Saturday, July 30, 2016

Book Review: "Disasters & Climate Change"

To many, especially those that read about global warming in the media, my insistence that disasters have not increased in the global warming era seems odd, to say the least.

There are two reasons my position does not track media reporting. The first is that the media reports "science by press release" rather than the actual content of scientific publications. Press releases usually emphasize the sensational aspects of a paper in order to get press coverage. So, it is a never-ending cycle of disaster hype.

The second reason is that, as a meteorologist, I try to keep up with the actual science. In that regard, I just finished a great book that reaffirms that disasters have not increased.

The title is The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. Dr. Pielke's research demonstrates:
  • The dysfunctional nature of climate science with regard to attribution of global warming and increased disasters.
  • There is high confidence that global warming has driven daily extreme high temperatures to more frequent occurrences. 
  • It is "likely" (i.e., better than 50/50) that some parts of the world are observing more rainfall due to climate change. One of those areas is Central North America. If true (and, it may be), that is a good thing!
  • But, even though some areas may be receiving more rainfall, "there is very little evidence to suggest that these increases have been accompanied by increasing floods." I completely agree with Roger's conclusion. There is virtually no reliable evidence that floods are increasing. The implications of this are huge: America is the breadbasket of the world. More rain (and, longer growing seasons due to a warmer climate) without additional floods means more food production for a hungry world.
  • US hurricane intensity is decreasing. The US is in the longest "drought" of major hurricanes in more than 200 years. We have not had a major hurricane in nearly 11 years.
  • Page 70 says there is no discernible trend in worldwide hurricanes. 
  • There is no indication tornadoes are increasing. Note from me: The graph in the posting below shows major US tornadoes are decreasing.
For more than a quarter-century, we have been hearing about supposed doom from worsening disasters due to global warming. They haven't occurred in spite of humanity harmlessly passing literally dozens of "tipping points." 

Roger recommends decarbonizing energy production, especially by finding new sources of inexpensive energy that are very low or no carbon. He correctly cautions that we cannot know for sure that additional CO2 in the future might cause disasters to increase. 

I am less enthusiastic about decarbonization because of the delay in bringing affordable energy to extreme poverty areas of the third world. I also believe additional greenhouse gases are a form of insurance against global cooling which would be catastrophic for mankind. However, that is a debate where reasonable people can disagree. 

Roger's book is quite readable to the non-scientist and I highly recommend it. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

"Weaponizing the Atmosphere" -- Another Silly Global Warming 'News' Story

Does anyone in Big Climate realize that their claims can be checked? Here is the key part of a new climate scare story:
There is no such thing as a "rain bomb" -- they had a dramatic photo of a downburst and decided to use it because it looks "weaponized."

How many times do I have to debunk the "tornadoes are getting worse" meme? They are not. Here is the official data.
Unfortunately, this graph ends at 2014. It would show even fewer major tornadoes for 2015 and for 2016, to-date. 

The article pines for a better time before global warming caused rainfall to increase and even shows a graph of the increases. Okay, since according to climate 'science,' human-caused global warming began in the 1950's, let's look at a time when Mother Nature was firmly in control, say, this month in 1934:
I've never understood why the catastrophic global warming people want to go back to this nostalgic era when Mother Nature was in control. It was colder and drier. Crop failures and famines were much more common as previously documented on this blog. 

I suspect this is another "conveniently timed" story given that a certain political event ended last night. 

More Nuclear Power? Yes!

A complete summary, here.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Damaging Winds Possible

I don't normally cover severe thunderstorm watches but the potential for 85 mph winds and a brief tornado or two are possible as the line of storms sweeps southeast through Kansas.

Please prepare accordingly.

Tornado and Damaging Wind Risk

Late this afternoon and tonight is a risk of tornadoes:
The 5% area is where the risk is significant.

And, there is a damaging wind risk:
The 15% area is the significant risk area. The hatched area is where winds could exceed 75mph!

Please prepare accordingly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"Climafornication" DNC-Style

I was amused to learn the Democratic National Convention was going to screen a climate movie this evening. I didn't watch but was intrigued when Twitter lit up about "over the top" and how poorly the movie went over.

So, I went to the DNC web site but couldn't find the movie. However, I did find it here. And, much to my surprise, most of the early part of tonight's movie is recycled footage from two years ago! The original program ran on Showtime and it was called Years of Living Dangerously. I wrote about it here. The title of my piece was an allusion to Showtime's "Californication."
Note the photo of Arnold from April, 2014, and the screen capture below from tonight's movie.
The entire Dangerously video had an intentional sepia tint to make it look "drier" and conditions worse than they were. I lightened up the screen capture above so you can see the match with Dangerously's advertisement (at top). 

Tonight's movie repeated the same sepia-tinted west Texas footage about the supposed terrible drought in that region (see below), presented as current climate conditions. A farmer is on camera talking about "last year" as if it were 2015 when, in reality, it was 2013. 

The only problem with that segment is the drought in west Texas broke long ago. Currently, no part of Texas is experiencing drought conditions. 
NOAA's official current drought index. Browns = drought.
No browns in any of Texas. 
Apparently, the climate has been so benign that they couldn't find new more disasters to film since tornadoes are way down,  there have been zero major hurricanes in the U.S. and the drought in West Texas ended. The same old footage of Hurricane Sandy has gotten tiresome.

The DNC movie repeated the same old lie that the rise in sea level the last 100 years is "largely due to climate change" when the rate of sea level rise hasn't changed since the end of the Little Ice Age.

I had to laugh at noted climate scientist Jack Black making a prediction about when Miami would be under water.

So, the DMC got to see old footage, inaccurately presented. Typical of Big Climate.

I hope the DNC knows what they were being billed for.

Wind Energy Crisis in South Australia

click to enlarge
"If you don't have affordable energy, you don't have sustainable jobs."

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Power of Lightning!

9 Lightning Deaths in the Past Two Weeks

A week ago today, I posted about lightning safety and AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions' new lightning warning technology.

I am very sorry to report that nine people have lost their lives in lightning strikes in the United States the past two weeks.

If you are in charge of an outdoor event venue or have outdoor workers, please contact us so we can tell you how our lifesaving storm warnings can benefit your business and your workforce.

Update 4:26pm: Sorry to report there has been another lightning death today bringing the total to 10.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Wind Damage in Chicago

Last night, it was heavy rains.

Tonight in Chicago, it is high wind damage. Via Twitter.

It is damage to the covered walkway along the L Train between Chicago and Racine caused by high winds. Here is a Tweet. Again, caused by wind not lightning.

Here is what the radar looked like at the time.
There is other damage in the city.

UPDATE from Chicago Tribune:  

Portions of the CTA’s Red Line, Blue, and Brown Line service have been temporarily suspended because of damage to a platform and debris, including a tree, that fell onto the tracks during Sunday night's storm, according to the transit agency.

Service on the Red Line between the Belmont and Grand stations has been halted on the North Side because a tree fell onto the tracks near the Armitage station, according to CTA spokewoman Catherine Hosinski, who was citing preliminary information.
As a result, trains are operating in two sections -- between the Howard and Belmont stations and between the Grand and 95th stations only, according to the CTA. Shuttle buses will be available shortly.
Additionally, Blue Line service is suspended in both directions between Kedzie and Racine stations because a pedestrian ramp which leads from the Illinois Medical District station to the platform was damaged, said Hosinski.
Hosinski initially said debris had fallen onto the tracks.

"Air Conditioning Worse Than Isis"

Kerry: Refrigerator chemicals are just as bad as ISIS

Air conditioners and refrigerators pose as big a threat to “life on the planet” as the threat of terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

Kerry was in Vienna negotiating a global climate deal to phase out chemicals used as refrigerants in basic household and commercial appliances such as air conditioning and refrigerators, called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The chemicals are a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists blame for contributing to global warming.

Kerry made the remarks as part of a pep talk for negotiators working through the weekend to amend a 1987 treaty called the Montreal Protocol to deal with the chemicals.

“Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations — defense ministers and foreign ministers — as we were working together on the challenge of [the Islamic State], and terrorism,” he said. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we — you — are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

I wonder how the families and loved ones of people killed by ISIS (81 in Baghdad the same day Kerry made those remarks) feel about his sentiments.

Sunday Fun: I've Been Riding the Wrong Buses!

Amazing what you see on the streets of Wichita. Here is a photo taken Wednesday afternoon while
stopped in traffic. Nothing unusual until you look at the bus's destination.
"Honolulu"?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Chicago Area Flash Flood Danger

A classic train echo is setting up over the northern part of Chicagoland. A "train" echo is individual thunderstorms, often in an east-west configuration, taking the same path and causing very heavy rains. Think the of boxcars moving down a track.

The train echo may continue until the line of thunderstorms to the west arrives later this evening.
Please monitor this situation and, if you are along the train echo remember, "Turn around, don't drown!"

Unusual July Rainfall Pattern

Over the next seven days, substantial rains are forecast to fall with the Southwest Monsoon and with a weakened high pressure system over the central United States.
It is unusual to see this much substantial rain forecast this time of year.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tornado Risk Today

There is a small area of the northern Great Plains that has a significant risk of tornadoes today.
If you live in this area, please keep up on the weather later today.