DISCUSSION: As we continue to move further into the 21st Century, there is little to no debate that as the Earth continues to most likely gradually warm with time, this will consequently affect the rate at which cold air outbreaks occur. Moreover, this gradual net planetary warming trend may also affect the magnitude of future cold air outbreaks when they do actually occur in various parts of the world. One of the premiere questions which many people around the world will continue to ask for quite a while moving forward will be how much different parts of the country and the world may change with time in terms of typical average high and low air temperatures.
As written by the Climate Central team: "For much of the U.S. east of the Rockies, middle to late January tends to be the coldest time of the year. Even though extreme cold can still happen in winter, as was seen earlier this year in much of the country, the frequency and intensity of extreme cold is declining as the world warms from the increase in greenhouse gases. Digging deeper, this week’s analysis examines the coldest night each year in cities across the country, and in most cases, the trend in that coldest night is warmer.
With no change in the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, warming of the lowest temperature of the year will continue. According to the 2017 U.S. Climate Science Special Report, that coldest reading each year will rise several degrees in parts of the U.S. by the middle of this century. The warming will be most prevalent in the Upper Midwest, across the Great Lakes, and in the Northeast, where up to 10°F of warming is projected.
While the decrease in cold may sound good on a cold winter day, that warming comes with consequences for farming, recreation, economy, and the environment. Fruit trees, which need to become dormant over the winter to bloom in the spring, may produce smaller yields. Winter-based activities in colder climates, like skiing and snowmobiling will become less prevalent, and the tourist economies that support them may struggle. More disease-carrying insects, like ticks and mosquitoes will survive through a milder winter."
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz