NASA: Hotter Summers Since 1980 Caused by Global Warming
August 7, 2012 1:21 PM
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The past 30 years has seen more "hot" (orange), "very hot" (red) and "extremely hot" (brown) summers, compared to a base period defined in this study from 1951 to 1980
(Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio)
Hotter summers have become the norm from 1980 to present compared to 1951 to 1980 (the base period)
NASA researchers have claimed to find new evidence for everyone's favorite topic:
James Hansen, study leader from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), as well as GISS researchers Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy, have concluded that summer heat waves (mainly in the U.S. Midwest) have become the norm over the last 30 years compared to a base period 30 years before 1980 -- and it's because of global warming.
Their study works like this: the team collected mean summer temperatures from 1951 to 1980. This was considered the base period for the study. They then looked at the surface temperature data from the last 30 years (1980 until now) to determine whether
extreme heat events
From there, the team wanted to see how much heating and cooling occurred in both time periods. To do this, they used a bell curve, which is a common tool that places the middle ground at the top of the bell (for instance, if this were a grading curve, a "C" would be at the top while the next tier down on each side would be a "B" and a "D," and the bottom of the bell would be an "A" and an "F). In this case, the top of the bell would be mean temperature, the next tier down would be "cold" on one side and "hot" on the other, then "very cold" and "extremely cold" on one side moving down while "very hot" and "extremely hot" are moving down the bell on the other side.
Researchers then applied mean temperatures from 1980 until present, and found that 1980s, 1990s and 2000s fell more to the hot side than cold. The curve widened and flattened as well, which means there was a broader range of variability. This is important because Hansen once predicted that global warming's connection to extreme events would become more apparent in the decades from 1980 to present, but natural variability can play a role too and actually mask the trend. It was important to distinguish the two.
This wider curve created the new "extremely hot" category, which was barely there in the base period. However, hot has become considered normal in the last 30 years. To be more specific, 75 percent of land area on Earth had "hot" summers in the last decade alone, where only 33 percent had "hot" summers from 1951 to 1980 total.
According to the researchers, an "extremely hot" summer is considered a mean summer temperature that is experienced by less than one percent of Earth's land area during the base period. But since 2006 alone, approximately 10 percent of land area across the Northern Hemisphere had a summer like this.
"This summer, people are seeing extreme heat and agricultural impacts," said Hansen. "We're asserting that this is casually
connected to global warming
, and in this paper, we present the scientific evidence for that."
The study noted "extremely hot" summers in other areas besides just the U.S. Midwest, like Texas, Mexico and Oklahoma in 2011 and Eastern Europe, Western Asia and the Middle East in 2010.
This study was published in the journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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Is someone being paid to attack global warming articles on the internet?
8/9/2012 6:41:28 PM
I have noticed a consistent trend that any article about global warming at DailyTech and many other popular web news sites are inundated with negative comments attacking climate science.
Now I am sure that some of these comments are from people who are truly skeptical about the science, but it strikes me as very strange that there are so many people who spew the same talking points over and over for every single article on popular web sites.
What we do know is that groups like the Western Fuels Association and its corporate sponsors have paid large amounts of money to generate "junk science" which generates uncertainty and doubt about the real science. We all know about the lobbying efforts of the petroleum industry. I wouldn't put it past these same groups to hire people to write negative comments about articles in the internet as well.
Firms exist to do this type of dirty work on the internet. In fact I know a girl who used to work in a company in Lima, Peru, which was hired to make positive online comments about a hygiene product which had serious PR problems.
Of course this is pure speculation on my part and there is no real way to investigate this, without being able to check the IP addresses used by posters across dozens of news sites online and see whether there is any patterns emerge. For example, if a lot of these posts originate from an IP address in a strange place like Lima, Peru. Of course any smart company doing this sort of work would cover its tracks by buying a bunch of servers all around the world and have its employees use remote desktops in these servers to post their comments.
Maybe I am just being paranoid and I sincerely hope that I am wrong. What is strange to me is that so many people would take hours of time to post comments that are so patently false and so easily debunked. I sincerely hope that DailyTech and other news sites aren't cowed by the floods of negative comments and will continue to post articles about climate science.
Just for full disclosure, in case anyone wonders about my motivations, I am a North American who currently resides in Bolivia where I am a member of an environmental activist group named Reacción Climática. My name is Amos Batto and I am very easy to find if you google my name.
RE: Is someone being paid to attack global warming articles on the internet?
8/12/2012 5:20:54 PM
Thanks Amos for taking the time to rebut the skeptics. I've been reading this site for many years, and DT is unusual in being a tech website where the commenters are fairly right-wing. Usually tech sites are populated with more moderate/left wing types, which reflects the higher education of such people. So while there are astroturf organizations that pay people to do such work, and some of them may be posting here, I don't think that most of them are. I think it's just the culture of this site to have a strong right-wing contingent.
I used to fight this battle, but it takes a lot of time and energy, and betw work and family, I've not been able to. Also, despite providing data based arguments, links, and analysis, the naysayers are so wedded to their ideas that it's like trying to convince a Muslim that God does not exist. No matter what evidence you introduce it will be dismissed as a conspiracy or incomplete or made up or whatever excuse they can gin up to discredit the evidence as unreliable or untrue.
I think in the end, many people just don't want to believe the life they grew up with and were taught was the right way to live is destroying the very foundation of that life. And when the effects do come to pass, they'll still deny its anthropomorphic origins and claim it was a natural event that was unavoidable. It doesn't help that the press which could help elucidate the truth is owned by megacorporations who have a vested interest in cheap energy and few regulations.
Good luck, and keep fighting!
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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