Friday, November 28, 2014

Droughts and Heatwaves: Ocean Oscillations vs CO2 by Jim Steele - examined


This is the continuation of my interrupted critical review of Mr. Jim Steele's recent spat of YouTube videos attacking the fundamentals of climatological understanding.  In my previous review I transcribed all of Jim's talk, but after finishing my first draft this time I decided that was too much of a waste of time and space.  So from here on I'll limit myself to transcribing key quotes and going from there.  The entire video is included for those who want to hear every word.


#2 Droughts and Heatwaves: Ocean Oscillations vs CO2
Jim Steele 
{in Courier font}
0:01  {picking up the talk mid-stream} "...how much does it (global warming) contribute to drought or how well does people that push "its CO2": "How do we know it's CO2?  We look at their models." 

0:10 this graph came from the 2014 National Climate Assessment and it's showing, what they're showing you is, circle in red, they focus on the future by 2100, they're saying that almost half of North America is going to be in drought due to the rising CO2."  But when I look at that graph I don't get scared the right side is pure untested speculation... 
~ ~ ~ 
Climate models "pure untested speculation"???  
Surely you're joking Mr. Steele!  
It's also a joke to dismiss a graph without examining its substance.

Beyond that, right out of the gate, Jim says something totally dishonest.  
NO Mr. Steel, scientist don't think "it's CO2" because of their models!  Scientist know it's CO2 because of the physics of greenhouse gases!

In his phobia for examining the global situation Steele won't inform his audience about the large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns that dictate our globe's rain patterns:
General Circulation of the Atmosphere
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Nor does Steele acknowledge the geophysically obvious; warming will alter global rain patterns.  Jim continues his deception by ignoring the observed changes in those circulation patterns as our planet continues warming; and that we certainly must expect those trends to continue as the warming continues:
As the Globe Warms, the Tropics Are Expanding
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Hadley Cell Widening: Model Simulations versus Observations | 2008
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How ENSO leads to a cascade of global impacts | 2014
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"While some regions are likely to get wetter as the world warms, other regions that are already on the dry side are likely to get drier."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
0:10 this graph came from the 2014 National Climate Assessment and it's showing,
~ ~ ~

Take a look at the report Steele's graph cames from and read what those most familiar with the information have to say:
click APPENDIX 4: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
It contains a simple overview of all that Jim Steele ignores:

"I. How do we know that human activities are the primary cause of recent climate change?" 

First, basic physics dictates that increasing the concentration of CO2 and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere will cause the climate to warm."

Second we have modeling studies, unfortunately Steele never gives "models" a fair hearing, nor does he acknowledge that there's a wide variety of models used by climatologist.  
"Second, modeling studies show that when human influences are removed from the equation, climate would actually have cooled slightly over the past half century."

Third, why you had better understand this problem on a global level, if you want to grasp what's happening locally these days.
"And third, the pattern of warming through the layers of atmosphere demonstrates that human-induced heat-trapping gases are responsible, rather than some natural change."
~ ~ ~ 

Just as important, Jim conveniently ignores "hydrological drought" - the depletion of groundwater, reservoirs and glaciers that society depends on.

1. Introduction
[2] Many regions of western North America are experi- encing critical water shortages, suggesting we have entered a new hydrological regime that will challenge society to respond effectively [Barnett et al., 2005, 2008; Milly et al., 2008]. Shrinking headwater glaciers, decreasing high- elevation snowmelt runoff, and declining river discharges in the northern Cordillera, the so-called hydrographic apex of North America [Rood et al., 2005], have largely un- known consequences for natural resource development and downstream watersheds [Schindler and Donahue, 2006].
- - -
Types of Drought
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Drought and Global Climate Change: An Analysis of Statements by Roger Pielke Jr
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Will climate change lead to more droughts?
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Early Warning Signs of Global Warming: Droughts and Fires
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Student's Guide to Global Climate Change

FYI regarding Jim's simplistic dismissal of climate models, check out information he'd rather we remain ignorant to:

