Friday, December 26, 2008

Statewide emergency declared in Washington state as snowfall reaches record levels

Gov. Gregoire is a Warmist. Will she let such close-up reality interfere with her Warmist faith? Unlikely

On Christmas Eve, Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed a state of emergency in Washington due to the state's ongoing series of winter weather and storms. Gregoire notes snowfall has reached record or near-record level in 30 of Washington's 39 counties.The proclamation enables the state to respond quickly to local requests for emergency support and assistance arising from new storms.

Prior to the Governor's declaration the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) convened an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss current conditions and the forecast for two major winter storm systems that could bring another 18 inches of fresh snow to the region. After a lengthy discussion that included representatives from emergency management, the BOCC determined that Spokane County is responding in every way possible and will remain on high alert status. However the BOCC said they would not declare a state of emergency until all available County resources have been depleted.

In the course of the discussion, it was determined that no additional funding or resources would be available from the State of Washington, until the County could verify that all its own resources had been exhausted. At such time, the County Commissioners will convene an emergency meeting to declare an official, countywide State of Emergency. Governor Chris Gregoire has been in contact with the BOCC and offered whatever assistance the State can provide at the time an emergency is officially declared.

Meanwhile, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner Wednesday declared an emergency within the City of Spokane as a result of record snowfall in the past week and forecasts for continuing snow today and throughout the week. December 2008 already is the fifth snowiest on record, with more than a week to go. The emergency declaration is the first step in seeking a "Proclamation of Emergency" from Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire to gain access to state and federal assistance. The County Commissioners were also briefed that road crews have finished plowing primary arterials and emergency routes, and are currently working on secondary arterials and well-traveled hills. With more snow in the forecast through Monday, residential areas may not be serviced for several days.


Some more pesky findings

Here's a Christmas present for all greenhouse skeptics . three scientists from the meteorology program at Northern Illinois University collected data on the 241 largest snowstorms in the eastern two-thirds of the United States over the period 1950-2000. As seen in Figure 2, there is considerable variability in the number of large storms, but no trend whatsoever. Changnon et al. describe their results:
The average was 4.8; however, there was great year-to-year variability (i.e., standard deviation of 2.2) with the numbers ranging from 1 large snowstorm per winter (1973/74, 1980/81, and 1991/92) to 10 storms (1993/94). The winter values did not exhibit any long-term up or down trend during the 50-yr period. A 5-yr running mean also had no trend. The winter counts for each decade showed that the frequency peaked in the 1950s with a minimum occurring in the 1970s and 1980s. None of these decadal mean values were significantly different than the average for the rest of the period when using the Student's t test.

Granddad and grandmom may not believe it, but there is absolutely no trend whatsoever in the data. Apparently global warming causes neither a decrease nor an increase in big snowstorms in the U.S.

Figure 2. The number of large snowstorms occurring east of the U.S. Rockies each winter, 1950/51-1999/2000. Five-year running mean value is shown by the line (from Changnon et al., 2008).

Many might argue that the United States is only 1.54% of the planet, and since Changnon et al. examined the eastern two-thirds of the country, they were studying only one percent of the Earth. If we really want to talk snow and ice on a grand scale, we need to look to Antarctica. If we do a web search on "Global Warming and Antarctica," we are treated to 1.5 million sites, with many arguing that the snowpack and sea ice are melting away (despite the fact that the UN IPCC says the ice is thickening).

An article entitled "Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979-2006" appeared recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research, and one sentence in the abstract caught our eye stating "The total Antarctic sea ice extent trend increased slightly, from 0.96 ~ 0.61% decade-1 to 1.0 ~ 0.4% decade-1, from the 20- to 28-year period, reflecting contrasting changes in the sector trends." It seems from the outset of this article that sea ice around Antarctica is expanding and the expansion has increased in the most recent eight years . our kind of results at World Climate Report.

