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Old 07-02-2009, 10:39 AM
hwrd hwrd is offline
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Tipped scales to Scientific Consensus [PLUS COLUMN BY CECIL]

Regarding the column about the late arrival of summer:

As I recall, around the year 2000 there was a conference on climate in Canada which was the first to declare that there was a preponderance of evidence supporting global warming.

Someone with a computer model had kept finding a 'precession' of the seasons in his model: the beginning of winter was delayed, and likewise peaked later than the historical average. Similarly spring was pushed back, and the summer heat lingered into when fall weather should have predominated. (Nobody complains about Indian Summer except the PC people who insist on calling it something else.)

The modeler then went to look for this pattern in climate records, and found it.

Confronted with a model which yielded a prediction resulting in a testable hypothesis, and confirmation of the hypothesis in data, the scientists applied the scientific method (they love that) and issued a declaration.

Sorry if the details are vague, I leave it to those who know it all (Cecil?) to supply them. I recall reading about this in both Science News and Scientific American.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:52 AM
hwrd hwrd is offline
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The missing link: http://chicago.straightdope.com/sdc20090625.php
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:36 AM
Nunzio Tavulari Nunzio Tavulari is offline
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I's not just Chicago or the Midwest. I lived in Connecticut until two years ago and had commented on this trend to many. We've had the whole family out in the convertible every Xmas day since 1994. It didn't get cold until the end of January. Living in Chicago, you know what I mean by _cold_, anything above freezing is balmy. It was not uncommon to have temps in the 50s through December and low 40s through most of January.

However, once it got cold it didn't get warm for a long time. I can't remember Spring lasting more than two weeks in at least ten years. Temps consistently in the low 40s until Memorial Day, then 70s and 80s for the four three months.

My personal theory is that there's supposed to be a month added to the calendar in Millennium years. Like the extra day in a Leap Year. That's what it feels like, everything is off by a month.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:06 AM
hwrd hwrd is offline
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OK, so I can't find the articles I remember. Here is an up-to-date link which sounds very promising from the abstract:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...l/457391a.html

... but since I am not a subscriber to Nature, perhaps someone who is can summarize.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:45 AM
Ed Zotti Ed Zotti is offline
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You found the same article we did. Prof. Thomson wrote a 1995 article on seasonal shifts that's considered one of the landmark demonstrations of the reality of the global warming. The subject is quite technical; we're attempting to reach Prof. Thomson to clarify. Hope to do a followup column soon.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:25 AM
hwrd hwrd is offline
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This appears to be the new Nature comment by Thomson:

http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~p...on_comment.pdf

and this is the Stine et al paper he is commenting on:

http://eps.berkeley.edu/research_spo..._Fung_2009.pdf

Globally the seasons are earlier, but there are locations where they are later. Along with increased variability in the system, there's a lot to sort out.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:30 PM
djailer djailer is offline
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Just wanted to note that the cooling trend illustrates why "global warming" is a bad term to use. "Global climate change" is more accurate, as it takes results like this into account.

When you use "warming" as your modifier, the climate change deniers get to say "aha" when seeing the trends illustrated. As a whole, global temps are rising, but we're seeing many areas where temps are trending down. Chicago cooling off a few degrees may be no big deal (or maybe it is), but there are areas where a few degrees cooler or warmer can make a big difference. And that's the point. If human activity is nudging things just a little more in one direction or another, big problems can result.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:42 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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The follow-up column: http://chicago.straightdope.com/sdc20090709.php
  #9  
Old 07-11-2009, 08:42 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djailer View Post
Just wanted to note that the cooling trend illustrates why "global warming" is a bad term to use. "Global climate change" is more accurate, as it takes results like this into account.

When you use "warming" as your modifier, the climate change deniers get to say "aha" when seeing the trends illustrated. As a whole, global temps are rising, but we're seeing many areas where temps are trending down. Chicago cooling off a few degrees may be no big deal (or maybe it is), but there are areas where a few degrees cooler or warmer can make a big difference. And that's the point. If human activity is nudging things just a little more in one direction or another, big problems can result.
This line of argument -- that we want to call it "climate change" so that we can claim validity whatever happens -- reminds me of the Monty Python "splunge" sketch: The boss fires one guy for being a yes man, fires the second guy for saying "no" to him, and fires the third guy for being indecisive. The fourth guy, desperate, just makes a "splunge" sound in his throat, but seeing that the boss is eating it up, he improvises an explanation:

"Well, splunge could mean yes, or it could mean no. But it is NOT being indecisive!"

The boss finds this infinitely acceptable, even though it makes no sense at all. Much like "climate change" true believers.......TRM
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