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View Diary: The Frog in the Boiling Water is Singing Outside My Window - Climate Change in a Microcosm (88 comments)

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  •  Links to stories about Season Creep (0+ / 0-)
    Botanists poring over the Asian and European blooming records, the Smithsonian log, and the accounts of American observers such as Henry David Thoreau and explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, are finding the same phenomenon.

    “When you gather together all the scientific studies that have documented this, we can see that about 80 percent of the species are changing earlier in the spring,” said Jake Weltzin, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
    Washington Post

    Local news in MD--Fruit growers worry about losing early blooms to a sudden hard frost.
    The seasons we experience are a result of the Earth’s tilted axis as it revolves around the Sun. During the North American winter, our hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun and its light hits us at a different angle, making temperatures lower.

    While climate change won’t have any impact on Earth’s tilt, it is significantly shifting temperatures and causing spring weather to arrive earlier than it used to. Overall, spring weather arrives 10 days earlier than it used to, on average. “Spring creep" is something scientists projected would happen as the globe continues to warm.Huffpo

    The regular arrival of the rains or a dry period to harvest staple crops ensures the majority of people around the world can grow enough food to eat.
    Just a few of the stories out there. I know I know, it was probably all non-scientific, hysterical uterii that reported this, so feel free to ignore it.
    •  You're getting closer (0+ / 0-)

      At least this time you're linking to people talking to people who have done actual science in the field.  A couple more steps down the line and you might finally be linking to actual science.

      You seem to be having a lot of trouble understanding what science is and why it's critical that it's done the way it is.  It's not about feelings.  It's about the analysis of competing hypotheses in a controlled manner, with the analysis passed through peer-review and published.  Peer-review means a group of experts in the field look over your analysis and try to punch holes in it.

      A published paper on global warming (aka, one that has gone through peer review) is something that looks like this:

      With global warming, flowering at many locations has shifted toward earlier dates of bloom. A steady increase in average annual temperature since the late 1890s makes it likely that flowering also has advanced in the northern Sonoran Desert of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. In this study, phenological models were used to predict annual date of spring bloom in the northern Sonoran Desert from 1894 to 2004; then, herbarium specimens were assessed for objective evidence of the predicted shift in flowering time. The phenological models were derived from known flowering requirements (triggers and heat sums) of Sonoran Desert shrubs. According to the models, flowering might have advanced by 20–41 d from 1894 to 2004. Analysis of herbarium specimens collected during the 20th century supported the model predictions. Over time, there was a significant increase in the proportion of shrub specimens collected in flower in March and a significant decrease in the proportion collected in May. Thus, the flowering curve – the proportion of individuals in flower in each spring month – shifted toward the start of the calendar year between 1900 and 1999. This shift could not be explained by collection activity: collectors showed no tendency to be active earlier in the year as time went on, nor did activity toward the end of spring decline in recent decades. Earlier bloom eventually could have substantial impacts on plant and animal communities in the Sonoran Desert, especially on migratory hummingbirds and population dynamics of shrubs.
      THAT is science.  Saying "it regularly seems to be spring earlier outside my window, therefore, the whole planet is warming" is NOT science.  It's not at all scientific.  And more to say, areas which are having cooler winters could just as well say, "it regularly seems to be spring later outside my window, therefore the whole planet is cooling", using the exact same logic that you are.

      To reiterte the key points:

       * Anecdotes are not data.  Good data requires measurement and full recording without omission and without relying on human memory or perceptions.

       * Data alone is not a hypothesis.  A hypothesis attempts to correlate all of the known data related to a particular subject with a theoretical mechanism for why it is such, ideally proposed by someone well versed analysis of the data in the particular field and in alternate competing hypotheses.  Statistical analysis of the data is pretty much a "must".

       * A hypothesis alone is not science.  It must first go through peer-review where experts in the field try to find weaknesses in the analysis and compare how well it stands up to other existing hypotheses.

       * A newspaper article talking with scientists is not "science", although it's a lot better than anecdotes.  It does however leave you exposed to the "all people who a newspaper calls "scientist" are actually publishing peer-reviewed papers in their field and are in line with the majority of their peers", which is an assumption that can sometimes be highly misleading.

       * The best thing you can find if you are not personally an expert in a field is to find a metastudy, preferably by an esteemed group.  In terms of climate, there is nothing better than the IPCC reports, which also have a helpful, dumbed down "Summary for Policymakers".

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