‘Floods are not increasing’: Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. slams ‘global warming’ link to floods & extreme weather – How does media ‘get away with this?’

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., a Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), slammed the linkage of global warming to the recent Louisiana floods and other types of extreme weather. (See: Bill Nye: Climate change is reason for Louisiana floods)

Pielke authored the 2014 book “The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change.”  

“Flood disasters are sharply down. U.S. floods not increasing either,” Pielke Jr. declared on August 23. Pielke rebuked New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for linking floods to climate change.  Krugman blamed “climate change” for ‘a proliferation of disasters like the one in Louisiana.’

“How does Krugman get away with this?” Pielke asked while showcasing this scientific graph.

“Floods suck when they occur. The good news is U.S. flood damage is sharply down over 70 years,” Pielke explained.

In a message aimed at climate activists and many in the media, Pielke cautioned: “Remember, disasters can happen any time and they suck. But it is also good to understand long-term trends based on data, not hype.”

“In my career I’ve seen the arguments go from: 1- ‘Drought increasing globally’ — To — 2- ‘OK, not globally, but look at THIS one drought.’ I’ll stick with the UN IPCC and the USGCRP (U.S. Global Change Research Program) consensus rather than selected studies. Both of those agree there is no global or U.S. trend though literature is diverse,” Pielke wrote.

Extreme weather is NOT getting worse

Pielke also pointed to the hard scientific data that shows other types of extreme weather are not getting worse and may in fact be improving.

“Is U.S. drought getting worse? No,” Pielke wrote and revealed this EPA graph:


Professor Pielke Jr. also noted: “US hurricane landfalls (& their strength) down by ~20% since 1900” and provided this graph.


“Recent years have seen record low tornadoes,” Pielke Jr. added with this data from NOAA.


Related Links:

New paper finds global warming reduces intense storms & extreme weather – A paper published in Science contradicts the prior belief that global warming, if it resumes, will fuel more intense storms, finding instead that an increase in water vapor and strengthened hydrological cycle will reduce the atmosphere’s ability to perform thermodynamic Work, thus decreasing the formation of intense winds, storms, and hurricanes.

Al Gore, climate activists use Louisiana floods to push narrative without evidence of link

Fact: ‘Louisiana Floods Not Result of Man-Made Climate Change’

NYT Lambasted For Ignoring Louisiana Floods, So They Ran Stories On Global Warming


112 Responses

  1. Hooray for Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.! But be careful. It may soon be against the law to deny climate change by the production of CO2. I just encountered an otherwise intelligent article written on a site, but I was informed that there was to be no criticism of climate change theory allowed. That’s one way to win an argument.

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        1. “Have to peddle scams here, too?”

          lol! That’s what Climate Depot is.

          Seems completely appropriate to me.

          Is it possible there are still people out there so stupid they cannot understand why an employee of a company is not a reliable source of information on the dangers of that company’s product, Alice?

          “Marc Morano is the executive director and chief correspondent of ClimateDepot. com, a project of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Morano is also the Communications Director at CFACT, a conservative think-tank in Washington D.C. that has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon Scaife. According to 2011 IRS Forms, Morano was the highest paid staff member with a salary of $150,000 per year.”


          1. CB—You might want to check to whom I directed the comment before you go off on a rant. That’s what those little arrows and the name after your name in blue are for.

            If your understanding of issues is as good as your ability to follow a comment section, there’s no need to worry about your comments making any sense.

            1. “You might want to check to whom I directed the comment”

              …and you might want to check the question I asked you.

              Climate Depot is a propaganda outlet.

              The people here are paid by the fossil fuel industry to lie about the dangerous nature of fossil fuels.

              Is it possible you’re too stupid to understand that, Alice?

              “sea level rise intensified the impact of Hurricane Sandy, which caused an estimated $65 billion in damages in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in 2012, and much of this damage was related to coastal flooding.”


