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Oh Dear, Another Climate Scientist Makes A Fool Of Himself

February 20, 2013

By Paul Homewood


A farmer sifts through arid topsoil under a ruined crop on a farm last August in Kansas. Today the shortage of moisture on the land is threatening the new crop planted last autumn. photograph: getty

Kansas drought part of natural cycle, say farmers


I sometimes get accused of being too dismissive of Climate Scientists, probably with justice. However, there are times when they just set themselves up to be shot down.

The Irish Times, (yes, don’t ask me why!!) has just run a report from Courtland, Kansas on the drought last year. Most of the farmers interviewed believe it is all just part of a natural cycle. One typical farmer was quoted

“In western Kansas we sit to the east of the Rocky Mountains, where it is drier. I remember the 1955/56 drought and 1988. My dad went through the 1930s and had to move to the west coast,” said Ron Neff, a farmer in Selden, 150 miles west of Courtland.

But apparently the scientists know better!

Chuck Rice, a professor of soil microbiology and a climate change expert at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, says there is no doubt that droughts are cyclical but temperatures clocked last year in the most recent dry spell have beaten historical records.

“The records weren’t just slightly broken; they were significantly higher,” he said.

Now you would have thought a Climate Scientist from a Kansas University would at the very least be familiar with Kansas historical climate records. Unfortunately, it seems not, though.



The Facts (for Chuck’s benefit)





Let’s start at the state level. Kansas summer temperatures last year ranked 110 out of 118, in other words, 9th warmest since 1895.  The hottest summer was 1934, with an average temperature of 83.2F, a full 4.0F higher than last year. 1936 followed in 2nd place with 82.2F.

What about July, the hottest month of the season? Last year was 7th warmest. Again, 1934 was hottest, 2.4F hotter than 2012. The second hottest year, interestingly, was 1980, closely followed by 1954 and 1936.

Of course, averages can cover up a multitude of sins, so what about the extremes? According to the Climatological Data for July 1934, (below)

“Temperatures of 110F or higher occurred in almost every part of the State”.

This is borne out by the data for individual stations. Out of 91 stations, 76 reached 110F. Figures for 1936 were very similar, 77 out of 89. And what about 2012? Just 15 out of 145.






The highest temperature ever recorded in Kansas, was 121F, set on two separate days in 1936 at Fredonia and Alton. We also know that, analysing the 28 USHCN stations in Kansas with long term data, 27 recorded temperatures in the 1930’s that were higher than anything registered last year.


Still, perhaps the good Professor was referring to his own particular part of Kansas, which the article was based on. Courtland is a small town in the northern part of the State. The weather station there only dates back to 1961. The nearest station with a long term record is Concordia, about 20 miles away. (It is also close to Manhattan, where Kansas State University is based).

Comparison of monthly mean temperatures at Concordia show:-


  1934 1936 2012
June 80.3 76.8 76.5
July 88.4 87.2 84.3
August 82.5 85.2 74.6


And a closer look at July numbers shows:-


  1934 1936 2012
Highest Temperature 114 113 107
Average Maximum Temperature 101.7 100.5 97.8
Days =>105F 15 10 3



At the Professor’s town of Manhattan, temperatures reached 115F in both 1934 and 1936. And last year? 107F!


So what have we got?

On a State wide basis:-

  • Mean temperatures were much higher in both 1934 and 1936, than in 2012, for the summer as a whole, and July in particular.
  • Extreme high temperatures were far more widespread in 1934 and 1936.
  • At nearly every USHCN station, the top temperatures, set in both 1934 and 1936, were several degrees higher than 2012.

And on a local scale?

  • Mean temperature for each summer month at Concordia was significantly higher in 1934 and 1936.
  • Daytime temperatures were also much higher then.
  • Extreme heat days were between three and five times as frequent.
  • High temperatures were up to 7F higher.



We have a Professor at Kansas State University making statements that are not simply inaccurate, but wildly wrong. What could be the explanation?

  • Is he simply incompetent? This seems unlikely, he would hardly be a Professor, if so.
  • Does he think, a la Hayhoe, that history started in 1960?
  • Is he blind to any evidence that contradicts his agenda?
  • Like the old Soviets, has he swallowed the propaganda, and cannot believe it was hotter in the past?
  • Is he even aware that the records I have accessed are available? Does he know how to check them himself?
  • Has the climate gravy train really got so bad, that “science” of this sort is acceptable?
  • Or does he think it is OK to make up “facts” as he goes along, so long as they suit his agenda? (Safe in the knowledge that our lame stream media are too useless and babyish to check and contradict).


Whatever the answer, it is a sad day for science, in general, and climate science, in particular, when this sort of nonsense is promulgated, and furthermore, allowed to stand.



State Climatological Reports are available here.

  1. Keitho permalink
    February 20, 2013 5:54 pm

    So was he being deliberately deceptive, as a climate activist might be under Schneider rules, or is he just uninformed?

    Either way I see an unreliable fellow.

  2. February 20, 2013 9:17 pm

    Reblogged this on Real Science and commented:
    The permanent drought of Kansas is expecting 12-18 inches of snow this week.

  3. Anthony Watts permalink
    February 20, 2013 10:23 pm

    Nicely done.

    FYI, this URL

    Is a temporary link, which disappears after awhile. Always save a local copy in the blog and link to that, as things have a tendency to disappear.

    I’m also asking for permission to repost on WUWT.

  4. February 20, 2013 10:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  5. gregole permalink
    February 21, 2013 1:33 am


    Just excellent work – please keep it up – it is sad that facts concerning so called Global Warming, no, Climate Change, no Extreme Weather (God it’s tough to keep up with the latest fashions…) are just being made up whole cloth and published in the media (“babyish” , I loved that!).

    My lovely wife, who incidentally unlike me, still watches television, was relating to me how there are reports that due to Man Made CO2, blizzards are simply worse now. What? Really? Worse now…I doubt it, but if they are “worse” now how is it that Man Made CO2 is the cause.

    Baseless assertion of a non-fact made up whole cloth from nothing. What the heck is going on?

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