Am I Imagining Things (Climate Change And Personal Observations)?

The fastest warming period in the last 15,000 years was at the end of the Younger Dryas – a warming of around 10 F in a few years, possibly as few as 15 to 25 years.

For what it’s worth, I didn’t arrive at my view of this from listening to some contrarian arguments. To the contrary, I started looking at it out of concern but found that the facts do not support the alarmists at all. This is hardly a warm period.

By the way, warmer air is capable of carrying more moisture. Do you know where the driest places on Earth are? Where it is cold. One is the Atacama. There are some earthern buildings there built hundreds of years ago that never experience rain until the 20th century when they had two rains.

Another is Antarctica – the snow and ice is not because of large snowfalls but because the tiny amount of snow that does fall doesn’t melt. They even have at least one place where the amount of precipitation is so tiny that the ground is bare of snow.

It might surprise you to learn that the Sahara Desert is reportedly greening. That shouldn’t be very surprising because during the Holocene Climatic Optimum when it was significantly warmer than today, the Sahara had lakes, grasslands, and forests.

Sure, there are going to be winners and losers. As the weather patterns change, some places will indeed get less rain, but many will get more rain.

You need a quote for that, and in any case it does not deny at all that there were natural reasons for that change, not like today.

Incidentally, most of what you typed there is once again correct in localities, wrong in the overall picture. It has to be noted to that you just ignored what the evidence showed about how it is very irresponsible to think that there will be very little bad effects to come.

And many of the ones that get more rain will be flooded. Including large amounts of the currently most heavily populated areas in the world.

The last time most human coastal settlements went underwater, there were a whole lot fewer of us.

Plus which, agricultural areas being subjected to alternating deluges and droughts will be less productive, not more; even if the average amount of rainfall in their area looks like an improvement to the unskilled eye.

Getting back to the OP: Michigan has had a large amount of suburban “infill” over the past few decades. Ann Arbor to Detroit is fast becoming one large suburb. And suburbs have extended up to 23 Mile Road. (For outlanders, main east-west roads in and north of Detroit are spaced 1 mile apart and are numbered sequentially along with being named. For example 16 Mile Road is also called - wait for it - Big Beaver Road.)

Probably observational bias – I’ve noticed that weaker weather patterns seem to fall apart once they hit the “heat bubble” of Detroit and suburbs. Or they squirm around and push south or north. It is common for Monroe (between Detroit and Toledo) to get heavy snow or rainfall while Detroit stays relatively dry.

Of course, there was that year in 1999 or 2000 when we got so much snow that airplanes were parked on the runways at Detroit Metro airport - they couldn’t get to the terminals! The poor passengers were stuck on the planes.

And don’t get me started on the summer rains that always seem to fall on the weekends!

We would really love the greater rain around here. Without it, we are dependent on groundwater and that is rapidly going down. We have a section of wheat that will probably have to be plowed up because it hasn’t got enough rain to grow. And this is far from the worst I’ve seen myself. There was a period in the 1950s that people who remember it say was far worse. And then there was the dust bowl.

There will always be droughts now and then. It is a big error to jump to the conclusion that this drought is caused by global warming. Like I said, warmer air can carry far more moisture than cold air.

Don’t be scared of change. Things change. If too much water becomes a problem, we can adapt to it.

This is a huge misrepresentation of the issue, as are many of your other points. The increased moisture content of warmer air, at the simplest level, is irrelevant because condensation is a function of relative and not absolute humidity. Secondly, and much more significantly, increased water vapour acts as a powerful feedback that greatly amplifies the forcing of greenhouse gases, accelerating global warming. Thirdly, these effects change global circulation systems, leading to regional climate changes that include both flooding and droughts, as well as long-term regional temperature changes, all of which are much faster than the capability of natural systems to adapt. And fourthly, this destabilization of the climate system also leads to more energetic and destructive storms.

This chart from the IPCC AR4 provides some insight into some of these threats:

I would also add that, although I’m not a moderator and this is not a Politics & Elections forum, nevertheless the denial of climate change or its impacts is generally regarded as typifying the kind of nonsense that is generally discouraged on this board:

Climate Change Denialism. We believe the science. While there is room to debate ways to deal with climate change, the existence of such is an observed fact.
New Rules for Politics and Elections – January 2020

Fearlessness and ignorant complacency are not the same thing. Although ignorant complacency can often produce misguided feelings of fearlessness, based on simply not understanding the problem.

