Praying for Global Warming

We are currently trying to open our marina we run at Elk Creek on the Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison, Colorado.  Last year, the lake was melted by about March 20.  Today, you can see the lake is still solid ice over 2 feet thick.  It is by far the latest any local can remember the lake being fully covered in ice, at least for the last 30 years.

Ec1

Ec2

  • Scientist

    This page says Melting begins in April, with “ice out” (ice free conditions) as early as late April at Blue Mesa. This book says ice-out on the reservoir typically occurs in late April. Seems that the locals out there must have pretty bad memories.

  • IF President Bush had unveiled his goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at the beginning of his administration instead of in its waning months, he might have actually played a role in linking the United States to global efforts to curb climate change. But the proposals he made yesterday, which in 2001 could have been a starting point for negotiations with advocates of stronger action in Congress, are now too belated and too weak to be more than a historical footnote. All three remaining presidential candidates are committed to much more stringent, mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide.

  • Stevo

    Alan,

    First of all, the responsibility for not pursuing CO2 caps lies not with President Bush, but with the virtually unanimous decision of Congress not to join Kyoto unless the developing world committed to reductions too. (Look up the Byrd-Hagel resolution.) Following the concession by China and India at Bali, in which the developing world are now committed to reductions too, the long-standing impediment to the USA taking legislative action has been removed. President Bush is simply recognising this.

    It has been a common meme of the wackier end of the left wing to try to claim the George W Bush personally is entirely responsible for the USA not joining Kyoto, but as with much of what the left says, it isn’t true. It was already dead under Clinton, having been voted against by many Democrats too.

    Secondly, the USA has been linked to global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, albeit not by international treaty. They’ve done a lot of work in solar power, have spent a lot on research (not to mention their major contribution to the UN part-funding the IPCC), and have introduced state legislation in places like California, and run a lot of campaigns to promote it. The USA is more than just the administration.

    Thirdly, to the long delay I say “good!”
    Efforts like Kyoto are not directed at curbing climate change – they’re far too small for that. They were directed primarily at effecting a massive transfer of money from the United States to the developing world, and secondarily at justifying the introduction of “green” taxes that were similarly ineffective at reducing CO2 emissions but very effective at filling the coffers of socialist European governments. Even supposing CO2 was going to lead to climate disaster – I point I disagree with strongly – the reductions needed to stabilise CO2 levels in the short term cannot be achieved without an even worse economic and social disaster.

    Recall, if you will, the population scare back in the 1960s, which led experts to predict global famine and collapse in the 1970s and 80s, unless we immediately introduced their programme of enforced population control – involving compulsory mass sterilisation, taxing reproduction, cutting off aid to countries like India which were now beyond rescue, and instituting a global totalitarian control by governments to crush the inevitable resistance and bring it about. If they had done so – and governments were starting to actually take such measures – the moral humanitarian consequences would have been unthinkable.

    Having failed that time, they’re trying it again. And many of the rest of us have failed to learn the lesson. I can only hope that the delay so dearly bought by the USA is enough, and that the propaganda bubble bursts again soon. No doubt global warming itself will then become a mere footnote in history.

  • Geoff Dawson

    Ref Elk Creek Marina

    It would be interesting to know the ice free dates of the last 10 years or so.
    Plus an update of when it does become ice free this year.

  • James Mayeau

    Mid April 2008 is definitely ice-in conditions with a two foot thick ice sheet.
    I don’t see any open water at all.

  • Scientist

    According to this page, ice-out is predicted to occur on April 20th this year. All the evidence is that this is very typical, perhaps even a little bit early. If ice-out occurred on March 20th last year, that was at least a month earlier than average.

    The claim that this year It is by far the latest any local can remember the lake being fully covered in ice, at least for the last 30 years is quite simply, quite obviously, a lie.

