GWPF Newsletter 12/9/2017

GWPF newsletter – republished by permission
The GWPF newsletter is compulsory reading for those wanting to understand climate change. The latest version of WordPress provides an insanely simple way to keep the illustrations intact and I hope you read it with delight. — RT

A $150 Billion Misfire

How Forecasters Got Irma Damage So Wrong

Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Irma To Fizzle?

Estimates for the damage Hurricane Irma would inflict on Florida kept mounting as it made its devastating sweep across the Caribbean. It was poised to be the costliest U.S. storm on record. Then something called the Bermuda High intervened and tripped it up. By one estimate, the total cost dropped to about $50 billion Monday from $200 billion over the weekend. —Bloomberg, 12 September 2017

 

 

Perhaps the best indication that Irma failed to live up to its billing is the fact that the broad stock indexes — including insurance companies — rallied on Monday while various construction-related stocks took it on the chin. When can we expect to see stories about how global warming deserves the credit? When Irma made landfall in the U.S., it’s strength quickly diminished and the actual damages to Florida in dollar terms will likely be 75% lower than predicted. So will environmentalists credit climate change for Irma’s unexpected turn for the better? —Investor’s Business Daily, 12 September 2017

 

1) A $150 Billion Misfire: How Forecasters Got Irma Damage So Wrong

Bloomberg, 12 September 2017

2) History Shows There Was Nothing Unusual About Hurricane Irma

Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 12 September 2017

3) Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Irma To Fizzle?

Investor’s Business Daily, 12 September 2017

4) Excellent News: Winton Capital Sets Up Climate Change Prediction Market

Lindsay Fortado, Financial Times, 12 September 2017

5) And Finally: Mother Nature Buries Another Failed Climate Prediction

Daily Mail, 11 September 2017

 

One of Europe’s largest hedge funds is looking to move into the gambling industry in the UK, as it sets up a new venue where players can bet on the effects of climate change. The new “climate prediction market” is the brainchild of Winton Capital, founded by David Harding, and is aimed at finding a market consensus on the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperature rises in the future. The project is hoping to tempt climate scientists to put their money where their models are. —Lindsay Fortado, Financial Times, 12 September 2017

 

Australians are enjoying the best ski conditions for 20 years after record snowfalls buried resorts as spring began. More than 140cm fell on Thredbo in five days over the past week, a record for September, in what skiers have dubbed the Blizzard of Oz. The conditions forced the cancellation of a major AFP World Tour stop, One Hit Wonder Big Air, planned for the week as snow covered the 30-metre ski jump.–Daily Mail, 11 September 2017

 

1) A $150 Billion Misfire: How Forecasters Got Irma Damage So Wrong

Bloomberg, 12 September 2017

 

Estimates for the damage Hurricane Irma would inflict on Florida kept mounting as it made its devastating sweep across the Caribbean. It was poised to be the costliest U.S. storm on record. Then something called the Bermuda High intervened and tripped it up.

 

“We got very lucky,” said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan. If Irma had passed 20 miles west of Marco Island instead of striking it on Sunday, “the damage would have been astronomical.” A track like that would have placed the powerful, eastern eye wall of Irma on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

 

By one estimate, the total cost dropped to about $50 billion Monday from $200 billion over the weekend. The state escaped the worst because Irma’s powerful eye shifted westward, away from the biggest population center of sprawling Miami-Dade County.

 

The credit goes to the Bermuda High, which acts like a sort of traffic cop for the tropical North Atlantic Ocean. The circular system hovering over Bermuda jostled Irma onto northern Cuba Saturday, where being over land sapped it of some power, and then around the tip of the Florida peninsula, cutting down on storm surge damage on both coasts of the state.

 

“The Bermuda High is finite and it has an edge, which was right over Key West,” Masters said. Irma caught the edge and turned north.

 

For 10 days, computer-forecast models had struggled with how the high was going to push Irma around and when it was going to stop, said Peter Sousounis, director of meteorology at AIR Worldwide. “I have never watched a forecast more carefully than Irma. I was very surprised not by how one model was going back and forth — but by how all the models were going back and forth.”

 

In the end, Irma landed on the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane with 130-mile (209 kilometers) per hour winds, then as a Category 3 at Marco Island. It reached the Tampa Bay area as a Category 2. By contrast, Hurricane Andrew in 1992 plowed into the east side of Florida as a Category 5.

