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Old 09-18-2017, 12:11 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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Associating bad hurricanes with climate change will backfire on Global Warming Alarmists

The battle for current control of public opinion around the Great Cause of anthropogenic climate change is largely won, in my opinion, and the winner is the alarmist camp (those very concerned that climate change will have profoundly negative net consequence, and therefore an alarm should be sounded to substantively change what we are able to change to minimize the consequence). I predict the mechanism by which the immediate battle has been won--gross exaggeration around the significance of current weather events such as hurricanes--will ultimately cause a shift in the pendulum of public opinion when the realization dawns that the public has been duped by those promoting these events as science-based harbingers of climate change. It is unproductive to cry wolf for every shadow that ends up being an ordinary sheep, because complacency will set in with more skepticism for the original threat than was present before the false harbingers were promoted as wolves.

No event so neatly typifies this as the recent brouhaha over Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Despite the complete lack of data; despite summary statements to the contrary; despite black-and-white plain text sentences*, one could not turn on the news without seeing "hurricane" and "climate change" in the same breath, causally linked.

Even here on the Dope board--historically a bastion of skepticism--the average message from any given Doper has been that climate change is upon us, and that recent North Atlantic hurricanes are an obvious harbinger against which only the stupidly ignorant turn a deaf ear. There are occasional mild reminders from those more schooled in the data that we don’t really know the relationship between hurricanes and climate change. Even there, the commonest response is tempered with the (alarmist) reassurance that hurricanes will get more intense, if less frequent. (For which the science data is equally pitifully minimal.) At almost any cost, the alarmist message is promoted; the shadow remains “likely” to be a wolf.

I predict this sort of ignorant and careless promotion of fake news will cost climate change alarmists their authoritative currency over the longer haul, and endanger the war against climate change even if it helps to win the current battle. Cry wolf loudly enough for the wrong things, and no one will be motivated to rally for the long-term Great Cause.

We are lousy at predicting, and even lousier at predicting the actual net end-consequence of the general change we predict. But we all want to be Special. We all want to be the one who Sees the Wolf first. So in our haste to be the first to say “I told you so!”, when a bad hurricane comes along, we jump at the chance to confirm our bias against climate change. We hurry to out-predict the other for the most extremely disastrous result about to strike us (wind-leveled cities; catastrophic storm surges), and then we segue breathlessly to out-warn one another that the beloved Great Cause we have so long predicted is now at hand. Doom is upon us; can we not see it confirmed in the hurricane path the ECMWF animation so beautifully splashes on our screens?

I am fascinated by human nature; fascinated at our level of commitment to the Great Causes we embrace; fascinated by the pendulum of public opinion and what moves it. Were I interested in winning the anti-AGW war instead of a temporary victory, though, I would be more aggressive in chilling out the public about the significance of so poorly-supported harbingers as hurricanes.

*See here, for example, for a summary of some of the science around hurricanes in the North Atlantic
“While there have been increases in U.S. landfalling hurricanes and basin-wide hurricane counts since the since the early 1970s, Figure 4 shows that these increases are not representative of the behavior seen in the century long records. In short, the historical Atlantic hurricane record does not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced long-term increase.”

Last edited by Chief Pedant; 09-18-2017 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:15 PM
Pleonast Pleonast is offline
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:22 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
Even here on the Dope board--historically a bastion of skepticism--the average message from any given Doper has been that climate change is upon us, and that recent North Atlantic hurricanes are an obvious harbinger against which only the stupidly ignorant turn a deaf ear. There are occasional mild reminders from those more schooled in the data that we don’t really know the relationship between hurricanes and climate change. Even there, the commonest response is tempered with the (alarmist) reassurance that hurricanes will get more intense, if less frequent. (For which the science data is equally pitifully minimal.) At almost any cost, the alarmist message is promoted; the shadow remains “likely” to be a wolf.
It seems that you did not read the thing you linked because, besides pointing out that indeed there is no established connection with the number of hurricanes, the point that they will likely become more intense is not really controversial.

Quote:
Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.
BTW I pointed this to you in a very recent General Questions thread, but it was not looked at it seems.
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Last edited by GIGObuster; 09-18-2017 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:09 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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Ah, there it was:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...4&postcount=49

What was important in that post:

"it is clear that most scientists think that there is little to say about the number of hurricanes. I have seen that while some do propose that the numbers will increase they point out that the effect will possibly be seen in the middle of the century if nothing is done to control emissions.

What it is clear is that the hurricanes are getting more intense and that is based on one item that deniers have not been able to dismiss:"

http://time.com/4931586/irma-hurrica...limate-change/
Quote:
The One Number That Shows Why Climate Change Is Making Hurricane Season Worse

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have reignited discussions about the link between global warming and extreme weather, with climate scientists now saying they can show the connections between the two phenomena better than ever before.

Scientists' explanation of how they do that involves a complex discussion of climate models, historical temperature data and probability. But understanding the link really comes down to one figure: the air can hold 7% more water with every degree Celsius that the temperature rises. That figure comes from the Clausius–Clapeyron equation, a widely accepted physical law established centuries ago long before any politicized debate on climate change.

“A warmer ocean makes a warmer atmosphere, a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture,” says Gabriel Vecchi, a professor of geosciences at Princeton University who studies extreme weather events. “So, all other things equal, the same storm in a warmer planet would give you more rainfall.”
Sure enough, I have seen alarmists that do babble about climate change increasing the number of hurricanes, but that is once again a lot of popular (and unreliable) media scaring people for eyeballs.

It has to be pointed out that I have seen many right wing sources of information just pointing at those alarmists and not at what the scientists are actually saying. It is alarming enough anyhow. But another important point to get is this one:

While the scientists are uncertain if climate change will increase the number of hurricanes the thing that takes the cake is to see denier sources out there (that are nowadays mostly right wing) hammering on that uncertainty as if it will make the chances of that specific item go away. The nonsense is that those sources are telling their followers that besides the more likely items such as an increase on droughts and floods, ocean rise, ocean acidification and an increase in hurricane intensity (Those right wing sources usually also tell their readers to ignore that too) that then we should bet that the number of hurricanes will not increase.

Problem is that we are then betting on an item to not show up while the other more serious and likely issues continue. It is betting that the number of hurricanes will not increase and their cost, while the costs of the more understood items still pile up. (And one of those items will still affect the hurricanes' intensity)

As Richard Alley explained years ago, while there is uncertainty on a number of things like if hurricanes will increase in numbers in a warming world, scientists know enough to tell us that we need to stop treating our atmosphere as a sewer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a69_owv4jEE
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Last edited by GIGObuster; 09-18-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:20 PM
JackieLikesVariety JackieLikesVariety is offline
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your use of the phrase "global warming alarmists" suggests you might be a climate change denier. do you dispute this?

because if so, I will read the rest of your post. otherwise, tldr.
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:34 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
I predict this sort of ignorant and careless promotion of fake news will cost climate change alarmists their authoritative currency over the longer haul, and endanger the war against climate change even if it helps to win the current battle. Cry wolf loudly enough for the wrong things, and no one will be motivated to rally for the long-term Great Cause.
"Over the longer haul" it won't matter what anyone says, because we'll see low lying cities swamped out.
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:35 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Climate Change being influenced by man-kind's pollution is a pretty sure bet. The fact this is causing an overall warming is putting more energy into the climate which in turn as the decades go by will almost certainly mean worse storms.

However, this year’s great misfortune of 2 big storms already proves nothing though it might indeed be tied to the warming climate of the Caribbean.

Maybe the one overall fact that should be pushed by us "global warming alarmists" is that the strategies suggested to combat climate change are all good for the environment and humanity even if by some chance the consensus scientific opinion is wrong. The cleaning up of emissions and reduction of use of fossil fuels is well worth doing anyway.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:22 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
Even here on the Dope board--historically a bastion of skepticism--the average message from any given Doper has been that climate change is upon us, and that recent North Atlantic hurricanes are an obvious harbinger against which only the stupidly ignorant turn a deaf ear.
Actually, another recent thread on this topic featured multiple posters (including me) noting that long-term trends, not isolated events like this season's double dose of bad hurricanes are what support climate change prognostication.
Quote:
Originally Posted by What Exit?
Maybe the one overall fact that should be pushed by us "global warming alarmists" is that the strategies suggested to combat climate change are all good for the environment and humanity even if by some chance the consensus scientific opinion is wrong. The cleaning up of emissions and reduction of use of fossil fuels is well worth doing anyway.
I think this is a risky strategy. Best to avoid any suggestion of playing fast and loose with facts because "it's for your own good, anyway."

We don't want to give pseudo-skeptics and denialists ammo for their cause. What we should be debating about climate change is not if it's happening, but what steps to take to mitigate it.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Best to avoid any suggestion of playing fast and loose with facts because "it's for your own good, anyway."
I think so too.

IMHO, the best strategy is to pose it as a risk, not a certainty. We're all used to spending money to mitigate risk. If you buy a house in tornado alley, you spend money for a shelter, even though it's not 100% certain your house will ever be damaged by a tornado. If a hostile nation develops a nuclear capable ICMB, we spend money on anti-missile technology. If there's a threat of severe storm, we close down schools. If a terrorist group threatens attack, we spend more money on security. So why are people asking for 100% certainty before spending any resources to mitigate effects of global warming?
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:53 PM
asahi asahi is offline
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Originally Posted by JackieLikesVariety View Post
your use of the phrase "global warming alarmists" suggests you might be a climate change denier. do you dispute this?

because if so, I will read the rest of your post. otherwise, tldr.
Yep.

I stopped taking the thread seriously as soon as read that.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:58 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is online now
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Actually, another recent thread on this topic featured multiple posters (including me) noting that long-term trends, not isolated events like this season's double dose of bad hurricanes are what support climate change prognostication.I think this is a risky strategy. Best to avoid any suggestion of playing fast and loose with facts because "it's for your own good, anyway."
Exactly so. Just as the scientific community noted that Senator Jim Inhofe's snowball stunt wasn't a legitimate argument against the existence of climate change, a very bad few weeks of one Atlantic hurricane season isn't a legitimate argument *for* the existence of climate change. All of that is weather, not climate...the two are related, but it's the long-term trends that prove the reality of climate change.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 09-18-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:53 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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I predict this sort of ignorant and careless promotion of fake news will cost climate change alarmists their authoritative currency over the longer haul, and endanger the war against climate change even if it helps to win the current battle. Cry wolf loudly enough for the wrong things, and no one will be motivated to rally for the long-term Great Cause.
Quote:
In the long term, we're all dead
In the /short term/, the false association of events and climate change was very good for the climate change industry and the (left) parties in Aus, which formed a Holy
Alliance leading up to massive unwarranted capital expenditure in vic.aus, serious flooding in Queensland.aus, and a loss of public faith in the anthropomorphic climate change hypothesis.

In the /medium/ term, the flood damage, increased service costs, and loss of credibility weakened the (left) parties (contributing to loss of government) and wiped out the public support for carbon emission control expenditure in Aus.

In the /present/, the battle is being fought out again: I think that public and political support for anthropomorphic climate change hypothesis in Aus is actually weaker than it was 20 years ago, as the result of imaginative predictions being used as a political weapon.

"Long term" it is, as observed above, going to be determined by events.
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:33 PM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is offline
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Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
In the /short term/, the false association of events and climate change was very good for the climate change industry and the (left) parties in Aus, which formed a Holy
Alliance leading up to massive unwarranted capital expenditure in vic.aus, serious flooding in Queensland.aus, and a loss of public faith in the anthropomorphic climate change hypothesis.

In the /medium/ term, the flood damage, increased service costs, and loss of credibility weakened the (left) parties (contributing to loss of government) and wiped out the public support for carbon emission control expenditure in Aus.

In the /present/, the battle is being fought out again: I think that public and political support for anthropomorphic climate change hypothesis in Aus is actually weaker than it was 20 years ago, as the result of imaginative predictions being used as a political weapon.

"Long term" it is, as observed above, going to be determined by events.
Say what? The Left caused flooding in Far North Queensland? Can you run that one by me again slowly, because I seriously have no idea what you're talking about there.

As for "unwarranted expenditure in Vic" - I'm thinking you're probably talking about the Wonthaggi desalination plant here? IMO, most people here think of that in terms of simple pork barrel politics and I bet half the State couldn't even reliably tell you who was in charge at the time of that boondoggle.

I'd agree that there's not all that much interest in climate change in politics at the moment, but it's the end of winter right now! Check back in six months after we've broken some more hot weather records and the reef has bleached some more, and we'll see if that's still true.
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:04 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
In the /short term/, the false association of events and climate change was very good for the climate change industry and the (left) parties in Aus, which formed a Holy Alliance leading up to massive unwarranted capital expenditure in vic.aus, serious flooding in Queensland.aus, and a loss of public faith in the anthropomorphic climate change hypothesis.
Seems to me that that there is actually a loss of faith in high positions of power, like in the USA, the politicians are indeed the weakest link. (we'll leave aside for now the real unholy support of the deniers in power that the fossil fuel people and conservatives gave us.)

Still, that is not what is seen in the cities:

https://theconversation.com/in-the-a...e-policy-81108
Quote:
In the absence of national leadership, cities are driving climate policy
Quote:
A new Climate Council report, released today, tracks the climate action being taken at the local government level. It gives myriad examples of cities, towns and local shires, in Australia and abroad, setting and achieving ambitious goals for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport.

In a 2016 Climate Institute survey of attitudes to climate change, 90% of respondents indicated that the federal government should shoulder the bulk of responsibility for action, with 67% saying Canberra should take a leading role. Yet given the current policy paralysis at Commonwealth level it is little wonder that some states seem determined to go it alone on setting ambitious clean energy targets.

Meanwhile, it’s at the local government level where enthusiastic action to embrace a more sustainable future is really taking off.

For some, the inspiration for action was a pledge by more than 1,000 mayors, local representatives and community leaders to move to 100% renewable energy. The promise was made on the sidelines of the 2015 Paris climate negotiations, at an event called the Climate Summit for Local Leaders.

Since then, US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement seems simply to have strengthened this resolve. More than 350 US mayors responded to Trump’s decision by pledging to reach 100% renewable energy for their communities by 2035.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that transforming the way energy is used and generated in cities and towns worldwide has the potential to deliver 70% of the total emissions reductions needed to stay on track for the 2℃ global warming limit set by the Paris Agreement. The IEA has described cities as the key to decarbonisation.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:08 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:28 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
Even here on the Dope board--historically a bastion of skepticism--the average message from any given Doper has been that climate change is upon us, and that recent North Atlantic hurricanes are an obvious harbinger against which only the stupidly ignorant turn a deaf ear.
I want to clarify what your position is.
Put hurricanes to one side for a moment: do you think the climate is changing (primarily getting warmer and sea levels increasing)?
If yes, to your knowledge, is this change happening faster, slower or the same as climate shifts that the planet has seen prior to mankind's industrialization?

Last edited by Mijin; 09-19-2017 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:31 AM
adaher adaher is offline
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I would think that the argument that attributing events that are not due to global warming to global warming is not going to go so well for climate change activists should be noncontroversial. And I'm especially disappointed in Neil DeGrasse Tyson for directly attributing Irma and Harvey to a less than one degree rise in global temperatures since 1880.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:58 AM
wolfpup wolfpup is online now
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Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
No event so neatly typifies this as the recent brouhaha over Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Despite the complete lack of data; despite summary statements to the contrary; despite black-and-white plain text sentences*, one could not turn on the news without seeing "hurricane" and "climate change" in the same breath, causally linked.
That's kind of a broad sweeping statement, which is kind of ironic coming from someone complaining about broad sweeping statements! "Lack of data" about what? Just exactly what is it that is being claimed that is wrong? Do you think that climatologists have any doubt that warm sea surface temperatures are the engines that power hurricanes? Do you think there's any doubt that global warming is raising SSTs?

To be sure, hurricane formation involves many complex factors beyond just SSTs, but when Al Gore said in An Inconvenient Truth that hurricane Katrina was (I'm paraphrasing from memory) "like the kinds of weather events we can expect more of in the future" -- a statement for which he was much vilified -- he was stating a broad scientific consensus about future climate, not trying to attribute a single weather event to climate change. I address this in more detail below, in response to your other erroneous claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Pedant View Post
*See here, for example, for a summary of some of the science around hurricanes in the North Atlantic
“While there have been increases in U.S. landfalling hurricanes and basin-wide hurricane counts since the since the early 1970s, Figure 4 shows that these increases are not representative of the behavior seen in the century long records. In short, the historical Atlantic hurricane record does not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced long-term increase.”
This is called "moving the goal posts", because the primary argument is about hurricane energies, not hurricane numbers, and indeed it's possible that mid-atmosphere dynamics like wind shear may actually reduce the number of hurricanes with increased land-ocean warming, but those that do form will tend to be more energetic and destructive.

I previously commented on that article, but my comments were in the Pit and, shall we say, were Pit-appropriate, not so much with respect to the article but with respect to another poster. So rather than linking to it, here is a family-friendly version:

The article isn't really wrong but it's not very well written, and whether it was intentional or not, it's misleading, all the more so when one cherry-picks selective quotes out of it.

One problem is that it talks about "hurricane activity" but in many of the pronouncements they bounce around between talking about frequency and intensity, and fail to clarify which one they mean. There's no clear statistically meaningful trend in hurricane frequency (more hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic basin in the last decade than in the previous half-century of comprehensive satellite observations, but only by a narrow margin), but there's a very clear trend in North Atlantic hurricane energy (particularly as measured by the PDI, the Power Dissipation Index) which the article mentions but doesn't highlight clearly enough. A strong source for that is the work of Kerry Emanuel, one of the world's foremost hurricane researchers:
Emanuel (2005) found a strong correlation between the North Atlantic PDI to tropical Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST; r2 = 0.65) ... Klotzbach (2006) found a significant increasing linear trend in North Atlantic ACE over the period 1986–2005 (see also Wu et al. 2008), and a statistically significant correlation between North Atlantic SST and ACE.
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full...I-D-11-00146.1

In the Atlantic, potential intensity, low-level vorticity, and vertical wind shear strongly covary and are also highly correlated with sea surface temperature
ftp://texmex.mit.edu/pub/emanuel/PAPERS/Factors.pdf
There's no doubt that rising SSTs are due to rising global temperatures, and the correlation with higher hurricane energies in the North Atlantic is very strong. It's true that some have questioned the attribution of elevated SSTs in the North Atlantic as the current primary factor in increased hurricane energies so far, as opposed to SST differentials with other ocean basins, yet few question the fundamental long-term role of high SSTs as the engines of hurricane formation. Most acknowledge the likelihood that Atlantic hurricanes will become stronger by the end of the century, along with other forms of extreme weather.

I know the article is from GFDL which is part of NOAA, but whoever wrote it seems to be of a skeptical mindset and has actually been misleading in a few areas, such as conflating hurricane frequency and intensity metrics, or citing a paper by Chris Landsea on why hurricane frequency numbers may be inflated. No one is citing frequency numbers as a key metric anyway, and furthermore, Landsea isn't a particularly trustworthy source. He's a hot-headed contrarian asshole who once quit his assignment at the IPCC when the consensus of authors disagreed with him, accusing them of conspiracies to push an agenda and getting into public shouting matches with renowned scientists.

The article does cite a very good paper by Kerry Emanuel and Michael Mann, but manages to botch that up, too. It summarizes one of its points very poorly and with a denialist mindset. The article says "Mann and Emanuel (2006) hypothesize that a reduction in aerosol-induced cooling over the Atlantic in recent decades may have contributed to the enhanced warming of the tropical North Atlantic". This makes it sound like Atlantic warming was due to aerosol reductions and not greenhouse gas emissions, but that's not true and that's not what the paper says at all. What it says is "late twentieth century tropospheric aerosol cooling has offset a substantial fraction of anthropogenic warming in the region and has thus likely suppressed even greater potential increases in tropical cyclone activity." -- IOW, the paper reaffirms the role of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in raising sea surface temperatures and reaffirms their effect on hurricane formation, which effect would have been even stronger had it not been for aerosol cooling in part of the second half of the 20th century. From the article, the reader might be left with the opposite impression of what the Mann and Emanuel paper was really saying.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:41 AM
wolfpup wolfpup is online now
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I would think that the argument that attributing events that are not due to global warming to global warming is not going to go so well for climate change activists should be noncontroversial. And I'm especially disappointed in Neil DeGrasse Tyson for directly attributing Irma and Harvey to a less than one degree rise in global temperatures since 1880.
As per my comments above, I'd be interested in exactly what Tyson said that you found so disappointing. I doubt that it was a direct attribution but rather, as with Al Gore's statement about hurricane Katrina, more likely an uncontroversial generalization. Much like Gore's other alleged statement that has entered the folklore about him allegedly "inventing the Internet", where again he said no such thing and what he did say was substantially correct.

And I'm not sure what the point is about "less than one degree rise in global temperature". That's one degree Celsius, BTW, which is about 1.8 degrees F. Are you trying to suggest that a one degree C rise in average global temperature is not significant? That would be the same kind of ludicrous appeal to ignorance as the denialist assertion that the atmosphere contains only 0.04% CO2, so it's just a trace gas that couldn't possibly affect anything! In reality, of course, it's a powerful driver of climate and the primary engine that has driven ice ages and interglacials in the modern geological era. Our intuitive "common sense" notions about the potency of CO2 as a temperature regulator or the significance of a one degree rise in global average temperature aren't always the same as the scientific reality.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:12 AM
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I looked around for various things that Tyson said recently about these hurricanes, and as I suspected, I found nothing incorrect or incriminating -- mostly he was railing against scientific illiteracy and denialism.

This piece from CNN (not by Tyson) is pretty accurate -- comments in blue within square brackets are mine:
"The short version is, climate change makes these very bad storms worse," said Sean Sublette, a meteorologist with Climate Central, a nonprofit group that studies climate change. "It's not the approximate [sic. I think this was a bad transcription, and the word was supposed to be "proximate"] cause of the storm, but it makes these bad storms worse. And in the case of a really bad storm, climate change can make it totally disastrous or catastrophic."

The data on how our warming planet specifically impacted Harvey and Irma won't be known for quite some time. It can take months and even years to collect and analyze that information.

But the science is this: Hurricanes thrive over warm water and strengthen in intensity; oceans have warmed on an average 1 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century, and sea levels have risen about 7 inches during that time [actually, well over 8 inches]. Throw in compound flooding -- the combination of rising sea levels from global warming, storm surge and extreme rainfall -- and you have the perfect mix for record flooding.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/15/us/cli...rma/index.html
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:15 AM
adaher adaher is offline
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0.85 degrees is significant, but I haven't seen a single scientist claim that it's enough to create more major hurricanes, and the data doesn't support the idea that there are more major hurricanes anyway.

I agree that climate change is likely to produce more major hurricanes, although even that's not 100% certain, because some climate change models also see an increase in vertical wind shear.

https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-war...creased-shear/

My sometime and possibly former allies on the right are REALLY good at using bad sales jobs against cilmate activists. for that reason alone, they should only say what's supportable by the science. The idea that climate change is causing bigger storms NOW is just not supported.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:17 AM
adaher adaher is offline
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Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
I looked around for various things that Tyson said recently about these hurricanes, and as I suspected, I found nothing incorrect or incriminating -- mostly he was railing against scientific illiteracy and denialism.

This piece from CNN (not by Tyson) is pretty accurate -- comments in blue within square brackets are mine:
"The short version is, climate change makes these very bad storms worse," said Sean Sublette, a meteorologist with Climate Central, a nonprofit group that studies climate change. "It's not the approximate [sic. I think this was a bad transcription, and the word was supposed to be "proximate"] cause of the storm, but it makes these bad storms worse. And in the case of a really bad storm, climate change can make it totally disastrous or catastrophic."

The data on how our warming planet specifically impacted Harvey and Irma won't be known for quite some time. It can take months and even years to collect and analyze that information.

But the science is this: Hurricanes thrive over warm water and strengthen in intensity; oceans have warmed on an average 1 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century, and sea levels have risen about 7 inches during that time [actually, well over 8 inches]. Throw in compound flooding -- the combination of rising sea levels from global warming, storm surge and extreme rainfall -- and you have the perfect mix for record flooding.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/15/us/cli...rma/index.html
Then we should see more hurricanes and more major hurricanes but we've seen neither. Other factors, such as El Nino, are still more significant than warming. And that wind shear issue might be happening already too, just like the warming waters. Just a few years ago I saw something I'd never seen before. A hurricane get basically ripped apart in 24 hours by wind shear.

So while we can acknowledge that climate change is already affecting the planet, it's not yet going to explain major weather events. We probably have to get a lot warmer for that to happen.
  #23  
Old 09-19-2017, 08:33 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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"Over the longer haul" it won't matter what anyone says, because we'll see low lying cities swamped out.
Glaciers have been undeniably retreating for quite some time, and the climate deniers have been whistling past that particular graveyard since day one.* I don't think drowned cities will change their minds either.

*They could raise doubts that the cause is anthropogenic but most of them take the "it's not really happening if I don't see it with my own eyes" tack.
  #24  
Old 09-19-2017, 09:01 AM
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0.85 degrees is significant, but I haven't seen a single scientist claim that it's enough to create more major hurricanes, and the data doesn't support the idea that there are more major hurricanes anyway.
No, but the data does support the idea that hurricane energies have been increasing in the Atlantic basin and are strongly correlated with sea surface temperatures, as I already mentioned:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/science...7-hott-nf.html
  #25  
Old 09-19-2017, 09:18 AM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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Then we should see more hurricanes and more major hurricanes but we've seen neither.
:sigh:

When are we going to see a reply acknowledging what was mentioned and not the straw man?

Remember: this episode with Tyson should tell you once again that some media is dedicated to spin news about this issue in the worse way and they are the ones that should be taken to task, not the scientists.
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  #26  
Old 09-19-2017, 09:20 AM
adaher adaher is offline
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Well, on the issue of climate change, Tyson is "the media", not a scientist. Tyson isn't a climatologist.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:21 AM
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Well, on the issue of climate change, Tyson is "the media", not a scientist. Tyson isn't a climatologist.
True.

But for what it is worth, he is well versed on the subject at least. A lot better than a talking head on a news show.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:24 AM
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Oh definitely and I love the guy. But much like Sagan did, he often feels the need to push things he shouldn't be using his name to push. Climate change is 99% a future problem, trying to get people to care more about it by telling them it's a now problem is not helpful. I'm also pretty sure his "We may be too late" line wasn't something climate change activists appreciated either.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:31 AM
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Oh definitely and I love the guy. But much like Sagan did, he often feels the need to push things he shouldn't be using his name to push. Climate change is 99% a future problem, trying to get people to care more about it by telling them it's a now problem is not helpful. I'm also pretty sure his "We may be too late" line wasn't something climate change activists appreciated either.
That is a poor choice. "Too late" should not be used as it can easily be taken out of context for the modern sound bite world.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:36 AM
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Global warming alarmists are a very small fringe movement with no real power whatsoever, and nobody at all pays attention to them. Global warming realists are a significant faction, and are gaining in influence, but they're still dwarfed politically by the robber-baron faction and their allies the denialists.

adaher, we definitely already are too late, in that climate change has already claimed many millions of lives and done many billions of dollars in damage. We can't prevent that any more, because it's already happened. We can, however, still prevent some (though not all) of the future damage, if we act now. The longer we postpone acting, the less damage we'll be able to prevent.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:40 AM
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The goal is 1.5 degrees celsius, or 2 degrees, depending on who you ask, so we're accepting a certain amount of warming. We just need to keep it from going much over that. And even our target is going to be very hard to meet. We're talking something like a 99% reduction in emissions by 2050.
  #32  
Old 09-19-2017, 10:02 AM
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By the way, update. The number of 'super' hurricanes this year is now 3.

I'll be the first to say that it could be a coincidence. You know, another storm, another Cat 5. It could just 'happen' for no particular reason, the water is warmer than normal this year because of 'butterflies in Chile'. Just like if you shoot a guy in the chest and they fall over dead, they might have actually just had a heart attack right then, and might have died anyways.

But we have a clear mechanism of action. The reason storm Maria is another Cat 5 is because the water is warm. Why might the water be warm? Well, see, it's the surface layer of water that's warm, actually. Which is connected to the air temperature. Which might just be warmer because God Intended it so, or it might be the collective effect of all that CO2 and methane in the upper atmosphere blocking some of the light.

The "god did it" theory isn't very falsifiable. However, if you stick some methane (or CO2) into a box in a lab you are shining light with the same composition as sunlight through, it seems to block some of the IR frequencies. Weird, that. And it seems as if the sunlight hits, the light gets converted to IR, and tries to radiate back to space. But now some of it has been blocked. And there's a clear, well checked mechanism of action that might be leading to what we are seeing.

Are there global warming alarmists? Sure. Even if all the ice caps melt, and even if superstorms happen every single year, it's not the end of Western Civilization. And worrying about your individual 'carbon footprint' is pointless - if you voluntarily burn less fuel, and enough people like you do the same thing, you are lowing the market price for fuel and other people will consume more.

A carbon tax or cap on everybody, with other nations doing the same thing, is the only viable way to deal with this problem. That, and subsidizing the development of clean power sources, until they are advanced enough to no longer need subsidies. (which has happened!)

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  #33  
Old 09-19-2017, 10:05 AM
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We wouldn't see a bunch of Cat 5 hurricanes in just one year. Next year conditions will almost certainly be less favorable. If climate change was a decisive factor in hurricane severity, we'd be seeing more severe hurricanes over a long period. Except we're not. There's no trend in the data between 1900 and today. It's fair to say that climate change may produce more severe hurricanes in the future, but it is not causing more severe hurricanes today.

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  #34  
Old 09-19-2017, 10:22 AM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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Well, on the issue of climate change, Tyson is "the media", not a scientist. Tyson isn't a climatologist.
"my cat's breath smell like cat food".

What I'm saying that what you posted has been my line for ages. But it is very sad to use a very sorry attempt at discrediting someone when the scientist (and yes, Tyson is a scientist, this silly aside of "not being a scientist" has been a mantra coming from deniers and conservative media) that, granted that he is not an expert in climate, but he is correct on the whole in this matter.
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  #35  
Old 09-19-2017, 10:25 AM
SamuelA SamuelA is offline
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We wouldn't see a bunch of Cat 5 hurricanes in just one year. Next year conditions will almost certainly be less favorable. If climate change was a decisive factor in hurricane severity, we'd be seeing more severe hurricanes over a long period. Except we're not. There's no trend in the data between 1900 and today. It's fair to say that climate change may produce more severe hurricanes in the future, but it is not causing more severe hurricanes today.
Maybe because if you stretch your graph to 1900 you're going to be filtering out the most recent, and significant measurable warming.

https://www.climate.gov/news-feature...al-temperature

See the plot :
History of global surface temperature since 1880

Admittedly, you probably are the type who wouldn't trust a federal government source, but it's the most credible data we have. See that spike at the end? It could very well be that in order to have a significant effect on hurricane strength, the last fraction of a degree C may matter. Weather is not a linear system. A whole 0.1 degrees in 3 years.

Obviously, we'll see. Frankly, I was skeptical about the predictions of extreme weather as a result of global warming, myself. Logically, you would assume that if the whole earth is a bit warmer, the temperature gradients are the same, so the weather systems would be no stronger. (the difference between 50 and 60 degree water and between 70 and 80 degree water is 10 degrees either way)

But the data is looking suspicious. Maybe if next year it's a calm season, well, ok. But if these superstorms start being a yearly thing, I don't see how you will be able to maintain your position of denial.
  #36  
Old 09-19-2017, 10:27 AM
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I don't question the data on ocean warming. I just observe that even taking the most recent 10 years into account, we're not seeing growth in hurricanes or severity. Unless you count maybe this year, but there's no evidence that this one year we reached some kind of tipping point.
  #37  
Old 09-19-2017, 10:33 AM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is online now
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I don't question the data on ocean warming. I just observe that even taking the most recent 10 years into account, we're not seeing growth in hurricanes or severity. Unless you count maybe this year, but there's no evidence that this one year we reached some kind of tipping point.
Again, read post #4

And again, uncertainty is not your friend, you are then betting that what may happen (more hurricanes) may be added to the more certain costly items like ocean acidification, ocean rise, increase on droughts and floods (depending on the area). And once again due to humans still treating the atmosphere as a sewer.
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  #38  
Old 09-19-2017, 11:09 AM
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... And worrying about your individual 'carbon footprint' is pointless - if you voluntarily burn less fuel, and enough people like you do the same thing, you are lowering the market price for fuel and other people will consume more.

A carbon tax or cap on everybody, with other nations doing the same thing, is the only viable way to deal with this problem. That, and subsidizing the development of clean power sources, until they are advanced enough to no longer need subsidies. (which has happened!)
This key point is worth repeating.
  #39  
Old 09-19-2017, 12:05 PM
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We wouldn't see a bunch of Cat 5 hurricanes in just one year. Next year conditions will almost certainly be less favorable. If climate change was a decisive factor in hurricane severity, we'd be seeing more severe hurricanes over a long period. Except we're not. There's no trend in the data between 1900 and today. It's fair to say that climate change may produce more severe hurricanes in the future, but it is not causing more severe hurricanes today.
Why do you keep ignoring the facts that have already been cited for you? Here, maybe a direct quote might help, from Kerry Emanuel, one of the foremost hurricane researchers in the world. Incidentally, Emanuel is a traditional moderate Republican who has argued that conservatives have many practical and ideological reasons to support clean energy policies and technologies, and is frustrated by what he regards as short-sighted scientific illiterates who have come to dominate the conservative side of the debate:
I was surprised. When I did this analysis in the Nature paper, I wasn't even looking for any kind of global trends. And global warming was far from my mind. I was looking for natural variability in the amount of energy expended by hurricanes. And you could see the natural variability, but on top of that, it's this trend that we couldn't really get rid of. It became worrying, and led to the Nature paper.

We find that in the Pacific, as well as in the Atlantic, there's this excellent correlation between this measure of hurricane energy that we developed and the temperature of the tropical ocean. It's very in concert on all kinds of different time scales. And the amount of energy expended by hurricanes has gone up in the last 50 years by somewhere between 50 and 80 percent.

If all we had to go on was the hurricane data, I don't think we would be terribly alarmed. We'd just say, well, it's been changing the last 25, 30 years, so what? It's the correlation with sea surface temperature and the fact that that trend is unprecedented for a long time that has us worried.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/science...7-hott-nf.html
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Oh definitely and I love the guy. But much like Sagan did, he often feels the need to push things he shouldn't be using his name to push. Climate change is 99% a future problem, trying to get people to care more about it by telling them it's a now problem is not helpful. I'm also pretty sure his "We may be too late" line wasn't something climate change activists appreciated either.
I suppose that depends on whether one is a marketeer trying to sell something or whether one is a scientist conveying the full and objective facts. Given all the climate changes that have already happened, and given the commitment to further warming due to the amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere and the time it will take to significantly reduce further emissions, for many purposes and by many criteria it's already too late. It's too late to prevent regional climate changes, worse and more frequent heat waves and other extreme weather, and general climate destabilization for hundreds of years to come. The realistic goal now is to minimize further disruption as much as possible.
  #40  
Old 09-20-2017, 02:25 AM
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Say what? The Left caused flooding in Far North Queensland? Can you run that one by me again slowly, because I seriously have no idea what you're talking about there.

As for "unwarranted expenditure in Vic" - I'm thinking you're probably talking about the Wonthaggi desalination plant here? IMO, most people here think of that in terms of simple pork barrel politics and I bet half the State couldn't even reliably tell you who was in charge at the time of that boondoggle.

I'd agree that there's not all that much interest in climate change in politics at the moment, but it's the end of winter right now! Check back in six months after we've broken some more hot weather records and the reef has bleached some more, and we'll see if that's still true.
Brisbane, the capital of Q'land, is in [i]South[/] Queensland.

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Bligh attempted to win a second full term as Premier in the 2012 state election. However, her party suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government in Queensland history, winning only seven seats.

Regarding the vic water-management boondogle, I didn't, of course, claim that people remembered who caused it: only that it contributed to the loss of government by those responsible.
  #41  
Old 09-20-2017, 03:09 AM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is offline
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Brisbane, the capital of Q'land, is in South Queensland.
eh, I'm sure last time I was paying attention to Queensland weather it was further north than that. That may well have been in a previous year, however.


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Regarding the vic water-management boondogle, I didn't, of course, claim that people remembered who caused it: only that it contributed to the loss of government by those responsible.
Yes, we keep chucking out governments who spend shit-tons of our money on overpriced projects, so it's a bit of a revolving door. Bracks had the desal plant. Baillieu had the East-West link, so then we had to chuck HIM out too, and it's back to Labor again.

People didn't hate the desal plant because they don't believe in Global Warming, they hated it because it was five times dearer than it had to be. The common link in all these deeply unpopular projects is trumped up and opaque financial justifications for spending our money on secretive and inefficient PPPs that are probably lining the pockets of both parties successively
  #42  
Old 09-20-2017, 08:38 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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That's so polite ... Australian political parties taking turns lining their pockets ... that sounds like a big money saver, something perhaps the USA should look into ...

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Originally Posted by GIGObuster View Post
Seems to me that that there is actually a loss of faith in high positions of power, like in the USA, the politicians are indeed the weakest link. (we'll leave aside for now the real unholy support of the deniers in power that the fossil fuel people and conservatives gave us.)
Speaking of inept government institutions ... the Alarmists are absolutely correct being alarmed at the lack of "top level" action, we all should be as well ... those of us well informed and with expertise in the political situation concerning Climate Change must continue to speak out, keep this issue at the forefront of political dialogue ... these polls and surveys keep saying we have the votes to throw Big Oil out of Washington D.C. ... let's get busy folks, it's long past time we break Exxon's balls with a sledge hammer ...

Whatever else can be said about Al Gore ... he did the right thing bring this matter to the public conversation ... I might not agree with everything he says, but it still needs to be said ... the same goes for GIGObuster, keep posting my friend, you are changing people's minds ...

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Still, that is not what is seen in the cities:

https://theconversation.com/in-the-a...e-policy-81108
The bottom-up part of the solution is just as important as the top-down part ... as individuals and as communities, we can change the world ...

Last edited by watchwolf49; 09-20-2017 at 08:40 AM. Reason: This post brought to you using strictly hydro- and wind-power ...
  #43  
Old 09-20-2017, 11:53 AM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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It seems that you did not read the thing you linked because, besides pointing out that indeed there is no established connection with the number of hurricanes, the point that they will likely become more intense is not really controversial.

"Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size."

BTW I pointed this to you in a very recent General Questions thread, but it was not looked at it seems.
Ummm.....Gb, you are kind of making my point for me in how readily alarmists misinterpret the science...

There is no science supporting the notion that the current bad hurricanes are related to climate change.

It appears one of us did not "read the thing," but I suggest that person is you.

Let's read this together:
"Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century..."

I added the underlining to help focus your attention. May I suggest digesting the "end of the 21st century" part before you hop to the very exciting "more intense" part. Then take a quick peek at your calendar to remind yourself whether we are at the end of the 21st century. (Hint: No. This is 2017, so 75 years or so to go still, to see if that prediction is correct.)

To review my point once again:
There is no science supporting the notion that current North Atlantic hurricanes are a harbinger of global warming. If you take the overall record of hurricanes over the past 150 years or so, there is no evidence they are getting more intense or more frequent than they were in the past. Hurricanes tend to run in cycles. Quiet cycles. Noisy cycles. Further, 100 years ago we had nowhere near the tracking science we have now, so any huge storms at sea which lost power by the time they got to People Who Could Measure would not have even been properly recorded with the correct overall intensity.

If you find science to the contrary, by all means post it.

My point is that the Chicken Littles hollering that the sky is falling because they personally decide they just saw a piece of it will damage the cause of climate change alarm by raising a false alarm--even if the sky really is going to fall in the future.

Confirmation bias from an event science says is not a confirming event is not a good strategy by which to convince the world of the Great Cause at hand. It will backfire when it turns out it was a false alarm.

With hurricanes in particular, we've just come off a very quiet North Atlantic cycle. When the weather returns to a quiescent cycle, what happens is that leadership credence is damaged because of all the wolf-crying over something that no scientific analysis said was evidence of the wolf in the first place.

Now go back to watching Maria.
  #44  
Old 09-20-2017, 12:06 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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your use of the phrase "global warming alarmists" suggests you might be a climate change denier. do you dispute this?

because if so, I will read the rest of your post. otherwise, tldr.
LOL.
I deny that there is any science suggesting the current spate of bad hurricanes is evidence for climate change. Generally I am on board with modeling that suggests greenhouse gases force atmospheric warming, and that therefore anthropogenic climate change exists. I am on the fence about most of the net effects, since we humans are psychologically inclined to love Doom predictions despite our horrible track record at predicting very far out. FWIW, I also do not think AGW is anywhere near the top set of concerns we should have if we just want to Save the Planet. But it's exciting, isn't it? Super good fuzzies for a lot of people, and with yet another huge hurricane boinking Puerto Rico, the deliciousness around "I told you so!!" is about as tasty as it gets, even if it is completely misguided.

PS:

I also deny that Jackie likes variety. It appears that, if she can put a label on an individual with whom she does not agree, she doesn't even want to listen.

But don't worry; there are many like you on both sides of everything in this very polarized world, so even if you don't like a variety of inputs into the way you come to a given position, you can be reassured you will not be lonely. Many others will be at your side with equally uninformed but sincerely-held beliefs.
  #45  
Old 09-20-2017, 12:15 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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I want to clarify what your position is.
Put hurricanes to one side for a moment: do you think the climate is changing (primarily getting warmer and sea levels increasing)?
If yes, to your knowledge, is this change happening faster, slower or the same as climate shifts that the planet has seen prior to mankind's industrialization?
My position is that associating bad hurricanes with climate change will backfire on Global Warming Alarmists, because this is an unscientific position. There is no science supporting current North Atlantic hurricane frequency or intensity with climate change (anthropogenic or otherwise).

I believe this strategy will backfire because, when a quiescent cycle returns, those who bought into this idea will feel duped. As such, it will be even more difficult to mobilize people to any action costing them personal sacrifice or currency. If the sky is actually falling and we need to do something about it, it's important not to holler "See, here's a piece of the sky falling!!" at every leaf that drops off a tree. If you do that, then after a while it will be hard to mobilize support against the sky actually falling.
  #46  
Old 09-20-2017, 12:15 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is offline
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LOL.
I deny that there is any science suggesting the current spate of bad hurricanes is evidence for climate change.
This is not how rational thought works. There is a clear mechanism of action between hurricane strength and water temperature. There's a clear mechanism of action between air temperature and surface water temperature. There's a clear mechanism of action between green house gasses and air temperature.

So the 3 bad hurricanes in a row aren't enough evidence to shift your assumptions all the way over, of course, because it needs to be over multiple years. But you should have adjusted your assumptions a little bit, because this is evidence, and it's pointing in the direction of the possibility of climate change being responsible.

No rational being is 100% certain about anything. Maybe you thought it was 80% that hurricanes are just random events on a cycle of their own, unrelated to water temperature. But you should update with this new evidence. Some smaller percent chance now that hurricanes are purely random and unrelated to surface temperature.

Last edited by SamuelA; 09-20-2017 at 12:17 PM.
  #47  
Old 09-20-2017, 12:33 PM
RitterSport RitterSport is offline
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My position is that associating bad hurricanes with climate change will backfire on Global Warming Alarmists, because this is an unscientific position. There is no science supporting current North Atlantic hurricane frequency or intensity with climate change (anthropogenic or otherwise).

I believe this strategy will backfire because, when a quiescent cycle returns, those who bought into this idea will feel duped. As such, it will be even more difficult to mobilize people to any action costing them personal sacrifice or currency. If the sky is actually falling and we need to do something about it, it's important not to holler "See, here's a piece of the sky falling!!" at every leaf that drops off a tree. If you do that, then after a while it will be hard to mobilize support against the sky actually falling.
Basically, all of the denialists' claims are unscientific, and it hasn't blown up in their faces. In fact, the president of the United States and many members of Congress agree with the denialists. So, I guess, thank you for your concern?
  #48  
Old 09-20-2017, 12:39 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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Why do you keep ignoring the facts that have already been cited for you? Here, maybe a direct quote might help, from Kerry Emanuel, one of the foremost hurricane researchers in the world. Incidentally, Emanuel is a traditional moderate Republican who has argued that conservatives have many practical and ideological reasons to support clean energy policies and technologies, and is frustrated by what he regards as short-sighted scientific illiterates who have come to dominate the conservative side of the debate:
I was surprised. When I did this analysis in the Nature paper, I wasn't even looking for any kind of global trends. And global warming was far from my mind. I was looking for natural variability in the amount of energy expended by hurricanes. And you could see the natural variability, but on top of that, it's this trend that we couldn't really get rid of. It became worrying, and led to the Nature paper.

We find that in the Pacific, as well as in the Atlantic, there's this excellent correlation between this measure of hurricane energy that we developed and the temperature of the tropical ocean. It's very in concert on all kinds of different time scales. And the amount of energy expended by hurricanes has gone up in the last 50 years by somewhere between 50 and 80 percent.

If all we had to go on was the hurricane data, I don't think we would be terribly alarmed. We'd just say, well, it's been changing the last 25, 30 years, so what? It's the correlation with sea surface temperature and the fact that that trend is unprecedented for a long time that has us worried.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/science...7-hott-nf.html
I suppose that depends on whether one is a marketeer trying to sell something or whether one is a scientist conveying the full and objective facts. Given all the climate changes that have already happened, and given the commitment to further warming due to the amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere and the time it will take to significantly reduce further emissions, for many purposes and by many criteria it's already too late. It's too late to prevent regional climate changes, worse and more frequent heat waves and other extreme weather, and general climate destabilization for hundreds of years to come. The realistic goal now is to minimize further disruption as much as possible.
Just a couple of points about hurricanes, which are parsed out better in the GFDL article.

First, 50 years is a cherry-picked chunk of time. Yes; Atlantic PDI has risen over the last 50 years, but what about over the last 100 years or more? If there is a trend (1878-2006, "it is so small that it is not statistically distinguishable from zero."

As to intensity (versus frequency), "the major hurricane data are considered even less reliable than the other two records in the early parts of the record," which should make intuitive sense if you have followed current hurricanes, some of which were Cat 4 or 5 out in the Atlantic, but lower in intensity upon reaching the US. 100 years ago we would have no idea what they were before they hit.

Here is a graph showing some of the summary data.


I do not argue against modeling (which is beyond my ability to critique) that suggests that hurricanes may become worse toward the end of the century. I argue that there is no good scientific basis for suggesting that current hurricanes are a harbinger that climate change is at hand...and that it is counter-productive for the alarmist cause to present them as such.

Last edited by Chief Pedant; 09-20-2017 at 12:44 PM.
  #49  
Old 09-20-2017, 12:59 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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This is not how rational thought works. There is a clear mechanism of action between hurricane strength and water temperature. There's a clear mechanism of action between air temperature and surface water temperature. There's a clear mechanism of action between green house gasses and air temperature.

So the 3 bad hurricanes in a row aren't enough evidence to shift your assumptions all the way over, of course, because it needs to be over multiple years. But you should have adjusted your assumptions a little bit, because this is evidence, and it's pointing in the direction of the possibility of climate change being responsible.

No rational being is 100% certain about anything. Maybe you thought it was 80% that hurricanes are just random events on a cycle of their own, unrelated to water temperature. But you should update with this new evidence. Some smaller percent chance now that hurricanes are purely random and unrelated to surface temperature.
I am a bit confused around the point you are making.

Using this summary chart, what is your conclusion about the relationship between Atlantic SST and hurricanes, using the trends shown in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth graphs (Atlantic SST, hurricane counts, and landfall hurricane counts)?

Last edited by Chief Pedant; 09-20-2017 at 01:01 PM.
  #50  
Old 09-20-2017, 01:01 PM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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....that climate change is at hand....
It was at hand yesterday. Today, its in our face.
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