Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Snowstorms kill hundreds of cattle

from the Calgary Herald today
May 12 2010

Ranchers in southern Alberta's Cardston County are in emergency mode after a barrage of spring snowstorms killed hundreds of cattle.

Losses are mounting as melting snow reveals calves that succumbed to the winter-like weather of the past couple of weeks, said Reeve Cam Francis.

The county declared itself a "disaster area" earlier this week, Francis said, noting that some ranchers lost more than 100 calves

Read more:

I realize that weather anomalies happen all the time. But we are told all the time that we must act now to stop global warming yet you would think that if cold weather in the middle of May is killing cattle, perhaps the rush isn't so great. I realize that AGW theories never precluded having cold weather, but it seems we are being told of catastrophic warmth when the only real catastrophes seem to be cold. There's something Orwellian about that no mater how anecdotal this story is.


enthemic said...

*sigh* another straw man...

You can't possibly be saying that "global warming" means that all extreme weather events will be warmer.

No climatologist in their right mind would say that. What they are saying is that climate change leads to increased occurrences of extreme weather events, where "extreme" means that they fall on all sides of "average weather" - hotter, colder, wetter, drier, faster, stiller, etc.

enthemic said...

Which is to say, I think you used the wrong adjective in that last sentence - perhaps instead of "Orwellian" you meant "myopic" or "provincial".

and then the_doctor said...

If you could be bothered at all to read the words I wrote, you can see that I drew attention to the fact that I made no such claims about a weather anomaly being a sign of anything. Thats what the first sentence says
"I realize that weather anomalies happen all the time"

I simply remind everyone that when we are told to fear warming, it's correctly Orwellian that it is cold events that are actually hurting us.

When it turned out that the weather is not getting warmer, you alarmists changed the goalposts to include climate "change."

All evidence demonstrates to anyone who wishes to look that extreme weather events (tornadoes, hurricanes droughts etc) are NOT increasing. If you want to pretend that's not the case and continue to modify your theory every time the data contradict you, thats fine.

Please don't do it here.

ps read the post before commenting

simon said...

Hey Dave, read post fully, and linked article before posting. Was confused by what you wrote and what you implied.

Quoted article doesn't mention climate change - you mentioned it only to say that "agw theories never precluded having cold weather" yet you go on to associate the two - sorry if it makes me smell straw when you bring Orwell into it.

Please direct me to that "all evidence" - the majority of studies I have read (by both climatologists and by the insurance industry) indicate that there has been an increase in the number of extreme weather events in the last two decades, and predict that this will only continue over the next century.

Climate is the average of weather, if you must write about weather as it relates to climate at least do so in an appropriate scope. What percentage of extreme weather events last year were of below average temperature for example?

This one modestly newsworthy event won't even register as a "disaster" - yet, globally if we take 2009 as an example out of 245 disasters, 224 were weather related, accounting for 55 million people out of the 58 million people affected, 7000 out of 8900 of those killed, and US$ 15 billion out of the US$ 19 billion in economic damages.

p.s. Please don't call me an "alarmist", if I must be called anything please call me a "skeptic".

simon said...

p.p.s. Sorry to give you a hard time about it - our political and economic perspectives are otherwise so similar that it's fascinating that we have divergent opinions on this one particular issue (agw).

The news story may be topical to you, but your conclusion that it's "Orwellian" is so clearly flawed that it indicates a possible source of that divergence.

Kevin Aschim said...

Doomers have been proclaiming imminent irreversible warming for the last 24 years.

But what do my lying eyes tell me? Arctic ice cap = normal.
Blizzards in May
No sea level rise.
No islands sinking.
Slight cooling over the last 12 years.
Up to 90% of all ETS credits in Europe fraudulent.
UN IPCC lies upon lies.
Fraudulent hockey sticks.

Voters and taxpayers decide public policy in this country not Greenpeace lawbreakers. Not corrupt banksters. Not unethical grant seeking "scientists".

It has been an interesting social exercise but climate change is dead and gone.

Kevin Aschim

and then the_doctor said...

