Yes, it has been colder in Minneapolis this summer… except when it wasn’t

There’s a bit of a brouhaha afoot with regard to our weather in Minnesota this summer, and whether it proves or disproves climate change.

A good summary of the “debate” appeared yesterday on Alas!

It started with a Minneapolis-based wingnut blogger relying on anecdotal evidence to prove… something.

Statistics guru Nate Silver responded with a bunch of boring old facts that dispel the argument of a colder-than-normal summer.

I just have a few comments to add to the fray:

1. If climate change is real (and it’s pretty much impossible for an honest, rational person to deny at this point), anecdotal evidence of a chilly month of July in one city doesn’t do anything to disprove it. And if you’re not looking at hard numbers, it’s easy to endure this cold July and forget just how hot it really was at the end of June.

2. Rising global temperatures associated with climate change emphatically do not mean that the resulting weather change in any particular location will manifest as a simple 2-3 degree temperature increase, and identical weather as before. In fact what it means is that global weather patterns will change significantly, and unpredictably, with some parts of the globe experiencing significantly hotter temperatures, some cooler, and more severe weather events occurring in more places than before.