A Real Christmas
Ah, Christmas memories circa 2013. Wearing the stockings that should be hanging in front of the fireplace. Using a credit card to chip away the ice on the INSIDE of my windshield. Shooing the polar bears out of my yard. Belting out Christmas carols through gritted teeth. Every nerve ending clenching as I crunch through icy snow to pick up the mail.
No brown, lukewarm tidings of joy this year. Welcome to a Pioneer Christmas: Fort Snelling with flush toilets and Netflix. A subtle (yet blunt) reminder that we all live in a distant suburb of Winnipeg.
The approach of slightly milder air sets off another burst of powder today; 2-4 inches of fluff likely this afternoon & tonight. Get your last-last minute shopping done early.
This is as cold as it gets looking out 1-2 weeks; 20s will feel absurdly good Christmas Day - luxurious 30s Saturday before chilling down again early next week. There's every indication we'll be flirting with zero into the first week of 2014.
I see hints of a thaw mid-January, but a cold bias lingers as far ahead as I care to look.<p>I'm grateful for an amazing family, great friends and thoughtful readers.
A very merry Christmas is predicted for you & yours.
Photo credit above: CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter.
Photo credit above: "Joe and Susie Jonak and their children Lily, 3, and Aidan, 5, use tablets, computers, and their BluRay player to stream video in their home Dec. 11. The family, like many others, got rid of cable or satellite television to stream content on the internet and Netflix." / Jason Wachter, email@example.com.
Image credit above: massive hurricane on Saturday, via NASA.
1. String all your old lights on the house and in the yard, then leave them on 24/7.
Untangling that wad of fading, failing incandescent light strands is part of the joy of the holidays. Why change? LED light strands would use 70 percent less energy than traditional bulbs, and they’re brighter so you would use fewer of them.2. Leave the fireplace flue open.
Santa needs unimpeded access through your chimney..."
"We need new production equal to a new Saudi Arabia every 3 to 4 years to maintain and grow supply... New discoveries have not matched consumption since 1986. We are drawing down on our reserves, even though reserves are apparently climbing every year. Reserves are growing due to better technology in old fields, raising the amount we can recover – but production is still falling at 4.1% p.a. [per annum]."- from a post at The Guardian, details below. Image above: Clean Technica.
Solar Activity Is Not A Key Contributor To Climate Change: Study. International Business Times has the story - here's an excerpt: "Variations in heat from the sun have not strongly influenced climate change, according to a new study conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, which instead points the finger at volcanic activity and greenhouse gases for the planet's ever-changing climate patterns. The findings of the study, published in Nature GeoScience on Sunday, have overturned a widely-held scientific concept that long-lasting periods of warm and cold weather in the past might have been caused by periodic fluctuations in solar activity. The researchers examined causes of climate change in Earth’s northern hemisphere over the past 1,000 years and found that until the year 1800, the key driver of periodic changes in climate was volcanic activity..."
Photo credit above: " NASA/SDO/AIA.
Image credit above: "Counting birds at Christmas: Volunteers this holiday season are tallying birds as part of Audubon's 114th annual Christmas Bird Count, which helps scientists understand how birds are responding to various pressures, including climate change." (Michael Risinint/The Journal News).
"Increased heating from global warming may not cause droughts but it is expected that when droughts occur they are likely to set in quicker and be more intense."In the end, climate change is important because it affects our lives, our societies, and our economies; impacts that are occurring because of extreme weather. It is critical to be able to accurately assess the trends in observed extreme weather so we can better plan our mitigation and adaptation strategies. The old adage of "you don't know where you are going unless you know where you've been" seems to apply pretty well here..."
Photo credit above: "A new study finds that global warming will probably cause droughts to set in quicker and be more intense." Photograph: David Gray/REUTERS.