When did weird weather start?

I believe that the first I remember hearing about extreme weather caused or exacerbated by climate change was reading Kerry Emanuel’s paper in Nature titled, “Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years“.

This post isn’t about that paper or any of the others that followed it. Many of the papers and stories have been responded to and as readers well know, my assessment (although I am not a scientist) is that extreme weather, which is to be expected about 5% of the time, has not increased at all, let alone been affected by the 0.8C of warming we’ve experienced in the last century. Bluntly put, I don’t think we are experiencing more storms, floods or droughts and I don’t think the storms, floods and droughts we are experiencing are any stronger than those of the past.

But this post is about that curious period between 1998 and 2005. Maybe even 1988 and 2005. With temperatures rising quickly to 1998 and staying at that level until 2005, why didn’t anybody notice the Xtreme Weather that is now everybody’s huge concern? Now, I know some tried to blame Katrina on global warming, but not anybody with an IQ in triple digits.

So, when did Xtreme Weather start and why didn’t we notice it until now?

late to the party

11 responses to “When did weird weather start?

  1. “In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims….record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries.” – “Another Ice Age?” Time Magazine June 24, 1974

  2. A pal of Gore’s Bob Reiss, wrote a nice bit of propaganda called,
    “The Coming Storm Extreme Weather and our Terrifying Future”. It was published in 2001.
    So with a lead time of about a year, we can safely conclude that AGW hypesters have been trying to promote the idea of extreme weather and AGW.
    For *weird* weather, I see that as a way to save the meme of ‘extreme’ when it fell apart. Sort of like “Global warming” morphing into “climate change” when the warming declined to cooperate.

    • But–okay,at that point if Emanuel were right there had been 25 years of increasing cyclonic strength, whatever the heck that actually means.

      But between the temperature rises of 1976 and the Great Stall in 1998 or even in 2005–where was that Xtreme Weather and why didn’t we hear about it at the time? Floods, droughts, heatwaves and storms–were any of those years characterized by an unusual number of these?

      • Tom,
        My point is that ‘extreme weather’ exists only as a marketing tool.
        In none of the years has weather behaved in ‘weird ways’ in reality. It is all spin, from Emmanuel’s bogus claims on.

  3. I remember reading papers in the 70’s attributing heat waves, droughts, and increased severity of thunderstorms to land use changes. That’s what climate change meant then.

  4. It’s funny–maybe I’m blocking this out (deniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile! or worse–seniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile) but I don’t remember reading about it.

    • It wasn’t a big thing then. Most of it was in the journals or stuff that was copied and passed out in class. The MSM picked up the ice age story even though no one I knew took it seriously. There were a lot of well documented weather changes in the tropics that were clear cut and around heat islands.

  5. To say the AGW proponents cynically use the most recent events du jour to keep their topic in the news is not the most tightly held secret on earth. Many of them consider irrelevance the real enemy, and not dishonesty. The more the public goes to sleep, the more they have to thrash to stay in the news.

    The environmental press is compliant. They do have to fill their pages though, and I truly have some sympathy here. This is not an easy job. And over stating plausibility on causation has become so mainstream that it is done as second nature by both academia and the media.

    The same thing happened with biotech media and cancer causation. They overplayed their hand badly and now nobody listens any more. The volume knob doesn’t go past 10 (unless you are Spinal Tap).

  6. John Robertson

    From the first con artist/shaman.
    Storm coming, I make storm move on, I chant and beat drum, pay me and you will be spared by storm god.
    Its as old as language and thats why the extreme weather meme is another own goal for the team.

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