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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 06/15/2010

String of floods raise climate change questions

By Andrew Freedman

* Humidity & storm chances to return: CWG's Full Forecast *

Call it the spring of flash floods. Rare and deadly flash flooding events have struck several parts of the south-central U.S. from Tennessee to Oklahoma this spring, with two remarkable events occurring in just the past five days: the astounding six-to-ten-inch gully washer that resulted in numerous swift-water rescues in Oklahoma City yesterday morning, and the tragic deluge in rural Arkansas late last week.


Cars are stranded and submerged by flood water in Oklahoma City after heavy rain hit the area. (Alonzo Adams-AP)

With precipitation extremes already increasing in frequency and severity due to global climate change, it is especially important that journalists and the public learn how to discuss the climate context of such extreme weather events, provided such discussions stick to the scientific evidence.

Take the Arkansas flash flood for example, which toppled trees, lifted cars, and swept at least 20 people to their deaths in the wee hours of the morning on June 11. That flood joins the ranks of a long history of deadly flash floods in the United States.

One might think the rainfall was extremely unusual, even unprecedented. However, the approximately 6.83 inches of rain that fell in 24 hours in the Arkansas event was actually a 1-in-10-year event with respect to the 24-hour rainfall total (it may have been rarer if one were to examine historical six-hour precipitation data). A confluence of factors made the the heavy rain so deadly -- most of it fell in just a few hours, in an area primed for rapid rises in small rivers, creeks and streams, while a large and vulnerable population of campers was sleeping in a remote area.

In some respects, the Arkansas flood bore a resemblance to the infamous 1976 Big Thomson Canyon flood in Colorado, which killed 145 people and also struck a popular campground and recreation area. The Arkansas rains caused an astonishingly rapid rise in the Little Missouri River and other small rivers and streams. A gauge maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey reveals that the Little Missouri River climbed almost 20 feet in just a few hours at the nearby town of Langley. At 2 a.m. central time the river was at 3.81 feet, and by 5:30 a.m. it reached a whopping 23.39 feet. This exceeded the previous highest flood in that location by about 10 feet!

A plot of the stream flow from a nearby gauge on the Caddo River also depicts the shockingly swift rise of the water, and shows why people in the campground had very little -- if any -- time to prepare for the surge of water.


Height of the Caddo River during the flash flood event on June 11, as shown on a USGS streamflow gauge. Credit: USGS.

The climate change context of the recent flood events is intriguing, and like most things climate change-related, not exactly cut and dry (so to speak). The Tennessee and Oklahoma rainstorms were far more unusual than the Arkansas flood. The Tennessee event, in which 13 to 19 inches of rain fell during a two-day period, flooding much of the state including downtown Nashville, was around a 1-in-1,000-year event. And the Oklahoma City floods yesterday were a 1-in-100-year event. Some areas in and around Oklahoma City eclipsed their monthly average rainfall totals for June in under 12 hours.


Doppler radar estimated precipitation totals for Oklahoma City on June 14. Image credit: Weather Underground.

On the one hand, these were all extreme events of the sort that scientists have found are already becoming more common, and are likely to become more frequent and severe in the next few decades as more water vapor is added to the atmosphere in response to a warming climate. (See an illuminating interview about this with climate researcher Kevin Trenberth, posted yesterday at Joe Romm's Climate Progress blog).

On the other hand, it's impossible to say that a specific extreme event was caused by climate change, and flash floods have occurred throughout U.S. history, killing an average of about 100 people per year.

So, with this information in mind, how should journalists cover extreme events?

Responding to the Arkansas flood, Andy Revkin of the New York Times' DotEarth blog wrote that he is resistant to the idea -- put forward by climate blogger Joe Romm -- that journalists should refer to such precipitation extremes as "global warming-type" events.

"What is changing is the frequency -- and in many places the exposure to risk as people congregate and build in flood zones. But given the scope of this tragedy, more on quibbles over semantics can wait for another day," Revkin wrote on Saturday.

However, the question of whether to raise climate change in discussions of flash floods (and other extreme events) constitutes more than a quibble over semantics. The media has a responsibility to report what the science says, even in the context of a breaking news story, such as a flood event or heat wave. The science has become clearer, although by no means certain, that local precipitation extremes may be connected to climate change. Yet, to date, the mainstream media has shied away from raising climate change in extreme event coverage. This is unfortunate, because it constitutes a missed opportunity to make climate change relevant to people in the here and now, rather than an abstract concept in the distant future.

As I wrote last spring:

When an extreme event occurs, a reporter is often caught in a quandary. If we overplay the causal link between climate change and the event, then we can rightly be accused of being alarmist...
Yet, if journalists ignore the scientific studies that show that some types of extreme events are consistent with what is expected due to climate change, then we may be guilty of a sin of omission.

The media barely raised the topic of climate change in response to the record Tennessee floods last month, which were so unusual that they were crying out for a scientific discussion of the climate connection. In fact, a good argument can be made that -- by ignoring the subject of climate change -- the media coverage of those floods was actually inconsistent with the scientific evidence.

Reporters should take each event on a case-by-case basis, and speak with scientists who can shed light on whether an extreme event may be related to climate change or not. By failing to ask such questions, reporters risk continuing to provide incomplete coverage. More journalists should heed the advice given by meteorologist Stu Ostro of The Weather Channel, who wrote in response to record rains last year in his home state of Georgia and other weather extremes (although Ostro was addressing weather experts, his advice is relevant to the press):

It behooves us to understand not only theoretical expected increases in heavy precipitation (via relatively slow/linear changes in temperatures, evaporation, and atmospheric moisture) but also how changing circulation patterns are already squeezing out that moisture in extreme doses and affecting weather in other ways.
While it's important to consider what may happen in 50 or 100 or 200 years, and debate what should be done about that... we need to get a grip on what's happening *now*.

The views expressed here are the author's alone and do not represent any position of the Washington Post, its news staff or the Capital Weather Gang.

By Andrew Freedman  | June 15, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, News & Notes, Science  
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Comments

Hi Andrew, at first glance, "Chapter 2 Observed Changes in Weather and Climate Extremes" mentions AO and other oscillations, but then ignores or dismisses them. What role do you believe the large swing from negative to positive PDO has in the rainfall patterns documented in Chapter 2?

Also can you ever go case by case when it is obviously the statistics that matter (as demonstrated in Chapter 2)? Why don't we ever hear about "normalcy" anecdotes for example the current unusual lack of drought http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

i appreciate your attempt to deal with this matter in a sober fashion...however,

1. the mantra of "global warming" was conveniently changed to "climate change" recently, about the same time that it was proven that in fact there has been global cooling for the past 12 years; also, recent and more serious scientific analysis has determined that much of the data supporting the 'hockey-stick' graph were invalid.

2. so now in support of "climate change", there is a 'heads i win/tails you lose' game being played. If it doesn't rain one summer, it is because of 'climate change'. if it rains next summer, this is because of climate change. Hurricane Katrina was the result of 'climate change', and thus further predictions of even greater hurricates in years to come was predicted; but then the next 4 or 5 years of low hurricanes followed---guess what? this too was because of climate change. I guess you guys have all of the bases covered. how scientific.

"global warming/climate change" is not science but a religion. Like the religious who pray for a loved one to get well: if they get well it's because they prayed; if they die it's because it was god's will.

Posted by: johnmpike | June 15, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Two points to add: 1) The 7.62 inches of rain that fell at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers Airport yesterday set a new record for the wettest day in history for that city. Further details of the recent flooding events and their meteorological context (such as the links between them and record-setting heat in the U.S. this spring) can be found at Jeff Masters blog today: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1507

For more details on how US extreme weather events are already changing, and are likely to change in the future, I recommend checking out the US Climate Impacts Report that was released in 2009. http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts/full-report

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

so the earth is getting a new N.W. passage through the Artic; ice is melting everywhere in the north, and some people claim that the 'earth is proven cooler' now who's payroll are they on? Folks in the Netherlands claim they've never seen it this warm and are quite alarmed ... I think these denial episodes/the belief in the weird and strange; results from American delusion = we don't have to change

Posted by: aypub | June 15, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

From your last link at globalchange.gov "The destructive energy of Atlantic hurricanes has increased in recent decades." Perhaps, but not true worldwide:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d4/Seasonal_ace_2009.jpg/512px-Seasonal_ace_2009.jpg

Also from that link: "When adjusted to account for these factors, there is no clear trend in the frequency or strength of tornadoes since the 1950s for the United States as a whole." True. The previous version of the report had a false statement about that, it is good to see they fixed it.

Also: more snowstorms or less snowstorms (true), more drought (not true right now), precipitation variations in general. None of these variations are extreme or should upset anyone. I'll repeat what I said in the previous thread: please describe a specific climate change effect that is a serious problem in your own words (back up with a paper if possible). Laundry lists will not be accepted, just one item only. That challenge was left unanswered (and probably will be again), because there are no serious quantifiable climate change impacts.

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Andrew you elegantly propose a double standard then? This past winter's cold was weather, but this summer's storms are climate change?

How can you claim its a 1-in-1000 year rainfall, when precipitation records only go back 100 years or so?

How can you disregard land use changes that funnel more water into the rivers and creeks, because the local wetlands are now a housing development?

It shows how bias you are, Andrew, when even Revkin knows better than to place this game. I expect more neutrality from a journalist. You're practically a lobbyist these days.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 15, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's some more of that dreaded normal weather that we can blame on climate change: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/precip/PLOT_ESI A dry extreme in the 20's and again in the 70's A wet extreme in the early 80's, but the last three years, just boring old normal.

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

johnmpike, you said,
"...in fact there has been global cooling for the past 12 years;"

where'd you get that idea? certainly not from the data:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

is there some other data you're thinking of? eagerly awaiting your response.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 15, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

ecocampaigner: I'm not proposing a double standard. Extreme events happen. The science shows that certain extreme events are becoming more likely due to climate change, while others may not be exhibiting clear trends. I am proposing that the media discuss the science in addition to saying that there was a flood, or a blizzard, or a hurricane, when such extreme weather and climate events occur (drought is a climate event, for example). The climate context is crucially important in order for people to understand how climate change and climate variability (both natural and manmade) affect the world around them.

I did not claim that the Nashville floods were a 1-in-1,000-year event. Perhaps you missed the link to the National Weather Service, which calculated that? Here it is again: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/ohx/rainfall/May2010_TN_ARI.jpg.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What appears missing from the article, Andrew, and comments is that from the global perspective extreme rainfall and flooding in some areas is offset to an unknown degree by extreme rainfall deficits and severe droughts elsewhere, e.g., http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/2009/jun/map-prcp-percent-200906-pg.gif.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The Nashville floods (at 11 feet above flood stage) were 5 feet below the 1927 floods (16 feet above flood stage). Sounds like they both were a once-in-one-hundred year event.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ohx/?n=historicalevents

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

On the 4% increase in water vapor from the linked interview... is that from a global humidity metric? It seems water vapor would vary widely over time and different locations. Are the data from ESRL the best for measuring global water vapor changes? thanks

Posted by: spgass1 | June 15, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

johnmpike,
not to pile on, but here's more of that pesky data:

scientists think 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on the instrumental record.

http://www.nrdc.org/media/2010/100413.asp

2010 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

so it doesn't really make sense to say "it's cooled in the last 12 yrs", agreed?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 15, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

guys,
it's great to see discussion on the effects of AGW, how serious they may be, and whether certain weather can be attributed to AGW - instead of arguing over whether it's happening at all. baby steps.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 15, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree Walter. Most serious skeptics believe in AGW but not CAGW.

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"The science shows that certain extreme events are becoming more likely due to climate change, while others may not be exhibiting clear trends. I am proposing that the media discuss the science in addition to saying that there was a flood, or a blizzard, or a hurricane, when such extreme weather and climate events occur (drought is a climate event, for example)."

The science proves nothing of the sort. The weatherman-rockstars like yourself tried that after Katrina. You and your climatologists friends predicted more and stronger hurricanes due to global warming, and that claim was proven false in the last 5 years of unseasonably few hurricanes.

What you're proposing is an attempt to spin every storm, drought and ray of sunshine into a climate change legislation push. Do you honestly think WaPo readers are that blind not to see it? You were pushing a Global Warming book in the last post on this blog.

I ask again Andrew, tell us in simple words why this winter's heavy snow was weather, but this summer's rains are climate? Is your best answer "because the climatologists said so"?

