Climate Donkey

July 7, 2008

Bertha reaches Major Hurricane Status

Filed under: Hurricanes,Weather,Weather Briefing — climatedonkey @ 8:53 pm
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Update: as of 5 pm, Hurricane Bertha has continued to intensify and has reached 100 knots or Category 3 on the Saffir Simpson scale. NHC Discussion


The HWRF model has been the winner so far, correctly predicting Major hurricane status yesterday.
Yesterdays HWRF model at 06Z:


Hurricane Bertha, rare for July.

Filed under: Hurricanes,Weather,Weather Briefing — climatedonkey @ 1:59 pm
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Bertha developed an eye overnight and was upgraded to hurricane strength this morning. The gradual but persistent intensification over the past several days will likely continue for another 72 hours until Bertha reaches cooler waters and less hospitable atmospheric shear.

Image: HWRF 126 hour wind speed forecast swath for July 7, 2008.

The storm is forecast to recurve out to sea and not bother land.

July hurricanes in the far Atlantic basin are rare. However, coincidentally, in 1996, Hurricane Bertha developed on July 7 as well and made landfall in North Carolina. Bertha tracked further south and encountered much warmer water allowing it to intensify to major hurricane status.

Bertha 1996 ( track)

There is no evidence and no one can make a scientifically honest statement that this storm’s strength is in any way related to global warming. Yet, it bears watching how the media and political scientists/opportunists will interpret this natural event.

Bertha nearing Hurricane Strength

Filed under: Hurricanes,Weather,Weather Briefing — climatedonkey @ 2:39 am
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Tropical Storm Bertha is continuing to race westward and slowly strengthen. As of the 11 pm advisory, Bertha’s maximum sustained winds were at 55 knots, just below the 64 knot threshold for hurricane strength. The satellite appearance has improved markedly with a burst of strong central convection.


A key to understanding Bertha’s intensity is the warmth or amount of fuel available in the ocean surface layer. The “heat content” map shows the track of Bertha towards a more favorable environment for intensification. However, it is still July, and there is a definite cap on maximum intensity possible, which would be at just under 100 knots or Category 3 strength. This would require perfect atmospheric conditions including very low shear but high relative humidity or “juice”. The likelihood of a US landfall is very low at this point in time, but not zero.

July 5, 2008

Only seven years left to stop global warming, increase taxes

Bleak warnings. Tipping points. Running out of time. Too late to do anything.

Yet, the EU for the past 3 years has implemented carbon trading schemes, which tax economic activity that relies on emissions of carbon dioxide. After these 3 years, it is still getting worse? So what was the benefit of the EU’s taxation scheme on carbon if global warming is going to become irreversible in 7 years? Clearly, according to recent polls (Most Britons Doubt Climate Change), at least the British are keen to the scientists overstating the certainty of their theories/results/ideas.

So, on July 4, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered another bleak assessment to the world: (AFP article cited)

only seven years remained for stabilising emissions of global-warming gases at a level widely considered safe…we would have to stabilise the greenhouse-gas concentration at more or less the level at which we are today.

“(…)But in order to do that, we have a window of opportunity of only seven years because emissions will have to peak by 2015 and reduce after that. We cannot permit a longer delay.


We cannot PERMIT a longer delay? This type of language is a bad sign coming from the head of a scientific group like the IPCC, or is it better described as a Political Action Committee these days? Why the urgency all of a sudden again? Well it is likely that the IPCC and the socialists believe that the public is losing interest because even after paying through the nose all of these new taxes, nothing is being accomplished.

Thus, it is timee to start blaming heat waves and floods and other current weather events on global warming. Gone is the usual refrain that “one cannot attribute one individual hurricane, flood, or heat wave to global warming”. Now scientists have concluded that yes! they have become more frequent because of climate change and we are seeing it now. This attribution science is very shaky at best and many conclusions are unfounded for sure.

Pachauri also sounded a note of caution about the 2 C (3.6 F) figure, as evidence was mounting that climate change was accelerating faster than thought. Heatwaves and floods were increasing, and higher temperatures were having a far-reaching effect on glaciers and snowfall.

The term “acceleration of global warming” will be the new and improved lingo during the next several months, as the IPCC and the socialists attempt to scare the hell out of the world once again.

June 28, 2008

Climate change searches: Google trends show waning interest.

A popular and easy tool to track the evolution of internet search engine requests is provided by Google Trends.


Each week, there are countless news pieces and press releases concerning zillions of climate change impacts, aspects, and prognostications about the atmosphere, ocean, and biosphere.

When searching for “climate change”, the following Google Trends plot is produced:

The change-points are labeled A-F with the most significant being the release of the IPCC climate change report beginning in early 2007.  After the Nobel Peace Prize presentation (F), and the beginning of Northern Hemisphere winter, interest in climate change crashed in late December 2007.  The bottom time series indicates a drop off in news reference volume going into 2008 that has not reached the hysteric levels of 2007.

This chart includes worldwide searches, with the rankings according to region stacking up as follows:

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. South Africa
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Canada
  6. Ireland
  7. Singapore
  8. India
  9. United States
  10. Switzerland

It follows that the top 6 out of 7 cities are located in Australia with the first three being Canberra, Adelaide, and Sydney.

In the United States, the top state searching for climate change is Vermont, with the District of Colombia, Alaska, Maine, and New Hampshire finishing the top-5, respectively.  The number one city is Boulder CO, where the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is located and is heavily involved in climate change research.  Very few surprises here.  The more liberally oriented (blue states) areas of the country tend to care more about envrionmental issues such as climate change.

A similar plot can be produced for “global warming” searches.  The drop off over the past few months is similar to the fall-off seen in the “climate change” search.  Interest in hurricanes has become almost non-existent.  With the exception of the 2004 and 2005 seasons, in which the 4-Florida landfalls and Katrina/Rita lit up the news wires, the past 30 months have seen little interest.


June 27, 2008

Eastern Pacific tropical systems: Boris and TD3

Filed under: Hurricanes — climatedonkey @ 8:43 pm
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Tropical Storm Boris was born earlier on Friday and is progressing slowly over the open waters of the North Eastern Pacific. As of 5 pm, NHC indicates that Boris has intensified slightly to 45 knots.


To Boris’ west, Tropical Depression 3 has been declared and will be named Cristina if it develops 34 knot maximum sustained winds.

June 20, 2008

Consensus Report on North American Climate is full of Conjecture

Filed under: Climate Change,Hurricanes — climatedonkey @ 5:02 am
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From my post at Climate Audit:

NOAA has released a well-manicured and comprehensive report on observed and conjectured changes in North American weather and climate extremes.
The Final Report of CCSP 2008 provides and up-to-date scientific collation of many peer-review studies along with a consensus interpretation like the UN IPCC AR4 reports. Some of the main findings are summarized in the handy “brochure” provided on the website:
I quote here from the NOAA press release

* Abnormally hot days and nights, along with heat waves, are very likely to become more common. Cold nights are very likely to become less common.
* Sea ice extent is expected to continue to decrease and may even disappear in the Arctic Ocean in summer in coming decades.
* Precipitation, on average, is likely to be less frequent but more intense.
* Droughts are likely to become more frequent and severe in some regions.
* Hurricanes will likely have increased precipitation and wind.
* The strongest cold-season storms in the Atlantic and Pacific are likely to produce stronger winds and higher extreme wave heights.

Along with attribution of the above observed changes to human activity, the report provides a likelihood estimate of future changes. Based upon model projections and expert judgment, it goes without saying that it is “very likely” that the extremes will continue into the future.

From the press release on the NOAA website, report co-chair Tom Karl of NCDC explains the motives of this report and goes on to answer the age-old question: is this flood or rain shower or hurricane caused by global warming? It is usually said as a matter-of-fact statement that one individual weather event cannot be attributed to global warming per se. However, it is likely that with global warming, we will see more of these events. Karl says as much,

This report addresses one of the most frequently asked questions about global warming: what will happen to weather and climate extremes? This synthesis and assessment product examines this question across North America and concludes that we are now witnessing and will increasingly experience more extreme weather and climate events.

This is a landmark document coming from NOAA, which has been lambasted in the past for allegedly censoring or silencing its scientists. Yet, it is an amalgamation of differing viewpoints on such issues as hurricanes and climate change, the obvious hot-button concern going forward into the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. With the terrible Midwest/Iowa flooding (not seen since 1993) ongoing, the report will get plenty of publicity in the same way that Emanuel’s 2005 Nature paper received after Hurricane Katrina. However, before attributing all observed phenomena to unnatural climate changes, we must not forget that natural climate variations exist and generate extremes all the time including plenty of weather systems. For instance, the tornado numbers as well as the Midwest flooding were largely expected from the record La Nina conditions seen in late 2007 to early 2008. With the continued negative values of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and large uncertainty in future ENSO conditions, natural climate variations are providing plenty of climate extremes all on their own.


June 11, 2008

Article XXXI of Kucinich Impeachment of Bush: Katrina


President Bush should have foreseen the ravages of Hurricane Katrina and “predicted” this disaster and prepared the federal government machine to “protect life and property” according to Dennis Kucinich’s impeachment articles.

