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Warmest 12-month Period Recorded in US

seanzig (834642) writes | more than 2 years ago

Science 6

seanzig (834642) writes "Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground provides a good overview of the State of the Climate Report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). May 2011 through Apr. 2012 broke the previous record (Nov. 1999 — Oct. 2000). A number of other interesting records (e.g., warmest March on record) and stats emerged. It just presents the data and does not surmise anything about the causes or what should be done about it."
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Misleading article (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946073)

What the author fails to make obvious, is that his climate data is for the lower 48-states and does not include Alaska, "Temperatures in the contiguous U.S. during May 2011 - April 2012 broke the previous record for warmest 12-month period, set November 1999 - October 2000, by 0.1F." Anyone else would be able to look around and see that Alaska set an all-time record for snowfall at over 11 feet, (http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/winter/story/2012-04-08/anchorage-snow-record/54110016/1). So why was this state left out of the calculations? What would the numbers look like if Alaska was included during their record-setting snow winter?

Also worth mentioning, is the fact that his data set makes up less than 2% of the Earth's surface, hardly a complete data set. It is called the First Law Of Thermodynamics. The lower 48 states has a mild winter, Alaska has a harsh one.

Re:Misleading article (1)

seanzig (834642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946499)

The 2nd sentence of the entire article says "Temperatures in the contiguous U.S...." Perhaps he should have put that in the title, but I wouldn't call it misleading. It makes sense to exclude Hawaii and Alaska in such a study because they are entirely different climatologically.

As for the US being a small percentage of the Earth's surface, you're right. Like the poster (me) said - he's presenting data, not conclusions. If you want a more complete picture, you have to read his other articles on the same topic. This one blog entry by the author does not stand on its own. If you want a complete data set, look at this article [wunderground.com] by the same author. Warning: it does present some conclusions, but the author indicates his sources for those.

In general, I've been reading this guy for a couple of years, and find his posts to be well balanced. Mostly he writes about hurricanes, and posts this stuff in the off seasons. He's a weather scientist, not climate, so while he isn't a definitive expert, he also doesn't have a "dog in that fight."

Re:Misleading article (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946925)

"As for the US being a small percentage of the Earth's surface, you're right. Like the poster (me) said - he's presenting data, not conclusions."

Yes, but honest data presented in a misleading way is still misleading.

However, unlike GP I'm not accusing the article, I'm accusing you.

You can't get away with the excuse that the article is only about 2% of the Earth's surface (U.S. 48 states only), but at the same time not even mention that in your summary, unless it was your intention to mislead.

Further, the excuse that it's only about 2% of the Earth can be broken down even further: my state hasn't been terrible warm, and the last 2 years it has snowed even in late spring. Yes, I know that local events do not equate to global climate; but then what is the point of posting this article at all? Somebody is trying to make a point, somewhere, even if it's a misleading one.

Re:Misleading article (1)

seanzig (834642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947525)

Well, of course someone is trying to make a point. It's an interesting, significant data point, no more, no less. Not including "contiguous" or "continental" in the summary was an oversight on my part, but it's very clear in the article (just count the number of times it says "contiguous" or look at the big map in Figure 3). Nonetheless, I suspect that people in the continental U.S. would find it interesting that the past year has been the warmest ever recorded overall. You mention your state - you obviously care about it enough to have observed the temperatures and remembered it. Why should the continental U.S. be any different?

This particular topic has been so sensitive and politicized for the past few years (hence your understandable comments), I've made it a point to follow the research, and simply wanted to share it. I think it's important enough to at least keep an eye on it and continually revise my opinion. Some would indeed benefit from us blindly spending billions on it. Others would benefit just as much by having us shove our heads in the sand. I thought climate change was a crock for years until I started looking at it myself (just by chance, in the course of my job). Now, I'm on the fence about it. Even the U.S. Navy is planning for it [navy.mil] [pdf].

Re:Misleading article (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947959)

The military also had a remote viewing manual called "Operation Stargate" which was training psychics. Just because the military plans for something and researches it doesn't make it true.

Re:Misleading article (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948203)

I agree, the article was up-front about just what the topic was.

I can accept that it was an oversight, these things do happen.

"thought climate change was a crock for years until I started looking at it myself..."

And I have been researching it for years now, looking at evidence on all sides. I'm not a scientist myself, but I have a good technical, science-oriented education and I can follow a research paper.

I would not try to refute that "climate change", per se, is a reality. I do, however, believe that the evidence that a significant amount of it has been man-caused is thin, at best.

There have been big lies told and politicizing on both sides. But the scientific arguments -- although fewer in number -- against the CO2-based warming models have been the more persuasive, and the pro-AGW science has repeatedly been shown to have far too many big holes in it.

I, too, am following and I haven't come to any "conclusion" of my own about it yet. But the weakness of the actual evidence on the pro-AGW side certainly does not seem to justify the alarmism, or a significant growth of government to regulate it.

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