Friday, February 19, 2010

Snow and Global Warming

This post's topic is a bit different from what I normally write about but I didn't see that as a good enough reason not to write about it...

As most of us are aware, the eastern part of the country has gotten an unusual and exceptional amount of snowfall over the past month or so.  On several occasions I've heard people comment on this with snide remarks such as, "Where's your global warming now?"  or "So much for global warming!"  Now I'm no expert on climate change but these comments and this logic (i.e., If it's snowing a lot in some places then global warming must not be happening) seem very simplistic.  Are there really that many people out there who are ready to accept that the fact that it's snowing heavily in some places proves without a doubt that our planet is not getting warmer?  This logic also typically only goes one way.  You rarely if ever hear the same individuals commenting during a summer heat wave that, "This really proves that global warming theory." 

I decided to look into it.  It took all of five minutes for me to find a reasonable explanation for how an overall increase in planetary temperature could lead to higher levels of snowfall in some places.  The idea is this: warm air collects moisture much more easily than cold air does.  Increased global temperatures = increased warm air = increased moisture in the air.  When air with a lot of moisture hits a patch of cold (below freezing) air the moisture is released in the form of snow.  The more moisture in this air the more snow you get.

I'm not trying to prove or disprove global warming.  My issue is with the simplistic and uninformed comments that are made about global warming.  When a person has a belief it is natural for him or her to look for information that is consistent with that belief.  However, it is frustrating when people attend only to information that is consistent with their beliefs (no matter how inaccurate or circumstantial it is) and completely ignore evidence that is not consistent with their beliefs.  I just wish people would be a little more open minded.


  1. Good post, I have read Universe books and The history channel Universe video, and what I saw is that Earth has suffered many climate changes during millions of years (Evolution Theory), we have evidence of dinosaurs extintions (fossils etc) so what I think is what we pollute is Infinitesimally low than what real changes are happening in the universe, and example is a massive volcano eruption that polluted more than half of earth, or a Solar storm rising temperatures more than 100F etc etc, I think like you I don't know what is real happenening but in this times we must not forget that politicians do everything in order to win votes, or media companies do everything in order to get money likewise believers in Ufos.

  2. If you see in this picture we represent a Infinitesimally piece of time, universe is changing and we are worry for a warming in a relative small piece of time....Greetings for Mexico.

  3. I believe that a person's views on global warming are like their presidential candidate preferences. The views are partly conscious, partly subconscious, and they seldom change. Everything we see in the world we see as evidence that our views are right. - I don't think trying to convince everyone of the reality of global warming is realistic. Politicians though need to act according to conscience & not to political convenience, and we've seen how rare that is ...

  4. Why would 'they' bring information into a conversation that MAY prove their opinions/beliefs wrong?!

    This is what we do, instinctively... and consciously.

    "I believe (X), this is my data for believing (X). What? You believe in (Z), and have data to disprove my data? Your data is false, or at the very least, not complete. My (X) is truth... you just don't get it (like me)."

    Open mindedness is for the top 5% of us. Ego dominates too many to admit THEIR (X) may not be the only (X).

    Ego Ego Ego...

  5. @Dayne, we need an open society, an open society get all comments and a closed one doesn't allow comments, where you are?


My Favorites