March 21, 2021

The Northwest Snowpack Trend of the Past Fifty Years: The Truth May Surprise You

The media is full of stories suggesting that global warming has greatly reduced the mountain snowpack in the Pacific Northwest.

Activist "climate justice" groups like 350Seattle have taken the snowpack loss claims even further, suggesting the current snowpack is "half what it should be":


But the truth, backed by observations, contradicts such apocalyptic descriptions, as I will show you in the blog.

Recently, the Office of the Washington State Climatologist (who is Dr. Nick Bond of UW JISAO) put online a wonderful tool for visualizing snowpack at some major locations in Washington State.  Plotting up the actual snowpack trend proves to be highly educational.

I am going to show you the change of snowpack for over the past fifty years.  

Why fifty years?  Because that is the period when human emissions of greenhouse gases have gone up rapidly and when GLOBAL temperatures have risen more quickly (see plot below).  If you are looking for a period to see changes in Northwest snowpack driven by greenhouse gas increases, the last fifty-year period is the time to look for it.


So using the OWSC website, let me show you the fifty-year trends of snow depth on March 15th each year.   I chose this date because it is close to the date of maximum snow depth in the Cascades and I have the data for this year.

Let's start with the higher elevation Crystal Mountain ski area (around 6000 ft).  An increase from 1990 to 2000 and then relatively steady.


Next, lower elevation (~3000 ft) Snoqualmie Pass. Not much trend in snow depth.


Intermediate height Mount Baker?   No real trend.

Or Paradise Ranger Station (around 5500 ft).   Hard to see a trend.


Yes, there are some random, low snow-depth years (like 2015), but no trend is apparent during the period when global warming has been greatest.

Another measure of the amount of frozen water in a snowpack is called snow water equivalent (SWE).  The OWSC website has a nice tool to plot the change in SWE, and I have done so for 1980 to 2019 (see below).  

None of the changes are significant (small circles), and when there are trends, most of them are green (increasing snowpack).  And such increasing snowpack is true at varied elevations.

Finally,  University of Washington research scientist, Mark Albright, took over 200 USDA Snotel locations over the Northwest and plotted up the snow water equivalents (blue lines) since 1984 (when the data became available) as shown below (the red line is a smoothed running average).  Lots of ups and downs, but no long-term trend.
So the inescapable conclusion based upon snowpack observations is that there has been little trend in the amount of snow in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest during a period in which CO2 has been rising fairly rapidly and when global temperatures are going up.

How can this be?

It can and the reason is the Pacific Ocean.

Let me show you a plot of the trend (change) in surface air and sea surface winter (December-February) temperatures for 1980-2019 from the NASA Goddard (GISS) website (see below).  The Arctic is warming more than anyplace else and, in general, the continents are warming more rapidly than the oceans.  We expect this from basic physical principles and modeling.

Oceans warm up more slowly because of their tremendous heat capacity.


But look closely: the eastern Pacific is warming more slowly than the western Pacific.   Look very closely and you will note that the eastern Pacific has essentially not warmed at all.

The temperature of the eastern Pacific has a very powerful impact on the winter temperatures of the Pacific Northwest, since air is coming off the Pacific virtually the entire winter.

So it makes sense that our winter snowpack has not changed because the sea surface temperature of the eastern Pacific has not changed.  This consistency provides us with more confidence in our understanding.

And there are further lines of supporting evidence.  For example, the melt-out days in major Cascade snow measuring sites have not gotten earlier.  In fact, many are getting later, which suggests more snow.  To illustrate,  here are the trends of melt-out date at Mount Hood and Stevens Pass....both are getting later.

Finally, if we plot the actual monthly surface temperatures during winter over the western slopes of the Cascades from the NOAA Climate Division data set, one finds lots of ups and downs but little trend from 1980 through 2020:



What about the future?  If we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the Pacific will eventually warm and that WILL reduce the snowpack.

My group, in concert with Eri Salathe of UW Bothell, has been running many high-resolution climate simulations over the region (much of it supported by Amazon by the way).  This is the gold standard for regional climate predictions.

We assumed a very large increase of greenhouse gases (RCP 8.5), which is not realistic, but shows you the worst case (probably about twice a realistic value of greenhouse gas concentration by the end of the century).  It assumes mankind ignores the threat of global warming and revs up fossil fuel use.

Below is the forecast of snow water equivalent for this century at Stevens Pass (roughly 4000 ft) for simulations started in 1970.   The black dots are observations.

Not much change through 2018 in the model and observations, followed by a slow slide through 2050 and a more rapid decline through 2100.   


So even with unrealistically high CO2 emissions (assuming major increases in coal use through the entire century and little use of renewables), there are only modest declines through 2050 (about 25%).    A more realistic simulation would probably move the 2050 values to 2100.

I believe the above is the best estimate regarding Cascade mountain snowpack change available and consistent with the peer-reviewed literature (including papers I have authored on the subject).    I am sure that the activist crowd (e.g. 350Seattle, Charles Mudede at The Stranger) will start calling me names--like "climate denier" for providing it to you.   These folks can be very destructive.  For example, 350 Seattle and the climate justice crowd were able to pressure a fearful KNKX management team into removing my weather segment because the activists wanted the truth suppressed.

But no matter where you are on the political spectrum, you deserve the truth and society needs truth to make the best decisions and plan for the future.

PS;  There are several comments/questions about retreating glaciers.  Glaciers respond to a much longer time scale of climate change than annual snow.  Most of the retreating glaciers in our region have been retreating since the early 20th century, well before human emissions of greenhouse gases were significant.  Most are responding to the end of the Little Ice Age, a period of cooler temperatures and more that ended in the late 1800s.





52 comments:

  1. Since the snowpack is stable, what explains the massive retreat of so many alpine glaciers? Virtually all north cascade glaciers and Ranier seem to have shrunk very significantly just in my twenty years of climbing them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Glaciers respond to a much longer time scale. For example, most Cascade glaciers started to retreat early in the 20th century responding to the end of the Little Ice Age. It was much cooler and snowier in the 1800s and before.

      Delete
    2. Another issue is that summers are getting warmer, which would contribute to glacier melt

      Delete
    3. @cliffmass I've spoken to the guy at Nicols College who's running the North Cascade Glacier Climate Research Project, and he has pointed out that glacier melt has accelerated in correlation to the increasing CO2 emissions since the late 1970's. He says that based on exposed bedrock studies, the "rate" of ice melt is higher now than its been in the past 1,000 years.

      Do you have any "glacier mass balance projection" models that you've been running? It would be interesting to know approximately what Mount Rainier's ice elevation will look like in 2,100?

      Delete
    4. Russman.... not running any glacier mass balance calculations. With summer warming starting around 1980 it is not surprising that there is glacier melt at some elevations. I am uncertain of claims about the fastest in 1000 years....but certainly some melt would be expected...cliff

      Delete
    5. Glacial retreat is also a matter of perception. As the glaciers melt, they lose mass and become, well, thinner. The leading edge of a thinner ice sheet will retreat faster.

      Delete
  2. Interesting and very relevant to any honest conservation about the effect of greenhouse gas on climate. But glaciers are a better index of climate change. And they are shrinking. We monitor snow pack because it fills our reservoirs with melting snowpack. But glaciers provide long term flow that keeps stream temperatures lower in late summer. https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/01/glaciers-in-the-olympic-mountains-could-vanish-by-end-of-this-century/ https://www.washingtonnature.org/fieldnotes/critical-mass-washingtons-shrinking-glaciers#:~:text=The%20balance%20tips%2C%20and%20glaciers%20shrink%20dramatically.&text=North%20Cascades%20National%20Park%20has,glacier%20cover%20disappear%20since%201982.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Glaciers respond to a much longer time scale. For example, most Cascade glaciers started to retreat early in the 20th century responding to the end of the Little Ice Age. It was much cooler and snowier in the 1800s and before.

      Delete
    2. Another issue is that summers are getting warmer, which would contribute to glacial melt

      Delete
  3. I think this data must be missing something. I remember visiting ice caves both near Paradise (now gone) and the Big Four Ice Caves (a fraction of their former size) which have seriously melted out over the past decades.

    Is our snow melting out sooner than it used to?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I know for certain that the size of the Big Four Ice Caves in any given year is directly related to snowpack. And the time in the season you visit them. It's literally just a pile of snowpack that doesn't melt as fast because it's in the shade. In a low snowpack year, it's probably very nearly melted by August.

