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posted by martyb on Sunday May 25 2014, @02:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Tim Palmer, a climate scientist and professor at the University of Oxford in the U.K., has published a somewhat controversial Perspective piece in the journal Science. In it, he theorizes that heavy thunderstorms in the western tropical Pacific (due to global warming) this past winter caused changes to the flow pattern of the jet stream, which resulted in the "polar vortex" that chilled the northern part of North America for the first four months of 2014. The winter of 2014 was cold in the U.S., of that there was no doubt. Subzero temperatures became the norm and heating bills skyrocketed. At the time, very few who experienced it were blaming it on global warming, but that may very well have been the cause anyway, Palmer suggests--despite the fact that global temperatures haven't been rising lately.

The abstract (and link to paywalled journal article) can be found at: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6186/803

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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by FlatPepsi on Sunday May 25 2014, @02:38AM

    by FlatPepsi (3546) on Sunday May 25 2014, @02:38AM (#47235)

    Pizza Hut got my order wrong today. It was clearly Global Warming, because it has caused everything else in the last few years.

    Sounds like someone needs some press or additional funding...

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Hairyfeet on Sunday May 25 2014, @07:41PM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday May 25 2014, @07:41PM (#47348) Journal

      Why is this flamebait when those that are pushing the "AGW solution" of crap and trade [youtube.com] and carbon indulgences [nakedcapitalism.com] have set the AGW to be EXACTLY this? its its too hot? Climate change, too cold? Climate change, weather stays the same? Climate change has shifted the weather patterns!

      While I believe putting pollution in the air is bad I want to hear from the AGW supporters...can you name ONE scenario of seasonal weather that CANNOT be blamed on AGW using the new criteria? because i have a REALLY hard time considering something scientific when there is literally NO answer that doesn't forward a specific agenda.

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday May 30 2014, @06:18PM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 30 2014, @06:18PM (#49229) Journal

        i have a REALLY hard time considering something scientific when there is literally NO answer that doesn't forward a specific agenda.

        Is Tim Palmer saying the polar vortex is evidence of climate change, or does he blame it on climate change? (For which there is ample evidence already [www.ipcc.ch].)

        See BasilBrush's comment about gravity below. (What if I were to re-word your comments and say those damn physicists are always blaming things on gravity? Whether I drop a rock and it falls down, or I release a helium balloon and it floats off; they always blame gravity!)

        • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:00AM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:00AM (#49399) Journal

          You can tapdance and try to move the goalposts all you want, you WILL fail because I WILL respond thusly...can you name ONE specific change in the weather, just one which CANNOT be blamed on AGW?

          Again it is NOT science if there is NO wrong answer,after all I can say "The reason the weather changes is because of the sun and thus you should give me a trillion dollars to fix this problem" and short of you finding a way to make the sun not rise you cannot "disprove" my argument because it is tying a fact of nature with my personal agenda. If you can find NO WAY to come up with ANY change in the way that does not fall under AGW, even though this planet has had weather changes for billions of years? Then I'm sorry but your "science" is anything but because all you have done is tie a fact of nature (the weather changes) with your personal agenda ( AGW is caused by people so Goldman Sachs should get a check for 100 billion to change this) and short of making the weather stop changing there is no way to disprove the sentence as a whole because you are tying half the sentence to a fact of nature. To use your gravity tapdance i could say the exact same thing with gravity and short of stopping gravity you couldn't disprove my sentence either, doesn't make it science nor true.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:15PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 31 2014, @02:15PM (#49558)

            There is no single weather event that contributes much evidence either way to help us assess the theory of human-induced climate change. What does contribute is long-term patterns of weather. The latter is documented in the report I already linked to.

            Once we have good evidence for the accuracy of a theory, it is very reasonable for us to start applying that theory to specific situations. When someone does this, do not mistake that for them necessarily suggesting that the specific situation in question can be taken as useful evidence in favour of the accuracy of the theory. That is why I asked, "is Tim Palmer saying the polar vortex is evidence of climate change, or does he blame it on climate change?"

