It’s the Latitude

By August 7, 2008Global Warming

Seattle Times:

Maybe the snow in the Cascade Mountains isn’t in such immediate peril from global warming after all.

Despite previous studies suggesting a warmer climate is already taking a bite out of Washington’s snowpack, there’s no clear evidence that human-induced climate change has caused a drop in 20th century snow levels, according to a new study by University of Washington scientists.

In fact, the newest study also predicts the Cascade snows — vital to water supplies, crop irrigation and salmon — could enjoy a delay in the effects of global warming.

But when the Cascades turn into the Sierras….

From the Sacramento Bee:

Standing atop Yosemite’s tallest peak in August 1950, Hal Klieforth looked out across the Lyell glacier and marveled at how solid and unyielding it appeared.

“It was like Grand Canyon or the Sierra itself,” the 81-year-old meteorologist said recently. “It had been there for many years and probably would be there for many more.”

Today, as the boulder-strewn sheet of ice recedes in the summer sun, Klieforth is no longer so confident. “Now I guess there might be more people making a pilgrimage to these glaciers before they go,” he said.

No longer is climate change a distant drama of shrinking polar ice caps. As year-round ice fades from the saw-toothed summits of the Sierra Nevada, as Klieforth and others watch a world change in their lifetimes, it’s clear an unwelcome reality is at our doorstep: Global warming is local warming.

But then…

From USA Today:

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. — Reaching more than 14,000 feet above sea level, Mt. Shasta dominates the landscape of high plains and conifer forests in far Northern California.

While it’s not California’s tallest mountain, the tongues of ice creeping down Shasta’s volcanic flanks give the solitary mountain another distinction. Its seven glaciers, referred to by American Indians as the footsteps made by the creator when he descended to Earth, are the only historical glaciers in the continental U.S. known to be growing.

Huh. So much uncertainty. Wonder whether all the global warming hysteria might be based on half-baked computer models?

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