I maintain that a significant number of believers in global warming are some of the most gullible, credulous, biased, un-scientific people in existence.
Far too many “experts” 9-10 years ago predicted all sorts of horrible storm-related outcomes because of global warming. The above quote is a good example. There was no evidence for these claims; they were made up out of nothing because they fitted a predetermined bias.
Now these people have several omelets of egg on their faces. Not that they’ll ever admit it–they’re as bad as astrologers in that regard. The US is in an unprecedented hurricane “drought.” It has been 10 years since a major hurricane made landfall.
And of course the media, following their usual habits regarding retractions, have never bothered to set the record straight.
I agree that when scientists or others make predictions about what will occur as a result of global warming, they should be honest about what they predicted in the past and whether current data conforms to what they said. But the other side hasn’t exactly been perfect in this regard either.
Actually the media and the writer you mentioned were not experts nor scientists. As usual it is just WUWT making it sound like if we have to blame the scientists when writers, non experts and the mainstream media gets it wrong. Something that we can see is more common once we remember how the media claimed in the 70’s that an ice age was coming when most scientists had actually predicted that warming was.
In reality, most climate and weather people did think for the past 10 years and for a few decades more that the warming would lead to less hurricanes in the north Atlantic but the few that would get to land would be more intense.
The OP has a bit of egg too, Sandy was classified as the eighteenth named storm, the tenth hurricane and second major hurricane of the year 2012.
Incidentally, when that hurricane hit New York a few years ago it was a category 1 at landfall. It should not had been so intense but the increase in water vapor that is in the background thanks to climate change increased the intensity and it was a very costly affair.
The first fact to note here is that none of the mentioned individuals are climate “experts” – they are talking heads/sportscasters/newscasters and a popular author. One of the problems in this entire discussion is the public’s inability to distinguish between random claims made by various media “personalities” and actual science publications, which the general public rarely reads.
The second fact to note is that Anthony Watts, who runs WUWT, is a former TV weatherman turned denialist blogger, and nothing – and I really do mean NOTHING – I have ever seen on that discreditable website has ever been fairly or honestly presented. The entire thing is geared to virulent denialism, to the point that anyone who cites it for anything has immediately lost credibility in my view. It really is that bad, and this is a perfect example.
A fair representation of what science has – and has not – actually been predicting can be found in this 2006 FAQ and commentary from Kerry Emanuel, a specialist in atmospheric science at MIT and one of the most prominent climatologists and hurricane researchers in the world.
The expected general trend is an increase in extreme weather events, as described in this IPCC report and this release from the Yale Climate Communications organization. One of the many complicating issues is that hurricane formation may be disrupted by some of the same global warming factors that incite them – warmer sea surface temperatures clearly encourage them to form, but factors like wind shear can disrupt them before they can consolidate, so on balance the expectation is that there may actually be fewer hurricanes, but the ones that do form will have higher energies and last longer. Indeed the key indexes of hurricane damage potential – the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and the Power Dissipation Index (PDI) have been rising and are expected to continue to rise, though certainly not in any linear fashion.
Paleotempestology - I feel sorry for those folks, that doesn’t sound like fun to me. But I digress, I find it strange that Emanuel titles his paper “Anthropogenic Effects on Tropical Cyclone Activity” but doesn’t touch upon any “anthropogenic effect”. He seems to stick to strictly normal global warming, without man’s contribution.
I’m going to extend ITR champion post and suggest the scientific media is a bit thin on information, there’s more we don’t know than what we do, leaving commercial media to do what they do best: fill in the gaps with wild crazy speculation.
From the OP’s actual post rather than his title, it seems he should be pitting media hyperbole and poor science reporting. That I can get behind. All the crap you here about how scientists in the 70s though the Earth was going to freeze over was due to overblown reporting of fringe beliefs.
It is all too easy for the news media to dig up a source who’ll cite every conceivable weather event as evidence of climate change. Most climatologists are much more sober and careful, warning that making such connections for isolated events is not an evidence-based practice.
This goes for prognostication of all sorts, not least of which is rating NFL teams’ draft picks.
The global warming experts can’t predict the weather two weeks in advance. What chance do they have of predicting the weather in twenty years?
One big volcanic eruption will disrupt the planets weather and temps for years. But those can’t be accurately predicted. Just as the drought in California or flooding in Europe can’t be accurately predicted. The results can be blames on global warming but those are “results”.
Then again, if someone were to “predict” everything from drought to flooding, they’re bound to have one of their predictions come true.
They’re not “predicting the weather” in the sense you suggest - that is, that it will rain in Peoria on September 14, 2036. They are predicting weather patterns. Predicting the behavior of complex systems is something scientists do in many disciplines. Conservatives just don’t complain about them doing it in fields that don’t suggest their pet causes are bad for the earth.
A person of my acquaintance has neatly summarized a lot of the faulty thinking about global climate shift as “the Dragons of Indecision.” I believe there’s something in there about dismissing “expert figures” who aren’t really experts of any kind.