Warmer, Wetter, Wilder

February 18, 2011

While Warmer, Wetter, Wilder might be a titillating title or come-on for another sex-and-violence saturated hollywood movie, when it’s a description of the planet’s response to human heat-pollution it’s another story.

There’s nothing that amuses a global warming sceptic more than a lot of snow. Smug laughter following a remark about the absurdity of global warming when you’re standing waist-high in snow is what you often get. If not for their ignorance it might be funny. 

Mother Jones presents a more informed perspective:

“My friend the geophysicist emailed the other day to tell me his house in Connecticut was still snowed in. ‘The main hypotheses for why we have so much snow,’ he explained, ‘involve heat coming out of the now-open Arctic ocean in early winter. Once the ice cap freezes over temporarily, the wild weather calms down.'”

The next time one of your science-challenged friends makes some stupid remark about the implausibility of too much snow in a globally-warmed world you might want to memorize and hit him with this:

“Human influence on the climate system has the effect of intensifying precipitation extremes,” said Francis Zwiers, a climate researcher at Environment Canada in Toronto and lead researcher on the first study….The study found that observed increase in deluges “cannot be explained by natural internal fluctuations of the climate system alone,” said Zwiers. In other words, only the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere explains why the United States and Canada have experienced a dramatic increase in heavy downpours.

It probably won’t do any good given the bliss of ignorance, but you’ve got to peck away at peckerheads if only out of desparation.

Jim Culleny; 2/18/11

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