NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tomorrow's forecast: Hysterical

Data fail to back up claims weather is getting worse, says Tad Murty. Tad Murty is a former senior research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and director of Australia's National Tidal Facility, is an adjunct professor in civil engineering at the University of Ottawa.
Yes, many computer models tell a different story. But after being associated with such simulations for the past 45 years, I have little faith in their predictions. With a very slight tweaking of one single parameter (low cloud amount) in the model, forecasts can change abruptly from global warming to an ice age. Before coming to any conclusions about extreme weather trends, we must examine measurements of what is really happening.

Hurricanes, or "severe cyclones" as they are referred to in India, can be especially devastating. I have examined some 20 different atmospheric and oceanographic parameters associated with hurricanes around the globe using all available historical data up to the end of 2004. Not a single record was set after October 1979.

The two basins in the world most impacted by hurricanes are the Bay of Bengal in South Asia and the Gulf of Mexico. Since 1995, there has been an increase in the annual number of tropical cyclones in the Gulf of Mexico. However, no new records have been set and nothing that cannot be attributed to natural variability is happening.
Full Toronto Star article here.

Once again, how can we use models to predict the global tempertures 50 to 100 years from now, when we cannot get a reliable forecast for next week. Yet, California legislators are using weather modeling to justify greenhouse gas regulations that are going to cost us all billions of tax dollars, and slow our economy.

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Blogger Lynxx Pherrett said...

You may want to fix the link to the article. Blogger apparently replaced an ampersand or two with character entities while you were editing.

Mon Sep 05, 02:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Russ Steele said...

Thanks for the headsup on the broken link. It is now fixed.

Mon Sep 05, 09:35:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Russ Steele said...

This one post, has caused a surge in traffic, breaking daily visitor records. Thanks to EU ROTA for the link, which created the traffic.

Mon Sep 05, 09:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

How can we use models to predict global weather patterns? Russ, Russ, Russ. By now, I'm sure you have discovered the distinction between CLIMATE and WEATHER. Weather is highly malleable: it is a chaotic system. But it is not so malleable that a pattern year in year out emerges. Yes, to say that it won't rain tomorrow in April is a little risky, but to say in general that June doesn't see as much rain as February is a "No duh". What climatologists can do, though there is still quite a bit of variation, is get a sense of year-in, year-out statistics. In fact, that's what Murty in essence relies upon, though with rather strange caveats about variability. To quote: "The potential for floods and droughts is increasing."....... the heating from increased greenhouse gases enhances the hydrological cycle and increases the risk for stronger, longer-lasting or more intense droughts, and heavier rainfall events and flooding, even if these phenomena occur for natural reasons. Evidence, although circumstantial, is widespread across the United States. Examples include the intense drought in the central southern U.S in 1996, Midwest flooding in spring of 1995 and extensive flooding throughout the Mississippi Basin in 1993 even as drought occurred in the Carolinas, extreme flood events in winters of 1992-93 and 1994-95 in California but droughts in other years (e.g, 1986-87 and 1987-88 winters)," says Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)." Numerous summers and storm patterns (the Ninas/os) have been too far beyond normal variability to be coincidence as well.

Slow our economy? Billions of dollars? Of course, the untold billions we spend on straight corporate welfare ($458 billion by conservative counts), that trillion dollars that the Pentagon lost, doesn't concern you. Out of a 10 trillion GDP, billions of dollars are a drop in the bucket. Especially when these programs have independent economic logic.

Fri Sep 09, 12:43:00 AM PDT  

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