Is this year what we can expect?

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

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.

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\"Some bloggers on this site would have you believe that the improper placement has no effect or a cooling effect, which is laughable.\"

Who specifically says that? And where have the posted that?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 13577
\"Some bloggers on this site would have you believe that the improper placement has no effect or a cooling effect, which is laughable.\"

Who specifically says that? And where have the posted that?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 13577
\"Some bloggers on this site would have you believe that the improper placement has no effect or a cooling effect, which is laughable.\"

Who specifically says that? And where have the posted that?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 13577
\"Some bloggers on this site would have you believe that the improper placement has no effect or a cooling effect, which is laughable.\"

Who specifically says that? And where have the posted that?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 13577
\"Some bloggers on this site would have you believe that the improper placement has no effect or a cooling effect, which is laughable.\"

Who specifically says that? And where have the posted that?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 13577
Quoting JBastardi:
More heat bias in surface temperature stations. This time in Antarctica. Some of the heat biases have been found to be from 8 to 10 degrees C. Now that would certainly skew global averages, wouldn't it? Of course the improperly placed temp stations couldn't have an effect on the average either. That notion has been "thoroughly debunked."

Link
Well if the ice starts to melt in the Antarctic then my butt will have to move to higher ground,well at least 200 ft. higher! What would happen to Florida?
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Quoting JBastardi:


No reason to not believe? It's all a scheme about carbon trading and more taxes that will possibly kill the American economy that's already on the brink of total collapse. I'd say that is a good reason. .......ids and electrics will gradually build and this will largely be as a result of government policy because we in the Western world want to wean ourselves off fossil-fuels, not because of CO2, but because of where the fossil-fuel is located.%u201D

Link


What I take away from your comment si that because of some economic response, we shouldn't believe in global warming? Given the context of the original comment, it is a relevant response but it is a bit lite weight. Green energy and energy conservation is not only cap and trade (which i know nothing about and don-t want to know just because my head is already too full of stuff), green energy and energy conservation is about a cleaner environment and being free. Remember the Land of the Free? Oil has sucked us into slavery. If believing in global warming gets us free of that, more power to the 'myth'. If you don't like cap and trade, fine, work to other ways but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Personally I believe in global warming. I believe people like you are killing the world and America. I don't understand your position that cap and trade is so horrible that you have to take a stand against global warming. Why not just take a stand against cap and trade?
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Uh-oh:

MIT study says Arctic ice thinning 4x faster than predicted

Arctic ice might be thinning four times faster than predicted, this according to a new study out of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS).

Previous Arctic ice data was presented in the Fourth Assessment Report at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in 2007. The IPCC’s forecasting was heavily dependent on temperature to predict Arctic ice levels, but Pierre Rampal of EAPS and his research team believe that the report greatly underestimated the mechanical forces that contribute to ice-melting.

When mechanical forces like wind or ocean currents interact with an ice sheet (both of which are prevalent during the Arctic’s winter months), the sheet is more likely to break up into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces of ice behave differently than larger ones and are more susceptible to thinning via temperature changes. By not including mechanical factors, Rampal claims that the IPCC report is significantly off. Upon inclusion of these mechanical factors, the new research states that “Arctic sea ice is thinning, on average, four times faster than the models say, and it’s drifting twice as quickly,” according to the Technology Review.

The study, which will appear in the next edition of the Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans and is co-authored by Rampal and Jean-Michel Campin of EAPS, as well as two French scientists, Jérôme Weiss and Clotilde Dubois, has some interesting feedback mechanisms, both positive and negative. The study recognizes that smaller pieces of ice are more likely to move to warmer waters where the ice would melt, which would mean more Artctic ice thinning. Conversely, smaller pieces of ice closer together could promote more ice growth by exposing freezing air to ocean water.

As you can see, it is a very complex mechanism because there is so many factors to consider. Rampal best explains this complexity himself: “It’s hard to predict the future of Arctic sea ice.”

BostInnovation Article...

