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The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was the worst drought in US history
A primary tenet of global warming alarmism is invalidated.

A recurring theme in my past columns is that a moderate degree of global warming is likely to be beneficial to mankind. Al Gore, on the other hand, says climate change is already causing catastrophic results. In testimony before Congress last March, he stated, "droughts are [already] becoming longer and more intense". But the findings of a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers say otherwise.

The scientists, led by Gemma Narisma, examined 100 years of global rainfall data. Using sophisticated wavelet analysis methods, they identified 30 cases of severe droughts lasting 10 or more years. The results showed the number of droughts dropping sharply over time. From 1900-1920, seven droughts, another seven from from 1920-1940, and eight from 1940-1960. But after that, the picture changes. In the period 1960-1980, only five droughts were recorded, and from 1980-2000 (the warmest period of all), only three occurred. Furthermore, of the most severe droughts, none began in the last 30 years..

The researchers found another surprising result. Changes in rainfall levels are not only much more common than previously thought, but they tend to occur in a very abrupt, unexplained manner. More proof that climate change is part of nature.

The work represents the first systematic survey of abrupt climate changes that have occurred in recent history. Professor Johnathan Foley, who also participated in the research, says the study is important, "because previous work largely focused on ancient climates or theoretical changes in future climates".

The findings are published in Geophysical Research Letters.



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History and the preponderance of evidence
By lifeblood on 9/12/2007 10:05:43 AM , Rating: 2
I must admit to finding all the arguments for and against global warming to be misinformed. On a geologic time scale, Global warming is an event that has happen many times in the past, as has global cooling. It is self evident you had global cooling preceding ice ages, and global warming following ice ages. The last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. Obviously we’ve warmed up since then. Our problem is that for the past 800 years we've been in a period of relative stability, a phenomenon that people seem to think is the norm.

Do we as scientists question whether the current warming trends are natural or man made? Absolutely. Weather and climatology are still not that well understood and we are hampered by limited data sets with which to make predictions. Is man having an effect on the climate? Almost certainly. How much of an effect is it and how is it manifesting itself? We're not sure. We are still trying to figure that out.

Unfortunate money for research has become very scarce. The cost of the war in Iraq/Afghanistan plus the fact that the Bush administration is hostile to global warming studies has resulted in a lack of funding for the studies. This may explain or contribute to the drop in research endorsing global warming referred to in one of masher's previous blogs.

If your point is to say that global warming is a natural process then I must agree with you. If your point is to say global warming will have some benefits, then I again must agree with you while also saying it will also have detrimental effects. If your point is to deny we are contributing to global warming then I must say you’re almost certainly wrong.




RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By Kuroyama on 9/12/2007 10:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the fact that the Bush administration is hostile to global warming studies has resulted in a lack of funding for the studies.

Don't know, but I would hope this is not true because their constant excuse to not do anything is that "we need more research".

Researchers in controversial areas such as global warming and sexuality have said that in recent years they are avoiding using certain words because congressman and right wing groups against these topics have been doing keyword searches and then have opposing anything involving stuff they don't like. So I don't really think that article pointed out anything of significance.

This article from a few weeks ago on just that topic has the humorous title Who’s Afraid of Incestuous Gay Monkey Sex?:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/08/14/soc

From the article:
quote:
Nearly half said that they took steps to either lower their profile or to change the language in their projects to disguise those qualities that would attract criticism. As one scholar told Kempner of the change, “I do not study sex workers. I study women at risk.”


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By lifeblood on 9/12/2007 1:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's rather scary to see the lengths a politician will go to trying to disrupt activities they disagree with. A few years back my states Department of Environmental Quality had a GIS system to track land use near rivers and streams. It was to help in enforcing buffers and no build zones near the water. The incoming Republican governor ordered the GIS system transferred to the Department of Business Assistance where it sat collecting dust. This move made it much harder for the DEQ to find and act against violators.

Although this example was by a Republican, the democrats use the exact same tactics.


