No Trend in Drought or Floods

It is often said by warming alarmists that a) global warming will increase both extremes of droughts and floods and b) that we already see these conditions accelerating  (ie with California droughts and this year’s midwestern floods).  The recent NOAA/NASA draft CCSP climate change report I commented on last week said

Temperature and precipitation have increased over recent decades, along with some extreme weather events such as heat waves and heavy downpours…

Widespread increases in heavy precipitation events have occurred, even in places where total amounts have decreased. These changes are associated with the fact that warmer air holds more water vapor evaporating from the world’s oceans and land surface. Increases in drought are not uniform, and some regions have seen increases in the occurrences of both droughts and floods

The Antiplanner, in an article on firefighting, shares this data at the National Climate Data Center that I had never seen before.  It is the monthly estimate of the percent of US land area subject to extremes of wet or dry weather.  First, the dry weather:

Dry_2

Then the wet weather:

Wet

There is no trend here, and certainly no acceleration** of a trend, merely what is obviously a cyclical phenomenon.   

** I am constantly amazed at the ability of alarmists to dedice the second derivitive of natural phenomenon (eg an acceleration in a rate of change) from single data points (e.g. 2008 flooding in the Midwest).

Update:  Since the claim is an increase in total extreme weather, to be fair I also looked at the history of the two data sets above combined:

Wetanddry

Thre is a slight trend here, on the order of about a 2-3 percentage point increase per century.  I am fairly certain this does not clear the margin of error. 

  • “There is no trend here…”

    Obviously you failed to make the required corrections and adjustments needed to disclose the trend.

  • Todd

    I need a good laugh today – where the heck is “Scientist” when you need him?

  • Willey

    How does the extreme weather total correlate to temperature?

  • Stevo

    Todd,

    Gape in awe at what the Green Environmentalists have coming for you next, once this little CO2 fuss has faded.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/13/carbonemissions.climatechange

    Is that a good enough laugh?

  • Scientist

    Always a good laugh to see that still, despite repeated explanations, denialists think that they can say something about global climate change based on the US. It’s only 2 per cent of the world’s surface. Get hold of a globe and have a good look.

    And you really should check the data before you make claims about it. Funny how an ‘obviously cyclical phenomenon’ can have an upward trend of +0.0028±0.0007% per month over the whole data period. If there is no acceleration, how come the trend since 1975 has been 0.022±0.003% per month?

  • alerk323

    one thing i dont understand, is how can any trend really be shown over such a short period of 50, 100, or even 150 years when we’re dealing with a climate that deals with over 4 BILLION years. Isn’t 200 years a RIDICULOUSLY short time to say anything about long term trends when “long term” means upwards of 100’s of millions of years?

  • “+0.0028±0.0007%”

    Does anybody have a graph shoung the trends in the magnitude of the adjustments, corrections, and other ad hoc changes to the historical records?

  • Scientist

    Climate varies on decadal time scales. The age of the earth is entirely irrelevant.

  • Stevo

    Did you know, the Arctic Ocean covers only 3% of the Earth’s surface? So we can ignore that too. Next time anyone brings up Arctic sea ice, we can simply say “it’s only 3%” and laugh at the ignorance of the foolish warmenists.

    Of course, the trouble is that the US has the densest extensive network of climate monitoring stations in the world, especially after 1990, so even if it’s 2% of the world, it’s a lot more than 2% of the data.
    http://climate.geog.udel.edu/~climate/html_pages/ghcn_T_stn.html

    The US is discussed so often because it’s more or less all we’ve got. Where’s the evidence that the data from the rest of the world is any good? All the way back to 1900? Because you can’t make any claims at all until that’s been provided.

    “Funny how an ‘obviously cyclical phenomenon’ can have an upward trend of +0.0028±0.0007% per month over the whole data period.”

    That is indeed very funny! Well done on providing Todd with his laugh!

    Now, to give me one, how about you tell me how you calculated that error estimate?

    I have to say though, it doesn’t look very cyclical to me. It looks more like long-term persistence.

  • alerk323

    Scientist?

    Can you explain what you mean by that?

  • Larry Sheldon

    So why, when the polar ice breaks up in the wind ans it has been wont to do from time to time over the centuries, IT IS A BIG %^%^$%$#+()+*&^%( DEAL, but when it ices up again (in the face of GARONTEES that it will disappear forever) it is no big deal, only 3%, yada yada geetus onframus.

