Global warming is constantly a hotly debated subject. But a lot of folks have been wondering if warmer winters are as a result of Global Warming? Well the simple answer to that question is yes… and we will discuss a few ways about how this is occurring. While some areas are receiving more snow, other areas are experiencing less with more rain, where there use to be snow. Let’s examine this shall we.
Global warming has been occurring over the years. While some have considered it as natural earth warming, others have considered it as an effect of human pollution. While I believe the latter, the discussion today will be on how global warming is effecting winter weather.
First off, let’s take a look at whether the claim that the earth is warming is true.
- Looking over the last 36yrs, temperatures have warmed, and have been warmer than average according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- In all actuality 2012 was the 4th hottest year on record.
- Let’s take a closer look at what global warming actually is, also we will use reasoning ability to see how in essence it has an effect on the winter.
Now we know, temperatures at the surface and in the upper atmosphere have to be 32 degrees or below to allow for winter precipitation. It can still snow above 32 degrees at the surface but conditions are marginal and can likely lead to rain or a mix. Now below, the average temperatures during a winter storm system are marginal usually on average, where temperatures are in the 30’s. So rain and mix is in the equations in the 30’s area and the 20’s area may see even more snow.
Now let’s add to the illustration, global warming with the global temperatures on average are 2-4 degrees above average. You add the 2-4 degrees to the already marginal temperatures you may have already. So that would be the difference between rain, snow, and a mix that you will see on the second image in this illustration. You notice that the wintry precipitation is pushed up North where the
colder temperatures are and where it is marginal the wintry mix has shifted too. This is a simple illustration on how if temperatures around the world are 2-4 degrees warmer and you add that to the equation, temperatures are now far too warm for much winter precipitation that would have fallen. That being said, if there was no global warming, there would most likely be more winter precipitation. However with the fact that their is global warming we see more rain.
Take into consideration that since 1976 winter temperatures between December and February have warmed on average, from 1-2 degrees in the pacific Northwest to 4 degrees in the Northeast and up to 6 degrees in Alaska.
What This Means:
- Big cities in the east where temperatures are critical, constantly will realize more often that it is too warm to snow, more times than not. 4 degrees at times is the sole difference between rain and snow there. So even with the perfect storm track, a negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), along with a positive Pacific North Amercian (PNA), temperatures still may not be cold enough to support snow in the major cities.
- In areas like Alaska, it may mean more snow, since temperatures are much colder to start off with. At times it is “too cold to snow” when you add warmer temperatures, that factor goes out of the window. (Too cold to snow refers to the factor that the air is so cold and the high pressure is so strong that storm systems tend to go around it and the system that do make it through at times can be dry.)
- The Pacific Northwest may see snow levels in the mountains be a little higher than most people are use to.
Did you realize that winter in general seems to be getting shorter? In general spring like temperatures come about 10-14 days before the would have 20 years ago. That is about 2 weeks of winter that is practically gone.
You might say, well temperatures during the winter of 2009-2010 were cold and snowy than in 2010-2011?
Well as shown in the illustration above, the storm track shifts as the global temperatures warm. More snow at times can indicate that it is actually getting warmer.
So what can be done to stop or slow down global warming? Well to be honest, it’s not gonna happen not under this government. Only God, can put a stop to it entirely. But there are still things we can do individually. And with that here is your Green Initiative:
- Use clean Energy such as Solar Power.
- Use clean Energy such as windmills. (This one really depends on how your local or state Government has this provided too you)
- Trees actually help with temperature reduction, Trees take in Co2 and release Oxygen which does not hold heat as well as Co2 does, therefore temperatures are allowed to cool easier, take a look at the video done by Mythbusters or Discovery about how CO2 has an effect on temperatures. So how can you help? Don’t waste paper, paper is made from trees, the less paper you waste, the less the demand, the less is needed, and the less trees that will need to be cut down.
Credits/Sources and research from:
National Wildlife Federation
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Dante’ Avery Brown-Royal (weatheradvance.com CEO/President)
Produced By: Weather Advance Films