One Big Joke


Country MoonI have always believed that God has a sense of humor. I even have a painting with Him laughing hysterically; this is how I picture Him, especially this past week, for I am sure the weather we have had is a big joke on His part.

Even though it is only the third week of February, we worked in the yard nearly every day. Even though I have heard countless folks say that this marks the beginning of spring, I know in my heart it is way too early not to have some wintry weather yet. Even so, and against my better judgment, I cleaned out my flower beds. Some of my daffodils and other spring flowers were trying to push their way through the thick layers of mulch and leaves — I did the unthinkable and uncovered them.

I was not alone. Farmers were in the fields, turning soil, disking, and anything else, because even though they know it is too early, when the winter chill turns to balmy breezes there is a compulsion to be in the fields. People cleaned up the yards, the hum of motorcycles roared down the roads. Even the trees think this is the real deal and are budding out. Spring fever ... in February. Even though I was pulled into the temptation like everyone else, I know God will lower the boom ... soon.

So, what is going on? This is more than just the January thaw a little bit late. Even before last week, this winter has been unusually mild. As a matter of fact, the past few years here in the Midwest have been milder. Is there something to this global warming that we have been hearing so much about? Some think so, some not.

The official definition of global warming is "an increase in the overall temperature of earth’s surface atmosphere, generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons and other pollutants." The greenhouse effect is caused by the interaction between earth’s atmosphere and incoming radiation from the sun. Solar radiation passes through the atmosphere to the earth’s surface, where it is absorbed and then radiated upward as heat. Gases in the atmosphere absorb 90% of this heat and radiate it back to earth, which is warmed to a life-supporting average of 59 degrees F. This is good.

Where this whole effect becomes bad is when human activity introduces too much of a certain gas back in the air and upsets the status quo. This is where global warming comes in. Weather is defined as "atmospheric conditions over a short period of time," whereas climate is defined as "the average weather of a particular region over several decades." Global warming will alter the climates of the world.

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