Floridatrend: It's Hot But Don't Blame Global Warming

It’s Hot But Don’t Blame Global Warming

By Cynthia Barnett – 2/1/2009

FloridaTrend Magazine

Morton D. Winsberg fell in love with Florida more than 50

years ago, but the Illinois-born geographer never quite got used to the dog days

of summer.

In recent years, the Florida State University professor emeritus and author

of a book called “Florida Weather” began wondering: Is global climate change

making Florida’s hot season longer and hotter? With help from geography students

and researchers at FSU’s Population Center and Florida Climate Center, Winsberg

and co-author Melanie Simmons gathered and analyzed temperature data from 57

Florida weather stations going back six decades.

Their research showed that the hot season in Florida has gotten a lot hotter

— and longer — in some places, but not at all in others. The change, however, is

unrelated to global warming, the increase in the average temperature of the

earth’s atmosphere. Rather, they found, it’s a function of the lesser-known

phenomenon of local warming. The analysis “shows that weather can be very

local,” says Winsberg, “and also that weather can be a function of population

growth.”

Winsberg found the most notable climate changes along the state’s

southeastern coast, where development and wetlands drainage have been heaviest.

In most areas he analyzed, the heat is getting more intense. Of the 57 weather

stations, 49 saw an increase in the number of days with an average temperature

of 80 degrees. When it came to the length of the hot season, the biggest

increase was in Hialeah, with a 72-day increase, followed by Miami, with a

45-day increase.

Neither the intensity of the heat nor the increasing number of hotter days

was related to water temperatures in the Atlantic and Gulf, a fact that

surprised Winsberg. The heat trends also weren’t consistent across the state. In

fact, some areas, notably in the northeast part of the state, saw a shorter hot

season and a decrease in the number of dog days.

That evidence leads Winsberg and FSU meteorologists to blame the hot spots on

local land-use changes that accentuate the urban “heat-island” effect — the

pools of heat that large, dense concentrations of people produce in their local

climates. Cutting down trees, draining wetlands and pouring concrete all make a

place hotter, as anyone who’s walked across an asphalt parking lot on a summer

day knows, Winsberg says.

Geographer Morton Winsberg’s research suggests that local land-use changes — urban development and draining wetlands — may be contributing more to local climate change than global warming. [Photo: Jeffrey Camp]

Contagious Energy

Geographer Morton Winsberg retired a decade ago,

but you wouldn’t know if from his teaching load, his research output and

the hours he spends on the Florida State University campus.

At 78, Winsberg no longer worries about getting his

work published or being recognized by fellow academics. He had even been

teaching Latin American and Florida geography at FSU for free until last

year, when FSU put him back on the payroll. Winsberg is happy taking

advantage of office space, grad students and GIS equipment so he can

keep digging into weather and other interests.

“I don’t play golf,” he explains. “I prefer

to play with aggregate data.”

Winsberg spent his career traveling the globe and

writing about 100 research papers on topics as diverse as Jewish

agricultural colonization in Argentina and Irish suburbanization in

Boston, Chicago and New York. His favorite trip: Backpacking across

northern Spain, following a medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago de

Compostela, reputed to be the burial site of St. James.

Winsberg says he dreaded becoming the sort of

retiree “who kept up with the world via

nytimes.com.”

“I wanted to keep feeling useful and to be

useful,” Winsberg says. He passed up royalties from his “Florida

Weather” book so it would be more affordable ($16.95 at

upf.com). In addition to

his work on weather, his post-retirement writings include the book

“Atlas of Race, Ancestry, and Religion in 21st-Century Florida.” He is

currently researching the locations of megachurches, particularly those

within metropolitan areas.

Colleagues say he’s the only “emeritus” professor

they know who spends as much time on campus as he did before retiring.

“I’ve never talked to Mort about weather when he was not extremely

excited about it,” says Melissa Griffin, Florida’s assistant

climatologist. “He has this energy that flows out of him, seeps out of

him, and other people catch it.”

On a regional level, state climatologist David Zierden says, historical

records show that southeastern Alabama, Georgia and north and central Florida

have not experienced steady warming, but rather relatively warm periods, such as

the 1930s through the 1950s, followed by relatively cool periods, such as the

1960s through the 1980s.

State climatologist David Zierden says Winsberg’s data bolsters his belief,

backed up by other Florida studies, that climate changes driven by land use

‘are as important or more important in Florida than what has happened here

to date due to greenhouse gases.’

[Photo: Ray Stanyard]

Heavily drained or developed areas bucked those trends, however. The most

dramatic example in Winsberg’s study is the difference between Belle Glade, in a

part of the Everglades drained for sugar production, and undeveloped Everglades

City. Since 1950, Belle Glade has seen a 32% increase in its number of dog days,

while Everglades City has seen a 3% decrease. The transformation of swampland

around Belle Glade to farmland appears to have caused a significant rise in

temperatures. “The draining of the Everglades and the upturning of all that

black soil has really changed the local climate in that area,” says Zierden.

The idea of local climate change may seem contrarian at a time when

scientists and policy-makers focus on global warming and its causes, primarily

the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

But Florida’s top global warming scientists, including Harold Wanless, chairman

of geological sciences at the University of Miami, agree that greenhouse gases

don’t seem to be impacting Florida’s temperatures. When it comes to global

warming, Wanless says, sea-level rise — caused by warming elsewhere,

particularly the Arctic — is the chief threat to Florida. Wanless predicts

Florida’s seas will rise three to five feet by century’s end.

As state and national policy-makers work to mitigate damages from the rising

seas, Winsberg says he hopes local officials and Floridians will use his data to

think more wisely about land-use changes and wetlands drainage.

“People just dread when the hot season begins, and they are so relieved when

it’s over,” says Winsberg. “We don’t want to extend the suffering.”

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Philip_B

The transformation of swampland
around Belle Glade to farmland appears to have caused a significant rise in
temperatures. “The draining of the Everglades and the upturning of all that
black soil has really changed the local climate in that area,” says Zierden.

Reduced humidity will give you hotter days locally. Which is why deserts are much hotter in the daytime than humid tropical areas. This effect will be especially pronounced when a city is built over a swamp, like Miami.
Albedo changes are probably secondary. Although it sounds like an experiment for an enterprising highschooler.
(self snip snarky comment about high schooler needs to do it, because climate scientists aren’t interested in investigating the real causes of surface temperature changes)
Reply: Many thanks ~ charles the moderator

Manfred

it appears to be quite hard to find any data, that supports AGW.

Ed Zuiderwijk

Should be in all text books. Perfect illustration of the urban heat island effect, smack bang centered on Miami …

Willem de Rode

If, like the author says that weather can be a function of population
growth then the weather changes are certainly a global phenomenon. If these changes becomes problematic (long dry hot-periods, heavy rain,…) then certainly we have a global problem. Actually this article says that there are maybe other courses of the weather / climate problem than the Goracle Religory tells us, but finally the problem remains a global one namely overpopulation in this approach.

Ared

So Roger Pielke Sr. was right after all. Who would’ve thought…

Dave

Question for everyone.
I saw a tv program on the BBC that was pro AGW Global Warming. On there, the presenter showed evidence from ice cores that in the past there has been sudden movements in global temperatures. He said that the temperature recorded in the ice cores showed a sudden 5 degrees C movement, and the change came within a year, perhaps it was even instantaneous. Also, that was it, the jump or decline in temperature happened, and there was no follow on movement in temperatures. (At least as far as I can remember).
This I thought, was perhaps the most interesting thing in the whole program. He offered no explanation for the cause, instead used it as a weapon to frighten the viewer, implying this would happen if we didnt cut our CO2 emissions.
The question is though, what theories are there out there that explain an event such as this? Assuming this evidence is true, I have only ever come across one theory that might explain it, and that is a bit far fetched.
From what I know of the AGW theory, temperatures will rise reasonably gradually in line with increasing levels of CO2. This theory cannot explain a sudden and discrete jump in temperature.
So, is there really evidence out there for sudden movements in temperature, and what are the competing theories to explain it?

> Willem de Rode (01:42:15) :
>If, like the author says that weather can be a function of population
growth then the weather changes are certainly a global phenomenon.
===============================
Why? It is easy to live in a populated area and travel to other populated areas and because most of our time is spent in highly populated areas to believe that the world is like that and population growth is reflected throughout the world globally. It is not. Look at google earth, spin the globe, stop at a random point and zoom in. Will you hit a populated area? Very unlikely. The vast majority of the earth is unspoilt empty wilderness. four fifths of it is water. Even on land we actually take up very little of the space available. If we are effecting the very local temperatures where civilisation is most concentrated, then the vast surface area of the planet is NOT effected by us.

Anthony,
OT – but I think the attached is a very clear analysis of what happened with the recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming and its impact on recent weather patterns in the NH which may be of interest
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36972

Chris H

The majority of Florida’s thermometers are obviously in the pay of Big Oil ™…

novoburgo

At least it’s a “dry” heat!

Harry G

So Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC) is real – its just a local phenomena. Just as this humble Physics Graduate (hons) with a minor in meteorology and climatology thought all along since back when.
It’s a nice feeling to have your initial thoughts proved right yet again.

Harry G

Perhaps I should have stated “shown to be correct yet again”.

Richard111

Dave (02:10:10) :
I missed that program. But the jury appears to be out on the ice core evidence as to how the ice ages start and what triggers the following interglacial warmup. Seems to be a big anomaly in the CO2 level as temperature decreases and CO2 remains high. For thousands of years!!!! Doesn’t follow the GCMs at all. 🙂

Ron de Haan

Willem de Rode (01:42:15) :
If, like the author says that weather can be a function of population
growth then the weather changes are certainly a global phenomenon. If these changes becomes problematic (long dry hot-periods, heavy rain,…) then certainly we have a global problem. Actually this article says that there are maybe other courses of the weather / climate problem than the Goracle Religory tells us, but finally the problem remains a global one namely overpopulation in this approach.
Willem de Rode,
Would you please tell me how overpopulation ever could be a “Global Problem?”
Most of the planet is covered by Oceans, the North Pole, South Pole, the Antarctic, deserts like Gobi and Sahara, mountain area’s high planes and tundra’s like Siberia?
And even if the temperatures in California are up? What is the problem?
I hear you think…yes, NO PROBLEM.
This article is a good piece of work debunking the AGW scare.
Don’t replace one scare with another.

MattN

Whaddya know?? A major metropolitan area (Miami) shows significant warming trend.
No UHI there…..move along…

John Peter

Ref. Dave above. Iam only a layman but I came across a reference to the follosing article in Science:
/ http://www.sciencexpress.org / 19 June 2008 / Page 1/ 10.1126/science.1157707 through reading about the research in a Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende.
A Danish Team from Niels Bohr Institutet at University of Copenhagen observed this rapid heating effect from analysing ice cores taken from ice drillings in Greenland.
Project leader Dorthe Dahl-Jensen stated in Berlingske Tidende that the ice age ended so quickly that temperatures went up by two to four degrees celcius in a few years etc.
Those interested should really try and access the Science article.

Dan Lee

I’ve lived in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area for 30 years, and the temperature can change by 5-6 degrees depending on where you are, especially during dry season (“winter” elsewhere). Closer to the beach its usually warmer than it is on the other side of town close to the everglades. Local meteorologists have a dozen ways to say “Upper 70s along the coast, cooler inland” (which I just heard on my morning news a few seconds ago) whenever they forecast the day’s temperatures.
I don’t know why they separate Miami and Hialeah in the chart in the article, you only know you’ve crossed from one into the other when the street numbers change to a different scheme. They’re adjacent to one another, and they’re both part of the same ~100 mile long city that stretches along the coast from Homestead in the south to above West Palm Beach in the north.
Having grown up in Texas, I can testify that 100+ degrees of dry heat in Waco is easier to handle than 90 degrees in 90% humidity down here, all these years and I still haven’t gotten used to it.
I will say that this past August was positively pleasant compared to what we’ve grown accustomed to in the past 10-15 years. So the global cooling of the past few years does have some effect down here. From my perspective I hope that continues.
Interesting article.

dearieme

How long must we wait before “Independently Gav” claims that he came to this conclusion before Winsberg?

Gaelan Clark

William de Rode—-what do you not get about “local warming”. Local warming does not equal global warming—–even if you have 10,000 locations on the Earth that are locally warming as a result of anthropogenic changes, you are not affecting anything other than the local climate.
Urban Heat Island has been proven by Anthony Watts in an article about his drive through Phoenix at night—–cool on the edge of town, hot in town, cool on the other edge of town—ALL AT NIGHT.
Buddy, do some reading, and get back to us.

Bill Illis

The climate models build in large negative temperature impacts from “other forcings” to balance off the large increases they have built in for greenhouse gases. They wouldn’t be able to come close in a hindcast or a forecast without these offsets.
Land Use is no different. It has a negative temperature impact in the models.
Deforestation and agricultural land negative impacts outweigh the positives from urban heat island and urban development. This study would contradict that, at least for Florida.
Here is GISS’ Model E Land Use impact versus temperatures.
http://img127.imageshack.us/img127/7097/modelelandusexr5.png

Tom_R

A visit to Marjorie Kinnen Rawlings (sp?) house in Cross Creek (north of Ocala) describes her orange groves in the early 1900s. Now oranges aren’t grown much north of Orlando after the 1977, ’83 and ’89 freezes. Driving up the Florida Turnpike one can see pine trees where there used to be vast orange groves.
The world may be warmer, but north Florida isn’t.

MarkW

I notice that this article finds that rural areas near major cities can also see major increases in temperature.
This study should put the kabosh to Hansen’s method of using “rural” stations to justify his urban adjustments. But it won’t.

Scott

Florida just bought up all the sugar cane land recently and plans on restoring all that property. It will be interesting to see what happens to the local climate over the next 50 years.

Tom in Florida

“People just dread when the hot season begins, and they are so relieved when it’s over,” says Winsberg. “We don’t want to extend the suffering.”
Most of those that I know who think like this are transplanted Northerners to whom I ask, “then why do you live here? “. Along the central/south Gulf Coast we rarely get above 94F. It’s hotter than that in lot’s of other places around the country. I believe the main reason those folks get so uncomfortable is not the heat or humidity but the intensity of direct sun on their skin due to the sun being almost overhead. Step into the shade and that goes away. Also, you will find that these transplants usually have their indoor A/C set at about 78F. Go from 78F to 94F for a few seconds before you get into your air conditioned car and yes, you feel like you walked through an oven. Give your body time to use adjust and once again it’s no problem.
Notice the central west coast along the Gulf of Mexico. Lot’s of development there over the last 20 years. Central hot spot is right about where Disney World and other resorts are. So let’s hear from the UHI deniers!

ak

Good to see an article that land-use does indeed cause warming – not just isolated to urban environments. I’m inclined to believe direct human impacts on the environment have an immediate effect locally, but still doesn’t explain why other areas (not affected at all by human land use) also see warming.

beng

Florida is warming w/the limiting temp for citrus fruits moving south?
Pielke Sr’s analysis of Florida suggests that urbanization, drainage enhancement & unirrigated crop conversion dries the land out w/less summer rainfall & greater extremes of high/low temps.

Mike Bryant

Was the longer hot season in Miami a bad thing? I have a feeling that it translates to billions of dollars extra over the years. Do the politicians really want to go back to cooler times? (less UHI?)

