For a year and a half I went to school at SUNY Oswego which among other things was known for its sunsets. Every night we would watch the sun go into Lake Ontario. Along with that beauty we had lake effect snow, and we could see it coming. Sometime we would see the snow rolling in over the lake from Canada. And when we got the snow, there would be a foot on campus and maybe only an inch of the white stuff a few miles away.
That’s what has been happening in Buffalo this week—to the extreme.
But because that’s what they do best, a global warming enthusiast at Slate is blaming this week’s snow on Global Warming. (Buffalo is supposed to be hit again on Thursday).
Now most people’s first reaction would be “wait a second, snow needs cold and global warming is…well warm.” Lets forget the obvious logic and look at their argument.
The short answer is: yes. Global warming is probably juicing lake-effect snows, and we’ve had the data to prove it for quite some time.
A greater fraction of wintertime precipitation in the Northeast has fallen during extreme events over the past few decades.
And the writer offers the chart below:
You know, the writer seems to be correct about the wintertime precipitation, but he is forgetting one important thing. Notice the red vertical line I added that. The red line I added happens to be placed on the year 1996. September 1996 was the last time the Earth showed any global warming. So the worst years in the chart above occurred after the Earth stopped warming, the heavier snowfalls must have a different cause (perhaps they can blame Bush).
Lake Erie is warming (along with the rest of the planet) by a steady but measurable amount. Since 1960 that trend has been about a half of a degree Fahrenheit per decade. More important than this, though, Lake Erie has been losing its ability to freeze over in the winter, with a decline of about one sub-freezing day per year in recent decades.
Lake Erie’s ice cover has been slipping in recent decades, which is helping it to produce more lake-effect snow.
Slate goes on to show another chart which seems to show that lake effect snow has been growing, but the chart only goes to 2001 which means the last 13 years when there has been no global warming were not measures.
The saddest part of this argument something the warmists are always blaming the skeptics of doing. Slate is taking one week of lousy weather and using it as part of a case to prove a change in climate. One week does not make a changed climate. Neither does data which ignores the truth about the pause in warming.