1850, the trend is linear, and around 0.06 C per decade. See http://bit.ly/V19Im8. So at least some of the warming the warmistas are talking about is due to natural causes.

    Now, if the past is any guide to the future, then we know this natural warming trend is not going to last for ever. Sooner or later it is almost certainly going to be replaced with a cooling trend. When this might happen, no-one has much idea. But at least some of the warming that is occurring is natural. How much is natural and how much is caused by increasing levels of CO2, no-one knows. But the empirical data gives a strong indication that the contribution of additional CO2 is negligible. There is no discernable CO2 signal in any temperature/time graph.

    So the warmistas have gone from the message they gave in 2005, which was a downright lie, to one which is merely being economical with the truth. They are obviously learning from their past mistakes.

  24. May I suggest a good thesis project for some one?

    Compare Southern hemisphere and Northern hemisphere Cyclones and Hurricanes. Off Australia, cyclones tend to move towards the equator as they develop, Sandy moved away from the equator as it developed. I can think of reasons for this behavior, but are they valid? There have been various joint studies of cyclones off our northern Australian coastline, including aircraft flying through cyclones. Has anyone used these data to compare Southern and Northern cyclones? One major difference is that the North Atlantic is bordered on both sides by many urban heat islands so it is likely that a plume of heat hovers over the N. Atlantic, but no such effect exists over the Coral Sea.

  25. There are a few low cost policies that could be implemented that would mitigate much of the impacts of Sandy and other hurricane strikes. Why we seem not to learn the lessons can only be because of our political stupidity:
    1, Require or incentivize (via tax policy) all retail gasoline stations that are at least 5 miles from the ocean or gulf and not more than 100 miles to have back-up generators that support their operations and to test them regularly.
    2. Require all high rise buildings within 25 miles of the ocean or gulf with elevators to have back-up generators and emergency lights in halls with the generators having sufficient power for the emergency lights and the operation of one elevator and with on-site fuel to operate at least 3 days. The generator, fuel, and wiring should be elevated above the 500 year flood level (wiring below that level can be permitted if the electrical design permits it to be isolated).
    3. Harden public buildings of water front communities that are suitable for shelters (to be suitable the buildings should be above the 500 year flood elevation and not closer than 5 miles from from the ocean or gulf and not more than 25 miles away) and equip them to operate for three days isolated from water and power.
    4. Every water front or near water community should have warnings suitable to every street (general warnings/checklist for emergency supplies such as move your car away from the flood danger, fill your tank, have water, have food that doesn’t require heating). These warnings should be on a community web site and delivered once a year with the property tax bill.

    These few policies along with a continuing education campaign would solve a lot of the immediate problems that hurricanes create. Also, rebuilt structures in flood risk areas should be elevated and hardened according to the Florida codes.

    • Philip Lee , you write “There are a few low cost policies that could be implemented that would mitigate much of the impacts of Sandy and other hurricane strikes.”

      This sounds like a good idea, but it suffers from a fundamental problem. How do you ensure that the policies are going to actually work when the emergency occurs? This costs money, and it can be a lot of money. So who pays?

      Let me try and explain. Where there are routine emergencies, like fire departments in cities, or paramedics who respond routinely to emergencies, it is easy to justify the cost, keep the personnel motivated, and maintain an emergency response capability. The less frequent the emergency, the more difficult it becomes to ensure that, when the emergency actually happens, the responses you suggest are, in fact, capable of doing the job they were designed to do. The longer the time which elapses between emergencies, the less likely it is that the response that was put into place, will actually work.

  26. Joe Bastardi and company seemed to have nailed it from the beginning.

    R Gates how much of that 400 PPM is man caused?

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Joe is an okay weather forecaster but seems to not be able to make the leap to grasping basic climate science– especially things related to the cryosphere.

      Regarding your question related to how much of the 400ppm is “man” caused, I take you mean to not be so sexist as to exclude the female side of the species, for certainly women burn their fair share of fossil fuels as well. So let’s been conservative and estimate that without humans the current CO2 would be 280ppm (I actually think it would probably be somewhat lower). Thus, we could say that approximately additional 120 ppm of the current 400 is related to human activity. We also seriously need to keep in mind the rapid anthopogenic related rises in the other important greenhouse gases– methane and N2O.

    • nc

      I’ll answer for R. Gates: ~110 ppmv is “man caused”

      According to WEC 2010, we still have around 85% of all the recoverable fossil fuel resources that were ever on our planet, i.e. we have “used up” 15% of the total to date. Other estimates (Hubbert, etc.) put the remaining fossil fuel resources much lower.

      So the absolute maximum that we could still add to the atmosphere when all the fossil fuels are 100% used up (some several hundred years from today) is 110*85/15 = 623 ppmv; added to today’s 392 ppmv = 1015 ppmv

      That’s it.

      And let’s say that human CO2 caused 60% of the total warming we’ve seen since the record started (0.7C) = 0.6*0.7 = 0.42C

      Then all the rest will result in added warming of

      0.42 * ln(1015/392) / ln(392/290) = 1.3C warming from today when all fossil fuels are gone

      Yawn!

      Max.

      PS (But R. Gates won’t tell you all that, for obvious reasons, because he’s not REALLY a “SKEPTICAL warmist” – just a “warmist”)

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Max,

        I’ll trust your estimates for how much fossil fuel we still have to burn, but I will challenge your estimate as to both how much burning all this fossil fuel would add to a net forcing on Earth’s climate system, and your apparent complete non-comprehension of the potential for positive feedbacks adding greenhouse gases from other non-fossil fuel sources. You seem to have forgotten about methane and N2O. They also have been increasing quite rapidly via anthropogenic factors and will have more than a minor role to play in the future anthropogenic warming.

        And a PS to you: Yes, I am quite proudly a skeptic, but in broad sense, not the narrow sense as “being skeptical about anthropogenic warming”. The evidence and theory to back it up is more than sufficient for me to accept as “provisionally” true that humans are warming the planet. Thus, Skeptical Warmist is exactly the correct title for me.

  27. It is always about MORE MONEY.

  28. This is just another case where Big Government intervention causes more problems than solutions. I hope with Romney in power the National Hurricane Center and the NOAA can finally be defunded and shut down.

    Shutdown Obama hurricane-care.

    • lolwot

      An even better idea: spend the money where it makes sense (better weather forecasting) and scrap the rest (global warming spending).

      As Judith wrote (in much nicer words), a bunch of talented computer jockeys could be put to much better use working on weather forecasting rather than trying to project our climate in year 2100.

      Max

      .

  29. Judith,
    Judith,

    Once again you appear to be saying something quite different on this blog from what you write in your scientific peer-reviewed papers.

    On C.E. you ask “How can anyone make a credible argument that Sandy is associated with global warming?”

    Yet you, yourself, have made the same argument (albeit not about Sandy or any particular hurricane) in your paper:
    “Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment”

    which has the abstract

    “We examined the number of tropical cyclones and cyclone days as well as tropical cyclone intensity over the past 35 years, in an environment of increasing sea surface temperature. A large increase was seen in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5. The largest increase occurred in the North Pacific, Indian, and Southwest Pacific Oceans, and the smallest percentage increase occurred in the North Atlantic Ocean. These increases have taken place while the number of cyclones and cyclone days has decreased in all basins except the North Atlantic during the past decade.”

    So have you dissociated yourself from the contents of this paper? Are you now saying that you got it wrong when you wrote that?

    • Uh, where in that text does it say anything about the cause of the sea surface temperature? Sea surface temperatures increased during the period 1970-2005. So did the % of cat 4, 5 tropical cyclones. Both of those finding stand. What is at issue is attribution, i.e. what caused the SST increase, and the hurricane intensity increase

      • Red (3, 4 and 5) looks cyclic to me.

        1950 wins.

      • Sorry, Judith, I was unaware of your paper on cyclones when I wrote a comment (above) suggesting a thesis project. Vortices I regard as singularities and on the periphery of my interests in aerodynamics and climate.

      • I could equally well ask where in the text of your posting does it say anything about the cause of “temperatures in the North Atlantic [being] high this season”?

        You now claim “what is at issue is attribution” but that’s not what you said at the time in your 2005 paper. If you accept that your previous “findings stand”, then it doesn’t make any sense to now ask “How can anyone make a credible argument that Sandy is associated with global warming?”

        The global warming of 2012 is just as natural, or unnatural, as the global warming of 2005.

      • “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

        What’s yours, tempterrain?

        Max

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        manacker: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

        OK, so RWE said it. Is it true? How is that known?

        In the phrase “foolish consistency”, does the word “foolish” denote a subset of consistencies? Is the subset identifiable? Or is all consistency foolish?

        Along with “Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat”, that aphorism is essentially empty, and should be buried where people will not keep tripping over it. (steps down off soapbox)

      • manacker: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

        OK, so RWE said it. Is it true? How is that known?

        Exhibit: A: tempterrain

        “In the phrase “foolish consistency”, does the word “foolish” denote a subset of consistencies? Is the subset identifiable? Or is all consistency foolish?”
        Well, you can have consistency. And then, you can have foolish consistency.

        So one can have. Person A saying: “Obama is a socialist”.
        Then later A says, “Obama is a socialist”.
        So, that is consistency.
        Or: B says: “Global warming is the most important issue the world faces.”
        And later says, “Global warming is the most important issue the world faces”.
        So, that is foolish consistency.

        “Along with “Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat”, that aphorism is essentially empty, and should be buried where people will not keep tripping over it. (steps down off soapbox).”

        People generally are utterly clueless about history.
        Therefore, the idea that socialism might be a good idea.
        Or vastly more ignorant, socialism is a new idea.

    • People are allowed to chanhge their mind you know. FSU’s Jim Elsner used to say the same thing but then he changed his mind and wrote these papers:
      Elsner, J. B., and T. H. Jagger, 2008, United States and Caribbean tropical cyclone activity related to the solar cycle, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L18705, doi:10.1029/2008GL034431.
      Elsner, J. B., T. H. Jagger, and R. E. Hodges, 2010, Daily tropical cyclone intensity response to solar ultraviolet radiation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L09701, doi:10.1029/2010GL043091.

      As new ideas and facts come to light good scientists modify their opinion. That is how science works!

    • People are allowed to change their mind you know.

      Yes, of course, but Judith says she hasn’t.

      She’s saying, if I understand her correctly, that there was a significant increase in cat. 4 & 5 cyclones in the period 1970 to 2005 which is linked to elevated SSTs measured in the “warmining envionment” of that period.

      She’s also now questioning whether it makes any sense to link later increased hurricane activity to the current “warming environment” or “global warming” because there is no certainty to what, or who, actually caused it.

      Judith could make the same argument about the polar ice caps. She could ask how anyone could make a credible argument that they are “associated with global warming”. After all the issue of attribution is equally important on that one too.

      But does that argument make any sense in one case, but not the other?

      • Should have written the melting of the polar ice caps.

      • is the difference between detection of the warming, vs attribution of the warming (i.e. what caused it)

      • So just to make sure I understand: You don’t doubt that ACO2 warms the climate to some extent – and therefore you have no doubt that ACO2 is increasing the intensity of hurricanes to some extent. You’re just not exactly sure to what extent ACO2 is increasing hurricane intensity.

        Therefore, you are quite sure that ACO2 contributed to Sandy’s intensity – you’re just not sure to exactly what extent.

        Seems like you’re jumping around a bit here, Judith.

      • Joshua

        Let’s follow your logic.

        ACO2 has caused warming of the planet.

        By 0.0005 degC

        Has this contributed to the size/strength of Sandy?

        If you answer “:YES” to the above question, then answer the following question:

        By how much?

        Fuggidaboudit, Joshua, you’re on a slippery slope.

        Max

      • Looks like powerful and deadly hurricanes have been around a lot longer than AGW.

        http://www.hurricaneville.com/historic.html

        Most intense landfalling Atlantic hurricanes in the United States (HSI) – top 10

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlantic_hurricane_records

        2000s: 2
        1990s: 2
        1980s: 1
        1960s: 3
        1950s: 1
        1920s: 1

        Half of the “top 10” occurred before the late 20th century warming period started in the 1970s.

        So “correlation” between “intensity” and “global warming” is weak.

        And then you still have the basic CO2 “attribution” uncertainty on top of this lack of “correlation”.

        Makes “causation” link look even weaker

        Max

      • No no. CO2 increased, the earth warmed. Therefore CO2 warmed the earth. Temp & gang absolutely know that.

      • A new act of desperation by Josuha, folks …
        He’s now decided anyone who is uncertain of some phenomenon, is “jumping around”.

        And Joshua is positively glued to the floor as regards a link between higher temperatures and hurricanes.

      • Petra –

        No – I think that a lack of certainty is entirely justified. However, I think that everyone should be held to the same standards. Judith seems to be both certain and uncertain at the same time.

        Here, Judith seems to be quite certain:

        “How can anyone make a credible argument that Sandy is associated with global warming?”

        that no one can make a “credible” argument that she has (when we follow her logic) herself made. If she simply has changed her mind (either about the certainty of ACO2 warming the earth or about warming increasing hurricane intensity) based on subsequent data and/or analysis then she should just say so.