 

“With Irma, little wobbles made a huge difference,”said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia. With a tightly-wound storm like Andrew coming straight into the state, “a 30-mile wobble isn’t going to matter.”

 

Still, when it comes to damage, “Irma may bump Andrew,” Watson said. The company’s most recent estimate is for $49.5 billion in Irma costs for Florida; Andrew’s were an inflation-adjusted $47.8 billion.

 

The price tag for Hurricane Harvey, which struck southeastern Texas on Aug. 25, could end up between $65 billion to $75 billion, according to AIR Worldwide, a Verisk Analytics risk modeler based in Boston.

 

The top spots at the moment are held by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, at $160 billion, and 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, at $70.2 billion, according to a list compiled by the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Information.

 

Those are modern storms. Simulations based on the paths and powers of some that rammed the U.S. 100 or more years ago show they were far more disastrous, or would be if they arrived today when the population is much more dense and there is far more, and far more expensive, property to destroy.

 

One hurricane that raked the U.S. East Coast in 1893 was so furious the impact could have added up to $1 trillion. “They haven’t really happened in our modern economy,” Watson said, adding it’s only a matter of time. “We have so much stuff and so much infrastructure. Leave all the arguments about climate change aside; we are rapidly moving into that era where we are going to be seeing $50 billion, $100 billion storms, and I will not be surprised when we get to $300 billion.”

Full story

 

2) History Shows There Was Nothing Unusual About Hurricane Irma

Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 12 September 2017

 

As Florida clears up after Hurricane Irma, how does it rank with other major US landfalling hurricanes?

 

 https://web.archive.org/web/20170831001607/http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/hurdat/All_U.S._Hurricanes.html

 

Irma and Harvey have been the only two major hurricanes in the last ten years. The busiest decades were the 1940s and 1890s.

https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-tropical-cyclone-activity

 

Calculating the number of hurricanes across the whole Atlantic basin is more problematic, because of the lack of aircraft and satellite observations in early years.

To address this, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Database Re-analysis Project has attempted to reconstruct the numbers. The orange line reflects this:

 

As far as we can see, there is no significant trend in the number of hurricanes. What we can quite clearly see is the influence of the AMO:

Full post

 

3) Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Irma To Fizzle?

Investor’s Business Daily, 12 September 2017

 

Perhaps the best indication that Irma failed to live up to its billing is the fact that the broad stock indexes — including insurance companies — rallied on Monday while various construction-related stocks took it on the chin. When can we expect to see stories about how global warming deserves the credit?

 

There’s no question that Irma was and continues to be destructive. But there’s also no question that it was not nearly the storm it was predicted by all the experts to be.

 

Last week, there was talk of massive destruction across the state, with damage estimates ranging up to $200 billion. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levin called it “a nuclear hurricane.” Storm tracks last week showed Irma remaining a Category 4 hurricane for a significant portion of its trek across Florida. When Irma shifted to the west as it approached, it was described as the “worst-case scenario” for the state.

 

However, when Irma made landfall in the U.S., it’s strength quickly diminished and the actual damages to Florida in dollar terms will likely be 75% lower than predicted.

 

While those dire forecasts were being made, environmentalists and politicians were busy pinning the blame on global warming.

 

It was the same after Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in Houston. It’s the case whenever there is an adverse weather event. If there’s a drought, it’s because of “climate change.” If there’s flooding, climate change. Wild fires, climate change. Blizzards? Climate change.

 

So will environmentalists credit climate change for Irma’s unexpected turn for the better?

Even if that were true — and, for the record, we aren’t saying it is — environmentalists wouldn’t admit it, because the only thing that never, ever gets linked to climate change is good weather.

Indeed, any talk of the benefits of climate change is treated as dangerous nonsense, not because the benefits are unlikely, but because that sort of happy talk might cause people to become “complacent” about the need to fight climate change through onerous, intrusive and massively expensive government edicts.

 

That’s why you rarely hear about longer growing seasons that a warmer planet would produce in northern regions, which would lower food prices and reduce hunger, or the reduced number of fatalities from extreme cold, or how past periods of non-human-caused warming were ones of relative abundance.

 

It’s also why there’s so little research into other potential benefits of climate change, or what the relative balance between costs and benefits would be. Who is going to fund research into such things when the entire government-science-research complex is singularly devoted to proving that climate change will destroy humanity?

 

This one-sidedness isn’t evidence that global warming is real or inherently cataclysmic. It is, instead, evidence that global warming advocates are more interested in pushing a political agenda than actual science.

 

Occasionally, however, some good news slips through the climate change praetorian guard.

One was in the form of a study published by the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Nature in April 2016. The authors found that the weather in America had actually become increasingly pleasant over the past 40 years because of climate change — winters have been less severe while summers didn’t get much hotter.

 

As a result, the authors said, “80% of Americans live in counties that are experiencing more pleasant weather than they did four decades ago.”

Full post

 

4) Excellent News: Winton Capital Sets Up Climate Change Prediction Market

Lindsay Fortado, Financial Times, 12 September 2017

 

One of Europe’s largest hedge funds is looking to move into the gambling industry in the UK, as it sets up a new venue where players can bet on the effects of climate change. The project is hoping to tempt climate scientists to put their money where their models are.

 

The new “climate prediction market” is the brainchild of Winton Capital, founded by David Harding, and is aimed at finding a market consensus on the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperature rises in the future.

 

The not-for-profit project, which is being funded out of Winton’s philanthropic budget, is hoping to tempt climate scientists to put their money where their models are, and to provide a clear benchmark of the academic consensus at a time of intense interest in man-made climate change.

 

News of the project comes as the UN General Assembly meeting in New York focuses on the theme of a sustainable planet. Climate change also continues to dominate the political agenda around the world, after President Donald Trump declared he will withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord and roll back regulations on the production of coal.

 

“With a prediction market, getting the information is the primary objective,” said Mark Roulston, a scientist at Winton who is overseeing the project. “There’s not necessarily a consensus on all the implications of climate change. The idea is to have a benchmark which could track any emerging consensus.”

 

Under the plan, scientists and experts from around the world will be able to trade contracts based on the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and how far temperatures increase, going decades into the future. Winton will act as a market maker and subsidise trading, rather than taking a cut or skewing the odds in its favour.

 

Winton’s market, which will be based in the UK, will be one of only a few prediction markets and is believed to be the first dedicated to climate issues. Such markets are mostly barred in the US because of more restrictive gambling laws; one exception is at the University of Iowa, which has developed a political futures market run for research and teaching.

 

If the Winton market is successful, Mr Roulston envisions it being a source to show how experts believe world events — such as the US withdrawing from the climate accord — could impact climate change.

 

Robin Hanson, a professor of economics at George Mason University who helped pioneer the use of prediction markets, said there is little incentive for anyone to try to manipulate the market, because that will only make the potential profits bigger for those who predict CO2 concentration and temperature correctly.

 

“There are lots of betting markets, and there are lots of ways to predict climate, like through weather futures,” said Prof Hanson. “The difference here is you’re creating a market for the purpose of finding out about something, rather than just to make some money or have fun.”

 

On Winton’s market, bets will settle every year, using temperature data from the UK’s Hadley Centre, and the annual average of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide as measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monitoring station on Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

 

The hedge fund will initially target professionals in the climate field to participate, though it will be open to anyone in the UK. It is being run internally at Winton, with employees able to place notional bets rather than using real money.

 

Mr Roulston said they are hoping to launch it externally later this year to universities, and will open it to the public sometime next year.

Full post

 

5) And Finally: Mother Nature Buries Another Failed Climate Prediction

Daily Mail, 11 September 2017

 

Australians are enjoying the best ski conditions for 20 years after record snowfalls buried resorts as spring began. More than 140cm fell on Thredbo in five days over the past week, a record for September, in what skiers have dubbed the Blizzard of Oz.

 

By Friday the snow was 233cm deep and still falling, covering slope markers, obstructing chairlifts and forcing patrons to dig themselves out of chalets.

 

More than 140cm fell on Thredbo in five days over the past week, a record for September, in what skiers have dubbed the Blizzard of Oz

 

The conditions forced the cancellation of a major AFP World Tour stop, One Hit Wonder Big Air, planned for the week as snow covered the 30-metre ski jump.

 

So much snow landed on the jump that a RAV4 4WD parked next to it by event sponsor Toyota was completely buried in one night.

Full story

 

Tell your friends about us

They can get our newsletter for free

Copyright © 2017 The Global Warming Policy Forum, All rights reserved.

From <http://mailchi.mp/thegwpf.org/a-150-billion-misfire?e=56dccdd7d1>

If you have not already done so, you can sign up to the GWPF newsletter here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation