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Historic Heat In North America Turns Winter To Summer 618

An anonymous reader writes "A huge, lingering ridge of high pressure over the eastern half of the United States brought summer-like temperatures to North America in March 2012. The warm weather shattered records across the central and eastern United States and much of Canada. From the article: 'Records are not only being broken across the country, they're being broken in unusual ways. Chicago, for example, saw temperatures above 26.6Celsius (80Fahrenheit) every day between March 14-18, breaking records on all five days. For context, the National Weather Service noted that Chicago typically averages only one day in the eighties each in April. And only once in 140 years of weather observations has April produced as many 80Fahrenheit days as this March.'"
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Historic Heat In North America Turns Winter To Summer

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  • yawn (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:07PM (#39435265)

    And only once in 140 years of weather observations has April produced as many 80Fahrenheit days as this March.

    So it has happened before. And on geological time scales, that was, like, just ten minutes ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:16PM (#39435383)

    Well, the scientific consensus is that global warming is happening and that man is contributing toward it.

    Not all theories and consequent predictions are correct and complete - in most areas of science this is accepted calmly and rationally, but in this one it's suddenly proof that the whole premise is wrong. Kinda like saying evolution is a crock of shit just because one piece of fossil evidence isn't fully explained by a previous assumption. Not that I've ever seen global-warming deniers as any more rational than evolution-deniers, but they tend to find it hard to see themselves that way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:16PM (#39435387)

    I'm sure it would also explain the brutally cold winter that Europe experienced this year.

  • News For Nerds??!! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:16PM (#39435389)

    Localized weather stories are now considered news for nerds??!! What the fuck?
    Is Slashdot next going to post when the summer equinox is coming, or when the first snowball in Peoria is happening?

    This place is really turning to shit.

  • by haruchai ( 17472 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:16PM (#39435391)
    It's becoming more and more clear that we're in for a rough ride - and we're all to blame.

    The sad truth is that those who are least responsible will suffer the most.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:25PM (#39435495)

    I'm sure it would also explain the brutally cold winter that Europe experienced this year.

    What I remember from thermodynamics when I took it with Newton: pumping energy (heat) into system making it go all kaflooey. Hotter and colder and then even colder to outrageously hot.

    Nope, obviously a conspiracy on the part on those people who wrote the laws of thermodynamics in order to eventually tax us and hand over our God given sovereignty to the UN!

  • Re:yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:33PM (#39435581)

    It's only warm in the eastern half. In California it's freakin' cold!

    In October we had snow in the east, which was one of he earliest snows ever. And LAST winter we set records for cold & snowfall amounts! So it is not really global warming; it's just month-to-month/year-to-year variation.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:40PM (#39435645)

    And yet last year saw some of the coldest temperatures we've had in a very long time. But I didn't see people screaming OMG GLOBAL FREEZING!!1!!1! back then.

    That's because the people who understand global warming are smart enough to know that a single season doesn't mean anything on its own. It's the deniers who, every goddamned winter, come out of the woodwork with their childlike taunts: "If the Earth's getting warmer, then why is it currently cold outside!?"

    Isn't it funny that this winter they all seem to understand that one point doesn't make a line? Sadly, I'm sure that by next year they will have forgotten all about this, and will point to the first snowflake as proof that the Earth is unchanged.

  • by jrroche ( 1937546 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:44PM (#39435677)
    I was surprised, for a minute, to see all these Slashdotters sarcastically pretending this is proof of global climate change, or forgoing the sarcasm and outright denying it entirely. Then I remembered that, despite Slashdot readers being generally accepting of, and, in many cases, even excited about science, they also tend to be generally libertarian in their politics, which means denying ideas widely held by entire scientific and academic communities if it might lead to more gub'mint.
  • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by giorgist ( 1208992 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @08:47PM (#39435695)
    Weather and climate are not the same words.


  • by quax ( 19371 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:21PM (#39436019)

    Means extreme weather patterns become more likely. This includes more extreme temp fluctuations while the global overall mean just inches by a fraction of a degree per year.

    All well established and advertised for the last twenty years. People pointing to super cold, wet winter in NZ are just emphasizing this, while kidding themselves into thinking it somehow contradicts the climate change trend.

    I'm quite certain that once the future history of global warming will be written it'll emphasize that it shows humanity at it's smartest and most stupid at the same time.

  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:25PM (#39436049) Homepage Journal

    There's perhaps more to Europe than you think.

  • Re:yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdgeorge ( 18767 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:41PM (#39436207)

    In the cage match between the laws of physics and money, physics wins.... but money buys itself a huge victory party and claims physics is a fraud. And a large segment of the population who resent the snooty superiority of laws of physics eagerly believe physics has been defeated.

    Therefore, you can expect to hear that this same kind of weather anomaly has happened numerous times before, and a lot of people will believe it.

  • Re:yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:47PM (#39436247) Homepage Journal

    If the K.P. goes through, as planned, and has a B.P. style incident?

    How on earth could that happen? It's a pipeline, not a well; you just shut the nearest valves and voila, it's done. Not only that, pipelines are buried just below the frost line, which even up there is maybe six feet down. It's not that hard to avoid the areas where the Ogallala runs very close to the surface. It's nothing like a well of oil under pressure that's over 4000 feet below sea level.

  • Re:yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uigrad_2000 ( 398500 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:49PM (#39436255) Homepage Journal

    Europe had a record setting winter [], where they shattered many records for both snow and cold, and 112 people died, but it still rather a rather minor rate of change compared to what the world saw in the 1500's.

    I really think that people have begun to freak out lately, just because we keep such careful records today. When they had abnormally warm or cold days in the U.S. in the 1800's, no one knew for sure how abnormal they were. Now we have data to compare, and we've become hypochondriacs.

  • by theNAM666 ( 179776 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @09:54PM (#39436289)

    Well, here's the thing.

    No one who actually is anyone, and has anything to do with science or policy, gives a damn what you (or 98% of other slashdotters) think about it. Because you don't have a flying fuck of an idea, of what you're talking about, or how to judge it in scientific terms.

    Your opinion does not matter, no matter how many times you type on the keyboard, except, perhaps, in the very limited sense of being one of the millions of rat-sheep who support US politics.

    In which case, your opinion is carefully manufactured by think tanks and PR firms, and fed to you through the media. You bloody parrot.

  • Re:yawn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @10:21PM (#39436515) Journal

    Drought. Bad ones too. In my part of NJ, we got a few inches of snow this year, instead of a few feet. The reservoirs are going to be bone-dry, since there's no snow to melt.

    Last year, we got way more snow than we usually do. Global warming. This year, way less. Global warming.

  • Re:Not 200F (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _KiTA_ ( 241027 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @10:55PM (#39436783) Homepage

    Don't be silly, it won't be 200F in July.

    If it was as much above normal in July, as it is currently in March here in Chicago, the daily high would be 127, with an overnight low of 94.

    Fun stuff, isn't it?

    I know it's kinda an interesting anecdote, but it's not as funny when [] heat waves [] kill tens of thousands. []

    We would be seeing similar problems in the US if we had a heat wave of 127 with a low of 94 for several days in a row. It's not the average Slashdotter that would have problems, it's the elderly, the already ill, the poor, the young, et cetera. Those who are already vulnerable to severe temperatures. And to say nothing of the brownouts due to a huge city like, say, Chicago all running the AC at full bore 24x7.

    Unfortunately, the Corporate Apologists in America would be sure to point out that there is no climate change problem and it's "All Obama's Fault" (tm) in any case, so we'll get nowhere.

    It's really starting to look like we won't wise up and do something about our environmental destruction until it's too late.

  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @11:11PM (#39436895) Journal

    I'm not sure I've ever read a more disjointed reply.

    Doubt science because of economics?

  • by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @04:12AM (#39438203)

    Imagining that tomorrow that coal and gas plants stop making energy is a straw man. They will be phased out as alternative energy sources come on line. As I said it will take time to transform our energy systems.

    Your bus scenario is an example of your lack of imagination. How about if instead of stopping the bus service you replace it with a hybrid bus that gets 20% better fuel mileage? Then in 15 years when it wears out you replace it with a bus that only needs batteries to run its route. The longest journey begins with the first step.

  • by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @09:21AM (#39439587)

    Of course, Pascal's wager is tragically flawed. Pascal was creating a justification to pretend to believe in God. The true wager would require much more than 4 squares because you have Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism as major religions. That's before we start dipping into the minors and silly religions. After all, it's technically possible that the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn or even Scientology could be true. Thus Pascal's wager only works for people who are already Christian because they will already "know" that all the other possibilities are false. It sort of the defeats the supposed purpose of the wager, though.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.