  • Larry Sheldon

    OH! Did I mention it? Loveland pass was closed by snow a couple of days earlier this week.

    Big deal, I say. Friend of mine mentioned a snow-ball-fight with is brother on July 4, 1957 (he thinks). Happens all the time. Been going on for years, near as I can tell.

    But it puzzles me–CeeOhTu goes upupupupup–temperature seems not to be doing much (when we moved here in 1989-1990, it was in the 100’a plus this time of year I think.

  • dreamin

    “Did you know, the Arctic Ocean covers only 3% of the Earth’s surface? So we can ignore that too. Next time anyone brings up Arctic sea ice, we can simply say “it’s only 3%” and laugh at the ignorance of the foolish warmenists.”

    Excellent point.

  • Steve

    So, that whole NOAA/NASA draft CCSP climate change report? We don’t have to worry about that for a while.

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/skeptics-win-one-noaa-pulls-the-ccsp-report/

  • og

    “Get hold of a globe and have a good look”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

    Apparently ScienList missed the irony in his own statement. There’s this stuff called “water” that covers 70% of the earth, for which we have almost no data, and the amount of data itself does not clear the margin of error.

    Scienlist, please stick to ad hominem attacks of your betters, it’s so much more entertaining.

  • Scientist

    Did you know, the Arctic Ocean covers only 3% of the Earth’s surface? So we can ignore that too – are you retarded enough to not get the distinction between ‘ignoring’ and ‘not extrapolating from’? If somebody said ‘the Arctic is warming at 5°C/decade, therefore the world is warming at 5°C/decade’, that would be as stupid as the deniers who say ‘the US is as hot now as it was in the 1930s, therefore global warming isn’t happening’.

    The US is discussed so often because it’s more or less all we’ve got – ha ha ha. It does all come down to national arrogance, doesn’t it? You seem to have missed the point you would need to be making, if US temperatures really were the only ones worth looking at: saying ‘there is no trend in X here, so global warming isn’t happening’ is toddler-standard science. You’d just say ‘we only have data for 2% of the world so we can’t say anything at all about global phenomena based on it’. But scientific thinking is not the strong point of deniers, is it?

    Where’s the evidence that the data from the rest of the world is any good? – do the satellites only work properly when they’re looking at the US?

    polar ice breaks up in the wind ans it has been wont to do from time to time over the centuries – tell us when polar ice was last as scarce as it is today.

  • Bjarni

    “polar ice breaks up in the wind ans it has been wont to do from time to time over the centuries – tell us when polar ice was last as scarce as it is today.”

    To the best of my knowledge, a thorough knowledge and oversight of polar ice coverage only reaches back to 1979. What happened before that is limited knowledge at best.

  • Vince

    “polar ice breaks up in the wind ans it has been wont to do from time to time over the centuries – tell us when polar ice was last as scarce as it is today.”

    To the best of my knowledge, a thorough knowledge and oversight of polar ice coverage only reaches back to 1979. What happened before that is limited knowledge at best.

    How about 1922.

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/

  • AllenC

    Its always fun to read Scientist’s funny and trivial comments but for God’s sake, does he do anything but read this blog for 24 hours a day so he can make his dorky postings. Scientist, get a F….ing life! Do you have a girlfriend or wife? Any hobbies? Do you read anything but this blog? Go for a jog, exercise, take a cooking class, travel, go fishing, anything! But do something interesting. What a weenie.

  • Scientist

    AllenC – if you want to use the word fuck, why not fucking spell it out, you fucking cunt.

    Vince – why can’t deniers make HTML links? Anyway, the article you’re too lazy to make an html link to mentions that the Arctic was ice-free up to 81°29′. How about you look at this and tell me what the highest ice-free latitude is.

  • Bjarni

    Ice covarage of september 17th 2007 is of no use, since ice coverage is probably more today!

    According to this I would assume.

  • Bjarni
  • AllenC

    Scientist, As I said, do you do anything but troll this blog? Dull, dull, dull! Oh, I know,you’re saving the planet!

  • Stevo

    “are you ‘Scientist’ enough to not get the distinction between ‘ignoring’ and ‘not extrapolating from’?”

    If you read this particular post carefully, you will see that there is no extrapolation from local to global trends. The comment takes alarmist claims that Californian droughts and mid-western floods are evidence of accelerating climate change and subjects them to scrutiny. It is the alarmists who have claimed these weather events are unusual. The post demonstrates that in the context of US weather, these US weather events are not.

    The article mentions this, and the CSSP’s similar claim of increasing severe weather having been observed (which is not caveated as being only globally detectable here), and then simply presents the data for the US and notes the lack of a detectable trend in it. The reader is left to draw their own conclusions.

    If anyone besides you is extrapolating, it is all those environmental journalists and activists trying to link strictly local weather events to AGW.

    ‘the US is as hot now as it was in the 1930s, therefore global warming isn’t happening’

    You’ll be happy to know, then, that I don’t say that. I would say that any global warming isn’t detectable against natural background in the US, that it is not detectable locally, that it has not as yet had any detectable impact on anyone, and that all the media stories linking local or even regional weather to AGW are talking tosh.

    I would assume that’s something you would agree with us on, but it appears you’re not man enough to say it.

    “It does all come down to national arrogance, doesn’t it?”

    What on Earth is that supposed to mean?

    Numbers have no nationality, nor are they arrogant.

    “‘we only have data for 2% of the world so we can’t say anything at all about global phenomena based on it'”

    No, what we’re saying is ‘we only have data for 2% of the world and even that doesn’t show acceleration so we can’t see how the alarmists can say anything at all about global phenomena based on it’.

    This phrase “so global warming isn’t happening” is something that only the voices in your own head have told you.

    “do the satellites only work properly when they’re looking at the US?”

    They only work properly when they’re looking after about 1979. How can you see if the present warming exceeds the natural background variation if you have insufficient data on the natural background variation?

    “tell us when polar ice was last as scarce as it is today”

    Excellent! I have a chance to use it already!

    ahem…
    Always a good laugh to see that still, despite repeated explanations, warmenists think that they can say something about global climate change based on the Arctic. It’s only 3 per cent of the world’s surface. Get hold of a globe and have a good look.

    Oh, that was so satisfying!

    To answer your question, there is no means of telling due to the lack of data prior to 1979. It could be as recent as the 1930s (Greenland was warmer then), or as long ago as the MWP. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I can only observe that to try to deduce anything from a couple of decades over a mere 3% of the world is clear evidence of absence of intelligence.

  • Stevo

    Actually, I’ve just realised something.

    “tell us when polar ice was last as scarce as it is today”

    For Arctic ice, the answer is “last October”. For polar ice generally (i.e. at both poles) it was around March or April this year. Since it comes and goes every year, it’s rarely more than a year since it was last that abundant.

    Funny, huh?

    But interpreting your imprecise terminology generously to mean a longer term average, then as above.

  • Scientist

    You’re a contemptible little prick, Stevo. Try reading some science, instead of slavishly following the words of the dishonest Patrick Michaels. Show us links to published papers which support your beliefs. Without that, they’re not worth discussing.

    How can you see if the present warming exceeds the natural background variation if you have insufficient data on the natural background variation? – there is sufficient data. Why do you think there is not?

    I see you’re still using the schizophrenic ‘we’. Who exactly are you the self-appointed spokesman for?

  • Keith

    Congratulations, Stevo, you apparently have got under Scientist’s skin sufficiently. He loves to use the comparison to his manhood whenever someone uses the English language, applied mathematics, and good debate form to show the triviality of his position. I usually view it as a sign that the person has effectively won the argument between them.

    Isn’t it amazing that Scientist is also the main person on this blog who uses profanity? Here he castigates AllanC for showing decorum and control by refraining from using an expletive, instead suggesting his meaning by using a letter and periods. Scientist boldly trots at the F-bombs, not bothering to take into account the sensibilities of anyone who might be reading this blog who does not care for profanity. Civility is obviously not his strong suit.

  • Stevo

    Keith,

    He’s often even worse. There are some past examples where the swearwords almost outnumber the coherent ones. It’s usually a sign that he’s losing.

