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Ex-Hurricane Katia on its way

Paul Hudson | 16:30 UK time, Saturday, 10 September 2011

There's been much in the media in the last few days about Hurricane Katia which is expected to travel across the Atlantic and batter parts of the UK on Monday.

By that time it will have lost its hurricane status, and have been downgraded to a 'post tropical storm'.

This is because hurricanes can only develop when sea temperatures are greater than 27C, and once this source of energy is removed, as it travels across the Atlantic, it's strength will subside - although it will remain a powerful weather system.

Ex-hurricanes affecting the UK are nothing new. We only have to go back to 2009 when an even earlier Ex Hurricane (or post tropical storm) Bill brought severe gales to the UK on August 25th.

There has been growing concensus through the day that Katia is likely to be positioned on Monday off the far Northwest coast of Scotland.

Further south, across our region, if this forecast track is correct, estimates are for gusts to reach 50-60mph in many areas, but locally in more exposed places around 70mph is possible.

Wind speeds like this are nothing new, and occur several times a year, particularly in Autumn and Winter.

Should the storm system be further north, wind speeds would be lower. Further south, and wind speeds could be higher.

With trees in full leaf, this could lead to the potential at least of some trees being uprooted, especially where the ground is now soft, for example in Pennine areas where it's been quite wet of late, and high sided vehicles would be vulnerable.

I'll be monitoring this and will update if necessary on sunday and monday.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Paul,
    Absolutely nothing has been done at Bridgewater Place in Leeds after the incident that led to a fatality in March this year. The wind is funnelled down to the ground by the building.

    This event on Monday and Tuesday, with its strong westerly winds, will lead to very similar winds. A jet streak is also forecast which forces winds down to the surface level.

    I fear Monday or Tuesday will lead to severe consequences around that area as the council have done nothing to repair the danger they created by allowing Bridgewater Place to be built.

    I am posting this in order that any incident around Bridgewater Place can not be deemed as "unexpected". It is an accident waiting to happen. The council would be culpable.

  • Comment number 2.

    PS I have taken a screenshot of that post, so if the council do nothing from now until Monday morning, I will release it under FOI.

  • Comment number 3.

    And I will quote.

    "Tim Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, said as part of the original planning application, a wind assessment was carried out on behalf of the developer, which indicated "the impact the building would have on wind speed would be minimal".

    He added: "However, since the building was completed, there have been unforeseen wind effect issues around it."

    Mr Riordan said developers and architects were undertaking work with a wind engineering consultancy to identify the "most effective solution to resolve the ongoing issues".

    He added: "Following the tragedy on Thursday afternoon, however, we are looking urgently at other ways of making the area safer.""

    We need to know what improvement to the area Mr Riordan's investigations have led to. It has been 6 months. I do not want to see another tragedy on the 12th or 13th September.

  • Comment number 4.

    And again I have screenshots. No hillwalking...

  • Comment number 5.

    QuaesoVeritas. On a previous blog, you said that the UK isn't a reflection of what is happening in Global temperatures. So the current economic climate in the UK, is nothing to do with what is happening in the rest of the world. We don't live in a closed system. The current windy weather being caused by a Hurricane that missed the USA.

  • Comment number 6.

    New scientists actually call it a extratropical storm;
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20895-does-katia-mean-more-hurricanes-are-coming-to-europe.html

    I'm not looking forward to cycling to work in the morning about 5:30am. There were already some small branches down on my route after the winds of last week.

  • Comment number 7.

    Sheffield_city,
    I had intended to point out that global climate and the global economy are two different things, but on reflection, they are similar.
    However, while the global economy does, of course, influence the UK economy, and the global climate does influence the UK climate, the two are often out of synch. with each other.
    In the case of the economy, they are more likely to be in synch. since there are deliberate policies to make that happen, but that is not the case with the climate.
    To say that global temperatures are not increasing because the UK temperatures are not increasing is like saying that the entire world has a budget deficit becuase the UK has a budget deficit.
    The windy weather which will hit the UK tomorrow and Tuesday may be caused by a hurricane which started across the other side of the Atlantic, but that is a short-term weather phenomenon, not climate.

  • Comment number 8.

    "To say that global temperatures are not increasing because the UK temperatures are not increasing is like saying that the entire world has a budget deficit becuase the UK has a budget deficit."

    The Met Office were quite happy to say the UK was warming because of global warming in the late 90s.

    Strange how it only works one way, isn't it?

  • Comment number 9.

    PingoSan wrote:

    "The Met Office were quite happy to say the UK was warming because of global warming in the late 90s."

    On average it still is;
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/anomalygraphs/

    "Strange how it only works one way, isn't it?"

    The only way it works is the way the evidence indicates - and you think it strange?

  • Comment number 10.

    PingoSan,
    Ironically, as sceptic myself, I find myself arguing on the side of the "warmists".
    What I am saying is that it is illogical to say that because we have recently had colder winters in the UK, that means that global temperatures are not rising.
    I agree however, that in the past the UKMO has used warm temperatures in the UK as evidence of "global warming".
    However, we cannot criticize the UKMO for doing that while at the same time using the opposite argument against AGW.
    Otherwise, temperatures in the UK, whether high or low, cannot be used as a direct proxy for global temperatures.
    Otherwise, two wrongs do not make a right.

