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Another milder-than-normal season takes shape

During the active 2005 hurricane season, the usual doom-and-gloom prophets blamed the storms on global warming. "Nature's wrath," we were told, "hath been unleashed". Aided by a complaisant media, we were told this was our wakeup call, come to punish us for our SUV-driving ways.

Then disaster struck.  The 2006 season not only didn't live up to predictions, it wound up being one of the quietest seasons of the past century. No matter. We were told to ignore this year-long blip, told that 2007 would come roaring back with a vengeance.

And yet, here we are, two full months into the season, and not a single hurricane has formed. Not one. Just two mild tropical storms, one of which didn't even strike land, and a third storm which never went above subtropical status. Hurricane forecasters are busily downgrading their predictions for the rest of the season.

And so it goes. The sky isn't falling yet. But what about the future? Will global warming wreck all our beach-going vacations?

There are two schools of thought regarding the effects of climate change on hurricane science. The first begins with the fact that hurricanes require warm water to form. Global warming means warmer water, leading to the naive conclusion is that more hurricanes will form. The second school realizes that hurricanes are heat engines -- driven not by raw temperature, but by temperature differentials between regions. Global warming warms the arctic and temperate belts, but not the tropics. This reduces the total energy available for major storm formation. It also increases upper-level wind shear, which tends to tear apart storms before they grow too strong. This school believes the long term effects of global warming will be fewer, milder storms.

Climate change aside, hurricanes come and go in cycles. Professor William Gray, one of the nation's most respected hurricane forecasters, believes storm activity will remain high for the next several years, due simply to a long-term cycle of changing Atlantic currents. A team of researchers led by Dr. Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center goes further. In a paper published last year, they claim storm rates have not risen over the past 100 years, but only that improved monitoring technology results in registering storms which would have previously been missed. And professors Vecchi and Soden's research on wind shear suggests no long-term storm activity increase should be expected.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not selling my ocean-front condo just yet.

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Here's the reference...
By Rovemelt on 7/31/07, Rating: 0
RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 on 7/31/2007 3:11:56 PM , Rating: 3
Dr. Landsea's rebuttal of the Holland paper:
Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center, said the study is inconsistent in its use of data.

The work, he said, is " sloppy science that neglects the fact that better monitoring by satellites allows us to observe storms and hurricanes that were simply missed earlier . The doubling in the number of storms and hurricanes in 100 years that they found in their paper is just an artifact of technology, not climate change."...
Or even more tantalizing, Dr. Gray's comments on the CO2-tropical storm link:
The hypothesis that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases the number of hurricanes fails by an even wider margin when we compare two other multi-decade periods: 1925-1965 and 1966-2006. In the 41 years from 1925-1965, there were 39 U.S. land-falling major hurricanes. In the 1966-2006 period there were 22 such storms -- only 56% as many. Even though global mean temperatures have risen by an estimated 0.4 Celsius and CO2 by 20%, the number of major hurricanes hitting the U.S. declined .
So which set of researchers are correct? Its interesting to note that Holland's paper was published just this week, but failed entirely to consider data from the mild 2006 season.

And there's a larger point here. On one side, we have scientists claiming global warming has no effect. On the other, we have those who claim it is...but even they agree the natural variance in the storm cycle is much larger than the total effects of global warming.

Neither side is screaming the sky is falling. We have only the media to thank for that

RE: Here's the reference...
By Rovemelt on 7/31/07, Rating: 0
RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 on 7/31/2007 4:26:52 PM , Rating: 4
> "that year, which was not included in the study, would have ranked above average a century ago"

According to Gray and other noted researchers, this is only because a century ago, most storms which did not make landfall went unnoticed.

RE: Here's the reference...
By Scorpion on 8/2/2007 3:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
Towards the end of 2006? More likely the beginning. Anyone who writes scientific papers knows that it's not uncommon for a paper to take a full year or more for it to be published in a scientific journal. It can often go back and forth between reviewers and author. Of course it all depends on the journal. The more prestigious, the more time it sometimes takes. This in fact just happened to a colleague of mine who's paper just got published a year and a half after he had originally submitted his first draft.

I love's masher's oh so non-subtle sarcasm towards global warming.

Nevermind, I lied.

RE: Here's the reference...
By Master Kenobi on 7/31/2007 3:12:50 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not seeing how that article points out how he comes to the conclusion of humans causing global warming. All it says is that he "applied a sophisticated method of organizing the data and seems to indicate that there is a large question mark as to how it went from A to B and seems to think that human production of greenhouse gasses must fill in the gap".

Two things here that need to happen, he needs to prove that humans are causing it, all he has right now is a wild theory and some data that might show a correlation, two he needs to state exactly how he manipulated the data to show this conclusion, right now hes using buzzwords and vague language. I want a chart, and I want some hard numbers that can be verified, thats real science.

RE: Here's the reference...
By Rovemelt on 7/31/2007 4:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to see that author's analysis and the summary article leaves you unsatisfied, read the primary publication. The summary is kind of brief.

RE: Here's the reference...
By porkpie on 8/1/2007 5:45:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious how you explain the fact that the number of land-falling hurricanes has gone down so sharply the last 50 years. If storm activity really is up, how do you explain that? Do you believe those evil CIA spy satellites are secretly steering hurricanes away from our borders?

RE: Here's the reference...
By Chillin1248 on 7/31/2007 3:19:17 PM , Rating: 2
The Great Global Warming Swindle:

The film brings together the arguments of leading scientists who disagree with the prevailing consensus that carbon dioxide released by human industrial activity is the cause of rising global temperatures today.

That Earth's climate is changing and always has done is not disputed by anyone. That it is warming now is also not disputed by anyone. But some people think that the warming is our fault, whilst others believe we have nothing to do with it.

The film argues that rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide have nothing to do with climate change. Further, the present single-minded focus on reducing carbon emissions may have the unintended consequence of stifling development in the third world, prolonging endemic poverty and disease.

Recent research, presented in this film, apparently shows that the effect of cosmic radiation, and solar activity may explain fluctuations in global temperatures more precisely than the carbon dioxide theory.

An alternative explanation for rising global temperatures is based on research by the Danish Space Center. They found that as solar activity increases, cloud formation on Earth is significantly diminished and temperature rises.

‘Solar activity over the last hundred years, over the last several hundred years, correlates very nicely, on a decadal basis, with temperature.’

A respected Kenyan development expert says: ‘I don't see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry, how a solar panel is going to power a railway network… There is somebody keen to kill the African dream, and the African dream is to develop. We are being told don't touch your resources, don't touch your oil, don't touch your coal; that is suicide.’

The film features an impressive roll-call of experts, in climatology, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science, biogeography and paleoclimatology, from such reputable institutions as MIT, Nasa, the International Arctic Research Centre, the Institut Pasteur, the Danish National Space Center and the Universities of London, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Winnipeg, Alabama and Virginia.

RE: Here's the reference...
By Chillin1248 on 7/31/2007 3:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
Additional link (modified version):

List of scientists included in the program:

Syun-Ichi Akasofu - Professor and Director, International Arctic Research Center

Tim Ball - Head of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (Misattributed as Professor from the Department of Climatology, University of Winnipeg. Ball left his faculty position in the Department of Geography in 1996; the University of Winnipeg has never had a Department of Climatology.)

Nigel Calder - Former Editor, New Scientist from 1962 to 1966

John Christy - Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville and a Lead Author of Chapter 2 of the IPCC Third Assessment Report

Ian Clark - Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

Piers Corbyn - Weather Forecaster, Weather Action

Paul Driessen - Author: Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death

Eigil Friis-Christensen - Director, Danish National Space Center and Adjunct Professor, University of Copenhagen (who has since said his results were misused in the programme)

Nigel Lawson - Former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer

Richard Lindzen - Professor, Department of Meteorology, M.I.T.

Patrick Michaels - Research Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia

Patrick Moore - Co-founder, Greenpeace

Paul Reiter - Professor, Department of Medical Entomology, Pasteur Institute, Paris

Nir Shaviv - Professor, Institute of Physics, University of Jerusalem

James Shikwati - Economist, Author, and CEO of The African Executive

Frederick Singer - Professor Emeritus, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia (Misattributed in the film as Former Director, U.S. National Weather Service. From 1962-64 he was Director of the National Weather Satellite Service.)

Roy Spencer - Weather Satellite Team Leader, NASA

Philip Stott - Professor Emeritus, Department of Biogeography, University of London

Carl Wunsch - Professor, Department of Oceanography, M.I.T. (who has since repudiated the programme)


RE: Here's the reference...
By Rovemelt on 7/31/2007 3:52:43 PM , Rating: 2

The suggestion that solar output changes are driving global warming has been largely debunked. That's not to say there is no link between climate change and solar output (there is certainly more to learn here), rather the contribution from solar changes aren't enough to account for the climate change we're experiencing.

Here is the summary article:

RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 on 7/31/2007 4:25:42 PM , Rating: 1
> "The suggestion that solar output changes are driving global warming has been largely debunked..."

No. The link isn't based on direct solar output (e.g. direct radiative forcing, which indeed does not fully explain climate change) but rather solar activity. Changes in the heliosphere reduce cosmic ray flux, which acts to reduce cloud cover. According to Svensmark's research, this factor acts to amplify radiative forcing by up to a factor of four.

The research of Svensmark and the Danish Space Center has not been refuted.

