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A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the black-ice-and-white dept.

Earth 1136

Ponca City, We love you writes "NPR reports that with snow blanketing much of the country, the topic of global warming has become the butt of jokes; but for scientists who study the climate, there's no contradiction between a warming world and lots of snow. 'The fact that the oceans are warmer now than they were, say, 30 years ago means there's about on average 4 percent more water vapor lurking around over the oceans than there was... in the 1970s,' says Kevin Trenberth, a prominent climate scientist. 'So one of the consequences of a warming ocean near a coastline like the East Coast and Washington, DC, for instance, is that you can get dumped on with more snow partly as a consequence of global warming.' Increased snowfall also fits a pattern suggested by many climate models, in which rising temperatures increase the amount of atmospheric moisture, bringing more rain in warmer conditions and more snow in freezing temperatures."

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Science or Religion? (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163714)

One question for the warmers reading. Can the theory of AGW be falsified?

If it gets hotter it is because of Global Warming.

If a hurricane hits it is because of Global Warming.

If there is a drought anywhere it is because of Global Warming.

But if we get a blizzard it is bacause of Global Climate Change.

If it floods it is because of Global Warming/Climate Change.

If the North polar ice shrinks it is Global Warming.

Yet when the Antarctic ice grows it is Climate Change.

When the Northern ice returns it is nothing to see here, move along.

When Phil Jones says there has been no warming for fifteen years, it doesn't mean anything. In fact, to date only the Moonies at the Wash. Times and Fox News consider his statement worthy of repeating. (He said it to the BBC, btw, not known as a bastion of Deniers.)

So my question is this: For a theory to be Science it must be falsifiable; so what would it take for one of you True Believers to reconsider your theory?

Re:Science or Religion? (0, Offtopic)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163732)

So my question is this: For a theory to be Science it must be falsifiable

Then they shouldn't teach evolution in biology classes :)

Re:Science or Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163860)

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211.html

Re:Science or Religion? (4, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163874)

Evolution is pretty easily falsified, of course a lot of the things which could have done so didn't.

Universal common descent could have been shown to be false when DNA was discovered and sequenced. Of course it didn't instead it matched common descent perfectly.

Finding a species that doesn't use DNA, would be a pretty big hit to evolution, at least the universal descent part.

Finding that the Earth is "young" would kill evolution dead.

The famous rabbit in the pre-Cambrian.

Re:Science or Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163906)

we have a lot more data we can mine from our planet,
than information based on 200 years, and the state of ancient ice.

fact of the matter is, the only ones defying evolution, are the ones who are adamant about keeping a strict non-interpretative reading of the bible. In other words, a time machine would be the only thing that could prove evolution wrong to these people. But even then these same people would resort to using some other excuses like the "flat-earthers" do claiming that it was an illusion or some other bullshit.
(fyi i do believe in god)

fact of the matter is, a lot of biology is structured, with and around the concept of evolution. It helps us understand and appreciate the world we live in.
the science Man Induced Climate Change is unclear. yes we have been emitting a lot of crap in the air for quite some time. and the world has seemingly been changing. however we are only seeing these changes for a short period of time. have you guys considered what the climate was like in 1813? during the medival era? the classical era?

i'm sure it was not identical to pre 1920's conditions

Re:Science or Religion? (-1, Troll)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163742)

You're obviously a republican neocon neaderthal bigot corporate ceo idiot who dares to question the allknowing elite who want to save us from our ignorant selves by taking all our money that we don't need or know how to spend properly. After all, it's about the children. Go ahead...mod me troll. I deserve it. In my defense it was a shitty day at work.

Re:Science or Religion? (0, Troll)

tarball (34682) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163870)

Religion from the scientists.

NASA got caught faking data 2 or 3 years ago by theregister. The Brit experts then get caught admitting they fake data last year.

Everyone publishing used those 2 as the ultimate source of their data. The data currently published cannot be trusted. None of it. Chuck it all, and prove it with fresh uncontaminated numbers, if you can find them. Then I'll believe it. Maybe.

Re:Science or Religion? (3, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163950)

Reputable citations needed, particularly on the "Everyone publishing used those 2 as the ultimate source of their data" part.

I say that not because I think this is Wikipedia, but because I find this allegation/claim to be quite interesting so I would be quite happy to hear that this claim is true. Because I don't want global warming to be true. If it isn't true, we can keep burning as many greenhouse gases as we like. But without something to support your claim, you're just a random person on the internet who has yet to be modded troll ;)

Re:Science or Religion? (2, Informative)

Povidius (1351055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163772)

You're not alone in asking that question. Apparently 31,000+ scientists are holding the same doubts as you: http://www.petitionproject.org/ [petitionproject.org] but you know how it goes... the more you keep repeating something (or the louder you state it) the more inclined people will be to accept it. Science has its staunch supporters who are just as closed minded over their beliefs as are the extremist in religion.

Re:Science or Religion? (3, Insightful)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163828)

Quick question? Are you actually ignorant enough to think that reality bases itself on a misleading poll, or are you just whoring for someone in order to prevent having to take responsibility for your actions?

Re:Science or Religion? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163850)

One quick observation. That was a misleading petition not misleading poll. As for reality....what the hell is that?

Re:Science or Religion? (4, Insightful)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163946)

Reality is that which continues on, even if you don't believe in it.

Re:Science or Religion? (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164120)

Attribute your quote! That's Phil Dick!

Re:Science or Religion? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164010)

Science has its staunch supporters who are just as closed minded over their beliefs as are the extremist in religion.

Definitely. Just look at archaeology. New ideas are often only accepted after the old guard who have built their career on an older idea have died. For example it was believed Hatshepsut wasn't a true pharoah because she was female, whereas more modern archaeologists have debunked every argument used to not consider her as a pharaoh.

Re:Science or Religion? (2, Insightful)

192_kbps (601500) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164020)

Here we go with that silly petition again:

1) Few if any of those scientists are climate scientists
2) Only a small minority (~9000) have PhDs
3) 31,000 is a small minority of the American scientific community
The only opinions that count are expressed in peer-reviewed journals of climate scientists (which virtually requires a PhD), not publicity stunts such as this.

"the more you keep repeating something (or the louder you state it) the more inclined people will be to accept it. "

Which is the tactic of the global warming "skeptics." The people who actually have a truly informed opinion on this are generally too busy conducting research to be bothered trying to sway public opinion. I have an MS in Software Engineering, but I wouldn't ever pronounce an opinion on if we'll get a computer to pass the Turing Test. I'm not an AI researcher, I don't know hard core Computer Science topics like Recursion Theory, and I never spent years earning a PhD to obtain a truly informed opinion. The folks who signed this petition can't really say they know what they are talking about.

Re:Science or Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164102)

i have a bs in engineering so i can sign that petition. but im not qualified at all to talk about the science of climate change. i'd be willing to bet most of those 31000 arnt qualified either

Re:Science or Religion? (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163854)

You do realize that AGW predicts an increase in Antarctic ice right? But I suppose it's easier to continue being an armchair "expert" on global climate. The prediction of Antarctic ice growth was a falsifiable one. Had it not occured, it would have been evidence that the AGW models was flawed to some degree.

Re:Science or Religion? (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163902)

To clarify [newscientist.com] on the growth of Antarctic ice in some areas while receding in others. The overall ice growth in some areas exceeded ice loss in other areas although this is starting to change. Climate models win again.

Re:Science or Religion? (4, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164082)

Right, if one variable out of thousand variables moves according to the model, it's a "win" for the model.

I assume you're reasonably familiar with the main models?

Maybe you can be more persuasive if you can nail down the major predictions. I mean, calling it "climate change" is like saying "time-moves-forward". No one's disputing either - what exactly are the specific potential problems being predicted whose catastrophic nature requires us shifting trillions of dollars?

Re:Science or Religion? (4, Interesting)

geekpowa (916089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164108)

Yet - so many predictions made by AGW that did not come to be - but are just silently discarded and substituted with even more fearful headlines of events soon to come. Because it's always worse than we thought.

It seems to me that the only thing that will conclusively falsify AGW at this stage is if the climate were to do absolutely nothing and act in a completely boring fashion for a clear run of several decades. Which paleoclimate records show the climate is anything but this. So as long as there is variability - as there always has been variability - the AGW bogey man will be invoked to explain it.

What to believe anymore? As a layperson - I've personally reached the point where I simply cannot trust what anyone says. I've tried to make sense of the issue myself with what little scientific and statistical background I have and what little I can understand from the literature I am not particularly impressed with the quality of evidence supporting the AGW hypothesis.

Re:Science or Religion? (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163856)

One question for the warmers reading. Can the theory of AGW be falsified?

Sure. If we keep emitting and the climate doesn't change, then it's falsified. Kind of like if how the theory that 4 cheeseburgers and a pack of cigarettes every day will kill -you- specifically can be falsified by -you- specifically eating 4 cheeseburgers and smoking a pack of cigarettes each day and not dying. Try it, let us know, the rest of us are foolishly following the religion of "Carcinogens and cholesterol will kill us specifically."

Re:Science or Religion? (1, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164056)

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what the Republicans are suggesting that we do: keep pumping out billions of tons of CO2 a year and see what happens... There are easier ways to falsify AGW's predictions than to wait 40 years and take a look at the climate... Ocean acidification, changes in weather patterns over a statistically significant period of time that can not be explained through purely natural warming processes etc..

Re:Science or Religion? (5, Informative)

sremick (91371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163858)

Well, maybe for 2009 to not be the hottest year in recorded history, or 2000-2009 to be the hottest decade in recorded history, for one.

Maybe not for a clear upward trend in average global temperature over the last 100 years, for another.

Stuff that was predicted well before it actually happened is not evidence to the contrary. If your restricted mental model of how climate works doesn't allow you to comprehend the mechanism that allows global warming to lead to more precipitation, then I'm not sure anyone here can help you. Weather != climate. Luckily the people actually working on the problem are way beyond that first-year course issue. It's unfortunate that there are so many people like yourself with voting powers getting in their way though.

Re:Science or Religion? (0, Troll)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163942)

Well, maybe for 2009 to not be the hottest year in recorded history, or 2000-2009 to be the hottest decade in recorded history, for one.

And all the recorded historical data proves these to be facts, right?

Oh damn... Now where did I put that data...

...[delete]

Re:Science or Religion? (3, Informative)

sremick (91371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164050)

And all the recorded historical data proves these to be facts, right?

Yes.

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20100121/ [nasa.gov]

Sorry, I mis-remembered: 2009 is the second warmest year on-record. 2000-2009 is still the warmest decade.

