Is our colder weather a result of global warming?

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Offline Lynda

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I have been wondering for some time about whether the warmer weather in other countries is forcing colder weather in the UK.   It is a while since I felt uncomfortably hot in summer (certainly not this year!). I am wondering whether the effects of the Gulf Stream have been negated by the effects from other countries weather.
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Offline CliffordK

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #1 on: 08/12/2010 10:19:04 »
My vote is that people can often remember some of the weather extremes, but are quick to forget about the normal year to year variability of the weather.

In Oregon, this time last year it was a heck of a lot colder!!!  But, January was relatively mild.

And the coldest winters I can remember were two years in a row, I think 1971 and 1972 (does that date me [|)])

Keep in mind that the predicted effect due to Global warming is about ½°C, or about 1°F temperature change on average.  Most of my household thermometers have 1°C/2°F increments.

It is nice to have something like "Global Warming" to point one's finger at, but there is a tremendous amount of annual variability in the weather.  And we really won't know if the recent temperature changes are within the norm for about 50 more years.

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Offline yor_on

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #2 on: 08/12/2010 14:24:32 »
So you think the climate scientist are reminiscing over the weather they remember from their youth Clifford? And that their extrapolations isn't true? There is a variability to them, if that is what you mean? But it all point in one direction. The official IPCC prognosis's seems constantly exceeded before they've even came out with them, as far as I have know, and they are constantly revising them upwards, into the 'red' as I understands it?

As for the British weather it's because of something named NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) You can read about that Here. We're in a negative NAO now. What that means in form of 'Global Warming'? Well, I would say that we live in a non-linear world, where a 'tipping' from one state to another can come quite fast. As it is now we are 'wobbling' I would say due to the rising mean world temperature. Read What we can learn from studying the last millennium (or so) to see how those working with climate models see it. And no, it's not going to mean a colder climate.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2010 14:26:14 by yor_on »
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Offline CliffordK

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #3 on: 02/01/2011 06:18:41 »
So you think the climate scientist are reminiscing over the weather they remember from their youth Clifford?

No,
But your typical back-yard scientist often gives too much weight to the current weather, and may have a short memory for what is "typical", except for a few extreme events.

Yes, there likely is an effect due to El Niño/La Niña, as well as the North Atlantic Oscillation.  Certainly you wouldn't be discounting normal fluctuations in ocean pressures and currents as being valid components of the global weather patterns?

Should we ignore the volcanic eruption in Iceland too?

The theory behind the effects of a 0.01% atmospheric CO2 level increase seems reasonable.  However, the data points are just all over the board.

Here is a Mean Surface Temperature Anomaly chart, over the USA, Europe, and Japan, by season (Dec, Jan, Feb) & (June, July, Aug).  I don't know what happened to the other months???
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2010/20101001_SummerTemperatures.pdf
[attachment=13702]
The baseline was chosen as 1951 to 1980 mean. 

Just eyeballing the graph, it looks relatively flat, except for a moderate increase of temperature of summers in Europe.  However, on closer inspection, in the most recent 2 decades, there are more data points above the baseline than below the baseline in many categories that could be teased out by doing a multi-year running average.  Also note that this graph is shown on a +/- 2° scale due to the variations, while other graphs are often represented on a ½° scale.

This does, of course, depend on the appropriateness of the baseline.  There appears to be a strong negative trend, at least during the winters, from about 1960 to 1980, and in the USA, an negative trending of the summer temperatures running from 1952 decreasing to about 1965.

If the baseline was about ¼° higher in Japan, one would likely be seeing an overall negative trend in the summers.

The historical lessons become much more complex if one doesn't limit our comparisons to the Holocene Epoch.  If we took the baseline temperature as the "Eocene Optimum", then it would look like we were freezing our b...s off!!!

There is likely an anthropogenic component to the climate.  But, history shows HUGE climatic changes that have dwarfed the current projected anthropogenic climate component, and have been entirely independent from it.

Note, other graphs in the in the same article cover a global composite, that average to a subtle upward trend, although some graphs tend to show some leveling of the trend during the most recent decade.

The "unknown" is scary.  But we have to accept that the global climate has always been variable.  I'd be much more concerned for our children and grandchildren if the global population jumps from 7 billion to 14 billion than if the CO2 levels increase by an additional 0.01%.  However, I also wonder if they will be able to cope if virtually all of the fossil fuel reserves are exhausted.

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #4 on: 02/01/2011 17:45:33 »
Clifford. I am not sure what your point is. Why don’t you look at all the data to see what the global trend is, not just from one region, and try to find out how this will affect our society?  I just don’t understand what people who invoke past very warm periods wish to convey. In the deep past, periods that warmed as fast as our current anthropogenic, worldwide, warming have resulted in mass extinctions and major ecological upheaval. It is the rate of change that is important. I think you should spend some time with the links that Yor_on provided, especially the Real Climate web site that has many well referenced educational articles and is run by some of the top atmospheric physicists in the world. Steve

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Offline Geezer

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #5 on: 02/01/2011 19:08:12 »
I don't think Clifford was denying the effects that humans are having on the climate. In fact, I got the distinct impression he even pointed that out.

What he was trying to do, I think, was answer the question without turning it into another question altogether.
« Last Edit: 02/01/2011 19:25:37 by Geezer »
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SteveFish

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #6 on: 02/01/2011 20:46:39 »
Geezer, I suggest you read the post again. Steve

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Offline Geezer

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #7 on: 02/01/2011 21:28:59 »
Steve,

The question was not about global trends and how it will affect our society. Please try to answer the question that was asked in the original post.

If you want to start another thread by asking a related, but different question that you think is important, please feel free to do so.

Thanks,
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SteveFish

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #8 on: 03/01/2011 00:58:59 »
Geezer (Moderator):

The question is about colder weather in the UK. First of all this is not true from a climate perspective, it is warmer.  The Gulf Stream does moderate weather in portions of northern Europe, but the weather isn’t colder than in historical trends. It is raining and snowing more. Last year was a little colder than average because of the Arctic Oscillation. It is correct to say that this year is not due to global warming. This is not because it isn't, it is consistent with predictions, but because it takes more years to make it statistically significant.

Clifford is correct to the extent that weather happens, but what is the significance of comments like – “There is likely an anthropogenic component to the climate.  But, history shows HUGE climatic changes that have dwarfed the current projected anthropogenic climate component, and have been entirely independent from it.” Aside from the fact that there are errors here, only one of which I commented on. Is this this on topic and my response is not?

Is this responsive to the original question—“The "unknown" is scary.  But we have to accept that the global climate has always been variable.  I'd be much more concerned for our children and grandchildren if the global population jumps from 7 billion to 14 billion than if the CO2 levels increase by an additional 0.01%.  However, I also wonder if they will be able to cope if virtually all of the fossil fuel reserves are exhausted.”

Perhaps the Moderator should consider a more even handed approach, or just let Clifford respond for himself. He is quite capable and I enjoy most of his posts because they are accurate and concise, but he does have a different opinion than I do regarding how one should consider the major problems of resources, environment, and overpopulation. He commented on this topic and I responded.

Steve
« Last Edit: 03/01/2011 01:04:45 by SteveFish »

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SteveFish

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #9 on: 03/01/2011 03:30:32 »
Geezer, just treat us equally, and don't cut any more of my posts without admitting that you did so. Steve

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Offline Airthumbs

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #10 on: 03/01/2011 18:37:20 »
From recent studies undertaken by the rather conservative IPCC the given global surface temperature rise is between +1.4°C and +5.8°C.  The time frame given is from 1990-2100

These figures are based on only anthropomorphic emissions of greenhouse gas.  Not included in these figures are the immense amount of methane and carbon that is trapped in the layers of permafrost.  When the permafrost begins to melt it will cause a positive feedback loop due to the darker surface areas of melt water that will form ponds otherwise known as the albedo effect but in reverse.

On top of this we have the ocean permafrost that traps even larger quantites of CH4 (Methane).  Already scientists are recording CH4 emissions from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.  These emissions have been calculated to be releasing 7 million tonnes of methane for the year these studies took place which was 2005.  CH4(Methane), is approximately 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas then CO2Carbon Dioxide.  7 million tones might not seem a lot but this is just the beginning!!

Of course we also have to factor in the melting of the poles and the associated ice sheets again creating a positive feedback loop due to the darker colour of the substrata exposed from diminishing ice/snow cover.

The UK relies largely on the Gulf stream for it's milder climate and as more and more fresh water enters the system there is a good possibility that the Gulf Stream will move southwards and as a result cause colder climatic conditions in the UK.

And so really to get a good idea of what might happen it is necessary to model the climate, including non anthropomorphic factors.  In a scenario where we stopped current emissions tomorrow this would be and average rise of surface temperature over the next 100 years of about +5°C. In a worse case scenario it is more like +8°C or more!

This kind of change is going to be disastrous, not only for humans but every living organism on the planet. 

The social consequences of severe drought in the equatorial regions means there will be a mass migration of people moving north and south to essentially survive as it will be impossible to survive in those regions. Food shortages, water shortages, war on a scale never seen before! 

Are we doing anything about it?  Well China builds two new coal powered electricity stations every week! America is responsible for more greenhouse emissions then any other nation.  We continue to pollute our oceans and cut down rainforests at an alarming non sustainable rate.  I really believe that greed has led to Global Genocide of which we all sit back and happily participate in.  Unfortunately it seems to be a minority who are truly aware of the catastrophe that awaits us in a relatively small amount of time.  I could not believe it when some clever panel of scientists decided to state that if we did not curb our carbon emissions within the next five years the earth would enter a runaway climate cycle and nothing we could do will stop this.  5 years!!  Let me say that again, 5years!! What a joke, life has existed on Earth for about 3.5 billion years.  The Earths climatic cycles are measured in thousands of years.  So lets put that 5 years into context, you might as well say yesterday, or 5 years ago!

Many of the climate change models predict that there will be localised changes in temperature some of which will mean certain places get colder and others hotter.  This is the main reason scientists now refer to Global Warming as Climate Change.

I hope I answered your question and also gave you some helpful information to make your own conclusions and do further research on the subject in your OP  [;D]

« Last Edit: 03/01/2011 18:47:14 by Airthumbs »
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Offline Kevinbrian

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #11 on: 06/01/2011 04:40:34 »
The question remains largely unanswered whether these dramatic weather changes are normal cyclical aberrations of weather or part of an evolution in our climate.
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Offline CliffordK

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #12 on: 06/01/2011 11:25:00 »
Any attribution of cold weather in Europe to Global Warming is just insanity.

It seems to be in part related to ocean currents, A strong negative North Atlantic Oscillation, and a strong La Niña. 

Some people are attributing weather extremes to "climate change", although the connection is likely much less than they would like to believe.

I'm more inclined to think of it as a random variation. 

I was looking at the absorption of Carbon Dioxide in the IR band a couple of days ago.  At issue is a narrow absorption band between 14 microns an 16 microns wavelength (which is much less than the total IR spectrum). 

There are a couple of reasons why this may have a more significant effect at very low temperatures (-30°C) than higher temperatures (0°C to 40°C).

First of all, the IR emission spectrum is temperature dependent.  According to Planck, at colder temperatures, the IR emissions are weighted towards longer wavelengths, nearer the 14-16μm range, and thus the CO2 influence would be proportionally higher.  At higher temperatures, there are higher total IR Emissions, but they are weighted back towards to 9 or 10μm range, and thus proportionally less effect from CO2

Water also absorbs IR in the same range as CO2.  The moisture carrying capacity of air increases with temperature.  So, there is less water in the air at very low temperatures than at high temperatures, which would increase the relative IR blocking contribution of CO2 over the contribution of water at very low temps.

This may indicate that CO2 mitigated Global Warming may be a misnomer, and it would better be described as CO2 polar warming with global effects.  Note that Russia and Canada often show up as "hot spots" in the winter.

As a response to earlier comments...  Yes, I do read information from multiple sources in an attempt to understand the actual basis for any purported temperature increases.  There are some things pointing to a minor contribution from CO2.  But there are indications of huge climate shifts greater than what we've seen in the last half century independent from human causes.  While CO2 levels have varied with temperature in the past, it still remains to be proven whether increases in CO2 cause increases in temperature, or the reverse that increases in temperature cause increases in CO2 (of course not counting the recent human contribution from fossil fuels).

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Offline yor_on

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #13 on: 09/01/2011 07:39:16 »
Hi Lynda :)

A good question. Earth is a non-linear system, that means that small changes can have great consequences although unpredictable for us. Linear systems follows an easily seen path 1 2 3 4 etc, each step logically following the other. A non linear system doesn't, it can jump from one 'state' to another, look up bifurcations to see. It also have something called 'tippings' meaning that the whole 'system' like our Earth, can tip from having one climate balance to another. When a tipping occur in a non-linear system it is almost impossible, or impossible, to change it back to what it was before as it then have found a new overall balance. and that's what some of us are afraid is happening here. There are those arguing that a tipping already have begun. If that is the case we only can minimize the ecological, fauna and flora damage. We will not be able to reverse it. I for one expect us to be at the doorstep of a tipping, even if not in it just yet (hopefully).

When it comes to the weather Europe had had recently it's because of NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) Which you can read about here. But your concerns about the golf stream are quite correct. "An army of marine sensors and robot submarines may soon be deployed over the Atlantic able to provide an early warning of a failing Gulf Stream, which is an event that may bring about freezing in Britain. The system that is to be deployed from the Canary Islands to Florida will cost 16 million pounds and has been named Rapid Watch. It will use latest technology to check if cold water from the melting ice sheets of the Arctic is diverting Gulf Stream off Britain."

