WEATHERTORIAL – This is an editorial (my opinions only) about weather and climate. However, please note that I typically incorporate factual information whenever I write about these and other topics.
Although snowfall coverage analyses at the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC) have only been generated since 2003, it is interesting to note that U.S. snow cover on the morning of Dec. 1, 2015 is the highest on record for this day of the year. 38.7% of the U.S. (including a small part of southwestern Canada) is currently snow-covered(Fig. 1). This tops the previous record of 36.5% set on this day in 2006 and the now, third-placed, 35.0% set on this day in 2005. I recognize and acknowledge that 13 years is a very short period of record. I also realize that snow cover today may bear no semblance to snow cover a month from now and may not be related to snow cover globally. And I try not to use single events to proclaim a climate change or a non-climate change conclusion. Here, we are looking at an accumulation of many events.
While this “record” is significant (albeit a blip on the climate timeline), it is, perhaps, even more so, simply timely. After all, the current Climate Change Conference in Paris is just getting underway. Much as there are many potential causes of climate change (not just carbon dioxide levels, as conference attendees and government leaders would have us believe), there are many possible outcomes of how “climate” change may be manifesting itself. These far transcend the acclaimed warmer weather and more heavy rain events. Actually, I have serious reservations about whether 100 to 300 years of weather history is really climate. But that is the subject for another weathertorial.
Meanwhile, much as Al Gore’s many ill-fated climate change appearances and a massive DC climate change rally (when wintry weather cloaked “warming”), it appears that winter, and possibly a chilling sense of reality, may, again, be stealing the thunder from this conference.
It certainly gives me a renewed sense of urgency NOT to tackle the climate change issue immediately, but rather take the time and the science methodology to truly understand a very complex issue.
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