      Delete
    2. Summer temperatures have increased over time, which would contribute to melting the snow caves

      Delete
    3. Summer snow or ice accumulations that were traditionally "fed" by winter avalanche cycles are a bit unique. Big four ice caves are a good example: To get a big pile of snow at the caves, you need big avalanche cycles, and there are a lot of dynamics in play to produce those...not just total snowfall. Lower Curtis glacier on Shuksan is another example. Also, average snowpack on March 31st doesn't translate to the same situation in August that it used to. Summer temps increasing are certainly related to continued or accelerated glacial retreat as well (not just a signal of the rebound from last ice age).

      Delete
    4. Jake....I think your remarks are right. Summer temperatures are increasingly, which affects glaciers.

      Delete
  4. At the beginning the newspaper article states the snowpack across the US West but you only evaluated the PNW. California is in much worse shape, correct?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. California is in much worse shape. I grew up in Sacramento California and the 2013 thru 2016 drought was much worse than any of the 1990's 2000's droughts. In the 1990's 2000's it still rained during the dry winters just not as much. When I left California in january 2014 the winter had been nearly rainless. Another thing I noticed with 2014 was high snow levels 7000 to 9000 feet when the long term average snow level was 5000 to 6000 feet. I was astounded when I drove over Carson Pass 8,500 feet New Years day 2014 and saw only a patchy dusting of snow. Carson pass averages 350 inches of snow per winter imagine Stevens Pass having only a patchy dusting on New Years day.

      Delete
    2. I don't know if I buy you're argument about melt out not happening earlier. Most Washington Glaciers were stable from 1940 to 1970 but have retreated significantly since and most of the retreat has occurred in the last decade or two. I don't think we would see this much retreat if the snowpack was stable. I also notice that Longmire has an average winter snow depth of 2 or 3 feet but the the last 3 or 4 winters Longmire only had inches of snow depth for much of the winter. On some of my snowshoe trips I have also seen evidence of rain on snow as high as 7000 to 8000 feet and if I look at long term climate records it seems like in the not to distant past precip was all snow above 6000 feet.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why has the SNOTEL web page been out of service for more than 2 weeks? When I try to open a link to a location, it gives the following message: "Service Unavailable
    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later."

    Thanks,
    WS Tom

    ReplyDelete
  7. Discussing climate has become as damgerous as diacussing religion. Thank god Cliff is willing to face facts yet even then he is accused of bias. Here is another piece of data: we have beem in an ice age for over 2 million years and during that time have had over 20 big ice advances. For 80 to 90 thousand of those years it has been much colder than today, oceans were lower, land bridges exposed. The periods between cold times are warmer interglacials and they last 10 to 20 thousand years. The Eemian, 120,000 years ago, the interglacial before the one we have now been in for 10 thousand years, was warmer than today and the oceans up to 20 meters higher. Yes carbon dioxide was lower but nobody has explained to me yet how a trace gas leas than half of one tenth of one percent of the air volume can cause such a crisis. It may be that our emissions will prevent the next ice advance but geology tells us we are nearing the next cold time. We do know from ice cores things change fast, in a decade or less, such that snowfall does not melt in the summer, as happened in 1816. If that happens year after year the crisia we will all face will be a hundred times worse than current heating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Umm, nobody has explained to you that CO2 is the major driver in climate change? Nobody has explained that CO2 is the major greenhouse gas - and that comparing ti to Nitrogen and other more common gases is a classic mistake? No, the evidence is clear that the greehouse gases are driving the warming despite a cooling trend. And the glaciers are melting despite the same amount of winter snow because of warmer summers.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps you could provide the clear evidence that greenhouse gases are driving the warming.

      Delete
  8. Thank you so much Cliff for the very informative post. Aftyer following your blog for several years, I have concluded that your approach to the climate is scrupulously scientific, and you have earned my trust.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Thank you, Cliff, for fearlessly telling us the truth.

      Delete
  9. Here is my issue with the "climate change alarmists". First off we know climate has always been changing. We have periods where the earth is warmer and we have periods where the earth is colder (hence the ice ages). The climate has and always will continue to change, whether we are here or not. Secondly, the records just don't justify the panic. It's hard to take anything seriously when we have such a small and unreliable sample size. We can't even rely on Seattle records as our official station has moved (from Seattle to Sea-tac). That distance of a few miles can be drastic when considering climatic conditions. Third, there has been known mishandling of the data. Most famously a few years ago when some climatologists came forward and admitted they had manipulated the data from weather buoy's to falsely show the temps were hotter than what they actually were. Finally (and perhaps the biggest red flag) is the government using it to control you. Using climate change to pass unnecessary and restrictive laws (CA ban on gas engines for example) and implementing taxes and fees in the name of "green energy". Tell me, all this money being collected for "Green" hasn't done a bit of good. People should start asking themselves, why is the government (particularly the far left) so interested in green initiaves when there is nothing to show for it. Who is profiting off of this?

