Feb
24
2009

warm winter, warm summer?

Ok. So since the 2008 – 2009 winter was a warm winter, does that mean that the 2009 summer will be a hot and early summer? And does global warming have anything to do with how warm this winter has been? I mean the winter of 2007 – 2008 was really cold, and then when the 2008 summer came it was very cool. I think that summer we only reached 7 or 8 days in the 90’s. I mean is there any pattern going on there?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Candace's picture
Candace says:

who knows...it just mite be...

posted on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 10:23pm
Candace's picture
Candace says:

is anyone ever going to comment on this???

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 8:10pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Mark Seeley, professor of climatology and meteorology at the University of Minnesota and a frequent expert on Minnesota Public Radio, says Minnesotans are experiencing four trends:

"warmer winters, higher minimum daily temperatures, higher dew points, and increased precipitation."

(I wasn't able to locate any information on a local correlation between warm winters and hot summers, or cold winters and cool summers.)

It's hard to say anything about climate based on a day, a season, a year, or even a couple of years. "Weather" describes atmospheric conditions over a short period of time, while "climate" refers to a pattern of weather over the long haul. But we also see short- and long-term climate change. And here in Minnesota, we're seeing a warming pattern. Of course, there is debate about how much and how quickly human activities are contributing to warming trends.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated this week that global temperatures don't have to increase much to cause some serious consequences.

And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1995.

A report today suggests that Antarctic glaciers are melting faster and over a wider area than previously thought.

But this article from the New York Times correctly points out that, in the effort to shape public opinion on policy re: climate change, exaggeration is a temptation for people on both sides of the debate.

"While climate scientists foresee more intense droughts and storms, there is still uncertainty, and significant disagreement, over whether recent patterns can be attributed to global warming."

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 10:52pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

In other climate news, a NASA satellite (the Orbiting Carbon Observatory) intended to track concentrations of carbon dioxide--the greenhouse gas most implicated in global warming trends--crashed immediately after launch on Tuesday.

The satellite was built to help answer questions:

"What happens to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide spewed by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas? How much of it is sucked up and stored by plants, soil and oceans and how much is left to trap heat on Earth, worsening global warming?"

Japan launched a similar satellite last month.

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 10:59pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Where did you hear that this has been a warm winter?

The National Space Science and Technology Center has compiled temperature data for 30 years, going back to December 1978. The full data set can be found here

For every month, they calculate the temperature anomaly – whether the observed temperature was warmer or colder than the average temperature for that month over the 30-year span.

Yes, 2007-08 was a cold winter by recent standards. Globally, the anomaly averaged 0.03 degrees Centigrade, the coldest since 1999-2000. Looking just at Northern Hemisphere land temps, it was the coldest since 1996-97.

This year’s stats are not final – February isn’t over – but for December and January global temps were 0.24 °C above average, and Northern Hemisphere land temps have been 0.46 °C above average.

Now, “above average” certainly means “warm compared to the last 30 years.” But it doesn’t necessarily mean “warm compared to recent winters.” The global anomaly for this winter—so far—is colder than anything from 2001-2007. In the Northern Hemisphere it’s not quite as cut-and-dried—two of those six winters may end up being colder than this one—but we’re still below the recent trend.

Now, you can use this data set to answer your own question! You can calculate the average anomaly for every winter and every summer, and then compare them to see if there’s any sort of relationship. (If we wanted to get really fancy we could calculate a coefficient of correlation, but that would require me to drag out my old Statistics textbook, and nobody wants to see that.)

[UPDATE 2/28/09: The data set compares the monthly temperatures to an average based on the 20 years 1979-1998, and not to the average for the full 30 year span of the study.]

posted on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 5:11pm
Candace's picture
Candace says:

it feels allot warmer this year compared to last year...so i concluded, since last year was a cold winter which lead to it being a cold summer..and that this winter felt allot warmer, that it mite be a warm summer...just a wild guess...=)

posted on Wed, 03/11/2009 - 10:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I heard just yesterday that we will not have much of a summer and that our winters will not be as cold. We will see but definately something is changing

posted on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

the reason that our weather is changing is becuase:

This is because the levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are rising due to the result of human activities. Huge quantities of carbon dioxide are rising; this is because of people are burning of fossil fuels. The gases are building a cover just inside the ozone layer; this lets the heat from the sun in but not out. This is what is changing our weather.

posted on Sun, 11/01/2009 - 5:22am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

That theory relates to climate, which is the prevailing, long-term meteorological condition in a place. This discussion is about short-term weather, specifically changes over the course of six months.

posted on Wed, 11/04/2009 - 5:12pm

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