05 November 2012

Loss Normalization Methodologies: Technical Thread

UPDATE: Skeptical Science has written a bazillion-word post "responding" to my WSJ op-ed in which they (a) do not contest a single empirical claim made in the op-ed, and (b) demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of what it is a loss-normalization seeks to accomplish.

There have been a lot of questions about the methodologies of loss normalization. As might be expected, there is also some poorly informed understandings of this area of research. Unfortunately (and tellingly), some of the activist blogs on climate purportedly interested in science have banned me from commenting or edit my comments to delete substantive content. This post and the comment thread that accompanies it is for technical questions and discussions related to loss normalizations (and you can see my related research here).

A few points to note to start:
  • Human-caused climate change is real
  • Some measures of climate extremes have changed, notably temperature and precipitation extremes, and have been linked to human forcings
  • However, on climate time scales there has not been detection (much less attribution) of increasing disasters (intensity or frequency) to human-caused climate change
  • This conclusion holds globally and regionally
  • The peer reviewed literature and the IPCC SREX are consistent on this point 
  • If you are looking to see changes in the climate system, then look at climate data, not loss data (climate data can however be used to test the fidelity of loss normalization methodologies)
I may add to this list as needed.

Anyone is welcome to participate here and if you see claims made elsewhere that you'd like to inquire about, just enter a comment. Please do respect the focus of this thread.  Thanks!