Hearing on climate change & extreme weather

by Judith Curry

On Tuesday June 25, I will be testifying before the House Oversight and Reform Environmental Subcommittee in a Hearing on Recovery, Resilience and Readiness – Contending with Natural Disasters in the Wake of Climate Change.

The announcement for the Hearing is posted [here].  The Hearing starts at 2 pm EDT.  Based on previous Hearings from the Committee, live streaming should be available at the above link (also link to the written testimonies), and also a podcast for later viewing.

From the Hearing announcement:


  • The Subcommittee will examine federal, state, and local preparations for the 2019 hurricane and wildfire season and assess the status of recoveries from the Southern California wildfires of 2017-2018 and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in Houston, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
  • The hearing will also highlight the fundamental challenges that climate change poses to federal disaster preparedness and recovery, including the link between warmer global temperatures and more intense hurricane and wildfire seasons.


  • Due to climate change, “the number of hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 in strength has roughly doubled” since the 1970s and “there are no longer distinct wildfire ‘seasons’—there are just wildfires all the time.”
  • In March 2018, FEMA removed all references to “climate change” from its strategic plans for the next four years.
  • Nearly two years after Hurricane Maria and Irma, millions of Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still living in dire conditions.  For example, the island of Vieques, where approximately 9,000 Americans reside, had one main hospital that was destroyed by Maria, but the hospital has yet to be rebuilt.  Mental health problems have also increased dramatically as suicide crisis hotlines in Puerto Rico “reported a 246 percent increase in suicide attempts from November 2017 through January 2018, compared with the numbers from the same time last year.”
  • The Governmental Accountability Office’s (GAO) audits related to the 2017 natural disaster season uncovered logistical problems with resource distribution, lack of training of responders in local customs and traditions, and insufficient coordination and information sharing between federal agencies and non-governmental organizations such as the Red Cross and local community groups.

Note:  I did not see the BACKGROUND write up until Saturday (yesterday), where I spotted the ‘“the number of hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 in strength has roughly doubled” since the 1970s.  I did testify to this effect in 2006, when I testified before the same committee [link to my 2006 testimony].   I can already predict one of the questions that I will get asked in the Hearing.


Mr. Stephen Costello
Chief Recovery Officer, City of Houston

Mr. Wade Crowfoot
Secretary of Natural Resources, State of California

Mr. Christopher Currie
Director, Emergency Management, Disaster Recovery & DHS Management Issues, on behalf of U.S. Government Accountability Office

Dr. Judith Curry
President, Climate Forecast Applications Network

Dr. Daniel Kaniewski
Deputy Administrator for Resilience, Acting Deputy Administrator, on behalf of Federal Emergency Management Agency

Dr. Michael Mann
Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, Director, Earth System Science Center, on behalf of The Pennsylvania State University

Mr. Omar Marrero
Executive Director, Central Office of Recovery and Reconstruction of Puerto Rico

Adrienne Williams-Octablien
Director, Office of Disaster Recovery, on behalf of Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority

You can see that most of the witnesses are on the front lines of resilience and recovery from disasters.  And then there is moi and Michael Mann.


The list of Subcommittee members is [here].  Most of these names are unfamiliar to me.  Three of the Democratic members are from California.  Two of the members are associated with the Green New Deal:

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Rashida Tlaib

Often at these hearings, only a small subset of the members actually show up. This is never predictable (at least from where I sit).


On the day of the Hearing, my testimony and text of my verbal remarks will be posted in a blog post at 1:30 pm EDT on Jun 25.

Moderation note:  any off topic comments about witnesses or Committee members will be deleted.


85 responses to “Hearing on climate change & extreme weather

  1. From the beginning, even in AGW theory’s most alarming incarnation, the negative consequences of acting upon such fears far exceeded our faith in the messengers of the sweaty doomsday that awaits us all if we fail to heed the warnings of Western academics. In the end the catastrophe of responding to global warming fearmongering was averted by non-action, going back to when George Bush refused to Kyoto agreement.

  2. Curious George

    On paper, this hearing looks good. Congratulations to be included with such distinguished witnesses.

    You all seem to be expert witnesses, not eyewitnesses. An eyewitness has been there, has seen it, but does not understand it. An expert witness has not been there, has not seen it, but understands it. The Committee has not been there, has not seen it, does not understand it, but it will decide it.

  3. Adaptation is so important to the policy debate. The alarmists cannot fathom how the climate can be physically worse in the future but economically better because of improving technology.

    I saw this tweet from alarmist Andrew Dessler (May 10, 2019): “First, and most importantly, most people have no idea how bad the impacts of climate change could be. Our reliance on the stability of the climate is obscured by technology that mostly insulates our lives from it today.”

  4. Yes the background statement looks like scare mongering to me. Typically, politicians have to make things seem terrible so they can look like they are needed.

    • The way to control people is to scare them. Then they will give up their personal power over their own circumstances and all their money.

    • double sixsixman

      I can only wonder why Ms. Curry would travel from Georgia (I assume) to Washington DC, for the once in a lifetime “thrill” of being in the same room as Michael “hockey stick” Mann, and possibly Alexandria Occasionally Coherent ?

      A person doing that voluntarily would be a masochist, in my opinion.

      If people data mine for a decade with an unusually low number of US landfalling hurricanes — the 1970s — to claim we now have far more major hurricanes … and ignore the record lull of major hurricanes from 2005 to 2017, there is no hope for changing minds in Washington.

