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Snow & Ice Conditions => Snow & Ice Conditions - United States => Northeast => : southcove April 24, 2017, 01:02:22 PM

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: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: southcove April 24, 2017, 01:02:22 PM
Was reading and thinking about a post Moondog made about all of us having a real winter again, next year.  Maybe.

Collected some notes from some publications I was reading recently.   

For instance.   According to the "Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies", between 1975 and 2005 average temperatures increased by 2.1 degrees in February, 2.3 degrees in January and 3.4 degrees in December.

Lake Champlain froze about two weeks later than it did in the early 1800s and about 9 days later than just year 1900.  The lake froze over all but three years in the 1900s, now in the last 40 years, according to a Nature Conservancy report, the lake has frozen only about 50% of those years.

Park temperatures routinely dipped into the -30F and lower, with only one or two warm ups/thaws during the season.  Now those temperatures are much more rare and the thaws much more frequent.   Places that thrive and depend on snow, like Old Forge (and snowmobilers and their trail permits and spending in town) have seen lots less snow (this year) fewer trail permits sold, fewer hotel beds rented, restaurant patronage down,  lower sales tax revenues, etc.  One year permits and registrations by the snowmachine crowd were off by 30%.    According to a newsletter stories from NYS Snowmobilers Association

Anecdotally I can relate to some of that during my winter journeys north to the ADK park since 1980 or so.  The number of times that I chose not to travel up because of extreme temperature conditions has dropped tremendously.  Now, my travel tends to be dictated by no snow, no ice or slush...or rain. 

While downhill ski areas have really upped the ante with computerized automated snow making equipment, us rather low tech winter camper guys have to make do with what we find on the ground and lakes.

Climate change, whether you are a believer in the man-made component of it or not, is real.  How we adopt and adapt will be the real boots on the ground story for the majority of us.

My brothers up in Alaska have talked for years about a general 'softening' of the winters up there, that includes all the way to the Arctic Ocean, where both have spent plenty of time.   

(Climate change) Even in Alaska, huh?!  Go figure.
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Bioguide April 24, 2017, 06:45:41 PM
That is sad stuff...
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: kinguq April 24, 2017, 09:03:17 PM
Even in Alaska? More so in Alaska... I lived in the Arctic for about 2 decades and the changes there were easily discernible over that time scale. Later freeze-up of sea ice, closer ice edge, earlier ice-out, thaws in the late fall and early spring. The Arctic is changing faster than just about anywhere else.

I try to be a climate activist, but I have to admit to feeling pretty hopeless about the whole thing in the last few months. The changes are obvious to anyone who cares to look. The probable cause is obvious to anyone who cares to look at the research. The solutions are out there. But I fear that we are not up to the task of making the changes we need. Not before too much damage is done. And even then, there are those who will say that there is too much uncertainty to take action.

I love winter. I love the snow and the cold. Guess I'll just have to keep moving north.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Moondog55 May 01, 2017, 10:14:46 PM
Winters here are not getting much warmer but thay are getting shorter and the intensity of the Southern winds is increasing
This is completely in accord with most of the climate modelling I have seen.
But when you are talking about as flat a place as Australia a small  degree of warming means snow fall height will be above the peaks soon and no more skiing in Australia in a very short time, perhaps as short as 5 years maybe ten
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: snobdds May 02, 2017, 09:42:42 PM
Climate change has been taking place since the earth was formed.  If it wasn't for climate cycles, Earth would be a far different place.  It just depends on when your alive and the point of the cycle you live in.  100 years of geologic time is nothing, that perspective is lost in the teachings of geology today.  I have seen real studies that in the US 95% of particulats and co2 have been eliminated.  That last 5% is the costliest and hardest to eliminate.  We can regulate ourselves to death, but in the end mother nature always in charge.
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: kinguq May 03, 2017, 05:32:41 PM
I realize that this is not a climate change forum, and that the moderator may choose to cut this thread short, but I made a resolution not to let erroneous assertions about climate change go unanswered.

