SCIENCEGEEK ADVENT CALENDAR EXTRAVAGANZA! (DAY 18)
EXPLODING SNOWMAN VALIDATES (OR DRIVES) CLIMATE CHANGE MODELS
(arXiv:1104.0061, By M.S. Brennwald, D.M. Livingstone, R. Kipfer – pdf)
Abstract: The B\”o\”ogg is a large model of a snowman, constructed of inflammable materials and filled with explosives. During the traditional festival of Sechsel\”auten, which takes place each spring in Zurich, Switzerland, the B\”o\”ogg is placed atop a wooden pyre, which is set alight. According to popular legend, the time that elapses until the B\”o\”ogg’s head explodes (the “head-bang” time) is said to give a rough forecast of local weather conditions prevailing during the following summer. However, recent research has questioned the validity of this prediction. To study the B\”o\”ogg’s predictive powers, we analyzed the B\”o\”ogg head-bang time record from 1965-2010 within the context of global climate change. Our analysis shows that the B\”o\”ogg head-bang time is a good predictor not of short-term local weather, as might be expected from the legend, but of the behavior of the entire global climate system.