Journalist Clarissa Bye from the Daily Telegraph has done a really good job of summarizing my concerns and recommendations for better bushfire management across Australia. The article entitled ‘Burning Question on Fires and Climate Link’ has been republished in so many of the News Ltd regional papers including The Frazer Coast Chronicle and The Byron Shire News and is based on Chapter 16 in my new book, ‘Climate Change: The Facts 2020’. Clarissa writes:
A number of groups and individuals are claiming that the recent major wildfires in the Pacific Northwest are predominantly or significantly the result of climate change produced by increasing greenhouse gases.
In fact, many have called these conflagrations “climate fires.” Did global warming (a.k.a. climate change) have a significant impact on the Northwest wildfires of the past few weeks?
NOAA has released a new interactive tool to explore the solar cycle. It lets you scroll back through time, comparing sunspot counts now to peaks and valleys of the past. One thing is clear. Solar Minimum is here, and it’s one of the deepest in a century.
Solar Minimum is a natural part of the solar cycle. Every ~11 years, the sun transitions from high to low activity and back again. Solar Maximum. Solar Minimum. Repeat. The cycle was discovered in 1843 by Samuel Heinrich Schwabe, who noticed the pattern after counting sunspots for 17 years. We are now exiting Solar Cycle 24 and entering Solar Cycle 25.
PHYSICS The cold, famine and unrest in ancient Rome and Egypt after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE has long been shrouded in mystery. Now, an international team, including researchers from the University of Copenhagen, has found evidence suggesting that the megaeruption of an Alaskan volcano may be to blame.
Dark times befell upon the Mediterranean around the time of Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BCE. Written accounts describe the region as severely impacted by unusual cooling, failed harvests, famine and disease, all of which combined to contribute to the fall of the Roman Republic and Ptolemaic Kingdom. While researchers long suspected that a volcanic eruption was to blame, they were unable to pinpoint exactly where and when such an eruption might have occurred.
Between 1990 and 2017, the cumulative age-standardized death rate (ASDRs) from climate-sensitive diseases and events (CSDEs) dropped from 8.1% of the all-cause ASDR to 5.5%, while the age-standardized burden of disease, measured by disability-adjusted life years lost (DALYs) declined from 12.0% to 8.0% of all-cause age-standardized DALYs. Thus, the burdens of death and disease from CSDEs are small, and getting smaller.
Figure 1: Climate-related deaths are a small proportion of all-cause fatalities (1990–2017). Based on data per IHME (2019).
But readers of the 2019 report of the Lancet Countdown (hereafter ‘the Countdown’), a partnership of 35 academic institutions and UN agencies, established by the prestigious Lancet group of medical journals and supported by the equally-esteemed Wellcome Trust to track progress on the health impacts of climate change, may well be left with the opposite impression, particularly if they do not delve beyond the Executive Summary, the section most likely to be read by busy policymakers or their advisors.
Not once does it mention that cumulative annual rates of death and disease from CSDEs are declining, and declining faster than the corresponding all-cause rates. The Countdown also fails to provide adequate context for the reader to judge the burdens of mortality or disease posed by CSDEs, individually or cumulatively, relative to other public-health threats. In fact, it even suggests that the health effects of climate change are ‘worsening’. But the data do not support that claim. Moreover, an analysis of the text makes it clear that the Countdown conflates estimates of increasing exposure, ‘demographic vulnerability’, and increased ‘suitability’ of disease transmission with actual health effects. These estimates are used as proxies, but trends in these estimates have not been verified to reflect, and do not track, long-term trends in deaths or death rates.
Figure 2: Burden of mortality from CSDEs, 1990–2017. The Forces of Nature group excludes deaths from geophysical causes per EMDAT (2019). Data per IHME (2019).
