Climate Change Update

Relying heavily on the excellent resource known as Dr. Jeff Master’s Wunderblog and a few other sources, I’ve compiled a quick list of a few of the highlights of weather events related to global warming in the news these days, in preparation for this weekend’s radio show “The Science of Global Warming: Science V Denialsim” on Atheists Talk #126, with Kevin Zelnio and John Abraham.

Here goes:

In recent months we have experienced the largest fire on record in Arizona, the largest fire in the history of New Mexico, the most extreme precipitation in the US ever, the hottest day in hell aka the Texas Panhandle,

The most expensive severe storm period, in terms of insured losses in US history was the US Severe THundrstorm Outbreak of May 20-27th according to the insurance industry. If you pay home owners insurance in the US midlands, your insurance went up (or your coverage went down) over the last few years because of unprecedented damage due to storms over the previous decade. You can probably expect a similar or greater increase in insurance over the next couple of years as the insurance industry struggles to keep up (and maintain a high profit, of course). In one severe storm event (or series of events, really) 11,000 people were evacuated in North Dakota due to fooding. (See also this.)

the 6th warmest may on land and 11th by sea according to NOAA including the third lowest extent of Arctic Ice which appears to be in record retreat. Overall we have experienced, globally, the most exterme weather since the early 19th century. June was also extremely hot and stormy, and may have been the seventh warmest June on record.

Here’s the NOAA summary for June:]

  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2011 was the seventh warmest on record at 16.08°C (60.94°F), which is 0.58°C (1.04°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F).
  • June 2011 was the 316th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985.
  • The June worldwide average land surface temperature was 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F)—the fourth warmest on record.
  • The global average ocean surface temperature was the 10th warmest June on record, at 0.47°C (0.85°F) above average. Neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions were present during June 2011. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, these ENSO-neutral conditions are expected to continue into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2011.
  • The first half of 2011 (January–June) was the 11th warmest on record for the combined global land and ocean surface temperature. Separately, the worldwide average ocean temperature was also the 11th warmest January–June and the worldwide average land temperature was the 12th warmest such period.

Multiple Hollywood epic film size sandstorms engulfed Phoenix and some are now predicting that this sort of massive sandstorm will become more common in the future. Famine in Somalia. Deadly US heat wave. And look at this. This is just the records set on July 22nd!

Comments

  1. #1 RC
    July 29, 2011

    No offense, but you might want to hold off on speculation about dust storms in Phoenix becoming ‘more common’. As a 16 year resident of the area, these things happen EVERY summer, an ordinary result of the basic dry conditions combined with summer thunderstorms having the same old huge downdrafts of cold air that stir up all the dust. You’d know that if you lived here. They are literally common right now and have been going back for probably as long as this dry place has had summer thunderstorms…..

    I suppose there may have been less of them in pre-industrial days when cars and tractors weren’t disturbing the ground. But that of course doesn’t have a thing to do with climate change.

  2. #2 Steven Goddard
    July 29, 2011

    GISS temperatures are below Hansen’s 1988 Scenario C – which was zero emissions after the year 2000.

    New Mexico had larger fires in the 1890s. I used to be a forest ranger in the Santa Fe National Forest.

    No hurricanes have made landfall in the US for over 1,000 days.

    Severe tornadoes have been on the decline for 60 years.

    Calm down.

  3. #3 Rick Pikul
    July 29, 2011

    More common as in how many of them happen per year.

  4. #4 Rick Pikul
    July 29, 2011

    @Steven Goddard

    GISS temperatures are below Hansen’s 1988 Scenario C – which was zero emissions after the year 2000.

    Leaving off the little detail that Hansen’s work assumed a climate sensitivity of 4.2°C/2xCO2 which has been known to be almost certainly high for quite some time. If you substitute the more current best estimate of 3°C/2xCO2 you end up with Scenario B, (which is basically what happened), slightly underestimating current temperatures.

    Do try to catch up on the last quarter century of research.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    July 29, 2011

    RC: You’d know that if you lived here.

    I did that.

    Anyway, you must have been out of town because the July 5th duststorm was not a run of the mill event that happens a few times every summer.

    “Jeff Masters, a meteorologist at Weather Underground, notes that this storm had a higher amount of dust than usual for such storms, and says the amount of dust the storm carried could be attributed to the severe drought conditions the region has been experiencing. … Climate Central draws a link between the latest storm and climate change. It reports that scientists have predicted that rainfall will become increasingly scarce in the southwestern U.S. in the coming years. As a result, droughts will become more frequent in this region. So when the summer monsoon thunderstorms occur, they can whip up large amounts of dust off the dry ground, which would cause dust storms like the one seen on Tuesday.”

    source: http://www.peoplesworld.org/huge-phoenix-dust-storm-tied-to-climate-change/

    I suppose there may have been less of them in pre-industrial days when cars and tractors weren’t disturbing the ground.

    That is probably a factor.

    But that of course doesn’t have a thing to do with climate change.

    Well, ironically, it does in interesting and complex ways. On one had you have the use of fuel that our expanding and increasingly industrialized population entails. On the other hand, maybe some of that dust will reduce insolation and thus mitigate slightly against climat change.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    July 29, 2011

    For those just tuning in, Steven Goddard (2) is a well known climate change denialist, expert cherry picker of data, teller of untruths and all round drone. And a neocon right wing fascist yahoo.

    (accusation of ad hominem attack in 3 .. 2 … 1 …)

  7. #7 Jason
    July 29, 2011

    How dare you make such a vicious personal attack on Steven Goddard, calling him a neocon right wing fascist. He may be a climate change denialist, an expert cherry picker of data, a teller of untruths, an all round drone, and a neocon right wing fascist, but he is *not* a porn star.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    July 29, 2011

    Well, the value of his comments had already been dealt with so I figured I’d go for the juglar. He likes it.

  9. #9 Delurked lurker
    July 29, 2011

    All these predictions are based on models constructed from satellite data, which have only been available in the second half of the last century. prior to this the data was too crude and the tools to crunch the data and accurately model the climate were not available. As such all it does is highlight the short term noise that we are seeing now. Granted this may very well be a precursor to a warmer world and yes we are now in the anthropocene epoch.

    I am totally mystified as to why people obsess over the symptom and not the disease. By the end of the century there will be 14 billion people on the planet and regardless of anything that may be put in place, without tackling the population question there is no hope at all that the rate of increase in CO2 can be tackled, let alone reduced. By that time we will have had total collapse of wild fish stock and most large iconic wild mammals will either be extinct of threatened with extinction. There will be no wilderness areas anywhere only remnant pockets that cannot maintain genetically healthy populations. Farmland will be at the maximum extent and degradation will be the name of the game. Your descendants will have miserable lifestyles breathing polluted air in over crowded cities and the nation they live in may be in perpetual war for simple thing like clean water or arable land.

    Greg it would be nice if you could just once stand in a higher place and see the forest instead of wandering around the forest floor seeing nothing but tree trunks. You have considerable talents which are going to waste chasing red herrings.

    For the record I believe the evidence points to the fact that we are indeed in the anthropocence. I just wish we could acknowledge what the real problem is.

  10. #10 John Douglas Swallow
    July 29, 2011

    I would imagine that the first temps that I present will be called cherry picking but they are still what the temperature was on these days:
    Here are some weather records for high temperatures for Billings, MT and note the dates of these records: Jan., 75.0*F(01/18/1897), April, 92.0*F(04/25/1910), May, 99.0*F(05/16/1901), July, 112.0*F(07/31/1901), Dec., 75.0*F(12/30/1896),

    What follows are world record high temperatures: World (Africa) El Azizia, Libya; Sept. 13, 1922, (136F):
    North America (U.S.), Death Valley, Calif.; July 10, 1913 (134F);
    Asia; Tirat Tsvi, Israel, June 21, 1942, (129F):
    Australia ,Cloncurry, Queensland; Jan. 16, 1889 (128F):
    Europe, Seville, Spain,Aug. 4, 1881 (122F):
    South America, Rivadavia, Argentina; Dec. 11, 1905 (120F):
    Canada,Midale and Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, Canada; July 5, 1937 (113F):
    Oceania;Tuguegarao, Philippines, April 29, 1912 (108F):
    Persian Gulf (sea-surface): Aug. 5, 1924 (96F):
    Antarctica; Vanda Station, Scott Coast, Jan. 5, 1974 (59F):
    South Pole, Dec. 27, 1978, (7.5F).
    Highest average annual mean temperature (world): Dallol, Ethiopia (Oct. 1960 Dec. 1966), 94° F.
    Longest hot spell (world): Marble Bar, W. Australia, 100° F (or above) for 162 consecutive days, Oct. 30, 1923 to Apr. 7, 1924. Notice anything regarding the dates of these records? Anyone heard of the dust bowl & wasn’t that in the 30s
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001375.html

    The thing that I wonder about regarding these listed world record high temperature is, if the earth is in the clutches if this devastating anthropogenic global warming that is because of CO2, then why don’t the records confirm that and show recent temperatures to be in excess of these all time high records? I do not contest that perhaps the earth is warming and has since the last ice age, other than the times when there were little ice ages. The thing I find totally unbelievable is that man is the cause of this warming. It has been far warmer in the past, such as the medieval warm period that Mann and Gore felt comfortable to disregard and not show on their; therefore false, hockey stick graph. There was little burning of fossil fuels during that time, so how can man now be the cause of this warming?

  11. #11 John Douglas Swallow
    July 29, 2011

    Just how sure are you of your “Facts” if you are an alarmist? “The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. ” Is it of interest who reported this? the IPCC, the Meteorological Office…. No, that was the US Weather Bureau in 1922.”
    “…to note the unusually warm summer in Arctic Norway and the observations of Capt. Martin Ingebrigtsen, who has sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years past. He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1915, that since that time it has steadily gotten warmer, and that to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1865 to 1917. Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecognizable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found there are now often moraines, accumulations of earth and that the favorable ice conditions will continue.” (They say favorable ice conditions because Norway mines coal in the arctic, I think it is the most northern mine in the world; therefore, they observed conditions on a continual basis.)

