Today, google posted on my phone an article by one Dawn Stover writing a typical how stupid are you article on weather and the recent two hurricanes in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (“atomic” scientists of course know lots about climate). Her argument is that you trust weather reporting, which we don’t so therefore you should trust climate science because these forecasts are done by the same guys. Notice those forecasts, most forecasts go out to 5-7 days, but only tomorrow’s forecast is worth a damn.
Her article first tries to back-pedal from the “weather is not climate” because that’s been “oversold”. She points out the following:
For one thing, hurricanes get their energy from warm, moist air masses. Rising water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico are creating more fuel for hurricanes. Irma, for example, encountered water approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit as it made its way toward Florida.
Alas, this is an argument in the wrong direction. Because that’s a prediction that hurricanes should be more numerous and violent as the climate warms. But have hurricanes been more violent and more frequent? (hint: Hurricanes have not statistically become more frequent or more violent)
Since they haven’t this is a very good argument that the climate is not changing or at least the change, if occurring, is not statistically significant. So it is rhetorically unsurprising that Ms Stover fails to address the frequency/strength question because alas, it would have been had the answer would like to admit. This sort of reasoning is not science. If data does not support your hypothesis it is not to be hidden or ignored. It needs to be addressed.
Also, Irma “encountered water approaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit as it made its way toward Florida” is this the norm for this season? What is the average in that area? How much does it normally fluctuate. Is 32 degrees C for the region within normal statistical variation? How was it measured.
I don’t know, Mr Stover intimates this is high but … gives no data or context.
Bad statistics and claims lack context are not the way to convince anyone of anything. For all I know, climate is changing and is caused by humans. But I’ve yet to see anything that resembles science that demonstrates that’s the case.