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Great Lakes Water Temperatures At Record Levels

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Looking to escape to the beach this summer? Well, before you book that trip to Cape Cod or the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you might want to consider an unorthodox option — the shores of Lake Superior. The lake, which is the northernmost, coldest, and deepest of the five Great Lakes, is the warmest it has been at this time of year in at least a century, thanks to the mild winter, warm spring, and hot, dry summer. 

A comparison between Lake Superior's average water temperature this year so far and the longer-term average. Click on the image for a larger version. Credit: GLERL.

OK, so the lake’s average water temperature is still a bracing 68 degrees, but it's considered downright tropical for the region. As the above chart shows, based on the 30-year average, the lake’s average water temperature should be in the mid-50s. But thanks to scant lake ice cover this past winter, along with a rare March heat wave and warmer-than-average weather since then, the lake began warming earlier than normal, and that warming has kept right on going. Wintertime ice cover on the Great Lakes was the lowest observed since such records began in 1980.

“It’s pretty safe to say that what we’re seeing here is the warmest that we’ve seen in Lake Superior in a century,” said Jay Austin, a professor at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, who has researched the lake’s water temperatures back to the beginning of the 20th century.

The lake's record temperatures are yet another consequence of the record heat so far in 2012. The contiguous U.S. had its warmest January-to-June period since records began in the late 19th century. Manmade global warming will likely result in more years with very warm water temperatures, which could have significant adverse consequences for marine life. In a rare benefit from the ongoing drought, this summer has been so dry that the warm water temperatures are not resulting in major harmful algal blooms, such as one that occurred on Lake Erie last year. 

Instrument data from three buoys in Lake Superior provide a reliable record of water temperatures since about 1980, and the information also shows that, with water temperatures running in the mid-to-upper 60s (and even warmer closer to shore), “we are at record temperatures for this time of year,” according to Austin.

Austin said that water temperatures at the westernmost edge of Lake Superior are running in the mid-70s, and it was due in part to the runoff from flooding rains that struck Duluth, Minn., in late June.

Because of sand and other particles within in the runoff, sunlight is not penetrating far below the surface, and that helps heat near-surface waters more significantly than if clearer waters were present, Austin said.

Satellite-generated temperature analysis of the Great Lakes. Click on the image for a larger version. Credit: GLERL.

Data shows a long-term warming trend throughout the Great Lakes, which may be related to manmade climate change. According to George Leskevich, a physical research scientist with the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., there is also a long-term downward trend in Great Lakes wintertime ice cover, although there is considerable year-to-year variability.

The all-time daily average high temperature record for Lake Superior is 71°F, which was recorded in mid-August 2010. With a few more weeks of warming left, that record is in jeopardy.

“The season hasn’t played itself out yet and we’re already within 3 degrees of the all-time daily record surface temperature,” Austin said.

Leshkevich said that low wintertime ice cover, combined with the record warmth during March, helped jump-start the warm season, particularly in the western Great Lakes. The eastern Great Lakes, such as Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, have also been running at or above temperatures seen during the past six years, but they are not at such unprecedented levels, according to GLERL data. Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, and therefore it is typically the first to warm up during the spring.

Lake Superior had much below average ice cover during the 2011-12 winter, as this chart shows. Click on the image for a larger version. Credit: GLERL.

“You probably got a running start to the heating season and it’s been so warm here, certainly in the Midwest and Great Lakes area, I think it’s just kept going,” Leshkevich said.

For example, the South Buoy on Lake Michigan, located 43 nautical miles southeast of Milwaukee, recorded a water temperature of 80°F on Friday July 6, a feat the National Weather Service (NWS) said was “remarkable . . . for the lake to begin with . . . But unprecedented for this early in the summer season.” The previous date of the earliest 80°F temperature was July 21, which was set during both 2010 and 2011.

The average water temperature for July 6 at the South Buoy is a chilly 63°F.

The rapid temperature increase on Lake Michigan was closely tied to the heat waves that have affected the Midwest this summer. Chicago has experienced its warmest year to date, and the early July heat wave in the Windy City that sent temperatures soaring into the triple digits caused water temperatures at the South Buoy to climb by 10°F during the course of just one week, the NWS said.

