Thursday, April 29, 2010

Snowing Here, Cold Everywhere

As I look out my window right now, it is snowing heavily. The temperature is 33 degrees, which means that it won't last -- and indeed it is only sticking to grass and trees.  My fully bloomed-out crabapple has its blossoms covered with snow.

Late April snow is not particularly unusual on the eastern slope of Colorado, and a lack of late April snow would also not be unusual.

My point is that based on what I see -- cold, warm, wet, dry -- there is nothing unusual going on with the climate.  Some scientists, using data that is highly suspect, with further processing of the data that is even more suspect, say that the earth has warmed maybe a few tenths of a degree since 1980, with most of the warming seen from 1980 to 1998.

I don't think it matters. When you have daily temperature swings of 40 degrees, and annual extremes of 120 degrees here in Colorado, a few tenths of a degree is not going to make any difference.  It will not cause spring to be earlier or later. It will not cause streams to be fuller in March. It will not cause animals to migrate differently, or plants to change their range.  It will also not cause glaciers to melt faster or slower, or Arctic ice to decline or grow. (The glaciers have been receding in fits and starts since the end of the last ice age. I expect they will continue doing so until the next ice age.)

A few tenths of a degree change, coaxed out of already questionable data for political reasons, is simply not significant.

And here is the forecast for next week from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (part of the US National Weather Service).  Pretty much colder than normal throughout the western hemisphere:

By the way, the Arctic currently has more sea ice than at any time in the last 10 years on this date:


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