An Insightful Comment by Judy Curry

 The research culture and motivational factors in the field of social psychology have arguably contributed to rewarding behaviors that are not in the best interests of scientific progress, in the same way that I have argued that the IPCC and the culture of funding, journal publication, and recognition by professional societies have not always acted in the best interests of scientific progress in climate field.
I was particularly struck by the “data torturing” concept. 

Please click here to read the whole thing.

Politics and Climate Science in Georgia

Climatology is the study of long-term weather (known as “climate”) and its effects. Sounds straightforward, right? When I was at the University of Oklahoma studying for my degree in meteorology, climatology was a bit of a weak cousin to meteorology (the study of weather plus forecasting the weather).
OU offered only one course in climatology. While I took that course, I thought I needed to know more so, shortly after college, I actually purchased a textbook on applied climatology because I thought I’d use it throughout my career. Turned out I was correct. Climatology is a very useful discipline for making many decisions. 
In the 1970′s, little did any of us suspect that climatology would end up being the political hot potato it has become today. As Meteorological Musings’ readers know, this is a non-political blog. I dislike politics and climate science has been corrupted by politics and politicians.
So, imagine my shock when I learned that my friend, colleague, superbly qualified climatologist, Pam Knox, had been removed from her position as Georgia Assistant State Climatologist by Governor Nathan Deal. In addition to Pam, the State Climatologist, David Stooksbury, was also removed.
How well qualified is Pam? Take a look at her qualifications:
Pam Knox has served in state climatology offices for nearly twenty years, having been the State Climatologist of Wisconsin from 1989-1998 and Assistant State Climatologist of Georgia from 2001-present.
Knox was elected president of the American Association of State Climatologists in 1996, becoming the first-ever woman to hold this national title. As of January 2012 she will be the Chair of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Committee on Continuing Professional Development, and has previously served on the AMS Committee on Applied Climatology.
Her professional experience and expertise relevant to climatology research and outreach includes: two years at the National Weather Service Office of Hydrology in Silver Spring, MD, where she studied extremely heavy precipitation events; service on national boards related to water data and water quality; extended exchange program visits to the National Climatic Data Center; and internships as an aide in the Wisconsin State Legislature, and as a researcher & producer for the National Public Radio nationally syndicated science program “Science Friday.”
In addition, Knox is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and for the past decade has worked on numerous court cases; in August 2011 she was the subject of a live interview on The Weather Channel regarding her work in forensic meteorology. Knox has authored or co-authored 30 publications, including peer-reviewed articles in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society and the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. She has also taught meteorology and physics at the college level at Calvin College (instructor) and Valparaiso University (adjunct assistant professor).
What is behind the Governor’s decision? He hasn’t said. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports,
Deal with no public announcement signed an executive order Tuesday appointing a state employee to take over the climatologist’s job, which for years had been housed at the University of Georgia in Athens. The new state climatologist, Bill Murphey, works in a meteorology unit for the state’s Environmental Protection Division in Atlanta.
Surprisingly, ‘global warming’ does not seem to be behind the surprising move. Apparently, statements like this (August 31, 2011) were too controversial,
“The outlook for near-term drought relief is not promising,” David Emory Stooksbury, state climatologist and a University of Georgia professor of engineer and atmospheric sciences, said in a news release.
“Unless Georgia experiences some tropical weather over the next few months, the state can expect below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures,” Stooksbury said.
This means soil will get even more parched, stream flows and reservoir levels will keep dropping and the chances of wildfire “are expected to remain high to extreme,” he said.
Drought is bad for some businesses and the governor – apparently — did not like the way Georgia’s drought was being characterized. So, the governor decided to replace David and Pam.
As described in The Georgia Report,
In many states, government employees with that admirable record of expertise and achievements would be commended and rewarded.
In Georgia, they get fired, which is what Gov. Nathan Deal did to Stooksbury and Knox last week. Deal not only dismissed them, he didn’t bother to tell them that they had been replaced and the governor’s office has provided no credible explanation for why they were so abruptly canned.
Deal signed an executive order on Tuesday ordering the appointment of two mid-level employees from the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to replace Stooksbury and Knox. The governor evidently was a little embarrassed by what he did, because his office did not make any public announcement of the personnel change. When asked repeatedly by reporters for the reasons why Deal fired two people so expert in climatology, the governor’s spokesman robotically repeated the same prepared talking point over and over: “EPD is a natural home for this function. It’s a rational consolidation.” He would say nothing more.
To add insult to injury, Deal never bothered to contact either climatologist to tell them that they had been fired.
“I have still not heard directly from the governor’s office,” Stooksbury said during an interview more than three days after Deal signed the order to replace him. He said he first learned of his change in employment status when “I got a call from somebody out of state who said, ‘I see you’ve been replaced.’”
In Oregon, the state climatologist was replaced by Democrats who did not like the fact he was skeptical about ‘global warming.’
The Georgia Report speculates this is why Knox and Stooksbury were replaced by a Republican governor but for the opposite reason. While there is no indication that global warming was an issue in Georgia, their replacement is unwarranted political interference.
Politics continues to corrupt climate science. It is destructive, a shame, and it needs to stop. 

This Just In…

Matt Lauer’s voice over to begin Today,


“Good morning, feeling the heat. Two-thirds of the country dealing with the hottest weather of the year.”

Matt, it is summer. 

Tom Fuller’s Interview with John Christy

Here is an excellent interview with a well-respected atmospheric scientist. Please note the comments with regard to the accuracy of global climate models (GCMs). In the comments section, one questioner asks why we don’t receive short term (seasonal) forecasts from the GCMs. I can answer that one: Because they are horribly inaccurate. That is the dirty secret of the climate models. They can’t make accurate forecasts for 90 days but we are supposed to believe their forecasts for 90 years.

No Increase in Storms


Two recent articles have been brought to my attention that demonstrate, at least to date, there no increase in major storms due to ‘global warming.’

The first (hat tip: Roger Pielke, Jr.) has insurance executives — because there is so much money sloshing around because of a lack of major catastrophes — actually hoping for some big storms:

He said brokers often tell him that a catastrophe is needed to end the soft market.

In other words, they can’t raise their prices because their competitors have enough money (because they have not been paying large storm claims) to keep rates low. So, no one can raise their prices.

The second article discusses a new movie about ‘climate change.’ The article begins with this paragraph:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – As the number of severe weather-related disasters increases in frequency worldwide, the urgency of documentaries about climate change is rising as well.

It states — as fact — the “number of severe weather-related disasters” is increasing. Of course, there is no scientific basis for that statement plus the above article from the insurance industry trade publication contradicts that claim.

The article goes on to say,

filmmaker Michael Nash travels around the world for 18 months “in search of the truth about our changing climate and the future of mankind”

OK, for a year and a half, he’s traveling around the world actively looking for the “truth” about climate change. Does he find any of these “disasters”? Apparently not,

The footage he gathers, however, is often surprisingly mundane, since the crew never seems to experience any catastrophic climate events. 

Does it ever occur to anyone that the reason “the crew never seems to experience any catastrophic climate change events” is because there aren’t any?

Note: I am not claiming that man does not affect the climate. Of course we do (as I have written many times)! But, the alleged ‘global warming catastrophe’ does not exist. Apparently Mr. Nash never realized the emperor has no clothes.

The Hard Work of Climate Science

On many occasions, I have criticized climate science for its overreliance on obviously flawed computer models. This story from the Wall Street Journal explains how hard work in a hostile location may lead to higher levels of understanding the workings of our climate system.

Climate Pricing

No, I’m not talking about “Cap and Trade,” but rather the decision by the Miami Dolphins to charge $5 more per ticket to sit on the shady side of Sun Life Stadium where, they say, temperatures are “as much as 15° cooler.”  That is a dubious claim (it may feel 15° cooler in the shade on a cloudless day), but I give the Dolphins credit for creativity in their pricing.

Hat Tip:  Sports Illustrated.

For more on “Sun Life Stadium” from Dave Barry, click here.

Wet + Wet + Wet Wichita

Wichita has experienced the wettest three consecutive years in its history. Courtesy of the National Weather Service in Wichita, here are the statistics:

1) 2007-2009: 129.25 Inches
2) 1949-1951: 119.52 Inches
3) 1997-1999: 117.15 Inches



And, we may receive an additional few hundredths before 2010 gets here.

Wichita is not the only city that has been wet.  St. Louis may set or be very close to a similar record.

UPDATED on New Year’s Eve:  Looks like 129.32″ will be the final value because of the light snow that occurred between the original posting and the end of the year.  We are not expecting any additional precipitation between now and midnight.