Snowmageddon storm clobbers the Mid-Atlantic with 2 - 3 feet of snow

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:08 PM GMT on February 06, 2010

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It's a very white world in the Mid-Atlantic today, where the historic blizzard of 2010 has buried residents under a record-breaking two to three feet of snow. The storm, which President Obama referred to as "Snowmageddon" in a speech before the Democratic National Committee winter meeting, set the all-time record for heaviest snowfall in Delaware history, thanks to the 26.5" that fell in Wilmington (old state record: 25" in the President's Day storm of 2003). "Snowmageddon" dumped the second heaviest at Philadelphia 28.5"), second heaviest at Atlantic City (18.2"), third heaviest at Baltimore (24.8"), and the 4th heaviest at Washington D.C. (17.8"). Several locations in Maryland have seen over three feet of snow, with the northern Washington D.C. suburb of Colesville receiving 40", and the southern Baltimore suburb of Elkridge receiving 38.3". While the blizzard was not an exceptionally strong storm--the central pressure was a rather unimpressive 986 mb at the height of the blizzard, at 9am EST Saturday--it was an exceptionally wet storm. The melted equivalent precipitation for the blizzard exceeded three inches along its core snow belt. That's an phenomenal amount of moisture for a winter storm. The blizzard formed a very unstable region aloft where thunderstorms were able to build, and there were many reports of thundersnow during the height of the storm. These embedded thunderstorms were able to generate very heavy snow bursts of 2 - 3 inches per hour.

A new storm expected to affect the area Tuesday may add to the immense pile of snow on the ground, though the precipitation may partially fall as rain. With only a slow warm up in store for the mid-Atlantic over the next ten days, the snow will stick around for a while. This is a good thing, since a sudden thaw or heavy rain event could generate considerable flooding, if the three inches of precipitation locked in the snow is suddenly released.

Today's blizzard is the second major snowstorm of 16+ inches to affect the Washington D.C./Baltimore region this winter--the other being the 16.4" storm of December 19 - 20. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the expected return period in the Washington D.C./Baltimore region for snowstorms with more than 16 inches of snow is about once every 25 years. Thus, a one-two punch of two major Mid-Atlantic Nor'easters with 16+ inches of snow in one winter is something that should happen only once every 625 years. Such an event has not happened since the beginning of the historical record in 1870. The numbers are even more impressive for Philadelphia, which has had two snowstorms exceeding 23" this winter. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the return period for a 22+ inch snow storm is once every 100 years--and we've had two 100-year snow storms in Philadelphia this winter. That should happen only once every 10,000 years, in today's climate. Of course, the last ice age was just ending around 12,000 years ago, so this probability number has to be viewed with a some skepticism. Still, the two huge snowstorms this winter in the Mid-Atlantic are definitely a very rare event one should see only once every few hundred years.


Figure 1. "Snowmageddon", the Nor'easter of February 5 - 6, just off the Mid-Atlantic coast, at 12:01 pm EST Saturday 2/6/10. Image credit: NASA GOES project.

The top 10 snowstorms on record for Baltimore:

1. 28.2", Feb 15-18, 2003
2. 26.5", Jan 27-29, 1922
3. 24.8", Feb 5-6, 2010
4. 22.8", Feb 11-12, 1983
5. 22.5", Jan 7-8, 1996
6. 22.0", Mar 29-30, 1942
7. 21.4", Feb 11-14, 1899
8. 21.0", Dec 19-20, 2009
9. 20.0", Feb 18-19, 1979
10. 16.0", Mar 15-18, 1892

The top 10 snowstorms on record for Washington, D.C.:

1. 28.0", Jan 27-28, 1922
2. 20.5", Feb 11-13, 1899
3. 18.7", Feb 18-19, 1979
4. 17.8" Feb 5-6, 2010
5. 17.1", Jan 6-8, 1996
6. 16.7", Feb 15-18, 2003
7. 16.6", Feb 11-12, 1983
8. 16.4", Dec 19-20, 2009 (Snowpocalypse)
9. 14.4", Feb 15-16, 1958
10. 14.4", Feb 7, 1936

