Sometimes it snows in April. That’s what Prince said anyway.
And that’s what happened this Easter weekend. After most of the US experienced a warmer than normal December, a colder than normal February, an early spring in late March, we now get a cold snap in the beginning of April.
Akanke and I thought we’d escape the cold in Michigan with a weekend trip to my hometown of Elizabethton, Tennessee. When we got here there was snow on the ground.
Snow in Texas. Sleet in Louisiana. What’s going on? What about global warming, Mr. Gore?
On the blog Reformed Leftist & Friends we’ve been debating the global warming phenomenon like many others. Reformed leftists (i.e. right-wingers) Paul Hue and SixStringSlinger argue that the current consensus of scientists around the world should be called into question. They feel that human contributions to global warming are minimal at best, and that economic interests should not be hampered when the science is shaky.
I side with the scientists. It’s obvious to me that man made greenhouse gases affect the environment.
Yes, the Earth has always undergone periods of climate change, even prior to the Industrial Revolution. Many believe the great flood that engulfed the planet in antiquity was an example.
So mounting evidence that the sun and other planets in the solar system are warming right along with Earth doesn’t come as a surprise or as refutation of manmade warming theories. Neither does snow in April. If anything it confirms that weather and life on our little rock are going to become more irregular.
Scientists compare man’s effect on the climate to loading dice. Myles Allen, director of the Climate Dynamics Group at Oxford University explained it like this to National Geographic
“What you can say is, global warming can increase the chance of a heat wave occurring, and a good analogy is loading the dice.”
Loaded dice increase the odds of rolling a specific number. For example, by replacing the three on a die with a six, the odds of rolling a six are doubled. The odds of rolling two sixes in a row are quadrupled.
But when the die is rolled many times and six shows on a third of the rolls, the loading effect is clear.
Even if the dice are loaded, they won’t roll six every time. So as Al Gore pointed out in An Inconvenient Truth, the weather will become more unpredictable.
That means warming and cooling trends that don’t fit traditional models. Which could mean super hot summers, super cold winters or cold summers and warm autumns.
And yes, sometimes it may snow in April.