Spring, not so springlike
It is that time of year when people’s hopes begin to come out of the winter doldrums. As a matter of fact, early this morning we officially went from winter 2008 to spring 2008 as the Earth makes its yearly trek about the sun.
But it feels anything but springlike out there. The weather is and has been for this past three months a winter anomaly when compared to the winters of the recent couple of decades. It has been cold, snowy and stormy, almost without let up since the advent of the winter solstice. And its not just the Maritimes. Quebec and Ontario have been pummeled as well. And Newfoundland, well Newfoundland has received the worst weather is recent memory and this past week saw no end in sight as the Avalon was buried in white drifts and the worst that winter has to offer. So you could be forgiven for asking, what gives? Whence goeth the much vaunted climate change with its mild winters and ferocious summers?
Well, sit back and read, because this is all part of the general scheme of what homo sapiens have put into place. And it ain’t over yet, not by a long shot.
The short answer is that the La Nina and the Greenland melt have conspired to create stormier weather. The longer answer is that you should have paid more attention to your grade ten science lessons in pendulums and waves. You see, we have been adding energy to a dynamic equilibrium system. That means we have been pushing against a swing, so to speak. The swing is our ecosystem and weather patterns. For the longest time they have been in a pretty benign, set, series of oscillations. In short the weather and the climate have been very predictable and not very stormy. But now that we have added so much more CO2 to the atmosphere we are also adding more energy to the weather and climate systems. That is, in effect, pushing on the weather swing. What happens is that the swing starts to swing higher as it seeks to get back to a different, new balance point. When you are pushing against the weather patterns, you make the weather in effect fluctuate more wildly. That means more storms, more systemic weather as the system tries to rebalance itself.
How do we restore the balance close to where it was in past years? Well, the same way you try to stop a swing from swinging higher. Stop pushing the system. Stop adding CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the systems and it will slowly, mind you, settle back down.
Keeping pushing and you will get more of the same, more storms, more fluctuations between hot and cold, more sever weather. Push too hard and you get a run away effect, a broken swing and then all bets are off. Ain’t spring fun?
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