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Droughts Linked To Global Warming

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the hot-off-the-presses dept.

Earth 535

Layzej writes "Two new papers indicate that we are likely already seeing some of the predicted impacts of global warming. The first used Monte Carlo simulations to analyze how many new record events you expect to see in a time series with a trend. They applied the technique to the unprecedented Russian heat wave of July 2010, which killed 700 people and contributed to soaring wheat prices. According to the analysis, there's an 80 percent chance that climate change was responsible. The authors have described their methods and how they improved on previous studies. The second group studied wintertime droughts in the Mediterranean region. They found that 'the magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone. This is not encouraging news for a region that already experiences water stress, because it implies natural variability alone is unlikely to return the region's climate to normal.'"

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Doughnuts? (4, Funny)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882218)

I first read that as "Doughnuts Linked to Global Warming".

Stands to reason I suppose.

Re:Doughnuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882270)

I first read that as "Doughnuts Linked to Global Warming".

Stands to reason I suppose.

Doughnuts need energy that is usually created by fossil fuels; thereby causing Global Warming.

Doughnuts also use a bit of animal products (fats and whatnot) that come from animals that create Methane and other Greenhouse gases.

The ingredients used to make the doughnuts have to be trucked in by vehicles that use global warming creating fossil fuels.

The consumers of the doughnuts drive to the store burning global warming fossil fuels in their vehicles.

Doughnuts cause Global Warming,

QED

Re:Doughnuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882294)

Most of the fossil fuel burned to acquire donuts comes from police vehicles.

Re:Doughnuts? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882502)

Animals releasing methane don't have anything to do with global warming, since that's already part of the carbon cycle.
Fossil fuels are the issue.

Re:Doughnuts? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882840)

Good thing we're about to run out, then...

Re:Doughnuts? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882888)

And you could also say it, "Fossil fuels being burned has nothing to do with global warming, it's already part of the carbon cycle. Overpopulation is the is issue."

Re:Doughnuts? (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883058)

You too? I'd blame it on hunger but I'd just finished eating. Maybe I shouldn't skip dessert.

Me too (1)

patiodragon (920102) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882524)

Mmmmm.... doughnuts!

If doughnuts are wrong, then I don't want to be right.

Re:Doughnuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882736)

Actually, I only noticed it didn't say doughnuts when I read your post.

Re:Doughnuts? (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882826)

It won't be long before someone does say Doughnuts cause Global Warming. Or, Global Warming causes doughnuts. Does it really matter?

Re:Doughnuts? (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882960)

Yes... there's a hole in the confection zone.

of course they are. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882254)

droughts? Global Warming!
cold weather? Global Warming!
average temperature dropping? Global Warming!

Re:of course they are. (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882508)

Unpredictable events due to an increase in the overall energy of a chaotic system? Global warming!

Re:of course they are. (1, Interesting)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882732)

droughts? Global Warming! cold weather? Global Warming! average temperature dropping? Global Warming!

While phrased facetiously and fairly modded down for it... the AC has a point. There are a hell of a lot of things that are blamed on global warming... and it's very easy for laymen to point that out and very easy for other laymen to say "well a global trend in warming can cause strange, unpredictable results in this chaotic weather system". I say stop BLAMING things on global warming. Droughts are the result of climate change, because they're a change in climate. Global warming, global cooling, global stayingthesameing, they're all going to affect weather in strange ways... what we have is an upward trend in temperature that may or may not be the direct result of human activity and droughts that may or may not be a direct result of this upward trend in temperature. I can tell you this much: We had a drought here in California that lasted several years and actually ENDED last year and we've been having record-breaking rains (and snow) that lasted well into July (SKIING IN TAHOE FOR JULY 4TH??) and then we had our first rains a couple weeks ago... is that caused by global warming too? Maybe. Who knows? Who cares? Does it really matter? No not really. The only thing that all these situations definitely have in common is that they are all occurring. If global warming is truly caused by human activity (which the jury is still firmly out on), we need to take rational action to solve it based upon scientific research... and that does not mean throwing money at anybody who claims to have the solution. Articles like this only serve to fuel the emotional bickering which has absolutely no place in science.

Re:of course they are. (-1, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883068)

"Articles like this only serve to fuel the emotional bickering which has absolutely no place in science."

The point you seem to be missing is, there exists a new religion, centered on global warming. Some days, it masquerades as science, other days it is a nakedly emotional issue. And, the zealots look forward to the day that witch hunts become commonplace. The human animal just loves his violence, and his inquisitions. Deprived of the inquisitions supplied by the Catholic Church, mankind must evolve a new religion, and a new church to satisfy his need for righteous violence.

We're not there yet... (4, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882292)

The unusual weather events we've been seeing around the world the last year aren't proof that global climate change is real... at least not yet. Weather != Climate and all that, not over the period of a single year anyways. But eventually if the trend continues and we continue to see more and bigger weather related disasters over the coming years then eventually even the non-scientist deniers will have to admit there is a problem. When that does happen, i wonder if any of the deniers will actually step forward and admit they were wrong? Every time i see a denier post on Slashdot that seems to come from someone who sincerely believes what they're saying i'm tempted to write their name down and ask them about it when that time comes, but i'm far too lazy to actually follow through on that.

(And turnabout is fair play. If ten or twenty years from now the temperature hasn't gone up any more and the weird weather events go away without us taking any action about it i'll be willing to stand up and say i was wrong. In fact i'd be quite happy to have that event come about.)

Re:We're not there yet... (3, Insightful)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882392)

You're hoping for too much from deniers. Their selective memory will take care of the issue and they won't admit to being wrong anyway.

Re:We're not there yet... (-1, Troll)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882586)

Sort of like when proponents invent papers supporting their position.

Re:We're not there yet... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882998)

No, paper was invented long before Global Warming became an issue...

Re:We're not there yet... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882412)

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/10/climate-skeptics-perform-independent-analysis-finally-convinced-earth-is-getting-warmer.ars

Re:We're not there yet... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882680)

We've definitely reached the point where the reasonably skeptical scientists are becoming convinced. I'm more concerned about the point where reasonably skeptical non-scientists will become convinced. Not everyone who denies it's a problem is a liar. Quite possibly not even most of them. Some people are just fooling themselves, or letting themselves be fooled by the people who are lying.

Re:We're not there yet... (0)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883102)

We've definitely reached the point where the reasonably skeptical scientists are becoming convinced.

There never where "skeptical scientists". Only "payed skepticals". The fact that CO2 is a) a greenhouse gas and b) the exhausted amount is so huge that we will get into trouble in the near future, is well known since the 1930th.

The only thing we don't know (yet) is the extend and the speed of the (not only possible but quite likely) disaster approaching us.

Re:We're not there yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882740)

Muller is not a skeptic (supported AGW several decades ago already) and NONE of those papers have passed peer review yet.

Science isn't done by press release.

(As for this article, we've got the same weather now as the last time the PDO went negative 30-60 years ago. Same well documented drought patterns.)
 

Re:We're not there yet... (5, Insightful)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882494)

The unusual weather events we've been seeing around the world the last year aren't proof that global climate change is real... at least not yet. Weather != Climate

That is the opposite of the conclusion reached by these two papers. The papers found that the events in these regions are more likely with the current warming, and would not likely have occurred if it were not for the recent warming.

If ten or twenty years from now the temperature hasn't gone up any more and the weird weather events go away without us taking any action about it i'll be willing to stand up and say i was wrong.

You should expect to see another record year in two or three years (barring a super volcano). Waiting for 10 or 20 years before you reconsider your position is extreme in my opinion. On a somewhat related note, one of the interesting findings of the first paper is that we should expect fewer record years from temperature series that show greater natural variability. For instance, the UAH series exaggerates El Nino/La Nina events relative to other series, so we should expect fewer record years from that series, even though the trend is the same.

Re:We're not there yet... (2)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882636)

I think it's pretty clear that there's a consensus amongst those scientists who've studied the issue properly that climate change is going to be a problem. This is just one study by one group of scientists saying they're about 80% sure that this particular problem was due to climate change. I've seen other scientists saying that it's too early to judge individual weather events in relation to climate change yet, though they probably haven't finished doing specific studies of those individual events.

So in short there's pretty overwhelming evidence in favor of climate change causing problems in the future, there's only some evidence from some people so far that it's a problem right now. I'm not saying it _isn't_, but i'm going to wait for more reports from more scientists before i try to rub any deniers noses in it. There's nothing i hate worse than people on _my_ side jumping to conclusions based on insufficient evidence. It just makes the issue you're supporting look bad later if it turns out the claims were premature, or just plain wrong.

As for waiting 10-20 years before telling the deniers i was wrong, climate change _is_ a gradual process. It's been going on for decades and it's not _impossible_ that it will take another decade or two to reach the point where even a non-scientist will consider the evidence they themselves can observe to be overwhelming. Given that the statement is directed towards deniers i don't want them calling me out if we just happen to have cool temperatures and calm weather for the next year or two. But be assured, i will continue to examine the evidence as it comes in and update my opinions accordingly.

Re:We're not there yet... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882952)

The second you say "consensus" you prove to everyone that you don't understand the first thing about science.

Re:We're not there yet... (1)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883032)

So in short there's pretty overwhelming evidence in favor of climate change causing problems in the future, there's only some evidence from some people so far that it's a problem right now.

Good point. Don't hang your hat on one study or another. Waiting for a consensus before jumping to conclusions is prudent. I agree wholeheartedly.

Re:We're not there yet... (-1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882788)

"That is the opposite of the conclusion reached by these two papers."

Not really. First, GP wrote "proof", and these papers don't prove anything, even if they are completely valid in their conclusions.

But without getting to that level of nitpicking, I still have to question whether they are valid in their conclusions, for several reasons. First, climate science has never provided good evidence that warming will lead to greater weather extremes. In fact, Keven Trenberth, who was quoted in the article, has been caught red-handed publicly telling blatant lies about that very issue [colorado.edu] . The fact is that evidence up to this point has all indicated that warming has not caused weather events that have averaged any more extreme than in the past. These papers would be contradicting a far greater number of others that have found exactly the opposite. Simple statistics tells me that I don't have much reason to believe that is very likely to be valid.

