Easter weekend was one of the colder Easter holiday’s I can remember. I am sure there have been colder Easter weekend’s but I cannot remember when. It is difficult to go back in the record books and find colder temps because the date of Easter changes every year depending on the phases of the moon and such things. It wasn’t record cold but it was unique because it continues a trend of below normal temps that has been occurring most of this month. Northcentral Wisconsin has been about 5 degrees below normal most of this month and the trend will continue this week as well. People are starting to satirically question me “where is global warming when you need it”. Well, the truth is that the warmest year on the planet was 1998 and there has been a slight downward trend ever since then. Anyway, one thing we can give thanks for is not much snow so far this March. I can’t imagine how desperate for Spring people would be if we had a couple big snowstorms this month. The only big snowstorm in the state this month happened in the south once again. On Friday the Milwaukee area had 12 to 15 inches of snow. The far southern part of our area – around highway 21 and farther south – ended up with 4 to 6 inches of snow. Madison Wisconsin has now surpassed 100 inches of snow for the season. Much of southern Wisconsin has experienced record snow as well – check out this map! Milwaukee is getting pretty close to record snow as well.
Here in our area, snowfall has been about 5 to 10 inches above normal for the winter season and we could get a little more this week. The key word being little. A warm front – closely followed by a cool front – will move through the area tonight and these two could combine to bring 1 to 3 inches of snow to the Northwoods. In central Wisconsin, temps will be mild enough to cause some of the snow to turn over to rain, so there will not be as much accumulation, perhaps an inch or so. Dry weather should then take over again for Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday, and Thursday. Another weak weather system will move through later Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. Once again there could be some light accumulation of snow. High temps will reach the upper 30s today and possibly the low 40s tomorrow, but then the rest of the week the mercury will stay in the 30s. We will probably be stuck in the 30s over the weekend as well, which means we might not see 50 degrees in March this year. We will have to wait until the first week of April, or later for 50 degree weather. This also means that I am going to lose the latest channel 9 weather forecast contest (predicting how many 50 degree days in the month March). I forecast 5, Megan forecast 4, and Brian forecast 3. It looks like Brian will be the winner (closest).
Looks like I have a couple new things to add to the AGW list of bad things. Researchers say rice production will decline because of hot weather causing massive starvation. Of course, food related problems are already on the list, but only in general terms, this one is more specific because it mentions the problems will come from a decline in rice production. Also, wild flowers in the Rocky mountains are going to die because global warming will cause them to bloom too early, and then late frosts will kill them off. So here is the updated list of bad things (keeping track since November 2007) are projected to occur because of AGW:
(dramatically decreased rice production, fewer flowers in the Rocky Mountains, the Butterfly fish will starve, transportation system will be ruined, air pollution related deaths will increase, tropical fish could go deaf, more ocean deserts, more tundra wildfires, collapsing oceanic food webs, sharks devastating Antarctic sea life, the drying up of Lake Mead by 2021, plant-devouring insect invasions, poor food quality, increased human mortality, solastalgia/mental illness, more wars, the past 1993 conflict in Somalia, more intense heat waves, more heat deaths, polar bears starving, Isle Royale Moose dying, Walruses dying, Penguins starving, Australian bats dying, more hurricanes, less hurricanes, more intense and bigger hurricanes, more stormy weather, rising oceans, more acidic oceans, California wildfires, more droughts, more floods, future disastrous declines in food production, coral reefs (hard and soft) dying, enormous extinctions of plant and animal species, massive loss of fish in the Bering Sea, the earth literally being torn apart, Amazon deforestation, a bigger ozone hole, a smaller ozone whole, less fresh water, more obesity, more hunger, more asthma, more allergies, more infectious disease, more to come)
In other news, particulate matter (soot) is causing more warming than previously thought. It is interesting that not too long ago that we were told that we should be thankful for soot, particulate matter, sulfates, etc… because it is dramatically masking the amount of global warming that would have occurred otherwise. Just a little while ago the soot was benefiting the earth and causing cooling by blocking out the sunlight. You probably remember reading about “global dimming”. Now apparently, the soot is causing dramatic warming. Don’t worry if you are confused, I am too. Perhaps the new article is referring to warming in other parts of the atmosphere besides near the ground. The article does not say, so we can’t know for sure. Most of the soot is coming from China and India where skies are in a state of persistent brown haze. China is also the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide. For many years, the international community chastised the U.S. for being the world biggest polluter. Since this is no longer the case, I wonder if southeast Asia and China will feel as much heat. You might remember that the Kyoto accord exempted China and India from any emissions cuts. I wonder if new ‘climate agreements’ will follow Kyoto’s example. Seems it would be foolish to do so. Tony Blair recently said as much when talking about climate change recently. However, he said the U.S., Japan, and Europe should bear most of the burden, because the developing economies need to grow. The interesting part is this, Blair has basically stated that the carbon emission cuts will ruin mature economies such as Japan, Europe, and the U.S. This is something that many people have pointed out and it is a reason why so many people reject such treaties. People don’t like living through economic recession and depression, which is what climate treaties will bring, all to avert ‘possible’ disaster a few decades from now. Instead of stopping progress altogether, why doesn’t the U.N. sponsor more alternative energy research? Why don’t countries give big tax breaks for alternative energy usage? In my opinion, this would be a much better way to tackle pollution.
Posted under Uncategorized
This post was written by jloew on March 24, 2008