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05/21/2011 07:44 AM ID: 89401 Permalink   

Climate Change: Weird Weather Could Be the New Normal


Katherine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University says the extreme weather, ranging from deep snowfalls to monster floods, seen recently in the United States is evidence of the human-caused, climate-change fueled "new normal" for weather.

"It´s a new normal and I really do think that ´global weirding´ is the best way to describe what we´re seeing," she told a panel of experts organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Also on hand was the Swiss Re reinsurance company.

"What we´re seeing is the new normal is constantly evolving," said Swiss Re´s Nikhil da Victoria Lobo. In the U.S., for example, an extended drought has been punctuated by an upsurge in massive rainstorms.

    WebReporter: ben_reilly Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  I agree  
that warming logically explains more intense weather events.

Hurricanes, rainstorms, tornadoes, etc are all the result of nature trying to bring balance to the environment. We don´t have balance and never have throughout the history of this planet (at least as far back as we can see).

There was always a "new normal" throughout history as climate has always changed.

How much of it is induced by man is in question. Science has shown us that dramatic climatic changes have happened in the past in a matter of a few decades.

As an example, 11,500 years ago Greenland warmed by 15 degrees F (9 degrees C) in a single decade. They don´t even know what caused it.

Greenland 11,500 Years Ago: 15 Degree Shift in 10 Years

  by: Questioning_Answers     05/21/2011 01:36 PM     
  @ story  
All the discussion and research about global warming, climate change etc. is detracting from the one environmental issue most seem to have forgotten about "Global Pollution".

Nevermind that the weather is changing, I´d like to be able to breathe uncontaminated air and drink clean water.

I´d also like to be able to eat food that isn´t contaminated by Monsanto & Co..
  by: MouseJunkie     05/21/2011 02:13 PM     
  Skeptics should check this out  
  by: ben_reilly     05/21/2011 05:35 PM     
Your link overlooked other greenhouse gasses that have more of an affect than CO2. These other gasses are overlooked soo much & considered taboo it seems. Only because how can you regulate how much water vapor people pump out?

H2O accounts for 95% of the greenhouse effect; CO2 is insignificant in comparison. We are still learning a lot, but we have yet to control our climate, let alone our actions. Climate change is normal. Mississippi flooding is normal. It was this flooding over time that helped to create fertile land. We as a human species seem to think we must control nature, & work against it, thinking we know better. We don´t know better, we have opinions.

Nature is the ultimate cause & affect. We are apart of this, but we are not the sole driving force, & we will never be the sole driving force, even though we want to be. We humans want to be the Gods we´ve created.

So let us focus our attention on CO2 because that must be the magic bullet to help save the day.
  by: vhan     05/21/2011 08:15 PM     
Right-wing hot air is destroying the planet.
  by: Lurker     05/21/2011 10:21 PM     
  the tornados are just figments of your imagination  
Liberal Propaganda are reporting fictitious weather patterns.

Those tornadoes don´t exist. The deaths was just someone manipulating the statistics. It´s all a plan by the govt. to tax people.
  by: redstain   05/22/2011 04:27 AM     
  We maybe able to stop our pollution  
But how do you stop this?
  by: vhan     05/22/2011 04:48 AM     
  This year has been really weird  
But I think that this year´s weirdness has as much to do with la niña as GW.

[ edited by VermiciousG ]
  by: VermiciousG     05/22/2011 09:37 AM     
We can´t control the weather and climate is always changing so why try to stop pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that magnify the problem, right?

My republican argument is is until we can stop volcano´s, china, cow farts, and every other external factor there´s no way I´m going to stop maximizing my pollution contribution.

Take that al gore!
  by: ukcn001XYZ   05/22/2011 09:44 AM     
"We as a human species seem to think we must control nature, & work against it,"

Well the issue is that we are already controlling nature and we are causing problems. The whole point is we want to control it less. Because we do not like where it going.
  by: kmazzawi     05/22/2011 04:04 PM     
  A healthy skepticism  
is what we should strive for; not avoid.

If we avoid questioning answers then we´re no better than religious zealots who believe a stoning is the only cure for a child´s disobedience to god.

We in science should always try to question answers to the best of our ability. After all, science is nothing but the progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

In the late 1800s many physicists thought that we knew just about everything there was to know about physics. Then someone named Albert Einstein came along and turned late 19th century physics on its head.

Consensus =/= Truth

In the 1960s the scientific consensus was that most cancers were caused by viruses. Just a few decades later the scientific consensus was the diet was a much more important factor.

Consensus isn´t truth, but it does tend to rob us of our skeptical thinking more so than it promotes it.

Unwaivering belief in anything tends to be the greatest enemy of truth. So we should always try to keep a healthy skepticism.

Scientific Consensus Redux
"Looking back, it turns out that a lot of scientific consensuses were wrong."
  by: Questioning_Answers     05/22/2011 07:26 PM     
Obviously a reply to what I said. Funny I got you to feel that way. You think I am for polluting huh?