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    July 29, 2011

    All these predictions are based on models constructed from satellite data, which have only been available in the second half of the last century. prior to this the data was too crude and the tools to crunch the data and accurately model the climate were not available.

    That is not true. Climate science makes extensive use of a long record of proxyindicators that could not fairly be described as crude.

    By the end of the century there will be 14 billion people on the planet and regardless of anything that may be put in place, without tackling the population question there is no hope at all that the rate of increase in CO2 can be tackled, let alone reduced.

    Not addressing fossil CO2 release and related issues because there is arguably a bigger problem is not a good idea. But yes, that is a problem.

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    July 29, 2011

    Also: What would you ask an expert on climate change?

    John: Just how sure are you of your “Facts” if you are an alarmist?

    I think you have your causal arrow going int he wrong direction, denialist.

    Is it of interest who reported this? the IPCC, the Meteorological Office…. No, that was the US Weather Bureau in 1922.”

    Are you actually trying to make the claim that CO2 release is something only relevant to the last decade or so?

    I think by now most people can recognize cherry picking when they see it. Plus the double standard of suggesting that an excellent and developing proxy record is no good if it suggests AGW, but anecdotal crap you pulled out of your hind quarters is evidence of something you want everyone to accept.

    (or are delurked lurker and john swallow not in agreement?)

  14. #14 John Douglas Swallow
    July 29, 2011

    Greg; do you think that what follows may have something to do with your hero, James Hansen and his flawed information. As I have mentioned before; according to the Buddhist, “a half truth is a whole lie”

    Rural US Sites Show No Temperature Increase Since 1900
    Using data downloaded from NASA GISS and picking rural sites near, but not too near, to urban sites, a comparison has been made of the temperature trend over time of the rural sites compared to those of the urban sites.  28 pairs of sites across the U.S. were compared.  The paired rural site is from 31 to 91 km from the urban site in each pair.  The result is that urban and rural sites were similar in 1900, with the urban sites slightly higher.  The urban sites have shown an increase in temperatures since then.  The rural sites show no such temperature increase and appear to be generally unchanging with only ups and downs localized in time.  Over a 111 year time span, the urban sites temperatures have risen to be about 1.5C warmer than the rural sites.  So, the much touted rising temperatures in the U.S. are due to the urban heat island effect and not due to a global warming such as has been proposed to be caused by human emissions of CO2 due to the combustion of fossil fuels.

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    July 29, 2011

    John, why would you imagine that your cherry picked data would be called cherry picked data, when you can have the real thing. Here, like this:

    YOUR DATA ARE CHERRY PICKED YOU HAVE NOT CRIDIBLITIEZ!!!!

    There now you can save your imagination for something else!

  16. #16 Achrachno
    July 29, 2011

    “North America (U.S.), Death Valley, Calif.; July 10, 1913 (134F)”

    While widely reported as the North American record high, 134 is apparently a bad number. It’s inconsistent with other regional stations for that date. It was a hot day, but not that hot. Someone may have left the thermometer out in the sun, misread it, wrote the number down wrong or something. IIRC something around 125-128 has been estimated as closer to what reality probably was.

    I know nothing about the other numbers quoted, but do wonder if they’ve been checked.

  17. #17 Delurked lurker
    July 29, 2011

    greg@10

    You said

    “That is not true. Climate science makes extensive use of a long record of proxyindicators that could not fairly be described as crude.”

    interesting, I think your interpretation is that I was implying that the science of climate study is crude. Far from it but you can see the difference between data from rudimentary analog instruments sources dating from the decade before the 1960’s as well as data from tree rings, ice and sediment cores and to the quality satellite data we have today. The models are weighted to the recent data because the recent data is accurate. Hence my caution in placing that much emphasis on what maybe short term noise.

    Not paying ANY attention to the real problem and pouring all your energies is addressing symptoms seems illogical to me.

  18. #18 John Douglas Swallow
    July 29, 2011

    Delurked lurker: You present a great observation and make a very valid recommendation to this totally out of touch individual, Greg Laden, when you say this: “Greg it would be nice if you could just once stand in a higher place and see the forest instead of wandering around the forest floor seeing nothing but tree trunks. You have considerable talents which are going to waste chasing red herrings.” This is what Greg thinks and his writing show his intellectual immaturity regarding this subject.

    “If you are a blogger and they comment on your blog, you need not be intimidated by screechy references to the “First Amendment” … just delete their blaterhing or change their links to point to the web site of the Spam Museum, a major Minnesota Attraction. Or whatever.

    When you look upon a global warming denialist, you are not seeing a person who is deluded, wrong, misinformed, or misguided. You are seeing a person who is intent on killing your grandchildren. You may want to treat them politely, you may want to be a dick to them. Do whatever works. But don’t let them think for a second that you do not know what the consequences of their actions are. Don’t let them get away with it.” http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/06/why_is_anthropogenic_global_wa.php

  19. #19 Delurked lurker
    July 29, 2011

    Please don’t make the mistake of lumping me in with the Monckton crowd. I know all the arguments for and against and there is no doubt, we are living through one of the greatest extinction events seen on this planet. Its caused by us. Billions and billions of us. every year another 75 to 80 million added. 4 extra mouths to feed every second. 4 extra efficient CO2 emitters every second. It gets worse decade by decade and every time we hit a limit we do what we do best and apply science to the problem and pass that limit. It solves nothing it just buys some time. Without doing anything about the real problem you are depriving our descendants any hope of living a life better than ours. I find that very sad.

