In an op-ed in the NY Times, Al Gore says that the snowy winter is caused by global warming. “[S]cientists have long pointed out that warmer global temperatures have been increasing the rate of evaporation from the oceans, putting significantly more moisture into the atmosphere — thus causing heavier downfalls of both rain and snow in particular regions, including the Northeastern United States.”
What’s that? I thought that global warming was supposed to cause droughts:
Global warming is predicted to be the cause of a massive drought that will threaten the lives of millions and take over half the land surface on our planet in the next 100 years, according to Britain's leading climatologists.
Extreme drought, which makes modern agriculture virtually impossible, is seen by a new study from the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research as possibly affecting about one-third of the planet in the next century. These predictions may actually be an underestimation, said the climate scientists who released the results of the study.
That’s the thing about the global warming alarmists. Every variation in the weather is blamed on global warming. More precipitation is blamed on global warming, and less precipitation is also blamed on global warming. Al Gore is unable to just write that the snowy winter is a random weather event unrelated to the long term trend of warmer weather. No, Al Gore has to go one step further and actually blame the snow on global warming.
But because the global warming alarmists have conditioned people to think that weather events demonstrate global warming, such as the Time Magazine article claiming that global warming “fueled” Hurricane Katrina, it’s fun and enjoyable to write about how the snow is evidence of global cooling. It gets warmists so pissed off.
I found the following very rational explanation of warming at JunkScience.com:
On the matter of Earth's recent climate history, it is implausible that despite variance in solar irradiance Earth has had a stable temperature for the last 1,000-2,000 years. History instructs us this is not so, literature tells us this is not so, and a large spectrum of paleotemperature reconstructions tell us this is not so. USA Today and the hokey "Hockey Stick" representations are obviously wrong, regardless of how politically correct their concept of human culpability might be.
Regarding whether Earth has really warmed to some extent, regardless of our ability to accurately determine it? Yep, we have no problem with that. We have seen nothing compelling regarding Earth's current suspected temperature trend being anything extraordinary nor alarming but we have no reason to believe Earth's mean temperature is not changing, or that it does not do so continuously -- frankly, temperature stasis is a myth.
Does increasing carbon dioxide affect Earth's mean temperature? Yes, although probably only trivially and to a declining extent. Note that Professor Pielke, Sr., is firmly in the camp of believers in anthropogenic global warming but freely admits carbon dioxide to be a less-than-critical factor necessitating obsession and, despite somewhat bizarre claims of Professor Lindzen being a "hired gun" and paid-for shill of an alleged "Big Oil" conspiracy, he is a senior and well-respected pure scientist who gleefully admits carbon dioxide's role in enhanced greenhouse, although he does point this out to be trivial and does not subscribe to the planetary emergency scenario. Pielke and Lindzen are no orphans since most so-called "skeptics" similarly point to anthropogenic climate influence as interesting effects to be understood without necessitating hand-wringing and hair shirts.
Increased solar activity? Absolutely and at least half of Earth's estimated mean temperature increment since the Nineteenth Century can be attributed to increased solar irradiance, probably more than four-fifths is from that source although we are still trying to sort out climate and forcings, something which will likely require decades yet. Nonetheless, the best available thermometric temperature records list Earth's global mean temperature as variance from a commencing benchmark average, usually 1951-1980 or 1961-90, and show -0.3 °C c1880 or 1870, with 0.0 °C variance from this average occurring c1940 and with 2000 listed as +0.3 °C. In other words, Earth warmed 0.3 °C from origin of record to benchmark average by 1940, then warmed another 0.3 °C subsequently. Since the vast majority of the carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere occurred following the Second World War and this is concurrent with only half the apparent temperature increase, the assumption is that this increase was driven by some other cause, in this case the increase in solar irradiance. There is no reason to believe all other temperature varying forces ceased to exist when carbon dioxide began accumulating, hence the "at least half" attribution above.
Are we looking at a looming disaster from carbon dioxide emissions? There is absolutely zero indication of that. Although human emission of carbon dioxide has likely had some measurable effect on planetary temperature the effect from continued emission is rapidly diminishing as radiative windows in which carbon dioxide is active approach saturation. Before long carbon dioxide emission will have exactly no discernable effect on global temperature.
Can we have significant effect on global temperature trend by limiting future carbon dioxide emission? No -- no equivocation and no argument entertained, allusion to "control" of the planetary thermostat by tweaking minor parameters is a nonsense.
Do we face a planetary emergency precipitated by carbon dioxide emissions? No, there is zero evidence that such a scenario might be true.
Are we personally troubled by carbon dioxide emissions? No.
Do we believe a warmer world would be worse than a cooler world? No, quite the reverse since a cooler world would make feeding the current population significantly more difficult, far more so the anticipated increasing population of the next generation or so. If there is to be a change in global mean temperature then warmer is distinctly preferable to cooler.
The JunkScience article says that carbon dioxide has increased the temperature by 0.17 degrees Celsius, and that because of the logarithmic nature of the temperature increase, additional carbon dioxide will only cause another few hundredths of a degree increase, and thus the increased temperature caused by carbon dioxide is trivial compared to other climate trends. I would add that there’s not really any solid proof that carbon dioxide has contributed more than 0.015 degrees Celsius to the global temperature, but whatever the true number, it is undoubtedly much lower than global warming alarmists want you to believe.
Global warming is better analyzed as a psychological phenomenon. Gore sounds more like a Bible preacher defending the Bible against Darwinism than he does a scientist.