Re:Science or Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163884)

And the opposite of this? If there is drought, it's certainly not anthropogenic GW

But if it blizzards on the east coast then it's most definitely not AGW.

etc.

What's your point, exactly? That your faith that AGW is false is correct and mine is incorrect? Sounds like religion, all right.

Re:Science or Religion? (5, Informative)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163894)

So my question is this: For a theory to be Science it must be falsifiable; so what would it take for one of you True Believers to reconsider your theory?

Well it takes more than repeating easily debunked platitudes and specious arguments. Here's Jones' original quote...

Jones: "Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods."

Sounds a bit more measured and reasonable than your biased histrionics. Yes?

Re:Science or Religion? (-1, Offtopic)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164016)

Very nice, mod parent up.

Re:Science or Religion? (2)

brendan.hill (1218328) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163898)

Anyone who attributes a single event to global warming is being just plain silly. The media and simple minded laymen on both sides of the issue do this all the time. No individual event proves anthropogenic global warming true or false any more than any individual fossil proves the theory of evolution.... that's why the people at Copenhagen didn't go "Oh wow, look at the snow outside? No global warming... might as well go home."

That aside, I would be fascinated to hear from the climatology community how they consider the theory of AGW to be falsifiable. I can appreciate it being HARD to falsify (in the sense of it being difficult to construct an objective test which would falsify it), given that it's a hugely inexact science with many unknowns, but there should be some theoretical data which would set it to rest once and for all.

-Brendan

P.S. And let's not aggravate the issue by calling unfalsifiable stuff "religion", or climatologists "religious". We might as well just start throwing buckets of paint at each other.

Re:Science or Religion? (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163918)

sure except in order to really understand the standards of evidence you need to, you know, go to school and participate in science. having a science career will do wonders for your credibility. posting ridiculous equivocations on slashdot just gets lost in the noise (in case you were wondering why nobody of import has been taking you seriously)

They're mutually exclusive. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163932)

If it turns out to be "Climate Change" instead, and specifically "Global Cooling", that would indeed falsify Global Warming.

Also worth mentioning: Most of the actions we could take to reduce Global Warming are things we should be doing anyway. Fossil fuels won't last forever, and corn ethanol is actually taking food out of people's mouths.

Re:Science or Religion? (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163936)

So my question is this: For a theory to be Science it must be falsifiable; so what would it take for one of you True Believers to reconsider your theory?

If a ball falls down it is because of gravity.
If it bounces back up it is because of gravity.

If comet flies into the solar system it is because of gravity.
If the comet slingshots around jupiter and permanently exits the solar system it is because of gravity.

If the tide rises it is because of gravity.
If the tide recedes it is because of gravity.

See how easy it is to gloss over the details and make something perfectly normal seem contradictory?

That's the kind of thing people have made up their mind and are only interested in promulgating their point of view do - not someone who is asking genuine questions.

When Phil Jones says there has been no warming for fifteen years, it doesn't mean anything. In fact, to date only the Moonies at the Wash. Times and Fox News consider his statement worthy of repeating. (He said it to the BBC, btw, not known as a bastion of Deniers.)

Except, that's not what he said:

BBC - Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

PJ - Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

See now how that's nothing like the denial you spun it as? Or maybe you really didn't spin it, maybe you didn't even bother to go to first sources and just took the word of other spinmeisters - you know the ones who follow the mantra "if it bleeds, it leads!" Sucks not being able to apply critical thinking and google to do your own fact checking.

Re:Science or Religion? (4, Insightful)

Ada_Rules (260218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164084)

If a ball falls down it is because of gravity. If it bounces back up it is because of gravity.

Actually, when it bounces back up it is due to inertia but thanks for playing.

Re:Science or Religion? (4, Interesting)

theguyfromsaturn (802938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163956)

As anybody living in Canada knows, it doesn't snow on cold winter days. It snows on the warmer winter days. I've never witness snow at les than minus 7 or 10 Celcius. Most of the time, it's not far from the freezing point that you get your really heavy snowfalls. So, I do tend to agree, that lots of snow in no way contradicts global warming.

As for proving or disproving Global warming, a better indicator than any of the temperature measurements is the measurement of the thickness of the icecaps in the arctic. Those massive sheets of ice are not subject to localized short term variations of climate, but reflect the integration of many year's worth of effects. By all accounts the maximum thickness of the arctic ice sheets is decreasing rapidly.

Re:Science or Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163972)

Comments from an actual scientist, not some hack on /.

Re:Science or Religion? (4, Interesting)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164006)

Well, when we have long-term evidence (not short-term anecdotal evidence) that climates aren't changing (15 years is nothing) and a model that explains why all the stuff we're pumping into the atmosphere isn't having an effect, we'll reconsider our theory. in the meantime we are at a crossroads of speculation. You say, "who knows what'll happen, we don't know how complex systems like this work", I say, "doesn't that worry you? shouldn't we then minimize our impact until we better understand". The very fact that there are conflicting opinions screams to me that we don't know what we're doing, and should tread lightly.

