Happy Holidays, no doom and gloom

Tis the time of the season when those who hand out gloom and doom are writing frightening stories about Santa and his reindeer drowning at the North Pole due to global warming. This is very dishonest and mean.  First, anyone who can fly around the world and deliver presents in 24 hours is certainly not going to drown if the ice at the North Pole melts. Think about it. Flying reindeer, sled.  Load up and leave. The ice in Antarctica is expanding.  Move to the South Pole.  Easy.

Second, the ice is not melting at a rapid rate at the North Pole.  November 2015, there was 3.88 million square miles of ice at the North Pole (This is a mathematical calculation. There is no way to directly measure the ice.) This is 351,000 square miles below the average for 1981-2010.  That calculates out to 9%.  There is 91% of the average sea ice still sitting there at the North Pole.  Santa is perfectly safe.  

As of late, there has been much gloom and doom about the climate.  In reality, there have been fewer hurricanes, fewer tornadoes and the ones that have hit are not stronger than those in the past.  Droughts and floods are occurring at about the same rate as any time in the recent past.  There is nothing humans can do to change this.  All these weather phenomena have many causes that are not well understood at this time.  It is most important to work on better detection of hurricanes and tornadoes and building so the storms don't cause so much damage.  Droughts can not be avoided entirely, but wise use of water can help (Turning off the water when you brush your teeth is not enough to do much good, however.  We need to think about large users of water, including watering lawns, washing cars, etc.  How important is a green yard?  How important is a clean car, unless you live where the roads are salted in the winter?). Floods can be controlled partially through dams and clearing river channels.  Damage is reduced by not living on flood plains. The impact of heat waves on humans is reduced with air conditioning. We can adapt to some degree to all of these extreme weather events. What we cannot do is control them.

This holiday season, rest easy and enjoy the holidays.  The climate is just fine.

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