    I have a tiny carbon footprint that I am justly proud of. It easy to do and these days it saves you lots of money. So not only do I reap the benefits, the environment is better for it.

    My $0.02 worth

  20. #20 John Douglas Swallow
    July 30, 2011

    Delurked lurker: One must look at the population question and realize that as a society prospers and advances its birth rate drops to the point that without immigration the numbers are unsustainable.(Even Greg should be able to verify this FACT with out having to revert to some obscene remark such as: “but anecdotal crap you pulled out of your hind quarters is evidence of something you want everyone to accept.” If you firmly believe what I presented to be “anecdotal crap” you can look it up for your self at this site.
    “The newspaper article was located in the Library of Congress archives by James Lockwood.
    Here is the text of the Washington Post (Associated Press) article:”)
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2472134/posts

    There can be no argument that the reasons for the advancement of these nations is on the back of fossil fuels and their use to advance the populations of these nations beyond the level of mere survival to the fulfillment of their citizens full potential. Now we have some that do not possess the intellectual ability to connect the dots regarding this and instead want to lecture someone on the horrors of CO2. At .038% of the atmosphere and being one and one half times heavier that air, CO2 makes no difference as to what the climate does at all. The whole mission of these who think that they are elitist and so much wiser than the average proletariat is the control factor and they could care less about the environment, the earth in general and lastly the welfare of its human population.

    Achrachno: You say correctly that “I know nothing about the other numbers quoted” so were you at Death Valley, Calif.; July 10, 1913 when someone, by some method, recorded this temperature of 134F? I assume that you imagine they just stuck a finger in the air and said that it really seems hot or some other nonsense that fits into your line of “reasoning”.

  21. #21 Zeno
    July 30, 2011

    John Douglas Swallow just cited an Associated Press article in the Washington Post by giving us a link via Free Republic. While the article itself might be interesting, I find it saves a lot of time when you dismiss freepers out of hand. They’re nucking futs and they frequent a sinkhole of right-wing slime and abuse.

    And if you think that was merely an ad hominem, it was actually based on years of observation. Free Republic. WorldNetDaily. NewsMax.com. All are pure propaganda mills. Point and laugh.

  22. #22 John Douglas Swallow
    July 30, 2011

    Greg: In March of 2010 I did the Annapurna circuit trek that takes one over the highest trekking pass in the world, Thorung La Pass, that is 17,769′ high at its summit. I know from this experience that at this elevation there is approximately 50% of the O2 that is available at sea level. It is a FACT that the atmosphere is made up of 78.08% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, (99.03% of the atmosphere is made up of these two gases). I also know from my experience flying airplanes in WY, MT. and AK. that there is a very real thing called density altitude and there has been more than once when I would not take off from the Dubois, WY airport that is over 7,000′ because I wanted to live to fly another day. Another thing from my flying experience that I well recall is being able to detect hypoxemia brought about by having a low O2 blood level and generally one could only remain above 12,000′ without O2 for 1/2 hr., according to FAA rules. The percentage of oxygen in the air is always 21 percent no matter how high you go and we would assume that for CO2 it would be .038%, but it’s 21 percent or .038% of a smaller total air pressure. At sea level the partial pressure of oxygen is 21 percent of 760 torr, while at 10,000 feet it is 21 percent of only 199 torr. (torr definition is: Unit of pressure equal to 1/760th of an atmosphere or 133.32 pascals. Named after the Italian scientist Evangelista Torricelli (1609-47), the inventor of mercury barometer.)

    Now another FACT for you to consider. CO2 is one and one half times heavier than “air”. This point was sadly proven on Aug, 21, 1986 when Lake Nyor in Cameroon released about 1.6 million tons of CO2 that spilled over the lip of the lake and down into a valley and killed 1,700 people within 16 miles of the lake. “Carbon dioxide, being about 1.5 times as dense as air, caused the cloud to “hug” the ground and descend down the valleys where various villages were located. The mass was about 50 metres (164 ft) thick and it travelled downward at a rate of 20–50 kilometres (12–31 mi) per hour. For roughly 23 kilometres (14 mi) the cloud remained condensed and dangerous, suffocating many of the people sleeping in Nyos, Kam, Cha, and Subum.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Nyos

    Greg, this is no “anecdotal crap you pulled out of your hind quarters is evidence of something you want everyone to accept.” but a FACT. So, now given these FACTS, please tell me how much of this natural gas that is essential for life as we know it on earth, CO2, that, as stated, makes up .038% of the atmosphere is at the altitudes you think it would be at to have any affect as a “green house” gas. Also please note that H2O constitutes what makes up 95% of what causes the green house effect on planet earth and when I was at close to 18,000 feet on Thorung La Pass there were clouds over head and another thing, I for sure didn’t see any glaciers disappearing before my eyes but did witness some pretty impressive avalanches across the valley from Thorung Phedi that is 14,596 feet high and where we left from early in the morning to go over the Pass and then on into Muktinath where we spent the night and it makes for a long day for some one almost 70 years old but it was disappointing to see some of your liberal know it all types one half the age of my friend and I turn around and go back to Manang. If you think that this is “anecdotal crap you pulled out of your hind quarters is evidence of something you want everyone to accept.” and since I have your email address I will send you photographic evidence of all of this so you can dream up some total bit of unadulterated BS about that also.

