According to NOAA, Minnesota's frost-free season is 9 days longer now than it was from 1901 to 1960. It's 21 days longer in LA, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.
A warmer, wetter atmosphere is spiking winter snows as well as summer T-storms. Tell that to residents of Rapid City, where they just went from a 3-4 foot blizzard to 70s in 48 hours.<p>On Tuesday I spoke to the St. Paul Public Works, the men & women who service 863 miles of streets, 806 miles of sanitary sewers & 60 city-owned bridges.
I showed them the trends: more intense summer rains, higher summer dewpoints, more midwinter ice & rain and a potentially longer freeze-thaw cycle that may spawn ever-larger potholes. One manager approached me after my talk. "We're seeing evidence of more extremes. It'll be quiet for weeks and then all heck breaks loose. It makes staffing up almost impossible" he said.
Infrastructure designed in the 20th century will get a work-out in the 21st. Resilience is more than a passing fad.
70s linger into Friday, when a passing shower marks the arrival of October reality. Nothing bitter is in sight, but a light frost in the outer suburbs Monday gives way to steadier rain by Tuesday of next week.
Dear Mr. Douglas,
Again I want to thank you for your presentation today. I personally feel your data spoke for itself. Being an agency that responds to the events mother nature throws our way I can personally say that we have experienced the greater extremes of the weather events you have discussed. We will have intense snow storms followed by weeks of nothing. In 2010-11 season we declared nine snow emergencies contrast that with 2011-12 where we declared 1. We are also noticing 1” rainfalls, and occasionally 2”, as becoming more common than in the past.
As this phenomena continues it will make it harder for our agency to staff accordingly and meet our resident’s needs. In winter for example, if we staff to handle the big storms in a reasonable amount of time It means we will be over staffed for the “drought times”. Likewise if we staff for the “less snow times” It will take us longer to dig out of the heavy snows – which most likely brings complaints and its host of issues as our customers are not as patient as they used to be when I was growing up. They seem to have forgotten it snows in Minnesota.
Again thank you for the great presentation. Its News I can use.
John P. Maczko, PE, PTOE
Saint Paul Public Works
* details on Minnesota's first Climate Adaptation Conference coming up on November 9 at the St. Paul Science Museum below.
* The average length of the growing season in the contiguous 48 states has increased by nearly two weeks since the beginning of the 20th century. A particularly large and steady increase occurred over the last 30 years.
* The length of the growing season has increased more rapidly in the West than in the East. In the West, the length of the growing season has increased at the average rate of about 22 days per century since 1895, compared with a rate of about eight days per century in the East.
Photo credit above: "This aerial photo shows flood damage in Greeley Colo. during a helicopter tour by Vice President Joe Biden, Gov. John Hickenlooper, and FEMA officials, of flood-ravaged areas, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Kathryn Scott Osler, Pool).
Photo credit above: Los Angeles Times.
* ESPN has more on what the NFL knew about the concussion risk, and when they knew it here.
Photo credit above: molsoncanadian.ca
* photo above: Chris Terzich, taken near Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
* the actual paper (fairly technical but fascinating) is here, courtesy of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Photo credit above: AP Photo/The Washington Post, Linda Davidson, Pool.
First, isn’t the science too uncertain to act? No. Over the past five years, the scientific consensus has concluded resolutely that human emissions of greenhouse gases are heating the planet and will continue to do so. There is uncertainty over the rate of warming and the effect of feedback mechanisms, especially clouds, so future climate and weather conditions can only be thought of in terms of potential scenarios. Yet investors are trained to make decisions around a range of outcomes..." (Photo credit above: AP).
Photo credit above: "Copenhagen faces particular danger as sea levels rise and superstorms hit coastal areas with greater frequency." Photograph: Kontraframe.