Atlanta’s 2″ catastrophic snowfall

by Judith Curry

On Tuesday, snowfall of just over 2 inches shut down metropolitan Atlanta’s roads, schools, churches, government offices and businesses. Thousands of flights were cancelled at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. More than 2,000 school children were separated from their parents, and spent the night in buses, police stations, or classrooms. – Politico

I am writing this post at home, on Thursday afternoon.  I am at home since Georgia Tech  has been closed since 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday – closed along with pretty much all of Atlanta.

Stories abound on Facebook and Twitter of massive standstill/gridlock on the streets of Atlanta, of 30+ car pileups, a mother giving birth in a car, a mother and toddler stranded on a highway for 20+ hours (out of gas, cell phone dead, no water and no blankets), parents separated from their children who were stranded at school or on school buses, etc.  From my perch on W. Peachtree Street, from noon on Tues the 4 lanes of traffic was bumper-to-bumper, with continually wailing sirens of ambulances that could make no progress.  By the next morning, and all day Wed, there wasn’t a car anywhere on the street.

So, how did it happen that one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. was brought to a standstill by a few snow flurries?

Meteorology

The meteorology of this particular storm is discussed by Brian Norcross at Weather Underground:

Here’s the sequence: the initial snow melts due to the warm ground (55 to 60 in Atlanta on Sunday); the cold air freezes that water into a coating of ice (temperatures dropped through the 20s all afternoon); the road gets slipperier as the snow gets compressed onto the ice and/or melts due to the traffic (another 2” of snow fell after the initial melt); people see the snow, freak out (with good reason), and all leave work at once.

The meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Atlanta analyzed the weather pattern and the computer models quite well. Their discussions were clear enough in the days before the storm. It was a challenging forecast because Atlanta was on the northern edge of the snow, but the discussion of snow and a cold wind were always there. The day before the event, they had a Winter Storm Watch in effect for the city. They lowered it that night to a Winter Weather Advisory, a critical mistake in hindsight, and then put up the Winter Storm Warning in the middle of the night before the snow. So, it wasn’t perfect, but there was plenty of clear discussion of the possibility of a few inches of snow along with bitter cold temperatures.

Decision making under weather uncertainty

The rain/snow demarcation was a tough call, as it often is with temperatures right around freezing.  It seems that the forecasts were good enough to have triggered a response prior to the onset of the storm.

Excerpts from the Weather Underground article:

To hear the public officials tell it, they were caught off-guard by the storm, so somewhere in that communications system there was a serious disconnect. The decision-makers either didn’t get the message, or more likely, didn’t have appropriate action plans, which the threatening forecast would have triggered.

A major city, along with the state in this case, in spite of direct communications with the National Weather Service, is unable to put the pieces together to understand the RISK to their citizens. Risk implies uncertainty, and understanding it is at the heart of decision-making. Let’s say the chance of the storm producing 3 inches of snow was 30% on Monday, which sounds about right. The Georgia decision-makers didn’t understand that a 30% risk of a cataclysm requires major affirmative action. You can’t wait for a guarantee.

How about a 20% chance of tens of thousand of people being stranded on the highway in freezing temperatures? Is that enough for a governor or mayor to make the decision to tell people to stay home? It’s not easy, but it’s not rocket science. Mostly, you have to understand the ingredients that have to come together to create a disaster in your city. (See formula above.)

Somewhere and somehow somebody has got to take the lead on closing the threat-understanding gap between forecasters, decision-makers, and the public. It’s not simple because of the division of responsibilities between various federal, state, and local agencies in a disaster. But, we’ve seen too many instances where good-enough weather forecasts have lead to bad decisions and poor public communications. The issue is partly science, which we should be able to solve with an organized effort by the National Weather Service, FEMA, and others.

Politics

The knives are out and the blame game has begun.  GA governor Nathan Deal speaks on CNN [here].   He basically blames the National Weather Service, and then says he doesn’t blame anyone.  He says “Mother nature has a mind of its own and does what it is going to do.”

The WeatherUnderground reports:

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal threw the National Weather Service under the bus – going so far as to say that local TV weather people made more accurate forecasts – but his statement shows a complete misunderstanding of the role of the NWS forecasters and the role of emergency decision-makers, including himself. The meteorologists make the weather forecasts, the emergency managers and decision-makers at cities, counties, states, and school boards are supposed to understand the impact of the weather, direct the government response, and communicate recommended actions to the public. Shockingly, the governor and the Atlanta mayor didn’t see that as their responsibility.

But there’s another big problem, which the Georgia governor articulated very well in his news conference. He was more afraid to be wrong in closing down the city, than he was of people being stranded in their cars. Until we can develop a system that keeps politics out of it and lets science and good judgment drive the decision-making bus, this kind of thing is going to keep happening.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu in New Orleans understood this process and closed down the city in advance of the ice that was forecast there. That wasn’t a guarantee either, but the RISK was sufficient that he made the hard and right decision.

Ah . . . so the kind of risk management that elected officials are good at is political risk management.  What are the political downsides of making proactive decisions, and then the weather event fails to materialize?  Two such examples come immediately to my mind:

  • Does anyone recall the pre-emptive closing of federal offices in Washington DC last April, owing to a forecast of snow?  I remember this, since I was in DC for congressional testimony (a tweet at 2 a.m. told me the Hearing was cancelled).  Well, it rained in DC (didn’t snow).  A bunch of flights into and out of DC were cancelled (including mine), but other than that I think the consequences of this pre-emptive closing were pretty minor, and that the right call was made by the government officials.
  • Another example with a more complex outcome was the evacuation of Houston in 2005 in anticipation of Hurricane Rita.  Following on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, sensitivity was high.  Rita weakened and turned north, having almost no impact on Houston.  Several people died in evacuation traffic accidents.

Atlanta’s vulnerabilities

In recent decades, Atlanta gets a major ice/snow event every 4-5 years or so.  Not frequent enough to justify a battalion of snow plows and salt spreaders.   Why is Atlanta so vulnerable?

The Politico has a superb article entitled The day we lost Atlanta: How 2 lousy inches of snow paralyzed a metro area of 6 million. Excerpts:

What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I’ve witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it. It tells us something not just about what’s wrong with one city in America today but what can happen when disaster strikes many places across the country. As with famines in foreign lands, it’s important to understand: It’s not an act of nature or God—this fiasco is manmade from start to finish. 

The key problem is Atlanta’s transportation system.  The system is primarily one of highways, with less than 10% of the greater metropolitan population actually living in the city of Atlanta, but a large number of them work in the city of Atlanta.  Public transportation is rather minimal.  MARTA (the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) consists of buses (which invariably I see to be nearly empty) and a train system that serves only a very limited region.  Expansion of the the train system is mired in politics, including racial politics.

The Politico article sums it up this way:

As a Walking Dead fan, I appreciate all those jokes on social media, but as an Atlantan, I’m concerned that this storm revealed just how unprepared we are in case of real disaster. If Atlanta, the region, wants to get serious about public safety, its mayors, county officials, and state officials will need to start practicing regionalism instead of paying lip service to it. And whether threatened by a dangerous pandemic, a major catastrophe, or just two inches of snow, we need to have ways to get around—and out of—the city other than by car.

Personally, I manage Atlanta’s traffic problem in the following way.  I live in Midtown, less than a mile away from Georgia Tech and in walking distance of restaurants and grocery and other stores.  I use the car on the weekends to get out of Atlanta.

American Meteorological Society annual meeting

The annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society is being held in Atlanta starting this weekend [link].  This week’s disaster is a counterpoint to the theme of the meeting, which is Extreme Weather – Climate and the Built Environment: New Perspectives and Tools.  This theme was selected by AMS President Marshall Shepherd, who is Professor at the University of Georgia.  I will be attending the meeting Mon through Wed.

JC summary

These two statements from the Weather Underground article sum up the situation IMO:

Somewhere and somehow somebody has got to take the lead on closing the threat-understanding gap between forecasters, decision-makers, and the public.

But this isn’t going to help unless you have an action plan that is developed prior to the event trigger:

. . .or more likely, didn’t have appropriate action plans, which the threatening forecast would have triggered.

398 responses to “Atlanta’s 2″ catastrophic snowfall

  1. “The annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society is being held in Atlanta starting this weekend [link]. This week’s disaster is a counterpoint to the theme of the meeting, which is Extreme Weather – Climate and the Build Environment: New Perspectives and Tools. “

    At this point, any attempt to connect “extreme weather.” with so-called AGW/climate change is simply propaganda, unsupported by even the IPCC.

    Of course, that won’t stop them.

  2. Dr Curry wrote:

    “Does anyone recall the pre-emptive closing of federal offices in Washington DC last April, owing to a forecast of snow? I remember this, since I was in DC for congressional testimony (a tweet at 2 a.m. told me the Hearing was cancelled). ”

    Your experience in DC reflects recent events. Within the last couple of years we had a modest little storm, everybody in the metro area let out at the same time, and a mess ensued–not as severe as Atlanta but enough to make me think of it in the past couple of days.

    • I should add that I think Atlanta should get a trophy for their mess based on the scale of the effort…impressive.

    • mwgrant,

      would a carbon price fix the problem? :)

    • Hey Peter, Atlanta and DC are unfixable. Personally I think we should implement a ‘Stupid’ tax…guaranteed revenue stream, everyone pays his or her fair share.

  3. I’m up to 4′ of snow here and shoveled off my roof once.
    Still forecasting more snow coming. Record breaking I think they called…

    One consolation…It is going to be a spectacular melt off heading straight for the US of A.

  4. As a longtime Atlanta resident, I think the nearest comparison to this week’s storm would be the January 1982 “snowjam”. I was a student at Ga. Tech and remember it very well. The timing was very similar, arriving in the afternoon, causing a rather sudden mass exodus. This time, I think we may have seen a new variable which exacerbated the situation even further- namely social media. I was on Peachtree St. when the traffic came to a halt. I reached for my phone and sent a 3 word message to several friends- ” go home now!” I imagine I was one of several hundred thousand sending similar warnings. The interesting thing was that the streets were still in relatively good shape as traffic ground to a halt.

  5. It should be called Mayor Ray Nagin II …Atlanta got plenty of warning and the 2″ received was less than the 3″ predicted as possible. Beyond that it was up to Atlanta to say–e.g., Its been pretty warm around here and any snow that hits the ground is going to melt PDQ and that melt is going to be frozen into ice by the cold air and we don’t have the ability to salt all the roads so listen up folks: don’t go to work unless you’ve got studded tires and by the way the schools will be closed so don’t count on us to babysit your kids.

    • I agree with your statement. A proper plan would have taken into account that precipitation was going to be followed by cold weather and the result would be ice. I think that would warrant closing the schools and suggesting non-essential people stay home.

      The second factor in the plan should have been a plan to release people from work during the storm. It does not matter how much snow removal equipment is available. The only time I have seen the City of Syracuse jam up in the last 30 years was the day a lake-effect snow squall hit with two inches per hour rates before noon, people at work looked outside and after several hours panicked so they all left at the same time. The same problem as Atlanta developed – the road crews (and believe me these guys know how to handle snow) could not get through the traffic to treat the roads. Since then there is a plan in the city to stagger the release time of workers in the city.

    • Houston closed its schools last Friday and this Tuesday, due to icy road projections. It was the right call both times.

    • David Springer

      I have great respect for ice storms. Three years ago I wintered near the great lakes. I had to get someone to an important post-operative doctor’s appointment to get stiches removed and the appt. had already been cancelled once pushing the limit on how long the stitches could remain without a problem. An ice storm was scheduled to arrive at the time of the appt which was 18 miles away mostly on two-lane country roads which I knew couldn’t be serviced fast enough. I drove it and it was a harrowing experience trying to make it back on icy roads with little visibility. I had my car from down south which had all-weather tires and front wheel drive which is adequate under most circumstances but not ice storms which are just plain bad news to get caught in one no matter where you are.

    • Doc, were you in Houston for the Rita evacuation fiasco? I was, and then Ike came a few months before I left for good. Ike hit hard, but the gubmint told a lot more people to shelter in place (which I did for both Rita and Ike).

      I wonder if a good comparative study has been made between Houston’s response to Rita and Ike. Dr. Curry is exactly right that reaction to Rita (both by officialdom and the public) was a bit hysterical because of the very recent and vivid Katrina experience. Nevertheless I bet some interesting lessons were learned from Rita that were put to use when Ike came. (Ike scared the bejeezus out of me.)

    • In Texas at the time there was this notion that Texans were smarter than the folks from Louisiana. My brother-in-law was staying with us for Rita. His doctors said it was important to follow his radiation treatment schedule at MD Anderson, so we stayed in place. We lived in a high rise along Hermann Park (site of the stiletto killing), so we watched the freeways lock up. Rita was heading straight at Houston, then it veered off to the west, and then all the way back to the east, and then it hit just across the LA border. When it veered to the east, we actually discussed taking off to the west along the coast. In those last hours the freeways were okay. I just said these people have no idea where the thing is going to hit, so we stayed at home.

      We were feeling pretty proud of ourselves. Will never forget driving around a virtually empty, undamaged city.

      I was out of town for Ike. My wife stayed. That building was swaying back and forth like a pine tree. She was freaked out. Some units lost their glass, and that was instantaneous chaos. Ours held. She said the glass sounded like something out of a horror movie. On each floor the room where the freight elevator was located had concrete walls, so I sent her into there.

    • I was here for Ike. Garage apartment just by Office depot on Kerby swayed like a ship, lost power for 12 hours.
      Had worse in both Wales and Scotland.

    • David Springer

      NW | January 31, 2014 at 1:59 am |

      “Doc, were you in Houston for the Rita evacuation fiasco?”

      I was in Austin which was a major destination for Rita evacuees. Interesting story. My cousin from upstate New York who still lived there, a lifetime employee of the Social Security Administration about to retire, had volunteered to work at the Houston Astrodome helping Katrina evacuees get federal aid. Then Rita hit while he was there and he himself became an evacuee. Despite my urging to get the hell out of Dodge and come up to Austin he dithered and then somehow managed to get what must have been the last rental car from Houston Hobby airport. It took him 18 hours to make the 150 mile drive to Austin. I was on the phone with him all night using google maps to find surface street paths to avoid the highways which were long parking lots in every direction radiating out from Houston. Even the surface streets were jammed.

      Moral of the story is you can’t evacuate a major city at a moment’s notice. The roads were tip top, dry, and good weather that day and night. Yet it was still a huge clusterphuck.

    • My wife was not about to let her brother miss a radiation treatment. He did two tours in SE Asia and he had one of the Agent Orange cancers (cancer free today). So we debated the whole time whether to go or stay. From our balcony we could see 288, and it seized up. People we laying on the grass embankments. Their cars were going nowhere. Just from memory that was probably around 36 hours before landfall. That is what made it easy to decide to stay. Then the traffic finally cleared out, and in the last hours before landfall, we could easily have left, especially to Corpus because not many evacuated in that direction. Most went to Dallas or Austin or up into East Texas. The people who headed to East Texas got clobbered.

      But it was really looking like we were going to have Houston all to ourselves, so we stayed.

      Early that morning we took a ride up 288, down 59, up 610, back to downtown and then home. We saw, at the most, 20 cars. Houston wasn’t empty, but it felt empty. And then all those millions just reappeared.

    • David Springer

      JCH | January 31, 2014 at 8:16 am |

      “My wife was not about to let her brother miss a radiation treatment. He did two tours in SE Asia and he had one of the Agent Orange cancers (cancer free today).”

      Please relay to your brother-in-law my thanks for his courage and service to our and my prayers that he remains cancer free to a ripe old age. Semper Fi.

  6. A 30% chance is a tough call for a school board especially when the winter storm warning is dropped. Different layers of local government have different thresholds which might be something for the weather guys to consider.

  7. Generalissimo Skippy

    I am on the edge of Cyclone Dylan – which doesn’t seem of a problem apart from some much needed rain.

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/10/the-stadium-wave/

    The State Premier is in the midst of it and emergency plans seem to be in full swing. The secret to events like this is planning. Although I must admit – I did wonder where the candles and torches were last night. Not a clue.

  8. Read all of Rebecca Burns’ ‘Lost Atlantis’.
    =====================

  9. I’ve lived in Atlanta and grew up in DC. Also have lived in Minnesota, upstate NY, Conn and a couple of other northern states.

    Atlanta would have had problems no matter what the governor or mayor would have done. They (and DC) are not equipmented to deal with winter storms and the infrequency at which they occur does not justify the cost of acquiring the equipment and manpower to deal effectively with such storms.

    As for the “stranded” school kids – one truly qualifies as “wussified” if they think that is a concern of any great size. I would have thought it an adventure at that age (i.e. 1 – 12 grade). I have to wonder if any of the boy and girl geniuses reporting on the story or being critical of officials stopped to think where people are told to go when storms hit and they lose power?

    • @ timg56

      “I have to wonder if any of the boy and girl geniuses reporting on the story or being critical of officials stopped to think where people are told to go when storms hit and they lose power?”

      Good point.

      Wonder what the ‘authorities’ should have done with the travelers and trucks passing through Atlanta, with no plans to stop, on I20, I85, I75, I985, US19, US278, and other major highways? Draw a 40 mile radius circle around Atlanta and barricade all the highways where they crossed the circle?

    • k scott denison

      May I can share a different perspective?

      The best plan for a city and state that are not equipped to handle snow is to have a plan to tell all to stay home. This is equivalent to what has happened here in the upper Midwest (WI) twice now this month: we are not equipped to,handle -50F wind chills (few are), so everyone was preemptively told to stay put. Worked quite well.

      That also includes issuing travel alerts. Many/most of the entrances to freeways here have gates, just like at railroad crossings. Shut when conditions demand. Alternative is to send police and highway patrol to close the entrances and highways. Happens every time the President visits a city. Why not in Atlanta in case of a snow storm.

      Have a plan which doesn’t require resources you don’t have. Execute the plan. Don’t be afraid of a false alarm. A little egg on the face is much better than what we saw this week (that is, the non-disaster from the snowstorm that didn’t materialize in DC last year was much better than what happened in Atlanta).

    • David Springer

      I’ve lived in the sub-tropics and also near the great lakes for decades each. I think down here in tornado alley we have better situational awareness. Everybody and their brother here would have been watching that cold front like a hawk on radar and gotten home safe and sound before it arrived. Ice storms happen here maybe once every two or three years. Last week there was two of them which is unusual.

    • Bob Ludwick

      Draw a 40 mile radius circle around Atlanta and barricade all the highways where they crossed the circle?

      Putin calls it a “ring of steel”. Should do the trick.

      Max

    • David Springer

      timg56 | January 30, 2014 at 11:11 pm |

      “People ultimately are still responsible for their actions.”

      They should be but it looks like we’ve become an entitled society where the government holds our hand from cradle to grave. Welcome to LBJ’s Great Society. Won in a 1964 democratic landslide unlike any before or since based largely on sympathy for the greatly admired JFK assassinated in Dallas two years earlier. LBJ was the worst president ever. USA has been going downhill since.

  10. Here in Oregon and Washington, the snow tends to stay in the mountains. We occassionally get a big storm down in the flatlands. The last one to hit the Seattle – Bellevue area ended up with the mayor of Seattle getting hammered with criticism. They say it played a significant role in his losing when trying for a 3rd term.

    What should be interesting to note is that places which do not see regular winter storms don’t always handle them effectively, even when they add equipment and crews. Unless you live in the snow belt, you tend to be very hesitant to plow the correct way, which is blade all the way to the pavement. Here the cities were concerned with stripping the various lane markers and other devices which stick up from the surface. They also do not like tearing up the pavement. Places like Minnesota accept that as a cost of keeping the road system functional during the winter. Leads to the line there are two seasons, winter and road construction.

  11. Ah . . . so the kind of risk management that elected officials are good at is political risk management. What are the political downsides of making proactive decisions, and then the weather event fails to materialize?

    Good point and precisely why while governments may blather about CO2 mitigation strategies, nothing material will actually get done. Similar to this: Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputations to fail conventionally than succeed unconventionally. Or also because rewards go to those who fix problems, not those who prevent them from occurring in the first place.

    • Very fortunate, with CC. The “prevention” possible and proposed is ruinously costly, and utterly ineffectual. Far better to respond effectively to actual events, if and when they occur.

    • Brian H

      Agree that foolish attempts to mitigate against AGW are misguided.

      The best approach (as the Dutch have been doing for centuries with their dikes) is to prepare for any climate-related changes nature (or anyone else) throws at us, if and when it appears that these could occur.

      Max

  12. happy Global Warming, Americans!!!

    • David Springer

      Thank you Stefan. And a happy EU to you!

    • David Springer

      I don’t care what everyone else says about you Stefan. You’re AOK in my book! You’re from a former Soviet Bloc country, right? The way you said “Americans” raised an image of you as Boris Badenov. Say hi to Natasha for me. It’s from a fifty year-old kids’ cartoon show in the US broadcast during the height of the cold war to indoctrinate the little ones like me by mocking the Soviets. I worked with Russian electronics engineer who came to America in the 1970’s and became a citizen here. Such an ironic sense of humor. He told me that in Russia people had to learn to not say what you think. A bunch of good people over there with an unfortunate history of corrupt political class.

    • David Springer said:” I don’t care what everyone else says about you Stefan. You’re AOK in my book!”

      Springer, that’s cool.

      I was born east of the Iron Curtain, where people were not allowed to think loud – reason I know that: the further away from the fire – less chance to burn yourself.

