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Earth

2012 Another Record-Setter For Weather, Fits Climate Forecasts 336

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-was-cold-today-therefore-global-warming-is-invalid dept.
Layzej writes "The Associated Press reports: 'In 2012 many of the warnings scientists have made about global warming went from dry studies in scientific journals to real-life video played before our eyes. As 2012 began, winter in the U.S. went AWOL. Spring and summer arrived early with wildfires, blistering heat and drought. And fall hit the eastern third of the country with the ferocity of Superstorm Sandy. Globally, five countries this year set heat records, but none set cold records. 2012 is on track to be the warmest year on record in the United States. Worldwide, the average through November suggests it will be the eighth warmest since global record-keeping began in 1880 and will likely beat 2011 as the hottest La Nina year on record. America's heartland lurched from one extreme to the other without stopping at "normal." Historic flooding in 2011 gave way to devastating drought in 2012. But the most troubling climate development this year was the melting at the top of the world. Summer sea ice in the Arctic shrank to 18 percent below the previous record low. These are "clearly not freak events," but "systemic changes," said climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute in Germany. "With all the extremes that, really, every year in the last 10 years have struck different parts of the globe, more and more people absolutely realize that climate change is here and already hitting us."'"
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2012 Another Record-Setter For Weather, Fits Climate Forecasts

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  • by who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:21PM (#42361167)
    there has to be a better source
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:24PM (#42361221) Homepage Journal

    A lot of people's expectations for the consequences of global warming is the sudden deaths of hundreds of thousands, not wide-ranging low-grade economic impacts that risk hundreds of millions in property damage and puts a strain on global food supply.

    We're trained to notice disaster, not statistical drift. There will never be the "event" from global warming, which means denial will continue as the costs keep ramping up.

  • by javelinco (652113) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:26PM (#42361245) Journal
    I thought none of the climate change models allowed for accurate short term forecasting? I've been told not to expect short term forecasting (as in, the next five years, the next year, and certainly not the next few months) to be accurately predictable from the models and predictions of climate change experts. Are we working off predictions made ten years ago? I guess I'm confused as to why 2012 was perfectly on track with predictions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:27PM (#42361267)

    I disagree. The fact that FOX is covering it is incredibly telling. When "head in the sand" individuals are tuning around in their admission to a problem, it is a good way to convince other "head in the sand" individuals.

    -- MyLongNickName

  • by Bigby (659157) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:29PM (#42361279)

    I would rather here about this from Fox News than most anyone else. Just like I would rather hear about Obama issues from MSNBC and the NFL being the best American sports league from the MLB & NBA.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:30PM (#42361287)

    Science is not a religion, it is not less valuable when it gets updated. Your belief not withstanding.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:30PM (#42361291) Journal

    Time magazine & researchers were telling us what to do about the upcoming ICE AGE, and how to survive it. Now, the same idiots

    [citation needed that these are the same people]

    are telling us about global warming (whoops...climate change).

    Boy you sure are clever. And alone. Climate science and models have progressed extensively since 1975.

    The earth goes through cycles....and it is billions of years old. 5-10 years of data is but a blink in cosmic time.

    Those cycles you speak of normally take thousands of years to progress, giving larger life forms enough time to migrate and evolve and gradually change their patterns so that they can, you know, survive. When you start to see those averages change more quickly, you should be worried about the larger life forms (hell, bacteria and cockroaches will probably benefit). But, you know, I'm asking you to pull your head out of your ass and yet even when Fox News reports that things were pretty shitty this year, you dismiss it with parroted narrative.

    You're a serious part of the problem when others are trying to discuss rational ways to curb this disturbing trend. But, hey, you read a TIME magazine article in 1975 and that makes you smarter than people who devote their lives to this.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:38PM (#42361381) Homepage

    Time magazine & researchers were telling us what to do about the upcoming ICE AGE, and how to survive it.

    Yes, but that was when they measured temperatures using a few dozen thermometers spread around the country and wrote the data in little log books using pencils. They also hadn't developed any decent methods for gathering historical temperature data.

    Now we've got weather satellites providing real time, worldwide temperature data with a resolution of a few meters. We can measure polar ice coverage from the sky, polar ice thickness from underneath, Greenland's glacier flow rates, etc., etc. We also have millions of years of temperature/CO2 data from ice cores in the Antarctic, all cross referenced with other data sets like ancient tree ring data so we can make fairly accurate guesses about past temperatures.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:43PM (#42361457) Homepage

    I'm guessing the cheque from the denialists [wikipedia.org] was late this month. This is just a warning shot and normal service will be resumed fairly soon...

  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:44PM (#42361461) Homepage

    That would be the same 2012 that continues the trend in the IPCC AR5 report [wordpress.com], which shows temperatures lower than predicted by any of the models. That ought to make people happy,, don't you think?

    That would the the same 2012 with a drought that joins many others from the past 80 years. [weather.com] Guess what, droughts happen periodically, and this one was very much a local phenomenon within central North America.

    We just survived the end of the Mayan calendar cycle. Whew. Quick, let's panic about something else!

  • by kenboldt (1071456) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:45PM (#42361475) Homepage

    Place more importance on model output than empirical evidence at your peril...

    I present to you the temp anomaly from the recently leaked IPCC AR5 draft.
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/ipcc_ar5_draft_fig1-4_with.png [wordpress.com]

    please excuse the url source, it is where I happened to find the figure.

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:45PM (#42361481)

    I thought none of the climate change models allowed for accurate short term forecasting? I've been told not to expect short term forecasting (as in, the next five years, the next year, and certainly not the next few months) to be accurately predictable from the models and predictions of climate change experts. Are we working off predictions made ten years ago? I guess I'm confused as to why 2012 was perfectly on track with predictions.

    They don't. What they allow is overall statistical predictions. They cannot predict that a year will be warm or cold, only that on average these years will be colder than that (with a certain degree of probability).

    However, certain years will fit better into that statistical model than others. If you predict a .1C rise over 10 years, and next year is .01C warmer, it fits exactly with the prediction. That year is nearly meaningless, of course, next year could be a .05 rise followed by a .03 decline and the model could still be accurate over time. The only thing that you can predict with any accuracy using such models is the averages over an extended period of time, which is why when either side points at events in a single year to show evidence for or against global warming they are acting unscientifically (mind you, that may be the best way to convince people, but it's not science). You can still estimate if a year is going to be warm or cold using short-term models, but those aren't particularly relevant to the subject at hand (being by definition short-term).

  • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:46PM (#42361487) Journal

    Global temperatures have not risen - they have risen more slowly than predicted. Well, that's me convinced!

  • Science is dead (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:47PM (#42361499)

    I see science never made it into the 21st century. Everything is now based upon surmise and anedoctes

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:48PM (#42361511) Journal

    Really,

    You think an ice age is preferable to a gradually warming climate?

    I don't think you understand just how gradual a natural climate cycle has been for Earth. Look at this graph [wikipedia.org] of antarctic temperature changes. Notice how it is windowed to -6 to +4 degrees Celsius within today's temperature and how long those changes normally took. If we speed that same change that took 10,000 years up to 200 years and it only ever increases, what exactly do you think will happen to Earth?

    Animals and humans aren't going to have time to adapt or evolve in predicted scenarios.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:52PM (#42361555) Homepage

    'In 2012 many of the warnings scientists have made about global warming went from dry studies in scientific journals to real-life video played before our eyes

    Or "reality," as us old geezers prefer to call it.

  • Clearly (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:57PM (#42361617)

    These are "clearly not freak events," but "systemic changes,"

    Even thought the "record keeping" started in 1880...

    Hmm. 132 years of records vs. 4.5 billion years of weather...

    Pretty convincing changes.

    Not.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:18PM (#42361899) Journal

    I don't thinks a sociopath like yourself to care. We'll be happy if you don't develop a taste for human flesh.

  • by mspohr (589790) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:45PM (#42362217)

    The denialists have shifted their arguments as the evidence for climate change has become stronger and as we have been subject to daily "weather" that shows that climate change is happening and actually exceeding the "worst case" models.
    At first they were just denialists stating that it isn't happening. As the climate has actually started to change and we have record heat, drought, flood, etc. they it has become harder to deny that climate change is happening. So, they have shifted their arguments to "we didn't cause it and there is nothing we can do about it". They cite a lot of dubious "evidence" (all of which has been debunked by actual scientists).
    There are a lot of sensible things we can do to stop burning fossil fuels (such as the telecommuting idea you propose) but the denialists take the position that it's not our fault and we can't do anything. As usual, it pays to follow the money and you find the fossil fuel industries behind all of the denialist "science" and find them spreading all of this FUD.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:07PM (#42362477)

    I know anectdotes aren't data.

    So, here's a little data for you [plantmaps.com]

    Note the hugely impacted area.

    It's dryer than an old woman's cunt out here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:12PM (#42362517)

    The denialists sound more like scientists to me...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:25PM (#42362689)

    If you think global warming is all the conservatives' fault, you're not really thinking about the problem at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:36PM (#42362867)

    Because that is how science works. If science is "painful" to them maybe they shouldn't be doing it. I'm probably more educated in the field than most being a scientist doing other stuff and having read much of the IPCC reports, and I would agree that AGW is currently the most plausible explanation for the observed rise in global average temperature. The rest of the stuff is interesting but not predicted with any accuracy at all (in the models I have seen). For example, from the news article (which probably misquotes the actual researchers), here we see the failure of the model to predict things taken as evidence of its success (wtf):

    "There were other weather extremes no one predicted: A European winter cold snap that killed more than 800 people. A bizarre summer windstorm called a derecho in the U.S. mid-Atlantic that left millions without power. Antarctic sea ice that inched to a record high. More than a foot of post-Thanksgiving rain in the western U.S. Super Typhoon Bopha, which killed hundreds of people in the Philippines and was the southernmost storm of its kind."

    Even with regards to global temps, the fact the "believers" needed to be forced to double check the validity of their sensor readings belies an unscientific attitude.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:27PM (#42363531) Journal

    Like I said. You're a sociopath. We don't expect you to.

  • by mevets (322601) on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:33PM (#42363603)

    That is a meme big carbon has been pushing for a while, and is likely nonsense. We have seen, with moderately little effort and in a reasonably short time, significant rejuvenation of the great lakes, replishment of the ozone layer, reductions in acid rain and particulate emissions.
    None are worthy of a âoeMission Accomplishedâ banner yet, but we already experience the benefits of the work in progress.
    In each case, the conventional wisdom was that the damage wasnâ(TM)t reversible and the efforts would be herculean.
    The herculean effort was over-riding the well paid campaigns to suppress any effort to address these problems. In retrospect, executing all of the advertising professionals and Phd-for-hires would have saved a lot of time, money and damage.
    People have a history of innovation, and I doubt that this is beyond us. We have to get fat, dumb and happy out of the way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @05:26PM (#42364873)

    "They're not interested in science, they're interested in having an argument to support their belief. They only change when they realize they look foolish and the only change is to a different argument."

    The type of person that makes up that "they" is found in the "believer" camp as well. These people are largely irrelevant to policy-making as they will adopt the opinions of their peer group consensus or chosen authority figures. As you say, such people are not interested in science, and will not be convinced by arguments from science. This is the same problem with using logic to argue with those who believe in a God. The beliefs are not based on logic/evidence to begin with, but social heuristics.

    Eventually they run out of 'factual' arguments (remember stuff like "volcanoes produce more CO2 than man"? Sounds factual, except the pesky facts are wrong...) and start using arguments based on false logic ("I was warmer before without man, therefore man isn't causing it this time around...").

    Very little of scientific evidence (if any) consists of "facts". Every observation is subject to uncertainty (measurement error, etc), and every theory is subject to even greater uncertainty since it propagates from the numerous observations, often relies on unstated assumptions, and must be compared to a multitude of alternative hypotheses with non-zero probability. In fact, most modern scientists interpret evidence using a logical fallacy due to a misunderstanding of statistics: (see http://i49.tinypic.com/2sbodup.png)

    The actual skeptics (not the followers or manipulators of public opinion) question whether these sources of uncertainty have truly been investigated to the extent that the evidence in support of the theory/model is sufficient to be used to wisely inform public policy. There is plenty of evidence out there (see example above about valid sensor data) showing that the "believers" have indeed failed to accomplish this on their own due to overconfidence.

    The entire debate is largely due to a failure of the climate science community to control those in their field with big mouths from running them to the media while there are still plausible alternatives and major sources of uncertainty to be dealt with. This is damaging the credibility of scientists from all fields.

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