As timeless as the swamp may seem, nothing stays static for long, if at all. Really it depends on spatial and time scale your looking at. Geologically and today, drivers are causing changes great and small in the swamp.

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Climate trips up weather
Why climate is the new weather

Climate used to be a stodgy subject:

It stayed static while weather did all the acrobatics.

Do old rules still apply?

No longer! We know that the earth is warming, but from there and what it means for climates is anyone’s guess. To be clear, don’t count on New England to turn into the tropics anytime soon. What we can say is that we can no longer rely on the past as an exact blueprint of what’s about to unfold on the forecast next. Sure, you could call that weather, but really weather takes its cues from the larger climactic stew.

There’s an old saying: Climate is what we expect and weather is what we get. More and more we’re not sure what to expect and weather is a complete surprise, or nothing that we’ve seen in our lifetimes.

So goes climate, so goes local weather

A changing climate is also greatly misunderstood. Increases in greenhouse gases, have caused global temperatures to rise. In turn, that’s caused a net decrease in glacial ice and thermal expansion of the earth’s oceanic waters; or in other words – sea level rise. About sea level rise: It’s been happening starting at the peak of the last ice age, some 17,000 years, albeit very slowly (like a snail) — not on the scale of the current and projected modern-day frog leap.

In geologic times, climate has changed, both regionally and planet-wide. And climate is affected by oceanic currents, position relative to nearby land and water masses and winds as much as it is by latitude and altitude.

Somewhere the butterfly is flapping its wings

In sum, meteorologists are better than ever at forecasting the weather. Just don’t expect the bookends of the climactic record (recent past) to be an arbiter for what type of weather we may (or may not) get next.

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