Snowiest Winter Ever Recorded in North Dakota

A snowmobiler negotiates the streets of Crosby, North Dakota. Photograph courtesy of the Crosby Journal.

A snowmobiler negotiates the streets of Crosby, North Dakota. Photograph courtesy of the Crosby Journal.

Guest Post by Harold Ambler

Snow, wind, and cold have assaulted North Dakota yet again in the past 24 hours. In Bismarck Friday morning the temperature was 12 below zero with a new inch or two of snow expected following Thursday’s more significant storm.

According to USA Today, snow in the southern part of the state was bad enough Thursday that snowplow operators were pulling off the road, blinded by the whiteout conditions. A foot of snow was common in the heaviest band.

The National Weather Service predicts a high temperature of 3 degrees Fahrenheit Friday in Bismarck, as well as additional snow. As of Thursday, three-quarters of the state’s roads were still snow-covered, in whole or in part, from the storm that just ended the day before.

Howling winds and copious snow have combined to leave austere, menacing scenes like this in Cavalier County, North Dakota. Photograph by the ND Department of Emergency Services.

Howling winds and copious snow have combined to leave austere scenes like this in Cavalier County, North Dakota. Photograph courtesy of the ND Department of Emergency Services.

More than once during the winter, the Department of Transportation has issued a no-travel advisory, most recently on February 10.

Cecily Fong, spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Emergency Services, said that the winter got off to a bad start on November 4. “That first storm was definitely a blizzard with blowing and drifting snow,” she said.  Since then, according to Fong, several counties have seen more than 400 percent of normal snowfall.

December was a record breaker for Bismarck, as it was at many other locations around the state. In Bismarck, the total for the month was 33.3 inches, the greatest amount ever received in a single month.

Those were early days, it turned out. Frequent storms, followed by howling northwest winds and record-breaking cold, have made it a winter to remember. On January 15, the morning low at the Bismarck airport was 44 below zero, the coldest ever for the date, and one degree shy of the all-time coldest reading for a state known to be less than balmy.

By the end of January, many counties had more than 400 percent of normal snow totals on the ground, and Governor John Hoeven had declared a state of emergency. 

“There has been a repeated pattern,” said Fong,  ”where the county will come and plow a road and then two days later, without any additional snow, the road becomes impassable again.” Relatively speaking, the people in Bismarck have gotten off light. Divide County, in the state’s northwest corner, has received 500 percent of normal snowfall.

Steve Andrist, who has lived most of his life in Divide county and is the publisher of the weekly Crosby Journal, commended the street department. “There has never been more than a day or a day and a half where the roads were

Roads that were cleared once, and twice, have needed to be cleared a third time in various locations throughout the state. Photograph by the Department of Emergency Services.

Roads that were cleared once, and twice, have needed to be cleared a third time in various locations throughout the state. Photograph courtesy of the ND Department of Emergency Services.

impassable,” he said.

After a lifetime living so near the Canadian border, did the last few months really amount to anything? “This winter got my attention,” he said. “The thing that’s different about this one is the volume of snow. It’s so much more than we anticipated. As far as snow and moving it, and moving it again, and having to move it again a third time, this has been very unusual.”

On February 19, the governor asked the federal government to provide emergency assistance for snow removal. “We’ve got roads that aren’t being plowed,” Fong said, “just because the funds aren’t available to do it.”

Although the spring melt is weeks away, Fong said that flooding is already a concern. “We don’t know where, and we don’t know when, but we’re keeping our eyes on it.”

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93 Responses to Snowiest Winter Ever Recorded in North Dakota

  1. Neo says:

    It’s obvious to any fool, it must be due to “Global Warming”

  2. Leon Brozyna says:

    Record snow.
    Record cold.
    That clinches it — it’s proof of global warming.

    And the way we Americans pillage the environment for triple-ply toilet tissue. Oh, the shame of it all:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/feb/26/toilet-roll-america

    *sigh*

    I just can’t seem to feel guilty – I like my triple-ply tissue.

  3. Paul S says:

    Looking at various forecasts, it is due to get colder in western Europe early next week with some more northerly areas, such as Scotland expecting to receive a little snow. similar story with the US to by the looks of it in terms of reducing temps

    Courtesy of xcweather.co.uk and windmapper.com

  4. James says:

    Yeah well, the Guardian needs its weekly dose of alarmism. Let’s hope the Telegraph can continue to off-set it with factual reporting:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/4742293/Climate-change-rhetoric-spirals-out-of-control.html

  5. Tom_R says:

    More proof of climate change. This has all been predicted by the models.

    [for those who lack the detector gene, that was sarcasm]

  6. Methow Ken says:

    12 degrees below zero F. this morning in Bismarck ??…
    Banana belt:
    Here up next to the Canadian border in far-northern ND, my precision outdoor temp sensor read 25.0 degrees below zero .
    Been looking hard for Al Gore and AGW this winter; no sign anywhere….

  7. terry46 says:

    I know I l know natural variences or you just can’t use one state and say it’s proof of global cooling .You know when it keep happening time and time again the record cold and snow ,74record snow alone in February ,you would think the global warming crowd would stop and think but Iguess when you’re getting your pockets lined with green I guess you just look the other way.

  8. Bill McClure says:

    The weather has been severe no doubt. It is also time to park the car, trucks and anything with wheels and use that snowmobile. Why waste all that money clearing roads that blow shut just convert to a mode of transportation that meets the needs of the times

  9. jack mosevich says:

    Toilette paper consumtion can be drastically reduced by using both sides.

  10. Paul S says:

    Paul S (09:00:55) :

    before peeps get picky, make that parts of the US… :o)

  11. Chris Berry says:

    December was a record breaker for Bismarck, as it was at many other locations around the state. In Bismarck, the total for the month was 33.3 inches, the greatest amount ever received in a single month.

    Really? Ever? How long has someone been keeping these records. [snip]

  12. pyromancer76 says:

    Can’t we dump/pipe/pump some of this H20 to California and the more arid West? Something along these lines seems to me to be an appropriate “adjustment” to climate change that government-supported projects might imagine. In addition to the water wars of the West, I keep remembering those 1,000 year droughts that have brought down a number of civilzations.

  13. MattN says:

    A cold North Dakota is not inconsistent with the models. In fact, its exacly what they’ve predicted…

  14. Paul S says:

    MattN (09:42:33) :

    A cold North Dakota is not inconsistent with the models. In fact, its exacly what they’ve predicted…

    I do hope this is sarcasm!

  15. Smokey says:

    Paul S, it’s not sarcasm; it’s a world view that fits the definition of “cognitive dissonance” perfectly:

    As contrary evidence has accumulated, proponents of strong AGW have begun to display signs of cognitive dissonance. The famed social psychologist Leon Festinger, developer of the concept of cognitive dissonance, conducted early studies of the phenomenon….The psychological model is that their belief system became part of their identity, their self, and information at odds with that belief system became an attack on the self. This helps explain why such people can be resistant to information that would be judged positive on a rational basis. Festinger’s book, When Prophecy Fails, tells of a group of doomsday believers who predicted the end of the world on a particular date. When that didn’t happen, the believers became even more determined they were right. And they become even louder and proselytized even more aggressively after the disconfirmation. So we can expect ever more extreme, opaque, and strange defenses from proponents as evidence continues to mount. For example we are now told that even cooling fits in with global warming.

    Global cooling = global warming! [/sarc]

  16. Mick J says:

    Last night our local BBC TV weather report (East of England) made much of how Daffodils are now flowering 13 days earlier, this following earlier coverage over the weeks of how late Snowdrops flowering is this year and my Daffodils are just poking their heads through the grass. Today there is a report in the London Telegraph that Kew Botanical Gardens is reporting flowering is latest for 20 years.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/4863155/Latest-spring-bloom-at-Kew-for-20-years.html
    However this year flowers are returning to traditional patterns, following an unusually cold winter. Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and aconites all came up on or around the average flowering date for the 1980s, days later than the average for the 2000s.

    Yes, this year is weather but it seems that the BBC need to keep playing the AGW card just in case the public might draw their own observation and conclusions… My little rant over. :)

  17. thefordprefect says:

    No lead aticles about Australia????
    Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) — Australian authorities shut schools in the southeastern state of Victoria and sent in extra firefighters as extreme weather threatens new blazes today in the region devastated by bushfires almost three weeks ago.

    The state closed 192 government schools and 176 child care centers as the temperature in northern Victoria is forecast to reach about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) with gusting winds.

    “These are the worst conditions” since the Feb. 7 fires, Ian Mansergh, a Department of Sustainability and Environment spokesman, said by phone today. “It’s a high-risk day.”

    Victoria is in the midst of a 12-year drought, leaving the countryside parched, and the start of this year is the driest on record, Premier John Brumby told the state parliament this week.

    It’s just weather!! Australia is a tad more like GW!

  18. Paul S says:

    Smokey (10:02:22) :

    A yes would have been fine :o)

  19. Gibsho says:

    Leon Brozyna (08:44:45) : I just can’t seem to feel guilty – I like my triple-ply tissue.

    The University of Vermont divested itself of the aforesaid tissue recently-saved money-no reports of terminal abrasion to this point.

  20. Methow Ken (09:07:37) : “Been looking hard for Al Gore and AGW this winter; no sign anywhere….”
    Don’t worry he’ll be back in summertime.

  21. John K. Sutherland says:

    Considering how easily we move oil and gas through pipelines, and further considering that those who buy springwater will pay even more per litre than they do for gasoline, it’s time we built some long water pipelines, rather than just local ones. A few good canals or pipelines from the rockies, or the Great Lakes, or the soon-to-flood rivers between Canada and the US to California would do wonders for their Central Valley. Californian’s do not seem to mind getting screwed for everything else; let them buy water from further afield, since they don’t want to invest in ocean desalination reactors.

  22. schnurrp says:

    It’s impossible for all paper to be made from recycled products. What better product than toilet paper to be made from “virgin” sources. A little hard to recyle, I’ll have to admit.

  23. hotrod says:

    Well one of the hidden messages here is that the snow melt season will be long in the Dakotas, lots of white snow reflecting heat sunlight that under other circumstances would be warming the earth. Lots of snow melt flooding up there in the news this spring me thinks.

    Brings back memories of the 1970′s when one of the mechanisms under discussion for rapid climate shifts were what they called a “snow blitz”. The theory was that an anomalous winter snow fall deep enough to not melt off quickly in the spring, would set up a cycle of less warming during the winter, harder winter the next season, with even more snow etc. cascading into a permanent or near permanent snow pack in the north central plains, resulting is a significant change in the earths over all albedo during the norther summer months.

    One of the lessons that came out of the Nuclear Winter debates is one of the critical factors for impact was the timing of the event. It had its most significant impact if I recall if the change in albedo occurred during the local summer and spring when sun angles were high, days were long, and most of the heating took place.

    Larry

  24. Neil Crafter says:

    As someone from a climate where it does not snow, is snow measured in the rain gauge at weather stations, or is there some piece of different measuring gear for snow? Just wondering.

  25. schnurrp says:

    I don’t think record snow amounts can be seen as evidence of global cooling by themselves, can they? It’s the temperature that matters and particularly record highs or lows which may indicate beginning or continuing trends.

  26. Ironcowboy says:

    Smoky,

    You are wise to discuss the psychology of the global warming cultists. I think it would make a great case study to analyze the AWG mentality using the Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame.

    But I do feel sorry for my fellow NoDaks… I lived up there in Minot and Grand Forks for over 5 years, and OMG is that place cold. I think that is why Lewis and Clark penned in their journal’s that this Territory is inhospitable to the civilized man. Ummm but that was back in the early 1800’s right after the Little Ice Age.

    On the bright side, the state’s average reflectivity of IR energy back into deep space has increased. I have a hockey stick chart I developed which proves that.

  27. MattN says:

    “I do hope this is sarcasm!”

    Replace “North Dakota” with “Antarctica” and you have a verbatim statement directly from ReallywrongClimate.

    Sarcasm, check!

  28. Squidly says:

    I once lived in Fargo, North Dakota, for over 25 years. From what friends and family tell me, this winter has been comparable to the 1996-97 winter that caused “The Flood of the Millenium”, the worst flood in US history (you can look that up for more details). Looks to me like that area is in for yet another tremendous flood. In prehistoric times (not sure which period exactly), that area was Lake Agassiz, one of the largest (over 700mi x 200mi) inland bodies of fresh water (and glacier) in the world. As we used to joke frequently, perhaps mother earth is reverting it back. In which case, that would more likely signal to me that we are heading towards another ice-age.

  29. Paul S says:

    MattN (11:08:10) :
    Replace “North Dakota” with “Antarctica” and you have a verbatim statement directly from ReallywrongClimate.
    Sarcasm, check!

    I try not to look at ReallywrongClimate to be honest. Probably why I missed the sarcasm.

  30. robtron12 says:

    Can’t wait for the spring when it all starts to melt. The flooding is going to make Al Gores natural Disaster slide spike up.

  31. Squidly says:

    hotrod (10:54:13) :

    “Well one of the hidden messages here is that the snow melt season will be long in the Dakotas … ”

    I would not necessarily count on that. In 1997, the snow melt season was extremely short, that is what brought on “The Flood of The Millenium” (see previous post for resources).

  32. Mike McMillan says:

    schnurrp (10:50:31) :
    It’s impossible for all paper to be made from recycled products. What better product than toilet paper to be made from “virgin” sources. A little hard to recyle, I’ll have to admit.

    It would be a perfect use for recycled pampers.

    Meanwhile,
    I like the sunrise photo. That’s the sun on the right, and a sundog on the left. There’s another sundog off camera, to the right of the sun. They’re the ice-age equivalent of rainbows, so get used to them.

  33. Clive says:

    According to Environment Canada, during this past Christmas, the vast
    country of Canada was snow covered across the country (including the
    normally snow-free west coast) for the first time since 1971.
    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081221/winter_storm_081221/20081221?hub=CTVNewsAt11

    Suggesting that the largest snow coverage in 37 years was the result of AGW
    is utter nonsense. But as others have noted many times, the eco weenies are covered: hot, dry, cold, wet. EVERYTHING is covered by their predictions, albeit imaginary predictions. Almost impossible to argue with illogical concepts.

    AGW is supposedly causing the planet to warm. Yet we get a cold and snowy
    winter (exactly what the eco extremists insist is necessary to save us all)
    and they are still blaming this on AGW …. even “normal” (whatever THAT is) is caused by GW.

    Our high here yesterday was 20C° colder then average. No one says anything — expect complain about winter. If it was 20 degrees above average it would be headlines.

    It is a crazy world and I worry about my grandchildren and harm that will be done to them by Gore and the IPCC as we waste trillions on non problems instead of learning to adapt … if we have much to adapt to.

    Clive in the Frozen North
    Alberta, Canada

  34. novoburgo says:

    Neil Crafter (10:57:27) :

    As someone from a climate where it does not snow, is snow measured in the rain gauge at weather stations, or is there some piece of different measuring gear for snow? Just wondering.

    Neil, the standard rain gauge was a two barrel affair with a smaller 10/1 ratio inner barrel. During snow events the inner tube was removed. When it came measurement time a premeasured amount of warm water was placed in the small barrel, poured into the outer barrel, poured back into the inside barrel and remeasured. This gives you the “water equivalent” which is generally multiplied by 10 to get the snow amount. This information coupled with “snow boards” gives you a pretty good handle on actual snowfall. This is the way it used to be done, reasonable accurate but not infallible. Looking at some of the water amounts versus snowfalls ‘ would say today that there is a lot of guessing going on.

  35. stephen richards says:

    Paul S

    No it wasn’t sarcasm. They got 19 models so there will always be one that’s dead right.
    Like my under pants, a model for evry occasion :)

  36. Mike McMillan says:

    hotrod (10:54:13) :
    Well one of the hidden messages here is that the snow melt season will be long in the Dakotas, lots of white snow reflecting heat sunlight that under other circumstances would be warming the earth.

    As I recall from 6 yrs up there back in the 70′s, every winter it snowed once, then spent the rest of the winter blowing the same snow back and forth. By spring, it was brown sand. Had to keep the garage light bulb in the fridge so it’d be warm enough to light in the morning.

    One of the lessons that came out of the Nuclear Winter debates is one of the critical factors for impact was the timing of the event. It had its most significant impact if I recall if the change in albedo occurred during the local summer and spring when sun angles were high, days were long, and most of the heating took place.

    Nuclear Winter was the big “AGW” hoax of the those days. It came out of an article in the “Parade” Sunday paper supplement, that Carl Sagan tacked his name onto. It was called by the authors’ initials, TTAPS, and it prophesied disaster based on a “climate” model that was embarrassingly simple (a couple hundred cells for the whole world). Even when more sophisticated models showed it would be a “Nuclear cool day in spring,” the MSM kept up the drumbeat.

    Things don’t change.

  37. Paul S says:

    stephen richards (12:17:18) :
    Like my under pants, a model for evry occasion :)

    So every evening, is that what they call Climate Change? :o)

  38. Norm in the Hawkesbury says:

    Kansas House OKs bill to build coal power plants – http://news.ino.com/headlines/?newsid=6896755074710

  39. jukin says:

    The fact of the matter is, when it is colder than normal it’s just weather. However, when it is hotter than normal it is GLOBAL WARMING!!!!

  40. John F. Hultquist says:

    Regarding measuring snowfall and snow amounts

    This is an older site and I haven’t checked the links:

    http://www.howmuchsnow.com/snow/

    It looks interesting. The next one is a little newer.

    http://www.erh.noaa.gov/car/Newsletter/htm_format_articles/weather_events/esc_ext_abstract04_mt.htm

    And to the one that used “to” when it should have been “too” – if the word “also” fits then use “also”, or use “too”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  41. Ellie in Belfast says:

    pyromancer76 (09:37:51) :
    John K. Sutherland (10:45:51) :

    Re long distance pumping of water – it’ll probably all come down to energy. Moving oil in a pipe is no problem as you are moving a concentrated source of energy. Moving oil by road – same thing.

    I’d imagine doing the math of piping vs desalination gets interesting. Being able to move water from the Missouri Basin to the Upper Colorado Basin sounds nice. I was in St Louis MO in July ’92 at the height of the Missouri flood. There sure is a hell of a lot of water in that river.

    Distance say 400 miles from Lake Oahe, S Dakota to mid-Colorado. It doesn’t sound that much but Lake Oahe elevation is about 1,600ft (500m). Assuming you’d need to pump the water up to more than 8000ft (2500m) to get it over the water shed, even through a tunnel, the energy required is huge.

  42. Mike Kelley says:

    I used to drive through North Dakota back in the seventies. They told me that they call that mixture of snow and dirt mixed by the ever-present wind “snirt”. Kind of catchy, eh?

  43. David L. Hagen says:

    The current very low minimum between solar cycle 23 and 24 may be a cause for this exceptional snowfall.

    That suggests that cloudiness and precipitation may be more important in tracking this climate change than temperature.

    See “Likelihood of a global drought in 2009-2016″ William Alexander, Civil Engineering June 2008, pp22-26

  44. bse5150 says:

    If you want to do your part in combating the environmentalist wackos who insist there is global warming and climate change, send a copy of this article to everyone you know. Show them how hot it is in North Dakota now. Remember, by this time, rising temperatures would be out of control, cities were to be flooded by rising seas, world wide food shortages and droughts would be commonplace, many species would be extinct and we would be out of natural resources, including oil. Looks like NONE of that has happened yet or even come close.

  45. I have spent the last 13 years forecasting the weather in North Dakota. Yes, it has been an above average winter for snowfall. Fargo is still 60 inches from the record set in 1996-1997, so no, we won’t come close to that record with only about 6 weeks of potential. Bismarck is still a bit over 30 inches from their record set that same winter. Possible, but still that is a lot of snow in the next month.

    The big difference this year is moisture content. Average ratio for this area is around 14:1 (14 inches of snow for 1 inch of rain) … this winter the average has been closer to 23:1. So this year’s moisture content of the snow isn’t anywhere near what is was in that bad winter 12 years ago, which I forecasted for (and am forecasting for this winter).

    Western North Dakota has been in a drought, so some of the run-off in central North Dakota will actually be beneficial to filling Lake Sakakawea (which is near historic lows), but the Minot area sadly could see some damaging flooding.

    My area the Red River Valley will also see flooding, to the level of 12 years ago, unlikely, but even with 30 to 50% of the moisture we had that winter twelve years ago, with only a bit over a month of potential yet (so that percent will go up), we will still see rivers well above normal spring flood levels (rivers here flood nearly every spring). So we have a lot of watching to do in the next 6 weeks as a rain system in particular at the wrong time would not be good, but still, this is not 12 years ago.

    Rugby, ND is the geographical center of North America. Nice place for a picture is you get there. Continental locations are lands of extremes, averages mean little here. We have had extremely dry winters and wetter ones like this year, but it’s all just part of our climate. Same with summers.

    This is our second straight below average temperature winter that will be finishing up tomorrow. WIth a Negative PDO and other factors it came as no surprise to me and my winter forecasted verified nicely. My point of all of this is all this is has happened before and it will happen again. Only those that do not understand our climate seem to be surprised by what has happened this winter (any bets next winter will be dry again?).

    It is North Dakota. It is cold and it snows here in the winter. Some are worse than others, but that is expected.

    Someone asked about measuring snow. Literally you use a ruler, get estimates from numerous sites if the wind blows (always the case where I live). Look for sheltered areas to measure. Our coop observer in town will spend 30 minutes sometimes trying to come up with a good estimate. Measuring snow is many times more art and hard work than science. You usually have to take a core for liquid equivalency as snow doesn’t always fall within your rain tube correctly. So neither task (liquid or solid measurement) is easy on the prairie.

  46. tallbloke says:

    Slightly OT but I was amused this morning when David Milliband, the UK’s foreign affairs secretary had his interview with the Today programmed interrupted by a strong hailstorm. He was in Baghdad. David’s brother Ed is the minister for environment and climate change.

    Oh how we laughed.

  47. tallblokeR says:

    Ellie in Belfast (13:37:43) :
    I’d imagine doing the math of piping vs desalination gets interesting. Being able to move water from the Missouri Basin to the Upper Colorado Basin sounds nice. I was in St Louis MO in July ‘92 at the height of the Missouri flood. There sure is a hell of a lot of water in that river.

    Distance say 400 miles from Lake Oahe, S Dakota to mid-Colorado. It doesn’t sound that much but Lake Oahe elevation is about 1,600ft (500m). Assuming you’d need to pump the water up to more than 8000ft (2500m) to get it over the water shed, even through a tunnel, the energy required is huge.

    Having built a rainwater recovery and irrigation system I appreciate how hard it is to shift water uphill. It costs us about sixpence to shift a cubic meter 100 meters along and 9 meters up.

    Thinking about the US, I wonder if a pipeline going over a watershed would be a problem. As long as each end of the pipe is at the same altitude, it makes no difference what height you shift it to in between, as long as you keep air out of the system. You can test this yourself by syphoning some water out of a barrel. As long as the outlet is below the water level atthe inlet, water flows even though it has to climb over the barrel edge, with no power needed apart from the original sucking to start the syphon going.

    My father was involved in creating the National Water Grid for the UK. I’m sure the US could do the same if it had the will to. Maybe instead of spending billions trying to emulate King Canute, they should spend a bit on water infrastructure.

    Reply: Siphons only work if the elevation you are traversing is 34 feet or less at 1 atmosphere. ~ charles the moderator

  48. Dorlomin says:

    North Dakota is patriotic America, this is why snow is being honestly recorded.

  49. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Charles, is that because the pressure pulls air out of the water?

    Of course, a water pipeline would be using pumps to push the water at intermediate stages, which would raise the pressure considerably above an atmosphere. Interesting question, I’ll consult dad. :-)

    Reply: Ask your dad or view the ppt I linked. ~ charles the moderator

  50. tallbloke says:

    Because the vacuum pulls air out of the water. Doh!

  51. tallbloke says:

    A further thought following Charles’ observation. Electricity could be generated from turbines on the downhill section to offset the power consumed by the pumps on the uphill section.

    Reply: Your idea is already in practice in the California Aqueduct and I’m sure many other projects. My last comment on the subject. I’m stepping away from the keyboard for the evening. It’s all yours Anthony. ~ charles the moderator

  52. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Charles, enjoy your evening off. :-)

  53. J.Hansford says:

    But of course the only news that will be beamed world wide, is when it all melts.

    There will be shot after exaggerated shot of flooding and constant talk about the weather warming(the fact spring into summer is occurring will not be mentioned)

    There is no defence against lying. Be prepared to be amazed.

  54. Ellie in Belfast says:

    tallblokeR (14:47:09) :
    Sad person that I am, I spent a good hour earlier pouring over Google Earth at Colorado, which is not a part of the US i’ve been to – yet.

    The scale of the engineering would be huge – I’d kind of discounted siphons. It takes 1kW to pump water up 10 metres at 10 litres/second. Quick back of envelope calculation – at that rate about 860m3/day or about 200,000 US gallons/day using 200kW for a vertical rise of 2000m, never mind horizontal traverse and friction.

    That volume is equivalent to the flow of the Colorado river PER SECOND. Or, put another way, the average person uses 200L per day, so without loses that would be sufficient for 4,300 people.

    I was imagining huge benefits for hydropower (including recovery of some of the energy used in getting the water over the continental divide) but the scale of it is just enormous. Imagine piping water from Fort William to London, but taking it over the top of Ben Nevis and the Pennines. Other practicalities come to mind too, such as the thaw in the Dakotas probably coincding roughly with the normal melt in the Rockies and rivers there at their highest, not to mention the reaction from environmentalists. Imagine all that lovely ‘snirt’ (thanks Mike Kelley (13:42:47)) from North Dakota, ending up in pristine mountain rivers. Still, water is a big issue for dry regions, perhaps it could happen in a few decades.

  55. Ellie in Belfast says:

    By the way, that’s 200kW for 10L going up 2000m, or 200kW for 860m3 going up 10m. I think. Getting too too tired to think. Good Night!

