A Short-Term Climate Change

In times of loss and sadness, it’s good to get a dose of humor. I’ve always appreciated good-natured satire — MAD magazine was a childhood favorite, and lately I’ve poured pleasurably through some old issues from 20-30 years ago that sat untouched in my closet for a long time. In the same spirit, the following was composed and sent to me yesterday by my old friend BC, and is reproduced here by permission…

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I wish to share with you preliminary results of a climate study I completed over the weekend. I looked at temperature trends for all U.S. cities over the period of June through October 2009 and found what appeared to be some startling correlations:

    1. For all cities across the U.S., mean temperatures peaked approximately 50 days (+/- 5 days) after the summer solstice.

    2. Since this peak, mean temperatures fell markedly through September and October.

    3. The rate of change of the mean temperatures was greater at higher latitudes and inland than at lower latitudes and along the coasts.

    4. This rate of change of mean temperatures over the period of study is strongly correlated with minutes of daylight.

In some of the more extreme cases, for instance over northern Alaska, the minutes of sunlight decreased almost 75% over the period of study. Farther south, for instance, at Key West, the minutes of sunlight decreased 17%. Nevertheless, extrapolation of current trends suggest that, by March of next year, much of the U.S. will see very little, if any sunlight, and by next June, all of the northern hemisphere will suffer through 24 hours of darkness. As insolation is critical for balancing outgoing longwave radiation, a catastrophic failure of insolation, if left unchecked, has a high probability of causing a marked increase in record low temperatures at all U.S. cities by early 2010. That, however, would be the least of our worries; projections of current temperature trends across the northern hemisphere during the period of study suggest that the atmosphere itself will freeze solid sometime in the latter half of 2011.

The projections for the southern hemisphere are likewise alarming. Current trends in minutes of sunlight across Australia and South America suggest 24 hours of daylight by June 2010. This unbalance in the terrestrial radiation budget will likely result in runaway global warming, cataclysmic melting of the Antarctic ice sheets and dramatic increases in sea level, and eventual vaporization of surface and subsurface water. While the northern hemisphere’s atmosphere will condense into a superconducting parfait of frozen nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, and trace elements and compounds a few tens of metres thick, the southern hemisphere’s atmosphere and biosphere will boil off into space. Our planet will become like Mercury — one half too cold, one half too hot, and both halves inhospitable to life as we know it.

I humbly propose this solution: President Obama must direct Treasury Secretary Geithner to infuse billions of dollars into producing insolation. Yes, I’m suggesting that we bail out the Sun. By using taxpayer dollars in this manner, we may see an end to this Great Solar Crisis of 2009. Indeed, if Obama acts quickly, I predict that we will see the minutes of daylight begin to increase, perhaps beginning just before Christmas. We must insist, however, on conditions before the American taxpayers bail out of the Sun — if left unchecked, the Sun will burn through this bailout/stimulus package quickly, resulting in a return to the Great Solar Crisis as early as late June 2010. The Sun must be made to understand that its current business model must change and that increased oversight, hefty fines, and imprisonment remains options should the Sun fail to restructure.

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Yes, mutual friends…he is alive and (getting) well, and as much of a wise-ass as ever. ;-).

You also may notice several BLOG link alterations in the table at right. A few links have disappeared or moved, a few others fell out of favor or aren’t updated anymore, and others have become more interesting to me. I’ve also added a few relatively new BLOGs by friends who are conscientious, respectable and deeply appreciative storm observers.

Change…sometimes it happens, even to the most stubborn of us. 🙂



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