Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
I am going to continue to let Climate Skeptic keep up the good work on the latest report from the US Administration regarding the dire circumstances of global warming. He has posted again on the subject and has even done a follow-on to the worry the increased storm activity is upsetting the electrical grid (post number 4 on the subject).
I will quote a few things that I thought were interesting:
Tags: electric, electrical utilities, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, science, skeptic, storms, utilities, weather
He said that there may be an underlying upward trend out there (particularly in thunderstorms) but that most of the increase in this chart is from improvements in data gathering. In 1997, the EIA (and Makins himself) took over the compilation of this data, which had previously been haphazard, and made a big push to get all utilities to report as required. They made a second change and push for reporting in 2001, and again in 2007/2008. He told me that most of this slope is due to better reporting, and not necessarily any underlying trend. In fact, he said there still is some under-reporting by smaller utilities he wants to improve so that the graph will likely go higher in the future.
At the end of the day, this disturbance data is not a good proxy for severe weather. And I am left wondering at this whole “peer-reviewed science” thing, where errors like this pass into publication of major reports — an error that an amateur like myself can identify with one phone call to the guy listed by this data set on the web site. Forget peer review, this isn’t even good basic editorial control (apparently no one who compiled the report called Makins, and he was surprised today at the number of calls he was suddenly getting).