Thursday, February 11, 2010

Our Bizarre Climate: Global Versus Local Warming.

I'm sure you've heard that the east coast of the US is getting record snowfall and many people are claiming this seems like the coldest winter in a long time.

However,  "Globally, last month was the warmest January ever as measured by RSS's satellite, and and the 4th warmest month in their records -- the warmest since May 1998."

Maybe February will come out different.  However, as things stand we are witnessing some bizarre realities about the climate: even though globally we are experiencing warmest temperatures on record, locally we are getting snowed in.

Now we know why it is called global warming as opposed to local warming.


Stan pointed out how the Daily Show had a pretty convincing graph that disproves the idea the earth is warming.  This is from a large data-set taken over several months so it should really carry some weight in the global warming debate:


  1. I once was listening to a lecture on weather and climate and the presenter asked the audience, "So if there is global warming would we expect to see more or less snow." Most people responded that they would expect less snow (i.e. warmer temperatures mean less freezing temperatures and thus less chance of snowfall, because it has to be cold to snow. Sound logical?). Well he responded that we should expect to see MORE snow if the average temperature of the earth went up.

    His reasoning went like this: Even though the average temperature goes up, and correspondingly there are fewer cold (freezing) days, there will still be some. But also because of the warmer climate all over the globe there will be more evaporation which means more water in the atmosphere, which means, on average, more rain and more snow. Hence he argued that if we had global warming then we should expect to see more snow.

  2. Quantumleap42,

    Interesting incite, thanks. I wonder if this is related to el nino/la nina effects.

  3. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report had fun with this last night.

    It starts getting good at 6:30 and you need to checkout that convincing chart at 7:30 and now we have global darkness to worrry about! (7:45)

    I'm glad someone is having fun with the absurdity of this. Unfortunatly, the Utah legislature is getting its science from Rush Limbaugh

  4. Wow Stan, that Daily show clip is funny.

    *It is unfortunate that the reporting that puts this hysteria in a proper context has to come from comedians.*


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