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 15, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

In a post this afternoon, Andy Revkin quoted Weather Underground's Jeff Masters as saying: "We cannot say that any of this year’s flooding disasters were definitely due to global warming, and part of the reason for this year’s numerous U.S. flooding disasters is simply bad luck. However, higher temperatures do cause an increased chance of heavy precipitation events, and it is likely that the flooding in some of this year’s U.S. flooding disasters were significantly enhanced by the presence of more water vapor in the air due to global warming. We can expect a large increase in flooding disasters in the U.S. and worldwide if the climate continues to warm as expected."

Revkin went on to state: "I think that’s a far better approach than labeling every account of an extreme rain or snowfall a “global warming type” event, as some bloggers insist. That might be appropriate if this were in fact the “dawn of the superflood,” but history shows that’s not remotely close to being right...

"The bottom line? Extraordinary deluges happen. More storms will generate such deluges in a warming world with moister air, according to solid basic science. Slapping a label on such storms is unnecessary."

I find Andy's comments a bit confusing here, since on the one hand he is saying not to paint extreme events with a broad brush (cautionary advice that I agree with), but on the other he is recognizing that warming is leading to more floods of the sort that we've seen this spring. The key question is what will improve public understanding of the climate connections - and advocates who favor a "warming label," such as Joe Romm, clearly think it would help improve awareness. I think more consistent coverage of the scientific evidence is needed, rather than a label.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Capital Weather Gang,

Do you have any proof that these rains are caused directly by global warming. You state it like its a fact, and the real question is how much you should publicize it.

We all know warmer air holds more moisture, but proving this storm's rains were significantly more severe due to global warming is unprovable, and you know it!

Maybe you should hire someone on the weather team who holds the view that people who believe in anthropogenic climate change are fools or charlatans?

Or you can just go back to lapping up every piece of propaganda that Joe Romm puts out.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 15, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It is these type discussion that discredit the whole climate change field.

This winter's blizzards= extreme weather does not specify climate.

Spring rain storms=evidence man-made climate change is causing change in weather patterns.

What more can one say?

Posted by: Tom8 | June 15, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

eric564: The 1 in 1,000 year event was calculated based on rainfall totals during a two day period, not based on river flood stages.

ecocampaigner: Both are extreme weather events, the frequency and severity of which are already changing and expected to shift further due to climate change.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I think a "warming" label will only create confusion. The public will realize that, for example, that 1997 should not have a warming label any more than 1884, 1913, 1937 should have a warming label. See http://kyclim.wku.edu/factSheets/ohioRiver.htm for descriptions of those years.

If you want to talk about event frequency like the reports you linked at the beginning, that is quite different. They make arguments about the frequency itself being a problem. But the individual events themselves are weather, not warming.

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

ecocampaigner: Do you have any proof that the rainstorms WEREN'T caused by global warming? I highly doubt you do, because causation is impossible to prove. This post clearly stated that: "it's impossible to say that a specific extreme event was caused by climate change, and flash floods have occurred throughout U.S. history, killing an average of about 100 people per year." I never claimed that global warming caused these floods.

Also, we have published articles from staff members who are more doubtful of the scientific evidence of human interference with the climate system, and would do so again if they choose to write again. But we're not about to give voice to the blog screamers (such as yourself?) who accuse all climate scientist of being, how did you put it, "fools or charlatans."

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I meant to link to Andy Revkin's blog post from today in an earlier comment. Here it is, well worth a read: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/global-heat-is-on-in-2010-so-far/

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Nice to hear a major east coast newspaper begin to admit the increasingly strange weather events could 'possibly' be attributed to a warming climate.

Lets also not forget that we had historic flooding and precipitation events here in New England this past March.

In Connecticut last week we had an unprecedented 4 tornado warnings.

The results of 393ppm CO2 (the highest in 3 million years) is acidifying the oceans in the process of absorbing the warmth- that is now ending- the warmth is now in the atmosphere- and its going to become far worse.

Posted by: vercingetorex | June 15, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, we seem to have two different forms of usage for the same term. What I was referring to is a one-in-one-hundred year flood event as measured at one of a relatively few gauges in a drainage basin. In order to produce that event we need a particular and rare set of circumstances, mostly related to rain but also ground water, and possibly snow melt. Those circumstances typically meet the statistical test of being once in a hundred years for those stations. Those have happened historically as I have shown.

What you seem to be referring to is a specific rain event with some amount of precipitation over a time interval as measured in a rain gauge or estimated with radar. Those events, even the "once in a thousand year" event that you refer to are quite common. This is because any one spot in country can have a gully washer from a localized stationary thunderstorm or training thunderstorms. There is a virtual certainty that there will be such events here and there each season.

That once-in-a-thousand year calculation is a determination from pure statistics. An event that is five standard deviations outside of average is said to be 1 in a thousand year event. An event that is 25 standard deviations above average (conceivable if we had rain in a very dry desert) would be a once in a billion lifetimes of the universe event. It really doesn't mean much.

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Andrew,

My typing doesn't make a "screaming" sound, maybe you need a new computer if yours does.

Can I prove global warming didn't cause these storms? No, but I didn't ask you to prove something IS NOT true. I asked to to prove that something IS true. Do you not see the difference?

Religion demands dis-proof, science demands proof. I asked for proof, and you address a strawman and tell me I can't DIS-prove something. Maybe you should try to learn the difference between the two.

So tell me Andrew, if as you say...

"it's impossible to say that a specific extreme event was caused by climate change"

... but in your article title you ask...

"String of floods raise climate change questions"

So which is it, are these floods caused by global warming or not? You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 15, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that you'll run into "record" events at any location at something close to random. It's been raining hard since people have been noticing rain.

While there is a note that a single event can't be directly attributed to warming (or change), these single events are often catalysts for pieces such as this.

I don't doubt that there may be an increase in extreme events of late, but more often than not that's just a note in general commentary with little actual reference to such statistics. However, I'll admit I have not read many (ok, maybe not any) scientific papers on the subject.

I'd be interested in knowing more about why more worldwide rainfall records -- 1 min through 12 mo -- have not been breached recently. Most of them date back to the middle of the 1900s if not prior.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Ian,

I'm glad to see the gang has members who can manage to think objectively. You state that "While there is a note that a single event can't be directly attributed to warming (or change), these single events are often catalysts for pieces such as this. "

The question is why. Why do extreme weather events lead to these articles being written? Is it because some bloggers like Andrew & Steve are true-believers, and intentionally attempt to use extreme weather events as a tool of political propaganda to promote climate change legislation?

I don't think Andrew & Steve are charlatans (or fools). They probably are true-believers in the cause, and really do think they are saving the world from the climate change boogie-man.

That's the sad thing about people who believe in AGW, they're mostly generally good people, who care about the environment and their fellow man. Unfortunately its that very compassion for the collective that is hijacked and abused by the climate change machine.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 15, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

vercingetorex, about the tornado warnings. The number of them doesn't indicate anything about climate change or even weather changes, but rather a better ability to forecast and warn people about potential tornadoes from rotation seen on radar.


Likewise as explained here http://www.norman.noaa.gov/2010/03/no-tornadoes-in-february-2010/ having one weak tornado in the entire month of February might be very unusual but doesn't say much about anything. It can't be used to predict the severity of the rest of the tornado season nor say anything about long term tornado trends. But as pointed out in the report that Andrew linked above, there is likely no long term trend in tornadoes.

Posted by: eric654 | June 15, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Ian, thanks for commenting. I recommend reading the reports linked to in this post (the CCSP extremes report and the Climate Impacts report). You may find some of your questions answered there, and if not, it may help you refine your questions further.

eric564: thanks for clarifying. Re: the Nashville event, the NWS' page on that event (linked to in the post) has some useful info on how rare it was. Note their use of the term "epic" to describe it.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 15, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

So tell me Andrew, if as you say...

"it's impossible to say that a specific extreme event was caused by climate change"

... but in your article title you ask...

"String of floods raise climate change questions"

So which is it, are these floods caused by global warming or not? You can't have it both ways.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 15, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Do you really think that a temperature increase of 0.7 degC over the past 160 years would make much difference to weather patterns? There's absolutely no scientific justification to substantiate more severe weather just because of a slight change in global temperature.

Last week a heard people complain about how much rain had last month. When I check long term records (100 years) I found that it was actually normal. It's just that the last few years were drier than normal.

Posted by: rhjames | June 15, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

When a point of reference is shock jock Joe Romm I do wonder how seriously it should be taken. I doubt if it is worth the column that Andrew Friedman posted. Clarity of reporting and perhaps thinking would be useful. But, hey you never know, Anthropogentic Climate Change may be on the way, or not.

Posted by: 123andy | June 15, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember when Mr. Freedman dutifully reported the publicity stunt by the Maldives' politicians? They held their cabinet meeting underwater: to symbolize the rising waters that were sure to flood their tiny island.

That wasn't the first time that Mr. Freedman has told us the Maldives were sure to drown/sink. Quote - ... the Maldives will still be swimming.

Turns out that isn't happening at all.

--begin quote--
An Auckland University researcher has offered new hope to the myriad small island nations in the Pacific which have loudly complained their low-lying atolls will drown as global warming boosts sea levels.

Geographer Associate Professor Paul Kench has measured 27 islands where local sea levels have risen 120mm – an average of 2mm a year – over the past 60 years, and found that just four had diminished in size.

Working with Arthur Webb at the Fiji-based South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Kench used historical aerial photographs and high-resolution satellite images to study changes in the land area of the islands.

They found that the remaining 23 had either stayed the same or grown bigger, according to the research published in a scientific journal, Global and Planetary Change.

“It has been thought that as the sea level goes up, islands will sit there and drown,” Prof Kench told the New Scientist. “But they won’t."
--end quote--

Source of the above quote.

Can we get a correction/retraction and an apology Mr. Freedman?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 16, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

The Big Thomson Canyon flood was caused in part by failure of a dam under Ypsilon Mountain.

Posted by: chase-truth | June 16, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

You can almost feel bad for Andrew. Here he was just a regular weatherman, nothing too exciting. Then along comes the global warming dragon, and he gets to play squire to the climatologists knights who are off to slay it.

Now it seems he was just tilting at windmills.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 16, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Whatever. I have one word to respond to this article: Climategate.

Posted by: WarEagle1 | June 16, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

For those of you fond of lists, check out this list. It is a list of "gates". He documents 70 different "gates".

Are there any errors in that list?

Maybe it is just me, but it seems like the perfect kind of scandals/errors/misstatements a journalist would love to write about.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q,

Shhhh... Those aren't the questions we're supposed to be asking.

Don't ask about Climate Science scandals.

Don't ask about how "green subsidies" and "green jobs" have killed the Spanish Economy.

Don't ask about the increase in taxes.

Don't ask reliability of proxy records in paleoclimatology.

Don't ask about why Greenpeace and other environmental organizations are completely silent on the gulf spill.

Don't ask if BP was a founding member of the Cap N Trade lobby.

Don't ask if BP is the largest single donor to Greenpeace and other environmental organizations.

Don't ask how many billions in carbon credits BP will get from the American Power Act.

No, don't ask any of these questions, these are not the questions Andrew wants asked. The right question for Andrew, is how can we manipulate the public by linking the oil spill to climate change, without saying anything bad about our friend BP?

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

ecocampaigner

To accuse me (or Andrew) as “true believers” simply “proves” that you have not read what I’ve written in posts or comments, except to find a way to distort and misrepresent the views expressed for exactly what you irresponsibly charge me, namely, intentionally attempting to say and use anything to support your non-believer opinions as “as a tool of political propaganda to promote climate change legislation”.

The only relevant thing for which I am a “true believer” is the science viewed (as true with all science) objectively without pre-ordained bias on whatever or wherever the science might lead.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | June 16, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your comments about floods and whether it is related to climate change or not. The debate kind of reminds me of the old story about if you boil water and through in a frog (or for us Marylanders a blue crab) it will jump right out, but if you start the water a room temperature and slowly raise the temperature to boiling, the frog/crab will never realize it until it is too late. Folks who think that climate change is a dramatic all of a sudden thing like waking up tomorrow morning with the start of a new ice age just don't grasp the concept that what is happening now may be the prelude to an entirely different climate our grandkids may have to deal with decades from now.

