Climate Change

Climate Change Has Made U.S. Weather More Pleasant, Says Nature Study

Most Americans live in counties that are experiencing more pleasant weather than they did forty years ago

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BackyardSnow2016
Ronald Bailey

Most Americans are enjoying increasingly balmy weather thanks to climate change say researchers in new article in the journal Nature. Who knew that most people prefer warmer to colder weather? Let's get right to it. From the abstract: 

As climate change unfolds, weather systems in the United States have been shifting in patterns that vary across regions and seasons. Climate science research typically assesses these changes by examining individual weather indicators, such as temperature or precipitation, in isolation, and averaging their values across the spatial surface. As a result, little is known about population exposure to changes in weather and how people experience and evaluate these changes considered together. Here we show that in the United States from 1974 to 2013, the weather conditions experienced by the vast majority of the population improved.

Using previous research on how weather affects local population growth to develop an index of people's weather preferences, we find that 80% of Americans live in counties that are experiencing more pleasant weather than they did four decades ago. Virtually all Americans are now experiencing the much milder winters that they typically prefer, and these mild winters have not been offset by markedly more uncomfortable summers or other negative changes.

Climate change models predict that this trend is temporary, however, because US summers will eventually warm more than winters. Under a scenario in which greenhouse gas emissions proceed at an unabated rate (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5), we estimate that 88% of the US public will experience weather at the end of the century that is less preferable than weather in the recent past. Our results have implications for the public's understanding of the climate change problem, which is shaped in part by experiences with local weather.

Whereas weather patterns in recent decades have served as a poor source of motivation for Americans to demand a policy response to climate change, public concern may rise once people's everyday experiences of climate change effects start to become less pleasant.

Interestingly, to illustrate how much less pleasant weather may become,  the researchers use the worst-case 8.5 RCP scenario. In that modeled projection, by 2100 atmospheric carbon dioxide rises from 400 to 936 parts per million and average temperatures are 5 to 6 degrees Celsius hotter. Unpleasant indeed.

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  1. We’ll see how pleasant they think it is when Kansas has oceanfront property!

    1. Weather is more pleasant. Another reason to fear and try unsuccessfully to stop climate change!

    2. Toto ! Stop chewing on the straw man , and follow that polite fellow with the yellow brick head.

  2. The weather here is way better than it used to be. We actually have sun in the summer instead of 3 months of fog.

    I don’t know what that has to do with global warming.

    1. If it’s pleasant, nothing. If it’s terrible, everything. It’s like you don’t even science.

  3. Interestingly, to illustrate how much less pleasant weather may become, the researchers use the worst-case 8.5 RCP scenario.

    I assume that model has already failed?

    1. Well, yes, but this time they know exactly why it failed and have fixed the parameters so that it surely won’t fail again. Honest!

    2. It has. Everyone would benefit from reading about what the official stated purpose of the 8.5 RCP scenario was; and the squirming of religious nutjobs when it is pointed out that the scenario has no physical plausibility whatsoever.

      RCP 8.5: The “Mother of all” Junk Climate Science

      Representative Concentration (or Carbon)Pathway 8.5 assumes a “rising radiative forcing pathway leading to 8.5 W/m? in 2100.” It is generally assumed, with little dissent, that each doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration will add 3.7 W/m? to the net infrared radiative flux.

      A doubling of the supposedly stable pre-industrial CO2 level (280 ppmv to 560 ppmv) should yield 3.7 W/m? of additional forcing to the net infrared radiative flux. In order to get 8.5 W/m?, the atmospheric CO2 concentration would have to rise to 1,370 ppm?

      rcp-guide-table4
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/rcp.php?t=3

      Note: Yes. The above is from SkepSci. I checked the math. It’s close enough.

      Does any sane person really believe that the atmospheric CO2 concentration could rise from the current 400 ppm to 1,370 ppm over the next 85 years? (*)

      Basically, we’d have to burn all the coal and oil we know about and we still wouldn’t get there.

      1. Or… as a professional tenured senior climatologist at Georgia Tech puts it:
        A closer look at scenario RCP8.5

        RCP8.5 gets the most attention. It assumes the fastest population growth (a doubling of Earth’s population to 12 billion), the lowest rate of technology development, slow GDP growth, a massive increase in world poverty, plus high energy use and emissions. For more about the RCPs see “The representative concentration pathways: an overview” by Detlef P. van Vuuren et al, Climatic Change, Nov 2011.

        RCP8.5 assumes a nightmarish world even before climate impacts, resulting from substantial changes to long-standing trends. It provides AR5 with an essential worst case scenario necessary for conservative planning.