RE: Here's the reference...
By Rovemelt on 7/31/2007 5:25:16 PM , Rating: 1
I understand that solar activity regulates cosmic ray flux, which is linked to cloud formation. However, there's no trend in the cosmic ray record from the 50's to now that can explain the recent warming. The article I linked to points out in the graphs large changes in cosmic ray count, but a steady warming of the earth.

Svensmark also had to revamp his theory after it was found that he used an incomplete cloud cover model. That's when he switched to a low cloud cover model. It seems like he's grasping onto this model and the more he uses it, the weaker the correlation.

The findings of Svensmark have been very controversial because there seems to be little link between cosmic rays and warming over the past 50 years, but difficult to assess as cloud formation remains difficult to model. From what I've read, the majority of climatologists just don't see cosmic rays accounting for the bulk of the recent change. Moreover, if cosmic rays were playing such a strong role, why are nighttime warming trends greater than daytime warming trends? Those two discrepancies put major holes in Svensmark's work, and he's going to have to pull some amazing research stunts to get around those.

Still, I have no doubt that cloud formation research needs to continue to improve climate models.

Here is a link to a Discover magazine interview with Svensmark. You should see what he says:

Do you agree that carbon dioxide is having at least some impact on Earth’s current warming?

Yes, but you have to give the sun a role. If you include the sun in the right way, the effect of CO2 must be smaller. The question is, how much smaller? All we know about the effect of CO2 is really based on climate models that predict how climate should be in 50 to 100 years, and these climate models cannot actually model clouds at all, so they are really poor. When you look at them, the models are off by many hundreds percent. It’s a well-known fact that clouds are the major uncertainty in any climate model. So the tools that we are using to make these predictions are not actually very good.

Do you think then that individuals and societies as a whole need to try to conserve energy? Do you use compact fluorescent lightbulbs, for instance?

Yes, yes, we use those. And I ride a bicycle. There are good reasons to conserve our resources and find a more economical way of using energy, but the argumentation is not linked necessarily to climate.

Even Svensmark is using caution here.

RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 on 7/31/2007 5:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
Svensmark's "caution" is that he says there are good reasons to be efficient in our use of energy, reasons that have nothing to do with climate change. But he clearly and emphatically states that solar activity is the primary driver of climate change, not anthropogenic effects.

> "if cosmic rays were playing such a strong role, why are nighttime warming trends greater than daytime warming trends? "

Heavy cloud cover retains heat; this is pretty basic, and not disputed by anyone. Clouds are water vapor, a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2.

In fact, this trend is more of a discrepancy for the CO2 hypothesis. CO2 warms the earth by absorbing the infrared band of sunlight...but sunlight obviously doesn't exist at night. You can only explain away the discrepancy by assuming radiative capture from the earth's surface...and clouds do that much better than CO2.

> "Svensmark also had to revamp his theory after it was found that he used an incomplete cloud cover model"

This just isn't true at all. His base theory has remained unchanged since he began work. Obviously his team uses more detailed models now, but the correlation demonstrated between cosmic ray flux and cloud formation has not only improved with these, but more importantly it has been experimentally confirmed with his team's work on the SKY cloud chamber.

That's when Svensmark's research really hit the limelight. Because-- in sharp contrast to CO2-based global climate models-- he has a working theory with excellent correlative properties coupled with hard experimental data to back it up.

RE: Here's the reference...
By Rovemelt on 7/31/2007 6:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Svensmark changed his 1997 model after it was found that he used an incomplete cloud cover model:

Here is a link to a primary ref PDF that explains it:
It's a big pdf, so it takes time to download. So much for the lack of controversy over Svensmark's findings.

And your analysis of warming trends and cloud cover needs adjustment:

Check out page 188+ of this book "Solar Activity and Earth's Climate" By Rasmus E. Benestad (physicist studying climate change):

That chapter highlights Svensmark research and shows how many holes it has, with references. It also presents the daytime/nighttime temperature problem that Svensmark research can't account for.

RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 on 8/1/2007 10:49:14 AM , Rating: 1
> "Here is a link to a primary ref PDF that explains it:"

Laut was found to have been massaging the data rather vigorously to prove his point, as well as using some erronenous data source. Svensmark's rebuttal explains it fairly well:

[Laut] presents a figure 1c, which he claims is "a corrected and updated version for Fig 1a", where the correction consists in removing what [Laut] claims are "the irrelevant DMSP data". Laut also removes - without any comments or arguments = the Nimbus-7 data from 79-85....the careful reader [will] note he does not use the same DMSP data in his figures 1a and 1b...this is because the data in fig. 1a are restricted to Southern hemisphere over oceans, whereas fig 1b [is] restricted to midlatitude oceans.

It is remarkable that Laut references Kernthaler (1999) part of his argumentation against the above work...Kernthaler used the flawed ISCPP-C2 cloud type data, which makes their conclusions obsolete...
In any case, the entire argument is out of data, as Svensmark's current work is much more sophisticated, shows an even greater correlation, and is backed by hard experimental data from the SKY cloud formation experiments. You don't NEED a mathematical model to prove cosmic rays affect cloud formation when you've shown it actually occurs in the lab. It's a real, proven effect, not a hypothetical model.

RE: Here's the reference...
By High Planes Drifter on 8/1/2007 5:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
Clouds are water vapor,

Clouds are not water vapor.

CO2 warms the earth by absorbing the infrared band of sunlight...but sunlight obviously doesn't exist at night.

Wrong again.

CO2 warms the atmosphere by absorbing the IR band of radiation. Much of the sunlight received by the earth is converted to IR and is readmitted by the earth. Some of this does this does indeed happen at night. The fact that the earth emits more IR radiation than it receives is why greenhouse gasses act to trap more heat closer to the earth than simply blocking IR access to the earth in the first place and acting to cool the earth.

RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 on 8/1/2007 5:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
> "CO2 warms the atmosphere by absorbing the IR band of radiation. Much of the sunlight received by the earth is converted to IR and is readmitted by the earth. Some of this does this does indeed happen at night"

Which, if you read my entire post, is exactly what I said. The key phrase is "radiative capture". The fact remains that clouds perform this role much better than CO2, which explains why overcast nights tend to be much warmer than clear ones.

> "Clouds are not water vapor."

More strictly, clouds are droplets condensed from water vapor. I've read research papers by atmospheric physicists arguing over what the actual definition of a cloud should be; I'm not going to stress too much over semantics here.

By High Planes Drifter on 8/1/2007 10:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
I find it vary hard to believe that you have read the paper. From Lockwood and Frohlich et al:

…Figure 3 shows the variations since 1970 of the solar cycle means of the sunspot number hRiL, the open solar flux hFSiL, the climax cosmic ray neutron counts hCiL and the solar cycle length L. In each case, the solar cycle variation has been smoothed to give the red line, using exactly the same procedure as described in §3 for figure 3a. Figure 3 shows that the smoothed sunspot number hRiL clearly peaked around 1985 and has declined since and the anticorrelation with L seen in figure 4 has persisted. The open solar flux peaked around 1987, the 2-year lag after hRiL being consistent with the time constant from models of its long-term variation (Solanki et al. 2000, 2001; Wang et al. 2005b). The anticorrelation between cosmic ray fluxes and the open solar flux, observed on both annual and decadal time scales (Rouillard & Lockwood 2004), is here shown to also apply to the trends revealed when the solar cycle is averaged out. hTSIiL has fallen since the peak hRiL in 1985 and this is reflected in the significantly lower peak seen at the current solar minimum than during the previous two solar minima (see figure 1d ).


Our results show that the observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanisms is invoked and no matter how much the solar
variation is amplified.


RE: Here's the reference...
By Keeir on 7/31/2007 3:51:13 PM , Rating: 3
Something that bothers me about Holland and Webster's research is that if you follow both thoughts of the Global Warming= More and Greater storms theory, you would expect a trend towards more intense storms making landfall.

But looking at

list of the 68 most intense storms to make landfall between 1851-2004, have an average year of 1933 (just slightly greater than the average year of 1928) with a Standard Deviation of 41 years pretty much what you expect from an even distrabution of hurricane strength.

Like I said earlier, this inconsistency makes me doubt (not dismiss) their research

RE: Here's the reference...
By Yossarian22 on 7/31/2007 7:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
There is no proof of warmer temperature causing more severe hurricanes or even causing hurricanes at all.
In fact, it seems that the most frequent number of hurricane strikes occured over 50 years ago. If you don't want to take my word for it read this
"Tropical Cyclones and Global Climate Change: A post IPCC assesment"-Henderson-Sellers
and the IPCC's statement about it
"Examination of meteorological data fails tosupport the perception [of increased frequency and occurence of extreme weather events]in the context of long term climate change"

That is the IPCC's stance on this matter, but you won't here this from the media, as the headline "WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE" sells better then "We are not going to die"


Enjoy that beachfront house while it still exists

Sea levels have been rising for the past 6000 years, at a rate of 10-20 cm every 100 years, and it has NOT sped up. Satellites do not show any acceleration and computer models are predictions, so they are not evidence, especially considering they have been wrong for the past 15 years.
For the innacuracies of computer models see "The Skeptical Environmentalist" near page 290ish

RE: Here's the reference...
By Rovemelt on 7/31/2007 10:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
I presented the research I linked simply to show that there is data that supports the link between hurricanes and rising global temperatures, which is what the blog author should have added to the article for completeness. However, my personal bias aside, this link between global temperature rise and hurricanes is not yet scientifically settled and will require more data collection and analysis. We don't have a good understanding of ancient hurricanes/storms and there is the issue of incomplete historical data, so it's going to be difficult to come to a true consensus.

I actually agree with Masher that there is uncertainty in the link between hurricanes and global temperature rise. I probably differ in that I believe the study I offered presents a reasonable hypothesis and shouldn't be dismissed.

RE: Here's the reference...
By Yossarian22 on 7/31/2007 10:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. We are still collecting data, and people have to stop acting as if we know everything. We can't determine if global warming causes storms. Hell we can't even predict if global warming will cause more clouds.

This also does assume global warming is even occuring, and there is PLENTY of evidence to suggest that its not. (Glaciers growing in Iceland just to cite one example)

RE: Here's the reference...
By roryleds on 8/1/2007 2:36:33 PM , Rating: 2
which is what the blog author should have added to the article for completeness
I've read about the supposed global warming - hurricane link in a dozen different mainstream news sources, including the New York Times. None ever included any of the research which disputed the link, or interviewed any of the scientists which believed it was all bogus.

So why are you trying to hold a blog author to a standard higher than the NYT?

RE: Here's the reference...
By Keeir on 8/1/2007 6:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
A few reasons

#1. The research at the start of this article was published July 29th, 2007. The blog publish date is July 31st, 2007. Given the coverage of the research by most major news organizations, the blog appears to be a reaction to the publishment of the research... (Whereas the NYT articles are not based on a reaction to research disproving global warming)

#2. If all your friends jump off a bridge, should you too? Sloppy journalism is sloppy journalism regardless of the source and shouldn't be passed because "the other guys do it too"

I, however, am willing to extend M. Asher some doubt here... a quality blog post with numerous sources can take a while to compose and it maybe entirely possible he was unaware of the research at the time of writing the blog. I do agree that a blog should not be held in the same criteria as the NYT on the surface, but M. Asher is clearly attempting to write a through fact based

RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 on 8/1/2007 8:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
So your argument is I had an obligation to reference a paper that appeared only two days earlier...but that a mainstream reporter is under no obligation to report dissenting views that appear weeks, months or even years before their stories?

I believe this blog displays less bias than those reporters ever do -- I clearly represented there are two schools of thought in hurricane science. That's more objectivity than you'll ever get from CNN or the NYT, which persistently pretends there is a "consensus" as to the effects of climate change on tropical storms.

As for the Holland paper, it's junk science, plain and simple. It fails utterly to explain observed facts such as the decrease in hurricanes making landfall, and major cyclic variations, and it ignores the tremendous difference in storm observation rates over the past 100 years.

RE: Here's the reference...
By Keeir on 8/1/2007 9:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think you protest too much.

I posted that comment by mistake. I had originally intended to edit it for clarity and ran out of time... hitting the "post comment" button rather than cancel.

The expectation, not obligation, you would include a reference to the Holland study indicates that I have a higher standard for you that that of mainstream reporter. My personal expectations for mainstream reporters is about a 7th grade level ability at math and writing, due to the large number of idiotic stories that routinely get significant press butchering at even the pinnacles of the press (BBC, CNN, NYT, WSJ). Although I do admit this is slightly unfair.

Again, my expectation was formed on;
1. Pretty much every news outlet has carried the story about the Holland Study (although the Study is from a quick reading deeply flawed) starting with CNN International (the first one I read anyway) on 7/29. It does seem slightly disingenuous that you were totally unaware of the study.

2. Again, calling the other people more biased is not really a great reason to be biased

RE: Here's the reference...
By masher2 on 8/2/2007 10:29:20 AM , Rating: 2
> "The expectation...indicates that I have a higher standard for you that that of mainstream reporter"

While I appreciate the kind words, I have to point out standard journalistic ethics, which requires news reports to be unbiased and objective, but op-ed commentary (a category to which blogs belong) is not. Commentary is intended to display a biased opinion. The only journalistic standard is that op-ed pieces be clearly labelled as such, rather than straight news reporting.

Anyone reading the above blog clearly knows my position on the debate. That makes it biased. I proudly stand behind that. However-- in sharp contrast to supposedly "unbiased" mainstream news -- that opinion is not only backed up by scientific fact and hard reasoning, but the dissenting opinion is also reported. I have enough faith in my readers intellects to allow them to choose which side they believe in; I don't need to force them down a path by offering them only a single option.

Some things never change
By Griswold on 7/31/2007 4:20:41 PM , Rating: 3
Isnt it a bit early for a conclusion on the hurricane season? Two months into primetime hurricane season but still 4 months to go.

But if theres one thing we can count on, its the fact that this guy produces "articles" like this with an annoying persistence to utilize the good page ranking of DT in order to get his opinion/agenda/whatever to the masses.

I suggest an article about parasite-blog behaviour - you're sitting at the source of informations, after all. :p

RE: Some things never change
By arazok on 7/31/2007 4:58:30 PM , Rating: 3
Seeing how there are virtually ZERO main stream publications left willing to say anything that might suggest global warming is a farce, I appreciate mashers attempts to provide the other side of the coin.

