The possible record low we had been expecting for this morning did not materialize. It is the peril of weather forecasting. Mother nature, the weather, is chaotic and doesn’t always follow the script. A weak weather system moving through Iowa had enough moisture moved close enough to Northcentral Wisconsin to bring some heazy clouds. Low temps in the central and southern part of the area only dropped into the mid to upper 30s. In the far north where skies remainded clear low temps dropped into the 20s, as low as 23 in Land O’ Lakes!
The weather doesn’t always follow “the script” in the present day, but it might in the future, to a degree. As you know in the AGW theory and debate, it is claimed that humans are in near complete control of the climate and are making the earth warmer. While I have always held that we do affect the climate to some degree, I don’t think we control it as competely as mainstream AGW theorists do.
Because of the grave threat of environmental apocalypse heralded by some environmentalists and climatologists, some forward thinking individuals have been designing ways to help cool the planet. One proposed geo-engineering scheme involves putting sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere. Sulfur dioxide reflects sunlight and thus could cool the planet by a degree or two. It is the same thing that happens when a large volcano erupts and sends ash (and sulfur dioxide) high into the atmosphere. Researchers in England are testing out a balloon-and-hose method to implement this geo-engineering idea.
I don’t like the idea of putting stuff into the air in order to reflect sunlight and cool the planet (I would rather just take the carbon out of the air if it came to that). However, if the climate “goes to hell in a hand-basket” (however unlikely), then it makes sense to at least investigate mitigation methods, to see if it is technologically and economically feasible. In the big scheme of things, I actually would not mind having more control over the weather and I think it is our destiny. We have already created small climate controlled environments – everything from houses to stadiums. Next up is the whole earth. While I like exciting changeable weather as much as the next guy, it can be quite dangerous. The tornadoes that hit Alabama and Missouri this year killed people. If we could have stopped those tornadoes before they hit populated areas, we should have. Hurricanes, lightning, droughts, and floods kill thousands of people around the world every year. We have done a lot to protect ourselves from these threats and the next step will be to move into the air and alter the source. This might not seem very “environmental”, I know. I am quite the naturalist myself, but I enjoy life as well, and mother nature could care less if I live or die. I care. I would support environmentally friendly methods of altering dangerous weather.
Have a pleasant weekend! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on September 16, 2011