Journalism / Uncategorized

Great Science’s Leap Forward

It’s not Mao’s Great Leap Forward, it’s the Leap Forward in Great Science, that being Climate Science.

In view of the policy measures currently being sledge-hammered through by many western governments on the authority of this Great Science and its latest Leap Forward, it’s debatable whether Forster’s notion of advancement will be much different in its effect upon society than Mao’s erstwhile great leap.

But what exactly is this leap forward in great science which “climate physicist” Piers Forster is talking about, supposedly involving climate scientists Friederike Otto and Geert Van Oldenborough? To find out, we must presumably read the BBC article by Matt McGrath which he links to in his tweet. So let’s do that shall we, because I’m bursting to know how climate science has suddenly leapt forward. This could be big. It could be Fredi and Geert’s chance to do for climate change what Einstein did for gravity in 1915. This could change everything. The headline reads:

Climate change: Warming signal links global floods and fires

So obviously, it’s got something to do with discovering a climate change signal linking global floods and fires. Fire and water – linked together by the theory of anthropogenic global warming. That does sound really big. It might be akin to unifying electromagnetism with gravity. Not even Einstein could manage that.

Matt breathtakingly sets the scene with reference to three extreme weather events:

With homes under water in South Yorkshire, near record flooding in Venice, and burgeoning wildfires in Australia, many people are asking if and how climate change is connected to these extreme weather events.

 


*pause to give readers time to move back from the edge of their seats*


 

The first part of the answer, this stunning leap forward in understanding which we await with baited breath is . . . . . . . the 160 year old Clausius-Clapeyron relation of classical thermodynamics.

The very scientific sounding Clausius-Clapeyron equation is one key element.

Clausius and Clapeyron are the surnames of the German and French meteorologists who discovered that a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. For every 1 degree C increase in temperature, the air can hold about 7% extra water vapour.

“As temperatures are warmer we get more intense rain, which by itself brings more floods, even if the number of storms hitting our shores don’t change,” said Prof Piers Forster from the University of Leeds.

“When coupled to warmer, wetter winters generally, as expected from climate change, the ground becomes more saturated so any rainfall will give a greater chance of flooding.”

This is, in essence, the scenario that played out in Fishlake last week.

Hmm. Well, perhaps there’s more to come. Still, at least Matt assures us that Clausius-Clapeyron is “very scientific”, so that’s a good start at least, even if it is 19th century ‘very scientific’ and not looking too much like a recent leap forward.

What else? Matt moves on to Venice:

The Mayor of Venice was very quick to attribute the floods to climate change. Critics though have pointed to delays and corruption in relation to the installation of a major floodwater defence system that might have limited the damage.

We won’t also mention that flood waters were 7cm higher in 1966, that official records go back only to 1924 and that unofficial records detail many instances of Venice similarly flooding in past centuries. We won’t also mention that it was a combination of a very high tide and a storm surge which caused the flooding:

The recent flooding in Venice was caused by a combination of high spring tides and a meteorological storm surge driven by strong sirocco winds blowing north-eastwards across the Adriatic Sea. When these two events coincide, we get what is known as Acqua Alta (high water).

This latest Acqua Alta occurrence in Venice is the second highest tide in recorded history. However, if we look at the top 10 tides, five have occurred in the past 20 years and the most recent was only last year.

Fair point, but 20 years of unusual data from a record stretching back only 95 years is hardly conclusive and Venice is sinking. So Matt basically sums up the ‘leap forward in great science’ re. Venice with the following:

Climate scientists, however, see a clear relation between rising temperatures and the inundation.

“Sea level rise is rising globally and it is also rising in the Adriatic,” said Prof Gabi Hegerl, from the University of Edinburgh.

“Venice is also subsiding a bit, so you have a bit of a double whammy.

“The immediate flood has been caused by the Sirocco wind and the high tides but it wouldn’t have been as high without the sea having risen as well.”