Posted by: jefflook | June 16, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

stubborn, inconvenient facts.

let's hear from the grand-puba of 'global-climate-scam" Dr. Phil Jones, he of the hysterical "hockey-shape graph", and as the Climate-gate scandal has proven--the non-scientist, to use the literal meaning of the term "scientific"

Here he admits that in fact depending on variations of measurement extrapolations, he could agree taht there has been no 'warming trend' for the past 10-20 years.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

Posted by: johnmpike | June 16, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Johnmpike, it is tiring to hear this same remark thrown around as proof positive that AGW is a sham after it has been debunked time after time. He does not say that global warming has stopped. This is no more than an attempt at deception. The question was baited with the addition of "statistical-significance". At that short of a timescale it is nearly impossible to prove statistical significance if there is even one outlier to the background pattern. Jones even adds a disclaimer for this directly prior to your suspect quote: "I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998." The graph in your link displays that the periods of 1975-1998 and 1975-2009 have nearly identical trends even when the supposed warming "stops" after 1998.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | June 16, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@Steve

I read every word you and other commenters write, but that doesn't mean I believe them.

Capital Weather Gang, I'm still waiting to hear what these climate change questions are, as per the title of the article...

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 16, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Brian wrote, "Johnmpike, it is tiring to hear this same remark thrown around as proof positive that AGW is a sham after it has been debunked time after time. He does not say that global warming has stopped. This is no more than an attempt at deception. The question was baited with the addition of "statistical-significance"."

This is one of those things that simultaneously profoundly upsets me and disappoints me. The blurring of "AGW" with "global warming".

In his first sentence Brian wrote, "Johnmpike, it is tiring to hear this same remark thrown around as proof positive that AGW is a sham after it has been debunked time after time." I disagree with that sentence, but that isn't the point of this comment. Notice that Brian specifically refers to "AGW". As everyone knows, AGW stands for anthropogenic global warming. AKA man-made global warming.

Then in his very next sentence, instead of saying AGW Brian wrote, "He does not say that global warming has stopped."

Notice how he drops the anthropogenic and simply refers to global warming. This is done ALL THE TIME! It is sooooooooooooooo wrong.

AGW does not equal "global warming". Proving that the globe has warmed, does not prove that man cause it. I realize this may be a very difficult concept for some to comprehend, but you really need to try.

People who do not subscribe to the "catastrophic, man made, someplace other than the United States (where we have the most accurate temperature measurement system - quoting Hansen!) warming" will often attack the "global warming" aspect of AGW simply because it is a definitive issue with which to disprove AGW. If there is no global warming, then there is no AGW.

But even if there is global warming, that still does not mean that man is to blame. Man is simply the scapegoat for scientists. They lack a good understanding of our climate system and so they blame man. It is that simple.

Brian, you should know better. And you should have kept reading at that link!

--begin quote--
C - Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?

No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. THE TREND THIS TIME IS NEGATIVE (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.
--end quote-- (emphasis mine)

The trend since 2002 is COOLING!

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Excellent questions ecocampaigner!

Those aren't the only questions we aren't supposed to ask. These are just off the top of my head -

Don't ask what caused the Little Ice Age.

Don't ask what caused the Little Ice Age to stop and warming to occur.

Don't ask why Phil Jones refused to give any skeptics the raw temperature data.

Don't ask why Phil Jones wanted Mike Mann to "delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4?"

Don't asky why Phil Jones said he would delete the raw temperature data rather than give it to skeptics.

Don't ask if there is any possible connection between Phil Jones' assertion that he would delete the data and the data being mysetriously deleted. (perish the thought!)

Don't ask how so many non-peer reviewed papers could have been referenced in the last IPCC report.

And definitely don't ask how much of a difference in temperature implementing cap and trade would make! (You don't want to know.)

If I had the time, I could go on all day with the questions they don't want us to ask. I wish I had the time. :(

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 17, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

mr.q.,
yes, nice list of "gates"...

i'll just respond to the first one, and assume that the others are just as valid....

according to this paper sea level rise HAS been accelerating. do you see something wrong with this paper?

http://www.psmsl.org/products/reconstructions/GRL_Church_White_2006_024826.pdf

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 17, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I get the feeling you didn't bother to read the claims and criticisms from that first site, Walter. Their criticism was -
"Acceleration has been caused by selective trend calculation (i.e. cherry-picking). The following figure compares (left) the above sea level data (1.6 mm/yr) with (right) more recently reported rate of 3.1 mm/yr. By using a start year of 1993 – at the bottom of a dip in the trend, a spurious calculation of 3.1 is obtained. In reality the recent data is in line with the long-term trend – the “acceleration” is artificial."

You want to disprove their criticism by pointing to a paper which did precisely what they claimed. Quoting the paper you referenced -
"We calculate the EOFs from 12 years (compared with 9 years in our earlier study) of satellite altimeter data (T/P and Jason-1) from January 1993 to December 2004."

Rather than refute the first "gate", you provided evidence supporting their criticism!

I will do as you suggested and assume that the remaining gates are as accurate and valid as the first. And I thank you for providing supporting evidence.

I have to run. Don't expect an answer from me to any further comments by you.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 17, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

mr.q.,
hahahaha... "selective trend calculation"?.... like "cooling since 2002"? hahahaha...that's rich!

how 'bout this? note esp. fig. 3.

http://academics.eckerd.edu/instructor/hastindw/MS1410-001_FA08/handouts/2008SLRSustain.pdf

about the "Don't expect an answer from me to any further comments by you."

you've promised me that before...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 17, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch wrote, "you've promised me that before..."

I have not. I told you not to expect any reply. Why on Earth would I promise you anything at all?

Your other reference suffers from the same problem as your first. Cherry picked SATELLITE data from 1993 and afterward, between 66 degrees North and 66 degrees South, (can you get more CHERRY PICKED than that?) compared to old fashioned tidal measurements from 1870! Are you shocked to find a disparity between the two different measuring systems?

--begin quote--
From 1993 to the end of 2006, near-global measurements of sea level (between 66"N and 66"S) made by highprecision satellite altimeters indicate that the global average sea level has been rising at 3.1 ± 0.4 mm year-1 (Beckley et al. 2007; Fig. 3a; unless stated otherwise, all errors estimates quoted are one standard deviation).
--end quote--

You have failed to disprove the first gate. Only 69 more to go.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 18, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch wrote, "hahahaha... "selective trend calculation"?.... like "cooling since 2002"?"

You do realize that I was paraphrasing Phil Jones, don't you??? He said, "THE TREND THIS TIME IS NEGATIVE (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant."

It is truly bad form to use quotations around text when someone didn't write what is within your quotation marks. Who are you quoting?

I paraphrased Phil Jones and wrote, "The trend since 2002 is COOLING!"

I did not write, as you indicate, "cooling since 2002".

If you are going to use quotations, you should at least quote people accurately. Copy and paste is not that difficult.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 18, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

some might complain about the comparison of recent data to old data when calculating the accelerating sea level rise. of course that's how one would determine if the rate is increasing: compare the beginning slope to the end slope....that's what acceleration is. the fact that the most recent data shows the most rapid sea level rise is, well, evidence of acceleration. weird.

sorry scientists are using the most recent, most reliable data where possible.....hahaha

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 18, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

some people would look at that paper i referenced and cherry pick one data set to complain about, without noting that all the data, taken as a whole, shows acceleration all through the 20th century, which correlate closely with global temperature estimates for that period. there's a pause in the acceleration, associated with volcanic eruptions, but then the acceleration takes over right where it was.

would anyone expect sea level NOT to rise along with global temperatures?! i wonder if some people are still in denial about global temperature rise (anthropogenic or otherwise)?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 18, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

mr.q.,
what i'm laughing at is that you think "cooling since 2002" is relevant. along with how phil jones' comments about "no warming since 1998" were cherry-picked [and misrepresented, at that] by denialist cherry-picking champs, i'm sure this "cooling since 2002" cherry is making the denialist rounds too.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 18, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

oh...puleeze, mr.q.....criticizing my form. i was laughing at the fact that you were accusing me of cherry-picking when you were cherry-picking....hahaha it's still funny.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 18, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Hi Walter, this "most rapid" rise in the most recent data is not unique. Sea level rise has accelerated in the past for decade or two time intervals and will slow again and speed up again. In the fig 3 that you pointed out, the smoothed line (showing smoothed "acceleration") is not very useful since acceleration is not a smooth process. In fact the recent acceleration (just 13 years worth) is pretty much just a response to the "acceleration" in temperature from the late 70's to the late 90's. As that acceleration has ebbed, so will the ocean rise.

Posted by: eric654 | June 18, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

You don't see many stories any more that say "Researchers ... have found evidence that the rate of global warming is accelerating". Unlike those good old days when "Karl and his colleagues conclude that there is only a one-in-20 chance that the string of record high temperatures in 1997-1998 was simply an unusual event", we now know that the 1998 was an unusual peak in temperatures and we have barely come close since (this year is close according to the satellite record).

Here's the link so you can have another chuckle: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000222103553.htm

Hahahaha, global warming is accelerating. Hahaha, not unusual, hahaha.

Posted by: eric654 | June 18, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

hi eric, you said,
"In the fig 3 that you pointed out, the smoothed line (showing smoothed "acceleration") is not very useful since acceleration is not a smooth process."

well, no, it is useful because it "takes out" those weather ups and downs to show the long-term climate trend, right? it excludes cherry-picking and minimizes the effect of the recent satellite record (that some people really seem to hate).

as far as "recent cooling" or temperature rise slowing down, or acceleration slowing down, that's hard to say, but the '90s were the warmest decade on record....until the '00s. now '10 looks like it has a good chance to be the warmest single year on record. doesn't sound like warming is slowing down...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 18, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't sound like warming is accelerating either.

Posted by: eric654 | June 18, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Walter, its easy to make this decade the hottest when you systematically change older temperatures to make them colder, then throw away the original data, something the CRU team admitted to doing.

Acceleration of sea level rise is one of those things they talk about because the actual rate of sea level rise is very, very small.

Sea level rise is so small in fact, that its nearly immeasurable. Sea level varies according to tide, location, storms and other factors. The supposed height of rise is barely a few inches. This is not only so slight that its impossible to see with the naked eye, but its less than a wave height.

So just like temperature, sea level rise is so insignificant and within normal bounds, its nearly impossible to determine, and well within the margin of error of tests to determine it.

Easy test. Find pictures of seaside resorts 100 years ago, compare to today. Notice the ocean is in the same place. Warmist will call foul on tides and time, but it just shows how insignificant the rise is.

Citing "Acceleration" instead of actual rise, is intentionally misleading in an attempt to scare you out of your tax dollars.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 18, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

eric,
nice diversion there. the discussion is (was, anyway) about whether sea level rise is accelerating. i only mentioned that in response to "recent cooling" cherries.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 18, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I brought up "acceleration" in temperature as an example that you shouldn't put your eggs in the acceleration basket. That is an alarmist word (and as eco points out, has no real world consequences). Then even that modest "acceleration" will stop and the old news stories will be as embarrassing as the one above. Talk about facts, not hype and you will get a lot further in the long run.

Posted by: eric654 | June 18, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Walter might I suggest you jump on the ocean acidification bandwagon, its a lot easier to argue than sea level rise, which is why you never hear about that anymore.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 18, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

eco, eric,
i really am surprised sea level isn't rising faster. glaciers are melting. i guess water's going into snowy parts of antarctica? i love/hate the idea of the ocean's thermal expansion. amazing the effect that has... maybe extra mixing from the cold/deep areas could minimize that? it's a big heat sink. probably has quite a "lag time".

and i agree it's silly to worry about a sea level rise on the order of a mm/yr..... i think me and al gore (hahaha) are worried about those rates, um...accelerating....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 18, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

you guys probably know this, but looks like sea levels are high on the scale of thousands of years,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sea_level_temp_140ky.gif

and low on the scale of millions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phanerozoic_Sea_Level.png

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 18, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Walter,

Al Gore's not worried about sea level rise, he just bought a mansion at the beach. Recent studies, peer reviewed, have determined that the "thermal expansion" effect is miniscule, only adding about 1mm per degree of temperature.

Really Walter, nobody takes sea level rise due to Global Warming seriously anymore, its just not happening fast enough. When the rate of rise gets to a few inches per year, we can worry, but while its a few mm per year, its irrelevant.

