Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: D.C. Snowstorm: How Global Warming Makes Blizzards Worse

  1. #1

    D.C. Snowstorm: How Global Warming Makes Blizzards Worse

    As the blizzard-bound residents of the mid-Atlantic region get ready to dig themselves out of the third major storm of the season, they may stop to wonder two things: Why haven't we bothered to invest in a snow blower and, also, what happened to climate change? After all, it stands to reason that if the world is getting warmer - and the past decade was the hottest on record - major snowstorms should become a thing of the past, like Palm Pilots and majority rule in the Senate. Certainly that's what the Virginia state Republican Party thinks: the GOP aired an ad last weekend attacking two Democratic Congressmen for supporting the 2009 carbon-cap-and-trade bill, and using the recent storms to cast doubt on global warming. (See pictures of a massive blizzard hitting Washington, D.C.)

    Brace yourselves now - this may be a case of politicians twisting the facts. There is some evidence that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm. As the meteorologist Jeff Masters points out in his excellent blog at Weather Underground, the two major storms that hit Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this winter - in December and during the first weekend of February - are already among the 10 heaviest snowfalls those cities have ever recorded. The chance of that happening in the same winter is incredibly unlikely.

    But there have been hints that it was coming. The 2009 U.S. Climate Impacts Report found that large-scale cold-weather storm systems have gradually tracked to the north in the U.S. over the past 50 years. While the frequency of storms in the middle latitudes has decreased as the climate has warmed, the intensity of those storms has increased. That's in part because of global warming - hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow. Colder air, by contrast, is drier; if we were in a truly vicious cold snap, like the one that occurred over much of the East Coast during parts of January, we would be unlikely to see heavy snowfall. (See pictures of the effects of global warming.)

    Climate models also suggest that while global warming may not make hurricanes more common, it could well intensify the storms that do occur and make them more destructive.

    But as far as winter storms go, shouldn't climate change make it too warm for snow to fall? Eventually that is likely to happen - but probably not for a while. In the meantime, warmer air could be supercharged with moisture and, as long as the temperature remains below 32°F, it will result in blizzards rather than drenching winter rainstorms. And while the mid-Atlantic has borne the brunt of the snowfall so far this winter, areas near lakes may get hit even worse. As global temperatures have risen, the winter ice cover over the Great Lakes has shrunk, which has led to even more moisture in the atmosphere and more snow in the already hard-hit Great Lakes region, according to a 2003 study in the Journal of Climate. (Read "Climate Accord Suggests a Global Will, if Not a Way.")

    Ultimately, however, it's a mistake to use any one storm - or even a season's worth of storms - to disprove climate change (or to prove it; some environmentalists have wrongly tied the lack of snow in Vancouver, the site of the Winter Olympic Games, which begin this month, to global warming).
    SOURCE

  2. #2
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories...09_elnino.html

    El Niño’s negative impacts have included damaging winter storms in California and increased storminess across the southern United States. Some past El Niños also have produced severe flooding and mudslides in Central and South America, and drought in Indonesia.
    Last edited by kenf; 02-11-2010 at 12:30 PM.
    oh well

  3. #3
    Senior Member ColonusFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    South Side of the Potomac ..... IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER
    Posts
    622

    You post it, but can you LIVE WITH IT?

    So Buck_Nastier,

    When you coming east to dig my rump out? This stuff is just getting OLD!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rollin Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    B ville, New York, USA
    Posts
    826
    So I guess when DC got buried back in the late 1800s we had global warming??
    A good friend is someone who will come to bail you out of jail. A TRUE friend is the guy sitting next to you behind the same set of bars saying, "boy we sure f*cked up this time huh?"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin Rick View Post
    So I guess when DC got buried back in the late 1800s we had global warming??
    As the meteorologist Jeff Masters points out in his excellent blog at Weather Underground, the two major storms that hit Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., this winter - in December and during the first weekend of February - are already among the 10 heaviest snowfalls those cities have ever recorded. The chance of that happening in the same winter is incredibly unlikely.
    The meteorologist is suggesting that the warming has made severe
    storms more frequent. The article clearly states that the odds of
    2 of the top 10 worst storms happening within the same winter is
    incredibly unlikely.

