Is this year what we can expect?

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:38 PM GMT on August 03, 2011

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Is this year what we can expect?

In recent weeks a question I have been asked often, “is this year, the last couple of years, like what we can expect in the future?” The question is often asked quietly, perhaps by a planner, say, someone worried about water in their city. The question follows from not only a perception that the weather is getting “weird,”, but also some small aspect of experience in their job. For example, a water manager recently said they were seeing their local river showing a distinct change to sporadically high flow in the winter, smaller spring flows, and extremely small flow late in the summer. Is this what I should expect in the future? The short answer is yes.

This question of expectation has rolled around in my head for years. I am a gardener with aspirations for small farmer. Over the last 30 years, I have definitely pushed my planting earlier in the year. When I was in Maryland, I felt wet, cool Mays were becoming the “norm,” with my tomatoes sitting in sodden soil. At the same time I would recall plots I had seen in some recent presentation that showed modeled shifts in the warm-cold patterns suggesting springtime cooling in northeastern North America. These are the sorts of casual correlations that lead people to think are we seeing a new “normal.”

In 2008 I wrote a blog about the changes in the hardiness zones that are reported on the back of seed packages. These are the maps that tell us the last frost date, and there were big changes between 1990 and 2006. These changes in the seed packets caught the attention of a lot of people. Recently, NOAA published the “new normal.” This normal relies on the definition of climate as a 30 year average. (AMS Glossary) What was done - at the completion of the decade NOAA recalculated a 30 year average. That is, 1981-2010 rather than 1971-2000. This average changed a lot, with notable warming of nighttime minima. There was some regional reduction of summertime maxima; that is, cooling. All in all, the average temperature went up, with most of the increase in nighttime minimum, a fact that is consistent with both model simulations and fundamental physics. This also came with another update of those hardiness zones.

When trying to interpret climate information and determining how has climate changed and how will it change, the combination of observations, fundamental physics, and models provide three sources of information. The combination of this information and the determination of the quality of that information is subject to interpretation. In the case of determining whether or not we are already experiencing the climate of warming world and how that change will be realized in the next decades it depends on how we use the models.

In my previous entry on heat waves, I implied how to use these pieces of information together. There are fundamental physics in the relationship between temperature and moisture in the air; hot air holds more water; warm water evaporates more quickly. The question of the model is - how well does the model represent the movement of that moisture? For the heat wave example, it is important how well do the models represent persistent high pressure systems over North America in the summer? Are these high pressure systems represented well by the models for the right reasons? The answer to the model question has a range of answers. The model does represent these systems, but if you are an expert in summertime persistent high pressure systems, then you can provide a long list of inadequacies. How can we glean information about the quality of the model? If we look at weather models, then we were able to predict the heat wave – even with the inadequacies that the expert or skeptic can list. Returning to the climate model, do we see like events in the current climate, and do these events change as the planet warms? The answer is yes. Then can we use this to guide our development of plans to adapt to climate change? The answer is yes, if we can connect the model back to data and the fundamental physics. This does become a matter of interpretation – how strong or weak is that connection?

The more I work with planners the more I hear the need for interpretive information, expert guidance, advisories about climate and climate change. People start with the notion that they want digital data from climate models that looks like current weather data. Once presented with 1) the logistical challenges of using that data, 2) the complex nature of the uncertainties associated with that data, and 3) the relative importance of climate to other parts of their decision package – once presented with these facts, they move to the need for advice. This makes sense - most of us want a narrative weather forecast, rather than model output. And the models play the same role in the use of weather forecasts as they do in climate projection. The models guide our thinking, with the ultimate forecast based on that guidance refined by observations and fundamental physics.

This entry started with the question I hear more and more – is this year what we can expect more of in the future? I have a mantra which is that on average the surface of the Earth will warm, ice will melt, sea level will rise, and the weather will change. What we are seeing here is weather changing in a warming, more energy laden, environment. The extraordinary extremes that we have seen in the last year and are seeing this year are quite solidly connected to both fundamental physics and the guidance from climate and weather models. Hence, my answer, as I walk around my garden, thinking how to get better tomatoes next year, thinking about my irrigation system in my doddering retirement, is yes, what we are seeing this year tells me about what to expect in a future that is relevant to me - not something far off.

r

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Quoting theshepherd:


They left the site.

I scored pretty good in body language and "speech patterns".

:)


Ya know of all the non-verbal communication classes I have taken over the years, none of them covered Beerception! That must be my problem after taking a 600+ point beating on my now 301k today (☼¿☼)
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Quoting sullivanweather:
Neapolitan,

That's an incredible stat for Oklahoma. I was expecting them to come in close to their hottest on record but to go into hottest ever statewide monthly average is historical by any metric.

As noted in the previous blog, this heatwave will be noted for the high humidity which accompanied it, likely making for a shattering of the record high minimum temperatures and a top 5 high max temperature yielding the new record mean for Oklahoma. Every event has its own characteristics. The monthly average temperature came in at 77.0°F for the US as a whole, or 4th place; top 5, as I said a case will need to be made for. The summer thus far (June-July) is tied for 6th.

What the stats show is that this heatwave is severe, right around a top 5, but not the worst ever. Even when August gets added into the summer average it won't be. We're about a half degree behind 1936/2006 and August thus far doesn't seem to be making a run at that record.



Are you an August denialist? lol

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The average U.S. temperature in July was 77.0 degrees F, which is 2.7 degrees F above the long-term (1901-2000) average. Precipitation, averaged across the nation, was 2.46 inches. This was 0.32 inch below the long-term average, with large variability between regions. This monthly analysis, based on records dating back to 1895, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides.


Link
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Neapolitan,

That's an incredible stat for Oklahoma. I was expecting them to come in close to their hottest on record but to go into hottest ever statewide monthly average is historical by any metric.

As noted in the previous blog, this heatwave will be noted for the high humidity which accompanied it, likely making for a shattering of the record high minimum temperatures and a top 5 high max temperature yielding the new record mean for Oklahoma. Every event has its own characteristics. The monthly average temperature came in at 77.0°F for the US as a whole, or 4th place; top 5, as I said a case will need to be made for. The summer thus far (June-July) is tied for 6th.

What the stats show is that this heatwave is severe, right around a top 5, but not the worst ever. Even when August gets added into the summer average it won't be. We're about a half degree behind 1936/2006 and August thus far doesn't seem to be making a run at that record.

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They left by being PERMA-Banned as in being removed from the server head and directory.

That's Worse than Purgatory.

Wu nether Land
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Quoting Ossqss:



Do you think they left the site or just the handle ? :)


They left the site.

I scored pretty good in body language and "speech patterns".

:)
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Quoting theshepherd:
231. sullivanweather 12:48 PM EDT on August 08, 2011 +6
Neapolitan,

Do you typically go back and modify your comments?


************************************************* ***************

Yup, he does. Much like JF and SSI used to do.
That's one of the reasons I put this cat on ignore.

At least MSTL let his stand without edit. I respected him for that.




Do you think they left the site or just the handle ? :)
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Highest Texas Temp:

120 Aug. 12, 1936 Seymour
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The USA's highest temperature, 134° on July 10, 1913 in Death Valley, Calif., is also the official highest temperature in the Western Hemisphere.
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The world's highest official temperature is 136° recorded at El Azizia, Libya, on Sept. 13, 1922
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Quoting Neapolitan:
NOAA's monthly State of the Climate report is out. Some fun facts here. These might not show some of this forum's ideologically-blind denialists that the ongoing heat wave and drought are exceptional; those folks are convinced this is just so-so. But here: judge for yourself:

--In July, both Oklahoma and Texas had their warmest months on record, with monthly statewide average temperatures of 88.9 degrees F (31.6 degrees C) and 87.1 degrees F (30.6 degrees C), respectively. Oklahoma's statewide average temperature was the warmest monthly statewide average temperature on record for any state during any month.

--The July Climate Extremes Index for the CONUS was 37 percent. This is the highest July value in the CEI record (since 1910).

And now, some artwork. Remove your science-blockers and look closely, and you'll see a preponderance of reds and oranges:

uh-oh

uh-oh


Can't wait for the GLOBAL DOT CHART for July!
I am sure like June the RED dots will out number and be much more massive than the much smaller,infinitesimal and tiny blue dots. No wonder we are scorching HOT!!



...
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Quoting theshepherd:
231. sullivanweather 12:48 PM EDT on August 08, 2011 +6
Neapolitan,

Do you typically go back and modify your comments?


************************************************* ***************

Yup, he does. Much like JF and SSI used to do.
That's one of the reasons I put this cat on ignore.