I provide the above link which gives ample evidence of the facts regarding the lack of trend of extreme events.

Orwellian is the perfect description. The lack anyone's ability to experience global warming is exactly like the imagined "oceana" that big brother fought.

Your claim of being a sceptic is under the circumstances ridiculous.
But if you insist on a change, an environmental hypochondriac would be a better description. No lack of evidence seems to console the patient.

simon said...

Thanks for the link - great stuff, despite the sometimes misleading exclusion of data.

I also dug up this interesting paper specifically reviewing Alberta/Canadian extreme weather events which supports your core claim that there is an incongruence between perception and prediction.

"Trends and Changes in Extreme Weather Events: An Assessment with Focus on Alberta and Canadian Prairies"

You could just as easily say "Right wing newspaper fails to mention climate change in article about extreme weather, must be Orwellian." It's all point of view and ridiculous.

Thanks, but I'll stick with "skeptic" as I remain skeptical - of my own opinion foremost, and am pleased to have the opportunity to adjust it.

simon said...

And this paper which supports your claim globally:

I stand corrected. Interesting, I wonder where I got that opinion from.

simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
simon said...

My problem with the term “alarmist” (other than its partisan origins) is that it could be equally applied to either “camp”. The issue, the IPCC findings, and the political agenda it supports in the UN are “alarming”. I am alarmed. You are alarmed. If this were not the case you wouldn’t be writing and I wouldn’t be debating. However, I am “alarmed” not “alarmist”. My alarm is in response to the findings, not in support of the politics (as is implied by “ist”) to which I am in many ways strongly opposed.

On the spectrum from: vested interest - radical contrarian - contrarian - skeptical contrarian - skeptical - skeptical supporter - supporter - radicalized supporter - vested contra-interest

I view my stance as “skeptical supporter” - mean that I am skeptical but willing to admit my own ignorance and defer to the majority opinion. In our private conversations you admitted you were willing to overlook issues with data supporting your stance, which I take to mean that you are a contrarian who has been radicalized, either by vested interests or by the simple polarization of the issue. Hence the fervor of my opposition to your occasional posts when they conflict with my own understanding of the issues.

However please don’t mistake that fervor as “dislike of you or your opinion” - if anything it is my high opinion of both which spurs me to pry from you the source of the discrepancies between our opinions and thus improve my own understanding of the issue.

The opinion “global warming leads to increased extreme weather” was one I was quite confident in, upon research this is not a claim supported by the IPCC, but is widely held by supporters and portrayed in popular media. Discovering this kind of false but strongly held opinion (especially when its my own) is exactly what motivates my comments on your blog (and why I'd prefer to be called a skeptic).

The answer to your question “If the climate is changing, how come there seem to be more cold related extreme weather events” is (as we now both now agree that climate change is not impacting extreme weather events) obviously not related to climate change at all - rather I suggest that it’s a side effect of human perception and cognition.

The climate is changing in Canada such that winters are becoming slightly warmer, however because this change is primarily around the minimums which as humans we are not able to perceive, those changes are overridden by the high contrast changes - weather extremes - which we falsely cognize as being indicators of the overall signal. We find patterns where there are none.

(slightly edited for clarity)

simon said...

Kevin, I am very reluctant to debate with you the extent with which your eyes lie to you, you would know better than me. However, I might direct you to the the "no sea level rise" of a mean rate of 1.8 mm per year for the past century which your eyes of questionable truthiness may be unable to perceive - possibly you are not physically located near an ocean.


rainswept said...

Post on the the state-built disaster flaming before our very eyes (the economy) - count the comments.

Post on the current flavour in state-sponsored fear-monering (AGW) - count the comments.

Talk about Myopia.

and then the_doctor said...

I commend you for following the links I provided. It's not easy to admit error as I know all too well!

As far as your case about not being called an alarmist, I will extend you the courtesy of not generalizing your opinions into a category that so many others can easily be placed.

and then the_doctor said...

An astute observation Vin. I occasionally lurk MSM online news comments. I notice that economic issues regarding central banks, monetary erosion, inflation and the crowding of the private sector garner only minimal interest. Even when trolls post controversial rants, they don't generate lengthy flame wars like other subject matters.

