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Earth Stats Science

Droughts Linked To Global Warming 535

Posted by Soulskill
from the hot-off-the-presses dept.
Layzej writes "Two new papers indicate that we are likely already seeing some of the predicted impacts of global warming. The first used Monte Carlo simulations to analyze how many new record events you expect to see in a time series with a trend. They applied the technique to the unprecedented Russian heat wave of July 2010, which killed 700 people and contributed to soaring wheat prices. According to the analysis, there's an 80 percent chance that climate change was responsible. The authors have described their methods and how they improved on previous studies. The second group studied wintertime droughts in the Mediterranean region. They found that 'the magnitude and frequency of the drying that has occurred is too great to be explained by natural variability alone. This is not encouraging news for a region that already experiences water stress, because it implies natural variability alone is unlikely to return the region's climate to normal.'"
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Droughts Linked To Global Warming

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  • by chrisale (621995) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @07:16PM (#37882448)

    It's called "climate change" NOT "global warming".

    It's called both. It is anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions of CO2 causing global warming of mean land, sea, and lower atmosphere temperatures which is causing global climate change.

  • Re:Falsifiable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by epine (68316) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @07:53PM (#37882690)

    I thought the whole idea of the scientific method was that the method was above and beyond whether any individual scientist was right or wrong either by good luck or good management. If Phil Jones puts being right above the rough and tumble of surviving criticism, he's not doing what I recognize as science. My version of science does not limit criticism to authorized lab coats.

    Richard Mueller, doing science, out in the open under scrutiny from all comers, came up with the same answer, and did the entire debate a huge favour. If Jones turns out to be as brilliant as Srinivasa Ramanujan (and as lacking in mainstream convention), I might cut him more slack. Hardy nearly had a coronary demanding proofs from Ramanujan that he couldn't supply in the form Hardy desired. Nevertheless, Ramanujan risked everything to join Hardy in collaboration to bridge the divide.

    What was Jones' excuse? He's hardly the first scientist faced with the prospect that nearly 100% of his peers (to say nothing of the gadfly rabble) are mainly motivated by the finding of fault. He should have a brief conversation with Daniel Shechtman about the reality of his chosen profession.

  • by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @07:58PM (#37882732)

    droughts? Global Warming! cold weather? Global Warming! average temperature dropping? Global Warming!

    While phrased facetiously and fairly modded down for it... the AC has a point. There are a hell of a lot of things that are blamed on global warming... and it's very easy for laymen to point that out and very easy for other laymen to say "well a global trend in warming can cause strange, unpredictable results in this chaotic weather system". I say stop BLAMING things on global warming. Droughts are the result of climate change, because they're a change in climate. Global warming, global cooling, global stayingthesameing, they're all going to affect weather in strange ways... what we have is an upward trend in temperature that may or may not be the direct result of human activity and droughts that may or may not be a direct result of this upward trend in temperature. I can tell you this much: We had a drought here in California that lasted several years and actually ENDED last year and we've been having record-breaking rains (and snow) that lasted well into July (SKIING IN TAHOE FOR JULY 4TH??) and then we had our first rains a couple weeks ago... is that caused by global warming too? Maybe. Who knows? Who cares? Does it really matter? No not really. The only thing that all these situations definitely have in common is that they are all occurring. If global warming is truly caused by human activity (which the jury is still firmly out on), we need to take rational action to solve it based upon scientific research... and that does not mean throwing money at anybody who claims to have the solution. Articles like this only serve to fuel the emotional bickering which has absolutely no place in science.

  • by Benfea (1365845) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @08:36PM (#37882966)

    According to a survey, 90% of scientists from the relevant fields and 90% of all scientists ascribe to anthropogenic climate change. That is what we call a "scientific consensus", and you don't get a consensus that strong without an awful lot of data to back it up. I know, I know, the good pro-science guys at FOX News and on the Rush Limbaugh show and from the rightist think tanks keep saying this is "bad science", but let's take a look at the "science" the rightists use to make their arguments, shall we?

    The most prominent, most cited, and most published climate change skeptic scientist is one Ross McKitrick, who is either an amazingly sloppy scientist, or someone deliberately engaging in fraud in order to promote a purely ideological view. I'll let you read for yourself: http://crookedtimber.org/2004/08/25/mckitrick-mucks-it-up/ [crookedtimber.org].

    This guy who either literally doesn't know a degree from a radian or is deliberately doing bad science in order to deceive people is the best of the bunch. The others are even worse. It is on the basis of work by men of this caliber that you conclude that 90% of the scientists on the planet, representing people from every conceivable walk of life, economic status, nationality, set of political views, etc. is part of a vast international conspiracy to... what? Make American rightists feel bad? I was never entirely clear on what this vast, incomprehensibly complex conspiracy is actually supposed to do.

  • Re:Doughnuts? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lastx33 (2097770) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @09:08PM (#37883148)

    Animals releasing methane don't have anything to do with global warming, since that's already part of the carbon cycle. Fossil fuels are the issue.

    They surely do. They would only be a natural part of the carbon cycle if they existed in sustainable numbers. Unfortunately there is an increasing amount of livestock being bred to satiate the market for animal products, both in the west and the rapidly expanding markets in the east. In the east, it is increasingly seen as being desirable to copy western patterns of consumption and this includes adopting a western style diet high in animal products. The by-product is both increased methane production and the expansion of factory style farming which also entails high energy input.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @10:40PM (#37883582)

    Few "academics" are on the payroll of oil companies.

    Any academic in an even slightly related field that is prepared to speak, research or publish material that denies AGW can be on the payroll of Big Oil. They are more than happy to pay for it. There aren't many that do so because most scientists aren't charlatans. Most scientists are actually interested in the truth.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.

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