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Weather bomb

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, March 3rd, 2012 - 113 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster - Tags: ,

From the relative calm of damp Dunedin I’d like to wish everyone up North good luck with the the current “weather bomb”. The Herald headline and reports of power outages etc is here.

NZ is not alone, Australia is getting hammered too. Currently “Three-quarters of New South Wales is inundated or threatened by floodwaters”.

In a good summary of extreme weather links, a recent piece in the New York times asked:

Are we, just possibly, reaching the point where people can look out their back doors and know they are seeing climate change in action?

The IPCC is pretty clear on the issue:

Wild weather worsening due to climate change, IPCC confirms

Final draft of a report from the UN climate panel warns that weather extremes will come at a huge cost…

We’re in this place because the short-sighted mechanisms of politics aren’t up to the task of a medium term global risk (and of course, because of the short term interests of big money). There doesn’t seem to be any realistic chance of turning back from the path we’re on.

Keep safe.

113 comments on “Weather bomb”

  1. tc 1

    Agree the weather systems are getting nastier as they get more stored energy in them due to global warming, which is an inconvenient fact now not a theory anymore.

    At least we’re used to plenty of rain, Oz is screwed with decades of topsoils erosion and rising salination levels impacting their productive South eastern states and every flood takes more away.
    tassie will become more their food basket going forward.

  2. ianmac 2

    Very unusual weather. Blenheim has the lowest February sunshine hours in 80 years.
    31 mm of rain overnight but no wind. No wind??

  3. Bill 3

    What a really fucking terrible turn of phrase “weather bomb’ is!

    It’s not a war. And neither did the weather ‘come out of nowhere’.

    But then, I guess such terminology dovetails with a psychology that would have us adopt a siege mentality (bunker down), ask no questions, draw no conclusions and carry on as normal.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1

      So, people want us to have a siege mentality, but “war” is a faulty metaphor?

      The weather didn’t “come out of nowhere”. Neither do bombs. I’m not sure where you’re going with this.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        What I said seems pretty clear to me. I’ve no idea where you’ve wandered off to though ;-)

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1.1.1

          “Destructive weather caused by willful negligence and stupidity” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

          • Bill 3.1.1.1.1

            Just call it an extreme high or low (whichever it is) and dispense with the misleading hyperpole.

            • just saying 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Extreme drop in pressure, as I understand it.

              • Bill

                Yup. Which then allows for questions to be asked about possible reasons behind an extreme drop in pressure.

                Meanwhile, the term ‘weather bomb’ closes off routes of enquiry. Bombs are random…they just fall. And if they hit you, it’s just bad luck.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Erm, “weather bomb” doesn’t “close off all lines of enquiry” – “extreme drop in pressure” is a far more opaque term if that is the criterion.

                  Bombs are only random if you ignore who’s dropping them.

                  • Bill

                    You shitting me? ‘Low pressure’ an opaque term? ‘Weather bomb’ not an opaque term?

                    Okay, lets try it out. What is a low pressure weather system? And what causes low pressure weather systems? What is a weather bomb? And what causes weather bombs?

                    And nobody and nothing is lobbing or dropping either low pressure weather systems or weather bombs at anyone. (There is no volition.)

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Sure. What is pressure?

                      Edit, oh, and you may have a limited understanding of “volition”, please check your comprehension levels.

                    • Bill

                      Aw ffs, KTH! The Koch Brothers and a host of others (not least you and I) are involved in activities that contribute to Climate Collapse. And a consequence of Climate Collapse is more extreme or unusual weather.

                      Meanwhile, hyperbolic terms like ‘weather bomb’…unless by your link you are suggesting, however obliquely, that the Koch’s have a weather generating machine…do nothing to encourage people to understand or learn about weather events and the context they are occuring within.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      You and I are contributing more-or-less involuntarily – although my carbon footprint is pretty low – but we are not financing political opposition to mitigation efforts, quite the opposite in fact – our taxes have paid for not only attempts at mitigation but also pay for valuable research into the sciences involved.

                      “Weather bomb” is a phrase that captures the imagination far more than any appropriate academic phrase. I suspect it may therefore generate more curiosity, not less.

                    • Bill

                      There is nothing academic about the term ‘low pressure’ in relation to weather systems.

                      And talking of ‘bombs’ may well ‘capture the imagination’…but does nothing to inform. As a terminology it’s misleading and promotes passivity. (ie, generally speaking, people simply shelter from bombs or hope the bombs won’t land on them)

                      But low pressure weather systems have are a product of climate. And the current state of the climate is being impacted on by (essentially) economic activity. And people can do something about the economic genesis of extreme and more frequent deliterious weather events.

                • Jackal

                  You really do have a warped sense of reality Bill. Weather Bomb is an appropriate term because of the destruction such events cause. Just like war, there is a huge financial cost as well.

                  The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (PDF) states:

                  Without action, the overall costs of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) each year, now and forever. Including a wider range of risks and impacts could increase this to 20% of GDP or more.

                  Bombs are not random… they are launched by people aiming them specifically at their enemies. The changes in the weather are also not random because we’ve known about the effects of industrialization on the planet since the early seventies.

                  • Bill

                    If referring to the weather as a bomb is appropriate, then by the reasoning you apply to bombs, (

                    they are launched by people aiming them specifically at their enemies

                    ) you might care to answer the following simple question.

                    Who or what is this enemy that is launching these ‘weather bombs’ at us?

                    • Jackal

                      I’m pretty sure you can figure that one out on your own Bill.

                    • Bill

                      So okay, you believe there is a clearly identifiable enemy who is launching ‘weather bombs’ at us.

                      I can’t figure out the identity of this person (or thing). Please indulge my apparent stupidity by supplying the answer.

                    • Jackal

                      Not to confirm your “apparent” stupidity Bill, however:

                      I don’t think there is somebody “launching weather bombs at us” per se. Your argument is therefore ludicrous! I think there are companies and governments that have not given the fact that manmade climate change is a real and present danger enough consideration. They think they can continue to pollute indefinitely with impunity. Their actions (or non-action as the case may be) make them responsible for our worsening environmental conditions.

                      Do you need me to list what countries are not adhering to their CO2 emission reductions or those that are not even bothering to sign up to international agreements? Do you want me to categorize the companies and industries that contribute to manmade climate change perhaps? I think you’ve previously exhibited enough cognitive ability to at least try to work that out for yourself.

                    • Bill

                      Uh-huh.

                      You said use of the term ‘bomb’ in relation to weather was appropriate and further commented that bombs “are launched by people aiming them specifically at their enemies” . In other words you quite unequivocally stated that the weather was being launched at us by…someone or other.

                      When I asked you who these persons might be who were launching ‘weather bombs’ at us, you said I could figure it out.

                      When I said I couldn’t figure that out, you said there was no-one launching weather bombs at us afterall and that my argument (ie the one you had posited) was ludicrous.

                      I agree with you that business and government and many individuals aren’t responding to anthropogenic climate change/collapse with anything like the urgency required.

                      And it seems you finally agree that they (and we) are responsible for contributing to the underlying reasons that result in climatic collapse but not, as you previously contended, to specific weather events (those being a result of climate collapse).

                      Any more backtracking I missed?

                    • fender

                      Mankind has launched the “weather bombs” at himself Bill. Mankind is the enemy. Though the recipient of the bomb is beyond his control he still likes to gamble on his safety by upsetting nature.

                    • Jackal

                      Your semantics are a bit boring Bill.

                      Some extreme weather events can and should be called weather bombs. In fact it is an even more apt description when the extreme weather event is caused by anthropogenic climate change. The resent weather bomb in New Zealand can be attributed to climate change to a far greater degree than saying it was an effect of La Niña.

                      The old ideologically defunct fools who are pressing the climate change self destruct button are simply blinded by their own greed. They don’t know what they’re aiming at because in many cases they are climate change deniers. They will fight tooth and nail before they admit to pressing the button so to speak. They think the climate change self destruct button doesn’t even exist, while the evidence to show they are wrong is now overwhelming.

                      There is an actual technical understanding of what weather bomb means… it is used to describe when a nor’easter drops in pressure and becomes stronger, by more than one millibar every hour.

                      The emphasis should be on the weather part of the bomb equation. It is not a nuclear bomb for instance. Don’t try to reinvent the English language Bill… we have short descriptivism for a reason.

                    • Bill

                      Yeah, I get what you’re saying ‘Fender’. But that quick conclusion isn’t altogether accurate and it misses ‘the dots’ that are necessary to arriving at an understanding.

                      Humans are putting CO2 and a whatever else into the atmosphere and that is causing global warming which in turn is causing climate collapse which in turn is resulting in extreme or unseasonal weather.

                      That’s not a difficult scenario to portray.

                      But if the ‘steps’ or ‘dots’ are omitted, (and the term ‘weather bomb’ doesn’t signpost or allow for any argument or reasoning…it’s the beginning, middle and end of ‘an event’), then what results is a shouting match of bald conclusions and some apparently ludicrous assertions in the place of any reasoned and logical argument…(just read the mess Jackal created above through accepting the ‘weather bomb’ terminology and trying to argue the case of global warming from that starting point.)

                      Given that far too many people still hold that global warming is a con, we need a matrix of deductive reasoning to present them with; not a bald conclusion.

                      And if meaningless terms are given traction, the argument that needs to be presented becomes much more difficult to get to…you might say it gets obscured by ‘weather bombs’ and such like.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      “…the term ‘weather bomb’ doesn’t signpost any argument or reasoning…”

                      Bill, you are wrong. Time to move on?

                    • Bill

                      I’m surprised to read that the term has any definitions at all Jackal. (There seems to be a few variations) Were you aware of any definition prior to this exchange or did you search for one?

                      Meanwhile, I doubt that people in general are aware of any definition and therefore unable to apply it to any understanding of links between weather, climate and global warming.

                      ‘Bombs’ (I’d suggest) are commonly regarded as stand alone destructive weather events. That’s how they’re portrayed in the media. They are seperated out and ‘set aside’ as isolated events.

                      To speak simply of an extreme low…or a very extreme low…. on the other hand, preserves the meteorological context and leaves commonly accepted and understood terminology in tact.

                      Terminology is crucial for promulgating understanding. Why obfuscate matters by introducing unnecessary extra terminology?

                  • Bill

                    @KTH.

                    Yes, it transpires there are definitions for the term. But I’ll ask the same question I asked of Jackal. Did you know that before this exchange took place?

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      You didn’t understand the technical term “weather bomb.” Now you do. It transpires there are other technical terms in Meteorology that any serious attempt to understand it would have to acknowledge. Examples from other disciplines abound, such as “strange” and “charmed” quarks.

                      Time to move on.

                    • Bill

                      No, I didn’t realise there was a definition. Did you?

                  • Jackal

                    Language would be pretty boring if we adhered to your unrealistic restrictions. There are so many uses for the word “bomb” it’s not funny. Pontificate all you like, but you cannot separate one weather event out from the overall effects of manmade climate change. I am thoroughly sick and tired of your pointless argument and childish jibes Bill. Please don’t bore us further with your own lack of understanding.

                    • Bill

                      Are you not going to say whether you were aware of the meteriological definition of weather bomb before this exchange Jackal?

                      It’s not pointless to suggest that obscure or poorly (ie not widely) understood terminology hampers understanding, ‘blocks’ enquiry and makes convincing others of your argument or position more difficult.

                      But it seems to me you are content to jump up and down hollering about global warming but have no interest in how to get any message across and therefore no interest in addressing factors that might make that job more difficult.

                      This isn’t a jibe. But to merely point an accusary finger at the Koch’s and their fellow travellers just doesn’t help matters. You have to fill in the gaps; join the dots in such a way that those you are seeking to convince become convinced.

                      Otherwise your position (correct as it is) becomes dismissable and you attain, or are ascribed, cult status.

                    • Jackal

                      Is that the cult of “weather bomb” perhaps Bill? I was aware of the meteorological definition of what the term means. However I did clarify my understanding my visiting Wikipedia. Why does that matter?

                      The terminology in this case concerning a certain phenomena does not need to change so that the debate concerning manmade climate change can move forward. That is simply ridiculous! I have not been “jumping up and down” about global warming, I’ve been writing succinct articles on the subject for some time now. Your lecture therefore is completely misplaced.

                      I really think it’s time for you to move on now Bill.

                    • Bill

                      You’re a filthy little liar Jackal.

                      Before you provided the link, all your comments on the terminology was to do with its appropriateness as a useful metaphor. Had you known there were meteorological definitions for the term ‘weather bomb’, you would have simply said so.

                      And no, I was not implying any ‘weather bomb’ cult. I was trying to state that if you have no interest in how to pass on your message effectively to outsiders that, in common with others who fall into the same trap, you run the risk of being dismissed by them as a cultist.

                      Mind you, given your apparent propensity to engage in commentary as a means of puffing your ego rather than as a possible avenue for challenging your pre-determined thoughts on matters or even just simply broadening your horizons, I guess that just doesn’t matter to you.

                    • Jackal

                      Actually Bill, I never lie and wrote my comment re the meteorological meaning behind the term weather bomb prior to reading Kotahi Tane Huna’s and other peoples explanations. I was simply unsure if you understood that there was a technical meaning behind the description. You weren’t, get over it.

                      Did you bother to follow the link I provided Bill? If you had you’d see that I do in fact make my message loud and clear. Lately I’ve been receiving emails from various academics around the world thanking me for my erudite articles. Some have even pledged to help out when their skills are required. You huffing and puffing about The Jackal being cultist is nothing but hot air. I therefore sincerely invite you to blow it out your own arse.

                    • Bill

                      Good morning jackal. I have no problem in stating I was unaware of the fact that the term ‘weather bomb’ had an accepted meteorological definition attached to it. I think this the third time I’ve said as much on this thread.

                      But I do have an issue with wee pricks who pretend they were ‘always’ in possession of certain knowledge when they patently weren’t and who then attempt to excercise an infantile gloat from the vantage of their (denied) dishonesty.

                      The whole point of my original comment on this thread was that certain terms carry baggage or subtle inferences that can detract from meaningful comprehension. ‘Weather bomb’ is one of those terms. And that stands in relation to the general public whether it has an accepted (and not widely known) definition or not.

                      You disagree. (Actually, I don’t think you grasp what I’m saying) You think it an appropriate term with regards to the recent weather in the N. Island and have latterly pointed to its definition to ‘settle matters’ and also use the existance of a definition to ‘rubbish’ the point I was making and as a launch pad for ad hominin b/s.

                      Putting aside for the moment the likely impression the term creates in a casual audience (ie, most people), if the comment by aj (comment 18) is correct, then the low that passed over the N.Island didn’t satisfy the definition of a ‘weather bomb’…which would mean, from your new found attachment to scientific definitions, that you should be critisising the use of the term too, no?

                      Unless, of course, you’re principle interest in coming here is to ‘score points’ and stoke your own sense of ego.

                    • Jackal

                      Bill

                      But I do have an issue with wee pricks who pretend they were ‘always’ in possession of certain knowledge when they patently weren’t and who then attempt to excercise an infantile gloat from the vantage of their (denied) dishonesty.

                      I had a fair understanding of what weather bombs were before the last one hit New Zealand. I then watched Daniel Corbett on Campbell Live the other day and he somewhat explained it in meteorological terms. You say you know when I gained knowledge on a certain subject, when you have absolutely no way of actually knowing this. Your argument Bill is based on fictional reasoning.

                      The whole point of my original comment on this thread was that certain terms carry baggage or subtle inferences that can detract from meaningful comprehension. ‘Weather bomb’ is one of those terms. And that stands in relation to the general public whether it has an accepted (and not widely known) definition or not.

                      A very disingenuous argument. If you didn’t know what the term weather bomb stood for, how can you say whether it is or is not correct terminology? You are/were arguing from a place of ignorance, and then when this is pointed out to you, you claim that nobody else knew either. Ridiculous!

                      You disagree. (Actually, I don’t think you grasp what I’m saying) You think it an appropriate term with regards to the recent weather in the N. Island and have latterly pointed to its definition to ‘settle matters’ and also use the existance of a definition to ‘rubbish’ the point I was making and as a launch pad for ad hominin b/s.

                      Weather bomb is a perfectly fine descriptive term for a phenomena that causes widespread damage and sometimes injury. The only point you have is that it’s not directly launched at the area it impacts. There is however evidence that mankind is causing an increased impact from severe weather events. The secondary meaning is therefore valid as well. So yes I disagree with you.

                      My comments about your cognitive ability, I think are perfectly valid. Your comments that I’m a filthy little liar, wee prick and talking BS have no basis in reality. You are in fact trying to pull the debate down into the gutter… perhaps because you’re angry at your own ignorance?

                      Putting aside for the moment the likely impression the term creates in a casual audience (ie, most people), if the comment by aj (comment 18) is correct, then the low that passed over the N.Island didn’t satisfy the definition of a ‘weather bomb’…which would mean, from your new found attachment to scientific definitions, that you should be critisising the use of the term too, no?

                      No! I think Daniel Corbett was correct that it was in fact a weather bomb. If I had disagreed with Daniel Corbett’s comment regarding it being a weather bomb, I would have said so in the article I wrote about the matter a couple of days ago. Even if it was not a weather bomb, it would not mean the terminology itself is incorrect. You are clutching at straws Bill.

                      Unless, of course, you’re principle interest in coming here is to ‘score points’ and stoke your own sense of ego.

                      Is that a self diagnosis Bill? If my posting comments here and writing a blog was to do with ego, as you have repeatedly claimed, why then am I doing it anonymously? My principle interest in having an online presence in the NZ blogosphere is to ensure the right wings lies are exposed.

                      You are clearly trolling Bill. Not only was your initial argument based on ignorance, you cannot graciously accept that you were wrong. Instead you have resorted to personal attacks based on your own speculations. You’re foaming at the mouth simply because somebody has a differing opinion to you. This is not constructive and I will not be responding to you further.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Is it misleading though? I really don’t see any problem with referring to a quick, heavy downpour as a bomb.

              • Bill

                What’s wrong with references like ‘down pour’ or ‘torrential rain’ etc?

                Again, ‘bomb’ supplies no useful reference in terms of weather and therefore encourages a degree of disconnect in the intended audience. Everyone on the receiving end of a bomb – any type of bomb – is, by implication a more or less powerless victim.

                Bombs come from ‘over there’…typically a remote source the target has no control over.

                I’ll wager that when people talk about the ‘weather bomb’ over the coming days, they will almost exclusively refer to the damage it caused. There will be precious little, if any, talk or discussion on the severity of low weather systems and what might lie behind their increasing severity.

                That kind of inquiry or discussion has been removed from the table by the choice (and acceptance) of the terminology used to describe the present weather.

                Reiterating; any discussion on bombs is usually limited to their effect and doesn’t encompass their cause or origin.

                Why accept such combative and nonsensical descriptions for weather? Why use descriptions that imply an enemy or malign ‘other’? Why employ language that (however subtly) provides a license to ‘carry on as usual’ and that offers up a dead end in terms of understanding insofar as it is a linquistic mechanism that usurps meaningful terminolgy?

                • Anne

                  I agree with Bill. I don’t like the word “weather bomb”. It’s the same old same old… the media trying to turn something complex into a simplistic euphemism that actually explains nothing. Far better to use ‘deep depression developing in Tasman’ or ‘gale or storm force winds forecast’ etc., but nah, that’s not sensational enough. It’s gotta be a bomb! Whether we like it or not we’re going to have to accept it. It ain’t going away.

                • muzza

                  Im with bill on this – Weather bomb , what a load of shite, rediculous, obvious scarmongering media embracing drivel!

            • klem 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Bill, the diffeerence between you and Kotahi Tane Huna is, you view low pressure weather systems like they are random and uncontrolled, but Kotahi views them as being caused by humans. For these people everything is humanity’s fault.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanic_bomb

      The word bomb doesn’t always refer to the ones used in wars.

  4. Vicks 4

    I blame the government! (One of the perks of being in opposition)

  5. RedLogix 5

    Freaking bucketing down where I am…

  6. CnrJoe 6

    From Tairawhiti – wish I still had a kite

  7. Macro 7

    Actually it’s all a cunning Communist plot to bring down insurance companies.
    Unfortunately the insurers are “on to it”

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1

      Great article – thanks.

      The insurers are less constrained by the need for academic caution, and can approach the problem from a purely practical economic standpoint. Now who here thinks they’ve got it wrong?

      • klem 7.1.1

        “can approach the problem from a purely practical economic standpoint.”

        Yea that’s another way to say ‘finding an excuse to raise premiums and hit their numbers.’ Anthropogenic climate change is the boogyman of their dreams, they will make a killing. They got it right.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1.1.1

          Then set up a rival company with lower premiums and make your fortune lose your shirt, and look like a complete moron.

          Take them to court and demand lower premiums because their justifications don’t add up. Go on, it would be so funny to see you ridiculed in public.

          Ever get the feeling you’re deluded and irrelevant, and the world is moving along without you?

          • Klem 7.1.1.1.1

            “Ever get the feeling you’re deluded and irrelevant..?”

            Ever get the feeling you are way too emotonal and closed minded?

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Klem’s Skeptic Insurance Ltd opening soon? Going to petition for lower premiums? Didn’t think so.

  8. Treetop 8

    The weather in NSW has caused flooding the size of France or twice the size of NZ. This may have an effect on migration from Australia to NZ (expats) returning home.

    I can only imagine what Key’s comment would be regarding the return of expats e.g. the NZ economy is improving.

    Gillard is not going into a panic regarding the cost which more and serious flooding will incur. Gillard is not selling off strategic assets which generate well paying dividens to pay for a series of weather disasters. There will also be some cost involved to the NZ government for the current weather bomb. Maybe English will blame the weather on not reaching fiscal targets.

  9. Weatherman Bob 9

    Oh, fuh goodness sake . . . Warm/cold, windy/calm, wet/dry, night/day – ’tis called life on Earth (as opposed to ‘global climatic disruption’ tax, or whatever the next & latest catchphrase will be).

    For a little perspective, ie 2,000+ years (as opposed to two or three decades) checkout http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/Weather.pdf (large file) or http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/climatehistory.pdf (small file).

    Imagine snow in summer (!), heat waves in winter (!), drought – and grapes – in England & Scotland (!), floods – and snow – in the Persian desert (!). Who’da thunked it happened way back then, too . . .

    PS. The first time I heard the term “weather bomb” used, in a meteorological sense, was in the States in 1991 during a particularly nasty period of “humanitarian intervention”. As John Cleese would say: Don’t mention the war(s)!

    • ianmac 9.1

      It is the sporting codes that have messed up weather. International Cricket tests vie with International Rugby? What is the poor weather organiser supposed to think? Summer sport and Winter sport together? Skiing at Ruapehu for Christmas perhaps?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.2

      Are you trying to look like an idiot? Where do you suppose Paleoclimate information comes from, and who interprets and reports it? Hint: it isn’t bloggers.

    • burt 9.3

      Weatherman Bob

      <sarcasm>It’s obvious the scale of the weather extremes have increased. Simply look at the detail recorded for older events and the costs associated compared with more recent events – they have both escalated over time.

      Furthermore it use to take weeks or months to find out about violent weather on the other side of the planet… but now it’s so much more intense that it justifies immediate dissemination of digital photos and detailed reports.</sarcasm>

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.3.1

        It’s also obvious that the Hadley cells have expanded, that nights are warming more than days, that winter is warming more than summer, and that the Arctic is warming more than the Antarctic. What’s amazing is that all of these observations were predicted by Climatology, some as long ago as 1896.

        This is why climate models are regarded as having “skill” in forecasting – they have more than 100 years of track record to back them up.

        L(1-α)=εσT^4 ;)

  10. Macro 10

    why is my previous comment still in moderation?

    [“communist” is currently a word that triggers moderation (was often used in random troll abuse), but Lynn is reviewing that. — r0b]

    • Klem 10.1

      That’s the same question I have as well.

      How is it calling someone a communist qualifies for moderation but the resident alarmist troll Kotahi Tane Huna can call people all sorts of offensive names, but that’s ok?

      [lprent: Because we really don’t care that much about what people call each other, provided they have a point to go with it (read the policy about robust debate and pointless abuse).

      The words in the auto moderation list are there to trap trolls who cannot seem to help themselves and substitute hackneyed phrases and words for an actual argument. In other words a chaff filter for people whose behavior as commentators that the moderators want to watch. The phrases in there have a high correlation with people that we eventually banned.

      If you are getting caught there regularly, then perhaps you need to look at what you are writing. A really really dumb filter is watching you and you keep taking the hook. Perhaps you should engage your brain rather than acting like someone with the instincts of a trout. ]

  11. Jackal 11

    Daniel Corbett – climate change denier

    I watched the new MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett on Campbell Live last night go on about the unprecedented bad weather being an effect of La Niña.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.1

      Climate denier? Possibly not – he has to be a bit more careful with his words than you or I; attribution is a complex issue and not one there is a whole lot of extant literature about.

      • Jackal 11.1.1

        The question John Campbell asked was:

        Why has it been such a rubbish summer?

        Daniel Corbett: How long is the program? Yep No Um! You can never sit there and say ah! It’s because of that or it’s it’s not as easy as you go to the car repair and look at your car and say, you got a flat tyre. There were lots of different things that came into the mix for our summer weather. Obviously the thing that jumps to mind is La Nina. Blah blah blah!

        The question wasn’t only about the current weather bomb Kotahi Tane Huna, which isn’t attributable to La Niña anyway.

        Scientific experts in various prestigious institutions around the world have attributed the worsening weather patterns to climate change. Daniel Corbett should be listening to them, not choosing to ignore the main reason for our worsening weather. Omission of the truth is a lie and there is only one correct conclusion you can reach.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.1.1.1

          Well that’s all very well, but did you read Schmidt’s essay on the subject? What you say is true (my emphasis): “Scientific experts in various prestigious institutions around the world have attributed the worsening weather patterns to climate change,” but there are very few actual attribution studies around for specific events.

