Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snowstorms and Climate Change

It seems that whenever we get a snowstorm these days, we hear the same old argument: If global warming is real, why is it snowing? Those who seem to think that snow in winter is a meaningful measure of climate change repeat the fallacy of equating weather with climate. Tom Toles is right to ridicule the argument. For instance, while we have had an unusual amount of snow here on the east coast, we are reading reports that the weather is too warm for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver:
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The weather gods cursed the Vancouver Winter Olympics again on Tuesday, forcing delays to Alpine skiing, snowboarding and ski jumping, with rain near Vancouver and snow and fog shrouding the mountains.
Weather is what’s happening in a specific place at a specific time. Weather changes moment by moment, sometimes dramatically. Climate encompasses the entire planet and changes slowly and incrementally.
The overall temperature of the planet Earth might change by a fraction of a degree over the course of a decade. The Earth is a big object; as such the laws of thermodynamics tell us that it takes a significant event to upset its thermal equilibrium.
I have not heard that any climate scientist is predicting that it would stop snowing in North America in the winter. You might call it a snowman argument instead of a straw man argument.

4 Comments:

Anonymous pandora said...

Amen!

5:02 PM, February 17, 2010  
Blogger Tomb said...

You missed the BIG climate change story of the last week. No, its not about Dr. Phil Jones of East Anglia University.

It's about all the weather station data that climatologists use to prove or disprove global warming. It is all corrupted.

Read the article here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026317.ece

Unfortunately, while the hysteria over global warming will now start to abate, the urgency to reduce our dependence of foreign oil and our use of fossil fuels will start to abate.

7:29 PM, February 20, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody is saying the recent snow storms are proof the climate is getting colder.

What people are saying is the man made global warming people can't have it both ways.

When we weren't having snow is was because of global warming, now because of record snow, its because of global warming.

8:26 PM, February 28, 2010  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61O16A20100225

"January, according to satellite (data), was the hottest January we've ever seen," said Nicholls of Monash University's School of Geography and Environmental Science in Melbourne.

"Last November was the hottest November we've ever seen, November-January as a whole is the hottest November-January the world has seen," he said of the satellite data record since 1979.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in December that 2000-2009 was the hottest decade since records began in 1850, and that 2009 would likely be the fifth warmest year on record. WMO data show that eight out of the 10 hottest years on record have all been since 2000.

9:21 AM, March 01, 2010  

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