More Things Change...
Posted by Pete Bouchard
Here's something to shake things up: a cold front passing through this evening. Couple of fast-moving sprinkles passed through, then the skies rapidly cleared. I call it a cold front, but temperatures are hardly cold behind it. In fact, we might only drop about 1-3 degrees tomorrow.
What you will see is a Jekyll & Hyde kind of day. Morning is blustery and cold, while the afternoon is milder and less windy. We'll rise from the upper 20s to low 30s right back into the low 40s. Like I said, hardly a crash.
The Mayor's talking about a health emergency, but we have nothing that dire in the forecast. We'll continue on the path of milder than normal temps through the weekend, before things change up late next week. And when I say that, I'm putting it mildly (in terms of tone..it'll hardly be mild).
What may be evolving is some of the coldest air in years. High pressure in Greenland will spike into the North Pole dislodging a bitter chunk of air and hurling it south. For the folks who remember, this is exactly how we got so cold in mid-January of 2004 - one of the coldest stretches in recent memory. HOWEVER, I do have my doubts as to how much bitterness shoots directly into Southern New England. Most of this could hover just over the border, and we could "just" be as cold as we were around the 1st of the year. Right now, that's the way I'm leaning...until I see otherwise.
Some folks have asked my why I haven't mentioned anything on-air about 2012 being the warmest year on record for the Lower 48. My response is, do I really need to? We had 5 times as many daily high temperature records as cold temperature records. We had the warmest spring on record; a sizzling summer; and a warm fall. The numbers speak for themselves.
What I am surprised about is that people still think that we still have a chance to salvage some normalcy in the climate trend. That if we somehow stablized or mitigated the release of CO2 in the atmosphere we'd be able to control or avert climate change. That opportunity has long passed folks. The climate is a runaway train where the extremes define the means and normal is just a number in a dataset.
The dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about is that no one really cares enough. Take a poll. People like warm weather. Heck, who doesn't want to postpone leaf cleanup into December or start prepping the flower beds (in shorts/t-shirts) in late February? And with dire warnings of the rise in sea level? We'll all just move to a different beach.
We are energy consumers. The byproduct of our consumption is carbon dioxide, and the atmosphere is our landfill. This is not likely to change based on the way our society is structured and behaves. I am not a fatalist. I believe humans can adapt - and we will. What we really need to turn the bus around is carbon sequestration: the act of extracting CO2 from our emissions and storing it in the ground. There has been much research on the subject but little effort. Theories abound, but there is nothing concrete. Money is instead diverted to renewables. Great ideas, but unless we all convert and change our lifestyles (not likely considering some people still don't believe there's even a problem), they're a fart in a hurricane.
So to sum up, don't expect me to spend a minute on TV telling you what is already known and believed in the scientific community. I won't go into the hows and whys here. This isn't the forum. If you want the pros and cons, there are plenty of websites on Google.