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Are you hotter or colder?

  1. Feb 16, 2009 #1

    wolram

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    It seems many places around the globe are having record cold spells.

    If you had the option to buy long johns or Bermuda shorts, which would you buy?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2009
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  3. Feb 16, 2009 #2

    Evo

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    Sorry, but the blog is highly biased and is making assumptions based on weather, so it isn't acceptable. It is true that 2008 has seen a number of record breaking cold temperatures reported. You can post news about the record cold temperatures if you'd like.
     
  4. Feb 16, 2009 #3

    mgb_phys

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    We have had the airport shutdown because of snow and the last day of the ski world championships canceled for lack of snow within a month of each other!
    Not looking good for the winter olympics next year!
     
  5. Feb 16, 2009 #4

    Gokul43201

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    I would like to see some of that (since I'm somewhat skeptical that this winter has been exceptionally cold). I'd prefer statistics to news, but I'll take what I can get.
     
  6. Feb 17, 2009 #5
    In FL its never cold, and when it is cold for us, all of the other states call it warm.
     
  7. Feb 17, 2009 #6

    Danger

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    I'm commando all the way. The very concept of underwear disgusts me.
    The exception to that was when I was playing baseball. I'd wear briefs under my cup to avoid chafing, and long-johns over that to eliminate loss of skin when sliding into base. As soon as the game was over, I'd get my *** home and change into jeans.
     
  8. Feb 18, 2009 #7

    D H

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    Be careful what you ask for Gokul. You might get it.

    TMI!
     
  9. Feb 18, 2009 #8

    Danger

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    :confused:
     
  10. Feb 18, 2009 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/ [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Feb 18, 2009 #10

    turbo

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    We had a relatively mild but VERY snowy winter last year. This year, we had a pretty cold spell in January, but the birds are telling me that they can make it. Every day, a large flock (maybe 30 at least) of goldfinches shows up at my feeders, with about a dozen pine siskins and a dozen or more redpolls. These are birds that would never be seen at these latitudes until spring, years back. In addition, the male goldfinches are starting to yellow up from their winter colors and it's still only February. Staying (vs leaving and returning) probably ensures these little toughies the best breeding sites and the best chance of raising multiple broods (not just one) but I have never seen these species manage to over-winter like this. Usually, we have chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers in the winter and little else.

    The weather (daily/weekly variations) has at times been harsh, but the ability of these little song-birds to over-winter is an indicator of a change in climate. The Audubon winter bird count has suggested as much, but my feeder-count is even more dramatic. I cannot discount the effects of microclimate, since I live on the south-facing slope of a pretty large hill. The colder air spills into the valleys at night, and we benefit from solar warming on the coldest and clearest of winter days (though 0 deg F has got to be tough on a little bird).
     
  12. Feb 18, 2009 #11
    In western washington there hasn't been record cold but the snow is unlike anything I have seen here before. In my 19 years living right by seattle it has never snowed on multiple occasions in one winter (except maybe last year, however, it was only twice or so) like this. We usually get snow once and then its gone in two days often without sticking to the road and then it rains the rest of the year. This year it has snowed about 10 times already many of which left upwards of 5-10 inches or so (alot for here).

    My sister had trouble getting home from Portland due to the snow. Apparently when it gets too snowy the city pretty much shuts down; roads close, busses halt, and trains stop running.
     
  13. Feb 18, 2009 #12

    Chi Meson

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    Here in Connecticut, and Sothern New England in general, we have had an UN disputably cold winter. With plenty of snow. I remember back in the early 70s, that January meant "snow on the ground." This past January must be the first since then when snow was on the ground for the entire month. We had two straight weeks with the thermometer staying below 20˚F. Skating ponds have been solid for over two full months.

    I like winter to be winter. I'm ready for the cold. The folks around me who complain should move to Georgia.
     
  14. Feb 18, 2009 #13

    wolram

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    In the midlands UK we have had the first snow in 18 years, it was just cold enough for it to stay on the ground for a week.
     
  15. Feb 18, 2009 #14

    Gokul43201

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    Let me make the probably obvious point that snowfall does not, in general, correlate negatively with temperature (i.e., more snowfall doesn't mean it's colder). In fact, in many places, it could mean just the opposite.

    Specifically, total precipitation (rain + snow + ...) does correlate positively with the vapor pressure, which increases with increasing temperature (Clausius-Clapeyron). What this means is that in places/times where/when it's really cold (e.g., high latitudes in the winter), more snowfall is more likely a result of warmer temperatures (the colder the air gets, the less moisture it can hold). But in not so cold places and times, higher temperatures correlate with snowfall being increasingly replaced by rainfall. And even this is a bit of a simplification.

    So it needs to be made clear whether we are talking about colder temps or more snowfall, since the two things can feel quite different from each other, depending on the time and place.
     
  16. Feb 18, 2009 #15

    mgb_phys

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    Here (Pacific Northwest) climate change is promising more snow. If temperatures only rise 0.5C as predicted then there is an awfull lot of Pacific to evaporate from but it's still going to be -5 to -10C on land and so that water is going to fall as white stuff. For the summers it should get wetter - except that isn't really possible (grumble)

    And of course individual record high/low temps don't tell you much about the long term trends.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  17. Feb 18, 2009 #16

    turbo

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    That's the case here, Gokul. In central Maine heavy storms are generally preceded by a rise in temperature and are generally followed by a drop in temperature as colder drier air moves in to replace the warm air that precipitated the storm. On short time-scales (weather, not climate) snow and cold air are negatively correlated.

    The outside temp is a balmy 38 deg F right now and we are expected to get up to a foot of snow in a storm event starting later tonight.
     
  18. Feb 18, 2009 #17

    wolram

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    I guess if enough land mass is covered in snow it will refect sunlight, and could cause cooling, but how much land would have to be covered?
     
  19. Feb 18, 2009 #18

    Gokul43201

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    Any additional coverage will have some (perhaps immeasurable) effect, though having 3 feet of snow where the average is 1 foot doesn't directly give rise to any change in albedo.

    But where are you going with this? It's one thing to talk about the weather, but another thing altogether to start speculating about climate forcings and feedbacks.
     
  20. Feb 18, 2009 #19

    wolram

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    Just the hotter or colder part, the last post was just an aside.
     
  21. Feb 18, 2009 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    One of the predictions of global warming models is that we will see unusual weather patterns. Some areas could get colder [for a time].

    If the thermohaline circulation decreases, as it apparently has according to some reports, the western-most parts of Europe could get much colder.
     
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