Saturday, February 27, 2010

If you don't like all this snow, join the fight against climate change!

In 2003, seven years ago, the Union of Concern Scientist published the following article: "Early Warning Signs of Global Warming: Downpours, Heavy Snowfalls, and Flooding." This article states:

"Climate models predict an increase in average precipitation in winter at high latitudes due to poleward transport of evaporated moisture from lower latitudes. There is also an increase in the expected frequency and areal extent of intense precipitation over the continents."
An "increase in average precipitation in winter" means more snow!

Look at all the problems created by the snow storms in the U.S. this winter. Transportation systems disrupted. Power systems disrupted with millions of people losing electricity. Lost revenue to retailers and other businesses. Schools closed, government services disrupted. This is exactly why climate scientists have been warning about global climate change. When climate scientists say that not fighting climate change is going to cost us more in the long run than making changes to our economy, energy and economy now, this extremely snowy winter is part of what they are talking about. Among the other things they are talking about it is more frequent, more drastic alternating periods of drought and heavy rains in the other seasons.

People who want our government and economy to take steps to reduce the extremes of climate change (stopping it altogether is not possible), want to prevent even more extreme disruptions of society than we are currently dealing with this winter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

global warming models predict extreme snow events

The piles of snow blanketing the mid-Atlantic states have inspired global warming deniers in politics and the media to gleefully declare the demise of global warming...and a number of great comic responses, like this one by Jon Stewart:

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Comedy aside, folks, heavy -- even apocalyptic snow falls -- are predicted by global warming theories. This is not a case (as suggested by folks like Glen Beck) of proponents of global warming seizing on every passing weather condition as it occurs and declaring it a result of global warming. The likelihood of increased extreme snow fall events arising from global warming have been predicted well in advance of this years snowmaggedeon, as the following excerpt from an article in a referred scientific journal supports:
“To assess possible future snowstorm conditions, the relationships of the storm frequencies to seasonal temperature and precipitation conditions, both estimated to undergo future changes, were defined for 1901–2000 using data from 1222 stations across the United States. Results for the November–December period showed that most of the United States had experienced 61%–80% of the storms in warmer-than-normal years. Assessment of the January–February temperature conditions again showed that most of the United States had 71%–80% of their snowstorms in warmer-than-normal years. In the March–April season 61%–80% of all snowstorms in the central and southern United States had occurred in warmer-than-normal years. The relationship of storm incidence to precipitation in all three
2-month periods of the cold season showed that 61%–85% of all storms occurred in wetter-than-normal years. Thus, these comparative results reveal that a future with wetter and warmer winters, which is one outcome expected (National Assessment Synthesis Team 2001), will bring more snowstorms than in 1901–2000. Agee (1991) found that long-term warming trends in the United States were associated with increasing cyclonic activity in North America, further indicating that a warmer future climate will generate more winter storms.” page. 1149
Stanley A. Changnon, Changnon Climatologist, Mahomet, Illinois; David Changnon,
Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, Illinois; and Thomas R. Karl, National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolin. (2006) “Temporal and Spatial Characteristics of Snowstorms in the Contiguous United States.” Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology Vol. 45, August 2006. The American Meteorological Society. (Manuscript received 17 May 2005, in final form 30 December 2005).

Read the real science at