Now that the 2019 Southwest Monsoon is officially over, it is reported to have delivered 110% of the long-term average amount of rain to this mostly dry sub-continent. It was just months ago that the international press was touting stories about water problems in Chennai. You may be more familiar with the previous name of the city, Madras. The NY Times covered the story and threw in a line: “And then there’s climate change. It doesn’t bear direct blame for Chennai’s water crisis, but it makes it worse“
Megadrought Helped Topple the Assyrian Empire Paleoclimate records shed light on the ancient civilization’s meteoric rise and catastrophic collapse.
By Mary Caperton Morton 15 January 2020
Around 2,700 years ago in what is now northern Iraq, the Assyrian Empire was at its zenith, dominating the cultural and political landscape of the Fertile Crescent. But within a few years, the empire collapsed, leaving the once thriving capital of Nineveh abandoned for nearly 200 years. The cause of this catastrophe is an enduring mystery, but a climate record preserved in a cave formation now is revealing that the timing of the empire’s rise and fall coincided with a wet period followed by a 125-year-long megadrought.
This post was originally intended as a short comment questioning certain aspects of the methodology in JC’s post of December 23, “3 degrees C?”. But every methodology is bound to have shortcomings, raising the possibility that Judith’s methodology might nevertheless be best possible, those shortcomings notwithstanding. I was finding my arguments for a better methodology getting too long for a mere comment, whence this post. (But if actual code is more to your fancy than long-winded natural language explanations, Figures 1 and 2a can be plotted with only 31 MATLAB commands .)
Judith’s starting point is “It is far simpler to bypass the attribution issues of 20th century warming, and start with an early 21st century baseline period — I suggest 2000-2014, between the two large El Nino events.” The tacit premise here would appear to be that those “attribution issues of 20th century warming” are harder to analyze than their 21st century counterparts.
Just like the 1930s, and again Munich. There’s no question that freedom of science and speech are under heavy attack in Germany after dozens of distinguished but dissenting scientists have seen their long planned science conference cancelled due to intimidation by leftwing extremists.
Germany caving in to leftist extremists. A skeptic climate conference gets cancelled at last minute due to coercion. Image: Antifa action in Phoenix, 2017, cropped from Carptrash – I, Einar Kvaran, License: CC BY-SA 4.0
Summary: A new chapter has begun in the climate wars. The reason why reveals something about America – about us – that we must know if we are to steer America to a safe and prosperous future.
“I want doomster news stories in this newspaper, and plenty of them!”
In 2017 a new phase in the “debate” about the public policy response to climate change began with publication of “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells in New York magazine – “Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak – sooner than you think.” It is typical alarmist propaganda – exaggerations, misrepresentations, with little context about the odds of these horrific things happening.
[Deep solar minima have been associated with colder climates. The Dalton Minimum and Maunder Minimum both were part of the Little Ice Age which ended maybe 200 years ago. Better get a good overcoat. –Bob]
As of November 1st, the current stretch of days without any observable sunspots in solar cycle 24 has reached a total of 228 spotless days in 2019 so far That’s 75% of the year so far. During the 2008 solar minimum, there were 268 days without sunspots, or 73% of the year.
President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Greta Thunberg’s climate crusade, suggesting she has no idea of the cost of what she is demanding.
“I may disappoint you but I do not share everyone’s enthusiasm about Greta Thunberg’s speech [to the UN]. You know, the fact that young people, teenagers pay attention to the acute problems of the modern world, including ecology. That is right and very good. We need to support them. But when somebody uses children and teenagers in their own interests it deserves to be condemned.
Nobody explained to Greta that the modern world is complicated, and complex, and it changes fast. People in Africa and in many Asian countries want to be as wealthy as people in Sweden. How can it be done? By making them use solar energy which is plentiful in Africa? Has anyone explained the cost of it?”
