Unprecedented Melt? Not Exactly. Unprecedented Scientific Folly? You bet!

The Antarctic's annual cycle is its own accordion-like expansion and contraction. But it is dwarfed by the larger expansions and contractions between glacial and interglacial periods during the present ice age.

The Antarctic’s annual cycle is its own accordion-like expansion and contraction. But it is dwarfed by the larger expansions and contractions between glacial and interglacial periods during the present ice age.

As many of my readers know, the fact that Antarctic sea ice has steadily grown during the entire satellite record is something that I’ve alluded to frequently in the past. Some of you will know, too, that the temperature at the South Pole has gone down during the same period, as I’ve mentioned that here and elsewhere, including in my book.

Global warming alarmists have, meanwhile, made endless hay out of the fact that ice shelves have broken up during the last couple of decades. I mention in my book that if you could watch time-lase video of Antarctic ice shelves, as seen from space, over the last three million years you would see an accordion being played by a quite energetic player. Out they go, and in they come, out they go, and in they come. One feature that should convince people that climate is not changing outside normal bounds is precisely that ice shelves are continuing to do what they’ve done during the present ice age. This notion that until the last 50 years ice shelves were stable, in other words, is patently anti-scientific. And potentially manipulative and evil, but let’s worry about that another day. Continue reading

Posted in Antarctic sea ice, don't sell your coat, ice age, sea ice | 2 Comments

Old Time New England Winter

A little evening snow in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, on a far gentler night than tonight. Photo by Jeff Stevens.

A little evening snow in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, on a far gentler night than tonight. Photo by Jeff Stevens.

I live in a historic part of a historic New England town: East Greenwich, Rhode Island, to be precise.

It’s tough to walk five minutes in any direction here without running across a cemetery or two with graves from two or three centuries back. The cemeteries range in size from 20 plots to 2,000.

Our part of town is known as the Hill. You can see it in the picture I chose for the blog today. In fact, the church spire in the background of the photo is the one belonging to our family church, St. Luke’s Episcopal. The open space in the right foreground is Academy Field, where sledding, baseball, soccer, and dog exercising manage to share time and space with admirable ease throughout the year. Continue reading

Posted in blowing snow, Climate change, don't sell your coat, global warming, harold ambler | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Blizzard Reading

Once you realize how badly you have been misled by AGW zealots, you suddenly understand that you must now pay attention to climate science on a totally new level.

Once you realize how badly you have been misled by AGW zealots, you suddenly understand that you must now pay attention to climate science on a totally new level.

If you have only recently become a skeptic, or only recently started thinking about it, then you may not be aware of the logical inconsistencies built into the theory that manmade global warming is turning the climate system into a post-Edenic nightmare.

I could list quite a number of them (and have before and will again), but need to be making preparations for the impending blizzard here in Rhode Island. So, in the time available to me, I will say this: Pay attention.

When the global warming crowd says, “It used to be snowier,” and then responds to equivalent snowfall in the current moment by saying, “This was caused by global warming,” pay attention.

When the global warming crowd says, “Storms of all kinds have gotten worse,” and you point out the dozens of instances proving the contrary, and they say, “Sandy was unprecedented,” pay attention.

When the global warming crowd says, “Winters used to be colder,” and you show them that winter weather runs in decadal, centennial, and millennial cycles, and they say, “But when I was a kid it was colder,” pay attention.

When the global warming crowd says, “Whenever it is cold now, that is really the result of global warming,” pay attention.

When the global warming crowd says, “American droughts of the last few years are unprecedented,” and you show them that droughts of the 1950s and 1930s were worse, and that megadroughts on the order of 500 years in duration have been found in the climate record of the land that is now the U.S. Southwest, pay attention.

When the global warming crowd says, “Look at this graph, temperatures are skyrocketing,” and you say, “That’s an anomaly graph, and you’re showing a tiny fluctuation that has occurred thousands of times before,” and they say, “We must do something before it’s too late,” pay attention.

When the global warming crowd says, “How dare you question science,” and you point out that (a) science and reason have to be closely acquainted at all times, (b) you question the reasoning underlying global warming, and (c) that all true scientists have questioned authority pretty much all the time and they say, again, “Yes, and how dare you question the science,” pay attention.

That’s enough for now. I have to go do about a hundred things, having had to work until late last night.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know needs a little blizzard reading, you can buy my book here.

Thank you for paying attention.

Posted in blizzard, Climate change, don't sell your coat, global warming | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

New York Times Sets Bar Just a Little Higher for Climate Misinformation

The News York Times has its standards: All the news that fits the narrative of climate doom.

The News York Times has its standards: All the news that fits the narrative of climate doom.

Sunday, January 20, 11:43 a.m. EST, update: Andy Revkin kindly took the time to make sure the right set of eyes fell on a third letter I wrote, and the Times has fixed the piece and issued a formal correction. To Andy I offer my sincere thanks. With my book focusing in part on a century-long habit of promulgating climate fear at the Times it is gratifying to have the paper catch an accurate glimpse of its own reflection in the blogosphere mirror, if even for a moment. By the way, a screencap of the original article with the mistake is below (beneath that the original blog post can be found).

That's what screen grabs are for: the original Times piece with the incorrect statement and link claiming record global temperatures in 2012.

That’s what screen grabs are for: the original Times piece with the incorrect statement and link claiming record global temperatures in 2012.

When I found a rather major error in a New York Times article about climate change, I took the trouble to write the editors. I did so via two channels. One of the two ways was sending a letter to the editorial page editors; the other was writing the Times‘ public editor. As I have not heard back from either, I have decided to publish my own letter below. I will add that it has been my experience that if I don’t hear back quickly from editors then I don’t hear back from them at all.

Dear Editor:

There is a tendency among those declaring the seriousness of global warming to equate small pieces of the climate puzzle, when those pieces support a narrative of disaster, with the whole picture, but this is neither good science nor good journalism.

In the Jan. 15 online edition Jada Smith falls prey to the temptation: “With record-breaking global temperatures in 2012severe droughts and several storms and hurricanes on the East Coast, some members of the American clergy are saying that human decisions that contribute to the extreme weather associated with climate change can no longer be left in the hands of politicians.”

The year 2012 was not a record-setting one for global temperatures. The United States, 1.5% of Earth’s surface, did experience record temperatures, and indeed clicking the first link for “global temperatures” brings one to another Times article about the American record.

The United States is a wonderful country, but it is not the world.

Harold Ambler
East Greenwich, RI
p.s. The global temperature ranking for 2012 is available here:

Now, letters to the Times have a 150-word limit, thus my effort to be concise. But I don’t have the same limitations on my own blog. :)

And I confess that even knowing the extent to which the Times distorts climate information I am astounded that equating the U.S. temperature record with the world temperature record, when brought to the paper’s editors’ attention, does not merit a correction. It has come to this.

I expect non-experts driving in their cars on the way to work and who catch a story about record temperatures on NPR would frequently just assume that the temperatures in question were global. But the fact that a reporter at the most prestigious newspaper in the United States would not have a higher standard of discernment than the distracted and half-listening commuter is bracing. The fact that the reporters’ editors would fail to consider such an error worthy of correction is … wait for it … the single most glaring proof of the bias in American journalism regarding climate that I have seen.

I know, I know. Most of my readers will be surprised that I am surprised.

And yet I am. Don’t sell your coat.
Posted in Climate change, crying wolf, don't sell your coat, global warming, record temperatures | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Britain’s Cold Comes as No Surprise

The first book by an American journalist to predict the strengthening of winter and the slow undoing of the global warming narrative helps put climate science in a new perspective.

The first book by an American journalist to predict the strengthening of winter and the slow undoing of the global warming narrative helps put climate science in a new perspective.

People say a version of the following to me all the time: “How dare you contradict mainstream science regarding climate change?”

Most of the Spanish Inquisition conversationalists haven’t any sense of the diversity of scientific findings within the climatology community. They don’t know how many honest and brilliant people of science all over the world have never accepted the manmade global warming narrative at face value.

So, yes, in writing my book that predicted the kind of cold Britain and much of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is about to experience (or already experiencing), I did have to stop listening exclusively to the clique of scientists dominating the media and the United Nations’ climate apparatus long enough to understand that another narrative even existed. That is true. (UK Amazon link for book here.)

I also had to think seriously about the destructive nature of cold and what it meant if the AGW narrative builders were wrong about winter’s premature demise. It meant old people dying in their homes for lack of heat, particularly in the era of carbon targets imposed from above on utility companies. And that is just what is happening these days in the UK, as energy prices have skyrocketed at the same time that wintertime need has steadily grown, as it has over the course of the last several years.

And let’s be clear: the manmade global warming team predicted the diminishment of winter’s power, publicly, and repeatedly, for decades. Conversely, the climate skeptic community of scientists ranged in its predictions from seasonal variability to mild global cooling during the first half of the 21st century.

Such cooling, if it were to occur, by the way, would, as likely as not, begin with a slow turnaround of the climate system. And that turnaround might look a lot like what we’re seeing today. The kind of heat that built during the last few decades of the 20th century doesn’t dissipate overnight.

In the meantime, ask yourself, those of you shivering in Britain, the European continent, and Asia during the winter of 2012-2013: does a book predicting such conditions hold any interest?

Don’t sell your coat.

Posted in British cold weather, don't sell your coat, energy prices spike, frozen Europe, winter weather 2013 | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Of Pure Weather Ignorance, Yaks on Faces, and Your Holiday Gift Shopping

A curious, and possibly deeply sad, facet of modernity: journalists successfully convincing people that they're witnessing the demise of the climate system.

A curious, and possibly deeply sad, facet of modernity: journalists successfully convincing people that they’re witnessing the demise of the climate system.

People have no idea regarding weather. They don’t know that they’ve been manipulated with HD video into believing that their own time is strange, unprecedented, extreme. They don’t know why they would be manipulated (via a combination of noble cause corruption and reflexive leftism in the Ivory Tower). They don’t know the parameters of the system (don’t generally want to know how many floods and droughts there have been in the past). They don’t know what’s happening anywhere but their own backyard (where global warming is ruining their whole week). They don’t know what “normal” was, meteorologically, around the globe five decades ago, five centuries ago, or five minutes ago.

That’s OK. I don’t blame them. Being someone obsessed with weather and climate has seldom been a ticket to the inner sanctum of polite society. And that’s just as true today as it was when Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were among the earliest weather freaks the United States had produced. Believe me, those two rose to prominence in spite of their weather mania, not because of it.

This is all a somewhat longwinded way of introducing a somewhat amazing weather tidbit. At this particular juncture, which happens to be noon on Friday, December 14, the temperature in an obscure Siberian town is -65 degrees Fahrenheit. As is generally the case when the temperature is so low, the weather conditions are listed with a single word: “Smoke.” You more or less need an inversion layer to yield temperatures that low, and with the inversion layer comes capture of the abundant woodsmoke generated by the locals desperately trying to stay warm. Frigid cold and smoke, in Siberia and elsewhere around the globe, often go hand in glove. The name of the town, by the way, is Ojmjakon. This is pronounced “Oh, my God, a yak is frozen on my face.” Just mumble it a bit and say “on” at the end, slur the “my face” part completely, and you’re good. You’d be surprised how many yaks freeze to your face when it’s -65 degrees Fahrenheit, by the way.

Why, you wonder, is it -65 degrees in Ojmjakon and too warm to snow in New York City? One answer: which way the wind blows. Last year’s warm winter in the U.S. was largely a function of what meteorologists refer to as zonal flow, west to east movement of mild Pacific air, a powerful and fast-moving river of warmth far too strong to allow anything like normal winter weather to unfold. And a similar process has been at play so far this winter. While we’re basking in “terrifying” warmth, Canada is freezing its remote provinces off.

Meanwhile, last year, as the the headline writers were working themselves into a sweat over the death of winter here, people were dying of cold in droves in Europe and Asia, and Alaska was seeing records for both snowfall and cold. You read the headlines about all that, right? No? I am shocked!

Returning to the serious business of weather and climate, on this day, December 13, 2012, a draft of the United Nations’ next assessment of Earth’s climate has been published at wattsupwiththat.com. The single most salient detail in the report, for those paying close attention at home: Svensmark’s mechanism for cloud formation and global cooling via galactic cosmic rays is specifically mentioned. I learned doing interviews for my book this year that going into this subject is a sure-fire way to produce blank stares, if not out and out rage.

That’s OK. Svensmark is relatively young, and, with any luck, the day will come when he can compare his Nobel prize for climate-related research to the one Al Gore was given in 2007. The world’s a strange, and sometimes funny, place.

