Extreme weather? Not.

I am linking to an article on PowerLine:

While climate change advocates continue to insist weather is getting more extreme, that actual data does not show this. In fairness, I will repeat that the verdict on tornadoes and hurricanes is not in from the actual climate scientists. The media and activists are pushing this idea. (The IPCC chairman himself commented that tornadoes are not tied to climate change as far as current knowledge allows.)

My research bears out that the “extremes” are anything but extreme. The climate has always changed–and trying to say the changes are faster now than before is not born out by the data. There were times of very rapid climate change in the past, none of it tied to CO2 or human beings.

Check out the actual data. It’s tells a much different story than the one many people have been lead to believe is true. It’s important that you understand that things like Obama promising to tackle climate change has no scientific basis. It’s politics, pure and simple. The global climate is fine.

NOTE: I am unable to verify the source of the graph showing Northern Hemisphere snow extent. Plus, the units on the Y axis are not labelled. Until I can find the source and units, I am asking you disregard that graph. For information on the snow cover, Rutgers Climate Lab has data and graphs. As noted by a commenter, the graphs do not show “spring” snow extent as increasing as did the graph on Powerline.

16 comments on “Extreme weather? Not.

  1. One last comment to Glenn: I look up and research everything you ask about. The fact that I don’t jump in and repeat what I should have been indoctrinated with by someone means I actually care about what I am asked. I spend time researching it. You do nothing but be rude and condescending because I won’t spit out dogma or back down. I allow you to comment because you do ask very relevant questions. However, the fact that you can be extremely rude and impatient is problem. If you want to continue to challenge me to think about what I post, tone it down. I don’t owe courtesy to a rude commentator. There are legitimate questions and there are trolls–trolls get banned. Be courteous.

  2. Glenn Tamblyn says:

    Nice avoidance there.

    Christy misrepresents basic information. You uncritically report what he said. When caught out instead of maybe having an ‘oops, got that wrong’ moment, you seek to deflect your embarrassment by a bit of hair splitting.

    “I am more interested in the tabulated data”
    Good idea. Actually check the result for yourself before you make any claims.

    and “…that site…”
    As if you think that every information source is just a ‘site’, that they are all comparable. When actually there are information sources of various quality. Universities, major science organizations such as NASA, NOAA, NSIDC etc. Then there are ‘sites’ that are just mouthpieces for individuals – Climate Depot for example.

    You seem to prefer doing your ‘research’ out in the fringes of the information world, the least reliable places. Why not base your research in the reliable institutions, rather than the rumormongers and BS Merchants of the blogosphere.

    Your sources:

    WOW. Just WOW. Marginalia City.

    ” You use the data in a way meant to persuade the reader that your conclusions about the data are correct”

    No. I use the data to show the data that Christy omitted. I filled in the blanks to show the missing data so that others could get the complete picture. They can then form there own conclusions given all the data.

    What the data on NH Snow Cover says is very little change in snow cover during the Fall & Winter period, Significant decline during the Spring period (17.6%/decade in June). Christy’s claim, seemingly endorsed by you RC, is that NH snow cover is not declining.

    Any layman parsing a bit of English like that won’t interpret that as meaning ‘snow cover during some parts of the year isn’t declining’. They will interpret it as ‘snow cover is not declining at all, at any time of the year’.

    Partial reporting of data (cherry picking) combined with an exquisitely careful use of precisely vague English and voila, Black is White.

    ” This is where I look for “cherry picking”–are all the adjustments upward, were the actual measurements replaces with proxies, etc?”
    So, maybe the official organisations associated with this should be doubted, with the presumption that they might be cherry picking etc even though they have zero reason to do so. Damn, gotta look at that with a fine tooth comb.

    But various ‘bloggers’ who just make or repeat cherry orchards of misrepresentation, manipulate things to present black as white and who have massive personal agenda’s for wanting to misrepresent and you don’t bat an eye?

    You don’t think that maybe you are operating with a rather skewed sense of where to place your distrust?

    • I can’t have an “oops, got that wrong” until I verify the information is wrong. Guess that makes me different from you?

      You have no idea where I do my research. That’s just you trying to make me look foolish and you really smart. Or pretending to be a psychic? (I research by reading downloaded research papers and other such data–I look for the raw data, the methodology used, what data was included, etc. This was NOT a research article, though you don’t seem to understand that idea.)

      Why is it that advocates always claim they are 100% pure, super-humans who are never tempted to lie, cheat or steal? Where is the empirical evidence that scientists who are funded by the government have no incentive to produce results consistent with the views of those funding them? If big oil can buy skeptics, the government can buy advocates. Learn to admit it.

