Hurricane Harvey brought devastating rain and floods to Texas.
It also brought the same repeated claims of Climate Change that seem to accompany every major hurricane.
Now is the time to say it as loudly as possible: Harvey is what climate change looks like. https://t.co/MTvWJ6LRLd
— POLITICO Magazine (@POLITICOMag) August 29, 2017
— Naomi Oreskes (@NaomiOreskes) August 29, 2017
Houston: How many 100-yr storms and 1000-yr floods before we acknowledge climate change? https://t.co/jnzdNlE2yB
— Eugene Robinson (@Eugene_Robinson) August 29, 2017
The Washington Post article quotes Pennsylvania State University professor Michael E. Mann – one of the scientists at the center of ClimateGate. Mann is involved in several ongoing lawsuits (for more see end of post).
Mann is a board member of the Climate Accountability Institute, which has ten board members total.
Naomi Oreskes is also a board member of the Climate Accountability Institute. In 2012, CAI and The Union of Concerned Scientists sponsored a workshop which laid the foundations for the NY AG’s Climate Change lawsuit against Exxon. You can find more details here.
Mann sent this tweet containing an article he wrote linking the intensity of Harvey to Climate Change:
— Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) August 28, 2017
He retweeted it no less than 20 times.
He also retweeted the articles from the Washington Post and Politico multiple times. The Post, the NYT and Politico did the same thing – creating an echo chamber of Climate Change certainty.
These claims are simply wrong and misrepresent what actually happened.
Stationarity – not intensity – caused the immense rains and flooding.
This is poor reporting and worse science.
— Jeff Carlson, CFA (@themarketswork) August 29, 2017
CNN interviewed Bill Reade, the former Director of the National Hurricane Center. CNN led in with the statement, “Climate change does impact the intensity of these storms”.
Unfortunately for CNN, Bill Reade hadn’t gotten the memo to play along.
He calmly disputes the reporter’s assertions with actual facts:
I probably wouldn’t attribute that to what we’re looking at here. This is not an uncommon occurrence to see storms grow and intensify rapidly in the western Gulf of Mexico. As long as we’ve been tracking them that has occurred. The ‘why’ to the big rains is the stationarity. The fact that the storm will come inland and not move. While it has happened in some cases, to have a really big storm come and stall like this is really rare.
This explanation has been reiterated by others:
The real story is that Harvey has been stuck between two high pressure cells since making landfall, thus dragging in large amounts of moisture from the Gulf, and continuously dumping it on a comparatively small area around Houston.
From the same article:
Obviously most of the damage from Harvey has been due to the amount of rainfall, but it is worth taking a look at wind speeds as well, according to NCEP:
As reported by satellites, Harvey peaked at a sustained speed of 115kt, or 132mph, just before landfall.
However, this appears to be at odds with the land based data, where the highest PEAK GUST was 132 mph. Wind gusts are typically about 1.3 times as high as 1-minute sustained speeds, according to NOAA, which suggests that Harvey’s sustained speeds at landfall were about 100 mph, making it a Cat-2 hurricane.
Note that hurricanes like Carla and Celia were much more powerful at landfall. Once more, this raises questions about the current practice of comparing satellite data with historical land data. This often results in claims that storms these days are more powerful than in the past.
Hurricane Harvey was not particularly intense when it made landfall – despite breathless portrayals in the media. The storm’s damage came from immense and sustained rainfall caused by an unusual stalling of the storm – or stationarity.
It has been a record number of years between U.S. landfall of a major hurricane. The last major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Wilma striking Florida on October 24, 2005.
This nearly 12-year span smashes the previous record “major hurricane drought” by almost three years.
The recent lack of Category 4-5 hurricanes is historically notable:
Harvey is only 4th Cat 4-5 US hurricane landfall since 1970. Other 3: Hugo, Andrew and Charley. 14 Cat 4-5 US landfalls from 1926-1969. pic.twitter.com/xLkTvOjYD9
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) August 26, 2017
More succinctly summed up as follows:
1926-1969 (44 years) = 14
Category 4+ US landfalls
1970-2017 (46+ years) = 4
Cat 4+ landfalls
Decrease of >70% https://t.co/MhjFQnP8aJ
— Roger Pielke Jr. (@RogerPielkeJr) August 26, 2017
It’s been 25 years – and counting – since the U.S. experienced a Category 5 hurricane:
Climate change: 25 years since a Category 5 hurricane hit the U.S.
Heller -> https://t.co/rEdeNR01yJ
— Green Mtn Patriots (@GreenMtnPatriot) August 20, 2017
It’s possible – though unlikely – that Harvey will be officially downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane when landfall was made – making these stats even more remarkable.
The devastation in Houston is immense and the human suffering all too real. The effects from the flooding will be with Houston for years.
