120-Year Climate Study
No one argues that our weather has been very EXTREME over the last few decades, especially during the past several years. Most scientists believe that our global climate is changing, but is our weather being altered by Mankind's influence, or is it merely a part of a long-term climatological cycle?
According to our long-term charts, which date back to 600 B.C., there are numerous climatological cycles that influence our weather and other global events including global and national economies. For example, during "Warm-Wet" cycles, like those in the 1920s and the 1990s, we often saw above average global temperatures and precipitation. This situation often leads to bumper crops and very good worldwide economic conditions. However, when temperatures are warmer than average and precipitation falls to below normal levels, less favorable times, or even depression eras like those of the 1930s and the past several years are more likely. Cooler and drier phases often point to "calm" periods like the 1950s and early 1960s. Cycles that become too hot and dry or too cold and dry will often lead to very unfavorable periods, such as the one expected later century, near 2038. Only time will tell.
For many years, following widespread ICE AGE predictions back in the 1970s, we've heard that our planet is warming up "at an alarming rate". A study from the National Academy of Science claims that "global warming is real and has been strengthening since 1981." These scientists say that the leading cause of this latest warming is the increasing emissions of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide. They also state that by the year 2100, temperatures may increase by 2.5 degrees to as much as 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit above those of today.
Up until late 2002, much of the Northern Hemisphere north of Latitude 40 was actually becoming GREENER with less total ice. In fact, the average growing season had been extended by around 2 weeks based on satellite data at the time.
BUT, now, we believe that temperatures are beginning to cool again, particularly in north- central Canada where this summer there was only about 2 weeks between damaging freezes from late June into mid-July. One of our Harris-Mann Climatology clients went fishing between July 10-13 in northwestern Saskatchewan and reported "piles of ice" still on the ground in the region and temperatures close to the freezing mark.
Although the recent summers of the early 21st Century have been amongst the hottest and driest on record across most of the U.S., the winter seasons, by extreme contrast, have been some of the coldest in recorded history. For example, Siberia in Russia reported readings of -70 degrees in January of 2001.
Even if our planet is warming up as many scientists claim, we're still much cooler today than we were four to eight-thousand years ago. In fact, there were probably no mid-latitude glaciers about 800 million years ago, because the Earth's climate was so mild at the time.
Temperatures today are primarily measured over concrete surfaces compared to grassy ones years ago. We all know that concrete and asphalt absorb heat and this often results in higher afternoon temperatures, especially when we have conditions of very little wind. During a typical hot, summer day, high temperatures may be as much as 3-7 degrees warmer at the official airport or downtown locations compared to outlying rural areas.
A comprehensive climatological study of over 600 cities both in North America and around the rest of the world, which I finally completed in mid-2001, compared the average (mean) temperatures in Fahrenheit for the six decades from 1880 through 1940 and the following 60-year period ending December 31, 2000.
Needless-to-say, I was a bit surprised to discover that this planet overall had only warmed up a mere .7 of one degree Fahrenheit on a global scale from 1941 through the balance of the 20th Century.
In fact, if one removed the 15 largest cities, the "concrete and asphalt jungles", from the study, Mother Earth would have actually COOLED OFF about .4 of one degree Fahrenheit in the last six decades.
Tokyo, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Mumbai (Bombay), Seoul, Beijing, Osaka, Rio and Delhi each warmed up by more than a full degree Fahrenheit between 1941 and 2001.
In the U.S., only Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Mobile, Alabama, Houston, Salt Lake City, San Jose and Sacramento warmed by a degree or more Fahrenheit during the same 60-year time span.
Even New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Miami along the Atlantic Coastline only warmed up slightly, despite the so-called "heat island" effects.
There were dozens of cities, mostly with populations under 300,000 people, that actually turned COOLER during the balance of the 20th Century. These cities included; Billings, Montana, Bismarck, North Dakota, Boise, Idaho, Fargo, North Dakota, Fairbanks, Alaska, Seattle, Washington, Spokane, Washington and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho which cooled by .4 of one degree Fahrenheit from 1941 to 2001.
As previously mentioned, temperatures today are primarily observed over concrete or asphalt surfaces, rather than those "grassy knolls" of years past.
