Saturday, February 02, 2008

Local Warming, Global Warming

I know it's wrong to look at local phenomena and draw global conclusions, but I'm sorely tempted. We've had wacky weather here in Rochester, NY, this past year.

Rochester is known for overcast skies, temperate summers, and nasty cold winters with lots (read 100 inches) of snow. Rochester's also known for many great golf courses, so - southern readers - come visit me in July! But, back to the topic at hand.

Today is February 2, 2008. Normally, Rochester is in a deep freeze at this time of year. I remember a year when we did not get above freezing (32F) for 40 days! I remember a year when the Rochester newspaper printed a full page color picture of the sun, since we hadn't seen it in so long. Today, it was 35 degrees and felt pretty balmy, and yesterday the sun shone brightly for awhile. We've had a very easy winter so far, although December was kind of snowy. I played golf at my local course twice in January, once in 68 degree weather. We had several days of record highs, beating the previous record by almost 10 degrees!

Last summer was really nice, but we had some unusually hot spells in the 100 degree range. We are on the southern edge of Lake Ontario, which tends to moderate our temperatures - but not this year. Fortunately for us, most golf courses have nice deep ponds that are used to irrigate the fairways during heat spells. We were surprised to have so many hot days, since we rarely have temperatures that hit 90 degrees.

As much as I've enjoyed the warmer weather, I'm bothered by it. We've had a series of big windstorms as fronts have clashed with a vengeance, temperatures dropping 40 degrees in a few hours. This is new. I'm used to long, hard winters, but not to the ups and downs that we're now experiencing. It's more violent now, and definitely warmer than it's been in many years.

Scientists say that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been rising rapidly since humans became highly industrialized, and that the planet is warming because this gas traps heat. There's good reason to believe them without confirmation from Rochester, NY. But I've got to tell you, it's warmer here, and I don't think that's a good thing. It's time to get busy reversing this nasty trend!

1 comment:

seventh sister said...

and noto the mid section of the country is having killer tornados in February.