    The simple truth is, the earth will continue to warm. At some point it will flip and cool again and we will have another ice age. Nothing we humans do will change that. Stop throwing your money away to these greedy, corrupt politicians who use scare tactics. Be smart about how you go about your day, carpool if you can for example. But remember that mother nature is far more powerful than we are and nothing we do will change the climate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember too that we are the most adaptable species ever to exist. Remember that the wealth of a dynamic free-market economy gives us the capacity to clean up our mess--we have cleaner water and air than China and other countries because we have the wealth (and the political will) to require industry keep things clean.

      Delete
  10. I think there is reason to doubt that a steady linear decline in the Cascades snowpack, as measured by snow water equivalent (SWE), is the most likely outcome of a warming Eastern Pacific. I think it's possible we see a short-term (decades long) increase in SWE. With respect to snowfall, on shorter time scales, the increased evaporation rates of warming bodies of water can overcome the effects of increasing air temperatures provided the baseline temperatures are far enough below freezing. This is currently happening in the snowbelts of the Great Lakes, where over the past 40 years, snowfall has increased, even as the snow season has grown shorter. In the Cascades, in the shorter term (again, decades), I think it's possible we'll see greater snowfall at higher elevations, and lower snowfall at lower elevations relative to climatology, with higher SWE snowpack for the Cascades overall. At some level of Eastern Pacific warming, the increasing snowfall at higher elevations will no longer offset the decreasing snowfall at lower elevations, and the SWE snowpack will begin to fall across the various Cascades basins.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've heard there used to be more low level ski resorts in WA...like on Pilchuck. But many closed because of retreating snow pack. Is this not true?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pilchuck was open from 1956 to 1978. It opened during the cold/snowy period of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and closed as the cycle moved into the warm/less snowy part of the cycle. So this was probably not due to global warming but natural variability. Low-elevation ski areas are problematic on the western side of the Cascades...need either to be higher or in the pass, with cold air coming from eastern WA (e.g., like Snoqualmie).

      Delete
  12. I just don't understand why you choose to traffic in facts Cliff.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can you please do a post as to why the glaciers in Washington are retreating even with snowpack not changing? Why the retreat of glaciers despite no change in snowpack? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might be as simple as glacier being a darker color compared to fresh snow. Glaciers are full of debris/dirt/basalt grit (in the case of our area) and absorb the sun's energy rather than reflect. Plus many glaciers are higher up where there is no tree shade to protect them as well as more solar radiation in general.

      As for the trafficking in facts comment above... that was classic. Thanks for that!

      Facts are boring while emotional BS sells. Its one of the fine prints of our socioeconomic system. Considering how little people actually "need", the media,advertising and our system in general have to pay off our "wants". Needs tend to be very empirical and objective while everything else is subjective and emotional. You don't get rich off "needs". Sales is "wants".

      Delete
  14. My retirement cruise was a ten day kayak trip to Muir Glacier. We researched the history of the area and were surprised at where the terminus was located when John Muir was exploring the area and where the terminus was located during our visit. The ranger told us the reason was due to glaciers feeding Muir Glacier had stopped feeding the Muir Glacier. The reason? I'll paraphrase the ranger: "Most [glaciers] are responding to the end of the Little Ice Age, a period of cooler temperatures and more that ended in the late 1800s." Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Seattle Times had a great story on Friday about going to see the cherry blossoms along Lake Washington. Sunday morning we got up early and walked the suggested route for two miles each way. Not a single cherry blossom. Is spring late this year? It seems like we had a balmy winter but night time temperatures seem to have remained consistent for the last two months.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think your point,

    "So the inescapable conclusion based upon snowpack observations is that there has been little trend in the amount of snow in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest during a period in which CO2 has been rising fairly rapidly and when global temperatures are going up."

