Friday, 22 February 2008

Global Warming is Cool

If the cognitive dissonance gap between global warming rhetoric and real world observation is not the greatest in living memory then I want to know what is.

A negative annual temperature trend per year since 1998 seems to have gone unnoticed by the Climate Faithful for whom the term 'inconvenient truth' has already been co-opted by their side.

From the UK's Daily Mail:
Yesterday's picture in the Mail of a cascade of icicles in the Yorkshire Dales was a reminder of how cold Britain can be - something many of us have forgotten in this unusually mild winter.

But it really is remarkable how little attention has been paid to the extraordinary weather events which in recent weeks have been affecting other parts of the world.

Across much of the northern hemisphere, from Greece and Iran to China and Japan, they have been suffering their worst snowfalls for decades.

Similarly freakish amounts of snow have been falling over much of the northern United States, from Ohio to the Pacific coast, where in parts of the state of Washington up to 200in of snow have fallen in the past fortnight.

In country after country, these abnormal snowfalls have provoked a crisis.


A waterfall frozen mid-air in China

In China - the only example to have attracted major coverage in Britain - the worst snow for 50 years triggered an unprecedented state of emergency.
Worst for 50 years? Yes. Did the climate models predict this? No. No matter, though. As long as the Climate Faithful can impose more government into our lives then reality can be blissfully ignored.
Large parts of the country have been paralysed, as rail and road transport ground to a standstill.

More than 25,000 miles of power lines collapsed under a weight of snow and ice they were never designed to cope with.
The were 'never designed to cope with' the load? Nobody ever imagined that it was possible for that much snow and ice to form. However, the Climate Faithful can imagine all sorts of evil outcomes if the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere rises from 0.03% to 0.04%.
Snow has devastated thousands of square miles of farmland, threatening severe food shortages.
Food shortages? When I pointed out that cold kills I was pilloried by my anonymous, loopy, left wing interlocutor in comments. Let me reiterate. Cold bad. Warm good.
The total cost of the disaster to the Chinese economy may be more than £10billion.


Mr and Mrs Snowman! Good to see you! Your usual table?

In Afghanistan, freezing weather and the worst snow for 30 years have killed more than 900 people.

In neighbouring Tajikistan, according to aid agencies, the coldest winter for 50 years, along with soaring food prices and a massive energy crisis, threatens a "humanitarian catastrophe".
Here we have an existential crisis across the globe caused by fantastic cold but what do we hear from the Climate Faithful? The same old turgid drivel. Even the government's climate report, penned by former Kevin Rudd mentor Ross Garnaut, has called for economic extinction in order to save ourselves.
In Greece and Turkey, where temperatures dropped as low as minus 31 degrees Celsius, hundreds of villages have been cut off by blizzards and drifting snow.

In Iran, following heavy snowfalls last month, its eastern desert regions - normally still hot at this time of year - have seen their first snow in living memory.

In Saudi Arabia last month, people were amazed by the first snow most had ever seen.
First snow in living memory? First snow most had ever seen?
On the Pacific coast of Japan last week, heavy falls of snow injured more than 50.


Frozen benches. Could be anywhere, really, but they're in Greece.

Meanwhile in the U.S., similarly abnormal snowfalls have hit more than a dozen states. One Massachusetts town reported 12ft drifts after its heaviest snows in 30 years.

In Wisconsin, the state governor declared a state of emergency as schools and airports were forced to close by up to 20in of snow - and even this was dwarfed by the blizzards which dropped as much as 16ft of the white stuff on parts of Washington state.

In light of such similar news from so many places round the world, it may not seem surprising that U.S. satellite data for January shows the extent of snow cover in the northern hemisphere as reaching its highest level since 1966, 42 years ago - and that temperatures were lower than their average for the whole of the 20th century.
James Hansen had better get to work quick smart modifying the temperature record to ensure that the average over the century is lowered again to make current happenings look above normal. Where's that Michael Mann when you need him?
Furthermore, it is not only in the northern hemisphere that records are being broken.

Following last year's freak snowfalls in such southern cities as Buenos Aires and Sydney, satellite observations from the other end of the world have this winter shown ice cover round the Antarctic at easily its greatest extent for this time of year since data began in 1979, 30per cent above average.

Yet so far in our corner of the world, we have been remarkably slow to notice what was going on elsewhere, and to put the different elements of the story together.

Doubtless much of the reason for this has been that, in Western Europe, we have (until the recent cold spell) enjoyed yet another comparatively warm winter - probably thanks to changes in warming sea currents which scientists find hard to explain. (Although Alpine ski resorts have seen their best snow conditions for many years.)

This is why we saw reports of balmy, prematurely spring-like weather, with primroses and blossom coming out earlier than usual and the curator of Kew Gardens suggesting "there is no winter any more" - just when much of the rest of the world was shivering through the coldest January and February since The Beatles were still together.


Warning. Ice on steps during cold snaps not predicted by Climate Faithful.