The work was conducted by two scientists with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and financial support for the research was provided by NASA's Cryospheric Sciences Program and by NASA's Earth Observing System. Cavalieri and Parkinson begin by correctly noting that "A great deal of attention has been paid recently to the decline of the Arctic sea ice cover as observed by satellites over the past several decades. In contrast to the Arctic, the total Antarctic sea ice cover has been gradually increasing from the mid-1970s through 2002." We would add that while a great deal of attention has been paid recently to the Arctic (where the trend seems to broadly fit the global warming script), very little attention has been paid to the Antarctic where the trend in sea ice seems at odds with expectations for a warming world. We are sure there is no media bias here, just a convenient oversight on journalists around the world. The scientists use passive microwave data to accurately map the extent of sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere, and their results are shown below (Figure 3). They explain:
The yearly and seasonally averaged extents all show positive trends. The yearly trend in sea ice extents is 11,500 ~ 4,600 km2 a-1 [per year]. This trend is somewhat greater than the value 11,000 ~ 7,000 km2 a-1 reported previously for the 20-year period 1978-1998 and is statistically significant at the 95% level. On a seasonal basis autumn shows the largest positive km2 a-1 trend followed by the winter trend. The spring and summer trends are about half those for autumn.

Sure enough, the sea ice is expanding, the expansion is increasing in the most recent period, and the trends are statistically significant.

Figure 3. Time series of (a) monthly averages of sea ice extent for the Southern Hemisphere from November 1978 through December 2006. The inset shows the annual cycle computed from the 28 years of data, (b) monthly deviations of sea ice extent fitted with a linear least squares best fit trend line, (c) yearly and seasonal averages of sea ice extents with linear least squares best fit trend line. Summer averages (Su) are for January-March, autumn averages (A) are for April-June, winter averages (W) are for July-September, and spring averages (Sp) are for October-December (from Cavalieri and Parkinson, 2008).

While the greenhouse crusade is all too quick to blame the retreat of sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere on global warming, blaming this statistically significant expansion of sea ice on global warming would be a stretch, to say the least-but don't think folks aren't working on it! Cavalieri and Parkinson conclude that in Antarctica "the question of what is driving the observed changes remains unanswered, and the physical mechanisms explaining these changes remain to be determined."

Enjoy the holiday season, with or without snow-but just don't blame global warming for whatever you get!

More here

Solar Activity Between 1250-1850 Linked To Temperature Changes In Siberia

Here is a very mixed bag of reporting from ScienceDaily, when you read this article it says it's the Sun and then says it's not the Sun. What it is trying to say is that they can follow a correlation in the solar activity in the past but are unable to apply the same logic in recent years as the CO2 theory would not work!

The reason they are unable to apply the solar activity in modern times is that it will put a spanner in the works. A higher amount of solar activity since the 1950's has warmed the oceans releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere. This article does not account for this, instead it insists the extra CO2 from man made emissions has driven world temperatures out of control, if this is the case then why are world temperatures falling and CO2 is still rising?
"While changes in the solar activity were a main driver of temperature variations in the pre-industrial period, the temperatures in the Altai have shown a much higher rate of increase than that of solar activity during the past 150 years. The strong increase in the industrial period, however, correlates with the increase in the concentration of the greenhouse gas CO2 over this time.

This article is full of contradictions, but still worth a read.


The Unscientific American

"Top 10 Places Already Affected by Climate Change"

1. What caused the drought that (the article says) caused the slaughter in Darfur: AGW.

2. What caused the hurricanes that hit the Gulf coast: AGW.

3. What caused the chikungunya (dengue fever variant) epidemic in Italy: AGW.

4. What caused wine quality to improve in northern Europe (SciAm thinks this is a problem): AGW.

5. What caused bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef: AGW.

6. What caused subsidence of some of the island nations: AGW.

7. What caused illegal aliens to come to the United States: AGW.

8. What caused sea ice changes in the arctic: AGW.

9. What caused the (alleged) decline (it's not) of skiing in the Alps: AGW.

10. What caused enviro crusaders to expel the hill farmers from their land in Uganda, prompting armed resistance: AGW.

Every one of the above propositions is easily disproved. "Scientific" American should return to science and abandon religion. What an embarrassment.



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