A highlight of recent research supporting the climate realist perspective #4

I have come across a scientific paper published recently, which supports the climate realist perspective, and thought it of such significance that I should share it here, in my new climate realist paper update series.

The paper in question has been published in Environmental Research Letters. It may not seem so at first glance, but this study is highly significant in that it finds that snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere increased during the winter months (November-February) between 1982 as 2013. This is great news, and surprising as well, since snow cover is expected to decrease with global warming and provide a positive feedback by lowering the albedo (level of radiation reflected, or reflectivity) of the ground it previously covered. Though as previously noted, these results are surprising, they are corroborated by the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab’s winter snow cover data (see below):

nhland_season1

One possible explanation of these puzzling results is that warmer temperatures enhance winter precipitation, either directly or indirectly, and thus increase snowfall accumulation and snow cover. A similar effect has been noted in the Arctic, and thus this theory may hold some merit, but this is pure speculation on my part. In addition, a decrease even stronger than the increase occured in summer (May to August) snow cover, so the effects of global warming on snow cover may already be present, but fortunately not apparently yet in Northern Hemisphere winter snow cover.

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