Thursday, April 19, 2007

All hell breaks loose

Ethon flew in from Boulder and dove straight into the hurricane shelter. Ms. Rabett went downstairs with some leberknoedel to try and coax him out of the corner. Reaching out with fearful claw he stammered that it started innocently at Real Climate with Bob Ward asking

Gavin, I know this is only tangential to this thread but do you have any comment on the new paper by Vecchi and Soden in GRL, which Chris Landsea is promoting as evidence both that the recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity is due to the AMO, and that global warming should reduce activity (because it increases windshear)?
Mike Mann was having none of it
I have no knowledge of (or frankly, interest in) what Chris Landsea may be saying about the paper, but I don't see this paper as changing the picture significantly. . . .(reasons inserted here). . .In short, the Emanuel (2005) study continues to stand on its merit, and I don't see where this paper puts even a dent in it. We may have more to say about this paper in the near future
Now you might ask why he was having none of it, and of course the reason was what Chris Landsea was pushing up the hill at the other place.
One implication to me is that this further provides evidence that the busy period we've seen in the Atlantic hurricanes since 1995 is due to natural cycles, rather than manmade causes. We've seen a big reduction in wind shear in the last thirteen hurricane seasons, which is OPPOSITE to the signal that Vecchi and Soden have linked to manmade global warming changes. Another implication is that this paper reconfirms earlier work that suggests that global warming will cause very small changes to Atlantic hurricanes, even several decades from now.
Chip Knappenberger poured oil on the fire at Real Climate,
I think we can surmise that driven by changes in anthropogenic forcings alone, the models simulations of the past 30 years would be trending in a similar direction as the model projections for the future, that is, vertical stability and wind shear should be increasing, at least over the tropical Atlantic. Adding non-anthropogenic forcings to the mix may, or may not, overwhelm these trends (they will if the models are getting things right, they wont if things in the models are still amiss). But assuming the case that the models aren't horribly wrong, non-anthropogenic influences must be largely responsible for the observed trends being in the direction that they area which is towards producing a more hospitable environment (that works along with SST increases) for tropical cyclone development and intensification.
Mike was showing signs of impatience
Chip, we'll permit this one comment, but since this is obviously not supposed to be the topic of this thread, we'll limit it at that. You seem to have missed the central point here. Emanuel (2005) shows that the warming SSTs are behind the increased TC intensity in the Atlantic. . . Future predictions of shear changes are interesting, but they have no bearing on this fairly simple logic
Which Chip went running back to the snack shop with
As far as I am concerned, Chris's comments re: Vecchi and Soden are right on the mark. We have detailed similar thoughts in depth a bit more at our usual spot Apparently, the boys over at RC aren't so inclined.
And, of course, our hero hied hisself over to RC to add

You are simply incorrect when you assert: "Emanuel (2005) shows that the warming SSTs are behind the increased TC intensity in the Atlantic. No impartial reading of that paper could come to any other conclusion."


Comment by Roger Pielke, Jr. — 19 Apr 2007 @ 7:03 pm

Which, as they say, was the last piece of foie gras

Roger, we're not about cherry-picking sentences and out of context quotations here at RC, so you should take that somewhere else. Anybody who has studied the scientific issues involved well knows that SSTs in this context are a proxy for a more complex set of interconnected atmospheric environmental variables which tend to covary with it. We hardly need you to quote Emanuel for us. Figure 1 in Emanuel (2005) comparing SST and TC Power Dissipation in the tropical Atlantic speaks for itself, you might want to take another look. If we do an article on Hurricanes in the near future, you're free to engage in the discussion. But that's not the topic of this post, so we're going to close it out with this. -mike]
Looks like RC has adopted Kevin Drum's comment policy as amended.
If I or my bunnies get sufficiently annoyed with you, we will delete your comments. If you don't like it, tough.
Pass the popcorn.

UPDATE: Well, as Ethon feared Roger is playing little brother, you know the one, having picked, picked picked, is crying that someone slammed the door of their room and included him out. Pretty much the same stuff as in this post, with the addition of the ""censored material""(double scare quotes) and with an interesting comment
I don't much read RealClimate anymore
Considering that Technorati has the other place at 15,000 or so, and Real Climate at 800, Eli doth see the glint of envy, considering that Roger pretty much invented the climate blogging business. Ethon and Eli enjoyed the reaction of Roger and the gang. Maybe he will go and start his own blog? Roger could guest over here at the 71000 most popular place. . . . . . Nah


Anonymous said...

Roger Pielke said: 'You are simply incorrect when you assert: "Emanuel (2005) shows that the warming SSTs are behind the increased TC intensity in the Atlantic. No impartial reading of that paper could come to any other conclusion." '

Pehaps Roger skim-read that as "no partial reading"...saw it as his cue and hence jumped in.

Anonymous said...

Roger is the Queen of Cherry picking. He's got cherry sauce running down his neck.

And it's nice to see that the Bush Administration's favorite hurricane researcher is being allowed to post on blogs.

Good job, Landsea. Your Bush's idea of a real scientist.

Anonymous said...

Didn't RPJr say that he didn't discuss climate predictions? I can't remember where he said it, so can't get the exact quote.

Or is a discussion about a possible link between hurricanes and (future) temperature rises not a discussion about climate predictions?

Unknown said...

RP Jr says his piece on this, too, mainly to point out that MM has cherry-picked from his post (Oh, world, thy slippery turns...). One can see his point, and the Dr. Prof. Bunny's. But then we recall that we gnats on the pimple on the backside of the internet donkey aren't the biggests and busiest blog in the Technorati rankings (way above the the stratosphere, almost), and it's hard to imagine what doesn't get through, never mind the spam...
The Rogers and the RCs are at least struggling to maintain the rule of the rational, a la Gore, as are some others on the net. Give them a break...

Oh, and I was going to ask about the apparent fixation on TCs. Has Katrina blown them all down a back alley with Phil Silvers? And which one is Barney?

EliRabett said...

Ah Fergus, THIS post was in the spirit of let you and him fight. Ethon was huddling in the cellar not because of the explosions that had already occurred but in anticipation of the next.

Anonymous said...

Roger is just being Roger. He's trying to create a disagreement to drum up media interest. He knows that journalists love a good "debate" even if it is involves a non-scientists like Roger.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a lot to the "drum up media interest" comment.

Roger Pielke is like a little kid who whines whenever he is not getting enough attention.

My guess is that Roger is none too happy that Chris Mooney has shifted the focus away from him and is getting so much attention for his framing pieces in Science and Washington Post.

There must be many people around the country at different Universities who actually study science policy.

Why is it that we never hear about any of them in the news?

My guess is it's because they are busy doing real research on the subject rather than blabbing about nonsense on their blogs.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy. Somebody just nailed it. Yes, Roger Pielke Jr. loves to create "controversy" because he knows this attracts journalists like flies to a pile of dog poo.

Just take a look at Roger's CV. You won't find many peer-reviewed papers, just a lot of opinion articles. He must be the laughing stock of his department.

Mus musculus anonymouse

Anonymous said...

is it my imagination, or has the number of comments on Pielke's blog plummeted in recent times?

He seems to have lost most of the audience he once had -- ie, the people who actually debated what he was saying rather than cheer-leading for him.

EliRabett said...

Eli loves it when a plan comes together

Anonymous said...

I think it would be interesting to actually graph the number of comments over time to see if we can discover any interesting patterns -- step-wise discontinuities and the like.

It might suggest places where his policies regarding commenting changed, for example.

It might even be the basis of a paper in the "Journal of Useless & Worthless Trivia" (JUWT)

Perhaps there is even a correlation of number of comments with hurricanes somehow.

Anonymous said...

I have finished a preliminary analysis and here's what I found:

#hurricanes per month during hurricane season = lamduh*e^(0.022C) + lamduh^2*e^(-C) + O(lamduh^3)

where C is the number of comments per month on Prometheus and lamduh is the "fine instructor constant" (1/137)*G(month)

where G(month) = normalized gaussian centered on the peak month of the hurricane season.

As you can see, there is a direct correlation between number of hurricanes and number of comments.

Also, note that when the number of comments goes to zero, the number of hurricanes also approaches zero (as would be expected).

Anonymous said...

One further note (a warning really).

Due to the exponential nature of the relationship above, it is absolutely critical to the future of humanity that everything possible be done to keep the number of comments on Prometheus to a minimum.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Roger Pielke was indeed misreading Emanuel.

Wind shear may cancel climate's effect on hurricanes

* 18:15 18 April 2007
* news service
* Phil McKenna
“Exactly how much increased shear will counter the affects of warming water is hard to tell,” Soden admits, “but the magnitude of changes we are seeing [in shear] are comparable to those of warming oceans.”

Hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel, at MIT in the US, disagrees: “Sensitivity to shear may be overestimated,” he says of the study. Emanuel published a modelling study in October 2006 (Journal of Climate study, DOI: 10.1175/JCLI3908.1) suggesting a 10% increase in water temperature would increase hurricane intensity by 65%, whereas a 10% increase in shear would decreases hurricane intensity by only 12%.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a graphic showing the Soden findings.

Note that for the Atlantic and east pacific Soden does not know what the net effect will be in hurricane intensity due to the combined "increased warming and increased shear. In fact, he puts in ??? for the predicted net effect. That hardly seems certain of anything to me.

But for the west pacific and indian ocean, their model shows a net increase in intensity.

Given the question marks on Soden's results (by Soden himself!), its hard to see how Landsea could draw the conclusion he did:

"Another implication is that this paper reconfirms earlier work that suggests that global warming will cause very small changes to Atlantic hurricanes, even several decades from now. "

Anonymous said...

I saw this comment on Pielke's blog and thought it very funny:

"I tried to put a link on RealClimate to this discussion, but that was not allowed ..." -- Richard Trol

The discussion in question (entitled "A Little Testy at RealClimate") was admittedly very scientitific and opened with these scientific statements by RP Jr:

"Based on my most recent interaction, the folks at RealClimate seem less interested than ever on an open exchange of views on scientific topics. But I guess that is what might be expected when one points out that the they are spreading misinformation."