At least MSTL let his stand without edit. I respected him for that.


More baseless and untrue allegations. Have you a single shred of proof that I've ever edited a comment (for anything other than punctuation, spelling, or grammar) unless I made inline note of the edit?

Yeah, I thought not. But I understand your frustration, I really do. If I were on the side of a debate in which I hadn't a leg to stand on, I too might very well resort to false accusations.
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At least MSTL let his stand without edit. I respected him for that.

no kidding. he stood by what he said.

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NOAA's monthly State of the Climate report is out. Some fun facts here. These might not show some of this forum's ideologically-blind denialists that the ongoing heat wave and drought are exceptional; those folks are convinced this is just so-so. But here: judge for yourself:

--In July, both Oklahoma and Texas had their warmest months on record, with monthly statewide average temperatures of 88.9 degrees F (31.6 degrees C) and 87.1 degrees F (30.6 degrees C), respectively. Oklahoma's statewide average temperature was the warmest monthly statewide average temperature on record for any state during any month.

--The July Climate Extremes Index for the CONUS was 37 percent. This is the highest July value in the CEI record (since 1910).

And now, some artwork. Remove your science-blockers and look closely, and you'll see a preponderance of reds and oranges:

uh-oh

uh-oh
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Quoting sullivanweather:



That's not entirely correct. It's the nature of severe weather events that change when there's warming/cooling.

During periods of warming there's a tendency toward building ridges, so there's stagnation in the pattern that typically develops. So you get the type of severe weather that one would normally associate with stagnant weather patterns. Things like heat waves, droughts. Around the periphery of these building ridges you get your persistent rainfall patterns and flooding.

When there's cooling there's a tendency towards digging troughs. So the weather one would normally associate with digging troughs; things like intense areas of low pressure, blizzards, severe thunderstorm outbreaks, strong wind events, etc. are more prevalent.

Digging troughs also lead to a highly variable jet stream pattern, spreading out the regions that see severe weather whereas a stagnant pattern will see severe weather remain over a region for a longer period of time.

So it does seem like severe weather is more prevalent when its colder but of course it'll seem that way when one compares a progressive cold frontal passage/storm system to a stationary blocking high.


I understand your point. I was referring more to storms than heat waves. The clash of the colder air with the warm moist air feeds the supercell storms.
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231. sullivanweather 12:48 PM EDT on August 08, 2011 +6
Neapolitan,

Do you typically go back and modify your comments?


************************************************* ***************

Yup, he does. Much like JF and SSI used to do.
That's one of the reasons I put this cat on ignore.

At least MSTL let his stand without edit. I respected him for that.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting theshepherd:



Wookies???


Doesn't matter what caused it. It is a good indicator as to what may occur again. Since we are causing it to go up now at a much faster pace then back then the effects are going to be much worse and more rapid.
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Quoting CorneliaMarie:
the greatest living physicist today, Dr. Hawking, says the universe is riddled with imperfection. An unbalanced amount of matter makes gravity possible, and thus, everything that exists, has existed or is to exist, only exists thanks to a random chance of nonuniformity.

What does he say about the Ancient Aliens being responsible for Global Warming?


There "were" no ancient aliens.


Only Wookies...
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Quoting JBastardi:


Severe weather events were most prevalent during periods of colder climate.



That's not entirely correct. It's the nature of severe weather events that change when there's warming/cooling.

During periods of warming there's a tendency toward building ridges, so there's stagnation in the pattern that typically develops. So you get the type of severe weather that one would normally associate with stagnant weather patterns. Things like heat waves, droughts. Around the periphery of these building ridges you get your persistent rainfall patterns and flooding.

When there's cooling there's a tendency towards digging troughs. So the weather one would normally associate with digging troughs; things like intense areas of low pressure, blizzards, severe thunderstorm outbreaks, strong wind events, etc. are more prevalent.

Digging troughs also lead to a highly variable jet stream pattern, spreading out the regions that see severe weather whereas a stagnant pattern will see severe weather remain over a region for a longer period of time.

So it does seem like severe weather is more prevalent when its colder but of course it'll seem that way when one compares a progressive cold frontal passage/storm system to a stationary blocking high.
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Quoting CorneliaMarie:
The ancient hot spell, which lasted 50,000 to 100,000 years, goes by the unwieldy name of Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. It was caused by a sudden – in geological terms – doubling or tripling of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Obviously NOT manmade....so, what caused it?




