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“Limbaugh Solves Weather Mystery”: Polar Vortex Is A Liberal, Mainstream Media Hoax Designed To Sell Global Climate Change

Who knew that Rush Limbaugh—in addition to his many “talents”—possesses a deep knowledge and understanding of climatology and meteorology?

While Limbaugh’s biography reveals no apparent training in such matters, that small detail did not prevent Rush from declaring the severe cold snap—produced by the distortion of the polar vortex and currently affecting much of the United States—to be nothing more than a hoax, proclaiming —

“We are having a record-breaking cold snap in many parts of the country.  And right on schedule the media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it’s completely unprecedented. Because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda, and they have. It’s called the ‘polar vortex.’ The dreaded polar vortex.”

Limbaugh continued his rant by noting that liberals are “in the middle of a hoax, they’re perpetrating a hoax, but they’re relying on their total dominance of the media to lie to you each and every day about climate change and global warming. So they created the polar vortex, and the polar vortex, something’s happened, and that cold air which normally stays is in the North Pole, something’s happening, something deeply mysterious and perhaps tragic is happening.”

Apparently, Rush has been so busy studying his weather charts that he failed to notice that Fox News, Newsmax and other conservative media outlets have decided to join the liberal media hoax by discussing the polar vortex as part of their own weather reports—and yes, they are using that precise phrase—over the past few days.

And with good reason.

You see, there is nothing deeply mysterious nor tragic involved with the existence of a polar vortex (except for the few human tragedies that always seem to accompany severe weather situations) and what happens when the weather pattern becomes distorted. What’s more, I have yet to hear any suggestion from liberals, conservatives—or any branch of the media—indicating that there is some mystery or tragedy at work.

I’ve only heard Rush Limbaugh suggest that others are suggesting the same.

Still, Limbaugh insists that the whole affair has been “created” by the liberals and the mainstream media to feather the arguments in support of global warming and climate change.

A polar vortex is a circulation of strong winds that surround the northern pole (although there is also a polar vortex surrounding the southern pole) that swirl in a counterclockwise direction, creating a low pressure weather pattern. The strong winds typically keep the seriously cold air “locked into” the Arctic region. But, on occasion, the vortex (winds) become distorted as a result of the strength of the winds lessening, causing the vortex to ‘dip’ down to the south, allowing the frigid, arctic air to escape and spill down to the south where they bring very cold temperatures to the Northern Hemisphere—including those we are currently experiencing throughout much of the United States.

Thus, it is not the polar vortex that the liberals and media allegedly “created” that is causing our really cold weather-it is the distortion of the polar vortex that bears the blame. And while Santa Claus may not truly live at the North Pole (I hope I haven’t ruined the Santa Claus thing for Limbaugh), the polar vortex is real and very much does.

The entire process is nothing new.

Cold periods frequently result from distortions of the polar vortex, but as they occur at different times, in different parts of the world and with different levels of severity, we here in the United States tend not to focus on them unless the frigid air comes our way. Indeed, just last year, many parts of Europe experienced frigid air during the Easter season as a result of a distorted polar vortex which sent the arctic air in their direction instead of our own and produced an Easter far colder than what they were experiencing during the Christmas season.

So, Rush…I’m afraid the vast liberal conspiracy did not “create” the evil sounding bit of science-fiction entitled the polar vortex as a means of selling global climate change. You’re going to have to give credit for the existence of a polar vortex to a much higher authority.

Of course, without any desire on Rush’s part to actually explore this weather phenomenon on a scientific level—a complete misuse of Limbaugh’s time as, God forbid, his audience might learn something of scientific value—and whether or not the distortion of a polar vortex might actually be the result of climate change, Limbaugh’s latest bit of buffoonery does raise for us the question of whether or not climate change does bear some blame for extreme changes in weather patterns.

The answer is that your guess is as good as mine.

In fact, your guess is as good as the climate scientists who, for many years now, have been attempting to discover whether there is a connection between the distortion of the polar vortex and any man-made climate change.  As this research has been going on for quite some time, it would appear that Rush Limbaugh was a more than a little late to pick up on this bit of conspiracy as I don’t recall him discussing this back in 2001 when the first studies on the subject began to emerge.

“Studies published since 2001 suggest a link between extreme weather and the polar vortex, in recent years more research identified interactions with Arctic sea ice decline, reduced snow cover, evapotranspiration patterns, NAO anomalies or weather anomalies which are linked to the polar vortex and jet stream configuration. However, because these are considered short-term observations (since ~13 years) there is considerable uncertainty in the conclusions. Climatology observations require several decades to distinguish natural variability from climate trends (emphasis added.)

Apparently, an effort on the part of meteorologists and television weather reporters—including those over at Fox—to teach us a little something about what is causing an unusual and difficult weather pattern can only equate to conspiracy in the mind of Rush Limbaugh who has single-handedly managed to create a conspiracy where none could possibly have previously existed.

I guess that is ‘business as usual’ for Rush when forced to get the anger flowing on a slow, “first day back to work” for the new year.

 

By: Rick Ungar, Op-Ed Contributor, Forbes, January 7, 2014

January 8, 2014 Posted by | Climate Change, Global Warming | , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Deeply Troubling Ramifications”: Climate Change Is Here And Worse Than We Thought

When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.

In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.

These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills.

Twenty-four years ago, I introduced the concept of “climate dice” to help distinguish the long-term trend of climate change from the natural variability of day-to-day weather. Some summers are hot, some cool. Some winters brutal, some mild. That’s natural variability.

But as the climate warms, natural variability is altered, too. In a normal climate without global warming, two sides of the die would represent cooler-than-normal weather, two sides would be normal weather, and two sides would be warmer-than-normal weather. Rolling the die again and again, or season after season, you would get an equal variation of weather over time.

But loading the die with a warming climate changes the odds. You end up with only one side cooler than normal, one side average, and four sides warmer than normal. Even with climate change, you will occasionally see cooler-than-normal summers or a typically cold winter. Don’t let that fool you.

Our new peer-reviewed study, published by the National Academy of Sciences, makes clear that while average global temperature has been steadily rising due to a warming climate (up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century), the extremes are actually becoming much more frequent and more intense worldwide.

When we plotted the world’s changing temperatures on a bell curve, the extremes of unusually cool and, even more, the extremes of unusually hot are being altered so they are becoming both more common and more severe.

The change is so dramatic that one face of the die must now represent extreme weather to illustrate the greater frequency of extremely hot weather events.

Such events used to be exceedingly rare. Extremely hot temperatures covered about 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of the globe in the base period of our study, from 1951 to 1980. In the last three decades, while the average temperature has slowly risen, the extremes have soared and now cover about 10 percent of the globe.

This is the world we have changed, and now we have to live in it — the world that caused the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed more than 50,000 people and the 2011 drought in Texas that caused more than $5 billion in damage. Such events, our data show, will become even more frequent and more severe.

There is still time to act and avoid a worsening climate, but we are wasting precious time. We can solve the challenge of climate change with a gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100 percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs. It is a simple, honest and effective solution.

The future is now. And it is hot.

 

By: James E. Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, The Washington Post Opinions, August 3, 2012

August 5, 2012 Posted by | Climate Change | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“A Divine Blessing”: The Wrong Way To Respond To A Storm

Hurricane Irene obviously has the attention of millions of Americans, but some are handling the threat better than others. On the right, some of the rhetorical responses haven’t cast conservatives in the best light.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul wants to eliminate FEMA; congressional Republican leaders are reluctant to approve emergency disaster relief; and Fox News is running pieces like these, calling for the elimination of the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service.

As Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast, news stations bombard our televisions with constant updates from the National Hurricane Center.

While Americans ought to prepare for the coming storm, federal dollars need not subsidize their preparations. Although it might sound outrageous, the truth is that the National Hurricane Center and its parent agency, the National Weather Service, are relics from America’s past that have actually outlived their usefulness.

The Fox News piece touts private outlets, including AccuWeather, without alerting readers to a key detail: these private outlets rely on information they receive from the National Weather Service. Indeed, the NWS makes this information available to the private sector for free, since the NWS is a public agency and the data it compiles is public information.

The Fox News item goes on to say, in reference to the Weather Service, “It issues severe weather advisories and hijacks local radio and television stations to get the message out. It presumes that citizens do not pay attention to the weather and so it must force important, perhaps lifesaving, information upon them.”

This is not, by the way, a parody.

Glenn Beck, meanwhile, told his radio audience on Friday that Hurricane Irene “a blessing. It is God reminding you — as was the earthquake last week — it’s God reminding you you’re not in control. Things can happen.”

This divine “blessing” has already killed at least eight people.

 

By: Steve Benen, Contributing Writer, Washington Monthly Political Animal, August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 Posted by | Class Warfare, Climate Change, Conservatives, Disasters, Federal Budget, GOP, Government, Homeland Security, Ideologues, Ideology, Media, Politics, Public, Republicans, Right Wing, States, Teaparty | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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