"It is Clear That NOAA is Risking a Significant Science Scandal"

Over the past decade, this blog has discussed serious issues pertaining to Big Climate's attempt to tie major disasters to climate change: flimsy evidence, flawed methodology and the outright invention of billion dollar disasters. 

Now, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. has uncovered a "significant scientific scandal" pertaining to NOAA's Billion Dollar Disaster (BDD) products. 


Background

Since 2014, we've been investigating and reporting on issues with products from various entities who have attempted to tie disasters to global warming. In more recent years, I have focused on NOAA's "Billion Dollar Disaster" product which has never been an exemplary scientific product. But, over time, especially the past five years, it has degenerated into almost pure propaganda. For the purpose of illustration is an article on this topic published in 2023. 
Above: Example of NOAA's "Billion Dollar Disaster" Product


Dr Roger Pielke, Jr's Papers on NOAA's BDD Product

On January 7, Dr. Pielke published his first 2024 article on NOAA's Billion Dollar Disaster product. The headline is below. 

His blog article coincided with the submission of a journal paper on the quality of the BDD product. He wrote:

...public claims promoted by NOAA associated with the dataset and its significance are flawed and misleading. Specifically, NOAA incorrectly claims that for some types of extreme weather, the dataset demonstrates detection and attribution of changes on climate timescales. Similarly flawed are NOAA’s claims that increasing annual counts of billion dollar disasters are in part a consequence of human caused climate change. NOAA’s claims to have achieved detection and attribution are not supported by any scientific analysis that it has performed. Given the importance and influence of the dataset in science and policy, NOAA should act quickly to address this scientific integrity shortfall.


Since that first article, Dr. Pielke's paper was published in Nature Communications on the topic of NOAA's BDD product. 
You will find that paper, in its entirety, here

On Monday, Roger published his latest piece where he documents a previously unknown data base where, shall we say, "unscientific" disaster records are being kept. Roger writes, "It is clear That NOAA is risking a significant science scandal."
You will find that article, here. I urge you to read Dr. Pielke's articles, most especially the peer-reviewed article at the red link above. 

Every definition I have seen for the word "disaster" is similar to this from Webster:
Note that a "disaster" is sudden and it is an "event" (singular). Examples of billion dollar disasters include the 2011 Joplin Tornado, 2022's Hurricane Ian and this year's Houston Derecho

In order to create the illusion of increasing disasters, NOAA "rolls up" (Dr. Pielke's term) events over a period of days of different types of weather (e.g., tornadoes, plus hail, plus thunderstorm-generated winds). An example is below:
A phony (my term) billion dollar disaster is illustrated above. See "Central and Eastern Severe Weather March 12-14, 2024" from NOAA's latest BDD report. Below is what they used to create the rollup; three days of storm reports. 


Hail in Kansas City Tuesday has nothing to do with a tornado in Ohio on Thursday. These are separate events and emphatically do not constitute a "billion dollar disaster." 

NOAA, evidently for political reasons, is so desperate to tie billion dollar disasters to global warming that it squanders its good name in order to distribute propaganda.  Without these rollups, there would be no chance of showing an increase in disasters.

What is especially ironic, as the above example is from the month of March, 2024, is that NOAA's own state-of-the-art National Climate Reference Network shows no increase in March United States temperatures from the time the network was installed in 2005 to 2024!
Note: the network shows a general increase in temperatures when all data is factored in. But, if NOAA is going claim weather events (three days of thunderstorm-related events) are climate, then they should be able to show an increase in temperature on the "weather" time scale. They cannot -- as their own data demonstrates. 

NOAA conflates climate with weather, mixes different events into one, plays games with the database, and who knows what else. 

In my book, I call the National Weather Service (an agency of NOAA's) one of the taxpayer's very best bargains. I have also called the NWS, "one of the few essential federal agencies." And, it is. The case gets stronger by the month the National Weather Service should be made an independent agency and be freed from the NOAA bureaucracy which doesn't much care about weather, anyway. 

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