Oh, sure it's easy to predict the big picture: it'll be gone in summer in under ten years.
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Thankx Atmoaggie , I should have put up the link with the pic in post333 but if our good brother would have looked further down, Patrap got it right and I posted the link to the photo in post 339. I have never resorted to name calling on this blog,heck I even respect Nea for his vast knowledge(compliment intended). but,let the battle continue on!LOL
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
What's with the phony picture of the U.S.S Nautilus at the North Pole in 1958 in comment #333?

There was no surfacing by any submarine at the North Pole in 1958. And the picture given in post 333 doesn't give a location, only the blogger does.

When the Nautilus traversed the Arctic Ocean under the sea ice, they found continuous ice cover 10 to 50 feet thick. And they did not surface at the North Pole. I've read accounts of the voyage, from Pearl Harbor to Iceland. The journey began July 23, 1958 and ended in Iceland August 7.

I've read some detailed accounts, but this site give an accurate summary.

The submarine traveled at a depth of about 500 feet, and the ice cap above varied in thickness from 10 to 50 feet, with the midnight sun of the Arctic shining in varying degrees through the blue ice. At 11:15 p.m. EDT on August 3, 1958, Commander Anderson announced to his crew: "For the world, our country, and the Navy--the North Pole." The Nautilus passed under the geographic North Pole without pausing. The submarine next surfaced in the Greenland Sea between Spitzbergen and Greenland on August 5. Two days later, it ended its historic journey at Iceland. For the command during the historic journey, President Dwight D. Eisenhower decorated Anderson with the Legion of Merit.

A little fact checking would be good. Where did this fake meme come from?
Umm, look up SSN 571 vs SSN 578. What was posted in #333 (unless modified) was not about the Nautilus, but the Skate. (Not to say that some of the facts aren't confused between the two).

About 1958, the wiki article put Skate at the north pole very near the same date and year as Nautilus, in 1958. A bit odd on the timing, there.
(Yeah, maybe wiki is wrong.)

Lastly, as the photo clearly shows SSN 578, not SSN 571, "a little fact checking would be good" before before suggesting that "a little fact checking would be good". Just sayin. (Again, unless #333 was modified).

As to the equinox comment, that's a good point. The sun should be just beyond the horizon. It wouldn't be dark, though right? Neither should one have distinct shadows. Right? Not sure if the shadows in the picture prove that it isn't just before the equinox.
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Quoting cyclonebuster:


Neopoitian my Tunnel idea prevents a lot of that in the video!





You might be better placing this in the ACC, less Cruise ships, unfortunately less current, but possibly bigger waves to deal with across 40 miles.

Do you plan on putting an airport on it?

Could do well in the short term, until the waves, or current, create Lego parts from it no matter where it is located.

This will be my last F1>F2 comment :)

Gotta have some EvenFlow........no?
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The picture of the USS Skate surfacing at the North Pole on March 17, 1959 is phony. It shows bright daylight several days before the spring Equinox. It would have been dark.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 13577
I'm not sure why this debunked meme has credence.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 13577
What's with the phony picture of the U.S.S Nautilus at the North Pole in 1958 in comment #333?

There was no surfacing by any submarine at the North Pole in 1958. And the picture given in post 333 doesn't give a location, only the blogger does.

When the Nautilus traversed the Arctic Ocean under the sea ice, they found continuous ice cover 10 to 50 feet thick. And they did not surface at the North Pole. I've read accounts of the voyage, from Pearl Harbor to Iceland. The journey began July 23, 1958 and ended in Iceland August 7.

I've read some detailed accounts, but this site give an accurate summary.

The submarine traveled at a depth of about 500 feet, and the ice cap above varied in thickness from 10 to 50 feet, with the midnight sun of the Arctic shining in varying degrees through the blue ice. At 11:15 p.m. EDT on August 3, 1958, Commander Anderson announced to his crew: "For the world, our country, and the Navy--the North Pole." The Nautilus passed under the geographic North Pole without pausing. The submarine next surfaced in the Greenland Sea between Spitzbergen and Greenland on August 5. Two days later, it ended its historic journey at Iceland. For the command during the historic journey, President Dwight D. Eisenhower decorated Anderson with the Legion of Merit.

A little fact checking would be good. Where did this fake meme come from?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 13577
Here's a long but worthwhile video:

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http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/another-frosty -start-for-southeast-queensland/18512
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Quoting JBastardi:
So-called "greenhouse gases" may have some effect on the atmosphere, but not effect on the oceans:

Link

Climate change? You mean the miniscule tenths of a degree that may or may not have occurred in the past century. Disinformation? I think more disinformation has been performed by the people we thought we could trust such as NOAA, NASA, and the Climategate manipulators. I would also think public opinion supports my side according to the latest polls. The governments around the world have spent untold billions on this climate fraud, which is no comparison to what "Big Oil" has spent. Crime against humanity? You truly have lost your mind.


"untold billions" ? The only untold billions that have been spent by economies are on disaster relief and ecological clean ups.

On the other hand, there is no reason to not believe in global warming. What is the worst that happens? Clean energy and and foreign oil free America? Oh, wait, the grants for all the fraudulent scientists are the reason America is bankrupt (as opposed to all the corruption a la Haliburton).
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Quoting CorneliaMarie:
New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism




Climate Change Debunked? Not So Fast Link

No, new data does not “blow a gaping hole in global warming alarmism” Link

Just Put the Model Down, Roy Link

Roy Spencer's paper on climate sensitivity Link
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Quoting JBastardi:


Trenberth said it shouldn't have been published. He's got a lot of credibility. He's probably the worst "scientist" in the climate field. What about all of his failed predictions? Where's the missing heat?

Where's the missing heat? If you some day start to read scientific papers (which I can understand when I read what you've written that you have never done) you will find the "missing" heat but it seems that you rather choose to listen to the disinformation campaigns from people with economic and political interests, for instance these people Link Link
These people do not care about the future for the next generation and millions of people. Do you care?

A New Kind of Crime Against Humanity? The Fossil Fuel Industry's Disinformation Campaign On Climate Change Link
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Quoting Ossqss:
Hey Rookie, the thing that is lacking is the understanding of Cloud formation. All the rest is directly impacted by that, Just sayin.....

A taste if you will.....

Link

Edit: Do the current models used code for this?




Quoting Ossqss:
Hey Rookie, the thing that is lacking is the understanding of Cloud formation. All the rest is directly impacted by that, Just sayin.....

A taste if you will.....

Link

Edit: Do the current models used code for this?




Thank you, Ossqss. I will do some study on this and get back with what I am certain will be more questions.

Should you be asking ME about "models", I will readily admit that the only types of models I am familiar with are the types that Bruce Springstein and Rod Steward were married to. LOL
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Link Correct for 1000pts. You get a gold star,Pat!LOL
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Facts tend to smoooth out BS all the time, been my sperience'.
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..no snickers fer you,



In the following months, Skate, as the first ship of her class, conducted various tests in the vicinity of her home port. In early March 1959 , she again headed for the Arctic to pioneer operations during the period of extreme cold and maximum ice thickness. The submarine steamed 3,900 miles (6,300 km) under pack ice while surfacing through it ten times. On 17 March, she surfaced at the North Pole to commit the ashes of the famed explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins to the Arctic waste. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for demonstrating "... for the first time the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter...." In the fall of 1959 and in 1960, Skate participated in exercises designed to strengthen American antisubmarine defenses


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Quoting overwash12:
They must notify IPCC immediately ! circa 1958 north pole





Phunny,,thats the USS Skate


USS Skate (SSN-578) (Date and Location unclear)


Not, the USS Nautilus which went under the North Pole.


Operation Sunshine - under the North Pole
Navigator's report: Nautilus, 90N, 19:15U, 3 August 1958, zero to North Pole On 25 April 1958, she was underway again for the West Coast, now commanded by Commander William R. Anderson, USN. Stopping at San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle, she began her history-making polar transit, operation "Sunshine", as she departed the latter port 9 June. On 19 June she entered the Chukchi Sea, but was turned back by deep draft ice in those shallow waters. On 28 June she arrived at Pearl Harbor to await better ice conditions. By 23 July her wait was over and she set a course northward. She submerged in the Barrow Sea Valley on 1 August and on 3 August, at 2315 (EDST) she became the first watercraft to reach the geographic North Pole.[5] From the North Pole, she continued on and after 96 hours and 1,590 nmi (2,940 km) under the ice, she surfaced northeast of Greenland, having completed the first successful submerged voyage around the North Pole. The technical details of this mission were planned by scientists from the Naval Electronics Laboratory including Dr. Waldo Lyon who accompanied Nautilus as chief scientist and ice pilot.

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..."Great Spirit...come.."
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They must notify IPCC immediately ! circa 1958 north pole
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Quoting Ossqss:


Perhaps your incessant misdirection, and disinformation campaign is what I question.

Once again, you subvert the actual question on "Peer Review", which this paper did go through.

I feel your pain, and see you shout often ...

Yes, "peer review". In a fringe geography journal, not in something like, you know, a climate journal. Now, is my saying that "misdirection" or "disinformation"? Of course not. Only in the denialosphere is truth frowned upon.

I do so hope you're right with your oft-touted theory. But from everything I've read, there's no real evidence at all that somehow clouds are going to save us from what we're doing to ourselves through our unimpeded burning of fossil fuels.
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Quoting cyclonebuster:


LOL! Talking Heads smarter than Spencer! LOL!



First, Gnight all :)

Second, CB, do you have the permits for the 45 mile wide, current sucking, climate changing tool you want to place in international waters, in hurricane alley ?

I still think the folks in England and on the East Coast will want a say in it.

(Video deleted)
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Hey Rookie, the thing that is lacking is the understanding of Cloud formation. All the rest is directly impacted by that, Just sayin.....

A taste if you will.....

Link

Edit: Do the current models used code for this?


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Quoting Xandra:

Yes, that's incredibly fast but not so fast as Roy Spencer's six trillion degree warming ;) Link





That was an interesting read in that link. Thank you.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Are you referring to his most recent paper? The flawed one? The one about which other climate scientists have said, "The paper should have never been published"? That one?


Perhaps your incessant misdirection, and disinformation campaign is what I question.

Once again, you subvert the actual question on "Peer Review", which this paper did go through.

I feel your pain, and see you shout often ....


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Quoting Ossqss:



So the peer review process is proven broken?

Edit, and you proved it?

Are you referring to his most recent paper? The flawed one? The one he placed in a geography journal rather than a climate one? The one about which other climate scientists have said, "The paper should have never been published"? That one?
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Yeah, Spencer seems to have a lot of problems with validity and accuracy. But that's okay; the denialist throngs groveling at his feet don't really care about things like that anyway.



So the peer review process is proven broken?

Edit, and you proved it?
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Quoting Xandra:

Yes, that's incredibly fast but not so fast as Roy Spencer's six trillion degree warming ;) Link



Yeah, Spencer seems to have a lot of problems with validity and accuracy. But that's okay; the denialist throngs groveling at his feet don't really care about things like that anyway.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Just for fun, I used the same data set Spencer uses on his own site and made my version of his chart, this time with a linear trendline as well as the 13-month running average he shows:

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

Uh-oh


That works out to about 0.0132 degrees Celsius, or 0.02376 degrees Fahrenheit, per year for the past 32 years and some months. That is, by any measure, incredibly fast.

Yes, that's incredibly fast but not so fast as Roy Spencer's six trillion degree warming ;) Link


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Quoting JBastardi:


Another one of those blatherers who thinks she knows what transpired at Accuweather. Unless you have a contact there, you have absolutely no idea. From what information I can gather, JB left Accuweather because they didn't want to pay enough. After all, he was the star there and is probably one of the most highly-visible meteorologists in the country. He was the attraction and asked for more than they were willing to give. All of this innuendo that he was fired for his climate beliefs has no basis in fact. Hey, it's similar to global warming "science." It seems that all who believe in the fallacy of AGW detest Joe Bastardi, because he is an affront to their religion.

A star? Joe "The worst professional long-range forecaster on Earth" Bastardi. He wasn´t a star. Accuweather got tired of Bastardi's BS and fired him. Bastardi couldn´t even read a temperature anomaly map Link
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Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

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.

RickyRood's Recent Photos

Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.