Wookies???
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Quoting sullivanweather:


Well, like your cohort, Neapolitan, your assumptions are utterly false. And while I agree that a warmer world should lead to more heatwaves and drought, your tornado outbreak claim is just wrong. The science simply isn't there to support that claim. If anything with tornadoes is affected by warming it would be a tendency for earlier starting seasons and earlier ending seasons since the biggest factor determining the nature and severity of tornado outbreaks is the behavior of the jet stream.


That's a big negative Sully. Warmer weather will also produce more water vapor in the atmosphere and so more severe weather and tornadoes will form. You can bank on it. The Jet Stream is also a key factor in this as you state. When the two come together is when you have to watch out.
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Ouch! Soon to be 3rd place since 1979.


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..wait for it,
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Record Low Arctic Sea Ice for July; Quiet tropicsPosted by: JeffMasters, 12:26 PM CDT on August 08, 2011


Last month, Arctic sea ice extent was the lowest ever recorded for any July in the 1979 to 2011 satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Most of the ice loss occurred in the first half of the month when high pressure made for clear skies and melting sunshine, and warm air blew into the Arctic from the south. In the first two weeks of July, air temperature over the North Pole was 11 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit above average. During the last two weeks of July, low pressure took over and brought cooler temperatures, although it appears this also acted to push the ice around, which resulted in a larger but thinner area of ice. New research shows that old ice continues to decline as well, which is problematic because older ice is more stable and tends to grow thicker over multiple seasons, and new ice is thin and more susceptible to melting. According to the University of Washington Polar Science Center, Arctic sea ice volume was 51% lower than average and 62% lower than the maximum (which was seen in 1979 at the beginning of the record).

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Quoting sullivanweather:


Well, like your cohort, Neapolitan, your assumptions are utterly false. And while I agree that a warmer world should lead to more heatwaves and drought, your tornado outbreak claim is just wrong. The science simply isn't there to support that claim. If anything with tornadoes is affected by warming it would be a tendency for earlier starting seasons and earlier ending seasons since the biggest factor determining the nature and severity of tornado outbreaks is the behavior of the jet stream.


Those bent on blaming AGW on every possible severe weather event aren't students of climate history. Severe weather events were most prevalent during periods of colder climate. Of course, if they admit that, they would have to admit that the atmosphere is becoming colder. In other words, don't hold your breath even if it were proven to them without a doubt. In their minds: why use past climate history to predict future climate when you can use the current models that can't predict past climate much less future climate. These models have been proven time and time again to be worthless, but they support man-made AGW. That's why they will never dump them even when the data show that they aren't competent (something like their creators).
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Quoting GiovannaDatoli:

Oh sullivan. I'm then assuming you're just another one of those who understands climate change and the anthropogenic effects of CO2 from the likes of WUWT and Glenn Beck from Fox? ;-)

The truth is--and has been documented by NASA and thousands of climate scientists around the world--is that the globe is warming, and rapidly. And the global extremes that are occurring will only become that of, more extreme. Longer heat waves, more severe droughts, greater tornado outbreaks, etc. Sure, we can buy into the never-ending propaganda of what Big Oil, the GOP, and the fossil fuel industry wants you to believe. But I, tend to believe science, and also have a genuine interest in protecting the globe from the harm others are creating for all of us. Now that is not asking too much from you, is it?


Well, like your cohort, Neapolitan, your assumptions are utterly false. And while I agree that a warmer world should lead to more heatwaves and drought, your tornado outbreak claim is just wrong. The science simply isn't there to support that claim. If anything with tornadoes is affected by warming it would be a tendency for earlier starting seasons and earlier ending seasons since the biggest factor determining the nature and severity of tornado outbreaks is the behavior of the jet stream.
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Arctic Ice Melt Near Record Clears Ship Route to Asia, Russian Agency Says


Arctic sea ice is melting at a near- record pace, opening shipping lanes for cargo traffic between Europe and Asia, Russia’s environmental agency said.

Ice cover is close to a record low, opening “almost the entire northern sea route to icebreaker-free shipping” as of early August, the Federal Hydrometeorological and Environmental Monitoring Service said on its website today.

