Thursday, April 16, 2015

#9 Steele's heat waves and the AGW fallacy - CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

A virtual debate with Jim Steele, based on his interview at Heartland Institute: 

Heartland Daily Podcast | Jim Steele | January 27, 2015 
Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett (for the National Center for Policy Analysis) interviews Jim Steele, ecologist, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada field campus of San Francisco State University

Steele writes:  "And we trust the scientific theory because its been fairly tested by others - the theory must out perform all alternate explanations, eliminate confounding factors plus lively debate.  But, what I was finding was the scientific process was being defiled when scientists refused to debate in public. ... and any attempt to prevent that debate, in our schools, in the media, in peer reviewed science, it's only denigrating the scientific process.  ... And I think those public debates would help create real climate literacy …"

Well then Mr. Steele, let's have our Great Global Warming Science Debate.  
I will accept these responses from your Heartland Institute podcast as your opening round.  I'll offer my rebuttals, evidence and questions.  I agree to post your thoughtful responses unaltered. (Though it's looking like you're going to do your best to hide and ignore these critiques of your self-certain claims. Your silence will serve to expose your hypocrisy and inability to defend your statements on an even playing field.)
In this ninth installment we'll look at one of your "biggest pet peeves that every heat wave get's trumpeted as evidence of global warming" ...oh my.

"How should society contend with those who knowingly disseminate misinformation about climate science."  Lawrence Torcello
Steele:  You mentioned there was the sort of the high temperatures, you know one of my biggest pet peeves is that every heat wave get's trumpeted as evidence of global warming  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To begin with you don't specify who's doing the "trumpeting", so it's a meaningless complaint.

Your consistent use of such deliberate vagueness underscores your deceptive intensions.

More important, why are you rejecting what scientists and researchers are observing?

NASA | 2014 Continues Long-Term Global Warming 

Published on Jan 16, 2015
The year 2014 now ranks as the warmest on record since 1880, 
according to an analysis by NASA scientists.
Steele:  but the heat waves usually occur under very dry conditions. Dry conditions allow the earth and air to heat up much more quickly.  And when you get this high pressure settle in, it allows for greater solar insolation, that heats the land more quickly and that high pressure dome prevents convection that would carry away that heat, much like rolling up the windows in your car, watching your car heat up.  And because water vapor makes up 80% of the greenhouse gases or even more, the heat waves are actually happening when there's a drop in the concentration of greenhouse gases.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Jim, your myopic focus on the local seems to have blinded you to the global.  That was a horrendous description of what a heat wave is all about.  

Since you won't allow yourself to trust me, how about learning from the venerable Farmers Almanac?

"A heat wave occurs when a system of high atmospheric pressure moves into an area. In such a high-pressure system, air from upper levels of our atmosphere is pulled toward the ground, where it becomes compressed and increases in temperature.

"This high concentration of pressure makes it difficult for other weather systems to move into the area, which is why a heat wave can last for several days or weeks. The longer the system stays in an area, the hotter the area becomes. The high-pressure inhibits winds, making them faint to nonexistent. Because the high-pressure system also prevents clouds from entering the region, sunlight can become punishing, heating up the system even more. The combination of all of these factors come together to create the exceptionally hot temperatures we call a heat wave."
Steele:  But people are blaming heat wave increase on greenhouse gases.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mr. Jim Steele, here again is an example of you crossing the line into the realm of perhaps legally actionable offenses.  
I'm no authority on the law, but I do know a thing or two about upholding morals and ethics and the learning process.  

For a person who claims to be educated and enlightened in the ways and accomplishments of science, to stand in front of an audience and ridicule the overwhelming scientific and technical understanding regarding CO2 and other greenhouse gases holding in more heat within our global climate system is unconscionable.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jim, why are you doing all this anyways? 
You've never made a serious study of atmospheric physics.  
Have you Mr. Steele?

You spent your career administering the San Francisco State University, Sierra Nevada Field Campus.  You've taught biology 101 at high school level, given awesome nature hikes, and are an accomplished bird watcher, plus apparently being the driving force behind the restoration of a meadow's hydrologic health... though given the current drought that meadow is as parched as all the rest.  Isn't it?

And now you prance around wearing your San Francisco State University status like some badge of authority, while you're busy broadcasting your serial of meritless slander against scientists and studies and consensus understanding with deliberately contrived nonsense intent on rallying a political constituency rather than describing the understanding.
Steele:  Now the best example of how extreme heat can happen, is all, actually the world record was established in 1913 in Death Valley was the time when both the sun's energy and CO2 concentrations was very low.  
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Mr. Steele can you please explain why you believe one of the hottest spots on this planet would make a good example of what global warming means to the temperate zones of our planet?  You know, where most people live and work?
Steele:  And that record has stood for over a hundred years now.  But we're not teaching people about these natural climate changes. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jim what does the heat record at Death Valley have to do with "we're not teaching people about these natural climate changes" - please explain?

Also can you explain why you don't tell your audience that the last global cold temperature record was in 1911 and since then we've had 17 record breaking global hot temperature records?

As for not teaching people about the full variety of climate drivers who are you kidding?  

One can't get through climate 101 without learning about the full spectrum of various natural drivers and moderators that have influenced Earth's climate for billions of years.

Let's see if you can name one "natural climate change" driver that's been ignored?

If you can't do that , well then . . . why shouldn't your game be considered legally actionable?  

Where does political free speech end and We The People's right to truthful information begin?
Steele: Everybody is just pushing it as every change, every extreme is due to CO2 and that's doing the public a gross disservice.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jim, please can we consider what you are saying?  "pushing it as every change, every extreme is due to CO2"  Why never ask why that might be so?  Remember unidirectional skepticism is nothing but denial!

Why not ask yourself, why are all these people blaming CO2?  To understand why, you must first recognize that the global matters more than the local.  

Our Earth's climate system is a global thing, the atmosphere is a global shroud holding in warmth and moisture and air.  We have been increasing the insulating ability of that atmosphere, this means our global climate systems are warming up.  There are many places for that heat to go and human's ability to measure all of it is less than perfect.

But, our inability to measure every joule doesn't make it any less real. 

Everything else flows from that understanding, without it you will always remain ignorant, with it everything about climate and what we've been witnessing this past half century falls into place and makes coherent sense.

Which is more than can be said of your gish gallop of crazy-making, which leads to nothing but more confusion.

As for "doing the public a gross disservice" you are doing so in spades, shame on you!

Supporting Evidence

Global Warming Fired Up Heat Waves in 2013 
Scientists find a link between increasing greenhouse gas emissions and deadly hot spells but drought and downpours proved more complicated … 
By Gayathri Vaidyanathan, Elizabeth Harball and ClimateWire 
ClimateWire  |  September 30, 2014 
Blistering heat waves recorded around the globe in 2013 were linked to human-caused global warming, according to a broad survey of studies on extreme weather events published yesterday ...
Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 
Of the five heat waves studied in the report, human-caused climate change was found to have clearly increased the severity and likelihood of those events. ...

Scientists Trace Extreme Heat in Australia to Climate Change 
By Justin Gillis   Sept. 29, 2014 
“... When we look at the heat across the whole of Australia and the whole 12 months of 2013, we can say that this was virtually impossible without climate change,” said David Karoly, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne who led some of the research. ...
U.S. Climate Has Already Changed, Study Finds, Citing Heat and Floods 
By Justin Gillis May 6, 2014 
The study, known as the National Climate Assessment, was prepared by a large scientific panel overseen by the government and received final approval at a meeting Tuesday.

Climate 101: How global warming is making heat waves and precipitation more extreme

The fundamentals
Every weather event that occurs today takes place in an atmosphere that has been fundamentally altered by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil for energy. As a result, there is now more carbon dioxide, the main long-lived greenhouse gas, in the air than there has been at any other point in human history. There is also more water vapor in the air, which provides energy for storms and can lead to more extreme precipitation events.

Global warming's role depends on the event you're talking about

The science is largely in when it comes to two particular extreme events: heat waves and heavy precipitation events. The science is less clear when dealing with hurricanes, and even more uncertainty exists with the relationship between tornadoes and a warming climate. (But even there, the science is getting more precise.)

1. Heat waves
The bottom line: There are more of them, they're lasting longer, and they are getting more intense.

According to the most recent scientific research, there is evidence showing that the number of warm days and nights has increased globally, while the number of cold days and nights has decreased. The frequency of heat waves has gone up in Europe, Asia and Australia, according to a comprehensive report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...

According to a study published in 2012, the odds of extremely hot summers (above a particular temperature threshold) have risen at a dramatic rate since the middle of the 20th century. ...

For example, a groundbreaking study on the 2003 European heat wave ...

They detail record-shattering heat in Australia in 2013, when the Bureau of Meteorology was famously forced to add a new color to its weather maps to show extremely hot temperatures up to 129 degrees Fahrenheit. ...

The studies, which were published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society ...

2. Extreme precipitation events
The bottom line: Extreme precipitation events (both rain and snow) are becoming more likely and common across broad regions of the world.

With warming air and ocean temperatures, there is now more evaporation taking place on average worldwide. This is putting more water vapor in the air, thereby providing more fuel for storms and leading to more extreme precipitation events. The increase in precipitation events is not uniform worldwide, with some areas becoming drier while others are getting wetter.
Global average surface temperatures have already warmed by about 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900 ...

The IPCC found that there is a 90% chance or greater that with increased temperatures in coming years, extreme precipitation events will "become more intense and frequent in many regions." ...

A study published in the journal Nature in 2011 found that global warming boosted the odds of a flood that caused extensive damage in England in 2000. ...

Currently, it takes many months, if not longer, for scientists to conduct extreme event attribution studies. However, a group of researchers in the U.S. and U.K. is currently working on finding ways to dramatically shrink that time down, so that a storm's ties to climate change can be explored in near real-time."
Climate Communication - Science and Outreach 
Heat Waves: The Details

A heat wave is generally defined as a period of several days to weeks of abnormally hot weather.
In the past 3-4 decades, there has been an increasing trend in high-humidity heat waves, which are characterized by the persistence of extremely high night-time temperature.1 The combination of high humidity and high night-time temperature can make for a deadly pairing, offering no relief and posing a particular threat for the elderly. Extreme heat events are responsible for more deaths annually than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined.2 
At the same time, low-humidity heat waves associated with droughts and fueled in part by climate change contribute to the dry conditions that are driving wild fires.3 4 
Numerous studies have documented that human-induced climate change has increased the frequency and severity of heat waves across the globe.5 ..
NOAA National Climate Data Center 
Temperature, Precipitation, and Drought

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