record high temperatures in Conway, AR

3 08 2011

Today most of Arkansas was under an excessive heat warning, with many places reaching a high over 110 and a heat index around 120.  Fort Smith hit 115 degrees.  This is all with lots of humidity, so it was beyond crazy-mad hot.

Is it because of global warming?  It is definitely hotter than normal, but it’s not unprecedented.  Here’s the record highs for Conway, AR, in August for all-time.  Notice the years in which the highs happened.

Date     Record high    Record low
Aug 01   110°F (1986)   53°F (1971)
Aug 02   110°F (1943)   59°F (1918)
Aug 03   111°F (1918)   52°F (1915)
Aug 04   112°F (1918)   54°F (1920)
Aug 05   108°F (1954)   53°F (1974)
Aug 06   108°F (1934)   52°F (1948)
Aug 07   109°F (1934)   54°F (1912)
Aug 08   112°F (1930)   52°F (1990)
Aug 09   114°F (1930)   55°F (1989)
Aug 10   115°F (1936)   54°F (1996)
Aug 11   110°F (1954)   55°F (1917)
Aug 12   112°F (1899)   54°F (1967)
Aug 13   110°F (1943)   52°F (1964)
Aug 14   111°F (1943)   53°F (1967)
Aug 15   113°F (1943)   55°F (2004)
Aug 16   112°F (1943)   50°F (1992)
Aug 17   110°F (1909)   52°F (1992)
Aug 18   109°F (1954)   55°F (1992)
Aug 19   108°F (1934)   56°F (1943)
Aug 20   111°F (1902)   53°F (1940)
Aug 21   108°F (1898)   53°F (1963)
Aug 22   108°F (1899)   51°F (1956)
Aug 23   112°F (1899)   56°F (1925)
Aug 24   111°F (1899)   55°F (1920)
Aug 25   110°F (1943)   55°F (1966)
Aug 26   110°F (1943)   55°F (1927)
Aug 27   112°F (1943)   53°F (1962)
Aug 28   108°F (1943)   51°F (1986)
Aug 29   107°F (1954)   49°F (1986)
Aug 30   107°F (1943)   49°F (1986)
Aug 31   107°F (1938)   54°F (1935)

It’s odd that in 1918 we had a record low of 59 on the 2nd, then record highs on the 3rd and 4th of 111 and 112.

While there’s not much we can do about the heat, someone has proposed a solution of ice cream sandwiches being delivered when we’re under an excessive heat warning.  I kinda like the idea…  🙂

meteor shower and a supernova

13 08 2010

Last night I was outside watching the Perseid meteor shower, and it was very relaxing and enjoyable.  Even when there’s not meteor showers, I still like looking at the stars.  Everyone should do that every once in a while.  It’s even better if you’ve recently read up on stars or if you watched some astronomy show on TV (such as “How the Universe Was Made” or “Naked Science”).  It’s amazing to ponder the enormity of space and how it all works together.  For instance, the meteors that were streaking across the sky were traveling at more than 125,000 miles per hour, and while they burn up they leave a trail of ionized air, which is the streak of light we see.  Also, it’s possible to hear the meteors — supposedly if you tune your FM radio to station so distant that all you hear is hiss, a passing meteor creates a blip like a sonar blip.  You can hear one here, and it actually sounds kinda creepy.

I’ve noticed several stars that really twinkle and appear to change colors from red, white, and blue (and they’re not airplanes).   (FYI, professional astronomers don’t call it twinkling — they call it scintillation.)  I realize the twinkling and changing of colors if just an illusion produced by refraction from our atmosphere, but in my imagination I can ignore that.  🙂  Sometimes I think about how awesome it would be to see a star go supernova — that is, explode.  I suppose that doesn’t happen too often, and it would probably be too far away to see the effect, but I can imagine…

cooler temperatures and less sunspots

2 09 2009

We just enjoyed a few days at the end of August with highs around 78 here in central Arkansas.  Usually in August, that’s about the low for the night.  And this wasn’t from stormy weather — these were sunny days.  This was the coolest August I remember.  We even set records for lowest temperatures, so there is some factual basis for this being one of the mildest Augusts ever.

So what’s going on?  I thought global warming was beyond worst-case scenario.  That’s what I read in the news, anyway.  If this is worst-case, then they should redo their calculations, because they must have forgotten to carry a 1 or something…  There also seems to be less major hurricanes than normal, which goes against the predictions.   So what’s going on?

One thing that is making a difference is a lack of solar blemishes / solar flares.  In fact, there has been 53 days without them, which hasn’t happened in 96 years.  And the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has figured out that increased sunspots dramatically increase temperature, even more than the increase in solar energy should explain.  They have concluded that sunspots heat the stratosphere, which amplifies the warming of the climate.  So could sunspots be the main contributor to global warming?  That might explain why global warming is actually happening on other planets besides Earth.  Also, ironically, the period of least sunspots — called the Maunder Minimum — corresponds with the Little Ice Age a few centuries ago.  I’m not saying the sun is the only proponent of global warming (or, should I say “climate change“), but I don’t hear that much by the people pushing for radical changes.  I have yet to be convinced it’s mostly man-made.

In related news, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to prove in court that the science behind their global warming forecasts is factual and accurate.  But the EPA has said it’s a “waste of time”.  I’m curious what will happen from this.  Let’s hear a debate from both sides, based on facts and not computer models with incomplete data.   And let’s leave the scare tactics and political lobbying out of it — this is supposed to be science.

Is Global Warming becoming Climate Change?

7 07 2009

For a few years now, there’s been a lot of talk about how Global Warming is destroying the Earth, how it has already gone beyond worst-case scenario.  Obviously it’s not beyond the worst-case scenario.  And recent scientific measurements have shown that the Earth is cooling, and some places are having record snowfalls and some glaciers are accumulating ice.  So it might become difficult to convince people that Global Warming is imminent and everything possible must be done to stop it.  The leaders of the crusade don’t want to lose their power, because a lot of powerful legislation is being pushed through with little debate, for the sake of the world.  So now the term Global Warming is being replaced by Climate Change.  This way, no one can argue with them, because the climate changes all the time.

Can I prove that their agenda has changed?  Perhaps not yet.  But keep this in mind when you listen to the news, to see if this is really happening.  Decide for yourself.

Along these same lines, I recently found an article explaining why the temperature measurements used may not be accurate and reliable.  Here’s an excerpt that you may not know about:

After temperatures are collected from the various stations, a series of adjustments is performed on the data. This is absolutely necessary, and it definitely does not mean that people are playing tricks with the data. They have to correct for time of observation, changes in station equipment, station history and urban warming. But while the data collected for U.S. stations is available for examination, the dataset used by the IPCC is not. The numbers they use come out of a ‘black box,’ and there’s a story behind that which I won’t go into today. The global measurements for the three teams analyzing the same data is not very different, but the fact that global warming as measured to date is almost exactly equal to the adjustments performed to the data makes some sensible people queasy…

The article also links to a detailed report from an effort to photograph and classify all surface temperature measurement stations.   So far the group has surveyed 80% of the 1,221 places, and only 11% meet government specifications.  Some of the stations are next to air-conditioning units, and some are on pavement, which goes against specifications (for obvious reasons).   Here’s the article: Does global warming diminish with accurate temperature measurements?

Before anyone gets irate with me, let me say that I’m not trying to completely discredit the notion of Global Warming.  It happens naturally, and we do pollute the atmosphere more than we should.  But I am somewhat suspicious of some of the claims made by Al Gore and the IPCC, which blames it almost completely on man.  I wonder if we are being told the whole story.  Why would they lie about it?  Well, these high-priority scare tactics do allow legislation to move through quicker than normal, with less debate.  So it goes give a degree of power.  But who knows what is really going on?  My point is that we should look at both sides seriously, because there is credible data on each side of the debate.  We can’t trust the mainstream news media to tell us all the facts without bias and agenda.

more disagreement on global warming

3 02 2009

Recently, the U.N. declared that global warming has been proven beyond a doubt and that it’s man-made.  The same day, just a few minutes later, a news release from the U.S. Senate committee said over 650 international scientists disagree with the findings of the U.N. IPCC.

Ironically, the 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of U.N. scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

The link above gives a preview of what the full report will contain, along with the results of studies saying from 50 to 69 percent of global warming is caused by the sun.

I’ve already told you what I think about global warming, so I won’t start ranting on it again.  You can read it here and here.

figuring out how the universe started

25 09 2008

Do you remember that static you used to see between channels on an analog TV?  That’s proof that there was a Big Bang to start the Universe.  That interference is leftover energy from the initial explosion.  I heard it from scientists on a show on the National Geographic channel tonight, so it must be true!

They also said the Universe was once so small a sphere that you could hold it in the palm of your hand.  Well, if we existed then; at that point in “history”, we weren’t even an ooze yet.  The Universe didn’t stay small very long — just one-trillionth of a second, and in that time it exploded and spread faster than the speed of light (which I thought was impossible).  In that short time, it increased in size more than it has in all the billions of years since.  Supposedly scientists know everything that happened in the universe except the first second.  Atoms were formed after 300,000 years; Earth was formed after 9 billion years; humans evolved after 12 billion years.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in the news, which is trying to recreate what happened in the first second after the Big Bang.  (Also, there’s a tiny chance it could destroy the Earth, but it’s not likely.)  They built it to primarily search for the Higgs boson (which some call “the god particle”).  The Higgs boson is supposedly the last undiscovered particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics, and finding it may explain everything.

Do you believe all this?  I don’t.  They may be scientists, but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about.  For one thing, their “theory” breaks the special theory of relativity.  Another reason I don’t believe it is that there is no proof.  Yet another reason I don’t believe it is because I believe God’s account in the Bible, which some call Intelligent Design.  That doesn’t mean I’m against science — not at all — but I don’t believe their crazy hypotheses without proof.  Of course, you are free to believe whatever you want, and it will take faith to believe either theory, but someday you will stand before God to give an account of your life, whether you believe in Him or not…

Ironically, while it takes faith to find God, once you do meet Him, you know without a doubt that He is real.  You have your proof.  It’s just not the kind of proof that you can recreate in a lab experiment, so it fails the scientific method.  But you know that you know…

the naturally occurring side of global warming

6 12 2007

I recently saw a show on the History Channel about global warming, and they explained what they think happened in previous instances of global warming.  (Yes, if you haven’t heard, global warming actually does happen naturally sometimes, without man’s intervention.)  I’m going to present a summary of these “facts”, and you can research them more on your own if you want more information.  But I want to make a quick disclaimer : I don’t necessarily agree with all of these “facts”, because I’m not sure about carbon dating or the actual age of the Earth; but if scientists are going to rely on climate data for their projections and predictions, they should look at what their colleagues claim happened in the past.

Supposedly there was a huge ice age about 650 million years ago, with up to 2500 feet of ice covering the entire earth.  The average temperature then was -40 degrees Fahrenheit, and this ice age lasted 10 million years.  The entire Earth was completely covered with ice during this time.  This was “proven” by drop rocks, which were moved around by glaciers.

Then supposedly 250 million years ago there was a worldwide ice age, where 95 percent of all species were wiped out.  This was caused by flood basalt from massive volcano eruptions in Siberia.  The lava was 1 mile deep in places, and the eruptions created 10 times the amount of current carbon dioxide levels.

There was supposedly a time of global warming 55 million years ago, where the average temperature increased by 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and carbon dioxide was not the cause of it.  And 125,000 years ago, there was another, where the temperature rose 9 degrees and the ocean level increased by 20 feet.  It’s suspected that the tilt of the Earth’s axis is the cause of these, due to the gravity exerted by the sun, moon, and other planets.  Go figure…

There was supposedly another global warming some 11,500 years ago, where the temperature increased 18 degrees.  This one killed off the mega-mammals.  It happened very quickly, and it’s suspected this happened because of a comet or asteroid.  But proof of that has not been found.

Global warming can also happen because of sunspots (or the lack of them).  This was supposedly the cause of the last little ice age, which lasted about 300 years.  A release of sulfur dioxide can cause global warming, such as from the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815.  That eruption caused 1816 to be the “year without a summer” in North American and Europe.  Methane also contributes to global warming, and it comes from various sources.

According to these scientific “facts” throughout history, global warming is a naturally occurring phenomenon.  So I don’t think man is totally to blame.  I don’t have a lot of faith in the computer models some scientists are using to forecast what is going to happen.  Think about it — they’re predicting the global weather for 100 years, yet meteorologists can barely predict the weather in one location for the next week…  And there’s other things to consider, too.  Here’s a few sources (with commentary and links to news releases).  Global warming is happening on other planets, and scientists don’t understand why that’s happening.  And there was an article recently saying that greenhouse gas emissions are already beyond the “worst-case scenario“.  Can you believe that?  And some scientists are suggesting we should solve global warming with pollution.  Whatever…  The founder of The Weather Channel recently said global warming is “the greatest scam in history”.  (You can get more info on that at Fab’s blog.)  When there’s that much disagreement between climate experts on what’s going on (plus a lot I haven’t listed here), it doesn’t seem very reliable.

All that said, I do think we should be responsible in taking care of our environment by cutting back on pollution and using renewable resources.  But I’m having trouble believing the doomsday “prophets” about global warming and how it will soon destroy us all.