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One of the things that I hate most about snow storms and ice-cold weather besides shoveling snow or scraping ice off my windshield is that conservatives use it as a talking-point to disprove climate change.

    Most people who watch Fox News will think that cold weather disproves global warming because they think “oh hey, it’s not warm outside so therefore the globe can’t be getting warmer.” This logic however is flawed.

    Now, I can’t blame people because most people don’t have any background  or education in any type of atmospheric science, and they get tricked into thinking that their flawed logic is correct.

    Now, the atmosphere and global climate systems are very complex subjects to learn and understand, but as a college student majoring in physics with a minor in meteorology (atmospheric physics), let me explain some science that will hopefully change the way people view cold weather and global warming.

    First, we must distinguish the difference between weather and climate:

    Climate is the average weather conditions over a long-period of time in a more generalize area.
    Weather is the current state of the atmosphere in the short-period of time in a more specified area.

Just because we have winter, it does not mean that global warming doesn’t exists.  Winter is a season, and seasons are related to the Earth’s position relative to the sun. Seasons exists because the Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees, and as the Earth revolves around the sun, the angle of sunlight changes in certain areas. If the Earth wasn’t tilted, we wouldn’t have any seasons.

    In the summer, the Earth is positioned such that the angle of sunlight is more direct to the ground and thus provides more heat (total energy). In the winter though, the Earth is positioned that angle of sunlight is spread over a greater area. (See the diagram below)

    Since the angle is less direct and the heat is being spread over a greater area, the ground isn’t going to be as warm, and the sun isn’t going to stay up as long which means that there is less heat coming in than there is in the summer. (Yeah for physics!)

    Now, let’s talk about winter weather. So we know why it gets cold in general, but there are other factors that affect the weather.  The weather that we are about to experience with temperatures below zero will be caused by an air mass chilled by the artic that has made its way down to the United States and Canada; this happens sometimes, and therefore does not disprove global warming.

Fun fact: the warming of the stratosphere of the arctic results in a high pressure system which can weaken the polar Jetstream while the midlatitude Jetstream strengthens which causes air to move from the arctic to the mid-latitudes. Long story short, air moves from high pressure to low pressure. If you want to get a higher understanding of how that works, you can read this article here .  Yes, global warming can caused stronger winter storms. Storms are fueled by heat, and more heat will result in more energy that needs to be distributed by the storm.

But let’s talk about global warming in general.

    Global warming is caused by an increase of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. However, one of the things that I feel that climate change activists have done wrong is that they have labeled the greenhouse effect and greenhouse gasses as a bad thing, but rather in a natural state we need the greenhouse effect to live on this planet, it’s too much greenhouse gases that is the problem. This is known as the “enhanced greenhouse effect.”


Greenhouse effect = Good
Enhanced Greenhouse effect = Bad.
    The greenhouse effect (to keep it simple) works like this: The sun emits visible light (radiation) which reaches the ground and heats the ground;  the ground, once heated, begins to release this heat back into the atmosphere as infrared radiation. Now without the atmosphere and greenhouse gasses, the heat would immediately come in and go out, but greenhouse gasses slows the process by trapping the heat and reemitting it back to the ground thus the energy coming in is faster than the energy coming out.  

    However, if we have too much of this, the globe will get very hot very quick. A very simple argument that is never used by climate change activists is the comparison of Earth’s atmosphere to the atmosphere of  Venus. First you must understand that Venus and Earth are almost the same size and have the same amount of CO2. The difference is that most of Earth’s CO2 is stuck in rocks while most the CO2 of Venus is in its atmosphere.

    Earth’s atmosphere contains .004% of CO2 while the atmosphere of Venus is made up of 96.5% of C02. The average temperature of Earth is 15 degrees centigrade (or 59 degrees Fahrenheit.) While the average temperature of Venus is 467 degrees centigrade (or 872 degrees Fahrenheit)

    You see, as you increase greenhouse gasses like CO2, the temperature increases. (See graph below)

Given that direct correlation of the amount of CO2 and temperature, conservatives who deny climate change somehow can’t look at Venus and think “hey maybe we shouldn’t take the rocks filled with CO2 in the ground and burn them so the CO2 gets in Earth’s atmosphere.”

    For some reasons, some people can’t understand why polluting CO2 into the atmosphere is bad idea even looking at a planet right next to us that has an atmosphere with 96.5% CO2 makeup with a 872 degree Fahrenheit temperature.

