By Jim Poling Sr.
Published Jan. 10, 2019
The New Year opened with so many questions:
the global economic turmoil become a recession? Will western Canadian
oil be given a stable delivery system to world markets where it can be
sold for true market value? Will the trend to populace politics create
more chaos? Will Pinocchio Trump move from the White House to a U.S.
list is lengthy, but the most important question in my mind is what
will happen with the weather. Opinions range from “global warming is a
China-inspired hoax” to “the world will dry up and blow away within the
next 30 years.”
best way to find an answer to the weather question is to look for
facts. I am aware that looking for facts is considered old-fashioned
these days, but I still find it helpful.
the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently reported that the
last four years of global temperatures have been the hottest on record.
Also the 20 warmest years on record all occurred in the last 22 years.
just passed was the 406th consecutive month in which global
temperatures were above normal. There is no official final data for
November yet, but it appears that it too will be above average, making
it the 407th consecutive month.
That means that anyone under 33 years old never has experienced a cooler-than-average month of global temperatures.
what’s ahead for 2019 weather? Some scientists are concluding that this
year will be the hottest ever recorded in human history.
U.S. Climate Prediction Centre says there is an 80 per cent chance that
a full-fledged El Niño already has begun and will last at least until
the end of February. El Niño is a weather phenomenon in which parts of
the Pacific Ocean warm and cause weather chaos, including a
warmer-than-usual winter in much of Canada.
documented trend to warmer world temperatures combining with an El Niño
is the reason why some science professionals say this year will be the
More warmth is something the world does not need.
temperatures have increased droughts, wildfires, and more violent
weather in general. The World Meteorological Organization reports 70
tropical cyclones or hurricanes during 2018, far above the annual
average of 53.
violent weather events cause agricultural losses, which are followed by
malnutrition, then large migrations of people seeking more stable
living conditions. These migrations create moral and political
quandaries – do you build walls and pens to keep displaced people off
your turf, or do you work to fix the things causing them to be
and television news shows have been filled with reports of weather
disasters in recent years. Most of them have been in far off places like
Europe, California, and the U.S. south. But we are seeing weird weather
changes – although not as violent or dramatic – right here at home.
past fall and current winter in Haliburton have been among the most
bizarre in memory. There was some precipitation – rain or snow – on 27
of 30 days in November and 24 of 31 in December.
December had rain on 10 days, almost double the average for that month.
have been eye-popping temperature anomalies as well. Temperatures in
November ranged from minus 26 Celsius to plus 14. December temperatures
ranged from minus 24 to plus nine.
wild temperature swings have continued into the New Year. Already this
month we have seen a couple lows in the minus 20s and three or four days
ups and downs are not unusual. We’ve seen them before in the
Haliburton-Muskoka region. However, looking at data from the last 10
years, there is evidence that our climate is changing.
The first effects of changing climate are being seen by skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers and others who enjoy winter sports.
climate change will affect other seasons remains to be seen. The wild
winds, droughts and fires seen in other parts of the world would be a
serious threat to our most important natural resource – our trees.
week at a lake just south of Minden I saw a soft maple budding. Budding
in mid-winter is unhealthy and a sign that all is not right in the