The so-called ice extent is as much as 56 percent less than average in some areas, allowing “very easy” sailing that will persist through September, the Moscow-based service said.

Melting ice is making it easier for Russian and other European shippers to service Asia via the northern sea route, which is about one-third shorter than the Rotterdam-Yokohama voyage through the Suez Canal, saving time and fuel. Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said last year that the pace of global warming in the Arctic was three-times faster than elsewhere, cutting journeys between Asia, Europe and America by as much as half.

Melting occurred “at a rapid pace through the first half of July and is now tracking below the year 2007, which saw the record minimum,” the U.S. National Snow and Data Center said on its website July 18.
Soviet-Era Passage

Three of sixteen groups of oceanic scientists expect the extent to break the record low of 4.14 million square kilometers (1.63 million miles) reached on Sept. 16, 2007, the Fairbanks, Alaska-based Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S., or Arcus, said on its website. That compares with about 6.86 million square kilometers now, according to Russia’s environmental agency.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has vowed to transform the Soviet-era Arctic route, first plied in 1932 between Arkhangelsk and the Bering Strait, into a year-round passage and commodity producers including OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, OAO Novatek and EuroChem have already starting sending test shipments. The route is currently used, with the help of icebreakers, from July to November.

The North Pole may be completely ice-free in summer within a few decades, rather than by 2080, a prediction made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Russia’s chief forecaster, Alexander Frolov, said last year.

Link
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242. sullivanweather 5:15 PM EDT on August 08, 2011 +0
Neapolitan,

Do you see those blog member statistics at the bottom of your comments? You will notice I have over 12000 comments posted here in the WU community and out of those 12000+ comments I don't think I've ever typed out a lame juvenile "pwned" comment in my post to anyone. Never.




that's true.
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Neapolitan,

Do you see those blog member statistics at the bottom of your comments? You will notice I have over 12000 comments posted here in the WU community and out of those 12000+ comments I don't think I've ever typed out a lame juvenile "pwned" comment in my post to anyone. Never. I think you have me confused for someone else. You must. This is also like the third time you've thrown in these coy references to Fox News or ideology. I really don't know what that's all about but that's your choice to continue looking like a presumptuous something-or-other.

So I'll let you get away with your statement now that you've retracted it but I can already tell you this won't be the worst heat wave ever. The northern half of the heat wave has been knocked down and the heat wave is confined to the Southern Plains region of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Prior years had heat waves start earlier in the season than this one and was ongoing over larger region of the country by the current date.
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Since my Tunnel idea will weaken hurricanes from Cat4 to Cat3 or even Cat2 as told by Dr. Willoughby this morning via my phone conversation with him.Link I also contend they will bring back summer Northern Arctic Ice extent to preindustrial revolution levels if left in cooling phase operation over longer time periods. If they can weaken a hurricane then I am also contending they can change climate. It just depends on how much heat transfer we want to take place at the oceans surface. The cooler subsurface waters may allow for more electrical power generation than the warmer surface waters due to the difference in density. In either case the electrical power they generate can pay for the project.The huge advantage here is the fact they can produce power 24/7/365.








Ya'll with me yet?




.
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Looks like NW passage is open also.

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the greatest living physicist today, Dr. Hawking, says the universe is riddled with imperfection. An unbalanced amount of matter makes gravity possible, and thus, everything that exists, has existed or is to exist, only exists thanks to a random chance of nonuniformity.

What does he say about the Ancient Aliens being responsible for Global Warming?
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Quoting CorneliaMarie:
The ancient hot spell, which lasted 50,000 to 100,000 years, goes by the unwieldy name of Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. It was caused by a sudden – in geological terms – doubling or tripling of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Obviously NOT manmade....so, what caused it?



its not possible to know exactly. conditions on the earth were different then.

the sub continent of India was not yet smashed into Asia, which means today's tallest mountains were ocean floor back then. And the other great mountain ranges of today were at their infancy. Given the effect land has on ocean currents and weather, the planet saw extremely different patterns in climate than we experience today.

