Snow!!!!!!!! Finally 😀 😀 😀 I love snow. Though that’s kinda ironic since, well I have trouble with slippery things, snow included ×D
Anyway, a lot of people go like “My God, we’re gonna freeze up” because of the latest cold wave that hit Europe, so I’m gonna write about it. At first, I wanted to write like a scientific article (the post is even categorized under climatology), but I’d have to back everything up with references and the post is gonna be long anyway. By the time I’d finish the “article”, we’d be hit by a heat wave. Basically, I decided to write a semi-(in)formal post. Lame (again)? I agree, but, hey, at least I’ve given up bolding words. Now, that’s gotta count as something 😀
As I mentioned before, a cold wave has hit Europe. The entire continent (more or less) is covered with snow; even the Mediterranean (as a comparison the Mediterranean is kinda like California of Europe) where snow is very rare (in Dalmatia, snow falls every 20-30 years).
Anyway, the questions that have been rising are. Is this normal? Is there another ice age coming? What about global warming? I’ll try to answer those questions.
The answer to the first question is YES. Weather like this may be extremely rare in some parts of Europe, but is possible. After all the Mediterranean is not Sahara. When it comes to continental part the answer isn’t a definite “yes”. While, it’s totally normal for continental Europe to have this this cold February, snow should be all winter round and not just in February.
This leads me to the global warming. Yes, global warming is an ongoing process. It would continue even if all human activity on the planet was ceased though it would be significantly slowed down. Let’s take just this winter as an example. December and January were too warm for winter. Even some plants began blossoming. Considering that, we can look beyond Europe – northern US and some Canadian provinces had a snowless Christmas (that’s quite common for eastern Washington state south-eastern British Columbia, but other than that…). I mean come on, northern US and Canada are famous of cold winters. Generally, due to various climate factors North America has much colder winters (and warmer summers) than Europe (e.g. New York City and Lisbon are roughly the same latitude, but winters in Lisbon are mild while summers are less hot than in New York).
I’m not saying winters should be freezing in Europe, but they should be white (all winter round). Basically, current weather should more or less characterize the whole winter in continental Europe; not just February. Furthermore, current weather is no proof against the global warming. Actually the future climate of our planet (done by the global warming), should be characterized by very bad sudden weather (like the suddenness of this cold wave). Global warming is more noticeable by extremely hot summers we’ve had the past couple of decades.
Another ice age?
Despite the global warming, another ice age is quite possible. The period of time we live in (Holocene) is just one of the interglacial periods (periods between ice ages). Pleistocene (the time period just before Holocene) was full of interglacial and glacial periods (ice ages). Interglacial periods last cca. 10 000 years and it’s been cca. 10 000 years since the last ice age. Now, circa means that 10 000 can be, dunno 12 000, but it can be also 8000. Basically, we’re approaching the end of an interglacial period though the period could last thousands of years more.
Now, every few hundred of years, Earth is hit by a little ice age (the last one ended in mid 19th century). Therefore, there’s more chance of another little ice age hitting us. Since the 19th century was quite recently, it’s logical the temperatures of a little ice age are not freezing; just lower than those we’re experiencing today.
The interesting part is that global warming might actually fasten up our journey towards another ice age. Global warming is slowly, but efficiently, destroying the Gulf Stream. Gulf Stream (and its branches) are heating up the Earth; especially Europe (the main reason why winters in Europe are milder than those in North America on the same latitude), so if the Stream goes the way of the dinosaurs; so does the Earth’s biggest thermostat.
Norwegian and North Atlantic Current are already dead?
In August 2010, rumours that Norwegian and Atlantic Current are already dead (2012/02/03) arose.
First, lemme tell you what each current is. North Atlantic Current is a branch of the Gulf Stream and Norwegian Current is a branch of North Atlantic Current.
Are the rumours true? Well, since I’m no scientist, I can’t say for sure, but since Ireland, the UK and Scandinavia haven’t frozen up in the last year and a half, I’d say the rumours are just a bunch of baloney for now.
While another ice age isn’t impossible (it will come sooner or later), current weather is no proof of its approaching nor is it any proof against the global warming.
Nekoliko hrvatskih riječi
Posljednih nekoliko tjedna je vrijeme vrlo hladno. To uopće nije čudno za kontinentalni dio zemlje. Štoviše, čitava zima bi trebala biti takva.
Što se tiče Jadrana, činjenica je da je iznadprosječno hladno, pogotovo u Dalmaciji. Međutim, iako je ova hladnoća rijetkost za Dalmaciju, nije nikakvo čudo. Dalmacija nije Sahara, a i već je prije zabilježen snijeg u Splitu.
Novo ledeno doba je moguće (prije ili kasnije će nastupiti), ali trenutna vremenska situacija nije dokaz njegovog približavanja niti je dokaz protiv globalnog zatopljenja.
Što se samog globalnog zatopljenja tiče, veći pokazatelji u prilog globalnog zatopljenja su natprosječno topli prosinac i siječanj te vrlo vruća ljeta koja imamo proteklih par desetljeća.
Za kraj, evo jedna hrvatskosnježna slika: