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Challenge Match: cenpuppie vs adjensen: 2012 Climatological records show evidence of climate change

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posted on Jan, 14 2013 @ 11:03 AM
For this debate, me and adjensen will discuss the climate of the year 2012 and if it holds any evidence of climate change

How was the weather in your area for the year 2012? Was it normal or was it extreme? Regardless of your location, South Africa, Australia, Europe, or North America the weather patterns for the year 2012 had the most unusual and unseasonal weather phenomenon across the globe.

From snow to drought, the weather the world experienced in the year 2012 is a prelude to a changing global climate. Using facts, such as 2012 hottest year on record, federal agency says. What the world experienced in the year 2012 is the culmination of shifting weather patterns, patterns that are forcing the world at large to take notice.

When one looks at the almost recent cold snaps in Europe dropping record snowfall in decades in the beginning of January (source), the record freezing cold in Russia (source), it is evident that the European climate has shifted. Also we can look to the Mid West in the United States. This area showcases my point perfectly. Climate change is real and happening. The Mid West area is currently fighting through a terrible drought, bought on by successful years of warm weather and little rain. The following video summarizes what i am trying to say. It is only 2:40 minutes, so please watch it as it explains the connection between the drought in the Mid West and the changing climate

Extreme Weather 101: Drought & Our Changing Climate.

As you can see, it is not a matter of will the weather change. It has changed for better or for worse . During this debate i intend to show that the climate has changed globally compared to what is normally expected.

posted on Jan, 14 2013 @ 07:04 PM
I'd like to begin by thanking cenpuppie for taking on a complex subject, and the ATS Debate Forum for hosting and judging. We're all bound to learn something, weather we want to or not (har har har.)


As you can see, it is not a matter of will the weather change.

The joke where I live (and, to be honest, where most people live) is that if you don't like the weather, wait a few hours and it will change. Living in the upper midwest almost all of my life, I've become accustomed to using my furnace and air conditioner on the same day, or having it rain one day and snow the next. So, yes, the weather will change.

It is, in fact, a complex system that always is in a state of flux. With a background in meteorology, I can look at a weather map or radar reading and fairly well tell what's going to happen in the upcoming hours, or even a day or two, but beyond that, even for a professional meteorologist, the accuracy begins to drop off, sometimes precipitously. When I watched the weather forecast this morning at about 5:30AM, it said "clouds developing this afternoon, flurries possible", but when I look out of my office window now, there's nary a cloud in the sky, and during the evening forecast, they're saying "clouds tomorrow."

"Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?"

-- Edward Lorenz
(paper presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, December 1972)

Lorenz was the developer of a view of meteorology that recognized its chaotic basis. Prior to computer modeling, which he was also a developer of, it was nearly impossible to make any reasonable guesses as to what the weather would be more than a day or two out, and Lorenz made his big discovery (which he would receive the Kyoto Prize for in 1991) -- that even seemingly irrelevantly small changes in the initial state of a system could be amplified over time to create unpredictable states.

In this video, a non-meteorological example is provided, but the concept is the same -- even when the same pivot is turned, at the same rate, minor fluctuations in speed, magnetic field and other factors result in significantly different results.

This effect is referred to as Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow, and it explains why weather is so hard to predict. There are so many variables involved -- air flow, solar radiation, ocean evaporation, albedo (surface reflectivity) of a local area, just to name a few, that small, unnoticed changes to any of them can, over time, radically change the weather at a given location.


Now an important concept to understand is one that escapes far too many people. How many times do you see someone post something like this on Facebook, Twitter or ATS?

June 24th and it's only 40 degrees!!! So much for global warming, you stupid scientists! lol

I have a number of dubiously informed friends, so I see nonsense like that a lot. It's probably my fault for not being more obnoxious with my retorts, lol.

Here is where they're missing the boat: weather is the atmospheric conditions at a given place at a given time, while climate is the weather in a given area, over an extended period of time. Weather is observational -- "Hey, it's snowing!", climate is the statistical compilation and abstraction of decades of weather data. As a result, the observations of a day, a month or even a year are of no consequence when making statements about climate, until said data, as part of a larger set, demonstrates an overarching trend.

Thus, we can see that, by definition of terms, the belief that warm weather during 2012 is conclusively indicative of anything as regards climate change is invalid. Yes, the climate is changing, but because of the relationship between weather and climate, the climate is always changing.

posted on Jan, 16 2013 @ 07:30 PM

Evidence suggests that climate change has led to changes in climate extremes such as heat waves, record high temperatures and, in many regions, heavy precipitation in the past half century, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said today

IPCC Press Release

Yes, it is the climate that has changed. As a result, the weather. The climate does changes constantly, but within a variation of itself. This is why you don't have snow storms in the middle of the desert and prolonged periods without rain in the tropics. However, I would like to contend that even when you take that variation into consideration, there is still remarkable evidence in 2012 that the climate has, shifted, for lack of a better term. A crescendo on more extreme weather and an experience of what is to come. 2012 simply continued a trend that started in 2011, as evident here

I am not talking solely about warm weather either. The Northern Hemisphere was warmer than usual but that is not all. I am speaking about the climate around the world and when you take that into account, the year 2012 is seen as a transition point, silencing the critics of global climate change due to sheer amount of weather related crisis across the globe. Last year had droughts in major agriculture centers, floods in Africa, cold fronts in Europe, a super typhoon in the Philippines and finally Hurricane Sandy which seemed intent on hanging around (source). That is one top of what occurred in 2010 and 2011. Russia got slammed with cold weather back in 2011. That trend continued in 2012, the evidence here

Even when you look outside of the anomalies that are fore mentioned you have other peculiar cases of unusual weather patterns, nothing like what is normal in their respective areas.

This year, the Greenland Ice Sheet melted in four days. Not to mention Extreme weather: Get ready to see more of it, scientists say.

Now, weigh that evidence of what has occurred the past few years against the likely hood of the weather returning back to normal. The Mid West would have to start getting some form of precipitation, which it seems it won't (links to a picture). All of this evidence points to a climate that has in fact changed from what is normal. In order for climate change not to be factual, the climate for 2013 would have to return back to what is normally experienced within their respective areas.

From the evidence of the past two years there is little chance of it happening.

posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 10:15 AM

Yes, it is the climate that has changed. As a result, the weather.

Once again, I need to point out that this is backward. Climate is a reflection of the weather, not the other way around -- climate is the summation of all weather data over an extended period of time. Thus, the weather changes, and, over time, the climate changes. What do individual weather events have to do with climate? Not much, really.

Consider this, from my local forecast:

Coldest Air in 4 Years On The Way Early Next Week (48-72 hours below 0 F.)

Is this your first Minnesota winter? You arrived with a light jacket and a confident smirk? "How bad can it be - bring it on!"

(Insert sinister laughter-track here.)

Old Man Winter is about to rock your world; 2-3 days worth of world-rocking, to be precise. A burst of Siberian air will keep daytime "highs" below zero next Monday & Tuesday. Lows may reach -15 F. in the metro, maybe -35F up north.

Why the big difference from last winter? A year ago jet stream winds blew from the Pacific, consistently, keeping the coldest air of winter bottled up over northern Canada. This year winds aloft are light & erratic, allowing polar air to surge south. A lack of significant snow on the ground will temper the chill (slightly), but by Monday there will be NO doubt in your mind that you live in one of the coldest major metro areas on Earth. (Source)

Holy carp! Coldest weather in four years! Surely that means that we've turned the corner on global warming, right?

Nope. The coldest weather in four years doesn't mean diddley for determining climate change.

From the same article:

Citrus-Killing Freeze. Meteorologist Chad Merrill from WeatherBug sent me this nugget on the unusual cold that's gripped the southwestern USA in recent days: "Ice covers an orange at an orange grove in Redlands, California, Tuesday, January 15, 2013. A cold snap that has California farmers struggling to protect a $1.5 billion citrus crop has slowly started to ease, though frigid temperatures were still the norm Tuesday morning throughout the state and across other parts of the west."

Ice storms and record cold in California might also seem a sign that global warming is slowing, but, alas, no. That's just weather.

As for extreme weather, check out this article from April 2012, talking up the extreme tornado season ahead that year:

So far 2012 has been a very active tornado year compared to last year and the average annual trend back through 2005.

According to graphs provided by the Storm Prediction Center, there were 416 preliminary tornado reports through April 9, 2012. Compared to past years, this is a very busy start to the severe weather and tornado season.

The average annual trend from 2005-2011 indicates that there would normally be about 332 tornadoes through April 9. During the time period from Jan. 1-April 9, 2011, there were 92 tornadoes. (Source)

However, when all was said and done, 2012 went down on record as having the fewest tornados in history:

Following a notoriously active and deadly tornado year in 2011, the low number of tornadoes in 2012 may go down in the record books.

The number of tornadoes in January, February and March 2012 climbed above normal. However, in April, typically the most active month for severe weather in the U.S., there was a below-normal number of tornadoes.

Severe weather has been unusually quiet since the spring. Even during the fall, when there is normally a secondary peak in severe weather, there was a lull. (Source)

With the exception of Hurricane Sandy, 2012 was also a fairly mild year for the Atlantic hurricane season -- though there were a sizable number of "named" storms, only Sandy was above a category 2 system.

Finally, we need to bear in mind that the source article for this debate is US-centric, and that the rest of the world did not see the same weather patterns of heat and drought that we did. For example, Europe experienced a record cold spell and the United Kingdom saw cooler than normal temperatures all year, and precipitation that was the second highest in recorded history.

So, as we can see, localized weather (even on a national scale) over the short term is not conclusive proof of anything, apart from the state of localized weather over the short term.

posted on Jan, 21 2013 @ 03:46 PM
I am closing my side of the deliberation with just a few highlights. I would like to thank adjensen for this opportunity as well and to the readers, for reading our spirited debate.

Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors that include oceanic processes (such as oceanic circulation), variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions, and human-induced alterations of the natural world; these latter effects are currently causing global warming, and "climate change" is often used to describe human-specific impacts.

Climate Change

To start, i am not advocating nor endorsing a global warming scenario. The guys at NASA break it down pretty well, What's in a Name? Global Warming vs. Climate Change.

As I have said it is a global climate change I am advocating for. Does 2012 hold evidence of that continuing trend? My points were previously discussed to address that. 2012 simply continued a pattern seen in the most recent years.

The weather will vary and the science of predicting weather as pointed out by adjensen is not a perfect science, as climatologists will point out. Sunny when the weather man or woman says it going to rain or is raining is typical. Nevertheless, it is a science. A science, that relies on hard data. When scientists start telling you something and that something involves the climate, it would be wise to listen.

Today our scientists are telling us this Heat Waves, Storms, Flooding: Climate Change to Profoundly Affect U.S. Midwest in Coming Decades. Here is another scientist recording climate change, Examining climate change at the ecosystem level: A 50-year record from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest Rain gauge station . That article is from 2006.

In closing, some final words from Michio Kaku. He summarizes it nicely.

Thank you.

posted on Jan, 21 2013 @ 06:25 PM
Well, as predicted last week, it's mighty cold here today. When I took Oscar the dog for his walk this morning, it was so cold that he was in danger of sticking to a fire hydrant

(Goes to look at Facebook… sure enough…)

If global warming is as bad as they say then it needs to hurry up and take effect for this week and warm the weather up like now please

Unfortunately for that particular poster, climate change doesn't work like that -- it's a slow process that can take hundreds, thousands or even millions of years to come to fruition, so we are not likely to see a warmer end of the week courtesy of global warming (never mind the foolishness of thinking that would be a good idea in the first place.)


As we have seen, short term meteorological reports in a localized region are representative of weather, not climate. The source article on which this debate is predicated, being an analysis of weather in the United States in 2012, is not indicative of climate change, in itself. Let's say that the reports that we saw in the United Kingdom (cited in my last post) and the United States (in the source article) were reversed -- the US was cooler and wetter than normal -- would it be valid to say that "global warming has been reversed"? No, of course not, because one year is not indicative of anything.

That's the most important thing that I'd like all of us to take away from this debate. Whether there is global warming, and whether we as a species are contributing to it are not the subject here, but hopefully we'll all be a bit better informed and can recognize that a dry summer here, the lowest number of tornadoes in history there, ice storms in California and the coldest weather in four years in Minnesota doesn't mean anything, until it's put into the context of the statistical analysis of long term atmospheric conditions over a large area.

In closing, some final words from Michio Kaku. He summarizes it nicely.

The first thing I thought of when I watched that was wondering why CBS News would bring in a theoretical physicist to talk about the weather… surely there are meteorologists or climatologists who would make better guests? My questioning was furthered by his bizarre claim that more moisture in the air, combined with systems from Canada, was responsible for hurricanes, which is completely incorrect (hurricanes are spawned from tropical depressions that originate off the coast of Africa.)

Of course, they didn't ask him why there were less intense hurricanes in 2012 than previous years, because the focus was on Sandy and, once again, he makes overreaching and odd claims as to what happened there. Could probably dismiss that as just him being a physicist, not a meteorologist, except that, completely unrelated, I ran across this article earlier today:

I don’t remember who pointed me at this transcript of Deepak Chopra interviewing Michio Kaku, but if I remember who it was, I fully intend to hate them.

… pseudoscience "interview" snipped, see source article …

The whole thing is like this. It’s just brimful of gibberish. I mean, I expect Chopra to sound like a character from Star Trek, that’s his shtick, but Kaku claims to be a scientist. He’s on every other show on the Science Channel, and here he is spouting New Age twaddle and grossly misrepresenting good science.

And the whole interview is like this– this segment is just the part that I’m in the best position to evaluate. Between the two of them, though, they manage to say all manner of idiotic things about physics, biology, cosmology, and computing. Among other subjects.

Somebody ought to be ashamed of this. Ideally, Kaku would be, but that’s clearly not possible given that he went on Deepak Chopra’s radio show in the first place. But somebody ought to be ashamed. I’m just not sure who– the Huffington Post? the Science Channel? Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the Web that let me read this gibberish? Guglielmo Marconi for inventing radio?

I don’t really care who, but there better be some shame around here somewhere. Because this is completely ridiculous. (Source)

… and there we have our answer -- CBS put him on the air because he's popular, he sensationalizes things, and the fact that he doesn't understand something doesn't keep him from going on about it.

So, in spite of Kaku's dire prognostications, don't be surprised in 2013 isn't chock full of extreme weather, because what happened in 2012 doesn't mean anything, as regards long term weather and climate.


Thanks to cenpuppie for the debate, and the ATS Debate Forum for hosting, reading and judging. Now, off to walk the dog again! Brrrrrrr… come on, global warming, do your stuff…

posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 07:30 AM
The Debate was a tie that required three judges. Judgments:

Opening Statement:

Both, cenpuppie and adjensen had strong opening statements which were successful in succinctly stating their arguments. I must lean in favour though, of cenpuppie, as she/he (sorry) had provided a higher number of credible sources than adjensen, who mainly relied on personal knowledge.

The sources provided by cenpuppie effectively supported her/his argument, delving into a lot of different weather anomalies during 2012. I would have liked to see cenpuppie use excerpts form the sources though, in order to prove their point.

As for adjensen, you too provided a good source, but i would have liked to have seen further sources backing up your claims (for example, the weather/climate difference).

Winner: cenpuppie

Body Statement:

Both fighters continued their arguments well, with cenpuppie using further sources to back up her/his claims. Adjensen also came out strong, using numerous sources to his/her advantage.

Adjensen had good rebuttal points, effectively proving that short term weather changes are not representative of climate change. Adjensen did not, however, expand his/her argument, choosing to focus solely on the North American region. I would have liked to have seen adjensen touch on the international sphere of things.

cenpuppie's arguments were kind of vague. I would have like you to use excerpts from your sources instead of merely posting the links again though.

Both arguments were satisfactory in the body statement, but both could have been better.

Winner: adjensen (only just)

Closing Statement:

I feel that cenpuppie could have ended her/his debate stronger. I would have also liked to have seen some incorporated text and cenpuppie's own words for the last sources posted. Just linking sources and not using anything from them directly is probably not a strong move, especially for a closing statement.

Adjensen closed his/her arguments just as good, if not, a tiny bit better than cenpuppie. Although adjensen's use of a blog (albeit, a science one) as a source, and his use of a "Facebook" quote put me off, the writing was good. Furthermore, the debate was about climate change, not global warming.

All in all, both arguments were great, but i would have to give the closing statement to cenpuppie. As such, i have come to the conclusion that cenpuppie had won this debate, although by a slim margin.

Well done, both participants.

What an interesting debate... What I found most interesting was that neither person denied that the climate was changing in some fashion, therefore it made it much more difficult to separate that aspect of the argument from the base, is the extreme weather in 2012 indicative of climate change.

The arguments were both well formed, and well documented. Both fighters pressed their arguments but in the end.. Cenpuppie made one fatal mistake... He quoted a known sensationalistic 2012'er, Michio Kaku, in that one moment, anything he had posted before went out the window in a cloud of dust. For that reason, and that reason alone, by a very small nudge, Adjensen is the winner in my opinion.

Id have to give the win to adjsensen because while reading the debate I learned several things about climate and weather that I hadnt been aware of. In my opinion cenpuppie could have invested a little more time and thought o his posting. cenpuppie made sense, but adjsensens trick was not to outright deny global warming but to reframe it.

The following statements won me to adjensens side:

"climate change doesn't work like that -- it's a slow process that can take hundreds, thousands or even millions of years to come to fruition"

"As we have seen, short term meteorological reports in a localized region are representative of weather, not climate.

The winner of this Debate is adjensen.


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