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Weather Talk: Where's your global warming now? Please don't ask

"So where's your global warming now?"

If you find yourself thinking this in light of the sudden change to colder weather, please just stop. Whichever side of the pro or con politics of climate change you are on, this particular line of reasoning can only demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of climate and weather.

From a climate perspective, the warming of the Earth's atmosphere does not mean it never gets cold anymore. The fact that this cold seems unusual is a better argument for warming because only six of the past 36 months have delivered a colder than average mean temperature to Fargo-Moorhead. Cold weather seems unusual because it has not been happening as much the past few years.

From a weather perspective, it has been extremely warm over Alaska the past few weeks. The cold weather moving in has had to avoid the Alaska region and get here from central Siberia by coming directly over the North Pole, a far less traveled route.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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