This got me thinking about a story from my childhood. My grandparents told me that my great grandfather used to work as a sleigh driver during winters at the end of the nineteenth century. I hadn’t believed them of course, I mean, how could one occupy such a job, where you would only be needed a couple of times each year. I had forgotten the story until I read the article about our dying snow. Now that I was reminded, however, I decided to find out if it was true. It was, it turns out that we used to get so much snow each winter that sleigh driver was a legitimate job title. At least until some time during the past hundred years.
I’m sure we would have replaced sleigh drivers with modern snow machines by now. Only the truth is that there has only been one or two winters in my life, where we’ve even had enough snow for a sleigh ride to be possible.
I’m afraid the death of Danish snow, and, the drying out Europe’s most important river, is only the beginning of our trouble.
Back then, growing tomatoes (private vegetable gardens were a practical necessity in USSR and has since then became national hobby) was a risky business - early August colds and mists would kill the harvest before it gets ready. The cherries and apricots were stuff of dreams available only at the sky-high prices at the private farmer markets from the traiders coming from the USSR South. These days tomatoes, cherries, apricots grow really well with very good problem-less harvests. Anybody wonders why Russia is so quiet about climate change and just continues pumping the oil non-stop polar bears be damned? With each degree of temperature up, another significant part of the country becomes more suitable to live and overall "cold tax" on the Russian economy becomes smaller (whereis the 2 most recent periods of peak cool climate - 190x and 198x - and associated bad harvests/etc. produced great social instability as a result: the revolution of 1905 and the collapse of USSR)
This year it was quite unusual as the current was extremely slow, the water was very warm and you could see that there is significantly less water flowing through. We always talk about climate change but feeling it in ways like these makes it very relatable and real.
One data point (i.e. a year) should not be taken as a sign of climate change. There are always outliers from time to time. When drawing such observations it is more relevant to track exactly the state of the river over extended periods of time (20, 30 years at least) so that you have a real sense of what is happening.
I can't talk about whom I replied to, but you would be surprised how few people actually get statistics and probabilities right.
Maybe the right thing is some process to analyze the data fairly and then pick verifiably representative instances for deep-dive stories about the change.
(I'm pretty sold on climate change, and increasingly so on CO2/human activity as a major factor, and likely large impact, but I think the costs of brutal CO2 reduction are probably far higher than the costs of alternative remediations. Including costs on other environmental issues -- as diesel fuel in cities vs. gasoline has shown, with one having lower carbon emissions due to efficiency, but the other being cleaner in other emissions...)
Example: antarctic ice melt:
1979-1990 40 gigatons
1989-2000 50 gigatons
1999-2009 166 gigatons
2012-2017 219 gigatons
Looking at a glance, one could mistakenly assume the ice loss slowed down (as I did initially)
would you mind making a summary of the most important points (on what points the study agrees or contradicts other studies? how soon the lead author of your study expects the losses to be greater than the gains, compensated for the year of publication? does he have an explanation for the mismatch? or does he concede precisely measuring the height by satellite altimeter may be in error? when will a satellite with better height resolution be launched?)
increased snowfall may cause observable localized increases that add up over time, but that does not necessarily mean the ice sheet is thickening: water expands when forming ice, so pressure from increased weight of snow can melt the bottom layer of ice where pressure is highest.
I don't necessarily see a contradiction between the observations
(Everything above 4.5m is considered a flood)
One side effect of the low water that isn't mentioned in the article is that it exposed multiple bombs and grenades from the second world war.
There's even a famous german song "Wann wird's mal wieder richtig Sommer?" (When will we have a real summer again?).
Btw since it was basically constantly raining from Oct-Dec, the river replenished really quickly.
Old people often make fact-free claims about how things used to be.
We don't need to rely on faulty human memories. There are actual records of water levels, rainfall, and temperature for all of the 20th century.
It is simply not true that the past summer was something that occurred frequently in the past.
It's fun, because if there is something that is really a cliché is people complaining that the weather is not what it used to be.
This has been going on for far longer than there has been any talk of climate change. So every time I hear someone saying that you can see climate change is happening because the weather is not what it used to be, I take it with a double pinch of salt.
Alternatively, the existence of the cliche might suggest that (some) climate change is always happening, just on a timescale that makes old people complain, and everybody else just be incredulous.
It probably isn't a faulty memory, just one of our inbuilt recall biases. Human minds tend to remember extreme events more vividly. If you think back to past years you most easily bring to mind the unusually hot summers and most biting winters.
Also I haven’t heard of any evidence to support that such droughts are normal for Germany.
To put it bluntly, we’re seeing Climate Change in action.
So, the lack of rain is far from happening everywhere.
That's the point. As the earth overall is heating up weather patterns...
But also, shipping by barge uses lots less energy than shipping by rail, and far less than shipping by truck. So overall, it's probably positive feedback.
When I was born in 1988 it was the year of was the biggest flood in multiple decades. When I went to elementary school I remembered having to leave our house on planks a few years because of the flooding. It happened just once again in middle school. We moved to Frankfurt in 2003, since then my friends that kept living in the area report that the floods left with me moving away and are sometimes joking if we'd left some faucet running back then.
I guess it's just an example of climate change that I could find in my picture albums without realizing. I wonder what else is lurking in those pictures.
I'm not sure what to do about it. Should I summarize the reasons they are stupid and put those flyers in their mailboxes, or would that only get their backs up? Of course I'd not call it stupid in such a flyer but more in the style of Without Hot Air: 'our energy demands are X because this and that; solar is Y Watts per m² so we need Y/X/$size of them, which would be equivalent to $some_state; of wind turbines we would need ... etc. Meanwhile, $this is what is happening to our climate, which by $year will be $that. With nuclear, we could reduce our output to $amount CO2 while producing X amount of nuclear waste. The waste can be stored $there and this buys us a few hundred years to figure things out for the long term. We need nuclear as a stop-gap. Don't support short-term popular voices that will kill us in the long term."
Does anyone have experience reasoning with anti-nuclears?
Edit: by the way, I did not downvote you (one cannot downvote direct replies) and don't know why you are. Maybe it's because you never mentioned what those economical options are, so your post does not really add much to the subthread without further information?
I'm from germany so most studies I know are in german so sorry for being a bit sparse on english sources and I guess german is of no use to you, If I find the time I'll try to find some more.
Another alternative is that, because temperatures are warmer and there is less water stored in the glaciers during winter and less melting in summer, there should be a wider depth variation between winter and summer but a similar average. Also not what the graph shows.
It seems like it is just less precipitation. (Which is climate change, possibly due to global warming)
A search for say, "Rhine river water diverted" returns interesting stuff to read...
The top hit on "Rhine river water diverted" is a story about the impact of decline being so strong, traffic is being diverted to road and rail.
> It's interesting how dissent in these round earth threads is downvoted to death. I wonder what sort of effect this has on the undecided?
If the science was demonstrated there would be no need to use these qualifiers. As always read these things with a grain of salt.
Yes, there will be consequences from climate change but it's not something we can't deal with and some of them are at least partially good such as added vegetation.
Do you not read a lot of scientific journals? Also, the article uses none of the qualifier words you listed except "risk" in an appropriate manner, in the subtitle. The title is "Europe’s Most Important River Is Running Dry." Is that demonstrative enough for you?
What you want to look for is in the actual article and there "risks" is used which is the only important word you need to look for.