      In the 60’s there were lots of communist in USA, England, Australia, now there are none -> they have all put green topcoat on and continue on: 5% of the population to oppress the other 95% – they replaced hammer&seacle for CO2& methane the rest is the same; so I can smell them better, and predict their next move, or why they did one thing or another.

      Nothing personal, just small example:few days ago, a person pointed to me a site on Google, where it states that ”forest reflects more sunlight than water = water is black body..?” done professionally, as a weapon for the Warmist, and to trick the rest

      people cannot think as much as a 10 minutes old turtle, just hatched, uses the light in the water, instead of going in a dark forest. The reflection from the star’s light from the water, as mirror (mirror reflects light better than anything)

      I spend lots of time now in the Australian bush – as clumsy, I don’t carry mirror, instead use water reflection as mirror, to shave myself b] when you see p puddle of water on the road, stop and look from above – you will see your face, the sky and clouds in 2” of water.

      that small example they created – for people to believe that: white ice on Arctic reflects sunlight, water will not…? They wouldn’t say the truth that: for 6months there is even no sunlight to reflect, BUT water without ice as insulation absorbs more coldness and with double strength creates vortex + currents spread more coldness south.

      David, use the ”normal” laws of physics: was same laws 1000y ago 9000y ago and will be same laws of physics in 100y from today – they will tell you if something is / was possible to happen, and if it wasn’t, why not.

      They are well organized, but people take them as a joke, which suits them

      because people trust google; they orchestrated people not to notice that: ”in 10-12 hours, from midday to midnight oxygen & nitrogen / winds cool the atmosphere by 10-15-20C” – instead of they insinuate that 2C cannot cool in 100y. — compare the amount of O2&N2 in the atmosphere, with the amount of CO2. When the truth wins, people will feel foolish for being tricked to ignore what O&N do for regulating the temp. Cheers

    • How lucky humankind is to have those like you who are fighting relentlessly until The Truth wins, and who are not giving up against Them, these omnipotent dark forces who brainwash people’s minds through sites on Google (well, exept for the all the ones that have told you The Truth) and who control governments, media and so called climate science, with the ultimate goal to bring global communist tyranny onto everyone.

    • Jan P Perlwitz said: ”Them, these omnipotent dark forces who brainwash people’s minds through sites on Google (well, exept for the all the ones that have told you The Truth)”

      Hi Jan, nobody told me the truth, I have my own eyes and independent thinking. I only stick to the real facts; the rest is all crap, from both camps

      You want to learn some ”real truth / facts” – go to my website – don’t be scared from the truth – dozen posts exposes the crap from bot sides, and presents how it really is: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/climate/

    • @stefanthedenier:

      You want to learn some ”real truth / facts” – go to my website – don’t be scared from the truth – dozen posts exposes the crap from bot sides, and presents how it really is: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/climate/

      I took a look and no thanks. I prefer to stick with the empirical data and with science. Those are presented in the scientific literature. Not in opinion blogs. You apparently don’t know the difference between mere opinion, pure assertion, delusional rants on one hand, and, on the other hand, science, the scientific method, and how results from scientific research are presented.

      You claim to tell the “real truth / facts” (are there any unreal truth or facts, too?). Really! In the section “Warmist Problems”, the very first sentence of your post states,

      “Just before Kyoto Conference, they predicted GLOBAL warming of 5-6⁰C by 2060.”

      This very first sentence there by you is already a lie.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Oh Jan – why don’t you do what everyone else does with stefanthemaniac and ignore him when not actually yanking his chain.

      One would think you have an agenda.


    • Generalissimo Skippy | February 3, 2014 at 12:45 am |

      Oh Jan – why don’t you do what everyone else does with stefanthemaniac and ignore him when not actually yanking his chain.

      I have trouble distinguishing between the AussieWonderTwins of SkippyStef and GeneralTheDenier myself. Both have very odd ideas of what constitutes physics.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Of course dweeb bot does have an agenda that revolves around abuse, prevarication, dissimulation and obfuscation. Not to mention his incompetent blog science.

    • Jan P Perlwitz | February 3, 2014 at 12:05 am said: ” I prefer to stick with the empirical data and with science. Those are presented in the scientific literature”

      Jan, obviously you, as the rest of the permanent cementers here suffer from ”truth phobia”.

      What kind of ”science” would ignore the oxygen & nitrogen? shonky science…

      2] read Hansen’s book, or Al Gore’s work from the past; they all talk of warming by 5-6C. My English is limited, but what I state, MUST be only pure truth. You have nothing to learn here – all of you are parroting what has being prepared by the top manipulators, for the Urban Sheep – go to my blog and learn the alternative – give yourself a chance; the solid proofs are there

    • Generalissimo Skippy said: ”Oh Jan – why don’t you do what everyone else does with stefanthemaniac and ignore him”

      Chief, you have to ignore me, because all of you are scared from real proofs, as maggots from the sunlight…

      You are ignoring the existence of oxygen & nitrogen in the atmosphere and what those two gases are regulating the temp; But, the truth will win on the end – until then waste your life on the top manipulator’s fairy-tales

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) said: ”I have trouble distinguishing between the AussieWonderTwins of SkippyStef and GeneralTheDenier myself. Both have very odd ideas of what constitutes physics”

      Telescope. ”normal physics” recognizes the existence of O2 &N2 in the atmosphere! If you learn what horizontal and vertical winds do with the heat every day – you will stop having insomnia – my blog is the only place with the real proofs – be fair to yourself – no propaganda lasted forever, good luck

    • Jim D | February 4, 2014 at 10:09 pm said: ”stefantheidiot, does your blog explain how diatomic gases can’t have an effect on thermal IR, or has it omitted this basic part of physics?”

      Hi Jimmy, my blog explains that: O2&N2 / horizontal winds cool the land and water – vertical winds are cooling the planet

      if it gets warmer, for ANY reason – the vertical winds increase in speed and equalize in a jiffy. Jim D, I didn’t think that you have an open mind… do you really want to learn the other side of the story, the truth?

  13. I hesitate to comment. Here in Ottawa, Canada, the first snowfall of the season nearly always results in lots of problems. Then, subsequent storms don’t cause anything like the problem the first one did. We have a saying that we need to get the summer drivers off the roads. But if you only have the occasional snowfall, you never get rid of the summer drivers.

    • David Springer

      “You never get rid of summer drivers”

      That’s memorable, concise, and speaks volumes.

      Thanks for that bit of wisdom.

    • “…we need to get the summer drivers off the roads. ”

      Heh – here in Sydney we get “Sydney summer ice”. Roads get baked in the heat, forcing the oil in the the tarmac to the surface – I recall more than one time as a kid leaving footprints in tarmac, it really does get that hot! Then the thunderstorm rolls in and as you might imagine, before the rain can wash the oil away, it gets very slippery on them roads.

      We have been most fortunate to not have to deal with this very much since the ’70s climate shift, but it sure looks like that has shifted back again. Now a whole generation of drivers that hasn’t had to deal with it is on the roads, so for us we need to get the winter drivers off the roads.

    • John Robertson

      Same for Vancouver, BC (west coast of Canada, eh?) – we get one or two snowfalls (2 to 5cm usually – 1 to 2 inches) a year and the city slows almost to a halt. Except for those who ski and the emergency vehicles, they already have the right tires/chains on. And my sidecar rig with its studded drive tire…

  14. So Gov. Deal made a mistake. He didn’t make anyone go out on bad roads. Contrast this with Mayor Bloomberg not evacuating hospitals or nursing homes before Sandy.

    The larger story to me is the reminder that weather kills, climate doesn’t. We should be spending less on inaccurate models and more on improving weather prediction. I firmly believe that will save lives today, and likely will lead to better understanding of the climate tomorrow.

  15. Finally us Brits who live in the south of England have a found a place which is worse than we are at dealing with a couple of inches of snow.

    But I doubt that the handling of our current flooding will win us any prizes…

  16. Last February Governor Patrick was accused of overreacting to the major snowfall forecast for the Boston area http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/02/08/patrick-declares-state-of-emergency-announces-travel-ban-in-mass/ but the decision was the right one because, aside from reduced stranding of travellers, the lack of buried cars allowed rapid ploughing of the roads when the storm cleared and overall a much quicker return to normal. Imagine the criticisms if he’d been wrong. Successful precedent set.

  17. JC

    The lack of preparedness, lack of a plan for disasters, the inability to act let alone proactively in large metropolitan areas, reflects the mayors of such districts and their priorities. The elected official has ears for the various constituencies and is not by training, nor disposition or in any manor are they prepared to address issues not directly political. They fail at the slightest snow flake, tropical storm surge, or catastrophes falling from the skies.

    In New York City a number of election cycles ago, the failure to have an adequate response to a snow storm cost the then mayor his job. Post catastrophe, 20/20 hindsight, blaming everyone but themselves, and after a few iterations of one mayor after another, a plan was set in place which usually works more or less as most dysfunctional cities go.

    New Orleans before, during and after Katrina reflected the real first disaster, the election and re-election of mayor Ray Nagin (currently under inditement for his political shenanigans).

    More likely than not, Minneapolis Minnesota mayor Betsy Hodges has knowledge of and would respond appropriately to a winter weather storm and subzero cold without a hitch. Every aspect would be in place, including funding for overtime, shelters, closing roads etc.

    In Georgia a number of years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers released their usual water amounts from Atlanta’s main water source Lake Lanier resulted in water shortage for Atlanta and further down the River the following summer. Everything was done by rote. Political types advising the ACE who were listening to the “too high water levels” from the Lake Lanier shore property owners contributed to the disaster.

    In most of these situations described above, the ability to respond to a new and somewhat different immediate situation, no matter how trivial the weather event was (a few snowflakes), demonstrates that elected officials have areas of incompetence and lack the good sense to delegate these emergency management areas of responsibility. These metropolitan mayors make a political decision regarding the police and fire and treasury and district hospitals etc because that is all they know how to do, be political, as well as making their fiefdom a jobs program for the otherwise unemployable.

    If you want good government, there needs to be not only elected officials with their ears tuned to constituencies, but a rapid response team that can develop, and when called upon by the situation, implement the emergency plan from natural or un (train wreck of chemicals within the city). The emergency implementer has to act when the mayor dithers. Hopefully, the two work together. The elected official needs to hear the voice of concern whether the mayor likes it or not: kinda like husband and wife discussing family finances.

    Every mayor needs a wife.

    • In Houston, our very competent Mayor is a newly married woman, with a wife.

    • She used to stop and buy coffee at the same convenience store I did. I thought she was making eyes at me. I guess not.

    • David Springer

      Any idea how many individuals were cautious enough to hit the road and get home before the schit hit the fan?

      A ratio of stuck/non-stuck. The smaller that ratio the less intervention is needed to avoid it in the future. Say it’s 1:10. That means you need to figure out a way to get 1 in 10 people moving earlier as a precautionary measure.

    • DocMartyn

      The gender of the wife is immaterial. What is important: the two fight fair and respect each other in the morning.

      Dave Springer

      It all comes down to who is and when does the signal caller say: “on your mark, get set, go!” to get the 10% on the road first. You need a designate signal caller to get everybody going in the right direction and reading from the same script. That ain’t a mayor. Too busy listening to who is whispering in their ear and trying to determine which way the wind is blowing. Wrong set of skills when a non-political storm is brewing.

      I like the idea of schools are out first, the only trouble with that idea is: who is home to let the kids in the house, and in particular, where to go in the house that is safe if your kid is a latch key kid. Need a family emergency plan: “if I’m not there when you get home, go to Sarah’s house, I’ve already spoken to her mom.

  18. “the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it.”
    Sprawl is NOT the problem. It is actually the solution as more people and jobs de-centralize. This means less long distance travel. Less overcrowded central districts. (Is there any business that actually has to be in the high density core city?)
    Sprawl is also far cheaper than high density, usually has better schools, less crime and of course, more living space.

    • Jim,

      As with most topics, there are plus minuses here.

      Higher densities make public transportation more efficient and cost effective. They also support increased retail development. More business means more jobs.

      Sprawl is not necessarily a problem either. Having a yard or being closer to green spaces, forests, the outdoors, etc can be part of a better living environment to people. I all depends on what you value.

      Oregon has an Urban Growth Boundary system in place that allows for both. It was established primarily to prevent loss of some of the best farmland in the world. I am fortunate enough to live on the edge, with wetlands, farn fields and woodlands right across the street, yet am 10 – 15 minutes from downtown Portland and it’s high densities, which makes having a world class light rail system practical.

    • k scott denison

      From what I read timg56, the transit system in Portland is having a few financial problems, not the least of which is underfunded pensions. Good luck with that.

    • timg56—“Oregon has an Urban Growth Boundary system in place that allows for both.”
      –Actually it does not. The long range plan is to phase out building single family units to force everyone into high density housing to save the alleged farmland which is, in reality, used for growing potted plants, lawns, low grade decorative trees to supply urban planner’s dictates and, of course, wineries. Winery owners are among the biggest supporters of Portland’s little Berlin wall as it keeps the price of land cheap outside the boundary allowing then to rent land cheaply. Of course land inside the boundary has skyrocket in price, making most of the area unaffordable for average incomes – hence the emphasis on apartments. Land in one NE Portland neighborhood (not downtown) just sold for $3.75 million/acre.

    • jim,

      Do you live here?

      Your comments are one side of the issue. The Berlin wall crack shows you are biased on it. As for no more single family homes being built – perhaps I should demand a refund from my optimologist. I see them all the time. Granted a lot of them are built on poststamp size lots, where you can almost reach across to your neighbor to borrow that cup of sugar.

      And exactly what is wrong with being the leading producer of landscaping plants? Or grass seed? Or Christmas trees?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      1. The expense of buying and owning a car

      2. The The Downside of Suburban Sprawl

      1. The expense of buying and owning a car

      2. The expense of fueling a car

      3. The expense of building and maintaining roads

      4. Vulnerability to fuel price hikes and interruptions in fuel supply

      5. Time lost in commuting to work

      6. The frustration of driving in heavy traffic

      There may be more, but that’s all that occur to me.

      • Max,

        RE:

        The Downside of Suburban Sprawl
        1. The expense of buying and owning a car
        2. The expense of fueling a car
        3. The expense of building and maintaining roads
        4. Vulnerability to fuel price hikes and interruptions in fuel supply
        5. Time lost in commuting to work
        6. The frustration of driving in heavy traffic

        All valid points. But just as with Jim’s points, they are not one-sided. There are tradeoffs with whichever choice one makes regarding where they live. And even when one chooses a dense urban environment, giving up the car is not always possible. And road construction and maintenance is still required to support the movement of goods (and people – where else would the busses operate?) Simply put, the automobile offers the individual an unparalleled degree of freedom.

        FYI – at my Seattle area home I am right around the block from the freeway access ramp and the King County Metro Express stop. It has been nice on the couple of occasions I didn’t have my car (the latest being last week when it was in the shop). $2.50 one way and the time to work is about the same as driving. Drops me off a block and a half from work. And the company will provide me with a annual bus pass. But I’d have to give up free parking and ultimately driving gives me the flexibility to manage my schedule however I want. I support public transportation to the point I’m willinh to subsidize it with my taxes, even if I don’t always use it. What I don’t support are policies and rules which are meant to force people to give up their cars. It is about choice and the more choices people have, the better off they are.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      WOW, I really messed that post up !

    • The really nice thing is that different places are different and you can move to a different place if you don’t like the place you are in.

  19. Judith:

    Since you often focus upon the sociological aspect, perhaps you can give us your reading in that vein of the reaction of long-time Georgians to this storm vis-a-vis the credibility of “global warming.” A similar report after the AMS meeting would also be interesting, particularly If there’s any sense of the “Gore effect” that seemingly dogs IPCC meetings.

  20. From the opening post:

    “In recent decades, Atlanta gets a major ice/snow event every 4-5 years or so. Not frequent enough to justify a battalion of snow plows and salt spreaders.”

    4-5 years is longer than the political cycle. Consequently, long-term planning is low on any political agenda and the 4-5 year period is sufficient for at least 2 terms (unless a storm coincides with a 1st term)

    This is what Judith C characterises as a wicked problem. There is no answer. Increasing the length of elected terms simply entrenches the corruption unavoidably bound up in power. Spending money on an intermittent and unpredictable 4-5 year issue removes short-term political discretion … political poison

    • David Springer

      Best response so far.

    • Wicked problem

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

      It’s not that there is no solution to the problem, but it isn’t obvious what the solution is.
      If you implement the wrong solution, there is no going back.
      “Solutions to wicked problems are not true-or-false, but good or bad.
      There is no immediate and no ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem.
      Every solution to a wicked problem is a “one-shot operation”; because there is no opportunity to learn by trial and error, every attempt counts significantly.”

    • Yo, Springer –

      Notice the sequence:

      As they now appear, first:
      > Jan P Perlwitz | February 1, 2014 at 1:06 am |

      Then:
      > timg56 | February 1, 2014 at 7:33 pm |

      Then:
      > Steven Mosher | February 1, 2014 at 1:24 am |

      Remember this?:

      No. Not sandwiched in between properly ordered comments. Brandon is right and you’re an argumentative dimwit.

      Why are you so sure about issues on which you are demonstrably wrong?

      Accountability, my friend. It’s never too late.

  21. My guess is that we will see the impact of this storm (and the other somewhat unusual recent cold weather events) in upcoming polls of public opinion about climate change.

    Good thing that “skeptics” will rise above the “weather = climate” fallacy and not exploit this cold weather to score partisan points in the climate ward.

    I mean that would neve…..

    Oh.

    Wait.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/08/usa-cold-weather-records-outnumber-warm-records-6-to-1/

    Nevermind.

    • Warmists have made their own AGW beds…

    • Need to work on your snark.

      Your smart ass comes off more like jack ass.

      Lets be honest about who has been pushing the extreme weather storyline. The same people who a decade ago said weather wasn’t climate.

      At least those posting data on number of low temperature days and records are presenting factual information, not what is at best a hypothesis about warming causing “extreme” weather.

    • No, it is not “They did it first.”

      The claims that record cold weather for one (or even a couple) year is dumb. Annual weather is like taking one frame of a ultra slow motion video of a batter’s swing and saying you can determine weather it results in a hit or a miss. Just as dumb, and perhaps more so, is the claim that global warming causes “extreme” weather. To use the baseball analogy again, it may be akin to taking that one frame and predicting (excuse me, projecting) who will will the world series.

      The only difference between the two groups above is that posting temperture data is at least factual, even if the reference to it is false. The extreme weather camp doesn’t even do that. Perhaps because the data which does exist argues against their hypothesis.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Joshua seems to imagine that there is an equivalence to claiming weather impacts from minor warming in a highly variable system to claiming that weather extremes – including warmer temperatures – have always occurred quite naturally.

      The former is based on tenuous ides of energetics and the latter is based on extremes evident in the climate record but not even remotely realized in the past century.

    • I love the pathetic attempts trying to make “They did it first” anything other than “They did it first.”

      You know and I know that it’s bogus to equate weather with climate. “Skeptics” are absolutely correct to point that out when “realists” make those arguments.

      But that doesn’t justify it when “skeptics” use a similar kind of rhetoric.

      But keep it up, boys. It does amuse.

      Or, for a change, you could display some accountability. It’s never too late.

    • John Carpenter

      “My guess is that we will see the impact of this storm (and the other somewhat unusual recent cold weather events) in upcoming polls of public opinion about climate change.”

      Joshua, Oh yes, no doubt this will be used. Used like droughts, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, forest fires and heat waves as examples of climate change ‘is here now’ and ‘it may be just all be coincidence or it may be something like what all the climate scientists say will occur more frequently’. It’s all bunk. But the real problem for those who promote extreme weather events comes when they try to blame the cold on AGW… Record snowfall on AGW… Polar vortex on AGW. It’s the counterintuitive events, when used as further examples of AGW, that the general public perceives as contradictory to what they have been told earlier about ‘warming’ that harms the message the most. The general public begins to wonder what kind of extreme events aren’t examples of AGW and CC. If none exist, then skepticism grows. How can cold = warm. This places the realists in a catch 22 position. If they allow the counterintuitive events to go unchallenged, then ‘skeptics’ will potentially use them as evidence AWG is bunk. If they try to explain how massive extreme cold is another by-product of overall warming, then they risk setting off BS detectors. We should be focusing on the fact that humans have both now and historically had a hard time coping with the extreme weather… Nothing new here. How can we improve our ability to cope with it when it arises? That should be the focus.

    • Your kiddies will not experience snow. Well, maybe we meant your gran..uh..great-granchillen.

    • John –

      But the real problem for those who promote extreme weather events comes when they try to blame the cold on AGW…

      That’s not how I read it. I see that kind of thinking often from “skeptics.” It reminds me of the claim from “skeptics” that the public is increasingly “skeptical’ when predictions of extreme warmth, or something like hurricanes, don’t materialize.

      I see little evidence of that. Seems to me that thinking along those lines takes place among those who are already in the “skeptical” camp – and by a large margin, “conservative” in political ideology.

      For the relatively small segment of the public whose views on climate change mutable, and not, essentially, a condition of cultural/political/or cultural identification (there is a lot of evidence that suggest that would be a relatively small segment of the public) – I’d say that rather simply – notable periods of unusual warmth (or hurricanes, or other weather events intuitively associated with “global warming”) result in a rise in concern about “global warming,” or climate change. Correspondingly, notable cold weather events tend to drive opinions in the other way.

