Do Huge Snowfall Amounts Make the Case for Global Warming?

Since my post on June 10, Is the United States Getting Warmer… I heard from a reader in California who said she just skied in Tahoe, and she had never seen so much snow on the slopes this late in the year before.

That gave me food for thought, so I began the great “data-dig” for snowpack information. I found this and that, but most of the web sites I found were of the, “We’re-all-doomed-by-global-warming,” ilk. In fact, I found so many of those that it made me feel a little paranoid. Maybe there’s some advantage to making people believe that we’re all doomed because we’re using fossil fuels!  Somone is keeping objective reports off the internet! Okay, that sounds absurd, and it is, so I finally snapped out of it. I’m not too big on conspiracy theories.

Then yesterday afternoon I sat watching The Weather Channel (because I’m a total weather junkie), and there was our girl, Jennifer Carfagno, cute thing that she is, expounding on the huge snowpack lingering in the northwest this spring. You know Jennifer, she’s the cute one with the sweet voice.

Well, as she was talking about the snowpack, she said that the area had gotten so much snow because global warming allows for more moisture in the atmosphere, and as it gets warmer, amounts of snowfall actually increase. She giggled — ever so slightly — right after she said that.

Hmmm… well… does that sound right to you? Seems as though all that snow would be falling as rain if it was getting all that much warmer, but then again, what do I know? Maybe it’s just not getting warm enough. It’s still cold enough to snow. I guess we can be thankful for that.

At any rate, later on, I watched NBC Nightly News, and it was almost spooky because they had a segment on the huge snowpack in the northwest as well. Seems that everyone who lives below all that snow on the mountains is in danger of flooding when it all begins to melt. In some places, the amount of snow is a whopping 700 times greater than normal.

Here’s a link for you to NBC Nightly News. I’m including a screen shot of where to go once you’re there. Click on the “Our Planet” link, and today the two clips about the big, big snow pack are right there at the top. I wanted to embed the videos for you, but their code and my browser seem to be incompatible. If you get a chance, do check out those two clips though. Very interesting.

Soon after that, I began poking around, searching for snow data for the winter of 2010-11. Once again, I was met with lots of dire-sounding headings that sounded pretty grim. Here’s one for you: Snowpack Decline in the Rocky Mountains is Catastrophic, and a quote from that same site: A group of investigators in the United States says that the rates at which snowpacks on the Rocky Mountains collapse are higher than any other recorded over the past centuries. The difference can only be attributed to man-made global warming, and the climate change it induces.

Here’s another one from Scientific American: Rapid Decline in Mountain Snowpack Bad News for Western U.S. Rivers.  And the subtitle: Snowpack in the northern Rocky Mountains has shrunk at an unprecedented rate over the past 30 years.  By Lauren Morello  | June 10, 2011 | 8

 

The problem on both of these web sites is that the date on the articles auto-update, so you can imagine what confusion this can cause. I’d hate to be a kid writing a term paper on climate change right now. You don’t get a clear picture of ust when these things were written. My suspicion is — not lately.

Then I stumbled on a blog with a post titled, “Declining Snow Cover Causes Record Snow Cover.” The title alone gave me a good chuckle, and then when I read the post, I laughed out loud. Be sure to check it out. It’s short and pretty darned funny.

So to sum it up for you, it seems to be getting hotter, so it’s getting colder. (See my post on June 10.) Maybe we all need to “chill,” and cut out all this wild-hair speculation. And yes, I’m aware of retreating glaciers. In fact, I did a study of same while in college. Maybe, just maybe, since it’s getting warmer, as Jen Carfagno said, it’s getting snowier, and just maybe those glaciers won’t retreat quite as quickly as we thought.

I’m going to leave you with a NOAA world map showing snow and ice cover over parts of the northern hemisphere this past winter. Quite a bit of the white stuff, wouldn’t you say? Probably contributed to all the flooding we saw this spring. Snow cover is in blue.

Here’s another one for you from NOAA. If you click on this image, you’ll go to the source where you can animate the image and have fun watching the snow advance and decline over North America. The folks in Canada must have had a really busy snow-shoveling winter.

I’ll leave it up to you. Do you think all that snow makes a good case for global warming or just the opposite? Seems that just about everyone has an opinion on this subject. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.


About M.J.Deare

I am a writer, actively researching topics of interest. I am also a graduate of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, with a degree in English, and have a master's degree from the University of Memphis. Born in New Orleans, I lived there until moving to northwest Arkansas and from there to Memphis, Tennessee. My husband and I currently reside in The Woodlands, Texas.
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4 Responses to Do Huge Snowfall Amounts Make the Case for Global Warming?

  1. rogerthesurf says:

    Hello MJ,

    I like your writing.

    Your post reminds me of this quote:-

    “Causes of uncertainty include insufficient or contradictory evidence as well as human behaviour.”

    attributed by Anthony Watts to the IPCC http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/ch2s2-3.html and http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/tssts-ts-2-2-decision-making-risk.html
    and this list of contradictory papers compiled by Steven Goddard.

    Amazon dry season greener
    Amazon dry season browner

    Avalanches may increase
    Avalanches may decrease – wet snow more though

    Bird migrations longer
    Bird migrations shorter
    Bird migrations out of fashion

    Boreal forest fires may increase
    Boreal forest fires may continue decreasing

    Chinese locusts swarm when warmer
    Chinese locusts swarm when cooler

    Columbia spotted frogs decline
    Columbia spotted frogs thrive in warming world

    Coral island atolls to sink
    Coral island atolls to rise

    Earth’s rotation to slow down
    Earth’s rotation to speed up

    East Africa to get less rain
    East Africa to get more rain – pdf

    Great Lakes less snow
    Great Lakes more snow

    Gulf stream slows down
    Gulf stream speeds up a little

    Indian monsoons to be drier
    Indian monsoons to be wetter

    Indian rice yields to decrease – full paper
    Indian rice yields to increase

    Latin American forests may decline
    Latin American forests have thrived in warmer world with more co2!

    Leaf area index reduced [1990s]
    Leaf area index increased [1981-2006]

    Malaria may increase
    Malaria may continue decreasing

    Malaria in Burundi to increase
    Malaria in Burundi to decrease

    North Atlantic cod to decline
    North Atlantic cod to thrive

    North Atlantic cyclone frequency to increase
    North Atlantic cyclone frequency to decrease – full pdf

    North Atlantic Ocean less salty
    North Atlantic Ocean more salty

    Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to decline
    Northern Hemisphere ice sheets to grow

    Plant methane emissions significant
    Plant methane emissions insignificant

    Plants move uphill
    Plants move downhill

    Sahel to get less rain
    Sahel to get more rain
    Sahel may get more or less rain

    San Francisco less foggy
    San Francisco more foggy

    Sea level rise accelerated
    Sea level rise decelerated – full pdf

    Soil moisture less
    Soil moisture more

    Squids get smaller
    Squids get larger

    Stone age hunters may have triggered past warming
    Stone age hunters may have triggered past cooling

    Swiss mountain debris flow may increase
    Swiss mountain debris flow may decrease
    Swiss mountain debris flow may decrease then increase in volume

    UK may get more droughts
    UK may get more rain

    Wind speed to go up
    Wind speed slows down
    Wind speed to speed up then slow down

    Winters maybe warmer
    Winters maybe colder

    Check them out at:-
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/settled-science/

    Enjoy.

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    • M.J.Deare says:

      Roger, Thank you so much for your comment. I’m still laughing, and I really, really needed a laugh this morning. I will definitely spend more time checking out Steven Goaddard’s blog, and yours as well. The absurdities of modern climatology would be even more entertaining if only so many people didn’t get their “knickers in a knot” over all the dire predictions. Surely, common sense will prevail… eventually.
      Thanks again for taking the time to write. I do appreciate your hilarious comment. .
      Melanie

  2. Pingback: Watching The Snow Dig

  3. Pingback: Is the climate changing? Well… yes and no, according to the experts. | Nature in the News

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