UK floods in context

by Judith Curry

“If we look at the broader base of evidence then we see things that support the premise that climate change has been making a contribution.” – Dame Julia Slingo

Well, I am home again today – Georgia Tech is closed Tues and Wed in anticipation of a bad ice storm.  Looks like they didn’t need to close on Tues, but may well be closed the rest of the week.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, there has been devastating flooding in Somerset (UK), with potentially more to come this weekend.

UK Met Office

The Met Office has published a 29 page document The Recent Storms and Floods in the UK.  Excerpts from the Summary:

This winter the UK has been affected very severely by an exceptional run of winter storms, culminating in serious coastal damage and widespread, persistent flooding. 

This period of weather has been part of major perturbations to the Pacific and North Atlantic jet streams driven, in part, by persistent rainfall over Indonesia and the tropical West Pacific. 

The North Atlantic jet stream has also been unusually strong; this can be linked to exceptional wind patterns in the stratosphere with a very intense polar vortex. 

This paper documents the record-breaking weather and flooding, considers the potential drivers and discusses whether climate change contributed to the severity of the weather and its impacts. 

Although no individual storm can be regarded as exceptional, the clustering and persistence of the storms is highly unusual. December and January were exceptionally wet. For England and Wales this was one of, if not the most, exceptional periods of winter rainfall in at least 248 years. The two-month total (December + January) of 372.2mm for the southeast and central southern England region is the wettest any 2-month period in the series from 1910. 

In a series from 1883, flow rates on the River Thames remained exceptionally high for longer than in any previous flood episode. Correspondingly, floodplain inundations were extensive and protracted. 

The severe weather in the UK coincided with exceptionally cold weather in Canada and the USA. These extreme weather events on both sides of the Atlantic were linked to a persistent pattern of perturbations to the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean and North America. There is a strong association with the stormy weather experienced in the UK during December and January and the up-stream perturbations to the jet stream over North America and the North Pacific. 

The major changes in the Pacific jet stream were driven by a persistent pattern of enhanced rainfall over Indonesia and the tropical West Pacific associated with higher than normal ocean temperatures in that region. 

The North Atlantic jet stream has also been unusually strong; this can be linked to an unusually strong westerly phase of the stratospheric Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), which in turn has driven a very deep polar vortex and strong polar night jet. 

As yet, there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding. This is in part due to the highly variable nature of UK weather and climate. 

There is an increasing body of evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of increase is consistent with what is expected from fundamental physics. There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly heavy rain events. 

More research is urgently needed to deliver robust detection of changes in storminess and daily/hourly rain rates. The attribution of these changes to anthropogenic global warming requires climate models of sufficient resolution to capture storms and their associated rainfall. Such models are now becoming available and should be deployed as soon as possible to provide a solid evidence base for future investments in flood and coastal defences.

The Mirror reports statements from Dame Julia Slingo, UKMO’s Chief Scientist:

Dame Julia said while none of the individual storms had been exceptional, the “clustering and persistence” were extremely unusual.

“We have seen exceptional weather,” she said.

“We cannot say it’s unprecedented, but it is certainly exceptional.

“Is it consistent with what we might expect from climate change?

“Of course.

“As yet there can be no definitive answer on the particular events that we have seen this winter, but if we look at the broader base of evidence then we see things that support the premise that climate change has been making a contribution.”

Paul Homewood has a blog post So what about 1929, Julia?  This provides an extensive critique of Dame Slingo’s statements and the Met Office’s analysis.  Homewood identifies the winter of 1929/1930 as the wettest winter since 1910.  Homewood concludes:

It is somewhat encouraging that Slingo and her colleagues at the Met Office are starting to realise that weather patterns are far too complex to simplistically attribute to “melting Arctic ice”, or “global warming”.

A better understanding of what drives changes in the jet stream, the QBO, and a host of other factors, can only help us in anticipating future weather patterns. To do this, though, needs an acceptance that similar events have happened in the past, and that such events may give us a clue as to what is happening now, and will inevitably happen again in the future.

Where, for instance, is the recognition that 1929/30 had a much longer and wetter spell? And where is the analysis of of what drove the weather then? What, if any, are the similarities between the two years?

It is disappointing then to read the Met Office press release saying:

More research is urgently needed to deliver robust detection of changes in storminess and daily/hourly rain rates and this is an area of active research in the Met Office. The attribution of these changes to anthropogenic global warming requires climate models of sufficient resolution to capture storms and their associated rainfall.

Surely to do science properly, they should be looking to understand what drives weather patterns, regardless of the causes. To start out by attempting to “attribute changes to AGW” is likely to skew results towards their preconceptions, and will undoubtedly lead to a poorer understanding of the Earth’s climate as so many other natural mechanisms will be ignored.

Analysis of the problem and the solution

ScienceMediaCentre has a post Expert reaction to Somerset flooding.  Excerpts:

Prof Roger Falconer, CH2M HILL Professor of Water Management at Cardiff University: 

“However, I have lectured in hydraulic engineering (in civil engineering) at three universities for over 35 years and have been involved in many environmental impact assessment studies worldwide.  Furthermore I am currently President of the International Association of Hydro-environment Engineering and Research.  And regrettably I cannot see that dredging would make much impact in alleviating the problems in the Somerset Levels.

“In my view there are two effective solutions to address the real fundamental hydraulics problem: (i) raise the land, or (ii) lower the sea level and create a much larger hydraulic gradient. The first solution is not practical. The second is. There have been a number of proposals in recent years to build a Bridgewater Bay Lagoon to create renewable energy. Such a structure would involve separating the water level in Bridgewater Bay from that in the Bristol Channel.

Ola Holmstrom, UK Head of Water at consultancy firm WSP, said:

“Flood risk management should be based less on focussing on rivers and rather the catchment as a whole.  I was present at last week’s Somerset Water Management Partnership and there was much discussion over the ‘catchment-based approach’.  However, politically this is seen as inaction and that the dredge would solve immediate issues and answer the communities’ cries.  However, given the huge cost of ‘the big dredge’ there must be quantitative proof that this will benefit both the upstream and downstream communities.  Catchment based schemes would be significantly cheaper and more sustainable than dredging; they must be given a chance even if the political pressure is on, for the good of the environment and communities throughout Somerset in the future.

WaterPowerMagazine has a very good article by Dr. Colin Clark:  Floods on the Somereset Levels: a sad tale of ignorance and neglect. Excerpts:

There was serious flooding in 1854, 1872-3 and 1929-30. During the latter flood at Taunton, from November 1929 to January 1930 537mm were recorded, which is over 70% of the annual average. The floods lasted from December to February. For the same time period in 2013-14 the rainfall in the upper Brue, which drains into the Levels, was 434mm.

An analysis of the highest consecutive three monthly rainfall since 1766 shows that this is the fifth highest, giving it a return period of about 1 in 50 years. This result excludes 1960, when Bedlamgreen in the upper Brue recorded 556mm. Before 1766 possibly the worst flood in historical times was that of 1607.

The maintenance of lowland rivers, adequate pumping, and the reinstatement of hedgerow ditches and ditches alongside roads can, potentially provide considerable storage of water. It is the legal responsibility of land owners to maintain their ditches in good order. The enforcing authority ought to act accordingly. To help store and release floodwater, each ditch would have a thin plate weir installed at its lower end with an outlet near the base to allow water to drain slowly away over a period of a few days. The details can be calculated on a case by case basis. Proper maintenance would be needed.

The additional capacity of the drainage ditches and the 0.5Mm3 per day of general pump capacity would produce an estimated 1.29 (channel enlargement) + 0.5 (pumping) + 16.1 (ditches draining out over 1 day at a rate of 200 l/s per km2) = 17.89Mm3 capacity for excess floodwater. In this way the worst effects of the present floods would be avoided.

If the hedgerow ditches were increased to a cross sectional area of 10m2 then capacity for flood water would increase to 8.19Mm3. If the true area of flooding is about 125km2 and the average depth is 0.5m then the volume of floodwater is 62.5Mm3.

Using the lower volume of flood capacity this gives a time period of 13 days for the flood to take place without any adverse effects. Any shorter time period would cause the system to be overloaded. For the four days from 1-4 January 2014 the average daily rainfall in the upper Brue was 15mm. This produces a volume of rainfall over 908km2 of upland area of 13.62Mm3 which is less than 17.89Mm3 provided by storage, channel improvements and pumping. In the present case the floods have built up since the start of December. The first reports of serious flooding were around Christmas time. Therefore the present proposal should cope. Without the use of the extra storage capacity of ditches a critical time period of 35 days would be needed for the floods to be contained. Clearly pumping and dredging would not have coped in the present case.

Politics

As per my twitter feed, the floods are creating quite the political brouhaha in the UK.  I hope that sensible policies can be developed to reduce vulnerability to such floods in the future, without the distraction of thinking that reducing carbon emissions would somehow prevent such extreme events.

358 responses to “UK floods in context

  1. Let ’em eat sandbags.
    ========

    • David Springer

      I say we the people of the United States take full responbility for all climate change and give our solemn word that we will utilize the uber-superior unsurpassed engineering talent that God gave to America, the same talent that brought the world the internet, cell phones, ballistic missile submarines, stealth fighters, stealth bombers, defeat of facism (twice), landing a man on the moon, and everything else that’s wholesome and good in the world to invent new technologies that control the earth’s climate from the convenience of your smart phone. Trust us. You have no choice in any case.

  2. Here is a reminder of what Julia Slingo and the Met Office were telling us was caused by climate change just 2 years ago:

    Met Office: Arctic sea-ice loss linked to colder, drier UK winters

    Decreasing amounts of ice in the far north is contributing to colder winters and drought, chief scientist Julia Slingo tells MPs.

    The reduction in Arctic sea ice caused by climate change is playing a role in the UK’s recent colder and drier winter weather, according to the Met Office.

    • Julia Slingo, in 2012 predicting colder dryer winters, joins
      that long list of failed catastrophists whocontinue making
      new Cassandra claims regardless of the failure of their
      previous predictions. How many times does a so called
      expert, eg, Paul Erlich, Lester Brown, John Holdren et Al,
      have to be wrong, before he or she lose their reputation
      as an expert?
      http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.02/ffsimon_pr.html

    • Lean & Rind predicted

      From 2009 to 2014, projected rises in anthropogenic influences and solar irradiance will increase global surface temperature 0.15 ± 0.03°C, at a rate 50% greater than predicted by IPCC.

      The trend is negative in all major datasets. RSS cools almost twice as much as L&R’s warming prediction was.

    • Correction, I looked at RSS trend per decade, not 5 years. Forget about the twice.

    • ilmastotiede

      Lean and Rind (2009) told us:

      From 2009 to 2014, projected rises in anthropogenic influences and solar irradiance will increase global surface temperature 0.15 ± 0.03°C, at a rate 50% greater than predicted by IPCC. But as a result of declining solar activity in the subsequent five years, average temperature in 2019 is only 0.03 ± 0.01°C warmer than in 2014.

      0.15°C increase over a 5-year period = 0.3°C increase per decade, which is a rate that is “50% greater than predicted by IPCC” of 0.2°C warming per decade. So that part’s OK.

      So let’s see how Lean and Rind have done so far.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2009/to/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2009/to/trend/plot/rss-land/from:2009/to/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2009/to/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2009/to/trend

      Not too well.

      All records show net cooling since 2009, from -0.0°C to -0.17°C over the five year period, rather than +0.15°C.

      And if they are right with the cooling trend they project for the next five years, we would end up with a decadal cooling from 2009 to 2019 of -0.03°C to -0.20°C over the ten year period, whereas IPCC had projected warming of +0.2°C per decade.

      As Yogi Berra said: “Predictions are tough to make – especially about the future”

      Max

    • Tough making predictions about the future but not as bothersome
      if you happen to suffer from selective amnesia and yer friends in
      the media concur with yer message.

    • If they would get a clue, and acknowledge that:
      a) Extreme storms and floods result more from cooling than warming, and
      b) cooling is the imminent probable trend (for at least a couple of decades)
      they might offer some usable advice. As it is, no hope of that.

  3. Pingback: Will we see the end of snow? More importantly, when will we learn to see the world clearly? | Fabius Maximus

  4. The area flooded maybe large but as yet the number of properties damaged is relatively small compared with floods in the UK over the last 10 years. There is worse weather approaching so the situation may change rapidly. The are as always differences of opinion of the effectiveness of dredging the Somerset Levels, perhaps we could invoke the Precautionary Principle, so loved by many, and simply say better to dredge than not. The EAs own study shows that dredging would have reduced flooding to parts of the levels drastically and other areas slightly. Remember the levels is a man made environment, drained for agriculture etc. There is little doubt that the EA has passively allowed the area to flood, encouraged by EU rules.

    Surprisingly there has been relatively little CC mentioned so far except from the usual suspects, even the Guardian has not gone completely OTT as would be expected. The Met Office is reluctant to jump in, partly as they predicted a dry winter ( although with low confidence). Their long run of poor long range forecasts, is no doubt an embarrassment to them, what it has done to the industries they advise would be interesting to know.

    Next comes the inquiries, what happened, went wrong and what can be done to mitigate the risks in the future. Monbiot get another 15 minutes of fame and say we must flood more areas and we need more trees on the hill sides. The fact that the government is subsidising the burning of thousands of trees every year, not just from this country, for energy, is just another example of the mess the energy sector is in.

    • We had about 25,000 premises flooded in Brisbane three years ago, and about 30 deaths, mainly to the West of the city. The UK doesn’t seem to be doing so badly as yet.

  5. As Mark Twain said, “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as your please.”

    Scott

  6. There is an interesting wrinkle concerning the flooding (interesting to those of us unaffected), in that there has been a deliberate policy to increase flooding for biodiversity purposes.

    “But what has been emerging in recent days is another hugely important factor in bringing this disaster about: the extent to which the agency’s policy has been shaped and driven by the European Union. My co-author Dr Richard North, an expert researcher who writes the EU Referendum blog, has been combing through dozens of official documents to unravel just how it was that the agency came to adopt a strategy deliberately designed to allow flooding not just in Somerset but elsewhere in the country, all in the name of putting the interests of
    “biodiversity”, “sustainability” and wildlife habitats above those of farming and people. ”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/10625663/Flooding-Somerset-Levels-disaster-is-being-driven-by-EU-policy.html

  7. I have repeated this from the workshop thread as it is relevant.
    —– ——
    “I wrote this on the Dawlish sea wall breach a few days ago.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/09/black-swans-dispatches-from-the-front-line-of-climate-change/

    I was on the South West Flood defence committee of the Environment Agency for nine years and met the chairman of the EA-Smith. He is a political placeman totally unsuited to the position. His inaction on the Somerset flooding is inexcusable although there are nuances the MSM don’t pick up on. He was warned what would happen.

    I also lived close to the Thames for many years so am very familiar with the flooding there.

    Both events happen very regularly. It is not helped by massive building on flood plains and trying to keep water in its banks rather than letting it flood over onto adjacent fields or parallel channels. We are becoming too ultra sophisticated in our management of flooding. It needs people on the ground with excavators, bill hooks and spades, not politicians following an over green agenda to protect water voles over humans (I have first hand experience of that policy)”
    —– —-

    One hardly knows where to start with this Met office report. It says;

    ” For England and Wales this was one of, if not the most, exceptional periods of winter rainfall in at least 248 years. The two-month total (December + January) of 372.2mm for the southeast and central southern England region is the wettest any 2-month period in the series from 1910.”

    Nonsense! This rainfall figure has been trotted out ad infinitum in the MSM. Meaningful Nationwide rainfall figures to 1766 are as illusionary and imaginative as the Met Offices ‘global Sea surface temperatures to 1850’.

    The rainfall data exists sporadically, stations change frequently from one micro climate to another and there is no consistent reliable record covering the same area. The one from 1910 does have some credence, except bear in mind that rainfall was not consistently measured in the wettest parts of the country as observers tended to cluster in the drier lowland areas back then, whereas the wet uplands are now measured with automatic rain gauges.

    In the Met Office library there are numerous books on prodigious rainfall events over the centuries. It is the most notable feature of the LIA rather than snow.

    As Scott Mandia notes;
    “Sea level was likely increased by the long-term ice melt during the MWP which compounded the flooding. Storms that caused greater than 100,000 deaths were also reported in 1421, 1446, and 1570. Additionally, large hailstorms that wiped out farmland and killed great numbers of livestock occurred over much of Europe due to the very cold air aloft during the warmer months. Due to severe erosion of coastline and high winds, great sand storms developed which destroyed farmlands and reshaped coastal land regions.” http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/little_ice_age.html

    We periodically g9o through wetter than normal and windier than normal periods, and that is what is happening now. However, even in the short history of the Dawlish railway back to 1846 it can be seen there were worst storms than the one that claimed one bit of sea wall that I estimate has been pounded some 960,000 times by large waves since it was built.

    Poor Infrastructure and lack of maintenance and resilience is the story here and its not helped by leaders in govt and its agencies that are fixated on co2..
    tonyb

    • “Water voles?” he asks, in his best Michael Palin impersonation.

    • Say, why does the phrase, ‘fox in charge of the hen house’
      come ter mird these days when someone refers to a bureau
      of meteorology?

    • @tonyb: not politicians following an over green agenda to protect water voles over humans

      Not to worry. The 8 million UK water voles in 1960 (“Ratty” to readers of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows) are now down to some 200,000. At that rate there won’t be any to protect in 2020.

  8. The Met Office has had to change some misleading information about sea level rise in their report – they put a new version of the report up late last night.

    Story so far here http://mygardenpond.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/met-office-report-says-sea-levels-likely-to-rise-11-16-cm-by-2030/

  9. As an engineer, I appreciate real solutions to problems. Prof. Falconer is suggesting that we approach changes in weather or climate in exactly that way. First ask what is the real or anticipated problem or risk. Second list the alternatives to the problem. Finally select the most cost effective one.

    As I read his analysis, we can build a bigger dike along the entire river, or we can permanently lower the level of the downstream part of the river and let the river erode a deeper channel. I agree that the later is likely to be the most cost effective in the long term.

    This is what is missing in the climate war. With so much concentration on CO2 levels we are missing opportunities to examine the risks of cooling and warming, floods and drought. Whether global warming happens or not, cooling, warming, floods and drought are going to happen. These events have always happened, and will continue to happen. Of course these are not the only examples of climate or weather (whichever you want to group them) that we need to mitigate. In my mind adaptation is required, and what the discussion should be about, not worrying about CO2 levels, or whether the warming is 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees or whatever.

    It is time for sane people to work out solutions to problems, and stop worrying about stuff that we are not going to be able to do anything about anyway. I would put the likelihood of changing CO2 levels in the near term at extremely unlikely because even if the developed countries had the political willpower to do this (highly unlikely to begin with), the undeveloped countries do not. CO2 mitigation was always doomed to failure. Will this always be the case? Likely not, as our ability to deal with CO2, if it is a problem, will be much better in the future than at present. It is time to get on with solving problems that are costing us lives, money, and freedom in the present.

  10. It appears that Somerset is currently in the line of fire of the North Atlantic Jet Stream, and therefore the Bristol Channel also: squall.sfsu.edu/gif/jetstream_atl_init_00.gif . Why would one not expect higher water in that channel? Most of the Devon coast (that I have seen) appeared well fortified for the weather of recent decades.

    Rainfall is a different matter. It would be interesting to see the periods mentioned in the post to the temperature records. Do these records indicate cooling temperatures broadly coincident with increased rainfall?

    H/t and thanks to “Climatereason” above. “In the Met Office library there are numerous books on prodigious rainfall events over the centuries. It is the most notable feature of the LIA rather than snow.”

    • squall.sfsu.edu/gif/jetstream_atl_init_00.gif

    • Pooh Dixie

      I am working on my follow up to ‘The long slow thaw’ which reconstructs CET prior to the instrumental record. I am currently working on the period 1200 to 1450 and am accumulating weather related observations. Whilst this will be greatly expanded, here is the record for the decade 1230-1240.

      Summary: Series of mild winters late in decade and three very hot summers with consequent drought but decade mostly characterised by periods of extreme wetness and coolness with one exceptionally cold winter.

      AD1230 the harvests having failed for two successive years, owing to continual rain which caused great overflowing of the river there was so great a scarcity of provisions that the people were obliged to eat horse flesh and to substitute bark of trees for bread.

      1233 wet summer from 23 March with great inundations of rain through the whole summer destroying warrens and washed away the ponds and mills throughout almost all England. Water formed into lakes in middle of the crops where the fishes of the rivers were seen to great astonishment and mills were standing in various places they had never before been seen.

      1233-1234 severe frost from Christmas 1233 to Feb 2 1234 destroying roots of trees to four foot down then rest of year very unseasonable

      1236 great floods in Jan, Feb and part of March that no one had seen the like before. Bridges submerged, fords impassable, mills and ponds overwhelmed and sown land meadows and marshes covered. Thames flooded palace of Westminster so small boat could be navigated in the midst of the forecourt. And folk went to their bed chambers on horseback
      Followed by dry summer with intolerable heat that all lasted four months. Deep pools and ponds were dried up and water mills useless.

