Debunking National Wildlife Federation Claims – Part 2

Both WUWT and Climate Audit had posts regarding the ridiculous WaPo story about snowfall being a result of climate change.

This is a follow up to those posts done by guest contributor Steven Goddard.

One of the  NWF claims about global warming is that snow in the Colorado mountains is diminishing and has become very erratic, as seen in the NWF graphic at left.

click for a larger image

In this article I will show that the claim is incorrect – Colorado snowfall has been generally increasing for the last hundred years and that year over year variability has always been extremely high.

Fortunately, there are excellent long term records of snowfall available from  NOAA’s Western Regional Climate Center. I chose the  Crested Butte, Colorado station because it is centrally located in the mountains (so is representative of a wide region) and has the most complete and continuous snow record of every month for the past 100 years.   I have randomly sampled quite a few other stations in Colorado.  None seem to have as a complete a record as Crested Butte, and the pattern described for Crested Butte seems to be fairly consistent in the mountainous regions of the state.

Below are graphs showing  annual and monthly snowfall totals (in inches) for Crested Butte since 1909.  The trend lines were generated using Google Spreadsheet’s linest() function. Note that every month is trending upwards in snowfall and the standard deviation is very high.  Also note that there were several very dry years early in the 20th century with very little snow – and the last few decades have seen more consistent snowfall.  Since 1981, every year has received more than 100 inches of snow.  Prior to 1930, it was not uncommon to have snow years with less than 100 inches of snow.  Prior to 1930, the average annual snowfall was 177 inches.  Since 1930, the average annual snowfall has been 200 inches – a 10% increase.

Note – the raw data is incorrect for 1910, 1919, and 1924 due to a significant number of missing measurements, so I substituted a calculated annual value based on the trend line. This probably overestimates the snowfall for 1919 and 1924, and is thus conservative.

Click images below for full-sized ones.

Standard deviation = 67  Mean = 195  Trend = +7.7 inches per decade

Mean = 23.4  Standard Deviation = 15.1

Standard deviation = 25.9  Mean = 33.5

Standard deviation = 27.9  Mean = 38.4

Standard deviation = 19.3  Mean = 33.5

Standard deviation = 18.2  Mean = 31.0

Standard deviation = 13.1  Mean = 16.9

In summary, snowfall is increasing annually and we see upward trends in the months of “snowfall season” in Colorado.  Year over year variability has always been very high and may actually be lower in recent years. And, the Colorado mountains no longer have extremely low snow years like they did 80 years ago. By the data, it seems the NWF claims are unfounded.

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200 Responses to Debunking National Wildlife Federation Claims – Part 2

  1. Henry chance says:

    Having spent a lot of time in the mountains in all 4 seasons, it is very erratic and always has been. What is with these clowns? Stringing a lot of anecdotes together doesn’t generate data. The plural of anecdote is not data.

    If they wanted to try to be more honest, they would greatly increase the number of ski reports in their system.

  2. Murray says:

    Intuitively it seems like increased high mountain snowfall would be consistent with warming SST. More evaporation at sea surface, more precipitation at higher/cooler altitudes. The point that the NWF is wrong remains valid, but it seems to me like they had it backward to start with.

  3. Alan S. Blue says:

    “the raw data is incorrect for 1910, 1919, and 1924 due to a significant number of missing measurements, so I substituted”

    The data analysis would seem to be insensitive to the absence of data for those years. The practice of infilling everywhere leads to the long discussions over whether the appropriate method of infilling, and determining levels of autocorrelation, etc.

    The simple: “Bad Data, dropped” approach should work fine – the only change being the discontinuity in the line chart. A scatter plot wouldn’t have that issue if that’s a concern.

    Apologies if this seems overly persnickety, the infilling approaches throughout the surface records have me a little irked at its overuse.

  4. JLawson says:

    Well, who are you going to believe? The NWF or your lying eyes? Their claims, or hard data?

    (Looks at funding appeal from NWF that came in the mail. Shoves into recycling bin.)

  5. Murray says:

    Looking at the annual detail, especially at the minimums (minima?), it seems like there was increase from 1910 through 1994, and snowfall may be againn in decline since 1994. Measured SST has only been in decline since about 2005. Hmm. Is minimum snowfall a leading indicator? Lets have some input from more knowledgable people.

  6. D. King says:

    From the NWF website

    “Oddball winter weather is yet another sign of how uncontrolled carbon pollution amounts to an unchecked experiment on people and nature,” said Dr. Amanda Staudt, climate scientist, National Wildlife Federation. …”

    Wow, another scientist’s reputation circling the drain.

  7. Ric Werme says:

    I track snow fall and “snow depth days” (the sum of snow depths over the season) at http://wermenh.com/sdd/index.html for several locations around New England. From the relatively little data I have, it’s clear that both metrics are hugely variable and data for individual seasons are remarkable but say nothing about trends.

    05/06 was light for me in Penacook NH (just north of Concord), the next year broke many records for me and for the NWS. This year (not posted) is likely going to be light with the storm track well south of here. Like today, and like the post-Copenhagen storm that welcomed the President home.

    Snowfall measurements are also questionable and what’s done now is likely not what was done 80 years ago. Snow depth water content measurements are likely much more reliable.

    One good long term reference point in New England is the Mt Mansfield snow stake in Stowe VT, there’s an interactive web site that has its data back to 1954. Seee http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=.%2Fmansel.php3&dir=. If you enable the “NEW! Generate bar graphs of seasonal totals” it plots totals for each year which are just as variable as at Crested Butte.

    1988 is interesting – it has the least snowfall, but the snow depth remained above average. That might have been a cold year, I don’t recall.

    A few years ago there were several stories about how skiing was doomed here thanks to warming. November was a warm month here and ski areas opened late. Somewhat to my surprise I don’t think I heard a single story here blaming it on global warming. It may be people were just thankful it wasn’t snowy like 06/07. A lot of us had run out of places to put snow by the end of December that season!

  8. Steve Goddard says:

    Murray,

    Climate models forecast less snow for Colorado, not more snow. University of Colorado professor Mark Williams issued this doom and gloom prediction in the middle of one of the best ski seasons on record.

    http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/131044

  9. TamRob says:

    Be prepared for a major round of climate alarmism for the 2010 Olympics here in Vancouver. We have had an extremely warm January, with high freezing levels. Most of the snow at the local mountain that will host the freestyle skiing events has melted. They are hauling snow by truck and helicopter to get the runs ready. The cause has been El Nino conditions, but of course, global warming will get the major billing. NBC is already setting up for the Today show at a neighboring mountain, where the brown patches are larger than the white.

  10. theduke says:

    Well done. Unfortunately, if I’m interpreting your post and NWF claims correctly, I don’t think NWF is making the claim you attribute to them. They say something like spring snow pack was 50% below normal in 2007 and 80% above normal in 2008.

    The data is still valuable. It shows yet again that nothing is really going on that is beyond what might be expected due to natural variability.

  11. Steve Goddard says:

    Murray,

    You probably should reread the first article in this series:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/28/nwfs-winter-weather-wackiness/#more-15810

    NCDC snow report from the winter of 2007-2008 Numerous ski resorts in the West reported record breaking snowfall this year, as did parts of northern Maine. Caribou, Maine received 197.8 inches (502 cm) of snowfall this winter, shattering the previous record of 181.1 inches (460 cm).

    Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado received 418 inches (1061 cm) during the 2007-08 winter, breaking the previous record of 415 inches (1054 cm) from 1979-1980. Even Spokane, Washington was the second-snowiest on record with 89.5 inches (227 cm), four inches (10 cm) short of the previous record from 1949-1950. The map to the right depicts the snowpack levels in many Rocky Mountain basins on May 1, 2008, illustrating a residual near to above average snow cover over much of the Rockies and Cascades in the western U.S. Thirty-two Snowtel locations reported record snow water equivalent records by the end of April.

    NCDC snow report from the winter of 2008-2009

    Across North America, snow cover for the 2008-09 winter was above average, with the 12th largest extent since satellite records began in 1967.

  12. latitude says:

    Murray (09:06:37) :
    “Intuitively it seems like increased high mountain snowfall would be consistent with warming SST”

    Murry, my intuition tells me that our “climate” is not that sensitive, and a one degree linear change would not have any profound effects.
    If it did, the normal up and down swings, which are much more, would have disastrous effects.

  13. Mark S says:

    @ Murray (09:13:03)

    Colorado suffered a drought lasting about 7 years. It largely ended a couple of years ago. The southwestern part of the state was slower to recover but appears to be back on track. The Wolf Creek Pass ski area is reporting a 114 inch base. That’s in line with the norm before the drought.

  14. theduke says:

    My mistake. I went back to part 1 and found the following

    The spatial extent of snow cover across the Northern Hemisphere has decreased by approximately 3 to 9 percent since 1978, with especially rapid declines in the western United States

  15. I live in South Colorado mountains (San Juan), and we are having a record snowfall this winter. A little avalanche just dropped from the roof of my house with terrible noise, and ruined two sturdy metal fence links of the dog kennel in the backyard. Luckily, dogs were inside at that moment. This year the snow cover never melted from November until end of January — first time in my memory (since 1991). Our driveway, cleared three times this year by our neighbor who has a powerful tractor with a snow shovel, resembles a shady tunnel between two snow walls.

    Last year was very snowy, also. During the three or four drought years (end of 1990s and early 2000s) there was much less snow around, and it didn’t stay long on the ground. Before, during the first half of the 1990s, there was almost as much snow as now — I remember how a similar “roof avalanche” destroyed my bloody expensive aluminum ping-pong table: smashed it as if it were a paper bag.

    Any claim that Colorado has less snow now than a decade before would contradict obvious factual observations.

  16. MattN says:

    No doubt, there will be a claim of cherry picking data for this article, despite it being the most complete and longest snow record in the state.

  17. Carl Lewis says:

    I agree with Alan S. Blue — DO NOT INFILL TO REPLACE MISSING DATA. No matter how acurate your method is it is still NOT the original data and it provides amo for the greennies to cast doubt on the rest of your research.

  18. Ron de Haan says:

    Stil, NWF, WWF, GreenPeace GIGO AGW propaganda reports are all over the newspapers and tv.

    It gives “Freedom of Press” and “Quality Media” a whole other meaning.

    Boy, am I glad we have the Internet!

  19. Ray says:

    That fits well with the diminishing global absolute humidity. The planet is cooling = more precipitation = smaller absolute humidity.

  20. Ben D says:

    Let that be a kick in their “crested Butte”

  21. Doug in Seattle says:

    The former WA State Climatologist, Phil Mote, produced a series of reports to the Governor of the state which claimed a significant drop in snow pack in the latter half of the 20th century.

    Mote’s study was used by the Governor to create a panic over water supplies. It came out later that the Mote had cut off the data at a time of unusually high snowfall in the early 1950′s, thus creating an artificial downward trend. When data from 1930′s and 1940′s were added to the analysis the trend disappeared giving a flat trend.

    Rather than own up to the cherry picking, Mote had the person who publicized the “trick” fired (he was the Deputy State Climatologist). Another expert, Cliff Mass of the UW had his reputation trashed.

    The Governor ultimately ignored the truth. Phil Mote is now the State Climatologist of Oregon (after their Governor fired the previous one for not following the party line on AGW).

  22. Bob Tisdale says:

    I did a quick stop at KNMI and plucked off the NCDC precipitation anomalies for 35N-45N, 115W-105W, approximating the coordinates of the Rockies, from Jan 1900 to Dec 2009. They didn’t have a long-term snow dataset.
    http://i46.tinypic.com/30ihzys.png

    You can’t miss the El Nino events.

  23. theduke says:

    MattN wrote (09:35:25):

    No doubt, there will be a claim of cherry picking data for this article, despite it being the most complete and longest snow record in the state.
    ———————————————————-

    The cherry picking was done by NWF. If you look at the blockquote I posted at 9:32 and then check the annual Crested Butte Annual Snowfall graph above, you will see that 1979 had the highest annual snowfall ever.

  24. Bill in AZ says:

    More weather is not climate: Vancouver is trucking in snow for the Olympics, while one of Arizona’s ski areas, Sunrise Ski Resort, was closed last week for 3 days due to – too much snow (and power outage caused by – too much snow). 96 inches of snow fell between Tuesday and Friday of last week – and more has fallen since.

  25. R. Gates says:

    In the final analysis of the proof or lack thereof of global warming, the snowpack levels at Crested Butte Colorado mean nothing. January 2010 will go down as the warmest global temps on record…and unless there is a major volcanic eruption this year, 2010 will most likely be the warmest year on record. And by the way, Increased snowfall is one of the initial effects of Global Warming (i.e. more heat = more evaporation), before the temperatures go up so much as to turn that snow to rain…

  26. Steve Oregon says:

    Here in Oregon and Washington every conceivable weather event gets spun into evidence of global along with many completely fabricated events, fabricated conditions and concocted links.
    Officials at every level, at every institution participate.
    The collective mass of misinformation and advocacy is an astounding demonstrate of wholesale deceit.

    We have supportive groups like the The Oregon Environmental Council piling on with even worse claims.

    http://www.oeconline.org/our-work/climate
    “land on the central and northern Oregon coast is being submerged by rising sea level”

    Of course there is simply no part of the Oregon coast which has been or is being lost to AGW rising sea levels.

  27. Henry chance says:

    http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/131044

    If carbon emissions increase, the average temperature at Park City will be 10.4 degrees warmer by 2100, and there likely will be no snowpack, according to the study. Skiing at Aspen, with an average temperature 8.6 degrees higher than now, will be marginal.

    My baloney detector is when they write of “carbon emissions” If they don’t know enoug to wroite “carbon dioxide emissions” they prove they don’t have an honest clue.

    Carbon emissions are black for the most part and carbon dioxide emissions are invisible.
    Even the mis informed chairman Immelt from GE calls it carbon and not carbon dioxide. We can often go to a different resort in Colorado if one has some new powder over night and another doesn’t.

    Indirectly I am referring to the mountains and their incredible disruption of wind patterns. CO2 emissions do not disrupt wind patterns. Wind has incredible impact on over night differences in snowfall in Colorado

  28. Henry chance says:

    Ben D (09:42:17) :

    Let that be a kick in their “crested Butte

    Boot in the Butte.

  29. Steve Oregon says:

    Mar 29, 2008 – 06:00 AM
    Mt. Hood Meadows Sets Ski Resort Season Snowfall Record

    http://www.firsttracksonline.com/News/2008/3/29/Mt.-Hood-Meadows-Sets-Ski-Resort-Season-Snowfall-Record/

    Mt. Hood, OR – With a 17-inch 24-hour snowfall total Friday night, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Meadows broke its own season snowfall record of 623 inches.

    That season Mt Hood’s Timbeline Lodge had even more over the season with a 246 inch base at it’s peak in early spring.

  30. Steve Goddard says:

    “Spring snowpack” is a favorite worry of AGW types, but is not a particularly important concept any more – because of large reservoirs on the Colorado River which don’t care if the snow melted in May or June.

  31. Robert M Marshall says:

    I lived in the Birkshires in western Massachusetts 1975 -1977 and remember well the 76-677 down spike. New England was swamped with cowboy hats at the ski slopes. News resport suspected some nefarious climate shift that would destroy Colorado’s ski industry. as you can see, they recovered the next season.

  32. Paddy says:

    Ric Werme (09:22:13) :

    Snow depth water content cannot serve as a one size fits all metric due to significant regional variations. In the Pacific NW rain-on-snow events that result in a high water content are common events. I suspect the same is true for the New England states. Conversely, in the Rockies the snow has a relatively low water content since rain in the snow zone is rare. The result is that snow quantification comparisons are difficult.

  33. Steve Goddard says:

    R. Gates,

    Your claim that “2010 will most likely be the warmest year on record.” has been duly noted. I will remind you of that later in the year, maybe even honor you with an article!

  34. Toto says:

    There is an insightful article on the BBC website today:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8474611.stm
    Why do people often vote against their own interests?

    “For Mr Westen, stories always trump statistics, which means the politician with the best stories is going to win”

    WWF generates stories not facts and you can’t argue with stories. Urban legends persist, superstitions persist, myths persist (and some of those even become religions). This is why we need science. Too bad the science in this field has been infiltrated by story tellers.

  35. Robert M Marshall says:

    Sorry for the mis-keyed entry. To continue, this is worse than mere cherry-picking data. The alarmists are good at ‘disinforming the public by proposing that anything off ‘average’ is a trend. The true ‘odd-ball event’ would be average weather, every day, every year. No doubt the NWF thought Anthony cherry-picked the November and December 2009 temperature record setting low lows and low highs (literally thousands). Since both cold and warm, drought and flood foreshadow climate “Change,” they will never run out of material until the real “Odd Ball Event”, “Stagnant Average” occurs. Meanwhile, experts agree that temperatures will soar above 100F in many US locations by the end of June. Unless we act NOW, at that rate, rivers will be boiling this time next year.

  36. Steve Goddard says:

    Alexander,

    The interesting thing for me in this exercise was to see that the late 1990s drought still saw lots more snow than many years the early part of the 20th century.

  37. Don B says:

    Two researchers at Oregon State University in 2006 published a study predicting much less snowfall in the Oregon Cascades in the future due to global warming, but since then the opposite has happened. Commenters above have noted recent record snowfalls.

    Whistler, site of some of next month’s Olympics, has already had nearly 400″ of snowfall for the season, close to its seasonal average.

    http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/index.htm#

  38. Robert M Marshall says:

    Kinda reminds me of Garrison Keillor’s, “Lake Woebegon, where all of the children are above average.” I think some of these folks took that seriously.

  39. Claude Harvey says:

    I hope all of you realize your comments identify you as “enemies of the state”. If you lived in Venezuela, Hugo would already be knocking on your doors. The EPA has officially declared the government’s position on this general matter and whether we have more snow or less snow makes no difference to that political reality.

    We can drag our collective feet until they smoke, this wagon is headed resolutely toward ruinous CO2 regulation and forced “green power” regardless of the economic consequences. Not to be left behind in the rush, a California State Representative just introduced legislation in Sacramento to ban free parking everywhere! He denied the proposal constituted a tax and insisted it would encourage “better behavior” by encouraging (forcing) folks to walk, ride bicycles and use public transportation.

    Big Brother is watching YOU! (In order to see that you to behave.)

  40. MartinGAtkins says:

    I find it strange that a statutory body is allowed donate taxpayers funds to a Non Government Organization for no apparent service.

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    $25,000-$49,999

    2008 Annual Report

    http://www.nwf.org/About/Annual-Report.aspx

  41. Pamela Gray says:

    I agree. A scatter plot is a better method of showing an incomplete data series, when missing data is not a key ingredient to trends, which in the case of highly variable data, is true.

  42. Gary says:

    Steve, I’m curious to know if you’ve tried contacting the NWF to confront them with this analysis. Doubtful you will get a response, or a best a defensive display of chaff, but they really ought to be held accountable for misinformation.

  43. R. Gates,

    We desperately need some warming — so, if there is some (unlikely, so far it existed only on paper in the corrupt and self-serving governmental institutions), please don’t try to stop it!

  44. Pamela Gray says:

    We have the likelyhood of a La Nina for the summer, allowing cold air to be driven over the states via a ride on the Jet stream, so I don’t see 2010 having “hottest year on record” potential. In addition, that pesky AO continues to bounce down into negative measurements, allowing cold air in from the North. My forecast is that 2010 will be average to cool due to summer weather. Great year for peas and other cool weather crops.

  45. Steve Goddard says:

    Gary,

    I’d love to confront NWF, but have had too much snow and ice in the driveway to get out of the house. (Just kidding.) Sounds like a good idea.

  46. Robert M Marshall says:

    Toto,
    “For Mr Westen, stories always trump statistics, which means the politician with the best stories is going to win”
    While that point may be true, that site is a terrible example to prove it. Mr. Frank is the consumate story teller, convinced that voters are too stupid to vote in their best interest. Rather, they are being reminded of the follies of history and standing up to say “not only No, Heck NO! They feel the same about Climate change as they do public mandated health care. They see Liberties being trashed by power hungry Zelots, both in Congress, the Whitehouse, and the UN.

  47. R. Gates says:

    Steve Goddard:

    I welcome it. We can all track the progress of how warm 2010 is here:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

    January has been remarkably warmer and with the La Nina of earlier in year of 2009 and the solar minimum now behind us, and CO2 and methane now at record levels, there is nothing preventing 2010 from really cooking (short of, as I said previously, a major volcanic erpution of the level of Pinatubo in 1991.)

    Let’s put it this way, if I were a betting person, I would bet there is far better than even odds chance that 2010 will be the warmest year globally on record. (as measured at sea level up to about 46.000 ft.)

  48. A C Osborn says:

    Re
    Phillip Bratby (10:18:47) :

    OT, but please everybody go and read Prof Philip Stott at:

    http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2010/1/30_Global_Warming%3A_the_Collapse_of_a_Grand_Narrative.html

    It is a lovely summation of the current state of play, so is the link to the Timesonline piece
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article7008635.ece

    I wonder how many of the Timesonline pieces actually get in to print?

  49. _Jim says:

    Has the ‘mole man’ checked in yet and refuted with fact, with analysis the substance and the detail in this post?

    I thought not …

    Probably yucking it up with his chums over at (David) “Fenton media” – Environmental Media Services (EMS) affiliated RC (realclimate.org) for the ‘damage’ he thinks he ‘inflicted’ here yesterday.

    Truth about RealClimate.org

    The now defunct Environmental Media Services history now known as the Science Communication Network (SCN)
    .
    .

  50. Hu McCulloch says:

    Both WUWT and Climate Audit had posts regarding the ridiculous WaPo story about snowfall being a result of climate change.

    What is ridiculous is not the suggestion that heavy snows and cold winters are due to “climate change,” but that they are due to global warming.

    Please don’t be suckered into letting frustrated warming alarmists change the agenda.

  51. A C Osborn says:

    Re
    R. Gates (09:48:41) :
    Silly Troll saying that kind of thing on this site with all the contadictory evidence that is already on here.
    How sad.

  52. D. King says:

    Phillip Bratby (10:18:47) :

    OT, but please everybody go and read Prof Philip Stott at:

    http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2010/1/30_Global_Warming%3A_the_Collapse_of_a_Grand_Narrative.html

    Very interesting. He’s right, I don’t think the magnitude
    of this collapse has registered yet. They may be trying
    to ease out of the false markets they’ve created.
    I think that WUWT will go down in history as the warning
    beacon, where people came together out of a sense that
    something was wrong, and wanting to help in any way they
    could. Thank you for this forum Anthony.

  53. Steve Goddard says:

    I don’t think that NWF is actually saying anything which is undocumented – rather they are severely cherry-picking and providing only a small window of visibility into the big picture.

    Colorado is definitely not suffering from heat, drought or lack of snow the last few years – quite the opposite – particularly compared to 70-100 years ago.

  54. M. Simon says:

    We can drag our collective feet until they smoke, this wagon is headed resolutely toward ruinous CO2 regulation and forced “green power” regardless of the economic consequences.

    Obama has declared the government will be run by 28% green power by 2020. If the Republicans would one up him and go for 100% by 2020. I think we could get frequent government shut downs.

    No government when the weather is too hot or too cold.

    Well it would be a start.

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2010-01-29-whgreen_N.htm

  55. Ed Scott says:

    Professor Phillip Stott:

    Global Warming: the Collapse of a Grand Narrative

    Saturday, 30 January 2010

    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2010/1/30_Global_Warming%3A_the_Collapse_of_a_Grand_Narrative.html

    What Will It Mean?

    I have long predicted, and in public too, that the Copenhagen Conference could prove to be the beginning of the end for the Global Warming Grand Narrative. It appears that I may well have been right, and, indeed, I may have considerably underestimated the speed, and the dramatic nature, of the demise.

    Where this all leaves our politicians and political parties in the UK; where it leaves climate science, scientists more generally, and the Royal Society; where it leaves energy policy; where it leaves the ‘Green’ movement; and, where it leaves our media will have to be topics for many later comments and analyses.

    For the moment, we must not underestimate the magnitude of the collapse. Academically, it is jaw-dropping to observe.

    And, the political, economic, and scientific consequences will be profound.

  56. Steve Goddard says:

    R. Gates,

    El Nino is already fading. Hansen and The Met office made the same “warmest year ever” predictions during the 2007 El Nino, and were wrong for the same reasons as they will be in 2010.

    Remember that January, 2007 was also measured very warm by UAH. A large body of very warm water in the Pacific drives the “average” temperature” up. That tells you nothing about land temperatures though.

  57. Betterredthandead says:

    OT, but has anyone read Rex Murphys column at the national post today?

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/01/30/rex-murphy-so-whatever-happened-to-copenhagen.aspx

    tour de force as usual

  58. Jeff L says:

    I’m a snowspotter (spotter id J-52 if you look at data link below) for the NWS here in Colorado, SW of Denver.

    FWIW, although January has been very dry, up to the end of December, it was the snowiest start to the snow season in 13 years at my location. I have recorded 80.9″ so far this season at my station.

    Talking about variability, at my station, I have seen season totals as low as 64″ and high as 160″, with an average of 108″.

    Data link for northern Colorado spotter data:

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/?n=snowpage

  59. DirkH says:

    “R. Gates (09:48:41) :
    [...]
    And by the way, Increased snowfall is one of the initial effects of Global Warming (i.e. more heat = more evaporation), before the temperatures go up so much as to turn that snow to rain…”

    I could argue that here in Germany, we have a lot of snow right now, and a winter similar to 1981, but nowhere near the snow masses in 1978/1979. I would deduce that globalwarming is on the upswing (more snow than in say 1998) but it was surely worse in 78/79. Search for “Schneekatastrophe 78 79″ – global warming must have been terrible in Germany back then.

    Please give up this twisted way of maintaining your cognitive dissonance. It makes really no sense at all.

  60. R. Gates says:

    A.C. Osborn:

    Your comment about me seems hollow. My point being: The historic snowpack at Crested Butte Colorado (a state where I happen to live and have done so for 50 years) tells us nothing important either for or against the notion that human produced greenhouse gases are forcing global warming.

    I placed my claim and stand firmly by it that unless there is a Mt. Pinatubo 1991 type eruption, it is likely that 2010 will be the warmest year globally on record, I’ve studied this for over 25 years and don’t speak from any political position (unlike others on both sides). I look only at the pure science and statistics of this issue.

  61. magicjava says:

    Why don’t we just get down to brass tacks with this.

    AGW is unfalsifiable pseudoscience.

  62. ventana says:

    “The plural of anecdote is not data.”

    My new facebook status. Thanks.

  63. Ed Scott says:

    Cold keeps Minn. wind turbines from spinning

    Wind turbines placed in cities across Minnesota to generate power aren’t working because of the cold temperatures.

    http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1390565.shtml

  64. Pamela Gray says:

    I would like to send a message to Obama. You have kept quite a few promises which is just fine. Re: anymore promises, that’s okay, I’m good. k?

  65. globaltemps says:

    Two things.

    1. I thumbed through the most recent issue of the local WWF Panda magazine. The word ‘climate’ appeared 45 times on 24 pages (including cover and advertisements) in a scaremongering context. These people are plainly indoctrinating a gullible audience. The NWF is probably no different.

    2. Yeah, yeah, WINC, but we received a fresh 3″ layer of global warming yesterday night, with more expected tonight. This winter is proving to one of the longest and whitest I have ever encountered. One and a half month ago, the weatherman from the national TV warned of less snow cover due to climate change. How wrong he was.

  66. mike sphar says:

    I started skiing in the Sierra in 1955. Snow conditions have varied over the ensuing 55 years. Some years have produced significant snow depths others have not but the skiing remained year after year. El Nino events have occasionally brought in prodigious dumpings of snow. It is easy to predict there will be many more years of excellent skiing ahead especially for my grand children for that I am thankful.

  67. DirkH says:

    “R. Gates (09:48:41) :
    [...]
    And by the way, Increased snowfall is one of the initial effects of Global Warming (i.e. more heat = more evaporation), before the temperatures go up so much as to turn that snow to rain…”

    “DirkH (11:11:51) :
    [...]
    Please give up this twisted way of maintaining your cognitive dissonance. It makes really no sense at all.”

    “R. Gates (11:13:01) :
    Your comment about me seems hollow. My point being: The historic snowpack at Crested Butte Colorado (a state where I happen to live and have done so for 50 years) tells us nothing important either for or against the notion that human produced greenhouse gases are forcing global warming. ”

    I see you took my point and changed your position already. And it only took you 2 minutes. Now that’s what i call quick.

  68. Mike D. says:

    Hey, this site is supposed to be at least a little bit meteorological, so let’s go back to Snow 101.

    “Inches of snow” means nothing. Some snow is fluffy, some dense. For the last 100 years the measurement of choice is snow-water-equivalent (SWE). Take a known volume of snow, weigh it to find the H2O content, and convert that to “inches of water”. That is how “snowpack” is measured, anyway. With aluminum tubes and hanging scales. Like ice cores. Capice?

    The US Army Corps of Engineers measures SWE at “snotel” stations up in the mountains to determine how much snow is up there, so they know what to expect in terms of runoff when it melts. The USACE manages dams and reservoirs, so that info is critical.

    Since 1918 snowpack has been measured at “snotel” locations in the Snake River watershed, which includes most of Idaho and portions of Oregon and Nevada. The snowpack has been measured in snow water equivalents (SWE) at over 700 snotel locations at monthly intervals during winter.

    Not all locations have been measured for 90 years; some have been measured for fewer years than that, and some have small to large gaps in the record. Measurements at any particular station have not always been taken in every winter month, although remarkable efforts have been made to measure maximum annual snowpack at most stations.

    I selected the 20 longest, continuously measured snotel records from 3 US Army Corps of Engineers databases containing 745 snotel records from the Snake River watershed. Of those selected, the shortest record was 75 years long. I extracted the maximum (recorded) annual snowpack (MASWE) for each selected snotel station. I graphed those MASWE’s together with the 20 station average and a linear trend (regression) line.

    There has been, however, absolutely no trend in the average MASWE for these stations from 1933 to 2007. The linear regression line through the annual averages has a slope of zero.

    Maximum snowpack in the Snake River watershed has neither increased nor decreased over the last 75 years. Although there has been annual variation, there has been no trend toward more or less snow. The trend line is flat, meaning there has been no trend. The Snake River watershed is not getting more snowier or less snowier.

    In terms of maximum annual snowpack, there has been no detectable, much less statistically significant, “climate change” in the Snake River watershed over the last 75 years!!!!

    http://westinstenv.org/sosf/2008/11/21/no-trend-in-idaho-snowpack-over-the-last-75-years/

  69. R. Gates says:

    Snowfalls, Floods, Downpours & Global Warming:

    For a very basic primer on why global warming can INCREASE snowfall, see these articles:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/early-warning-signs-of-global-3.html

    http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=79547

    Some of you should put your political blinders aside, and really understand the science behind this. Greater snowfall at Crested Butte could actually PROVE global warming (though I don’t think it’s actually relevant at all).

  70. Pamela Gray says:

    R. Gates, I recommend that you also study weather pattern variation. Gather a clear understanding of the hydrological water cycle and its impact on topography (IE GPS address). Follow pressure gradients, jet stream, oceanic and atmospheric oscillations and conditions, and other sources of both short and long term weather pattern variation. Do this every day. Predict what you think will be the highs and lows, precip, etc for a number of locations, one in each climate zone is best, and you will add greatly to your knowledge fund.

  71. Douglas DC says:

    Downstream of the Rocky mtns., there is Lake Powell.I have an aquaintance
    who is drooling at the possiblity of the American South West becoming a desert
    due to AGW.He’s always cying about the lack of snow in the Rockies.Hence,
    no lake powell no power,or recreation.No Vegas,no LA, everyone goes back north and-east.I will show him this article….

  72. kadaka says:

    JLawson (09:12:17) :

    (Looks at funding appeal from NWF that came in the mail. Shoves into recycling bin.)

    Wait, hold on!

    Did that come with a Business Reply Mail (BRM) envelope or card? Organizations MUST pay for and accept them, if they try to refuse then the mailman tries the next day but will now charge twice (two attempts), and will repeat until accepted.

    Thus comes the proper procedure for expressing extreme displeasure that is quickly noticed by the offending organization. You send BRM back. No money of course, no information, just drop the empty envelope or blank postcard in the mailbox. It is effective, as it costs them money, and it is done very anonymously. Annoyingly anonymously.

    Now merely sending back said blank card or empty envelope may be sufficient for mildly irritating organizations, as far as the irritated person is concerned. But more effective for demonstrating outrage, you stick it to a brick first. That’s right, glue or tape it to a spare old brick and send it out. The assembled package will have all the BRM info on it, and the organization will have to accept and pay for it. Check with your local post office if they want the brick wrapped. Writing a message on the brick, painting it gold, etc, is something you may decide to do but of course is not necessary.

    This can also be done, far as I know, to a box instead. You could, for example, send them a box of sand. Don’t forget to include the required note, “Pound This!” However, I would advise against sending them a box of “processed organic matter” in return for the symbolic load of it they sent you, as the post office may frown on the unidentified shipping of “bio-hazardous waste,” at least the real kind.

  73. wayne ward says:

    Mike D.,I followed your link over, good work. I found it amusing that in your comments section someone kind of accused you of cherry picking stations but totally ignored that the whole thing was about snowpack (climatron)… that is the kind of stuff that drives me crazy about AGW folks. Ignore and redirect. I appreciate you had the patience to not just say… “Hello… SNOWPACK.”

  74. Leo G says:

    Steve Goddard, what about sending this piece to WAPO as a rebuttal piece?

  75. Richard M says:

    As with most AGW supporters Mr. R. Gates doesn’t appear to look at the situation logically. 2009 had 6 months of El Nino conditions while 2010 is likely to experience no more than 3 months. Anyone who has looked at temperature anomalies should know that El Nino is much stronger than any possible GHG effect. In fact, the recent El Nino was no more proficient at raising temperatures than any other in the 21st century.

    I would expect we will continue to bounce over and under the +.2 anomaly value as we’ve done for the last 10 years until some other major event occurs.

  76. Doug Badgero says:

    @R. Gates

    “The historic snowpack at Crested Butte Colorado (a state where I happen to live and have done so for 50 years) tells us nothing important either for or against the notion that human produced greenhouse gases are forcing global warming.” I agree, however, neither does the global average temperature for a single year – 2010 or any other.

    More to the point, the author’s article was not offered as a rebuttal to the theory of AGW. It was offered as a rebuttal to the arguments made by the WWF on this single snowfall issue.

  77. Richard M says:

    R. Gates (11:28:30) :

    Some of you should put your political blinders aside, and really understand the science behind this. Greater snowfall at Crested Butte could actually PROVE global warming (though I don’t think it’s actually relevant at all).

    Pointing to activist nonsense will not convince the scientists on this site of anything. We already know that the models that project this kind of nonsense are worthless. We also know that nothing proves a hypothesis. Maybe you should try and “really understand the science”. It appears to me you have just blindly accepted all pro-AGW articles as fact. Did you read the article referenced above?

    http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2010/1/30_Global_Warming%3A_the_Collapse_of_a_Grand_Narrative.html

    I doubt it very much.

  78. KPO says:

    Slightly OT, and I am sure the guys are aware of this paper. I just find it amusing that the “scientists” are very quickly “discovering” that their models did not anticipate/include these “surprising” findings From http://www.sciencemag.org/

    Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming: Susan Solomon,1 Karen Rosenlof,1 Robert Portmann,1 John Daniel,1 Sean Davis,1,2 Todd Sanford,1,2 Gian-Kasper Plattner3

    “Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here, we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.”

  79. Garacka says:

    I’d like to see the correlation of snowfall to the PDO, but it would probably be more meaningful to simply correlate to total precipitation.

    Also, snowfall in areas where temperatures stay sufficiently cold would seem to correlate principally to a combination of air moisture content and cloud/ice crystal condensation nuclei concentration….and local electrical characteristics (said with idea in my head of what that is)

    I am most intrigued about possible variations in quantity and types of condensation nuclei and if there is difference (for snow precipitation ) between the types. Is a speck of airborne bacteria, different from a sand speck, different from a cosmic ray ionization induced speck, different form a carbon soot speck, different from a spore speck, etc. in its snow making potential? if so, the drivers of specific speck type concentration variations might be an interesting course of study.

    It also might turn out that this study was already done, and documented in that peer reviewed song about the the rain in spain, the plains and the drains? Maine might have been involved also.

  80. Garacka says:

    …(said with NO idea in my head of what that is)

  81. _Jim says:


    R. Gates (11:28:30) :

    Some of you should put your political blinders aside, and really understand the science behind this. Greater snowfall at Crested Butte could actually PROVE global warming (though I don’t think it’s actually relevant at all).

    Further slight narrowing of the LWIR iris (bracketed either side by WATER VAPOR absorption anyway) does what now?

    Ever heard of the atmospheric window at/near 10 um?

    .
    .

  82. Dennis Wingo says:

    Here is another measurement for you, from the Sierra Nevada mountains at Mammoth Mountain.

    It only goes back to 1968.

    http://www.mammothmountain.com/MyMammoth/

    There is a stream gauge at Yosemite that should give some good numbers on the western slopes of the Sierra.

  83. Leo G says:

    KPO – {{Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here, we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change}}

    So if this is added to the results of the paper about 1C outgassing 7.7ppm of CO2, which which I believe some smart person showed equaled about 1C less positive forcing, then combine with above quote of 30%, again about 1C, does this not bring total CO2 positive forcing to about 1C per doubling?

  84. R. Gates says:

    Pamela Gray:

    Really? Is that what you think I should do and study? Well thank you, but that sounds like what the local weatherman or woman might be interested in…maybe…if they’er not too busy messing with their hair or makeup…

    Far more important to climate change, and the central issue as to whether or not human activities are forcing global warming would be:

    Solar-terrestial connections
    Paleo Climate
    Greenhouse gas chemistry
    Cosmic ray variations and climate
    Atmospheric heat transport
    El Nino/La Nina cycles
    Strataspheric coolilng (very important)

    I’ll study these things, but Pamela Gray…thanks for your suggestions!

  85. Mark T says:

    I should point out that Colorado started getting snow very early this year, though it has not been as substantial as the past few years (other than the southern mountains). In fact, Colorado Springs got its first snow on the last day of summer (was not the record, however), and we probably have had between 20 and 30 days of snow this year already (just not much each snow).

    That Wolf Creek has a 114 inch base really doesn’t mean much since that’s packed down from the whole year and they make snow there now, too. That they got seven feet of snow just last week, however, and have already gotten 273″ this year is significant.

    Mark

  86. Andrew Parker says:

    Steve Goddard (09:58:24) :

    Spring snowpack is still important because much of the losses during winter are not due to melting but due to sublimation.

    Water management in the West is very complex. The word “normal” is not really appropriate when describing weather here. I have lived most of my life in the Salt Lake City area and I can’t remember any year being much like another.

  87. Brian G Valentine says:

    All N Hemispherical weather right now, at any altitude, appears to be most strongly influenced by the interaction of the PDO and NAO.

    Everything is consistent with that, but why didn’t the NOAA advertise this so people could prepare more effectively for the winter?

    D’Aleo (and me) are hugely “disappointed” (read: “angry”) about the US agencies that have become political machines.

    This is just what happened with Stalin’s “Farm Bureau” etc – the incapability of being objective just demolished the whole regime

  88. Lady in Red says:

    I like words. Words are important and – when you are fighting for the hearts, minds, and energy cost dollars of people who listen to and make decisions based upon “quickie slogans” – words are *really* important, then.

    Your post begins:

    “Both WUWT and Climate Audit had posts regarding the ridiculous WaPo story about snowfall being a result of climate change.”

    And the WaPo article itself is headlined:

    “Harsh winter a sign of climate change!”

    Well, duh?

    Climate change is what climate does. Don’t let the AGW folk co-opt the words “climate change” as secret code meaning “man-made global warming.”

    Just as they deny responsibility for the Time and Newsweek cover stories in the 1970’s predicting a coming ice age – It was all media hysteria; “real” scientists were publishing peer-reviewed papers predicting global warming instead…. – by allowing these weasel words to slip by unchallenged, we are allowing William Connelly to write a decade from now: “Well, no one was seriously thinking about global warming in 2010. See, it was all about climate *change*. And, yep, the climate’s still changing!”

    ..Lady in Red

    PS: Has anyone seen, written about, Annie Leonard’s piece on Cap and Trade? I like her “The Story of Stuff,” but, as a greenie who has swallowed the AGW hook bigtime, this is very interesting — and right on! AGW isn’t about saving the planet: it’s about Goldman Sachs making more money trading a Brand New Commodity!

    It’s here:
    http://www.storyofstuff.com/capandtrade/

  89. Charlie G says:

    Dubious statistical climate assertions aside, there is glaring inaccuracy in the NWF article. A caption in the graphic shows that the start location for the 2002 Iditarod Sled Dog Race was moved 200 miles north due to “lack of snow and encroaching development” and that the change “was made permanent in 2008.”

    The race’s ceremonial start is held in downtown Anchorage. The official restart (when the timed competition really begins) is held nearer the trailhead of the 1000+ mile course. The restart location has varied since the race’s origin in the early 1970’s but in general has been in or around Wasilla, Alaska, a community about 40 miles north of Anchorage recently made famous for political, not dog, races.

    In 2003 (not 2002), the race restart was relocated from the Wasilla area to Fairbanks (a distance of about 300 miles north, not 200) due to lack of snow. The race restart has returned to the Wasilla area every year since (and, it goes without saying, every year before). There is as much likelihood that the Anchorage based event would be interested in permanently relocating the race start to its rival city Fairbanks as the Tour de France would be in relocating its finish to Berlin.

    In 2008, the Iditarod officially moved the restart from Wasilla to Willow, Alaska, about 25 to 30 miles up the highway. As Willow is farther up the Susitna River Valley, farther from the variable coastal weather that buffets Cook Inlet, it consequently has a more reliable snow pack in March.

    The NWF has conveniently conflated the two issues to manufacture yet another dubious impact of unprecedented global warming. Imagine that!

  90. R Shearer says:

    Ah, nice topic!

    I just returned from the slopes (Eldora), where it was a pretty nice day and the snow is excellent. Eldora does a great job in its snowmaking. Even though the natural snowfall has not been much of late in this part of Colorado, the Eldora staff adapts to nature’s variability. I’m looking forward to late Feb/March when we tend to receive our biggest snowfalls.

    I agree with R. Gates on one point. Localized weather and events mean almost nothing in the long run. Of course it is the AGW proponents that will jump on any event out of the ordinary as proof of “climate change.” The problem is that weather is not climate change, but neither is variability. Even if 2010 is the warmest on record (which I doubt), this would not be proof of anything either. Climate is just as variable as weather. Nothing has happened to the climate in the last hundred years that hasn’t happend in the last two hundred.

    And I agree with Henry Chance, that the use of the term carbon by AGW proponents is ignorant. CO2 is the correct term.

  91. David Bailey says:

    I guess excess snow is anomalous weather if you compare it with the predictions of global warming – in other words, if the weather doesn’t follow the predictions of AGW, it is anomalous, and therefore does follow a prediction of AGW!

    There must be a logical flaw there somewhere :)

  92. KPO says:

    KPO (11:58:34) :
    Leo G (12:11:21) :
    I am no atmospheric scientist, but does this not raise the question of what causes water vapor levels to fluctuate and therefore influence temps? It also points to what everybody here has been saying all along – that atmospheric water vapor is a far more driving influence in temp changes than CO2. The paper is being discussed over at RC – it is interesting to see how they now appear to be a lot more subdued (so the science is not so settled)

  93. Mike D. says:

    Andrew Parker (12:20:11): The word “normal” is not really appropriate when describing weather…

    Oh Andrew, you have pushed my pet peeve button. You are 110% correct. The word “normal” should never be used, and yet it is used constantly. What is meant is the word “average” or “mean”, and those are weak, too. The “average” daily temperature, precip, etc. does not exist in reality, anymore than a baseball player whose batting average is .333 can possibly get a third of a hit.

    But NEVER normal!!!!! Guass spins in his grave like a top.

    Every weather report should include the average and the range, and call them that, and present the previous measurements graphically, and say so, and not be coy about it.

    As it stands, though, every day the weatherbabe tells me that today deviates from normal, ie. is abnormally deviant, like that weirdo in a trenchcoat near the playground. They do it for effect, because evidently Joe Shlub is so narcoticated that he needs electrodes hooked to his brain to jolt him awake.

    Yes, today DEVIAAAATES FROMMM NORRRRMALLLL!!!!!!!! with echo and reverb, like Boris Karloff in a cave.

    But there is no hope that weather reporting will ever adopt proper, scientific, statistical terminology. What would be the shock value in that? And shock sells. Excuse me while I weep over the dearth of rationality and go back to bed.

  94. Dave Wendt says:

    What virtually everyone seems to miss in this “weather is not climate” kerfuffle is that no one ever gets to experience “climate”. No matter where you choose to call home, all you’ll ever get to see is “weather”. Over any given year the temperature on the planet ranges -90 to-100 in the Antarctic to 120-130 or more in various desert climes. If the mean of that more than 200 degree range shifts a degree or two the weather in any particular place will most likely still spend most of its time well within the range that it always has. Indeed, recent trends seem to indicate that weather extremes are actually declining. There was a post on this here a while back, but I don’t have time to look it up. The last year is an almost perfect example of my point. The AMSU sat temps have been relentlessly at or above the 20 year avg. line since early last July, meanwhile most of the NH has been experiencing weather at the bottom of its normal range. Mr. Gates may indeed prove correct about this being a warm year, but so what? By all the metrics catastrophic weather is either flat or declining. Sea levels aren’t doing much of anything. If precipitation is increasing that would seem to be a good thing. Arctic sea ice may be declining, but I’ve yet to see a really cogent argument why we should be overly alarmed about that.
    What history is very clear about is, that when it comes to dealing with the hazards that weather presents,the best predictor of how well a human society will cope when faced with inevitable catastrophe is that society’s relative wealth. Given that, even if we were to stipulate to the worst case alarmist scenarios, diverting vast sums of the world’s finite financial resources to a mostly futile effort to avoid it would still guarantee much more misery and death than doing absolutely nothing.

  95. Phil M says:

    “The plural of anecdote is not data.”

    I hope this sentiment will be echoed here when the “weather is not climate” department makes its inevitable return, and folks begin piling on about how cool it has been in their area.

  96. Frank K. says:

    D. King (09:19:17) :

    From the NWF website

    “Oddball winter weather is yet another sign of how uncontrolled carbon pollution amounts to an unchecked experiment on people and nature,” said Dr. Amanda Staudt, climate scientist, National Wildlife Federation. …”

    But wait…there’s more!

    MORE EXTREME WAVES: GLOBAL WARMING’S WAKE UP CALL
    By National Wildlife Federation, August 2009, 16 pages.
    http://www.nwf.org/nwfwebadmin/binaryVault/8-25-09_NWF_PSR_Heatwaves.pdf

    “More extremely hot summer days are projected for every part of the country, details the report. ―Global warming is bringing more frequent and severe heat waves and the result will be serious for vulnerable populations said Dr. Amanda Staudt , climate scientist,
    National Wildlife Federation. ―That means air pollution in urban areas could get worse, bringing increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks. Children, the elderly, poor, and people of color are especially vulnerable to these effects.”

    So, you see, Dr. Staudt and the NWF have both bases covered. More cold = GLOBAL WARMING! More heat = GLOBAL WARMING!

  97. Brian G Valentine says:

    It is interesting to contemplate, that if a lot of people didn’t have sympathy for Al Gore losing the presidential election, then anyone making the statement “there is no observable evidence of a connection between CO2 in the air and the climate anywhere on Earth …”

    would be considered a “crank” for saying obvious and meaningless things

  98. Mike D. says:

    Gauss. As in the gaussian distribution, a parametic function of mathematics, a way to play with numbers, and not a map of reality. Nothing in nature is normal.

  99. Phil M says:

    For what it’s worth, I was also quite amused by this NWF assertion. I would remind readers that the NWF is an advocacy group, not a true scientific body, but in either case is entitled to their opinion, just like Anthony and everyone else here who is neither a climate scientist, or scientist of any kind for that matter.

    “I chose the Crested Butte, Colorado station because it is centrally located in the mountains (so is representative of a wide region)…”

    That unsubstantiated claim almost made my head explode (figuratively speaking). Furthermore, this entire “analysis” completely ignores changes and improvements to data collection methods in the field of snow monitoring/measurment, which have been substantial over the last 100 years. Lastly, without a verification of the data collection location and possible biases, how can one be certain these are “good” data?

    I only point this out because elsewhere on this website, Anthony and others have gone to some pains pointing out the importance of such things.

  100. Brian G Valentine says:

    No, Mike D.

    A Gaussian distribution is the mathematically demonstrated distribution of the INDETERMINATE errors in any collection of measurements.

    From this, accuracy of a “true value” of a quantity is estimated in terms of a probability.

    If that “true value” is the arithmetic mean, then the distribution is called “normal”

    That’s all it is

  101. Gail Combs says:

    R. Gates (10:50:45) :

    Steve Goddard:

    “I welcome it. We can all track the progress of how warm 2010 is here:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

    January has been remarkably warmer ….
    Let’s put it this way, if I were a betting person, I would bet there is far better than even odds chance that 2010 will be the warmest year globally on record. (as measured at sea level up to about 46.000 ft.)”

    If January is so warm how come I am looking at four inches of snow, for the second time this winter, here in central North Carolina? It is so blasted cold I am wearing a down parka!

  102. Michael Larkin says:

    O/T:

    There is something very odd indeed about the statement by the Information Commission on its investigation into “Climategate”, the leak of emails from East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. Gordon Smith, the deputy commissioner, confirms that the university’s refusal to answer legitimate inquiries made in 2007 and 2008 was an offence under S.77 of the Information Act. But he goes on to claim that the Commission is powerless to bring charges, thanks to a loophole in the law – “because the legislation requires action within six months of the offence taking place”.

    Careful examination of the Act, however, shows that it says nothing whatever about a time limit. The Commission appears to be trying to confuse this with a provision of the Magistrates Act, that charges for an offence cannot be brought more than six months after it has been drawn to the authorities’ attention – not after it was committed. In this case, the Commission only became aware of the offence two months ago when the emails were leaked – showing that the small group of British and American scientists at the top of the IPCC were discussing with each other and with the university ways to break the law, not least by destroying evidence, an offence in itself.

  103. Roger Knights says:

    R. Gates (09:48:41) :

    unless there is a major volcanic eruption this year, 2010 will most likely be the warmest year on record.

    Wanna bet? Skeptics on Intrade are laying 2 to 1 odds that you’re wrong. https://www.Intrade.com (Click Climate & Weather , under Markets.)

  104. Phil M says:

    Steve Goddard (09:58:24) :

    ” ‘Spring snowpack’ is a favorite worry of AGW types, but is not a particularly important concept any more – because of large reservoirs on the Colorado River which don’t care if the snow melted in May or June.”

    Were you speaking of the same Colorado River that not only suffers from pollution and salinity issues, but now also only occasionally reaches the ocean because of diversions and flow modifications?

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

    Or were you speaking of the western U.S. in general, where snow “provides 50 to 80 percent of the year’s water supply”? To say that the timing of snow melt is meaningless to water managers and other stakeholders in the western U.S. is most certainly incorrect.

    http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/factpub/aib536.html

    And some nice, juicy peer-reviewed papers for the technically inclined:

    http://wwa.colorado.edu/admin/announcement_files/2794-uploaded/announcement-2794-8629.pdf

    http://tenaya.ucsd.edu/~dettinge/swe_over_p_attribution.pdf

  105. Charlie A says:

    Hu McCulloch (10:54:16) says “What is ridiculous is not the suggestion that heavy snows and cold winters are due to “climate change,” but that they are due to global warming.”

    More ridiculous are claims that they are the result of _anthropogenic_ global warming. Even more ridiculous is that they are due to CO2-related AGW.

    It is amazing how many people, and scientists, slip back and forth without thinking between global warming and climate change; between climate change and human-induced climate change; and between human climate change from all sources and actions and climate change from anthropogenic CO2 and GHG.

    Some newpaper and TV journalists manage to jump all the way from any sign of weather or climate change all the way to “it’s due to the CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere”, with no evidence for the many steps of the chain in between.

  106. rbateman says:

    They cannot make up their minds which way to make a mountain out of a molehill.
    Carbon Oddball Weather is the new theory of screwy wabbit AGW.
    They get an F on their paper for having a COW.

  107. TerrySkinner says:

    I think the thing to bear in mind is if there is less snow it is a sign of Global Warming. But if there is more snow it is a sign of Global Warming. Of course snowfall might remain much the same in which case that is a sign of Global Warming.

    In addition we have to remember that more snow is bad. Less snow is also bad and much the same amount of snow is bad as well. We’ve got to do something about it.

    If there is more snow we have to reduce it. If there is less we have to increase it. If it stays the same then we have to do something to change it to stop the world coming to an end.

  108. DirkH says:

    “Phil M (13:17:03) :

    “The plural of anecdote is not data.”

    I hope this sentiment will be echoed here when the “weather is not climate” department makes its inevitable return, and folks begin piling on about how cool it has been in their area.”

    Hey! When anecdotal evidence is good enough for the IPCC, it’s good enough for us:

    “mercurior (13:49:23) :

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7111525/UN-climate-change-panel-based-claims-on-student-dissertation-and-magazine-article.html

  109. u.k.(us) says:

    R. Gates (09:48:41) :

    “In the final analysis of the proof or lack thereof of global warming, the snowpack levels at Crested Butte Colorado mean nothing.”
    ================
    well put, but then you just had to do some trolling, eh.

  110. Gail Combs says:

    R. Gates (11:28:30) :

    Some of you should put your political blinders aside, and really understand the science behind this. Greater snowfall at Crested Butte could actually PROVE global warming (though I don’t think it’s actually relevant at all).

    It also proves we are heading into an Ice Age with “warmer winters” and “cooler summers”

    Warmer winters allow for more snow to fall. As you stated when the atmosphere is warmer it has a greater ability to hold water vapor and therefore more snow is produced. But it is the cooler summers that let that additional snow and ice to accumulate.

    So far here in NC we had a very cool summer in 2009 ( 4F below normal for the highs) and a snowy winter – rather unusual for recent times.

  111. Varco says:

    Off topic, but apparently the Stern report was ‘changed’ after pubishing because of dodgy data dources….
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7111618/Stern-report-was-changed-after-being-published.html

  112. Phil M says:

    R Shearer (13:02:08) :

    “And I agree with Henry Chance, that the use of the term carbon by AGW proponents is ignorant. CO2 is the correct term.”

    Depending on the context, carbon dioxide may indeed be the appropriate term. But other GHG contain carbon, e.g. methane. So one could correctly refer to those gases as “carbon” for brevity’s sake.

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

  113. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Gail Combs (13:42:49) :
    R. Gates (10:50:45) :
    Steve Goddard:
    “If January is so warm how come I am looking at four inches of snow, for the second time this winter, here in central North Carolina? It is so blasted cold I am wearing a down parka!”
    _________________
    It’s just a local blip, ignore it and it will go away:-)

    Isn’t “weather” a local phenom? If the snow pack here and there really is being reduced, doen’t that mean the difference will probably show up somewhere else, like North Carloina? Wouldn’t we expect to see less of something here and more of something there if climate is changing? Ok? Now which way is the change moving? Cooler or not?

  114. WilhelmD says:

    “Dr. Amanda Staudt provides scientific expertise for the National Wildlife Federation’s activities on global warming. Prior to joining NWF, Dr. Staudt directed the National Academies of Science Climate Research Committee and helped author more than a dozen reports on topics including the U.S. strategy for supporting climate change research, radiative forcing of climate, past records of surface temperature, and practices for effective global change assessments.” http://bit.ly/aFipwj

    “We are nearing the end of a minimum in the 11-year solar cycle during which the Earth is receiving slightly less heat from the Sun,” Amanda Staudt… http://bit.ly/chBys7

    “If it seems like we’re getting more heavy storms, it’s because we are. Warmer air simply can hold more moisture, so heavier precipitation is expected in the years to come,” she said during a national teleconference… http://bit.ly/9OfzxS

    “The big picture is that global warming is putting hurricanes on steroids.” http://bit.ly/9HuedQ

    “The massive wildfires raging in California this summer are symptomatic of a trend toward more fires burning larger areas in the Western United States over the past few decades,” said Dr. Amanda Staudt, climate scientist, National Wildlife Federation. “Global warming can explain part of this trend,” Dr. Staudt said, “because it is feeding longer fire seasons, drier conditions, and more lightning”… http://bit.ly/9qz6YU

    The frequency of torrential rainstorms in the Midwest has jumped 20 percent since the late 1960s, according to Amanda Staudt… http://bit.ly/9vBCci

  115. Peter Plail says:

    Excuse me while I interrupt your attempt to re-educate the stubborn Mr/Ms Gates, but I think you may be interested in Christopher Booker’s take on the excuses as to why there can be no prosecution of the miscreants at the UEA.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7113552/Climategate-confusion-over-the-law-in-email-case.html

    Could this be the start of Climategate-gate?

  116. Pamela Gray says:

    R. Gates, your warming is buried in weather pattern variations. If you choose not to study the how and why of weather pattern variations, you will know nothing about your warming. A scientist worth a damn studies and understands the basics first and foremost. Hansen has not, based on what he has published so far. He has studied what you think should be studied, thus making the same basic science mistake you apparently are willing to do.

    In my career, I had to extract synaptic brainstem responses from the general cacophony of pseudo-random electric synaptic signals one can pick up via electrodes on the surface of the skin covering your head. To do that, I had to understand, at a critical level, the cacophonic noise.

    In picking out a warming signal from the cacophony of weather pattern variation, which is not randomly balanced, you must do the same. That you choose not to, simply means that your pomposity, which dripped from every word of your post, will trip you up, mark my words young man.

  117. Pamela Gray says:

    And at the same time, keep my hair and makeup freshly in place. Idiot.

  118. Hu McCulloch says:

    RE Mark T 12:23;18 1/30,

    That Wolf Creek has a 114 inch base really doesn’t mean much since that’s packed down from the whole year and they make snow there now, too. That they got seven feet of snow just last week, however, and have already gotten 273″ this year is significant.

    Ahem, please check out the legendary C. W. McCall, “Ballad of Wolf Creek Pass,”
    http://www.24listen.com/xC_onLPc-0E/c.-w.-mccall-wolf-creek-pass/

  119. Roger Knights says:

    R. Gates (10:50:45) :

    We can all track the progress of how warm 2010 is here:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

    Intrade uses the GISS data, which is updated monthly here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    January has been remarkably warmer and with the La Nina of earlier in year of 2009 and the solar minimum now behind us, and CO2 and methane now at record levels, there is nothing preventing 2010 from really cooking (short of, as I said previously, a major volcanic eruption of the level of Pinatubo in 1991.)

    Let’s put it this way, if I were a betting person, I would bet there is far better than even odds chance that 2010 will be the warmest year globally on record. (as measured at sea level up to about 46.000 ft.)

    R. Gates (11:13:01) :

    I placed my claim and stand firmly by it that unless there is a Mt. Pinatubo 1991 type eruption, it is likely that 2010 will be the warmest year globally on record, I’ve studied this for over 25 years ….

    So sock it to those know-nothings on Intrade! (Or alert your betting buddies to the opportunity.)

    R Gates:

    Far more important to climate change, and the central issue as to whether or not human activities are forcing global warming would be:

    Solar-terrestrial connections
    Paleo Climate
    Greenhouse gas chemistry
    Cosmic ray variations and climate
    Atmospheric heat transport
    El Nino/La Nina cycles
    Stratospheric cooling (very important)

    You left out multi-decadal oceanic oscillations (PDO, etc.)

  120. Bulldust says:

    In case it hasn’t been linked before, The Australian newspaper is running with the story on the non-peer reviewed references in the IPCC documentation:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/dont-trust-the-weathermans-forecasts/story-e6frg6zo-1225824634542

  121. wayne says:

    See:
    http://arcweb.natice.noaa.gov/dailyproduct.web/daily_launch.htm
    Appears you can now walk from Norway to Denmark using Google Earth or Silverlight.

    Also using the Silverlight image which gives totals:
    14,026,430 km2 (January 30, 2010) for > 8/10 extent
    whereas IARC-JAXA shows ice extent at
    13,199,531 km2 (January 29, 2010)

  122. Phil M says:

    @ Mike D. (11:23:53)

    Followed your link; interesting analysis there. I agree with the comment someone made about the elevation of the sites you selected, however. That variable (elevation) needs to be accounted for before one could say there hasn’t been ANY change in SWE. Variability in SWE at low elevations might not have a dramatic impact on water management, but could have serious ecological implications in addition to impacts on recreation in the area. Also, though I know this wasn’t part of your analysis, it’s also possible that other climatic variables (e.g. temperature) could be affecting the timing and amount of runoff, which would also be crucial to water managers and stakeholders.

    Lastly, SNOTEL is operated by the NRCS. USACE and others assist with and supplement measurements, but by and large most work is done by NRCS employees.

  123. Anticlimactic says:

    Wonderful Glaciergate/Hitler spoof, probably mentioned elsewhere but really nicely done and worth watching :

    [Anthony says no more embedded Hitler spoofs. Post the URL and people can click on it if they want. This particular one has been around for a while. ~dbs, mod]

  124. Mike Ramsey says:

    There is a good article by Thomas Fuller on this story here:
    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m1d30-Global-warming-Fighting-on-too-many-fronts

    Anthony, you the man!

    Mike Ramsey

  125. Pamela Gray says:

    By the way, anecdotal events of cold/hot weather is what determines plant variety zonal designations. Plants grown for a certain climate zone have to withstand the very anecdotes mentioned here. So I disagree. A series of extreme anecdotal weather events, whether spread apart of sequential, can indeed be data used in climate-related plant development.

  126. Veronica (England) says:

    I think the plural of anecdote is probably consensus.

  127. DirkH says:

    “Varco (15:02:32) :

    Off topic, but apparently the Stern report was ‘changed’ after pubishing because of dodgy data dources….
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7111618/Stern-report-was-changed-after-being-published.html

    So the telegraph needs only one week to read WUWT and put up it’s own take of events.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/24/the-purge-continues/

    At least they did notice it.

  128. Smokey says:

    Phil M (15:04:33) :

    “…other GHG contain carbon, e.g. methane. So one could correctly refer to those gases as ‘carbon’ for brevity’s sake.”

    Really? Polliwogs and soot and people contain carbon too, but we don’t refer to them as ‘carbon’ for brevity’s sake.

    Face it, it’s a scientifically illiterate term for carbon dioxide, which naturally appeals to people like Al Gore and other demonizers of that harmless and beneficial trace gas.

    And I don’t care what Wikipedia says about it.

  129. Ric Werme says:

    Mike D. (13:19:02) :

    > Gauss. As in the gaussian distribution, a parametic function of mathematics, a way to play with numbers, and not a map of reality. Nothing in nature is normal.

