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Mainely Tipping Points

Interesting Information: Why So Much Snow and Cold in New England in 2015 Winter?

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Interesting Information:  March 1, 2015

Why So Much Snow and Cold in New England in 2015 Winter?

According to NOAA and NASA, 2014 was Earth’s warmest year since the government started keeping statistics back in 1880.

Here in Camden, Maine, we’ve had bitter, bitter cold (way below zero, especially at night) for most of February and seven feet plus feet of snow out where I live.  There’s a good three or more feet still on my roof–with more coming in tonight.  (I was actually a little shocked when I went into town the other day and saw how little roof snow most people had.  I know some had snow removed, but everybody didn’t.  I am a little west of Camden and in a higher elevation than Camden town.)  We’ve had snow every few days for the past six weeks–until these past three days.

Why, with global warming, is there so much cold and snow?  Why is this February 2015 the coldest in Maine’s history since they started keeping records?

The snow part is easy.  Melting polar caps and warming oceans have put much more moisture into the weather system.  We’ve been getting the equivalent of this winter’s snow in rain in the summer and fall for the past 2 years.  The potato crop has failed for several years now at Hope’s Edge, my CSA.  It’s just been too cold and too rainy.  Last summer, which was very cool, I could not grow warm weather crops like cucumbers, zucchini, and big tomatoes.  (Tom at Hope’s Edge has a bumper crop of tomatoes grown in his hoop houses.)

But why is Maine getting this moisture while other parts of the United States are experiencing drought conditions?  And what about the cold?

I got my answer with this little video from Earth Now, which I watched after cousin Marcia Davenport put up a video on Facebook that pitted “the senator with the snowball” (Oklahoma) with “the senator with the facts” (Rhode Island I think) who referenced Earth Now.  It’s pretty hard to argue with a satellite photo of the Arctic polar cap in 1980 versus photos of what remains now.  The shrinking in the ice caps has caused the jet stream to perform differently, which is driving the very cold air down into New England for extended periods.  It’s called “artic amplification.”

(And, yes, I’m aware that the Antarctic ice cap has once again expanded, but a crew of scientists from Australia just returned from measuring it, and that ice is very thin.  There are and will be fluctuations in the effects of global warming.)

Feature Stories | EarthNow.

Here’s the url to EarthNow…it’s a fabulous site.  Explore and take a look at some of the excellent short videos.

http://sphere.ssec.wisc.edu

And, here’s a local piece in this week’s Free Press by Melissa Waterman, “Oh No, The Snow!”

http://www.freepressonline.com/main.asp?SectionID=50&SubSectionID=72&ArticleID=37335

These levels of snow have been destructive and extraordinarily expensive.  You will be shocked at what my bills for plowing/shoveling/roof snow removal/and driveway grit are going to be.  And I will have increased heating bills on top of that.  Friends have lost farm buildings and hoop houses.  And most friends have had to have snow taken off their roofs–which is dangerous and expensive.  Many cannot afford the plowing/shoveling costs.  At least one house I know has burned to the ground because the absentee owners didn’t plow out the driveway, and the fire trucks could not get to it.  And not a night goes by that we don’t have pictures on the local news about roofs caving in.

Here’s the url to the Senate floor discussion of climate warming if you missed it:

Addicting Info – Dem Slams Climate Denying Colleague: You Can Believe Experts Or ‘Senator With Snowball’ (VIDEO).

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