Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Weather Weirdness Suggests Global Warming Is Not Just A Hoax

A scan of the headlines on on Leap Day 2012 illustrates that weather weirdness is striking across the U.S. While weather extremes are normal, today is yet another day when the weather seems to be on steroids.
  1. Record heat is being experienced in the South and Midwest, 
  2. 17 tornadoes have been reported and damage is widespread in some towns
  3. the drought in California is worsening. 
Is seems hard to reconcile Rick Santorum's claim that "global warming is a hoax" with the increasing frequency of extreme weather. While the weather being experienced today across the U.S. does not prove anything in regard to climate change, it certainly seems to be a reason to pay attention to the predictions of those warning about global warming. Of course, with it being a leap day, the high temperature records that will be set today only have 1/4th the usual competition as on others day of the year, so they can be somewhat discounted. However, regardless of the lower hurdle for new records on a leap day, the 80 degree temperatures predicted for southern Texas and Florida are remarkably warm for February.

Hottest Day Records

If global warming theory is valid, the U.S. may be in for a hot summer. It appears that La Nina is winding down and may end in a few months. Thus, the cooling effect of La Nina caused by cold waters rising to the surface in the Pacific is unlikely to influence the summer temperatures in the U.S.  Last year was the coolest La Nina year on record. This summer we will discover if  new records for hot weather will be set without the qualifier of only being compared to other La Nina years.

Tornadoes and Hurricanes

The wild card into whether there is a trend toward an increase in extreme weather in the U.S will be shown by whether there is a change in tornado and hurricane activity.  According to meteorologist Jeff Masters, last year's "incredibly violent tornado season is either a fluke, the start of a new trend, or an early warning symptom that the climate is growing unstable and is transitioning to a new, higher energy state with the potential to create unprecedented weather and climate events. All are reasonable explanations".

It is also impossible to predict the number and potential devastation from hurricanes striking the U.S.  Any of the following the could either be the beginning of a trend or a normal variation in the weather:
  1. an increase in tropical storms in 2010 and 2011- suggesting more hurricanes hitting the U.S. 
  2. only one hurricane has made landfall in the U.S. since 2008- suggesting no change in hurricanes hitting the U.S.
  3. the massive devastation from hurricane Irene - suggesting the hurricanes hitting the U.S. may become more powerful and destructive in the future
The weird weather striking across the U.S. provides evidence that climate change may be having an impact on local weather. However, while the debate about global warming is a source of contentious debate, there is too much evidence of its impact to label it a hoax. Global warming researchers predictions may be faulty, but there is not an organized attempt to perpetuate a giant hoax. 

Related Post
Cold Snap and High Oil Prices Will Accelerate European Slow Down 
Will the Weather On Steroids Damage Santorum for Taking A Know Nothing Position On Global Warming?

No comments:

Post a Comment