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Discussion > Something's Going On

I doubt that I'm the only one who's noticed it, but the scientific community appear to extremely reluctant to blame the storms and flooding on "Climate change". Previously they've been quick to point out that the wet warm winters were a sign of climate change, and when the bollock freezing cold snowy winters came they were a sign of climate change along with warm/wet, warm/dry, cold/wet, cold/dry summers everything was caused by climate change. But now, with some seriously rare weather, to a man and woman they're refusing to say it's caused by climate change. The worst I've heard said is that this weather looks like the kind of weather we'd get if we don't avoid climate change.

Has a memo gone out? Or are they beginning to doubt the science themselves?

Dec 31, 2015 at 6:24 PM | Registered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo
It probably depends on whether they think Paris represents a done deal or not.
If so then there is no need to blow the trumpet quite as loudly and they can quietly admit that one or two of the things they said were just perhaps a trifle off the top of the head, so to speak.
But all in a good cause, you understand!
After all if (you think) you've won you don't need to go on fighting the same battles, do you? Long may this misapprehension continue!

Dec 31, 2015 at 7:27 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I suspect reality is beginning to dawn on quite a few people – the Earth’s atmosphere is considerably more complex than many of those who claim to be studying it originally thought. This was something that I became aware of when I first started one of my many hobbies – the more I got to know, the more I realised that there was even more to know. In fact, had I known what was necessary for my own profession, I doubt I would have embarked upon it, a point I become aware of whenever I am involved with training. I am an acknowledged expert in a few areas, but never consider that less experienced people cannot contribute or expand my knowledge; perhaps those involved in climate study are beginning to realise this simple truth, too.

Dec 31, 2015 at 7:38 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I dunno, Geronimo.
After Paris, perhaps they're just shagged out after a long squawk.
Or maybe viewing figures/readership went down as a result of their incessant droning and the message is sinking in that the populace doesn't really give a toss and has got global-warming fatigue.
Or they realised that people actually like mild weather in December.
Or certain wealthy foundations have already spent all their 2015 bribe-a-journalist-to-write-a-story budgets.

There could be many explanations, but I doubt they have had an epiphany.

Dec 31, 2015 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I think they are celebrating the idea of giving low pressures, or depressions, as they have always been known, 'Named Storm Status'. I am very sorry for those who have been flooded, but climate catastrophologists are letting the BBC do their panic mongering for them.

We have never had 6 named storms before New Year in anybodies lifetime, so this is 'unprecedented'.

The use of 'unprecedented', has never been abused so much before by the BBC.

Dec 31, 2015 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie
Dec 31, 2015 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I've noticed the unprecedented is being back up by interviews with local residents of about 50 who can't remember anything like this. Reporting of extreme events hasn't changed in the 1500 years since the Anglo Saxon Chronicle was started.

Jan 1, 2016 at 1:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

For that matter the weather hasn't changed much either.

Jan 1, 2016 at 1:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

It doesn't really need saying, does it? Ask the people in houses that have flooded and they'll likely speculate it had something to do with climate change. I mean if your house floods whenever there is a bad storm that is one thing. But if it has never flooded before it's obvious that something has changed - climate fits the bill. Doubtless the Bishop and his flock will claim there is no proof that climate change caused the floods. They'd probably also claim there is no proof that Lance Armstrong won the tour because he used drugs. Who'd listen to them in either case?

Jan 1, 2016 at 1:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

EM. There are no scientific papers or proof in the two articles you've just pointed to, they're opinions. We seeing weather events. The IPCC says it's impossible to align weather events with global warming for the simple reason that weather events as we've seen in the UK happen all the time, the fact that they haven't happened for 25, 60 or 100 years isn't proof of human induced climate change when they do. Any idiot knows that, so please don't refer me to articles by idiots who don't.

Mike, I don't buy the Paris bit, mainly because even a climate activist can work out that the only people serious about it are the EU and the US, the former run by a bureaucracy and the latter by a tin-pot president. In the past they've been quick to make false claims associating climate change with weather events, but a whole range of scientists have steadfastly refused to provide BBC interviewers with the line that this is all caused by climate change.

It's unlikely that such a dispute a bunch of scientists would have the same approach to these storms and floods, at least on past experience, particularly one that plays down the guilt of humans in disasters. Even Dr. Slingo has said the floods can't be attributed to climate change. (Maybe EM, or some of his nutty mates, could give her some advice and guidance). It's odd.

