Global Warming News (Abnormally Warm January; Abnormally Cold Europe; Problem with NASA's Blue Marble)

Other than what we’ve covered already, here are some top global warming stories of the past week or two.

January Was Warm!

Graphic credit/NOAA

Yes, January was warmer than average. (Surprised?) Michael Lemonick of Climate Central has more: “As it does every month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released U.S. weather stats for the month just ended, and the results will come as a huge shock — if you’ve been hiding in a subterranean cave, at least. For the rest of us, it’s not even a bit surprising that January, 2012 is the fourth warmest January since modern recordkeeping began in the late 1800’s.

The Cause of the Abnormal Cold in Europe (While the Rest of the World is Warmer than Average)

I’ve covered it numerous times before, but Andrew Freedman of Climate Central has more on this regional temperature anomaly in a recent post. Here’s a key part of that (more at the link above):

The weather pattern responsible for bringing the frigid air to Europe and Eurasia, and locking it in place, is being driven in part by a naturally-occurring pattern of climate variability known as the Arctic Oscillation. The Arctic Oscillation, or AO, is is a climate index that describes the characteristics of the atmospheric circulation over the Arctic, and a related index describes the circulation over the North Atlantic. Depending on whether it’s in a “positive” or “negative” phase, the Arctic Oscillation can bring warmer or cooler than average wintertime conditions to the U.S. and Europe.

Right now the Arctic Oscillation is in a negative phase, which tends to favor colder than average weather in Europe and the U.S.

Pat Michaels Misrepresents Dr. Patrick Michaels and Scientific Evidence

Yes, one of the few climate scientists in the world not joining the scientific consensus that humans are causing considerable global warming, fossil-fuel-funded Patrick Michaels, continues to misrepresent scientists and confuse the public. Nordhaus’ reply to Michaels’ misrepresentation of his work in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, as emailed to the NYTimes’ Andy Revkin and shared/discussed at more length on Skeptical Science:

The piece completely misrepresented my work.  My work has long taken the view that policies to slow global warming would have net economic benefits, in the trillions of dollars of present value. […] I have advocated a carbon tax for many years as the best way to attack the issue.”

Climate Change Will Make You Love Big Government

That’s the clever title of a great article by Christian Parenti. I don’t want to ruin or cause injustice to the excellent piece, so I’ll just recommend you click the link above to read more, if you haven’t seen the piece already.

NASA’s Newest Image of Our Blue Marble Reveals Something Not Pretty At All

Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video (via flickr)

Many of you probably saw the beautiful new image above of our Earth from NASA after it released it recently. What you probably didn’t realize or think about is that the image, despite being take in the middle of winter (well, January 4) includes almost no snow. What’s up with that?! Well, it’s just too darn warm for snow in some places, of course. Additionally, it was an exceptionally dry week. It may turn out to be “the driest first week in recorded U.S. history,” according to Dr. Jeff Masters of WunderBlog.

Artist Uses Blue Lights to Show Where Sea Level Could Be One Day

Blue LED lights on the Seven Dials Sundial Pillar in London show where sea levels could rise to. (Credit: PLUNGE.)

Not any time soon, mind you, but if we don’t get a hold of global warming, most of our world’s cities could go under.

“Installation PLUNGE by Michael Pinsky is a pretty scary and pretty graphic reminder of the impact of climate change on a city like London,” TreeHugger‘s Bonnie Alter writes. “In a very dramatic way, it depicts what the impact of rising sea levels, due to climate change, will be in 3012.”

What Do We Need to Solve Climate Change?

No government action certainly won’t do it. Bad government won’t either. What we need is “good government” (duh).

Here’s a nice intro to a section of a new book by Jonathan Koomey, PhD, reposted on Climate Progress recently:

“Imagine a company where the CEO says “We’ll never raise prices, borrow money, or increase our expenses under any circumstances, nor will we act to expand existing or create new markets when we have a competitive advantage in doing so.” You’d think that CEO was loony.  But this is exactly what some say about government when they say that spending and taxes should never increase, that environment regulations should always be relaxed, and that government should always do less than it’s doing now.”

Crazy, isn’t it? For more, check out the repost on Climate Progress.

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