Katharine Hayhoe’s Global Weirding
By Paul Homewood
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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. “
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.
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.
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.
Such are the standards of Climate Science and the BBC these days.