However, this season's bizarre ups-and-downs are more of a symptom of climate change than a disproof of the same. Yes, there can still be heavy storms - a warmer climate means more moisture, and the potential for more snow at times.
The fact is, there used to be more frequent snow-storms before the late 20th century. A recent XKCD cartoon called "Cold" makes this point very well. The cartoon shows that the frequency of days below 0 degrees F in St. Louis, Mo. has fallen off as global warming continues.
A few months back, CESE's Kim Johnson and Dave Thomas were guests on the 94 Rock Morning Show, and discussed various topics related to climate and warming. As prep for the show, Dave downloaded 80 years of climate data for the Albuquerque International Sunport, and plotted a chart similar to XKCD's for St. Louis. The same trend exists in Albuquerque - frigid days (below 0 deg. Fahrenheit) used to happen two or three times a decade before 1990, but only one such day has occurred since 1990 - and that was the infamous Groundhog Day Blizzard, which paralyzed much of the nation for a couple of days in February 2011. If you were in Albuquerque in the winter of 1970-71, you probably remember the severe cold snap of 17 deg. below zero. It's on the chart!
The Groundhod Day Blizzard of 2011, as seen by Dave Thomas at his home in Peralta, NM.
You can listen to Kim and Dave on 94 Rock at these links:
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Walter Bishop Murfin
Born March 28, 1925
Died February 6, 2014
I’ll bet you didn’t know that was Walt’s middle name? Well, it was. I don’t know if he cared whether anyone knew or not but, unfortunately, he is no longer here to berate me for telling everyone, and that hurts. Badly. Walt died yesterday (February 6, 2013).
Walt Murfin is shown here being awarded a CESE plaque honoring his many achievements (February 4th, 2012).
He had a very hard time of it for almost a year, first with a hemorrhagic stroke, and then finally with pneumonia. It was all too much for him. Even someone with such a strong will and intellect as his finally had to let go. His wife, Bettyann, stayed with him at his home until the end with her daughter next door, Walt’s son, John, and Hospice to help out. Still, it is pretty tough.
Walt was nearing 89, and a year ago, still sharp as a tack and a bit of a rascal on occasion to boot! But Bettyann shared him with us, CESE. So he was our rascal! He was one of the smartest people I have ever had the privilege of being around. He was also a good friend – a very good friend. Though meeting late in life, we saw things so much alike that it was as if he and I had known each other for many years. Sure, we didn’t agree on everything, but on most things. When he would get upset with me, he would eventually apologize. When I would get upset with him, he eventually would apologize. Yes – you heard that right. Walt was a complex person.
Walt and CESE went together as if they were born for each other. I personally think that CESE gave him some added purpose as he got older and, in fact, he was a great asset to CESE. Walt, along with Marshall Berman, was the impetus behind the Murfin Method, or as he wished to call it, the CESE Method. This is a unique way of determining how to improve the educational system (K –12) in New Mexico. Walt worked on this for days at a time, developing the method and details of computations. Walt also help Marshall evaluate data when Marshall was on the state school Board of Education before it was done away with. He helped former CESE president, Steve Getty, perform needed analyses in his educational work. In other words, Walt became very wrapped up in education and in the CESE cause of improving not just science and math education in our state, but also improving all education. He worked on this constantly and passed the results and methods on to anyone who would listen. It has always been CESE’s hope that the state would seriously listen to what we have to say and act upon it. Walt worked very, very hard to that end. Even after his stroke, he recovered enough to almost desperately make sure that his work could be replicated. And people have been listening!
And, Walt, we are trying to carry on, but you will be impossible to replace. The best we can do is to hope to come close.
Walt, you have done more than your part to make the world a better place. That’s all one could ask of another person. We miss you very much, Walt. Happy sailing.
CESE Past President
Feb. 7th, 2014
CESE board member Kim Johnson has been hard at work refining our presentation on the CESE Method for determining how New Mexico's schools, students and teachers are faring. While the method was originally developed to provide clear paths to school improvement, it can also be used to make teacher merit evaluations much, much fairer than the proposed PED A-F method of assigning scores for performance.
Click here to read the 2013 Annual Meeting (June 29). Comments from out-going president Ken Whiton, and from in-coming president Terry Dunbar; election of slate for 2013-2014; keynote speaker Zack Kopplin, on "Why we need a Second Giant Leap."
Zack Kopplin addresses the CESE 2013 Annual Meeting.
Want more Annual Meeting Minutes? Click here!
Courtesy of CESE board member Jack Jekowski, we are pleased to provide several videos from our June 29th, 2013 Annual Meeting.
CESE Annual Meeting 2013 - Zack Kopplin Talk (30 minutes)
CESE Annual Meeting 2013 Zack Q&As (24 minutes)
CESE Annual Meeting 2013 Zack Q&As #2 (7 minutes)
Dave Magic Trick - CESE Annual Meeting 2013 (6 minutes)
CESE thanks Zack Kopplin for an inspiring talk!