62 F. average high for October 7.
85 F. high on October 7, 2011.
Fire Weather Watch
.04" rain predicted for KMSP late tonight and Tuesday morning as the next clipper arrives (NAM)
Flurries possible Tuesday night near the Twin Cities.
Frost/freeze expected Wednesday morning, again Friday morning.
60s likely next week, possibly a few days above 70.
Climate Change Seminar this past weekend at the St. Paul Science Museum. An overview of what I learned below.
Most of the observed warming during the latter half of the 20th century is very likely (greater than 90% probability) to be attributed to human activities. - 2007 IPCC conclusion
Natural causes alone cannot explain the observed changes.
"The science is real - we can't embrace ignorance."
"Many Americans are rightfully concerned about the fiscal debt we're handing down to tour kids, which proves we can still focus on future problems and issues. Buut when it comes to environmental debt, triggered by a steady build-up of greenhouse gases, many of these same people are silent. There is a serious disconnect."
"What do people want to be remembered for? The money they accumulated during their careers? How much stuff they have? Or the world they left behind?"
* no such thing as "settled science" or "perfect science". The science is continually evolving as new data comes in and new hypotheses are formed, tested, validated or discarded.
* based on the evidence at hand scientists try to reach consensus.
" media "balance" on climate policy is appropriate - but on climate science?
How do we know that greenhouse gases trigger warming?
* Basic physics.
* map above courtesy of NOAA NCDC (118 means hottest on record).
"Human-caused warming (AGW) will increase the probability of warmer weather, but internal variability will always be a powerful factor from year to year."
97% Why do (only) 97% of published, climate scientists agree that humans are largely responsible for most of the warming since the latter half of the 20th century? "Scientists do not all have identical threshholds for accepting hypotheses."
Climate Policy: "Your opinion counts just as much as mine."
Important Drivers With Climate Change:
1). Natural variability.
2). Land use/landscape changes.
3). AGW (human-caused warming linked to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation)
"The persistence and amplitude of the warming signal during winter is stronger in Minnesota."
Brainerd: new 30-year rolling weather averages show a 3.8 F. warming for January low temperatures.
* increased freeze/thaw cycle (more damaged roads)
* longer growing and construction season.
* changes in animal migration, hibernation and foraging.
* longer exposure times to mold and allergens
* later nitrogen applications (soil temperatures too high)
* more rapid breakdown of crop residues.
* change in the depth/duration of soil and lake freezing.
* fewer adverse-weather days.
Temperature signal during the summer is modest in Minnesota.
Based on cooling degree days: 2012 is the 3rd warmest on record.
Slight increase in 70-degree dew point days.
* first 80-degree dew point reported at Voyageur's State Park. Historically this is unprecedented.
"Most of our heat waves since the 1980s have been driven not by air temperature, but by excessive dew points."
* new insects/pathogens.
* efficacy of herbicides.
* warm water issues (algae blooms).
* heat-related health care implications (MS, COPD, obesity.
* increased livestock stress.
* shorline management.
* storm sewer runoff.
* influence on fisheries.
There are 1,500 volunteer weather observers in the state of Minnesota (I did not know that).
Trends: springs and falls are trending wetter. Eastern Minnesota is trending wetter with time.
10-30% increase in "normal precipitation".
Bipolar Weather Regime:
Severe drought has been reported somewhere in Minnesota every summer since 2005.
Greg Zandlo report: three separate 1-in-1,000 year flood events in southern Minnesota since September, 2004.
Cloud credits: "pig", courtesy of Cloud Appreciation Society, "rabbit" photo here.
Minnesota: 3rd fastest-warming state in the USA (Climate Central)
* 4-6 F. warming by 2100
* minimum winter temperatures (nighttime lows) forecast to warm the most.
* increase in winter cloudcover over time.
* 20% reduction in snowfall by 2100 (more rain and mixed precipitation during winter months).
* current average winter snowfall at MSP: 55" forecast to be one foot less by 2100.
* Overall increase in precipitation forecast for eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Consensus on sea level rise by 2100: around 1 meter, or 3 feet.
Hurricane damage is doubling every 20 years.
Models suggest fewer hurricanes in a warmer world, but more extreme (Category 3+) storms.
Florida/Bahamas may be most at risk.
Warming oceans: odds of a San Diego/Los Angeles hurricane are increasing. Mediterranean Sea forecast to become warm enough to support hurricane activity.
2012: ten separate billion-dollar weather disasters, second only to 2011.
$20 billion in severe storm damage so far in 2012, much of it from the massive derecho that swept across the Ohio Valley into the Mid Atlantic region - the most damaging/deadly on record.
Flood control systems: designed for 20th century storms.
Top 10 Most expensive disasters since 1980: 6 out of the top 10 were hurricanes, 3 were droughts.
1988 heat wave and drought: 7,500 Americans died (!) with a damage estimate of $78 billion.
"During the last 7 years we've broken pretty much every kind of weather record there is, from heat to tornadoes to floods..."
"All the volcanoes of the world produuce less greenhouse gas emissions than the state of Florida".
Greenhouse gas levels higher now than they've been in 800,000 years.
No atmospheric blanket of gases to trap warmth: Earth's temperature would be closer to 0 F, not 59 F.
CO2 increasing at the rate of 2 ppm/year, or abouut .5% every year.
Twin Cities: 16 months/row of warmer than average temperatures. Odds of flipping 20 consecutive "heads" is roughly 1 in 1 million.
331 months/row of global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average.
"Mitigating climate change will require a level of sustained innovation and American reinvention that will propel the USA into a new competitive paradigm. This is our Energy Moonshot Moment. To remain competitive on a global stage we have to develop new ways to grow our energy infrastructure, jobs and GDP that aren't totally reliant on fossil fuels."
Photo credit above: "Areal view of Lokoja, Kogi State under the siege of flood." Photo: Vanguard.
Photo credit: Manhattan skyline photo courtesy of WeatherNation TV meteorologist Bryan Karrick.
* 60s are likely next week, maybe a day or two near 70 F.
** Winnie the Pooh Halloween photo courtesy of Michelle Cardillo Maier, in Buffalo, New York.