"Paul, stop me before I hurl myself into the small glacier forming in my front yard!" If anyone asks we've gone 114 days in a row without a 50-degree high. Nearly a third of the year. Some of us are losing our stoic sense of humor.
Yes, the groundhog lied. But how was he to know the polar vortex would break down? High level winds at northern latitudes have weakened dramatically, pumping warm air into eastern Canada and Greenland. Meanwhile, a persistent dome of numbing air centered over Hudson Bay continues to fling chilly fronts south of the border.
The weather maps are stuck, and have been for nearly a month. Unusual for March, when the pattern is more variable & volatile, with frequent swings of the jet stream.
Why? Some scientists suspect record melting of Arctic ice may be a factor. Maybe it's just cosmic payback for last March's 70s and 80s.
Spring has been delayed, but it's still coming. 40s will feel surprisingly good later this week - a few rain showers Saturday, but no steady or heavy rain that might spark sudden melting and flooding.
I still believe this dramatic shift in the weather from early 2012 bodes well for Minnesota's drought easing by early summer. Stay tuned.
Photo credit above: "Arctic ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere which shifts the position of the jet stream, which affects weather in the northern hemisphere." Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA.
Photo credit above: "A man stands in front of an uprooted oak tree on Louisiana Avenue as Hurricane Isaac makes land fall in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 29, 2012." Courtesy: Reuters.
"First, the main message is:
1. Humans are causing climate change, we’ve know that for well over 100 years
2. We can do something about it now, with today’s technology
3. If we make smart decisions, not only will we help the climate, we will create jobs, improve national security, and diversify our energy supply
4. Doing nothing about the problem is a choice, with tremendous costs
Now, you are right, what should be a scientific issue has become a political issue. There are a number of reasons for that. It is clear that a lot of money is spent by organizations that want to ensure we do not invest in clean renewable energy or conservation. But that isn’t the entire story. A major indicator of how people feel about climate science is how they view collective action. Persons who think working together on a shared problem (like energy and climate) can lead to exciting and profitable solutions are much more likely to accept the science. People who reject collective action or government intervention are much less likely to accept the science. The real tragedy is that many people in this latter category could develop the technologies to lead us into the energy future; instead they have held our country back. We are now at a technological disadvantage and every year we delay taking action increases the future costs to ourselves and our children..."