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Dan Lashof’s Blog

Good Riddance to the Worst Summer Ever

Dan Lashof

Posted September 21, 2010 in Solving Global Warming

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Today is the official end of the summer of 2010. I for one say good riddance.

The Earth is telling us something, as illustrated in this video produced by NRDC, but too many politicians in Washington aren’t listening.

 

This was supposed to be the summer when we finally enacted a comprehensive law to steadily reduce emissions of heat-trapping pollution. Instead all we got is more hot air. Literally.

As NRDC’s report shows, average nighttime low temperatures were the hottest ever recorded at nearly one in four U.S. weather stations in NOAA’s Historic Climatology Network.

But it’s not just the temperatures. Global warming is dangerously and permanently disrupting our climate. Because the atmosphere can hold more moisture as it warms, there is more rapid evaporation when it is dry and more intense rainfall when it is wet. The result is an increase in severe droughts and floods. As we have seen this year in Russia, Pakistan, China, and the United States, the results can be tragic.

Monsoon-induced floods in Pakistan displaced more than 6 million people and destroyed one million homes.  In Russia, the worst heat and drought on record led to the loss of one-third of the wheat crop while rampant wild fires that consumed whole villages.  China was besieged by extreme rains leading to devastating mudslides while floods swept through Iowa and Tennessee killing 54 amidst searing, record-setting heat in other parts of the country. 

Unfortunately, the end of summer does not spell the end of climate consequences. As the New York Times reported today, coral reefs are undergoing what may be the worst global bleaching event ever. And we’re still in the midst of a record-shattering hurricane season, even though most of the storms have luckily stayed offshore so far.

I am enjoying the cooler nights these days, but one thing is for sure: politicians will produce a lot more hot air this fall.

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Comments

klemSep 22 2010 01:11 PM

Hate to tell you this but here on the east coast this past summer was the best one in 30 years, without question. It was hot and dry instead of rainy and foggy all summer long. If this is what we can expect from global warming over the next 100 years, BRING IT ON!!!!

Wahoo!!!!!

movielibSep 22 2010 03:22 PM

Since there are nothing but lies in this post and video and I don't have all day I'll just comment on the most easily refuted whopper.

We did not have an all time low in arctic sea ice. Both 2007 and 2008 were lower. And all time? The statistics only go back to satellite monitoring that goes back a whole 31 years.

In case you are wondering, the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old. And a 31 year record (that isn't even a record) is an all time low?

Dan LashofSep 22 2010 05:50 PM

Movielib--
2010 has the lowest arctic ice VOLUME on record. See http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php (2007 and 2008 had lower ice area extent, but it was thicker than this year). Fair point that its not the lowest ever in the history of the Earth. Arctic ice records start in 1979, which is a relatively short record compared to, say, global temperatures.

movielibSep 22 2010 11:20 PM

Dan Lashof:

According to this, a much larger area of ice is thicker than in 2008:

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/is-the-ice-getting-thicker/

Ice thickness is not all that easy to measure. But claims like the one in the video are extremely weak, at best.

And of course, the video says nothing about the above average sea ice that has been present in the antarctic for some years now.

Then there is the silly claim that the Moscow heatwave and Pakistan floods were cause by global warming. It is now quite well established that they were both caused by a stagnant jet stream blocking even, which is not that uncommon and has nothing to do with global warming.

http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6139

Of course, the video says nothing about this or about the extreme cold that was taking place in Siberia and South America at the same time.

The article and video are nothing but cherry picking and false claims of everything being caused by global warming. Or is it climate change? Wait, now it's global climate disruption.

movielibSep 22 2010 11:42 PM

In my last post, I made a typo. "blocking even" should be "blocking event."

Rajan AlexanderSep 24 2010 10:18 AM

10 tell tale signs that the global warming is a dying hoax

Global warming hysteria, whose gravy train INGOs and environmental organizations jumped into for the last decade or so, has run its course. Climate

alarmism is dying a slow and painful death. Here are some telltale signs that it is in its deathbed, grasping for its last breath:

1. Re-branding exercises

We live in this age of advertisement where if something isn't working, the first remedy is often to change the offending name. Repeated attempts to re-

brand global warming are one of these. Global warming first metamorphosed as “climate change”. This worked for some years but such was the gross

misuse and abuse of the term that the public soon developed allergic to this term too and thus the desperate search for an alternative term in the last

few months. Some alternatives recently floated are “climate weirdness” and “climate disruption “, the last coined by President Obama’s Science Czar John

Holdren.

Read more: http://devconsultancygroup.blogspot.com/2010/09/for-climate-justice-activists-living-in.html

It’s not only sceptics that have raised our flags of victory. George Monbiot, the journalist czar of global warming, of the Guardian, just conceded defeat in

his latest blog "Climate change enlightenment was fun while it lasted. But now it's dead" Read more:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/20/climate-change-negotiations-failure

Kate L.Sep 24 2010 12:44 PM

Usually summer means lots of outside play time for those of us with young children. Not this past summer. Play dates were held inside due to unusually high temps. And it continues: it's September 24th and over 90 degrees today. In my 20 years living in the D.C. area, I have never experienced such oppressive heat. Good riddance, indeed.

The GreatSep 24 2010 12:52 PM

I think climate change is a little like pregnancy. Until you get to the edge there are a lot of clues and options. When you pass the edge the options go away and you have the baby to live with for a very long time. This baby could eat you out of house and home.

Hypatia, HypatiaSep 24 2010 02:16 PM

Rajan Alexander sets forth his "10 tell tale signs that the global warming is a dying hoax". Did anybody notice that not ONE of his "signs" is FACT-based; all are OPINION.

Wonder if he is one of the stalking horses released on an uninformed public by the very "think tanks" that attack global warming. These same outfits (notably the "Marshall Institute") have likewise attacked acid rain, dangers of tobacco, DDT, etc.
These well-financed propaganda machines are set up to protect powerful corporate interests. They they work quietly in the background, shaping the opinions of most of the public, which is too ignorant (sorry!) and too complacent to read up on the situation.

Many whores in Congress take their money to impede progress toward cleaner air and water. (Sorry again; I shouldn't compare an honest sex worker to the likes of, say, Sen.James Inhofe "global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people".) They field bought-and-sold "scientists" whose opinions fly in the face of overwhelming REAL scientists' findings.

Our Congress, with rare exceptions, mostly in safe districts, is a collection of fat, rich cowards who operate, a la Louis IV on the principle of "apres moi le deluge" (After me, the flood).

Well, the floods are here, big time. We in the U.S. can more or less cope with the tragic problems of the flooded out, but low-lying Bangladesh, for example, can not. Nor can tiny Pacific island nations.

Millions will be displaced when oceans rise. Where will they go? What will they eat? Even the most oppressed will rise up eventually...and this will take place all over the world, as some bake and some drown, due to the effects of climate change which vary from region to region.

One has to wonder what impels such as Rajan Alexander to emit such uninformed opinions, rather than acquaint himself with facts.

Dan LaxarSep 24 2010 06:49 PM

The "greenhouse effect" is the mechanism by which the earth warms, (global warming), which results in "climate change." The terms are not interchangeable. "Climate change," can be changes in the number and intensity of storms, changes in ocean currents, etc. It can result in unusual "weather," which is a local phenomenon (could be locally cooler, warmer, wetter or dryer--global warming, or the other hand, is the average of temperatures, thousands of them, all over the world, at a particular time, and refers only to that "average" temperature, compared to earlier "averages."

patty campbellSep 24 2010 08:31 PM

I am disheartened by some of the comments which seem either extremely naive or seem to be totally ignorant of recognizing the studies of scientists, some of whom admittedly disagree. But to say it is not worthy to consider a 31 year-old record of keeping info on the extent and thickness of Artic ice as valid seems naive. In the last 31 years there have been more humans on earth creating pollution and more humans than ever demanding a comfortable lifestyle using huge amounts of energy. Of course this route toward global warming started many years earlier but I would vouch that a 31 year old record is significant. I took a graduate course in Human Ecology where we discussed the Limits to Growth. I feel we have reached them. It is sad that some people don't seem to get it. I would like to see more people get on the bandwagon and cry out for more sustainable energy and lifestyle. Even if you are not certain about global warmning why would you want to play russian roulette with the world's future? Do any of you skeptics have children or grandchildren? Do you care about the quality of life for future generations? Heat like we have had in the Northeast has been the hottest on record. There are more options now for
renewable energy sources and more consciousness among many but is it fast enough?

Don KnudsonSep 24 2010 08:35 PM

I see the denyer postings on this site with their arrogant attitudes. Most of them are the hyterical ones promoting hysteria against the possibility humans are involved in the climate change that we are facing. They throw around the label "hoax" directed at climate science, etc. Of course, the hoax is their own message they arrogantly state as if based on something.

Here's a big picture vision. Humans are at a 7 billion population level and growing. We are driving a billion cars on the planet every day burining petro. In addition, millions of power plants and factories are burning carbon based fuel to produce energy and products. Then add all of our high standard homes depending on carbon fuels for heating and cooling every day changes things. Try deny that these things are happening. Then prove none of it matters to the environment in the long run.

Now look at the issue from the point of view of 100 - 200 years. That's a shorter time than the history of our country. Keep pumping the air with CO2 for the next 100 years like we are now and your great grand children will see changes that will make the planet unrecognizable.

of course, if you are selfish and don't care what happens in such a long future for the survival of life as we know it, then this issue means nothing. Of course, if there is a disruption in the ecosystems in the next 100-400 years that make civilization nearly impossible because of our disregard for life on the planet, then none of our lives matter. At such a time, there will be few people left to remember us. Those who do will be cursing our generation and our and deliberately ignorant and destructive ways.

I know, Americans don't care about anything beyond the next paycheck so why bother with this sort of conversation? I do it in case there are a few exceptions to this generalization.

If we can't care about anything beyond next week, then we are an endangered species. That endangerment is nearer than we think.

EmilySep 25 2010 09:45 PM

Good riddance to the worst summer I've ever experienced on the east coast... plants are dead all around due to lack of rain, the smell of trash everywhere even on this late September day (been in the mid-90s all week in DC..), and every outdoor activity/picnic/pool party planned by friends was cancelled due to excessive heat. all summer long. The area has smelled like a week's old diaper soaked in fish sauce and set on fire. all summer long. and what's worse is the revealed piles of plastic bottles and bags at the bottom of dried-up creeks and rivers.

climate change/global warming/it's-getting-hotter-than-hell-too-quickly-for-us-to-keep-up...whatever you want to call it...may or may not be caused by our actions (I'm of the mind-set that for every action there is a reaction, so I'm going to go out on a limb here and say we are at some fault). However, one thing is for CERTAIN - that we are doing quite the damage on our habitats..

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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