Top 9 snowstorms for Philadelphia:

1. 30.7", Jan 7-8, 1996
2. 28.5", Feb 5-6, 2010
3. 23.2", Dec 19-20, 2009
4. 21.3", Feb 11-12, 1983
5. 21.0", Dec 25-26, 1909
6. 19.4", Apr 3-4, 1915
7. 18.9", Feb 12-14, 1899
8. 16.7", Jan 22-24, 1935
9. 15.1", Feb 28-Mar 1, 1941

I'll have a new blog on Monday, when I'll discuss if record snow storms are inconsistent with a world experiencing warming. Have a great Super Bowl weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

cleaning up the cars (chills)
cleaning up the cars
Blizzard 2010 (TonyInDC)
Blizzard  2010
winter scenic (gingyb)
From the looks of the cars we may never dig out.
winter scenic
Hubby Tries to Clear the Snow. (Proserpina)
Hubby tried to use the snow-blower to clear the snow, unfortunately for him the snow is too deep for the snow-blower. The shovel and his arms will have to do the job.
Hubby Tries to Clear the Snow.

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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


You shouldn't just compare the trend for one decade from year to year. The past decade had fairly stable global temperatures due to a combination of reduced solar activity and the water vapor negative feedback. Most of the factors preventing an acceleration of warming for the last decade look set to be removed this decade while more positive feedbacks take over.


Fair. I do agree that going from 2000 only is not a fair assessment. I'm doing the same gif from 1979. I only put that 2000 forward, reluctantly, to hopefully get some to realize what the obs are vs. the projections. Because I do think that is misleading, albeit accurate in validating the IPCC so far. But 10 years isn't enough.

BBL. Fam stuff.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

? I never been anything but honest here...and I think most regulars can believe that. And I think most are really tired of this discussion, as am I.
Just scroll back to last blog and have a look at your comparsion of the hockey stick image from Mann and your image which does not contain all years. Or your claim that it depends on tree rings. I ask you about it but surprise, you ignore it when someone hints your false claims.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
Was 26+ actually forecast in Philly?

I live in DC and, naturally, focused on forecasts for this area, but I could have sworn that areas north of us were not supposed to get much less.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Guys, please stop attacking each other. Did we notice my posts about the climate spinning out of control?

Thanks for the maturity.

You and I are capable of discussing these subjects without the childishness. I do appreciate that and am growing fonder of it by the day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
I wonder who belives you after you have proven several times that you made up things.

? I never been anything but honest here...and I think most regulars can believe that. And I think most are really tired of this discussion, as am I.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
I wonder who belives you after you have proven several times that you made up things.


Guys, please stop attacking each other. Did we notice my posts about the climate spinning out of control?
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Quoting OldLefty19081:
"I receive no business from petroleum companies"

Didn't actually ask about you, I asked about the company you work for. I will ask, however, why you are so being evasive?

Okay...my company, our colleagues, collaborators, clients, myself, and my friends receive no funding from anyone directly or indirectly supported by any business or person in the petrochemical industry. I didn't realize you needed me to be that specific and use legalese.

Does this seem absurd to anyone else?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
South Pacific storms are the real camelbreaker when it comes to pulling warm ENSO water toward the southeast. In fact, this is the main reason why the anomalies in the 3.4 region have been weakening when they should still be strengthening.

No, the main reason for that...well it is what Ninos do. All of them (well, the classic El Nino, anyways).


Look at the SST anomalies map again. The ENSO pool has fed into the Southern South Pacific, encroached into Antarctica, bisected the Humboldt near Chile...
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Quoting spathy:
Astro
Please continue that graph to allow for the lag time temp response.
As you can see in the last part of your graph the temp curve was headed sharply downward.

Not to mention that it looks like from other measurements via Nasa etc. that that graph has been greatly manipulated.


Temperatures have been fairly stable for the past 10 years, but I explained this already and it does not disprove the CO2-climate correlation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
From previous:I looked through them. Every bit of published research in this subject is something new we learn. We learn that one function of climate or another had too much attribution or another not enough when it comes to surface temps.

Something I posted in Rood's blog:
We have had the knowledge of Milankovitch Cycles, with some quantitative effect on climate, since 1976, but are still learning precisely how it all really works together with the sun's output, our tilt, orbit eccentricity, etc.

Looks like we didn't know all there was to know...
...
...again. Learning all the time...

The notion that scientists understand how changes in Earth's orbit affect climate well enough for estimating long-term natural climate trends that underlie any anthropogenic climate change is challenged by findings published this week. The new research was conducted by a team led by Professor Eelco Rohling of the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science hosted at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

The researchers found that the current interglacial has indeed lasted some 2.0 - 2.5 millennia longer than predicted by the currently dominant theory for the way in which orbital changes control the ice-age cycles. This theory is based on the intensity of solar radiation reaching the Earth at latitude 65 degrees North on 21 June, the northern hemisphere Summer solstice.
..................
But the anomaly vanished when the researchers considered a rival theory, which looks at the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth the same latitude during the summer months. Under this theory, sea levels could remain high for another two thousand years or so, even without greenhouse warming.

"Future research should more precisely narrow down the influence of orbital changes on climate," said Rohling: "This is crucial for a better understanding of underlying natural climate trends over long, millennial timescales. And that is essential for a better understanding of any potential long-term impacts on climate due to man's activities."


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-02/nocs-upa020510.php

Rohling, E.J., et al., Comparison between Holocene and Marine Isotope Stage-11 sea-level histories. Earth and Planetary Science Letters (published online 2010). doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.054

We truly have little understanding of the quantitative temperature forcing of all of the players to consider. Just attributing what temp changes we have measured to CO2 is no different than expecting a rise in surface temps to perfectly match CO2 emissions.

The entire subject is akin to a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, but we currently only have maybe 100 out of 2000 pieces. New ones discovered all the time...

If everyone were as convinced as you, we would have stopped looking for the pieces to the puzzle a long time ago. We are interested in good, thorough science. Too bad this gem followed a good discussion post from the doc. And I would call this baiting, were I on the admin crew...


About the public not being so convinced, just one word: ExxonMobil.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
You sure seem pretty confused.

Not any more. I was when I was your age. (j/k)

Where the heck you find that quote of me. I haven't said that recently. And if you made it up, well, that is pretty low to claim you are quoting when not.
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Quoting btwntx08:
check this out snow ground for thu 2-11 at midnight
Link


ERROR: Parameter TMPF unavailable for GFS forecast hour 00.
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I live in Lancaster, PA. We really got clobbered today. Snow totals in Lancaster County ranged from 22 to 25 inches. Today's storm is the most snow in one day that I've ever seen in my lifetime, surpassing the 21 and a half inches that we had during the Blizzard of 1996, when I lived in Northern NJ.

Many things in Lancaster were closed or delayed today, and the mayor advised residents to stay off the roads.

The snow is beautiful, and luckily, my area did not have any power outages, which is a major concern during storms such as the one we had today. In the past, we had some lengthy power outages during such storms.
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Quoting Bordonaro:

That is true. However the reports from around the world show that overall, the Earth's temperatures continue to slowly warm.


The overall trend is warming. Climate forecasting is about the averages. But it's the extremes that are affected more and the extremes that we'll really experience.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
I see the next 100 or more years bad year ... thank so much to people like atmo or seastep we waste time to avert dangerous climate change.



Please don't mention other users and blame them directly for climate change! However, there is certainly a possibility that global warming will cause the erraticity of climate to increase and accelerate year after year...can we even cope with that?!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
insert doubt here
You sure seem pretty confused.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
South Pacific storms are the real camelbreaker when it comes to pulling warm ENSO water toward the southeast. In fact, this is the main reason why the anomalies in the 3.4 region have been weakening when they should still be strengthening.

