There are many important lessons to be learned from the Texas blackout

But this event is not about increasing extremes, nor about an unstable climate, nor breaking the bounds of predictability

Not everything that happens is about climate change…
I’m thinking that “climate deniers” should also refer to people who deny variability in climate

As “climate” has evolved to mean a cause of events we have lost its true meaning, the statistics of weather over decades and longer

And those statistics vary on all timescales
The Texas story is NOT that infrastructure built for a past climate is suddenly out of its zone

It’s that the infrastructure built for documented climate variability is not fit for purpose

Blaming climate change is both wrong & ignores the real culprit: poor decision making
Back in the day I wrote about how the gerrymandered definition of climate change used in policy (not by the IPCC) to ignore variability was a problem — it is still a problem, arguably worse…
Here is the key paragraph
If all we care about is change to the statistics of weather caused by human interference, then we will miss most of what matters in building resilient societies to variability AND change…
For many disaster planning (“designing future disasters” — memorably by Dennis Mileti RIP) is boring, local, technical, incremental

& climate change is global, exciting, popular, partisan

I get why NYT & others turn everything into a climate change story

It’s still wrong

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More from @RogerPielkeJr

17 Feb
🧵Short thread on Texas weather, climate and robust decision making

NY Times @bradplumer reports what the "worst case" planning scenario was by ERCOT for winter 2020/21…

But was it really a "worst case"?
Far from it ...
The 67MW "worst case" comes from using 2011 winter as an analogue
Where does 2011 sit in terms of recent history?
EIA has heating degree days for "West South Central" US (TX, OK, AR, LA)
Turns out 2011 ranks 24th most HDD for the region since 1973
2011 was not a "worst case" -- not even close
Read 6 tweets
17 Feb
🧵I took a look at the recent AIR report on hurricanes and climate change. A few fatal flaws, unfortunately.
Fatal flaw 1
RCP8.5 as BAU
Fatal flaw 2
AIR cites GFDL CMIP5/RCP4.5 to justify projected 35% increase in Cat 4/5 by 2050…

But GFDL actually says 35% increase in Cat 4/5 hurr days, not frequency w/ only increase in freq is in NE Pacific & globally -18% total hurricanes (table below)
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
🧵 on new paper:
Raupach et al 2021 on climate change and hailstorms…
Summary of trends in hail-prone regions around the world
TL;DR = no up trends, some down
Very cool figure on global hail probability
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
🧵Good news and bad news on the Biden Administration's efforts to consider a "social cost of carbon" via an Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases…
Good news
The IWG is (apparently, for now) employing a methodology that does not use the RCPs or SSPs…
Bad news
The methodology of the IWG employs scenarios that are more out-of-date than the RCPs/SSPs -- selected from the EMF-22 scenarios…
Read 8 tweets
11 Feb
A clear example of misuse of RCP8.5 to present an implausible future

1. Use most extreme climate sensitivity
2. Use >95th percentile outcome
3. Use SSP5-85 as conditionally deterministic…

With these assumptions "cannot exclude" SLR of 1.24m in 2100
Here would be an equally appropriate statement from the same research:

"If the real world behaves as simulated with CanESM5 (highest EffCS of CMIP6: 5.62 K), we can exclude a GMSL rise of >0.82 m for SSP2-RCP4.5 with more than 95% confidence based on IPCC AR5 methods"
Worst case scenarios are only worst case scenarios if they exist within an envelope of plausibility

When falling outside that envelope they cease to be worst case scenarios & instead become fictional -- detached from reality

Climate science continues to have a RCP8.5 problem
Read 4 tweets
8 Feb
Very important new preprint (in 2nd round of review at a Nature journal) by array of leading TC researchers on (lack of) 1851-2019 Atlantic hurricane trends…

Quote below on US landfalls ...
1970s and 1980s may have been the least active period for hurricanes in the Atlantic in centuries
Is climate change causing a reduction in US hurricanes?
Read 5 tweets

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