              1. Even though I was NOT addressing you, it seems you will insist on being included.

                No, I am too smart to believe in conspiracy theories and nonsense. The fossil fuel industry LOVES global warming. Right now they’re making huge bucks off taxpayer subsidies for the wind and solar they have. Billions of dollars. Plus, there’s all that backup power required to keep the lights on with so-called renewable energy. What’s not to love? Oil companies are thankful everyday for the support from the global warming community. (The head of the IPCC used to work for Exxon. Is that an infiltration?)

                From the c2es site:
                “advancing strong policy and action to address climate change.”
                I read that as they are the propaganda site for the global warming believers. So you are for propaganda as long it’s on your side, but against it if it’s not? Interesting.

                Actually, I generally go and read actual journal studies to learn about climate science, not blogs. “Climate Depot” is not on my reading list. Of course, neither is NotsoSkepticalScience either. I don’t read the c2es site unless I’m looking for links to actual studies.

                1. “I am too smart to believe in conspiracy theories and nonsense. The fossil fuel industry LOVES global warming. Right now they’re making huge bucks off taxpayer subsidies for the wind and solar they have.”


                  You don’t believe in conspiracy theories and nonsense, but you believe an industry would be happy to give up their primary source of revenue because it was causing dangerous warming?

                  …and the reason they would be happy to do this is because they get subsidies for wind and solar installations?

                  Is that actually what you believe?

                  “U.S. oil and gas companies saw their after-tax profits climb 53 percent to $33.4 billion last year”


                    1. “it is exactly what I believe.”


                      …so if you believe the oil and gas industry is dishonest, and you know the author of this dishonest propaganda piece is part of the oil and gas industry, why would you believe him when he says their product isn’t causing more severe storms?

                      “Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average”


                    2. “Have nice clueless life.”

                      …so here’s the thing, Alice:

                      I don’t think you are clueless.

                      I think you know very well your dishonesty endangers your life.

                      …and yet you continue to lie.


                      Are you suicidal?

                      “A new study by researchers at NASA and the University of California, Irvine, finds a rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in an irreversible state of decline, with nothing to stop the glaciers in this area from melting into the sea.”


                    3. “You’ve exhausted my patience”

                      …and what if you were exhausted with reality, Alice?

                      Does that make it go away?

                      “If the Greenland Ice Sheet melted, scientists estimate that sea level would rise about 6 meters (20 feet). If the Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, sea level would rise by about 60 meters (200 feet).”


                    4. “What would make you go away????”

                      Any number of things, sweetheart!

                      Here’s the question, though:

                      If the person telling you a fact goes away, does the fact go away, Alice?

                      “The continent of Antarctica has been losing about 134 gigatonnes of ice per year since 2002, while the Greenland ice sheet has been losing an estimated 287 gigatonnes per year.”


                  1. and if it weren’t for the evil oil companies, you’d be living in a cave burning wood running for your food with a bow and arrow…….the Left has brainwashed your into supporting your own suicide and no i don’t work for anyone! You are a useful idiot for the Left who seek to destroy freedom/capitalism for themselves, not save the world……

          2. Grijalva is a well known communist sympathizer….from Wikipedia…..but i guess if they work for the government media complex they are reliable , huh Alice? Leniin called those people useful idiots…

            On February 24, 2015, ranking Democratic member of the United States House Committee on Natural Resources Raúl Grijalva sent a letter to University of Colorado president Bruce D. Benson requesting information on the sources of funding for and communications related to Pielke’s research and Congressional testimony. The letter was one of seven Grijalva sent to various institutions stemming from concerns about the influence of funding from fossil fuel companies on the work and testimony of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics researcher Willie Soon. Pielke responded that he has no funding from fossil fuel interests and characterized the letter as part of a politically motivated “‘witch-hunt'”.[22] In response to criticism that requesting communications was counter to principles of academic freedom, Grijalva said he was willing to eliminate that part of the request.[23]