      A coming crisis, even the fictional coming climate change crisis, is an opportunity to ramp up federal government power to “save the planet for the children”.

      A fictional coming crisis, on the way since the 1970s, that never shows up, has nothing to do with real science.

      Ms. Curry, as a real scientist, what you know has nothing to do with the left wing politics of CO2 / climate change junk science scaremongering.

      You should not sit in the same room with liars and fools, like Michael Mann and AOC, respectively.

      More important:
      Who is paying for your transportation, room and board getting from Georgia (I assume) to “Warshington” ?

      If someone else is paying, could that be thrown in your face as taking a bribe to influence your testimony?

      If you are paying, please consider a better use of your money — give it to a trusted charity.

      Richard Greene
      Bingham Farms, Michigan

  5. Danley Wolfe

    Democrat House leaders talking point… “more extreme events happening due to climate change.” There is a lot of evidence this is not true. Should be an interesting meeting.

    • more extreme events happening due to climate change.

      Yep, and one molecule of CO2 in addition to ten thousand molecule did likely contribute that percent of the change. Get real people, you have been hoaxed, big time, this will be viewed as the stupidest time in world history. It already is for most of the people I talk to, every day. If you know me, you know I do talk to multiple people every day about climate change is real, it is natural, and we did not suddenly take charge with a trace of the atmosphere as a major control knob.

    • We are, many in the world are, replacing reliable, affordable, available, fossil and nuclear energy with, sometimes power from wind, sometimes power from solar, from really long transmission lines and limited use battery backup. This is a path to disaster. A storm, our enemies, a rock from space, anything, could take out major parts of this power grid and require months or years and huge cost to recover. A power grid control mistake is becoming more likely, and we know the older, more reliable grids have failed. CO2 is making everything we eat, grow better using water more efficiently and we are spending billions to suck it out of the air, that is not a good plan.

    • There is a lot of evidence this is not true. Should be an interesting meeting.

      Yes, but you do not hear the evidence that this is not true, it is trumped by every natural disaster, which will always have at least one item that is worse and that is what everyone sees on the news.

  6. I am wondering out loud to my self of course; what will be the general tenor of the committee? lecturing or listening?

    And my after thought: what is supposed to be the outcome of the committee’s hearings? A report? legislation? politicking, as in use for one’s own re-election?

    And Dr. Curry, I realize this only can be known until after your testimony, what would you like to see as an outcome?

  7. More human effort and more money has been spent on understanding and fixing the Climate than any project in history. Partly because more people are panicked about one topic than ever before.

    It is not the most important problem we might have. We might be blasted by a rock from space at any time. We could easily have a World War over the Climate Issues.

    There is more data available for understanding climate than anything that has ever been studied.

    There are only two reasons I can come up with as to why climate is not yet settled.

    One, there are huge profits in studying climate and huge profits in failed fixes for climate.

    Two, there are accepted, consensus, peer reviewed, truths about climate that are wrong.

    The only way to solve this problem is to throw out all the accepted, consensus, peer reviewed, truths about climate that might be wrong and use the best trusted data available to understand what is happening and to understand what has happened and come up with the correct truths.

    There is more data available and more taking of data than there has ever been about anything.
    Climate change is not chaos, everything happens for a reason. There is not one climate of the earth. Different regions have different factors that are important. Atmosphere, oceans, rivers mix the results from the different regions with other regions.
    I will list some accepted, consensus, peer reviewed, truths about climate that I believe are wrong.
    If any one is wrong, it makes any consensus theory wrong.
    One, fact left out. Thawing of huge amounts of ice does accomplish much cooling and a head of JPL climate group told me this: “cooling by thawing ice is not considered in climate theory or models”
    Two. Twenty thousand years ago was a time of max ice extent and max ice volume and max ice sheet thickness. That is not true, it was max ice extent, but it was not max ice volume and thickness. Study of modern glaciers and ice sheets show that the ice spreads and thins and then retreats. Nothing suddenly changed the thawing rate of the ice sheets, ice sheets just finally ran out of enough ice. Much melt water is trapped and released in surges that do show in the data. Some enters the oceans and gets transferred by evaporation and snowfall to cold sequestered ice in polar regions and high mountains.
    Three. Dust does not suddenly cause the ice sheets to thaw, the last layer has the most dust because after the ice is gone, only the dust is left. Look at modern ice sheets and glaciers, there are layers of dark and cleaner ice.
    Four. It does not need to get cold to start ice ages. Ice ages are NH controlled events. Enough warm tropical water must circulate in the Arctic to get the multi-year ice started on the NH continents, then it does get colder because the ice extent causes colder. Colder does correlate with the start of the ice sheet, but the ice causes the colder. Warm Milankovich Cycles do more to start the ice ages than cold Cycles, the energy for thawing Arctic sea ice comes from the Gulf Stream.
    Five. There is a global climate. That is wrong, there are regional climates with different factors and different timing of cycles. The ice cores from Greenland and Antarctic do not have temperatures and ice accumulation rates that always match. Parts of the earth are cooling while other parts are warming. A distributed CO2 would cause warming or cooling all over at the same time, that does not happen.

    Take the profit out of misunderstanding climate and study the data with no known truths other than knowledge of basic physics and math other sciences. Use the most trusted data to come up with correct trusted truths. We have more data than we have ever had to solve any problem in history.

    The King has not clothes on. One additional molecule of CO2 per ten thousand molecules has not warmed the earth. That is way beyond anything that most reasonable people believe, talk to people who will not lose their job if they go against consensus. Or, talk privately with some of those who could lose their job. Talk to Dr Neil Frank. Talk privately to weather forecasters who are making their forecasts without mentioning man-made climate change.

    Yes, Climate has changed, not outside of historic bounds, and not from a new cause. Study and understand the natural causes and natural internal response of the climate system. CO2 is a one in ten thousand player. Water in all of its states, is king of climate regulation and it is self correcting. There is more evaporation and snowfall in warmer times, like during this past fall, winter and spring, that causes bounds to placed on any warming from any cause.

  8. Roger Knights

    “there are no longer distinct wildfire ‘seasons’—there are just wildfires all the time.”

    Within the past week there was a comment near the top of a WUWT thread by Willis (IIRC) along with a graph showing that this is the result of an increase in manmade fires. E.g., escaped trash-burning fires and fireworks-related fires. I assume this in turn is related to more houses being built in or near forested areas.

  9. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  10. Best Wishes. It is hard to keep everybody’s mind alert to evidence.

  11. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Does the committee know what are the real problems?
    “Most people stepping onboard an airplane have no idea they are about to encounter cosmic rays–much less do they know what the dose rate might be.”
    Are radiation counters placed in planes? Due to the decrease in solar activity, ionizing radiation increases at an altitude of around 10 km. In contrast to the strong explosions on the Sun, GCR radiation at this altitude is always present.
    “Why are cosmic rays intensifying? The main reason is the sun. Solar storm clouds such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) sweep aside cosmic rays when they pass by Earth. During Solar Maximum, CMEs are abundant and cosmic rays are held at bay. Now, however, the solar cycle is swinging toward Solar Minimum, allowing cosmic rays to return. Another reason could be the weakening of Earth’s magnetic field, which helps protect us from deep-space radiation.”

    • “Most people stepping onboard an airplane have no idea they are about to encounter cosmic rays–much less do they know what the dose rate might be.”

      They also do not know that the exposure may be more likely to improve their health than harm it. The zero threshold for harm from any problem is a total lie. Many exposures help you below some level that starts to cause harm. Consensus theory does not acknowledge actual science and data.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        The degree of threat depends on the annual dose. The threat is high for aircraft crews who often travel close to the Arctic Circle. It is certainly a threat to a pregnant woman.

      • That is correct, popes. It’s called radiation hormesis, and it’s detectable from zero to 8 mSv/y (0.8 rad) exposure, in humans and in lab animals. When they investigated the increased cancer rate in airline pilots they discovered it was correlated with the time spent suntanning on the beach during layovers.

    • In addition, if Daenerys is somewhat paranoid, every time that Jon refuses her physical love, it doesn’t only hurt her (she never loved someone who didn’t love her), but it also screams to her “I am Aegon VI”. If Jon were truly forgetting his heritage, he wouldn’t have a problem, so if he has a problem, it means he is not denying his heritage, and hence, his claim (from her point of view).
      But with a Hand who’s supposed to be clever and made so many mistakes, I would also question the loyalty of my vassals. Especially in the context of the families (Tyrion to Jaime/Cersei, Jon to Sansa/Arya), which makes it more sad, I think, that Daenerys can’t step over her sense of entitlement to acknowledge that Jon is a Targaryen too, because then she wouldn’t not be the only one. However, I think that after eight seasons she feels so unique by being the last Targaryen, that she cannot let this pass anymore. But if she wants to be unique, she can’t complain that she is lonely (as in the feast).

  12. Ireneusz Palmowski

    “SPACE WEATHER BALLOON DATA: Approximately once a week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus fly space weather balloons to the stratosphere over California. These balloons are equipped with radiation sensors that detect cosmic rays, a surprisingly “down to Earth” form of space weather. Cosmic rays can seed clouds, trigger lightning, and penetrate commercial airplanes. Furthermore, there are studies ( #1, #2, #3, #4) linking cosmic rays with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the general population. Our latest measurements show that cosmic rays are intensifying, with an increase of more than 18% since 2015:”

    • I compare Dany to Arya in this episode. Arya, murder teen extraordinaire, chose life. She, in the moment she had waited years for, chose to go another path. It was no coincidence that Cersei ended up alone on the stairs, and, if, and only if Arya had chosen vengeance instead of life would we have gotten the violent gruesome death everyone seems so disappointed to not have witnessed. Instead, Arya is alive and Cersei is still dead. I’m fine with it. Dany was always going to be the Mad Fire Breathing Queen. We can and will argue over how deftly or clumsily the writers got her there, but it is a moot point.

  13. I’m surprised at the small number of subcommittee members.

  14. Look forward to it (except I’m scheduled for Jury Duty).

    So, if Ex TS Sandy comes up – how about mentioning the 1938 Cat 3 that hit Long Island, then RI, Connecticut. 600-800 perished. https://www.weather.gov/okx/1938HurricaneHome

    And if Harvey comes up – in 1979, TS Claudette dropped 43 inches of rain on Alvin,Texas [Houston] in 24 hours – 24 hr record that, I believe, still stands for the CONUS.
    Also, in 1978, another Texas TS, Amelia, dropped some 48 in of rain.

    I’d go with Chris Landsea on Harvey. https://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/harvey-global-warming.pdf

    Could also note that “Houston is sinking [subsiding] . . .” as much as 10 feet since 1891 and 2009.
    Image here: https://images1.houstonpress.com/imager/u/blog/8528458/houstonsubsidence2013web.jpg

    Good luck Dr Curry

  15. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The increase in ionization in the stratosphere results in an increase in geopotential above the polar circle.

    • Thank you, Patrick for this well thought out article! It speaks to why I was not quick to call Daenerys “mad” last week, despite there being a “Mad Queen” featurette. My own rationalisation was because she was not mad in the literal sense, as Aerys was. She was villainous and ruthless, most definitely, but she was lucid in her decision to kill civilians (which is arguably scarier). But imagine if Tywin had dragons? I would expect he would do something similar. I also appreciate you using the term “civilians” rather than innocents. Yes, the innocents were featured in “The Bells” but not every person in KL was innocent. Although, that doesn’t make what she did OK.

      “She could have accepted the surrender of the city; she could have just targeted the Red Keep to kill Cersei.”

      Dany targeting the Red Keep is exactly what I thought she would do so I was quite surprised when she started burning everything down haha. So I hope the why of it all will be further explored in the finale. I honestly don’t know what’s next for her. Death is an obvious thing. Will she be killed, will she be exiled (As you posed for Cersei last year), or is her villainy and ruthlessness a way to unite Westeros via fear á la Zhang Yimou’s Hero. My only wish for the end is that no one person rules and that the Iron Throne is destroyed. I’m keeping my wishes simple.

  16. “Hearing on Recovery, Resilience and Readiness – Contending with Natural Disasters in the Wake of Climate Change.”

    The rational emphasis should be on recovery, resilience and readiness rather than climate change. The last thing that is needed there is yet more quibbling about whether inevitable extremes are natural or anthropogenic.

    Climate change is perpetual – and by the nature of complex and dynamic systems is driven by multiple interacting feedbacks when pushed past a threshold. At a pace and to an extent determined by internal Earth system mechanisms. On a millennial scale – Hurst dynamics based on Nile River data – linked to ocean circulation dynamics – suggest that extremes in flood or drought are larger over longer periods. In fractal geometry the Hurst exponent is a measure of the system tendency to revert to the mean or to cluster in regimes – mild or wild. The Earth system is wild as Wally Broecker observed.

    Science is not yet capable of distinguishing an anthropogenic component in climate extremes.
    And is not even close to predicting what system state changes can emerge from the atmospheric experiment.

    • afonzarelli

      The rational emphasis should be on recovery, resilience and readiness rather than climate change. The last thing that is needed there is yet more quibbling about whether inevitable extremes are natural or anthropogenic.

      Rational discourse is the last thing that the alinsky left is interested in. Somewhere along the line the dems got it into their heads to adopt stupidity as a political philosophy. This happened concurrently with major demographic changes here in the U.S., so they thought that their new found love of stupidity was the cause of their success. (this reminiscent of the warner brothers cartoon where a cat is shadowed by a panther let loose from the zoo who wins all his fights for him) One would think that with the thrashing that the democrats took during the obama years that they would have learned their lesson. But, it looks like there is no putting the alinsky genie back in the bottle in favor of a return to classic liberalism. We can only hope and wait for that day…

      • Disaster management is about practical forward planning and resilience and recovery depend on economic strength. There’s your classic liberal narrative.

  17. I do wish Judith Curry well on this and admire her courage. She will be facing a host of dubious questions in attempts to trip her up and probably have to deal with a lot subsequent harrassment.
    The Green machine is ruthless and sinister.
    Can’t comment on the balance within the participants but suspect the Greens will have put their oars in on this. We can but see.

  18. Judith
    Try to be as direct and forceful in your testimony as you have become in your written analysis.
    The stated purpose:
    “The hearing will also highlight the fundamental challenges that climate change poses to federal disaster preparedness and recovery, including the link between warmer global temperatures and more intense hurricane and wildfire seasons.”

    The point should be made that the premise is not necessarily true.

    • Following on Rob’s point, Judith, I know you have your hands full but Mann always comes loaded for bear, including personal attacks. I encourage you to prepare counters to Mann’s attacks even if you hope not to have to use them. I don’t know how the guy has the nerve to attack anyone after being caught using contaminated proxies (that he also truncated) in order to chart a desired outcome and then defend the act by replacing the offending proxies of 1998 with upside down ones in 2008.

      Grid-hardening – Yes. Erosion control -Yes. Building codes – Yes. Continuation of alternative technology incentives – Yes. Green New Deal government takeover – No. Never, never never.

