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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JFV/Palin 2012 ?



..ack!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Or, they had name calling in them and were reported. And regardless of what you think someone is, it doesn't give you license to call anyone by any name but the one they have shared with you, their handle.

Pretty sure we've had this discussion before...

There was no name calling (though if you have a single shred of evidence that there was I'd like to see it). No, just pure science with the deserved amount of ridicule. But even if that were the case, there are numerous posts from numerous denialists containing numerous instances of "name-calling", and yet those comments are still here. As such, your theory on this matter doesn't hold water, I'm afraid.

In short, it's just the anti-science gang doing what it does best: hiding the truth. The Koch Boys would be very proud...
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Quoting Neapolitan:

You're aware, are you not, that we can't delete our posts entirely? We can blank out the contents, of course, but we can't remove the whole thing, number and all. No, the reason that post of mine and others disappeared is because the overwhelming scientific truth they contain is too much for some, and because those people aren't able to debate them on their merits, they simply minus them into oblivion.

At any rate, it's almost a moot point: in the past week alone, more than 300,000 square kilometers of Arctic Sea ice--or more than 115,000 square miles of it--have disappeared. That's an area of ice larger than the state of Arizona. Some less astute observers here may call that a "comeback", but those with common sense know better.
Can I get a mea culpa this time. Just had to quote to make sure it was not changed. I will check back later
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Neapolitan- I hate to do this to you again but your 220,000 sq. mi. was false and the bad news is so is your latest statement. Here are the actual facts July 30th there was 6,595,000 sq. km. of ice on August 5th there was 6,312,500 sq. km. of ice or a difference of 282,500 sq km. or 109,073 sq. mi. Since ice loss was 109,073 sq. mi. and the size of Arizona is 113,998 sq. mi. that fact to would be wrong on the plus side for you it is larger than say Colorado. More overwhelming scientific truth by you proven dishonest.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
No, the reason that post of mine and others disappeared is because the overwhelming scientific truth they contain is too much for some, and because those people aren't able to debate them on their merits, they simply minus them into oblivion.
Or, they had name calling in them and were reported. And regardless of what you think someone is, it doesn't give you license to call anyone by any name but the one they have shared with you, their handle.

Pretty sure we've had this discussion before...
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Quoting nymore (#164):
Neo- Read post 149 and get back to me also still have not heard back about making a cash bet on your prediction of an ice free arctic in 5 to 7 years. Looking forward to hearing back from you. PS- Neo I clicked on your plus sign so your feelings and ego will not feel so bruised. Peace out

You're aware, are you not, that we can't delete our posts entirely? We can blank out the contents, of course, but we can't remove the whole thing, number and all. No, the reason that post of mine and others disappeared is because the overwhelming scientific truth they contain is too much for some, and because those people aren't able to debate them on their merits, they simply minus them into oblivion.

At any rate, it's almost a moot point: in the past week alone, more than 300,000 square kilometers of Arctic Sea ice--or more than 115,000 square miles of it--have disappeared. That's an area of ice larger than the state of Arizona. Some less astute observers here may call that a "comeback", but those with common sense know better.
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Quoting cyclonebuster:



Click on the link then go to report. Use scroll arrow down to global analysis. Then pick the year and then month. Then click on get report.



Link


Interesting tool. Last 5 Junes have a preponderance of red. Will have to check out some of the other months. Thanks
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Neo- Read post 149 and get back to me also still have not heard back about making a cash bet on your prediction of an ice free arctic in 5 to 7 years. Looking forward to hearing back from you. PS- Neo I clicked on your plus sign so your feelings and ego will not feel so bruised. Peace out
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Russia get ready your soil temp will rise from 21.2F -23F to an incredible 24.8F - 26.6F rapidly thawing the ground. Oh wait 32F is freezing so it should be rather sloooooooooooooow.
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Quoting Patrap:
Im gonna start Working Out with a Flex-Ban to be a "Cool-ista" me tinks.

And then become Chief met for a "not so accurate weather pay me now service" too.

ACK!!!!
Or you can become a ham and egger sorry excuse me you already are for posting more worthless garbage
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Cyclone did you look at the graphs I posted proving your dot graph contains false information
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Im gonna start Working Out with a Flex-Ban to be a "Cool-ista" me tinks.

And then become Chief met for a "not so accurate weather pay me now service" too.

ACK!!!!
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Russia may lose 30% of permafrost by 2050

Russia's vast permafrost areas may shrink by a third by the middle of the century due to global warming, endangering infrastructure in the Arctic zone, an emergencies ministry official said Friday.

"In the next 25 to 30 years, the area of permafrost in Russia may shrink by 10-18 percent," the head of the ministry's disaster monitoring department Andrei Bolov told the RIA Novosti news agency.

"By the middle of the century, it can shrink by 15-30 percent, and the boundary of the permafrost may shift to the north-east by 150-200 kilometres," he said.

The temperature of the zones of frozen soil in oil and gas-rich western Siberia territories will rise by up to two degrees Celsius to just three or four degrees below zero, he predicted.

Permafrost, or soil that is permanently frozen, covers about 63 percent of Russia, but has been greatly affected by climate change in recent decades.

Continued thawing of permafrost threatens to destabilise transportation, building, and energy extraction infrastructure in Russia's colder regions.

"The negative impact of permafrost degradation on all above-ground transportation infrastructure is clear," Bolov added.

Scientists have said that permafrost thawing will set off another problem because the process will release massive amounts of greenhouse gas methane currently trapped in the frozen soil.

AFP Article...
You know, maybe denialists really are on to something; maybe it's best if we all just pretend none of this is happening...
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LOL! Refuseniks call this an upward trend since 1979 for the month of July. LOL!




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Quoting rod2635:


It certainly has been warmer than average this summer in Texas and vicinity. The map does show that re June.

Do they make such a map that would show the net departure aggregate of the past 5 or 10 Junes (or any month(s)) on a global basis vs a 30 or 40 year average. Just wonder what the dot pattern would look like.



Click on the link then go to report. Use scroll arrow down to global analysis. Then pick the year and then month. Then click on get report.



Link
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Quoting cyclonebuster:


Yes there is a big problem with it. The Red dots are much bigger and more numerous than the blue dots. What problem do you see with it?




It certainly has been warmer than average this summer in Texas and vicinity. The map does show that re June.

Do they make such a map that would show the net departure aggregate of the past 5 or 10 Junes (or any month(s)) on a global basis vs a 30 or 40 year average. Just wonder what the dot pattern would look like.
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Instant Karma's gonna get you...
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Quoting cat5hurricane (#145):

We are in fact at the tail end of the latest recent warming trend. More research coming out continues to suggest we'll level off in a few years globally before the next swing to being cooler. The C02 theory regarding greenhouse emissions warming up the earth is losing a lot of steam. Many more scientists are beginning to recognize the fact that C02 levels aren't having on impact on Climate whatsoever.

It makes sense, since the Earth has sustained exponentially greater amounts of C02 in the past due to natural events such as volcanoes. The Earth has also been much hotter several times in the last 3 centuries than it has been now. I think this theory is really beginning to show it's true colors...that it wasn't very sound to begin with.

I think you'd find that your frequently-spouted Theory of Imminent Cooling would be easier to sell if, you know, there was even the slightest indication that it was happening, and/or if a single "fact" on which you base it was true. Instead, though, the climate just continues to warm, and with increasing speed. (Though to be honest, it probably is endearing to some that you keep trying so hard in the face of such overwhelming scientific adversity.)

BTW, as the number of negative votes a comment in this forum receives is directly proportional to the amount of scientific truth it contains, I consider it a badge of honor to have my comments minused out of existence by the Denialist Majority here. I thank you all.
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Quoting cyclonebuster:


Yes there is a big problem with it. The Red dots are much bigger and more numerous than the blue dots. What problem do you see with it?





1200 kilometer smoothing, extrapolation, and homogenization. Let alone nothing over 80 north
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Quoting nymore:
Cyclone- Do you see the problem yet with the warm bias dot graph you like to post? Later all


Yes there is a big problem with it. The Red dots are much bigger and more numerous than the blue dots. What problem do you see with it?


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Cyclone- Do you see the problem yet with the warm bias dot graph you like to post? Later all
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Patrap- Nice comment and picture ( the globe is photoshopped backwards ) Now try backing it up with facts instead of dropping by giving your opinion and leaving. Maybe you could post your co2 graph again. LOL
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Neapolitan- Where did your post go claiming 220,000 sq. mi. of arctic sea ice lost last week. Did you delete it? Why would you delete your own made up facts? Do I get a mea culpa from you now come on we all know I caught you red handed. Come on I did not delete my post when you caught me making a mistake in fact I issue you a Mea culpa.
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Carbon dioxide is released when limestone (calcium carbonate) is heated to produce lime (calcium oxide).

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LoL...what a relief.


Comic dat is,,though.
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Lets see in the last year what we have found out. The atmosphere warming trend has stopped or slowed down dramatically to a crawl ( depending on met agency you look at ) for the last decade caused naturally. The ocean temperature has stopped warming for the last 7 or 8 years on a natural cooling cycle than it must warm on a natural cycle. The arctic sea ice shows wide variability due to temperature, wind and currents on a natural cycle and this has happened before to a greater extent. Now these folks are trying to CYA. They say their models and measurements showed this but somehow they forgot to tell anyone for several years until it was caught by independent studies. Boy the wheels are really coming off the AGWT train. I wonder what the next shoe to drop will be. Peace out BBL
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It says there was less than 50% in the summer of what the summer of 2007 had and how much fat cash would you like to bet on your prediction of 5 to 7 years believe me I can cover and have never welched on a bet? The article blames the wind and current changes just as much as temperature. Also where is my mea culpa for the 220,000 sq.mi. thing. PS I have to admire the way you try to spin the article though to fit your agenda
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Quoting nymore:
A new study says maybe the arctic ice is not as bad as we thought Link

The article on which that story is based merely repeated something we've been saying for a long time: while Arctic Ice will disappear entirely in summer not too many years from now (I say five to seven), there's no chance at all of it disappearing entirely in winter, not even if the climate warmed at the top of all projections. Unless the earth somehow tilts on its axis with the North Pole aimed at the sun, such a scenario simply can't happen.
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Quoting JBastardi:


Every "statistic" he spouts is twisted one way or another and any information that doesn't comport with his preconceived notions isn't science or has been "thoroughly debunked" by his imaginary board of climate scientists.

As with that anti-science nonsense from one denialist site or another that you so frequently cut-and-paste from or link to, do you have anything at all to back up that accusation?

I'm sorry you have to once again delve into baseless ad hominems. But I can certainly imagine your ongoing frustration.
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A new study says maybe the arctic ice is not as bad as we thought Link
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Quoting PurpleDrank:
August 5, 2011 - Neapolitan:

overall comments:3

coments that mention denial:2

Today's Neapolitan denial percentage: 66.6666%


Quite the ob, and quite undeniable :)
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The UK Met office has finally admitted that SSTs haven't been increasing while objective scientists have known this for some time. Of course they have a reason for the lack of increase. I know the owners of this website are fond of posting those charts with all of the red even when SSTs aren't increasing. More hyperbole when the truth is that the ocean temps are leveling off. That's the normal lag time when atmospheric temps are decreasing.

