Morning Read: In climate changed world, more Irenes on the way

The Glens Falls Post Star is running a story this morning from the Associated Press about a new report that looks at extreme weather events in a world changed by rising temperatures.

For a world already weary of weather catastrophes, the latest warning from top climate scientists paints a grim future: More floods, more heat waves, more droughts and greater costs to deal with them.

A draft summary of an international scientific report obtained by The Associated Press says the extremes caused by global warming could eventually grow so severe that some locations become “increasingly marginal as places to live.”

The report, global in nature, is intensely personal to North Country folks living along the banks of mountain rivers, and the shores of Lake Champlain.  Many have experienced several major floods this year, including the devastation of tropical storm Irene.

What do you think?  Are more blow-out storms headed our way?  If so, what should we do about it?

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32 Comments on “Morning Read: In climate changed world, more Irenes on the way”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    I have no idea. If the US Weather Bureau forecast rapidly deteriorate after 5 days, why would anyone think even longer range forecasts will hold up?

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  2. None of that is news except to those who have refused to listen. Unfortunately there are still many who still deny global warming although I read in the paper a couple of days ago that one of the critics ran his own analysis and has changed his mind. He now thinks the majority opinion is correct.

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  3. PNElba says:

    How can there be global warming when NYC got hit with such an early snowstorm?

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  4. JDM says:

    The gig is up.

    No one denies “global warming”. No one denies “global cooling”.

    By cleverly omitting the words, “man-made”, you arbitrarily change the argument.

    So, James Bullard, to edit your lament, “Unfortunately there are still many who still deny man-made global warming….

    Yes, we do.

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  5. Peter Hahn says:

    JDM – are you saying that we have God-made global warming instead of the man-made variety?

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  6. Pete Klein says:

    My problem with Global Warming, Global Cooling and Climate Change is that we have always had all three from time to time.
    When asked what kind of winter we will have, I always say, “I’ll let you know in April.”
    In the early 50′s the experts were predicting palm trees growing in Central Park within 10 years. In the mid 70′s the experts were saying the next Ice Age was nearing. Now it’s back to palm trees.
    In the 50′s, people were blaming nuclear tests for the warming. I forget what was expected to bring on an Ice Age.
    Do I know what the climate will be in 50 years? I haven’t a clue. What causes me to question any and all claims, be they warmer or colder, is one thing that is obvious. There is money to be made in predicting what won’t be known for a long time. When they say it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.

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  7. oa says:

    JDM, today, said:
    “No one denies “global warming”.
    JDM, a year ago, said: “The earth isn’t melting due to man-made activity. It’s cooling because of things bigger than man.”
    (Here’s the link: http://blogs.northcountrypublicradio.org/inbox/2010/10/05/mckibben-wins-fight-to-green-the-white-house/)
    JDM says a lot of things, depending on the day.

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  8. oa says:

    By the way, it is a warming world. It’s also a climate changed world. It’s possible to have BOTH higher average annual temperatures AND more severe snow storms.

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  9. Peter Hahn says:

    The climate change/global warming story has been building in strength for 30 years. That puts it in a different category from the common science journalism stories e.g. margarine is good one year and bad the next etc.

    It isn’t yet in the earth is round not flat category but it is getting there.

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  10. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    From the Kiplinger Magazine CHANGING TIMES, August 1958:
    “Weather Bureau records show that the annual mean temperature – that is, the average of all daily temperatures throughout the year – is a couple of degrees higher today than it was 50 to 75 years ago.”
    “…others claim that sharply increased amounts of carbon dioxide and waste products in the atmosphere – a result of factories, furnaces, autos, more people, fewer forests – are trapping more of the sun’s heat on the earth’s surface and otherwise affecting the weather.”
    “…freakish weather may not be entirely coincidental. Extremes are symptomatic of climate changes and cyclical turns.”

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  11. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    1958

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  12. Mervel says:

    Does it matter where the “blame” lies?

    There is no doubt we are seeing changes in our climate. All over the place including the NC or the drought in Texas or continual flooding in the upper midwest.

    But yeah it is not about snow it is about temperatures. More snow actually occurs in northern climates when the weather is warmer.

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  13. gromit says:

    Pete says, “In the early 50′s the experts were predicting palm trees growing in Central Park within 10 years. In the mid 70′s the experts were saying the next Ice Age was nearing. ”

    Neither of these claims is true.

