Bulk of global warming fears gone — storms won’t increase

UPDATE NZDT 1845 Monday 7 March

My apologies. There were distractions while I was writing this post that caused a silly error: I mistook the author of the post I wanted to report on. Richard Cumming alerted me to it (thanks, RC) and the references are now corrected. Insertions shown by green highlighting.


The trickery has been going on for years. First, an alarmist paper will describe details of a hitherto unknown peril of man-made global warming. The media picks it up and circulates it for months. Then, maybe years later, once our selfish ruin of the environment is established, a rebuttal comes out, showing the peril is against the laws of physics.

But does the rebuttal get the fanfare of trumpets that greets the warmy paper? Not likely. The media ignore it, so nobody knows about it and the climate gravy train rattles happily on.

But now a central warmy myth is destroyed — and a more important rebuttal of the preposterous human climate ruination theory would be hard to imagine. For the new analysis contradicts fundamental forecasts of “extreme weather events … such as drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves” that underpin the climate scare.

Genuine reason to celebrate – if only we were told about it

These are not new things, of course. Extreme weather events have been happening for millenia, but they represent most of the bad things we fear from global warming. They would endanger lives and infrastructure and gravely reduce food production, hinder transport and travel, and raise anxiety everywhere. Elimination of these potential perils is greatly to be desired.

Now the threat of those perils has been removed, humanity has true cause to celebrate—except that most people won’t be told about it.

On 17 March 2012 Geophysical Research Letters published “Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes“, by Jennifer A. Francis and Stephen J. Vavrus. That paper was updated on 6 January 2015 by Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming published in Environmental Research Letters.

Four days ago Dr Ed Berry published A Warming Arctic Would Not Cause Increased Severe Weather or Temperature Extremes (Berry 2016), a critique by Chuck Wiese (Wiese 2016), in which he contradicts the claims made in Francis and Vavrus 2012.

Contradicting warmist alarm

[Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes, by Jennifer A. Francis and Stephen J. Vavrus (2012)] FV (2012) is fatally flawed, incorrect and should be withdrawn by the authors. As shown here, there is no theoretical basis in which to ground FV (2012). Using the proper Rossby wave physics as illustrated here, these atmospheric waves (or commonly called planetary atmospheric waves that generate low and high pressure systems that create our weather, severe and otherwise) behave in the opposite fashion as claimed in FV (2012).

A warming Arctic that is supposed to be weakening the westerly wind belt across the northern hemisphere would create an entirely different effect on the earth’s weather [than] FV (2012) claims. If FV (2012) claims were true, the physics governing these waves would require them to flatten in amplitude and migrate to a higher latitude, causing a much weakened effect on the Northern Hemisphere’s weather patterns.

If FV 2012 claims were true, precipitation systems would weaken and migrate northward with the migrating jet stream. Storms, severe and otherwise would become far less common than today and would be replaced with problematic drought and much higher surface absolute and relative humidities. This increased low level moisture would lead to sporadic showers and thunderstorms in an ever expanding maritime tropical airmass environment, but not enough precipitation to forestall severe droughts.

Sounds like this has been in the textbooks for decades. Why only now does a scientist explain the physics to us, or why has it taken we amateurs so long to notice it? This is deadly to the panic stirred up by the warmies, like so much else that has been surfacing lately.

But is it true?

In comments on Berry 2016Wiese 2016, one Erl Happ appears to speak knowledgeably and says that the authors of these papers appear to have a weak grasp of reality. “Neither is in a position to describe cause and effect.” Which is a stiff-armed challenge indeed.

It’s a big job, but would it be too much to hope an objective meteorologist or atmospheric scientist might scan the arguments and equations in both Francis and Vavrus 2012 and Berry 2016Wiese 2016, and express an opinion on their worth? What do you think?

h/t to Richard Cumming and Not a Lot Of People Know That

10 Thoughts on “Bulk of global warming fears gone — storms won’t increase

  1. Simon on March 7, 2016 at 10:50 am said:

    When in doubt, side with the referred paper in a scientific journal rather than a blog post. There is a lot of pseudo-science rubbish posted in blogs by people who don’t know what they are talking about.