  19. Pingback: Hearing on climate change & extreme weather | Climate Etc. – Climate- Science

  20. Fear, hoax, crisis and ’tilting at windmills.’ – Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

    Fighting each windmill will make wonderful jobs and that is the logical end through this process. Ticket on the next train to Mars please…

  21. Robert Sparrow

    I do not think anyone can deny that the issue of Climate Change is complex with many non linear relationships. As a young manager, I was taught to never, ever get into the details UNTIL you accept all the assumptions that have been made in a complex proposal. One of the major assumptions in the Climate Change argument is that there is a direct correlation between CO2 levels and Climate Change. I was educated as a scientist and worked on the bleeding edge of scientific research for 40 years and have looked for empirical evidence linking the two. So far I have found none. Until I do, I will remain a person who believes the verdict is ” not proven”

    • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

      Robert Sparrow – I applaud your commitment to the scientific method. For further support see John Christy 2019 Putting Climate Change Claims to the Test https://www.thegwpf.com/putting-climate-change-claims-to-the-test/

      When I grew up in the world of science, science was understood as a method of finding information. You would make a claim or a hypothesis, and then test that claim against independent data. If it failed, you rejected your claim and you went back and started over again. …
      Theoretical climate modelling is deficient for describing past variations. Climate models fail for past variations, where we already know the answer. They’ve failed hypothesis tests and that means they’re highly questionable for giving us accurate information about how the relatively tiny forcing, and that’s that little guy right there, will affect the climate of the future.

    • Steven Mosher

      ” One of the major assumptions in the Climate Change argument is that there is a direct correlation between CO2 levels and Climate Change.”

      Err no this is not an assumption.

      The theory is that Temperature is a function of ALL FORCING

      solar forcing
      H20 forcing
      C02 forcing
      CH4 forcing
      Black carbon forcing
      Land use change
      Aerosol forcing.

      The theory predicts ( does not assume) that IF you hold all forcings
      constant and Increase C02, then the planet will warm.
      But if c02 goes up and Aerosols go up, you will not see a direct correlation

      You got the assumptions wrong son!

  22. Dr Maue no doubt can provide accurate data, but the old eyeball says that the increase in hurricanes coincides with the satellite radar speed era. There has been much discussion that the speeds recorded are higher than recorded by instruments on the ground.; There were several posts on WUWT about this. And there is one here https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/hurricane-winds-landfall-why-it-they-seem-fall-short If there is an inflation, by changing the measurement method, then the counter is why haven’t the landfalling hurricanes or their intensity (ACE or any other measure) increased?
    The picture embedded in the linked document you reference doesn’t seem to show a hockey stick or even an up trend for the orange green line. It stops at 2015, yet there should be the 2016 data for that graph, or now, three more years of data.
    And was Sandy really the largest (implying the most destructive or intense) Atlantic hurricane on record, or just them manipulating words?

  23. Adam Gallon

    Are Chairs now categorised? In which case, where in the hierarchy does “Distinguished Professor” sit?

  24. HI Judith

    When looking at a thousand years of records in my database (much of it from the Met Office archives and from the UEA) it is extremely difficult to see that the weather events of the present are any worse than the weather events of the past. In fact it appears that we are living in a relatively benign weather regime at present. It also appears that the worst storms and the greatest amount of precipitation occurs during cold times not warm ones.

    A good contemporary note of three extended periods of weather can be seen in the accounts of Matthew Parris (backed up by medieval estate records by such as Titow) and the 1337 to 1344 weather diaries of the Rev Merle.-the oldest such accounts in the world and the rebuilding of Torre Abbey Devon.

    As Michael Mann will be there you might enjoy the weather records surrounding the late 1257 volcanic eruption he wrote of as being climate changing. Although 1258 itself was a terrible one, the effects seem short lived and can be seen in context of what went before and what went after, That is to say the weather was very mixed before and very mixed afterwards.

    Sorry its so long, hope you find it interesting if not directly relevant to your US centric hearing.

    Look to the past in preparing for the future
    1253 dry summer and wet autumn with in spring and summer a prolonged drought. Flooding in autumn which dried up after the feast of St Michael happened in spring (drought) contrary to the nature of the season, for at the time of the equinox with the whole weather moderate there is customarily peace in the elements
    Brooks and Glasspole believe 1252 and 1253 to be the driest of which we have any historical account; see Meteorological magazine 63 1928, page 4.

    1254 cold weather in Jan and feb ceasing on march 12th. ‘ Mathew Paris notes ‘also on this day march 12th the bitter frost ceased which had continued nearly the whole winter that is since the night of the circumcision. ‘

    Much north and easterly wind continually blowing in the spring for three months and several days which blasted the flowers and fruit about the calends of July namely in the time of the solstice quite suddenly inundations of rain broke forth with very violent hail of a kind not seen before which lasted for an hour or more breaking off tiles and parts of houses and stripping branches of trees.
    M Paris notes; Very unseasonable summer from the day of Ascencion to the feat of all saints hardy two or three serene days passed without continual disturbance of the air. (note; The Feast of the Ascension, celebrated on the 40th day of Easter -always a Thursday)

    In the autumn all the ground bounded by and in the neighbourhood of the sea which they had sown diligently was saturated by salt and found to be devoid of crops as the sea had occupied the land during the winter time

    1255 gales in feb and march. From the feast of St valentine (note 14th February) for a month a violent wind with heavy rains day and night both by land and sea caused unheard of disturbance.
    There was then very unsettled weather the north wind blowing nearly the whole spring which is very inimical to the flowers and sprouting trees. And through the whole of April neither shower nor dew moistened the dry earth or gave it any warmth. The air was parched by the blowing of the north and east wind.
    In this summer there was a drought due to the east winds continuing from mid march to the calends of June. (Note; first new moon around the 1st June-from the lunar Roman Calendar )

    Rain followed and on the third of the ides of july
    A great tempest of hail in the Trent valley marvellously beyond the ordinary, nothing like it had been seen before with widespread destruction of crops by floods of water in the valley of the Trent such as had not happened for a long time

    1255/6 a great gale and rain the whole winter from the feast of all saints (generally 1st November) until whitsun (Note; seventh Sunday after Easter-highly variable date, but generally in May or June) -this is likely to refer to nov 1st 1255 to june 4th 1256

    1256 severe thunderstorms july 25 gales on oct 5th and oct 26th which was unprecedented, overturned houses and shook down stones. Possibly duplicates a great storm from Oct 26th 1254
    Another thunderstorm on nov 16th and on dec 28th, this latter one was very severe with much flooding it was accompanied by a fierce whirlwind. ‘the thunder sounded a sad prophecy for it was in the middle of winter and the cold was more like that of February. Unsettled weather then lasted for three months.

    1257 from the first day of February until the first of may the whole of England was turned into a bog and a quagmire by the turbulent winds and the foul storms. (this description might refer to 1256)
    Excessive rains in summer with much flooding destruction and loss of hay.

    Another chronicler noted that before the octave of St Benedict there commenced such floods of rain that the earth was drowned, bridges houses and mills borne away, roads made impassable. Probably lasted until august as some crops were saved.
    (Note; The octave was either 21st March or possibly the variable feast day from 11th to 19tht July . In the context of the chronicle, rain seems likely to have commenced some time before the 19th of July )

    Mathew paris notes; the past year was sterile and meagre whatever was growing was choked by the floods of autumn for there was neither a temperate nor a serene day nor was even the surface of the lakes hardened up by the frost as is usual, nor were icicles hanging but there were continued inundations of rain until the purification of the blessed virgin

    1258 the serene air of autumn and its temperateness continued until the end of January so that nowhere and at no time was the surface of the water frozen up. But from that time to the end of march the north wind continually blew frost snow and intolerable cold prevailed the face of the earth was bound up cultivation was suspended ad young cattle were killed.
    The north wind blew continually, when April, May and the principal part of June had passed the flowers of plants had scarcely germinated.
    Great tempest of flooding rain, snow ice thunder and lightning on the 12th of June causing great flooding on the river seven around Bristol and Shrewsbury. Much loss of life. (Note; This might refer to 1259.)
    General scarcity and expense of wheat due to inundations of previous year. In 1258 autumn crops nearly rotted by autumn rain. Very late and tedious autumn on account of the continual and persistent rains.
    Matthew Paris notes; now this past year was very dissimilar to all previous years that is it was unhealthy and mortal stormy and exceedingly rainy so much so that although in summer time the harvest seemed promising by the time of autumn continual heavy rains choked the crops .
    Terrible thunderstorm on December 1st.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/09/26/1307520110 Mount Rinjani eruption probably May to Oct 1257

    1259 everything grew in moderate abundance and the dry weather presented an unexpected sufficiency.

    1260 great and prolonged summer drought so that barley and oats remained hidden in the ground even until autumn . However showers then caused germination but they didn’t ripen due to lack of warmth.
    Great thunderstorm on June 23.
    MP noted, in this summer great and enormous portents happened in the air so that some people said the last judgement was near. So many continuous thunderstorms that hardly anyone was bold enough to leave his house. (the London annals confirms these storms)

    During the Christmas period there was such continued fine weather and serenity of the air that one would have said that it was pleasant summer time rather than winter.

    1261 in February when spring was due there was 15 days of snow and ice that no one had seen for several years.
    Another commenter notes there was a bitter winter and another that for a month from St Nicholas day (Note; Generally December 6th) the Thames was frozen so men could pass on horseback.
    Note; The Met office editor notes that this freezing over of the Thames was the first time any writer had noted this. (since around the early 1200’s)

    —- —– ——
    From Torre Abbey “Climate change summary board; (Torquay Devon)

    “From 1370 the Abbey was altered to cope with a colder wetter climate. The thatched barn was re-roofed with slate . The cloister was rebuilt with steep roofs to take away the rain and narrow walks as it was now too cold to work in them . New fireplaces were added.”


    • Yes it all fits in the general pattern. But you have picked on the last two benign millennia. The RWP and the MWP were about 1/2deg below the Zero line of the Temp Anomaly. Fourth and third millennium were about 1/2 deg and a bit above. So ?????

      • I tend to only go by actual writings, records and where possible contemporary observations in order to develop CET further back than 1650. I also concentrate on Britain.

        Going further back in time reports are often based on superstition, legends or highly influenced by religion although we do have some Roman records and good evidenced based material from the bronze age.

        In general however they are not dense enough to obtain a detailed picture if we go back 3000 or more years.


      • I understand your point. However there are other pointers from around Britain, and particularly the Mediterranean, that are quite telling. They draw attention because all concentrate at particular dates.
        But I wholeheartedly agree with you on looking back in time further than a few decades.

      • To clarify
        my densest set of records go back to 1086-the Domesday book.

        Generally by then the wildest flights of imagination had been set aside or the ones influenced by religion are easy to spot. I could probably reconstruct CET back to that date in very very broad terms to supplement my current reconstruction of CET to 1548 although some periods are missing.

        There are many good records from elsewhere including those from the Byzantium empire which I hope to examine in greater detail one day.

