Monday October 23rd 2017

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Global Warming = More Snow!!??

Sounds screwy, right?  Sounds about as likely as the proverbial snowball in well, you know..


Another example where “intuition” leads us astray.  Science is full of examples of phenomena that defy “common sense.”    That’s why we need to leave science to the experts, and not to pundits.

For the record, the average temperature of the planet is still rising.  NOAA has confirmed that 2010 was the hottest year on record (tied with 2005).

Table source.

And it was the wettest year on record, according to the Global Historical Climatology Network.

Ok, that is all very nice, but that still doesn’t explain how warmer temperatures create more snow.

The quick version — it is about energy.

The earth’s atmosphere is heating rapidly due to an increasing concentration of green house gases. Warmer air can hold more water vapor (Click  here for the real science behind that).  Warmer temperatures cause water to evaporate more rapidly from the earth’s surface.  Water is going into the air more rapidly, and the air is holding more of it (The faucet has been opened up more, and the reservoir has gotten bigger).  When the air can finally hold no more moisture it comes down in a deluge.  In the summer that means more intense rain storms and flash floods.  In the winter that means more blizzards.  And the warmer temperatures means this whole cycle will repeat more rapidly so expect an increase in frequency of  severe weather.  A visual summary of these ideas:

If you want a bit more details on how this works check out this great explanation by  Denis Dubay.  And if you want more charts and good science on these topics, check out Joe Romm’s  post here at Climate Progress.

At last it seems that main stream media is starting to get the story right:

Of course, some folks try to use bad science to promote their world view.  Here is fun retort to peek-a-boo-ologists

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
We’re Off to See the Blizzard
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> Video Archive

Climate change, and its impacts, are not off in the future.  It is happening, right now.

Climate change represents one the greatest threats to life on the planet.

Do everything you can to reduce your carbon emissions.  Change your life.  Talk to family and friends about it.  Make your vote count.

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