The Deadliest U.S. Natural Hazard: Extreme Cold

http://blog.kievukraine.info/uploaded_images/3195-734559.jpg

There’s a new essay from Indur Goklany in response to a recent Reuters news article.

Yesterday Reuters reported on a study which claimed that heat is the deadliest form of natural hazard for the United States. However, this result is based on questionable data.  The study used results for mortality from extreme heat and cold that can be traced to the National Climatic Data Center. But these data are substantially different from mortality data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) based on the Compressed Mortality File for the United States. The latter uses death certificate records, which provide the cause of each recorded death (based on medical opinion). It is reasonable to believe that regarding the cause of death, particularly for extreme cold and heat, medical opinion as captured in death certificate records is more reliable than determinations made by the meteorologists in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NCDC (even if they have Ph.Ds.).

The essay draws on data from the CDC database of mortality in the USA. See this table:

Combining data from the CDC database for extreme cold and extreme heat, and various arms of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for floods, lightning, hurricanes, and tornadoes, Goklany has shown that extreme cold, rather than heat, is the deadliest form of extreme weather event. In fact, from 1979-2002, extreme cold was responsible for 53 percent of deaths due to all these categories of extreme weather, while extreme heat contributes slightly more than half that (28%).  For more, see The Deadliest U.S. Natural Hazard: Extreme Cold.

Of course we all know that the human race has historically done better during warm periods. While we’ve seen a sloght warming in the last century, we’ve also seen a worldwide improvement in the human condition.

Warm – what’s not to like?
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124 Responses to The Deadliest U.S. Natural Hazard: Extreme Cold

  1. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Talk about someone (NCDC) having a professional opinion outside their area of expertise, and based on dodgy data…

    What next – will Astrophysicists, Politicians, and Paleontologists begin pontificating about future weather events?

    Whoops – that’s already happening.

    hmmm… Doctors are legally responsible for what they write on a death certificate… certainly makes a difference to what will be recorded.

  2. barking toad says:

    Nothing to see here.

    Facts that don’t support the new religion are ignored by the cult members. And the MSM.

    Opps, I repeated myself.

  3. Neil Crafter says:

    I’m glad that the earlier misinformation has been rectified that cold is truly a greater killer, but its still only a very small fraction of the people that die each year. I guess its just plain dangerous to be alive!

  4. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    AGW poster child – Hurricanes kill on average 19 people per year, whereas Cold kills 680.

    Begs the question of what the priorities are.

  5. Leon Brozyna says:

    Thank you for the research done to counter that absurd Reuters story. I’ve read of how death rates from heat have declined during the previous century. This is due partly to a better educated populace, better acclimation to the heat, and of course with the improved living standard, air conditioning in places like the southern US where heat can become quite oppressive. If you’ve no A/C, just take off some clothes and slow down. In a cold winter climate, if the cold doesn’t get to you the snow shoveling just might.

    Take a simple quiz. Would you rather be a homeless person living in Chicago during a winter cold snap, or living in Atlanta during a summer heat wave (no shelters available for either scenario)?

  6. Eve says:

    Put the hurricane deaths with the cold. When there is a greater difference between the equator and the poles, there are more hurricanes. Less temperature difference, less hurricanes. Floods ?? who knows?

  7. crosspatch says:

    But a hurricane is so much more spectacular to watch on television than it would be to have a two-hour long report of watching a thermometer’s indicated temperature drop in real time.

    Hurricane reports attract eyeballs which sell advertising and that is the bottom line of the “news” business. It is really the advertising business. They don’t lose money if they broadcast inaccurate hysteria, but they stand to make a lot of money if they can create hysteria that draws people’s attention. And if they were wrong, they can state that fact at 3am on a Tuesday morning and never bring the subject up again.

    It’s all about the eyeballs. It is in the interests of the news outlets to enter into some informal, unspoken collusion to create “issues” which attract attention. It works to the benefit of politicians, too, who can then have an opportunity to be seen “doing something” about it. Whether it is real or not is beside the point. Create a crisis, drum up the concern, repeat the most dire predictions you can find, and have politicans jump in to “save” everyone. Everybody on the gravy train wins.

    Sorry if I seem so cynical in my old age.

  8. Tim L says:

    And— what is the cost for XC ? snow plowing, sand,salt, power lines down from ice, frozen pipes, frozen goods food/ paint/ HBA , cars/ trucks crashed , the deaths reported are from cold but what about car related death from snow/ice induced car crash deaths? house fires from heating systems/ more death from fire/suffocation?
    Cold is a very bad thing in fact the old news paper articles were much more scary sounding when they announced an ice age!
    breath in then out…. repeat!

  9. Rossa says:

    Slightly off post, the UK’s Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn has picked up today on the story about the New York Times report from 1938. Even refers to a website by a ex TV meteorologist (is that you Anthony?) who takes “global warming” with a large pinch of Sea Salt !!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1097850/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-If-Del-Boy-today-hed-trading-carbon-offsets.html

    That’s the first time I’ve seen such a trenchant piece by someone in our MSM. Mind you I love reading his columns cos he likes to debunk the stupidity of our ruling classes, the police and local officials who act like the Gestapo.

    I’ve posted a comment and if it gets through the moderators net, have identified this site so more people in the UK may get to read some common sense on the debate. Also anyone seen the Green-Agenda.com site? The author is an environmental analyst who is trying to blow the whistle on what is happening in his “industry”. Our friend Al Gore again……no surprise there.

    REPLY:
    Yup, that’s me, and here is the article: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/12/today-in-climate-history-dec-12th-1938-getting-warmer/ – Anthony

  10. Jerry says:

    Just a small caveat here – a death certificate will give what the doctor believes to be the immediate cause of death. It’s possible that a heart attack, for instance, might be brought on by heat stress or dehydration and would just give “heart failure” as cause of death. You have to be very careful evaluating data that were collected for other purposes (as the good doctor Mann should be aware).

  11. Lamont says:

    We should set off some nukes underwater on the siberian arctic shelf and melt the permafrost there in order to release all the methane and really get this party started and warm things up….

    If warm is good, then lets radically go for it…

  12. TinyCO2 says:

    Those figures don’t include influenza, that kills about 40,000 US citizens a year and costs the US economy about $90 billion

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/334/7604/1134-a?grp=1

    And when does flu predominantly occur?

    Here’s a graph that shows UK influenza rates by year.

    http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1194947381241

    The relationship between global temperature and flu is quite good. (hot years = low flu). See the dramatic drop in flu for 1998/99 and the rebound for 1999/2000 and 2000/2001. Note the plateau for years 2001/2002 to the present. This year is seeing flu ramp up very early due to our cold start to winter. I suppose if I was Al Gore I could prove that low flu levels cause global warming ;-) Certainly the relationship is much closer than CO2!

  13. Alan the Brit says:

    Deja vu, I have a sneaky feeling that our Chinese cousins would agree wholeheartedly about that. When I had the honour of being in HK in late Jan 08 all the news stations were covering the worst winter in 50 years, which mushroomed into the worst winter in 100 years, I think I had already mentioned this & the fact that little coverage was made in the UK save for the usual BBC tokenism. (I say chaps, don’t mention the cold too much & perhaps people won’t notice, eh?)

    Tens of thousands were stranded in airports, railway stations, & bus stations, for days on end with little warmth, food, or water, all wanting to get home for the Chinese NY. The army was on full alert round the clock trying to clear enough snow in blizzard conditions to assist, a bit like digging a hole in saturated sand, but couldn’t cope with the ever increasing amounts of snow & ice building up, buildings collapsed under the weight of snow, many hundreds (no official toll has been made available to my knowledge but I am willing to hear otherwise) died from the cold in remote areas, simply because the army & aid workers couldn’t get there because of, well the snow actually! None of this really got to the UK because I asked & whilst many new of the bad weather they were not aware of the scale of it simply due to it being dismissed in a few lines of news, yet when the tragic earthquake hit a few weeks later, it was all over the BBC et al big time for weeks. So if cold can devastate in China, it can devastate any where.

    It will be interesting to see if fashions change over the coming years, with less soft flimsey cotton garments with which we all have become so fond being warn in the west/northern hemisphere, in favour of that old fashioned stuff called wool, which is infinitely warmer in my eyes when cold (sorry that should have read “less warm”) snaps occur!

    It would be interesting to see if anyone does a study to look at the last 40 years & the next, as society has become more “affluent” in the broadest sense, homes have become warmer with more heating facilities, less clothing is then warn as people swan around in tee shirts insted of jumpers with 20-22°C ambient temps in their homes, & the relationship with the Sun & its coming & going cycles. Is there a pattern in peoples behaviour down here with what goes on up there precevied or real?

  14. Allan M R MacRae says:

    Winter Power Outages Cost Lives

    Last week an ice storm in New England caused extended electric power outages for ~800,000 people.

    Below are stats from the great Eastern Canada Ice Storm of 1998, which resulted in 24 deaths.

    Dabbling in electric power systems by foolish politicians and enviro-nuts can have significant costs – both in material damage and lives lost.