      IMO, the “causal” explanations for public opinion offered by many “skeptics” equals motivated reasoning and projection. I first came across this when Willis cited that Rasmussen poll of opinions about how much of the public thinks that climates scientists might sometimes fabricate data – as evidence of what he claimed with the public getting wise to overblown claims on the part of climate scientists (paraphrasing there). Of course, he had no evidence that actually backed up his conclusions. He had no data of longitudinal changes in belief over time. He was trying to draw conclusions about longitudinal trends based on cross-sectional data. He had no data that contextualized views about climate scientists within views about plumbers, or priests, or doctors, or ditch-diggers, or for that matter, climate change “skeptics.” But most interesting of all, he had no data that helped to explain whether trust in what climate scientists say can largely be predicted by political orientation – a correlation that suggest a causation, a causation for which there is some pretty solid evidence.

      Seeing Willis make that kind of argument is part of what woke me up to just how prevalent “skeptical” thinking (as opposed to skeptical thinking) can be found amongst climate change “skeptics.”

    • John –

      Uncharacteristically there, I wandered a bit….

      My point is that I think that the effect that you described, if it occurs, is likely to be small. I don’t think that scientists arguing that cold weather is caused by climate change increases skepticism about climate change. Those predisposed to believe that the climate scientists are saying accept the explanation. Those who aren’t, don’t. Same ol’ same ol’ continues.

      Those who are not particularly predisposed one way or the other, rather simply move one way or the other depending on weather is what we typically consider to be cold- or warm-related weather.

      It’s rather like the fairly notable signal that we can see in concern about climate change, and about environmental issues more generally, of the condition of the economy. Concern goes up with the economy is doing well, down when the economy is doing poorly.

      And all the while, “realists” and “skeptics” alike find all kinds of causality – what scientists do or don’t say, what “skeptics” do or don’t say, all these amusing arguments in the climate ward, the influence of the big, bad media, the “Green lobby,” the oil companies, blah, blah, blah. And all they’re really doing is flying their motivated reasoning up the flagpole to assign causality to complex social phenomena in ways that confirm their biases and help them to demonize the “other.”

    • Oh, and I should add….

      And all they’re really doing is flying their motivated reasoning up the flagpole to assign causality to complex social phenomena in ways that confirm their biases and help them to demonize the “other” without bother first to study the existing, scientifically collected and validated data, that help to inform opinions about the causality.” Flying by the seat of your pants and offering lame explanations such as “bullsh** meters” is much easier and more comfortable if you’re constitutionally predisposed to motivated reasoning, (as, of course, we all are), and not particularly willing to acknowledge that tendency (and hence, not much of a skeptic).

    • David Springer

      It’s always best to hold the high ground so I agree that it’s not in the best interest to play tit for tat with the global-warming-caused-Katrina-which- killed-thousands-of-poor-black-folks crowd. Those folks who died ignored the evacuation orders and then the survivors and political opportunists with no shame blamed Bush for not rescuing them fast enough from the consequences of their own actions.

      Be that as it may it’s human nature to want to get even by using the same low brow tactics as the competition by conflating weather and climate.

      Say, did you know there weren’t any category 2 or above hurricanes in the 2013 season? Did you also know that some skeptics, myself included, speculated that if the Arctic warms faster than the topics it will reduce the temperature gradient which hurricanes draw upon to accomplish the work (pushing water and boats and buildings and people and levees and such around) they do? Looks like I was right yet again. You’d think being right all the time like I am would get old but it doesn’t. I relish it as much now as I did 50 years ago when I started correcting adults who weren’t nearly as smart as me in the second grade. Actually my mom says I started that in kindergarten. It’s fun always being right. Trust me.

    • BTW, Judith –

      even-handed moderation acknowledged.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      There is no equivalence between positing that weather extremes have always been part of whatever climate is and claiming dire consequences of minor warming with every extreme event. It is the difference between being right and being a quasi religious nutjob immune to rational entreaties.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      BTW springer – cyclones draw their energy from sea surface temperature when sufficient water vapour rising is spun up by Coriolis force.

      Let me Google that for you – http://lmgtfy.com/?q=causes+of+cyclones

    • Joshua –

      Since you are the great Defender of Reasoned Discourse, and Scourge of Specious Reasoning, and King of Evenhandedness, kindly supply us with a link to a comment you might have made on Tamino, or Stoat, or Halpern, etc where you take the denizens to task for exploiting weather as climate change, or express indignations that Mann or Romm did so.

    • joshie says:

      “Uncharacteristically there, I wandered a bit….’

      This is true. He is usually focused like a laser on dogging Judith.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua, that was a lot to absorb, but it have to disagree with the idea that the general public would only foster skepticism about ACC based on motivated reasoning when they are faced with contradictory observations. In my little corner of the world, Connecticut, I hear people make comments about the extreme cold coupled with ‘heh, so much for global warming’. I hear it from people I talk to in the Midwest as well in business dealings. I don’t know the political affiliation of all these folks, but I find it hard to believe they are all ‘conservatives’ or commenting from motivated reasoning. I have to assume these folks have heard through media outlets in the past that AGW is likely to cause more frequent and severe drought, heat waves, forest fires…etc. and that is at least plausible for ordinary folks… but not cold related extremes. That is counterintuitive. That runs against the grain, and when it happens followed by an explanation that this is also expected and part of ‘warming’… The BS meter goes off for many folks. You really haven’t heard people talk like this… In the checkout line? On the street?

      “I don’t think that scientists arguing that cold weather is caused by climate change increases skepticism about climate change.”

      Well, I’m not so sure. I am speaking about the Everyman out there with little in depth knowledge of climate science who gets passing information from MSM outlets. I don’t think that is a small fraction of the general population. I am skeptical of idea that the majority of people who think that way are already predisposed to that thinking based on an ideology.

      “Those who are not particularly predisposed one way or the other, rather simply move one way or the other depending on weather is what we typically consider to be cold- or warm-related weather.”

      I can see this as being true.

      “And all they’re really doing is flying their motivated reasoning up the flagpole to assign causality to complex social phenomena in ways that confirm their biases and help them to demonize the “other” without bother first to study the existing, scientifically collected and validated data, that help to inform opinions about the causality.”

      I agree this is likely true for a large swath of the climate ward… But the Everyman? I dunno. You and I think about this a lot harder than the vast majority of the population, which bias’s our ideas of how the vast majority of the population may actually be thinking.

      I think we both agree it is a waste of time to make examples of weather as evidence for or against CC. Do you agree we should focus on how to prepare for such events regardless of what the cause?

    • David Springer

      Joshua | January 30, 2014 at 9:16 pm |

      John –
      But the real problem for those who promote extreme weather events comes when they try to blame the cold on AGW…

      Joshy: That’s not how I read it.

      Of course that’s not how you read it. You can’t read anything objectively.

      Tell me Joshie, who was it that rebranded “Global Warming” into “Climate Change” then into “Global Climate Disruption” when it started becoming clear that warming wasn’t happening fast enough anymore to strike fear in the hearts of the unwashed masses?

      Was it the skeptics or the alarmists setting up the framework to blame severe weather of any kind on CO2 emissions?

      JC SNIP

    • David Springer

      Just to be clear I’m all for developing practical alternative sources of energy that are potentially cheaper than fossil fuel. I’m just not willing to lie about the climate in order to mobilize the effort. Lies have a habit of coming back to haunt you when caught out. In this case lies from the climate boffinry are unraveling into a vast distrust of the very people who might someday have a legitimate warning to communicate. Didn’t these people read “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” when they were little? They got a one-time pass to be considered honest brokers and blew it. Now they’re persona non grata. They earned the contempt.

    • John –

      but it have to disagree with the idea that the general public would only foster skepticism about ACC based on motivated reasoning when they are faced with contradictory observations. In my little corner of the world, Connecticut, I hear people make comments about the extreme cold coupled with ‘heh, so much for global warming’. I hear it from people I talk to in the Midwest as well in business dealings. I don’t know the political affiliation of all these folks, but I find it hard to believe they are all ‘conservatives’ or commenting from motivated reasoning.

      I’m afraid that uncharacteristically, I may have been suboptimally clear in what I was arguing.

      I completely agree that when people experience unusual cold weather, they are inclined to say “So much for global warming.” In fact, I’m likely to say that when we get a spell of unusual cold weather. It’s human nature. That was exactly my point. It is just like when people experience unusual warm weather, they are likely to say “Whew, that global warming is worse than I thought.”

      I agree that happens, often, irrespective of political ideology – with people who are not particularly attached to the climate ward food fight.

      My point, however, is that IMO, it is unlikely for someone to say “Hmmm, climate scientists say that climate change can cause unusual patterns of cold weather, and I think that’s a bunch of baloney” – because it’s been cold lately – unless they are predisposed to dismiss what climate scientists say. I think that for the most part, people who are inclined to dismiss what climate scientists say are people who are invested in the debate about climate change – most likely because of ideological predisposition.

      Other people, who are inclined to trust what climate scientists say – will hear those explanations and say “Yup, makes sense to me.”

      That is counterintuitive.

      Yes, that was my point. People approach the debate largely based on intuition (and that pre-dispositions affect out intuition. Surely, you don’t doubt the veracity of that?)

      You really haven’t heard people talk like this… In the checkout line? On the street?

      Of course – in my house, even. Me, even. But I am saying that the convo doesn’t usually go: “Hmmm, cold as heck, isn’t it, I guess those explanations from those climate scientists that climate change will sometimes bring extreme cold weather along with extreme warm weather because of changing global circulation of weather patterns is a crock.” It goes more like: “Hmmm. Cold as heck, isn’t it? So much for ‘global warming,’ eh?”

      Well, I’m not so sure. I am speaking about the Everyman out there with little in depth knowledge of climate science who gets passing information from MSM outlets. I don’t think that is a small fraction of the general population

      My point is that there are many people who are quite convinced about whether climate change is or isn’t a concern despite that they don’t really know much in-depth about the analyses presented on either side of the debate. Why are they so convinced? There is much evidence that shows that they are so convinced one way or the other (and mistakenly think that they know the science in-depth) because of the biases reflected in motivated reasoning. The same situation applies to “beliefs” in evolution – people are very convinced one way or the other even though they can’t even describe, in much depth, what the actual theory of evolution is.

      I am skeptical of idea that the majority of people who think that way are already predisposed to that thinking based on an ideology.

      Then why else are people strongly convinced one way or the other even though they don’t know the science in much depth?

      I think we both agree it is a waste of time to make examples of weather as evidence for or against CC. Do you agree we should focus on how to prepare for such events regardless of what the cause?

      I think that those two different areas of focus are not mutually exclusive to one another.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua, I can’t largely disagree with your argument re the motivated reasoning of those in the climate ward. For those outside the ward, I also agree it is not likely anyone would out and out dismiss what climate scientists have to say about how humans and CO2 emissions can/do influence long term climate trends. But my point is that counter intuitive messages make it harder for them to ‘buy into it’ further. It is like getting a bit of a stand-offish remark from an acquaintance. You would likely not change your entire perspective about the person, but it might alert you to a side you may not have known and wonder to what extent that side might exist.

      “Hmmm, cold as heck, isn’t it, I guess those explanations from those climate scientists that climate change will sometimes bring extreme cold weather along with extreme warm weather because of changing global circulation of weather patterns is a crock.”

      Probably not… but harder to swallow… leads to more skeptical thoughts. Raises the bar of persuading the less informed to their side.

      I guess that is the crux of my point.

      “I think we both agree it is a waste of time to make examples of weather as evidence for or against CC. Do you agree we should focus on how to prepare for such events regardless of what the cause?” – Carpenter

      “I think that those two different areas of focus are not mutually exclusive to one another.” – Joshua

      Exactly, so why muddy the water and raise the ire of motivated reasoning into the discussion by throwing in “now worse due to AGW”… told ya so. IMO, not a good strategy. Polarizes. Why not keep it cleaner. We have had extreme weather in the past that we have not been prepared for and we are going to have extreme weather in the future. Lets prepare for it.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua, I did not understand your follow on comment. The link brought me to the top of the thread, but I was able to find your comment using the comment number. It was a comment in response to AK?

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/29/the-big-question/#comment-445543

      I didn’t make the connection.

    • The skepticism doesn’t come from the fact that it’s cold outside, it comes from the fact that we actually listened when we were told AGW would mean milder winters and, when it got brutally cold, we saw the switcheroo where “settled science” suddenly means brutally cold winters.
      It’s the flip-flop that gets you. If you propose to dance on the graves of doubtful politicians everytime there’s a mild hurricane (like Sandy), spare us the “weather doesn’t equal climate” sniffing when the weather is not to your liking- or worse, declaring that it’s opposite day and now cold is just as much “proof” as warmth.
      When anything you see outside your window – hot, cold, wet, dry, normal, abnormal, stormy, quiet – is the result of CAGW, then CAGW is a joke to the layman.
      As for the Atlanta catastrophe- we had a one-foot snow catastrophe here in Virginia Beach that started prior to rush hour. I honestly could not tell you what the governor of Virginia thought about it- he was entirely irrelevant to the decision to go home or stay home. Our office watched Wunderground.com and made the call like adults. Millions of other adults, amazingly, did the same thing without gathering breathlessly for the government to tell them what to do. We don’t have snowplows here- a rational choice. That means stock the fridge, get home before the storm, and plan to work from home for a couple days. Big whoop.

      • Jeff,

        Acting like adults is not enough these days. Now it requires folks who are smarter than average, better educated and convinced they are better positioned to make decisions on our behalf than we are.

    • “it is unlikely for someone to say “Hmmm, climate scientists say that climate change can cause unusual patterns of cold weather, and I think that’s a bunch of baloney” – because it’s been cold lately – unless they are predisposed to dismiss what climate scientists say.”

      Josh you shouldn’t assume that people act with the same motivation as you do. That you might approach a debate relying on intuition doesn’t mean every else does. And you certaintly do not exhibit a good understanding how “everyman” thinks or forms opinions. The average 6 year old can most likely make the connection of a warming world being unlikely to be the cause of more snow storms.

      But I’m sure you were no average 6 year old and therefore can make connections the rest of us can’t. What you can’t do is maintain an honest dialogue. Whenever challenged, you revert to your standard (and tired) cliches of Mommy, Mommy, They did it first and Motivated Reasoning.

    • Tim,
      Agreed, and a media that is willing to play politics with it. The “responsibility” question is fascinating- the governor of Louisiana and mayor of New Orleans have no responsibility for Katrina (just the president), but the governor of Georgia is responsible for snow in Atlanta? And we’re supposed to be blind to the fact that the only difference is party affiliation?
      The complaints about the governor of Georgia aren’t going to get traction- not because of “motivated reasoning” on the part of the people, but because the motivated reasoning of the activist class (which includes the press these days) is so obvious. Most people are smart enough to ignore the activist class these days (which is why they focus so much on “the young”). And climate science happily recruits from the activist class.

    • David Springer

      Hurricanes need wind sheer to get and stay wound up, Skippy.

      Disproportionate warming of the Arctic reduces wind sheer.

      At least according to my boys at NASA (see below)

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ClimateStorms/page4.php

      “Climate change should, theoretically, increase potential storm energy by warming the surface and putting more moisture in the air through evaporation, Brooks explained. But on the other hand, disproportionate warming in the Arctic should lead to less wind shear in the mid-latitude areas prone to severe thunderstorms, making the storms less likely.”

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ClimateStorms/page3.php

      “Climatologists think the differing rates of warming from the equator to the poles could have a significant impact on some types of storms. Extra-tropical cyclones, for example, harvest energy from the atmosphere when masses of warm and cold air interact along the polar front—the boundary between cooler polar air and warmer subtropical air. As the difference between the temperature at the poles and the tropics decreases, there could be less energy for these storms to absorb, a change that could weaken them or make them less frequent.”

      It took me five minutes to find expert corroboration from the best outfit in the business of understanding climate for what I wrote. I suggest in the future you spend a few minutes double checking what you think you know so I don’t have to spend my time correcting you when you think I’m wrong.

      • I love the kindergarden reasoning on warming means more storms and more intense storms.

        So more energy means more evaporation. Exactly how does that get to more hurricanes? More rain? Maybe. And doesn’t a warmer atmosphere mean an increased ability to hold water?

        Can one reasonably assume, or better yet, provide an explanation of the expected impacts beyond maybe a more humid climate?

    • David Springer

      More on hurricane reduction from global warming.

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130902-hurricanes-climate-change-superstorm-sandy-global-warming-storms-science-weather/

      Climate change might alter atmospheric conditions so that future hurricanes may be pushed away from the East Coast, according to a study published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

      The warming caused by greenhouse gases—thought to be the result of human activities such as burning fossil fuels—could redirect atmospheric winds that steer hurricanes.

      I’ve been saying for years what is just becoming apparent and published now. Temperature gradients power heat engines. The climate system and especially severe weather derive their power from temperature gradients. The very dependable gradient that exists over a distance of thousands of miles increasing latitude is monstrous power source. Reduce it and there’s simply a lot less energy available to accomplish the physical work of generating horizontal winds.

      I therefore predicted years ago that disproportionate warming of the tropics and Arctic must play out in a reduction of kinetic energy in winds aloft somewhere. Hurricanes seemed like one of the climate features which must pay the price of less available energy.

      Looks like I was right. Vindication is sweet. Thanks Skippy for giving me yet another opportunity to describe how awesome I am when it comes to understanding what makes the natural world tick.

    • @timg56:

      Lets be honest about who has been pushing the extreme weather storyline. The same people who a decade ago said weather wasn’t climate.

      A statement about the frequency of extreme weather events (and how it may change with climate change) is a statement about climate. A statement about a single weather event (and then drawing false conclusion from it regarding climate) is not.

    • @timg56, Another thing is that the Arctic’s seasonal temperature range is at least an order of magnitude more than that of the tropics, and that in turn is approaching an order of magnitude more than the global temperature anomaly.
      But, of course, it’s all down to the latter…

    • John –

      . But my point is that counter intuitive messages make it harder for them to ‘buy into it’ further.

      Most folks don’t actually even know what the climate scientists do or don’t say. For those that do, I will still content that for the most part, those inclined to believe them will get that changing weather patterns might result in unusual cold spells. Those inclined to not trust them, will doubt such logic,.

      Probably not… but harder to swallow… leads to more skeptical thoughts. Raises the bar of persuading the less informed to their side.

      I don’t think there’s anything terribly complicated to processing a statement that changing patterns can result in unusual cold spells. What raises the bar is simply that cold weather does not jibe with “global warming.”

      Exactly, so why muddy the water and raise the ire of motivated reasoning into the discussion by throwing in “now worse due to AGW”… told ya so. IMO, not a good strategy. Polarizes. Why not keep it cleaner. We have had extreme weather in the past that we have not been prepared for and we are going to have extreme weather in the future. Lets prepare for it.

      I’m not muddying any waters by pointing out hypocrisy among “skeptics” who rightly point out that weather doesn’t equal climate and then utilize the exact same kind of fallacious reasoning. I’m not polarizing anyone who isn’t already polarized. The only folks reading here are those already locked into their opinions.

      Joshua, I did not understand your follow on comment. The link brought me to the top of the thread, but I was able to find your comment using the comment number. It was a comment in response to AK?

      Judith deleted the comment where I showed that a series of posts wound up in a mixed sequence, and used it to point out how it made the case for motivated reasoning where Springer was absolutely certain of an incorrect opinion where he hadn’t even evaluated the evidence.

      Anyway – another horse beaten to death, eh?

    • John Carpenter

      “I’m not muddying any waters by pointing out hypocrisy among “skeptics” who rightly point out that weather doesn’t equal climate and then utilize the exact same kind of fallacious reasoning. I’m not polarizing anyone who isn’t already polarized. The only folks reading here are those already locked into their opinions.”

      I didn’t mean to imply you, Joshua, we’re muddying the water. My point was… why use extreme weather as examples of AGW when making the case for preparing for future events? That tactic, which is used, makes a non political problem a political one. Preparing for future extreme weather on its own is largely a political. Throw in references of AGW as the reason it’s needed, now the issue becomes politically charged. Bad strategy.

      Horse dead!

    • John –

      My point was… why use extreme weather as examples of AGW when making the case for preparing for future events?

      IMO, point is to refer to a potential increase in extreme weather in ways that are consistent with the science – not to exclude it from the discussion.

      Just as has invalid reference been exploited to serve an agenda (by “realists”), so have legitimate references been distorted and exploited (by “skeptics”) to serve an agenda.

      The issue of increase potential for extreme weather runs simultaneous with other reasons to increase preparedness. Given general ideological differences about the role of government, arguments about building infrastructure to deal with extreme weather at rates consistent with historical rates hardly breaks down along political lines that would equal “realists” against and “skeptics” in favor.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The use of value laden terms such as realist for groupthink space cadets is a not so subtle attempt to bias the discourse.

      Notwithstanding this blatant bias – the assumption of equivalence between the view of extremes based on presumption and simplistic reasoning – as opposed a knowledge of historic extremes based on data – is still utterly wrong. There is a great difference between blaming any extreme on minor warming and suggesting that both cold and warm extremes – or floods and droughts – are a robust feature of a variable climate. It is a matter of being speculative or of being right.

    • @timg56:

      Jan,

      Both are wrong, so what is your point?

      My point is that you wrongly suggested, as I understood it, that a statement about the frequency of occurance of extreme events wasn’t a statement about climate.

      And what exactly is wrong and why? And how do you know that?

      • Jan,

        Don’t know where you are getting that, as I didn’t say that.

