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Guardian Jump On The Extreme Weather Bandwagon Again

May 28, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




The Guardian have dredged up a US meteorologist, Paul Douglas, to come up with a list of “extreme” weather events, which he then uses to claim that climate change is making worse.


Whatever happened to normal weather? Earth has always experienced epic storms, debilitating drought, and biblical floods. But lately it seems the treadmill of disruptive weather has been set to fast-forward. God’s grandiose Symphony of the Seasons, the natural ebb and flow of the atmosphere, is playing out of tune, sounding more like a talent-free second grade orchestra, with shrill horns, violins screeching off-key, cymbal crashes coming in at the wrong time. Something has changed.


Let’s start by looking at some of his claims:


A warmer atmosphere is increasing water vapor levels overhead, juicing storms, fueling an increase in flash floods in the summer, and heavier winter snows along the East Coast of the USA. “All storms are 5 to 10 percent stronger in terms of heavy rainfall” explained Dr. Kevin Trenberth, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. “It means what was a very rare event is now not quite so rare.”


Yet even the IPCC tell us they can find no evidence that floods are getting bigger or more frequent on a worldwide basis:




And as far as the US is concerned, the USGS say:

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.



Storms? Surely any US meteorologist worth his salt must know that tornadoes have been getting much less frequent, and, more particularly, less violent since the 1970s.








He goes on to rehash the thoroughly discredited theory of Jennifer Francis that Arctic warming is making the jet stream more sluggish and wavy, bringing weather blocks.

If he had bothered reading HH Lamb, he might have found out that the same sort of weather was occurring when the world was cooling after the Second World War. This was what Lamb had to say in his volume, “Climate, History and The Modern World”:



Over the years since the 1940’s, it has become apparent that many of the tendencies in world climate which marked the previous 50 to 80 years or more have either ceased or changed…. It was only after the Second World War that the benign trend of the climate towards general warming over those previous decades really came in for much scientific discussion and began to attract public notice.


Such worldwide surveys as have been attempted seem to confirm the increase of variability of temperature and rainfall [since 1950].’’

In Europe, there is a curious change in the pattern of variability: from some time between 1940 and 1960 onwards, the occurrence of extreme seasons – both as regards temperature and rainfall has notably increased.

A worldwide list of the extreme seasons reported since 1960 makes impressive reading. Among the items included:

1960-9 – Driest decade in central Chile since 1770’s and 1790’s.

1962-3 Coldest winter in England since 1740.

1962-5 Driest four-year period in the eastern United States since records began in 1738.

1963-4 Driest winter in England & Wales since 1743; coldest winter over an area from the lower Volga basin and Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf since 1745.

1965-6 Baltic Sea completely ice covered.

1968 Arctic sea ice half surrounded Iceland for the first time since 1888.

1968-73 Severest phase thus far of the prolonged drought in the Sahel, surpassing all 20thC experience.

1971-2 Coldest winter in more than 200 yrs in parts of European Russia and Turkey: River Tigris frozen over.

1972 Greatest heatwave in the long records for north Finland and northern Russia.

1973-4 Floods beyond all previous recorded experience stretching across the central Australian desert.

1974-5 Mildest winter in England since 1834.

1975-6 Great European drought produced the most severe soil moisture deficit that can be established in the London (Kew) records since 1698.

1975-6 Greatest heatwaves in the records for Denmark, Netherlands  and England.

1976-7 Severest winter in the temperature records (which began in 1738) for the eastern United States.

1978-9 Severest winter and lowest temperature recorded in 200 yrs in parts of northern Europe, and perhaps in the Moscow region. Snowfalls also extreme in parts of northern Europe.

This shortened list omits most of the notable events reported in the southern hemisphere and other parts of the world where instrument records do not extend so far back. Cases affecting the intermediate seasons, the springs and autumns, have also been omitted.

These variations, perhaps more than any underlying trend to a warmer or colder climate, create difficulties for the planning age in which we live. They may be associated with the increased meridionality of the general wind circulation, the greater frequency of blocking, of stationary high and low pressure systems, giving prolonged northerly winds in one longitude and southerly winds in another longitude sector in middle latitudes.

Over both hemispheres there has been more blocking in these years… The most remarkable feature seems to be the an intensification of the cyclonic activity in high latitudes near 70-90N, all around the northern polar region. And this presumably has to do with the almost equally remarkable cooling of the Arctic since the 1950’s, which has meant an increase in the thermal gradient between high and middle latitudes.




He then goes full Guardian!


Pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV to see signs of climate volatility sparking more weather disruption. From the mega-blaze that swept across Fort McMurray, Alberta to repeated flooding of Houston, scorching heat in India, perpetual drought from California to Australia, and a record year for global hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones in 2015, the symptoms of a warming ecosystem are becoming harder to dismiss or deny.


We already know that the so called mega blaze in Alberta is small from a historical perspective, has nothing to do with climate change and would have made little news if man had not built a city in the middle of the wilderness where such things happen all the time.

And what nonsense is this about drought? 

There may have been a drought in California recently, one that is certainly not in any way unprecedented, but for the US as a whole, NOAA’s own figures show that droughts are much less common, or severe, in recent decades than they used to be in the past.





And Australia?






Not only are rainfall totals consistently higher than the past, but the percentage of land area in decile1, the driest category, is also sharply down. This indicates that the extra rainfall has been widespread, rather than simply extreme in just a few areas.




And Accumulated Cyclone Energy stats do not support the contention that global warming is making hurricanes worse.




Of course, weather and climate continually change. I have little doubt that in some places and at certain times extreme weather has increased, and no doubt too that in others the reverse is true.

What is sad about these pathetic little attempts to blame everything on global warming is that they stop us having a balanced and objective debate on the subject.


The real reason, however, for this story is revealed when Douglas tells us:


In my upcoming book I interview 11 veteran television meteorologists in the United States. All of them are witnessing symptoms of climate change in their hometowns.  

  1. Tim Hammond permalink
    May 28, 2016 9:42 am

    Even if any of the claims were true, they would be due to the world getting warmer. That is the only attribution you can make.

    So you still need to prove that the world is getting warmer thanks to fossil fuel CO2.

    And the weather doesn’t even verify the models – we all know that the claims about snow and drought and floods have simply shifted around based on what happens rather than the forecasts that were made.

    Observing the real world being the real world just doesn’t prove anything.

  2. tom0mason permalink
    May 28, 2016 9:59 am

    I second that Tim Hammond!

    If only Paul Douglas had a definition of ‘normal weather’ he may have a point but he doesn’t and therefore has no point. He only displays a full grab-bag of wild speculation based on a completely unverified hypothesis.
    Sad, mad, and dangerous!

  3. Nordisch-geo-climber permalink
    May 28, 2016 10:46 am

    Paul, your search for objectivity is admired and understood. The hard data tell the story. Climate change IS normal. Geological change is normal. Shoddy journalism and fantasy from such as Guardian appears to influence many gullible people but not anyone that cares to look at the data. As a geologist, the geological time frame also makes the ludicrous claims by ignorant journos look even more bereft of integrity.

  4. Graeme No.3 permalink
    May 28, 2016 10:54 am

    “perpetual drought from California to Australia” ?? That would be what is causing so many outback roads to be closed because of ‘floods’ over the last few months?

  5. Bloke down the pub permalink
    May 28, 2016 11:29 am

    Let me guess that the eleven veteran tv meteorologists that he interviewed for his new book did not include Anthony Watts.

    • Billy Liar permalink
      May 28, 2016 6:48 pm

      … or John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel.

  6. May 28, 2016 12:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “What is sad about these pathetic little attempts to blame everything on global warming is that they stop us having a balanced and objective debate on the subject.”