Hmm, still not convinced. We’ve only got the Australian bush fires left now, so Matt had better come up with something pretty spectacular to explain this stunning advancement in climate science. He starts off:

What about the Australian fires – where’s the climate link?

Then he reveals the ‘link’:

The latest Lancet report on health and climate change “found that human exposure to fires had doubled since 2000”.

“Wildfires not only cause deaths and health damage but had significant economic and social impacts,” it found.

A bloody Lancet (the medical profession’s version of the Guardian) report! I’m beginning to think somebody’s been telling porkies. He continues, still less than convincingly:

In Australia, the bushfires this year have come far earlier and on a larger scale than seen previously.

While climate change doesn’t directly cause fires like these – it is major factor in creating the right conditions for fires to take hold.

“In areas like Australia where we have had prolonged dry periods, you can’t definitely attribute this to climate change but the environmental conditions are increasingly ripe for these sorts of things,” said Prof Nigel Arnell from the University of Reading.

“The precursors are all going in the direction of increased fire risk in those fire-prone regions.”

I might add at this point that even the Conversation, not known for its lack of blaming climate change for every bad thing that happens and will ever happen, sensibly points out that 85% of Australian bushfires are started by humans. So maybe the low-life scroats who love to incinerate forests and burn helpless koala bears alive in the process were a bit more active this year, having seen how the dry weather has improved their chances of causing very serious damage to wildlife and property.

Still looking for this great leap forward. Hang on though, maybe this is it – Piers waving his hands and declaring:

“Most droughts are found to be in part caused by climate change,” said Prof Piers Forster.

“Stronger winds, again associated with more energy in the climate system, add to the fire risk and make them more intense and faster moving.”

Nah, still not convinced. OK, maybe this will convince us:

Are there common climate factors in all these events?

Very much so, say the scientists.

“The overall climate signal is that if you have it warmer, it is easier to burn; if you have higher seas, it is easier to flood,” said Prof Gabi Hegerl.

“And if you have more moisture in the atmosphere, the same rainfall systems rain harder – that is something we see globally and that has a human greenhouse gas signal in it.

“In extreme events, that’s where climate change bites us.”

Erm . . . . . no. Dogs bite. Mosquitoes bite. Climate change doesn’t.

But Matt isn’t quite finished yet. He now presents his piéce de résistance – extreme weather attribution.

Can we say that single events are linked to climate change?

For years, when faced with extreme weather events like the fires in Australia or the floods in South Yorkshire, scientists have trotted out the “we can’t attribute any single event to climate change” mantra.

But that view has changed.

Aha! Maybe this is the great leap forward we’ve been eagerly anticipating reading about. How has it changed then? Fredi Otto tells us:

“You will not find that climate change is the only cause for an extreme event,” said Dr Friederike Otto from the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.

“But you can look at individual events and work out how much climate change has altered the likelihood of it to occur or its intensity.”

So what you’re saying Fredi is, in contrast to what the great science communicator at the BBC Matt Mcgrath just said, that in fact nothing has changed. The ‘science’ of extreme weather attribution can only state that the probability of such and such an event occurring has increased, not that it is definitely caused by climate change. That’s the way it’s always been since Stott of the Met ‘invented’ extreme weather attribution in 2003, employing climate models in conjunction with simple fraction of attributable risk ratios.

Oh dear, we seem to have run out of steam and the leap forward in great science, the definitive, unquestionable link between wildfires and global floods and fossil fuel induced climate change appears to have vanished in a haze of nothingburger fumes cooked up by a phony ‘BBC science journalist’. But, as always, there’s smoking and cancer. If all else fails, talk about lung cancer:

Others believe that the link between climate change and extreme events is now as strong as the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.

“You can never make a direct connection and say my grandad died of lung cancer because of smoking because you can’t figure out how the cancer exactly originated; there might be other factors,” said Prof Gabi Hegerl.

“But you can say for sure that if you smoke the probability of coming down with lung cancer is hugely increased. The same methods have been applied to the climate problem.”

