The Problem With the ‘Warm’ in Global Warming: Most Like it Hot

Yves here. In addition to the issue that this article raises, that a lot of people prefer warm temperatures and hence aren’t as alarmed by visible climate changes as they ought to be, there’s a second not-helpful development, specifically in the northeastern part of the US. It’s disproportionately important by virtue of this area including the media/business capital of New York City and what I observe seems to apply generally to the entire Boston-Washington corridor, um. power center.

Not only have winters become milder but summers have too. The northeast is (for now) a climate change beneficiary. Shame about those wilder storms and (coming soon!) sea level rises.

When I first came to New York, in the 1980s, there would be at least one 2-3 day stretch where the high temperature would be over 100 degrees. July and August were very hard to take. Pretty much every day, the high would be over 85 degrees, with high humidity, and the low would virtually nevah get below 75 degrees. That meant heat would build up and radiate out of the pavement and buildings. The best you’d usually get would be a mid-80s day, with low humidity and a nice breeze (that sort of day is good in NYC regardless).

For years, we’ve had entire summers with no or at most 2 days with the high over 95, and none over 100. I used to have to abandon wearing tights from mid-May through Labor Day. For at least the last five summers there have been 10 to 15 days over the summer where I would don them and not overheat.

By Julia Sklar. Originally published at Undark

With every incongruous 50-degree F day in Boston this winter, I noticed the same transformations in the people around me: Revelers shed their layers of clothing, smiled more, and made polite small talk about what a great, beautiful, or perfect day it was. I’m always on the outside looking in on these interactions. Whereas my fellow Bostonians take delight in the warm, snowless days, I find them inescapably grim this time of year. In light of what we know about climate change, I feel as though I’m clutching onto a season that is systematically disappearing from my part of the world — and that few others care.

In a report called “Most Like It Hot,” the Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of Americans prefer to live in a city with a hot climate, and only 29 percent prefer cold locales. (The rest don’t have a preference.) Even human psychoses reflect this preference for warmth. Almost always, the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are triggered during the cold, dark winter months. Only 10 percent of people with seasonal affective disorder suffer symptoms during the summer. And if you track growth in American cities since the early 1900s, a clear pattern emerges: The biggest upward trends are in places known for warmth.

I have always known that my disdain for warm weather makes me an outlier, but lately I’ve been wondering if it also has something to do with the inertia I’ve witnessed when it comes to addressing global warming — a term, by the way, that has always evoked hell to me, though maybe not to others. Although most of us are now well aware that the potential dangers of global warming go beyond weather — devastating natural disasters, famine, the reemergence of centuries-old diseases from melting permafrost — perhaps a collective preference for warmth has dulled our response to these larger threats that come with climate change. Would there be more urgency and better compliance with initiatives like the Paris Climate Agreement if we were facing the threat of an ice age instead?

It’s not a completely outlandish thought experiment. From roughly the mid-1300s to the mid-1800s, there was a prolonged period of global cooling known as the Little Ice Age. Glaciers around the world grew robustly and average temperatures dropped by about 1 degree C (1.8 degrees F) from those of the preceding Medieval period. The cooling climate struck Europe first and hardest: Reportedly, it was so cold in some areas that wild birds could be seen dropping dead out of the sky as they flew, and major European rivers like the Thames and the Rhine froze over for such significant chunks of the year that they became reliable roads for carts and horses. 1816 was famously dubbed “the year without Summer,” a dubious accolade shared by the year 1628.

So how did people respond to this onset of perpetual winter? Basically, they spent 300 years just completely freaking out. Then reason and social progress prevailed.

To most people, life during the Little Ice Age was horrible beyond measure. Catastrophes like widespread crop failure, livestock death, famine, and epidemics were common, and child mortality rates climbed. Someone had to take the blame. Witches — who, according to the Bible, had the power to bring on calamitous hailstorms and other weather-related disasters — were widely cast as scapegoats. Present-day economists have shown a correlation between the most active years in witchcraft trials and the coldest spells in the region. In May of 1626, after a brutal hailstorm in southern Germany was followed by Arctic-like temperatures, 900 men and women deemed responsible for the weather shift were tortured and executed.

But this systematic killing wasn’t changing anything, and people saw that. The cold marched on relentlessly. And so while the first half of the Little Ice Age was characterized by fanaticism, chaos, disease, death, and famine, the 18th century saw a turn toward a new, multi-pronged attempt at problem solving, spurred by the Age of Enlightenment.

Across Europe there was a broad move away from beleaguered agrarian societies, whose livelihoods were inextricably linked to practices, like small-scale farming, that climate change could easily topple. Instead, societies began to embrace institutions that were meant to imbue order, stability, reason, and understanding amid climatic chaos: science academies that explicitly excluded theologians; university systems that swelled in size; and improved roads and canals that facilitated the spread of education, medical care, and global trade. This era also saw the publication of books on science-based agricultural reform that would become virtual gospels on subjects like crop rotation, fertilization, and bumper crop storage for hundreds of years to come.

These new systems were put to the test by subsequent cold waves that continued into the 18th century and extended beyond Europe — to places like New York City, where in 1780 the harbor froze so solidly that you could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island. Improved clothing, heat-retaining architecture, widespread international trade, and the increased knowledge about disease management coming out of the universities and science academies all worked to keep death and famine at levels far lower than those that Western societies had previously experienced.

