US seared during hottest year on record by far (Update 2)

Jan 08, 2013 by Seth Borenstein
This July 6, 2012 file photo shows six-year-old Alexander Merrill of Sioux Falls, S.D., cooling off in a cloud of mist at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb., as temperatures reached triple digits. Federal meteorologists say America was deep fried in 2012, becoming the hottest year on record by far. The National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C., calculates that the average U.S. temperature in 2012 was 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit. That's a full degree warmer than the previous record of 1998. Normally, records are broken by about a tenth of a degree. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

The United States of America set an off-the-charts heat record in 2012.

A brutal combination of a widespread drought and a mostly absent winter pushed the average annual U.S. temperature last year up to 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit (13 Celsius), the government announced Tuesday. That's a full degree (0.6 Celsius) warmer than the old record set in 1998.

Breaking temperature records by an entire degree is unprecedented, scientists say. Normally, records are broken by a tenth of a degree or so.

"It was off the chart," said Deke Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina, which calculated the temperature records.

Last year, Arndt said, will go down as "a huge exclamation point at the end of a couple decades of warming."

The data center's figures for the entire world won't come out until next week, but through the first 11 months of 2012, the world was on pace to have its eighth warmest year on record.

Scientists say the U.S. heat is part global warming in action and natural weather variations. The drought that struck almost two-thirds of the nation and a La Nina weather event helped push temperatures higher, along with climate change from man-made greenhouse gas emissions, said Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She said temperature increases are happening faster than scientists predicted.

"These records do not occur like this in an unchanging climate," said Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. "And they are costing many billions of dollars."

Global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—which sends heat-trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the air, changing the climate, scientists say.

What's happening with temperatures in the United States is consistent with the long-term pattern of "big heat events that reach into new levels of intensity," Arndt said.

Last year was 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average for the entire 20th century. Last July was the hottest month on record. Nineteen states set yearly heat records in 2012, though Alaska was cooler than average.

U.S. temperature records go back to 1895 and the yearly average is based on reports from more than 1,200 weather stations across the Lower 48 states.

Several environmental groups, including the World Wildlife Fund, took the opportunity to call on the Obama Administration to do more to fight climate change.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012 also had the second-most weather extremes on record after hurricane-heavy 1998, based on a complex mathematical formula that includes temperature records, drought, downpours, and land-falling hurricanes.

Measured by the number of high-damage events, 2012 ranked second after 2011, with 11 different disasters that caused more than $1 billion in damage, including Superstorm Sandy and the drought, NOAA said.

The drought was the worst since the 1950s and slightly behind the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, meteorologists said. During a drought, the ground is so dry that there's not enough moisture in the soil to evaporate into the atmosphere to cause rainfall, which leads to hotter, drier air. This was fed in the U.S. by La Nina, which is linked to drought.

Scientists say even with global warming, natural and local weather changes mean that temperatures will go up and down over the years. But overall, temperatures are climbing. In the United States, the temperature trend has gone up 1.3 degrees over the last century, according to NOAA data. The last year the U.S. was cooler than the 20th-century average was 1997.

The last time the country had a record cold month was December 1983.

What has scientists so stunned is how far above other hot years 2012 was. Nearly all of the previous 117 years of temperature records were bunched between 51 and 54 degrees, while 2012 was well above 55.

"A picture is emerging of a world with more extreme heat," said Andrew Dessler, a Texas A&M University climate scientist. "Not every year will be hot, but when heat waves do occur, the heat will be more extreme. People need to begin to prepare for that future."

Explore further: Underwater elephants

4 /5 (24 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

France has had hottest year since 1900

Dec 27, 2011

This year was the hottest in France since the start of the 20th century, Meteo France said Tuesday, with average national temperatures 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the norm.

Recommended for you

Underwater elephants

3 hours ago

In the high-tech world of science, researchers sometimes need to get back to basics. UC Santa Barbara's Douglas McCauley did just that to study the impacts of the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) on cor ...

Malaysia air quality 'unhealthy' as haze obscures skies

9 hours ago

Air quality around Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur and on Borneo island was "unhealthy" on Tuesday, with one town reaching "very unhealthy" levels as haze—mostly from forest fires in Indonesia—obscured skies.

User comments : 51

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

FrankHerbert
2.9 / 5 (34) Jan 08, 2013
In before the deniers.
ekim
3.6 / 5 (20) Jan 08, 2013
A black car gets hotter in the sun. The paint layer may be thin, yet it causes a measurable difference in temperature. Replacing oxygen with carbon dioxide has the same effect. By burning hydrocarbons, we are changing the color of the planet.
zslewis
1 / 5 (10) Jan 08, 2013
so dak, is so that....first time I've seen mention of sioux falls. cool beans
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3.3 / 5 (10) Jan 08, 2013
And 20123 may be even hotter, now that the La Niña is over and the global warming is seen unmasked again. [ http://en.wikiped...i%C3%B1a ] "La Niña, sometimes informally called "anti-El Niño", is the opposite of El Niño, where the latter corresponds instead to a higher sea surface temperature by a deviation of at least 0.5 °C, and its effects are often the reverse of those of El Niño."

@ekim: Airborne soot is a cooler of the climate. GW changes the albedo of Earth by temperature change (black body spectra), melting ice, affecting the plant life, desertification et cetera.
A2G
3 / 5 (16) Jan 08, 2013
"And 20123 may be even hotter" wow you really are concerned about the future. :)
wealthychef
1.7 / 5 (12) Jan 08, 2013
I'm not a denier, but what was the % of this increasing trend that is from human CO2 pollution?
Caliban
3.6 / 5 (14) Jan 08, 2013
I guess that the deniers will now have to reset their trend line for("Look --there hasn't been any warming since...") cooling to begin in the year 2012, from their previous starting point of 1998.

Caliban
3.8 / 5 (10) Jan 08, 2013
I'm not a denier, but what was the % of this increasing trend that is from human CO2 pollution?


@wealthychef,

Since global surface temperatures are increasing apparently without any documentable evidence to link them to natural variability(and, in many cases, just the opposite) it is probably safe to say that the human emissions component is roughly 100%, via the burning of fossil fuels, agricultural practices and deforestation/desertification.
ekim
5 / 5 (7) Jan 08, 2013
@ekim: Airborne soot is a cooler of the climate. GW changes the albedo of Earth by temperature change (black body spectra), melting ice, affecting the plant life, desertification et cetera.

Actually I wasn't referring to soot, but the nature of carbon dioxide compared to oxygen. CO2 isn't transparent to infrared, where O2 is, in essence it is black in the infrared spectrum. If humans could see in infrared, we would see our planet growing darker as CO2 levels rise.
Howhot
4.1 / 5 (13) Jan 08, 2013
Well my prediction from last year came true. I said this year hottest year ever and it was. My prediction for next year is that it will be even hotter.

It's only the fools that don't get it. I love reading Wattsup because he is such a looser and no matter a cure, he won't take the medicine he rightly deserves. Take your meds you climate denying loosers!

Suggested solutions for next years heat wave? I sound like the Aussies are having a hot one. I can't wait to have a beautiful scorching summer up hear in the Yank land. So far it's the warmest January I can recall, 60s are expected instead of 10s. Insects were out and about today. Very very odd for Jan 8th Kansas.

The Alchemist
1.2 / 5 (18) Jan 09, 2013
@Howhot-Don't get too excited, we are nearing the peak of the Solar cycle, which about equals man-made contributions to heat but I am not saying you're wrong.
Still, 1 degree! I've got to question if they measured it differently, that's huge.
Global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—which sends heat-trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the air, changing the climate, scientists say.

Still with the CO2 lie. We're getting warmer because fossil fuels generate waste heat with near 100% efficiency.
"A picture is emerging of a world with more extreme heat," said Andrew Dessler, ... "Not every year will be hot, but when heat waves do occur, the heat will be more extreme. People need to begin to prepare for that future."

No, some places moderate, some become more extreme, it depends on local geography, prevailing weather, how humidity is affected by the heat (near water vs. dry land for eg.) and so on.
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 09, 2013
@Howhot-Don't get too excited, we are nearing the peak of the Solar cycle, which about equals man-made contributions to heat but I am not saying you're wrong.
Still, 1 degree! I've got to question if they measured it differently, that's huge.

Still with the CO2 lie. We're getting warmer because fossil fuels generate waste heat with near 100% efficiency.

No, some places moderate, some become more extreme, it depends on local geography, prevailing weather, how humidity is affected by the heat (near water vs. dry land for eg.) and so on.


No, Alchemist--

All of these factors are taken into consideration and controlled for. It's CO2/GHGs, alright.

You've had some interesting things to say recently, so it's a real dissapointment to find out that you will join ranks with the rest of the denialist trolls here, and that the rest of us will have to listen to the same old tired arguments that we've heard a thousand times, and that have over and over been debunked and exposed as lies.
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 09, 2013
Like it has been said: " A good mind is a terrible thing to waste!"

However, since we live in an era of freedom and democracy, don't let that consideration stand in the way of bringing on the darkness.

VendicarD
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 09, 2013
Not so quick. Conditions have revered back to an ElNino Neutural state with evidence of a return to La-Nina conditions.

"La Niña is over and the global warming is seen unmasked again." - Tomnjorn

http://www.esrl.n...i/ts.gif
VendicarD
4 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
You were shown calculations several weeks ago that show that your claim is impossible.

Do you really think that you are doing anything but proving your own ignorance by repeating your nonsense claim?

"Still with the CO2 lie. We're getting warmer because fossil fuels generate waste heat with near 100% efficiency." - Alchemist
VendicarD
4.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
Last week's temperature extremes in Australia were so large, that the official weather office had to add a new color to it's temperature charts to represent the new hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Australian interior.

53 'C. = 127.4 'F
discouragedinMI
1.4 / 5 (18) Jan 09, 2013
The beauty of this article is how it reports only US temperatures. It doesn't mention the global temperature at all.

Sigh. Since when has NOAA cared about public relations? Stick to the data and end the PR reports.
djr
4.5 / 5 (15) Jan 09, 2013
Sigh. Since when has NOAA cared about public relations? Stick to the data and end the PR reports.

You don't think that reporting that a land mass the size of the U.S. having the warmest year on record - breaking 362 all time high records, and 0 all time low records http://cleantechn...no-lows/ is a significant piece of data - at the same time as Australia is breaking heat records, and Arctic ice extent is at an all time low. How much data do you need? silly question.
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 09, 2013
Tard boy has manufactured a conspiracy for himself.

"The beauty of this article is how it reports only US temperatures. It doesn't mention the global temperature at all." - TardBoy

Meanwhile thinking people know that Global GISSTemp for the last month of 2012 has not yet completed it's preliminary temperature compilation.

Globally, 2012 will come in at around the 8th warmest year on record globally.

What is it now? The last 25 years have all been in their period's 10 warmest years in human history.

No exceptions.
axemaster
4.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
Still with the CO2 lie. We're getting warmer because fossil fuels generate waste heat with near 100% efficiency.

This has got to be one of the most idiotic things I have ever read.

It's so fun being 22 years old and being able to look forward to this stuff. Thanks so much guys!
djr
4.4 / 5 (7) Jan 09, 2013
axemaster "It's so fun being 22 years old and being able to look forward to this stuff. Thanks so much guys!"

Have you thought about this? - At 22 yrs old - you MAY live through a moment in time when AI and computers exceed human intelligence. At that point - THEY - start doing all the thinking - and WE reap the benefits. That is of course IF we don't annihilate ourselves with stupidity first - which given the nature of some of the comments on this board (the one you comment on for example) - may be a distinct possibility. So the stakes may be higher than you think.
axemaster
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2013
At 22 yrs old - you MAY live through a moment in time when AI and computers exceed human intelligence... So the stakes may be higher than you think.

Actually, I'm personally working to bring that moment to pass. And yes, the stakes are very, very high.

The incoming scenario is a bit different from what you'd expect though. It won't be AI that becomes powerful - it will be enhanced human intelligence. I've already worked out how it will be accomplished using nanotechnology, but it'll be at least 15 years before the tech catches up and it starts to become doable.

The main risk is that the first enhanced humans will quickly become massively more intelligent than the rest of the population. And there may be a strong incentive for them to wipe everyone else out - namely that the other humans would be the only remaining threat to their immortality.
The Alchemist
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 09, 2013
@Caliban-Eeww, I feel dirty, did I really give the impression I was in the denialist camp? Eeww. I think I agreed with Howhot, just wanted to point out Sunspot years exaggerate the GW effect, by 100%.
Otherwise though-the exaggeration and moderation of climate is a matter of history. For the longest time New England whose climate is a good macrocosm for GW effect has moderated, while our other coast the PacNW (had) become more extreme, and terrestrial-climate-like. The plains had become drier, with stronger winds losing some North/South preference. More tropical storms/hurricanes, but less strong (in general-there will always be extremes).
Iam going to do some work to put this CO2 crap to bed, but preliminarily comparing Earth to Venus, well for Earth 2x CO2 = 4x Heat retention, where x practically equals 0. Preliminarily.
Increased heat is from released fossil fuel heat, the math works.
I hope I've cleaned myself off. Eeww!
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Jan 09, 2013
At that point - THEY - start doing all the thinking - and WE reap the benefits.

I dunno - since a case could be made that that would be a form of slavery.
Conscious thought relies on having a value system (otherwise we're not talking AI but simple expert systems that employ pattern matching). I'm not talking necessarily about a touchy-feely-spiritual value system, but a value system nonetheless.
The Alchemist
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 09, 2013
You were shown calculations several weeks ago that show that your claim is impossible.

Dude, you were proven wrong, but I think I understand why you think that now. Blame it on my old age... The Sun generates waste heat equal to keeping the Earth warm. Fossil fuels generate work converted to waste heat, and waste heat nearly 100% If you start to multiply Earth's abeto, absorbance, etc, you rapidly diminsh your figure. If we agree to disagree using the area of the whole Earth, we are within /- a factor of 100 agreement. Depending on what data you begin with, which are the biggest source of error.
The Alchemist
1.4 / 5 (11) Jan 09, 2013
@Caliban-Darn, poor choicw of words! 100% means doubling the effect, not meaning it doesn't exist.
Egleton
1.3 / 5 (12) Jan 09, 2013
You are all wrong I tell you. We are entering an Ice Age.
Memo to self: Stop trolling. It's not nice.
The Alchemist
1.3 / 5 (12) Jan 09, 2013
Dude the other thing you were confused about was the claim of total Sun's energy on Earth, vs the point which was the difference between the Sun's "normal" output and from Sunspot years. 56000 (more like 20000) is the difference between Sun and fossil fuels, yes, but between the Sun now and in 5 years, NOT SO MUCH!
Try reading, it saves you from making assumptions, and you know what happens when you ass u me.
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2013
@Caliban-Darn, poor choicw of words! 100% means doubling the effect, not meaning it doesn't exist.


Controlled for. Everyone is aware that the combustion of fossil fuels releases heat, which is true of all combustion, by definition.

The Alchemist
1 / 5 (10) Jan 09, 2013
OK, a zero level start-up of CO2 vs fossil fuel heat.
We are comparing the insulation of the Earth by CO2 with the heating of the Earth, by combustion ( & Nuclear blah, blah blah).
Both effects are cyclical on the smallest scale in the day/night cycle. With the Sun present/not present on each side of the Earth and the combustion during the daily commute and to keep dwellings warm, lights on, etc..
From here I can already draw conclusions, but next phase is the the math of very dilute gasses, and the effects of doubling the concentration.
@Axemaster-you've already had your axe handed to you, and as soon as you provide substance for your "idiotic thing thing" I'll be glade to hand it back to you again, but right now it is beyond my comprehension what your objecting to-heat is released with CO2, a greenhouse gas, H2O (an uncelebrated greenhouse gas-don't laugh, since it doesn't rain after the morning commute it's haveing an effect), and heat the thing that warms things up.
djr
5 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2013
I dunno - since a case could be made that that would be a form of slavery.

I don't see that at all. Is running massive simulations to predict complex systems like climate - on today's most powerful supercomputers a form of slavery? It seems like smart use of our emerging technology.

Is AI the equivalent of conscious thought? Now that is different conversation. I would argue that we are just highly complex pattern matching machines - the value systems we adopt are necessary for our survival as a species - but may not be necessary for a neutral thinker that is only interested in discovery. Lot's to think about though - cheers.
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (10) Jan 09, 2013
Controlled for. Everyone is aware that the combustion of fossil fuels releases heat, which is true of all combustion, by definition.

You da best, thanks.
Also, I guess I am in the habit of defending GW when the Sun is at its minimums, and listening to people seems so smart when it is at its peaks. GW opiners are certainly the most fair weather of friends.
My point is that we need to focus on the things we introduce into the environment, and what effects these may (or to be nice) or may not be having.
djr
5 / 5 (5) Jan 09, 2013
And there may be a strong incentive for them to wipe everyone else out - namely that the other humans would be the only remaining threat to their immortality.

Why do we always default to a zero sum game? Really the computer I am typing on now is enhanced human intelligence. It does not make me want to wipe everyone else off the earth. This is all happening incrementally, and does not create social classes that see themselves in competition. Thinking can be a virtue in itself. You do not have to protect your right to think by eliminating all the other thinkers.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2013
I don't see that at all. Is running massive simulations to predict complex systems like climate - on today's most powerful supercomputers a form of slavery?

That's an expert system - which is markedly different from an AI. An AI is self conscious. And as soon as that happens the whole thing gets iffy. Does it have rights? Right to live (not be turned off)? Right to not have its memory messed with?
The thing is: from what I read you want to give it the right to make decisions on its own - and at that point the legal problems begin.
Who is at fault if something goes wrong? If IT is at fault then IT has responsibilities and values (because with fault comes the unspoken proviso that it could choose differently - i.e. is able to choose based on its own values).

AI is tricky philosophical ground. Maybe the legals should start worrying about it before it's just a fait accompli.
Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Jan 09, 2013
Controlled for. Everyone is aware that the combustion of fossil fuels releases heat, which is true of all combustion, by definition.

You da best, thanks.
Also, I guess I am in the habit of defending GW when the Sun is at its minimums,[...]My point is that we need to focus on the things we introduce into the environment, and what effects these may (or to be nice) or may not be having.


I'm not sure what most of that was pointed at, and while I agree with you that:

we need to focus on the things we introduce into the environment, and what effects these may (or to be nice) or may not be having.
,

that these aren't the only inputs into the system. ALL of the inputs have to be quantified and controlled for, so that the signal of the primary cause of GW can be detected.

Turns out that this signal is clearly the "A" component of AGW, primarily the release of CO2 as a consequence of fossil fuel use.

axemaster
5 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2013
Why do we always default to a zero sum game? Really the computer I am typing on now is enhanced human intelligence. It does not make me want to wipe everyone else off the earth. This is all happening incrementally, and does not create social classes that see themselves in competition. Thinking can be a virtue in itself. You do not have to protect your right to think by eliminating all the other thinkers.

The thing is, it's not a zero sum game. Once you've basically replaced your brain with a computer, protecting yourself against natural disasters, i.e. non-intentional means of death is easy. However, it's enormously harder to protect against other intentional entities. Thus there is a strong incentive to eliminate any remaining threats (i.e. comparably powerful intelligences).