Ironically, if the lakes enter the fall with record warm temperatures, it could herald an above-average season for lake effect snow, which occurs when cold, dry air blows across large expanses of comparatively milder waters. 

Comments

By Jack Burton (Two Harbors, MN, 55616)
on July 24th, 2012

As a life long resident of the North Shore of Lake Superior, I can tell you that the beaches are full of kids and adults taking full advantage of the fine swimming conditions. When I was a kid in the 1960’s, a dip in Lake Superior in July would be life threatening. A game we played in summer was to have 4 or 5 kids stand knee deep in the lake and see who could stand it the longest. The cold gave unbearable pain and few kids lasted more than a minute or two.
It has been decades now since we had large ice cover of the lake in Winter. I can not remember the last time open water froze over, the harbor freezes up some years but never the open water.
Again when I was a kid the lake froze up every winter. Large Ice Breakers worked in April and May to open shipping lanes. In the 1970’s we had ice conditions on the 5th of June. Now we no longer have Ice conditions in January!
To anyone living decades along the Lake Superior Shoreline, climate change has been undeniable. The warming has been extreme and rapid the last 20 years. That is why nobody around here goes in for the climate change denial story.
When you live it, it is hard to deny.

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By Mauri Pelto
on July 25th, 2012

I have spend timing at Lake Michigan every year for over 40 years.  This year the water temperature was unusual not just in the high temps during the warm periods, but in the quick recover of temperatures after an offshore wind generates surface cooling near shore.  The algae blooms were also unprecedented, occurring on specific days right in the lake.  We measured a water temperature of 87 F during one of the algae blooms.

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By Michael Radtke (Bayfield)
on July 25th, 2012

Unfortunately this article was written before the Wisconsin DNR recently issued a warning about blue, green algae blooms occurring in the waters near Bayfield, Wisconsin.  I work for the Madeline Island Ferry Line and climate change is undeniable. In the last sixteen years we have had two year round seasons of uninterrupted service due to reduced ice cover and we have had two years with no more than a 10 day shut down due to ice cover.  I quote a climatologist when asked about climate change deniers, “Those that deny that climate change is occurring and that human factors are involved are entitled to their opinions but not to the facts.” 

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By Sue Denuccio (Minneapolis and Washburn,WI,54891)
on July 25th, 2012

And the sewer systems that are overloaded with extreme weather events(also global warming) will keep failing and we will have a Lake Erie Instead of beautiful Superior!

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By Paul Felix Schott
on July 26th, 2012

Soon all will take note to the sounds and rumbling of Volcanoes Around Earth that are Waking Up at a Alarming Rate. Just as they did in 1883 from Krakatoa.

Read well and study on your own after you have read this.

This is not a game or joke our Sun gives off a Solar Wind all day year round if you live in the State of Alaska you see it in the sky above what a sight it is going through our Earth’s Magnet Polls of the North and the South, North Poll. It’s called the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis.

The day will come when you will be able to see it all over Earth as in the year 1859 Solar Flare, It was the largest in 500 years. Two Astronomer’s Hodgson and Carrington told the World that the Solar Flare made a Geomagnetic Storm reach Earth in hours not days. Back then it gave new meaning to Reach For The Skies from Telegraph Operators. For hours sparks flew from the key board. Even after the Batteries were disconnected. Nov 3 and 4, 2003 had a X40+ Class Solar Flare.

Our Sun’s UV Rays will get stronger as each passing day goes by, read and i will tell you why.

The Great big forest have be stripped from most of the Earth for Greed of Money by the Wicked. The trees are our Main Source of Oxygen on this Plant.
The Forest Trees scrubs the Pollution out of the air and makes Oxygen from the rain and dirt that it grows in.

