I Blame Global Warming

In some places the snow is over 3 meters deep. There was frost in Delhi, and is one of the coldest winters in China in the last 20 years.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. Tano says:

    groan

    You can do so much better than that….

    Doesn’t take more than five minutes of learning about climate issues to understand that “global warming” refers to an increase in the average global temperature, which necessarily results in disruption to established local climate patterns – i.e. some areas get colder, some warmer, some wetter, some dryer – under the umbrella of a global warming.

    Are you really unaware of that, or are you just playing some silly game?

  2. groan

    You can do so much better than that….

    Doesn’t take more than five minutes of learning about climate issues to understand that “global warming” may be the money-making enviro-political issue of the day and that the Earth is a living, dynamic system which includes temperature and other climate changes.

    Insisting that every year on July 17 it be 86 degrees (if it’s 87, the Earth is getting warmer because of global warming; if it’s 85, the Earth is getting cooler because of global warming), for example, is laughable.

  3. Ron says:

    which necessarily results in disruption to established local climate patterns – i.e. some areas get colder, some warmer, some wetter, some dryer
    If this is true, how can you be sure it’s global warming? It might be global cooling, or global wetness, or global dryness that’s causing all the problems.

  4. McGehee says:

    Shorter Tano: Anything newsworthy that happens in the weather is proof of man-caused global warming.

    To borrow a term from the Intelligent Design “debate,” global warming is what you might call unfalsifiable.

  5. cirby says:

    It also CAUSES excessive CAPITALIZATION.

  6. Tano says:

    Ron,
    Evidence for global warming comes from measurement of overall global temperature. Overall global temperature is going up. That is why local perturbations are not seen as caused by a global cooling. The overall temperatures are not cooling.

    The other responders seem to believe that snark can take the place of science. Fact is, that NO ONE in the scientific community doubts the existence of global warming. The disputed issue, raised by some conservatives who actually know the science, is whether the warming is caused by human activities or whether human inputs to the system are indistinguishable from background variations. They do not question the existence of a warming. And they all recognize that a global warming causes local perturbations in either direction.

    It is so tiring to see the knee-jerk propagandists jump to apply their snark on every comment without ever thinking things through, or learning the first thing about the actual issue under discussion.

  7. John Burgess says:

    Tano’s right in his second post. There really isn’t a question about whether or not the globe is warming. The question is, “Why?”

    While anthropogenic warming is the most popular (at least with the media) suspected cause–and note that word “suspected”–others suspect that what we’re seeing is part of very long term cycles.

    The argument is that if warming is the result of anything other than human behavior, then no number of Kyoto Treaties will have any effect. Money spent in enforcing such treaties is money down the hole. Money spent in enforcing them is not available to be spent on things that could make a difference in human lives.

    At present, we have no programs that will tweak the energy output of the sun, no matter how much money we dedicate to the purpose.

  8. Steve Verdon says:

    Tano and Brandon,

    Man do you guys need new sarcasm meters or something. Sure, I know that pointing to local weather phenomenon isn’t legit. The problem is that is what the enviro’s do all the time with local weather. Of course, they usually point to floods, heat waves, and hurricanes. This time it happened to be record snow levels and cold temperatures which I found mildly amusing.

  9. Maggie says:

    But, Steve, how do you explain the Sahara receeding and turning green? ? ? ? ?

    Oh, yea, I forgot, my SUV doesn’t like sand!

    ;D

  10. Maggie says:

    Tano, check how they do their measurements. If the high for the day is 85 degrees, it is recorded…even if it is only 85 for ten minutes, while the rest of the day it’s down at 64 degrees.

    MONEY, IT’S ALL ABOUT RESEARCH MONEY!

  11. Tano says:

    Steve,
    Perhaps Brandon and I are not the only ones who need better sarcasm meters. As you can see, the majority of your responders had their knees jerking away to some form of an anti-warming tune, seemingly oblivious to the fact that you were being sarcastic.

    My point was not that it is illegitimate to point to local phenomena as examples of the consequences of larger scale phenomena. I was making the point that it is illegitimate to point to a particular local chilling as a refutation of global warming on its face – without showing that (e.g.) the snows in Japan is inconsistent with global warming models. Basic warming models do in fact predict local coolings, in norther europe, for example. I dont know about Japan. But then again, I havent heard anyone, besides you, try to link these snows to global patterns.

    No doubt, some enviros, not particularly scientific ones, might overstate their case by seeing every phenomena as a consequence of global warming. But that is just noise around the edges. You seem to be using the existence of that noise to argue against the fact of warming. Which would make you even a worse influence on the debate than the noisemakers.

  12. Steve Verdon says:

    Tano,

    No doubt, some enviros, not particularly scientific ones, might overstate their case by seeing every phenomena as a consequence of global warming.

    No doubt, it is more like most of them. I’d say the exceptions are those who are scientific and with a degree of integrity.

  13. Tano says:

    Steve,
    No point in arguing our assessments of the general state of scientific literacy of environmentalists, nor their integrity. We will clearly make our own subjective judgements about that. Same with the anti-enviros.

    But it does bear noting that there is unanimous agreement amongst serious scientists with knowledge of the subject matter that warming is real. And a very large majority of them accept human factors as the main driver of these trends.

    Obviously scientific truth is not determined by a vote, so the majority may be wrong. But holding a minority opinion in the scientific community is no guarantee of being right either. We all love the “starving artist” stories – the lone voices that oppose the mainstream, and turn out to be right. But of course, the overwhelming majority of starving artists turn out to be starving for a good reason – they stink. The odds are very much in favor of the consensus of serious scientists being right.

    In any case, political rhetoric won’t determine the answer to the scientific questions, much as the advocates on either side may wish it to.

  14. floyd says:

    looks more like blogal warming to me[lol]

  15. Steve,

    I was supporting you and poking fun of Tano. Your sarcasm meter needs adjusting. 🙂

  16. Victor says:

    Given the topic at hand, has anyone seen research on the increase in mean atmospheric temperatures we would expect to see because of reductions in various pollutants over the past few decades?

    One speculated reason for the strength of the hurricanes observed this last season was the higher water temperature, and that in turn, was attributed — potentially, of course — to “brightening” resulting from reduced pollution. Just curious.

  17. Victor says:

    Sorry to double post, but I found one media reference to the positive effect of pollution on mean temperatures.

    Three top climate researchers claim that the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere should have warmed the world more than they have. The reason they have not, they say, is that the warming is being masked by sun-blocking smoke, dust and other polluting particles put into the air by human activity.

    But they warn that in future this protection will lessen due to controls on pollution. Their best guess is that, as the mask is removed, temperatures will warm by at least 6°C by 2100. That is substantially above the current predictions of 1.5 to 4.5°C.

    File that away as another “ironic” twist.

  18. Victor says:

    Ugh, forgot the link!