    Well, except that “normal” has multiple definitions. One is for the “normal force” – the component, perpendicular to the surface of contact, of the contact force exerted by, for example, the surface of a floor or wall, on an object, preventing the object from entering the floor or wall. (I wouldn’t have written it that way but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_force did.)

    The weight of a duck sitting on a frozen pond equals the normal force between duck and ice. Not only is it normal, it’s perfectly natural! Except today, the air temperature was about 10F (about -10C) (Okay, nitpickers, it was between 10F and and -10C!) and the ducks were in the water because it was warmer there. That’s not normal, and since people feed the ducks on the river bank, not very natural either.

    ——–

    Gail Combs (13:42:49) :

    If January is so warm how come I am looking at four inches of snow, for the second time this winter, here in central North Carolina? It is so blasted cold I am wearing a down parka!

    At least Joe D’Aleo warned this would happen, though I didn’t expect the storm track to work its way so far south. It was a gorgeous day up here in New Hampshire, bright sun, not as windy as yesterday. I only have 3″ of snow on the ground, which is a bit disappointing, but I’m glad to share, especially in this Winter of the Warmists’ Discontent.

  130. Brian G Valentine says:

    *BREAKING NEWS*: National Wildlife Federation found to be as reliable as WWF

    I’m shocked

  131. D. King says:

    Michael Larkin (14:17:54)
    …But he goes on to claim that the Commission is powerless to bring charges, thanks to a loophole in the law – “because the legislation requires action within six months of the offence taking place”.
    Careful examination of the Act, however, shows that it says nothing whatever about a time limit. The Commission appears to be trying to confuse this with a provision of the Magistrates Act, that charges for an offence cannot be brought more than six months after it has been drawn to the authorities’ attention – not after it was committed…

    If the people who prosecute offences, choose not to, the case goes away.
    Maybe there was a little pressure not to prosecute by someone influential.

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/prince

  132. Peter Plail says:

    wayne
    I see the Silverlite image includes the ice around the North Chinese ports as mentioned in an earlier post. That might explain the difference, as IARC-JAXA covers Arctic Ocean only.

  133. Smokey says:

    Veronica (England) (15:53:48) :

    “I think the plural of anecdote is probably consensus.”

    Wouldn’t it be more like a synonym?

  134. royfomr says:

    UK time 23:30. Entertainment channel BBC24. Location, central Scotland.
    Tomorrows headline in the Graundian will be that the UK climate change minister is declaring war on climate sceptics.
    This is a very important man. He has a very important brother. I think that they may be invertebrates. Millipedes? Dunno, they all look alike to me.
    As far as I understand they have the full backing of the UN.
    Resolution CO15?
    Not sure but I think it’s something to do with a WMD that’ll melt the Himalayas at 20:35. That may be ten to midnight though. It’s all very confusing!
    What’s even more confusing was that two blokes, on the BBC, said that the recent events strongly indicated that ‘sceptical’ opinion was correct.
    Whom should I believe?
    The Graundian so beloved of Gorgeonus Moonbeam?
    Environmental deities such as GreenWWFPetaPlanetWTF that will save my grand-pianos from premature mistuning for only £3 per month?
    Chitinous invertebrates armed with unarguable dossiers?
    The BBC?
    Should I go for the “None of the above” option and spoil my ballot-paper with “WUWT-Now that’ll do nicely!”
    PS -rearrange
    stone, back, millipede, crawl, your, under

  135. Phil M says:

    Smokey (16:02:37) :

    “Face it, it’s a scientifically illiterate term for carbon dioxide, which naturally appeals to people like Al Gore and other demonizers of that harmless and beneficial trace gas.”

    Obviously we disagree on semantics. But as long we’re getting technical, carbon dioxide is toxic to humans in high concentrations. More germane to your reply: anthropogenic carbon dioxide has been shown to raise the pH of things like rain and ocean water, which has all sorts of negative consequences for carbon – I mean – people. The argument could be made that you are using the term “harmless” incorrectly but, again, we’re digressing into semantics.

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

  136. Brian G Valentine says:

    “Toxic to people in high concentrations” – in the same way that a rope tied around someone’s neck and tightened is “toxic,” death is suffered the same way

    “Toxic” nooses

    “Toxic” neckties [some in fact are!]

  137. Smokey says:

    Phil M (16:22:01):

    “But as long we’re getting technical, carbon dioxide is toxic to humans in high concentrations.”

    So is oxygen. And water. And nitrogen. And penicillin. But we’re talking about a tiny trace gas, only 0.00038 of the atmosphere. If it was doubled and squared, you wouldn’t notice it.

    It’s Saturday evening & Mrs Smokey’s waiting to be taken out to dinner. You get the last word.

  138. wayne says:

    Peter Plail (16:09:56) :
    Good point. Now looking for explicit definitions on both. (To see if a certain latitude is their limiting factor or explict surrounding minor seas, interior bays and inlets are listed to include or exclude.)

  139. DirkH says:

    “Phil M (16:22:01) :
    [...]
    The argument could be made that you are using the term “harmless” incorrectly but, again, we’re digressing into semantics.”

    Yeah, our governments should keep us from staying indoors with closed windows! CO2 concentrations make you tired first, then kill you in your sleep! And even worse, every one of us constantly outgasses CO2!

    I could become a news editor… or maybe a snakeoil salesman… hmmm….

  140. rbateman says:

    Concering Oddball erratic Weather patterns:
    If we did have Global Warming, and things went erratic, we would be having a preponderance of warmer regions with randomly placed cold outliers. We do not have this.
    We have widespread N. Hemisphere colder regions with randomly placed warm outliers.
    So, that is why you have yet another colder plunge into the Deep South this year, Ice all over N. China, cruise ships stuck in ice, and people everywhere wanting to stuff the weather forecasts into Great Predictors of Climate Oddball Warming in unmentionable places.
    So, go ahead, keep it up, but don’t be surprised to be on the receiving end of teachable moments when walking around with a Kick Me sign.

  141. rbateman says:

    Smokey (16:31:32) :

    I have worked in places where the oxygen level was down to 19%. You just sweat a lot and get tired faster. You go back the next day with no ill effects.
    That’s 20000 ppm C02.
    It amazes me that some are whining about 385 ppm.

  142. Anticlimactic says:

    Moderator

    [Anthony says no more embedded Hitler spoofs. Post the URL and people can click on it if they want. This particular one has been around for a while. ~dbs, mod]

    I did post the URL, so I was surprised when the video appeared. it looks like ‘embed’ is coded on the YouTube entry, and this ‘Comment’ software obeyed! I plead innocence/ignorance.
    __________________________________
    Trying again :

    Wonderful Glaciergate/Hitler spoof on YouTube, probably mentioned elsewhere but really nicely done and worth watching if you have not seen it :

    It can be indirectly accessed via :
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/it-aint-over.html

  143. Steve Goddard says:

    Phil M,

    I have a homework assignment for you. Go to Lake Powell, pull out a bucket of water, and tell us what month, year and location it melted from.

  144. Scaryoldcortina says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/31/ed-miliband-climate-change-scepticism

    Looks like Ed Miliband (our esteemed UK secretary of state for Climate change) has decided that the Observer is a good place to write his own obituary.

    Looks like he’s nailed his colours to the mast despite the fact that the good ship global warming has sprung a serious leak and is sining fast.

    PS, it’s snowing again! The last lot hasn’t melted yet…

  145. royfomr says:

    Thank you, my bestest ever left-leaning pacifist newspaper, for supporting Eco-war.
    Yes, you were right to attack the US for ridding the world of an illiberal tyrant.
    Some say that Sadaam was bad but at least he wasn’t anti-UN!
    Sarcasm off.
    Global warming is not a political issue. Global politics is. The environment is not up for taxation. It is for preservation but if we fail, let it not be said that we didn’t try.
    However badly the science is distorted, let us recognise this.
    We. mostly. on the big things agree. It’s just that we get hung up on the details and then we make fools of each other!

  146. Phil M says:

    Smokey (16:31:32) :

    “So is oxygen. And water. And nitrogen. And penicillin. But we’re talking about a tiny trace gas, only 0.00038 of the atmosphere. If it was doubled and squared, you wouldn’t notice it.

    You seem to be giving me a moving target. If you had said oxygen or water was “harmless” I would have pointed out the ambiguity of your meaning in that context also. As a just pointed out, a measurable decrease in pH of rain and ocean water has already been documented as a result of increased carbon dioxide. So, in effect, we have all “noticed” it.

  147. Steve Goddard says:

    Phil M,

    Are you claiming that Crested Butte is not “centrally located in the mountains?” BTW if you want to criticize, you might want to quote the entire sentence in question.

    Crested Butte is the best site for this analysis because it has the most complete data set, and because of it’s geographical location. I looked at dozens of sites, but most had very incomplete records.

    The San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado would not be a good choice because they pick up excess moisture from the Pacific and tend to get very deep snow. The Front Range would not be a good choice because it is influenced by Great Plains weather and is in the rain shadow of the Rockies. Crested Butte on the other hand is in the central Elk Range and in the heart of ski country. Try not to “explode your head.”

  148. Mapou says:

    It should be a crime punishable by fine and imprisonment to knowingly promulgate false information for the purpose of obtaining donations from the public or grants from the government.

  149. Mike D. says:

    Phil M (15:38:47): @ Mike D. (11:23:53) it’s also possible that other climatic variables (e.g. temperature) could be affecting the timing and amount of runoff

    Anything is possible, Phil. I demonstrated that the snowpack has not changed. If you wish to posit some freaking minuscule magic climate tweak, then I suggest YOU test your freaking hypothesis using the scientific method.

    That’s the problem with Chicken Littles. They stare at brick walls and dream up imaginary catastrophes, and then fling them out as “science”. And when they are shot down by the use of real data, they squirm and worm around it by making up something new. Oh dear, my recreational experience might be impinged upon by an early snow melt, maybe, somehow, no one knows!!!!

    Tell you what, Phil. I vote to tax you and only you out of your house and home on the basis of your elaborate imagination. Then you can walk the streets carrying a sign that says The End Is Nigh, The Seas Are Going To Boil and lunch at the soup kitchen and sleep in the alley. Meanwhile the rest of us are not going to do one darn thing about your bizarre tales of doom, because we have already demonstrated that you are wrong on the major claims.

    Really wrong. So wrong that your side had to lie, cheat, and fabricate data to defend their unscientific claims. Your side proposes a catatstrophic future and then cherry picks a single tree as evidentiary support!!!!! That is not science. That is something else.

  150. rbateman says:

    Phil M (17:08:29) :

    If you breathe and atmosphere with 10x the current amount of C02, you still wouldn’t feel any difference. .38% is not noticeable.
    1%, maybe.
    2% yes.
    But not .038%: not a chance.
    If I pulled you out of a house with 4.0 % C02, you’d be up and walking in 1/2 an hour.
    If I pulled you out of a house with 0.4 % C0, and didn’t get you on oxygen and to the the hospital for a blood transfusion promptly, you’d be dead before morning.
    Don’t feel picked on, though, because both Lisa Jackson and the Administration wouldn’t get a First Aid card with such a glaring lack of basic understanding.

  151. W F Rowe says:

    The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data.’

  152. ron from Texas says:

    I live in far north Texas. In March 2006, we had one day that approached 100 F. In March 2008, we had two snow blizzards in one week, each dropping 6 to 8 inches. Both are kind of unsual for March. And you can’t really use either singular event as a model for future climate or weather. They should just get added into the average, as it were. This winter, we’ve had 3 snow storms, latest one last night, since the beginning of December, with the big one being the one in the first week of December. Kind of odd but not without precedent. The precedent of approximately 30-something years ago. As in, it seems we may have the same weather patterns and average temp, now, of say 1978.

    By the way, an average temp rise of a few degrees does not change the laws of physics. 32 F (0 C) is still the freezing/melting point. So, if the average winter temp of a place in Colorado is still below freezing, it can still snow. The reason for varying snow depths or presence is all about the moisture and the direction of the jet stream steering the moisture. And that has a lot to do with El Nino either adding to the US or subtracting from the US the amount of available water vapor in the air. As well as the amount of cosmic radiation around which the clouds form. And the amount of cosmic rays has very much to do with whether we have solar flares creating a magnetic shield around the Earth to block cosmic rays (less cloud cover and precipitation and negative feedback of clouds) or a lack of solar flares, less shield, more rays, more clouds and negative feedback, as in cooler temps. As proven experimentally and empirically by Svensmark.

    CO2 doesn’t mean squat.

  153. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Phil M (16:22:01) :
    “… anthropogenic carbon dioxide has been shown to raise the pH of things like rain and ocean water, which has all sorts of negative consequences…”

    Ah, that evil anthropogenic carbon dioxide, capable of wreaking harm beyond anything that benign, natural carbon dioxide is capable of. You are implying that naturally produced CO2 will NOT affect the pH of rainwater and oceans and that man’s 4% contribution to the CO2 budget will?

  154. Dusty says:

    I’m on my third try to get through the NWF’s story, but it’s so annoying to have to read this knowing it’s purpose is scientific in nature rather than a Reader’s Digest human interest story.

    It’s interesting to read that the NWF article was wrong about Colorado snow. My bone to pick is their assertion Great Lakes Ice Cover, or lack thereof, is causing more snow and, in particular, using the 2007 Blizzards in Western NY as evidence.

    Let’s start with their map, where they show they don’t know Western NY. The map points to south Buffalo — basically at the extreme west end of the state. The storm they cite occurred in the band centering around Oswego and Syracuse in the middle of the state. (Oswego is on the SE corner of Lake Ontario and Syracuse to the south and a little east of it.)

    Now for some conditions. Lake effect here either occurs off Lake Ontario or Lake Erie. Lake Ontario never freezes over. Lake Erie often (to consistently) freezes over. We are not significantly affected by Lake Effect from the other lakes (though Lake Effect from the others contributes via the general weather patterns) because it gets dumped before the weather front gets here.

    As for our two lakes, Buffalo and the Southern Tier/PA border bears the brunt of Erie Effect and that Effect tails off by Syracuse. Buffalo also tends to avoid the Ontario Effect but the Ontario Effect can hit all points along the Ontario shore and regions east and south as the wind direction chooses, all the way to the PA border.

    About that 2007 Blizzard. The bottom line is Lake Erie was frozen over at the time. Lake Ontario, which never freezes, was, of course, not frozen over. The blizzard that dumped the 10 feet of snow on Owsego and Syracuse, was two storms. The first was out of Rockies which blasted the Plains, Midwest and the northern half of the East Coast. The second following storm came out of Canada creating a Lake Ontario Lake Effect snow because … Ontario never freezes over.

    Here in Western NY, Lake Effect Blizzards are not unusual, often dumping three or more feet of snow somewhere along the Lake during a season. The large blizzards, like that of 2007 are not frequent but we’ve had them before. Buffalo was hit in 1977 with a nasty blizzard that caused drifts of 25 feet with a new snow drop of about 17″. How, you might ask, could that happen? The major contribution was the 3 to 4 feet of powdery snow that had accumulated on, again, a Frozen Lake Erie.

    Here’s the wiki on the 2007 Blizzard:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard_of_2007

    Here’s the Wiki on the 1977 Blizzard:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blizzard_of_1977

    I won’t bore you folks with summaries of the Blizzards of 1966 — my favorite — or 1993. Suffice it to say, big blizzards here are not odd-ball nor have they changed in kind or intensity because of ‘global warming’.

  155. Phil M says:

    Steve Goddard (17:17:33) :

    “Are you claiming that Crested Butte is not “centrally located in the mountains?”

    I’m claiming that selecting one site, however you define “centrally located”, and then working from the assumption that you are accurately representing some much larger geographical area is a pretty big leap. It certainly isn’t representative of the entire western U.S., which relies almost exclusively on snow pack to manage water supplies, as I mentioned.

    Furthermore, as I mentioned, the author seems completely unconcerned about potential biases introduced over the 100 year period of record as a result of changes in equipment, procedure, or site conditions. This seems to be a significant departure from what I perceived to be the consensus view on this website regarding data collection protocols. My apologies for the head explosion comment; that was a tad overboard.

  156. Phil M says:

    Mike D. (17:49:30) :

    I certainly didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers. I actually thought it was a very interesting analysis, but you seem to take the criticism fairly seriously. Best of luck with future W.I.S.E. endeavors.

  157. Phil M says:

    Robert E. Phelan (19:04:56) :

    “Ah, that evil anthropogenic carbon dioxide, capable of wreaking harm beyond anything that benign, natural carbon dioxide is capable of. You are implying that naturally produced CO2 will NOT affect the pH of rainwater and oceans and that man’s 4% contribution to the CO2 budget will?”

    I would be the last person to ascribe moral capacity to carbon dioxide. But clearly, elevated levels of carbon dioxide, anthropogenic or not, can have impacts on ecosystems everywhere. Acidification of rain and oceans and the resulting impacts on ecosystems have been well documented. Just because carbon dioxide levels vary naturally doesn’t mean that rapid increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide as a result of anthropogenic emissions will have no effect and should be ignored. And again, the anthropogenic impact on atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is well documented; this is not speculation on my part.

    If more atmospheric carbon dioxide = lower pH of rain/oceans, why should one consider anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions harmless?

  158. Phil M says:

    rbateman (17:57:56) :

    I understand your points about the toxicity of carbon dioxide to humans. My concerns as an environmental scientist are the indirect effects of carbon dioxide. e.g. acidification of rain and oceans and the subsequent effects on various ecosystems.

  159. Phil M says:

    I seemed to have created some confusion with an earlier remark regarding the toxicity of carbon dioxide to humans. Let me clarify:

    I am now, and always have been, aware that atmospheric carbon dioxide will never approach levels toxic to humans. I was having an exchange with Smokey, and I was attempting to make a point regarding over-technical interpretations of arguments made here. I very clearly failed in that attempt, as now that comment seems to be a focus of a few commentators and the subject of highly-technical interpretation.

    My bad.

  160. Phil M says:

    @Steve Goddard (17:17:33)

    Bureau of Rec report on the water supply situation for Lakes Mead and Powell, ca. 2004.

    http://www.swhydro.arizona.edu/archive/V4_N2/feature1.pdf

  161. Andrew Parker says:

    Phil M (14:21:51) :

    There are more variables than Spring snowpack that affect the water year. A good snowpack is no guarantee that water will be available and lower than “normal” snowpack does not necessarily guarantee water shortages.

    Lake Powell would normaly provide a significant buffer for prolonged drought, however, the mandatory Spring release of water every year to improve habitat for the humpback chub have somewhat neutralized that advantage. I am curious to know if those releases are adjusted to yearly fluctuations in the snowmelt?

  162. zunedita373 says:

    “Note – the raw data is incorrect for 1910, 1919, and 1924 due to a significant number of missing measurements, so I substituted a calculated annual value based on the trend line. This probably overestimates the snowfall for 1919 and 1924, and is thus conservative.”

    Probably overestimates? NOW who’s practicing junk science?

  163. Robert E says:

    Anthony I noticed that the link you supplied to the msnbc article is now broken. But the article is still available at Washington Post (with a source correction):

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/28/AR2010012800041.html

    Also the full NWF-report can be found at:

    http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/News-by-Topic/Global-Warming/2010/01-28-10-Global-Warming-Bringing-More-Oddball-Winter-Weather.aspx

  164. Kevin Kilty says:

    …and that year over year variability has always been extremely high.

    This is at least one reason that global warming, having a magnitude of about 1 degree C per hundred years, is largely a non-issue.

    The winter of 1976-1977 in Utah was pretty dry and water supplies looked deficient for the next decade according to the experts. They claimed it would take a decade or more of normal precipitation to get reservoirs back to normal storage. Then came the rain and wet snow of the 1977-1978 winter. By spring these experts were releasing water from reservoirs threatening to overtop the dams.

    Variability, and especially regional variability, is the great weather threat — always has been, always will be.

  165. Phil M says:

    Phil M (14:21:51) :

    “There are more variables than Spring snowpack that affect the water year. A good snowpack is no guarantee that water will be available and lower than “normal” snowpack does not necessarily guarantee water shortages.

    Lake Powell would normaly provide a significant buffer for prolonged drought, however, the mandatory Spring release of water every year to improve habitat for the humpback chub have somewhat neutralized that advantage. I am curious to know if those releases are adjusted to yearly fluctuations in the snowmelt?”

    This is precisely the point I was trying to make. That is, that the timing of the snow melt is a extremely important. That simply looking at a specific metric (e.g. % of average SWE, which is very widely used) and concluding that no changes or conflicts exist is inappropriate. I don’t know specifics regarding Lakes Mead or Powell, but in other areas of the West, releases must also be timed to meet minimum flow requirements for wildlife. The considerations for reservoir management go far beyond direct human uses.

    There are fiscal interests as well. Energy companies regularly monitor information regarding the amount and timing of snow melt for the purposes of pricing hydroelectric power. Numerous overlapping interests, the multi-million dollar fishing and recreation industries, for example, make water management in the West infinitely more complex than a simple “water in minus water out” approach.

    One of my favorite sayings out West: “Whiskey’s for drinkin’, water’s for fightin’”.

  166. Kevin Kilty says:

    zunedita373 (02:20:00) :

    “Note – the raw data is incorrect for 1910, 1919, and 1924 due to a significant number of missing measurements, so I substituted a calculated annual value based on the trend line. This probably overestimates the snowfall for 1919 and 1924, and is thus conservative.”

    Probably overestimates? NOW who’s practicing junk science?

    The author is analyzing claims of diminishing snowfall. Consequently ,using estimates on the high side to replace missing data grants benefit of doubt to the claim, and is standard practice for a fair analysis — i.e. conservative.

  167. Pamela Gray says:

    Phil M, take a look at what leaf fall and other sources of natural debri falling into streams do to ph. The variability in ph from natural sources on a global scale FAR outweighs and overwhelms what rain water does as it captures atmospheric CO2 and dribbles it into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Acidification by rain? Check your understanding. It isn’t the CO2 in the air what does it.

  168. pat says:

    Shall we review one more time the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

    “The Second Law of Thermodynamics – Heat flows naturally from a hot body to a cooler one, never in the opposite direction. Indeed, if the opposite were possible the rough scientists’ problems would be over and they would be able to freeze water simply by allowing heat to flow out of it into the warm atmosphere.”

  169. Kevin Kilty says:

    Phil M (16:22:01) :
    … anthropogenic carbon dioxide has been shown to raise the pH of things like rain and ocean water, which has all sorts of negative consequences….

    Indeed, CO2 dissolved in water does make it acidic. But the major components of acid rain on land are SO2 and NOx. I don’t know of any trend that one can pin on CO2 definitively.

    I had always understood that CO2 in rainwater on land ends up weathering rock and thereby carrying lots of alkalinity to the ocean as bicarbonate. In fact there was a time that people wondered how the ocean could maintain a very slight basic pH in the face of the onslaught of bicarbonate from rivers.

    Now CO2 in rainwater over the oceans might become the major source of surface acidification, but isn’t the science of how this affects oceanic life pretty murky?

  170. Richard Sharpe says:

    Pamela Gray (08:33:30) said:

    Phil M, take a look at what leaf fall and other sources of natural debri falling into streams do to ph. The variability in ph from natural sources on a global scale FAR outweighs and overwhelms what rain water does as it captures atmospheric CO2 and dribbles it into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Acidification by rain? Check your understanding. It isn’t the CO2 in the air what does it.

    And in any event, as I said on that other thread where you provided evidence that the IPCC even quotes magazines that play fast and loose with the truth,

    I suspect that the biosphere is CO2 constrained and that there would be a higher level of activity by organisms large and small if there was more CO2 in the atmosphere (and thus the hydrosphere).

  171. Pamela Gray says:

    Guess what water management has done to fish habitat in Wallowa County? Destroyed it. Forcing water into the three main rivers instead of allowing overflow water access into unscreened streams and irrigation gates has caused snowmelt surges to scour out what egg beds we have in our rivers.

    When I was a kid we used to pitch salmon and steelhead out of our field ditches (which ran all year long) with shovels. Now they are forced to try to lay their eggs in the rivers. The valley here used to be covered with meandering streams, irrigation ditches, and swamps. But forcing these natural and man-made water ways to shut down or screen out fish is one of the reasons why we don’t have the spawning numbers we used to see. Keeping river flow high to protect fish habitat is exactly the wrong thing to have done.

  172. DirkH says:

    “Pamela Gray (08:33:30) :

    Phil M, take a look at what leaf fall and other sources of natural debri falling into streams do to ph. The variability in ph from natural sources on a global scale FAR outweighs and overwhelms what rain water does as it captures atmospheric CO2 and dribbles it into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans.”

    Pamela, what’s your position on the IPCC’s numbers that say that the oceans pH dropped by 0.1, in the last 250 years or so, from about 8.2 to 8.1? Phil pointed out on a different thread that this corresponds to a drop of H ions by 30% and he’s right about that. Now that’s quite a lot. Or do you say the IPCC’s numbers are bunkum?

  173. Kilgoretrout says:

    News from Stockholm by the official weather agency:

    “Not a January day over zero.
    January draws to a end and we can see that we in the south had the coldest January since 1987, on the north one needs only go back a few years to find a colder January. But the most spectacular is probably the lack of any larger mild air intrusion. This makes that in Stockholm in a long series of measurements (starting 1756) are not noted any day over 0 degrees, and it has not happened since 1829 for the month of January.”

    That’s a while since!

    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=sv&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.smhi.se%2Fvadret%2Fvadret-i-sverige%2FVaderoversikt-Sverige-meteorologens-kommentar&sl=sv&tl=en

  174. joe says:

    This is off topic. I was just watching the weather channel and they reported about 3/4 of continental U.S. is covered in snow.

  175. Phil M says:

    DirkH (09:04:33) :

    “Pamela, what’s your position on the IPCC’s numbers that say that the oceans pH dropped by 0.1, in the last 250 years or so, from about 8.2 to 8.1? Phil pointed out on a different thread that this corresponds to a drop of H ions by 30% and he’s right about that. Now that’s quite a lot. Or do you say the IPCC’s numbers are bunkum?”

    Just to clarify, I think that was a different Phil. I’m not familiar with those numbers.

  176. Phil M says:

    Pamela Gray (08:33:30) :

    “Phil M, take a look at what leaf fall and other sources of natural debri falling into streams do to ph. The variability in ph from natural sources on a global scale FAR outweighs and overwhelms what rain water does as it captures atmospheric CO2 and dribbles it into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. Acidification by rain? Check your understanding. It isn’t the CO2 in the air what does it.”

    I didn’t mean to imply that I agree with all water management practices. I was pointing out that the socioeconomic and scientific issues surrounding snowfall and, by extension, water management are very complex.

    Too complex, for example, to pick a single snow monitoring station in the central Rockies and draw conclusions about the region, much less the nation, much less the planet.

    So complex, for example, that even well meaning, highly trained, environmentally conscious water managers can fall victim to the Law of Unintended Consequences, which has affected too many areas of the world to mention.

    BTW, the Wallowa Mountains are one of my favorite places in the world.

  177. DirkH says:

    “Phil M (11:40:05) :
    [...]
    Just to clarify, I think that was a different Phil. ”

    Oops, sorry. It was here:
    Phil. (21:47:30) :
    on
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/tips-and-notes-to-wuwt/

  178. Steve Goddard says:

    Phil M.,

    Thanks for the Lake Powell report link. Since that report came out predicting Lake Powell’s doom, the amount of water in the lake has increased by 65%.

  179. Phil M says:

    Kevin Kilty (08:36:47) :

    “Indeed, CO2 dissolved in water does make it acidic. But the major components of acid rain on land are SO2 and NOx. I don’t know of any trend that one can pin on CO2 definitively.”

    Some very good points there. It’s actually calcium carbonate that is found in rock and neutralizes acidity in PPT, but you correctly point out that land masses, and the coincident aquatic ecosystems, should have some resilience to increasing acidity in PPT.

    Of course, this isn’t particularly reassuring for oceans, which would presumably absorb the bulk of the PPT, without the benefit of calcium carbonate. Looks like I have some reading to do…

  180. Steve Goddard says:

    Phil M,

    Corals and shellfish evolved during the Cambrian Era when atmospheric CO2 levels were 20X higher than the present. The ocean acidity argument is just another AGW ruse.

  181. Phil M says:

    Steve Goddard (18:32:36) :

    “Corals and shellfish evolved during the Cambrian Era when atmospheric CO2 levels were 20X higher than the present. The ocean acidity argument is just another AGW ruse.”

    The Cambrian ended 488 million years ago. I would argue that corals and shellfish and other ecosystems have evolved quite a bit since then in response to changes in atmospheric and marine biogeochemistry. i.e. are now sensitive to rapid changes in pH.

  182. Phil M says:

    Steve Goddard (12:04:42) :

    “Thanks for the Lake Powell report link. Since that report came out predicting Lake Powell’s doom, the amount of water in the lake has increased by 65%.”

    You’re quite welcome. I was more interested in the fact that water levels were the lowest they had been in ~35 years, despite the data you argued showed no changes to snowpack for the central Rockies.

  183. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    R. Gates,

    Nice theories, too bad they have all been throroughly debunked. Thanks for revisiting them for us though, provided a nice laugh!

  184. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Phil M.

    What would you describe as a “rapid change in pH?” Has such a change occurred? If so, has that change been relatively localized, or is it ocean-wide?

    Further, if such a change has occurred, have you seen any studies which show concrete evidence of detriment to coral?

  185. Phil M says:

    PeterB in Indianapolis (10:09:22) :

    I don’t believe corals are specifically mentioned in these articles, but they do make mention of ecosystem impacts. As these papers demonstrate, “rapid” is used in a geologic/evolutionary context. (My apologies for only providing citations. While I have access to PDF versions of these articles, my lack of understanding of copyright laws makes me wary of distributing them online).

    Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 System in the Oceans
    Richard A. Feely, Christopher L. Sabine, Kitack Lee, Will Berelson, Joanie Kleypas, Victoria J. Fabry, and Frank J. Millero (16 July 2004)
    Science 305 (5682), 362. [DOI: 10.1126/science.1097329]

    The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2
    Christopher L. Sabine, Richard A. Feely, Nicolas Gruber, Robert M. Key, Kitack Lee, John L. Bullister, Rik Wanninkhof, C. S. Wong, Douglas W. R. Wallace, Bronte Tilbrook, Frank J. Millero, Tsung-Hung Peng, Alexander Kozyr, Tsueno Ono, and Aida F. Rios (16 July 2004)
    Science 305 (5682), 367. [DOI: 10.1126/science.1097403]

    And in the interest of fairness, here’s a perspectives piece that proposes (albeit cautiously) a negative climate change feedback resulting from dissolution of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in oceans. I think this is available for free. Very interesting stuff:

    The Fate of Industrial Carbon Dioxide
    Taro Takahashi (16 July 2004)
    Science 305 (5682), 352. [DOI: 10.1126/science.1100602]

  186. Phil M says:

    And some review papers which can connect with you with peer-reviewed research into all aspects of the carbon dioxide/ocean pH issues:

    Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem
    Scott C. Doney, Victoria J. Fabry, Richard A. Feely, Joan A. Kleypas
    Annual Review of Marine Science, January 2009, Vol. 1, Pages 169-192
    (doi: 10.1146/annurev.marine.010908.163834)

    On the Increasing Vulnerability of the World Ocean to Multiple Stresses
    Edward L. Miles
    Annual Review of Environment and Resources, November 2009, Vol. 34, Pages 17-41
    (doi: 10.1146/annurev.environ.33.041707.110117)

  187. D. Patterson says:

    Phil M (06:48:39) :

    Steve Goddard (18:32:36) :

    “Corals and shellfish evolved during the Cambrian Era when atmospheric CO2 levels were 20X higher than the present. The ocean acidity argument is just another AGW ruse.”

    The Cambrian ended 488 million years ago. I would argue that corals and shellfish and other ecosystems have evolved quite a bit since then in response to changes in atmospheric and marine biogeochemistry. i.e. are now sensitive to rapid changes in pH.

    You are flaunting your ignorance again with such guesses. Most of the genera of mollusk existing in the Cambrian are still with us today, and many of those species still survive and/or prosper in seawater and/or freshwater with an acidity of up to ph5. Consequently, you are flogging postmodern science fairy tales in lieu of science.

  188. Brian G Valentine says:

    Note to somebody writing about “ocean acidification”:

    Does everybody know that the salt of a weak acid in solution [with neutral cation] is basic in solution?

    Does everyone know that the equilibrium between carbonate and bicarbonate in solution is a buffer (resits changes in pH)?

    Would anyone believe there is more than enough CALCIUM in the ocean alone to neutralize all the CO2 that is in the air?

    And THEN we start with the alkali and alkaline earth metals …

    This one floors me completely, it is bizarre to say the least

  189. John van Popta says:

    funny how the link at MSNBC has been taken down!

    jvp

  190. Steve Goddard says:

    Phil M,

    The chemistry of Aragonite shells hasn’t changed – besides which Monterey Bay shows no change in ocean pH.
    http://sanctuarymonitoring.org/regional_docs/monitoring_projects/100240_167.pdf

  191. Phil M says:

    D. Patterson (05:04:05) :

    “You are flaunting your ignorance again with such guesses. Most of the genera of mollusk existing in the Cambrian are still with us today, and many of those species still survive and/or prosper in seawater and/or freshwater with an acidity of up to ph5. Consequently, you are flogging postmodern science fairy tales in lieu of science.”

    As I posited earlier, species resiliant to a pH of 5 might still be sensitive to pH 4.9. Would they not? Furthermore, one should also take into consideration the numerous species sensitive to much less acidic and precipitous changes in pH.

    In any case, judging by the vitriol in your last post, I have deduced that you not only feel very passionately about the topic, but have an extensive background in the field of global biogeochemistry. Please let me know if you have plans on plans on publishing comments to the literature I cited earlier. I have no doubt AAAS would take great interest in your work. All the best.

  192. Phil M says:

    Steve Goddard (10:44:47) :

    “The chemistry of Aragonite shells hasn’t changed – besides which Monterey Bay shows no change in ocean pH.”

    Is there some reason to believe that Monterrey Bay is representative of all oceanic conditions?

  193. Phil M says:

    Brian G Valentine (07:42:52) :

    “Would anyone believe there is more than enough CALCIUM in the ocean alone to neutralize all the CO2 that is in the air?”

    I’ve read this also. As one of the papers I cited points out, only a limited amount of that calcium is close enough to the surface to buffer changes in acidity. I believe this is a function of the “layering” of ocean water due to temperature differences. I would suggest reading the numerous peer-reviewed articles that have been published, that make various arguments regarding ocean acidification, for a more detailed explanation, as this conversation has devolved to repetative back-and-forths and personal affronts.

  194. Brian G Valentine says:

    I have read them, and the phenomenon of plain old diffusion in a medium that is not stratified by a temperature gradient that balances a density gradient caused by a salt concentration gradient compels me to reject the notion outright.

    Perhaps you could read them and come back and explain it to us.

    [This "cop-out" answer from a sixty year old very skeptikal chemyst, as the great Robert Boyle called himself]

  195. Steve Goddard says:

    Phil M,

    The atmosphere is a very thin layer of diffuse gas molecules containing less than 0.0004 concentration CO2. By contrast, calcium is one of the most common elements in the earth. There is no shortage of Calcium to mix with CO2.

  196. Brian G Valentine says:

    [Note we are referring to binary diffusion in a medium here; not the apparent anomalous reversal of concentration gradient that appears over certain composition ranges in multicomponent diffusion.]

  197. D. Patterson says:

    Phil M (13:47:50) :

    D. Patterson (05:04:05) :

    “You are flaunting your ignorance again with such guesses. Most of the genera of mollusk existing in the Cambrian are still with us today, and many of those species still survive and/or prosper in seawater and/or freshwater with an acidity of up to ph5. Consequently, you are flogging postmodern science fairy tales in lieu of science.”

    As I posited earlier, species resiliant to a pH of 5 might still be sensitive to pH 4.9. Would they not? Furthermore, one should also take into consideration the numerous species sensitive to much less acidic and precipitous changes in pH.

    In any case, judging by the vitriol in your last post, I have deduced that you not only feel very passionately about the topic, but have an extensive background in the field of global biogeochemistry. Please let me know if you have plans on plans on publishing comments to the literature I cited earlier. I have no doubt AAAS would take great interest in your work. All the best.

    There was no vitriol in my post. I simply stated an obvious observation of your gross ignorance in erroneously suggesting the corals and shellfish of the Cambrian had no substantial communities of surviving species with equivalent environmental requirements for seawater ph conditions.

    The atmospehere during the past 550 million years has usually included some 4 to 20 times the amount of atmospheric CO2 as it does at the present time. During the vast majority of this time the corals and shellfish have thrived, including species which existed in the distant past which are still with us today. Alarmists have pointed to some major extinction events and attempted to attribute the extinctions of these forms of sea life to ocean acidification events. Absent from their commentaries are any explanations for the far greater periods of time during which the atmosphere included vastly greater concentrations of CO2 with thriving communities of coral and shellfish, including species still with us today. Instead, these Alarmists distort the paleontological records by selectively ignoring the mammoth contraindications of their Alarmist claims and collude to deny funding and peer review publication of research having the potential for debunking the Alarmist publications.

    If anything, the corals and shellfish are limited and endangered by the present low concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere and extremely low air temperatures of the present ice age and interglacial period which have a negative impact upon the growth of food supplies in the food chain.

    The Alarmists are claiming a change of 0.1ph in the past 200 years with and acceleration to an accumulated change of 0.3 by 2100, from a nominal 8.0ph for seawater up to 8.3ph for more acidified seawater in 2100. The Alarmists claim such a 0.1ph to 0.3ph change cannot be the result of natural variability while also claiming catastrophic consequences to those particular communities of sea life and the entire food chain of life. Yet, nowhere is there any reasonable explanation for how the coral and shellfish not only survived past CO2 levels 4 to 20 times present levels, but they also proliferated and thrived in such conditions now being claimed as catastrophic sea acidification conditions by the Alarmists.

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