            Is still think the gravity analogy is quite good. Theories of gravity have been developed over centuries, with increasingly good evidence. We are now at the point where I am completely entitled to use these theories as part of my explanation for both the falling of a rock I just dropped and the floating of a helium balloon I just released.

             
            If you are saying the theory of human-induced climate change is not falsifiable, well, that's discussed in the "How can we falsify the CAGW theory?" comments below. But I would answer it by simply saying that actually yes, of course it is falsifiable. Again I come back to the report of long-term trends that I linked to previously. There is no single weather event that contributes much evidence either way to help us assess the theory of human-induced climate change, but if the long-term trends had been going in the opposite direction to what is documented in the report, that would surely disprove the theory.

            Regards,
            Open4D [soylentnews.org]
            (Posting anon because I modded your first comment "Interesting" before replying to it, and I'm currently getting [soylentnews.org] "If you continue to post this comment, all moderations done to this discussion will be undone!".)

  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Sunday May 25 2014, @02:49AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Sunday May 25 2014, @02:49AM (#47237)

    So we're still calling what used to be a "cold snap" a "polar vortex".

    Good to know, I'll remember that.

    --
    I fondly remember the day I made sandcastles with my grandmother. Just wish I hadn't done it in the crematorium.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Immerman on Sunday May 25 2014, @04:05AM

      by Immerman (3985) on Sunday May 25 2014, @04:05AM (#47250)

      No, a polar vortex is a very specific weather pattern in which large circular wind currents form near the poles, and only in recent years have been able to wander far enough into the mid latitudes to encounter more densely populated regions. Most cold snaps are simply cold air masses drifting around.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @06:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @06:12AM (#47258)

        Isn't there an old theory laying around somewhere that if the polar ice caps sufficiently cleared and warmed that there could be (a( superstorm(s) that launch us into another ice age because vast amounts of heat being pushed into space due to a chimney effect in the eye(s) of the storm(s)? Believe it is one of the theories as to how all those mammoths, cave men, etc all got virtually instantly frozen. Sounds like one heck of a potential polar vortex.

        Know any potentially warm water/air currents that could help fuel such a thing? Probably purely theoretical of course and I am certainly not qualified to properly theorize on it.

        • (Score: 1) by mja on Sunday May 25 2014, @08:25AM

          by mja (1137) on Sunday May 25 2014, @08:25AM (#47263) Journal

          From what I've heard that chimney effect is strong enough to push the entire mammoth into space.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Immerman on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:09PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:09PM (#47312)

          Sounds bogus to me. What mechanism would transfer the heat into space that quickly? Convection is out, because the air never leaves the Earth. Conduction is out, because there's no material up there to conduct into. That leaves radiation - and while pumping warm air above most the insulating greenhouse gasses would certainly accelerate the rate of radiative heat losses in that air, the amount of air involved would be miniscule, and the rate of heat loss only moderately higher. If the storms covered most of the planet for decades the cumulative effect might eventually become a problem, but that's not very likely.

          As for rapidly freezing things in the Arctic, you don't need any special mechanisms - somebody/thing dies and gets buried in snow during a serious -30* snowstorm and they'll be hard-frozen before you know it - and such weather is hardly rare in the Arctic. If they're wading through deep snowdrifts at the time they might not even fall over.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by tathra on Sunday May 25 2014, @09:07AM

        by tathra (3367) on Sunday May 25 2014, @09:07AM (#47272)

        yup, "polar vortex" is a legitimate planetary phenomenon. the hexagonal polar storms at venus and saturnm, one of which has two centers/eyes; i'm not sure that there are many planets within our own solar system that dont have polar vortexes. in their natural states though, they stay basically confined to the polar regions.

        as as strange and contradictory as it sounds, global warming could cause an ice age. yes, you heard that right. if the melting glaciers from greenland and antarctica deposit too much warm, fresh water too fast into the pacific ocean, it could shut off thermohaline circulation [wikipedia.org], which is what is directly responsible for the temperate tempuratures of europe. without those ocean conveyors bringing warm water north, europe and other northern areas will freeze.

        this is established science fact. iirc, the last time thermohaline circulation got disrupted was when central america came into being, which was directly responsible for the ice age in which we've been for the past ~2-3 million years.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:50AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:50AM (#47287)

          the last time thermohaline circulation got disrupted was when central america came into being, which was directly responsible for the ice age in which we've been for the past ~2-3 million years.

          Well, I knew America had been responsible for many of the world's woes for some time, but didn't realise it was quite that long!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:46PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:46PM (#47320)

          Ice ages occur in cycles according to the Milankovitch cycles. We are scheduled to enter into another ice age sometime within the next thousand years or so. It has to do with how the position of the earth and average distance from the sun changes throughout the cycle. Go look it up.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dry on Sunday May 25 2014, @06:54PM

            by dry (223) on Sunday May 25 2014, @06:54PM (#47341) Journal

            The configuration of the continents is a major driver of climate on geological time scales. As the above poster mentions, the closing of the isthmus of Panama majorly changed ocean currents, same with when S. America and Antarctica separated allowing the Southern Oceans currents to circle the Earth along with the accompanying winds which isolated Antarctica.
            Besides ocean currents, continents can be in configurations that encourage or discourage rainfall with rainfall causing weathering which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and turns it into limestone. Even the depth of the oceans varies over geological time scales which I'd guess could also have a large influence on climate.
            Long term climate is complex with orbital forcing being only a part of it. The thing that all these climate forcers have in common is gradual change. Continents move a couple of inches a year and orbits change gradually.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by xtronics on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:07AM

    by xtronics (1884) on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:07AM (#47239) Homepage

    You will have lost me.

    Beta might be annoying - but I'm a lot more interested in computer hardware than politicized science.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hendrikboom on Sunday May 25 2014, @12:22PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 25 2014, @12:22PM (#47297) Homepage Journal

      I too am tired of politicized science. The trick is to distinguish between science and politicized science, which isn't really science at all. But that isn't always easy.

      Merely testing for deviation from one's own biases isn't enough.

      -- hendrik

    • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday May 30 2014, @09:52AM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 30 2014, @09:52AM (#49081) Journal

      But Slashdot has climate science stories too. So your threat seems more like an attempt to bully the editors.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Magic Oddball on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:19AM

    by Magic Oddball (3847) on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:19AM (#47240) Journal

    I don't know how other West Coast states fared, but California had an unusually dry, warm winter once again, and AFAIK the Lake Tahoe region of the Sierra Mountains was also affected. It's not surprising either way, though: from what I recall reading, the immediate effect of global warming will be to make the weather more extreme rather than merely warmer.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by LookIntoTheFuture on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:45AM

      by LookIntoTheFuture (462) on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:45AM (#47245)

      Well, I can say that this winter, near Chicago it was very cold indeed. While walking out to my car to go to work, I actually saw one of my testicles tumble from my pant leg. Froze right off.

    • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:29AM

      by evilviper (1760) on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:29AM (#47284) Homepage Journal

      the immediate effect of global warming will be to make the weather more extreme rather than merely warmer.

      It's a BS statement. "More extreme" could mean any damn thing someone wants, and they can pick and choose after-the-fact which weather was "extreme" and which was not.

      I know the highest recorded air temperature on earth was set back in 1913 in Death Valley, CA, and global warming hasn't put a dent in it yet. I know we hear about "record" temperatures all the time, but it's always a ridiculously specific high or low for a specific day, in a specific zip code, since they started recording that kind of minutia just 40 years ago at best. It's the kind of "records" that computers can easily spit out, but human beings don't give a crap about.

      And in California, the winter of 2014 was incredibly, unusually mild... Is that "extreme" too? I'm pretty sure the definition of the word is diametrically opposed to that usage... And don't forget the projected quiet hurricane season.

      Seems like a good change to me... A hundred meter rise in sea level would turn my mountain-top cabin into a pacific island getaway off the coast of California, and turn my cheap property into prime beachfront real-estate.

      --
      Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday May 25 2014, @08:10PM

        by Reziac (2489) on Sunday May 25 2014, @08:10PM (#47354) Homepage

        There's an official WX (weather recording station) a few miles from me that always shows amazingly warm temps in midwinter, no matter how cold is the rest of Montana. When I finally got round to checking that station's exact location, I found it was directly ON the bank (less than six feet from the water) of the Jefferson River, which at that point is big enough to be a serious local heatsink (and seldom freezes entirely). Well, no wonder that WX says it's 32 degrees even when just 10 miles away it's -20...

        I've read of some that are on the edges of asphalt parking lots. Draw your own conclusions.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by broken on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:22PM

          by broken (4018) on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:22PM (#47389) Journal

          I've read of some that are on the edges of asphalt parking lots. Draw your own conclusions.

          I conclude that you are a global warming denier since you latch on to even exceedingly weak counterarguments and publish them in an apparent attempt to spread doubt on the scientific theory. The "thermometers are poorly positioned" attempt to disprove global warming has been thoroughly debunked [skepticalscience.com].

          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Reziac on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:36PM

            by Reziac (2489) on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:36PM (#47391) Homepage

            When I know firsthand where one is that produces anomalous readings, it doesn't surprise me that there are worse.... call me a heretic if you like (it's more accurate than 'denier').

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by zsau on Monday May 26 2014, @05:04AM

              by zsau (2642) on Monday May 26 2014, @05:04AM (#47451)

              It produces accurate readings for its site. The river hasn't suddenly changed course by ten miles has it? So it's not yielding any diachronic error that would need to be addressed. No-one cares about the absolute temperature of the earth, only what the trend is. Is there a trend? up? down?

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday May 28 2014, @12:23AM

                by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday May 28 2014, @12:23AM (#48101) Homepage

                It's perfectly accurate, but it's anomalous. If you put all the WX stations along the river, climate researchers could conclude Montana has no winter.

                • (Score: 1) by zsau on Wednesday May 28 2014, @10:25AM

                  by zsau (2642) on Wednesday May 28 2014, @10:25AM (#48235)

                  It wouldn't. The trend between "unknown temperature" and "zero degrees Celsius" is "unknown". Climate researchers know this. They also know that rivers, cities, oceans etc. have localised effects on nearby land temperatures. Your site doesn't disprove global warming.

                  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday May 28 2014, @12:55PM

                    by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday May 28 2014, @12:55PM (#48274) Homepage

                    No, but the total mass of data does disprove it... if you stop cherrypicking only the most recent century (except for those pesky most-recent 15 years, of course) and realise that the total record has always gone up and down like a yoyo, and that we're presently in an unusually warm bit of an extended cold snap, expected to become another ice age within 1000 years or so. Ice ages are not good. Warming is better, if you want to keep eating.

                    Personally I think the AGW crowd -- the very definition of "useful idiots" -- have fallen into an "Earth First" type trap, which looks like sound environmental policy on the surface, but could have the "unintended consequence" of human extinction: Just two degrees of cooling could plunge the globe into a permanent ice age. Yet there are scientists who want to do cloud seeding to cool the planet.

    • (Score: 2) by dry on Sunday May 25 2014, @07:07PM

      by dry (223) on Sunday May 25 2014, @07:07PM (#47345) Journal

      Here in SW BC it was another warm dry winter, many days without rain and only a couple of inches of snow here where normal is more like a foot or 2 of snow. Cold wet spring with more snow in March then all winter. This has been the pattern for the last 4 years and if it follows the late summer will be hot and dry again.
      Thing is there has always been cycles and its hard to judge if it is just another warm cycle or more extreme due to climate change and I don't have the skills or data to judge what is normal.
      Now to stare at the rain :)

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @04:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @04:17AM (#47252)

    From the no dept dept! (as in should the software require one?)

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @06:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @06:33AM (#47260)

    CAGW: Catastrophic, Antropogenic Global Warming. These days called "Climate Change" I think.

    What causes changes in weather?

    If it's hot: CAGW.

    If it's cold: oh, that was CAGW.

    Hurricane? Probably exacerbated by CAGW.

    Unusual lack of hurricanes in 2013: likely explained by CAGW.

    15 years of relatively flat temperature trends? 15 years isn't enough to disprove CAGW.

    So, seriously, what can happen that would disprove the theory? What event would make the CAGW guys say "Hmm, maybe we need more data"?

    Also, do the official CAGW guys buy in on all this, or is it just a news media that is eager to adapt the news to the CAGW narrative? If it is the latter, have any CAGW guys publicly spoken out and said "Yeah, maybe the cold wasn't caused by global warming" or whatever?

    Posted anonymously due to fear of CAGW true believers hunting me down and MAKING ME PAY.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by andersjm on Sunday May 25 2014, @09:47AM

      by andersjm (3931) on Sunday May 25 2014, @09:47AM (#47277)

      If it's cold: oh, that was CAGW.

      Yeah, if it had been a global cold, that would have been a hard sell. It wasn't. At the same time that North America went through the cold spell, Europe had it warm. For example, the average February temperature in Denmark was 4.2K over the norm.

      15 years of relatively flat temperature trends? 15 years isn't enough to disprove CAGW.

      Where did the number 15 come from? Why not look at 10, 20 or 30 years back? I'll tell you why: It's a cherry-picked number, designed to make the time series start with the year 1998, the warmest year in recorded history. Whoever chose that number is a manipulating fraud. I hope it wasn't you.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BasilBrush on Sunday May 25 2014, @08:32PM

        by BasilBrush (3994) on Sunday May 25 2014, @08:32PM (#47362)

        Everyone who choses to cherry pick starting at 1998 knows full well global warming is happening. Because in order to cherry pick they have to have looked at other periods, and found that they don't support their argument. Which makes them liars.

        --
        Hurrah! Quoting works now!
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by zsau on Monday May 26 2014, @07:24AM

          by zsau (2642) on Monday May 26 2014, @07:24AM (#47478)

          Everyone who choses to cherry pick starting at 1998 knows full well global warming is happening.

          Although perhaps true, it's not helpful. Most people who use the cherry-picked 1998 would've been copy-pasting from one of the denial-repeaters.

          It's the users not the choosers who spread the myths, and these people are often completely ignorant of their errors.

          In fact, they're usually so arrogantly convinced of their own rational skills that they refuse to listen to what the trained climate scientists have to say and ... believe ... everything they're told by ... webloggers and ... journalists?

      • (Score: 2) by marcello_dl on Sunday May 25 2014, @09:20PM

        by marcello_dl (2685) on Sunday May 25 2014, @09:20PM (#47371)

        Yes, one of the warmest winter in 40 years in Italy too. Except that the few latest summers have been unusually cold and this could still be from AGW. Or solar cyles, or whatever.

        Anyway I am in deep suspicion of a system that proposes to fight C02 levels with taxes, while at the same time helping spread pollution (there would not be illegal waste dumpsters if you actually paid the price for disposing of an item with the item itself, and it would make the economy resemble normality again).
        Jeez, recall when the bees colonies collapsed and the system waits years before saying "Uh maybe it's those newfangled things we spray on crops". Or what about nuclear waste, treated with the same attention? Is AGW a way to look busy for the environment?

        After all, a polluted world where therapies become essential for survival is a very desirable outcome for control freaks. Who controls the system providing clean food and therapies is your new master. Orwell's 1984 is the convoluted dream of a rookie in comparison.

      • (Score: 2) by mindriot on Monday May 26 2014, @09:40AM

        by mindriot (928) on Monday May 26 2014, @09:40AM (#47512)

        Also, I'm surprised the obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com] hasn't popped up in this discussion...

        --
        soylent_uid=$(echo $slash_uid|cut -c1,3,5)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @08:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29 2014, @08:03PM (#48899)

        Hello, I'm the anonymous coward who wrote the top post ("How can we falsify the CAGW theory?").

        Where did the number 15 come from?

        I got that number by remembering, or possibly mis-remembering, something I read. After 1998 the warming trend was flat, and one or more CAGW advocates said "A few years of flat temperatures prove nothing; we would need to see at least 15 years of flat temperatures before it would be significant." Then, once the 15 years mark was hit, all CAGW advocates said that the 15 years of flat temperatures doesn't prove anything: more years are needed, or some special circumstances apply.

        I tried to use Google to find the original thing I read. I came up with a paper by Benjamin Santer et. al. which gives 17 years as the minimum time to be significant: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/17/ben-santers- 17-year-itch/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

        So it's possible I mis-remembered the 17 years as 15 years, or possibly I read something else that I couldn't find with Google.

        Why not look at 10, 20 or 30 years back?

        Well, it's trivially true that a 15-year span of flat temperatures would include a 10-year span of flat temperatures. But I don't really see the point in choosing a 10-year subset... why would I do that?

        And it's not true that there have been 20 or 30 years of flat temperatures; temperatures were rising in the 1990's. I don't want to claim something that wasn't true.

        Am I missing something here? If we are talking about "years of relatively flat temperatures", then the span is chosen by the temperatures, and 1998 wasn't relatively flat; it was hot.

        I'll tell you why: It's a cherry-picked number, designed to make the time series start with the year 1998, the warmest year in recorded history. Whoever chose that number is a manipulating fraud. I hope it wasn't you.

        Um, 1998 was warm, and then after that temperatures were relatively flat. In fact we are now working on 17 years of relatively flat temperatures. There is a graph in this article: http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/7360901-robert-w agner/1870791-climate-change-consensus-bubble-burs t-by-the-facts-at-near-95-percent-confidence-level [seekingalpha.com]

        Given that the current span of flat temperature years started after 1998, I don't see how you can leap to the conclusion that Someone Is Up To Something by saying that temperatures have been flat after 1998. I just don't get it man.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Nerdanel on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:12AM

      by Nerdanel (3363) on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:12AM (#47281) Journal

      Of course the theory could be falsified. For example, if the glaciers around the world were growing instead of shrinking, that would do it. Too bad it's not happening. Mid-latitude places like the Alps have their glaciers retreating and revealing new archeological discoveries, the Antarctic has lost enough ice that it would show on your desktop globe, and we'll soon have a workable Northwest Passage.

      Weather != climate, and it's indeed possible to measure the climate. For example, in mathematics there exists a method to calculate the so-called "average" from several numbers, in addition to some more difficult and advanced tools such as standard deviations and running averages.

      Posted non-anonymously even though this place is full of denialists. I think it's the libertarian bias.

      • (Score: 1) by karmawhore on Sunday May 25 2014, @12:21PM

        by karmawhore (1635) on Sunday May 25 2014, @12:21PM (#47296)

        My pet theory: it's because there's no (active) technocrat.net to draw them away. Please, Bruce! You gotta start posting, or soon we're going to be overrun with doomsday stockpilers and conspiracy theorists. And hams. But those guys are mostly okay.

        --
        =kw= lurkin' to please
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Daniel Dvorkin on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:45PM

        by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Sunday May 25 2014, @03:45PM (#47319) Journal

        So far, Soylent doesn't seem to have developed the self-reinforcing anti-science echo chamber that infested Slashdot. There are a few of the loonies here, but not enough of them to take over every discussion. Hopefully it will stay that way.

        --
        Pipedot [pipedot.org]:Soylent [soylentnews.org]::BSD:Linux
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @05:04PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 25 2014, @05:04PM (#47324)

          Stop calling it global warming, climate change if you want people to do anything about it. Call it what it is. It is pollution. People get that. The people doing the polluting were able to change the narrative by saying 'prove it'. Then another group of people figured out they can steal more money from people thru the use of taxes (see UPS and Europe, tl;dr taxes went up, rates went up, and they used even more fuel). Follow the money and you will see what is going on. It has little to do with real science and more to do with peoples bottom lines.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26 2014, @01:18AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26 2014, @01:18AM (#47407)

          Seriously? Just wait till they post some flame bait article about evolution...it requires faith to believe in just as Christianity does or Judaism or Islam for that matter...which retard religion is right is really a crap shoot at this point. And yes I called evolution a religion. Then again I just invaded soylentnews.com with CRAZYTALK!! Oh the humanity!

    • (Score: 2) by BasilBrush on Sunday May 25 2014, @08:29PM

      by BasilBrush (3994) on Sunday May 25 2014, @08:29PM (#47359)

      Gravity. These days called "A Force" I think.

      What causes changes in vertical position?

      If it goes down: Gravity.

      If it goes up: oh, that was Gravity.

      Fallen over? Probably exacerbated by Gravity.

      Unusual lack of ground level helium: likely explained by Gravity.

      50 years of man made satellites not falling? 50 years isn't enough to disprove Gravity.

      So, seriously, what can happen that would disprove the Gravity theory?

      --
      Hurrah! Quoting works now!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26 2014, @12:59AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26 2014, @12:59AM (#47403)

      All I read was blah blah blah I'm a dirty whore!

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Murdoc on Monday May 26 2014, @01:22AM

      by Murdoc (2518) on Monday May 26 2014, @01:22AM (#47409) Homepage
      Or maybe, just maybe, science is more complicated than the way you are trying to falsify this theory? You and I can't do it, not on the back of a cocktail napkin. The guys who study this stuff spend 8+ years just to get their Ph.D.s, then plenty of years of work afterwards using complex math and powerful computers. The point is that the science is in. AGW is as much a fact as we can make it. There is really no need to keep debating this [youtube.com], even if we could.

      The question you have to ask yourself is, why are you so afraid of the facts? I know the conclusions are scary, but hiding from them isn't going to solve anything. Perhaps you just haven't gone looking for enough information yourself? A key component of intellectual honesty is to have the courage [criticalthinking.org] to accept valid evidence wherever it may take you, even if it means having to accept something scary, or having to let go of your previous beliefs about something. It's hard, I know, give it time, but it is something worth working towards. Wouldn't you rather know what the real truth is? I mean, what if AGW is right? If it is, and you deny it, how is that helping anything?

      As for how "catastrophic" it is, that will depend on what we do about it. If we just keep debating it, and nothing else, yes it will be. We need to start working on this now, and make some drastic changes.

    • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday May 30 2014, @10:05AM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 30 2014, @10:05AM (#49085) Journal

      How can we falsify the CAGW theory?

      Well, here's the latest report. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/ [www.ipcc.ch] Knock yourself out.

       

      15 years of relatively flat temperature trends?

      As I've said before [soylentnews.org], this is just selective reading of the data. You're better off looking at the full graph [nasa.gov].

       

      What event would make the CAGW guys say "Hmm, maybe we need more data"?

      We always need more data. The only way we can be 100% sure about the results of this emit billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere experiment is to let it run its course. But when you're pretty sure you know the results will be devastating, I'd rather we cancelled the experiment and accepted that we'll never be 100% sure.

       

      Posted anonymously due to fear of CAGW true believers hunting me down and MAKING ME PAY.

      Hmmm, interesting idea. Well, I'd be tempted to hunt your grandchildren down in 50 years and draw their attention to your reckless disregard for their generation's wellbeing.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by evilviper on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:11AM

    by evilviper (1760) on Sunday May 25 2014, @10:11AM (#47280) Homepage Journal

    The winter of 2014 was cold in the U.S., of that there was no doubt.

    Actually, the winter of 2014 was the mildest I can ever remember. There was a week here, and a week there, where it got cold, but then it'd warm up instead of staying cold. My gas bill still showed a rise verses the rest of the year, but only because of hot-water heating, as my heater barely ever came on. In fact I kept shutting off the pilot light because it was getting too warm in my house. Admittedly, I've got a couple big south facing windows, which keeps me naturally warmer than most, but the winter of 2014 was very warm, of that there was no doubt.

    I hear it sucked to be in the mid-west, but California was great, and I heard Florida was completely unscathed, too.

    --
    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.