        People who point to weather events and use them to bolster arguments about climate are wrong, regardless of which side of the debate. A cold winter is not proof against a warming climate. Just as a major weather event is not evidence of climate change.

        Both are stupid. My only other comment was that when the first group simply posts record cold temperature data without making any claims – ie letting the data speak for itself – that is less onerous that saying “This is a sign of things to come. More storms, with greater intensity. What is ironic is the fact weather is now being used by the same folks who previously dismissed skeptics when they pointed to the weather.

    • Steven Mosher

      Springer

      “Tell me Joshie, who was it that rebranded “Global Warming” into “Climate Change” then into “Global Climate Disruption”

      Here is the dirty little secret.

      A couple of years ago the big wigs in climate communication got some instruction from real communicators. These experts told them that they could
      NOT sell the message of future fear any more. People had become numb to threats in 2100.

      The tactic to take after this was to shift focus to Immediate fears: extremes.

      Now extremes had always been a 2nd or 3rd plot, but since these communication workshops extremes have been give top billing. despite the fact that the science is weak on extremes.

      • Mosher,

        Which leads me to this question. Why would people believe scientists and policy makers who are following the advice of communications consultants?

    • …those inclined to believe them will get that changing weather patterns might result in unusual cold spells. Those inclined to not trust them, will doubt such logic,.

      Faulty logic there, Joshie. People are well aware that changing weather patterns, for any reason, sometimes result in unusual cold spells, regardless of who or what they might or might not believe about climate.

    • Warm Wet Oceans do cause more snow and cold.
      That is how Mother Earth cools off when she thinks it is too warm.

  22. Maybe this is a highly visual example but it’s not unique. Many places that are not prone to snow can shut down when even a small amount arrives. Much of the UK went through this a few years ago after a long absence of snow. Given it’s infrequency and with hindsight the best preparedness for Atlanta seems a prompt “stay at home”. One lost work day ever 5 years seems about to cheapest option.

    • Similarly, if your city is below sea level and the seas are rising, it may be more productive to get out of town than to simply wait and see what happens and then blame George Bush–e.g.,

      1. Hurricane Katrina was the largest and third strongest hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in the U.S.

      2. In New Orleans, the levees were designed for Category 3, but Katrina peaked at a Category 5 hurricane, with winds up to 175 miles per hour.

      3. The storm surge from Katrina was 20-feet (six meters) high…

      (From, 11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina

    • David Springer

      The problem with Katrina was it made landfall right before the welfare checks get delivered. Nobody on welfare leaves their mailbox behind that close to payday just because of an approaching hurricane when your experience is that no state ordered evacuation was ever really necessary in the first place.

    • Yeah cos life on welfare is the bees neez [/sarc off]

    • The problem with snow in the UK is that it seldom falls very thickly or remains for very long. So, instead of being able to live with snow, we mostly have to contend with icy slush. And, with a few notable exceptions, that’s the way it’s always been in my (not inconsiderable) experience.

  23. I spent one night in Atlanta once, but thought of it as being almost tropical. Snow and ice seem almost impossible. No doubt this will be blamed on global warming too. Most countries have extreme weather from time to time, so we should just get used to it and have plans in hand for contingencies and hope that organizations like Judith’s can give us adequate warning

    • David Springer

      Back in the days when I was attending COMDEX and CES trade shows in Atlanta in the off-season (the primary shows were in Vegas) we used to call it Hotlanta. Maybe that’s not quite as appropriate anymore but to be perfectly honest I think it was because of the quality of the nudie bars there not the weather.

    • No doubt this will be blamed on global warming too

      Warm wet oceans do cause more snow and cold.

      That is why it cannot get too warm. The warmer it gets the more snow will fall and increase Albedo and stop the warming.

      This is the way it works. It snows more when oceans are warm and wet and then earth cools. It snows less when oceans are cold and frozen and then earth warms.

      This has bounded temperature in really tight bounds for ten thousand years. This will continue. Look at actual data.

    • If you want to make a “foresighted” plan, you had better assume that nothing will be done about CO2 and think about contingency plans for mitigation.

      – Possible climate change in the future is a distant worry.
      – Loss of a job and savings due to a lousy economy is a crisis.

      You warmies claim to be so smart, yet you can’t see that nothing is going to be done in any kind of a hurry.

  24. Recognizing the cold weather many face together with the EPA’s recent ban on wood-burning stoves, Rep. Tammie Wilson commented as follows: “Everyone wants clean air. We just want to make sure that we can also heat our homes.” Wilson continued: “Rather than fret over EPA’s computer model based warning about the dangers of inhaling soot from wood smoke, residents have more pressing concerns on their minds as the immediate risk of freezing when the mercury plunges.”

    (See, Dr. Larry Bell, “EPA’s Wood-Burning Stove Ban Has Chilling Consequences For Many Rural People,” Forbes)

  25. “Think of Al Gore and his associates like David Blood as the Bernie Madoff of the environmental movement. They created a market which has been disintegrating from day one, including a total collapse of the Chicago Climate Exchange, but not before the principle players cashed in their shares… It’s a epic story of modern day high priests and soothsayers, political hubris and pseudo-scientific largess on a scale never before seen in history.”

    ~McKillop, Global Research

    • Wagathon

      As the quote you cited opines, Bernie Madoff may be a good comparison, but I actually think an even better comparison would be with ‎Jeffrey Skilling and ‎Kenneth Lay of Enron.

      Max

  26. It would be hilarious of Atlanta were shut down because of 2 inches of snow. But everything I have read, and seen on videos, is that it was the ice storm that cause accidents and snarled traffic.

    The only way to limit the effect of ice is by laying salt everywhere before it hits. And the cost of that salt is not inconsequential. Not to mention what would happen if all that salt was spread, stocks were deleted, and the storm did not hit…this time.

    Weather, like feces, happens.

    When we get hit with an ice storm in Chicago, there are probably as many accidents here as there were in Georgia. We just have a lot more snow plows, garbage trucks fitted with blades, and snow spreaders.

    It is sad that so many got stuck for so long in such terrible conditions. But I’m sorry, with the exception of kids stuck in school buses and their parents, I don’t see why anyone has a reason to be calling for the pitch forks and torches.

    Far be it from me to defend the inefficiencies of government, but this was just a bad storm that hit at a bad time.

    • should be “salt spreaders”

    • Large cities, high rise ter heaven, require flexibility ter face the
      unexpected events of whether. Regardless of who shoulda’ done
      what in Atlanta, it’s a timely reminder to those who put all their
      eggs in one paradigm, that large cities are particularly vulnerable
      ter black swan or even cygnet weather events. A timely reminder
      that uncommon occurrences in tricky nay-chur are not uncommon
      and we hafta’ be ready fer whatevah comes, including COLD!!

      We need reliable energy sources, buoyant economies, flexible
      plans, be antifragile, ready fer ….?

  27. My recent disaster experience is the Brisbane flood three years ago, in which about 25,000 premises were flooded. The severity of the flood was directly linked to State Government incompetence (the “responsible” minister had taken no action though warned of the likelihood two months earlier) and mindset – they totally accepted warnings by non-climate scientist CAGW spruiker Tim Flannery that we would never again get decent summer rain, wasted billions on unnecessary infrastructure to deal with long-term drought, and were reluctant to release water from the Wivenhoe Dam even when it far exceeded capacity and more torrential rain was forecast – and to bad decisions by the dam engineers, who ignored the manual designed to deal with the need for water releases. There was also a loss of perspective – early release would have flooded a few river crossings in rural areas with low population, this was given greater weight than the prospect of severe flooding in the metropolitan area.

    At 9.30 one morning, we heard from the state government via tv that there would be minor flooding, perhaps 200-300 properties affected. Just after 11.00, our out-of-state daughters both rang to say they’d heard that the river had crossed the bank 500 metres from our house – the first point of Brisbane city flooding. The estimate was suddenly changed to massive flooding, 25,000-30,000 properties, though the level forecast then was a bit less than what actually occurred over the next two days. The initial revised forecast was for slight flooding of our upper level, a further revision suggested 600-800 mm downstairs. Our house was flooded in 1974. For some reason, the floodwater stopped four metres away, while suburbs opposite which escaped in ’74 were flooded.

    As for the response, largely driven by ex-army Lord Mayor Campbell Newman rather than the State Premier, I think it was excellent. Businesses, schools etc in to-be-affected areas closed and sent staff home within three hours of the first breach near our house, traffic chaos was averted, at-risk bridges were subsequently closed; and the post clean-up and restoration process, largely city- rather than state-driven, was done very efficiently (recovery work is still continuing three years later on lower priority remediation – it was a big task).

    The BBC interviewed me twice on the first day of the flood (before we lost power and telecoms for a few days). They were interested in the panic of the population. Well, there was no panic, on the contrary. Many people who had been ordered to evacuate at very short notice passed up our street, typically carrying just a small bag of essentials. They were cheerful and unconcerned, and that attitude prevailed. Post-flood, the mood was of how best to help those affected, with a huge army of clean-up volunteers.

    Presented for comparison with US experiences.

    • Great post Faustino. People in general seem to find resilience when confronted by disaster but more particularly if it affects Asians, Indians, Africans, Islanders and the Arab world. Australians too show a lot of spirit and mateship, especially in our country areas, in which I take a lot of pride.

    • David Springer

      Flood extent is difficult to predict in storms that can last days and/or unexpectedly concentrate huge amounts of rain on small areas in a very short amount of time. On the other hand frontal boundary speed, direction, and temperature drop across the boundary come with enough forewarning to get home and plan on not going anywhere for the duration. Austin shut down twice in the past week due to ice on the roads. It was an excuse to stay home and that was about it. There was approximately 144 * 10E2 percent less drama than with Atlanta.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Big catchments can take days, weeks even months to flood at the most downstream extent. More localized flash flooding is fairly obvious – but can take people unaware as happened at Grantham and Toowoomba for instance. Even at Grantham – where most lives were lost – they had potentially 2 hours warning following the Toowoomba flooding.

      The Brisbane catchment requires significant rainfall over an extended period for major downstream flooding and has an extensive monitoring system in place. The warnings of city flooding occurred days in advance – along with accurate mapping of likely flooding.

      http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/flood/brochures/brisbane_lower/brisbane_lower.shtml

    • David Springer

      A town about 40 miles upriver from me got 19 inches of rain in 6 hours. Limited area about 10 miles across. Rest of us got maybe 3 inches across a couple hundred miles. It took about a day and half for the water to make its way down to me. We flooded fast and furious when it arrived. Lake on my back 40 went up 36 feet over the next 24 hours. Amazing. I had to pull my boat dock in every few hours otherwise I’d have to swim for it instead of wading out to it.

      http://blogs.wsj.com/numbersguy/how-much-rain-fell-in-marble-falls-texas-138/

  28. If two inches of snow did this to Atlanta, what do you think would happen if it snowed for two weeks? Don’t say it can’t.

  29. David Springer

    Sounds like a comedy of errors. What I don’t understand is that cold fronts march at a steady enough pace in the final couple of hours and anyone with an internet connection can watch them moving in almost street by street in the final hours. Surely an hour or two outside Atlanta the effects of the front were evident. I would have been watching, for instance, and called my wife at work saying “That front is going to hit pretty soon and you should skeedaddle before the roads become treacherous.” I can’t recall doing that with a winter cold front but it’s happened at least several times with dry lines that are dropping funnel clouds.

    So why did people have to rely on weather forecasters or whoever to get the word out when responsible adults with smart phones or better could check the radar themselves, see it coming, and get the hell out of Dodge ahead of it?

  30. Judith Curry,
    Considering you have 2 jobs not including this blog, I am impressed with the shear volume and variety of the material you read and write about; all in an intelligent manner I might add. And you have time for an occasional trip to appear before a congressional committee. Impressive.

  31. Well, the lessons are (i) that even a small risk of a large impact has to be prepared for, and (ii) that being dissuaded from any precaution by only economical arguments doesn’t cut it.

    • k scott denison

      I’d add iii) that sometimes just telling people to stay home is the simplest, cheapest and safest plan of action.

    • It was only “catastrophic” because it wasn’t planned for. Will the same be true of (C)AGW?

    • They want us to plan for what the climate models predict.

      That is a really poor plan.

      We should plan for anything other than what the models predict.

      We know by now that the models are MUCH WORSE THAN USELESS.

    • Half on, half off the shoulder works miraculously, sometimes, heh.
      ================

    • Oops, I slid off into the wrong subthread. Dang this 4WD, brakes don’t work any better. Montana Highway Patrol once issued ‘Audi Alerts’.
      =============

  32. They are weather wusses in Georgia. They can’t take it, when it’s only raining:

    No offense to David Ruffin. I named my son after him. David Michael Monfort. The Michael is for M. Jordan.

  33. Being from Chicago for many years with lots of snow driving experience, having spun out one New Years eve in Munich Germany during a classic freezing rain despite front wheel drive and all weather tires,, and having slid off a mountain in a 4WD in North Georgia during a simple snow storm a recent Christmas morning trying to go to church, let me assure you all this is more complicated that it seems.
    It all depends on microclimate conditions. Rain can freeze on colder ground and turn to sheet ice. Munich, that evening. Wet snow can compact into sufficient ice under just so conditions. North Georgia, that Christmas morning. Both are treacherous. Cold ground and cold snow leaves just compacted snow on roadways, which is very drivable given proper tires and experience. Once logged a 200 mile each way round trip under those conditions out of Chicago with no problems. Of course, with hindsight would have rescheduled that meeting.
    Lots of problems in Atlanta that could be corrected. But foremost here is the nasty set of conditions that results in highway glare ice. Just weather.

    • Back in the UK, I occasionally rode a motorbike for hours in snow, e.g. London-Bristol. Just sayin’.

      I remember one occasion when leaving London for Colchester in snow my whole windscreen suddenly shattered, I completed the journey covered in glass and snow. I recall another occasion driving north from London on the M1 then A1 most of the way to Newcastle in freezing fog (the fog iced up the windscreen) after a long day’s work. So such conditions are not insurmountable, even if in some of these instances I was pretty cold on arrival.

    • Faustino,

      And think hop the world has adapted to such climate events since then. Now we have:

      – shatter proof wind screens
      – better clothing for bikies
      – heaters in cars
      – windscreen demisters
      – fog lights
      – snow ploughs
      – better roads
      and ships and planes to take us to countries with a better climate!! – some wise folk have already taken up that opportunity :)

    • David Springer

      Heck Rud I’ve slid down a hill in a 4WD in warm mud. Until a a tree stopped me. Thank God there were a lot of trees or I coulda got to sliding at a pretty good clip. Minor dent. I then discovered how nice it would be to have a winch so I hiked back to the paved road, hitched a ride into town, bought a 9000# Warn winch mounted set up for a hitch receptacle, and winched my dumb ass out of the mud. Never been stuck again.

    • k scott denison

      Fully agree Rud. I once came over a small hill in Ohio on sheet ice to see what can only be described as a scene from a disaster film laid out in front of me. Cars everywhere, both on and off the road. One car flipped on it’s roof to the right. Police lights everywhere. I managed to slow down and stop only by hitting the back right corner of my car on the back left corner on another. Gave me enough momentum to slide off onto the grass where I could slow enough to then pull back on the road and stop. Waiting quite awhile before the person I hit was able to come up behind me. When he got out of his car he fell immediately on the ice and basically slid down to my car. What a mess!

  34. It should be pointed out that the Georgia DOT was given warning at 3AM about the impending storm. The Georgia DOT is responsible for maintenance of the interstate system, even through Atlanta.

    That would have allowed plenty of time to have proactively put salt and sand on the major highways in Georgia BEFORE the 2-inches of snow struck, even with the limited number of trucks in their inventory. The major problem spot was I75/84 south of I20, so this was entirely a GA-DOT screw up.

    One of the real problems here is lack of proactive thinking, at all levels:

    The major could have staggered the release of business and government people inside of Atlanta proper. The governor could have declared a state-wide emergency, which would have allowed a more coordinated response.

    New Orleans is much less suited to deal with this sort of problems than Atlanta, but came through it without this sort of city-wide disruption. Of course they had Katrina to teach them about responsible behavior form government. Perhaps Georgia can take a page from NOLA’s playbook here.

  35. UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been tapped to be U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change, sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

    Barring any last minute changes, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – who is seeking to re-energize the global climate change debate and boost the United Nations’ role – could make the announcement as early as Friday, the sources said on the condition of anonymity.

    Bloomberg, a billionaire philanthropist who left office last month, made combating climate change a key focus during his 12 years leading the United States most populous city. He also advocated for national climate change legislation.

    http://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-bloomberg-tapped-u-n-cities-climate-change-004240331–finance.html;_ylt=AwrBJSD7_OpSEGEA7XjQtDMD

    • Yes, he is just going to advocate flood barriers for low-lying cities like New York. Nobody don’t need no stinkin’ flood barriers, do they?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Extremes of climate have always been with us – far more extreme than what has been experienced in the last century. The argument is to make communities more resilient and for that we don’t need no stinkin’ global warming. In fact it is a distraction from real and practical responses by focusing on fixed generating plant rather the a broad social, economic and environmental strategy.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I Googled is Bloomberg a Republican. He seems to be of two minds on this question.

    • Jim D

      If sea levels resp. flood tides in New York are rising, then it makes good sense for the city to install levees or flood barriers.

      Look at the Dutch – they’ve been doing it for centuries – long before New York was Dutch and called New Amsterdam.

      Max

    • k scott denison

      JimD, you seem to be advocating for the UN to convince NYC to erect sea barriers. Huh. Bloomberg was mayor. Why didn’t he do it then and why would he need the UN to advocate for it?

      That he focused on what size soft drink should be legal and not funding/erecting flood barriers is beyond me.

    • The interesting thing about NYC and many other communities on the coast is that the coast is sinking. And THAT sure as heck has nothing to do with CO2 – man-converted or otherwise.

  36. Having lived in Atlanta, St. Louis, D.C. and various other places, I can offer helpful advice.

    Atlanta does not need snow plows and never will. It does need salt trucks and salt, which are not nearly as expensive as snow plows.

    The key to the gridlock in this event in Atlanta is that the snow fell in the afternoon and the temperature was heading rapidly below 32 degrees. In St. Louis, these conditions would present no problems. In part because the salt trucks would have been out at dawn and in part because St. Louis folk are experienced at driving on snow.

    Southerners (deep Southerners) have not a clue about snow. You would not believe it. One inch of snow and a level roadway is lined with cars whose drivers could not navigate the roadway.

    The low cost solution is to close schools and businesses in advance of the conditions described above. Those conditions are rare in Atlanta.

    • Theo Goodwin

      My bet is that most Atlanta cars are not equipped with snow tires.

      Max

    • Theo:

      Max said: “My bet is that most Atlanta cars are not equipped with snow tires.”

      Exactly. And it wasn’t just snow apparently. In many places it was glare ice.

      Using the example of F1 racing, where the drivers are anything OTHER than unskilled, if they go out on slicks in a downpour, they WILL go off. Driving on ice and snow on summer tires, especially high performance summer tires optimized for hot, dry conditions, is the equivalent. Also a lot of the people were just passing through and were ON the roads when it all went pear shaped.

      As Gary M pointed out, sometimes, feces happen.

      It is a good idea to avoid a government that assumes the duty and power to shield its subjects from any conceivable exposure to feces. If possible.

    • The point I was trying to make in my post above, was that even here in Ottawa, where drivers have years of experience driving in winter conditions, the first snow fall nearly always catches drivers unprepared. So it must be even worse when drivers have little or no experience.

    • Jim Cripwell:

      I agree Jim. We have the same experience here in Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota (every year). It takes a storm or two for local residents to get their winter driving skills back.

    • k scott denison

      Theo Goodwin | January 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Reply

      The low cost solution is to close schools and businesses in advance of the conditions described above. Those conditions are rare in Atlanta.
      _______________

      Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Snow tires, no snow tires, experienced drivers, non-experienced drivers. This happens so infrequently in Atlanta that the plan is obvious and Theo hit it on the head: tell everyone to stay home.

  37. Before you criticize GDoT, you may want to confirm they maintain large stockpiles of sand and salt. States in southern climes often do not use salt over concerns about runoff.

  38. When we consider that the people who will be making decisions about how to plan for climate change include some of those who made the (common but unfortunate) errors in Atlanta, we should consider the potential for consequences in either direction.

    As mentioned above, the length of the political cycle driving decision making does not lend itself to preparations for sea level rise, changes in flood basis or river catchments, etc. The building permitting process, regulations on insurance of several kinds and plans for maintenance of current infrastructure and building of new infrastructure do seem to have been put conveniently out of reach of the current political mindset.

    The EPA should be the body in the US that takes cognizance of this. They did, after all, produce a document in the 90s on mitigating a 1 meter sea level rise due to global warming that did address many of these subjects. I certainly haven’t seen much from them lately and I really wonder why.

    Given the dramatic increase in CO2 emissions, I am convinced that when the various pseudocycles once again align themselves to put a floor under temperature influences rather than the ceiling the appear to be constituting now, we could very well need a couple of well thought out action plans. And a little advance preparation would not hurt.

    • David Springer

      Clouds cap how warm it can get, Tom. In the tropics and sub-tropics we’re already there. What’s left is expansion of those zones a bit and expansion of the temperate zone to the poles eliminating polar ice caps. Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will take thousands of years to melt should we be so lucky. In the meantiime ask folks in Chicago if they’d mind having weather a little more like Atlanta’s. :-)

    • Hi David

      I think the issues are real, if moving in slow-motion. I don’t want to rely on cloud cover as a get out of jail free card. I believe we need to think about this stuff quite seriously. I don’t see it happening.