Use of models in detection and attribution of climate change
Gabriele Hegerl and Francis Zwiers | 26 MAY 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/wcc.121
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FAQ on climate models
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On mismatches between models and observations
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now about that graph, read what the caption says, notice it's not quite how Steele portrays it:
Figure 2.21: Extreme Drought in the U.S. and Mexico, Past and Future

"Caption: The percentage area of the U.S. and Mexico in extreme drought according to projections of the Palmer Drought Severity Index under a mid-range emissions scenario (SRES A1B). The Palmer Drought Severity Index is the most widely used measure of drought, although it is more sensitive to temperature than other drought indices and may over-estimate the magnitude of drought increases. 
... These results suggest an increasing probability of drought over this century throughout most of the U.S. ..." Source: (Wehner et al. 2011) 
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Please notice how Steele inflates claims and ignores the cautious conservative language the scientists are using when presenting their evidence.  For the curious, here's the study itself:
Projections of Future Drought in the Continental United States and Mexico, Michael Wehner et. al
Projections of Future Drought in the Continental United States and Mexico. J. Hydrometeor, 12, 1359–1377.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Rather than actually looking at what the scientists are explaining, Steele prefers political zingers such as this appeal to partisan hatefulness.

1:23  "So the question is how much would you trust a doctor who misdiagnosed ninety-seven percent of his patients.  Even if they were part of the consensus, to me it makes no sense."1:33   and I feel like part of this crisis is what I really call "Model Noia" it's untestable its future speculation.
~ ~ ~
Jim's saying that climatologist have misdiagnosed climate changes by 97%?  Say what!? Jim, rather than blindly bashing climate scientists as political enemies, why don't you ever try to describe the various models being used, instead of lumping them all into one kettle?  What's up with that?

Incidentally Jim, how much should we trust someone who deliberately misrepresents the evidence ~97% of the time?  Take a look at what climatologists are explaining to us:

Human Caused Global Warming

How do we know current global warming is human caused, or man made? Is global warming real, or a hoax? Consider the facts: the climate system is indicated to have left the natural cycle path; multiple lines of evidence and studies from different fields all point to the human fingerprint on current climate change; the convergence of these evidence lines include ice mass loss, pattern changes, ocean acidification, plant and species migration, isotopic signature of CO2, changes in atmospheric composition, and many others.  
The only identifiable cause explaining these changes with confidence is human influence and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Science has simply not found any other cause factor that can account for the scale of the recent increase in radiative forcing and associated warming.
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Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

"Direct observations find that CO2 is rising sharply due to human activity. Satellite and surface measurements find less energy is escaping to space at CO2 absorption wavelengths. Ocean and surface temperature measurements find the planet continues to accumulate heat. This gives a line of empirical evidence that human CO2 emissions are causing global warming."
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Climate change: How do we know?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Now Steele descends into even more bizarre handwaving:

2:06  Heat waves naturally follow drought and if you don't believe if you don't feel that heat waves can happen naturally you just have to look at Death Valley
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I dare Jim to name one climatologist who has ever said that Heat Waves Don't Occur Naturally.  Bet he can't.  
What Jim's doing is pure strawman fabrication.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2:17  The most extreme temperatures, the highest temperature ever recorded happened in Death Valley been in 1913.  It had nothing to do with solar energy it had nothing to do with carbon dioxide energy.  It had to do with the natural climate change it was amplified in an area who is very dry without any vegetation.
~ ~ ~ 
Jim, what kind of joke is this?
When is the Death Valley NOT experiencing drought conditions?  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2:45 - So I hear people say we are going to have more heat waves because CO2 is causing heat to accumulate in the environment and so you're naturally gonna have heat waves, but climate is on steroids we're going to have more and more heat waves,
 If you look at the data in the United States you don't see that.." 
~ ~ ~

The data does not show warming?  Is that a fact? 
Nope, wrong again! 
More crafty cherry-picking.  
I invite folks to look at some more objective appraisals?