A counter question, what evidence do you need to start believing in global warming? Evidence has come and gone, there are valid points on both ends, but I'm sure you've been a staunch global warming denier the whole time. If you position any more reasoned? Lets say for a moment that neither of us really know what is going to happen, since we don't. Isn't it better to be careful. If global warming supporters are wrong, do big deal, we wasted money adopting green technology we need to support ourselves sooner or later anyway. If global warming critics are wrong are chances are that the consequences are very dire. Are you so sure from you 15 years of data that the climate won't ever budge that you are willing to risk civilization as we know it? Even if the chance or global warming is only 10%, or even 1% it seems like a good idea to be on the safe side.

Besides, the article is common sense. If it is snowing hard, how did all that water get into the atmosphere? It was so cold that the water appeared in the sky? No, that means that oceans must be abnormally warm, therefor hastening the water cycle. Or it means that it was a random local fluke that no meaningful data can be extrapolated from. Anyone who uses local temperatures and conditions to either support or deny global warming is an idiot.

Re:Science or Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164008)

I've got one question for you. Why can't we be the cause of climate change? We pump millions of tons of green house gases into the atmosphere every year yet many claim we can't affect the weather. Everything humans do affects the environment just like any other force on Earth. The problem isn't one or two changes the changes are worldwide and too numerous to count. I just read an article about wineries in France facing having to move 600 miles north. Not because of what will happen in the future but due to current conditions. Now prize wining wines are starting to come from England of all places. Twenty years ago hardly anyone produced wine in England. FYI a small increase in sea ice one year doesn't make for a change in trends it's still well below normal levels. As to your question about "true believers", Prove to me human produced CO2 can't affect weather the way naturally occurring CO2 does? That would be step one since levels are currently beyond what they were a million years ago and are expected to pass 60 million years levels before the end of the century. FYI saying the CO2 is from natural sources forces one to cram their head in the sand and ignore all the CO2 we are releasing. Remember the fossil fuels represent CO2 that was stored over a period of tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of years. We are releasing a large percentage of that in 200 years! Wrap your mind around that. Show me a natural source for the CO2 and the warming would also help. Volcanic activity is well within normal levels so that isn't the source. Sun light is less than it was in the 50s so that isn't the source, look up global dimming. The problem with flatearthers is they offer no evidence but say the mountain of evidence showing warming proves nothing.

Re:Science or Religion? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164026)

One question for the warmers reading. Can the theory of AGW be falsified?

Of course it can. It wouldn't be a valid scientific hypothesis if it couldn't be falsified. If the global average temperature decreases or stabilizes over the timescale of decades, even as the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to increase, that would invalidate the notion that increased carbon dioxide causes significant warming. If the Arctic ice [nsidc.org] and Antarctic ice [nasa.gov] stop melting, that would show that the warming has stopped. It should be trivial to falsify, if it is false. If it cannot be falsified, that that means the hypothesis has been confirmed.

Re:Science or Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164038)

The direct effect of an increase in CO2 is a suppression of outgoing longwave radiation to space. That should not be subject to dispute. I challenge you to find solid evidence to dispute the greenhouse effect.

Humans are largely accountable for the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the past couple of centuries. Again, I challenge you to find quality peer-reviewed evidence disputing that human activity has caused an increase in CO2 concentrations.

This really comes down to the direct effects of aerosols and indirect effects associated with an increased greenhouse effect. That is an active area of research. There are also scientists who question the magnitude of the impacts of human activities and suggest that some of the "climate change" is due to natural variability. Again, that goes back to questions about the effects of aerosols and the indirect effects of increased CO2.

Re:Science or Religion? (1)

zarzu (1581721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164076)

So my question is this: For a theory to be Science it must be falsifiable; so what would it take for one of you True Believers to reconsider your theory?

people need to stop this, it is the easiest thing on the world to make a theory falsifiable, there are enough improbable events to make any theory science. poppers falsifiability argument is from the early twentieth century and it has been shown to be absolutely worthless for many decades now, people should read more philosophy around here.

Re:Science or Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164100)

Of course it can be. Obviously, we don't have the resources to do it on the same scale as planet Earth, but there are simple ways. For instance, you can inflate a balloon with oxygen and another with CO2, put them out in the sun, and see which absorbs more energy. Additionally, you can introduce other variables like water vapor concentration, etc. These are the type of experiments that climate scientist do every day. They are experiments that anyone can do in their own backyard. Saying they are wrong is poor education at best and divorcing oneself from reality at worst.

Re:Science or Religion? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164104)

Reminds me of a line from Full Metal Jacket. It goes something like:

If it's hot, it's because of GW.
If it's cold, it's because of well disciplined GW.

Re:Science or Religion? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164114)

so what would it take for one of you True Believers to reconsider your theory?

Bigger glaciers. [wikipedia.org]

Meanwhile (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163718)

The East Coast gets a bit of a blizzard (I live in DC but am from Minnesota). People start saying, "Global warming?! HA!"

Meanwhile Sagar Island shrinks away from rising oceans [wbur.org] .

Meanwhile a UAB professor claims ocean acidification is yet another measurable effect of climate change [uab.edu] .

Meanwhile Eastern Antarctica (the steadfast 'unaffected' part of Antarctica) begins to show signs of melting [abc.net.au] (via NASA and U of TX).

Feel free to keep using your local area to prove/disprove climate change. One day the facts will pile up ...

Meanwhile, the ex head of CRU (3, Insightful)

whoda (569082) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163820)

Phil Jones has pretty much admitted most of the data is BS and nobody knows what it really means.

The time for debate is over... (4, Informative)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163840)

Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995 [dailymail.co.uk]

At least now we know why they were illegally denying FOI requests for their data.

UN climate body admits 'mistake' on Himalayan glaciers [bbc.co.uk]

How many more "mistakes", falsifications, and fabrications need to be exposed before this scam goes buh-bye?

Re:The time for debate is over... (1, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163886)

How many more "mistakes", falsifications, and fabrications need to be exposed before this scam goes buh-bye?

It no longer matters if AGW is real (even though I think it probably is). It will never EVER go bye-bye, because there are now thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs, research grants, professorships, researchers' egos, bureaucratic hegemonies, and enforcement regimes riding on it. Too much money is flowing now for this thing to be put to bed, EVEN IF tomorrow we discovered a magical proof that AGW is bunk.

At this point the incentives are in place and we are stuck in a self-reinforcing pattern. Truth mattered thirty years ago, before the patten was strong enough to self-reinforce. It doesn't matter now.

Re:The time for debate is over... (2, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164048)

At this point the incentives are in place and we are stuck in a self-reinforcing pattern. Truth mattered thirty years ago, before the patten was strong enough to self-reinforce. It doesn't matter now.

World War III could be started by the following policies enacted by AGW research. Think international totalitarianism in order to "fix" the Earth at-all-costs. At that point, who gives a fuck if the planet turns purple.

Re:The time for debate is over... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163888)

How about any that are at all related to what GP mentioned?

Re:The time for debate is over... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163916)

Well, those two incidents themselves don't disprove global warming. Generally the world has been warming for a while now. The question really centers around the cause of it. Is it natural or man made? That's the real debate. The other big question is can we reverse the trend and what would it take to do so?

Re:The time for debate is over... (2, Insightful)

Paua Fritter (448250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164060)

The "Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995" headline is simply false. That's not what Professor Jones said at all, and in fact if you'd bothered to read the article you linked to, you'd know that.

Actually it has warmed, but he said the warming was not statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. I assume most people on Slashdot will know what that means, even if the headline writer at the Daily Mail (and you) do not.

Re:The time for debate is over... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164066)

Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995 [dailymail.co.uk]

I'm going to have to take issue with the credibility of any source that uses the suffix "gate" in a scandal that doesn't have "water" before it.

Re:The time for debate is over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164072)

How many more "mistakes", falsifications, and fabrications need to be exposed before this scam goes buh-bye?

Suppose the City of Detroit hired researchers to review all the reports and articles written over the past 20 years about the allegedly poor quality of living in Detroit (murders, gang violence, drugs, shuttered neighborhoods, race, etc), and made a tabulation of all the exaggerations and falsehoods. Suppose the latter was a substantial document, with footnotes and everything. Would that convince you that it's a good idea to move to Detroit?

You have to look at mistakes in context. If "90 percent of ANYTHING is shit", as some noted science fiction writer once said, then it's quite possible that a substantial proportion of all AGW studies have serious errors. Maybe some of the studies connecting cigarette smoking with lung cancer were flawed too. But that doesn't invalidate the theory. It is a fact that the polar icecaps are melting, and that average temperatures for the past 15 years are among the highest on record.

Re:The time for debate is over... (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164098)

The IPCC did royally frak up on the himalayan glaciers, that is indisputable. However, the DailyMail distorted the issue to its own ends. [skepticalscience.com]

Re:Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163876)

Meanwhile where there currently are glaciers, there used to not be.

How could that be?

Re:Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163880)

People are stubborn and refuse to admit that humans(6+ billion of them) can change the climate of a planet. It's snowing in North America because it's winter and warmer water is putting more moisture in the air. Duh.

Look at South America, it's their summer. Nearly all of South America is above 70F, some parts are over near 100 and you have to get to the very southern tip to get reasonably mild temperature of 55.

Africa? Nope, whole continent(south to its very tip) is between 65F and 90F.

Okay, maybe Australia. Definitely not. The whole continent is over 85F.

Well shit, our snow must be an indicator of global cooling, despite smoking hot temperatures everywhere south of the equator. /sarcasm

Re:Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163914)

Yeah, like that fact that you're a dim-wit! This whole manmade global warming thing is about power and money. That means power over you, like telling you what you can and can't do, what kind of car you can drive, how big a house you can have, how warm or cold your house temp is...... It also means taking your money in form of taxes to fund THEIR power over you. The biggest voice is Al Gore. If he really believed what he was preaching, wouldn't he adjust his lifestyle to help save the planet? Wouldn't you? Well, he doesn't. He just rakes in $100,000,000+, lives in a HUGE house that wastes energy and flies in private jets that DUMP tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Let's put on our thinking caps for a minute. What single thing has the most influence on our climate. The SUN. The frik'in SUN!!!!! Sun spot activity is way more likely to have an effect on our climate then ANYTHING else. And sun spot activity has been changing plenty over the past few decades. After all, it been reported that Mars is experiencing global warming too. I've never seen an SUV on mars. Maybe it's the rovers causing it? Nope! They are solar powered. One day the facts will pile up. Showing that you alarmists are a bunch of kooks.

Re:Meanwhile (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164090)

I'd love to see Al Gore go away, just so I could find out who deniers would hold up as a strawman in his place.

Re:Meanwhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163988)

And the last time that some of the areas go hit with this much snow was in the 1950s. What does that say about your "evidence" of global warming? Or was global warming at a peak 60 years ago too?