  • Comment number 11.

    for everyone who thinks this is a product of global warming we used to get weather like this when i was a child (70s-80s) and it wasn't the end of the world then and it isn't now

  • Comment number 12.

    From the (very sparce) data related to wind speed on the UKMO website,
    it appears that average wind speed has fallen by about 0.3 mph in the UK,
    between 1961-90 and 1971-2000.
    Average wind speed fell in 22 of the 26 locations for which figures are available,
    and in 78% of the months for which monthly averages are available in those locations.
    No figures yet available for 1981-2010.

  • Comment number 13.

  • Comment number 14.

  • Comment number 15.

    mjmwhite,
    Do we know if these were genuine Hurricanes or simply strong winds.
    It is possible that the press were prone to exaggeration even in 1881!

  • Comment number 16.

    QuaesoVeritas - 300 people dead. May be an exaggeration I suppose

  • Comment number 17.

    Strictly speaking "hurricaines" do not occur in Britain. We may get "hurricaine force" winds occasionaly, or storms which originated as hurricaines (as now) - but not the real thing.

    Occurance of hurricaines does not have to be be linked to warmer temperatures in UK. They may increase due perhaps to warmer water in the tropics (as predicted) whilst temps here are taking a dip. Yet the whole sequence can still be attributed to a pattern of "global warming" without logical contradiction because, obviously, the climate and weather is an interlocking system with different sometimes contradictory affects in different places..

  • Comment number 18.

    mjmwhite,
    Sorry, are you saying that because 300 people were killed, it must have been a Hurricane?

  • Comment number 19.

    The NASA/GISS temperature anomalies for August are as follows:
    Global = 0.61c (revised July = 0.59c), equivalent to 0.5c for 1961-90.
    NH = 0.59c (July = 0.64c), equivalent to 0.53c for 1961-90.
    SH = 0.63c (July = 0.55c), equivalent to 0.49c for 1961-90.
    So, a slight rise in the global figure, resulting from a slight fall in the NH and a larger rise in the SH. The SH anomaly relative to 1961-90 puts it very close to the equivalent UAH anomaly of 0.531c, but a long way from the equivalent RSS figure of 0.263c. So while NH figures seem to be in agreement, there is an increasing discrepancy in those for the SH.

  • Comment number 20.

    On the 16th of January 1881, an area of low pressure developed over the Azores. On the 17th, this disturbance moved northeastward and was centered near the southern part of the Bay of Biscay. On the 18th, the storm center moved over the English Channel. The storm produced violent easterly gales over the North Sea and at nearly all weather stations on the British Isles, while strong westerly gales occurred in the Bay of Biscay, and in western France. On the 18th, an unusually heavy fall of snow occurred in England and in the northern half of France. In the southern counties of England, the snowfall ranged from ten to eighteen inches, and in some instances, the latter amount may have been exceeded. Snowdrifts of four to twelve feet were general over southern England, and, in some cases they attained a depth of twenty feet. The number of deaths due to the snow in England and Wales is estimated at a hundred. In Paris, France, the snowfall caused hundreds of market-wagons to be abandoned near the suburbs of Paris, in the heavy drifts, which had formed, and many of the streets of Paris were completely blocked. By the 19th, the storm center had moved over Belgium and Holland and then into Germany. By the 20th, the center had moved into eastern Prussia. On the 21st, the center was over central Russia. On the 22nd, the center was in the vicinity of the Ural Mountains

    On 14-19 October 1881, a violent hurricane struck England. There was great destruction of life and property. Houses were thrown down or unroofed. Large trees were torn up by the roots. Telegraph wires and poles were blown down. There were about 130 wrecks of which 105 were British.

    Impact (www.breadandbutterscience.com)

  • Comment number 21.

    Further to my post #52 in the previous blog topic, I have noticed that in fact, the S.H. HadSST2 figure for August has not been updated in the data files as I had thought.
    My estimate of 0.321c for the S.H. HadCRUT3 figure was therefore based on July's HadSST2 figure, which I mistakenly thought was the August figure.
    The August HadSST2 figure still does not seem to have been updated, but based on the global average and the N.H. figure, I have calculated it to be 0.266c, down from 0.306c in July.
    Using the figure of 0.266c, I now estimate the HadCRUT3 S.H. figure to be 0.273c, which together with the N.H. estimate of 0.559c, produces a global average of 0.416c, which is much closer to my estimate for the global anomaly of 0.417c.
    The fall in the HadSST2 and estimated HadCRUT3 S.H. anomalies is in line with both UAH and RSS but it does make the quite large rise in the NASA/GISS S.H. anomaly look incongruous.

  • Comment number 22.

    jkiller56 # 17

    'Yet the whole sequence can still be attributed to a pattern of "global warming" without logical contradiction because, obviously, the climate and weather is an interlocking system with different sometimes contradictory affects in different places..'

    or can simply be attributed to normal climate variability if you dont happen to fall for the AGW rhetoric

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 23.

    to ukpahonta #20

    This is perhaps a rather technical, even pedantic point - but as far as I am aware - true hurricanes do not occur in this part of the world. We may have ex-hurricanes (a la Monty Python!) or have very violent winds, but not the real thing. Unfortunately the word "hurricane" tends to get attached to any temperate depression of exceptional violence ( as in the famous 1987 case).

    I believe one of the crucial differences is that a true hurricane has no frontal system in it - whereas a temperate depression, however violent, always will have.
    True hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones have a particular structure - almost circular with a near calm "eye" at the centre and are usually much smaller in diameter than a temperate depression.
    Dependant on very warm sea temperatures for their genesis and sustenance, once they wander into colder temperate waters, they generally weaken, lose their structure and become absorbed into the typical temperate depression pattern though may still remain pretty violent.

    However, with a wind violent enough to kill 300 people, I don't suppose anyone at the time really cared what it was called!

    I hope this helps and does not sound too pedantic.

  • Comment number 24.

    jkiller56
    By the late 19th century a great deal of knowledge was available about weather probably from trading journeys and expeditions but I will not disagree with you.

    How about this wonderfull description of a tornado in 1662:

    'On 30 July there was a prodigious storm of hail at Ormskirk, England. Hailstones were four inches about and more. In the afternoon, on Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire, rose a pillar of smoke twenty yards broad and as high as a church steeple, which making a hideous noise, went along the ground for six or seven
    miles, leveling all before it. It threw down strong stone fences, and carried the stones to a great distance from their former places. But falling on a moorish ground, it did little damage. Its noise frightened cattle; they ran out of its way and were saved. A cornfield it passed over was laid flat with the ground, as
    though it had been trodden with feet. It went through a wood and tore up 100 trees by the root. Coming into a mowed field with hay ready to be carried off, it swept all away so as scarce a handful was ever found. From this forest it went to Taxhall, then to Waily-bridge, and then to the Derbyshire Mountains,where it vanished.'

  • Comment number 25.

    ukpahonta - agreed, such a vivid description. Thanks for posting that.

  • Comment number 26.

    So far in 2011 there have been 10 extreme weather events in the lower 48 US states that have caused +$1 billion damage each. There have been five separate tornado events, two severe floods, one prolonged drought with associated heatwave and prolonged fire storm, a hurricane and a winter blizzard.

    These are just the events that top $1b each, remember. Numerous all time state monthly and summer heat and drought records have also been shattered. Total cost in 2011 to date (not including hurricane Irene, and with hurricane season still active) is +$35 billion: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/reports/billionz.html

    Looking back at that data to 1980, the average number of extreme events causing damage in excess of $1b is 3 per year. The trend between 1980 and present is rising at +2 such events per decade. It appears to be accelerating, because if you take just the last decade the trend is +4 such events per decade.

    Most of these events, including winter blizzards, may be attributable, at least in part, to excess heat energy in the climate system. (Increased winter precipitation and spring flooding in the mid-west were specifically identified in the 2009 US EPA 'CO2 Endangerment Warning'.) Only 'freeze' events fall clearly outside of that range. There were four +$1b freeze events in the US in the eight years from 1983-1990, but the last one occurred in 1998.

    Judging by the US record, severe weather events conducive to increased heat energy in the climate system are increasing in frequency. The material cost of these is running into tens of billions of dollars per year in reparation alone. Setting aside the obvious human costs, the people paying for this are you and I via our insurance premiums. Massive continuing losses to global underwriters will have to be recovered.

    The physical impacts of climate change are surely obvious enough now to any reasonable person. The UN and every national scientific academy are very clear about where most of the heat energy increase is coming from. To my mind we have a choice: pay a lot now to mitigate the effects of the changing climate, or pay even more later to repair the damage.

  • Comment number 27.

    @ 26

    Hang on a cotton picking minute. Despite your protestations i was under the direct impression that NO link had been made between extreme weather events and cAGW had been estabilished?

    Glossing over the rampant assumptions in your post, you have to question the validity of using 3 decades worth of data to form your basis of a rise in events.

  • Comment number 28.

    @26



    I may be an infant in the science of statistics, but shouldn't your figures be adjusted for:
    1. Inflation: the thirty year old billion dollars bought a lot more than the current one.
    2. Thirty years of mankind's urban spread - making more property to damage.

  • Comment number 29.

    27. LabMunkey wrote:

    Three decades of data has been regarded as the "classic standard" by the WMO and UNEP since the publication of the first IPCC report in 1998 at least.

    Recently on this blog posters have promoted the validity of ten years of temperature data, which I agree is ludicrous.

    What assumptions have I made by the way?

  • Comment number 30.

    28. delphinitaly:

    1. From the link in my post:

    "Billion Dollar U.S. Disaster costs have now been adjusted to 2011 dollars using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as noted below".