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IT WAS SO COLD! (HOW COLD WAS IT?)
Bob Henson • March 5, 2014 
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TAKING THE HEAT: A WEATHERCASTER’S VIEW
Guest Column | Dan Satterfield, broadcast meteorologist | February 6, 2012
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COLD COMFORT: CANADA'S RECORD-SMASHING MILDNESS
Bob Henson | 18 January 2011
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RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES FAR OUTPACE RECORD LOWS ACROSS U.S.
November 12, 2009
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Explaining Explosion of Daily Record Highs Easy as Pie
By Andrew Freedman | Published: July 16th, 2012
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Warming Hiatus - 
Climate Models Simulate Global Warming Pause
August 9, 2014

The so called global warming pause is not evidence in traditional climate change projection simulations, but models that include a cooling Pacific Ocean can reproduce a temperature hiatus despite a continued underlying warming trend, say researchers. 
"But now a team of researchers from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) has shown that, in certain conditions, these climate models can simulate the pause. They present their results in a paper published in Nature Climate Change. 
The solution to the problem lies in the way that climate models are used, according to the researchers. Computer climate forecasts using the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) consist of ensembles of multiple model runs that are averaged together to iron out the effects of naturally occurring internal climate variations and leave the warming impact of greenhouse gases (GHGs). ..." 
"However, when the individual ensemble members are examined it is apparent that some do simulate the pause, say the researchers led by NCAR's Gerald Meehl. The analysis shows that 12 enemble members from a set of 262 recreated a pause between 2000 and 2012, ten between 2012 and 2013, nine continue through 2000 to 2014, six from 2000 to 2015, and six from 2000 to 2016, one of which from 2000 to 2017 continues to 2018 (a hiatus of 19 years), the scientists report. ..." 
"... In simple terms, if climate models are set up with an assumption that the IPO is in a negative phase then they can replicate the pause."
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Nov 14, 2014
A temporary hiatus in warming of extreme temperatures is not unusual, nor inconsistent with model simulations of human-induced climate change
Michael Wehner examines trends in extreme temperatures during the warming hiatus.
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Climate Change National Forum - October 8, 2014
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How and What Do We Know About Causation: Attribution and Fingerprinting
June 25, 2013
Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
4:00  But, there is something people are starting to understand and again it wasn't found out by atmospheric scientists (it was) found out by fishery biologist, called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. 
~ ~ ~

Here's another indication of Steele's malicious intensions.  
The PDO is a phenomena that occurs within the oceans, atmospheric scientists study the atmosphere.  Of course, it makes sense that oceanographers would discover it.  So why is Steele blowing his partisan dog-whistle again? 

Understanding Earth's climate has been a journey of many discoveries within many different fields of Earth sciences, trying to keep people ignorant about that complexity and how it's interwoven is contemptible.  Here's that original study:

A Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon production
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society | June 1997, Vol 78, p. 1069-1079
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5:10 This PDO is getting more attention right now because for the last twenty years there's been no global warming.   Because since 1999 the last big El Nino we've been in this negative phase.
~ ~ ~ 
Mr. Steele, you are not dumb, you know what you are saying is shear nonsense, why do are you doing this?

"Global Warming Has Stopped"? 
How to Fool People Using "Cherry-Picked" Climate Data
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No, Global Warming Hasn't 'Stopped'
OCT 17, 2012 10:31 AM ET // By Kieran Mulvaney
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Global Temperature: the Post-1998 Surprise
Posted on January 30, 2014 

