More imaginary Warming Stories

Western Siberia is starting to Thaw. No biggie except it’s basically a big peat bog and contains billions of tonnes of frozen methane which could be released into the atmosphere accelerating the global warming which isn’t happening:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4141348.stm

And across 16 european cities, the average temperature is at least 1c higher over a 5 year period than 30 years ago.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4140606.stm

oh and the Maldives is disappearing under the sea:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/3930765.stm

Well, who needs the Maldives anyway…

Japan, apparently.

You know that cities would be warmer now than 30 years ago because all those extra people, buildings and cars would increase the heat whether we have global warming or not?

Also, out here in the Bavarian countriside, it is bloody freezing. I’m working in the office with my jacket on in the middle of August. It’s been freezing for weeks. We’ve had a few very hot (30+) days, but mostly low 20s. The winter was also particularly cold around here. We had record lows in this town of below -20, a record for the whole of Bavaria of -24 in Augsburg, and a record for the entire country with -40 in a small town in the Alps.

That is a big part of it. It’s called the “heat island” effect; and it’s actually a pretty compelling demonstration of just how much of an effect greenhouse gases can have on climatic conditions, because they are what cause it. New York City has a big movement to encourage rooftop gardens and trees in an effort to reduce the effect.

I thought the “heat island” effect was caused by the concrete, tarmac, etc. soaking up the heat during the day and then releasing it into the atmosphere at night?

EDIT ^^^Beaten

I thought that was due to things like roads and stuff heating up during the day and remaining pretty hot during the night. I didn’t think it had anything to do with atmosphere. Mainly all that pavement absorbs the heat and stays pretty warm. Also all the airconditioners putting out heat to keep the buildings cool, cities have a much more dense population of AC units.

Most models show that some areas will actually get cooler (not sure if Bavaria is included). San Francisco and the Bay Area are actually supposed to become colder (on average) in a number of global warming models.

No, we don’t have any room for you.

[quote=“Andrew_Mayer”]

Most models show that some areas will actually get cooler (not sure if Bavaria is included). San Francisco and the Bay Area are actually supposed to become colder (on average) in a number of global warming models.

No, we don’t have any room for you.[/quote]

Dude, I have no idea what the rest of the country is complaining about. I need 3 layers (one of which is a light sweater, the other a fleece-like coat) when I go out at night in SF. It’s dropping into the upper 50’s and low 60’s here at night. And it’s mid August.

Most models show that some areas will actually get cooler (not sure if Bavaria is included).

I’m sure it will become part of the model to prove global warming if it becomes a trend.

The problem I have with the global warming theory is how much it changes every year. I know we have the old chestnut about people claiming the next ice age was coming in the 70s, but it carries on today. In Britain, where I was living until recently, a spate of hot summers had the doomsayers out claiming proof of global warming. Then a spate of cold wet summers had them coming out and saying global warming models predict milder winters and cooler wetter summers. When we then had a spate of freezing cold winters, then global warming models showed that Britain was going to get colder because of the Gulf Stream. Now hot British summers are again proof of global warming.

I think the polluters have really won this one by making the burden of proof so high on the environmentalist side. The atmosphere is a highly chaotic and complex system and it’s extremely difficult to predict. That doesn’t mean that we should be dumping gasses into it that change its makeup significantly.

Global warming is about climate. Local observations are about the weather. If you observe it is cold/hot over a period of 30 years then you have something to talk about wrt. climate.

I know one thing: I’m going to play tennis this evening in some very imaginary heat… :lol:

Every now and again, the myth that “we shouldn’t believe global warming predictions now, because in the 1970’s they were predicting an ice age and/or cooling” surfaces. Recently, George Will mentioned it in his column (see Will-full ignorance) and the egregious Crichton manages to say “in the 1970’s all the climate scientists believed an ice age was coming” (see Michael Crichton’s State of Confusion ). You can find it in various other places too [here, mildly here, etc]. But its not an argument used by respectable and knowledgeable skeptics, because it crumbles under analysis. That doesn’t stop it repeatedly cropping up in newsgroups though.

I should clarify that I’m talking about predictions in the scientific press. There were some regrettable things published in the popular press (e.g. Newsweek; though National Geographic did better). But we’re only responsible for the scienti press. If you want to look at an analysis of various papers that mention the subject, then try http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/.

Where does the myth come from? Naturally enough, there is a kernel of truth behind it all. Firstly, there was a trend of cooling from the 40’s to the 70’s (although that needs to be qualified, as hemispheric or global temperature datasets were only just beginning to be assembled then). But people were well aware that extrapolating such a short trend was a mistake (Mason, 1976) . Secondly, it was becoming clear that ice ages followed a regular pattern and that interglacials (such as we are now in) were much shorter that the full glacial periods in between. Somehow this seems to have morphed (perhaps more in the popular mind than elsewhere) into the idea that the next ice age was predicatable and imminent. Thirdly, there were concerns about the relative magnitudes of aerosol forcing (cooling) and CO2 forcing (warming), although this latter strand seems to have been short lived.

The state of the science at the time (say, the mid 1970’s), based on reading the papers is, in summary: “…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…” (which is taken directly from NAS, 1975). In a bit more detail, people were aware of various forcing mechanisms - the ice age cycle; CO2 warming; aerosol cooling - but didn’t know which would be dominant in the near future. By the end of the 1970’s, though, it had become clear that CO2 warming would probably be dominant; that conclusion has subsequently strengthened.

I didn’t say it was true ;). I called it an “old chestnut”, which is a tired old story repeated too often. I think the first time I heard the tale was (I’m pretty certain) in P.J. O’Rourke’s “All the Troubles in the World” back in 1995. I think the truth is that some scientists predicted global cooling, and their views were given air time because they were sensationalist, but it wasn’t a consensus as we have with global warming.