I'm not saying I like it. I'm just saying I don't see a way around it. In fact, I think this may be why we haven't heard any alien civilizations talking - this could well be the endgame scenario.
djr
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2013
Anatalias: "An AI is self conscious." I think the big question becomes 'where does self consciousness begin?' Is it a dichotomous situation - ie: humans have consciousness, but a laptop computer does not, or is there a continuum? Do machines take on more and more attributes of consciousness, as they evolve? We have robots that can identify themselves in a mirror now. Of course there are fascinating legal questions - will I get to see things play out? That is the biggest question for me. Will I live long enough to see much of this stuff evolve, or will we languish in our stupidity - eg "there is no global warming - it is a hoax - the scientists are just trying to protect their funding". It is very frustrating knowing how much faster we could be moving.
antialias_physorg
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 09, 2013
'where does self consciousness begin?

Good question - and as far as I know there is no hard and fast answer for this.
That's one of the reasons why I think AI will enter an iffy legal area - especially since AI won't start out perfectly but be also a continuous development (and growth) along that axis.

Think back on being a child. Were you self aware all the time? Even after birth for the first year or two? Not so much.

It is very frustrating knowing how much faster we could be moving.

We're going as fast as we can. The people interested in (and capable of) this research are working on it. Throwing more resources at it won't change the speed because the crucial ideas will come from people - not money or larger computers.

(And the 'interested laymen' will not contribute. I've seen too much science to know that people who think they can contribute without some SERIOUS number of years of study are just fooling themselves)
djr
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 10, 2013
And the 'interested laymen' will not contribute. I've seen too much science to know that people who think they can contribute without some SERIOUS number of years of study are just fooling themselves

Are you knocking the cold fusion generator I have in my basement? it will be ready any day now!

Actually I more tend to wonder about the lack of emphasis on education - here in the supposedly 'developed' world. Only 7% of Oklahoman's have an advanced degree. I would love to see a sizeable chunk of the military budget diverted to education, and the sciences. Then we would have a lot more highly trained researchers, and engineers pushing that boundary. I agree with your point about the need for SERIOUS years of study. I have a friend who is a microbiologist - he amazes me with the depth of his knowledge about bacteria - and other mysterious worlds. Cheers.
antialias_physorg
2.5 / 5 (4) Jan 10, 2013
here in the supposedly 'developed' world. Only 7% of Oklahoman's have an advanced degree.

There's other education systems in the world. But the US needn't worry for the next few years. It's still a relatively rich/stable nation so there is a certain draw for bright people from other countries to go study there.

And research (in all areas) is mostly done by PhD students - not professors.
(Bizarrely most people seem to think that it's the professors who do the science and come up with the bright ideas. But the 'scientific prime' when you do your best work is much earlier than that. In Einstein's time it was before the age of 30. Today it appears to be a little later - but that's mostly owing to the fact that you need to learn more to get up to speed...and you get more adept at publishing later on - not that your work gets more innovative)
Howhot
5 / 5 (2) Jan 10, 2013
@Howhot-Don't get too excited, we are nearing the peak of the Solar cycle, which about equals man-made contributions to heat but I am not saying you're wrong.

Well Alchemist, your absolutely correct in noting that the solar cycles are nearing their peak. For some background for the readers; lookup wikipedia "Solar Cycle". However, what is important in what you allude to with respect towards global temperature rise is solar irradiance. That is the 'watts/m^2' input into that atmosphere from the sun. The good news is that the solar maximum doesn't effect that every much as a global average. What I've read indicates that effect is perhaps 0.3% on the global average of solar irradiance. So if each square meter of earth receives ~1361 watts/m^2 then at solar maximum it might be as high as 1769 watts/m^2. That really is a large amount. There are many variables to consider. Please see;

http://en.wikiped...radiance

for more info
Howhot
5 / 5 (3) Jan 10, 2013
I wrote;
that effect is perhaps 0.3% on the global average of solar irradiance.

It needs to correct This. 0.3% is much too high. That is the amount of solar irradiance lost during large collections of solar dark spots. So, during solar maximum, solar irradiance could be as low as 952.7 Watts/m^2. On average the change is 0.01% so 1366 to 1361 more or less.

Anyway, the solar maximum and it's effect on the solar irradiance is an interesting part of the global warming equation but as my correction notes; it's not that much. What does effect global warming is the green house gas CO2 concentration. It's amplification effect on the solar irradiance that does not escape back out to outer space is huge!

Just to note again; the 17xx watts/m^2 value above is incorrect.
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (13) Jan 12, 2013
OK, remember, I dismissed CO2 as a player 30 years ago, so this is kinda new to me, like asking how high a unicorn can jump… I was thrown by the Al Gore loop, until… Also, nobody stopped me from my first suggested inroad, which was a poor path, which is a sign.
First off, CO2 has a mean free path of XXXX, which essentially means it is all going to react. It weighs more than O2 and N2 and will be held closer to the ground by gravity. Canonical distribution:
Second it discharges by 2 means, re-emission and collision. Re-emission takes micro-secs and is the same frequency. Collision sets the molecule to ambient.
Third, it will scatter incoming Sunlight less effectively (e^(-height) distr.), making is less effective.
Fourth, the majority of sources state we've only increased it by 35%, though you'll see as high as 200% from "reliable sources."
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (12) Jan 12, 2013
XXXX means I lost my math, or about 6mm :)
The idea here is it doesn't matter: CO2 is working near 100% efficiency as a green house gas at concentrations arguably 10x less than current, and you really can't do better than 100.
Also consider, water is by far more effective greenhouse gas that gets worse with temperature. Finally, remember the '80s. There were CFCs in those days, they were 1000's of times more effective than CO2, and today there are thousands of times less. I remember that time: The trees loved it!
I am open to criticisms.

By the way, "big" research tends to be leaning this way, so expect the next big thing to be "No Greenhouse Effect, No GW." Which I will also be objecting to with my tired thread :)
This would be easier if they hadn't misnamed it "GW."
Caliban
5 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2013
Alchy,

All of your concerns are nicely put to rest here:

http://www.skepti...ment.php

Have a good time learning, and dig deeper if you want more detail!

The Alchemist
1 / 5 (12) Jan 12, 2013
Inetrestingly enough, this is one of the sites I had to ignore for bad science. I've been through a different page. But this issue is deliberately contentious. For example, the title is a lie. It should have been Gobal Melting.
Though we disagree, proponents in authority have been claiming CO2, but I ask again, is it heating that is causing warming, or insulation?
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (10) Jan 12, 2013
Addendum: Now that I think about it, Skepti must have pages arguing both sides, apparently.(?)
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (11) Jan 12, 2013

Have a good time learning, and dig deeper if you want more detail!

@Caliban. Believe it or not, I've been avid in this for a little less than 30 years. It would greatly surprise me to find a nuance that I haven't beaten to the ground. What I need to you do is look at my assumptions and tell me where they fail. Respectfully, I think it will puzzle you or anyone, to do so... but I will be very happy if you do. I love being wrong.
(And you'll notice, my first assumption was crack-a$$ wrong, and I quickly abandoned it when it was...)
jonnyboy
1 / 5 (9) Jan 13, 2013
hmmmmm
Howhot
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2013
You deniers and fence sitters need to understand just how bad AGW will become. It's bad and if you think that you will survive in the next 50 years, chances are you could be wrong. AGW will be effecting the whole planet including you.

Please read:
http://www.skepti...ment.php

And once that sinks in, you might realize that republican bozo politics is kind of like global warming denial; it's just pure BS.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jan 15, 2013
and today there are thousands of times less. I remember that time: The trees loved it!

You remember those times very differently than I do. The trees were dying. Looking out the window I can still see forests which haven't fully recuperated.

CFCs in those days, they were 1000's of times more effective than CO2

My god are you stupid. CFCs are in the atmosphere at roughly 100ppt. CO2 at 400ppm. Accounting for CFC being a 1000 times more effective greenhouse gas than CO2 that means that CFCs contribute about 0.00025 times as much as CO2 does.

(even taking ALL Gases mentioned in the Montreal protocol combined - which is more than CFCs - you only get a fifth the effect of CO2)

For someone who has been 'avid in this for a little less than 30 years' or so you certainly have missed the 'understanding' part (or the 'basic math' part) of it.