This may not be news to the EB regulars but I couldn't let it pass without a post.
- China is experiencing its coldest winter in 100 years.
- The coldest winter in recent memory has killed over 900 people in Afghanistan.
- The coldest winter in 50 years has forced Tajikistan to appeal to the United Nations for aid.
- There is a third more ice in Antarctica than is usual for this time of year.
- The Northern Hemisphere has endured its coldest weather in decades and snow blankets more areas than at any time since 1966.
- Jerusalem, Damascus, Amman, and northern Saudi Arabia report the heaviest snow falls in years and below-zero temperatures.
Ice pack belies global warming
Weather will be ‘normal’ in Northwest, scientist predicts
By Terence Day
For the Capital Press
SPOKANE - Atmospheric scientist Art Douglas says the world could be experiencing global warming or sliding into the next ice age. But in either case, Pacific Northwest weather will be near normal over the next few years.
Speaking Feb. 5 at the Pacific Northwest Farm Forum, the long-range weather consultant and professor emeritus at Creighton University said the region's weather may be about 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer in March, April and May, with precipitation above normal and gradual drying going into harvest.
The region should experience normal weather next fall and winter, he said.
However, weather in the region is likely to turn dry in 2009. Douglas said the Northwest is in a weather pattern similar to the pattern experienced in 1949-1963.
Douglas expects Montana and the Dakotas to be dry throughout 2008, and Canada and northern China will continue very cold with heavy snows into mid-spring, followed by a summer that is hot and dry.
"China will bake May to August," Douglas predicted, with temperatures about 3 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in northern China. Crops will experience drought, and the Olympics will experience dense smog.
Douglas reported Australia's weather is improving for grain production, but South America's wheat-producing regions face continued dry weather. South African growing conditions should be good in 2008.
Whatever the weather, Douglas said, it's not being caused by global warming. If anything, the climate may be starting into a cooling period.
Many were greatly alarmed at melting sea ice near the North Pole with about one-third of the normal ice pack melted by 2007. But Douglas said between November 2007 and January 2008 the entire Arctic Ocean froze over, with the ice pack forming farther south than normal. Ice is forming in places in Korea and Alaska where it normally doesn't, and Siberia's January snow cover was extensive.
"We've really never seen anything like this for many, many years," he said. And the impact has been enormous, with China importing coal "because of a super-cold winter."
The amount of sea ice is the largest ever seen in the Southern Hemisphere, and it has even snowed in Buenos Aires, Douglas said. "Within four or five months, it appears that a warming trend can go very rapidly in the other direction."
Douglas said the climate can quickly correct itself, restoring lower average temperatures in as little as two years.
He said he doubts global warming. He said if greenhouse gases were responsible for global warming, both the Arctic and Antarctic would be experiencing warming, but they aren't.
Douglas said he believes the weather patterns the world is now experiencing are regional phenomena and not a global pattern. He also noted that the warmest year on record was 1998, but questioned why, if we're in a warming trend, it hasn't gotten any warmer than it was that year.
Douglas said warming trends put more moisture in the atmosphere, resulting in more snow, which leads to cooling.
Americans don't understand, he said, that what Europeans fear is that we may be heading into a period of global cooling, which could push ice lower than Europe has experienced in modern times, creating problems for ports there.
After his speech, Douglas told a group of farmers who questioned him that alarm over global warming is analogous to alarm a few decades ago that the Great Salt Lake had shrunk so much that it could never recover. In only three years - in the 1980s - the lake was flooding farmland and endangering highways, industries and subdivisions, which prompted the state to build pumping stations to draw water into the desert to evaporate.