            The heads of some mainstream scientific organizations criticized Grijalva’s letters. Margaret Leinen, the president of the American Geophysical Union posted in her AGU blog that in requiring information only of a few scientists, based only on their scientific views, Grivalja’s action was contrary to academic freedom: “We view the singling out of any individual or group of scientists by any entity – governmental, corporate or other – based solely on their interpretations of scientific research as a threat to that freedom.”[24] The executive director of the American Meteorological Society wrote in a letter to Grvalja that his action “sends a chilling message to all academic researchers,” and “impinges on the free pursuit of ideas that is central to the concept of academic freedom.”[25]

            Conservative columnist Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, noted in an opinion piece that, “It’s not that he [Pielke] doubts climate change, or even doubts that it could be harmful. His offense is merely pointing to data showing that extreme weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, and droughts haven’t yet been affected by climate change. This is enough to enrage advocates who need immediate disasters as a handy political cudgel.”[26]

            Pielke was also named in a letter sent by Senator Edward Markey (D–MA) to numerous energy industry groups, asking them to disclose the names of scientists they had funded. Regarding Conflict of Interest disclosures, Pielke said that “if you look at our community, the failure to disclose conflicts of interest is fairly endemic.”[27]

  2. However, due to an approaching Solar Minimum we will see more rain and snow, as the floods in China, Europe (Spring), West Virginia, LA and Houston, among others, have shown.

    This will reduce crops and lead in increased food costs.

  3. These Pielke Jr. graphs suffer from problems that others have pointed out before — they ignore the cost of avoiding disasters.

    For floods, how much has been spent each year to prevent or avoid flood damage — for dams, stream widening, rip rap, town and house locations, etc.

    Unless you include them, you do not get an accurate picture of flood damage.

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        1. I can’t see how your remark is relevant to the point discussed: the graph shows floods not increasing.

          Certainly, if your problem is spending and you want to spend a trillion to prevent future flooding damage, the cost will be greater: but this has nothing to say about increased frequency of flooding.

          1. No, that’s not what the graph shows.

            It shows FLOOD DAMAGE.

            But the graph does not include all money spent to deal with floods. Pielke Jr knows this….

          2. Flooding is not just a function of the amount of rain. It’s a function of land contures, elevation of the land, etc. Humans have as much to do with flood damaging their homes as the weather does in many cases. We know where flooding occurs and how. Not all of it can be avoided, but often we don’t even try.

    2. You get an accurate picture of flood damage by counting how much repair is needed, not by the cost. As costs go up due for economic reasons not related to flooding, they cannot be an accurate indicator. If you compare costs in 1800 to now, even had the whole country flooded, today is still more expensive. One can do a statistical calculation and change 1800 inot “today’s dollars” but it’s just an estimate. Count the number of homes damaged per 100 people in the area, roads damaged compared to the miles, etc. These are verifiable, quantifiable results that economics don’t affect.

      Yes, we need better avoidance of flooding such are dams, dredging etc but the envrionmentalists have a hissy fit when that is suggested. If you can tell us how to get these ideas implimented, that would be helpful.

      1. “You get an accurate picture of flood damage by counting how much repair is needed”

        That’s precisely wrong, as I already explained.

        Until you include the cost of preventing floods, you aren’t capturing their true cost.

        1. I am not interested in calculating the cost of floods. That is not useful information unless you’re an economist. I do agree that if you insist on engaging in the exercise, then the costs of prevention should be considered, as should a large number of other factors. Am I disagreeing with Pilke? I leave that up to Pilke to decide. He can so state if he wants and I will address the objections. Meantime, as stated, if you insist on calculating “costs” of floods, it would be prudent to include the cost of prevention if any policies are to be made based on this information.

            1. Since I don’t read Twitter, I’ll have to take your word for it. If Pielke says it doesn’t represent the full costs and Morano misrepresented it, then your point is valid.

            1. Yes, I know that. I didn’t say anything different. I said “I” was not interested incalculating the costs of floods, meaning I don’t find the entire idea to be very useful. People can actually disagree with the posting on this blog. There’s not mandatory agreement.