    • The Biggert-Waters Act was designed to reduce the deficit of the National Flood Insurance Program by making the coastal landowners pay realistic, instead of tax-subsidized, premiums for flood risk. This is now meeting resistance from representatives of coastal communities who will see a sharp rise in premiums if they pay for their real risk.

    • David Springer

      You go ahead and think all you want Tom. Just don’t reach into my pocket to pay for whatever insurance you think you need.

    • Davif Springer

      IF (the little BIG word) the gradual warming you describe really happens that way over the next century or so as we gradually wean ourselves off of fossil fuels (at least partially), there will be other benefits: longer growing seasons and increased arable land surface area across the big land mass of North America and Eurasia, leading to higher overall crop yields.

      Since we are also expecting population to increase to over 10 million by the end of the century, this should be a welcome development.

      Of course, the increase in atmospheric CO2 should also aid crop growth and yields, so we could get a double whammy.

      What’s not to like?

      Max

    • Correction: should be 10 billion (not million)

    • David, I don’t want to take your money unnecessarily. Nor do I want taxes to subsidize rich homeowners in already threatened areas to keep rebuilding and rebuilding after the lasted incident. Which is what is happening now in most of the developed world, especially the U.S. of A.

    • David Springer

      Tom Fuller | January 31, 2014 at 1:42 am |

      “David, I don’t want to take your money unnecessarily.”

      But you have no problem if you decide it’s necessary. I have a problem with that. I don’t want to take your money even if I consider it necessary for the greater good. It’s simply not mine to take. I either convince you of the necessity or do without. That’s not a difficult concept but seems impossible for nanny statists to accept.

      “Nor do I want taxes to subsidize rich homeowners in already threatened areas to keep rebuilding and rebuilding after the lasted incident.”

      I agree with you there. We may be talking past each other. By ‘insurance’ I meant whatever you thought necessary to mitigate or stave off whatever adverse effects, or potential adverse effects, you believe may come to pass from so-called AGW. Given the failure of any adverse effects to materialize so far I’m adamantly against spending money on problems that aren’t characterized well at all when there are so many problems that are well characterized to address. Child nutrition, poverty, disease, war, pestilence, corrupt governments… see the Copenhagen Consensus for a complete laundry list of higher priorities.

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

      “Which is what is happening now in most of the developed world, especially the U.S. of A”

      Agreed again. I find it offensive that oceanfront and near oceanfront property owners are subsidized by other taxpayers for the luxury of living near the ocean. They need to pay their own freight or live inland like the rest of us.

    • David Springer

      I’m not very convinced fossil fuels will remain cheap enough for long enough to depend on them for much longer. The world economic funk is, IMO, driven almost exclusively by the per-barrel price of oil. Arguably every recession since about 1950, if I recall correctly, followed on the heels of a spike in oil price and a decline in same was followed by recovery. It seems clear that $100/bbl and rising steadily is here to stay and that’s more than the global economy can endure. We need something cheaper and we needed it yesterday. Liquifaction of coal and natural gas I’m led to understand comes in around $80/bbl and that’s probably the only reasonable bridge until scientists and engineers figure out how to harvest and store sunlight economically. You know my thoughts on that I think – synthetic biology will arrive in time and bring energy price down below fossil equivalent of $15/bbl which is the price point, more or less, the modern industrial world was built around.

    • David Springer

      last was response to max not tom

    • “The Biggert-Waters Act was designed to reduce the deficit of the National Flood Insurance Program by making the coastal landowners pay realistic, instead of tax-subsidized, premiums for flood risk. This is now meeting resistance from representatives of coastal communities who will see a sharp rise in premiums if they pay for their real risk.”

      Yes we need to stop subsidizing the rich liberals who decide they want to live next to an ocean.

    • Mosher – I can’t think of anything you have said that I agree with more. Any individual or business that wants to site on the coast should be responsible for their property and no one else. If private insurance or a state wants to take on the liability, so be it. But the Fed should butt out. (Of that, and a lot of other things as well.)

    • jim2.

      I will never forget the day I landed in LA. I was driven up the coast to malibu.
      Looking at the construction I was stunned that people built the way they had. A disaster waiting to happen.

      Along the coast as you drive north you have the beach to your left and bare
      slopes to your right. Landsides and fire to your right. Ocean and floods to your left. It happened more than once while I lived there. But the surf was great

      Now, who buys this property and gets a subsidy on the insurance?

      Larry Ellison. Larry is a great guy. He made a grip of money. I want low taxes for guys who make a ton of money creating whole industries.
      But that same philosophy says “Larry, if you choose you buy property in a beautiful exclusive danger zone.. DONT EXPECT A SUBSIDY”

      here’s a little of a 250Million dollars of realestate he owns

      http://www.trbimg.com/img-51881bc1/turbine/la-fi-ellison-malibu-20130505-001/600/600×375

    • David Springer

      Steven Mosher | January 31, 2014 at 11:11 am |

      “Yes we need to stop subsidizing all the rich liberals who decide they want to live next to an ocean.”

      Fixed that for ya!

    • San Franciscans such as Mosher should think local,when they ascertain risk .

      http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/ucerf/

    • Steve Mosher, I would extend that to rich conservatives who are subsidized too, and then I would agree. Why should everyone subsidize people to live in known flood-prone areas. This Act was popular with both parties because it is deficit reducing, even without admitting to climate change. It would be better if they were allowed to project sea level and figure that into insurance rates too, but that is not what it does yet.

    • Right let’s just tear down all of the beach side resorts, ruining the local economies along with decreasing tourism from abroad,

    • Yes, Joseph, or at least let their patrons pay the true cost of having their resorts there rather than the taxpayers.

    • David Springer

      Agree that your vision of the future is reasonable. A major breakthrough, such as you suggest, would be a boon – but, until then we’re stuck with fossil fuels (including natural gas fracking and coal liquefaction) plus nuclear.

      I’m certainly not a futurist, but chances are:

      – The climate will continue its long-term warming as it has, in ~30-year cycles of rapid warming followed by ~30-year cycles of slight cooling, on the same underlying warming trend of 0.5C to 0.7C per century, possibly with a slight boost from human GHGs, warming by around 0.7 to 1C over today by the end of the 21st C.

      – Higher CO2 levels plus slightly warmer temperatures will be a boon to agriculture and to the overall world economy.

      – Developing nations (China, India, etc.) will continue to develop their economies and improve the quality of life of their populations; currently underdeveloped nations will also join in this trend.

      – Population growth rates will slow down significantly as overall prosperity increases, as envisioned by the UN and US Census Bureau.

      – Fossil fuels, aided by fracking, will carry us along for a few more decades, supported by nuclear and some renewables where these make economic sense.

      – Human ingenuity and economic pressures will result in the sort of breakthrough you envisioned, or something totally different no one has even thought of to date, gradually replacing fossil fuels for low added-value uses

      – Politicians will continue to try to find ways to increase tax revenues, so they can dole out funding to pet projects and reward friends and supporters; taxpaying citizens through their elected representatives will be the only braking force working against this.

      – CAGW will slowly be replaced by another fad and climate scientists will go back to searching for answers about our climate rather than trying to prove the CAGW premise.

      And the beat goes on…

      Max

    • Manacker,

      +1000.

      A pragmatic, rational, and a good explanation of the most probable scenarios from what we know now and based on our previous experiences.

      By looking back over the last 100 years or so and considering what people at any given time thought about what the future would look like, we should recognise we have no idea what techologies or black swan events will occur over the next 100 years (or even the next 10 years). Will North Korea, China, Iran or someone else start a nuclear war? We also realise that the future is unforeseeable and new technologies will be developed we cannot foresee now.

      So the best we can do is make decisions based on reasonably short term projections as Faustino is continually pointing out to anyone who will listen (I trust I haven’t misrepresented him). Your excellent comment does just that. Thanks for explaining it so succinctly.

    • Want to know how much energy we’ll be using in the future based on past experience? Try plotting ‘years before present’ versus per capital energy consumption over the past 200,000 years on a log-log chart, and project forward.

      Era;ybp;MJ/d
      Technological man;1;920
      Industrial man;50;308
      Advanced Agricultural man;300;108
      Primitive Agricultural man;4000;48
      Hunting man;20000;20
      Primitive man;200000;8

      Then consider that the most likely energy source that can provide most of our future energy needs (given our current understanding of the key physical constraints) is nuclear power (fission and fusion).

  39. David Springer

    On the brighter side:

    For the nonce, the children of Atlanta are at no risk of forgetting what snow is.

    How’s is it going in old England? Is the children learning what snow is there too? ;-)

    • As the EPA is banning wood-burning stoves in this country some UK elderly folks must once again resort to burning books to stay warm this winter.

  40. About 15 years ago a significant snow storm hit DC at noon. Can’t remember the forecast metrics, but the result was that kids were on buses until 1 am the next day. Can you imagine what the bus driver went through? That memory is part of why DC shuts down when it does. Kids aren’t going to be in transit ever again.

  41. As unpleasant as the impact of the 2″ snowfall on Atlanta was on its residents, I sincerely hope the AMS meeting participants aren’t going to use it to bloviate about attributing extreme weather events of any kind to AGW.

    But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Max

  42. Brian G Valentine

    So how much of this could have been avoided with Federal emergency preparedness spending – instead of the money lost in failed solar panel ventures, wind mills that generate nothing, and idiotic electric car fiascoes?

  43. This is the residual of the CSALT model of global temperatures in the highest resolution mode.

    The highest temperature it wasn’t able to capture was centered during the summer heat wave of 1977. The lowest temperature excursion that it couldn’t capture was centered around the Cold Sunday of January 1982, an example of an extreme polar vortex:

    http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/training/jan1982.html

    What is also interesting is that this cold excursion preceded the El Chichon volcanic eruption a few months later. I thought that I was not getting the timing right on the volcanic event date, but then realized that the odd extreme event will occasionally occur. Extremes are always hard to capture in any kind of model.

    It will be interesting to see if this year’s polar vortex will show up in the global temperature records.

  44. Latimer Alder

    You shouldn’t feel too hard done by.

    To our eternal shame, a few inches closed Heathrow airport (LHR) a year or so back. There’s now a big new compound called ‘Heathrow Snow Base’ full of shiny new snowploughs and spreaders.

    But – unlike the last three or four – this winter has so far been pretty warm in SE England….rain has been the problem, not snow – and the new equipment stands unused.

    Strange stuff this climate change…hot, cold, dry, wet, windy, calm. My old granny used to call it ‘weather’.

    But that was before hordes of climatologists with a pre-made answer just needing a ‘problem’ to attach it to came along.

  45. A 30% Chance of a serious problem requires action!?

  46. Berényi Péter

    In recent decades, Atlanta gets a major ice/snow event every 4-5 years or so. Not frequent enough to justify a battalion of snow plows and salt spreaders.

    2 inches of snow is not a major event for cities prepared for it. The solution is to maintain public sand and salt deposits and have an army of part time private contractors ready to to go into action on alert. There should be proper reserves in the budget for such occasions.

  47. Major metropolitan areas need plans and people to implement them. Key to those plans must be communications with the public during and after plan development so there are no surprises. When a probable/possible event appears on the horizon, frequent, simple, complete and truthful communications with the citizenry (we certainly know how to communicate these days, don’t we) about what might be coming, what the current plan is, any changes as they happen and updates to the situation must be made.
    People are pretty good at assessing risk if given the facts. And people are less likely to blame officials for closing things down “just in case” if they’ve been brought along with the decision process than if it is just dumped on them.TV, radio, newspapers and internet sources will be less likely to blame officials for an unnecessary closure if they were part of the warning and communications process.
    And of course, people need to have their own plans.

    • In New Zealand we have earthquakes, and increasingly the pattern of aftershocks is being better understood. So these days the public gets told the forecast assessment of risk (by scientists, not politicians).

      Recently we had a 6.2 quake (at Eketahuna – go look it up) and we got told initially we had a 1 in 4 chance of another big one of that size in the next 30 days (but only 3% of 7+). Over time as the aftershocks clustered around 4-5 level these estimates got progressively revised down.

      So the first point is to make sure the population knows the forecast uncertainty and the risk, and one of the best ways to do that is to just to get into the habit of sharing the information.

      The second point I found interesting in the above narrative is the extent to which people in the US seem to expect to be told what to do. We must be a bit more lawless down here, but if the odds of something bad are high enough we don’t need our politicians telling us what to do – in fact once the pollies are involved we normally know it’s safe to go outside!

  48. I live in Atlanta too. I saw the forecast on Monday and decided to work from home on Tuesday. I knew that precipitation with temperatures 10 degrees below freezing was going to create a mess. I have no idea why more people didn’t see it.

    On Tuesday I couldn’t believe that most of the school systems did not close.

    Some of my co-workers who went into work didn’t make it home until the next day.

    Sprawl is a problem because there is insufficient capacity on the highways and in the transportation system. That is where the planning needs to take place. Every rush hour has a potential for gridlock with a stall or a fender bender. What happened on Tuesday was what could happen any morning or afternoon multiplied because there many stalls, fender benders, and vehicles that make it across icy bridges or up icy hills. Tractor trailers (Atlanta is a major hub) spun out in many places. People stuck in traffic for hours abandoned their vehicles.

    Talk about tipping points. That’s what it was. We can make it through a certain number of accidents and stalls. We have them every day and they cause inconvenience and have an economic impact. When the number reaches a threshold (not sure what that is) we have a disaster.

    • Steve from Rockwood

      Blaming people in Atlanta won’t help anyone. Somehow, if we could convince people to use the common sense you showed (sees the forecast, takes the precaution to stay home) there wouldn’t be a tipping point. I think the answer is in television, radio and the internet. Two days before the storm warn people to check the weather before they go out. Issue up-to-date forecasts and show people what the roads look like. Strongly recommend they not venture out. We don’t need governmental approval for this.

  49. Cliff Mass wrote about Seattle’s response to the disastrous 2008 snow event.


    Let me admit that I have strong feelings about this topic. I still get a visceral shudder when I think back to December 2008 when snow and ice crippled Seattle for two weeks. My car was trapped at my house since it couldn’t get up the hills. Buses were either non-existent or late. Major roads were rutted and impassable. I arrived at Sea Tac from a meeting and couldn’t get home. The UW was closed for days and many Seattle residents and commuters could not get to work. Hundreds and hundreds of accidents. And of course the singular picture of the bus hanging over the freeway. The cost of the poor preparation and street maintenance had to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. A reflection of a city without the equipment, interest, or know-how to deal with only modest amounts of snow. It ended the mayoral career of Mayor Nickels.

    In contrast, Mayor McGinn’s office have taken a very proactive and activist approach to snow preparation and removal in the city …
    [ ... ]
    And finally, that they have a plan to put MORE BUSES on major roads given priority clearing by SDOT, using the buses from cancelled routes. Some folks may have to walk a bit to their apartments or homes, but there is no reason that Metro buses can’t keep the city alive even during a major snow event.

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2012/11/seattle-gets-ready-for-snow.html

  50. “It’s not easy, but it’s not rocket science”

    I like just outside of seattle…snow is not a ‘regular’ occurrence’ at sea level here. When is does occur it mostly melts by noon on the 1st day. So it’s a 1/2 day of at most inconvenience and fender benders. When is becomes a problem is when it doesn’t melt by 3 PM.

    Making a forecast that is counter to normal experience is difficult enough. Communicating that to the public is even more difficult.

    Road conditions being good enough to get to school/work but they won’t be good enough to get home is counter to the experience of many people.

    in addition to that..many people are more then happy to spend a day at home because ‘its too dangerous to get to work/school’. Spending the night at the schoolhouse/office because it’s ‘too dangerous to go home’ doesn’t have the same appeal.

  51. > Somewhere and somehow somebody has got to take the lead on closing the threat-understanding gap between forecasters, decision-makers, and the public.

    Snow blowers might also be nice.

  52. Up here in the frozen north, I think transit systems help rather little – especially the above-ground kind, which is nearly all of them. Chicago’s METRA seems to morph into a fountain spewing lame excuses whenever it gets cold by local standards. And if I understood the reports, it’s the same in the south – MARTA wasn’t functioning well even for the relatively few it serves, never mind the buses. So in that respect the snowfall seems just another excuse for transit devotees to flog their costly, hopelessly time-wasting, dead horse.

    A few flakes of snow, and transit offers limitless delays, endless excuses, and the same characteristic civil-service sloth about preparing and clearing tracks and bus lanes that Atlanta (or the State of Georgia, or whoever, who gives a stuff?) showed in failing to pre-treat their expressways. The real key is to keep transportation functioning at some reasonable level – with streets and roads foremost simply because train lines don’t help one iota with ambulances, fire trucks, supply trucks, and the like.

    If, once in a blue moon, that unnecessarily puts a little extra salt, brine or sand on the expressways, or calls out railroad-track workers unnecessarily, then so be it. No big deal. And if that in turn leaves a few hundred thousand dollars less for urban bling in a given year, then, again, so be it. No big deal.

    But mayors and city officials, when they go a-gadding and a-posturing to “conventions” and “photo-ops”, don’t get much credit from the cognoscenti merely for keeping things functioning, do they? No, they get credit for conspicuous urban bling, such as billions squandered on sports stadiums that return nothing at all locally but traffic jams. Or trains, trams, or buses that hardly anyone has all day to wait for, or parks that are already closed up by the time most people could get to them after work. Or even rental bicycles so awful, awkward, and heavy that they require return springs on the front fork assembly, but nonetheless make an impression at “conferences” on “urbanism”.

    Also: in today’s ridiculously over-hyper-cautious society that often spends untold billions per hypothetical life-saved – vide the countless trillions squandered since 9/11 by chickens with their heads cut off – the notion that six million people in the Atlanta region can’t stock enough supplies and keep enough workers on emergency call at least to keep the expressways (and trains) functioning at a minimal level in a not at all unheard-of snowfall seems so far beyond absurd as to be also beyond words. (It would have been far easier to understand in a small city – where it also wouldn’t have been nearly as big a deal – or in semitropical Miami.)

    So heedless were the authorities that in the news pictures, I didn’t see a single lighted sign cutting the speed limit to 35, as is over-reactively routine on, say, the New Jersey Turnpike. Yet, in a characteristic civil-service display of showy, empty hypercaution, there *were* signs displaying the blindingly obvious – namely that the obviously blocked exit in the immediate background was, well, duh, blocked.

    I tend to think the civil service, especially the supervisors and officers, ought to pay more attention to providing, well, you know, *service*, and not so much to getting out of the office on the dot at 4:30 no matter what, or posturing grandly and emptily at “conventions” and “photo-ops” (or on lighted road signs.) Short of that, the details (X tons of sand, Y plows, Z third-rail clearing devices, exact timing of weather forecast, etc.) simply don’t matter.

  53. timg56 | January 30, 2014 at 11:11 pm | “Dave, ‘you raise a good point. People ultimately are still responsible for their actions.'”
    Add one prerequisite: “Be Prepared”. Become a Boy Scout; earn the Weather merit badge or learn a bit about weather systems. Consult http://squall.sfsu.edu/crws/jetstream.html
    Case in point — Chicago Blizzard of 1967. I was working in Oakbrook. When the office was closed, I drove to Oakbrook and bought some galoshes. Drove to Hinsdale train station, passing over the Dan Ryan parking lot. Parked the car, took the train to Chicago, boarded the bus. When the bus got stuck, put on the galoshes, walked home. My wife and I enjoyed our three-day vacation. Still do.

    • I have to admit to not always being prepared for an emergency when I go out. I currently have water, a hard hat, a book on Oregon hiking trails, flashlight and multitool and a couple of cloth wine bottle bags. From time to time I may have a couple of energy / protein bars, but I forget about them and they get really stale. When I had my light pickup, I had a much better kit. I also have gotten into the bad habit of not dressing for the weather outside. This morning I was wearing gym shorts and shirt because it saves on time as I exercise at the gym at work.

      Maybe because I’m one of those folks who has walked to school more than a mile in the snow, I don’t worry about it. It’s survivable.

    • To and from, a foot deep; sometimes in the summer, too. We hit them with sticks.
      ====

    • Oops, forgot ‘Uphill, to and from’. Well, you see, there was this nearby hill.
      =============

    • Well, timg56, you certainly satisfy the prerequisite! Kudos!
      I’ll add a couple of your practices to my list. Thanks!

  54. Question:

    using this chart Trenberth says the pause is not real owing to the increase in OHC

    Question: during 1993 to 2001 when OHC paused, why did folks refer to surface air temperature increasing as opposed to OHC pausing?

    • Ask Josh.

      He’s big on the motivated reasoning line of argument.

      Personally, I’ll go with “They didn’t think about it.”

      If Lindzen is correct, the best and the brightest don’t have Climate Science as their top choice. While I suspect he may be technically correct, I also think it is unfair, as one still has to be plenty smart to become a researcher in climate fields. Then again, I also think one only requires average intelligence to reach reasonable conclusions on many issues involving science.

    • “during 1993 to 2001 when OHC paused, why did folks refer to surface air temperature increasing as opposed to OHC pausing?”

      It is almost if they are trying to manufacture skeptics.

      Even if you don’t understand the science at all, it is natural to be skeptical when somebody always seems to find their evidence in places where nobody thought to put thermometers, so they have to extrapolate to find it.

      How this stuff can build up on the poles away from thermometers and in the deep ocean beneath the probes without tripping any sensors along the way requires confidence in the science bordering on credulity.

