I was the other commentator.
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The study of Fischer and Knutti does not directly address the attribution question asked by individuals facing the brunt of a specific damaging storm or heatwave. While the authors do provide maps of how probabilities of extreme temperatures and precipitation have changed across the globe, the framework they use means that such probabilities cannot be applied to specific individual extreme weather events.
If I am to parse what Mr. That is hardly the important issue, however, but rather a really disinformational sophistry. There are ideas out there but not particularly robust. But his framing makes little sense to me if the metric is always magnitude of unforced synoptic variation on an event-by-event basis relative to the global or local mean temperature anomaly. Well here in Newfoundland it was A bit colder than Alert Nunavut I might add.
I think that totally disproves global warming right there, does it not? When I suggested that to him, he doubled down :. This event is MUCH larger than the shift of the probability distribution. To put it another way, the 1-degree shift of the probability distribution does not explain a F anomaly. Yes, perhaps a degree of it is associated with human-induced global warming.
But with or without increasing greenhouse gases there would have been a huge heat wave. It seems like arguing about just the mean is a way to avoid arguing about state change- i. If any effect on frequency of events is discounted as suggested by Cliff Mass, so that any extreme weather event is treated as a unique and isolated circumstance then within that constrained atemporal scenario there is a certain logic to ascribing no more than the rise in the long term mean to the magnitude of an extreme event.
In that context a heatwave with a 20F anomaly would have been a heatwave with a 19F anomaly if climate change has changed the local mean by 1F. But that is perhaps unintentionally discarding the real impact the change in frequency can have on the magnitude of the anomaly experienced. If the 20F anomaly is a 3 sigma event then it is 17 times more likely to occur. That increase in incidence holds for 19F and lower extremes down to the 2sigma level. The impact of a 1F increase in the mean has increased the chance of extreme anomalies by much more than just a magnitude of 1F.
No, because in your scenario 1 sigma is 6. By my calculation, a CDF of 0. All assuming a Gaussian distribution. Tamino, You really are not understanding what I am trying to say, but before I comment on that, let me note that your snarky, ad hominem tone is inappropriate and non-professional. You may not agree with me, but some civility would be appreciated. My points are really quite simple, but based on your comments, frequently misunderstood.
I totally agree with that.
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But step back for a second and think about physical contributions, of magnitudes, and not frequency. For most locations, the more severe the event, the greater the percentage of the anomaly is due to natural variability and not the global signal. Here in the NW the long-term warming over the region is about 1F during the past years.
The temperature anomaly has been F over most of the region. Yes, global warming is contributing to the heat wave, but it is a minor contribution. We would have had a heat wave with our without global warming.
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I know about that.. I have written papers in the peered review literature about it. That is not what is going on here. We have a very perturbed long wave pattern. There is no reason to expect that is caused by global warming. In fact, the causality of the pattern has been explained by the North Pacific Mod and its connecting with a SST anomaly in subtropics. And the east coast is way cooler than normal as a result. Anyway, my profession has a lot of work to explain to the lay audience, such as yourself, about natural variability and the causal links that cause major anomalies like this.
You seem to agree that AGW will increase the likelihood of extreme heatwaves. However, what you seem to be suggesting is that the more extreme an event, the bigger the natural variability contribution to that event.
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Is that about right? Secondly, it seems to be a bizarre argument. Taken to the extreme, if we increase anthropogenic forcings to the point where we have many more extreme heatwaves in a particular region, you would seem to be arguing that the biggest contribution to those heatwaves is natural variability, rather than the underlying long-term anthropogenic trend. So what? In the context of risk which is the important thing you must take into account both the magnitude and the probability of the extreme event and in the particular case of climate change how that probability has increased.
When that probability in this case of a heat wave increases substantially due to even a relatively small change in mean temperature, it has a large impact on the expected cost. There is now an AGW fingerprint of some lesser or greater size in every weather event.
Kevin Trenberth would seem to think so. Would you give the same sort of explanation for the California drought?
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Probable causes of the abnormal ridge accompanying the — California drought: ENSO precursor and anthropogenic warming footprint. Geophysical Research Letters The dipole index and associated circulation pattern were compared to an empirical orthogonal function EOF of Z, shown in the supporting information Figure S1. Given the unusual severity of the drought, the study asks whether there might be any relation to recent man-made global warming, beginning with whether the dipole has become more pronounced in recent years.
They find the dipole has become more pronounced:.
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The record-breaking quality of the extreme drought and the dipole in — brings up the role of human influence on climate. For this reason, we examined further whether the dipole has been more active in recent years. The results reveal an increase in the variance during the — period followed by a decrease in the s, accompanied later by an amplification after ; this result was robust regardless of which reanalysis was used.
The CESM1 single-forcing simulations were subject to the same variance analysis. Such a feature is in concert with recent findings that atmospheric waves in the middle to high latitudes have amplified leading to increased extreme events [ Screen and Simmonds, ; Wang et al. As suggested by their citations, numerous studies are finding increased amplitude in Rossby waves that likewise appear to bear that fingerprint.
Cliff Mass writes:. I think most people could understand that. More generally, if the event was much more likely to occur due to GW, then most of the impact is reasonably attributable to GW.
It seems like everybody accepts that the frequency of extreme heat events will increase significantly with a relatively small increase in mean temperature. So, if we are to accept that the contribution of glogal warming to any single event is only equal to the average temperature increase due to global warming and that as this is only a tiny fraction of the total temperature anomaly during the event which would therefore have been an extreme event anyway , where does the increase in frequency of extreme events come from?
He also mentions the use of the Generalized Extreme Value theorem and how the extreme value index can be useful in understanding the tails. Is the data being discussed amenable to this type of analysis? Cliff, Your reasoning here is fallacious. Specifically, what is the baseline from which the anomaly is defined? And if we condition the event on the phase on ENSO?
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