Anthony,
Are you familiar with the UHI study done in 1972 by T.R. Oke, “City Size and the Urban Heat Island”? You can find it by googling UHI and Oke. He compared night temperatures in rural areas with night temps in ten settlements with populations from 1000 to 2 million. His data was subjected to stepwise multiple regression analysis and yielded the formula:
Delta T (urban-rural) = 1.91 log P – 2.07 sqrt(u) – 1.73
where P is population and u is regional windspeed. (This assumes cloudless nights.)
What is surprising is the logarithmic relation between Delta T and P, and the amount of Delta T for even small settlements.
For example,
Delta T is over 2 degrees C for settlements of only 1000 people, over 5 degrees C for population of 10,000 and over 8 degrees for populations of 100,000 people.
If real, this changes the perception of “Rural” and “Urban” and shows how the GISS temperature records are meaningless without UHI adjustments.
It explains why the historical records from Great Britain show more of an increase in average daily minimum temperatures vs the avg. daily maximums, as the UHI is about an order of magnitude stronger in night than in the day.
It also might explain why other researchers found little UHI effect when comparing historical records of sites. The logarithment increase in UHI with population would mean that the stations they classified as “Rural” (with assumed zero UHI) actually had a large UHI effect.
We need more studies like this with data from cloudy nights, differing times of the day and different wind speeds.
Also unknown, as far as I can find, are studies on how these large numbers for local UHI (on calm and clear nights) affect the monthly temperature averages.

George M

Dave (02:10:10) :
You might want to go over to Climate Audit and read the several threads on the accuracy and reliability of ice cores to report temperatures. If my fading memory is correct, there seems to be some question about whether the dissolved CO2, which is the indicator for temperature, actually remains unchanged in each strata while the ice is in place, and after the core is removed.

blcjr

Well, as one who majored in geography for a couple of years, it is nice to see a study like this. (Actually, as I recall it, “climatology” was a part of the study of geography in those days. I remember one of my professors using having all the students in a class I was taking, somewhat like Winsberg, keep a record of rainfall where we all lived, so we could study and see how local topography influences microclimate. I suspect my “training” in climate studies — I went on to graduate in economics — is at least the equal of many of the so-called experts in the field.)
Willem de Rode (01:42:15) :
but finally the problem remains a global one namely overpopulation in this approach.

So what should we do about it? Anything? Why? Taking Florida as an example, if Miami-Dade is overpopulated, and this is causing the dog days of summer to last longer than their liking, they are free to move somewhere else, aren’t they?
Actually, is this really a “problem”? Calling something a “problem” implies that something needs “fixed.” And that raises the question of how, which will segue into who, will do the fixing. You didn’t say it, so I’m not attributing this to you, but my fear whenever I hear of a problem that needs fixing is that someone is going to decide that the .gov needs to be the one fixing it, which usually means a raid on my wallet or a restriction of my liberty, or both. Which is why the “climate change” issue is so contentious: it is being used to promote all kinds of expensive solutions and atrocious intrusions on individual liberty.
I’m not sure I see the “problem” here.

Pamela Gray

Prevailing winds from jet stream latitudinal/longitudinal relocation. The Jet stream (which can fly straight or wave and loop like a flag in the wind) allows sudden warm or cold air to flow into areas resulting in sudden temperature changes. If the jet stream shift stays around for a season or two, you can stay mighty cold or mighty warm in a hurry depending on whether it is blocking Arctic air, or bringing up warm tropical air. The temperature shift will be dramatic.

Pamela Gray

I meant, “…whether it is allowing Arctic air to drop into more southern locations, or bringing up warm tropical air.” My thought stream got interrupted by a need for coffee.

John Silver

Forget the heat island, the interesting part is the blue areas in the mid and north of Florida.
The caption to the map says: “would have followed the general cooling trend seen elsewhere in the Southeast U.S.”
What cooling trend? Is not the Southeast U.S. part of the global globe?

Jon H

Volcanic Activity, Massive solar flair, Tectonic Activity, Polarity shift in the polls (North and south have upended before), and pretty much anything else you can imagine. Most are not much more than ‘ideas’ since we really do not know what causes major changes over short times without other evidence.
You have to look at other data sources such as geologic to find a coloration if possible.

Jim Steele

Wetland drainage is a critical component that is not modeled by the NASA team. he heat capacity of water overwhelms air temperatures. Over 50% of the wetlands have been lost this century and a large percentage (over 90% in California) have been channelized so that the cool waters are not stored and slowly released. Many of the threatened species are connected to wetlands.
People who don’t understand the science of the proposed Human Climate Warming, are believers who really just want to see the environment protected. We should spend our money fixing wetlands instead of throwing it away on dubious CO2 fixes. Fixing wetlands will help more species and is a good climate hedge whether it gets warmer or colder.

Don Keiller

Dave, I woud be deeply suspicious of a claim that “the ice cores showed a sudden 5 degrees C movement, and the change came within a year, perhaps it was even instantaneous”. My understanding is that icecores have a much more limited resolution- look how long it took to work out that temperature changes preceded those of CO2 by some 800 years.
Mind you, it is the BBC that is saying this and we all know how unbiased they are when it comes to AGW and “tipping points”.

Stephen Parrish

To Dave (02:10:10) :
Interesting that they highlighted the movement but didn’t indicate direction? I’d guess volcanic activity for a single year shift if downward? Just throwing something on the wall.
This is a fascinating study though in light of its impact on our understanding of UHI and controlling for it in data provided by weather stations.

Bill Marsh

Since I plan to retire in 3 years, 8 months and 14 days (not that I’m counting) in the Ocala/Leesburg area of Florida this is welcome news that the area is cooling over the last 50 years. 🙂 I don’t mind hot, humid weather having spent too much of my youth in SouthEast Asian areas that feature that type of weather, but having it not so hot as it used to be is a good thing.
Off topic but related. See this post by Dr Pielke, Sr on the observational evidence for global warming via the ‘Ocean Heat Content’ metric. http://climatesci.org/2009/02/09/update-on-a-comparison-of-upper-ocean-heat-content-changes-with-the-giss-model-predictions/.
Interesting that observation vs predicted model results for ocean heat content is SO far off (0 x 10^22 Joules observed vs ~6 x 10^22 joules predicted over the last five years). Is Dr. Hansen ever going to be asked to respond publicly as to why his predicted climate model results are not reflected in observational measurements?

Sean

The real irony about global warming and local warming is that if more land is drained to make room for sugar cane crops for alcohol production (as is done in Brazil but admitedly not here) then renewable fuels could increase the local temperature. Now at least sugar based ethanol can deliver a positive energy yield (compared with the corn based product) but will an increase in local temperatures cause increased used of electricity for air conditioning and will that net result be more energy used locally.

mark wagner

“with little or no land use change, areas showing a longer hot season would have followed the general cooling trend seen elsewhere in the Southeast U.S.”
so…it’s UHI masking cooling rather than cooling masking warming.
Does this not fly in the face of GISS land temperature measurements that do not agree with satellite measures?

Bill in Vigo

Having spent much of my life in Florida. In fact in Kissimmee near the Disney growth area I am well familiar with the findings of Winsberg and Barnett. I lived there from 1960 – 1997. the amount of growth and wetlands drainage was terrible. Now they are worrying about where they are going to get potable water. Yes it is over population and the destruction of some of the best farmland in the United States also large amounts of drainage. The drainage started in the 1880’s and only increased as the climate there became more popular.
Florida history is full of reference to the changes made there. In this case I must agree it is localized warming but it is man made.
Bill Derryberry

Frank K.

Bill Marsh (07:54:05) :
Here’s the money quote from Dr. Pielke’s post:
“While the time period for this descrepancy with the GISS model is relatively short, the question should be asked as to the number of years required to reject this model as having global warming predictive skill, if this large difference between the observations and the GISS model persists.”
GIGO.

Dave

Thanks to those who answered my question.
The main response I seem to be getting is that the data was probably duff, and that there arent really events where you get a discrete movement in temperature.
Apart from the response which suggested that the last ice age ended very quickly.
I am sure though that I read somewhere evidence that the glaciers that created the Great Lake depressions apparently melted away in no time at all.
Would still like to keep the question open. Is there any evidence for large and discrete temperature changes on earth? And by that I mean a change of 4 – 5 degrees C, happening within a year.
If there is evidence for this, I would like to see a lot of money spent on it trying to find out why it happens.

JaneHM

Could they please do a similar study looking at the minimum temperatures in winter in Florida? We’ve had more nights below 20F here in north Florida this year than in the past few years. The cold this year has noticeably killed a lot of vegetation which has the potential to turn Florida into a bushfire tinderbox if there’s a dry spring/summer later in the year.

Richard M

Dave (02:10:10) : asks about quick changes to global temperatures.
Chaotic systems like our atmosphere can experience movement from one stable state to another. This process can start slowly and reach a tipping point where it accelerates to the next stable state.
This may occur between ice ages and interglacials. Since ice melts at a specific temperature you could see a slow warming that was not sufficient to start melting. Then, as melting starts it quickly warms due to less albedo, etc., which causes more melting and you have a quick rise in temperatures.

jp

Why are the SOHO sunspot and other pictures more than 2 days old ???????
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime-images.html
No conspiracy just curious ???

jae

It is so pleasurable to see stories of great people like this!
This caught my eye:
“Since 1950, Belle Glade has seen a 32% increase in its number of dog days,
while Everglades City has seen a 3% decrease. The transformation of swampland
around Belle Glade to farmland appears to have caused a significant rise in
temperatures. “The draining of the Everglades and the upturning of all that
black soil has really changed the local climate in that area,” says Zierden.”
More direct empirical evidence for the negative feedback exerted by water!

DanD

Long time reader, first time poster.
As a motorcycle rider, I can tell you that I unscientifically verify the local warming theory all the time. In Nashville, Tennessee the dense urban core quickly gives way to heavily wooded areas. There’s a huge park with dense forest just four miles away from downtown. The park has a narrow one-way road that meanders through it, but very few sections of it receive any direct sunlight. I took a ride once on a warm July evening that went through downtown. I was on the main drag, so I was going around 30 MPH on average. I was warm and toasty regardless of my speed in the urban area. As I got further out of downtown–even just a mile–it got noticeably cooler. When I was on the road going through the heavily forested park area, I was shivering, without going any faster than I went at any point in the urban roads. It really is common sense. The unshaded asphalt soaks up heat during the day and radiates it at night. The asphalt in the park is totally shaded all day, so there’s no extra heat from it at night.
Last Sunday, we had a beautiful 70-degree afternoon just a few days after a huge cold front had passed through. I took my motorcycle out for a 30 mile ride, and within one mile of road I could alternate between shivering and basking in gentle warmth.
It seems obvious, but for some reason it seems that a segment of the population wants to assume it’s a major disaster.

Willem de Rode

Some commenters ask me how it would be possible that population-growth induced weather changes can become a global problem. More than half of the global surface is water and so unpopulated. And even on the landpart the humans are concentrated on rather small areas ? Thus any problem associated with that can never be global ?
I think that is a very short-sighted vision. If any problems are associated with population growth they will be best sensible in these extreme dense populated zones. These area’s are spread over the whole globe, but that doesn’t matter. The consequenses of the weather changes will be felt by most of the humans because they live in these problem-areas.
Thus I think it is couting angels on a needlepoint to get involved in a discussion whether the article describes a global phenomenon of local wether changes or not.
The article describes very clearly a antropogenic induced warming that could influence weatherpatters all over the globe. And the consequences could be very negative for the humans, wherever they are on the world.
So stop chasing phantoms by insulting CO2 of this warming. Stop fooling ourselfes by trying to make ourselfs believe that it is not a global phenomenon. Just let minimize the impact of human presence on this earth. We all, the all globe, would benefit from it.

MarkW

“At least it’s a “dry” heat!”
Dry and Florida are two words that have a hard time going together.