Howdy, pilgrim. Let's talk about this global warming thing. They almost had me convinced. Now, I'm not so sure. Right out of the chute it gets confusing. It's not a one and done thing anymore. I'll be honest with you, I didn't see any of this stuff coming.
I'm still not sure and I'm still not convinced. For every scientist that can come with a string of facts to prove there actually is a global warming, there is also another scientist who can come up with a string of facts to prove there is global cooling. It is not a new thing.
Thousands of years ago, it got so cold and stayed that way for so long that a glacier formed and covered the entire North American continent as far south as Iowa's state capitol building. And guess what? We had ourselves a global warming. It got so hot for so long that the huge glacier retreated back to the Arctic Circle. Then it happened again, a second time. This time the glacier that covered our earth went as far south as Ames. Again, global warming caused the glacier to retreat north to the Arctic. And yet a third time it got so cold a glacier formed and moved south to a point a few miles south of Jewell. And again global warming melted the glacier. Three times this happened all in a time span of about 40,000 years. A mere "second" in the time span of our earth.
Well, now, which is it? Global warming or global cooling. Go figure. On the west coast, it's the driest in recorded history. On the east coast, it is close to being the wettest and it has rained all winter. Go figure.
Recently there was a four-inch snowfall in Cairo, Egypt where it hadn't snowed in 114 years. At the same time, Israel had a 19-inch snow storm that was the first snow in 60 years. Ice at both poles is growing at a record pace. In the first week of December, more than 2,000 cold and snow records were set in one day. December is already one of the ten coldest winters on record.
Lots of weather people are wondering what the heck's going on, but solar scientists think they know the answer. They report the surface of the sun is the quietest it's been in over 100 years. A quiet surface generates less heat. When that happens, our planet cools off. And if the sun doesn't do a quick turnaround (many scientists don't think it will) we could be seeing temperatures similar to those 1200 years ago when we were still recovering from the effects of the Little Ice Age. Go figure.
There's more. I'm still trying to figure this next one out. The original premise of global warming in the 1970s, as I understand it, was that increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and slowly raise the temperature of the earth. That part made sense. The theory is plausible. But now theses same scientists are blaming this same trapped CO2 for lowering the temperature, extreme weather events, etc. It's very easy to understand how trapped heat could raise the temperature. But you're going to have to explain to me in words that I can understand, how trapping heat can lower the temperature. And I don't think you can. Go figure.
For every person who can prove it is warming up, there is another person who can prove it is cooling down. Well, I'll tell you what. I'm just going to run out to McDonald's and get me another cup of coffee and wait to see what happens. I may have a long wait. A long, long wait.
When it comes to talking about the outdoors, I don't think I've ever known a subject where so many people could prove they were right and could prove the other guy wrong, and with so many "facts" to back them up.
Bonanza year for 'tundra ghost'
As you drive around the county and the countryside, keep your eyes peeled on fence posts. This winter has been a bonanza irruption year for snowy owls in the northern U.S. so this would be good time to get out and see one. They are huge - 20 to 27 inches - all white and covered with feathers from beak to toe tips - more like a furry white mammal with wings.
It normally lives in the high, frigid Arctic tundra, however a shortage of food (lemmings and small prey) has driven the huge owls south, far beyond their normal range. While quite a number of sightings have been reported, I haven't seen them show up on any of the Christmas Bird Counts.
And now have a good weekend.