Albert’s world changing legacy of scientific innovation is safe, I have to say, unrivalled by this current derisory shower of post normal scientists pretending to do research which advances scientific knowledge and understanding, backed up in the media by third rate hacks such as McGrath. There is no great leap forward, just continuing steps backward into the darkness of a post modern nightmare which looks a lot like pre-Englightement Europe.

 

43 thoughts on “Great Science’s Leap Forward

  1. I live in one of the major fire belts in Australia.The Blue Mts.
    Our problem is..the councils are reluctant to do any form of major burns to reduce the timber load.
    Councils keep allowing houses to be built right in the bush, council often block concrete homes which are fire proof due to “artistic” reasons…and arsonists are running around ..other than those minor problems..yup..its Co2 for sure..
    We just need more solar panels and windmills and those pesky problems will just vanish..

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Everyone Down Under (by which I mean, half of everyone) is angry. We’re blaming climate change, and the politicians who fail to stop it, for the bushfires.

    Nobody Down Under (by which I mean, nobody) can agree how an imperceptibly higher global surface temperature anomaly makes bushfires perceptibly worse.

    On our national broadcaster, the ABC, a scientist whose name I don’t remember (and neither will the history of human thought) was “trotted out,” as they say, to explain the mechanism. Would it surprise you to learn that the story he came up with is not only missing from Otto et pal, but incompatible with their story?

    He confabulated as follows. The increased humidity associated with global warming had made it harder to perform controlled backburning operations, which means that when bushfire season starts, there’s more fuel to burn.

    So:

    AGW -> wetter air -> hard to light artificial fires -> worse natural fires.

    Now I’m wishing I’d remembered this clown’s name.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Paul Homewood has some very good articles on the flooding in south Yorkshire and its supposed link to climate change. Basically, very little evidence that there has been any trend in the intensity or amount of rainfall which would explain the flooding and connect it to recent warming.

    Like

  4. Dramatic flooding in Europe, China and Mexico, a cyclone destroying homes and crops in Fiji, massive tornadoes in Mississippi and Louisiana, forest fires raging in Canada, severe drought in Australia and South Africa, and of course the Florida Keys hurricane causing over 700 deaths.

    These extreme events happened in 1919 – a hundred years ago, it was all just weather.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Something does not make sense on the Venice flooding.
    Sea levels are meant to be rising by 3mm per year and the city is meant to be sinking. So why is severe flooding this month 7cm lower than the record in 1966?

    Maybe the answer lies in Matt McGarth’s article?

    “The Mayor of Venice was very quick to attribute the floods to climate change. Critics though have pointed to delays and corruption in relation to the installation of a major floodwater defence system that might have limited the damage.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jaime,

    here is the clearest proof of the authors’ mendacity I can see:

    1) they start with Clausius-Clapeyron: warmer -> more humid -> more floods
    2) then they get greedy and try to shoehorn Australian bushfires into their Just-So story, which leads to this sentence:

    “In areas like Australia where we have had prolonged dry periods, you can’t definitely attribute this to climate change but the environmental conditions are increasingly ripe for these sorts of things,” said Prof Nigel Arnell from the University of Reading.

    This Nigel No-Mates would have benefited from a few years at the University of Speaking, but never mind. To the extent that he’s saying anything at all, he’s saying this:

    Warmer -> moister -> floods, and also warmer -> “increasingly ripe” for “prolonged dry periods” -> bushfires.

