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America "Ununited" When It Comes to Weather:

Today's NYT has an interesting story on how different parts of the United States can experience quite different weather extremes at the same time, and how this may influence American perspectives on climate change.

Western Europe often experiences extremes of weather in a uniform way, as when a catastrophic summer heat wave in 2003 in a half-dozen countries caused the deaths of thousands of people.

In the United States, which spans a continent, there is almost never a shared sense of meteorological misery — as was made vividly clear when epic snows buried Denver as if two winters hit back to back while the Northeast basked in warmth that seemed to render the whole idea of seasons meaningless.

Some climate experts muse that the innately variegated climate across the country might help explain why it has taken longer for human-caused global warming to rise to the level of a national priority here than in Europe.

This is not a testable hypothesis, and the experts note that many other factors contribute to varied attitudes on the issue, ranging from contrasting cultural and political biases to different levels of dependence on oil and coal or the industries that profit from them. But they do see the climate issue compounded here by how normal it is to have abnormal — and very different — conditions around the country.

JunkYardLawDog (mail):
The climate "experts" assume there is such a thing as man made global warming. A very big and as yet unsupported assumption.

I think its just Americans are more sensible than the sheep that stay behind in Europe to tend to the master's crops rather than risk an ocean voyage in a small wooden sail boat for a chance at freedom and prosperity serving themselves and their posterity instead of the local lord.

Says the "Dog"
1.7.2007 4:06pm
BinomialSpider (mail):
This reminds me of those Japanese movies where aliens attack Earth--where "Earth" means "Tokyo."

I suppose it's easier to think locally, act globally when you're sufficiently isolated. What do you mean, "Western Europe isn't the world?"
1.7.2007 4:46pm
Paul Zrimsek (mail):
In addition to our diversity of weather, there's also diversity of climate to consider. It's harder to get worked up about the prospect of your town getting 5 degrees warmer when Mom and Dad live someplace that's 25 degrees warmer.
1.7.2007 4:58pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Is it possible global warming isn't really global? I usually hear about the change in the average global temperature. That would allow some regions to get colder, some to stay the same, and those that got warmer would do so to a degree that the average would increase.

Suppose it turns out that GW effects only Europe? I wonder how willing the rest of the world would be to sacrifice for Europe? Who would take up the Brown Man's Burden?
1.7.2007 4:59pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Yeah, well, the Times reporter evidently doesn't have access to weather reports.

From Lubos Motl's 'The Referance Frame' today:

'Last winter was one of the coldest ever in Czechia, and songs were created to refer to this fact -- like Nohavica's Ladovska zima.'

There isn't any global warming. This past winter was the coldest ever measured in the southern hemisphere, and as summer comes, it's shaping up as one of the coldest summers, too. Sydney had a white Christmas, which is sort of equivalent to Boston having a white Fourth of July.
1.7.2007 5:17pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
That's a very interesting question, Elliot. If you know of any articles or studies on the subject, let me know please.
1.7.2007 5:19pm
Mike Buckland (mail):
I'm not sure I agree with the thesis that the climate differences are greater here than in Europe. It may be that the differences are greater in the parts of Europe that the NYT thinks are interesting, but that's not the same thing.

The article talks about the Rockies blocking moisture flow to areas of the US, but the Alps does the same thing for parts of the Mediterranean area. Rome is roughly the same latitude as New York, but due to the Alps it has a much hotter and drier climate. Likewise Greece has a very different climate than northern Europe.

In Northern Europe the scandanavian countries are much colder than France and Germany. Northern Sweden is about 600 miles from northern Germany. However the climate is much different than between Seattle and San Francisco, cities roughly the same distance apart. This is largely because of the mountains in Norway.

I think what the NYT is saying is the important parts (as they see it) of Europe have roughly the same climate -- Britain, France, and Germany. However the Swedes have a very different climate than the Mediterraneans. I'd be interested if the perception of global warming is different between Scandanavia and say, France. My guess is not, despite the lack of a "shared sense of meteorological misery".
1.7.2007 5:20pm
FantasiaWHT:
This might be one reason why local idiots actually believe that the warmer temperature we are experiencing in this small part of the world is proof of global warming.

Interestingly, of all the stories I've both read and seen on the news about the above-average temperatures, only twice has it been mentioned that, oh yeah, it's because of El Nino. Cause, you know, if the MSM explained the real reason behind this, people wouldn't get to assume it was caused by global warming anymore.

One question I've always wondered is how the average global temperature is measured. How many data points around the world are used? Are atmospheric temperatures considered? At how many altitudes? What about sub-surface temperatures? At how many depths? What about sub-aquatic temperatures? At how many depths?