Maybe a little late but better late than never :)

Greenland's ice-loss are accelerating Greenland.

"One of the best place to see this ice loss is the Jakobshavn Glacier  on the western coast of Greenland. “The locals used to call it the ‘Dead Glacier,’ because it never moved,” Steffen says. “But in 2001, that glacier suddenly became very active.” It is now flowing from into the sea at the extraordinary speed of 14 kilometers per year. “If you stand there, you can see the ice moving,” Steffen says. And you also can hear it. “It sounds like a train going by.” The glacier is helping to move massive amounts of ice out to sea, where it contributes to sea level rise.

Globally, the oceans are now rising at about 3.3 millimeters per year. Last decade, the rate was 1.7 millimeters per year. “So it has roughly doubled in the last decade,” Steffen says. And Greenland’s contribution to this sea level rise has risen from about 20 percent to 30 percent between 2004 and the present." "The best fitting trend finds that Greenland ice loss is accelerating at a rate of 30 Gigatonnes/yr2. Greenland’s mass loss doubled over the 9 year period."

And "Glaciers in west Greenland are melting 100 times faster at their end points beneath the ocean than they are at their surfaces, according to a new NASA/university study published online Feb. 14 in Nature Geoscience. The results suggest this undersea melting caused by warmer ocean waters is playing an important, if not dominant, role in the current evolution of Greenland's glaciers, a factor that had previously been overlooked."

And what is valid there will be valid elsewhere too. We look at the arctic mostly as that's where we see the 'stuff' really happen quickly but Antarctica is getting warmer too. The oceans is one of our primary ‘sinks’ of heat created by that CO2 and methane pollution. But now they’re starting to get ‘satiated’ (filled up)

The oceans near Antarctica are thought to have one of the healthiest appetites for greenhouse gases. Their surface waters can guzzle around 15 percent of all the carbon dioxide produced by people, which comes mostly from industry and automobile emissions. The new study found the oceans are mopping up only about 10 percent of carbon- oxide, requiring projections for future levels of greenhouse gases to be bumped up accordingly. " (from 2007)

And a worse worry is the fact that “Researchers used satellites to plot changes in the Earth's gravity in the Antarctic during the period 2002-2005. Writing in the journal Science, they conclude that the continent is losing 152 cubic km of ice each year, with most loss in the west”.  And a  study conducted by scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder, uses a technique which has not been tried before: measuring gravity over Antarctica. “ When they fly over regions where there is lots of material below, such as mountain ranges, or where crustal rocks are more dense, they will register an increase in the Earth's gravity - tiny, but measurable.” (from 2006)

---Quote---

"Their orbits have a very large inclination, of 89 degrees in fact, so you get very good coverage over the Antarctic," said Isabella Velicogna, one of the Colorado team. "We see the entire ice sheet and measure the mass change of the entire ice sheet; then we look at the east and west separately," she told the BBC News website. Overall, Dr Velicogna's group found an annual decrease in ice sheet mass of 152 cubic km. There is a clear loss in the west, whereas the mass of the East Antarctic sheet appears to be constant. This loss of ice equates to an annual rise in the global average sea level of 0.4mm; by contrast, the total rise, due mainly to thermal expansion of seawater, is estimated at about 1.8mm per year. "With increasing temperatures you get increased precipitation, so what may happen is that ice in the interior grows and then at the coast you have mass loss. So what we found is that for the continent as a whole, the balance between the two is negative." The Colorado team plans to continue observations and analysis of Grace data until the mission ends, probably in 2009.

---------End of quote---

West Antarctica was it? Read this (1997). A 'uncomfortable' one. It’s nicely written and easy to understand. Sea Level, Ice, and Greenhouses by Robert Grumbine.

--------Quote------------

That West Antarctica can collapse much faster than Greenland relies on another oddity of the West Antarctic geometry. Most of the ice sheet base rests well below sea level (500 - 1000 meters below). The important oddity is that as you move further inward, the land is further below sea level. So, consider a point near the grounding line (the point on land where the ice shelf meets the ice sheet). Ice flows from the grounded part into the floating part. The rate of flow increases as the slope (elevation difference) between the two sections increases. Extra mass loss in the ice shelf means that the shelf becomes thinner (and lower) so more ice flows in from the ice sheet. This makes the ice sheet just a little thinner.

'But' at the grounding line, the ice sheet had just enough mass to displace sufficient water to reach the sea floor. Without that mass, what used to be ice sheet begins to float. Since the sea floor slopes down inland of the grounding line, the area of ice sheet that turns into ice shelf increases rapidly. More ice shelf means more chance for ice to be melted by the ocean.

The collapse mechanism has a mirror-image advance mechanism. Should there be net accumulation, the ice sheet/shelf can ground out to the continental shelf edge. Go back to near the grounding point. This time add some excess mass to the ice sheet/shelf. This thickens the system to ground ice shelf. The grounded ice shelf takes area away from the ocean ablation zone, which makes the mass balance even more in favor of accumulation. So the advance can also be a self- accelerating process. "

-------------End of quote---------------

You can also take a look here. Accelerating ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland. from 2009   

Now, as I said Antarctica is way slower, and we don't expect any dramatic changes there, but it's hard to say what will happen if we really get to a tipping? Then all guesses are off as I see it. So is the Golf stream changing its course? Yes, but we do not know if it is a constant change or if it just a momentarily one.

Take this with a pinch of salt. But there are actually indications that it is weakening, faster than we have expected. Scientists Find Drastic Shift In Atlantic Ocean Currents. 2011.

So what will it do to us if it disappear? Take a look here for a partial answer Changes in the Gulf Stream Correlates with Changes in Climate And here Current Global Warming May Reverse Circulation in Atlantic Ocean, as It Did 20,000 Years Ago 

But we don't really know. As a 'scientifically minded person' I think we are creating one of the worst experiments mankind ever tried, gambling away our children's life and happiness for our own material happiness. And also that whatever reductions we would see in our living standards from trying to reduce CO2 today will be worth it tomorrow. I don't honestly expect us to stop it any longer, but we might still be able to reduce the worst effects of it.

But as a species we never shown that flair for any real long term planning before, as can be seen when discussing nuclear wastes and the time trends people envision there. Like expecting us being able to keep such waste secure for a thousand years, or ten thousand.. So I don't have any great hopes for any long term planning capabilities here either :)

We are throwing the dice hoping that it won't be snake eyes, the problem being that the house already 'fixed' it..
« Last Edit: 09/01/2011 08:06:09 by yor_on »
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Offline Geezer

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #14 on: 09/01/2011 08:04:53 »
Yoron,

I'm sure what you say is very true, but have you ever considered why your neighbours (a bit to your left) called it Greenland, rather than expletive cold place covered in ice and we're not going back there EVER!?
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Offline yor_on

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« Reply #15 on: 09/01/2011 08:11:27 »
They wanted it to be 'green' Geezer. It was a way to make people migrate too :) Good public relations as we say today. Also I think, but I'm not sure that when the first vikings arrived there it was in a milder period, a sort of freak climate, but of a rather short duration. Long time since I read about that one :)

but this is my views, and I had a he* off a time getting the links to work here etc. Not that they are that many. I have a lot more older but I've mostly stopped, seeing how little that is done I expect us to keep doing as much :) that means practically nothing.
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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #16 on: 09/01/2011 08:38:32 »
I think Greenland was much greener then, but that's my point. You can't infer much based on short term, and even relatively long term, climate records. The "global warming" theorists have made a huge mistake by trying to use recent climatic data to to prove their case. It simply won't work.

You can analyse the data any way you like to prove, or disprove, global warming.

The real science should be based on proving, or disproving, that atmospheric CO2 does trap thermal energy, but I think it's highly unlikely that we can prove or disprove that based on historical temperature data.

IMHO it would be far better to devise some experiments that demonstrate the effects of CO2 on temperature that are completely independent of unknown variables. Then science can make a stand without becoming embroiled in all sorts of geopolitical influences as it obviously is today.

Science should stay out of politics. When science becomes political, it ain't science.
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Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #17 on: 09/01/2011 08:55:03 »
Some of the December 2010 data is now coming out.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/01/dec-2010-uah-global-temperature-update-0-18-deg-c/

10 year average:  Dec 2010 is significantly lower than the most recent global 10 year average global temperature.



30 year average...  Dec 2010 is just 0.18 above the 30 year average.



The Arctic Sea Ice shows a little different story.  While for most of the last year, the arctic sea ice remained more or less in the middle of the last 10 years, in December it dropped to the lowest point (for December) in a decade.  See the orange line to the right and red line to the left.

http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png


I'm assuming all that Arctic Sea Ice was distributed across Europe and Great Britain.   [::)]

Looking at this more, there are a lot of notes about a "blocking pattern" on the jetstream sending storms into Europe, and NE USA.  

http://www.climatecentral.org/blog/freak-pattern-brings-europe-record-cold-and-snow/

There are notes of a period of low solar activity that may be associated with the harsh winters.  I think I already posted notes that while the sunspot and solar irradiation typically follows 10 year cycles, the current cycle seems to be late, and potentially lower than cycles for the previous 50 years or so (although there are a few sunspots that have shown up in January).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8615789.stm

Perhaps the Eyjafjallajökull eruption has also influenced the 2010/2011 winter (although not the previous winter).


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Offline yor_on

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« Reply #18 on: 09/01/2011 08:57:11 »
Geezer, I wrote some here when I first come, it's some years old but not worse than 2007 I guess? Check it up, it's all true. I tried to collect sources that people wouldn't call conspiratorial, like some do about real climate for example. Which is a joke as some of the best climate scientists in the world write there. And all trying desperately not to say anything drastic as they learnt that any extrapolation stepping over the scientific bounds will get the interests wanting us to keep consuming water on their watermills as we say in Sweden. I don't really care about you and me, but I feel sorry for our kids, and their kids.
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Offline yor_on

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #19 on: 09/01/2011 08:58:42 »
And Clifford, what are you trying to prove?
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Offline Geezer

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #20 on: 09/01/2011 09:49:13 »
Geezer, I wrote some here when I first come, it's some years old but not worse than 2007 I guess? Check it up, it's all true. I tried to collect sources that people wouldn't call conspiratorial, like some do about real climate for example. Which is a joke as some of the best climate scientists in the world write there. And all trying desperately not to say anything drastic as they learnt that any extrapolation stepping over the scientific bounds will get the interests wanting us to keep consuming water on their watermills as we say in Sweden. I don't really care about you and me, but I feel sorry for our kids, and their kids.

Me too. But you can't fight politicians with politics. We need something much stronger than that.
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Offline SeanB

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #21 on: 09/01/2011 10:29:20 »
Just note that the New Zealand climate data unit has had to admit that the data they have shows no warming at all, after the data that they released showing warming, was shown to be falsely manipulated by other researchers who took the original data and reanalysed it.

Be very wary of any research where they admit that the original data is unavailable because it has been deleted or thrown away, as then you cannot check if there have been mistakes made, or if there has been poor analysis, or worse.

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Offline yor_on

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #22 on: 09/01/2011 11:22:58 »
Sean, it's no falsification, it's about adjusting temperatures to the altitude. I got very surprised reading you and tried to find out what you meant. No climate scientists wants another debate like the one with those Russian hackers, trying to frame East Anglia university.

First I thought it was new but then I realized it was from 2009. Had real trouble finding any sites, except global warming deniers, mentioning it. On their list it was very high though making it feel like it happened yesterday :), even now, 2011.

At last I found this site having an article from 2010. NIWA v Cranks 4: Shoot out at the fantasy factory. the site is from New Zealand and even if if sensible :) That is actually thinking that NZ also have had a warming effect, like most of our globe, also gives you a lot of sources that you can follow directly. I first tried the 'other sites' as that was what came up, but they just sent you around to their 'peers' ? Never mind, check it up and see for yourself.
==

Really good sources too Sean. This guy made his homework. " I think the legal basis for the announced court action  against the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is (to use a technical term) baloney. And I'm pretty sure the folks behind the claim know it too. First up, there's the small matter of who the claim technically is being brought by. It's in the name of "The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust", which has only been in existence for a week. Now, the only reason I can think of to set up a charitable trust and then use it as a vehicle to run a court case is to avoid liability for costs should a court decide to award them against you when you lose. In other words, it's hardly a move that screams confidence (not to mention the small ethical matter of the claimants seeking to avoid any potential liability to the taxpayer for the money that will be spent in opposing their little piece of theatre).

Second, on Radio New Zealand this morning the claimant's spokesperson stated that the legal action was being funded and run by members of the "Climate Science Coalition", as one of its members (Barry Brill, actually its chair) is a lawyer. Putting to one side the proverb "he who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client", the fact that the claimants are going up against the full legal resources of a Crown entity without bothering to engage the services of a specialist public lawyer indicates either supreme confidence in one's case or else a reluctance to waste good money on a hopeless cause."

It's kind of fun :)

« Last Edit: 09/01/2011 12:10:42 by yor_on »
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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #23 on: 09/01/2011 14:27:39 »
And Clifford, what are you trying to prove?

For a while I've been trying to understand the Global Warming/Climate Change debate, in particularly with respect to CO2

My conclusion is that some aspects match the CO2 hypothesis, but many don't.  The critical nature of the problem seems to be less clear.

Anyway, the question that began this topic was essentially "Why was it so damn cold in Europe last December".  So, I've been waiting for the "global warming" reports for December to come out...  as well as trying to understand some of the local and global influences.

And...  to my surprise (in part)...  December actually had a lower Global temperature anomaly than previous months, although not enough to account for reports of it being the coldest month in over a century.   

And, obviously a few month long cooling trend isn't significant overall.

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #24 on: 09/01/2011 19:09:16 »
For a while I've been trying to understand the Global Warming/Climate Change debate, in particularly with respect to CO2. 

My conclusion is that some aspects match the CO2 hypothesis, but many don't.  The critical nature of the problem seems to be less clear.

That is pretty much where I am at too.
What irks me is the way it is dealt with, the 'green' measures levied on us to encourage us all to be green. Tax on cars, fuel duty, adverts on the carbon footprint and recyling etc etc. If I turned my standby button off, turned off all appliances, saved water and recycled everything that came into my house, it would make no difference. If every household in Britain did the same, it would barely make a dent in C02 output. Until the government grows some balls, and starts tackling industry we won't see a change. That is not just our government but all governments everywhere. 
Yet the onus is put on the individual. and the government see yet another way of squeezing money out of us. It pays lip service to climate change problem, whether it is caused by Co2, natural change, water vapour, or Geezer's uncontrollable flatulence.

Perhaps in instead of flying off for summits on global warming, the governments need to start preparing for unavoidable climate change.
« Last Edit: 09/01/2011 20:01:43 by Variola »
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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #25 on: 09/01/2011 19:35:53 »
Hey! I'll have you know I run my car on the stuff.

I'm bit surprised to hear they still have industries in Britain. I thought they got rid of them already  [;D]
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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #26 on: 09/01/2011 20:59:07 »
What irks me is the way it is dealt with, the 'green' measures levied on us to encourage us all to be green. Tax on cars, fuel duty, adverts on the carbon footprint and recyling etc etc. If I turned my standby button off, turned off all appliances, saved water and recycled everything that came into my house, it would make no difference. If every household in Britain did the same, it would barely make a dent in C02 output.

But like it or not domestic CO2 emissions do contribute a thick wedge of all developed nations outputs.  I think some badly thought out campaigns (There was one about unplugging your phone charger a little while back! [::)]) have given the impression that none of these things are worthwhile... I actually think (going back to the industry side of the equation) that manufactures of all electrical items should be forced to think up truly low-power designs - esp. stand-by (50mA on a TV should be quite possible).
The bit that truly irks me is that all the lovely tax revenue from motor-fuel disappears into the anonymous hole (or whole) that is the government exchequer - If people could see a direct link - say insulating older homes, etc - they'd be less bad feeling.  More windfall-taxes on the petrol companies wouldn't go amiss either!

I'm bit surprised to hear they still have industries in Britain. I thought they got rid of them already  [;D]

They were 'phased out' in the 1980's I understand [:D]
I think it was decided that it was far better to take the pulling-ourselves-by-our-our-own-bootstraps approach of defining gainful employment in terms of moving-money-around and leaving the dirty job of actually making stuff to others [;D]

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #27 on: 10/01/2011 02:45:59 »
Yep Variola, you're correct.
And it's about the distribution of wealth in the end.
And also of those now running faster and and faster to reach our western economy's 'golden age'.

I'm sure we could find an even distribution curve in most communities, from the stone age and up, when it comes to how wealth is distributed in a community. It's only recently we've started to discuss that curve. And what that curve tells us is that there will be relative few controlling a lot of the distribution. Even in the old communist system you had a similar curve although then based on raw political and military power, as they still seem to trust in. Did you know that most of the Russian power industry is mob controlled? Oil, gas, you name it.

What it creates is a sort of stability and inertia, a refusal to change. That the common citizen in a western community have it so good compared to an Indian citizen, materially that is, is that we have such an enormous surplus in our system/western community. That surplus build on getting the raw materials to us, and so we use poorer countries to feed our machine. If times would get tough again in Western Europe this economic wealth distribution curve still would be there as I sees it, but with the base of now well-feed although not 'rich' people finding themselves at an Indian level. That would create a lot of unease in all western society's I think, and the politicians know it.

Any idea building on people caring builds on education, but the 'education' people get to today is to get the dough, check their magazines and twitter/facebook accounts for the latest gossip, build a 'healthy' body on the gym, and get f*ng rich :)

I don't expect that to change :)
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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #28 on: 10/01/2011 03:19:37 »
And Clifford, what are you trying to prove?

For a while I've been trying to understand the Global Warming/Climate Change debate, in particularly with respect to CO2

My conclusion is that some aspects match the CO2 hypothesis, but many don't.  The critical nature of the problem seems to be less clear.

Anyway, the question that began this topic was essentially "Why was it so damn cold in Europe last December".  So, I've been waiting for the "global warming" reports for December to come out...  as well as trying to understand some of the local and global influences.

And...  to my surprise (in part)...  December actually had a lower Global temperature anomaly than previous months, although not enough to account for reports of it being the coldest month in over a century.   

And, obviously a few month long cooling trend isn't significant overall.

Yeah clifford, I agree a few months tells us nothing. ten more winters like this won't tell us a thing either. It's longterm statistics we need. What we can see if looking at such is that we've created an anomaly statistically, oceans growing due to meltitng ice, the mean heat in them rising unprecedentedly, acidity growing and oxygen disappearing worldwide in those same oceans, CO2 levels raising extremely fast etc etc.

And it all seem to happen at the same time as our 'mechanical revolution' came to be. So statistically I would say that's it pretty easy to spot what created the anomaly. We've just recently started to treat Earth as a non-linear system. with that comes the 'tipping theory' that states that a system can without warning change into a different equilibrium. to do it it will need 'stuff' pushing for it. We have created a lot of 'stuff' in the oceans, in our atmosphere and on land. Then we have the sun, it seems that it also is connected to how that one behaves. As for what equilibrium we will find in a tipping?

That's a hard one? It seems like we've had ice-ages ticking' fairly regularity on Earth, every 40 000 year until recently (geologically speaking). Suddenly we jumped to periods over a 100 000 years without any visible reason. That one is explained in chaos theory, check that up if you're interested, it's quite cool and applicable to every little thing we know, from that economic 'distribution curve' I wrote about to the stock market and whatever you might imagine. And if it so it won't necessarily be a hotter climate we will meet. In a Newtonian world it would be as we have created all the ingredients for it, but maybe there is a bigger 'rhythm' defining how the world 'tips' where our 'noice' like the CO2 only will accelerate that tipping.

It's very hard to say, I expect us to go to a hotter climate, with the ice disappearing, but I do not know what a true 'tipping' of the climate can do to us. You can guess that it will mean the end of us fouling up the system with CO2 etc and so one might expect the oceans to slowly be able to recycle it and maybe in some thousand years neutralizing it? But I don't really know.

And we have a really big problem in all the frozen methane that is coming lose from under our oceans, and the tundra too. They can accelerate the process like nothing we ever seen. But if they do we will be dead anyway. No way we're going to survive such a accelerated scenario as I believe. Although life as such will survive. Jelly fish, as Steve wrote might do it? Cockroaches might, rats? Microbes for sure. Methane is thought to have ended life on Earth before, check it up.
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Offline CliffordK

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #29 on: 10/01/2011 07:22:13 »
I've been looking at the maps.  Russia and Canada seem to have some of the largest temperature swings, both positive and negative, but often positive.
Many of the calculations are done on a grid, then corrected for the curvature of the earth, so a flat map will look bolder than the actual calculation weighting.

So the "risk" to the Russian eco-system may be as great or greater than other parts of the world, although I have seen questions about whether there are potential measurement errors.

Notes indicate that methane has a halflife in the atmosphere of 7 to 10 years.  So, if the methane is slowly released, then it will eventually reach a "steady-state", until the release rate is changed again.  If a bolus is released, then within a decade, it will be half gone, and in a few decades all but traces will be converted to CO2

CO2 is supposed to also be pulled out of the air, with a halflife of about a century, although I'm not quite sure where the century date comes from for the CO2

Anyway, there do seem to be some major changes that are being observed in some areas, as well as many local effects that may confound the measurements.

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #30 on: 10/01/2011 08:01:35 »
That's some pretty smart questions Clifford :)
Similar to mine.

But first methane.
And I'm quoting myself sort of, from another post (2009-10).

"All the energy America needs for the next 100 years lies under the sea off the coast of South Carolina." Just one problem: Digging it out might cause a global climate disaster.”

---Quote—-

Methane is the principal component of natural gas, and massive amounts of it are trapped in reservoirs beneath the sea floor and under a layer of the ice-like substance. The scale of the resource is spectacular. By some estimates, methane hydrates contain more energy content than all other known fossil fuels combined. Two small areas located roughly 200 miles off the coast of Charleston, S.C., contain enough methane to meet the country's gas needs for more than a century. And this is only one of at least two dozen similar reservoirs discovered in U.S. coastal waters since the early 1970s.

The paradox is that while gas can be extracted from methane hydrates, doing so poses potentially catastrophic risks. Methane hydrates are frozen water molecules that trap methane gas molecules in a crystalline, lattice-like structure known as a hydrate. Unlike normal ice, hydrate ice literally burns — light a match and it goes up in flames. As temperatures rise or pressure rates fall, the hydrate disintegrates and the water releases the gas. A substantial amount of evidence suggests that weakening the lattice-like structure of gas hydrates has triggered underwater landslides on the continental margin. In other words, the extraction process, if done improperly, could cause sudden disruptions on the ocean floor, reducing ocean pressure rates and releasing methane gas from hydrates.

A mass release of methane into the sea and atmosphere could have catastrophic consequences on the pace of climate change. More than 50 million years ago, undersea landslides resulted in the release of methane gas from methane hydrate, which contributed to global warming that lasted tens of thousands of years. "Methane hydrate was a key cause of the global warming that led to one of the largest extinctions in the earth's history," Ryo Matsumoto, a professor at the University of Tokyo who has spent 20 years researching the subject, told Bloomberg in December.

---End of quote---

Details:

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 60-70 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a twenty-year period (or 25 times over a hundred-year period). Human-caused methane emissions are currently contributing some 20-30% of the observed global warming effects. These include: Energy, Landfills, Ruminants (Livestock), Waste treatment, and Biomass burning.

However, there are two additional sources of methane that are just now bubbling to the surface. One source is the methane hydrates (also called clathrates) that have been frozen since the last ice age in the permafrost lands of Russia, Alaska and Canada, but are now being released as the permafrost melts. In addition, the methane hydrates, which have been long stored in the cold Arctic Ocean seabed, are now being released as the ocean temperature rises.

Estimates of the land based hydrates estimates range from 0.8 to 1 gigaton, for the sea-based hydrates in the Arctic total 1.5 gigatons of carbon, Recent research carried out in 2008 in the Siberian Arctic has shown millions of tons of methane being released, apparently through perforations in the seabed permafrost, with concentrations in some regions reaching up to 100 times normal. Most of the thawing is believed to be due to the greatly increased volumes of meltwater being discharged from the Siberian rivers flowing north. Current Arctic methane release has previously been estimated at 0.5 Megatons  (500 000 tons) per year, but now it appears to be increasing rapidly. Shakhova et al (2008) estimate that not less than 1,400 gigatons of Carbon is presently locked up as methane and methane hydrates under the Arctic submarine permafrost, and 5-10% of that area is subject to puncturing by open taliks.

They conclude that "release of up to 50 gigatons (fifty thousand millions ton) of predicted amount of hydrate storage [is] highly possible for abrupt release at any time". That would increase the methane content of the planet's atmosphere by a factor of twelve, which is equivalent in greenhouse effect to a doubling in the current level of CO2.

----------End Quote…..By Jim Stewart, PhD, October 6, 2008,-----

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the concentrations of many of the greenhouse gases have increased. The concentration of CO2 has increased by about 100 ppm (i.e., from 280 ppm to 380 ppm).

The first 50 ppm increase took place in about 200 years, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to around 1973.

The next 50 ppm increase took place in about 33 years, from 1973 to 2006.

--End of quote--


If I look at the worlds coal consumption 2008 of 3 300 million ton, then 2 000 million ton was consumed by Asia. And you know what, we are coming out from our recession now says our ‘economists’. So now we can start all over again. The steel production is up as from August 2009 to 106.5 millions ton according to ‘World Steel’. And China have in ten years gone from 124 millions tons, to now over 500 millions ton steel yearly. And its coal consumption have raised from 1998, 652 million tons to over 1400 millions tons last year according to the oil company BP energy-statistics. And sixty eight  percent of the worlds electric power is generated by fossil fuels today, mostly coal and ‘natural gas’ (methane).

Anybody want to guess how long it will take for the next 50 Parts Per Million (PPM)
===

Then we have how long it stays in circulation in the air..


---Quote—Lisa Moore, Ph.D., scientist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense.--

Here's a table showing a selection of greenhouse gases, their global warming potential (GWP), and their lifetimes:

Greenhouse Gas . . . . . . . .  .Lifetime years . . (100-Year GWP)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) . . …. . . . hundreds .. .. . .1
Methane (CH4) . . . . . . …. . . .. . . 1 . . .  . . . .25
Nitrous Oxide (N2O) . . . . . . . . . .114 . . . . . . .298
Hydrofluorocarbon-23 (CHF3) . . . .264 . . . .. . .14,800
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) . . . . ..3,200.  . . . .22,800
PFC-14 (CF4) . . . . . . . .. . . . . .50,000 . . . . .7,390

Notice that the carbon dioxide lifetime is "hundreds of years", rather than a specific number. The IPCC ‘Third Assessment Report’ defines a gas's lifetime as the amount of the gas in the atmosphere divided by the rate at which it is removed from the atmosphere. That sounds simple enough, except that not all gases are removed by just one (or mainly one) process. Ironically, the gas that accounts for the greatest proportion of global warming, carbon dioxide (CO2), is the hardest to pin down. When CO2 is released into the atmosphere, about three-quarters of it dissolves into the ocean over a few decades (- Acidity -). The rest is neutralized by a variety of longer-term geological processes, which can take thousands of years.

From IPCC Fourth Assessment Report:  About 50% of a CO2 increase will be removed from the atmosphere within 30 years, and a further 30% will be removed within a few centuries. The remaining 20% may stay in the atmosphere for many thousands of years.

From U.S Greenhouse Gas Inventory Reports: (CO2) Atmospheric lifetime: 50-200 years. No single lifetime can be defined for CO2 because of the different rates of uptake by different removal processes.

From RealClimate: “My model indicates that about 7% of carbon released today will still be in the atmosphere in 100,000 years. I calculate a mean lifetime, from the sum of all the processes, of about 30,000 years. That's a deceptive number, because it is so strongly influenced by the immense longevity of that long tail. If one is forced to simplify reality into a single number for popular discussion, several hundred years is a sensible number to choose, because it tells three-quarters of the story, and the part of the story which applies to our own lifetimes.” ("How long will global warming last?")

For other gases, a meaningful lifetime is easier to calculate because one process dominates their removal from the atmosphere:

    * Methane is mostly scrubbed from the atmosphere by hydroxyl radicals (a chemical reaction).
    * Nitrous oxide is destroyed by photolytic reactions (chemical reactions involving photons or light) in the stratosphere.

As you can see from the chart, some gases have extraordinarily long lifetimes. Because emission rates are vastly higher than removal rates, greenhouse gases are accumulating in the atmosphere and will affect climate for generations to come.

----End of Quote----

Also, the end-result of methane will become more CO2.

Then we at last comes to your thoughts about Russia. And I agree fully. At the same time as they attacked global warming (East Anglia) they have invested millions in looking at what Global warming will have for effect on their infra structure. All those pipelines laying on frozen bog (tundra) :) Soon to become just a bubbling methane bog. Those pipelines loses around thirty percent of its 'natural gas' aka methane in the transport between endpoints, without conspicuous leaks. And with the foundations for their pipelines sinking we will see a lot more methane leaking, as well as those working there will have to rebuild a lot as their houses etc start to sink. There is a famous Russian guy that have been living on the tundra (decades) studying and reporting on its changes, and he reports it bubbling up like carbonized water as the tundra get soft transforming itself into bogs.

Ah yes, and our friendly neighbors (Russia) have started to lay a underwater pipe trough the Baltic sea, with the Nordic countries smiling and applauding. Anyone more than me that wonder why it's under water :) Which means that we will have a lot more methane emissions world wide, both natural and man made due to our new pipelines (Nord stream, 'South Stream' etc.)Those underwater more or less 'invincible' to us and the land-slides only noticeable as bubbles by those working there. And who was the owners now again? Anyone that think the Russian mob will care about that? And Canada I won't mention, they are a joke environmentally already.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2011 08:29:48 by yor_on »
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Offline yor_on

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #31 on: 10/01/2011 08:32:30 »
So no, I don't think long term planning is humanity's forte :)
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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #32 on: 10/01/2011 11:58:41 »
So no, I don't think long term planning is humanity's forte :)
Well, it's the best on the planet, but yeah I know what you mean! [::)]

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #33 on: 06/02/2011 20:33:23 »
Since I posted my initial enquiry two months ago it now appears our weather in the UK (Norwich) is warmer than expected - being 11 deg C - not expected for early February!

I am curious to know why our seasons appear to be earlier - in August the weather was more like that of Autumn/Fall now it is more like Spring!  Is our planet changing the way it orbits the Sun or is it something else?
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Offline CliffordK

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #34 on: 07/02/2011 23:15:58 »
Since I posted my initial enquiry two months ago it now appears our weather in the UK (Norwich) is warmer than expected - being 11 deg C - not expected for early February!

I am curious to know why our seasons appear to be earlier - in August the weather was more like that of Autumn/Fall now it is more like Spring!  Is our planet changing the way it orbits the Sun or is it something else?
Our Year is centered around the solstices... which should give stability of the seasons.
Winter solstice (for the North) is when the tilt of the axis is such that the south pole is closest to the sun and the north pole is farthest from the sun.
Summer solstice (for the North) is when the tilt of the axis is such that the north pole is closest to the sun.

Here is a good explanation of the Milankovitch Cycles.
http://www.homepage.montana.edu/~geol445/hyperglac/time1/milankov.htm

However, these are very slow cycles, with Precession being the quickest, with about 12,500 years for a half cycle and about 25,000 years for a full cycle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles#Axial_precession
There are actually two types of Precession.  That around the ellipse as in the article above, called Apsidal precession.  The other type is Axial precession which is the precession with respect to the "fixed stars".  They both have a cycle in excess of 20,000 years.

According to the notes I'm finding, right now we are at a stage in Apsidal precession where the earth is closest to the sun during the Northern Winter.  This would also mean that it is the maximum velocity of the earth in the orbit around the sun...  tending to give shorter, but hotter winters in the North, as well as longer, but cooler summers.  The reverse is true in the south.

Since precession is a very slow process...  it is unlikely that one would notice a significant change in the seasons during a single lifetime.

Most people attribute the early spring-like weather to the apparent warming of the planet.

In fact, that is one of the big questions that people rarely discuss.  If we are in fact going through a long-term warming trend, are there benefits?

One of the benefits might be more temperate weather, and extended growing seasons in the more polar regions, especially Canada and Russia, but likely other regions too. 

There are also extremely complex interactions with our sun (as would be expected).  We are now entering into what may be one of the deepest solar minima since at least the late 1960's/early 70's when we had a decade of unusually cold weather, but likely a solar minimum similar to that over a century ago, perhaps a couple of centuries ago.  However, there are theories that during solar minima, there is a greater influence of cosmic rays from the rest of the universe. 

The last thing that is happening quickly...  is that there apparently is an oscillation of the Earth's magnetic poles.  The northern magnetic pole is rapidly approaching true North, while the southern magnetic pole is decelerating its movement away from true south (likely to reverse back towards the middle of Antarctica soon).  People are discussing a pole shift...  but little discussion is being made of this apparent normal oscillation, and its potential impact on the climate.

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Offline graham.d

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #35 on: 08/02/2011 10:39:02 »
Geezer, the stuff that Yor_on said about Greenland being positive publicity for people to emigrate is actually true as far as I know. I know its sounds like a joke. Greenland has not been Green at any time since it would have been named thus as far as I am aware. It is hard to see how the name stuck or whether it was planned by some devious person, but it did create an image and it was not that easy for anyone to come back and point out the falsehood - it was probably wishful thinking.

There is a big confusion here in comparing weather with climate. The local weather in the short term is not a reliable indicator of the long term effects of climate change. We have not yet got enough statistics over a long enough period. This does not stop people using the local weather as "proof" of arguments in both directions though!

The relation between climate change and the release of Carbon is certainly debateable though I would tend to err on the side of the assumption that there is a link and try to act on it rather than just ignore the issue and then have our grandchildren suffer the effects of our incautiousness and greed. Of course it won't be my descendents that will suffer so much but mostly those in places like Bangladesh.

1. Huge amounts of carbon are being released and this has happened all in the last 200 years.
2. The metrics for measuring the earth surface temperature have indicated a rise in the same period.
3. The ice in areas that have had stable ice throughout recorded history is melting.

The skeptics have moved in denying, then accepting each of these points. I think these are actually undeniable but if you keep saying some things enough people will believe it. The last fall back is to say OK, it's happening but it is not due to man and/or there is nothing that can be done. In any normal argument this sequence of fall backs would be not considered as a good defence. But when so much money is involved and there is so much vested interest by powerful corporations (who, surprisingly (!) influence politicians and the media) it somehow seems very reasonable!!

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Offline yor_on

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #36 on: 22/02/2011 12:29:12 »
Since I posted my initial enquiry two months ago it now appears our weather in the UK (Norwich) is warmer than expected - being 11 deg C - not expected for early February!

I am curious to know why our seasons appear to be earlier - in August the weather was more like that of Autumn/Fall now it is more like Spring!  Is our planet changing the way it orbits the Sun or is it something else?

What we see in Europe and also parts of USA seems to be a direct result of the way the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) climate index have had it's lowest value in 145 years for the Winter 2009/2010. The Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations can weaken westerly winds across the United States and make way for the jet stream to rush southward with Arctic air all the way to Florida and hang there freezing the Midwest and East Coast of America. "Also there have been a very strong La Nina that brought the coldest temperatures in the central Pacific ever measured. During La Ninas, warm Pacific waters move to the west coasts of Australia, South America and Central America leaving colder waters in the central Pacific. All that La Nina warm water along the western coasts south of the equator provokes heavy rainfall and flooding. And since this was a particularly intense La Nina, Australia flooded and even the Panama Canal had to close down December 8, 2010, for only the third time since it opened in 1914 because of heavy rains and flooding." 

And this at the same time as the last five years have been the warmest ever in the Arctic. Some few predicting that the Arctic may becoming ice free in such a short time as ten years, although most expecting it to happen inside a thirty year period. And the climate conditions over the Arctic cannot be ruled out as influencing weather in some sub-Arctic regions, making it relative colder for part of the winter. "There is observational evidence, supported by results from numerical simulations, indicating the potential for linkages between significant cold mid-latitude winter deviations from usual conditions associated with the decrease in Arctic sea ice cover in the preceding summer/autumn.

"Climate modeling of paleo observations indicate that 3 million years ago, mid-Pliocene, the average global temperature was 2-3°C higher than today, and global sea level was around 25m higher. Studies show that as the Pliocene ended, glaciation in the Northern hemisphere (north pole/Arctic) ice sheet began. One of the keys to what helped the world cool was the closing of the isthmus in Panama. When the movement of the tectonic plates moved and closed the isthmus, the Atlantic was no longer able to receive warm water from the larger Pacific ocean. This allowed the Atlantic to cool more in the winter and this played a large part in development of the glaciation. The formation of an Arctic ice cap was identified by an abrupt shift in oxygen isotope ratios and ice-rafted cobbles in the North Atlantic and North Pacific ocean beds."

"While 2009 and 2010 did not meet or exceed the record minimum sea ice extent set in 2007, the summer sea ice cover remains relatively small. As noted in the Arctic sea ice section, September 2009 had the third lowest minimum sea ice extent relative to the period when observations began in 1979. The minimum sea ice extent in 2010 is similar to 2008, and lower than 2009. Nearly the same atmospheric conditions have existed in the summers of 2008, 2009 and 2010, helping to drive the characteristics of the summer sea ice season."

"Summer 2007 atmospheric conditions were extraordinary and helped lead to the record low ice extent in September 2007. This involved the development of a new climatic wind pattern, the Arctic Dipole Anomaly (DA) which has southerly wind flow from the Bering Strait across the North Pole and persisted throughout the summer of 2007. In May and June of 2009 and 2010, the DA was present again, helping to initiate rapid summer ice loss. Although ice extent at the end of June 2010 was in fact slightly lower than that observed at the same time in 2007, in July the sea level pressure (SLP) pattern shifted back to a more typical low pressure region over the central Arctic Ocean. This shift created conditions that significantly slowed the rate of ice loss during mid-summer 2010. As a result of the increased within-summer atmospheric variability in 2009 and 2010, we did not meet or exceed the record minimum sea ice cover extent set in 2007. However, these conditions have still resulted in a four year sequence of extremely low sea ice extent years."

But there are so many more factors involved, and when it comes to the local weather where you live? That one is very hard to know as it can change fast depending on purely local effects. Climate is more of a statistical 'game' than looking locally.Even if we had the possibility, which we don't, to probe all spots on the globe with say a ten km radius between probes it would be almost impossible to calculate the weather more that a few days, probably even harder than today as the information amount would be too huge for any computer to handle.
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Some GW myths.
« Last Edit: 22/02/2011 13:19:56 by yor_on »
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Offline Mootle

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #37 on: 24/02/2011 22:52:56 »
Since I posted my initial enquiry two months ago it now appears our weather in the UK (Norwich) is warmer than expected - being 11 deg C - not expected for early February!

I am curious to know why our seasons appear to be earlier - in August the weather was more like that of Autumn/Fall now it is more like Spring!  Is our planet changing the way it orbits the Sun or is it something else?

We're not well placed to identify causes for localised seasonal changes. There are many factors which come into the reckonings for wide scale analysis. However, I would speculate that solar flare activity (recently featuring in the news,) could be a greater factor on our climate than is widely believed and may easily result in regional temperature spikes.

Natural variations in solar output are thought to be very small but as with many of the factors governing our climate we are now discovering that the systems are incredibly dynamic and interlinked in ways that are considered to be chaotic. In reality this is more likely to be due to our limited ability to monitor and understand these systems. Given time the input data and mathematical models will become suitably refined such that short / mid / long term predictions will achieve a meaningful level of reliability.
« Last Edit: 24/02/2011 23:28:31 by Mootle »

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Offline Mootle

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Is our colder weather a result of global warming?
« Reply #38 on: 24/02/2011 23:01:35 »
Quote from Peppercorn
'The bit that truly irks me is that all the lovely tax revenue from motor-fuel disapears into the anonymous hole (or whole) that is the government exchequer - If people could see a direct link - say insulating older homes, etc - they'd be less bad feeling.  More windfall-taxes on the petrol companies wouldn't go amiss either!'

I agree.

It would be good to know were the revenues from green taxes are going.

If we were to write letters to our local MP's would it be within house rules to post any response here?
« Last Edit: 24/02/2011 23:03:46 by Mootle »