Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Accuweathers Joe Bastardi admits, “Earth continues warmest winter since satellite measurements started” and “Feb should be warmest on record!!!”

By Joe Romm  

"Accuweathers Joe Bastardi admits, “Earth continues warmest winter since satellite measurements started” and “Feb should be warmest on record!!!”"


google plus icon

Then he invents a new, self-contradictory theory of warming

UPDATE:  Joe Bastardi replies to this post in the comments here.

UAH winter 2010

Ah, the anti-science crowd.  Their much-vaunted satellite data shows record smashing temperatures (make your own chart here).  So what’s a disinformer to do?  You either have to tie yourself in knots to explain how a rather moderate El Ni±o could be to blame — or go after the satellite data.  And the latter is coming, I’m sure.

But Accuweather’s meteorologist Joe Bastardi is a satellite-data-ophile, so he chooses the knot-twisting approach in his must-read stream of consciousness “European Blog,” which certainly wins the gold medal for self-contradiction.  What is so incredible about this blog is that it resides on one long page, so you’d think Bastardi might occasionally go back and look and see if what he just wrote doesn’t contradict something he wrote a little earlier.

Look at Saturday’s post:


Keep in mind, the only records to “trust” are 30 years of objective satellite measurements. Please also keep in mind that this “spike” was forecasted here well before hand based on the Nino, though the fantastic amount of blocking and the addition of the warmth in these areas is adding to things.

So the record-smashing February was predicted here by Bastardi.

Now skip over Bastardi’s rewriting of Marc Antony’s speech since it might shake your confidence in him — “Friends, Romans, Citizens of the World, lend me your laptops.  For I come to bury the notion of cyclical warming, not to praise it” (favorite parts reprinted below) — and leap to this post:



It’s amazing how quick this nino is falling apart.

Heck of a prediction, job, Bastardi.

Note:  It’s hard to tell when Bastardi wrote that because for some reason he doesn’t put dates on his posts (!), but it appears to be Friday February 12, just two weeks before he posted that February will be the warmest on record and that he had forecasted that spike.

And Bastardi is Accuweather’s expert long-range forecaster!

Last week, he noted


Just as I will hammer away at anyone blaming global warming for any one event, we must also be objective about the Earth’s temp measurement; it is warmer than any winter in the satellite era. The reason is simple, we have an El Nino, but we also have a warm Arctic, a product of the blocking. These are mutually exclusive, as the warm Arctic and blocking are not a result of the el nino, but probably the excess SO2 shot into the Arctic atmosphere (the stratosphere) by major high latitude volcanoes.  But what is interesting is that with no El Nino, the temp would probably be .5 to .6 colder (the El Nino spike is .5 to 1 F) which would have made it one of the coldest winters in the last 10 years, though probably not with the same result. All the cold is being “squeezed” into mid latitudes.

It’s the blocking, I tell you.  And excess SO2.  And other stuff:

Manmade warming did not cause this winter, but the NATURAL PROCESS OF AN EL NINO, REACTION TO VOLCANOES, LOW SOLAR RADIATION AND THE CHANGE IN THE PACIFIC, A LONG-TERM EVENT. Since we picked the winter out beforehand for you, I would think if listing the factors before and after, none of them having a darn thing to do with this red herring of an issue, it could give me credence over people coming out of the blue and saying global warming. The “warmth” of the Earth is a byproduct of what caused the cold where it is. The collapse is liable to be greater than we saw in previous El Ninos since the reaction will occur in an overall cooling climate.

Now you’re wondering whether Bastardi predicted warming or cooling, aren’t you?  After all, while the El Ni±o tends to boosts  warming, the low solar radiation would tend to cause a slight relative cooling, and volcanoes tend to cause cooling (although that is a more complicated picture depending on timing and location — and he never says what volcanoes he’s talking about).

But it all mixes together to produce just whatever Bastardi forecast — or whatever he retroactively says he forecast.  Did I mention he’s Accuweather’s expert long-range forecaster?

You might also ask how Bastardi can possibly know about this supposed “change in the Pacific, a long-term event” when he’s thrown out all the long-term data since it didn’t come from satellites.

But the satellite is what to trust, in ice measurement and in global temps. This reconstructed data, though good intentioned (or not) is not what to measure with. We have the satellite, the oceanic cycles that have been warm the past 30 years while temps have climbed is switching, we will have our answer in the next 30 years.

Yes, I know this makes no sense, but stay with me, because if you look a little closer, it makes even less sense.

Bastardi put out a video this year, “Worldwide Cold not Seen Since 70s Ice Age Scare,” (see Meteorological Malpractice: Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi pushes the “70s Ice Age Scare” myth again):

Now I know you’re asking yourself three questions:

  1. How can he put out a video in January on amazing “worldwide cold” when it was in fact the Warmest January in both satellite records?
  2. How could he possibly compare today’s temps to those in the 1970s — when he doesn’t trust any temperature data from before 1979?
  3. Is this guy actually paid by Accuweather to make long-range forecasts?

Either you accept the pre-satellite data or you don’t.  You can’t say, well, I believe the pre-satellite data when it fits my (nonsensical, long-debunked-in-the-scientific-literature) theory, but not when it fits the basic laws of physics, which say that if you put more heat trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere you will trap more heat and warm the planet.  Can you?

Again folks, it’s not brain surgery. Let’s see what the objective satellite measurements look like 30 years from now after the cold PDO and the soon to come cold AMO (5-10 years from now) if they are back down to where they were we have the answer. If not, then I am sure we would have found a way to rid ourselves of the “cause” without forcefeeding agendas down everyone’s throat. I realize brilliant minds want to solve the complex that the “stupid” among us, and I am considered that in many of the high circles out there with alphabet soup in front of their names, can’t, but in this case the simple answer is the best. Besides, it’s called Occam’s Razor.

But wait.  How could we even know about what the PDO [Pacific Decadal Oscillation] and AMO [Atlantic multidecadal oscillation] do if we didn’t have pre-1979 non-satellite data?  Well, in fact we do have such data and the data make clear that neither of those can explain a long-term trend — hence the “O” for oscillation.

So what Bastardi is proposing is that we believe the pre-1979 data enough to demonstrate the existence of a PDO and AMO, but utterly ignore that data when it tells us

  1. The planet is warming.
  2. Those oscillations are utterly neutral with respect to long-term warming.

That is Bastardi’s notion of Occam’s razor.

In fact, if we are stuck just with the satellite data, which, as NOAA reports, has shown a clear warming trend in the past three decades, then Occam’s razor says we must accept human-caused global warming as the explanation, since that is the simplest theory which explains the data.  Indeed, if Bastardi actually understood Occam’s razor, then he’d be a big believer in human-caused global warming, since if the increase in greenhouse gas emissions were not causing the warming, then you’d not only have to accept Bastardi’s PDO/AMO/solar/volcano theory, you would ALSO have to find out some scientific explanation for how the warming increase from the GHGs were negated!  And that ain’t simple.

Indeed, as NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt explained in answering the question What percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?

Over the last 40 or so years, natural drivers would have caused cooling, and so the warming there has been “¦ is caused by a combination of human drivers and some degree of internal variability. I would judge the maximum amplitude of the internal variability to be roughly 0.1 deg C over that time period, and so given the warming of ~0.5 deg C, I’d say somewhere between 80 to 120% of the warming. Slightly larger range if you want a large range for the internal stuff.

Absent the increasing GHGs, we probably would have cooled.

Note how Bastardi plays the elite-smarty-pants-are-condescending-to-me card here, but elsewhere says:

However, for the agenda driven out there, or the shallow thinkers, just as I am upfront about this and report to you when I see it, I must warn you, a big collapse is on the way. The natural processes that lead to this will go the other way and while this means that people using global warming for every thing possible that goes wrong with the weather will have the hurricane season and summer in many places to crow about, the Earth’s temp is in for a big tumble in the coming years.

It makes one want to ask, Why are anti-science conservatives so damn condescending?

For the record, I don’t think he’s stupid.  Stupid people rarely rise to a position of influence necessary to cause as much damage as Bastardi does.

Still, there are many, many others errors in this blog I’ll leave to commenters.  And here’s an analysis questioning Bastardi’s long-range forecasting ability.

What’s most fitting is to end with some excerpts from his poetry:

Friends, Romans, Citizens of the World, lend me your laptops.
For I come to bury the notion of cyclical warming, not to praise it….
When there was no air conditioning, we created them
It saved lives, did this cause too much warming?
But the Models say Caesar caused Global Warming
and the Models are all honorable and always right….
And they would go and kiss dead Caesars wounds
and dip their napkins in the oil of his SUV
Yes beg a hair of him for memories,
which can be beautiful and yet
what’s too painful to remember, we simply must forget
(Apparently Barbara Streisand assisted Shakespeare in this parallel Rome in writing this. How else could exist that last line?)

That is too painful to remember.  I hope you can forget it.

Did I mention he’s Accuweather’s expert long-range forecaster?

Oh, and for the record, Bastardi predicts (in early February, I think):

I think that 2010 will not be the hottest year on record for the earth, at least not by Satellite measurements as cooling is already starting

I’ll take that bet.

Related Post:

‹ Must-see video lays out the empirical evidence for human-caused global warming

Progress Energy abandons dirty coal front group ›

138 Responses to Accuweathers Joe Bastardi admits, “Earth continues warmest winter since satellite measurements started” and “Feb should be warmest on record!!!”

  1. John says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for pointing out Joe Bastardi’s contradictions. He is quite obnoxious at times with his rhetoric.

    Also: I understand that you and Roger Pielke Jr. will be having a public climate policy discussion (for charity too, nice :). Any idea yet when it will be taking place?


    [JR: I do have an idea when it will be taking place :)]

  2. Icarus says:

    It’s sad to see someone who *ought* to have an intelligent and disinterested opinion on this topic just tying himself in knots in a desperate attempt to blame global warming on anything and everything *except* the one factor that actually explains the data – human activity. It’s a classic display of cognitive dissonance.

  3. Todd F says:

    Bastardi claims it is the warmest winter becuase of warm arctic temperatures? Anyone try regressing the AO index with global temperatures? A negative AO index does not cause global warming, it has a global cooling influence. My regression suggests about 0.05C cooler than it would otherwise be in normal conditions, for the month of January. Not only is Bastardi overstating, he’s got the correlative sign wrong.

    Also, a 0.5F to 1.0F adjustment for Nino? Who is he kidding? On surface data, I would estimate around 0.1C to 0.15C for the current Nino. For satellite data, the sensitivity is higher, maybe around 0.2C to 0.25C. Perhaps we should adjust 2008 and early 2009 data up 0.5F to 1.0F to adjust for Nina?

    Interesting he mentions low solar irradiance, a cold PDO, and a soon to come cold AMO, and still thinks the ‘warmists’ are nuts to not see that the hottest winter on record is a clear indicator that the earth is cooling.

  4. John says:

    Hi Joe,

    Ha, is it a secret, or can you elaborate? :) Sometime in the next couple of months? Will it be streamed live on the internet?

    Glad to hear it’s going ahead, I’m looking forward to it.

    Thanks again,

    [JR: Who said it was going ahead? I just said I know when it is taking place. Read the thread on the earlier post.]

  5. Richard Brenne says:

    Joe Bastardi – whose name alone could bring back pre-destination – is as good a poet as he is a scientist. If you put all the metaphors in history into a Superdome-sized blender you couldn’t possibly mix more metaphors than he does in 11 lines.

    I’ve called those like Leif, Jeff, Mike, Lou and Gail Romm’s Minions, but given the pronunciation of Joe’s last name (more Rome than Romm), I guess we’re all Rommans, so I guess Bastardi is addressing us. I have a name for Bastardi’s minions, also derived from their leader’s last name.

  6. Will says:

    Romm vs. Bastardi. This ought to be good. Like the New Orleans Saints playing a pee wee team.

  7. MarkB says:

    This is what Bastardi said 2 months ago:

    “What is facing the major population centers of the northern hemisphere is unlike anything that we have seen since the global warming debate got to the absurd level it is now, which essentially has been there is no doubt about all this. For cold of a variety not seen in over 25 years in a large scale is about to engulf the major energy consuming areas of the northern Hemisphere. The first 15 days of the opening of the New Year will be the coldest, population weighted, north of 30 north world wide in over 25 years in my opinion.”

