Joe Romm of ThinkProgress points out that scientists believe that the finger of blame has already been pointed at climate change when it comes to the size of storms hitting the mid-Atlantic and New England coastal regions.
"Another epic blizzard is bearing down on New England. There is a “big part” played by “human-induced climate change,” especially warming-fueled ocean temperatures, according to Dr. Kevin Trenberth, former head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
I asked Dr. Trenberth to comment on the role climate change has on this latest storm, which is forecast to set records. He explained:
The number 1 cause of this is that it is winter. In winter it is cold over the continent. But it is warm over the oceans and the contrast between the cold continent and the warm Gulf Stream and surrounding waters is increasing. At present sea surface temperatures are more the 2F above normal over huge expanses (1000 miles) off the east coast and water vapor in the atmosphere is about 10% higher as a result. About half of this can be attributed to climate change.
Before this latest storm, we’ve seen a long-term pattern of more extreme precipitation, particularly in New England winters. Climate scientists had long predicted this would happen in a warming world.
But Mr. Romm, this doesn't sound logical. Global warming leads to more blizzards?
Homer Simpson expresses this frustration better than anyone, I think:
Simpsons take on Global Warming from Jørgen Larsen on Vimeo.
Let me add one personal note, as someone who had the pleasure of spending the last week in New York City. Blizzards in New York can be fun!
Without overlooking the risks, I hope some people in the region can enjoy this rare time when Mother Nature takes over and asserts herself with the quieting and beautifying powers of snow.