  23. #23 John Douglas Swallow
    July 30, 2011

    Zeno: You appear to be a total dud that is incapable of looking anything up on your own. Why don’t you look at the actual site and cut the innuendos and other such crap? I wouldn’t even take the time to point and laugh at someone such as you. Goethe had you in mind when he said this: ‘Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action’ — Goethe
    “The source report of the Washington Post article on changes in the arctic has been found in the Monthly Weather Review for November 1922. It is much more detailed than the Washington Post (Associated Press) article. It seems the AP heaviliy relied on the report from Norway Consulate George Ifft, which is shown below. See the original MWR article below and click the newsprint copy for a complete artice or see the link to the original PDF below:”
    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/200389-Flashback-1922-Extra-Extra-Read-all-about-it-Arctic-Ocean-Getting-Warm-Seals-Perish-Glaciers-and-Icebergs-Melt-

  24. #24 John Douglas Swallow
    July 30, 2011

    Greg: “The atmosphere is divided into five layers. It is thickest near the surface and thins out with height until it eventually merges with space.
    1. The troposphere is the first layer above the surface and contains half of the Earth’s atmosphere. Weather occurs in this layer.
    2. Many jet aircrafts fly in the stratosphere because it is very stable. Also, the ozone layer absorbs harmful rays from the Sun.
    3. Meteors or rock fragments burn up in the mesosphere.
    4. The thermosphere is a layer with auroras. It is also where the space shuttle orbits.
    5. The atmosphere merges into space in the extremely thin exosphere. This is the upper limit of our atmosphere.”
    http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/layers_activity_print.html>

    The question that I now present to you, in addition to the one regarding just how much of this trace gas, CO2, that I hope you agree makes up a scant .038% of the earth’s atmosphere and that is 1&1/2 times heavier than air is present at different layers in the earth’s atmosphere and at what layers is it a “principle green house gas” when we know that water vapor, at .4% of the atmosphere causes 95% of what is known as the green house effect? I am sure that you realize the atmosphere is made up of 78.08% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, (99.03% of the atmosphere is made up of these two gases) .93% argon and .0001% neon, helium and krypton for constant components and .4% water vapor that constitutes 95% of what cause the green house effect and we had best not forget CO2 at .038% and the rest is made up of trace gases such as CH4,SO2,03 and NO, and NO2. These trace gases are very important, H2O being the most important because it contributes 95% to the green house effect, and with out these gases the surface of the earth would too cool/cold to support life as we know it. I hope that these FACTS have been established and that you will not come back with your “anecdotal crap” reply.

    Now I present you with another set of FACTS for you to ponder and try to come back with your ignorant “anecdotal crap” reply.
    There are some obsessed with the supposed increase of 280 ppm to 392ppm of CO2 and I know that you are among their numbers. I hope that this information will help you to sleep better at nights. This, I hope, will put this into some kind of a perspective that makes one understand just how insignificant this increase is.

    A part per million is like 1 drop of ink in a large
    kitchen sink.
    A large kitchen sink is about 13-14 gallons. There
    are 100 drops in one teaspoon, and 768 teaspoons
    per gallon.
    Some other things that are one part per million are…
    One drop in the fuel tank of a mid-sized car
    One inch in 16 miles
    About one minute in two years
    One car in a line of bumper-to-bumper traffic from
    Cleveland to San Francisco.
    One penny in $10,000.
    I know that you understand that these 112 additional ppm are spread out over this 16 miles in different one inch segments and wouldn’t it be a task to be told to sort out the 392 pennies from the number that it would take to make up $10,000.
    At 392 parts per million, CO2 is a minor constituent of earth’s atmosphere– less than 4/100ths of 1% of all gases present. Compared to former geologic times, earth’s current atmosphere is CO2- impoverished. Please explain how this CO2 is going to act like a pane of glass in a green house when, as the various spheres that compose the earth’s atmosphere increase in altitude, they obviously increase in area and when was the last time you were able to “trap” anything using a gas?