@kmazzawi - The issue is we think we control nature. We don´t. We also do have an affect on it, but we don´t control it. The whole point is we don´t know all the facts, yet we think we do.

@ everyone I am against polluting, always have, but I look around & see hypocrisy with global warming. The answer is not to force what we think we know onto others, but we should have anti pollution laws. A carbon tax (which is the peak of this whole issue) is not an anti pollution law. You don´t tax problem away.
  by: vhan     05/22/2011 07:46 PM     
A healthy skepticism would be nice. What we´ve got is a counter-position both secretly and openly paid for by big oil.
  by: VermiciousG     05/22/2011 09:07 PM     
  I am so sick  
of the supposition that the only way to fight global warming is to increase taxes.

It´s like saying the only way to fight terrorism is to invade Iraq.

I´m so sick of hearing the word "taxes" as the central component of every political question I could literally puke. America has lower taxes right now than at any point in the past five decades, yet some people seem to think the rate of taxation is the only thing that matters, the sole pressing issue of our day. It´s retarded.
  by: ben_reilly     05/22/2011 09:25 PM     
  @Verm & C02 & where it is mostly produced  
You reminded me that global warming has big money behind all the propaganda. Big business has been on fighting on both sides, & they have been doing some good, but more dubious things like you have mentioned. If they had their way they would have regulation to keep them afloat & to stifle new competition.

Here is an article on NASA trying to figure out this C)2 debacle (remember we don´t know all the facts yet) .

"Most carbon dioxide — about 97 percent — comes from natural sources. That´s roughly 300 billion metric tons per year of CO2 gas from breathing animals, decaying plants, forest fires, volcanic eruptions and other naturally occurring phenomena.

Human activities, like driving cars, burning coal, farming, industrial production and other practices, account for 3 percent, or about 8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide production per year."

So please tell me how my last statement being how do we stop volcanoes (& other natural phenomena) from polluting more then us is foolish question? Even if we are able to stop our over polluting ways (of C02) how would that save the day?

Sadly the Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission failed, so we have to wait till a new launch in ´13 for their new findings.

[ edited by vhan ]
  by: vhan     05/22/2011 09:34 PM     
Do you believe a carbon tax would put an end to our problems?

"Some people think" Hitler was a good man, but that doesn´t hurt my feelings.

Obviously there are more ways to fight pollution. Here in portland we have a lot of avenues, for instance Portland Greendrinks is a networking group that brings awareness to the issues & how we can address them.

Since we are sharing I am sick that "some people seem to think the" government taking care of us "is the only thing that matters, the sole pressing issue of our day. It´s retarded."
  by: vhan     05/22/2011 09:46 PM     
  Weather here...  
has been all over the place!
  by: captainJane     05/23/2011 12:03 AM     
"So please tell me how my last statement being how do we stop volcanoes (& other natural phenomena) from polluting more then us is foolish question? Even if we are able to stop our over polluting ways (of C02) how would that save the day?"

Well quite simply, the issue is natural balance.

Most natural C02 sources that you speak of are also C02 sinks (absorbers).

Meaning plants decaying is offset by new plants absorbing C02, oceans emit C02 and they also absorb a large amount of C02, forest fires emit C02 but again later new growth kicks in and absorbs C02.

Yes, you are correct there is a lot of natural C02 up there. However much of it is part of natural C02 cycle. It goes up, hangs and eventually returns again and is reabsorbed again returning to a natural absorber. It´s a natural/neutralizing/balancing effect.

Our human C02 contribution doesn´t have a counter effect like nature does.

We add and unbalance the C02 equation... very much like volcano´s, which in the past has been shown to tip the scales with changing climate...

You are correct, we can´t control volcano´s, however their effect is very minor compared to our own.

We contribute 100x more C02 than volcano´s.

The take away here is natures balance. Our contribution is compounded yearly with no natural C02 sink to balance the effect.

When we drill, refine and use carbon fuels we are digging up old C02 that´s been buried over billons of years. Something old made new. This is C02 left behind by nature with no natural means for it to be balanced naturally.

This rough weather could very well be due to nature trying to adjust, adapt and/or cope.

In short, for good or bad we´re doing industrialize terraforming on our planet. This is an experiment we should be doing on other planets before we try it on our own.
  by: ukcn001XYZ   05/23/2011 12:52 AM     
I will agree, the government shouldn´t be the solution.

However against the oil industry and other heavy polluting industries that bankroll billions to shape public opinion the merky up the facts, what weapon of choice is there aside from democratic process to legislate rules on pollution?

  by: ukcn001XYZ   05/23/2011 12:58 AM     
Good points. Plus the build up of methane & other gasses become a danger if left to build up & massivly be released into the invironmen.

