Thursday, July 15, 2010

Icy hot

Since moving to Penn -Delmarva region, I've noticed the paucity of snow most winters. This past winter, of course, we were wracked by multiple storms, prompting many to proclaim that this short-term regional weather disproved long-term global warming. At the same time however, the Arctic sea region was warmer than the long-term average:

Come April, things started cooking 'round here, with a few brief cooler periods.We can see how things started warm more than average at temperate as well as polar latitudes during the March through May period:

As I noted a few weeks ago, it was the hottest June on record for Philadephia and today it was reported by the National Climatic Data Center that the 2010 Jan-Jun period was the warmest on record. The last few weeks it has been very warm and dry, but the past few days why have doused with many heavy showers - during a short walk yesterday I was soaked by a warm torrential downpour.
What does this all mean? Well climate is what ya expect, weather is what ya get. There has been an El Nino  event over the past year and a negative Arctic Oscillation, which tend to cause changes in precipitation and temperature patterns. But if this pattern becomes the expected, then we have a shift in climate.  We see the long-term T increase and could see gradual changes in precipitation, temperature variation and storm tracks. But again if the pattern present now becomes the new normal, then we could be witnessing some abrupt changes. Or if we no longer see consistent patterns year to year, then maybe we have climate instability. We can only wait and see what happens.
Back to the Arctic. In the midst of Snowmeggdon in February, a rapid sea ice melt was forecast and now seems to be a reality.  And this as well.

Things could get "interesting". If abrupt change is underway or begins, how long before the public at large get it?

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