It still looks like pretty good travel weather across most of the nation for today and tomorrow. The most likely airport delays will be in South Florida where several inches of rain could fall. For tomorrow the only spots that could experience minor delays due to the weather are Chicago and Seattle. The roadways should be pretty good around Wisconsin and the upper Midwestas well. The only snow will be an inch or two in the southern half of Wisconsin tonight and around northern Illinois tomorrow. Since temperatures will still be above freezing, the snow should melt pretty quick and not accumulate on the roadways. Friday and Saturday are looking dry and partly sunny with highs temps around 40 – maybe even reaching the low to mid 40s if there is enough sunshine.
Now on to the latest AGW news. I hope everyone is prepared for the deluge of “global warming” news over the next couple of weeks revolving around the Copenhagen negotiations. Most of it will have an “end of the world” flavor. Here are some recent headlines.
- African conflicts spurred by warming (global warming)
- Warmer means windier on Lake Superior
- (Thawing) Arctic has potential to alter earth’s climate.
- World on track for 6 degrees of extra heat.
- Ocean’s uptake of human-made carbon slowing.
- In Nod to Global Warming, Navy Preps for ‘Ice Free’ Arctic.
- Climate diagnosis is stark message for politicians (environmental Armageddon is upon us)
- World’s last bastion of stable ice now thawing (in Antarctica)
The last headline is the one I would like to focus on. In contrast to the very dire nature of the headline, the article itself presents differing opinions. Using GRACE satellite data, Jianli Chen of the University of Texas Austin estimates the east antarctic ice sheet is losing 5 billion tonnes of ice per year and it might be as much as 57 billion tonnes. The estimate is derived from changes in the gravity field of the ice sheet. Later in the article, it is noted that the margin of error in the measurement could be anywhere from 5 billion to 109 billion tonnes per year, essentially making the estimate of ice loss statistically meaningless. Clark Wilson (Center for Space Research) goes on to say that GRACE cannot differentiate gravitational changes from ice loss versus post glacial rebound of the land mass. So why the intentionally scary headline when the data is not yet conclusive? Perhaps the climate email hackfrom earlier this week gives us some insight. It was found that some climate researchers were intentionally trying to exclude data and publications that did not support the “accepted” AGW theory. Are some science journalists attempting the same thing – constructing headlines to back the leading theory and scare people into action? Or maybe the headlines are meant to just grab attention for more readers – they are in a media business after all. More readers means more money and a headline stating the last bit of ice on the planet is melting will get more readers than a more scientifically accurate headline such as “Is the East Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting? Experts Debate”.
Even though there is pervasive non-scientific discrimination against data, theories, and researchers that challenge the leading AGW theory (as shown by the hacked emails earlier this week), some articles do make it into the mainstream – so there is not a complete blackout. Here are a couple:
- Controversial New Climate Change Data: Is Earth’s Capacity to Absorb CO2 Much Greater Than Expected?
- Antarctica Glacier Retreat Creates New Carbon Dioxide Store; Has Beneficial Impact on Climate Change
I am afraid I am growing immune to all the environmental Armageddon predictions and headlines lately. This tends to happen after 20 years of hearing the world is going to end. Back when the Kyoto treaty was negotiated we heard the same thing; if we don’t do something immediately the world will be destroyed. Maybe if I lived in the arctic, I would be more alarmed because apparently the warming has been greater there. Living in Wisconsin, things look ok. Despite the warnings that the environment was being destroyed year after year for 20 years, the landscape in Wisconsin looks about the same. The crops grow, the animals live, the water flows, etc. I guess the only change is the recent dry weather. We are now in our 7th year in a row (in Wausau) with below normal rainfall. This could be an effect of AGW but we have been through similar dry periods in the past so nothing conclusive can be said.
Have a nice Wednesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on November 25, 2009