In an earlier posting (WUWT https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/26/understanding-the-climate-movement-the-impotence-of-science/) I referred to the work of Douglas Murray (The Madness of Crowds) in helping to understand how the climate debate was just a Trojan horse being exploited for a much wider social change agenda being pursued by globalists and the socialist Left. In that article I alluded to some of the drivers that are enabling the movement, including Noble Cause Corruption and personal or corporate financial gain. Here I explore further the role of Noble Cause Corruption. While regular followers of WUWT will be familiar with some of the content, I think that pulling it together makes a compelling case.
Here’s their justification for saying it is an EMERGENCY!!!
“Climate change is the most critical issue we face today and we universally are not acting fast enough to avert substantial damage to the economy, environment, and human health in the coming decades,” said Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt. “On a local level, we continue to experience extreme climate-related events, including six years of recent droughts, devastating wildfires, and severe flooding.
There are plenty of climate scientists in the world that I highly respect, many of whom I don’t share the same views with on climate change. However, these scientists are respectful towards others, they’re pretty honest with their data, and still have scientific integrity.
There are a select few scientists out there, however, whom I have lost all respect for － Dr. Michael Mann being one of them.
We’ve made it three weeks without extreme weather and/or climate change hysteria making rounds on social media. Unfortunately, that streak has come to an end, making the lives of most weather forecasters like me a lot more difficult.
We are quickly approaching climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season¹ (September 10th) (Figure 1), thus it should be NO surprise to anyone that we have seen an uptick in tropical activity. However, I stand corrected － people are losing their minds about it.
Watching the current maps and models, it appears the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season is off to a slow start. For people that the depend on disaster porn (climate alarmists, media) that means no weather events to claim as being climate driven.
With no current areas of storm development, 2019 has had the slowest start since at least 2004 when Hurricane Charley was named on August 9th, 2004.
Resolving Brexit should be the Government’s number-one priority – and is more important to voters than issues such as climate change, according to the results of a new survey.
Thirty-six per cent of people questioned by pollsters Opinium identified Brexit as the most important issue facing politicians.
MPs have so far been unable to reach a majority in the House of Commons to break the deadlock surrounding our departure from the EU – yet last month, they found enough common ground to declare a ‘climate emergency’.
Climate change came third in the list of priorities voters identified for the Government – 11 per cent mentioned it – while in second place was ‘tackling poverty’ on 12 per cent.
REJOICE IN THE LUSH GLOBAL GREENING CO2 is plant food. The greening of the earth means more food for animals and greater crop yields for humans. Why is no one talking about it?
Amid all the talk of an imminent planetary catastrophe caused by emissions of carbon dioxide, another fact is often ignored: global greening is happening faster than climate change. The amount of vegetation growing on the earth has been increasing every year for at least 30 years. The evidence comes from the growth rate of plants and from satellite data.
When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) formally introduced a congressional resolution for a “Green New Deal,” Republicans were handed a powerful, unexpected political gift. Leave it to weak-minded congressional Republicans to find a way to screw it up.
The Green New Deal would re-make the United States via a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal.” Those aren’t just empty words. The free-market American Action Forum conducted an economic analysis of the Green New Deal and found it would cost as much as $94 trillion, or approximately $780,000 per U.S. household. The green-energy components alone would cost as much as $12.3 trillion.
Last week, the Great Plains and upper Midwest were pummeled with a late-season blizzard. A wide swath of 10 to 20+ inches of snow buried parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, with the highest totals in the 20 to 30 inch range centered in far western Minnesota, and much of South Dakota (Figure 1).¹ The storm was not technically a “bomb cyclone” because the air pressure didn’t drop 24 millibars within 24 hours, although it did get close.
The highest official snowfall report was 30.8 inches in Wallace, South Dakota, although higher amounts in scattered areas were more than likely.² On top of that, an ice storm occurred in numerous Midwestern states, a dust storm moved through the southern Plains, and 80 mph wind gusts were observed in Texas and New Mexico, while thundersnow was reported in other locations.²
From Penn State University and the “but we guarantee you there’s no predictability limit in climate science” department comes this interesting study.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In the future, weather forecasts that provide storm warnings and help us plan our daily lives could come up to five days sooner before reaching the limits of numerical weather prediction, scientists said.
“The obvious question that has been raised from the very beginning of our whole field is, what’s the ultimate limit at which we can predict day-to-day weather in the future,” said Fuqing Zhang, distinguished professor of meteorology and atmospheric science and director of the Center for Advanced Data Assimilation and Predictability Techniques at Penn State. “We believe we have found that limit and on average, that it’s about two weeks.”
If you like solar minimum, good news: It could last for years. That was one of the predictions issued last week by an international panel of experts who gathered at NOAA’s annual Space Weather Workshop to forecast the next solar cycle. If the panel is correct, already-low sunspot counts will reach a nadir sometime between July 2019 and Sept 2020, followed by a slow recovery toward a new Solar Maximum in 2023-2026.
“We expect Solar Cycle 25 will be very similar to Cycle 24: another fairly weak maximum, preceded by a long, deep minimum,” says panel co-chair Lisa Upton, a solar physicist with Space Systems Research Corp.
New insights emerge on what drives long-term climatic trends
University of California – Santa Barbara
For the entire history of our species, humans have lived on a planet capped by a chunk of ice at each pole. But Earth has been ice-free for about 75 percent of the time since complex life first appeared. This variation in background climate, between partly glaciated and ice-free, has puzzled geologists for decades.
Now a team of scientists led by UC Santa Barbara’s Francis Macdonald has published a study suggesting that tectonic activity may be the culprit. They found that long-term trends in Earth’s climate are set by the presence or absence of collisions between volcanic arcs and continents in the tropics. The results appear in the journal Science.
“There’ve been a few hypotheses but no agreements as to why we have warmer or colder climates on these very long timescales,” said Macdonald, a professor in the Department of Earth Science.
French yellow vest protesters set life-threatening fires, smashed up luxury stores and clashed with police Saturday in the 18th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron. Large plumes of smoke rose above the rioting on Paris’ landmark Champs-Elysees Avenue, and a mother and her child were just barely saved from a building blaze.
French police tried to contain the demonstrators with limited success.
One perilous fire targeted a bank on the ground floor of a seven-story residential building. As firetrucks rushed over, a mother and her child were rescued as the fire threatened to engulf their floor, the city’s fire service told The Associated Press. Eleven people in the building, including two firefighters, sustained light injuries, as other residents were evacuated to safety.
In the 1990s, solar physicists, Penn and Livingston, called for a long decline in solar activity. This is the case and it is nice to see such work confirmed by events. Solar Cycles # 23 and 24 are the weakest since the early 1900s. The current run of consecutive Spotless Days is out to 33, or 75%, for the year.
The following table shows the record back to the minimum of Solar Cycle # 23 when the count was at 268 days, or 73%, for 2008.
The sun today is cue-ball blank, a perfect unmarred sphere:
The sun has just passed an entire calendar month with no sunspots. The last time this happened, in August 2008, the sun was in the nadir of a century-class Solar Minimum. The current stretch of blank suns shows that Solar Minimum has returned, and it could be as deep as the last one.
The last time a full calendar month passed without a sunspot was August 2008. At the time, the sun was in the deepest Solar Minimum of the Space Age. Now a new Solar Minimum is in progress and it is shaping up to be similarly deep. So far this year, the sun has been blank 73% of the time–the same as 2008.
Did you know that Australia’s rate of temperature warming per decade since 1910 has increased by 23%?
No? Neither does the Australian public, despite the Bureau of Meteorology several weeks ago releasing a new ACORN dataset of daily temperatures over the past 109 years that significantly rewrites Australia’s climate history.
ACORN 1 (Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature) was released in 2012. The bureau has released ACORN 2 dailies, a total revision that significantly increases the warming trend calculated from the average temperatures since 1910 at 112 weather stations across the country.
Solar Cycle 24 has had the lowest solar activity since the Dalton Minimum around 1810.
Von Frank Bosse und Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated / edited by P Gosselin)
Our sun was also very sub-normally active in December last year. We are writing the 121st month since the beginning of cycle number 24, in December 2008, and since 2012 (when we started the blog here) we could only reformulate the opening sentence once: In September 2017 when the sun was 13% more active than the long-term (since 1755) average.
All other months were below average. With the sunspot number (SSN) of 3.1 for the monthly average for December and a total of 24 days without any spot (throughout the second half of the month the sun was spotless) we are in the middle of the cycle minimum.
American folk lore is filled with stories of how Native Americans observed changes in wildlife and foretold future weather changes. I was fascinated by an 1800s story of Native Americans inhabiting regions around Marysville, California who had moved down into the river valleys during drought years. They then moved to higher ground before devastating floods occurred. Did they understand California’s natural climate cycles? Could changes in salmon migrations alert them?
Observing salmon has certainly improved modern climate science. In the 1990s climate scientists struggled to understand why surface temperatures in the northwest sector of the Pacific Ocean had suddenly become cooler while temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific suddenly warmed. Climate models predicted no such thing. However, fishery biologists noted salmon abundance in Alaska underwent boom and bust cycles lasting 20 to 40 years. When Alaskan salmon populations boomed, their populations from California to Washington busted. Conversely, decades later when Alaskan populations busted, those more southerly populations boomed.
“People who most intensely oppose genetically modified food think they know a lot about food science, but actually know the least, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in January in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.”
It’s been a while since I played “Spot The Volcano”. The premise of the game is that the decrease in temperatures from volcanic eruptions is nowhere near as large as people claim. So I ask people to see if they can identify when a volcano erupted based on the temperature records of the time.
Now, I say that the main reason the temperature drop from volcanic eruptions is so small is that when we get a reduction in downwelling radiation from any cause, the equatorial oceans start to cool. When that happens the clouds form later in the day, allowing in more sunshine. And the net result is that any cooling from the volcanic eruption is mostly offset by the increase in incoming solar energy.
Bjørn Lomborg writes on Facebook about some new and surprising data that turn climate alarmist claims upside down.
Fewer and fewer people die from climate-related natural disasters.
This is clearly opposite of what you normally hear, but that is because we’re often just being told of one disaster after another – telling us how *many* events are happening. The number of reported events is increasing, but that is mainly due to better reporting, lower thresholds and better accessibility (the CNN effect). For instance, for Denmark, the database only shows events starting from 1976.
Instead, look at the number of dead per year, which is much harder to fudge. Given that these numbers fluctuate enormously from year to year (especially in the past, with huge droughts and floods in China), they are here presented as averages of each decade (1920-29, 1930-39 etc, with last decade as 2010-18). The data is from the most respected global database, the International Disaster Database. There is some uncertainty about complete reporting from early decades, which is why this graph starts in 1920, and if anything this uncertainty means the graph *underestimates* the reduction in deaths.
[Excess Deaths are calculated as that period’s difference from the yearly average. If there were 12,000 deaths in a typical year, or 1000 per month, and in December there were 2500, then there were 2500 – 1000 = 1500 ‘Excess Deaths’ in that December. -Bob]
I have been convinced for a long time there is something wrong with the theory of global warming. My initial response was based upon two factors. The first being in my youth I was a voracious reader. I was fascinated with history, archeology, and science. My interests varied wildly through the years. At times I was interested in the ancient peoples of South America. At other times I was interested in the Viking explorations. Obviously, the greatest wealth of actual historical material comes from Europe. Cutting to the point here, it seems obvious to me we are fortunate to be living in times where the climate is exceptionally good relative to what our ancestors endured in the past as well as what we have seen in the more recent past. I am old enough to remember the 60’s and I surely do remember the 70’s.
