1/09/2009

Cold Weather Claims Lives Across Europe

Good thing that we have Global Warning, right? The AFP has this story:

Europe's cold snap claimed up to 13 more lives as the region battled another day of icy weather and eastern Europe felt the effects of Russian gas cuts.
Poland's interior ministry said Thursday that six more people had died in the country, taking its death toll from hypothermia to 82 since November, 23 of them in recent days.
Five people, including three homeless, also died in Ukraine's southern Kherson region where temperatures plummeted to minus 19 degrees Celsius (minus 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the ministry of emergency situations.
While German police said Thursday the cold snap had claimed another two victims since Monday, both found in the west of the country where temperatures plunged to minus 16 Celsius.
Heavy snow on the northern shores of the Mediterranean also left the French port of Marseille paralysed, with its airport remaining closed well into the day and 10,000 homes going without electricity overnight, officials said. . . .

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10 Comments:

Blogger Ken Mott said...

Why are you so anti global warming.

Would it not make since that one part of the world is in summer (southern hem) and experiencing greater heat waves, thus causing cold spells else where?

1/09/2009 2:32 AM  
Blogger Rail Claimore said...

I get the feeling most Europeans aren't used to the temperature extremes that are normal in much of the eastern US.

1/09/2009 3:34 AM  
Blogger ecman said...

Whatta ya know, I’ve stumbled upon another savant-idiot! Maybe you should stick with topics that at least you’ve studied, even though you’re full of it on them, too. Have you lived in a temperature controlled bubble all your life? Let me clue you in on a commonly misunderstood fact since you probably never had a science class in all your many years of education: WEATHER and CLIMATE, although related, are two very different things. And no, a gun won’t protect you from extremes of either one of them.

Also, I can accept encountering an honest typo, but ”Global WarNing” - precious! Decades hence I imagine your house will likely float away before you admit to seeing any current peer reviewed evidence as a “warning”!

And no, I don’t care that you won’t post this.

1/09/2009 3:54 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

This could become even more deadly if Russia continues to use it's control of the natural-gas pipeline as a bargaining chip.

1/09/2009 10:36 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Ken Mott:

Why am I so anti-global warming?

1) For some of my past discussions see here.

2) I think that the policies that are being advocated will make us much poorer as a country and a world. The money thrown away here could have been used to save a large number of lives around the world now and in the future (e.g., clean drinking water).

1/09/2009 3:56 PM  
OpenID forthesakeofscience said...

John, your reasoning for being anti global warming is poor. Just because you care about the economy over the entire globe does not justify you posting these sort of articles. (It also does not justify you posting erroneous information in your linked article.)

Global warming is largely man-made. Global temperatures are increasing. You ignore this - sometimes explicitly stating the opposite - due to your views on economics. You operate at the expense of science. You went so far as to post an editorial that was so filled with errors as to be the most meaningless thing I have yet read on global warming.

Yes, this past year saw a drop in temperature from previous years. It was also still one of the warmest years on record. Citing regional weather conditions does nothing to show an overall cooling trend. You may want to find recordings of oceanic temperatures. Water is a far better gauge of temperature change than air.

1/09/2009 6:36 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear forthesakeofscience:

Did you read my op-ed?
Global warming is not largely manmade. Not even close, but even if it is and even if temperatures had stopped rising and even falling some over the last decade and even if the sun spot activity has virtually stopped, you have other questions that I list in the piece linked to above.
You aren't really serious when you say one of the warmest years on record. I realize that typically global warming people are only looking at the last century or so, but even so temperatures have at best leveled off for a decade.

1/10/2009 12:20 AM  
OpenID forthesakeofscience said...

I did read your op-ed. You cited an organization which is on par with the Discovery Institute on its understanding of science. Looking beyond its global warming stance for a moment, it is a vocal critic of the science documenting the dangers of secondhand smoke, saying, "The threat of secondhand smoke has been greatly exaggerated" and Air cleaning equipment can remove any health threat secondhand smoke might pose". I don't know why you insist on using Ann Coulter-level sources. I hope those quotes put your citation into perspective.

Beyond that, you didn't cite much in the way of any science related to global warming. You do have a letter to the U.N. cited. It, however, claims that there has been no net global warming since 1998. That year was actually the warmest on record.

As for 2008, it was, indeed, one of the warmest on record. I don't know where you're get your information. I understand there's this fad among conservative 'news' sites where the headline will be that cooling occurred last year. That's misleading, of course. 2008 was the coolest year of the 21st century. It was one of the warmest on record, however. The combined sea-surface and land-surface air temperature for 2008 is estimated at 0.31 degrees Celsius (C) or 0.56 Fahrenheit (F), above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14C, or 57.2F.

For the past decade, you are, again, wrong. From 1995-2006, 11 of the 12 warmest years were recorded. See the link in my last comment. 2007, as already stated, was warmer than 2008, which is right around the 10th warmest year ever recorded.

1/11/2009 2:34 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear forthesakeofscience:

As an academic who has worked in the area, I believe that the risk of secondhand smoke is greatly exaggerated. The large meta studies do not find a relationship if they weight the samples by sample sizes. Sorry, if that doesn't fit your world view.

1998 was warm, but not the warmest on record, it might have been the warmest over the last 100 years (the 1930s were pretty close).

In any case, the point of the piece was that you have to believe that a significant share of the reason that temperature is changing is due to man (extremely doubtful), that increased temperatures are bad (very doubtful). I have four questions that I go through and you got stuck on one of them. The point of the piece was to go through the logical chain of arguments that you have to answer.

One question for you: when temperatures start to go down are you going to advocate carbon subsidies?

My guess is that you are under 45 years of age. If you were 50 or older, you would surely remember the hysteria over the coming ice age that was being discussed in the 1970s.

1/12/2009 12:10 AM  
OpenID forthesakeofscience said...

I recommend you visit PubMed and search "secondhand smoke". The articles you'll find do not support your analysis. Science is not about any person's worldview. The results were in long ago. There is a causal relation between health problems - from fecundity among women to cancer in children - and SHS. It would appear that the scientific evidence is being rejected by those with economic concerns.

1998 was the warmest year since 1850. And despite what you claim in your article, there has been warming since then. Plenty of it, in fact.

I went through more than one point.

1) Are temperatures rising?

Yes, from 95-06, temperatures rose. 2007 was even warmer. 2008 was cooler, but still the 10th warmest year.

2) Global warming is caused mostly by the sun, not man.

I wrote a lengthy post (to which I have linked) responding to this nonsense.

3) Globabl warming is good for parts of the globe.

In the short-term, more temperate climates may be beneficial to some places: crop seasons may be extended, rains may increase. That doesn't mean that the period where things are decent makes the coming period of melted ice caps, dead bears, and flooded low-lands okay.

4) Should we regulate and tax?

I'm less concerned with this question than with what is true. Implications of reality are less important than reality itself.

1/13/2009 3:09 AM  

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