    Wind power can seriously destabilize the grid, and result in total shutdown.

    I suggest we use the lessons learned from these ice storms to prevent such self-inflicted power-outage disasters.

    Regards, Allan

    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/99vol25/dr2517ea.html

    ADVERSE HEALTH EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE 1998 ICE STORM: REPORT OF HOSPITAL SURVEILLANCE OF THE EASTERN ONTARIO HEALTH UNIT REGION
    __________________________________

    http://www.allbusiness.com/retail-trade/miscellaneous-retail-retail-stores-not/4601420-1.html

    Ice Storm Causes 24 Deaths; $1 Billion In Damages
    Publication: Billboard
    Date: Saturday, January 31 1998

    The ice storm that slammed Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada for the past two weeks, causing at least $1 billion Canadian in damages and resulting in 24 deaths, is being called the most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history.

  15. Alex says:

    What’s going on with the Arctic ice graph??? Two dips??? What is happening??

  16. What the stories tells us (both versions) is that weather events are insignificant when it comes to death causes in a modern society. Begs the question on policy priorities: should we try to mitigate a possible but no very likely prospect of more extreme weather events due to AGW, or should the priority be to continue to raise living standards in the third world, so that they also can enjoy the same indifference to extreme weather as we enjoy. If you think that all men are created equal, the answer is given.

  17. Ron de Haan says:

    Neil Crafter (22:14:49) :

    “I’m glad that the earlier misinformation has been rectified that cold is truly a greater killer, but its still only a very small fraction of the people that die each year. I guess its just plain dangerous to be alive!”

    This is the case in a stable society with sufficient food production, distribution and high housing standards and heating.

    The moment people become exposed to the weather (wind, cold and a bad food situation it’s a different story. That is why Stalin put his Goelach’s in Siberia.
    That is why Napoleon’s and Von Paulus Armies were destroyed by the Russians.
    Harsh winters are a natural defense against invaders.

    Our modern society is extremely vulnerable for extreme winter conditions.
    And if the world should experience a new Maunder Minimum event without preparation, the major problem will be how to maintain our food supplies.

  18. Philip_B says:

    The study referenced in the Reuters article (see link below) is based on SHELDUS ‘Hazard event’ data.

    SHELDUS is a county-level hazard data set for the U.S. for 18 different natural hazard events types such thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and tornados, which cause damage over $50K.

    It’s not clear when hot or cold weather stops being routine and becomes an event. However, it’s clear that most deaths due to both heat and cold would be missed by this dataset.

    BTW, death sertificates won’t be a reliable source either.

    Studies have been done using totally mortality against actual temperature. They show cold weather causes far more deaths than cold weather in places like Europe and N America.

    http://www.ij-healthgeographics.com/content/pdf/1476-072×-7-64.pdf

  19. MattN says:

    You seriously didn’t expect the NCDC to come up with a report that points to anything other than warming, did you.

    I have been extremely disappointed with NCDC’s actions over the past year. I expected better from them. But it appears they are just like all the rest.

  20. B.C. says:

    Anthony, this fits in perfectly with the weather-related causes of death in Europe.

    As I’ve asked many AGW believers before: “Are your crops more likely to die/fail from a 0.5-2.0°C increase (natural or AGW) in temperature or a blanket of snow and ice?” Not Surprisingly, all they can manage is “But… but… but…” in answer to the question.

  21. Keith W says:

    The cause of death data covers the recent warming period. Is the data broken out into decade timelines?

  22. Tom in warm and apparently deadly Florida says:

    When I first heard this reported locally on the news (via radio), my impression was that the deaths from heat included everything supposedly caused by increased heat including hurricanes, thunderstorms and the like.
    Having moved from New England to the “deadliest” part of the US, I will say that I would rather take my chances here while being warm most of the year rather than spending half the year in the cold waiting for the summer.

  23. GeoS says:

    It’s pretty obvious. People retire, go to Florida and then die. Must be the heat can’t be anything else…. G

  24. beng says:

    Another example of trying to redefine common sense — what’s more stressful, zero F or 97F? (which are the average extremes here) The answer is obvious even to a child.

  25. Pamela Gray says:

    Add lost productivity (I’m sitting home instead of teaching students), increased manufacturing costs, huge increases in Dept of Transportation costs, electrical company repair costs, increased overhead costs compared to income with every business that stays open, lost income in nearly every sector from gas stations to food stores. The poor condition of our infrastructure adds to the cost of cold by its fragile nature under cold conditions. The cost of cold overwhelms anything else.

  26. Steven Hill says:

    Can someone explain how the ice has stalled? I am like Steven Berry, I don’t understand this.

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

  27. barbee butts says:

    Thanks Anthony (again)

    I had actually read that story. I knew it was all lies from the get-go.

    How did I know? It was printed in ink.

  28. Mister Jones says:

    Are all fatal cold weather related road traffic accidents logged as ‘cold related deaths’? Probably not.

    I like Bjorn Lombergs approach (Even though he still talks about ‘combatting global warming’ in his ‘cool it’ presentation). http://www.reason.tv/video/show/621.html

    Some warming would be very welcome right about now on a normally temperate part of Vancouver Island. High temperature Minus five Celsius, currently snowing.

  29. Pamela Gray says:

    Notice the meeting of moisture-heavy warm tropical fronts colliding with extremely cold (and therefore dryer) arctic fronts that have dropped into and are stalling over much of the Northern Hemisphere. Just like in Hurricane season. Colder temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere set us up for more extreme events when they collide with the relatively stable warmer temperatures coming from the Equator and Southern Hemisphere. It seems that the following is a theory with some strength: Cold temperatures lead to stronger events than warm temperatures do in the Northern Hemisphere.

  30. J. Peden says:

    Once again, a statement from an AGW acolyte turns out to be false. Their perfect record in this regard is beginning to seem like some kind of very extreme event itself, and perhaps needs to be studied.

    As kids, we used to say, “Follow them, see what they eat.” Well, from the TAR itself, concerning Australia and New Zealand:

    “12.8.1…. However, it must be said that potential gains [benefits of Global Warming] have not been well documented, in part because of lack of stakeholder concern in such cases and consequent lack of special funding.”

    The TAR had its own search engine, which turned up no results concerning the “benefits of GW ” in its html version. I found the above TAR note via Google.

  31. Pamela Gray says:

    Stated in the null hypothesis mode: Greater temperature differences between the margin of cold and warm fronts in the Northern Hemisphere over North America does not result in increased extreme weather events. Any meteorological student out there looking for a dissertation?

  32. philw1776 says:

    Steven Hill (07:03:43) : “Can someone explain how the ice has stalled? I am like Steven Berry, I don’t understand this.”
    *****************************

    Nope. NOBODY can explain it. There are LOTS of things about climate, ice caps, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions weather, etc. that are NOT currently understood by science. That’s why taking accurate data is SO important. Hypothethes that are testable are good. Drawing premature conclusions and stating absolutes is unwarranted.

  33. Freezing Finn says:

    “Those figures don’t include influenza, that kills”… etc.

    I agree – warmer means good times, major cooling means bad times, end of civilizations and revolutions among other things and so forth – but – is inluenza the THE killer or is it “just a contributing factor”?

  34. Alec, a.k.a Daffy Duck says:

    to: Steven Hill (07:03:43) :

    Can someone explain how the ice has stalled? I am like Steven Berry, I don’t understand this.
    …………

    Just a lame-man here…but Nome, AK temps have been way above average:
    12/12 + 11
    12/13 +15
    12/14 +17
    12/15 +8
    12/16 +10
    12/17 +17
    12/18 +24

    http://www.accuweather.com/us/ak/nome/99762/forecast-climo.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&zipChg=1&metric=0

    If you look back at the temps in Nov. you csn see why the ie had been doing well North of the Berhing Straights in nov:

    http://www.accuweather.com/us/ak/nome/99762/forecast-climo.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&zipChg=1&metric=0&mnYr=11/1/2008

  35. Mike Kelley says:

    If the envirocrits have their way and electricity becomes a luxury for people without trust funds, lots of people will die facing heat waves without air conditioning. The death toll in France a few years was so high because air conditioning was not available to many old people there.

  36. Pamela Gray says:

    Actually, Steven and Phil the Arctic stall can be studied and fairly reasonable explanations given. The Arctic is actually a combination of different seas each with its own ocean current source. If one studies the different areas and the growth/melt of ice, you can gain quite a bit of understanding about how ice behaves up there. Go to http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/ , scroll down to the simple map, and click on the different colored areas surrounding the pole. You will see different graphs for ice melt and growth. Then study Arctic land temperatures at http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm , understanding that these temperature recordings will likely include artifacts of the measuring device. You can then study jet stream and wind patterns at http://squall.sfsu.edu/crws/jetstream.html to gain an understanding of how wind can affect ice movement, melt, and growth. As soon as I can, I will get a web site to you of small ocean currents up there to add to your study. By combining these areas of information, you will see that the stall is not throughout the Arctic but in very limited areas and is reasonably explained.

  37. J. Peden says:

    Death Certificates don’t say “heat wave” or “cold snap” on them, so I assume the CDC has some way to seperate out body temp. related deaths during “non-extreme” ambient temp. from those during “extreme” ambient temps., giving an excess related to “extremes” – as reported in the Table’s figures?

    I guess what bothers me is that thanks to the AGW fiasco I now know all too painfully that I have to worry about such details when I’m already paying for them to be taken care of by “government experts”. I don’t even worry as much about my car repairs being done correctly. My mechanics have more credibility than Gov’t scientists.

  38. Ed Larson says:

    Well, good ole Montana is basking in zero to 20 below. I see the cardboard signs are gone from the interstate ramps, so it looks like the colder it gets the less people are ‘stranded’, ‘will work for food’ or ‘anything will help’. We need to get to -35 for 4 days so that we can kill off the bark beetle that is ravaging our forest (CO2 sinks) and then come up from there. I see New Orleans and Vegas got to shovel a couple inches of global warming.

  39. crosspatch says:

    “What’s going on with the Arctic ice graph??? Two dips??? What is happening??”

    If you go to cryosphere today and have a look at a comparison between, say, December 10 and today, you can see pretty much what is happening. The areas of less consolidated ice, say ice at 60% or less concentration seem to have been pushed around by storms. While the amount of 80-100% concentration is still growing, it appears that storms have compacted a lot of the less consolidated ice between Greenland and Europe.

    Also, most of the broad areas that freeze have already done so. So if, for example, Hudson’s Bay freezes up a few days early, you will see the anomaly go more positive but when you get to the day where it normally is frozen, that anomaly goes away.

    If you do the default comparison with 1980, you will see that there is still plenty of “catching up” to do on the Atlantic side of the Arctic ocean.

    You will notice that there is currently little ice below 80-100% concentration on the Atlantic side right now. That is probably more due to winds than temperature.

  40. TinyCO2 says:

    Freezing Finn (07:59:09) asked:-

    “I agree – warmer means good times, major cooling means bad times, end of civilizations and revolutions among other things and so forth – but – is inluenza the THE killer or is it “just a contributing factor”?”

    A good point. Flu certainly can kill, even healthy adults, but seasonal flu predominantly sees off the very old and the very young so one could class that as ‘natural’. It can be the trigger for pneumonia, bronchitis, stroke, etc so the actual cause of death might not even be listed as influenza.

    Ultimately we all die because our heart stops beating, but do we all die of heart attacks? Death is apportioned to one cause or another and influenza claims a big share.

    Cold, flu. norovirus and many other nasties are all more prevalent in the winter. I’d rather have a warm one.

  41. Alex says:

    Pamela :
    Yes, but then take a look at the overall Arctic ice graph trendline, right at the top of the page,,, no stall is visible, it appears that there is no standard plot for Arctic ice

  42. vukcevic says:

    In 8th and 9th centaury AD during the North Europe’s unprecedented cooling, my ancestors spent nearly 100 years fighting local tribes on their way to warm Mediterranean. Subsequent medieval hot period (12th to 14th centaury AD) did not persuade them to go back.

  43. Pamela Gray says:

    Also look here for a large research project to more clearly understand Arctic currents.

    http://asofw.apl.washington.edu/overview.html

  44. John Galt says:

    If you know anything about history, the Medieval Warm Period was a prosperous, peaceful time when compared to the Little Ice Age. The Little Ice Age led to plagues, crop failures, massive starvation and many wars. It was a time of great social and political upheaval.

    I’ll take warm over cold any day.

  45. Richard deSousa says:

    Steven Hill: The reason for the decrease in ice growth in the Arctic is because the Hansenites are using the corrupt October data… ;)

  46. hereticfringe says:

    Most of the remaining arctic sea ice gain to be seen is in the Bering sea and the sea of Okhotsk. My suspicion is that the water in these seas hasn’t cooled yet to the level required to support sea ice, but based on the air temperatures in those areas I would expect it to start developing soon. Once ice formation starts to take off in the Bering sea and sea of Okhotsk, expect another rapid rise in sea ice extent…

  47. Ed Larson says:

    Gore says the ice cap will be gone in five years. What odds can we get on that in Vegas????

  48. G Alston says:

    Slightly OT but another meteorologist (from CNN!) is now jumping ship.

    http://businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20081218205953.aspx

  49. Brooklyn Red Leg says:

    If you know anything about history, the Medieval Warm Period was a prosperous, peaceful time when compared to the Little Ice Age. The Little Ice Age led to plagues, crop failures, massive starvation and many wars. It was a time of great social and political upheaval.

    Going back a litle further you find the Dark Ages Cooling which had such wonderful events as the Goths, Alans, Alammani, Franks, Huns and other ‘Barbarian’ tribes being pushed out of the Black Sea region (due to collapsing agriculture brought on by cooling) and coming into the borders of The Roman Empire. Fast forward a little and the Western Empire has already collapsed, only to be partially reunited under Justinian in the mid-6th Century, only to be undone by the bubonic plague. Said pandemic may have wiped out as much as 50% of Europe’s population at that time (God knows how much of Africa and Asia’s population since there was still linkage from commerce).

    Yea, warming is OBVIOUSLY so much worse. ::rolls eyes::

  50. Les J says:

    Almost all mortality studies show that mortality rates are ‘displaced” during heat events, and are increased during cold events.

    Simply put, this means that people that were going to die anyway, die a little quicker during heat events.

    e.g. An area’s mortality rate for a given month is 100.

    During the first 2 weeks, there is a heat event, and the mortality goes to 60 for the 2 weeks. For the remaining two weeks, the mortality is 40, giving an total of 100 for the period. Mortality increases during the heat event, then decreases after the event, giving roughly the same mortality rate for the period.

    Conversely, in a cold event during the same month, the mortality goes to 60 for the two weeks of the event. For the remaining two weeks, the mortality remains at 60, giving a monthly rate of 120. Mortality rates in cold events increase during and after the event, effectively increasing the mortality rate for the entire period.

    Note that some of the events below (in Israel and California) define a cold event as 10 deg C or less. I wish.

    Also note that the NHS in the UK, puts the death toll from cold at 20,000, or more, a year. The BBC had one estimate of 35,000. PER YEAR

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Science/story?id=990641

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4369842.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3226897.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4382044.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7240463.stm

    http://www.csccc.info/reports/report_23.pdf

    http://jech.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/58/2/129

    This report says 50,000 per year die in the UK alone, from cold.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/298533.stm

    This study says that your chance of a heart attack doubles under 4 deg C.

    http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2004/08/31/sci_bp_cold040831.html

    And these are the published references:

    Alberdi, J.C., Diaz, J., Montero, J.C. and Miron, I.  1998.  Daily mortality in Madrid community 1986-1992: relationship with meteorological variables.  European Journal of Epidemiology 14: 571-578.

    Behar, S.  2000.  Out-of-hospital death in Israel – Should we blame the weather?  Israel Medical Association Journal 2: 56-57.

    Eng, H. and Mercer, J.B.  1998.  Seasonal variations in mortality caused by cardiovascular diseases in Norway and Ireland.  Journal of Cardiovascular Risk 5: 89-95.

    Feigin, V.L., Nikitin, Yu.P., Bots, M.L., Vinogradova, T.E. and Grobbee, D.E.  2000.  A population-based study of the associations of stroke occurrence with weather parameters in Siberia, Russia (1982-92).  European Journal of Neurology 7: 171-178.

    Goklany, I.M. and Straja, S.R.  2000.  U.S. trends in crude death rates due to extreme heat and cold ascribed to weather, 1979-97.  Technology 7S:165-173.

    Huynen, M.M.T.E., Martens, P., Schram, D., Weijenberg, M.P. and Kunst, A.E.  2001.  The impact of heat waves and cold spells on mortality rates in the Dutch population.  Environmental Health Perspectives 109: 463-470.

    Keatinge, W.R., Donaldson, G.C., Cordioli, E., Martinelli, M., Kunst, A.E., Mackenbach, J.P., Nayha, S. and Vuori, I.  2000.  Heat related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: Observational study.  British Medical Journal 321: 670-673.

    Kloner, R.A., Poole, W.K. and Perritt, R.L.  1999.  When throughout the year is coronary death most likely to occur?  A 12-year population-based analysis of more than 220,000 cases.  Circulation 100: 1630-1634.

    Kunst, A.E., Looman, W.N.C. and Mackenbach, J.P.  1993.  Outdoor temperature and mortality in the Netherlands: a time-series analysis.  American Journal of Epidemiology 137: 331-341.

    Martens, P. and Huynen, M.  2001.  Will global climate change reduce thermal stress in the Netherlands?  Epidemiology 12: 753-754.

    Rooney, C., McMichael, A.J., Kovats, R.S. and Coleman, M.P.  1998.  Excess mortality in England and Wales, and in greater London, during the 1995 heatwave.  Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 52: 482-486.

    COLD IS BAD. VERY BAD.

  51. David Segesta says:

    I wonder if the cold deaths include the number of folks who have a heart attack while shoveling snow.

  52. radun says:

    From New Scientist

    http://www.newscientist.com/commenting/browse?id=dn16292&page=6

    The Consensus Is Fake – Scientists Do Not Agree
    Fri Dec 19 15:59:50 GMT 2008 by Benfranklin

    I am a skeptic.Global warming has become a new religion. – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly.As a scientist I remain skeptical. – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.
    Warming fears are the worst scientific scandal in the history. When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists. – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

    The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesnt listen to others. It doesnt have open minds. I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,- Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

    The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC “are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity. – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

    It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don buy into anthropogenic global warming. – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

    Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will. – Geoffrey G. Duffy a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

    After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet. – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

    For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

    Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact. – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

    Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined. – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

    Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.- Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

    CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another. Every scientist knows this, but it doesn pay to say so Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver seat and developing nations walking barefoot. – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

    The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds. – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

  53. Norm in the Hawkesbury says:

    A few years ago while walking down the 5th, wearing shorts and a rain jacket, under steady drizzle, one in the group said, “You must be used to this!”

    I said, “In Scotland it’s like this for 200 days of the year and then it gets worse!”

    Currently – Richmond 20/06:35am 13.4 :-)

  54. Milton says:

    Just found this today. Happened yesterday and is about time. Following is the link and the first 2 paragraphs.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08121803.html

    More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

    POZNAN, Poland, December 18, 2008 – The UN global warming conference which concluded Friday in Poland faced a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. A newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report was released last week featuring the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN.

    The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

  55. PearlandAggie says:

    2008 now 2nd all time for number of spotless days in a year…

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/2008_Now_Ranks.pdf

  56. Joseph says:

    I think that most of us here understand that humanity prospers during warm climate episodes and suffers greatly during the cold episodes. I also think that most of us here would agree that when our planet warms, there isn’t a darn thing we can do about it (not that we would want to). But what if the opposite happens? Our planet has seen some cooling as of late. What if this were to continue and we plunged into another LIA, or worse yet, a full-blown IA similar to the Wisconsin glacial episode? Could we do anything to stave it off, or attenuate it?

    Suppose we were to mine (with explosives) the methane clathrate deposits along the continental margins and release the methane to the atmosphere? Methane is supposed to be 25 times stronger (by weight) as a GHG than CO2. The half-life of methane in the atmosphere is only seven years, so it wouldn‘t stay there too long. The clathrate deposits are estimated to be around 1-5 quadrillion m^3 in size. Would it work? Or would it be offset by the reduced atmospheric humidity due to the cooling of the oceans? Maybe we could deal with a LIA, but a full-blown IA would be too much. Of course, in the beginning, we wouldn’t know which we were dealing with. Could any other idea work? I don’t know. Someone smarter than I am will have to weigh in on this. Of course the ethics of the situation are an entirely different matter. I am focusing on the science of the question.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go anywhere near tin-foil. This is a serious question and I would like to know what others think. I’ve thought about this for some time and this seems to be an appropriate thread. Hands-down the last IA was the greatest climatic event to ever affect humans. Humans spread into Europe (and elsewhere) once before and prospered, only to be pushed out by advancing glacial conditions. Could we prevent that from happening again, or are we just at the mercy of our planet’s cold climate episodes? I think this is a much better question than this silly AGW nonsense.

  57. Please don´t cheat us. I have just seen http://www.noaa.gov/ and you are almost burning up (the world is red hot!)

  58. Alex says:

    Thanks for that crosspatch,, seems like a valid explanation.
    Richard:
    If they used October’s “record ice growth” data it would be shooting up. I reckon that they are using the data from August/September 2007! haha

  59. Freezing Finn says:

    Right ON topic, folks – “The 12 Days Of Global Warming” X-mas Carol by “Minnesotans For Global Warming” – and in case you haven’t seen & heard it yet:

    *

  60. DJ says:

    If I have a choice between dying from the Heat or Cold, I would take Cold because once you get past the shivers, the Body goes into protection mode and all body heat is concentrated for the internal Organs. Your Mind transcends into sleep mode. Literally shutting down and you loose Consciousness, never to wake up! Not bad, I think!

    One has to remember, a lot of the Deaths from cold are Senior Citizens that do not have good circulation. Hence they feel cold all the time. The cost of heat one’s Home is beyond what they cane afford, so they run electric heaters in specific areas to keep warm. If they loose power, they die! Another is Heart Attacks, people not use to shovelling snow. I think another one, one which you do not hear much about is People drinking alcohol. A drunk walking home, thinking he can make it but passes out in sub zero temps.. This is NOT good for He is already cold in the extremeties as soon as He walks outside. Alcohol induces a false feeling of warmth where circulation actually speeds up taking Heat away from the Skin; thus Hypothermia. Again, not a bad way to die because after the shivers, you don’t feel a thing!

  61. Mike D. says:

    IMHO, the root cause of our Ice Ages (including the rapidly approaching next glaciation) is the tectonic positioning of Antarctica over the South Pole. That continental land mass accumulates H20 in the form of ice and prevents moderating oceanic circulation from the Pole to the Equator.

    So to mitigate the coming next glaciation, and to ensure the beneficial Warmth that we all know is Better, we should artificially induce polar-equatorial heat transfer by nuking Antarctic ice shelves and towing the ice to warmer climes.

    This would alleviate the growing cold trend and give otherwise useless, blood-sucking bureaucrats something worthwhile to do. If Algore and his minions had gone off the deep end as Global Cooling Alarmists, then their raging authoritarianism might have been tolerable (to some slight degree). Especially if they concentrated their efforts in Antarctica and left the rest of the world alone.

  62. Ray Reynolds says:

    I wish we had statistics on winter killed wildlife, fish, and plants too. I suspect the numbers are huge compared to warm seasons.

    My yard is a cemetery for expensive trees, my wife goes shopping at a nursery then I start the backhoe and we hold a funeral.

    Wind is currently pelting the house with blowing snow.

  63. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, we know how the AGW folks are going to spin this now…

    Just heard on Fox news (Cavuto) an interview with Steven Biel , Greenpeace Director of Global Warming (who knew it needed a director? ;-)

    Rough paraphrase:

    ~”We’re getting more snow and cold because of global warming. It makes all our extreme weather more extreme. … Las Vegas is having a blizard because of GW… And arctic summer ice is going away faster than we ever expected and the arctic will be ice free within 5 to 10 years if we don’t take action now to stop global warming. This (snow and cold in Las Vegas and Malibu) is what global warming looks like.”

    Cavuto expressed some slight disbelief but basically let Biel repeatedly give his talking points.

    So, exactly how will our doing anything remove all the built in warming so that we avoid an ice free arctic in 10 years? I thought we were already stuck with warming, per the AGW folks.

    And how hot becomes cold was also just hand waved away as weather extremes.

  64. Indigo says:

    Ah…it was reforestation that caused the Little Ice Age…

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218094551.htm

  65. Richard Sharpe says:

    Indigo says:

    Ah…it was reforestation that caused the Little Ice Age…

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218094551.htm

    Of course, they haven’t yet realized that those thoughts are racist, because it blames indigenous people for the original deforestation.

  66. crosspatch says:

    “IMHO, the root cause of our Ice Ages (including the rapidly approaching next glaciation) is the tectonic positioning of Antarctica over the South Pole.”

    The only problem with that is that we have only had ice at the North pole for about the last 2 million years or so. The current period of glaciations appear to have begun only 2 million years ago in the NH. Antarctica has been continuously iced over for about the past 12-14 million years.

    One hypothesis is that it was the completion of the isthmus of Panama that caused a change in Atlantic ocean currents.

    But in any case, if there were no land near the poles, there would probably be no ice near the poles either. If the Southern Ocean were completely open waters, water would cool, sink, and be replaced by warmer water. Any ice forming would be blown across the ocean. It is only the land mass that allows ice to accumulate. And if the Arctic ocean were not nearly completely bound by land, we would have the same situation there. The Arctic is extremely sensitive to sea level changes, too, because the Bering Strait is only 30-50 meters deep. A drop in sea level or a rise in sea floor due to Pacific plate subduction cuts off a source of circulation.

    But still nobody has explained to my personal satisfaction how things manage to suddenly switch so rapidly, within only a decade or two, from glaciation to interglacial.

    For example … when we are in a glaciation, salt water to the arctic from the Pacific is cut off. As sea levels drop, less of the ice floats on water and becomes anchored on land. Florida becomes enormous. The Gulf of Mexico shrinks and islands appear that would disrupt the Gulf Stream and the Caribbean Current. An absolutely huge land mass appears off the coast of Newfoundland (about as large as Newfoundland itself) , what we call the Grand Banks becomes a large, flat, and probably pretty swampy island (I would look there for oil). The US coastline extends all the way out to the Continental Shelf. Under these conditions, it should be very difficult to suddenly, within 10 to 50 years time, go from a North American continental climate with year round permafrost as far South as the Kansas/Nebraska state line to a temperate climate like we have today. Which is pretty much what happened. The change is very abrupt.

