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Warmest 12-Month Period Recorded In US 297

First time accepted submitter seanzig writes "Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground provides a good overview of the State of the Climate Report from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). May 2011 through Apr. 2012 broke the previous record (Nov. 1999 — Oct. 2000). A number of other interesting records (e.g., warmest March on record) and stats emerged. It just presents the data and does not surmise anything about the causes or what should be done about it."
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Warmest 12-Month Period Recorded In US

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  • Re:No Alaska (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @06:11PM (#39947917)

    Nobody presented it as proof of AWG. It says so in the goddamned summary.

    Wait, AWG? I don't think the American Wire Gauge is in dispute here.

    It's a pain in the fucking ass. Now we've got AWG and metric cable types. I'm supposed to be able to find a substitute for a discontinued cable, specs in AWG, but replacements in metric, and every. single. fucking. time. I have to work out the characteristics because the sizes aren't exactly the same.

    "But Beardo, why not just use the next biggest size and leave the conversion to the philosophers?"

    Because weight is a critical factor, that's why.

  • by Korin43 ( 881732 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @06:15PM (#39947949) Homepage

    I will admit that at least some of us basically troll for fun by denying part 1 and part 2 above, because we hate the "solutions" to part 3.

    So you pretend to be an idiot in the hopes that it will make people take you seriously? I'd like to see that work.

    What's wrong with, "It's happening, but there's no viable solution (yet) to stop it?" At least then you have people focused on solutions instead of wasting their time providing more and more proof that it's actually happening.

  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @06:21PM (#39948037)
    We've had unusually warm or record warm years for 12 to 15 years. There's evidence of it going back to the early 80s. So far it's following the predicted pattern, there's that nasty science, including the southwest being more mild. A shift in the jet stream was supposed to keep Arizona and Southern California mild compared to the rest of the country. Arizona has had a mild winter and now we are well into May with no 100 degree days. Some would call this proof global warming or climate change is false but it's due to the fact they haven't read what the models predicted. I've heard ridiculous claims that it was supposed to be 10 degrees warmer by now so it's false. I never read a single model that predicted that. The worst scenarios are for a roughly 10 degree increase in some areas in a hundred years, not ten. Three to five was the most likely outcome but we are actually running on the high side of all the models so it's likely to be worse than the best case scenario. Look at the statistics. If some one rolled ten or twelve sixes in a row with dice and could predict 90% of his rolls would that be proof of psychic powers? I think even James Randi would accept that as proof. We're seeing the same consistency in weather model predictions. People have claimed the lack of killer hurricanes as proof that it's all a lie while ignoring the explosion in deadly tornadoes. Also tornadoes are happening earlier and later in the year and they are happening from Maine to Southern California. Two places where they are very rare. Other factors can moderate hurricanes but tornadoes are cause by the mixing of warm and cool air. You have the right conditions you tend to get tornadoes. Usually there's only a portion of the country where conditions are right but now they can happen almost anywhere.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <> on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @06:32PM (#39948165) Homepage Journal

    " it's not going to be the end of civilization."
    yeah, lets see what you have to say when we hit 500ppm

  • by khipu ( 2511498 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @06:56PM (#39948389)

    yeah, lets see what you have to say when we hit 500ppm

    What are you talking about? 500 ppm is pretty much inevitable at this point. IPCC predictions go as high as 900ppm in 2090 and even the IPCC doesn't predict the end of civilization at that level. In fact, even in the absolute worst case scenario, namely total melting of all ice caps over a few centuries (and that's how long it's going to take no matter what), how do you imagine that would end civilization?

  • by Courageous ( 228506 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @07:56PM (#39948897)

    I am personally rather indifferent to the whole GW/AGW affair. That said, it's just silly to infer that extra snow means the globe isn't warming. For example, consider: if 100 billion tons of ice melts at the poles, and global snow levels then increase, in winter, when was the water cooler: 1) when it spent all year round being ice, or 2) when it spends 4 months a year as ice? If you guessed #1, you'd be right.

