This should be easy to work out

Sceptics argue that there have always been droughts and floods, freak weather, heatwaves and temperature extremes, but what concerns most climate scientists and observers is that the extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, their intensity is growing and the trends all suggest long-term change as greenhouse gases steadily build in the atmosphere.

So what we need to do is compile a database of these \”extreme weather\” events.

How many, of what type, have occurred in previous years/decades/centuries.

Then we need to make a few adjustments.

1) We know that we\’re better at measuring these things now so we should adjust for that.

2) We know that the longer the time series the more extreme the extremes will be….a once in a 100 year temperature probably won\’t appear in a ten year record but probably will in a 200 year one. So we must adjust for that.

3) We must not use monetary damages as our measure: there\’s more money and more things to be damaged these days.

OK, then we can work out whether there really are more extreme weather events or not.

Remove this from a \”he said, she said\” between gorbal worming propagandists and denialists and go and uncover the incontrovertible truth.

You know, do some science?

Or would that be just too inconvenient for both sides?

 

14 thoughts on “This should be easy to work out”

  1. What you are suggesting has already been done.

    Can’t be arsed to google it again, but from memory it’s a pretty flat line

  2. Then we need to make a few adjustments.

    Adjust up, adjust down, adjust to fit your argument.

    I doubt it’ll get us anywhere.

  3. It’s not easy, it’s tough. People are working pretty hard to work this out; see
    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/forum_is_extreme_weather_linked_to_global_warming/2411/ for a varying selection of scientific opinions on the results.
    (A good link to send to anyone who says that the science is settled.)
    And remember that all those people have a vested interest in climate being an important issue.

    I tend to trust this guy
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/
    on the science, (but not necessarily the policy). He seems to be interested in scientific truth. His views are included on the yale page and are essentially that we don’t know yet.

    So basically the UK is going to treble our energy costs in order to ‘lead the world’ in something that may or may not be a problem. Thanks, greenies.

  4. It was done for hurricane damage to the US East Coast, and indeed the cost of hurricane damaged skyrocketed… at slightly less than the rate that the value of property constructed in the danger zones increased. We also know that hurricanes (and extreme storms around the world) have most definitely not increased, and for other extreme events, as noted above, the uncertainties are such that we don’t know, but no clear increase is seen, anywhere; except in the lying brains of those with an interest in promoting catastrophic scenarios.

  5. This “evenhandedness” to both sides is not evenhanded.

    Sceptics do produce evidence (see this http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/28/tornados-and-global-warming-link-just-not-there/ ). It is not our fault that the media don’t report the facts.

    Alarmists tend to be fact free, as with the article you quote. Looking up “extreme weather increasing” on Google I find it full of Beeboid type promises that extreme weather “will” increase which seems to ba an acknowledgement that it isn’t but that mere facts do not intrude on their claims.

  6. “sceptics have argued that there have always been floods and droughts…”

    Um, is there anyone except for loonies who does not believe that there have always been floods and droughts? Do you have to be a ‘sceptic’ (code: denier, evil) to believe this?

  7. This article seemed pretty reasonable

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2011/02/sifting_through_evidence_on_cl.html

    Also this

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/02/going-to-extremes/

    Let’s start with some very basic, but oft-confused points:

    Not all extremes are the same. Discussions of ‘changes in extremes’ in general without specifying exactly what is being discussed are meaningless. A tornado is an extreme event, but one whose causes, sensitivity to change and impacts have nothing to do with those related to an ice storm, or a heat wave or cold air outbreak or a drought.
    There is no theory or result that indicates that climate change increases extremes in general. This is a corollary of the previous statement – each kind of extreme needs to be looked at specifically – and often regionally as well.
    Some extremes will become more common in future (and some less so). We will discuss the specifics below.
    Attribution of extremes is hard. There are limited observational data to start with, insufficient testing of climate model simulations of extremes, and (so far) limited assessment of model projections.

  8. Given that the instruments, and the methodologies, for measuring and categorising extreme weather events are fairly new, how do we even know whether they are increasing or decreasing? How can anyone draw conclusions from events in times, and in places, where we weren’t measuring them? The records we have are for things like tornados that happened to touch down in places where the results were tragic. But most of them don’t do that. Even in heavily populated areas, it is not straightforward to assess the magnitude of say floods, from the historical records. Every new drainage system, every new pumping station, messes up the continuity of whatever data there is.

  9. My God, Tim: do I hear the sound of a subtle, though pronounced, shifting of buttocks on that fence you’ve sat on for too long? A recognition that the weight of the evidence on one side is largely based on interpretations of computer modelling, and t’other on every day observations of empirical evidence? That it all might be – in your own words about other topics and in other websites – slightly more complicated than that?
    I can’t wait to see the outcome of this faintly heard, but discernible, rumble from the almighty Worstall cheeks (which we know already strikes the fear of God into Richard Murphy).

Leave a Reply

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