Loss, and the acceptance of the new normal of weather extremes.

Over the past decade, I noticed an increase in the general acceptance of significantly above normal temperatures in the winter in the US. People seem to have forgotten the colder winters of the past while almost embracing the new warmer temperatures, especially as related to their ability to spend more time outdoors wearing less insulation. I’ve been surprised by the lack of concern for this new normal. Of course, there are those that are concerned and realize that our Earth system is undergoing profound and dangerous changes, but I’ve sensed less concern and more approval among the general public. New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences supports my observations. Based on extensive social media analysis, it appears that most individuals have a reference point no more than eight years before the present for assessing current conditions. You can read more here (subscription may be required):

Rapidly declining remarkability of temperature anomalies may obscure public perception of climate change

Associated with these unseasonal temperatures is the loss of days with snow. This is changing the aesthetic of the northern mid-latitudes and sub-polar latitudes, and I often hear people lamenting the lack of snow. As they step into their SUV to go skiing at an energy consumptive resort.

“No concerns about the world getting warmer…
now we can swim any day in November.”
- Sleeping In, The Postal Service