Have We Entered a Period of Global Cooling?Global warming conference participant says reduced sunspot activity may cause extreme cold fatalities and mass starvation. At the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change on May 17, Professor Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University warned that the climate is headed for a period of cooling. He told the Chicago gathering of hundreds of scientists and policy professionals that there are three possibilities of cooling, examples of which we’ve seen within the last 200 years. “I think that there’s three possibilities that we’re headed for,” Easterbrook said. “One is cooling similar to 1945-1977 — about a half degree. Not really all that bad. Perhaps something similar to the cold period of 1880-1915, to perhaps the Dalton Minimum, which would be even colder.”
The Dalton Minimum, named after the English meteorologist John Dalton, was a period of low solar activity lasting from about 1790 to 1830 that resulted in a two-degree drop in global temperature. Easterbrook explained that any significant drop — from a half-degree to two degrees — would have a much worse impact on human civilization than global warming.“Impacts of global cooling are unfortunately worse than they are for global warming,” Easterbrook said. “The good news is that global warming is over for several decades. The bad news is that its going to be worse than global warming would have been because twice as many people are killed by extreme cold than extreme heat. We’ll have a decrease in food production. It’s already happening in various parts of the world.”
- Scientist: Global Cooling is the Real Crisis, Business & Media Institute, May 17, 2010
AP – Transportation officials lined up snow plows and utilities prepared for the worst as a blizzard crept towards the Midwest Monday. Forecasters said the storm could drop up to an inch of freezing rain and warned of high winds, whiteout conditions and snow drifts that might reach 10 feet in parts of the region.
The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to march from the Rockies through much of the Plains and Midwest, hitting the area particularly hard on Tuesday and Wednesday, before making its way to the East Coast. Bitterly cold temperatures are forecast in the wake of the storm.
Early Monday, freezing drizzle made roads slick in northwest Missouri, causing cars to slide off highways in Buchanan County and prompting authorities to cancel classes at public and private schools in the area. Freezing rain and fog led to some flight delays Sunday at the airport in Rapid City, South Dakota.
At Edele and Mertz Hardware just a few blocks from the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, patrons were lined up at 7 a.m. waiting for the store to open. Snow shovels were big sellers, but worker Steve Edele said ice melt and salt were flying out the door.
"'Freaking out' is a great way of putting it," Edele said. "The icing — that's what scares people."Chicago and Milwaukee are expected to be particularly hard-hit as the week progresses. The weather service issued a blizzard watch for Tuesday and Wednesday for southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and northwest Indiana and forecasters said snowfall totals could reach up to 2 feet in some areas.
The weather service said the heavy snowfall combined with high winds could create whiteout conditions, particularly on Tuesday night into Wednesday, making driving extremely dangerous in some areas. Snow drifts of 5 feet to 10 feet are possible. The service said winds on Tuesday could reach up to 60 mph in open areas and near Lake Michigan.
Once the storm has moved through, the weather service said wind chills as cold as 40 degrees below zero could hit parts of North Dakota, South Dakota and other parts of the Midwest.
In St. Louis and throughout Missouri, residents were bracing for the worst, with forecasters calling for a particularly hazardous and potentially deadly mix: The storm was expected to hit in full force Tuesday with up to an inch of ice, followed by 3-4 inches of sleet, then perhaps a half-foot of snow or more.
If that wasn't bad enough, low temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday night were expected to reach zero or worse, and winds could howl at up to 40 mph.
After burying the Midwest, the storm was expected to sweep into the Northeast, parts of which are already on track for record snowfall this winter. In New Hampshire, where pedestrians have been forced to walk in the street in some places because of piled-up snow, crews rushed to remove it before a new foot or so fell on the state.
By Monday morning, much of the Midwest was still mostly dry with some scattered reports of freezing drizzle and relatively light snowfall. Nevertheless, several schools closed or were shutting down early based on the forecast.
The St. Louis-based utility company Ameren opened its emergency operations center amid worries that the weight of the ice and snow could duplicate a severe crisis in 2006, when an ice storm downed thousands of trees and power lines. Parts of southeast Missouri were left without electricity for more than a week.
Ameren officials say they're not waiting for the storm to hit. The utility has six 53-foot "Storm Trailers" that can be dispatched to trouble spots. The 53-foot trailers are stocked with wire, poles, and hardware to repair damaged lines and facilities.
The Missouri Department of Transportation had 400 workers and 200 vehicles at the ready in the St. Louis area, with plans to get the interstates and major thoroughfares cleared first.
Power Outages Throughout Area; Over 300,000 Homes without Power; People Stuck in Traffic for 5-6 Hours; Multiple Collisions and Stranded/Abandoned Vehicles
January 26, 2011
NBC Washington - Heavy rain quickly turned to heavy snow this afternoon, making a mess of the evening rush hour throughout the region, according to NBC Washington chief meteorologist Doug Kammerer.
"Thundersleet" and "thundersnow" were reported across northern Virginia at about 3:30 p.m., as the cold air began mixing with the moisture. There were early reports of up to 4 inches of snow in Round Hill, Va., by 4 p.m., and snow has since covered the ground in the D.C. region. NBC Washington's Pat Collins measured an unofficial 6 inches of snow in Germantown, Md., before 7 p.m.
Winter storm warnings have been issued for the Washington area until 4 a.m. Thursday. Click here for the latest alerts.
Federal government employees were told to leave two hours early in anticipation of the storm.
Many of those who didn't get out early may still be stuck in traffic. Many area roadways are like parking lots this evening, and because the streets are so crowded, trucks and plows don't have much room to maneuver and clear the snow. Motorists have complained of commutes of several hours.
David Gregory, host of "Meet the Press," left his car at the studio in northwest D.C. and jogged home in the storm. He said traffic on Nebraska and Foxhall and other streets near American University was at a standstill.
Metro said it would beging pulling buses off the streets at 9:30 p.m. because of the treacherous driving conditions. Most other local bus services planed to start to pull their buses off the streets at 9 p.m., including Alexandria’s DASH, Arlington’s ART, Fairfax Connector, DC Circulator, PRTC, Fairfax City CUE, and Montgomery County’s RIDE ON.
Power outages, of course, have been reported in the area. Just before 7 p.m., Pepco President Thomas Graham reported about 27,000 customers without power in Montgomery County, 1,000 in Prince George's County and 7,200 in D.C.
Dominion Energy said more than 46,000 customers are without power Wednesday night, mostly in northern Virginia, the Associated Press reported.
This is a two-part storm; the first part was an area of low pressure that developed off the Atlantic seaboard, according to NBC Washington meteorologist Tom Kierein. It combined with an upper level disturbance that moved across the area, strengthening rapidly and drawing in some cold air, changing rain to heavy, wet snow. The snow should move out of the area by midnight.
The change came suddenly, with rain changing to snow falling at a pace up to 3 inches per hour in some places. Visibility also presented a problem as it decreased to less than 1/4 of a mile.
The snow piled up quickly -- especially during the evening rush. Some areas west of the I-95 corridor could get 6-10 inches of snow. Areas south and east of the I-95 corridor will likely receive 1-6 inches of wet snow.
Then the storm will head north and east and continue to spread snow.
Wet snow fell around the region Wednesday morning before turning to cold rain.
This system will affect areas from Washington all the way to New England today, tonight and into tomorrow. So travel along the Northeast Corridor will be difficult and many flights will be canceled and delayed as the afternoon and evening progress.
Associated Press — Schools closed, governments sent workers home early and planes were grounded Wednesday in an all-too-familiar routine along the East Coast as another snowstorm swept over a region already beaten down by a winter not even half over.
"I fell three times trying to get off the steps," commuter Elliott Self said after leaving an elevated train in Philadelphia. "I just want the snow to stop. I want the sun again. I want to feel just a little bit of warmth."Millions of people got that oh-no-not-again feeling as the wet and sloppy storm engulfed the Northeast, where snowbanks in some places were already so high that drivers couldn't see around corners. Thousands of residents lost power as heavy snow toppled power lines.
Classes were called off and commutes were snarled from Tennessee to New England as cars and buses slipped and slid on highways. The New York area's three major airports, among the nation's busiest, saw more than 1,000 flights canceled. Pedestrians struggled across icy patches that were on their way to becoming deep drifts.
In Pennsylvania, residents hunkered down as a one-two punch of a winter storm brought snow, sleet and then more snow, which forecasters said could total a foot in some areas. Philadelphia declared a snow emergency as of Wednesday evening, ordering cars removed from emergency routes. Northwest, in Hatfield Township, Pa., residents were scared by thunder claps and blinding lightning in a rare thundersnow, a thunderstorm with heavy snow instead of rain.
Eight to 12 inches of snow was forecast for New York City, which had already seen 36 inches of snow this season in comparison with the full-winter average of 21 inches. New Jersey also was looking at up to a foot of snow, and high winds were expected before the storm moves out early Thursday.
Rain drenched the nation's capital for most of the day and changed to sleet before it started snowing in earnest at midafternoon. Washington was expected to get up to 10 inches of snow.
The snow and icy roads created hazardous conditions for President Barack Obama as he returned to the White House on Wednesday after a post-State of the Union trip to Manitowoc, Wis. The wintry weather grounded Marine One, the helicopter that typically transports Obama to and from the military base where Air Force One lands. Instead, Obama was met at the plane by his motorcade, which spent an hour weaving through rush hour traffic already slowed by the storm. It normally takes the president's motorcade about 20 minutes to travel between the base and the White House.
In suburban Silver Spring, Md., nurse Tiffany Horairy said as she waited for a bus that she was getting tired of the constant pecking of minor or moderate storms.
"I'd rather get something like last year, with all the snow at once," she said.Officials urged residents in Washington and Maryland to stay off the roads as snow, thunder and lightning pounded the Mid-Atlantic region. In D.C., Metro transit officials pulled buses off the roads as conditions deteriorated. Firefighters warned the heavy snow was bringing down power lines and causing outages.
Since Dec. 14, snow has fallen eight times on the New York region — or an average of about once every five days. That includes the blizzard that dropped 20 inches on the city and paralyzed travel after Christmas.
Some places are running out of room to stash plowed snow.
Portsmouth, N.H., hauls its snow out to Peirce Island, but it was nearly full, with a huge mountain of the stuff.
"We probably have a five-story snow dump right now," said Portsmouth public works director David Allen. "It's time to get a lift up on it and we could probably do a ski run."For days, forecasters had been predicting rain, freezing rain or deep snow along the East Coast, but they weren't quite sure who would get what. That unpredictability continued playing out as the storm swept from middle Appalachia into the Northeast.
In New Jersey, state workers were sent home early and schools closed as the storm brought more snow than anticipated Wednesday morning. A second band of snow began falling in the evening. The NJ Transit agency allowed customers to use bus tickets for rail travel, and vice versa, to get home any way they could.
In suburban Philadelphia's Phoenixville, a delayed decision to call off classes angered parents when dozens of students got stranded at school. Eighty-seven buses had to be redirected to take students back home.
Parents and teachers in Tennessee were concerned about yet another day off from school Wednesday. Angela Wilburn, who teaches eighth grade at McMurray Middle School in Nashville, said students had missed eight days so far this year, pushing back her teaching schedule and making it difficult to keep kids focused. She was worried about a writing test scheduled for February.
"The writing assessment counts toward No Child Left Behind," she said. "It affects the whole school."New York City declared a weather emergency for the second time since the Dec. 26 storm, which trapped hundreds of buses and ambulances and caused a political crisis for the mayor. An emergency declaration means any car blocking roads or impeding snowplows can be towed at the owner's expense.
In the suburbs, a pickup truck plowing a snow-covered parking lot struck and killed a Long Island woman Wednesday afternoon, police said.
In Kentucky, where several inches of snow fell, a man who lost control of his pickup truck on an ice-covered road and got out of it was hit and killed by another truck that lost control on the same patch.
Numerous vehicles were disabled or abandoned across northern Delaware, and dozens of crashes were reported.