…given decades of
foreknowledge of the dangers of storms to New Orleans and specific forewarning in the days prior to
the storm…

This type of statement is almost as credible as saying that Bush caused Katrina or global warming caused by Bush caused Katrina. Either way you look at it, Bush is responsible for the decades of decrepit living standards in New Orleans perpetrated by the Democrat Party in charge of the city and state. However, that has come to an end…Bobby Jindal … Just as Carter brought us Reagan, Katrina gave us Jindal.


The predictable increased strength of hurricanes such as Katrina has been identified by scientists for years, and yet the Bush Administration has denied this science and restricted such information from official reports, publications, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s website. Donald Kennedy, editor-in-chief of Science, wrote in 2006 that “hurricane intensity has increased with oceanic surface temperatures over the past 30 years. The physics of hurricane intensity growth … has clarified and explained the thermodynamic basis for these observations. [Kerry] Emanuel has tested this relationship and presented convincing evidence.”

This is poppycock. The Emanuel study was published 4 weeks prior to Katrina! Also, how does Bush divine the future and know that Science would declare “hurricane intensity has increased…” in 2006? NOAA scientists are continuing to investigate the linkages between Hurricanes and global warming even though some have said the science is settled (Al Gore). In fact, and surprisingly so to alarmists, the relationship between sea-surface temperature warming and hurricane intensity is not all that well understood. Global warming has little impact in tropical storms and hurricane numbers, NOAA reports
That doesn’t sound so cut and dried after all. This is bad science and a reflection of over 5 years of bad media reporting on the issue. No one in the tropical cyclone research field will challenge this, speak up, or say anything to the contrary. Academics are typically lefists and asserting cover-ups is getting just plain old.

May 30, 2008

McCain Raises Hurricane-Climate Link. Flashback to 2004.

Filed under: Hurricanes,Politicians and Climate — climatedonkey @ 7:06 am
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During Hurricane Jeanne’s meandering trip around the western Atlantic, a certain Senator from Arizona on lashed out at the Bush administration on climate change. This was September 22, 2004, not 2008, but before Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth and Leonardo DiCaprio’s garbage flick. The media was lapping up tons of negative news from all angles in an effort to win the election for John Kerry. So, it is ironic that 4 years later, McCain is running on a climate change / environmental change platform, which is a clear departure from Bush’s reticence on the issue.

As relayed by Andrew Freedman and Darren Samuelson, Environment & Energy Daily reporters,

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R -Ariz.) lashed out at the Bush administration’s climate change policies yesterday while raising questions about whether the large number of major hurricanes to make landfall in the United States so far this season may be an early manifestation of unchecked global warming.

Holy cow, talk about foreshadowing a whole mess of a controversy. But first, as with all politicians-wannabe-scientists (Khrushchev thought he was a genius in scientific areas as well), McCain regurgitates some talking points that some flunky aid provided:

In an interview after the hearing, McCain said there is a growing body of science that says the strength of hurricanes will intensify because of global warming, bringing to mind the scorching summer of 1988 when climate change first became a mainstream issue. During that summer, many started to connect heat and drought with man-made emissions, and some have compared those events to this year’s hurricane season.

Some who — some what — some, some, some. Some names would be helpful. Journalists and politicians love to create straw men to further their agendas. And growing body of science — what a important and legitimizing phraseology.

McCain has been pushing for legislation, S. 139, cosponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), that would force major energy, transportation and manufacturing companies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to year 2000 levels by 2010. The McCain-Lieberman bill was defeated last October, 43-55, and the senators have since been pressing Senate GOP leaders to schedule another vote on the legislation. In a series of six hearings before his committee this session, McCain has sought to link human activities with environmental changes such as Arctic ice cap melting and degradation of coral reefs.

Great, another bipartisan McCain-(insert favorite liberal) piece of legislation. Can’t wait for 4 years of this — seeking linkages between human activities and environmental changes like global warming.

McCain said a combination of extreme weather conditions, as well as melting polar ice caps, drought and other phenomena, could help convince the public to support his bill, though it still has a long way to go. But he added that lawmakers are so far reluctant to draw a link between greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and weather events. “I don’t think they’re making that close of a connection,” he said.

At least McCain is honest, he was whoring out disasters for this legislation back in 2004. This methodology has been practiced since by a whole slew of special interests on both sides of the aisle. Seems like a “call to action”. Trent Lott provided some sanity to the situation:

Asked if extreme weather might lead to passage of legislation such as McCain-Lieberman, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said, “I certainly hope not.”

