I often hear from otherwise normal, rational, intelligent people how the weather is getting more and more extreme. And that this is proof that we humans have somehow messed up the climate with our carbon emissions. I argue that it isn't so, that the floods, hurricanes, hot spells and even the record cold and snowfalls are not signs of extreme weather brought about by anthropogenic global warming, er climate change. After all, most of the "records" we have been experiencing recently impact only the last 40 or 50 years, a relatively short time span in the historical record and the global climate change business.
That's why it was encouraging to see this study:
The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.It is all too easy for climate alarmists to point to recent extremes of weather and cry "we must do something before it's too late". We need to keep in mind that while the weather around the globe can and has been experiencing extremes, this doesn't signify anything out of the historical norm.
As it happens, the project's initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. "In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years," atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871."