  4. Dr. Roger Pielke jr. has spent time to examine why are the floods not increasing and other thing to find out.

    I believe Dr. Pielke would have to understand why are the scandalously ideological and philosophical aspects of environmentalism justified for letting socialism loose without real consequences.

      1. Amazing to see proponents of AGCC use complexity of calculatons to prop up cost stats but ignore complexity of proving real CC statistics. Also, since the current POTUS has singlehandedly destroyed the GDP over the last 8 years, that graph should be showing a YUGE hockey stick up and not a drop. IDIOTS!!!

      2. Again, economics is not the proper way to assess flood damage. There are literally hundreds of ways to calculate it and get whatever answer suits your purpose. I do think Pielke is approaching this from an incorrect answer, but his statistics are just as valid as others. That’s the miracle of statistics—you can get whatever answer you want and almost always be right with the assumptions of your model.

        1. “I do think Pielke is approaching this from an incorrect answer, but his statistics are just as valid as others.”

          No they aren’t, and I explained why, which you completely avoided.

          1. I didn’t avoid them. I stated that different statistical methods exist for calculating the losses in question and it is very difficult to prove one is better than the other. Do you require a point by point critique, because you will have to wait until I have more time to explain.

              1. Accounting is not simple. It’s complex—if you’ve ever gone through a company audit, you would know that.
                Accounting only considers that which is deemed important by the accounting person or the person overseeing the accounting. So, if the person decides to throw in “non-quatifiable values” such as misery, moving, etc, that results in a different outcome than just adding up insurance costs.
                (If you meant “bookkeeping”, that’s different and my comments don’t all apply. )
                What is included is what counts, and that seems to be what you are objecting to—you want the cost of prevention included, but that may not have been what others wanted. When looking at the cost of things, the cost of prevention is not always included. It’s not wrong, it just include what you wanted in it.

                1. I think what Morano thought he was including was the cost of floods to society. The Pielke Jr graph he provided wasn’t the full story — as is always the case with Morano.

    1. I only know there’s been billions of dollars in flood damage over the last year. You people did know about the bad floods in W. Virginia just last month? Historic flooding in South Carolina this past spring?

      1. @exitar33: Of course, many people know of the bad floods in W.Virginia and in many parts of the US and the world. Plus, many people recognize that the cost to repair damages increases each in general. What you are ignoring is that rainfall and floods have been variable throughout history. Haven’t you heard or don’t you recognize that these events are called as 50, 100, 500 and 1000year events. Therefore, there is nothing new here to claim that the climate is getting worst. Also, the cost keeps increasing since the population of the entire world is increasing. Thus, it is logical that more people will be affected and therefore the costs to rebuild increases.

        1. Well, tell that to the victims who’ve been at those places all their lives…And I left out the floods in Oklahoma and Texas last year. So we have historic flooding in 4-5 different US locals over the last year alone. I think youre overstating that many are taking into account the other floods because vast majority of the comments I’ve read only mentioning Louisiana as the only area that’s had recent flooding.

          1. @exitar33: I have no problem telling those people who have been in their places all their lives. A life is approximately 70 to 100 years. If you or they are planning to build in some location today, they must be aware of the facts of that location by the city or county regulations govern building in that location. The governing body would or should inform that their choice of location for a home is restricted by whether the area is in a 100 or 500 year flood plain. In other words, they would not be permitted to build or they would only be permitted to build under certain guidelines. For example, some cities prohibit building a wood frame home. Instead, the city will specify that the home be brick or concrete to meet the city’s code of fire protection. In areas like the wild fire areas of California, there should be restrictions on building a home unless the home is all brick and with metal roofing with property trees located at a safe distance from the home. The home owner must also be aware of 500 year flood plains since no one can predict if that 500 year flood will occur.

          2. Check out the Great Floods of 1993 for comparison. It’s on Wiki. Flooding is and always had been around and will be there even if we never burned another fossil fuel. It’s part of reality.

          3. @exitar33: I feel bad for those people who have now experienced flooding even though they have not experienced that extent of flooding in their life time. It is one of the unfortunate things that happen in natural events. I stated in my previous comments that those events can happen after 50, 100, 500 and 1000 years. It is not a new axiom. These types of events have happened since the world began. Everyone who builds should look up the available history of these events to understand if the area they are building on has had one of the 50, 100, or 500 year events in the past. Ask yourself if you would build a home in a mountain area that has a history of avalanches. Would you build on the coast in Florida where the land is sinking? How about the hills in California where mud slides have occurred? What about in tornado alley of the Midwest? How about along the fault line of previous earth quakes? What about the area of Fushima Japan where a Sunami occurred a few years ago? Many of these areas are subjected to another event some time in the future. The decision everyone must make is how big of a gamble is involved in making the decision to build. One thing is sure is that Climate change due to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is not the cause. Climate change due to CO2 is a political propaganda scare in order to tax companies and citizens of their money. It has nothing to do with a need to reduce fossil fuel usage. Have a nice day.

        2. The British Museum is holding a special exhibition on the lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus. According to the website, “Thonis-Heracleion was one of Egypt’s most important commercial centres for trade with the Mediterranean world and, with Canopus, was a major centre for the worship of the Egyptian gods.” Apparently they have been sitting on the Mediterranean seabed for the last one thousand years. Those ancient Egyptians must have been heavy polluters!

    1. Absolutely True, Dano2!
      Your facts are indisputable:

      -Before Man walked the earth …not a single severe weather event was recorded.

      -Then Man started using fire to heat his cave …and severe weather events were observed.

      -During the Industrial Revolution …thousands of severe weather events were documented.

      -Today …there are more observed severe weather events than at any other time in recorded history.

      ***Now …those are the facts, and even a denier can not deny the undeniable!

      $Be Afraid $Be Very Very Afraid$

        1. Your previous picture where you wrote “Wildland fire increasing” has this caption: “Weather systems that bring rain are becoming more rare”. It seems you want to prove too much, isn’t it?
          In my view, all the graph you are posting are consistent with a moderate increase in temperature, and show a moderate change in some phenomena. I am not alarmed.

        1. You are wrong, because this graph does not show an increasing strength of strongest storms: just an increasing number of strongest storm since 1970. Otherwise, less intense storms are decreasing in number. If you look at the following graph, you will see that before 1970 there were periods comparable with or worse than the more recent ones.

          1. If you want to argue strength then you want to show a chart about strength – ACE or TIKE.

            ACE is the preferred denialist metric as it doesn’t filter out the weak storms well, thus underplaying total energy.

            Nonetheless, it is not me that is wrong, it is the scientists. Tell them.



            1. Energy in a storm is estimated, not measured and those estimates are based on different metrics over time. It’s very difficult to compare over a long period of time.

                1. “It is similar in concept to the more commonly used accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) with an important difference that in TIKE the integrated kinetic energy (IKE) is accumulated for the life span of the Atlantic tropical cyclone. The IKE is, however, computed by volume integrating the 10-m level sustained winds of tropical strength or higher quadrant by quadrant, while ACE uses the maximum sustained winds only without accounting for the structure of the storm.” American Meterological Society.
                  This indicates a calculated value (estimate) that did change over time. I was actually referring to much earlier hurricans, like the early 1900’s.
                  Any time technology changes the way it measures or calculates a value, comparisons become very, very tricky.

                    1. “Energy in a storm is estimated, not measured and those estimates are based on different metrics over time. It’s very difficult to compare over a long period of time.” The only two methods used in the last couple of hundred years were ACE and TIKE? Have those methods been changed in any way over the last 200 years? That was what my statement was concerning.

      1. Besides the fact that science doesn’t prove, it’s been done for decades now, the science started ~2 centuries ago. Unless you are homeschooled, you learned about it starting in 10th grade.



