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Near record warmth at Olympics

People are very passionate about the topic of Climate Change. And that's a good thing. So, here's a spot where you can unleash your passion. But, be nice.

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Near record warmth at Olympics

Postby treeWoof » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:24 pm

Here's a great article on the near record warmth at this years winter olympics:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMa ... rynum=1432

It's funny because all you hear is the nay-sayers talking about record snow on the other side of the continent.
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weather records

Postby Wyethia » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:36 pm

I realize that "skepticism" now is used as a synonym for "neanderthal science denier", but record temperature and precipitation events will continue to happen and are normal. Most weather stations have been in place less than 100 years- a tiny blip in the history of the world. Also, many weather stations have increased urbanization near them, causing higher temperatures. It is best not to use individual weather events as evidence either way of human caused change. Nobody would deny that we have warmer weather than in the ice age, and only a few at this point deny that there was a warm period about 1000 yrs b.p. - beyond that, there are many conflicting pieces of evidence. I worry that if we focus too much on "records" etc, that are found not to support global warming theory, that people will tune out- and there are many other reasons not to pollute. Also, whether we cause it or not, we should be prepared for the climate to change, because it always has.
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Re: weather records

Postby treeWoof » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:42 pm

Wyethia wrote:I realize that "skepticism" now is used as a synonym for "neanderthal science denier"


That is an increasingly popular statement coined by the "manufactured doubt" crowd; folks who aren't concerned with skepticism or facts. Skepticism is good, it's absoultely required.

Most weather stations have been in place less than 100 years- a tiny blip in the history of the world.


Climatology studies the climate over vast lengths of time, even into the millions of years range. Much data is procured from proxies, such as ice cores, tree rings and sediments. This is why we know that the normal range of CO2 is historically in the 180-220ppm range, unlike the 390ppm we see today.

I worry that if we focus too much on "records" etc, that are found not to support global warming theory


When a 500 year flood plain floods 3 times in 4 years or you see 3 consecutive months of global record temps it suggests that maybe something is amiss.

Historically, rising CO2 levels follow warming temps. In the industrial age, warming temps follow CO2 levels.

As you say, records will continue to be broken and by themselves should not be overstated, that's understood. When the frequency of records show a genuine statistical improbability, it's definitely worth noting. It's an indicator of change.

Also, whether we cause it or not, we should be prepared for the climate to change, because it always has.


Man is causing warming. That is no longer a point of debate (unless you're manufacturing doubt). To what degree, just how severe the consequences will be and what can we do to change it are the important issues.
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Postby blisterfree » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:09 pm

Like religion and politics, the global warming discussion is a sure party pooper. The problem with all three, and I suspect this is human nature, is that we start with a predisposition - a bias that perhaps even we won't fully realize - and then cobble together what we deem to be supporting evidence while ignoring the rest. I would wager that those in favor of global warming as a human-created condition have a certain bias against some aspect of modern civilization, or industrial society, or even just their fellow man. That's okay - perfectly understandable, it all comes down to who you are by nature and nurture. Likewise, those who think global warming isn't occurring, or is not caused by man and/or cannot be solved by mankind, have their own pre-existing biases, although I have more trouble divining these as admittedly I'm part of the former camp. I'm a misanthrope who was born into this world 1000 years too late; global warming as an inevitable, human-caused condition just feels good to me. That view is a reflection of who I am, it's immutable. But I don't offer any pretense that my belief is truth. That's when we poison the spear tip and invite our adversaries to do the same.
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The Ozone Example

Postby treeWoof » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:48 pm

With the benefit of hindsight:

In the late 70's the increased use of CFC's and halons began to destroy the ozone layer in our atmosphere.

As more and more peer reviewed data became available it became evident that these chemicals were indeed responsible for the ozone depletion.

Increased pressure was placed on governments of the world to take action.

A 'manufactured doubt' campaign was initiated by business interests in the industry. These campaigns were organized by the same folks who created the campaigns for the cigarette industry.

Ultimately, the manufactured doubt campaigns failed, the offending chemicals were banned or heavily regulated and the ozone deficit has rebounded.

This is an ideal case of man creating a problem and correcting it on a global scale.

Perception, feelings, bias, opinion are not required to take the correct action.

Hopefully, with hindsight, we'll be able to say we handled man caused climate change in the same manner.
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Postby blisterfree » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:10 pm

It'd be nice to think so, I agree. The problem is that considering the issue of climate change becomes an annalysis* of interrelated systems of far, far greater complexity than the ozone depletion thing, that it morphs from a scientific discussion to an emotional one, or at least one in which emotions are easily manipulated and predispositions subconsciously come to hold sway. The best annalogy* I can think of is cancer - that's climate change. Ozone depletion was a sore throat.

PS to moderator: Spam filter decided I was being potty-mouthed while spelling the above * words correctly with one 'n'! Now that's vigilance. ;)
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Postby Wyethia » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:28 pm

I guess my point went right past you folks- once more slowly- short term weather is NOT climate. posts about record heat waves have NOTHING to do with and CAN'T be compared to long term climate studies (the "proxies" mentioned above. My point is that for every heat wave, there is a cold snap, and continual harping on minor weather records (see the initial post), from short term weather stations is only harming any efforts to reduce pollution, because most people who are not yet convinced will be more doubtful of poor arguments like "gosh it's hot here today" when they are in a cold snap. Do you want to convince others or do you want to cheer-lead the believers? This is one of the coolest summers on record in my home town, so does that make you less convinced of global warming?
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Postby Wyethia » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:45 pm

"That is an increasingly popular statement coined by the "manufactured doubt" crowd" - start off with name calling - good argument there!