The Forest Trees do more than just make Oxygen they stop Soil Erosion, just Look at the 1930 Dust Bowl. Greed by our Government taxes led farmers to clear cut all their Forest and farm all the land they were being Tax on. They had to farm it to pay for the Taxes. Why leave the Trees when food crop makes Money. This did not Help the Depression that effected most all Worldwide. This year 2012 more than 100 million will suffer from Malnutrition lack of food and Dehydration lack of water. Many will not make it and die!

Soon many will run out of Safe Drinking Water from pollution going into the world’s water supply.


In the United States of America alone more than 45 Million Americans Received Food Stamps and that number is going up every day every year for more than 3 years in a row now.

The Pollution and CO2 Carbon Dioxide go into the Tree Bark as a shield from most bugs so they do not eat the tree.

Less Forest less Oxygen this is why the moon. That has no Oxygen is very cold on the side without Sun Light, And hot as ever on the side with Sun Light. Way too cold and too hot to live there. You would need at least 10 times the Energy we use on Earth to even live there and life on the Moon would be very short.

With no blank of Oxygen to lessen or reduce the Sun’s UV Rays and Solar Wind they are deadly there on our Moon. Every Mt. Climber and Aircraft Pilot knows the higher you go the thinner the Oxygen and colder it gets.

Just spend a night on a Mt. top above 13,000 feet with no Sun Light and you will see or should i say feel the cold stinging any of your exposed skin. If you are new to Mt. Climbing stay below 10,000Ft. The Astronauts and the Cosmonauts and Fighter Pilots that i have been with for years know this very well, and the Radiation Hazards to humans at High Altitudes.

Soon the Sun’s Solar Wind and UV rays will be way to strong for most to go out in the Sun Light for even a short time. The Geomagnetic Storm to come and the Bad Weather Storms well you have not seen nothing yet and the Sea Level is Rising the Oceans. Many Millions have been affected by Floods in China and Pakistan just last year. In 2005 Over a Thousand dead in New Orleans flood, and the list going on. The sounds and rumbling of Volcanoes Around Earth are Waking Up at a Alarming rate.

And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and Earthquakes, in divers places such as was not from the beginning of the Creation.

The last 30 years On Earth we have broke all High Temp Records and the temp it is still going up. All the Worlds Ice Glacier are melting at an Accelerating Rate. The Glaciers and Polar Ice Caps store more water than all the Fresh Water Lakes on Earth. Many of them are drying up or water levels are going down past the lowest point every recorded.

The Bad Weather Storms now are Babies compared to what is to come.
They will get even bigger and worse less Oxygen the more UV Rays to the Earth and more Water molecules will evaporate and go up into the Earth’s Atmosphere. Less Oxygen the colder without sun light and hotter with it.

The Sky full of more water vapor molecules, more snow in the winter and more Flash Floods in the Summer. All earth will see way more fires and the Deserts are growing larger.

If every living person on Earth were to Plant A Tree Today we might have a chance.

The Earth’s Atmosphere Blanket surrounding it protects life on Earth as Our Lord and GOD will all that seek Him.

Then it is written when the tree is full it is harvest time. All the Earth will someday burn away.

This is all Foretold in the Bible Read it
and may our Lord Bless all that do so.

The Lord’s Little Helper
Paul Felix Schott
solardowork@yahoo.com
KI4-AEX

P.S.
2 Peter 3:10
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the Earth and its works will be burned up.

GOD Bless You and Your Love ones
Give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ every day.

Read
Matthew 24: 30-33

Earth is at its Limits
MANY OF US IN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN SAYING SOME OF THIS FOR YEARS

The United Nations is now taking a serious look into “Earth’s Limits” Earth will very soon be at its Limits of no return for many things including all life on Earth.
If we keep going at this rate we will not have another 20 years to go back to Rio De Janeiro to play. Most all in the Scientific Community said this 20 years ago at the last time Leaders set up this meeting in Rio De Janeiro. Of course on the Tax payers money, and of course they said about the same thing again we need to do something!
There is enough Energy from our Sun to Power all are needs on Earth and more. The richest on Earth are doing just that Building Solar Power Plants at a record pace.

Solar Energy
The Fastest growing energy on Earth.

