We are still tracking what could be the biggest snowstorm of the winter season. Considering that we broke the record for all time record monthly snowfall back in December you would think the biggest single storm was already in the books. On the contrary, the heaviest single snowstorm in Wausau was only 7.3 inches (a record) on the 30th of December. Most of the snow in December came in 1 to 4 inch increments. The latest projections for today’s snowstorms indicate around 5 to 7inches for Wausau with as much as 9 or 10 inches in some areas south of Marathon county. In the northwoods the snowfall will be lighter – ranging from 2 inches in Iron, Ashland, and northern Vials counties to 6 inches along highway 64. Snow will begin around mid-afternoon and contiinue through midnight. There could still be some trouble after midnight as we will see a gusty north wind of 15 to 25 mph causing blowing and drifting snow in open areas.
After the storm it looks like calm but cold weather for the weekend. High temps will be in the upper teens to around 20 from Friday through Sunday. There could be a few flurries on Saturday, otherwise dry weather is expected through Monday. On Tuesday of next week we could have some light snow and another stronger storm could bring some sleet or snow next Thrusday.
I think I will have to call it quits for the AGW list. That is, unless I get a lot of feedback from readers imploring me to keep it up. Why the end? There are a couple of reasons. First of all, it is hard to keep up. The headlines are coming faster and faster. Not only do AGW theorists predict that devastating AGW is coming faster than ever but that it will be worse than ever. Second of all, the predictions keep getting more apocalyptic. It is hard to add to the list when such sweeping statements are made. The death of almost all life on earth basically covers…well, it covers everything. Why list individual species when they will almost all be gone – according to some predictions. Sure there are some interesting predictions – such as “more obesity” (which begs the question – how are people going to be obese when there will be no animals, plants, or food what-so-ever?) and that the earth “will literally be torn apart”, but these come a fewer and far between. This article from Newscientist today “How to survive the coming century” basically sticks a fork in the AGW list by really laying the smack down. Here are a few quotes:
“the ramifications for life on Earth are so terrifying that many scientists contacted for this article preferred not to contemplate them”
“and there are the ones who tell us to run for the hills because we’re all doomed”
“many of the places where people live and grow food would no longer be suitable for either”
“Glacial retreat will dry Europe’s rivers from the Danube to the Rhine, with similar effects in mountainous regions including the Peruvian Andes, and the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges, which as result will no longer supply water to Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Bhutan, India and Vietnam.”
“only a fraction of the planet will be habitable”
“Large chunks of Earth’s biodiversity would vanish because species won’t be able to adapt quickly enough to higher temperatures, lack of water, loss of ecosystems, or because starving humans had eaten them.”
“the most terrifying prospect of a world warmed by 4 °C is that it may be impossible to return to anything resembling today’s varied and abundant Earth. Worse still, most models agree that once there is a 4 °C rise, the juggernaut of warming will be unstoppable, and humanity’s fate more uncertain than ever.”
So these statements are broad and sweeping and cover the most dire outcomes. It would be harder and harder to update the list, when it has already been predicted that nearly all the fish, plants, and animals, are already predicted to die. The one thing that bothers me is using the word impossible, when referring to “recovering” from climate change. The earth has been both much hotter (no ice whatsoever) and colder (almost completely covered in ice) and yet by some miracle, life survived and thrived. Even if all the ice melted (like the last time millions of years ago) why would it be irreversible this time around? What is so special now that makes things “impossible” and “irreversible”. These are terms we hear thrown around quite often by climate scientists nowadays but are generally quite rare in science as a whole. Most scientists are very careful to avoid such terms. It is part of what makes a good scientist. You will notice the IPCC never says any prediction is guaranteed (100%). They always give a percentage – a confidence level.
In any case, this will likely be the end of official updates for the AGW list. I will still cover the topic from time-to-time and we might be able to learn a few things by dredging it up again in the future. But I think the statement that AGW will be so bad so as to be unspeakable basically covers everything.
I will be gone tomorrow but will be back on Monday. I plan on covering some of the positive trends with regards to cutting pollution and protecting the planet. If I forget, someone remind me.
Lastly, how about a couple of nice pictures. Wait, first I should ask if most of the pictures are showing up ok. On my day off last week I took a look at some of the past articles and a couple of the pics were not in the articles. I saved the blog entry and headed out the door without actually checking the WAOW blog section to see how it actually showed up. It made me feel sorry for the viewers who sent them in. I said “lookat this great picture” and then it was just a white box with an x in it. First a picture of a “Snowfake”. This is the result of a mathematical project to accurately simulatethe creation of a snowflake from water molecules. Looks like they have it figured out. Next are two pictures from Carl Wohlbier from Stevens Point. The first is a picture of a beautiful red fox living in the Schmeeckle Reserve. The second is an artistic pattern of frost on the window pane. Have a good Thursday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
Posted under AGW, Viewer pictures, Winter Weather
This post was written by jloew on February 26, 2009