Search This Blog

Friday, January 17, 2014

Climate Today

 Rum Runner from Canada Approaches Detroit in the 1920s

While the polar vortex had us within its icy grip, I wrote a post entitled The Day After Tomorrow about things climate change. As I continued my study, it appears that I pulled a Trump, which is, I spouted off about things about which I knew little... and that little might be poorly stated in my mind anyway.

Weather researchers pointed out that such polar vortices were once more common than they are now. These intensely cold masses of air were not a sign of Weather Gone Wild, but were actually an indicator of warming, for in the recent past, winters were colder.

That was food for thought.

So when I made my weekly trek to Mothersville to take out her garbage and perform other homely tasks, we fell to talking about climate change.
Now my mother is a FOX-News-Totaller. She evens quaintly believes that they are not a propaganda machine, but are actually "Fair and Balanced" like they claim to be.
(They claim it, but they are not. What is most baneful about FOX is that its propaganda is exactly the views of Roger Ailes. If his views agree with intelligent conservative thought, everything is in agreement.
However, if his views do not agree with intelligent conservative thought, Mr. Ailes views will carry the day on the on-air propaganda. That is probably not a good thing.)

Thus, we have never agreed much on climate change.
However, when I told her that a researcher had said that the polar vortex was actually a sign that winters were warmer because we used to have many more such polar air masses, and that they used to stay longer, she agreed.

I was stunned!

However, she said that in her opinion it was a true statement, for during the time in January that the very cold air held sway, the St. Clair River in front of her condo was ice covered.
If there is one thing people who live on rivers talk about, it is the river and its ways.
My parents frequently used to reminisce about their childhoods, and in the winter of those days, the river - St. Clair River and the Detroit River - were often frozen solidly over.

People used to drive cars across from Algonac, Michigan to Harsens Island. The Purple Gang used to drive trucks filled with crates of booze from Canada to places up and down the rivers. Most of the fishing was done through the ice. There are ice fishermen nowadays, but they are not expert on the moods of ice anymore. The ice only forms in Anchor Bay, and every year the Coast Guard has to rescue a few who misjudged the ice, and then drifted off on a floe.

 Tug in an Ice Floe

I can honestly say that the last time I saw the St. Clair River South Channel frozen solid was sometime in the 1950's.
This river can frequently become jammed by floe ice in the bottle neck between Algonac and Harsens Island, but that is not a solid piece of ice; one would not drive a car on it, say. Certain bays will freeze solid, too, but the rivers through which the current flows do not. The St Clair River leaves Lake Huron at a pace of 15 knots, and the water flows to Lake St. Clair and on to the Detroit River.

My mother said that they had always wondered why the rivers no longer froze. Sometimes they thought it may be heated industrial waste water or chemicals from Sarnia, Ontario, but no one had ever proven anything.

She said she believed that the winters were definitely warmer.
She did not say she believed in some Climate Change theory, but... well, the rivers don't freeze.
Make the most of it!


No comments: