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ABC News Explains Warm Winter, ‘Wild Swings In Weather’, Driven by Global Warming, Only Going to Get Worse

By Joe Romm  

"ABC News Explains Warm Winter, ‘Wild Swings In Weather’, Driven by Global Warming, Only Going to Get Worse"

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Scientist: “The planet is getting warmer and it will continue to warm, on average, as we go into the future.”

ABC News: “That means we are in for more extreme weather, more Snowmageddon type winters and torrential downpours that can flood entire towns.”

Here’s the whole story from Wednesday night, which warns the public about “the wild swings in the weather we can expect in the future.”

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Kudos to ABC for talking to a climate scientist and explaining how warming drives the extreme weather we’re seeing. They seem to be doing some of the best reporting on this:

 

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25 Responses to ABC News Explains Warm Winter, ‘Wild Swings In Weather’, Driven by Global Warming, Only Going to Get Worse

  1. David F. says:

    Nice to see adequate reporting on climate from the mainstream media for a change without the promotion of a false balance. A couple of things they said I think could have been clarified a little better. For instance, this was the warmest winter in a decade makes it sound like this is typical ever 10 years or so. I think a better framing of that would have been to note this was the 4th warmest winter on record based on data dating to the 19th and that the only three warmer winters have all occurred within the past 20 years (1991-92, 1998-99, and 1999-2000).

    And it looks like spring is taking off right where winter left off. It’s supposed to be unseasonably warm here for the next week or longer. I suspect we’re in for a very early leaf-out, bug-out, etc.

  2. Timeslayer says:

    ABC News may be doing some of the best reporting on this in the mainstream press, but we all know how pathetically low that standard is. If they aired reports like this every day, at the top of newscasts – which is what the situation calls for – they might really deserve some credit. I’m not holding my breath for that.

    TS

  3. prokaryotes says:

    This is great but we need to move the discussion about basic knowledge to fast pace action now. Like carbon tax on fossil gasoline, coal, tar sands all this stuff which is responsible for the climate disaster.

    A carbon tax which goes directly back to the consumer, so they “we” can afford all the great “clean” products we need to learn to use, to drive the economy and eliminate Co2 of the energy equation, asap!

  4. NASA is out with their global temperature analysis for February and the winter:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    This map shows that most of the land areas were warmer than average with the exceptions of Europe, Northern Africa and part of Asia.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2012&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=02&year1=2012&year2=2012&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    Here is the map for the winter (Dec-Feb):

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2012&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=1203&year1=2012&year2=2012&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    Despite the cold February across Europe, most of Europe ended up being warmer than average during the winter.

  5. David F. says:

    While we’ve had some wild weather here in the States, at least we don’t have to worry about packing everybody and moving the country elsewhere: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57394296/island-nation-kiribati-considers-moving-populace/.

    I’ve got an idea, though. Perhaps, we can send all of the climate change deniers there. Since climate change is apparently a hoax, I’m sure they’d appreciate their own beachfront property free from any of those rising seas those money-grubbing climate scientists have invented.

    • malcreado says:

      Yup no worries about the nation, we will just need to relocate our coastal cities. Really dodged a bullet there…

  6. fj says:

    The losers: Now’s the time Republican deniers start to lose big time.

    Should be real funny watching them perfect their mumbling skills.

    Here come the mumblers!

  7. Paul Magnus says:

    yep, we have reached a tipping point with extreme weather and with the MSM messaging.

    I agree, GOP are toast now with their denial.
    GW reality has arrived for the US of A.

  8. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    I have been expecting the collapse of denial for many years now. But it keeps going on.

    • Bill G says:

      Recent polls show denial may be weakening finally.

      As weather worsens and heat waves wipe out crops, Deniers are going to be hanging on my their fingernails.

      • MorinMoss says:

        Don’t count them out too soon.
        Let’s not forget that a long serving executioner, er, I mean, devout Christian governor of a premier state held
        TWO prayer rallies for Jesus to take the wheel and then was a frontrunner to be the Republican nominee, and ALL the top Republicans say that climate change is a hoax and God will save us.

  9. Lore says:

    This is the great thing about the Internet. When it really hits the fan you can just stop posting.

  10. NOAA Climate scientist Deke Arndt gave this informative presentation on how scientists monitor the climate system, and how scientists know human activity is the main cause of global warming:

    http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/video/2012/the-state-of-the-climate

    • Bill G says:

      Yes, we are going to have an excellent record of how our civilization was eliminated.

      But nobody to read this wonderful enumeration of how things went progressively wrong.

  11. Colorado Bob says:

    A freak hailstorm pelted Hawaii with golf-ball to baseball-sized chunks of hail today (March 9).

    The hailstorm was “unprecedented for Hawaii,” National Weather Service (NWS) Meteorologist Tom Birchardtold the Associated Press. Some of the hailstones in Honolulu were up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter, according to the NWS. On Twitter and Facebook, pictures of the jagged hailstones were posted throughout the day. A waterspout — like a tornado over the water — was also reported today.

    “I have never seen severe storms over Hawaii,” tweeted AccuWeather.com meteorologist Henry Marguisty. “Storms with large hail and heavy rains are more like storms in the South.”

    http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/2593-hawaii-hail.html

    • Timeslayer says:

      Bob, thanks for the link about the Hawaii storm. It’s a great example of how climate change affects just about everything, from crucial things like food production to ruining the amazing places we go to vacation.

      Very sad and very aggravating.

      TS

  12. thanes says:

    Hey, I’m out skiing with my family out here in the mountains of Utah, Park City. Temperature was 50, today. Not so bad as the 75 degrees back home in Atlanta. But having all the grass sticking through the snow, and with the snow not having come until January, it almost makes me feel bad that these states like Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and yes, Georgia, are all suffering the worst effects of global warming first, while the GOP’s Southern Strategy keeps the state and local governments under the thumb of the most virulent anti-science morons. And then I realize I and my glorious, innocent children are suffering too, and it makes me feel bad.

  13. Bill G says:

    The ABC report still soft peddled the ultimate consequences of global warming. They dare not say things, true things like “eventually weather may make growing food impossible.”

    It just sounded like we’ll have a little more warm weather, insects and storms. We need to tell the public the ultimate result if we ever want effective government action.

  14. The Oracle says:

    What is one of the worst-case scenarios that no one seems to be talking about concerning the world’s atmosphere heating up and so much ice melting?

    Per Antarctic ice core samples collected in the 1990s, the last Great Ice Age over 10,000 years ago began with a heat spike, a sharp rise in atmospheric temperatures by a few degrees. Ocean and landmass temperatures rose, ice melted. But what surprised scientists at the time was that it only took 30 years between the heat spike and the beginning of the Ice Age.

    30 years? Not 100 years, not 500 years, not thousands of years, but a mere 30 years in which the earth adjusted to a heat spike (caused by whatever), going in the completely opposite direction (for some similarly unknown reason), entering into an Ice Age lasting several thousand years, with the northern-most ice sheet extending far south into lower latitudes in the Northern hemisphere.

    Either the international team of scientists studying Antarctic ice core samples in the 1990s got their analysis of these ice core samples wrong or they got it right. I saw this reported in the late 1990s on a 1-hour-long science program on PBS (Nova), or on The Learning Channel or Discovery, thus I consider this scientific finding reputable and accurate (no matter what caused the heat spike or subsequent abrupt reversal into an Ice Age).

    So, “Houston, we have a problem,” with the entire earth being Apollo 13. And in this analogy, many of the world’s wealthiest and almost all Republicans in the U.S. are on “Apollo 13″ telling “Houston” everything’s find, that there is no problem, that even if humans “engineered” this looming catastrophe on “Apollo 13,” humans can’t do anything about it, so best to do nothing. Of course, the world’s wealthiest and the Republicans all have children and grand-children on this “Apollo 13″ ride, so their fate is sealed along with everyone else, whether of the global warming denier crowd or those shouting “Houston, we have a problem!!!”.

  15. Betty Merten says:

    So grateful finally to see the media report our recent extreme weather in the crucially-important context of climate change. Kudos to ABC! Now how about a followup story on the recent US Senate testimony on actuarial data related to climate change presented by a very concerned insurance lobby?

  16. Tramey says:

    After the weird weather we had last week in Kentucky and Indiana, I was listening to the local station host interviewing some meteorologists explaining how we could have such warm weather spawning massive tornado outbreaks followed two days later with a massive (by Kentucky standards) snowstorm to the effect of the warm Gulf of Mexico changing normal weather patterns. Then the next question? Global warming? Oh, no, it’s just the weather. Hey, look at the unusual cold Europe has been having!

    Meteorologists should not be allowed to comment on global warming, an area that apparently is outside of their ability to understand.

  17. Celia Schorr says:

    ABC did a great job on this piece, and CP readers should email kudos to counter the onslaught they’ll get from the pollutocrats. Reporter Clayton Sandell and the other ABC staff did exactly what we’ve been asking the media to do for years. They eschewed false balance in favor of a clear presentation of the facts. (They didn’t interview a denier for the purpose of “balancing out” the climate scientist.) They didn’t equivocate; the reporter didn’t say, “That may possibly mean – according to certain scientists – that we may, someday, face more extreme…” He said, “That means we are in for more extreme weather, more Snowmageddon type winters and torrential downpours that can flood entire towns.”

    That’s exactly the kind of coverage we need to encourage. The contact form is at:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Site/page?id=3271346&cat=World%20News%20with%20Diane%20Sawyer

    (Reference the March 7 climate story by Clayton Sandell.)

    - Celia

  18. RH factor says:

    Gee Golly

  19. MarkB says:

    My comments on the Revkin blog from yesterday are still in moderation. Andy Revkin writes:

    “Gillis’s news story could wind up being criticized by some climate campaigners for giving voice to Myron Ebell”

    I would think that anyone who cares about journalistic integrity and accuracy would be critical of fake balance style of journalism, independent of being a “climate campaigner”. Why wouldn’t Andy?

    The PBS news hour repeated the Ebell quotes.

    I tend to be in agreement that NYT editors probably pushed this. Gillis is otherwise a good journalist, and he added some useful context to the Ebell quotes, namely his affiliation and the fact that few disagree with the consensus on climate change. Still, it hurts his credibility.