Yes, there’s been a great deal of snow in the eastern United States this year. That’s led some people to wonder how it’s possible that global warming is real when there are record-breaking snowstorms. People who live just to the south of the Great Lakes and pay close attention to weather patterns there don’t see any inconsistency, though. They know that warmer water during wintertime results in more snow, because there’s more evaporation into the air. A colder winter will also result in smaller areas of water that remain open.
We don’t have to rely upon anecdotal stories of lake effect snows to refute the snowstorm=global cooling argument, however. We can merely look at the trend in the actual global temperature, in the bigger world beyond the borders of the east coast megalopolis. Globally, this has been the hottest winter on record (sorry to the Southern Hemisphere for this north-centric use of the term “winter” – the data includes the Southern Hemisphere’s temperatures too).
Still looking for some kind of specific confirmation of climate change? Okay, look up to Hudson Bay. Last week, I noted new research showing a dramatic retreat of permafrost around the southernmost protrusion of Hudson Bay (James Bay). This week, results of another data survey show another climate shift nearby.
Grizzly bears are headed north. About 400 miles to the Northeast of James Bay is Wapusk National Park, an area that lies on the western shore of Hudson Bay. Historically, this part of Manitoba has been polar bear territory. Records going back hundreds of years show that not one single grizzly was ever seen there until 14 years ago. Since then, sightings of grizzly bears in the park have been increasing in frequency.
Southern species moving north (and vice versa in the Southern Hemisphere) is exactly the sort of thing that’s been predicted by climatologists and ecologists, and the grizzly bears of northern Manitoba are just one more example of a shift that’s been documented in plants, fish, bugs and birds.
Can people who insist global warming is a hoax come up with even one example of a polar animal or plant shifting its range toward the equator?