      For the last time, I do not advocate everything I report. I present information for people to read. I do understand that coming from the brainwashing, tell-you-everything-you-need-to-know atmosphere found at Skeptical Science, this might be confusing. I probably never agree with everything in any article I post. Since you cannot seem to understand that philosophy, perhaps you should return to Skeptical Science and be spoon fed. Otherwise, feel free to ask questions and point out things you disagree with. I will respond to those.

      (I explained cherry picking–it seems you cannot grasp that idea either. I am beginning to think you are in over your head on a blog that does not tell you what to believe without question. Independent thought is scary thing.)

  3. Quick question for Glen, who is concerned about accuracy–what months are included in “fall”, “winter” and “spring”? Why are the graphs not labeled as “Dec, Jan, Feb” or “Mar, April, May”? Would that not be more accurate? “Winter” is not really an accurate description, is it?

  4. Glenn Tamblyn says:

    Also look at the GIFs labelled namgld_ for North America and eurasia_ for Eurasia.

    • Been there, done that. It does not tell me where the graph in question came from. (I don’t find one that shows all seasons put together, as the graph in question did.) Just because Rutgers graphs do not match does not mean I accept them as gospel truth. I found several sources that do not show a decline in snow to same degree as Rutger’s graphs. Until I know the source of the data for each graph and can study what was input into the graph, I will not make a decision on who is right, who is wrong, and who to believe.

  5. Glenn Tamblyn says:


    Rutgers have graphs for all 4 seasons here

    They are the 4 GIFs that begin with nhland_

    • I am more interested in the tabulated data provided at that site, since that seems to be where the graphs originated from. As I have explained repeatedly, a graph can show anything.

  6. Glenn Tamblyn says:

    So the graph may have originated from a blog for someone called Robert Felix?

    There are 3 possibilities to consider here.

    1. Felix is the originator of the graph. Then John Christy just decides to copy Felix’s graph in a presentation to a significant conference. That sounds damn sloppy to me. Christy is willing to make such a strong (and wrong) statement at the conference just because a blogger puts up a graph! What does that say about Christy’s professionalism and even integrity as an academic that he doesn’t even check the data for himself.

    2. Alternatively, Felix wasn’t the creator of the graph and just copied it. Maybe Christy was the originator, in which case Christy is more culpable for the incorrect impression it conveys. And did Felix obtain it by copying it from Christy’s presentation, or did Christy actually distribute the image to Felix and possibly others? If so, doesn’t that suggest Christy is part of a network of people seeking to distribute misleading information. Hardly the expected role of an impartial academic.

    3. A third party created the graph, in which case the criticism of Christy in point 1 still stands and that then suggests the possibility of the network of people I mentioned in 2 and that Christy is a part of that and is willing to use things without attribution originating from nameless others. Again not particularly edifying behaviour for an academic.

    Here we have a simple, small example of how the Climate Rejectionist (I know you don’t like the D word) Network goes about its dirty business.

    • The behaviour is the same in the advocate group–and I’m not excusing it in either camp. This is the only such retraction I have seen:

      (article removed–read why)

      When I wrote on Marcott, I stated repeatedly that the article did not say what the headlines said it did, yet the advocate group went right on claiming victory. So let’s agree both sides need to be called on the table for bad behaviour.

      When I find out where the graph originated and what data was used, I will update this blog. I am attempting to find out where the graph came from and why it claims snow cover is increasing BEFORE I jump to any conclusions–that’s called being scientific. Again, I present other’s information here as a starting point for thinking (that may be alien to some people, yes). If someone has a legitimate question or opposing view, I try to research whether or not the information from my posted article is correct or not. If it is incorrect, I will report that on this blog. I appreciate the information readers provide, but again, I cannot research this in 10 minutes and have an answer. Patience is a virtue–please exercise it. (Glen–I can read and I do read many more pages in links you provide. My hope is you are providing an opposing view for those who are not as diligent and will not read beyond the links.)

  7. Glenn Tamblyn says:

    You might want to read this:

    Some key passages:
    “In the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, snow typically covers the land surface for nine months each year. The snow serves as a reservoir of water, and a reflector of the Sun’s energy, but recent decades have witnessed significant changes in snow cover extent. Studies of snow cover published in Geophysical Research Letters and the Arctic Report Card: Update for 2012 found that, between 1979 and 2012, June snow cover extent decreased by 17.6 percent per decade compared to the 1979–2000 average.”

    “The snow-cover study authors, Chris Derksen and Ross Brown, found an overall decline in snow cover from 1967 through 2012, and also detected an acceleration of snow loss after the year 2003. Between June 2008 and June 2012, North America experienced three record-low snow cover extents. In Eurasia, each successive June from 2008 to 2012 set a new record for the lowest snow cover extent yet recorded for that month.”

    Or you could look at this latest report from NOAA on the Arctic. http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/snow.html

    Note fig 5.1 showing modest decline in April, more in May and much steeper decline in June.

