Monthly Archives: August 2011

Bill Nye is the anti-science Guy when it comes to global warming and hurricanes


Post by Dr. Ryan Maue (cross posted at WUWT)

Much “debate” has erupted in the liberal mainstream media concerning the effects of global warming on Hurricane Irene. With a few notable exceptions (Henry Fountain awesome), many of the journalistsbutchered the science and generally constructed disjointed narratives that quoted a variety of favorite experts which left me wondering why they even bother (Politico). Rush Limbaugh provided a compelling alternative explanation for the hurricane hype: “Politics is part of everything. The weather’s been politicized; the climate’s been politicized…Both Obama and the media were hoping for a disaster to revive his presidency and help prove climate change theory…The New York Times is trying to say that this violent hurricane is indeed indicative of global warming. It was a tropical storm when it left New York.”

But Bill Nye takes the “anti-science” crusade to a new level by showing up on Fox Business with my KFI 640 Saturday friend Charles Payne and embarrassing the hell out of himself. Once you watch the video and watch the transcript, you will be left in amazement at his utter lack of comprehension of the topic at hand on national television! But, alas,Media Matters thinks Nye owned Payne (h/t to Andrew Revkin to Tweeted this). And CBS News headlines it as a story! Unbelievable!


The left actually thinks Bill Nye is a brilliant ambassador for their brand of global warming alarmism — a legitimate guy that understands the science and can articulate an explanation. However, Nye has no credentials or expertise with respect to global warming and hurricanes, at all. Not one iota.


Click on the Picture to go to CBS News and watch the Fox Business embedded video. “Heady stuff, but Nye receives my respect for retaining his patience in outlining a life’s worth of work in a six-minute segment.” says Andrew Nusca. He has no idea that what Bill Nye is saying is disjointed and amateurish. Intricacies? Nye got almost everything wrong.

I transcribed my own transcript from the first 3 minutes of this (all I could take).

Charles Payne: While hurricane Irene brought more than just wind damage and flooding to the east coast, it’s revived a national debate as to whether global warming might be causing an increase in hurricanes and other extreme weather. In fact a recent cover story in Newsweek declared that this kind of wild weather may be quote “the new normal”. Here with insights on this is Bill Nye, otherwise known as the science guy.

Ok Bill, I’m going to come right at you. Um…Hurricane Irene – proof of global warming?

Bill Nye: Oh, I don’t think the word proof is what you are looking for – evidence of, a result of, yeah, yeah. Now here’s what the people will tell you that run these climate models. Now everybody, the word model in this usage is a computer program. A very sophisticated computer program. So you take data from satellites about the thickness of clouds and the extent of cloud-cover over the sea. You take data about the temperature of the sea surface. You take data about the existing weather say in North America or the Gulf of Mexico as this storm moves into it. Then you compute how much rain fell out of it, how much energy must have been put into it to create that much rain. It takes many months to analyze an event like Irene. Now the climate colleagues that I have will not tell you today that Irene was evidence or a result of climate change but check in with them about March next year after they have a few months to collect all of these millions and millions of data from weather services and satellites and compile them and run a climate model and show that Irene was a result of the world having more energy in the Earth’s atmosphere.

(Ryan: First of all, charitably, I think Nye is confusing a real-time operational weather forecast with a climate model. Climate models do not assimilate satellite observations of a given event — and it wouldn’t take months and months to compile the data. I have everything sitting on my server which generates my old FSU weather map page. Check back with them in March — that’s when they’ll have their climate model results back proving Irene was the result of more energy? This is a pretty unconventional way of doing climate or extreme event attribution. Bill Nye follows the “anti-scientific” method: I’ll give you the answer now, and then in 6-months, check back when I have the proof. )

CP: But here’s the thing here bill, ever since Katrina, right, we’ve heard that every year the hurricane season is going to be more devastating and apocalyptic, and the reality is we haven’t seen that. So how can Newsweek say “hey, this is a new normal”? is that irresponsible – is there any science behind that?

(Ryan: this is a great question by Payne. Since global hurricane activity — the number of storms, hurricanes, and Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) is at historical lows — collapsing since Katrina — as I showed in my recent GRL peer-reviewed paper, how on earth can you attribute one hurricane (Irene) to climate change.?)

BN: well there’s a lot more science behind that than just saying it’s not. But, uh, that aside. That’s only 6-years – in geologic time in terms of climate events, is not very long. Furthermore there is a lot of debate about this cool thing or remarkable thing is that the Sea-surface in the Pacific gets warmer, in the Pacific Ocean! Okay, tens of thousands of nautical miles away. As that gets warmer, it will strangely serve to decapitate certain hurricane or cyclonic storms off the coast of Africa – and actually get a few fewer hurricanes.

(Ryan: no kidding Nye, however, you haven’t come up with any science. Nye then launches into a tortured explanation of the El Nino Southern Oscillation warm phase — El Nino where the waters in the tropical Pacific cyclically become anomalously warm. But, it’s not “tens-of-thousands nautical miles away” — that’s more like the distance to the moon. There is actually little consensus in the climate community about the future of El Nino as the planet slowly warms. The CMIP3 models used for the IPCC AR4 report fail to reproduce historical ENSO events or variability, and therefore are useless prediction devices for the future. We already have a pretty good handle on the “teleconnection” effects of El Nino and La Nina on Atlantic hurricane development with research pioneered by Dr. Bill Gray and furthered by Dr. Phil Klotzbach who produces Colorado State’s seasonal hurricane forecasts. 2011 is a neutral-to-building La Nina year, so we should expect weaker vertical shear in the Main Development Region of the tropical Atlantic. It’s bizarre that Nye brought up El Nino which contradicts his original assertion that Irene was evidence of global warming.)

CP: But Bill, that’s not…

BN: This is another thing that’s very hard to show.

CP: But the Pacific Ocean, getting warmer, but that’s not from man.

(Ryan: excellent point again Charles. The tropical Pacific does not have a strong global warming signal over the past 30-years, which is due to the cyclical nature of ENSO on 2-7 year time scales. Our sea-surface temperature (SST) records get worse as you go backwards from the beginning of the satellite era in 1979. Nye has no answer.)

BN: (waving hands): you’re acting that you are dismissing those things like they they are not relevant.

(Ryan: Nye is defeated, and he knows it. After wagging his finger like Judge Judy, he pretty much has spent his arsenal of facts on this issue.)

CP: I’m not dismissing it, but you have so much information, I want to get to all of it. Are you saying though that it’s manmade, though?

BN: Well the world is getting warmer, uh, everybody, the world is getting warmer. I believe the debate is whether humans are causing it…Do we not agree that the world is getting warmer?

(Ryan: The world is getting warmer — so Irene has to be influenced by global warming. Maybe Irene did NOT reach its maximum potential because of global warming — has anyone considered that. Why must ALL of the climate change effects be a certain sign? Why didn’t Irene reach Category 5? Why did it weaken so fast if the SSTs were so warm? This is where the real tropical cyclone researchers will take over from the media hacks, and, yes, they will come with an answer in March. But, they will follow the “scientific” method and not the “I’ll get the proof later” Bill Nye “anti-science” method.)

CP: I have no idea. Someone told me that it’s warmed 1-degree over the past 100-years. I’ll take their word for it.

(Ryan: Charles is right.)

Show continues to talk about racism and shows the Al Gore “racism” clip – but Nye then really goes off into a different realm discussing that. I’m convinced that Fox News booked Nye knowing that he would butcher the science, and force me to write this post.