Maybe 'exceptional' weather is just weather
Perhaps the best challenge to the hysterical claims that humans are causing unusual climate change is the demonstration that "exceptional" weather events can be predicted in advance based on their natural occurrence in history.
One person who has admirably met this challenge with consistent, convincing demonstrations is meteorologist and forecaster extraordinaire Joe Bastardi. Bastardi – formerly of AccuWeather, now with WeatherBELL Analytics – is the best weather forecaster I have ever met. And I've been in the atmospheric science profession for 40 years.
I first ran into Bastardi in the mid-'70s at Penn State University, one of the leading meteorology schools in the country. We were both meteorology undergrads. I graduated in 1976, while he graduated a couple of years later.
Even in college, Bastardi was able to beat everyone, including the professors, at forecasting significant events. As a professional, he's still at it.
In his just released book, The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won't Hear from Al Gore – and Others, Bastardi relays what he calls "a love story": a story of his lifelong love of weather. This important book is his effort devoted to restoring perspective, cordiality, and humility to climate science.
Bastardi demonstrates with example after example how the "exceptional" weather claimed by intrepid climate doomsayers is really just weather. He shows how understanding of weather events from the distant past (i.e., historic analogs) leads to accurate forecasts of the imminent future. And if such events can be forecast from their previous occurrence, doesn't that call into question the claim that these events are somehow unusual and now based on human activity? Couple the understanding of past conditions with the cyclical nature of climate, and you have the key ingredients for a reliable forecast.
Bastardi's forecasts have to be reliable. His living depends on him being right, day after day, week after week. He is not in the fortunate business of prognosticating decades ahead, when validating a forecast is well beyond your last career paycheck.
Bastardi consistently points out the natural, predictable regulation of the climate by the changes occurring in such events, as happens recurrently in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans – changes known by forecasters for decades as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. He also notes the strong influence on climate of the quite familiar, cyclical El Niño event. As far as the dubious claims of outsized control that carbon dioxide has on the climate, Bastardi correctly asserts that "the sun, ocean cycles and stochastic events play a much more significant role."
There's a lot of exceptional weather wisdom in The Climate Chronicles for readers to gain a greater appreciation for the complexity and majesty of the climate – an appreciation Joe delivers in an accessible, colloquial style.
Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist and author of In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail (Stairway Press, 2016).