Secondly, while we know that warming causes regional changes, we also know that the record of the past shows that when it was warmer, it was also on average wetter then it is now. Warmer temperatures cause greater evaporation and greater precipitation. Period. (And yes, there is evidence of times past with both higher temperatures and higher CO2 levels than today.) Again: while nobody can predict regional changes, anybody who is predicting more droughts, on average, due to warmer temperatures is -- ahem -- all wet.

My other reason is that the NOAA article states this:

"Climate change from greenhouse gases explained roughly half the increased dryness of 1902-2010, the team found. This means that other processes, none specifically identified in the new investigation, also have contributed to increasing drought frequency in the region. "

Since NOBODY, so far, has been able to quantify ANY specific effects that are due specifically to greenhouse warming, this statement can only be an exaggeration at best. This is something that is literally impossible to know today, so how do they claim to know it? Why hasn't the fact that they "know" what the specific effects of greenhouse gas warming are, separate from natural warming, been announced to the public?

The answer is because it isn't so. This is an outrageous claim that would require all kinds of extraordinary evidence that simply isn't there. If this were actually known, it would be earth-shattering news to scientists the world over. But since it hasn't been... there you have extremely good evidence that this claim has no basis in fact.

So there you have two papers, both showing similar conclusions, and both making claims that contradict the vast body of evidence known to the scientific community.

I call bullshit.

Re:We're not there yet... (2, Insightful)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883086)

Warmer temperatures cause greater evaporation and greater precipitation

Yes. The greater evaporation is what causes the droughts. This is exactly consistent with the predictions.

This is something that is literally impossible to know today, so how do they claim to know it?

I suspect the answer may be hidden in the paper.

Re:We're not there yet... (1)

SilasMortimer (1612867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882560)

When that does happen, i wonder if any of the deniers will actually step forward and admit they were wrong? Every time i see a denier post on Slashdot that seems to come from someone who sincerely believes what they're saying i'm tempted to write their name down and ask them about it when that time comes, but i'm far too lazy to actually follow through on that.

I like to be helpful, so I'll sum up the answer you'll receive when that happens:

"Well, excuse me. How could I possibly have heard all of the evidence when I just happened to be sticking my fingers in my ears and going, 'LA LA LA LA,' the whole time, Mr. Know-it-all?"

Re:We're not there yet... (3, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882572)

If someone is denying climate change today, I see no reason why they would not keep denying for the next twenty years. Even after dramatic climate changes in 50-100 years, I have no doubt that they will still say there's no proof that the changes were the result of doubling the concentration of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. After all, there's no other Earth to run a controlled experiment on, so by definition there can never be any iron-clad proof. There's also no proof the universe wasn't created last Thursday.

Re:We're not there yet... (2, Insightful)

iceperson (582205) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882718)

I'm what many people might call a "denier" even though I believe the earth is getting warmer. I'm just not convinced that 1) humans are making a measurable effect on the climate, 2) we can do anything about it if we are, and 3) it's something to really worry about (who says the current temperature is the perfect temperature for the planet?)

However, that doesn't mean that I don't recycle and do everything I can to reduce my environmental impact. Personally I think if less time and energy were spent trying to convince everyone the sky is falling because of AGW and more time were spent reminding people that having clean air and water is enough reason to take care of our environment then we might get somewhere.

Re:We're not there yet... (4, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882836)

Well i agree with your last point. There are plenty of good reasons to improve our current systems even without considering climate change.

As for the first part, at which point do you feel the argument that the change is related to our activities breaks down? It's easy to find numbers on exactly how much oil, coal and natural gas is burned every year and calculate the resultant change in carbon dioxide concentrations in the air. I've done the math myself, and it's surprising how big an impact we have. It's been a while since i did that but at the current rate presuming no other changes it's a surprisingly short period of time before we'd make the atmosphere actually lethal. (Some thousands of years i think? Though it could be tens of thousands or just centuries, i'd have to look up the math. In any event surprisingly quick on geologic scales.)

Of course according to current models we'd see severe changes to the climate long before that point. So where do you disagree? Do you feel that the carbon dioxide is being pulled out of the atmosphere at a _much_ greater rate than it was before we started pumping it into the atmosphere? If so, where do you think it's all going? Or do you feel that the models claiming that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas are wrong? Or do you feel that some other factor is balancing the effect of the increased carbon dioxide? Or is there something else i'm not considering that you think is important?

I would argue that given we have a mathematically proven effect on the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere it's kind of silly to argue that we can't do anything about the climate. And i would _not_ argue that the current temperature is perfect for the planet, but i think that it's pretty likely the current temperature, or at least the current climate, is close to perfect for us right now. After all, we've spent a long time adapting ourselves to the current situation. It's possible that another situation might be better for us overall, but adapting to that new situation over the period of a couple decades would probably be very painful. Maybe if northern Canada and Russia turn into ideal farmland while the Europe and the Midwest in the US turn into dustbowls the total _potential_ food harvest will increase, but how many people will starve (and how many wars will be fought?) before that new potential is realized?

Re:We're not there yet... (2, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883014)

Oh how I wish I had mod points. This is exactly how I feel. I recognize the Earth is getting warmer, and I know CO2 concentrations can cause warming effects, but I am by no means convinced that there is a causation link between the two, or that most (obviously not all) of the people preaching AGW aren't doing it because they benefit from "green" research and development, which is more often than not (and unfortunately) a rip-off.

Of course we should move away from oil as fast as possible: but there are a dozen good, incontrovertible reasons to do so, and harping on global warming only makes your argument look weak (it tends to make people think that is the strongest reason to shift to cleaner energy: it isn't, by a long shot.) On the other hand, pouring millions of government dollars into subsidies to build (research is completely different) solar panels or electric cars is wasteful and probably mostly the result of corruption, at one level or another.

Re:We're not there yet... (5, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883094)

The current temperatures are not the perfect ones for the planet. The planet doesn't care. The current temperatures are perfect for us and the food crops and animals we have based our civilization around.

Re:We're not there yet... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882762)

No one gives a fuck about what you think anyway. Cunt. I hope there is global warming and I hope "when the time comes" you suffer for being an uptight bitch.

Re:We're not there yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37883064)

Why wait 20 years to stand up and say something? Can we come over to your home so you can teach us how you've minimized your carbon footprint? You can tell us how you've sold your car, how you've sold your house and taken a smaller, more efficient condo, that you've invested in ultra-efficient appliances, that you grow the majority of your food and only buy local, sustainably produced food the rest of the time, that you deliberately picked a condo a few blocks away from work so that you can commute by foot or by bicycle, that you don't use AC even though you live in Southern CA, that you have consciously decided not to have kids, and that you do not use air travel, etc.

When we've looked at all of that, then we'll be able to ascertain whether you can say anything, now or in 20 years, about whether someone is right or wrong about AGW. Because what pisses people off more than anything else is the guy who continually pontificates about the idea that man is killing the planet w/ fossil fuels, but can't be bothered to change his lifestyle in order to lead by example.

Re:We're not there yet... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883116)

Write my name down.

1. The primary reason for global warming is historical - the earth cycles between glacial and interglacial periods.

2. I don't believe that mankind has accelerated that warming much, if any.

3. I am 100% convinced that all the current efforts to combat global warming are merely schemes to line people's pockets, ie, Al Gore and his "carbon credits".

You're right - turnabout is fair play. Ten or twenty years from now, the temperature WILL have gone up. The weird weather events WILL NOT go away. By then, hopefully, people will have come to understand that life is life. Things change, we adapt, or we die. Nothing has changed since the very first life form appeared on this earth! Adapt, or die.

Critics have questioned the 100 year period. (3, Informative)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882304)

Critics of the first paper have questioned why a 100 year period was used and implied that this is cherry picking. These critics are ignoring the fact that the paper examined 100 years, 100 years excluding the last (very hot) year, and also the entire record since 1880 - each time coming to the same result http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/roger-pielke-jr-just-cant-help-himself/ [wordpress.com]

Re:Critics have questioned the 100 year period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882368)

So, they used a 100-year period, a 99-year period, and a 130 period? Wow, I'm convinced!

Re:Critics have questioned the 100 year period. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882602)

You should be.

It's called "climate change" NOT "global warming". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882314)

It's called "climate change" NOT "global warming".

Re:It's called "climate change" NOT "global warmin (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882376)

It's called "climate change" NOT "global warming".

Stop with the hot air about trying to push the less threatening term "climate change" - you're contributing to global warming.

Re:It's called "climate change" NOT "global warmin (5, Interesting)

chrisale (621995) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882448)

It's called "climate change" NOT "global warming".

It's called both. It is anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions of CO2 causing global warming of mean land, sea, and lower atmosphere temperatures which is causing global climate change.

Re:It's called "climate change" NOT "global warmin (0, Troll)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882548)

Most people call it "global redistribution scam", but potato, potahto.

Re:It's called "climate change" NOT "global warmin (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882592)

A few dishonest conservative nutcases call it "global redistribution scam", but potato, potahto.

FTFY.

Don't matter. (2, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882320)

It doesn't matter a bit. Until the consequences reach such catastrophic, region-depopulating proportions that the changes occurring can't possibly be ignored the denalism will continue to be sponsored (because that's convenient for certain big businesses in the short term, and they're too stupid to see they're shooting themselves in the face in the medium and long term).

By then it'll almost certainly be too late to do anything, either to prepare or attempt to moderate the changes. But I have no doubt that when that time comes, the denalists will pretend they are innocent and will continue to defend the handful of corporate interests that manipulated them. Remember how long the tobacco-sponsored lies about how smoking doesn't cause cancer kept up?

Re:Don't matter. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882372)

Some people still believe smoking doesn't cause cancer. But most of those people have died of smoking related illnesses.

Re:Don't matter. (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882906)

Dead people still believe smoking doesn't cause cancer. Call George Romero!

Re:Don't matter. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882404)

Until free trade orthodoxy is derailed, doing anything about global warming will merely mean a transfer of wealth from the West to the East with little to show for it. Jack up the price of carbon in the US and Europe and more economic activity will flee to India and the Middle Kingdom wreathed in smog. It'll be no use appealing to them. If the Indian farmer has to choose between catastrophic flooding maybe drowning him in twenty years or having to certainly drink weed killer tomorrow because the engine of growth has been killed, what's he going to choose? Even more for the Communist government of China, which faces chaos and collapse if the economic growth ends.

Re:Don't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882484)

Actually, a lot of Americans will be drinking weed killer soon if things get any worse.

Re:Don't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882530)

Very true. Look at the steel industry. The EPA completely destroyed it because it cost so much for US steel smelters to comply with regs. To boot, in these economic times, a tariff is out of the question.

So, the whole US steel industry disappeared in 2-3 years completely.

More EPA laws just mean wholesale movement to the East who will love the business, even if it means their citizens have mercury, PCBs, and lead as a fifth food group. And the citizens will love it, as it means income.

Bogus (0)

RaiIGunner (1973954) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882362)

There is no global warming, it's just a liberal conspiracy theory to further their nanny state dreams. If there was global warming then how do you explain the October snow in New England this year?

Stop protecting Al Gore and start thinking for yourselves before the government comes to tell you how to think.

Re:Bogus (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882418)

I am sure that the current +0.6-0.8K degrees really makes a huge difference whether it will snow in October ;)

Re:Bogus (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882662)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — An unusually early and powerful nor'easter along the East Coast began dumping several inches of wet, heavy snow Saturday that weighed down or toppled leafy trees and power lines and combined with high winds to knock out power to hundreds of thousands.

Re:Bogus (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882558)

How do you explain all the green leaves still on the trees on October 30. When we moved here 18 years ago, the leaves were turned and generally falling off.

All the long-term-average indicators I know of point to a warmer climate. Short-term indicators are not so meaningful.

That's part of what this study in TFA is about -- we can't point to any single weird event and say "that's global warming!!!!" but we can start to look at sequences of events, and get a handle on how likely that collection of events would be, with and without warming.

It also snowed here (near Boston) on October 29, 2005: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32419497@N05/sets/72157627882228751/ [flickr.com]

Re:Bogus (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882596)

If there was global warming then how do you explain the October snow in New England this year?

You kill me.

Now do the one about how CO2 is necessary for life, so how can there be too much.

You're the best, RG. If I didn't know better, I'd almost think you were a real right-wing troll.

Re:Bogus (1)

SilasMortimer (1612867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882672)

In other words, don't think about the mounds of scientific evidence, rather think what you tell us to think in spite of it?

I'll get back to you on that. Hold your breath until then. Don't worry about the "need for air", that's just a liberal conspiracy. If you start feeling lightheaded, take a toke from a CO machine. Michelle Bachmann said it's perfectly harmless to breathe and she's not a liberal.

Re:Bogus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37883084)

The debacle, as you refer to global warming, comes from the number of scientifically illiterates who seem to, through their irrational denial of a worldwide scientific consensus as to the evidence supporting man-made global warming, prevent some pretty common sense, coordinated efforts to address a very serious threat before that threat grows beyond our ability to respond. As a teacher, I'm frustrated that the same crowd that denies almost all science it doesn't understand, (or is told to deny by those to whom these Neanderthals have surrendered their thinking facilities), such as evolution, ecology and global warming, have had such an impact upon public school curriculum. Terrified to teach certain subjects in science deemed "controversial" by politicians, (not scientists), we now have generations who don't understand that we live on a dynamic planet, where polar warming affects currents and weather patterns throughout the rest of the world. I want to spit when some cracker looks at snow on the ground and repeats, "well, so much for that global warming theee-orr-eee." That all-too-common evidence of ignorance reveals a lack of understanding about what a dynamic ecosystem means.

What I can't understand... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882402)

is how the Earth's temperature has remained essentially static (with a slight downward trend) for the last 12 years. That's from figures that everyone agrees.

If the temperature is static/slightly decreasing while the CO2 levels keep rising, then the CO2 hypothesis CAN'T be right. You can do clever stats as much as you like - the fact remains that the theory and model predictions say that the temperature should be increasing rapidly - and it just isn't. That really is the elephant in the room...

Re:What I can't understand... (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882454)

It's because we are measuring a very tiny part of a large system. E.g, we are not measuring the temperature of the oceans (a bit, but not a lot). The heat contents of the oceans are pretty massive, so there is some potential for heat to move around and mess with the data. That is why it is usually 30-year means that are used.

Also note that 12-years is cherry-picking: 1998 was an exceptionally hot year, and not a good basis to gauge other years against. Check out the graph [wikipedia.org] , if you please --- no one could call 1998 a representative year.

Re:What I can't understand... (1)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882622)

CO2 is the money making scapegoat. We aren't going to see dramatic changes going from .03% to .04% concentration. But, it is a gas produced in a seemingly large, quantifiable amount. The Earth is slowly heating at the moment, no doubt, but CO2 isn't bogeyman it's made out to be. Where is the hockeystick graph for Mars, which has CO2 concentrations far beyond anything achievable on Earth?

Cap-n-trade will fail; it will make things worse (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882460)

Seriously, cap-n-trade works IFF all nations participate. Well, Not only is USA not participating, but the worst polluter, china, will not either. In fact, if USA does, then it is CERTAIN that China and 3rd world nations will actually make a grab for American businesses by quickly building up electricity (probably following the chinese model of illegally subsidizing it and then dumping the goods on international market). And what is the fastest way to build up CHEAP electricity? Coal plants without ANY pollution control (in fact, china has nearly all, if not all, of their pollution controls turned off).

So, what is the best solution? Have nations tax ALL goods (local and imported) based on the CO2 that comes from the nation where the final assembly and the primary sub-components (depending on size of item, much even want several of the largest sub-components). Ideally, we would tax based on CO2 emissions from a nation on a per sq km basis. With that approach, it forces ALL major nations to lower their emissions, while nearly all 3rd world nations are all ready at low levels. However, with this approach, it will reward those nations that actually take the initiative to drop their emissions, while punishing those that choose to ignore it. That includes the nation that invokes the tax itself.

America is to launch OCO2 in 2012. It measures CO2 emissions. Rather than playing guessing games, this would simply measure CO2 into a nation's border, as well as CO2 OUT of the nation. That approach would allow us to find exactly how much CO2 a nation generates and not worry about the source. That is up to the nation to solve. They may wish to kill coal plants. Or they may elect to kill cars. etc. However, this approach combined with per sq km basis, allows a nation to decide if the issue is a business issue or a ppl issue and then adjust accordingly. However cap-n-trade and combined with per capita is about the worst idea going. It is already failing in EU. They are losing businesses to China who will continue to cheat all the way through this.

Nope, just more Globaloney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882478)

Since the Russian heat wave was determined by NOAA to not be related to Glowbull Warming, that makes real proof that this "new" analysis is just more of the same old political panic-mongering bullshit.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/19/noaa-on-the-russian-heat-wave-blocking-high/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

Falsifiable (-1, Flamebait)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882482)

I was on the fence on AGW until I read that, now I can only conclude that AGW is a fraud. AGW cannot be falsified and is therefore not science. I'm certain I'll be modded flamebait or troll or whatever, but that inconvenient fact remains, AGW cannot be falsified. When the rules of science changed to allow people to "prove" things without even trying to falsify them? The way I learned the scientific method is you must try to falsify, not present anecdotal data to "prove your theory". If your theory cannot be falsified than you're not even dealing with a scientific theory.

The lies must stop! This is not science! It lessens the impact that real scientific research will have on the general public because now they'll say "oh ya, just like global warming" and science will begin to loose the respect it deserves.

Re:Falsifiable (3, Informative)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882552)

The data is available. Anyone can attempt to replicate the temperature series. As a matter of fact, skeptic Richard Mueller did just that recently with the Berkeley Earth Surface temperature project. He found that warming had actually been under reported by Phil Jones. Being a true skeptic he was persuaded by the facts and now accepts that the rate of warming is very well understood. http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2011/10/20/breaking-news-the-earth-still-goes-around-the-sun-and-its-still-warming-up/ [forbes.com]

Re:Falsifiable (3, Interesting)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882690)

I thought the whole idea of the scientific method was that the method was above and beyond whether any individual scientist was right or wrong either by good luck or good management. If Phil Jones puts being right above the rough and tumble of surviving criticism, he's not doing what I recognize as science. My version of science does not limit criticism to authorized lab coats.

Richard Mueller, doing science, out in the open under scrutiny from all comers, came up with the same answer, and did the entire debate a huge favour. If Jones turns out to be as brilliant as Srinivasa Ramanujan (and as lacking in mainstream convention), I might cut him more slack. Hardy nearly had a coronary demanding proofs from Ramanujan that he couldn't supply in the form Hardy desired. Nevertheless, Ramanujan risked everything to join Hardy in collaboration to bridge the divide.

What was Jones' excuse? He's hardly the first scientist faced with the prospect that nearly 100% of his peers (to say nothing of the gadfly rabble) are mainly motivated by the finding of fault. He should have a brief conversation with Daniel Shechtman about the reality of his chosen profession.

Re:Falsifiable (1)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883060)

The point is, Mueller required nothing of Jones to perform his research. This has been replicated time and time again. Most recently by Mueller, but also notably by NASA and NOAA - each of whom have provided their data and code. Whether Phil Jones wants to give his permission is irrelevant. It is easy to test whether he is right or wrong. Scientists have done this. Skeptics have harped over the personalities and ignored the science.

Re:Falsifiable (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882822)

What was NOT said by the Mueller report, but is true nevertheless: Mueller simply confirmed the historical temperature record. His study had absolutely nothing to do with any difference between natural causes and man-made causes, nor (unlike the Jones, Mann et al.) does it pretend to make any predictions about future trends.

So in fact, the Mueller report is not even remotely evidence of, or confirmation for, AGW.

Re:Falsifiable (1)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883106)

Err, you were claiming that Jones was stonewalling efforts to replicate the CRU temperature series. As it turns out Jones has no power to prevent that. Mueller is among the MANY scientists and hobbyists who proved that. Not sure what you are referring to above regarding proof of AGW.

Re:Falsifiable (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882590)

You misunderstand what he means (probably deliberately, but I'm not ruling out ignorance - I'm erring on the side of you being intelligent enough to be able to understand what he means).

What he's talking about is specific special interests out to call his methods and data into question rather than the science and theory that is involved. This is not the same as "the theory not being falsifiable" - the main aim of the denailists has been to question the competence of anyone who disagrees with them - for example, the whole red herring around the temperature data in the ice cores. They're not questioning the theory based on science, they simply wilfully (most likely) or ignorantly (possible, but unlikely) misinterpret the way to read the data from those cores, then using that incorrect method of data analysis to "prove the AGW people wrong", and then even worse - getting people to believe that.

They've been very good at that sort of thing because they are very well funded and learned a great deal about how to do this during the whole "smoking is good for you, and no we had no idea it caused cancer, honest!" propaganda campaigns they ran for the tobacco industry.

Talk to any climate scientist (or scientist in general who is working tangentially in the field, like chemists with a specialism in spectroscopy) and they'll be more than happy to discuss the theories and models and the way they improve them using the scientific method as you discuss above. This is how the models work - testing and experimentation, and verification.

If you think the entire field of climate science (and all those other peripheral fields that skirt the edge of it but aren't directly climate-only sciences) are all wrong because of one quote from a single scientist during a time when they were being hounded like McCarthy-era "commies" then I'm really not sure what there is to be done.

It's funny how no one seems to have a problem with, for example, spectroscopy, when it applies to something other than climate science - and not in a sense of "how do you know your results are accurate way", in a way that says "I have no problem with your results for experiment A, but when you do the exact same method in Experiment B that is designed to take measurements for climate data, now I think everything you say is lies!"

Get your head out of the propaganda trough (5, Interesting)

Benfea (1365845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882966)

According to a survey, 90% of scientists from the relevant fields and 90% of all scientists ascribe to anthropogenic climate change. That is what we call a "scientific consensus", and you don't get a consensus that strong without an awful lot of data to back it up. I know, I know, the good pro-science guys at FOX News and on the Rush Limbaugh show and from the rightist think tanks keep saying this is "bad science", but let's take a look at the "science" the rightists use to make their arguments, shall we?

The most prominent, most cited, and most published climate change skeptic scientist is one Ross McKitrick, who is either an amazingly sloppy scientist, or someone deliberately engaging in fraud in order to promote a purely ideological view. I'll let you read for yourself: http://crookedtimber.org/2004/08/25/mckitrick-mucks-it-up/ [crookedtimber.org] .

This guy who either literally doesn't know a degree from a radian or is deliberately doing bad science in order to deceive people is the best of the bunch. The others are even worse. It is on the basis of work by men of this caliber that you conclude that 90% of the scientists on the planet, representing people from every conceivable walk of life, economic status, nationality, set of political views, etc. is part of a vast international conspiracy to... what? Make American rightists feel bad? I was never entirely clear on what this vast, incomprehensibly complex conspiracy is actually supposed to do.

I agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882492)

Hot shots.

And? (0)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882504)

This only shows the consequences of an earth that heats up. It does not show that man is responsible for the earth heating up or that man has any control over it.

Re:And? (2)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882578)

This only shows the consequences of an earth that heats up. It does not show that man is responsible for the earth heating up or that man has any control over it.

True enough. There are other papers that show the causality. The response to those papers will undoubtedly be "This only shows that man is responsible. It does not show that there are any negative consequences to a warming world"

Re:And? (4, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882582)

I see only one explanation for the recent warming -- increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to humans burning fossil fuels. Do you think there's another plausible explanation? I've heard increased solar output, and a change in the flux of cosmic rays, neither of which we seem to have observed. On the other hand, increased temperatures due to excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to burning fossil fuels was predicted over 100 years ago, long before it ever happened. It sounds like the best explanation available to me.

So what they are saying is (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882528)

They need money for levies to hold water back, not money for Carbon Tax to be paid to the UN's banksters

We can fix the planet now..(sarcasm) (2)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882564)

As the unlimited power is at our disposal (CO2 free), the Cold Fusion test wildly discussed yesterday is declared "success" (by Rossi), it has made Wired frontpage in the UK already. Scam artist or a messiah?

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-10/29/rossi-success [wired.co.uk]

interesting video about the subject by CBS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OabYImeDSc [youtube.com]

Re:We can fix the planet now..(sarcasm) (1)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882642)

Scam artist. Unfortunately.

Re:We can fix the planet now..(sarcasm) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882912)

As the unlimited power is at our disposal (CO2 free), the Cold Fusion test wildly discussed yesterday is declared "success" (by Rossi), it has made Wired frontpage in the UK already. Scam artist or a messiah?

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-10/29/rossi-success [wired.co.uk]

interesting video about the subject by CBS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OabYImeDSc [youtube.com]

Scam artist. Unfortunately.

Citation?

asshole

Global warming = global deforestation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882614)

I strongly disagree with the premise. The only observable change large and proximate enough to the problem is deforestation not "global warming".

It kills O2 generation which increases CO2 a disproportionate amount given it also is a soil issue and a population dislocation issue.

Please reforest. In the mean time put tourist venues on the north coast of Russia, Norway and Canada. We need the money.

Replace hydrocarbons with algae. Do all transportation of end users by electric means. Done.

irvineeconometrics.com :( (governments only please)

Re:Global warming = global deforestation (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882894)

I think, before you promote algae, that you should do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation of how many square miles of algae you would need to expose to sunlight. I once did the BOTE on corn ethanol [wordpress.com] -- if we converted our entire corn crop to ethanol, it would cover 21% of our gasoline consumption. You think you can scale up algae to 5x our national corn crop?

This isn't science (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882628)

It's statistical variability. Just because you experience an outlier doesn't mean the world is falling apart.

I could use a little global warming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882630)

Posting from the Northeast where we are supposed to get a foot of snow...it's not even November yet!

Common knowledge (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882634)

Every one knows that the lack of pirates cause global warming.

http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

I strongly disagree (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882652)

If it were true, then I'd have to change my lifestyle and I don't want to, therefore global warming is a scam.

Aren't we in an ice age? Thought experiment.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882668)

Thought experiment: if we're still in an ice age (due to ice still being in the artic and greenland) then if we're seeing droughts now, then what will happen when we get out of this ice age? More water in the environment means more available water everywhere, therefore less drought?

So isnt the answer simple? We purposely go and melt as much ice as possible and fix all our deserts in 1 go. I think that is the answer, following the logic of this article and study. Drastic things need to happen to fix this imaginary problem because the computer simulations never lie.

Everthing is global warming (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882682)

Global warming can never be disproved because everything is caused by global warming. Summer too hot? Global Warming. Winter too cold? Global Warming. Floods? Global Warming. Droughts? Yep, global warming. More big hurricanes? Global Warming. Less big hurricanes? Global Warming.

(!A)GW (3, Insightful)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882770)

Why are people commenting on this story as though it made a case for Anthropogenic (human-caused) Global Warming?
It doesn't.

Re:(!A)GW (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882900)

Global warming was predicted to be caused by humans burning fossil fuels over 100 years ago. Every confirmation that the Earth is warming without providing any other plausible explanation for the warming is more evidence to confirm this hypothesis.

Re:(!A)GW (2, Insightful)

Cabriel (803429) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883020)

It was predicted years ago that my anti-ninja rock will keep ninjas from killing me. Every confirmation that ninjas haven't killed me without providing any other plausible explanation for the lack of me dying is more evidence to confirm this hypothesis.

What this says is that lack of explanation is not confirmation of hypothesis.

What's alpha? (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882776)

So, in a scientific paper one computes "alpha", which is the probability that the results are due to chance rather than a true relationship. Thousands of papers are published each year, so we simply accept that 5% of them happen to be wrong by convention*. (Plus, alpha is inversely correlated with "beta", the chance that a relationship can be found if it truly exists, set at 80% usually.) The summary implies that these researches have an alpha level of 0.2, which supports the null hypothesis (no relationship). A one in five chance of being wrong is not acceptable.

IOW, how is global warming falsifiable if you're just going to call everything a positive result? Or is it that you release sensational information to the media if you can't get published in journals? (OTOH, I have no idea what level of evidence climatology journals accept, obviously randomized controlled double-blind trials are impossible, so the level of evidence is going to be quite low just by the nature of the field...)

* Technically, most studies aren't even reproducible if people later try (kinda rare given expense). Bias creeps in despite the many safeguards. Much of it results from researchers being passionate about their theory, not so great at math, and forced to "publish or perish". Researchers tend to be fairly smart, so even their bias may reflect reality, so this problem is somewhat masked.

Re:What's alpha? (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882908)

We're not "calling" results positive. The results *are* positive. Warming was predicted over 100 years ago. We keep confirming that we're observing the warming, again and again and again. Let me know of a study that shows no warming or cooling, and that would be a negative result.

Re:What's alpha? (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883054)

I'm talking about this study, not global warming in total. OTOH, if you want a study with a negative result, here's one right here. They're just presenting it as though it were a positive result. But AGW isn't falsifiable, so it's only a localized event, unless the result supports AGW, then we can generalize it.

(Frankly, I'm rather jaded about the whole issue since it's too politicized. I like science but arguing politics is exhausting. In science, one negative result can sink a theory, but in politics you have to fight until the proponents give up or lose popularity.)

Gee (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882838)

With all that ice melting we should have even more water available

Where's the proof? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37882992)

There is no scientific evidence to support Global Warming

Normal (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#37882996)

"natural variability alone is unlikely to return the region's climate to normal"

Where "normal" is defined as "what it was 10 years ago". I wonder if the descendants of Ice Age megafauna are wondering when the climate will return to their normal.

Re:Normal (1)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37883120)

Where "normal" is defined as "what it was 10 years ago". I wonder if the descendants of Ice Age megafauna are wondering when the climate will return to their normal.

Nope. They're dead. Guess why?

LIBERAL BIAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37883012)

LIBERAL BIAS LIBERAL BIAS LIBERAL BIAS

Just wanted to get that out of the way, not my actual opinion an all that.

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