I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Global Warming

Is it about warming, or even about weather change like they claim, I don't know, but things are different lately. Everyone's interested in the polar bears and the glaciers melting. At first, I couldn't see why everyone was so worried, I mean, my winters seem to be colder every year.

For years, 'normal' winter was an average of ten degrees above zero Fahrenheit to ten degrees below zero, with cold spikes in November and February where it might get as cold as -30ish (F), but those spikes lasted only two or three weeks and it was back up, and then it would warm up into the 20s and 30s and snow (sometimes a little - sometimes a lot), and then back down to average. Come the latter part of February, the longer days start having an affect on the heat of the day, and by the end of March things start to melt.

Lately, the November cold spike kinda went away, which put freeze-up off until much closer to Christmas - really kind of a pain for me, but we can't control the weather. And the rest of the winter has been really quite cold, spending most of the time down around -20 if not colder. You know it spends a lot of time down around there when 0 to 10 above feels like a nice day.

Once was the time when a hot summer day was 70 degrees (F), and those days didn't show up until July. Any more, 80 degrees is fairly common and sometimes warmer, and they've been known to show up in May, if only for a few days. I still start melting at 70, and long before it gets to 80 I'm searching for dark corners and shade, and wishing for a root cellar.

Some time ago I friended this guy on Facebook who was all for dams and culverts to divert water to Californian farmers. Not that I have anything against farmers, I like oranges, when I can get them, and I'm all for everyone making a living. But my discussions with him prompted me to think about the cycle of weather.

Water evaporates, becomes clouds, and once enough accumulates up there, it comes down in some sort of precipitation depending on the time of year and the temperature. The more evaporation, the more precipitation, which, in this case, means more snow. It takes snow to make glaciers and the ice caps at the top and bottom of our globe. Not that I know how all this works, but in my thinking, running water and thrashing waves in the ocean are going to evaporate more efficiently and faster. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm not getting the whole picture.

When I brought this concept up to said friend, our conversation stopped. He said he'd look into my theory, but he never got back to me. So, are dams and culverts to blame? Probably not; I'm certain there's far more to it than that, but my train of thought leads me to think that 'global warming' isn't really such a bad thing. Warm air holds more moisture, more moisture in the air means more snow coming down, more snow means more of a nice white covering on the tops of our glaciers, which will slow down their melting. Glaciers were formed because there was more snowfall than melt during the turning of a year. So we want more snow, and we won't have more snow if we don't have more, wetter, precipitation.

What do you think?


S.M. Carrière said...

The glaciers formed at the top and bottom parts of our word due to a freeze, not snow fall (though, certainly, snow did fall). They are, essentially, rivers of ice. The same is true of the polar caps. It was cold temperatures, not tonnes of snow, that created them.

Rapid changes in temperature doesn't just mean higher temperatures all around. It means more extreme weather. Stronger cyclones/hurricanes/typhoons more often, killer king tides, colder snaps, hotter heat waves, desertification of wetlands, salination of soil, even earthquakes, mudslides, unusual amounts of rainfall, flash floods... need I continue.

Granted, there have always been fluctuations in median temperature on Earth, but the pace of change we are currently experiencing is unheard of. NASA has tonnes of data on this.

Let's ignore the damage it does to niche ecosystems and the lives of the creatures that live in them, it spells disaster for ourselves as well.

An entire island off the coast of India has already been swallowed by rising sea levels, displaced an entire island of inhabitants.

Global warming bad? Yes, I happen to think it is.

Anna L. Walls said...

Well, I wasn't sure how the polar icecaps formed, but there is land under the antarctic icecap so it can't be ice that built up on top of that, can it? As for our arctic icecap - I guess I just don't understand it well enough. I do know that it takes snowfall to create the glaciers that 'flow' down the sides of mountains, and without snow, their dirty surface is melting too fast, which has a whole chain effect from there.

Perhaps then, 'global warming' even 'global weather change' is entirely the wrong term(s). All I know is, for the last couple years, a bucket of snow (packed) will yield less than 2 gallons of water - that's roughly 2.3% liquid per volume if my math is correct (I'm not that good at math), which translates into a relative drought by Alaskan terms.

So yeah - hotter summers and colder winters aren't a good thing - not for anything. But calling this change 'global warming' is erroneous too.

Roy Durham said...

great post from the top of the world. like your post. and have more in fo for you. i will follow and be back soon. god bless

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks Roy. I've subscribed to your blog. Very interesting. See you when I see you.

Dave said...

Interesting stuff, Anna. I've just started recently hearing some of the "maybe it's not necessarily a *bad* thing if the Earth warms a little" arguments. They're intriguing.

And I'm with you as far as when I get sweltering. I come from Iowa, and it used to take high-80s to 90s to get me to sweat.

Now that I live in the Northwest, I'm sweating at 75. I hate it.

But I love it up here.

Anna L. Walls said...

Hello Dave. Thanks for stopping by. The weather is an unwieldy Juggernaut. It will do what it will do no matter what we puny humans think.

Kriti said...

Definitely food for thought Anna - i wonder what a counter argument would be.... Glad I came by - Kriti -

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kriti. I'm sure the counter argument would be filled with information I'm missing, but I can only think about what I see and try to understand what I've read.

I read once that the amount of particulate matter in the air (polution? dust? they didn't say) has decreased over the last several years. I see that as our pollution control measures working to some extent. But in this article the point was that these particles retained heat. Of course now that they are gone, we down here on the surface are more at the mercy of possibly 'normal' weather heretofore altered by pollution. Makes a person wonder, doesn't it?

Build Muscle Fast said...

alaska look truly beautful! great post anna!

Anonymous said...

I had to chime in on this subject but I'll keep it as short as possible.

Global Warming, by the way it's described today ... "man caused it".. is complete and total fallacy. The agenda behind this claim is to put the blame on humans by saying it's caused by carbon. Carbon is one of the building blocks of life as we know it. To sustain life you need oxygen, water, sunlight and carbon.

They recently passed a law in California called the "carbon tax", it's basically a tax on the air you breath (they call it carbon emissions) each time you exhale what comes out of your lungs? That's right, C2O... what happens to plant life when they don't get the carbon they need? What happens to humans when they don't get the oxygen they need? I'm sure you know where I'm going with this, so I'll move on.

Have you noticed that they don't even call it "Global Warming" anymore? "Global Warming" has been replaced with "Climate Change"... so what's the remedy? Yes, they tell us to pay a carbon tax and that will keep us safe from "Climate Change".... anyone else see the idiocy involved here?

In a nutshell the climate has always changed, it has never remained constant, there have always been peaks and valleys as far as temperatures goes... remember back in the 70's when they said we going into another ice age??

If you want to know the true culprit behind climate change or global warming, you need to look no further then that huge ball of fire in the sky.... the Sun. Solar flares cause temperatures to go higher then normal and the lack of solar flares cause the temps to go lower then normal.

As far as S.M. Carrière and her comment about how NASA has data on "the pace of change"... that's rubbish. If you take the time and research you will find that the planet is actually cooling, not warming up.

Just a simple question to ask yourself... if humans and their carbon are causing "global warming"... why then are the polar ice caps on Mars melting??? Wasn't aware we evil humans were driving our SUV's on Mars. Like I said, it all has to do with that huge ball of fire in the sky... the Sun.

Anonymous said...

sorry I meant to put CO2... not C2O, I'm getting tired

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks for commenting, Anomymous. I wish you would have signed your name at least so I could properly thank you for your contribution.

Weather is what it is and there is little we can do about it. Next time you go for a ride in your SUV on Mars I want to ride along.