Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Denier weirdness: Bob Tisdale on weather and climate

Sou | 6:07 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
In case anyone was in any doubt that Bob Tisdale knows nothing about weather or climate, read the words he published on Anthony Watts' climate conspiracy blog today (archived here, latest here, cached here). Bob wrote about the WMO definition of climate:
On their Frequently Asked Questions webpage, the World Meteorological Organization asks and answers:

What is Climate?
Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the “average weather,” or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.

Then he ignored the part about variability and waffled:
“Average weather” is a wonderful definition of climate.  We know that weather is chaotic and that weather is always changing and has always changed…and will continue to change in the future.   Therefore, climate is always changing and has always changed…and will continue to change in the future.

By blaming all changes in weather on mankind, reports like the U.S. National Climate Assessment Report imply that extreme weather can be minimized by eliminating our emissions of man-made greenhouse gases—providing a false hope to na├»ve persons of a future without hurricanes and tropical cyclones, without tornados, without blizzards, without droughts, without floods.  They further suggest to those trusting souls that all we have to do to make weather nonthreatening on our planet is drive efficient cars, install solar panels on our roofs and install wind farms everywhere.  That suggestion is not only misleading, it’s foolish. Weather has always changed, and it will continue to change in the future.  Because climate is average weather, climate has always and will always change.

Seriously? Weather changes therefore climate changes? I haven't read so much codswallop at WUWT in three hours. Not since Paul "bring back smog" Dresden moaned that greenies (that is, normal people) want to modernise the energy sector.

Now I'm not absolutely sure that someone somewhere blamed global warming for the change from summer to winter, for the mist yesterday morning or the rain last week and the sunshine today, but Bob doesn't cite anyone who does. And just who has said to any person, let alone a naive person, that stopping greenhouse gas emissions will stop tropical cyclones, blizzards, drought and flood?

Just because the weather changes from day to day it doesn't mean that the climate will change from one thirty year period to the next. A change in the weather doesn't mean that the mean or variability of temperature, rainfall or wind will change. It takes more than a change in the weather to change the climate.

If Bob understood anything about climate and weather, he too would have known that.

But he doesn't so he doesn't.


  1. These are the people who claim to be the better scientists.


  2. The problem with climate science is that it is unbalanced. Not only do you get people like Tisdale spreading ignorance, but on the supposedly credentialed side, you get atmospheric physicists such as Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, and Judith Curry that torpedo any kind of progress. I have worked in other disciplines, and while you can find these kinds of nuts, they tend to be marginalized by others in the profession. So you would get some wacky professor in college, but everyone would know enough to realize that and avoid them if possible. But something about climate science amplifies the nuts to give them a larger voice. And we all know that is all a result of political associations.

    We really have to grill Lindzen and Curry on their ideas because they really need to be marginalized if they are actually hindering scientific progress.

    1. How much more can they be marginalized in the scientific discourse than they already have been?

    2. I don't think they're hindering scientific progress directly, since evidently no one who's actually working on the problems listens to them at all.

      What they do is hinder the public understanding of the problem that will be needed for society to undertake serious mitigation efforts, which have to come from the top down (your rooftop solar panel will only do so much. Swapping out the whole power grid is another matter).

      When denialists get political power, they can also cut the budget for "controversial" science, i.e., stuff they think will give an answer they don't like. And that can do REAL damage to science.

    3. Their social media presence may be suboptimal, but they are listened to when they publish in the peer reviewed literature. Their evidence is, however, rather weak and does not change the all over assessment of the situation that much. There is also much evidence on the other side (for example the warming of the lakes), which the climate "debate" does not talk about much. The public "debate" only covers a minute part of the scientific debate.

    4. evidence is, however, rather weak and does not change the all over assessment

      That's basically what I mean by "marginalized" -- like the dotty old uncle who says crazy things on a regular basis, but once in a while they say we should make a pot of coffee and it's actually a good idea.

  3. Well BT is none too bright ...

    Straw man fallacy

    BT actually does get called out on that one and his response?

    BT doubling down on the original straw man.

    If something is greater then it once was due to an external forcing, it does not follow that what once was would be less than it once was absent that external forcing. Classic example of an inequality: 2 - 2 =-1 when it should be 2 - 2 = 0

    The only one being "'fooled" is the fool who can't even do four function arithmetic!

    1. Here's what Bob wrote, trying to wriggle out of his strawman with a diversion, which was wrong in its implication in any case:

      seaice says: “That suggestion is not only misleading and foolish, it has also never been made. Prove me wrong – find the claim that driving efficient cars will stop hurricanes. This is a straw man.”

      I never said that anyone CLAIMED “that driving efficient cars will stop hurricanes”. I used the word SUGGEST. Do you recall back in 2013, less than a year after Sandy, when Kerry Emanuel published a paper stating that hurricanes could be stronger and MORE FREQUENT due to global warming? Here’s a Time article to refresh your memory:

      And here's a quote from the article Bob linked to. (The paper itself was about tropical cyclones, not just hurricanes). Has he taken a ride in Anthony Watts' time machine?

      We see an increase, in particular, toward the middle of the century. The results surprised us, but we haven’t gotten so far as to understand why this is happening.

      This year there were a record number of Cat. 4-5 tropical cyclones in the northern hemisphere and Patricia broke a record for the strongest in the Western Hemisphere. I doubt it will be possible to see the trend for quite a few years yet - though there may well be more evidence suggesting a trend, like there was this year.

    2. You beat me to the pointing out of some of the logical fallacies Everett. I was particularly struck by this gambit of Tisdale's:

      "By blaming all changes in weather on mankind, reports like the U.S. National Climate Assessment Report imply that extreme weather can be minimized by eliminating our emissions of man-made greenhouse gases

      Erm, who is "blaming all changes in weather on mankind"?! Tisdale is speak from the wrong end of his alimentary canal, and with malice aforethought. I guarantee that he could not find a single scientific institution or paper that makes such a blanket claim.

      What a grubby piece of work is that man.

    3. 'Tisdale' is such a dullard. What does he think he achieves by quoting some WMO or IPCC text verbatim, then blatantly misrepresenting it in the next sentence? His target audience must be a subset who deliberately do not read at all, or who readily surrender their own critical standards...oh , that would be the 100 voluntary self-limiters on WUWT.

      Tisdale's substandard rhetorical approach is possibly the least useful I have come across. And, yes he is oblivious to the ponderous pedagogy and obvious petulance in his tone, which surely has to be a turn-off for anyone unfamiliar with WUWT who has dropped by.

      It's just third-rate agitprop....and he reckons he's capable of providing instruction on climate while displaying his feckless ASS?!


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