  5. Derotha,
    I also was banned from a ‘sustainability’ site for posting evidence to the contrary – the new scared-to-death-of-the-truth modus operandis of the Left.

    1. “I also was banned from a ‘sustainability’ site”

      No one’s banning you here, right?

      You could prove once and for all that humans are not warming the planet by pointing to the evidence that greenhouse gasses are transparent to infrared radiation.

      Can you do that?

      “Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (such as water vapor and carbon dioxide) absorb most of the Earth’s emitted longwave infrared radiation, which heats the lower atmosphere.”


    2. thanks, flyboy46. The development in Asia will demonstrate the value of infrastructure in developing resources while combating pollution, and this human-hating fervor will settle down. How much infrastructure costs really isn’t the point. The point of economics is to transform nature for the benefit of the human race. If the people are living well (all of them, not just Al Gore) then who cares how much it costs? It is irrelevant. The problem here is that if everyone is enjoying a good standard of living, it is difficult to maintain control over who dominates the planet. It is difficult to control access to natural resources. It is difficult to start a war to distract an otherwise peace-loving population. But it requires an atmosphere that accepts real science, fosters acceptance of others based on the value of human life, and requires that we actually care for each other, instead of calmly discussing how we will save money if we starve others to death. And it requires a mission to organize the universe, so that we don’t become obsessed with abstract golden calves instead of the natural tendency of human beings to take care of each other. Human beings, unlike animals, don’t survive in nature alone. And if we don’t transform nature, then we don’t survive at all.

  6. FACT!!!

    When GW Bush was directly blamed for Katrina, the storm itself was his fault, as well as the FAILURE of ALL government agencies, he sat down and had a discussion with God about Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico,

    God got the message and ….

    How many serious Hurricanes have hit the area since?

    And those few, were ANY government agencies performance what you would expect?

    Or do you just naturally lower your expectations when the government types show up to ‘help’?

  7. Good to hear from Roger Pielke Jr. once more. I was hoping that the AGWCC cabal hadn’t permanently silenced him as he had seemed to retreat from the debate in the past couple years due to the continuous hectoring he suffered.

    1. Well good, he deserved it. He has an obvious hidden agenda. FLOODS ARE DOWN?! That bs is easily debunked by a quick Google search, or if you’ve been playing attention to the national news the past 5 mknths.

  8. That was an incredibly dumb article. I know one thing: i wouldn’t send my kid to U of Colorado after reading the quotes from Mr. Pielke. “Floods suck when they occur.” Yeah, bruh…like, disasters suck just like running out of pot. Hey, dude. Pass the pipe… But seriously, what does he have to say about W.Virginia, S. Carolina, Texas, and Oklahoma as well as Louisiana having historic floods the past year? Oh, I forgot. He’s saying they weren’t that bad or they didn’t happened at all. smh

  9. Thanks to Dr. R. Pielke for telling the truth about the propaganda issued by the “Warmers” who link climate change with wild fires and weather events. Keep up the good work.

  10. It is a really terrible (and nasty) blame game against individuals and groups skeptical over ideologically motivated aspects of environmentalism going on right now. How pity the pro-socialist ideologues who could have done enough against them in their attempt to suppress such skepticism over scandalously ideological and philosophical aspects of environmentalism! I am very cautious about the situation that surely provokes nasty arguments for advancing socialism no matter how consequential such things are.

  11. The graph on flood damage costs takes no account of the fact that a great deal of mitigation work has been done in this area over the decades thus reducing costs, including sturdier buildings and all the rest. And of course the US is only 2% of the earth’s surface. Overall costs in the US from extreme weather events increased nearly sixfold from 1980 to 2012 and that’s in 2012 dollars. Higher temperatures mean more evaporation and increases the risk of drought. Water vapour in the atmosphere is 4% higher than 40 years ago and increases the risk of extreme rainfall.

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