Thursday, December 30, 2010

What doesn't prove global warming?

As much as I try to follow the global warming debate I have yet to find one succinct article that outlines precisely what we should expect to see if there were NO global warming.

The last few winters in Europe have been colder than normal and rather snowy. The Telegraph reports: "The average temperature of the season so far has be -0.8C (32F), colder than any year since 1683/84 when the mercury plunged to -1.17C (29.9F)." So, the UK is headed toward the coldest winter in over 300 years! Met Eireann, the Irish weather office says that temperatures in Ireland are at the lowest they've been for 130 years and "December has officially been the coldest month ever on record." Gerald Fleming, of the Met office says: "At all our stations thus far it has been the coldest December on record. Those records in some cases go back to the the mid-1850s." Ireland also recorded the coldest day ever in its history. You should realize this is the third very cold winter in a row for the UK.

Chattanooga, TN, has had the 4th coldest winter ever on record. In Hong Kong, a sub-tropical city, "temperatures feel to six degrees Celsius" allowing the formation of ice and frost which is "hardly ever seen in the sub-tropical city." Sunny Tampa, Florida, is also facing "the coldest December on record for Tampa." So far this frigid weather has hit North America, Europe and Asia. And it is coming with heavy snowfall.

The left-wing Democracy Now site has any interview by Amy Goodman with Paul Epstein of the Center for Health and the Global Environment. He wants to make it clear that while natural variability is never absent the colder weather IS a result of warming. There has been no shortage of pundits and prophets explaining how warming is increasing the snow levels and decreasing temperatures.

But, if we go back just 10 years, we find that the same gang of pundits and prophets were arguing that the evidence for global warming would be warmer winters and less snow. Consider this article from The Independent, in March of 2000. It was entitled: "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past."

The article laid out the "consensus" "now accepted as a reality by the international community," that global warming was happening and it was "manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers." So 10 years ago the consensus was that warming would mean "less cold" winters. After three years of colder-than-normal winters the media is now telling us the consensus is that warming will cause colder winters. So warmer winters proves warming and colder winters prove warming. Exactly what doesn't prove warming?

The same article not only said warming would cause warmer winters but would mean that snow would become extinct. They wrote:
Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only few white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.
David Viner, a global warming "expert" at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, which is a major center of the warming hysteria, told the Independent that thanks to warming snowfall will be "a very rare and exciting event." He lamented: "Children just aren't going to know what snow is." David Parker at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research confirmed that warming will mean warmer winters and much less snow. according to him "British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via they internet, they might wonder at polar scenes - or eventually 'feel" virtual cold."

The Independent sadly reported:
The chance are certainly now stacked against the sort of heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters, such as Sisley, and the 19th century poet laureate Robert Bridges, who wrote in "London Snow" of it, "stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying."

Not any more, it seems
Not any more? Well, unless you count this year, last year, and the year before. Like temperature it appears that any level of snow proves global warming. If snow is absent then global warming is the reason. If snow is overly plentiful then global warming is the reason.

Let me state what I think happens. The warming theorists make predictions and when the predictions turn out wrong they revise them to fit what actually did happen. So that, the current state of warming theory is always "proven" by the past record. But a theory that can't predict the future is useless. The most blatant example of changing forecasts after the fact came from the British Met Office in 2008. In September they sent out a press release forecasting a "milder than average" winter for the UK. In the middle of December they acknowledged "the UK has had the coldest winter in over 30 years." Instead of admitting they got it wrong they sent out a press release claiming: "The Met Office seasonal forecast predicted the cold start to the winter season with milder conditions expected during January and February."

But January remained cold without the milder conditions they predicted. No worries, a new press release announced: "The Met Office correctly forecast the spell of cold weather and kept the public informed via our various forecasts."

In the past I've reported on how increased rain was caused by global warming but when the same areas experienced dry conditions the media reported that too was the result of the warming. More snow in the UK is proof of warming, but warming will also mean snow disappears in the UK. Winters in Europe will be warmer because of warming except for those years when they will be cooler than normal.

I also note that when weather patterns go contrary to warming theory we are reminded that we shouldn't confuse weather with climate: which is good advice. But when weather patterns appears in line with warming theory they are presented as proof that the theory is correct.

I admit I'm a layman just trying to figure out the facts. But what really makes me skeptical about the whole warming theory is the way that everything proves warming. Global warming causes warmer winters, until the winters get colder and then they too are the result of warming. Global warming causes snowless winters and threatens to make snow entirely extinct, until there is massive amounts of snow which are then attributed to warming as well—and in the same area. Dryer summers in one country are the result of warming, but when the same country has wetter weather that too is the result of warming.

Apparently any outcome is proof that warming is happening and that mankind is responsible. Global warming causes everything and everything proves global warming.

Now to explain the photo. That photo was taken today in Scottsdale, Arizona. The white flakes you see on the picture IS snow.