        Unfortunately scientists often inaccurately describe RCP8.5 as the baseline scenario ? a future without policy action: “a relatively conservative business as usual case with low income, high population and high energy demand due to only modest improvements in energy intensity” from “RCP 8.5: A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions” by Keywan Riahi et al in Climate Change, November 2011, This is a material misrepresentation of RCP8.5. Scientists then use RCP8.5 to construct horrific visions of the future. They seldom mention its unlikely assumptions.

        1. It assumes the fastest population growth (a doubling of Earth’s population to 12 billion), the lowest rate of technology development, slow GDP growth, a massive increase in world poverty, plus high energy use and emissions.

          By and large, sounds like the outcomes of a myriad of government programs.

          1. Fighting global warming will cause global warming!

        2. the lowest rate of technology development, slow GDP growth, a massive increase in world poverty

          Well the alarmists, at least, are doing their best to see that these assumptions come true.

        3. It assumes the fastest population growth (a doubling of Earth’s population to 12 billion), the lowest rate of technology development, slow GDP growth, a massive increase in world poverty, plus high energy use and emissions.

          Seems a bit logically challenged if you ask me.

          1. Not if all that energy is going into building windmills, solar panels, and printing Bailey’s latest book.

        4. It assumes the fastest population growth (a doubling of Earth’s population to 12 billion), the lowest rate of technology development, slow GDP growth, a massive increase in world poverty, plus high energy use and emissions.

          So, a Bernie Sanders world. Not so far-fetched now, is it?

        5. The assumptions of RCP8.5 become much more likely if we adopt government policies on climate change, destroy the world economy that way, and cast billions into poverty again

      2. I did the math once and concluded that we might be able to reach about 1000 ppm, bit that’s a stretch. At those levels, weather has historically been warm, wet, and rather pleasant across the globe. Sea level rise is an concern, but so slow that normal human migration takes care of it.

    3. So, would it be fair to say that referring to this scenario as ” illustrat[ing] how much less pleasant weather may become” is intellectually dishonest?

      1. So, would it be fair to say that referring to this scenario as ” illustrat[ing] how much less pleasant weather may become” is intellectually dishonest?

        Yes. And ‘intellectually dishonest’ is par for the course for Al Gore’s superstitious little cult.

  4. Climate change models predict that this trend is temporary, however, because US summers will eventually warm more than winters

    Oh good. They did manage to fit some alarmism in there after all. I was starting to worry they couldn’t find that cloud through all the silver lining.

    1. The entire article is focused on how to convince people that global warming is real and dangerous despite no actual impact on the lives of individuals. Much like the article co-authorted by Mann recently that admitted to the pause, they just know the negative consequences are coming. So they point to the onslaught of floods, droughts, and storms that they are sure are on the horizon. At one point they even claim that I think heat waves have increased. I’ve yet to see a single study that actually found an increase in extreme weather events so I’m mildly curious to take a look. I read this yesterday so my memory may be a bit off.

      The entire article is alarmist, though.

      1. I’ll admit I only read the part quoted by Bailey.

  5. I find it interesting how they’re soooo fucking motivated to save the future for posterity where climate is concerned but the debt – which probably has much more of a negative impact on our lives – not so much. Keep kicking that can.

    1. “the debt – which probably has much more of a negative impact on our lives ”

      Thank you, Rufus, for offering to help us out here in the US of Bankruptcy.

  6. I for one, do not welcome our new warm weather overlords. I want ice and snow. I want piercing cold bringing me closer to the natural state of the universe. My ancestors evolved and adapted to live on the edge of a fucking glacier.

    1. That’s because much of the land mass was covered in ice 20000 years ago and we experienced rapid global warming that got rid of it. You wouldn’t like massive ice sheets like that. Snow and ice are fun, but they are generally bad for survival.

  7. Fuck that. I like me my four seasons. I want to see snow on the ground December through February. A Christmas without snow is just depressing. And snow on Thanksgiving shouldn’t be that uncommon. The early signs of spring should start around mid-March, with the trees greening in April and the cherries, red buds, dogwoods, and azaleas blooming in succession through May. Then it’s on to the mushroom hunting, crepe myrtles, June bugs, lightening bugs, and evening thunderstorms. August should be hot enough that even cold-water swimming holes are enjoyable. September is when you can start to wear jeans again and feel comfortable, October is when the leaves change, and November is when you can start to drink porters and stout.

    This this is the only true libertarian weather pattern.

    1. Fact. Preach on brother.

    2. That is quite close the weather in Madison, WI. The only difference being Winter stretches on into April. And we didn’t have those pussy warm weather plants (dogwood, azalea, etc.).*

      I’ve lived in Virginia, Texas, and Arizona. The hottest I have ever been was in Madison.

      1. *We did have them when I lived in Richmond, VA. Damn, but the spring in that part of the country is spectacular.

