New NWF Report Details Climate Change’s Impacts on Winter Weather

Many areas are seeing bigger & more intense snowstorms. Winter storm tracks are shifting northward. And spring now arrives 10-14 days earlier than it did just 20 years ago.

As the Washington Post reports today, it’s all part of the National Wildlife Federation’s new report on how climate change is impacting winter weather:

The study charts how climate change is linked to more heavy precipitation, including intense snowstorms like the one that blanketed the D.C. area last month. The Great Lakes region is also experiencing more snow, the report says, because during warmer winters, “the lakes are less likely to freeze over or are freezing later [and] surface water evaporation is recharging the atmosphere with moisture.”

Richard Somerville, who was a lead writer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report, said the public needs to grasp that it is important to reduce carbon dioxide quickly because it stays in the atmosphere for centuries.

“That’s where the scientific urgency comes from, not a particular weather event,” Somerville said. “There’s a scientific case for rapidly reducing emissions.”

As the Senate prepares to consider clean energy & climate legislation, your Senators need to hear from you. Please take a moment right now to email your Senators and ask them to support strong action to protect future generations of Americans, America’s wildlife, and our wild places from the worst effects of global warming.

Dr. Amanda Staudt, National Wildlife Federation climate scientist, was the report’s lead author. Watch her discuss the report:

You can read the full report at NWF’s Extreme Weather page.

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Published: January 28, 2010