Category Archives: Climate Changes

Sea surface temperature drives global climate

Andrea J. Dittus et al. Understanding the role of sea surface temperature-forcing for variability in global temperature and precipitation extremes. Weather and Climate Extremes Volume 21, September 2018, Pages 1-9.

The oceans are a well-known source of natural variability in the climate system, although their ability to account for inter-annual variations of temperature and precipitation extremes over land remains unclear. In this study, the role of sea-surface temperature (SST)-forcing is investigated for variability and trends in a range of commonly used temperature and precipitation extreme indices over the period 1959 to 2013. Using atmospheric simulations forced by observed SST and sea-ice concentrations (SIC) from three models participating in the Climate of the Twentieth Century Plus (C20C+) Project, results show that oceanic boundary conditions drive a substantial fraction of inter-annual variability in global average temperature extreme indices, as well as, to a lower extent, for precipitation extremes. The observed trends in temperature extremes are generally well captured by the SST-forced simulations although some regional features such as the lack of warming in daytime warm temperature extremes over South America are not reproduced in the model simulations. Furthermore, the models simulate too strong increases in warm day frequency compared to observations over North America. For extreme precipitation trends, the accuracy of the simulated trend pattern is regionally variable, and a thorough assessment is difficult due to the lack of locally significant trends in the observations. This study shows that prescribing SST and SIC holds potential predictability for extremes in some (mainly tropical) regions at the inter-annual time-scale.

New paper confuses human fingerprints with significance of effect

“Since climate is always changing and humans are part of the overall global climate system, detection of human fingerprints (e.g. here) is no surprise. After all, we’re part of the system. A discussion of the weaknesses of the Santer paper is here. 

Climate changes in West Virginia to bring positive results

Kutta, E. & Hubbart, J.A. Observed climatic changes in West Virginia and opportunities for agriculture. Reg Environ Change (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-018-1455-y

Increasing variability in temperature and precipitation patterns is reducing the security of natural resources including food, water, and energy in many locations globally. Changes in climate are particularly relevant to the agricultural sector, given the increasing demand for food, less predictable water supplies, and more expensive energy. Among these challenges, however, are opportunities to improve human health with climate-conscious approaches to field crop production. Such opportunities may be emerging in historically productive areas in the Appalachian region of the United States including West Virginia that are often typified by food deserts. Long-term records of farm count, farm area, and crop yield data for West Virginia’s most valuable crops are presented relative to national averages to better understand emergent challenges and opportunities associated with local climate changes. Observed datasets of daily maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation for 18 climate observation sites in West Virginia dating back to at least 1930 were used to assess climatic trends between 1900 and 2016. To account for the regions’ complex physiography, daily data were averaged annually and spatially (all 18 sites). The maximum temperatures were shown to decrease significantly (− 0.78 °C/century; p = 0.001), whereas the minimum temperatures increased significantly (0.44 °C/century; p = 0.017), and precipitation increased (25.4 mm/century). Additionally, intra-annual variance of maximum temperatures decreased (− 0.22 °C/century), minimum temperatures increased significantly (0.39 °C/century; p = 0.041), and precipitation increased (25.4 mm/century). Observed climate trends suggest that local and regional changes in land-atmosphere interactions may result in a wetter and more temperate Appalachian climate characterized by longer growing seasons that  may be supportive of a broader range of crops. Results suggest that strategically expanding local agriculture to adapt to changing climate could simultaneously improve human health and socioeconomic status in West Virginia, the broader Appalachian region, and other similar physiographic locations globally.

New York climate change lawsuit unwarranted, counterproductive

“Several attorneys general and legal experts accused New York Thursday of overstepping the law after the state leveled lawsuits against energy companies for supposedly contributing to man-made global warming.” click here

Extreme cold not related to “Climate change”

“Numerous media outlets cited last week’s polar vortex as an example of extreme weather caused by climate change, but it turns out such cold snaps are actually on the decline.” click here

The Green New Deal is based on false premises and unreliable science

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From Amazon.com:

“The Green New Deal utilizes a propaganda technique called Appeal to Fear. It advances the notion that the U. S.  must initiate a massive and urgent State-run program that would control the climate by reducing the use of carbon-based fuels. It would simultaneously improve the lot of the poor and middle class. In truth, this proposed program would be a complete waste of human and natural resources. The entire concept is based on the false premises that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant, CO2 emissions are bad, that the increasing rate of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is causing the global temperature to rise which will lead to adverse climate change, and that reducing fossil fuel use is an immediate necessity to protect the natural environment from most human actions.  None of the premises are true but an entire political party has been co-opted by the ‘old’ glamour of young, naïve want-to-be Marxists who have seized on this invalid concept, The New Green Deal, to disguise a push for complete State control in all matters. The Party establishment has caved and now Democratic Socialism is a primary plank in the Party’s progressive political platform.

This book is intended to address the future role of carbon-based fuels in a rational manner and without a hidden political or ideological agenda. It is agreed that the supply of fossil fuels is finite and the natural environment is affected by its continued use.  Most of the effects are beneficial for both humans and the environment. But some are not. However, there is enough time to plan for a transition to cleaner energy without massive government intervention in the form of the control of production and the private sector. That type of government intervention is by definition– Socialism. It has never been successful.

This is a serious matter. One that must be considered in a clear-eyed and non-ideological way. This is not a liberal arts matter, it must be considered pragmatically, with constructive thought and action. And the first practical thought is to recognize that we have plenty of time to gather the data and get it right, the American Way, not the Democratic Socialists Green New Deal way. ” 

“Climate change” is so slow it is hardly noticeable

If climate is defined as average weather over a 30 year period (i.e. WMO definition), then it would take several decades to see any true change show up given the wide variability experienced year to year. To illustrate, consider this plot of 100 years of maximum surface temperature data at Fire Station #3, Riverside, California.

Figure 8 top

Did the climate change? Well, yes it changes every day, month, year and decade, in this case with temperature swings within a wide band of variability.

But was there a permanent change based on 30-year averages? Perhaps so, but would it be noticed? It’s refreshing to see scientists (such as here) now starting to point out the long-term nature of changing climates.

The Clinton Administration White House held a summit on climate change in the early 90’s looking at a wide range of issues. With regard to water supplies, Denver Water Department Executive Director Hamlet J. Barry III (better known as ‘Chips Barry’) attended this meeting and argued quit correctly that a true change in climate happens over many decades which is slow enough for water utilities to adjust to any changes. I suspect the same would be the case for cities and towns as well. In reality action is already being taken to respond to slow changes in climate.

A greater need is to develop resilience to extreme weather events, which can happen at any time, and are unrelated to “climate change”.