The trouble is that adapting to severe disruptions in climate patterns tends to be difficult and expensive, and in some cases devastating for the individuals involved. Saying that climate change isn’t a problem because “we can adapt to it” is kind of like saying that people shouldn’t be worried about speeding on icy roads because if they crash and end up in a wheelchair “they can adapt to it”.

Yes, human beings as a species can adapt to almost anything in the long run. However, the smarter ones among them try to avoid knowingly causing catastrophic problems that will be difficult and expensive to adapt to.

I’m not denying climate change. I welcome it.

What I deny is that the sky is fallilng. I think it will likely have considerably more benefits than drawbacks.

That website again?

Internet volunteers, some with no scientific background at all, who do their own “peer review”? But hey, at least the website was designed by the dude’s wife.

That mundane and pointless reply again? :slightly_smiling_face:

As pointed before killing the messenger remains a fallacy, last time there was no explanation or demonstration from you that the examples they point at (and it is almost all published science what they point at) are wrong as in this case.

Of course, just to show how mundane that reply was, it does not even counter what it was observed, that even experts already debunked what the other poster posted ages ago. That there is a website that records that what a contrarian posted was debunked years ago, is just inconvenient for the few contrarians that still think that the sources that they depend on are not garbage.

Why? Because it makes you feel better to think that?

I mean, everybody in the world would like anthropogenic climate change to be a beneficial phenomenon, if that were possible. The fossil-fuel companies and other entities that are doing the most to accelerate and perpetuate anthropogenic climate change have vast amounts of funding to encourage research into any beneficial aspects of climate change that anybody can scrounge up. Because they would much rather be hailed as benefactors of humankind than have to confront drastic profit-eating regulation on greenhouse-gas emissions at some point down the road.

And yet, in spite of all these wonderful opportunities to rejoice in climate change for fun and profit, the overwhelming majority of actual climate scientists persist in telling us that the downsides of climate change, in terms of humans and other species adapting to it, will far outweigh the benefits.

I mean, it’s nice that you’re trying to be resilient and maintain a positive outlook in the face of a damaging and discouraging severe drought. I’m not telling you that you need to be all hopeless and despairing and convinced that nothing will ever go right again.

But I don’t think you’re really accomplishing anything by simply refusing to face facts. The facts, as far as the current state of climate science understands them, imply that optimistic expectations about absence of severe and prolonged downsides to anthropogenic climate change are unrealistic.

I am facing the facts.

The facts are that a warmer planet is a more productive planet.

Wrong. Just because the consequences of the anthropogenically modified atmosphere are called “the greenhouse effect” doesn’t mean that the earth will actually become like a greenhouse in the sense of fostering more beneficial growth and productivity overall.

Productivity will be lost due to labor losses from unsafe heat levels, for one thing.

Droughts will continue getting worse overall.

Even northern regions such as Canada and Russia that would see increases in agricultural yields due to warming would be worsening the global problems by additional emissions.

The consequences for insects and their contributions to agriculture will be negative overall.

The impacts of climate change on flooding and precipitation will on average be more destructive than “productive”.

I could go on for pages, but I’ll conclude with the most important aspect of all the aspects that you seem to be blithely ignoring:

There is currently no end in sight for the continued increase of anthropogenic GHG concentrations in the atmosphere and the severely destabilizing climate changes that accompany it.

If it were just a matter of temperatures going up by 1.5C or so over the next few decades and then magically stopping at that level for the foreseeable future, there might be at least a little justification for complacent indifference. We’d have a reliable “new normal” that we could focus on adjusting to.

But there isn’t going to be a “new normal” or an adjustment period for it if we just go on obliviously pretending that climate change isn’t really a bad thing. There’s just going to be a continuous sequence of “new abnormals” hitting us with unprecedented problem after unprecedented problem.