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  14. Two Cents says:

    The Ice age will theoretically be triggered by the increase of fresh water in the oceans, which will loose it’s precious salinity required to create the precious gulf stream, due to glacial melt as a result of warmer temps at the poles.
    All this due to the greenhouse effect anyone 55 years and younger were taught during the first week of 7th grade science.
    .. ..but maybe alot of you were absent that day.
    weather (pun) man contributes or not is a moot point. The extremes will become more extreme until the ice age drops in like the inlaws for a suprise visit.

    Did you know that a wooly mamoth was found above the artic circle, flash frozen, proved by the lack of decomposition and not only the stomach but the mouth as well, full of grassland flowers where no-one on Earth, nor Earth itself has seen anything but ice and snow since? (proof it happens really, really, really, fast when it happens and siberia was warm like an Alpine meadow.)

    Did you know that before the South American and Central American land mass rose out of the Sea, the ocean current was able to concvect Latitugenally (real words??) at the Equator, and the worlds climate –the entire World– was temperate? (proof we need to enlarge the Panama Canal.)

    …i’m just sayin….

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  15. JDM says:

    oa: The temperature changes, sometimes day to day, sometimes year to year. I believe that last year, it was cooling. I haven’t determined what it is doing today, compared to then, but I am guess it is not the same. Might be warmer, might be cooler, depending on the day.

    Peter Hahn: I think it is the God-caused kind. One who thinks man can change the weather, thinks a little too much of man’s ability.

    We can’t pass a jobs bill. How can we change the weather?

    We can’t get unemployment under 9%. How can we change the weather?

    We can’t get China to play fair. How can we change the weather?

    We can’t get Greece to kowtow to the EU. How can we change the weather?

    We can’t get the stock market back to 13,000. How can we change the weather?

    We can’t get democracy to stick in Egypt. How can we change the weather?

    You see, I could go on and on. Weather is much bigger than anything we KNOW we can’t do. So some like to just pretend we can change it.

    But we can’t.

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  16. jeff says:

    Ice Age ” Prediction”
    Time Magazine June 24, 1974
    Newsweek April 28, 1975

    or Discover magazine September 2002
    and in the second article he explains why he thinks that despite the warming an ice age is possible. Our forest cover on this continent is much more substantial than 50 years ago, even more than 100 years ago.

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  17. Mervel says:

    I don’t think we can change the weather at least in the short run.

    I do think we can make plans for changed weather. For starters we have to stop the subsidization of building in flood plains and coastal areas prone to flooding. This happens when the government bails out people who build in these areas or provides insurance when private insurance refuses to insure because of the risk.

    I would not buy land in Florida.

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  18. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Jeff: “Our forest cover on this continent is much more substantial than 50 years ago, even more than 100 years ago.”

    Yes, 50 or 100 years after major continent-wide clear-cutting operations have stopped forests will have recovered. But repairing the long term damage to the entire eco-system will never happen. The world has been changed irreparably but with some care and planning maybe some of the damage can be mitigated.

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  19. PNElba says:

    You can’t get some men to put the toilet seat back down. How can we change the weather?

    What is happening in this country?

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  20. Pete Klein says:

    Thanks to Jeff and Two Cents.
    Speaking of the warming experts in the 50′s, I clearly remember the palm trees in Central Park forecast coming from some scientist on the Dave Garroway Today Show.
    For an Ice Age to develop, you need the Arctic Ocean to be ice free in order for there to be enough moisture for heavy snows to fall on Canada and Siberia. As long as the Arctic is ice free, you have what you now have – a desert climate – very little annual snow.

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  21. oa says:

    JDM said…”oa: The temperature changes, sometimes day to day, sometimes year to year. I believe that last year, it was cooling.”
    Facts say…
    “According to NOAA scientists, 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year of the global surface temperature record, beginning in 1880. This was the 34th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th century average. For the contiguous United States alone, the 2010 average annual temperature was above normal, resulting in the 23rd warmest year on record.”
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110112_globalstats.html

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  22. tootightmike says:

    Yes, the time for blame is past. WE did it, It’s our fault, and it’s too late to stop it. We had plenty of warning, plenty of time to respond effectively, but we (collectively) are too thick, too stubborn to change our greedy ways. Now this disaster is upon us and all we have left is to moan about the difficulties.
    So, make a plan. How do you propose to deal with…..Abandoning New Orleans, ditto for Florida and Long Island.
    Closer to home, how will you react to…November mosquitoes, Equine encephalitis, and West Nile virus?
    What will you eat when weather predictability goes out the window, and we have annual attacks from Late blight, Allium moths, and whatever new bug that migrates from the South?
    The changes are here, and they will stay for a long time. The old days are over and no matter how much you enjoyed them, they won’t be back.