      1237 great rains in February, fords and roads impassable for 8 successive days .Turbulent year stormy and unsettled
      1238 great floods in many parts probably December
      Cloudy and rainy in beginning until spring had passed then the drought and heat were beyond measure and custom in two or more of the summer months. Great deluge of rain in the autumn that straw and grain became rotten and an unnatural autumn which is held to be a cold and dry season gave rise to various fatal diseases.
      1239 very wet weather continually from Jan to March, it has continued for four months without intermission.
      —– —–
      This was the downturn into the LIA and we can note periods of extremes, but especially wetness. Jean Groves notes in her two volume work ‘Little Ice Ages’;

      ‘page 628 in south England the crops of 1314 were harvested only with great difficulty because of wet conditions . in 1315 the harvest failed because of torrential rain and widespread flooding which ruined hay and cereal crops. The year 1316 was the worst of all on account of incessant rain. ‘England never saw a similar subsistence catastrophe in cereals during the whole of the middle ages (writes jordan 1996-33) and the same may be said of northern Europe in general. ‘
      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Tony,

      It is interesting to note that during the timeframe you referenced, two events were happening simultaneously related to climate- the sun was coming off the medieval maximum, and volcanic activity was picking up rapidly. Both events affect the entire planet, but the solar activity decline affects the NH to a greater degree.

  11. ‘. Such models are now becoming available and should be deployed as soon as possible to provide a solid evidence base for future investments in flood and coastal defences.”

    1. we do not need models to tell us what to do. The weather of our fathers
    and grandfathers is guidance enough.
    2. Start with the weather of the past.
    3. Characterize extremes.
    4. Plan for more severe, more often.

    http://www.eutimes.net/2011/05/japanese-mayor-built-a-huge-sea-wall-and-saved-his-village-from-the-tsunami/

    “But 10-term mayor Wamura never forgot how quickly the sea could turn. Massive earthquake-triggered tsunamis flattened Japan’s northeast coast in 1933 and 1896. In Fudai, the two disasters destroyed hundreds of homes and killed 439 people.
    ‘When I saw bodies being dug up from the piles of earth, I did not know what to say. I had no words,’ Wamura wrote of the 1933 tsunami in his book about Fudai, ‘A 40-Year Fight Against Poverty.’

    we dont even plan for the past.

    • Mosh

      Are you actually agreeing with me that the climate of the past is a useful guide to the future? Its why I produce my historical perspectives.

      At the least we should create infrastructure that is resilient enough to withstand what we know has happened in the past. Whether or not an extra factor for your 4) needs to be added in for future eventualities is another question, but to do so costs little extra and seems prudent

      tonyb.

    • Steven Mosher,
      Very pithy and memorable statement, “We don’t even plan for the past”

      Is that original. I enjoy wise quotes but want to attribute them.
      Scott

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      ” Plan for more severe, more often.”
      ——
      Yes, and plan and put your resources into the most likely kinds of severe weather. It would be nice if you could plan for all contingencies, but that is not possible. Plan for the most likely, most severe, and most frequent.

    • Rgates

      Yes, that sounds sdensible. Our usual events are rain/flooding and winds. No use planning for excessive heat and prolonged sunshine events nor long periods of extreme cold i.e. three months of genuine winter year after year.
      tonyb

    • ” Plan for more severe, more often.”

      The UK trend since 2009 has been cooler drier winters, which is typical for weaker solar cycles, though seasonal exceptions will always occur. We actually need to plan for more summer floods.
      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/actualmonthly/

    • Tony.

      My position is this.

      Policy making is not science. Policy making can be informed by science, by history, by bribes.. etc.

      It is perfectly acceptable for a policy maker to use a model.. a linear projection or a climate model. It is perfectly acceptable for a policy maker to use a GCM. They are all tools.

      Can one use history? Of course. But now the question is.. whats the relevant time period in the past to consider and what safety factor do I use.

      can one use a linear extrapolation. Sure. Just use it. But again where do you start the linear model and do you build in safety factors.

      Can one use a climate model. Sure. Just use it. Its not that you NEED them,
      it’s that you can in fact use one. But again, is it biased? high or low? do you add a safety factor. is it wrong? well, you can still use it. you dont need to, but you can in fact use it.

      The point is there is nothing in the facts of these approaches that tells you
      which to use or how to use them. They are all justifiable, all rational. personally I’d look at all three. But in the end there is no “science” to decide how to use them. I might look at history and say– well a million years ago the sea level was 20 meters higher.. lets prepare for that. Or looking at history.. lets prepare for mass extinction. You might care about 2000 year history. You might say that the history you study is most improtant.. because after all you studied it. I might look at a linear extrapolation of sea level rise and see 20cm by 2100 and also look at a model projection that says 1 meter and conclude.. I’d rather be safe than sorry.. plan on 2 meters. no approach,, history or science tells us how to use the approach and how to balance them.

      or I might decide.. lets worry about malaria instead.

      you dont eat meat. You like the health benefits. You value the years you have left on this planet. I like meat. I seize the day, whenever I die is cool with me as long as I have a belly full of bacon. how is science or economics or history going to tell either one of us that we are mistaken in our fundamental choice about valuing the present versus the future?

      So. my point is that one does not NEED a climate model. one can use history. And one does not NEED to look at history, one can use a model.
      pretending that one approach is necessary or preferred or always right
      bears examination.

    • Mosh

      I think you can only usefully take note of Climate events during the Holocene. The position of continents, land bridges etc was so different prior to that it is difficult to see it has any lessons. For example Britain was physically joined to Europe then, where there is no north sea, so I doubt we can learn anything from weather patterns or flooding events prior to that.

      We are not outside the boundaries of past climate from the Holocene at present. We are however outside of the relatively benign period of recent decades.

      Any rebuilding on infrastructure needs to be done with memories of the past, always bearing in mind man has shaped his environment and there are many more of us these days so circumstances aren’t identical.

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “I think you can only usefully take note of Climate events during the Holocene.”
      ___
      This seems extremely short sighted and narrow. The study of past interglacial periods can be extremely helpful in understanding basic relationships between astronomical forcing, GH gas levels, etc. MIS 11, for example, has some similarities to our current interglacial, and the arrangement of continents was not so different from today:
      https://pangea.stanford.edu/research/Oceans/GES205/MIS11FutureClimateModeling.pdf
      Certainly the further you go back in time, the more different the continents become and so the data must be viewed with that in mind, but certain dynamical relationships would still hold true. There is an intense interest in the climate of the mid-Pliocene, around 3.2 mya, because it was the last time CO2 levels were sustained as high as they are now, even though methane and N2O were not nearly as high as they are now. In short, to just with one sweep of the hand discount paleoclimate studies outside the Holocene is—well, exceptionally short-sighted.

    • Steven Mosher:

      Better safe than sorry – planning for 2 meters of sea level rise. Yes, you could do that.

      However what do you tell everybody in Florida?

      I think most of Florida is underwater with 2 meters of sea level rise.

      Perhaps the prudent thing to do would be to abandon Florida.

      They can all move to a different state.

      Of course you are talking about hundreds of billions of dollars of value, down the drain in the panic to get out (assuming the Government told everybody to abandon Florida)..

      It sure would be embarrassing if you made that call and then it took 1000 years before you got your 2 meters of sea level rise.

      Somehow I don’t think Florida will be planning on 2 meters of sea level rise by 2100 – just to play it safe.

    • Tony, of course you can limit it arbitrarily to the holocene. and of course one can justify this decision. but nothing compells you to limit it thusly.

      but lets see how I might use the holocene.

      Looking our best information we might say that the Holocene was perhaps
      1-2C warmer than today.

      Lets call it 2C.

      As a planner I might note that modern civilization has adapted to a climate that is cooler than a global average of 17C ( a ballpark for the holocene)

      How can I use this history?

      I can use it thusly: we have no recorded modern experiences with a global planetary temperature of higher than 17C. We have no knowledge of how this will impact society for good or ill.
      We should not therefore take actions which may put us on a path to a 2C
      increase.

      makes sense. justified. certainly folks can question it.. but people question that we landed on the moon.

    • The records of history,
      of actual events and
      human experience,
      trump models made by
      modellers in cloud towers
      whiling away the tenured hours.
      Models theory – impregnated
      but not always actually related
      to events upon the ground,
      or in the atmosphere or
      at sea. Sometimes climate
      experts would appear to be,
      themselves, at sea.

    • Rgates

      Oh come on. The world was an utterly different place pre Holocene for reasons I’ve explained. Britain became detached from Europe some 8000 years ago. How is flooding prior to that relevant to us today.? With the sea now around us that will have an mpact on winds, temperatures, water levels etc.

      That is not to say that pre Holocene records aren’t interesting or have something to say. Of course they do but we need to examine things for the world as it has become not for a world that looked utterly different millions of years ago
      Tonyb

    • Rgates

      You talk about other glacial periods. You forget that I constructed a chart showing glacial movements over the last four thousand years.

      I have finished today, for the third time, jean groves two volume treatise on glaciers. Which is another reason to suggest we can more usefully look at the climate during our current interglacial rather than ones millions of years ago when conditions were utterly different.

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Britain became detached from Europe some 8000 years ago.”
      ____
      Uh Tony…how much did the rising sea levels of the Holocene have to do with that? Answer: Everything. What I’m getting at is: Was Britain attached to Europe during the last interglacial? I think you’ll find that it was not, and that the rising sea levels during that interglacial caused it to “separate” at that time as well. The continents don’t move that fast from geological shifting of land masses.

    • Planning against an eventual sea surge seems like a great idea, the sort of thing one can do and should do with resources, regardless of how remote the possible event. Just securing more roofs on a regional scale would be one of the great life-savers. Flood mitigation and land stabilisation in places like Leyte are no-brainers. Spend aid money on that, by all means. (And I’d like to modestly propose certain bamboos as a way to reduce wind-chill, wind surges, flying branches etc. Works for me!)

      Insulation? Dune care? Building standards? Siting regulations? Low-intensity burns and vegetation controls? Sure. Even make stuff compulsory. I’m no libertarian. And since you know the bad things are going to happen eventually, you don’t even need climate scientists to advise. More savings!

      The problem is when one is asked to shore trillions against a sea level rise which started late in the 1700s, was quite brisk for a few decades, and is now just dawdling along up.

      How often one finds that the money and resources not spent on Conservation are going to all kinds of strange Green fetishism. But the fetish gods and goddesses have always been the most greedy for temple offerings. And their priests are the pushiest.

    • Rgates

      Pliocene sea levels was substantially higher than today and continents were in a somewhat different position. places like Britain have become detatchd from their neighbours and ocean circulation, river systems, vegetation, ice sheets, topography etc are sufficiently different to make a comparison with the Pliocene problematic.

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

      I appreciate you want to equate the warmer temperatures of that epoch with the co2 levels we might see in the next few decades as a warning of what will happen.

      That assumes that the pliocene conditions as described above were similar enough to today to warrant the comparison and make it valid and that co2 has the extreme warming effect attributed to it.

      I think it is safer to stick to the Holocene conditions rather than indulge in comparing apples and oranges.

      Tonyb

    • RickA Feb 11 2:30 pm says “Perhaps the prudent thing to do would be to abandon Florida.”. Note: The average age of a house in the USA is less than 30 years. There is no need to move yet. As and when the need to move becomes apparent, it can take place ‘naturally’, ie. as part of the continuous build/re-build process. Note also that this approach deals equally well with decreasing sea levels.

    • teven Mosher

      You say we should not put ourselves on a path that could (theoretically) warm the climate by 2C.

      Why not?

      We are currently at a global average of 15C.

      The ideal ambient temperature for humans is 23C (according to Wiki) and between 19C and 22C according to other sources.

      So we still have 4C to 8C of warming to go before we reach the “ideal”.

      I think you have gotten your knickers all twisted about something that makes no sense at all, if you thought about it a bit, Mosh.

      Max

    • Mosh, some good points in your 1.08. But I disagree with your later view: “We have no recorded modern experiences with a global planetary temperature of higher than 17C. We have no knowledge of how this will impact society for good or ill. We should not therefore take actions which may put us on a path to a 2C increase.”

      We can make assumptions about the impacts – the whole CAGW case is based on that – and we can attempt to determine whether or not it is feasible to constrain temperatures and, if so, what it might cost and how one could trade-off such expenditure against alternative demands on resources. We might very well decide that it makes little sense to concentrate resources on averting the unknown outcomes of a 2C rise. From my relative ignorance, I would make that decision, but be prepared to modify it as events and information unfold.

    • I agree strongly with Mosher’s contention that we should learn from the past. I am in the South of England and although I am not immediately affected my friends are; but the floods we are seeing near me are similar to those of 1947 and 1910. So far from unprecedented; probably in the range of 1-in-50 year floods perhaps.

      The Dutch – who are very good at this sort of thing – prepare for 1-in-10,000 year floods. We have really failed in the UK to be prepared for something that could easily be predicted from history.

      One comment I don’t understand though is this: “As a planner I might note that modern civilization has adapted to a climate that is cooler than a global average of 17C”

      This is complete nonsense. Civilisation adapts to local climate, not global climate. And humans manage a massive range of local climates, living in extremes from Siberia and Alaska, through to the year round heat of the tropics. No civilisation, anywhere, adapts to global climate.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Which is another reason to suggest we can more usefully look at the climate during our current interglacial rather than ones millions of years ago when conditions were utterly different.”
      ____
      We need to understand past (not current) glacial/interglacial cycles to find out what caused the advance and retreat of ice and we need to look at periods of time when GH gases were similar to our current levels. Despite unscientific ideas to the contrary, GH gases have a huge influence on climate and weather. Ignoring the wealth of paleoclimate data coming from the Pliocene would be accepting self-imposed ignorance.

    • +1 Spence_UK
      There are plenty of “local” engineers around the world who know how to deal with very hot, very cold, very wet, very dry, very snowy, very below-sea-level situations.

      The UK generally employs almost none of them, not least because we generally have a very equable, mild climate that has precious little in the way of extremes. So we are always caught with our pants down when something we consider “unusual” happens.

    • Faustino

      “Mosh, some good points in your 1.08. But I disagree with your later view: “We have no recorded modern experiences with a global planetary temperature of higher than 17C. We have no knowledge of how this will impact society for good or ill. We should not therefore take actions which may put us on a path to a 2C increase.”

      Disagree all you want.

      What you fail to get is that these types of argument are ALWAYS open to objection. That you want to quibble with it is immaterial. What I am arguing is that someone who holds this position HAS A JUSTIFIED BELIEF.

      That is, they have a reason for believing and that reason is good. Could you reason differently? Of course. The point is these types of decisions and approaches cannot be reduced to logic, cannot be reduced to science, cannot be reduced to economics or cost benefit analysis. The are fundamental existential choices. You may look at the sea and decide that builing a huge seawall makes no sense. You’d rather build casinos. The mayor in japan who saw dead bodies sees the world differently. He builds a huge wall. The notion that these types of decisions can be reduced to science or morality or economics misses their existential character. They define who you are.

    • If one is to base planning around past events, fathers’ and grandfathers’ guidance etc, it might be prudent to plan for more heat and less heat – at the same time!

      In both the early 1790s and late 1870s heat-drought-famine disasters which affected Australia, southern Asia, Brazil, NZ etc, there were cold waves and storms recorded in the CET. I say just “interesting” because the lethal drought which afflicted India and Oz around 1895 was mirrored by very cold temps in the CET, but also that was one of the driest times in the whole CET record, with legendary frosts but very little snow.

      Moving forward in time, the savage dry and hot conditions around 1902 and 1914 here in Oz were very much mirrored by exceptional cold in the CET, though Europe’s coldest known summer (1902) may have been due to volcanism. One of the most straightforward mirror opposites is offered by our big heat/drought years starting late 1938. The early NH winters of WW2 were terrible, freezing with massive precip.

      Things are too hot and dry for comfort in Oz (and Brazil) right now while the Northern Hemisphere is groaning under ice and snow. It would be a pity to just assume, if you were making global plans, that there will just be warm, or cold attributable to warm. Maybe plan for cold attributable to, well…cold?

      There is a tendency to nod respectfully to the past, grandfathers and so on, then turn promptly back to the theories and numbers. But, when you think about it, if you’re not talking about the weather and events of several millennia you are probably not talking about climate.

      How do you have a short climate? How do you have a projected climate? Nobody has picked it yet. It’s actually rare to meet someone with an idea of what climate has already done, never mind what it is going to do. You might improve on the projections of the Nile priests – but probably not, since they at least had gravity working for them.

    • @MJ: The average age of a house in the USA is less than 30 years.

      Given that (a) people tear down old houses all the time and (b) inland houses are a dime a dozen, wouldn’t the more relevant question be, what’s the average age of a buildable seaside lot?

      This is not an idle question. I own a house on California’s Central Coast, a few hundred yards west of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and there are no houses between mine and the sea a hundred yards away. This has to have an affect on my depreciation.

    • climatereason at https://judithcurry.com/2014/02/11/uk-floods-in-context/#comment-452774

      Thank you for your valuable work. As others have noted, it is best to know what is “normal”, including the extremes within “normal” (Steve Mosher, below). I am also gratified to see R. Gates’ acknowledgement that our variable star plays a role.

      We might note, in passing, that the defenses of Devon were built well before GCMs were available.

    • RGates

      you said;
      ‘Ignoring the wealth of paleoclimate data coming from the Pliocene would be accepting self-imposed ignorance.’

      No one is saying to ignore the Pliocene, just that studying the holocene would be a better use of resources as its conditions most closely resemble… er…the Holocene.

      tonyb

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “No one is saying to ignore the Pliocene, just that studying the holocene would be a better use of resources as its conditions most closely resemble… er…the Holocene.”
      _____
      We’ve never had sustained global GH gas levels around 400 ppm for CO2 during the Holocene. This represents an external forcing on the system that requires we go back to the Pliocene to find any similar combination of forcings. Even then, methane and N2O were not as high as they are now, and these add an extra 10-15% “kick” to the external forcing. Only looking at the Holocene can only tell us about one interglacia and is therefore of limited use to make broader conclusions.

      • We’ve never had sustained global GH gas levels around 400 ppm for CO2 during the Holocene. This represents an external forcing on the system that requires we go back to the Pliocene to find any similar combination of forcings.

        The forcings may have been similar, but the terrain wasn’t. The Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau have been growing and changing from (arguably) 14 MYA to the present. Nobody knows the impact of this system of highlands on climate, much less what “tipping points” may have been passed during its growth. There has been some modelling, however.

        That it has an impact of some sort may be deduced from the obvious association of the Tibetan Plateau (and, probably, the Himalayas) with the Tropical Easterly Jet.

    • Rgates

      But don’t you think its more useful to concentrate on comparing the holocene apple to the holocene apple rather than the Pliocene orange to the holocene apple?

      That is not to say that studying the orange does not have some merit, just that its properties may be somewhat exaggerated and its dissimilarity to what we need to study is so marked. .
      tonyb

    • RG,

      When we are probably talking about trillions of dollars, making decisions based on somepne’s interpretation of what the climate was like 3.2 million years ago seems pretty far fetched.

  12. The Somerset Levels are 8 to 10 feet BELOW the rivers that drain the area. They need pumps to get the water UP to the rivers.

    Does anyone really find it strange that the area floods? Really?

  13. Paul Homewood has it right. I was in St. Louis, Missouri, USA for the 100 year flood of 1973, the 500 year flood of 1982, and the 1,000 year flood of 1993.
    (We received a flyover by President Clinton.) As you can imagine, prophets of doom blossomed everywhere. Since 1993, there have been no “century level” floods. Go figure.

    Given her position and her ignorance of history, I cannot imagine how Slingo manages to keep her job.

  14. Political Junkie

    What weather event, if any, would NOT be “consistent with what we may expect from climate change?”

    • Stasis.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “What weather event, if any, would NOT be “consistent with what we may expect from climate change?””
      _____
      Let’s be clear…increasing GH gases add more net energy to the climate system, so what would not be consistent with this is less energy in the system such as we see during colder and drier glacial periods. Any sort of weather event that indicates greater energy is what would be consistent, including: enhancement of the hydrological cycle, enhancement of the Brewer-Dobson circulation, large amplitude in planetary waves, increasing frequency and intensity of SSW events, increased disruption of the polar vortex in the winter, more intense rainfall events, more intense and frequent Arctic storms.

    • R. Gates: I believe you have fallen into alarmisms’ semantic trap. By conflating “Global Warming” with “Climate Change”, the alarmist movement has made the phrases interchangeable.
      However, using “Climate Change” in its non-propaganda sense, both warming and cooling are “Climate Change”.
      I suggest using the plain meaning of words if you do not wish to be taken as a propagandist.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “By conflating “Global Warming” with “Climate Change”, the alarmist movement has made the phrases interchangeable.”
      _____
      I actually prefer to look at the energy in the system and keep things at that level. “Climate change” is too generic, and “global warming” is too generic. Looking at the increased energy of the system (which is the purely physical response to increasing GH gases) doesn’t specify exactly where that energy will go. It is up to the models to do that—and as we know, the models don’t do it very well over shorter time frames.

    • They might be able to improve the models by including the region of space reaching as far as, and beyond, Alpha Centauri.

  15. “If we look at the broader base of evidence then we see things that support the premise that climate change has been making a contribution.” – Dame Julia Slingo

    If we read our horoscopes every morning and pay close, motivated attention to what happens to us during the rest of the day, we begin to see things that support the premise that the stars and planets have an effect on our lives. Confirmation bias anyone?

    ONce again we see alarmists proving themselves to be their own worst enemies. This is exactly the kind of stuff that started my own journey toward skepticism WRT to global warming/climate change.

  16. One sentence caught my eye. “The severe weather in the UK coincided with exceptionally cold weather in Canada and the USA.”

    I cannot speak for anyone in the USA, but here in Ottawa, Canada, we are having an almost perfect winter . It is only exceptional in how nice it is. Have we had cold weather ? Sure we have, but that is what we expect. Have we had snow? Of course we have. I think about 200 cms. But most of it came on Saturdays, and we had Sundays to get it all cleared up in time for Mondays. And in the spring the melt water will fill our lakes and reservoirs with water worth billions, if not trillions of dollars.

    We are in the middle of Winterlude, our annual winter festival. Skiing in the hills, skating on the largest skating rink in the world, on our Rideau Canal. This latter was opened around New Year, and has only been closed one day since, when the weather got go be too warm.

    In Ottawa, once it gets cold, and we get the first snow that stays, we want it to stay below 0C; until March. Then we hope for the ideal weather for the “sugaring off” of the maples, and we produce our annual harvest of maple syrup.

    But don’t let anyone kid you that here in Canada we are suffering this winter. We are not.

    • My brother has lived in Ottawa since the 1970’s. He used to live just a block off the Rideau, and he would sometimes skate to work, which was at the National Art Center. I don’t know if he could make all the way there, but whatever the shortfall, he just walked. Ottawa is a beautiful city.

    • Lucky you. Things are very different over in Northwestern Ontario where it has been brutally cold with way above average snow for several months. Contrary to local opinion Ottawa is not Canada.

    • David, you write “Things are very different over in Northwestern Ontario”

      I know Ottawa isn’t Canada. I was saying what it is like here.  The key word in the quote is – exceptional – My impression is that over the rest of Canada, things may be worse than average, but they are not exceptional.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Beautiful summer fall and winter. One ice storm that downed a lot of tree limbs. It’s nice weather.
      What else would you expect?
      Maniac alarmists spewing? They’ll never quite while they have yapholes.

    • Robert I Ellison

      We have been over this several times. Cognitive dissonance anyone?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=106

      ARGO shows a 0.69mm/yr steric sea level rise in the period it was rising – which was also a period of water loss from the oceans. Satellite altimetry is quoted at 3.2mm/yr for the same period. Both can’t be right.

      CERES directly measures the changes in energy leaving the system. This dominates energy changes in the system as a whole. Net up is warming – down is cooling by convention.

    • Robert I Ellison

      wrong place – hard to keep track of this single indent format.

  17. Let me use the same quote as pokerguy ““If we look at the broader base of evidence then we see things that support the premise that climate change has been making a contribution.” – Dame Julia Slingo”

    Surely the time has come for the scientific community to call a spade a spade. Dame Slingo is being more than economical with the truth. There is no empirical evidence that adding CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels is having any effect, whatsoever, on our climate.

    • John Carpenter

      “John – I’m just an anonymous troll. She’s a famous climate scientist. I don’t see how my writing blog comments critical of her reasoning could equal unfair in any event. Further, she’s someone quite capable of taking care of herself.”

      Joshua, I agree Judith is quite capable of taking care of herself. But being famous or anonymous really has nothing to do with what I mean by fair. We are all human. We all make mistakes, mis steps and errors in our daily existence. So as humans, we have to recognize how we personally feel about situations where we err and then make a judgement of how we would like to be treated and how we think others should be treated when pointing out those errors. For me, to be fair is to consider how genuine you think someone is. The guy in your video captured this idea. We like and are attracted and trust those who we consider trustworthy by their sincerity towards others. So in this sense, I like Judith because I have observed what I consider genuine and forthright ideas from her. I don’t find her vindictive or conniving as a regular course of behavior. She means well in my opinion. So I find it an unfair practice to hound everything she says and make her accountable for every single word…. It is not possible for any human to traverse such a gauntlet. It is an unfair proposition to put someone into. Granted, I recognize we, you and I, mean little to nothing to Judith. Our comments on the grand scheme of things are quite meaningless. I get that and from that perspective fairness is trivial here. But it is always good to look at things from the opposite direction… I try to live by this… and often fail. But I try.

  18. 50% of the yearly rainfall in California is from the “Pineapple Express.” If you want rain then you are hoping a Pineapple Express will come stormin’ through town and also then dump snow in the mountains on its way East. One person’s storm is another person’s crop: the latest Pineapple Express to hit the NW is worth billions of dollars in agriculture.

    • @Wagathon: 50% of the yearly rainfall in California is from the “Pineapple Express.”

      If you’re referring to Northern California, that would be 1955. No big “Pineapple Express” here since then. In fact we’re facing a disastrous drought right now.

    • Vaughan,

      Have you been out of the state the last week or two?

      N California, Oregon and to a lesser degree Washington has all been on the receiving end of the Express the past week or so. Brought low land snow to the latter two states.

  19. Judith –

    …..without the distraction of thinking that reducing carbon emissions would somehow prevent such extreme events.

    So much for uncertainty, eh?

    • Inviting those who are understandably infuriated by JOshua’s relentless campaign to harass our host with drive-by sneers, absurd nit picks, and motivated misreadings, to simply ignore him. It’s the only way to make him go away.

      Ready. Go.

    • PG –

      Just an FYI. I’m not going away. And if I were, it certainly wouldn’t be because of any actions or lack thereof on your part.

      And I will also point out how fundamentally flawed are the constant stream of comments from you and your cronies – whereby you post one comment after the next, in response to my comments, to ask that people not respond to my comments.

      It does amuse, however.

    • And because of PG’s request, I thought I’d elaborate.

      I agree with Judith’s concern that uncertainty be appropriate addressed. So, let’s look a little more at her comment from above:

      …..without the distraction of thinking that reducing carbon emissions would somehow prevent such extreme events.

      The first question is w/r/t who is arguing that carbon reduction would “somehow prevent such extreme events.” I suppose there might be some who are arguing that – but it certainly isn’t an argument that is presented very frequently.

      Instead of Judith’s straw man, what I see more commonly presented are arguments that carbon reduction might: (1) reduce the likelihood of such extreme events and, (2) extend the time period over which the likelihood of such events will increase.

      We can notice in Judith’s response a complete certainty that mitigation policies might have any effect, whatsoever, on a reduction in carbon emissions affecting the likelihood of such extreme events. Where does her certainty come from? What happened to her respect for uncertainty, that would lead her to make such comments?

      Why not, instead, talk about the range of uncertainty and talk about how that range of uncertainty affects the range of potential, related policies? Perhaps the outcome of such discussions might lead to a primary focus on adaptation rather than mitigation. I can certainly understand how a discussion of uncertainty might lead the public and policy-makers in that direction. But why pretend that there aren’t any uncertainties?

      Certainly, of all people, Judith knows that the uncertainties exist.

      So what explains her…..um…..selective concern….. about uncertainties, that leads her to stress uncertainties in some aspects of the debate, and yet ignore uncertainties in other aspects of the debate?

      I’m thinking that maybe PG might have an answer, so I invite him to offer one – although I certainly would appreciate responses from others who, like PG, are concerned about the uncertainties related to climate change.

      • David Springer

        Joshua you’re leaving out the best part, aren’t you?

        Why am I always needing to remind of what to put in your comments?

    • Oh, and I forgot the best part.

      Not only is Judith certain that carbon reduction will have no, zero, zilch, nada, niente, bupkis influence on the likelihood (no matter the time horizon?) of extreme weather events, it is apparent that she thinks that the discussion of that possibility is a “distraction.”

      Interesting, isn’t it, that Judith thinks that a discussion of uncertainty is a “distraction?”

      Why would that be?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I mostly do – ignore him that is. I’d suggest reading perhaps 1 in 20 – just to confirm that it is always the same ‘spew’ in the favoured terminology of CE.

      Extreme events – far more extreme than we have seen in the past century – have happened before and will happen again. While over decades a multi-gas strategy – along with energy innovation – is the practical approach to CO2 mitigation – CO2 mitigation will not prevent future extremes in weather. Some things are certain – death, tax avoidance and weather extremes. As Mark Twain said – everyone talks about the weather.

      Josh’s problem is that he fails to understand any of the issues and is simultaneously on a leftist crusade constantly pointing out flaws in reasoning he has no inkling of. It comes from a complete faith in their intellectual and moral superiority – the Borg Collective Syndrome – which engenders an inability to review assumptions. The ‘others’ are ripe for nitpicking and denigration because let’s face it – that’s all he has and all he needs – and he always finds it amusing. They all pretend they do – after all the ‘others’ are ludicrous. Ironic aye?

      Assimilate to the ‘general will’ – as they define it – or face the scorn of Joshua. Scary aye?

    • Joshua, ” I suppose there might be some who are arguing that – but it certainly isn’t an argument that is presented very frequently.”

      2014 SOTU, “Taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet,” he said. “Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth. But we have to act with more urgency – because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods.”

      When are you due back you your home world?

    • Joshua

      It’s interesting that, from your comments, you seem to think of Judith as some dyed in the wool sceptic. I would view her as a lukewarmer. Others here constantly comment that although more sceptical than in the past she is much closer to the consensus ipcc position than having an alternative view.

      5 years ago if an abosultely dyed in the wool hard core warmist rated 10! I would have considered her as an 8 . These perhaps a 7 . She is however exhibiting the sceptical traits all scientists should, in accordance with the motto of the royal society.

      Tonyb

    • TonyB, you don’t quite understand.
      Judy is in a position to come to the same conclusion has Joshua, but she has not.
      Obviously Joshua is right and also noble; so where does that leave Judy?
      Joshua must either believe she is a liar or evil. It gets worse.
      Although Josh has an unshakable belief in cAGW, he is getting more and more of the 3 in the morning doubts. The longer the ‘pause’ lasts, the less likely is cAGW. Moreover, given the line-shape of the Keeling Curve, the longer the pause, the shorter the time between transient and ‘equilibrium’ sensitivity, until they are the same.
      People are backing away, Professor Matthew England has changed his position from ‘there is no pause’ to ‘trade winds have caused the pause and when they stop we are all going to burn’ in less than a year, and so poor little Josh is a bit lost, so he lashes out.
      The fact Josh lashes out at a quite blameless woman probably isn’t Freudian, due to his inability to forge relationships with women without an inflation valve, probably.

    • Hey tony –

      It’s interesting that, from your comments, you seem to think of Judith as some dyed in the wool sceptic.

      Honestly tony, I have no idea how the term “skeptic” is defined. It seems to be a constantly moving target.

      That said, given the common vernacular, no, I don’t think that she is a “died in the wool “skeptic.”

      I would view her as a lukewarmer.

      Again, given the common vernacular, I would agree. But again, I find the term so vaguely defined as to be essentially menaingless.

      Others here constantly comment that although more sceptical than in the past she is much closer to the consensus ipcc position than having an alternative view.

      Again, that is vague, IMO. How do you distinguish a “consensus IPCC position” vis-à-vis an “alternative view?”

      She is however exhibiting the sceptical traits all scientists should, in accordance with the motto of the royal society.

      I see her as expressing skeptical traits in a somewhat haphazard manner. For example, she is skeptical about the certainty expressed by the IPCC (something I think is legitimate skepticism) – but then turns around and makes statements that fail to pass due skeptical scrutiny.

    • Obviously Joshua is right and also noble; so where does that leave Judy?

      I make no claims about being “right” nor about being “noble.”

      Joshua must either believe she is a liar or evil.

      I believe neither – and have constantly stated otherwise.

      It gets worse.
      Although Josh has an unshakable belief in cAGW,

      Really? When have you ever read me state any such belief? On what basis have you determined what I believe – because as near as I can tell from that comment of yours (which is inherently value because of the vague term of “believe in CAGW,”), you are wrong in my “beliefs.” I have very few, if any, “unshakable” beliefs related to climate change.

      The longer the ‘pause’ lasts, the less likely is cAGW.

      Again – it’s hard to answer to that because of the vagueness of the terminology.

      People are backing away, Professor Matthew England has changed his position from ‘there is no pause’ to ‘trade winds have caused the pause and when they stop we are all going to burn’ in less than a year, and so poor little Josh is a bit lost, so he lashes out.

      If you consider adding scientific information to the pool as “backing out,” so be it – but I’m not “lashing out.” I am applying skeptical due diligence to what Judith writes. That isn’t lashing out. It never ceases to amuse how self-described “skeptics” consider applying skeptical due diligence as “lashing out.”

      The fact Josh lashes out at a quite blameless woman probably isn’t Freudian, due to his inability to forge relationships with women without an inflation valve, probably.

      I apply the same kind of skeptical due diligence to what you write, and what many self-described “skeptics” here write. Now you are more than entitled to fantasize whatever you’d like about my relationships with women or my relationships with men, or about any other aspect of me, personally. Knock yourself out. It only supports my argument about your “skepticism.”

      • David Springer

        What else have you found that’s interesting?

        Think about it and tell us. We live to hear what you find interesting.

    • And speaking of “backing out” – here is something I found interesting:

      On the other hand, if we are instead seeing a subtle effect of global warming in which increased greenhouse gas concentrations are, seemingly paradoxically, favoring the colder La Niña state of the climate system, then future global warming might end up being just a bit less than many of the current climate models are predicting.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/global-warming-speed-bump_b_4756711.html

      Now I’m not a fan of Mann’s rhetoric, and I’m not in a position to evaluate his science – but I do find that statement there from him to be quite interesting because it is an expression of skepticism. Now the skepticism he expresses there is a close relative to some of the skepticism I see expressed by some self-described “skeptics” here at Climate Etc. I think it’s a good thing when he expresses skepticism just as when my much beloved Climate Etc. “skeptics” express skepticism. But just as I wouldn’t overlook the flawed reasoning that leads him to call Judith “anti-science,” I see no reason to overlook “skepticism” from you or any other of my much beloved Climate Etc. brothers and sisters.

    • John Carpenter

      “Not only is Judith certain that carbon reduction will have no, zero, zilch, nada, niente, bupkis influence on the likelihood (no matter the time horizon?) of extreme weather events, it is apparent that she thinks that the discussion of that possibility is a “distraction.” – Joshua

      What kind of time horizon do you think she is speaking of? Do you really believe she means there would be no, zero, zilch, nada, niente, bupkis influence on the likelihood of extreme weather events…. ever….if we reduced carbon emissions? It is rather myopic to extend the time horizon out to infinity and expect that statement to hold true. So what time horizon would be reasonable? Well, I will suggest three generations… 120 years. People understand three generation time frames. You may disagree and I have no evidence to back up that statement, but I see it as a reasonable time frame people can identify with. People have to identify in order to engage. At any rate, her statement seems consistent with the consensus view. The consensus would understand AGW to be an inertial type problem. There is no uncertainty there. It takes time for the AGW train to get rolling and we have enough CO2 in the atmosphere now and projected that will take centuries to remove (even with 100% mitigation) so that heat is already in the pipeline. It’s gonna happen over the next three generations…. plus more. How much? Uncertainty there. But enough to increase the probability and length of extreme weather events to be sure. So why get distracted over mitigation strategies when the train has left the station? We need to be concerned and working on how the next three generations are going to prepare for the inevitable effects of the locked in, certain extra energy that Judith totally understands. Mitigation is secondary at this point. Let the next three generations deal with the mitigation problem… what is certain is the train is rolling and it isn’t going to stop on a dime in the time horizon people identify with, so how are we preparing for the inevitable?

      Joshua, I don’t understand why you parse her words so literally and in ways that appear to look only for the gotcha moments. You really believe an undefined time horizon should assume infinity? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but that is how I take your comment.

    • Hey John –

      What kind of time horizon do you think she is speaking of? Do you really believe she means there would be no, zero, zilch, nada, niente, bupkis influence on the likelihood of extreme weather events…. ever….if we reduced carbon emissions?

      I don’t have much time – so I will just make a quick response and then go back and read your comment in more detail later. (Justified is on in a couple of minutes, and I’m a big fan of anything Elmore Leonard-related).

      You make a fair point. Instead of snark, I could simply have asked Judith to clarify what time horizon she was referring to. That might be something that mosher would call reading with clarity.

      But she said what she said. She ignored uncertainty and she employed a strong man. I respect that she stresses a careful approach to uncertainty. I think that she should practice as she preaches.

    • And after she fired the strong man, she employed a straw man.

    • “.without the distraction of thinking that reducing carbon emissions would somehow prevent such extreme events.”

      That’s pretty much what the science tells us. On the time scales that Judith is talking about ( see the prior post) mitigation does nothing.

      Weirdly C02 has been unable to cause warming for the past 17 years but it’s kickin ass on the extreme events..

      ha.

    • “Joshua, I don’t understand why you parse her words so literally and in ways that appear to look only for the gotcha moments.”

      This is what he must do to confirm his bias.

      When Joshua is lecturing people about critical thinking he will explain how students must learn to present the other side fairly– present the other side in a way they would assent to..

      When Joshua is practicing, he does the opposite.

      We of course get to speculate about the cause for this behavior.

    • John Carpenter, I don’t think it is too late to have a big effect on climate. If we halt CO2 below 500 ppm, or let it go above 700 ppm, this is a factor of two in climate change, and both are achievable with credible emission scenarios. It is a difference that can still be made, and we shouldn’t give up on it because that is the surest way to fail.

    • Let the Wookie win.

    • @Joshua: The longer the ‘pause’ lasts, the less likely is cAGW.

      My impression is that the pause has been over for several years now. However we won’t know for sure until 2020, so let’s wait till then before passing judgment either way.

    • Robert I Ellison

      My impression is that the world is not warming at all.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=8

      And that this is likely to persist for a decade to three more. It’s a strange attractor thingy.

    • “Joshua says:
      January 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      What I find myself doing is looking at someone’s opinion, figuring out where the opinion fits within my matrix of beliefs, and they trying to either prove or disprove that opinion (to myself) based on how that opinion jibes with my own ideology. But that is human nature, and I think that science gives us tools for controlling for those biases – but only if we first acknowledge that motivated reasoning is a fundamentally human characteristic, and not simply a characteristic found in those we disagree with. ”

      http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/expertise/#comments

    • “Joshua says:
      January 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      If the thesis is not in accord with my own views, I then set about looking for information about why that person is arguing a view that is counter to my own. I begin to filter their reasoning through the patterns of my own reasoning to see where the fundamental incongruencies get stuck in the filter. One very important incongruency is often found in starting premises. Looking for the political roots in someone’s opinion in the climate wars is usually (although not always) a short cut for evaluating starting premises.”

      Ibid

    • Hey Doc, shall we tell him the HVAC people will cheerfully change filters if the procedure is beyond one’s technical ability?
      ==================

    • At a school bazaar, someone sold him a ‘self-cleaning’ model.
      =============

    • Weirdly C02 has been unable to cause warming for the past 17 years but it’s kickin ass on the extreme events

      I see that steven’s concern about conflating a trend of statistically significant increase in global surface air temps over relatively short time periods with “warming” is …..er……um…… selective.

      No wonder he had no problem with Judith doing the same. Funny how he’s critical of climate scientists when they do so.

      Must be a coincidence.

    • I hope that you all realize how distressing PG finds this all to be.

    • Hey John –

      Another great episode of Justified – although I do find it a bit upsetting that my partner has a bit of a thing for Boyd Crowder.

      What kind of time horizon do you think she is speaking of?

      I don’t know.

      Do you really believe she means there would be no, zero, zilch, nada, niente, bupkis influence on the likelihood of extreme weather events…. ever….if we reduced carbon emissions?

      She didn’t specify..

      So what time horizon would be reasonable? Well, I will suggest three generations… 120 years.

      Reasonable for what? Reasonable for, as Judith says, “preventing” extreme weather? No, I can’t agree that would be reasonable. I think that there is no reasonable time horizon for “preventing” extreme weather.

      As for perhaps lowering the likelihood of extreme weather, on some measurable scale, I think that reducing carbon could theoretically have an impact on a shorter timescale than three generations. There is huge uncertainty there, but I think that it is valuable to consider those uncertainties and not dismiss them away with a handwave by calling those discussions “distracting.” Further – it seems more likely that a reduction in ACO2 emissions over a shorter-than-three-generation-period going forward could affect the likelihood of extreme weather that might occur further out into the future. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around events that far forward because a whole host of associated uncertainties will grow grow the farther out from the present we look. And I don’t live my life worrying that much about what will happen hundreds of years after I’ve died. But certainly those discussions should be on the table, as should discussions about other future events that are associated with high uncertainty, such as a future with increased government debt, or a future with a larger % of the population who hold extremist libertarian beliefs.

      People understand three generation time frames. You may disagree and I have no evidence to back up that statement, but I see it as a reasonable time frame people can identify with. People have to identify in order to engage.

      Makes sense to me.

      At any rate, her statement seems consistent with the consensus view.

      Hmmm. Well, yes, I would say that the “consensus” view is that reducing ACO2 emissions over the next three generations will not “prevent” extreme weather. Agreed to that point. Of course, I also think that we are talking about a straw man there.

      On the other hand, I think that the “consensus” view is that there is uncertainty as to whether reducing ACO2 emissions over the course of the next three decades might lessen the likelihood of extreme weather events during that three-generation window and extending beyond. I see the “consensus” view as considering it a matter of probabilities, and not something to just be called a “distraction” with the wave of a hand.

      The consensus would understand AGW to be an inertial type problem. There is no uncertainty there. It takes time for the AGW train to get rolling and we have enough CO2 in the atmosphere now and projected that will take centuries to remove (even with 100% mitigation) so that heat is already in the pipeline. It’s gonna happen over the next three generations…. plus more. How much? Uncertainty there. But enough to increase the probability and length of extreme weather events to be sure.

      Yes, all of what I said above is with the “inertial” component notwithstanding.

      So why get distracted over mitigation strategies when the train has left the station?

