Global Weirding in 1876: Fire and floods

Roger Pielke:

All the apocalyptic “climate porn” in your Facebook feed is solely a function of perception […] And no matter what President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron say, recent costly disasters are not part of a trend driven by climate change. The data available so far strongly shows they’re just evidence of human vulnerability in the face of periodic extremes.

An event such as the Rockdale centennial flood would be ‘climate porn’ today. 

On July 4, 1876, Rockdale would be the site of one of the worst flooding disasters in the history of the area. For most of the day those living in the area celebrated the 100th anniversary of the nation. As night approached the celebrations wrapped up. Around 10 p.m. a light drizzle began falling. Soon this drizzle turned into a downpour of rain. The Catfish Creek soon jumped out of its bank and broke the mill dam which was upstream of the village.The resulting wall of water – which was estimated to be 20 feet deep and hundreds of feet wide – swept through the village. By the time the flood was over the mill and one house would be the only buildings still standing. In Rockdale forty-two people died in the flood, while in Dubuque only one person died. Survivors were found in the tree tops where the flood waters had swept them.


John and Frances Howell wrote home to family in England from USA in a letter of July 12, 1876:..

The crops here will not be good here, there has been so great fails of rain that has done a vast deal of damage. I dare say your Brother Joe can remember Cat Fish Mill. On the 4th July, the great day of rejoicing all over America, at night set in such violent a storm of rain has was ever known here. by Catfish Mill there was a little village of 12 or 13 houses. all had been at the great rejoicings and came home tired and returned to rest, and all families drowned in a few hours after. 39 men, women, and children, all but a young man and one family who were saved almost miraculously. their house turned on one side and was stopped by a big tree. they clung to the rafters with their heads just above water and held on until help came to them. I cannot sleep well for thinking of those dear children. The house was knocked to fragments and up to the 8th, 31 dead bodies were found. Hundreds of people have been to see where they stood. But the mill, which was built of large stone, turned the flood on one side and is still alright. You may conject what a flood, 25 feet deep, came rushing down and swept all away. There is a great deal of damage done at many places and the Rail Roads washed away, and many persons lost their lives. This year appears to be a year of great floods and fires….,_Iowa

Yet more Global Weirding in 1876: Devastating Iberian floods

The first week of December 1876 was marked by extreme weather conditions that affected the south-western sector of the Iberian Peninsula, leading to an all-time record flow in two large international rivers. As a direct consequence, several Portuguese and Spanish towns and villages located in the banks of both rivers suffered serious flood damage on 7 December 1876. These unusual floods were amplified by the preceding particularly autumn wet months, with October 1876 presenting extremely high precipitation anomalies for all western Iberia stations.

The IPCC: Providing ‘Hope for Our Earth’

“The oblique paradox of propaganda is that the lie in the throat becomes, by repetition, the truth in the heart.”
John Grierson

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

An IPCC document produced for its meeting in Yokohama uses emphatically activist language. What happened to the scientific body delivering a scientific report based on scientific research?

hope_for_our_Earth_IPCC2014 click to see the full, 7-page document

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls itself a scientific body. Indeed, it’s online self-description uses some version of the word ‘science’ seven times in a few paragraphs.

But a document prepared for the current IPCC meeting in Japan utterly obliterates those claims. It’s titled Hope for Our Earth from Yokohama. Please note the large IPCC logo on the bottom of the first page – next to the logo of the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).


Page two of this document contains this headline: Saving the Planet for Future Generations. Beneath it, we read:

We must bequeath to future generations a safe environment in which to…

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Massive Nor’easter bigger than Hurricane Sandy expected to bring winds, snow, cold blast to Northeast for late March

Watts Up With That?

March came in like a lion, and it looks like the lion isn’t leaving, but you can’t blame the “polar vortex” this time.

As a massive winter storm at sea known as a Nor’easter prepares to skirts the Northeast coast of the USA,  bringing with it high seas and bitterly cold weather in its wake, Dr. Ryan Maue writes:

Massive Nor’easter will develop a warm-core thru a seclusion process.

Compare previous image w/Hurricane Sandy– same 850-mb Wind speed & MSLP. Nor’easter wind field much stronger/larger.

[It is] maybe 4 times more powerful than Sandy based on integrated KE of wind field.

The image of the storm is quite stunning for it’s sheer size. Images and animation follow.

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Phil Jones Southern Hemisphere Data Tampering

Real Science

In 1978. NOAA showed nearly a full degree of southern hemisphere cooling from 1957-1970.  CRU has since made all of that cooling disappear.

ScreenHunter_456 Mar. 12 08.47

  ScreenHunter_502 Mar. 12 23.55



Met Office Hadley Centre observations datasets

The graph below shows the 1978 NOAA southern hemisphere surface temperature anomaly in blue, and the CRUTEMV3 southern hemisphere surface temperature anomaly in orange.

ScreenHunter_517 Mar. 13 08.05

At 09:41 AM 2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:

Mike (Mann),
I presume congratulations are in order – so congrats etc !
Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is
trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for yearsIf they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US…

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Southern Beaufort polar bear ‘decline’ & reduced cub survival touted in 2008 was invalid, PBSG now admits


It is now clear that the phenomenon of bears moving across Southern Beaufort Seapbsg logo subpopulation boundaries compromised the US decision to list polar bears as ‘threatened’ and the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) knows that was the case.

As I pointed out last week, the PBSG has admitted in their 2013 status table update (pdf here) that bears move around so much between the Chukchi Sea (CS), the Southern Beaufort (SB), and the Northern Beaufort (NB) subpopulations that major changes in the boundaries of the SB subpopulation are necessary (see Fig. 1 below).

Figure 1. From the paper by Amstrup and colleagues (2005) describing the effect that movement of bears across subpopulation boundaries has on setting harvest quotas – and population estimates. Southern Beaufort boundary is solid red, Chukchi Sea is dashed yellow and Northern Beaufort is dotted light blue. “Point Barrow” is Barrow, AK (well inside the SB boundary). Click to enlarge. Figure 1. From the paper by Amstrup and colleagues (2005) describing the effect that movement of bears across subpopulation boundaries has on setting harvest quotas and population estimates. Southern Beaufort (SB) boundary is solid red, Chukchi Sea (CS) is dashed yellow and Northern Beaufort (NB) is dotted light blue. “Point Barrow” is Barrow, AK…

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S. S. Vasiliev and V. A. Dergachev: 2400-year cycle in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Here we have  two fine scientists who have written an excellent and easily readable paper, well supported by the evidence they cite.

2400-year cycle in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration: bispectrum of 14C data over the last 8000 years
S. S. Vasiliev and V. A. Dergachev

Received: 5 September 2000 – Revised: 6 August 2001 – Accepted: 21 August 2001


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IPCC Admits The Scientific Consensus Was Wrong in a Stunning Reversal on Biofuels

Watts Up With That?

It just goes to show you that sometimes, consensus in science amounts to a “whole lot of nothing” as this story from Robert Mendick in The Sunday Telegraph tells us.

Growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, IPCC admits in dramatic U-turn

The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, The Telegraph can disclose.

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