Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fear From the Huffies

I get the Huffington Post Daily Brief. This was today's featured entry - someone who is "terrified" because it is warm in December. It's 60 degrees out - is this a sign of Global Warming?

No for several reasons. One is that earlier this month we had unusually low temperatures. Unless that was a sign of global cooling then a warm spell is not a sign of global warming.

Robert Heinlein once wrote that climate is what we expect, weather is what we get. In December, in these latitudes, it is generally cold in December and snow is possible but not common. I checked AccuWeather for today's date. The record high is 63 degrees, set in 1963. The record low is -7 set in 1989.
The averages are 40 and 25. This tells us that a 60 degree high is meaningless. It is within natural variability.

Like a fortune teller or a horoscope, people who believe in global warming remember the hot days and forget the cool ones. In this way they convince themselves that they are seeing global warming. Also, there was a cool period in the 1960s and 1970s. People who grew up then tend to think of this period as "normal" and the warmer period afterwards as unusual. On the other hand, my parents grew up during the warm period which caused the Dust Bowl (most of the records for things like number of days over 100 degrees, number of days in a row over 100, etc. were set then). Accordingly, the older generation thought of the 1960s and 1970s as being colder than normal. That's when talk of a coming ice age was at its height.

Bottom line, enjoy warm Winter days but don't panic over them.

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Rob McKay: Its Beginning To Look A Lot (More) Like Global Warming...



From Rob McKay's Blog:

It is 60 degrees on December 18th in New York City. I'm hardly relieved I didn't have to bundle up my daughter and trudge with her through ice and now to go see "The Nutcracker" today. The temperature is terrifying. I want to crack some sense into the nuts who tell us there's nothing to worry about....

..Bush won't even use the term "global warming." He occasionally makes reference to the world's "climate change." Conservative politicians and pundits chalk up global warming to the next liberal bully pulpit, a rehash of "political correctness" or outcries from the "feminazis"...

...There's nothing ideological about global warming and the necessity of a policy agenda to protect the planet. We shouldn't need another call for bipartisanship to unite behind aggressive environmental protection policies that are so glaringly necessary...

Click here to read more.

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