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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Weather is not climate 


Another winter record falls, this time in Des Moines:

The National Weather Service says there has been at least 5 inches of snow on the ground at the Des Moines Airport for a record 56 consecutive days. That breaks a previous record of 54 consecutive days set from Dec. 12, 1961 to Feb. 3, 1962.

Imagine how bad it would be if there weren't all those greenhouse gases warming things up.

29 Comments:

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Feb 03, 06:38:00 PM:

Here in Richmond we are well below the Maon-Dixon line. Like many others here, my family migrated to the South for the genteel lifestyle, low taxes and fair weather. We have seasons, but it generally snows enough to leave a stain about about every three years.

17.5 inches of snow so far this winter. 18 inches on my front lawn last weekend and another 8-10 planned for this Saturday and ANOTHER storm blowing thru next Tuesday.

Was that UN report about warming climate written by the roomful of monkeys with typewriters??

Why aren't these people IN JAIL???  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Wed Feb 03, 08:13:00 PM:

In the last 50 years in the US, there have been more record high temps than record low temps, and the pattern has been getting stronger:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Record-high-temperatures-versus-record-lows.html



PS More snow doesn't automatically equal more cold.  

By Blogger John, at Wed Feb 03, 08:44:00 PM:

Yep, I have noticed that we have been trending warmer since the last ice age. Really need to do something about that.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Feb 03, 11:43:00 PM:

C'mon Brian....even Al Gore has gone subterranean.

Besides, the "climate wing" of academia has some 'splainin' to do about their data.

If I have been shoveling snow and freezing my butt off in increasingly unseasonably cold weather, I frankly can't WAIT until we have a little "record high" weather...wherever and whenever you seem to feel that will happen.

Suffice it to say that I am not impressed with the scourge of global warming on my planet.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Thu Feb 04, 12:03:00 AM:

On a scale, with John Edwards being the new "10" for self-centered lizard politicians , where do we rate Al Gore ... a "9".

They should be hunted down with dogs.

Brian's repeated BS here tells me the EPA needs to be shut down, so we can start over without the agenda-driven appartachiks.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Thu Feb 04, 01:23:00 AM:

Problem with record highs meaning anything: they're almost always from places that are around population centers that are growing. (Airports are popular) That means the heat island effect keeps getting stronger and stronger....

But, hey, that's a little too much skepticism, eh?

Not to mention it totally ignores things like this.... which leads on to this....  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Thu Feb 04, 02:13:00 AM:

"In the last 50 years in the US, there have been more record high temps than record low temps"

How does this mean anything in geologic time when we have only been keeping records for 150 years or so? And don't get me started on the quality and conisistency of the measurements ...  

By Blogger Brian, at Thu Feb 04, 03:13:00 AM:

So record lows are meaningful, but record highs aren't? That doesn't make much sense to me.  

By Blogger Brian, at Thu Feb 04, 03:16:00 AM:

Foxfier's first claim needs a citation.

As to the weather station claim, that's been refuted in peer reviewed literature. Watts is free to submit his own article to peer reviewed journals though, if he's got anything.

I suppose the response is that the vast conspiracy controls all the peer reviewed literature, including stats journals.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Thu Feb 04, 07:48:00 AM:

Yeah..."peer review" has come a long way in this little pseudo-scientific community.

It would seem that to be a "peer" in the climate community, you have to hold certain beliefs...not scientifically supported beliefs...but pre-conceived notions.

So much for the scientific method.  

By Blogger Catchy Pseudonym, at Thu Feb 04, 09:14:00 AM:

Yet in Vancouver they're having to ship in snow for the Winter Olympics because of the unusually warm and snowless winter.

Of course, I know America is the world, so since we're cold here, it must be cold everywhere... right?  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Thu Feb 04, 09:38:00 AM:

So record lows are meaningful, but record highs aren't? That doesn't make much sense to me.

Cities have a higher temperature average than less-heavily inhabited areas-- car exhaust, A/C exhaust, black top holding in heat, all those bodies (it seems like human body heat wouldn't add much, but a good way to get a rough idea of how much hotter each person will make a room is to imagine a 60 watt bulb being added).

It adds up, but only in a way that would pump up the temperatures.

The link says that they simply went through the weather station records looking for record highs-- so we know that they didn't adjust for the urban heat island effect.

As to the weather station claim, that's been refuted in peer reviewed literature.

That will need a citation. I linked to an article saying that they were publishing a paper, but it hasn't been peer reviewed, yet; even if we assumed-- beyond all reaches of even charity-- that unreviewed paper has no more weight than the second blog post I offered.

Catchy Pseudonym-
El Nino-- remember him from the '90s? -- is causing the unusually warm temps right now; odd, I don't remember folks citing Vancouver's temps when, this December, Seattle and Bellingham were having near-record cold temps and an odd dryish snowing spell.
Of course, two hours away, they're having record snows....  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Feb 04, 11:17:00 AM:

http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/News-indian-soot-melting-glaciers-020410.aspx?xmlmenuid=51&wnnvz=1756,01289952031

Soot is more responsible for declines in Himalayan glaciers than "global warming", or in my view, cyclic climate variations that span decades. Increased industrialization and burning fossil fuels is putting more soot on the roof of the world.
No one argues that "air pollution" shouldn't be controlled (in this case, soot and particulant matter that form aerosols), but is CO2 that much of a trigger for "vast" climatic changes?
Total speculation: could the dust and soot drifting on westerly winds from China also be affecting snow fall in Western BC? Or is this just an El Nino effect?

-David  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Thu Feb 04, 11:30:00 AM:

Canada has some data records online-- not exhaustive, but accessible. From a quick scan (first few days of Feb, the mean temp of January back a few years) the temperatures aren't that out of the norm for the mountain. (although there was a bit over a week where the mean temp was steadily in the higher range-- that's probably why the snow is gone)  

By Blogger Brian, at Thu Feb 04, 11:35:00 AM:

Foxfier: "The link says that they simply went through the weather station records looking for record highs-- so we know that they didn't adjust for the urban heat island effect."


From the press release: "The study team analyzed several million daily high and low temperature readings taken over the span of six decades at about 1,800 weather stations across the country, thereby ensuring ample data for statistically significant results. The readings, collected at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, undergo a quality control process at the data center that looks for such potential problems as missing data as well as inconsistent readings caused by changes in thermometers, station locations, or other factors."

http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/maxmin.jsp  

By Blogger Brian, at Thu Feb 04, 11:39:00 AM:

The refutation for the claim that bad weather stations are skewing climate records in a warming direction is the Menne paper, discussed in Foxfier's first link.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Thu Feb 04, 11:47:00 AM:

...None of which is adjusting the data down.

The temperatures aren't inaccurate because the thermometers were changed, or the stations moved, and for once they didn't just pick the one station out of fifty that had an unusually high temp-- they're measuring the temperature correctly. (for the sake of argument, I'll assume they're telling the truth, this time)

It's just that the area they're measuring is getting warmer because of the urban heat island effect.


The refutation for the claim that bad weather stations are skewing climate records in a warming direction is the Menne paper, discussed in Foxfier's first link.


Gee, not so hot on the peer review process, anymore? That's a pending paper that they claim will show that adjusted station temperatures have a cool-bias...in spite of NOAA's own records of the corrections showing that they add rather than subtract. (That would be the second link.)  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Thu Feb 04, 03:54:00 PM:

Foxfier: "Gee, not so hot on the peer review process, anymore? That's a pending paper that they claim will show that adjusted station temperatures have a cool-bias"

I think you mean an existing, peer-reviewed paper accepted for publication that you can read in its entirety right now, here:

http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2010.pdf

The rest of Foxfier's comment at 11:47 repeats the earlier comment, still without citation. In her defense, it is accurate to say the link I provided is for a summary, not the actual article, so we don't know what heat island adjustments were made.

I'd add though that the ratio of record highs over record lows has been increasing. The heat island effect, even if unadjusted, shouldn't do that unless urbanization is itself accelerating. Good argument against sprawl, I think. The main point is Foxfier has to assume no heat island adjustment and assume accelerating urbanization in order to make her critique.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Fri Feb 05, 03:00:00 AM:

"the ratio of record highs over record lows has been increasing"

Even *if* the records were perfectly accurate, you still have not addressed my point that 150 years is a small blip in geologic time, especially considering that the planet is known to have undergone much wider climate swings in both directions.  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Fri Feb 05, 10:01:00 AM:

"Imagine how bad it would be if there weren't all those greenhouse gases warming things up"

No need to imagine. It would be 0.7 degrees C colder.

As for 150 years being a small blip in geological time, isn't that exactly what is worrying people? It is not the increase in global mean temperatures that is a concern, but the speed of increase. The same applies to the increase in human population.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Fri Feb 05, 12:39:00 PM:

"The same applies to the increase in human population."

It's a pity we haven't had a plague or a bloody World War in too long, isn't it.  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Fri Feb 05, 01:34:00 PM:

"It's a pity we haven't had a plague or a bloody World War in too long, isn't it. "

No, it is not.

But it is a pity that people have been having too many children. The Chinese one-child law seems horribly tyrannical until you realise that the alternative is worse.

Britain is now carrying a population at least ten times what it can hold in comfort.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Feb 06, 04:58:00 AM:

"Britain is now carrying a population at least ten times what it can hold in comfort."

Oh please, get a grip.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Feb 06, 10:59:00 AM:

"Britain is now carrying a population at least ten times what it can hold in comfort"

Is this the next agenda item for the Environistas?

I suppose it would be too embarrassing to revisit global cooling, or the ozone fiasco, or the "Silent Spring"...but...hasn't the "Population Bomb" supposed to have gone off by now?

Aren't we all supposed to be starving and/or dead?

Alas...better look for some other normal daily process to embue with hysteria and hyperbole in the search for money and power.  

By Blogger Brian, at Sat Feb 06, 02:12:00 PM:

Ozone fiasco? Really? I thought rightwingers stopped claiming it wasn't real. I assume the ozone hole over the South Pole is just coincidental, then.

Yes, Britain and the US have populations that are far too large for their environmental impacts, so they need to either reduce their impacts or gradually bring their populations down. Same holds true for most of the rest of the world.

FWIW, in a few generations we can have unlimited populations living off-planet.  

By Anonymous Just Because I'm Paranoid, at Sat Feb 06, 02:27:00 PM:

" "Imagine how bad it would be if there weren't all those greenhouse gases warming things up"

No need to imagine. It would be 0.7 degrees C colder. "

To Don Cox ... you sure it's 0.7 .... my models show 0.8 degrees. You're off.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sat Feb 06, 04:57:00 PM:

" in a few generations we can have unlimited populations living off-planet. "

And Brian is leading the way (cymbal crash, rim shot).  

By Blogger Brian, at Sun Feb 07, 03:26:00 AM:

You're improving your language, Gary, so I don't mind.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Mon Feb 08, 12:56:00 AM:

"I assume the ozone hole over the South Pole is just coincidental"

I'm not sure why I bother...but maybe I can teach a liberal something (I'm an eternal optimist).

You can't have it both ways, Brian. CFC's have been banned in most industrialized countires for 20 years. The estimates seek to have the ozone "hole" healed in 40-100 years. I don't know whether the estimates came from East Anglia...or whether they are "peer" reviewed. I suspect they have been lost.

The problem is that the "consensus" on global warming has the poles melting (ARRGH...and your little dog, too!!)

But the ozone hole is said to be in the Antarctic (away from industry and air conditioners) because of the severe and worsening COLD in that area.

So which is it???

Actually...neither. There is data to support the correlation of the size of the ozone hole with cosmic ray intensity and activity. It actually correlates better than CFC's.

Those pesky cosmic rays...causing global warming on planets in our solar system without Republicans, SUV's or "peers" to review anything.

A really inconvenient truth...if you are an Environista.  

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