Ben Gelber’s Weather Blog
The Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State has 23,000 feet of ice sheltered in a frigid laboratory, where temperatures are close to -30F. Cores extracted from remote areas in Greenland, Antarctica, and remote high-elevation sites including the tropics.
Chemicals, dust, and pollen trapped in air bubbles in the ice tell a tale of what the was like on Earth thousands of years ago, from drought to wet spells, mild and frigid. A computer model developed at Ohio State in the geography department shows what the weather may have been like on average during the last ice age more than 15,000 years ago.
Understanding past climate patterns is critical when evaluating current and possible future trends, based on carbon dioxide levels, sea-surface temperatures, and general circulation features.
The latest NOAA and NASA data have 2010 essentially tied with 2005 for the warmest year on record globally, despite some rough winter weather last February and December in eastern North America and western Europe. These large regional cold departures that were offset by more widespread warmth throughout the rest of the year. Arctic and Antarctic regions posted warm years, and Canada had its warmest year on record as cold air was displaced from the usual centers, showing how regional patterns don’t always match up with global trends.