    This isn’t a complex idea, its simple physics and math. The more CO2 and greenhouse gasses there are in the atmosphere, the warmer the temperature.

    Lastly if all else fails, and the person you are debating still isn’t phased by facts, you can always pull a Zack Kopplin and say “Well, you’re not a scientist.”

“I find it funny that people who know nothing about the atmosphere try to tell me that climate change isn’t real” – My former weather and climate professor.

Originally posted to Alex Forgue on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.


Do You Believe in Global Warming?

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| 2203 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Could you send some of that snow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alexforgue, Knockbally, Bronx59

    to California? We have a sever shortage.

    I expect climate change to be like most other problems. People won't make the necessary adjustments to deal with it until things actually start falling on their heads. By then it will be exponentially harder to do anything about it.

    •  Most certainly! (0+ / 0-)

      Come and pick up as much of it as you want.

      Nothing will be done until the oceans really start to rise.
      Then, it'll be all about the elevation of Wall Street above sea level.

    •  CA needs water - snow, rain, maybe float ice bergs (0+ / 0-)

      down from Alaska!  This was a nice scientifically correct post, but people who make money from adding CO2 to atmosphere will pay no attention.  To me the best evidence for climate change is the retreat of glaciers - ALL glaciers, from the arctic to mt Kilamanjaro.  Unless the right wingers in Alaska have removed the signs, you can follow the recent history of glacier retreat.  Drive up many back roads to glaciers, and find signs giving the glacier locations for the past 100 years or so.  ALL are retreating.  This is definitive proof that Alaska and the Arctic are warming.  It does not require expertise other than common sense.  

  •  Do I believe in global warming? Can't happen fast (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    enough for me as we commence our 100 hours of temperatures below zero.  

    •  Tongue-in-cheek? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Firmly, I hope.

    •  Did you even read my article? (5+ / 0-)

      I clearly explain why this cold weather does not disprove global warming.

      In fact, this arctic air mass that is chilling us is due to the warming of the stratosphere over the arctic.  

      Like my posts? Follow me on Facebook for more: Click here to follow me on Facebook. Google

      by alexforgue on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:31:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm skeptical (0+ / 0-)

        I don't discount it entirely but I don't believe all the hype about it either.  

        •  There is some convincing evidence (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LookingUp, jqb, northerntier, eagleray

          in the present. The persistent trend of ice melt in the Artic and Antarctic are definitely leading to rising sea levels. There is documented evidence of species migrating to higher latitudes.  These things are not just hype.

          •  True but that's not to say that we fully (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            understand the dynamics of it all.  Weather advantages and disadvantages.  Some are disadvantaged by the weather as it has been and no doubt humans have adjusted to what weather has been in the past as they'll have to the future and some of the methods they choose to adapt like air conditioning burn energy.  It's not like we have the perfect earth where it's San Diego everywhere now.   I just doubt our current ability to create or maintain climate and even if we could we'd be choosing winners and losers.  Meanwhile, I just keep adding layers and hope the old boiler makes it through another January and the pipes don't freeze.  

            •  That attitude is why (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              badger, LookingUp, jqb, Bronx59, eagleray

              it is very likely that nothing will get done about it. Whatever happens most of it will be somewhere off in the future and somebody else can worry about it.

              •  I just don't believe we know enough to do (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                much about it without creating other problems in the process.  I mean, yeah, we should invest in learning how to produce and use energy more efficiently but I think we'd have more success doing that if we make it immediately beneficial for people to do that rather than expecting individuals to take responsibility for the global climate and future impacts on someone else.  I mean we can't even convince people to care about their neighbor's healthcare and we expect them to care about future climate impacts in southeast Asia or wherever?  I mean, tell me how to warm up Minnesota about 90 degrees tomorrow and you've got my attention.

                •  You know nothing so you believe no one else does? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bronx59, eagleray, Calamity Jean

                  Why do you trust your own opinion over that of the world's scientists?

                  "I mean, tell me how to warm up Minnesota about 90 degrees tomorrow and you've got my attention."

                  This has nothing to do with global warming ... why are you trolling here?

                •  Fine. So in fact you are down with the program. (0+ / 0-)

                  Since the program consists of more efficient electricity generation via renewables plus efficiency and conservation measures, all of which cuts CO2 emissions while lowering costs. And we want to cut carbon subsidies.

                  So what are you arguing against? We aren't proposing geoengineering here.

                  Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                  by Mokurai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:06:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  How Dare the Government Tell Me What Kind (0+ / 0-)

                  of light bulbs to buy which use 90+% less energy while I rant & rave & rail about my high electric bills, which I conflate into voting for Republicans who want to crush me!!!

                  YOU just don't Get It?
                   So educate yourself. It's easy. You obviously have access to huge amounts of very good information, with the internet.

                  The UW here has shown conclusively that the AVERAGE LOW as well as the AVERAGE HIGH temps are rising.

                  We are starting to see praying Mantises here, which was unheard of just 10 years ago.

                  Keep your eyes on the Greenland ice-sheet melt, for more info.

              •  Fortunately that attitude has little to do with (0+ / 0-)

                what will be done. In fact, renewable power is now cheaper than oil and coal in many places, soon to be almost everywhere in the world, and is closing in on gas. Goldman-Sachs is advising against any investments in coal for generating electricity (thermal coal) and in coal export terminals, because such investments will certainly be stranded when they become uneconomical. Coal will continue to be used in steelmaking and some other processes, where the rate of emissions has been sharply curtailed and will continue to decline.

                We are at the tipping point where it appears that little or nothing has been happening, but it is about to start happening, seemingly all at once.

                Like Marriage Equality, which had an unbroken string of losses up until its first win, and has now had an unbroken string of about 20 victories in various states, DC, and Federal courts. Utah looks like it could be the dam-buster. The District Court there quoted Scalia's dissent on the DOMA case, which claimed that by the majority's reasoning bans on gay marriage are all unconstitutional. From your mouth to the FSM's, um, whatever, Nino.

                I have no idea what will be the dam-buster that permits a carbon tax, or when it will happen, but I do know that it is coming.

                Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                by Mokurai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:01:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  You should be skeptical that you know or (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Calamity Jean

              understand anything about climate ... because you don't. You aren't skeptical, you're arrogant, placing confidence in your own beliefs and thought processes that don't deserve that confidence.

          •  greenbell equates willful ignorance to skepticism (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            He/she clearly has no interest in evidence or reason.

        •  You aren't skeptical at all. (0+ / 0-)

          A skeptical person would challenge the completely wrongheaded idiotic ideas of denial. No skeptic could say "Can't
          enough for me  as we commence our 100 hours of temperatures below zero", because a skeptical person would challenge the idea that global warming -- which is the influx of energy into the planetary atmosphere system" -- would have any effect on their local weather conditions, especially after reading this article. A skeptical person would consider the idea that your cold weather is a result of Arctic air pushing into your area and wonder why that is happening and whether it's a consequence of global warming. A skeptical person would look into the climate science and would question how it is that the world's climate scientists virtually all agree and how it could possibly be a giant hoax or conspiracy and where such an absurd idea comes from.

          You aren't a skeptic, you're the opposite ... and I'm leaving out all the impolite stuff.

        •  The question was whether you even read the article (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, alexforgue

          All indications are that you did not, or entirely ignored its content ... especially the final line:

          “I find it funny that people who know nothing about the atmosphere try to tell me that climate change isn’t real” – My former weather and climate professor.

          But you aren't funny, you're disgusting.

      •  the cold weather (4+ / 0-)

        I am definitely no scientist, but I keep seeing satellite photos (infrared?) of that circle of cold that'll be descending - if it hasn't already.

        Perhaps this is the high pressure/low pressure from the Arctic?  Because it looks like it'll be colder in the lower 48 than in northern Canada - which is just nuts.

        I've heard people refer to Global Warming/Climate change as "Global Weirding".  That seems to sum it up, to me anyway.

        Thanks for such a clear explanation - it's always appreciated by someone who doesn't have a great science background.

        And now I know how Joan of Arc felt.

        by Knockbally on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:00:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Atmospherics isn't really all that complicated (0+ / 0-)

        If you can monitor every atom in it, as well as those on the surface and every photon entering the atmosphere.

        OK, that makes it complicated.  ;)

        The easiest way to understand it is, energy. Energy in, energy reflected out, energy being distributed.
        A fraction of a degree over a thousand miles is one hell of a lot of energy to redistribute.

        And boy, are we getting a redistribution this week! The ice on my sidewalk, from melted snow, has suffered from a severe case of frostbite.

    •  You already have in-house and in-car (0+ / 0-)

      warming. What more do you need?

      And if that isn't good enough, what keeps you in the land of the snows? You have heard of the tropics, haven't you? Maybe you should try them. Although I should warn you that the coral reefs are dying, so a lot of the most scenic spots are going away.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:09:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's Simple Arrogance to Think Puny Humans Can (4+ / 0-)

    change The Lord's great creation. So pshaw with all your so-called facts.

    Reason #27 why Bill Nye debating a creationist is a dumber idea than yelling at an empty chair.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:52:14 AM PST

    •  Right? On hearing that argument I always think, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      did you LIVE through the cold war era?  Mutually Assured Destruction possible through nuclear weapons?  Of course humans can destroy the earth.  

      Yay us.

      And now I know how Joan of Arc felt.

      by Knockbally on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:21:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We certainly have the capacity (0+ / 0-)

      to alter the chemistry of the atmosphere dumping quadrillion tons of crap into it. And we have. The surprise here is how small the change needed to produce alarming effects.

      God has nothing to do with it.

  •  The graph shows an amplification effect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When long term orbital changes start to increase temperatures, carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere from oceans and thawing areas on the ground.  The added carbon dioxide amplifies the warming.

    Once the orbital changes would on their own cool the planet, temperatures drop more slowly than they rose, since there is still extra carbon dioxide opposing the cooling.

    The consistent asymmetry in the curves (steep warming, less steep cooling) is a clear indication of a greenhouse gas effect.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:19:18 AM PST

  •  CO2 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knockbally, alexforgue

    I have heard the argument that CO2 is "natural and not harmful"....I have considered putting such a person in a closed room and raise the CO2 level....I would save their ignorant selves before they quit breathing.

    If you do not understand the difference between climate and weather, there is no hope for you.

    I actually prefer "Climate Change" over "Global Warming", it makes is simpler for the simple minds of conservatives.

    •  That infuriates me also... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Knockbally, LookingUp, Calamity Jean

      The line that "CO2 is not a pollutant", or "We couldn't live without CO2."

      Is it so difficult to understand that things need to be in the right quantities in order to be good.   Maybe this reflects the equilibrium economics taught in most universities, which operates on the assumption that more consumption is always a good thing.  By that reasoning, eating three steaks for dinner must be three times better than just eating one.  

      I always use the counterexample of H2O.   Water is essential for life in the right quantities; deadly when there is too much of it.  

      •  Water is necessary for life so can't drown you. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        Warmth is necessary for life so can't burn you.
        Food is necessary for life so can't make you obese.

        Even if deniers accept that this particular CO2 argument is stupid and wrong rather than rejecting the analogs out of hand, they will either switch to other equally stupid and wrong arguments or will go back to their bogus argument a day later. The problem isn't with reasoning, it's with ideologically motivated belief and intellectual dishonesty.

      •  That isn't from equilibrium economics (0+ / 0-)

        which observes the phenomena of Diminishing Returns. You might be thinking of the supposed Pareto Optimum, which is defined as a state in which nobody can be made better off without making somebody else worse off. In a free and fully competitive market, there should be an equilibrium which is also a Pareto Optimum. But we have nothing like a free and competitive market, nothing like a true equilibrium, and nothing like a Pareto Optimum.

        However, it is an article of faith among Market Fundamentalists that we are always, necessarily, at a Pareto Optimum, and that they are the ones to be made worse off by any tax increase, regulation, labor law, or human rights legislation. They cannot grasp that allowing society to invest some of their earnings along with everybody else's can result in an increase in their earnings, along with everybody else's.

        Real equilibrium economics is not their kind of zero-sum game, since it allows for economic growth improving everybody's situation. As we had in the Eisenhower years, when the top tax bracket was over 90%, but we built roads, schools, and much more.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:21:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dont think they've thought it through (0+ / 0-)

          I'm just supposing that a superficial exposure to consumption functions, etc. in Econ 101 gives people the idea that more consumption is always a good thing, since it increases "utility.  This in turn could lead to the idea that, if CO2 is good, then more of it must be better.  How else could anyone think something so patently ridiculous?  

      •  the dose makes the poison (or pollutant) (0+ / 0-)

        Many trace metals we could not live without (chromium and selenium, for example) are toxic and even lethal when they get beyond a certain level.  So, it is pretty stupid to project that, since a certain amount of CO2 is good, even more is better.  We need a little humidity in the air to thrive, but we drown if we try to breathe under water.   Humans have evolved to survive  within a very narrow band of temperatures, concentrations of various chemicals, etc.  Just because we need a certain amount of some compound, it does not follow that a super-abundance of it is that much better for us.  Though I admire Mae West ("too much of a good thing is wonderful!"), her philosophy does not apply to chemical concentrations in the environment and other factors...

    •  Frank Luntz recommended CC over GW (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Knockbally, Mokurai

      to aid in the FUD campaign against science. Sadly it has worked, with few people understanding the physics, and able to say "the climate has always changed".

  •  Okay, statistics über alles! (0+ / 0-)

    Interesting that, at the point I voted, there were a total of 24 votes.  It broke down, rounding:
    83% believe in global warming
    17% do not believe in global warming.

    Very well.  Off to the Googles™.  In other things do Americans show up holding a 17% view (assuming, of course the validity of this sampling, blah blah blah)?

    • 17% of Americans support the Afghanistan war.
    • 17% of Americans hold anti-Semitic views.
    • 17% of Americans think we should get involved militarily with Syria.
    • 17% of Americans think we have too darn much freedom.

    There.  Now I feel better, because numbers.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    by notKeith on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:39:26 AM PST

  •  Sadly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My social media feeds are already filling up with the "it's cold, therefore global warming is a hoax!" and "hey, did you see how the global warming scientists got stopped by ice? haw-haw-haw, it's all a hoax!" garbage. It grates on my nerves every time I see it.

    And Heaven forbid someone try to explain all this to them; then you're considered either be "in" on the "global warming conspiracy" or they say that you are the one being duped. Ugh...

  •  Agree with all of it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knockbally, Calamity Jean

    but I have a minor issue with the "tilt" of the earth. There is a 23 degree difference between the earth's axial plane and orbital plane, but it is misleading to say the earth is "tilted".

    When I was a child, a long long time ago, I was actually taught that the earth tilted on its axis twice a year, northern hemisphere towards the sun as summer approached then back away as winter approached. Silly once I came to understand the physics of inertia.

    Imagine the inertial force if a few trillion metric tons of mass actually "tilted" twice per orbit.

    Earth would be uninhabitable if it actually "tilted".

    Best way to explain why it's cold to a Conservative:

    It's WINTER you brain dead idiot!!! Ask the Australians if it's hot. And while you're thinking about it, ask yourself WHY it's been 20 years since it's been this cold? HMMMMMM????? Could it be a warming climate causing two decades to pass between record cold temperatures?

    We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

    by Patriot4peace on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:54:44 AM PST

    •  "Tilt" is a manner of speaking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It merely points out that the Earth's polar axis does not form a 90 degree angle in its orbit around the sun.  The "tilt" doesn't change; the north pole, and thus the northern hemisphere, points somewhat closer to the sun during half of the orbit, and somewhat further from the sun during the other half.  

      This is one of those basic facts that is widely misunderstood, even among highly educated people.  Many people will still say that the seasons are caused by how close the Earth is to the sun in its orbit.  Of course, if this were the case, seasons would be uniform over the globe, not the opposite in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.  

  •  Climatologists have been warning for a long (6+ / 0-)

    time that local weather extremes would almost certainly accompany global warming. Stupid right-wing dittoheads loooove to guffaw about these cold episodes as if they're some sort of seventh sign the scientists are wrong.


    In fact these polar vortexes and extreme cold do not  only not disprove global warming, they confirm it!

  •  Let's make it simpler. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knockbally, LookingUp

    Deniers think that "global warming" means "getting warm everythere", rather than "average temperature of the planetary atmospheric system increasing" (by the heat of 4 Hiroshima bombs / second) -- it's an ambiguity about the word "global" and a misunderstanding of what refers to in "global warming". This is why we encounter stunningly stupid comments like that global warming is welcomed because it's cold in Minnesota.

  •  The only reason it's cold here is that some arctic (0+ / 0-)

    weather moved from there, to here.

    The earth isn't any colder overall.

    •  direct link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl

      A  senior editor on the CBS morning show spoke of the polar vortex and stated that they are studying the link between global warming and this extreme weather occurrence. It seems there is a weakening of the windstream that contains this arctic air- he compared it to a hurricane- and when the wind gets weak enough the air drops down away from the pole and spills down over us. Of course this is an extremely simplified version of what he said but it would appear that more and more scientists are pointing out such connections. I am delighted to hear more and more connections being made as these events occur. If only the sheeple in this country would listen... alas, I fear it is like the proverbial tree in the forest.