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn't exist."

simon said...

Vin it seems unlikely that AGW is a bait and switch issue, and while it's research is state sponsored, the findings are often at odds with the political agenda of the state - you need look no further than our own government for evidence of that.

What is most telling about the economic issue(s) is the silence.

Or were you suggesting myopism on my part for not commenting on Dave's economic posts - I could pat him on the back, but that would just reinforce possibly false confidence in our shared beliefs, to our mutual detriment.

simon said...

Also I may now have to watch that movie again...

Kevin Aschim said...

Caution, potentially offensive satire in following paragraph. If you feel insulted, so much the better!

"1.8 mm per year!!!!!

We're all gonna DIE!

But wait, you will feel better if you PAY me and maybe, like Canute, I can turn back the sea. Such is the state of climate alarmism."

Nevertheless a very good question and you deserve a sensible answer. Sea level rise at this rate has negligible effect on land area because wave action has a natural land building effect. Witness the island chain along the entire US Atlantic seaboard and Gulf Coast ringed by islands built entirely by wave action. Sea level rise merely has the effect of building the land mass higher. Natural soil building also occurs at near this rate as well on land.

The same phenomenon applies to coral reefs. Coral reef height is defined by sea level not the other way around.

Finally, sea level rise is not completely understood as there are many factors other than atmospheric temperature at play including ocean currents, local weather, tectonic movements etc.

All the leading ocean hydrologists are pretty agnostic about sea level changes and its rise or fall is not any different than historical norms. Sea level is never constant, like the weather, it is either increasing or decreasing but never static.

Same goes for ocean acidification. The ocean has a mass 300 times that of the atmosphere. That along with a very low atmospheric carbon content in geologic terms of only 0.0038% and the fact that pH is a logarithmic scale makes ocean acidification impossible. Plus the ocean is very, very highly buffered. Even if we burned all hydrocarbons on earth, we would barely move ocean pH more than a few tenths.

And even if we could, we would actually create more beneficial effects than harmful effects. Ocean organisms maintain acidic biochemistries and must maintain an enormous energy expense to expel hydroxides since ocean pH is 8.1 to 8.2. Increased ocean acidity actually helps mobilize calcium and promotes rather than retards shell building. This is why contained shellfish farms all deliberately acidify their water with CO2, exactly the same way a greenhouse does.

Verdant tropical or rain forests have CO2 content in the neighbourhood of 600 to 700 ppm. At the soil surface level where plants germinate and begin life, CO2 content can be several thousand ppm. Your own breath is 20,000 ppm CO2. Nothing to be afraid of!

enthemic said...

Realize Dave is out in the bush, but thought I'd post a follow up about the average weather in Canada based on a very recently released Environment Canada report:

"Environment Canada reports that the national average temperature for the winter 2009/2010 was 4.0 °C (7.2 °F) above normal, based on preliminary data, making this the warmest winter on record since nationwide records began in 1948. The previous record was 2005/2006 which was 3.9 °C (7.0 °F) above normal. At 3.2 °C (5.8 °F) below normal, the winter of 1971/1972 remains the coolest."

Kevin Aschim said...

I guess that made up for this then:

And that's the official temperature. My thermometer dipped to -51 C.

and then the_doctor said...

re "warmest winter"

As usual you miss the point entirely. The only dire consequences seem to occur with COLD weather, not warm. That was the point of the post.

and then the_doctor said...

regarding the notion that warm was more dangerous than cold, I spent 2 minutes on google which led me to US fatality stats from the CDC.
from 1999-2003 3,442 deaths from heat stroke.
From 1999-2002 4,607 died from HYPOTHERMIA.

Just a further illustration of my point that we are being fed a fear of warming that isn't as relevant as reality.

enthemic said...

2/3rd of hypothermia deaths involve alcohol or drugs...

I tried to post this link earlier...

and then the_doctor said...

re 2/3 deaths...

thats correct. how many people pass out and die from warm weather? Again, that is the point of this post!!