May’s March Madness

March 15, 2012

Flowers blooming early — spring ain’t til next Tuesday:

“My nightmare now is this weather,” Japanese ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki said at press briefing today at the National Press Building.
“What are we going to do if all the cherry blossoms bloom before we start [the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival]?,” he said.
“That’s my nightmare.”

Well, as the rocker springs to the mocker: Welcome to everybody’s nightmare.

In the warmest winter maybe since 1872, spring has come way-early this year and in the US it’s heat in the east, snow in the west — creating a weather paradox that allows a glimpse into a future of extremes from flooding to drought.

(Illustration found here).

In the last few weeks, reportedly all kinds of record temperatures were recorded in the US and although several reasons are factored into the events, the punch to the heat comes from climate change — as was/is called,”weather on steroids.”
From Climate Central:

On March 13 alone, 184 record high temperatures were broken or tied across the country, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Between March 6-12, 1,146 warm temperature records (record daily highs and record warm daily lows) were set or tied, compared to just 277 cold temperature records.
In a long-term trend that has been linked to global climate change, daily record-high temperatures have recently been outpacing daily record-lows by an average of 2-to-1, and this imbalance is expected to grow as the climate continues to warm.
According to a 2009 study, if the climate were not warming, this ratio would be expected to be even.

Despite even cooling temperatures in Australia, for an instance of an oddity, a new report shows that the climate is starting to bake real good.
And it’s not going to be pretty: There were further uncertainties relating to tipping points in the climate system, such as the break-up of ice sheets, which could lead to rapid climate change, the report says. “Unless greenhouse gas emissions decrease, we expect to see the temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans continue to warm and sea levels continue to rise at current or even higher rates,” the report says.
Australia’s second State of the Climate report also says the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere last year was 390 parts per million, higher than at any time for the past 800,000 years.
I haven’t any kind of a clue how these guys figure that shit out, but it don’t look real fun.

In another similar post this morning at Skeptical Science, a lot of numbers and equations and charts are boiled down into language even an idiot like me could understand.
One illustration is how Australia’s Sydney Harbour could be emptied twice a day if all the heat accumulating the earth’s oceans were turned onto one spot — these brainiacs says it’s equal to two Hiroshima bombs going off every second, and this since 1961.
A couple of snips:

But why don’t we notice this?
Because instead of all this heating happening just in Sydney Harbour, this is spread out through out the worlds oceans.
And they are huge: 2,300,000 times the size of Sydney Harbour.
So heat that boils the harbour would only warm the entire ocean by a fraction of a degree.
So we don’t notice it much.
Not that it isn’t real, just that we don’t notice it.
And if this much heat had instead gone into just warming the atmosphere — you know, that thing we call Climate — it would have raised Air temperatures by around 42 °C over the last 1/2 Century!
When I was in kindergarten, in 1961, a hot day at the beach was 35 °C.
Imagine that it was now 77 °C.

When the first analyses of Ocean Heat Content calculated from old temperature data from the oceans where first published in the early 2000’s, they were described as the ‘Smoking Gun’.
Because they were.
They are the primary observational evidence for Global Warming and the human nature of it.

A rose by any other name is a cherry blossom.

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