Thursday, February 27, 2014

FARMERS ALMANAC More Reliable Than Warming Climate Models

THANKS to my friend Terry Donze for sending this...

See linked Comments, including this prescient quote from President Eisenhower's Farewell Address:

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1961)

Bad Science: It turns out that a 200-year-old publication for farmers beats climate-change scientists in predicting this year's harsh winter as the lowly caterpillar beats supercomputers that can't even predict the past.
Last fall, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) predicted above-normal temperatures from November through January across much of the continental U.S. The Farmers' Almanac, first published in 1818, predicted a bitterly cold, snowy winter.
The Maine-based Farmers' Almanac's still-secret methodology includes variables such as planetary positions, sunspots, lunar cycles and tidal action. It claims an 80% accuracy rate, surely better than those who obsess over fossil fuels and CO2.
The winter has stayed cold in 2014, and snowfall and snow cover are way above average. USA Today reported on Feb. 14 that there was snow on the ground in part of every state except Florida. That includes Hawaii.
"Sometimes trying to figure out why something happened is as hard as making the forecast of what will happen," CPC Acting Director Mike Halpert said in a Feb. 14 interview. Such uncertainty is what we are supposed to be basing our industrial and economic policy on.
As Bloomberg notes, the CPC underestimated the "mammoth December cold wave, which brought snow to Dallas and chilled partiers in Times Square on New Year's Eve." The Almanac didn't, though Caleb Weatherbee, its prognosticator, apologized for being a few days off on two of the season's biggest storms.
The CPC seems to have completely missed the "polar vortex" that swept down and caused every state except Florida to experience snowfall and brought about 4,406 record low temperatures across the U.S. in January, along with 1,073 record snowfalls.
As John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has noted, global temperatures collected in five official databases confirm that there's been no statistically significant global warming for the past 17 years — contradicting the predictions made by 73 computer models cited in the United Nations' latest (wrong) global warming report.
In recent years we've seen predictions of snowless winters, an ice-free Arctic, and island nations disappearing under the rising seas. We've also seen climate expeditions stick in ice that wasn't supposed to be there and polar bear populations rising.
Maybe Al Gore should check the Farmers' Almanac.

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