Sunday, March 31, 2013
The Meme Goes On, and the Meme Goes On
No intelligent person doubts the climate changes. We know that in the past 3 million years there have been a regular series of at least 22 ice ages, each usually lasting 100,000 years, punctuated by interglacial periods usually lasting about 10,000 years. The difference in average global temperatures between these two periods is about 15 to 20 degrees C. The ice ages have nothing whatever to do with CO2 as a cause but result from slight changes in the tilt of the earth in relation to an eccentric orbit around the Sun.
So "climate change" did not serve the purpose of alarming people as change is normal, and not necessarily scary or for the worse. So a few new memes (Climate Disruption, Climate Weirding or Global Weirding) were tried but they failed to take root, so far. Thus the new one: Extreme Weather. Now the alarmist anthropogenic global warming true believers are trying to sell the notion that anthropogenic CO2 is causing more Extreme Weather.
Witness this recent piece by Eugene Linden (BA, Yale, unknown year) in which Mr. Linden states:
Given the lag in the climate system, the extreme floods, droughts, storms, storm surges, and tornado swarms are partly a response to greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere of past years that we have since exceeded.[...]
The most unsettling thing about the accelerating pace of extreme weather events is that they may signal that even as the momentum in the rise of CO2 makes it difficult to reverse the cause of climate change, we are entering a new period in which change itself comes ever more rapidly.
Most importantly, we need leaders with the courage to steamroll the deniers and the vested interests. After a very short respite greenhouse gas emissions are getting worse....The journal Science just published a reconstruction of past climate that showed that current temperatures are the highest in 4,000 years. Still, this won’t convince the deniers – nothing will – ...
So, for the true believers, Extreme Weather events getting worse and more frequent because of anthropogenic CO2 is the new consensus, the new truth we knuckle dragging deniers refuse to see. Oh, and Extreme Weather change is supposedly accelerating. OK, let's look at some charts regarding the very events Mr. Linden said were examples of the supposedly increasing Extreme Weather: floods, droughts, storms, storm surges, and tornado swarms ( I have to wonder why swarms and not individual tornadoes).
What we expect to see in the charts, if indeed these events are increasing in number and severity, is one of these colored lines, and for accelerating change we expect growth like the green line.
Let's see if this is shown in charts for drought:
It seems that droughts in the 30s and 50s were far worse in severity and lasted longer. There is no evidence of growth of any sort in the number and severity of droughts in America, much less an accelerating exponential growth. Hmmm? Maybe Hurricanes and Typhoons
It seems that both world wide (top line) and in the northern hemisphere (bottom line) there is no increase in the accumulated cyclonic energy which one would think would be a measure of storm size and power. This is just for 40 years however. Hmmm? How about really bad, dangerous tornadoes in the US?
No, the trend is down in the last 50 years. Now to be fair, there are charts out there which show a growth in the number of all categories of tornadoes, but that is largely the result of greater detection with radar and not because there are more than there used to be. If the weather is more extreme and accelerating then the big tornadoes should be increasing exponentially. They are not. Hmmm? How about floods.
Well, there's bad news on that front as there are no charts at all on flood incidence either in the US or world wide. I did find some studies which say regional downward trends in flooding exceed upward trends by 3 to 1 ratio, and there is no upward trend in river flooding in Africa in the past 100 years. So what scientists are saying there are more and worse floods and they are definitely caused by anthropogenic global warming? Google has let me down. All the true believers seem to have to support this claim is that floods are causing more damage. Yeah, and houses cost more and there are more in flood plains and on the coast line than there used to be. How are a higher insurance pay-outs evidence of more extreme floods caused by anthropogenic CO2?
I have also found studies which say: 1) Here we report results on those parameters of which we have had experience during the last few years: Global surface temperature, Cloud Cover and the MODIS Liquid Cloud Fraction. In no case we have found indications that fluctuations of these parameters have increased with time; 2)Here...the long-term trends of indices representing the North Atlantic Oscillation, the tropical Pacific Walker Circulation, and the Pacific–North American pattern are weak or non-existent over the full period of record. The long-term trends of zonally averaged precipitation minus evaporation also differ in character from those in climate model simulations of the twentieth century.
I know it is dry stuff to have to support what you say with actual science, but it would be so helpful if the non scientists writing this stuff would do the 30 minutes of Googling I have done to support my position.