    Experts are beginning to take seriously the hypothesis that a majority of bushfires are now ignited by the hastily-removed pants of climate scientists.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My recollection of the cause of Yorkshire’s floods is that it resulted from the wheeling of a weather front around that wonderful county, meaning that it continued to rain for extended periods overwhelming the ground’s capacity to absorb that much water and the rivers’ ability to transmit it within their banks. All this was successfully predicted by weather agencies and resulted in amber warnings. This was done AFAIK without any reference to the Clausius-Clapeyron thermodynamic relationship. In fact Yorkshire’s air last summer could have held a great deal more water than it did at the time of the floods.
    This is definitely a case of blinding the public with science.
    I am beginning to believe that last weekend,when I stubbed my toe trying to escape a sudden rain squall, that this was a direct and predictable consequence of climate change, Clausius, and Clapeyron (damn foreigners!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. @Alan

    I too have suffered a climate-change related injury this autumn. When walking to the post office, there came an unexpected squall (probably not the same one that crocked you); I broke into a jog, & three paces later my knee went ping. Had to give up running for 6 weeks. Now, who can I sue for this?

    Re: McGrath article. Whenever I read a story of his on the beeb, I recognise that I am primed to disbelieve it. This is not just because I am a climate denier who can’t handle the truth. It’s also because I have been ground down by a hundred previous articles of his. They scream out for balance, which is supposed to be the beeb’s main selling point, but they rarely have any. Of course the policy of excluding critical voices probably is partly to blame.

    What was the genesis of this article? Merely a few unconnected, or teleconnected, events around the world, the award-winning journo with various learned profs on speed dial, half an hour of recording soundbites, shrugging them onto a skeletal frame about… what, exactly? He’s telling us what we knew already, or rather what an uncritical elite believe and a handful of die hards disbelieve.

    In that respect, it has no point. It will not convince one side, nor tell the other anything that they don’t already think they know.

    And again, for the sceptic, their comes the same old trade-off. Blaming CO2 for all this is no different than blaming the Devil for every evil act, thus absolving human actors from any blame (re: lack of prescribed burning, inadequate/delayed flood defences, construction on flood plains or in areas prone to wildfires, corruption).

    The Mayor of Venice blames climate change for the floods? What else would he blame (I assume the Mayor is not a Mayoress)? His own incompetence?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was born and bred in the area affected by the recent Yorkshire flooding and I know Fishlake very well. As a pupil of the nearby Thorne Grammar School one became very familiar with the history of the local terrain and the fact that much of the locale was reclaimed by the Dutch engineer, Cornelius Vermuyden. The area concerned, known as Hatfield Chase, was a hunting ground owned by Charles I, and was in dire need of drainage since it was frequently flooded due to being less than 10m above sea level. If you consult the Wiki entry for Hatfield Chase you will find that it is all about flooding and pumps. One particular extract, referring to the effects of the 17th century land reclamation reads:

    “The drainage transformed the whole area, creating rich agricultural land where there had previously been swamps though it was still subject to periodic flooding. Many local people were not very happy with the outcome… There were complaints of flooding from those further down the Don in the villages of Fishlake, Sykehouse and Snaith…The flooding of Fishlake and Sykehouse resulted from there being insufficient washlands to hold the flow of the Don while the sluice at Turnbridgedike was closed by high water levels in the Aire.”

    When you live in a village called Fishlake, near an area known as The Isle of Axholme, and on the banks of a major river re-routed for the King’s benefit, you need to be careful using terms such as ‘a once in 100 years flooding’.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Brad,

    “Warmer -> moister -> floods, and also warmer -> “increasingly ripe” for “prolonged dry periods” -> bushfires.”

    This is basically what the global warming obsessed want us to believe, i.e. that when it rains, it rains more heavily because it’s warmer and the atmosphere can hold more moisture and when it’s dry, it’s drier and hotter because the planet is hotter!

    In terms of the weather in the UK, the Met Office encapsulates this theory perfectly by splitting the projected weather extremes into seasons:

    UKCP18 shows a trend towards wetter winters and drier summers on average in the UK, with regional differences.

    Work using a high resolution climate model, which can capture localised thunderstorms which are more important in summer for considering flash flooding for example, shows that the intensity of rainfall is expected to increase in future summers****. This suggests that summers may tend to become drier overall but when it does rain it will fall in heavier bursts, which has implications for flash flooding.

