It’s a new year and things are going well. Polar bears are thriving, in spite of all the “could go extinct” statements that the news loves to showcase. It has been colder in the northern hemisphere this winter, with snow falling in Greece, the Sahara desert and other places snow is not often seen. Europe is caught in a deep freeze, though the Scandinavian countries of the far north are above average in temperature (meaning they are not as cold as usual, not that they are actually warm). A storm system has made the Artic warmer than usual also. Over the last two years, snow has fallen in many unusual places. Perhaps this represents a return to a previous climate norm? Hard to say. The California drought has lessened and there are floods and many feet of snow. Quite often droughts do end with flooding. There’s probably a meteorological reason for this, which can be covered in a later post if the researching of this proves interesting and if the belief is true. Hurricanes and tornadoes are somewhat down in numbers also. Heat waves are reported to be “increasing” but one needs to recall that heat waves are arbitrary designations (the temperature needed to be considered as a heat wave and length of time spent at that temperature is just chosen, there's no formula or rules for the choosing). Their definitions can change at any time without need for a reason. In the past, 100°F/38°C days weren’t a big deal. People lived without air conditioning and worked outside in the heat. Many places still exist where this is true. People adapt well.
There was, of course, the “hottest year ever” title most probably being awarded to 2016, depending on which source you go with (some places may already be making that claim). Calculating the Global Average Temperature is more of an art than science. In fact, at this point, climate science seems to have hidden the actual value of the Global Average Temperature and just goes with anomalies (anomalies are the amount of difference from an average or a set number) using a value they apparently don’t want to share. Not really science when it’s done that way. If one is to worry about the climate and how it’s changing, we need data and real numbers, not changes from an unknown value. For now, keep in mind that the changes are relatively small from year to year. Some year changes are under .1°. Hardly enough to notice. Yes, it’s “warmer”, but it’s not “hot” by any stretch of the imagination. The point is, with a statistical analysis, one can often prove anything. Statistics are not reality in the usual sense—they are a mathematical look at the probability of something happening, not a look at the future itself. There’s no need to panic—we’re not headed for runaway warming, nor are the oceans rising quickly, extreme weather increasing, and so forth.
The climate is doing just fine. The new year is looking good. Enjoy.
|Pronghorn antelope in my yard|
|Mule deer buck scratching an itch!|
|Snow blowing—it's called a ground blizzard|
No snow is actually falling from the sky, it's just blowing around
|Ground blizzard—There's a lot of wind in this area much of the winter|
|Wild turkey looking at school bus driver|
This turkey actually lives in town, wonders through the yards and streets
|Three doe mule deer riding out the snow storm in the sage brush|
|Frost on a window—it always makes interesting patterns|
It's on the outside of the window, of course.
Watching weather and nature is quite fascinating. I recommend getting out and learning about critters and weather to everyone. Don’t just read about it, experience it!