We all know that concrete and asphalt absorb heat and this often results in higher afternoon temperatures, especially when we have conditions of very little wind. During a typical hot, summer day, high temperatures may be as much as 3-7 degrees warmer at the official airport or downtown locations compared to outlying areas.
Robert Felix, author of "Not By Fire, But By Ice" discusses the possibility of an upcoming ICE AGE within the next 20-30 years. He claims, and has the data to prove it, that many glaciers are expanding worldwide, some as much as 18 feet per year and that sea levels have "dropped" slightly since the early 1990s. According to Felix, major ice ages occur about every 11,500 years with the last one occurring nearly 12,000 years ago, so we're supposedly overdue for a BIG COOLING TREND, which may have already begin as Greenland's and Antarctica's ice sheets are thickening at a rapid pace.
Our climate would also cool very quickly if we were to see a series of MAJOR volcanic eruptions take place over a short period of time. Since the early 1990s, there has been an overall significant increase in volcanic activity in the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, El Salvador, Tanzania, Mexico, Columbia, Italy, Alaska and our Pacific Northwest. Since the late 1990s, we've likewise seen a dramatic increase in undersea volcanic eruptions, especially in the western Pacific Ocean regions.
Global temperatures cooled rather dramatically following the massive Mt. Pinatubo eruption in June of 1991 in the Philippines. Nearly 200 years before, there was an even more dramatic global cooling associated with the eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1815, which put an incredible EIGHT TIMES more volcanic material into the upper atmosphere than the recent strong eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The following year, 1816, is still being referred to by New England's historians as "Eighteen-Hundred and Froze to Death". Snow fell every month that year at the higher elevations in the interior Northeast while freezes blackened crops that summer in the valleys from northern New England and southeastern Canada all the way south into the Carolinas. In the past few years, we've started to see a trend towards later frosts in the spring and earlier freezes in the fall seasons, despite the warmer than normal temperatures.
Whether we continue to warm up or cool down still remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that we're in a long-term cycle of Wide Weather "EXTREMES". Stay tuned...
|Coeur d'Alene, ID||47.9||47.3||-0.6||u||t|
|Des Moines, IA||49.5||50.3||+0.8||t||t|
|Kansas City, MO||54.5||55.4||+0.9||t||t|
|Little Rock, AR||61.8||62.6||+0.8||t||t|
|Los Angeles, CA||62.4||63.3||+0.9||u||q|
|New Orleans, LA||69.3||70.1||+0.8||u||q|
|New York City, NY||52.1||52.7||+0.6||t||t|
|Oklahoma City, OK||59.8||60.9||+1.1||u||u|
|Salt Lake City, UT||51.6||52.6||+1.0||t||t|
|San Diego, CA||61.3||61.9||+0.6||u||q|
|San Francisco, CA||56.1||56.7||+0.6||t||u|
|Santa Fe, NM||48.8||49.6||+0.8||u||u|
|Sault Ste. Marie, MI||39.8||40.5||+0.7||t||t|
|Toronto, Ontario (Canada)||45.1||45.8||+0.7||t||t|
|Montreal, Quebec (Canada)||40.6||41.5||+0.9||t||u|
|Calgary, Alberta (Canada)||39.4||38.7||-0.7||u||u|
|Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)||38.7||37.9||-0.8||u||u|
|Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)||49.9||49.2||-0.7||t||t|
|Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)||35.3||34.7||-0.6||u||u|
|Buenos Aires, Argentina (S. America)||61.8||61.1||-0.7||t||q|
|Lima, Peru (South America)||66.2||65.3||-0.9||u||q|
|Londrina, Parana (South America)||64.7||63.9||-0.8||t||q|
|Quito, Ecuador (South America)||54.6||55.8||+1.2||u||q|
|Rio do Jeneiro, Brazil (South America)||72.8||72.1||-0.7||t||q|
|Santiago, Chile (South America)||56.2||57.0||+0.8||u||q|
|Beijing, Peking (China)||53.2||54.3||+1.1||u||u|
|Mumbai (Bombay), India||79.8||80.6||+0.8||t||q|
|Hong Kong, China||72.6||73.5||+0.9||t||q|
|Auckland, New Zealand||59.4||58.6||-0.8||t||q|