The New Climate Report: Keep Cool!

The New York Times (headline above) reports as news something that meteorologists have definitively known for more than 40 years and that is that human beings affect the climate. This is not by any definition "news."

But, what does the report really say once you get past the silly headlines? My friend, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. took the time to break down what report says about current extreme weather conditions in the United States down into tweets. With his permission, I am reproducing them here.

In English, #2 is climatesciencese for "we do not have evidence for a change in TC=tropical cyclone (tropical storms and hurricanes) frequency or intensity over decades or the past century."

#3, if anything, the number of strong tornadoes is going down. #4, Winter storms have become more frequent and intense since 1950. #5 Regarding drought, there is "no detectable change" in drought (if anything, the statistics show the amount of drought going down)."

#6, In spite of what you have heard with regard to the terrible wildfires in the West, the scientific panel was not able to say that in Western North America droughts have increased. #7, Dr. Holdren was White House Science Advisor under President Obama. Holdren was a believer in catastrophic global warming. Time has proven Dr. Pielke correct. #8, The United Nations' International Panel on Climate Change [most recent comprehensive report] did not attribute changes in flood to "anthro[pogenic = human-caused] influence nor [did it report] detectable changes in flooding magnitude, duration or frequency.

#9, In the United States, there are areas of both increasing and decreasing flood frequency but there is no scientifically sufficient way to attribute them to human causes. #10-12, no human-driven effect on flooding in the USA.

#13 Any claims the report supports an increase in extremes in weather across the United States is just wrong. My comment: Yup!

#14. Roger correctly points out these are current observations. They may change in the future. Again, yup!

#15, Roger has the same high regard as I pertaining to the NYT's climate reporting.

Agree with Roger, including the slightly surprising backing off of some statements in previous reports that tended to support a human-caused tendency for flooding in some parts of the nation.

I am personally a bit concerned about some recent evidence toward slightly increasing rates of sea level rise. However, if one extrapolates the increased rate of rise to the year 2100, you get a rise of seven inches. We can adapt to that.

Now, the above will not be what you read in your newspaper or other media. These climate reports always come with an easy-to-read press release chock-full of scary predictions (valid 80 years from now!) that is written by the marketers and not the scientists. Because most media outlets do not have a scientist on staff, they will print the press release. This is especially true since Associated Press (used by almost every U.S. daily newspaper) and other outlets tend to gravitate toward catastrophic climate change stories.

The same thing occurs with the UN's IPCC reports: the press release reports that global warming is getting worse in breathless terms while the actual science in the report is very mild.

I tend to focus on what is occurring now and compare it to past IPCC/US Climate Project projections. Obviously, the current climate in the United States is not as bad as was forecast. That said, if you would like to read a series of tweets of the weather forecasts in the new climate report, go here.

Climate 'science' loves scare headlines, even if it means opening windows and turning off air-conditioning on the hottest July day in the District of Columbia to get them. Because of the prominence of these scare headlines, some, even in climate science, are calling this new report "deceptive."

My advice? Relax and don't take this report too seriously. As always, be a good steward of the environment (e.g., don't be a person telling us to cut our carbon foot prints while flying 8,000 nautical miles roundtrip in a private jet to pick up an global warming environmental award so as not to interrupt a week of partying more than necessary), be a good citizen, and take care of your family.

Everything else will take care of itself.


Popular posts from this blog

[1:10am Update] Tornado Forecast for Rest of the Night

First Tornado Watch of the Day Issued

Hilary's Forecast Path Shifts West; Updated 9:20am PDT