  • morganovich

    so let’s see here:

    the lake on 4/16 is completely covered in 2 feet of ice and you are suggesting that it will be ice free in 4 days? now THAT would be something to see.

    if you believe that, no wonder the IPCC numbers make sense to you.

    the model says 4/20 for ice out. but the lake is frozen solid on 4/16! how can we spin this? tipping point coming! or maybe the instruments are wrong? or maybe we need to adjust the ice measure! it cannot possibly be that the forecast is incorrect.

    scientist, right now i will bet you $100 that the lake still has ice in it on 4/20 and the forecast you cite is incorrect.

    we’ll settle it by calling the marina pictured above and asking them or some other mutually agreeable impartial local who can go out and look at the ice. perhaps the local chamber of commerce?

    take me up on it.

    i dare you.

    let’s empirically test these ludicrous claims you make.

  • The missing information is the reservoir water levels. A lower reservoir means less thermal mass which could explain the thicker ice.

    -Ralph

  • Scientist

    Ah, lovely, another semi-literate morganovitch rant. Please do call them up and check what the ice situation is. The article I quoted was written on 16 April, and said ice-out was expected ‘around’ 20 April. If you have any better information, please provide it. The point remains that the situation this year is entirely within the normal range, and the claims in the original post were not true.

  • austin

    That is a lot of ice to melt. The easiest way is to just let runoff lift the ice and break it.

    The Department of the Interior maintains data on reservoir status in Colorado. From looking at the reservoir charts on acre-feet, you can tell when the last possible date of breakup begins in mountain lakes because that is when the chart begins to climb.

    Looking at the fine detail from last year, the inflection point occurs about March 15th.

    Looking at 2006, I see the inflection point is about April 10th.

    Summary of my interpretation:

    Last possible date of ice cover:

    2007 March 15
    2006 April 10
    2005 May 10
    2004 March 10
    2003 May 10
    2002 Drought year
    2001 April 25
    2000 April 15

    2 Years in 8 are as late as or later than this year’s.

    Looking at inflow – these inflection dates are when snowmelt runoff exceeds release via the penstock.

    This year’s runoff has yet to start.

    Looking at the weather for Gunnison it looks like they are still getting 8-12 hours of temps below freezing every night with dewpoints below freezing.

    The evidence appears to support the local anecdote.

    http://www.usbr.gov/uc/crsp/GetDateInfo?d0=1714&d1=1787&d2=1857&d3=1867&d4=1923&idCount=5&l=BLUE+MESA+RESERVOIR

  • Scientist

    Your data only covers eight years, and it shows that much later ice-outs have occurred even within that time. Therefore it contradicts the claims that It is by far the latest any local can remember the lake being fully covered in ice, at least for the last 30 years.

  • morganovich

    not until you put your money where your mouth is scientist, you utter charlatan.

    you want me to spend my time, bet me.

    put up or shut up.

    look, we both know you have no idea what you are talking about and that therefore you will not bet and you are just trying to waste everyone’s time. you have not provided ANY data relevant to “covered in ice”, just ice out data that shows that a lake that usually starts seeing conditions of NO ice right now was frozen solid a couple of days ago and may still be now.

    your argument boils down to: the lake is usually ice out around now, but it’s frozen solid, so the locals must be wrong about it being cold. oh, and check the weather up there vs the averages. i’ll bet you another $100 it’s well below average temp there this year.

    just admit you have a problem, join a 12 step program for trolls, take a third grade science class, and get on with your life…

  • austin

    Hey Scientist, why don’t you show some Science and go mine the data like I did? Why don’t you do all of 1990s? Then I can go do the 1980s.

    As for contradicting claims? It does not contradict anything – it merely says that lake inflows are well behind schedule. I have no data and neither do you on the actual ice conditions before or during meltwater runoff raising the lake. Its possible that the lake could be melted or have large open water patches before inflow begins most years.

  • Scientist

    morganovich you utter tit. There is no evidence at all that this year is in any way unusual at Blue Mesa. I’ll bet $100 that this year is within the range seen over the last thirty years. I’ll also take that $100 bet on temperatures right now (as in, today, 22 April 2008) in relation to average (defined as 1961-1990). In any case, who gives a shit anyway? Even if the ice doesn’t melt until August, you can say about as much about global warming based on that as you could about the economy of the UK based on my bank account.

  • Scientist, given your assertion that conditions at Blue Mesa are ok because they are within the average of the last 30 years, would you also not agree that current global conditions are within the average of the past 1,000,000 years and are therefore, nothing special?

  • I’d also be willing to wager that you would be claiming further proof of global warming if the ice was off the reservoir at Blue Mesa one day earlier than “normal”.

    Afterall, warm = climate, cold = weather

  • I’d also be willing to wager that you would be claiming further proof of global warming if the ice was off the reservoir at Blue Mesa one day earlier than “normal”.

    Afterall, warm = climate, cold = weather

  • Scientist

    Based on your comments I’d be willing to bet that you really aren’t interested in science, just being immature and ignorant.

    Are current global conditions within the average of the past 1,000,000 years? How do you define the average in a system oscillating between two states anyway? What do you make of this graph, in which the dotted line represents mid-20th century temperatures?

  • austin

    Still waiting on Scientist to post the 1990s data on the reservoir.

    Still waiting on Scientist to post the 1990s data on the reservoir.

    Still waiting on Scientist to post the 1990s data on the reservoir.

    Still waiting on Scientist to post the 1990s data on the reservoir.

    Still waiting on Scientist to post the 1990s data on the reservoir.

  • morganovich

    i’m not making claims about global warming based on this. no one has. all we have been saying is that it’s an unusual occurrence in one place.

    i’m exposing your ludicrous claims and lack of data and confusion about the difference between ice out and frozen solid.

    if you want to bet me $100 that the daily high/low avg for this april is low compared to the long term average temps (30 years) there for april, you’re on.

  • Scientist

    So you’ve bottled both your original bets (maybe because you checked the data?) and now you want a different one? No thanks. I’ll bet anyone 100 USD that the ice-out date this year is within the range seen over the past 30 years. Other bets are irrelevant to the point that the ‘climate skeptic’ is lying.

  • Scientist, You can assume what ever you like. I had a look at your graph, what of it? It shows that there are periods when it was warmer and cooler than today and that we (mankind) had nothing to do with it. The dotted line demonstrates that there have been 11 previous periods when global temperatures are at the same level as today in the past 3 million years. It also shows that the last million years has seen wider fluctuations than the previous 3 million years. Lastly, the graph demonstrates that the climate was warmer (by almost 2.5 degrees C) and more stable (less magnitude from peak to through) 3 to 5 million years ago than it is now. It does show that climate varies, if that is your point, great. I never said that it didn’t.

  • Latest from the Blue Mesa website:

    As of April 25, 2008, the lake is still totally frozen! This is the latest the lake has been frozen in anyone’s memory. If you are planning an early May visit, please call ahead before you come.

  • Scientist

    So I have to remind you what you said each time you try and pretend you didn’t say it, do I? current global conditions are within the average of the past 1,000,000 years was your claim. The graph disproves that.

    And it looks like you are yet another denier who can’t even manage to link to a document. I guess you mean . Well, guess who put that line there? If you’re not totally stupid you should be able to have a guess. It’s a lie, as I showed earlier.

  • morganovich

    scientist, i’ll offer you any of the bets i have laid out. take me up on any of them. i dare you.

    and your bet is asinine if you want to bet on the accuracy of what was claimed. that’s not what he said. again you prove that your ability to read and understand simple sentences is utterly lacking.

    “It is by far the latest any local can remember the lake being fully covered in ice, at least for the last 30 years.”

    his claim is “fully covered in ice”. that’s not ice out. that’s frozen solid. ice out means 90%+ free of ice and navigable.

    if you want to bet that this year it the latest the whole lake has been frozen for 30 years, you’re on.

  • Scientist

    At 1237 UT on 26 April, the lake does not appear to be frozen solid. I believe he is lying that the lake is frozen solid, and I believe he is lying that this year is in any way remarkable. I certainly would bet that conditions this year do not fall outside those seen in the last 30 years.

    I also think it’s stupid to even discuss what is happening in one location during one month, on a blog nominally about global warming. You understand the difference between Colorado and the Earth, yes? And the difference between weather and climate? That last one does cause a lot of people great difficulty.

    I must remind you that earlier, in your usual barely-literate way you said i’ll bet you another $100 it’s well below average temp there this year, to which I replied I’ll also take that $100 bet on temperatures right now (as in, today, 22 April 2008) in relation to average (defined as 1961-1990). Seeing as you offered the bet and I accepted, do you want to look up the actual figures?

  • morganovich

    i already ran the numbers:

    here’s the long term average (and it’s a better average than you suggest using and as it goes further back, it will be colder than recent periods)

    http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/vacationplanner/climatology/monthly/81230

    april: low 22 high 54 avg: 38 (note that this is the max/min methodology the GISS uses)

    this year:

    http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/vacationplanner/monthly/81230

    avg low MTD: 21.9

    avg high MTD: 48.2

    avg: 35.05

    so avg temp seems to be 3 degrees below the monthly avg so far. granted, it could warm in the remainder of the month, but it’s still been quite cold.

    More significantly, average highs are nearly 6 degrees low as of 4/23.

    you owe me $100.

    or are you going to try to cherry pick one warm day in a cold month and call it climate?

    BTW:

    did you see the other post showing that the lake was still frozen solid as of 4/25.

    is that what you are calling a lie? can you possibly be disputing direct local observation and providing no contradictory evidence?

  • Scientist; how dense are you? The graph shows present at the left and goes back 5 million years towards the right. Current conditions shown at year 0, that would be now, show us just at the average of 5 million years. As I said before, conditions 3 to 5 million years ago were warmer, look at the graph. Maybe you need some remedial lessons in simple graph reading. When the x axis is labeled Millions of Year Ago, 5 million means 5 million years ago, not now. So, by presenting the graph as proof, you must be of the opinion that it is actually cooler now than 5 million years ago and within the range of variation of the past 1 million.

  • Scientist

    Are you a complete moron, jev2000? The average temperature over the past million years, you can see from the graph, is about 4°C below 1950 temperatures. 2000s temperatures are about 0.5°C above 1950s temperatures. As I said, an average in a system swinging between two states is not even very meaningful anyway, and your wording of ‘within the average’ is mathematically meaningless. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

    morganovich – learn to read, yeah? Seen the webcam image? It did not look ‘solid’ on the 25th, and there appears to be no ice today (29th). I consider that contradictory evidence.

  • I’m sure, that compared to you, everyone on the planet is a complete moron. Your eloquence as a disputant is truly astonishing and I stand in awe of your brilliance. We should all be grateful to have a thinker of your caliber to keep us knuckle-dragging Neandertals on the straight and narrow.

    Now back to reality…

    So we are at the top of the curve, the graph shows that this is not abnormal in any way. Indeed, we are above the average of the past 1,000,000 years. The graph does not prove that it is any warmer than it has been several times in the past 1,000,000 years. It also shows that we are, thankfully, not in an ice age. My question remains, what of it? If we are within the boundaries of the max and min on the graph, there is no catastrophic problem. Or do you argue that if we are not at the average we are in some sort of climate catastrophe?

  • Scientist

    If we are within the boundaries of the max and min on the graph, there is no catastrophic problem – non sequitur.

  • austin

    The lake inflows exceeded outflows on the 8th. The lake was opened to boats yesterday. Water temp went from 37 degrees last week to 46 degrees today.

    As to Ice-out conditions. I found out it occurs when water temps > 40 degrees F.

    I am requesting water temp time series records from the DOW.

    I still did not see that Mr Scientist looked through the records for lake water flows and posted his data. That tells me he or she is not a Scientist.