"500 year flood plains" in North America are assigned by studies that have not looked at the flood plain in question for 500 years- they are guesses of the statistically likelihood of the flood plain flooding in any one year. As anyone first year stat student can tell you, the likelihood of flipping a coin and getting heads is 50% or 1 in 2 times, but you are no more likely to flip heads just because you flipped tails the time before (or even three times before). Flood events can often group up. Flooding is also affected by building in floodplains- something we also need to address. Another ridiculous argument that will not convince your opponents. Again do you want to be effective or just cheer lead?

"That is no longer a point of debate" - Another bad argument - because then the person with doubts is driven away. Remember, there was a time when there was no debate that the earth was less than 10,000 years old, that women were less intelligent than men, and other such clap trap.

you would flunk debate class
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Postby treeWoof » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:10 am

Wyethia wrote:my point went right past you folks- once more slowly- short term weather is NOT climate.


Of course not, but climate is made of short term weather events, part of the whole.

My point is that for every heat wave, there is a cold snap


That's not necessarily true. Of 303 selected cities over the last 20 years, just 3 had record cold months (1%), while 97 had record warm months (32%). This accounts for UHI (urban heat island effect)

This is one of the coolest summers on record in my home town, so does that make you less convinced of global warming?


It has made for a very interesting hiking season. Again, this cool year is part of the whole, part of the big picture.

Like you said, "once more slowly- short term weather is NOT climate."
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Postby treeWoof » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:43 am

This is a thoroughly enjoyable dialogue as I know many, many folks share your lack of information. While it's not a debate in my mind, it's an opportunity to correct some common misconceptions that others may blindly accept as fact.

Wyethia wrote:"500 year flood plains"...they are guesses of the statistically likelihood...flipping a coin and getting heads is 50% or 1 in 2 times...Flood events can often group up...Another ridiculous argument...do you want to be effective or just cheer lead?


The probability of getting heads twice in a row is:
2^2 = (2 to the second power) = 1 in 4

The probability of a 500 year flood plain flooding 2 years in a row:
500^2 = (500 to the second power) = 1 in 250,000

The most popular and widely reproduced example of "Manufactured Doubt":

Using his old National Academy of Sciences affiliation to lend credibility to his attacks on global warming science until his death in 2008 at the age of ninety-six, it was Dr. Frederick Seitz who launched the "Oregon Petition", which contains the signatures of more than 34,000 scientists saying global warming is probably natural and not a crisis. The petition is a regular feature of the Manufactured Doubt campaign against human-caused global warming. The petition lists the "Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine" as its parent organization. According to Climate Cover-up, the Institute is a farm shed situated a couple of miles outside of Cave Junction, OR (population 17,000). The Institute lists seven faculty members, two of whom are dead, and has no ongoing research and no students. It publishes creationist-friendly homeschooler curriculums books on surviving nuclear war. The petition was sent to scientists and was accompanied by a 12-page review printed in exactly the same style used for the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A letter from Seitz, who is prominently identified as a former National Academy of Sciences president, accompanied the petition and review. Naturally, many recipients took this to be an official National Academy of Sciences communication, and signed the petition as a result. The National Academy issued a statement in April 2008, clarifying that it had not issued the petition, and that its position on global warming was the opposite. The petition contains no contact information for the signers, making it impossible to verify. In its August 2006 issue, Scientific American presented its attempt to verify the petition. They found that the scientists were almost all people with undergraduate degrees, with no record of research and no expertise in climatology. Scientific American contacted a random sample of 26 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to have a Ph.D. in a climate related science. Eleven said they agreed with the petition, six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember the petition, one had died, and five did not respond.

sigh
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still not getting it

Postby Wyethia » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:26 pm

OK Treewoof- you are the one who started listing individual weather records- so why did you do that? Why is your record better than my record? If you are trying to bolster belief in global warming due to humans, this is not the way. The minute I pointed out the fallacy of using weather record you jumped back to climate proxies (and called names). My point is, if you want to persuade, that was the wrong way to do it, not whether or not GW is occurring. Or are you arguing that we don't need to the majority of voters on board with any action we do?

BTW I said 50% OR 1 in 2 times. Brush up on the grammar. I was not talking about getting 2 heads in a row in that initial sentence, I was talking about the chances of getting a heads in an initial flip. The second sentence refers to getting another heads in your next flip- it's still 50%- there is no effect from the previous flip. Yes the chance of of two in a row is 1 in 4. Again, you like to dismiss others with rude comments (my lack of information? how about your lack of reading skills?) You still have not addressed the 500 year flood plain problem-they are not based on an actual 500 year history. So if the actual chance over a 500 year period is double or triple, or more, of what the hydrologist guessed (back in the 30's, 40's or 50's when they didn't talk about el nino or PDO) you can easily have "more than normal" amounts of flooding. Or, if you are my county you might find out that the flood plain ratings were initially skewed to avoid having 90% of the existing structures being in an officially recognized flood plain, despite the evidence that flooding was frequent in the past. Remember el nino and PDO? Weather cycles also cause flood events to cluster up. There are 3 straightforward arguments here. Can you address them or will you call names? Notice we are only talking about flooding not global warming, so even if you come up with a strong argument against these statements, you still haven't become very persuasive on your central concern.

Appealing to authority (PhDs) instead of making your argument stand on it's own might work in other times, but "Climate Gate" was a major oops by people smart enough to know better; I really would wait for better times to use that type of argument.

You do not address my points, you set up straw men, and make snide comments. My point is that you are not doing anyone any service by constantly pointing out weather records. Unfortunately, many poorly trained media types do the same thing.

Sigh, indeed- if reducing pollution is up to people like you, we will never get there....
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