RUSH: Roy Spencer, the climatologist from the University of Alabama in Huntsville who we have had on this program before, has been trying to call and, as many of you are, is getting a busy signal. Unless Snerdley hung up on him. Snerdley told me at the top of the hour today, ‘It’s really tough out there. I’m getting a lot of people that aren’t even listening to the program calling in.’ Roy hasn’t gotten through yet so you haven’t disrespected Roy Spencer. So he sent us a note. He said, ‘I’m trying to get through here. Subtropical Storm Andrea Mitchell is the result of unusually cold air.’ So the global warming freaks are trying to say that this is an example of how global warming is happening and Dr. Spencer disagrees. I hope he gets through. Wait, I have his number here! Brian, pick up and we can call him. We’re not used to having guests here so it takes a while for it to register that we can reach out to people. Now, you know not to call the fax number, right? (I love teasing Brian. I do.)
RUSH: Dr. Spencer, thanks so much for joining us today.
DR. SPENCER: You’re welcome, Rush.
RUSH: Now, refresh people’s memories. You called the program once a few weeks ago discussing why you deviate from the established belief of manmade global warming. Your hypothesis basically is that precipitation is one of the primary factors and the computer models don’t measure precipitation because we can’t figure out — we don’t have the equipment, sophistication to even measure — total precipitation on the planet on a daily basis. Correct?
DR. SPENCER: Well, let’s be a little more specific than that. Basically, precipitation systems act as the atmosphere’s air conditioner. It’s kind of like in your house, the air is constantly being recycled, right? Well, precipitation systems constantly recycle the atmosphere’s air. The air you were breathing was probably, in the last few days, going through a precipitation system. Those systems are what cause most of the earth’s greenhouse effect, which is water vapor and clouds.
RUSH: Precisely. I remember. When you say ‘most,’ could you attach a percentage of greenhouse-gases to water vapor?
DR. SPENCER: Over 90%. Our addition of CO2 has enhanced the greenhouse effect by maybe 1% so far.
RUSH: Okay. So that’s automobiles, exhalation of human breath, factory smoke stacks, all these things that we’re being told are really polluting the planet are really such a small percentage of the so-called greenhouse gases. By the way, is it a bad thing the planet might warm up?
DR. SPENCER: I don’t know. I think that’s a toss up.
RUSH: If you go back and look at — I forget what it was called, but back in the days of the Vikings, they were able to grow crops and so forth in Greenland, able to traverse the North Atlantic and come to North America. The Northern Hemisphere was a lot more fertile than it was. My point is that the idea that global warming is destructive, calamitous and deadly is a bit absurd.
DR. SPENCER: Yes. I think a little bit warmer would actually be better and I think the extra CO2… They estimate crop productivity has gone up 15 percent just because of the extra CO2 we’ve put in the atmosphere.
RUSH: So it’s a good thing in ways. All right. Now, I’m titillated here. Cold air, unusually cold air is responsible for the subtropical storm off the coast of Georgia?
DR. SPENCER: Yeah. The hint there is it’s not a tropical storm; it’s a subtropical storm. These things don’t usually form. It’s been a few years since we’ve had one like this. But it didn’t happen because of unusually warm ocean water. It happened because there was unusually cold air that came unusually far south, and there was such a contrast between that cold air mass and the sea surface temperatures which are running about normal in that area that then that can lead to a storm. Remember, most storminess on the earth is related to temperature contrasts.
RUSH: Right. Unusually cold air that came unusually far south.
DR. SPENCER: Right. If we’re going to start blaming that on global warming, then you can explain anything with global warming.
RUSH: No, they do! You didn’t hear it, I don’t think. Laurie David is blaming the Malibu wildfires on global warming. With every weather calamity, they do two things: they portray it as unique. They try to convince people that we’re experiencing severe weather today unlike we’ve ever known or the planet has ever known, and that then is because of manmade global warming. It’s a perfect political agenda the way they’ve got it set up.
