Monday, December 14, 2009

From the “weather is not climate” department

New snowfall and lowest temperature records are being set.

Lots of new cold and snow records in the USA this past week


  1. Isolated incidents equal trends now? Don't let gun advocates find out...

    Also, for the record, many scientists have been trying to push for the term "climate change," not "global warming."

  2. Ginx,

    I think that was SE's point. It's all in the title

  3. Damn Cork, I missed your laser-guided corrections last week.

  4. many scientists have been trying to push for the term "climate change," not "global warming."

    Why, if the trend truly is a warming one?

    The ABC piece Cork links to says: Long-term trends in the data tell scientists that the planet is getting warmer. Weather events that suggest otherwise are to be expected, they said.

    You can't have it both ways. Change it to "climate change" for what reason? Because the common idiots look at freezing temps and think it's all BS? Come on, these are scientists, aren't they? They don't care that so many ordinary people look at nature and see "god" at work, do they?

    Maybe the push for the term "climate change" is because the warming angle just ain't working? After all, the term isn't "weather change", so what's up? If the climate is warming the term "global warming" should be fine and dandy, and more to the point than the more vague alternative.

  5. The Earth is not an apartment with a heater and A/C. The Earth has complex systems of air, water, land, ice, and clouds which act in very difficult to predict ways. "Global Warming" may be accurate when looking at overall global water temperatures, and may be accurate when analyzing polar ice growth/loss, but that does not mean other areas will not experience colder than normal weather as a result of completely seperate weather phenonoma (El Nino/Nina, for example).

  6. will not experience colder than normal weather

    Right, but as I pointed out, we're talking about climate, not weather. If the planet is heating up, it's global warming.

    The term "climate change" is brought in for what reason? So that no matter what people actually experience where they live, the advocates of the Al Gore doomsday scenario can say "See, it's changing, just as we predicted"?

  7. SE,please don't quote Gore to me like Christians quote Dawkins at me. You're better than strawman arguments.

    Climate change is inevitable. If humans did not exist, the climate would change. Organisms have changed the climate before. In fact, early life forms likely changed the atmosphere of the Earth to one more resembling what we see today. Organisms have an impact on the environment. We know that humans have an impact on the climate. No debate yet.

    The contention is clearly in quantifying and describing the impact. If the overall temperatures go up, I'm sure that has some effect on things, but it's not the only thing to consider.

    Suppose the caps melt and Nevada becomes beach-front property. This is completely ludicrous to imagine, but that's why I think it's a perfect example (you can't get hung up on the details, since it's purely hypothetical). In this imaginary scenario, Nevada will experience a climate change from desert to temperate. If you look locally, it wouldn't be global warming at all; it would be climate change. The caps, however, will have still metled.

    I like the term climate change because it is accurate for what I have seen evidence for actually occurring. Some places that are farmland may become desert, some places that are tundra may become fertile. Humanity isn't in for the end, by any means, but populations will shift and unrest may occur as we adjust.

    I think it's sad we squabble when we should be preparing for adaptation. Liberals have come up with horrible solutions, yet conservatives deny the problem exists. I'm not sure which is worse.

  8. It's a lower point on a progression of slightly rising points. You have to remember that the "global warming" that people have been worried about comes in at the tune of 0.1-0.2 deg Celsius over a significant amount of time.

    If the temperature dip this season is significantly more than that by any margin, it could utterly destroy the aggregates by which global warming is "proven" to begin with.

    I'm not taking a side, just talking about the statistics of it. If you take 3-4 average summers in a row, and then 3-4 average-highly below average winters in a row, and mix them in with 20 years of temperature data, it's quite possible that the "global warming" numbers average out into nothingness.

    I think this is what climatologists fear will happen, because it IS misleading if it occurs that way. An average change of 0 over 20 years tells us nothing if 3 or 4 of those years are flukes to a tune that they can't be std dev'ed as outliers.

    People need to stop relying on the same 2 or 3 sets of data for their science.

    Remain skeptical. There really is a lot of junk science out there.


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