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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Snow - Just Look At All This Global Warming!


Wilmington, where my house is got 2 inches of snow, northern Vermont received between 4 and 15 inches of snow, and Whiteface Mountain in New York received 3 feet of snow!!

Here is a link to photos and a few snowfall reports.

It's almost June

May 26th, a hair shy of June, - Just look at all this global warming!!*

*I am in the minority of people who do not believe in global warming, and hold the position that science does not yet understand the extremely complex multifaceted mechanisms which constitute the Earth's weather. The weather in Vermont ebbs and flows, but from what I've read and what I've seen is the same as it has always been. I also am of the position that we should look to alternative energy and be responsible stewards towards the Earth and our environment simply because it's the right thing to do - we should not need something which I think is unproven and highly questionable such as "global warming" to care about the Earth, we should just do it anyway.

David Ludlum's "The Vermont Weather Book" is an excellent resource for extensive history and data of Vermont's weather.

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Actually snowfall late into

Actually snowfall late into spring could easily be a result of global warming because it has to do with amounts of moisture in the atmosphere as a result of warming trends. As the ice caps melt, which they are doing, it puts more moisture into the atmosphere. Snow doesn't have to do with cold as opposed to warm, it is actually the result of moisture combined with a certain degree of cold and circulating air.

The predictions I've always heard are changes in weather patterns and more extreme weather which certainly fits into this years scenario. And global warming is a bit of a misnomer. What we're really dealing with is climate changes.

 
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A link

 
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Another link

 
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Sadly................

It is not possible to describe completely the nature of meteorology in terms simple enough for a hostile two year old to understand it. Labels, such as "Global Warming" are just short hand for very complex conditions that includes warming, cooling, drying, wetting, storming, and on and on. Perhaps the best idea for those without the training or intuition to understand more deeply would be to look at the 97% of people with those skills and see just what it is that they claim is occurring. If that were done, there would be no surprise, only chagrin. It takes a pretty secure person to hold onto beliefs when some 11,000 peer reviewed studies have claimed those beliefs to be false. It would seem to be some sort of psychosis which though common, is not named in the new DSM. Almost anything would be less embarrassing than seeing fingers stuck in ears and screams of LALALALALALALALALALALALA.

 
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LALALALALALALA is all around

LALALALALALALA is all around us, on many many issues where political goals and social values are being served up to the larger culture. We need to understand and recognize that LALALALALALALALA is not necessarily an inability to more deeply understand because of a lack of training or intuition, but what fundamental needs (human and social) are being met by pluggin one's ears while singin the denial tune.

We also should try to realize that published peer reviewed studies themselves are not immune to LALALALALALALA. Take a look at the annotated bibilograph "Homosexuality", published in 1972, to see a glaring example of LALALALALALALA found in peer reviewed research.

Funny thing is, I just happened to be talking about alternative treatments for cancer recently to an oncologist who put his fingers in his ears and did exactly that, yelling "I don't want to hear it!" Talk about hostile two year olds! The absence of possibilities for biological medicine treatments for cancer in peer reviewed literature is a hole that exists for a reason - and it has to do with the skilled "peers" and their values who publish journals that serve them and the dominant beliefs of the day. (Please note, this is not an argument against global warming)

 
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big picture

I don't think it is necessary to describe gw doubters that way.

However, it is important to point out that a late spring snow in the mountains is not much of an indication of what the global climate is doing. That would be a little like saying because the Yankees don't go 162-0 that they're no good. Oh look, they're 161-1 - THEY LOST A GAME! omg...

Much more important than an individual snow is the evidence of drastic change going on all around us:
- global sea level rose another 10 mm in 2012.
- it also rose 10 mm in 2011.
- sea level has been rising steadily for several decades now and coastlines are eroding.
- the east coast got pounded by hurricane Sandy all the way up in NYC and the damage was so massive much of it has not been repaired and much never can be.
- Greenland's ice sheet was all melting at once for several days last summer and a lot of that ice is at over 10,000 feet elevation in addition to being way north. Scientists who study Greenland have never seen anything like that
- staying in Greenland, the glaciers are moving faster.
- the glaciers on Antarctica are moving faster as well.
- average temperatures at the southern tip of South America and around the Antarctic have risen 6 degrees in ten years. As a result sea ice is vanishing around Antarctica causing a massive decline in penguin populations. Penguins depend on critters that live under icebergs for their food.
- for a more complete and even more negative view of what's going on globally: http://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/

Just because one does not know the entire weight of the evidence that the scientists know when they are telling you anthropogenic global warming is real and far worse than we thought does not make them wrong. Just read what they're reading and writing and then you can stop getting distracted by an occasional snow here or there.

 
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Global Weather Forecast for Southern Vermont

We did have some highly localized global cooling in the last few days, but we'll have some local global warming today and tomorrow. I can't see any pollution in the air or water, so it should be fine to breathe and drink.

Our models predict that the sun will come up again tomorrow and gravity will continue, but it's really complex stuff and we can't really be sure. Don't take chances!

Now over to John with sports. Those scores were unbelievable...

 
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Actions and Belief

I agree with the original poster that even if global warming was not a concern, using sustainable energy and trying minimize one's impact on the earth, are necessary. Yes, we need to be good stewards of the earth, and reduce our energy consumption.

So the discussion seems to be really about how we decide what we believe is likely to be true.

The original poster posted a photo and suggested that this was evidence that counters the claim that global warming is happening.

However;

First of all, Vermont has long been a place where snowstorms in late May can occur. That's just how unpredictable weather is. The fact that this still can happen means . . . that it still can happen.

Trends are impossible to judge by single instances that run counter to an overall trend. Trends require record keeping and math.

This is what climatologists do. The majority of scientists, the overwhelming majority see a warming trend, and the overwhelming majority have come to the conclusion that the warming that is occurring is due to man made contributions to greenhouse gasses.

Could the majority of scientists be wrong? Of course. Scientific theories about complicated phenomena can and have been wrong in the past. That actually is the beauty, (as much as there is beauty in science). We add to best current understanding by being open to the possibility of error.

But deciding that the overwhelmingly large percent of professional scientific analysts of the complicated mathematical systems are probably wrong, that statement can only be attempted by someone who is capable of making these mathematical analyses.

I can't. So I don't. Like many fields in science that level of analysis requires years and years of training, Climatology is not actually a field that I have earned any right to chip in my opinion.

In other words, it is not reasonable to say, "The mathematical model is wildly complicated. Therefore the people making the calculations are getting the calculations wrong". Anyone without a Phd in climatology or related fields are basically not part of the fundamental conversation. Whether we "support" the belief in global warming or don't the conversation is not open to all, or at least, our opinions don't all carry equal worthiness of consideration.

In a way, science is both a force for democratic empowerment, and a force of disenfranchisement. In theory, anyone can learn how to perform the scientific method, and help create "best current knowledge." On the other hand, only specialists can really have any say on topics once the topics become too complicated.

If a geologist tells me that a rock is 3.4 million years old, and composed of silica, I am going to go with that opinion, so long as it conforms to the current best theories (as judged by the professional geologists). Making that statement requires analysis and calculations I doubt I am capable of. The only difference between that and climatology is that if we fail to act on averting global warming, and they are right, it is not going to be pretty. People will die, and civilizations might collapse. You, know, not pretty.

However, the original poster has already stated the need for proper action, so, there is no disagreement there. We just disagree, apparently, on the best way to decide what we believe is likely true.

 
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The trees and the animals know

Only a few years ago, the Turkey Vulture was rarely seen in winter north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Now Brattleboro has a year round population. Cotton tail rabbits are seen here more frequently. Maple trees are migrating north, much to the dismay of VT’s Maple Sugar industry. Biomass electricity plants are planned to take advantage of the trees in our local forests that will be dying before the newer, southern trees grow mature enough to replace them
The signs are there if you look.
There’s a good LTE in today’s Reformer by John Ungerleider. He refers to a letter from U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas about how global climate change is not really happening. John issues a challenge:” I am sure others with more time and expertise will debunk this entire letter line by line.”
Here’s your opportunity.

 
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this weather better for ya?

Hope today's weather is helping you believe a little more in climate change! From snow 6 days ago to the 90's today! There have been many summers during my 57 years in Marlboro where it never got this warm.

 
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Portents

There are things that happen in the world and I notice them, because I see that they're starting to fit a larger pattern. Weird weather events, as we call them now, are one of those pattern-forming things. The ones that grabbed me recently were the family in Australia hiding from the wildfire in the water and the incredible tornados in Oklahoma. Just tonight, we were joking that we could watch tornado news while we ate dinner, and then when we tuned in the Weather Channel, Oklahoma was getting clobbered again.

It strikes me that freak snowstorms in May could be 1) freak events or 2) evidence of an unstable, I.e., changing, climate.

For me, modern weather has crossed over from interesting to weird, which is one step away from alarming or at least disconcerting. I'm not convinced that there's a lot we can do about it except less of the obviously problematic things we've been doing, like burning a lot of fossil fuel and being wasteful with our resources, which we have to know are finite. Although it really annoyed me at the time, I think that to some extent, Bush was right -- we're going to have to adapt.

 

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