Saturday, April 28, 2018

News Print and Global Warming

Several newspapers folded over and stack on top of each other.
Yeah, I know ... a bit of an odd title all things considered.  I wrote a while back on another of my sites ( how we lost our daily newspaper to some big conglomeration who decided just to shut it down. What that meant was that we no longer had an "in-print" newspaper, and they eventually closed the web based version of the Orillia Packet as well. Thankfully, some of the long-standing journalists at the Packet got themselves together and created an online newspaper for Orillia, which is wonderful (Orillia Matters)... it's just not printed on paper. There is seriously something missing without a print version ... for me, anyways. I like to have it in my hands, turning the pages, smelling the newsprint-smell ... you can't replace that with a computer screen.

The Orillia Today newspaper with a folded newspaper on on top.Anyway, we still do have a weekly paper that comes ... more like a small bulletin type of paper, and at least for now, that's how we get the weekly grocery flyers (okay, yes I do use an app for that - Sale Whale, but my husband likes the paper flyers to make his lists). I don't often really read that paper, because by the time we get it, the "news" that interests me for our local area has already been published by Orillia Matters, and I've already read it online.

Last night though ... I was skimming idly through the Orillia Today (no idea why they call it that, it should be more like Orillia This Week) and an article title drew my eye, and my interest (a little anyways). It was titled "Winters Getting Worse Scientists Warn".  That interested me because it does feel like our northern winters are getting worse, but the article brings up (yet again) the issue of the earth moving towards a possible "ice age" ... which is frightening, but probably a long way off, even if it were true (which is somewhat doubtful).

To try and convince myself that wasn't happening at all and winters seem worse every year older I get, I did a little (very little) research.

I checked the historical and current records for average temperatures, both in the Lakeland (Florida) area where we now spend our winter, and back at home in Orillia (Ontario).

There doesn't seem to be a lot of change in the Lakeland area, while there were some really cold nights this year (mostly in January, below freezing by a few degrees), and some daytime temps that were definitely cooler than the norm (about 50F), the month came pretty close to historical averages, with some of the daytime temps above or at the "normal" average for that time of year (see Accuweather records for Lakeland in January here).

A view of Couchiching Beach Park in the winter, showing picnic tables enclosed by snow, and the Champlain monument.
Looking at the Orillia area for the same time periods, the trend seems somewhat similar - some days were colder than the historical averages, with others slightly higher.

It doesn't seem to have changed much over the last couple of years in terms of temperatures, but the length of time we experience winter weather (and snow) seems to be lasting much longer into the year, and beginning earlier in the previous year.

Looking at October 2017, the night temps run pretty close to the freezing mark for most of the month, with it dropping to freezing (32F or below) by the third week, while the daytime temperatures seem to fluctuate wildly. During one week, the daytime high hit 74 F, with coldest day being only 48F ... that's quite a change. Similar instances occur even during the first week of October (72F high, with 49F on the coldest day).

Moving forward to April 2018 (this month) there have been at least five days where the daytime temps were below the freezing mark, and that is for the most part, below the historical averages for daytime temps. The lowest daytime average (historical) showing for April in previous years was 43F ... not the 28F that was recorded this year.

A snowy view of the port of Orillia, pre-renovations on the harbour and the visitor center.Checking the snowfall for January, this year (2018) we received 63.8cm (or just over 25") of snow;
January 2012 shows 44.2 cm (17.4 inches).

So, this year it's been a little colder with more snow ... at least in January and April. But I don't think that means the ice age is coming any time soon.

I believe in the effects of global warming, regardless of those people who don't think global warming exists, I think it does. I just don't think it will have any sort of long-term catastrophic effect on the earth in the next several lifetimes.

References online show mixed opinions and even one website - IFL Science can't make up it's mind whether it is or it isn't:

Other references for reading if you have an interest in the science of weather:

Global Warming Reference:

No comments:

Post a Comment