Friday, December 23, 2011

Hope You Don't Mind Brown For Christmas ...

Caption: My front yard on Christmas day, back in 2008. This will be an increasingly rare sight in the years to come.

Image credit: Cujo359

Looks like Think Progress has found another measurement of climate change to supplement the not-quite-universally recognized Climate Change Cherry Tree:
This winter has been unusually warm, crippling ski resorts, ruining holiday traditions, and dashing hopes of a white Christmas across the northern hemisphere. While the billions of tons of greenhouse pollution in our atmosphere sometimes encourage freak snowstorms, the primary effect of global warming on winter is, well, warmer temperatures — making white Christmases less likely.

Global Warming Hates A White Christmas
Locally, the National Weather Service is predicting rain for Christmas day.

Seems like one of the costs of our continued dependence on fossil fuels will be fewer white Christmases and less opportunity to engage in winter sports that can't be played indoors.

Personally, even this doesn't cost doesn't seem worth it to me.


george.w said...

I don't get the desperate clutch at straws of denial. Just because there weren't really monsters under their beds when they were little doesn't mean there aren't really monsters, and we're building one ever-larger with every megatonne of CO2 we pump into the atmosphere.

They can argue over sensor placement and stolen emails all they want, but nature has a several undeniable data aggregators of its own. These include arctic ice volume, animal migration dates, weather-sensitive invasive species, droughts and storms, forest health, flower bloom dates, and even the frequency of white Christmases. All these indicators are impossible to fake, and they line up with the much-denied scientific consensus.

What's it going to take?

Expat said...

Being reported is a massive 6% increase in 1 year of carbon dioxide. Topping this is a noted increase in atmospheric methane notably being produced by methane hydrate being released from thawing arctic tundras as well as from now ice free arctic seas. Methane has 20 times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. It will not take much methane in the atmosphere to accelerate the tipping point to chaotic global warming. It is possible that it is too late for any activity to meaningfully slow or stop the process short of a total collapse of civilization. Color the future fried.

Cujo359 said...

In any sufficiently complicated system, whether it's the Earth's climate or American politics, there are plenty of opportunities to deny the obvious. How bad things have to get before people believe they are getting worse, or that what we've been doing up until now is not helpful, or isn't enough, is a matter of individual susceptibility.

My guess is that it will have to get much worse, which means that, as Expat notes, it might be too late to stop the world from getting much warmer. Which, I suspect, will become the next excuse for doing nothing.