The Mid-Atlantic States have had 3 major snow storms this winter, all ranking in the top 10 for amount of snow accumulations. So many people say, “Where’s the global warming we’ve been warned about? We’d sure like to see some of it!” That sounds funny, doesn’t it? Yeah, I’ve had to laugh – but not for the reason you might suppose. The funny thing to me is that this increase in extreme weather conditions is just the kind of thing climate scientists have been predicting to occur as a result of human caused global warming – and yet so many people seem to think extreme amounts of snowfall disprove global warming!
Why would climate scientists predict heavier than normal snowfalls in the winter, if global temperatures are rising? For the same reason that they predict heavier than normal (and increasingly so) amounts of rain, and flooding, during the non-winter seasons. The reason that the amounts of precipitation would increase is because of more moisture in the air. The atmosphere accumulates more moisture due to warmer temperatures. When temperatures rise, more evaporation occurs, and the atmosphere is able to hold more moisture. But more moisture in the air means that when conditions are right for the moisture to be released as precipitation, the amounts of precipitation will be greater. This means that when the temperatures are cold enough in winter for snow, the amounts of snow will be greater.
Climate scientists have not said that the gradual but continual rise in global temperatures will eliminate winter – at least not yet. Perhaps by the end of this century some areas of the world will no longer have temperatures cold enough in the winter for frozen precipitation (if we don’t take action to reduce drastically the amount of carbon dioxide we’re putting into the atmosphere) – but it won’t happen suddenly or immediately. So long as global temperatures continue to rise, though, the amount of moisture in the air will continue to increase – resulting in higher amounts of precipitation (including higher amounts of snow in the winter). So when we see these major snowfalls, we should take them as an indication that climate scientists know what they’re talking about, rather than the reverse.
It’s true that 1 unusually heavy snow storm (or rain storm) does not prove global warming or climate change. Even 2 or 3 such unusually heavy storms don’t prove it. But several such heavy storms in a season do indicate it, since that is exactly what the science of climate change associated with global warming tells us to expect. Temperature measurements over the past several decades do conclusively show that temperatures are increasing rather steadily. This decade just concluded was the warmest in the past couple of thousand years; the next warmest decade was 1990-1999; the next warmest prior to that was 1980-1989. Do you get the picture? In conjunction with the increasing temperatures, we are seeing increasingly heavy precipitation, as well as a number of other climate changes which climate science tells us would naturally accompany rising temperatures. Shouldn’t we take a hint, and take whatever action we can to stop the increase of human caused carbon dioxide in the atmosphere before it’s too late to stop the drastic changes in climate? If we wait until there’s so much evidence that even the hard core deniers of human caused global warming can no longer remain unconvinced, it will be too late to prevent the disastrous consequences.
So let’s quit thinking that these heavy snowfalls indicate that ‘global warming’ is false, and realize that it indicates just the opposite!
My information comes from a couple of sources: Climate Progress, and Skeptical Science. If you want to check out the accuracy of what I have said, those are 2 very good sites to go to in order to get the details, and links to scientific studies.