Jan 1, 2016 at 1:53 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

EM

"But it’s devilishly difficult for scientists to pin down the exact climate change mechanisms going into this or that monster storm or mega-drought. It doesn’t mean that climate change or steroids aren’t at work, because they are. It’s just hard to pin down exactly when.

It’s this gray area that climate change deniers and fossil fuel backers have exploited to generate doubt that climate change is happening at all. They’ve hyper-focused on this storm or that drought, rather than the larger extreme weather and temperature trend — which is clearly changing and worsening".

The great thing about faith healing is that it works whether one believes in it or not.

Jan 1, 2016 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

raff: Id= don't know of any areas of flooding that haven't been flooded before. In fact, on reflection, it's impossible for that to happen. However if you have the names of places on the floodplains that have never been flooded I'd like to hear them.

Jan 1, 2016 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Alan Reed: "They’ve hyper-focused on this storm or that drought, rather than the larger extreme weather and temperature trend — which is clearly changing and worsening".

It's not "changing and worsening" in fact tropical storms have decreased in both frequency and intensity, although there has been a spike in intensity in 2015."They’ve hyper-focused on this storm or that drought, rather than the larger extreme weather and temperature trend — which is clearly changing and worsening".

It's not "changing and worsening" in fact tropical storms have decreased in both frequency and intensity. tropical storms frequecy and intensity although there has been a spike in intensity in 2015.

And droughts?

Here is a portion of Dr. Roger Pielke Jrs. testimony to a US congressional committee in 2012.

Drought has “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century.” Globally, “there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.”

His testimony is supported by the IPCC AR5.

“In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950” (“likely" in IPCC speak means a 50 -50 chance. They’re guessing).

Same for tornadoes in the USA and all other indicators of global warming

For years now scientists like Dame Slingo have known this but have fudged answers to imply that the odd weather event is a result of global warming, but this year instead of using the usual sophistry to imply it's all happening and it's real, she, and her colleagues have steadfastly refused to say the flooding is a result of global warming.

Mick Hart you may be right, but for me it's the complete shutdown of propoganda that's puzzling. We know that Dame Slingo in particular is given to dissimulation, and the warm December has given them an opportunity to hype the scare, but they haven't. Of course it could be because some people, not all for sure, were speculating on the current El Nino would cause a "big freeze" this winter, and they don't want to draw attention to how much they are in the dark about how the climate and weather behaves. Who knows? Not me for sure.
And droughts?

Here is a portion of Dr. Roger Pielke Jrs. testimony to a US congressional committee in 2012.

Drought has “for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, and cover a smaller portion of the U. S. over the last century.” Globally, “there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.”

His testimony is supported by the IPCC AR5.

“In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950” (“likely" in IPCC speak means a 50 -50 chance. They’re guessing).

Same for tornadoes in the USA and all other indicators of global warming

For years now scientists like Dame Slingo have known this but have fudged answers to imply that the odd weather event is a result of global warming, but this year instead of using the usual sophistry to imply it's all happening and it's real, she, and her colleagues have steadfastly refused to say the flooding is a result of global warming.

Mick Hart you may be right, but for me it's the complete shutdown of propoganda that's puzzling. We know that Dame Slingo in particular is given to dissimulation, and the warm December has given them an opportunity to hype the scare, but they haven't. Of course it could be because some people, not all for sure, were speculating on the current El Nino would cause a "big freeze" this winter, and they don't want to draw attention to how much they are in the dark about how the climate and weather behaves. Who knows? Not me for sure.

Jan 1, 2016 at 10:11 AM | Registered Commentergeronimo

Alan Reed: "They’ve hyper-focused on this storm or that drought, rather than the larger extreme weather and temperature trend — which is clearly changing and worsening".

Very Orwellian to accuse your opponents of exactly what your doing yourself. Sceptics have always looked at the big picture, that's what makes them sceptical. Sure it's warmed, but even the IPCC can only put the human contribution to the warming since 1800 to around 40%, and that's a guess. So the big picture from the IPCC is that the warming started around 1700, that tropical cyclones have decreased in frequency and intensity over the recording period, that droughts have reduced in frequency and intensity over the recording period (since around 1971), when both were forecast to increase over the period.

Yet during this time every single event that deviated from the average that might indicate worse weather has been hyped as an example of global warming and you have the chutzpa to reverse the situation and say the sceptics seize on single events? It beggars belief.

