Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

31 January 2010

Are more moderate winters so bad?

J. Richard Wakefield commented on an earlier post of mine and directed my attention to a study he did on the temperature records of Belleville, Ontario going back to 1921.  The yearly average mean daily temperature from the late 1980s on shows an increase.  He points out that this does not need to mean that there is an increase in both the minimum and maximum temperatures of most days and it does not need to mean that all of the seasons have become warmer.  So he proceeds with inspecting such issues.

His major findings are:
  • Winters are becoming shorter as measured from the time of first to last freeze.
  • The number of days each year with low temperatures below -20C is decreasing.
  • The number of days with temperatures above 30C is also decreasing, while the minimum daily summer temperatures are increasing.
In other words, the weather is moderating, with the winters accounting for the warming that has occurred.

Wakefield examines the graphs of days above 30C and days below -20C and sees indications of three phases of temperature behavior in the Belleville temperature record.  Phase 1 is from 1933 to 1955, Phase 2 is from 1955 to 1982, and then Phase 3 is from then to 2006.  He then plots the temperature against the sum of the days in a year above 30C plus the days below -20C plus the days in winter.  The result is the graph below:

The phase boundary years change slightly, but three distinct phases do stand out.  Odds are, atmospheric CO2 global warming enthusiasts might try to explain these behavioral phases in terms of the sudden tipping points they are so fond of.  That would be great, if they can explain what the tipping point was.  I am much more inclined to look to natural forces for an explanation.

Whatever the explanation, the yellow Phase 1 was a time of weather extremes in Belleville.  It was not a pleasant period.  The green Phase 2 was an improvement in that the number of hot days above 30C had decreased and there was at least a slight drop in the number of days below -20C.  The pink Phase 3 has clearly higher temperatures and is the catastrophe of our time!  That catastrophe consists of shorter winters and a further decrease in the number of days below -20C!  I am sure the people of Belleville, Ontario are boiling mad about the many evil people in the world producing CO2 and causing the weather to differ in these respects relative to what it was in the delightful Phase 1 period!

No.  Whatever caused this change, I expect it is really very welcome in Belleville.  They have a longer growing season and little need for air conditioning in the summer months.  They also have fewer of those deadly -20C and below days.  No rational person is not going to enjoy this.  Indeed, most plants and animals are surely better off as well.  Most of the detailed seasonal studies I have seen of warming around the Earth seem to show that the greatest warming in the Northern Hemisphere has been in the winter.  Hardly anyone sees this as bad in their daily lives!

1 comment:

Greg said...

I think you're right on here. If you look at the historical records of Europe, and elsewhere, you see that warmer is good, colder is bad.

One just has to look at the villages and vegetation being revealed as the glaciers retreat in some areas.

You can also look at all of the research that says, "CO2 is of great benefit to the eco-system..."

Personally, I think that a world warming of 2C and (a lot) more CO2 would be very good things for people, plants, and critters.