Thursday, July 16, 2009

What Happens If The Earth Warms


Other suggested reading.

The many doomsday scenarios floating around have left me wondering what a warmer earth might look like. I would venture a guess that many people, if not most, would presume that wherever they are it would be warmer by 2° or 4° or whatever°. After posting yesterday about Michigan's extended spring, I thought it might be an interesting idea to speculate... much as the IPCC modelers have done... about the pros and cons of a warmer planet.

In February, 2007 I wrote a post entitled: Global Warming - A Clearer Perspective. In that post, I provided a comparison of average temperatures in Orlando, Florida with other U.S. locations through this chart [note temperatures are in °C ... click image for larger view]:

The purpose was to show that any warming may or may not be a bad or good phenomenon. That squiggly green line is supposed to be the 20th century global warming... in proper perspective, not the exaggerated perspective of most charts.

We all agree that having the earth's average temperature increase 7°C would have significant impact on the way we live... especially if that increase was rapid and evenly distributed. That, however, is a very unlikely scenario even if you believe the very faulty computer models... or doomsday science fiction movies modeled after Al Gore's fiction.

The present "official" data on the U.S. temperature change in the 20th century shows a modest change over the course of a century from a cold-period starting point... and a flat trend from the 1930s or so. And that change is dependent on continually revising past data downward and present data upward [thanks to Watts Up With That for the graphic... with the exaggerated perspective]

Regardless of the manipulation, the possibility that Fairbanks, Alaska will have a climate similar to Detroit, Michigan within a millennium is too remote to consider plausible... at least from some industrial emissions. But let's say that warming could be 2°F [not °C] or almost twice as much as the manipulated data for the 20th century. The effects would certainly be sporadic.

Coastal areas would probably have less temperature impact due to moderation from water circulation. It is possible that Detroit could have a milder climate... less severe winters and a longer growing season... perhaps like Columbus, Ohio. Texas could get hotter with high temperatures moving from the low 100s to the slightly higher low 100s. Water might become an issue in some inland areas... or rain may actually increase depending on whose study you want to believe.

2°F would have no impact on Antarctica except for, possibly, a very small percentage of the western peninsula coastline.

The reality is that 2°F average change would have little noticeable impact on our climates. Detroit will not become like Sacramento, California [too bad]. The world will not become a tropical paradise. With the exception of some slight added discomfort due to lack of air-conditioning caused by alternative energy power shortages, we will go about our lives shoveling a little less snow [or not] and harvesting our tomatoes a little longer. But our Cap and Trade schemes and Alternative Energy schemes will make this a much more expensive financial climate.

Regardless, all of this worry is likely misplaced:

Rice University, 14 July 2009

"In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record," said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models." ...

The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. "Some feedback loop or other processes that aren't accounted for in these models -- the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming -- caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM [Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum]."

CONTACT: Jade Boyd
PHONE: 713-348-6778
[H/T Benny Peiser]
Look up, the answer may be right over your head.


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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)