The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snowmageddon! Who Could Have Predicted? Climate Scientists, That's Who!

Apocalyptic headlines about the record snowfalls in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding states have saturated the media the last few days as a series of major storms has inundated the region under a two foot blanket of heavy, wet snow. As thousands struggle to dig out the chorus of climate change denial is braying how the existence of winter disproves any warming trend. Who could have predicted record snowfall events for the eastern seaboard? As it turns out, climate scientists have already predicted a greater frequency of more extreme precipitation events for that region as our climate continues to warm.

Although individual weather events can not be directly attributed to climate change, the overall trend has been for more frequent incidents of extreme precipitation in the U.S. over the last hundred years. Physics has shown that warmer air can hold more water vapor. When you realize that overall global temperatures have only warmed by just over 1 degree C, the fact that it falls as snow in the middle of winter should not come as a surprise.

Climate realists have begun pushing back against the anti-science spin, with some help from Stephen Colbert.

Update: tried to embed the Colbert video - HTML fail - so click the link if you want a laugh. To the New York Times: this is not a deep freeze, precipitation is not the same as temperature.

Update 2: Want to vacation in a place with record-breaking warmth? Try Greenland!


ferguson said...

You need to get over yourself. The data are unclear regarding global warming. Changing the label to climate change is a copout.

Stuart said...

The data in the scientific literature is very clear, and CO2 forcing is the only thing that fits the observed warming. Please check out some of the climate change links on the main page, as well as the links in the post.

Climate change is a more accurate term than global warming, but neither reflect the seriousness of the situation. I prefer climate chaos or global weirding since the most notable effects on a local level will be more strange and extreme weather events.