Link
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Quoting nymore:
Neapolitan- How many square miles were lost 220,000? I call bravo sierra or BS in the last 7 days 195,781 square kilometers were lost or 75,591.466 square miles. Now what was that about my education because you not being honest part seems to hold up nicely. PS we have lost 220,000 sq. mi. since I say approximately 12:00 GMT on the 22nd of July give or take an hour


Every "statistic" he spouts is twisted one way or another and any information that doesn't comport with his preconceived notions isn't science or has been "thoroughly debunked" by his imaginary board of climate scientists.
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Neapolitan- How many square miles were lost 220,000? I call bravo sierra or BS in the last 7 days 195,781 square kilometers were lost or 75,591.466 square miles. Now what was that about my education because you not being honest part seems to hold up nicely. PS we have lost 220,000 sq. mi. since I say approximately 12:00 GMT on the 22nd of July give or take an hour
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Oh, very good! Yes, we are indeed at the beginning of August. (I'm glad to see you have well-developed calendar-reading skills.) As you stated, ice is indeed making a comeback--in September, as it always does. Now, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you must have been talking in the future tense when you made that statement, because only the thickest or most willfully ignorant denialist would claim that ice is making a comeback now. Wait--was I wrong in giving you that benefit? Are you indeed of the mindset that ice is already staging a comeback? Because, you know, nearly 220,000 square miles of it was lost in the past week alone. Only in Happy Fantasy Denialand is a quarter of a million square mile loss called "a comeback".

Whoopsie!!!


OOOOOooooh, we've been keeping track of ice for 30 yrs. I'm sure the ice will return. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

Edit: Yes, I am of the mindset that Arctic ice is coming back ahead of the the 2007 levels, as if 30 years of data really make any difference in 5 billion years.
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Cyclone it works fine
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Neapolitan- Damn a mea culpa to you to I'm an idiot today. That's ok about the denialist part I don't hold alarmist to a very high standard of being honest
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Quoting nymore:
Cyclone try it now. Also look at the legend at see the temp anomaly. The NOAA link put your cursor on the temp anomaly notice the weekly anomaly running graph. Notice where red dots are on your graph where none should be


That Queensland link is still not working. Sorry.
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Quoting JBastardi:


Unless I'm missing something, we're at the beginning of August.
Oh, very good! Yes, we are indeed at the beginning of August. (I'm glad to see you have well-developed calendar-reading skills.) As you stated, ice is indeed making a comeback--in September, as it always does. Now, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you must have been talking in the future tense when you made that statement, because only the thickest or most willfully ignorant denialist would claim that ice is making a comeback now. Wait--was I wrong in giving you that benefit? Are you indeed of the mindset that ice is already staging a comeback? Because, you know, nearly 220,000 square miles kilometers of it was lost in the past week alone. Only in Happy Fantasy Denialand is a quarter of a million square mile kilometer loss called "a comeback".

Whoopsie!!!
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Neapolitan- I hate to do this but since your math skills blow yesterday ice loss was 94,521 kilometers or 58,738 square miles. That should help out your argument see I am not bias.
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Cyclone try it now. Also look at the legend at see the temp anomaly. The NOAA link put your cursor on the temp anomaly notice the weekly anomaly running graph. Notice where red dots are on your graph where none should be
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Quoting JBastardi:


Unless I'm missing something, we're at the beginning of August.


ROFLMAO :)))

What a hoot!!!

That's what happens when you become so factoid dependent that you copy and paste something from a past year.

But, I'll verify your response before I go any further,


Hmmm???

March, April, May, June, July, August...August 5th???

Of snap...yer right.

And toward the end of next month..."he'll be right".

Somehow I'm starting to get a mental image of a prepubescent teen on his mom's computer playing "stump the teacher" while she's at work.



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Quoting nymore:
Cyclone- Compare your dot graph against three others one from noaa Link one from the Australian government Link one from the government of Queensland Link You can easily see the very liberal use of red dots where none should exist. In conclusion your dot graph is garbage as three sources say so including your beloved NOAA


Your Queensland link doesn't work. You Australian link is not a dot graph. Please reanalyze!
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Cyclone- Compare your dot graph against three others one from NOAA Link one from the Australian government Link one from the government of Queensland Link You can easily see the very liberal use of red dots where none should exist. In conclusion your dot graph is garbage as three sources say so including your beloved NOAA. PS and this is only the Pacific Ocean if I check further I am sure I will find more
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Quoting cyclonebuster:


It deciphers that you make foolish statements!


The chart speaks for itself. Must be a foolish chart.
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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.

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