What a difference a year makes… check out these two photos from Nasa taken a couple of days ago (right) contrasted with a photo taken a year ago (left). And the long range ain’t looking too good folks.
Although we know that forecasts can and usually are only somewhat accurate, it is the trends that you can look to in order to give you a more accurate idea of what tomorrow might bring. Although we do have winds today (both Big Girl lifts are closed for the day) with some minor snow in the forecast for tomorrow, the heat is once again coming back to visit later this week (see pic below) and is on tap to hang around into the second week of March possibly with some minor storms over running the blocking ridge at times. This blocking high pressure was the culprit in the 2014/15 drought that came to be named the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge”. Well, it’s back! As one can see below, this ridge blocks all storms headed our way and shunts them up North to Canada and further East to Montana and East to the Atlantic.
So what trends are most disturbing… well, the Northern Hemisphere temperature has risen almost two degrees since 1979 and is having its greatest effects on the Arctic and in the High Alpine. In terms of local effects, the Desert Research Institute just completed a study that found the snowline in the Sierra Nevada range has risen 1000 feet in a decade. I think anyone who skis or rides in the Sierra’s for any length of time has noticed this change, especially if they tend to stick to the resorts with the lowest bases like Diamond Peak, Alpine, Squaw and Homewood. Local wild life has some winners and losers as well. Rattle snakes are moving up with the heat and are expected in the Tahoe Basin within a generation while some Alpine specie (example: Marmots and Pika’s) living on the Alpine islands in remote mountain ranges in central Nevada are running out of living space as they have been driven to the very tops of their ranges.
Even Donald Trump was quoted the other day as saying “Maybe global warming isn’t such a bad thing” in referring to less snow and ice in the Northeast in the long term acknowledging that things are changing, and quickly. Scientists who are not on “the take” to anyone are now in agreement that global warming is occurring rapidly and that there will be serious change management issues as we go forward unless some serious steps are taken to control the release of so called greenhouse gases created from continued industrialization. Of course, this really is an “inconvenient truth” as it is in conflict with short term economic gain in many cases. So, I imagine we will continue down this road paved with fossil fuels disregarding the canaries slowly sinking their heads into their breasts in the coal mine (them birds be dead, sucker).
What can we do? Well, ski and ride whenever you can firstly, and secondly, get out and vote. If your candidate is a climate denier, he or she is tied so closely to the current economic engine that they will do whatever it takes to keep on the road to oblivion as long as their stock dividends remain strong and they can keep their BMW in their four car garage in their third home all gassed up with cheap fuel. The only problem they have is getting enough boobs to vote for their candidate. Anyone who disregards science in study after study should categorically not be elected to public office, they are not serving the people, they are serving their economic peers and their familial wealth. I know many of you will take issue with my claims, but that is the way I see it. And as a fellow mountain lover, I hope you can entertain the idea that at least some of my thoughts deserve a second look. Any way you slice it I am asking you to enjoy what snow we do have, and its hard to fault that advice, no matter your political persuasions.
Happy Sunday all,