Monday, February 02, 2009

An Inconvenient Winter

Maybe being housebound for the better part of a week by a record snowfall has sensitized me to snow stories in the news, but I couldn't help but notice some unusual snow stories. First we had Marseilles and Madrid covered in snow- not a few flakes, mind you, but airport-closing snow levels. Then the record snows here in the Midwest, followed by snow in The United Arab Emirates , and now Heaviest snow in 20 years brings large parts of Britain to a halt . I began to notice a theme to these stories.

How old was the snow record in the British Isles? Only twenty years. The record that was beaten here in Indianapolis? Only ten years old- and the one before that, in the late 60's. The snow in Jebel Jais, UAE? Well, it snows so seldom there that they have no word for snow; in fact this is only the second snowfall there in recorded history... the previous snow being in 2004! There's an old saying that once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and three times, a pattern... and the pattern seems to be one for ever increasing snowfalls and ever decreasing winter temperatures.

Funny, that's not the pattern that Al Gore braved a snowstorm to testify to Congress about last week.


Chalicechick said...

Did Al Gore ever actually SAY that everyplace on earth would be hotter all the time?

IMHO, while "global warming" was the thing to call it in 1984, everybody calls it "Climate change" now, a recognition of the fact that climate systems are really complicated and the effects of climate change likely won't be universal.


Joel Monka said...

As of his January 28, 2009 testimony before Congress, Al Gore is still calling it "Global Warming", and warming was the one and only climate effect he warned of.

Robin Edgar said...
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Elz said...

Up here in Vermont, we are told to look at it as "increasing extremes" in climate patterns.

As to Gore using the old nomenclature, well,Joseph Priestley went to his grave insisting that the chemical he had discovered was called "Phlogiston." Even in his day, people were calling it "oxygen." Moral of the story: when someone sticks his or her neck out for a term, they are likely to keep using it long after everyone else has altered it according to subsequent insights.