But one of the oddest features of this great freeze is how little it was predicted.

We are so used to hearing that the world is inexorably warming up thanks to rising CO2 emissions, and that recent years have been the hottest since records were kept, that no one prepared us for the possibility that there might suddenly be such a dramatic exception to the accepted trend.

So far, the leading advocates of the global warming thesis have remained fairly quiet about the 2008 freeze, although some may explain that "freak weather events" such as we are now witnessing are just what we should expect to see as Planet Earth hots up - even if this produces the paradox that warming may sometimes lead to cooling.
Knock. Knock. Knock. Hello, Climate Faithful? Anyone home?
Global warming "sceptics", on the other hand, are inevitably pointing to these record snowfalls as evidence that global temperatures are no longer rising as the CO2 theory predicts.
That's me!
We may, they suggest, be seeing the start of a period when temperatures reverse their generally upward trend over the past 30 years, as we did in those decades before 1978 known to climate scientists as "the Little Cooling".

The truth is that it is still much too early to draw any long-term conclusions from 2008's great freeze. But it is one of the most startling developments to have emerged in the world's weather patterns for a long time - not least in that it was so unexpected.

At least it raises important questions over how our global climate is evolving which the scientists will have to try to explain.

To the millions of people whose lives have been seriously disrupted by this year's freeze, the concept of global warming must seem awfully remote.
Fortunately for the Climate Faithful they are all rich enough to live in heated homes, eat whatever they want, drive a Toyota Prius and not have to deal with reality.

Unfortunately, there's a real world out there.

(Nothing Follows)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Climate models didn't predict the weather? That's because they're climate models! They didn't predict that Bolton would beat Atletico Madrid either, the useless heaps of junk.

Cold bad. Warm good. - of course! Woolly mammoths surely thrived when the last ice age ended, and in the same way every species on earth will be happier as the atmosphere warms now. And 35,000 dead Europeans in 2003 just didn't realise that the heat was actually good for them.

negative annual temperature trend per year since 1998 - honestly, what dreamworld do you live in? Quote your source for this claim. Oh wait, you can't, because it's entirely made up.

Jack Lacton said...

From http://tinyurl.com/2tztj6

Paul Comrie-Thomson: Do you maintain that some global warming science has just been distorted and hyped?

Bjorn Lomborg: It's more the fact that we only hear one side of the argument. Typically you will hear that when temperatures increase we're going to see more heatwaves and therefore more people dying from heat. That's absolutely true. But you also need to remember that when temperatures increase you're also going to see fewer cold waves and therefore fewer people dying from cold. It actually turns out that most places in the world, cold deaths outweigh heat deaths, so actually it turns out that it's likely that there'll be more avoided cold deaths than extra heat deaths. But at least we need to hear both sides of that story, we need to both know, yes, there will be more heat deaths, but there will also be fewer cold deaths. For instance, for England it's estimated that there will be 2,000 more heat deaths but 20,000 fewer cold deaths by 2050. And I maintain it's unlikely that we will make good judgements if we only hear the 2,000 more dead but don't hear the 20,000 fewer dead.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the scientifically dishonest Mr Lomborg.

Listen, here's something for you to do. It involves looking at real data and thinking critically so you might not enjoy it, but here you go.

The hypothesis you have is that cold kills. So, if we look at the Central England Temperature, and also look at the record of excess winter deaths in England, there should be a correlation. A cold winter should have a higher death rate. Agreed?

OK, well here is the seasonal CET. Look at the DJF column for the mean winter temperature in England. In the last three years, the winter mean temperature has been 5.2°C (2004-5), 4.1°C (2005-6), and 6.4°C (2006-7). According to your beliefs, winter deaths should have gone up from 2004-5 to 2005-6, and then dropped in 2006-7.

So now, let's look up the National Office of Statistics. Here's their data for the last ten years on excess winter deaths. 2004-5: 31640. 2005-6: 25270 excess deaths. 2006-7: 23900. Well what do you know - the data doesn't match your hypothesis. If you are approaching this scientifically, you'll realise it's time to drop the hypothesis.

Did you think to wonder where Lomborg got his figures from or did you just accept them uncritically?

Russet Shadows said...

Excellent commentary! As for the # of dead Europeans, maybe France should look into air-conditioning. Many Parisian apartments don't use it.

Jack Lacton said...

Fudgie,

Lomborg is one of the most intellectually honest scientists in the world.

He has been attacked by the Climate faithful for pointing out the reality of the benefit of what a small amount of warming would mean.

Well done for actually doing some research for a change. It's unusual for you. However, you are falling into the same correlation equals causation trap that underpins the whole global warming argument where the correlation is made between CO2 and temperature but causation is unclear.

Anonymous said...

Fucky,

I demonstrated that Lomborg's claim is false. Your reply doesn't really make sense as any kind of argument, it's just another blustering statement that you like Bjorn Lomborg. Do you accept that Lomborg's claim is false or not?