    • Natural change only in that period (1993 to 2001) is positive:

      OHC is flat, anthropogenic “must be positive”. It doesn’t add up.

    • I have no idea, but hunches would be:

      One, they thought mid-century cooling was caused by aerosols. Two, in 1993 they knew about pacific variability, but they did not know about the PDO. Three, the SSTA did go up.

    • Plausible excuses, JCH; not shameful, but shabby. And yet, and yet, by 1998 the PDO was revealed. See the depth of understanding in Trenberth, 2002.
      =========

    • They’re not excuses, koron.

    • Edim | January 31, 2014 at 12:37 pm |

      “Natural change only in that period (1993 to 2001) is positive:”

      The data says otherwise. No fancy cycles, just a longer term data summary.

      Confirmed by Nate Drake PhD. :-)

    • Question: during 1993 to 2001 when OHC paused, why did folks refer to surface air temperature increasing as opposed to OHC pausing?

      They don’t pause at the same time?

    • Richard, I don’t get your point. I agree that there are ~60 years and longer cycles in the temperature indices.

      My point is that this:

      and this:

      just doesn’t add up. For example the 1993 to 2001 period – the OHC is flat (net forcing flat), but both natural and human are positive.

    • Steven Mosher

      related Question:

      using this chart Trenberth points to heat accumulated at depth

      Question: during the earlier periods of warming the depths move in tandem
      with the surface.

      what changed?

    • Edim: I suspect it is down to how you try and reconcile these three traces, Land, Ocean & Global. Something does not add up. (and don’t mention the cycles. They don’t exist. I’ve been told so on very good authority :-)

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst3gl/compress:12/plot/crutem4vgl/compress:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/compress:12

    • We don’t know, or even if, moshe. What a travesty.
      ==========================

    • Steven Mosher | January 31, 2014 at 1:09 pm |

      “Question: during the earlier periods of warming the depths move in tandem
      with the surface.

      what changed?”

      The requirement to explain the differences mentioned in my above post. You have to push that difference somewhere I suspect.

    • k scott denison

      Mosher, made me laugh with that one, thanks. And great observation.

    • Steve: Just concentrating on 1980 onwards

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst3gl/compress:12/from:1980/plot/crutem4vgl/compress:12/from:1980/plot/hadcrut4gl/compress:12/from:1980

      That track almost exactly with the divergence you ask about. I do not believe that it is con-incidental.

      • I saw what appears to be one (possibly small) error in that linked article.

        The comment that SLR has accelerated from 1.8 to 3.3 mm/yr. To the best of my knowledge, science doesn’t know for a fact if there is accelleration or if it has to do with the change in how SLR is being measured. It could be that tidal gauges were always reading to low and satellite data is more accurate. It could be that the satellite data is off. Hasn’t tidal gauge readings stayed consistent at 1.8 mm/yr in the satellite era?

    • timg56 | January 31, 2014 at 1:56 pm |

      “The comment that SLR has accelerated from 1.8 to 3.3 mm/yr. To the best of my knowledge, science doesn’t know for a fact if there is acceleration”

      Or indeed if they have correctly taken into account

      Tide gauges
      “We find that there is a significant oscillation with a period around 60-years in the majority of the tide gauges examined during the 20th Century, and that it appears in every ocean basin.”
      Chambers, Merrifield and Nerem

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052885/abstract

    • Mosher – From the chart I calculate a change in heat content from 2000 to 2010 of 1.5 e 20 KJ in the ocean. From 1990 to 2000, assuming that atmosphere heated 0.5 C (which is high, i believe) that gives 2.6 e 18 KJ. These two numbers are off by nearly two orders of magnitude. My interpretation is that we can’t measure OHC with anything near the precision needed to draw conclusions.

    • @Steven Mosher:

      Question: during 1993 to 2001 when OHC paused, why did folks refer to surface air temperature increasing as opposed to OHC pausing?

      Why are you asking such a loaded question? What about you show first that the presumption, on which your question is based, is correct?

    • Steven Mosher

      guys I just ask questions.

      people always say look at the data. as if it spoke for itself.

      you want answers? go torture some data.

    • “why ask such a loaded question”

      Because the history of claims is one of the few ways that the non immersed can judge credibility. Asking somebody to prove what anybody who remembers the time clearly recalls is just one more example of overly lawyerly responses to simple questions. I think a better response might be to prove that what is generally believed is incorrect.

      But you run your propaganda program as you see fit.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I am going to try this again – in 2 parts.

      The answer depends on which OHC interpolation of <15% uneven coverage prior to 2004 you believe.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/LymnaandJohnson2013OHCA_zps703732d0.png.html?sort=3&o=50

      Trenberth's missing energy was based on CERES data. Loeb et all 2012 -http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~sgs02rpa/PAPERS/Loeb12NG.pdf – found that OHC was consistent with net CERES over the overlapping period. This is not surprising given energy conservation. Perhaps of more interest is that CERES shows that SW changes were the dominant mode of TOA flux variability in the relevant period. This results from cloud changes associated with changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Updated CERES data is showing no trend in net flux. It should be noted that CERES is stable to 0.2% in SW and 0.15% in IR per decade.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=3

      Updated ARGO shows little trend as well. A little higher in 2012 – as TSI was approaching a peak. It should have turned down with CERES in 2013.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/237f9f0f-7543-40dc-bec5-ead3859d7758_zpse9c0cb59.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2

    • @Tim:

      Because the history of claims is one of the few ways that the non immersed can judge credibility.

      If you make assertions about some alleged history of claims then you are the one with the burden to back up such assertions.

      Asking somebody to prove what anybody who remembers the time clearly recalls is just one more example of overly lawyerly responses to simple questions.

      Argumentum ad populum.

      I think a better response might be to prove that what is generally believed is incorrect.

      That’s how “skeptics” always like it best. They want that their opponents don’t just have the burden to provide the evidence for their own statements, the opponents are supposed to additionally have the burden to disprove the assertions of the “skeptics” as well.

      But you run your propaganda program as you see fit.

      You are projecting.

    • Steven Mosher wrote:

      guys I just ask questions.

      A loaded question isn’t just a question. Your question came with a claim embedded what statements were allegedly made in the 1990s. Together with it, you presented a graphic in a sugggestive way, from a study published in the year 2013, as if the same information had already been available in the 1990s. However, information on ocean heat content was much more sketchy in the 1990s. One of the first studies that tried to quantify it was Levitus et al. Science (2000), http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.287.5461.2225.

    • Good luck with that approach.

    • Steven Mosher wrote:

      using this chart Trenberth points to heat accumulated at depth

      Question: during the earlier periods of warming the depths move in tandem
      with the surface.

      what changed?

      My hypothesis: Heat content change for the “Total Depth” moved “in tandem” in the earlier periods, because the curve for “Total Depth” heat content change only shows the heat content change for the ocean layers 0-700 m in those periods. There hadn’t been much happening below 700 m yet. Heat content is an integral quantity (unlike temperature). The change for the “Total Depths” is the sum of the change in the 0-700 m layer and the change below 700 m. If the change below 700 m is about Zero, the change for the total equals the change in the 0-700 m layer.

      The perturbation in the energy balance is coming from the top and it takes time until it penetrates into the deep ocean. The upper layers of the oceans are warming at the fastest rate (see http://climateconomysociety.blogspot.com/2014/01/no-hiatus-pausestop-in-global-ocean.html). Thus, the temperature gradient from deeper to upper layers is increasing with time, increasing heat diffusion against the gradient into the deeper layers with time. This is why ones also sees an acceleration of the temperature anomaly between 100 and 700 m depths in recent decades.

    • Steven Mosher

      Jan

      Its easy.

      Find any statement at any time where the observation was made.
      That makes the case more forcefully.

      or find someone in 1993 to 2001 who said

      “we have no good records of OHC so we really cant say anything definitive about warming. while the air temp is going up, OHC could be flat, we just dont know”

      Either way, one gets to ask the question

      1. Why now are folks avoiding the obvious question of the 1993-2001 flatness.
      2. Why then, if they did not know whether it was flat or not, did they not acknowledge the possibility. It was a known unknown.

      Have a fun time spinning.

      • Why now are folks avoiding the obvious question of the 1993-2001 flatness.

        Temperature levels off while OHC speeds up (in 1998-2001)? They should be shouting it from the rooftops. Global warming switched from warming the atmosphere to warming the ocean. Isn’t that pretty much what they’ve been saying?

    • Jan P Perlwitz | January 31, 2014 at 5:35 pm |

      “The upper layers of the oceans are warming at the fastest rate”

      A simple 15 year CTRM FIR low pass filter of the SST says otherwise. (15 years to sort ‘noise’ from ‘Climate’) .

      You want to do a Nate Drake and run a higher order filter to prove me wrong?

    • Steven Mosher wrote:

      Find any statement at any time where the observation was made.
      That makes the case more forcefully.

      It is apparently you who wants to make a case. Not me. Although it doesn’t seem to be a case about a scientific question. It looks more like you want to attack someone. Without being specific who you want to attack exactly.

      Either way, one gets to ask the question

      1. Why now are folks avoiding the obvious question of the 1993-2001 flatness.

      When and where should it have been addressed? And how? Is there still no emergency committee yet, which has made this question top priority of all climate science research?

      And why is this supposed to be an obvious question? It isn’t obvious to me. I look at Figure 1 of Balmaseda et al. GRL (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/grl.50382. The same data as in your figure, only the 0-700 m curves aren’t mingled with the Total Depth curves. It additionally shows the OHC change for the 0-300 m layer. I don’t see this alleged “flatness” you are claiming. After the Pinatubo induced drop, OHC is increasing both in the upper 300 m of the ocean and for the Total Depth in the 1990s up to the El Nino in 1998. Then it goes down until about 2001, but not all the way back, before it increases again.

      The graphics with the ocean temperature changes based on the NOAA data, to which I had already linked, don’t show any “flatness” either.

    • AK wrote:

      Temperature levels off while OHC speeds up (in 1998-2001)?
      </blockquote

      No, it didn't. OHC decreased from 1998 to 2001.

      They should be shouting it from the rooftops. Global warming switched from warming the atmosphere to warming the ocean. Isn’t that pretty much what they’ve been saying?

      No, it isn’t. You are fantasizing.

      • No, it didn’t. OHC decreased from 1998 to 2001.

        I was treating 1998-2001 as a transitional period due to the 1998 El Nino. Look at what it does after 2001.

        But look at this chart from the paper you referenced: subtract the upper 700m OHC from that of the total depth (by eye) and the difference (700-2000) jumps substantially in 1998.

        No, it isn’t. You are fantasizing.

        I’m spinning hypothetical stories about mythical creatures (GAT, ECS, etc.) However, I assure you that the switch from warming the atmosphere to the deep ocean was how I understood what they were saying about the “missing heat”.

        When I looked at the charts they offered in support of it, they didn’t seem to match their story, but this one does (a little).

    • Richard LH wrote:

      “The upper layers of the oceans are warming at the fastest rate”

      A simple 15 year CTRM FIR low pass filter of the SST says otherwise. (15 years to sort ‘noise’ from ‘Climate’) .

      I compare the warming rates of various ocean layers over recent decades. The upper layers of the oceans have been warming with a higher rate than the deeper layers of the oceans on average. The temperature increase per time unit becomes smaller with depth on average.

      How is a graphic of the SST (the interface between atmosphere and ocean) change supposed to refute what I said about that?

      You want to do a Nate Drake and run a higher order filter to prove me wrong?

      About what?

    • It shouldn’t be difficult to solve this , see

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/25/what-missing-heat/

      These are homework problems, but problems that will require a little bit of math. I find it humorous that people think they can solve it by using rhetoric.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      webby uses an effective diffusion constant to poorly reproduce one of the available options for OHC. It is conceptually an equation of heat diffusion from the atmosphere to the ocean – and so is physically unrealistic as well as being quite pointless.

      It has nothing at all to do with the so called ‘missing heat’ – which relates to early CERES.

    • AK wrote:

      I was treating 1998-2001 as a transitional period due to the 1998 El Nino. Look at what it does after 2001.

      OHC increased after 2001, and so did the temperature at the surface with a rate until 2005 (inclusive), which wasn’t much different from the longer-term trend since 1970, even if you choose the strong El Nino year 1998 as start year for the trend estimate. Check it out yourself: http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

      Nothing is statistically significant over such a few years, but there isn’t any basis in the data for the claim that the atmosphere didn’t warm after 1998. The surface temperature change followed the heat content change. The decrease in the rate of the changes in both variables occurred rather after 2005, congruent with the solar cycle minimum and the dominance of La Ninas (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012).

      Thus, there isn’t even any empirical basis for the claim that ocean and atmospheric warming switched roles somehow. The direction of latter followed former quite well, according to the data.

      But look at this chart from the paper you referenced: subtract the upper 700m OHC from that of the total depth (by eye) and the difference (700-2000) jumps substantially in 1998.

      There seems to be a divergence of the ocean heat content change between 0-700 m and Total Depth starting in 1998 lasting until about 2000. Difficult to say anything about the few following years from the graphic. After 2003/04 there is a divergence again.

      The heat content change in an ocean layer equals the difference between energy influx from above and outflux to the layers below. The divergence between 1998 to 2001 could be due to the massive heat release to the atmosphere due to the 1998 El Nino and the drop in the heat content during the following La Nina years in the upper 300 m of the oceans. This decreased the vertical temperature gradient between the layer 300-700 m and the 0-300 m layer, decreasing the heat influx into the 300-700m layer, while the flux into deeper layers continued. Therefore the largest decrease in the OHC in the intermediate layer.

      The increasing rate of the change in the OHC with depth in recent years may be just due to a penetration of the perturbation in the energy balance coming from the top into deeper and deeper layers of the oceans. Unlike for the period 1998 to 2000, they are all diverging from each other now, which makes sense, considering that the values for the larger depths include the values for the smaller depths.

      I’m spinning hypothetical stories about mythical creatures (GAT, ECS, etc.) However, I assure you that the switch from warming the atmosphere to the deep ocean was how I understood what they were saying about the “missing heat”.

      I don’t know who “they” are. Trenberth addressed the “missing heat” issue in Trenberth K. E.., 2009, “An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy”, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability”, 1, 19-27, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. It referred specifically to the period 2004-2008. Not to the period 1998 – 2001 or the whole time since 1998, or so. Is is a closure problem of the energy balance. According to the calculation by Trenberth, the energy budget changes in various components of the climate system during this time period, which could be tracked with current observation systems, did not match with the radiation imbalance at the top of the atmosphere, derived from satellite data. There was a residual left that must have gone somewhere else untracked, according to Trenberth. His hypothesis was it went into the deep ocean below 900 m depth.

      Whether there is really a “missing heat” issue has been challenged in the scientific literature. The supposed difference also could be just due to uncertainties in the measurements (Loeb et al. Nature, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1375).

    • Jan P Perlwitz | January 31, 2014 at 7:46 pm |

      “How is a graphic of the SST (the interface between atmosphere and ocean) change supposed to refute what I said about that?”

      So the layers immediately below the surface are warming at a faster rate than the surface itself? As well as the layers further down. I would not have thought that it was possible for such a thing to happen.

      If the surface temperature rate of change has dropped to zero (as Nat found that GISS has done when I prompted him to – you know – ‘The Pause’) then I cannot see how the lower layers have continued to increase.

      In a liquid that is subject to convection anyway and heated from above.

      And that oscillatory wave shape to the SST. Looks like that sort of behaviour has been going on for a long time. How much of that have you deduced from the figures you use, you know the ‘natural variability’ part?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      What Loeb et al (2012) actually said was that the change in OHC was consistent with the ‘missing heat’ that Trenberth identified in CERES over the early record. Which was in fact largely short wave changes.

      CERES is providing unprecedented levels of precision in measuring toa radiant flux – e.g. http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

      CERES is stable in SW to 0.2% and IR to 0.15% per decade. This is no trend in net CERES over the available record – so no longer any missing heat.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=4

      OHC follows net toa radiant flux – with annual variability due to the distribution of land and ocean in the NH and SH.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/237f9f0f-7543-40dc-bec5-ead3859d7758_zpse9c0cb59.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2

      Prior to ARGO and CERES the available data – ERBS, ISCCP-FD, project Earthshine – suggest energy budget changes associated with an increase in cloud following 1998. The change in cloud cover is associated with the shift in ocean and atmospheric circulation that occurred in the 1998/2001 climate shift to a new pattern – a negative IPO especially. Something that has scientists suggesting that the hiatus seems likely to persist for another decade to three.

    • RichardLH wrote:

      If the surface temperature rate of change has dropped to zero (as Nat found that GISS has done when I prompted him to – you know – ‘The Pause’) then I cannot see how the lower layers have continued to increase.

      What time frame are you talking about? The last 10 years? Look at the large swings in the global average temperature of the 0-100 m ocean layer in the graphic I made:

      http://climateconomysociety.blogspot.com/2014/01/no-hiatus-pausestop-in-global-ocean.html

      Those swings have a time scale of multiple years. With imagination one may be able to draw some “flattening” over the curve of the recent 10 years. But this is just trying to draw conclusions from noise. It’s meaningless.

      I am talking about the change over multiple decades. The regression lines don’t show any pause for any of the average temperatures. There has been a quasi-linear uptrend in the average temperature anomay for the 0-100 m layer and an accelereration in the anomaly in the layer 0-700 m for the recent decades.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “What time frame are you talking about? The last 10 years?”

      Are you now quitting your denialism on that item, Jan Perlwitz? Good thinking!

    • David Springer

      Tom C | January 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm |

      Mosher – From the chart I calculate a change in heat content from 2000 to 2010 of 1.5 e 20 KJ in the ocean. From 1990 to 2000, assuming that atmosphere heated 0.5 C (which is high, i believe) that gives 2.6 e 18 KJ. These two numbers are off by nearly two orders of magnitude. My interpretation is that we can’t measure OHC with anything near the precision needed to draw conclusions.

      Bingo!

      Then the crapass OHC data is used to calibrate CERES. CERES has a margin of error of 4W/m2 but somehow we’re supposed to believe in a TOA imbalance of 0.5W/m2 when the instrument that measures it is 10x too inaccurate. Enter ARGO which, even though is samples less than 25% of the ocean’s volume, and was pencil whipped from cooling to warming in 2008, is supposed to be accurate enough at measuring OHC that it can reduce the margin of error in CERES by 10x.

      So much bullschit in consensus climate science, so little time to expose it.

      Bottom line is we don’t have adequate data to analyze the climate in order to tease out anthropogenic changes on the order of 0.1C/decade. Going back in time the problem just gets worse as the instruments become more and more crude.

      In “correcting” and “adjusting” all this crappy questionable data there is a great deal of room for mischief in massaging it, or torturing it, or pencil whipping it to show what you want it to show. Climate scientists and power-grabbing politicians of course want the data to show the earth being warmed, perilously, by human activities. The climate scientists want this outcome so there’s more concern over their findings and more money available to improve the findings and where the politicians simply want an excuse to wrest control of the vast energy and energy-related economy from the private sector to the public because that makes them more important with larger fiefdoms as well.

      It’s really sickening. On the plus side the call to action has now been blunted long enough for mother nature herself to indisputably throw a huge shadow of doubt over the climate science enterprise so nothing is going to happen in the way of climate change mitigation until the so-called “pause” plays out.

    • Jan P Perlwitz | February 1, 2014 at 6:46 am |

      “What time frame are you talking about? The last 10 years? Look at the large swings in the global average temperature of the 0-100 m ocean layer in the graphic I made:

      http://climateconomysociety.blogspot.com/2014/01/no-hiatus-pausestop-in-global-ocean.html

      Those swings have a time scale of multiple years. With imagination one may be able to draw some “flattening” over the curve of the recent 10 years. But this is just trying to draw conclusions from noise. It’s meaningless.”

      Indeed. I am very keen to consider <15 years as not being particularly helpful when considering climate and trends.

      Which is why I tend to use a low pass filter set to a 15 year corner to eliminate such distractions.

      The suggestion I was making (and yes I am well aware of your graphic) is that there is a notable cyclic (quasi or sin) behaviour to the sea surface data as provided by HadSST. Going back many years. That does need taking into account when dealing with the current state of affairs.

      Also, your dismissal of the "“flattening” over the curve of the recent 10 years" was where Nate came to grief when he tried to 'prove' my simpler, full kernel CTRM filter wrong.

      “Filter on NON-detrended GISS LOTI data: …
      I ran a 5 pass-multipass with second order polynomials on
      15 year data windows as per the Savitzky–Golay method.” Nate Drake PhD

      Care to run a similar filter on the SST data (or give rational scientific arguments why this is not a valid conclusion)?

      If the SG line is horizontal at today then the rise has most definitely stopped.

    • Jan P Perlwitz | January 31, 2014 at 7:46 pm |

      P.S. I would love to have some R code to reproduce the Nate graphic with all the other temperature data sets (including SST) but for some reason he has stopped replying to my requests for more information. Just trying to get some reproducible examples out in the open :-)

    • @Tom C:

      Mosher – From the chart I calculate a change in heat content from 2000 to 2010 of 1.5 e 20 KJ in the ocean. From 1990 to 2000, assuming that atmosphere heated 0.5 C (which is high, i believe) that gives 2.6 e 18 KJ. These two numbers are off by nearly two orders of magnitude. My interpretation is that we can’t measure OHC with anything near the precision needed to draw conclusions.

      What do you mean with “these two numbers are off”. What should the numbers be instead?

