ESSAY-WHY IT GETS COLD IN CERTAIN PLACES EVEN THOUGH THE WORLD IS GETTING HOT (A CALM, SIMPLE, 800 OR SO WORD REBUTTAL TO A CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER)
Special thanks to Salem State Geography professor and good friend Joe Occhipinti for vetting and editing this.
Why is it colder outside than it’s ever been before?
Because the earth is getting hotter.
Please…stay with me.
Pretend you’re in the middle of a huge room.
Overhead is a huge heat lamp. It warms the room.
That’s the sun.
At the northern end of the room, so far away you can't see it, is a huge block of ice. It keeps the room cool, and, because ice is white, it reflects the heat from the lamp.
That’s the Arctic.
Above that ice, drifting around, is a huge, hovering snowball. The block of ice has made it cold.
That hovering snowball is something called The Polar Vortex. This is cold air above the Arctic, and it’s good to think of it as a solid thing that moves around as if it were, you know, a hovering snowball.
Burning oil and coal heats up the room, and also creates a barrier that traps heat.
That barrier is CO2 gas.
So, five things:
The room is Earth.
The heat lamp is the sun.
The ice block is the Arctic.
The hovering snowball is The Polar Vortex.
And the barrier is CO2 gas.
The heat from the lamp causes a huge chunk of ice to break off that massive block in The North. It also causes a chunk of that huge piece of that hovering snowball to break off (let’s call it a baby snowball).
These things drift toward the middle of the room.
Now it gets weird, because because the room is heating up…yet in certain parts of the middle of that room, it gets really cold.
Remember, you don’t need the ice to be cold. Sometimes, due to the heat, the hovering baby snowball drifts away from its former place on top of the ice. If it hovers above you, you’re cold.
That baby snowball, by the way, also causes storms in areas a bit farther away, where it’s not completely freezing. It stirs up the hot air, and causes crazy weather.
You know how you leave moisture on a window when you breathe on it? That's because the hot air from your breath and colder air outside causes moisture to form. Now imagine hot air colliding with that huge, cold, baby snowball. It creates a lot of moisture, all at once...hence the storms, which sometimes dump so much moisture in one place so quickly that they're called "rain bombs."
Another thing about the heat: sometimes, it causes the huge block of ice at the far end of the room to fold in on itself, and can cause that hovering snowball to compress. So yes, in parts of that cold, Northern area of the room it can actually get colder, even though the ice is melting, and that huge hovering snowball is dissolving. It’s it’s all compressed now, though, so that while a smaller area of that room is now colder than before, other parts of that cold side of the room are actually warmer than before.
At the moment, however, there’s a chunk of ice next to you, or a hovering baby snowball over you. So understandably, you say “hey, it’s freezing. It was never this cold. Bring on the heat.’”
You won’t have long to wait.
Because that chunk of ice will melt and the baby snowball will dissolve.
And then there will be less of the huge block of ice to keep the room cold and reflect the heat.
And less of a hovering snowball to cool the air as well.
This whole thing will happen many more times, this weird weather that results from another chunk breaking off that massive block to the North, and another baby snowball breaking away from that massive mother lode. And there will indeed be more times that the massive ice block folds in on itself, and the snowball compresses. So yes, in some limited areas, it will get colder.
But all the while, these things are melting and dissolving, wherever they are.
Also, in other parts of that room not near the ice chunks or the snowballs, it will get seriously hot. The other day, it was 117 degrees in Australia…one of the hottest temperatures ever.
There are currently Texas sized chunks of the Arctic that, due to the earth getting warmer, are calving off, and drifting towards us. They are so big they actually take cold air with them (there’s The Polar Vortex again), and sometimes, the chunk of ice goes one way, and the cold air goes another way. Also, sometimes chunks of that snowball (The Polar Vortex yet again) will break off on their own, and bring cold weather with them, until they dissolve.
So yes, because of that, there will be times, in spite of the planet getting warmer, that it will be, in unlikely places, bitterly cold. And of course, there will be some crazy, crazy storms.
Then the ice will melt, and the cold air will heat up. Then it will get hotter in those places than ever before.
Repeat. Just keep reading those last three paragraphs.
The Arctic is a big place. There are many more Texas sized chunks that can calve off. And there are still many more pieces of the Polar Vortex that can tear off the mother lode. They will take the cold air with them, making it strangely cold in limited places.
Each time, though, there’s less ice, less cold air, and, with the use of coal and oil, more and more CO2 to trap the heat.
And it keeps getting hotter.
Hope this clears things up.