Sunday, March 8, 2015

Temperature Record This Winter

I was on a field trip yesterday to the Gault Site, one of the most important archeological sites in the Americas. It was a great trip and our host was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the work done there. I learned a lot during the five hour tour. Then, we topped it off with dinner and wine at the The Vineyard at Florence. They had good food and even better wine. All in all, it was a really nice day, even if the weather was on the chilly side. But, there was one incident I took exception to.

The archeologist giving us the tour brought up the subject of climate change and dismissed the idea of manmade climate change by stating the 'climate always changes.' Normally, I let statements like this go by without comment. People have the right to reject the science, if that is what they want to do, and I am not on some campaign to challenge everyone on their opinions. However, this was a man of science and it was irresponsible for him to make a statement like that. Not only was his statement a false argument, but by using his venue as a recognized expert in his field of study, he was lending credibility to something he was not knowledgeable about. So, I took him to task about it.

When I pointed out how erroneous his statement was and how the science of AGW was absolutely conclusive, someone made the comment, "Tell that to the people in Boston." Well, I have and I do. In fact, the severe winter they are having in the northeast is due to global warming and it is pretty easy to prove it. We know the cold air comes from the Arctic region. So, tell me, where does the energy needed to move that mass of air come from? When you answer that question, you have all the proof any reasonable person needs.

The other significant point about Boston is that we are not discussing Boston warming, we're discussing global warming. So, how is the rest of the world doing while Boston is digging out of all of that snow?

According to the National Climatic Data Center, there have been 15,000 record highs so far this winter (2014-2015). Yes, you read that correctly - 15,000 record high temperatures. At the same time, there have been 10,000 record lows. In fact, no state had an average temperature in the bottom ten lowest on record. Let that sink in. Despite all of the talk about the amount of snow and the bone-chilling cold, not even a single state had a top ten record cold winter. Not one.

Even I was a bit surprised by this. I have been following the cold air masses closely and they have been cold and frequent. I thought, surely, some of the states were seeing a significantly cold winter. But, no. The reason is pretty simple, it has gotten so warm and winters have become so mild they seem to be so much worse than they really are - at least when you compare them to the way winters used to be. When you consider the cold winters the Eastern U.S. used to have, this current winter turns out to be not so bad.

So, to answer the gentleman's objection from yesterday, I really will tell the people in Boston man made global warming is real.

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