The little I've seen explained has hinted that only surface temperatures are used, but I'm not sure if that's true.
1.7.2007 5:25pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
This morning on This Week, George Stephanopoulos made some sort of quip about the unseasonably warm weather. Since it's been getting down to freezing most nights for the last several weeks here in Northern CA, which is most unusual, I didn't understand until my husband remarked that it was 70 degrees yesterday in NY. That explains it.

This is a very big country.
1.7.2007 5:33pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
MDT, El Nino always makes it extra cold and wet in Northern California. How it that remarkable?

What I find more significant is the 71 degrees at Albany, NY.
1.7.2007 6:13pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Hey, where's whit?
1.7.2007 6:14pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Leave it to the Times to reverse-engineer an article giving full explanation as to the stupidity of all those dumb folks who don't live in New York.

"...there has to be a reason, Mr. Keller, there just has to."
1.7.2007 6:17pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
In spite of all the snow in the rockies, the temperatures are still above average (just because it snows a lot, doesn't mean that it is colder than usual, just that you are having a wet winter). I'm surprised that none of you genius right wing climate know it alls have pointed out that snowfall amounts don't necessarily reflect the warmth or coldness of a winter. Here's an interesting fact--did you know must of Antarctica is actually a desert?

Sydney had a white Christmas, which is sort of equivalent to Boston having a white Fourth of July.

You know it doesn't help when you just make shit up to debunk global warming. Here are the temperature readings for Sydney for December. I guess a low of 12.6 and a high 36.7 for the month would be pretty frigid--if those temperatures were in degrees Fahrenheit, not celcius. Its pretty much impossible for it to snow when the low temperature for the day is 18.7 degrees Celcius (what's that about 67 Fahrenheit?).
1.7.2007 7:31pm
NicholasV (mail) (www):
J. F. Thomas, you seem to know a lot about Sydney, do you live here?

This summer has been very late and very cold so far. There were a couple of hot days (hence the 36.7 high). But guess what, the high last summer was 43 or so. Maybe even 45. And that day was in late December/early January if I remember correct.

So, this summer has definitely been a lot colder than any in my recent memory. How about you stop talking about subjects you know nothing about?
1.7.2007 8:01pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
I think the NYT ended up with a badly written piece. What I suspect the writer meant was that entire European countries, individually, can have basically the same weather at the same time. This is a function of the size of the countries more than anything else.
If Paris, Le Mans, and Marseilles are all hot, then you can get a universal perception that France is hot. Taken as a whole, of course, Europe does not have the same weather. The palm trees on the coast of Northern Ireland wouldn't stand a chance with a winter in Warsaw. But most Europeans don't live simultaneously in--nor have relatives simultaneously in--both places.
1.7.2007 8:03pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
MKD-P,

You don't know what you're talking about. El Nino is something that happens once every several years. This is supposed to be an El Nino year, but so far there's no sign of El Nino-type weather, apart from a very impressive storm a few weeks back. And that storm, of course, produced night-time temperatures much warmer than the ones we now have, because it brought in tropical air and also such cloud cover that no heat accumulated during the day had anywhere to go.

Now, by contrast, we have basic cold air, and no clouds at all, which means it gets damn cold very quickly at night.

If El Nino storms produced below-freezing temperatures, El Nino storms would also produce sleet. I suggest Googling instances of sleet in the Bay Area. I don't think you will find any. Instances of frost, sure. Because it's dry and clear.

"Cold" and "wet" are relative terms, but to the extent they're useful about Marin County weather, they're mutually exclusive.
1.7.2007 8:08pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
So, this summer has definitely been a lot colder than any in my recent memory. How about you stop talking about subjects you know nothing about?

How about instead of relying on your memory you check that wonderful resource called the internet? I've never been to Australia, but I can easily do a google search for monthly average temperatures for Sydney, where I discovered that December was pretty much normal with your lows slightly below average and your highs a little above average. So overall it sounds like you had an average December.

Besides the initial claim was you had snow at Christmas. I didn't notice you jumping down that idiot's throat.
1.7.2007 8:22pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Only two European capitals are south of Washington, DC. (And I bet not one person in a hundred can name them off the top of his head.)

It's true about the palm trees in Northern Ireland (and northwest Scotland, too). Not many palms in Helsinki, though.

The Times reporter is a nitwit.
1.7.2007 8:26pm
Steve Lubet (mail):
the national arbor day foundation recently published a new map, showing how "hardiness zones" have changed since 1990, indicating warmer winters in most of the country.

the arbor day foundation has no political agenda -- they just want trees and plants to flourish.

fact it, the climate is changing. how and why (and what can be done) are separate questions, but politically motivated denial is a big mistake.
1.7.2007 8:35pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Just flew back from Washington DC, to Tucson AZ. DC was a lot warmer than AZ. Go figure.