          As the good Doctor says “this is a complex issue, and one not well-suited to soundbite quotes and headlines”. What you interpret as denial may in fact merely be standard academic caution.

          The whole problem we face here is that self-appointed well-resourced loud-mouths have drowned out the scientific debate. Copying their tactics will just lead to more of the same. If you want to blame someone blame John Campbell: it’s his job to make the rash statements, not Corbett’s.

          • Jackal 11.1.1.1.1

            Yes! Attribution is a complex issue, but there are definite rules that apply. For starters, a normal La Niña has a weak impact on New Zealand’s climate. Daniel Corbett has simply used it as an excuse to explain the unprecedented extreme weather event we’ve been experiencing. It is simply illogical to blame a La Niña, which has limited effect and has almost ended.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.1.1.1.1.1

              I just watched the BBC video on your blog. Your point is not proven: Corbett clearly supports the science.

              Time after time I have read Drs. Schmidt and Steig, Pierrehumbert, Mann et al pull people back in exactly the language Corbett employs. Time after time I have read them respond to claims that the science be simplified for public consumption, with the argument that instead people become more educated about science – in particular its non-binary nature.

              Corbett comes from an atmosphere of extreme minority hostility towards Climatology and climatologists, in which any statement he makes as a public servant (ie: BBC weather reporter) will be gone over for any suggestion of error, and the error seized upon by buffoons like Klem to claim that he is a warmist secret agent (or something).

              I think you have misjudged him.

        • Anne 11.1.1.2

          Ummm… weather bombs have been around since God made little apples, but it’s only since the advent of advanced technology – ie. the ability to produce accurate weather charts of both current and future upper atmospheric conditions as well as the surface systems – has it become easy to predict them. They form as a result of upper level depressions (usually associated with jet streams) moving over an area of surface low pressure. If the right positioning comes together, the upper level low will feed cold air and unstable conditions into the surface low and cause it to deepen rapidly. There is a strong probability that global warming does have at least an indirect impact on their frequency. Only time will tell how much.

          To the scientists out there… it’s a simplified explanation I know, but I’m rusty. Been out of the game a long time now.

          • Klem 11.1.1.2.1

            “Only time will tell how much. ”

            But we don’t have time to sit around and wait! The world is falling apart now!

            My understanding is the world will end around the time that Kyoto’s replacement will be negotiated, or if that fails the world end around whenever the next carbon control agreement will be negotiated. Its not just some coincidence. We don’t have time!!! Just ask Kotahi Tane Huna.

        • Anne 11.1.1.3

          The question John Campbell asked was:

          Why has it been such a rubbish summer?

          That was a silly question of John Campbell to ask. He knew that the answer would be way too complex to explain in a few short minutes. What was Daniel Corbett to do? Perhaps he was wrong to mention La Nina (El Ninos tend to bring even cooler, cloudy conditions) but give him time. He’s new to NZ and it takes one hell of a lot of experience to fully understand the weather complexities of a highly diverse (geographically speaking) maritime nation in the southern part of the South Pacific Ocean. Ask Bob McDavitt.

          NZ weather forecasters enjoy an excellent reputation overseas – especially with the WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) in Geneva. That is why meteorologists from around the world want to come to NZ to further their knowledge and experience.

          • Jackal 11.1.1.3.1

            If Daniel Corbett had said it was due to an El Niño effect he would have been completely wrong. Although El Niño does have more effect on New Zealand’s weather than La Niña, we are not in an El Niño phase. We are barely in a La Niña phase. Perhaps I was a bit harsh on the noob, however he is an experienced meteorologist who should have got it right. I’ve invited Daniel Corbett to explain. If I can find his contact details, I will write to him personally.

            • Anne 11.1.1.3.1.1

              If Daniel Corbett had said it was due to an El Niño effect he would have been completely wrong.

              Yes, I realise that.

    • burt 11.2

      Jackal

      Are you saying it’s not La Nina ?

    • Lanthanide 11.3

      “Collectively, the oceanic and atmospheric patterns reflect a weak-to moderate strength La Niña. Therefore the increased bad weather cannot be blamed on a naturally occurring cycle that is in decline.”

      Because you’re a meteorologist and therefore qualified to make such pronouncements…?

      I’d rather trust the experts, myself.

      • Jackal 11.3.1

        NOAA are the experts Lanthanide… I’m quoting them.

      • burt 11.3.2

        I’d rather trust the experts that have the same opinion as myself.

        There – fixed that for you.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.3.2.1

          That’s a very good point Burt – how can we know which “experts” to trust? One good measure is to approach their professional bodies. Many countries have national academies of science for precisely this reason – so that grown-ups know to ignore witless blowhards.

          • RedLogix 11.3.2.1.1

            If you have lung cancer it’s your choice to ignore the oncologist and keep on smoking 20 a day; and that’s fine because you personally get to wear the consequences. No-one else gets to die of lung cancer other than you.

            With AGW though it’s not all about you burt. The rest of humanity is in this with you, and if your choice turns out to be disasterously wrong that’s one hell of a responsibility you’ve taken on.

            • Colonial Viper 11.3.2.1.1.1

              If you have lung cancer it’s your choice to ignore the oncologist and keep on smoking 20 a day

              Although I understand your general point, I doubt your survival rate would be any better once you already have lung cancer. Best to quit well ahead of time of course.

    • klem 11.4

      Oh yea, if the guy does not blame it all on human activity then he’s a climate denier, no question.

      Just remember this; if the weather is good it is caused by mother nature. If the weather is bad it is caused by humans.

      cheers

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.4.1

        I wonder if you in fact know a single thing that any actual climatologist has ever said. From your tiresome repetition of zombie arguments I guess not.

        • Klem 11.4.1.1

          Oh yeah?

          Well Richard Lindzen the worlds top climatologist said this recently “The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. ”

          There, that’ll teach you.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 11.4.1.1.1

            Interesting you should mention Lindzen, who stands publicly accused of incompetence or mendacity.

            “…the data are not what he claims, the interpretation is wrong, and the insinuations are spurious…”

            “Such a cavalier attitude to analysing and presenting data probably has some lessons for how seriously one should take Lindzen’s comments. I anticipate with interest Lindzen’s corrections of this in future presentations and his apology for misleading his audience…”

            I doubt very much that this will “teach” you.

  12. RedLogix 12

    In the meantime I’m looking over the banks of this 50m from my back door and contemplating Plan B.

    • seeker 12.1

      Yipes! Contemplete indeed – good luck Red Logix

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        The GWRC Flood Protection guys just came up the driveway to make some reference marks. Looks like the peak is just passing us now… with maybe a metre to spare.

        • Jackal 12.1.1.1

          That’s pretty full on. I guess we’ll all end up having to move to higher ground eventually.

          • RedLogix 12.1.1.1.1

            Yeah but nothing like this..

            I wonder how many more of these extreme weather events the US can take before people start waking up? It’s an interesting question; which do you think is the more powerful force, propaganda and delusions… or reality?

            • Jackal 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Unfortunately it looks like we are going to start seeing more cyclonic events in New Zealand as well. I think eventually reality will win… people cannot ignore what’s going on outside forever, especially when it starts eating into the bottom line. In my opinion manmade climate change is the crime of the century. Who is financially liable will be an interesting development. The deniers will have nowhere to hide.

              • Warren

                “Who is financially liable”

                Sadly, this will prove largely irrelevant, as it will be the long-suffering taxpayer who pays.
                Those responsible will get away just as scot-free as the Wall-Street fatcats who caused the GFC.
                When you are rich and powerful you don’t have to pay for your misdeeds.

  13. Macro 13

    If you have nothing better to do this afternoon mozzie over to “the conversation” and have a read of this.

    As a tempter here is a quote:

    “Research shows us that, at best, only about 70% of our year-to-year seasonal climate is predictable; the other 30% is chaotic random (weathery) stuff. (It must be one of the few fields where you expect to be “wrong” occasionally and just have to cop it.)

    A typical climate forecast will calculate there’s a 60% chance of more rain than normal in a general region next season.”

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      (It must be one of the few fields where you expect to be “wrong” occasionally and just have to cop it.)

      well, you might also have to include minor fields like politics, finance, economics, medicine, ag/hort, and road safety in this category. In fact I suggest its pretty common.

      • Macro 13.1.1

        Maybe, but as the article I referred to points out – these meteorologist have “great stonking computers” (the authors words not mine) – and the public expect them to be right ALL the time.

    • klem 13.2

      “A typical climate forecast will calculate there’s a 60% chance of more rain than normal in a general region next season.”

      A slighly better than 50/50 chance that there will be more rain than normal next year. Wow, that’s a climate forecast? And they get paid for that?

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 13.2.1

        “…they get paid for that?”

        Since the information would be useful to anyone managing waterways, I should hope so. On the other hand, you are irrelevant.

        • Klem 13.2.1.1

          And there sure are lot of those people, everyone manages waterways these days.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 13.2.1.1.1

            Don’t you have anything substantive to say?

            I’m still looking forward to your insurance venture. What’s the matter, haven’t you got the courage of your convictions?

            PS: Hydrologists, for example.

  14. burt 14

    Just on this particular weather;

    The latest update from Stuff

    MetService meteorologist Daniel Corbett did, however, warn that a new low was forming off the east coast of the lower North Island.

    Mr Corbett said the ”weather bomb” had gone according to forecasts.

    Anyone else around here old enough to remember that from the ‘forecasters’ before in a similar pattern?

    • Macro 14.1

      “warn that a new low was forming off the east coast of the lower North Island.”

      “Anyone else around here old enough to remember that from the ‘forecasters’ before in a similar pattern?”

      are you referring here to 10 April 1968?

  15. BeeDee 15

    Perhaps battle terminology will help us understand that in order to combat climate change economies must be placed on a wartime footing, ie global resources should be put to use to figure out how to halt the warming of the atmosphere and oceans. We human beings are at war with the planet.

  16. Kotahi Tane Huna 16

    Who coined the phrase?

    The best antidote to ignorance is a link.

    OK?

  17. johnm 17

    “Costs of Climate Change Touching Down All Around: Insurers
    Climate Change: Insurers Confirm Growing Risks, Costs”

    Refer link: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/03/03-0

    “Climate Change: Insurers Confirm Growing Risks, Costs

    In a press briefing on Thursday, representatives of the nation’s top insurance companies, citing a year of history-making natural disasters and $1 billion-plus in damages, took a definitive stance, along with members of the US Senate, to confirm that the costs — both to taxpayers and private businesses — from extreme weather events will continue to climb due to the irrefutable march of global warming and climate change”

  18. aj 18

    I think technically speaking it wasn’t a ‘bomb’, and expression that refers to a low deepening by 24Hpa or more within a 24 hour period.
    I recall that it was below 1000hPa when it in was in the Tasman and deepened to around 980 as it crossed the Nth Island a day later.

    Just sayin’

  19. johnm 19

    What the same weather bomb offloaded on NSW.

    “Hundreds evacuated as flood waters hit New South Wales
    Around 1,600 Australians were forced from their homes by flooding Friday, and 22 rescued from rising waters as the torrents hit or threatened large parts of the most populous state of New South Wales.”

    Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/
    Sydney has experienced one of its wettest summers in decades and the rain has continued to fall at the start of autumn, leaving the city’s biggest dam Warragamba set to overflow and vast areas of the state drenched.

    Further Climate Change news:
    “Australia’s surfers mourn disappearing east coast beaches as currents sweep sand out to sea
    Hundreds of miles of Australia’s most popular beaches are shrinking as ocean currents sweep their sands out to sea, to the dismay of millions of surfers. ”

    “In the past 18 months, Australia has endured one of the fiercest La Nina events in history – leading to its wettest two-year period since instrumental recording began in the 1880s, and causing devastating floods across large areas inland.

    Along the coast, powerful storms and strong tides have swept away the sand, while changes in wave direction have dragged it offshore. As a result there is a new threat to coastal properties, with erosion of cliffs accelerated not because of rising tides – the ocean at Kingscliff only has a tidal variation of about five feet – but because the beach that dissipated the power of the waves has been diminished as the sand has gone.

    Scientists say it could take a decade or more for these beaches to be naturally restored – if, indeed, they ever are. ”

    Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/9106284/Australias-surfers-mourn-disappearing-east-coast-beaches-as-currents-sweep-sand-out-to-sea.html
    These beaches have not been insured!
    “I was due to get married in the lifesaver club in January, however we booked it a year in advance and had to cancel as the lawn in front where the ceremony was to be held fell into the sea and the rest was declared unsafe. Sad, it’s a beautiful part of the world and Kingscliff is a lovely little town.”

    Also rising sea levels are happening too due tho thermal expansion and melting on land glaciers and ice shelves.

    • klem 19.1

      Johnny boy, with all of the quotes you provide, links to authority, warning statements and fear mongering; let me guess, you’re another climate alarmist troll.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 19.1.1

        Klem, let me guess; you haven’t the capacity to understand the scientific arguments so you never engage with them, instead preferring these childish personal attacks.

        How are you getting on with the energy budget equation you were shown the other day?

        • klem 19.1.1.1

          Great! How are you getting on with it?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 19.1.1.1.1

            I’m studying a more complex version which forms a very basic layer model.

            Here’s a question for you: what term(s) do you think you would have to add to the basic energy budget equation to solve it for a spherical body?

  20. johnm 20

    Note to above latter link:

    “We had pretty calm weather throughout the last three decades – now we are moving back into an era of stormy conditions, especially with La Nina,” Prof Tomlinson said. “The erosion seems to be triggered by reasonably sized storms and very subtle shifts in wave direction.

    “We also think we are having a situation of more energetic wave conditions, possibly caused by warmer waters offshore.”

    “The disappearance of the sand has worried local lifesavers, who stand trained and ready with rescue equipment but have little or no beach to patrol.

    “We’re a bunch of lifesavers who essentially can’t get on to our beach,” said a disgruntled team member, Andrew Jones. His beach, Old Bar in northern New South Wales, has lost 75 yards of frontage in the past 18 months. A report commissioned by Surf Life Saving Australia, the organisation responsible for water safety and rescue, found 63 per cent of the country’s surf lifesaving clubs were themselves erected in “zones of potential instability”.

    At Kingscliff, where a hastily built wall has helped save the headquarters from collapse, locals joke that they may have to turn their 90-year-old surf club into a yacht club. ”
    HA! Ha! HA! Very funny I’m sure!

    “Dot Holdom, a councillor who has lived in the town for 30 years, said the only recent increase in visitors has been from “disaster tourists” who stop by to see the vanished beach. “

  21. Uturn 21

    Before mention of meteorological whether bombs became vogue, not many people, including me, where aware that Wether Bombs existed.

    In the Winter of 1943, the RAF and French Resistance collaborated in an attack on high-ranking chateaux-bound German officials. Their method of attack? Air dropping explosive sheep into rural France. Because the French were concerned about ruining French sheep breeding lines, the RAF used wethers with timed high explosive veterinarily inserted inside the sheep’s stomach. Baa baa BAANG! The term Wether Bomb was coined. No, really.

    Unfortunately, German bombing sorties by chance hit the airfield that penned these paramilitary sheep the night before the operation was to start. The embarrasment of losing months of planning an thousands of pounds that followed was covered up by the well-cooked remains being distributed to local villages as a morale boosting exercise.

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