Daily Wisdom

April 30, 2008

Global Warming News - April 2008

Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics

Unseasonal snowfalls covered much of the UK in white on April 6, 2008. According to an article in the Guardian, the snow showers caused chaos on roads and at airports, and the effects were still being felt the next day. Paul Knightley, from MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, predicted that wintry showers across the country would continue through the week. "It will be what I would call typical April weather although a bit colder than usual," he said. A spokesman for the Met Office said: "Over the weekend, a northerly wind developed and strengthened, introducing increasingly cold air direct from the Arctic."

London snow - April 6.

The Telegraph was reporting that the April snow was the worst in two decades. Up to three inches of snow fell in parts of southern England and temperatures were below freezing in many places even at midday. At Heathrow Airport, British Airways cancelled more than 100 flights. Both Heathrow's runways briefly closed for de-icing. Gatwick's runway closed for two hours to clear snow, with 55 flights abandoned. More than 100 drivers were stranded as snow closed a road in Yorkshire, while the M6 in Cheshire was closed after a string of crashes. John Hammond, a forecaster at the Met Office said: "The last time that we saw a decent widespread snowfall during April was in 1989."

UK snow - April 7.

On April 17th, a heavy snowfall covered parts of Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire, UK. As temperatures dropped below freezing during the night of the 16th, people in areas around Llangollen, the hills around Mold and the Bwlchgwyn area, woke up to a thick blanket of snow. Met Office forecaster John Hammond said: "Mid April is late to get snow, but on higher ground it is not that unusual. What is more unusual is that the snow has stuck on the lower ground. This has not happened in April for some 20 years." Lorries were stuck in three inches of snow on the A525 between Llandegla and Bwlchgwyn, a bus was stuck in Bwlchgwyn and there were also problems on roads around Coedpoeth.

Snow near Loggerheads, UK - April 17.

On April 1st, the Boston Globe was reporting on fears about flooding in New England. In the mountains of Vermont, for example, snowpack held the equivalent of 15 inches of rain. In New Hampshire, officials had been warning residents for weeks to prepare for the flooding after a winter that dumped in some areas more snow than has been seen in a century (emphasis added).

In Aspen Highlands, Colorado, April Fools' Day saw 19" of new snow according to an article in The Aspen Times. At Snowmass resort, the winter total was 407" (or 34') of snow as of that same day. Minnesota also saw snow on April Fool's Day.

Snow in Minnesota - April 1.

In Michigan, Upper Peninsula residents also received snow on April Fool's Day. A low pressure system that blew in from the southwest is blamed for blizzard conditions that dropped 20 inches of snow at the National Weather Service office in Marquette County's Negaunee Township. The Mining Journal of Marquette says 9 to 15 inches of snow fell elsewhere in Marquette County. High winds also knocked out power to several hundred homes and businesses. The Daily News of Iron Mountain says 12 inches of snow fell at Stambaugh in Iron County, in far western Upper Michigan. The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton says nearly 9 inches of snow fell in parts of the Keweenaw Peninsula, which juts into western Lake Superior.

On April 5th, snow showers set a record in Anchorage, Alaska where more than a foot of snow was reported. According to the National Weather Service, Anchorage has never seen a snowier April 5th. Officially, 5.5 inches fell, breaking the old record of 2.6. The measurement was recorded at Sand Lake near the airport, which wasn't nearly as snowy as the Hillside and parts of South Anchorage. A second round of snow came early the next day, leaving Glen Alps and most of the Hillside area with a foot of snow for the weekend.

Between April 5th and April 7th there was a "very heavy snow" in Minnesota. Snowfall amounts were "impressive". A band of one to two feet of snow fell from Itasca State Park to Babbitt. The heaviest three-day total reported was 32 inches, 5 miles north of Virginia by an unofficial National Weather Service Cooperative Observer. Dixon lake in Itasca County was not far behind with 29 inches. The snowfall area stretched from the Dakota's Red River Valley to the Minnesota Arrowhead. "It just wears on you. You want a change of seasons here, and we're not getting it," said Kerry Bidle, dean of students and athletic director at Virginia High School.

Pelican Rapids, Minnesota - April 7.

In Kansas, it snowed on April 10th. A winter storm warning went into effect for Northwest Kansas. Heavy snow was falling in the area as of 11:31 AM, forcing some schools to close classes early. Meteorologist Ben Pringle of KAKE-TV 10, said five to seven inches of snow were expected.

Northwest Kansas - April 10.

According to the blog Cinj's Chat Room, the month started in Wisconsin with snow on the ground. It snowed on April 10th, and again on the 12th. There was still snow on the ground on the 22nd, and the temperature was only 20F on the 27th.

In Georgia, temperatures were predicted to drop into the low 30s on April 14th and 15th, but area strawberry and peach farmers seem to have beaten the frost. Farmers were scared that low temperatures would be reminiscent of a freeze that struck Northeast Georgia the weekend of April 6-8, 2007 and destroyed most of the region's blueberry, strawberry and peach crops. The coldest temperature this week came on April 16th, when the mercury fell to 34 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Downtown, NJ faced a cold snap at the same time, where a certain Mr. Hawkeye® reported scraping frost off his windshield in the early morning hours.

On April 18th in Fairbanks Alaska, 1.6" of snow fell, pushing the monthly snowfall total for April up to 10.2". "That’s on the high end for April, meteorologist Rick Thoman at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks said. The average snowfall for April is 3.8" according to an article at Newsminer.com.

On April 18th, Jon Maletz wrote a humorous piece for the Aspen Times you might want read by clicking HERE. The Aspen Highlands was due to be open for the extended weekends of April 19-20 and April 26-27 according to an Events Notice at the Snowmass web site. According to the Notice, the area received "more than 450 inches of snowfall this season", and "the conditions at Aspen/Snowmass are the best they have been in many years."

In Washington state, it snowed on April 18th according to HeraldNet. Snow was falling steadily in Lake Stevens with more than an inch accumulated on the ground in some places. Snow also fell in Everett, particularly in the Eastmont neighborhood. There was no significant accumulation expected in the lowlands, but the mountain passes are a different story, where more than a foot of snow was forecast (when the article was written).

Horses Grazing in Ebey Island, Washington - April 18.

On April 19th into the 20th, a late-season snow storm dumped 15.1 inches of snow in Great Falls, Montana. Great Falls' 9.6-inch total on April 19th represented its greatest single-day snowfall so late in the year since April 27, 1989, when 10.3 inches fell. Meanwhile in Grangeville, Idaho, the season-to-date snowfall (through April 20th) climbed to 70.0 inches, the highest total there since 1981-82. Grangeville's month-to-date snowfall reached 23.5 inches, eclipsing its April 1902 standard of 20.0 inches.

Following the storm, Great Falls' temperatures dipped to daily-record levels on April 20 and 21 (-1 and -8 degrees F, respectively). Previously, Great Falls' latest sub-zero reading occurred on April 6, 1975, with a low of -6 degrees F. On April 21, readings of -2 degrees F in both Leadore, Idaho, and Drummond, Montana, were the stations' lowest temperatures ever recorded so late in the year. Leadore's latest sub-zero reading had been on April 12, 1999; Drummond had dipped to -1 degrees F on April 21, 1951.

Farther west, daily-record lows in the West Coast States included 31 degrees F (on April 20) in Santa Maria, CA; 30 degrees F (on April 21) in Paso Robles, CA; and 25 degrees F (on April 21) in Wenatchee, WA. Incredibly, Santa Maria had not been below the freezing mark since December 22, when the low was also 31 degrees F. Temperatures near or slightly below freezing also affected parts of California's Sacramento Valley, where daily-record lows for April 20 included 31 degrees F in Redding and 32 degrees F in Stockton.

Although a variety of California's crops (including fruits, nuts, and vegetables) were threatened by the freeze, fruit crops were among the greatest concerns in the Northwest with respect to freeze damage. Despite persistently cool weather since mid-March and slower-than-normal fruit development, Northwestern producers had already been occasionally using freeze-protection measures prior to the April 19-21 cold snap.

Heavy snow developed on April 24th-26th from parts of Nebraska into Minnesota, resulting in late-season storm totals of 10.2 inches in International Falls, Minnesota, and 19.0 inches in Watertown, SD. The storm also shattered numerous daily snowfall records in South Dakota, including 11.0 inches at Webster and 9.0 inches at Huron on April 25, followed by 17.0 inches at Clear Lake and 10.0 inches at Pickstown on the 26th.

The snowstorm broke a record in North Dakota, dropping 4.8 inches of snow on April 25th at Hector Airport in Fargo, surpassing the old daily snowfall record for the date, of 3.5 inches set in 1937. Fargo received a total of 9.1 inches, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Grand Forks. Wahpeton, ND, got hit with 18 inches, and Mantador, ND, received 10 inches. The NWS received reports of 18 inches of snow in Pelican Rapids, Minn.; 15 inches in Hawley, Minn.; and 13.5 inches in Wilkin County, Minn.

Snow in Watertown, South Dakota - April 26.

On Friday, April 25th into the 26th, more snow fell in Anchorage setting another record for the day and for the month. The NWS says 17.2 inches fell at its office just south of Anchorage's international airport and 22 inches fell in northeast Anchorage on Friday and Saturday. The heaviest snow fell between 3 and 6 p.m. Friday at a rate of almost two inches per hour. The monthly total at the weather service office is now 29.7 inches, breaking a record from 1963 when 27.6 inches fell during April. The 15.5 inches that fell Friday is the third most for any one day in Anchorage.

Also on April 28th, historic snow flurries hit the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The snow flurries marked the first time in nearly a century that there had been four consecutive snow days this late in the spring. The last time it snowed four days in a row in the Twin Cities this late in the season was 1909.

In Fergus Falls, Minnesota, about 30.2 inches of snow has piled up just this month, according to the Minnesota State Climatology office. That shattered the previous April record of 10.8 inches that had stood since 1950, and brought this season's total to 59.3 inches. The 30-year average is 45 inches. As of April 28th, 23.5 inches had fallen in International Falls this month, bringing the season total there to 95.5 inches. That's far above the average of 69.4 inches, the National Weather Service said. April snowfall in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota set a new record of 32 inches this year, which is more than double the previous record of 15 inches set in April of 1945, according to the NWS in Grand Forks, N.D.

A winter weather advisory was issued by National Weather Service (NWS) of Spokane Washington on April 29th for Lewis and Southern Nez Perce counties, including the areas of Craigmont, Nezperce, and Winchester. There was a burst of heavy snow showers in the afternoon followed by numerous snow showers that continued into the evening, with 3 to 7 inches of total accumulation expected. On the same day according to the NWS, a snow and blowing snow advisory was issued for Idaho and western Montana. Snowfall accumulations were estimated at 3 to 6 inches with local amounts up to 8 inches near Georgetown Lake. Butte Montana was expecting 1 to 3 inches.

An historic winter continued at Maine's largest ski resort on April 30th, after eight inches of new snow blanketed Sugarloaf the night before. The new snow brought the season's total snowfall at the resort to 224 inches. Sugarloaf was the only ski resort still open in the east, and the fresh snow ensured excellent conditions into the month of May.

It snowed in Quebec on April 4th (see photo). As of that same day, Quebec ski resorts were experiencing good snow depths. For example, Owl's Head was reporting 63"-72" and Mont Sainte-Anne was reporting 24"-78".

Quebec Canada - April 4.

In April, Canada experienced an unusual jet stream pattern that pushed warmth into much of eastern Canada while dropping temperatures in the West. For example, in Calgary on April 10th, the high temperature was 3C, with 20-30 cm of snow. On April 15th, the high was 6C. On April 20th, the high was -7C, with 3 cm of snow. All observations are from Calgary International Airport.

On April 18th it snowed in British Columbia. Cold arctic air sent temperatures plummeting, in what is technically the spring season. The interior region of the province had its salting and sanding machines hit the roads. CTV Meteorologist Jesse Mason said these cold temperatures haven't been seen in decades. He said, "The folks from Environment Canada went back to their record books and said we haven't seen conditions like this since the mid-fifties". Mason says the temperatures were more fitting for December or January.

Also on April 18th, Canada.com reported that in the Vancouver area, the cold spring was delaying the growth of local crops, flowers and slowing business. With the cold weather, fruits and vegetables in the Fraser Valley were refusing to grow. Murray Siemens, co-owner of Willow View Farms in Abbotsford, which grows fruits and veggies, said this year's crops are off to a slow start. "The weather has been colder longer and we will most likely be dealing with late harvests," he said. And the temperatures during the last week of March were also among the coolest in recorded history. According to The Vancouver Sun, between March 25 and March 31, the Vancouver airport's weather station recorded temperatures that did not exceed 5.8 C - down from the normal 12 C.

On April 19th, the Chronicle Herald was reporting that in Nova Scotia, maple syrup producers faced poor yields. Producers said the weather was the problem. It takes warm days and cold nights to make maple sap run. Some areas of the province had those conditions in late February, but March turned cold and many producers didn’t see any sap run for two weeks. April started out with better conditions but then the nights quickly warmed up, ending the running of the sap and the season. "I’m hearing from many producers that they are only producing 50 to 60 per cent of what they would consider a decent year," said Dale McIsaac, an independent consultant from Amherst who works closely with the Nova Scotia Maple Producers Association. Early reports from New Brunswick and Quebec suggested they weren't having a great season, either.

In Edmonton, Alberta, Earth Day was celebrated on April 20th, but without any signs of global warming. Earth Day festivities went ahead despite the blast of frigid weather. Vendors and presenters from various eco-friendly groups, including Bullfrog Power, CO2 Reduction Edmonton and the local solar energy society, crammed into a lone tent in Hawrelak Park after a blizzard forced them to abandon their original locations.

Fort McMurray (near Edmonton), Canada - April 22.

In Winnipeg, a winter storm watch was issued on April 23rd. A low pressure system was being forecast to move over Lake of the Woods bringing heavy snow and freezing rain into southern Manitoba. The high temperature was expected to be 1C on April 24th, with cool weather staying through Sunday, April 27th. Winnipeg was expected to get about 10 centimetres of snow and freezing rain. Up to 20 cm of snow was expected to fall in Portage la Prairie, Gimli and Bissett.

A blizzard began on Saturday, April 26th around 2 a.m. in southeastern Manitoba and northwest Ontario, dumping between 15 and 20 centimetres of snow and stranding dozens of cars and semis on the Trans-Canada Highway. The road re-opened in Manitoba on Sunday, but the highway was described as having poor driving conditions and slippery sections. In northwest Ontario, some sections of the Trans-Canada remained closed on Sunday, but all area highways were described as snow-covered or snow-packed.

On April 30th, it snowed in Prince George, British Columbia. “We are three weeks to a month behind other years in reaching spring” that according to Jos Van Hage, who says the trees haven’t started to bud yet and that’s the latest he has seen since he arrived in Prince George in 1979.

Prince George, British Columbia - April 30.

South Africa:
Even as winter is ending in the northern hemisphere, it is already beginning in the southern hemisphere. On April 18th, the forecast for the high ground of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa was for cold wet weather, according to the South African Weather Service. "Snow can also be expected on ground higher than 6,000 feet (2,000 metres) on Saturday night," said spokesperson Garth Sampson. He said the Winterberg and Sneeuberg areas would be affected, spreading to the Drakensberg by Sunday. "Maximum temperatures are only expected to reach 10 C over the north eastern interior of the Eastern Cape and 17 C along the coast."

A severe weather warning was issued for New South Wales (NSW) and the Australia Capitol Territory (ACT) on April 27th. Meteorologist Jane Bunn said the temperature would drop down to single figures overnight and there would be a sprinkling of snow on Canberra's Brindabellas early on the morning of April 28th. She said the change is due to a cold front moving through Victoria, and predicted slowly increasing winds strengthening to gale-force in the Canberra area. "About elevated areas it's much stronger and we're looking at 65 kilometres per hour and possibly gusting up to 90 kilometres per hour and that's in the ranges around the ACT and the alpine regions."

The snow turned out to be more than a "sprinkling", and the temperatures were lower than expected. You can go HERE to watch a video from ABC News (Australia Broadcasting corporation). According to meteorologists, the temperatures recorded in the upper atmosphere were the coldest that have been seen there in April for 60 years (which is as far as the records go back). It was the "best pre-season snow in years" according to the reporter. And the ski season there is still 5-6 weeks away. The snowfalls were called "freak" by some, but others hope it is a sign of things to come with the promise of a "bumper" ski season.

Australian pre-season skiing - April 28.

As cold southwesterly winds continued to scour southeastern Australia, snow was reported in NSW around the central towns of Orange and Oberon and in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and on the ranges west of Canberra. Orange's maximum temperature, 7C, was its lowest on record for April. At Mount Hotham in the Victorian Alps where the temperature dipped to -4C, snow piled up to 30cm. Resort marketing manager Jessica Rose said conditions were excellent: "The whole resort is completely covered - it looks like a mid-winter day." Last year, the first snows fell at Spencers Creek, near Charlotte Pass in the NSW Snowy Mountains, in mid-May.

Jessica Rose, Mt Hotham, Australia - April 28.

The cold snap also brought records to South Australia: Woomera had its coldest April morning in 60 years of records, at 4.8C; and Leigh Creek broke a 24-year-old record with a minimum of 2.2C; Sunday's top of 12.4C at Strathalbyn broke a 123-year-old record for April.

Scientific Opinion:

United Nations -- Meteorologists at the U.N. were forecasting that global temperatures would drop in 2008. The World Meteorological Organization's secretary-general, Michel Jarraud, told the BBC it was likely that La Nina, an abnormal cooling of water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, would continue into the summer, resulting in a net temperature drop worldwide. And while the WMO points out that the decade from 1998 to 2007 was the warmest on record, it recognizes that "temperatures have not risen globally since 1998 when El Nino warmed the world". Some scientists question whether this means global warming has peaked, "but Mr Jarraud insisted this was not the case".

David Archibald Report -- According to a brief article at NolanChart.com, David Archibald (a scientist and entrepreneur) presented an interesting scientific report at the International Conference on Climate Change in March, which suggests that anthropogenic global warming is actually beneficial for the earth. He also demonstrates that "the Sun drives climate", and he uses that "demonstrated relationship" to predict the Earth’s climate to 2030. Archibald predicts "imminent cooling". He also says that increased atmospheric CO2 levels pose absolutely no threat whatsoever. "(It) is not even a little bit bad. It is wholly beneficial." You can read Archibald's full report HERE.

Argo System Ocean Sensors -- National Public Radio (NPR) reported that some 3,000 scientific deep-diving robots suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. According to the article's author, "That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them."

Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are the primary factor in global warming, since 80 to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. The oceans hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans. In fact, "There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says.

Hurricanes & Global Warming -- Dr. Kerry Emanuel, one of the most influential scientists behind the theory that global warming causes hurricane activity to intensify, is reversing his position. The hurricane expert of MIT, says in the March issue of 'Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society' that hurricane frequency and intensity may not substantially rise over the next two centuries. His new method of simulating weather patterns in computer models shows that there will be in fact an overall drop in the number of hurricanes.

In the 1980's, Emanuel foresaw a rise in hurricane intensity in a human-warmed world and in 2005, just a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans, asserted in a 'Nature' paper that he had found statistical evidence linking rising hurricane energy and warming. Despite the uncertainty in the science, hurricanes quickly became a potent icon in environmental campaigns, as well as in "An Inconvenient Truth," the popular climate documentary featuring former Vice President Al Gore.

Dr. Kerry Emanuel
During the intense 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, Emanuel was one of the first to blame global warming and even said that active storm seasons will become the norm. But now, after conducting a new study, Emanuel is changing his mind saying, "The results surprised me. The take home message is that we've got a lot of work to do." In a New York Times article, Emanuel said...

The models are telling us something quite different from what nature seems to be telling us. There are various interpretations possible, e.g. a) The big increase in hurricane power over the past 30 years or so may not have much to do with global warming, or b) The models are simply not faithfully reproducing what nature is doing. Hard to know which to believe yet.

You can read his entire study report HERE.

April 26, 2008

"Fallacy" Article Gets Wider "Viewing"

On April 22nd, I received my typical weekly blog activity report from Sitemeter™ and was a bit surprised to see a lot of activity for that particular day (April 22nd). Considering that the previous six days were pretty normal (read: "slow"), I was intrigued to find out the cause of the sudden spike in activity.

Having written an article entitled The Fallacy of "Climate Change" only two days earlier, I decided to Google the title, and was surprised to find several links to my latest offering. At first I was bit confused. The first link I went to was a blog called War In Iraq where a poster named "atheo" appeared to have lifted my entire article and reproduced it verbatim without giving me any credit...

(The blog indicated that there had been 266 reads of the article.)

I was becoming a bit annoyed at the thought of someone stealing my article, but I soon noticed a link at the end of "MY" article, and decided to check it out. The link took me to a website called Signs of the Times (or SOTT.net) where I again found a complete reprint of my original article.

This time however, I was gratified to see that my article was attributed to "Hawkeye" at "View From Above Blog" and included a link to my article. I was also pleased to see a note below the article that as of April 26th, "659 people have viewed this page since Mon, 21 Apr 2008". I had never visited this website before, and was somewhat amused to read the tag line: "the World for People who Think". (Ahhh, I thought! Good idea! Writing for thinkers, I thought to myself. A very thoughtful... thought.) I also noticed that my article had a rating of "10 lightbulbs", whatever that meant. Other articles had similar ratings, but none of the icons was ever the same from article to article.

Returning to Google, I also found my article reprinted in full at...

The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized. The "View From Above" was credited, but no mention of Hawkeye®, and no direct link to my article. Apparently they found the article at SOTT.net and used that as their source.

I also found references to my article at...

Above Top Secret, where somebody named JanusFIN posted the entire first paragraph, again with a link to SOTT.net and said, "Great article!"

Interestingly enough, I found a link to my article at a website called "What REALLY Happened", which appears to be a website for conspiracy theorists. Click on the link above and scroll down to April 21, 2008. I guess my article led one such theorist to conclude that the fallacy of climate change is being used by "politicians" to create "a 'crisis' requiring more taxes and control".

I was not overly-impressed by a reference to my article at The Fall Of Humanity Blog which seems to be nothing more than a listing of hundreds of articles in dozens of categories with no apparent point.

The website Skeptical Science referred to my article (along with many others) in an effort to refute it. Scroll down to see bullet #3 under "Articles Using This Argument". Better to be refuted than ignored I guess. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Someone at a Discussion Forum called "Australian Opinion" referred to my article without any further comment.

I found the link to my article at Rantburg.com particularly amusing. First of all, the tag line at this website is: "Civil, Well-Reasoned Discourse", which is accompanied by a woodcut of two men using fisticuffs. Secondly, they used a great pic entitled: "The benefits of global-warming" which shows Alaskan Huskies sitting in beach chairs. Rantburg reports 209 views of the page.

Finally, I found a reference to my article at what appears to be a French blog called IFTBQP ~ Social living. The blog introduced my article with only these words: "À lire absolument". A literal translation from Google says "To read absolutely", which I interpret as: "A must read".

Considering that only a handful of readers visit my humble blog during an average week, this was a pretty big deal for me. I hope you will share my momentary excitement, because I'm sure this event won't often be repeated. Special thanks to those dedicated few who regularly stop in to "View" and, well... still keep coming back!

[UPDATE: After posting this article, I did another search and found additional links to my article HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. Page views of the article at SOTT.net is up to 872. I also learned that Skeptical Science created a dedicated page for my article HERE.]

April 20, 2008

The Fallacy of "Climate Change"

By Hawkeye®

"Climate Change" seems to be the new buzzword these days among environmentalists and politicians who were formerly the proponents of "Global-Warming". Unfortunately, the term "climate change" is a meaningless phrase. The climate is always changing, about as often as the weather in fact. Some years are warm, while others are cool. Some years are dry, while others are wet. There are El Niños, and there are La Niñas. There have been ice ages and warm periods throughout Earth's history. And the term "Global Climate Change" is not much better. That simply tells us that the climate is changing everywhere in the world. Yeah, and so...?

The term "climate change" is in many ways akin to the term "seasonal variation". It tells us that something is happening, but it doesn't tell us how or why. Of course we know that the weather changes with the seasons, but what does it mean when the term "seasonal variation" is applied to such subjects as 'sporting goods sales' or 'manufacturing labor positions'. HOW do sporting goods sales vary with the season? WHY do manufacturing labor positions vary with the season? The term "seasonal variation" by itself is meaningless.

Liekwise, the term "climate change" by itself is meaningless. HOW is the climate changing? And WHY is it changing? Well, the proponents of "climate change" would have us believe that the global climate is getting warmer (that's the HOW), and that this is being caused by the man-made emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere (that's the WHY).

So what's the deal with this phrase "climate change" then? Why not just use the phrase "Man-Made (or 'Anthropogenic') Global Warming"? Why are we now starting to hear greater use of the term "climate change", which is vague and unspecific, while the term "Man-Made Global-Warming" is so much more informative?

First and foremost, it is because many use the term "climate change" in an effort to obfuscate. Most proponents of "climate change" do in fact believe in man-made global-warming, but it's pretty hard to talk about "global-warming" when global temperatures have not increased for a decade. Or, when 2007 witnessed the single fastest decrease in global temperature ever recorded. Or, when NOAA says that the winter of 2007-2008 was the coldest for the planet in seven years. Or, when thousands of people died and millions of livestock were lost to this winter's freezing temperatures. Or, when snow cover in the northern hemisphere set an all time record in January, followed by above-average snow cover in February.

And all of this while man-made CO2 emissions continue unabated and CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been steadily rising. Therefore, when it makes no sense to talk about global-cooling being the logical result of global-warming, it's time to start changing the vocabulary. When faced with global-cooling, it's time to start talking about how global-warming is "erratic" and "not continuous". Of course, none of this "erratic" and "non-continuous" behavior has ever been incorporated into the computer models used by the alarmists who predict our doom. Since one cannot predict the unpredictable or the erratic, it's better not to talk about them lest they diminish the respectability of one's gloomy forecasting methods.

Second, the term "climate change" conveys a feeling of dread without conveying any other information. "Climate Change?... Ohh, that's BAD!... Must be stopped at all costs!" And by not conveying any further information about the nature or the cause of "climate change" (ie, man-made, CO2-induced, global-warming), this also leaves the door open for future discussions about climate change which might not be related to one or more of the current range of culprits (ie, "man-made", "CO2-induced", or "global-warming"). It is a weasel-way of dodging the facts while at the same time leaving one's options open.

If you believe in global-warming... fine. If you believe that global-warming is man-made... fine. If you believe that CO2 drives global-warming... fine. Then just SAY that. And then PROVE it. And then take your lumps if the facts don't support your beliefs. But if things aren't going your way, don't try to change the argument, or the vocabulary, or the facts. That's not what scientists do. Scientists establish facts. Media outlets produce hype. And politicians create "spin". We need to hear more from the scientists and less from the media and the politicians.

April 13, 2008

Marine Humor in Iraq

Hat-tip to 'Brain-Terminal':

The apparent lack of fighting in at least one part of Iraq leads to a pretty funny conversation between a Marine and an Iraqi Taxi driver...

April 11, 2008

'View' Celebrates 3 Years

Happy Birthday to View From Above! Celebrating its third year in publication, the blog proprietor Mr. Eye® would like to thank all of its many readers for their words of encouragement (or disdain, as the case may be). Here's hoping that in the year ahead, I may continue to entertain, amuse, inspire, challenge, provoke, befuddle, and/or irritate you... just so long as you provide comments (it let's me know there's someone alive out there).

Thanks for "Viewing".

April 02, 2008

Global Warming News - Mar 2008

Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics

Hopes of an end to winter and the arrival of spring as March got under way, were dashed in Northern Ireland as a sharp cold snap hit during the first week of the month. Severe weather and heavy snow accompanied plummeting temperatures.

Tulloch, Scotland - Mar 3

In Scotland, the wintry weather hit the country in the early hours of March 3rd, with blizzard conditions reported, particularly in the west. Snow affected Argyll, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, along with parts of the north west Highlands and the Western Isles. Police issued safety warnings to motorists about the poor conditions.

During the same period, the rest of Europe faced storms that were characterized by high winds -- in some cases at hurricane-strength. The death toll rose to 10 as people were killed by falling objects. Two were killed in Poland, where winds reached 60 MPH. Two were killed in Germany, and another two in the Czech Republic. Four were killed in Austria, where wind gusts were clocked as high as 100 MPH.

Cairngorm, Scotland, mid-March

In general, March weather in Europe was milder than normal. This was due to an area of high pressure which persisted over the continent throughout most of the month. The unusual weather pattern is believed to have contributed in part to the unusually bad weather in China. NOAA is investigating the phenomenon. Despite the mild weather however, wind storms pummeled the UK, Ireland and Scotland at least two more times during the month, with snow being reported in the northerly areas and higher elevations.

The surprise came at the end of the month, when an "arctic blast" dropped temperatures on March 22nd. With gusts reaching as high as 60mph and snow settling in parts of the country, forecasters described the conditions as "unseasonably" cold and windy. Heavy snowfalls and icy temperatures over the Easter weekend forced the Queen to abandon her usual Sunday service walkabout.

Easter morning - Leeds, UK

The bad weather also triggered an overnight rescue on Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain. A Belgian skipper was lost overboard from his trawler in the Channel as gales and sleet swept in from the Atlantic, and drivers were warned to travel as little as possible in north-east England, North Yorkshire and the Peak District. Major routes including the trans-Pennine A66 were closed for two nights running and faced further disruption from snow (when the article was written). The Easter snow arrived "really suddenly", according to North Yorkshire police. A spokesman for the force said that conditions rapidly became "horrendous - the worst I can remember for a long time".

Three walkers attempting the Three Peaks charity challenge - climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours - were helped down from Scafell Pike in the Lake District after sending a distress call at 4am. Volunteers from Wasdale mountain rescue team found the group trying to shelter from heavy snowfall high on the 978-metre (3,209ft) mountain. The trio were brought down safe and well. Rescuers had to be rescued themselves in Cumbria, where two ambulances were freed by mountain rescue teams from roads blocked by snowdrifts near Sedbergh. High winds added to the weekend's wintery feel, with gusts of between 40mph and 50mph across much of Britain, reaching a peak of 60mph recorded at Berry Head in south Devon. Temperatures dropped to a low of 4C, compared with an average of 7-11C at this time of the year.

Snowy fields following UK Easter snowfall

At the beginning of March, the Afghan winter toll was finally becoming known. Almost 2,000 people had been killed from the unprecedented severe cold weather since December. Most of the roads to remote areas were still cut off by avalanches from the mountains, especially in the central, north-eastern and western provinces of Afghanistan. Cattle were not spared either as almost 235,000 succumbed to the severe winter. [Editor's Note: Other sources report as many as 316,000 livestock deaths.]

"Many villages have been destroyed under the mountain of snow," said Abdullah Shariat Kakar, an Afghan diplomat in Kuala Lumpur. About 300 people, including 90 in western Afghanistan, had their limbs amputated due to frostbite. "The victims of frostbite are increasing every day and most have had their fingers and toes amputated," Abdullah said.

Afghan child suffering from frostbite

"In my living memory, I’ve never seen such a destructive freezing, snowing winter," said the 52-year-old Abdullah. The situation was made worse by high prices for food and basic items in local markets. Abdullah hoped the Muslims would join hands to assist the affected Afghans who were in dire need of basic humanitarian aid such as tents, foodstuff, winter clothing, medicine and blankets.

The country began bracing for the coming of spring and the danger of severe flooding with the melting of snow. Preparations were underway to head off the worst with more than 540,000 sandbags and thousands of other barriers brought to the affected areas to provide protection to vulnerable communities, although this was difficult as some areas could not be reached until after the snow began to melt.

According to a BBC article dated March 9th, the UK pledged £3million for Afghan food aid to help meet growing food shortages in Afghanistan. The money was to be given to a joint United Nations and Afghan government appeal for £40m in food aid. The International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said, "Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, and least able to cope with spiralling food prices combined with severe winter weather." Fortunately, temperatures moderated later in the month.

Bad news continued to come out of China, where the winter weather has been called "a calamity" by the Chinese government. In southeastern China's worst winter in 5 decades, nearly a tenth of China's forests were seriously damaged by the weather. The following excerpts from the journal SCIENCE, dated March 7th, were found HERE.

From delicate orchids and magnolias to rare Chinese yews and Kwangtung pines, the flora of Guangdong Nanling National Nature Reserve is considered so precious that ecologists call the reserve "a treasure trove of species." But winter storms have reduced the biological hot spot to a splintered ruin. Snow, sleet, and ice laid waste to 90% of the 58,000-hectare reserve's forests, says He Kejun, director of the Guangdong Forestry Administration in Guangzhou.

Nanling Reserve is one of scores of fragile ecosystems, from Anhui Province in the east to Guangdong Province in the south, that took a beating from storms in late January and early February that set records for snowfall and low temperatures in some areas. Last week, China's State Forestry Administration (SFA) announced that the storms damaged 20.86 million hectares - one-tenth of China's forests and plantations - roughly equivalent to the number of hectares that were reforested between 2003 and 2006. SFA pegs the losses at $8 billion. "The severe storms did a massive amount of harm," says Li Jianqiang, a plant taxonomist at Wuhan Botanical Garden. "This scale of damage has never happened before." He Kejun and others say it will take decades for the hardest-hit ecosystems to recover. The ecological and economic toll rivals that of the devastating floods along the Yangtze River in 1998 that inundated 25 million hectares of farmland...

In southeastern China's worst winter in 5 decades, snow and ice knocked out power and paralyzed roads and rail lines at the height of the year’s busiest travel season - the Spring Festival, when many Chinese return to their hometowns. The storms pummeled 21 of 33 provinces and regions, claiming 129 lives. Some 485,000 homes were destroyed and another 1.6 million damaged, displacing nearly 1.7 million people, according to central government statistics. Agriculture officials estimate that 69 million livestock - mostly chickens and ducks - froze to death. Storm-related losses exceed $21 billion.

Meanwhile, outside the spotlight, an ecological calamity was unfolding. In Jiangxi Province, for example, entire bamboo forests were reduced to matchsticks. Exotic species were harmed more than native species... In northern Guangdong Province, plantations of slash pine (Pinus elliottii), an import from the southern United States, splintered under wet snow... Nanling's entire forest between 500 meters and 1300 meters in elevation was wiped out... Nanling Reserve is one of scores that took a beating from storms... In Guangdong, officials estimate that more than 700,000 hectares of forest and plantations are damaged severely... Other provinces enduring extensive forest damage are Anhui, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, and Sichuan.

United States:
In Minnesota, March began with temperatures above the freezing mark, but the cold air that was in place since late January settled back in, dropping temperatures to below average. Lows were in the single digits and highs were in the upper teens and low 20s during the first week of March. The average high for that time of year is 34 degrees and the average low is 18 degrees.

In Michigan, snow was reported at the end of the month. See pictures taken on March 23rd and March 28th...

Easter Bunny - Vicksburg, MI - Mar 23

Battle Creek, MI - Mar 28

According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Assoication (NOAA), 2007-2008 was the coolest winter in 7 years for the U.S. The average temperature across the contiguous U.S. during climatological winter (December 2007-February 2008) was the coolest since 2001, according to scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. In the contiguous United States, the average winter temperature was 33.2°F (0.6°C), which was 0.2°F (0.1°C) above the 20th century average - yet still ranks as the coolest since 2001. It was the 54th coolest winter since national records began in 1895.

In terms of winter precipitation, Pacific storms, bringing heavy precipitation to large parts of the West, produced high snowpack that will provide welcome runoff this spring. Winter precipitation was much above average from the Midwest to parts of the West, notably Kansas, Colorado and Utah. During January alone, 170 inches of snow fell at the Alta ski area near Salt Lake City, Utah, more than twice the normal amount for the month, eclipsing the previous record of 168 inches that fell in 1967. At the end of February, seasonal precipitation for the 2008 Water Year, which began on October 1, 2007, was well above average over much of the West. Mountain snowpack exceeded 150 percent of average in large parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon at the end of February.

Record February precipitation in the Northeast helped make the winter the fifth wettest on record for the region. New York had its wettest winter, while Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, and Colorado to the West, had their second wettest. Snowfall was above normal in northern New England, where some locations posted all-time record winter snow totals. Concord, NH, received 100.1 inches, which was 22.1 inches above the previous record set during the winter of 1886-87. Burlington, VT, received 103.2 inches, which was 6.3 inches above the previous record set during the winter of 1970-71.

According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Assoication (NOAA), 2007-2008 was the coolest winter in 7 years for the
entire planet. The presence of a moderate-to-strong La Niña contributed to an average global temperature that was the coolest since the La Niña episode of 2000-2001. While analyses of the causes of the severe winter storms in southern China continues, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory scientists are focusing on the presence of unusually strong, persistent high pressure over Eastern Europe, combined with low pressure over Southwest Asia. This pattern directed a series of storms across the region, while northerly low level flow introduced cold air from Mongolia. Record Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in January was followed by above average snow cover for the month of February.

Scientific Opinion:
Prominent hurricane forecaster Dr. William M. Gray, a professor at Colorado State University, told the audience at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change on March 4th in New York that a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures related to the salinity (the amount of salt) in ocean water was responsible for some global warming that has taken place. However, he said that same cycle means a period of global cooling would begin within 10 years.

Dr. William M. Gray

"We should begin to see cooling coming on," Gray said. "I'm willing to make a big financial bet on it. In 10 years, I expect the globe to be somewhat cooler than it is now, because this ocean effect will dominate over the human-induced CO2 effect and I believe the solar effect and the land-use effect. I think this is likely bigger."

Gray criticized NASA scientist and global warming alarmist James Hansen, calling him "the most egregious abuser" of data. According to Gray, Hansen's alarmism is exaggerated because the models he uses to predict the increase in global warming count on too much water vapor in the atmosphere.

On March 14th, John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel said he wanted to sue Al Gore for fraud, hoping that a legal case will settle the global-warming debate once and for all. Coleman, who founded the cable network in 1982, suggests suing proponents of global warming for fraud, including Al Gore, and companies that sell carbon credits. "Is he committing financial fraud? That is the question," Coleman said. Coleman has long been a skeptic of global warming, and carbon dioxide is the linchpin to his argument. "Does carbon dioxide cause a warming of the atmosphere? The proponents of global warming pin their whole piece on that," he said.

Since we can't get a debate, I thought perhaps if we had a legal challenge and went into a court of law, where it was our scientists and their scientists, and all the legal proceedings with the discovery and all their documents from both sides and scientific testimony from both sides, we could finally get a good solid debate on the issue... I'm confident that the advocates of 'no significant effect from carbon dioxide' would win the case.

Duffy & Marohasy
And according to Jennifer Marohasy, a biologist and senior fellow of Australia's Melbourne-based think tank - the Institute of Public Affairs - global warming has either plateaued or declined, depending on your point of reference. She was interviewed on March 17th by Michael Duffy, co-host of 'Counterpoint', on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio National. Here is an excerpt...

Duffy: "Is the Earth still warming?"

Marohasy: "No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you'd expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years."

Duffy: "Is this a matter of any controversy?"

Marohasy: "Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. He talks about the apparent plateau in temperatures so far this century. So he recognises that in this century, over the past eight years, temperatures have plateaued... This is not what you'd expect, as I said, because if carbon dioxide is driving temperature then you'd expect that, given carbon dioxide levels have been continuing to increase, temperatures should be going up... So (it's) very unexpected, not something that's being discussed..."

Read more HERE.