Unified efforts by the media – and certain well-funded groups – incorrectly presenting the suffering caused by Hurricane Harvey as decisive evidence of climate change is all the more reprehensible.
This is a poor time for shameful politics and politicized science.
The article on Naomi Oreskes, the Climate Accountability Institute, Rockefeller funding and their involvement in creating the Exxon lawsuit may be found here. The collusion, careful planning and funding involved in this ongoing effort is alarming. The organized efforts to prosecute Climate Skeptics under RICO statutes got its start with CAI and Ms Oreskes. Oreskes is a co-founder and board member of CAI. She is a Professor of the History of Science at Harvard.
For those interested in ClimateGate along with some background on Michael Mann, creator of the Hockey Stick Graph, I provide the following details:
Michael Mann was one of the primary creators of the famous – and largely discredited – Hockey Stick Graph, which illustrated a sudden and drastic temperature acceleration. His work on this matter was used extensively in the IPCC’s Third Report Assessment. Al Gore used this data in his movie An Inconvenient Truth.
Mann’s growing prominence gained him colleagues in the United Kingdom’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.
In 2009, there was a hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) in the UK. As noted by The Telegraph:
Philip Jones, the CRU’s director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC’s key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely.
Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the body charged by the UN and its member governments with assessing the state of the world’s climate and of the best available climate science.
The emails contained some intriguing comments by the scientists involved in the creation of the underlying data. Here are several:
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temperatures to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. – Phil Jones, Dir of CRU email to Michael Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, Keith Briffa, Ray Bradley, Malcolm Hughes and Tim Osborne
I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the temperature proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of temperature proxies that come right up to today and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies) have some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. – Keith Briffa email to Mike Mann, Phil Jones, Tom Karl, and Chris Folland
What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably… – Paleoclimatologist Tommy Wilson on how to respond to Steve McIntyre and ClimateAudit
The two MMs [Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick – two data fact checkers] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the U.K., I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. . . . We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. – Phil Jones email to Michael Mann
Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4 [IPCC Fourth Assessment Report]? Keith will do likewise. . . . Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? Keith will do likewise . . . can you also email Gene [Wahl] to do the same . . . We will be getting Caspar [Amman, of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research] to do likewise. – Phil Jones email to Michael Mann
I have deleted loads of emails – Phil Jones, Dir of CRU email to Michael Mann
Actual quotes from the scientists’ emails.
A damning independent, lengthy and detailed report was issued by the Global Warming Policy Foundation – authored by Andrew Montford with a foreword by Lord Turnbull titled The Climategate Inquiries. The 60 page report details many of cover-ups from ClimateGate – and the lack of honest investigation into the matter.
While the IPCC presents itself as a synthesis of the work of over 2,000 scientists it appears that in practice it is a process in which a much smaller number of scientists, whose work and careers are intertwined, dominate the assessment and seek to repel those who are situated elsewhere in the spectrum of scientific opinion. There is no transparent process for selection of participants in the assessments. Its handling of uncertainty is flawed and outcomes that are highly speculative are presented with unwarranted certainty.
Bear in mind, these are the small handful of scientists that provide the underlying data sets that are used by the IPCC in their Climate Models. The conclusions reached using the underlying data are used by governments worldwide for policy decisions and expenditures.
Mann is currently involved in litigation in Canada against Tim Ball, a retired climate scientist from the University of Winnipeg. From an article by CFACT:
Mann was one of eight lead authors of the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment published in 2001. A graph based on Mann’s work was highlighted throughout the IPCC report. It received widespread publicity and was touted by climate alarmists as further evidence of manmade global warming. Indeed, Mann’s hockey stick took on a life of its own and was repeatedly cited by the IPCC and numerous governments as justifying collective action to combat climate change.
Astounded by the sudden disappearance of the Medieval Warm Period — a time generally considered to have been warmer than the present — a growing chorus of critics demanded to see the underlying data on which the hockey-stick graph was based. Mann and his co-authors refused to release the data, even though their paper had been funded by U.S. taxpayers. The episode raised allegations that climate alarmists were engaging in “secret science.”
As the case unfolded, the BC Supreme Court directed Mann to turn over all data relating to his graph by Feb. 20, 2017. The deadline came and went without the data being handed over by Mann.
Mann’s refusal to comply with this aspect of discovery has been hailed by some as proof that the data behind the hockey stick graph doesn’t exist, and the graph is a fraud. While it may be premature to make such a sweeping declaration, Mann’s purported refusal to cooperate in this legal proceeding is damning.
The implications are obvious. Should he continue to refuse to comply, it will remain impossible to reproduce his scientific findings — one of the most important aspects of the scientific method. Mann has jealously guarded his data, refusing to allow the world to examine his findings, claiming they are his “intellectual property.”
It should be noted that Mann’s work was paid for using U.S. taxpayer funding.
newer post A Climate Change Echo Chamber