Cold weather is sign of climate change

Feb. 23, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2014 at 8:23 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

As expected, I've heard from many of my flat-Earther and global warming denier friends about, "What happened to global warming?" This is the direct result of the cold winter we and our neighbors to the north and east have been experiencing. I decided to check the facts, and here is what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found based on December 2013, the last full month of information available:

"The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for December 2013 was the third highest for December since records began in 1880, at 0.64 degrees Celsius (1.15 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th-century average of 12.2 C (54.0 F)."

That says we just experienced the third-highest average temperature for any December since 1880 (or in 133 years). The cold weather we and the eastern half of the USA have had doesn't reflect the fact of warming across the globe. Indeed, the record-setting low temperatures we've enjoyed are probably a result of the more extreme weather events we can expect as the planet warms up.

Higher temperatures fuel stronger storms, some of which will pull cold air that normally stays in the Arctic down to our balmier climate. The same warming is probably fueling our drought and the very high temperatures being experienced by the western USA.

I noticed with a shake of the head the many mornings our lows were lower than Anchorage, Alaska's lows. While we are shivering, other areas are baking, and the average world temperature keeps rising.

We can either ignore the facts and science and leave it to our children and grandchildren to deal with, or we can step up to the plate and begin fixing the problem now. I suspect it will be the first.

Charles Clapsaddle, Goliad



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