why is global warming so cold?

January 17, 2009

It’s cold where I am. Really cold. It’s been really cold for the last two weeks and it’ll be really cold for at least another week. Then again, it’s the middle of winter and I can’t say that I’m surprised that it’s cold at this time of the year. It’s kind of expected when you think about it. But don’t tell that to the anti-global warming crowd which is using this bitterly cold January to make snarky jokes about Al Gore and write editorials in which they say that there’s no way a planet can be heating up when we’re in the middle of a cold snap.

ice cubes

As shocking as it might sound, even in a warmer world it will still be cold and there will still be freezing rains, icy temperatures and bitter cold snaps. When scientists talk about a warming trend, they’re talking about a maximum warming of five or six degrees averaged for the entire planet. The middle of winter will still be cold and snowy, it’s just that the places where it will be cold will be farther north than they are today. Don’t get me wrong though. Five or six degrees up or down for the entire planet is the difference between an ice age and a hothouse. In the last Ice Age it was just five degrees colder than it is today. And yes, there were warm, humid places during the ice ages, it’s just that the polar ice sheets grew to cover much more area than they do today and winters in the north lasted longer.

Global warming doesn’t mean that temperatures won’t go down by more than a few degrees as the forests around you burn to a cinder and your backyard turns into a barren desert. Likewise, a cold snap doesn’t disprove averages compiled over decades. We can’t accurately predict the weather because weather is chaotic and measured by hours and days. It’s like a coin flip. Heads or tails. But climate is an average of hundreds of these coin flips and we know that over time, if we toss enough coins, we’ll have a similar number of heads to tails. Climate modeling just ups the temperature ranges we measured over many decades and tries to see what happens to our planet when the average temperature across the globe is higher or lower than it is today. If you want to disprove our grip on climate, show some data for winters with average temperatures of 30 degrees randomly interchanging with 70 degree winters without a special cause behind it.

Finally, there’s the Al Gore thing. I’ve written before how Gore did a disservice to climatologists by injecting partisan bickering into what should’ve been a purely scientific debate. Really, this issue isn’t about a person who embraced global warming as a cause to stay in the limelight. It’s about the science and trying to stay objective. With the amount of vitriol many critics direct at the former vice-president, I can’t help but wonder if the same crowd would be lambasting him for missing the “threat to our planet” were he a global warming denier instead…

update 01.06.2010: As odd as it may seem, it’s cold in the winter of 2010 too, and due to a peak in this post’s traffic, I thought it would be beneficial to revisit the topic of weather vs. climate and cover more information on the politics and science of global warming in a follow up entry.

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  • http://www.hootervillegazette.com Dash RIPROCK III

    ” Al Gore must be held accountable for the wild hysteria he’s created over global warming. Here is what you can do to help. Al Gore has recently stated that the northern polar ice cap will be gone in five years. We can’t let this crazy prediction go unnoticed and we cannot allow his prediction to be forgotten. I’ve had liberals accuse me of fabricating this story, but it is very true and Al Gore was nice enough to make his predictin on camera. Here is the link to the vid:

    http://www.hootervillegazette.com Once there, click on the pic of Big Al holding up five fingers.

    When the five years have passed, we should all demand that Big Al go away and stop spreading this nonsense. Thank you for giving me a chance to post this on your site. “

  • penny

    Show me a rigorous mathematical proof that the chaos of weather prediction averages to

    a predictable climate, and I will believe in global warming.

    I am a mathematician in nonlinear analysis–and I have NEVER seen such a proof–a proof correct up to the rigor standards of math published in math journals.

    Is there such a proof?

    If not, the whole global warming concept is NONSENSE.

    ( Running computer sims and claiming average behavior has certain non-chaotic properties

    is ….circular reasoning–you can’t prove it that way.)

    p.s. Weather is NOT chaotic–it is a theorem that weather prediction is chaotic.

    ( For more detail, one needs to discuss such things as structural stability.)

  • Greg Fish

    Penny,

    So what you’re telling me is that statistics in general are nonsense? If I were to produce the average data about temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure and other weather data for oh say… the city of London, you as as an expert in mathematics would say that it’s nonsense how they can derive an average temperature from years worth of data collected every hour of every day?

    You also used a very vague definition of predictable. Predictable how? To a degree (which is impossible) or within a certain range? Or that it’s going to be cold in the winter and warm in the summer? If we’re going to talk about rigor, I don’t see a lot of rigor in your definitions. And I’m also puzzled about the basics of statistical analysis being such nonsense in your eyes.

  • penny

    You need to learn some nonlinear math. Statistics is absolutely worthless when dealing with chaotic systems of this type.

    The definition of predictable that I use is that the standard one used in nonlinear math–you can look that up. The definition is exact. I am not going to teach a course here. Look up–for a start–” Hadamard well posed intial value problem”.

    The point is that weather prediction is proved chaotic ( look up Lorentz attractor) and the solution over time will vary WILDLY with tiny changes in the initial data. Climate prediction has never been rigorously proved to be any different from weather prediction, as I said in my post. If it would be so proved, I would be happy to believe in the utility of models and stats.

    In this setting–yes, statistics are worthless! So are computer models–even very refined and complex ones. For fun, build a coupled pendulum ( look up chaos machine on google) and try to make some statistical predictions based on measurement of position. You will become enlightened. Now use Hamilton’s equations ( as in a graduate physics course) and compute the trajectory–you will see that that doesn’t help either–because the solution is wildly ( aka exponentially) dependent on variation of the initial conditions. You will again become become enlightened.

    There are regions of structural stablilty–but as soon as you hit the boundary of such a region all the statistics and PDE solutions and computer modeling in the world won’t be worth a damn.

    Like all mathematics statistics has its place, and its limits–it is not a panacea.

    So, we are NOT talking about statistics, or about experience that it is warm in the summer

    and cold in the winter–we are talking about the chaotic behavior of computer models.

    I made that quite clear.

    p.s.

    As to stats of REAL weather and climate–not computer predictions:

    Climate is a complex, coupled nonlinear system–and just because some parameter is going up doesn’t mean it won’t go down later–perhaps drastically. In fact, the rise could drive the fall–and often does. Ask a geologist about the large climate changes of geological history.

    It could be getting hotter–and hotter–until the coupling gives an…..ice age. This is exactly what happened during the little ice age, and it was quick—but, remember, I speak of prediction of climate–not of climate itself.

    Who could have predicted that the explosion of Tambora would give London a year with winter weather in summer, by looking at stats of previous weather?

    So yes, it is hotter in the summer than in the winter–but how much is not easy to predict, and stats don’t generally give the answer.

    You seem to be combative–and so I am off the thread. I don’t like fighting.

    p.s. I teach stats. I also teach chaos. And the point of math is that theorems have hypothesis and that each math has its limitations as well as its uses.

    Off the thread.

  • Greg Fish

    Penny,

    You’re tying to emphasize chaos a little too much and giving what I can only call qualitative descriptions like “wildly.” Somehow this is all supposed to be justified and given concrete definitions by the invocation of non-linear math. The rest of your message is getting lost in the constant mentions of “chaos” and “chaotic systems.”

    I’d also like to know how asking questions means that I seem to be combative? Should I not ask questions and just agree not to seem aggressive?

  • penny

    dear gfish,

    It’s email–It is hard to determine emotional intent on the net. Sorry, if I misread you.

    I don’t have the time to give you a course on nonlinear math and chaos or to give you precise definitions. Why not do a websearch for some notes on chaotic dynamics?

    Weather prediction HAS been proved chaotic by Lorentz–and that is why I emphasis it.

    Wildly–means Hadamard exponential instability, ok. I said that.

    Do you want me to post precise theorems–are you a mathematician?

    Anyway, search for the stuff that I mentioned and you will find precise theorems and definitions.

    Chaos is very relevant here. In fact, crucial.

  • Andy

    “Why is Global Warming so Cold” – When I look at the climate models of the last hundred years, and predictions for the next hundred, they are typically speaking of variance of less then a single degree of temperature change.

    Isn’t it common knowledge that the optimum life supporting temperature for this planet would be many degree’s WARMER then it currently is?

    Maybe it’s just me, but this Global Warming Fear-mongering seems to be centered around “Human” supremacy and our desperate attempt to “Control” everything.

    NASA had it right when they indicated that to assume right here right now today, is the optimum temperature and any deviation from that temperature calls for action is absurd.

    What I think we need to do as a species is have 3 children, who have 3 more, who then have 3 more, and see if we can spread out so much that we deplete every natural resource out there, then lets blame it on industry and consumption, not crowding.

  • issabella

    this rocks. It was a great help

  • Indy

    A year later… a new winter… and it seems to be even colder.

    Today’s headlines:

    Winter Could Be Worst in 25 Years for USA…
    Britain braced for heaviest snowfall in 50-years…
    GAS SUPPLIES RUNNING OUT IN UK…
    Elderly burn books for warmth?
    Vermont sets ‘all-time record for one snowstorm’…
    Iowa temps ‘a solid 30 degrees below normal’…
    Seoul buried in heaviest snowfall in 70 years…
    3 die in fire at Detroit home; power was cut…
    Midwest Sees Near-Record Lows, Snow By The Foot…
    Miami shivers from coldest weather in decade…

    I don’t remember the doom and gloom climate models suggesting this.

  • Ang

    who says that global warming or whatever it is isn’t a natural cycle? a climatologist told me personally that it is a natural cycle of warming and cooling (the earth has been far cooler and far hotter than it is now).

    If it IS caused by us “evil” humans–then why is the only solution presented WORLD GOVERNANCE and TAXES?

    why wouldn’t industrialized nations simply give green companies ten years of tax exempt status? imagine the innovations and investment we would see! why not give businesses who retrofit tax rebates to pay for them? why not encourage people to buy locally grown food and lift the govt regulations that make local family farming unprofitable? instead of giving our tax money to banks–why not spend it to mass produce PV panels? what about lifting sales taxes on small fuel efficient cars?

    because those are all actions that would empower people and make them more independent–they don’t want that. what they want is for us to pay taxes to a global irs (world bank). they want us dependent on oil until the last drop of profitable oil is pumped from the ground (and thats not far away)–then we will be plunged into the stone age–primitive people are far easier to dominate and control than industrialized ones.

  • Pingback: why is global warming so cold, redux « weird things()

  • Greg Fish

    “I don’t remember the doom and gloom climate models suggesting this.”

    Indy, these are random headlines which are trying to predict the future or just throw out stats that need to be checked. Without links, I don’t know if they’re just scoured from the Drugde Report, or taken from actual publications which did their research.

    “who says that global warming or whatever it is isn’t a natural cycle?”

    Ang, see the updated post on the subject for the reason and the supporting evidence for why the warming we’re seeing is an aberration.

    “why wouldn’t industrialized nations simply give green companies ten years of tax exempt status?”

    Because they’re not as profitable as oil companies and don’t donate millions to those in power through powerful lobbies. Legalized bribes are a huge problem with our energy policies and always have been.

  • misslogic

    Ironically, Global Warming can actually trigger intense cooling. How? The more polar ice melts into the ocean, the cooler the oceans become, this slows down or can stop all together the natural conveyor of warm water in the ocean currents that circulate in the Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico, which keeps part of the Eastern Seaboard, The British Isles, Norway and the rest of the Atlantic countries of Western Europe much much warmer than they should be at that latitude. As the jetstream winds pass over these warm ocean currents, this air warms also, keeping countries like Ireland, Britain, and Norway green, damp, and mild, with ice free harbours, compared with places at similar latitudes, like Canada, which does not benefit from this warming effect. If this conveyor is stopped by rapid Polar Ice Melt triggered by Global Warming, it actually can cause the Northern Hemisphere to experience a very rapid onset of a mini Ice Age, similar to the one which gripped Europe for centuries during the Dark Ages until the 18th century, a phnomenon that can happen naturally, of course, but in this instance has perhaps been triggered prematurely and more quickly by Global Warming.

  • chartist

    A cold summer followed by a cold winter. Easy explanation: After effects of a severe reduction in sunspot activity last year.

