It’s been an interesting year. The world experienced a mammoth El Niño starting in late 2015 that saw a large chunk of heat and humidity ejected from the Pacific Ocean. The result: soaring global temperatures, strong storm activity, and frightful hand-wringing about the “warmest year ever.”
One possible manifestation of this increased atmospheric heat content was the recent series of downpours that inundated Louisiana. Despite the occurrence of a major El Niño, however, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a new study confidently suggesting that man-made climate change is what made Louisiana’s flooding 40% more likely.
NOAA may be a bit hasty in making such a claim, though. As National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) senior scientist Kevin Trenberth observed, the study provided only a “partial commentary” on the recent storms. Trenberth said the research missed key details related to the “natural variability” that stems from El Niño activity.
Regardless, NOAA and others in the climate community have been quick to offer Louisiana’s flooding as further proof that a warmer world is necessarily and only caused by “man-made” activities. It’s an opportunism that Climate Depot’s Marc Morano aptly described as NOAA scientists willing “to bend and twist models and data so … global warming has a role in almost every weather event.”
What should really be at issue is why the Earth is 0.8 degrees Celsius warmer now than 100 years ago. Significantly, the warming trend seen since the latter portion of the 1800s could very likely stem from the tremendous increase in solar output observed during that time. And so, it’s circular logic for climate alarmists to simply say, “The climate has warmed so it must be man-made.”
From under reviewed paper to NOAA PR to https://t.co/XTMaAm8p5g A dismaying example of manipulation of science for political reasons.
— Roger A. Pielke Sr (@RogerAPielkeSr) September 8, 2016
Unfortunately, this faulty logic is now on display with regard to the Louisiana floods, and has led to such insipid commentary as this meaningless nugget from Maryland meteorologist Dan Satterfield: “Climate has a handle on all of our weather now.” Meteorologist Scott Mandia did little better, saying “storms that technically are not major hurricanes are causing major hurricane damage.” And Bill Nye (the self-titled “Science Guy”) callously informed us that the recent floods were just “a day at the office in Louisiana.”
Nye is right in one respect, though. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 left 700,000 people homeless in Louisiana and Mississippi. So extreme was the flooding of the time that the Mississippi River reached a width of 60 miles below Memphis in May 1927. So, yes, Nye is correct that extreme weather is indeed no stranger to America’s southern states.
Overall, the claims of more extreme weather occurrences are contradicted by recent data. Real Climate Science’s Tony Heller has charted precipitation events in Louisiana to show there hasn’t been an actual increase in heavy rains:
As Heller explains: “Software models can be written to produce any result the author wants to produce. They are not evidence of anything other than deep corruption at NOAA.”
Sadly, any notable weather event these days is necessarily and automatically attributed to man-made impacts. And so we see pointless studies like the recent NOAA report telling us that, because Louisiana flooded, it’s further proof that global warming must be man-made.