Admittedly, the comparison between our reaction to climate change and those who came before us is imperfect; the people who lived through the Little Ice Age didn’t really understand the science behind what they were experiencing. But their passionate and sometimes extreme cultural, political, and religious responses to the effects of climate change suggest that had they been able to directly and intentionally stop global cooling, they probably would have.

Yet here we are, armed with the knowledge our forbearers were missing, having nonetheless just closed the books on the fourth-warmest year since 1880. Instead of marshalling the ingenuity of an Age of Enlightenment, as our predecessors did, we’ve spent the last few decades in an Age of Complacency.

Leo Barasi, an author who has written extensively about climate change apathy, captured a sentiment shared by many Britons after a heatwave swept through the U.K. last summer. “They believe [the heatwave] was definitely a sign of climate change, just as the science says,” he told the Independent. “But most people’s experience of it was not unequivocally awful — not like a massive forest fire or a terrible hurricane. Some people quite enjoyed it.”

Of course, the fact that most people remain unbothered by warm weather is neither the sole nor most significant reason we’re now nearing the end of the runway for wholesale mitigation of today’s climate change. It’s not that simple, and weather and climate are not one in the same.

But at the most basic human level, our gut feelings about our day-to-day experiences with weather do matter. They inform our inclinations about preserving the long-term patterns of climate — and preserving those patterns means protecting the winters that some people hate. It’s time to reckon with what that means for the future of our climate.

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  1. Wukchumni

    All of the glaciers in the Sierra Nevada were formed during the little ice age, and its hard to imagine such a thing taking place now, as every summer even extreme amounts of snow deposited in the winter, are typically mostly gone by August, melted out.

    Just a few handfuls of these still exist, but it all it took to make them was a minus 1C change in temperature.

    We’re looking @ double that on the other end.

  2. John Beech

    So you’ve noticed people like it a bit warmer in the winter better than cold, eh? Guess this ‘is’ the upside of global warming! Around here the comments have to do with ‘where’s global warming?’ when we see news of a winter blast. Commentators seem amused is my sense.

    Could it be because we’re talking about events that play out over the course of centuries, which is why most folks don’t get too worked up about it? Personally, I’m suffering fatigue about the whole global warming thing. Moreover, because I’m older than you, I recall my university professors speaking of cooling instead of warming (late 70s). I didn’t fret overly much then either.

    Anyway, where the real risk lays in the incessant alarmism. It’s turning off the very people who will need to work on the issues. And it’s entirely due to fatigue. Fatigue similar to how the media got everybody worked up regarding the President and Russia and now, when there turns out to be no there there (or very little), some are realizing they’ve been played. Same thing with climate change and the incessant (and usually shrill cry) that makes it seem like it’s an emergency and you must do something right now. These folks seem to run around in circles and shout in alarm all the time. With respect to it being an ’emergency’, it just doesn’t seem to be how many are assessing the issue. Me? I’m rather more concerned with plastic in the environment.

    In any case, this is going to play out slowly because politicians aren’t alarmed. And they’re the ones allocating the money. And in any case, if we want, we can always lay out a sheet of mylar between us and the sun and make a shadow to cool things off. We have the technology. best part? unlike proposals to use aerosols, this can be adjusted very quickly. Anyway, I sincerely hope you don’t get too much further worked up about all this. Keeping the pressure on is one thing, but working yourself into a stroke is another.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Russiagate and climate change are not the same.

      We have found the Northwest Passage after centuries of searching – because all the ice melted. Species are dying out in record numbers. These are all currently observable facts.

      If you can’t see it, it’s because you’ve buried your head in the sand.

      1. Ignim Brites

        Muellertime and AGW are indeed not the same thing, but unless the science community can muster the resources to build its own mass information networks or can effect a purge of the leading names of the establisment media, then AGW reporting will be tainted by association with the establishment media, especially insofar as it shares with the Muellertime reporting a certain breathless, obsessional admonitory quality. (How is that for a single sentence?)

    2. Perry525

      Roughly 750,000 years ago the World was in the same place as now. Over 750,000 years the World completes its journey round the sun, an elliptical spiral that brings two ice ages and two hot spells. It has happened forever and it will continue until the Sun expands and engulfs the World.

  3. vlade

    1816 was the Year w/o Summer not because of Little Ice Age, but because of Tambora eruption. It didnt’ help that Naopoleonic wars just ended, with Europe devastated. In our time podcast has a good episode on it.

    1628 was apparently similar (Santorini), and again, it didn’t help that 30 year war was in the full swing (it depopulated swathes of Germany and central Europe, with some regions losing as much as 80% of population, and lots of them more than 2/3rds).

    1. jrs

      80 is just getting warm for me, it’s close to my ideal temperature. But I think temperatures higher than the normal human body temperature do a funny number on humans.

      None of which is meant to detract from the seriousness of climate change of course. The people who think climate change is “pleasant” should discuss again how much we enjoy breathing smoke for days on end, till the lungs hurt and the mind reels, real fun that.

  4. Andre

    In the Boston area for the past two Winters, we’ve not gotten much old fashion snow. It’s mostly slush. Wet, wet, wet. A bitch to move with a snow blower, and deadly for the back when shoveling. This Winter just concluding we had only one old fashion snowfall, with somewhat dry snow. And for the record, just North of Boston there were nine instances this Winter where there was compete snow cover, followed by all of the snow cover disappearing. Nine. Never saw that before. We also had what most of us in this area consider one of the worst snowfalls we’ve ever encountered: a snowfall of about six inches of wet, wet snow (or snow/rain if you would!) followed the day after by severe cold, with the daytime temp never going above 7 degrees Farenheit. We never have daytime temperature that low. Everything froze solid.

