My older son was cracking about how this unusually cold February (as we visited grandots in Minneapolis) should shutup the global warming gloaters who were all over the unusually warm January.
...Which is an odd way for him to find comfort in the cold, for sure.
It's not like he's alone in this. Fact is, it has now become an all too common misapprehension of the long term warming trends...which have little to do with what climate scientists call 'meteorological anomalies' (via real climate).
As meteorologist Michael Mann points out, peculiar weather precipitates immediate blame on global warming by some, and equally immediate pronouncements by others that global warming can't possibly be to blame.
The reality is that absolute statements of neither sort are scientifically defensible.
It is true that, in an odd repeat of last year, my son and his Upper Midwest neighbors found themselves well into the meteorological Northern Hemisphere winter with little evidence that it ever really began.
Unsurprisingly, numerous news stories had popped up asking whether global warming might be to blame, and representatives from NOAA's National Weather Service were dispatched to tell us that the event "has absolutely nothing to do with global warming".
And, sure, they're probably saying similar things now about the 'surprise' snowstorm that greeted our arrival in Madison two weeks ago.
Either way, I was tickled to get a small taste of winter. Having grown up in Juneau, I know Winter's delights.
I mean, hey, how often does a Hawaii resident get to shovel snow off the driveway?
Still, we shouldn't miss the point about short term anomalies in our weather. It's not about whether they occur, but whether they occur more frequently.
Sadly, there is mounting evidence that weather is getting weird just about everywhere.