I especially appreciate the more scientific perspective of his postings. Everything I see in the mainstream media can be summarized as "Global Warming kills babies. Bono announces G7 tour".

RE: Some things never change
By Ringold on 7/31/2007 8:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Masher's post are merely weekly or biweekly attempts to inoculate us with a responsible degree of scientific doubt to keep readers a little bit safer when wading through the vast ocean of unwashed, seething masses of global warming religious fanatics.

I occasionally get a peep of information contrary to GW party line elsewhere, but no where else with regularity such as at DT. Not just GW, but they'll touch just about anything around here.

Not to say there arent sites that dedicate themselves to debunking GW, but they tend to be a little extremist themselves.I like a side dish of moderation with my scientific steak.

RE: Some things never change
By cochy on 7/31/2007 5:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
I agree it's a little early. People are impatient :P
Maybe he'll eat his words at the end maybe he won't. In any case a follow up article will be nice.

RE: Some things never change
By BBeltrami on 7/31/2007 5:03:59 PM , Rating: 3
Oh the irony! The media shoves FUD up my butt on a daily basis from February through May about the DOUBLE chance of hurricanes this year.

And Michael's being premature? And parasitic? Oh, that's beautiful.

We're 1/3 of the way through the season. Where has the media and their hurricane fear mongering gone? They sure aren't pushing positive news about the mild season and the benefit to people, crops, tourism and businesses that would have been affected if it were a NORMAL year.

Nope... not a peep.

RE: Some things never change
By Moishe on 8/1/2007 8:35:57 AM , Rating: 2
Problem with the media isn't so much the premature predictions, it's that they've learned that the consumer has such a limited ability to focus. They can say the sky is falling today and tomorrow people will have forgotten about it. So when the sky doesn't fall, very few consumers hold the media accountable. There is no punishment or loss associated with fear-mongering, over-sensationalizing, etc.

Because of this I try to actually use what tiny amount of influence I have to hold the media accountable for their words. It's the least any responsible citizen can do.

Words mean things.

By Lightning III on 8/1/2007 8:35:32 PM , Rating: 2

they are to busy reporting on the drought fires and floods doofus

RE: Some things never change
By grenableu on 7/31/2007 5:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
You want to talk "premature" and "too early to draw a conclusion"? How about people who try to convince us of hypothetical problems 100 years from now, with no hard evidence to back it up.

Now THAT'S premature.

RE: Some things never change
By vortmax on 8/3/2007 11:05:33 AM , Rating: 2
Weather can't be predicted accurately 3, 2 or even 1 day in advance right now (granted in certain patters), so how can one expect to predict what the climate will be like in 100 years?

Trends? We'll considering how old our planet is, 115 years of record keeping isn't all that much to determine a trend.

RE: Some things never change
By Rovemelt on 7/31/2007 5:39:34 PM , Rating: 5
In defense of Masher, there are still real questions about hurricane and cloud formation and their link to climate change. I totally disagree with his method of using these uncertainties to passively discredit the bulk of the research, which clearly points to a link between human activity and global climate change. I say, even with those uncertainties, do you really want to take the risk of business as usual (i.e. not reducing greenhouse gas emissions?) Especially since we've got the technology to do something about it?

It is early to summarize the 2007 hurricane season.

RE: Some things never change
By porkpie on 7/31/2007 5:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
What you mean to say is, "do you really want to spend trillions of dollars to solve a problem which might not even exist, and even if it does, will be less costly than the so-called solution?"

RE: Some things never change
By Rovemelt on 7/31/2007 6:50:56 PM , Rating: 1
Enjoy your cool-aid, troll.

RE: Some things never change
By Ringold on 7/31/2007 8:41:08 PM , Rating: 1
A bit of trolling, perhaps, but easier to just call him a troll than try to suggest most every plan on the table would indeed cost trillions. ;)

And of course, not to even mention these trillions in additional costs, shouldered by the developed world primarily, would come at the precise time when trillions of extra costs are incurred by an aging population that, whoops!, forgot to have enough kids! Darn women, focused on silly things like a career and all that, now they don't have anyone to pay for their retirement checks. Heheh.. another issue entirely, but two massive financial blows that would hit the world simultaneously when many European countries are dangerously in debt AND already enduring damaging tax rates as it is.

RE: Some things never change
By Yossarian22 on 7/31/2007 7:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hell, if global warming existed it would be a good thing. Just look at the El Nino of 98. We increased output worth over 15 billion dollars, and thats after compensating for flood damage

RE: Some things never change
By Ringold on 8/2/2007 6:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
We increased output worth over 15 billion dollars, and thats after compensating for flood damage

Just flipped through a paper today on various examples of economic shocks, and the floods from 98 were noted as being interesting in that yes, they destroyed capital equipment, but it was small enough such that their over all economic impact was a positive one. Insurance companies would, of course, disagree. ;)

RE: Some things never change
By Yossarian22 on 7/31/2007 7:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
There is no point in doing something if it costs more than it saves. Furthermore, a single year is statistically irrelevant.