    And fig 5.3 comparing Fall and Spring, showing Fall fairly steady, while Spring has a sharp decline.

    Then you might like to consider why John Christy presented such misleading information. Fall and Winter haven’t changed much but Spring has declined markedly. Overall total NH snow cover for the entire year in km^2 * days (which is the crucial measure for assessing the impact of any change) has fallen.

    Which is the exact opposite of what Christy claims!

    He has cherry picked the data to portray Black as White!

    And this was as part of a presentation to a conference organised by a Republican Senator.

    Here is the key part of his presentation
    “…The first point I want to make is that popular scare stories of weather extremes getting worse are not based on fact. In the upper left, tornadoes are not increasing. In the lower left, hurricanes are not increasing. In the upper right, SNOW COVER IS NOT DISAPPEARING, in the lower right, droughts and floods continue to happen as they always have….” (my emphasis).

    Notice that he doesn’t qualify his statement by making sure his audience understand that he is only referring to what is happening between November to April. That his statement CANNOT be taken as an accurate description of what is happening over the entire year. Unless the members of the panel at the conference were very astute and understood that key months of the year were omitted from his graph, they could all to easily take from his statement a completely false understanding of what is actually happening to NH snow cover. Christy made no attempt to be careful to prevent them from drawing this false conclusion.

    Because his intention, very deliberately, was to make sure that they did draw the wrong conclusion! And anyone else who repeated or republished his presentation, such as the site you linked to.

    This wasn’t actually a Congressional Committee hearing so his statement can’t be considered a Perjury, or a Contempt of Congress. But it should be.

    You talk about the research you are doing and so on. A simple tip. Don’t rely on conmen like Christy to supply you with information for your research.

    • I don’t do my research reading one person, yourself included. I would no more read only Christy than Tamblyn. My statement was “my research bears out the extreme are anything but extreme.” When looking at the decline of winter ice and snow pack, I find that the difference is not “extreme”, just as sea level rising is not “extreme”. Please read my comments carefully–I say what I mean generally. Interpreting “not extreme” to “not happening at all” does work.

  8. Glen–I have not been able to locate the source of the snow graph for certain. This appears to be its source:
    The graphs were seemingly generated from tabular data. When I get time, I will run the tabular through a graphing program. (From the Rutgers site)

    I would note for those who are not familiar with climate change science, while measuring the snow cover sounds simple, it is anything but simple. There are adjustments to be made due to different measuring techniques over time and due to some being more accurate than others. Satellite data is not like a poloroid picture (they require interpretation). This is where I look for “cherry picking”–are all the adjustments upward, were the actual measurements replaces with proxies, etc? If we could just take a poloroid, run it through a computer program that definitively identified snow cover and calculated the amount (area of snow cover is easy to calculate if you know what is snow and what is not) of cover. Until then, it’s statistical analysis, adjustments and margins of error.

  9. No, I will not post the graphs. I provided the links.

    As to your Rutgers data: I do not have the time nor inclination to add together each season in the graph, divide by the number of years and produce a single number, as you have done. The graph shows the variation year by year, NOT the 45 year trend reduced to a single number.

    My research on snow cover is incomplete at this time. Since I research for many weeks on each part of climate change, it could be a while. I have studied tornadoes, hurricanes, and am finishing arctic ice melt. I will add snow cover to my list.

    Claims of cherry-picking abound. It’s an accusation thrown around like name-calling between two-year olds. Using the term as most often seen in climate change, both the graph presented by Christy and the data you just presented are “cherry picking”. You use the data in a way meant to persuade the reader that your conclusions about the data are correct. In this sense, every single climate scientist, researcher and writer cherry pick. Every single one. However, true cherry-picking can only be proven by comparing the raw data to the data used in the conclusions. If all of the data excluded is in direct contradiction to the conclusion or all of the data excluded cannot be justified with rational, well-documented reasons for exclusion, then cherry picking can be concluded. Without the raw data and the data used, the term “cherry picking” is meaning name-calling (on both sides, yes). So, unless you have the raw data and the data used so a comparison can be made, please provide a recipe for cherry pie each time you invoke the “cherry picking” name calling technique.

  10. Glenn Tamblyn says:

    So lets check out the data. In fact, please post these graphs so we can look at the data!

    Rutgers University data on Snow Cover for Winter, Fall & Spring. You can find them here RC: http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php

    Northern Hemisphere Winter, Trend increase 0.5 million km^2 over 45 years.
    Northern Hemisphere Fall, Trend increase 0.2 million km^2 over 45 years.

    Northern Hemisphere Spring, Trend DECREASE 3.0 million km^2 over 45 years.

    Is this what your ‘research’ found?

    Cherry Pie anyone?

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s