    Quite a few meteorologist have observed though that the northern hemisphere jet stream has become ‘wavier’ in recent years and has got ‘stuck’ for long periods leading to hot, cold, drought and rainfall extremes. Determining cause from effect is difficult though as is inferring whether this is a permanent or temporary feature.

  2. Richard Treadgold on March 7, 2016 at 11:32 am said:

    Thanks, Simon.

    “When in doubt, side with the referred paper in a scientific journal rather than a blog post.”

    Yes. Or, as I did, ask for an objective meteorologist or atmospheric scientist to scan the arguments and equations and express an opinion on their worth.

    “Quite a few meteorologist have observed though that the northern hemisphere jet stream has become ‘wavier’ in recent years and has got ‘stuck’ for long periods leading to hot, cold, drought and rainfall extremes.”

    The question is whether that’s a natural fluctuation. Some say it is caused by our naughty CO2 emissions raising the temperature, but since the temperature has hardly gone up for 20 years it can’t be that.

    If the jet stream gets wobbly with a small temperature increase it must fluctuate all the time. Impossible to imagine that global temperature has any influence on jet stream meanderings; regional atmospheric temperature might, but it would be more likely that high and low pressure systems push the jet stream around more than temperature does.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on March 7, 2016 at 12:33 pm said:

    Simon

    >”There is a lot of pseudo-science rubbish posted in blogs by people who don’t know what they are talking about.”

    The paper is by Chuck Wiese, Meteorologist, Weatherwise, Inc. Not Ed Berry as RT states. You don’t say so explicitly but you do imply that Chuck Wiese has not applied the physics principles correctly i.e. he does not know what he is talking about.

    A) What evidence do you have for this or are you just throwing mud (or do I infer incorrectly?

    B) Have you even looked at the physics yourself (see the physics application below but I’m wondering what you are basing your opinion on – argument from authority? what?)?

    Chuck responds to (if so) similar degradation in a thread on the same topic at Skeptical Science in 2013:

    ‘A Rough Guide to the Jet Stream: what it is, how it works and how it is responding to enhanced Arctic warming’

    Posted on 22 May 2013 by John Mason

    Chuck Wiese at 06:32 AM on 30 October, 2015

    Michael Sweet, MA Rodger and Philippe: I will answer your comments in this one post.

    To repeat, Jennifer Francis’s conclusion in her paper and this article are wrong. You are trying to claim that just because she wrote it and it is more recent than the published and peer reviewed literature along with other recent publications, that time erases in and of itself older work. That is not how science works and any scientist with a doctorate degree knows this, and this is precisely what I have seen in many instances of work done in climate papers as they relate to atmospheric science. Assumptions are made and sometimes without bothering to look at the founding principles to see if they agree. I provided the references of this literature to show they do not and the specific equation that is used to estime a maximun Rossby wave amplitude. And as it solved from the primary equations, it is obvious that wind speed and latitude determine that amplitude with speed controlling. (And Philippe, yes, I meant EXP 1/2 to maen taking the square root of V/B.) In order for Francis and Vavrus to claim otherwise, they need to show where this realtionship is wrong, or where it was improperly derived. They have done neither. Ma Rodgers, your response is a bit more reasonable but none the less, there seems to be an attitude that older work is irrelevant if today’s Phd’s ignore it. That is preposterous. If Francis or Varus can show where these equations in the founding literature are wrong, then they have a valid hypothesis, but not until then and the reviewers should have caught the error in assumption.

    Philippe, your post contains no citations that show how to compute the amplitute of Rossby waves or where the equation I gave is wrong. That is what is the key point in my writing to criticize, and as the moderator has asked of me, lets cut the dogpiling and “sloaganeering” . Your references not only fail to give a citation that disproves what I have provided, you are using references like the University of Oregon and calling them an “institution of superior education”. What does this mean when they offer no major in atmospheric science or meteorology and have no Phd’s on their staff to teach atmospheric science?

    Turning briefly to the hurricanes I brought up, a few points for Michael Sweet: You are correct about hemispheres being divided at the dateline or 180 degree meridian so my bad for misstating that. But I was thinking of the body of water called the Pacific ocean that provides the fuel to both eastern Pacific hurricanes and western Pacific typhoons. Would that not be a better comparative for the puposes of climate rather than assigning an arbitrary cut-off meridian that has no climate significance?

