Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Indian Summer

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, or Columbus Day as they call it in the United States. I had the day off work, but I spent most of the day working from home so that I can build up some time off to go to a wedding in New York City next month. Ordinarily, when I am at home in October the windows are closed and the fans are off. Yesterday, however, the windows were open and the fans were going full blast because the temperature outside was in the low 30s (that's about 90 F in Fahrenheit). This is not normal for Maryland. These temperatures are about 10 degrees (16 degrees F) hotter than normal for October in these part.

I miss having normal seasons. I miss Autumns that are cool, crisp, and pleasant. Thirty degrees is hot even for a Summer day, but in October 30 degrees feels oppressive. Is this a harbinger of global warming? Perhaps it is, but this is a la niña year, so the US mid-Atlantic region can expect a warmer than usual Autumn and Winter this year. The climate change that is predicted by most climate models, and most of the world's scientific community, may be contributing something to this heat, but it is not the only effect. Climate change is something that should be taken seriously. I am always amazed when people claim that it is a hoax. Do they really think that such a massive conspiracy could be kept secret for decades? Do they really think that the media would not have a field day blowing the lid of such a story? In my mind the hoax theory of global warming is about as plausible as the theory that governments are covering up wide-spread contact with aliens. The evidence that something is happening with Earth's climate is overwhelming. What is less certain is the details about what is driving those changes, and how those changes will play out over the next several decades.

Fortunately for me the weather forecast for the Washington, DC area says that temperatures are going to drop to about 20 degrees (70 F) in a few days. That will make me and my cat very happy.

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