“After what might” have been a night on retreat, I am instead sitting on an upholstered chair next to our still-fragrant Christmas tree with my new Christmas-present laptop on my lap.
I had hoped to be on a 24-hour retreat at a nearby spiritual center. The theme was to have been finding some optimism for the new year.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough people sign up to go ahead with the program.
Part of the reason signups were low was probably the weather. Yesterday, the weather was rainy with a high in the 60s F. (16 C). Overnight, the temperature plummeted to well below freezing. There is an inch or two of snow (5 cm), mostly likely with a coating of ice underneath with more snow expected.
I know it is safer for all of us to be at home, but I still wish the retreat had not been cancelled.
I need any hope or optimism I can get for the year ahead.
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week was to base the post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth words of whatever piece of writing was at hand when we sat down to write, hence the quotation marks at the beginning. It’s also part of Just Jot It January. Join us for one or both! Details here:
Here in the lower 48 of the United States, we have been experiencing unusually cold weather.
Some people, including our president, have been taking this as evidence that there is not global warming going on, but our cold snap is actually a predictable part of global climate change.
Some points on this topic:
- What we experience day to day is weather; global climate has to do with the whole world over a longer time period. Weather of all sorts continues to happen as generally appropriate to one’s locality.
- Global warming does not rescind seasons, which occur due to astronomical conditions. It is still winter here in the Northern Hemisphere.
- The disruption of global warming impacts different regions in different ways rather than uniformly. For example, the arctic regions are warming more quickly than other regions, which disrupts the upper level winds and changes the temperature and water-carrying capacity of weather systems. The cold air that has made its way into most of the lower 48 states has been able to do so because the mechanisms that have historically kept these winter air masses confined to Alaska and Canada have broken down. It is a symptom, not a refutation of global warming – and part of the reason that the term global climate change is used more often than global warming.
- If the climate system were in equilibrium, one would expect roughly the same number of record high and record low recorded temperatures. There have been significantly more high than low temperature records globally in recent years. This article has a good explanation, along with a graphic that shows the proportion in the US for the last 365 days. In some regions in the world, the disparity is even greater, as high as 5 to 1.
I hope everyone will stay warm – or cool – as needed in the location where you are. I also hope that people will look to see what changes or adaptations they need to make to deal with current and expected changes to our climate.
Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out more here:
Whether you live in a city or a town or more rural area, weather always seems to be a topic of conversation.
For example, at my recent college reunion (which – shameless plug – you can read about here and here and here), we talked a lot about rain. Our commencement thirty-five years ago had had to be moved indoors due to rain, which limited attendance to only two people per graduate and caused all manner of disruption. (This was before the construction of the spacious indoor track and tennis facility that would now be used if weather forced a move indoors.) We have also had some remarkably rainy reunions. This year, we had lots of rain on Thursday and Friday, but Saturday was lovely for our parade, outdoor meeting, and evening illumination of campus.
Some people still confuse weather and climate, though, which is very frustrating. Yesterday, I posted about the US and the Paris climate agreement. I have written a lot about climate over the years, which grew out of being a New York fracktivist. I and millions of other US climate activists will continue to do our part in accomplishing our country’s climate commitments and supporting other countries as they implement their own goals.
We need to protect our planet and people from the worst ravages of climate change and from one of its components, an increase in severe weather.
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “whether/weather.” Join us! Find out how here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/02/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-317/
A lot of places in the US are under a coat of white from snow.
Not exactly a surprise in January, except that, while there is snow in places one expects, like Colorado, the Dakotas, and Vermont, but also in some places where it is more unusual, such as Alabama and the Carolinas. Seattle, Washington has also recently had snow.
Weirdly, we don’t have much here in the Binghamton, New York area. While some parts of the state have had massive lake effect snows, the wind pattern is preventing them from reaching us here. The storm systems are coming up the coast and we are too far inland to get major amounts of snow from them.
Also weirdly, the cold and snow dipping into the Southern US are caused by the warming of the Arctic region. This pushes the polar vortex south.
This weekend, we are having some of our coldest temperatures of the winter. I am pulling out the heavy coats.
Postscript: You can tell this is stream of consciousness because I misused a correlative conjunction and couldn’t go back and fix it.
It’s a double dip! This post is both part of Linda’s Just Jot It January and Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt is “coat.” Join us! Find out more here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-717/
This morning, I am thinking about all those facing severe weather. There is a blizzard approaching the mid-Atlantic region of the US. Seventy-five million people will be affected, including my sisters and their families and B’s brother and his family. The forecast calls for a large swath of 2-3 feet (0.75-0.95 meters) of snow coupled with strong winds.
I live further north where we will only catch a few inches, if anything at all.
I am also thinking of others in the United States and around the world who are suffering from floods, droughts, tornadoes, cyclones, mudslides, avalanches, dust storms, and all other weather disasters.
I wish everyone safety and and the swift arrival of whatever aid they need.
Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Start by visiting here: http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/22/just-jot-it-january-22nd-felicity/
To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today.
In the Northeast US where I live, people often say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. This year, March certainly did begin with cold weather. Later in the month, we did get enough time above freezing that we had thawing so that we could see grass in sunny patches where the snow was not shoveled/plowed/piled up.
Today is March 31st and it is snowing and sticking to the grassy areas and accumulating, so March is not going out like a lamb. I am proposing that it is going out like a llama – still soft to the touch, but with a bit of spit and kick to it.
My daugher T was scheduled to go to Dominica for ten days to do field work with her tropical ecology class. They were scheduled to leave Syracuse early Thursday morning to fly to Newark, the first of four legs to get them to the island. Because of the storm hitting the coast, the flight was cancelled Wednesday evening. The professors told them to stay tuned and the travel agents went to work to try to rebook. Unfortunately, the earliest that they could re-book the group was Wednesday, so the trip had to be cancelled. It was a major bummer, given that they spent the first half of the semester learning about the ecology there and prepping for the trip, including things like getting immunized for typhoid fever.
The silver lining for us is that T is now home for spring break. It’s nice for us and for her grandparents, who have been battling various maladies this winter.
And we are sure that T won’t contract typhus…
This post is part of Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays. This week’s prompt is “go.” Join us! Visit this link for rules: http://lindaghill.com/2015/03/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-715/