  30. From my perspective, money has been siphoned from weather forecasting to highlight climate change. The focus on attribution to CO2 is so over-riding, that weather has taken a back seat re: money and talent. Duplicate alarm centers: NOAA & NASA compete for funding and NWS is much the poorer for such distractions.

    I frankly do not see a remedie as alarmist are grabbing all the resources. There are no news outlets which will let go of climate change and refocus on weather forecasting. The Schneiders, Manns, Hansens, Trenberths, Schmitzs etc etc etc are messaging the ideology and they have the ear of the press and many politicians. The EPA is off in left field formulating rules by pitting coal against gas against nuclear and holding out renewables as the solution. All these efforts consume resources and weather forecasting has been neutered to supply the funds for these otherwise colorful extravaganzas.

    A presidential election will do little to restore weather forecasting to a legitimate center. Rather, the pain and suffer of a 100 years from now will continue to dominate the narrative.

    When there is contrary science, we are told to just move along. We are told that holding onto anger is not a good thing. Personally, I can’t forget and forgive. There is something about liars that gets under my skin.

    • RiHo08 | November 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm said: ”From my perspective, money has been siphoned from weather forecasting to highlight climate change”

      now you are SPOT ON!!! Climatologist are cannibalizing the essential professions. Since the 80’s, enrolling in ”climatology” in university has gone up by 1200%

      Now, can you see that: climatology is THE oldest profession, not the other one – they ask for money in advance also; but don’t have to deliver the goods

  31. More than 31,000 satisfied readers with science degrees agree that climate change began in earnest long before fossil fuel extraction, when around the time of the Trojan War, Jupiter eructed an enormous comet, that spun past Earth heralding the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and Joshua’s siege of Jericho, momentarily stopping and restarting the Earth’s rotation; injecting petroleum reserves into Arabia during the parting of the Red Sea by a massive electrical discharge that showered iron dust and edible carbohydrates, like manna, from the comet’s tail , thus nourishing a plague toads and flies of Biblical roportions.

    Eventually, because climate change is unstoppably cyclic, the comet settled into its present orbit, becoming the 3,500 year old planet Venus, but peturbing the orbit of Mars so it encountered Earth in the eighth and seventh centuries BC, triggering massive earthquakes, lava flows, tsunamis ,atmospheric fire storms and the extinction of the wooly mammoth as Earth’s spin axis shifted from Baffin bay to thee North Pole from Baffin Island to its present position; adding five days to the length of the terrestrial year and explaining why everyone who disagrees with Fred Singer is wrong, wrong !

    • don’t forget the part where the comet killed princess diana and faked the moon landing. Gotta make sure it explains everything.

      • your sincerity and dogged determination are to be admired.

        your sarcasm however needs a lot of work.

  32. To compare the effect of hurricane Sandy, here are the death tolls from previous hurricanes or cyclones:

    Rank 1 => Death Toll=> Event
    1 => 500,000 => 1970 Bhola cyclone in Bangladesh
    2 => 300,000 => 1839 Indian cyclone
    3 => 300,000 => 1737 Calcutta cyclone in India
    4 => 210,000 => 1975 Super Typhoon Nina in China
    5 => 200,000 => 1876 Great Backerganj Cyclone in Bangladesh
    6 => 146,000 => 2008 Nagris cyclone in Myanmar
    7 => 138,866 => 1991 Bangladesh cyclone
    8 => 100,000 => 1882 Bombay cyclone in India
    9 => 60,000 => 1922 Swatow Typhoon in China
    10 => 60,000 => 1864 Calcutta cyclone in India

    This gives perspective on hurricane Sandy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_natural_disasters_by_death_toll#Cyclones_.28including_hurricanes.29

  33. A question of mine is buried among the comments. I’ll ask again.

    How much in % of what is spent annually on climate change would have to be reallocated to short term weather forecasting for the US capabilities to be similar or better than anything available from the rest of the world?

    Am asking this because it’s obviously difficult to reallocate from war or social efforts but dead easy between related fields.

    • The US climate research budget is about $2 billion/year but it is spread across many agencies NASA gets at least half for rockets and satellites. Google on USGCRP for the budget documents. NWS can have it all as far as I am concerned for weather work. But NWS wants to create a Climate Service to do climate forecasting instead.

      • David Wojick

        The $2 billion figure you cite is part of the total of around $16 billion the US spends on “climate change” research, if I understand the figures cited below:

        Max

      • David Wojick

        But NWS wants to create a Climate Service to do climate forecasting instead

        Easy solution. Deny the request and replace the management.

        Max

    • omnologos

      I reponded to your post upthread, with a request that Judith check my assumptions to make sure they are OK, but will repeat below.

      Judith Curry

      Omnologos asked a good question:

      How big a % of what the US spends annually on “Climate Change” would have to be redirected to weather forecasting in order for the latter to be on par with the rest of the world?

      You can correct these figures if they are off, but here is a quickie estimate:
      It’s not easy to get a good estimate of total US expenditures on climate change R&D since this is scattered around within the various agencies like a dog’s breakfast, but the summary below indicates that this was around $16 billion in 2011.

      Note that this does not include spending to reduce emissions, enforce clean air standards, etc.

      So let’s say that this were cut back to $5 billion, with another $5 billion going into added spending to improve weather forecasting and the remaining $6 billion going toward paying off the national debt.

      The National Weather Service has an annual budget of around $1 billion. It has come under fire for budget mismanagement (and has requested an increase of $2 billion to cover the costs of new satellites, etc.).

      With an added $5 billion (and a change in management) the NWS could arguably get back up to “world class”.

      And there would still be $5 billion eft for climate change research, plus a net overall savings to go toward paying off the national debt.

      A “win-win” situation!

      Max

      • Yes, I’ve suggested previously a redirection of some budget from the 100 year climate modeling to the seasonal forecast models. The issue is not just money, but also personnel; most of the GCM modeling talent in the U.S. is working on the long term climate models, rather than weather and seasonal

  34. Alexej Buergin

    Can one tell already in what respects Sandy beat records?
    Was Sandy still a hurricane when it hit the coast, and if yes, where?
    What wind speeds were measured?

  35. Alexej Buergin

    Are there any rigs around carriing gas that could be transported to the affected places, and used directly to sell it? Could the military do that?
    Are there any trucks that could be used to sell food from?

  36. You know we are also in a very deep solar minimum. If our scientists had not got all hot and bothered about man’s extra 2% contribution to natures carbon cycle then we’d have blamed the sun.

  37. Just over a decade ago the electric power industry went through a deregulation craze. Many utilities cut their wrokforce by a third or so. These were huge cuts which I doubt were ever restored. I wonder how much this is affecting the maintenance and recovery efforts?

    • Very little I suspect.

      A utility is somewhat limited in the number of crews it can maintain. Electrical line crews are highly qualified labor and take a long time to develop. This makes them a high cost resource. In order to maintain crews, you have to have work for them year round. They don’t just stay at home, not working, until a big storm comes in. This is why the majority of utility companies are signed up to a national sharing agreement, making it easier to send crews out of region to help someone else.

      Storm recovery response times are impacted by several factors. What Irene and Sandy have shown is that localities which place a high value on trees tend to get hit harder when a big storm rolls in. Vegetation management is a constant struggle for a utility, primarily because people don’t want to see their lovely trees trimmed or cut. I can understand the sentiment, but don’t complain to me when it takes several additional days to get your power restored. As someone who will work 18+ hour days out in the field during storm duty until service is restored to all of our customers, I am not going to be that sympathetic.

      FYI – the vast majority of people are very understanding and supportive of us during storms and outages. (It is also a very good feeling to help get someone’s power restored who has been out for a week or more.)

  38. It’s always fascinating to see how pure speculation can become fact in the blink of an eye in climate reporting. Read Popsci’s latest on Sandy;

    http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2012-10/5-climate-change-truths-about-hurricane-sandy

    While they correctly report (hey finally someone noticed) that the only real consensus on tropical storms is that warming should reduce their frequency. Alas the pure speculation that strong storms will get stronger.is introduced as a fact, Yet it is taken from this quote:
    “The ones that do form may contain stronger winds and heavier rains,” [Andrew] Freedman says. “As sea surface temperatures warm up, hurricanes may be able to sustain themselves farther north than they used to, making the prospect of more New England landfalls a bit more likely.”

    Those “may’s and may be’s” were just ignored. It is actually equally correct to say “The ones that do form may contain weaker winds and heavier rains,” Freedman should have said (if he wanted to be accurate rather than alarmist) that currently it’s a 50/50 shot whether weaker or stronger is more likely: Anecdotal evidence suggests stronger, while real evidence suggests weaker .

    Freedman also said: “There have not been studies done showing links between storm sizes and climate change,” Which even completely negates his other statement above. The truth is that studies have been inconclusive as to whether stronger or weaker is more likely.

    All this nuance is ignored and the baseless speculation that strong hurricanes will get stronger is presented as an alarmist factoid to be repeated ad nauseum.

    We also have too many placatory scientists saying something like “about 10% of this storm was caused by global warming”. Again this has no foundation in fact and little on theory but it is becoming a lukewarmer factoid.

  39. Judy: Thanks for your sober analysis of the state of research on storm of Sandy’s ilk. But I think it would be more accurate to state that science has not established a link between hybrid storms and climate rather than that it has established that there is no link. A subtle but important distinction. Science has not progressed so far as to rule out a link.

    • Kerry Emanuel

      Your distinction is technically correct.

      But read again what our hostess wrote:

      the scientists who actually understand this (i.e. publish in the area of hurricanes, mid latitude weather dynamics, climate dynamics) seem united in agreement that there is no link between Sandy and global warming

      This seems like a pretty straightforward statement to me (which does not 100% “rule out” any link, but simply states that those “in the know” are united in agreement that there is no link.

      To put it another way:

      In the absence of empirical scientific evidence linking global warming with the incidence or severity of tropical cyclones, such as Sandy, one must conclude that

      “there is no empirical scientific evidence linking global warming with the incidence or severity of tropical cyclones, such as Sandy”

      Speculating that there “could” possibly be such a link is simply an interesting mind game.

      Max

      • Well there is sort of a ‘consensus’ here among the scientists who know most about hurricanes, mid latitude weather, and climate dynamics. Interesting to see the ‘warm’ crowd being skeptical of this ‘consensus.’ And we’ve all seen examples of where the consensus has been over confident. Sandy will be an interesting storm to analyze, and I expect dozens of studies on this in the next few years.

      • oh noes! ‘consensus’

      • Selective trust in a “consensus,” eh Judith?

      • Joshua,

        It’s simple.

        Consensus you agree with is fine, consensus you don’t is ‘manufactured’.

      • Michael –

        Don’t forget also, when evaluating the concept of consensus the times the consensus was wrong is what we should consider. Don’t bother to consider when the consensus was right. It just blocks confirmation bias.

      • It indeed simple. A consensus of politically funded, politically motivated people whose predictable consequent systemic bias and frauds have been repeatedly exposed, is not to be trusted. Only those like Michael and Joshua who share the political objectives of the IPCC fraudsters, and have no qualms about using dishonesty to advance politically ‘correct’ aims, are not troubled by this.

      • David Springer

        Good, Max. I’m not sure if “Hurricane Sandy was a result of anthropogenic global warming” is a valid hypothesis. How can it be falsified? I’m equally unsure of the null hypothesis “Hurricane Sandy was not a result of anthropogenic global warming” is valid either. How can that be falsified? In the normal course of science we would isolate the anthropogenic variable and run experiments with and without it and see if the outcome changes. Obviously we can’t do that so I’m leaning towards this speculative connection between AGW and hurricane formation as being no more than pseudo-science. There may be some statistical evidence one way or another but I doubt it’s credible with outlier events like this.

        “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” ~ Ernest Rutherford

        “Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.” ~Evan Esar

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David Springer: “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” ~ Ernest Rutherford

        Rutherford never explained how you could have obtained a better experiment. What you do in practice is to use the statistics you obtained to design the better experiment you might have done in the first place — had you then had the knowledge summarized in the statistics. Eventually you can design such good experiments that the results are clear without statistics — then it looks in retrospect as though you never needed the statistics.

        Rutherford was a source of a large number of mostly insulting and incorrect judgments like that.

    • Kerry Emmanuel

      I am a historical climatologist. The overwhelming impression I get from reading tens of thousand of mostly European (but primarily British) observations from the last 1000 years is that we live in a benign time and storms were often far worse in the past (which makes Sandy no less horrifying) .

      Determining hybrid storms is a skilled job best left to those such as Judith Curry but can I refer you to the storm of 1717 which affected much of northern europe and was centred on the north sea?

      “It is clear that the ingredients of the severe storm of 24/25 december 1717 as many of the other historic storms here analysed, were a developing meditionality which injected warm very humid ar from the south…at a time when very cold arctic air was advancing behind a cold front from the iceland region.”

      11 000 people were said to have died and 15000 houses destroyed at a time when the population was a fraction of today

      From the book “Historic storms of the North sea, British Isles and Northwest Europe” by Hubert Lamb which records the details of hundreds of storms. Many more reports lie undiscovered in such places as the archives of the Met Office.