    Say what? Summers much drier but flash floods more likely from brief intense periods of rainfall! What kind of weird climate would that be? In the real world, you get hot, settled, dry season, where humidity is low, then – in equatorial and sub-tropical regions – hot, humid season where it rains a lot, very intensely, interspersed with periods of hot sunny weather where it doesn’t rain but humidity remains high and the atmosphere remains unstable, giving rise to convective thunderstorms. In the higher latitudes, you get blocking leading to hot, dry summers and cold dry winters or you get an active jet stream resulting in mild, very wet winters and cool, wet summers.

    Their own weather statistics don’t bear out what the Met Office is saying. Summers have got wetter, on average, not drier in the UK since the 1970s and 80s, coincident with it getting warmer.

    Winters have become milder and wetter on average since the 1960s, not because of Clausius-Clapeyron, but because of the predominance of Atlantic weather systems during winter. Milder, moister marine air masses as opposed to colder, drier, continental air masses.

    The Met Office are not interested in explaining changing weather patterns, they are concerned only with conveying the false impression that the changing British climate is as a result of man-made global warming. Paul Homewood comprehensively demonstrates this here.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The article is off to a good start! Neither Clausius or Clapeyron were meteorologists. Clausius was a physicist and mathematician and Clapeyron a physicist and engineer. neither discovered that warm air holds more moisture. The Clausius-Clapeyron relationship gives the local gradient of the boundary between two phases i.e. it describes the phase boundary in terms of the entropy and volume changes associated with the change of state. Null point Matt McGrath for scientific historical accuracy.

    The comment:

    “The overall climate signal is that if you have it warmer, it is easier to burn; if you have higher seas, it is easier to flood,” said Prof Gabi Hegerl.

    reminds me of when as an undergraduate my igneous petrology lecturer wanting to take us to a field site on the beach asked a local when it was high tide. To which he got the response:

    “It’s high tide when the sea comes in and low tide when it goes out!”

    A truly Great Leap Forward in understanding tidal dynamics.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. John, it is obvious to all but the ideologically obsessed global warming crowd that Fishlake is an area prone to flooding because of geography. Areas prone to flooding will flood a lot more frequently when it rains more heavily, on average. It rains more heavily, on average, during ‘flood rich periods’ in the UK, which periods are most likely the result of cyclical natural variability, not anthropogenic global warming. The Met Office quote all their statistics on flooding frequency from a statistically dry, flood poor period during the 60s-90s, ignoring the long term cyclic variability. I quote a couple of research papers dug up by Paul Homewood:

    The apparent increase in flooding witnessed over the last decade appears in consideration to the long-term flood record not to be unprecedented; whilst the period since 2000 has been considered as flood-rich, the period 1970–2000 is “flood poor”, which may partly explain why recent floods are often perceived as extreme events. The much publicised (popular media) apparent change in flood frequency since 2000 may reflect natural variability, as there appears to be no shift in long-term flood frequency.

    In this paper, we use an objective weather classification scheme to reconstruct the atmospheric drivers of fluvial flood occurrence and magnitude in England, Scotland and Wales since the 1870s. We demonstrate the index using long (>50 year) annual maximum (AMAX) and peak over threshold (POT) flood records for 114 stations. Synoptic indices show modest skill at hindcasting multi-decadal variations in flood frequency at national, regional and catchment scales, but not for flood magnitudes. Flood rich episodes are identified in the periods 1908–1934, 1977–1988 and from 1998 onwards. We find that five weather types account for 68% of flood occurrence, and just three types were linked to the most widespread winter floods. These flood-generating systems generally show no sustained changes in frequency, persistence, relative contribution, or rain-bearing properties since the 1930s.