Most glaciers are shrinking, slowly, and have been since the end of the little ice age circa 1850. As Glaciergate taught us (and the IPCC), the melt rate is so slow it would take hundreds of years to melt for the largest glaciers.

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 18, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Walter, why don't you tackle number two on the list?

Africagate - The IPCC wrongly claims that in some African countries yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020.

"At best, this is a wild exaggeration, unsupported by any scientific research, referenced only to a report produced by a Canadian advocacy group, written by an obscure Moroccan academic who specialises in carbon trading, citing references which do not support his claims."

Or perhaps you would like to tackle number 3 on the list. An Inconvenient Truth Gate -
35 errors or gross exaggerations are found in Al Gore’s Oscar winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

Or perhaps number 4 - Amazon-gate -
IPCC cites “robust” source: green activist organisation WWF.

Talk about embarrassing!

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 18, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Walter, maybe you would prefer to skip down to number 8 on the list, given its timely relevance - BP funds Greenpeace Gate!

--begin quote--
In what passes for debate about climate change one of the most tiresome allegations is that skeptics are lavishly funded by big oil. As a result of this funding, so the argument goes, the public has been confused by those who'll say anything in exchange for a paycheck.

"Follow the money" we're told and you'll discover that climate skeptics are irredeemably tainted. Ergo nothing they say can be trusted. Ergo their concerns, questions, and objections should be dismissed out of hand.

It's therefore amusing that the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now drawing attention to the close relationship between climate change activists and BP – aka British Petroleum, an entity for which the descriptor "big oil" was surely invented.
--end quote--

Yes, Greenpeace has been funded by none other than British Petroleum. Greenpeace is funded by BIG OIL!!

Documented by the Washington Post.

Maybe you would like to explain that one, Walter.

Mr. Q.


Posted by: Mr_Q | June 18, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Al Gore, one of his producers for that error filled Shockumentary was Laurie David. She has children's book which has been pulled because it had "a major factual error".

Factual errors seems to be the tie that binds in the alarmist community.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 18, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised that thermal expansion is love/hate. On the one hand if the ocean is warming and storing all that extra heat (the heat is in the "pipeline"), we would see lots of thermal expansion. On the other hand, the more that sea level rise is due to thermal expansion, the less it is due to Greenland melting. So you end up with the choice of heat in the "pipeline" or Greenland melting but not both.

Posted by: eric654 | June 18, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Correction. I read too quickly. It isn't Greenpeace that is funded by BP. It is Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org) and Conservation International (www.conservation.org). It is the Greenpeace side of the debate, but not Greenpeace itself.

BP also gives money to Princeton University and two other US universities (over $500 Million).

My sincere apologies for the goof.

When I err I own up to it.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 18, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It's as simple as this: Warmer air holds more water vapor, which means that there is a tendency to have more frequent and more deadly floods.

Sure, a reporter can't say that climate change caused any single event, but s/he can say that climate change is the reason why events like this are becoming more frequent, and frequently more deadly.

The National Flood Insurance Program is already $18 billion in debt, so how much longer will we be able to get weather insurance? With unstable weather patterns, how can insurance companies calculate risk? How can we get mortgages on uninsured homes? How can businesses use uninsured property as collateral for loans? What will happen to our economy without these sources of credit?

Posted by: DaregaleSkylark | June 18, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Not quite that simple. For the world as a whole on average your increased WV point is correct. But for any particular area, the effects of warming will vary. Also as I linked above, a large amount of the U.S. (mostly the west, but also east) will have much more influence from PDO than from a 0.5 degree or similar average warming http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html For example the 30's were known for both drought and floods thanks to positive PDO.

I agree that on average there will be more frequent precip events. But not stronger (I show examples above) and not more deadly (except as consequences of lax codes, population growth and other nonweather factors). So I will ask again, what specific threat are people afraid of? That the flood insurance program is broken? That's not caused by climate change, not even El Nino. Just basic flawed policies.

Posted by: eric654 | June 18, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of water vapor, supposedly there will be a new paper in "Energy & Environment" which touches upon the topic of water vapor; primarily as a positive feedback mechanism.

The paper is by Ferenc Miskolczi, a former NASA physicist. The paper "shows empirically that change in the greenhouse effect due to CO2 would likely have been detected if it had been present in the last 61 years. Miskolczi also demonstrates that the IPCC-claimed positive feedback from water vapor does not exist."

Source of the above quote.

His original paper with this hypothesis, for anyone interested, can be found here.

I have been slowly working my way through another paper which discusses Ferenc's hypothesis. It is fascinating. That paper can be found here.

I think his method has definite merit. He starts by closely analyzing the real world observations and then coming up with a theory that explains those observations. Which is the opposite of what we see today. So many scientists start with a theory and then try to come up with observations/measurements that support their theory. They are doing it bassackwards.

But I too have made similar mistakes in the past. I bet anyone who has done any serious troubleshooting has done the exact same thing. You come up with what you think is the problem. Then you try to assemble the evidence to prove that your diagnosis is correct. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Learned that lesson the hard way. But in my defense, I don't believe I ever turned such a blind eye to contradictory evidence as these so called scientists are doing.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 18, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

omg. mr. q.,
you must eat a lot of cherries. it's precious how your "source" link above is based on the "since 1997" (record warm year...) cherry-pick. nice ripe cherry, there. actually it's about to go rotten, when 2010 tops it. oh well, enjoy your cherry-picked recent cooling...hahaha

so are you saying ferenc miskolczi has a new revolutionary theory that others have overlooked. what do you think of this analysis of it:

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/06/gigo-eli-has-learned-over-years-that.html

eric,
i'd like to hear your thoughts on ferenc miskolczi's AGW-disproving theory.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 20, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

"The paper is by Ferenc Miskolczi, a former NASA physicist. The paper "shows empirically that change in the greenhouse effect due to CO2 would likely have been detected if it had been present in the last 61 years."

http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php
#31?, and/or 51? and/or 71?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 20, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

"africagate"
from just yesterday. as with all things like this and the mike hulme 2500 scientists "controversy", i'm pretty darn sure "watt's up with that", and "climate audit" et. al. won't be too concerned about clearing up the controversy - because that what they sell: controversy/uncertainty.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/leakegate-a-retraction/

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 21, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

oops, the above link is mostly about the "amazongate" fake scandal. but at the bottom of the post is a link about the "africagate" fake scandal. sorry i got my fake scandals mixed up...

