Global Warming News - March 2009
Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics
March came in like a lion... and went out like a lion. In between, it wasn't too bad. The NOAA said that the average temperature for March in the contiguous United States ranked near average. It was the 63rd warmest March out of 113 years since record-keeping began in the United States in 1895. The average temperature for March was 42°F, which was 0.4°F below the 20th century mean.
On Monday, March 2nd, more than 2,000 clean-energy activists converged at a coal-fired power plant on Capitol Hill for a protest they billed as the largest display of civil disobedience on the climate crisis in U.S. history. Willing to be arrested for their cause, they encircled and blocked entrances to the plant, which powers the U.S. Capitol and House and Senate office buildings. Organized by Capitol Climate Action, the protest to fight climate change came with the inopportune backdrop of the city's worst snowstorm of the year and below-freezing temperatures.
D.C. Global-Warming Protest - Mar 2.
Parts of the Northeast United States faced freezing temps on Tuesday, March 3rd, a day after a winter storm clogged roadways, cut electricity and dumped as much as 15 inches of snow. Snow storm advisories were lifted, but parts of of New York and Pennsylvania were still placed under wind-chill advisories, which means winds and low temperatures could put exposed skin at risk for frostbite. Parts of New England received as much as 15 inches of snow as the late winter storm churned its way up the Eastern Seaboard. Earlier, the storm had dumped up to 11 inches of snow in parts of the Carolinas. Commuters in Washington, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, struggled Monday with blowing and drifting snow, freezing temperatures, gusty winds and periods of sleet and freezing rain. In New York City, schools were closed for the first snow day in five years.
Snow Day in NYC - Mar 2.
In the last week of March, two major snow storms wreaked havoc across the Plains States. As the first of the spring blizzards hit the Texas Panhandle, it caused numerous accidents, shutting down major highways and paralyzing the region as residents braced for up to a foot of snow, freezing 45-mph winds, and massive snowdrifts. The blizzard was part of a storm system that extended across the Southern High Plains, including eastern New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma. About 1 million people were affected, including some 400,000 Texans. The weather left hundreds of travelers stranded in Colorado and knocked out power in Oklahoma.
The storm system moved into the region late Thursday, March 26th and by early Friday, officials had closed Interstate 40 east and west of Amarillo and U.S. 287 north of the city early Friday. All major highways around Dalhart in the northwest corner of the Panhandle were also closed. The National Guard was placed on alert to help any blizzard-stranded motorists, a DPS dispatcher in Amarillo said. Schools and businesses were shutting down in the Texas Panhandle, and most flights were canceled at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport on Friday. Visibility was limited, especially in flat, open fields and agricultural areas with no houses to restrict the horizontally moving snow and biting winds. The National Weather Service was predicting snowfall in Texas of up to a foot and winds gusting to more than 45 mph that could lead to snowdrifts of up to 11 feet.
On March 28th, the snow storm buried parts of Kansas under more than two feet of snow. The storm knocked out power to more than 17,000 customers. The same storm also dumped heavy snow on parts of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. The National Weather Service said the heaviest snow in Kansas by Saturday morning was 28 inches around the Pratt area. Other areas of Kansas reported snow drifts up to six feet high. Some areas were dealing with freezing rain that coated power lines and trees with ice up to an inch thick.
Gym roof collapse, Fort Supply, OK - Mar 28.
In Oklahoma, heavy snow damaged several roofs. The Woodward area received an estimated 18 to 25 inches of snow. The roof at Merriman’s, a furniture store southeast of Woodward, collapsed as did the roof of an oil field service company on 19th and Main in Woodward, the Woodward News reported. In Buffalo, emergency management officials said Grace Living Center, a nursing home, had to be evacuated after the roof collapsed, according to the newspaper. Residents were moved to Harper County Community Hospital. In Fort Supply, the roof of the school gym collapsed. Woods County Commissioner Clint Strawn said the beef building at the fairgrounds in Alva suffered some damage from heavy snow and the roof of the senior citizen center, also in Alva, was leaking following the storm.
Oil services roof collapse, Woodward, OK - March 28.
Waynoka Mayor Pat Smiley said snow damaged some building awnings, windows and several small carports. She said heavy snowfall kept one city worker clearing roads from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. He also worked eight hours Sunday clearing roads. “One of our workers was out 15 hours Saturday doing roads all day just trying to get people where they could get in and out of their houses,” she said. “We were at a standstill.”
On Sunday, March 29th, an employee at the Central Christian School in Hutchinson Kansas, discovered that a portion of the roof had collapsed under the weight of at least six feet of snow. Approximately 1500 square feet of roof (an area about 30' by 50') collapsed into the cafeteria. Blowing snow from an upper roof onto the lower roof over the cafeteria caused excessive drifts. Classes were canceled until at least Wednesday.
North Dakota snow - Mar 30.
On March 30th, a second snow storm "hammered" the plains states dumping in some places more than a foot of snow. The storm closed hundreds of miles of highway, closed schools and offices, and caused at least 5 deaths. The National Weather Service posted blizzard warnings across sections of the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana. It said more than 16 inches of snow had fallen by early Monday night in the Bismarck area, only about 2 inches away from tying the winter record of 101.06 inches set during the winter of 1996-1997. The National Weather Service said Glen Ullin, North Dakota got 22 inches. The weather service was forecasting 20 to 30 inches of snow in South Dakota's rugged Black Hills, where the former gold mining town of Lead recorded 43 inches in the March 23-24 storm. Since autumn, Lead had 218 inches of snow.
Interstate 94 was closed for about 140 miles from Bismarck west to Dickinson on Sunday night until late Monday afternoon. South Dakota shut down 192 miles of I-90 from Murdo to the Wyoming state line, and parts of the highway also were blocked in Wyoming, highway officials said. Interstate 80 was closed around Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Monday afternoon. In Sheridan Wyoming, winds gusted to 50 mph, creating snowdrifts up to 6 feet. To the southeast, trucker Allen Harrell was stranded in Gillette. "It's a wet, icy snow and it's just sticking to everything," he said. The storm was blamed for an 18-vehicle pileup Monday in Colorado on eastbound I-76 about 30 miles northeast of Denver, and for a pileup that temporarily closed a section of westbound I-70 about 40 miles east of Denver.
Bismarck, ND - March 30.
In Bismarck, residents were beginning to say that they are sick of the snow! Complaining about the most recent foot of snow they received, Brad Feldman at KMMB-TV talked with people who were "ready to help Mother Nature pack her bags". Resident Greg Gruidl told Feldman: "I got to put it in words I can put on television... Its getting old." Len Beckler told Feldman: "I tell you what, one more year of this I am seriously considering moving somewhere south where it is a little bit warmer." See video HERE.
The ski season got off to a slow start, but the snow kept on coming in the Cascades. Another winter storm hit the Cascades on the night of March 30th into the 31st. Heavy snow pummeled the passes and peaks. An additional 1' to 2' of powder blanketed the high country from 2,000' on up, making for excellent spring skiing conditions.
Spokane Washington had its snowiest winter ever. The National Weather Service said that the four new inches that fell on Sunday, March 29th either tied or pushed the city past a 59-year-old record. Several other Northwest cities were also above average for snowfall. More than 93 inches of snow fell on Spokane this winter. About 60 of that came in December, when the city set a monthly record. More than 23 inches had fallen on Seattle, making it one of the snowiest winters in the city’s history. But that’s still less than the all-time record for a Seattle winter. Boise recorded a monthly snowfall record in December. Pendleton and Lewiston also had above average snowfall this season.
In Utah, 3 snow storms in 8 days dumped over seven feet of snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon at the end of March. Alta and Snowbird seemed to be acting like a snow magnet, drawing the Lake Effect snows the most, although other high bench areas were also hit extremely hard. Alta had roughly 90" of snow on the ground, after getting 22" in the first storm, then 39" in the second, and then another 22" on March 30th. Skiers who did not keep up their speed were seen disappearing in the powder, making skiing difficult even for the powder-hungry experts. Although Park City was sheltered by the mountains from some of the snow, nearby Parley's canyon, which includes I-80, picked up over 3 feet during the same 8 days.