The city temperatures, on reflection, could well be explained away by the expansion of the cities themselves with more concrete etc to trap the heat and so on.

While I’m not entirely sure how much of it is due to “us” I don’t see how anyone can dispute the notion that the pattern of weather we experience has changed drastically in the last 20 years or so. Whether it is down to greenhouse gasses or part of a natural cycle (we are still supposed to be at the tail end of an Ice age afterall) I’m not really in a position to say, but it does seem pretty obvious that we are not helping matters.

The past few years have been pretty interesting, we seem to be shifting, pretty rapidly away from the notion that global warming is a possibility based on what we’re doing to acknowledging that it is actually happening.

I’m all for reducing pollution, but I am wary of being to gung-ho about it. Reducing pollution reduces our industrial capacity, and it will be industrial capacity that will help us deal with all the problems that climate change brings us. We could end up reducing our ability to deal with problems in an effort to prevent a problem that happens anyway.

I’m trying to figure out what all this discussion of urban microclimates has to do with the Siberian tundra melting at an alarming rate and the Maldives sinking into the ocean.

Answer: nothing.

What you feel at any moment in time has zero to do with climate change, which occures over decades or centuries. And the science has come a long ways since I worked on atmospheric chemistry in graduate school a couple of decades back.

I was up in BC a couple of weeks ago, at the Royal BC Museum, and saw an interesting exhibit on how the alpine forests are already starting to retreat as average temperatures move up slowly. The differences are slight, but even small differences allow species that normally live in warmer, southern climates to migrate and remain north. And the native species can’t compete.

I’m all for reducing pollution, but I am wary of being to gung-ho about it. Reducing pollution reduces our industrial capacity, and it will be industrial capacity that will help us deal with all the problems that climate change brings us. We could end up reducing our ability to deal with problems in an effort to prevent a problem that happens anyway.

I’m trying to find the article I came across putting forward the notion that drastically reducing Carbon output suddenly might not be such a good idea in terms of the effect on the evironment. Given that we must be about due for another global recession pretty soon, would that not be good time to introduce legislation while industrial output is already reduced?

I was up in BC a couple of weeks ago, at the Royal BC Museum, and saw an interesting exhibit on how the alpine forests are already starting to retreat as average temperatures move up slowly.

It’s not just the forests, as the seas warm the fish are migrating to areas they haven’t traditionally been seen and at a much faster rate than land animals which are also moving to different areas.

edit, dead link, article below:

Nearly two-thirds of fish species in the North Sea have moved further north
in search of colder waters because global warming is driving sea
temperatures higher.

Scientists have compiled the first unequivocal evidence linking a major
northward shift of North Sea fish species with rising ocean temperatures.

The researchers believe the movement is more dramatic than the simple
migration of individual fish and represents a fundamental change in the
distribution of marine species.

A study that covers 25 years of data has found the range of nearly
two-thirds of North Sea species – including commercially important fish
such as cod and haddock – have shifted either further north or to colder
depths.

As cold-water fish have gone north, exotic warmer-water species such as the
bib, scaldfish and lesser weever have extended their range by moving into
the North Sea from the south, said Alison Perry, a marine biologist at the
University of East Anglia in Norwich.

If trends continue, then Atlantic cod will no longer be able to live in the
warm waters of the North Sea by 2080 and its habitat will be totally
occupied by the southerly bib, Dr Perry said.

“This is not just a case of individual fish choosing to move into colder
waters. It points towards an entire population of fish becoming less viable
in response to warming,” Dr Perry said.

“It’s not just about fish migrating, it’s about seeing a whole range of
long-term responses to rising sea temperatures over the past 25 years,” she
said.

Between 1962 and 2001, the average temperature of the North Sea increased by
0.6C. During that period, the world experienced the warmest years on record,
which many climatologists have linked to man-made pollution.

The scientists, who included experts from the Centre for Environment,
Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences in Lowestoft, studied the distribution of
more than 36 fish species and how each has changed over the past quarter of
a century.

They found, for instance, that the centres of population for 15 of 36 fish
species had shifted. Atlantic cod for instance has moved north by 73 miles
and haddock’s southern boundary had shifted north by 65 miles.

Other species such as the monkfish have also migrated north. The witch has
shifted its southerly boundary further north by 104 miles and the population
centre of the snake blenny has moved north 250 miles.

The study, published in the journal Science, found that, on average, the
rate of movement north was about 1.4 miles per year, four times faster than
the northwards movement of land species affected by climate change such as
butterflies, birds and alpine plants.

Dr Perry said: "We were very struck by the extent and scale of these shifts.

“This could have significant impacts on an ecosystem which is already under
heavy pressure [from overfishing],” she added.

The scientists also found the species that moved the most tended to be those
with a faster life cycle and smaller size, indicating the migration was a
response to higher temperatures, which can affect growth and reproduction.
If the differences in the rates of movement between the species are due to
shifts in the growth of fish populations then those fish with a faster
population turnover would be expected to respond most strongly to climate
change, the scientists said.

Climatologists predict the average surface temperatures of the North Sea
will continue to rise by between 0.5C and 1C by 2020; by between 1C and 2.5C
by 2050; and up to 4C by 2080. “We’d expect to see the changes in fish
distribution continue with more southerly species in the North Sea and some
of the northern ones retracting,” Dr Perry said. The North Sea population of
blue whiting and redfish will be eradicated completely by 2050 under such
scenarios.

“We need to be more precautionary in terms of putting pressure on existing
fishing stocks,” she said.

Interesting times.

Wow, so much weather experts on these boards. One should feel confident in the future, whether or not the temperatures are rising, we all know better.