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Global Warming or a New Ice Age: Documentary Film
Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere along with a posited commencement of glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles. In contrast to the global cooling conjecture, the current scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the twentieth century.
Concerns about nuclear winter arose in the early 1980s from several reports. Similar speculations have appeared over effects due to catastrophes such as asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions. A prediction that massive oil well fires in Kuwait would cause significant effects on climate was quite incorrect.
The idea of a global cooling as the result of global warming was already proposed in the 1990s. In 2003, the Office of Net Assessment at the United States Department of Defense was commissioned to produce a study on the likely and potential effects of a modern climate change, especially of a shutdown of thermohaline circulation. The study, conducted under ONA head Andrew Marshall, modelled its prospective climate change on the 8.2 kiloyear event, precisely because it was the middle alternative between the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The study caused controversy in the media when it was made public in 2004. However, scientists acknowledge that “abrupt climate change initiated by Greenland ice sheet melting is not a realistic scenario for the 21st century”.
Currently, the concern that cooler temperatures would continue, and perhaps at a faster rate, has been observed to be incorrect by the IPCC. More has to be learned about climate, but the growing records have shown that the cooling concerns of 1975 have not been borne out.
As for the prospects of the end of the current interglacial (again, valid only in the absence of human perturbations): it isn’t true that interglacials have previously only lasted about 10,000 years; and Milankovitch-type calculations indicate that the present interglacial would probably continue for tens of thousands of years naturally. Other estimates (Loutre and Berger, based on orbital calculations) put the unperturbed length of the present interglacial at 50,000 years. Berger (EGU 2005 presentation) believes that the present CO2 perturbation will last long enough to suppress the next glacial cycle entirely.
As the NAS report indicates, scientific knowledge regarding climate change was more uncertain than it is today. At the time that Rasool and Schneider wrote their 1971 paper, climatologists had not yet recognized the significance of greenhouse gases other than water vapor and carbon dioxide, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Early in that decade, carbon dioxide was the only widely studied human-influenced greenhouse gas. The attention drawn to atmospheric gases in the 1970s stimulated many discoveries in future decades. As the temperature pattern changed, global cooling was of waning interest by 1979
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Blizzard to Reach From NYC to Boston Thursday Night
By Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist
January 02, 2014; 2:32 PM
A major snowstorm will reach from across part of the Midwest to the central Appalachians and New England Thursday into Friday. A blizzard will evolve from the storm in parts of the Northeast.
During Thursday and Thursday night, the storm will affect 20 states with more than 120 million people in the Midwest and theNortheast combined and could have a major negative impact on travel for people returning from holiday destinations, heading back to school or resuming business activities.
It will be far from the worst storm to ever hit the area, but people should be prepared for flight delays and cancellations because of direct and indirect impacts from the far-reaching storm. Some roads may even close for a time.
Deicing operations, poor visibility and increasing winds will put some airlines behind schedule. Aircraft and crews may not be where they are supposed to be, even if the weather is clear.
As colder air invades the storm, snow will stick to the roads. A layer of ice may form on some highways.
The worst of the storm is likely to be Thursday night in the Northeast but will cause enough snow to make roads slippery in some locations from the Midwest to New England.
The storm is forecast to bring a large area of 6- to 12-inch snowfall beginning in northern Pennsylvania and upstate New York to a large part of New Jersey and New England. This includes the entire metropolitan area of New York City and Long Island, northward to Albany, N.Y., and Scranton, Pa.
Between 12 and 18 inches of snow will fall in localized areas of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut and the cities of Providence, R.I., and Boston.
Within the heaviest snow area, the snow will fall at the rate of 2 inches per hour in some locations, making it difficult for plows to keep up.
A significant, but lesser snowfall is in store farther southwest in Philadelphia, and farther north in Bangor, Maine; Burlington, Vt.; and Pittsburgh. Around Baltimore and Washington, D.C., where a small amount of snow is forecast, a quick freeze and slippery travel is possible Thursday evening.
For many areas this will be a dry, powdery snow. However, along the mid-Atlantic coast and even southern New England coast for a brief time, a wintery mix will occur early. As colder air invades the storm, wet areas will freeze and the snow will become powdery.
The storm will strengthen quickly enough to kick up winds. Blowing and drifting snow will occur during the middle and last part of the storm from Pennsylvania to New England. From parts of New England to around New York City, a full-blown blizzard is forecast to evolve with strong winds, dangerous cold and low visibility.
The wind will cause waves to build along the New England and the mid-Atlantic coast. Where these winds are onshore longest, over eastern New England and along the north shore of Long Island, flooding at times of high tide is likely, along with beach erosion. The new moon from New Year’s Day will contribute to higher tide levels during part of the storm.
The coldest air of the season so far will empty out of eastern Canada on gusty winds in the wake of the storm. For some locations it will bring the coldest weather in several years.
Areas from New England to much of the mid-Atlantic will be very cold Friday into Saturday, while travel conditions will improve.
According to Long Range Weather Expert Jack Boston, “If New York’s Central Park fails to reach 20 degrees for a high temperature on Friday, it will be the first time this has occurred since Jan. 16, 2009.”
In the South, the colder air will be accompanied by a biting wind as well.
Another storm may eye the Northeast with snow, a wintry mix and rain Sunday into Monday as 2014 kicks winter up to a whole new level of intensity. Very cold air could also make a far-reaching appearance from the Midwest to the Northeast early next week.
Tune in to AccuWeather Live Mornings every weekday at 7 a.m. EST. We will be talking about the snowstorm in the Northeast and Midwest, along with the brutal cold.
January 2, 2014 | 4:46am
A powerful storm bearing down on the Northeast could dump up to 10 inches of snow on New York City and even more upstate and across Long Island and southern New England, forecasters predicted Thursday.
“The worst conditions are likely Thursday night, when the snow will be the heaviest, and winds and cold will cause the snow to blow and drift,” said senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski on AccuWeather.com
And hard on the heels of Winter Storm Hercules – which Sosnowski said will produce blizzard and white out conditions – is the coldest blast of arctic air of the season, dropping temperatures into the single digits across the Northeast.
The expected total snowfall for the five boroughs is between 6 and 10 inches, with higher amounts north and west of New York City.
The city on New Year’s Day declared a “snow alert” to take effect at 1 a.m. on Thursday, and is prepping for the arctic blast with a fleet of street plows and salt spreaders.
“What makes [Thursday] pm’s blizzard a bigger deal than most snowstorms in NYC? Close proximity of cold air will drive strong winds,” meteorologist Eric Holthaus tweeted.
The massive storm will smack the southern half of New York State, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and southern Vermont and New Hampshire before it fizzles on Friday.
And plunging temperatures on Friday will make for a treacherous morning commute, with icy, snow-covered roads and lousy visibility.
Air travelers can expect delays and cancellations at Newark, Kennedy and La Guardia airports and rail service on Metro-North, the LIRR and PATH trains will likely be disrupted as well.
U.S. airlines canceled more than 1,800 flights nationwide on Thursday in advance of the storm. Many were on regional airlines that handle shorter flights for the major carriers.
More than 500 flights in or out of O’Hare airport were canceled, according to FlightStats.com. The flights that were getting out were delayed more than half an hour, and incoming flights were being delayed at their origin, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Airlines already have canceled more than 500 flights scheduled for Friday.
The frigid blast of arctic air from Canada will send temperatures plummeting on Friday, with wind chills near zero.
“If Central Park fails to reach 20 degrees for a high temperature on Friday, it will be the first time this has occurred since Jan. 16, 2009, when the high was only 16 degrees,” said Jack Boston, another AccuWeather meteorologist.
The snow started early Thursday, slowing the morning commute and adding an extra day to the Christmas break for thousands of students.
Up to 5 inches of snow had fallen in eastern New York early Thursday, but the National Weather Service said some areas from Buffalo to Albany could get up to 14 inches by the time the storm subsides on Friday. Windy conditions and lows well below zero will make it feel like minus-30 in some parts of the Adirondacks Thursday night and Friday morning, the national Weather Service said.
Crashes were reported on some upstate roads, but none of them appeared serious as motorists were forced to ease up on the gas pedal because of the icy driving conditions.
“Everybody’s slowed down for the conditions,” said state police Sgt. David Malone of the Thruway detail in Albany. “Hopefully it stays this way for the rest of the day.”
The city will suspend alternate-side parking, and the state plans to close some major highways, including the Long Island Expressway.
“We’re telling people to prepare for road closings . . . The roadways may be closed on your way home. Mass transit is a prudent option,” Gov. Cuomo said. Parts of I-84 and I-684 could be closed as well.
Some schools in New York City’s northern suburbs were closing early Thursday, while scores of others in the Hudson Valley and other parts of eastern New York called off classes or delayed their start by a couple hours.
Some upstate districts are off through Friday for the Christmas break, but many others had planned to resume classes on Thursday.
Light flurries began late on Wednesday and temperatures fell to a frosty 29 degrees — a chill so intense a swimmer at Coney Island’s annual Polar Bear Plunge in Coney Island had to be treated for hypothermia.
The shocked swimmer was plucked from the icy water at around 1:20 p.m. then rushed to an on-sight medic, an EMT source said.
Roughly 1,000 people showed up at for the New Year’s Day tradition.
“It’s an unbelievable experience. I have never tried it — but you have to try something new every day. That’s why I’m here. It’s a new year,” said Miguel Flores, 23, of Coney Island.
Louis Alabaraeo, 20, of Midwood liked it so much, organizers had to ask him to get out of the water.
“Once you get in, it’s amazing,” he said. “The feeling is exciting.”