Calm Weather and Energy News

March 27, 2008 0 Comments

Justinloew This March has been cold but it has not been very snowy. Most of the area has yet to experience a major snowstorm. The only semi-big storm hit the far southern part of the area late last week. On Good Friday there was 6 inches of snow reported in Arkdale and Necedah and 4 inches in Wild Rose, otherwise the snow has been on the light side. The total snowfall so far this March in Wausau is 7.4. Through this time of the month the normal is 9.2 inches. Not too much snow is on the way either, unless there is a big change in the storm system projected for Sunday. Right now it looks like 2 or 3 inches of snow is possible in the Northwoods. While more rain than snow is likely in the southern half of the area. I’ll give you another update tomorrow after the freshest data arrives. Other than Sunday’s storm we might have to deal with another bout of rain and snow on Monday if a second storm system moves up from the south (which hasn’t been the case for most of the storms this winter/spring). After Monday there should be a couple dry days with slightly warmer temps. By Tuesday and Wednesday, high temps should reach the mid 40s. What about further down the road during the month of April? Take a look here at the front page of the CPC website. Click on the "One Month Outlook: Temperature" and you will see the the outlook for Wisconsin is EC, which means equal chances of above or below normal temperatures. Not much help there. The southeastern U.S. has a higher chance of seeing warmer than normal temps which would be a continuation of the winter trend. If you go here you can click through predictions for every month of the year. Most of the months we are in the equal chances category. One thing that has me slightly worried is a greater chance of below normal precipitation during July and August. I hope this is not the case. 5 years in a row of below normal precipitation during the growing season is enough for me. I am tired of it.

Energy News

California is making news again with regard to electric vehicles. You might remember that I reported on California’s effort to basically sue the world in retribution for their homegrown pollution problem. They want to sue major automakers. They want to sue the EPA. Sue. Sue. Sue. They blamed GM for killing off the first attempt at making electric vehicles a stable presence on California roadways. Now they are blaming…..themselves…. for killing off another mandate for electric vehicles. The California Air Resources Board has slashed the mandated number of EVs that automakers must build between 2012 and 2017 from 75,000 to 27,500. First of all, isn’t it kind-of un-American to tell a private company what they must build? Secondly, what if the technology is not available or super expensive? That is what has held back widespread EV adoption so far. It isn’t a conspiracy. People want vehicles that can travel more than 10 or 20 miles on a charge. Battery and supercapcitor technology is just now coming around to the point where we can drive an EV over 100 miles. The Tesla roadster is advertised to get over 200 miler per charge. That’s pretty good. I am a big fan of EVs and I hope to buy one as my next car. Rumor has it that a fellow in Wausau has bought an EV and is now (or will soon) petitioning the City Council to allow neighborhood EVs. Even though I am a big fan, I am also a realist. It is a fools errand to force EVs into production before the technology or economics of the situation allow it. Perhaps there are a lot of fools in California. Between 2012 and 2017, fossil fuels will be much more expensive (and you thought $3.00 a gallon was bad) and that will naturally bring more fuel efficient vehicles, including EVs, onto the market.

Speaking of expensive fossil fuels, I still am unsure whether the IPCC and major climate modelers have woken up to the fact that human society has maxed out on fossil fuel production across the world. When you hear all of the doom and gloom AGW disaster scenarios reported in the media, they often mention "if we continue business as usual". There is a snowball’s chance in ‘a very hot place’ that human society’s main energy source will be earth based fossil fuels in the year 2100. So the worst case climate models should be taken with a huge grain of salt. The long range computer models were forecasting a warmer than normal winter in the U.S. this year and it ended up being the coldest winter since 2001 and at many places across  the globe it was the coldest winter in 100 years.

What if the colder trend (temps have been decreasing slightly since 1998) continues? Will we continue to hear disaster stories about how "Global Warming" is ruining the planet? Maybe for awhile, but more likely what you will here is a change in terminology. A person I know in the news business says there has already been a slight shift in how people talk about AGW. Instead of saying "Global Warming" more alarmists are saying "Climate Change". That way if temps get colder in the future climate alarmists can still say it is bad and it is all caused by human activity and spend many years and millions of dollars drawing up Kyoto-like regulatory treaties. I am all for minimizing the impact on the environment, I just don’t like using force to achieve those ends.

While I am on the subject of AGW, I have another item to add to the big list of bad things that will happen because of AGW. Global Warming will irreversibly alter water circulation in Lake Tahoe, and this will kill off most of the native fish and plant species. Whenever you hear the word "irreversible" in an AGW story, you have my permission to view it with a large dose of skepticism. The earth has gone through mammoth temperatures swings throughout its history and none of it has been irreversible, I am not sure why it would be now, especially on long time scales. Anyway, here is the updated list:

(irreversibly alter water circulation in Lake Tahoe, 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)

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