Sherlock Holmes (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163720)

Is this finding facts to fit theories, or theories to fit facts?

Could have told Vancouver earlier (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163726)

If this had been common knowledge a couple weeks ago, Vancouver could have properly prepared for this year's Olympic games.

That and rehearsing the torch ceremony. And putting proper walls on the luge track. And checked the Zambonis for proper maintenance.

But yeah, more snow earlier would have been nice.

Or not (5, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163738)

Didn't make this argument when it didn't snow much last few years, did they?

Re:Or not (5, Funny)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163808)

It wasn't warm enough to snow.

Something about no warming for the last 15 Years? (1)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163740)

I remember hearing something about no warming for the past 15 years? Weird. How can something so easy to meassure have so many variables? Idiots...

Support Global Warming (4, Insightful)

vlakkies (107642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163746)

Since a shortage of fresh water is our next big crisis, doesn't that mean that global warming is a good thing?

Re:Support Global Warming (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163878)

Since a shortage of fresh water is our next big crisis, doesn't that mean that global warming is a good thing?

And food; increased heat, water, and CO2 will make crops grow like crazy.

Re:Support Global Warming (3, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163920)

Sort of. More water in the air is a good thing for drought areas, if the water gets where it needs to be and stays there. In some areas, heavy rain typically comes down as a flood and the water isn't retained.

The flooding causes damage but doesn't really help crops. If global warming can increase cloud cover and cause more rain in areas that need it, that is definitely a good thing.

Warming oceans on the other hand isn't great. It's thought to be a primary ingredient for heavy hurricane seasons. I'm no geologist but logic seems to indicate to me that if it gets too hot near the equator, it just won't rain. The air will be supersaturated all the time and will never cool enough to rain.

That's just a guess though.

World is Fucked (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163758)

World is fucked. Oh well, time to jerk off.

Re:World is Fucked (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164116)

Oh well, time to jerk off.

That can also mean more snow.

nothing to see here. (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163770)

yes because there is no way that a model that predicts weather over long periods of time years/decades can have periodic variances day to day. THey were saying the same here until I pointed out 2 weeks ago it was 60 then by the next weekend it was down to 10.

Re:nothing to see here. (3, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164052)

For the last time, climate is not weather [epa.gov] .

weather is different than climate (2, Insightful)

saiha (665337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163776)

A non-warming planet can also mean more snow year-to-year. And anyway it doesn't say anything about human-caused warming since we know the planet has gone through many warming and cooling cycles naturally.

Re:weather is different than climate (1)

Povidius (1351055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163814)

Hey! Stop pointing out facts! You're messing up my plan! -Al Gore (Inventor of the Internet and AGW)

Re:weather is different than climate (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164130)

There's also been periods of extinction where most of the land-lifeforms have disappeared. It shouldn't be a question of whether or not man caused global warming, but if man can stop global warming. I'd rather not join the dinosaurs and turn into birds or die.

Dear Global Warming (5, Funny)

ronz0o (889697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163804)

Dear Global Warming,
I looked out my window, and saw another 8 inches of snow. I just wanted to tell you that you are a liar, and I hate you.
Sincerely,

ronz0o

Global Warming!!! (2, Insightful)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163826)

It all seems such a moot point to me... Honestly no matter what humans do to save or destroy the earth, in 4-5 billion years the sun is going to engulf the earth.

Save the whales, save the tree's, save yourself.... Death is the inevitable outcome of life.

On a more cheerful note I am going back to playing the Wii and enjoy my time here!

Re:Global Warming!!! (2, Insightful)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163890)

Personally, I'm very much hoping to be hale and hearty well past 2050. It would be nice to enjoy a world that is not suffering global upheaval resulting from say, anthropogenic climate change.

Good news (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163984)

The best way to avoid suffering global upheaval is to quit worrying about "global warming" entirely, and vote down measures that are sold on the basis of "fixing" it, especially global taxes, carbon taxes, etc.

Global Warming means More Weather (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163838)

I rather thought all slashdotters knew and appreciated this simple notion. The weather is all about water moving around in the air. More energy into the water means more water into the air. More water into the air means more weather... more storms, more hurricanes, more snow... and what's really interesting is a new distribution of water. We will see deserts turn to jungles and jungles into deserts. The geologic record shows this kind of thing happening a lot. Some people think changes like these killed the dinosaurs.

Re:Global Warming means More Weather (4, Insightful)

sremick (91371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163892)

It IS a simple notion. It's just too many people find it easier to distort their perception of data in order to allow them to continue their existing lives with as close to no change as possible. Anything that requires one to perform effort, change, or that reduces ones comforts obviously must be wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normalcy_bias [wikipedia.org]

Re:Global Warming means More Weather (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163996)

Ah, right. That's why the warmers told us that the 2005 hurricane season was the tip of the iceberg, and that it would get worse and worse since then. I'm not sure there's been one major storm make landfall since then.

Re:Global Warming means More Weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164012)

Some people also realized that human produced CO2 did not kill the dinosaurs. Somehow the earth warmed up all by itself. I wish I had the power of God in me to warm the earth, but I'm afraid i don't. So if we didn't cause the earth to warm and cool and then warm again and cool again, why, i ask, would the earth stop doing this just because the almighty man came around. Maybe there is just nothing that can be done........... If anyone can figure out how to make the climate stay perfectly calm, i'm tired of the tide too, can you get rid of the moon?

