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View Diary: This week in science: Sandy (50 comments)

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  •  I know it's trite, but it bears repeating. (13+ / 0-)

    No single weather event can be directly attributed to climate change, but the overwhelming evidence is that climate change is real, and that we humans are responsible for it.

    Job creators?? Imagine what George Carlin would do with that. -7.25 -6.21

    by Tim DeLaney on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 06:08:32 AM PDT

    •  True. But... (6+ / 0-)

      We have now had Irene and Sandy, both major storms, in consecutive years.  I cannot remember that happening in my lifetime.  That's not a single event.

      "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Candide08 on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 07:00:51 AM PDT

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    •  A perfect statement, just as Mann says it's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tim DeLaney, DarkSyde

      possible that Sandy was caused or enhanced by global warming (yeah, he said climate change).

      It IS possible, but even the apparent "rolling a lot of snake-eyes" isn't enough to say more than that in an relatively short period of time, and, honestly, all of recorded history is a relatively short period of time.

      Randomness all but guarantees odd patterns because anything that prevent odd patterns from arising would violate the definition of randomness.  Over enough times and repetitions they disappear, but over short times and small numbers -- defined as appropriate to what you're studying -- very non-random appearing patterns are guaranteed to happen.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 07:02:03 AM PDT

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      •  Dinotrac (0+ / 0-)

        You are pretty reasonable, and you sound like you know a lot more about it than me.  But I had a thought the other day.  How long did it take Midwest farmers to realize that their practices caused the Dust Bowl?  It's not exactly out of reach that man made practices can change what otherwise would be the natural order of things.  

        Have some peanut butter....Romney's toast.

        by rosabw on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 12:02:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is one of the problems... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rosabw, PeterHug

          at some point you have to take a leap, even when you can't know.

          The thing is, even if we can't say with any certainty that Sandy was caused or magnified by global warming, we know that global warming is happening and that bad things are the inevitable result.  With so many other reasons to reduce carbon footprints -- like the fact that the rest of the world is finally catching up economically, multiplying demand for energy -- we have ample reason to get our butt-ends in gear.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 12:43:27 PM PDT

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    •  Quite incorrect. (0+ / 0-)

      Weather is the product of a global system and temperature is a primary input and variable of that chaotic system.

      All current weather is at least partially affected by global warming since it is a product of the system and some trends in the system are irrefutably a product of global warming.

      So I would say quite the opposite: it bears repeating that global warming is affecting the weather, Full Stop.

      This may seem like splitting hairs, but it isn't; if you think global weather systems produce discrete "single events" that may or may not have been affected by global warming, then may I ask you to prove that assertion, logically or by example? IOW, how does a major variable in the system NOT affect local outcomes?

      Sorry, but I have to refute your basic reasoning as inconsistent with the reality of our planet's weather system. Such reasoning is fodder for denialist arguments that have no merit, suggest you re-think this.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 09:05:54 AM PDT

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      •  Very reasonable, but largely irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

        The fact is that Sandy could have been a freak outcome of chance weather events even if CO2 levels in the atmosphere had never changed in the last couple centuries. In practice, there is no certain way to connect the dots of CO2 emissions with the damage caused by Sandy.

        It is only the weight of other evidence that enables us to connect CO2 emissions to Hurricane Sandy. Without detailed measurements of historic CO2 concentrations, global temperatures, glacier melting and retreat, disappearance of arctic sea ice, changes in sea level, and so forth, there is no smoking gun.

        Granted, there is scientific theory that supports the reality of climate change. And you are certainly, in my opinion, correct in saying that weather systems are determined by climate change--that is, by changes in temperature. There is no daylight between your scientific view and mine.

        The problem is that, in order to get anything useful done in the realm of politics, we must convince the distinguished senator from Louisiana or Texas or Oklahoma (and more importantly, their constituents) that a problem exists. Simply telling them so is less than useless. They will only be convinced by the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence, and then only grudgingly.

        You and I know that there is undoubtedly a causal connection between CO2 emissions and hurricane Sandy. We know that only by inference because we have seen megabytes of supporting evidence. But the problem of dealing with it is political, not scientific.

        Job creators?? Imagine what George Carlin would do with that. -7.25 -6.21

        by Tim DeLaney on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 11:09:57 AM PDT

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