Hemispheric Blizzards and Global Warming Not Mutually Exclusive
Posted Jan 27 2010 7:00am
My being a global warming subject matter expert is not based merely on my
extensive work on the topic, my attendance at global symposia or my status as a
certified global warming presenter of the National Wildlife Federation. It also
is based on the fact that I reside in Florida, a region on the front lines of
I first moved to Florida in 1987 to attend the University of Miami. While
living there, I experienced my first autumn chill as a Floridian. In late
November of 1987, temperatures dropped to near 40° F. Needless to say, I was
shocked by the weather. Two years later, when I had relocated to Central Florida
and lived in Winter Park, I experienced my first icy December, with Christmas
temperatures hovering low enough to freeze a glass of tap water.
In both cases, Florida’s agriculture industry suffered billions of dollars of
losses. Simply put, the subtropical climate of the Sunshine State is not
supposed to see thermometers drop below 50° F at night during the winter. When
they do, Floridians suffer.
January 2010 has seen record low temperatures not just in Florida but in
patches across North America. Moreover, other nations in the Northern Hemisphere
have seen record accumulations of snow, which have paralyzed commerce and
transportation for millions. Can it be a coincidence that one of the coldest
winter seasons on record came to pass in the age of global warming? Does this
sequence of frigid days and icy nights throughout the Northern Hemisphere
disprove the anthropogenic origin of global warming?
The simple answer is no. In fact, the opposite is true. It is for this reason
Prize Winner Al Gore prefers the term climate change over global warming.
Short-term effects of climate change can appear to contradict the long-term
trend and cause confusion. Let there be none. Global warming is real. Humanity’s
abuse of its home is the primary cause and abnormally cold winters are just
My assertion still begs one to inquire as to the cause of the hemispheric
blizzard of January 2010, though. What truly is happening? The simple response
is that our continued and accelerating damage to the atmosphere and the systems
it uses to maintain breathable air and tolerable temperatures causes those
planetary natural systems to become erratic and overcompensate from time to
time. That is precisely the situation today. In March of last year,
I wrote a post which pointed to new research on exactly how widespread the
In summary, while it is true that we are quite literally cooking ourselves
with the billions of tons of carbon which we spew into the atmosphere every
year, there is no guarantee that some of us won’t freeze to death before others
suffer fatal heat exhaustion and dehydration this summer. Get used to bizarre
weather because the hemispheric blizzard of January 2010 is just the beginning!