Weather Whiplash Hits Home in the Heartland

December 27, 2013

This catalog showed up just in time for Christmas, and underlines the changes that ordinary Americans have not failed to notice.
As loud as the Fox News noise machine screams, Planet Earth speaks with greater authority.


29 Responses to “Weather Whiplash Hits Home in the Heartland”

  1. Jean Mcmahon Says:

    I am so glad I know what to wear now

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Don’t rely on the catalog cover picture for more than “fashion advice” . She may be on the shores of Lake Superior, but what she’s wearing is not appropriate for “winter”.

      I bike year-round, and you will need more layers than the model is wearing. You don’t have to look like the Michelin Man either with today’s high-tech fabrics. Try a wicking layer, followed by a layer or two of fleece of different weights, covered with Gore-Tex or just a windproof outer cover if you aren’t sweating much. Fleece on feet, hands, and head is needed too. Leave only your eyeballs uncovered, and goggle them up if the wind is blowing.

      An interesting fact is that winters here in Northern VA seem to have fewer “warmer” days suitable for bike riding (40-45 and up). Temps used to be more “even” and you could always find a half dozen or more days to ride in Jan and Feb—-not so much any more.

  2. omnologos Says:

    A few posts ago weather wasn’t climate

    • dumboldguy Says:

      It wasn’t? I may be a dumb old guy, so correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t “weather” a result of “climate” in the broader sense?

      • Earl Mardle Says:

        Not to be the grinch, but no.

        Weather is the operation of physics, climate is statistical.

        Climate is always backward looking because it is a picture made up of data from the past. It can give a rough idea of what weather might be but it doesn’t operate in the real world like the laws of physics.

        Its why those who say that “climate change” has not “caused” today’s heat wave or snow storm.

        But the climate data is telling us that we have already screwed up a lot and can give us an increasingly clear picture of how screwed up the future will be, but its not an actor.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Not to be a grinch either, but all that sounds like word games of the sort we hear from O-Log and E-Pot.

          (And do you not recognize what the use of “…..” marks implies?)

          • Earl Mardle Says:

            Disagree. I am quoting word games such as those that say that “climate change” as they cynically define it, doesn’t “cause” a snow storm because in that they are right and those who argue that it does are wrong.

            If we want to belong to a reality-based community, we need to be clear about what we are saying and what we mean. Using rhetorical sleight of hand or inaccuracies leaves us open to the kind of cynical manipulation of the famous “climate scientists conspire by email to lie about climate change so we were right after all and they are just a bunch of big green meanies” “scandal”

            Yep, O know what “”…” marks implies, that’s why I use them.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            “Yep, I know what “…..” marks implies, that’s why I use them”

            If that’s true, why are you having so much trouble with……“weather” is a result of “climate” in the broader sense?

            It’s actually a bit of a “chicken or egg” (in the broader sense).

          • Earl Mardle Says:

            The reason I’m having trouble with it is that weather is no more the result of climate, in any sense, than jackhammers are the result of noise.

            Hear the noise, infer the jackhammer, but if you want causation, you star with the jackhammer.

            We have enough trouble trying to communicate decent science to most populations, the US especially; letting the heathers and the hairdos on network TV determine the field and the terms of the discourse gets you to losing the debate before its even started.

            That’s why.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Jackhammers and noise?

            Let’s back up a bit, Earl. Omnologos made one of his typically inane comments, and I came back with a slightly less inane comment in jest and you want to argue endlessly about it?

            With very “serious” definitions and half-baked analogies, no less? For a guy who has made good sense in his other comments, you seem to be getting a bit wrapped around the axle on this one. Lighten up and smell the roses.

            I seriously doubt that I am “destroying communication” with the “population” that visits Crock by what I said. (I AM correct in the “broader sense” anyway).

          • greenman3610 Says:

            if climate includes things like amount of arctic ice, ocean heat content, and atmospheric flows, then it is the ground
            from which weather emerges, even if chaotically. more moisture = more heat = more fuel for hydrological cycle = novel events.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      an increase in extremes is very much climate

      • omnologos Says:

        A sustained increased of weather extremes over several decades is climate (change). Winter 2013-2014 in north america is weather, just as it was when you blogged “More Predictable Than the Weather: “It’s Cold in winter – there is no Global Warming”“.

        • The changes in the frequency of mid-latitude extreme event have occurred only in the past decade not just this year. The fact that this is purely random change in frequency is becoming highly unlikely as time progresses.

          Oddly this goes back to Francis’ article (2013 Tang et al) and “Atmospheric science: Long-range linkage” in the Jan 2014 Nature Climate Change. Which directly address this point

          “Evidence indicates that the continued loss of Arctic sea-ice and snow cover may influence weather at lower latitudes. Now correlations between high-latitude cryosphere changes, hemispheric wind patterns and mid-latitude extreme events are shown for the Northern Hemisphere.

          The Arctic in the past decade has experienced abrupt changes. Among these are a 75% loss of sea-ice volume and earlier loss of late spring snow cover”

          “The International Arctic Science Committee has selected Arctic linkages to the large-scale atmospheric circulation as a grand science challenge for the next two years. The study by Tang et al. contributes to the rapidly increasing body of literature on the subject.”

  3. Another W word is weird weather. Weather is less regular and predictable because the jet stream makes it meander much farther north south rather than east west. Since it is weaker, it lingers. Leave it to mr known it all to conflate this simple message that GW causes weird weather. Sir semantic.

  4. Pathetic is when you are too stupid or lazy to click on a video, but addle brained enough to spout your biased opinion over scientists’ you have not heard. Anyone wonder where ignorance comes from, look no further. The answers for everyone else with an open mind are in the Jennifer Francis, McMasters, et al explanations in the last video. Honestly, these arguments don’t rise to the level of stupid, much less wrong.

  5. On a side note.

    Atlantic overturning in decline?

    In Nature Geoscience January 2014

    A change in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Direct measurement show a decline in strength over the observed period of 2004-2013. They indicate the decline is not merely a short-term fluctuation, but is part of a substantial reduction in meridional occurring on a decadal timescale.

    Link to RAPID is

    • dumboldguy Says:

      If we are seeing a real long-term change and not just “noise”, this is not good news. Another “side note” that is really part of the big picture.

  6. kingdube Says:

    Heavens to Betsy. Growing up every day was picture perfect and completely predictable. What in the world has happened to the weather. It now seems to change from one day to the next. This is soooo…un-natural.

  7. Normal variation or not, northern Europe has had unusual high temperatures this winter and storm after storm hitting, some with hurricane upper strengths to the winds. Norway has also been pounded over and over. No doubt its because of the jetstream that is completely messed up by the warming in the Arctic. I wonder how things will be when the ice is gone in the summer months there soon…

    • A couple of new temperature records were also set in mid-Norway recently during this xmas. If you cant read Norwegian try google translate, it gives a pretty decent translation. 🙂

      This is just one string of high temperature records this year in Norway. We also had an unusual warm summer in the northernmost part of Norway (Russia and Siberia got some of it too).

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Some are predicting that the the NORC’s (Northern Rim Countries) are actually going to do quite well as AGW progresses (at least for a while). Norway’s weather may get a bit weird, but its economy may be booming. “The World in 2050” is an interesting read, and makes the point that the NORCs are going to fare much better regarding the effects of AGW over the next decades than the countries in lower latitudes. Norway and Denmark will become much “bigger” players in the scheme of things, and the author sees the U.S. as faring quite well also. (Except for daveburton’s “6 feet above sea level” Miami, New York, and New Orleans, and perhaps Duck, NC)

      • fortranprog Says:

        Looks like a good read from Laurence C. Smith, must check it out:

        “The world in 2050 will be radically different from today. Northern countries – notably Canada, Russia and Scandinavia – will rise at the expense of southern ones. Places like New Zealand, Argentina and interior Brazil will also be winners. Patterns of human migration will be dramatically altered – and where we are born will be crucial. “The New North:The World in 2050″ explores the ‘four locomotives’ that are changing the world – climate change, rising population, globalisation and resource depletion – and attempts to predict how they will shape the world between now and 2050. It is a book about people, and the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors that determine where and how they live. In particular, it examines the countries of the far north – Scandinavia, Canada, Greenland, etc – which stand to gain from the changes underway. ”

        Please don’t tell my government else they will step up oil and gas exploration and crack down on the “greens” even more.

        • MorinMoss Says:

          Hate to say this but if things get really, really bad, the choice spots will be controlled by whoever has the biggest guns.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Actually, the ‘choice” spots will be controlled by those who have the $$$$ to hire those with the biggest guns—-the plutocracy and the corporate oligarchs.

            Those who “go down early” may derive some small satisfaction from knowing that even $$$$ won’t save the ones who caused the death of the biosphere by their greed and shortsightedness. If things go very badly, there will be hardly anyone left, and wherever they may find refuge likely will not be considered “choice”.

        • Earl Mardle Says:

          As an NZer I’m guessing that “winner” will not have the usual connotations in the future. We are already experiencing increasingly extreme weather.

          This year we had the worst drought in 70 years followed by the wettest May on record with the earliest, biggest snowfalls in the south for a looong time, followed by another small drought then damaging winds that have left large swathes of forest lying, drying in the summer sun; ready for a match.

          As Australia hits the climatic wall, expect a significant percentage of the nearly half million of us living there will want to come home. Half a million into 4.5 million is NOT a happy thought. Not forgetting about an equal number spread across the US, Europe and Asia. Mhmm.

          Meanwhile our massive food production industry is geared to dairy and specialist crops like Kiwis and wine. Kiwis are already under threat from PSA virus and dairy is massively dependent on water and imported rock phosphate.

          As a small-holding farmer, I’m adding dams and ponds as fast as I can and trying to figure out where to plant my deciduous trees and how many bananas and other subtropicals I can plant. When I start thinking about pineapples and mangoes we will really be screwed.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            You are correct—the meaning of “winner” will not be the same. It will mean instead “who will be the smallest losers”. And relative to what will happen in many places around the globe, NZ may very well be a “winner”. I myself wouldn’t want to be trying to survive in AUS 100 years from now.

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