Archive for the ‘Global Cooling’ Category

The Hoax Heats Up

20 May 2014

Despite a depressing stream of news stories on melting glaciers and such, I continue to find people still spewing about the climate change “hoax.” Since almost all of these–actually ALL the ones I’ve read–fail to provide links or lists of the resources that provide them with their information, I thought I’d offer one resource I just read.

NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center published “Global Analysis – April 2014″

Global Highlights

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for April 2014 tied with 2010 as the highest on record for the month, at 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 13.7°C (56.7°F).
The global land surface temperature was 1.35°C (2.43°F) above the 20th century average of 8.1°C (46.5°F), marking the third warmest April on record. For the ocean, the April global sea surface temperature was 0.55°C (0.99°F) above the 20th century average of 16.0°C (60.9°F), also the third highest for April on record.
The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–April period (year-to-date) was 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 12.6°C (54.8°F), the sixth warmest such period on record.

Of course, these are just statistics from a world that is conspiring against you, loyal denier. I’m sure you’re right. It’s a hoax. Everything is.

Cassandra

Two Words for the Deniers

6 January 2014

It’s minus ten here, and that inevitably leads some of the ill-read, e.g. people sitting indoors reading Forbes, to make mocking remarks about how this weather “proves” climate change, a phenomenon mockers typically call “global warming,” is a hoax and/or a liberal conspiracy. Having been out in this “proof” fluffing hay and chopping ice from stock tanks so snow-dusted horses can drink, I am even less amused than usual about the ignorance of deniers.

Here’s an article explaining why getting warmer in the north means we can freeze down south: “How Global Warming Can Make Cold Snaps Even Worse.”

For those who want the short explanation here are two words: Arctic amplification.

Off to put a cup of instant hot chocolate in the microwave.

Cassandra

Cool Facts?

22 April 2013

Several times a week I run into an editorial claiming that world temperatures have been going down for a decade, sometimes more. In the last few months, few of the people writing these editorials have seen fit to provide even a tendril of support for their claims.

I do however often find well-researched, detailed and documented articles saying the world is not getting cooler. Here’s the latest I’ve found: “Analysis of 2,000 Years of Climate Records Finds Global Cooling Trend Ended in the 19th Century”

Who to believe? Who to believe. Boy, that’s a tough decision.

Cassandra

Positive Is Negative

21 January 2013

Each day brings new bad news about the climate. This news from a German research center–hey, skeptics, nice to know the hoax is global, huh?–announces a positive feedback loop in the Arctic ice: “Melt Ponds Cause Artic Sea Ice to Melt More Rapidly”

Positive feedback loops like this scare the bejeebers out of me since they indicate climate change is speeding up and will likely speed up more. Yippee.

See also the Summit County News version of the German article: Climate: Arctic Ice Melting from ‘the Inside-Out’

Cassandra

Global Warming: A Graphic Illustration

7 December 2012

Upworthy strikes again. They title this “The Most Devastatingly Convincing Pie Chart You’ve Ever Seen.”

The whole article appears on DeSmogBlog. I also recommend Dr. James Lawrence Powell’s eponymous website.

For those outside academia, “peer review” means the article appeared in an academic journal. Before accepting an article for publication, academic journals submit the article to a panel of experts in the field. The process of “peer review” means those experts go over the article to see if the author(s) followed the usual procedures expected for work in the field and to spot gross errors. While hardly a fool proof process, “peer review” culls the most egregiously inaccurate or irresponsible work.

The names of most well known global warming “deniers” rarely appear in climate science journal articles since few of them are scientists much less climatologists. Unlike most scientists who are generally skeptics who are won over by evidence, “deniers” tend to be true believers, akin to fundamentalist religious types who simply know their position is correct, and/or industry shills who are hired to churn up controversy rather than to expand knowledge.

For more information on climate research, I suggest a visit to Skeptical Science.

Cassandra

P.S. I can’t resist adding Powell’s list of articles rejecting global warming:
http://www.jamespowell.org/Rejections/index.html

Real academic research looks like. That is, unlike most “deniers,” he leaves a clear trail for other people to follow. Full citations. I suppose this sort of detail explains why so few people love academic research. Oh well, my heart flutters.

Do Your Research

25 November 2012

Few Americans enjoy research and critical thinking. An anomaly, I’ve had a hard time watching people ignore or twist accumulating data on climate change.

From experience, I know the typical first year college student enters a composition class worried about commas not critical thinking. Few know the difference between a journal and a magazine, and some think all websites are created equal. By the end of a semester or two, most learn a dollop of assessment, but most leave without any sort of real understanding of even the informal logical fallacies.

However, Americans in general are much better about accepting stories from farmers. This sort of primary research appeals to most, and articles like this now find news coverage: “Global Warming Impacts Holiday Dish”

We are still screwed, of course. Consider this paragraph:

Without drastic action, global average temperatures will increase by 3.5 degrees or more by the end of the century, driving up sea levels and warming oceans, fueling extreme weather and triggering drastic shifts in climate and agricultural production, some scientists have warned.

Notice some not so tiny problems here? Are those degrees Fahrenheit or Centigrade? Is a 3.5 rise a conservative prediction? Do a good many credible sources expect more? If you don’t know from current reading, then perhaps, like the college students I know all too well, you might need to do more research.

Cassandra

The Future Is

21 November 2012

I just read a summary of projections, none of them good, for our future climate.

There are entire books out there on what a ten degree temperature F rise will do to the world, so when I read this reiteration of what I already knew, I shouldn’t have felt shock, should I? Unfortunately, I felt shock. In fact, the changes already look real.

The temperatures here in northern Colorado are running ten degrees F above average. Maybe a tad more. We had the windows open today. There is almost no snow on the mountains. The big reservoirs are still dropping. Perhaps that’s why this story hit me.

It should hit people, shouldn’t it? These lines are pretty dire

Some people will likely survive, but such a level of global warming will pose severe difficulties for industrial society adapting. Heatwaves will buckle our railway lines causing transport chaos. Increasing intensity of cyclones and storm surges will swamp our coasts and coastal infrastructure. Extreme weather, high temperatures, changes in precipitation will reduce our crop yields and raise food security alarms. As transport and freight is disrupted, our social fabric will start to tear apart at the seams.

The Executive summary of the report concludes:

Thus, given that uncertainty remains about the full nature and scale of impacts, there is also no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible. A 4°C world is likely to be one in which communities, cities and countries would experience severe disruptions, damage, and dislocation, with many of these risks spread unequally. It is likely that the poor will suffer most and the global community could become more fractured, and unequal than today. The projected 4°C warming simply must not be allowed to occur–the heat must be turned down. Only early, cooperative, international actions can make that happen.

The report puts forward that a 4°C world is not inevitable and that with sustained policy action warming can still be held below 2°C.

Sustained policy action. Like that’s going to happen.

Cassandra

Handbasket Report: Come Hell or High Water

20 November 2012

Has anyone else noticed an escalating shift in both coverage of and positions on climate change over the last few months?

When  UC Berkeley physicist Richard Muller “came out,” he was pretty much alone although he was certainly willing to discuss his findings: “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic”

As a professional scientist, he remains, of course, admirably skeptical. He says,

It’s a scientist’s duty to be properly skeptical. I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated or just plain wrong. I’ve analyzed some of the most alarmist claims, and my skepticism about them hasn’t changed.

I have no problem with that skepticism. It is–or should be–part of the scientific method. Scientists should be wary of stating anything before they are beyond a reasonable doubt. When Sandy hit, for example, most scientists were quite wary about connecting it to climate change because they have no way of linking any specific storm to global climate change.

However, there’s a major difference between being skeptical about claims and being skeptical about verifiable data. And the verifiable data continues to pile up, and, of late, more and more mainstream media have begun to mention at least some of this data and even comments by actual climate scientists.

Some sites are having too much fun with the shifting positions of professional deniers: “Patrick Michaels’ 1992 Claims Versus the 2012 Reality.” Some deniers, trying to dig in, end up sounding, well, like skeptical scientists rather than outright scoffers: “Sandy Leads to Surge in Unscientific Hurricane Profiteers.”

Most likely, denial or spin will become even harder if stories such as these continue to appear.

“In All Probability: Climate Change and the Risk of More Storms Like Sandy”

That one’s from Atlantic, nothing too unusual about that. However, probability is not a typical American interest, except for poker players and such. Probability, however, is big among scientists, and that’s why the news is getting harder to ignore.

“Iowa Scientists: Drought a Sign of Climate Change”

This one’s an ABC News article, mainstream, but hardly typical of MSM coverage of the last few years.

“Global Warming a Factor in Severe Weather, Says NOAA Report.”

Washington Post. NOAA.

“200 Investment Firms Issue a Warning on Climate Change”

This one was originally from the UK Telegraph, but Business Insider picked it up. Business Insider!

“Greenhouse Gases Hit a Record High in 2011, UN Agency Says”

This article relates some worrisome facts:

The World Meteorological Organization says the planet averaged 390 parts per million of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, up 40 percent from before the Industrial Age when levels were about 275 parts per million.

WMO officials said Tuesday there was a 30 percent increase in the warming effect on the global climate between 1990 and 2011, mainly due to carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning.

And this one’s from Fox News.

There can’t be two Fox News organizations can there?

Cassandra

Do Your Research!

16 October 2012

I just ran across this headline:  “Did Global Warming Really Stop in 1997?

The answer, as anyone who reads widely knows, is NO.  At least that’s what NASA, NOAA, the US military, and any number of climate scientists say.  But does that stop the Daily Mail from running such a story?

The answer, as anyone who reads widely knows, is NO.

Why?  Because they don’t care?  Because they don’t do their research–to use the great line from the BBC’s Sherlock?  Because they just want to stir up a few more temperatures–among their readers?

The Internet’s a great resource for information.  I googled these words:  British newspapers political orientation and found a website called Paperboy.  Here’s what this site says about The Daily Mail:

The Daily Mail is a British, daily middle market tabloid newspaper. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom’s second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. It is currently owned by the Dail Mail and General Trust plc. The Daily Mail was Britain’s first daily newspaper aimed at the newly-literate “lower-middle class market resulting from mass education, combining a low retail price with plenty of competitions, prizes and promotional gimmicks”. It was the first British paper to sell a million copies a day. It was, from the outset, a newspaper pitched at women and is still the only British newspaper whose readership is more than 50% female. Politically the Daily Mail has a conservative slant. Its frequently sensationalist, conservatively biased headlines often provoke a strong reaction amongst the liberal leaning blogosphere who sarcastically label it the “Daily Fail”. As of May 2011 its online version is the most popular newspaper web site in the UK with around 64 million unique visitors for the month.

So, does The Daily Mail sound like a first rate source for information on climate change?  If you read widely–and critically, you know the answer.

Why do I suspect that in a world with greater knowledge, nearly instant communication, and myriad easily cross-referenced facts widely available, the percentage of magical thinkers is rising instead of falling?

Cassandra

Climate Change: Wry Polar Disorder

27 March 2012

One of the first things I do every morning is to click up Google News and check my favorite topics.  One of them is climate change.  Today’s listings provide a neat visual summary of the dichotomous reporting I’m dubbing Wry Polar Disorder.

Here are the listings as I just looked at them:

———————————————————————————-

Climate Change »

Daily Mail
Wall Street Journal – ‎15 hours ago‎
The lack of any statistically significant warming for over a decade has made it more difficult for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its supporters to demonize the atmospheric gas CO2 which is released when fossil 
Straits Times
Reuters – ‎21 hours ago‎
By Nina Chestney | LONDON (Reuters) – The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday. Scientific estimates differ but 
—————————————————————————

It doesn’t take a climate scientist to suss out the split here, does it?   According to the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and NewsMax stories, everything is fine–cool even.  Then below those articles is an article distributed by Reuters and links to that story distributed by some environmental groups. Things look not so fine in these versions of the world.

Now admittedly, Reuters, a major news agency, covers business news, but it’s unlike WSJ, Forbes,  and Newsmax in that Reuters is headquartered in London.  I’m not sure how their stories like this one fare in Britain, but in America they aren’t as prominent in business publications as stories and op-ed pieces regaling the glories and/or irrelevance of a rising carbon dioxide level. Although I do see the occasional exception, American business publications tend to toss out alarming climate change information in favor of stories–rationalizations?  fictions?  fables?–indicating things are fine.

Is it surprising that the typical business and corporate types are likely to doubt or even sneer at those who say climate change is not only real but dangerous?  Where do you think the people who run businesses are likely to get their information?  Environmental websites?  Peer-reviewed climate journals?  I think not.  I suspect they are far more likely to read WSJ, Forbes, and Newsmax.  Those are Merkin, true-believing sources.  Would they mislead?  No!  That’s what those environmental sites do.  They’re run by lefties, and we all know lefties are into world domination–unlike major American corporations.

Living in a facts-optional, fantasy-lauding country like the current incarnation of the United States alarms me even more than the supported, documented news I read.  And that’s saying something.

Cassandra


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