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Obama’s Drought of Facts
National Review Online ^ | September 12, 2012 | Patrick Michaels

Posted on 09/12/2012 3:33:21 PM PDT by neverdem

Following up on his 2008 promise that “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal,” President Obama has promised to do something about droughts, which are caused — in his opinion — by the dreaded global warming.

Obama gets a lot of his climate information from NASA’s Jim Hansen, an astrophysicist who heads the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. A federal employee, Hansen endorsed John Kerry for president in hotly contested Iowa ten days before the 2004 election. This year, he has been all over the media blaming the summer’s major drought on “global warming.”

Global-warming ideologues often make statements of “fact” that are actually testable hypotheses. Good! Let’s subject Hansen’s statement to some normal scientific scrutiny. Warning: Graphs to follow.

Hansen is saying, simply, that global warming is affecting U.S. temperatures in a way that makes us more prone to drought. Given that the equations that calculate likelihood of drought indeed include a temperature variable (warmer temperature = more evaporation), it would seem he’s home free, no?

The standard measurement of drought is known as the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI); it is based upon the pioneering calculations made by Wayne Palmer, a federal hydrologist, back in 1948. When the index is below –2, that’s the threshold for drought. If it’s above +2, we are anomalously wet. The index is calculated every week for hundreds of locations around the country.

Here’s the history of the PDSI back to 1895:


Some possible trouble for Obama’s hypothesis: It appears the PDSI is going up, meaning the country is getting wetter.

So if, as Obama and Hansen would like us to believe, global warming is causing our droughts, a substantial portion of our national temperature increase should be related to planetary heating. That’s easy to calculate with simple regression. The plot below shows both the U.S. temperature history and the portion of it that is related to global temperature changes:

Green: U.S (lower 48) temperatures
Red: Portion of the U.S. history related to global temperatures

If Hansen is right, the portion of the U.S. temperature history associated with global warming should be correlated with increasing drought.

Here are the sad facts for Hansen and the president: There is no relationship whatsoever between global-warming-related U.S. temperature and drought. To wit:

Note the equation “p = .48” at the bottom of the graph. This is the confidence level in support of Hansen’s hypothesis. For the hypothesis not to be rejected, this level should be at .05 or lower. In fact, on the basis of the Supreme Court’s 1993 decision Daubert v. Merrell Dow, we can say that the Court would probably label Hansen’s contention as “junk science.”

To make matters worse, Hansen and Obama have it exactly wrong. Suppose we look at the U.S. temperature variation that is not related to global warming and plot it against the PDSI. Voilà! The relationship is highly significant, at the .0001 level. In other words, anything but global warming is what drives U.S. drought.

When it comes to dreaded droughts, President Obama could do a lot for his climate credibility by listening to what Jim Hansen says — and proclaiming exactly the opposite.

— Patrick J. Michaels is director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.

TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: agw; agwfraud; climatechange; climategate; democrats; drought; envirofascism; fraud; globalwaringhoax; globalwarming; globalwarminghoax; greenfraud; hansen; junkscience; obama; thegreenlie

1 posted on 09/12/2012 3:33:24 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem


2 posted on 09/12/2012 3:38:38 PM PDT by The_Sword_of_Groo (My world view is accurately expressed in the lyrics of " The Fightin' Side of Me")
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To: neverdem

Obama is too busy reading a teleprompter and riding around on Air Force One. The Media is too busy collecting big paychecks for reporting Obama propaganda.

3 posted on 09/12/2012 3:43:01 PM PDT by FreedBird
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To: neverdem

Thanks, a keeper.

4 posted on 09/12/2012 4:38:50 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: neverdem

Hansen is NOT a climate scientist. He’s a writer of fiction.

5 posted on 09/12/2012 5:19:39 PM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: neverdem
le deluge
6 posted on 09/12/2012 5:40:21 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Rurudyne; steelyourfaith; Tolerance Sucks Rocks; xcamel; AdmSmith; ...

Thanks neverdem.

7 posted on 09/12/2012 5:50:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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To: neverdem; 11B40; A Balrog of Morgoth; A message; ACelt; Aeronaut; AFPhys; AlexW; America_Right; ...

Global Warming PING!

You have been pinged because of your interest in environmentalism, alarmist wackos, mainstream media doomsday hype, and other issues pertaining to global warming.

Freep-mail me to get on or off: Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy threads on global warming.

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8 posted on 09/12/2012 7:28:42 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obama should change his campaign slogan to "Yes, we am!" Sounds as stupid as his administration is.)
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9 posted on 09/12/2012 9:15:41 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!

10 posted on 09/12/2012 9:22:57 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: neverdem


11 posted on 09/12/2012 9:26:50 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: neverdem; SunkenCiv
Who knows what the weather will be tomorrow? Seems to be a generational question that goes back we can graph it and speculate on it with terrifying theories.

When the first explorers (American Indians, Vikings, Spanish, Dutch and English ) came to the New World, their legends and logs were full of notes about the weather, how terribly unpredictably violent it could be. So what did they do.....? Well, hell's bells, they settled here anyways and groused about the weather.

Next thing you know they built cities and businesses, formed brand spanking new government, elected mostly morons who hired brilliant scientists who created NASA and flew to the moon which has a more stable climate but then they retired in Florida and California and Las Vegas and wrote articles and books about the weather.

12 posted on 09/12/2012 10:53:01 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (54 days)
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To: neverdem

Is this referring to Jim Hansen, the leading climate fiction writer?

13 posted on 09/13/2012 5:57:41 AM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: neverdem

Facts are not important to ideologues.

14 posted on 09/13/2012 10:26:08 PM PDT by Rocky (Obama is pure evil.)
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It’s going to be about what it is today. The first big change will come in November.

15 posted on 09/15/2012 10:31:24 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (
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