    Feel free to add that to this post. I would say the “population-weighted” phrase trumps what you’ve dug up, Joe. The satirical site denialdepot could not write this any better. Bastardi proves that all you need to be a climate science expert among most media circles is a strong contrarian bent and a heartbeat.

  8. MarkB says:

    Regarding Bastardi’s “Arctic blocking” hypothesis (since he knows el Nino alone along with very low solar minimum can’t explain it, he needs to come up with some new explanation), he’s referring to the very strong negative Arctic oscillation, which brings cold air down to mid-latitudes, leaving the Arctic relatively mild. To test his hypothesis, I ran a correlation back to 1950 (beginning of AO index) with GISS global anomalies and actuall found a small positive correlation between the two (not necessarily statistically-significant), meaning that if anything, a negative AO is correlated with slightly cooler global mean temperature. A purely anecdotal example is Dec. 2006, Jan. 2007. Strong positive AO and record global mean surface anomalies, with only a mild el Nino. But like I said, the correlation is small and not necessarily statistically significant.

    Interesting sidenote: while February AO index value is not in yet, my estimate is that the 3 month average (Dec-Feb) will be by far the strongest negative anomaly average on record.

  9. Todd F says:

    Mark (#9), it was your post at Accuweather that prompted me to add the AO index to my multiple regression analysis. As you said, maybe not 95% significant, but it was more than I expected, and a better fit than what I got for PDO and AMO.

  10. John says:

    Hi Joe,

    Oh, sorry I missed it; I just read through it.

    To be honest, that’s really disappointing. Pielke Jr may have disagreeable views on a lot of issues, but at the same time a lot of people respect him for the work he has done in the science policy arena. He is not an idiot. And because of that, I think it does a disservice to everyone to brush off the chance to have an open discussion on these vitally important issues.

    So I ask (plead?): Would you please reconsider? This comes from someone who is glad to see the hard work you put in on a daily basis, but who, honestly (sorry to say), will lose a bit of respect for you if you decide not to participate.

    Thanks again,

    [JR: Never said he was an idiot. But one can't have an open discussion with someone who spreads misinformation and smears scientists on a regular basis. As a matter of debating, it simply doesn't work to keep saying, "my opponent is making stuff up or misrepresenting the facts" over and over again. It's hard for a general audience to believe that someone would do that, which, of course, is why it is such an effective tactic by the misinformer. It's what Morano does.

    By participating in such a debate I given legitimacy to Pielke and his organization, which again has fabricated smears against me and hundreds of scientists. I sincerely doubt you would publicly debate someone who repeatedly misrepresented what you and others said in order to smear you and countless scientists. If you actually read through that post, then you understand that most of the leading climate science bloggers have "engaged" Pielke in a debate only to find that it is a "surreal" enterprise, as one put it.

    I get lots of people who come here and post all sorts of things without revealing much about themselves so you'll pardon me if I don't lose much sleep of your purported loss of a bit of respect for me for not debating Pielke.

    I have debated plenty of "skeptics" and "disinformers." I have also blog more than most about why such debates are typically not productive.

    Here is Bastardi demanding debates:

    "Al Gore has re-appeared in the NYTIMES, refusing of course to take on anyone in head to head debate, but instead running as they tend to do to a safe harbor where he can lob his mis-statements and be protected. This man should not be listened to for 2 reasons 1) He is heavily invested in products that need global warming to have any market value, so he cant be objective. 2) he refuses to debate... lets see him get out there and take on Chris Monckton, which would be an even fight being they are both political animals.

    And then lets see Lindzen and Mann. The only way this house of cards will finally come down is for the prime builders of it to have the fake foundations they have constructed exposed."

    People who demand debates typically aren't interested in moving science forward. Remember the motto of the Royal Society of London, one of the world’s oldest scientific academies (founded in 1660), Nullius in verba: take nobody’s word. Words alone are not science.]

  11. Gestur says:

    Richard Brenne is a gem. Purely and simply a delightful gem.

  12. S. Molnar says:

    It’s clear that Bastardi (what a delightful name) is saying what his boss wants to hear, but there’s the old question of whether he rose in the organization because he really believes the same rubbish the boss believes or whether he knows better, and is just doing what it takes to get ahead. Based on Joe Romm’s research, I propose a third possibility: He’s mocking his boss in such a way that the boss is unaware of it. There is Poe’s Law to consider, but this sure looks like parody.

  13. FishOutofWater says:

    “The weather has been drinking, not me” – Tom Waites channeling Joe Bastardi. If Joe wasn’t drunk when he came up with that explanation, maybe Shakespeare explains his predicament, “What a tangled web we weave”.

    Whatever, the case, Bastardi should stick to meteorology. His long range forecasts are bad but his poetry derails trains.

    Thanks for the laugh, Joe.

    And you’re right about not debating Roger the professional concern troll. He has nothing to contribute but he’s very concerned about science. Very concerned.

  14. John says:

    Hi Joe,

    “Words alone are not science.”

    But policy is not science, either.

    The call is not for a science debate, but for a policy discussion on how to move forward. Do we continue the Kyoto-type path at the international level? What can we do to get legislation moving at the national level here in the US? How has the Hacked Email incident altered the climate policy landscape, if at all? What is the implication for how our democracy addresses complex, socially-relevant scientific problems?

    Clearly it doesn’t make sense for Al Gore to be a part of a science debate since he is not a scientist, he is an advocate. But both yourself and Pielke Jr. are very prominent in the climate policy world. Thus, it would be to everyone’s benefit for you two to have a policy discussion for the same reason that it is to everyone’s benefit to hold open debates between presidential candidates: to assess differences and make decisions about our best path forward.

    Would you please reconsider?

    Thanks again,

    [JR: "Policy" covers a broad area. Pielke has no serious expertise on the climate solutions side. If he did, he'd table something that might have a chance of stabilizing at his preferred target of 450 ppm. He just trashes anyone who proposes a realistic path to the target he says he endorses.]

  15. mauri pelto says:

    What volcanic eruption does he keep referring to that led to more SO2 in the arctic region? There has not been one, so how can he just pretend there was one of import?

  16. Roger Pielke, Jr. says:


    I propose that we debate our alternative visions for getting to stabilization at 450 ppm. You can even write the debate resolution as you’d like.

    Foreign Policy has agreed to host, we’ve got up to $20,000 for charity, it’ll be at a time and place of your choosing.

    How about it?

    [JR: Roger, first off, you've never proposed a pathway to getting the dozen wedges we need deployed by 2050 to stabilize at 450 -- let alone a strategy for achieving the number of wedges you think we need. You've merely attacked me or anyone else who's ever proposed a strategy. That ain't a debate. I have long awaited your actual plan for getting to 450 ppm, not a "vision." I have a vision of eating everything I'd like, not exercising and yet losing weight and living to 100. I have no doubt an audience would rather be told that R&D and hypothetical future breakthroughs will solve all their problems and that they can just keep doing what they are doing. What precisely would it prove to actually demonstrate that?

    Second, you have repeatedly made misrepresentations in order to attack me and, more important, countless scientists and others who have never said or written anything about you. That's reason enough to not give you a platform.

    Third, it is virtually impossible to "win" an audience debate against someone who serially misrepresents the facts. There simply is no optimal counter-strategy.

    Fourth, this supposed "up to $20,000" in charity is built around the notion of a "winner as determined by audience voting after the debate." It is quite obvious as I have already pointed out that audience voting can't prove anything unless you know the audience's beliefs before and after, which is not possible. Among other things, It turns out the anti-science ideologues "vote strategically" (aka fib)!

    If someone has that kind of money to donate money to charity, there are very needy people, as I'm sure you will agree, and so that money shouldn't be held hostage to this sort of silliness. That strikes me as just the kind of thing Bjorn Lomborg would have a fit over (and yes, that's a joke).

    Finally, for the record, Foreign Policy has never communicated to me about any debate, so I hope you didn't misrepresent to them that I had any interest in it whatsoever or that their offer would in any way affect my decision. I have no idea who you communicated with or what you told them. They are free to contact me, of course, so I can directly communicate to them what I have written here.]

  17. Jeff Huggins says:

    Jail Time

    I just watched a few minutes of Hannity on Fox while I was channel surfing to recalibrate my TV now that the Olympics are over. I happened to be passing Fox by when I saw Hannity was talking about Gore and global warming.

    More than ever before, I was shocked, and I now realize that they are playing some sort of political-ratings game over the most important problem that humankind faces today. They are playing a game over something of immense importance … to the future, to humankind, to other species, to my kids and future generations, and etc.

    Someone — and probably plenty of people — deserve to be thrown into jail at this point, and for a very long time.

    Hannity was doing everything possible — smirks, comments, graphics, and etc. — to make global warming seem totally fake and unreal, as if it’s just a political and selfish assertion on the part of Al Gore and a few biased and incompetent scientists. I’m not joking.

    Yet, I remember seeing (even) Rupert Murdoch commit, in person, in a speech, to have NewsCorp achieve carbon neutrality, I believe, and I’ve seen a transcript of another speech of his along the same lines. And, although ExxonMobil is not acting responsibly and is among the biggest deceivers in the history of the universe, nevertheless, when pressed, even Rex Tillerson, I believe, indicates that he doesn’t disagree with the scientific understanding that global warming is a problem and presents very real threats.

    So I don’t get it — or perhaps I do, but it’s too terrible to get. A major and influential news network is either TOTALLY idiotic and incompetent, OR they are playing a mere political/ratings game with a vitally important issue, which is to say that they are being entirely immoral, under the circumstances.

    Which is it? Are they entirely incompetent, or are they acting at the very height of immorality?

    I’m not joking. Please, someone, correct me if I’m wrong.

    But if I’m not, then it has gone way too far. Under the circumstances, at this point, ANY celebrity/star doing work with, or for, Fox or NewsCorp (and that covers lots of entertainment) should promptly submit their resignations. You’re either on the bus, or off, at this point of time.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. I can’t believe what I just saw Hannity do and say. If we — as a society — are going to put up with that, on an issue of this importance, we simply deserve what we will get. Period.

    No sign-off this time. “Sigh” doesn’t express the feeling.


  18. Mark S says:


    I’m *guessing* that he was referring to the volcano near Anchorage that burped a bit last year. However, although I’m no expert, I thought the general opinion when it went off was that it was not big enough to affect weather like he’s claiming.

  19. rocco says:

    “Which is it? Are they entirely incompetent, or are they acting at the very height of immorality? ”

    These two are not mutually exclusive, especially if we consider their audience.

  20. Dean says:

    I give Bastardi no more than 3 more months at Accuweather. Then he’s off to his own talk radio show. Or maybe a Fox analyst.

    I think Pielke should debate Bastardi. After all, one accepts AGW and one doesn’t and neither is a climatologist.

  21. Mark S says:

    Update: I just checked the global volcanism project to see if there were, in fact, some high latitude volcanoes that went off recently (I checked from June 2009 to November 2009). In fact, there are none of any size. Yes, a few volcanoes did have some activity but none that seemed to have significant ash plumes. The whole volcanoes claim that Bastardi is making looks pretty ridiculous. Here’s the link to the global volcanism project: http://www.volcano.si.edu/

  22. Stuart says:

    Jeff, the most horrible thing of all is that there are millions out there who accept Hannity at his word on any subject.

    But we have science on our side.

  23. PeterW says:

    Joe Bastardi would make Tycho Brahe proud.

  24. Roger Pielke Jr. says:

    Dear Joe-

    Your use of the word “attack” is ironic as is your use of the term “misrepresentation”.

    However, since we obviously disagree on how to get to 450 ppm, then that sets the stage for a useful debate on climate policy. If your views are so superior to mine, then there should be no problem airing them in public, no?

    I am happy to agree in advance with you that ad hom arguments are not to be allowed. Also, I am happy to negotiate with you in advance the charity to accept the proceeds so that it won’t matter who wins. I am also willing to forgo any audience vote, if that is a concern. You can also have veto power on the moderator and the actual format. Is there anything else you’d like?

    From what I understand you will hear from Foreign Policy soon. This will take only a few hours of your time and will serve a good cause. Lets turn this debate into something positive, what do you say?


    [JR: Roger, you are like a persistent suitor, a persistent, unwanted suitor. How many different ways can I say this? I guess the modern lingo is, I'm just not that into you. I've done many traditional debates with contrarians and disinformers and the like in the past, though very few recently, since they serve little purpose. But you are hostile to the truth, to scientists, and to me personally in a way that goes far beyond, what, say Lomborg does. I was not being "ironic."

    So your opening sentence above is the puzzler. If you in fact actually believed half of the crap you and your buddies write about me, I can't imagine why you'd want to debate me. But that is your business.

    The contrarian types (like Bastardi) certainly are hot to trot for one-on-one debates, mainly because it automatically puts their dubious views and misrepresentations on equal footing with more accurate representations of the science and the solutions and the economics. For the reasons I have explained above and won't repeat here, debating you is not a productive use of my time. In fact spending several hours preparing for the debate (i.e. reviewing what you've written in the past) and then debating is a dreadful use of my time, since it will reach far fewer people than I reach in a single blog post, which has links for those interested in more information and isn't 50% filled with your misinformation and misrepresentation.

    Again, to you, "we obviously disagree on how to get to 450 ppm." To me, you've steadfastly refused to ever put on the table a pathway to 450 ppm. You have a very firm view in your mind on how many wedges that would take. You just can't bring yourself to state the obvious -- it would take a staggering amount of deployment starting pretty much immediately to meet 450 -- since that would undercut your claims that any scientist who actually explains that is "politicizing science."

    So please, take "no" for an answer.]

  25. John says:

    Hi Joe,

    Having a winner for the debate is frivolous and misses the point. So I agree with you that picking a “winner” shouldn’t be the focus, and it’s not clear how that would be done anyways.

    Experts attack one another all the time in any field. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. It shouldn’t preclude having an open debate–where the moderator can step in at any point to stop personal attacks from taking place. I’m sure Obama didn’t like many of his Republican counterparts during his campaign, but it would have been unacceptable for him to turn down a public debate because of it.

    To your first point: this would be a primary focus of the debate! Your view is that we need the comprehensive approach and cannot back down, while Pielke Jr. believes that a comprehensive approach is too prone to hot air and so a more pragmatic approach is needed. Does the latter compromise our goals? Does the former risk putting too many eggs in one basket? Can we find a balance between the two?

    This is precisely why we need this open debate.

    Would you please reconsider? Allowing Pielke Jr.’s comment through is a good first step.

    Thanks again,

    [JR: This is getting tedious but your comment make my point for me. You've had all the time in the world to read what Pielke has written and what I've written and what his countless critics in the scientific community have written, and you still believe Pielke has offered "a more pragmatic approach." In the Bizarro world, doing not bloody much to achieve your stated goals is more pragmatic. Here on Earth, he's never offered any such thing. Again, there's just not much to debate. We don't disagree on the scientific target and he has no significant expertise on the solution side.

    Pielke can comment here like anyone else, which means he doesn't get to misrepresent people's views in order to attack them and he can't misinformation or long-debunked disinformation. Since he has violated those terms many times, he goes through moderation.]

  26. Michael T says:

    It’s very possible 2010 is warmer than 2005. I also believe that if ENSO transitions to another La Nina before the end of this year, 2011 will be slightly cooler than 2010. But from a decadal perspective, 2010s will of course be warmer than 2000s. But how much? The Arrhenius estimate for this decade is +0.64, which would be even less global temperature change for this decade than the 2000s. Also, the 2005 annual mean was 0.62, so this decade will only be slightly warmer than 2005 according to the estimated prediction.

    Just to echo David B. Benson’s informative posts from earlier:

    1960s -0.01 0.00 -0.01
    1970s -0.00 +0.07 -0.07
    1980s +0.18 +0.18 0.00
    1990s +0.31 +0.33 -0.02
    2000s +0.51 +0.47 +0.04
    2010s ???? +0.64

  27. Richard Brenne says:

    Just for the record I proposed a debate between Joe and Roger last summer leading up to my September 20 event in Chautauqua Auditorium where we ended up having Bill McKibben, Kevin Trenberth and several others equally expert panelists.

    Roger was eager to debate, but after Joe graciously declined as he did above I let the idea go. I went to Roger’s offices to again invite him and his colleagues to attend in the audience but none did that I know of.

    Knowing what I know now, everything Joe says seems more than reasonable to me, and quite articulate to boot.

  28. Richard Brenne says:

    And by the way, should Accuweather be called Inaccuclimate?

  29. paulm says:

    Accuweather should be called SittingOnFenceWeather.

    Bastardi is getting more and more erratic as the evidence becomes overwhelming. He’s on for a breakdown I think.

    When will these entertainment met boys/girls brush the chips off their shoulders and accept reality? They are starting to do this downunder in the face of unrelenting extreme events…

    Is this Australia’s future?
    climate change is now becoming such a strong contributor to these hitherto unimaginable events that the language starts to change…

    Like climate scientists around the world, meteorologists in Australia can barely conceal their panic at the shift in climate.

  30. Joe,

    I just looked twice at the graph you put up at the start of this post. You’ve used it in previous posts so maybe you’ve already explained these issues but:

    1. why is the graph of satellite recordings of globally averaged daily temperature at “14,000 ft / 4.4.km” rather than at surface level (where I presume it could be compared to weather stations)? I presume it is the altitude that explains the temperature being around -21 degrees C.

    2. why is the vertical scale in degrees Celsius but the comment inserted into it in degrees Fahrenheit? Shoudl the inserted comment be in degrees Celsius as well?

  31. fj2 says:


    You’re my hero. Just some ideas.

    Simpler messaging might be more effective. Humans exhibit a certain positivity bias that is important in messaging. Potential paths to solutions is one great example of a very effective strategy. Negativity might be a functional strategy creating focus when necessary. As an example, a functional strategy for playwrights is to kill someone off in the first act.

    Examples of themes covered by simple sayings

    Please don’t shoot the messengers

    The Earth is round

    Global warming is a fact


    Life is beautiful

    Life is intelligence and virtually the same

    We may be able to solve this thing

    “He who dies with the most toy wins” is just a joke

  32. Thanks again for the invaluable information that’s presented in this blog. Joe, or any other serious commenter, could you please explain me a technical thing I just don’t understand in this post?

    In the Gavin Schmidt’s quote, regarding “What percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?” it is written that (if I got it right):
    - the warming is “of ~0.5 deg C” over the period considered;
    - human causes represent “80 to 120%” of it.

    If one sees a warming of “X”, how is it possible for one of the causes to represent more than “X”? Is it because the internal variability mentioned is not “0.1 deg C”, but MINUS 0.1 deg C? I’m not even sure this would make sense. Or is it a typo?

    Thanks for explaining this to me and possibly to other readers.

  33. dhogaza says:

    1. why is the graph of satellite recordings of globally averaged daily temperature at “14,000 ft / 4.4.km” rather than at surface level (where I presume it could be compared to weather stations)? I presume it is the altitude that explains the temperature being around -21 degrees C.

    Chris, it’s because they don’t actually measure temperature, but microwave emissions from the atmosphere. These are weather satellites and the implied temperature data computed from the microwave sounding unit data is used for weather forecasting. Just like the surface thermometer weather station data, this data originally meant to be capture for weather forecasting has been co-opted for climate work. And just like with the surface stations, there are issues with different sensors, sensors changing over time, etc.

    Anyway, the microwave sounding unit (MSU) on the satellite passively reads microwaves from four or five swaths of the atmosphere. Not sure how that’s accomplished, but each swath is thousands of feet thick. The upper partially reads the stratosphere so is contaminated by its cooling signal. My quick read of a paper from Remote Sensing Services indicates that there are three channels available for the middle troposphere, but that there were severe issues with the middle of those three channels on the first satellite so the data from it is only reliable from 1987 on (presumably when that satellite was replaced, with a working sensor for that channel).

    So apparently the reliable 1978-on data consists of the other two channels, one of which records data centered around 14,000 feet.

    This is strictly a lay-person’s explanation based on some previous reading and a quick refreshing from the RSS site. The big picture’s vaguely right, the details … don’t fool yourself :)

  34. For those that may be interested in why a fairly large portion of meteorologists (Bastardi, D’Aleo, Dr. William Gray, etc.) are skeptical and why an alarming number of weather forecasters (Anthony Watts, John Coleman, etc.) are either skeptical or in outright denial, I show the data and offer some insight in my latest blog post:

    You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows

  35. Mark S says:


    I think you have the gist of it. Gavin is saying that internal variability could account for between -.1c and .1c. Because the earth has warmed approx .5c that means the human influence is between .4c and .6c.

    Hope that helps.

  36. Leland Palmer says:

    Actually, it appears to me to be his job, to make such arguments.

    The arguments appear to be of the form “yadda, yadda, yadda, therefore we cannot reduce our fossil fuel usage”. He has this in common with many of the fossil fuel funded think tanks and individual climate Deniers. The “yadda” part changes, but the conclusion always remains the same – a continuation of the profitable status quo for the fossil fuel companies.

    Thanks, Joe, for pointing out the contradictions. Somebody has to wade through this mess, and do this.

    Occam’s Razor says he makes arguments like this, in which the bottom line conclusions benefiting the fossil fuel corporations always remain the same, because he is paid to do so.

  37. Lou Grinzo says:


    Just to put a point on it, I’m no one’s minion.

    Are we ever going to talk in e-mail, by the way, or should I just shut up and forget the whole thing? I’ve waited weeks for a reply after you said in a comment on this site one was coming. In case you don’t have my address handy, it’s lougrinzo on the domain gmail.com.


    As for Joe Bastardi, this is turning into quite the pathetic spectacle. It sounds like he and Senator Inhofe are competing to see who can make the most outrageous statement about climate change.

  38. As long as he was borrowing—badly—from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, he might have checked earlier in the play when Cassius admonishes: “…the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…”

  39. Motorod says:

    Climate deniers come from the realm of other rank conformists, the “common sense” or “black and white” people of little or no imagination an possibly less intelligence, who support the status quo because they can imagine no other. They admit it: They typically use the phrase, “I can’t imagine…” in their daily palaver. They are either literally are incapable of imagining such things, or they refuse to do so because it may compel them to exercise some critical thinking.

    “The phrases that men hear or repeat continually, end by becoming convictions and ossify the organs of intelligence.” Johann von Goethe

  40. John says:


    Why is my comment still awaiting moderation? Nothing in it is inflammatory, nor does it attack you in any way. Feel free to email me and let me know the reason, I would appreciate it.


  41. Ric Merritt says:

    Pielke Jr has put himself beyond the pale. Until he returns, deal with him only as necessary to communicate with people who are thoughtful and of good will.

    Bastardi deserves everything that can be thrown at him about his so-called ?thought? process. Lay off his name! There’s nothing wrong with it as a name. I’m guessing it did just fine for his ancestors.

  42. Alan says:

    “Besides, it’s called Occam’s Razor.”

    No, it isn’t! It’s called procrusteanism.

  43. MapleLeaf says:

    Bastardi’s comments are most disturbing and show that he does not understand the earth’s climate system terribly well. He needs to read the paper by Swanson et al. (2009, PNAS), from their abstract:

    “Here we present a technique that objectively identifies the component of inter-decadal global mean surface temperature attributable to natural long-term climate variability. Removal of that hidden variability from the actual observed global mean surface temperature record delineates the externally forced climate signal, which is monotonic, accelerating warming during the 20th century.”

    So after accounting for internal climate variability, there is a monotonic increasing trend in global SATs. We have natural fluctuations superimposed on an underlying monotonic increasing trend from GHG forcing. The net result is a noisy signal and a positive long-term trend in global temperatures.