I always thought a good solution would be if our factories, cars, etc were closed systems that took their byproduct & used them for other means. Our government would be more likely to get that going, then it being left for us to decide.
  by: vhan     05/23/2011 01:45 AM     
I can see how this balancing act canbe thrown off by a 3% of our actions when we don´t balance ourselves. Luckily we are working on that fact.
  by: vhan     05/23/2011 01:47 AM     
I agree, put they all get too caught up in the politics to understand. Who cares it is CO2 or not, the point is we want to clean up our act because polluting like we do is not sustainable.
Why worry about ciggie smoking on your lungs when we are starting to get Acid rain from Air pollution?
  by: veya_victaous     05/23/2011 04:37 AM     
  I don´t know if ya´ll been watchin´ the news but  
Joplin, Missouri just got blown into next week. It´ll be here on Tuesday.
  by: VermiciousG     05/23/2011 08:15 AM     
  @ VermiciousG  
The same can be said of other businesses and politicians; like Al Gore.

Al Gore Could Become World´s First Carbon Billionaire

There are billionaire interests on both sides; which is a reason why a healthy skepticism directed at all sides is so imperative.
  by: Questioning_Answers     05/23/2011 12:40 PM     
"Al Gore, the former US vice president, could become the world´s first carbon billionaire after investing heavily in green energy companies."

And so could have I. Remember that global warming is not his theory. He has said from the get go that this didn´t need to be bad for the economy and that there were lots of ways to actually make money and improve the economy by investing in green energy.

So? He took his own advice. Good for him. He´s not paying for studies and burying the results when they conflict with his business interests. That´s what big oil is doing and that is not healthy.
  by: VermiciousG     05/23/2011 03:10 PM     
No, I don´t think a carbon tax is the best solution to excess CO2 production. I would favor a system of generous tax incentives (the carrot rather than the stick).

Nobody but conservatives think anybody actually advocates for "the government taking care of us." WE are the government; WE are taking care of ourselves when we have things like Social Security and Medicare.

I´m sick of people acting like democratic action is some kind of totalitarianism or nanny-state-ism. This is self-government; it´s supposed to be what this country is all about.
  by: ben_reilly     05/23/2011 03:18 PM     
Hang on. Let me restate my answer:

For YOU to be skeptical, I mean "YOU" personally, Yes. That is healthy. But, and I´m not saying that this applies to you, when people´s first thoughts when hearing this scientific theory are about...
-The economy
-Stock prices
-Real estate values
-Political fallout...
...and then they start looking for reasons that the theory "must be wrong" without a measured and balanced scientific approach. When they will regurgitate junk science as spewed by political figures and political pundits like Beck and Hannity and O´Reilly over scientists with actual degrees because they started out with a bias and have simply made themselves more biased over the years then that is NOT healthy skepticism. That´s a conspiracy theorist.

[ edited by VermiciousG ]
  by: VermiciousG     05/23/2011 03:45 PM     
  the end of a 26,000 year cycle!  
and when the cycle is at its end, in the next 70 years things will swing back to what we were used about 13,000 years we will be at the other end of the cycle and again there will be extreme weather maybe the opissit effect then.
  by: shannon853   05/23/2011 04:43 PM     
That and...
- The Mayan calendar coming to and end in 2012.
- The rapture happening 2 days ago.
- The global one world government plotting to destroy the world.
- A giant space chicken trying to hatch earth.

Although I haven´t found any academic peer reviewed research to back-up these links, I heard it on the internet, talk radio and at the local bar so I believe them as all good reasons why the planet is warming.
  by: ukcn001XYZ   05/23/2011 06:24 PM     
How about those things? Are those things not possibilities?

In the realm of scientific logic, we can´t exclude any possibilities (including the possibility that our own thoughts may be deceiving us). Otherwise we´ve admitted that we´ve stopped thinking.

Study Disproves Concern Over Global Cooling of the 70s

As it can be seen in the link and comments above, I did begin with a bias. I did begin without a scientific, balanced view on the issue. I mainly questioned the man-made global warming deniers; not the man-made global warming theory.

Take care that you don´t do the same.
  by: Questioning_Answers     05/23/2011 07:43 PM     
  negative negative negative  
first, before you make a giant claim like that. You must analyze and recognize the fact that we live in a solar system and there are other planets in the solar system too. leaving this part out is a direct reflection of either idiotic people, or bad science. The weather has been constantly changing on mars, venus (it´s brighter now), jupiter, saturn, and even neptune. They are all WARMING up. This is direct evidence that this is something to do with a solar cycle and nothing to do with what we are doing. Sure, there maybe a few % points here and there since Japan´s been dumping nuclear waste into the ocean, but the question has to come up....How many more countries have been doing the same thing since the 60´s and told no one about it? How can we be 100% sure that we´re the ones affecting earth, when all our neighboring planets are going through the SAME changes.

Enough said about people that think the entire universe revolves around Earth....
  by: meshuggahfan   05/24/2011 04:45 PM     
  apparantly not  
The temperature on Mars has actually been declining slightly over the last few years as it moves towards a solar minimum.
  by: VermiciousG     05/24/2011 05:26 PM     
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