On March 31st, Canada's CBC was reporting that Prince Edward Island was hit with its second snowstorm since the beginning of spring. About 1,000 customers on P.E.I. were without power even though the snowstorm that closed schools for two days in a row came to an end that morning. Outages were reported in Charlottetown along Kensington Road and on Souris Road in the eastern end of the province. Toward Summerside, some customers in the Bedeque area were also without power. "We are experiencing windy conditions and we are experiencing snow on lines," said Jim Coyle of Maritime Electric. The thick layer of heavy snow closed schools for the second day in a row, and government offices had delayed openings on Tuesday. The snow began in the western part of the province on Monday morning, hit Charlottetown in the early afternoon and continued right through the night. Twenty-two centimetres of snow were recorded in Charlottetown Monday, with more falling on Tuesday morning.
Snow P.E.I. - Mar 31.
On March 10th, drivers in parts of southern and central Sweden were surprised by heavy snow, causing more than 100 accidents in Stockholm county alone. Road conditions remained slick overnight in large parts of the country as motorists braced for another harrowing commute on Wednesday morning. Thick snow cover and icy roads caused traffic problems across Sweden throughout the day on Tuesday. Around 10pm, a truck skidded off the E20 motorway near Gröndal in Södermanland in south central Sweden. No injuries were reported, however. “Westbound traffic has come to a complete stop. We’ve had to direct traffic ourselves,” said Hans-Erik Åkerlund of the Södermanland police to the TT news agency. According to Åkerlund, there were around 20 accidents during the evening, but no reports of any serious injuries. Drivers in the Stockholm area struggled with difficult road conditions as well on Tuesday.
“From six in the morning until now we’ve had 108 accidents,” said Stockholm police spokesperson Thomas Johansson to TT around 9pm on Tuesday. A violent crash between two cars occurred at 4pm in Hallstavik north of Norrtälje in eastern Sweden, claiming the life of an older man. According to police, however, most of Tuesday's accidents did not involve serious injuries. In Västmanland in central Sweden slippery roads caused a number of accidents on Tuesday evening. “It’s getting worse and worse. Just now we’ve had ten [accidents] in a short period of time,” said Maria Rupla of the Västerås police to TT. Rupla added, however, that police hadn’t received any reports of serious injuries. “It’s been snowing all day and it seems to be extremely slick out there, so we’re urging people to drive carefully, or not to drive at all,” she said. Slippery roads also caused a number of accidents further west in Örebro.
On Monday, March 30th, the snow-covered body of a Turkish journalist was found where he had died after a helicopter crash 5 days earlier. Ismail Gunes, the only survivor of the six people aboard the helicopter, had called an emergency hot line on his cell phone, begging for rescue in the bitter cold until the cell phone lost power. He said he was wedged in the wreckage with a badly broken foot, was freezing and that all other passengers seemed to be dead. Gunes, a 34-year-old cameraman, eventually freed himself from the wreckage and used a piece from the helicopter as a sled to reach a safer place, rescue workers said. "He was found between two rocks. He probably could not be seen earlier because he was covered with snow," said Orhan Sali, his colleague from the IHA news agency.
Thousands of rescue workers had battled snowstorms and fog in an ill-fated effort to find the wreckage without knowing its exact location in a mountainous area of 12 square miles (30 square kilometers) in central Turkey. "There's snow everywhere, there's fog. There's fog everywhere," Gunes told the emergency operator who asked what he saw around him during their recorded telephone conversation. The conversation was later broadcast on television stations in Turkey. The bodies of the five others, including a political party leader, were recovered Saturday, March 28th. A small rescue party kept looking for Gunes and eventually found his body just hundreds of yards (meters) away from the wreckage.
700 Scientists Dissent Over AGW: In December 2008, a Senate Minority report listed the names and comments of 650 international scientists who dissent against the claims of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). An additional 59 scientists have been added to the report bringing the total to over 700. This group of dissenters is now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.
The increasing number of skeptical scientific voices is accelerating unabated in 2009. A March 14, 2009 article in the Australian revealed that Japanese scientists are now at the forefront of rejecting man-made climate fears prompted by the UN IPCC. Prominent Japanese Geologist Dr. Shigenori Maruyama, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who has authored more than 125 scientific publications, said in March 2009 that "there was widespread skepticism among his colleagues about the IPCC's fourth and latest assessment report.
"I do not find the supposed scientific consensus among my colleagues," noted Earth Scientist Dr. Javier Cuadros on March 3, 2009. Cuadros is of the UK Natural History Museum, who specializes in Clay Mineralogy and has published more than 30 scientific papers. Award-Winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Robert H. Austin, who has published 170 scientific papers, was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences lamented the current fears over global warming. "Unfortunately, Climate Science has become Political Science...It is tragic that some perhaps well-meaning but politically motivated scientists who should know better have whipped up a global frenzy about a phenomena which is statistically questionable at best," Austin told the minority staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee on March 2, 2009.
Climate Confounds Scientists: At the WattsUpWithThat Blog, Steven Goddard posted a guest article which suggests that climate scientists are having a hard time coming to grips with current cooling trend. He quotes Isaac Held of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Princeton, NJ who said, "It is possible that a fraction of the most recent rapid warming since the 1970’s was due to a free variation in climate. Suggesting that the warming might possibly slow down or even stagnate for a few years before rapid warming commences again.”
He also quotes an MSNBC/Discovery story by Michael Reilly who writes...
Earth's climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat. "This is nothing like anything we've seen since 1950," Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said. "Cooling events since then had firm causes, like eruptions or large-magnitude La Ninas. This current cooling doesn't have one."
...Swanson said the overall trend is flat, even though temperatures should have gone up by 0.2 degrees Centigrade (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) during that time... But just what's causing the cooling is a mystery. Sinking water currents in the north Atlantic Ocean could be sucking heat down into the depths. Or an overabundance of tropical clouds may be reflecting more of the sun's energy than usual back out into space... Swanson thinks the trend could continue for up to 30 years.
--Michael Reilly, Warming Might Be On Hold, Study Finds, 2 March 2009
And yet, despite the fact that these climate scientists are "confounded" about the causes and processes of global-warming, politicians continue preparing to wreck the U.S. economy with a carbon tax "cap and trade" system. Simply unbelievable.
Global Hurricane Activity Hits 30-Year Low: Ryan N. Maue, doctoral candidate at the Florida State University COAPS (Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies), posted a guest article at ClimateAudit.org, in which he revealed that global hurricane activity has decreased to the lowest level in 30 years.
Using a well-accepted metric called the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index or ACE for short (Bell and Chelliah 2006), which has been used by Klotzbach (2006) and Emanuel (2005) (PDI is analogous to ACE), and most recently by myself in Maue (2009), simple analysis shows that 24-month running sums of global ACE or hurricane energy have plummeted to levels not seen in 30 years. Why use 24-month running sums instead of simply yearly values? Since a primary driver of the Earth's climate from year to year is the El Nino Southern Oscillation, (ENSO) acts on time scales on the order of 2-7 years, and the fact that the bulk of the Southern Hemisphere hurricane season occurs from October - March, a reasonable interpretation of global hurricane activity requires a better metric than simply calendar year totals...
Why the record low ACE? ...All of these numbers tell a very simple story: just as there are active periods of hurricane activity around the globe, there are inactive periods, and we are currently experiencing one of the most impressive inactive periods, now for almost 3 years. --Ryan N. Maue, Great Depression! Global Hurricane Activity Reaches New Lows, 12 March 2009
Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy (Click to enlarge)
Chaos Theory Explains Temperature Shifts: A new study by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee could turn the climate change world upside down. Scientists at the university used a math application known as synchronized chaos and applied it to climate data taken over the past 100 years. "Imagine that you have four synchronized swimmers and they are not holding hands and they do their program and everything is fine; now, if they begin to hold hands and hold hands tightly, most likely a slight error will destroy the synchronization. Well, we applied the same analogy to climate," researcher Dr. Anastasios Tsonis said.
Scientists said that the air and ocean systems of the earth are now showing signs of synchronizing with each other. Eventually, the systems begin to couple and the synchronous state is destroyed, leading to a climate shift. "In climate, when this happens, the climate state changes. You go from a cooling regime to a warming regime or a warming regime to a cooling regime. This way we were able to explain all the fluctuations in the global temperature trend in the past century," Tsonis said. "The research team has found the warming trend of the past 30 years has stopped and in fact global temperatures have leveled off since 2001."
The most recent climate shift probably occurred at about the year 2000. Now the question is how has warming slowed and how much influence does human activity have? "But if we don't understand what is natural, I don't think we can say much about what the humans are doing. So our interest is to understand -- first the natural variability of climate -- and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural," Tsonis said. Tsonis said he thinks the current trend of steady or even cooling earth temps may last a couple of decades or until the next climate shift occurs.
International Conference on Climate Change: The Heartland Institute sponsored its second International Conference on Climate Change. The conference ran from March 8th through the 10th. The theme of the conference was "Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis?" According to the Heartland Institute: "The answer was a resounding 'No'." More than 75 papers and keynote addresses were presented by some of the world's leading climatologists, economists, policy makers, and opinion leaders. You can access videos, audios, and PowerPoint presentations of the proceedings HERE.
The Heartland Institute describes itself at their website, as "a national nonprofit research and education organization, tax exempt under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, and founded in Chicago in 1984. It is not affiliated with any political party, business, or foundation. Heartland's mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems."
A review of the proceedings at the link above, reveals a fairly balanced program which devoted a significant portion of the conference to scientific presentations, with a nearly equal portion devoted to economic and political presentations. It was very difficult therefore, to decide whether to place this story under the category of "Scientific Opinion" or "Political Opinion". In the end, I opted for "Political Opinion" because the Heartland Institute, although not affiliated with any political party, is clearly attempting to affect government policy which appears to be moving in the direction of a Cap and Trade scheme.
To be fair to the Heartland Institute, the entire global warming debate is nothing less than a political issue. Global warming alarmists use faulty science, faulty computer models, and faulty assumptions to arrive at faulty conclusions about the causes, mechanisms, projections and consequences of global warming. Their government-mandated "solutions" are nothing less than a power grab aimed at taxing hard-working Americans into oblivion so they can re-distribute wealth and further consolidate their power. Vaclav Klaus was a speaker at the conference. Here is what he had to say on the subject...
It is evident that the environmentalists don’t want to change the climate. They want to change us and our behavior. Their ambition is to control and manipulate us.
Therefore, it shouldn't be suprising that they recommend preventive, not adaptive, policies. Adaptation would be a voluntary behavior - our voluntary behavior - which is not what they aim at. They do not want to recognize that the capacity to adapt is arguably the most fundamental characteristic of mankind, and our adaptive capacity is increasing all the time with the development of technology.
The environmentalists speak about saving the planet. We have to ask: from what, and from whom? One thing I know for sure, we have to save it - and us - from them.
--Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, International Conference on Climate Change, 8 March 2009
Senators Refuse To Accept Evidence: Democratic senators told CNSNews in March that despite a recent study that shows global temperatures have been dropping since 2001 and that projects the globe will continue to cool for the next several decades, they think the United States should continue to push forward with aggressive action to curb climate change. The study, released on January 28th by Kyle L. Swanson and Anastasios A. Tsonis, who are professors in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, found that the Earth has been cooling since 2001 and projected that due to “global variation” the climate would continue to cool for the next 20 to 30 years.
Ron Wyden (left) - Debbie Stabenow (right)
“I think there is a bipartisan consensus in the Senate that the science is in,” said Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, when asked if the government should implement new policies to apparently combat global warming despite the new study. “This is a very real problem. Now the debate is on the remedies -- but the science is in.”
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), also dismissed the study’s findings and said she thinks the debate is settled. “I don’t know what to make of them,” said Stabenow when asked about the study’s findings. “But climate change is not just about temperatures going up. It’s also about volatility. So, I don’t know. But, overwhelmingly, scientists agree that the climate is becoming more volatile and that climate change is real,” she said.
Thus, it would appear that these Democratic senators, among others, are either: a) ignorant of the real scientific facts, b) politically motivated, or c) intellectually challenged. I suspect that it is probably a combination of b) and c). The Democrats in Congress want to impose a 'cap and trade' program on Americans which is nothing less than a carbon tax that will raise hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue for the government at the expense of the taxpayer. It is a move that, if enacted, will negatively impact the economy at a time when we are struggling to find the bottom of our currrent recession. It could turn a recession into a depression. The attitude of such senators seems to be: "Don't confuse me with facts. Damn the science... full speed ahead."