So, the finale of the article in Environment and Energy Daily pretty much sums up McCain’s motives: Talking points begin in 3, 2, 1 …

McCain did not appear satisfied. “Any scientist who has appeared before this committee can tell you there’s a lot more that can be done, and the administration is doing very little,” he said, adding that he was particularly angered by the administration’s refusal to endorse his bill. McCain called S. 139 “a modest proposal,” one in which future generations will pay a “very heavy price” if it is not enacted into law.

This very heavy price must be the high price of gasoline and fuel we are paying already due to the strangulation of domestic energy production by the left-wing environmental lobby. So before Al Gore was on the climate change bandwagon and becoming extremely wealthy in the process (with considerable help from for publicity), John McCain was in the vanguard of the hurricanes and climate change search for linkages.

Now flash forward to May 29, 2008 — the bill is called Lieberman-Warner and Washington is in stitches from an anticipated rejection by McCain… Wall Street Journal — McWavering: What’s the Deal-Breaker for Lieberman-Warner?

Atlantic Hurricane Seasonal Forecasts — Politics and Hype Part II

Filed under: Hurricanes — climatedonkey @ 3:27 am
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May 17, 2004 – Hold the presses, NOAA forecasts another active hurricane season. — Also

If you want to pinpoint the beginning of the Hurricane and global warming linkage hysteria, the release of The Day after Tomorrow on May 28, 2004, Memorial Day weekend is probably a good place to look.

Fox spokesman Jeffrey Godsick says, “The real power of the movie is to raise consciousness on the issue of (global warming).”

From Patrick J. Michaels’ commentary in USA Today

This film is propaganda designed to shift the policy of this nation on climate change. At least that’s what I take from producer Mark Gordon’s comment that “part of the reason we made this movie” was to “raise consciousness about the environment.”

day after tomorrow

Question to ponder…how did the producer or spokeshole for Fox know anything about the dangers of climate change? This is prior to the media onslaught — who at this point are wrapped up in the 2004 campaign season (Swiftboat). Anyways, the picture of the giant hurricane in the movie highlights the media’s playing fast and loose with the facts (why let these get in the way your agenda).

Look at this delicious tidbit and how 4 years ago it rings so true today:

Will Godsick and Gordon get their way? They’re sure being aided and abetted by, the liberal advocacy group and billionaire George Soros’ policy toy. They’ve got Al Gore front and center, plumping the film. They’ve got their Web site using the movie to drum up support for legislation by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, which only failed by 12 votes last fall. There’s a huge drought out West, which a New York Times editorial blamed on global warming. The issue is hot enough to influence votes out there.

Anyone want to chime in and remind us what is exactly supposed to have us move on from? Why yes, it is the Clinton scandals, which is not shocking considering their rabid, Messiah-like adoration of Barak Obama. Even back in 2004, Pat Michaels rightly presages the connections between the far left including a kabal of Hollywood, Al Gore, and George Soros.

Okay, now back to Betty.

Betty, who was introduced to us in Part I, lives in Bradenton in a trailer with polyester curtains and a redwood deck. She tells her neighbors: well hell’s bells Gladys, y’all hear about those gov’ment forecasters talking ‘bout a whole crapload of hurricanes? Gladys is late for Bingo and could care less about hockey. Yet, the 2004 season ended being one of the most active since 1950, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 226, about triple of so-called normal.
NOAA’s 2004 seasonal forecast is also based on the likelihood that an upswing in the number of hurricanes that began in 1995 will continue. Every year since then, except 1997 and 2002 — both El Niño years — has seen an above average number of hurricanes…The current period seems to be much like the 1940s into the 1960s, which saw large numbers of Atlantic Basin storms, followed by a lull in hurricanes from the late 1960s through the early 1990s.
Notice, we didn’t read anything about global warming or climate change, but actually see some hint of cycles. There are peaks and valleys in hurricane activity…hmmm…who’d a thunk that?
NOAA says 12-15 tropical storms will form, 6-8 hurricanes, with 2-4 being major. The odds are 50% of an above-normal season, 40% of normal, and only 10% of below-average activity. Huh? Where do these odds come from – perhaps a vote of the forecasters/experts in the fancy weather bureau? Now we are given an uncertainty estimate of the seasonal forecast. What do we do with that?

NOAA: May 19, 2004 11-15 TROPICAL STORMS – 6-8 HURRICANES – 2-4 MAJOR — ACE 95-155


The May forecasts should look familiar again, they are about the same as 2002-2004. However, Betty in Bradenton was scared out of her wits by the criss-crossing tracks of Charley, Dennis, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan around/across Florida. After Charley forced her to think about evacuating, Betty began wondering if she should have taken that seasonal forecast more seriously.

hurricane tracks

Dr. Gray downgraded his forecast slightly in August, clearly not in the right direction. NOAA did the same to their ACE forecast (decreased), but rightly increased their predictions of hurricane numbers. Bottom line, mixed bag prediction, clearly not anticipatory of the record high ACE and 6 major hurricanes.

