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

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 i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:25PM (#42361235) Homepage Journal

    That ice age was the expected result of the "natural cycles" you idiots like to babble endlessly about. The fact that we're going the opposite direction should have you seriously concerned.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:38PM (#42361387) 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.

    A second dust bowl would be an "event" and it's a possibility if we enter into a many year drought. Hell, Texas alone lost half a billion trees in the current drought [] and it's at $8 billion and counting []. If that drought rolls into next year and they have a dry winter followed by another drought ... well, the topsoil those half billion trees were holding down will be dry and loose. Bad condition worsens and you could be looking at an "event" as meat prices rise in the US.

    You might not remember the dirty thirties [] but my midwestern grandparents talk about it like it was death for everything.

  • *sigh* here goes: (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:42PM (#42361441)

    Climate change doesn't really bother me. What bothers me are people that willfully choose to live in higher risk geographical locations. I have a short list of populated areas I feel are acceptable loss zones:

    Coastal areas - prone to flooding and destructive wind
    Seismic areas - prone to destructive ground shaking
    Desert areas - prone to being uninhabitable
    Flood zones - prone to destructive wetness
    Tornado zones - prone to destructive wind

    I am forced by the homeowner cartel to pay a higher premium for their supposed right to live in these statistically disastrous zones. I think New Orleans should have been quarantined by the US military and condemned. All the money spent to rebuild a coastal town below sea-level would be better spent burning in a big pile to stay warm.

    I might be the only person that gets the popcorn ready at disaster hour.

  • by Kwyj1b0 ( 2757125 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:03PM (#42361703)

    Disclaimer: I am honestly not trolling here. I really wonder about this.

    TL/DR version: Can we really change our behavior, or just start planning for a worst-case scenario?

    Should we be trying to combat climate change in the sense that is it really possible? I think that, as a species, we would rather let people in the future (even if they are future versions of ourselves) deal with the problems rather than take hit in the near term for long term benefits.

    Coupled with the fact that the most populated countries have a majority of their population relatively poor, I think it is impractical to expect them to stop burning fossil fuels and force clean energy solutions that might be more expensive/impractical (I believe that the industrialized nations consume most of the energy now, but with India and China becoming more economically important and successful, they will also start consuming more energy).

    I saw the article about Thorium reactors a few days ago, but I doubt that we can stop burning things for energy in a short term. With all the infrastructure and interests of powerful groups to keep us on fossil fuels (In the words of comedian John Oliver: BP going green? Only in their logo), I don't expect major change in the near future.

    Maybe I am too cynical and need to have hope for the future, but I wonder if we shouldn't start planning backup mechanisms to permanently help people when changes happen - right now, we seem to be doing short-term "deal with this disaster now" fixes.

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:21PM (#42361949)

    Unless there is some *serious* (like, freeking flooding!) Torrential downpouring here in the plains states before the next summers dry spell, it *will* blow.

    Trenching crews reporting dry soil 4 ft down (over a meter), that can't cling to the trenching blade at all due to its dryness should be important to you, if you like to at food, and live in the US.

    This whole winter, in my area it has: lightly drizzled once. Rained once with 2in precip, snowed once with 1in precip.

    After a protracted summer drought season that killed corn and soy crops.

    If this continues, planting will *NOT* be successful, soil cover will not recover, and seasonal wind changes will blow the top soil, 1930s style.

    So yeah. Tell me about how you are prepared with your air conditioners some more here people. For real.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:24PM (#42361981)

    You are an example of why I want humans to go extinct. The most self-serving species with the knowledge and appreciation of life that will wantonly destroy it as long as their homes are a constant 70 degrees year round.

  • by PRMan ( 959735 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @02:28PM (#42362033)

    But do most denialists deny that climate change is actually happening? Or just question how much man contributes to it and by what measures? Realize that in the past Siberia flash froze for some reason (probably not man) and that Iraq used to be the "fertile crescent". So the question is, are we the cause of these events or do they just happen despite us?

    That said, one of the easiest changes to make is for governments to start giving incentives for telecommuting. Saves tons of gas and solves traffic issues. I don't think much would change if I went into the office 3 days a week instead of 5, except the amount of gas I purchase.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:07PM (#42362475) Homepage

    There are a lot of sensible things we can do to stop burning fossil fuels (such as the telecommuting idea you propose)

    Electricity generation produces more CO2 than telecommuting. A few more nuclear power stations would reduce emissions more than people giving up their SUVs would (I think the "you'll have to drive a really crappy small car!!" argument is also put out by the oil companies to help the people deny...)

    See: []

  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @03:56PM (#42363119) Journal

    Sorry to burst your bubble but the warming has stalled about 15 years ago while CO2 levels in the atmosphere keep rising, every year the chances that this could be a statistical fluctuations in a long term trend diminishes, all you have to do is look at IPCC AR5 draft figure 1-4 [] to see how badly the models have failed to predict reality; as Richard Feyman [] said "When actual observations over a period of time contradict predictions based on a given theory, that theory is wrong!"

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain