Right Opinion

Disaster Du Jour, Part I

Joe Bastardi · May 22, 2015

Sometimes I think the AGW crowd is like a swarm of locusts, moving from field to field. It’s actually a great strategy because there’s always going to be some location on earth where some kind of extreme is occurring — though, in most places, the weather is tranquil the majority of the time. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be so many people on the planet, which I suspect is another agenda that drives all this. Simply find a place where a rare event is occurring, then blast headlines that claim it’s because man is destroying the planet.

It’s disaster du jour. The West Coast drought is bad, and in some places as bad as we have seen in the time of accurate records. But low lake levels are not being helped by atrocious planning or policies that value smelt over people (example: allowing a river that could be used for farming and civilian water supplies to not be properly utilized to protect a creature called the Delta smelt).

Let’s go back three years to Texas and the southern Great Plains and the talk of a new dust bowl. Last year, we said the drought was going to start reversing. I even wrote this: “The Coming Nine Months: Mud in the Eye of the So-Called ‘Permanent’ Drought?

Look at the Palmer Drought Severity Index in the southern Plains last year in April vs. this year.

This continues to reverse. But do you hear anyone who has turned the focus to the California drought pointing out that the hysteria in the southern Plains is reversing? The same type of thing happened in the 1950s — hot and dry in the southern Plains, then relief with the El Niño late in the decade.

To be sure, the Pacific, which is going through a similar cycle as the 1950s when it suddenly cooled, then warmed for a couple of years, will cool again. And with so many more people living in the South and in California, this is an adaptation-to-nature problem, not a let’s-all-act-to-change-nature problem as it’s being advertised. But the media blindly follows the radical missive of the AGW agenda, so the disaster du jour rules the headlines.

A lot of this is like the ozone scare we hear about all the time. Back in 1992, Al Gore was very concerned about the ozone hole opening up. What was amazing to me is that, if it’s opening up again, it had to have closed. So whenever we hear about the ozone hole opening up, how come no one in the media asks, “Well, why did it close up so it can open up again; isn’t that natural?”

Same as drought, floods, etc.

What about the Arctic ice cap? Over the past two summers it has not melted nearly as much as it did before, so it’s not reaching as deep a negative anomaly, even as it was supposed to have practically disappeared.

If we look at the longstanding Arctic temperature observation that has been there since the late 1950s, we see something quite interesting. In 2012, the summer of the last big melt, the Arctic temperature was above normal at a warm time of the year. And even if close to normal, the normal is still above freezing for the rest of the warmest part of the year.

But this was not the case in 2013 or 2014. It stayed just below normal.

Notice how warm it is during the cold time of the year. The areas where a lot of “global warming” has occurred are areas where “warm” is still frigid. Look what is going on now.

What’s very interesting is that the forecast for the anomaly, which last year also was forecasted to wind up positive, is even stronger this year!

Even more interesting is the cooling of the north Atlantic SST’s since 2012.

You can also see the cool ring in the Pacific that is associated with the hot dry summers in the southern U.S. When the opposite happen, you expect it to get wet where it was dry. Therefore, it’s raining a lot in the areas that at the end of the summer of 2012 were being branded as the second coming of the dust bowl. But the biggest factor is the cool water in the north Atlantic. This is right in line with climate cycle theory on the Atlantic Multidecadol Oscillation and the return of the northern ice cap! Another forecast adds to the conclusion that this will be another year with less than hyped ice melt: The next 45 days are colder than normal throughout the Arctic.

Is anyone in the media paying attention? Why is the ice anomaly at the height of the melt season going the other way? I do not expect it to get above normal and stay this year — that is still several years away — but I have been saying for quite some time that by 2030 this should be back to normal. To be clear, I think the U.S.-generated CFSV2 model that shows this is too optimistic. But if Arctic ice is your big concern, then the trend is your friend, unless of course you were rooting for that disaster du jour to occur that was being touted several years ago.

Finally, check this out:

Look familiar? Sound like what we are hearing now right? Well, it was from a similar cyclical pattern in the 1950s that lead to the aforementioned fierce drought in the southern Plains. It’s from the September 1953 edition of Popular Mechanics Magazine, only then they were blaming it on the Atom Bomb. Now they blame it on CO2. We know the former was wrong, and it’s very highly probable the latter is too. The common denominator in both is the cyclical nature of the climate, inherent in the design of the system.

So you can see disasters du jour are nothing new when speculating on nature. What may be new though is the change in the attitude by which ideas like this are presented, then challenged. The president in the 1950s was Dwight Eisenhower, who when he left office had reservations about the military-industrial complex. But something rarely brought up was this in the speech on the scientific-technological elite:

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

How true it is that the weather repeats itself in the large sense, and how true the weather example of the 1950s is showing us this today. But Ike’s words foretold of what we are seeing today in the climate fight from the scientific elite, and are certainly more accurate than the hysteria of the disaster du jour crowd today about global warming.

Interesting. As highly regarded Ike was for his service to his country from soldiering to civilian office, it turns out he was a heck of a forecaster. His words foretold of the disaster du jour mentality that has taken hold today.


Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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