It has — quite rightly — been pointed out that surface air temperature (SAT) isn’t all there is to global climate or global warming. Since 1998 we’ve witness sizeable warming of the oceans, including the deep ocean. We’ve seen a staggering decline of Arctic sea ice and the continued dwindling of most of the world’s glaciers. Sea level has continued to rise at a rate much faster than the 20th-century average (which itself was much higher than the average over the last several thousand years). It has been emphasized that a lack of “statistically significant” warming is not the same as a lack of warming.  
It has also been pointed out that the “pause” in SAT is not inconsistent with climate model simulations, that in fact climate models show episodes like we’ve observed “since 1998″ even in a still-warming world. And it has been shown (as climate scientists knew all along) that greenhouse gases aren’t the only factor influencing temperature, that “since 1998″ we’ve seen the most prominent known non-greenhouse factors (el Nino southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols, and solar variations) conspire to lower global temperature. It’s obvious to those whose eyes are open that without continued greenhouse-gas warming to offset these natural factors, we would have seen a notable decline in global temperature “since 1998.” 
But, let’s put all those perfectly valid considerations aside. Let’s ignore the oceans, the ice, the known natural factors, all of it, and look at nothing but global average air temperature (at the surface and in the lower troposphere). 
Riddle me this: if we had been told by an unimpeachable source on January 1st, 1998 that there would be no statistically significant temperature increase over the period from the beginning of 1998 through the end of 2013, what would we have predicted? How would that compare to what has actually happened? . . . 
There it get's really interesting, have a read:
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/global-temperature-the-post-1998-surprise/
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Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated by Half
A new study by British and Canadian researchers shows that the global temperature rise of the past 15 years has been greatly underestimated. The reason is the data gaps in the weather station network, especially in the Arctic. If you fill these data gaps using satellite measurements, the warming trend is more than doubled in the widely used HadCRUT4 data, and the much-discussed “warming pause” has virtually disappeared.
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August 21, 2014
Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
9:20  We get relief when an El Nino flows across and when you do that temperature gradient kept strong trade winds is now relaxed.  And so what you see is the Trade winds relax more and that water that was being stored around Indonesia that weakens the high pressure system, that's blocking the rain and then we start to get our rains.
9:55 This is satellite data for the global temperature ...
Steele is using a doctored graph based on cherry picking a data set that goes back to 1979: http://data.remss.com/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_3.txt -




please see what the RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) has to say about such contrarian claims and such manipulated graphs: 

"The recent slowing in the rise of global temperatures"
Carl Mears | September 22, 2014
"Conclusion: 
My view is that the subduction of heat into the ocean is very likely a significant part of the explanation for the model/observation discrepancies.  What is less clear is whether or not this subduction is due to random fluctuations in the climate, or some sort of response to anthropogenic forcing.  An important question is now ‘how long will the enhanced trade winds continue?’.  The trade wind anomaly lessened during 2013, but we do not know whether this change will persist over the next few years and lead a positive phase of the IPO, or if the IPO will take longer to flip to its other phase. 
I’ll conclude by reiterating that I do not expect that the hiatus and model/observation discrepancies are due to a single cause.  It is far more likely that they are caused by a combination of factors.  Publications, blog posts and media stories that try to pin all the blame on one factor should be viewed with some level of suspicion, whether they are written by climate scientists, journalists, or climate change denialists."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
10:20 That still begs the question: Does the heat being stored, is that the sun, or is that CO2.  
~ ~ ~
It's a silly question.  Of course, it is both, the sun heats the globe and the atmosphere with it's greenhouse gases insulating our globe, allowing less heat to escape into outer space.  What Steele won't share with his audience is that the sun's output has actually declined slightly.

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Sun & climate: moving in opposite directions
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Does CO2 always correlate with temperature (and if not, why not?)

"This demonstrates the danger of drawing conclusions from one small piece of the puzzle without viewing the broader picture. If one focuses on just the last few years, one might erroneously conclude global warming has stopped. 
However, by looking at several decades of data, we see a climate that shows strong short term variability. By understanding the mechanisms that cause climate variability, we see that the current cooling is short term variation imposed on the long term warming trend. What about a longer time series? Over the past century, are there any periods of long term cooling and if so, what is the significance?" 

Figure 4 compares CO2 to global temperatures over the past century. While CO2 is rising from 1940 to 1970, global temperatures show a cooling trend. This is a 30 year period, longer than can be explained by internal variability from ENSO and solar cycles. If CO2 causes warming 

Figure 5: Separate global climate forcings relative to their 1880 values (GISS).
When all the forcings are combined in Figure 6, the net forcing shows good correlation to global temperature. There is still internal variability superimposed on the temperature record due to short term cycles like ENSO. The main discrepancy is a decade centered around 1940. This is thought to be due to a warming bias introduced by US ships measuring engine intake temperature.
 

