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Warmer and wetter
July 3, 2013 8:00 AM   Subscribe

The last decade (2001-2010) was the warmest on record. According to The UN World Metereological Organisation's report, the average land and ocean-surface temperature for 2001-2010 was estimated to be 14.47°C, or 0.47°C above the 1961-1990 global average and +0.21°C above the 1991-2000 global average (with a factor of uncertainty of ± 0.1°C).
posted by dng (38 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Liar! Lies! Lying liar lying lies!
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:07 AM on July 3, 2013


Also solar forcing! Medieval warming period! Wind turbines kill birds! Some other things I sort of half overheard that surely the world's entire climate science community overlooked because Al Gore!
posted by gompa at 8:24 AM on July 3, 2013 [14 favorites]


Warmer and wetter indeed. I'll just add my little anecdata from here at the border between the Pampas and Patagonia, this no-winter winter we are having here is baffling, and as much as I appreciate the sunshine and warmth, IT'S FREAKING ME THE FUCK OUT. I don't want to even start imagining how bad it's going to get in 10 more years.
posted by Iosephus at 8:30 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


What about that Time Magazine article in 1977 about global cooling, huh? Those scientists don't know anything.
posted by octothorpe at 8:31 AM on July 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, here in Britain the winters have been slowly getting longer and colder over the last decade, with this year the coldest since the big freeze of 1963. We didn't start turning our heaters off until early June.

Not sure what this means. Weather extremes?
posted by vacapinta at 8:49 AM on July 3, 2013


And the incriminating emails!
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:50 AM on July 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


More energy in the system (through ambient heat) the more dynamic and extreme the impacts on seasonal variations in climate and weather.
posted by vuron at 8:51 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...here at the border between the Pampas and Patagonia, this no-winter winter we are having here is baffling,"

I worry for your indigenous donkeys.
Lord knows what the world would be like without the Pampas ass.
posted by Floydd at 8:54 AM on July 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


vacapinta - I read recently that changes in Arctic ice have caused changes in jet stream flow, which account for the colder UK winters. This page isn't where I originally saw it, but does mention the phenomenon toward the bottom.
posted by aught at 8:54 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not sure what this means. Weather extremes?

The reason the UK is temperate is warm ocean water, driven up by the Gulf Stream and associated currents. If that current moves elsewhere, the UK can expect the same sort of weather that other countries at 50-55° N can expect.

You know, places like mid-northern Canada and Russia.

What could move that current? Well, there's not a lot of melting ice up by you, is there?
posted by eriko at 9:00 AM on July 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


As I understand it, climate change means that "volatility is the new norm" - which may mean colder weather in some places, hotter in others, more rain all at once vs same amount over a longer time, etc. End times are fun times!
posted by dbmcd at 9:02 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's worth remembering that many many Republicans, including the ranking Republicans on the House and Senate Committees on the environment and global warming, have signed a Koch Brothers* backed pledge never to support climate legislation unless it included an offsetting tax cut - realistically, a pledge never to support legislation addressing climate change.

* Speaking of the Pampas ass.
posted by Eyebeams at 9:02 AM on July 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


>changes in Arctic ice have caused changes in jet stream flow

Yeah jet stream blocking. Caused by Arctic warming. There's a blocking event happening currently in the USA, causing extreme heat in the west and Alaska. It's been more common causing all sorts of stuff. The face of GW.
posted by stbalbach at 9:03 AM on July 3, 2013


Koch brothers push GOP officials to sign anti-climate pledge
The pledge, uncovered as part of a two-year study by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, forces policymakers to oppose any legislation relating to climate change unless it is accompanied by an equivalent amount of tax cuts."

And what, pray tell, do tax cuts have to do with the climate crisis and effects of global warming? Nothing in particular, but the Koch brothers hope to make it impossible to pass any bills related to carbon emissions, and by demanding tax cuts, they're effectively eliminating any credible policy options -- as Mayer explained, "Since most solutions to the problem of greenhouse-gas emissions require costs to the polluters and the public, the pledge essentially commits those who sign to it to vote against nearly any meaningful bill regarding global warning, and acts as yet another roadblock to action."

When President Obama unveiled his fairly ambitious new climate agenda last week, some hoped it would spur broader action in Washington. There's still room for a comprehensive climate policy that may be more effective than the administration using the Clean Air Act to limit emissions, but it would require Congress to work towards a sensible, consensus remedy. Republicans don't like the White House policy? Fine, it's time policymakers sat down with environmentalists and industries to work on an alternative.

Of course, Congress can't do much of anything with a radicalized House majority, and climate legislation appears completely out of the question -- the Koch brothers have a pledge to ensure failure, no matter the consequences.

This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:13 AM on July 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, if the U.S. won't act, I'm sure others will.
posted by No Robots at 9:24 AM on July 3, 2013


The last time I encountered the hot wet mess prior to what we are experiencing in Philly was on trips to Indonesia and El Salvador.
posted by angrycat at 9:30 AM on July 3, 2013


Like they say, when life gives you lemons, make Alaskan lemonade.
posted by pwnguin at 10:11 AM on July 3, 2013


Is there anyone out there writing cogently on how to break the stranglehold of the entrenched fossil fuels hegemony?
I try to think globally and act locally, but i fear for my kids. I look back and realize that the fears that my great grandparents must have had, in a world overrun by war, influenza and the technological changes at the end of the 19th century must have been frightening as well, but that doesn't give me comfort. There was still a hopefulness, that perhaps only the Chinese can currently lay claim to, that the future will take care of itself, but I am thinking that only a major political shift (or revolution) will pry us out of the grips of the oil industry, and even then it may be too late.
I am not, by nature, a 'doom and gloom' -er, but I'd love to hear the voice of someone with a vision as to how this could all work, short of 'we're just waiting for a technological magic wand' to wave it all away.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:21 AM on July 3, 2013


No kidding. I think there's only been two days so far this year it hasn't rained in Chicago. It's like living in an ugly Seattle.
posted by Jess the Mess at 10:24 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, here in Britain the winters have been slowly getting longer and colder over the last decade, with this year the coldest since the big freeze of 1963. We didn't start turning our heaters off until early June.

