Monday, March 1, 2010

Winter Hangs On By a Thread

Would somebody please just cut the thread!

We've had enough!  We got the message!

You know, I hate to be the prophet of doom, but the scary thing is that it could do this again next year.  Many scientists have alluded to the possibility that this type of anomaly can--despite frigid conditions--be attributed to global warming.  For the first time I can remember (or maybe I wasn't paying attention before--) our local forecaster here in West Virginia mentioned that we were getting "lake affect" snow, coming in waves or bands, marching across the Appalachians as if it belonged here!  I've never heard of "lake affect" snow outside of Chicago and close-by environs just off the Great Lakes.  Surprise!

But maybe this is all part of the grand scheme of things...

According to Climate Ark "Global climate change could result not only in warmer summers over the long term but also colder winters, according to some climate models.

"The reason is average surface temperatures of the Earth are increasing, but it isn't happening uniformly.  In some places such as Eastern Canada [and the Eastern United States] temperatures have actually been dropping, climatologists say.

"The colder winter scenariio is based on what happens in the Gulf Stream, a major ocean current that brings warmer weather from the tropics up into the North Atlantic.  Normally, the Gulf Stream brings up dense, saline water in a process called deep water formation.  When the water cools, it sinks down into the ocean floor, releasing heat at the surface.  The heat warms the atmosphere, which is why northwestern Europe is warm for its latitude.

"University of Toronto physics Prof. Richard Peltier says a large influx of freshwater into the North Atlantic could reduce the rate of deep water formation during the winter.  If that happens, winters could be "significantly colder."  As for this winter's heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures Peltier reminds [us] that climate change involves variation in weather over hundreds of years, not a few seasons."

Feeling better?  Right now, an anemic sun is filtering through the clouds here just off the one-lane road. MM says, "Don't trust it."  But I this a promise of better things to come just over the horizon?  After all, in Vancouver  which has had the warmest winter in over a hundred years--with inclement weather the rule rather than the exception, last night at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, the blimp cameras caught a view of the moon as it shone down on that corner of the earth.  Did you see it?  It was FULL and BEAUTIFUL!  It seemed to say that despite the clouds, despite the rain (and snow)  --somewhere a moon (and sun) shine bright.  Winter's grip is loosening and it will soon be time to plant seeds.

As for winter next year?  We're already making plans to be 'readier" than we were this year, that's for sure.  And we'll probably wind up with tons of firewood left over and winter weather that invites cultivation of bananas!

1 comment:

  1. Global warming and changes in the Gulf Stream will also lead to colder weather in Britain, Oh no! We could have done with a little warming up.