    Now to present a motive for the actions of you and like minded folks:
    “Warmists ‘Want To Control Every Aspect Of Your Life': ‘What you eat, what you drive, where you drive, what you believe, what you say, what you can own, how many children you can have…’
    ‘how much you can travel, how much money you have, what your kids are taught, how big your house is, the temperature of your house, how your house is heated, how far you live from your work, what kind of light bulbs and other appliances you have ……… Global warmers make Lenin’s Bolsheviks look like libertarians. In Soviet Russia, polar bears eat Bolsheviks'”

  25. #25 sailor
    July 30, 2011

    “The urban sites have shown an increase in temperatures since then. The rural sites show no such temperature increase and appear to be generally unchanging with only ups and downs localized in time.”
    Only an urban dweller would believe this. For those in the northern countryside, the horticultural scale of zones where you can grow things, has pushed most places warmer by a notch. The growing season is now longer by a week or so.

  26. #26 KnightBiologist
    July 30, 2011

    @JDSwallow 24- “Now to present a motive…” . That’s were you’ve tipped your hand sir and finally stated your bias (read, political). According to you, scientists working in the field and laboratories around the world (and who know what they’re doing), as well as people who just give a damn about the environment and the future, such as myself… we’re all just part of a world-wide Bolshevik conspiracy out to “control every aspect of your life”?
    Really, now?
    Sorry, I have no desire to “control” anybody’s lifestyle. I do appreciate the work of scientists, like Greg, who point out that our energy consumption and CO2, (etc…) pollution has gone out of control and does affect our environment (read, our children’s future). I realize I have an obligation to do my part, however small that is. If that means I don’t buy certain energy wasting light bulbs… then so be it.
    I must be a Bolshevik! I hear that green is the ‘new red’ in political fashion circles. Where do I sign up?

  27. #27 NJ
    July 30, 2011

    John Douglas Swallow(s the bullshit that Fox News tells him to) @ 24:

    At 392 parts per million, CO2 is a minor constituent of earth’s atmosphere– less than 4/100ths of 1% of all gases present.

    Ergo, at a few ppm, carbon dioxide cannot cause any changes.

    Johnny boy, try this experiment: Obtain a very small amount of Ethyl ({2-[bis(propan-2-yl)amino]ethyl}sulfanyl)(methyl)phosphinate. Just a tiny amount, say, 5 micrograms for every kilogram of your body weight.

    This would be about 5 parts per billion.

    Get someone to watch while you place this ignorably miniscule amount on your hand, and have them report back to us on the results, ‘K?

    See, just because you are impressed with number juggling doesn’t mean those of us who actually understand the numbers have to be impressed too.

  28. #28 Achrachno
    July 30, 2011

    ACH “While widely reported as the North American record high, 134 is apparently a bad number. It’s inconsistent with other regional stations for that date. It was a hot day, but not that hot. Someone may have left the thermometer out in the sun, misread it, wrote the number down wrong or something. IIRC something around 125-128 has been estimated as closer to what reality probably was.”

    SWALL “so were you at Death Valley, Calif.; July 10, 1913 when someone, by some method, recorded this temperature of 134F? I assume that you imagine they just stuck a finger in the air and said that it really seems hot or some other nonsense that fits into your line of “reasoning”.

    It appears that my one little observation has undermined a very rigid and uncomprehending world view. How else can I explain such an unhinged response?

  29. #29 Achrachno
    July 30, 2011

    Swall “At 392 parts per million, CO2 is a minor constituent of earth’s atmosphere– less than 4/100ths of 1% of all gases present.”

    NJ “Ergo, at a few ppm, carbon dioxide cannot cause any changes.”

    Along the same lines as your thought experiment NJ, I was thinking we should ask Swallow if he’d be willing to sit in a room with CO (that’s carbon monoxide, Swall) at that “minor” concentration of 392 ppm.

  30. #30 John Douglas Swallow
    July 30, 2011

    Sailor: You state this; “For those in the northern countryside, the horticultural scale of zones where you can grow things, has pushed most places warmer by a notch. The growing season is now longer by a week or so.” If this is true, is a bad thing? Do you think that soon the Danes will be raising wheat, milk cows and setting up farms complete with towns to support them in Greenland soon like the Vikings had in place during the Medieval Climate Optimum?

  31. #31 John Douglas Swallow
    July 30, 2011

    Achrachno: Why in the world would your distorted mind lead you to be wanting to browbeat me over this record temperature observed in 1913? I offered the site that this information came from; therefore, if you have an issue with this information, take it up with them.
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001375.html

    I also must remind you that the discussion is about the trace gas that occurs naturally and is essential for life on earth, CO2, and not CO and that point hits close to home because I had brother die from a faulty gas heater that produced CO but that of course was back when we still needed heaters in Wyoming before the banana trees started to grow, according to some fools with out a clue.

  32. #32 Gordon Andelin
    July 30, 2011

    Hey Greg…what caused these severe weather events?

    1903 : Hundreds Killed In Kansas City Flood

    1908 Earthquake Killed 100,000 In Italy

    1900 : Texas Hurricane Worse Than Don

    1966 Italian Flood – Worst Since The Middle Ages

    1937 : Floods Wreck Towns In Eleven States

    1950 : Severe Floods In The Midwest

  33. #33 Steve Ortman
    July 30, 2011

    Are you gonna talk about 3 dead polar bears, scientific misconduct or that heat is escaping back into space at a much higher rate than the theory predicts? What would it take to convince YOU that global warming alarmism was had dramatically overstated the actual rate of warming? How is this theory falsifiable?

