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On Extreme Weather, the More We Learn, the More We Know How Little We Knew Before (and Still Don’t Know)

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No EF5 tornado, “one of the most catastrophic weather events on Earth … [which can] grow to be more than a mile wide and pack winds over 200 mph—stronger than any Category 5 hurricane on record across the Atlantic basin,” has struck the United States in more than 11 years—the longest such EF5 drought since consistent records have been maintained.

In contrast to many climate scientists and writers with the mainstream media covering climate change, who in their hubris claim the science is settled, Albert Einstein expressed modesty with regard to his knowledge, reportedly saying, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

Eistein, a genius by any measure, was not the first to express such wisdom. Socrates, nearly 2,400 years ago, reputedly stated, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing,” and Aristotle expressed a similar sentiment, saying, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Would that contemporary climate researchers displayed such a cautious, honest assessment of the state of knowledge in their field about the causes and consequences of contemporary climate change—but they rarely do.

Still, research comes out daily suggesting that far more remains unknown about climate change and the extent to which it drives extreme weather than is known by climate scientists and their journalist sycophants, and is assumed, and built into, climate models. Two recent studies provide examples showing this.

One recent study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters, examines the correlations of tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the Atlantic and Pacific hurricane basins  to multi-decadal variations in sea-surface temperatures tied to shifts in Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV). In analyzing two sets of climate model simulations, adding and subtracting AMV anomalies, researchers found the Atlantic and Pacific respond differently to warm AMV phases, which produce warmer temperatures:

Relative to cold or negative AMV anomalies, a warm AMV:

produces much more frequent TCs (including those making landfalls) over the North Atlantic. This is because AMV+ offers favorable conditions for TC development, including warmer SSTs, higher relative humidity, increased relative vorticity, and weaker vertical wind shear. By contrast, AMV+ causes less frequent TCs across the western North Pacific and South Pacific due to unfavorable conditions for TC occurrence (stronger vertical wind shear and less moist air). The contrasts in TC environment are due to increased zonal flow between the Atlantic and Pacific basins with AMV+.

What they didn’t find to be a factor in hurricane strength or formation was long-term global climate change. Rather, climate models suggest shifts in the Atlantic Ocean current oscillations are the forcing factor for tropical cyclones, or their absence. This study lends credence to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) most recent AR6 physical science report, which confirms that there is no detection or attribution of any trend for either the number or strength of tropical cyclones tied to climate change. The IPCC’s assessment suggested that even under the most extreme emission scenarios, it could find no evidence climate change had or would affect tropical cyclones through 2100. (See chart below.)

Despite the IPCC’s clear statements and the findings in this new research, I’d bet money that this year when tropical storms and hurricanes form, especially when one or the other makes landfall and causes damage, mainstream media outlets will publish stories claiming climate change is to blame, citing “studies” from bogus climate science outfits like World Weather Attribution as evidence supporting their claim.

And, of course, hurricanes are only one type of extreme weather event we are only beginning to understand, and, as a result, show how little we know about their formation and cause. Tornados are another such type of event.

Every year, some scientists and reporters in the mainstream media try to tie climate change to the frequency or strength of tornados. Climate Realism has debunked such claims on dozens of occasions, citing research demonstrating there is no trend in increasing numbers or strength of hurricanes. Now the UPI is reporting the same fact.

One recent article published by UPI noted that no EF5 tornado, “one of the most catastrophic weather events on Earth … [which can] grow to be more than a mile wide and pack winds over 200 mph—stronger than any Category 5 hurricane on record across the Atlantic basin,” has struck the United States in more than 11 years—the longest such EF5 drought since consistent records have been maintained. And this is despite billions of additional tons of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere over that 13-year period. Commenting on this blessed severe tornado drought, UPI writes:

On May 20, 2013, an extremely powerful tornado destroyed a huge part of Moore, Okla. Eleven years later, it remains the most recent tornado to be rated EF5, the strongest possible rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The 11-year gap is the longest since official U.S. records began in 1950.

Before the Moore tornado, the blockbuster tornado season in 2011 led to the confirmation of five EF5 twisters, including the Joplin, Missouri, EF5 that killed 161 people. A total of 50 tornadoes have been rated F5/EF5 since records began in the United States in 1950.

Meteorologist Bob Henson said in 2023 that the current EF5 “drought” is hard to explain since damage estimates can be subjective. Damage to a “well-constructed building” is the most common factor that helps the National Weather Service (NWS) confirm an EF5, yet many homes in the U.S. do not meet that criteria.

During this busy tornado season, think back to how many stories you’ve already seen that mentioned climate change as a factor—modifying their timing, number, behavior, and power. Then, remember  mainstream media column inches and broadcast air-time to the contrary, there is no evidence whatsoever that climate change has, will, or can, even in climate models, impact tornados.

Heartland Institute Research Fellow Linnea Lueken answers the question: “Is climate change making tropical cyclones, meaning hurricanes and tropical storms, worse around the world?” The answer is, “No.”

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Heartland Daily News

Biden, Trump Spar Over Inflation, Border, More in First Presidential Debate

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President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump grappled over inflation, illegal immigration, abortion and more during the first debate of this election cycle Thursday night in Atlanta.

A Quinnipiac poll released the day before the debate shows Trump with a 49%-45% lead over Biden, showing Biden needed to turn the tide Thursday night. But throughout the debate, Biden showed moments of murmuring, trailing off or seeming to lose his train of thought.

“I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence,” Trump said early in the debate. “I really don’t think he knows what he said either.”

Questions have surrounded Biden, 81, for a growing number stumbles and miscues in recent months.

CNN’s Jake Tapper, one of the debate’s two co-hosts, began by pointing to the rise of prices under Biden’s tenure, a 20% increase in food prices and a 30% increase for housing.

“Everything was rockin’ good,” Trump said, touting the economy, lack of wars and more during his term. “The only jobs [Biden] created are for illegal immigrants and bounceback jobs,” referring to jobs created by ending the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Biden defended himself, claiming Trump caused inflation, and touted the economic recovery after the COVID lockdown era. Biden also touted his work to lower the costs of prescription drugs.

Abortion, which is expected to be a major issue this election, took a prime spot in the debate. Biden promised to restore Roe v. Wade federal protections and blasted Trump, saying he would sign a conservative nationwide abortion ban.

Trump said he agreed with the recent U.S. Supreme Court issue allowing the abortion pill and blasted Biden and Democrats for their support of Roe v. Wade, saying it allows late term abortion. Trump argued the issue should go to the states.

Both candidates traded barbs throughout the debate. Biden called Trump a convicted felon and said he has the “morals of an alley cat.” Trump was convicted last month on 34 felony counts related to falsifying business documents to cover up hush money payments to a former porn actress.

“Everything he does is a lie,” Trump shot back later in the debate.

Trump repeatedly veered the debate back toward illegal immigration, crime committed by illegal immigrants, and the impact of migrants on entitlement programs.

Trump blasted Biden on the southern border crisis, saying that “because of [Biden’s] ridiculous, insane and very stupid policies” Americans are being killed, calling it “Biden migrant crime.”

Trump said the flood of illegal immigrants are bankrupting entitlement programs in the U.S.

“Our veterans are living on the street and these people are living in luxury hotels,” Trump said. “I’ve never seen such anger in our country before.

“He wants our country to either be destroyed or he wants to pick up those people as voters,” Trump continued.

When questioned about his role in the Jan. 6 storming of the Captiol, Trump pointed out that he called on protesters to act “peacefully and patriotically” and offered 10,000 National Guard troops for security prior to the protests but former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser turned them down.

Biden said the Jan. 6 protesters who have been prosecuted deserve to be in jail, but Trump defended many of them, saying some of them are “so innocent” and that rioters in other cities like Portland did not go to jail.

The debate was moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash in Atlanta.

This debate is an antecedent to two major political conventions, The Republican National Convention (RNC) and Democratic National Convention (DNC), which are scheduled for July and August, respectively.

Thursday night marked Trump and Biden’s first debate against each other in four years. The first presidential debate between them took place in Sept. 2020, during the time when Trump was still in office as U.S. president. Trump and Biden were scheduled to have a second debate on Oct. 15 2020, which ultimately was canceled. The final Trump-Biden debate of 2020 occurred on Oct. 22 2020.

Another debate is expected between the two candidates this election cycle on Sept. 10.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

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Agriculture

The Netherlands Reverses Host of Climate Policies

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From Heartland Daily News

Agriculture-focused polices the new government is reversing include the previous government’s forced buyout and retirement of farms to cut fertilizer use and associated nitrogen emissions

The Netherlands recently elected a new right-of-center government which is downplaying climate alarm and European Union (EU)-driven climate policies that harm the country’s residents and agricultural producers.

“Geert Wilders, a prominent figure in Dutch politics, has led a coalition that marks a decisive shift in the Netherlands’ approach to climate policy. Wilders, often dubbed the “Dutch Trump,” formed a new government that includes the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB),” writes Charles Rotter at Watts Up With That. Rotter quotes a report in The Telegraph on the political right’s rise in the Netherlands and what it means for climate policy:

The Netherlands will tear up rules forcing homeowners to buy heat pumps as part of a war on net zero by Geert Wilders and the Dutch farmers’ party. Six months after his shock election victory, Mr. Wilders this week struck an agreement to usher in a Right-wing coalition government of four parties. “We are writing history,” he said as he announced the program for the new government.

Among the EU-endorsed climate policies Wilders’ coalition government is rescinding is the heat pump mandate, which would have forced homeowners to switch to expensive, inefficient hybrid heat pumps  from traditional air conditioning and heating systems.

The EU had established a goal of installing a minimum of 10 million new heat pumps by 2027 as part of its 2050 net-zero ambition, a plan the previous Dutch government had endorsed and imposed. As The Telegraph reported, the Dutch government’s heat pump mandate was intended to drive “down Dutch household use of natural gas for heating, which is the largest source of its gas consumption, equivalent to about 30 percent in total.”

Commending the new coalition government’s reversal, Caroline van der Plas, leader of the BBB,  cheerfully said, “Thanks to BBB’s efforts, the mandatory heat pump will be abolished.”

Agriculture-focused polices the new government is reversing include the previous government’s forced buyout and retirement of farms to cut fertilizer use and associated nitrogen emissions. In its place, the new government will establish a series of voluntary incentives to reduce emissions and offer interested farmers voluntary buyouts to end production.

Wilders government is also set to end subsidies for electric vehicles by 2025, which, as Rotter notes, is “a departure from the EU’s blanket approach to climate policy. These subsidies have been criticized for benefiting the wealthy who can afford electric vehicles while doing little to address broader environmental issues.”

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