Jan 1, 2016 at 10:42 AM | Registered Commentergeronimo

geronimo

Thanks - but you have me wrong. My quote (" ") was from the link provided by EM:
Amidst Disasters Around the World, Top Scientists Declare Links Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change.

Jan 1, 2016 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

@Alan You can use the (blockquote) (/blockquote)

tag to show it's a quote

Jan 1, 2016 at 11:40 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

(blockquote) I'll try it (/blockquote)

Jan 1, 2016 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Seems I'm easy to overestimate

Jan 1, 2016 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Alan, you have to replace the parentheses by angle brackets.

Jan 1, 2016 at 12:13 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Worth noting that Pier Corbyn is claiming to have predicted way in advance that there would be sever floods, not just the Cumbria one na d that he put it down to sunspots would make the Jetstream wobbly, this would cause larger than normal temperature differences between regions so water would be picked up in one area and dumped in another.
..Seems plausible to me and he has a newsletter PDF mentioned his previous forecast (PhilipB in UNthreaded.)

I acknowledge the warmists here saying that to many activists the CC connection is so obvious they've given up mentioning it.

But to real scientist you need proper statistical analysis not confirmation bias : I'm sure if they activists had such an analysis they'd be banging on about it.
(Remember a shortage of water is not the same as a drought, cos the gov might have managed water badly
Nor large floods the same as , 1 in 2000 year rain, cos the rivers may have been managed wrongly)

So it seems to me that whilst we have had a run huge rain and huge floods in the UK this year, meteorologists probably know that in some other place the same trend happned 5 years ago, but it's back to normal..And that it's not the case the case that megafloods are happening in 1,000 places each year when is used to be 500 etc.

Still with me ? : As EM and Raff know you can phone activist/greenpeace scientists for a quote BUT there was a Paper in Nature this month

Climate change not the main cause for increase in flood risk in flood prone areas
Together with colleagues, IVM researchers Philip Ward and Jeroen Aerts publish in Nature Climate Change.
But Remember we had Lew's mate psychologist Sander Van Der Linden On Radio 4 the other day basically saying 4 things
- public don't care about climate change
- but if you could convince them there was some danger to them (like floods) these days, then they would care
- that they are not bothered about taking any action
- but if you can show them their neighbours are doing something they might do.
So implying a good way to inspire climate action would be thru 2 deceptions, convince people of extreme weather risk, and con them into thinking that today's recycling will stop tomorrow's floods.

Jan 1, 2016 at 12:52 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

From today's Independent.

"Climate scientist Professor Piers Forster, from the University of Leeds, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that climate change is partly responsible for the flooding across the north of England. These floods are in part due to greenhouse gas emissions.” He said the high temperatures resulted from the combined effect of a strong El Nino ocean-warming system in the Pacific and a man-made global warming trend.

Meteorologist Dr Paul Williams, from the University of Reading, said “simple physics” showed that warmer air holds more water vapour. He added: “The global warming that we have experienced so far has increased the atmosphere’s moisture storage capacity by about 7 per cent. This is undisputed science.”

Jan 1, 2016 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

A nice analogy from Robertscribbler.

A baseball player starts taking steroids. He scores more home runs than he did before. His batting average improves but it is impossible to prove which home runs were due to the steroids and which were not.The evidence is in the change in batting average.

Similarly one cannot say which storms are due to climate change. What you look for is the change in frequency or average intensity

Since flooding occurs when rainfall crosses a threshold of intensity or duration, increase in average rainfall will produce an increase in the frequency with which the threshold is crossed and more frequent floods. You cannot, however, point to an individual flood and say "Global warming caused this one."

Jan 1, 2016 at 4:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

EM thank you for your technical response at 11:58. It was typical alarmist fodder.

Do you know anything about weather prior to Global Warming, the Hockey Stick and YouTube? Or are you satisfied beyond doubt that we have never had it so bad?

Jan 1, 2016 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

“The global warming that we have experienced so far has increased the atmosphere’s moisture storage capacity by about 7 per cent. This is undisputed science.”
Jan 1, 2016 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

One is tempted to ask "experienced since when?", and has it actually happened, never mind "capacity" which is only another word for potential. The alarmists love their weasel words and ill-defined claims.

But you have a bigger problem, EM.
An increase in "the atmosphere’s moisture storage capacity" means an increase in atmospheric temperature. What is the best method of measuring atmosperic temperatures? The satellite method. Which currently shows close to zero warming trend for 18 years.

Jan 1, 2016 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart