Is there now a link between climate change and weather, when people do good, words to adimpleate your life, studying cricket testicles, and the law of unintended consequences for airline passengers.
1) OUR ARCTIC PARADISE
It's warm. Unseasonably warm. The kind of warm that makes you simultaneously enjoy it and worry that something is going on that's not quite right. This morning, Mike Augustyniak, the outstanding meteorologist at WCCO, made the connection for us: it's warm because of the lack of Arctic ice. The lack of Arctic ice is the poster child for scientists who sound the alarm over climate change. Let the debate begin! There's now a connection between weather and climate change.
There actually is a National Snow and Ice Data Center, which tracks Arctic ice. Here's the latest report:
Even with the rapid ice growth at the beginning of the month, October 2010 had the third-lowest ice extent for the month in the satellite record. The linear trend for October steepened slightly from -5.9% per decade to -6.2% per decade.
Is this a trend? Check the graph:
NASA released a report this week that the melting of "old" ice is due to wind pushing it out of the area.
But, wait, there's a fly in the simple ointment. NOAA says the Arctic melt may actually result in more severe winters.
While we figure it out, here's your moment of it's-not-winter-yet zen:
2) WHEN PEOPLE DO GOOD (CONT'D)
Sun Newspapers has the compelling story of Lisa and Rich Ava of Brooklyn Center, who have added a chapter to Project Sweet Peas. It was formed in July 2007 by three mothers who had experienced the pain of having a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Minnesota. Lisa founded Ava's Angels, which donates to the University of Minnesota Medical Center and Ronald McDonald House, among others.
"It was extremely hard, because people would see that I'm obviously pregnant and come up and congratulate me," Lisa told the paper. "No one expects to hear, 'Actually, I'm not. My baby is going to die.' The last month or so, I was just trying to prepare myself about how I was going to say goodbye to her."
3) WORDS TO ADIMPLEATE YOUR LIFE
Have you adopted your word yet? All Things Considered profiles the website, savethewords.org, which calculates that 90 percent of the things we communicate use only 7,000 words, leaving thousands of words on the ash heap of history. Won't you help little mulomedic, cecograph, and vectarious? It's actually the project of an advertising agency. The office of Young and Rubicam in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, was hired to promote the print version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
4) PLAYING CRICKET
So you're heading to work today, perhaps wondering whether it means anything. Are you contributing to the world? Is there meaning to what you're doing? Remember, it could be worse. You could be heading to the lab for another day of studying cricket testicles.
5) THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
Would you rather be stranded for a few hours on an airport tarmac but eventually get to your destination? Or would you rather just have the flight canceled and try again another day. The Transportation Department has issued statistics showing that in September the number of delayed/stranded flights dropped significantly. That's what a new law barring delays of more than three hours was intended to do. But it also did what the rule's critics said it would do: It prompted airline officials to cancel flights rather than risk fines because of delays.
For Minnesota travelers, SkyWest's San Diego to Minneapolis flight was listed as the ninth-most-delayed flight in the nation. Ninety flights were canceled at MSP in September. The average amount of time they were delayed before being canceled was two hours.
Bonus: A very impressive memorial site has been set up for memories of the Bucklin family, killed a few weeks ago in a plane crash in Wyoming.
Another day in America: Rounding up bison in South Dakota. (BBC)
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE DAY
Cleveland responds to LeBron James' hurt-feelings Nike video:
As members of the baby boom age, an increasing percentage of American drivers are turning 65 or older. Should older drivers have to take extra tests or exams?
(Bob notes: People over 65% are 16 percent of the Minnesota driving population, but are involved in just 7 percent of the crashes)
WHAT WE'RE DOING
I'm out sick today and will not be posting.
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: The polarization between religious conservatives and secular liberals has been a hallmark of politics since the 1990s. Yet the authors of a new book on religion in America note that despite this tension, a surprising interfaith tolerance exists.
Second hour: From Don Draper to Lisbeth Salander, deeply flawed and un-heroic characters abound in TV, film, and literature. Why do we love anti-heroes, and what does it say about the times we live in?
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Losing IP gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner is in studio to talk about his campaign for governor.
Second hour: A documentary about World War I, narrated by Walter Cronkite.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: NPR political editor Ken Rudin.
Second hour: The precipitous decline of manufacturing transformed cities like Cleveland, into what's now known, as the rust belt. But some companies found a way ahead, by manufacturing for the new century.
#5 - Why I voted Delay over Cancellation. When you go back the next day you are competing with all the other people whose flight(s) were canceled for the very limited number of seats on the next days planes that weren't sold. If you happen to be flying from a smaller regional airport the number of options is bound to be limited.
To be fair I advocate for rail travel a lot in these discussions. I got bumped off an Amtrak train due to weather conditions down the line, but was able to get a seat on the next days train. Of course Amtrak has the option to add one or more additional coaches (about 65 seats) if they need to accommodate more people. In fact there is a specific train number associated with the Empire Builder that relates to the St Paul to Chicago portion of the trip when they add a coach at the end of the train just for those passengers.
The low Arctic sea ice extent is a poster child of global warming - only for those people who ignore the record high sea ice extent that the Antarctic has been experiencing for the last decade.
One wonders how the polar regions can be having opposite experiences and the phenomena still be considered “global”.
But back to the topic at hand, please tell me that WCCO's outstanding meteorologist Mike Augustyniak made some kind of scientific connection between the low sea ice extent and Minnesota weather... You know – something scientific and more substantial than “correlation equals causation”.
As for the eco-apocalyptic religious manifestations that you sited in an earlier NEWCUTS post and linked above, such rivers turning to blood, frogs falling from the sky and the death of our first born,, reputable climatologists have distanced themselves from such caterwauling...
I refer to the work of Climatologist Roger Pielke Sr of the University of Colorado, Climatologist Judith Curry of Georgia Tech and Delaware State Climatologist David R. Legates, among a long, long, long list of others.
Here is the response of Delaware State Climatologist, David R. Legates, Phd, CCM to Delaware's mirror of Environment Minnesota.
It is important to separate advocacy, speculation and science when talking about phenomena like arctic sea ice extent.
First of all, advocacy is a business. Let's not forget that. And there is a LOT of money to be made on fear. Over $300 million was spent on advocacy for Copenhagen alone.
Mike Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center is famous for advocacy. For instance, during most of April and May, when the arctic sea ice recorded a decade high extent, the NSIDC remained silent. Two months later when it dropped to a decade low, they went public. This sort of asynchronous “only bad news makes the news” has become a hallmark of environmental advocacy.
Second, we need to talk about speculation. The concept of a diminishing summer sea ice extent in the arctic because of carbon-forced global warming is wild speculation. We do not know that. It simply makes for great press.
Thirdly, the science.
What do we know?
A better question is – what do we not know?
- We learned about Arctic Multidecadal Oscillation only ten years ago. We still cannot say that what is happening there today is something other than a natural cycle on a decadal time scale, just like winter, spring, summer and fall are on an annual cycle.
- We do not understand the role of soot and particulates on sea ice.
- We do not understand the role of simply random weather, like winds in the Fram Strait blowing mature ice out into the North Atlantic to melt.
- We also have no clue how this might affect the weather in Minnesota.
So when I see things like this, I think who is making a buck on this? What does the press publish speculation as fact? What IS the science?