Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Drinkin half a 40 bottle livin outdoors

From Fox"News" yesterday. Emphasis is mine.
PAT MICHAELS: Uh, Neil, if you believe that warming causes cooling, you’re like my neighbors down in Virginia who think that if you put hot water in the ice cube tray, it freezes faster. It doesn’t work that way.

And in fact, in Denver, there were very few people who, I think, tried to conflate the snowstorm with warming, they just tried to ignore the fact, that in fact it’s snowing like crazy in Denver, despite the fact that unlike in the East, where there is no warming trend in the winter temperatures, there is a warming trend in the winter temperatures in Colorado.

NEIL CAVUTO: Dan, if more of those who support global warming did not live in the East Coast, or more specifically in New York, and were stationed in Denver, they might have a different take on things?

DAN GAINOR: Oh, I think so.
Some notes:

Global climate change causes an increase in severe weather events in the mid-latitudes, including snowstorms. Notice how I use the term "global climate change?" "Global warming" is somewhat of a misnomer. For example, a probable consequence of warming would be melting of the polar icecap and severe precipitation events, like the Denver snowstorm, which cause a lot of runoff and erosion. Some of the research done by my former instructor Bruce Peterson, et al (2002) and expounded upon in a more recent article of theirs in Science describes potential consequences of such increases in freshwater runoff or melting upon the oceans.

The Gulf Stream keeps Europe warm. Remember that England is at a higher latitude than much of the "colder" parts of the US (see graphic below). The Gulf Stream is a global conveyor belt, moving heat away from the equatorial regions. When the water cools in the Arctic, it's high salinity (warm equatorial waters can dissolve more salt than polar water) causes it to sink and continues its circulation around the globe. Unfortunately, increased input of fresh water from melting ice and pulses of water from Arctic landmasses from severe storms are causing the waters around the sinking point to "freshen" and lose density. Scientists are fearful that the water at this point will one day stop sinking as increasing amounts of fresh water mix with the gulf stream. If the "conveyer belt" stops moving, Northern Europe would lose the heat provided by the Gulf Stream and it would "cool"- hence "climate change" rather than "global warming."

However, the current trend in climate change is a warming one, so this is not intended to discount the current warming trend, it's just that the medium to long-term effects may not be warming. It is precisely this kind of ruse that guys like Cavuto are interested in running. For example, Patrick Michaels, provessor at University of Virginia, publishes papers for Western Fuels Association and has lost a notable wager in which he posited that global temperatures would fall significantly between 1998 and 2007. For "balance," Michaels appeared opposite Dan Gainor, who writes a blog in which he says things like:
most Americans already know the media and environmental wackos are trying to send the nation down the tubes. Now there is new proof
No Bruce Peterson, nothing of educational value, only a discredited scientist, accusations of East-Coast bias, and a wild-eyed proponent of a vast left wing consipiracy.

Fox News stuff seen via thinkprogress

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