      It might be very well worth reaing up old books such as this to see if there is any similarity with the ‘hybrid’ storm that Sandy is being called.. It may tell us that the future is like the past or quite unlike it, but it is worth doing
      tonyb.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Kerry Emanuel said:

      “I think it would be more accurate to state that science has not established a link between hybrid storms and climate rather than that it has established that there is no link.”

      To which Judith replied:

      “I like one of your previous statements: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

      ______

      Only one small clarification in Kerry Emanuel’s statement– I believe the intent and meaning was that “science has not established a link between hybrid storms and (anthropogenic) climate (change)…

      As of course, there is a completely 100% link between hybrid storms and simply the climate. The hybrid superstorm Sandy is exactly what happens in the Earth climate system when it has the current combinations of greenhouse gas concentrations, current state of ocean cycles, current seasonal parameters, etc. else– it would not have occurred! What remains to be investigated in more detail are the underlying factors that go into creating hybrid storms, and whether or not these factors can be altered one way or another through the continual external forcing of the climate through rising greenhouse gas concentrations. Such research could discover any number of possible findings, ranging from:

      1) The current cool phase of the PDO had a greater influence on the formation of hybrid storms than does greenhouse gas accumulation.
      2) Hybrid superstorms are more likely to form during the cool phase of the PDO, but increasing forcing from higher greenhouse gas concentration nudge that probability even higher.
      3) Rising greenhouse gases influence the character and nature of both the PDO and the probability of the formation of hybrid superstorms like Sandy.
      4) There is no relationship at all between either the PDO nor the forcing from greenhouse gas concentrations on the formation of hybrid superstorms, but there is some other as yet unidentified factor (NAO, solar, THC, etc.), or it is completely due to unpredictable natural variability.

      .

      • For glacial mass to accumulate in say the Wisconsin area, it would seem hybrid storms would be just the ticket.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Only if the summer’s were cool enough so as all that winter “glacial mass” did not melt. Problem being that the natural process of increased rock-weathering through an acceleration of the hydrological cycle, which would naturally remove CO2 from the air and bring down temperatures low enough to have cooler summers can’t keep up with how fast humans are putting that carbon into the air…i.e. the natural feedback processes are being overwhelmed. Thus, we may get some big snowfall events (as the ice core record clearly shows that happens more during warmer periods than cooler), but the only way that we get “glacial mass” accumulation is to have that snow stick around over the summer and have new snow fall on top of it. Sadly, for AGW skeptics, June NH snow cover has been in a steady decline and hit record low levels this past June. See:

        It’s just too darn warm for the snow to stick around in the summers. No “glacial mass” growth. Just monster storms in the winter, and record warmth in the summer. That’s what a warmer planet does. Welcome to the Anthropocene…

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Yea captdallas,

        Pretty hard for glaciers to form when we are seeing less and less June NH snow cover over the last decade or so. Can’t grow glaciers that way:

      • Interesting that glacial mass and arctic ice most noticeably reduced during this very period surface temperatures have levelled out, thus ruling out warming from CO2 as the culprit.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Bated, your narrow view of all the ways that the continual increase in greenhouse gases can affect Earths energy system keeps you from progressing in your knowledge. In particular, your fixation on near surface temperatures (which represent maybe 1/1000th of Earth’s non-tectonic energy) keeps you from seeing the changes going on elsewhere. In addition, you wrongly assume that a control knob set to “accumulate energy” stops accumulating energy just because it is not set to even higher levels of accumulation? I can only assume that your ignorance is willful, perhaps for political reasons.

  40. “But I think it would be more accurate to state that science has not established a link between hybrid storms and climate rather than that it has established that there is no link.” ?

    Do you mean a link with “Climate” or CO2 induced “Climate”? CO2 would change the atmospheric resistance to heat loss reducing latitudinal temperature differentials, since it is a well mixed gas and would have polar amplification, er.. monopolar amplification :)

  41. I meant that we have not established any link between hybrid storms and any aspect of climate change. This is more a matter of not having devoted the effort than to any intrinsic limitations on our ability to do so.

    • Hi Kerry, thanks for stopping by. I like one of your previous statements: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

      • David Springer

        Acually absence of evidence IS evidence of absence.

        Absence of evidence is not proof of absence.

        Write that down.

      • David Springer

        A simple example. You have a suspicious lump. A doctor biopsies it. She can’t find any evidence of malignancy in the biopsy. Is this lack of evidence of cancer evidence of absence of cancer? You bet it is. Is it proof? No. But it can approach a proof depending on how exhausitive or reliable the search.

        This is basic philosophy of science. Karl Popper illustrates it with the classic example “All swans are white”. At one time this was a valid scientific hypothesis. It wasn’t proven but what made it scientific was that it could be disproven (falsifiable). Hence science can function with imperfect or incomplete information. As negative (absence of) evidence accumulates the hypothesis eventually becomes a theory. Do not confuse theory with fact. A black swan was subsequently observed. It’s not a theory that black swans exist it’s a fact.

      • David L. Hagen

        Curry & Springer
        You raise the fallacy of the Streetlight Effect

        The streetlight effect is a type of observational bias where people only look for whatever they are searching by looking where it is easiest.[1][2]

        e.g., Avoiding the “Streetlight Effect”: Tracking by Exploring Likelihood Modes David Demirdjian et al.

        Classic methods for Bayesian inference effectively constrain search to lie within regions of significant probability of the temporal prior. This is efficient with an accurate dynamics model, but otherwise is prone to ignore significant peaks in the true posterior. A more accurate posterior estimate can be obtained by explicitly finding modes of the likelihood function and combining them with a weak temporal prior. . . .

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David L. Hagen: The streetlight effect is a type of observational bias where people only look for whatever they are searching by looking where it is easiest.[1][2]

        You misinterpret Springer, whose example entailed looking not in the “easiest” place, but in the place where the evidence of malignancy should be found if it indeed is present.

        Same with Curry: she did not look where it was easiest, but where the link ought to be found if it exists.

        For some reason, people who like streetlights frequently miss this important detail. This post are an example.

        Possibly the most famous “absence of evidence” resulted from the Michelson-Morley experiment. As in other cases, the key was to look where the effect was supposed to reside; almost everyone accepts this as “evidence of absence” (but not “proof of absence”.)

      • Judith and Kerry

        I like that statement, too, but it could be enhanced as follows:

        “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it is a pretty good indication”

        Max

      • It may be good evidence or it may provide practically no new evidence. Whether it’s either one or something in-between depends on the case in question.

        Usually the absence of evidence for a effect gives an upper bound of some level of certainty. Such an upper bound may be informative or it may be irrelevant as more stringent upper bounds are already known.

        In this particular case we should not ask whether it is evidence for absence but what kind of limits the absence of evidence puts on the possible influence of global warming on the number or severity of hurricanes.

    • By now, we’re fully aware there are no intrinsic limitations on the academic climate community’s ability to discover linkages.

      http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  42. lolwot, yer wearing too many clothes, take of yer thermal underwear.

    • Beth

      C’mon now, take it easy on poor lolwot.

      He may not be in sunny Australia, where another BBQ summer is just around the corner, but in some dismal northern hemisphere location that is looking at the dim prospect of another grim winter like the past two.

      He’ll need those long johns when he’s out there shoveling the snow, even if they are a bit snug and appear to be causing him some discomfort right now.

      Max

  43. David Springer

    Blaming Hurricane Sandy on anthropogenic global warming before the bodies are cold or electricity restored seems vaguely familiar.

    Oh yeah. They did the same thing with Hurricane Katrina.

    It’s déjà vu all over again. ~ Yogi Berra

    • Very different situation with Katrina. Two major papers were published in Science right around the time of Katrina (completed and submitted for publication before the start of Katrina) finding a link between increasing hurricane intensity and increasing sea surface temperature. Hurricane experts debated the science surrounding this at the time of Katrina. This was a completely different dynamic from what we are seeing with Sandy.

  44. CBSNews comes out in full flame for the link with AGW:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57544267/will-sandy-change-the-climate-change-conversation/

    Much more from new hurricane ‘expert’ Jon Foley. Mike Mann has this to say:

    The message that climate change did play a role in Hurricane Sandy isn’t getting the attention it should, Mann said.

    “The climate change discussion needs a tipping point — I call it a Cuyahoga River moment,” Mann said, referring to the polluted Ohio river that caught fire in 1969 and sparked an environmental movement.

    • Judith – perhaps you made a mistake with the link? I don’t see an example of what you described.

      • Joshua

        Read it again. It’s there.

        Max

      • Read it again. It’s there.

        Exactly my point. Look for anything hard enough and you’ll find it.

        Reminds me of Springer’s post yesterday when he said that if you look hard enough, you can find a signal in FEMA spending that is related to the president in office. No attempt to control for the number and severity of disasters during their respective administrations. Not examination of what the money was spent on.

        In that article I saw text like this:

        But how much of the storm’s size and devastation can we tie to climate change?

        Experts don’t have the answer to that question. They do say, however, that climate change had at least some influence.

        “This was a complex storm, so we do need to be cautious about linking it to climate change,” said Jonathan Foley, an ecosystem researcher who is director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. “Only some of its components may have been due to climate change.”

        OK – “..full flame for the link with AGW…”

        Yeah, I suppose if you look hard enough and squint just so….

      • Josh, me boy.

        Don’t toy around with me using silly analogies.

        The links between Sandy and global warming (a.k.a. global climate change) are quite clearly evident in the article Judith cited.

        If you missed them, it’s simply because you are not very attentive.

        Grow up and pay better attention.

        Max

    • I wrote this at Jim Cripwell | November 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm |. No-one responded to it. Let me repeat it.

      There has been a very interesting shift in the message about the relationship between hurricanes and CAGW in the Canadian MSM. In 2005, the message from the warmistas was that the intense hurricane season was definitive proof of CAGW, and in future years things were only going to get worse. As we now know that forecast was dead wrong.

      Now the message has changed. I have heard the same sort of thing from Andrew Weaver, and the science correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Bob McDonald. The story now is that no, we cannot claim that Hurricane Sandy has been caused by CAGW. But we know that temperatures are increasing, and there is more energy in the weather system. So the probability of hurricanes like Sandy occurring is increasing. If it was a 1 in 100 year event in the past, now it might be a 1 in 50 year or 1 in 30 year event. So, yes, Sandy is sending us a message that we need to do something about reducing the amount of CO2 we are producing.

      This is, of course, a very sensible change for the 2005 message. However, what is carefully not being said is that empirical data clearly shows that temperatures have been recovering naturally ever since the LIA. Since around 1850, the trend is linear, and around 0.06 C per decade. See http://bit.ly/V19Im8. So at least some of the warming the warmistas are talking about is due to natural causes.

      Now, if the past is any guide to the future, then we know this natural warming trend is not going to last for ever. Sooner or later it is almost certainly going to be replaced with a cooling trend. When this might happen, no-one has much idea. But at least some of the warming that is occurring is natural. How much is natural and how much is caused by increasing levels of CO2, no-one knows. But the empirical data gives a strong indication that the contribution of additional CO2 is negligible. There is no discernable CO2 signal in any temperature/time graph.

      So the warmistas have gone from the message they gave in 2005, which was a downright lie, to one which is merely being economical with the truth. They are obviously learning from their past mistakes.

      • Jim –

        Do you have a link to a 2005 statement that you’re referring to? Hopefully by the same individuals or at least someone that has a similar perspective as they do now?

      • Joshua, you write, “Do you have a link to a 2005 statement that you’re referring to? ”

        No, I dont. I am writing from memory.

      • Joshua

        I hoped you would be around. (come on, be honest how many people here say that)

        I was curious as to how Sandy was playing now with the media and Obamas election prospects.

        At first the media here in the UK were very positive about his leadership-he does make good speeches.

        However that has been changing the last day or so as film comes in of huge petrol queues, absence of power, areas still under water etc.

        Are people still positive about Obamas role?
        tonyb

      • Hey tony –

        Nom not many.

        My impression is that it is still a small net positive for Obama – not terribly significant on the whole.

        The rightwing is trying to exploit the problems to their best advantage – Hannity was on Fox News declaring Sandy to be “Obama’s Katrina,” but keep in mind that the states most affected are mostly all locks for Obama (Romney is closest in PA but even there he’s outside of the margin of error in an aggregation of the polls – aggregating state polls has a very strong track record. Sam Wang – at http://election.princeton.edu/ – who uses only aggregated swing state polls in elections predictions in his projections was off by a total of one electoral college vote between 2004 and 2008 combined. Here is a good analysis of the chances such aggregation of state polls might be wrong: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/nov-2-for-romney-to-win-state-polls-must-be-statistically-biased/#more-37099).

        I think it’s unlikely that any negative publicity of the type you mention will outweigh the other side of the equation – what with the Christie hug and the Bloomberg endorsement related indirectly to Obama’s reaction to Katrina – and the video coverage of Obama on the ground in NJ. I haven’t heard Romney push in the issue – and I would think that the only reason why that is the case is because of potential downside from doing so. Hannity does it because he is ginning up the partisan base (his audience) – Romney’s focus at this point is with moderates and undecideds.

        And even if there were a significant problem for Obama vis-a-vis Sandy, it’s probably too late in the game to have much real impact; the remaining number of undecideds is unlikely large enough to affect the election even if they moved as a block against Obama.

