Marlo Lewis: Hansen on Extreme Weather — Pat and Chip Respond

Last week, I posted a commentary on NASA scientist James Hansen’s study and op-ed, which attribute recent extreme weather to global climate change. In the op-ed, Hansen stated:

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.

My commentary concluded: “Hansen’s sweeping assertion that global warming is the principal cause of the European and Russian heat waves, and the Texas-Oklahoma drought, is not supported by event-specific analysis and is implausible in light of previous research.”

Although Hansen does not explicitly attribute the ongoing U.S. drought to global warming, he does blame global warming for both the 2011 Texas-Oklahoma drought and the current summer heat. And in his study, Hansen states: “With the temperature amplified by global warming and ubiquitous surface heating from elevated greenhouse gas amounts, extreme drought conditions can develop.”

This week on World Climate Report, Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger argue that the current U.S. drought “is driven by natural variability not global warming.” Their post (“Hansen Is Wrong“) is concise and layman-friendly. Here I offer an even briefer summary.

A standard measure of drought in the U.S. is the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), which measures the combined effects of temperature (hotter weather = more soil evaporation) and precipitation (more rainfall = more soil moisture). “The more positive the PDSI values, the wetter conditions are, the more negative the PDSI values, the drier things are.” The PDSI for the past 117 years (1895-2011) shows a small non-significant positive trend (i.e. towards wetter conditions). There is no greenhouse warming signal in this data.

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8 responses to “Marlo Lewis: Hansen on Extreme Weather — Pat and Chip Respond

  1. “The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change”

    NO! It’s all LOCAL weather!

  2. Weather is climate only when the alarmists SAY it is. The unusually mild tornado season in the central US and the equally calm hurricane seasons along the US Atlantic Coast in recent years are of course irrelevant to *GLOBAL* warming.

  3. I tend to read remarks like Hansen’s above, i.e. knowing fraud, as a voluntary resignation from the scientific community.

  4. The Russian heat wave and coincident Pakistani floods in 2010 were predicted, as to their beginning and the end, by Piers Corbyn well in advance based on Solar-Lunar techniques. Weather and climate are directly attributable to our Sun and Moon. This is well documented and I tire of these events being blamed on AGW, nor are they random events. There is an attributable cause. Hansen can show no direct equivalent evidence. There isn’t any.

    • Doubting Thomas

      Trouble is you can’t regulate and tax sunshine or moonshine (at least not the kind you can’t drink). I remember reading years ago research about the how variances in the sunspot activity and solar activity in general seemed to cause changes in short term weather patterns, if not climate in general.

      Now you never see much research about the sun’s effect on climate. It’s funny how the climatologists run with marginal forcing factors for their modeling, but never seem to need new solar data to improve their calculations on the solar effect. We know the solar contribution to climate is not zero. (Even the believers must agree with that). Wouldn’t you think climate researchers would want more precise solar data to improve thier models?

      It’s obvious it’s a done deal. No more research is needed concerning solar contribution. The IPCC said they considered it, and decided it wasn’t a major factor. So that was the end of further research in that direction. CO2’s where all the money is. No grant money for you to possibly contradict the concensus.

      • You said a mouthful DT. As moderator of a solar science forum, I have had an opportunity to see, from the solar experts, how and why the Sun has so much effect on our planet. Judith Lean, the sole solar scientist that the IPCC relied upon to dismiss the Sun as a “forcing” based solely on her own paper which is highly disputed, bit off a big problem and so far has managed to fend off all comers. Lord knows why?.

  5. Record cold temps forecast for U.S. upper mid-west tonight. Will that shut them up? They only talk about the weather when they think it helps them.

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