        The Roman period especially round the Mediterranean which has been augmented by detailed digs of the ruins has lots of records

        My concern is that we look at climate in a much broader context rather than believing everything started in the satellite era.


      • Hi Tony, thanks much for posting these analyses

      • “rather than believing everything started in the satellite era”

        Remind me again who it was that tried to sell the gold-standard satellites?

      • climatereason, thank you for the reply. The info is very interesting, and seems to add an important factor of long-term weather variations in the understanding of history (at my end of the pond) that seem to explain much. Be it human interaction as seen in old notarial archives, periods of population depletion, hydrological works which tell of both extremely wet or dry extensive periods, or changing periods of abundance and hardship.
        But the more disturbing are the geological evidence of the third and fourth millennium bce, which from a purely scientific/geological perspective (and ignoring the old inherited dogmatic opinions) are of real concern. Important, the common factor which ultimately impacted society directly was the availability of food.

      • ‘But the more disturbing are the geological evidence of the third and fourth millennium bce, which from a purely scientific/geological perspective (and ignoring the old inherited dogmatic opinions) are of real concern’

        Of real concern, in what respect?


      • About 3200bce, gross tectonic upheaval. Earlier replica ~5200.
        The upheaval in the ancient civilisations at 3200 bce is being accepted by archaeology, however the connection to tectonic events is still a step too far, in spite of the evidence. Rather it is viewed as a taboo.
        3200bce is a well known date. The archeological evidence is there. The geological explanation is being forced into view, see https://ejournals.epublishing.ekt.gr/index.php/geosociety/article/viewFile/11826/11865 (see last three para). There are other ‘limiting assumptions’. (eg. What is the link between the abrupt drying of the Sahara in ~3550bce and the abrupt freezing of the Ice-man at the same time? -at a time of increasing warming).

    • Ulric Lyons

      Most of these extremes would not even exist without week by week indirect solar effects on atmospheric circulation patterns. These are the scales that the Sun drives climate changes.

      • Ulric,
        Any predictions on what the long term pattern of ozone cycles will look like? Is there really a feedback on the biosphere?
        “What we’re seeing is that ozone changes have shifted temperature and precipitation patterns in the southern hemisphere, and that’s altering where the algae in the ocean are, which is altering where the fish are, and where the walruses and seals are, so we’re seeing many changes in the food web”.
        Could be a good candidate for a geoengineering project!

      • Ulric Lyons

        There should be a solar variability component to Antarctic Oscillation anomalies and trends, but predicting it looks complicated compared to the AO/NAO. It looks like there are strong teleconnected influences, possibly ENSO. I don’t have a clear picture yet,

      • Thanks,
        The studies that I have seen on ozone seem to be focused on either on solar/cosmic effects or ozone density and size. It is widely believed that UV radiation can damage DNA and weakens cell metabolism.
        I suspect there must be many stressors affecting theses micro organisms but increased UV could emerge as a primary threat to algae metabolism and the dislocation of their habitats. It’s all connected.

  25. Ulric Lyons

    Weaker indirect solar drives a warm AMO phase, increasing Atlantic hurricane intensity. Hence the increase in hurricane intensity during the late 1800’s centennial solar minimum. Weaker indirect solar increases El Nino conditions, and increases southwest US rainfall, greatly boosting the undergrowth which becomes fuel for subsequent wildfires. Like with the huge 1879 southwest wildfires after the 1877-78 super El Nino.

    If rising CO2 projects onto natural variability, it should increase positive North Atlantic Oscillation conditions, driving colder AMO and ENSO phases, reducing Atlantic hurricane intensity and southwest wildfires.


  26. Judith Curry, if the goal of the hearing is to inform plans for the future, it might be worthwhile to remind the committee that the US is not even prepared for the extremes of the past 200 years, much less any CO2-induced warming. It makes little sense, to me at least, to sacrifice labor and material to reduce CO2 if we do not prepare for extremes of the pre-AGW era. Tropical Storm Sandy, to pick just one example, was not unprecedented: what use is it to act as though reducing CO2 can prevent future occurrences?

    I don’t think there are any true “no regrets” policies, but surely work to anticipate and alleviate repetitions of well-document past disasters is very close.

    • aporiac1960

      The same applies, but to a far greater extent, in developing nations. Storms of an intensity that cause single figure or tens of fatalities in the USA cause thousands or tens of thousands of fatalities in places like the Philippines – most of them unrelated to the storm impact itself, but occurring weeks or months later due to a complete breakdown of civil society. Far more could be done, and far more easily and cheaply, to dramatically reduce the adverse impacts of bad weather (however it is attributed) than could ever be achieved (even theoretically) by the most radical emissions reduction program.

      It seems to me that those who express the deepest humanitarian concern about potential future impacts of climate change are entirely uninterested in practical measures entirely within our grasp that could save many lives and much human suffering today. Perhaps being of a hypothetical bent, they only care about hypothetical, rather than actual people.

