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Katharine Hayhoe’s Global Weirding

March 28, 2012
tags:

By Paul Homewood

 

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The BBC’s Horizon programme used to have a reputation as a serious science programme, but unfortunately its standards seem to have slipped lately. Last night’s edition featured Katharine Hayhoe and Kerry Emmanuel, amongst others. peddling their global weirding nonsense. Leaving aside Emmanuel’s directorship of an offshore insurance company that stands to make money from climate change scares, let’s have have a look at some of the things Katharine has been saying and see how little credibility she really has.

 

1) In an interview with Yale Environment 360 back in August, which was published in the UK by the Guardian as well as newspapers in the US, she was asked “have you seen sizeable increases in average temperatures that could be defined as climate change?”. She replied ““What we’ve actually seen, at least in West Texas, is an increase primarily in winter temperatures. Our very cold days are getting less frequent and our winter temperatures are increasing in nearly every station we look at across Texas and Oklahoma”.

   REALITY – Katharine was using 1965 as her base point, the bottom point of a cool period in the 60’s. Temperatures in the last 30 years are similar to the period 1920-1950 and the long term trend is down.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/whats-katharine-hiding/

 

2) In the same interview she says “our weather is becoming much more extreme, where it’s either feast or famine. I’ve been here [Lubbock]  for five years and in five years we’ve had the longest dry period on record,”

    REALITY – The dry period she refers to, 2005/6, is a common event. Texas weather records show similar dry spells about every 5 years.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/katharine-and-the-texas-drought/

 

3) In that interview she also says “I’ve been here (in Lubbock) for five years and in five years …… we’ve had two 100-year rain events.”.

     REALITY – There was one localised storm in Lubbock, which was similar in intensity to one in 1981. The next heaviest was 83mm, which is the sort seen every 3 or 4 years.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/katharine-and-the-missing-rain/

 

4) She also told Yale 360, “our weather (in Lubbock) is becoming much more extreme”.

    REALITY – Not according to the National Weather Service in Lubbock, who say “The horizontal line across the graph below is a 30 year running average of the record, which doesn’t show any notable trend. In looking at the graph, it appears that the first 40 years of record show more year to year variability and include a disproportionate number of very wet and very dry years when compared to the last 40 years of records.”

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/even-the-national-weather-service-says-hayhoe-is-talking-tripe/

 

5) She also claimed in the interview “The Northeast is particularly vulnerable to heavy precipitation events, not just rainstorms, but snowstorms. We’ve already seen a 50-percent increase in precipitation in the Northeast”

     REALITY – NOAA show an increase of 12% since 1895.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/where-does-katharine-get-this-tripe-from/

 

6) And – “The Northeast is particularly vulnerable to heavy precipitation events, not just rainstorms, but snowstorms. We’ve already seen a 50-percent increase in precipitation in the Northeast. It’s very vulnerable to flooding; there have been an enormous amount of flooding events in the Midwest and Northeast.”

      REALITY – According to the US Geological Survey – “Only one of four large regions of the United States showed a significant relationship between carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and the size of floods over the last 100 years. This was in the southwestern region, where floods have become smaller as CO2 has increased. “

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/katharines-floods/

 

7) According to Katharine – “you find that with higher temperatures you obviously need more water to provide plants with the same amount of irrigation because evaporation is a factor……..So climate change is exacerbating the problem we have, and it’s the same across most of the Southwest, which is very water-short”.

     REALITY – NOAA show temperature trends across Texas and the Great Plains are flat since 1895.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/global-warming-in-texas/

 

8) In 2007, Katharine was lead author for the “Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment”, which claimed “Changes consistent with global warming are already under way across the Northeast. Since 1970, the region has been warming at a rate of nearly 0.5oF per decade. Winter temperatures have risen even faster, at a rate of 1.3oF per decade from 1970 to 2000” and “More frequent extreme-heat days (maximum temperatures greater than 90°F")”

     REALITY – Again Katharine starts her analysis from the cold interval around 1970. Since 1931 the trend is only 0.02F per decade. USHCN records also show a decline in days over 90F.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/katharines-northeast-climate-impacts-assessment/

 

9) The Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment also claimed “An increase in heavy rainfall events”, and “Less precipitation falling as snow and more as rain”

     REALITY – USHCN records show no trend towards more heavy rainfall events over the last 100 years. Snowfall levels also show no such trend and are higher in the last decade than in the 1940’s.

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/katharines-northeast-climate-impacts-assessmentpart-ii/

 

Such are the standards of Climate Science and the BBC these days. 

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian H permalink
    March 28, 2012 1:59 pm

    “7) According to Katharine – “you find that with higher temperatures you obviously need more water to provide plants with the same amount of irrigation because evaporation is a factor……..So climate change is exacerbating the problem we have, and it’s the same across most of the Southwest, which is very water-short”

    It also happens that with higher CO2 plant stomata are smaller and sparser, and less water is required for them to grow a given amount. i.e., CO2 reduces water requirements and transpiration.

    Plants and life in general created the current atmosphere and control it.

  2. David permalink
    March 28, 2012 5:13 pm

    Stupidity is the New Religion, when discussing global weirding on the BBC.

  3. therealguyfaux permalink
    March 28, 2012 5:23 pm

    When it is brought to the attention of the Hayhoes of the world that their data are at best equivocal, one is met with the question, rhetorical on their parts usually, “But what if I’m right? We have to address this now, while we still have an opportunity to make a difference! What if you’re right? We still have a cleaner, greener world; no-lose scenario!” I.E., there is no null hypothesis– in their world, we must and shall do something, damn the cost, and this is their article of faith. One wonders, why the religious/moral nature of their version of Pascal’s Bet? It IS one, after all.