      For the reasons I discussed above, I don’t consider a discussion of the uncertainty to be a distraction.

      We need to be concerned and working on how the next three generations are going to prepare for the inevitable effects of the locked in, certain extra energy that Judith totally understands.

      I don’t see this as an either/or situation.

      Mitigation is secondary at this point. Let the next three generations deal with the mitigation problem…

      Perhaps mitigation is secondary in terms of immediate priorities, but that doesn’t mean that it is non-existent or meaningless. Further, if we are going to focus on adaptation relative to mitigation, then it will help for their to be stakeholder dialog about the uncertainties and probabilities. A sizable chunk of stakeholders feel that mitigation is primary. Simply calling their concerns a “distraction” will only result in more same ol’ same ol’.

      what is certain is the train is rolling and it isn’t going to stop on a dime in the time horizon people identify with, so how are we preparing for the inevitable?

      I think that is a straw man. No one (or at least hardly anyone) is suggesting that mitigation will make that train stop on a dime.

      Joshua, I don’t understand why you parse her words so literally and in ways that appear to look only for the gotcha moments.

      I’m looking for clarity and specificity. That is something that “skeptics” sometimes do. And rightly so, IMO. If “skeptics” have been arguing that time-bounded significant trends in GSATs does not equal “global warming,” more power to them for doing so. That kind of specificity is important to the public debate. By the same token, however, a skeptic should hold him/herself to those same standards, not hand-wring and pearl clutch from their fainting couches when asked to do so.

      You really believe an undefined time horizon should assume infinity? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but that is how I take your comment.

      I hope that I have clarified my answer to that question. I look forward to reading a response. Dealing with these other fellas and their personal attacks is fun, but comparatively unchallenging and uninteresting.

    • Joshua.

      In your hurried attempt to confirm your bias, you missed the sarcasm.

      LOL.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Robert I Ellison | February 12, 2014 at 4:23 am |
      My impression is that the world is not warming at all.”

      ____
      I guess it’s a good thing that reality doesn’t give a wit about your impressions and Argo float data and Jason, Topix, and Grace Satellite data would complete refute your “impressions”. By objective standards, “the world” continues to warm quite strongly.

    • I am actually with gatesy, on this one. The “world” is warming a bunch. The problem for us Chicken Littles is that it’s warming in places where there ain’t no people to feel it. North Pole and the deep frigid ocean abysseses (spelling?). Natural variability has reared up and bit us little Chicken Littles, on our little buttocks. We didn’t model this. Our strategy now is to keep denying the pause, while we grind out new excuses for…the pause. It ain’t easy being a Chicken Little.

    • Robert I Ellison

      CERES is quite stable over the period. It shows neither warming or cooling.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=8

      ARGO over the record is dominated by annual to interannual variability – but essentially follows net TOA flux changes as it must.

      While GRACE is very interesting and very useful – http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/news/grace20121129.html – for ground and surface water it still doesn’t do much for attribution. The temperature plateau at the highest level in a 100 years must have some effect – the question remains as to what the cause of most recent warming was. The available data there suggests it was cloud variability – something it seems that is quite difficult for some to even acknowledge.

      And I guess that’s the limit on links because of the link gremlin.

      TOPEX/Poseidon you say? It ended some time ago. We are now up to JASON 2/OSTM.

      I would be a little concerned that it is inconsistent with ARGO steric rise.

    • Alarmist: “mitigation”
      Lukewarmist: “adaptation”
      Alarmist: ‘it’s not either or”
      Lukewarmist: “what do you propose?”
      Alarmist: mitigation
      Lukewarmist: what do you study
      Alarmist: “mitigation”
      Lukewarmist: How about adaptation?
      Alarmist: Its not either or.
      Lukwarmist. “ok, lets try x”
      Alarmist: but mitigation!
      Lukewarmist: hey its not either or.
      Alarmist: it is when you suggest something.
      Lukewarmist: ahh, you want to pay lip service to adaptation.
      Alarmist: well duh.

    • You are just trying to confuse us with facts, Ellison. We know it’s warming. Just look at the Keeling curve.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “CERES is quite stable over the period. It shows neither warming or cooling.”
      ____
      This is a rediculous and upside down use of CERES. Argo and Jason and Grace are telling us the exact same things – the system is gaining energy. The CERES is not a direct measurement of actual energy in the system like Argo.

    • But gatesy, isn’t using things upside down acceptable practice in the climate science? How much of the system does Argo directly measure?

    • Gatesy, while you are looking that up find out if Argo uses energymometers, or thermometers.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Don,

      Do we have a long enough record in ARGO given the large interannual to decadal variability of OHC.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/fac81357-a804-4318-8f39-b680d625baf9_zps5931e362.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

      As for Arctic temps – http://www.clim-past.net/9/2379/2013/cp-9-2379-2013.html – looking at differences between the 30’s and 40’s and 2000 using oxygen isotopes.

      http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/13/11209/2013/acp-13-11209-2013.pdf

      ‘The things that strike me about Figure 2 are:
      ◾The left column and the right column show the same general interannual variability and trend, indicating that using only the locations where there are observations does a fairly good job for the entire region from 70-90N.
      ◾Comparing Figure 2a with Figure 4b from Cowtan and Way shows large differences (although Fig 4b is only for a small patch in the Central Arctic Ocean). A comparison of CW for 70-90N with Fig 2a from Chung et al. is needed.
      ◾The 2005 warming emphasized by Cowtan and Way (and earlier by Hansen) appears to be associated with a large spike in winter (DJF) of 2005, and does not appear in the other seasons. From cryosphere today plot, 2005 appears as a year with an unusually low annual cycle of sea ice extent. I don’t recall reading anything about this, worth looking into.
      ◾Most of the overall trend is associated with the jump in 2005; since 2005 (the period of the main sea ice loss), there was a decrease in SAT until about 2008, and then an increase; the last few years show substantial disagreement between MERRA and the other two reanalyses.’ Judith Curry

      Ole Humlum has comprehensive and up to date data on polar temperature – http://www.climate4you.com/ – click on polar temperature.

      2005 seems to be a key time in the Arctic.

    • Jeez PG,

      Now look what you’ve done.

      A Josh run on post. As if we need him to elaborate on anything.

    • Robert I Ellison

      We have been over this several times. Cognitive dissonance anyone?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=106

      ARGO shows a 0.69mm/yr steric sea level rise in the period it was rising – which was also a period of water loss from the oceans. Satellite altimetry is quoted at 3.2mm/yr for the same period. Both can’t be right.

      CERES directly measures the changes in energy leaving the system. This dominates energy changes in the system as a whole. Net up is warming – down is cooling by convention.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua,

      “I think that there is no reasonable time horizon for “preventing” extreme weather.”

      Agreed. We will never prevent extreme weather, it is like death and taxes. And further my point, mitigation will not prevent extreme weather either. It may help with reducing frequency and duration, but not in the near future from my understanding of the problem. I call the next three generations the near future. Even with a cold turkey stop of fossil fuel CO2 emissions, there is enough in the atmosphere now, that will stay there for a long enough time, that if it is influencing extreme weather events…. we are stuck with that predicament for the next three generations…. minimum.

      “As for perhaps lowering the likelihood of extreme weather, on some measurable scale, I think that reducing carbon could theoretically have an impact on a shorter timescale than three generations. There is huge uncertainty there, but I think that it is valuable to consider those uncertainties and not dismiss them away with a handwave by calling those discussions “distracting.”

      Understood, but from a practical standpoint, even with high uncertainty as to how much benefit mitigation might have, look at it from a local perspective. Call the UK a local area. The UK, even achieving 100% mitigation within their borders, would not put a dent in the global CO2 emission budget. That is my estimation, but I think it is pretty sound (Ha, no uncertainty there… LOL). To achieve that goal, it would likely be painful for the residents of the UK (again, goodbye Mr Uncertainty Monster… sometimes you have to go with your gut). Further, due to the uncertainty of whether it will be beneficial or not… assume the worse, it doesn’t help much in the short three generation time frame, and what do you get for your money? Extreme weather events that will happen regardless. Isn’t your money better spent now on readiness for extreme weather because there is really no uncertainty it will happen, it’s just a matter of when. Be prepared.

      “Perhaps mitigation is secondary in terms of immediate priorities, but that doesn’t mean that it is non-existent or meaningless.”

      Agreed, and I would guess Judith agrees.

      “A sizable chunk of stakeholders feel that mitigation is primary. Simply calling their concerns a “distraction” will only result in more same ol’ same ol’.”

      Well yes… we don’t want to hurt feelings. But from my vantage point, the alarmists are ignoring the near term consensus science of AGW being an inertial problem and the energy is in the pipeline already. By insisting mitigation is the answer, they dismiss that for the next three generations it is not going to really help much… from my understanding. We will disagree on this point. But the public does not have a long time horizon attention span (again… my gut. We may want to consider ourselves as being noble for future generations, but that is feel good stuff. In reality we care for ourselves now and perhaps the next couple generations).

      “I think that is a straw man. No one (or at least hardly anyone) is suggesting that mitigation will make that train stop on a dime.”

      Not a strawman. But I agree mitigation will not stop climate change on a dime. That is the whole point. Short term problem is: be prepared on the local level for extreme weather events. Spend more money on this part now… locally and wisely. Long term problem is: mitigate fossil fuel usage to decrease CO2 emissions. Spend some money of this part now, but spend it wisely as part of a long term plan. Long term in that for it to be really effective, we need more global partners to make a dent. A local area is not big enough to make a meaningful dent…. Still want to mitigate and should be ahead of the curve… but we need more of a global effort to make a difference. That whole global effort part… I would bet that will be a difficult thing to achieve and will likely take a long time (again, Mr uncertainty just strolled out the door).

      “I’m looking for clarity and specificity.”

      Fair enough. We all want that and asking for such is completely acceptable. But you set a very high bar for Judith to meet that standard every time she writes a post and with every idea she puts out there in ward where the chronic illness is….well… messy. Just not sure how fair that is to her. I don’t want to come across as white knighting for her, but sometimes you just have to cut her a little more slack. OTOH, I do find you bring pertinent inconsistencies of skeptical ideas to the discussion and though I will likely be hounded by many for saying this, they are important and often worth while when discussed without malice to others. For this reason, I continue to challenge you and enjoy our respectful dialogues.

    • John –

      … we are stuck with that predicament for the next three generations…. minimum.

      You might be inclined to dismiss the conclusions of analyses like the Stern Review, Tol’s support for mitigation-related policy options. Even RPJr. I don’t take any of that on face value, but I think it is important information. Thus, I think that the economic arguments for policies to address mitigation in the relatively near future should be considered.

      , it would likely be painful for the residents of the UK (again, goodbye Mr Uncertainty Monster… sometimes you have to go with your gut).

      I suspect I’m more skeptical than you are about the naysayers and alarmists who predict economic disaster from policies focused on mitigation. I haven’t seen what I consider to be sufficiently comprehensive cost/benefit analyses that take into consideration the full range of positive and negative externalities. Remember the old Midas commercials..”You can pay me now or you can pay me later.” Some analysts say it would be a lot cheaper to pay now.

      <uncertainty it will happen, it’s just a matter of when. Be prepared.

      “Perhaps mitigation is secondary in terms of immediate priorities, but that doesn’t mean that it is non-existent or meaningless.”

      Just not sure how fair that is to her.

      John – I’m just an anonymous troll. She’s a famous climate scientist. I don’t see how my writing blog comments critical of her reasoning could equal unfair in any event. Further, she’s someone quite capable of taking care of herself. Finally, I often see people in the blogosphere talking about “fairness,” and quite honestly, I have a hard time taking it seriously. In particular, I have a hard time taking it seriously that in an environment that is so chock full of vitriol from “skeptics,” they feel so outraged, outraged I say, that I criticize her reasoning (I’m not putting you in that category). Looks like a bunch of drama-queening to me. Why not just stick to discussing viewpoints, including criticism, as you and I do, and not worry about who’s being “fair” or “unfair?” If my criticism is poorly founded, tell me so and we’ll talk about it.

    • John –

      I was listening to this and thought of our convo.

      I thought that lecture (warning – he isn’t exactly a riveting speaker), provides an interesting “frame” for examining the following comment of yours.

      Well yes… we don’t want to hurt feelings. But from my vantage point, the alarmists are ignoring the near term consensus science of AGW being an inertial problem and the energy is in the pipeline already. By insisting mitigation is the answer, they dismiss that for the next three generations it is not going to really help much… from my understanding. We will disagree on this point. But the public does not have a long time horizon attention span (again… my gut. We may want to consider ourselves as being noble for future generations, but that is feel good stuff. In reality we care for ourselves now and perhaps the next couple generations).

      If you listen to that clip, consider the universality of the cognitive phenomena described. I am not saying that the cognitive phenomena described are not at play in the thinking of “realists.” What I am saying is that the phenomena are also at play in the thinking of “skeptics.” Where is there a recognition of that in your description?

      As an example, think of what “skeptics” say about how “realists” are reacting emotionally rather than rationally, or think about how “skeptics” argue that “realists” are disproportionately propelled by an “alarmism” and fear. Think of how self-described “skeptics” such as GaryM discussed how “morality” plays out in the climate ward. Think of how Chief discusses how morality plays out in the climate ward.

      Think of how Judith “frames” the different sides of the debate.

    • John Carpenter

      Crap.. Joshua, I meant for this comment

      https://judithcurry.com/2014/02/11/uk-floods-in-context/#comment-454316

      To be here… Not there.

    • John Carpenter

      “I am not saying that the cognitive phenomena described are not at play in the thinking of “realists.” What I am saying is that the phenomena are also at play in the thinking of “skeptics.” Where is there a recognition of that in your description?”

      It’s not there. I recognize it exists on both sides, but it does not help advance my argument… LOL.

      I found the talk given in the video interesting and I identified with much of it, but he really went off the rails at the end. That was a horribly bad idea on how to achieve mitigation. That is my opinion. It seems fraught with problems. A large trust that is linked to everyone via personal bank accounts? Heh, not too tempting for fraud or thievery. What happens when there aren’t permits any longer when the mitigation goal is achieved? Why is there even a notion that I use fossil fuels because Exxon made me? How is Exxon making me burn the fuel? They just provide the material, but they aren’t the user. Why should they have to buy the permits. He got it backwards, the user, you and I should be purchasing the permits. We are the polluters. You want to change behavior? You make the users pay, not the suppliers. It seemed like a false premise to call it a free market process by auctioning off the permits to the suppliers and make them pay for the pollution they will not create. If the user paid, then all that money could go into a trust that then funded alternative energy startups or offset the higher cost of those energy sources in their formative years so they can compete with fossil fuels. Not that I would endorse that plan either, but seems more sensible than the idea of people getting a dividend for a behavior you want them to stop.

    • John –

      I was only pointing to the first part of the video – not the part where he talks about carbon policy (which I haven’t given much of any thought. It’s an interesting response that the users should pay not the providers, although I’m not sure why it shouldn’t be a combination of both.)

      What was interesting to me was the part about how we can’t reason without emotion and the part about how we base our understanding on narratives and metaphors.

      I referenced that w/r/t out discussion because I think that we all need to honor the underlying reality of what he says. People on both sides of the debate want to assign those cognitive attributes to the other side but not own up to them on their own side or in themselves. I don’t think it is unfair to point out that unrealistic assessment when it occurs.

      If people think that my pointing out a one-sided aspect to Judith’s advocacy is a statement of view on her integrity or seriousness, that’s on them as far as I’m concerned. I don’t pass judgement on her genuineness or her forthrightness – the existence of bias is an indication of neither, IMO; it is a condition of being human. I don’t have any expectation that anyone should not point out what they consider to be bias in my reasoning out of some sense of fairness. I really don’t see how fairness enters into the equation. I think that maybe you are responding along those lines out of a protective instinct or a sense of loyalty – even though you say that you know that she can take care of herself.

  20. Ruth Dixon found something very dubious about sea level rise in the Met Office document.
    See her blog link above.
    The Met Office document claimed on page 2 that
    “With the warming we are already committed to over the next few decades, a further 11-16cm of sea level rise is likely by 2030. ”
    This is about 1cm/year, way over the IPCC estimates.
    So where did this figure come from?

    After deliberation, the Met Office put up a revised version of the document (you can find it on their website) saying that this ‘further’ warming is ‘relative to 1990’.
    The revised statement is the following meaningless nonsense:
    “With the warming we are already committed to over the next few decades, a further overall 11-16cm of sea level rise is likely by 2030, relative to 1990”

  21. Berényi Péter

    Check 6 thousand years of British weather out.

    1314-1316

    Several famines occurred during these years (weather assumed to have been responsible, with all three years noted by various historians as ‘very wet’ … it’s a moot point though as to whether all three were really wet, or just the effects of one or two carrying over). Brazell says that the famine of 1316 was probably the last really severe one in England, and historians have estimated that over this period, roughly half-a-million people died of causes related to famine, which represented approximately 10% of the population. [ The wet year credited to 1315 may be the origin of the St. Swithin legend. ]
    The ‘Black Death’ (Bubonic plague) that ravaged the country 1348 onwards may have some linkage to these precursor conditions – though it is a long time afterwards. Certainly though, in the mid-1300’s, mortality was high due to famine, disease etc.
    It is suggested that it was an increase in climatic variability, rather than the absolute temperature & rainfall regimes that caused the problems. There is some suggestion of an increase in extreme events (including wind-storms), however defined. Some evidence that as well as excessively damp conditions, temperatures were depressed.

    It is related to the Great Famine of 1315-17

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      The great famine followed 50 years of the highest volcanic activity in 500 years and a sun that was declining in activity after the MWP high activity.

    • Mr. Gates. “a sun that was declining in activity.”
      Have you forgotten that TSI is nearly constant, and therefore not a factor in Global Warming? All the consensus scientists say so.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Have you forgotten that TSI is nearly constant, and therefore not a factor in Global Warming? All the consensus scientists say so.”
      ____
      As an honest skeptic, I am opposed to consensus thinking merely for consensus’ sake. Prior to the eruption of the HCV, solar cycles were probably the dominant shorter term forcing on the system– far weaker than the astronomical forcing of Milanokovitch cycles and natural CO2 enhanced related feedbacks though. But with the strong HCV going on now for quite some time, the natural forcings sort of take a distant second or third.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist | February 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm |

      “But with the strong HCV going on now for quite some time, the natural forcings sort of take a distant second or third.”

      This says otherwise

      when backed up with this

    • Berényi Péter

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      The great famine followed 50 years of the highest volcanic activity in 500 years

      You are kidding, are you? There was no major volcanic eruption for decades before the Great Famine.

      The Wolf Minimum (1282-1342) is a better candidate, and we are about to enter such an epoch once again. But, no luck, the previous one, the Oort Minimum happened 1010-1050 AD, when the Medieval Warm Period was in full swing.

      Could it be weather perhaps?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “You are kidding, are you? There was no major volcanic eruption for decades before the Great Famine.”
      _____
      Actually, the 50 period of around 1250 to 1300 saw the largest increase in volcanic compared to the 500 years prior. This is well documented in ice core records along with the big volcanic event of 1257. So we had 50 years when the general global volcanic activity increased with a general increase in related aerosols punctuated by one mega-volcano in 1257. The next biggest volcano in the past 1,000 years or more, perhaps just as large or even larger was the mega-volcano of 1453. Both caused large excursions in global temperatures and were part of an overall increase in volcanic activity during the period of 1200-1900 compared to the previous 500 year period. The 1257 volcano and the 1453 volcano dwarf any other volcano during the past thousand years or more by wide margins.

    • Actually, the 50 period of around 1250 to 1300 saw the largest increase in volcanic compared to the 500 years prior.

      Rgates, do you have a citation or link for that? I’d like to chase that up. It doesn’t show up in the wiki link berenyi posted.

    • agnostic

      rgates fails to mention that the climate had already taken a very notable down turn prior to 1250 and the glaciers had already started growing.

      immediately after the 1257/8 eruption the climate improved for a period.

      large tropical volcano eruptions no doubt have an effect but they seem to be short lasting-a season or two.

      tonyb

    • We know from 1783’s Laki, a series of dirty basaltic eruptions only exceeded in pollution effect by a larger Icelandic event in 934, that you can get some very bad climate out of a volcano. But to suggest that big tropical eruptions explain long periods of actual climate change is a huge stretch. Laki had a serious effect for a few years, and Laki, though not as powerful as Tambora etc, is the measuring stick for recent centuries. The comparatively modest Eyjafjallajökull basaltic eruptions in 2010 caused chaos. Multiply many times and you get an idea of Laki’s potential effects. We don’t need that in our lives…though we’ll likely get it.

      The LIA was real, historical climate change is real. Volcanism’s effect on climate is also real. There should be major plans for Iceland, for agriculture and for aviation because there is not one good reason why another Laki cannot occur. (Personally, I think that’s what money and international bodies and climate science are for, but good luck.)

      However volcanism won’t explain away actual long-term climate change. (Isn’t it odd that I keep having to say “actual”?)

    • Berényi Péter

      @R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      The 1257 volcano and the 1453 volcano dwarf any other volcano during the past thousand years or more by wide margins.

      Right, tergiversation rulez.

      What you are effectively saying is in 1315 AD half a million people were killed off in Britain by two major geologic events, one 58 years before and another one 138 years after this particular disaster. It is not always sufficient to be sckeptical, Warmist or not, occasionally committing some of your resources to thinking may also help.

    • Gates, “The great famine followed 50 years of the highest volcanic activity in 500 years and a sun that was declining in activity after the MWP high activity.”

      The declining solar activity then may just be another indication of how high volcanic activity was at the time. Solar reconstructions using 10Be and 14C have a high correlation with volcanic sulphates but thanks to considerable confusion over the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of combined solar/volcanic forcing in addition to questionable multiproxy “regional” temperature reconstruction, we have a persistent cluster pluck.

      If however, the 1225-1350 period of combine sol y vol condition produced the ~1700 minimum temperature of the LIA, then is would be reasonable to assume that it would take about as long for OHC and sea level to recover, which is why I did this.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/12/2000-years-of-climate.html

      Based on at least one paleo ocean temperature reconstruction, today is about the same as it was prior to the increased volcanic and suspected low solar conditions. So “today’s” climate is “unprecendented” with respect to a period with depressed temperatures, the period formerly know as the Little Ice Age and consistent with the period formerly known as the Medieval Warm Period (aka MCA). The rate of current OHC increase should be a pretty reasonable guide to how quickly the oceans can recover since OHC, SST, GMSL and “Surface” temperatures scaled tend to agree.

    • When listing things we should worry about, I’d say a major Icelandic eruption – the so called super eruption of 3 adjacent volcanoes – should be quite a bit higher than anything a warming planet can threaten us with.

  22. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    What we can say with certainty is that increased extreme weather frequency is consistent with more overall energy in the climate system. Digging deeper, we can see that a higher OHC does make difference as the hydrological cycle is naturally enhanced with the higher OHC and the higher OHC is a direct result of higher GH gas levels. More frequent flooding events, not just in GB, but around the world is exactly what one would expect from a higher GH gas enhanced hydrological cycle. It’s the natural response of the system to draw CO2 out of the atmosphere– sort of nature’s antidote to the HCV.

    • Where’s the increased energy flux?

    • Meridional jet streams + arctic air descent + moist warm air = precipitation. Exactly what one might expect in a shift to a cold period. Sort of nature’s antidote to to “Global Warming” hype.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Meridional jet streams + arctic air descent + moist warm air = precipitation.”
      ____
      Uh, your dynamics are a bit off there. We are seeing increased amounts of advection of energy toward the poles at all levels – atmosphere and ocean. This is the key to an enhanced hydrological cycle and warmer oceans drive the whole process.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Where’s the increased energy flux?

      ____
      Probably easier to ask where isn’t the increased energy flux. Narrowing down to simply looking at the low thermal inertia sensible troposphere heat misses the bigger picture– but missing the bigger picture is what some folks want to do sadly enough.

    • What we can say with certainty is that flooding of this type has been quite frequent throughout history during times when global temperatures were lower:

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

    • Berényi Péter

      What we can say with certainty is that increased extreme weather frequency is consistent with more overall energy in the climate system.

      You can say that, the right of free speech is unequivocally granted, but not with certainty, because it is a non sequitur. Increased extreme weather frequency may be related to energy differences in the climate system, but that’s an entirely different beast. There is next to no weather on the surface of Venus, in spite of it stockpiling vastly more energy in its atmosphere. Temperature difference between equator and poles is negligible, therefore surface winds blow at a mind boggling speed of about 5 km/h.

      While we are at it, “consistent with” is an extremely weak logical relation, if I were you, I would not follow climate scientists blindly in throwing it in at every conceivable occasion.

    • ” … increased extreme weather frequency”

      Increased from when ? Time scales matter

      Phrases like that remind me irresistibly of end-of-year sales: “Lookee here – 30% off !”, never mentioning 30% off what

    • Increased energy flux, with the greenhouse effect reducing energy flux from the troposphere to space, particularly in the polar regions, and thereby reducing thermal gradients.
      But still the energy flux increases, moving yet more energy to, er, where?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “There is next to no weather on the surface of Venus, in spite of it stockpiling vastly more energy in its atmosphere.”
      _____
      Equating the weather and energy in the climate system of a water planet like Earth to a non-water (at least on the surface) planet like Venus is a bit of a stretch don’t you think? The hydrologcial cycle IS the weather/climate cycle of the planet to a large extent. Most of the flow of energy between the main climate energy reservoir of the ocean flows to the atmosphere via latent heat flux via evaporation. Bringing in the completely bone dry and hot surface of Venus to discuss the energy in Earth’s climate system is a bit of an absurd stretch.

      Here’s what we know with a pretty high degree of certainty:
      1) Higher GH gases levels increase the amount of energy retained by the climate system.
      2) The enhancement of the hydrological cycle is one of the key responses to that higher level of energy.
      3) There is a natural connnection between the enhanced hydrological cycle and the rock-carbon cycle as a negative feedback in that rock-weathering increases as the hydrological cycle is enhanced. This naturally sequesters carbon from the atmosphere over tens of thousands of years.
      4) The rock-carbon cycle drawdown is vastly overwhelmed by the extreme movement of carbon from lithosphere to atmosphere by the HCV.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Increased energy flux, with the greenhouse effect reducing energy flux from the troposphere to space, particularly in the polar regions, and thereby reducing thermal gradients.
      But still the energy flux increases, moving yet more energy to, er, where?”
      ______
      As in all complex and chaotic systems, there are feedbacks both positive and negative. Increased GH gases slow the rate of flow of energy between the system and outer space, even though the input essentially stays the same. This increased energy will be “stored” in the system in various ways from sensible heat to latent heat to kinetic energy, geopotential etc. So the flux from the system to outer space may slow, the flux within the system, between various parts like hydrosphere to atmosphere will be altered as well as varying from natural fluctuations like ENSO. In the enhancement of the hydrological cycle, simply more net energy is moving around within the system, so it is fluxing from one component to another in greater amounts and this can often be reflected in increased extreme weather events.

    • Chemical weathering is enhanced by biological process’s,they for example by breaking rock increase the surface area available, overall by multiple mechanisms increase the rate of weathering by magnitude eg Volk.
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v340/n6233/abs/340457a0.html

    • “Digging deeper, we can see that a higher OHC does make difference as the hydrological cycle is naturally enhanced with the higher OHC and the higher OHC is a direct result of higher GH gas levels”

      PANTS ON FIRE!!!!

      On one hand you claim that atmospheric/deep ocean carbon fluxes are slow and so the surface becomes saturated with CO2.
      On the other hand you claim that warm (carbon rich) surface waters are being exchanged for cold (carbon poor) deep waters; heat in the bottom and cooling the top. leading to the pause.
      Obviously you can show how the more rapid overturn of the surface waters has led to an INCREASE in the rate CO2 disappears from the atmosphere into the depths.

      Show your work.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Doc,
      The actions of increased rock weathering and the enhanced hydrological cycle in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere back to calcium carbonate has been well researched. The problem really is that the HCV is putting it into the atmosphere far faster than natural processes can remove it. Therein lies the issue.

    • R Gates

      In the enhancement of the hydrological cycle, simply more net energy is moving around within the system, so it is fluxing from one component to another in greater amounts and this can often be reflected in increased extreme weather events.

      So we can ignore the orders of magnitude changes in temperature and energy flux between the seasons, between the equator and the poles, etc etc, when it’s actually a relatively tiny statistical upward trend in the global average temperature that’s disproportionately enhancing the hydrological cycle and triggering all manner of feedbacks?
      I see!

    • “R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist
      Doc,
      The actions of increased rock weathering and the enhanced hydrological cycle in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere back to calcium carbonate has been well researched.”

      You ever seen a chalk bed? Seen a coal seam? Seen oil come out of the ground? Observed a peat bog?
      The idea that the steady state level of atmospheric CO2 is fundamentally related to the chemical mobilization of alkali metals by ‘rock weathering’ is just evidence that people fail to notice that they live on a biotic planet.
      The bioic fluxes of carbon dwarf chemical processes and biotic carbon mineralization not only is, but must be, uncoupled from rock mineralization.
      The big clue is that the historic atmospheric composition is tied directly to metabolic evolution, so water splitting, lignin formation and lignin breakdown are all visible in the atmospheric record.

    • No, you can’t claim that. Not honestly, at least. There is no actual increase in so-called extreme weather. Especially if one chooses to use actual stats from history. Flooding in GB is due to their version of the EPA not permitting dredging of waterways draining known flood plains. The area in question was famous for its marshes and flood plains prior to human interventions.
      But it is interesting that someone who claims to be skeptical would in fact be so gullible as to rely on repeating AGW talking points.

  23. How the Dutch (the guys who helped drain the Somerset Levels in the first place) deal with such things on a more practical and long term basis.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26069348

  24. “In a series from 1883, flow rates on the River Thames remained exceptionally high for longer than in any previous flood episode. Correspondingly, floodplain inundations were extensive and protracted”

    The River Thames isn’t the same river now has it was 250 years ago; it is far more free flowing, thanks to embankments and urban runoffs, and this is why it doesn’t freeze over.
    That they wouldn’t mention this is not very nice.

    • It is more due to the fact that the ‘old’ London bridge had many small arches that greatly restricted flow up and down the river. Since they replaced it with one with fewer, larger, arches the river never froze again – even though the temperatures were lower afterwards.

    • don’t forget the weir’s that were removed

    • Oh there’s been a large of engineering changes. Al of which affect how the Thames now flows. Here in Oxford things have been going on since the Middle Ages, all of which change stuff.

    • I cannot think of anywhere in England that hasn’t been drastically changed since WWI; even the moors are farmed quite differently.

    • Southeast england(including somerset) is subsiding at the rate of 50mm/century.

    • “Southeast england(including somerset) is subsiding at the rate of 50mm/century.”

      No. Somerset is in South-West England – going up…

  25. I suppose that as the Arctic ice has increased significantly they may be right.

  26. While the Tol study estimates that the next warming of 2.0 to 2.5C will be beneficial for mankind on average, there still seems to be a lot of fretting about keeping GH warming to 2C or less (some even tying this to a hypothetical “pre-industrial” temperature which occurred around 1750!).

    Global average surface temperature is around 15C today.

    The ideal ambient temperature for human beings is 23C (Wiki) or between 19C and 22C (other sources).

    So we still have between 4C and 8C warming to go before we reach our ideal.

    And, unfortunately, there isn’t enough fossil fuel left on our planet to even come close to this level.

    Much ado about nothing.

    Max

    • I maintain that even 2.5 deg C is an arbitrary threshold. We’ve not tested the limits of benefits from warming.
      ========================

    • When thresholds are arbitrary, I have no hesitation in stepping over them. I’m an anti-arbitrarian, I’ll make my own determination thanks. Why should someone else’s ignorance be seen to trump my ignorance?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “We’ve not tested the limits of benefits from warming.”
      ____
      Oh, I think there’s some bats in Australia that tested the limits of the “benefits” during the past hottest Australian year on record. They simply dropped dead during this “test” of the benefits:

    • Gates

      Bats, shmats.

      That was a silly post.

      2.5C warming would be net beneficial to humanity (Tol) – and this level would be even higher if we can maintain the access to readily available, low cost energy.

      Rejoice, for we are not doomed!

      But we must “drill, baby, drill!”

      Max

    • Gates, those bats carry lyssavirus, which can be transmitted from bats to humans, causing serious (often fatal) illness. So there may be some benefits from their demise.

      Incidentally, we used to have a colony of bats estimated at one million strong living across the river from us in a Brisbane suburb. They can stand a few losses.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Bats, like bees, have an important role to play in the ecosystem. Like the struggles that we’ve seen the bee population having as well as reptiles and many other species, we would ignore their plights at our own peril. Healthy ecosystems are the greatest resource we have.

    • climate deniers hate nature.

      What a surprise!

    • Gates, go to Israel and you will see loads of bats; at night. They are nocturnal you see, which is why you notice them at night and not during the hot, dry, Israeli afternoons.
      Bats have the highest skin surface ares/body weight of any mammal, have the ability to change their basal thermogenesis, having an adaptive hypothermia response to diet/environmental stresses, especially water stress. Their wings are so cool; rather than use the skin of their wings as a sweating surface they actual use them as IR radiators. Exactly how they manage to pump so much heat out isn’t quite known, my guess is that they change the hemoglobin oxygen affinity in different tissues, in much the same way penguins do to pump heat from the core to the feet.
      Bat hemoglobin is rather odd, but is very difficult to get hold of, so hasn’t been studied in much detail.
      So if we face an increase in global temperature, as long as the night time temperature doesn’t rise by 15 degrees or so, I think the bats will be OK.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “as long as the night time temperature doesn’t rise by 15 degrees or so, I think the bats will be OK.”

      Except when they fall dead from trees during Australia’s hottest year on record.

    • Where do you expect them to die? You think their are Bat Hospitals, Bat Hospices or Retirement Homes?
      Here is a little tip, at steady state annual number of births = annual number of deaths. Death occurs in times of stress. Mammal + Heat + water = no problem; Mammal + heat minus water = big problem.
      Now was there a water shortage?

    • The first, and possibly still most serious, mass death of bat populations since settlement was witnessed at Sydney Cove and Parramatta during the heatwave of 1791-2. Fortunately, the aborigines of the day practised good fire management or things might have been worse. (Needless to say, they thought bat deaths were handy for summer feasting. We know from the same reliable witnesses in the 1790s that whale beachings were also a good excuse for a barbecue. And you thought the stranded whale thing was all your fault!)

      Now bats have to contend with those freak heats every few years and massive hot burns as well. It’s another one of those “green” things, apparently.

    • @DocM, “Where do you expect them to die? You think their are Bat Hospitals, Bat Hospices or Retirement Homes?” Tee hee.

    • manaker you are averaging SAT and SST.
      we live on land

    • RG,

      Are you aware that research is indicating losses among amphibians and bees are do to factors unrelated to a changing climate?

      But hey, lets claim them for our side huh. Most folks won’t check beyond reading bees and frogs are dying.

  27. It is good to see how through the UK Met. Office has analyzed the recent UK floods, and also shows how poor our attempts to predict climate, using mathematical models, are. Obviously the IPCC models upon which we depend need to be checked against rainfall in Indonesia and the western Pacific..

    Asa scientist it is gratifying to see the recognition that climate prediction is indeed a global problem. I have little doubt that the current very hot summer we are experiencing in Australia is linked to the exceptionally cold and wet winter in the N. hemisphere.

  28. Matthew R Marler

    There is an increasing body of evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of increase is consistent with what is expected from fundamental physics. There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly heavy rain events.

    Are there actual scientific predictions (forecasts, scenarios, projections) about where and when there will be increases or decreases in net precipitation? Extremes that are more extreme?

    The only thing happening now is that some extremes are occurring that match previous extremes, at least within reasonable error of estimation of previous extremes.

    • opps,

      That paper appears to do a fair job of showing how the Brewer-Dobson Circulation and the shift in Rossby Wave (read polar vortex currently) varies NH ozone on multidecadal time scales. Is what that sentence should have been.

  29. Robert I Ellison

    This is the most significant data series in global hydrology.

    ‘The variability of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) during the Holocene epoch, in particular on millennial timescales, is poorly understood. Palaeoclimate studies have documented ENSO variability for selected intervals in the Holocene, but most records are either too short or insufficiently resolved to investigate variability on millennial scales. Here we present a record of sedimentation in Laguna Pallcacocha, southern Ecuador, which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability, and covers the past 12,000 years continuously. We find that changes on a timescale of 2-8 years, which we attribute to warm ENSO events, become more frequent over the Holocene until about 1,200 years ago, and then decline towards the present. Periods of relatively high and low ENSO activity, alternating at a timescale of about 2,000 years, are superimposed on this long-term trend. We attribute the long-term trend to orbitally induced changes in insolation, and suggest internal ENSO dynamics as a possible cause of the millennial variability. However, the millennial oscillation will need to be confirmed in other ENSO proxy records.’ http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/moy2002/

    The millennial scale variability appears in a Vance et al (2012) high resolution Law Dome ESO ice core proxy.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=137

    El Niño = low salt content.

    The 12,000 year Moys data is available at the site.

    Here it is graphed.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=196

    The 2 proxies together show the effects of global scale shifts in air mass between the poles and lower latitudes, patterns in long term variability of global systems and extremes that are far greater than modern conditions. Red intensity – for instance – approaching 250 when the 1998 El Nino was at just 90.

    Together they suggest that there is a key external control variable for these critical and global systems – driving abrupt transitions between states through internal feedbacks. Dynamical complexity rather than smoothly changing trends from a simple forcing. Solar UV/ozone interactions in the stratosphere fit the bill nicely.

    e.g. https://judithcurry.com/2014/02/08/week-in-review-9/#comment-452193

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Welcome back Robert. Is Skippy away for a while?

    • Hi, Robert.

      But I wanna hear from the “Chief”.

      Max

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      A rose by any other name, or something less fragrant…

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I prefer to psychologically distance myself from partisan snark and worse – but of course I can’t either confirm or deny my true identity. It is a secret of the climate wars.

      However – Randy – it seems you are incapable of distinguishing the difference between serious comment and the serial snark that substitutes for informed discourse in the morass of CE. Frankly – the spew index – which is apparently appropriate usage in civil and reasoned discourse at CE – rises to new heights all the time. I am a bit bored with climate warriors such as yourself – so why you drop the partisan whining and say something interesting for a change?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I Ellison, I liked the links. Thank you.

      driving abrupt transitions between states through internal feedbacks.

      What in those data suggests that?

      Solar UV/ozone interactions in the stratosphere fit the bill nicely.

      Any evidence regarding those?

    • Robert I Ellison

      Let me Google that for you.

      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=top+down+modualtion+of+climate

      Decadal periodicity is far too long for Rossby waves to be driving the system – for that a longer term variable is needed. Millennial variability is too long by orders of magnitude. The system is chaotic at all scales – hence abrupt shifts in response to control variables. It can be seen in periodic changes in intensity and frequency of ENSO events – rather than smooth trends. This is easily seen in instrumental records.

      i.e http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Yea! Skippy returns!

      Mr. Skippy, you set the gold standard in many regards. Keep up the good work!

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Yes – I must be Randy. The gold standard that is. I am – frankly – looking for a better class of enemies and have considered joining nemester instead of CE. Unfortunately – it is only in a transdimensional beta form in this timeline. Although it does become sentient in the year 2031 reducing users to peripherals and thwarting my plans to take over the world.

      Again – Randy – anything interesting to say? Or are you content to waffle on with witlesscisms?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Mr. Skippy,

      You are a most worthy opponent, even if you don’t always have the facts straight– like when some incarnation of you suggested OHC peaked in 1998. I guess changing your name multiple times is the only wide to hide from such embarrassing errors.

    • Robert I Ellison

      There was a peak in ocean heat in 1998 – consistent with ERBS data.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=195

      Lyman and Johnson (2013) show a peak in 2003 – although data prior to 2005 is highly questionable.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/LymnaandJohnson2013OHCA_zps703732d0.png.html?sort=3&o=55

    • Robert I Ellison

      The links gremlin strikes yet again.

      It is all consistent with albedo data.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=83

      and http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Earthshine-1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=114

      Randy prefers narrative to data and is not above dissimulation and distraction from the main point above of extreme Holocene variability.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “There was a peak in ocean heat in 1998…”
      —–
      Ah, “a peak” versus “peaked in”. Very nimble of you. The US stock market saw “a peak” in 1929, before crashing. Now it is far higher.

      Clever multifaceted and multifaced person you are!

    • Robert I Ellison

      I have listed all these sources a number if times before Randy. This poor excuse for discourse is not worth pursuing further.

    • What a clever, multifaceted and multi-faced ocean and atmosphere there is.
      =====================

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      I’d settle for you deciding what name you’d like to go by. It is clear from multiple lines of evidence that ocean heat content has continued to rise, so you’re right…this discourse isn’t worth pursuing.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I don’t think that computes.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I Ellison: Let me Google that for you.

      Was that in response to somebody? It certainly did not answer my questions.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Which one Matthew? There are many links there that discuss top down climate modulation – which is what is meant by solar uv/ozone interactions.
      There are 8 million odd links – some of them quite useful. Use it as a stepping stone.

      Abrupt climate change – involving ENSO in particular – is the essential mode of the climate system. I discussed that but again it just touches the surface. .

      If you want me to inform – you need to get the basics under your belt first. If you just want to ask pointless questions – and then flap into a tiz because I didn’t answer your questions to your satisfaction – you are going the right way about it.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I Ellison:
      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=196
      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=137
      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/moy2002/

      Together they suggest that there is a key external control variable for these critical and global systems – driving abrupt transitions between states through internal feedbacks. Dynamical complexity rather than smoothly changing trends from a simple forcing. Solar UV/ozone interactions in the stratosphere fit the bill nicely.

      e.g. https://judithcurry.com/2014/02/08/week-in-review-9/#comment-452193

      Those links are interesting, but they display oscillations, not abrupt transitions that are driven by anything, and no evidence for the hypothetical driving to be solar UV/ozone interactions in the stratosphere.

      You say that the truth is out there in some millions of links, but you don’t want to choose any in particular to support these particular assertions of yours.

