*Take this with a pinch of salt.
It looks like winter in the Eastern US will come, and go, before it even officially begins. According to AccuWeather's long range forcaster Joe Bastardi, this winter will be very mild; as much as 4 degrees above average. But we will first go through a cold snap between mid November and mid December. "But Thanksgiving could be frigid, ushering in a sudden plunge in the mercury and possibly snow", said Bastardi (New York Post, 11/14/07). "[T]emperatures will dip quickly to be colder than normal," he said. "But then they'll flip back up to remain above normal for the rest of the winter." Christmas could be balmy.
These long range forecasts have only a 70% accuracy rate, so don't make too many golfing plans. In fact, I just checked the 7-day forecast for central New Jersey, and it's calling for 54 degrees on Thanksgiving eve, not exactly blizzard temperatures. So it already looks like the early cold snap will be delayed, at the very least.
Global Warming Fundamentalists shouldn't get too excited, though. The predicted mild winter is caused by a naturally recurring cycle called La Nina; an abnormal cooling of the Pacific Ocean water temperatures.
*The meteor may have met its challenge.
A new theory on the great dinosaur extinction may be emerging, according to the Geological Society of America, which states in a press release;
"Boulder, CO, USA - A series of monumental volcanic eruptions in India may have killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, not a meteor impact in the Gulf of Mexico. The eruptions, which created the gigantic Deccan Traps lava beds of India, are now the prime suspect in the most famous and persistent paleontological murder mystery, say scientists who have conducted a slew of new investigations honing down eruption timing.
'It's the first time we can directly link the main phase of the Deccan Traps to the mass extinction,' said Princeton University paleontologist Gerta Keller. The main phase of the Deccan eruptions spewed 80 percent of the lava which spread out for hundreds of miles. It is calculated to have released ten times more climate altering gases into the atmosphere than the nearly concurrent Chicxulub meteor impact, according to volcanologist Vincent Courtillot from the Physique du Globe de Paris."
The gathering of scientific knowledge is a long, painstaking process that generates theories that hold up until they are either proved conclusively or superceded by new knowledge leading to a revised and/or a new theory. Another example is the steady state theory of the universe, which held that the universe is a stable, virtually unchanging world; until it was discovered that it is actually expanding, with all stars and galaxies moving away from each other at an accelerating rate. This gave birth to the "big bang" theory, which holds that the entire universe started when a marble (or smaller) sized speck exploded. I suspect that this rather incredible idea will pass as well.
*Meanwhile, the histeria continues...
It's a good thing the meteor theory isn't related somehow to "global warming", or these geologists might find themselves thrown into the clink for being "meteor extinction deniers". According to the AP, Yvo de Boer, the UN's top climate official stated that "Failing to recognize the urgency of the message [on global warming] and act on it would be nothing less than criminally irresponsible" (emphasis added). This kind of silly, and scary, blather is common throughout the "green socialist" (as Steve Forbes calls it) movement and is strong evidence in my mind of the thinness of the global warming case. True scientists are natural skeptics who welcome any and all study and opinions, because getting to the truth means vetting of all of the facts. And they certainly don't go around threatening others.
Such is the nature, and danger, of the convergence of state and science.