First, I want to give full credit to Roger Pielke, Jr. for inspiring this posting.
A few posts below, I talk about Climate Nonsense and the current round of blaming unusual weather conditions on global warming. Because weather and climate science can be so technical and the latter so confusing, it helps to use analogies outside of atmospheric science.
Suppose you were predicting that oil (which is currently trading at $75.28 per barrel) will reach $2,000 per barrel in 2050. You would probably agree that if oil traded up Monday to $75.35 it would be “consistent” with your forecast and if it traded down to $75.25 it would be “not inconsistent” with your forecast (because there are still 40 years to go until we see whether your forecast is correct and that small tick downward can be made up many times over).
It is the same thing with saying the heat in the U.S. or Russia is “consistent” with global warming and the cold currently in South America or the blizzards of last winter are “not inconsistent” with the IPCC’s predictions.
That said, it doesn’t matter. Day-to-day fluctuations in the price of oil have always occurred and the 2010 day to day fluctuations have nothing to do with whether a 40-year forecast would be correct.
Regardless of whether the IPCC’s 2050 forecast is correct or incorrect, there will be unusual and extreme weather (see Climate Nonsense posting) and what happens to be occurring now is virtually irrelevant to the accuracy of the IPCC’s forecast for 2050.
If you wish to learn more about the Russian heat wave and whether it is related to global warming, there is an article by Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. here.
UPDATE: 3pm Sunday: In a new posting, Roger Pielke, Jr. calls this type of alarmism climate porn.