Saturday, February 28, 2015

Forecast Radar for 10am CST

Summary of the Personal Attacks on Climate Scientists

Those who have been following my blog for the last ten days have been reading about the unprecedented personal attacks on climate scientists who do not toe the line on the climate "consensus." While I wish for this blog to be non-political, I would not be a good reporter if I did not point out that this began with postings linked to the White House this past weekend and then, Monday, continued with letters from Congress and press releases from Big Environment

This event brought a most-welcome letter from the American Meteorological Society.

I have wanted to post a single article that summarizes these events but the silence from the mainstream media is absolutely deafening. So, I am linking to this column from Mark Steyn which, in spite of snark, some hyperbole and political comments is factually accurate. 

Now, Let's Talk About Ice

Here is the freezing rain forecast accumulation:
The odd boundaries are a quirk of the way the NWS forecasts these things. Regardless, this will make travel very hazardous.

Kansas Snow Depths

These are up to 6pm. Click to enlarge.

Forecast for Additional Snow

Here is the forecast snow from 3pm today to 3pm Sunday for Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and the Arkansas Ozarks.
While our new model is excellent with positions, please keep in mind these narrow bands could easily be ±20 mi. displaced north or south.

Here is a forecast of the new snowfall from now until 7pm EST Sunday.
Dr. Ryan Maue

ADDITION: While not as detailed as the fine-grained models presented above, here is a general U.S. map of additional snow from 4pm CST this afternoon through Monday afternoon.
NWS data via Johnny Kelly. Click to enlarge. 

Wichita State Wins the Missouri Valley Title

Sports Illustrated
Final: #11 Wichita State 74;  #10 Northern Iowa 60.   
WSU wins the Missouri Valley Championship.

Global Warming Attacks: Answer to a Question

I just received a question about why I am not writing about the strongly pro-catastrophic global warming scientist who allegedly has a conflict-of-interest issue to the skeptical scientist who was under strong attack a week ago.

The answer is that I do not believe any scientist should be under personal attack for their scientific conclusions. 

Science should be about the scientific method and the results derived therefrom.

Clear?

Winter Storm Update

(scroll down for the accumulation forecasts) Below is the AccuWeather Regional Radar:
Darker blues indicate heavier rates of falling snow. Note the areas of sleet in purple. Here in Wichita, the snow has ended for the time being with 4 to 5 inches on the ground. 

Here (thanks, Ryan Maue) is the forecast radar for midnight CST.
The area of snow now centered over Kansas and Missouri moves to the northern Ohio Valley. Meanwhile the Sunday storm for the Plains gathers over the Rockies and southern High Plains.

UPDATE: I-44 in Phelps Co., Missouri (between St. Louis and Springfield). Extreme caution indicated if you are traveling in the region.

Safe Travels ESPN

Moderate snow falling in northeast Wichita. Really enjoyed GameDay from Wichita State and hope the ESPN crew's drive to Lawrence is safe.

We have 3-4" on the ground in northeast Wichita.

I'm expecting total accumulation (including what fell yesterday) of 4-7" in southeast Wichita and 2-5" in northwest Wichita.

ESPN College GameDay: WSU to KU, Good Luck With That!

ESPN's College GameDay is at The Roundhouse -- Wichita State's fantastic basketball facility. It runs until 10 on ESPNU and then runs from 10 to 11 on ESPN.

The plan is for the crew to jump in their bus and drive from Wichita to Lawrence in time for a 2pm telecast. Good luck with that. Here is the latest AccuWeather radar with the two locations circled.
The Kansas Turnpike Authority, the road they will take, just tweeted:
They may have the janitor broadcasting from Lawrence right at 2pm.

UPDATE: The first hour is pre-taped. The live show starts momentarily.

Winter Weather Update

This is the latest AccuWeather regional radar. The darker shades of blues indicate heavier rates of falling snow.

Here are the expected snow accumulations.

In Kansas, the snow will provided much needed moisture and cover for the dormant winter wheat crop.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Thank You American Meteorological Society!

The American Meteorological Society has helpfully chimed in on the unprecedented personal attacks on scientists that disagree with the global warming "consensus." Of course, the AMS as an institution and I (personally and as an AMS Fellow) support the freedom of scientists to research and present their results without fear of personal attack. It is time for the White House and the Congressional Democrats that launched this attack to withdraw their letters and reaffirm their support of scientific integrity.


AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY
45 BEACON STREET, BOSTON, MA 02108-3693 U.S.A.

27 February 2015


The Honorable Raúl M. Grijalva Minority Leader
Committee on Natural Resources U. S. House of Representatives


Dear Representative Grijalva:

Science and jurisprudence have in common the practice of the careful and critical evaluation of ideas, facts, assertions, and conclusions. The remarkable and time tested results apparent to all rely on guidelines for the practice of research, of argument, of evidence, and of integrity that are clear and clearly honored. It is in this spirit that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) is strongly committed to academic freedom, open scientific debate, and free expression of scientific ideas (see, for example, the AMS Statement on Freedom of Scientific Expression: http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2012statement_freedom.html). 

The AMS is also deeply committed to transparency in science, the free availability of scientific data and academic research products, and full disclosure of funding sources and potential conflicts of interest (see, for example, the obligations of authors wishing to publish their results in AMS scientific journals: www.ametsoc.org/PUBSAuthorObligations).

Despite its commitment to transparency and full disclosure within the scientific process, the AMS is concerned by the “Letters to Seven Universities Asking for Documents on Climate Change Research” (http://democrats.naturalresources.house.gov/documents/letters-seven-universities-asking-documents-climate- change-research) posted on the Committee website on 24 February. Publicly singling out specific researchers based on perspectives they have expressed and implying a failure to appropriately disclose funding sources — and thereby questioning their scientific integrity — sends a chilling message to all academic researchers. Further, requesting copies of the researcher’s communications related to external funding opportunities or the preparation of testimony impinges on the free pursuit of ideas that is central to the concept of academic freedom.

The AMS maintains that peer-review is the appropriate mechanism to assess the validity and quality of scientific research, regardless of the funding sources supporting that research as long as those funding sources and any potential conflicts of interest are fully disclosed. The scientific process that includes testing and validation of concepts and ideas — discarding those that cannot successfully withstand such testing — is chronicled in the peer- reviewed scientific literature. We encourage the Committee to rely on the full corpus of peer-reviewed literature on climate science as the most reliable source for knowledge and understanding that can be applied to the policy options before you.

Sincerely,
Dr. Keith L. Seitter AMS Executive Director 

Messy Weekend

For those that like snow, a rapidly decreasing number, you'll love this weekend.

AccuWeather has the details.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

McCarthyism in Climate Science - Update

Update on the unprecedented attack on genuine science that commenced this week:

The current atmosphere of McCarthyism directed toward dissenting (from the "consensus") scientists like Dr. Judith Curry and seven others that originated at the White House and has spread to the Democrats in Congress will not only discourage alternative and creative lines of research into climate but
will keep young scientists "in line."As DrRoger Pielke, Jr. wrote yesterday,

The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”

As (liberal) Tom Fuller wrote yesterday in commenting about the current witch hunt,

Because none of this is about science. It is about controlling the levers of power, making sure the right message is fed through the media channels and that funding for the right issues is uninterrupted.

I've written a number of times how climate 'science' been corrupted by politics. I would have expected genuine scientists, regardless of their positions on global warming or political leanings, to defend those under attack the past few days. In most cases, not only have they failed to speak up for academic freedom, they have joined the attacks. They should be ashamed of themselves.

A Climate Scientist's Summary of the State-of-the-Climate Science

Dr. Judy Curry is a climate professor at Georgia Tech University. Two days ago, she published a summary of what we know and don't know about the state of the climate. The article appeared on her blog and, with permission, I am reproducing it for my readers. What you see in blue type are her words. I inserted the phrase in brackets.

Climate science is complicated and can be confusing. But the confusion is exacerbated by politicization of the science and also misleading communication by the media. The recent Sense of the Senate Resolution illustrates the problem.
  • “Climate change is real and not a hoax” (98-1)
  • “Climate change is real; and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” (50-49)
The senate resolutions highlight the differences and confusion between the scientific versus the political definitions of climate change. The scientific definition states that climate change can be due to natural processes OR persistent human caused changes. The political definition is that climate change is caused by humans. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change established the political definition in the 1990’s.
The political definition effectively defines naturally caused climate change out of existence. However, natural climate change versus human caused climate change is at the heart of the scientific debate. My remarks today will be directed at pointing out the importance of natural climate variability.
Disagreement. So, what do climate scientists agree on? Scientists agree that
  • Surface temperatures have increased since 1880
  • Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
  • Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet
However there is considerable disagreement about the most consequential issues:
  • Whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
  • How much the planet will warm in the 21st century
  • Whether warming is ‘dangerous’
  • And whether we can actually do anything to prevent climate change
Why do scientists disagree? There are a number of reasons:
  • Insufficient observational evidence
  • Disagreement about the value of different types of evidence
  • Disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence
  • Assessments of areas of ambiguity & ignorance
  • And finally, the politicization of the science can torque the science in politically desired directions.
Uncertainty and disagreement drive scientific progress. However, when a scientific issue becomes politicized, and scientists attempt to speak consensus to power, then a scientific discussion of uncertainties is regarded as an undesirable political act.
Wicked vs tame problem. Another source of confusion is oversimplifying both the climate change problem and its solution. The UN Framework Convention and the Obama Administration seem to view climate change as a ‘tame problem’, where we clearly understand the problem and have identified the appropriate solutions.
I view the climate change problem very differently, as a ‘wicked mess’. A wicked problem is complex with dimensions that are difficult to define and changing with time. A mess is characterized by the complexity of interrelated issues, with suboptimal solutions that create additional problems.
You find what you shine a light on. The politicization of climate science, and effectively defining natural climate variability out of the public dialogue, has had a very unfortunate impact on the progress of climate science. Have you heard the story about the drunk searching for his lost keys under a streetlight, since that is the only place where he can see anything? Well something similar has been happening with climate science. You find what you shine a light on.
Motivated by the UN Framework Convention and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and government funding, climate scientists have been focusing primarily on greenhouse gases and to a lesser extent other anthropogenic ["human caused"] factors. Other factors important for understanding climate variability have been relatively neglected, I have highlighted long-term ocean oscillations and solar indirect effects, since I think that these are potentially very important on decadal to century timescales.
Global surface temperatures. This figure shows the global surface temperature anomalies since 1850. We see a substantial temperature increase from 1910-1940, then a period of weak cooling from 1940 to the late 1970s, then a sharp increase since the late 1970’s until the 21st century when the temperatures are flat.
So what is causing the warming? The recent IPCC AR5  concluded: It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [humans]. The best estimate of the human induced contribution is similar to the observed warming over this period. The IPCC does NOT have a consistent or convincing explanation for the large warming between 1910 and 1940, the cooling between 1940 and 1975, and the flat temperatures in the 21st century. Until the IPCC is able to explain these variations, I find their high confidence that humans have caused virtually all of the warming since 1950 to be unconvincing.
Last 350 years. So, how unusual is the warming since 1950? The longest temperature record in the world is the Central England Temperature, that goes back to 1660. You see a long term warming trend, but according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, only the warming since 1950 is attributed to humans. Note in particular the sharp warming from 1690 to 1740 and 1820-1840. We can’t infer anything about global temperature variations from one location, but the Central England Temperature record serves to illustrate the magnitude of natural climate variability.
Last 2000 years.  Using paleoclimate proxies such as tree rings and ice cores, attempts have been made to reconstruct the hemispheric temperature record for the past 2000 years. Unfortunately, these proxies can’t resolve variations shorter than 50 years. You may have heard of the hockey stick, made famous by Al Gore’s movie, which showed that climate for the past 1000 years was essentially flat, until the 20th century. However, recent research shows much greater variability and uncertainty in these paleoclimate reconstructions. Since 1600, you see a general warming trend. A warmer period around 1000 AD is evident, the so-called medieval warm period. There is a great deal of uncertainty in these analyses, leaving open the question as to whether the warming since 1950 has been unusual.
Hiatus. Lets take a closer look at the recent flat period, which is referred to as the warming ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’. There was a big warm spike in 1998 from a super El Nino; since then the temperatures have been pretty flat. 2014 was a warm year, tied with several other years for the warmest in the record. Clearly there is a lot of year-to-year variability; why does this pause since 1998 matter? Well, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 stated that surface temperature was expected to increase by 0.2C per decade in the early 21st century. This warming has clearly not been realized.
Significance of the hiatus.  The growing divergence between models & observations raises some serious questions:
  • Are climate models too sensitive to carbon dioxide?
  • Is modeled treatment of natural climate variability inadequate?
  • Are model projections of 21st century warming too high?
Consensus view. The issue of greatest concern is how the climate will evolve during the 21st century. There are two different perspectives on this. The first perspective is that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This figure is from the recent 5th Assessment Report, which projects continued warming. The IPCC cites ‘expert judgment’ as the rationale for lowering the projections (indicated by the red hatching), to account for the apparent oversensitivity of the models. With regards to the ‘pause’, the IPCC expects that it will end soon, with the next El Nino
Natural variability. The other perspective emphasizes natural variability, with the following implications for the future:
  • Our understanding of circulation regimes in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans suggest that the ‘pause’ will continue at least another decade, perhaps into the 2030’s
  • Climate models are too sensitive to human forcing; 21st century warming will be on the low end of IPCC projections (or even below)
  • Solar variations & volcanoes are a wild card. Some scientists are predicting solar cooling in the near term
  • And finally, we can’t rule out unforeseen surprises. An example of an unforeseen surprise was the warming hiatus in the early 21st century.
Time will tell which of these two views is correct.
I completely agree that forecasting the future state of the climate is a complex, "wicked" problem that has been vastly oversimplified for political reasons. Given the unforecast flattening of temperatures for 18 years, there is no immediate crisis or urgency to the problem. In fact, I wouldn't even classify global warming as the world's most serious environmental problem. Worse are malaria in Africa and lack of drinkable water in many areas of the third world.

Thank you, Judy, for allowing my readers to see your thoughts on this important subject.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tornado Watch in Effect

More Happy Readers: "All I Can Say is Wow!!!"


Thanks, John. And, there is another 5-Star Review up at Amazon:

Want great reading while watching the snow and ice fall? Just pick up a copy of Warnings at the nearest book store or from B&N or Amazon.

As the most recent review at B&N says,
It's a smart, fascinating, and highly accessible read.

Southeast Storm Update

Atlanta's airport has 1.6 hour delays, on average.

In the area shown, snowfall rates into the evening could reach 1 inch per hour.

Slight Tornado Risk

There is a slight tornado risk later today and tonight, especially in the 5% area.

Mess in the South

Here is the latest AccuWeather Regional Radar:
According to news reports, more than 1,000 flights have already been cancelled today. Check your airline's web site (even if outside of this immediate region) if you are flying today or this evening.

Because No One Has Ever Heard of Climate Change

This really does get more surreal by the week. This article promotes the awful idea of geoengineering to cure global warming. That means to put things, for example, into space to block the sunlight reaching earth. The 'science' behind this notion is validated by the same climate models that can't get their forecast temperatures correct. But, it would be a HUGE government program with lots of money for scientists and contractors.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Another Winter Storm in the South

Here is AccuWeather's latest snow forecast map. Note the 1-3" forecast in the DFW Metroplex.

There is also a risk of freezing rain and ice storm conditions in the darkest green area.

In terms of watches and warnings, here is the latest set:
Starting in the South, medium blue = winter weather advisories. Pink is winter storm warnings. The bright green (around Mississippi) are flood warnings. The dark green is a winter storm watch. The deep purple is an ice storm warning. The medium purple (Charleston) is a freezing rain advisory.

Farther north, the band from South Dakota to Missouri is a winter weather advisory (blue) and a winter storm warning (pink) for as much as 4 to 9 inches of snow.

Another, perhaps larger, winter storm may develop late in the weekend. Stay tuned.

Building Another Tower of Babel

Note: This is the last of a series of climate-related articles I am publishing today. 

From Judy Curry's blog, a fascinating article:

The more I think of it, the project to decarbonise the world economy is a modern version of the biblical Tower of Babel in engineering project terms...

The most important and urgent exercise to undertake now is to scope and cost adaptation actions on the basis of the possible future climates. The Dutch have lived with sea level rise for centuries and they should be our guide. If I live to 100 and see in 2050, I will look back on this time as a modern equivalent of previous manias, such as the South Sea Bubble or the Tulip scam. If the climate has got more dangerous, we will be better able to tackle the challenges. If not more dangerous, we will have nothing but scorn for this period in history. Place you bets. Every time that someone comes up with a neo-Malthusian scare (over population, resource exhaustion, …. ), I quote my hero in this regard: the first Baron Macauley in a 1830 debate on Malthus’s original proposition stated:
“On what principle is it that, when we look we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?” 
He was right then and yet to be found wrong, and I say amen to his view now.
Read the whole thing. 

But, The Science Was Settled™ III

Now, after telling parents not to feed peanuts to young children, science has come full circle. Details here.

Amazing how global warming is the only absolutely Settled Science™, isn't it??

But, The Science Was Settled™ II

It wasn't rats that spread Black Death, it was (no kidding) Giant Gerbils. Gruesome details, here.

Vital Element to a Vital Future

Wichita Eagle
More airplanes are built in Wichita than any other city. We had an engineering expo this past weekend to help get children interested in engineering and science. The story is here.

Monday, February 23, 2015

New York Times on the Cutting Edge of Opinion

Yes, California Gets Tornadoes

Via Twitter and Kurt Kelsey this afternoon:

Global Warming McCarthyism

Apparently, I should be expecting a phone call from Barack Obama. According to his web site,
People are supposed to be filling in the blanks at the bottom of the form (they can do so anonymously, if they wish) with the names of global warming deniers so they can be "called out" by the President.

Of course, this is nothing but McCarthyism.

Regardless, I look forward to my phone call from Mr. Obama.

Yes, this is McCarthyism but as a commenter below points out, I had part of it wrong. I mis-read a line of the form. I'm happy to correct the record. And, I'm still awaiting my call from Mr. Obama. 

But, The Science Was Settled™

After years of telling us coffee was bad, now we are supposed to drink more of it. But, I thought the science was settled!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ice in Metroplex

Thunder and sleet reported in the DFW Metroplex this evening.
A winter storm warning continues in effect.

Oscar Weather Update

Here is the radar as of 2:52pm PST:
The approximate location of the Dolby Theatre, the venue for the awards, is the red oval. The cluster of showers at the bottom of the screen is moving NNE.

So, it looks like scattered showers, some with heavy rains, between now and the start for the ceremony.

Rainy Oscars

Showers are scattered across the Southland as indicated on AccuWeather Regional Radar. As I type this, tents are being erected over parts of the "Red Carpet." More showers could move in later this afternoon.

FEMA in Winter??

I just watched Sec. of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, tell John Roberts it was "essential to fund FEMA during a cold winter."

Hmmm. I keep up on these things and I am not aware of anything FEMA is doing to fight the suffering caused by the cold winter. So, I googled "news" and "fema in winter." Here are the first few hits of what I got.
I did see many, "FEMA says 'stay warm in winter'" headlines father down.

As longtime readers know, I am not a fan of FEMA. If the Democrats' Senate filibuster causes them to shut down Friday, I don't think we'll be missing much.

Latest Set of Advisories and Warnings

Much, much going on this morning. Green = flood advisories. Dark gray = dense fog. The light purple in Mississippi and adjacent areas is a freezing rain watch. Pink is a winter storm warning. Blue is a winter weather advisory. The brown in the West is a high wind situation.

Sunday Fun: Want to Be a Professional Pilot?

Bet you didn't think customer service would be a big part of it.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Heads Up: Metroplex and North Texas

As of this moment, a winter storm watch is out for this region although it may be upgraded as new data arrives. The orange area is forecast to have enough ice to make travel very hazardous. There is also a chance of some isolated electrical interruptions.

Three Storms

This is pretty remarkable map. Everything from flood watches (green) to ice storm warnings (deep purple). The dull blue color in north Texas is a winter storm watch for ice. AccuWeather has full details and your local forecast.

After All, No One Has Ever Heard of Climate Change

The video does not play. You don't want to see it anyway

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ever Wonder Why You Don't Hear About Anti-Catastrophic Global Warming Evidence in the Media?

I know a number of the players and this posting by Matt Briggs has the ring of truth to it.

Multiple Threat Winter Storm

Let's begin with the freezing rain threat.
An ice storm warning (see below) has been issued for central Tennessee, including Nashville.

Now, the eastern part of the snow storm.

Finally, the snow from the second low pressure system.

Here is a summary of the NWS warnings:
Deep purple is the ice storm warning. Pink is a winter storm warning. Blue is a winter weather advisory (lesser condition). Dark greens are winter storm watches, including the on in Texas which is for a potential freezing rain situation.