Friday, May 25, 2007

What happened in New Hampshire with warming?

Everyone has their favorite scare story to whip up fear in order to push through their preferred forms of control. The Theopublicans shout “terrorists” every chance they get and hope the public wont’ mind the Bill of Rights being recycled into something more befitting the Soviet Union. The “Progressive” Democrats, borrowing a page from the wacko novels of Tim Lahaye are convinced the end of the world is coming.

In either case the solutions are quite similar. We just need to give the state more control over our lives in one form or another. We need to trust the politicians to make decisions for us. If we don’t disaster is coming.

Al Gore wannabe (you would think he’d have real ambitions) Congressman Edward Markey is on old time Democrat from Massachusetts. And he is bringing a bunch of Congresscritters to meet on the summitt of New Hampshire’s Cannon Mountain to discuss the “threat” of global warming. According to Associated Press:

He says from the mountaintop, the committee will see a state that is concerned about its tourist industry, a shorter ski season, changing foliage and intense weather events which will bring serious economic consequences if nothing is done.

Don’t get me wrong. Certainly a warmer climate in New Hampshire will change the sources of income. A warmer climate might mean fewer ski lodges in the winter but more tourism during the summer. As for “intense” weather events well one can imagine I suppose. Too many “Day After Tomorrow” films have been seen.

And I certainly don’t want to imply that things haven’t warmed in New England. I lived there for a few years myself and found the weather a real relief compared to the bitter cold of Chicago. And long term the weather has warmed in New Hampshire. Once again I have some charts for you showing you just how the weather has warmed and when. But what you see isn’t quite what you’d expect based on the CO2 theories of warming. Basically warming should follow increases in atmospheric CO2. But that doesn’t seem to be the case in New Hampshire.

I have taken a look at the data from three different weather stations in New Hampshire, choosen since Markey is leading his people to the mountaintop there. And I looked at the average mean termperatrue at these staions over the last 110 years. I broke each set of data into two halfs. The first half covers up to 1952 and the second half from 52 until now. Not all the stations started recording data at the same time so the beginning date might differ depending on when the station opened. There is nothing I can do about that.

Here is the first station. The first weather station is the First Connecticut Lake station which opened much later than the others. But the trend from opening until 1952 is for steep increases in temperature.
Now we look at the last 55 years. The problem for the anthropogenic warming advocates is that this trend line is pretty flat. There is a slight warming trend but nothing as severe as seen in the earlier part of the last century. But warming is supposed to escalate as CO2 emissions increase and those increases were more in the latter part of the century than in the earlier parts.
Maybe the problem is that the first graph starts too late. So lets look at another weather station. This is the station at Keene and here we have weather data going back to the 1890s. That is better since it has more data. The annual mean temperature went up from 44 degrees fahrenheit to 46 degrees. The increase is rather steep.
So what happened in the last half century with increased CO2 levels? For Keene it appears that as CO2 levels increased the mean temperature declined. It dropped from just over 46 degrees to about 45 degrees.
The third weather station I looked at is the one in the little town of Bethlehem (sorry, bad pun). We start in the 1890s again and take it up to the middle of the century, to 1952. Again we find a steep increase in temperatures before the main rise in CO2 levels. The mean average temperature for the year increased from about 40.7 degrees F to about 42.1. Substantial for a half century period.
The latter half of the last century saw a cooling trend here. Alas the data seems to end in 1990. So I think I’ll add a fourth station just to be safe.
I now went to neighboring Vermont to the town of Cornwall which has a weather station going back to the late 1800s. From 1897 to 1952 we see a rather steep increase in temperatures rising from an average mean of 42.8 to about 45.1.
But the last half century saw temperatures in Cornwall drop, down to a mean average temperature of about 43. So there has been some warming in this region of New England, where the conclave is to be held, but most the warming came prior to major world CO2 emissions.
It is quite easy to draw trend lines from the middle of the 19th century until today and show a general warming trend. That doesn’t necessarily tell us when the warming took place. Now I’m not saying this is the case in every place. But in New England, which I use simply because it is Markey’s example, the warming trend took place prior to the largest increases in atmospheric CO2 while temperatures declined during the later years.