Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Global Warming Update

It was 14 at ride-time this morning. I put on the "winter" gloves for a change. I was sharing the bike routes with some other hardy souls - that's always comforting.

Those who pooh-pooh the notion of "global warming" love to spout in the winter time when it's cold. (And you may have expected me to be doing the same.) Some of 'em seem to believe that the winter season proves that "global warming" is a myth. Especially if there's a record-setting cold temperature somewhere. There's a lot of, "See - I told you so!"

Same thing with the "global warming" hand-wringers in the summertime, of course. In fact, if it weren't for hot weather every year, most folks prolly wouldn't be paying any attention at all!

Those who get all huffy about cold in the winter and warm in the summer are just being silly and obtuse. Day-to-day and season-to-season temperature changes are meaningless as indicators of trends in the climate.

While I am skeptical (but open-minded) about the human contribution to "global warming," I can make this unscientific but longer-term observation... it used to get a lot colder in Boise in the winter time, than it does now. (I was born in Boise and have been unscientifically observing the Boise climate for 50+ years.) When I was a kid, it was expected that there would be some below-zero days every winter. Not many, but a few. And a lot more single-digit days. Nowadays, by comparison, mid-teens give "Idaho's Chief Meterologist"* something to get all excited about. And I can't remember the last time it got below zero. Ten years ago, maybe?

I believe the climate is changing... and always has been. Weather seems to be more severe and extreme now, than it was 50 years ago. And at least in this area, I'm fairly confident the average winter temperatures are measurably warmer now, than 50 years ago.

If human activity is partially responsible, I take comfort in knowing that my personal impact is minimal. (Unfortunately, my bike-ride in this morning probably didn't warm the temperature even 1 degree.) And I'd rather be doing something about the problem, than blah-blah-blahing about how "aware" I am.

Okay - enough of the soapbox stuff.

* All the TV weather people have titles. One guy calls himself Idaho's Chief Meterologist. Is that a self-designation, or did Gub'nor Butch sign the certificate and have a little ceremony?


Anonymous said...

I think my eyeballs started to freeze up this morning.

Bikeboy said...

Yeah - it was almost an "ice cream headache" commute!!!

extrovertonage said...

Yesterday my temperature gauge read 10 degrees when I put gloves on over my liners, and swapped out the under-helmet beanie for a thin turtle fur balaclava. But the long-sleeved fleece layer was too much. Should stuck with a vest under the yelluh shell and let my internal combustion do the rest. (p.s. My winter memories are the same as yours. Crossing the Ann Morrison foot bridge in the morning I saw ice starting to form in the river. Been some time since I've seen it really freeze up.)