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Guardian’s Hurricane Florence Claims Were Fake

March 16, 2023

By Paul Homewood

The fake news Guardian published this report in 2018:






It turns out it was all BS, as the authors of the study admitted a year later:



Instead of 50% extra rainfall, when they rechecked their calculations their models only came up with 4.8% extra, while the size only increased by 9km, not 80km.

Roger Pielke Jr has the full story here.

But the whole episode shows that these weather attribution models are run for political impact, and contribute little to the science.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2023 10:56 am

    Well it was publicised in the Grauniad, so everybody with more than two brain cells knows it would be totally wrong.

  2. ancientpopeye permalink
    March 16, 2023 11:18 am

    Does the Guardian still give freebee copies of their rag to teachers common rooms, if so it would explain why education is in such a mess?

    • gezza1298 permalink
      March 17, 2023 12:11 pm

      Does the BBC still bulk buy the majority of the few copies sold?

  3. March 16, 2023 11:23 am

    I covered this sorry tale in Denierland. To quote myself:

    On the 12th of September 2018, two days before Hurricane Florence made landfall, Kevin Reed and colleagues published a prediction that rainfall from the storm would be 50% worse because of climate change. The story was widely covered in the press, as you might expect: National Geographic, The Guardian, CNN, NY Times, etc. Reed and colleagues completed their attribution study and published it on 1st January 2020 (Reed et al, 2020).
    The final estimate of increased rainfall was not 50%: it was that

    “Mean total overland rainfall amounts associated with the forecasted storm’s core were increased by 4.9 ± 4.6% with local maximum amounts experiencing increases of 3.8 ± 5.7% due to climate change.”

    No doubt those same media outlets published the final figure also?
    (That is the sound of crickets you can hear.)
    Readers of these once-proud outlets have been left with the false impression that climate change made Flo 50% worse rather than 5%, and that it was 80 km wider than it otherwise would have been (revised figure: 9 km wider).

    • Mark Hodgson permalink
      March 16, 2023 6:41 pm

      I’ve just finished reading Denierland for the second time, and recommend it to one and all (disclosure – Jit and I both blog at Cliscep – although I may be biased, my recommendation is sincere).

  4. Harry Passfield permalink
    March 16, 2023 11:33 am

    So, the authors were an order of magnitude out!! But I doubt they have not suffered as a result, academically speaking. It’s a good job they weren’t responsible for designing nuclear power stations.

    BTW. I think I understand what an ‘Attribution Study’ is but I’d welcome anyone giving me a proper definition…

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      March 16, 2023 12:26 pm

      Assume climate models and all physics contained therein are correct and complete with no effects omitted and also show that they fully and reliably model observations to date.

      Run model (a) with the effects of AGW and (b) without.

      Any difference in the result eg rainfall intensity, storm frequency etc is therefore due to AGW.

      All based on the very strong assumption (and circular argument) that the models are correct. Of course if the models are wrong, so is the attribution.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        March 16, 2023 12:30 pm

        Many thanks TS.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        March 17, 2023 9:05 am

        You miss out – get starting conditions for both models completely right. Good luck with that for a non-stationary, non-linear set of data!

    • 4 eyes permalink
      March 16, 2023 11:26 pm

      They can’t even validate the climate models because no-one knows what the natural warming or cooling would have been. So that means all the attribution studies are absolute BS. And tell that to every silly person who quotes the results of attribution studies. Attribution is utterly deceitful and dishonest, and uses no science – it is just mathematical with completely false assumptions.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 17, 2023 8:54 am

      No, they were wholly wrong. There’s no way they can calculate accurately to within 5% what any theoretical increase was. Their results are null. They say 4.9% plus/minus 4.6% so just scrape in but that means the increase might have been just 0.3%! Since they can’t possibly know what the rainfall “should” have been, you can see its a null result.

  5. Gamecock permalink
    March 16, 2023 11:48 am

    Hurricanes are local weather events. They couldn’t care less about ‘climate change,’ whatever that means.

    Attribution MUST INCLUDE MECHANISM. ‘50% more due to climate change’ is stupid.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      March 17, 2023 8:59 am

      And usually there’s no local “climate change” they can point to – temperatures aren’t higher or lower than ever before. So it’s completely non-logical. As you say, no hurricane is bigger because of a global average over ten years – that’s physically impossible. Averages aren’t real.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 16, 2023 12:13 pm

    There’s been claims of numerous spurious metrics by which cyclone Freddy is a record breaker. And of course climate change is to blame. You can check the news and pull apart the claims at leisure.

  7. Joe Public permalink
    March 16, 2023 12:42 pm

    Our dearly beloved BBC has a new trick.

    On its BBC-News ‘Home’ page, there are a number of tabs, one of which is ‘Climate’.

    It is often the depository of stories and reports of adverse events that Beeboids wish to be associated with scaremongering climate change.

    Not all events though have been (adversely) affected by climate changing. The stories sometimes explain the fundamental causes of the reported events – some of which have sweet FA to do with climate change.

    Three recent stories were initially ‘misfiled’ by Aunty to give the false impression they were adversely affected by ‘climate change’, and then subsequently correctly refiled to their appropriate geographic tab only as a consequence of formal complaints:

  8. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 16, 2023 1:28 pm

    The resistance to Netherlands attack on farming (‘nitrogen’ reduction) has resulted in election success for new farmer/citizen movement.

  9. dearieme permalink
    March 16, 2023 1:51 pm

    “weather attribution models … contribute little to the science.”

    What a mealy-mouthed way of saying that they were lying tw@ts.

  10. March 16, 2023 2:20 pm

    ‘Attribution Study’ – what is there to study? The pronouncements they make from such things are just propaganda, not science.

  11. Tim Spence permalink
    March 16, 2023 3:32 pm

    Other famous attribution studies

    On 911
    Illan Omar, ‘some people did something’

    On Nice terror attack
    BBC ‘Lorry hits pedestrians’

    On Climategate
    BBC ‘Hacked emails’

    On Hunter’s laptop
    Everybody ‘Russian disinformation’

  12. Jack Broughton permalink
    March 16, 2023 3:46 pm

    Unfortunately, the power of these nonsensical pronouncements (and their regular repetition) is that they brainwash the populace into believing that doom is imminent.

    Apart from GB News, none of the media outlets offers fair balance encouraging the Goebbels-line that repetition of the lie is enough. Fortunately, the public response to GB News seems to be far better than the billionaire-owned press are admitting, as can be seen from the increasing adverts.

  13. tomo permalink
    March 17, 2023 6:01 am

    The Guardian lied … how unusual

  14. gezza1298 permalink
    March 17, 2023 12:18 pm

    But in the US they are now in trouble as a Rasmussen survey has 60% saying that climate change is a religion and is all about power and control. the exact question:
    ‘Climate change has become a religion that actually has nothing to do with the climate and is really about power and control?’

    And even 47% of DemoTwats agreed with it. This came about when Vivek Ramaswamy talked about the climate religion on Fox News, so Rasmussen asked the very straightforward question. Perhaps they didn’t expect the answer they got.

    • Gamecock permalink
      March 17, 2023 2:12 pm

      Yes, it seems foolish to ask if you don’t already know the answer.

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