First of all, your assertion that climate has changed in the past, therefore present changes must be natural, is logically inconsistent. Just because climate changed in the past does not mean that the current, rapid changes are not the result of human activity.

Natural cycles such as volcanism, solar variation, orbital cycles etc. simply cannot explain the current warming, and this has been examined in depth by many scientists. In contrast the current warming is well explained by increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, almost all of which is due to human activity.

Your assertion that 95% of CO2 emissions have been eliminated in the US is simply false.

Finally, don't take my word for any of this. Look at the literature without preconceptions, and reach your own conclusions. But be prepared to back them up and don't expect to make assertions like this unchallenged.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Bothwell Voyageur May 03, 2017, 07:52:59 PM
kinguq, many thanks for posting that rebuttal.

Unfortunately continued misinformation and selective interpretation of facts by corporately sponsored interest groups is much easier to accept than being told we have really screwed up the planet.

I read a few days ago on the IISD blog that the folks at the Experimental Lakes Area have recorded that time of ice cover at their reference lake is declining by a mean rate of 4.5 days per decade since the station was set up. Probably a good thing for the fish but not for anyone or anything that relies upon the ice to get around.
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: snobdds May 03, 2017, 10:31:06 PM
Earth has been warming and cooling in cycles going back to our ability to measure them.  It's naive to think earth needs to be in a constant weather pattern to thrive...that goes against past measured data.  To not see that omits past historical data points. 

With tier 4 emissions standards and caps on particulate and co2 levels in industry...that's 95% of fossil fuel emissions.  Methane emissions are a totally different ballgame.  I haven't seen an invention yet to capture cow farts.  Eliminating cows is not an option. 

Yes were in a warming cycle... which will lead to a cooling cycle.  Just how it goes.
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: kinguq May 04, 2017, 08:36:50 AM
As is unfortunately my common experience in these discussions, it appears you did not read and/or understand the material I provided, but chose merely to repeat your arguments. And this is why I am so pessimistic on this issue: people just don't respond to facts and reason, but simply hold on to their cherished beliefs in the face of all evidence.

With regard to your point about emissions, you are simply making up facts. Back them up. Referring to vehicle emissions, the present standards (which will likely be abandoned by the current government) are expected to "result in an average industry fleetwide level of 163 grams/mile of carbon dioxide (CO2) in model year 2025, which is equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) (if achieved exclusively through fuel economy improvements)". This is hardly a 95% drop in emissions.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Bothwell Voyageur May 04, 2017, 09:57:43 AM
The Guardian in the UK has some of the best mainstream journalism relating to climate change with some good articles that make much of the science far more accessible (

note that they have an environment section whereas the CBC has "Technology and Science" and is usually filled with stories about smartphones!

Folk may also be interested in this graphic about why people defend their core beliefs (

The same factors are currently at play in the discussions re. asylum seekers crossing the border from the USA into Canada, part of the idea of a "post facts world" I'm afraid.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: southcove May 04, 2017, 11:10:20 AM
With the current administration in the US rolling back auto and industrial emissions requirements, attempting to gut the EPA, promoting coal mining and defunding alternative energy subsidies like wind power and solar...what does the future hold and why is the potential of cleaner air, better public health, cleaner water and less industrial pollution so alarming to so many folks...???

Just big business, the cost of changing technology or do people just not care about environmental pollution or it's impact upon them, their families, their grandchildren???  (see how much of the LA basin smog problems were largely cured in the 1970's starting with the federal and state emission requirements for cars only!  Huge success!)  Trucks have largely escaped almost any emission regulations because of the strong lobby on their behalf.

Here in CT, while we have been pact to some agreements to try and limit wind borne pollution from midwest power plants (we historically have some of the highest asthma rates in the nation), the state EPA is a joke, as far as enforcement and correction of issues. 
One recent polluter was found to have exceeded water emissions of a very toxic chemical by 2300% - yet there was no active enforcement, corrections or fines, just negotiations and the CEO of the manufacturing company defended his business as a 'good neighbor'  (source:  Hartford Courant).

