Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If only the weather were as predictable as the alarmists.

It seems that a group of US warming alarmists have been emailing one another discussing an offensive against those nasty people who question their theory. I was looking at those emails and one of them, apparently from David Schindler says:

"I'd add that Edmonton is near snowless and has been shirtsleeve weather for most of 2010 instead of the usual -40C... but of course there are no major media here, so only the locals know!"

Unlike most global warming theory, which is based on models projecting into the future what the theorists think will happen, given the assumptions they make, this claim is easily verified in the here and now. So I did.

First, I wondered if the "usual" temperature in Edmonton is -40C, as the author claimed.

According to the BBC the average minimum temperature in Edmonton, for January, is -20 and the average high is -9. For February it is -17 and -6 respectively. The record low is -50, so it appears that -40C is not usual at all, but would be highly unusual. I went to the Canadian Weather Office for more official data. They say the daily average in January, in Edmonton, is -11.7, not -40 as Schindler claimed in his email. For February, the weather office says the average is -8.4. They say the January "extreme minimum" was -44.4, set in 1943 and for February the extreme minimum was -46.1, set in 1939.

The record lows for Edmonton are barely colder than what Schindler claimed is the "usual" weather in Edmonton. The official data shows the "usual" weather is nowhere near -40C, either an a daily average, or as the daily low. Temperatures of -40 are not "usual."

What about Edmonton having "shirtsleeve" weather this year? Since Schindler said this was "for most of 2010" and since he wrote the email on February 27th, it is fair to look at average temperatures for January and February in Edmonton. Obviously there is no objective definition of "shirtsleeve weather," so that is more ambiguous than the now-debunked claim that the usual temperature is -40C. But I sincerely doubt anyone reading this would actually define the weather in Edmonton, this year, as shirtsleeve weather. I would dare Prof. Schindler to spend much time outside, in his shirtsleeves, during even the warmest of the days this year in Edmonton. At best there were a few hours that might qualify as "shirtsleeze" weather. A few hours over 58 days is not "most of 2010."

For the last third of January the temperature never got higher than -5.1C (yes that is negative) and the minimum temperature went down t0 -21.5C.

Here is the maximum temperature, per day, for February: 1st, -6.4C; 2nd, -7.4C; 3rd, -4.7C; 4th, -6.6C; 5th, -8.9C; 6th, -6.7C; 7th, -5.9C; 8th, -5.6C; 9th, -2.4C; 1oth, 1.7C; 11th, -1.7C; 12th, -8.6C; 13th, -14.6C; 14th, -6.1C; 15th, 4.8C; 16th, 1C; 17th, 2.3C; 18th, 2; 19th,-2.4C; 20th, -6.3C; 21st, 0.4C; 22nd -5.1C; 23rd, -5.1C; 24th, 4.2C; 25th, 5.5C; 26th, 7.3C; 27th, 0.6. I end with the day of Schindler's email since he was referring to the weather to that date.

Considering that when Schindler made his claim, there had been only 58 days in 2010, it certainly was easy to check how accurate he was. He said that "most of 2010," as of that day, had been shirtsleeve weather. The official data shows the average day to be below freezing. Only a few days crept above freezing and just a handful had highs in the 40s (F). Even defining "shirtsleeve weather" very broadly it is impossible to say that "most of 2010" was "shirtsleeve weather." Mr. Schindler grossly exaggerated the warming.

I have also looked at his other claim, that the "usual" temperature in Edmonton is -40C. I don't know if "usual" is supposed to be the mean temperature or the usual low temperature. Normally I would take his comment as referring to the usual mean temperature. Unfortunately for him, neither would substantiate his claim. The most favorable interpretation would be to say he meant the mean low temperature for those months. But that is still far off the mark since the mean couldn't be that close to the record low. For the record, the mean temperature for Janaury, 2010 in Edmonton was -12; for February it was -8. In addition to exaggerating Edmonton's "warm" weather, Schindler grossly exaggerated it's "usual" cold weather as well. This seems par for the course with the alarmists, hence the designation "alarmist."

Perhaps Mr. Schindler thought he could get away with it because, as he said, "there are no major media here." Unfortunately for him, there is weather data available. Of course, that is before they "adjust" the data with unknown formulas in their climate models. No doubt when they finish that process Edmonton will have had the "warmest" winter in recent memory.

But, doesn't Mr. Schindler's claim—even if it were true—confuse weather with climate? After all, we constantly hear that record colds don't disprove warming theory since the one is weather, and the theory is about climate. Of course, when we have extraordinarily warm days the warming alarmists bleat about it constantly. So apparently the "weather isn't climate" slogan only applies to weather that contradicts their theory, not weather that is alleged to confirm it. As far as I know, all weather, of whatever kind, for however long, is considered proof of warming. I've yet to find out what the alarmists say would falsify their theory.

I also note, with some amusement, that one of the prominent names among the emailers about countering the evil skeptics was Paul Ehrlich. Ehrlich is certainly an alarmist, if ever there was one. His history of unsubstantiated looming disasters are well known. And, again par for the course, his solutions were always massive government control of individuals. His first alarmist work was The Population Bomb, which said: "By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth's population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people." He predicted a massive famine in America with populations plunging to around 2.6 million by 1999. (Yep, still waiting for that one as well.) He predicted the oceans wouldbe destroyed by 1979 and said: "If I were a gambler, I would tekae even money that Engliand will not exist in the year 2000." If anyone deserves the lable "alarmist" it is Ehrlich. I know of no prominent left-wing environmentalist who has been as hysterical, on as broad range of topics as Ehrlich. I should also note that I can't think of anyone in the field of public academia who has been so consistently wrong either.

Given Ehrlich's history of paranoid alarmism I'm not suprised he is now in a warming alarmist. Given his track record, when it comes to being right, I find his presence in the warming camp actually rather assuring.

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