Figure 6: Blue line is net radiative forcing (GISS). Red line is global temperature anomaly (GISS).
So we see that climate isn't controlled by a single factor - there are a number of influences that can change the planet's radiative balance. However, for the last 35 years, the dominant forcing has been CO2.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
10:27 James Hansen thinks it's from CO2 and he predicted in 2006 we'd have a super El Nino that far exceeded 97-98.
~ ~ ~ 
Actually, here's what Hansen said: "We suggest that an El Nino is likely to originate in 2006 and that there is a good chance it will be a “super El Nino”, rivaling the 1983 and 1997-1998 El Ninos, which were successively labeled the “El Nino of the century” as they were of unprecedented strength in the previous 100 years." http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/2006/04/super-el-nino/
http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2009/02/hansens-el-nino-forecast-reprised.html

Also this was a draft that Hansen sent around to other scientists, he got flack from them and dropped it.  Meaning he withdrew his projection before the date came to pass.  So we see again how the facts of a matter, don't matter to Mr. Steele, he's got his storyline and book to sell and the truth simply get's in the way.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
10:36  if you see where 2006 is on the screen no such thing happened.
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Actually, if you look you'll notice it was an El NiƱo year, though a weak one.
http://ggweather.com/enso/oni.htm
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10:40  Argo data also shows us that the up to 300 meters the ocean its slightly cooled or not warmed at all since 2003. For me that suggests that solar is really driving it and the oceans are kinda modulating it by absorbing it and releasing it.
~ ~ ~ 
Furthermore, Jim, our oceans go much deeper than 300 meters!  Why ignore the rest of that water?
About ARGO:
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How well is Argo able to observe global ocean changes? 
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OCEAN HEAT CONTENT FOR 10-1500M DEPTH BASED ON ARGO
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0-2000 meters
0-700 meters

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11:00  "I put this quote up of one of the IPCC people (Dr. von Storch, 2013) because we're in this La Nina state there's no ventilation heat and there's no rise"
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It's not surprising that Jim would rely on a mathematician who's created quite a spotted record for himself. I read the man's blatantly misleading Spiegel interview, but will keep my opinion to myself, instead I'll share what actual experts have to say about Dr. von Storch's opinions:

stefan rahmstorf @ 7 April 2010 

"What is it all about? SPIEGEL defames some of the best scientists worldwide, who not least for this reason have become prime targets for the “climate skeptics”. If you look at publications in the three scientific top journals (Nature, Science, PNAS), the just 44-year-old Mike Mann has already published 9 studies there, Phil Jones 24 (comments, letters and book reviews not included).  
In contrast, DER SPIEGEL always calls upon the same witness, the mathematician Hans von Storch, who has published only a single article in the prime journals mentioned (and that was faulty). But he says the politically wanted thing, even if without any supporting evidence from the scientific literature: in his view we can easily adapt to climate change. He also publicly accuses the vast majority of his colleagues who disagree with him of alarmism, calls them “prophets of doom” or “eco-activists” who indoctrinate the public 
He (von Storch) also insinuates political or financial motives for disseminating horror scenarios. In this article he says things like “unfortunately, some of my colleagues behave like pastors, who present their results in precisely such a way that they’ll fit to their sermons”. This quote matches the article´s inflationary usage of the words “guru” “popes” “fiery sermons” “missionaries” and so forth.  
And he goes on: “It’s certainly no coincidence that all the mistakes that became public always tended in the direction of exaggeration and alarmism.” The following statement would have probably been more correct: it is certainly no coincidence that all the alleged errors scandalized in the media always tended in the direction of exaggeration and alarmism."
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A Mistake with Repercussions | 27 April 2006
Today, Science published an important comment pointing out that there were serious errors in a climate research article that it published in October 2004. The article concerned (Von Storch et al. 2004) was no ordinary paper: it has gone through a most unusual career. Not only did it make many newspaper headlines [New Research Questions Uniqueness of Recent Warming, Past Climate Change Questioned etc.] when it first appeared, it also was raised in the US Senate as a reason for the US not to join the global climate protection efforts. 
It furthermore formed a part of the basis for the highly controversial enquiry by a Congressional committee into the work of scientists, which elicited sharp protests last year by the AAAS, the National Academy, the EGU and other organisations. It now turns out that the main results of the paper were simply wrong. ..."
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As for Steele 'ventilation/modulation' story.  Of course it is well known that ENSO modulates global surface temperature, but that doesn't cancel out the fact that increasing our planet's insulation layer is forcing more heat to remain within that system.