  4. David permalink
    March 28, 2012 7:13 pm

    That begs the question to ask,”but what if you are wrong,you have destroyed the country’s economy,and landscape, prostituted science, so nobody will ever believe scientists again”.

    • Brian H permalink
      July 20, 2012 8:04 pm

      It certainly prompts the question. But begging questions means fixing the answer with embedded preconditions (rhetorical and circular questions).

  5. Rosco permalink
    March 28, 2012 8:54 pm

    “There was one localised storm in Lubbock, which was similar in intensity to one in 1981. The next heaviest was 83mm, which is the sort seen every 3 or 4 years.”

    Last week we experienced over 100 mm – > 4 inches – of rain IN AN HOUR.

    Reminded me of last year when Brisbane flooded.

    Reminded me of 1974 when Brisbane flooded.

    I’m old enough to remember that wet and dry years come and go.

    After the deluge of 1974 the Brisbane area experienced some relatively dry years with 1977 being memorable as a dry and pleasant time – clear skies and fine conditions. wonder if that’ll happen again ?

  6. March 28, 2012 11:38 pm

    Mr. Homewood: I am seriously impressed. This is excellent work on your part, and about a million times better than my best, which would boil down to *’Tis/’Tis not*. Thanks for giving Ms Hayhoe’s “facts” the heave-ho. I’ll be sure to return, and flog the blog to others.

    • March 29, 2012 9:31 am

      Thanks, HPJ!

    • February 4, 2013 7:57 pm

      Yes, this is exactly the way to deal with these idiots. They won’t listen themselves, but you can peal away some of their audience. It’s always more work than spreading misinformation, but it’s the way to do it.

      (Incidently, from a Darwinian perspective, this kind of situation helps sort out the wheat and the chaff. This is why skeptics win the debates – they’ve been selected, as it were.)

  7. Dave N permalink
    March 29, 2012 12:39 am

    The media carries a lot of the blame for this sad state of affairs; they don’t actually check any of her claims, or even ask her to. Unfortunately many people are still under the false impression that journalists actually check their sources.

  8. Brian Johnson uk permalink
    March 30, 2012 8:28 am

    There are very few BBC programmes that include landscapes, nature, weather, technology etc., that do not include at least one, sometimes many, AGW attributed comments spoken as if proven beyond all doubt!

    The BBC really is the least impartial of broadcasters and they are using my money to do it!

    Paul Homewood has made Ms Hayhoe’s observations look really dumb – well done PH.

  9. DirkH permalink
    June 16, 2012 8:33 am

    Nice collection! Exposing their blatant lies is what helps best against future propaganda.

  10. June 16, 2012 8:41 am

    Awesome!

  11. Ian permalink
    October 25, 2012 12:46 am

    I saw the BBC Horizon program “Global Weirding” last night. I am a sceptic but watching this woman sent alarm bells off all over the place. Thanks for balancing the facts against fiction. I have a suspicion that “facts” about hurricanes were somewhat distorted too.

  12. February 4, 2013 7:43 pm

    Reblogged this on Real Science.

  13. February 4, 2013 8:04 pm

    It’s also worth noting that back in the 70’s when climatology was a normal science, it was understood that extreme weather was associated with cooling, not warming – evidently based on the fact that in periods of cooling the temperature gradients between the equator and the poles was steeper.

    I’ve run into statements by R. Bryson and H. C. Willett to that effect – general statements made without citations, obviously under the assumption that it was the general (hate to use the word) consensus.

    • February 4, 2013 8:08 pm

      make that “were steeper” (just in case Peter or David are reading this)

      • February 4, 2013 8:10 pm

        I know, “is reading this”

    • February 5, 2013 8:46 pm

      To back up my claim:

      In brief the lessons of climatic history are:

      6. Cool periods of earth history are periods of greater-than-normal climatic instability

      source: R. A. Bryson. “The lessons of climatic history”. Environmental Conservation, 1975, 2(3), 163-170 [also in The Ecologist, 1976, 6(7), 205-211; see also Bryson & Ross. “Climatic variation and implications for world food production. World Development, 1977, 5(5-7), 507-518]

      In the last -mentioned reference, the principle quoted above is followed by this passage:

      One might expect that if the earth or the hemisphere were cooling then everything would cool down, summer and winter, year-by-year. But that is not so. Rather, unexpected events occur. Extremes of various kinds occur. New records are set. There are some explicit reasons why this happens.

      The atmosphere, and thus the climate, is driven by solar energy. The unequal heating of high latitudes and tropics, which arises from the sunlight falling on a spherical earth, produces a temperature differential that controls the circulation pattern of the atmosphere in an interaction with the distribution of land and sea.

      and so forth.

  14. Billy Liar permalink
    February 4, 2013 8:39 pm

    I thought she was a Christian. Why is she such a blatant liar?

    She recently co-wrote a book with her husband about climate change from an Evangelical Christian perspective.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/secretlife/scientists/katharine-hayhoe/

    Is nothing sacred?

  15. Hugh K permalink
    February 5, 2013 4:43 pm

    Climate Alarmists – It doesn’t help to be crazy….but it doesn’t hurt.

  16. Olaf Koenders permalink
    June 1, 2013 7:23 am

    There’s a reason cacti evolved in Texas..

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