anyway here are some facts about the "africagate" fake scandal:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_how_jonathan_leake_c.php

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

As someone who just lived through the Tennessee flooding, I am truly appalled at the lack of scientific coverage of the event. My location is very rural, my entire watershed is heavily forested, we are not in a river floodplain, and yet the damage and change was amazing. There was so much rain in such a short period of time that in places, the forested hillsides slid down into new arrangements, blocking roads and creeks, redirecting the creek channels. This geological evidence, comparing rock and soil layers, could indeed shed some light into the frequency of this type of event.
As was noted, river height does not count, as the Cumberland river is controlled by a series of dams. (And had you lived here, you would have heard a lot of intense argument during the event regarding the holding back or releasing the water, depending on which side of the damn your community sat)
The creeks,within this forested area, in many places were scoured out to bedrock, their banks are now 4 feet deep compared to surrounding terrain instead of the previous 1 foot of bank. Geologic layers are now exposed in areas that most definitely had more than 100 year old layers..most interesting.

Posted by: cgtn | June 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch wrote, "omg. mr. q.,
you must eat a lot of cherries. it's precious how your "source" link above is based on the "since 1997" (record warm year...) cherry-pick. nice ripe cherry, there. actually it's about to go rotten, when 2010 tops it. oh well, enjoy your cherry-picked recent cooling...hahaha
"

You are fixating on the graphic that the blog owner uses on his blog (it appears on every page), and not the actual paper by Ferenc Miskolczi. I was quoting and referencing a paper, not a graphic. If you would take the time to read the short abstract of his paper, you would have seen that his paper spans observations over 61 years, 1948 to 2008.

--begin quote--
In the 1948-2008 time period the global average annual mean true greenhouse-gas optical thickness is found to be time-stationary. Simulated radiative no-feedback effects of measured actual CO2 change over the 61 years were calculated and found to be of magnitude easily detectable by the empirical data and analytical methods used.The data negate increase in CO2 in the atmosphere as a hypothetical cause for the apparently observed global warming. A hypothesis of significant positive feedback by water vapor effect on atmospheric infrared absorption is also negated by the observed measurements.
--end quote--

Same source as before.

I don't have time for you Walter. But honestly, even if I did, I would choose not to. You steadfastly refuse to be civil. You don't take the time to read and seriously consider arguments against catastrophic, man-made, someplace other than the United States (according to NASA), warming. You run to your skepticalscience.com blog and come back here with numbers.

I looked at their "arguments". They are a combination of red herrings and straw men. They act as if we are arguing that CO2 couldn't possibly cause warming, and then they proceed to rebut an argument that no one made. Their rebuttal would be appropriate if that is what anyone seriously argues. But that isn't what serious people argue. We argue that it won't cause catastrophic, run away warming as pitched by so many alarmists. We argue that their positive feedbacks are wrong. That they suffer from confirmation bias and don't look for negative feedbacks the way the scour for any positive feedback. We argue that there are too many unknowns to justify radical action at the present. We urge a little humility.

But trying to engage you in a thoughtful, civil debate has proven nothing but a waste of time in the past, and I see no indication that anything has changed.

If you were serious, you wouldn't constantly write, "hahaha". When you do that, you are attempting to provoke an emotional response and not intellectual discussion. No thank you. I'll pass.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch wrote, "omg. mr. q.,
you must eat a lot of cherries. it's precious how your "source" link above is based on the "since 1997" (record warm year...) cherry-pick. nice ripe cherry, there. actually it's about to go rotten, when 2010 tops it. oh well, enjoy your cherry-picked recent cooling...hahaha
"

You are fixating on the graphic that the blog owner uses on his blog (it appears on every page), and not the actual paper by Ferenc Miskolczi. I was quoting and referencing a paper, not a graphic. If you would take the time to read the short abstract of his paper, you would have seen that his paper spans observations over 61 years, 1948 to 2008.

--begin quote--
In the 1948-2008 time period the global average annual mean true greenhouse-gas optical thickness is found to be time-stationary. Simulated radiative no-feedback effects of measured actual CO2 change over the 61 years were calculated and found to be of magnitude easily detectable by the empirical data and analytical methods used.The data negate increase in CO2 in the atmosphere as a hypothetical cause for the apparently observed global warming. A hypothesis of significant positive feedback by water vapor effect on atmospheric infrared absorption is also negated by the observed measurements.
--end quote--

Same source as before.

I don't have time for you Walter. But honestly, even if I did, I would choose not to. You steadfastly refuse to be civil. You don't take the time to read and seriously consider arguments against catastrophic, man-made, someplace other than the United States (according to NASA), warming. You run to your skepticalscience.com blog and come back here with numbers.

I looked at their "arguments". They are a combination of red herrings and straw men. They act as if we are arguing that CO2 couldn't possibly cause warming, and then they proceed to rebut an argument that no one made. Their rebuttal would be appropriate if that is what anyone seriously argues. But that isn't what serious people argue. We argue that it won't cause catastrophic, run away warming as pitched by so many alarmists. We argue that their positive feedbacks are wrong. That they suffer from confirmation bias and don't look for negative feedbacks the way the scour for any positive feedback. We argue that there are too many unknowns to justify radical action at the present. We urge a little humility.

But trying to engage you in a thoughtful, civil debate has proven nothing but a waste of time in the past, and I see no indication that anything has changed.

If you were serious, you wouldn't constantly write, "hahaha". When you do that, you are attempting to provoke an emotional response and not intellectual discussion. No thank you. I'll pass.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

mr.q,
you complain about cherry-picking, and send me to a web site whose banner graphic is a cherry-pick. sorry, but i find that humorous.

about the skeptical science website: you charge they refute red herrings? of course they're red herrings - because that's all "skeptics" have. but every argument on that page is a "real" fake argument. he even gives a link to the source of the red herring. often it's spencer, but they come from all over the place.

you said,

"They act as if we are arguing that CO2 couldn't possibly cause warming, and then they proceed to rebut an argument that no one made. Their rebuttal would be appropriate if that is what anyone seriously argues. But that isn't what serious people argue."

agreed, "serious people" don't say that, but you sent just me to an article whose headline reads:

"CO2 not cause of Global Warming"

again, pretty funny...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 22, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

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