      Of course one can read about solar UV/ozone interactions, but if you have some evidence that such interactions are driving some climate changes, then now is a good time to link to it. We could run it by Leif Svalgaard at WUWT for his assessment.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I. Ellison: Your link to Gimo Skippy produce a link to a summary paper that included this:

      One fruitful area has been the use of simplified models of the
      atmosphere focussing on the processes involved in linking, or
      coupling, different atmospheric regions. In one such study
      36 a heating of the stratosphere was imposed and a response found
      in temperature not only of the stratosphere but throughout the
      troposphere—with the vertical bands of warming characteristic
      of the observed solar signal (Figure 19). Coherent changes in
      the latitudinal location and width of the mid-latitude jetstream,
      and its associated storm-track, were also detected. A further
      investigation into the mechanisms involved 40 showed that
      crucial to the response was a feedback between the momentum transferred in the atmosphere by upward-propagating
      waves associated with weather systems and the westerly wind.
      Similar models have been used to investigate stratosphere-troposphere coupling processes in the context of the polar modes of variability 41

      During the winter the polar stratosphere becomes very cold
      and a vortex of strong westerly winds blowing around the
      pole is established. The date in spring when this vortex finally
      breaks down is very variable but plays a key role in the global
      circulation of the stratosphere. Furthermore, observations from
      satellites suggest that this perturbation propagates downwards,
      possibly into the lower atmosphere 42 . Variations in solar UV
      influence temperatures in the upper stratosphere such that the
      polar vortex winds strengthen in response to enhanced solar activity
      43 and thus provide another route whereby the direct influence of solar radiation higher in the atmosphere may influence
      the climate below, having an impact on the jet stream winds and
      establishing weather patterns identified with the positive phase
      of the NAO and SAM.

      Is that what you meant by solar UV/ozone interactions fit the bill nicely?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I. Ellison: Seriously – look for yourself instead of whining that it isn’t so based on nothing at all.

      I follow many links, most that have data. When I follow your links I find that your assertions are not supported.

    • Robert I Ellison

      And to avoid the link gremlin.

      ”What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small. ‘

      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=14

      These changes are climate shifts involving abrupt changes in the intensity and frequency of ENSO events.

      e.g. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00626.1

      It might be called an oscillation but that is old thinking. It is discreet shifts between finite volumes of state space. Complexity theory informs an understanding of climate dynamics. Without complexity theory – it is the drunk under the wrong lamppost.

      e.g http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/global/pdf/pep/Rial2004.NonlinearitiesCC.pdf

    • Robert I Ellison

      Just at random – from one of the links – searching for top down.

      ‘An increase in solar UV intensity leads to an increase in stratospheric ozone production. Ozone is an important agent in the radiative heating in the stratosphere (Gray et al. 2010) and an increase in ozone production will lead to changes in stratospheric winds and an increase in absorbed solar energy
      and thus heating of the stratosphere (e.g. Haigh 1996). There is growing evidence that dynamical coupling across the tropopause means that changing stratospheric temperatures and winds can influence the underlying troposphere (Matthes et al. 2006; Gray et al. 2010; Lockwood et al. 2010). For instance, disturbances of the stratospheric polar vortex could affect the tropospheric jets (Baldwin & Dunkerton 1999). Alternatively, solar-induced stratospheric changes may influence the refraction of tropospheric eddies (e.g. Kushner & Polvani 2004; Simpson et al. 2009). Although the mechanisms behind the coupling of the stratosphere and the troposphere are not yet fully understood, it seems likely that UV heating of the stratosphere indirectly influences the troposphere (Gray et al. 2010; Lockwood et al. 2010). The effect of changes in TSI on processes in the stratosphere, ultimately leading to changes in tropospheric climate, is often referred to as the ‘‘top-down mechanism’’.’

      I an’t be bothered with yet more bad faith in discourse.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I. Ellison, this one, for example, is a tantalizing look at the possible relationship of solar UV variation and Earth mean temperature variation, with a partial account of the mechanism:

      http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2012ScienceMeeting/docs/presentations/S2-01_Ineson_sorce2012.pdf

      It doesn’t have anything to do with salinity graph you linked to earlier, but it is at least a partial answer to my question about solar UV/ozone interaction. It shows a smooth fluctuation, but not an abrupt transition between states or regimes.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I. Ellison: The effect of changes in TSI on processes in the stratosphere, ultimately leading to changes in tropospheric climate, is often referred to as the ‘‘top-down mechanism’’.’

      I didn’t ask you about “top down” mechanisms in general, but specifically about UV/ozone and the notion that your previous links in that post demonstrated anything abrupt.(e.g. the fluctuation in salinity.)

      Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.

      Nothing you have presented has demonstrated the presence of anything like that in the climate system. A paper by Ghil that you posted the link to, and that was subsequently linked to by Gimo Skippy, shows that such can occur in dynamic nonlinear systems, but such has never been demonstrated in the climate system, and specifically not in the links that you provided.

    • Robert I Ellison

      I know what it is now. It is the salt content in the Law Dome ice core. This is a high resolution millennial ENSO proxy.

      see – http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1?journalCode=clim

      Top down modulation of climate is the result of this UV/ozone interaction – as discussed in any of the papers linked to directly.

      Abrupt changes are the result of internal feedbacks in the climate system itself – as suggested in the NAS quote – and covered fully in the link and others I have provided.

      It is hard to believe that such a comprehensive misdirection is not deliberate for obscure purposes of your own. We have been through this before – you ask questions and then complain that I don’t answer them satisfactorily. You treat my answers as an excuse for arm waving that the papers I link to in greater and greater numbers don’t support either top down modulation or abrupt change in this instance. You just need to look at the titles to realize that this is not so.

      We will let the reader decide who is acting in good faith shall we?

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘This non-equilibrium behavior is due to a combination of nonlinear and random effects. We give here a unified treatment of such effects from the point of view of the theory of dynamical systems and of their bifurcations. Energy balance models are used to illustrate multiple equilibria, while
      multi-decadal oscillations in the thermohaline circulation illustrate the transition from steady states to periodic behavior. Random effects are introduced in the setting of random dynamical systems, which permit a unified treatment of both nonlinearity and stochasticity. The combined treatment of nonlinear and random effects is applied to a stochastically perturbed version of the classical Lorenz convection model.

      Climate sensitivity is then defined mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional or other function of the systems state with respect to the bifurcation parameter. This definition is illustrated by using numerical results for a model of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.’
      http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

      ‘Researchers first became intrigued by abrupt climate change when they discovered striking evidence of large, abrupt, and widespread changes preserved in paleoclimatic archives. Interpretation of such proxy records of climate—for example, using tree rings to judge occurrence of droughts or gas bubbles in ice cores to study the atmosphere at the time the bubbles were trapped—is a well-established science that has grown much in recent years. This chapter summarizes techniques for studying paleoclimate and highlights research results. The chapter concludes with examples of modern climate change and techniques for observing it. Modern climate records include abrupt changes that are smaller and briefer than in paleoclimate records but show that abrupt climate change is not restricted to the distant past.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=19

      ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
      those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of
      the size and complexity of the climate system.’ http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/21743.pdf

      ‘In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

      There are very many references to non-linearity in climate throughout the literature – and although people like Matthew seem positively resistant to the idea of nonlinearity in climate – nonetheless it is so.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I. Ellison: Abrupt changes are the result of internal feedbacks in the climate system itself – as suggested in the NAS quote – and covered fully in the link and others I have provided.

      Are you writing about internal feedbacks in the climate system itself, or the driving by the solar variation in UV and the UV/ozone interaction? I have read your posts and your links, and I think that you are vague on both counts.

      Your definition of abrupt included a threshold change in something or other, perhaps a driver, but you have not provided even one instance of such a threshold.

      Like you, I recommend that readers consult your links and read them in detail. They have a lot of interesting data and analyses, but I think that they do not support certain claims that you have made, or answer the questions that I have put to you.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Robert I Ellison: There are very many references to non-linearity in climate throughout the literature – and although people like Matthew seem positively resistant to the idea of nonlinearity in climate – nonetheless it is so.

      Where do you get that? I have repeatedly called the climate system a high-dimensional non-linear dissipative system; and I have referenced two books by Henk Dijkstra (one titled “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics”) that address the nonlinearities in the climate system in detail.

    • Robert I Ellison

      For the very last time – we are talking about a system that has control variables that can according to the NAS definition be immeasurably small -and that drive a complex and dynamic system consisting of multiple negative and positive feedbacks in ways that manifest as nonlinea, emergent behavior in the climate system itself. I specified top down modulation by solar UV/ozone as a good candidate for a control variable.

      If we look in detail at the claim I made – it involved a chain of causality between solar UV and ENSO – the latter changes abruptly at decadal and much longer timescales because of internal feedbacks.

      ‘Variations in solar UV influence temperatures in the upper stratosphere such that the polar vortex winds strengthen in response to enhanced solar activity and thus provide another route whereby the direct influence of solar radiation higher in the atmosphere may influence the climate below, having an impact on the jet stream winds and establishing weather patterns identified with the positive phase of the NAO and SAM.’

      https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/climatechange/Public/pdfs/Briefing%20Papers/Solar%20Influences%20on%20Climate.pdf

      ‘The changing position of the westerly wind belt influences the strength and position of cold fronts and mid-latitude storm systems, and is an important driver of rainfall variability in southern Australia.

      In a positive SAM event, the belt of strong westerly winds contracts towards Antarctica. This results in weaker than normal westerly winds and higher pressures over southern Australia, restricting the penetration of cold fronts inland.

      Conversely, a negative SAM event reflects an expansion of the belt of strong westerly winds towards the equator. This shift in the westerly winds results in more (or stronger) storms and low pressure systems over southern Australia. During autumn and winter, a positive SAM value can mean cold fronts and storms are farther south, and hence southern Australia generally misses out on rainfall. However, in spring and summer, a strong positive SAM can mean that southern Australia is influenced by the northern half of high pressure systems, and hence there are more easterly winds bringing moist air from the Tasman Sea. This increased moisture can turn to rain as the winds hit the coast and the Great Dividing Range.

      In recent years, a high positive SAM has dominated during autumn–winter, and has been a significant contributor to the ‘big dry’ observed in southern Australia from 1997 to 2010.’

      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/history/ln-2010-12/SAM-what.shtml

      ‘Solar irradiance variations are related to those in the solar toroidal magnetic fields. The fraction of the solar irradiance that reaches the Earth’s ground level and low troposphere is emitted by the solar photosphere. That fraction does not significantly vary since the quiet photosphere does not significantly vary during the cycle. The variable part of the solar radiation flux is mainly emitted by the chromospheric parts of the CAs. That radiation component does not reach the Earth’s troposphere since it is absorbed in the higher, stratospheric terrestrial layers. Tropospheric solar-driven variations should therefore be due to stratosphere–troposphere coupling.’ The solar toroidal magnetic field may be influenced by the orbits of the solar system bodies – which is a chaotic n-body problem in itself.

      http://www.cdejager.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/reviewsolarforc-ssr.pdf

      SAM and ENSO are causally related through South Pacific Gyre. More or less cold Southern Ocean water pushed into the Peruvian Current as the polar westerlies vary. Decreased solar activity in UV drives SAM negative and pushes more cold water northwards. This sets up a series of cloud, wind, and current feedbacks across the Pacific – starting with cold water upwelling in the eastern Pacific and culminating in a sea level pressure decrease at Darwin, Australia. The changes influence tropospheric temperature, biology and hydrology across the planet.

      Solar UV activity provides the critical mechanism for understanding ENSO variability – at decadal to millennial scales. It suggests that prediction at the centennial scale is advanced with lower solar activity over centuries amplified in this way through the climate system. Lower activity leads to a negative SAM and intensified La Nina. Lower activity over centuries to come – from the current solar ‘Grand Maxima’ – seems pretty likely. We have certainly not seen in the past century anywhere near the ENSO extremes seen over the Holocene. This last point was the entire point of the comment at the head of this thread – before it got sidetracked.

      I don’t know how much more detailed I can get – or well referenced. But as I am reduced to repeating myself – I will end it there.

    • Mattstat, The UV/Ozone situation is quite a bit confused because of the Antarctic ozone hole and the Montreal Protocol regulations. Poleward advection of ozone has a natural aspect influenced by all the Os, of weather related pseudo-oscillations. Those O’s are mainly “chaotic” meaning mechanisms are lost in the general chaos versus “predictable” math shuffle.

      http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/11221/2011/acp-11-11221-2011.pdf

      That paper appears to do a fair job of showing how the Brewer-Dobson Circulation and the shift in Rossby Wave (read polar vortex currently). What I have found so far is that the BDC is poorly considered in most models and the natural variation of tropical ozone production and poleward transport is just getting the attention it has needed.

      Along with ozone there is also water vapor (mainly ice) which Susan Solomon discovered (mainly in the tropics) can have a much larger than anticipated impact on “climate change”. Volcanic aerosols also impact ozone production, stability and poleward transport along with ENSO and all the other Os.

      For what it worth, my 2 cents.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Me

      ‘Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.’ Quoting the NAS

      You talking about Ghil who discusses a dynamic and non-linear ‘sensitivity’ in the climate system.

      ‘Nothing you have presented has demonstrated the presence of anything like that in the climate system. A paper by Ghil that you posted the link to, and that was subsequently linked to by Gimo Skippy, shows that such can occur in dynamic nonlinear systems, but such has never been demonstrated in the climate system, and specifically not in the links that you provided.’

      Now you say climate is dynamic and nonlinear? Make up your mind – but at any rate I hope I am not entirely wasting my time and someone somewhere has got some of interest in all this. Nevermind – I have another appointment to dress my mangled foot in 10 minutes – then will be back with my foot in the air after a little shopping. Apart from planning dinner – oven baked ‘fried chicken’ with an Italian bean salad – I have plenty of time.

      This from last night – http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipes/r/thaichickensate.htm – with some steamed vegetables a la Gado Gado – was just amazing. Highly recommended.

  30. What is needed is the statistics of how often these 50-year events are occurring now. You can define 50-year events from prior to 2000, and then see how often they have occurred since 2000. In one location, having two 50-year events in ten years has a 20% probability, not enough to be confident of a change in frequency. However, taking many independent areas you can start to get a meaningful sense of whether the frequencies have increased. A nice study for someone to do. The UK seems to have had a lot of 50-year floods in recent years. How much has this frequency changed, if at all?

    • This is HADCRU4 Global monthly data with the 361 month, 30 year climate, rate shown

      can you see a pattern?

    • Robert I Ellison

      I don’t enough about patterns of UK rainfall – but I expect the series is nonstationary given at least decadal variability in such things as the AMO. This suggests that very much longer records than a decade are needed to distinguish a change.

      I note that a 1 in 50 year event by definition has a 2% chance of occurring in any year – so a fairly rare event. There is a 20% chance of one in 10 years – the probabilities are additive – but the chance of 2 in 10 years is 0.2X0.2 = 4%

      The rainfall and flooding probabilities are different. Rainfall is at a point which are commonly assumed to be storm cell sourced. So over a wide area there is a very high probability of getting a rare rainfall event somewhere in any year. Floods of course occur in catchments but again there is a high probability that comparatively rare events will occur somewhere over a land mass in any year.

    • Yes, when I said a 20% chance of two in ten years, I meant given the first. So we take Somerset for example, and there is a 20% chance of another 50-year event in the next ten years. You can also take somewhere that hasn’t had a 50-year event for a while and that is where it would be (I make it) 1.5% for two in the next ten years using combinatorial stats.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Huh?

      All events are assumed to be independent for stochastic analysis. It matters not at all that a 50 year event has not occurred in a while – the probability in the next year is still 2% and the probability of 2 in 10 years is still 4%.

      It is impossible to have any discussion at all if the initial premise keeps shifting.

    • Robert, so what is the probability of 3 events under your calculation, 6%. See the error yet?

    • Robert I Ellison

      The You do n=10 trials. The probability of one successful trial (>50 year event) is p=0.2 . You want k=3 successes and n−k=7 failures. The probability is:

      (n/k )p^k (1−p)^n−k = (10/3) * (0.2^3) * (0.8^7) = 0.596% – or about a 1 in 167 chance of three >50 year events in 10 years – to be precise.

      No really – the only mistake is in thinking that good faith in discourse at CE is always reciprocated.

    • jimd

      I would say these 50 year events are happening every ten years….At times during our past they have occurred between every other year and every 30 years…So 50 year events are probably a misleading term

      tonyb

    • Robert I Ellison

      It is a misconception – as I tried to explain. A 50 year event has a 2% probability in any year in a catchment at a specific location. But over a number of catchments a 50 year storm might happen every year in one or other catchments. Same with rainfall.

      ‘The above discussion applies to a particular point or location. If a larger area is considered (say, the whole of a city or town), the chance of receiving an intense rainfall event (say a 1% AEP event) somewhere over the larger area is increased. In practice, the most intense part of a thunderstorm, or of a cold frontal band, is a small area, across which the rainfall values are almost the same. Values for one hour duration taken at points about 5 km apart would be almost totally independent of each other in some storms but partly related in others. For example, one could make a grid of about 100 such points in the greater Melbourne area. The 1-hour, 1% AEP (100 year ARI) value has 1% chance of occurring at each of these points in a particular year, which means that there is a good chance (63% assuming full independence of points) of a 1-hour, 1% AEP (100 year ARI) event occurring somewhere in the general Melbourne area in each calendar year.’
      http://www.bom.gov.au/water/designRainfalls/rainfallEvents/why100years.shtml

      You might look at the area with decile 1 rainfall for instance – http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=raindecile01&area=aus&season=0112&ave_yr=10 – but the recurrence interval is not useful for extremes other than at a point.

    • “A 50 year event has a 2% probability in any year in a catchment at a specific location. But over a number of catchments a 50 year storm might happen every year in one or other catchments.”

      Or, put more generally: In data sets with enough variables, statistically significant departures from the null will eventually be found.

      • Let us not forget that 1:500, 1:1000 and even 1:10 000 year floods can happen back to back. The concept is one of use to civil engineers and insurance actuaries but it is a synthetic number made up to allow some degree of rationality in decision making.

    • Robert Ellison, why are you using 0.8 instead of 0.98 and 0.2 instead of 0.02? You should try again with the correct numbers, and also re-do the n=2 case to find the probability I got for that.

    • climatereason, I was saying 50-year events can be determined objectively from the record before 2000, then we can see if the frequency since 2000 is higher than the expectation. This is only a statistical exercise. For example for most places we would see a clear signal with temperature events defined as 50-year-return hot summers just by the actual shift of the distribution by about a standard deviation. Seasonal regional statistics are quite robust for this kind of analysis. Extreme events are harder due to rarity but would be expected to follow the seasonal trends. Rainfall would be an interesting study, even if just seasonal totals.

    • On a broader UK scale, you can look at this.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/9777749/Interactive-graphic-UK-rainfall-in-every-year-since-1910.html
      From this we find that 7 of the top 20 wettest years since 1910 occurred since 2000, when with an even distribution you would expect only 2-3 of these 13 years in the top 20. Must mean something. That doesn’t mean there won’t be dry years, and there were some, but the distribution seems to have shifted.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Robert, so what is the probability of 3 events under your calculation, 6%. See the error yet?…

      Robert Ellison, why are you using 0.8 instead of 0.98 and 0.2 instead of 0.02? You should try again with the correct numbers, and also re-do the n=2 case to find the probability I got for that

      Yes, when I said a 20% chance of two in ten years, I meant given the first. So we take Somerset for example, and there is a 20% chance of another 50-year event in the next ten years. You can also take somewhere that hasn’t had a 50-year event for a while and that is where it would be (I make it) 1.5% for two in the next ten years using combinatorial stats….

      Seriously? Make up your mind.

      There is a 18.3% chance of one >50 year flood in 10 years. Twice is 3.3%. Three times is 0.6^% – 1 in 164. This is the simple version – calculating for 1 and using cumulative probability for independent events for 2, 3 etc >50 year events in 10 years. I’m sure we could refine this – I have a vague memory of tables in hydrological school.

      These are still independent events and rely not at all on antecedent conditions influencing future probabilities.

      However – these are still events at a single point. You could say for instance that x number of >50 year events happened over a specified area but are more direct measures as I suggested earlier.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Global trends are not statistically significant – as the AR4 says. But there is an increase in Northern Europe.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-14.html

      But what’s the natural variability?

    • I get 16.6% for 1 event, 1.5% for 2, and 0.08% for 3, given a probability of 0.02 per event.

    • For the UK, the 13 years from 2000-2012 are exceptional in the last century with 4 of the top 5 years. The only other 13-year period that comes close is 1948-1960 which has 4 events mostly in the bottom half of the top 20.

    • Robert I Ellison

      You would be better off understanding why the cold, snow and wet – http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024001

      And your probabilities are way off. See your error yet? One of many I assure you.

  31. The climate obviously is not perfect now; than, why are the zombies fighting against climatic changes?

  32. there has been a 40% change in atmospheric co2 concentration in the past 250 years with almost half of that occuring in the past 50 years.
    How can there be such a dramatic change in concentration and not have a equalling change in the climate or weather patterns.
    Where there is argument on temperature rising by 2.5 or 4 degrees that is a reference to the average temperature. Not the maximum temperature locations are now getting up to.
    Here is a quiz – name all the areas that have recorded 40 deg C or more for the first time in the past 10 years.
    Don’t think the world is warming – then why is the list so long.

  33. Consistent with what we would expect? Of course! Assuming that the other thing we expected, that water vapor would increase, had actually happened.

  34. There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly heavy rain events.

    Is no one bothered by the logic of this statement? There is no evidence to counter the premise that the seas of Callisto aren’t full little green fish, but that doesn’t constitute proof that they are there until we are shown evidence.

    Extreme weather occurs somewhere round the world and some time or place and it’s now our turn, I would really like to see the data showing some kind of trend that is outside the scope of natural variability, and shown in context of the timescales in which it can occur.