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/11/20/met-office-extreme-rainfall-scam/

    There may be some disagreement on when exactly the flood rich and flood poor periods are deemed to have occurred, but the point is, they do occur and patterns of rainfall (and flooding) are evident throught the long term precipitation record of the UK and in the longer record of England and Wales. Pointing to the modern increase in flooding as evidence of a climate crisis is extremely dishonest.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. A few blasts from the past:

    In the winter of 1875, it was reported: “The floods along the valley of the Don, in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, have by latest accounts become very serious. At Abbeydale a bridge has been washed away, stopping communication with Sheffield, and the valley of the Don is a vast lake fifteen miles long by half-a-mile broad… At Doncaster things are in a still worse condition, and the flat land on the border of Lincolnshire is an open sea”.
    https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/70587836

    In the summer of 1886, it was reported: “The highways are impassable, and the rivers all the way to Doncaster have overflowed their banks, and done serious damage”.
    https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/183127500

    In 1931 there was heavy rain and widespread flooding in England: “Many villages in Derbyshire, Yorkshire and elsewhere have been inundated, Sheffield and Derby are among the large towns seriously affected”.
    https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/57621783

    In May 1932 it was reported: “As a result of the recent torrential rains and floods in Yorkshire (England), it is reported that there are now 2,500 persons homeless in Bentley”.
    https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/67295783

    In early 1947, much of the entire country appeared to be submerged. A letter reported in the newspapers later that year said: “We have just heard that Doncaster is almost isolated, that Bentley is under water, and hundreds of families have had to be evacuated”.
    https://trove.nla.gov.aau/newspaper/article/240522322

    In 1958, there was more flooding. “South and Central England, like a vast sponge after a month of rain, last night saw some of the worst floods in 15 years… The English floods, spurred by falls of almost monsoon force in the preceding 24 hours, resulted in thousands of homes being evacuated. Sheffield was one of the worst hit cities and black clouds and heavy rain – 1.87 inches in 24 hours, equal to two-thirds of the normal July total – forced citizens to keep lights on all day. A fire brigade officer said it was one of the worst cases of flooding since the great Sheffield flood of 1864 – and with more rain forecast, the situation was described as critical. Swirling waters in fields and towns cut a belt of impassable roads stretching across England from Sheffield to Southend. Automobile Association reports portrayed a picture of collapsed roads and swollen rivers endangering bridges. Railway reports told of many lines thrown out of operation”.
    https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/136301997

    Ah, the good old days, before catastrophic climate change.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Alex,

    As I have indicated above, my family has it roots in South Yorkshire, particularly Doncaster and its environs. When I phoned my eldest brother up to tell him about the recent flooding in Doncaster, his response was, “Uh, not again! Don’t tell me. I bet it was Bentley.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We should be realizing that “The Great Leap Forward/ Cultural Revolution / Final Solution (all facets of the same darkness of human nature) metaphors are sadly going to turn out correct. And that this means that skeptics are going to be some of the counter revolutionaries / bourgeois/ Jews / Goldsteins required for proper social justice. That this social disease is spreading rapidly. Darkness is falling with the swiftness of an equatorial sunset.

    Like

  16. Fredi Otto’s thesis was on the “Philosophical aspects of climate modeling”
    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~anders/group.html

    She was attached to Anders Levermann’s group: http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~anders/
    He has a very prolific relationship with the media. He was her co-supervisor for her thesis: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e664/21709e57fe1b4b9f3548face2f7965fb7153.pdf

    It seems she really does know why climate models are unreliable:

    “Climate models and climate modelling are a central part of climate science with particular importance for long term prognoses of future climate development. In the context of global climate change, which is a fact undoubted by climate scientists but sceptically discussed in the public, their importance not only for climate sciences is increasing.

    However, most findings of climate modelling approaches are highly uncertain and span a very broad range of values for climate variables and impacts of climate change.”

    Climate modelling is not based on a comprehensive physics theory and is not analogous to experimenting. Moreover, climate models play a double role as an outsourced human brain and a copy of the earth and are thus something in between an experiment and a theory in progress.Due to this fact several problems of climate modelling result, two of which are fundamental and others are principally to overcome but practically pressing.

