Deep Thoughts – Winter Is Coming

There has been a lot of chatter about the huge El Nino that has built in the Pacific Ocean and how it will affect our coming Winter. Global warming, climate change, bad juju or a figment of our collective imaginations, call it what you will. All I know, from living and working through 30 of them in a professional capacity, is that they are never the same twice. Or in a row…

After last years washout of a season, everyone that relies on a reasonable amount of snow to put bread on their table, is on edge. Forecasts for the coming season are guarded if not grim. These are the same forecasters that correctly predicted the massive snowfalls that occurred back East last year, allowing cities to bolster their defenses and weather the storms easily. Wait, what? Horseshit,,, Yeah I didn’t think so. They had no clue and no warning.

Here’s my forecast for this year. I have no idea what’s going to happen. None. But I’m prepared for whatever comes down the pipe. Sure, I have hopes and dreams for plentiful powder and stable conditions. Hope for the best, plan for the worst and something in between is bound to happen.

So here I sit at Baldface, just before midnight on November 1st, 2015. 25cm on the ground from a storm that rolled through a couple of days ago. The wind is howling, it’s presently snowing, with an outside temp of -1.6 C. (according to my $10 indoor/outdoor thermometer). It’s dark and I’m wearing sunglasses… Actually not, I just like to say that every now and then.

My deep thought for tonight is regarding the weather. There is also a lot of talk in the media and scientific community about “tipping points” and how we are rapidly approaching one in regard to climate change. My thought is, that what if we’ve already blown through that stop sign and didn’t even notice. On a geologic time scale, climate change is generally gradual and cumulative, manifesting over eons. We have mechanically accelerated the rate of change to the point that perhaps we are in fact approaching to the next tipping point, flipping the game back before the system has had a chance to adjust to the previous change. The point where we potentially swing back to a mini Ice Age or worse.

I read a New York Times article a few days ago about the ice melt in Greenland. Massive amounts of fresh water entering the Atlantic and disrupting the Gulf Stream. Phantom lakes, Moulins and subterranean rivers draining the meltwater with the structure of the ice cap being compared to Swiss Cheese. They also discussed the possible mechanisms that ended the last glacial period and how they correlate to what’s being observed now. The cause, whatever it was, happened fast. Like, a couple of weeks fast. No idea what that cause was but the mechanics of the melting haven’t changed much since that time, only the location and scale.

I see entrenched weather patterns such as the Pineapple Express that occasionally turn a firehose of our part of the World. Just add heat energy and a temperature gradient to any weather system and watch it grow. Where do you think all that snow and ice covering North America during multiple ice ages came from? Warm ocean, cold continent with a built in moisture conveyor connecting the two. Wouldn’t that be something… It would be bad news for Humanity but the riding would be SICK! I’m ready to flip the switch. Bring it!

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