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It’s so cold, global warming is a hoax!

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

Lou Dobbs (not the most unbiased fella on the tube) had CNN meteorologist Chad Myers on the other day, and the weatherman claimed that global warming is not man-made because that would be arrogant, or something of the sort. This has been one of the various anecdotes that are being touted as proving that global warming is not happening, and even if it is, the problem is not humanity’s fault and we can’t fix it so we should just keep fiddling.  It’s sad that this comes up so frequently.

The meteorological year, December 2007 through November 2008, was the coolest year since 2000, according to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies analysis of surface air temperature measurements. It was the ninth warmest year in the period of instrumental measurements, which extends back to 1880. The nine warmest years all occur within the eleven-year period 1998-2008.

Arctic sea ice has not, in actual scientifically verified fact, improved extent over previous years. It was, indeed, 220,000 square miles more ice cover than last year in November. However, it’s still 260,000 square miles lower than the average 1979-2000 coverage. Furthermore, the extent of coverage has peaked and stopped its rapid growth. Look at the graph linked above - we’re now seeing that the sea ice extent will likely drop below last year’s already-sad numbers by the end of 2008. Air temperatures above the ice remain unusually high, and this will cause a slowing of the ice growth. You may be familiar with warmth and melting.

Yes, it’s a blizzard. No, that doesn’t mean the climate is cooling, it just means there’s a blizzard right now. The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 24th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I heard about this. Lou is a nut, and gets nuttier by the day. I stopped watching CNN altogether. MSNBC is less biased. (And they better be, because GE bought the Weather Channel, so now they use Weather Channel meteorologists, and they are big proponents of anthropogenic climate change.) I also watch Media Matters, and MSNBC gets cited much less often for outrageous factual errors.

And about the arctic sea ice, it was actually at it's lowest extent this summer ever, opening up the Northwest Passage. The ice that has come back this year is THIN, and nothing like what it would have been in the 50's before climate change really took off.

But, the conservatives at the math department where I work did the same thing at the first big snow... ah, PROOF that there is no global warming! These people teach statistics... they really should know better! It's gonna take a lot more than one data point, even an extreme outlier, to do more than tweak an overall trend built on a lot of data.
Dec. 24th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
I like to point out that "coolest in 8 years" is easily trumped by "9th warmest in 128 years."

I actually had a rather lengthy post a while back that included a bit regarding the sea ice being annual, rather than perrenial. Details matter, but not in the news.
Dec. 24th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Meanwhile, down here in the drought belt, I've got the windows open. Rain would be lovely. I'll take snow. Heck, I'd even take ice at this point. Ice would stay long enough to actually penetrate the clay crust that has formed everywhere.
Dec. 25th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Well, it did get chilly earlier this week. I remember the temperature got down below 30 for a few minutes on Monday morning. Sure, it'll be 75 on Christmas Day, but that's not unusual 'round these parts. :-)
Dec. 25th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
True dat.

I'm dreaming of a tan christmas...just like the ones I used to know....
Where the skin is glowing and the dogs are panting
And the kids have never heard of eskimoooooooos....
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )