Climate Change Brings Early Harsh Weather to South Dakota
There's a good reason that we talk about "climate change" now more so than "global warming" — the warming of the planet does indeed cause heat waves and wildfires, but it also leads to worse, less predictable winter weather.
The Tin Foil Hat Brigade loves to focus on a particularly cold day and argue that it's proof that global warming isn't real. Of course a frigid day does not describe the historical trend of temperatures any more than one tree describes the forest. There is a difference between the weather and the climate.
Climate change produces more extreme weather, including hurricanes AND snowstorms. Just ask the people of South Dakota, who are buried under several feet of snow in early October. The storm is a record for both the amount that has fallen there in a 24-hour period, and in the entire month of October.
Scientists are not surprised by this. What they have documented is that the globe is warming, causing Arctic ice to melt and for the ocean waters to warm. The heat from the warmer Arctic Ocean creates a high pressure system that pushes the cold Arctic air down across the United States in a new "Arctic corridor", leading to more winter storms.
Expect to see more such oddly timed storms as carbon emissions and global temperatures rise. And expect to see elected officials adding chin straps to their tin foil hats, to keep them from blowing off during a winter storm.
Photo from The Weather Channel.