RE: Some things never change
By cplusplus on 8/1/2007 4:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
There is no point in doing something if it costs more than it saves.

I think you mean that there is no financial point in doing something if it costs more than it saves. There are other reasons to do things besides money.

P.S. I actually like the fact that as a society we've gotten to the point that the main argument against cutting CO2 emmissions is that it costs too much money.

RE: Some things never change
By Yossarian22 on 8/1/2007 2:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
No, what I mean there is no point in doing anything if it damages more then it protects, which NO environmental action takes into account. The ban of DDT, for example, will probably be seen as one of the biggest tragedies in this era, considering the number of deaths from malaria rises to 50 MILLION per year from 50,000 when DDT was used. Global warming, if it was even real, would likely be benificial to the economy and environment as a whole.

RE: Some things never change
By lumbergeek on 8/1/2007 6:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody has yet to point out that humans consume oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. There are now over 6 Billion of us on the planet busily converting useful oxygen into useless CO2. I say we come up with some sort of plague that wipes out a pile of humanity in order to save the planet.

.... Oh wait, Big Momma Nature has been trying that - HIV, Ebola, H5N1 Influenza....


By Hoser McMoose on 8/2/2007 4:11:50 PM , Rating: 2
I suggest an article about parasite-blog behaviour - you're sitting ON the source of informations, after all. :p

Typo fixed :)

Tropics not warming ???
By luhar49 on 8/1/2007 3:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
Global warming warms the arctic and temperate belts, but not the tropics .

I wonder how this conclusion was made. Global warming should be a "Global" phenomenon. How would the tropics beat the heat ?

RE: Tropics not warming ???
By masher2 on 8/1/2007 4:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
This is a basic facet of global warming, revealed by the temperature data itself. The coolest, driest areas of the planet are warming the most.

Many tropical regions are actually cooling very slightly.

RE: Tropics not warming ???
By Yossarian22 on 8/1/2007 4:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
No they aren't. Antarctica, for example, is much colder now then ever before.
See the "Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response"
From 1986-2000cetral Antarctic valleys cooled .7C causing ecosystem damage from cold.
The west Antacrtic ice shelves are thickening.

RE: Tropics not warming ???
By masher2 on 8/1/2007 5:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
I said the actic region, not the antarctic. Here a link to the baseline surface temperature differential data for the entire globe. You can clearly see regions such as Siberia, Alaska, Greenland, etc, have warmed the most. The tropical belt is much less affected, and some regions are actually showing a mild degree of cooling. We don't have data for all of Antarctica, but for those we do, some show net warming, others net cooling.

While regional differences are large, global warming does act in general to reduce the temperature differential between the warmest and coldest regions of the planet.

RE: Tropics not warming ???
By Yossarian22 on 8/1/2007 11:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
When you said coldest and driest, I thought of Antarctic. The rest of the world is relatively mild in comparison. Anyhow, nobody can say the earth isn't warming, because it has since the Holocen epoch

RE: Tropics not warming ???
By AlexWade on 8/2/2007 8:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
I may be wrong about this, but what I've seen, the Southern Hemisphere (the one with much less land and people) is getting colder. I saw something, I didn't save the link, where South Africa had 50+ days of below normal cold weather. And this study I found by Dr. Vyas which shows antarctic sea ice increasing by 13,000+ km a year, and accelerating.
Vyas et al conclude that their estimates may actually understate the increase in sea ice: “the increasing trend in the sea ice extent over the Antarctic region may be slowly accelerating in time, particularly over the last decade. In fact, it is interesting to note that most of the SSM/I
derived sea ice extents estimates during the middle of the last decade have been on the higher side of the long-term trend.”

That is one of my favorite links. I got into a discussion about GW with someone who was (blindly) saying humans are causing it. I showed him that, and he refused to read it. Basically, it involved facts. Facts are the GW eco-nazis worst nightmare. I find most of their arguments rely only on emotion, and when the facts don't support them, they make claims like "you are in bed with Big Oil" or "you hate babies" or use some other personal attack. Because, as we all know, when you have nothing, then you must make your opponent appear evil.

There is a reason meteorologists who don't work at the Weather Channel say GW is natural. The Weather Channel pushes bad weather news because that is the only way people will watch that station. I stopped watching years ago because I found their weather to be about as accurate as a blind archer. In fact, one day I found that their forecast changed dramatically 3 straight hours. Other Meteorologists, who are paid to study weather, say GW is natural.

Increase in sea levels
By idboracle on 8/1/2007 5:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
Sea levels - we love you mister hansen, tell it as it is

RE: Increase in sea levels
By idboracle on 8/1/2007 10:22:06 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Increase in sea levels
By porkpie on 8/1/2007 10:54:20 AM , Rating: 2
That story has already been debunked above in the thread.

As for the chances of sea levels "rising 5 meters", the actual rate of rise is 2-3 mm (that's 0.003 meters, by the way) per year for the last 10,000 years or so.

RE: Increase in sea levels
By Yossarian22 on 8/1/2007 2:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
6000 years.
From the Holocen I think.

All it takes is one storm
By Regs on 7/31/2007 3:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not talking the perfect storm, but a powerful storm given the right circumstances for it to cause maximum damage. For many, 1-2 hurricanes is a slow year. Just try telling that to the people that were effected by them.

RE: All it takes is one storm
By DandDAddict on 7/31/2007 4:51:37 PM , Rating: 3
I live in Florida and well we pretty much laugh at them. Hell the fast food places dont close for anything unless its a strong 3 or higher and mobile homes are ussualy the only thing really hit that badly overall. I mean they definitly can do some damage under the right circumstances, lets say a an old decaying tree being uprooted and slaming into something, but overall they arnt bad. It ussualy takes something fairly idiotic like the whole new orleans thing where you are living below sea level and pulling funding away from the things protecting you.

RE: All it takes is one storm
By Ringold on 7/31/2007 8:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
and well we pretty much laugh at them.

A direct hit = a few days off work / school / life. Break out the BBQ and beer.

Hell the fast food places dont close for anything unless its a strong 3 or higher

Hurricane Charley was just starting to pound the bejesus out of us in Kissimmee and we heard over the radio about a pizza delivery joint in Saint Cloud (minutes away) was making continuous deliveries come hell or high water -- and was making out like gangsters.

an old decaying tree being uprooted and slaming into something

They explicitly warn us about those, too, almost all year long. And then when a thunderstorm comes by and a rotten tree blows over and smashes a trailer, oh, the tragedy.

Of course, roof damage is annoying, but hey, live up North and it's freezing rain and snow drifts. *shrug* At least this is fast-paced, exciting, and almost entirely an object of the past within a week.(Though Charlie made Orlando something of a post-apocalyptic scene for a month or so, but a change of scenery was nice)

To respond to the OP though, one massive, continent-sized, trailer-trashing tropical GeForceFX of Death would still be just a single storm. It'd be pretty darn hard for the season, this late on, to suddenly become a total breeding ground and get all the way through the alphabet and back to Epsilon or so the way it did a few years back.

Tell the actuaries!
By Ringold on 7/31/2007 2:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
To my fellow Floridians who feel my pain, and previously accepted it as a fair actuarial rate for risk but now question how high the risk really is... 'nuff said

(Not that I want Crist and Tallahassee's wet dream of socialized home insurance, either. Just want to see insurance firms do the right thing and lower rates if this year goes by quietly)

RE: Tell the actuaries!
By Moishe on 8/1/2007 8:39:47 AM , Rating: 2
Just want to see insurance firms do the right thing and lower rates


..... sorry couldn't resist. Guess I'm cynical!

RE: Tell the actuaries!
By Ringold on 8/2/2007 6:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, of course, it won't happen, I know.

It'll go like this: They'll hold tight on their rates. Citizens Insurance (I think that's what the state owned one is called) will get the nod from the state congress to compete on prices instead of being merely a last-resort insurer and consolidate their already powerful grip (75% of all homes east of I-95 are state insured) until home owners insurance companies are ran entirely of the state.

And the people will then rejoice for many years, having been saved from EVIL capitalists, content with their low government insurance bills. That is, until Hurricane Andrew II strikes. Then the state goes "Oh Noes! We've been raiding the insurance piggy bank for years to finance uber-teleportation systems for tourists direct to Disney!" And then the rejoicing comes to an abrupt, shocking hault as insolvency grips the state. Economists then say from their winter homes "We told you so!"

That's your problem, Mr. Asher...
By therealnickdanger on 7/31/2007 2:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
You spend waaaay too much time looking into things like "observed science" and fauning over dillusions of "the scientific method". Get with the times, it's all about predictive computer models with Mr. Potatohead-like detachable variables.

By Duraz0rz on 7/31/2007 2:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, geez...get with the times!

By brenatevi on 8/1/2007 5:16:03 AM , Rating: 1
That's nice. Except that computer models are extremely educated guess work, and like all guess work can be wrong even when it looks right.

By vortmax on 8/3/2007 11:08:07 AM , Rating: 2
It cannot be denied that there are OTHER agendas involved in this global warming warpath. If it were purely for the 'good of man', then it would hold more water for me.

its over texas
By Lightning III on 8/1/07, Rating: 0
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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