Hasn’t the Weather Been Funny Lately?

As everyone has observed, just about any weather phenomenon can be ascribed to “global warming:” hurricanes, tornadoes, too much rain, too little rain, and, in some cases, even cold weather. In June, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program put out a report titled “Weather and Climate Extremes In a Changing Climate.” As usual, the tone of the report, which focused on the United States, was dictated by politics rather than science.

At Prometheus, Professor Roger Pielke, who is an expert in some of the areas covered by the report and is himself a believer in AGW, pointed out the actual findings of the CCSP report, if the politically inspired language is stripped away:

The report contains several remarkable conclusions, that somehow did not seem to make it into the official press release.

1. Over the long-term U.S. hurricane landfalls have been declining.

2. Nationwide there have been no long-term increases in drought.

3. Despite increases in some measures of precipitation (pp. 46-50, pp. 130-131), there have not been corresponding increases in peak streamflows (high flows above 90th percentile).

4. There have been no observed changes in the occurrence of tornadoes or thunderstorms.

5. There have been no long-term increases in strong East Coast winter storms (ECWS), called Nor’easters.

6. There are no long-term trends in either heat waves or cold spells, though there are trends within shorter time periods in the overall record.

Each of the above observations is supported by citation to the CCSP report itself. Pielke concludes:

From the excerpts above it should be obvious that there is not a pattern of unprecedented weather extremes in recent years or a long-term secular trend in extreme storms or streamflow.

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