Feb 25 2008
It is a very cold year with near-record snowfall across the Northern hemisphere:
Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.
The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January “was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average.”
China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.
There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has felt the pinch as home buyers have stayed home rather than venturing out looking for new houses.
In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.
And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its “lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.
The ice is back.
Real scientists (not nuts like Al Gore who invented the Internet and Global Warming) have predicted this would start happening. As I noted in a previous posts the solar cycle is a much bigger driver on our climate than the number of SUV-miles logged in the US:
But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century.
Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle.
This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.
This period is known as the Little Ice Age and, if it returns, will have us begging for the return of Global Warming. It would also bring about calls to increase our CO2 foot prints so we could enhance any ‘”Green House” effect. A green house is a nice place to be when stuck in the arctic climes.
Update: More late-breaking science is pointing to the fact the warming is not all man-made and has heavy (if not driving) natural component to it:
A new study finds that both humans and nature are contributing to the dramatic melting of Arctic ice.
Nature has contributed to the warming. For example, a natural cycle of winds blowing toward the North Pole have carried warm air and clouds that trap heat. That unusual weather pattern has been observed by scientists for over the past 20 years. But nature canâ€™t account for all the warming in the Arctic.
Conversely, human activity alone cannot account for it either. Which means changing human activity will not reverse the trend either. Natural forces dominate even us vaulted humans. More here on how the science is not fitting the alarmists’ cries of doom.