Another Example Of CCSP Bias In The Report “Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate”

I was alerted to another example of a bias in the CCSP report Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate which Climate Science weblogged on earlier today (see). It from the comments on the CCSP report



Goklany, CH1-9, Pages 57, Lines 1188-1191: An alternative view of the European
heatwave is provided in Chase et al. (2006). This should be discussed too.

Reference: Chase, T. N., K. Wolter, R. A. Pielke Sr., and I. Rasool, 2006. Was the 2003 European
summer heat wave unusual in a global context?
Geophysical Research Letters, 33,
L23709, doi:10.1029/2006GL027470. Indur Goklany, Department of the Interior

CCSP Response:The Chase et al. (2006) paper found that “extreme warm anomalies equally, or more, unusual than the 2003 heat wave occur regularly.” This is in contrast to the paper we cited, as well as numerous other papers such as Stott et al. 2004, Trigo et al. 2005, Meehl and Tebaldi 2004, Menzel 2005, etc. which find 2003 to be a highly unusual event. The problem with Chase et al.’s analysis is that they used 1000 to 500 mb thickness anomalies as their metric. As pointed out in a comment on Chase et al., using the Chase et al. method but applying it to surface temperatures reveals that the summer of 2003 was indeed a unique record (Connolley, 2007). Mortality depends on surface temperature not the temperature averaged over 1000 mb to 500 mb which is a measure from near the surface up to about 5.5 km. Indeed, Kalkstein et al. (2007) analysis of analog European heat wave events for U.S. cities estimates that a similar magnitude heat wave in New York City would have a heat related mortality of 3,253. Since such high mortality does not occur regularly in the U.S., this analysis also indicates that the European heat wave of 2003 was an unusual event.

Climate Science Comment – June 20 2006

The CCSP authors, as we have already noted in the weblog from earlier today, ignored peer reviewed research that conflicts with their viewpoint. This response to a Comment by Indur Goklany is yet another example. The CCSP authors conveniently ignored that the Connolley 2007 study confirmed the Chase et al study. In addition, the CCSP authors neglected to communicate that the anomalous surface temperatures could not be due to greenhouse gas warming, which necessarily must extend through most of the troposphere. As stated in the Chase et al reply

“the conclusion that the heat wave was a shallow phenomenon in terms of its unusualness argues against the point of view that it was a direct manifestation of the effects of increased atmospheric CO2.”


“…..we also conclude that land surface conditions (low soil moisture) are the likely direct cause for such an ‘unusual’event near the surface.”

Yet again, the CCSP report process, at least when led by Tom Karl, presents biased information of the diversity of conclusions in peer reviewed studies of the climate system.

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