AGU blames “mostly nature” on Russian heatwave – Nice BBC spin though

I’m always amused when a report feels the need to inject a model conclusion when the result is known. It’s like investigating a plane crash from the black box and concluding the ground jumped up to hit the plane.

But Richard Black’s the master of the AGW sales pitch, so I couldn’t resist.

Richard Black @BBCRBlack

Latest on Russian heatwave – natural or human-driven? New AGU paper says a bit of both http://bit.ly/yeMZWs – extreme temp risk x3 from AGW

“A bit of both?” says Richard. Which is really a way of saying it’s 50/50 right?

Except the Press Release actually says this.

The researchers ran two sets of simulations. One set looked at heat waves that would be expected using 1960s climate conditions including temperature, sea ice thickness and extent, and greenhouse gas forcing. The second set examined heat waves under those conditions for the 2000s. Under the earlier set of conditions, the simulated July temperatures for western Russia did reach the recent heat wave’s actual maximum, which topped 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and had a comparable pattern of daily above-average temperatures that peaked at about 12 degrees Celsius (22 degrees Fahrenheit) beyond the mean. So the magnitude of the heat wave could be due to natural factors, the researchers concluded.

But here is the source of the spin.

However when the researchers ran their computer simulations, 2010 temperatures were only reached every 99 years or so under the pre-global warming conditions. Under the current, warmer, climate of the 2000s, those extreme temperatures popped up in the model every 33 years – a three-fold increase over just four decades.

Do I have to point out that this is a merely a PROBABILITY? I guess if you can’t blame AGW for the heat, you really just have to try harder to find something too blame it on.

I’m always amused by the idea of probability in chaotic systems. It makes about as much sense as the idea that a volcano erupts every x number of years.

But what’s missing from the press release?

Anyone?

Anyone notice?

It’s the margin of error. It’s nowhere to be seen.

But then again, this is a press release, so it’s not intended for anybody to question, just publish.

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