    BTW, look at a couple climate charts, one for the last million years and one for the last 13,000 years. Study them for awhile. Then try to convince yourself that our planet wouldn’t still be warming up even if man and all his works never occured.

  • Deadmanrose3

    misslogic probably had the most helpfull comment here by explaining WHY GLOBAL WARMING CAUSES COLDER WEATHER. if i am not mistaken this is the heading of the article. everyone else, very interesting debates however i vote misslogic’s comment the most helpfull and logical answer. however many of you make great point which i must now ponder before i can give an educated opinoun on thy subject.

    -Hunter

  • chartist

    MISLOGIC

    Over the last ten thousand years massive amounts of freshwater from glacier melt has poured into the Atlantic yet the conveyor has maintained itself. The ocean has risen 300 ft in that time. Can you imagine the amount of freshwater streaming into the oceans as the ice cap receded, yet it got warmer and warmer. Common sense tells you the amount of fresh water pouring into the oceans was vastly greater than the trickle today. BTW, read up on the Holocene Maximum and then try to figure out what 4000 years of steady, warmer than today temperatures did to the glaciers of that time, a time, btw, that corresponded with the rise of civilization(no doubt aided by 4000 years of steady warm temperatures). It might also be wise to consider what the fall of a couple degrees in temperature might do to civilization: not pretty.

  • Greg Fish

    “A cold summer followed by a cold winter. Easy explanation: After effects of a severe reduction in sunspot activity last year.”

    Let’s think about this. A magnetic cold spot which is still around 3,000°F about 93 million miles away has a cooling effect on global temperatures a year in the future? And how exactly do the physics of this proposition work?

    I’ve also heard that global warming may be caused by solar flares, which is simply wouldn’t be possible by the laws of physics. Plasma in flares or CMEs is just not dense enough to transfer heat. So it’s really all down to what’s happening on Earth. Sure the planet may be warming naturally to some degree, but we’re most probably cranking up the natural warming cycle and exacerbating it by disrupting the balance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

  • chartist

    “So it’s really all down to what’s happening on Earth”

    Well no, a million years of climate data certainly puts a damper on that suggestion. More than what’s going on here is needed to explain a 100,000 years of ice followed by a 15,000 crescendo of warming, like clockwork the last 1.4 million years. Mr. Sun doesn’t like your suggestion that he’s irrelevant to increasing warmth on Earth(if indeed it is getting warmer). The energy the sun gives off along with the sun’s geographical position in relation to us has as much to do with climate change as anything else. BTW, why are we breaking all these chill records during last summer and this winter, If a warming theologian were to tell me, “temperature won’t go straight up, occasionally a cold year will come to pass” I could buy it. But nooooooo, we aren’t just cold, we are destroying records, that’s more difficult to write off. Of course, I’m fair minded and so will suggest temperature recordkeeping is much more accurate today, so perhaps we really aren’t breaking weather records. However, that idea cuts both ways as warming evangelists have not been honest with their temperature record keeping(as you know).

    We probably only know about >30% of what we need to know to figure out the climate process.
    90% of what we do know has been learned in the last 20 years. Unfortunately, politics and political correctness has corrupted much recent science.

    I fear climate change, either increased warmth or increased cold. However, as of now we totally dismiss the idea of things getting much colder and that is troubling. A couple years ago house prices could only go up, forever. Things can change quickly.

  • Greg Fish

    “More than what’s going on here is needed to explain a 100,000 years of ice followed by a 15,000 crescendo of warming, like clockwork the last 1.4 million years.”

    Have you ever heard of the Milankovitch Cycles? They match the numbers that you’ve used in your comment down to a tee. We get closer and farther from the Sun in our orbit on a 100,000 year cycle which under certain climates triggers an ice age and then a warming as we get closer to the Sun again. That’s very different from blaming little blotches on the Sun for whatever weather we’ll be having next year. These cycles are actually explained by the appropriate physics.

    Of course, according to these cycles, we’ll have another ice age in 25,000 years. So why would we all of a sudden be getting a bit warmer as we’re moving farther from the Sun on our scheduled cycle?