    Bastardi needs to asks himself why the global SATs in 1983 were +0.26 C in a year associated with the strongest El Nino in at least 60 years, but +0.56 following the relatively weaker 1998 event and +0.62 in 2005 following a weak El Nino. Applying his logic 1983 should have been the warmest year, followed by 1998 and a distant third 2005.

    Also, I have no idea to which volcanic activity he is referring to or where he derives this alleged relationship between SO2 and the AO.

    Basatardi’s diatribe is the antithesis of ‘accurate’, and the antithesis of good science. It is shameful, and he should publish a retraction and correction.

  44. David says:

    The satellite record also provides the opportunity to confirm cooling of the lower and upper stratosphere, which are predicted by greenhouse theory and are observed in both the MSU/AMSU and SSU records. The UAH and RSS products both show cooling of the lower stratospheric channels, which are confounded by ozone depletion but still show strong cooling despite the recovery of stratospheric ozone. And the upper stratosphere is cooling quite rapidly, as discussed in Randel et all 2008 (GRL):


    “Trends in the middle and upper stratosphere have been derived from updated SSU data, taking into account changes in the
    SSU weighting functions due to observed atmospheric CO2 increases. The results show mean cooling of 0.5 – 1.5 K/decade during 1979 – 2005, with the greatest cooling in the upper stratosphere near 40 – 50 km.”

    This is a very strong piece of evidence that increasing carbon dioxide concentrations are disrupting the atmospheric energy budget.”

  45. Robb says:

    I wanted to bring to your attention the work of Charles Keeling, Prosenjit Ghosh, Willi Brand, and others, that shows through spectrographic analysis that the increase of C02 is due to man made releases. Man made C02 has a different signature than natural C02, and the new C02 in the atmosphere has the man made signature. This is proof of man made global warming (extra c02 causes warming).

  46. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    Accuweather: Acronym for Absolutely Can’t Count Upon Weather.

    Friends, Romans, Citizens of the World, lend me your laptops.
    For I come to bury the notion of cyclical warming, not to praise it….

    So is he saying that there isn’t cyclical warming, in which case he’s contradicting head ‘skeptic’ S. Fred Singer and his book Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years?

    Or is he saying there is a warming trend for the past 30 years, in which case all those hockey stick graphs are right and thus ‘skeptics’ will stop saying they are products of incompetence and dishonesty?

    Incidentally, maybe some folks should lend him their laptops with Tamino’s site bookmarked so he can download the temp data and make his own graphs.

    Re: Predictions. Here’s mine concerning the next denialist talking point. The next few years will continue to warm, barring volcanic eruptions, so the denialists will say “Of course it is warming–the sun is coming out of its solar minimum”, and we’ll have a whole new wave of “It’s the sun” type arguments with more cherry-picked evidence.

    Naturally, this will contradict those who will continue to say there is no warming at all (or that is cyclical every 1500 years, or caused by El Nino, or ocean heat content, or CO2 from volcanoes, or CO2 isn’t involved at all….), but at least they’re consistently contradicting each other–if they ever agreed on one thing we might have to start taking their ‘science’ seriously.

  47. Joe Bastardi says:

    Its puzzling to see the attack given people that follow me know I have been more open to the idea that you are convinced of so:

    1) I know and understand the co2 argument and acknowledge that this may be a player. My idea is simple, with the PDO and eventually the AMO changing if temps fall back to where they were when we developed the technology to use the objective satellite measurement, the late 70s, which was the end of the last cold PDO, chances are we have our answer. I believe it will

    2) I have nothing against alternative energy. People still have to know if it will be warm or cold. It actually is probably more profitable for long range forecasters like me. Unlike fossil fuels, which need to know a result, alternative energy needs not only the result, but the actual weather at point of production! So please dont misunderstand that.

    [JR: This isn't about one's belief about alternative energy. It's about one's understanding of the science.]

    3) The forecast for the cold was in the major population centers of N America and Europe of the world which I have said many many times,. The fact that in my writings I acknowledge the earths temps should say something as to my objectivity. But I have made my forecast, for a fall in the satellite temps 1-1.5 degrees by 2030. It wont be a steady fall but an up and down, but biased more down than up.

    4) Please remember to me its all about the weather, right or wrong. My dad is a meteorologist ( Texas A and M, 1965) and constantly talked about and showed evidence of how warm it was in the 30s-50s. My theory is that we are coming out of the same type of situation. But there is one way to find out, see if I am right. I feel that knowing where the overall climate is going forms the canvas for the forecast overall. In the private sector ( I am not a TV met, though I am on occasionally) if you are not bringing value to the forecast, you get fired. But please understand, we can all take snippets and twist them. The coldest since the ice age scare of the 70s was specific to the opening 10 days of January and similarities to the pattern there in the MAJOR POPULATION AREAS SPECIFICALLY REFERENCED If you notice the arctic was warm also.

    [JR: To you it may be about the weather -- but for everyone else human-caused climate change is about the climate. Your theory has no basis in fact, as I've shown. The "Ice age scare" simply didn't exist in the scientific literature -- see here.]

    It was never the whole world.

    And by the way, the temps in the US turned out as forecasted this winter my clients got that in June, we went public in July with the winter forecast.

    I am not in the global warming industry, all I want to do is nail the forecast. That my “theories” are ridiculed, fine, but please understand that one thing the weather teaches you is nothing is for sure tomorrow until tomorrow comes. It has lead me to have an open mind on this argument so anyone who has read my blog at accuweather.com pro knows that.

    I even defended Dr Mann at a speech I did a week ago, as I understand what he was looking at. I would think that people of good will would welcome open debate on this matter, which by the way, I really dont want to be a part of. All I want to do is nail the forecast, and if I happen not to see things your way, well time will tell.

    And attacking a guy, one that actually says he can see what you are talking about and is open minded, reveals that maybe you dont want to see or hear anything that might challenge your position. I know about
    co2 because it is vital that I know all sides here. You dont get stronger in anything, by ignoring weaknesses in your argument. Simply shutting it out is opposite of my methods.

    Be of good cheer, and may reality lead us to the right answer on this matter.

    [JR: It is quite clear you don't have on open mind because the science is overwhelmingly clear it's going to get hotter and hotter thanks to human-cause greenhouse gas emissions, but you predict cooling over the next few decades on the basis of of no scientific evidence whatsoever -- and with offering no explanation for what physical process could counteract the greenhouse gas warming. You spout the standard long-debunked myths of the anti-science crowd. If people want to know what you believe, they can watch your debate with Bill Nye (here). If you have made a single scientifically accurate statement about climate change in your entire remarks, I can't find it. I also debunked you .

    Finally, your call to do nothing for more decades while we wait to see what happens is precisely the same call of the anti-science ideologues in Congress and around the country. If we heed your advice, we will be sentencing our children and countless future generations to the most devastating consequences, according to both the best science we have and the paleoclimate record.]

  48. Neven says:

    “It’s hard for a general audience to believe that someone would do that, which, of course, is why it is such an effective tactic by the misinformer. It’s what Morano does.”

    That’s why the Pielke-Morano debate, which I believe is due to be held in March and moderated by Andy Revkin, will be infinitely more interesting than a debate between Romm and Pielke.

  49. Carter says:

    He says “Folks, it’s not brain surgery.” When you need satellites and supercomputers and advanced mathematics to figure out the answer, it IS the intellectual equivalent of brain surgery. What a fool.

    From what you posted here, he seems to half understand the science, but since he is determined to deny human-caused warming, he uses the words and the data but concludes the opposite from what they say.

  50. MapleLeaf says:

    Joes Bastardi, please read the paper by Swnason et al. (2009, PNAS). I’ll post their conclusion again:

    “Here we present a technique that objectively identifies the component of inter-decadal global mean surface temperature attributable to natural long-term climate variability. Removal of that hidden variability from the actual observed global mean surface temperature record delineates the externally forced climate signal, which is monotonic, accelerating warming during the 20th century.”

    I am a meteorologist and I vehemently disagree with your assertion that “I know and understand the co2 argument and acknowledge that this may be a player”. Could you please clarify your position by answering the following. This is not a quiz, but just an objective and quantitative way of understanding what you position is:

    1) Do you agree that the so-called Greenhouse effect is real?
    2) Do you agree that we humans are increasing GHGs (CO2, CH4, N2O)?
    3) Do you agree that by doing so we are enhancing the greenhouse effect?
    4) Do you agree that the stratosphere is cooling? Why?

    Your post seems to suggest that you believe climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 to be zero?! If not, what do you understand climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 to be?

    It is foolhardy to claim that all the variation is global SATs can be attributed to the PDO, ENSO and AMO. It has been demonstrated by researchers that even a super El Nino like that in 1982-1983 can at most increase global SATs by about +0.2 C. We have warmed by + 0.5 C since the late seventies. Climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 will, even at at the low end of the range, will be +2.0 C– we are talking about an order of magnitude difference.

    You are confusing contributions to annual and decadal global SATs from transient internal climate modes with much more powerful and sustained external forcing mechanisms such as GHGs.

    I’m sorry, but your hypotheses for the observed warming are not supported by the scientific literature, and you provided no scientific papers to support your hypotheses. It is one thing to be dishonest with yourself or misguided, but with the public?

  51. fj2 says:

    48. Carter, “From what you posted here, he seems to half understand the science” regarding #46 Joe Bastardi.

    You are much too kind.

    Americans will have achieve a much clearer sense of purpose, understanding of things, and deliberative skills to effectively respond to this very difficult environmental crisis.

  52. Jeff Huggins says:

    Regarding Joe Bastardi’s Reply (Comment 46)

    He got the very first word in his comment wrong: It should be “It’s”, not “Its”.

    Then, in his first point, he acknowledges that CO2 (as he puts it) “may be a player”. Now there’s a person with a genuine scientific understanding of the matter, who has clearly followed all of the reports?!

    Oh my. I couldn’t read any more after that.

    And there is the problem: People with that degree of understanding, or lack of, are communicating to the public, via the media.



  53. gmo says:

    It is difficult to make sense of it all, but Bastardi’s theory on climate looks like… cycles. And he is very concerned that other people are not open-minded like he is. I do not care to dig through all his varied musings on climate, as from what I can see here they figure to be more of the common hand-waving junk about ocean-this and cycle-that seen from many trying to dispute the science. To try to most generously interpret what I have seen of his views…

    I have no idea how good he is as a seasonal/long-range forecaster. Without even considering his claims about calling this winter beforehand I would not be surprised if he was pretty good at it. As has been noted here before it is more common than one might expect for the shorter-term weather forecasters (those looking out up to a couple weeks like the typical TV or NWS folks) to conflate weather prediction and climate prediction and thus question the consensus views on climate change.

    Six-month forecasts, or more accurately described as outlooks, figure to depend a lot on ocean conditions. In particular, if El Nino or La Nina conditions are expected 6 months down the line, it is easy to use that to help shape the weather outlook for that time somewhere like in the US. It is easy to get the impression that Bastardi is letting what he knows well dominate his thinking.

    Some weather forecasters may mistakenly think that since weather prediction models cannot see with any accuracy out more than a couple weeks because of the chaotic nature of the atmosphere, that climate models cannot tell us what things will be like decades from now. Similarly it seems Bastardi wants to think that ocean cycles which can be to some degree predictable and definitely influential over some time frames are the dominating factor in our current climate and can overwhelm greenhouse gas forcing.

    If he has actually said, done, or wrote anything that he thinks can physically and quantitatively explain (like with estimations of forcings and not just ‘the PDO will change modes’) or support those views that might be interesting to see, mostly so it could be debunked. I suspect his basis is though just hand-waving and maybe some ideology that includes opposition to “the global warming industry.”

  54. David B. Benson says:

    Michael T — Good. Please keep hammering away at this!

    By the way, the predictiion is for the 2010s is 0.64 +- 0.06 K but in a few days I think I should be able the narrow the range by including just the AMO as well as AE. IF that works I’ll post it here on ClimateProgress as well as a few other places.

  55. Leif says:

    Joe Bastardi: It is difficult to know where to try and reach your consciences on this issue. You obviously have access to all the science and information that I have and more yet you steadfastly adhere to “smoke and mirrors” in my view. If you truly believe you are correct in your hypothesis how come you cannot convince the majority of climate scientist of it’s validity? Surely you are familiar enough with the scientific discipline to know that “facts” rule in the real world. Were that not true, planes would not fly, buildings and bridges would not stand, medicine would not heal, ships would not sail the seas. As you know, mistakes were made in each of those disciplines in their infancy, some quite spectacular, and continue to this day on the forefront of all. That this is so in NO way denies the validity of the body of knowledge of each. Yet, you and your disciples are willing to throw out a world body of scientific endeavor for the slightest of infractions and offer no meaningful alternative. Surely you know that the world would be eternally grateful to not be looking into the abyss that “reality” presents humanity at this time. Yet you offer none other than “trust me” in 30 years you will see that I am right. In my view, in 30 years if you prove wrong humanity will be beyond the point of no return and will have stepped over the threshold of doom. Are you willing to bet your progeny on your convictions? You are you know. Yours, mine, and the world over. Forgive me if I lean toward the Academy of Science and all.

    And then there is ocean acidification to attend to, perhaps you have a 30 year safety window for that front as well?

  56. Tom Kimmerer says:

    Joe, I appreciate your willingness to allow Bastardi and others a chance to comment, and your dedication in responding to them. But I have to wonder about Bastardi’s ability to think, when his writing is so utterly inchoate. On his site, and his comments here at Climate Progress, I can’t tell what the heck he is saying.

    It is a characteristic of pseudoscience that it relies on complicated and pseudo-sophisticated syntax to obfuscate. We scientists are not very good at communicating the truth about global warming, or any other important issue. But we should not lose sight of the fact that the anti-science crowd is utterly dependent on creating a fog of words.

  57. dhogaza says:

    1) I know and understand the co2 argument and acknowledge that this may be a player. My idea is simple, with the PDO and eventually the AMO changing if temps fall back to where they were when we developed the technology to use the objective satellite measurement, the late 70s, which was the end of the last cold PDO, chances are we have our answer. I believe it will

    Anyone who says the satellite measurements are “objective” clearly have absolutely no idea as to how they work.

    They don’t measure temperature. They passively sense microwave radiation emitted by (mostly) oxygen. It’s a proxy, in other words, that has to undergo processing to correlate it to a temperature.

    Thermometers, at least, actually measure the expansion/contraction of mercury as temperature changes, or some other physical change that is directly due to temperature change.

    There are continuity problems with the surface stations – changes in time of observation, introduction of stevenson screens, changes in sensor, etc.

    There are continuity problems with the satellites – orbital drift, orbital decay, sensor aging, etc. These have caused UAH, in particular, all sorts of problems in the past, problems uncovered for the most part by RSS, which causes me, at least, to have greater faith in the RSS product than the UAH one.

    There’s a great deal of redundancy in the surface station record – the globe is oversampled. This allows analysts to slice and dice the data in a variety of way to test hyptotheses like the magnitude of the UHI effect, siting, etc.

    Typically there’s just been one satellite available.

    In the US a totally separate network of ground stations has been deployed, the climate research network. As Menne shows, for the time of overlap available, the historical and new network temperature products match very closely. Every one who has sliced and diced the data and competently analyzed it (which rules out D’Aleo, Watts and EM Smith, who don’t even understand the concept of an anomaly) has come up with good agreement.

    And RSS shows good trend agreement with GISTEMP.

    I know why Bastardi wants to pretend that the satellite temperature record is “objective” (by which he implies that the surface station temperature products like GISTEMP are subjective, in other words, made up shit, in other words, a product of research fraud). He wants to do that because “1978-present isn’t long enough” is a more convincing argument to some than “1890-present isn’t enough”.

    You’re not getting away with it, Bastardi.

  58. If you wish to know what he really thinks, watch him on FOX. He does not believe humans are causing any significant warming. He has been consistent on TV with that meme.

  59. Steve L says:

    My goodness — I just went to read Joe Bastardi’s site because I wanted to see if I could actually figure out what he predicted. I can’t even tell if he is a real person! He may just be a computer program designed to throw a bunch of words together. Oh well, at least he made a fairly clear statement prediction at the end of a new post: “But next year (2011) probably will be the coldest year in 20 years.” Unfortunately he doesn’t say where this prediction applies. I predict that in 2012, he or some computer program will spit out the following gob:
    “It’s over and I’ve proven my points. The weather changed between 2010 and 2011, it’s clear that the blocking did what I predicted it would do. Online forecasters, such as me, noticed these things earlier but mets these days are just following Al Gore like sheep to slaughter, but now that this has switched we’ll see that that will change. The modeling can only react to the reaction of the atmosphere; it can’t predict it. That’s why fiascos like this come about, it’s because my dad was a met who grew up when it was warm and precipping a lot, well, a little and then a lot, and government-inspired forecasts seem to get focused on warm, warm, warm in their models instead of remembering how to remember that things changed before, and that’s what the next generation is going to grow up with. So in 10-15 years it will be an easy experiment, and that will be followed up by big differences in AMO over 30 years, and of course there’s the blocking for the next 2-4 years, as I’ve forthrightly and objectively said before, and those things will force the met office to admit that they used past evidence against us even though they knew that it was right to interpret it differently, in the light of all the other physical drivers.”

    [JR: Funny stuff. Bastardi gives new meaning the phrase "writer's block." Whatever the weather is, it's due to blocking somewhere!]

  60. Wit's End says:

    A fog of words! Inchoate! Misspelled, inarticulate, ungrammatical? Did any word salader mention they can see ice melting in Siberia from their porch yet!?

  61. prokaryote says:

    J.B.”But I have made my forecast, for a fall in the satellite temps 1-1.5 degrees by 2030.”

    How is this based? Do you have any data to support your “forecast”?

    J.B.”one thing the weather teaches you is nothing is for sure tomorrow until tomorrow comes”

    Weather is not climate – that is why we have climate science, to predict long term trends.

  62. Ben Lieberman says:

    J.B. If someone close to you had the misfortune to be diagnosed with heart disease and 97 out of 100 cardiologists recommended a course of treatment would you let us without the treatment from that person if we could find a couple of cardiologists who did not know what to do? That is what you and others are doing to us and the world: to deny is to destroy.

  63. seriously says:

    A little background: Bastardi was quick to jump to inaccurate conclusions in his college days, and evidently things haven’t changed much. He was known as “Joe snow” back then because he was so keen on being the first person to predict the first snowfall of the year that he was constantly predicting snow. Snowfall in central Pennsylvania is inevitable. If you predict it often enough, eventually you’re going to get one right. Of course, he readily forgot how many times he got it wrong, which was most of the time.

  64. mike roddy says:

    I don’t mind giving space to a denier like Bastardi because at least we aren’t sick of him yet, and his phrases are funny (“CO2 may be a player”). He’s just another weatherman, considerably less harmless than Watts, but with a similar grasp of the science (zero).

    I was more struck by Neven’s mention of the upcoming Pielke-Morano “debate”. Really? They’re on the same team! It’ll be like one of those political party primary town hall debates, especially with Revkin moderating. The love will shine on through, because Morano will be passing the baton.

    It reminds me of what someone said about William F. Buckley becoming the public face of Republican conservatives. They had to pick someone like Buckley, because the rest of them were just getting too scary. A few twitches and lip smacks were nothing compared to the fire breathing body language of Melvin Laird and Barry Goldwater.

    Roger’s time has arrived, along with his soul brothers McIntyre and Watts. Their opponents will need to plan strategy more carefully, with no letup in determination.

  65. sarah says:

    Steve L: fantastic summary of the key arguments!!

    I’m still stuck way up in paragraph three trying to figure out: “The “warmth” of the Earth is a byproduct of what caused the cold where it is.”

    And, what does it mean that “the forecast for the cold was in the major population centers”? (And how does this relate to the urban heat island effect?)

    Perhaps since Bastardi’s dad has such great data on the temperatures in the 1930s to 50s, we can dispense with any other (obviously flawed) data sources for that time period. Maybe we should poll the dads of the world to construct a robust global temperature history. Granddads and great-granddads could get us an even longer time record- why didn’t anyone think of this before?! (What about moms? They might be biased by the “kitchen heat island effect”.)

  66. Lamont says:

    “1) I know and understand the co2 argument and acknowledge that this may be a player. My idea is simple, with the PDO and eventually the AMO changing if temps fall back to where they were when we developed the technology to use the objective satellite measurement, the late 70s, which was the end of the last cold PDO, chances are we have our answer. I believe it will”

    The PDO-global-climate meme has *zero* science behind it.

    The PDO does impact me a lot because I live in Seattle, but globally it is just about insignificant.

    Even Bob Tisdale has debunked the PDO-global-climate link:


    The other thing is that Bastardi saying that “It’s amazing how quick this nino is falling apart” is just incompetent for an “expert long range forecaster” to making this kind of statement. El Nino’s peak in December and then decline. Its normal. It isn’t amazing. Its predictable. But the lemmings on Accuweather and WUWT eat it up like an El Nino has never declined before to ENSO-neutral conditions and they’ve just discovered brand new science that clearly indicates a NewIceAge(tm).

    There is also a known (and very easily replicated) 6-month lag between ENSO SSTs and global temperatures, so anyone who claims to be an “expert long range forecaster” shouldn’t be predicting anything except warm temperatures from now until june/july.

  67. Steve L says:

    I can’t believe I missed that beauty in paragraph three. But if you’re getting stuck, it must be because you’re smart and used to understanding what you read. That’s a definite disadvantage at Bastardi’s blog.

  68. Charles says:

    Mr. Bastardi, I don’t mean to be unkind, but I have to agree with the others: your post here is puzzling at best, and one wonders if you are not deliberately trying to obfuscate. I don’t think you are, but you *do* give the unfortunate impression of someone who is talking through his hat. Others here, especially Joe, have tried to show you that your arguments just do not hold up, and you have failed in presenting a coherent theoretical model as to why global temperatures will cool over the next 30 years. Occam’s Razor applies to simple but coherent explanations, not to simplistic ones.

    What I find so unsettling is that so many people will accept your misinformed views and the views of other “weathermen” and journalists who are equally misinformed, not just about climate science, but also about science and the ways in which science works. There really is, as Tim Lambert argues, a war on science, whether intentional or not, and we are all going to suffer because of it.

  69. Bill Maddox says:

    I don’t mind being unkind. Bastardi is remarkably inarticulate and a good reflection of a lot of the media nowadays.

  70. tonym says:

    i love how many people think they know more than this guy. reading these comments, most people clearly did not even read his response.

  71. Steve O says:

    @Sarah #66
    I know you were being sarcastic, but cultural history can be a bit help for reconstructing climate in the past. To point you to one of my favorites, Arctic ICCE: http://www.aujaqsuittuq.com/

    “The goal is to visit communities in Greenland’s vast Thule region and record stories, interviews and oral histories of the few remaining full-time hunters and their wives in that region.”

    They’ve learned a lot (and, as you might expect, it does not jive with Mr. Bastardi’s perspective).

  72. Steve O says:

    I meant “can be a big help”

  73. Leland Palmer says:

    Reply to Joe Bastardi-

    Occam’s Razor says that it’s not a coincidence that you continue to make anti-scientific arguments which benefit the fossil fuel corporations.

    Occam’s Razor says the simplest explanation for your behavior is that you get paid for it.

    A paid advocate, like a lawyer, will simply change the subject and switch to another defense if his first defense of his client is debunked. Similarly, many climate deniers will simply come up with what they hope are convincing reasons for their positions, but continue to advocate the bottom line – a continuation of the profitable status quo for the fossil fuel companies.

    Considering the effect of money as a motivating factor for many people, Occam’s Razor says it’s likely you get paid for acting like a paid advocate, not a seeker after truth.

    Oh, likely the money is laundered through your employer.

    But Occam’s Razor says you most likely get paid for your climate denialism.

    It would be interesting to see you perform an experiment.

    Try admitting the reality of global warming, and see how it affects your job performance ratings, and see if your paychecks continue to arrive on time.

  74. mark says:

    ” Did any word salader mention they can see ice melting in Siberia from their porch yet!?”

    Made me laugh.

