The IPCC Says No Local weather Disaster • Watts Up With That?

Guest Post By Willis Eschenbach

OK, quick question: What do these weather phenomena have in common?

  • Air Pollution Weather (temperature inversions)
  • Aridity
  • Avalanche (snow)
  • Average rain
  • Average Wind Speed
  • Coastal Flood
  • Drought Affecting Crops (agricultural drought)
  • Drought From Lack Of Rain (hydrological drought)
  • Erosion of Coastlines
  • Fire Weather (hot and windy)
  • Flooding From Heavy Rain (pluvial floods)
  • Frost
  • Hail
  • Heavy Rain
  • Heavy Snowfall and Ice Storms
  • Landslides
  • Marine Heatwaves
  • Ocean Alkalinity
  • Radiation at the Earth’s Surface
  • River/Lake Floods
  • Sand and Dust Storms
  • Sea Level
  • Severe Wind Storms
  • Snow, Glacier, and Ice Sheets
  • Tropical Cyclones

Give up? So would I.

What these phenomena have in common is that the IPCC says that there is no significant evidence that these phenomena have changed (either increased or decreased) in the “historical period”. In other words, there’s no evidence that “global warming” has changed the strength or frequency of those weather phenomena.

So when folks claim things like “We’re already seeing the effects of global warming in storms/cyclones/floods/fire weather/sea level/etc./etc.”, feel free to tell them that the IPCC and reality itself beg to disagree.

And when Yale360 reflects on the 2017 Hurricane Harvey by saying ” If not for climate change, 2017’s Hurricane Harvey might have flooded half as many homes in the Houston area, a new study finds.” and “Climate change is happening right now with real and substantial costs”, you can feel free to point and laugh.

Don’t believe me? Here, with a large hat tip to a Substack post by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., is Table 12.12 regarding “Climate Impact Drivers (CIDs)” from Chapter 12 of Working Group 1 of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, the most recent report:

Figure 1. IPCC AR6 WGI Chapter 12 Table 12.12

So … what weather phenomena does the IPCC say have actually changed? Well, they say global average air and ocean temperatures have increased by a few tenths of one percent. No news there.

Then they say “extreme heat” has increased. But they’re not talking about actual temperature. Instead, they’re using something called “Health Heat Index (HHI)”.

And while Table 12.12 in Chapter 12 says days with “extreme heat” increased in the historical period, the IPCC is disagreeing with itself. The problem is the previous chapter—Box 11.2 of Table 1 in IPCC AR6 WGI Chapter 11 says the increase in extreme heat is “Not assessed”, because the “baseline is 1981–2000”.

Sounds like dissension in the ranks …

Bemused by this “extreme heat” idea which the IPCC has both claimed and denied, I went to see how they calculate the HHI. Strap in and keep your arms and hands inside the vehicle, it’s a rough ride. Here are the calculations. The basic equation is:

HHI = c1 + c2 * T + c3 * T ^ 2 + RH * (c4 + c5 * T + c6 * T ^ 2) + RH ^ 2 * (c7 + c8 * T + c9 * T ^ 2))

T” is the temperature in °F, and “RH” is the relative humidity in percent. As for the others:

  • c1 = −42.379
  • c2 = 2.04901523
  • c3 = −6.83783 × 10−3
  • c4 = 10.14333127
  • c5 = −0.22475541
  • c6 = 1.22874 × 10−3
  • c7 = −0.05481717
  • c8 = 8.5282 × 10−4
  • c9 = −1.99 × 10−6

Zowie! Gotta love tunable parameters specified to 8 significant decimals. But wait, because as they say on TV, “There’s more!” Here are the further details.

If RH > 13% and T is between 80 °F and 112 °F, then HHI is adjusted by subtracting the following value:

Adjustment = ((13 – RH) / 4) * sqrt((17 – abs(T – 95)) / 17)

If RH > 85% and T is between 80 °F and 87 °F, the following value is added to HHI:

Adjustment =  ((RH – 85) / 10) * ((87 – T) / 5)

If HHI < 80 °F, then HHI is recalculated as follows:

HHI = 0.5 * (T + 61.0 + ((T-68.0)*1.2) + (RH*0.094)))

In order to confuse the unwary, the result is given units of degrees Fahrenheit (°F). However, this is not physically possible, because the calculation includes T, T^2, and sqrt(T).

In any case, “Extreme Heat” in the IPCC lexicon is when the Health Heat Index goes over 105°F, referred to as “AT105F” … whatever that means.

To find out how unusual the AT105F threshold is, I gathered the NOAA daily temperature and humidity data for 1582 US cities, and calculated the HHI for a number of them. Turns out that in some cities in the US, like say Yuma, Arizona, annually on average there are 30 days or more with an HHI of 105°F or more. Sometimes far more. This is supposed to scare us?

What else does the IPCC say has changed in the “historical period”? Well, they say “cold spells” have increased. And I might be missing it, but I can’t find anywhere that the IPCC defines exactly what they are calling a “cold spell”. The IPCC Working Group I Glossary doesn’t define the term at all … so we have no clue what they’re referring to. Science at its finest. In any case, whatever they might think “cold spells” are, they say they’ve decreased in Australia, Africa, and Northern South America. Since cold spells kill far, far more people than heat spells, seems to me this is a good thing.

Other than that? Well, they say that river, lake, and Arctic sea ice have decreased.

And they have “Medium Confidence” that permafrost has decreased, that there’s been a slight decrease in dissolved oxygen and a slight increase in salinity in some parts of the ocean.

Oh, and surface CO2 levels have increased.

And that’s it.

Call me crazy, but I’m not seeing any “climate emergency” or “climate crisis” visible in any of that.

Of course, they go on to use the most alarmist, most useless future scenario, the scenario called either “RCP8.5” or “SSP5-8.5”, to make all kinds of claims based on Tinkertoy™ climate models about how bad things will be in 2050 and 2100 … but we’ve seen how totally wrong all such climate projections have proven to be over the last 40 years. So there’s no reason to believe these projections.

To illustrate some of these issues, I took a look at the US National Ocean and Atmosphere Agency (NOAA) extreme temperature and other extreme weather records for the US states. To start with, here are the decades when states hit their maximum temperatures.

Figure 2. State maximum temperature records by decade.

Now, bear in mind that the temperature has been rising, in fits and starts, over the entire period shown in these state extreme graphs. And more than half the states set maximum temperature records in the 1930s. Sorry, but given that data, I’m not believing that extreme temperatures are a problem in the US.

How about extreme minimum temperatures?

Figure 3. State minimum temperature records by decade.

No clear pattern in that one, which I suppose is why they specifically do not say there’s been a change in “cold spells” in the US.

Next, here’re the heavy 24-hour rain records:

Figure 4. State 24-hour rainfall records by decade.

Again, no clear pattern. Heavy rain peaked in the ’90s but has been decreasing since then.

Finally, here’s snowfall.

Figure 5. State 24-hour snowfall records by decade.

The period 1960-2000 was a time of heavy snow, but since then it’s dropped off.

This US data is just another part of the mountain of evidence as to why, despite all of the posturing, the IPCC doesn’t think there’s any significant evidence of any “climate emergency” or “climate crisis”.

However, don’t expect things to change soon. We now have what might be called the “Climate/Industrial Complex”, complete with lots of people making lots of money off the imaginary “climate crisis”, and as Upton Sinclair remarked,

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

I’ve covered this lack of any evidence for a climate “crisis” or “emergency” in my post “Where Is The Climate Emergency?“.

And the alarmists’ answer to that question?

“We doan gotta show you no steenkin’ emergency … we’re climate scientists!”

Yeah, right …


PS—I’m done with trying to defend people’s misinterpretation of my words. So … when you comment, please quote the exact words you are discussing.


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