  5. Ignacio

    I think that one of the most likely bad outcomes that migth come to those latitudes would be the consequence of changes in insect populations and parasites that could result in the spread of virulent plant and animal diseases. This already occurs in Europe and the death of whole pine forests is really a bad outcome. The caveat is oversimplification of climate change consequences and neglecting the multitude of ecological impacts it has.

    Anyway, good luck with climate change! It will be needed…

    As an example:

    1. Phacops

      A decade ago it was rare to encounter many ticks in N. Michigan. Now, they are not uncommon, especially with pets or being active in the woodlands.

      This is the first year I’ll be setting out tick killing nesting material around my property. Because the rodent population acts as a tick reservoir, I’ll toss around TP tubes with permethrin-soaked cotton balls inside. Mice love it for their nests, it doesn’t harm them, and any ticks they bring into the nest are killed. Plus, after a season it degrades.

      1. TBone

        Ticks are deadly and thanks for pointing out the increase and what you’re doing. I’m very concerned that we’ll discover many, many more insects carrying deadly pathogens moving into areas populated by livestock, wildlife, and humans.

        1. barefoot charley

          Also Ignacio, what you describe has already walloped North America too. Infestations of bark beetles are no longer killed by cold winters:

          Altogether, with their advance fueled by climate change, bark beetles have ravaged 85,000 square miles of forest in the western United States — an area the size of Utah — since 2000. Pine beetles also have killed trees across roughly 65,000 square miles of forest in British Columbia, and in the southeastern U.S., they have caused millions of dollars of damage to the timber industry in states such as Alabama and Mississippi.

  6. Abi

    Honestly, I’ve never really understood why “climate change” is seen as bad. I remember being taught in primary school science that “climate” did not change, but as I’ve grown older I’ve observed that the world is constantly changing so why is climate exempt from that? Maybe I am just weird but I think this is all part of nature and as with all things we will adjust to the changes. That being said, I live in a very hot climate somewhere in West Africa, we usually have dry season between Oct and April, rain NEVER falls, but last year it didn’t stop raining till early Dec which meant farmers planted tomatoes late, then the rain came back early March, we are terrified we won’t have enough tomatoes as it is so central to our diet, but I figured well here’s a chance for us to move into greenhouse farming.

    1. Ignacio

      Yep, it is better not to distract even a single neurone into thinking about climate change, and then assume its consequences naturally. This is clever planning into the future… I guess!

      1. Susan the other`

        Global warming is like garbage. Out of sight out of mind. And just so, it accumulates. The worst thing for me is to think about the effects of changing weather here where I live, and then to realize it is happening everywhere. Australia is inundated. Southern Africa is starting to report the effects – Mozambique. It’s an entire planet of misery. I’m assuming China has censored reports but they undoubtedly have big problems to take care of. And now we see what looks like the Missouri Lake instead of the River. This stuff is not an “externality” any longer. We need policies to prevent the worst. There’s no escaping the disasters.

    2. Ander

      Abi, climate does change naturally. The big issue here is that it’s changing faster than ever in observable history, predominantly as a result of human activity.

      With this change has come a drastic decline in insect populations, and a startling expansion of the world’s deserts.

      We’ll adapt, sure, but it could be the hardest adaptation in our species’ history.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Yes but the headline restates what I’ve been saying for a while on the political value of warming as the signature campaign message, GND etc. The GSITM (Great Swath In The Middle) either don’t really care, are non-believers, or will be too susceptible to fear campaigns on the costs.

        My two planks: Stop The War and M4A. Shut up about everything else.

        Oh, and the first plank has an added benefit: the military is one of our largest fossil fuel users. Flying US assassins into Gambia and Venezuela uses lots of jet fuel, and Humvees traipsing all over the mountains of Afghanistan makes ExxonMobil shareholders happy but no one else.

    3. CraaaaaaaaaazyChris

      I think the narrative being peddled about “climate change” and “global warning” is fundamentally ineffective, in part because of what this article discusses, but more importantly because these are end effects, not causes. What is causing climate change and warming? A generic answer would be humans defiling/poisoning the earth at global scale. More specifically, things like unflared methane from fracking, burning recyclables, tar sands production, air travel, cars, … and who knows what else – I don’t know because the scientists seem more focused on the outputs and end results (e.g. PPM of carbon) rather than the inputs and the worst offenders.

      I will continue to believe that nothing fundamental is going to change about the path we’re on w.r.t. global defiling until the narrative becomes more like this: “The FBI today updated their top-10 list of climate offenders. Moving into the number 10 position: cow farts! Beef producers are now on notice to upgrade methane collection systems or face massive fines….”

      As a computer scientist, global climate change looks to me like an optimization problem. With this type of problem you want to make a “top-10” type list of the worst offenders and then address those areas, then you make a new list and keep repeating the process until things settle into acceptable boundaries.

      1. John Wright

        “As a computer scientist, global climate change looks to me like an optimization problem.”

        But what if the best solution to the “optimization problem” falls far short of a solution for climate change?

        And things do not settle into desired “acceptable boundaries”.

        Then your optimal solution may simply delay the drastic effects a few years?

        1860 is stated as about the time the oil age began.

        Everywhere we look (buildings, roads, machines, electronics, food, entertainment) we see oil’s cumulative good and bad effects.

        With about 160 years of oil age momentum, I don’t see much changing in response to what I believe is the valid science of climate change.

        In 1968 ecologist Garrett Harding mentioned that there are problems for which there are no technological solutions (Hardin referred to the accommodation of a constantly increasing human population as one of these).

        Climate change may be another problem without a technological solution.

  7. johnnygl

    I thinl yves and the poster are onto something here. That’s probably why CA is consistently way out in front of the country on the issue. Every year they watch their world burn in a wave of wildfires. The droughts have sharpened minds, too. It seems broadly true of the western part of the country, even if the oil drillers still get what they want.

    1. Evil WizardGlick

      Until the 1800s, when settlers flooded into California, many parts of the state experienced far more wildfire than they do today. Natural fires burned unimpeded, and Native Americans lit blazes to reduce future risks and boost the growth of desirable plants, as they had done for thousands of years. The state’s ecosystems evolved not just to tolerate burning, but to depend on it.

      “California landscapes were really truly born and bred of fire,” Martin said.

      Then the federal government intervened. After several massive wildfires ripped through the West in the early 1900s, the newly formed U.S. Forest Service began extinguishing flames as quickly as possible. Managers believed that suppressing fires protected both communities and forests, Martin said. And for decades, it did.

      But over time, the plan backfired. That was especially true in conifer forests, which used to burn every five to 20 years and grew denser with each missed cycle.

      Then came drought, tree-killing beetles and climate change—plus a booming population that kept expanding into forested areas.

      Californians are all too familiar with the consequences: catastrophic wildfires that are nearly impossible to contain.

      “If you want to really, fully restore the forest, you have to get fire back in there,” said Malcolm North, a research scientist at the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station in Davis, Calif.

      Beyond removing saplings and pine duff, fire creates natural variability in the spacing of trees, he said. It typically leaves denser stands in wetter places and creates gaps in dryer areas that prevent flames from spreading.

      “That’s one of the features which made forests so resilient to fire and drought,” he said.

      Fire also plays a critical role in breaking down material on the forest floor and recycling nutrients.

      Except near communities, the goal of prescribed burns is not to prevent future fires, but to allow more wildfires to burn safely, North said.

      The 2013 Rim fire was a prime example.

      It started with a runaway campfire on National Forest land east of Groveland, Calif., and quickly metastasized. But then it spread into nearby Yosemite National Park, where for decades Martin and her predecessors had been lighting prescribed fires and allowing natural ones to burn.

      When the Rim fire hit previously treated areas, it suddenly became tamer. It dropped from the canopy back down to the ground, burned less intensely, and didn’t require much suppression, Martin said.

      The controlled burns also protected staff buildings near the Hodgdon Meadow Campground. “We didn’t lose any homes,” she said.


      Despite its effectiveness, prescribed burning remains vastly underutilized in California and across the West.

      1. Wukchumni

        My attempt here is to get a large enough piece of land to withstand the same conditions the Native Americans would have had late every fall when they set the understory aflame. renewing the land and making it easier to see & hunt game, with their food locker-oak trees, alive and out of fire danger’s way, as acorns were 2/3rds of their diet.

        I’m in year 10 of a 14 year project, with 85% cleared of dead wood on the ground, and a lot of dead branches on trees taken down within reach of a 14 foot polesaw.

        Neighbors on a few sides have done similar efforts, while one neighbor has done zippity doo-dah, dead trees from the drought all over the place, droopy dead limbs on live trees looking only for a fire foothold on the ground, that sort of thing.

        The acid test of course being a wildfire, to see how the land held up.

        I’m in no hurry to find out…

  8. TBone

    Climate “Change” should have been the label applied instead of Global “Warming” which is SO misleading. It’s not simply a matter of what the “warming planet” effect will be, it’s a cascading of interconnected effects that will make the earth UNINHABITABLE for all forms life!

    1. JBird4049

      It will not be that bad at all. Even we humans will ultimately be fine. Now civilization? Not so much especially as there might be a large die off of human beings.

      1. Milton

        It will be that bad and much sooner that most people expect. A rise from around 280ppm CO2 in pre-industrial times to the present 410ppm is 1000 X faster than what occurred during the last great extinction (Permian and that was breakneck speed as far as geologic time is concerned) and we are well on our way to 500ppm – a level never experienced by post-Triassic mammals, let alone hominids. I don’t see humans surviving past 2080 as base lifeforms collapse and with it our biosphere.

    2. Skip Intro

      I prefer the term Climate Chaos, or even better Climate Crisis which is accurate, but invokes the need for action, it is less passive and inevitable than Climate Change.

  9. Evil Wizard Glick

    And then we encounter

    The Jakobshavn glacier around 2012 was retreating about 1.8 miles and thinning nearly 130 feet annually. But it started growing again at about the same rate in the past two years, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Geoscience. Study authors and outside scientists think this is temporary.

    “That was kind of a surprise. We kind of got used to a runaway system,” said Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland ice and climate scientist Jason Box. “The good news is that it’s a reminder that it’s not necessarily going that fast. But it is going.”

    Box, who wasn’t part of the study, said Jakobshavn is “arguably the most important Greenland glacier because it discharges the most ice in the northern hemisphere. For all of Greenland, it is king.”

    A natural cyclical cooling of North Atlantic waters likely caused the glacier to reverse course, said study lead author Ala Khazendar, a NASA glaciologist on the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) project. Khazendar and colleagues say this coincides with a flip of the North Atlantic Oscillation — a natural and temporary cooling and warming of parts of the ocean that is like a distant cousin to El Nino in the Pacific.

  10. Evil Wizard Glick

    As long as the discussion focuses on hot, here is a unique take.
    I’ll share part, read the rest. I’m not a Scientist so I can’t decide rationally.
    There are three parts.


    The waters of the Earth are now pluming suffocating methane and deadly hydrogen sulfide, both highly flammable gases.

    Ancient anaerobic bacteria and archaea that pre-date oxygen-using life are reassuming dominance on the Earth. As part of their life cycle these bacteria and archaea emit hydrogen sulfide. As a consequence, the oceans, lakes and seas have begun to plume increasing amounts of hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere. This is an ancient extinction event. Hydrogen sulfide is the likely culprit in many if not all previous planetary extinction events.

    Hydrogen sulfide is a deadly broad-spectrum poison. It is lethal to humans with one or two breaths in concentrations of 1 part per thousand. In other words, if the air you breathe is 99.9% clean and 0.1% hydrogen sulfide then you’re going to be dead after one or two breaths. It is also a water-soluble gas and will contaminate water. It is a heavier-than-air gas so it will tend to seek out low-lying areas such as rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, valleys, ravines, ditches, quays, bays, gorges, canyons, basements, underground facilities, etc. It is also highly flammable and is reactive with numerous substances, including (but not limited to) copper, rusty iron/steel, nitric acid, and sodium hydroxide.

    At very low concentrations hydrogen sulfide is said to smell like ‘rotten eggs’. However, you should not count on being able to smell it at any concentration beyond the trivial as it paralyzes the olfactory sense and if you can smell it at all then the smell will fade rapidly. That does not mean the danger is gone! At medium-high concentrations some people say that it can smell ‘flowery’ or ‘sickeningly sweet’. I have smelled that odor myself, when a septic worker had a sewer lid open and was pumping excrement into the sewer from porta-potties. (I got as far away from there as I could before I took another breath.)

    Though it is a heavier-than-air gas, hydrogen sulfide is nevertheless being blown up into the upper atmosphere sometimes, where it is reacting away both the ozone layer and hydroxyl radicals. The loss of the ozone layer will probably eventually result in lethal levels of UV radiation baking the surface of the planet. The rising UV levels are already damaging DNA and RNA and causing increases in the frequency of genetic defects such as albinism and polycephaly (two-headedness) and genetic chimeras.

    The loss of hydroxyl radicals means that atmospheric methane will last considerably longer in the atmosphere than it normally would, since hydroxyl radicals would normally mitigate the methane. Which brings me to…

    Methane clathrate deposits in the oceans around the world are now dissociating (melting), flooding the atmosphere with increasing amounts of methane, which is a highly flammable odorless gas. Natural gas is primarily comprised of methane. The methane releases alone would probably be enough to eradicate human civilization from the surface of the Earth. This is called the Clathrate Gun Hypothesis.

    We are getting both hydrogen sulfide releases and methane releases. This is likely the same scenario that killed off most life on Earth during the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event, also called ‘The Great Dying’.

    ( The Methane aspect was used in a climate scifi novel Mother of Storms
    by John Barnes..)

    1. TBone

      Wow. I’m rendered speechless, must look into this? I know algae etc. are increasing, even where I live inland…

  11. The Rev Kev

    I suppose that a lot of people in the American north-east are looking forward to balmier weather. Winters not so cold nor so long. But a question that I would like to pose is, what if the temperature keeps on climbing? What then? How does this region cope with a whole new hotter climate? Just how hot will it get eventually?
    Lambert linked to an article which talked about how the 100th meridian is shifting east. This is the division where it is desert like to the west and green pasturage to the east. Does this shift faster now and does it have more sever consequences as it approach the north-east region? Are massive storms and floods larger for this region on the horizn. Would Tornado Alley shift east as well
    As the old saying goes, be careful of what you wish for – you just might get it.

  12. Susan the other`

    As if we didn’t have enough to think about. Methane is 10 times more heat-inducing than CO2. I wonder if the recent spikes in CO2 have to do with methane – does methane masquerade as CO2? Why don’t we have reports on the levels of methane and hydrogen sulfides, etc.

  13. Evil Wizard Glick

    The Rev Kev
    “I suppose that a lot of people in the American north-east are looking forward to balmier weather. Winters not so cold nor so long.”

    Are you kidding?

    Google up the weather around Buffalo NY and Erie Pa. It’s been cold and snowy for a many years. It’s always cold and snowy.

  14. dutch

    Has anyone in the NC commentariat actually read any of the IPCC reports? The chapters by Working Group I on the physical basis of climate change are the intellectual core of the science underlying the debate.

      1. dutch

        Just the Working Group I chapters. But so far it seems to be just you and me who have read any of it. The certitude with which others here are predicting doom is disturbing given their apparent lack of actual knowledge on the subject.

          1. dutch

            Can you give citations on where the report discusses climate catastrophe, crisis or tipping point?

          2. Michael

            most people are taking someone else’s word for it. A basic course in climate science is necessary in order to properly understand a lot of climate change material. For most people with high school chemistry and physics its going to take 30 to 90 hours.

  15. Evil Wizard Glick

    Susan the other`
    The site shows a lot of burning autos, those can be easily explained away, but it does keep me informed about volcanic eruptions which do not make MSM.
    Ok here is a tad from part three. Really read the entire hypothesis.


    Probably the most noticeable effect will be fires and explosions sweeping across the planet. Businesses, homes, vehicles and infrastructure will be consumed by raging fires. Ammo depots will be hit with explosions and fires, including the civilian versions like fireworks factories. Likewise, chemical plants of all types will burn and/or explode, including biofuels plants, fertilizer plants, specialty chemical plants, petroleum-related facilities and more. Metal-related businesses will be hit hard, including salvage yards and metal recycling centers. Trash-related facilities such as recycling centers and landfills will burn hard too, as hydrogen sulfide is absorbed into flammable absorbent materials like wood, paper, cardboard, straw, hay, dried brush, generic trash, clothing, cotton, wool. Wood-related fires will escalate, including fires at pallet companies, wood-carving businesses, furniture businesses, door companies, cabinet companies, etc. People’s clothing will spontaneously combust from time to time, or ignite very very easily from the slightest spark or heat, as has been happening with increasing frequency and people will be burned to death as a consequence. So far as homes are concerned, vacant homes, unoccupied homes and homes under construction will burn hardest and first but the number of occupied homes burning will also be increasing.”

  16. Evil Wizard Glick


    If my Freeman Dyson post has not gone through yet, Google his Wiki and read his Climate Change opinions. His objections are reasonable.

  17. Evil Wizard Glick

    The Rev Kev

    Not sure if anyone has shared this yet. Only part of the article.
    ( I have read some posters on other sites comment on not only how the magnetic shift may be affecting the crust but how the solar minimum is also doing the same. Thus more earthquakes and volcanic activity.)

    Earth’s north magnetic pole is moving, researchers say.

    It has moved so much, so quickly that a group of scientists hurried to change a model that helps guide shipping, airplanes and submarines in the Arctic Ocean.

    Last week, the scientists released new information on the north magnetic pole sooner than they had planned.

    Compass needles point toward the pole. As a child, you might have received a simple compass as a gift. It has a magnetized pointer which shows the direction of magnetic north.

    Liquid metal at the center of our planet produces the magnetic field. Unpredictable movements in the liquid mean the field and the location of magnetic north are always changing.

    The World Magnetic Model records those changes. The model is a joint product of the British Geological Survey and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    The two agencies were planning to report changes in the magnetic north pole, as they do every five years, at the end of 2019. But the pole has moved so quickly they had to release the information much sooner.

    Scientists have found that the magnetic north pole is moving at a speed of about 55 kilometers every year. One hundred years ago, the pole was located near the coast of northern Canada. It crossed the International Date Line, the imaginary line running through the Pacific Ocean from the North Pole to the South Pole, in 2017.

    Now, the magnetic north pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and moving towards Russia.

    Arnaud Chulliat is a scientist at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. He is also the lead researcher for the newly updated World Magnetic Model. Chulliat told the Associated Press the continuous movement of magnetic north is a problem for compasses in smartphones and other electronic devices.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      the magnetic north pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and moving towards Russia.

      Now we know what the next chapter of RussiaGate will be: Vlad’s nefarious plot to steal the North Pole. It’s perfect, totally irrefutable. Mueller can spy and subpoena and leak and coerce and convict in the court of public opinion, and then declare “He’s not guilty, but he’s also not innocent”.

      1. Evil Wizard Glick

        As we speak someone somewhere is searching Siberia for giant electromagnets, Russian flags and buildings which could have may have been built with Trump collusion.

        1. wilroncanada

          Don’t be afraid. Santa Claus is an American. He has with him a whole brigade of subordinate Clauses up north of the DEW line to protect his unique territory.

  18. Ignacio

    And when there is a cold day during winter they say “the hell with global warming”.

    Our ability to understand complex processes like weather is below 0.

    Then there is a cognitive bias that makes us recall the good things better than the bad ones.

  19. lordkoos

    Where I live people have been experiencing extremely hot summers and now-annual massive wildfires for the last 7-8 years in a row, and folks aren’t happy about it. Myself, I do prefer warm climates, but is it really about what the general population likes or doesn’t like? Isn’t it more about a total lack of leadership on climate change? People who are in positions of power are the irresponsible ones IMHO, more so than the average citizen.

  20. Tyronius Maximus

    Not everyone will suffer under global warming. Clearly, Canada and Russia will be big beneficiaries. Greenland is also seeing positive changes for their inhabitants. Are there other places where current climate change trends will yield beneficial results?

      1. Evil Wizard Glick

        A whole lot of maybe’s regarding “Climate Science”.

        Read the article below, I’ve posted the some of the relevant parts.
        “Also omitted from news reports on the eruption is an explanation of the cause. According to a team of Japanese astrophysicists though, the cause is not a mystery. They demonstrated conclusively in 2011 that explosive volcanic eruptions are triggered by cosmic rays.”

        “The increase in cosmic rays which the Earth is experiencing right now, moreover, is being caused by a period of diminished solar output our solar system entered in 2017. This decline in solar output can be measured by counting sunspots, and is know as a Grand Solar Minimum (GSM).”

        “What is disputed and suppressed by mainstream academia, media and government agencies, however, is the severity of the GSM we have entered and what it means for climate, food production and social stability in the coming years.

        Increased levels of cosmic rays do not only cause more volcanic eruptions. They lead to a cascade of consequences which have profound implications for life on this planet and civilisation as we have known it.

        During solar maxima, when the sunspot count is high, a stronger magnetic field and solar wind prevent a greater amount of cosmic rays from entering Earth’s magnetosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and lithosphere.

        During a GSM, however, this protective function of solar wind and the solar magnetosphere declines. This leads to increased levels of cosmic rays hitting the Earth,
        and is the major factor driving climatic changes during a GSM.

        As well as causing greater volcanic activity and atmospheric ash levels, cosmic rays also increase cloud cover around the planet generally. This was demonstrated by a team of space scientists led by Professor Henrik Svensmark at the Technical University of Denmark. Professor Svensmark’s team demonstrated in 2017 that cosmic rays influence Earth’s cloud cover and climate.”

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          That’s all fine. Now . . . did these Cosmic Ray Cycle theorists predict the heatup we are currently undergoing? Because the Man Made Global Heatering-ists DID predict it and it is unfolding JUST AS they predicted. So their theory has a measure of successful-prediction validation.

          Do the Cosmic Ray-ists have any successful predictions to validate their theory with?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Russia will benefit even more when a billion indians and a billion Chinese all move to Russia once global heatering has made India and China uninhabitable. The increased cultural diversity will make Russia more interesting and 2 billion more people with their economic activity will make Russia 2 billion people richer.

      Canada won’t gain AS much . . . but when a mixed mass of 400 million Americans, Mexicans, Central Americans and Caribbean Islanders all move to Canada to escape global heatering’s uninhabitability in the mid and low latitudes . . . Canada is sure to gain something.

    2. Michael

      try living in British Columbia in the summer time, breathing smoke is not fun. I live in Vancouver and we are in the midst of a drought. Lots of beautiful rain free sunny days in the fall and winter but we pay the price in the summer.

  21. Evil Wizard Glick


    Once again Google Freeman Dysons Wikipedia page and read his opinions of Climate Change, especially the modeling.

    1. Ignacio

      This makes me feel like the groundhog day in climate change version. Why should I again, and again visit that page? I feel like it has been recommended 1000 thousand times.

      1. Evil Wizard Glick

        Because Dyson essentially agrees with you. But makes the additional point that all the Climate focus actually is detrimental to funding for other more important studies.”They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans

        Dyson agrees that anthropogenic global warming exists: “[one] of the main causes of warming is the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from our burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal and natural gas”.[55] But he believes that existing simulation models of climate fail to account for some important factors, and hence the results contain too much error to reliably predict future trends:

        The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world we live in …[55]

        and, in 2009:

        What has happened in the past 10 years is that the discrepancies between what’s observed and what’s predicted have become much stronger. It’s clear now the models are wrong, but it wasn’t so clear 10 years ago.[56]

        He is among signatories of a letter to the UN criticizing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),[57][58] and has also argued against ostracizing scientists whose views depart from the acknowledged mainstream of scientific opinion on climate change, stating that “heretics” have historically been an important force in driving scientific progress. “[H]eretics who question the dogmas are needed … I am proud to be a heretic. The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies.”[55]

        Dyson’s views on global warming have been strongly criticized. In reply, he notes that “[m]y objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have.”[59]

        In 2008, he endorsed the now common usage of “global warming” as synonymous with global anthropogenic climate change, referring to “measurements that transformed global warming from a vague theoretical speculation into a precise observational science.”[60]

        He has, however, argued that political efforts to reduce the causes of climate change distract from other global problems that should take priority:

        I’m not saying the warming doesn’t cause problems; obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I’m saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans.[61]

        In an opinion piece in the Boston Globe of 3 Dec 2015 he wrote,

        [T]he environmental movement [has been] hijacked by a bunch of climate fanatics, who have captured the attention of the public with scare stories. …

        China and India have a simple choice to make. Either they get rich [by burning prodigious quantities of coal and causing] a major increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide, or they stay poor. I hope they choose to get rich. …

        The good news is that the main effect of carbon dioxide … is to make the planet greener, [by] feeding the growth of green plants of all kinds [and] increasing the fertility of farms and fields and forests.”[62]

        Since originally taking interest in climate studies in the 1970s, Dyson has suggested that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could be controlled by planting fast-growing trees. He calculates that it would take a trillion trees to remove all carbon from the atmosphere.[63][21]

        In a 2014 interview, he said, “What I’m convinced of is that we don’t understand climate … It will take a lot of very hard work before that question is settled.”[4]

        He is a member of the academic advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic think tank chaired by Nigel Lawson.[64]

        1. Dave Anders

          > What has happened in the past 10 years is that the discrepancies between what’s observed and what’s predicted have become much stronger.

          This is correct. Almost all of the models (except for the most extreme, “it can’t be that bad!” ones) predicted less effects and change than the actual reality that is taking place right now.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Does Dyson address the rising rate of Ocean Acidation driven by carbon skydumping? How will ocean acidation affect aquatic biodiversity of the oceans?

          1. Ignacio

            I think that here almost everybody know that models are just models, not religion. The IPCC only tries to assess when global warming migth reach some level if current trends go undisturbed or action is taken. This helps to temporarily frame needed actions. It is just that, no climatologist will pretend to know the future. They are well aware on how difficult is to predict complex things. Many do it in a daily basis and know exactly how the predictive value of their models drops dramatically with time.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          Global Heatering attention does not take money away from other human-uplift endeavors. Upperclass and Overclass wealth-monopolization does that. And military overspending uptakes a lot of what publicly-spendable revenue remains.

          Plant a trillion trees? Good idea at one point. But overtaken by events. Will anyone plant trees and grow them as fast as billions of trees are now burning down in the rising tide of Global Heatering forest fires? A trillion trees won’t be enough all by themselves. Eating as much Carbon-Capture beef as possible, to drive the conversion of monocrop agribulk-commodity land into multi-species perennial range and pasture under livestock would also help re-bio-sequester some of the excess skycarbon.

          “He is a member of the academic advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic think tank chaired by Nigel Lawson.[64]”
          But of course he does! He would be, wouldn’t he?

  22. Evil Wizard Glick


    According to the original UN report, we are way past the “tipping point”, and much like Deepak Chopra we need more reports to help make us better.

    If Climate change is so serious why have private planes and gas guzzling limo’s been banned?

    Why do militaries pollute so much?

    When TPTB start following their own advice that is the time to worry.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Unless TPTB have waited longer than they should have and the time for productive worry has already passed.

      Or ( the more likely) , TPTB have decided that global heatering is a fine way to exterminate 7 or so billion people and make it look like an accident, in which case they would not want to “solve” a process they are deliberately fostering in order to control their engineered jackpot and make it break their way.

  23. Swamp Yankee

    I can’t speak for New York City, but here in coastal New England (western shore of Cape Cod Bay), the summers have become unprecedentedly hot and unpleasant. We get more and more of the subtropical Bermuda High and very less of the beloved Canadian high that traditionally dominated our summers. In recent years July and August have been unbearable. Long stretches of days over 90, dewpoints in the 70s and heat indexes well above 100F; and what is perhaps more troubling, and a sign of just how much carbon is already in the atmosphere — a noticeably ranker and more intense growth of vegetation. My neighbors and I have both observed it in the course of our gardening.

    The fact that many places here remain un-air-conditioned also makes for greater suffering. My friend who lives in Queens will frequently have cooler weather than us in the summer now, which is the opposite of how it’s always been (we are usually a good 5 or sometimes ten degrees Fahrenheit colder than NYC; people came north and east to escape the heat in part, after all).

    On the other hand, you will get January style Nor’easters in June, and late September pleasant warmth on Christmas Day The water table is also rising, and the salt-marsh advancing inland….. Everything is out of balance.

  24. The Heretic

    The issue at hand should be renamed to match the observable negative consequences of man made actions… changing rainfall patterns, shrinking glaciers and lakes, changing and unpredictable weather patterns, higher intensity and more frequent storms and weather events, more forest fires… the increasing negative randomness and changes could be called Climate Chaos, or some other phrase with clearly theeatening connotations. (No one likes Chaos in their lives) Global Warming sounds benign to Northeners, (us people in the Western Hemisphere), and climate change is too ambigious of a phrase.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        What if we were to cram it down their throats and make them accept it?

        Weather chaos. Climate decay.

  25. Evil Wizard Glick

    To muddy the waters for both sides

    The illusory truth effect (also known as the validity effect, truth effect or the reiteration effect) is the tendency to believe information to be correct after repeated exposure.[1] This phenomenon was first identified in a 1977 study at Villanova University and Temple University.[2][3] When truth is assessed, people rely on whether the information is in line with their understanding or if it feels familiar. The first condition is logical as people compare new information with what they already know to be true. Repetition makes statements easier to process relative to new, unrepeated statements, leading people to believe that the repeated conclusion is more truthful. The illusory truth effect has also been linked to “hindsight bias”, in which the recollection of confidence is skewed after the truth has been received.

    In a 2015 study, researchers discovered that familiarity can overpower rationality and that repetitively hearing that a certain fact is wrong can affect the hearer’s beliefs.[4] Researchers attributed the illusory truth effect’s impact on participants who knew the correct answer to begin with, but were persuaded to believe otherwise through the repetition of a falsehood, to “processing fluency”.

    The illusory truth effect plays a significant role in such fields as election campaigns, advertising, news media, and political propaganda.

  26. Dave Anders

    Pretty much every single one of the standard “it’s not happening” denialist Talking Points that I see in these comments are addressed – fully, completely, and with volumnous evidence – at skepticalscience dot com.

    There’s a link on their homepage to 197 of the standard denials that people use.

  27. Synoia

    Most like it hot.

    Oh really? Is that why a/c was invented in the US, and millions of somewhat obese person hide in their homes during summer, only venturing out in a air conditioned cars, and visiting air condition malls, restaurants and cinemas?

  28. caloba

    The bottom line is that current complex human society and human population levels are probably only compatible with a rather narrow interglacial band of the historical global climate range. Climate change, unfortunately, is inescapable. Given the current disposition of the continents, with land over one pole and adjacent to the other, the world will continue to cycle into and out of ice ages, the cycle driven by Earth’s orbital dynamics. In the absence of man-made warming, we would currently be heading towards the next ice age. Given man-made warming, it’s likely that this ice age will be delayed and just conceivable that we could break the cycle. The bad news is that any potential longer-term benefit will be in proportion to the unpleasant near-term warming we are about to endure.

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