    As far as I’m concerned, he does far more damage to the case for AGW here than I ever could, and winding him up to the point where he loses coherency is quite satisfying. I do feel slightly guilty about him making the place so child-unfriendly, since it’s not my blog, (and I’d stop doing it if the owner asked,) but there are limits to how much responsibility you can take for the boorish behaviour of others.

    It is sort of curious why he keeps coming back, and why he never seems to learn. It’s amazing how much like religious fanaticism the whole phenomenon all looks.

  • kuhnkat

    Psyentist stated, apparently without laughing so hard it would prevent him from posting:

    “And you really should check the data before you make claims about it. Funny how an ‘obviously cyclical phenomenon’ can have an upward trend of +0.0028±0.0007% per month over the whole data period. If there is no acceleration, how come the trend since 1975 has been 0.022±0.003% per month?”

    This is supposed to be meaningful how?? We are told the earth is 4.5 billion years old. Tell me how even that small of a trend can be stretched back to the beginning??

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Face it Psyentist, every bit of hard and fanciful data you can pull together can not get past the FACT that it fits within known NATURAL VARIATION!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • AllenC

    I hope I don’t offend any religious people but so many of the AGW advocates really do act like its a cult or weird religion no matter the fact that for twenty+ years nothing has happen and none of their predictions have come true. Their “faith” is really quite incredible in light of what the real climate isn’t doing. So, I often think of my favorite definition of faith. Faith is when you strongly believe things that no one in their right mind would believe. Sounds like global warming to me.

  • Demesure

    Extreme dry and wet claimed to be climate disasters in the US by AGWers are what you get EVERY year in most populated regions of the world: they call it the monsoon.

  • Scientist

    A sure sign that someone’s lost an argument is when they give up talking about science and instead talk about how terrible someone is for using the word fuck occasionally. Hilarious that you think I make the place child-unfriendly. I’m sure your average child is not going to spend much time trying to learn the complexities of climate science (although a child with an open mind could make a lot more progress in understanding them than any of the deniers here will ever make). In any case, I don’t want any child to be spend even a second reading the anti-scientific bullshit that pours out of this place, so I fucking hope that I make it child-unfriendly.

    cuntcat – it fits within known NATURAL VARIATION!!! – oh my GOD! It fits within NATURAL VARIATION!!! EVERYTHING we thought we knew is WRONG!!! Listen, you’re twelve, right? If you got hit by a bus on your way home from school today and died, your life would have been short but obviously within the range of natural variation. So, the cause of your death would therefore be natural. Right?

    AllenC – which predictions have not come true?

  • Scientist

    Okay, I am sorry for the profanity. Sometimes I have my bad moments, I still have problems dealing with my childhood and all; being forced to suck my own bloody shit off my father’s dick and all. I’m not sure what’s more traumatic, that it happened, or that just thinking about it turns me on.

  • Vince

    Whoever posted that last post as “Scientist” lowered themselves beneath him/her/it. That’s a difficult thing to do.

  • AllenC

    You’re correct scientist, all the AGW predictions have come true. All species of plants and animals are now extinct. I went outside yesterday and my skin all burned off. I was going to visit NY City but found out it was underwater. I’m tired of stepping over the dead bodies of the hoards who have died of horrible tropical diseases. Life’s hideous with AGW in full swing. But what the heck we’ll all be dead soon so what does it matter.

    Predictions having come true? If you really believe the AGW predictions are coming true then I thinking a few years of intensive psychotherapy should probably help you get back to reality.

  • Scientist

    Point us to the papers which made the predictions you seem to think were made, AllenC.

    Vince – I think you’re the first person that has ever expressed any level of discomfort about the kind of abuse the children here hurl at me, so thanks for that. You got your own little dig in at the same time, which obviously devalues it a bit, but still, it’s better than nothing.

  • Scientist

    Fuck the police and a 502

  • “you’re the first person that has ever expressed any level of discomfort about the kind of abuse the children here hurl at me”

    Vince didn’t express any discomfort whatsoever at the kind of abuse you usually get here (he may or may not feel it, but he didn’t express it). That’s just another of your deliberate lies and distortions. He expressed discomfort at a specific kind of abuse that you’ve never gotten here before, and hopefully won’t again. I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with the regular kind of abuse you get here – you earn every keystroke of it. You’re a master dialectician, as evidenced immediately above.

