Snow Does NOT Disprove Global Warming.

People on the East Coast may have finally dug out from last week's blizzard, but the Republicans' selective ignorance on climate science is just getting warmed up. So, we should get used to saying these next words: snow in winter does not disprove global warming.

In fact, extreme weather like blizzards is actually made worse because of our changing climate. Warmer oceans actually contribute to record-breaking snow fall from winter storms.

In an interview with The Think Progress Blog, one of our nation's top climate scientists explained that when you mix excess moisture in the atmosphere with “a cold Arctic outbreak, you get huge amounts of energy and moisture, and monster snowfalls.” And, that's exactly what the East Coast experienced with the recent blizzard.

As Joe Romm explained in that Think Progress article, “Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace.” And, just as you wouldn't ask if one particular home run was caused only by a baseball player being on steroids, you can't say one particular weather event is caused only by global warming.

No one can dispute that when water gets hot enough it evaporates, and all of that vapor needs to go somewhere. When our atmosphere is saturated with moisture because of all that extra evaporation, it means storms will release more moisture in the form of snow, rain, and sleet.

However, what seems like common sense to most of us is conveniently misunderstood by Congress people who are funded by Big Oil. And, it's in their best financial interest to misinform the public and pretend like there is still any real debate about our climate crisis.

It's winter time and we're probably going to have more snow storms, so let's get ready to refute the storm of deceptive anti-science talking points that are likely to rain down from our Republican lawmakers.


Legend 7 years 18 weeks ago

I was just out in Southern California. It was full moon and at high tide with small surf the waves were eating away at the cliffs. If it had been high surf it would have been much worse. This did not use to happen.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 7 years 18 weeks ago

Tornado season is coming, and I'm expecting a more violent Spring than in previous years. And am I the only one to notice that "Tornado Alley" has gotten much bigger, and tornado season starts earlier and lasts longer?

ckcoleman's picture
ckcoleman 7 years 18 weeks ago

I know we're preaching to the choir here, but we all have moronic friends who continue to stick their heads in the sand. During the 9 inch blizzard in Nashville (not much for up north but a big deal down here) a cable network was playing "Day After Tomorrow"--how politicians dithered and denied until an irreversible global catastrophe hit. The exposition at the beginning explains how global warming can trigger another ice age. I would say it was prophetic (2004) but it and the novel it was based on were based on scientific fact known for decades.

The point is, when you melt the polar ice caps, all that water has to go somewhere--and if the temperature is below 32 degrees it comes down as snow. Hurrican Sandy flooded NYC subways--an event unprecedented in my lifetime. In 2010 Nashville experienced a deluge that was almost totally ignored by national media. The Corps of Engineers, which works out flood plains for all inland river systems, gave up when flood levels exceeded the thousand year flood plain. It probably reached the 5,000 year flood plain or more. On the major networks, the "news" of the week was some manufactured drama by the Kardashians and other trivial fluff pieces. How many "freakish" storms have to hit before people realize that something major is happening to the world climate?

When melted fresh water from the arctic hits the gulf stream, even lowering the mean temperature by a few degrees can set off an irreversible global cooling, leading to another ice age. So yes, global warming can set off a new Ice Age!

RFord's picture
RFord 7 years 18 weeks ago

This is what? Fifth grade science? You know, the precipitation cycle: evaporation-transportation- precipitation- transportation then back to evaporation. So, yea, the more evaporation you have from a warmer ocean, the more precipitation and storms you'll have. That's climate change due to global warming.

Some of our congressmen may not be smarter than a fifth grader but many are just greedy, deceitful con-artist that represent their constituents. By constituents, I don't mean the people who were conned into voting for them. I mean the corporations and wealthy people that they are beholding to. That's who they actually represent. We need to get the beholding aspect out of politics with publicly funded only elections. Then who will those who get elected be beholding too? If there had been publicly funded elections for decades, then we would have had meaningful legislation to combat climate change years ago.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 7 years 18 weeks ago

I guess some congressmen can just look out their window and make a judgment about global warming. This seems to be how their science works. Cracking jokes and throwing snow balls. Soooo, we need to make our case for global warming during summer. That should throw them off their game. And yes. For them, it is a game.

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 17 weeks ago

Storms will be very intensive as it is also a bad "El Nino" year. Living in the north I have to admit I love it. Warm west winds are awesome. It's not all about you guys in the south. Five degrees warmer on average would be perfect for Canada, Russia and China. Just think how much more food we could supply the world as most of the land mass is miles from the equator. I am looking at the glass half full besides we have spent trillions on global warming and have accomplished nothing, maybe we should just except it and adapt.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 17 weeks ago

@Kend, 5 degrees warmer on average would not be perfect for Canada or Russia and especially China. It would be a disaster. Would likely turn large areas of central Asia and North America into a desert. Hydro power, Canada's main source of electricity would be decimated. Coastal cities would be flooded. Large areas of permafrost turned into swamp. Vast migrations of poverty stricken southerners would invade northern countries creating massive social chaos. The only way to stop that would be genocide, mass extermination.

It is true $trillions have been thrown down the sewer on nutty scams ostensibly to avert global warming, but that is all due to the total corruption of our governments.

It would save $trillions in energy costs to replace fossil fuels with nuclear energy. And 100's of $trillions in climate change costs. But the fossil fuel vested interests cannot allow that. So they promote these wacky wind, solar, ethanol, hydrogen, carbon capture, wave & tidal scams to divert capital, manpower & resources away from effective solutions. And greenwash their dirty energy products. And give their bought-and-paid-for politicians opportunity to pretend they are doing something when in fact they are doing nothing, even less than nothing.

AaronAL's picture
AaronAL 7 years 17 weeks ago

I remember the snowball in the Senate ( or was it the House) chamber as proof global warming didn't exist. LOL. if anybody needs evidence of crazy weather patterns outside of the D.C., NY media markets just take a short trip to New England. We've only had just a few inches of snow ALL SEASON so far in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts and it's almost February! This time of year there usually is at least a foot or more of permanent snow cover for the season. The highs here are in in the 30s and 40s. Monday is going to be 50Fwith rain. Normal temps are single digits, teens and twenties. I know much of this is due to the El Niño but it certainly is amazing.

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 17 weeks ago

Yes runoff your right. 5 is too much. How about 2 degrees. Lol. Natural gas for cars is the way we should have went. It would have had a instant impact but. You could also stop the whole global warming debate by calling this what it is. Pollution. No one would argue that. Al Gore and many others wouldn't have made billions though.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a literary descendent of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine. His unflinching observations and deep passion inspire us to explore contemporary culture, politics, and economics; challenge us to face the facts of the societies we are creating; and empower us to demand a better world for our children and grandchildren."
John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current