    This is causing confusion. There is indeed less overall frozen water (e.g. snow, glacial ice, etc.) in the mountains than in previous years/decades. People are being triggered by this. Your point could have been clearer in this bold summary by specifically saying "amount of annual snow in the mountains." Not everyone knows the difference between '(annual) snowpack' and 'snow in the mountains'.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Half of the glaciers advanced from about 1945 - 1950 to the late 70's to early 80's. All are now in rapid retreat.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Besides glacial retreat, which has been explained away as something on a longer climate cycle than the recent temperature rise is the melting of alpine permafrost. This is manifested by more frequent enormous rockfalls in the alpine zone. This has been especially prevalent in the French Alps. Is this a result of rising average temperature or is it also on some longer cycle than seasonal snowpack melting?

    ReplyDelete
  19. But if I were you, Cliff, I would still admonish people not to get complacent about CO2, because as to see from the map, many places are warming, including the whole North Atlantic. But you are right about the western Pacific- swimming here will never become "a thing"... alas, I will have to move...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are somewhat correct, I think. The salient point I get from the global temperature plot that Cliff shows has more to do with magnitude and time. It looks to me like about 75% of Earth has experienced less than 1 degree of increased winter temperatures over the last 40 years. Perhaps a half of Earth has experiences less than .5 deg over that period, and there are large expanses of ocean and parts of Antarctica that have cooled during this period. The Arctic has heated the most, as Cliff points out. I recently read that the Pacific hemisphere has experienced far less heating than the African hemisphere, one dominated by ocean and the other by land. This explanation wasn't the heat capacity of the ocean and delayed heating, however, but the configuration of earth's mantel and the relative amount of heat reaching the surface by convection. So there are elements at play here that could explain Arctic warming that make far more sense than, as someone else said, the effect of a trace gas that, while is a greenhouse gas, is far, far less effective as a greenhouse gas than water vapor, a gas nobody seems to care about (because, in my opinion, there is no political hay to make with water vapor).

      Delete
    2. @Steve Rogers The level of water vapor in the atmosphere is tied to the air temperature because most of the water molecules are in the liquid state. This level changes with temperature of course, which means that rising temperatures will raise the levels of water vapor. The only way to reduce the effect of water vapor on global air temperature is to reduce the amount of warming that produces it which means reducing the levels of other greenhouse gases. Water vapor will always be present in the atmosphere, it has nothing to do with politics.

      Delete
    3. In other words, the water vapor in effect magnifies that of the CO2, but the CO2 is the root problem.

      Delete
  20. As for retreating glaciers, I often refer to Claude Rusk's book "Tales of a Western Mountaineer". On pages 38-39 he refers to the Klickitat Glacier on Mount Adams. "At the time of our visit, in the fall of 1890, the Klickitat Glacier ended close against the great south wall of the canyon.......Old moraines gave evidence that the glacier had once extended much farther down the canyon than it did at this time.....I was destined to keep this great glacier under observation for over thirty years. During that time it retreated at least a quarter of a mile......
    So, in the late 1800's he saw rapid glacier melt.

    ReplyDelete
  21. While to some degree the melt-out dates in many major Cascade snow measuring sites suggests more snow, if the trend continues for later melt-out dates whlle annual snowfall remains the same another explanation will be needed. Part of the explanation for this may be related to that during the past forty years there has been a trend for the polar vortex to be weaker in early winter and stronger in late winter. To the extent that as a result of this the polar vortex weakens later and a larger amount of cold air remains in the late winter and continues to remain later into the spring, snow rather than rain continues until later in the spring. This would cause the melt-out date to be later. This might partially be explained by that weakening of the magnetic field and related additional rapid ozone loss as a result of chemical reactions as sunlight moves northward in the Arctic in late winter results in rapid cooling in the stratosphere which causes the polar vortex to become colder and stronger in late winter.

    Since ozone loss causes UV radiation to be more intense which causes additional melting of ice during the summer, this would delay cooling in the Arctic in the fall and early winter which would tend to result in less snowfall in early winter which would offset greater snowfall in late winter. As a result annual snowfall would remain close to the same as the melt-out date becomes later.

    The gray in the sky in the summer which is likely to be smoke and ash which was mentioned by 350 Seattle is likely at least to some degree related to that it was recently found that UV is becoming more intense and that studies have found that UV-C is now reaching the surface of the earth which can harm and kill trees and therefore result in more forest fires. In my comments for the March 2 post I discussed the possibility that ozone loss is a major part of the cause of climate change.

    I hope that it will be considered that including in the high resolution climate simulations that ozone loss loss will likely continue to increase possibly by a large amount as the magnetic field continues to weaken might make them more accurate. However since this would indicate that ozone loss might become an even larger part of the cause of climate change and since Amazon founded The Climate Pledge to commit to net zero carbon and they are providing a large part of the funding, I doubt that will happen. If it is found that ozone loss is largely the reason for climate change it would be incorrect to say that manmade CFCs are largely the cause of climate change since a large part of the chemicals which result in ozone loss are not manmade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David... I am afraid much of this does not make physical sense...sorry...cliff mass

      Delete
    2. Cliff, I realize now that since I didn't explain properly what I meant it appears that I was saying that the recent increase in UV would cause significantly more melting as more UV reached the ice. However I am aware that this is not the case since UV is only a small part of solar radiation and I realize now that I went too far in trying to keep my comments short. I gave a more complete explanation of what I meant on March 6 in my additional comments for your March 2 blog in which I referred to that it was recently found that larger amounts of UV-B than previously expected and even some UV-C which are both harmful to trees are reaching the surface of the Earth. It seems as if the additional trees that as a result are killed and because of being harmed have dry needles and leaves might be related to the recent increase in forest fires and the related increase in CO2. Since ice-albedo positive feedback amplifies any related warming in the Arctic and without there being a direct relationship between climate change and the significant increase in recent years in forest fires, the gray in the sky in what we used to call summer as referred to by 350 Seattle indicates the degree to which climate change may be related to other causes than manmade CO2. To the extent that related additional melting of ice delays cooling in the Arctic, it seems as if this would result in a tendency for the jet stream to remain farther north and the position of the Pacific high to tend to reduce snowfall in the Cascades later into the winter.

      This possibility that harm to trees will increase as UV becomes more intense as the magnetic field continues to weaken indicates the importance of fixing the forests as you have discussed in your blogs. Without this it seems as if the unrealistically large amount of greenhouse gasses that was assumed in the simulation might possibly turn out to be an underestimate.

      I realize now that it also might appear that I was saying that a strong polar vortex is related only to how cold it is in the Arctic and that I'm not aware that a strong polar vortex can also be related to warmth in the lower latitudes since this can also increase temperature contrast and that there are many other influences on the strength of the polar vortex. To the extent that a strong polar vortex is more often related to cooling in the Arctic as is always the case in the Antarctic, it seems as if when the polar vortex weakens later after its strength has largely resulted from cooling in the Arctic this would tend to also result in cold temperatures in the upper atmosphere at lower latitudes later into the spring. With temperatures in the upper atmosphere being related to the position of the jet stream and the snow level in the Cascades, could the trend for the polar vortex to be stronger in late winter possibly be related to at least some degree to later melt-out dates in the Cascades?

      Delete
    3. David, I don't know... sounds like several dubious connections. All I can say is, first, I don't think the sun burns me and faster than it used to, and second, there is very little warming radiation of any kind in the arctic in the late fall.

      As for the stressed (and therefore flammable) trees, I understand that there are two main culprits in the NW United States: Longer summer dry spells, which are probably due to global warming; and second, the pine beetle and related pests, which were formerly kept in check by harsher winters. Global warming again.

      Delete
  22. Cliff, people call you climate denier because every piece you write on the topic of climate change takes the form "here's how the media overreacts to and misattributes climate change". Your body of work can and is easily used by actual deniers to argue that we should just keep doing what we're doing, and drive our kids right off the cliff.

    Are you ever going to do a piece celebrating what the media gets right about climate change? Use your platform to encourage people to help prevent it or at least get ready?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim....people are wrong to call me a denier....senseless name calling and particularly wrong since it tries to use terminology of the Holocaust. The media is massively misinforming the public on climate change...which IS a serious issue. I have written many blogs on what I think society should be doing...such as fixing the forests and working on adaptation. Please review my blogs....cliff

      Delete
  23. 15,000 years ago Seattle was under 2000 feet of glacier. It has been getting warmer ever since and not because of greenhouse emissions. So many stupid people with an agenda.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks (as always) for another clear, informative, and important look at the weather, and the climate.

    ReplyDelete

Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

Big Winds, Heavy Rain, and Now Thunderstorms

  Nearly 100,000  Washington State  power  customers lost power last night as strong winds first hit Northwest Washington and then spread ac...