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Meteorological Perpsective

Home Forums DISCUSS General Discussion and Questions Best state to live in? Meteorological Perpsective

  • Tue, Jun 19, 2012 - 01:32am

    #8

    Aaron M

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 22 2008

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    Meteorological Perpsective

KarenF,

I wanted to offer some thoughts about the environmental aspects of choosing a location. This is in no way a measure of climate change, but rather an offering of some insight on how climates work during periods of macroscale heating and cooling. 

1. Temperature isn’t Linear
Temperature is a function of a variety of different phenomenon – amount of solar radiation, amount of vegetation, obliquity/solar angle of incidence, year, latitude and probably most important, pressure and water vapor saturation. 

As we look at a general “heating” trend, from a climatological perspective, we need to keep in mind that an overall warming doesn’t necessarily mean that latitudes more northerly will become warmer, and more medial or equatorial latitudes will become scorched deserts. While these are certainly possibilities, it’s important to note that as recently as 1816 – there was an unusual cooling trend which cause large scale crop failures. The reason was, as it is now, related to dioxides in the atmosphere, though in different form, and different elevations. 

Point is, solar cycles are much more important for determining long-term temperature trends. We’re in the midst of an unusually long rise to a solar maximum, and although I’m out of the loop at the moment, I don’t believe we’ve officially seen the decline begin, and it’s been ~14 years of an 11 year cycle. 

The 1816 even happened during the Dalton Minimum – an unusually inactive solar environment. 

2. Temperature is part of a transport mechanism
What we register as temperature is very often an associated element of a pressure gradient. This means that air is moving along a gradient between air masses. Increases in temperature are very often associated with increase relative humidities, and at altitude, cloud formation – the Warm Front is a great example of this.

This amount of water vapor directly impacts the amount of INSOLATION, which – as simply possible – traps IR energy, which deteriorates the photosynthesis of UV energy which plants require to produce cholrophyl. This is a very difficult concept to explain, but a good attempt can be found here: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Clouds/

3. Water is paramount
Beyond a doubt, the ability to catch, and utilize water is a tremendous aspect, but too much can also be a burden. I live in the PNW, and this year, we’re having quite a lot of rain. Things are growing, but if we don’t get more sun, we’ll start seeing an influx of nematodes, fungus and poor development in our crops. 

No place is immune to problems, so it becomes an issue of managing them as sustainably as possible. 

All in all, we still live on a planet that is very friendly to homo-sapiens. A good amount of our surface land mass is “capable” of sustaining human life, so the question becomes comfort. 

As far as the other concerns on the list proposed by V2 – I’d say those are almost entirely subjective. 
While I might not mind living on a farm in a town with 200 people, if I have children, how will they adjust to this? Will it offer the mental stimulation needed to develop and prosper? 

Likewise, would the over-stimulation of an urban environment impact them in such a way that they’re unable to focus on any one thing on account of the overwhelming options? 

I myself am particularly fond of New England (Vermont/NH) and the Utah, Idaho, Montana area, as all of these states have relatively relaxed political atmospheres and are not dependant on any single industry, many of the residents are already used to a slower, less opulent life, and there are simply fewer of them.

That said, I don’t think there is a nicer climate I’ve ever seen than Northern California. 

Just some thoughts.
Cheers,

Aaron