  • Whoops, “immediately above” is now ‘two posts above’. The immediately previous post is obviously another uncalled for abusive post.

  • Vince

    Trust me “Scientist”, I’m in no way sticking up for you. You are the most abusive person on this board by far. You constantly resort to profanity and personal attacks when your arguments are failing. Which is quite often.

    My point was that the particular post to which I was refering was WAY over the line and reflected poorly on the poster. I hope that anyone new to this blog will realize that it was an aboration and in no way representative of the majority of regular posters on this blog or AGW realists in general.

    Most of the regular posters on this blog understand the true Science that overwhelming debunks the myth of catastrophic AGW and represent themselves appropriately.

  • Keith

    To quote Scientist – “And you really should check the data before you make claims about it. Funny how an ‘obviously cyclical phenomenon’ can have an upward trend of +0.0028±0.0007% per month over the whole data period. If there is no acceleration, how come the trend since 1975 has been 0.022±0.003% per month?”

    Actually, Scientist, your trend analysis says there has been upward trend of between 21 and 35 millionths over a one hundred eight year span, which translated to roughly one additional flood or drought every two to five years. In contrast, the trend since 1975 has gone down to 19 to 25 millionths, pushing the incidence of additional natural weather disaster down to closer to that five year number. Since this is usually cited as the beginning of the “global warming” era, that would seem to say to me that global warming is good because it decreases floods and droughts.

    Of course, these charts do not take into account human land use patterns during this time. It is possible that some of the floods being reported now are occurring in areas without extensive human habitation earlier in the historic period. It is possible that a similar flood might not have been reported as there was no one living in the area one hundred years ago. And we have been deforesting some areas that previously had old growth forest that might have contributed to a better rain pattern in an area that is now suffering drought type conditions.

  • Tim

    “Point us to the papers which made the predictions you seem to think were made, AllenC.”

    How about James Hansens predictions in 1988? Do those count? Becuase it turns out he was very wrong.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/HANSEN.JPG
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3354

    Or some from the IPCC:

    http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTYwMjRiZjJhMmUxYWE2MmQ0NDZhOGM0M2Q3ZWUzMmE

  • Scientist

    I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with the regular kind of abuse you get here – you earn every keystroke of it – how? I only give back what I get. I only ever respond in kind. I only reflect what is already here.

    My point was that the particular post to which I was refering was WAY over the line – please do tell us where the line is.

    In contrast, the trend since 1975 has gone down – Keith, you have shown that you are mathematically inept before, and you’ve done it again now. The trend over the whole data period was 0.00028 per cent per month. The trend since 1975 was 0.0022 per cent per month. Look again at those numbers. Count the zeroes.

    AllenC – where in Hansen 1988, exactly, were the predictions that you referred to when you said “all the AGW predictions have come true. All species of plants and animals are now extinct. I went outside yesterday and my skin all burned off. I was going to visit NY City but found out it was underwater. I’m tired of stepping over the dead bodies of the hoards who have died of horrible tropical diseases. Life’s hideous with AGW in full swing.

  • AllenC

    Scientist,
    Do you actually read these posts? People are making fun of you. They think you’re nuts, not scientific

  • AllenC

    Scientist,
    You win. No more posts from me. Yours is the absolute revealed truth about AGW. Keep up the good work.

  • Scientist

    Thank You, Allen C. Now I can take my crack pipe and go to my friend’s barn and have fun with a 4 legged strawberry.

  • Random Lurker

    Didn’t Roald Amundsen negotiate the North West Passage in about 1903? What was causing the ice to melt so far back then?

  • Scientist

    AllenC – what do you think that people think of you?

    Random Lurker – it took him three years. It was a major feat of endurance and exploration. Had you really not investigated? Why ask questions that are incredibly easy to answer for yourself?

  • Scientist

    Lurker, it took him 3 years, because he parked his boat for 2 years to take magnetic observations. In 1905 he made the crossing.

    http://www.mnc.net/norway/Amundsen.htm

    In 1944 the Canadian Mounted Police Boat St Roch sailed the Northwest Passage in 86 days. That was their second crossing.

    http://hnsa.org/ships/stroch.htm

  • AllenC

    Actually it took him three years because he had to wait for the ice to clear.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/ice/peopleevents/pandeAMEX87.html