Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Warming Wednesdays: "extreme weather is what hurts people"

jan2011-temps.gif
Last week weather forecasters predicted snow in San Francisco. It didn't happen and we California weather wimps were glad. Temperatures in the 30°-40°F range were quite cold enough, thanks.

But the overall picture, as represented above, seems to be that temperatures and weather are getting more extreme most everywhere. We're seeing things like this:

An incredible 110° temperature swing in 1 week in Oklahoma
The temperature in Bartlesville, Oklahoma shot up to a record 82°F yesterday, just seven days after the city hit -28°F on February 10. This 110°F temperature change has to be one of the greatest 1-week temperature swings in U.S. history. The -31°F that was recorded in nearby Nowata last week has now been certified by the National Weather Service as the new official all-time coldest temperature ever recorded in Oklahoma.

What's more, the 27 inches of snow that fell on Spavinaw, Oklahoma during the February 8 - 9 snowstorm set a new official state 24-hour snowfall record. The previous record was 26", set on March 28, 2009, in Woodward and Freedom.

Jeff Masters, Wunderground weather blog

MSNBC reported recently on two studies showing that we're seeing more and more extreme weather.

One group of researchers looked at the strongest rain and snow events of each year from 1951 to 1999 in the Northern Hemisphere and found that the more recent storms were 7 percent wetter. That may not sound like much, but it adds up to be a substantial increase, said the report from a team of researchers from Canada and Scotland. The change in severity was most apparent in North America, but that could be because that's where the most rain gauges are, scientists said.

Both studies should weaken the argument that climate change is a "victimless crime," said Myles Allen of the University of Oxford. He co-authored [a] second study, which connected flooding and climate change in the United Kingdom. "Extreme weather is what actually hurts people."

Despite every other legitimate concern, we cannot ignore that our economic and social system is rapidly making the planet less habitable. So I will be posting "Warming Wednesdays" -- unpleasant reminders of an inconvenient truth.

1 comment:

Darlene said...

This has been the coldest winter in memory since I moved to Arizona 47 years ago. I have lost all of my plants due to the coldest nights in recorded history.

Don't tell me there is no such thing as climate change.

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