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10 Apr 2024 | News Roundup
  • All the news that’s fit to anticipate: NBC warns that “Early hurricane season forecast suggests extremely high number of storms” based on something that isn’t climate change but, of course, is: “Sea surface temperatures have soared worldwide, setting new daily records for more than a year. The trend has puzzled ocean scientists, though it is likely spurred, in part, by climate change.” So it didn’t puzzle journalists. But if the hurricane season is quiet think they’ll run a retraction, of the prediction or the insinuation?
  • From the department of not thinking before speaking, The Guardian crows that “The mainstay of casual conversation – the unexpected state of the weather – is under existential threat. Scientists plan to make forecasts so accurate they will be able to determine weather patterns a month into the future.” Wait a minute. Weren’t you all just telling us they could determine them 80 years into the future?
  • Speaking of seeing into the future, back in February a green venture capitalist wrote in the New York Times that someone should buy land in Washington, D.C. “and put up a tall marble wall to serve as a climate memorial. Carve on this memorial the names of public figures actively denying the existence of climate change. Carve the names so deep and large, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren need not search the archives.” In case there’s no Internet in that Brave New World. But before you get hysterical, let’s imagine someone doing such a thing 100 years ago to immortalize the opponents of long-forgotten Progressive crazes, from Prohibition to Eugenics, and see how it would be holding up now.
  • If a tree gets missed in the forest it might seem trivial. But a news story about how firefighting and forest management in the Canadian province of British Columbia are “potentially being hampered by inaccurate government data” actually reminds us, yet again, that the “settled science” on climate is anything but. You see, the whole climate scare relies on the notion that computer programmers in particular have extremely complete and reliable factual data about pretty much everything on Earth, under the sea and up in the sky and also extremely complete and reliable understanding of the processes whereby they interact. So when you learn that the data set is actually incomplete or just plain wrong on something as comparatively simple as trees in BC, where we now learn a “data gap” creates “‘mismatches’ between remotely-sensed mapping, forest fuel classifications, and observations on the ground”, what does anyone suppose is happening on a global scale? Including that bit where a few years back they upped the global tree estimate from 400 billion to 3 trillion without, um, changing their calculations of how CO2 would interact with the ecosystem to set the sky on fire.
  • All climate all the time. Scientific American apparently literally cannot send out an email without invoking it, even if they’re reduced to “As much as 85 percent of U.S. emissions of sulfuryl fluoride – a rare greenhouse gas and common pesticide used to treat termites – comes from California.”

4 comments on “Tidbits”

  1. "Scientists plan to make forecasts so accurate they will be able to determine weather patterns a month into the future."
    Sorry fellas, but weather is a chaotic system, which means that very small differences in input can lead to wildly different outputs. It's the butterfly effect - a butterfly flappping its wings in the Amazon rainforest can potentially lead to, or alternatively prevent, a hurricane making landfall in the US a few weeks later. Nowadays we can make accurate (better than 90% probable) weather forecasts up to 3 or 4 days. I doubt it will ever get significantly better.

  2. Far as hurricanes go,last season,there was almost none.No retraction from NBC et al.Scientists predict weather?They couldn't tell me with any certainty whatsoever if it was gonna be cloudy or clear for the recent eclipse event.Clear here,not so much in Niagara Falls or Western NY.Some of
    those "long-forgotten" Progressive crazes are still with us.Kansas didn't repeal Prohibition untill 1947.And countless US counties especially in the
    Bible Belt are "dry",and the voters there keep voting to keep it that way.MADD Canada is a powerful political lobby group,whose slogan used to be
    don't drink and drive.Now it's "No Alcohol,No Drugs,No Victims".Tell me again that MADD Canada is not an alcohol prohibitionist group!

  3. I’ve yet to see any evidence they can even make accurate predictions 24 hours out. They can only say things like 54% chance of rain…that isn’t a forecast since it either will or will not rain. A probability isn’t a forecast in weather any more than saying a 50% chance the stock market will be up tomorrow is an economic forecast. I ran a 6 month check on my forecaster and only 10% of the time did he get either the high or low temperature correct, zero percent correct on both temperatures. I really doubt they will even get much better on the weather 24 hours out, they aren’t ever going to be particularly accurate a week out.

  4. Yes, you are spot on there Karl. Our weather forecasts (probabilities) are full of words, verbs and adverbs like may, maybe, might, could, possibility, chance of, even when backed up by multi million pound computers. The forecasters tend to spout a lot of waffle about which computer model to use and then take a middle of the road punt. Even then it is not correct!

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