Weather Cycles and changes

Just yesterday, I watched a news report on CNN that showed inordinately high snow banks in Maine. According to residents, they haven’t seen this much snow in the last 15 years. In Chicago, citizens are fed up of stepping into mushy puddles of sleet, while grimly hanging on to their newspapers to prevent them being ripped out of their hands by strong, icy cold winds. I told a lady friend in Minneapolis that she looked adorably polar bearish in her white fur parka; but she wasn’t amused. I’m afraid some very unladylike language was employed, with chattering teeth.

The weather this winter truly is the worst it’s been in a very long time. In Boston, for example, 49.6 inches of snow has fallen this winter, or 19.3 inches more than normal. In Madison, Wisconsin, where it never had snowed more than 76.6 inches, the city already had seen 77 inches by February 12. So you are probably wondering, as I am, where is this global warming that Gore character keeps going on about? If our planet is supposed to be warming up, why am I freezing my butt off?

You may not be alone. Weather data over the last one year is prompting some scientists to have a re-look at the global warming theory. According to the experts, they have been forced to reconsider earlier assumptions about the warming effects of carbon dioxide emissions. Anecdotal evidence, gathered over the past 12 months, suggests that the planet has been cooling during this period. For example, this year, China had its coldest winter in 100 years, Baghdad saw its first snow in all recorded history; North America had the most snow cover in 50 years. The list doesn’t end there. Observation data includes: record levels of Antarctic sea ice; record cold in Minnesota, Texas and Florida; record winter chill in Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile and many other regions.

And the evidence is more than anecdotal; it has also been supplanted by hard scientific fact. Pointing out at updated data released by the four major global temperature tracking outlets – Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH and RSS – they say the figures show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously. In 2007, hundreds of people died, not from global warming, but from cold weather hazards. Writing in the Washington Times recently, David Deming, associate professor of arts and sciences at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, said: “Since the mid-19th century, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. This slight warming is not unusual, and lies well within the range of natural variation. Carbon dioxide continues to build in the atmosphere, but the mean planetary temperature hasn’t increased significantly for nearly nine years. Antarctica is getting colder. Neither the intensity nor the frequency of hurricanes has increased. The 2007 season was the third-quietest since 1966. In 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the US.”

Looking at it another way, the total amount of cooling, over the period under consideration, ranged from 0.65C up to 0.75C – a value, an expert says, large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years.

So to those of you who have spent a bomb on that new Prius; or those self righteous windbags, who never tire of preaching to the unconverted, about how they are saving the planet by going green’. I have only one word: suckers.