As for this "hiatus" it's an illusion based on cherry picking, deliberately ignoring the entire components of our global heat distribution engine - north and south of 80° latitude and excluding ocean measurements, among others:

Mar 3, 2014 | Volcanoes contribute to recent warming 'hiatus'
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Feb 14, 2014 | Global warming 'pause' due to unusual trade winds in Pacific ocean, study finds
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Sep 3, 2013
Solving the mysteries of hiatus in global warming
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Mar 21, 2014 | Ocean heat content is a better measure of climate change than surface temperature
"Has climate change come to a halt? For the last decade or so the global average surface temperature has levelled off at around 0.5 °C above the long-term average, prompting many to question whether global warming is really happening or not. But, as a new modelling study shows, measuring surface temperature is not the best way of taking the Earth’s temperature. If instead we look at changes in ocean temperatures, we see that global warming most definitely continues apace. ..."
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Internal variability of Earth's energy budget simulated by CMIP5 climate models
M D Palmer and D J McNeall 2014 Environ. Res. Lett. 9 034016
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11:10  None of the models predicted this hiatus and if this continues for five years we can know we're all wrong.
~ ~ ~ 
Is that a fact? Nope. Wrong again according to the scientists: 

Warming Hiatus - Climate Models Simulate Global Warming Pause
August 9, 2014
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Climate change: The case of the missing heat
Sixteen years into the mysterious ‘global-warming hiatus’, scientists are piecing together an explanation.  Jeff Tollefson - January 15, 2014
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11:29  Still people tell us that the world is on fire and I'm particularly sensitive cause our fuel station had fire come within a couple hundred meters a couple times.  They say that CO2 was drying the land and is causing increasing fires.  If you put it into a historical perspective it looks like bogus propaganda.  This a study looking at the number of fires the frequency fire throughout the southwest.  If you look between 1700 and 1900 there were a tremendous amount of fires12:01  From 1900 to now we hardly see anything.  So we see rising CO2 during this time we see very little fire I'm tempted to tell the story that like a good fire extinguisher CO2 is putting the fire's out but is really more suppression of fires although there is no correlation with rising CO2 there's a strong connection with PTO's and La Ninas.
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There is something quite disingenuous about using this study dated January 1996 to belittle the emerging AGW connection (in concert with other factors) to the increasingly intense fires we are witnessing these days.   Pointing at the 20th century as a guide to the future ignores reality. 

1-1-1996
Historical Fire Regime Patterns in the Southwestern United States Since AD 1700
Thomas W. Swetnam Christopher H. Baisan
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Keep in mind the impacts of AGW is an emerging phenomena. A look at up to date information paints a very different picture than the fantasy Steele is peddling:

Is Global Warming Fueling Increased Wildfire Risks?
Wildfires are already on the rise
Wildfires in the western United States have been increasing in frequency and duration since the mid-1980s, occurring nearly four times more often, burning more than six times the land area, and lasting almost five times as long (comparisons are between 1970-1986 and 1986-2003).
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Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity 
Science 18 August 2006: 
Vol. 313 no. 5789 pp. 940-943 

Western United States forest wildfire activity is widely thought to have increased in recent decades, yet neither the extent of recent changes nor the degree to which climate may be driving regional changes in wildfire has been systematically documented. Much of the public and scientific discussion of changes in western United States wildfire has focused instead on the effects of 19th- and 20th-century land-use history.  