I would venture to say, that there were more extremes in climate and weather 55 million years ago than there are today, and maybe, ever to be.

but who is to say?

the greatest living physicist today, Dr. Hawking, says the universe is riddled with imperfection. An unbalanced amount of matter makes gravity possible, and thus, everything that exists, has existed or is to exist, only exists thanks to a random chance of nonuniformity.
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Quoting GiovannaDatoli:

Oh sullivan. I'm then assuming you're just another one of those who understands climate change and the anthropogenic effects of CO2 from the likes of WUWT and Glenn Beck from Fox? ;-)

The truth is--and has been documented by NASA and thousands of climate scientists around the world--is that the globe is warming, and rapidly. And the global extremes that are occurring will only become that of, more extreme. Longer heat waves, more severe droughts, greater tornado outbreaks, etc. Sure, we can buy into the never-ending propaganda of what Big Oil, the GOP, and the fossil fuel industry wants you to believe. But I, tend to believe science, and also have a genuine interest in protecting the globe from the harm others are creating for all of us. Now that is not asking too much from you, is it?


Its clear the science, even at its infant stage, is not perfect. I guess most people tend to understand the science like yourself, with an opinion. Therefore, what you believe is a choice, like which cola you want to drink with your cheeseburger or what toppings you want on your pizza.

AS I said some 5 weeks ago. There are no reports of 100 days of consecutive normal temperatures and rainfall in a specific area. Only the extremes are given attention.

This is called paranoia. And paranoia is fueled by propaganda.

Believe what you want. 30 years versus 20 million years just sounds like reaching for a quick told-ya-so. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.



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Quoting Neapolitan:

Oh, my. You're starting to sound like one of the others who frequent this forum; I half expected you to end your comment with a triumphantly juvenile shout of "PWNED!" ;-)

Now, try to follow along as I walk you through the threads of the conversation to which you refer:

1) In comment 195, I stated, "...the summer is far from over, of course. But, yeah, the killer 2011 [heat wave] will have beaten 1980 in most every respect."

2) In comment 196, JBastardi quoted 195, adding only, "Looks like weather to me. Hi temps in two states are barely worth mentioning."

3) In comment 205, I quoted 196, and added, "Oh, I'd agree. If that's all it was. But countless all-time highs embedded in the worst US heat wave ever inside what will likely be the most prolonged US drought ever is definitely something worth mentioning."

Now, if you've kept up and if you're honest with yourself, you'll have seen that I've been consistent in stating that my comments about the current heat wave going down in history as the worst ever are always in refernce to the future. Bottom line: taking a user's comments out of context to try to make a case is sloppy at best, and dishonest at worst, and should be avoided at all costs.

In reference to your comment #228, of course you don't have to "sit here and research statistics on US heat waves" for me, or for anybody else. But if you wish to be believed and/or listened to, you'll need to do better than simply stomp your feet and angrily shout, "Uh-uh!!!" That tactic may work on Fox News, but not here in what should be a science forum.

At any rate, I stand by what I said: by the time it's all over, this will go down as the single worst drought and heat wave in US history--at least as most people define the terms "drought" and "heat wave"--severity and longevity.


If the PETM, which could be considered the worst heat event in Earth's history, lasted 50 to 100 thousand years, this new great heat wave you predict will last how long? Until the end of the 2011 Summer?

Also, if this particular year's heat wave IS NOT the "single worst drought and heat wave in U.S. history", how are you going to spin it in the future to make yourself look right?

you'll need to do better than simply stomp your feet and angrily shout, "Denialist!!" That tactic may work on Current TV, but not here in what should be a science forum.
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Quoting sullivanweather:
Neapolitan,

Do you typically go back and modify your comments? And am I mistaken or did you not call this the worst heat wave ever?

Let me go back and look. Yup. There it is. Comment #205. You said this was the worst heat wave ever. So you make some claim, are called out on that claim, then want someone else to prove your claim for you. To top it off you're going on about some personal attack. Really? If you feel slighted because I find your ignorance of previous weather events evident as you try to prove something without precedence when records on the books prove otherwise, well, I suggest you not make such outrageous claims without fact-checking. What else can I say?

Oh sullivan. I'm then assuming you're just another one of those who understands climate change and the anthropogenic effects of CO2 from the likes of WUWT and Glenn Beck from Fox? ;-)

The truth is--and has been documented by NASA and thousands of climate scientists around the world--is that the globe is warming, and rapidly. And the global extremes that are occurring will only become that of, more extreme. Longer heat waves, more severe droughts, greater tornado outbreaks, etc. Sure, we can buy into the never-ending propaganda of what Big Oil, the GOP, and the fossil fuel industry wants you to believe. But I, tend to believe science, and also have a genuine interest in protecting the globe from the harm others are creating for all of us. Now that is not asking too much from you, is it?
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Quoting sullivanweather:
Neapolitan,

Do you typically go back and modify your comments? And am I mistaken or did you not call this the worst heat wave ever?

