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Katharine’s Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment–Part II

December 30, 2011

 

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We have already seen how Katharine Hayhoe’s Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment made exaggerated claims about a rapidly warming climate in the Northeast that do not stand up to scrutiny. Let’s take a look at some other claims it makes that are claimed to be “Changes consistent with global warming”.

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. This warming has been correlated
with many noticeable changes across the Northeast, including:

• More frequent extreme-heat days (maximum temperatures greater than 90°F)
• A longer growing season
• Earlier leaf and bloom dates for plants
• Shifts in the mating cycles of frogs to earlier in the year
• Earlier migration of Atlantic salmon in northeastern rivers
An increase in heavy rainfall events
• Earlier breakup of winter ice on lakes and rivers
• Earlier spring snowmelt resulting in earlier high spring river flows
Less precipitation falling as snow and more as rain
• Rising sea surface temperatures and sea level
• Reduced snowpack and increased snow density

 

 

1) An increase in heavy rainfall events?

As we did with temperatures, we will have a look at the three rural USHCN stations, Millinocket, Elmira and Uniontown in Maine, New York and Pennsylvania respectively.

 

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These graphs show the distribution each year of daily precipitation (incl snow). Although Elmira shows a slight increase in heavy rainfall days, the other two show absolutely no such trend. Indeed Uniontown arguably shows a reduction. It is clearly a nonsense to claim there is any statistically significant trend.

 

2) Less snow?

Taking the same three stations, we can plot annual snowfall.

 

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All three show a period of higher snow fall around the 1960’s and early 1970’s. However snowfall in the last decade or two is clearly not unusual when compared with the earlier record up to about 1960 and there appears to be no decreasing trend since 1980. The following chart, comparing actual snowfall amounts for the 1940’s with the last decade, makes it all abundantly clear.

 

Millinocket Elmira Uniontown Millinocket Elmira Uniontown
1940/41 87 47 30 2000/01 92 37 45
1941/42 85 39 28 2001/02 75 26 10
1942/43 99 49 37 2002/03 73 66 42
1943/44 53 20 12 2003/04 61 59 15
1944/45 76 60 45 2004/05 80 53 27
1945/46 102 36 15 2005/06 48 32 8
1946/47 108 29 32 2006/07 91 33 30
1947/48 75 52 37 2007/08 123 33 28
1948/49 37 24 16 2008/09 96 32 21
1949/50 81 44 10 2009/10 N/A 42 83
Average 80.3 40.0 26.2 Average 82.1 41.3 30.9

 

And they call themselves scientists!

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