CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Posts tagged "snow"

New York State (1930)
Great early snow leeward of lakes Erie and Ontario; 48 inches deep just south of Buffalo. A total of 47 inches measured at Gouverneru east of Lake Ontario.

Salt Lake City, UT (1984)
18.4 inches of snow (most in 24 hours since 1884).

Phillipines (1985)
Typhoon Dot slammed into the central Phillipines; one of the strongest storms in years, Dot brought winds with gusts to 130 mph.

Via Accuweather

Usually, the Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska is a snow-packed spectacle. This year, not so much. Check out more pics of the doggies and bare ground dilemma, here.

"Officials canceled two Olympic test events last February in Sochi after several days of temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a lack of snowfall had left ski trails bare and brown in spots. That situation led the climatologist Daniel Scott, a professor of global change and tourism at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to analyze potential venues for future Winter Games. His thought was that with a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games. He concluded that of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again. By 2100, that number shrinks to 6.

The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.

The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters. As far for the Western part of the country, it will lose an estimated 25 to 100 percent of its snowpack by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed — reducing the snowpack in Park City, Utah, to zero and relegating skiing to the top quarter of Ajax Mountain in Aspen.” NYTimes

There are few good explanations of how strong winter storms can exist in a warming world. Most explanations, I find, take a defensive posture against climate deniers. I think science writers should just stick to the science, and move away from addressing deniers. Or at least stop weaving denial into articles. The main points get buried, the author looks defensive, and the reader is left exasperated. Climate Communication has a pretty darn good explanation of how winter storms work, and why they could be getting stronger. They stick to the science, and avoid the fray.

Winter Storms

Climate change is fueling an increase in the intensity and snowfall of winter storms. The atmosphere now holds more moisture, and that in turns drives heavier than normal precipitation, including heavier snowfall in the appropriate conditions.1

Heavy snowfall and snowstorm frequency have increased in many northern parts of the United States.2 The heavier-than-normal snowfalls recently observed in the Midwest and Northeast United States are consistent with climate model projections. In contrast, the South and lower Midwest saw reduced snowstorm frequency during the last century.3 Overall snow cover has decreased in the Northern Hemisphere, due in part to higher temperatures that shorten the time snow spends on the ground.

Snowstorms Shift Northward in the Northern Hemisphere

The regional pattern of fewer snowstorms in the southern United States and more in the North corresponds to a similar northward shift of cold-season storms in the entire Northern Hemisphere over the past 50 years. Mid-latitude storms have decreased in frequency (e.g., in the United States overall) while high-latitude storm activity has increased (e.g., in Canada).4 It is likely that human influence contributed to these changes.5

See more at: www.climatecommunication.org

View from my office, DuPont Circle DC, during the “bombogenesis”.

A NASA satellite snapped this shot today of snow covered U.S. east coast.

The first winter storm of 2014 swept across the northeastern United States on January 1–3, bringing as much as 24 inches (61 centimeters) of snow to the hardest hit areas. The center of the storm was over the North Atlantic Ocean when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image at 10:55 a.m. Eastern Time on January 3.

Lines of clouds over the ocean indicate that strong winds were blowing from the north toward the center of the low-pressure system. The winds pushed the clouds away, leaving a clear view of fresh snow across most of the Northeast.

Extraordinary photos of snowflakes. Tons here.

Excellent reporting by Carey Gillam of Reuters. Gillam dives into how the ranchers and families will cope with the losses. The federal government shut down comes into play, as does a tax-payer subsidized bailout for their losses under the - imo - ridiculously bloated and unfairly skewed US Farm Bill.

The story of why nearly 100,000 head of cattle perished is a complicated one, one not just due to freak weather. And Gillam really nails it.

Via Reuters

Where is all the groundwater going?

View from my window today. Got some nice, sloppy snow. Probably the last of the season.

Snow Storm of Doom update.

Snow storm to hit New England Monday evening/Tuesday morning. Prepare for messy commuting.

tinyclicks:

Lake Michigan Slush Action

tinyclicks:

Lake Michigan Slush Action