  34. #34 John Douglas Swallow
    July 30, 2011

    Zeno: I assume that if this information came from Move On, Media Matters, Wonkette or the Smirking Chimp, you would find it more to your liking but it would qualify as being a gag and puke exercise, because of all of the unsubstantiated garbage they produce for folks like you to digest and believe.

    Having done much boating in S. E. Ak., I have great respect for what these sailors of the past accomplished. Keep in mind that Geo. Vancouver’s ships were wind powered; therefore, he wasn’t spewing out any diesel smoke to start this massive retreat of these glaciers. “The explorer Captain George Vancouver found Icy Strait, at the south end of Glacier Bay, choked with ice in 1794. Glacier Bay itself was almost entirely iced over. In 1879 naturalist John Muir found that the ice had retreated almost all the way up the bay. By 1916 the Grand Pacific Glacier was at the head of Tarr Inlet about 100 km 65 miles from Glacier Bay’s mouth. This is the fastest documented glacier retreat ever. Scientists are hoping to learn how glacial activity relates to climate changes and global warming from these retreating giants.”

  35. #35 John Douglas Swallow
    July 30, 2011

    KnightBiologist: You can’t be so naive as to not see the political motives that have surrounded this issue from the very beginning. That you may have no desire to “control” anybody’s lifestyle doesn’t mean that there are not those that would like to use this issue to do exactly that and it would also bring about great changes to how you conduct your affairs and some of them probably would not be to your liking. Go through what these people propose and see what you think:

    “We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” – Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, lead author of many IPCC reports

    “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” – Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC

    “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” – Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

    “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.” – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

    “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” – Christine Stewart, fmr Canadian Minister of the Environment

    “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” – emeritus professor Daniel Botkin

    “We require a central organizing principle – one agreed to voluntarily. Minor shifts in policy, moderate improvement in laws and regulations, rhetoric offered in lieu of genuine change – these are all forms of appeasement, designed to satisfy the public’s desire to believe that sacrifice, struggle and a wrenching transformation of society will not be necessary.” – Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

    “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (This is the same SOB that is partnered up with Al Gore, whose company, Generation Investment Management, which is now worth over $200 million. Strong spends most of his time in China, the worst polluter on the planet, (CO2 is not a pollutant but an essential ingredient for life on earth) & he is doing what he can to make this communist country the world’s next superpower.)

    “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” – Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies

    “The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.” – Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund

    “Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.” – Professor Maurice King

    “Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.” – Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

    “The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.” – Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

    “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” – Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University

    “The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.” – Sir James Lovelock, BBC Interview

    “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.” -Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!

    “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.” – Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major UN donor

    “… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion.” – Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind

    “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, patron of the World Wildlife Fund

    “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.” – John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

    “The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.” – Christopher Manes, Earth First!

    “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.” – David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

    As for myself, this is what I think about this issue of anthropogenic global warming, or is it now, since warming isn’t happening, known as climate change? But then when hasn’t the climate been changing or one could go kill some poor old wholly mammoth for sport like some idiots still kill elephants, for sport?

    “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” — Thomas H. Huxley [Al says that the debate is over, how ludicrous]

    As the sainted Mencken once quipped, “I love liberty and I hate fraud.”

  36. #36 John Douglas Swallow
    July 31, 2011

    NJ: How interesting that you can attempt to use my name to be used for some childish sort of insinuation as to where I get my information. I, unlike you, at least get some information regarding this issue from many sources and I hate to burst your CO2 bubble but Fox News is not one of them, since I live in Thailand. Speaking of Thailand, be aware of this FACT:
    “20 provinces in Thailand facing winter disaster
    Submitted 1 day ago [12-19, 2010]
    The Thai Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation on Sunday declared winter disaster zone in northern and northeastern 20 provinces in Thailand.
    Director-General of the Department Viboon Sanguanpong said people in 10 northern provinces as well as another 10 provinces in northeastern part are currently suffering from harsh winter.
    The temperature in those 20 provinces has been lower than eight degree Celsius.
    According to the Director-General, a special relief center has been set up following an instruction from Interior Ministry and winter stricken provinces will be primarily granted one million baht (33,168 U.S. dollars) for initial mitigation.”

    Why don’t you use your own name and not hide behind a phony two letter identity like NJ?

  37. #37 John Douglas Swallow
    July 31, 2011

    Achrachno: Here is another site that you can set straight on your “Not the Hottest Day On Record” crusade.
    This a good site to find records and I could care less if you believe them or not. Make up some of your own that suit you better.
    “Warmest Days in US History: 134 F. Recorded at the Greenland Ranch in Death Valley on July 10, 1913. For a time, this also was the warmest recorded temperature in World History. It was surpassed less than ten years later, however, when a temperature of 136 was recorded in the Sahara Desert at Al Azizia, Libya, on Sept. 13, 1922.”
    http://www.epicdisasters.com/index.php/site/comments/coldest_and_warmest_days_in_the_united_states/