We compiled a comprehensive database of large wildfires in western United States forests since 1970 and compared it with hydroclimatic and land-surface data. Here, we show that large wildfire activity increased suddenly and markedly in the mid-1980s, with higher large-wildfire frequency, longer wildfire durations, and longer wildfire seasons. The greatest increases occurred in mid-elevation, Northern Rockies forests, where land-use histories have relatively little effect on fire risks and are strongly associated with increased spring and summer temperatures and an earlier spring snowmelt.
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Fact Sheet: The Connection Between Climate Change and Recent Extreme Weather Events
by James Bradbury and Christina DeConcini - August 2012
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Furthermore, we shouldn't ignore that global warming is keeping our forests warmer during winter, which in turn has triggered massive bark beetle driven forest die off, which is preparing forests for even more destructive forest fires in our near future, among other problems.
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Climate Change and Bark Beetles of the Western United States and Canada: Direct and Indirect Effects
Climatic changes are predicted to significantly affect the frequency and severity of disturbances that shape forest ecosystems. We provide a synthesis of climate change effects on native bark beetles, important mortality agents of conifers in western North America. Because of differences in temperature-dependent life-history strategies, including cold-induced mortality and developmental timing, responses to warming will differ among and within bark beetle species.  
The success of bark beetle populations will also be influenced indirectly by the effects of climate on community associates and host-tree vigor, although little information is available to quantify these relationships. ..."
{one of the strategies of AGW science contrarians use is that they'll take words such as "little information is available to quantify these relationships" as proof of nonexistence.  
Very disingenuous. }
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Cross-scale Drivers of Natural Disturbances Prone to Anthropogenic Amplification: The Dynamics of Bark Beetle Eruptions
- - -

The changing face of our forests - bark beetle and global warming

"... this article is the culmination of a day listening in on the "San Juan Bark Beetles and Watersheds Workshop" {which was organized by the Western Water Assessment and Mountain Studies Institute} plus discussions with some participants. ..."
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12:48  I'm sayin for everything from drought to heat waves to wildfires is that our climate is far more sensitive to landscape changes in natural ocean cycles is much less sensitive to changes in rising CO2.
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Here again Steele ignores the inconvenient reality that 1700 to 2000 is no proxy for the twenty-first century.  Mind you, we are now at about 400ppm of CO2 and rising with global average temperatures uncomfortably higher than any time in the past 300 years and steadily increasing
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The Last Time CO2 Was This High, Humans Didn’t Exist
- - -
Mauna Loa Observatory!
- - -
Don Wuebbles, expert on climate change
What makes this a milestone? Can you put it in historical perspective for us?
"The last time Earth saw CO2 levels as high as 400 ppm was more than 2 million years ago, during the Pliocene Epoch (about 2.6 to 5.3 million years ago). The difference now is how rapidly we are increasing the levels of CO2.  
Recent estimates suggest CO2 levels reached as high as 415 ppm during the Pliocene – and we will likely pass that level in the next decade. With that level of CO2, during the mid-Pliocene, global temperatures reached averages of 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than today’s temperatures and as much as 18 degrees warmer at the poles. Sea levels ranged from 15 to 130 feet higher than today. A recent paper in the journal Science discusses the much warmer polar regions during the Pliocene compared to today.  
The large heat capacity of the oceans will keep us from reaching such effects quickly, especially in terms of sea level rise, but the problem is that CO2 levels are still rising and could reach 500-800 ppm or more before the end of this century unless we greatly slow down the rate of increase. ..."
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13:08 Any questions?
13:18  The question was "You heard the Pacific temperatures were higher?" and if you look at the upper 700 feet is actually real cooler.
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Say What? Why not look at the upper 700 meters:

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And what if you look a little deeper?

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17:01 "You know I say I want more debate but I wanted to be presidential debate they never talked to each other..."
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Ironic that one.  When I want to debate Jim Steele all he's got is threats, handwaving (peppered with personal lies) and then ignoring the questions - rather than debating with a rational exchange of comments and evidence.

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