The intense snowfall recorded in recent days in the Northeast of the United States does not refute the existence of climate change, but on the contrary, is a secondary effect of global warming predicted by experts.
In fact, studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and reports by the United States Global Change Research Program both highlight that the climate crisis is driving extreme snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in North America and Asia. ,
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Climate change is not just global warming and related impacts are the intensity (in number and violence) of various extreme weather events (floods, droughts, cyclones, storms, snowfall).
In the case of snowfall, global warming leads to greater evaporation of water masses in lakes, seas and oceans, and this higher humidity can favor heavy snowfall when winter arrives. A recent study by experts from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Germany) and Columbia University (USA) analyzed the regional implications of this relationship between climate change and snowfall.
The main findings of this study have been published in the journal scientific report (August 17, 2021) is that “the general decrease in daily snowfall events is expected to continue in the coming decades over most regions.” [del hemisferio norte], with the exception of regions with sufficiently cold climates even under global warming. Thus, the trend of “extreme snow intensity over large areas of the Northern Hemisphere” will continue in recent years, “where this type of precipitation is already common in winter and where temperatures remain low despite global warming”, especially in North America and Asia”.
A warmer planet is evaporating more water into the atmosphere and in colder regions, this means more ice.
The team of experts, led by Anders Lavermann, suggests that in the northeastern United States and Canada, climate change is likely to become a highly significant impact in the coming decades “at least until the middle of the century”.
Similarly, the Third National Climate Change Assessment Report Published in 2014 by the United States Global Change Research Program, indicated that, “although it may seem paradoxical”, the increase in heavy snowfall in the northeastern US “is an expected effect of climate change”. “That’s because a warmer planet is evaporating more water into the atmosphere. That extra humidity means more precipitation in the form of heavy snow or torrential rain”, Paryavaran Raksha Kosh (Fund for the Defense of the Environment), established in 1967 And summarizes the website of a reputed NGO based in New York.
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To understand this phenomenon, The Climate Reality Project, an NGO created by Al Gore, suggests looking at the case of the Great Lakes in the United States. “Cold initially cold air blowing over the still relatively warm and molten lake water has always been the main driver of heavy snowfall. Some people call this phenomenon the ‘Lake Effect Snow Machine’, coined by former Vice President of the United States Gaye remembers this NGO.
Because of climate change, temperatures in lakes are now getting warmer and it is taking longer for them to cool and freeze. The delay in the arrival of cold speeds up the “machine” and “as an end result, warmer lake temperatures mean more moisture in the air due to evaporation, and when the weather is cooler, it provides combustible For truly huge snowfall that continues deeper and deeper into winter than ever before,” the Climate Reality Project reports.
Javier Martín Viede, professor of physical geography at the University of Barcelona, an expert in climate science, recalls that the current climate shows a clear increase in temperature, ie a change in the statistical distribution of its records towards progressively higher values. But at the same time variability is increasing.
Neither the current hurricane ‘Elliott’ nor 2021’s hurricane ‘Philomena’ contradicts global climate change
“Said in a more visual way, the tail of the distribution is spreading. That’s why there are more and more heat waves, hotter months and years, and some extremely hot ones, without cold episodes.”
snow storm of Philomena More storms in the center of Spain in January 2021 Elliot In the United States they are entirely consistent and expected meteorological events in the current context of climate change; That is, they do not contradict the global and regional trend of rising temperatures, explains Javier Martin Weidt.