12:12 am: Global Warming?
11 years ago, in the fall of 1998, I noticed something odd. We had really warm weather in mid-December. (I noticed this because it led to my baby being hospitalized with pnemonia, so it stuck in my mind.)
This continued every year there after. The summers were hot, too.
Until this year.
This summer was the coolest summer I've ever seen in Virginia. It was practically like summers in New York when I was a kid.
I must admit, I loved it.
Right now, it is nearly Mid-December. It has been really cold the last week. I guess we can only wait and see what happens next week, as the 17th to the 19th is when the warm weather comes.
But, considering that there were reports of warmer wheather on Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto...I wonder if the theory voiced by some -- that we just reached the end of an 11 year sun-spot cycle -- has some virtue to it.
I guess the next few years will tell whether it stays warm or returns to a slightly cooler temperature.
Belgium had a truly beautiful summer this year, and it started early. Our hot months are usually July and August, and curiously, they weren't so bad; we had a couple of completely miserable weeks in June, but that was it.
November was rainy and unpleasant, and December has just been unbearable for my Texas-attuned sense of what weather is supposed to be. I could do with a warm snap this week!
Carbon emissions cause immediate human misery. Unless, of course, you have lots of money or lots of credit/debt. I suppose your taste could be for sniffing car exhaust, but I consider such a pastime unproductive.
I don't buy into climate change being directly tied to emissions, but I do think we want to cut them down to prevent issues of environmental damage and also the cost to human health, as breathing this stuff is not good. Of course, that tends to be other things than CO2, so I guess I am not totally on topic here.
Consider the political gains to be made by creating this new enemy: anthropogenic global warming. It's a form of self-flagellation the mystics of the Middle Ages would recognize. The evils of the world are upon our conscience. What is the only way to cleanse yourself? Give in to whatever procedures, follow whatever leaders emerge from this new religion.
However I voluntarily recycle, and, all things being equal, would probably opt for a lower emissions car.
Their timeline is so skewed. Think hundreds or thousands of years. But they've tapped into humankind's sense of urgency. Doom is eminent. Our times are the most important, the most cataclysmic. People who laugh at the Jesus Is Coming Soon bumper stickers probably believe that the Earth is ending soon due to global warming.
CO2 is not pollution. Never has been. Doesn't hurt plants, etc.
It does build up in the atomosphere. This may or may not add to the world being warmer (though to date the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that comes from humans is still a rather small percentage) , but that still does not make it pollution of the "it's killing the plants and fish" type.
The weather this year has been unusually hot and dry where I live, and positively deadly hot and dry in many parts of the world. The world is a lot bigger than Virginia. The planet-wide climate is what matters, and it's getting continuously hotter.
The sunspot cycle has nothing to do with it, according to NASA scientists. It simply does not correlate to the changes.
Also, "global warming" is a deceptive way to think about it. Heat is simply energy. There is more energy in the atmosphere now. The polar regions are getting especially warmer over recent decades, and that means that the jet streams move freely. The consequence is more unusual weather, and more storms. Your local weather may even grow unusually cool.
It's nice that your weather is nice. They're dying of exceptionally bad weather elsewhere.
>The sunspot cycle has nothing to do with it, according to NASA scientists.
Are these the same NASA guys who are under investigation?
It is true that this is only one place, but the weather has been screwy here for years, so it is promising to see it resemble something like it's old patterns. One can keep hoping it might happen elsewhere, too.
Here's a thought. Locally, where you live, changes have occurred in the landscape over the last ten years. These changes came to a halt about a year and a half ago. Just thinking logically, what could have happened that may have an affect on local weather?
Rather, it might be wise to stop and wonder why people are assuming that weather changes in far reaching parts of the world have a global cause.
Going back any length of time you like, you'll find major weather disasters of all kinds: droughts, extra heat, extra cold, too much rain. There was a major drought in New England, for instance, in the early 19th century.
These weather problems were not man-made or cause by Global Warming.
Therefore, it stands to reason that many of our problems today may not be connected to each other as well.
It is a type of supersticious thinking to assign "Global Warming" as a cause to everything that people don't like in their environment.
It's also wrong to say that because the effects may not be global, we should not bother about pollution.
Here's an example of a weather problem caused by humans... a man hiking in a "wild" area decides to smoke a cigarette. He drops the cigarette along the way and it starts a fire. The fire builds into a "wildfire". The smoke caused by the fire blocks out the sun over a large area (region, actually). The blocking of the sun causes unusually cold weather for a period of time (depends on how long it takes to put out the fire, usually a week or so).
There are many man-kind caused weather situations, such as the change in weather in Egypt since they damned the Nile, but we were not discussing man-made weather issue. Only whether particular bad weather was caused by too much CO2.
One cannot make the assertion that there will be above average hurricane activity in the Atlantic hurricane season and attribute it to global warming, and then say that the below average hurricane season means nothing because bad things just happened elsewhere.
Admittedly, you did not make any prediction about the hurricane season, and please do not mistake me as implying you have.
However the claim is made, every May without fail. This year is the year of the big one. And it's unscientific at best, fearmongering at worst. There's been no statistically significant increase in the number of atlantic hurricanes with an increase in global temperature.
Droughts and heatwaves are completely different phenomenon than hurricanes, and not, as you do seem to imply, mutually exclusive with hurricanes. When Hurricane Dolly hit the Rio Grande Valley in 2008, they were in a drought, and they are still in a drought now, even with all the rain they've had this winter.
Forest fires are actually part of a healthy ecosystem. They just happen to be bad for the people living nearby. The effort to combat routine forest fires has led to problems with huge fires that can't be put out.
We do not have enough directly measured data on the climate pattern to state that it is changing. Climate is cyclical over a period of 50-100 years, and we have recorded temperature for less than 200 years. Nuts, the Fahrenheit scale has only existed for 285 years! Surrogate measures of temperature are of deeply questionable predictive quality. We do not have enough directly measured data. We do not even know which data are the important data to gather.
The scientists who study this have engaged in poor methodology and professional misconduct. They say that climate patterns are changing, they say we are the cause of the change, and I say show me your data, all your data, your raw data. Show me your statistics. Show me all the trees you cored and their corresponding numbers. Show me your logic.
A scientist with a really good experimental proof cannot resist showing it off. It's telling when a scientist positively won't.
Oh, and thank you for your congratulations on a nice year, but it hasn't been. We got drowned in the spring by rain and broiled by heat in the summer, and now we're being drenched and frozen by turns. But thanks.