Gallery: Yes, the Massive Snowstorms Plaguing the East Coast Are Relate...

Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
 

As the Northeast digs itself out of the third major storm of the season — and possibly the worst winter storm in 40 years — people may start to wonder, “What happened to global warming?” In fact, after last week’s blizzard, a perplexed Bill O’Reilly put a call out to Al Gore, asking him to explain why “southern New York has turned into the tundra” if the earth is supposed to be getting hotter. The answer is simple: global warming causes more precipitation, which translates to more snow when temperatures dip below 32 degrees.

Plenty of pundits and politicians have used the season’s (already) record snowfall as proof that climate change isn’t real. The believe a hotter world means less snow. But their logic is flawed. Warmer air soaks up moisture like a sponge, meaning that as the earth’s temperature rises, more moisture collects in the air. So when a storm gathers and hits a cold patch of air, it unleashes massive amounts of snow.

There is a clear consensus in the science community that climate change will cause more frequent and more intense storms. Storms, of all types, result from energy in the atmosphere — the more heat, the more energy. Considering that 2010 was the hottest year on record, it should be no surprise that we’ve already seen multiple mega-blizzards this season. As Al Gore explained to Bill O’Reilly, “A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.”

Eventually, it is likely that the world will get hot enough for it to stop snowing, but for now, warmer temperatures mean moister air, and as long as temperatures dip below freezing, we’ll continue to be pounded with snow. Either way, we need to curb our greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our carbon footprints — by huge amounts. Or else Mother Nature will continue to have her way with the world.

WHY THIS MATTERS

While some people are interpreting the increased snow we’ve been experiencing on the U.S. East Coast as evidence against global warming, that’s a dangerous and flawed assumption. The massive snowstorms actually scientifically support the fact that climate change is changing weather patterns, and it’s important for the public to see the true cause and effect relationship between the two instead of simply thinking “if we’re still having snow, the Earth must not be getting hotter.”

Via Media Matters

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4 Comments

  1. trelayne April 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Growing old gives you an interesting perspective. The propellant in hair spray cans was the cause of holes in the ozone. Blame it on the women. What ever happened to that fish story? And how many “scienists” got tenure for that one, then shut up?

    So, we have to put up with another scam?? Wouldn’t the same moisture in the atmosphere contribute to more snow at the poles?
    And wouldn’t more snow there prolong the cold, just like here on the east cost?

    The American people are just not that stupid. Cyclic weather changes do occur. Its convenient that this one coincides with our need to get free of Middle east oil. So, for this scam, can anyone state how many “scientists” have gotten tenure and big bucks in grant money for hopping on the global warming bandwaggon, fudging facts and feathering their nests, this time?

    When they’ve all gotten fat and happy and tenured, I wonder what the next fiasco will be.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if they all just went back to trying to cure cancer????? The money spent fattening these boobs and tools would be much better spent on that effort.

  2. Elementary Principals February 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I’m no scientist but thru the use of simple logic and a basic meteorological education in college I’ve been explaining to people for years how global warming will lead to greater precipitation both in the forms of rain *and* snow, depending on temperatures, as the writer as stated. I see no reason why this is difficult to understand. Higher atmospheric temps in the western Pacific, say, will raise temps in the ocean, higher ocean temps will produce more moisture in the air, and the air currents will carry that moisture to the U.S. in both summer and winter. In high winter in higher latitudes along with higher elevations in lower latitudes, it will produce more snow. In summer, spring, and fall, more rain. As a matter of fact, I believe I learned this in 7th grade science class, and this was before we ever heard of global warming….it was merely a basic principal of atmospheric science.

  3. lazyreader February 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

    When I set the oven to cook a ham, is ice supposed to come out?

  4. rodtrent February 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    It was a “new ice age” in the 1970′s. It’s “climate change” now. 40 years from now when this happens again, I hope to be alive to hear what the new term is.

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