        Along those lines:

        http://election.princeton.edu/where-are-undecideds-falling-2nov2012.php

        http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5uwqxifZ87oJ:election.princeton.edu/2008/11/03/how-will-the-last-holdouts-break

        http://www.pollster.com/blogs/how_undecideds_split_19482004.php?nr=1

      • Joshua

        Thanks for your analysis. Personally I thin both candidates are poor but I dont really have a favourite. I wonder if the cancellation of the Marathon was politcally motivated? It would have played very badly I suspect for Obama if it had gone ahead (even though he might have had nothing to do with it.)

        It would be a little like George Bush playing on the golf course whilst ordering some war strike or other.

        Interesting times but thank goodness the electioneering ts nearly over, it just drags on and on
        tonyb

      • tony –

        The American campaign process never ends. Presidents begin campaigning as soon as they get into office, and they never stop until the election. Our entire campaign process top-to-bottom is unbelievable screwed up, IMO.

        I doubt that the marathon cancellation had anything to do with the national election – I don’t think that people would connect running the marathon to Obama. Yes – the cancellation was largely political, however; it seemed that NYC officials determined that the loss of revenue and related charity would have been a net negative in balance, but that the political ramifications – to the local political entities and I don’t think Obama – were too great to bear.

        Personally, I’m voting for the lesser of two evils. I used to sometimes not vote for the lesser of too evils, and hence might not vote in presidential elections. Then came George Bush. His presidency put a whole new slant on that dilemma for me. The marginal advantage between Obama and Romney is small – but the American presidency is a powerful office and that small difference is essentially magnified by the scale of their power. My main concern is that a Romney administration would focus on cutting Medicaid – as given the rest of their avowed economic policies they would have to cut somewhere and Medicaid recipients comprise a constituency that has very little political power. Aside from the possibility that Romney’s foreign policy would be as disastrous as Bush’s (he’s relying on the same proven-incompetent neocons as advisors), the potential sacrifice of the poorest, oldest, and most disabled for political expediency is enough to get me to vote for a highly-flawed Obama.

      • Joshua

        As a Brit with the NHS t I cam never understand the huge fuss about medicaid. Being provided with appropriate health care seems a basic human right that may be denied to those who can’t afford it

        Again as an observer I never cease to be amazed at the very poor standrd of many US candidates. We would hope the leader of the Western World could do better. Romney came over very badly when he was in London for the Olympics.

        Yesterday the BBC mentioned John Kerry. I must admit I had completely forgotten about him.
        tonyb

      • climatereason – I too find it weird that there are some very extreme views from some US politicians that would see them forced to resign or never elected in the UK but I suppose safe seats allow them to remain.

        For example, a woman’s body can prevent pregnancy from true rape; pregnancy from rape is God’s will; evolution is taught in schools by satanists as part of a plan by the devil.

      • Louise

        Yes they were VERY strange beliefs weren’t they? I can’t imagine Romney even beng seleced for a British parliamentary seat let alone getting elected.
        tonyb

      • John Carpenter

        Louise, those are hot button issues that get pushed only on election cycles and honestly are not the main issues that elect leaders here. They play to the extreme right, based on your examples, and are used by the left to ‘scare’ the electorate but are hardly looked at again once an official is elected. The main issue in this election is the economy and jobs. Those who vote based on single issue reasons are pretty rare. We have been arguing Roe v Wade over here since it was decided… and I don’t think we will reverse that decision anytime soon, even if another conservative supreme court justice were to be appointed. I also believe most people don’t judge the entirety of someone based on a single poor choice of words (Todd Akins) that they admit was a mistake, however some do. If we were to dismiss elected leaders on the dumb things they say, we would have quite the revolving door. The beauty of the system is they have to get re-elected again, so if what they say is really that bad… then they probably will get voted out. If they don’t, then they must be doing something else right that overshadows the bad.

      • John – anyone pushing those types of messages out during election time in the UK just lost their deposit. Anyone saying those sort of things outside of election time just lost their job. Their political party would disown them – they’d be kicked out.

      • tonyb,

        “Being provided with appropriate health care seems a basic human right that may be denied to those who can’t afford it/”

        How is healthcare any more a “basic human right” than food, clothing, shelter…? You can go years without needing to see a doctor. But you can’t go more than a short period of time without food and water. Ditto shelter in most areas of the world.

        The problem is that once you redefine rights away from what the government cannot do to you (negative rights) to what the government must do for you (positive rights), you have “fundamentally changed” you entire economic and political system without even realizing it.

        Once you accept the premise that people have a “right” to be provided their basic necessities by the government, you have surrendered the debate between socialism and capitalism. Europe’s seemingly endless slide into centralized control of the economy, and the ultimate bankruptcy that comes with it (see eg. the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and many others).

        Healthcare is the crow bar with which progressives pry open the gates of freedom, the Trojan horse by which they erase liberty by substituting “rights” for freedoms.

      • However, noone in European politics would be kicked out of a political party for vastly more stupid and barbaric destructive neo-stalinist / totalitarian / extreme leftist views. You know, like the UK Labour party, that make even the Democrats look civilised.

      • John Carpenter

        Louise, well it is true here that Todd Akins has been roundly disowned by the Republican party for his “legitimate rape’ comment. It has not stopped him from continuing on with his election campaign despite being asked to step down. Interestingly, in recent weeks he has gained back lost percentage points in the polls and is not out of the running of getting re-elected. So what does that tell you? I would say knee jerk reactions are not always the best way to make a decision and apparently many within his constituency feel the same way.

      • Gary

        I said health care was a basic human right not the ONLY one. I understand your philosophical view point but purchasing food etc is within the capability of most people. An expensive course of cancer treatment is not

        Tonyb

      • A “basic human right” – healthcare in this conversation – being something you are allowed to be a financial parasite on others to provide yourself with. Institutionalised coercive parasitism being the core value of what is popularly called socialism.

      • Jim Cripwell

        As temperatures warm there is LESS temperature difference betwen the poles and the tropics and LESS energy. According to NOAA that COULD mean that ordinary storms will decrease but severe storms COULD increase.

        I made a post above to Kerry Emmanuel as historic evidence shows storms to be much worse in the past and those in the LIA worst of all. Hybrid storms such as Sandy is beng touted as, seem to be not unusual but it needs an expert to confirm that
        tonyb

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Tony,

        It is true that as global temperatures have warmed we’ve seen a flattening of the thermal gradient between equator and pole, but this does not equate to less energy in the system. What does appear to be happening is that there are more blocking events and the large atmospheric waves that guide weather systems are showing greater equator to pole amplitude. This is precisely the kind of research that Dr. Jennifer Francis from Rutgers has been pursuing. But the point is that there isn’t less energy in the system, weather just gets stuck over the same area for longer periods leading to extreme events.

      • John –

        I think that you underestimate the importance of these issues. For example, do you really not think that the abortion issue is highly relevant to the significant “gender gap?” Do you really think that the abortion issue is largely irrelevant to the linkage between the fundamentalist Christian vote and the Republican Party?

        I also believe most people don’t judge the entirety of someone based on a single poor choice of words (Todd Akins) that they admit was a mistake, however some do.

        That was not simply a one-off stupid statement – with reference to Akin or to the Republican Party more generally. I’m actually quite surprised that you would attempt to portray it in such a fashion.

      • BTW – Ryan referred to the “forcible rape” phrasing, contained in a bill he and Akin sponsored, to be “stock language.”

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, I think this issue has received more attention than what it’s worth. Here is the hitch, like I said above…. if the people really don’t like what he or any other republican candidate says and they vote according to single issues, then they will be voted out. If this type of statement is how the people will define someones position on the ‘gender gap’ with the implication that this represents a wider gender gap, then they will vote them out. If enough are voted out, the Republican message wrt to extreme right christian views will have to change if they want to be a part of the national conversation. I generally vote republican, I certainly don’t endorse the current extreme right stance on abortion and am a firm adherent to evolutionary theory, however neither are issues I would use to decide how I vote. It is a hot button issue, it gets peoples emotions up but is not one that gets any traction once the election is over. It is a way for the left to smear all conservative thinking at election time. Do you seriously believe Roe v Wade will be overturned? Do you seriously believe evolution theory will be banned from education? Do you seriosly believe Republicans are about widening the ‘gender gap’? Are either of these single issues that important to you wrt to how you vote? Do you really believe all Republicans take these positions? The abortion topic gets way too much air time by the media because it is emotionally charged… not because those issues represent how most people are going to vote this (or any other recent) election cycle. Abortion has much less to do with the ‘gender gap’ than it has to do with personal religious belief. I suppose those who are more progressive may look at it as a ‘gender gap’ factor, but they miss the real underlying reason, otherwise how do you explain the millions of women who are against abortion? Abortion gets trotted out every election cycle as if the nation will crumble without talking about it, it has not been an important issue that most people base there vote on for decades.

      • John –

        Richard Mourdock–the Indiana Republican Senate candidate who sparked a controversy during a debate last month when he said he opposes abortion even in the case of rape because “it is something that God intended to happen”–is now trailing Democrat Joe Donnelly by 11 points, a new state poll shows.

        According to the Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll released on Friday, Donnelly leads Mourdock 47 percent to 36 percent among likely voters.

        In September, the same survey found Donnelly and Mourdock were virtually tied (with Donnelly 40 percent to 38 percent), but it appears women have largely abandoned Mourdock in the wake of the firestorm surrounding his comments. According to the new poll, conducted between Oct. 28 and Oct. 30, 50 percent of female voters support Donnelly, while just 32 percent favor Mourdock.

        I think that you are extrapolating inaccurately from your own views – in a number of ways:

        I think this issue has received more attention than what it’s worth.

        You don’t get to determine its “worth.” Apparently a lot of folks think that making the statement Mourdock made is a disqualification from office. It may not be worth much to you, but its actual worth is determined by a wider metric than your personal views. You said that a determination of votes based on these issues or isolated “stupid” statements is rare. I’d say that the evidence is stacked against your assessment. The swing in the polls based on Mourdock’s one statement only reflects a small percentage of the votes determined on these issues. There are also the likely many voters whose votes were already determined on these issues (as reflected in the gender gap and the voting tendencies of the Christian right), who haven’t switched their alignment pre- and post- Mourdock’s statement about rape.

        Here is the hitch, like I said above…. if the people really don’t like what he or any other republican candidate says and they vote according to single issues, then they will be voted out.

        That is not really relevant to the question of whether or not people vote on the basis of what the Republicans say. Voting on the basis of what they say can also lead to a candidate staying in office.

        If enough are voted out, the Republican message wrt to extreme right christian views will have to change if they want to be a part of the national conversation.

        So here you seem to be contradicting what you said above – which is that these types of statements are not reflective of a larger ideological stance that correlates with voting. Here you are suggesting that people do vote based on these issues – which is why the Republican Party would move to change its platform (have you looked at the stance on abortion in the Republican Party platform?) depending on voting outcomes.

        I generally vote republican, I certainly don’t endorse the current extreme right stance on abortion and am a firm adherent to evolutionary theory, however neither are issues I would use to decide how I vote.

        But this is where I am saying that your earlier statement is likely inaccurate, IMO. There are many Republican voters who are different than you.

        It is a hot button issue, it gets peoples emotions up but is not one that gets any traction once the election is over.

        Hard to know how you can say that given the highly coordinated and extensive effort on the part of Republican legislators to enact many laws w/r/t abortion. Please Google ALEC.

        It is a way for the left to smear all conservative thinking at election time.

        Dude. Do you not think that there are many people, women in particular, who are driven by more in their views on abortion than simply a desire to smear conservatives?

        Do you seriously believe Roe v Wade will be overturned?

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/10/02/toobin_if_ginsburg_leaves_during_romney_presidency_roe_v_wade_will_be_overturned.html

        Do you seriously believe evolution theory will be banned from education?

        No. Of course not. But the teaching of Intelligent Design as a “scientific theory”‘ may well be mandated in many more places than it is already. Personally, I don’t have a problem with “teaching the controversy,” but I can understand why some do.

        Do you seriosly believe Republicans are about widening the ‘gender gap’?

        ??? The poll statistics make this clear.

        Are either of these single issues that important to you wrt to how you vote?

        No.

        Do you really believe all Republicans take these positions?

        No. Of course not.

        The abortion topic gets way too much air time by the media because it is emotionally charged…

        They pay a lot of attention to it because because people care about it a lot.

        Abortion has much less to do with the ‘gender gap’ than it has to do with personal religious belief.

        It seems awfully presumptuous for you to make that statement. For many women, abortion has everything to do with their control over their own bodies.

        I suppose those who are more progressive may look at it as a ‘gender gap’ factor, but they miss the real underlying reason, otherwise how do you explain the millions of women who are against abortion?

        ???? Those millions have their reasons for their views just as do the millions of religious women who think that the decision is one for a woman to make for herself.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, I don’t think I made my point as clearly as I would have liked. I agree with you that poorly answered questions and ill conceived statements made by both Akins and Mourdock could likely cost them their elections. That is in agreement with my statement that if the people do not like or agree with such statements they will not vote the candidate in if they base their vote on such a single issue. However, it is true that Akins is seeing a bump in the polls despite his gaffe that he has repeatedly apologized for.

        http://www.policymic.com/articles/18012/akin-mccaskill-polls-why-right-leaning-missouri-may-opt-for-akin

        As such I stand by my comment that I believe people largely don’t judge the entirety of a person (or a party) based on one single poor choice of words and typically don’t vote on single issues. (I agree Mourdock is less likely to recover a this point from his statement).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-issue_politics

        “So here you seem to be contradicting what you said above – which is that these types of statements are not reflective of a larger ideological stance that correlates with voting. Here you are suggesting that people do vote based on these issues – which is why the Republican Party would move to change its platform (have you looked at the stance on abortion in the Republican Party platform?) depending on voting outcomes.”

        No, not a contradiction, I have to hold out a (low) probability that republicans will be voted out en masse based solely on rightwing christian ideology. (I have to admit here that the desire of many Republican candidates to impose this type of ideology on others is a stance I simply can’t get behind or support within the party. I understand my religiously liberal, moderate social morals and fiscally conservative views are not as widely held among Republicans than in years past)

        My main argument is hot button issues like abortion (in my opinion) are not worth the amount of time given each election cycle because voters don’t typically vote on a single issues. Despite what Toobin says about Roe v Wade and SCOTUS appointments based on who controls the White House, I don’t think Roe v Wade is in Jeopardy of being overturned with even another conservative addition mainly because I don’t think Roberts would overturn it in the end (again my opinion).

        Abortion and reproductive rights are simply not the main issues that will elect candidates on this election cycle,

        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/importance_of_issues

        “Do you seriosly believe Republicans are about widening the ‘gender gap’?

        ??? The poll statistics make this clear.”

        Ok, about the ‘gender gap’ wrt Republicans. What I meant is that Republicans are not trying to increase the gap…. they may not be successful there, but it is not their strategy. Surely you agree with that.

        “Abortion has much less to do with the ‘gender gap’ than it has to do with personal religious belief.

        It seems awfully presumptuous for you to make that statement. For many women, abortion has everything to do with their control over their own bodies.”

        Agreed, I wasn’t intending to be presumptuous as abortion is a deeply personal and emotionally charged issue for both sides. What I should have said is ‘for those who oppose abortion it has much less to do…. etc… and then include ‘while for those who are pro-choice it is very much a reason for the gender gap.’ I don’t disagree with that at all.

        I hope I have clarified myself better. Louise thinks its weird some US politicians voice extreme views that would not fly in the UK but appear safe here. My argument remains valid, though maybe poorly presented, that voters here do not tend to elect leaders solely on single issue reasons. I do concede that if a politician touches the third rail with poorly worded comments he/she may, and often do, lose their chance for election or re-election. In this case, a single issue (verbal gaffe) can derail an election.

      • John –

        It seems to me that you are consistently underplaying the ideology of these folks – perhaps based on a mistaken assumption that I would assume that all Republicans would agree with them? I make no such assumption.

        But Akin is an abortion activist. He has been arrested 8 times at abortion clinic protests. His views about “legitimate rape” and “forced rape” are not some outlier in the Republican Party – they are pretty much fully in line with the mainstream perspective. The GOP platform rejects an exception for allowing abortion in the case of rape. Supposedly some 1/4-1/3 or so of Republicans are pro-choice – I’d think that certainly an % that high would support an exception allowing abortion in the case of rape. How many Republican legislators advocate a pro-choice position? The discrepancy is because a lot of Republicans do care a great deal about that issue – not only people who are pro-choice.

        There are a long line of extremist statements from Republican politicians. Akin and Ryan have worked together on abortion legislation. Akin and his kind explicitly go after votes with these very statements. The national party criticized Akin’s comments but his ideology is very much mainstream Republican at regional levels (look at his best day fund-raising shortly after his rape comment).

        I think that you severely underestimate the level of importance of these issues for many people – on both sides of the debate. Abortion in itself will not make or break the presidential election – but it is a fundamental issue in many parts of the country and even Romney had to double-back on his earlier stances in order to be a viable national candidate.

        Republicans don’t explicitly want to increase the gender gap – of course they are not actively seeking out getting fewer votes from women. But one way or the other, whether because of unwavering ideological belief or political expediency (a calculation that it will bring them more votes in the end, as we see with Romney) – as a party and as individual candidates they are willing to deal with that increase.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, you said…

        “The GOP platform rejects an exception for allowing abortion in the case of rape.”

        Wrong.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gop-party-platform-likely-to-stick-with-anti-abortion-stance-unlikely-to-address-rape-exception/2012/08/21/53a2bc2a-eb86-11e1-a80b-9f898562d010_story.html

        Not addressing extreme cases for abortion is not the same as a rejection of allowing abortion in such cases let alone to become an official part of the GOP platform. From the article,

        “But the draft does not specifically address the issue of exceptions, and party leaders here said that the issue is too complex to be addressed in what is intended to be a broad statement of party principle, and that it should be left up to states in a federal system.”

        Further,

        “He added that the platform is intended to be a timeless document that should not be influenced by current events about “who said what.” He said, however, that he disagrees with Akin’s sentiments. “Those remarks do not reflect my views, or, I think, the views of this platform committee,” he said.”

        And,

        “Romney has said he believes that abortion should be illegal but that exceptions should be allowed in cases of rape and incest.”

        Finally,

        “Although Republicans are generally united in their opposition to abortion, there is division over whether the practice should be allowed in some extreme cases if the nation’s laws were changed.”

        I find this discussion interesting, but increasingly off topic and I think I have adequately made my point. However, upon reading your latest reply you also say…

        “But Akin is an abortion activist. He has been arrested 8 times at abortion clinic protests.”

        and

        “There are a long line of extremist statements from Republican politicians”

        Let me try to make my point another way. Let’s circle these ideas back to a climate discussion. Since this thread is about Hurricane Sandy and human attribution to extreme weather events, James Hansen seems to fit into a similar box as Akins or Mourdock, with anthro climate change/environmentalism as the issue instead of abortion. Given Hansen’s activist stance on fossil fuel usage and extreme statements he makes wrt their usage and climate change…. has he lost the ability to do good science? Is he incapable of remaining objective in his analysis of climate data and modeling? Does his ideology get in the way of him doing his science properly? Should his singular involvement/influence on the overall climate discussion define the whole of climate science? I personally question his judgement on how smart it is for him to act and say the extreme things he does, but should that influence my overall perception of the science he has done? His activism is only a part of who he is, but does it completely define him? Apply this logic to Akins, should his activist view on abortion be the sole reason to believe he is incapable of being a good legislator? Should that single issue completely define him as a person? Of course not in both cases.

        My point, Joshua, has been all along that single hot button issues like a candidates stance on abortion do not and should not define an ongoing overall debate or election. In general they don’t. I do not underestimate the influence the abortion issue has on how some people may vote or on how it may affect a few of the current races. You have not been able to produce any counterargument to dispel mine. I actually agree largely with most of what you say…. but none of it actually counters my point.

      • John –

        “But the draft does not specifically address the issue of exceptions, and party leaders here said that the issue is too complex to be addressed in what is intended to be a broad statement of party principle, and that it should be left up to states in a federal system.”

        Apparently some folks see wiggle room. Let’s look together:

        “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” said the draft platform language approved Tuesday, which was first reported by CNN. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

        I don’t see any room for exceptions in the case of rape in that language

        Not sure why you’re referring to what Romney has said. First, as we both know, what he says is a moving target. Second, I don’t assert that there is complete uniformity in the Republican Party. I am saying that extremism in the Republican Party is alive and well.

        I personally question his judgement on how smart it is for him to act and say the extreme things he does, but should that influence my overall perception of the science he has done? His activism is only a part of who he is, but does it completely define him? Apply this logic to Akins, should his activist view on abortion be the sole reason to believe he is incapable of being a good legislator? Should that single issue completely define him as a person? Of course not in both cases.

        Of course someone’s extremism would be reason to question their judgement. If you find Hansen making completely unsupported statements about science of the sort of statements Akin – who is the head of the House Committee for Science, Space, and Technology – made about women’s health, then absolutely you should question his judgement.

        Do I think it completely defines him as person? No, certainly not. Do I think that it disqualifies him as someone I would consider voting for? Assuming that he wouldn’t be running against someone more extremist – Yup. As far as being a “good legislator,” IMO a good legislator is someone who represents his constituency well. If his constituency is as extremist as he is, then sure, he’s capable of being a “good legislator.”

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Jim Crispwell said:

        “How much is natural and how much is caused by increasing levels of CO2, no-one knows. But the empirical data gives a strong indication that the contribution of additional CO2 is negligible.”

        ___

        Respectfully Jim, you seem like a very smart man, but this is a completely unsupportable statement. The “empirical data” gives no such indication that the contribution of additional CO2 negligible. Paleoclimate data combined with measured ocean and near surface temperatures over the past 50 years indicate that additional CO2 added to the atmosphere could have a far more than “negligible” effect on Earth’s energy balance. The real issue comes down to feedbacks (especially clouds, but also the cryosphere). We’ve not yet warmed to an equilibrium point taking from our current level of CO2 and won’t for many decades while all Earth system feed backs kick in. This is what the empirical data and paleoclimate data indicate– your suggestion of a “negligible” effect as we go even higher is nonsense.

    • There was an opinion column in the metro section of the Oregonian this Sunday as a prelog to Bill McKibben’s stop in Portland this week that supported McKibben’s claim that Sandy is the result of climate change and we are going to be seeing a lot more of the same. I’m contemplating a response, as it was exactly the sort of garbage journalism which so dis-serves the public.

      Of greater interest was a column by the outdoor columnist in the sports page about how the PNW is starting to see low flow periods coinciding more regularly with high temperature periods. (I’m not saying this correctly I think, but I believe people will get the point.) Stream flows are always low in the summer months when temperatures are highest. What appears to be changing is that the low flows are coming earlier, increasing the period streams can be impacted from a temperature aspect. This can have a direct impact on salmon and trout runs.

      Interesting that one has to look to the Sports section for good science. At least with the Oregonian.

  45. Say, mike, hope yer don’t mind, I borrowed yer “hive’ word fer
    me U – ni – ted Nat -shuns poem on ‘Learning from Sandy.’

    • Beth,

      Just read your poem–superb, evocative, head-shot verse encapsulating the kind of truth that’s just gotta hurt.

      And Beth, thanks for asking, but I’ve got no lock on the “hive” word–that’s merely an objectively descriptive term for the greenshirts’ natural habitat. And that goes for all the other taxonomic terms of art that I sometimes employ to refer to our watermelonish, eco-arthropod friends as I strive to build bridges between us “skeptics” and our lefty, enviro-flake, hive-bozo, opposite numbers, such as: geek-balls, dork-pits, drive-by weenies, creep-outs, zit-poppers, CAGW hustlers, trough-suckers, tenured-parasites, booger-eaters, litigious-Mr.-Potato-Head-look-alike-clowns-who-are decidedly-not-Nobel-laureates, and the like.

      Please feel free to use them all as you might care to. And keep your great poems comin’–love ‘em!

  46. Doesn’t seem to be any real doubts that Obama’s a strong favorite now. Sandy was a big blow (hah!) to Romney’s chances. As a liberal democrat climate change denier, I often find myself laughing at both sides (and myself). But it’s not lost on me that many of the Sandy victims who are demanding more help, quicker help, more effective help, are no doubt Romney, small government supporters. People like the idea of smaller government until they need something.

    The whole scenario plays well for big government, big daddy Obama, and very poorly for “government is the problem” candidate Romney.

    • All of a sudden Christie no longer wanted to drown the federal government in a bathtub. Oddly, it seems he was able to suspend his dislike of the feds on this occasion.

      • Yes Joshua. MOst of these guys have not found an idea or a principle yet that they’d not exchange in a New YOrk minutes for a few extra votes. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of Christie and Obama sucking each other off like 2 dollar hookers. .I despise Obama for his weakness, his naivete about so many things, including “climate change.” but the idea of that jejune Romney taking the reins nauseates me. I’ve become a man without a political home.

  47. Max,
    It’s not as if I’m bein’ hard on lolwot or anythin’…
    He keeps SAYIN’ how warm it is. I jest worry about
    him gettin’ over heated an’ all.

  48. I noted this from Chris Landsea a year ago:
    “All climate models predict that for every degree of warming at the ocean that the air temperature aloft will warm around twice as much. This is important because if global warming only affected the earth’s surface, then there would be much more energy available for hurricanes to tap into. But, instead, warming the upper atmosphere more than the surface along with some additional moisture near the ocean means that the energy available for hurricanes to access increases by just a slight amount. Moreover, the vertical wind shear is also supposed to increase, making it more difficult (not easier) for hurricanes to form and intensify.

    The bottom line is that nearly all of the theoretical and computer modeling work suggest that hurricanes may be slightly stronger (by a few percent) by the end of the 21st Century, even presuming that a large global warming will occur.

    The climate models are also coming into agreement that the number of tropical storms and hurricanes will not go up and may perhaps even decrease (by around one-fourth fewer) because of the increased vertical wind shear.”
    Now this was all premised on global warming. If we are heading into cooling, could it mean more storms, which would then be blamed by warmists on CO2?

  49. mike,

    Thx … and keep up that bridge building with yer eco -flake,
    watermelonish, eco-arthropod friends. Say, mike, I’m thinkin’
    of recommendin’ yer fer a Nobel Peace Prize.

    • Beth

      Being a citizen of the EU means I am now as much a nobel winner as Michael Mann as the EU was awarded the EU peace prize last month

      tonyb Nobel Peace prize winner 2012

      • Tonyb – not quite true unless you have received a certificate from the EU thanking you for your contribution to them being awarded the prize?

      • You have gotten yours in the post? Oh, congratulations, BTW :)

      • Louise

        I was being satirical, but having said that my contribution are my taxes that they wantonly spend on seveal parliaments scattered around the continent
        tonyb

      • Louise,

        Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I kinda have a feelin’, Louise, that you just made up that “EU certificate rule” of yours all by yourself, on the spur of the moment. Right?

        Nice gig, I would imagine, being a self-appointed rule-artificer and all. Sort of like setting oneself up as God or something. Or, more likely, a warm-up for those whip-cracking (I never forget an “unfortunate”, Speckled-Hen-buzz-on comment, Louise) jack-booted (there I go again!), boss-every-one-around Commissar duties you’ll be shouldering when the hive finally pushes the “revolution” over the goal line.

        And for what it’s worth, Louise, I’d rather have it be you rather than either of those two creep-outs–lolwot or Michael–making my every, waking moment a nightmarish hell on earth, any day. Any day!

      • CONGRATULATIONS, Tony!

        (You join an illustrious group.)

        Max

  50. tony

    Hope (sincerely) that there was some money attached to it …
    not like that golden slug award yer gave me )

    Beth Cooper, Golden Slug award winner 2012.

    • Beth

      I’m expecting a large postal order any time now (reference Billy Bunter rather than William Brown)

      The Golden slug award is of course more prestigious

      tonyb

  51. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry:

    ”One inconvenient truth: While scientists have conducted numerous studies on links between temperatures and hurricanes, no real research exists on how climate change would affect hybrid storms like Sandy, said Kerry Emanuel, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” (Politico)

    As I see there are only natural factors dominating ‘hybrid storms like Sandy’.

    William Hooke ; http://www.livingontherealworld.org/?p=755 :

    ”Viewed narrowly, Hurricane Sandy is a success story. Start with the forecast. Americans were given a week’s heads-up that Hurricane Sandy would track north, and then, instead of veering safely out to the Atlantic, would come ashore somewhere near New Jersey and slowly work inland before reorganizing and heading north through Canada.”

    Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wki/Meteorological_history_of_Hurricane_Sandy :

    “In the case of Hurricane Sandy, two major factors contributing to the size and strength of the storm were unusually warm ocean surface temperatures and an increase in blocking patterns, both of which are expected to occur more frequently due to global warming.[52][53] Mark Fischetti of Scientific American proposed a more explicit link, arguing that the melting of Arctic ice caused a negative North Atlantic Oscillation, which fueled the expansion of Sandy by pushing the jet stream South.[54] Meteorologist Kerry Emanuel stated in an interview that no individual weather event such as Hurricane Sandy can be attributed to something like Climate Change”

    Why the landfall took place? Although it seems to be ignored in weather models any one can find in reality that the global weather changes can take place in accordance with changes of the Sun activity. For instance during the landfall of Sandy to the northeast of USA the activity of Sun was getting lower; http://www.solen.info/solar . What kind of changes are caused by an activity change of Sun depends on prevalent situations of regional weather, too. As to the landfall of the hurricane the changes on weather situations caused by the low getting activity of Sun together with the hurricane Sandy caused the landfall.

  52. Max,

    Yew shore hav a way with words. Yer
    “Yew – knighted -Nay shuns”
    should become common parlance.
    Tony’s ‘Golden Slug Award’ is pretty funny too!
    Considerin’ the grim week, some witty rerpartee
    is a welcome relief.

    • Beth

      There used to be a large cash sum to go with the prestigious and much sought adter golden slug award, but unfortunately the organisers (lovely people) had to divert it to pay for their central heating boiler which gave up the ghost on….er Halloween

      Tonyb

  53. Here is a very good article about the hybridization and meteorology of Sandy

    http://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/opinion/8243/hybridization-sandy

  54. Judith

    Is this hybridisation any different to the example I gave from three centuries ago?

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/02/hurricane-sandy-part-n/#comment-263399

    Tonyb

  55. Cool Tony :-)
    … Like yer ‘long slow thaw’ (JC 1/12/11) that describes
    the severe storm of 1717 and so much on the record
    historical data about pesky and *variable* weather.

  56. I watched an online university lecture today that said if Greenland would all melt, the sea level in the Netherlands would actually go down – due to the current ice having a strong gravitational pull on the seas. That seemed pretty remarkable, so did a bit of checking, and apparently it is what would be expected (even Nasa seems to agree). Learned something today then.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=21457

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      But let’s not cherry-pick this 2001 study, where the conclusion was:

      ““We’ve really strengthened the link between today’s sea level changes and ice melting and we’ve found a way of unraveling the details of this link. By doing that, we’ve also strengthened extrapolations being made for the future effect of climate warming. And these extrapolations show continued acceleration of sea level rise late into the present century, leading to more flooding of coastal communities.”

      • My gosh you are sensitive.

      • It’s worthwhile to look at more recent work from the same people

        http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/7472/1/Milne_et_al_NatureGeo_2009_SeaLevelReview_postprint.pdf

        Identifying the Causes of Sea-level Change
        Glenn A. Milne, W. Roland Gehrels, Chris W. Hughes and Mark E.
        Tamisiea
        Dept of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada; School of Geography, University of Plymouth, UK; Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, UK.
        Preface
        Global mean sea-level rise has increased from a rate of a few centimetres per century over the past few millennia to a few decimetres per century in the past few decades. This ten fold increase in rate is due to climate change and is dominated by melting of land ice and warming of ocean water. The current warming trend is expected to continue and so global mean sea level will continue to rise. In this article, we review recent advances in our understanding of past sea-level changes on decadal to millennial timescales to consider how well future changes can be constrained. The majority of studies suggest that global mean sea-level rise will most likely be less than 1 m over the 21st century. Importantly, there will be significant departures from the global mean by several decimetres in many areas. As a consequence, future research should be targeted at better constraining the spatial variability in future changes so that high-risk areas can be identified.

      • Why are we concerned about sea level rise when it seems the potential damage costs of even a 1 m sea level rise would be trivial?

    • That is a good article, Judith. Thanks for the link. Berger looks like a good resource. I looked around and some of his other articles also, and found them interesting – in particular the article where he quotes you pretty extensively on the subject of Antarctic ice.

      You should speak with him more often – much more useful, IMO, then when you speak with David Rose.

      • It’s interesting to read that the effect may be reverse in this particular case. That’s really not that surprising when we understand that climatic variability is in general such that changes are not in the same direction everywhere. It’s certain that CO2 affects the climate, less clear how strongly. But that means unavoidably that the effects of CO2 have differing direction for different locations as long as the overall variability on spatial level exceeds global changes – and that will be true for long, perhaps forever.

        We did both follow the discussion at Tamino’s site. I had decided once before that I will never contribute to that site based on the way he and his regulars misbehave, but I didn’t keep that decision. In the future I’m likely to keep that. (It’s not about, how they responded to me, which was not right but still bearable, it’s about, how they behave more generally.)

        There may be something to criticize in Pielke Jr’s writings. He may have his biases and may hide contrary arguments, but that’s trivial in comparison with, how terribly Tamino and others do it on his site. He would never put much weight on a insurance company graph created using largely unknown methodology in the basic data collection unless the graph would happen to suit his purposes. In my view the graph shows an effect that’s not credible. It’s far stronger than can be credibly expected. Thus it most likely shows some methodological deficiencies rather than a real effect. There may be also something real, but that graph cannot prove that and many other data show contradictory results.

        The reference that Pielke Jr presented was fully relevant. He didn’t tell everything of its content but why should he do that. Reading the paper tells that the authors are also skeptical on the trend in number of events. They present several alternatives without explicit preference. Reading between lines I would say that their preference is a mixture with some real increase in frequency but much less than in the graph.

        The case of the fault that Tamino found in the Hansen and Sato paper led me to think that perhaps he is after all more objective than most claim, but even in that case he backed up and finally accepted that it’s right to keep the paper in spite of the serious technical error. My view was that a scientific paper that is found to contain such a serious error that is clearly linked with all main conclusions must always be retracted (and possibly published in a corrected form if there’s still something publishable left, which I doubt in that particular case).

        The only way science can prevail is that it keeps to the facts and correct its errors as soon as they have become clear. If the changes caused by climate change take long to get confirmed then that must be accepted. Cherry picking apparent but faulty confirmations will backfire. All honest arguments may be used to explain why scientists think that it’s important to act before observations are unequivocal but they must not choose dishonesty.

      • Thanks Pekka,

        I don’t see any clear way to draw distinctions of what is or isn’t acceptable in these battles.

        Of course, I have to acknowledge that I have my own biases – but IMO – to use willard’s expression – RPJr. poisons the well and then complains that the water’s been poisoned. I disagree with you in that I think his comments on that thread were relevant but not comprehensive in the way that they should be from a “scientific” framework (and in that way not “fully relevant”) – and so therefore I view his attempts to stake out the high ground with suspicion. And as I wrote over at Tamino’s – his approach of normalizing economic impact seems to me to be fraught with methodological problems and back-asswards in terms of what is important. I think it is interesting and relevant, but Roger seems to me to fairly regularly imply conclusions, with a kind of veneer of plausible deniability, that only detract from advancing useful debate. And I think that the impact is entirely predictable. If Roger’s intent were really to debate the science, he could have gone about it in a very different matter. It is possible that Tamino and his readers would have been closed to Roger’s input regardless – but there is no doubt what the reaction would have been given Roger’s approach.

        It is unfortunate the people like Tamino and Roger can’t get out of their own way long enough to have constructive discussions about the science. I fault both of them for that.

        I encourage you to reconsider commenting at Tamino’s. Within the realistic limits of comments within one circle in the climate blogosphere, I would suggest that your comments are valuable. I know that at least for me, they offer a reality check against my own biases. I would imagine that they might be useful to others in a similar respect. I can see where you might think that it isn’t worth your while, but ultimately I see no downside to you commenting on his site – unless it takes some kind of a toll on you personally.

      • Steven Mosher

        One clear difference between tamino and roger.
        roger, to my knowledge, has never banned anybody for asking a science question.
        When Lucia asked him if his two box model violated the second law, she was banned. of course Tammy was wrong.

        Also, roger has never banned anybody who proved mathematically that Tamino was wrong. Witness his banning of statistician RomanM.

        There are some bright lines, although Joshua would like to ignore them.
        Banning people for asking questions which expose your flaws. banning people who have shown your errors would be such a line. I believe that Joshua himself complains about being banned from defending himself and rightly so.

        So, the simple fact is that Joshua has no defense for tamino so he tries to blur the issue that he speaks clearly about in other cases.

      • Steven Mosher

        crap edit..
        Roger never banned anybody who proved he was wrong, while tamino banned RomanM for showing that one of Taminos methods was sub optimal when tammy claimed it was optimal.

  57. It seems to me, bit by bit, the purported catastrophic hazards of ACO2 are being dismissed as not very significant.

    The most commonly stated concern previously was sea level rise. But the damage costs of even a 1 m sea level rise seem to be trivial.

    The Eric Berger article confirms previous papers that suggest that that the effects of ACO2 on hurricanes etc is likely to be trivial too, at least until towards the end of the century. By that time, technology and building and construction practices will have adapted.

    Reduced precipitation in some places – If that does happen, it will be accommodated by plentiful cheap energy and desalination.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Peter said:

      “It seems to me, bit by bit, the purported catastrophic hazards of ACO2 are being dismissed as not very significant.”
      ——-

      Really? In a year in which we’ve seen such a remarkable combination of records and extreme events around the globe you can say this with a straight face? Now, it’s true that any one of these events or records cannot in and of itself be directly or exclusively linked to anthropogenic climate change, but the combination of all of them point strongly toward an anthropogenic component– at least strongly enough to make your comment rediculous. But credit those who have spent big bucks putting billboards up and trying to fill the public’s brain with such thinking.

      • First, I understand most of the claimed records are not records at all.

        Second, I understand even the IPCC and climate scientists acknowledge the weather events cannot be attributed to ACO2?

        So, I suspect you are just continuing to make unsubstantiated statements based on you unfounded beliefs.

  58. David Springer

    OMG!!!! Romney might not get NY and NJ electoral votes!

    ROFLMAO

    Clueless!

    “Mere days before the election, even a few hardboiled conservatives are shifting their views. GOP New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, confronted by Hurricane Sandy, has abandoned “Small Government” to embrace his new best friend, President Barack Obama. And conservative New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has now endorsed the President over Mitt Romney.”

    • David Springer

      What’s the next state to shy away from Romney in that author’s esteamed (by that I mean half baked) opinion, California? Incredible.

  59. ……… redirection of some budget from the 100 year climate modeling to the seasonal forecast models. ?

    So you “skeptical” guys are saying you’ll believe what these, as you term them, “computer jockeys” predict on weather but not on future climate?

    Is there any intrinsic technical reason for that or is it because you don’t like what they are saying about future climatic problems, and the implication that GH gases need to be controlled?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      THE DIFFERENCE IS IN INITIALISED MODELS WITH DEMONSTRATED VERACITY OVER 1 TO 7 DAYS AND UNITIALISED MODELS WITH UNEXPLORED DEGREES OF IRREDUCIBLE IMPRECISION PROJECTING OVER 100 YEARS AND MORE. THE MODELS ARE AFFLICTED BY SENSITIVE DEPENDENCE AND STRUCTURAL INSTABILITY.

      ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable.’

      ‘The bases for judging (models) are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’

      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

      FOR QUANTIFIED PROJECTIONS OF CLIMATE – I WOULD RATHER THEY NOT PULL THE SOLUTION OUT OF THEIR ARSES.

    • tempterrain | November 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm said: ‘So you “skeptical” guys are saying you’ll believe what these, as you term them, “computer jockeys” predict on weather but not on future climate?”

      tempterrain, meteorologist admit that: their ‘computer models” for more than a week are NOT RELIABLE. Because: it starts to be unreliable after 3 days; for after 10 is just unreliable guessing.job. Therefore: ”predicting” for 100y in advance is ”N

    • CH & STD,

      Both of you fail to realise that while weather forecasting does require a prediction of what will happen in a certain location in 7 days time, as I write this that will be 12/11/2012 ; but; a prediction of climate for say 100 years into the future doesn’t require anyone to say exactly what the temperature, and rainfall will be in, say, NY city on 12/11/2112. Or even if it will be recovering from another hurricane that week.

      In a way, you are right. Future climate is impossible to predict for the simple reason that we don’t know at present just how successful we’ll be in bringing GH gas emissions under control. But I don’t think that’s quite what you mean, or even an argument you are prepared to use. Instead its the more usual ‘if they can’t get the weather raight for next week, how can they get the climate right in 100 years time?’ nonsense we hear so often.

      I know that climate skeptic/deniers probably aren’t the smartest people around, but its really surprising how the difference between weather and climate has to be continually explained and, yet, you still don’t get it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The global coupled atmosphere–ocean–and–cryosphere system exhibits a
        wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.’

        A UNIFIED MODELING APPROACH TO CLIMATE SYSTEM PREDICTION by James Hurrell, Gerald A. Meehl, Davi d Bader, Thomas L. Delworth , Ben Kirtman, and Bruce Wielicki

        There is no essential difference between climate and weather. They are intrinsically complex dynamical systems with spatio-temporal dimensions.

        The AOS – as distinguisghed professor James McWilliams says – are also complex dynamical systems but with only temporal dimensions. From an arbitrary close starting point the solutions diverge over time as a result of the PDE that are at the core of the calculation. Stefan is right in this instance – but I wonder if he knows why.

        You are on the other hand are all kinds of an idiot.

      • CH,

        So you think “there is no essential difference between climate and weather.”? And you live in Qld , right? The slogan there is “beautiful one day, perfect the next “.

        And for many people it is. And for most of the time it is. Tourists arrive and enjoy their holidays with warm and sunny conditions. That’s the climate. That’s what they expect. That’s fairly predictable 95% of the time. That’s why people come here even though they know that its not 100%.

        5% of the time, though, the weather will be not at all good. Tourists will may well end up getting stranded and cut off by floodwaters. That’s not at all predictable. That’s the weather.

      • CH,

        If you don’t believe me on the weather/climate question, you could read this by NASA:

        http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html

        If it’s too difficult for you to follow, there is a kids’ version here:

        http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-climate.htm

      • CH.
        There is no essential difference between a whole in the ground and the south end of your alimentary canal, but we can draw useful distinctions.

        The same way we can draw a useful distinction between the climate of antarctica and the climate of bali. And we can draw useful distinctions between summer weather in england and spring weather in england, although in some times and places they may be hard to distinguish.

        As a entity, of course, climate doesnt exist. weather exists, here and now.
        When we do spatial averages and temporal averages of weather, we ascribe a label to the output of that math process: climate.

        So climate is a construct. look outside. thats weather. do math on a bunch of that and label it climate. Big difference.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The difference appears to be that I reference peer reviewed science and you NASA’s publicity department. ‘The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.’ Which bit didn’t you understand? All of it I would suppose. Climate shifts – it is dynamically complex – it is subject to abrupt and nonlinear change and therefore the question of averages is moot. Perhaps the average of a single attractor is relevant but not otherwise.

        However, we were not discussing climate but climate models. They are not the same thing at all – although both are deterministically chaotic systems. Climate models have at their core the Navier-Stokes partial differential equations that Lorenz used in his 1960’s convection model – to rediscover chaos theory.

        ‘AOS models are members of the broader class of deterministic chaotic dynamical systems, which provides several expectations about their properties (Fig. 1). In the context of weather prediction, the generic property of sensitive dependence is well understood (4, 5). For a particular model, small differences in initial state (indistinguishable within the sampling uncertainty for atmospheric measurements) amplify with time at an exponential rate until saturating at a magnitude comparable to the range of intrinsic variability. Model differences are another source of sensitive dependence. Thus, a deterministic weather forecast cannot be accurate after a period of a few weeks, and the time interval for skilful modern forecasts is only somewhat shorter than the estimate for this theoretical limit. In the context of equilibrium climate dynamics, there is another generic property that is also relevant for AOS, namely structural instability (6). Small changes in model formulation, either its equation set or parameter values, induce significant differences in the long-time distribution functions for the dependent variables (i.e., the phase-space attractor). The character of the changes can be either metrical (e.g., different means or variances) or topological (different attractor shapes). Structural instability is the norm for broad classes of chaotic dynamical systems that can be so assessed (e.g., see ref. 7). Obviously, among the options for discrete algorithms and parameterization schemes, and perhaps especially for coupling to nonfluid processes, there are many ways that AOS model equation sets can and will change and hence will be vulnerable to structurally unstable behaviour.’ James McWilliams op cit.

        ‘Structural instability and sensitive dependence are humbling twin properties…’

        Figure 1 I linked to previously. I might note that this study took me months to comprehend. You should give it a little time – but I doubt really that you are capable of it. Climate is predictable – I think not.

        ‘‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

        Again – I quote leading figures in the field and you the publicity department. There is an asymmetry here that argues for a different level of understanding between you and me – the sophisticated and the naive.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Steven,

        ‘The global coupled atmosphere–ocean–and–cryosphere system exhibits a
        wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.’ op cit

        I would suggest that the distinction is that you couldn’t find your arse with a map. Climate is equally with weather the result of the continuum of feedbacks. Averages there may be but climate emerges from real world phenomenon – ice-ocean-atmosphere-etc – and climate shifts abruptly from one attractor to another. Averages are valid only over the limited area of an attractor on the topology of the phase space. Dig that.

        Climate shifts abruptly and nonlinearly at many timescales. Models – the subject of the discussion – exhibit sensitive dependence and structural instability in ways that have been far from adequately explored.

        Cheers

      • Chief,

        You may have referenced a peer reviewed scientific paper but having done so you should have actually read, a little more carefully, what the authors were saying. If you read more peer reviewed papers you’ll notice that don’t always say what you would like them to say.

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/Hurrell_2009BAMS2752.pdf

        The sentences: “There is no essential difference between climate and weather. They are intrinsically complex dynamical systems with spatio-temporal dimensions.” are entirely yours and not taken from the paper at all.

        The authors may discuss where the boundary between climate and weather lies, but that’s not the same as saying there is no difference between the two, and they don’t, in fact, say that.

      • Chief,

        As you don’t seem totally oblivious to the merits of peer reviewed science, , and do seem to have some respect for what mainstream scientist like James Hurrell might have to say, I’d just direct you to what Dr Hurrell has also written:

        “Global climate change is significantly altering the structure and functioning of many ecosystems and, consequently, temporal and spatial patterns of population and species abundance (e.g. Stenseth et al ., 2005 ; Rosenzweig et al ., 2008 ). Significant advances in the scientific understanding of climate change now make it clear that there has been a change in climate that goes beyond the range of natural variability. As stated in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the warming of the climate system is ‘unequivocal’ and it is ‘very likely due to human activities’. The culprit is the astonishing rate at which greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations are increasing in the atmosphere”

        http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/Docs/climate_change_birds_ch2.pdf

        Its peer-reviewed, don’t forget, so does that mean you’ll be taking the same line yourself? I don’t suppose you will, will you? I think you’ll just carry on cherry picking the papers which go, in some small way, towards what you are arguing and then making up your own quotes to make them appear to go much further.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘‘The global coupled atmosphere–ocean–and–cryosphere system exhibits a wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.’

        BTW – linking to the paper I cited with some very weird suggestion that I didn’t understand the particualr paper or didn’t read many papers is pretty weird. I seem to recall reading thousands of papers over a long career in science and engineering. You will find that I referenced three leading practicioners just in this thread. Do you imagine that the artificial boundaries between weather and climate is semantically different to there being no boundaries between the continuum of feedbacks that determine both weather and climate? You have progressed from being an idiot to being a liar and a fraud as well.

        ‘A good rule of thumb for prediction is that an upper bound on predictability corresponds approximately to one life cycle of the phenomenon being considered. Hence, one could hope to predict a single convective element, cyclone wave, MJO cycle, ENSO warm event, or fluctuation of the Atlantic MOC over its life cycle, but not the second-generation event. This rule of thumb is consistent with the climate system being a chaotic dynamical system with limited predictability.’ op cit

        There is no distinction because both weather and climate are chaotic dynamical system with overlappping timescales. For instance – rainfall in Eastern Australia is determined on multidecadal scales by Pacific ocean SST. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 Global temperatures respond to these sam climate shifts.

        Weather has been known to be chaotic since Edward Lorenz discovered the ‘butterfly effect’ in the 1960’s. Abrupt climate change on the other hand was thought to have happened only in the distant past and so climate was expected to evolve steadily over this century in response to ordered climate forcing.

        More recent work is identifying abrupt climate changes working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

        Instead of learning – instead of trying to grasp difficult concepts – you simply defend the indefensible with intellectually lighweight space cadet BS.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Temp,

        You seem totally oblivious to anything that is not consistent with your global warming groupthink – but the eviddience is everywhere – even in the AR4 – that not all is as simple as you might like.

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC s 3.4.4.1

        If real – and of course low frequency climate variability is real – it fundamentally changes the understanding of recent warming. These are things that have preoccupied science for many years and simply because you don’t understand it – or don’t like the way our understanding is evolving – is not going to change that.

        But if you want to be rude about it – you will find that I can be as acerbic as need be.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        BTW – your Hurrell reference (which I can’t source – it appears to be a chapter of some book or other and may not therefore be peer reviewed sceince as such) discusses global warming. Far from rejecting either recent warming or simple radiaitive physics – it is the question of attribution of recent warming where it all falls apart. My 30 year quest to understand rainfall regimes in north-east Australia led to SST and clouds in the central and north-east Pacific. Which in turn led me to the satellite records – which are consistent and show that all recent warming was in the SW. With cooling in the IR. Evidentiary consiliance of low frequency climate variability influencing the energy budget of the planet.

        It may have warmed between 1976 and 1998 – but the attribution of most of it to CO2 seems unlikely. But because you are a space cadet – I suppose the evidence will continue to go in one ear and put the other.

      • Chief,

        Its good that you “seem to recall reading thousands of papers over a long career in science and engineering.”. You seem to be making some personal statement there too?

        Do you “seem to recall” anything you’ve actually written too? Peer -reviewed? If you really do have “a long career in science and engineering”, surely you’ve made some small contribution to the sum of human knowledge?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So you prefer to be a dickwad than to actually reflect on the substance of the discourse. We were discussing climate models were we not. The question of model stability has been shown to be lacking over really any period of interest. I am not sure how to do it other than with reference to the literature. You really are an idiot.

      • CH may not believe climate in 2100 can be predicted, but I do not think for one second that is what James C. McWilliams believes, or where his criticism of models should lead.

        He sees a problem with the approach of climate modelers, and he offers a solution that employs lots more modeling.

      • Chief,

        I think you might mean ‘ claimed to be lacking’ regarding model stability. The chances of any climate denier ever accepting any models which might show warming are pretty much zero, so there’s no surprise there.

        But this wasn’t an answer to my actual question on whether you’ve ever written any kind of peer reviewed work yourself in your claimed illustrious “long career in science and engineering”. So, I can take that as a “no” then, can I?

      • Synonym for “climate”
        weather (of a region); characteristic weather.

        http://thesaurus.com/browse/climate

        (As in “goin’ where the climate suits my clothes…”)

        Max

      • tempterrain

        The Chief doubts whether or not climate for 2100 can be predicted meaningfully

        Of course it can be “predicted”.

        Anything can. Oracles, fortune tellers and prophets have been doing this kind of thing for millennia.

        But it won’t be meaningful.

        Chief has explained why.

        And the longer the prediction time period, the less likely it is to be meaningful.

        If you have any doubt about this, read Taleb’s The Black Swan

        Max

      • Max,

        I’m never fully convinced by these so-called synonyms which a thesaurus might list.

        Just as a check you might look at “skeptic”

        http://thesaurus.com/browse/skeptic

        or denial:

        http://thesaurus.com/browse/denial

        See what I mean?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision.’

