Hoerling To Hansen : Facts Do Matter …. To Some People

NOAA’s extreme weather expert, Martin Hoerling, slammed Hansen on Andy Revkin’s blog yesterday.

“Over the next several decades, the Western United States and the semi-arid region from North Dakota to Texas will develop semi-permanent drought, with rain, when it does come, occurring in extreme events with heavy flooding. Economic losses would be incalculable. More and more of the Midwest would be a dust bowl. California’s Central Valley could no longer be irrigated. Food prices would rise to unprecedented levels.”

He doesnt define “several decades,” but a reasonable assumption is that he refers to a period from today through mid-century. I am unaware of any projection for “semi-permanent” drought in this time frame over the expansive region of the Central Great Plains. He implies the drought will be due to a lack of rain (except for the brief, and ineffective downpours). I am unaware of indications, from model projections, for a material decline in mean rainfall. Indeed, that region has seen a general increase in rainfall over the long term during most seasons (certainly no material decline). Also, for the warm season when evaporative loss is especially effective, the climate of the central Great Plains has not become materially warmer (perhaps even cooled) since 1900. In other words, climate conditions in the growing season of the Central Great Plains are today not materially different from those existing 100 years ago. This observational fact belies the expectations from climate simulations and, in truth, our science lacks a good explanation for this discrepancy.

The Hansen piece is policy more than it is science, to be sure, and one can read it for the former. But facts should, and do, matter to some. The vision of a Midwest Dustbowl is a scary one, and the author appears intent to instill fear rather than reason.

The article makes these additional assertions:

“The global warming signal is now louder than the noise of random weather…”

This is patently false. Take temperature over the U.S. as an example. The variability of daily temperature over the U.S. is much larger than the anthropogenic warming signal at the time scales of local weather. Depending on season and location, the disparity is at least a factor of 5 to 10.

I think that a more scientifically justifiable statement, at least for the U.S. and extratropical land areas is that daily weather noise continues to drum out the siren call of climate change on local, weather scales.

Hansen goes on to assert that:

“Extremely hot summers have increased noticeably. We can say with high confidence that the recent heat waves in Texas and Russia, and the one in Europe in 2003, which killed tens of thousands, were not natural events — they were caused by human-induced climate change.”

Published scientific studies on the Russian heat wave indicate this claim to be false. Our own study on the Texas heat wave and drought, submitted this week to the Journal of Climate, likewise shows that that event was not caused by human-induced climate change. These are not de novoevents, but upon scientific scrutiny, one finds both the Russian and Texas extreme events to be part of the physics of what has driven variability in those regions over the past century. This is not to say that climate change didn’t contribute to those cases, but their intensity owes to natural, not human, causes.

The closing comment by Hansen is then all the more ironic, though not surprising knowing he often writes from passion and not reason:

“The science of the situation is clear — it’s time for the politics to follow. ”

Let me borrow from a recent excellent piece in New Scientist by tornado expert Dr. Harold Brooks regarding the global warming and tornado debate, and state:

“Those who continue to talk in certain terms of how local weather extremes are the result of human climate change are failing to heed all the available evidence.”

Varied Views on Extreme Weather in a Warming Climate – NYTimes.com

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12 Responses to Hoerling To Hansen : Facts Do Matter …. To Some People

  1. jimash1 says:

    “Martin Hoerling

    Meteorologist
    Physical Sciences Division
    Biography
    Dr. Martin Hoerling is a research meteorologist, specializing in climate dynamics, in NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory located in Boulder, Colorado. He is the Convening Lead Author for the US Climate Change Science Plan Synthesis and Assessment Report on “Attribution of the Causes of Climate Variations and Trends over North America”, released in 2009. Dr. Hoerling is Chairman of the US CLIVAR (Climate Variability) research program. Dr. Hoerling served as Editor for the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate, and has published over 50 scientific papers dealing with climate variability and change.”

    Has this guy been hiding under his desk ?
    Anyway good on him for coming out.
    One at a time they finally speak.

  2. Hoerling also wrote this pretty damning slap down of Rahmstorf’s recent paper on weather extremes.

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/rahmstorfs-claims-of-increasing-extreme-weathera-damning-put-down-by-noaa-expert/

    Not a scientific paper, more Op-Ed

    Ouch ! And there was a lot more.

  3. There simply are no competent climate scientists, as my definitive Venus/Earth temperatures comparison (way back in November 20210) reveals, to any competent physicist (but they also all appear to have been suborned by the false climate science). The physics IS settled, though few of course yet know it, or can accept it: There is NO “greenhouse effect” whatsoever, of increasing atmospheric temperature with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (or any other infrared-absorbing “greenhouse gas”). Scientifically, Hoerling is too little, too late; politically, we need–as I recently suggested to a commenter on my site–a “million man march” on Washington, of level-headed physicists against the incompetent science of the “greenhouse effect” and “runaway global warming” (and yes, that means the radiative transfer theory, as used in climate science, is bunk too).

  4. Mariana Torres says:

    Hope they dont fire him from NOAA. How dare he LOL

  5. robert barclay says:

    Try this for size. SURFACE TENSION blocks the transmission of heat into water when the heat source is above the surface.Water does not obey the second law of thermodynsmics because of surface tension.If you attempt to heat an uncovered body of water, unless you use extreme temperatures no heat will pass. Float an object on the water, say a baking dish on a domestic basin and the heat uptake of the water is increased dramatically. The reason for this has to be that under the floating object there is no surface tension. It follows that emissions are irrelevant because no matter how much they are heated the heat cannot affect the ocean therefore no positive feedback, no global warming. Just by the way you will find that the subject or existence of surface tension is no longer taught in schools to the extent that it used to be. Wonder why.

    • There’s so much wrong with this set of assertions it’s difficult to know where to start, but I will. Even if these assertions were true, the ocean is heated by LWIR (radiation), not conduction from the air above. Air has a very low heat content. The ocean heats the air, not the other way round.. Try doing a bit of research. You claim there’s some kind of conspiracy to avoid teaching surface tension? Pull the other one.

  6. USAF61 says:

    @ robert barclay

    Can you give references for the effects of surface tension on radiative heat transfer to water?
    My Googling has not returned much information on this.

  7. Jean Croton says:

    Hansen is a unique scientist. Regular scientists change their theory when the data does not match the predictions.

    Hansen just changes the data to suit what he thinks should be happening.

  8. John B., M.D. says:

    Congrats, this post made it to ICECAP.us.

  9. cleanwater2 says:

    There is an experiment that proves that the Greenhouse gas effect does not exist. This experiment which has been peer reviewed by Ph.D physicists . Ph.D. Chemical engineers and others. The experiment is found on the web-site http:// http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com click on the blog tab. It is titled “The Experiment that failed which can save the world trillion-Proving the greenhouse gas effect does not exist”

  10. Rob MW says:

    “He implies the drought will be due to a lack of rain (except for the brief, and ineffective downpours).”

    Who would have guessed that ?/sarc

    Can’t wait for an (implied) explanation of what causes a flood.

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