Climate, Or Weather?

It depends on whether or not it serves “the cause” (to use Phil Jones’ words):

For those of you who are confused, let me remind you: the only meteorological phenomena that count are the ones that confirm the climate alarmist case. It doesn’t matter what it is — drought, flood, blizzard, heat wave — if it can be made to support fear about the climate, it matters and it needs to be thoroughly analyzed and widely publicized.

Meteorological phenomena that, to the unsophisticated, might appear to undermine the case that WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE if we don’t immediately pass a stringent carbon treaty, are meaningless and should be ignored.

A spate of hurricanes is climate; an absence of big storms is weather. The absence of any major hurricanes for six years is a meaningless phenomenon; should a couple of big ones hit in any given year, then every editorial page in the country will fill with hand wringing, dire warning and I told you so.

Bet on it.

16 thoughts on “Climate, Or Weather?”

    1. Oh, CG, you master of irony. You accuse PielkeJr of cherry-picking, and to prove this, you pick the one indicator for the 2011 hurricane season that is out of line. Sure, there were 19 named storms. But there were only 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes, both consistent with long-term averages (6 and 2, resp.). The accepted measure of seasonal intensity, accumulated cycle energy (ACE), was 119 for 2011, barely above normal. I think I know who is hoarding the cherries in this debate.

    1. Apparently I do have to point out that the entire premise of the article is wrong.

      There is no “hundred year low.” We had 19 hurricanes in the Atlantic, well above average. Irene came ashore weaker than anticipated, although considering the disasterous flooding in New England, that’s not particularly good news. Several of those 19 hurricanes did hit land, just not the US coast.

      1. Unless a big hurricane hits this winter, it means we are on track to break a 100 year record for the longest gap between major hurricanes hitting the coast.

        But way to stick to the game plan.

        if it can be made to support fear about the climate, it matters and it needs to be thoroughly analyzed and widely publicized

  1. Relying on pre-satellite off-shore storm tracking and size estimates is also a guaranteed apples-and-organges situation. Like all the rest of the moronic pre-satellite climatology.

    1. Hurricanes are very easy to detect with pre-satelite technology. They affect sea state, winds and local weather hundreds of miles from the outer boundraries of the storm.

      1. Rather than addressing your seriously-lacking response (it is apples-and-oranges, the data just plainly doesn’t exist) I’ll ask you a simple question. If creating a global CO2 regulation regime at a cost of 10 trillion over the next 20 years would result in one less cat3 or greater hurricane landfall on the US, would you be in favor?

        1. No, I am not in favor of spending $10 trillion on CO2 regulation.

          Actually, hurricane data does exist for the 19th century. Ships did cross the Atlantic, and just because a hurricane doesn’t hit the US coast doesn’t mean it didn’t hit ANY coast.

          1. The 19th and early 20th century data does not compare to post-satellite data. Sometimes those ships didn’t encounter the storms. It’s apples-and-oranges.

            and just because a hurricane doesn’t hit the US coast doesn’t mean it didn’t hit ANY coast.

            AHAAAAAA. Here we go. Ed (above) scratched it, but it was a glancing blow. He was being sarcastic instead of serious. A hundred year low really is an extreme event. Without doing an extensive search I’m reasonably certain there’s some organization out there studying the environmental damage that has transpired as a result of the lack of hurricane landfalls. If the lull continues it will pop up somewhere. What’s next? “They’re happening in bunches”. And warming up in the bullpen: “They’re not going where they’re supposed to”. “Global Warming is impacting hurricane tracks; the damage is disproportionately hurting the disadvantaged”.

            You heard it here first.

  2. Re: CT@7:56

    I was being about half sarcastic, actually, about the landfall statistic being an extreme event. Because I don’t know.

    I wouldn’t even attempt an actual statistical analysis, the various journals are littered with the burning wrecks of models by much more mathematically adroit people.

    But, if a distribution is random, you’d expect a number of landfall-less years, then fewer events where there are two landfall-less years in a row, and much fewer years where there were three such years in a row.

    A hundred year event can be expected to occur in, well, a hundred years.

    Note the caveat about random, and a complete lack of any description of what the distribution/frequency would be.

    As for this pause being a bad thing, well, who knows?

    The shallower waters of the Caribbean and the coastal wetlands might have adapted to hurricanes, and the lack may harm them. Or help them.

    Think of the problems with the Nile dam in Egypt, and the requirements for fires in western forests to let certain seeds germinate.

    I don’t know of any specific information for OR against this idea; it’s not original with me, climate-modification people have talked about it before this.

    For AGW in general I guess I’m in Jerry Pournelle’s corner, which I’d paraphrase as: don’t wreck the economy trying to fix a problem that may not exist, but be aware that running an uncontrolled experiment with the biosphere is not really a good idea.

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