Onward Through the Fog

Since we commented a few days ago about a new study showing that average hours of fog have declined by about a third along the California coast since 1901, a number of people have come up to us and pointed out that at least one month last year was supposedly the foggiest in 50 years.

This suggests that while the long-term trend may be toward thinner fog, things can still get plenty foggy in the short-term.

But will the long-term trend toward a sunnier coast continue?

Fog is created when hot inland air meets cold ocean water. The greater the difference in temperature between the two, the bigger the resulting fog bank.

So the question is: will the ocean continue to warm more quickly than the air (narrowing the temperature differential), or will global warming, or some other mechanism, heat the air faster than the water (widening the temperature differential)?

Until we know the answer to that question, the future of our fog is destined to remain … well … foggy.

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