Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Global Warming?

We sure had a cold summer here in New Brunswick. I didn't even go swimming until the heat finally hit in August. Summer was unusually cold not only in this Province, but all over the United States. Isn't that proof that we're moving toward a cooling period?

Right . . . If you were in North America this year, you were in the spot with the most abnormally cool temperatures on the planet. Nonetheless, NASA reported 2009 as the hottest June to October temperatures on record, tied only with 2005.

"What makes these record temps especially impressive is that we’re at “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” according to NASA."

But it was in the Arctic that temperatures were above normal by up to 5 degrees Celsius. Most of the surface warming is happening at the Poles, especially in the Arctic Circle, where Alaskan and Siberian permafrost, and Greenland's glaciers, are melting at ever increasing rates.

The problem is that temperatures in the temperate zone (like the US) have such a wide range of natural variability that it becomes difficult to sense--from every day experience--that the planet is warming.

But aside from increasing surface heat, the greatest global temperature rise comes from a warming of the ocean.

Still, it's easy to understand why people get confused. It also makes it hard to get the planet's largest carbon emitter, the United States, to do something about climate change when people are wearing sweaters on summer evenings in July.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately for us up here on the Canadian east coast, many of the climate models predict our climate will become wetter and colder. It has to do with the ocean currents off Newfoundland.