      And how does from the difference between the atmospheric heat content increase and the ocean heat content increase follow that OHC couldn’t be measured with the precision needed? The logic of your conclusion escapes me. I only see a non-sequitur. Please explain.

    • Words, JPP; ‘are off by’, meaning ‘are separated from each other by’. I prefer moshe’s manner.
      ===============

    • David Springer wrote:

      Then the crapass OHC data is used to calibrate CERES.

      Please state the source for your claim that the OHC data were used to calibrate CERES? Or did you make this up yourself?

      CERES has a margin of error of 4W/m2 but somehow we’re supposed to believe in a TOA imbalance of 0.5W/m2 when the instrument that measures it is 10x too inaccurate.

      This statement is apparently based on a confusion between the overall bias and the error in the anomaly over time. The TOA imbalance refers to the anomaly over time relative to some reference value. Since the anomaly is relative to the reference value, the bias doesn’t matter since it is subtracted from every data point.

    • RichardLH wrote:

      The suggestion I was making (and yes I am well aware of your graphic) is that there is a notable cyclic (quasi or sin) behaviour to the sea surface data as provided by HadSST. Going back many years. That does need taking into account when dealing with the current state of affairs.

      and as for the figure at

      Well, you can do some filtering and when the result is some curve that gives the impression of a cycle, it doesn’t mean necessarily these are really cycles. Some statistical fit doesn’t say anything about causation yet. I see merely 1.5 “cycles” in the figure. It could be true quasi-cyclic variability, or just an impression of a cycle due to the different combination of various forcings at different times. Or just what the fitting procedure made out of a random distribution. I would have preferred to see some confidence intervals around the fit you are showing. Confidence intervals usually get broader near the ends of the fitting curves. Without those I wouldn’t even start to try to draw any conclusion, particularly about a “flattening” in recent years.

    • @thisisnotgoodtogo:

      “What time frame are you talking about? The last 10 years?”

      Are you now quitting your denialism on that item, Jan Perlwitz? Good thinking!

      What “denialism” are you talking about? If you answer to that, please don’t make just another unspecific assertion. Instead, provide some specific quote made by me with proof of source so I know to what alleged “denialism” you are referring.

      I have had enough bad experiences with “skeptics” who misrepresented what I allegedly said.

    • Jan P Perlwitz | February 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm |

      “Some statistical fit doesn’t say anything about causation yet. I see merely 1.5 “cycles” in the figure. It could be true quasi-cyclic variability, or just an impression of a cycle due to the different combination of various forcings at different times. Or just what the fitting procedure made out of a random distribution. I would have preferred to see some confidence intervals around the fit you are showing.”

      !!!!!! That will be novel to say the least! This is not a curve fitting exercise. This is a long term summary of the data to date, with 15 years in the pass band.

      A binary chop of all of the frequencies present in the data into two bins.

      LOW PASS FILTER.

      An extension of what is normally gone for day,month,year,decade, 15 years.

      How CAN you get a statistical confidence interval out of that.

      Let me say that I am certain that a ~60 year signal exists in the data shall we.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Wow these threads are getting long and confused.

      The radiant imbalance cannot be estimated – it requires both incoming and outgoing energy measurement and the problems of intercalibration are insurmountable. Intercomparisons are essentially guesswork and 5W/m2 error is probably generous. But both incoming an outgoing energy measurements have trends that are stable and provide the best understanding of trends in the energy budget of the planet.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=4

      Trending up in net is warming by convention and down cooling.

  55. I live in Vermont. We have tons of plows, salt spreaders, even those tanker trucks that pre-treat the roads before a storm. Ice storms are still pretty touch for us. We just had one. The same one hit Toronto and they were ice skating on the streets. There is a small parking area down the street from me where you could still, a month later, play pond hockey if you were of a mind.

    I agree they should have warned people off the roads, but this kind of event is a tough one for anybody to deal with. Usually, this far north ice storms are rare, but we had one in ’96 or ’98 that had people living in shelters for a month in the town where I live. I didnt live here then, but there are still ash trees in the woods that were small at the time that are bowed over.

  56. steinarmidtskogen

    It sounds like Atlanta has a problem with its infrastructure rather with its weather. That is, of course, easy for me to say sitting in Norway, where it has been snowing 19 days in a row now and there is no break in sight in the 10 day forecast. Still, I think there is a win-win solution here. 50 years ago Arthur C Clarke predicted that people in the future would not commute, but communicate. I think the technology now is ripe to fullfil his prophecy. A lot of people live in the suburbs and travel every day to an office in the city. Many could do most of their work and participate in most of the meeting using videoconferencing, possibly more efficiently. Sometimes they need to go to the office in person, fine, but this would be far from every day. This will greatly reduce traffic, eliminate the unneccessary time spent in traffic. For every car parked at home, more than one car will disappear from the roads since there will be less or no congestion. Energy use and emission will be reduced. I can’t really think of any non-trivial problem with this.

  57. A little story that may be of interest. I don’t know whether it is still done, but in the past Provincial authorities have used the ice on the Ottawa River to train emergency drivers how to drive on ice. They would plough out an oblong track from the snow, and have one vehicle, only, to drive. Then they would get drivers to see how fast they could safely drive around the track. It was my understanding that for a fee, ordinary drivers could try their skills as well.

  58. Hmmmmmm………………. Just come to Canada (everywhere except Toronto that is). 1 1/2 feet of snow, -25 C, everyone is back on the move in 6 – 12 hours. But of course you should see the 3-blade wide snow plows with dump truck sized boxes of salt ……… nothing but a roar all night long.

    • Steve from Rockwood

      Philip. I remember the call to the military to “save” Toronto. But few people realize how dire the situation was. Over 1 million people transit into the city every day. They needed to get out (back to their homes) and they couldn’t. That’s a lot of people to help in one day, even in Toronto. Cities (like Toronto and Atlanta) where so many people commute in and out of the city are especially vulnerable.

  59. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Drivers unaccustomed to driving on snow and ice may not know how to drive on snow and ice. If you don’t know how, the following tips may be helpful:

    1 Drive slowly.

    2. Use a light touch on the gas pedal to keep your wheels from spinning.

    3. Use a light touch on the brakes to keep from sliding.

    4. Keep more than your usual distance from the car in front of you.

    5. Try to drive slow enough to avoid coming to a compete stop (easier said than done).

    6. If approaching a hill, accelerate gently to build momentum, providing you have enough room in front of you.

    7. If you do get stuck, do not spin your wheels, as this usually won’t do any good. Instead, use your gas pedal to gently rock the car forward and backward until you gain enough traction to move on.

    • Good advice Max.

      Couldn’t have done better myself.

      One question – any special advice for old drivers?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      My advice to old drivers:

      Buy late model Ford Crown Vics and Mercury Marquis while you can still find them.

      Don’t drive on snow or ice unless unless it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t drive at night unless it’s absolutely necessary. Better yet, don’t drive at all unless it’s absolutely necessary.

      If you must drive on snow and ice, equip your car with snow tires. If it’s rear-wheel drive only, load the trunk with a couple hundred pounds of kitty litter.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      P.S. Do not remove the kitty litter from the bags.

    • Let me add. If the car skids, remember you must turn the wheels in the SAME direction as the skid; the opposite of what your instinct tells you.. You must gain control of the car, before you can steer it out of the skid.

    • Do not remove the kitty litter from the bags.

      Where do you expect the poor cats to go?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Jim, thank you. Yes, turn in the direction of the skid. That shouldn’t be confusing advice, but if it isn’t understood, turning the wheels the way you want to go is another way of putting it. I believe the best way for an inexperience driver to learn about handling a skid is to find a large ice-covered area where he can practice without risk.

      phatboy, if you have cats living in the trunk of your car, disregard my PS.

    • Max_OK

      Add:

      8. Install snow tires (around Thanksgiving)

      9. Make sure your car has ABS.

      10. Watch out for silly drivers that have neither (they’ll be spinning around).

    • Max CH. Snow tires – not necessarily. I am retired. If the driving conditions are such that snow tires are required, my car stays in the garage. I only take it out if snow tires are NOT required.

    • Max OK, you write ” turning the wheels the way you want to go is another way of putting it. ”

      I have trouble with this explanation. If the car skids, you have lost control of the steering. The first thing you need to do is get control of the steering back. Only then can you dictate which way the car is going to go. So the first thing to do is turn the wheels in the direction of the skid, because that is the way the car has decided to go. Then as you slow down, you can gain control of the steering once again, and slowly get the car to go in the direction you want.

    • Steve from Rockwood

      Max. My father lived in London, Ontario for several years (in the west end). He had a truck with 4-wheel drive, a snow plow and excellent snow tires (tow chains, jumper cables, the works). On his way home he would take a very indirect route because of a gentle hill (on Oxford Street) where the cars would get stuck half-way up with the slightest snow fall. They couldn’t go up and they couldn’t go down. After 30 minutes or so there were so many cars you couldn’t get around them, even with his truck. This is in a known snow belt. So in Atlanta I can only imagine the “average” approach to 2″ of snow.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Up thread on January 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm my advice to old drivers included the following paragraph:

      “If you must drive on snow and ice, equip your car with snow tires. If it’s rear-wheel drive only, load the trunk with a couple hundred pounds of kitty litter.”
      __________

      Please disregard my advice to load your car trunk with a couple hundred pounds of kitty litter. I don’t know the size of your rear-wheel drive vehicle, and it could be too small to safely carry the extra weight. Moreover, you could hurt your back loading and unloading the bags of litter. If you have a rear-wheel drive car, I think it would be best for you to just to leave it parked when the roads are slippery with ice or snow.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Yes, Steve from Rockwood, if the vehicles ahead of us can’t move, neither can we. Even when road conditions are good, we are at the mercy of other drivers. I try to keep distance between myself and other drivers as much as possible.

    • All good stuff,, but to really solve the problem, buy an Audi Quattro, Subarau or any other light 4wd car. My preference is Audi, a true engineer’s car – have been running the same (elderly) example here since 1999 :-). Large 4×4’s can get stuck because of their weight, while lighter saloon cars with 4wd can be more effective. Also, large 4×4’s have a lot more mass and slide further once grip lets go, so more likely to hit something.

      A couple more:

      1) If you don;t have abs, then caddence brake to maintian control on ice,
      2) Stay in a higher gear, even when starting off, as this redues available torque = less wheelspin.

      • Chris,

        I’ll confirm that. Our last big storm was end of January, 2012. I drove up from Portland to Seattle in it. Dumped 9 – 14 inches. Hardly anyone on the interstate but a few big trucks and the occasional plow. Made it with my Subaru Outback without problem, though it was a bit tense at times.

    • Edim:

      Great – we don;t get Audi ads like that in the Uk, but the best one I remember was the one that shows a quattro driiving all the (wrong) way up a ski slope :-)

      What will I replace it with ?…

  60. A hiatus has the connotation of a calming thing –e.g., the halcyon day of Greece — but, for global warming alarmists, discovery seems to bring only pain.

  61. It has been so cold in Washington DC the politicians had their hands in their own pockets.

  62. Inspired by the South’s snowfall, the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday had some pictures of the snow of February 5, 1976.

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/entertainment/article/Readers-remember-Bay-Area-s-freak-1976-snowstorm-5186166.php

  63. From the article:
    LONDON (AP) — Prince Charles has called people who deny human-made climate change a “headless chicken brigade” who are ignoring overwhelming scientific evidence.

    The heir to the British throne, a dedicated environmentalist, accused “powerful groups of deniers” of mounting “a barrage of sheer intimidation” against opponents.

    He made the comments at a Buckingham Palace awards ceremony on Thursday.

    Charles said it was “baffling … that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to climate science.”

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_BRITAIN_PRINCE_CHARLES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-01-31-11-12-23

    • “we all accept what science tells us about everything”

      I’m sorry, but these are the brayings of a complete j@ck@ss.

      Andrew

    • I am skeptical about the head of a free thinker ever being the Royal Prince of the British Chicken Brigade.

    • We’ve got this Royal turkey clucking about a “headless chicken brigade”?

      How funny!

    • Steve from Rockwood

      I always felt the Queen of England really loved her country and that is why she has lived to such a ripe old age – knowing her idiot son is next in line.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      LONDON (AP) — Prince Charles has called people who deny human-made climate change a “headless chicken brigade” who are ignoring overwhelming scientific evidence.
      ______

      The Prince is being diplomatic.

    • He may be a decent chap, but everyone here in the uk knows he isn’t the brightest card in the deck. He’s well meaning and has a wide range of interests, but is quite off the wall on many issues. The Grauniad is left wing, Charles royalty, but they have given him space to pontificate because it agrees with their own agenda. Strange bedfellows indeed…

    • How many Chicken Little Brigades does it take to scare a Prince out of her pants?
      ==========

  64. A guy I know from Germany now working in London, on seeing how Londoners handle an inch of snow, said that had the Nazis dropped snow in London rather than bombs they would have won the war.

    • And if they had dropped a few inches of rain on California, they would have been welcomed as liberators from drought.

  65. Maybe we need to stop “selling” climate for a while. While “Superstorm” Sandy was very large in area and came into the wrong town (with the wrong mayor and development history) on the wrong tide, it was not a hurricane of any category at landfall. As for “polar vortex”, I dare say there is a circumpolar vortex and it has a bit to do with bad winters in the northern hemisphere, but using it as a sell on “extreme” and “your new climate” is more than a stretch. I mean, Polar Vortex would be a good name for a new mountain bike or energy drink…but really!

    The North West of Australia is a true cyclone alley, and the strongest ones (though not the most) arrive quite late in the SH autumn. When you haven’t had any big disasters up there for a while, it’s just too easy for climate propagandists to make a fuss when the Big One eventually strikes. Sadly, the people we should look to for balance, historical perspective etc are the very ones beating the drums. (I know, I know. A sober old scientist with an historical perspective won’t be able to get himself chained to a fence with Daryl Hannah.)

    44 years ago a forest area a bit to the south of where I live in NSW had a full blown tornado, Australia’s biggest known, possibly F5. It happened on New Years Day in the unlikeliest of places. When you mention the Bulahdelah Tornado it sounds like a complete joke. But if it were to occur now, could we trust our Green Betters and our intellectual leaders for some perspective?

    Really, where do you go for some perspective these days? Who do you have to sleep with to get some perspective?

  66. Generalissimo Skippy

    This single indent is absurd – creating super unwieldy threads. It is about time the experiment was dropped.

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/30/atlantas-2-catastrophic-snowfall/#comment-445660

    Wind shear in tropical cyclones occurs with the Coriolis force. Springers reference refers to higher latitude thunderstorms and extra-tropical cyclones spinning off the polar front. This seems different from Katrina which was mentioned – and which was certainly a tropical cyclone – and the 2013 cyclone (or hurricane) season which also refers to tropical cyclones.

    I really don’t need 5 minutes on the internet to become an instant expert – it has been part of my life for decades. Of particular interest is assessing the cyclone risk to the Great Western Hotel.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Cyclonetracks_zpsd3ce6e8c.png.html

    But tropical cyclones in the Atlantic seem to depend more on AMOC and ENSO.

    http://typhoon.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2013/dec2013/dec2013.pdf

    • David Springer

      The subject of the article is Atlanta. And it’s a polar cyclone what knocked it for a loop.

      Thanks for playing hope you learned that not all cyclones are tropical nor do they all need tropical ocean heat to form.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Yes we all know about the polar vortex – some of us have been watching this for years.

      e.g. http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024001

      But your discussion was of Katrina and the 2013 tropical cyclone season. Thanks for the dissimulation and prevarication. It’s been a pleasure as usual.

    • The “Cold Sunday” winter centered at January 1982 was an example of a polar vortex.. This broke lots of records in the USA.

      In this CSALT fit, that date provides the largest error excursion on the cold side:

      It’s hard to see it there, so here is the residual plot

      Look at the cold spike in 1982

      Extreme excursions are difficult to model, usually because they require a number of low probability different events to come together.

  67. Aaaaand, it’s all over.
    There’s only one thing all the Klimate Koncerned “realists” insisted on getting this year and Obama just told them “no”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/us/politics/report-may-ease-way-to-approval-of-keystone-pipeline.html?emc=edit_na_20140131&_r=0

    Good for him. He joins in Europe in paying lip service over his shoulder while hurrying away from the CAGW crowd as fast as he can. The activist class will be along any minute now to deny this was ever an issue of any importance to them. Now if the president were a Republican…
    For those of you excited about Obama’s go-it-alone pledge, good luck. The “specifics” are basically to study the possibility of maybe doing something that might, possibly, take effect in Hillary Clinton’s second administration.
    No Democrat wants to be facing headlines about Obama energy price hikes after the Obama health care price hikes.

  68. It’s a travesty: humanity cannot change the climate; and, now we are forced to face our limitations. “Temperature oscillations recorded in Greenland ice cores over the past 500 years,” according to Dr. Easterbrook, “are truly remarkable. At least 40 periods of warming and cooling have occurred since 1480 AD, all well before CO2 emissions could have been a factor.”

    Oh well, in hindsight I guess we should have know. We’re just not that powerful. But, it’s a learning experience–e.g., we learned Western academia has way too much time on its hands and we need to make some serious cutbacks in the government-education complex before all their good ideas drive us into the poorhouse.

  69. Oh! how they hate big oil but, before electricity — made utilizing fossil or nuclear fuel or damned-up water — were school teachers just as critical of, big candle?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Big horse manure.

      • Perhaps, global warming alarmists just need some perspective–e.g.,

        “Open hearth cooking—cooking in a fireplace—was the only way to cook in the White House up until Millard Fillmore’s administration (1850-1853)… Coal was the hottest and burned the longest. Hard woods—ash, oak, hickory, maple, and dogwood gave good heat, burned evenly, and lasted a long time…”

        (Mary Brigid Barrett, ‘A Taste of the Past: White House Kitchens, Menus, and Recipes,’ Our White House)

    • Remember that horse manure in the street was a major catostrophic city issue around 1900 before cars and buses and trains replaced them by emiting carbon instead of manure in methane. Turn of the century worries were about what can we do to regulate this coming cataclysm before humanity is overwhelmed. Technology got us out of that one and will get us out of this CAGW in the medium time frame. We will have fusion power, desalination, inexpensive solar in places it makes sense and hydrogen powered vehicles emitting water.

      Scott

      • Technology marches on… now we’re burning natural gas which means we’re burning more hydrogen and less carbon. The government did not demand we do this. Ronald Reagan — ‘Government is not a solution to our problem government is the problem.’

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Reagan didn’t know about commas?

    • It’s a particularly destructive form of fundamentalism. People led by the nose by an insidious mixture of distorted fact, emotional balckmail and the psychology of fear and guilt…

  70. If Atlanta’s response to 2″ of snow is any indication of how well we can adapt to changing climate, we are cooked. Perhaps Lewandowtonabbsky could do a psycho-survey to prove adaptation will result in panic, starvation, wet diapers and mass suicide. Thus showing deniers are willing to cause their own demise to posthumously prove their conspiracy theories were right.

  71. Steve from Rockwood

    At some point in time the masses passed a threshold whereby they accepted as fact that the government would always keep them out of harms way. When did we become so stupid?

  72. Judith… If it’s any consolation, this sort of stuff happens up here in the Great White North as well. Especially when it’s the first snowfall event of the season, when too many people aren’t prepared. Here’s a couple of stories from the last 10yrs demonstrating the point:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/stranded-travellers-finally-freed-from-blocked-n-s-highway-1.701963

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/first-snow-slows-maritime-rush-hour-1.574718

    Given that your first snowfall of the year comes every other year, I will give Georgia a pass.

    BTW… I bet the good’ol boys from Hazzard County wouldn’t have any problem. For them Duke boys, it’d be just like driving on a muddy road

  73. Brian G Valentine

    I sincerely doubt any of this would have happened if “deniers” in the “congress” did not stand in the way of $3 Billion wasted sorry I mean invested in “tomorrow’s energy” instead of a measly two

  74. In the late ninties there was a huge snow storm in Portland OR. I had just left Seaside OR on my way back to Portland. My girlfriend at the time and i lived in the West Hills. Her studio (painting conservation studio) was on the other side of downtown Portland just across the Wilamette river. It was about 25 miles by freeway. I called her and told her it was starting to snow and there was a big storm coming. She didn’t take my advise and immediately drive home.

    When I got home there was about a half a foot of snow and she wasn’t there yet. She should have got there about an hour ahead of me. All the power was down and she didn’t have a cell phone. It was no use me trying to walk anywhere and find her. It was cold in the apartment and I was tired so i just bundled up in bed.

    She got home about three am. I was in bed snoring. Nice! Great boyfriend Huh!! As it turned out she was stuck most of the time in a tunnel on the freeway (there was two ways home) that went under one of the West Hills. All the people just left their cars and disappeared. They finally got some road equipment and just pushed the empty cars off the road. She was finally able to go the remaining 10+ miles home.

    • During the 96 storm in Portland, people in the Lake Oswego neighborhoods didn’t get power back until almost 3 weeks later. What happems when neighborhoods and the city restrict tree trimming near power lines. Fortunately PGE’s CEO at the time lived there and was among the last restored to service.

  75. Generalissimo Skippy

    Just to set this up – http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/17/5219130/earth-wind-map-shows-our-planets-weather

    These are a bit of fun – almost real time weather modeling.

    There are two stratospheric vortices at fairly high northern latitudes.

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#2014/01/30/0000Z/wind/isobaric/10hPa/orthographic=-108.16,-282.95,356

    These somehow translate – in ways I don’t quite understand – into 2 cyclones at the surface – one near Iceland and one over Siberia. I haven’t ever spent much time on the NH – after all what happens in the SH is far more important.

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=268.36,87.32,512

    And an anti-cyclone over Greenland that seems to be causing all the problems.

  76. Generalissimo Skippy

    @springer

    More on hurricane reduction from global warming.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130902-hurricanes-climate-change-superstorm-sandy-global-warming-storms-science-weather/

    ‘Climate change might alter atmospheric conditions so that future hurricanes may be pushed away from the East Coast, according to a study published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

    The warming caused by greenhouse gases—thought to be the result of human activities such as burning fossil fuels—could redirect atmospheric winds that steer hurricanes. ‘

    I’ve been saying for years what is just becoming apparent and published now. Temperature gradients power heat engines. The climate system and especially severe weather derive their power from temperature gradients. The very dependable gradient that exists over a distance of thousands of miles increasing latitude is monstrous power source. Reduce it and there’s simply a lot less energy available to accomplish the physical work of generating horizontal winds.

    I therefore predicted years ago that disproportionate warming of the tropics and Arctic must play out in a reduction of kinetic energy in winds aloft somewhere. Hurricanes seemed like one of the climate features which must pay the price of less available energy.

    ‘Some meteorologists, however, disagreed with the study’s findings.

    Jennifer Francis, a meteorologist at Rutgers University, said the study “makes a useful contribution” to the understanding of how climate warming may be affecting weather patterns. But she said that though the computer models used in the study are the best available, their accuracy is uncertain.

    “In my view, the analysis and results from this and other recent studies do not support the strong statements made by the authors,” she said.

    Meteorologist Jeff Masters, director of the private weather forecasting website Weather Underground, said there are indications that hurricane seasons are lasting longer in recent decades. Hurricanes are most likely to occur between June 1 and November 30, but warmer sea water could extend the season, he said.

    “A longer season gives the opportunity for more strong hurricanes to penetrate to the Northeast U.S. in late fall,” Masters said. “This would potentially offset any decrease in Sandy-like impacts due to fewer blocking highs forming in a future climate.”’

    Looks like I was right. Vindication is sweet. Thanks Skippy for giving me yet another opportunity to describe how awesome I am when it comes to understanding what makes the natural world tick.

    Doesn’t need any comment from me.

  77. Generalissimo Skippy

    Of course there is also the unfortunate statistic that hurricane – and I presume we are still talking tropical hurricanes – counts and hurricane intensity haven’t actually decreased.

    See figures 3 and 4 especially.

    http://www.hurricanescience.org/science/science/climate/longtermrecordsofhurricaneactivity/

  78. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Atlanta’s snow quickly melted but California’s drought persists, setting new record.

    http://www.wunderground.com/news/california-exceptional-drought-first-time-history-20140130

  79. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    I don’t know why California farmers worry about this drought. Don’t they know California probably had worse droughts tens of thousands years ago?

    Climate skeptics are a hoot. I love CE.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Yes – La Nina dominated prior to 5,000 years BP – with all that means for global rainfall. But there were many periods centuries long of either very large El Nino or very large La Nina.

      e.g http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html

      Including hundreds of years of La Nina dominance in the last millennia.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=133

      More salt = La Nina

      But there are shorter patterns that give some idea of what to expect if you are paying attention.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/USdrought_zps2629bb8c.jpg.html?sort=3&o=104

      ‘More than half (52%) of the space and time variance in multidecadal drought frequency over the conterminous United States is attributable to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). An additional 22% of the variance in drought frequency is related to a complex spatial pattern of positive and negative trends in drought occurrence possibly related to increasing Northern Hemisphere temperatures or some other unidirectional climate trend. Recent droughts with broad impacts over the conterminous U.S. (1996, 1999-2002) were associated with North Atlantic warming (positive AMO) and northeastern and tropical Pacific cooling (negative PDO). Much of the long-term predictability of drought frequency may reside in the multidecadal behavior of the North Atlantic Ocean. Should the current positive AMO (warm North Atlantic) conditions persist into the upcoming decade, we suggest two possible drought scenarios that resemble the continental-scale patterns of the 1930s (positive PDO) and 1950s (negative PDO) drought.
      —McCabe (2004) http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html

      Knowing what the past has bought can gives clues about the future. The PDO is positive and the AMO is negative. The problem with space cadets is that they don’t seem to paying attention.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The oceanworld link should be below the PDO+AMO drought diagram

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      This is what I intended for the top link.

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/enso.php

    • David Springer

      Generalissimo Skippy | February 1, 2014 at 4:05 am |

      “The PDO is positive and the AMO is negative. The problem with space cadets is that they don’t seem to paying attention.”

      The space cadets should know that:

      The PDO is negative.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PDO.svg

      The AMO is positive but turning the corner to negative.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amo_timeseries_1856-present.svg

      Soon they will both be negative and before they both go positive again people will have forgotten what global warming was like.

    • David Springer

      Texas A&M University online Physical Oceanography text is a wonderful reference, Skippy. Glad to see you using it. The alarmists really can’t argue with it because it’s consensus science from cover to cover. I particularly promote this section:

      Chapter 5 – The Oceanic Heat Budget

      Chapter 5 Contents
      (5.1) The Oceanic Heat Budget
      (5.2) Heat Budget Terms
      (5.3) Direct Calculation of Fluxes
      (5.4) Indirect Calculation of Fluxes: Bulk Formulas
      (5.5) Global Data Sets for Fluxes
      (5.6) Geographic Distribution of Terms in the Heat Budget
      (5.7) Meridional Heat Transport
      (5.8) Meridional Fresh Water Transport
      (5.9) Variations in Solar Constant
      (5.10) Important Concepts

      5.6 Geographic Distribution of Terms in the Heat Budget

      I like it most because at the very top it begins with the famous Trenberth
      heat budget cartoon which disarms the alarmist right off the bat. LOL

    • David Springer

      repaired links (I hope)…

      Texas A&M University online Physical Oceanography text is a wonderful reference, Skippy. Glad to see you using it. The alarmists really can’t argue with it because it’s consensus science from cover to cover. I particularly promote this section:

      5.6 Geographic Distribution of Terms in the Heat Budget

      I like it most because at the very top it begins with the famous Trenberth
      heat budget cartoon which disarms the alarmist right off the bat. LOL

    • David Springer

      repaired links (I hope)… nope screw it direct link then

      Texas A&M University online Physical Oceanography text is a wonderful reference, Skippy. Glad to see you using it. The alarmists really can’t argue with it because it’s consensus science from cover to cover. I particularly promote this section:

      http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_06.htm

      5.6 Geographic Distribution of Terms in the Heat Budget

      I like it most because at the very top it begins with the famous Trenberth
      heat budget cartoon which disarms the alarmist right off the bat. LOL

    • I believe the population was significantly lower “tens of thousands of years ago” in California. Mother Nature doesn’t measure climate impacts, she creates them. Humans are the ones who measure and are affected by her efforts.

      We better hope this is a “flash drought” that is similar to WY 1977. If it persists for several years there will be a migration out of the state north.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      That’s Generalissimo to you white man. The TAMU site is a lot of fun – and I have been linking it for years. To get the full picture on US drought – there are a couple of Murphy papers. on this topic The one referenced and a 2007 paper.

      Does not the AMO – as a quasi 64 year regime – seem likely to stay positive for a few years yet.

    • David Springer

      I need to learn about droughts in the U.S. as much as you need to learn about those in Australia.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Yeah – we understand. Just like hurricanes springer? On the same TAMU page is a discussion of hurricanes and the AMO. Have they decreased yet?

      Actually I got the reference wrong – it is McCabe 2004 rather than Murphy 20004. I’ll blame it on Murphy.

      But all I did was suggest that the papers were a more complete source – http://wwwpaztcn.wr.usgs.gov/julio_pdf/McCabe_ea.pdf

      I have been interested in global rainfall for decades – and have read numerous papers on US rainfall – Minoan drought – polar pressure fields – influences of the Indian Ocean on Sahel drought and the Indian monsoon as well as lots on ENSO as the major source of variability in my little neck of the woods. I doubt very much that you have more than a passing and superficial acquaintance with any of it. But why this is a p_ssing contest with you is an utter mystery.

  80. There are intelligent people who manage their own lives using the latest information, risk evaluation, and who take ownership of their personal safety to make personal policy decisions. And there are sheeple whom do none of the above, but wait to hear what an incompetent politician is told to say and then act on that message or not, because who trusts incompetent politicians? Use the above to determine which of the following situations the two groups of people belong in: 1) Warm in their home, or 2) out on a highway in a pool of cold urine because the doors of the car are frozen shut.

    Do you see a remedy? Well there is none. The people freezing in a pool of urine are the same people who will stand on a beach watching the ocean retreat a mile out from the beach and then marvel about and take selfies with that beautiful crystalline glint of foam that appeared out of nowhere on the far horizon. You can’t fix stupid.

  81. I think that part of the problem might be that people can’t really comprehend the magnitude of the problem. Hurricanes and tornadoes hit Georgia all the time, but winter storms? If you do not deal with it on a regular basis just how do you understand what is going to happen? In Montana, people know what a winter storm warning means and know how to plan appropriately. But would be at a loss to prepare for other types of storms like say a hurricane. I think to expect Georgia to be prepared for such an incident the first time it happens might be a bit much. When will be the next time Georgia deals with such a winter storm?

  82. The Four Men Who Caused The Majority Of Global Warming

    http://theenergycollective.com/robertwilson190/332186/4-men-who-caused-majority-global-warming

    Or, more importantly, the four men who were most responsible for progress, reducing starvation, lifting the world to higher living standards and lifting people out of poverty over the past 150 years.

    The first paragraph of this short article – just six paragraphs – says:

    Prime movers, machines that turn thermal energy into electrical or mechanical energy play a fundamental role in the global economy. Without these you would not be able to get from London to New York in seven hours, ride the subway to work, transport your iPhone from Shenzen to Los Angeles, or even read this sentence. And the world of prime movers is dominated by a small number of machines: steam turbine, diesel engine, petrol engine and gas turbine. Not only are these machines of great economic importance, they are responsible for almost all of the carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation and transport.

    • David Springer

      That’s an elegant paragraph. It should all be basic information taught and checked in standardized testing before the end of middle school (8th grade, 14 yrs old). I doubt whether it is. In the US it was true 200 years ago (no planes or iphones of course). The steam engine had by then already revolutionized mining, manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture. James Watt patented a 10hp steam engine that produced rotary power in 1781. By 1810 it started taking over transportation when the railroad boom began. This allowed coal for the engines to be shipped anywhere a railroad track could be placed and finished manufactured and agricultural goods sent back. Productivity skyrocketed and there was really no going back from there and there’s still no going back today.

    • David Springer

      I’m not sure that it is but a short history of the steam engine and the industries it enabled should be part of primary school curriculum and the basic principles of operation as well. It was what launched the industrial revolution the prime movers of today are still heat engines based upon principles enumerated by the father of thermodynamics Sadi Carnot.

      It might not be a bad idea to teach the kiddies that weather and climate is mostly explained by the same principles of work being accomplished across temperature gradients. In this case the work is moving air and water around as temperature gradients on an unevenly heated planet seek the highest possible entropy.

      It probably wasn’t known in James Watt’s time but things like tornadoes and hurricanes are mother nature’s version of steam engines that produce rotary motion. :-)

    • But climate change is not determined by emissions. The fordson major tractor is a more guilty party in its successful ploy to turn vast tracts of land into highly productive fields coupled with the large scale irrigation and river management projects that followed.

    • David Springer

      Conor McMenemie | February 1, 2014 at 11:48 am |

      “But climate change is not determined by emissions.”

      It’s premature to say that. The question is how much and 0% is pretty low probability answer except for cranks and loons. Is that your final answer zero percent?

    • THESE FOUR MEN CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING. BULL!

      Then the next question is who caused the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period?

      They both got warmer than the Current Warm Period.

      Consensus Climate Science is not Science, it is some kind of Green Religion.

      Earth Temperature is on track with the same warming and cooling cycle that has been in place for ten thousand years.

  83. The citizens of Atlanta can’t remember what a winter storm is like and humans really can’t imagine what global warming will be like. The level of hubris presented in the comments above is, well, truly impressive. If you are impressed by such.
    Read and think about this:

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/03/11/messes-and-super-wicked-problems/

    Make sure you understand why climate change is a “super wicked”problem. Think about the hyperbolic discounting part.

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

    Question to the student. Can you identify any examples of hyperbolic discounting in the replies above?
    OK, that is too easy. But amusing.

    • David Springer

      Rascal Dog | February 1, 2014 at 10:24 am | Reply

      “The citizens of Atlanta can’t remember what a winter storm is like”

      Twenty years from now they won’t be able to remember what global warming was like.

    • David Springer | February 1, 2014 at 11:36 am |

      “Twenty years from now they won’t be able to remember what global warming was like.”

      What a nice example of hyperbolic discounting.

    • David Springer

      “What a nice example of hyperbolic discounting.”

      Why thank you! This is a climate science blog after all so… ‘When in Rome do as the Romans do’ is my motto. Hyperbolic discounting in climate science is almost like the lingua franca, no?

    • “Hyperbolic discounting in climate science is almost like the lingua franca, no?”

      No. Let me fix that for you: “Hyperbolic discounting in climate septics is almost like the lingua franca, no?”

  84. There is always the cost of action compared to doing nothing. Not just on the finincial side but also the political side. A population that does not know how to drive in snow will always be stuck – it only takes one stalled vehicle to bring a whole road to a stand still. The most useful thing an individual can do is stay put, grab a blanket, a few beers and pizza: consider the whole thing as an adventure. No matter how smart and careful you are, your fate will be dictated by the idiot in front. ‘Do you feel lucky punk’

    • David Springer

      Conor McMenemie | February 1, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply

      “No matter how smart and careful you are, your fate will be dictated by the idiot in front.”

      I’m behind you on this.

      That of course makes you the guy in front. :-)

    • Not really, you look for a way to solve the problem, not give up :-).

      I always carry a small shovel in winter, for example and there’s no way I would be out in the cold all night, waiting to be “rescued”…

    • David Springer

      Conor McMenemie | February 1, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply

      “There is always the cost of action compared to doing nothing. Not just on the finincial side but also the political side. A population that does not know how to drive in snow will always be stuck – it only takes one stalled vehicle to bring a whole road to a stand still.”

      Are there a lot of one lane roads without shoulders where you’re from?

      Pretty rare in the US except for maybe logging roads.

  85. Interesting how one storm causes chaos in Atlanta. Lets hope Atlanta will be able to deal with even more climate change in the future.

  86. Part of the problem seems to the general expectation that its ok to drive in the snow! Experienced snow drivers will say don’t drive in snow – especially if you aren’t an experienced snow driver. Doesn’t matter how good you are it’s the ones in front that will decide your fate. For a place like Atlanta with such sparse freeze ups it seems unlikely that large investment in road clearing equipment, plus their maintained e and training for usage makes any sence. It would seem most prudent for the local meterogical office to dictate its ‘a snow day': a bit like your ‘rain check’, I.e. take the day off.

  87. It annoyed Lord Deben (chair of the UK Climate Change Committee) anyway…

    “John Deben ‏@lorddeben Jan 30
    2329 Still sitting on Atlanta airport waiting for 1420 Washington plane to take off. Less than an inch of snow and chaos crew can’t get here”

  88. Steven | January 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    “As a longtime Atlanta resident, I think the nearest comparison to this week’s storm would be the January 1982 “snowjam.”

    Steven remembers it well. In Atlanta we have seen this movie before. First of all, you have to understand that snow forecasts for Atlanta are wrong a good bit of the time. Secondly, you have to remember that only one to two inches of snow were forecast. That little amount of snow is normally not a big problem.

    The State DOT pulled the trigger properly but pre-positioned resources in the wrong place. The weather forecasts were for the worst of the ice to be on the south side of Atlanta and southward. That’s where they pre-positioned most of their assets. The DOT did treat a lot of bridges and roads on the south side before the snow became a problem. Then, they had to go back and do it all over, again. Did they do it right? Time will tell.

    Dr Curry and Politico are right. Strictly speaking, the political leadership in the state and our cities should have had plans for such a problem. To be fair, the weather forecasters were not that helpful. They didn’t discuss risk, and what it means. Were the forecasters afraid of spelling out the conditions, and take the risk of being criticized for being wrong, again?

    The best plan would be for the Governor and Mayors to broadcast at least 12 hours in advance for people to stay home when bad weather is expected. There is no amount of technology or equipment that can evacuate a major city within any reasonable amount of time. Of course, this cost has to be balanced against spending as much money on snow plows and such as a Chicago or Philadelphia.

    Then again, I have known some companies that are headquartered in other cities that don’t understand when local office managers close their businesses or a day.

    I used to work for a Chicago based company, and they just didn’t understand when I called my employees at five AM one day and told them to stay home because of a 4 inch sleet and snow storm here in Atlanta. Yeah, I got a lot of flack over that one.

  89. It seems Judy that your next task is to set up a federal mandated plan like DEFCON or whatever that takes the decision making process out of the hands of failable humans and makes the response dictated by events on the ground. This should also please the polititions who can blame something else for a negative event. They are not qualified to take the decision, nor would the advisors be prepared to suffer the consequences of a wrong decision. The Human brain is far less able to rationalise a situation than we give it credit for.

  90. David Springer: re fools and loons. I talked to the chairman of the UK parliaments E&CC committee just after the AR5 review and showed him my charts etc. he gave me his card and asked to get intouch after he gets back from Egypt. The ex chief exec of Royal Met. Soc. was equally impressed with the stuff. Watch this space. P.S. if you see snow I’ll be somewhere near a beer and a pizza. Been caught in a ditch during a whiteout and prefer to err on the side of caution.

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  92. I live in Mesa AZ, I have chains in my vehicle, am I missing something, granted Atlanta does not normally get snow within a hundred miles of it but come on people sixty bucks is not too much to pay for something that happens every four five years, Also a city that cannot spend a little money for a limited amount of sand and salt trucks come on now I’m sure they piss more than enough money on far more trivial things.

    • If you have chains, that works for you. If you are in bumper to bumper traffic, with people who have never driven on ice, would you dare get out of your vehicle to put on your chains? If you did, where could you go?

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  94. The oceans did get warmer. Now the more snowfall is falling. That is how Mother Nature keeps Earth from getting too warm. Look at the many Road Salt Stories.

    http://us.wow.com/search?s_it=topsearchbox.search&s_chn=27&s_pt=aolsem&v_t=aolsem&q=road+salt+supply+dwindles+as+harsh+winter+ices+cities

    It snows more when oceans are warm and not frozen and it snows less when oceans are cold and frozen and that bounds the temperature and sea level.

    Just look at actual data. http://popesclimatetheory.com/page11.html

    When oceans get warmer and wet it, snows and then it gets cold. When oceans get cold and frozen, it snows less and the sun removes ice.

    The oceans are warm, the Arctic will open each year for a long time, more snow will fall each year for a long time, then, albedo will increase as the ice advance that will cool the earth and oceans and turn off the snowfall during the next little ice age.

    What has happened will happen again.

    The climate people say what has never happened will happen next. The data is not agreeing with them.

    Mother Earth uses IR to do most of earth’s cooling, but it has no set point. Mother Earth uses Albedo to do the fine tuning of the temperature. The temperature that Polar Sea Ice Melts and freezes is the Set Point. The Air Conditioning is turned on and off as needed.

  95. Here we go again …

    …WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 PM EST TUESDAY…
    …WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING…

    * LOCATIONS…PORTIONS OF NORTH GEORGIA…MAINLY ALONG AND NORTH OF A LINE FROM CARROLLTON TO ATLANTA TO WASHINGTON.
    * HAZARD TYPES…RAIN MIXED WITH SNOW AND SLEET LATE TONIGHT AND ON TUESDAY… WITH SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN ON WEDNESDAY.
    * ACCUMULATIONS…UP TO 1 INCH OF SNOW.
    * TIMING…RAIN TONIGHT WILL MIX WITH AND POSSIBLY CHANGE OVER TO SNOW OR A SNOW SLEET MIX BY SUNRISE TUESDAY MORNING.

    AS TEMPERATURES WARM THROUGH THE DAY…PRECIPITATION WILL LIKELY CHANGE BACK OVER TO RAIN BEFORE TRANSITIONING AGAIN BACK TO A MIX OF RAIN SLEET AND SNOW TUESDAY EVENING. BY WEDNESDAY MORNING…EXPECT A MIX OF SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN…FINALLY TRANSITIONING BACK TO SNOW BY THURSDAY MORNING.

    * IMPACTS…SNOW WILL ACCUMULATE ON ROADS MAKING FOR HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS EARLY TUESDAY. ON WEDNESDAY…ICE WILL BEGIN TO ACCUMULATE ON ROADS MAKING FOR HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE DRIVING CONDITIONS. ICE THAT ACCUMULATES ON TREES AND POWERLINES COULD BRING DOWN LARGE TREE LIMBS AND CAUSE POWER OUTAGES.

    * WINDS…NORTHEAST 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.
    * TEMPERATURES…IN THE MID 30S.
    * UNCERTAINTY…THERE IS STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY IN THE FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY BUT CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING IN THE POTENTIAL FOR A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM. FOLKS ACROSS NORTH GEORGIA SHOULD MONITOR THIS SITUATION CLOSELY IN THE EVENT THAT THE ADVISORY OR WATCH ARE UPGRADED TO A WARNING.

    http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=ffc&wwa=winter weather advisory

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