    2. I'd say you're probably right here to an extent. But I doubt that population growth accounts for the twofold increase seen in +$1b extreme weather events in the past decade. I stand to be corrected.

  • Comment number 31.

    "Most of these events, including winter blizzards, may be attributable, at least in part, to excess heat energy in the climate system."

    I'll take that as a definite maybe.

    Honestly, this is a simply hand picked string of random events bound up in conjecture. Part of your '30 years' climate very neatly avoids the last cold PDO phase which is known to have a large effect on the frequency of cyclones. The ACE index shows that throughout the warm PDO phase, total cyclone energy has a decreasing trend. It is likely that this trend will reverse over the next 30 yrs and, no doubt, some people will blame this on AGW. No doubt, others will fall for it - as you appear to have.

  • Comment number 32.

    Three decades of data for something like extreme weather events- something (iirc) that is not directly understood to be an indicator of climatic change, seems odd. What does the pre-1980 data show?

    Again, I was under the direct impression that Extreme weather events, with the specific example of hurricanes, were declining rather than increasing?
    Further, the increased damage and loss of human life has more to do with an ever expanding population than the release of some trace gas. Though I see you’re now including record colds as a predictor of global warming, so that will help you somewhat.

    As for the assumptions:
    “It appears to be accelerating, because if you take just the last decade the trend is +4 such events per decade”
    -Using 1 third of a VERY small data set to establish a rise in a trend is not statistically viable.


    “Most of these events, including winter blizzards, may be attributable, at least in part, to excess heat energy in the climate system”
    -Assumption based off a priori position, not any scientific evidence.

    “Judging by the US record, severe weather events conducive to increased heat energy in the climate system are increasing in frequency”
    -Assumption (the conducive qualifier is a dead giveaway) and in direct contradiction to the hurricane example I gave above. Further there Is more to the world than the US.

    As for the rest:
    “The physical impacts of climate change are surely obvious enough now to any reasonable person.”
    -They’ve been evident for century’s mate; the recent ‘spate’ is not unusual.

    “The UN and every national scientific academy are very clear about where most of the heat energy increase is coming from.”
    -This is muddy to say the least. The UK Royal society is carefully pulling their legs from under this particular meeting table, I’d be wary on using this as ‘evidence’. As for the UN, don’t get me started.

    “Only 'freeze' events fall clearly outside of that range. There were four +$1b freeze events in the US in the eight years from 1983-1990, but the last one occurred in 1998.”
    -The US is not the whole world, the UK for example has had 3 VERY severe winters on the trot.

    This however “To my mind we have a choice: pay a lot now to mitigate the effects of the changing climate, or pay even more later to repair the damage. “ I actually agree with.
    The climate always has, always will change, mitigation%

  • Comment number 33.

    . . . and if it's connected in any way to global warming, please explain exactly why we should have such 'extreme' weather this year when according to RSS, so far we are only hovering around the 10th warmest. Or put another way, the second coldest of the century. CAGW sure does move in mysterious ways.

  • Comment number 34.

    "CAGW sure does move in UNTESTABLE AND UNVERIFIABLE ways"

    There, fixed that for you :-)

  • Comment number 35.

    31. lateintheday wrote:

    "...this is a simply hand picked string of random events bound up in conjecture..."

    I provided the direct link to the data provided by the NCDC. It's their data, not mine. If you can reference pre 1980 US data I'll gladly add it to my own records.

  • Comment number 36.

    32. LabMunkey wrote:

    [I was under the direct impression that Extreme weather events, with the specific example of hurricanes, were declining rather than increasing?]

    Going by the US NCDC data that doesn't seem to be the case.

    [I see you’re now including record colds as a predictor of global warming, so that will help you somewhat]

    I specifically isolated record colds, i.e. 'freezes'. I included blizzards as possibly linked to warming as the US EPA warned of increased winter precipitation in December 2009, over a year before the 2011 +$1b blizzard.

    [-Using 1 third of a VERY small data set to establish a rise in a trend is not statistically viable.]

    Agreed. I hope that those who prefer to point out the 'cooling' trend in the last 10 years of HadCRUT3 data are reading. I did use the caveat 'appear to be increasing', so it's not an assumption as such.

    [-Assumption based off a priori position, not any scientific evidence.]

    Again I tempered this with the use of the word 'may'; so it's not assumed - it's postulated.

    [“Judging by the US record, severe weather events conducive to increased heat energy in the climate system are increasing in frequency”

    -Assumption (the conducive qualifier is a dead giveaway) and in direct contradiction to the hurricane example I gave above. Further there Is more to the world than the US.]

    I made it clear in the sentence that I was referring specifically to US data. I would argue that heat waves, droughts, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms and even blizzards can all be attributable to excess heat energy in the climate system.

    As for the RS: I haven't seen any evidence that they are moving from their position stated last year, i.e. that climate is changing and human activity is largely responsible.

    I agree that climate has always changed. I also agree that CO2 is not always the driving force in climate change. But I think the weight of the evidence supports the consensus scientific view that it currently is.

