Meteorologist Bastardi: Climate Crisis? Four Major Metrics That Say Otherwise
By Meteorologist Joe Bastardi
I have long advocated that climatologists take a course on long-range forecasting so they can better understand the inherent errors in trying to predict the weather or climate. In the debate over the fate of the planet, where one side is always pushing hysteria, the weather is plainly not cooperating with the missive.
Forecasters take climatology classes and are now being taught the one-sided climate narrative, but in general, climatologists do not have to learn how to forecast. If they did, they would have to confront errors. I have had to confront mine, the latest example being this past winter’s botched forecast for the Southeast. Because climatologists are not exposed to forecast verification, it has led to a bold initiative that simply pushes an issue because no one will question it.
From the evidence I have seen, not only is the cause of warming questionable (there’s no question it’s warming; the question is why it’s warming), but the implied negative impacts are also questionable, because there are factual examples of the oppositehappening.
I am not trying to be mean and nasty. That is not my mission. My mission in writing a piece like this is to show what I am looking at and why I question what I am being told. It does me no good to engage in the kind of activity I see out there today with derogatory labeling. In fact, I am trying to go the other way.
The assumption, of course, is that everyone is truly searching for the right answer. But if that is the case, is the missive being pushed not unlike using the fruit of a poisoned tree, wherein the means justify the ends? What if the ends are not at all what they are purported to be? If a catastrophe that is driving children to sue the government is actually occurring, why are there major metrics opposite of what is being claimed?
As a young child, I had no interest in suing the government. I was given a book in which an entire chapter was devoted to climate. It stated that if the earth warmed, it would snow more because the warming would not be enough to prevent snow in very cold places, and the warming would be from more water vapor. And due to water runoff into the ocean from extra snowmelt, a cooling cycle would begin. I read that 55 years ago.
When I got to college, that is precisely what we were taught in climatology. Of course, the sun is involved, and there are people opining that the low solar activity means a little ice age is on the way. I believe too much heat has accumulated in the oceans over the years due to natural processes (perhaps including 200 years of high sunspots) for that to come true. In short, I see a balancing act natural to the system occurring, and humans are observing it — each person with a different way of viewing things. I wrote previously about perspective, and I think that is very important.
There is no denying the planet is warmer now than it was at the start of the satellite era, and a linkage to the oceans is clearly seen. That being said, where it’s warming gives us a clue as to why it’s warming. More warming in the coldest, driest areas is a function of increased water vapor, not CO2. Because the oceans have warmed, there is more water vapor in the air. I understand the CO2 feedback argument, but as stated before, in the face of the planet’s entire history, why shouldn’t we question that argument?
In any case, a look at snow cover across the Northern Hemisphere shows the increase that is occurring, which is in line with natural climate cycle theory.
So here’s the question: If you learned something when you were young and then you later saw it happening in front of you, would you not at least question the ideas that say it is the result of something different? Is it unreasonable to do so? Why are the “no more snow” cries we heard back in 2000 not robustly questioned?
The back end of the cold PDO period from 2007-2013 produced a lot of drought across the U.S. This was turned into a perma-drought missive, first in Texas then in California. And of course, if we look at the Palmer Drought Index, we see it was dry in 2012.
At the time, my company took the lead in pointing out the similarities to the 1950s in the Southern Plains. And like clockwork, it turned. We said this because we had interests not in climate change but in supplying clients with accurate ideas on where patterns were going. If you pour concrete or raise crops or even have to schedule Little League baseball games, it pays to know if it’s going to be drier or wetter than average. That is what we do. That is always my main focus.
But you can see how that can conflict with a missive that says something very different. If almost everyone is saying you are in a perma-drought, and a lone voice is saying it will reverse, then someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong. My question is why no one bothered to call out the hysteria after the big drought years. It has since turned wet in California as the Pacific Decadol Oscillation (PDO) has warmed.
The result is the opposite of the hysteria. So much so that the missive now is too much rain, which of course will reverse as it always does in the coming years.
Sea surface temperatures went from this (notice the cold ring in the Pacific)…
…to this over the past 5 years:
The PDO is a known major driver of the weather, and yet the people pushing the perma-drought narrative won’t even acknowledge the direct link.
Tornadoes are a big deal, of course. But across the board, the metrics are showing the opposite of the hysteria being pushed. Tornado frequency is decreasing:
The frequency of strong to violent tornadoes is also decreasing:
You are always going to have a warm-air source for tornadoes. But if it’s warming more where the environment is naturally cooler, it decreases the overall clash potential. Past colder periods clearly featured more strong tornadoes than have recent warm times. This year we think the tornado count will be a bit below average, but you can bet whether above or below average, any destructive tornado will be portrayed as evidence of the climate catastrophe we supposedly are in.
The decrease in fatalities is a flat-out compliment to the men and women who are leading the way in issuing warnings. This shows exactly how to adapt to the weather with better technology, not try to change what we cannot. You have a much better shot at getting far enough away to save your life with a 10-minute warning than you do with a two-minute warning — which, again, is a great tribute to the advancement made in forecasting and to the great job done by NOAA in providing for the common defense. I cannot overstate enough my admiration.
Given more people are living in harm’s way, this chart is a finger in the eye of those claiming the situation is getting worse.
The trend is clearly down across the board. Yet why are no mainstream journalists curious about this?
Finally, with regard to hurricanes, how many times have we heard it is worse than ever? Or that an aberration of an active season is a harbinger of things to come?
Dr. Phillip Klotzbach provides these charts showing a clear decline in the frequency of landfalling U.S. hurricanes and intensity.
Will any mainstream journalist stand up to people asserting the opposite?
With the summer season coming, we turn away from the snow season to focus on droughts, tornadoes, and hurricanes. We believe it’s going to be another wet summer as a whole for the U.S., with drought held down — which, of course, will raise hysteria about too much rain.
It has rained a lot in California, so guess what? Another big wildfire season is on the way there as we have demonstrated for you over the past two years.
I think the tornado count is bit below normal, but I am not as bullishly low as other sources. Still, if it happens to be above normal, it will be an aberration against the trend.
We also predict a below-average hurricane season, but you should know full well that if a big one hits, hysteria will ensue.
You can see how muddy the waters have become. The purity of what I love is being destroyed. How can this be? You are being told the numbers are out of control, yet I have provided four major metrics in which that is clearly not the case. I am not “cherry picking.” It is people pushing the issue that keep insisting that the opposite is happening, and they are using their claims to try to drive home a point that I believe is based on an agenda. Their claims are are clearly not in line with the examples shown above. Which is why I tell people that today’s dialogue on climate and weather in reality have little to do with climate and weather. That’s the biggest shame of all.
Joe Bastardi, a pioneer in extreme weather and long-range forecasting, is a contributor to The Patriot Post on environmental issues. He is the author of “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore — and Others.”