Yes, it is Cold, But….

Yikes, it’s cold where I live! The high today is -15 F, and with the wind it feels colder. Please don’t feel sorry for us. It is just another extreme, and we are all living in a time of extremes. We have extreme droughts, extreme rains and storms, and extreme heat. Minnesota might be back to 40 degrees  in just a few days, a 70 degree high temperature change in a few days! Yes, extreme!

Most of us would rather be here in the cold than in the extreme heat and drought Australia is experiencing.  While our cold weather is a short blip, they are experiencing a long-term extreme. Read about it here.

The sun shines, and frost on the window.

There are some advantages to a short cold snap like this. We can hope that some of the invasive bugs that are unchecked because of our warmer winters will be stopped or slowed down. The cold will completely freeze over the lakes which make them safer for winter activities, and can also lessen summer algae. My favorite thing about the cold is that the sun often shines making for beautiful bright days.

Polar Bear weather in the mid-north of the United States

Is this part of climate change? Why does this Arctic air escape the Arctic? The Arctic has warmed faster than the 1.8 degrees the Earth has recently warmed. This warming has weakened the jet stream winds that would normally stay north, but this climate warming has caused these winds to seep south. Our warming planet has confused the jet stream causing them to rush where they normally don’t blow, bringing the Arctic winter cold with them.  The extreme heat in Australia is a more serious problem that isn’t a passing scenario like our short-lived northern cold.  Yes, our changing climate is real and we are experiencing it every day.

Climate Data Slapping Us in the Face!


Yes, it has been a hard winter for most of us in North America. Drought, heavy snow, and the Polar Vortex all have contributed. Minnesota has experience the 6th coldest meteorological winter on record and Wisconsin the 5th coldest. Yet Alaska, and most of the earth are hotter than average. Globally it has been the 8th warmest winter! See map below. A few weeks ago I heard Mark Seeley from the University of Minnesota, speak on climate change. Seeley says that the climate data is, “slapping us in the face” telling us the climate is changing.
Several things he said were new and interesting. First, not all places are experiencing climate change to the same degree. The Southeastern part of the United States has not seen the changes we have experienced in the north. Second, there a latitude bias–The further from the equator the more evidence of change. Third, there is a winter bias, winters are showing more temperature warming.  Fourth, the minimum daily temperature is warming more than the high daily temperature. In other words, our night temperatures are warming! Finally, there is more moisture in the air which he says is the “ultimate greenhouse gas.” And more moisture in the air can cause more violent storms.
Unfortunately, the change is happening so fast we will have to adapt quickly. We need to limit the carbon we are pumping into the air, and make preparation to prepare for the future.