Thursday, October 26, 2023

A Climate Claim Contrary to Basic Meteorology

There was an interesting item on LinkedIn last week.
Climate science's latest "tool" is a reanalysis of world weather during the 20th Century. They take this reanalysis 'data,' put it in a climate model and, presto-chango, we have a stronger storm than the one that actually occurred. What a surprise! 🙄

But there are good reasons to believe the output of the computer model is wrong. 

The "climate" scientist promoting this finding, Dr. Ed Hawkins, is not educated in weather or climate. Per his Wikipedia entry:
In no way do I mean to make this personal: A person who can obtain a PhD in Astrophysics is smart. But, that may not be the specific education needed to be a discerning climate scientist when I model provides questionable results. What do I mean?

In a meteorology degree program, the first semester of your junior year, you learn about the atmospheric conditions that cause storms. One of the essential elements for a strong storm is a strong temperature contrast (known as the temperature gradient) near the ground and in the upper atmosphere. 
In the 1980's, it was hypothesized that, with CO2 affecting atmospheric heat content, the poles would warm more quickly than the tropics. That has occurred. But, that -- on average -- would cause storms such as 1903's "Ulysses" to be weaker rather than stronger. In the absence of compelling reasons to believe otherwise, it is unlikely that storm, and ones like it, would be stronger today.

In another piece of the hypocrisy endemic in climate science/politics:  when it is convenient to say climate models are not weather models*, climate scientists say that. But, when they want to make storms to look worse because of global warming, such as in this case, they are fine for that purpose!

The burden of proof that storms are getting worse is on climate science. The results of the Hawkins paper seem implausible. So far, predictions from other climate scientists of worsening storms are incorrect. Below is a graph of climate-related losses.
Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.
Predicted values in gray. Actual in black. In other words, disasters are not getting worse.

So, don't believe anything you read about climate unless it is independently verified by qualified researchers. 

*From the climate scientist at the link: "Now, I know that a lot of people don't trust models. Have you heard "scientists can't predict the weather in a few days; why should I trust them about fifty years out?" However...climate models are different than weather models. Each has uncertainty associated with it, but the uncertainties are different. 

Weather models are used to forecast day-to-day changes in weather, or rather to predict what will happen at a specific place and point in time in the near future, typically no more than five to seven days out.  Model-based weather forecasts generally less reliable beyond a week, because the atmosphere is an inherently chaotic system. Small changes in observed conditions, which are fed to the model regularly, can produce completely different weather predictions a week into the future because the atmosphere is so dynamic.

In contrast, climate models aren't trying to predict what is going to happen at a specific place and point in time. So they can’t produce a forecast for, say, March 15, 2077, or even tomorrow!" 

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