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2010 World Climate Change Roundup: Thundersnow and Melting Ice

The world is experiencing increasing intensity in weather events. There is more snow in Europe and the U.S. than seen since last February's "Snowmaggedon." In Australia, there are floods to the rooftops, and, in some parts, snow in summer.

How can that be climate change? It's so cold.  Brrrrr.

Science has the answer.  Snow is frozen water. The more water in the atmosphere, the more snow. The water is in the atmosphere because it is warmer. It's in the atmosphere because it's melting and that water must go somewhere. It goes into unprecedented rains in Los Angeles and northeastern Australia. It goes into the snow-hurricane in the Eastern Seaboard, complete with thundersnow and lightening. It goes into relentless snow in Britain and Europe.

Climate change is not a single weather event or occurrence. It's a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over decades that act to reflect light back and melt the ice and confuse the weather over time. Perhaps Mother Earth is not doing us a favor by dumping so much snow on the world. But then, we haven't done many favors for her lately either. 



It would be more convincing to some if she baked us. That will come again.  For now, it's out of the frying pan into the icebox. Those who don't want to spend the costs associated with mitigating the damage try to confuse those who see the snow and say, but it's cold.


Climate change has taken shape for those willing to see it. The change is in intensity. More rain, more heat (remember that 113 F last summer?), more snow, less ice where there was ice before (those two go together), more floods, more droughts, more forest fires, less potable water where there is less water, too much water where shortage is not an issue.

Meanwhile, there's thundersnow:



Here are stories from around the globe:

Expect more extreme winters thanks to global warming, say scientists
By Steve Connor, Science Editor - The Independent


Scientists have established a link between the cold, snowy winters in Britain and melting sea ice in the Arctic and have warned that long periods of freezing weather are likely to become more frequent in years to come.


An analysis of the ice-free regions of the Arctic Ocean has found that the higher temperatures there caused by global warming, which have melted the sea ice in the summer months, have paradoxically increased the chances of colder winters in Britain and the rest of northern Europe.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/expect-more-extreme-winters-thanks-to-global-warming-say-scientists-2168418.html
A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning


When Dr. Keeling, as a young researcher, became the first person in the world to develop an accurate technique for measuring carbon dioxide in the air, the amount he discovered was 310 parts per million. That means every million pints of air, for example, contained 310 pints of carbon dioxide.


By 2005, the year he died, the number had risen to 380 parts per million. Sometime in the next few years it is expected to pass 400. Without stronger action to limit emissions, the number could pass 560 before the end of the century, double what it was before the Industrial Revolution.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/science/earth/22carbon.html
Global Temperature and Europe's Frigid Air


The cold anomaly in Northern Europe in November has continued and strengthened in the first half of December. Combined with the unusual cold winter of 2009-2010 in Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, this regional cold spell has caused widespread commentary that global warming has ended. That is hardly the case. On the contrary, globally November 2010 is the warmest November in the GISS record.


http://science.the-environmentalist.org/2010/12/global-temperature-and-europes-frigid.html
Flooding Forces Mass Evacuations In Australia


(RTTNews) - Flooding caused by torrential rains and swelling rivers has forced the evacuation of thousands residents in north-eastern Australia, as entire towns and villages in the region were inundated by rising flood waters.


The floods, caused most by the swelling of rivers due to heavy rains, have destroyed thousands of hectars of sunflower and cotton crops in the affected region. The rising flood waters have forced thousands to flee their homes and businesses voluntarily in central and southern Queensland.


http://www.rttnews.com/Content/GeneralNews.aspx?Id=1515163&SM=1
Raw video from Australia:



Impact on animals:

Arctic ice melt may promote cross-breeding, further imperiling endangered animals


As the world heats up and polar ice melts, different types of bears, whales and seals could meet and mate — but these unions may be far from happy, researchers said Wednesday. In fact, interspecies sex brought on by the melting Arctic ice could lead to the extinction of many endangered Arctic animals, the scientists said in an article published in the journal Nature.


http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/16/science/la-sci-arctic-animals-20101216
Meanwhile, there's this:




1 comment:

Buttons0603 said...

WOW! The blizzard picture (near the top, with the snow falling and buried cars) was took by me for Wikipedia! Thanks for using it! :)