  56. Ron de Haan says:

    Paul S, it’s not sarcasm; it’s a world view that fits the definition of “cognitive dissonance” perfectly:

    “As contrary evidence has accumulated, proponents of strong AGW have begun to display signs of cognitive dissonance. The famed social psychologist Leon Festinger, developer of the concept of cognitive dissonance, conducted early studies of the phenomenon….The psychological model is that their belief system became part of their identity, their self, and information at odds with that belief system became an attack on the self. This helps explain why such people can be resistant to information that would be judged positive on a rational basis. Festinger’s book, When Prophecy Fails, tells of a group of doomsday believers who predicted the end of the world on a particular date. When that didn’t happen, the believers became even more determined they were right. And they become even louder and proselytized even more aggressively after the disconfirmation. So we can expect ever more extreme, opaque, and strange defenses from proponents as evidence continues to mount. For example we are now told that even cooling fits in with global warming.

    Global cooling = global warming! [/sarc]”

    You are right.
    Here is some more evidence:

    Global Cooling is called Global Warming.
    Freezing is called Thawing.
    A thriving species is called a threatened species.
    A life giving gas is called a poisonous gas
    A blatant Lie is called an Inconvenient Truth.
    Stable is called unstable
    An increase in taxes is called a tax reduction.
    A railway engineer is called a climatologist.
    Red is Green…
    and a Communist is called a Democrat.

    Do you get their strategy?

  57. hotrod says:

    Ellie in Belfast (16:40:15) :

    tallblokeR (14:47:09) :
    Sad person that I am, I spent a good hour earlier pouring over Google Earth at Colorado, which is not a part of the US i’ve been to – yet.

    We already make extensive use of water relocation from one drainage basin to another here in Colorado. As you say the scale of the projects are a bit over whelming. With an annual precipitation of something in the 14-15 inch per year range for much of the eastern high plains of Colorado. Water has been a major issue here for over a century. There really were local wars fought over water in this part of the country. In the court rooms they still are being fought. Just this year some farmers were told to shut off their irrigation wells, as they drew water from the ground water of the Platte River and water flows were low enough these low seniority water users had to give up water use, to avoid impacting down river flow.

    The Colorado River Compact has the same issue regarding down stream states allocations of limited water during low run off years. When the compact was negotiated it was based on average river flows that were above long term averages we now know and in certain years the total river flow will not support all the available water claims.

    Some of the water diversion projects do make use of siphons to move water from drainage to drainage.
    Aspen Creek Valley siphon, and the Big Thompson siphon for example.
    http://www.usbr.gov/dataweb/html/cbt.html

    Transmountain Diversions
    Adams Tunnel/Colorado-Big Thompson Project
    Roberts Tunnel/Denver Water
    Boustead Tunnel/Fryingpan-Arkansas Project
    Homestake Tunnel/Aurora
    Busk-Ivanhoe Tunnel
    Grand River Ditch
    Moffat Tunnel/Denver Water
    Independence Pass/Twin Lakes Tunnel
    Vidler Tunnel

    http://www.crwcd.org/page_114

    Shipping water from lower elevations to the high plains would be a significant project. Perhaps it is one of the few reasonable applications for intermittent power sources like windmills. Pump the water up hill when you have the power and don’t worry about it when you have a shortage of wind.

    The same concept is used for peak load management in the Cabin Creek project that uses excess base load power to pump water to high elevation and then recovers most of that energy as hydro power during peak load times.

    I imagine there are other hurdles as well, practicality seldom enters into water law issues. It is a rather arcane branch of law and seniority of claim and not impairing down stream claims rank very high on who gets water from a water source. When you cross drainage boundaries and state and local boundaries the complications grow geometrically just due to water law issues, and that is before the environmental impacts are discussed.

    Larry

  58. hotrod says:

    Looks like I muffed the href= link for the google book search at the end of the comment, if the moderator can easily fix it or delete as you prefer.

    Larry

  59. Sammie says:

    To answer posts above, the Great Lakes Water Compact (United States and Canada agreement) severely restricts the western states legislative ability to force water diversion of out of the Great Lakes basin to the western desert states.

  60. Roger Sowell says:

    Hotrod, and Ellie,

    I agree that shipping excess water west to California is a grand and great idea. A national project would be required, similar to the interstate highway program of the 1960′s. This is an economic stimulus project that makes sense.

    Water could be pumped using wind-generated power, and routed into the Colorado River tributaries at the continental divide in New Mexico. The water would return a portion of the input power as it flows through the hydroelectric plants on Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam.

    see This Link

  61. Ron de Haan says:

    John K. Sutherland (10:45:51) :

    “Considering how easily we move oil and gas through pipelines, and further considering that those who buy springwater will pay even more per litre than they do for gasoline, it’s time we built some long water pipelines, rather than just local ones. A few good canals or pipelines from the rockies, or the Great Lakes, or the soon-to-flood rivers between Canada and the US to California would do wonders for their Central Valley. Californian’s do not seem to mind getting screwed for everything else; let them buy water from further afield, since they don’t want to invest in ocean desalination reactors”.

    Yes John but with one addition:
    Create a closed system of recycling where possible.

    It already has been done in Las Vegas and it pay’s off.

  62. The states (and Canada) containing and bordering the Great Lakes and the source of the Mississippi may disagree with your plans to pump water from there to the west. And Congress agrees with them.

    http://www.glc.org/about/glbc.html

    Even if they agree to sell some water, I’d bet it’s not going to be cheap. It’s probably cheaper to move people east instead of the water west. In fact, that’s already happenning – California has more people going than coming right now.

  63. Roger Sowell says:

    RJ, it is not about the people moving either direction. California is a major food-producer for the U.S. and exports food to the world. Water is crucial to that agriculture.

    The State of California has this year curtailed massive amounts of water that the farmers previously used in years past, due to the drought. This is so that the cities can have sufficient water.

  64. Roger Sowell says:

    RJ, as I wrote above and provided a link to, my plan is to divert a portion of the Missouri River water, at Kansas City, and conduct that water southwest to the continental divide at New Mexico, just southwest of Albuquerque. The water would drain into the tributaries of the Colorado River, and from there to Southern California.

  65. E.M.Smith says:

    John K. Sutherland (10:45:51) : Considering how easily we move oil and gas through pipelines,

    And coal in trains and gravel in trains.

    A few good canals

    Would have trouble climbing up the mountains… but I suppose you could put in lift stations.

    or pipelines from the rockies, or the Great Lakes, or the soon-to-flood rivers between Canada and the US to California would do wonders for their Central Valley.

    Pipeline would be good in summer, but the time to build would be long. It would be faster to ship via rail in winter since there would be no construction delay and no environmental impact report for the transportation system. Though a bit more costly per ton. Then again, folks are already picking up the snow off the streets, so just dump it into a rail car and haul it to a river head somewhere in California… I suspect the volume, though large on a city street would be trivial compared to California water usage.

    Californian’s do not seem to mind getting screwed for everything else;

    We do mind, we’re just numb, that’s all. Given that Washington DC seems to be emulating us (my deepest apologies for my fellow Californians having inflicting Boxer and Feinstein on you!) I suspect you will be feeling numb soon too…

  66. Ellie in Belfast says:

    hotrod (17:30:02) :
    Thanks for the links – big water engineering certainly necessary in the US. The river gauges are interesting – you can see the daily snow melt in the river levels (trying to stay on topic!).

    Roger, the energy requirements you propose (from link) are comparable (slightly less) to that used by the Edmonston Pumping Plant at the Southern end of the California Aquaduct (thanks to Charles the Moderator for links) which is rated 835MW for raising water 600m at design flow of 4,480 ft³/s (9 m³/s). That is about 80,000m3/day.

    For comparison seawater desalination figures for California are here:
    http://www.coastal.ca.gov/desalrpt/dchap1.html
    This gives energy requirements and I get MGD but have trouble with the Acre Foot unit (getting my head round it i mean – as someone who is used to SI units). A rough figure for reverse osmosis energy use is 120MW requirement for 1000m3/day (260,000 USG), so I can see why CA does not want to go down that route.

  67. Ron de Haan says:

    RJ Hendrickson (23:30:27) :

    The states (and Canada) containing and bordering the Great Lakes and the source of the Mississippi may disagree with your plans to pump water from there to the west. And Congress agrees with them.

    http://www.glc.org/about/glbc.html

    Even if they agree to sell some water, I’d bet it’s not going to be cheap. It’s probably cheaper to move people east instead of the water west. In fact, that’s already happenning – California has more people going than coming right now.

    RJ,

    That is what happens to States that are poorly managed.
    http://climatescience.blogspot.com/2009/02/co2-emission-controls-killing.html

    I don’t think the lack of water has much to do with it.

  68. tallbloke says:

    Hotrod, thanks for the very informative post.

    Ellie, my own recollection was that siphons were used on the Haweswater aqueduct my dad was involved with back in the ’50′s. I do take the point about greater elevations though.
    http://www.engineering-timelines.com/scripts/engineeringItem.asp?id=888
    The aqueduct shifts 477 million litres per day a distance of just under 100 miles.

    200 litres per person per day? They’d manage with a lot less if they had to carry it a mile in canisters from a borehole after hand pumping it. ;-)
    Or does this quantity include the amount used to irrigate the food they eat?

  69. E.M.Smith says:

    schnurrp (10:50:31) : It’s impossible for all paper to be made from recycled products. What better product than toilet paper to be made from “virgin” sources. A little hard to recyle, I’ll have to admit.

    Well, you can recycle it, just not into more paper… If your sewage treatment has an anaerobic first fermentation you can recycle it to methane gas for combustion. Many sewage plants now power their whole facility from electricity made from such methane (that formerly they vented).

    The Capstone Turbine company makes micro-turbine generators that use this ‘poor quality’ (i.e. diluted with some CO2) methane. (And yes, I own some of their stock CPST though all I’ve ever done is lose money on it…)

    BTW, that “virgin” is very misleading. Makes it sound like “old growth”. Mostly it’s 10 years old or so scrubby trees that they grow on a fast turns basis on tree farms specifically for paper. Much down in Georgia and Louisiana IIRC. It was about 20 years ago, but I once read about the great breakthrough they were making with tree farms for paper by harvesting them very young. Faster growth and harvest was with a big mower thing. “Virgin” does not mean “natural”, it just means “first harvest from the tree farm and not recycled yet”.

    So wipe in peace. It ain’t a national park you are using, it’s a farm product about as ‘natural’ as a corn field.

    Is there any satellite that looks at snow cover over Canada and N. USA? It would be interesting to know what that trend was doing over 30 years…

  70. Ellie in Belfast says:

    Tallbloke – fascinating! I suspect these might be inverted siphons (i.e. downhill first) and the height of the lakes would give a kick start push to any siphon. From the Missouri it would be uphill all the way.

    200L a day is the allowance per person (population equivalent) in the UK when designing sewage works. First figure that came to mind. You’re absolutely right that people can manage with a lot less, especially in dry climates. It makes me mad when people waste water here, because ‘it is free’ in our wet climate. They don’t see the energy needed in treating and moving even ‘clean’ water. [short rant over]

  71. E.M.Smith says:

    tallblokeR (14:47:09) :
    “Ellie in Belfast (13:37:43) :
    I’d imagine doing the math of piping vs desalination gets interesting.”

    It is now cheaper to built desalination in California than to put in a Dam in the Sierra Nevada and pipe the water downhill to the coast. But most of that cost is the land for the lake an pipes… and the legal fees ;-)

    Thinking about the US, I wonder if a pipeline going over a watershed would be a problem. As long as each end of the pipe is at the same altitude, it makes no difference what height you shift it to in between,

    Yes, though not as a siphon.

    My father was involved in creating the National Water Grid for the UK. I’m sure the US could do the same if it had the will to.

    Or the need. Despite all the hand wringing about water shortages, we have typically got all the water we need. I live in a drought area. About every decade or so we get to let our lawn hybernate and drive dirty cars. Not exactly onerous. This has become more frequent as the overbuilding got out of hand, but not because we could not get more water; just because of political stupidity that I won’t go into. (We also get to hand wash our garbage… Yes, in one of the highest cost labor markets on the planet in a drought prone semi-desert we are expected to remove food scraps from our recycle “stuff” via hand washing. I’d best shut up…)

    Reply: Siphons only work if the elevation you are traversing is 34 feet or less at 1 atmosphere. ~ charles the moderator

    Yup. That is why the giant pipelines that carry N. Calif water over the Tehachapi mountains pump it uphill, then generate electricity from the fall down the backside. Though they still call the pipes a siphon some times… don’t know why.

    This unexpected source has a decent write up about 1/2 way down:

    http://www.cardellawinery.com/agritourism/valley.php

    Here’s a specific example of one of the combined “water storage, hydroelectric recovery, pumped storage load leveling, recreation” facilities:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castaic_Dam

    And a general write up of one of the most impressive feats of water technology ever built:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Aqueduct

    A large part of California agriculture is due to this system.

    I watched a fair chunk of it be built. It was an impressive time. Back when we were more worried about making a living than whining about the end of living and how bad it would be… Strange, it was worse then and folks felt better; now it’s much more comfortable & easy and folks are much more distressed. We knew things were bad, so we made them better. Now we’re afraid they might become bad, so we’re paralyzed.

    Guess when you’ve got nothing to lose you don’t feel afraid of doing something to make it better. At any rate, you could not build such a structure today. We have more and better technology, but the degree of change it represents would cause too many folks to have fits.

    But my god it would be fun to be part of building the Dakotas to California and Parts In Between Aqueduct! If only…

  72. Jeff L says:

    What this record is really a testament to is the static nature of circulation patterns , really over the last 12 months, at least over the central part of North America. The patterns have been very non-dynamic, so , once in a pattern, you are likely to stay in that pattern. For example, here in the front range of Colorado, we are well below normal in snowfall for the same reason ND is well above normal – we have been under the mean ridge to the west of the mean trough which has been over the north central US.

    I do remember reading somewhere that relatively static patterns like this were correlated with low sun spot activity, but I can’t recall the source. If anyone knows about that, please post it

  73. Jeff Alberts says:

    RJ Hendrickson (23:30:27) :

    Even if they agree to sell some water, I’d bet it’s not going to be cheap. It’s probably cheaper to move people east instead of the water west. In fact, that’s already happenning – California has more people going than coming right now.

    I’d say that’s probably more due to the extremely high cost of living, over-regulation, and rolling brown-outs than water.

  74. tallbloke says:

    E.M.Smith
    And a general write up of one of the most impressive feats of water technology ever built

    I always enjoy reading your posts, though we have another true iconoclast coming up behind you in hareynolds I think. :-)

    While in the south of france last, I saw the most impressive feat of water technology ever built up to that time at the Pont du Gard. Great engineers those Romans.

    If people wasted less water as Ellie says, and conserved rainwater for irrigation purposes like I have, there would be no water shortage problem I agree.

  75. Roger Sowell says:

    More on the conceptual National Water Transfer Project ( I made that name up, it is not an official project to my knowledge).

    Ellie, so true about water-wasters. Even river water is not free, because it requires treatment (purification), pumping, distributing, metering, and billing. California has done pretty well over the past couple of decades, IIRC, in decreasing the per-capita water usage in the cities. But that has a limit, and now we need much more water.

    And you are so right about the big Edmonston plant, those are huge pumps and motors. As E.M.Smith wrote above, some of that power expended is recovered as hydroelectric at Castaic dam.

    My proposed NWTP (gotta come up with a catchier name) actually would solve a couple of problems. First, and obviously, is the periodic water shortage in California and other western states, and flooding along the Missouri. Second, what to do with wind power in the Plains when the power demand is in the big cities (the lack of transmission lines problem).

    As I wrote on my little blog: “One possibility on the national level is a water transfer system from the Missouri River at Kansas City, that runs approximately 800 miles southwest to the continental divide in New Mexico, just south of Interstate 40. From there the water would flow into tributaries of the Colorado River. The hydroelectric plants are already in place on Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam. Therefore, some of the power expended to pump the water uphill and 800 miles would be recovered. The elevation change is on the order of 6,000 feet.

    The water route will be through the U.S.’ great wind corridor, so it is conceivable to use windmills to provide energy to the pumps.

    The water transfer would obviate the need for power transmission lines, because power would be generated at Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam, then sent to Southern California or elsewhere through existing transmission lines. Thus, there would be some savings by not having to build power transmission lines to connect the wind-generators to cities.

    As you all may know, a useful means of storing excess wind-generated power is to pump water uphill for later use in hydroelectric plants when the power is needed. This trans-continental, uphill waterway would do exactly that, storing the water in Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

    I see no technical reasons this would not work. Crossing existing creeks, rivers, highways, railroads, hills, can all be done. However, on the legal and environmental side, there are more difficulties. There is a legal water-rights issue of transferring water from one water basin into another. This would transfer water from the Missouri water basin across a couple of other basins and into the Colorado water basin. Then there are the eminent domain issues to acquire the right-of-way. This is not a problem, if the federal government decrees the project is in the public interest. In practice, though, such decrees at times generate public hostility. Finally, the environmental issues are rather large. One can envision the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) for an 800-mile canal crossing several states!

    Still, such a project would be of ultimate good. The money spent would provide employment for thousands, and for many years. The energy generated by the windmills would be recovered (at least in part), which is in line with the “Generate Green” movement. In my not-so-humble opinion, that is far better than building a few nuclear power plants. And the water would go to good use, irrigating farms to feed the U.S. and the world.

    On the other hand, am I just California Dreamin… on such a winter’s day.

  76. Mike Lorrey says:

    We’ve had near record snowfall, a record number of power outage days, here in NH. We never got the typical january thaw, yet some are claiming its the warmest january ever.

    Sorry, the birds dont think so either, I’ve got several arctic species feeding at our feeders this winter, like the pine grosbeak, among others.

  77. Stephen Brown says:

    No, no, no! You’ve got it wrong! That esteemed journal, The Guardian, (aka the Grauniad for its frequent mis-spellings) that beacon of truth and integrity in journalism has informed us that North Dakota will soon be covered in sand dunes with the population expiring from thirst and heat. A railway engineer has told us so.
    Read all about it here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/feb/26/drought-us-climate-change

  78. Ken Smith says:

    Anthony, thanks so much for mentioning my home state of North Dakota. We’ve been having a wonderful winter. As a year-around runner, I’ve especially appreciated the chance to adapt to some cooler temps and snowier roads. This year I was able to do a ten-mile run at -26F, a new personal record. Two days ago I ran five miles in about ten inches of the fluffy stuff, also a new personal best.

    Only two things keep me from my runs: blinding blizzards and sheer icy surfaces. To the winters I say: bring it on, but only in season. I’m looking forward to running in shorts in a few months.

  79. Roger Sowell says:

    Mike Lorrey;

    Glad you have arctic birds!

    On the left side of the continent in Los Angeles, we will have a gathering of birds of a different feather. The world-famous “California loons” next Friday, will be at UCLA. This Link

  80. hotrod says:

    This gives energy requirements and I get MGD but have trouble with the Acre Foot unit (getting my head round it i mean – as someone who is used to SI units).

    1 acre foot = 1 233.48184 cubic meters

    One of the big problems with green energy sources like windmills is their intermittent power output can actually cause instability in an electrical grid. It will probably take some engineering to work out the most cost effective solution to this problem. You need some way to briefly store and release excess power in sync with the needs of the grid. Pumped water /hydro is one way to do that.