  • Tom

    A cold summer followed by a cold winter. Easy explanation: After effects of a severe reduction in sunspot activity last year

    Watch the Mystery Cloud documentary on You Tube by some Swedish (i think) professors.

    There is also an Australian researcher who predicted this last summer and winter based on the sun’s magnetic activity.

    Their predictions proved to be remarkably accurate. while all the world’s global warming fanatics were predicting rising tides and spontaneous combustion, these men bucked the trend with actual science.

  • Greg Fish

    Their predictions proved to be remarkably accurate.

    Yes, in a documentary that was favorable to their views and was made by someone who was swayed by their work. However, if you look at this discussion, their findings are not yet confirmed by either statistical analysis or experimental evidence.

    “…these men bucked the trend with actual science.”

    I will give that to Svensmark and his colleagues. Rather than pull the equally awful stance of hyping up their findings to “confront the IPCC New World Order conspiracy,” they wrote a paper, sent it to a peer reviewed journal and are following the scientific method to prove their hypothesis with experimentation and data.

    But again, a sympathetic documentary does not equal proof and they have a lot of big questions to address before their theory is accepted into the mainstream.

  • spike

    The comments from “penny” make me think of the old joke where the physicist is trying to solve a problem with a poultry farm and he starts with “first consider a spherical chicken”. It is worth pointing out that Lorenz was a meteorologist (not a damn mathematician), and all climate scientists are well versed in the implications of chaos theory. I knew Lorenz (really), and you Penny you are no Lorenz. (I had to say that).

    The predictions of the climate modelers have been very well supported by data. The arctic is a hell of lot warmer than it was 20 years ago. Mean global temperatures are higher than they were 20 years ago. The effects of CO2 are like adding an additional blanket to the atmosphere. For the temperatures at the surface to stay the same over the long run, something else must change to allow heat to escape. Lindzen understands this and suggested clouds would adjust to reflect more light back into space. (The so called Iris effect). Scientists have looked for, but not found any evidence that this is happening. Lindzen persists, probably because he gets a lot of money from Exxon to do so and it is also hard to admit you are wrong on such a high profile issue.

    Yes, the sun matters, but the papers suggesting a connection to explain the recent warming are bullshit.

    Yes, in global warming there will be losers and winners. Time to move to Canada and out of Alabama. The point is change costs money to adapt to. I have no doubt life will suck for our children, although I suspect global warming will be the least of their problems compared to much higher costs for oil, steel, concrete, food, etc. because of the increasing costs associated with getting scarcer minerals and oil of the ground and greater over population.

  • Douglas McClean

    Penny,
    Please note that — under your standards of proof — it is impossible to “prove” that next summer will be warmer than this winter. Fine, fair enough. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that kind of “proof” before making policy decisions, though, sorry.

  • jobob

    Classify CO2 as a pollutant.
    Next up, classify H2O as a pollutant.
    Solar activity doesn’t cause warming? Wow you cannot be serious?
    While the Earth was warming, so were many of the other planets in our solar system. Coincidence? Nah, Man caused it all.
    Oh and Global warming = Colder.
    Yup, didn’t you guys know that?
    Warmer = Global Warming, Colder = Global Warming, Wetter = Global Warming, Dryer = Global Warming.
    All weather patterns prove Global Warming.
    If your worried about the future of your children… Just don’t have any, that would benifit society more so then over-populating.

    In 100 years, nearly no one alive today will be around anymore. If no one re-produced, what kind of oil shortages would we really be having? Energy crisis? yeah right.

    People don’t want to know what the real problem is, they want to get all self ritious and claim the problem isn’t them, but rather Human induced climate change.

    Follow Al Gores lead and have more kids.

    Wake up.

  • Matt

    Even if global warming is real or not real, the planet is heating up, it can be by humans or not by humans, we don’t need debates on this, (or you can if you want to) but we need to find a solution to this.

    Misslogic

    Your comment was the most helpful. After all, the headline is “Why is global warming so cold?”

    Everyone else

    You people started arguing if global warming is real or not. It was your choice to search this, so you must care somehow about global warming.

  • SmarterUser

    Hi Matt,

    Yes, the planet is heating up, unfortunately not fast enough. We are over 3 degrees below the optimal life supporting temperature for this planet.

    At current rates, it would take thousands of years to reach this optmial temperature.

    Are you suggesting we pray to god it warms up? (presuming this warming trend is not man induced.)

    The solar index (sunspot cycle) should begin ramping up for the next 8 or so years. This should help. There-after as things cool and we plunge into an ice-age, I’m not sure what to tell you.

  • Greg Fish

    “Yes, the planet is heating up, unfortunately not fast enough. We are over 3 degrees below the optimal life supporting temperature for this planet.”

    And this is a fact according to what authority again? How was this optimum calculated and what supporting evidence is there for it being optimum?

  • SmarterUser

    I know the topic is Global Warming, not Population control, or sarcasm, but I was wondering.

    The oil filter on my car has been compromised, and I believe debris is building up in the engine’s oil.

    This debris is increasing the amount of engine wear by scratching the cyl walls.

    The car is currently falling from a cliff and expected to impact the ground within the next 30 seconds, but I’m so worried about this oil filter.

    There is a moral to this story, that the average global warming alarmest won’t catch, but that’s part of the humor of it.

    -enjoy-

  • SmarterUser

    GregFish,

    The optimal temperature quote came from NASA. I’ll see if I can find the link.

  • SmarterUser

    http://www.nasa.gov/about/highlights/griffin_bio.html

    Michael Griffin:
    “I have no doubt that … a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change. First of all, I don’t think it’s within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take.”

    Still working on the optimal temperature, but felt this was related.

  • Greg Fish

    Hmm… let’s see. You had a link to Griffin’s bio page, not the source of the quote, and when asked for evidence of the optimal temperature, just said it came form NASA and decided just to include something you felt was related: that unsourced quote.

    Also, for who exactly is this temperature optimal? Different living things have a different range of what we’d call optimal temperatures for their habitat and populations…

  • SmarterUser

    Meh – I can’t really find it without spending more time then I’m willing to waste… You are more then welcome to do some searching on your own though.

  • Greg Fish

    So in other words, I’m asking you too much when I ask for citations of your claims and you can’t be bothered to find them because that’ll just be “a waste of your time?”

  • SmarterUser

    Yup, a link to the Bio.

    Google the quote if you think I’m making it up. The bio was only included to reference the individual making the statement.

    Who is what temperature optimal for? The optimal “life supporting” temperature? i.e. what life is this optimal for? Are you worried it’s bacteria and viruses? lol. How is the temperature treating you? Are you near the equator?

    If you want to cool the planet, detonate something in space to cast a shadow.

    If you want to warm the planet… to bad, deal with it?

    There is no warming problem. There is a resource / crowding problem. Last I checked, most ‘resources’ grow better in the summer solstice.

    Correct, you are asking too much… If you are really that concerned about the source of said material, feel free to do your own leg work. I can help point you in the right direction though, I beleive it was on Discover HD and related to hunting for life on other planets.

    P.S. I have a “Green” tip for everyone.

    Buy an SUV, and do your part to clean the earth of ‘dirty oil’.

    If you don’t buy that — then perhaps do the opposite and take a nap, do not work, do not commute. A hospital bed with an IV may be a great start!

  • Greg Fish

    If only you invested half the time and energy you invest into acting as if you’re some sort of witty and brilliant genius into, you know, backing up your claims…

  • SmarterUser

    Your absolutely correct GregFish, What I say, should be taken with a grain of salt. In much the same way Man induced Global Warming ‘theory’ should be.

    Just because the idea of Global Warming contains ‘science’ doesn’t mean it’s ‘accurate’, or ‘complete’ science.

    So far not a single Global Warming “Prediction”, or “Calculated increase” has proven accurate… Mostly due to unaccounted for feedback loops, etc…

    For example.

    My Dog eats among other things kibbles and bits. 50lb’s worth every 2 months.
    My yard is 8000 sq feet.
    My dog poops in the yard.
    Her poops covers a few square inches of the yard each time.
    15 years from now, I’m going to have nothing but poop in my yard.
    Science doesn’t lie. These calculations were based on science.

    Don’t go and fall off the edge of the earth now. You take care.

    P.S. Does Global Warming science take into account the fact that moon is 3.8cm further away from the Earth every year? I Wonder if this reduction in Gravitational Heating is included in the environmental calculations, or if it’s too insignificant? ;)

    Wow am I being absurd! I should really take this doomsday talk more seriously! Assuming population magically stabilizes, and we all survive 2012, and no one pushes the button. & the warming trends really does happen; it just might be -21 degrees in the winter of 2100 instead of -22 (!)

    What if the icebergs melt? Will the increased weight of the seafloor compression push up more land? Er wait, it’s supposed to flood the land right?

    What can I do to help? (no single raindrop is responsible for the flood.) Should I buy a Prius and ramp up the mining efforts of rare earth elements, Lithium, etc..? Because that sounds so much more ‘green’ then burning decaying organic mater… I am totally going to shut my computer off now.

  • Minky

    Greg,

    You say “Gore did a disservice to climatologists by injecting partisan bickering into what should’ve been a purely scientific debate.” I don’t disagree, but why would you bring that up? Do you believe that anyone who disagrees with you is doing so based on their political beliefs? Your motivations become more than a little suspect when you use the the “denier” label.

    After all you said “Sure the planet may be warming naturally to some degree, but we’re most probably cranking up the natural warming cycle and exacerbating it by disrupting the balance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” Most probably? Now, there’s that healthy skepticism that you should have. There are many scientists who lean further in the direction of “warming naturally” than you do, that’s all.

    Face it, Greg. You wrote a snarky column implying that people who don’t agree in your particular view of the state of climate change are too stupid to know that cold weather is still possible in a warming climate and, you revealed to us that your primary motivation was poking fun at your perception of the political persuasion of those who would visit the webpage of the “Drugde (sic) Report”.

    If you were really serious about answering your own question “why would we all of a sudden be getting a bit warmer as we’re moving farther from the Sun on our scheduled cycle?”, you would be seeking the answer among the many possibilities instead of blogging about how dumb people are for not knowing that you and your favorite scientists have it all figured out.

    Science is NOT political. Now, will you quit trying to make it so?

  • Greg Fish

    “… why would you bring that up? Do you believe that anyone who disagrees with you is doing so based on their political beliefs?”

    Do you believe that assuming what someone means based on a single phrase would be a valid way to deduce what this person really thinks? If you cared to follow the link to the post I made a year after this (hint, hint), you’d see that I decry playing politics with a scientific issue from both sides. And yes, there are a lot of people who utterly reject any suggestion that we may be warming our planet based on their political beliefs, worried out of their wits that it’s some sinister communist plot in action.

    “There are many scientists who lean further in the direction of “warming naturally” than you do, that’s all.”

    And many more say no. Again, if you cared to follow the updates, you’d note links to the evidence used to argue why we’re culprits of global warming. But you really just wanted to tell me the following, right?

    “If you were really serious about answering your own question … you would be seeking the answer among the many possibilities instead of blogging about how dumb people are for not knowing that you and your favorite scientists have it all figured out.”

    Those many possibilities simply don’t work. Sorry to break it to you, but so far, elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been the only persuasive explanation, one that’s been studied since the 1960s. I’ve already provided links to all the problems with the solar explanation and if it was natural for the planet to warm by a degree within just a few decades, where have we seen these lightning fast upticks before? I’m willing to change my mind if I see new facts, but telling me that I should consider other ideas without specifying what those ideas are and why they’re better doesn’t prove your case, which was… something about me being snarky.

  • maurice

    Wow guys and gals, the answer it would seem is already in record books as to why its so cold in this age of global warming banter.

    You all are speaking about future trends and estimations as if it will answer yesterdays weather question.

    I for one would love to see someone prove what. weather would be like without our involvement, but somehow I also think that given the general lack of accuracy of most weather predictions on a day to day basis the believability of such efforts will be near zero for the average person.

    If I am to believe that minute alterations to the global temperature are going to happen in any number of years faster or slower because of what I personally do it will surely have to come from someone who can tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow with some measure of accuracy far better than is commonly found today.