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Monday, February 25, 2008

Inconvenient snow 


Flying home from Chicago yesterday afternoon, I continued to be impressed with how much snow and ice there was on the ground. Lake Erie was all but completely frozen over, and the farms of Michigan and Ohio were covered in snow. Apparently the same is true everywhere in the northern hemisphere:

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966....

China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.

There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has felt the pinch as home buyers have stayed home rather than venturing out looking for new houses.

In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.

This is going to be a tense year for climate models and their critics. The modelers got out in front of the cold winter, predicting that 2008 would start cooler than most years since 2000 but would nevertheless be one of the ten warmest years on record. January was in fact dramatically cooler globally, and all the snow and ice in the northern hemisphere suggests that February is heading in the same direction. So far, the weather has made a fool out of neither side. If, however, the cooler temperatures persist through the year and 2008 finishes well below the "warmest ten," the only certainty will be that a massive public relations fight will erupt between the modelers and activists on one side and the "skeptics" on the other. The question then will be whether the mainstream media, having been duped by models gone wrong, starts to pay more attention to people who resist the supposed "consensus" view that carbon dioxide emissions lead inexorably to planetary catastrophe.

8 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Feb 25, 08:05:00 PM:

"Lake Erie was all but completely frozen over, and the farms of Michigan and Ohio were covered in snow. Apparently the same is true everywhere in the northern hemisphere"

Let's see...

1. A while back, you had the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs creating the Gulf of Mexico.

2. More recently, we had you mentioning how much snow was on top of the Rockies as you discussed the drought in California.

3. And now we have this.

They didn't push geography much at Princeton, did they? :)

As you might recall, I'm in the Florida Keys. Florida, just to note, is in the northern hemisphere.

Do you know what I did today?

(this is gonna hurt)

I turned on my air conditioner for the first time.

Got home from some errands around 11 and the boat was a tad on the warm side, so I cranked the A/C on for a bit. I was wiping a bit of sweat off my brow, wishing it were cooler.

Goddamn weather gods sure have a sick sense of humor, don't they?  

By Blogger Who Struck John, at Mon Feb 25, 08:43:00 PM:

The real question is whether the slow start of the new solar sunspot cycle is really an extended solar minima, which would mean cooler temperatures:

http://solarscience.auditblogs.com/2008/02/07/popular-mechanics-on-the-solar-minimum/  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Feb 25, 09:15:00 PM:

Snarky, Snarky,Snarky, Snarky. Dr. Mercury. No one expects parts of the Northern Hemisphere near the Tropic of Cancer to experience the winter season the same as would Lake Erie.Maybe you do.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Mon Feb 25, 09:24:00 PM:

Thank you Dr. Mercury for reassuring us that the Gulf Stream is still..um..Gulfing and continuing to do that which the Global Warming panic people think it will stop.

Today, in Kansas, we had 30mph winds with tiny little bits of ice embedded in them. I'll trade ya :)  

By Blogger Kinuachdrach, at Mon Feb 25, 09:43:00 PM:

It is interesting to look back at the halcyon days of the 1980s & early 1990s. AIDS was breaking out of the closet to become a giant epidemic that would wipe out an entire generation! Scientists predicted it!! The UN got involved!!!

Then it (almost all) went away. The prediction of a heterosexual AIDS epidemic turned out to be demonstrably wrong.

And where are the Congressional enquiries into how "scientists" got it so wrong? Where are the activists complaining about other good causes that got starved because all the funds went to AIDS research?

When the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis dies, it will be laid to rest in a pauper's grave without ceremony. The usual suspects will move on to some other cause -- that somehow will require vast tax increases, ever more intrusive government, and international oversight.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Mon Feb 25, 11:19:00 PM:

Boy, the only common ground i can see you have with your idol, the retard-in-chief G.W. Bush, is that you both hammer your skull against a wall, and you have an army of lamebrains who'll laud you for you non-waivering stance. For the 99th time--WEATHER AIN'T CLIMATE. So the lake's frozen? Well in DC-MD-Va. we're having North Carolina's weather. Occasional cold, mostly rain. N.C. is having Southern Georgia's weather. You are experiencing weather up in the midwest. The overall trend is clear. Planet getting f-ed up. By us, by your pals the Chinese. Time to do something. But of course, you'll be the first person investing in a floating shelter in a gated compound for your grandchildren when the bottom does fall out.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Feb 25, 11:31:00 PM:

Keep AL GORE way from antarctica or his HOT AIR will melt it for sure  

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