Driving back from a speech to farmers in Lake Crystal last week I saw a license plate that made me think. GR8TFULL. Most of us are so preoccupied with everything that's wrong with our lives; it's helpful to remember what's going right.
Yes, our delayed spring is annoying, but persistent chill has slowed snow melt & delayed severe storm season. 2012's jaw-dropping warmth was accompanied by a severe drought. The current pattern is a radical departure from last year's dry, Pacific wind. There's growing evidence of a sustained flow from the Gulf of Mexico, pulling enough moisture north to gradually ease our drought by late spring.
That's the hope & expectation.
Wind chill in early April is a major annoyance, but it may bode well for a year of more normal temperatures and rainfall patterns across the Upper Midwest.
Winds ease today; 50F will feel great tomorrow. Try to ignore snowy rumors for late week. The European (ECMWF) model hints at 40s to near 50F Saturday with a few showers. Steadier, heavier rain arrives late Sunday into Monday. How this rain impacts area rivers is still unclear, but it pays to be perpetually paranoid.
Live near a stream or river? Stay alert.
Photo credit above: "Considerable snow had already melted by March 11 at the same spot in Owyhee Mountains. Credit: USDA."
Photo credit above: "Roadrunner, formerly the world's fastest supercomputer, is being decommissioned today." Los Alamos National Laboratory.
* Buzzfeed has more funny April Fool's Day spoofs here.
* photo above courtesy of Tim Butz.
Now Real Climate has posted a summary and FAQ by Shaun Marcott and colleagues, which I’ll excerpt below. As the real climate scientists at RC note:
Our view is that the results of the paper will stand the test of time, particularly regarding the small global temperature variations in the Holocene. If anything, early Holocene warmth might be overestimated in this study.The main, stunning conclusion we can draw from the paper is that the rate of warming since 1900 is 50 times greater than the rate of cooling in the previous 5000 years, which undermines the whole notion of adaptation..."
Graphic credit above: "Temperature change over past 11,300 years (in blue, via Science, 2013) plus projected warming this century on humanity’s current emissions path (in red, via recent literature)."
Photo caption above: "Earliest closing day yet ."
Photo credit above: "Cool meltwater from the Antarctic ice sheet insulates sea ice from warm ocean currents." Robyn Waserman, National Science Foundation
2) The history of climate science. We have nearly 200 years of climate science starting with Joseph Fourier who first considered "the possibility that the Earth's atmosphere might act as an insulator of some kind" and first proposed what is now known as the greenhouse effect.
Over the years we have had Tyndall, Arrhenius, Callendar, Plass, Suess, Revelle, Keeling, Charney, Lovelock, Hansen, Broecker, Oreskes and Schneider, to name but a tiny few of the important figures who have made significant contributions to climate science. Most of us will leave little record of lasting import that we were here or did anything of significance for humanity. Unlike these giants of science. Climate change deniers must deny the very history of the science that has brought us to this moment. In fact, the less they know, the better. If they actually studied and understood climate science, they would not be deniers..."