No, the main reason for that...well it is what Ninos do. All of them (well, the classic El Nino, anyways).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting OldLefty19081:
"I wait with baited breath for your post about snowstorms not disproving AGW."

Wow, I guess the fact that Dr. Masters didn't write anything of the sort won't deter you from your battle against the evil straw men. Of course, you do have a really bad habit of mischaracterizing the statements of those that threaten you. Feeling a bit insecure atmoaggie, BS?

I'm wondering - how much business does the company that you work for do with the oil and gas industry? Could it be that your paycheck is at risk here?

Yeah, I am insecure, thanks for helping me face it.

My comment was about the posts that would follow from you, actually.

I receive no business from petroleum companies, but did receive a Christmas present from someone that gets a paycheck from Exxon, once. In fact, given meteorological concerns for competent placement and expected power generation from solar arrays and wind farms, my company would benefit greatly from a false mandate making those powers sources effectively competitive.

And this post of yours, given it's tone, baiting, borderline name-calling, attacking, bickering (all we get from you, it seems), it has been reported.
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Quoting Bordonaro:
Climate Warming means more climate variability. These 2 major snowstorms in the DC-Baltimore-Philadelphia corridor may be a part of that.

Other parts of the US, Europe and Asia are experiencing temps and precip that is either way above normal, or way below normal!


Link
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Quoting xcool:
i seeing 2010 bad year ....


Do you mean the Atlantic hurricane season for 2010? If the displaced Bermuda High pattern and flat 20C SSTs keep up, then yes.


Quoting atmoaggie:
Thanks, Doc M.

I wait with baited breath for your post about snowstorms not disproving AGW.

I do want to point out that using them to prove anything is probably statistically marginal given that there are some still standing record snowfalls from a long, long time ago. But I suppose total yearly snowfalls might give up something...maybe.


The recent snowstorms absolutely do not disprove AGW. In fact this may be seen as evidence to reinforce the notion. Link Link

Quoting atmoaggie:
"turning the Gulf Stream diversion farther north and northwest. This is part of the Gulf Stream that has really strengthened over the past week, and is being intensified by the current storm"

Maybe I missed that day, but I think you give atmospheric disturbances 98% too much credit when it comes to ocean currents and their fluctuations. Just sayin...


Actually, I have been predicting the effect of giant storms on ocean circulation since Nida in late November. South Pacific storms are the real camelbreaker when it comes to pulling warm ENSO water toward the southeast. In fact, this is the main reason why the anomalies in the 3.4 region have been weakening when they should still be strengthening. The North Atlantic storms have actually disrupted the Gulf Stream many times, including from late December to early January.(Link) This is another reason why the central North Atlantic SSTs are flat as the Gyre has mostly stalled. As can be seen in the image below, warm currents have been diverted directly to Jakobshavn Isbrae in Greenland and Pine Island Bay in West Antarctica, and this effect will intensify due to more storms!

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Hello Everyone,

The snow here in Arlington, VA is beautiful.

I was wondering, and couldn't find the answer at the NOAA NWS site,

Where were the official snowfall measurements for Washington, DC taken before National Airport was built?

Deb
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From previous:
Quoting spathy:
Hi Atmo
Have you read any of the obviously dated material I linked to?
Please post here or via WU mail.
You seem to have an open thought process on this heated subject.
I looked through them. Every bit of published research in this subject is something new we learn. We learn that one function of climate or another had too much attribution or another not enough when it comes to surface temps.

Something I posted in Rood's blog:
We have had the knowledge of Milankovitch Cycles, with some quantitative effect on climate, since 1976, but are still learning precisely how it all really works together with the sun's output, our tilt, orbit eccentricity, etc.

Looks like we didn't know all there was to know...
...
...again. Learning all the time...

The notion that scientists understand how changes in Earth's orbit affect climate well enough for estimating long-term natural climate trends that underlie any anthropogenic climate change is challenged by findings published this week. The new research was conducted by a team led by Professor Eelco Rohling of the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science hosted at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

The researchers found that the current interglacial has indeed lasted some 2.0 - 2.5 millennia longer than predicted by the currently dominant theory for the way in which orbital changes control the ice-age cycles. This theory is based on the intensity of solar radiation reaching the Earth at latitude 65 degrees North on 21 June, the northern hemisphere Summer solstice.
..................
But the anomaly vanished when the researchers considered a rival theory, which looks at the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth the same latitude during the summer months. Under this theory, sea levels could remain high for another two thousand years or so, even without greenhouse warming.

"Future research should more precisely narrow down the influence of orbital changes on climate," said Rohling: "This is crucial for a better understanding of underlying natural climate trends over long, millennial timescales. And that is essential for a better understanding of any potential long-term impacts on climate due to man's activities."


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-02/nocs-upa020510.php

Rohling, E.J., et al., Comparison between Holocene and Marine Isotope Stage-11 sea-level histories. Earth and Planetary Science Letters (published online 2010). doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.054

We truly have little understanding of the quantitative temperature forcing of all of the players to consider. Just attributing what temp changes we have measured to CO2 is no different than expecting a rise in surface temps to perfectly match CO2 emissions.

The entire subject is akin to a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, but we currently only have maybe 100 out of 2000 pieces. New ones discovered all the time...
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
I see the next 100 or more years bad year ... thank so much to people like atmo or seastep we waste time to avert dangerous climate change.


If everyone were as convinced as you, we would have stopped looking for the pieces to the puzzle a long time ago. We are interested in good, thorough science. Too bad this gem followed a good discussion post from the doc. And I would call this baiting, were I on the admin crew...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting spathy:
The most convincing argument yet, supporting a strong impact of the sun%u2019s activity on climate change, is a direct connection between cloud coverage and cosmic rays, discovered by H. Svensmark and E. Friis-Christensen [111] in 1996. It is shown in Figure 6. Clouds have a hundred times stronger effect on weather and climate than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Even if the atmosphere%u2019s CO2 content doubled, its effect would be cancelled out if the cloud cover expanded by 1%, as shown by H. E. Landsberg [53]. Svensmark%u2019s and Friis-Christensen%u2019s result is therefore of great importance. The thin curve in Figure 6 presents the monthly mean counting rates of neutrons measured by the ground-based monitor in Climax, Colorado (right scale). This is an indirect measure of the strength of galactic and solar cosmic rays. The thick curve plots the 12-month running average of the global cloud cover expressed as change in percent (left scale). It is based on homogeneous observations made by geostationary satellites over the oceans. The two curves show a close correlation. The correlation coefficient is
r = 0.95.

Short-range variations in the intensity of cosmic rays, caused by energetic solar eruptions, have the same effect, though shorter. The plot shows that strong cosmic rays go along with a larger cloud cover, whereas weak cosmic rays shrink the cloud cover. The global cloud coverage diminished from its peak at the end of 1986 to its bottom in the middle of 1990 by more than 3%. According to observations by V. Ramanathan, B. R. Barkstrom, and E. F. Harrison [91], clouds have a net cooling effect of -17 W/m2 . Svensmark and Friis-Christensen [111] conclude from the diminution of this cooling effect between 1986 and 1990 that the solar irradiance has increased by about 1.5 W/m2 within these three and a half years. A change of this order is quite remarkable, since the total radiative forcing by carbon dioxide accumulated since 1750 has been estimated by the IPCC not to go beyond 1.5 W/m2 . This means that cosmic rays, strongly modulated by solar activity, achieve an effect within three and a half years for which the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere needs centuries. This shows clearly to what extent the greenhouse effect has been overestimated in comparison with the solar contribution to climate change, which turns out to be the most important factor.



Link


Take a look at this graph comparing solar activity, CO2, and global temperatures:

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If storms have tracks as weird as this one during the hurricane season then we're in quite a bit of trouble.

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Quoting Bordonaro:
Here is that latest forecast map from the NCEP/Hydrometeorolical Center for We 2-10-10:



Link below has the US forecast maps for days 3-7 for Tu 2-9 hrough Sa 2-13-10:
Link


Giant Aleutian-California storms hammering into the North American high to produce giant Southern Midwest/Upper Mideast and North Atlantic storms to produce devastating winter storms in Europe to turn into storms in the Middle East and northern Asia travelling across the Pacific to intensify in the North Pacific and feeding into the Aleutian Low. Yikes.
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Quoting btwntx08:
5. 17.0" Feb 5-6, 2009

this should be 2010 and not 2009 :)


In some ways, this season is acting like a La Nina due to the negative AO and NAO.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
This is exactly what the models predict - more precipitation.
Wonder where all this is coming from?


Arctic ice melting faster than feared

Warning for the south


"It's an early indicator of what we can expect to happen further south," Barber said at a news conference in Winnipeg. "We can expect things to happen faster here, too."

Barber said the human impact on climate is being superimposed on the natural variation in climate and temperature.

The result is more variability in the climate: warm spells are getting warmer and the cold spells are getting colder.
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/02/05/tech-climate-arctic-ice.html?ref=rss


The burning of methane clathrates released from the ocean will also produce black soot, reducing the albedo effect and contributing to accelerated melting of ice caps in the Arctic regions.
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GFS at 180h:



...and 384 h:



Giant low pressure system spans across most of the North Atlantic and displaces most of the Bermuda High. Very unusual weather pattern capable of combining jet streams and severely altering Atlantic ocean currents. The 20C line in temperatures and not just ocean SSTs is almost completely flat!
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Quoting spathy:


Then conversely global cooling would have the same effect.
Just saying.

That is true. However the reports from around the world show that overall, the Earth's temperatures continue to slowly warm.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Seastep:
Sorry, but I did the work so...

Here's the GIF for 2001-2009.

Note: 2005 looks to disappear because it is the only increased trend year-to-year. It is right on the max likely IPCC line, which is another interesting obs, in terms of IPCC methodology. Just my thinking out loud on that one.



1979-2009 coming soon for those interested.

Modified: There was also an uptick from 2008-2009. Must have messed that one up.


You shouldn't just compare the trend for one decade from year to year. The past decade had fairly stable global temperatures due to a combination of reduced solar activity and the water vapor negative feedback. Most of the factors preventing an acceleration of warming for the last decade look set to be removed this decade while more positive feedbacks take over.
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Quoting xcool:
i seeing 2010 bad year ....
I see the next 100 or more years bad year ... thank so much to people like atmo or seastep we waste time to avert dangerous climate change.

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
36. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting spathy:
The most convincing argument yet, supporting a strong impact of the sun%u2019s activity on climate change, is a direct connection between cloud coverage and cosmic rays, discovered by H. Svensmark and E. Friis-Christensen [111] in 1996. It is shown in Figure 6. Clouds have a hundred times stronger effect on weather and climate than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Even if the atmosphere%u2019s CO2 content doubled, its effect would be cancelled out if the cloud cover expanded by 1%, as shown by H. E. Landsberg [53]. Svensmark%u2019s and Friis-Christensen%u2019s result is therefore of great importance. The thin curve in Figure 6 presents the monthly mean counting rates of neutrons measured by the ground-based monitor in Climax, Colorado (right scale). This is an indirect measure of the strength of galactic and solar cosmic rays. The thick curve plots the 12-month running average of the global cloud cover expressed as change in percent (left scale). It is based on homogeneous observations made by geostationary satellites over the oceans. The two curves show a close correlation. The correlation coefficient is
r = 0.95.

