The Climate Nightmare is Here

I concur about the heat wave. Climate change says it will get warmer. The drought? Well, we just had about the wettest year on record just in 2017. So, climate change will likely change the amount of rain the west gets- and sadly, likely not for the better. But climate change does not necessarily mean droughts, in some areas it may mean floods even.

I liked those three cites you posted, but they all point to climate change = more heat.

Now could climate change mean drought for the West? Quite possibly. But we do not know enough to say for sure yet.

There’s no question that the West will become hotter and drier.

I think there is. Climate change may mean droughts… or floods.

Mind you, most experts are guessing more droughts for the western USA. There are indications.

Without even opening it, just from the title, I knew who authored the thread.

And I’m right, as usual.

Also immigration doesn’t exactly bring out the best in people. Imagine millions/billions of refugees from latin america, the middle east, africa, india, etc moving north. There is going to be a massive right wing push back and embracing of xenophobic politics all over the world as a result of it. So we will have incompetent politics at a time when we need competent leadership badly.

No, I was right. you are…just you.

Welp, I guess there’s no point to doing anything, eh? Why cut down on fishing if all the fish are gonna die anyway? Might as well put 'em to good use, and blast the mountains and chop down the forests while we’re at it. We’re headed for global extinction anyway, so might as well make ourselves as comfortable as we can before the end. Maybe do something about grandma and the grandkids so they don’t have to suffer the coming catastrophe, eh?

Seriously, this was on my mind, and I asked in another thread to no response: how can one tell to what extent weather events are driven by climate change? I mean, it doesn’t make instinctual sense to assume it JUST because it’s never happened before, so there has to be more to it, but I don’t know what exactly goes into it.

“Heatwaves have happened before.”

Global warming is causing more frequent heatwaves. Record-breaking temperatures are already happening five times more often than they would without any human-caused global warming. This means that there is an 80% chance that any monthly heat record today is due to human-caused global warming.

However, the growing risk from heatwaves is ignored by some who argue that heatwaves have happened in the past, hence current heatwaves must be natural. This line of argument is logically flawed, using a logical fallacy called a non sequitur (Latin for ‘it does not follow’). This is a fallacy where your starting statement does not lead to your conclusion. For example, this is like arguing that people have died of cancer long before cigarettes were invented, hence smoking can’t cause cancer.

Stranger

That’s what I don’t understand: I don’t get how the numbers in that first quoted paragraph were determined, and the article doesn’t seem to explain it. The linked paper is behind a paywall. Is this a statistical thing? I mean, I get the concept that at a certain point, records being broken shouldn’t be happening, but the “five times more often” and “80% chance” are so precise that I wondered at how they were so certain.

Yes, it is a conclusion from statistical analysis. If you have a long enough record of weather events and conditions you can estimate the likelihood of a certain number of exceedances (temperature, average rainfall, extreme weather events) that are reasonably expected over a specified interval, and a trend that is more frequent indicates some external perturbance. Of course, the climate is in dynamic equilibrium and there are long term cycles of climate modification, but when you see six years out of ten with the highest observed global temperatures which also correspond to record high ocean heat content anomalies, extreme frequency and energy of tropical storms, disruption of regional weather patterns that are mediated by the jet stream, and large scale drought across numerous years, all of which is correlated with the massive increase in measured CO2 atmospheric concentrations, it doesn’t take deep statistical analysis to tease out anomalous trending.

Much is made of the fact that “climate is not weather” (although the people that sling that turn of phrase around freely often don’t actually seem to understand what it means) and that the predictions of climate models are highly perturbative and have a wide range of potential outcomes, which is ostensibly true. However, predictions from every validated model, regardless of whether you assume ‘best case’ or ‘worst case’ indicate increasing disruptions of mediating effects, potential for extreme weather events, and a progressive increase in average global surface temperature so long as atmospheric CO2 concentration is significantly above pre-industrial levels, and they all predict dire outcomes if continued emissions are not constrained. If any thing, most of the models fail to account for climate forcings like the thaw of frozen tundra, desiccation of wetlands, burning of old growth forest and peatlands, and release of methane clathrates from the continental slopes, all of which have the potential to significantly accelerate atmospheric CO2 in a positive feedback mechanism.

If you are looking for a mathematical proof or some simple experiment from which you can ‘prove’ that global climate change is real and occurring rapidly, none exist because the global climate is a complex system and it takes very sophisticated models and some of the best supercomputing capability on the planet to simulate it to even the fidelity that we currently have. But the statistical evidence is absolutely clear, and it doesn’t take an advanced degree in mathematics to interpret it. Climate change is real, and the evidence is in the massive increase in frequency of extreme weather events, abnormal climate phenomena, and measured anomalous heat content in the oceans.

Stranger

Remember that weather “records” (particularly in North America) rarely extend back more than 125-150 years. To follow climate trends, here’s a link to London (UK) weather and temperature trends over the centuries - gathered from literature of the time. (a winter was “cold” if the Thames froze over).

The web site has been archived, so some links might not work, but makes for fascinating reading (take note of the color codes for hot/cold/wet/dry events).

Looking more at the London links I posted, temperature began to be measured (rather inaccurately) in the 1600’s - otherwise, extremes were “hot” or “cold”. “Cold” was easily defined, via mentions of snow and ice, and extents of time ice remained. However, “hot” remains undefined - after a few cool summers, anything warmer might seem hot. Thus - extended cold spells stand out over the years rather than extended hot spells.

Are you offering a solution? Or is this just more of your “Flanders was wrong, we ARE doomed!” gloating?

In the OP’s defense, a solution was offered by scientists studying the situation, who were largely ignored.

“Gloating”? WTF?

In other news:

This is just a normal nature thing here, folks. Move along. Nuttin’ to see.

There sure is a lot of excluded middle in this thread. The OP is mostly fear-mongering. Global collapse? Uh, no. We’ve been through these kinds of alarms before, like Silent Spring and the Population Bomb.

That doesn’t mean that climate change isn’t a problem. I agree that the south west will get drier; I just don’t believe that will lead to collapse. Changes are coming; some will be bad, some won’t be.

The balance is hard: how to call for change–change that won’t be cheap or easy–without turning into Chicken Littles.

What changes won’t be bad?

My Wife and I live way, way high up in the Colorado Mountains. What we have battled for 30 years is the cold and snow.

We have always thought that when we retire, we will move to a lower elevation. The amount of snow we get is going to be very, very difficult to manage when we are 70 years old. 30 feet of snow a winter is not unusual at all. That may be changing. Or it may become worse. Donno.

It’s interesting. A lot of people and companies have realized they can work from anywhere. And there are a lot of second vacation homes up here that typical get rented out to seasonal workers. Many second home owners have decided to move to their second homes permanently since they can work remotely.

We are a resort community, with a lot of seasonal workers. We are in a housing crunch partly due to the unavailability of houses that used to get rented out. The county I work for has actually leased (not sure of the details) an entire hotel so that these workers have a place to hang their hat.

Heat, unseasonable temps may also drive more people to live in the mountains IMHO.

But, that sword cuts two ways. Warmer weather, more people and forest fire danger. People that are not used to the mountains are more likely it seems to not understand just how dangerous it can be. Currently we are under a fire ban. No campfires, of course, no charcoal grills, and no smoking outside.

My Wife and I will have to see what our options are in 5-10 years. It may be best to stay put. What sucks though, is it’s getting more and more crowded, at least by our standards.

As I type this the north east is getting pelted by rain and we’ve had higher than average precipitation this year. If that’s a trend caused by climate change that wouldn’t be bad.