    To challenge some of your other points, I spoke by telephone this morning with Dr. Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center and asked about observing techniques that were used in the 1960’s. To start with, he does agree the older techniques are not as good as those used today but I never said older methods were better. It is interesting to note that what they did do in those days was fly recanaissance aircraft down to 500 ft off the ocean surface under cloud bases to estimate the winds and had a US Air Force Weather Officer estimate visual conditions by a developed hurricane “beaufort scale”. They also used doppler techniques as Jeff Masters mentions, but his quote from a “hurricane expert” at the time regarding the doppler technique makes no sense. The quote claims that because they were concerned about getting attenuation from flying sea spray that readings from the doppler shift would be erroneously high. The opposite would actually be true and the readings would be too low because the reference would be with respect to the true airspeed of the aircraft to get the ground speed and compute the surface winds. That is something I am quite faniliar with being an FAA licensed Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Engineer. The point in all of this is not to claim methods were better then than now, but there is no justification in claiming speeds were measured too high alone, either. There is a degree of error in any neasurement and these criticisms do not address the actual numerical significance. It would appear by these techniques they were accurate and the margin of error could be in either direction with changing circumstances.

    BTW, Dr. Landsea has informed me that the National Hurricane Center is writing up Hurricane Patricia and intends on putting it into its perspective in comparing it to the record. Those of you who believe hurricane intensity is getting stronger and related to “climate change” may not like what he is going to say, but it will be up on their website soon.

    Finally, I sense a lot of tension from the readers of this blog as well as a venomous dislike of any who take issue with the orthodoxy of what is written about humman induced climate change from CO2. There also seems to be a double standard on this site. The moderator is asking as do the bloggers to provide specific citations to back up claims made about a topic like this. There is nothing wrong with asking for them and I have provided them but I take note of the fact that the author of this article provides no citations for any of his claims other than a reference to Jennifer Francis at the end. Who is John Mason, what are his qualifications to write about meteorology or atmospheric science and why did the moderator accept the article without asking for specific citations of published work to back his assertions be included?

    There is also a fake credential degradation used by warmers that needs to be pointed out here. Anyone who holds a bachelors degree or higher in atmospheric science is qualified for employment as a forecast or other operations meteorologist by the US National Weather Service. That is a national standard applied by the agency. It has nothing to do with “qualifying” to be a TV weathercaster. In that arena, there are no standards and plenty of scientific illiterates who know little but use the AMS TV Seal of Approval whose standards were lowerd to less than academic to claim the use of the title “meteorologist”. Many of these people call themselves meteorologists but they absolutely do not meet the professional standards required for employment at the US Weather Service and that is the standard that counts. There are no licensing authorities that police the use of this title. The US Weather Service used to do it but ceased after standards were lowered to obtain a TV or Radio AMS seal. Hope this all helps.

    Chuck Wiese

    Meteorologist

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=2&t=85&&n=1967#114281

    Skeptical Science rails against “single study syndrome” in regard to 2 different papers on the same topic (huh? – see below) but here they are indulging in it themselves with Francis and Vavrus. Then they demand a peer-reviewed paper from Wiese – fat chance given he is adamant the Francis and Vavrus peer-review was deficient. Besides, he cites adequate references anyway:

    REFERENCES
    Francis, J. A., and S. J. Vavrus, 2012: Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes. Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L06801, doi:10.1029/2012GL051000.
    Hess, 1959: Introduction To Theoretical Meteorology. Library of Congress Card Number 59-9118, Chapters 12.8, 16.4, 16.5
    Haltiner and Martin, 1957: Dynamical and Physical Meteorology. Library of Congress Card Number 57-8005, Chapter 20.
    Martin, 1955: Generalization of Constant Absolute Vorticity Trajectories. Research paper number 7.
    Hess and Fomenko, 1955: Constant Absolute Vorticity Trajectory Tables. Journal of Meteorology, Volume 1, Number 4
    Platzman, 1947: Some Remarks on the Measurement of Curvature and Vorticity. Journal of Meteorology, Volume 4, pages 58-62.