Short-range variations in the intensity of cosmic rays, caused by energetic solar eruptions, have the same effect, though shorter. The plot shows that strong cosmic rays go along with a larger cloud cover, whereas weak cosmic rays shrink the cloud cover. The global cloud coverage diminished from its peak at the end of 1986 to its bottom in the middle of 1990 by more than 3%. According to observations by V. Ramanathan, B. R. Barkstrom, and E. F. Harrison [91], clouds have a net cooling effect of -17 W/m2 . Svensmark and Friis-Christensen [111] conclude from the diminution of this cooling effect between 1986 and 1990 that the solar irradiance has increased by about 1.5 W/m2 within these three and a half years. A change of this order is quite remarkable, since the total radiative forcing by carbon dioxide accumulated since 1750 has been estimated by the IPCC not to go beyond 1.5 W/m2 . This means that cosmic rays, strongly modulated by solar activity, achieve an effect within three and a half years for which the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere needs centuries. This shows clearly to what extent the greenhouse effect has been overestimated in comparison with the solar contribution to climate change, which turns out to be the most important factor.



Link


According to a talk by Dr. Richard Alley at the AGU conference in December,

"The sun doesn't change much, but the sun modulates the cosmic rays, the cosmic rays modulate the clouds, the clouds modulate the temperature, and so the sun is amplified hugely. It's really interesting hypothesis, there's really good science to be done on this, but there's reason to think its a fine-tuning knob". He goes on to show an ice core example from a period 40,000 years ago (Figure 3) where the Earth magnetic field had near-zero strength for hundreds of years. This allowed a massive flux of cosmic rays to penetrate to the Earth's surface, creating a huge spike in ice core Beryllium-10, something made by cosmic rays. If cosmic rays were important to climate, we would expect to see a corresponding major swing in temperature, but the ice core shows no change during the period of enhanced cosmic ray bombardment 40,000 years ago. "We had a big cosmic ray signal, and the climate ignores it".



Jeff Masters
Quoting Alleyoops:
Interesting title to a regular snowstorm for most of us folks living north of the border. Heck this has been one year where we lack the snow we usually see. Folks who live in Buffalo can attest that this is just a regular snowstorm for them most winters. All I can say is, glad its them and not me. I have had enough of major snowstorms in my lifetime and its nice to see others get it for a change.
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
this is surpose to be in the grtlakes but yet we are still snowless in toronto just cold


We have seen ONE major snowstorm this whole winter in my area (north of Toronto). ONE single snowstorm with over 20 cm! I'm blaming the warm air brought in by the early season storms followed by the rapid cooldown that has left those towns and cities outside the main snowsquall zones out of any major snowstorms. A few weeks ago Toronto had half of the previous record lowest snowfall accumalations and that record was set in 1952-53. The big snowstorm we had was actually a Nor'easter that was in Nova Scotia at the time. No single Colorado Low or Mideast superstorm has given us as much snow as that this winter season.
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Climate Warming means more climate variability. These 2 major snowstorms in the DC-Baltimore-Philadelphia corridor may be a part of that.

Other parts of the US, Europe and Asia are experiencing temps and precip that is either way above normal, or way below normal!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
20: Nice. But not sure I like the connotations...very rare is the hurricane that punches through a cold front and associated trough...
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"turning the Gulf Stream diversion farther north and northwest. This is part of the Gulf Stream that has really strengthened over the past week, and is being intensified by the current storm"

Maybe I missed that day, but I think you give atmospheric disturbances 98% too much credit when it comes to ocean currents and their fluctuations. Just sayin...
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Thanks, Doc M.

I wait with baited breath for your post about snowstorms not disproving AGW.

I do want to point out that using them to prove anything is probably statistically marginal given that there are some still standing record snowfalls from a long, long time ago. But I suppose total yearly snowfalls might give up something...maybe.
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officially 36 inches here in Frostburg, MD. 2nd Highest I've seen
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Quoting stribe37:
The proper term for this is "is it inconsistent with 'climate change'".. because some folks believe the term 'global warming' means everyone in the world is going to get warmer, and it won't snow or get cold anywhere.. and that's simply not the case.


The climate will just fluctuate from warm to cool, while the extremes keep intensifying faster than the change in the averages, and then the upward trend begins to pick up and accelerate farther while tipping points in all directions (such as the water vapor negative feedback) pass at an accelerating rate.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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