With regard the arbor day fdn, I have friends in the midwest who do landscaping, including plants, and they remark that over the past few decades almost all people doing that work have shifted their recommendations as to what plants to use, toward ones that are more tolerant of heat and less of cold.
1.7.2007 8:45pm
Randy R. (mail):
If the globe isn't warming, then why are all the major glaciers melting away?

Perhaps it's gamma rays from the Martians....
1.7.2007 9:03pm
Steve Lubet (mail):
Harry Eagar:


Only two European capitals are south of Washington, DC. (And I bet not one person in a hundred can name them off the top of his head.)


Athens and Lisbon.
1.7.2007 9:09pm
NicholasV (mail) (www):
I just went outside and checked, at 1:30pm on a "summer" day it's 21C.

I've lived here for 25 years. Why should I trust recorded temperatures over my own experience, especially when they tell me on the TV how hot it was today, and I experienced nothing of the sort?

There was snow in the state - not in Sydney proper, but in places that rarely get snow in Summer. So while I thought "white christmas" was a bit of an odd expression, I didn't think it was totally baseless.

By the way, Dec 25th was the coldest recorded day in history in Melbourne, and it was cold in Sydney too. I don't care what the internet says - it was cold. I remember past Christmas days (for some reason) and they were a lot hotter than this one.
1.7.2007 9:10pm
NicholasV (mail) (www):
Well, I talked to some other people, including one I would describe as extremely left-wing and who lives in a different part of the city.. they agreed this summer has been below average so far. I don't know whether the maximum this year was above or below last year so far - it could well be above - but the average temperature has been low. This just hasn't been the hot summer we're used to, yet, and there was practically no spring proceeding it.

So, if the records show otherwise, I don't trust them. Maybe they're recorded in a location which doesn't experience the same weather as the rest of us.
1.7.2007 9:25pm
NYU 2L:
It's unseasonably warm in New York this year. Last year at this time, I walked down the middle of a deserted Broadway because the snow had shut down the streets. Our 72 degrees yesterday tied the old record for a January high, the previous one being set in 1950.

None of this is evidence of global warming, obviously. (Hint: The Earth has NOT warmed 60 degrees F in 1 year.) Doesn't stop newspapers from making a big deal of it. Even the New York Post had a bunch of quotes from New Yorkers who thought it was like some freaky environmental disaster movie. Sane, intelligent people would call it, "Weather being chaotic as usual."
1.7.2007 9:31pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
By the way, Dec 25th was the coldest recorded day in history in Melbourne, and it was cold in Sydney too. I don't care what the internet says - it was cold. I remember past Christmas days (for some reason) and they were a lot hotter than this one.

Again, you are simply wrong. I checked official data (again, this is getting really boring) and the low temperature in December 2006 for Melbourne was 8.5 degrees, the record is 4.4 degrees. Again, like Sydney, it looks like Melbourne is having a fairly average summer. Maybe it seems cold because the last few years have been so freaking hot! 2005 was the hottest year on record since accurate records were kept in 1910. And the link clearly shows that the southern hemisphere, or at least Australia, is not cooling.
1.7.2007 9:44pm
MnZ (mail):
Or it could be that Western Europeans are more susceptible to rote indoctrination.

I have noticed that Europeans are prone to attribute any unusual weather phenomenium to global warming.
1.7.2007 10:15pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Global warming means the surface temperature averaged over the entire world is trending upward. But if one region has a warmer or colder season that means nothing. However the greenhouse gas theory predicts more rapid warming at the higher latitudes. The folks at the equator should experience very little temperature increase. That fact presents a problem for the global warming advocates because on the whole Antarctica is barely warming at all, and in fact has been cooling in the interior over the last 20 years. Now some places over some limited time intervals in Antarctica show a warming trend and these get a lot of publicity. This is what happens when a theory becomes a dogma for political reasons. Anything that confirms the theory gets a lot of exposure, while anything that contradicts the theory tends to get ignored in the press.
1.7.2007 10:56pm
ys:

Harry Eagar:

Only two European capitals are south of Washington, DC. (And I bet not one person in a hundred can name them off the top of his head.)

Athens and Lisbon.


I am afraid Mr.Eagar was a little underambitious (in his counting of capitals, not the claim about one in a hundred), and Mr.Lubet was a bit too quick. They both forgot Valletta and Nicosia (I can assure you I did not have to look at the map for those).
Best regards
1.7.2007 11:16pm
Elliot123 (mail):
NicholasV,

Your personal experience in Australia means nothing. What the hell do the Australians know about Australia? Al Gore says temperatures are rising all over the world. That includes Australia. If you want to know if it is hot or cold in your front yard, just consult the internet. Al Gore invented it. What more do you need to know?
1.8.2007 12:12am
JB:
As I understand it, the first impact of climate change is supposed to be higher variability—more severe storms when they occur, storms occurring more unpredictably, more unusual weather in both directions as weather patterns are disrupted...because we don't know what makes warm and cold fronts go (we know it's pressure differentials, but on a more meta-level we don't know where they come from), we can't point to a specific effect and say it's from a specific cause. (The end of the Medieval Warm period in the early 1300s bears this out—before things got colder, things got stormier and weather patterns shifted around).