  • Comment number 37.

    33. lateintheday wrote:

    [please explain exactly why we should have such 'extreme' weather this year when according to RSS, so far we are only hovering around the 10th warmest. Or put another way, the second coldest of the century]

    Those are global surface temperatures. Heat energy is manifest in many other ways. For instance Arctic sea ice reached either its lowest (University of Bremen) or second lowest (NSIDC) extent in the satellite record this September. That requires an investment of heat energy. As does the extreme weather itself. Hurricanes strip heat energy out of the ocean and convert it into kinetic energy at the surface.

    I would also direct you to labmonkey's advice above about selecting tiny subsets of data from a set that goes back over 30 years. RSS current 30 year trend is warming by +0.16C per decade.

  • Comment number 38.

    There’s rapidly becoming too many points to address (as is typical of this debate and such a nebulous theory) so I’ll stick to the important ones:
    “Going by the US NCDC data that doesn't seem to be the case.”
    -Other data contradicts that, for one of many examples see:
    http://policlimate.com/tropical/index.html

    “I specifically isolated record colds, i.e. 'freezes'. I included blizzards as possibly linked to warming as the US EPA warned of increased winter precipitation in December 2009, over a year before the 2011 +$1b blizzard.”
    -Extrapolation this time- how many years did they get their predictions wrong? 1 year an accurate conclusion does not make 

    “Agreed. I hope that those who prefer to point out the 'cooling' trend in the last 10 years of HadCRUT3 data are reading.”
    -I’m half with you on this- while I agree that ten years is not a statistically significant cooling trend, the reasons it IS significant is because it is at odds with all the predictions.

    “I did use the caveat 'appear to be increasing', so it's not an assumption as such.”
    -It stands as an assumption as you are deliberately trying to portray a conclusion that is not supported by the data. The change in the short section of THAT data supports your stance, so you’re shoe-strung it. It doesn’t work that way. You’re wrong (for now).

    “I would argue that heat waves, droughts, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms and even blizzards can all be attributable to excess heat energy in the climate system. “
    -Then you’d have to demonstrate it or provide/link evidence for it.

    “I also agree that CO2 is not always the driving force in climate change. But I think the weight of the evidence supports the consensus scientific view that it currently is.”
    -I disagree that the evidence does that; at best it gives a possibility, but there is nothing apart from the models that ‘unites’ any of the theoretical aspects or indeed, lines of evidence for this theory. If there were we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

  • Comment number 39.

    38. LabMunkey:

    There are different indexes by which to judge hurricanes. One is by cost in damage (according to NCDC these are slightly increasing since 1980; the trend in +0.3 per decade). Another is by total wind generated. Obviously the former will depend on things like landfall, shipping routes, etc.

    As far as I understand it the frequency of major storms (3-5 intensity), as opposed to 'all' storms has increased slightly over the past 30 years, with 2004/2005 being the worst two consecutive years (seven 3-5 storms) on records going back to 1851. Unfortunately I can't reference this at present as I only have it on a spreadsheet.

    Re the EPA: 2009 was their first CO2 endangerment warning as far as I know.

    If a dataset has an overall trend of 2 per something, but the data at the latter end of it rises to 4 per something, then this is an 'apparent' increase. Just as HadCRUT3 data from 2002-present shows an 'apparent' levelling off of temperature rise. That said, I accept your observation that both are too short a series from which to draw any conclusions.

    I'll get back to you with the evidence re extreme events and increased heat energy.

    Lastly, I disagree with your disagreement! (I see what you mean about too many lines of discussion.) There is quantifiable evidence that greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing in the atmosphere and that most of these are arising from human activity. There is quantifiable evidence of increased back-radiation from the atmosphere to the surface at the frequencies at which GHGs adsorb IR. Likewise there is quantifiable evidence of reduced outgoing IR at the top of the atmosphere at the frequencies at which CO2 absorbs IR. Lastly there is quantifiable evidence of CO2's efficacy as greenhouse gas.

    You may disagree, but all of these quantifiable threads, none of which rely on modelling, firmly support AGW theory; none contradicts it.

  • Comment number 40.

    @ 40

    "There are different indexes by which to judge hurricanes"
    Yeah, it's often a tricky assessment- personally i'd put more trust in size, wind speed and severity than economic damage reports, the latter is exceptionally variable on it's own, even without taking into account the ACTAUL damage caused.

    "If a dataset has an overall trend of 2 per something, but the data at the latter end of it rises to 4 per something, then this is an 'apparent' increase"
    It is, but the context you gave suggested that it was significant. When talking on scientific matters your choice of language has to be VERY exact- which is probably why i picked up on it- not so much on the observation, but the terminology used.

    The two factors to consider here are:
    1) the length of the data set- if the 30 years is the minimum to detect a trend, then you've got a very real possibility that you're missing natural fluctuations in that space. 3 x the minimum trend will help you there.
    2) it could just be a blip- the data series is too small and the rise too insignifcant to suggest anything significant.

    "I'll get back to you with the evidence re extreme events and increased heat energy."
    Cool

    "Lastly, I disagree with your disagreement......"

    These are all evidence that can support aspects of the cAGW theory, but many do not support the theory as a whole.

    Listing your points in order:
    1-Yes co2 is rising, i'd argue the detection (the ch3/4 mess), but i don't argue that humans are adding to the amount. This doesn't support cAGW, it is just necessary FOR cAGw.
    2-Not so sure on this, the measurements have in-built assumptions (black body, flat plane, no roation etc)
    3-Basically, Fine on this.
    4-Again fine on this.

    The problem you have is that even though co2 is rising (regardless of the attribution) and even thought we can detect that co2 is absorbing some IR in the atmosphere, and even though we know in an ideal model that co2 is a potent ghg- this DOES NOT mean that it applies to the whole climate. It's a logical fallacy. None of this actually supports the theory, only enables it. There's a distinction there which you should be able to recognise.

    It's an important one as once you realise that, then the whole 'multiple lines of evidence' line becomes simply untennable.

    note- this is not to say that there ISN'T evidence FOR cAGW, just that the ones you list are not 'good' enough and the ones that do support are still incomplete.

    Finally- all of your 'evidence' assumes net

  • Comment number 41.

    pre-emptive post cut off it would seem.

    Post 40 should have finished:

    ..assumes net positive feedbacks, which is the 'king' assumption in this theory.

  • Comment number 42.

    On 8 September 1900, a great Atlantic hurricane struck Galveston, Texas in the United States causing between 8,000 – 12,000 deaths.

    1900 A.D. On 7 April 1900, there was a great cloudburst and floods in Texas in the United States, about 40 deaths and vast loss of property

    During 8-19 August 1899, a great Atlantic hurricane struck the island of Puerto Rico and the Carolinas in the United States causing 3,433 deaths

    On 30 June-5 July 1899, there was an overflow of the Brazos River in Texas in the United States, which caused great damage. This flood caused an estimated 100 to 300 deaths.

    On 12-13 June 1899, tornadoes struck the upper Mississippi [River], Wisconsin and Minnesota in the United States. New Richmond was almost destroyed, about 200 persons killed and many injured

    On 27-28 April 1899, a cyclone [tornado] devastated Kirkville and Newtown, Missouri in the United States. It caused about 100 deaths

    Winter of 1898 / 1899 A.D. In the United States, the Mississippi River froze its entire length down to the Gulf of Mexico.

    Winter of 1897 / 1898 A.D. On 12 January 1898, a tornado struck Fort Smith, Arkansas in the United States. Thirty-three people were killed outright, 19 died from injuries. Property loss was estimated at $450,000. [In present currency, that would be equivalent to $12 million in damages based on the
    Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rates.

    On 29 September 1896, there was a disastrous storm in the eastern United States, with much loss of life. The bridge at Columbia was destroyed. The town of Cedar Keys was destroyed

    When the Saint Louis tornado of 27 May 1896 reached the Mississippi River, it wrecked nearly every boat and filled the water with people struggling for life. Steamboats, wharf boats and barges were swept from their moorings and cast adrift in almost a solid line. These included 25 steamers (10 large passenger
    steamers, 5 ferryboats, 2 transfer boats, 2 tugboats and half a dozen small pleasure barges.) Some of the boats overturned and sunk immediately. Other boats were blown to the other side of the river where they crashed and wrecked

    Just the US going back from 1900
    If you want it all:
    http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/Weather.pdf (Over 9Mb)

  • Comment number 43.

    Last post should have read:

    If you want it all 0AD-1900AD, all countries from referenced sources:
    http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/Weather.pdf (Over 9Mb)

  • Comment number 44.

    40. LabMunkey wrote:

    Thanks for the response. Re hurricanes: I found this data from NOAA: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastint.shtml There is a slight increasing trend in hurricanes of strength 3-5 over the US record (since 1851) but this is not statistically significant.

    The acceleration in the extreme weather data is too recent and short term to be of statistical significance. But it is certainly worth keeping an eye on. And I'm sure US insurance companies will be doing so.

    30 years is considered the 'classic standard' for discerning climate trends from annual temperature data. According to the UNEP and WMO this is considered long enough to determine whether there is an underlying direction behind all the noise. The problem with using more than 30 years' data is that you run the risk of masking a trend by incorporating too much 'old' data that was recorded before any new forcing became influential. It's never going to be perfect.

    Re evidence for climate change influencing extreme weather: there are a couple of peer reviewed papers on this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21331040?dopt=Abstract&holding=npg , and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21331039?dopt=Abstract&holding=npg

    This report is interesting and gives them some context: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110907/full/477148a.html

    Re 'evidence': for back radiation see: http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    All these lines of enquiry 'enable' AGW theory in that they provide evidence that things which we would expect to see happening if AGW theory is true are indeed happening. Personally I would call this 'supporting evidence' for the theory; not just 'enabling' evidence.

    I don't see how it differs from, for instance, the way the spatial distribution of plant and animal species provides supporting evidence for the theory of evolution.

    The researchers made a testable hypothesis, they tested it, and they found that the evidence supported the hypothesis. It doesn't prove that the hypothesis is true, but it is supporting evidence none the less, imv.

  • Comment number 45.

    42. ukpahonta:

    That's an interesting site. As you know the claim being made is not that extreme weather events in the US (at least) are unprecedented, only that their frequency may be increasing, and possibly their intensity.

    Unfortunately I don't have time to go through the whole article year by year. I have found NOAA data from 1851 of cat 3-5 hurricanes in the US and there does not appear to be any discernible trend (apart from a very slight increase in frequency over time). There is a more pronounced upward trend in damaging hurricanes between 1980 and the present (0.3 per decade increase), but this may not be the best way to judge the true severity of the storms.

    However hurricanes are only one category of extreme weather. The list I've made from the NCDC data (since 1980) includes floods, heat waves-drought-wildfires, tropical storms, tornadoes, blizzards and severe frosts.

    I have put these on a spreadsheet for analysis and the results are as stated in my first post on this thread. Using 'damage caused = +$1b' as a proxy indicator for severity, then the increase in frequency of extreme weather events in the US since 1980 is statistically significant. The frequency of damaging 'Tornadoes' and 'heat waves-drought-wildfires' has increased most sharply in that time. No doubt some of this may be due to population increase, but not all of it, surely?

    The only category that shows a negative trend over the 32 years since 1980 is 'frost'. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

  • Comment number 46.

    Hopefully not too off topic, and apologies for third consecutive post.

    NASA data for August shows anomaly of +0.61C. This makes August 2011 the 4th warmest on NASA's 132 year record. Year-to-date 2011 is the eighth warmest on NASA's record, despite natural cooling La Nina conditions until mid May.

    Since ENSO conditions became 'neutral' in May, global surface temperatures have soared. June-July-August 2011 is the fourth warmest on NASA's record.

  • Comment number 47.

    newdwr54 re extreme weather

    I think Dr Judith Curry would disagree:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/05/weather-weirding-back-to-the-1950s/

    And NOAA
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/drought/drght_history.html

    And the Texas State Historical Society
    http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ybd01

    And Dr Roy Spencer
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/dessler-vs-rick-perry-is-the-2011texas-drought-evidence-of-human-caused-climate-change/

    NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS NHC-6
    THE DEADLIEST, COSTLIEST, AND MOST INTENSE UNITED
    STATES TROPICAL CYCLONES FROM 1851 TO 2010 (AND
    OTHER FREQUENTLY REQUESTED HURRICANE FACTS)
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pdf/nws-nhc-6.pdf

    In Conclusions:
    The areas along the United States Gulf and Atlantic coasts where most of this country’s hurricane-related fatalities have occurred are also experiencing the most significant growth in population.

    The bigger the population centre built in known hurricane paths then obviously the greater the damage cost!

    Published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons:

    Proponents of drastic greenhouse gas controls claim that human
    greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming, which then
    exacerbates the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events,
    including extreme heat, droughts, floods, and storms such as
    hurricanes and cyclones.
    In fact, even though reporting of such events is more complete
    than in the past, morbidity and mortality attributed to them has
    declined globally by 93%–98% since the 1920s.
    http://www.jpands.org/vol14no4/goklany.pdf

  • Comment number 48.

    To ukpahonta #42 and others

    Dramatic reading!
    I tend to think that all this argument about extreme weather getting worse or no worse is really very hard.

    There have obviously been many remarkably extreme weather events in the past. Unfortunately one does not have to go very far back in history for direct comparisons with today to become very difficult and subjective not least because commentaries in the past become increasingly descriptive and unscientific and the circumstances in which the damage or loss of life has been caused are so different from today (and increasingly so with time).

    I think tornadoes are perhaps a classic example. Now apparently seen so often that claims have been made that Britain has more tornadoes than almost anywhere else. Surely not!

    But of course - spotting tornadoes has now become a virtual hobby - so what with universal camera ownership, increasing awareness and population density - inevitably, reports have gone through the roof.

    The same "pitfall" can perhaps be extended to "extreme weather" spotting of all sorts. There are lots of people out there looking very hard for extreme weather events across the globe to prove or disprove whatever "hot" theory of the day. And with massive technology it is possible to find anything - the sorts of thing that would have gone un noticed by anyone except perhaps remote populations as little as 50 or 60 years ago.

    As they say "The past is a foreign country" - and this is worth bearing in mind.

  • Comment number 49.

    47. ukpahonta:

    Re Judith Curry: I would quibble with her statement "Global average surface temperatures in the 1930′s were warmer than the 1950′s." I have checked 1930-39 and 1950-59 global data published by NASA, NCDC (NOAA) and HadCRUT. Admittedly there's not much difference, but both NASA and NOAA have the 50's as slightly warmer; HadCRUT slightly cooler.