I mean, as I said, these are the findings of research scientists who specialize in these subjects. Why on earth should anybody think that your layperson’s emotional optimism is a more reliable predictor of future conditions than their scientific studies?

Not really.

Climate change deniers also argue that climate change is good for us. They suggest longer, warmer summers in the temperate zone will make farming more productive. These gains, however, are often offset by the drier summers and increased frequency of heatwaves in those same areas. For example, the 2010 “Moscow” heatwave killed 11,000 people, devastated the Russian wheat harvest and increased global food prices.

What we need to know is really who told you that it would be beneficial (it can for some, but most will not see it that way), it has been years already, and one should by now dump on the ones that mislead us, and not the ones that report what the proper experts are saying.

No, it’s not, except where geoengineering projects are deliberately greening it. There are certainly some climate change scenarios that predict a wetter climate for the Sahara, similar to what it’s experienced at some points in the past. But in those scenarios other regions, such as the Mediterranean basin, become drastically more arid at the same time, so the net impact is definitely not positive.

As in a casino, the winners are going to be comparatively few and many of the losers are going to lose big. That’s not a net positive overall.

The good thing about a climate system that is reasonably stable over centuries and millennia is that it allows the formation of stable societies in which most people can rely on being “winners” at some level of basic environmental security. They don’t have massive ongoing degradation of human habitat due to sea level rise swamping coasts and increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters, or the consequent displacement of several percent of the entire human population within a few decades.

You’re perceiving this as a comparatively trivial problem because you’re only looking at a few tiny pieces of it (and most of those through an unwarrantably optimistic distorting lens). The fact that your current drought is not going to last forever, and that you might see a net increase in average precipitation over the next decade or so, doesn’t mean that climate change as a whole is no big deal, or no bad thing.

Look around. You don’t have to be spoon fed what to think. Learn to think for yourself.

Look at history and ask yourself, “When has a warmer Earth not been more productive?”

By the way, the one climate scientist I know thinks the alarmists are crazy.

That is funny, I actually came to find a lot about how unreliable the contrarians are thanks to years of finding out what they avoid. You need to be aware that less experts agree nowadays with what you think is research, almost all the time contrarians grossly underestimate what is going on.

So, out with your sources, we need to know who to dump as has been the case for decades now.

We haven’t had an Earth this warm for at least the last hundreds of thousands, if not few million, years. And as I said, there is no end in sight for the GHG accumulations or the temperature rise.

If you insist on trying to evaluate the consequences of climate change based only on a vague and fuzzy concept of “productivity” and the woolly notion that “well, wetter and warmer weather has to be more productive”, then of course you’re going to be oblivious to the more realistic assessments of serious negative consequences. But being oblivious doesn’t make you right.

Feel free to cite some of their own peer-reviewed research publications supporting their minority viewpoints with scientific evidence. Short of that, your self-reported support from “one climate scientist” means less than nothing, especially compared with the findings of actual climate scientists that have already been linked to here.

(That’s not to say that there are absolutely no “crazy alarmists” on the non-climate-denial side of public opinion who exaggerate the likelihood of every worst-case scenario they come across. Every science-and-public-policy issue has some ill-informed crazy alarmists doomsquawking that all the most farfetched catastrophic hypotheses are guaranteed to happen. But the majority of mainstream climate scientists are not crazy alarmists, and if your alleged “one climate scientist” acquaintance claims they are, then they’re either lying or crazy themselves.)

I first saw it reported by National Geographic about 10 or 15 years ago. Are you going to try telling us that National Geographic is a bastion of anti-climate change?

From The Greening of the Sahara: Past Changes and Future Implications:

From SAHARA DESERT GREENING, THANKS TO GLOBAL WARMING:

From Greening the Sahara:

I don’t know what is counterintuitive of the affect of rising carbon levels in the atmosphere. It isn’t that unusual for people with greenhouses to inject extra CO2 to help plants grow bigger and better.

From The Sahara was ‘green’ for over 6,000 years and had 10 times more rain than now:

From 700,000 Square Kilometers Of Added Green Vegetation, Climate Change Shrinks Sahara Desert By Whopping 8%!:

Researchers seem to think that it was warmer during the Eemian, the previous interglacial period to this one.

Also, it was warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum.