Dammit, Dan, I’m a librarian, not a meteorologist!


(Title inspired by We can’t see DeForest for the trees.)

Dan from albanyweblog.com griped:
Okay Roger… How come it’s so damn hot right now?
I want a thorough answer.

Sure.

I went to Google and put in why is it so damn hot. Unfortunately, all that got me is why certain types are hot, e.g., “Why are Canadian girls so damn hot?” Or vegan girls, gingers, emo guys, biracial guys, Norwegian people, bad boys, werewolves, rugby players. And Justin Bieber. I also found the lyrics and the video to You’re So Damn Hot by OK Go.

Meanwhile, Shooting Parrots jumped in:
Ditto: why is it so damn cool in the UK? And wet. Can I feel a climate change answer coming on?

Well, for that question, I went to the only reliable source I could think of, Al Jazeera:

“As the sea ice melts at an alarming rate, the Potsdam Institute point out that the albedo (the reflectivity) over the Arctic Ocean continues to decrease and more heat is absorbed by the waters creating a positive feedback.

“As the polar winter sets in over the upper atmosphere, the warming at low levels causes instability in the atmosphere. The resulting low pressure systems at sea level disrupt the normal circulation.

“This circulation is measured by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO). The Institute believe that such low pressure systems enhance the NAO and AO early in the season but that, later in the winter, there is a delayed opposite effect. This would give rise to cold late winter spells across Europe.”

But the most thorough answer for both Dan and SP came from Jennifer Francis, who is a “research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, where she studies Arctic climate change and the link between Arctic and global climates.”

“Does it seem as though your weather has become increasingly ‘stuck’ lately? Day after day of cold, rain, heat, or blue skies may not be a figment of your imagination…

“Arctic amplification describes the tendency for high Northern latitudes to experience enhanced warming or cooling relative to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. This heightened sensitivity is linked to the presence of snow and sea ice, and the feedback loops that they trigger… [since] World War II, Arctic temperatures have increased at more than twice the global rate. A dramatic indicator of this warming is the loss of Arctic sea ice in summer, which has declined by 40 percent in just the past three decades. The area of lost ice is about 1.3 million square miles, or roughly 42 percent of the area of the Lower 48 United States. ”

Then there’s a detailed description of the jet stream and its “waviness;” read it yourselves. Point is that we need to limit the carbon pollution that causes global warming, if it’s not too late; the jury’s out on that.
***
Steve from Life Crits asked:
If you could pose God just one question, what would it be…aside from the meaning of life, the universe, and everything in it?

So it would have to be mundane, yet something I really want to know. Got it.

When I was a teenager, I was walking down the street, when suddenly something hit the top of one of the lens of the pair of glasses I was wearing, creating a fault line. Fortunately, it didn’t hurt my eye. It wasn’t hailing. I never found anything such as a BB that would explain it. What the heck WAS that?
***
GayProf from some university in a Decaying Midwestern Urban Center wrote:
Here is a tough, but fair, question: How did I get to be your favorite blogger?

Assuming the premise is actually true – it is the quality of your pieces. Did you know I have linked to EVERY SINGLE POST you have written since July of last year? Of course, that’s only two posts. But still…
***
Alexis, who I know personally, and who USED to blog, wants to know:

If you could have a conversation with any famous person, dead or alive, who would you pick?

I’ll choose Ben Franklin. I’d be quite interested to see what he thought of the current state of both technology and government. Could I bring him back to explain what the Founders meant by the separation of church and state? Or to explain the deadly effects of turtle sex? -I’m sure he’d find that fascinating.

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4 thoughts on “Dammit, Dan, I’m a librarian, not a meteorologist!

  1. Okay, I think I understand the explanation, but it did remind me of the joke about the baby polar bear asking his dad whether he was a brown bear. ‘No son, you’re white so you’re a polar bear’

    ‘Dad, am I black bear?’

    ‘No son, you’re white so you’re a polar bear.’

    (Pause) ‘Well if I’m a polar bear, why am I so damned cold?’

  2. Thank you Roger for going to all that trouble. Your research answers my question. You are indeed a librarian. With the sum total of all human knowledge at your fingertips you are potentially an expert on all things, including meteorology.

    Interesting though. Unless I missed it, you did not use the politically incorrect phrase “global warming.” Was that by design or random?

    • I probably used whatever terms the literature used. I’ve used the term “global warming” in the past, will likely use it in the future. I suppose that to point out record March 2012 temperatures, record spring 2012 temperatures, et al., the notion of global warming was self-evident.

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