    Of course, I can ask the question a different way, and just make you mental. If the globe is warming, and the average temperature goes up, would it be possible for the increased water vapor as it traveled across the poles to actually generate an expanding ice sheet? If you agreed that it was possible, you'd be right.

    Now the part that will make you mental is that these two questions imply answers that could be superficially viewed as contradictory. I'm fun at a party, eh?


  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:06AM (#39950709)

    "Forget what's posted on blogs and social sites, go browse the wealth of material provided by the IPCC, or NAS, or the Royal society, or CSIRO, or NASA, or NOAA, or WMO or any other reputable and independent scientific institution, even the WP page on AGW is informative for this purpose."

    Or not.

    Before we go about talking about how "independent" these sources are, we should look a little closer at the facts. And among those facts, you will find that the majority of research papers supporting the AGW concept have shared either data or methodology with the folks at Hadley Centre and CRU. And yes, that includes NASA, and NOAA, and very definitely the IPCC.

    The fact is that the "climate science" community is very small, close, and insular. You will find that most researchers have either co-authored papers, or referenced each others' papers in their own papers. It is a very incestuous field.

    In any case, one must be careful about willy-nilly tossing about words like "independent". Due to its small size, globally climate science researchers are scarcely independent at all, compared to most disciplines.

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:23AM (#39950823)

    "There's solar, but that's been pretty constant (perhaps slightly decreasing) for decades now, so it's not really doing too much."

    Hahaha.This is one of my most favorite bogus arguments, because it's so easy to show how bogus it really is.

    Turn a surface burner on your stove to medium-high. Then put a pan half-full of water on it. LEAVE IT for a while. Guess what? The water continues to get hotter, even though you haven't turned the heat up. If you let it get near boiling, then turn it down just a minor notch or two (as the sun has turned down, just a bit), guess what? The water continues to get hotter.

    The argument that the temperature variation has deviated from solar activity for a while, is exactly the same. If the input was enough to warm the earth significantly, it can CONTINUE to warm the earth, even if the input is reduced somewhat.

    The idea that the temperature must follow the sun no matter what the input happens to be is just bizarre. Just as with a stove: if you turn it to just warm, then the water will stay warm, and will follow the burner temperature up and down. But once you get to the tipping point of putting more heat into the system than can be bled off, the temperature will continue to rise as long as the input is higher than that point... even if the input is significantly lower than the year before. As long as it remains higher than that point, in other words, you can actually continuously turn the control DOWN, and the water will still continue to get hotter.

  • by Courageous ( 228506 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:00PM (#39955431)

    Political reasoning is abhorrently dishonest, even in really smart people. Curiously enough, the mind prevents us from seeing just how dishonest we are being with ourselves.

    In my mind it's all about confirmation bias. Which is to say, when confronted with a larger list of facts to assess, human beings have a remarkable ability to select only a small subset of the facts and use those to confirm their beliefs. I encountered this last year. I will relay the anecdote.

    Sometime last year a study came out that "proved" that caffeine drinkers who regularly drink caffeine induce no practical effect to themselves, and only restore themselves to what would be a baseline level. Over a twenty year period I have read summaries on many, many caffeine studies. This particular study stood alone as an outlier in a much larger field of study. I noted this with amusement and went on with my life.

    One day not so long later, I was getting coffee at work. A coworker of mine intruded to attempt to tell me about the study. I cut him off cold, and was quite irritated. This coworker was Mormon. I did not need to mire in the narrowly minded comfort-confirmed mentality of someone who is able to learn nothing else. It's just sad, really.

    Of course on the subject of global warming, the issue is political. I once heard a great definition of politics, once: "politics is who gets what". It's true. While politics is about many things, it's certainly about resource allocation, and when you consider it from that perspective, and decide to tolerate the notion that for human beings resource allocation will always be highly contentious, what you will do is become a bit jaded like me, which is to say, unsurprised, disdainful, and accepting of the ugliness of politics all at the same time.


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