Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Heat is On in New York City

Sou | 5:17 AM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment

Update: Click to jump down to some of the comments from the freaks freaking out.

But Anthony Watts sez "scientists don't know nuffin'"

There is yet another "scientists don't know nuffin'" article from Anthony Watts on WUWT. (See the fallacy of personal incredulity.)

He quotes New York's Daily News:
CLIMATE CHANGE is real — and it could turn the city into a flood-prone danger zone with summers as sweltering as the deep South’s in the not-too-distant future, according to an expert panel of scientists.
The panel, which Mayor Bloomberg tasked with studying weather patterns in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, predicts the greatest threats to Gotham will be catastrophic heat waves and frequent bouts of heavy rains for days on end.
The bad weather patterns should kick in as early as 2020, according to the findings released on Monday.
In that year, the city will see an average temperature of 57 degrees — up from the current 54 — and 10% more rainfall. 
Read more

Anthony's headline reads: Bloomberg’s Climate Fantasy and he writes:
The data doesn’t support him. The temperature rise seems to have slowed in the past few years...
"Doesn't support him?".  From what I can see, the scientific panel is co-chaired by Cynthia Rosenzweig and my guess is she's a woman.  (Anthony regards women as "emotionally based lifeforms".)

Anyway, Anthony's decided the temperature rise "seems to have slowed" therefore the scientists are wrong about 2020 average temperatures being 57° Fahrenheit.  But then, as if in contradiction of himself, he puts up a chart of Central Park data that shows that last year, the annual temperatures topped the 57° F predicted in the article, with a record value of 57.3° Fahrenheit.  Since 1990 there have been four years where the average topped 57° Fahrenheit and eight years where it was higher than 56° Fahrenheit, including the past three years.

Here is a gif animation of the Central Park temperature trends for summer, winter and the full year. (Click to enlarge.)

Source: NOAA
Anthony also puts up charts showing the seas are rising and says:
Will the Sea level go up a foot by 2020? Doubtful....Based on current NOAA data, it will take over 100 years to gain a foot of sea level rise.  And, it really is easy to get freaked out if you don’t pay attention to anything but hype
Anthony's main concern seems to be "freaking out".  More on that below.

Meanwhile, is there likely to be a one foot rise in sea level by 2020? Most probably not.  The Daily News appears to be in error on that one - by an inch or more and maybe a few years to later in the 2020s.  Here is what the New York Times says about the findings of the New York City Panel on Climate Change:
In 2009, it projected that sea levels would rise by two to five inches by the 2020s. Now, the panel estimates that the sea levels will rise four to eight inches by that time, with a high-end figure of 11 inches. Between 1900 and 2013, sea levels in New York City rose about a foot, administration officials said.
“It will not take another 100 years to get another foot,” said Caswell F. Holloway IV, a deputy mayor.
Not long to wait.  The report itself should be out by the end of the month and it's less than seven years till 2020.  I wonder if Anthony Watts will still be in denial and personally incredulous about any and all science. I wonder what I'll be doing.

Who to believe?

Here is the pre-Sandy report from 2009.  If you want to compare the panel members' credentials with those of Anthony Watts, then the inside cover lists the names.  Current panel members may be different but even if so there is likely to be the same spread of expertise:
  • Cynthia Rosenzweig (co-chair) - NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies/Columbia University Earth Institute Center for Climate Systems Research (Columbia EI CCSR)
  • William Solecki (co-chair)- CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College (CUNY CISC)
  • Reginald Blake - CUNY, New York City College of Technology
  • Malcolm Bowman- SUNY, Stony Brook
  • Andrew Castaldi - Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation
  • Craig Faris - Oliver Wyman
  • Vivien Gornitz - NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Klaus Jacob - Columbia Earth Institute
  • Alice LeBlanc - American International Group (AIG)
  • Robin Leichenko - Rutgers University
  • Edna Sussman - SussmanADR, LCC
  • Gary Yohe - Wesleyan University
  • Rae Zimmerman - New York University
Then there is the Science Panel Team.

On Freaking Out

Anthony needs to calm his readers who really, really hate being "freaked out".  "Freaking out" is what causes the conservative brain to explode.  Do you really want exploding brains all over the place?  No?  Then  think what a public service people like Anthony Watts are providing.  By filling his readers' brains with disinformation he is probably preventing a fair number of brain explosions - though he may just  be shifting the occurrence from the 8% to the 92%.

Whether his readers will take any notice of this with regard to their investments is a good question.

Freak Quotes

Paul Burtwistle. says:
June 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm  I noticed that the Sydney Morning Herlad ran the Bloomberg story yesterday. Its amazing that they don’t publish skeptic articles that are basred on real scientific data and good scientific process yet print rubbish like this that has no base in reality.

MattN says:
June 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm  Love how they use a wonderfully sited thermometer above an asphalt parking lot to say “see what we have to look forward to?” I went through the last several years of official Central Park temperature records for June-August and can’t find anything close to 108F.
Here you go, Matt.  It's not Central Park, but it's close enough.

Jimbo indulges in conspiracy ideation of the nefarious intent type and says:
June 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm  Does Mike Bloomberg have a stake in alternative energy companies? Does his business?

chris y is probably spot on when he says this, but not in the way I think he means:
June 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm  ...Every passing year will only make these predictions worse than we think today.
I suspect RHS doesn't understand Mother Nature's response to extra CO2 when he writes:
June 11, 2013 at 11:58 am  Bloomberg vs. Mother Nature. My money’s on Mother Nature.

cotwome is a bit weird when he says this.  I guess he's never heard of Google:
June 11, 2013 at 11:18 am  Are we going to find out any names of the ‘expert panel of scientists’? Are we going to get any information on how they came to all the conclusions they came too? Its amazing all the people at the nydailynews.com and twitter that believe all this; with no names, no data, no debate, no way to judge for themselves, they just believe it!
What happened to ‘think for yourself question authority’?

And that's less than 10% of of the freak-outs.


  1. But maybe the warming in Central Park is due to the UHI effect! Have you checked whether there is a lot of new asphalt or tarmac there? Air conditioners? Barbecues? Tin foil?

    1. Ha ha - I'm surprised Anthony didn't blame the rising seas on UHI :)

  2. Maybe Willard found tennis courts and a barrel used to burn rubbish near the weather station in Central Park. I would go to his science fiction blog and ask the college drop-out, but the chubby ex weather reader banned me from WUWT.


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