        1. Truth. We’re in it now. The weather west of the valley is pretty close to perfect, but even here the winters are warmer and the snow comes later.

          1. But I got me some ramps!

      2. I’ve lived in Virginia, Texas, and Arizona. The hottest I have ever been was in Madison.

        I don’t think you were in the really bad parts of Texas or Arizona then. When its 125 in the shade, you just want to slap the next person who says “but, it’s a dry heat”. And I swear Texas can hit triple digit humidity and temps at the same time.

        But yes, between the cherries, peaches, dogwoods, azaleas, pears, etc. Spring in VA is a feast for the eyes. (Unless you have allergies in which case your eyes are swollen shut.)

        1. When its 125 in the shade…

          My first thought was “Yeah, but it’s a dry heat”

          …you just want to slap the next person who says “but, it’s a dry heat”

          Oh. Well, it is!

        2. I don’t think you were in the really bad parts of Texas or Arizona then.

          Note: the following represents my subjective experience.

          Tucson, in AZ. The heat here is easy to take; comparable to being 10 degrees cooler than the thermometer in places with normal humidity.

          Texas: North Texas and Dallas. North Texas can get hotter than 110 degrees, and has some humidity. The heat gets a lot harder to take in Southeast Texas, but I haven’t lived there.

          The Madison thing was kind of fluke. I think the temperature was around 100, but there was some kind of weather thing going on that turned into massive thunderstorms. The air just pressed on you like a hot, wet blanket.

          1. The last sentence describes the entire southern shore of the Arabian/Persian Gulf for 9 months of the year. Winter there is spectacular, however, as long as you’re near civilization and not in the Empty Quarter. Also, the punishing fog in late fall and early spring.

          2. Tucson, in AZ. The heat here is easy to take; comparable to being 10 degrees cooler than the thermometer in places with normal humidity.

            The fuck? I grew up in the desert southwest and I couldn’t take the heat in Tucson. Now let me tell you how bad it is in Phoenix.

            I don’t give a shit what “yeah, but it’s a dry heat!” people say. When the temperature goes to 115 in the shade, all that’s sacred in life no longer matters. Everything slows down to a crawl, nothing moves, and you can feel it in your bowels the minute you step out in it.

            And yes, I’ve experience Ohio high-humidity summers as well.

          3. Houston! 100 degrees. 100% humidity. 10″ rain. In April.

    3. That!s CLEVELAND-except for the part about seeing the sun and not having to slog through slush for 5 months.

      1. I haven’t seen many clouds in the last 3 days (except today, of course).

        I also thought this winter had a surprising amount of sunshine (i.e. that there was ANY at all).

    4. I loves the morels.

      1. Apparently the black morels have been popping up around here. I haven’t found any yet.

  8. I no longer care what anyone says about climate change. If it’s real, they’re using it as an excuse to grow the State. If it’s fake, they’re lying and using it as an excuse to grow the State. Either way, I’m fucked.

    Get off my lawn (because you’re blocking the entrance to my doomsday bunker).

  9. Some of us live and breathe snow you insensitve clod! Praise be to Ullr!

    1. You’re obviously one of the soft Fremen that came about after the Jihad.

  10. “Climate science research typically assesses these changes by examining individual weather indicators…”

    Ooooh boy. Sorry I got to that bit and just couldn’t stop laughing.

  11. I recall a recent article about how the scientific process is broken… I also recall that said article was glaringly silent on climate science.

    http://theweek.com/articles/61…..nce-broken

  12. It sounds like they felt the need to manufacture a reason for why AGW cannot be good, so they shoehorned a dire climate forecast model in there. One that is unlikely to come true.

  13. Climate Change Has Made U.S. Weather More Pleasant, Says Nature Study

    IT’S A TRAP!

    No, really. If one concedes what Nature is arguing, then one has to concede that there is such a thing as Climate Change as conceptualized by the mountebanks and charlatans in academia, the government and the mainstream media.

    What is ‘pleasant’, anyway? Compared to what?

    1. It’s not a trap. The climate has clearly been changing. Climate is always changing. The argument against AGW policies isn’t that AGW isn’t happening, it is that it is inevitable, that government policies are ineffective, and that it is not obviously harmful.

  14. 5-6C is a global average. It mostly means cold areas getting warmer. In fact, we know from paleoclimatology that 900ppm mostly means mild, wet climates around the globe, including high latitudes. Except for some disruption of traditional settlement patterns and gradual sea level rise, that’s a good thing. The sea level rise is something normal human migration can take care of, and the usable land gained up north makes up for it.

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  16. Whereas weather patterns in recent decades have served as a poor source of motivation for Americans to demand a policy response to climate change

    You’re speculating about people’s motivations? This is a scientific article?

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