I can't even state for certain that weather is more unpredictable than it used to be.

However, the ice melting in the Arctic is definitely occurring. I wonder, and I wish someone would ask the Inuit/Eskimos (who were around back then) what the polar bears did from 800-1300 AD.

(Wine was grown in England until the 1340s—I also wonder whether it was any good, and whether it will be replanted).
1.8.2007 12:18am
Harry Eagar (mail):
The ice has always been melting in the Arctic. Nobody from Europe was around, most of the time, to notice, but every now and then, someone was.

In the 1820s, a British expedition managed to sail to within a few hundred miles of Point Barrow from the east, a feat not repeated again until recently.

The ice goes in, the ice goes out.

It is really, really stupid, though, to claim you know what the ice was doing when you were not there.

Australians post pictures on the Internet of their backyards with snow (not a great deal of snow, but snow) on Christmas Day and call it a 'white Christmas.'

ys: I don't consider Malta part of Europe. Apparently you do. Cyprus is either/or.
1.8.2007 12:41am
cathyf:
I have to agree that I am also suspicious of measurements of average global tempuratures. We've been measuring temps for 100-150 years here in the US. Old data is for wherever people chose to stick thermometers, which was usually close to where people live. Certainly in the US large urban areas have gotten larger and more densely populated over the last 100 years. Which means that a lot of thermometers nailed up on remote farmhouses 100 years ago are now on the old farmhouse which is now in the middle of a densly populated suburb.

I other words, local warming.

As for hardiness zones, I live in a rural midwest county of 15,000 in the county seat which has about 10,000 of those people. Our population has dropped about 25% over the last 100 years. It's colder than the official hardiness zones -- Jackson and Perkins says that things should thrive in my zip code, and the winter keeps killing them. If you live in a suburban area which was wind-swept open prairie when the hardiness zones were created, and now is housing developments, asphalt and concrete, then I have no problem believing that it is warmer where you live than the hardiness charts suggest.

Local warming again...
1.8.2007 1:34am
randal (mail):
There isn't any global warming. This past winter was the coldest ever measured in the southern hemisphere, and as summer comes, it's shaping up as one of the coldest summers, too. Sydney had a white Christmas, which is sort of equivalent to Boston having a white Fourth of July.

"Global warming" is a misleading term that causes ridiculous statements like this one. A better term would be "environmental agitation" or something. The global energy level is going up fast - it's way out of balance. (Less is escaping into space.) That will cause generalized climate change, not just warming. (With higher energies, things will be warmer on average... but that's the least interesting effect.)

as was made vividly clear when epic snows buried Denver as if two winters hit back to back while the Northeast basked in warmth that seemed to render the whole idea of seasons meaningless

I get your point but this is an unfortunate example. Southwest snow is usually caused by warm air coming up from one of the gulfs. It hits the cold air that parks itself over the Rockies and dumps out a bunch of snow. So really, the entire country has been suffering from a warm snap, it just manifests differently everywhere.
1.8.2007 2:45am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
The global energy level is going up fast - it's way out of balance. (Less is escaping into space.)

Ummm ... Can you cite a source for this?
1.8.2007 4:32am
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
randal is right, of course, that one of the anticipated effects of "global warming" is more extreme weather in every direction. But it's silly to point to any single weather event as evidence either for or against a posited climate change.

Meanwhile, here in Marin it's another crisp, cloudless, frost-all-over-the-lawn morning that's as cold as though El Nino wasn't supposed to be happening. Not drawing conclusions here, MKD-P, just sayin' . . .
1.8.2007 7:28am
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Your personal experience in Australia means nothing. What the hell do the Australians know about Australia? Al Gore says temperatures are rising all over the world. That includes Australia. If you want to know if it is hot or cold in your front yard, just consult the internet. Al Gore invented it. What more do you need to know?

This is what the global warming deniers have been reduced to. Ignore the official data published by official government agencies. And the official data that I provided links to clearly shows that December in both Sydney and Melbourne was pretty much average. They must be faking the data, truth has a well known liberal slant. As Stephen Colbert would say, truthiness is so much more accurate. Basically NicholasV is saying:

Australia is getting colder because I just feel in my gut it is. I know that this summer is colder than ever before because I remember that past summers have been hotter. Data? I don't need no stinkin' data. I asked my neighbors, one of whom is a leftwing crackpot, and they all agree with me.

Oh yeah, and btw, this is the internet so there is no way you can actually prove I even live in Sydney or really bothered to query my neighbors about their opinions about the weather this summer. Just take my word on it. Its damn cold down here, no matter what all those meteorologists with their fancy "thermometers" out at the airport or Olympic park may say.
1.8.2007 8:42am
Elliot123 (mail):
I stand corrected. Just trust the government in all things. And that includes Al Gore. After all, it's official.
1.8.2007 9:20am
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Just trust the government in all things.

Are you really implying that the governments (not just one government, but government agencies all over the world) are deliberately falsifying temperature data? That there is some vast international conspiracy to lower historic temperature data and, apparently, inflate current temperatures ("heck lets bump up the temperature readings at the airport by a couple degrees, nobody actually lives here).

Are we to believe that NicholasV has uncovered some nefarious Orwellian plot by the Australian government to go back and change all their climate data going back to 1910 so it only appears that December 2006 was an average month when in fact it was one of the coldest on record? That 2005 was in fact perfectly normal, not the warmest ever recorded in Australia?

If you have any evidence that contradicts the links I provided, other than NicholasV's gut, please provide them. Or has Al Gore sent them down the memory hole. I for one am happy the choco ration was raised to 35 grams.
1.8.2007 9:43am
Bpbatista (mail):
Of course global warming is happening. Where I am sitting and typing this used to be covered by a glacier nearly 1 mile thick -- 20,000 years ago. Those damned Neanderthals and their SUVs!
1.8.2007 10:48am
ys:

Harry Eagar (mail):

ys: I don't consider Malta part of Europe. Apparently you do. Cyprus is either/or.

You are entitled to your own definitions of course, but both Malta and Cyprus have been members of the European Union since 2004.
1.8.2007 11:36am
David Chesler (mail) (www):
What most of you said. 60 degrees or 20 degrees warmer is not that 1 degree warmer. They should call it global agitation or something.
And as was said in last week's discussion, I don't see the problem. If New York is the new Baltimore (according to the hardiness charts) I'm good with it.
Over on streetsblog.org I've been discussing the same issues. On commenter had a 9-year-old who was holding a sign that said only one White Christmas in his lifetime was too few, but I went through some records and found that this would have been pretty normal during the globally cooler period from 1960 to 1990 as well.
1.8.2007 12:14pm
William Tanksley (mail):
"Are you really implying that the governments are deliberately falsifying temperature data?"

You didn't ask me, but I'll answer the question I quoted.

No. They're reporting accurate data gathered based on wildly speculative models.

Government agencies are choosing the models they use in order to determine what data to gather. Agencies which choose models that predict less need for emergency funding gain less funding, and therefore produce no predictions. The people who "market" scientific research are more able to market research that has a chance of "earning" further research funding.

This is an old, old story.

It doesn't prove that global warming isn't happening. What it shows is that we've heard this kind of thing before, and we understand why it's highly likely to be bogus. Not believing in global warming isn't evidence of insane partisanship; it's simply the result of experience with past crackpottery.

Personally, I persist in suspecting the possibility of global warming, but I entirely refuse to join any kind of "must act now" panic. Instead, I would ask for continued refinement of the models, together with attempts to use the models for actuarial computations at least within the insurance profession. The solution, whatever it is, must be reached with input from scientists and economists, and must include ways to deal with all the other real dangers that surround us. The solution almost certainly will involve "learning to live with it."
1.8.2007 1:07pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Not believing in global warming isn't evidence of insane partisanship; it's simply the result of experience with past crackpottery.

But look at Elliot123's argument for a prime example of crackpottery. He implies that the government data is cooked. I provided links to government websites that showed Australia experienced an average December. This wasn't based on projections but historic data. But instead of believing actual data collected by professionals Elliot123 puts more credence in the personal impressions of NicholasV, a person who he has apparently never met and claims that he and his neighbors that this past December in Sydney is the coldest they can remember. NicholasV doesn't offer any proof other than his personal recollection and his own feeling and simply states that the people collecting the official data are mistaken or live in some kind of heat sink.

Elliot123 would rather believe NicholasV (who, for all we know has never been closer to Australia than the Outback Steakhouse in Boise, Idaho) because his statements about Australia's weather more closely fit his desire to deny global warming than the easily obtainable official data does.
1.8.2007 1:21pm
JosephSlater (mail):
J.F. Thomas:

I can't believe the nutty responses you are getting for citing actual weather statistics. And the irony of the conspiracy theories thrown at you by people ignoring or trying to spin objective facts. The comments directed at you are practically self-parody.

Here are some facts that serious people need to accept:

(1) The fact that it was unsually hot in the east this past weekend is NOT proof of global warming;

(2) There is, however, overwhelming proof of global warming.

Beyond that, Europeans may be more sensitive to global warming because their countries have less variance in climate (although France, for example, has considerable interlan variation). But it's more likely that some segments of the U.S. are less likely into the theory because we have the misfortune to be led by one of the most ideological, anti-science presidents ever (how old is that Grand Canyon, anyway?)
1.8.2007 1:47pm
Bpbatista (mail):
Most anti-science presidents ever? Based on what, moral opposition to federal funding of embryonic stem cell research? I guess FDR was "anti-science" because he was against Josef Mengele's human experiments. Americans are not into "global warming" theory because Americans are far less inclined to buy into crappy theories that contradict their experience and common sense. For example, Americans have rejected Marx's claims to have scientifically deciphered human society and economics while a very large portion of Europeans bought into it lock, stock and barrel.
1.8.2007 2:02pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Bpatista:

Not just stem cells, but a whole bunch of stuff. Indeed, there's a whole book on the Republican war on science. See
http://www.waronscience.com/home.php

To take just one example, you might start by looking up my reference to what National Parks employees can and can't say in response to the question, "how old is the Grand Canyon?"

But congrats on making bizarrely over the top and irrelevant references to BOTH Nazis and Stalinists in your reply.
1.8.2007 2:34pm
Bpbatista (mail):
Sure, that's a real unbiased book. Sort of like citing David Brock for proof that Bill and Hillary are serial killers. Have you forgotten about plans for going back to the moon and to Mars? How about alternative fuels? The NIH budget has gone up by about $7 billion under Bush. Just because Bush doesn't buy into the religion of "Global Warming" does not mean he is anti-science. Indeed, calling Bush "anti-science" only serves to confirm one's suspicion that global warming is merely a tactic for bashing Bush. I also find it amusing that you believe that the person Democrats have ridiculed as an ignorant moron for the past six years has skillfully managed to dissuade Americans from the manifest truths propounded by self-evident geniuses like Al Gore. Much like the "homeless epidemic" of the 1980's, I predict that "global warming" will miraculously cease to be a problem the same day that a Democrat is inaugurated as President.

Also, I didn't know that Marx was -- or could be -- a Stalinist.
1.8.2007 2:57pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Nevertheless, the past winter in the southern hemisphere was the coldest ever recorded. In Australia, many locations set records for the coldest temperatures ever measured -- not just coldest for that date, but coldest ever.

Ever does not go back so very far, but if you're going to insist on data, you're stuck with that.
1.8.2007 3:46pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Calling a book "biased" is not a refutation of any of its substantive points -- including the one you keep dodging, the denial of evolution. And while I'm glad you're amused by attributing to me an argument I've never made (Bush is an ignorant moron), it's hardly an effective reply. But golly, you really got me on the Marx wasn't a Stalinist thing. I should have congratulated you on making ludicrous over-the-top references to both Marx and the Nazis.
1.8.2007 3:55pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Nevertheless, the past winter in the southern hemisphere was the coldest ever recorded. In Australia, many locations set records for the coldest temperatures ever measured -- not just coldest for that date, but coldest ever.

Do you have a link for this or is this something that you heard Rush Limbaugh say and decided must be the God's honest truth? Because here is the NOAA data for January--September of 2006 (which would include the Southern winter) and according to them it was the fifth warmest year in the Southern hemisphere ever recorded.
1.8.2007 4:32pm
Elliot123 (mail):
I seem to recall that not too long ago those official government departments were urging Americans to stock pile firewood, chapstick, and wool socks in anticipation of a global winter. Even Al Gore was recently spotted sporting an old pair of argyles from the Seventies. But we didn't need Al back then; we had Time Magazine assuring us our future was huddling in igloos munching whale blubber. The igloos are no longer an item, but they still keep feeding us the blubber.
1.8.2007 4:36pm
ForestGirl:
Steve Lubet--

I do a lot of work with The National Arbor Day Foundation and they very definitely have a dog in the global-warming fight. My organization (which shall go unnamed, but suffice to say that your federal tax dollars pay me directly), the NADF, and other tree organizations are working to document the benefits of trees for reducing atmospheric CO2 and fighting global warming. There's lots of money to be had here.
1.8.2007 4:41pm
Bpbatista (mail):
JS -- I did make substantive points. Space program. NIH budget. You ignore them. If you have anything on record about Bush (not some low level bureaucrat or agency) denying evolution, please provide it (although does merely questioning current evolution theory make one "anti-science"?). Finally, if you are going to attempt to ridicule someone's argument, it rather helps to know what you are talking about.
1.8.2007 4:46pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
As for Australia in particular here is the data for the frigid July of 2006. Note that "mean July maximum and minimum temperatures were both marginally below the median." But I guess when you are grasping at straws you can take comfort in the fact that "[a] few small patches had record low mean minima." Which of course demonstrates that global warming is a hoax.
1.8.2007 4:52pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Bpbastista:

First, as to your "substantive" points, NIH funding isn't even an argument without reference to what NIH is or isn't doing; and calling for a Mars program that isn't close to happening doesn't count for much of anything either -- especially compared to the many, many anti-science incidents described in the book I cited which you continue to ignore.

As to denying evolution, for the third or fourth time, please do check into what National Parks employees can and can't say when asked how old the Grand Canyon is. Read about it here:

http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801

As for ridicule, you made yourself ridiculous by starting off with references to Marx and the Nazis, and continuing by attempting to mock me by citing a position ("Bush is a moron") that I didn't take (and, FWIW, don't believe).
1.8.2007 5:00pm
Bpbatista (mail):
JS:

Do you think the NIH has anything to do with science? How about the space program? How about alternative fuels? Do these have anything to do with science? They must not because Bush is "anti-science." I bet that his SOTU will propose to repeal the law of gravity.
1.8.2007 5:21pm
M. Gross (mail):
Global Warming is not uniform, nor are sea levels. You can find maps regarding the temperature trends here:

http://www.ssmi.com/msu/msu_data_description.html

I personally attribute it to the long-running European fascination with pseudoscience and luddism. Anyone remember their fits about cell phone towers?
1.8.2007 5:39pm
Paul Zrimsek (mail):
As to denying evolution, for the third or fourth time, please do check into what National Parks employees can and can't say when asked how old the Grand Canyon is. Read about it here:

http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801


The more recent Kaibab limestone caprock, on the rims of the Grand Canyon, formed 270 million years ago. In contrast, the oldest rocks within the Inner Gorge at the bottom of Grand Canyon date to 1.84 billion years ago. Geologists currently set the age of Earth at 4.5 billion years.
--USPS Grand Canyon NP home page

(h/t Tom Maguire)
1.8.2007 5:41pm
Paul Zrimsek (mail):
P.S. Of course, that's the NPS Grand Canyon homepage. As far as I know the USPS doesn't have anything do with with the Grand Canyon except maybe as a place to dump undelivered mail.
1.8.2007 5:43pm
Gaius Obvious (mail):
J. F. Thomas: You know it doesn't help when you just make shit up to debunk global warming. ... Its pretty much impossible for it to snow when the low temperature for the day is 18.7 degrees Celcius (what's that about 67 Fahrenheit?).

While it didn't snow in Sydney itself (if you want to be pedantic), there was snow in Australia on Christmas day (middle of summer there) south and west of Sydney near Melbourne:

No, you're not dreaming … it's a white Christmas (includes picture)

A sunburnt, snowed-in country
Quote: "Parts of three States - Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania - have all experienced a White Christmas today."

Summer: let it snow, let it blow, let it glow
Quote: "As Sydney enjoyed a top temperature of 27 degrees - the near-average for December - Melburnians endured their coldest Christmas Day on record."
1.8.2007 6:34pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
MDT — "You don't know what you're talking about. El Nino is something that happens once every several years. This is supposed to be an El Nino year, but so far there's no sign of El Nino-type weather, apart from a very impressive storm a few weeks back. And that storm, of course, produced night-time temperatures much warmer than the ones we now have, because it brought in tropical air and also such cloud cover that no heat accumulated during the day had anywhere to go.

Now, by contrast, we have basic cold air, and no clouds at all, which means it gets damn cold very quickly at night.

If El Nino storms produced below-freezing temperatures, El Nino storms would also produce sleet. I suggest Googling instances of sleet in the Bay Area. I don't think you will find any. Instances of frost, sure. Because it's dry and clear."


How long have you been living in Northern California? No sleet in the SF Bay Area? That is incorrect. It usually snows every few years on top of the coastal hills, and about every 25 years on the valley floors. It sleeted and snowed 2-3" on Sonoma Valley on the valley floor itself the winter of 2001-2002, just before I came to Florida. I know, I have pictures and personally walked in it!!

As I recall, during El Nino years, a lot of the storms come out of the Gulf of Alaska, and those are real rainmakers, very cold, windy. A time to get in front of your fireplace.

I do know what I am talking about, and there was a abrupt change in El Ninos after 1976-77, thereafter they have increased in frequency and intensity, and some sicentists are saying this increasing EL Nino frequency and intensity are causally related to global warming.

Before whit takes me to task for having provided "no evidence," see NOAA web site("it has been hypothesized that warmer global sea surface temperatures can enhance the El Niño phenomenon, and it is also true that El Niños have been more frequent and intense in recent decades").

Also, contrary to some posters who take so lightly the idea there can be global warming when there are regional differences, see Abrupt Climate Change: Should We Be Worried? and More Frequent and Severe El Ninos Expected
1.8.2007 6:56pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
While it didn't snow in Sydney itself (if you want to be pedantic), there was snow in Australia on Christmas day

Well I was pedantic about it because that was the original assertion. Now you have all backed off and said, well it did snow in Australia on Christmas day, isn't that amazing? Well, according to one of the articles you so kindly linked to
"It's unusual but not without precedent - it's happened a few times,"

So again, Australia is apparently experiencing an average summer and it snowed in December, unusual but not unheard of. There is nothing about that that would undermine global warming theory which posits overall trends not localized weather. (In fact wasn't that what you were ridiculing us global warming nuts for?)
1.8.2007 7:01pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
MKD-P,

I've lived in the Bay Area for 23 years, for what it's worth. Never saw frozen precipitation of any kind, which of course doesn't mean there was none.

The facts on the ground, if you like, are that in the Bay Area it gets very cold only when it's not precipitating. Today it was again sub-freezing, again cloudless. FWIW, I did try to find out what average lows are in Novato online, and they are 40-41. 2006-07 is going to adjust that downward, I think, because it's been below freezing a couple of dozen days in the last two months, and the only serious break was the storm I mentioned, which raised the night-time temp considerably, though it also soaked me to the skin and twisted my valiant umbrella into wild shapes.
1.8.2007 7:53pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“I've lived in the Bay Area for 23 years, for what it's worth. Never saw frozen precipitation of any kind, which of course doesn't mean there was none.”

It actually snowed in Livermore in 1976. It stuck to the ground including paved roads. You could grab it and make snowballs. In 2006 there was freezing hail in Pleasanton. The weather in the Bay Area varies tremendously from place-to-place
1.8.2007 8:33pm
FantasiaWHT:
If climate-change supporters are using records from individual cities going back hundreds of years to support their position, I'm even more skeptical now than I was before.
1.8.2007 8:33pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
A. Zarkov,

Oh, dear. I lied. I have seen seen hail here, which certainly counts as "frozen precipitation." Lots of hail. Impressive pea-sized hail. Maybe seven or eight times. It didn't lie on the ground long, because it was always above freezing at ground level when this happened. Still . . .
1.8.2007 8:46pm
Aleks:
I don't consider Malta part of Europe.

Malta has always been considered European (except maybe for the cenuries when it was dominated by the Arabs, as were Sicily and most of Spain). Cyprus is more difficult: geographically it belongs to Asia, but its dominant culture is Greek, and has been ever since the Bronze Age.
1.8.2007 9:25pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
MDT -- "The facts on the ground, if you like, are that in the Bay Area it gets very cold only when it's not precipitating."

Well, it got cold enough in winter 2001-2002 to snow the 2-3" on the ground in Sonoma Valley -- wet stuff. that's a fact, I have pics, and my apartment did not have heat, so I am sure about this. FYI, I lived in California 23 years as well.
1.8.2007 11:23pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
MKD-P,

Well, Sonoma isn't the Bay Area, exactly, not that it matters. My point (way back) was that it's been very cold here the last couple of months, and cold because not wet. Even supposing (what I don't believe) that El Nino storms lower the average temperature here, it's immaterial to the point, because we haven't been having them. Apart from that one doozy a few weeks ago, of course. Right now it is still, clear, and cold again — if it isn't freezing yet, it will be soon. This isn't courtesy of any storm system, and I guarantee you that the next time we do have precipitation, the night-time temp. will be something like twenty degres higher.
1.9.2007 12:02am
NickM (mail) (www):
JosephSlater - you have fallen for a bad hoax which was debunked over a week ago. PEER lied (the National Park Service states the scientific best estimates for the age of the rocks at different levels, as well as the canyon itself, in such places as the pamphlets given to visitors and the FAQs online about the canyon). The Huffington Post doesn't fact-check, and spread the story widely.

Nick
1.9.2007 2:30pm
markm (mail):
"While it didn't snow in Sydney itself (if you want to be pedantic), there was snow in Australia on Christmas day (middle of summer there) south and west of Sydney near Melbourne:"

And then you cite three links to two stories about snow on mountain tops. It's colder on mountains. Even tropical Africa has year-round snow on Mount Kilimanjaro.
1.9.2007 4:31pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
I assume you recognize the irony in bringing Kilimanjaro into this.

(Linked site notes that the fact of Kilimanjaro's disappearing ice cap is blamed on global warming, but claims it is a local precipitation issue due to deforestation.)
1.9.2007 5:15pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
MDT -- "MKD-P,

Well, Sonoma isn't the Bay Area, exactly, not that it matters."


How so? I used to be able to make it from my door in Sonoma to Univ. SF, Kendrick Hall in 1/hr sharp, and a little less than 1 hr. from my door in Sonoma at rush hr. to Napa, down 680, thru East Bay, across Bay Bridge to the Supreme Court of California, Clerk's Office (temp building circa 1996, not McAllister). But I forgot, Marin County has always thought of Sonoma County as its poor neighbor. I like both.
1.9.2007 8:02pm