  •  I do not BELIEVE in global warming (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After looking at facts and evidence, I am quite convinced that the globe is warming.  

    -2 points for use of the word 'believe' in the poll.

  •  Your poll is wrong (0+ / 0-)

    I don't believe in Global Warming. I have access to data on Global Warming. Many millions of measurements over centuries.

    The air is warmer. The land is warmer. The oceans are warmer and more acid, and their upper layers are expanding, so that the oceans are rising. The ice is melting everywhere from the equator (mountaintop glaciers) to both polar regions. Glaciers are flowing toward the oceans faster. The melting ice is changing the salinity of polar currents, and disturbing the global deep ocean circulation.


    Forget the models. They have all been wrong. The measured reality has been worse than any of the models predicted.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:49:38 PM PST

  •  System analysis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Personally I always think about it like a feedback control system.  Global warming describes an overall increase in thermal energy to the climate system.  If you apply increasing amounts of energy to a system, you perturb the system and you will see ripples... if you apply a large amount suddenly you see ringing, overshoot, etc.  Doesn't matter what the daily temperature is, but overall you're going to see greater extremes in weather and more frequently.  Hot periods may get hotter, cold periods may get colder, wet periods may get wetter, dry periods may get drier.  Basically whatever you already had just a lot MORE of it either in duration or intensity.

    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. ~~ Douglas Adams

    by Remillard on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:29:45 AM PST

  •  Good article, with one nitpick... (0+ / 0-)

    "and the person you are debating still isn’t phased by facts"
    ---It's not 'phased", here, it's "fazed".

    Carry on, ladies and gentlemen...

  •  Half an Earth is better than none (0+ / 0-)

    "In the summer, the Earth is positioned such that the angle of sunlight is more direct to the ground and thus provides more heat (total energy). In the winter though, the Earth is positioned that angle of sunlight is spread over a greater area."

    In the which hemisphere, Alex?   There's Northern Hemisphere summer, and Southern Hemisphere summer, and they're six months apart.  You make it sound as though the entire Earth experiences summer or winter at once, but it's only half the planet at a time.

    You're obviously not a climate scientist, or any kind of scientist, either.

    •  I thought about that. (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, I understand that when the Northern hemisphere is in its winter when the southern hemisphere is in its summer.

      However, it does not need to specified because it refers to summer and winter which the two hemisphere experience at different times. It is  reference to summer and winter in a generalize sense, because in your summer, the angles are more direct in your area, and in your winter, the sun angles are more spread out over a great area.

      This article was meant to simplify it for people.

      Like my posts? Follow me on Facebook for more: Click here to follow me on Facebook. Google

      by alexforgue on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 02:23:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Climate Change (0+ / 0-)

    Has anything changed since this article, linked above, was written? Has the basic data at East Anglia been revised? There has been no rise in global temperature for over 15 years. There's something screwy in the models.

    The article doesn't even mention that the increase in global temperature, beginning around 1880, singled the end of the Little Ice Age, which began around 1350. We are in an interglacial period of an ice age.
    Ice ages are determined almost entirely by orbital mechanics. Things like continental positions and minor variations of trace atmospheric gases can exacerbate or ameliorate the severity of an ice age, but not get us out of one. The glaciers are due momentarily, on a geological timescale.

    Please don't jump on me as a right wing nut job. I think the A.C.A. is big mistake because we should have given everyone expanded Medicare. The Glass-Steagall Act needs to be restored. The minimum wage should be more like $15 an hour. Education should be free for as high a degree as your abilities can take you. Our government does most things well. The military should not be privatized, nor should the intelligence services, sewer and water, highways, etc.

    This should establish my Progressive credentials.

  •  Here's another visual aid (0+ / 0-)

    Go the Arbor Day Foundation website and find the hardiness zone map in the Media section.  Go to "See an animation" and click on that. They also have a section on Climate Change
     The USDA is supposed to issue an updated map every ten years, but hadn't since 1990 (I suppose due to opposition from the Bush administration), so in 2006 the Arbor day Foundation did their own update. You can toggle between the 1990 and 2006 maps and see the warmth creeping north. These maps depict the thirty-year average winter lows in an area. The bands are defined by a range of ten degrees Fahrenheit. These maps are used to help determine what plants will survive the winter in a given area. A map of summer average highs would look somewhat different, but in most areas the zones of such a map would also be creeping north. At some point a given plant will also find it too hot to grow.

    The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in learning to love the dandelions. Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1910

    by Grainpaw on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:43:21 PM PST

  •  I love this, and I recommended it... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but as a fellow scientist who has tried many times to go through this argument with the deniers, I can say with confidence that you are wasting your fcuking time.

    By the way, the Venus effect was understood a century ago, and was used at one time as an argument in precisely this way.  The response of one denier was that "God made the two planets in different ways, so one has nothing to do with the other."

    It's hopeless.

    The Wanderer, from somewhere over the Pacific...

    by Wanderer1961 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 04:48:15 PM PST

  •  The Poll Question is pretty dumb (0+ / 0-)

    It is not about belief. Science never is. I don't "believe" in global warming, I accept the scientific theory of global warming as the best explanation of the facts as we know them today.

    As far as the post is concerned, yes, the deniers (as opposed to us "warmists" or "alarmists") will hold their opinions, the facts be damned and trying to provide them with facts will fail about as miserably as trying to disuade a creationist.

    I have posted blogs on this subject many times in my home town online news site and once got into a back and forth with some local moron (who posted under the original moniker "townie").

    He finally resorted to ad hominem attacks, the last refuge for someone who knows he is on the wrong side of an argument.

    Called me an "environmental wacko."

    My reply - If I am an environmental wacko, then so is every major scientific organization on the planet, not to mention the U.S. Department of Defense (which is already doing long range planning for dealing with disasters and conflicts brought on by climate change). If they are wackos, I am in good company.

    I agree with other posters who have stated to the effect that we will only react when it is blantantly obvious what is going on. Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 droughts weren't enough. It makes me wonder what will be.

    •  Hi. (0+ / 0-)

      About those polls.  Often diarists utilize them just to get folks to click and let them know someone is reading their piece.  They aren't always (or even mostly) intended to solicit valid responses.

      Thanks for posting your first comment.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 05:35:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Global warming poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While perhaps seemingly trivial to some, your question "Do you believe in global warming?" helps perpetuate the notion that observations about climate change are part of a belief system.  They are not.  Science by definition does not require "faith."Hypotheses and mounting evidence either line up as workable, or fall apart if not. On the subject of global warming, we should all be encouraged to study the evidence vs. manufacturing opinions or beliefs.

  •  Please forgive a mostly ignorant question (0+ / 0-)

    I have read that increased temps could  cause melting of permafrost, thereby releasing even more CO2, and warming the ocean also releases more CO2. I presume that this is  positive feedback that they think can make things worse. Judging by the graphs, the average global temperature and CO2  rise and fall almost in lock-step with each other over hundreds of thousands of years. In light of all this, can someone tell me how we know how much, (historically) the CO2 caused increased temperatures vs. higher temperatures causing more atmospheric CO2?

  •  Physical and atmospheric science... (0+ / 0-)

    is far too complicated for the Neo-con hayseed minds. They profess their ignorance every time they open their know-nothing mouths.

    If you like bicycles, check out the newest and coolest products at my site, "" You can also find my products at e-Bay under the name, "Ziggyboy." See all the products on my "See seller's other items" link.

    by JohnnieZ on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 06:23:12 PM PST

  •  I believe in gravitational theory, too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but the laws and processes of Nature do not depend on whether I believe them or not.  Even if the majority of the world's humans stopped believing in gravity, it wouldn't change a thing.  I think it is the height of stupidity to have polls on how many people "believe" in evolution or climate change or whatever.  Besides, the deniers don't have a clue what global climate change is all about.  Starting with the problem that they do not understand the meaning of "global".

  •  Let's keep it simple so they can understand: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just because someone hits a jackpot on the slots, doesn't mean that the house won't eventually win it back and then some.  That's the difference between daily weather and climate.  If you don't understand that you will go broke in Vegas or Atlantic City or visiting some reservation.

    By the way, I have long suspected that some of the Mariner probe's classified radar images of the surface of Venus show the Cytherian (Venusian) equivalent of SUVs and factory smokestacks.

    Just kidding, NASA, but it doesn't mean Earth could NOT become the next Venus.  It is up to us.

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