What do I think, What can I do?

Posts tagged ‘weather’

Coldest May on record, the last post

My last post about this funny issue mentioned two posts earlier. In spite of the hard blogging efforts in climaterealists, may did not seem to be cold at all as explained in the mentioned post. However , just in case, I am going to use the IR temperature data from  University of Alabama in Huntsville.  Those data are compiled among others by Roy Spencer and are somehow controversial but they are accepted, adopted and  frequently used among skeptics, but they are global and are published very fast online, so they are useful for the purpose of this post.  This data source confirms not only the quite hot global temperature (fourth hottest on its records) but also the world map distribution. In effect was colder than average in some parts of Australia, in a small part of Alaska and some parts of the oceans, but it was average or hotter than average elsewhere, concretely in USA and Europe, including Britain. It was really hot in some parts of Russia. The figure below displays nicely this world map of “the coldest may”.

The question is: Considering the very low-level of autocriticism in climaterealists with this issue, and how they have just forgot it except this partially justifying post, do the rest of the contents of that blog worth a reading? It this the standard of quality or scientific rigor in skeptic blogosphere? At least in some cases it is.

Image From University of Alabama in Hunstville satellite temperature record for May 2012

Image From University of Alabama in Hunstville satellite temperature record for May 2012

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What happenend to the coldest May on record?

Coldest May was a repetitive title in one skeptic blog. I explained the hilarity I felt reading this by the mid or even beginning of May considering we were wearing T-shirts not so far but left for later comment the data.

Certainly the enthusiasm about this issue in climaterealists peaked in the mid of May and declined from then, as shown in next table. And there was even a slightly critics post, but not too explicit. Another confusing aspect was the geographical correspondence of the coldest may, where was it coldest? In some posts it was mentioned the UK, in others could have been the world and in the last one in June it was Australia, many choices indeed.

Date 25-30 April 1-5 May 5-10 May 10-15 May 15-20 May 20-25 May 25-30 May 0-5 June
Number of Posts 5 0 3 9 3 2 3 2

Lets look for the data now, at least for the fresh data collected in some official webs. May was not specially cold, it was hot in Greenland , it was above average in global temperature from satellites that skeptics love. Even UK and Australian temperature low records were not impressive as shown in figures below, it was hotter than average in UK and slightly cold in Australia. Although it is possible that there was a low temperature record somewhere in the world, but in that case this would be an example of extreme weather, wouldn’t it? Or maybe we can remember that weather and climate are not the same.

UK May temperatures from UK Met Office

UK May temperatures from UK Met Office

Australian May Temperatures from Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Australian May Temperatures from Australian Bureau of Meteorology

The coldest May

Photo in the train near Bilbao

I have taken this photo today in the train in Bilbao, the weather was quite hot and the discussions about air conditioning pasionate.

17 of the last posts in ClimateRealists refer to the “coldest may” for example in this one. I was surprised to read this forecasts about the whole month from April 25th?. But who knows, maybe they are starting to believe in models.
In some of those posts they make clear they refer to UK but not in all. So today, after suffering this hot weather during two days, I decided to take this photo to show that some parts of the world are not so cold, because when we talk about climate change, it refers to the planet climate, not to somewhere’s weather. If this is the coldest may, I don’t want to imagine the hottest one.
Anyway, we will know better at the end of the month, because data matter, don’t they?

Snow at home

This week has been unusually cold in the whole Europe, and also for me. I am not used to see all this snow around me, and even if some snow around Bilbao is not strange every winter I do not remember it lasting so long. My memories of childhood remember a friend always asking for snow to avoid going to school as it happened once, but regrettably for him no more in our school years.
Anyway I may be wrong because I do not trust too much my weather memories, nor the memories of people surrounding me, because it is easy to listen many people explaining how extreme has been any weather condition every year. Nevertheless, as I frequently discuss with my wife climate change is not about our vague memories or climate feelings, it is about data, long term and geographically widespread data. For this reason I do not read with much interest the frequent posts in skeptic blogs about cold winter in India, or in Nebraska, or this time in Europe.
The skeptic posts about those freezing temperatures are widespread, here, here, here , and here, as it is cold is not warming. The answer in climate hawks blogs is that more energy in the atmosphere means more extreme weather events and I remember a conference about climate change where the speaker say precisely that, more extreme events in Europe would occur due to changes in wind regimes could be a consequence of higher global temperatures.

I think that it is important to distinguish weather tfrom global climate, wonderfully explained in this video. This winter is not a probe against climate change and it is not a probe of it although matches with some of the predictions. Even having extreme events doesn’t probe anything, the increasing number of extreme events is the key index to check, along with many others.