    A BBC report recently suggested that warming can cause the jet stream to slow, which causes whether patterns to be stuck, yet a different report informed us that the jet stream causing our bout of cold weather in the US and stormy weather in the UK was due it’s position and that it was moving faster than normal.

    My understanding is that extreme weather – at least of the stormy variety – require temperature differentials particularly between the equator and the poles, yet the North Pole has warmed in relation to the equator and the South Pole almost not at all. I am prepared to accept that a warmer world will cause precipitation events to be either slightly more frequent or slightly more severe, or a mixture of both, but I would love to see that quantified.

    Broadly speaking, I see a lot of inconsistency in the information communicated about climate change, and I find Julia Slingos remarks to be of no real help in this regard.

    • I hope that everyone here is bothered by that statement.

    • We obsess over temperature in the climate change debate, but really we are talking about such small increments as to be on the whole unnoticeable, or unimportant – most life lives happily between a much greater range than the changes we regularly talk about.

      It’s the effect that warming has on other climatic factors; rainfall, wind, cloudiness, sea level, etc that matter to us where we live. So why do we not talk about that more often? In an attempt to answer my own question I found the EPA site in the US which has world precipitation records going back to 1901: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/precipitation.html

      Looking there I don’t see much of a trend, other than to note that the last half century is slightly wetter than the first.

      The there is the accumulated cyclone graph:

      Where actually is the actual evidence, ideally reliable and over a long enough period of time showing increase in extreme weather events?

    • Faustino

      I’ve asked Gates that question (Increased frequency from when ?) earlier in the thread – no answer, of course, just the usual two-boot bovver boy assertion that it’s so

      The whole silly “discussion” between Jimmie old bean D and Elliston about what increased frequency means for a specific region exemplified the statement we are objecting to … btw, it wasn’t Elliston that was being silly

      The “null hypothesis” concept is deliberately reversed to evade the need for hard empirical data. It’s what we now know as post-normal science, designed for the “meeja” to propagandise the general populace

      … and NO, there is no “conspiracy” here, since a particular mindset is not conspiratorial but simply closed

    • A serf worries, worries that foxes in charge of the hen house control messages out regardless of reality, R – E – A -L – I – T – Y namely the massage that the hens are in good hands … I mean paws …OMG I’m hyphen -ventilatin’ agen!
      serf!

    • Beth

      You make a good point. The Met Office report says;

      “Although no individual storm can be regarded as exceptional, the clustering and persistence of the storms is highly unusual. December and January were exceptionally wet. For England and Wales this was one of, if not the most, exceptional periods of winter rainfall in at least 248 years. The two-month total (December + January) of 372.2mm for the southeast and central southern England region is the wettest any 2-month period in the series from 1910. ”

      A meaningful England and Wales rainfall record back to 1760 simply does not exist. The Met office maintain the records to this date largely produced by our old friends Wigley and Jones.

      tonyb

    • Nicely put Agnostic.

      Such weasel words!

      G’day Faustino. :)

    • Agnostic,

      The there is the accumulated cyclone graph:

      Where actually is the actual evidence, ideally reliable and over a long enough period of time showing increase in extreme weather events?

      Thanks for the chart. Looks like a few short period stadium waves in that lot. :)

      It also looks like the data was selected/adjusted by someone who lives in the Norther Hemisphere (and reckons they really do control the world including the world’s climate :)

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Looking there I don’t see much of a trend, other than to note that the last half century is slightly wetter than the first.”
      —-
      “Slightly?” Global precipitation has increased markedly over the past 60 years.

      It is a key indicator of an enhanced hydrological cycle and a natural response to both higher GH gas levels in the atmosphere and greater energy in the climate system overall.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “I am prepared to accept that a warmer world will cause precipitation events to be either slightly more frequent or slightly more severe, or a mixture of both, but I would love to see that quantified.”

      Quantified: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/images/indicator_downloads/precipitation-download2-2013.png

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “I’ve asked Gates that question (Increased frequency from when ?) earlier in the thread – no answer, of course, just the usual two-boot bovver boy assertion that it’s so.
      —-
      We have three choices when answering this question:

      1) Look at the instrumental record. In doing so, we see that the hydrological is showing an enhancement globally over the past 60 years or so:

      2) Look at what the proxy data tell us from the paleoclimate record. When doing this, we see that higher GH gas level lead to an enhanced hydrological cycle: http://www.pnas.org/content/110/42/16710.short
      http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/367/1588/477.short
      http://epic.awi.de/24375/1/Khl2011d.pdf

      3) Rely on anecdote: reader supplied

    • Rgates – that is the graph on the page I linked to. Eyeballing it I see a slight change to greater precipitation averaged over last 50-60 years or so by no more than 5%. I do not see a trend that looks outside of natural variability compared to the previous 50 years.

      You then linked the same graph as a response to a request for quantification. How is that supposed answer my question?

      – I would like to see a graph with a 5 year running mean showing precipitation world wide for at least 120 years, and then broken down into regions. (I would even be happy just to look at several regions where the measurements at least are reliable to compare like for like areas over different periods).
      – I would like to see flood frequency and extent graphed for at least 120 years.
      – Likewise drought.
      – Likewise wind speeds and direction.

      I personally have graphed the NH snow extent for myself and all that really happens is that over the last 30 to 40 years it has become less variable.

      So we know that cyclones and tornadoes haven’t increased, but where is the evidence that other extreme weather events (and with some form of definition for what they might be) have increased outside the range of natural variability over at least 120 years, that is at least more than something that is “consistent with a belief”.

      Yes I have been googling around. If someone knows of some resource I would be grateful.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Eyeballing it I see a slight change to greater precipitation averaged over last 50-60 years or so by no more than 5%. I do not see a trend that looks outside of natural variability compared to the previous 50 years.”
      ——
      Eyeballing charts and graphs can be dangerous. Best to rely on actual analysis:

      http://www.pnas.org/content/110/48/19301.short

      Models, data, and basic physics converge on an enhanced hydrological cycle as one of the key responses to GH gas increases.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      R Gates says

      “It is a key indicator of an enhanced hydrological cycle and a natural response to both higher GH gas levels in the atmosphere and greater energy in the climate system overall.”

      Yes yes, R Gates.
      it’s a veritbale Peltier junction marble!

    • The marble eyeball
      Winks with unction,
      Weeps in wonder
      Under the junction.
      ==============

    • Rgates – After an admittedly only fairly prelimenary look at your last link I am afraid I don’t feel much further along. I note that this paper relies on “credible model runs” against observations, notably CMIP5 and RCP8.5. They are also only looking at between 5-20 year variability and I am afraid that does not cut it.

      The problems with this paper are:
      – it is examining too short a period (5-20 yrs as opposed to a minimum of 120 yrs to capture the PDO and to ensure that it is a meaningful sample size)
      – it relies on models that we don’t trust to simulate reality sufficiently well to have confidence in conclusions drawn from their use.
      – I do NOT see a clear demonstration of meaningful trends of climatological factors outside of natural variability (where natural variability is empirically demonstrated by comparison to historic norms rather than modelled expectations – though I would happy to see that in context as well).

      I then need to see demonstrated how there is a relationship between these changes and how it manifests as climatological extremes. For example, in the case of precipitation does it mean an intensification of any one event? That should be easy to demonstrate – simply take a location and take a look at the top 100 (or some appropriate number) rain events and see if there is a preponderance of them in recent times. I am actually inclined to suspect there will be, but the degree of preponderance will actually tell us how much of a problem it is and how much is down to a changing climate, and IMO that is a more useful thing to know.

      Furthermore, it tells what we already know – that the climate has warmed. It does not tell us what caused it. It MAY tell us something useful about what might happen should the warming resume.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “. It MAY tell us something useful about what might happen should the warming resume.”
      ____
      If we’re to have a honest scientific dialog then speak in honest terms. The accumulation of additional energy in the climate system has not stopped or “paused” and it is only fake-skeptics who want to incessantly insist that the warming needs to resume. The flattening of temperatures as measured by sensible heat in the tropsophere is not in any way indicative of the overall “warming” (i.e. increase in energy) of the larger climate system. If you want to use fake-skeptic rhetoric as opposed to solid facts and science, then our discussion will be brief to non-existent.

    • If you want to use fake-skeptic rhetoric as opposed to solid facts and science, then our discussion will be brief to non-existent.

      Then it does appear to be doomed, because I absolutely do not regard The accumulation of additional energy in the climate system has not stopped or “paused” as a solid “fact” at all!

      I’d be surprised if you could find a serious scientist who did. It is hypothesised that the “additional energy” is being sequestered in the deep ocean, which is the reason that the expected rise in temperature has not occurred, but we only have measurements going back to 2004, they are sparsely sampled, and the uncertainties are too large to be convincing. You then need to explain why it was this process only got going at the start of the “pause” and why we should fear it discontinuing, as well as why it didn’t contribute to late 20th C warming.

      I also do not follow the rationale as to why accumulating energy in the system is to be feared either. Clearly the earth has been warmer in the holocene and therefore in possession of greater total energy in the climate system and for long periods before that does not seem to be notably detrimental.

    • Agnostic –

      I usually find your comments interesting and informative – so I am puzzled by this:

      I absolutely do not regard The accumulation of additional energy in the climate system has not stopped or “paused” as a solid “fact” at all!

      I had not thought from reading other comments of yours that you doubt the physics’ argument that there is a GHE of ACO2.

      Assuming that I am right about that, from your perspective how can we be increasing ACO2 w/o the accumulation of additional energy in the climate system. Do you see the energy flowing back out of the system, in some proportional manner? What would that process be?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Slingo didn’t mean faster jet stream and very strong vortex. To twist her words to say what they actually mean is a despicable denialist tactic.
      Faster means slower and stronger means weaker, to sensible people.

    • I had not thought from reading other comments of yours that you doubt the physics’ argument that there is a GHE of ACO2.

      No I do not doubt it, but at the moment the evidence (ie the lack of warming) suggests that natural variability overwhelms it, that the climates sensitivity is much lower than is required for alarm or drastic action to mitigate.

      If that is the case, and I do mean “if”, then society would be much better focussing its resources both financial and intellectual on adaptation to whatever changes may occur to the climate and on better understanding it without the over confidence, hubris, name-calling, and hand-wringing.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Equating the very low thermal inertia sensible tropospheric heat with “no warming” in the whole system is incorrect. The fluctuations in sensible heat in the troposphere are highly dependent on ENSO over the short-term. The correct view when discussing “no warming” in the whole system is to actually look at the whole system, or be clear that you mean no increases in sensible tropospheric heat over a certain period. Sensible tropospheric heat can be a proxy for energy gains or losses in the system, but over shorter periods it is an exceptionally poor proxy.

  35. For you UK’ers, Brits, whatever is the least offensive collective noun.

    It’s the wrong kind of clustering and persistence.

  36. To get some historical perspective to the hype surrounding the disastrous UK floods are I will repeat a post I have placed on the JoNova site.

    To get some historical context on the present day UK floods I would suggest that if you have a spare week or so and if you are if into history and historical weather events you peruse the following totally fascinating site which details the recorded historical weather events of the UK over the last two thousand years.

    The site is called “Metindex” or “Meteorology @ West Moors”

    http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/histclimat.htm

    The historical record has been researched and put together by a British meteorologist.

    Some of the events recorded make the current situation in the UK, disastrous as it is, look like quite small beer when compared with those past weather disasters.
    I would love to give some examples of the extreme weather and climate disasters as recorded by the monks and scribes of the times but the major disaster events are far too many down over the more than 20 centuries of weather and climate this site covers to pick out any that are typical so I leave it up to you to see for yourself what is the real historical record when it comes to the warmit claims of the supposed extreme weather of today.

    In short, the alarmists in their outright ignorance and narrow mindlessness haven’t got a bloody clue about the utter severity of frequent past historical weather events and the disasters and loss of life that occurred with those disasters and this site proves it.

    The major difference of course is as always our developed world with it’s ready access to energy and technology of every type has the capabilities of rapidly moving with our technological skills and equipment into the disaster areas to help mitigate and reduce the impact of weather disasters on the local population in any one location within hours of a disaster event occurring.

    The long past societies never had that luxury of a great road system extending across all corners of the country or fossil fueled rapidly moving transport systems or energy at the touch of a switch or a button, all of which are a direct outcome of the extraordinary developments and advancement of the British Industrial Revolution starting some 300 years ago that have allowed the saving of an immense number of lives and reduced suffering and material loss to a small and relatively low percentage of the losses that occurred to past societies when they were struck by major storms or natural disasters.

    We are the lucky generation in our western societies but now some seem dead set on destroying everything our forebearers set out to creat all in the name of supposedly “saving the planet”.

    • ROM

      I was in contact with the guy from Booty earlier in the week. It is a very good resource that needs some care in usage as some of the references veer to the ‘anecdotal’ and may therefore be dismissed by those that prefer massaged numbers. Some of the references come from sources that are no longer considered reliable.

      However in general it is an excellent overall view of the British Climate which amply illustrates the frequent extremes we experience and that I try to put over in my posts here and elsewhere.

      I make use of Booty as one of the resources in my own examination of climate but I restrict myself to the CET area and do not think I can get any further back than the Domesday book (or more likely around 1150) with any degree of accuracy if there is to be any hope of putting temperatures to the years/decades..
      tonyb

    • ROM

      I meant to endorse your comment about being the lucky generation. We live in a relatively benign climatic period compared to the horrifying episodes of really extreme weather we can see from the past.
      tonyb

    • No wonder the doomsayer deniers of history’s record want to
      throw it down the memory hole, else how can they claim the
      present climate is unprecedented and requires strong central
      government to make things right, (or left) ? Utopea ruled by
      a politbureau who know better than the prols? … Deja vu all
      over again.

  37. Thanks tonyb.
    And yes I am well aware of the doubtful province of the earlier periods in that Booty site but for a general overview for the average web punter it still is a damn good bit of relatively correct climate and weather history to bring some perspective for those punters into the claims of so called extreme weather we are supposed to be suffering from right now if you believe the alarmists.

    And it is information which for the most part can’t be found anywhere else in one bunch that the average joe could look up for historical weather and climate at his leisure.
    That Booty site really does make one think about those people of those long past times and what they had to accept as part of normal everyday living compared to where we are today.
    Cheers
    ROM

  38. ROM

    As you will have seen from this site, those crunching numbers and developing complex theories often have limited interest in the historic material. Trying to raise it above the anecdotal is important if it is not to be immediately dismissed with a wave of the hand..

    However, as you rightly say it is abundantly clear from the excellent Booty site that life was climatically very very tough for much of our history and we have it very easy today.
    tonyb

  39. In other words, if the land is colder and the oceans remain warm, whoever is under the jet stream at the continental margin will receive beaucoup precipitation. Glad to help.

  40. I tried to contact Dame Slingo last month because I was having to look at producing and presenting climate related studies as an operational research paper. This is indicative of the abject failure of such institutions to consider that their failing theories are failing. Sticking plaster in the cracks of their crumbling walls is not fixing the problem – it is hiding the symptoms.

    • Conor, I wonder whether there is a senior scientist in the UK who has the gonads to stand up in public and tell the people what is really happening. Dame Julia Slingo is part of The Team, and in furtherance of The Cause she is telling porkies; or to put I another way, she is being economical with the truth.

      Do you see any chance of this happening?

  41. Well according to Lindzen it is textbook Meteorology that a warmer world should bring fewer extra-tropical storms regardless of what R. Gates about a mere 4% extra water in the air causing chaos.

    • Well, it’s always been increased energy in the system causing increased severity versus decreased polar/equatorial gradient causing decreased severity. I’m amused that the two are countervailing.
      ===========

  42. Steve from Rockwood

    Funny how a once in fifty year flood occurs, on average, about once every fifty years. This should allow for the government to dredge a few rivers, taking credit for the lack of extreme flooding afterword. It would take another fifty (or so) years before the locals could once again blame the government that the reason for the “unprecedented” flooding is that the rivers haven’t been dredged in over 50 years. The process could then repeat itself.

    Here in Canada we’re experiencing a winter that we haven’t seen in over 30 years. The 50 year olds recall similar cold winters back in the 1970s while the 20 year olds see it as unprecedented (caused by AGW no doubt). Maybe when they’re 50 and experience cold winters again it will sink in.

    • Steve, you write “Here in Canada we’re experiencing a winter that we haven’t seen in over 30 years.”

      I assume you live in Rockwood, near Guelph. I live in Ottawa. By one metric, we are having a below average winter; it is a little colder than average. But by any other measure, we are having a delightful winter. As I wrote above, the snow came on just the right days; the high pressure may bring cold, but it also brings sunshine. I think you may have had the ice storm some weeks ago.

      I have lived in Ottawa for some 60 years, and this is one of the nicest winters I have experienced for some time. I am 88 years old.

    • We had some weather like this, oh, two or three years ago.

  43. Context? History isn’t context. Context is.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12976.html

    Nitpicking pieces out of the Met analyses and throwing up random aspects cherrypicked from the past to argue that an extreme isn’t that extreme because the frequency of other sorta-kinda similar events is nonzero on the entire record is plain absurd.

    Taken in context with all observations, and all trends from all observations, it’s very clear the present is different from the past, and that difference is due AGW, and that difference has and will be increasingly costly.

    Since when do the trespassers get to say, “Sure, we’re way over the boundaries, but we don’t recognize any harm of what we do so we’ll keep going.”

    • BartR

      you said;
      ‘Taken in context with all observations, and all trends from all observations, it’s very clear the present is different from the past, and that difference is due AGW, and that difference has and will be increasingly costly.’

      Can I recommend ‘Meteorological chronology to AD1450’ by C Britton of the Met Office published in 1931. ‘Climate and weather’ published last year and written by John Kington of CRU who worked with Hubert Lamb. “Historic Storms of the North Sea, British isles and northwest Europe’ By Hubert Lamb first director of Cru.. Times of Feast and Times of famine by Le Roy Ladurie is also good at putting our current climate into its historical perspective. All these latter books examine climate over at least the last 1000 years

      Phil Jones has written several good books’ history and climate’ and ‘the climate to 1500.’ These are highly detailed and comprehensive accounts of the past.

      After reading these and the numerous other non tree ring related records we have, It is impossible to come to any conclusion other than, in those places where we have the best and most detailed observations, that the weather of the past had many more extremes than the weather of the present. Storms and very extended periods of rain are the most noticeable features, What is also notable is that the worst conditions occurred during LIA episodes. rather than the warm periods.

      You can of course argue as to what may happen in the future, but the present remains within the boundaries of the past without any need for cherry picking

      tonyb

    • Bart
      Neither you nor anyone else has any kind of data that would remotely support the idea that all that has happened in the last 50 years is some how unprecedented or unique in the annals of man. That one is a no-brainer to kill. I am surprised you would even attempt making that assertion.

    • “Taken in context with all observations, and all trends from all observations, it’s very clear the present is different from the past, and that difference is due AGW, and that difference has and will be increasingly costly.”

      Those who forget history are doomed to think “climate change” has something to do with the present.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Channel_floods,_1607
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1928_Thames_flood
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea_flood_of_1953
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storm_tides_of_the_North_Sea
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floods_in_the_Netherlands

    • BartR

      it’s very clear the present is different from the past, and that difference is due AGW, and that difference has and will be increasingly costly.

      My BS meter just pegged out on that unsubstantiated groaner, Bart.

      Max

    • climatereason | February 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm |

      Sorry, no sale on any of this.

      History is fine stuff for the prurient and readers of fiction. Few dispute the utility of studying history as a way to improve one’s character, diction, and sense of perspective as a human.

      But it isn’t science.

      Even the history of science isn’t science.

      A historical report about what science held accurate or very nearly true many generations of new data ago is no more interesting to science than is a guide to trench warfare in 1910 of practical interest to a drone technician in 2014.

      So no matter how much history dust you sprinkle over your opinions, they remain NOT valid in scientific discourse. This is excusable in a historian, whom none expect to have scientifically valid claims to make dredged out of obsolete tomes and the inferences drawn by even the best minds upon outdated observations; to find any scientist seriously engaging such notions however, is scandalously #antiscience.

      manacker | February 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm |

      Haven’t we long ago discussed this? Let me be more blunt: a cheese detector made of cheddar isn’t expected to be overly resistant to false positives, either.

    • You don’t get it, tony. Those stories of storms and floods past could very well be stuff made up by rascals who wanted their know-it-all sigh-intific descendents to be confused about what they would see in the tree rings and the upside down sediments. They were mostly anti-science in the old days. Ain’t that right, barty?

  44. Generallissimo Skippy

    ‘Trends in global annual land precipitation were analysed using data from the GHCN, using anomalies with respect to the 1981 to 2000 base period (Vose et al., 1992; Peterson and Vose, 1997). The observed GHCN linear trend (Figure 3.12) over the 106-year period from 1900 to 2005 is statistically insignificant, as is the CRU linear trend up to 2002 (Table 3.4b). However, the global mean land changes (Figure 3.12) are not at all linear, with an overall increase until the 1950s, a decline until the early 1990s and then a recovery. Although the global land mean is an indicator of a crucial part of the global hydrological cycle, it is difficult to interpret as it is often made up of large regional anomalies of opposite sign.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-3-2.html#3-3-2-1

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-14.html

    The fact remains that variability remains well within Holocene limits over much of the world that we can make inferences about from the proxy records. Extremes will happen independently of carbon dioxide.

    • Generallissimo Skippy

      From the report:

      “There are a number of differences in processing, data sources and time periods that lead to the differences in the trend estimates. All but one data set (GHCN) are spatially infilled by either interpolation or the use of satellite estimates of precipitation”

      As there has been no significant trend in precipitation over the 106 year gauge measurements, do these observations suggest that a significant global warming projection, with its predicted increase in atmospheric moisture, does not hold water? Only by infilling data do trends etc appear.

      There are at least two disconnects: no increase in precipitation with global warming; the pause with its increasing atmospheric CO2 and no significant increase in atmospheric heat.

      I wonder if people are not applying the right physics? Is there something else? i.e., another way of looking at weather/climate?

    • Robert I Ellison

      Perhaps I can answer for the Generalissimo.

      All I took from that is that the ‘global’ trend is not statistically significant. Although regional variations are much more interesting. The latter have decadal to millennial variability.

      ‘Climate change has been implicated in the success and downfall of several ancient civilizations. Here we present a synthesis of historical, climatic, and geological evidence that supports the hypothesis that climate change may have been responsible for the slow demise of Minoan civilization. Using proxy ENSO and precipitation reconstruction data in the period 1650–1980 we present empirical and quantitative evidence that El Nino causes drier conditions in the area of Crete. This result is supported by modern data analysis as well as by model simulations. Though not very strong, the
      ENSO-Mediterranean drying signal appears to be robust, and its overall effect was accentuated by a series of unusually strong and long-lasting El Ninos during the time of the Minoan decline. We show that a change in the dynamics of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) system occurred around 3000 BC, which culminated in a series of strong and frequent El Ninos starting at about 1450 BC and lasting for several centuries.
      This stressful climatic trend, associated with the gradual demise of the Minoans, is argued to be an important force acting in the downfall of this classic and long-lived civilization.’ http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/6/801/2010/cpd-6-801-2010.pdf

      The shift around 3000 BC is implicated in the drying of the Sahel – something that arguably shifted the global power centre and changed fundamentally the evolution of cultures to this day.

    • Robert Ellison

      Thank you for stepping in.

      I like Tsonis et al. History as a broad brush commentary and reflection of humanity resonates in my head.

      What I would like to see is further connectivity to SAM the climate dog, to the Indian Ocean, and to some of the hot water located on the West side of the Pacific Tub that sloshes to the East Side, at least some of that Western hot water getting around Indonesia and spilling over into the Indian Ocean, influencing climate change via teleconnections, etc.

      The Indian Ocean, another big Equatorial basin of water for energy accumulation and discharge.

      Again, Thank you. I’ll go to sleep tonight thinking about it.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Robert I Ellison | February 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
      Perhaps I can answer for the Generalissimo.”
      ____
      Now that’s funny! Do you have a different color hat you put on?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      You can tell – I’m the dashing – handsome one in the white hat and riding a blue horse called Shibboleth. I writing my memoirs – diary of a climate warrior.

      A serious question deserves a serious answer but some people deserve spew for spew. Which side are you on Randy? Do you deserve a serious answer?

  45. Steve from Rockwood

    Jim, I should have written that “Southern Ontario” is experiencing weather not seen in 30 years as the Polar Vortex draws that Ottawa – Sudbury weather down into peach country. My point was, whether 30 or 50 year cycles, we are experiencing weather and not climate change. At 88 years young you must have seen quite a few cycles. Here’s wishing you at least one more (30 or 50 – take your pick).

  46. “I hope that sensible policies can be developed to reduce vulnerability to such floods in the future, without the distraction of thinking that reducing carbon emissions would somehow prevent such extreme events.” – JC

    Why do you persist with this nonsense Judith?

    It’s not an either/or choice.

    England has had serious floods before, so any current lack of preparedness or inadequecies in flood mitigation has absolutely zilch to do with AGW.

    • Well you might want to consider building the new sea wall 3 meters or 3.05 meters high..

    • Well it’s been made into an either or choice. Any time in the past where people like Judith or me have made the point that we need to consider adaptation, folks have lined up to yell denier. In short all the oxygen in the room has been consumed by those focused on mitiagtion. The science dollars have been soaked up looking at temperatures in 2300, the policy capital has been squandered on ineffective global treaties, and all the communication has focused on mitigation.

      Now that folks are realizing that extremes make a more effective message for the short term they are stuck. They are stuck because the science says we cant do anything about the weather in the next 30 years. the science tells us that change is in the pipeline. It’s coming and we have no choice except to spend dollars on adaptation. Quite naturally those dollars have to come from somewhere and grand plans of mitigation will suffer.

      At some point the mitigationists will get out of denial and actually do something to save lives and property in the here and now.

    • Sharknadoes -could- happen. Should we have a sharknado mitigation strategy?

    • Mosh

      Maintenance and improvement of what infrastructure we already have is way down the list of priorities, whether its maintaining sea walls or getting the silt out of rivers.

      The UK has been utterly focused on climate mitigation over the last decade or more and have taken their eye off the weather ball.
      tonyb

    • Change is always in the pipeline. the AGW cant of missing heat, slr next decade/century/etc. has, as you point out, cost us lots of money, opportunity cost and so forth. The low parts of southern england are flooding for the same kinds of reasons Houston, the Netherlands, Venice, New Orleans, the Jersey shore and the Mississippi gulf coast flood or are flooded: They are low lying areas only made habitable by human action. Sea walls, levees, dredging, As those thigns wear out, people should rebuild them. that is if the enviros allow it (in Southern England they didn’t, as the record shows). The link from idiocratic enviro/climate obsessed policiesand loss of human property, buildings and even lives is clear. we don’t need to grant climate obsessed kooks yet more power and wiggle room.They have damaged enough already. We need dredging in southern England. Rational fire control in Australia.Keeping up with the wear and tear of levees, sea walls, etc.

    • Steven Mosher

      +100

      Rather than jump to immediate global climate mitigation actions whose efficacy we cannot guarantee and whose unintended negative consequences we are unable to foresee, we should always be prepared to adapt to any local and regional climate challenges that Nature (or anyone else) throws at us, if and when it becomes apparent that these challenges are going to become imminent.

      That’s where our hostess is spot on IMO.

      Max

    • Hunter

      The “enviros” are sometimes a hindrance to real progress.

      Who wants to “protect a wetland” when you are living in the middle of it?

      Max

  47. mikey, mikey
    You have your joshie cone-shaped thinking cap screwed on tight. Judith did not say that any current lack of preparedness in flood mitigation..blah…blah…blah… had anything to do with AGW. Take off your little joshie hate-Judith-hat and read it again.

    • And neither did I say she did.

      You’re testament to the brainlessness of the deniers.

    • There is your problem, mikey. You are nasty. Denigration will not get you mitigation. You are too angry and frustrated to win the hearts and minds of the billions and billions of deniers. I am just trying to help you. The pause is killing the cause. Step up your game, or you will continue to fail.

    • Don
      Someday their grandchildren will look at them and say
      GrandKid: ‘did you do everything within your power to prevent global warming?”
      Alarmist: ‘Look I called skeptics names, what more do you expect?”
      GrandKid: “And did that work?”
      Alarmist: “No, they called us names in return”
      GrandKid:”and so you kept doing the same thing?”
      Alarmist: “ya, it was fun”
      GrandKid: “did you try anything else”
      Alarmist: “ya global treaties, for 20 years we tried”
      Grandkis: ” did that work?”
      Alarmist: “no”
      GrandKid; “Then what?”
      Alarmist: “we kept trying what didn’t work”
      GrandKid; “kinda like the name calling”
      Alarmist: “err what’s yur point kid?”
      GrandKid:” you kept doing the same thing expecting different results”
      Alarmist: ‘so’
      Grandkid: “that’s sounds like denial, like insanity”
      Alarmist: yes they drove us crazy.

      GrandKid: “you thought the planet was in danger and you kept doing things that your own experience proved to you didnt work.
      Alarmist: ya they drove us crazy

    • >>>Alarmist: “ya global treaties, for 20 years we tried”
      Grandkis: ” did that work?<<<

      And of course, NOT signing treaties seemed to works best:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/usa-meets-kyoto-protocol-without-ever-embracing-it/

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “Someday their grandchildren will look at them and say
      GrandKid: ‘did you do everything within your power to prevent global warming?”
      Alarmist: ‘Look I called skeptics names, what more do you expect?”

      Um, maybe the Malthusians would stop breeding more stupids ?

    • The “grandchildren” aren’t going to give a hoot about “global warming”.

      They are not that stupid (even if our schoolteachers are trying to dumb them down to have this concern).

      If we leave them a bunch of debt to pay off, they might be a bit more irritated, though.

      Try:

      GrandKid: “did you do everything within your power to stop spending more money than you had on foolish climate diversions and other nonsense, so we wouldn’t be stuck with the tab?”

      Alarmist: “Duh…”

      Max

  48. I’ve been following noaa sst anomaly since oct. At that time the north Atlantic was very hot as was the NE pacific. The hot spot in the NE pacific migrated across the pacific and settled off S of Alaska and Canada. It began to wain. The N atlantic also wained. Then just in the last week or so both the NW pacific and the N atlantic heated up again along with the atlantic of the eastern seaboard of the US, the NE and mid-north pacific, and the already S atlantic reaved up more. So I take it England can expect more rain? Does that mean NW US and W Canada along with Central Africa can also expect some serious precipitation?

    http:/www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/oisst/navy-anom-bb.gif

    • ordvic

      There is an old saying in German:

      “Wenn der Hahn kräht auf dem Mist
      So ändert das Wetter – oder es bleibt wie’s ist.”

      (If the rooster crows on the dung heap
      the weather will change – or stay as it is.)

      Max

  49. John Vonderlin

    Ahh! Once again on this forum somebody, Mr. Mosher, in this case, has used the aphorism that continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results is insanity. While it is a pithy statement, often attributed to Albert Einstein, its competitors, “Practice makes perfect,” and “If first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” describe a greater set of life’s circumstances than that overused, and often inaccurate old saw. It is most appropriate in one situation, that being, repeatedly using it to bolster one’s argument in a blog thread is a form of logical neurosis bordering on literary insanity
    That said, the futuristic conversation style of your posting was a nice break from the normal fare most commentoids offer up here. Enjoy..

    • Thanks for stopping by, johnny. Just ignore Max’s comment above about the rooster crowing on the dung heap. I don’t think he was specifically talking about you.

  50. Pingback: Have we prepared for normal climate change and non-extreme weather? | Fabius Maximus

  51. The Guardian, today:

    “Climate change policy at risk because of denial and fear, Ed Davey warns
    Energy secretary to raise concerns about political consensus breaking down as other parties denounce science.

    Britain’s climate change policy is under threat from a “diabolical cocktail” of nimbyism, denial of science and fear of Europe from politicians on the right, the energy secretary will say on Thursday.

    Amid growing warnings about a potential link between global warming and extreme UK weather, Ed Davey will raise concerns that the politicial consensus about the need to tackle climate change is in danger of breaking down as some in the Conservative and Ukip parties try to discredit the science.

    He will say that the actions of climate deniers are “undermining public trust in the scientific evidence for climate change” and that “we can see around us today the possible consequences of a world in which extreme weather events are much more likely”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/feb/13/climate-change-policy-britain-at-risk-ed-davey-environment-secretary?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

    • “He will say that the actions of climate deniers are “undermining public trust in the scientific evidence for climate change” and that “we can see around us today the possible consequences of a world in which extreme weather events are much more likely”.”

      Those of us who believe that natural variability might provide more to the picture than has currently been considered might seek to disagree.

    • Just notice the language.

      One per paragraph:

      denounce science
      denial of science
      discredit the science
      undermining public trust in the scientific evidence.

      Well, that’s where we are. “SCIENCE” there, the D-verbs here (denounce, denial, discredit etc)

    • What about the science of natural variability? Who denies that then?

    • villinus, “a “diabolical cocktail” of nimbyism, denial of science…”

      Nimbyists often “use” science to support their nimbyism. One chance in any big number is enough to set them in the “insurance” mode and with linear no threshold (LNT) modeling they can have “science” on their side. How else can you have “Have Science – Will Travel” expert witnesses to testify for about any position you like in court? Is it really “denial” of science to point out abuse of science?

    • “Is it really “denial” of science to point out abuse of science?”

      Or to point out that true science is composed of more than one, single, potentially narrow minded, reference frame.

    • RLH,
      Natural variability barely makes a dent in the overall trend. Even your crude analysis demonstrates that.

    • WHT: So narrow minded. So sure of his own single reference frame. So quick to dismiss a simple analysis as false.

      You want to think for a moment about how things GOT to the Little Ice Age instead of only thinking about times SINCE then?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “You want to think for a moment about how things GOT to the Little Ice Age instead of only thinking about times SINCE then?”
      ——
      Considering both periods and even much longer periods is what can be most instructive. The LIA in particular has multiple causal factors, each one influencing the hemispheres and global average temperatures differently. What we do know is that the climate may be chaotic, but it deterministic and is not random, and over longer time frames it is always the sum of all forcings and related feedbacks.

    • No RLH, not narrow minded but I am scientifically focused. Do you understand the distinction?

    • Bring your great intellect then to the question posed.

      You want to think for a moment about how things GOT to the Little Ice Age instead of only thinking about times SINCE then?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | February 13, 2014 at 9:16 am |

      “What we do know is that the climate may be chaotic, but it deterministic and is not random, and over longer time frames it is always the sum of all forcings and related feedbacks.”

      So your suggestion for the forcings that took us TO the Little Ice Age are? And the ones that brought us FROM then to, say, 1850?

    • High climate sensitivity.

      It’s the double-edged sword and trick-box that denialists always fall into.

      A high climate sensitivity can lead to MWP and LIA and it also will amplify the effects of CO2.

      They just can’t wrap their arms around that, or prefer not to.

    • WHT: High sensitivity to what? Can’t be CO2. Not enough around before the steam age at least. So what else?

    • True colors shine through

      High climate sensitivity to forcings that’s what.

      CO2 is a forcing like we have never seen before operating over such a short time.

    • WHT: A forcing of what on what. Fairies breath? You just gotta get off the fence and produce some real, testable, data.

  52. RichardLH, “What about the science of natural variability? Who denies that then?”

    Ed Davey seems to be an eager candidate.

    The Editors of Nature, Nature Geoscience, Nature Climate Change, Journal of Climate, Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letters, Climate Dynamics etc happily join the team.

    Today, like it or not, THEY DEFINE the body of science.

    • I’ll just repeat

      True science is composed of more than one, single, potentially narrow minded, reference frame.

      The Broad Street Pump should have taught us that at least.

    • All that RLH can do is apply a crude filter as his scientific reference frame. That’s the extent of his narrow-mindedness. Always watch how they project their own inadequacies onto others.

    • WHT: So quick with the words. So short on the logic.

    • WHT: Back to improving his CSALT model.

    • WHT: Zhang and Wang 2013 seem to think a 15 year low pass is a good idea also. Are they crude also?

    • RLH, remember that it is ok to do crude filtering if you are a denialist, however, if you are a consensus climate scientist and you do this same filtering, you get crucified.

      When the denialist does crude filtering, he points out that the residual still could be natural variation.
      When the climate scientist does the same filtering, he compares the warming trend to what is predicted by CO2.
      The climate scientist has all the other evidence to back this up, but he gets crucified because skeptics say he is curve
      fitting.

    • And Zhang and Wang are which?

  53. H.von Storch (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-hans-von-storch-on-problems-with-climate-change-models-a-906721.html):
    “There are certainly still people who almost ritualistically cry, “Stop thief! Climate change is at fault!” “Unfortunately, some scientists behave like preachers, delivering sermons to people.” “Certainly the greatest mistake of climate researchers has been giving the impression that they are declaring the definitive truth.”

    A. Korhola , (http://www.helsinki.fi/news/archive/2-2010/15-16-18-33):
    “The mistakes demonstrate that IPCC has taken on too much when trying to cram the entirety of diverse climate research in one book and force it into consensus.
    “However, science develops all the time and reduction of scientific ambiguity is not realistic.

    Extreme weather events: storms, floods and hurricanes.

    T. Knutson (2012, http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/cms-filesystem-action/user_files/gav/publications/ksvgzkbthv_12_zetac.pdf):
    “… intensity [hurricanes] projected for the Atlantic basin showed relatively small changes in some studies, ranging even to negative values for some individual models that were analyzed …”

    Why?

    Increased energy in the atmosphere and sea surface, whether a decrease of temperature and pressure gradients?

    What will be stronger (the latter reduces all extreme events – not just hurricanes and floods) as a result of warming?

    Dezileau et al., 2011. (http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00617525/): “… increase in intense storms around 250 years ago occurs during the latter half of the Little Ice Age, a time of lower continental surface temperatures.” “The apparent increase of the superstorm activity during the latter half of the Little Ice Age was probably due to the thermal gradient increase …”

    Trouet et al., 2012. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092181811100155X):
    “Such an increase in cyclone intensity could have resulted from the steepening of the meridional temperature gradient as the poles cooled more strongly than the Tropics from the MCA into the LIA.”

    Donnelly et al., 2006. (http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm06/fm06-sessions/fm06_U51C.html):
    “However, given the increase in intense tropical cyclone landfalls during the later half of the LIA, tropical SSTs as warm as present are apparently not a requisite condition for increased intense …”

    Storminess Of The Little Ice Age (06.02.14) (http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/storminess-of-the-little-ice-age/):
    “HH Lamb comes to similar conclusions, “ there was a greater intensity, and a greater frequency, of intense storm development during the Little Ice Age” …” “It is worth noting, however, that increased storm activity during the LIA was not restricted to northwestern Europe, but was also recorded further south along the Atlantic coast (sic) in The Netherlands (Jelgersma et al., 1995) and northern (Sorrel et al., 2009) and southwestern France (Clarke et al., 2002).”

    Shah-Hossein et al. (23.12.2013, http://www.schweizerbart.de/papers/zfg_suppl/detail/57/81545/Coastal_boulders_in_Martigues_French_Mediterranean_evidence_for_extreme_storm_waves_during_the_Little_Ice_Age ):
    “The boulders occur up to 100 m [!] inland from the present shoreline [!] …” “Dating of the boulders shows age ranges that correspond to the Little Ice Age (LIA), thus suggesting a relationship between their deposition and the high storm frequency that characterized the LIA.”

    Soelen (2012, http://hol.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/02/28/0959683611434226.abstract): „Throughout the record, indications for storm activity can be recognized as coarser grained layers consisting of quartz sands or shell debris. These layers are rare during the mid Holocene [warm period], but between 3.2 and 2 kyr BP [cool period], their numbers increase, suggesting an increase in tropical cyclone activity in the Gulf of Mexico.”

    Of course these are regional data, not global, but …

  54. I never thought the day would come when my own backyard would be the focus of a post on this excellent blog but at least it gives me an excuse to add my 10p worth.

    I think comparing this winter with 29/30 is missing the point (from an IMBY perspective). In 2007 we were told by many experts that the floods we suffered then were a 1 in 100 year event (part of the natural variability of the UK weather). Now we’ve had at least three such events in the space of seven years. At what point does this become statistically significant and an indicator of a change in our climate? Did similar regular events occur in the late twenties/early thirties?

    To me, what appears to be happening here in the ‘we don’t have a climate, just weather’ UK is that our weather is increasingly getting stuck in ruts (until a few years ago you never head mention of the jet stream in our weather forecasts, now it’s blamed for everything). We appear to be getting longer periods and more extreme variations of dry, cold, hot, wet, windy weather etc – rather than the more regular variability for which our weather is known. Julia Slingo might appear to have contradicted herself about cold/dry warm/wet winters but actual experience here indicates both outcomes to be true – my young kids are baffled as to why they haven’t seen any snow this winter, such have periods of cold weather also become regular features once again in recent winters in my location.

    Here in this small corner of the UK the weather does seem to be changing and I suggest the climate too, as to what is causing this I’ll continue reading this blog for insight. In the meantime I imagine, and indeed hope, it will be a while before Somerset gets a mention again…

  55. There has been no net warming for 16 years and the earth entered a cooling trend in about 2003 which will last for at least 20 years and perhaps for hundreds of years beyond that.
    The current weather patterns in the UK and USA are typical of those developed by the more meridional path of the jet stream on a cooling earth. The Fagan book “The Little Ice Age ” is an excellent guide as to what we might expect.
    The Met office’s publicity in this matter simply reveals their continued refusal to recognize and admit the total failure of their climate models in the face of the empirical data of the last 15 years. It is time for the climate community to move to another approach based on pattern recognition in the temperature and driver data and also on the recognition of the different frequencies of different regional weather patterns on a cooling ( more meridional jet stream ) and warming (more latitudinal jet stream ) world.
    For forecasts of the coming cooling based on the 60 year (PDO) and the 1000 year quasi-periodicities seen in the temperature data and the neutron count as a proxy for solar activity in general see several posts at
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    For a review of a 3 year update of a 30 year forecast see
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/07/skillful-so-far-thirty-year-climate.html
    For an estimate of future NH temperature trends see the latest post at
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

  56. Some pretty good advice from George Monbiot on the UK floods:

    “If you want to stop rivers from ruining people’s lives, you should engage with the kind of issues that Paterson hinted at. That means, broadly speaking, the following:

    – more trees and bogs in the uplands
    – reconnecting rivers with their floodplains in places where it is safe to flood (and paying farmers to store water on their fields while the danger passes)
    – making those floodplains rougher by planting trees and other deep vegetation to help hold back the water
    – lowering the banks and de-canalising the upper reaches, allowing rivers once more to create meanders and braids and oxbow lakes. These trap the load they carry and sap much of their destructive energy.”

    http://www.monbiot.com/2014/01/30/dredged-up/

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