    To Wiese’s application of that physics. For starters, what rebuttal do you have Simon, or can find at say Skeptical Science or anywhere else e.g. Jennifer Francis or Stephen Vavrus (with workings and citations), for this:

    In Appendix 3, Eq (11) we derive Equation (11)

    In Appendix 2, we derive Equation (19)

    [See workings]

    If we compare the physical meaning of what defines Rossby wavelength and speed in these equations, the corollary is clear. As the wind speed increases along the given waves, so must the amplitude and wavelength. As speed decreases, so must the amplitude of the waves and their respective wavelengths, with the maximum amplitude of the waves being realized when the inflectional direction has a backed wind direction to south or even east in the case of closed off low pressure streamlines. THIS IS CLEARLY IN CONTRADICTION AND OPPOSITE OF WHAT IS CLAIMED BY FV (2012).

    This is the peer-review that was absent from Francis and Vavrus (2012), it hardly needs peer-reviewed publication (were the reviews published? no). The paper must survive this criticism, if if can’t it has no standing whatsoever. Any rebuttal Simon?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Climate Sensitivity Single Study Syndrome
    Posted on 28 January 2013 by dana1981
    http://skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-cicero.html

    Climate Sensitivity Single Study Syndrome, Nic Lewis Edition
    Posted on 18 April 2013 by dana1981
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-single-study-syndrome-nic-lewis-edition.html

  4. Richard C (NZ) on March 7, 2016 at 1:01 pm said:

    BTW Simon re >’When in doubt, side with the referred paper in a scientific journal rather than a blog post”

    I don’t think so. Firstly, the correct term is “refereed” paper. Such a paper defers to references i.e. a list of referred papers – your term. See more on the Francis and Vavrus references below.

    Wiese firstly refers to 2 published meteorological texts i.e. heavyweight definitive meteorological physics references. Only secondly does he refer to 3 research papers.

    Francis & Vavrus is just one lightweight paper i.e. “single study syndrome” according to Skeptical Science. Their paper is here:

    http://marine.rutgers.edu/~francis/pres/Francis_Vavrus_2012GL051000_pub.pdf

    In references, they do NOT defer to any definitive meteorological texts relevant to the appropriate physics. Needless to say, they don’t apply meteorological physics in their paper. They just waffle.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on March 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm said:

    Meteorology makes no recourse to the theoretical radiative physics of the greenhouse effect to determine temperature anywhere in the atmosphere or surface e.g. nightly TV weather forecasts. Same for the space race. The US Air Force Labs modeled atmospheric temperature from surface to top of atmosphere without recourse to the greenhouse effect, first in 1963 and updated in 1976.

    Warmies are adamant that only the greenhouse effect can explain surface temperature, but they can’t model surface temperature with those theoretical principles for daily weather as do meteorologists. Unfortunately there are those in meteorology, like Francis and Vavrus, who being unable to usefully adopt the greenhouse effect in their discipline, twist the principles of meteorology to get on board the climate gravy train and to gain go-to prominence.

    Francis and Vavrus ideas have been accepted as fact by the US media (and propagated elsewhere) where they have gained plenty of traction, especially Francis. But not much support from the meteorological or climate community (except in pal review that is).

    And Jennifer Francis does not take kindly to criticism:

    ******************************************************
    ‘Arctic sea ice and extreme weather’ Posted on August 21, 2013
    by Judith Curry

    […]

    Disputing the Overland et al. paper [Jennifer Francis co-author]

    This week, a new paper has been published:

    Revisiting the evidence linking Arctic Amplification to extreme weather in midlatitudes

    Elizabeth Barnes

    Abstract. Previous studies have suggested that Arctic Amplification has 3 caused planetary-scale waves to elongate meridionally and slow-down, resulting in more frequent blocking patterns and extreme weather. Here, trends in the meridional extent of atmospheric waves over North America and the North Atlantic are investigated in three reanalyses, and it is demonstrated that previously reported positive trends are an artifact of the methodology. No significant decrease in planetary-scale wave phase speeds are found except in OND, but this trend is sensitive to the analysis parameters. Moreover, the frequency of blocking occurrence exhibits no significant increase in any season in any of the three reanalyses, further supporting the lack of trends in wave speed and meridional extent. This work highlights that observed trends in midlatitude weather patterns are complex and likely not simply understood in terms of Arctic Amplification alone.

    Jason Samenow also reports on this paper, in a post entitled Arctic warming and our extreme weather: no clear link new study finds. Excerpts:

    Is the dramatic decline of Arctic sea ice, spurred by manmade global warming, making the weather where we live more extreme? Several recent studies have made this claim.

    But a new study finds little evidence to support the idea that the plummeting Arctic sea ice has meaningfully changed our weather patterns. The research, published today in Geophysical Research Letters, says links between declining Arctic sea ice and extreme weather are “an artifact of the methodology” and not real.

    But the new research by Colorado State professor Elizabeth Barnes, which examined the waviness of the jet stream over the period 1980-2011, found no changes in its speed and no signs of increased blocking.

    “We conclude that the mechanism put forth by previous studies … that amplified polar warming has lead to the increased occurrence of slow-moving weather patterns and blocking episodes, is unsupported by the observations,” Barnes writes.

    Is Barnes’ paper the ‘last word’ on this topic? Heck no. But I find it to be an interesting and valuable contribution to the literature on this topic.

    Jennifer Francis responds

    In yet another post by Jason Samenow, entitled Researcher defends linking Arctic warming and extreme weather, Jennifer Francis responds to Barnes’ paper. Excerpts:

    Jennifer Francis, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University and leading proponent of the theory, has sent me some comments vigorously defending it.

    Her comments are technical, but I’ll try to extract the key points (I reproduce the comments, in their entirety, at bottom of this post).

    Francis begins by questioning the motivation of Elizabeth Barnes, the author of the study which claims the link between Arctic warming and extreme weather is “an artifact of the methodology” and “unsupported by the observations.”

    She calls Barnes’ approach “less than objective” and “a direct attempt to disprove work” she authored.

    Excerpts from Francis’ verbatim comments at the bottom of Samenow’s post.

    Questioning motives

    I haven’t seen an attack like this on a scientific paper that directly questions the motives of the author since the heyday of the hurricane wars circa 2005 and the publication of the Emanuel and Webster et al. papers.

    When I first saw Francis’ statement, I thought wow, what is going on here? Who exactly is this Elizabeth Barnes person? Is she a climate ‘denier’ or someone who has invoked the ire of the consensus police, or something? I went to Barnes’ web site, she is an Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University. I went through her web site pretty thoroughly owing to my Department Chair gene, I am always on the lookout for new faculty member talent. She looks like an excellent atmospheric dynamicist, and good atmospheric dynamicists are hard to find. Elizabeth is definitely a promising young scientist that I will keep my eye on.

    So why on earth would Elizabeth Barnes be out to ‘get’ Jennifer Francis and discredit her work? Its very hard to imagine a reason, beyond the obligation of a scientist to challenge existing findings and push forward at the knowledge frontier.

    JC message to Jennifer Francis: I’ve found that your credibility is reduced and your own motivations are questioned when you attack the motives of another scientist, particularly a young scientist without any apparent agenda beyond doing good science and advancing her academic career. The high ground is a much better place to be, and not just in a hurricane.

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/21/arctic-sea-ice-and-weather/

  6. Richard C (NZ) on March 20, 2016 at 9:42 am said:

    Judge Orders White House To Stop Hiding Its Bogus Global Warming ‘Proof’

    by Jeff Dunetz, Guest Post Hans Bader | Mar 18, 2016

    On January 8, 2014, the White House posted a controversial video claiming that global warming causes more severe winter cold. Called “The Polar Vortex Explained in 2 Minutes,” it featured the director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), , claiming that a “growing body of evidence” showed that the “extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States” at the time was “a pattern that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.” [Editors Note:Holdren also believes Trees should be given standing to sue in courts]

    This claim was questioned by many scientists and commentators. (See, e.g., Jason Samenow, Scientists: Don’t make “extreme cold” centerpiece of global warming argument, Washington Post, Feb. 20, 2014 (linking to objection by five well-known climate scientists in the Feb. 14, 2014 issue of Science magazine); Patrick J. Michaels, Hot Air About Cold Air, Jan. 16, 2014 (former state climatologist of Virginia rejected Holdren’s claim))

    In April 2014, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) sent a request for correction of this statement under the federal Information Quality Act, citing peer-reviewed scientific articles debunking it. In June 2014, OSTP rejected this request, claiming that Holdren’s statement was his “personal opinion,” not the agency’s position, and that it thus did not constitute “information” subject to the Information Quality Act, which excludes “subjective opinions” from its reach.