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By dever on 9/12/2007 2:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Potentially missing the point. These were politicians who were intelligent enough to conclude that taking everyone's money by force via taxation and spending it on research that inflames many of those same people would not be considered "representation" of their constituency.


By Kuroyama on 9/12/2007 3:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
No, you are missing the point, because probably 100% of government spending pisses off someone.

- Defense spending? plenty of pacifists don't want to pay for it
- Police? plenty of African-American non-criminals don't like the police one bit
- Science? there are still plenty of Luddites left in the world
- etc. etc.

For instance, there was plenty of criticism some years ago on research on "cow flatulism". However, if say a cheap cow supplement could decrease their flatulence then this would do more for global warming than decreased carbon emissions, as Masher points out quite often. However, we spend billions on GW research, and nothing on "cow flatulism", because one sounds serious and the other sounds like a bad joke.

If you want to stop AIDS then you're going to have to study prostitutes, if you want to stop POTENTIAL man-made global warming then study cow flatulence too, and if want to stop teen sex then do a study into whether abstinence-only programs ACTUALLY work, etc etc. Otherwise you're just wasting our tax money.

Politicians should set the ground rules, and then let the scientists decide what research is relevant in reaching those goals (and this applies to Democrat politicians too).


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By Ringold on 9/12/2007 2:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Is $50 billion over the last decade not enough money for you?

Compared to 19 million for groups challenging global warming theories?

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=...

Not to mention Bush's support for the biofuel sham.

What more would you have the man do?

And "hostile"? I'd suggest reading some of the above blog -- the ones who get "hostile" are the environmentalists promising to "destroy" the careers of those who fail to toe the party line.


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By dluther on 9/12/2007 8:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not to mention Bush's support for the biofuel sham.

Biofuel is a great idea. The bad thing is that we're using all our corn to produce it.


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By Ringold on 9/13/2007 12:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, it's a great idea if you don't have to buy food, or care about silly things like a return on energy invested.

The impact on food prices has been much greater than I suspected it was (even though farmers ability to spool up production is also greater then I'd of guessed). That's a mere annoyance for even the poorest American's, but Mexicans and others in less wealthy countries are getting hurt.

Until it's vastly more efficient and can be made with industrial processes that doesn't involve arable land, it's a sham. A sham that farmers will wage a fierce political war, I might add, to perpetuate, as they've literally bet the farm in many communities on the success of this sham.


By dluther on 9/13/2007 12:51:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Sure, it's a great idea if you don't have to buy food, or care about silly things like a return on energy invested.

Which is why I strongly disavow ethanol production from food sources.

quote:
Until it's vastly more efficient and can be made with industrial processes that doesn't involve arable land, it's a sham. A sham that farmers will wage a fierce political war, I might add, to perpetuate, as they've literally bet the farm in many communities on the success of this sham.

We can create biodiesel and even crude oil from food and farm waste products by mimicking the same processes that nature uses to create it in the first place. Think of all the lawn and tree clippings, the mountain of cow shit that sits outside any stock yard, human waste, road kill, and poultry waste that can be put to good use (google thermal deploymerization). It can be done, and is being done, with very successful results.


By lifeblood on 9/13/2007 3:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
I apologize but I failed to see the point of your link. Following it took me to the minority BLOG page for the US Senates Committee on Environment and Public Works. The minority happens to be the Republicans currently. I did not see the $50 billion over the past ten years number you’re referencing although it could have been replaced by more recent bogs.

Unfortunately this site lacks credibility, especially as it’s a blog. How they count how much money is spent on what often varies with who's doing the counting. The whole site seemed based on discrediting Global Warming. If the majority party members of the committee i.e., the democrats, had a blog site (I didn't see one), I wouldn't trust it either as they would probably spend the whole time bashing the republicans environmental record. Quite simply, when it comes to a discussion on Global Warming the last person I'm going to trust on the issue is a politician, be it George Bush or Al Gore. I will stick with the peer reviewed scientific journals for my information.


"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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