In reading the solar data, what we are after in the near term is the likely month of minimum for the Solar Cycle 24/25 minimum and likely amplitude of Solar Cycle 25. Of course that quest for truth gets easier as we approach the minimum, at least apparently. Solar Cycle 24 looks like being unusual in being short while being weak and Solar Cycle 25 looks like being a repeat of Solar Cycle 24 in terms of amplitude.
The concept of the Super Grand Solar Deepest Minimum is fashionable again for the moment. There is no sign of that in the data. That said, activity in Solar Cycle 24 was back-loaded and if the solar activity to atmospheric temperature connection is real, the planet’s temperature will be running warmer for a few more years as a consequence of that.
In a recent article, I used an illustration of 1200 km circles around a weather station to illustrate the extent the IPCC considered it represented. A comment about the article asked if I was aware of the map distortion and its effect on the circle of coverage. It was an arcane but important observation. He was pointing to the distortion created by using a Mercator projection map.
I am very aware of the distortion. My entire career involved working with maps. This included flying in the Air Force; teaching courses and running labs about maps and map reading; studying climate weather maps; the movement and migration of people driven by climate change; and teaching a course in political geography. I provided major research for a book on the search for the Northwest Passage on the Pacific west coast written by Sam Bawlf titled, “The Secret Voyages of Sir Francis Drake.” Dr. John Dee, science advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, gave Drake his sailing and scientific instructions. This included accurately determining the longitude of the west coast of North America. This research resulted in Drake visiting the Dutch map maker Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) after his return. Two months after Drake’s visit Ortelius produced a new world map with the coast shifted 60° of longitude to its proper position.
In the discussion, someone pointed out that the “Maunder Minimum”, a time of very low solar activity, corresponds with the coldest decade in a long-term reconstruction of summer temperatures in Scotland. Their temperature reconstruction is based on a group of pine tree-ring records spanning 800 years. Their graph is shown below:
ENSO-neutral conditions still reign as of the beginning of the month, but we’re starting to see some clearer signs of the development of El Niño.
Forecasters estimate that El Niño conditions will develop in the next few months, and there’s a 70-75% chance El Niño will be present through the winter. Most computer models are currently predicting a weak El Niño event.
By Francis Tucker Manns, PhD – Re-Blogged From WUWT
It’s not the heat It’s the humidity
Abstract: The sun controls climate change. Not industry. Not you. Not me. It is the sun.
Solar cycle 24, the weakest in 100 years, is stumbling to an end. The sunspot cycle averages about 11 (± 1.5) years. There may not be any sunspots this week. In the spring of 2017 the sunspot number was low or zero and Canada was plagued with spring floods from melting snow and heavy rainfall.
My overall career interest is the impact of weather and climate on human history and the human condition. Much of this involved the impact on primary industries like agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. For 17 years I produced monthly columns titled Weather Talk in the largest circulation farm magazine in Canada, Country Guide. Despite the popularity with the farmers and agribusiness, I was fired because I wrote about what was wrong with the science of the global warming issue. Shortly after ending with Country Guide I began a similar column in a magazine called The Landowner and have produced monthly columns for several years now. Beyond the sin of disagreeing with the official government position on anthropogenic global warming (AGW), I spoke out about the failure of Environment Canada to improve forecasting for farmers or even consider their specific needs. While they were doing that, the Auditor General of Canada identified they spent $6.8 billion in a seven-year period (1998-2005) on climate change that produced nothing. It produced worse than nothing because a portion of the money was spent on the Canadian climate model that contributed to the IPCC amalgam of models; as Ken Gregory showed, its projection was the worst of all of them (Figure 1).
In the August issue of Physics Today, climate scientists Toby Ault and Scott St. George share a pair of startling research findings. Between roughly 800 and 1500 CE, the American West suffered a succession of decades-long droughts, much longer than anything we’ve endured in modern history. And statistical models suggest that, as the climate warms, such megadroughts are increasingly likely to return.