Sunday, January 06, 2008

Inconvenient 2007 Weather: Year of Global Cooling

Exhibit A: Buenos Aires Gets First Snow Since 1918 (pictured above)

Exhibit B: The weather phenomenon La Nina will bring Canada the coldest winter in nearly 15 years.

Exhibit C: Peru has been in the grip of extremly cold weather with temperatures ranging between -22º and -15º C (July 2007). The record breaking cold spell has caused the death of 55 children under five and is responsible for over 6,000 cases of pneumonia. The Government of Peru has declared a National Emergency in 14 of the 24 Peruvian provinces as severe weather continues to sweep the country.

Exhibit D: “This has been Chile's toughest winter in the past 50 years, and the latest snow storms means less exports, job losses, less fresh vegetables and an overall negative impact for regional and local economies,” said Chile's Agriculture Minister Alvaro Rojas. Rojas added that 30 to 40 percent of citrus and 30 percent of avocados crops “can be considered as lost.”

Exhibit E: There’s snow on the ground in Johannesburg (South Africa) today (June 27, 2007), for the first time in 26 years. The Johannesburg airport shut down, hundreds of bus passengers and 20 trucks were stranded, and one man died from exposure.

Exhibit F: Following the snowiest December on record, many areas of New Hampshire got about a foot of snow on New Year's Day, with a couple of inches added during the night and a couple more likely Wednesday. December's snowfall at Concord, N.H., totaled 44.5 inches, toppling a record of 43 inches that had stood since 1876. Burlington, Vt., got 45.7 inches, far above its 17.2-inch December average, and Portland, Maine, amassed 37.7 inches for its third-snowiest December on record.

Source: "Br-r-r! Where Did Global Warming Go?" by Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe

20 Comments:

At 1/07/2008 1:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What About These Inconvenient Facts?

December 10, 2007 - All time record high temperature set in Birmingham, Alabama the new record of 79 degrees (it is also the driest year since 1895.)

April showed record high temperatures in Europe 8 consecutive months of higher than normal temperatures in Germany, 13 consecutive months of higher than normal temperatures in France.

Ending in April 2007, England saw the warmest 12 months on record in 350 years (since records started to be kept.)

Parts of the Arctic have experienced an unprecedented heatwave this summer of 2007, with one research station in the Canadian High Arctic recording temperatures above 20C, about 15C higher than the long-term average.

The annual temperature for 2007 across the contiguous USA is expected to be near 54.3 degrees — making the year the 8th-warmest since records were first begun in 1895, according to preliminary data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center.

 
At 1/07/2008 4:13 AM, Blogger eeser said...

It's actually called "climate change" not "global warming." Both cooling and warming will occur as the ice caps continue to melt and alter the thermal exchange of heat energy throughout the planet. Can one really support the idea that the massive presence of human populations do not affect climate?? It's called science, it may be inconvenient but it shouldn't be political.

 
At 1/07/2008 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is supposed to be "Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance"

Mark your title is not consistent with the contradictory evidence provided by Anon 1:04.

Therefore you need to go back to the drawing board and develop a satisfactory hypothesis that takes into account all relevant data.

When there is no discrepancy between your hypothesis and independent observations of relevant data I'm sure the scientific community will be willing to consider your theory as plausible until a better one is developed, presented and peer reviewed.

 
At 1/07/2008 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Citations for all of the so-called "facts" in the first comment, please? Simply positing something as a "fact" doesn't make it so.

skh.pcola

 
At 1/07/2008 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

skh.pcola said... "Simply positing something as a "fact" doesn't make it so."

Exactly! That is part of the point I am making that Professor Perry when Professor Perry, a man who should know better, posts pseudo science on his blog.

The fact that Professor Perry fails to take into account reports that contradict his assertion that 2007 was a year of global cooling invalidate his credibility in this matter completely.

 
At 1/07/2008 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on Anon. 11:06,

Ever since the Stern report, an assumption has been made that climate change/global warming is an economic rather than a climatological area of research and that it is desirable for economists to weigh in on whether or not they subscribe to the theory of greenhouse gases.

While in the area of public policy like Pigovian taxes or cap and trade, the knowledge of economists makes a very real contribution, economists have no expertise in climatology. As a profession, it would be more appropriate to confine one's comments to areas of core compentency.

This posting & Anon. 1:04 concern weather not long term climate trends. Joining the populist fray on this issue represents an opportunity cost...it keeps us from discussing subjects where economics has something meaningful to contribute.

Could we get back to economics?

 
At 1/07/2008 1:10 PM, Blogger gator80 said...

First, although a skeptic about global warming, particularly as to whether it is anthropogenic, I agree with 'anonymous' that simply listing selective facts is a two-way street. I am in Manhattan where today (January 7) it is in the upper 50's and tomorrow may hit a record high. Does that 'prove' global warming?

Second, I don't have an issue with the topic being discussed on an economics blog. Decisions with real economic consequences are already being made based on beliefs about global warming. So it's fair game to discuss the evidence.

 
At 1/07/2008 2:27 PM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

I am agog at the arrogance of several posters here claiming that only climatologists are allowed to talk about AGW.

I'll bet anything that they wouldn't have said all those negative comments if Professor Perry had instead merely parroted the onesided data points that seem to support AGW while refusing to mention anything that seem to detract from it, such as the fact (yes fact) that antarctic sea ice is at "record" levels, using "record" in the same manner that the airheads in most of our media use the term when talking about arctic ice.

So, in reality these slimy attacks on Professor Perry aren't really about his qualifications at all, they are about a perennial ad hominem attack against anyone who chooses to engage in the very necessary and highly prestegious pasttime of questioning that which some would claim as dogma.

In other words, Professor Perry is being slammed for invoking the scientific method and coming up with results nonsupportive of the Fear Industrial Complex. Shame on all of you who by proxy are thus attacking science itself by your attacks on Professor Perry.

 
At 1/07/2008 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happyjuggler0 said...

"...Professor Perry is being slammed for invoking the scientific method..."

Gotcha!

Please explain how Professor Perry is "invoking the scientific method."

 
At 1/07/2008 5:15 PM, Anonymous marmico said...

Exhibit B:

Warm Weather Creates Risk in Central Canada

 
At 1/07/2008 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happyjuggler,

I am also someone who is skeptical of the greenhouse gas theory and those who like Al Gore use weather reports or doomsday scenarios to support their claims.

Much of the IPCC predictions depend upon computer modelling like the hockey stick graph of Dr. Michael Mann. Dr. Mann's graph of temperatures for the last 1000 years virtually eliminated the Medieval warming period and was found to contain numerous errors by 2 Canadians (Macintyre & McKitrick). Since this chart was a key piece of evidence in the IPCC report which was the basis for the Kyoto protocol, the accuracy of Dr. Mann's work is very much at issue.

While I agree with you that the economic consequences of public policy relating to climate change are of critical importance, I don't believe that economists are experts in climatology. This statement was not intended an ad hominem attack but a statement of fact.

If you visit www.junkscience.com, you can review some of the information on the science. Personally, I found it beyond my limited abilities but I am not an economist. Would be interested in your opinion on this information which may be more intelligible to you.

At present, there is considerable spin on the subject of climate change. What seems to be happening is a cascade as science is mugged by populism. Anyone who has looked at the results of previous cascades understands that this has happened before with often devastating consequences.

www.junkscience.com offers a case in point, the banning of DDT. I have downloaded scientific report after scientific report which indicate that Silent Spring misrepresented the findings of researchers creating a political firestorm which resulted in the banning of DDT for political rather than scientific reasons. Months of testimony by the scientific community were not even considered by the man who introduced the ban.

DDT is certainly toxic but not highly toxic. It is definitely persistent in the environment and kills all insects even in trace amounts making blanket spraying in agriculture inappropriate. It does not cause breast cancer and the eggshell thinning claims are very much in doubt. It is also the most effective tool ever invented to fight malaria.

Over 3,000 scientists and humanitarians signed a petition initiated by Bishop Desmond Tutu to urge the WHO and the world community to adopt interior spraying of DDT which can lower malaria transmission by up to 90%.

The WHO now supports DDT interior spraying and states that in this type of application, DDT is safe for humans and represents no danger to the environment.

DDT is still opposed by environmentalists on the basis of the Silent Spring written by Rachel Carson. Most readers never seldom look up the studies. Readers believed that DDT caused breast cancer and eggs to fail to hatch because Silent Spring said so. The actual research did not substantiate either claim.

The result of the banning of DDT has been an explosion of malarial cases globally and millions of preventable deaths. Another result has been that the environmental movement began to use classic political pressure tactics and propaganda to achieve their objectives taking resources away from researchers and habitat preservation.

The WHO's website and recent research at Harvard document the economic costs associated with malaria. In some African nations, malaria accounts for 1/2 of all hospital stays.

I believe that the most useful thing that economists can do is show how much getting it wrong will cost. The Stern Report has given the international community the impression that addressing climate change will be cheap and painless, an assumption that needs to be challenged.

One of the key concepts of economics is that people respond to incentives. It seems that the best way to combat populism running away with the agenda is to demonstrate that public policy based upon mass hysteria rather than sound science is going to pick your pocket.

Nice to see a posting from you. Always enjoyed your posts on Greg Mankiw's blog.

Anon. 12:16

 
At 1/07/2008 7:41 PM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

Ok, maybe I took some liberties (in a way) in saying that he was using the scientific method, but those slamming him for having the temerity to point out inconvenient truths are in fact trying to silence the necessary "retest" phase of a hypothesis, and thus they are the ones refusing to follow the scientific method.

My apologies for the confusion.

It is simply deplorably bad science to refuse to hear contrary evidence and to instead declare a fait accompli by invoking the word consensus.

anon @5:45,

Nice to know I have a fan. :)

You make some valid points, and they are taken. Weather is not climate, a point Perry may or may not quite grasp. However I find his post, and the linked article he cited, a welcome counterpoint to those constantly using every single weather outlier and quasi-outlier to claim that they are evidence of AGW. They aren't, in fact they aren't even close.

One wonders why so-called "real climate scientists" aren't trolling around complaining to the nonscientists at CNN, FOX, CBS, NBC, etc. for their incessant misrepresentation of things like the CA wildfires, Hurricane Katrina, the weather today as somehow being linked to AGW. I only seem to see them on sites populated by economists and others who point inconvenient truths about economic scarcity and tradeoffs.

I share your concerns about where this is going, and by "this" I am not referring to our very gradual increase in planetary temperature average since the Little Ice Age (which if the Fear Industrial Complex was truly frightened by it they'd all be calling loudly for nuclear power now, especially if we are really 10 years from a tipping point [10 years my ass. 10 years is a scoundrels excuse for a time frame when they really mean "I have no freaking clue"]).

Rather, the concerns I am referring to are AGW becoming a religion intolerant of inconvenient facts that appear to contradict the hallowed hypothesis masquerading as established fact. Tens of millions of people are dead via malaria thanks in part to Rachel Carson's blind advocates/apologists, and I am instantly deeply suspicious of anyone that comes across the way they do and is intolerant of debate and who attacks debaters instead of attacking said debaters facts or logic.

By the way, who wants to bet what happens in 10 years , a point in time when the AGW alarmists say we ought to have passed the "tipping point" where it is too late to reverse AGW. Will the AGW alarmists merely restate that we have about 10 years "to do something" (i.e. go socialist), or will they say that we've blown it, it is too late to do something, we may as well do nothing after all?

I only mention this point because if these guys are right about the science, then we ought to undergo a radical overhaul of our energy systems and implememnt nuclear power ASAP for all our electricity needs. Also, we ought to all go vegan immediately, exterminating all existing cows, pigs, and chickens and all other livestock as well to get rid of all that nasty methane.

