Why Argument from Authority is Invalid

On February 2nd, renowned physicist Michio Kaku (I have several of his books) appeared on the CBS morning show to discuss the relationship of the recent snowstorms to Global Warming.

Dr. Kaku’s argument (basically) was that warmer air caused greater evaporation in the Gulf of Mexico, which increased the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere–thus leading to greater snowfalls. However, water has a very interesting property: it is an incredible heat sink. The ability of water to absorb heat energy is why it the coolant used not only by your own body, but by nuclear reactors; and why you will die of hypothermia much faster in cold water than in air of the same temperature.

It takes a significant amount of thermal energy to cause one molecule of water to break loose of surrounding molecules–to “evaporate” from liquid to gas. This heat must be given up to return to a liquid state, and even more energy must be lost to become a solid–the ice crystals we call snow.

So, if water is evaporating from the Gulf of Mexico and traveling here to become precipitation, it has to give up all of that energy to go from water vapor to snow. The new snow-heavy winters in Missouri should be significantly milder (with the introduction of all this thermal energy handily carried in from down south), than the long history of previous, nearly snow-less winters. Sorry, but I can easily remember winters in Missouri where the temperature rarely dipped below freezing, let alone -18 degrees F.

Furthermore, these sorts of heavy snows are not historically unknown; they are simply associated with a period of history which gets ignored by the Global Warming Crowd. The Pilgrims, who immigrated to North America during the end of the Little Ice Age over two hundred years ago, would easily recognize snowstorms like what we are currently experiencing. Washington’s troops experienced frostbite and hypothermia fighting in the Maunder Minimum with snowfalls much more similar to what we are experiencing today, yet conditions in the Gulf were certainly not as warm as they are today–so the increased snowfall couldn’t have been blamed on increased Pacific evaporation.

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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