    The fundamental problems of understanding the climate system are the non-linearity of the system and lack of observational data. The main practical problem of climate modelling is the problem of parameterisation, which is the need to represent processes of the climate system in the modelling approach that are insufficiently understood or on a smaller scale than the resolution of the model.

    Parameterisations in nonlinear models make it nearly impossible to detect chains of causes and effects in a climate model. Therefore an intransparent method of fitting the model to data, which is called tuning, results in manipulated physics of the climate model and prevents a meaningful analysis of the modelling results.”

    Oh dear….

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Alex,

    Where were Clausius and Clapeyron in 1958 then, when June and July were very wet, when ‘monsoon like’ rains fell over a 24 hour period in early July? I only ask because not only were June and July 1958 much wetter than average, they were also much cooler months than average. July 1958 for example was only about 15.5C mean temperature, whereas 2018 – which was much, much drier – was a sizzling 18.9C. Does anyone recall monsoon flooding in 2018?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dennis,

    An eye-opener. Makes you wonder how Otto can now be happy with a career which rests firmly on a reliance upon those same models to attribute extreme weather to climate change on regional scales when her PhD thesis stated so clearly that they lacked skill and reliability especially on those scales.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

    It was the age of wisdom; not so much
    it was the age of foolishness; yep
    it was the epoch of belief; very much so
    it was the epoch of incredulity; nope
    it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; who can tell, but definitely darkening
    it was the spring of hope; nope,
    it was the winter of despair, right on
    we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, depends
    we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way, who the hell knows?

    What would Dickens write today?

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I have a hypothesis, which is that McGrath was appointed precisely to avoid make Harrabin look like a credulous, scientifically illiterate numbskull, who’s not even very good at writing copy.

    Like

  21. want a first hand average tourist account from flooded Venice “https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/visiting-venice-after-floods/index.html”

    Some interesting/predictable vid interviews within the piece (Al Gore gets a say!! talks bullsh*t & the CNN interviewer loves him).

    Like

  22. DFHunter: Thanks for the links to a fascinating CNN Venice report and the Richard Tol piece. The latter is from October last year, it’s important to realise. A lot of points Richard makes about coastal cities and what to do to protect them stand, though.

    Like

  23. To return to the subject of Clausius-Clapeyron, which ‘scientists’ and climate activists say has played an important role in the very high (but not unprecedented) 24 hour precipitation totals over S Yorks and in the heavy rainfall generally, a research paper was published in 2013 on exactly this subject, looking at rainfall in Japan.

    It found a significant connection – resembling that predicted by the Clausius-Clapeyron equation – between increase in temperature and the intensity of 10 min and (to a lesser extent) 60 min rain bursts. What it did not find is any relationship at all with 24 hour periods of rain. Why? Probably because meteorology (atmospheric dynamics/synoptics) is a far more important influence on rainfall over longer periods than a simple physics equation! As usual, the brainless BBC and manipulative scientists like to blind the public with “very scientific sounding” ‘facts’ which supposedly explain observations of extreme weather but which don’t, in actual fact.

    It was found that extreme 10‐min and hourly precipitations, defined from 5‐year averages of annual maximum and 95th percentile values, have a high correlation with temperature with a rate of 9.7 ± 4.1% and 8.8 ± 8.3% K−1, respectively. These values are close to the Clausius–Clapeyron (CC) rate of change in saturation vapor pressure (about 6% per degree), indicating that the CC relation roughly holds for multidecadal changes in extreme short‐time precipitation in Japan.

    Figure 2 shows the time series of extreme indices for 1951–2010 averaged over the 92 stations, as well as those of annual and summertime (June to August) mean temperature over Japan. For the latter three decades (1981–2010), both annual maximum and 95th percentile precipitations of P_10m have positive trends that are significant at the 1% level. The increase is less evident for P_hour, but is significant at the 10% level (an analysis using data at 144 stations for which data are available for 1981–2010 yields an increase of P_hour extremes with 5% significance). On the other hand, no significant trends are found for indices about P_day.

    Unlike P_10m and P_hour, extremes in P_day show no significant dependence on temperature, except for the correlation of percentiles with summer temperature. This may reflect the high interannual variability of P_day, which is more strongly affected by the sporadicity of synoptic disturbances than short‐time precipitation.

    The authors point out that other researchers did find a significant increase in P_day over a period of 100 years:

    However, the analysis of Fujibe et al. (2006) based on data for over 100 years (1901–2004) showed a statistical significant increase of annual maximum values of P_day at a rate of 0.89 ± 0.72% per decade. Because the warming rate of the last century is of the order of 0.1 K per decade, the annual maximum of P_day can be regarded to have increased at a rate of the order of 10% K−1, namely, at a rate of the same order as the CC relation. This fact implies a CC‐like increase of extreme daily precipitation corresponding to long‐term warming, although it may not be detectable from data for a few decades.

    The point being here is that the Met Office and others are claiming that global warming is responsible for the short term increase in flood frequency (since 1998/2000). Therefore they are most likely wrong that it has anything at all to do with two French 19th century physicists and man-made global warming.

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  24. In June this year The Observer was telling us some of Scotland’s distilleries were short of water…
    ‘Scotch on the rocks: distilleries fear climate crisis will endanger whisky production’

    At some points last summer the Spey was running 97% lower than its normal minimum, and this winter has not brought enough rain to replenish it. “The water table hasn’t recovered yet, so it’ll be this year we see the full effect,” said Fraser. “We’ve still not had real rain yet.”

    Further south near Pitlochry, the Edradour distillery lost a few days’ production last year for lack of water. Its owner, Andrew Symington, said the neighbouring river runs visibly lower each year. Edradour now plans to install costly cooling towers to mitigate the effect of lack of water in the future.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/02/scotland-whisky-climate-crisis-heatwave-distilleries-halt-production

    Maybe they should they move to Yorkshire 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jaime:

    “Makes you wonder how Otto can now be happy with a career which rests firmly on a reliance upon those same models ”

    She obviously takes a very philosophical approach to it. Also, the Great Leap Forward means that they have now solved those intrinsic modelling problems and can attribute any weather event to anthropogenic CO2 with 99.9% certainty, which of course they actually can do, just by making the statement. Scientists say it, the media reports it, therefore it is.

    Jamal Munshi ascribes their efforts to: “CIRCULAR REASONING IN CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH”
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3130131
    “A literature review shows that the circular reasoning fallacy is common in climate change research. It is facilitated by confirmation bias and by activism such that the prior conviction of researchers is subsumed into the methodology. Example research papers on the impact of fossil fuel emissions on tropical cyclones, on sea level rise, and on the carbon cycle demonstrate that the conclusions drawn by researchers about their anthropogenic cause derive from circular reasoning.”

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Indeed Dennis, Fredi doesn’t need the models at all to simply declare that a heatwave in France is ‘at least’ 5 times more likely because of climate change and the ‘best estimate’ is 100 times more likely, then have the media repeat it around the globe. It would seem that guessing is even more robust an attribution tool than using models which don’t work. That’s some philosophical approach!

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  27. Martha Kearney in Antarctica on the Today programme, this morning (h/t stewgreen):

    “But, as we know, this is a landscape under threat from warmer sea and air temperatures, and that could affect us all – the recent floods, you’ll remember, in the north of England are a tiny reminder of the kind of potential threats posed by rising sea levels.”

    A tiny reminder, surely, of the kind of potential nonsense posed by rising levels of hysteria.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The combination of word salad superstitious nonsense that blames known weather events like flood plains flooding on CO2 by use of sciencey sounding words is really corrosive on society. As we see more and more plainly.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Warmer air temperatures, eh? Not since 1975 methinks. It’s amazing that no rise in air temperature for over 40 years in the Antarctic and a natural rise in sea temperature due to circulation changes can make it flood in Fishlake.

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