    There is a piece of the puzzle that is missing that is not explained simply by orbital mechanics. Somehow the snowstorms are replaced by rainstorms melting huge quantities of ice. Vast inland lakes would appear because the crust would still be depressed and hadn’t had a chance to rebound yet and a lot of ice would be melting quite suddenly.

    Europe would see permafrost as far South as the Mediterranean coast of Spain, across Greece and Albania, the entire country we know as Russia would be unfit for farming and tundra would extend to Turkey and the former Soviet Asian republics. Basically look at a globe and follow the 40th parallel around the world to see the permafrost line at greatest advance during the last glaciation. And it reached that greatest advance JUST before things very suddenly switched the other direction.

    When this happens again. When we go into another 100,000 years of glaciation, our world as we know it is going to turn absolutely upside down as far as political and social fallout. And it *will* happen again and considering the length of this interglacial already, it is probably going to happen quite soon in geological time (in the next 10 to 20 centuries).

  67. Dan says:

    Bjorn Lomberg deals with the heat/cold mortality issue very well in his most recent book “Cool It.” I’ll take his cool rationality over the hot headed extremists like Hansen, Gore, the IPCC, CNN and now Reuters.

  68. E.M.Smith says:

    Ron de Haan (02:37:28) :
    Our modern society is extremely vulnerable for extreme winter conditions.
    And if the world should experience a new Maunder Minimum event without preparation, the major problem will be how to maintain our food supplies.

    On “Fast Money” (a CNBC trader show) Mr. Gartman (the commodities specialist guest) pointed out that the extreme cold in the middle of the country without an existing snow cover over the ground indicated a probable lower yield this year. While he wasn’t ready to put a trade on yet, he indicated that this was the best choice in the present sea of falling commodities.

    Now multiply that by: Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Argentina, …

    FWIW, the ‘grain fund’ JJG looks like near a bottom but not yet confirmed (by crossing over 50 day moving average and moving average slope changing to positive). “COW” the livestock fund is dropping and “MOO” the ag inputs (fertilizers et.al.) has crossed the m.a. and is started up. (Yes, those are real tickers… traders have humor too ;-)

    I take this as saying that the start of the food chain (literally) has started up, the grain is still in the ground so can not be predicted yet, and the cattle are still being sold off to raise cash as much as possible in the present “no financing available” market.

    What to do? Get a hot cocoa and enjoy Christmas! It’s gonna be a white one! (Cocoa is NIB, rising fast, and coffee is JO, bottoming, … Cup of JO might be cheaper ;-)

  69. Brendan H says:

    John Galt: “The Little Ice Age led to plagues, crop failures, massive starvation and many wars. It was a time of great social and political upheaval.”

    And also a period of unprecedented advances in science, agriculture, the arts, politics, commerce, discovery and trade.

  70. RobJM says:

    Its interesting to see that the total death rate for the US of 2 million is equal to the total yearly deaths from malaria of about two million.

    The most cost effective way to prevent malaria is with a $15 mosquito net per family, good for a couple of years. How many deaths could have been prevented if the 40 billion wasted on AGW had been spent on mosquito nets!

  71. Brooklyn Red Leg says:

    We’re getting more snow and cold because of global warming. It makes all our extreme weather more extreme.

    Thats called Cognitive Dissonance…..or else the signs of a diseased mind.

  72. Old Coach says:

    Mike D. (13:39:16) :

    IMHO, the root cause of our Ice Ages (including the rapidly approaching next glaciation) is the tectonic positioning of Antarctica over the South Pole. That continental land mass accumulates H20 in the form of ice and prevents moderating oceanic circulation from the Pole to the Equator.

    I also used to think this. Turns out open water at the poles causes the Earth to lose heat quicker than ice stored up on land at the poles. For instance, the “Frozen Earth” ice age happened when the poles were both ocean. Our current ice age is perhaps caused by the uplift of the Himalayas, which give the Earth a lot of low latitude ice. Polar ice reflects very little sunlight. Equatorial ice reflects a lot. Earth has been steadily cooling since India rammed into Asia.

    The glacial advances and retreats during our current ice age correlate with the changes in geometry of Earth’s orbit and spin. See MacDougall, “Frozen Earth”, a history of ice ages from the perspective of geologists. The big question for (distant?) future generations is: Will the Earth continue to gradually cool until the oceans freeze again?

  73. Tim L says:

    J. Peden (07:37:23) :

    “12.8.1…. However, it must be said that potential gains [benefits of Global Warming] have not been well documented, in part because of lack of stakeholder concern in such cases and consequent lack of special funding.”
    Good catch J. Peden (07:37:23) :

  74. crosspatch says:

    “Turns out open water at the poles causes the Earth to lose heat quicker than ice stored up on land at the poles.”

    That would be true. The overall ocean itself would become a more efficient heat engine transferring heat from equator to pole where it would be radiated and the cold water returned at depth. But I think evaporation plays a larger role in heat exchange than radiation does.

    For example, how much does an ocean’s temperature vary between say 6pm and 6am? Not much. But if you increase the wind by a couple of miles per hour, you can cool the surface instantly.

    What I would expect to find at the South Pole if Antarctica wasn’t there would be relatively warm water creating huge banks of fog and cloud which would tend to insulate the surface from efficient radiation. The water would likely appear to be “steaming”. I would expect to find a very thick cloud deck over that relatively warm water.

  75. Mongo says:

    OT but germaine I think.

    I am skeptical of what the IPCC 4th Assessment et al state – that CO2 is the main driver of AGW. My issue is the thought that many scientists are looking for a way out of supporting this “theory,” while maintaining their funding streams. Couple with the link up above that showed another CNN weather guesser stating that Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” over stepped it’s bounds by stating that Katrina was strengthened by AGW – and then recanted the following day.

    One word – cowards. In the moral, ethical and principle sense – all cowards. That is something to remember as their house of cards collapses. There is strength in truth, numbers as well. The longer they stay on board this ludicrous hypothesis, the more damage they inflict not just on themselves, but on science in general.

    This politicization of science is a deal with the devil – and there will be hell to pay the longer that this tragic and foolish charade is played.

  76. David Jones says:

    GeoS (06:22:21) :

    It’s pretty obvious. People retire, go to Florida and then die. Must be the heat can’t be anything else…. G

    After years of playing golf, tennis, etc.

    I played golf 3 weeks ago, in Florida, with a man who was disappointed to shoot only 84, his age is 83! He has shot his age or better several times this year.

    Better to die (or not) in the heat than not play golf in the north!

  77. Richard Sharpe says:

    crosspatch said:

    What I would expect to find at the South Pole if Antarctica wasn’t there would be relatively warm water creating huge banks of fog and cloud which would tend to insulate the surface from efficient radiation. The water would likely appear to be “steaming”. I would expect to find a very thick cloud deck over that relatively warm water.

    You need to apply for funding to create a climate model for that.

  78. E.M.Smith says:

    Pamela Gray (06:45:52) :
    huge increases in Dept of Transportation cost

    Hmm… road salt… tap tap tappity tap… http://www.saltinstitute.org/3.html shows Compass Minerals CMP as a road salt producer, and with a new uptrend… Maybe it’s not ALL bad… Thanks for the idea!

  79. David Jones says:

    Mike Kelley (08:28:09) :

    If the envirocrits have their way and electricity becomes a luxury for people without trust funds, lots of people will die facing heat waves without air conditioning. The death toll in France a few years was so high because air conditioning was not available to many old people there.

    Of course you have peer-reviewed research to support this. Reference please.

  80. Mark says:

    Indigo (14:04:01) :

    That’s quite a story: Shaking my head in disbelief…

  81. E.M.Smith says:

    Ed Larson (08:45:05) :
    I see New Orleans and Vegas got to shovel a couple inches of global warming.

    Also Southern California… Malibu got dusted. (Google “malibu snow” http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,469164,00.html comes up on top), I5 and I15 both closed near Los Angeles.

    Coastal areas near San Francisco have a nice ring of snow sticking on the hills around them. Looks like about 2000 ft to me. A very early yard duty teacher thought she saw scattered small light flakes melting on contact with the ground a couple of days ago. We’re at about 80 feet elevation…

    One more like this and we’re gonna have a white Christmas on the beaches of California…

  82. jeez says:

    David Jones, just google:

    “french heat wave deaths”

    You’ll find plenty of corroborating evidence, including wikipedia.

  83. E.M.Smith says:

    Joseph, I think it would be a lot easier and more controllable to look at dusting glaciers with soot or putting super light weight mirrors in space rather than trying to do explosive mining of the ocean floor for a flammable gas…

    But in the end we are really too small to have much impact on the weather, we are just along for the ride. Maybe we could mitigate a bit, but stop it?…

  84. E.M.Smith says:

    Mike D. (13:39:16) :
    IMHO, the root cause of our Ice Ages (including the rapidly approaching next glaciation) is the tectonic positioning of Antarctica over the South Pole.

