Monday, November 24, 2014

One Datum Point Does Not Make a Globe

A reader made this comment yesterday:
Where I live last winter and this summer we had record lows. This fall we are having record lows. Same thing for friends south of me oh, also family and friends north of me. Hell even my family on the east coast says the same.
Comments like these, in fact, this kind of thinking, is an example of the false logic deniers employ all too frequently. The problem here is that they want to take their one perception and expand it to cover the entire planet. Yes, Buffalo received lots of snow, but so what? What has been going on in the rest of the world? The United States makes up less than 2% of the surface area of the planet. And, while the eastern part of the country is having a mild summer and autumn, other parts are having record heat. When we say 'global warming,' we mean the entire globe. Take a look here:

Source: Climate Reanalyzer
This is a temperature plot from last week as that cold air mass was moving in - the purple area. But, while you're at it, take a look at the West Coast - it is warmer than average. Then, take a look at Alaska and the Arctic Ocean. That massive bright red blob is where this cold air mass came from (it had to come from somewhere). Take a look at Greenland, Europe and North Africa. All of those regions are warmer than average. Then, take a look at the numbers on the bottom of the image. Those numbers are the average temperatures for the listed regions compared to the long range average. Every single region listed is experiencing above average temperatures.

That is just the land surface temperature. What is happening with the oceans? Well, take a look:

Source: Climate Reanalyzer

Yikes! Not good. And, again, take a look at the numbers on the bottom. Every ocean region listed is hotter than average.

Now, take a look at the hot water region off the west coast of North America. That is what is causing the drought in the west and the cool weather in the east in the U.S. This warm water is causing a high pressure ridge that has caused the jet stream to fold. This is directing precipitation systems to move northward before reaching the coast and is causing cool air to move southward through the middle of the continent.

And, what about those record lows? To keep our data straight, the National Climatic Data Center said October in the United States was three degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th century average and was the fourth warmest October on record.

Based on that, you could conclude that global warming is real, but we don't want to judge the whole planet on just one datum point.

No comments:

Post a Comment