“The 2004 season was one to tell your grandchildren about,” said Max Mayfield, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center director. “I believe, and stress at every opportunity, that residents should have a plan, stay informed and act when told to do so by their local officials. We should mark November 30th not as the end of the 2004 hurricane season but the beginning of the six months we have to prepare for next season.”

Well, prior to that obvious statement about preparation, the left-wing media was in its full glory:

Washington Post: Warning in the Winds

Watching storm after powerful storm plow into the U.S. coastline this year, I can’t help wondering if the world’s weather is actually trying to tell us something. Perhaps it was only coincidence that Hurricane Frances was covering the whole of Florida with blinding winds and torrential rains just as George W. Bush climbed the podium in New York to speak to the Republican National Convention (while poor brother Jeb was forced to stay home in Tallahassee). But to someone like me, who has been tracking global warming and its effects around the world for several years, it almost seemed as though the storm was trying to deliver a forceful reminder of the reality of climate change and the need to act now to address it.

This is such a retarded comment and akin to some of the stupid things that Sharon Stone (China earthquake karma) and various evangelical preachers (i.e. New Orleans punished by Katrina for gays, Gay Disney and hurricanes in Florida) have said. The weather is trying to tell us something? You don’t have to be a high-minded bi-coastal elite to figure out that the author of this piece, Mark Lynas, is an environmental activist, global warming alarmist. Lynas also picks up on a highly publicized climate modeling study by Knutson and Tuleya (J Climate 2004). “According to Tom Knutson and Bob Tuleya, tropical climate modelers at the Princeton, N.J.-based Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, we can expect a 20 percent increase in rainfall, and damage due to increased wind speeds might rise as much as 10 percent.”

So, as an example of Cascade Information Theory (cross reference John Tierney’s Lab at the NY Times), Lynas takes a study that agrees with his position and then immediately applies it to the current situation — as if we are seeing global warming effects on hurricanes in front of our eyes. Here is the lame anecdotal evidence:

Already this year, as the NOAA graph suggests, the additional warming effect may be making itself felt. Although it’s statistically impossible to isolate a tiny change among the sheer volatility of hurricane behavior, that all becomes rather academic to those in harm’s way once the storms come onshore. After all, just a 2 percent increase in hurricane strength — my rough guess for global warming’s impact this year — means that many more people in Port Charlotte, Fla., lost the roofs to their houses last month thanks to Hurricane Charley. An inch of extra storm surge might not sound like much, but that just might be the inch — coming on top of a total 15 feet of higher water — that overtopped coastal embankments and flooded large areas of vulnerable low-lying Gulf coastline during the passage of Hurricane Ivan. It would certainly have made a major difference to me driving along the North Carolina Outer Banks during the height of Tropical Storm (later Hurricane) Gustav two years ago. I remember streamers of sand blowing off the tops of the dunes and a combination of torrential rain and horizontal spray reducing visibility to almost zero at times.

The clownish implications of this type of statement are rarely understood by journalists and it reoccurs over and over again. We can’t detect the changes in the data with ‘dem fancy statistics, but just ask Betty in Bradenton and she will tell you that she don’t need no more convincin’.

And the finale:

With only 4 percent of the Earth’s population, the United States is responsible for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Hence the quiet hope expressed by many on this side of the Atlantic that Alex, Charley, Frances and Ivan — and possibly Jeanne — might help open Washington’s eyes to the increasingly urgent need to confront climate change.

A busy hurricane season is used for agenda purposes, lovely. Again, Pat Michaels is a lonely voice in the wilderness to combat these silly assertions, especially those made by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Just after Ivan Michaels states, ” And so, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was just in Washington to visit Senator John Kerry, where he conflated Hurricane Ivan with dreaded global warming.” He continues, “I like just about everything about Blair. He’s smart, affable and a real friend to a nation that needs some. But he’s way off on global warming, and advising Kerry to bail out his campaign with apocalyptic climate hype invites a grilling by the climate truth squad, a rather large body of weather nerds in a weather-fixated country.”

Well, in Part III, I will discuss some more headlines from the 2004 season and the reaction by tropical cyclone scientists to the Knutson and Tuleya (2004) study. It is very interesting to read the quotes from these same scientists 4 years later as Knutson et al. (2008) was published and highly publicized by NOAA.

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