Global Warming

By: 1moosey , 12:36 AM GMT on February 17, 2009

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I just read Dr. Jeff Masters Wunderblog on Global Warming. His blog is always very interesting and informative. Dr. Masters reported the lowest temp ever recorded in the state of Maine a -50 degree reading taken on January 16. It apparently occurred at 7:15 am at a remote river gauge in Big Black River about four miles form the Canadian border.

I think the lowest temp ever recorded in California was -45 degrees in a town called Boca. The town lies at an elevation of 5,532 feet. I heard that snow can fall at a rate of 5 feet per hour. I wonder about that stat - seems pretty high to me.

Dr. Master goes on to say that an impressive cold wave hit the northern and eastern portions of the United States in January. If global warming is occurring we should not expect to see very many all-time city or state cold records being set.

But does this mean that Global Warming is not occurring - I think Global Warming is occurring. I operate a farm, and to me, the weather cycles at least in California have changed over last few years. I know that we have a critical shortage of water where I am as evidenced by water restrictions. I heard that some farmers in California had to chose between irrigating the Almonds or the alfalfa but not enough water for both. This seems to get worse every year. Maybe there should be some money from the bail out to help water districts.

Do you think there is global warming. You can vote on Dr. Masters blog or right here if you desire.

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2. 1moosey
2:49 PM GMT on February 17, 2009
Very interesting - Where do you think the global warming will end. Will the average warming level off and will extremes start to come closer to average.

So many things affect the weather in California. You are correct - we do depend on the snow. The water situation here, is past critical into emergency and is starting to shut down some operations.
1. MichaelSTL
2:58 AM GMT on February 17, 2009
I do think that there is global warming and for the reasons scientists attribute it to (this is also based on paleoclimate records, including an event 55 million years ago that involved the release of a similar amount of carbon as in all fossil fuel reserves today). As for events like record cold, I think that many people get confused here, since they think that record cold shouldn't occur anymore, but that isn't necessarily the case; the same pattern that causes extreme cold in one area often causes extreme warmth in another area (there were quite a few January record highs set in Alaska and other areas). Here is a map of global temperature anomalies last month, of not is that while there is still a La Nina, it was considerably warmer than a year ago (mainly because La Nina wasn't as strong; it should also be noted that while La Nina cools surface temperatures, that is due to cold water upwelling absorbing heat; the planet doesn't actually cool overall; in fact, net heat accumulation occurs in the oceans; conversely, El Nino causes a large release of heat from the ocean).



Also, the unusual cold was caused by the polar vortex being ripped apart in a phenomenon known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (see here for more details including just how it caused unusual cold to occur; in Europe it actually caused wind patterns to reverse, normally they see mild air off the ATlantic); in this case, the strongest such warming event on record, exceeding the previous record by about 10*C:



Also of interest is that snowcover during the winter hasn't shown any trend over the past 40 years, which may also seem contradictory to global warming, but while warmer temperatures tend to melt snow, most of the snowcover is in areas that are well below freezing, warmer air can also hold more moisture (where I live, the last couple winters have had pretty big snowfalls, in addition to being very wet overall, the winters before by contrast were drier and had much smaller snowfalls; generally, the amount of precipitation and storm track determines how much snow falls; the last storm was heavy rain).



By contrast, snowcover has been declining dramatically in the spring and summer with the past two years setting consecutive record lows (a similar phenomenon has been occurring with Arctic sea ice, though with a larger decline in the winter than with snowcover):



(I know that in California this is especially of concern because snowmelt provides most of the water in the summer and if it melts faster then less is available later on)
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Patterson, Ca
Patterson, CA
Elevation: 93 ft
Temperature: 53.8 °F
Dew Point: 48.4 °F
Humidity: 82%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 11:09 PM PST on November 22, 2014
Patterson, Ca
Patterson, CA
Elevation: 93 ft
Temperature: 53.8 °F
Dew Point: 48.4 °F
Humidity: 82%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 11:09 PM PST on November 22, 2014

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