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CLIMATE: Northwest temperatures are trending downward

Letter by Ken A. Schlichte, Tumwater on Feb. 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm with 48 Comments »
February 4, 2011 1:29 pm

Washington Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant just signed an agreement with officials from British Columbia to try to limit climate change and has suggested that our diseased Northwest forests are a climate-related problem.

Professional forestry education and experience, however, has taught me and many other professional foresters that the forest health problems in our interior Northwest forests have been increasing since the middle of the 20th century, primarily because of the thick, overstocked and unhealthy forest stand conditions that have continued to develop because of our effective wildfire control practices and limited forest-management thinning activities.

The Washington and British Columbia officials who signed this agreement to limit climate change should be very pleased when they learn that the NOAA National Climatic Data Center has recently released data indicating that annual temperatures in the Northwest have actually been trending downward slightly at a rate of 0.15 degrees F per decade during the 25 years from 1986 to 2010.

Leave a comment Comments → 48
  1. fatuous says:

    On the other hand temperatures have been trending upward in the Arctic and Antarctic.

    The Antarctic has lots of ice on solid land. If the warming trend continues, that’s not good news for island inhabitants and cities on the coast.


  2. I’m all for global warming! We can grow more crops, flood out the sewers called NYC, L.A. and San Francisco. It’s a win win anyway you look at it.

  3. Interestingly, I just read a paper by a UW prof, who reflects that the weather pattern in the Pacific NW is following the early global warming forecasts right on schedule. During the past 100 years the Pacific NW has become warmer and wetter with greater fluctuations in weather patterns over short periods of time. The average temperature has increased about 1.6 degrees, and the average precipitation has increased about 15%. The paper also shows how one can take weather patterns and break them into short chunks of time to show almost any trend, which is what global warming skeptics love to do.

    I agree with this letter about using burn-offs and other methods to make our forests healthier and I worry about our current practice of clear-cutting rather than thinning of forests. There is no doubt Schlicte knows his forests.

  4. mosescoolj says:

    Someone tell me how the ice age ended if climate change is something new? I say buy burmuda shorts and sun glasses. Adapt or die rather than breaking the entire capitalist world over a myth.

  5. whatIdo says:

    LOL tuddo… good one.

    “… paper by a UW prof, who reflects ..”

    So it is…

  6. redneckbuck says:

    How long does it take to measure the Earth’s true climate? 100 years…..200….I would guess that we have no real sense of our Planets true climate.

  7. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Al Gore is not going to be happy with this report!!! And that is a positive thing!

  8. lovethemountains says:

    Unfortunately there is an abundance of scientists on both sides of this debate. Who you believe tends to follow your political leanings.

  9. lovethemountains, I think it is more in line with whether you look at the long term data or the short term data. The climatologists have all the evidence on their side. The weather people who look at short-term trends are the ones who have a large minority (still a minority) on the side that says that it is just natural fluctuations. The big corporate greenhouse gas producers love to make it seem like there is some legitimate confusion and disagreement among the people who actually study climate, but they are pretty unanimous on this issue. Since we really should be in a big cooling trend according to long-term climate trends, it is of concern that the earth’s climate, which has been the hottest on record for the past several decades, with records set almost every year. Looking at one small section of the earth for a short period of time and declaring that it is evidence that global warming is not happening is not scientific and certainly not in line with the real evidence.

  10. lovethemountains says:

    Your comments are very good. I still believe the issue of climate change, in this case a warming trend, has a definite political side. I also believe the very significant increase in world population over the centuries has influenced climate change. What caused climate changes in the periods before mass population of our planet is another matter for continued study, research and determination. The current evidence of climate change is of much more significance for the very reason of that mass population increase.

  11. pazzo242 says:

    Scientist have no clue what is going on. For those of us who were around in the mid 70’s, so called scientist claimed we were barreling into an ice age, now it’s global warming. If the end is near, so what. As one blogger said, adapt or die.

    As for Al Gore, he also claimed he invented the Internet–he’s a nut case.

    Someone also said they are concerned about our “current practice of clear cutting”. Current?? That has been going on for over a hundred years! where have you been?

  12. redneckbuck says:

    Has the earth’s climate ever been warmer, answer yes. Do volcanoes polute the air on a greater scale than humans, answer yes. It is possible that we are still warming naturally, answer yes.

  13. whatIdo says:

    No tuddo, I think those darn e-mails from East Anglia (among other things) have had something to do with people doubting the validity of anthropogenic globalwarmingclimatechangeglobalclimatedisruption. (the name keeps changing in order to keep up with the trend)

    “Looking at one small section of the earth for a short period of time and declaring that it is evidence…”

    Doesn’t stop the believers when it suits their argument.

  14. RetiredFed says:

    Tuddo it is apparent that you are being intellectually disingenuous regarding climate change, which is a naturally occurring event. Climate change hhas been occurring on this planet from the very beginning and now suddenly it is man’s fault, or are is it the opinion of certain academics that our ancestors simply had too many campfires? I noticed that you didn’t mention that it was global warming academics that were caught up in scandal regarding the e-mails discussing how to cover up and destroy evidence to the contrary. It is time for your ilk to give up this fallacy of man made global warming. You have clearly been duped.

  15. RetiredFed says:

    And with regards to the 1970’s, I remember being scared to death that glaciers would be bearing down on me at any time. You want to know why? Because “proffessors” said it was inevitable. Just ask the people at National Geographic in regards to the coming Ice Age. Your movement has no credibility as you are driven by political ideology and not sound science. Here is a scientific question for you….is water vapor a greenhouse gas? If so what should we do to regulate this?

  16. aislander says:

    Global warming. No global warming. We may disagree on that, but even climate-change enthusiasts (the honest ones, anyway) agree that nothing we can do, up to and including shutting down the entire US economy, will have any significant impact on it. Kinda makes you wonder if we’ve REALLY had any effect on the climate up to this point…

  17. RetiredFed, yes I remember the media hype about the coming cooling trends, in thousands of years, so I was able to hold back my fear just a little bit. Looking at the long term cycles of climate based on soil samples, glaciation trends, etc was a fairly new science back then, and the impact of human influence was thought to be infinitessimal.

    However, all signs then and now using those natural cycles you speak of point to a long-term cooling trend based on these natural cycles, not a warming trend. It was hotter in our far distant past because the atmosphere was much different, and we had far more volcanoes and other greenhouse gases from those natural sources then. So, what has happened to shift the balance from the natural trend of cooling that we should be experiencing? I don’t think the conclusion of the overwhelming number of climatologists that it is influenced by a great degree by human activites is disingenuous at all. I do think it is disingenuous for people to use pseudo science or ridicule based on political support for the polluting corporations activities as a basis to make any decisions. I would prefer hard science be the basis of decisions in these matters rather than political chants and rants.

  18. agree that nothing we can do,

    Only if we accept that there is no way to reduce carbon emissions.

  19. tuddo, there are no scientists here nor are there any people here who understand how science works and what global warming/climate change means. There are some deniers here, though, and their presence is made obvious by the scientific illiteracy they picked up somewhere on the internet.

  20. bring on the warming!

  21. aislander says:

    beerBoy writes: “Only if we accept that there is no way to reduce carbon emissions.”

    False premise. Eliminating ALL our carbon emissions will reduce global average temperatures only a fraction of a fraction of a degree. The exercise is meaningless, and will inflict untold pain on the world. It DOES have meaning if the goal, however, is to eliminate capitalism, as the left wishes to do, and to reduce population and move back to a hunter-gatherer society as many on the environmentally extreme left wish to do. Climate change is, in short, just another vehicle for the left to ride to its true goals…

  22. bobcat1a says:

    Frosty, if San Fran goes, so does most of the Puget Sound population area.
    Do you live on a really high hill?

  23. bobcat1a says:

    3rdpig, since your last post about evolution indicates you have no idea what a scientific theory is, you probably should leave the theory of global climate change alone. But watch out for that theory of gravity.

  24. Here’s a simplistic idea. Each person do what you can to live respectfully on the planet without greedy consumption and wanton waste. Vote for people you believe to have the best interest of our nation and our planet at heart. Attend to your own back yard.

    As individuals this enough to keep us all occupied while scienteists continue to study the universe and debate amongst themselves w/re to prohetic pronouncements about the future.

    Fearmongers and corrupt politicians/businessmen on either side of this issue are just that, and will always be with us. I’m pretty sick of the whole lot. of ‘em. Especially given what’s going on in the ME this week.

    I am inclinded personally to agree with aislander here, but I will commit to living responsibly. Beyond that, there’s little I can do.

  25. beerBoy says:

    aislander – the only false premise is yours “but even climate-change enthusiasts (the honest ones, anyway) agree that nothing we can do”

    Your premise assumes that “honest” climate-change “enthusiasts” agree with your belief that carbon emissions have nothing to do with climate change.

    Your premise is based upon your belief that “honest” people couldn’t possibly accept the climate change theory. Honesty has nothing to do with whether one accepts what has been the prevalent scientific theory put forward.

  26. bobcat, actually I do live on a hill. It would be refreshing to start all over with a new coast line.

  27. aislander says:

    beerBoy: I had the good fortune to see a climate-change zealot interviewed by Stuart Varney, who, much to my entertainment, cornered the miscreant and forced him to admit that the elimination of ALL human-generated CO2 would have a negligible effect on global temperatures…

  28. aislander says:

    Idea for a bumper sticker: “Working Hard to Increase My Carbon Footprint”
    Perfect for that H1 that I’m still looking for! Then there’s that old 2 stroke Jacobsen lawnmower that doesn’t run so well anymore…and the pair of jet-skis…and the motorcycles…and the classic Italian bolide with NO emission controls. I’m canceling out a bevy of Leafs (Leaves?) and more than a few Priuses…

  29. bobcat1a says:

    Ais, you remind me of the 14 year old pigs who trash the bathroom they have to use at school because they like hurting others, even to the extent of hurting themselves. It’s called sociopathy.

  30. aislander says:

    Sociopathy is being so certain that only you know the correct way to live that you pass laws to force others to live that way too. I don’t enjoy hurting others, but I do love tweaking blue-nosed scolds such as…

  31. All I have to know is that the glaciers on Mt. Rainer are a shadow of what they were when I was young.

  32. beerBoy says:

    Sociopathy is being so certain that only you know the correct way to live that you pass laws to force others to live that way too.

    Remind me……what is your stance on gay marriage?

    Actually, you sound like an anarchist with the above sentence – all laws, by definition, are an attempt to force others to live the “correct way”.

  33. aislander says:

    You know, beerBoy, that there is an enormous philosophical difference between laws against rape and murder and a law mandating, say, recycling. Your above comment is facile and sophistic…

  34. beerBoy says:

    Excuse me? How do laws preventing marriage between two consenting adults translate into rape and murder…..or even recycling?

    btw…..there are already many laws mandating the treatment of waste products that grew out of the understanding that public safety demands that public waste is dealt with in a uniform manner.

  35. aislander says:

    Since marriage is an elective decision, already subject to certain conditions, and it requires an affirmative action of government, I am not aware of any law that affects different people differently. I am subject to the same conditions that, say, Barney Frank would be, if he lived in this state. As for recycling, well, you know that there are different opinions regarding its usefulness and effectiveness, but it is mostly a question of ethics, and liberals force their ethical standards on everyone. As with the individual mandate, government forces us to do something, but, in the case of rape and murder, the laws prevent doing something that hurts others. Basic difference…

  36. GayLordFauker says:

    “frosty says:
    February 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm
    bobcat, actually I do live on a hill. It would be refreshing to start all over with a new coast line.”

    Of course there are no mountains in the ocean. :::::;eyeroll::::::::

    If only they had a smigeon of earth science knowledge.

  37. ratujack says:

    It is a hoax…stop your rantings. Shut up about it!

  38. Roncella says:

    The Liberals won’t be satisfied until we are paying 6.00 a gal for gas and forced into buying stupid little Obama Cars to drive around about the size of golf carts.

  39. Another advantage would be that I wouldn’t have to drive so far to go fishing, I’d be putting less carbon monoxide in the air! I’ve always wanted beach front property!

  40. beerBoy says:

    It is a hoax…stop your rantings. Shut up about it!

    I do so love informed scientific debate!

  41. beerBoy says:

    and liberals force their ethical standards on everyone.

    Again, the campaign against the legalization of homosexual marriage……among other attempts by social conservatives to force their ethical standards on everyone.

  42. aislander says:

    Quite the opposite, beerBoy. Who–exactly–is trying to force change?

  43. andrewbacon says:

    If you were a climate scientist not on an oil companies’ payroll, you might be correct – as a forester, however, your viewpoint is too narrow. Many different regions will be rising or falling in average temperature, even though the global average temperature is rising. You need to read up on the subject.

  44. beerBoy says:

    OH….so forcing one’s ethical standards on everyone is OK if that is status quo…….Gee, I kinda miss the anti-business on the Sabbath laws……and unrestricted child labor….

  45. aislander says:

    YOU, too, used the word “force,” beerBoy. Force implies the imposition of something. Resisting that imposition (or redefinition) is not exerting “force…”

  46. resisting a force is exertion of a force.

  47. aislander says:

    Gee, beerBoy, the conundrum has always been the irresistible force versus the immovable object, not force versus force. Based on the results of elections, the immovable object seems to be winning…

  48. aislander – I’m thinking you need to review your Newtonian physics…..

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