    Re the 'dust bowl': as the link makes clear, the dust bowl was as much a human land management issue as it was a climatic one. Unfortunately NOAA do not publish +$1b climate events (index linked) back that far. It would be interesting to see how the thirties and fifties compare.

    One thing I look out for is 'all time' records, since these are obviously more striking than 'worst since' records. The current drought in Texas hasn't been running long enough to qualify as an 'all time' record. However as I understand it this past year has been an 'all time' record for low rainfall in Texas.

    There are an awful lot of 'all time' records falling these days. I think there were 19 all time regional high temperature records globally in 2010, against one all time low.

    Numerous US state 'all time' high temperature records have fallen this year. NOAA reported that Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas all had their warmest summers on record; Arizona and Colorado just had their warmest August. Despite a cold start to the year no state 'all time' record low temperatures have been broken in the US this year.

    Perhaps these events really are just part of a naturally recurring cycle. There appears to such a cycle in global surface temperatures. But it appears, to me at least, that the warm extremes of both these cycles have 'spiked' considerably and in a way that requires added heat energy. The introduction of 'new' heat is not something we'd expect to see from a natural climate oscillation.

  • Comment number 50.

    The NCDC/NOAA temperature anomalies for August are as follows:
    Global = 0.551c (revised July = 0.566c), equivalent to 0.413c for 1961-90.
    NH = 0.619c (revised July = 0.648c), equivalent to 0.529c for 1961-90.
    SH = 0.486c (revised July = 0.487c), equivalent to 0.310c for 1961-90.
    So, a slight fall in the global and NH anomalies and an almost identical SH anomaly to last month's revised figure, although down on the July figure of 0.494 before revision.
    I think that the NCDC/NOAA anomalies seem to back up my predictions of a slight fall in the HadCRUT3 anomalies.
    However, although the AQUA CH5 temperature has now resumed it's downward path, it is still not falling as quickly as it should be at this time of the year.
    At the moment the temperature is almost identical to that at the same time in 2010,
    although it hasn't quite managed to exceed it yet.
    This still points to an increase in the UAH, RSS and HadCRUT3 anomalies this month, although of course there is still a long way to go.

  • Comment number 51.

    50. QuaesoVeritas:

    I went back as far as 1998 and still found revisions to NCDC data this month! They may go further back. Most of the revisions were slightly downwards (cooler), interestingly.

    Even so, August 2011 is the 8th warmest in NCDC's 132 year record. Year-to-date 2011 is 11th warmest.

    I find the AQUA ch5 2011 data for Sept 2011 to be more or less equal to 2009 and slightly behind 2010 at present, but well above the 2002-2010 average overall.

    On topic for the thread: I see that tropical storm Maria has been upgraded to a hurricane: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

    Third this season.

  • Comment number 52.

    newdwr54,

    I do a check each month for retrospective changes in NCDC and believe it or not, most of the figures, going back to January 1880 have changed this month, and do most months, although usually only in the third decimal place. It is difficult to kep track of the overall effect of these changes.
    I think I have said in the past that this year looks like being the 11th warmest on record and I am sticking to that at the moment.
    As far as AQUA CH5 is concerned this year is tracking 2009 fairly closely at the moment, but I expect it to fall by the end of the year.
    Recent daily figures have been close to 2010 but cumulatively it is about 0.4c lower.
    I'm not 100% sure but it looks like Maria is in a similar position to Katia.
    Does that mean it might hit the UK again, in a similar way to Katia?

  • Comment number 53.

    Actually, I just looked at the 5 day warning cone and it looks like Maria is headed in the direction of Greenland.

  • Comment number 54.

    We will get a part of Maria if it is still strong when the jet stream picks it up, the same as Katia.

  • Comment number 55.

    Katia was demoted from hurricane to tropical storm as it revolved its way up the US coast. Wind strength was a recorded 55mph well short of the 64mph required for hurricane status. It did drop a lot of rain but that, according to those in the know in the US, was due to its impacting another frontal system already in situ. A double whammy.

  • Comment number 56.

    John Marshall,
    Isn't that 74 mph?
    I think it's 64 knots.

  • Comment number 57.

    newdwr54
    But it appears, to me at least, that the warm extremes of both these cycles have 'spiked' considerably and in a way that requires added heat energy. The introduction of 'new' heat is not something we'd expect to see from a natural climate oscillation.

    Added heat energy? Now we're talking! CO2 can't add heat to the climate system but the sun can. (Sorry couldn't help myself.)

    Further to your earlier position regarding. . .
    "There is quantifiable evidence of increased back-radiation from the atmosphere to the surface at the frequencies at which GHGs adsorb IR. Likewise there is quantifiable evidence of reduced outgoing IR at the top of the atmosphere at the frequencies at which CO2 absorbs IR.

    I'm struggling to find a good source for this. Are you referring to Pinker et al? Can you 'quantify' the approximate forcing of said evidence and do they match observations or models or both? Having spent a few hours over at SOD trying (and largely failing) to grasp radiative physics this does seem like good evidence for the AGW position yet very little is made of it by the consensus. I'm left wondering why that is.

 

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