Brent Schaffer: Don’t let the cool weather fool you

January 6, 2018


With temperatures dropping like a rock, how can there be global warming? I mean really, isn’t warming, warming?

Actually, warming IS creating conditions for this weather. Here’s why: Warmer temperatures mean warmer oceans. Hurricanes form similarly to our Arizona dust devils. The sun heats the earth, hot air rises creating a low pressure area, drawing in the cooler, surrounding air. When it gets hot enough, swirling starts and dust devils form. Hurricanes form the same way. That’s why they start around the equator (hotter) and drive north.

The warmer earth is, the better for making hurricanes. If the hurricanes this season didn’t register with you, then you weren’t watching. As for the cold air we’re experiencing, warmer earth means the ice caps or poles (earth’s air conditioning system) melt faster. There is no doubt that is happening. While a scant few glaciers are growing, the vast majorities are shrinking. The rate is what has scientists’ attention.

Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull in Iceland, receded 100 meters from 1900-1990. In the last 28 years, it receded over a 1,200 meters. The bigger the temperature difference, the more Mother Nature wants to make it smaller. She’s “spending” ice to cool us off. Bigger temperature differentials mean extreme weather. Imagine putting the Christmas punch bowl with a floating block of ice on the stove. Turn up the heat and watch it churn. Without the heat, that doesn’t happen so much. Can you say “extreme weather?”

With a few exceptions, National Weather Service data shows that mean temperatures are increasing. Folks who say this is a bunch of crud point out those few exceptions, leaving out the rest of the facts and most all the data. When you mess around with Mother Nature, you’re in for a whole lot more than just warmth. You get the full treatment.

Brent Schaffer

Lake Havasu City