Global cooking an egg on the sidewalk Warming
September 5, 2003 12:28 PM   Subscribe

While there may be controversy over global warming, whichever side of the fence you stand on, you can't help but enjoy the colorful spectacle that is temperature variation from 1970-1999, presented as a MPEG from NASA (4.5 Mb). Yellow-to-red means higher temps and the last few years are a doozy. [via the Viridians]
posted by mathowie (24 comments total)
What happened in 1976? Did Mr. Freeze break out of Arkham?
posted by weston at 12:32 PM on September 5, 2003

And I just thought that 1993/1994 seemed like the coldest winters for me in a while because I'd moved back to Utah from Los Angeles, but it appears they were in fact colder.
posted by weston at 12:35 PM on September 5, 2003

Please don't use the word doozy. It pains me.
posted by mokey at 12:48 PM on September 5, 2003

Please don't use the word doozy. It pains me.


"the last few years are a doozy mokey"
posted by mathowie at 12:53 PM on September 5, 2003

am i doing something wrong? when i download it, it's just a 1-sec clip (only 280 kb, not 4.5 Mb)
posted by adamms222 at 12:59 PM on September 5, 2003

This proves nothing. Now, creation science, that's some real science.
posted by jjg at 1:02 PM on September 5, 2003

making the environment a political issue has been a great move...allows quick and easy demonization of anyone who is "pro-environment".

interesting mpg, definitely, does it help to prove that perhaps the controversy over global warming is based more on politics and money than scientific evidence?
posted by th3ph17 at 1:22 PM on September 5, 2003

What controversy? We're all fucked.
posted by muckster at 1:43 PM on September 5, 2003

Temperature variations relative to some base average, or temperature variations from one (day, year, month) to the next? I can't tell, but given how quickly areas move from red to blue then back to red in single areas, I suspect the latter.
posted by willnot at 1:49 PM on September 5, 2003

Yellow-to-red means higher temps and the last few years are a mokey.

From scanning through this paper (GISS analysis of surface temperature change, pdf), I think the data plotted are averages of monthly temperature anomalies with respect to the long-term mean, so that the number in the top right is the global average temperature deviation from the long-term mean (in degrees Celsius).
posted by eddydamascene at 1:51 PM on September 5, 2003

One word: sunscreen.
posted by 111 at 2:13 PM on September 5, 2003

More at the bottom of this page. The long-term mean is the 30 year average temperature measured at the same time each year.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:17 PM on September 5, 2003

That's interesting because other NASA evidence proves the opposite.

So, which NASA is lying, I guess that's the question. Or perhaps the question is, why are we trusting our decisions to a set of people who, perhaps, simply haven't reached a conclusion yet themselves?
posted by shepd at 2:55 PM on September 5, 2003

Or, why do we wait for empirical evidence of a phenomenon that makes perfect logical sense? We all know that the basic greenhouse theory is sound, right? So basically, the dispute is over whether are emitting enough greenhouse gasses to speed up the effect. Geez, what about "better safe than sorry?" It's not like their would be horrible harms associated with trying to cut back on greenhouse emissions, as long as their wasn't an overnight ban on everything.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:11 PM on September 5, 2003

as long as their wasn't an overnight ban on everything.

O2s, carbonated milk.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:34 PM on September 5, 2003

shepd, that NASA article (from way back in 1997) doesn't prove the opposite at all, if I'm reading it correctly.
Unlike the surface-based temperatures, global temperature measurements of the Earth's lower atmosphere obtained from satellites reveal no definitive warming trend over the past two decades.
So rising surface temperatures, yes; rising lower atmosphere temps, no. The point of the article seems to be that the satellite measurements are correct, even though the computer models of the time disagreed.
posted by Llama-Lime at 3:49 PM on September 5, 2003

Note the difference in El NiƱo events; it tends to be larger and more intense every cycle. Also note the difference over time in the Pacific and Atlantic decadal oscillations. It's these deep ocean trends that have the most to say about climate, and as you can see, the ocean is beginning to tip.

That should scare you.
posted by Cerebus at 7:59 PM on September 5, 2003

>Or, why do we wait for empirical evidence of a phenomenon that makes perfect logical sense?

It makes perfect logical sense that if I have a thorn stuck in my finger not touching anything with it will cause it not to hurt anymore (well, very little anyways).

However, that just exacerbates the problem.

How do we know that making the earth colder won't have an even *WORSE* effect, just like leaving that thorn in would cause an infection?

LLama-lime, yes, it says that. Pages linked to that page, from NASA, explain that temperatures have risen by about 0.5 degrees. Heck, the wikipedia even says the same thing at the end.

I'd find them, but it's late and I'm tired.

I have simply given up on listening to data from groups that have dual opinions (NASA) and groups that flat out lie about science to ultimately achieve a political goal (Greenpeace).