Re:Global Warming means More Weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164030)

And some crazy bastards think it was that 10 kilometer comet that hit the Yucatan. Or you know, it could have been water vapor. Whatever.

Re:Global Warming means More Weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164036)

And some people think that "some people think" does not rise to the level of scientific evidence. Some people even KNOW that Newton had to be an Aristotle skeptic to discover the law of gravity. While some people know that the heat law shows that a barrier doesn't trap heat but produces a drag on escaping of heat. Some people even know that warmer temperatures cause more vegetation to grow and reabsorb more CO2. And some people get their science from politicians. These are not all the same people.

Whatever... (1)

moogoogaipan (970221) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163862)

You scientists are confusing me more and more each day with all these sayings. I'll adapt to whatever the environment we'll end up with. I might end up looking like a frog but I bet the girls are still sexy in their bumpy skins.

Proof? (0, Troll)

amightywind (691887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163866)

What does not constitute proof of global warming to these madmen?

Re:Proof? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164094)

Yeah, it's not like glaciers are retreating all over the earth or anything!
Whoops. [wikipedia.org]

This is easily skewered by ... (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163872)

the best cable news team [thedailyshow.com] in America.

gorebull warming? (1)

arem-aref (158417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163934)

according to y'all, anything can be caused by gorebull warming

Possible... but it's not that simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163964)

It's possible that warming caused by increasing CO2 concentrations could cause more snowfall. It's probably true that warming will increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. That's a reasonable assumption. Whether this leads to more snow or not is not nearly as certain.

The general circulation of the atmosphere can be described by three circulations in each hemisphere. The Hadley Cell is a thermally direct circulation and is the most equatorward cell in either hemisphere. The strongest of the cells is the Hadley Cell. Moving poleward, the Ferrel Cell is a thermally indirect circulation and is weaker than the Hadley Cell. And around the poles, the Polar Cell is a thermally direct circulation that is weaker than the Ferrel Cell. These cells aren't found by looking at the day to day weather but instead are planetary scale circulations that show up in long term means.

The tropics have a surplus of heat. That is to say, more radiation enters from the sun than is lost due to outgoing longwave radiation. The poles have a deficit of heat, meaning that more outgoing longwave radiation is lost to space than incoming shortwave radiation is received from the sun. To keep the system in balance, heat is transported poleward from the equator.

Observations and climate models indicate that the greatest warming will occur at the poles. This means that there will be less of a thermal gradient between the tropics and poles.

Mid-latitude cyclones are responsible for a substantial amount of snowfall in the United States and many heavy snow events. These cyclones exist in the atmosphere to transport thermal energy poleward and help to maintain the energy budget in the atmosphere.

If the thermal gradient between the tropics and the poles becomes weaker due to polar warming, this could result in fewer or weaker mid-latitude cyclones. Because mid-latitude cyclones are responsible for much of the snow in the United States and many of the heavy snow events, if they decrease in number or intensity, it may result in an overall decrease in snowfall.

This is conjecture and shouldn't be taken as fact. However, the point that the effects of warming are far more complex than just an increase in water vapor is correct. The effect on the general circulation of the atmosphere is very important and could easily negate any increase in snowfall caused by increasing water vapor concentrations.

Exposed already, get over it (-1, Troll)

xiando (770382) | more than 4 years ago | (#31163976)

It's not that hard to put "climategate" into a search-engine and find out that it's a scam. It's actually been getting colder every year the last decade. The UN "scientists" even admit that they actively falsify data and discredit those who tell the truth in leaked e-mails. "Global warming" is all about getting a global UN tax, it's got nothing to do with reality. I find it funny and sad that people seem to believe this myth due to the medias constant bombardment of "omg there will be global warming and the sky is falling and if we don't give the UN unlimited powers then the world is going to die"

Very convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31163982)

The idea that there is more water vapor in the air is actually quite plausible to me (as a Global Warming denier), but suggesting that the warm water off the East Coast caused it is a joke. Both major storms came from the Southwest, to Midwest region of the US.

Global warming activists must have loved the Fall, when it was unusually warm, but now they are quickly looking for ways to twist the unusually cold and wintery winter into a Global Warming activity. The scientists making these claims really need to quit tossing out pieces of the puzzle when they make their grand claims.

I also have always found it amusing that the doom and gloom theories about the future of the Earth in 40-50 years when we are still unable to accurately predict the weather even a day in advance.

Sometimes it seems pointless (2, Insightful)

sremick (91371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164000)

A guy I know ran with this today and was going on and on about it, going off about how climate-change advocates were such idiots and how this was a huge slap in the face for them, etc etc. He tried to sound really educated about it, talking laws of thermodynamics and saturation of 14.77 micron absorbtion and so on. I countered all his points but he wouldn't let up, of course selectively responding to the stuff I countered with and bringing up some new zany thing each time. I ran out of energy to deal with him, and was simply reminded of why I never really liked the guy.

It's unfortunate to let him have the last word, as of course all his fan-club will read the thread (I confess... this was on Facebook) and of course they will all just see it as a victory and continue to reinforce each others' delusion... but I really don't see how I could ever change his or any of their minds on the subject. My only real hope is that all these curmudgeons with their lazy conservative and antiquated views on things will eventually die off in time for the newer generation of educated youth to step in and hopefully turn things around in time.

The future matters more than the past (4, Insightful)

atfrase (879806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164034)

To some extent I think the question of whether the globe is warming (or climate is changing, or whatever terminology comes next) is secondary.

Whether or not it's already happening in any measurable way today, I think we can all agree that it *could* happen in the future, so we (as a country, and a global society, and a species) need to be careful that it doesn't. To that end, studying human civilization's side effects on the biosphere seems obviously worthwhile.

I think the original batch of climate scientists were well-intentioned but did themselves (and us) a disservice by overplaying the initial data. They saw a potential problem in the future and tried to rally the public by saying "it's already happening!", but when that ended up not being very obviously provable, people started dismissing the entire concern. That, to me, is a huge mistake.

See, the problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164040)

No one really knows what happens with Global Warming–the whole point is that we _don't_. What we do know, though, is that there are a lot of very important variables to Earth's climate that we're screwing with, and we have _no idea_ what we're doing. Heck, we might make our planet better for our species; it's not outside the realm of possibility. But just the uncertainty alone should give you pause.

Global Warming may lead to BIG Chill.... (3, Interesting)

EightBitBanger (1544977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164062)

The thing many people overlook (the global warming people especially) is that if you go back and look at ice core samples and prehistoric patterns of glaciation, the current weather patterns look eerily similar to what has happened before.

Specifically: initial warming leads to the melting of the permafrost, which leads to a massive release of CO2 into the atmosphere. This promotes runaway global warming -- which unfortunately means greater ocean temperatures and much more evaporation. This means more rain and more SNOW.

Additionally, it also tends to disrupt ocean currents and the rotation of heat from the equator to the poles (i.e. the vast majority of Europe is at Latitudes higher than Canada is -- and if it weren't for the warm ocean currents they would have equally frigid weather).

The basic problem is that if you get enough extended period of heavy snow, you may eventually get enough snowpack to resist melting well into the summer months. This is exacerbated by the fact that snow, being white, reflects a HUGE amount of light/heat back into space. In essence, due to snow fall, cold weather is somewhat self-perpetuating.

Eventually you reach a situation where the amount of extra snow that falls in the winter is too great in certain latitudes to EVER completely melt in the winter -- and then things start going down hill from there. Thanks to the fact that evaporation / refreezing and then remelting acts as a wonderful method for desalinization of seawater, you also end up playing merry havoc with the ocean currents as well (and end up with much more coastal ice formation as the freezing point of the fresh water run off is much higher than that of pure seawater). Eventually the currents supplying heat to the North Atlantic basically shut down altogether and things go to hell in a hand basket (i.e. hell freezes over!).

The point that most of the "global warming" alarmists miss is that data shows that in the past both average global temperatures *and* CO2 levels peaked at levels significantly HIGHER than they are right now -- immediately before the planet plunged into the next ice age.

People need to realize that ALL of recorded human history has occurred in the current warm interglacial period -- which is only the most recent one. Furthermore, they need to realize that these warm interglacials of 20K-25K years are the EXCEPTION not the rule -- with ice ages of 100K years or more being the norm (with the interglacial periods between them).

While the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" was largely pure BS, there were some grains of actual science behind it (albeit they sped up the time table of events by several orders of magnitude to make it exciting).

Specious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31164106)

specious /spis/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [spee-shuhs] Show IPA
–adjective
1. apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible: specious arguments.
2. pleasing to the eye but deceptive.
3. Obsolete. pleasing to the eye; fair.

Texas was once... (0, Flamebait)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164112)

...under a layer of ice, did the wooly mamoths drive SUVs?

and even *if* the earth is warming, who are we to say that "right here and right now" is the "right" temperature for the earth?

The only measurable data that we have only goes back about 150 years, and even then its been manipulated as exposed by climategate. Temperature probes placed by asphault parking lots or by air conditioner vents have been scewing the data for years.

Creative attribution (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164128)

EVERYTHING can be rationalized as something that can happen with global warming.

Everything and anything, no matter how absurd that happens, can be used to substantiate rogue pseudo-theories like global warming, which are intentionally vague, and fail to make specific falsifiable predictions about what should happen and what should not happen and when.

If it were a real scientific theory, there would be no room for ad hoc explanations as events occur, that they somehow "further solidify" the proposition. If global warming were proper valid theory, these things would already have been predicted as things that would happen, as results of the theory.

Global warming can mean colder winters and less heat during summers.

Global warming can mean oceans freezing.

Global warming can mean an ice age.

Global warming can mean hell freezes.

Global warming can mean record low temperatures

Global warming can mean higher crime rates

Global warming can mean more sex

Global warming can mean higher unemployment

Global warming can mean more recessions

Global warming can mean more housing meltdowns

Global warming can mean higher gas prices

Global warming can mean more militant terrorists

Global warming can mean more wars

Global warming can mean nuclear proliferation

Global warming can mean more violence in schools

Global warming can mean pigs fly.

Global warming can mean earth spontaneously implodes.

Global warming can mean more blackholes

Global warming can mean more attention from extraterrestrials

Global warming can mean increased cockroach populations

Global warming can mean monkeys conquer humans for world domination

Nothing New... (1)

goobenet (756437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31164132)

Climate Change is real... This climate is called WINTER. The next change we'll experience is called SPRING... Move along Folks, nothing to see here.
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