When Winter Comes, it will be worse than ever
New data coming in from Japan, Finland, California, and many other parts of the world continues to suggest that the common understanding of “Global Warming” is wrong, and that charity donations to causes serving communities affected by cold weather will become more and more essential.
The common understanding of “Global Warming” is quite literally that – the notion that all around the world, as an average, when all the data is taken into account, the weather is getting warmer. Unfortunately this misunderstands several important factors.
- Climate does not equal weather: The climate is a complex and interdependent network of everything from air pressure to coastal winds to evaporation rates and water salinity. While these cause weather, they are far from the same thing as weather.
- Warming does not mean warmer: A one degree centigrade increase in the global climate system will have huge ramifications for so many different places, but a one degree change in a local weather patter may seem to make virtually no difference at all. The system as a whole might be warmer, but your daily commute’s weather may look just the same.
- Dramatic warming doesn’t mean dramatic summers: The drama of the climate’s change will not just reveal itself in the summers, even though it is called a ‘warming event’. Events like the superstorms of polar vortices in the last few years in the USA are as much caused by global warming as recent British heatwaves.
Large bodies of data taken from places as varied as Ireland, Austria, and the US great lakes, have recently given larger consideration to the notion that as the climate continues to change, the winters we see will be more and more dramatic.
- In the Austrian Paznaun, a valley in the far west of Austria, new data collected in the past few months has been collated with data gathered for over a century – it finds that over the last 124 years there has been a decline in winter temperatures from 4.8 degrees C down to 6.1 degrees C. The report referenced also that of the last ten winters on record, seven of them were colder than the last 30 year average.
- In Ireland, a set of six weather stations, some of which are based in airports, while others fitted at specific observatories, have reported a decline of 0.4 degrees C on average.
- In Germany, the winter levels of cold have now dropped to the point that Forsythia plants, often used by local meteorology offices as a measure of broader weather conditions, have started blossoming over two weeks later than when they did in the late 1980s. Specifically, that represents a seventeen day shift over 30 years.
- In California, snow fall levels have hit record highs. According to the California Department of Water resources, at the end of February the levels of snow that had been seen were 153% of what would normally be expected.
While global warming sceptics are hailing these numbers as proof that the world is in fact cooling, the broader trend indicates that these shifts are part of a larger pattern of more dramatic weather all around the world. Governments examining these trends and others would be well advised to redirect greater investment into cold weather infrastructure, communities need to have extreme weather plans in place, and charities operating winter emergency appeals need to effectively prepare to co-ordinate their efforts with disaster relief agencies. As the British Medical Journal, the Lancet, has spoken about in the past – cold weather is 20 times more fatal than hot.