DR. SPENCER: Right, and you just reminded me of a news story that came out yesterday. You may not have noticed it. Do you remember the name Chris Landsea?
DR. SPENCER: Well, he’s one of the Hurricane Centers lead researchers and forecasters. He had quit the IPCC because he thought it was becoming too political.
RUSH: The UN body.
DR. SPENCER: The UN bunch, right. Anyway, he’s now convinced that 2005 wasn’t a ‘record year’ for tropical cyclones, and it’s mainly because we’ve only had satellites which can see the Central and Eastern Atlantic since 1970s. I’ve got a graphic I can e-mail you that maybe you want to put up. The previous record year was 1933. I’ve got this graphic that shows how all of those storms were in the Western Atlantic, and then the new supposed record year, 2005, they’re everywhere. In other words, if we had satellites back in ’33, there probably would have been five or six more storms that would have been seen, and 2005 then wouldn’t be a record.
RUSH: We’ve been naming storms since 1951. Before 1951 they were called ‘wind’ and ‘rain.’ Now they’re called Hurricane X and Y and all of this. Well, something else about that. We say that hurricane season starts June 1. Now, this is a statistical thing, but it’s only because of humans’ desire, and probably necessity in some places, to name things and to create boundaries for things. Something that happens like this subtropical storm in April is said to be ‘unusual,’ when there have been — since we’ve been paying attention to recording these things — I read today, 17. This is the 17th named storm — obviously, since 1951 — in May. So it’s not unusual.
DR. SPENCER: Right, and even if it were unusual, it’s unusual from the standpoint that it was caused by unusually cold air —
RUSH: Well, I appreciate that.
DR. SPENCER: — not because it’s unusually warm out.
RUSH: In fact, I was watching this thing on Saturday on an aviation website, and I saw this big lull out there, and they had it graphically turning like a cyclone. I’m looking on various weather sites and nobody is saying anything about it or mentioning it. It looked pretty intimidating to me even though it was way offshore. It wasn’t a couple, three days later that it happened to be categorized and named. But what’s the difference in a subtropical storm and a tropical storm?
DR. SPENCER: Well, like I said, a subtropical storm forms from a contrast between sea surface temperatures that are just warm enough, but then with a cold air mass, there’s such a big temperature contrast there that it can really feed the convection. So it starts out as sort of a high latitude, a regular low-pressure area, and it can sort of transition into a tropical storm. You might have remembered a few years ago there was the supposed ‘first-ever hurricane’ off of Brazil.
RUSH: Yes, I do remember that.
DR. SPENCER: That was supposedly due to global warming. That was another one of those things. It formed in an unusually cold air mass and the water it was sitting over was not unusually warm.
RUSH: Now that you mention this, I played golf on Sunday, and it was unusually humid and sweltery. It was, ‘Drink a lot of water,’ on the golf course. Monday and Tuesday here, down here in south of Florida, we had lows in the low 60s, barely got to 70. Humidity was gone. It was unusually cold air that made it even this far south, farther south than the storm is. I’ve lived here since 1997. (Here we go with the same anecdotal stuff that the global warming people use, ‘I lived here since 1997.’) I don’t remember ever the lows — inland here they got here to the high 50s in the first part of May. That’s unheard of to me since I’ve been here for 10 years.
DR. SPENCER: It’s been unusually cool here in Alabama. I’ve been here 23 years, and a couple of weeks ago, for the first time that I saw in 23 years, we had a late freeze that froze not just the flowers but half the trees. The new foliage died, and a lot of these trees are not going to come back. I’ve never seen that happen before. Some of them are 100-year old oak trees.
RUSH: We’ll pray for them. The Gaia has been unkind to some of her subjects. Dr. Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Thanks for your time. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you, and it’s enlightening. So the subtropical storm out there, Andrea Mitchell, is the result of unusually cold air coming unusually far south.