A Siberian Clue?
If we're knee-deep in snow come January - blame (or thank) Siberia. Everyone is looking for clues, short-cuts to the proverbial question: "What will our winter be like? Snowier? Colder? Go ahead, throw a few darts, Paul. Good luck!"
Bloomberg just ran a story about Judah Cohen, a forecaster at Atmosphere and Environmental Research in Massachusetts. He says a good predictor of U.S. winter snowfall is autumn snows over Asia and Siberia. More snow than average can nudge the atmosphere into a colder, stormier, negative phase of the AO, the Arctic Oscillation.
Looking at the data, some of our snowiest winters correlate with unusually snowy autumns in Novosibirsk, Siberia. Go figure. For the record: September saw 911,000 square miles of snow cover across northern Europe & Asia; 57 percent more than usual. The system is not foolproof, but snow lovers should take heart.
We top 50F today, the atmosphere warm enough for weekend rain; maybe a coating of slush Sunday night as temperatures tumble. A chilly start to the work week gives rise to more 40s, maybe 50F next Thursday, before more Canadian leakage.
The ECMWF is hinting at snow one week from tomorrow. Thanksgiving is sneaking up. What can possibly go wrong?
* image above courtesy of NASA.
Graphic credit above: Climate Central, NOAA NCDC.
Photo credit above: "On June 6, 2010, lightning ignited the Medano Fire in Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. By the time this image was taken on June 23, more than 5,000 acres had burned." ©UCAR. Photo by David Hosansky.
Yesterday: National Hole Punch Day! For an explanation on how these form click here.
Image credit above: "In this photo taken on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 and provided by Olympictorch2014.com, an Olympic torch bearer holds an Olympic torch during the torch relay in Anadyr, a port town and the administrative center of Chukotka, Russia. The relay for the Sochi Winter Games, which began on Oct. 7 2013 in Moscow, will pass through many cities that showcase the historical, cultural and ethnic richness of Russia." (AP Photo/Olympictorch2014.com).
— Reduce Subsidies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, $19 billion
— Reduce Social Security Benefits for New Beneficiaries by 15 Percent, $188 billion
— Raise tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends: $53.4 billion
— Impose a Tax on Emissions of Greenhouse Gases, $1.1 trillion
— Increase the Excise Tax on Cigarettes by 50 Cents per Pack, $37 billion..."
* have a little extra time on your hands? The entire 300+ page PDF from the CBO, the Congressional Business Office, is here.
“All of the warmest years have been since 1998, and this year once again continues the underlying, long-term trend. The coldest years now are warmer than the hottest years before 1998." - Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization, BBC
Photo credit above: "A typhoon victim carries a bag of relief goods she received as she stands among ruins in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013. The official death toll for Tacloban rose to 2,000 Thursday, six days after the city was largely destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan." (Jes Aznar/The New York Times).
New Interactive Tool Helps Track Earth's Forests. We need those forests to soak up carbon dioxide and generate oxygen - here's an excerpt of a story at The New York Times: "...By providing a record of changes in forested areas across the globe, the tool can be used to help track threats to biodiversity, the effectiveness of policies that protect forest areas and the release of carbon long tied up in trees and other organic material, among other forest health issues. Trees absorb carbon dioxide for use in photosynthesis, serving as one of the most effective natural tools to remove the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere..."
* the new interactive forest-tracking tool is here. Plug in your zip code and see if nearby forests have expanded or contracted close to home. Courtesy: University of Maryland and Google. Image credit above: "Results from time-series analysis of 654,178 Landsat images in characterizing forest extent and change, 2000–2012. Trees are defined as all vegetation taller than 5m in height and are expressed as a percentage per output grid cell as ‘2000 Percent Tree Cover’. ‘Forest Loss’ is defined as a stand-replacement disturbance, or a change from a forest to non-forest state. ‘Forest Gain’ is defined as the inverse of loss, or a non-forest to forest change entirely within the study period. ‘Forest Loss Year’ is a disaggregation of total ‘Forest Loss’ to annual time scales."
Why Would Anyone Want To Be The Next Al Gore? The National Journal has the story (and video); here's the introduction: "When Sheldon Whitehouse makes his 50th climate speech on the Senate floor this week, he'll likely face a deserted chamber. Climate change is about as dead a political platform as you can find these days, something most politicians will go to great lengths to avoid. But the Rhode Island Democrat is intent on making it his issue, even if it seems like he's talking to himself week after week. Does it feel lonely, being the only one up there talking about it? "Yeah, absolutely," Whitehouse said. "What's frustrating about feeling lonely is that I think this is an issue that we would win, in that the American public would win, if we simply put our minds to it, put our attention to it and took it up..."