    Post an article that quotes a scientist/meteorologist arguing the contrary.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ColonusFan View Post
    So Buck_Nastier,

    When you coming east to dig my rump out? This stuff is just getting OLD!
    I sincerely wish that I could.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by kenf View Post
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories...09_elnino.html

    El Niño’s negative impacts have included damaging winter storms in California and increased storminess across the southern United States. Some past El Niños also have produced severe flooding and mudslides in Central and South America, and drought in Indonesia.
    From your article:

    NOAA scientists today announced the arrival of El Niño, a climate phenomenon with a significant influence on global weather, ocean conditions and marine fisheries. El Niño, the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters, occurs on average every two to five years and typically lasts about 12 months.
    The snow storms are on the east coast.

    From NOAA:

    The climate at most locations is not steady or regular. There can be considerable variability in any factor. For example, temperature, precipitation, and ocean currents often differ from the mean state (the long-term average) or from the annual cycle. These variations occur on a variety of time scales, from year-to-year (e.g., El Niño and La Niña), decade-to-decade, (e.g., hydrologic and fisheries cycles), to centuries (e.g., ice ages). Factors that increase or decrease for an extended number of years may indicate a trend called 'Climate Change'. A similar trend that is widespread over of much of the earth may be a sign of ‘Global Climate Change’. Climate Changes are not always same-sign trends, or even linear (a constant rate of change over time).

    Climate Change may also be seen as a shift in the frequency of El Niño events or changes in the annual cycle. Some of this Climate Change is due to natural factors, such as variability in solar activity, volcanic gases and dust in the atmosphere, or the distribution of heat in the ocean. However many scientists believe that anthropogenic (human-causes) factors have a considerable influence on changes in the Earth's climate observed over the past century. Global climate change is often commonly referred to as Global Warming, because of the apparent steady increase in global temperature over the past century. There are many complications to understanding the differences between Global Warming, Climate Change, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions related to the Earth's Climate.

    The debate on the reality and degree of global warming and man's role and responsibility in this process extends from the scientific community to the global political arena, with a variety of viewpoints. It is widely accepted that the Earth’s climate, including global and regional temperatures, fluctuate naturally on a wide range of time scales extending out to centuries and millennia. Climate researchers also have demonstrated an accelerated global warming trend during the last 150 years, coinciding with the Industrial Revolution. There is some disagreement about the amount of this warming, and even whether it is real or an artifact of observational error or bias.

    Within the period following the Industrial Revolution, the global temperature has increased. Global surface temperatures have increased about 0.6°C (1.1°F +/- 0.5°F) over the 20th century, and about 0.2 to 0.3°C (0.5° F) over the past 25 years. The recent warming has been greatest over North America and Eurasia between 40 and 70°N. Glaciers and ice caps have been receding for the last 100 years. Precipitation has increased in high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, and decrease in the tropics and subtropics from Africa to Indonesia. Many scientists relate this to human activity modifying the Earth's atmosphere sufficiently to influence global weather and climate patterns. Specifically there is a correspondence between increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and the rate of increasing global temperature. A number of other anecdotal servations support the contention of global warming.
    SOURCE

  8. #8
    keep the people scared they're easier to control

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by hammar View Post
    keep the people scared they're easier to control
    As made evident by the Bush admin pressuring Tom Ridge to raise the terror
    threat leading up to the '04 Presidential election.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by hammar View Post
    keep the people scared they're easier to control
    Hence churches.


Similar Threads

  1. A Global Warning on Global Warming
    By Buck503 in forum Science, Medicine, & Technology
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-15-2006, 09:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •