Friday, January 13, 2006

Minnesota Warming

The StarTribune reports that the Twin Cities is enjoying its warmest winter to date. Only one day since December 21 has posted an average daily temperature below the 30-year average — and the cumulative average is 15.9 degrees above normal and 2.4 above the warmest January on record.

Now, Minnesota warming is certainly not proof of global warming, and I like biking in January without shoe covers and a face mask.

But what about hurricane Katrina and the high ferocity and incidence of tropical storms that forced meteorologists to cycle back through the alphabet last year to name them all? A prominent scientist who has been a moderate on the global warming questions says:

My answer is, Not so fast. That may have been a contributor. But the fact we had such a bad season was mostly a matter of chance. On the other hand, though the number of storms globally remained nearly constant, the frequency of Atlantic storms has been rising in concert with tropical ocean temperature, probably because of global warming.

There is no doubt that in the last 20 years, the earth has been warming up. And it's warming up much too fast to ascribe to any natural process we know about.

The scientist is Kerry Emanuel, MIT meteorologist and hurricane specialist, author of Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes. He continues:

I predicted years ago that if you warmed the tropical oceans by a degree Centigrade, you should see something on the order of a 5 percent increase in the wind speed during hurricanes. We've seen a larger increase, more like 10 percent, for an ocean temperature increase of only one-half degree Centigrade.

Still, nothin to worry about. Got no proof that power plants, automobile emissions or brush burnin cause global warm-ing. No smokin gun (heh, heh).

Conservation should be voluntary. That's why they call it conservation. Because it's voluntary. Bible doesn't mention global warm-ing. We should be teaching both sides and not hurting the economy.

Time to go for a bike ride.

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