Albert Einstein 100 years ago showed the World it could get
Free Energy, Electric from the SUN. (THE PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT).

Reply to this comment

By Rudy Haugeneder (Victoria, BC, Canada )
on July 28th, 2012

Do the warming lakes increase and intensify the number of severe storms?  And what impact does that have on the increasing number of invasive species that are now common in the Great Lakes—all water bodies in North America?
What’s the latest on the Asian carp invasion threatening the lakes?

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By thermoguy (Okanagan)
on July 28th, 2012

Hearing water temperature is up is scary for the work we do. In imaging groundwater for fish spawning hydrologists report fish are temperature sensitive as is all biology. Here is what groundwater looks like in infrared. http://www.thermoguy.com/groundwater.html

With work we did on urban heat islands we documented buildings close to boiling temperature when they are supposed to reflect or protect from solar radiation. http://www.thermoguy.com/blog/index.php?itemid=88

Heating the atmosphere changes weather and once we generate the heat, it can’t be destroyed.

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By Daniel Bailey (Marquette/Michigan/49855)
on July 28th, 2012

During the hot summer of 2010, I spent over 4 consecutive hours immersed in Lake Superior (hunting for just the right stones for finishing prizes for the Marquette Marathon - another story entirely).  But, like Jack Burton above, when I was a boy being in the big lake for more than a few minutes was unthinkable.  Now the beaches are flooded with people, in and out of the water.

Where this summer differs from that is the much earlier start to the warm season and the warmer nighttime local temps.  If August is hot again like the previous months have been, records will continue to be obliterated.  Twice already this summer high water temps have triggered beach closings due to elevated e-coli readings.  Another unheard-of situation.

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By Jack Burton (Two Harbors, MN, 55616)
on July 28th, 2012

Just went for a swim in Lake Superior. The warmest water I have ever experienced. The North Shore is like bath water. It is not even August yet! If the heat and sun continue as it has, we will break the record warm water temps by a MASSIVE amount. I would bet my life we don’t see a piece of ice on the lake this coming winter. In fact, we will experience winds off of the lake as warm winds rights through the winter.
In the past, lake superior water would kill you in minutes, even in summer, now we all run down to the beach and jump right in. I saw long distance swimmers training far out in the lake today, this was unheard of at any time around here.
Climate change? You bet, we are living it.

Reply to this comment

By scott newell (ann arbor mi 48105)
on July 30th, 2012

I think it is pretty obvious to any one of us who had been lucky enough to live on the great lakes as children and compare / contrast the temps. I recently swam in Lake Superior comfortably !!!!!!!!!!  This used to be impossible even ten years ago, when I could linger in the water only after a long sauna first. I am very concerned about the lake as the cold has always helped protect the water from many things. I like one of the posters’ suggestions that we “better start planting trees”! Every little bit helps, or hurts, so we better start helping.

Reply to this comment

By Scoop (Wisconsin)
on July 31st, 2012

No doubt the water was unusually warm this year after the extremely mild winter and record-breaking March, May, June and July temperatures. However you don’t have to look back to far (late 00s) for two back-to-back “cold” winters. Here on Lake Michigan, the water can still be so cold it can numb you quick: it all depends on wind direction. A strong offshore (west) wind in Wisconsin, for example, sends the warm surface water to Michigan; meanwhile cold, deep water is upwelled and hits our beaches. We had upper 40s in May, and mid-50s much of June, for example, before things really heated up this month (when we’ve had a steady dose of onshore winds and hot temperatures).

Paul, although deforestation continues at an alarmingly high rate, net loss is slowing down, and forests cover about 30 percent of the land area in the world. And in the United States and Canada, which combine for about 18 percent of the world’s forests, there are more trees than there were 100 years ago. It’s not all doom and gloom. There is hope. But we need politicians who’ll be willing to make some tough choices on our country’s future, how many “freebies” we’re willing to give and when, if ever, we’ll require far better mileage on vehicles, among many other things. There are many great minds out there. Yes, greed corrupts, but desperate times may finally make more folks wake up and demand change. We can all make a positive difference.