    Here is one for you to ponder; but, I notice that when Greg mentions HOT events, then that is a sign of Climate Change use to be known as anthropogenic global warming until the warming stopped in 1998, but when it is COLD events it is always just a weather thing. Floods and fires, famines in Somalia have more to do with the horrible Islamic caused break down of all social functions, and I’ve even heard that the earth quakes are caused by this climate change brought about by CO2, If you believe all of this, you are not too bright.
    30th December 2010
    “BRITAIN’S winter is the coldest since 1683 and close to being the chilliest in nearly 1,000 years.
    Latest figures reveal that the average temperature since December 1 has been a perishing -1C.
    That makes it the second coldest since records began in 1659.
    The chilliest on record was 1683/84, when the average was -1.17C and the River Thames froze over for two months.”
    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/169577/Winter-may-be-coldest-in-1000-years/

  38. #39 RC
    August 1, 2011

    “…you must have been out of town because the July 5th duststorm was not a run of the mill event that happens a few times every summer…”

    Afraid not on that point. I was right in the center of it. I also was in two dust storms that preceded the July 5 one by several weeks, and in the one that came a week after it. Those other dust storms were the typical sandy gritty types with other bits of debris in them. The July 5 one had the unique quality of carrying the finest powder I’ve ever personally seen, which is why it looked so impressive along with its aftermath. My apartment complex looked like a nuclear holocaust nightmare the morning after.

    The hitch here concerns Masters saying “…the amount of dust the storm carried could be attributed to the severe drought conditions the region has been experiencing…” If that kind of fine powder was NOT seen in the others, or even the one that occurred just last night, then how is the July 5 one any direct indication of the severe drought? Couldn’t it instead be that a highly unusual source of extra powdery dust was simply picked up in the south Chandler/Gilbert area? I believe our rainfall last year was at normal, and I heard we are right now only less than an inch off normal accumulation.

  39. #40 Russell C
    August 2, 2011

    “…More common as in how many of them happen per year….”

    One more bit to add, for those not living in the area: I may have been too subtle about it in my post at the very top, but these dust storms do NOT blow out of a clear blue sky. They are entirely the result of the thunderstorm downdrafts I mentioned. Yes, we do have dusty winds here at other times of the year, but always within sight of the ‘epic’ dust clouds discussed here are huge thunderstorms, either in the process of dying out or getting bigger. Immediately following the dust storm I was in two days ago at the east of the valley was a 1/2″ deluge of rain.

    In this case, I don’t see how we can have have predictions of worsening drought brought on by global warming, and increasing thunderstorm-caused dust storms. More dust storms like this = more water content in the air = increased likelihood of rain = more plantlife to retain the dust = ultimately less dust storms….. right?

  40. #41 Matt Hagen
    January 16, 2012

    The predominant scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth’s climate system is unequivocally warming and it is more than 90% certain that humans are causing it through activities that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This opinion is shared by 97% of climate scientists. Petroleum geologists and meteorologists are among the biggest doubters, with only 47 and 64 percent respectively believing in human involvement. It stands to reason that Petroleum geologists may have a conflict of interest and meteorologists only look at short term weather conditions. Fossil-fuel companies like Exxon and Peabody Energy — which obviously have a business interest in slowing any attempt to reduce carbon emissions — have combined with traditionally conservative corporate groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and conservative foundations like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, to raise doubts about the basic validity of what is, essentially, a settled scientific truth.
    All of the American broadcast media, and most of the print media as well, are owned primarily by wealthy individuals. Direct ties to the biggest of big businesses are almost unbelievably extensive. Big tobacco companies used this same tactic of denial and claims of scientific uncertainty and they got away with it for decades. Isn’t it time the American people woke up and realized the obvious. Log on to
    http://greensentry.net/index.html and make your voice heard.

  41. #42 Matt Hagen
    January 17, 2012

    Religion has no place in our schools. That is why we do not allow prayer in school. If we did, who would choose which religious beliefs to teach. Teach what you want in your own place of worship. There is no need to tie Science with religion. Science is based on facts and religion is based on beliefs. The scientific community is 90% certain that the earth is warming due to man’s burning of fossil fuels. 97% of climate scientists believe climate change is caused from the burning of fossil fuels. So does the International Panel on Climate change, NASA, U.S. Global Change Research Program, International Arctic Science Committee, American Association for the Advancement of Science and at least 32 national science academies around the world. Its time the propaganda spread by the fossil fuel industry is put to rest. We need to tell our elected officials to stop listening to corporate lobbyists and do the work of the people. Log onto http://greensentry.net/index.html to see how.

  42. #43 Matt Hagen
    January 17, 2012

    Sorry the above comment was for the climate change initiative blog.

  43. #44 Greg Laden
    January 17, 2012

    Matt, what is your source for those numbers on “meteorologists” … I’m pretty sure that is changing.

  44. #45 Matt Hagen
    January 17, 2012

    Greg:

    I got this form a 2009 survey done by the University of Illinois. So the data is three years old. Here’s the site http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-01/uoia-ssa011609.php . A 2010 survey was done with similar results.
    The American Meteorological Society, however, does agree with
    the rest of the scientific community on mans influence on climate change.

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