We have a diesel truck repair shop next door.  Sometimes the emissions are so bad (trucks idling for hours) that my coworker here starts to wheeze and leaves work early.  A call to the state resulted in the advice that we should contact the repair business and try to resolve the issue between us... you could see a heavy smog of diesel emissions hanging in every direction for 500' or so...

There are so many facets of our transportation & industrial machinery that are seemingly unregulated - has anyone seen the dense smoke pall when a cruise ship(s) is sitting in port running its huge gen sets for a day or so...go to Haines or Juneau Alaska for a big dose of that in your face. (as a for instance)

And cows (LOL, some things you can't really change or regulate, but so many that could be done, common sense, that are not)...

It's discouraging.  Clean air, clean water should be a right, not a priviledge and not something subject to political whim.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Bioguide May 04, 2017, 01:34:42 PM
It's discouraging.  Clean air, clean water should be a right, not a priviledge and not something subject to political whim.

Well said Southcove...BV, and Kinguq. It is unfortunate that our human footprint is so devastating to the environment.
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Undersky May 04, 2017, 11:20:00 PM
" ...human footprint is so devastating..." states Bioguide.

These stats may be "devastation" defined:

In the 1500s, humanity used about 13 trillion calories per day; today humanity consumes about 1,500 trillion calories per day. In these last 500 years human population has increased about 14-fold while energy consumption has increased 115-fold!

Today, our 7-billion humans have a weight of over 300 million tons, and all of our domesticated animals weight about 700 million tons, while the weight of all living wild animals, porcupine-sized and larger, have a weight of less than 100 million tons.

We have about 1.5 billion cattle and 400,000 dogs, but have left alive only about 200,000 wolves and 250,000 chimpanzees worldwide! Oh yes, and 7.4 billion humans.

With our huge numbers we have taken over the world in so many ways; we'd be devastating the planet even if we tiptoed through the natural ecology we have left.

We can argue without end about the extent of human-caused climate change, yet it is difficult to refute these numbers and the impacts we are having simply because we are so many and our populations have grown so much, while Earth's resources are finite and being used up.

[  above concepts from isbn: 978-0-7710-3852-5 (html)  ]
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: wooley May 05, 2017, 07:44:35 AM
Well, it took 7+ years for this fine community to devolve into all of the rest out there.

Thank you all for the Wintertrekking knowledge given these past 7 years but, I am going to have to move on.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Soledad May 05, 2017, 12:54:03 PM
I am sorry to see you leave.  This conversation has been very civil, especially compared to other forums that I frequent.  I do think that this is a valid conversation for winter enthusiasts to have since global warming does have an impact on this sport. 

I have resisted getting involved in the current thread, because I doubt I can change anyone's mind on the matter.  People are going to believe what they want based on the facts that suit them.

There is much more to this forum than this particular thread, I hope you reconsider.
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: snobdds May 05, 2017, 10:32:27 PM
If this topic makes people quit, then I guess we'll all just have to stay in our separate corners. 

But since this assumption was asked for...

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: ffdjm May 06, 2017, 01:36:29 AM
The trend to warmer winters is a fit topic for this forum. I just started my fifth decade in Fairbanks Alaska. Now I know that all that time I spent in the cold was a wonderful thing. I remember the time I drove dogs the first week in October. This winter the first serious snow storm was 29 December. The state government thinks anthropogenic global warming is a good thing. We do know that there were once dinosaurs in Alaska. If Alaska is headed for that warm a climate the boreal forest is doomed.

I am glad to have lived when I did.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Moondog55 May 08, 2017, 01:34:39 AM
Sorry to see you go Woolley but  I would have thought we winter campers would be the last to deny anthropgenic warming. And you can stop cow farts, you simply vaccinate and inocculate  the cows against the methanogens in their gut, if you do this they actually eat less as a side benefit
Personally I am saddened but I give us all less than 50 years until extinction We passed the tipping point about 3 years ago
Of course all the rich people could leave and live at Prime 1 or 2 at the La Grange points if they start building quickly
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Soledad May 08, 2017, 09:41:32 AM
The majority of Methane produced by cows does not come from farts.
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Undersky May 08, 2017, 05:32:54 PM
Discussions that include varied opinions are the best ones; otherwise we're just patting each other's backs and not getting anywhere.

Woolley, I too am sorry to see you go. While it's true that most people change their minds very slowly, I still believe that it is respectful and open conversations like these that give people the information with which they can keep, or change, their minds. We just need to keep from being personal or aggressive, and keep as open as we hope others will be when we are considering ideas that differ from our current beliefs. I wish this did not seem like backward step to you, Mike.

I'll read these posts carefully.

Sources are always important to note, as are timelines and the purposes of graphs.

In the reference you give, Snobdds, the graphic appears to be a John Deere interpretation of gov regulations and targets from 2012.

Do you think it represents actual measurements of particulates in 2017?

If this information does actually foretell a reduction in real emissions, then great! I am sure we all agree that emissions reductions can't hurt, and may help reduce the anthropogenic aspects of greenhouse induced climate change in our future. 
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: snobdds May 08, 2017, 06:00:46 PM
John Deere has a huge stake, as do all makes of vehicles that have combustion engines, in the US marketplace.  The two most dangerous emissions and those that the EPA strictly enforces is CO2 and Particulate matter.  John Deere is subject to the same standards as Ford, Chevy, etc.  Tier 4 is the reality we live in today.

Just to prove how clean diesels and gas motors are these days, go run your finger at the end of a tail pipe of a new diesel.  There will be no soot at all.  Since 2014, engines and power plant emissions are producing a mere fraction of what they use to.  That is good.  However, what is done in the past is done.  We can't go back, only forward. 

Mother nature has been dealing with warming and cooling cycles for centuries, backed by actual data.  We should not put ourselves into a corner with a mind set that temperatures are only going to increase, because the data of the last decade or so has the earth cooling currently.  That is why the term global warming has been changed to climate change as the warming theory was not accurate.  Just remember, a constant global temperature and weather pattern is not necessarily a good thing.  Change is good...
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: kinguq May 08, 2017, 06:58:17 PM
Well, I really wanted to leave this alone, because I don't think this topic is entirely relevant for this forum. Perhaps our moderator could weigh in on this. However, as I mentioned, I refuse to let statements like this stand unchallenged.

As far as I can tell, EPA Teir 4 standards apply to diesel engines only. Not only that, they apply to only stationary (e.g. power generation) and non-road (e.g. farm vehicles) applications of diesel engines. They do not apply to transport applications of diesel, the largest source of emissions, or to non-diesel engines at all. They regulate emissions of particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx) primarily. As far as I can see, they do not regulate CO2 emissions at all. With such limited application and scope, I don't see how they are even relevant to the topic of climate change. A good description here

It must be remembered that carbon emissions are entirely correlated to fuel consumption with internal combustion engines, because the fuel is largely composed of carbon. Therefore fuel efficiency standards serve largely to limit carbon emissions. I already provided a link to the EPA standards to limit carbon emissions, and here it is again:

As I also mentioned, these standards will hardly result in any dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. And it is likely that even these will be abandoned by the current US government.

Regarding the comments about past variation in climate, no one disputes that climate has changed in the past. And here I must ask a question: Do you actually believe that climate scientists don't know this? That you are telling them something new? That they don't consider natural variation in climate models? Because if you do, you are wrong. I provided a number of references on this very topic in a previous post, and see no need to repeat them here since you obviously didn't look at them.

Regarding your claim that warming has paused, and that the climate is presently cooling, this is false. This claim is based on cherry-picked data and faulty statistical analysis. The so-called pause claim is largely the result of cherry picking your starting year. So, you might say that “the climate hasn’t warmed since 1998,” I can respond with, “the climate has warmed since 1999.” . Also it results from using only parts of the global temperature dataset. There is a detailed explanation of this here. .  NASA says that 2016 was the warmest year on record.  It was the third record year in a row. Sixteen of 17 of the warmest years have occurred since 2001. Doesn't sound like cooling to me.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: rbinhood May 08, 2017, 08:50:14 PM
kinguq, you can save the science because people are going to believe what they want to believe. This is largely an emotion driven debate. Once a person's mind has been made up, they are unlikely to consider opposing points of view.

I believe the earth is warming due to man made influence. Like you, I read and study the science, and all of it concerns me. I think we are rushing towards a tipping point, and once we pass it, there will be a series of environmental collapses. Once that happens, it will be too late, yet all of the naysayers may still deny that man has destroyed the planet. Kind of like the Titanic sinking, there will be those left floating in the ocean, still arguing that the ship is unsinkable, even as they are dying from hypothermia and drowning.

In my opinion, this topic is relevant to this forum. We may see in our lifetimes a complete absence of Winter as we have come to know it. Without Winter, there will be no Wintertrekking. We may all do our own small part in avoiding this catastrophe. Then again, we may not. The choice is ours, and the debate is healthy, and ours to take up. If we ignore the obvious, and don't even talk about it in places like this, nothing will change.
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: snobdds May 08, 2017, 09:05:12 PM
Tier 4 emissions applies to any engine above 25 horsepower.  That's gas, diesel, over the road, off-road etc.  Carbon emissions is a catch all phrase , but the two big ones is co2 and particulate matter...and to a lesser extent nitrous oxide. 

All numbers should be viewed with skepticism, in fact John Deere says tier 4 reduces emissions by 99%.  The data I see puts it closer to 95%.  I don't typically use numbers to make a case because I can make any set of numbers work in my favor.  I think a theoretical discussion, in this context, keeps the debate civil. 

The point I'm making is, our historical view of carbon emissions being the problem still today, is no longer true.  Specifically for us in the us and Canada.  Our biggest problem now is methane gas, which after 30 years of research, has no solution in sight.   Methane is a natural byproduct of decomposition​, which has been happening since single cell organisms were formed, and we're still fine.  In the 80's, climate scientists had most convinced the seas would rise and displace 2/3 of Earth's population by now.  Amnesia of the past facts seems to not have a guiding principle on current reasoning. 
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: Moondog55 May 08, 2017, 09:22:15 PM
We know about the methane, I was hoping tht the carbon debate would slow or stop overall global warming enough to stop the catastrophic release of billions of tonnes of trapped methane clathrate, it is the elephant in the room the scepticts refuse to talk about
In my lifetime I have seen the medaan snowline rise by 200 metres, another 200 metres and there will be no snow worth talking about here.
In the 100 years before I was born it rose only 100 metres from 1850 levels
When all that methane hits the atmosphere we have about 3 years left if we are lucky
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: kinguq May 08, 2017, 09:43:10 PM
Snobdds, I don't know you or your level of expertise on this matter. Therefore, if you are going to convey what you contend to be factual information about Teir 4 or anything else, you are going to have to back it up with a reference, just as I have done. Otherwise I have nothing further to contribute.

: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: snobdds May 08, 2017, 10:04:27 PM
Google isn't broken, the topic deserves more than a link.  Do yourself a favor and read up on it from a source you trust.   Otherwise we get into the weeds and that's never good.  Don't trust me, find out for yourself
: Re: Is the "New Reality" now here in the NE USA?
: HOOP May 08, 2017, 10:54:36 PM
Hi folks,
Great discussion on weather and climate, which affects the snow and ice we all love here at discussion is now drifting to national and international politics.   :)   Because we do not have an environmental or political forum here, the thread is now locked.