Go anywhere on the internet and in light of the cold weather in the South and the heavy snow hitting the Midwest, you will find people joking about Global Warming, but not in a polite way.
It doesn't matter if you browse Twitter, Facebook, or a forum. People still do not understand what it is that constitutes Climate Change. Even worse is when people take literal components of Climate Change and twist them to disprove Global Warming in 140 characters or less. We as a people are no longer thinking. We are no longer taking the information given to us and processing it effectively.
So here are some points to keep in mind this winter.
Climate Change dictates that colder seasons will shorten and warmer seasons will lengthen. Growing seasons will become longer. Winter will not last quite as long. Snow generally aids in reflecting the radiation from the sun during the winter months. A shorter winter means that snow will not be on the ground come February and March. Shorten this time period and the Earth absorbs more of that radiation, perpetuating the problem even further.
Ocean temperatures are warmer. That results in more precipitation coming on land. Precipitation just does not magically appear over the mainland. Anyone who lives around the Great Lakes knows this all too well.
Because of temperatures and more energy feeding storms, the severity of such storms will be enhanced. This goes for hurricanes and your run of the mill thunderstorm.
What one person experiences in Minnesota will not be as pronounced as someone living in a coastal city where ocean levels are rising. The impact of Climate Change is felt more apparent in areas where subtle changes have profound effects. As Climate Change worsens, those of us living on the United States mainland will feel the full brunt of these effects. Americans tend to only think in terms of their own little world and disregard all that happens beyond our shores. This is one reason why the notion of Global Warming has been ridiculed.
Individual weather events do not speak to the problem of Climate Change as a whole, but aspects of these individual events speak to the effects Climate Change is having on our planet. When you live in Iowa and Mother Nature dumps a lot of snow on you, first, you must remind yourself this is winter. Climate Change has not rid us of all four seasons yet. We still get cold in the winter time. The amount of snow depends on the moisture that has traveled across from the West Coast. That moisture, for the most part, came from the ocean.
Keep a sane perspective and you will continue to receive sane answers to your questions. Learn that the "warming" part of Global Warming is not as simple as saying it's going to be warm. Just because it's cold does not mean Global Warming is not real. It's winter. It's supposed to be cold. Just realize that winter may not last as long as it previously did. Anyone who confuses "Warming" with expecting December to feel like Florida in Minnesota is posing an idiotic view.
A curious, humorous, and rather entertaining link:
Darryl Cunningham Investigates: Climate Change
(Link added 1-9-2011)