I don't know who to believe. Best to ignore all the parties right now until they either make a firm decision (NASA) or give up on the rhetoric (Greenpeace, et al.) Running about like a chicken with it's head cut off (cutting greenhouse emissions just in case) rarely makes things better.
posted by shepd at 8:15 PM on September 5, 2003

Like shepd's link says the major problem is that we have no idea what effect we're having and we have no idea if any of our "solutions" are not going to have much worse unintended consequences. Studies in fluid and aero dynamics show that systems like our atmosphere can quickly and dramatically change in ways that are non-intuitive. A short term heating of the earth can change the jet stream and ocean currents in such a way that the earth could freeze over.

I don't understand why this is such a big issue for people. It's definitely interesting, but what can we do now but study the situation more? This just seems like something to argue about. However, there are many small scale environmental issues that we could address that are ignored. Any action taken to clean up and preserve the stuff we understand would have a much greater positive impact on our lives than anything we do to address "global warming".

Also, I the constant harping on hypothetical doomsday situations is what's turned most people off of "environmentalist movement".

shepd: I think NASA's opinion here is consistent with pretty much every scientist on either side of this issue. The Earth has gotten warmer over the past 30 years, but no one really knows what that means. Other groups like Green Peace and some profit seeking interests try to fill in the "but what does it really mean" gap for us.
posted by betaray at 9:51 PM on September 5, 2003

do shepd and betaray care at all what kind of world their children? nephews? nieces? grandkids? and the rest of the bright little kids that will have to live with the mess our generation created, will inherit?
posted by specialk420 at 11:35 PM on September 5, 2003

A joke for betaray:

This guy buys a horse from a farmer. Later the same week, the horse dies. So, the guy goes back to the farmer and says, that horse you sold me, it died.

That's weird, says the farmer. It's never done that before!
posted by muckster at 4:47 AM on September 6, 2003

specialk420, I care what kind of world we live in. It's reactionary policies that have brought the US lifetime copyright terms, piss-poor patent laws, the DMCA, homeland security act, and the PATRIOT act.

The same reactionary policies have done all kinds of damage to my homeland (Canada), from banning people from watching foriegn television to assuming people are guilty of piracy the moment they buy a CD-Recordable, and to banning various books because they might insult others.

I care so much about the world I live in, I won't see it controlled by the same style of policies that have brought freedom in our countries to a grinding halt. It's fascist and wrong and people like me won't stand for the substitution of real science for pseudo-political-science, ever, most especially when real science hasn't made any serious decisions yet.

Science is fluid and changing, unlike the policies of various anarchist groups attempting to destroy what little security and happiness we enjoy right now. Being anti-government and anarchist is fine, *BUT* don't pretend that you're an environmental group when you're simply a bunch of politicos. You'd be surprised at who has left greenpeace (and other now anarchist groups) simply because they don't believe politics should decide the fate of the earth.

Here's a joke, muckster: A farmer has a sick horse. Everytime it walks about it limps. So, the farmer does what he's been told for years is best, shoot the horse. After shooting the horse, it turns out that it was only missing a horseshoe.
posted by shepd at 9:21 AM on September 6, 2003

shepd: ley me just say that you are seriously mistaken as to what the scientific consensus on the issue is and on who's doing the spinning and being anti-science. It's amazing how industry spin-groups have made a minority view in the field into a "debate".
See this (quite informative actually) Metafilter thread for previous discussions we had here on the issue of global warming... especially note troutfishing's post as to the merits of the scientific method and the disaster that is industry PR.
Also Greenpeace is not "anarchist" at all. Just note the very hierarchical structure of the organization. Their "agenda" is guarding the environment and there aren't enough of them I say (despite not seeing eye to eye with them on a number of issues).
posted by talos at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2003

>Also Greenpeace is not "anarchist" at all.

Then why did a founder feel the need to voiciferously quit over their increasingly political, and decreasingly scientific viewpoints?

Why does greenpeace protest globalisation? No, correlation is NOT causation, greenpeace.

Why can't greenpeace get non-profit status in Canada?

Why do they lie about GM food?

There's many things to worry about greenpeace, and I've barely scratched the surface. They are *NOT* pro-environment, they *ARE* pro-anarchism and anti-government at all costs. I can imagine if a pro-environment president/prime minister were to come into power, one that, say, supported things like GM food and globalisation, but also supported environmental issues, greenpeace would change their stance to suit their real agenda.

talos, I don't need to post links to global warming debate. It's out there, heck, just search on google for 'global warming debate'. The fact is that supporters of the idea carry a clear cut political agenda, and that makes their opinions worthless, and, unfortunately, degrades the opinions of actual scientists that might agree with them, but want to keep their distance from an anti-government mob.
posted by shepd at 7:56 PM on September 6, 2003

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