    I was trying to avoid the ‘stopping an Ice Age’ thread, but since it seems to have caught on…

    I don’t remember who it was, but a geologist has stated that the ice ages came when N and S America joined shutting down the current between them. He further stated that ice ages could be prevented by digging the Panama Canal a log deeper and wider… Don’t know how Panama would feel about nuclear dredging…

    (If you really care enough to want a citation and details, enjoy your Google time, I have dinner to make…)

  85. E.M.Smith says:

    crosspatch (14:33:48) :
    There is a piece of the puzzle that is missing that is not explained simply by orbital mechanics.

    Don’t know if it’s right or not, but the most interesting explanation I’ve heard is that the water level in the oceans drop to the destabilization pressure of the methane clathrates. This gives a huge, very sharp, methane pulse that starts warming. As the ice retreats, all the old plant stuff trapped under the glaciers from eons past is exposed and rots adding more methane. Repeat until warm when plants grow and sequester CO2 and redeposit in the ocean and get trapped under the (newly) advancing ice.

  86. E.M.Smith says:

    Mongo (15:41:35) :
    I am skeptical of what the IPCC 4th Assessment et al state – that CO2 is the main driver of AGW.

    I think that the A is the key here. By definition it excludes natural warming pressures. Of all the things we do, CO2 is probably the largest, but still completely irrelevant to the Natural warming NGW… now colding NGC…

    From another thread, my post:

    http://www.ghgonline.org/otherstropozone.htm

    Tropospheric ozone can act both as a direct greenhouse gas [...] As a direct greenhouse gas, it is thought to have caused around one third of all the direct greenhouse gas induced warming seen since the industrial revolution.
    [...].
    The largest net source of tropospheric ozone is influx from the stratosphere.

    http://exp-studies.tor.ec.gc.ca/e/ozone/Curr_allmap_g.htm

    Shows ozone is about -10% to -30% deviation in the north pole and up to (down to?) -40% deviation in the south pole on 2008/12/13.

    Given that O3 is a GHG and a significant % of GHGs … maybe the GHG folks are somewhat right. GHGs do matter, just not the way they think. The sun goes quiet, O3 plummets, the poles get really really cold and the rest of the planet starts to cool off fast?

    Just call it the Smith Solar O3 Pump Theory if anything ever comes of it ;-)

  87. crosspatch says:

    Well, maybe what I would expect to find at the pole without Antarctica there in winter would be something like the polar region of Saturn. There would likely be a season-long hurricane. All that rising air being warmed by the ocean would probably result in a storm that the circumpolar jet would keep stationary until it breaks down in spring. There might even be a polar ocean vortex, too, where sinking water would create a situation not unlike pulling the bathtub drain. You would have an atmospheric convection system that would be persistent for several months coupled with an ocean vortex that would suck cooling surface water to the bottom where it would spread out and return to the equator. Provided there was no major continental land mass South of the Antarctic Circle.

  88. Patrick Henry says:

    Most of us have no idea what cold is. Ojmjakon, Russia is currently -75F and has averaged -65F this week.

    http://www.wunderground.com/history/station/24688/2008/12/20/WeeklyHistory.html

    Note that Ojmjakon is right at ground zero of Hansen’s global warming Asian hot spot. The IPCC should hold their next meeting there, to gain first hand experience in the horrors of global warming.

  89. Michael says:

    Science Daily reported that cosmic rays do not explain Global Warming, the ice is melting faster than models predicted and so on. Sounds like the world is coming to an end, but not! Places like Vegas and New Orleans haven’t see much snow got dumped on. I guess it was the first time in 30 years the Vegas strip got 3.6 inches of snow. Last year was one of the snowiest winters in my area.

    Not only that, but cold. This month the average temp is down like around 9 degrees in my area and we just blasted with a major snow storm. More snow expected Saturday night, and another major snowstorm looming for next week. So much for global warming this year, huh… It like the late 1970s all over again!

    Even if we went through 5 straight years of cooling, we would still get reports on how much the earth is warming…lol

  90. Mike D. says:

    Old Coach, it is my (admittedly weak) understanding that the Permian Ice Age occurred when the super-continent Pangea drifted over the South Pole.

    E.M., it is my (admittedly weak) understanding that the planet had been cooling fairly steadily since the Eocene of 50 mya. The Late Rupelian event (30.5 mya) probably coincided with beginning of full continental glaciation on Antarctica. There was a slight warming trend in the mid-Miocene, from 17.5 to 15 mya, possibly due to flood basalt eruptions. Antarctica was at one time connected to Africa and South America. The final detachment from the latter occurred about 5 mya?, setting up the circumpolar current. That tipped the system into full-on ice ages beginning roughly 2 mya, although the Panamanian closure was probably a driver too.

    crosspatch, you bring up a key point. The Milankovich solar irradiation nadir was ~60 kya, but the Wisconsin glaciation did not break up until ~5,000 years before the Milankovich optimum. That plus the rapidity of the changes imply some sort of threshold, positive feedback warming effect was reached, or conversely, that the positive cooling feedback of the glaciation was suddenly interrupted. Destabilization of methane clathrates is an interesting theory. Is there any evidence? Pluvial rains on a previously dessicated ice sheet is also an interesting theory. What drove that? Is there evidence?

    IMHO, the glaciation/interglacial harmonics are THE climate change question. Global warming after 9,000 years of neo-glaciation is only marginally interesting, especially considering that it is ephemeral at best. If we could disrupt the inexorable neo-glaciation with cow farts, SUV’s, etc. then great. But will all that really work? We absolutely need better understanding of our 100,000 climate cycle if we are to stave off the 20th repetition of Snowball Planet.

  91. RH says:

    Cold is finally starting to settle in here around 55 degrees North Latitude in Canada. I continue to be puzzled by the slowdown in the Arctic ice formation. I am thinking that another possibility for the slowdown in ice formation is that the cold that initially formed the early ice is cooling the water faster, which is causing the cold water to sink at faster rates. This sinking cold water is forcing warmer water to flow Northward from Equatorial regions at faster rates. If this is the mechanism that is bringing warmer water Northward, then we should see cooler than usual anomalies growing in the oceans near the Equator. If true, the equatorial regions should continue cooling at a faster rate. Land temperatures in the North located away from water seem to be getting very cold while Europe is now getting warmed by the water, and Alaska seems to be getting warmer on the Pacific side. Is there any data available on ocean current speeds recorded at weekly time intervals?

    I just finished organizing my UAH data spreadsheets. All the data is on sheet one, and each column of data is graphed on a succeeding sheet of its own. At the top of each graph sheet I have graphs that are linked to the month of my choosing for the region, the ocean, and land. At the bottom I just finished adding graphs that display the entire time period from 12/1978 to the present for the region, the oceans, and land. It is very interesting to observe the ocean and land graphs at the same time for the 30 year period of data, and then comparing the tropics to mid latitudes and to the polar regions. It was worth the effort to construct these graphs.

    The sun certainly does appear to be the main driver for the Earth’s climate, with water extremely important. I don’t think CO2 plays any significant role in determining Earth’s climate, and hardly worth talking about. If CO2 were 3000 parts per million in the atmosphere, I still doubt it would be an important climate forcing agent.

    Happy Holidays everyone.

  92. crosspatch says:

    “Pluvial rains on a previously dessicated ice sheet is also an interesting theory. What drove that? Is there evidence?”

    The evidence is that the ice is gone. Had it kept snowing, it would still be there. At some point the precipitation changed to rain instead of snow. That would have melted the previous winter’s snow. The water would have ponded between the ice and the terminal moraines and as the crust was depressed by the weight, huge lakes would have existed. In fact, lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron were all one lake until only about 2000 years or so ago as post-glacial rebound continues there and land rose up to separate the lakes.

    When a combination of rising water and crustal rebound brought the water levels up to a point where they breached any barrier to an outlet, we would have seen major flooding … as was also seen out West when Lake Bonneville overflowed to the North. Once it started raining on those glaciers in summer, it would have been all over.

    And maybe that is all the trigger than is needed. Maybe a long term change in weather pattern that brings cold, snowy winters with cool dry summers is all that is needed. If you get boatloads of snow in winter and no precipitation in the summer, the snow might last longer. But still the missing piece is how it can go so cold so fast. Now I do realize the the cooling seems to be more gradual than the warming,

    Drop sea levels 100 meters and see how many Greek islands become connected. And such building of lakes and eventual breaching of containment features makes it little wonder that there are stories passed through the ages such as Atlantis and the Great Flood. Such stories were not limited to just people of that region, either:

    A Hopi myth describes Atlantis as a land in which great cities were created and crafts flourished, but when the people became corrupt and warlike, a great flood destroyed their world.

    We have had writing for what, 5000 years or so? Imagine sea levels 100 meters lower than today for 100,000 years. Imagine the coastal settlement that would have taken place. Now imagine “Meltwater Pulse 1A” that happened about 14,000 years ago. In the space of only 500 years or so, sea levels rose some 25 meters. So in 500 years the sea level came up about 25% of what had taken 100,000 years to go out. 25 meters of sea level rise is a lot particularly where most of the coast is on continental shelf that is fairly flat. Entire tribal areas could have been inundated in a single generation. Tribes could have been pushed inland into the territory of other tribes. So imagine where sea level was in 1500 and imagine it being 25 meters higher now. London would be another “Atlantis” legend and would now stand miles offshore.

    And that wasn’t the end of it either. The water kept rising though that period was the fastest rise. Between 7500 and 8000 years ago there was another rise of about 13 meters. In the last 100 years it has risen less than a foot.

    It *had* to be raining on that ice. Because if it had kept snowing, it would still be there.

  93. OzzieAardvaark says:

    @Mike D.

    I won’t purport to have the knowledge to judge whether what you covered in your 18:21:22 post makes any sense, but I certainly like your style.

    “Admittedly Weak” followed by flood basalt eruptions, speculation on plate tectonic effects, mention of methane calthrates and the effect of Pluvial rains on desiccated ice sheets…

    And to top it off, your last paragraph should qualify for some sort of WUWT hall of fame :-)

    Kudos,

    OA

  94. Ross says:



    radun (11:43:13) :
    “…
    For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.
    …”

    My rough guess … when the glaciers are marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, maybe the AGW crowd, the IPCC, and their slavish pols will scratch their heads and wonder where they went wrong.

    S’pose?

  95. AndrewWH says:

    The Swiss Alps are losing their glaciers at an accelerating rate:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7770472.stm

    Useful info on Swiss Glaciers:

    http://glaciology.ethz.ch/messnetz/glacierlist?year=2007&submit=Go%21&order=&field=

    Is sublimation/deforestation an issue in Switzerland?

  96. crosspatch says:

    “The Swiss Alps are losing their glaciers at an accelerating rate”

    Yes, and they are exposing 5000 year old wood in the process. Meaning that 5000 years ago, the area that is now glacier was forest. And other glaciers are exposing other artifacts as they recede such as leather clothing, arrows, even ancient Roman coins.

    And I sincerely doubt the rate is “accelerating”. Also the study only goes to 2007. 2007 would be when I would expect to see the glacial retreat start to reverse. My guess is that 2008 would have shown a stop in this “retreat” and 2009 will show (as Alaska and Scandinavia have shown in 2008) a glacial advance.

    Here is one interesting link. And here is an interesting article but you have to subscribe to get it. Here is the abstract:

    Subfossil remains of wood and peat from six Swiss glaciers found in proglacial fluvial sediments indicate that glaciers were smaller than the 1985 reference level and climatic conditions allowed vegetation growth in now glaciated basins. An extended data set of Swiss glacier recessions consisting of 143 radiocarbon dates is presented to improve the chronology of glacier fluctuations. A comparison with other archives and dated glacier advances suggests 12 major recession periods occurring at 9850- 9600, 9300-8650, 8550-8050, 7700-7550, 7450-6550, 6150-5950, 5700-5500, 5200-4400, 4300-3400, 2800-2700, 2150-1850, 1400-1200 cal. yr BP. It is proposed that major glacier fluctuations occurred on a multicentennial scale with a changing pattern during the course of the Holocene. After the Younger Dryas, glaciers receded to a smaller extent and prolonged recessions occurred repeatedly, culminating around 7 cal. kyr BP. After a transition around 6 cal. kyr BP weak fluctuations around the present level dominated. After 3.6 cal. kyr BP less frequent recessions interrupted the trend to advanced glaciers peaking with the prominent ‘Little Ice Age’. This trend is in line with a continuous decrease of summer insolation during the Holocene.

    In other words, we have cycles of advance and recession of the glaciers but overall it is getting colder.

  97. AndrewWH says:

    @ crosspatch (22:48:58):

    Thanks very much – your response condensed into one handy package all the crucial AGW-Panic-Prevention data I need to argue convincingly with my friends that it is almost certainly not our fault.

  98. anna v says:

    crosspatch (14:33:48) :

    When this happens again. When we go into another 100,000 years of glaciation, our world as we know it is going to turn absolutely upside down as far as political and social fallout. And it *will* happen again and considering the length of this interglacial already, it is probably going to happen quite soon in geological time (in the next 10 to 20 centuries).

    I think we can control it, and not with greenhouse gases.
    I vote for light weight mirrors in space to increase insolation. Thick aluminum foil should do it.

  99. Freezing Finn says:

    crosspatch (22:48:58) :

    “The Swiss Alps are losing their glaciers at an accelerating rate”

    “Yes, and they are exposing 5000 year old wood in the process. Meaning that 5000 years ago, the area that is now glacier was forest. And other glaciers are exposing other artifacts as they recede such as leather clothing, arrows, even ancient Roman coins.”

    When was the great flood supposed to take place? See, maybe it was Noah who simply dumped the junk there? ;)

    Or maybe God just put them there to test our faith and/or our reasoning skills… ;D

  100. M White says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7770472.stm

    “Is sublimation/deforestation an issue in Switzerland?”

    I once saw a news item suggesting that deforestation to creat ski resorts would lead to incresed flooding, perhaps there is also an affect on the glaciers

  101. Alan the Brit says:

    Joseph:-)

    As I understand it from Geologists we’re not likely (real likely as opposed to an IPCC one) to undergo an ice age for another 50-100,000 yrs. But it is a very interesting area of research which should be undertaken & planned for, should man still be here? We know, or at least some scientists know that as a race we will one day have to leave little old earth behind if we’re to survive, will it be then? I don’t know.

    I agree with Brooklyn Red Leg :-) that the IPCC’s next meeting should be held in Ojmjakon, Russia if it’s that cold, limit the aircon & heating system or let it go faulty right in the middle of tense negotiations, might just concentrate the minds of those experts a little bit! Just why do they hold them at the perfect time of year in those exotic locations?

    Penultimately, I would concur with Number Watch, Humanity is a minor infestation of a minor planet orbiting a minor star in a minor galaxy!

    Finally, may I wish everyone a very Happy & Peaceful Christmas & New Year, & may your God go with you.

    AtB

  102. Tom in warm and apparently deadly Florida says:
  103. Hasse@Norway says:

    No need to worry about the cold when PM Gordon Browmn himself will save the world:

    http://atvs.vg.no/player/?id=20237

  104. Peter says:

    Brendan H:

    And also a period of unprecedented advances in science, agriculture, the arts, politics, commerce, discovery and trade.

    Necessity is the mother of invention. In times of hardship, people are forced to find better and more efficient ways of growing crops, etc.
    WWII was also a time of unprecedented scientific advances.

  105. Wally says:

    Freezing Finn (02:53:41) :
    crosspatch (22:48:58) :

    “The Swiss Alps are losing their glaciers at an accelerating rate”

    ““Yes, and they are exposing 5000 year old wood in the process. Meaning that 5000 years ago, the area that is now glacier was forest. And other glaciers are exposing other artifacts as they recede such as leather clothing, arrows, even ancient Roman coins.”

    When was the great flood supposed to take place? See, maybe it was Noah who simply dumped the junk there? ;)

    Or maybe God just put them there to test our faith and/or our reasoning skills… ;D”

    Depending on which young earth Biblical timescale one wishes to use the Flood could have been almost 6000 years ago, which would place 5000 year old Alp artifacts well within the correct age range.

  106. Patrick Henry says:

    Yea, looks like the Swiss Alps are really hurting for snow – not.

    http://www.onthesnow.co.uk/valais/zermatt/skireport.html

  107. JLawson says:

    David Jones (15:52:47) :

    Mike Kelley (08:28:09) :

    If the envirocrits have their way and electricity becomes a luxury for people without trust funds, lots of people will die facing heat waves without air conditioning. The death toll in France a few years was so high because air conditioning was not available to many old people there.

    Of course you have peer-reviewed research to support this. Reference please.

    What the hell – will USA Today do?

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2003-09-25-france-heat_x.htm

    Took all of ONE search in Google to find out about the deaths – guess you couldn’t be bothered to look for yourself, Mr. Jones?

    Scientists at INSERM, the National Institute of Health and Medical Research, deduced the toll by determining that France had experienced 14,802 more deaths than expected for the month of August.

    The toll exceeds the prior government count of 11,435, a figure that was based only on deaths in the first two weeks of the month.

    The new estimate includes deaths from the second half of August, after the record-breaking temperatures of the first half of the month had abated.

    The bulk of the victims — many of them elderly — died during the height of the heat wave, which brought suffocating temperatures of up to 104 degrees in a country where air conditioning is rare. Others apparently were greatly weakened during the peak temperatures but did not die until days later.

    Of course, it’s an adaptive process – if the cimate does swing massively to colder or warmer temps, the architectural styles will change. And the above was a freak heat wave in 2003. Now they’re getting blizzards.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1094958/Britons-travelling-France-warned-snowstorms-kill-people-cause-road-chaos.html

    Britons travelling in France warned as snowstorms kill three people and cause road chaos

    As Crosspatch said – it’ll be interesting to see whether the glaciers advance this year.

  108. Alan D. McIntire says:

    “Ross (21:04:50) :
    My rough guess … when the glaciers are marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, maybe the AGW crowd, the IPCC, and their slavish pols will scratch their heads and wonder where they went wrong.

    S’pose?”

    http://www.knmi.nl/~laatdej/EOS2008.pdf

    Judging from de Laat’s paper, when the glaciers start advancing, we’ll be turning on our heaters more, and those UHI biased temperature readings will go up! – A. McIntire

  109. Doug in Mankato, MN says:

    I entered this on a different topic thread, but since that was quite a while ago, I will also enter it here:

    “Response to Today in climate history – Dec 12th, 1938 – getting warmer

    Doug in Mankato, MN (07:10:22) :
    One source of data I have not heard anyone talking about on this site or anyplace else I can find is the ocean data from the ARGO project, the worldwide array of robot floats that was completed about a year or so ago. This is a project with international support and I would think by now some of this data would be starting to tell us something about ocean temperature trends, currents and salinity. The home site is The site and the system itself is not meant to do analysis of the data collected, but rather to provide an international data base for anyone it who does. It was originally initiated to study global warming. Could it be that the lack of media coverage is due to the fact that it hasn’t shown any GW so far? Would be interested to know if any of the readers of this site have seen any referances to ARGO data.”

    In response to the topic “Today in Climate History – Dec 12th, 1938 -getting warmer” I asked(above) if anyone had seen any results or references to the ARGO project data. Since then I have found two references:

    http://oceans.pmel.noaa.gov/Pdf/hc_bias_jtech_v3.pdf

    http://argo3000.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-much-have-ocean-temperatures.html

    The first is a paper published in June which discussed the cooling biases in some of the ARGO floats and also the warming biases in the pre-ARGO technology for measuring ocean temperatures. The second is a blog entry from someone on the ARGO team referencing a more recent article in Nature in August of this year by a team that apparently analyzed both pre-ARGO and ARGO data. I can’t access the Nature article, but the conclusions of both articles seem to be that prior to the ARGO network coming on line four years ago the oceans were gradually heating and since then the ARGO data seems to show NO overall change in temperature. From the first article it appears that most of the ARGO data is systematically correctable. Those same authors admit that the pre-ARGO technology was not really designed for climate analysis and that those data have problems. Both sets of authors, of course, insist that the case for warming oceans is “compelling” and that the current stable state(which, by the way is the only state for which we have good data) is just a phase in a constantly trend upward.

    Again, I would like to know if anyone has seen other articles on ocean temperature, currents, etc. which reference the ARGO system. As a layman with a science background(retired electrical engineer) it would seem to me that the oceans, because of their enormous mass in comparison to anything else on the surface of the planet, would also have an enormous effect on the global climate compared to anything else.

  110. Mike Kelley says:

    I think anyone who is not at least a bit skeptical about “peer-reviewed” research and the periodicals that print it is naive. I remember the Lancet editor who fast-tracked a “study” that purported to show Iraqi civilian deaths in Iraq. He made sure to print it before the 2004 Presidential election. Here he is at a peace rally:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csxvUzpIQ18&feature=Responses&parent_video=v7BzM5mxN5U&index=0&playnext=1&playnext_from=RL

  111. Ric Werme says:

    crosspatch (22:48:58) :

    “The Swiss Alps are losing their glaciers at an accelerating rate”

    Yes, and they are exposing 5000 year old wood in the process. Meaning that 5000 years ago, the area that is now glacier was forest. And other glaciers are exposing other artifacts as they recede such as leather clothing, arrows, even ancient Roman coins.

    I collected some links to relevant articles at

    http://wermenh.com/climate/6000.html

    I appears that the glacial retreat then was global.

  112. E.M.Smith says:

    Wally (06:24:32) :
    Depending on which young earth Biblical timescale one wishes to use the Flood could have been almost 6000 years ago, which would place 5000 year old Alp artifacts well within the correct age range.

    Don’t know if it fits any Biblical time scales or not, but…

    There is also the issue of the Clovis people. The most interesting explanation so far was that a meteor or asteroid bit hit the ice cover of N. America and a) Killed off most Clovis people. b) Killed of most megafauna. c) Left no crater since it hit ice and released the melt water lakes which d) lead to the Younger Dryas cooling. About 12k yrs ago which would still allow for persistent flood myths world wide to be (barely) preserved.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_impact_event

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_culture

    The bottom line on this, IMHO, is that we are flyspecks on the earth and the forces that drive climate are so huge we have not a chance of controlling them. Could we stop a nice big space rock tomorrow? Stop the orbital eccentricity changes? Change the Earth’s precession? Influence the polar wobble? Stop the sun from taking a nap after an overactive workout? Maybe even just stop the PDO?

    Hubris doesn’t even come close…

  113. AndrewWH says:

    @ Patrick Henry (07:04:11) :
    Two and a quarter metres of snow in one day?
    They are going to have difficulty just finding the glaciers under that lot.

  114. E.M.Smith says:

    This article have a very interesting and very long range perspective:

    http://www.sciencebits.com/ice-ages

    There have been many ‘ice-epochs’ during which there are ice-ages. These, per the graph part way down the page, correspond with the time just after the solar system transits a spiral arm of the galaxy. We have just (in galactic time!) finished such a transit and ought to be leaving the subsequent ice-epoch. This would imply that each ice age ought to be less severe than the preceding ‘for a while’.

    If that means were all done with ice ages or that we’re in for a slightly less catastrophic disaster I’ll leave for others to decide…

    There is also a wonderful little book, that I can’t find on my self right now… I think the title was “The Ice Ages”. I’ll try to get a full citation later. It is mostly a history of the discovery of the ice ages, but along the way explains the how. A great read.

  115. E.M.Smith says:

    Memo to self: Two coffees before posting in morning (improves proof reading, spelling & typing) and glasses on before looking at bookshelf…

    E.M.Smith (08:51:02) :
    There is also a wonderful little book, that I can’t find on my self right now…

    Got it. “Ice Age, the Theory That Came in From the Cold” by John & Mary Gribbin. Published by Barnes & Nobel, Inc. by arrangement with Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7607-3406-2 The book is about 100 pages and an easy read. It mostly explores the people and process of the discovery of the ice ages. Along the way you get to understand how they happen, and how folks made the discovery of their existence and worked to an understanding of them. The history of folks doing things like calculating by hand orbital changes while in prison… lets just say you get a new respect for science…

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Ice-Age/John-Gribbin/e/9780760734063/?itm=1

    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/john-gribbin/ice-age.htm

  116. Phillip Bratby says:

    Hasse@Norway (05:24:10) :

    I hope you’re not taking the piss out of our great leader!

  117. Mike D. says:

    Also,

    Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery by Imbrie, John and Katherine Palmer Imbrie. 1986. Harvard University Press.

    One of the founders of modern paleooceanography, John Imbrie is (2004) the Henry L. Doherty Professor of Oceanography Emeritus at Brown. In addition to more than 60 articles in scientific journals dealing with the Earth’s past climate, Imbrie has published four books, including Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery, which he wrote with his daughter Katherine, and which won the 1976 Phi Beta Kappa prize.

    Dr. Imbrie was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1978, and in 1981 was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Philosophical Society, the American Meteorological Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to the Vetlesen Prize, Imbrie was honored with the American Geophysical Union’s Maurice Ewing Medal in 1986, the Lyell Medal for Geology of the Geological Society of London in 1991, the Vega Medal of the Swedish Society of Anthropology and Geography in 1999, and the Milankovic Medal in 2003.

    John Imbrie was a member of the team that vindicated the work of Milutin Milankovic by demonstrating that changes in the geometry of the Earth-Sun system did indeed pace the glacial cycles of the Pleistocene.

  118. Brendan H says:

    Peter: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

    My very point. Hence my balancing comments to the scare-mongering about “plagues, crop failures, massive starvation and many wars”.

    One could take the same optimistic view (necessity is the mother of invention) to the challenge posed by global warming.

  119. Peter says:

    Brendan H:

    One could take the same optimistic view (necessity is the mother of invention) to the challenge posed by global warming.

    I’m afraid that, being an engineer, I don’t share your optimism that technology will magically produce the goods that the politicians decree.
    Most of the major technological advancements have already taken place – especially in the fields of agriculture and energy efficiency. Most technological advances still to be made in these areas will be small, incremental improvements.
    As far as energy generation goes, the next major advancement will be the development of commercially viable nuclear fusion – and this may still be several decades away.
    In the meantime, there will be a lot of hardship as energy costs increase by huge amounts, while politicians continue to throw huge sums of money away on non-starters such as wind power.

  120. twawki says:

    heres a graph of temperature fluctuations vs number of stations

    interesting correlation – the stations must have a cooling bias (grins) because the less there are of them the warmer it gets!!!

    http://solarcycle24com.proboards106.com/index.cgi?board=globalwarming&action=display&thread=168&page=7

  121. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    What credibility will GISS have if they come out with “December – third warmest in history”? next month.

    I’m curious to see how this is spun next month.

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