Friday, February 16, 2007

Hot January?

Scott Johnson at Powerline makes a point about the short period of time we've been keeping global temperature records... since 1880, as the AP article he sites mentions. 127 years.

"Normal", as in "Normal temperatures" in climatology terms (the way it's used on your local weather forecast) means "the average over the last 30 years". Most people probably aren't aware of that. It probably helps foster the belief that there is a "normal" that the earth is "supposed to be". So we've been through a little over 4 of such cycles since we "started keeping records".

I have to wonder how global temperature readings were taken in 1880. Today we have remote-sensing satellites and myraid buoys, far more thermometers and the urban heat island effect. One wonders whether we are comparing apples to oranges over this short period of time, or even apples to pears -- and what significance we can really expect to ascribe to the resulting numbers over 127 years.

Mean time, it's been mighty cold here in the midwest this January/February. That's related to why it's been unusually warm in Siberia... the global circulation has been such that it's dumped air from there across the pole and down upon us (this may be related to El Niño -- I'm not sure, but odds are good). If you push in here, it'll bulge out there.

I love the current shift from calling it "Global Warming" to "Global Climate Change" -- that way, no matter how climate changes... and it will change, it always has ... it can be blamed on humans.

It's not really important whether the earth is warming or cooling. What's important is to cast it as human damage to the planet.

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