The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Difference Between Weather and Climate

I am looking out my office window at a foot of fresh snow, and temperatures tonight are supposed to get down to fifteen below (F) - so do I still believe all the talk about climate change?

Short answer: yes

Why? Because it doesn't matter what I believe, or what the current weather is on my little corner of the globe, climate change is happening and science is showing this every day.

I keep seeing arguments saying "global warming stopped in 1998" - well that is nonsense. 1998 was an extremely strong El Nino year that was very warm worldwide, but to base a trend starting from that date to extrapolate climate is dishonest. In order to have a valid climate period you need to use at least thirty years, and going by that the clear trend is upward. Even the temperature in Lake Superior has increased dramatically in the last 30 years. Just because the Earth is heating up it doesn't mean everyplace on the planet is going to turn into Miami Beach. Increased heat in the atmosphere will increase the energy available for storms, as well as increase the amount of water vapor the air can hold, so more intense snow and rain events are one of the predicted outcomes of climate change.

The science is solid, and a little Minnesota cold snap will not invalidate it.

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