Let me go back and look. Yup. There it is. Comment #205. You said this was the worst heat wave ever. So you make some claim, are called out on that claim, then want someone else to prove your claim for you. To top it off you're going on about some personal attack. Really? If you feel slighted because I find your ignorance of previous weather events evident as you try to prove something without precedence when records on the books prove otherwise, well, I suggest you not make such outrageous claims without fact-checking. What else can I say?

Oh, my. You're starting to sound like one of the others who frequent this forum; I half expected you to end your comment with a triumphantly juvenile shout of "PWNED!" ;-)

Now, try to follow along as I walk you through the threads of the conversation to which you refer:

1) In comment 195, I stated, "...the summer is far from over, of course. But, yeah, the killer 2011 [heat wave] will have beaten 1980 in most every respect."

2) In comment 196, JBastardi quoted 195, adding only, "Looks like weather to me. Hi temps in two states are barely worth mentioning."

3) In comment 205, I quoted 196, and added, "Oh, I'd agree. If that's all it was. But countless all-time highs embedded in the worst US heat wave ever inside what will likely be the most prolonged US drought ever is definitely something worth mentioning."

Now, if you've kept up and if you're honest with yourself, you'll have seen that I've been consistent in stating that my comments about the current heat wave going down in history as the worst ever are always in refernce to the future. Bottom line: taking a user's comments out of context to try to make a case is sloppy at best, and dishonest at worst, and should be avoided at all costs.

In reference to your comment #228, of course you don't have to "sit here and research statistics on US heat waves" for me, or for anybody else. But if you wish to be believed and/or listened to, you'll need to do better than simply stomp your feet and angrily shout, "Uh-uh!!!" That tactic may work on Fox News, but not here in what should be a science forum.

At any rate, I stand by what I said: by the time it's all over, this will go down as the single worst drought and heat wave in US history--at least as most people define the terms "drought" and "heat wave"--severity and longevity.
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The ancient hot spell, which lasted 50,000 to 100,000 years, goes by the unwieldy name of Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. It was caused by a sudden – in geological terms – doubling or tripling of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Obviously NOT manmade....so, what caused it?

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Quoting sullivanweather:
Neapolitan,

Do you typically go back and modify your comments? And am I mistaken or did you not call this the worst heat wave ever?

Let me go back and look. Yup. There it is. Comment #205. You said this was the worst heat wave ever. So you make some claim, are called out on that claim, then want someone else to prove your claim for you. To top it off you're going on about some personal attack. Really? If you feel slighted because I find your ignorance of previous weather events as you try to prove something without precedence when records on the books prove otherwise, well, I suggest you not make such outrageous claims without fact-checking. What else can I say?


+1
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Neapolitan,

Do you typically go back and modify your comments? And am I mistaken or did you not call this the worst heat wave ever?

Let me go back and look. Yup. There it is. Comment #205. You said this was the worst heat wave ever. So you make some claim, are called out on that claim, then want someone else to prove your claim for you. To top it off you're going on about some personal attack. Really? If you feel slighted because I find your ignorance of previous weather events evident as you try to prove something without precedence when records on the books prove otherwise, well, I suggest you not make such outrageous claims without fact-checking. What else can I say?
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It was one of the greatest calamities of all time: Something turned up the Earth’s thermostat, touching off a monstrous heat wave that killed many animals and drove others far from their homes to seek cooler climes.

This catastrophe occurred 55 million years ago, after the age of the dinosaurs and long before humans appeared. But scientists warn that today’s global warming means that it could be happening again.

The ancient hot spell, which lasted 50,000 to 100,000 years, goes by the unwieldy name of Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. It was caused by a sudden – in geological terms – doubling or tripling of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Climate scientists say the result was a massive increase of 10 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit – even higher near the poles – above the prevailing temperature.


•Digging in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin, Scott Wing, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, found fossilized leaves from ancient bean plants that he said had migrated 1,000 miles north from the latitude of Louisiana to escape the heat.

•A team of scientists that drilled into the South Atlantic ocean floor and found thick stripes of red clay that had lost their carbon to the atmosphere at the time of the PETM.

•Fossils of tropical algae buried under the Arctic Ocean showed that waters there reached a balmy 75 degrees.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2006/aug/27/anci ent-heat-wave-studied/
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100 years ago, news traveled much slower. Word of a heat wave on the other side of the world probably didn't hit page 14 of a newspaper until a week after the event. I think this "rate of warming" concern is overhyped by the speed of media technology today.





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Neapolitan,

I'm not going to sit here and research statistics on US heat waves for you. But you should do some research, for yourself, of prior heat waves. You'd probably be surprised at what you find. Was it maybe a top 10 heatwave? I'll give you that. Top 5? A case could be made. But there are other heatwaves that stand out, above this one.

As far as the drought goes...

In terms of over the past year, it probably is the worst on record for a section of eastern New Mexico to central Texas. But this goes back to what I was saying before, about there being a weather record for just about everything. Is this area having it's worst two-year drought? Debatable.
Five-year drought? To be determined but thus far no.
Ten-year drought? To be determined but this far no.
Spread and scope, worst ever? No way. There's plenty of droughts that were just as severe over much larger regions of the country.
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To place this year's heat wave in perspective, the following is a good place to start...

1936 North American heat wave


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It seems we have the highest number of incidents "Ever" with respect to admittedly posting unsubstantiated opinion as fact on this blog !

Perhaps we need to review the definition of "Mislead"


Let's look to someone who is actually qualified to have an opinion on the climate change subject.

August 8, 2011 7:00 am -- Comments On The Paper %u201COn the Misdiagnosis Of Surface Temperature Feedbacks From Variations In Earth%u2019s Radiant Energy Balance%u201D By Spencer and Braswell 2011
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Quoting sullivanweather:



Whoaaa there, pardner. This isn't anywhere near the worst heat wave ever. Nor is it the worst drought ever either. I'm beginning to think your understanding of past weather events is seriously lacking.

Really? Then I'll have to assume you don't score too well on reading comprehension tests; if you look back, you'll note the several places I've said that I'm talking about by the time it's all said and done" (including in the comment you posted), and I stand by that. Too, I'm only referring here to the current historical US heat wave--which, by the reckoning of most climatologists, is but a mere harbinger of things to come.

At any rate, please don't take my word for it. Instead of yet another personal attack, why not supply us, your eager and willing audience, with facts, figures, and statistics to back up your assertion?
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Quoting sullivanweather:



Whoaaa there, pardner. This isn't anywhere near the worst heat wave ever. Nor is it the worst drought ever either. I'm beginning to think your understanding of past weather events is seriously lacking.
Finally someone with some common sense! Agreed 100%
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Quoting MITPROF:
Cyclonebuster : After the letter that you posted from Hugh Willoughby and looking at the schematic and the video you have my 100% interest. I kicked around a similar idea that I thought would also work, byut after careful thinking about installing fans/propeller's on the floor of the gulf stream to drive up cooler water. I see now that your tunnels will work much more effectively. Im hoping that everyone will get on board with us here and see that the end result will very effectively work in several benefits. Good luck and keep me posted on your progress.


Correct and after talking to professor Willoughby a few minutes ago I know now with out a doubt in my mind that my idea will work.He said it can weaken a Cat4 hurricane to a Cat3 or Cat2 is not out of the question with them in cooling phase. That is what he just told me.However, he also said it may not be cost effective given the frequency of hurricane strikes. But then again there is the power generation that they can produce which could pay for them. We were just getting into that conversation about them and then shucks his class had to start. I will call him again soon and talk some more about that.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


But countless all-time highs embedded in the worst US heat wave ever inside what will likely be the most prolonged US drought ever is definitely something worth mentioning.



Whoaaa there, pardner. This isn't anywhere near the worst heat wave ever. Nor is it the worst drought ever either. I'm beginning to think your understanding of past weather events is seriously lacking.
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Cyclonebuster : After the letter that you posted from Hugh Willoughby and looking at the schematic and the video you have my 100% interest. I kicked around a similar idea that I thought would also work, byut after careful thinking about installing fans/propeller's on the floor of the gulf stream to drive up cooler water. I see now that your tunnels will work much more effectively. Im hoping that everyone will get on board with us here and see that the end result will very effectively work in several benefits. Good luck and keep me posted on your progress.
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.