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  23. PNElba says:

    Anthony Watts (climate denier) in response to Berkeley Earth Project by climate skeptic Richard Muller:

    “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.”

    Anthony Watts after Muller admits that data supports the hypothesis that the Earth is warming:

    “I consider the paper fatally flawed as it now stands, and thus I recommend it be removed from publication consideration by JGR until such time that it can be reworked.”

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  24. JDM says:

    Fact: the earth goes through warming and cooling cycles

    MIT: We may simply be going through another natural cycle of warmer and colder times – one that’s been observed through a scientific analysis of the Earth to be naturally occurring for hundreds of thousands of years.

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/methane-tt1029.html

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  25. Pete Klein says:

    Just a few notes on temperature records. These notes prove nothing but do point out a problem.
    Anyone who is a bit of a weather nut knows thermometers can go bad over time, are highly affected by location and when even in the same location, the location itself often changes over time.
    In other words, when comparing temp records, you are often not comparing apples to apples.
    These variations are often most pronounced when looking at records for city locations. As the cities grow in size, so to does the temperature rise. How close to the ground, tree, rock and building has an effect. Night time averages will rise if you have more cloudy nights. Daytime readings will fall if you have more cloudy days. Just about everything can effect temperature records.
    Just saying there is more than what meets the eye when looking at the temperature.

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  26. PNElba says:

    MIT: Methane levels in the atmosphere have more than tripled since pre-industrial times, accounting for around one-fifth of the human contribution to greenhouse gas-driven global warming.

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/methane-tt1029.html

    Oddly enough, the same article cited by JDM

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  27. Dave says:

    With the amount of crap we (man) have pumped into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution it floors me that anyone can really beleive that our actions have nothing to do with climate change.

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  28. Pete Klein says:

    We would probably have half the pollution problem and half of all the other problems if we would just cut the human population by half.
    In the Matrix movies the bad guy was correct about one thing when he charged humans were the problem. The more humans, the bigger the problem.
    See how many people you can jam into one house before it becomes a total wreck.

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  29. Pete Klein says:

    By the way, planet Earth is sick and tired of us and is only fighting back.

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  30. oa says:

    Planet Earth doesn’t care about us. At all. It will be around long after we are. If we choose to screw things up and kill ourselves off, Planet Earth will be fine with the slime molds as the dominant species.
    So it’s really our choice as to whether we should do something about it, which I thought was a conservative notion. Personal responsibility and all that.

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  31. jeff says:

    If there is no man, there is no “environmental damage”, it is the ecosystem functioning. Floods, lightning fires, volcanoes wind, erosion.

    Man considers damage based on his perspective. Man is part of the ecosystem however he possesses an ability unlike any other creature. Man’s buildings were in the way with Irene, his fields were damaged when his levees were intentionally breached in the spring flooding of the Mississippi. Man damaged the environment when he built the levees and flood control dams and sent Colorado river water to California.

    Long term change to the ecosystem took place recently with the flooding of Irene. Mt. St. Helens created a major ecosystem change and the area will never be the same. The windstorm in the five ponds area created change not damage. An ecosystem can remain functional although different. Pioneer plants were starting to fill in from the perimeters of Mt. St. Helens within the year. As with “acid rain” and DDT, when the causal factor is removed or abated new changes begin. The issue is to demonstrate the cause and effect.

    More Irenes? The cycle has about a 100 year period. I looked at a gravel pit yesterday against a granite rock. There was sand, topped with fist and head sized round (glaciated)rocks, overtopped with sand and fine gravel. Evidence of a difference in water velocity that carried that material to that location. The ecosystem at work.

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  32. klem says:

    “What do you think? Are more blow-out storms headed our way? If so, what should we do about it?”

    Yes.
    Nothing.

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