If you’d like any of your friends to be able to understand the United Nations’ change of heart, buy them a copy of my book for the holidays on Amazon. All you need to get them a Kindle copy is their e-mail address and the knowledge that they read on Kindle. You can also buy them a hard copy. This will plant seeds of climate awareness that rise as beautiful flowers a few years from now. Nothing more and nothing less than that.

Posted in Climate change, crying wolf, don't sell your coat, global warming, harold ambler, winter | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Surprised By White

The first “pure” Nor’easter of the season is delivering snow to East Greenwich this evening.

The storm, another potent one just nine days after Hurricane Sandy devastated the region, was snowier than the National Weather Service initially forecast along Narragansett Bay. Even at the time of the early-evening update, when snow had already broken out in East Greenwich and points northward, no winter weather advisory was forthcoming.

With snow sticking to grassy surfaces, cars, buildings, and eventually streets, residents of East Greenwich found themselves surprised by the white stuff.

Computer models were indicating anywhere from two to four inches for East Greenwich and locations in the central part of the state, with more anticipated in the traditional snow belt farther north.

As with so many Nor’easters, the potential exists for changeover to rain near the coast. Indeed warmer air was forecast by Mark Searles of NBC 10 be pulled into the middle levels of the atmosphere overnight, leading to a changeover to freezing rain and then plain rain by dawn.

But the presence of more cold air at the coast than the National Weather Service had anticipated should raise at least one eyebrow on any incipient changeover.

Dedicated sledders’  best hope for a run is either before bedtime tonight, or first thing in the morning before school.

Judging by the feel of a snowball hurled by my 7-year-old daughter striking between my shoulder blades, the snow was close to ideal for making a snowman — clumpy!

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Sandy in Context

Areas along the Belt Parkway near the Verrazano Bridge in Gravesend Bay, getting breached at 9 a.m. Monday morning, nearly 12 hours before Hurricane Sandy’s more destructive evening surge, Oct 29, 2012. Photo by Todd Maisel, courtesy of The New York Daily News.

The following Op-Ed was published, after I received an invitation to write it on Halloween, in the Friday, November 2, 2012, edition of The New York Daily News. 

I remember reading Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” in high school during the 1980s, a little more than a decade after it came out. Toffler’s idea was that chronic stress had become the baseline normal for an entire generation. He said this stress was due to the accelerated pace of change in a “super-industrial society.”

Today, Toffler’s ideas seem almost quaint. But they are vital to understanding how the media, the political world and science itself have largely left reason behind when it comes to climate change.

Weather, which used to be experienced either on one’s head or via newspapers, today is delivered to ever-sharper screens at an ever-increasing pace and an ever-growing level of repetition. The Tri-State Tornado of 1925, which killed 695 people (in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana) wasn’t captured on HD video – and as far as most people were concerned, it might as well have never happened.

On the other hand, the Joplin Tornado of 2011, which killed 158 people, was captured on video and seen by millions of people. The Joplin Tornado, less lethal than the Tri-State, was effectively used by the promoters of manmade climate change – even though by comparing these two tragedies, the climate change one observes is moving in a positive direction. That’s how powerful video is. When people see footage of a storm that happened yesterday, it has a visceral effect that nothing else can duplicate.

This is where Toffler was prescient. The endless loop of destruction is what people know best today.

Hurricanes are another case in point. People’s consciousness has been saturated with images of hurricanes for at least 25 years. Meanwhile, horrific hurricanes have been killing people on U.S. shores since the founding of the Republic. The deadliest of these, the Great Galveston Hurricane, which occurred in 1900 and killed 8,000, predates the start of manmade climate change (which is conventionally given as the end of World War II) by a good four decades.

Quick, pop quiz! 1) When was the last major (category 3 or above) hurricane to make landfall in the U.S? 2) What is the longest period that the U.S. has ever gone through without a major hurricane making landfall?

Answers: 1) Wilma, Oct. 24, 2005; 2) The current stretch, which is seven years and nine days. Sandy, for all the destruction it has caused, was a post-tropical cyclone by the time it hit.

All this is just a piece of the record of a single nation. Super-powerful ocean storms have been killing people the world over throughout recorded history.

One of the most chilling of these historic ocean storms was the Grote Mandrënke, or Great Drowner of Men. A gale that blew in from the North Sea on Jan. 16, 1362, Grote Mandrënke reshaped the coast of much of what is now Germany and killed at least 25,000 (some say 100,000). A previous storm that took place on the same date in 1219 killed 36,000 and shaped much of the coast of what is now the Netherlands.

That is what ocean storms do. They lash coastlines , pushing sand it has no weight, battering infrastructure, drowning people. The world is big – bigger than most people give it credit for – and it has seen a lot more destructive weather events than most people would wish to believe.

Bear this in mind, though: Not a single iteration of United Nations climate documents, reports the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has indicated that extreme climate events have increased during the past half-century. Scientists have said they should, or will, or might, but the panel hasn’t yet said that they have. In the meantime, the media make hay out of climate change, just as they have for more than a century.

Ambler is the author of “Don’t Sell Your Coat: Surprising Truths About Climate Change.” He lives in Rhode Island.

Posted in Climate change, don't sell your coat, harold ambler, hurricane sandy, media | Tagged , ,

Storm Surge Commences in Rhode Island

Wickford Village, three hours before high tide, as Sandy’s storm surge began to be seen in Rhode Island. Photo by Harold Ambler

As of 6:30 pm, the Rhode Island coast has started seeing effects of the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy.

In Narragansett, Beach Street was closed, with washover from Narragansett Town Beach flooding the road. Boston Neck Road was on the verge of being cut by water a hundred yards south of the bridge over Narrow River, which had already exceeded its flood tide plain.

Also in Narragansett, South River Road was breached by storm surge in at least three locations, with the tide rising rapidly. Many residents along the low-lying road who had not heeded calls for mandatory evacuation could be seen looking anxiously toward the river.

In North Kingstown, Wickford Village was cut off by water. Police had closed the corner of Brown and Main as well as a second point at the intersection of Newton and Main.

The waters of East Greenwich harbor were spilling onto Water Street, which the police had closed to traffic at Queen Street.


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Peak Winds Approaching Rhode Island Right Now

A packet of intense winds approaching Rhode Island appears as a brown “hook” coming in from the northeast. Image, from the NAM computer model, comes courtesy of Dr. Ryan Maue of Weatherbell Analytics.

Dangerous Hurricane Sandy is increasing in size and intensity as it approaches the Greater New York metropolitan area. According to meteorologist Ryan Maue of Weatherbell Analytics, the city is “insufficiently prepared.”

After initially downplaying storm surge from the hurricane, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reversed course on Sunday and began ordering mandatory evacuations for low-lying areas in the city. The subway stopped running Sunday evening, and will remain closed through at least Tuesday morning.

The surge in Long Island Sound and New York Harbor is likely to be extremely distractive.

For those of my readers in Rhode Island, where my family and I are based, it is the next 12 hours that will be critical. A packet of strong winds should be start taking the state in the next 30 minutes and last for four or more hours. If power lines are going to come down, this is the most likely time for it to happen.

The storm surge in Narragansett Bay will largely coincide with the evening high tide at 8:26 pm, and will cause flooding. As of 12 noon EST, the National Hurricane Center indicated a probably peak surge for the bay of 5 to 7 feet.

Beach erosion from Cape Cod to the Outer Banks of North Carolina will range from severe to extreme, with waves of 15 to 20 feet pounding the coastline for 24-48 hours.

In the midst of the extreme conditions, the National Hurricane Center has chosen to play games with terminology. The NHC, anticipating a transition of Sandy from a “pure” hurricane with tropical characteristics to an extratropical cyclone, declined to issue hurricane warnings throughout New England and even the New Jersey coast where the storm is expected to make landfall.

Although Sandy has been a hurricane for longer than ten days, and may yet make landfall as a hurricane, the likelihood of the extratropical transition has convinced the meteorologists employed to serve the public to instead confuse it with the designation protocol.

Make no mistake. Under normal circumstances Cape Cod to Montauk would be under a tropical storm warning. Montauk to Delaware Bay would be under a hurricane warning. And Delaware Bay to the Outer Banks would be under a tropical storm warning.

People understand these designations, and they should be used in situations like this, academic purity be damned.

If you are in Rhode Island, the time to seek shelter and ride out the storm is right now. How’s that for clarity?

Posted in hurricane sandy, hurricanes, rhode island, storm surge | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments