Weather & Climate

Words on Weather & Climate — May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010 // 0 Comments

The Great Global Warming Blunder Every time I go into a bookstore or library, I can’t get past the first display without noticing all the new books about the so-called catastrophe of global warming. Is there anything available that supports what I consider to be the more correct point of view? Yes, there are quite a few, you just have to look a little harder to find them. A new book, called The Great Global Warming Blunder, has just been released by Dr. Roy Spencer. Dr. Spencer co-developed the original satellite method for precise monitoring of global temperatures from Earth-orbiting satellites and publishes one of only two global satellite temperature records at his web site: He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming. His latest book is a non-technical description of new peer reviewed and soon-to-be-published research which supports the opinion that a majority of Americans already hold: that warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning. Here is how he describes it: “Believe it or not, this potential natural explanation for recent warming has never been seriously researched by climate scientists. The main reason they have ignored this possibility is that they cannot think of what might have caused it. You see, climate researchers are rather myopic. They think that the only way for global-average temperatures to change is for the climate system to be forced ‘externally’…by a change in the output of the sun, or by a large volcanic eruption. These are events which occur external to the normal, internal operation of the climate system. But what they have ignored is the potential for the climate system to cause its own climate change. Climate change is simply what the system does, owing to its complex, dynamic, chaotic internal behavior. As I travel around the country, I find that the public instinctively understands the possibility that there are natural climate cycles. Unfortunately, it is the climate “experts” who have difficulty grasping the concept. This is why I am taking my case to the public in this book. The climate research community long ago took the wrong fork in […]

Words on Weather & Climate — May 20, 2010

May 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

Cold Spots by CRAIG JAMES It was a very cold start to the month of May in much of the western part of the country. Subzero low temperatures were recorded as late as the morning of May 7, making this the latest date for such cold temperatures in at least a decade. In fact, a place called Peter Sink, Utah, dropped to 15 below zero on May 7, which tied the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in May in the United States. Peter Sink is not a town. It is just a place located east of Logan, Utah. According to Wikipedia, “Peter Sink is located 8,100 feet (2,500 m) above sea level, in the Bear River Mountains east of Logan. Due to temperature inversions that trap cold nocturnal air, it routinely produces the coldest temperatures in the state. Even in the summer, the bottom of the sinkhole rarely goes four consecutive days without freezing. It is so cold near the bottom of the hole that trees are unable to grow.” Once the sun sets on clear calm nights, the dry air quickly radiates energy to space and cold air pools in the basin. Back in February of this year, the temperature fell 32 degrees in just 15 minutes and a total of 78 degrees, from 32 above zero to 46 below zero, in four-and-a-half hours. On February 1, 1985, a temperature of -69.3°F (-56°C) was recorded there, the lowest recorded temperature in Utah, and the second coldest temperature ever recorded in the 48 contiguous states. The coldest was -70°F at Rogers Pass in Montana. The coldest in the entire U.S. was -80°F at Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska in 1971. There are other spots similar to, although not as extreme as, Peter Sink. There is a place near Penn State University, where I went to school, called the Barrens. The Barrens is just four miles west of the main campus located in State College, Pa. The daytime temperature is usually the same as in State College, but the nighttime temperature can often be 30 degrees colder. In the 1800s, the mining of iron ore plus widespread fires deforested the area. Many remaining trees in the Barrens were cut a second and third time to […]

Words on Weather & Climate

April 15, 2010 // 0 Comments

Arctic Sea Ice How is this for an alarmist statement? It appears in a journal called Monthly Weather Review, which is published by The American Meteorological Society: “The arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions , and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface. … Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. … In Arctic Norway… where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now often moraines, accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers formerly extended far into the sea they have entirely disappeared.” Sounds like something from today’s newspapers or evening news reports. However, this article was printed in November 1922. Take a look at this picture from the US Navy Archives: “” This is a photo of the first submarine to ever surface at the North Pole. The photo was not taken at a period when the ice is at its lowest extent, in September, but on March 17. This is when the ice is near its maximum extent. Notice all the open water. The photo was taken in 1959. In 2007, we were flooded with news headlines that the Arctic Sea Ice Extent had dropped to its lowest level since the advent of routine monitoring. Keep in mind routine monitoring only goes back to 1979 when satellites began to monitor the ice near the poles. But the low Arctic Ice extent in 2007 brought out all kinds of dire predictions about how soon the Arctic Ocean would become ice-free during the summer, due of course, to human caused global warming. You can see Al Gore in 2008 stating the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free by 2013 in this video: “” In December 2007, a research team from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California used computer models to forecast that “northern polar waters” would be ice-free by 2012 or 2013. In June 2008, Mark Serreze, the Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center offered 50-50 odds of an ice-free Arctic Ocean that summer. It didn’t happen. Other […]

Words on Weather & Climate — April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010 // 0 Comments

Time zones by CRAIG JAMES I think most of us understand the basic times zones across the county. In the lower 48 states there are the Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones. However, before the advent of railroads, each city in the country had its own local time that was set to solar noon (when the sun is directly overhead). Since the sun is directly overhead about one minute later for each 12 miles you travel to the west, traveling on horseback didn’t usually cause much of a problem. Your watch was only a few minutes off after a day’s travel. However, when railroads began moving people long distances in a short period of time, railroad time schedules became very confusing. In the 1860s, the railroads were dealing with over 300 local time zones. In 1884, the concept of standard time zones, each spanning approximately every 15 degrees longitude, was implemented worldwide. Where time zone lines ran through cities, the lines were nudged either west or east so the entire city was on the same time zone. But some states ended up in two time zones. The state of Indiana has 92 counties; 80 are now in the Eastern Time Zone and 12 are in the Central Time Zone. When Daylight Saving Time (DST) was implemented during World War I, all counties in each state were required to use it year round. This experiment in DST lasted just seven months, but was reinstated during World War II. After the war, between 1945 and 1966, each county, led by the wisdom of its own politicians, decided whether to stay on DST or not. In Indiana, 15 counties adopted DST and 77 did not. If that had happened in our area, it would be like Grandville being one hour ahead of Jenison, but for only part of the year. Finally in 2006, Indiana adopted DST in all counties. Arizona does not go on DST except on a few Indian reservations. It took me a while when I moved to Grand Rapids to get used to the fact that the National Weather Service does not adopt DST. When they post the daily climate summary in the winter, it is for the 24-hour period from midnight to midnight, […]

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