The one thing everyone can talk about but no one can change is the weather. Lately, it’s been hot and wet, which we normally call by the technical name “Summer.” But it’s been hotter than usual. Is it global warming or just Mother Nature’s normal variability?
According to global warming theory, things will get hotter over time. That is happening. Sea levels will rise. That is happening too. So maybe it’s global warming. During the year, it tends to rain more on weekends due to pollution during the week.
On the other hand, there’s something you can absolutely say about weather - it changes. You can count on weather being different every few weeks.
Some birds in England are evolving as we speak due to climatic changes. My friend has a house in Ireland that is located right where the Gulf Stream ends, that has palm trees and tropical vegetation, and he says the Gulf Stream is changing course which will affect his landscape over the next decade.
In Massachusetts, rising water temperatures are pushing codfish into cooler waters, which is affecting their fishing industry.
In North Carolina, poison ivy is expected to grow faster and become more toxic.
Wetlands are being destroyed in the Mississippi Delta, causing flooding and eroding natural barriers to storms. Those barriers protect oil processing facilities further inland.
Glaciers are melting in Greenland, adding fresh water to the ocean and changing its salinity.
Heat stress is causing cows to produce less milk in Pennsylvania.
Dogs are sleeping with cats. Wait, strike that one.
But worst of all, my office seems too warm despite central air conditioning. One side of the office is cool, but not my side. I’m on the sunny side of the building and the heat from the sun is making the office uncomfortable despite air conditioning. If they pump up the air conditioning overall, the offices on the other side of the building will freeze, so I’m stuck with a hot office. This is important, because global warming boils down to “How does it affect me?”
Weather people are blaming something called derechos for all the recent windstorms and tropical weather. Derechos got their name from Gustavus Hinrichs, a Danish physicist. He was fluent in Danish, French, German, Italian, and English, yet he chose to give a bad weather force a Hispanic name. Hinrichs was a strange man who didn’t get along with anybody, and had a well publicized feud with the President of the University of Iowa, where he taught. The part of Denmark where he was born is now part of Germany. So Hinrichs could have called a derecho a “Hitler” or a “Hamlet.” But no. He picked on the Latinos.
Which I guess proves that weather is political and as changeable as a Dane’s temper. I suggest we coin a new, more fitting, weather phrase to describe this week’s weather - “It’s as hot as Hinrichs.”
Marvin Wolf is a regular contributor to Local Talk News.