I don't hear these folks arguing this though. Instead they are arguing about putting in mercury laden lightbulbs that don't work well in your bathroom instead, and scowling at people who drive SUV's, and flying on jet fuel to Bali and pontificate about who much the US government is a meanie.

This is why I am far from scared by the "science" propagated hypocrites like Al Gore and his humongous carbon footprint. They aren't calling for any seemingly very needed reforms. I am very scared though by the thinly veiled socialist and Luddite "remedies" these scoundrels want us to enact.

 
At 1/07/2008 7:57 PM, Blogger happyjuggler0 said...

Oops, I almost forgot another deal breaker from the general public's view. I pointed out that under the "things are dire, we have 10 years left to make a change" scenario:

we ought to all go vegan immediately, exterminating all existing cows, pigs, and chickens and all other livestock as well to get rid of all that nasty methane

I should have added that we should also euthanize all dogs and cats under the same logic of AGW, it is simply car too costly in terms of Greenhouse Gases to let them live.

I am not really calling for this by the way, just to make things clear. But the diehard AGW alarmists ought to be, and they aren't, which leads me to believe that they don't really believe their own hysteria.

 
At 1/07/2008 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happyhuggler,

The real tip off is the IPCC. Last year, they released (and hyped) their Report to Public Policy Makers months before the scientific report which went practically unreported.

Fred Singer has dubbed this report the Report for Public Policy Makers by Public Policy Makers with good reason. The UN has jumped to a public policy debate and all of the environmental activists are doing the same.

What can one expect from the UN which would do anything to prevent any reform stemming from the Volker report.

The work of Macintyre & McKitrick was dismissed by scientific community because it was an embarrassment. It indicated that Dr. Mann's work was not properly peer reviewed (ie. no one questioned the algorithms or tried to duplicate the findings). How could an engineer find something that they missed?

Macintyre also proved that NASA's estimate that 1998 was the hotest year of the 20th century was incorrect due to an flaw in their algorithm.

The point is that economists' opinions no matter how well informed will be dismissed just like McIntyre & McKitrick. Any scientist who stands against the AGW alarmists will be discredited and will risk his career but stand they do.

Who knows, perhaps, some day we will praise GWB for having delayed this insanity sufficiently to allow the scientific community a chance to be heard.

I recently read that Green is the new blue. The socialist left has basically morphed into a new configuration with the old goal of reimposing governmental control and regulation now in the name of saving the planet. I guess there's more than one way to skin a cat.

It is important to remember the lesson of Milton Friedman. When one considers how marginalized his ideas were in the 1960s, just one voice in the Wilderness, it is remarkable that he was heard at all and yet, the left still cannot refute the logic and brilliance of Milton Friedman.

I share your frustration and I understand that the stakes are very high indeed. Milton Friedman showed us that logic, research, and analytical reasoning will trump appeals to the emotion. That is the great weakness of the AGW, their emphasis on emotion, and scary doomsday scenarios.

We can do more than trade weather reports. Leave that for the ideologically bankrupt political has-beens like Al Gore or windbags like Michael Moore.

 
At 1/08/2008 10:48 AM, Anonymous Marko said...

I think MP may be pointing out that AGW or Human Induced Climate Change or whatever we are calling it this week is becoming a non-falsifiable theory, at least in the popular conception.

If proponents of AGW can cite unusually warm weather in particular locations as "evidence" of AGW, it seems fair that skeptics should be able to cite unusually cold weather as a counter argument. What is really funny is that now, ANY anomolous weather event has become "evidence" of AGW, or climate change.

Guess what, climate changes. Duh. Look at the record for more than 100 years. Changes, at this rate or higher, are the NORM.

This whole thing is just another way to try to get people to accept socialism again. They couldn't do it by force, they couldn't do it through empirical economics, so now they are trying to do it with miss using climatology (which doesn't even predict the future). Thank you.

 
At 1/08/2008 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marko,

I agree with you that weather ananomolies are regularly used by climate change activists and journalists to hype catastrophic predictions. Where are the hurricanes that were to devastate the U.S.?

One must also observe that many who write on this subject have no background in climatology. I can see earth scientists and archaeologists offering some useful input on the earth's past but profs who teach public policy or professional journalists...just what makes these folks experts.

According to Fred Singer, the scientific IPCC report (the report that the public doesn't hear about much less could understand) has considerable variance of opinion. What people hear about is the IPCC public policy review which contains virtually no scientific data aside from asserting a consensus view and its probability of being correct.

Reading this document is a real eye opener because the target market is world leaders and decision makers.

John Christie, Fred Singer, Richard Lindzen are all members of the IPCC who do not believe the actual data support the greenhouse gas theory.

www.junkscience.com presents a very comprehensive section on climate change including algorithms, analysing different climate models, and current research on this subject. Detecting flaws in algorithms as Macintyre and McKitrick continue to do is a very real way of explosing flawed research.

The planet is always warming or cooling so trading cold weather vs. hot weather reports does not achieve anything. I know there are economists and mathematicians here who are up to the challenge of digging through these numbers.

Several years ago, a university student sent a letter to the chief engineer of the Citibank tower in NYC stating that his review of the math had revealed that the tower could collapse in a 100 year storm. The student found what the engineers had missed and structural modifications had to be carried out to correct the defect.

There is only one thing the left has correct: the belief that an individual can make a difference.

If we want the important decisions to be based upon sound science, we will have to use logic, analytical reasoning and empirical evidence to counter the dynamic of fear and hysteria.

 
At 1/08/2008 8:58 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well as ususal the anon @ 1:04 AM presented nothing factual...

The fact that London has been keeping score for longer than 350 years should've been the tip off...

None the less whether its 350 years or 3500 years, its less than an eye blink in geological time...

Earth is now at the peak of one of its passing warm spells. It started in the 17th century when there was no industrial influence on the climate to speak of and no such thing as the hothouse effect. The current warming is evidently a natural process and utterly independent of hothouse gases.

Then again its rather amazing how those with little grasp of real science but believe in the myth of human induced global weather change tend to be a lot like this guy: tree hugger & root kisser

 
At 1/08/2008 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all trading opinion without much fact. Trading your snowsquall for someone else's blistering drought.

What is being discussed is what we read in the newspaper or hear in the latest weather report. Media not noted for either accuracy or comprehensiveness.

We are talking about our beliefs...beliefs are something best left to Sunday mornings.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
H.L. Mencken

Haven't we wasted a sufficient amount of neural activity pondering the inponderable.

 
At 1/09/2008 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

juandos said...

"Well as ususal the anon @ 1:04 AM presented nothing factual..."

Professor Perry presented equally worthless information and that is my point--to illustrate that trading weather anecdotes does nothing to advance a reasonable discussion of climate change.

juandos did you read Professor Perry's blog entry? Do you believe that his entry contains any useful information at all?

 
At 2/08/2008 9:01 AM, Blogger hahajohnnyb said...

Anonymous,

Most of the elements for the Skeptics case point for a Global Cooling starting right now, and so far they are being proved correct in that the World's temperature has dropped. What's the harm in waiting another 3 years or so to see if the skeptics case pans out?

Isn't that what you do in Science? Form a hypothesis, then test it? Right now, is the first chance that the skeptics have had the natural elements pointing towards a down turn in Global temperatures. If temperatures rise over the next couple of years, then their case is proven wrong, and the CO2 people's case is given more merit.

Should temperatures go continue to go down, would you be willing to accept that maybe the skeptics are correct about CO2 global warming? Somehow, I doubt that you, or the other true believers would be convinced even if we entered a new Ice Age. My bet is that the true believers would find someway to blame mankind for Global Cooling too.

Anyhow, give the skeptics a few years, and lets see what happens. Thats how real science is done, through observation not just speculation.

 

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