Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Extreme weather denial at WUWT

Sou | 4:54 PM Go to the first of 53 comments. Add a comment
The weather is not being kind to deniers. Just this week there have been record-breaking rains in the USA, where eleven people have reportedly lost their lives.  And in Europe, where seventeen people are reported to have been killed. Not just record-breaking, but record-smashing rains.  And in the past month there was also the incredible record rain in Japan. And the numerous records being set for tropical cyclones and hurricanes.  It's as if the earth is getting sick of us ignoring the signs and has stepped up the pace of climate change.

All this while last year and this year are the two hottest years on record so far. Put all that together with the UN meeting in Paris and you can understand why deniers are losing it.

Anthony Watts has realised that he cannot ignore the rain in the USA, but he's claiming it's just weather (archived here). Which is very inconsistent of him, because he has a record of lying to his readers that extreme events aren't getting more extreme as global warming kicks in. He's also telling lies about the extremely hot waters that the winds blew over, which is part of the reason for the record-smashing rain events. Anthony's telling quite blatant lies now. He seems to not care that he has not a shred of credibility left. (You'll recall that just a few days ago he was also telling his readers that the greenhouse effect isn't real.)

Where does Anthony Watts think the water came from? Outer space?

The weird thing about all this is that Anthony is telling fibs and claiming that seas aren't any warmer. So how does he explain the hot seas fuelling the hurricane and rain event? One of the main reasons the weather has been so extreme is because it's been fueled by extremely hot seas, with some parts being the hottest on record.

He's also arguing that there isn't extra water in the atmosphere. So tell me, where does he think all that rain came from? Outer space? Anthony put up a chart from Figure 4 c of a 2012 paper but neglected to mention that the authors stated: "The results of Figs. 1 and 4 have not been subjected to detailed global or regional trend analyses, which will be a topic for a forthcoming paper. Such analyses must account for the changes in satellite sampling discussed in the supplement. Therefore, at this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data."

I'm a bit pressed for time. So I'll just let you know that where I live there are also records being smashed. We've suddenly gone from winter to summer. It's the hottest on record for this time of the year. 35C plus and it's still early springtime. Because of the unseasonally hot weather and the northerly winds, the fires have started up early and with a vengeance.

Anthony Watts - the AGU15 Poster Boy!

One more thing. I don't know why, but Anthony announced on Twitter that he's "presenting" at AGU15. I expect he means that he's doing a poster session there in a few weeks time. I came across his topic when looking for something else. The topic is, of course, US temperature records.
Comparison of Temperature Trends Using an Unperturbed Subset of The U.S. Historical Climatology Network (76932)
Anthony W. Watts, Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States

I don't expect he'll get much out of the experience, other than the opportunity to cadge some more funds from his readers, and whine that no-one took any notice of his poster - or that he heard the imagined sounds of smirking.

Must go. Normal service will be restored shortly.


  1. Perhaps we should hold a sweepstake for the first sighting of a 'scientists fraudulently adjusting historical rainfall data' post.

    1. I expect some measurements changed from using imperial to metric measurements. That makes the figures look bigger. Part of a commie plot metric is.

  2. "Anthony W. Watts, Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States"

    What happened to the Open Whatsit Society?

    1. Good catch. Whatever did happen to that?

    2. What if you called an an election and nobody nominated? There was supposed to be an election around late August. I expect John "Resigned from the AGU" Whitman will be back to explain this. Or not.
      R the Anon.

  3. It's just the Urban Rain Island effect. Most rain gauges are in areas with growing populations, where ... er ... [handwaving] ... microclimate ... poorly sited stations ... [more handwaving] ... and that creates a false trend in the observations.

    There's not actually any anomalously high rainfall in South Carolina, it's just URI.

    1. Well seeing a lot of the rain gauges got washed away, they can just ignore it :-(

    2. Just wild ass guessing, but wouldn't there actually be an Urban Rain Island _deficit_ if, in fact temps were hotter over urban areas?

    3. Warmer rising air and turbulence from large structures plus increased aerosols means more rain over and downwind of urban areas.

  4. Well Melbourne beat the consecutive 35C days early in Oct record easily. It looks like the cool change has come thru, Sydney will also get a cool change around a day earlier than forecast.

