Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009

Climate change is the topic for this years Blog Action Day or as some like to call it Global Weirding because the effects of a warming planet can be all over the map weather wise. Various weather-related extremes, including both hot and cold, wet and dry and the intensity of storms will become much more pronounced. Global warming does not just simply mean every last square inch of a dynamic, fluid oceanic and atmospheric environment will get hotter.

Global weirding is also appropriate to the small army of deniers who persist in muddying the waters of debate on this crucial topic. Some do it professionally no doubt for pay and others in a misguided loyalty to a group affiliation or some vague ideals turned to rigid ideology. Civil discourse on this and many other topics has truly become weird.

I can certainly be accused of impassioned debate and a little flame throwing. I even like to say too many facts can get in the way of a winning argument. I am not a scientist, policy wonk or even a dedicated researcher and don't claim to be one. I will however give science and scientist their proper respect and rely on them to tell us the facts. When the over whelming majority of scientists and scientific data tell us that climate change is happening and that it is human caused I believe them.

Asheville North Carolina is proud to be the home of the National Climatic Data Center, the world's largest archive of weather data. This is the go to place for data and scientific research to assess and monitor climate variation and change.

The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is part of the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS).

Their mission is to provide access and stewardship to the Nation's resource of global climate and weather related data and information, and assess and monitor climate variation and change. This effort requires the acquisition, quality control, processing, summarization, dissemination, and preservation of a vast array of climatological data generated by the national and international meteorological services. NCDC's mission is global in nature and provides the U.S. climate representative to the World Meteorological Organization, the World Data Center System, and other international scientific programs. NCDC also operates the World Data Center for Meteorology in Asheville.

What kind of information can you find at the NCDC site?

The key findings of the 2009 report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States for one thing. The home page of this report alone could keep you busy for days.

There is also climate data on land based, upper air, marine, satellite, paleoclimatology and weather/climate events, information and assessments. Remember this is the world's largest archive of weather data. You could get lost in there. I sure hope their search function is a good one.

Maybe you would just like to peruse the What's New page.

The National Climatic Data Center is a resource worth bookmarking for those who like their facts when confronting the skeptics and deniers online. Weather nerds would enjoy a site like this too no doubt.


fairegarden said...

So that's what that building is with the cool sculpture? I have admired it many times, the art that is, and never looked at the sign on the building. One of my favorite parts of downtown Asheville. While looking for a parking space to eat. HA Seriously, thanks for telling us about this. We here in the southeast US can vouch for the weirdness, first horrible extreme drought, now the opposite, flooding non stop rains. What will happen to the trees and plants I wonder.

Christopher C. NC said...

Frances I sure hope that is the right building. It is on the right street, Patton and there is a frosted image of it on the page to visit the center. I just happened to have a picture from a visit to Asheville two years ago.

phrago said...

Hey Chris, Do you have any idea how I can find out who the Artist was that made the big metal dinosaur like sculpture? When I was at Cranbrook back in the 70's, there was a masters sculpture student there that made sculptures like this out of scavanged metal objects. After he graduated, he and his wife moved South, and over the years I have lost track of them. This sculpture really reminds me of his work. Can you steer me in a direction? Thanks Patrick
ps... I think your photograghy is even better now then it was in your last blog. Want to see more of the inside of the cozy cabin...

Christopher C. NC said...

Phrago I did a little googling and found the artist for the sculpture at the NCDC in Asheville is Albert Paley.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The world is weird now. Hard telling what will happen next. With the ice cap melting...scary.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for that informative presentation; it's obvious you did your homework. I have no quibble with global weirding; all one has to do is be a gardener to notice that the weather is definitely changing.
Just a small caution about the idea that if a lot of scientists say the same thing, then it must be true. Scientists are just as susceptible to groupthink as any other human group. This is especially true in my former field of medicine. So, I like the idea of "trust but verify" on any scientific subject. Unfortunately, I think global weirding is definitely verified.

bev (recovering M.D.)

Gail said...

Christopher, An excellent read... I appreciate your calm arguments and cutting through the bs! gail

Nice changes with the blog, looks like I am going to be a caboose on the change train of blogging! I'll get around to it soon!

Siria said...

Thanks Christopher! That was really intresting ~ I too agree that it's global weirding! Good cause to get behind.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lisa I try to tell myself the world is not getting weird I am just getting old and I must resist that mindset.

Bev my hope is that the planet has enough natural stability that these dire predictions are exaggerated. If you think of the planet like the human body, weather and climate scientist know as much about the actual processes that run it as medical science truly knows about the details running the human body. There is still much we don't know. The sad thing is increasing CO2 is not the only assault the planet is facing. Much like a human drug addict we are constantly adding toxins and over indulgence into the mechanisms of the planet.

Calm, me? I guess we all have our moments Gail. The blog change started as an attempt to have bigger pictures. Then I realized I often have trouble loading those blogs on this satellite internet and thought I don't want my own blog to start loading slowly on me. I liked the change and kept it.

Siria for me it is all about the little things I can do like growing some of my own food, keeping all green waste on site, mulching, reducing and eliminating chemicals and trying to consume less in general. When I mowed lawns I used a mulching mower and never bagged the grass. I started that 20 years ago and explained the benefits to my clients.