  27. On Dr. Curry’s testimony: why not keep it simple, so that those lay persons can grasp the matter, those who hear the testimony. Use graphs – we are visual.
    First show the global temperature chart over the last 100 years, like the one in Wikipedia, from NASA Goddard. Divide it into three phases, up to 1945, then to 1975, finally to the present. The division coincides with the abrupt changes leading into and out of the 30-year global cooling phase. Then, with an overlay of CO2 rise we can glean how much equivalent CO2 correlates to temperature change for each phase, picking an arbitrary 12 ppm delta number.
    Phase I: 12 ppm CO2 rise causes 0.5 deg C rise
    Phase II (cooling): 12 ppm equivalent causes 0.06 deg C drop
    Phase III: 12 ppm equivalent causes 0.16 deg C rise
    Result: An equal amount of CO2 rise in Phase III increases temperature only by one-third, as compared to Phase I. Plus, this Phase II temperature drop! Where is the linear, supposedly causal relationship between temperature and CO2? The audience needs to scratch its head over this one.
    Further, show the direct thermal measurements with atmospheric balloons (Christy), which give credence to real measured past; also display the tidal gage readings from Brest and Hawaii. The latter are totally linear without acceleration, in fact, the Hawaii data shows a slight deceleration trend. With these past measurements we can a project the next century sea level rise of 5 to 8 inches, not alarmingly 5 or 8 feet.
    No catastrophe, no tipping point in sight. We had 1.34 deg C rise over the last century – what past catastrophic events can anyone show us?

  28. Please point the politicians to raw temperature measurements. Tony Heller’s graphs have for years shown little or no general increase. No other data have impressed me as credible–especially since the spurious ban on good freon. Much of the other data strike me as inconsistent and highly suspicious pretexts for “emergency” coercion.

  29. AGW has empirical and replicated proof. Additional energy is retained working its way through a chaotic planetary system. Extreme internal variability shows how prone to change it is.


    No regrets is defined as actions that make sense even if it weren’t. Energy innovation, production efficiency, pollutant reduction, restoration of agricultural soils, coasts, wetlands, savanna and forest.

    • Robert I Ellison: No regrets is defined as actions that make sense even if it weren’t.

      Robbie, surely you understand that the existence of a definition does not guarantee existence of the stuff named in the definition. Energy innovation? Probably. Redoubling investment in fusion, maybe not so much “no regrets”. Deforesting Indonesia to grow high oil-yielding palm trees? I think that is much to regret.

      • The bit where it ‘makes sense’ seems to perennially evade you.

      • Steven Mosher

        good one

      • Robert I Ellison: The bit where it ‘makes sense’ seems to perennially evade you.

        There you go again, Robbie. You always mistake disagreement for misunderstanding.

      • Robbie

        It looks as though Climate, etc has finally corrupted MM’s good character. (welcome to the club, Mattie… ☺️) Thus far the economic benefit of green energy has surely been a no regrets policy. If we compare this decade’s energy prices here in the U.S. with those in last decade, we see a stark difference. Both decades saw economic growth for the greater part of each decade. Increases of both gasoline prices and electricity prices are note worthy a decade ago. This decade, both gasoline and electricity have essentially flatlined. (in no small part due to the push for green energy; cheaper energy on the whole) This is currently holding inflation down which in turn has kept interest rates low, stimulating unprecedented economic growth. And, of course, where the U.S. economy goes the rest of the world inevitably follows. So rather than shying away from the green revolution, perhaps we should embrace it. (or at the very least embrace it in such away that it truely remains no regrets)…

  30. Pingback: Hearing on climate change & extreme weather | Watts Up With That?

  31. I often wonder if Congresspeople even bother to look at the data the government provides. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tropical-cyclones/201813

  32. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The big drop in temperature on the equatorial Atlantic is not conducive to the formation of hurricanes.

  33. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Bad forecast for central US. Jet 500 hPa will fall again over California.

  34. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Further temperature drop in the eastern tropical Pacific. There are still no hurricanes.

  35. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The average anomaly of sea surface temperature in the southern hemisphere is now -0.1 degree in relation to the average from 1971-2000.

  36. IP
    I’m a supporter of series 8 as is – it was a good and fitting finale. In an odd way, the fact that folks protested the Dany nemesis ending – proves that it was right. How so? The clues were always there that demons lurked within the dragon queen. Her hypnotic appeal brought many characters under its spell, and many viewers. We forgave her the violent excesses because her ideology seemed so pure and righteous. And that’s exactly the point. The Dany manifesto was so compelling that millions of us were drawn in. The road to hell was paved with good intentions. Many saw a social justice warrior and were willing to allow or forgive her anything.

    But not Varys, or Tyrion, or Jon Snow. And neither, in fact, Jaime Lannister. The entire series began and ended with the Jaime Lannister conundrum. He was the king-slayer, right? He suffered under that stigma, which became a bitter root that produced a corrosive cynicism in Jaime (“the things we do for love”). And yet we discover that he killed the Targaryen king only to avert destruction of Kings Landing by fire. Ironically Jaime dies when the holocaust he had prevented by his regicide is fulfilled by Dany Targaryen, and unlike Jaime, Jon Snow is too late in betraying loyalty to a monarch to avert disaster.

    Series 8 episodes such as the battle with the dead at Winterfell are outstanding epics rivalling anything in Lord of the Rings. The effective use of darkness, cloud and confusion add to a bone-chilling atmosphere. The series feints at certain end scenes which never unfold (we all know that Arya is going to kill Cersei, right?), and thus escapes predictability and serves up rewarding surprises right to the end. The deaths of Cersei and Jaime, alone, consummated their mutual retreat from a world that had damaged them beyond repair. GOT is a brilliantly moving and illuminating drama poignantly illucidating the human condition: series 8 was the right ending as well as spectacular filmcraft.