        The range of ‘irreducible imprecision’ has not been sytematically explored. It is a matter both of ongoing model development and a lack of computer power. It is much as Tim Palmer suggested.

        ‘‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

        But as McWilliams says – ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable.’

        Perhaps we shall see what the limits are – but we have not as yet.

      • tempterrain | November 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm said: ”If you don’t believe me on the weather/climate question, you could read this by NASA”

        tempterrain, in other words, what you are saying is, the old proverb: ”’ if you don’t believe me, ask my brothers, the other liars” in this case; your brains-trusts – you are only their rusty trumpet, same as WebTheCrackpot

      • STD,

        You’re obviously the sort of skeptic/denier who’s happy to dismiss the scientific evidence as being the product of a conspiracy of lies. Other skeptic/deniers, and I suspect CH is one of them, aren’t too happy about that approach. They are desperate to show that the established, peer reviewed, mainstream literature really does support their viewpoint. They are desperate to show that the evidence is really there if only they look hard enough. They’ll spend hours poring over it , looking for snippets and quotations which they think might be useful.

        It must be very time consuming if nothing else. There’s a lot to be said for your much simpler approach.

      • tempterrain | November 5, 2012 at 9:29 am said: ”STD,You’re obviously the sort of skeptic/denier who’s happy to dismiss the scientific evidence as being the product of a conspiracy of lies”

        WRONG AGAIN. I don’t dismiss it – I have proven that.their ”scientific proofs” are NOT scientific; on every aspect. I’m not like the Fake, using / keep repeating pagan beliefs / lies.

        I have the real proofs; how it is, and why they are wrong. ANYTHING I STATE, I CAN PROVE IT, BY REAL PROOFS AND FACTS

        Small example: I was told on a popular blog, that: ‘’during the northern summer; the planet is WARMER BY 3,8C than during the southern summer’’ WOW, what a science!… I believe that: their data shows even bigger difference; but they are not heroic enough, to admit -> ‘”smoothening” follows.

        The truth: not enough EXTRA WARMTH is in the atmosphere during the northern summer than during southern, to boil one chicken egg!!! BUT, it shows that ‘’their modeling’’ is complete crap! It shows warmer, for two unscientific reasons::

        #1: because 75% of the monitoring places are on the N/H, 25% only on the southern. Example: if 75 workers get pay increase by 10% for 6 months and 25 workers get pay decrease by 10% === overall together they will be getting more money; than for the next 6 months – when 75 workers get salary decreased by 10% and the other 25 workers get increased their salary by that much. What a con science is used; by not having monitoring places spaced equally!!!… Reason everybody is scared and are trying to silence my proofs / science!!!

        Reason #2: on the S/H is much more water, than on the northern hemisphere. Where is ‘’more water’’ DAYS ARE COOLER / NIGHTS WARMER!!! It proves that: monitoring only for the ‘’HOTTEST MINUTE’’ in 24h, and ignoring the other 1439 minutes – is the mother of all con and misleading science!!! BY BOTH CAMPS!!! Warmth in every minute in 24h has SAME value; but doesn’t go up / down as the hottest minute!!!

        Their admission that they are wrong by 3,8C in 6 months – then look at their ”GLOBAL” temperature charts for the last 150y, 1000y, 6000 years – they ”pretend” to be correct in one hundredth of a degree and occasionally in one thousandth of a degree. That’s what kind of people FROM BOTH CAMPS are talking about their ”scientific proofs”… where is their credibility, what kind of ”computer models” can be wrong by 3,8C for 6 months non-existent difference in temp – but are talking ”with precision” about 1920’s, 1850’s…? Look at their ”GLOBAL” temp charts, and compare with my numerous real proofs.

        Science is: ”cross the irrelevant zeros, cut the crap, cut the dead wood -> stick to solid facts that are relevant” can anybody try that, not to waste his life drowning in irrelevant crap?

        http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/

      • I knew it – tempterrain and stefentthedenier, nutjobs united.

      • tempterrain | November 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm said: ”So you think “there is no essential difference between climate and weather.”? And you live in Qld , right? The slogan there is “beautiful one day, perfect the next “.

        tempterrain, the farmers and the vegetation in Queensland are SICK OF GOOD WEATHER; too much ”good weather” in Qld.

      • “The Chief doubts whether or not climate for 2100 can be predicted meaningfully”

        Yes we all agree about that. I’d say it was largely because we can’t, at the moment know what CO2 and other GH gas concentrations will be then.

        Our Sophisticated Chief says it is because ‘Structural instability is the norm for broad classes of chaotic, non-linear, dynamical, impossible to understand, and isn’t it good that we can’t, systems …’

      • tempterrain | November 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
        “The Chief doubts whether or not climate for 2100 can be predicted meaningfully” == Yes we all agree about that. I’d say it was largely because we can’t, at the moment know what CO2 and other GH gas concentrations will be then”

        WRONG AGAIN; we know what will be the amount of CO2 in 3 weeks from now; but cannot predict what will be the climate in 3 weeks === because CO2 has nothing to do with the climate!!! H2O controls the climate. example: there is much more CO2 around Kyoto city; but the climate there is much better than in Sahara!!! simple things are correct / accumulating crap is for creating confusion = brainwashing.

      • Stefanbecause CO2 has nothing to do with the climate!!!
        So you deny that CO2 absorbs IR. Recently you denied denying this.

      • He doesn’t call himself The Denier for nothing!

    • Well, the selectivity of your standards is at least consistent.

      So articles that speculate about how ACO2 might have intensified Sandy are bad, and articles that speculate about how ACO2 might have decreased the intensity of Sandy are “good.”

      And I love that Anthony posts that article. even though global warming has stopped.

      • Joshua, you’re logic is no better. Shouldn’t it be warmth that increases intensity, not warming? i mean if the consensus is right, for the sake of argument. I think almost all here would agree that the modern plateau is highest, since at least ~60 years, probably much longer. But what’s the correlation with storms?

      • With storms in general and Atlantic storms in particular.

    • Joshua > And I love that Anthony posts that article. even though global warming has stopped.

      Yes I suppose it is difficult for faith-based people like yourself to understand why science-based people try to look at every angle, rather than selectively collect evidence for a desired conclusion.

  60. Chief Hydrologist

    Let’s start again with the plausibility criteria of McWilliams.

    ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’

    Hurrell suggests that the first criteria might require 1000 times more computing power. McWilliams suggests that a full accounting is not possible.

    ‘A full representation for all dynamical degrees of freedom in different quantities and scales is uncomputable even with optimistically foreseeable computer technology. No fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’

    The second criteria is even more interesting. Model solutions diverge markedly over time within the bounds of feasible inputs. This arises because of sensitive dependence and structural instability that are inescapable properties of the underlying mathematics. This is known without a doubt since the simple convection model of Lorenz. What this means in practice is that there is a range of solutions possible within the limits of feasible inputs. The solution space remains unexplored primarily due to constraints in computer power while a systematic exploration of this space would give a probability distribution function rather than a single solution. As suggested by Tim Palmer and many others – including to my knowledge the WG1 authors of the 3AR.

    The solution that we get is chosen after the fact on the basis of subjective judgment. We get the solution that the modelers expect to get and there is no way past this human and subjective element in the process without these new and fundamentally different approaches to the computing problem.

    Either the space cadets want to understand or they want to defend an entrenched position. I think the answer to that is fairly obvious.

    ‘Our Sophisticated Chief says it is because ‘Structural instability is the norm for broad classes of chaotic, non-linear, dynamical, impossible to understand, and isn’t it good that we can’t, systems …’

    What I actually quoted from McWilliams was – ‘AOS models are members of the broader class of deterministic chaotic dynamical systems, which provides several expectations about their properties.’ This is in fact indisputable science. By all means go on to read the section on sensitive dependence and structural instability.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Perhaps this is closer. ‘Structural instability is the norm for broad classes of chaotic dynamical systems that can be so assessed (e.g., see ref. 7). Obviously, among the options for discrete algorithms and parameterization schemes, and perhaps especially for coupling to nonfluid processes, there are many ways that AOS model equation sets can and will change and hence will be vulnerable to structurally unstable behavior.’ op cit

  61. Corell, Trenberth and Masters hype the Sandy AGW alarm

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83335.html

  62. tempterrain

    As a deeply precommitted alarmist truebeliever, I can understand your strong tendency and need to try and roll “denier” and “skeptic” into one.

    Here’s some help though. A denier is one who actively denies an idea; eg, an atheist actively denies there is a god, the polar opposite of the truebeliever who actively believes there IS one.

    A skeptic is one who is unconvinced either way, like an agnostic who neither believes nor disbelieves in god, seeing insufficient evidence to justify either position.

    So you and Stephan are two peas in a pod in that you share the condition of having strong unsubstantiated beliefs, albeit opposite ones.

    • Erica,

      I’m not sure that your atheist analogy is very meaningful as an illustration. An atheist rejects the notion of of all deities, whereas a religious person, typically, would only reject 99.97% of them. (Historians having cataloged over 3000). For instance, all non-Mormons, religious and atheists alike, have exactly the same reasons for their rejection of that particular ‘faith’. So when you look at it like that, it can be argued there isn’t a lot of difference between atheists and theists.

      Skepticism isn’t quite the same as agnosticism, but maybe there are certain parallels. Skepticism is a mid -way position between full acceptance and total rejection. In a scientific sense, sometimes the evidence will point towards acceptance of an idea or theory, sometimes towards one of rejection and sometimes it can be inconclusive. You only have to look at the comments on this blog to know that those who do call themselves climate change skeptics are very far from occupying the middle ground. They actively reject the idea that increasing the concentration of atmospheric GH gases can possibly be a cause for concern. They argue there can be no risk. That’s not true skepticism.

      A true skeptic would argue that, even though we cannot know the true and accurate extent of the problem, there is still a tangible risk attached to allowing GH gases to rise out of all control. That’s what the IPCC are saying , and that’s the position of mainstream science.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The obvious point is that you are a cult of AGW groupthink space cadet. Most of the recent warming is quite natural, the world is not warming for a decade or three more at least, models don’t provide credible computations in their current generation, climate is dynamically chaotic. Science provides clues indeed but it is not as simple as the space cadet catechism suggests.

        Despite that and the fact that emmissions seems relatively minor – and probably the concentrations in the atmosphere are in part the result of natural warming – arguing that there can be no impact is an argument from ignorance. I am certainly not arguing that emmissions should continue longer than neccessary. You have faith and fear – a powerful combination – we recognise that. But it is both a groupthink psychopathology and counterproductive.

      • ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Joshua is the champion of contentless drivel – demonstrated once again if you need another demonstration. Reality is far different then what he fervidly imagines.

      • Chief,

        Well done. You’ve managed to write a post without using the word “pissant”. “Space cadet” was used twice though. I’ve noticed you are starting to overuse the term “groupthink” too. It’s not a good writing trait.

        Have you ever read this advice on good writing style?

        https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are a pissant progressive with only the semblance of an intellect. And I don’t need instruction in English usage from a practitioner of pedestrian prose and contorted logic such as you. I can certainly write as well as George Orwell – in my own not so humble opinion – although poetry is my metier.

        Groupthink and space cadet are quite real descriptions of your psychopathology. I don’t expext you to understand or agree – I don’t give a rats arse. What is important is that we understand the sources of your millennialist faith.

        If you would keep to the point – instead of denouncing deniers and sceptics in your reflexive madness it would be a different matter and discourse might be possible. If your faith allowed you to practice good faith instead of lies, distortion, distraction and fraud – it would be a different matter. But it is what it is.

        Thank you for your concern trolling – but it typically misses the mark by a wide margin

      • Erica | November 6, 2012 at 2:37 am said: ”A skeptic is one who is unconvinced either way, like an agnostic who neither believes nor disbelieves in god, seeing insufficient evidence to justify either position”

        Erica, it should be the way you say, BUT is NOT; in the phony global lunacy is back to front and upside down:

        1] Warmist believe in 90% ”possibility” in GLOBAL warming, in 100y.

        2] ”Skeptics believe 101% in lots and lots of phony global warmings ===AND they believe that: global warming is needed for the climate to change. It’s the real reason the Warmist didn’t named the ”’Fakes”;; Global Warming Skeptics, but named the clowns: Climate Change Skeptics…? Climate hasn’t stopped changing for one day in 4billion years of changing, and never will – but they are skeptical about it…? from wet to dry, from dry to wetter, from summer to winter climate changing… naah

        3] deniers are denying that is any GLOBAL warmings – all warmings are LOCALIZED, not global – laws of physics don’t permit GLOBAL warming; ore GLOBAL ice ages!!! Deniers believe that: human can change the climate, for better and for worse; BUT HUMAN CANNOT PRODUCE GLOBAL WARMING!!! Climatic changes are a natural phenomena – GLOBAL warmings are a phenomenal lies. they are not related – mixing those two, is the root of all evil. Erica, can you inform correctly the mob?

      • tempterrain
        Anyone who reads this blog will know that most here a re true skeptics rather than deniers, as in people who are undecided either way on CAGW.
        You are a regular here.
        Yet you say most are deniers.
        So unless you are provably insane, you are a barefaced liar.