Weather and climate: what’s the connection?

More evidence that the globe is not catastrophically warming comes from the current issue of Science magazine. A research team led by W.T. Pfeffer of the University of Colorado at Boulder in the current issue of the magazine concludes that current global circulation models vastly overstate the possibilities of sea level rise as a result of projected warming.

The notion of rising sea levels, of course, is one of the scare scenarios in Vice President Al Gore’s screed that the sky is falling when it comes to climate change. The Pfeffer team concludes that the Gore-ish predictions of sea level rises of two meters (six feet) or more by 2100 “are physically untenable.” Those levels of sea increases, say the Pfeffer team, occur “only if all variables are quickly accelerated to extremely high limits.” Not likely, they conclude.

At the same time, weather conditions around the globe continue confound the warming acolytes. Let’s make it clear here. Weather is not climate. Yet the warming crowd insistently offer weather phenomenon as anecdotal evidence for climate trends, so I think it’s fair to offer anecdotal weather evidence to the contrary.

Take Australia, where there is considerable skepticism that the nation’s coal economy is warming the world. Sydney, according to the Morning Herald, is experiencing the coldest August in more than 60 years, including freezing temperatures. For the nation, the nation had the driest May on record, Perth had the wettest, and Tasmania, the Aussie Alps, had the hottest temperatures. All this according to an environmentalist, whose data are extremely suspect.

No surprise here: greens have blamed all of the extreme Aussie weather on global warming, which, they claim, produces not only warming but weather extremes, with absolutely no evidence. It is impossible to verify claims that warming or cooling or high winds or drought are the result of man-made carbon emissions. So, folks, we simply don’t know. There is plenty of reason to ascribe the evidence to normal variation.

For my part, my wife and I spent most of June in the extreme Aussie outback – south from Darwin in Kakadu National Park, across the lower Kimberly, and back by ship from Broome to Darwin along the northwest coast. We experienced expectedly dry weather (the region experiences only two seasons: wet and dry), but two days of cold-and-unusual rain in the Kimberly that prevented us from a flyover of the geologically-unique Bungle Bungles. Weather happens. That says nothing about climate.

Then there is the UK, where, the Telegraph newspaper reports a premature autumn for Great Britain. The newspaper observes, somewhat breathlessly, “On the rolling moors of Scotland and Yorkshire, dramatic blooms of heather have come out far earlier than normal while wild berries, which are normally the harbingers of autumn, have appeared on bushes nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.”

Here at home in western Maryland, fall is approaching far faster than usual. Ragweed plants – my fall allergy bane – are flowering at least a month earlier than usual. The black walnut trees, hickories, and my Japanese Kutsora tree, are shedding leaves and dropping nuts far ahead of the normal October schedule. The local squirrels are hoarding food far in advance of the normal October 15 first freeze.

Global warming? I doubt it. Global cooling? I doubt it. Natural variations in weather from year to year? That’s it. Anecdotal weather phenomena do not provide any kind of hard evidence for climate changes. Let the activists bloviate. Anecdotes don’t signify. Evidence rules.