No, This Western Winter Was Not “WEIRD”
The winter of 2022/2023 was one of the wettest and hardest that Western states have seen in a long time.
The news media is known for writing sensational headlines to get your attention.
So it's not surprising that we have seen headlines like:
Below Normal Temperatures Expected.
Amid drought, ‘weird’ winter boosts snowpack.
Those are actual headlines that have appeared in news publications.
When it comes to weather what should we consider 'WEIRD" or "NOT NORMAL?"
Humans have only been keeping accurate temperature and weather records for just a little over 100 years. That's not much time.
This video, below, shows discoveries of how today's frozen Greenland was once GREEN and teaming with life that scientists thought never lived that far north.
Meteorologists often talk about the weather in terms of average temperatures or "normal."
But what's been the average for the past 100 years has nothing to do with what is "normal" for this planet.
The last ice age peaked about 20,000 years ago and slowly began withdrawing about 10,000 years ago.
Today's polar ice caps, glaciers, and what we experience as winter, are what is left of that last ice age.
There is nothing "weird" or abnormal about that. Ice ages have come and gone many times in Earth's history.
There was a time, not long ago geologically speaking, when the Vikings had made entire villages in Greenland because it was ice-free at the time. They had to move away because that ice age that had been retreating had a mini resurgence. Greenland is mostly covered in ice today.
Throughout most of its existence, Planet Earth has not had polar ice caps.
When we look back at the evidence left behind we see that this planet has had times of abundant life, both plant and animal when it was much hotter and had much more CO2 in the air.
CO2 leads to more plant growth and has little to do with warming.
In the shorter term, years of drought followed by heavy snow and rain is perfectly normal and NOT weird.
It works perfectly with long-term trends.
Even if we could reduce the amount of CO2 in the air it would do nothing to change these weather trends.
Just because the weather is doing something harsh, or inconvenient for humanity does not mean that the Earth's climate is not doing what it is supposed to be doing.