Skip to comments.NASA: Some Perspective on Winter 2014
Posted on 03/20/2014 2:49:38 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
For many residents of North America, the winter of 2013-14 has felt like one of the coldest in many years. Waves of Arctic air have brought extended periods of cold weather and above-average snowfall to the middle and eastern portions of the United States and Canada. The Great Lakes, in particular, were chilled until they reached nearly 91 percent ice cover. Even portions of Mexico and Central America were cooler than normal.
But human memory is not a scientific measure, and long-term perspective tends to get lost in everyday conversation and news coverage. Researchers at the U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) have reported that the average temperature of the contiguous U.S. for the winter was 0.4° Celsius (31.3° Fahrenheit), about 1°F below average.
Why was it only the 34th coldest winter in 119 years of records? Because most of the land west of the Rocky Mountains was warmer and drier than average, so those warmer temperatures offset the cold snaps to the east. California had its hottest winter on record, and several other states came close. Though it is not included in the contiguous U.S. measurements, Alaska also thawed in spring-like heat and rain that melted snow and ice.
The map above shows land surface temperature anomalies for North America for December 1, 2013, to February 28, 2014the period known to scientists as meteorological winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite, the map depicts temperatures for December 2013 to February 2014 compared to the 20002013 average for those months. Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red; near-normal temperatures are white; and areas that were cooler than normal are blue. (Note: land surface temperatures are not the same as air temperatures, but they are a reasonable proxy for how warm or cold each region was. Learn more about the difference by reading this feature.)
The map below puts the North American winter in wider context. On a global scale, land temperatures for the December through February period were actually the tenth warmest in the modern record, according to NCDC, 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average.
Far eastern Asia, particularly China and eastern Russia, were significantly warmer than normal. In Europe, Austria and The Netherlands observed the second warmest winters in their records, and Switzerland its third warmest. With temperatures as much as 5°C above normal, spring crops and plants began sprouting several weeks early across much of Europe. And in the southern summer, the extended heat waves in Australia and Argentina stand out.
References and Related Reading
National Climatic Data Center (2014, March) State of the Climate: February 2014 National Overview. Accessed March 19, 2014.
National Climatic Data Center (2014, March) State of the Climate: Global Summary. Accessed March 19, 2014.
National Climatic Data Center (2014, March) Winter Cold: Historical Perspective. Accessed March 19, 2014.
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (2014, March 12) Europe Mild Winter Advances Crop Stage. Accessed March 19, 2014.
Weather Underground, Jeff Masters' WunderBlog (2014, March 14) Winter of 2013-2014: Top 10 Coldest in Midwest; Warmest on Record in California. Accessed March 19, 2014.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using MODIS data from the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LPDAAC). Caption by Michael Carlowicz.
Reminiscent of the Obamacare gov site, the linked article from a NASA site, has this at the top [just in case it goes down]."
"Please note that the Earth Observatory website will be undergoing routine maintenance the morning of March 20th and may be unavailable. Thank you for your patience."
[It would appear that Earth is now the agency's BIG GREEN planet, not blue.] MORE FROM NASA:
“Americans now have more computer power in their smart phones than did the Pentagon in all its computer banks just 30 years ago. We board a sophisticated jet and assume that the flight is no more dangerous than crossing the street.
The downside of this complete reliance on computer gadgetry is a fundamental ignorance of what technology is. Smart machines are simply the pumps that deliver the water of knowledge not knowledge itself.
What does it matter that millions of American students can communicate across thousands of miles instantly with their iPads and iPhones if a poorly educated generation increasingly has little to say?..............
NASA has become the pseudo-scientific arm of the Ministry of Truth.
People have noticed, thus.....
March 16, 2014: “According to NASA, its new strategic plan, released last week, provides the agency with a clear, unified, and long-term direction for all its activities. NASAs previous strategic plan was criticized in a 2012 National Research Council (NRC) report requested by Congress that found a lack of national consensus on the agencys strategic goals and objectives.
Government agencies are required to prepare strategic plans every four years in the year after a presidential election by the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sets detailed requirements for the plans. NASA was given an extra year to produce its last version as the Obama Administration debated the agencys future, so it was released in 2011 rather than 2010.
The document states NASAs vision and mission and explains the agencys core values, goals and priorities.
In this new version, NASAs Vision is articulated as:
We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.
NASAs Mission is:
Drive advances in science, technology, aeronautics, and space exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality, and stewardship of Earth.
A comparison of the 2014 and 2011 strategic plans reveals few dramatic changes. Safety, integrity, teamwork and excellence remain the agencys core values. The plan also reiterates sending humans to Mars as the agencys long-term goal.
The addition of the words space and aeronautics to the mission statement is a significant change, however, and appears to respond to criticism of the 2011 version by the NRC committee..................”
Not startling since John P. Holdren is Obama's Science and Technology Adviser.
I’d like to say you’re a visionary but...... : )
These jerks are so predictable.
Close it down, along with many other alphabet agencies. Transfer manned flight to the Air Force. Give researchers at the universities $10 billion a year.
As for civilian space flight. Set aside another $10 billion a year for prizes for set goals in space. It has worked before.
So, that’s a relief. I thought my butt was freezing Wait, NASA, Why don’t you add the saudi desert figures and make it a little pretzel?
It just seemed cold. It just seemed like we were shoveling feet of snow repeatedly. Actually, it was bikini weather, the tenth warmest winter on record. If I distrust the record and the measurements, that's just because I'm ignorant.
WHOA - that's telling... long on being a 'true believer' - - short on science....
I was going to post the same link.
I remember when NASA was all about space exploration. Oh well, as long as muslims feel good about themselves while they are blowing people up and beheading them.
That's gotta be it... we were dozing under our beach umbrellas, *dreaming* about shoveling snow and scraping ice from our car windshields!
The heart of liberalism: Persuading people to discount their own experience.
“The Great Lakes, in particular, were chilled until they reached nearly 91 percent ice cover.”
It was actually 92.2% coverage on March 6.
Actually, that's "according to spacepolicyonline.com". This is what NASA says is according to NASA (from here):
NASA conducts its work in four principal organizations, called mission directorates:
- Aeronautics: manages research focused on meeting global demand for air mobility in ways that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable, while also embracing revolutionary technology from outside aviation.
- Human Exploration and Operations: focuses on International Space Station operations, development of commercial spaceflight capabilities and human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit.
- Science: explores the Earth, solar system and universe beyond; charts the best route of discovery; and reaps the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society.
- Space Technology: rapidly develops, innovates, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies that enable NASA's future missions while providing economic benefit to the nation.
NASA's fine. The problem we got is with all the mindless political hacks on both the extreme left and extreme right that make up stories about what NASA's saying and doing. So it boils down to being our job of taking the trouble to see what's really going on.
"WHOA - that's telling... long on being a 'true believer' - - short on science...."
And he co-authored "The Population Bomb" and has published similar papers over the years. Holdren (since becoming Obama's Science and Technology Adviser) has lectured graduate students that America can't expect to be number one all the time, that in fact the world is better when we step back and let other nations develop.
NASA’s not fine.
The linked information I gave you states their vision/mission statement correctly. NASA HAD dropped “space” and “aeronautics” and now it has been replaced (but that’s just for show while they totally gut the agency).
The Population Bomb? Gads that takes me back... Nice thing about being liberal is no matter how often they’re wrong they get a pass... Amazing.
was this one at "Spacepolicyonline.com". Sure, it looks good but 'good' doesn't make it 'NASA'.
...NASA HAD dropped space and aeronautics and now it has been replaced (but thats just for show while they totally gut the agency)....
Go to Dr. Roy Spencer's website for an expert opinion that mirrors what I said above. Even though he explicitly points out the reality of greenhouse gasses, Dr. Spencer has come under constant attack by the alarmists, as he does not believe that warming will be a major problem going forward.
This article by NASA is fair enough, in that the important thing from that perspective is the global average temperature, not the temperature of the eastern US in particular. It is undeniably true that the West Coast had an unusually warm winter. I personally don't believe current temperature measurements are being tampered with, as there are several sources for them. (I will say I think the historical record has suffered some corruption.)
It seems to me that a more productive approach than arguing about how much the planet will warm, is to identify win/win scenarios that reduce CO2 production while also stimulating real economic growth and improving the human condition. I will point out that many rabid environmentalists seem to be set on humanity having a lower-tech and in fact generally lower standard of living in the future. That is idiocy, and that is the main thing that needs to be fought.
The low-hanging fruit among win/win scenarios is replacing all coal-fired electricity generation with nuclear. Even current generation nuclear is extremely safe, and if a reasonable amount of R&D were put into it, thorium based nuclear power would completely solve the world's energy needs for the foreseeable future, certainly for long enough to develop either LENR or fusion.
Solar power is also a great technology, but it should be used mainly for endpoint generation (roofs are generally wasted space anyhow). Solar isn't a good fit for industrial-strength electric generation. I'm against wind power, if nuclear expands as it should wind won't be competitive and every wind turbine out there will be a rusting monument to environmentalist stupidity.
Replacing coal electric generation is simply a good idea, independent of global warming. There are plenty of interesting things to do with coal besides burning it, so there is not necessarily a huge impact to coal producing areas in the long run, although coal mining is a pretty environmentally unfriendly thing given some of the common practices. What makes burning coal such a bad idea, independent of CO2, is the particulate and mercury pollution emitted. It is simply a dirty form of power, killing tens of thousands of people a year.
The other motivation for advanced nuclear is that civilization needs powerful, high-density energy sources for many things, including space travel. Once practical nuclear/LENR/fusion spacecraft exist, there will be a new wave of pioneering and an explosion of wealth like nothing seen before.
We are seeing the effects of no frontiers - oppressive government, limited opportunity, less self-reliance, squabbling over limited resources and a general oppression of the human spirit. We need a new frontier! We need to open up access to the Solar System, and let the next dynamic age of humanity begin!
(If you made it this far, congratulations! Obviously I have strong feelings on all this. BTW, NASA is not the right entity to cause the space frontier to take off. That will take commercialization.)
drivel...... you have been duped
What an eloquent argument. On what basis do you dispute (very) basic physics?
Let me repeat - there is some warming associated with increased CO2. If it will be 0.1 degree C, it is absolutely no problem. If in fact it will end up at the upper end of the IPCC predictions (which I seriously doubt) it will be catastrophic.
Again, the best approach is a win/win solution. In a low-warming scenario, we have abundant energy and cleaner air. In a high-warming scenario, we have the technology and energy to do some form of geoengineering. If the worst IPCC predictions are correct, geoengineering will be absolutely necessary, just stopping CO2 production (even completely) won't be enough. We're right at 400 PPM CO2, and I see very little chance of stopping short of 600 PPM - at a minimum.
You know the old saying: "Hope for the best, plan for the worst!".