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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Local Cooling, Global Warming

This explanation from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, about how a colder North Atlantic can be consistent with a warming planet is revealing. There are many such examples of why one region can experience long term or temporary cooling while the earth is warming. Oscillation's like the ENSO, or El Nino cycles,(currently in a mild postive phase) and volcanic eruptions, etc., are a few. This, in addition to the obvious differences between climate and weather, is why the arguments of cold snaps or heat waves as evidence in the climate change debate are really just silly. I still hear these arguments, even in settings where people should know better. Perhaps it is a human trait to put more weight on what is happening now, near our homes, that clouds judgment on this issue.

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