Wednesday 8 January 2014

currents and gyres

Despite the headlines, Germany, like America has far from a monolithic climate, but nonetheless the weather reports on opposite sides of the Atlantic could not be further apart. While in Germany, we have been spoilt by a series of glorious, balmy days that seems more like an extremely early Spring than a lingering Autumn, in contrast parts of the US have been dealing with unprecedented lows. Birds are confused and flowers are blooming.

The Germans, I think, do not speak much of it, partially to avoid the appearance of Schadenfreude, partially as the weather—especially the traditional and accustomed conditions, is an essential topic of conversation and no one really knows what to do with this spate of bright days at this time of year, and partially out of a jinxing superstition that this too will pass and Winter will arrive with prejudice. Meteorologically speaking, I've heard no discussion whether these opposing phenomena are related—save for a chat between the weather man and the anchor, where the host asked if these two events have anything to do with one another. Yes, indeed, the weather man replied, not with exactly qualifications or explanations, going on to say that the cold front in America was fuelling conditions over Europe. Of course, weather one place always has influence further afield but I didn't exactly follow, and wonder—for something as big as the weather, not just some little black rain cloud, if such an exchange really means that the warming of the oceans or changes in the salinity by degrees is occurring, resulting in the recalibration of the motor of the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift, whose circulation is a key component to the climate we recognise.