Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Weather vs. Climate Page

The difference between weather and climate is constantly mistaken by Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) advocates.  This page references my evaluations of climatic effects that turned out to be weather events and examples of climate hype by other authors.  See another page of mine on climate claims for more information.

Roger Pielke Jr. explains that “When attribution claim are made, more is being conveyed than just scientific details about the causes of a particular disaster – a message is being sent that climate change is important and support for climate policies is the goal”.

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Section 1, Legislative findings and declaration states:

    1. Climate change is adversely affecting economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of New York. The adverse impacts of climate change include:
      1. an increase in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, such as storms, flooding, and heat waves, which can cause direct injury or death, property damage, and ecological damage (e.g., through the release of hazardous substances into the environment);

The standard agenda for CLCPA Climate Action Council meetings includes co-chair remarks and reflections as the first topic.  The latest climate related announcements from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo are always included and if there was any extreme weather since the last meeting that event is called out as proof that climate change is happening now.

In both the legislation and the meetings weather and climate are confused.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service “Weather reflects short-term conditions of the atmosphere while climate is the average daily weather for an extended period of time at a certain location.”  The referenced article goes on to explain “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.”  Also keep in mind that the standard climatological average is 30 years.  In order to think about a change in today’s climate averages you really should compare the current 30 years against the previous 30 years.  In order to get a trend, you need to look at as much data as possible.  On the face of it that might seem easy but the reality is that the conditions for a representative trend are difficult to achieve.  Ideally you need to use the same instruments, the same methodology, and keep the conditions around the observing location the same.

The following references describe evaluations of weather events touted as proof of climate change that upon closer examination proved to be anecdotal observations not supported by climate records.

Pacific Northwest Heatwave 2021 – Perfect example of an extreme weather event, downslope compressional heating, that is being hyped as having something to do with climate change.  Dr. Cliff Mass explains what was expected, what happened and why in a series of posts: 

Was Global Warming The Cause of the Great Northwest Heatwave? Science Says No This post is the most relevant summary but the others provide weather forecast insights.

The Reason for the Extreme Warmth on Monday–And My Podcast on the Heat Wave is Out

A One-Hundred Year Heat Wave Event Comes Into Focus

Even More Extreme: Extraordinary Record Highs Followed by Perhaps the Most Rapid Cooling in Northwest History

Showtime. Temperatures Are Surging to Unparalleled Highs.

The Big Heat Post Mortem and the Next Few Days

I summarized his responses in World Weather Attribution Pacific Northwest Heatwave Headlines July 30, 2021

Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ian

Chris Martz did a great job reviewing the claims made about links between climate change and Hurricane Ian were supportable and concluded not so much.   


Media Cluelessness

    • Australia media reported that dry weather conducive to wildfires would be the new normal.  One year later summer is on vacation with cool weather and rain.  It is the weather!
    • The media doesn’t want you to go to the primary sources and learn for yourself what debate is being had.

Dr. Roy Spencer: Near the end of the Trump Administration a series of short, easily understandable brochures that support the general view that there is no climate crisis or climate emergency, and pointing out the widespread misinformation being promoted by alarmists through the media were prepared.  The brochures are no longer available where it originally posted but I made copies for later use.


State of the Science

World Weather Attribution

The World Weather Attribution (WWA) initiative conducts “real-time attribution analysis of extreme weather events as they happen around the world. This provides the public, scientists and decision-makers with the means to make clear connections between greenhouse gas emissions and impactful extreme weather events, such as storms, floods, heatwaves and droughts.”  As noted previously with regards to the Pacific NW heatwave of 2021, Dr. Cliff Mass debunked their attribution analysis.  The following lists other examples of their attribution failures:

Addressing Extreme Weather

The inability to distinguish between weather and climate also extends to extreme weather solutions. New York City’s plan to combat extreme weather has many positive aspects but fighting climate change impacts is not one of them.

Weather Not Climate Change

Science Demonstrates Media Claims the Washington and British Columbia Floods Were Caused by ‘Climate Change’ Is False

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