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By bobgnote
on August 6th, 2012

I must reply to the extremely common, “doom and gloom” remark, above.  Let me explain.

If you are gloomy, you may be emotional.  But if you are RATIONAL, you should notice all previous mass extinction events and the Paleo-Eocene Thermal Maximum extinction, all preceded, by a rapid rise, in atmospheric CO2-concentration.

IF you are confused, our CO2 AND CH4 out-gassing is much faster, than before any previous mass extinction, including the P-T extinction, which with the K-T extinction apparently involved a large meteorite strike, which may have caused millenia-long volcanic eruptions, on the other side of the world, from the impact.

What will happen, to US?  Our solar intensity is relatively low, for the past several decades, but ice is melting, to keep average temperatures under control.  This melting ice and rampant CO2 is causing oceanic acidification, which will kill off the oceanic food web, from its suddenness, which exceeds all previous onsets, of OA.  Oysters, eggs, little fish, corals, and desirable plankton are probably all doomed, already.

As the northern polar ice fails, northern sea ice albedo (reflectivity) will fail, which is a major tipping point, toward the transition, from acidic oceans, to a hot-house planet, which will absorb a lot more energy, during northern summers, while the southern cap ice then fails.  We’ll all be dead by then, and human populations will reflect our negligence, at letting guys like Republicans drive around, while Democrats propose carbon credits, which is like increasing the price of admission, at a pest-hole bath-house, where the patrons shoot speed and engage in unprotected sex, to pass HIV, to spread a deadly AIDS epidemic.

People who want to frack, which pollutes water tables, to get natural gas are like meth-dealers, who give free needles, with cleaner crank, to people who are going to dirty those needles and spread HIV, as soon as they can.  Get a don’t-worry-be-happy CLUE: the bath-houses are CLOSED, for good reason.  AIDS is still a problem.

Climate change is not going away.  You can be more like Marty Short, if you want to, but like Ed Grimley says, we are “doomed as doomed can be!”  Does that affect YOU, emotionally, bunky?

Then get smart, and kick that Barack kid, to get CO2-neutral biomass, which includes hemp, algae, and switchgrass, and we will need botanical engineering, to come up with plants, to re-green deserts and polluted areas, NOW.  I don’t know why Barack can’t lead here, since he smoked the most pot, of anybody to get elected President, since George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew the stuff, which used to be required, by law, of American farmers.

See also, “Henry Ford, Diesel, hemp, ethanol, plastic, 1941 plastic car,” etc.  You can’t sledge a Corvette, can you!

But somebody had better hammer some common sense, into a lot of people, all at once.  Get fools out of my face.  I’ll help.  First lesson: We are already into Mass Extinction Event 6, which can either get blunted, by re-greening and proper care and aversion, of nuclear media (Fukushima can still hurt us, and 23 GE Mark I reactors are in the US), or we can DIE OUT.  If you are foolish, you will get gloomy.  If you are with fools, one of them will doom you.  Eliminate fools, or else.  Sorry about your luck, if you want to cut funding, to the NOAA, Navy, CIA, or DOD, for studying climate change.

You will end up, like OWS, under more surveillance than you can possibly imagine.  That melted ice won’t all flush out or fall off the edges of the Earth, you know!

Reply to this comment

By bobgnote
on August 6th, 2012

I must reply to the extremely common, “doom and gloom” remark, above.  The previous comment also disregards how extreme climate is a direct result, of global warming, which is a direct result, of humans setting anything flammable, on fire, and then, humans got chainsaws, cars, and factories. 

The previous comment also disregards how the change, to cycles of drought or deluge has weakened forests, to enable infestations.  See the North American pine forests, beset with Pine Beetles, to make them dead and flammable.

Climate change also includes oceanic acidification, and then the planet will absorb more heat, as the northern ice and permafrost fail, to out-gas a lot of CO2 and CH4, to join industrial greenhouse gasses, in the polluted atmosphere.  Dying time is NOW, like it or not.  The extinction rate is estimated, to be at least 100 x normal.  If you have the gloom, I’m packing your doom, you see.  Gloom is your personal business, however.

Let me explain, further.

If you are gloomy, you may be emotional, related to some lack, of rationale.  But if you are RATIONAL, you should notice all previous mass extinction events and the Paleo-Eocene Thermal Maximum extinction, all preceded, by a rapid rise, in atmospheric CO2-concentration.

IF you are confused, our CO2 AND CH4 out-gassing is much faster, than before any previous mass extinction, including the deadliest killer, of all time,  P-T extinction, which with the K-T extinction apparently involved a large meteorite strike, which may have caused millenia-long volcanic eruptions, on the other side of the world, from the impact.

What will happen, to US?  Our solar intensity is relatively low, for the past several decades, but ice is melting, to keep average temperatures under control.  This melting ice and rampant CO2 is causing oceanic acidification, which will kill off the oceanic food web, from its suddenness, which exceeds all previous onsets, of OA.  Oysters, eggs, little fish, corals, and desirable plankton are probably all doomed, already.

As the northern polar ice fails, northern sea ice albedo (reflectivity) will fail, which is a major tipping point, toward the transition, from acidic oceans, to a hot-house planet, which will absorb a lot more energy, during northern summers, while the southern cap ice then fails.  We’ll all be dead by then, and human populations will reflect our negligence, at letting guys like Republicans drive around, while Democrats propose carbon credits, which is like increasing the price of admission, at a pest-hole bath-house, where the patrons shoot speed and engage in unprotected sex, to pass HIV, to spread a deadly AIDS epidemic.

People who want to frack, which pollutes water tables, to get natural gas are like meth-dealers, who give free needles, with cleaner crank, to people who are going to dirty those needles and spread HIV, as soon as they can.  Get a don’t-worry-be-happy CLUE: the bath-houses are CLOSED, for good reason.  AIDS is still a problem.

Climate change is not going away.  You can be more like Marty Short, if you want to, but like his awesome character, Ed Grimley says, we are “doomed as doomed can be!”  Does that affect YOU, emotionally?

Then get smart, and kick that Barack kid, who promised to prioritize climate change, in 2008, 2010, and 2012, and he finally got outed, to support same-sex marriage, when W. Mitt got outed, for Bullygate, to get CO2-neutral biomass, which includes hemp, algae, and switchgrass, and we will need botanical engineering, to come up with plants, to re-green deserts and polluted areas, NOW.  I don’t know why Barack can’t lead here, since he smoked the most pot, of anybody to get elected President, since George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew the stuff, which used to be required, by law, of American farmers.

See also, “Henry Ford, Diesel, hemp, ethanol, plastic, 1941 plastic car,” etc.  You can’t sledge a Corvette, can you!

But somebody had better hammer some common sense, into a lot of people, all at once.  Get fools out of my face.  I’ll help.  First lesson: We are already into Mass Extinction Event 6, which can either get blunted, by re-greening and proper care and aversion, of nuclear media (Fukushima can still hurt us, and 23 GE Mark I reactors are in the US), or we can DIE OUT.  If you are foolish, you will get gloomy.  If you are with fools, one of them will doom you.  Eliminate fools, or else.  Sorry about your luck, if you want to cut funding, to the NOAA, Navy, CIA, or DOD, for studying climate change.

You will end up, like OWS, under more surveillance than you can possibly imagine.  That melted ice won’t all flush out or fall off the edges of the Earth, you know!

Meanwhile, it looks like that Barack fellow will win the sack-race, for President, since W. Mitt won’t get out his tax returns, and there go the swing states!  When Barack decided to copy Romneycare, to shove 2400 pages of private insurer debacle, at all of us, without adjusting costs of healthcare, inflated by years of immigration, legal and otherwise, wars, gangs, cartels, and clowning, Barack and his party lost their 2008 majority, in the US House, so his friends, the Republicans, could show him how, to stonewall all of us and Congress and the Manning defense, while M.E.E.6 ripens.

Smarter people, not gloomy people must prevail.  But “doom?”  We’re just about there.

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By D R Crabtree
on January 15th, 2013

very interesting comments here and the warm summer much of mid-North America had, and the profound heating of the Great Lakes but I will remind people that these phenomena are all local in scale and limited in time; after all it was the very early spring warmth that led to the year being a record setting year for the mid-continent; now climate change is all around (but it always has been, as we all know, the only thing you can count on in life is CHANGE).

I am not a doomster or a gloomster. I am a practical person (living in England right now, where we too are getting plenty of climate change, as usual) and looking at the weather across the globe, as I have done for my adult life. I am fascinated by what I see around us; and by the huge flap about climate science and the uncertainty of models as they now exist to predict climate. But I can observe and extrapolate from anecdotes as they accumulate into trends and I conclude that man is having his way with this planet. When I was born (50 years ago) Nigeria had 20 million people. That has grown to 80 million now. Same for Saudi (a desert for heavens sake) and Egypt (dependent on one river), and the story goes on. Man is profoundly using the planet and there is no turning this story .... it will continue .... as people are born and want what they see other having. Witness the massive cities in the deserts of the Gulf States. Such a travesty to anyone sensitive to sustainability.

But all this is inevitable as we domesticate the planet. It will continue to change, and that change will accelerate, and that change will be profound. Get used to it and accept it. Do not waste your time on doom and gloom. Work toward sustainable solutions and remediation of effects. Do not try to tell people what to do or how to live. They will not accept it. There are people all over the world who want to live by western standards and they cannot be told not to have a car, not to have a fridge, not to own a chainsaw and not to cut down and burn trees. They will do it for their families and to prosper in the world as anyone would.

So, to prosper we need to fund research in GM drought resistant crops, build seawalls, enhance oceanic ecosystems wherever we can and wait for the end of the boom of mankind and the return of some sort of equilibrium in human population. Then, as we become a more efficient world our footprint may equilibrate with the natural world. It will, all things being equal, most probably be a warmer, lusher world with higher rates of primary productivity, larger frost -free growing zones, greater rainfall than we have today, possibly even polar shipping routes in summer. Many of these will be good changes. Perhaps the great deserts of the world will shrink. I have seen one report suggesting that rainfall in the Sahal may be on the increase already.

Just hope we don’t get an ice age. Still unknown is what exactly triggers these events. Orbital cycles and all that for sure, but there does seem to be a trigger too. It seems they come on quite quickly to be the result just of Milankovich cycles and procession of the axis, etc. And they seem to end more abruptly too. Fascinating. But again. Now that I see we are just domesticating the planet I can accept all this change and see it as inevitable and, in a way, it is good. If I saw it as bad then I would have to be a doomster and a gloomster and I do not want to be. And I think there is a whole lot yet to be understood about our wonderful world’s climate so definately don’t trust all of the stuff coming out of the mainstream. Look for the truth in what you read. Science will show it’s strength eventually. Right now there is a lot of hysteria and a funding gravy train that is slanting a lot of the research. And be very sceptical of computer models. Junk in ... junk out. Wait and see the story develop as our understand grows about oceanic curculation systems and feedback loops between the atmosphere/clound/insolation/albedo and the oceanic systems and polar ice extent and thicknesses. Then, maybe, we can start to see the beauty of it all and how it works. I do not accept that the earth is so frail and fragile as the Gaia gang might do; after all, corals have persisted for two hundred million years, through much more trial by CO2 and through great warm epochs and so has life on earth ... and become richer and more diverse as a result of it.
I myself consider man’s misuse of the land and the sea, especially paving over good productive farmlands, draining aquifers, using up rivers, and overfishing the seas as the greatest misdeeds I see around me, now that we seem to be getting pollution (sewage and chemical) under control.

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By Psalmon (Fresno, CA 93722)
on August 9th, 2013

Are you going to update this story for 2013?

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By ES
on March 7th, 2014

Hows the water temperature and ice doing now?

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By David Sims (Compton/Devon/TQ31TA)
on March 9th, 2014

Lake Superior

Ice cover 91.9%

http://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/statistic/gif/avgtemps-s_1992-2013.gif

must be all that CO2

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