    There are a lot of very humorous replies here.

    And, Mr. Romm, absolutely should not “debate” Pielke.

    Pretty obviously, questions on the causes of climate change are settled beyond doubt.

    Thanks Mr. Romm, I believe what you do is having an effect.

  75. Mike S. says:

    I know Joe Bastardi a little bit, and he is definitely an interesting character. I read all of his blogs and sometimes talk to him in person. His blog is sometimes a “stream of consciousness”, and it can be confusing. He likes to sing and write odd poetry – he is actually a very entertaining guy, the life of the party. His videos are usually more coherent than his writing, and graphics help to elucidate what he is saying. He still does break into song on his videos, and they would certainly be difficult for somebody without meteorological training to understand.

    So, where am I going with this? My point is that a person needs to listen to him for a while in order to get the whole picture. He has a lot of knowledge, a lot of passion, and a lot of ideas, but he has trouble expressing them in a way that most people can understand. Despite what you cite here in this blog posting, he is an excellent long-range forecaster, and he has gotten better in the last few years.

    When he was talking about the warmth in his postings, he was referring to global temperatures, and I think that he was thinking that the satellite-measured global temperatures would start to come down sometime in February. If you look at the graph… the temperature reached a peak early in the month and then overall did drop from that, during a time when the temperature typically rises. The peak was so high that the month will probably be the warmest February in the satellite record, but he was not entirely wrong when he said that the temperature would start dropping in February.

    And now the cold… when he was talking about cold, he meant the places where people live. I know that somewhere he said “globally”, but if you read all of his writings, it is clear that he meant populated places. He predicted that it would be a cold winter in much of Europe, eastern North America, and eastern Asia. I know that in Europe his forecast was directly opposite of the forecast from the UK Met Office. Who was right? I won’t tell you – look at the data and see for yourself. I am not sure how eastern Asia fared overall, but I do know there was a period of harsh cold and snow in China, and Beijing came within a few degrees of their coldest recorded temperature. Looking at the average temperatures from December through February, Beijing this year was the coldest in at least ten years, which is especially impressive considering the amount of urban development that has occurred there recently which should make temperatures trend upward. In the eastern US, he nailed the forecast for this winter. There is no way around it – he said the winter would be colder than normal in most of the east, especially in the south. Anybody here from Florida? Tampa averaged seven degrees below normal for January and February combined, which may be unprecedented. He said that there would be above normal snowfall in a stripe from northern Texas to the middle-Atlantic region. He specifically mentioned Dallas and DC, and he could not be more right about that. He also said that there would be trouble with lack of snow at the Olympics. I am not saying that his forecast was perfect, but it did beat everything else out there, and he was a lot more right than wrong. He came out publicly with this forecast in October, but had been talking about these points for months before that. Going back further, he was the first source that I saw that forecast the onset of the El Nino last year, and also the first source that said the hurricane season would be less stormy than normal. Both were very good calls. With regard to the El Nino, he also correctly forecast that its intensity would peak at “moderate” and that it would start to decline during the winter. Some other sources were predicting that it would reach a peak similar to 1997-98, and that clearly did not happen.

    I do not worship Joe Bastardi. I am not a lackey of his, and I disagree with a lot of things that he says regarding things outside of the realm of weather. As far as climate goes, he says to wait 20-30 years and see what happens, and it will be clear what is driving climate change. He thinks that the temperature will drop due to natural factors, but he rarely launches any personal attacks against those that believe otherwise. I agree completely that he is inarticulate and I sometimes question his sanity, but when it comes to the weather, he knows what he is talking about. His writing is sometimes incoherent and when you take bits and pieces as in this blog it makes it even worse. Among the rambling and poetry, etc. Joe does put out hard-and-fast forecasts, and he produces specific numbers for clientele. As far as long-range forecasting goes, the facts speak for themselves and if I was a betting man I would play the Bastardi card here.

  76. MarkB says:

    In #48, Joe Bastardi claims he’s open-minded. Reading his latest blog entry, I fail to see evidence of this. I see a flat-Earther ranting fervently and often incoherently about the scientific community and Al Gore, and the most concrete case of Dunning-Kruger I’ve probably ever seen.


    As far as weather forecasting goes, I don’t see Bastardi’s predictions being any more accurate than NOAA’s, which predicted a cooler than usual winter for the Carolinas down through the southeast and south Texas, and warmer than usual for the northwest (with relative percentages given).


    I think those promoting Bastardi’s forecasts are being rather selective.

  77. I was in the Meteo Dept. at PSU at the same time as Joe Bastardi so I do know him. He was and is still an excellent weather forecaster. However, he is awful at climate.

  78. Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Joe Bastardi, I agree that you know a lot about weather. And you have heard about CO2 and its connection to climate. But your prediction of cooling over the next 30 years implies a climate sensitivity to CO2 of practically zero!

    Joe, you are blocking the reality of CO2′s effect out of your conscience awareness. I think this is a case of Morton’s Demon.

    Joe, I ask you to give a lot of consideration to this. Why do climatologists recognize that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and so the sensitivity is much greater than zero?

    Joe, if you are wrong and people take your advice, immense harm will result. Doesn’t this concern you? Isn’t it time to follow the Precautionary Principle?

  79. paulm says:

    So are you sticking up for his climate projections as well or just his long term weather forecasts? There is a difference you know!

    Wait 30yrs, yeah right! Thats one of the major problem with these cowboys.

    They see a small part of the picture, ignoring the risk management. There is a catastrophic risk weighting on the current GW trend, but people like Joe B don’t account for this in there handling of the issue.

    Apart from the overwhelming evidence and theory behind the current AGW these guys/gals don’t appreciate the utter devastation awaiting humanity in the endgame.
    To them, a game is what it seems to be.

  80. PSU Grad says:

    “In the eastern US, he nailed the forecast for this winter. There is no way around it – he said the winter would be colder than normal in most of the east, especially in the south.”

    There are many, many ways around it. According to the NWS office in State College, Williamsport, PA, not all that far from State College had above normal temperatures in December, January and February.

    Essentially, all of meteorological winter. Harrisburg had below normal temperatures in December and February, but was above normal in January after a “cold snap” that didn’t even come close to threatening a single low temperature record (not even one low in the single digits).

    I wouldn’t call that “nailing the forecast”.

  81. Dana says:

    Bastardi says “Please remember to me its all about the weather”.

    In that case, why not stick to the weather? Why make uneducated and frankly ignorant and baseless guesses as to how the climate will change 20 years from now? Why allow yourself to be interviewed under the guise of being a climate expert?

    If you don’t want to be criticized for ignorant climate predictions, then don’t make them. Stick to the weather.

  82. Meteorologist says:

    I’m not a defender of Joe Bastardi but when he was talking about a cold winter for the population centers he was right. Why don’t you plot the Decemmber to February world temperatures in the northern hemisphere against population?


    Clearly where the people live in North America and Europe it was colder than normal. Also, Asia leaned colder than normal.

    Clearly you are twisting his words on this one and you should be ashamed of yourself. There is a right and a wrong way to engage in debate my friend. I would love to see a debate on climate change but those who are profitting (your mr Romm) do not want to risk being exposed and lose all you have.

    Have a good day sir.

  83. Concerned Citizen says:

    Oh and I just googled Joe Romm and found this:

    “In the 1990s, Romm served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. Romm has published several books on global warming and energy technology.”

    I love someone who makes loads of money selling books about global warming tearing down Joe Bastardi….LOL…Come on Romm who are you kidding here. If you ever found evidence that you might be wrong like the earth not warming as fast as you might think (geeze who would think that after the past few years-lol) you would never come forward and say your wrong. You know why? Because your financial life revolves around this issue. Your ego revolves around this issue….it is your life. I wouldn’t believe someone who profits from global warming if they were the last person on earth. There is just too much of a conflict there.

  84. Matt says:

    Let me ask everyone here…..Who should I believe? Meteorologists, (the people who spend everyday forecasting the weather and understanding the weather) who overwhelmingly think climate change is greatly exaggerated or a physicist (see Romm above) who make money by writing global warming fear books and or getting research grants. The livilood of these guys depends on global warming its their religion now…..there is no real debate on this issue for that reason alone.

  85. Matt says:

    Why doesn’t Romm post his predictions for global temperatures for the next 20 years and Bastrdi does the same and in 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now we’ll see who is right? I’ll tell you why. Because Romm isn’t interested in the truth, he’s interested in making money off the scary issue of his time, just like his boy Al Gore…its really ashame politics have ruined the science.

  86. Matt says:

    I don’t know much about this group, but a small search on google found this:


    Thats 31,486 American Scientists who have signed the petition (I haven’t yet) and 9,029 PhDs.

    Are you guys going to say 31+ thousand scientists are all completely wrong?

    Here is another article I found:

    Many Meteorologists Break with Science of Global WarmingThe Kansas City Star

    We now take you live to a storm within the ranks of America’s weathercasters.

    It is a quiet controversy about global warming. At least one local broadcaster had been hoping to keep it quiet.

    But after considerable persuasion last week, the Fox affiliate WDAF reluctantly allowed its chief meteorologist, Mike Thompson, to explain in an e-mail to The Kansas City Star why he breaks from the scholarly worldview of the causes of climate change.

    “It has become completely political — it’s not about science at all,” he wrote in an e-mail. “If science were the objective, then we would be seeing an entirely different debate. But there are agendas at play, and it has undermined the credibility of climate science.”

    Others in his profession share that view.

    “Global warming is the greatest scam in history,” blogged a veteran TV weatherman in San Diego, John Coleman, in late 2007. He then appeared on Glenn Beck’s show.
    That hardly stunned University of Texas researcher Kris Wilson, who for years has probed the wide range of attitudes, values and skill sets of those beamed into your living room to chat up the weather.

    What did surprise Wilson was that 29 percent of meteorologists in a modest survey he conducted took Coleman’s side — “a scam,” they called the scare.

    And a clear majority of 121 weathercasters polled — 62 percent — said they thought climate models were unreliable for predicting temperatures and sea levels to come.
    It is important to know that meteorologists are not climatologists.

    One group projects snowfall and sometimes blows the call, making doubt and error the weatherman’s constant companions. The other group — more degree-decorated, but sound-bite challenged — studies such things as ice caps, sunlight absorption and carbon-dioxide levels to reach conclusions about planetary conditions decades from now.
    The quarrels between the two make the American Meteorological Society uneasy. Through education and “more dialogue,” the AMS and other science groups seek to bring more weathercasters in line with scientists who insist that global warming is a reality most likely aggravated by human actions.

    “The climate scientists tend not to appreciate the concerns of broadcasters, and meteorologists tend to underestimate how much work the climate scientists do and care they take,” said AMS Director Keith Seitter. “We’re trying to get these folks to communicate with each other better.”

    Nobody knows exactly how many weathercasters are skeptical of the scientific line on climate change and its causes. Wilson, who soon will release results of a poll of more than 500 meteorologists, calls the skeptics “a vocal minority.”

    They range from Joseph D’Aleo — who, with Coleman, established the Weather Channel — to a former director of the National Hurricane Center. From WeatherData Inc. executive Mike Smith of Wichita to the 44 TV weathercasters who signed a 2008 petition circulated by U.S. Sen. James Inhofe. An Oklahoma Republican, Inhofe is a fiery critic of climate science.

    Plenty of others, including KSHB chief meteorologist Gary Lezak, scoff at the skepticism.

    “I absolutely believe it’s politically driven,” he said. “I’m not politically driven … I go with the overwhelming scientific evidence.

    “The fact is, the Earth is warming up. Far as I know, 90 to 95 percent of scientists believe climate change is real and it has a human influence. Am I able to change my mind in 10 years if the facts show otherwise? Of course.”

  87. Global Man says:

    What do all those 30,000+ scientists know about climate right?….they must all be paid by big oil right. LOL…..someday we as a people will look back on this issue and we are going to really have a hard time believing what the global warming environmentalists pushed down our throats…..and how bad the science is…its already starting to come out slowly…..watch in 10 years this issue will likely be dead.

  88. paulm says:

    Matt, I think you should believe the physicist.

    a) they are smarter
    b) climate is more about physics than weather
    c) the weather forecasts are always 80% wrong.

  89. By the Way says:

    The reason satellite data is more reliable is simple. Have you guys seen the changes in the station histories of the places that are used to push global warming? Have you seen places that were once open grassland that is now a spraling metropolitan area? Don’t you think that might have a big impact on the temperatures? I mean its not as simple as looking back at the station temperature records when development is surrounding the stations in blacktop where there once was trees and grass…..

  90. The level of stupidity in this threat says:

    Is unreal…I can’t believe how many followers there are in this threat who just bend over and accept people like Gore and this clown Romm as truth…amazing.

  91. Mike S. says:

    Okay, maybe “nailed it” is subjective. He drew the line between “above normal” and “below normal” basically straight from Erie, PA to Portsmouth, NH. He needed to bump it north on the west side to include Buffalo, and then cut it to New York City with a little dip to put Williamsport in the above normal. I think that the main reason Williamsport was above normal DEC-FEB was because they got missed by most of the snowstorms and the lack of snow cover affected temperatures. State College, about 60 miles to the southwest had snow cover much more of the time and wound up more than two degrees colder relative to normal, even in spite of station siting issues that cause them to tend warm. So, all in all, he was about 100 miles off on the north side of the below-normal area in the eastern US. In the South, he needed to extend the much below to cover most of Florida.

    The place that he really messed up was the northern Plains, especially the Dakotas, where he forecast much above normal and they wound up below normal.

    This is all based on a map he put out in October. By the end of December he recognized that the cold was going to be more extensive and it was mentioned several times in his blog.

  92. Dave says:

    Mike don’t bother talking reality those on this site that want to bash anyone not supporting global warming don’t care about facts.

  93. And as the ranting, willfully ignorant deniers come out foaming and frothing in their blatant ad hominem attacks, prodigiously demonstrating once again their absolute incapacity to engage in any activity which might, by even the most reckless stretch of the imagination ever be mistaken for critical reasoning, much less even the most basic grasp of scientific methodology or elementary climate science, permit me to again note the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    People who will aggressively swallow any lie fabricated by the fossil fuel industry will then turn around and condemn Romm because — OH! The Horror! — he wrote a scientifically accurate, robustly fact-based book on the subject of climate change. One might accuse the above ranting trolls of hypocrisy, except for the lingering suspicion that they just aren’t bright enough to be conscious hypocrites.

  94. MarkB says:

    “Meteorologist” claims:

    “Clearly where the people live in North America and Europe it was colder than normal. Also, Asia leaned colder than normal. ”

    From your own graph, it appears Asia was slightly above normal, especially in the “population centers”. See China, for example. It was also a bit above normal in the northeast.

  95. Michael T says:

    #89 By the Way

    I wouldn’t say the satellite record is the most accurate. The satellite is more sensitive to the El Nino/La Nina cycle than the surface record. The cooling stratosphere can also have an effect on the accuracy. The satellite channel spans both the stratosphere and the troposhere which (with a cooling stratosphere), reduces the tropospheric temperature data set. And that is what you get with the UAH record, which shows slightly less warming over the 32 year satellite record, but when the stratospheric influence is removed, the trend shows .15 deg C per decade, similar to the surface measurments.

    From NCDC State of the Climate 2009:
    “In all cases these trends are positive. The analysis performed by RSS reveals a trend of 0.09°C/decade (0.16°F/decade) while the UAH analysis reveals a lower trend of 0.04°C/decade (0.08°F/decade). When adjusted by University of Washington scientists to remove the stratospheric influences from the RSS and UAH mid-troposphere average, the trends increase to 0.15°C/decade (0.26°F/decade) and 0.11°C/decade (0.20°F/decade), respectively. (A journal article is available that describes the University of Washington adjustments to remove the stratospheric influence from mid-troposphere averages.) Trends in these MSU time series are similar to the trend in global surface temperatures, which increased at a rate near 0.16°C/decade (0.29°F/decade) during the same 30-year period.”


    I’m not even sure if the satellite covers the arctic where the planet is warming the fastest. And also the snow cover extent in the NH can also influence the satellite readings. That’s my understanding with the satellites.

  96. Michael T says:

    # 87 Matt

    The 31,000 petition is a fraud. Just watch this video by greenman3610:


  97. MarkB says:

    Mike S. (#91),

    You’re not understanding the point. NOAA put together a similar winter forecast in mid-October (note they actually got Florida right too). Trying to portray Bastardi as some sort of weather forecasting genius doesn’t fly.

    “By the way” (#89),

    The surface record is pretty reliable, although HadCrut underestimates the warming trend a bit, due to not including polar regions.

    RSS is a reasonable satellite record. The UAH track record is pathetic. Their entire warming trend, and more, is a result of severe errors discovered and upward corrections to the data. Spencer and Christy (two contrarian types who manage that data) have consistently underestimated warming.


  98. PSU Grad says:

    “…even in spite of station [KUNV] siting issues that cause them to tend warm.”

    I’ve been following PA weather for several decades, and have never seen that. I suppose there’s empirical data to support that?

  99. Barry says:

    Well Bastardi has made his prediction: cooler in 30 years.

    And he has made his policy recommendations: humanity should not curtail ghg for at least a few more decades until we see if it really does get cooler all by itself in 30 years.

    The Bastari Principle: Do nothing and let humanity live with the results of his personal hunches.

    He seems happy betting both his future and that of everyone’s kids on climate science being wrong about that 95% likelihood of it getting dangerously warmer.

    Very gutsy considering he doesn’t have any science to back up his gamble — but he is now clearly on record for future folks either to praise or vilify.

  100. Ryan T says:

    More here on the “petition project” nonsense:

    Fact is, Matt, meteorologists usually deal with local to regional weather fluctuation, strongly affected by the distribution of heat and moisture within the system, not climate trends. And of course, with a lack of reality-based analysis, the issue must always boil down to accusing people like Romm and Gore of being more interested in money than in good science. Funny how that line of argument is often rejected by the denial camp when it comes to the fossily purveyors of pseudoscience.

  101. MarkB says:

    To be sure, most meteorologists (ones with scientific training) accept the general consensus on global warming. As the AMS consensus statement says…

    “There is now clear evidence that the mean annual temperature at the Earth’s surface, averaged over the entire globe, has been increasing in the past 200 years. There is also clear evidence that the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased over the same period. In the past decade, significant progress has been made toward a better understanding of the climate system and toward improved projections of long-term climate change… Human activities have become a major source of environmental change. Of great urgency are the climate consequences of the increasing atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases… Because greenhouse gases continue to increase, we are, in effect, conducting a global climate experiment, neither planned nor controlled, the results of which may present unprecedented challenges to our wisdom and foresight as well as have significant impacts on our natural and societal systems.”

    The ones who can’t look beyond local weather fluctuations have troubles.

  102. Mike S. says:

    Re #99:

    I’m actually referring to the observing site at Penn State in State College. The site is surrounded by buildings on all sides and is much warmer on some nights than much of the surrounding area. In the past the station had more exposure on one side which allowed cool air from a nearby golf course to drain downhill toward the station and cool it at night. Several years ago PSU built a huge building that spans Atherton Street and blocks that drainage flow. On clear, calm nights this makes a very big difference. It is very rare for the station to get below zero any more, even on nights when temperatures in surrounding towns drop to 10-15 below zero. The difference was smaller before that building was put in. Many meteorologists that have lived here for ten years or more know about this.

  103. David B. Benson says:

    Matt (86) — I posted my prediction for the GISTEMP global temperature anomaly for the decade just now starting. It has been copied in a comment by Martin T earlier on this thread.

    Guess what? The prediction is for ever more warming.

  104. PSU Grad says:

    Mike S.:

    Fair enough. I’m aware of what you’re talking about, and actually “learned” to golf (HAH!) on that golf course (I forget if it’s called the Blue course or the White course). And I’m aware of the building as well, that was always a mess when we’d visit State College during construction.

    But to my knowledge that PSU site is not an official recording station, or at least it doesn’t show on the METAR observations. KUNV does. That’s the station in which I’m more interested.

  105. jim says:

    Why is my comments being deleted?? Is it because of the truth!!

    [JR: The truth, I think, is foreign to you. See next comment.]

  106. Jonathan says:

    Mine is deleted too!!

    [JR: And you just coincidentally have the same address as "jim." Maybe if you identified yourself properly and didn't try to post disinformation you might not get deleted!]

  107. Mike#22 says:

    Terrific spam #84 Concerned Citizen!

    “I love someone who makes loads of money selling books about global warming tearing down…”

    (Joe, I guess it is time you stopped pretending to drive a Prius, and fess up to that gold plated Porsche in your five car garage.)

  108. Joe Bastardi is to climatology as Glenn Beck is to sanity.

    This fool is featured on Fox News for a reason … and it isn’t because Fox News has a love for science or legitimately scientific discussions of complex and easily misunderstood climate data. The sheep who watch Fox News aren’t in love with science and they believe polluting the Earth is their God-and-Adam-Smith given right.

    Yes, Fox News watchers, God created the Earth so that humans might thoroughly trash the planet since the good people are all going to spend eternity in Heaven.

    Joe Bastardi is a liar [snip] and he should be treated as such.

  109. Don Sutherland says:

    In my view, some of Joe Bastardi’s comments have been taken out of context and the description of his positions does not fairly reflect his views.

    The proper way to address the issue was to have noted that Mr. Bastardi’s hypothesis is that natural factors (namely the PDO and AMO) have contributed to most of the observed warming since the 1970s. Then, one could have evaluated that hypothesis against the body of scientific research on the subject matter.

    Sufficient evidence exists showing that natural forcings, alone, cannot explain the magnitude of the observed warming. Indeed, the relatively stable relationship between natural forcings and global temperatures deteriorated markedly over the past 60 years. However, incorporating changes in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide during that time restores a reasonable fit between all forcings (natural and anthropogenic) and global temperatures. In other words, the argument could be addressed within the scientific realm.

    Shifting the argument from one of science to one of personalities, who knows (does not know) what, whose message is (is not) accurate muddies the discussion. At the same time, it undermines prospects for the policy choices necessary to address the climate change issue in a meaningful and timely fashion.

    The reality is that political interests are not synonymous with scientific ones. Compounding that distinction is the long pronounced political bias toward the short-term “fire fighting” at the expense of longer-term priorities. As a result, the science could be all but flawless, but competing short-term economic, social, and political factors, among others, considered important or relevant by political leaders within the context of regular election cycles could well outweigh the scientific arguments concerning the climate issue.

    Furthermore, in a democratic political system, public policy cannot become too far removed from what the public will support. Otherwise, those responsible would be voted out of office and the new political leaders would very likely overturn the policies that the public found objectionable. That means effective communication and educational outreach is vital if the science is to be translated into effective and sustainable public policy.

    At present, political leaders are grappling with some major issues, many of which are competing for attention with climate change. In an approaching election cycle, political leaders are feeling pressure to address the issue of high unemployment (a share of which is structural) in the wake of a severe recession/financial crisis. Concern about U.S. fiscal policy is increasing and is being amplified by budget challenges confronting key large states such as California and New York, financial challenges in Greece, and reality that the U.S. faces long-term structural imbalances associated with its mandatory spending programs. In the wake of the breakdown in lending quality/explosion in household debt that led to the real estate bubble and financial crisis that followed, issues about the soundness of the nation’s financial system and its regulatory framework abound. Concerns about Iran’s nuclear activities cast a shadow on the nation’s foreign policy.

    Against that backdrop, the focus needs to be strictly on the science concerning climate change and the tradeoffs associated with various policy choices and the timing of those choices. Aggressive efforts need to be made to articulate a clear, compelling and understandable message to policymakers and the public alike. Shifting the argument to one of personalities or politics can only divert attention from the climate issue and thwart that effort. In the end, such an approach increases prospects for inaction and makes it easier for political leaders to rationalize their focusing on other issues. After all, if political leaders perceive that the debate on climate change is far from settled to a satisfactory extent or, worse is a matter of ideological disagreement not scientific finding, then they can more readily find justification to deal with other issues that compete for their attention and have their own constituencies.

  110. Mike#22 says:

    “The proper way to address the issue was to have noted that Mr. Bastardi’s hypothesis is that natural factors (namely the PDO and AMO) have contributed to most of the observed warming since the 1970s. Then, one could have evaluated that hypothesis against the body of scientific research on the subject matter.”

    The whole cycles hypothesis is just lame. Sea level has been going up steadily with CO2. Not bouncing up and down in time with the crank science idea of the week, namely “it is the PDO or AMO”.

  111. David B. Benson says:

    Mike#22 — I’m checking the AMO right now and it’ll be just a shrimpy correction to the CO2 forcing.

  112. Chris Winter says:

    Someone who just couldn’t wait to start typing wrote:
    “The level of stupidity in this threat says:
    March 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm
    Is unreal…I can’t believe how many followers there are in this threat who just bend over and accept people like Gore and this clown Romm as truth…amazing.”

    aaannnnd here comes the complaint about all the ad hominem attacks from our side. Wait for it…

    By the way, you meant to type “thread.” A Freudian slip?

  113. All the Bastardi followers must have latched on to this thread over the last 24 hours because since the last time I’ve checked it, the average level of intelligence in reasoning has diminished substantially. Call me not surprised. I’m still waiting for the hurricane to hit Long Island and Connecticut.

  114. Steve Bloom says:

    Re #110: Don, just so we’re clear on what the terminology means, it’s not a “hypothesis” without a proposed physical mechanism. Bastardi hasn’t got one, indeed he lacks the scientific background needed to even fabricate something plausible-sounding, so all in all he’s no more credible than some loudmouth in a bar.

    It should not go unmentioned that Bastardi works for some serious wingnuts. The family that owns and runs AccuWeather were big backers of Republican ex-Sen. Santorum, who famously tried in AW’s behalf to bar the U.S. Weather Service from making its forecasts freely available to the public. That effort seems to have played a key role in the decision by PA voters to bring Santorum’s political career to an abrupt end. Subsequently the AW ownership seems to have kept their heads low politically, but they’ve continued to give a denialist slant to the information they put out to the public.

  115. Don Sutherland says:

    FWIW, I ran multiple regressions using the AMO and PDO as independent variables and the annual global temperature anomalies as the dependent variable. I ran the data for 1900-2004. The PDO sample begins in 1900. The smoothed AMO sample ends in 2004.

    The data can be found at:
    AMO: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/correlation/amon.sm.long.data
    PDO: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest
    Global Temperature Anomalies: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    For 1900-1950:
    Coefficient of Determination: 0.638
    Standard Error: 0.090°C

    For 1951-2004:
    Coefficient of Determination: 0.358
    Standard Error: 0.160°C

    Coefficient of Determination: 0.229
    Standard Error: 0.196°C

    The major points are:

    1. Those two natural variables have explanatory power
    2. The explantory power of those two natural variables has weakened in recent decades
    3. As the explantory power of those two natural variables weakened, the error associated with using those variables to predict the annual global temperature anomalies increased
    4. Even if one adds the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) to the independent variables, the situation of the weakening explantory variable of the three natural variables weakens (r2: 0.655 to r2: 0.358) during the same timeframes noted above.

    In sum, an additional factor or factors increasingly explained the annual global temperature anomalies since 1950. The preponderance of scientific literature highlights the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2.

    Anyway, my point remains that the issue of climate change should be discussed strictly based on the science. Arguments and hypotheses should be critiqued using concrete evidence; people should not become the objects of criticism nor should their points should be taken out of context.

  116. Steve Bloom says:

    Re #114: Interestingly there’ll be a lot more tropical cyclones landfalling a lot farther north by the time temperature equilibriates to 350 ppm CO2 (let alone the much higher levels we’re in for), as described in this week’s Nature cover article. Life is filled with little ironies.

  117. Matt,

    See: You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows for some insight into why Bastardi and other meteorologists are skeptical. TV weather forecasters even more so.

  118. Don Sutherland says:

    Steve Bloom,

    I’m well aware of former Senator Santorum’s bid to restrict data the National Weather Service makes public. In effect, the legislation would have allowed private companies to monetize data that was created with taxpayer resources. IMO, it was bad legislation.

  119. Tim L. says:

    Bastardi is aptly named, it seems.

  120. Don Sutherland says:

    In my final comment in this thread, I will only note that ad hominem attacks do not facilitate understanding of climate change. Without a sufficient understanding among the general public and policymakers, prospects for policy changes will be limited.

  121. I would observe (again) that in order for an assertion to qualify as an argumentum ad hominem it is necessary that it be false &/or materially irrelevant.

    In observing the common (if not downright tedious) inability of deniers to engage in even elementary forms of critical reasoning, one is stating something that is BOTH true AND relevant. It is, on that account, not even possibly an argumentum ad hominem.

    How does one persuade people who are willfully impenetrable to even basic logic? For whom things like facts and evidence carry no weight when their dogmatic ideology has already legislated what the world is like, and climate science is therefore simply to be denounced as a “conspiracy”?

  122. paulm says:

    Don Sutherland yes, joe B is slowly coming round to the AGW consensus as the evidence becomes more overwhelming…

  123. Steve Bloom says:

    Re #116: Don, you’ve found a correlation. Now if you find a mechanism behind it, you might have a hypothesis with explanatory power (albeit not one that anyone else has been able to demonstrate). Also, IIRC the PDO is not independent from ENSO.

  124. Don Sutherland says:

    Steve Bloom,

    Just so there is no misunderstanding, I am not arguing that the PDO and/or AMO largely explain the observed warming. My point was that the relationship between natural forcings be they sea surface temperature anomalies, solar activity, volcanic activity, etc., and global temperature anomalies has weakened in recent decades.

    I accept the findings of the large body of scientific literature concerning the role rising atmospheric CO2 has played in increasingly explaining global temperature anomalies. My larger view is that the body of scientific evidence is sufficiently robust to address challenges/questions that some might raise concerning climate change and that those challenges/questions should be addressed strictly from the scientific perspective.

  125. Mike#22 says:

    “How does one persuade people who are willfully impenetrable to even basic logic? For whom things like facts and evidence carry no weight when their dogmatic ideology has already legislated what the world is like, and climate science is therefore simply to be denounced as a “conspiracy”?”

    In one form or another, this is THE central mystery as to why humans have not responded succesfully to this crisis. How can people ignore facts?

    A recent paper from the Cultural Cognition Project sheds some light on this. Most people may actually not have a choice in what facts they believe.

    (from the Summary of Findings) “The goal of the study was to examine a distinctive explanation for the failure of members of the public to form beliefs consistent with apparent scientific consensus on climate change and other issues of risk. We hypothesized that scientific opinion fails to quiet societal dispute on such issues not because members of the public are unwilling to defer to experts but because culturally diverse persons tend to form opposing perceptions of what experts believe. Individuals systematically overestimate the degree of scientific support for positions they are culturally predisposed to accept as a result of a cultural availability effect that influences how readily they can recall instances of expert endorsement of those positions.”


  126. Dave says:

    Paulm who wrote that he/she would believe a physicist over a meteorologist said that the reason she believed a physicist over a meteorologist on climate is because physicist are “smarter” and meteorologists get the weather wrong 80% of the time.

    Both of course are what you would like to believe because it would fit your idea about this issue. Both are wrong though. I’m not even sure how you would define who is smarter, but it is a silly argument to make. As far as getting the weather wrong 80% of the time thats obviously totally phoney.
    By the way how are the weather forecast models doing that the smart physicists built? Oh wait in your view they are wrong 80% of the time? Wow, if they can’t get the short range weather models right how can we put such great faith that they will get the forecast right 100 years from now?

  127. Dave says:

    I guess I fit into the category of a denier because I believe that while there has been some warming of the Earth since 1900 that the warming is more likely to be tied to natural cycles and less likely to be tied to man’s input. My personal opinion is that man might be responsible for a very small part of the warming but it is not enough to rush expensive policies into place that would most likely cripple certain industries. I’m not a policy expert…but losing a competitive edge industrialy on the rest of the world can’t be a good thing for the U.S. Now if I were convinced that global warming was going to result in the most extreme outcomes 100 years from now then it would be reasonable to act. But a models ~1 degree rise or so over a hundered years would not be enough. You would have to convince me that we are going to see the Al Gore 10 degrees warmer scenerio. That looks far fetched to me. Even the computer models which we should trust only as far as we can throw them…don’t show in general anything that severe.

    [JR: Quite wrong. Best science today projects that if we don't restrict emissions, it will lead to 9F warming by century's end. Click here.]

  128. Smithy says:

    A couple more points…..

    1. 100 years of records is way too short of a time span to freak out.
    2. We were coming out of the little ice age and we should have been warming into the 1900′s this made sense.
    3. The warming (yes I know Jan and Feb are warm globally and I know the last 10 years are net warm) seems to have leveled off some and certainly isn’t accelerating like some suggest will happen. Show me the beef-on the warming.

  129. paulm says:

    Dave I see you admitting that the physicists have to build the models for the weather forecasters. Wonder why?

    80% is just a pluck from the air … weather forecasts in my area are wrong a lot of the time! Especially if they are more than a couple of days out.

    I would definitely stick with the physicists mate.

  130. Matt says:

    Just as I question any anti global warming report that comes from big oil or any cigarette study that was funded by big tobacco, I have to really question any studies that are being driven or any websites that are pushing global warming given the amount-billions of dollars these people are making off this subject. If you do not question this with an open mind then you are a fool. If you don’t think guys like Hanson, Romm and others are not motivated by book sales then you are lying to yourself.


    [JR: Seriously. This is the kind of nonsense people write here. On an hourly basis, book writing pays less than the minimum wage for 90% of authors. My top book has sold maybe 11,000 copies! And Hansen "motivated by book sales"? Honestly people!]

  131. paulm says:

    “My personal opinion is that man might be responsible for a very small part of the warming but it is not enough ”

    Well Dave, you are incredible miss informed and need to do some more research on this matter.

    For instance we are now on for a 3-4C and if nothings done this will be much higher. That is what the science says. Its plain simple.

    As for what 1C can do I suggest you go talk with your insurance company and do some research along those lines.

    Remeber a 5C drop in Global temp means 1mile high ice above Chicago! A similar swing the other way will be just as catastrophic!

  132. paulm says:

    Smithy your way out of your league on this blog. Go and do some basic Climate Change research before coming back.

    1. 100yrs period is too late. In fact it is now too late we are in for at least a 3C global temp rise which is catastrophic.

    2. AGW has counteracted the slow cooling which is expected. Human induced warming due to the extra CO2 we put in the air is cooking the planet.

    3. The warming seems to have leveled off, but it hasn’t. Please go and look at what climate scientist are saying now. For instant its the warmest decade on record, warmest jan and looks like warmest feb now too.
    pls research before you type.

  133. Wit's End says:

    Dave, we don’t need models predicting runaway warming 100 years from now to know for a fact that we are courting disaster if we do not rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

    1. acidifying the ocean, an empirically demonstrable consequence of putting CO2 into the atmosphere, causes calcium-based shells to dissolve which will lead inexorably to the collapse of the food chain, upon which a rather large portion of humanity depends.

    2. gases other than CO2 – nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxides, and aldehydes from fossil and biofuel emissions react in the presence of UV radiation to create ozone. Ozone causes cancer, emphysema and asthma in humans, and damages vegetation.

    google either of those topics and you will find mountains of corroboration.

  134. (My thanks to Mike#22 at 126. for that link!)

  135. Mike#22 says:

    (Your welcome. I am hoping to see some blogging on this)

  136. Mike says:

    Jr why don’t you tell us how much you’ve made off this topic if you going to say it doesn’t pay? Or will you just delete this like my other comments?

  137. Mike at 137:

    Why don’t stop cowering behind annonymity, tell us who you really are, and share your W2 with us while you’re about it?

    If you really are just so ignorant and lazy that you neither know nor can be troubled to learn what the economics of writing and publishing are really like, then you’ve no business compounding your laziness and ignorance with self-righteousness, especially here.