Not sure what this means. Weather extremes?


Hey, maybe the thermohaline circulation is shutting down. Little Ice Age 2, here you come!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:38 AM on July 3, 2013


It's like living in an ugly Seattle.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, it's a pleasant 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky, and has been all week!
posted by Jawn at 11:04 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


pwnguin: "Like they say, when life gives you lemons, make Alaskan lemonade."

Just be sure to watch where the huskies go of course.
posted by mannequito at 11:22 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


stbalbach: ">changes in Arctic ice have caused changes in jet stream flow

Yeah jet stream blocking. Caused by Arctic warming. There's a blocking event happening currently in the USA, causing extreme heat in the west and Alaska. It's been more common causing all sorts of stuff. The face of GW.
"

Global Warming
George Walker.

GW
Bush... Burning Bush?
posted by symbioid at 11:25 AM on July 3, 2013


Seriously, all the Koch-and-other-Big-Businesspeople opposition to controlling Global Warming can't be due to denial, can it? I can't help suspect that many of them have long-term (yep, NOT short-sighted short-term) plans to PROFIT from the suffering of millions due to Climate Change. After all, they are so proud of how they profit from human suffering NOW...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:52 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


For anyone looking for a LOT of reading about climate change Wunderground has an entire section devoted to climate change. Dr Jeff Masters (and others there) frequently blog about climate change and how it relates to current weather events.
posted by FireballForever at 12:01 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interestingly, we may have set a new all-time record for hottest temperature reliably recorded this past week with 54 C (129.2 F) in Furnace Creek, Death Valley (about halfway down, under the June 30th entry. He goes on to mention his skepticism about the previous records). The previous three records that were higher are treated with suspicion, they were 10 F higher than other local temperatures. They took place 100 years ago next week. I'm guessing for their 100th anniversary a push will be made to kick them off the record list.
So hottest ever, this past week.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:26 PM on July 3, 2013


More energy in the system (through ambient heat) the more dynamic and extreme the impacts on seasonal variations in climate and weather.

I once tried to explain this to a girl I met at a dinner party, who had told me that she didn't believe in global warming because the winters she had experienced seemed to be colder and longer. Unfortunately I think I just confused her more...
posted by AlienGrace at 1:24 PM on July 3, 2013


AlienGrace: I once tried to explain this to a girl [...] Unfortunately I think I just confused her more...

Did you try using an analogy to a pendulum? More energy in the system means larger swings - on both sides...?
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:03 PM on July 3, 2013


Seriously, all the Koch-and-other-Big-Businesspeople opposition to controlling Global Warming can't be due to denial, can it?

I don't think you get to be the Koch Brothers without serious trainloads of coal rational behavior.
posted by dhartung at 3:51 PM on July 3, 2013


Warmer and wetter?

I'm about tired of the warmer. I'll trade you for some of the wetter.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:51 PM on July 3, 2013


Sorry, you can only have both together. High humidity, woo!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:46 PM on July 3, 2013


That Koch pledge isn't inherently inimical to strong climate change action. James Hansen's Tax and 100% Dividend proposal would fit within that scheme.
posted by wilful at 9:56 PM on July 3, 2013


Hansen's Tax/100% Dividend proposal is not, on its face, a bad idea.

But it would never get through the current House -- they'd just call it socialist wealth redistribution.
posted by chimaera at 10:28 PM on July 3, 2013



Is there anyone out there writing cogently on how to break the stranglehold of the entrenched fossil fuels hegemony?

This lecture by Robert Jensen was on the radio the other day, and I thought he had some interesting ideas about how we can to learn think more productively about this problem. His focus is on taking individual responsibility for energy/carbon use. For a journalist, he seems unusually well-informed.

Along the same lines, Curtis White has a good summary of why we need to be talking about how we structure work, and how that relates to our inability to deal with environmental issues.

Neither of these deals directly with breaking strangleholds though - is that even possible, given the economic might of the US oil industry and their power in Washington?
posted by sneebler at 8:51 AM on July 5, 2013


Past decade saw unprecedented warming in the deep ocean
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:05 PM on July 7, 2013


I'm about tired of the warmer. I'll trade you for some of the wetter.

I'm sorry about the dry conditions. One of the things that amazes me is that, for the first month in a long time, here in our part of upstate NY we actually got an average amount of rain last month (barely beating the historical average for June). What that means is that many of my clueless co-workers are pissing and moaning about how OMG it's been "raining too much," "it's so depressing," etc.
posted by aught at 7:49 AM on July 10, 2013


You’re Getting Warmer: Another Wall Street Journal Global Warming Article Misses the Target

FOLLOW-UP: Wall Street Journal Doubles Down on Global Warming Denial
posted by homunculus at 4:31 PM on July 10, 2013


The North Pole Looks Like a Lake Today

The Methane Released from the Melting Arctic Could Have a $60 Trillion Price Tag
posted by homunculus at 3:10 PM on July 24, 2013


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