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Poll: Has this winter changed your view about human affect on climate change?


West is Best

Has this winter changed your view on Global Warming?  

146 members have voted

  1. 1. AGW = Anthropocentric Global Warming, in other words that humans are contributing to climate change

    • It is making me think about the issue again
      17
    • It is making me think there might be something in it afterall
      13
    • It's changed me from a sceptic to thinking humans are partly to blame
      17
    • It has made little or no difference: I already believed in AGW
      70
    • It has made little or no difference: I don't believe in AGW
      29


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Posted
  • Location: .
  • Location: .

    Some of you may not know this, but I used to be a sceptic up until 2003. I thought the change was largely due to cyclical patterns. One or two seasoned souls (mushymanrob for instance) might even recall me arguing this on the old Snow Watch.

    Summer 2003 changed all that. I'm not susceptible to micro-climatic incidents suddenly causing me to become a believer. But that incredible, record-breaking, heat sent me back to the drawing board. I re-visited all the arguments and doing so changed my view. I am now firmly of the opinion that humans are affecting global warming.

    So how about you good folk? Anyone on here having a twinge of a re-think as a result of this (so far) ridiculously warm winter?!

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Surely the fact that we should now be into our 20yr 'cold' cycle for winter weather must prick a few folk.

    Last years late cold was heralded as the first signs of our entering this 20yr cold period so what gave? El-Nino was La-Nina at this time last year with no sign of abating, so much so that the Hurricane season predictions had no El-Nino influence to mitigate the number of storms.

    If a body as wise as the NOAA couldn't see it (El-Nino) coming it must be a 'symptom' of our warmth and not a 'reason' for our mild winter thus far.

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    Posted
  • Location: .
  • Location: .

    Ooops ... a hair split moment here. I was using the term anthropocentric yesterday of African religions, and I just applied it to AGW without thinking this morning. In fact it should be 'anthropogenic' I think. Doesn't matter too much - same sort of idea really.

    You're right GW - this should be a cool down period!

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    Posted
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
  • Location: Rochester, Kent

    If you were to imagine two gardens with a fence dividing them, I am just off the fence into the AGW garden. I can still see the sceptic garden, and have some sympathy for the arguments presented over the fence with beer in hand.

    This winter has not changed my view one iota. Given that global warming is measure in small increases in global mean temperature (2-5C) and that other less temperate environments are due to suffer more than us I can't see this winter being anything but a blip - statistically, I am sure of this, but, of course, we haven't had enough ongoing warm years to be certain, yet; although 2, or 3 more excessively warm years will certainly be statistically significant, I feel, and it is then that I will need to adjust my thinking.

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    Posted
  • Location: SE London
  • Location: SE London

    well i have sparked many a discussion on the subject, mainly because i am a firm believer in the fact that we are responsible for our climate. to what degree is debatable (for me) but whether it is a minute effect or massive effect. mankind is having an impact. (imo).

    there is no swaying in my thoughts that the global climate is reacting to environmental issues such as pollution/carbon emmissions/greenhouse gases/rainforest depletion etc etc. and until these issues are addressed we (as in mankind) will never be able to judge just how bad things are. i defy anyone to reasonably argue that if in the next 12 months all of the above were to stop, that the climate would not react differently. the world population continues to grow, the ice caps are receeding, deforestation continues, car/aircraft emmissions are increasing.......... even if these have no effect whatsoever on the earths climate. they surely need addressing as a matter of urgency. Our natural resources cannot sustain the earths population in future years, but then without a temperate/seasonal climate who would it need to sustain?

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    Posted
  • Location: Lochgelly - Highest town in Fife at 150m ASL.
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and cold. Enjoy all extremes though.
  • Location: Lochgelly - Highest town in Fife at 150m ASL.

    Hello Richard, my foot is still hovering over both camps I'm afraid. I don't think that past records can be ignored as in 'it's all happened before and the evidence is there for all to see' = natural climate change. I think the most I will concede at the moment is that Anthropogenic Global Warming may be having an accelerated effect. I should really study this subject more which would enable me to contribute a more informed opinion! :)

    Regards,

    Blitzen.

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion

    It's not made any difference to me - although as the Highlands have been colder and snowier than they were in 1988-89, maybe it's a sign of a new ice age ? :):)

    I totally believe in anthropogenic regional climate change. I remain a sceptic regarding the long term impact of carbon emissions. And I note that humans have very short memories :p

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    Posted
  • Location: .
  • Location: .
    I totally believe in anthropogenic regional climate change. I remain a sceptic regarding the long term impact of carbon emissions. And I note that humans have very short memories :)

    If all sceptics were as sanguine as you I'd find it easier. You're not saying there's no effect, and (importantly) neither are you denying carbon emissions are on the up. What you're unsure about, or sceptical about, is the long-term effect of those increasing carbon emissions. I just wish more who were sceptical were sceptical for those reasons, instead of a large swathe who doubt 1. that the world has been getting warmer or 2. that there are increasing carbon emissions measurable in the atmosphere. Neither of those are scientifically tenable imo.

    So we're perhaps not worlds apart. I've just gone another stage on (you may say falsely): that those emissions are one of the key drivers of the present warm-up. Whilst we have short memories, it is possible to measure carbon emission deposits in the atmosphere over very long time-spans compared to most other methods of measurement (principally through glacial deposits).

    Anyway, didn't mean to get this into another prolonged debate on the AGW topic, but I wanted to respond to your sensible post.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    No. It hasn't changed my mind, nor is it much of a surprise. Some of you may not be aware that my AGWometer needle swings hysterically at imes, but not in response to the weather. This week, I am mostly turning into a gray wolf. I would say that the temperatures of the past three months- the size of the anomalies - is making me wonder whether we aren't still underestimating the rate and extremity of climate change, even though most of the science disagrees with this.

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
    If you were to imagine two gardens with a fence dividing them, I am just off the fence into the AGW garden. I can still see the sceptic garden, and have some sympathy for the arguments presented over the fence with beer in hand.

    This winter has not changed my view one iota. Given that global warming is measure in small increases in global mean temperature (2-5C) and that other less temperate environments are due to suffer more than us I can't see this winter being anything but a blip - statistically, I am sure of this, but, of course, we haven't had enough ongoing warm years to be certain, yet; although 2, or 3 more excessively warm years will certainly be statistically significant, I feel, and it is then that I will need to adjust my thinking.

    How about top ten global temp years being since 1995 or top 5 hottest G.B. years being since 2000?

    P3, please note that all the startling changes in our understanding of climate change seem to come as a surprise to the scientific community. They seem to have the 'ball park figures' but when physical confirmation is found the rate of change seems to be much higher than predicted. They always then 'discover' the science to make sence of the findings.

    If we were facing 'rapid climate change' of the sort to affect billions world wide which World Govt. would choose push the information into the public domain?

    I think we are now in a period where we must assess the changes to our planet/climate for ourselves and discuss any anomalies we find, in terms of climate shift (as we are here), but not to be too surprised if confirmation from the scientific community is lacking.

    This is not a conspiricy theory but a recognition that the 'nay sayers' have created a climate of mistrust and any findings must be exhaustively checked and referenced before being placed out in the public domain which, if climate change is accellerating, may be a bit 'doors after Neddy's scarpered..'.

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    Posted
  • Location: .
  • Location: .

    I'm similar to you P3. Maybe I should have put an option in about that. It has made me wonder if we're under-estimating the effects, and whether a step-change has occurred. Very controversial, but if this does go on like this it's got to be part of the debate. I was chatting to someone at the Hadley centre the other day and they said that they are playing it very carefully: many of them also think things may be far worse than they're prepared to say in public, for the very reason that sensationalist reporting does no favours to the AGW lobby. Deep down there are scientists there analysing the facts as they see them, and wondering if the direst predictions may not prove so wide of the mark afterall. I'm not sure, but I am convinced that we're affecting the climate; even if the direst predictions do prove wrong. Recent records may be a blip in an upward trend, or something more sinister. I'd be very interested in statistician Stratos Ferric's views on this.

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
    well i have sparked many a discussion on the subject, mainly because i am a firm believer in the fact that we are responsible for our climate. to what degree is debatable (for me) but whether it is a minute effect or massive effect. mankind is having an impact. (imo).

    there is no swaying in my thoughts that the global climate is reacting to environmental issues such as pollution/carbon emmissions/greenhouse gases/rainforest depletion etc etc. and until these issues are addressed we (as in mankind) will never be able to judge just how bad things are. i defy anyone to reasonably argue that if in the next 12 months all of the above were to stop, that the climate would not react differently. the world population continues to grow, the ice caps are receeding, deforestation continues, car/aircraft emmissions are increasing.......... even if these have no effect whatsoever on the earths climate. they surely need addressing as a matter of urgency. Our natural resources cannot sustain the earths population in future years, but then without a temperate/seasonal climate who would it need to sustain?

    I feel much the same about the issue.

    This winter is a wake-up call, but it hasn't affected my views on global climate change.

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    Posted
  • Location: SE London
  • Location: SE London
    I feel much the same about the issue.

    This winter is a wake-up call, but it hasn't affected my views on global climate change.

    the thing is is that we are finally seeing effects of a change in climate on a universal scale rather than regional. the yanks are starting to get the gist of what is going on with the admission of polar bear numbers falling. the president of one of the south american rainforest countries has put a logging ban on his area. the satellite pictures of reduced ice shelfs has been dramatic in the press. so all in all the wake up call is getting louder. now whether this is the kick start needed to test whether our actions are affecting our planets climate, or if in 10 years time things remain the same (or worse) only we can decide. one of my arguments has been, "how can we tell if we are to blame, if we don't do something different to test it?"

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    If we can have the same discussion in 2 years time then I'll be re-assured that things ain't as bad as I suspect. If by October you are not sick to death of hearing about anomalies ascribed to climate shift then maybe I will relax a little and allow myself the luxury of feeling a little silly about my concerns.

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    Posted
  • Location: South of Glasgow 55.778, -4.086, 86m
  • Location: South of Glasgow 55.778, -4.086, 86m

    This current winter is my 49th. (Yeah, I know.) It is undoubtedly the warmest, wettest and windiest I have experienced and probably holds all kinds of records measured over the past few centuries. Conversely, the first winter I really remember was that of ’63 – the coldest for the past few centuries. In between, every measurable aspect of winter weather has been up and down and up and down, with some winters being notable for one aspect or another and the rest being completely unremarkable.

    I don’t therefore base my opinion on either the past few weeks or, indeed, the past few years. However I do believe that the recent / current phase of climate change is one of warming – it seems to be so, whether measured subjectively or objectively – although I’m not convinced that this is part of an unstoppable progression, nor am I convinced that human activity is a significant contributory factor in this. I do not harbour a set ‘belief’ on the subject though, as I remain open to the arguments.

    Even if I’m wrong on this (a faint possibility I suppose,) I’m pretty sure that if climate change, whether naturally forced or otherwise, is taking us to a place we’d rather not be then there will be little or nothing we can do about it. And I refuse to be reduced to abject misery by something I can’t control.

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    Posted
  • Location: Banbury'ish, Oxon
  • Location: Banbury'ish, Oxon

    Whilst I don't like to admit to myself, i cannot believe that something hasn't "given" over the last 12 months in terms of exhibiting AGW. Record after record seems to be broken, and it certainly isn't at the lower end of the temperature scale!

    It pains me to write this, as I approach my 32nd birthday, remembering what it was like in the early 80's as a child ( a raid into my parents old photograph's over the holidays didn't help the nostalgia), and admitting to myself that it's unlikley to be the same again, at least within my lifetime. I moved South from Edinburgh 10 years ago and wondered at the time at the lack of coldness in wintertime "down south", putting it down to geographical difference. Having just endured the first, never mind snow but also frost free festive period in my annual Christmas trip home to family, I almost feel conceded to the fact that 'something' is up. SF's theory of pressure belts moving North through time as the cold air pools become less, in my mind about hits the nail on the head.

    I just hope that it doesn't continue accelerating beyond what is currently predicted else our worries about looking at endless runs of snowbarren GFS runs will seem mightily trivial on a gobal scale. The problem as I see it is that we really don't know what the outcome will be :)

    WFM

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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Snow , thunderstorms and wind
  • Location: Dublin, ireland

    I still believe that it is highly unlikely that "personkind" has any influence on our climate.

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    Posted
  • Location: .
  • Location: .
    I still believe that it is highly unlikely that "personkind" has any influence on our climate.

    John, just want to ask you one thing though. Do you accept that carbon emissions have increased due to human activity? It's useful to press oneself sometimes as to precisely why one thinks what one does. I thought Essan's post though short was very good in this regard.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    It's not made any difference to me - although as the Highlands have been colder and snowier than they were in 1988-89, maybe it's a sign of a new ice age ? :):p

    I totally believe in anthropogenic regional climate change. I remain a sceptic regarding the long term impact of carbon emissions. And I note that humans have very short memories :)

    Not sure this is clear Andy, at least to me :) . By local do you mean the effect of global anthropogenic GHG emissions on localities? Or do you mean local effect (land use, urbanisation)? What does your being 'sceptical about the long term impact of carbon emission' mean, in figures for example?

    I remain of the opinion that we will see an average global temperature rise due to our activities of between around 2C and 4 C by the end of this century. I don't rule out more warming, I think much less is highly unlikely.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Though snow may have driven many here to take an interest in the weather maybe this coming summer (for even non-weather folk know what a british summer is like) will show more of us that something of concern is going on.

    If the MetO/Uni of East Anglia have their figures right then a warmer year ,globaly, than last year is in the offing and this may manifest in Britain with both extreme weather events (storms/heat/rainfall rates) and seasonal extremes of our 'normal' climate (though Jan at over 4c warmer thus far is a concern).

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    Posted
  • Location: Longlevens, 16m ASL / Bradley Stoke, 75m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Hot sunny summers, cold snowy winters
  • Location: Longlevens, 16m ASL / Bradley Stoke, 75m ASL
    It's not made any difference to me - although as the Highlands have been colder and snowier than they were in 1988-89, maybe it's a sign of a new ice age ? :):)

    I totally believe in anthropogenic regional climate change. I remain a sceptic regarding the long term impact of carbon emissions. And I note that humans have very short memories :p

    I have to agree with Essans post, the current warm are partly synoptics and partially from global warming - how much humans have caused is still up for debate.

    Ignoring the carbon issue, undoubtably the build environment warms the surrounding area, just see how much warmer city centres are to the countryside at night and i think that is under played as a cause - much harder to tell people cities are the problem and everyone should live in animal hide tents :)

    i also think there are other factors at work which science has yet to consider or maybe even discover, however the climate is not static and has always changed and will continue to do so whether it suits us or not.

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    Posted
  • Location: SE London
  • Location: SE London
    i also think there are other factors at work which science has yet to consider or maybe even discover, however the climate is not static and has always changed and will continue to do so whether it suits us or not.
    but that is just the point. whether the earth is in a natural cycle or has been forced into a change of climate. we are still not treating our planet with respect. so
    suit us or not
    is an attitude that should be looked at conscientiously. and not a surrender to the way the planet is going.
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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    I still believe that it is highly unlikely that "personkind" has any influence on our climate.
    John; I admire your persistence on this; heck, even Exxon are now saying that AGW from CO2 is real. I also respect your right to believe this and express your opinions. I am curious, though; given the amount of evidence and the consistency of the message over the past few years, would you say your belief was based on a rational, or a personal inclination [not excluding, of course, the possibility of both!] ?

    Respectfully,

    :)P

    Windswept: Honest, they've tried to find any explanation other than human influence for years now, including some very unlikely candidates. It is theoretically possible that some factor that we don't even know exists is playing apart, but applying Occam's razor, why look for an entity whose existence is unknown to explain a phenomenon which already has an explanation which fits the bill?

    I remain a sceptic regarding the long term impact of carbon emissions.

    Andy: this looks equivalent to saying that either you don't believe the physics, or that you don't believe the models: which is it, please? :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Dublin, ireland
  • Weather Preferences: Snow , thunderstorms and wind
  • Location: Dublin, ireland
    John, just want to ask you one thing though. Do you accept that carbon emissions have increased due to human activity? It's useful to press oneself sometimes as to precisely why one thinks what one does. I thought Essan's post though short was very good in this regard.

    Hi Richard & PM3,

    Had a look at Essan's reply.

    I am sure that carbon emissions have increased due to human activity. My belief is that they can effect climate at a micro level, i.e urban climate. I do not belive that it would have much impact at a Global level. 3/4 of the earth is water. 3/4 of the land on the earth is probably rural. If there were thermometres equally spread in these regions as they are in populated areas of the world then we might just be able to begin recording like with like and then would it still be possible to prove man is having a definative effect on Global Climate? I dont believe so.

    I dont wish to get into a debate on this subject ad naseum though I have an open mind and am willing to listen to others views.

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