    Spot on Paul. Great post. Cheers

  7. Gamecock permalink
    May 28, 2016 12:17 pm

    ‘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.’

    Correlation is not causation, therefore, ‘significant relationship’ is false. His critical thinking needs work.

    BWTM: the alleged relationship is refuted by the three other regions. He really, really wants a relationship, so he sees it.

    I assume his new book will be in the fiction section.

  8. May 28, 2016 12:56 pm

    Please guys, show some respect for these TRIBAL people, their religion and their belief that will be heap bad weather unless they make a grand sacrifice of …you !
    ….For they know it is YOU who have angered the weather gods.

  9. May 28, 2016 1:23 pm

    I would like to sentence these climate wizards to a semester of Introductory Paleobotany. They would learn in a hurry about climate changes and “normal” and so many other things. I think “normal” to them is the weather patterns which makes them personally the most comfortable.

    The infamous Michael Mann even got into predicting a greater number of tornadoes with his hockey stick. Oops that didn’t happen……nevermind. Amazing what you can deduce from 5 bristlecone pines, if veracity is not your objective.

  10. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 28, 2016 2:11 pm

    Jasper Kirkby’s team at CERN CLOUD have some more real science to upset the computer modellers

  11. Broadlands permalink
    May 28, 2016 4:02 pm

    Douglas says: “In my upcoming book I interview 11 veteran television meteorologists in the United States. All of them are witnessing symptoms of climate change in their hometowns.”

    We don’t know how old these veteran meteorologists are, but clearly, none of them is from Tennessee, Kentucky or West Virginia which haven’t seen a new record warm year since 1921. The Kentucky Derby horse race has been run every year in the same place at Churchill Downs in Louisville. From 1921 through this year the long-term linear trend in the daily temperature is level… no change.

  12. May 28, 2016 6:07 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Sadly this gets regurgitated ad nauseum until it becomes ‘fact’

  13. May 28, 2016 6:45 pm

    “In my upcoming book I interview 11 veteran television meteorologists in the United States. All of them are witnessing symptoms of climate change in their hometowns.” It’s interesting how easily even supposedly scientific people can be drawn into mass fabrications and see what is not there. It’s just as easy to get the meteorologists to see signs of cooling with the right motivation. This is not science—it’s marketing using smoke and mirrors. It’s how illusionists operate.

    • Broadlands permalink
      May 29, 2016 12:45 am

      Marketing books indeed! The late NCAR climatologist Stephen Schneider warned us of “global cooling” in 1976 when he endorsed Lowell Ponte’s book THE COOLING on the dust cover.

      But, the same Stephen Schneider noted in 1989: “As scientists, we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but…which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” 

      Douglas is getting “loads” of “smoke-and-mirror” media coverage?

    • manicbeancounter permalink
      May 29, 2016 1:05 am

      A way to tell “smoke from mirrors” – something quite difficult where matters of climate are concerned – is where the person clearly distinguishes between opinion and objective evidence. It is quite difficult where there is limited available data and numerous interpretations are possible. But a sure sign is where there is only opinion backed by isolated examples. For CAGW to happen, climate conditions must be net massively worse on a global scale than that experienced in at least a century. When the evidence is purely on opinion; on small areas (relative to the globe); om a limited number of weather events; and/or on a short time period – then beware. The best way to distinguish those with true understanding of climate against the dogmatists is on short-term predictions. The dogmatists will always – or nearly always – make false predictions. The worst will avoid the issue, as I found out last year from the most malicious of trolls.

  14. joekano76 permalink
    May 28, 2016 10:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Floating-voter.

  15. Ed Gill permalink
    May 29, 2016 5:06 am

    Weather modification chemical trails five decades has nothing to do with global warming you schmuck.
    All lies, Except Meteors are caused by Global Warming. Hahahahahahaha

  16. CheshireRed permalink
    May 29, 2016 12:58 pm

    Surely we need to see a 30 year shift before weather becomes climate – or does that only apply when it suits alarmists?

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