    In response, CEI filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking documents related to the video, its production at taxpayer expense, and OSTP’s rejection of its correction request. Despite having earlier claimed that the video was just Holdren’s personal opinion, not the agency’s, OSTP withheld portions of emails about it as privileged “agency records.” It also refused to produce drafts of its letter rejecting CEI’s request for correction. It withheld two drafts even though they had been shared with an outside professor (and initially even concealed their very existence), and sharing a document with someone outside an agency
    usually waives any privilege to keep it secret.

    After OSTP persisted in keeping these records secret, CEI sued it in federal court in October 2014. This is one of many FOIA lawsuits against the Obama administration, which former New York Times editor Jill Abramson said is the most secretive ever. The Huffington Post says that the “White House denies more FOIA requests than ever” these days.

    In February 2016, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta ruled that OSTP must produce these records, since the emails did not involve privileged agency policymaking, and the drafts of OSTP’s rejection letter had lost their privileged status by being shared with a non-agency employee. OSTP had claimed the professor it was shared with was a neutral consultant, and thus, functionally an agency employee. But the judge ruled that the professor, who is the principal exponent of the idea that global warming is causing more winter cold, was an interested party, not a neutral consultant. Thus, none of the records were privileged under FOIA’s Exemption 5 deliberative process privilege.

    When OSTP produced the records on March 4, 2016 (they are at this link), they showed inconsistency in OSTP’s position over time. Although OSTP told CEI in June 2014 that Holdren’s claim was just his personal “opinion,” not “information” that is subject to the Information Quality Act (IQA), this was not the position it originally took in its draft response to CEI’s request back in Spring 2014.

    Instead, OSTP described Holdren’s claim in these drafts as “information provided by the government [that] meet[s] ‘basic standards of quality, including objectivity, utility, and integrity,” and constituted “communications from the White House about climate science.” (see pages 1 and 5 of each draft). Accordingly, OSTP argued it complied with the IQA’s standards for the quality of official information.

    OSTP may felt, at first, that it had little choice but to concede that Holdren’s statement was information provided by the White House, since it was made in a video posted on the White House web site, and touted on a White House blog.

    But OSTP changed its view in its final response, which labeled Holdren’s statement as his “personal opinion.” Perhaps it realized the weakness of Holdren’s argument that global warming causes winter cold. It refused to correct Holdren’s statement, invoking the personal opinion exception in the federal Information Quality Act in its June 6 letter. The agency repeated this claim when it denied CEI’s appeal of that decision, in an August 4 letter from its general counsel Rachael Leonard.

    One of the two newly disclosed drafts of the June 6 letter also contains disparaging allusions by its author to some of the respected climate scientists who criticized Holdren’s statement. That draft’s text claims the criticism included “attacks by a few of the usual suspects from the climate-change contrarian/confusionist community.” In response, a comment to the draft from Rutgers’ Jennifer Francis suggested characterizing them as the “disinformation” community. (See pg. 4 of the draft, found at pg. 17 of the 24 released pages.)

    The court also ordered OSTP to produce emails without redacting any of their content (as opposed to recipients’ private email addresses and contact information). These emails are odd in light of OSTP’s subsequent position that Holdren’s claim was merely his “personal opinion,” since they show taxpayer resources being used to produce the video that broadcast his statements, since a government “contractor” was used to produce the video in question. They also were exchanged among 17 federal employees working in multiple agencies (including NASA, the OSTP, and other White House offices).

    The once-redacted material now released suggests that Holdren’s position was shared by at least one other White House employee, whose email advocates that “we should make surewww.whitehouse.gov/climate-change [which they link to at the end] has something on extreme weather events like polar vortex.” (See Jan. 8 email at 9:34 a.m.) It also shows efforts to try and round up scientists to weigh in on this topic. (See Jan. 8 email at 9:32 a.m.)

    The released material is not highly sensitive. So one wonders why the government bothered to redact it in the first place—and fought its release in court for over a year. Upon assuming office, Holdren’s boss, President Obama, and his attorney general, Eric Holder, issued guidance telling agencies not to withhold information just because they can, or based on technicalities, and to err on the side of disclosure, rather than secrecy. As Holder once noted, “On his first full day in office, January 21, 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum to the heads of all departments and agencies on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The President directed that FOIA ‘should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails.’”

    But that commitment to transparency has been flouted throughout the government, especially in Holder’s own Justice Department. In March 2014, the Associated Press reported that “more often than ever, the administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act [FOIA].” Similarly, The Wall Street Journal concluded that this is “the least transparent administration.” The situation has continued to worsen in 2014 and 2015, according to the Associated Press.

    It is hard to fathom why some of the redacted information, which would reveal nothing sensitive about government policymaking, was withheld. The federal government must have spent thousands of dollars’ worth of attorney time unsuccessfully fighting to keep it from being disclosed. For example, a January 7 at 9:17 p.m. email from White House staffer Nathaniel Lubin to several White House and OSTP staffers redacted as privileged the number “836431812” in the URL https://vimeo.com/83643182. This seems too trivial to warrant spending government employee time redacting it, especially from a communication about a video that allegedly just expressed the “personal opinion” of an agency official.

    A potential explanation for all this is that OSTP’s Polar Vortex video was originally produced and posted not as the personal opinion of the agency’s director, but as an agency project. OSTP sought, and succeeded, in getting widespread news coverage for the film. But once its inaccuracy became clear, the agency invoked the personal opinion excuse as a way of avoiding accountability, and it did its best to maintain that façade even if it meant going through time-consuming and expensive litigation.

    http://lidblog.com/judge-orders-white-house-to-stop-hiding-its-bogus-global-warming-proof/#

    # # #

    >”That draft’s text claims the criticism included “attacks by a few of the usual suspects from the climate-change contrarian/confusionist community.” In response, a comment to the draft from Rutgers’ Jennifer Francis suggested characterizing them as the “disinformation” community.”

    Jennifer Francis being an unbiased and objective climate scientist, who relishes other’s critique of her work /Sarc.

  7. Maggy Wassilieff on March 22, 2016 at 10:12 pm said:

    Interesting paper by Prof Mike Kelly (Cambridge Uni….ex New Plymouth, Victoria Uni) about trends in extreme weather events since 1900.

    trends-in-extreme-weather-events-since-1900–an-enduring-conundrum-for-wise-policy-advice-2167-0587-1000155-1 (Journal of Geography and Natural Disasters 2016. 6,1.)

    Especially interesting sentence at the end of his introduction… states that NZ’s temperature rise record is solely due to ad-hoc adjustments.
    His main conclusion: first half of the 20th Century had more extreme weather than the 2nd half.

  8. Richard C (NZ) on March 23, 2016 at 9:10 am said:

    Maggy

    >”Especially interesting sentence at the end of his introduction… states that NZ’s temperature rise record is solely due to ad-hoc adjustments. His main conclusion: first half of the 20th Century had more extreme weather than the 2nd half.”

    Easy to see both in GHCN V2 temperature data from NZ:

    Average temperature anomalies, 15 stations from 1880, New Zealand, GHCN V2
    http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/NZdTtime.png

    More here:

    ‘The Hunt For Global Warming: Southern Hemisphere Summary’
    Posted on April 13, 2015 by Euan Mearns
    http://euanmearns.com/the-hunt-for-global-warming-southern-hemisphere-summary/

    Compiling GHCN V2 as Euan Mearns has done is no different to NIWA’s flagship Virtual Climate System Network (VCSN), that you have to pay to subscribe to.

  9. Richard Treadgold on March 23, 2016 at 9:57 am said:

    Maggie,

    Thanks for pointing out this paper; it’s always good to hear what Mike Kelly has to say. Readers will remember that the CCG and the NZ Climate Science Coalition announced in 2009 that warming over NZ was man-made — that it was created only by adjustments to the raw readings. Our paper, Are we feeling warmer yet, caused quite a stir. It was immediately tabled in the NZ parliament by Rodney Hide, in the European parliament by Godfrey Bloom, and cited around the world. The work was done by Bob Dedekind, who discovered the strange discrepancy between NIWA’s public graph and published data in the first place. He’s my hero.

  10. Richard C (NZ) on March 26, 2016 at 9:48 am said:

    Update featuring Jennifer Francis:

    ‘Judge May Sanction White House Office of Science Over Bogus Climate Video’

    Written by Hans Bader, Lid Blog on 25 March 2016.

    http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/judge-may-sanction-white-house-office-of-science-over-bogus-climate-video.html

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