Press-Republican

Columns

August 4, 2013

Changing climate changes the jet stream, which changes weather

So what is going on with the weather?

North Country humor frequently involves comments such as, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it will change,” or “we get three seasons in a single day,” or some other variation of these.

But really, what is going on with our recent weather? A colder than usual May, record amounts of rain in May/June, and now in July a major heat wave concurrent with a record level of water in Lake Champlain. 

If you go to the National Weather Service site in Burlington, you will find that the rainfall amounts in May and June were high. Indeed, they set a two-month record of 18.6 inches for that time period over the entire data set of 127 years. 

What is happening elsewhere with the global nature of weather? There were devastating floods in Calgary, Alberta, also at this time. June temperatures in Talkeetna, Alaska, hit 96 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was warmer than Miami; Valdez, Alaska, hit 90 degrees, breaking the record of 87 set in 1957. 

In late June 2013, in Phoenix, US Airways canceled 18 flights because the maker of its jets did not have performance data greater than 118 Fahrenheit. At 119 degrees, it was not known for sure how much runway the planes would need to safely take off. 

Climate scientists are aware of these local happenings and the global extreme events, as well. It has become a major study as to why, with climate change, these extreme events occur and last so long. Research is beginning to shed some light on possible reasons. 

What scientists do is to collect and interpret data. There is no room for opinion. There is no justification for guesswork. The process of science is slow and meticulous, with time to shape ideas, challenge those ideas and formulate an explanation that fits. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • clute_cropped.jpg The Law and You: Police search of vehicles

    Because a car can be moved while a warrant is being obtained, authorities are given powers that let them act more quickly, writes former DA and judge, Penny Clute.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time