For the past several years I’ve wondered how, when we’re obviously experiencing much colder winters than recorded previously – at least in our area – that we could be experiencing human-caused global warming? Like we’ve been told by everybody, including being scolded about it by that teen-aged girl from Sweden. Aren’t there any adults over there? Or here?

I recently found an explanation concerning the “Polar Vortex” and “Global Warming” I’d like to share. To begin with, I’ve heard this “Polar Vortex” thingie discussed a lot, but no one ever explained it to me. That’s probably justifiable as our national media’s talking heads seem to believe only teenaged girls from Sweden understand it and that the American public, in general, is too stupid to understand. Regardless, I’m going to give it a shot – short story version. My understanding is as follows.

The polar vortex is basically just a fast moving current of air, a jet stream if you will, circling above the North Pole. Changes in it’s strength are referred to as “the Arctic oscillation.” When the vortex is strong, it keeps the frigid air confined to the polar regions, like an atmospheric cap, resulting in mild winters in the eastern US and parts of Europe and Asia. When it weakens, Arctic air can push south bringing extreme arctic weather with it.

Normally, the polar vortex is strong enough to keep even the coldest air confined up north, but my understanding is that occasionally the Arctic jet stream “wobbles,” allowing the polar vortex to slip south. Why it “wobbles” is unknown, but humans are good at guessing and using those guesses as a factual explanation.

Some researchers think the whole polar vortex-global warming thingie is presently being caused by melting Arctic sea ice. Others, mostly vegans I suppose, are claiming it’s because our planet has too many cows. Cows eat grass, resulting in the passing of vast amounts of bovine methane into our atmosphere, which apparently messes with the polar vortex. Honest, that’s what they’re saying. You can’t make this stuff up.

More realistically, Arctic sea ice cover is disappearing at what some modern scientists consider record rates. But those records only go back a few hundred years at best. The earth is millions, if not billions of years old. As far as being able to read past periods of warming and cooling by analyzing core drillings from Arctic ice sites, I think that’s more science fiction than science fact – whatever.

Regardless, modern researchers believe that without the arctic ice covering the polar oceans, acting more or less as an insulating blanket, heat is escaping those polar oceans and warming the air above them. In theory that escaping warm air weakens the Arctic winds over the North Pole, resulting in frigid polar air escaping south. That sounds somewhat reasonable to me.

Most of us who have lived long in snow country understand to wear a hat when the mercury dives. It helps keep the body’s biggest heat radiator, the head, warm. Which also keeps the body warm. To cool off we remove said hat, or cap. So just imagine that practice on a planetary scale. It’s simplified, but you get the point.

These arctic cold blasts we’re experiencing some winters do not mean the earth is, in fact, cooling. Actually, colder weather in previously traditionally warmer winter spots means the planet is warming up, melting arctic ice which sends warmer air into the stratosphere, displacing the layer of colder Arctic air that’s supposed to stay put over the Arctic. Taking the earth’s hat off, in effect.

A lot of high-placed politicians, scientists and other public figures have laid the blame for this phenomenon squarely at the feet of modern man’s industrial age machines. And farting bovines. These worthies are the manipulators who have figured out how to make mega-bucks from convincing the less astute citizenry to donate to helping avoid world extermination. Or something equally similar and inane.

This is not to dispute that our world’s climate is changing. It does that constantly. Has for a millennia. Just like politicians will tell voters anything the voters want to hear and not actually what is, that’s the nature of the beast. Have you noticed a dearth of dinosaurs around lately? It was brought on by climate change, albeit many eons ago. That change was sudden, due to unforeseen factors, but we’ve been enduring minor changes ever since.

I was taught that the only certainty is change. This planet, with or without man, has been in a state of flux for several millennia. Witness the constantly exploding volcanoes and multitude of earthquakes, big and small, occurring planet-wide every day. All of that and more will probably continue until the earth is little more than a shrunken collection of sterile rocks floating through the universe.

Hopefully, we all will have moved on by then, both spiritually and physically.

(4) comments

RocketGuy

This is one of the most balanced letters on the subject of climate change I have read in quite a while. The author hit the nail on the head!

rodeoqueen

Mr. Meinecke makes a sound argument in his 3rd to last paragraph. We will be going the way of the dinosaurs because the climate is changing suddenly.

It is not THAT the climate is changing it is HOW the climate is changing. Species, like the dinosaurs and humans cannot adapt fast enough to outrun a rapidly changing climate - well we may survive, but the sagebrush won't, then the deer won't, and then there goes a steady freezer full for a lot the region's families.

DeweyV

I will give gun guru Meinecke the praise due. He has totally put the 3X-9X Aldo Leupold crosshairs on the issue of him and fellow Wyomingites not grasping the fundamentals of climate change : Selective Ignorance.

Fox Blue River

Please stop, and Cody Enterprise please stop printing nonsense science letters from people who aren't scientists, thank you.

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