    If anyone likes to feel worried, just go check out the record level of heat in the Indian Ocean. Hopefully it will bring rain to the interior and not excess heat, but who can say?


    1. Does Bangladesh need to worry about this? Or do their cyclones arise elsewhere?

  5. Interesting link to the story of Typhoon Etau in Japan.

    September is the peak of the typhoon season there, with an average of 2.5 making landfall each year.

    Typhoon Vera, in 1959 was the most severe recorded in recent times.
    In all, over 5,000 people were killed as a result of Super Typhoon Vera. 38,921 individuals went missing and 1,596,855 people were made homeless. Total damages amounted to between 500-600 billion yen (about $261 million [1959 USD] or $1.67 billion [2007 USD]). 

    1. Just because the climate signal is only beginning to emerge from the weather noise doesn't mean that it's not happening at all. That would be denialism.

    2. Gosh, Marke. Who would have thought you could find an extreme weather event somewhere on this planet pre 1990. I'll certainly not forget where I was when I read that.

      But Typhoon Vera was especially lethal and destructive not because of its strength but because it occurred before a lot of infrastructure changes were put in place to protect against Typhoons.

      "In addition to legislative reform, the breaching of coastal flood defense systems during Vera prompted a redesign of such mechanisms. In Nagoya, regulation was created for coastal construction and their heights. Development of flood defenses in Ise, Osaka, and Tokyo bays was also set into motion. The heights of such defense systems were based on worst-case scenarios and maximum storm surge heights caused by the typhoon"

      Surely even a minimally competent climate change denier could find a better example out there for whatever the point is you are trying to make.

    3. 'Your Honour, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let us step back for a moment and consider; there have been forest fires sweeping the surface of this planet since well before the first of any of the Zippo lighters, the ancestors of the one you see before you presented as 'Exhibit A', rolled off the assembly line in 1933 - indeed, science tells us that such devastating conflagrations have occurred routinely since before our species even took the trouble to evolve! - and yet the prosecution would have you believe my client to be somehow guilty of a "crime" they refer to as "arson"...'

      Adventures in Denial Defence.

    4. BBD, you may be right, but "beginning to emerge" is not really a term of statistical certainty.

      Millicent, that cuts both ways, 55 years ago there were a lot less people and a lot less expensive infrastructure in the way of such storms.

      Bill, if they are convicting him solely on the statistical probability of whether or not that particular conflagration could have occurred without his help, you may be able to successfully defend your client.

    5. marke - extremes of heat, drought and floods are more prevalent now, which you'd know if you ever read any science. Check the latest IPCC reports for confirmation or read some journals.

    6. marke is idiocy posing as reason. Bert

    7. You are being far too generous, Bert. I don't know why marke does what he does, but he's been around climate stuff long enough to know better. And I don't think people who've been following climate science for more than a couple of months can be excused their denial on the grounds of stupidity. There is something more going on.

      I'm thinking of writing an article on good and evil.

    8. No way you could get any material on good from WUWT.

    9. Sou

      I'm thinking of writing an article on good and evil.

      This is a very difficult matter. I've come to believe that despite the incessant intellectual dishonesty (that they must be aware of, at least some of the time), many vocal contrarians actually believe themselves to be correct and so acting in good faith.

      For them, because they are sure that they are correct, lying and backtracking and repeating old lies is excusable, even necessary, as a means to a justified end. What's more, it is clear that most contrarians are convinced that the scientists are falsifying data and exaggerating their results in furtherance of a political agenda, so - from their perspective - why shouldn't they do the same?

      In all this murk of stupidity and self-serving dishonesty it becomes very hard to draw the line, which, when crossed, marks the transition from deluded to evil. This is important because true evil requires awareness of wrong-doing and I think that is very difficult to demonstrate in most cases.

    10. It is only difficult because as humans, we don't like to discuss subjects like this. We naturally shy away from confrontational topics.

      BBD, what you are talking about is the difference between "being evil" and "doing evil". It is very difficult for anyone to determine whether or not an individual is knowingly doing evil. It is much simpler to determine whether a person or organisation is doing harm than whether they are intentionally doing harm.

      If societies were willing to excuse individuals on the basis that they didn't really mean to cause harm, we'd not have any prisons, there'd be no war crimes hearings, we'd not be judgmental when writing history.

      Thing is, societies do set limits on what is acceptable behaviour. Acting recklessly to hasten the drowning of Bangladesh would be considered unacceptable behaviour - unless you are a climate science denier. Then it's acceptable for whatever reason drives them to push for harmful climate change.

      In my view, mitigating climate change is a moral issue, not simply a political or scientific issue.

    11. What I find most pathetic about Marke's approach is that it is schizoidal.

      When its a 'claim' by a warmist he is careful about definitions and metrics to the extreme end of pedantry.

      But then, the next moment, he will tell us stuff like "Typhoon Vera, in 1959 was the most severe recorded in recent times" when the underlying facts clearly do not support making such a claim.

      And when that's pointed out he responds with "Millicent, that cuts both ways, 55 years ago there were a lot less people and a lot less expensive infrastructure in the way of such storms". Yes, duh! How many people didn't know that? But the essential problem - how do you show that Vera was the most severe Typhoon to hit Japan when you account for these changes still remains unanswered by Marke. And, apparently, he sees no need to do so.

    12. But marke is so delightfully comedic. Sometimes he just makes me guffaw with laughter. I hope he carries on giving me such amusement.

      What I think is funny is the huge effort he makes to avoid the facts and come out with a completely unrelated and random point to confound us.

      I have always wondered why blinkers work on a horse to make it less nervous and skittish. You would think that wearing blinkers would have the opposite effect and generate fear and nervousness by obscuring what is going on. Apparently intellectual blinkers work on humans to lessen their fear as well.

    13. Sou

      In my view, mitigating climate change is a moral issue, not simply a political or scientific issue.

      Yes, I agree entirely. The problem arises when one sets out to determine what is evil and what is simply morally wrong and stupid and self-serving.

      Evil is at once an extreme and yet vaguely defined term used in the context of climate change denial.

      I find it difficult to concede that it is possible to do evil without being evil and difficult to agree that one can be evil without being aware that one is doing evil.

      Which is why I am very, very wary of introducing the term into discussions about CC.

    14. I find it difficult to concede that it is possible to do evil without being evil and difficult to agree that one can be evil without being aware that one is doing evil.

      I'd agree with that, to a point, BBD. Which is why I'm coming to the view that it's time those doing evil were called to account.

      Some people are sociopaths. It's likely that some deniers (though not most) are also sociopaths. It's debatable whether those people can tell the difference between good and evil, or care.

    15. In 1959 , Japan's population was over 90 million...so any argument that suggests the island had 'a lot less people' is pretty clueless.


    16. I'm thinking of writing an article on good and evil.

      This is a very difficult matter. 

      Not if you approach it with a sense of righteousness.

      Surely, then, all else is evil.

    17. Asking a denier to do some soul-searching is like asking a rock what it feels like (to be a rock). Introspection is as foreign a concept to a denier who hangs about climate blogs as empathy, or valuing knowledge. They can't relate.

    18. Sorry BBD, I had not realized you actually thought you were in the process of saving the world on this rather narrow, dimly lit stage we tramp here. Good luck with that process, and with the delusions of grandeur.

      Before I leave you to it, I will attempt to explain my motivation, as Sou, at least, seems concerned at the potential fate of my soul:

      Not too many years ago, when the forecasts of perpetual drought began to founder on a reef of floods and blizzards, it was explained that no, actually, we'd experience more extremes instead.

      At the time, evidence, peer reviewed or otherwise, of this increase in extremes was in very short supply. So, soon, it came to pass, we had enthusiasts excitedly pointing at every weather event, storm, flood, or other, claiming it as 'the' evidence.

      This continues to this day, in spite of the great difficulty in comparing the severity of a storm today with historical storms. Even to the point where we have the Millicents of the world quite convinced that a storm of decades ago which killed thousands and displaced millions must have been surpassed by a modern storm which killed several and caused the precautionary evacuation of 100,000. I would not define that one way or the other, but records, predating the recent events, cite this Typhoon Vera as 'the most severe of recent times'. (Similarly, you can find similar stories of historical Riviera floods, and historical South Carolina rainfall).

      Will evidence stack up in time to support this forecast/projection of greater extremes?
      Perhaps. But, these storms ain't it yet. In time, they may constitute a part of the evidence, but that will only be visible in retrospect.

      So: Are you saving the world, while I sabotage it?

      No, while you oversell evidence such as this, you do your cause more harm than good. Your disciples remain steadfast, lapping it up, but any fence sitter thinks, "Hang on, that ain't right".

      And thus, in little steps, ye too will doom the world.

    19. BBD, Sou, I sense your frustration.
      I feel the same thing: when you know you are right, the facts under debate are on your side, and the other party is obviously wrong, that is the feeling you get.

      Am I posting climate misinformation in here? No, I have posted some very simple facts in relation to some storms.
      It all depends on how you interpret those facts and what sort of statistical occurrences we each need to convince us of our own, or another's viewpoint.

    20. BTW, BBD, I'm curious:
      What's with the 'sock' comment?

    21. The Scorpion and the Frog

      A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
      scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
      frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion
      says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

      The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
      the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
      paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
      but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

      Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."

    22. The difference between deniers and others is that deniers decide what they "believe" first of all, and then look for information to support their belief and discard all the rest. That's what marke does. Other people, including scientists, look for information - as much as there is. Then they interpret the information based on all the evidence. They don't look for information to support what they want to be convinced of. It's a big difference. Deniers aren't interested in creating knowledge. Nor are they interested in information. They are only interested in "belief". The lack of self awareness, and disinterest in knowledge, is probably why they think that science denial is a valid "viewpoint".

    23. How do you know hazym is a sock?

      Because he used to use it at Watching the Deniers.


    24. marke posted a comment using his 'Hazym' sock. 

      Nah, it weren't me BBD, I've never had one them Hazym socks.

      Check with Sou, she can probably monitor addresses.

    25. However, speaking of memory, this strange situation does remind me of a moving story.


      In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University.

      While on a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and, with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

      Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

      Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son Cameron. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times, then trumpeted loudly... all the while staring at Peter intently.

      Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. He summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The huge creature turned to face the man, and, with a curious look on its face - a look that was strangely familiar to Peter - stared at him. Peter looked deeply into those large, liquid brown eyes. Was that... was that the spark of recognition he saw there?

      The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter’s legs, picked him up and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

      Probably wasn’t the same fucking elephant.

    26. The reason deniers have such an amazing ability to be willfully ignorant . This was written for creationists but is equally applicable to climate change.

      Morton's demon
      Maxwell's demon was a thought experiment in which a demon could stand at a gate between two rooms and open the gate to let fast moving particles into one room and slow moving particles into the opposite room. This would create a temperature differential that could be used to perform work. Since in the thought experiment the demon itself did not need to expend energy to create this differential, it was believed that such a system could create a perpetual motion machine and violate the laws of thermodynamics.

      Morton proposed that a similar demon stands at the gate of the mind of creationists and other anti-evolutionists that only allows in evidence confirming their world view, and shuts out any disconfirming evidence. Such a thing would be an extreme case of confirmation bias, but would go beyond such a mere bias to confirming one's thoughts and would stray into willful ignorance. It is this demon that allows them to maintain their world view in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    27. It certainly isn't a 'strange situation' from where I stand. Its more like business as usual when climate change denial is involved. We see it with WUWT's own pet moderator. We saw it with McIntyre. Reddit's moderators found it wasn't just one sockpuppet it was an army.

      Good catch BBD.

    28. Sou, where are you when your comment thread needs you?

      Can you please straighten out your increasingly looney cheersquad?

      And can you also tell me the label/name of this debating method for addition to my collection, (which is primarily garnered from liberally applied labels in this blog)?

      I guess it's "an adhom attack on a randomly nominated scapegoat, with strawmen thrown in for good measure".

    29. C'mon BBD, enough is enough. You have always seemed reasonably bright in the past.

      I hereby categorically deny ever using a different name in this site.

      Occasionally I have had to log in as anon, but I then sign my name as 'marke' at the bottom.

      I did not even see this posting you speak of, I have never visited the other sites you mention. I've never used a sock puppet before, so why do you think I would I start now?

      You really have to watch that problem of believing something simply because you really want to.

      And I'm pretty disappointed in Sou, she could have headed this off.
      But perhaps she does not like me? Due to my evilness?

    30. Agree. Enough is enough. I don't know who marke is. He's a very private individual. I cannot say whether he is the same person as hazym or Mark or someone else altogether.

      In keeping with the comment policy I've deleted several comments from various people, which have been getting too personal. Can we leave it at that, please.

  6. "Drought conditions declared over all of South Carolina"
    "Below normal rainfall and higher than normal temperatures have caused streams to shrink in South Carolina this summer."
    The State, 17Jul 2015

    "South Carolina has experienced drought conditions during eight of the last ten years."
    Clemson Cooperative Extension, 21Sep 2015

    What to prepare for?

    "The biblical flooding in South Carolina is at least the sixth so-called 1-in-1000 year event in the U.S. since 2010..."
    USA Today, 6Oct 2015

    1. Increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, eg. drought and flooding.

  7. Published May 8 2014
    Rosalind Peterson President for the U.S agriculture defence coalition addressing chemtrails , geoengineering ,SRM in U.N meeting.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Heh heh. Even in the comments to the debunking which David posted, there are still the chemtrail conspiracy theorists *not getting* the fact that it wasn't Rosalind Peterson that was being debunked, but rather that what Peterson was saying is not evidence supporting the chemtrail conspiracy theorists... if that makes any sense :-)

    3. For those that are interested Google Ben Livingston the father of weaponized weather

  8. more on AGU

    "The relatively few stations in the classes with minimal artificial impact are found to have raw temperature trends that are collectively about 2/3 as large as stations in the classes with greater expected artificial impact. ...The homogeneity adjustments applied by the National Centers for Environmental Information (formerly the National Climatic Data Center) greatly reduce those differences but produce trends that are more consistent with the stations with greater expected artificial impact..."

    So the trick is picking a select subset of stations. I wonder if there is any reason to think that they'd be an accurate representation of the whole US.

  9. URL-less Treesong here. Going back to marke's original comment: What makes your citation irrelevant is that you're using damage (which is badly correlated with intensity, as Millicent showed) as a proxy for intensity, which is what is relevant to AGW effects. If you go to 'List of the most intense tropical cyclones' in Wikipedia you'll find thirteen stronger western north Pacific typhoons since then as measured by minimal central pressure, and another thirteen tied at 895 hPa. Doubtless many of those caused far less damage because they didn't make landfall.

    As for 'Not too many years ago, when the forecasts of perpetual drought began to founder on a reef of floods and blizzards, it was explained that no, actually, we'd experience more extremes instead.', I call denialist bullshit. Can you support this ridiculous statement? Obviously more water vapor in the atmosphere means more material for floods and blizzards, and climatologists, not being idiots, realized that.

    In any case, at least a couple of years ago the consensus as I read it was there weren't sufficient historical statistics for accurate predictions of changes in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes, though the most likely outcome seemed to be about the same frequency and greater average intensity. I don't recall similar discussion of droughts.

    Significant increase of heatwaves is a no-brainer. Knock-on weather effects are less obvious.

    1. The lack of consensus (which is to say uncertainty) on AGW's effect on storm frequency is long-standing, as is the denialist belief that hurricanes are alarming and so climate scientists, notoriously alarmist, must be predicting more of them. Belief, of course, does not need evidence.

      "Wet places will get wetter and dry places drier" is also long-standing, as, I suspect, is marke's belief that "they" can only be saying one thing at a time and it must be whatever he believes they're saying. Which, in turn, is whatever he wants them to be saying.

      (You can leave URL blank; I do)

    2. My reading of AR5 is that drought is quite a robust prediction. There's two components that are changing: precipitation and evaporation. Both increase.

      Precipitation increase means you get more flooding because all else being equal you need more water to fall at any one time.

      Whether precipitation or evaporation increases more in a given region is a complicated question. In a closed system, evaporation and precipitation are equal. But places where we care about evaporation aren't closed systems: water that evaporates from your area will precipitate elsewhere, and water that precipitates on your area can flow down rivers instead of evaporating. "Wet places will get wetter and dry places drier" is a prediction that is better than chance but still isn't expected to be very accurate.


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