Engineers Prove Weather Events are Not Getting Worse, as Predicted by Climate Scientists
21 March, 2016
Most of the dramatic action being recommended by climate scientists — reduce emissions, ban fossil fuels, and introduce carbon taxes — are based on their assumption that the world will suffer ever increasing severe weather events as the world warms through increased greenhouse gas levels.
They talk about floods, droughts, tidal surges, bush fires, snow storms, cyclones, and so on. Every media outlet reports a severe weather event as ‘proof’ that climate scientists are correct, yet their projections are simply guesses and assumptions with a large dollop of confirmation bias.
It has taken engineers to look at the actual data since 1900 to determine if extreme weather events are occurring on a more regular basis, and if they are more extreme.
Engineers have to be unemotional in their research and calculations. They can’t afford assumptions or guesses. Bridges and roads have to meet up, planes must fly, ships must float, buildings must stay standing. There is no room for error and no Government to pick up their tab if they get it wrong. Lives are at stake!
This is what makes a recent paper extremely important. The paper’s conclusion, after looking at all the data, is that there is absolutely no correlation between increasing greenhouse gas emissions and severe weather events. So, no causation. But don’t expect to read about this in the main stream media.
They also say they can see no reason for engineers to change the margins of safety that they have been using for the last 50 years.
Trends in Extreme Weather Events since 1900 – An Enduring Conundrum for Wise Policy Advice
Kelly MJ, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Published date: Feb 17, 2016. PDF of paper.
It is widely promulgated and believed that human-caused global warming comes with increases in both the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. Yet a survey of official weather sites and the scientific literature provides strong evidence that the first half of the 20th century had more extreme weather than the second half, when anthropogenic global warming is claimed to have been mainly responsible for observed climate change.
The disconnect between real-world historical data on the 100 years’ time scale and the current predictions provides a real conundrum for an engineer trying to make a professional assessment of the future value of any infrastructure project that aims to mitigate or adapt to climate change. What is the appropriate basis on which to make judgements when theory and data are in such disagreement?
The engineers show many examples where severe weather events have either declined in the last 50 years, or stayed the same. This includes extreme temperature, hurricane land falls, rainfall (which has remained steady), and deaths and damage from extreme weather. The engineers proved:
- The weather was more extreme between 1900 and 1960.
- The past 100 years of rainfall and extreme temperatures have shown no increase.
- There has been no change in the frequency or severity of extreme weather events.
This graph shows firstly that the rate of global warming in 1975 – 1998, prior to the pause, is pretty much the same as the two other rising periods. This does not accord with the theory that increasing human greenhouse gases cause a continues and escalating rate of warming. There are also earlier periods of cooling and stability which do not follow the theory that the atmosphere warms increasingly due to increased Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This graph alone debunks the theory of dangerous man made global warming. (Source: JoNova)
The engineers agree that there has been an overall upward trend of global average temperature since 1880, when a world wide network of thermometers was established and which saw the end of the Little Ice Age and the start of significant industrialization. However the upward trend has not been correlated with increasing CO2 emissions, nor do the record hottest days correlate with the overall warming.
Not sure where this graphic should go. (Source: JoNova)
Summary of Paper
The accumulated data presented in this paper requires a systematic rebuttal based on real world data if claims of increases in extreme weather caused by anthropogenic global warming are to be taken seriously.
The Consequences: Question 17 of the joint Royal Society/National Academy of Sciences report  asks whether a few degrees rise in temperature matters. The 220-word reply focuses entirely on the possible downsides of rising temperature, with a wriggle room phrase in the concluding sentence. “Even though certain regions may realize some local benefit from the warming, the long-term consequences overall will be disruptive.”
- In fact the vast majority of research has been on the downsides, but the list of upsides is accumulating.
- The food per person has increased by 25% while the population has increased by 140% since 1960.
- Indeed since 1998, more food is being produced on less land each year.
- Satellite images show that the world is overall greener than it was even 20 years ago, with most of the greening in areas where it matters most, e.g. the Sahel.
- More people die of cold than heat, and the rapid decline of climate related deaths (last panel of Figure 1) is evidence that business-as-usual has produced much greater resilience to extreme weather over the last century.
The Engineers conclude by stating that their designs must last 50 – 100 years and take into account extreme events to determine safety margins. They say that there is nothing from the research in the last 20 years which would lead them to make any significant refinement of the margins they have been applying for the last 50 years.
The Core Conundrum Revisited
Items of physical infrastructure, for example, for housing, transportation, and energy supplies, must last 50-100 years, and are therefore generally designed to last over that period. Engineers involved in such projects have to assess the value-for-money for clients. They will be assisted by economic and environmental assessments, both of which will have uncertainties associated with predictions of the future. Extreme events play an important role in deciding the safety margins and the point where extra protection is not worth it.
The lack of clarity about future extreme weather, after 20 years of intensive analysis of future climates is deeply worrying. There is nothing that emerges from references [1,2] that would require a significant refinement of the margins that have applied over the last half-century.