    One of the major challanges of AC power grids is that all the power plants on a given grid need to sync their AC cycle output to the grids. This is one of the reasons it can take hours to restart a grid after a blackout as each station needs to come online, stabilize power and frequency then slew its frequency to match up with the grid. The U.S. solves part of this problem by dividing the country into an eastern and western grid that are electrically isolated from each other (can run at different phase/frequency) by using huge AC- DC- AC isolators to shift power between the grids. (I think the Texas grid is also independent but do not know how they tie to the other national grids).

    Regarding the heavy snows in the Dakotas and cold weather in the east, it is common for Colorado to be in a warm dry cycle while the north east is freezing cold or up to their eyeballs in white stuff. As mentioned above, the long term average circulations tend to set up stable patterns that redirect cold outbreaks to a specific area through out the winter.

    Over my 50+ years of life I have come to the perception (not documented just an observation) that these patterns tend to precess to the west year to year. By that I mean that my expectation is that next year eastern sea board temps will be warmer and the cold zone will cover the Rockies and central plains and the warm dry zone covering our area this year will shift west into Utah-Nevada and possibly the Sierra’s.

    It would be interesting to look at long term weather records over the U.S. and average winter temperature and precipitation statistics to see if this “perception” is real or just selective recall.

    In the past I recall exactly the opposite of this years situation, where the Central U.S was freezing its buns off, and the eastern seaboard was unseasonably warm. Likewise it being very dry here while northern California, Oregon and Washington getting drenching spring rains. It might be another manifestation of the ocean oscillations or a general pattern that the seasonal loops in the jet stream slowly walk east to west. (I have no numeric data to back this up just a pattern my brain has picked out over the years).

    Larry

  81. Ellie in Belfast says:

    hotrod (13:15:13) :
    1 acre foot = ~1200m3. OK that’s easier to deal with. Ta.

    Re weather perception. My father always reckons that when the US East cost gets extreme snow, we’re in for an icy blast about 4-6 weeks later across the Atlantic.

    As i child i remember a friend of my father’s telling us that Native American lore says that in a year with 13 full moons the summer will be very poor (cold/wet) and that the year before and after will be similar. That was in response to a year with 13 moons and a run of poor summers. I can’t remember when though… It has come to mind as the last two summers have been terrible in the UK (if it would hold for the UK – not every where can have a bad summer) and I wondered if 2008 had 13 moons. Must check, out of curiosity.

  82. Bob Wood says:

    If we get too much snow, its because of global warming; if we got very little snow it would be because of global warming! so they say!

  83. E.M.Smith says:

    hotrod (13:15:13) : The U.S. solves part of this problem by dividing the country into an eastern and western grid that are electrically isolated from each other (can run at different phase/frequency) by using huge AC- DC- AC isolators to shift power between the grids. (I think the Texas grid is also independent but do not know how they tie to the other national grids).

    Basically right. East, West, Texas. All with limited interconnections. We also interconnect with Canada and Mexico. A decent write up is here:

    http://www.energetics.com/gridworks/grid.html

    with a more detailed PDF available at the bottom.

    FWIW there is a rather fascinating thing in the Pacific DC Intertie that hooks LA into the PNW. 3100 MW on two surprisingly small wires at really high voltage… We need a few of these connecting blocks elsewhere in the grid…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_DC_Intertie

  84. gary gulrud says:

    “I agree that shipping excess water west to California is a grand and great idea. A national project would be required, similar to the interstate highway program of the 1960’s. This is an economic stimulus project that makes sense. ”

    We have an burgeoning need of another Civil War.

  85. Richard deSousa says:

    OT From the BBC:

    British explorers are visiting the Arctic to measure the area of ice and it’s thickness. The believe they will find proof the Arctic ice cap is shrinking and is thinner:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7917266.stm

  86. tallbloke says:

    Roger Sowell
    My proposed NWTP (gotta come up with a catchier name)

    National Excess Water Transfer Aqueduct Program – NEWTAP

    :-)

  87. hotrod says:

    The believe they will find proof the Arctic ice cap is shrinking and is thinner:

    That may be a stretch to say they can find proof since they have little in the way of baseline data to compare to.
    To my knowledge no one has ever made this sort of over ice measurement before. Given the vagaries of the ice, no one will ever be able to exactly repeat it, so it will be an isolated data point for future reference, but difficult to compare to other ice thickness measurements.

    It will take a lot of similar efforts to build any sort of meaningful data to compare to historic submarine sea ice data from the cold war and satellite based attempts to measure ice.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305105209.htm

    Using this new technique, the thickness of Arctic sea ice was estimated from 1982 to 2003. Results showed that average ice thickness and total ice volume fluctuated together during the early study period, peaking in the late 1980s and then declining until the mid-1990s. Thereafter, ice thickness slightly increased but the total volume of sea ice did not increase.

    Scientists propose that the volume stayed constant during the study’s latter years because while the ice was thickening in the high latitudes of the Arctic, the surrounding sea ice was melting. Sea ice, however, can only become so thick, and if Arctic sea ice continues to melt, the total volume of sea ice in the Arctic will decrease.

    Larry

  88. Roger Sowell says:

    tallbloke

    NEWTAP — Excellent, sir, Excellent!

    It shall be henceforth known thereas.

    Now, to get the little trench dug and operational before my as-yet unborn grandchildren grow old…

    It only required 8 years to build the Erie canal 365 miles…

  89. Allen says:

    Just catching up on some RSS feeds. Funny to see ND mentioned as I was just chatting with someone about the bitch of a winter they’ve been having up there. I can remember plenty of winters when christmas was nothing more than that ugly snirt. We used to joke it just got too cold to snow. Looks like this winter is showing it can never get too cold to snow. :)

    Of course we all know one winter in and of itself doesn’t prove much of anything. But if the earth were getting warmer, what we’d expect to see with time are less and less winters like this one in North Dakota. We’d expect to see the range of pesky critters like armadillos to work their way north. Doesn’t seem like that is happening.

    As for the flooding potential of the red, I hope no one ever has to live through what happened to Grand Forks in 97. That was hell. But anyone who understands the region wouldn’t be as daft as a GW nutters to label it as a one of those catastrophic events that’s GW is going to cause.

    It happened because of an unusually snowy winter. The winter had a high moisture content. It’s possible a lot of the flooding in GF could have been avoided had the national weather service not used an archaic, inaccurate way of predicting flood potential that didn’t take into account the snow’s moisture content. That would’ve released Fed funds to build up the dikes as an emergency. Then again, the local and state govt’s were too busy pleading for the money when they stood to loose a lot… but that’s another story.

    Anyway, it was a bit of a shock since it wasn’t “predicted” (again, poor method for the prediction). But also because many overlook how insanely flat it is there. The Red River of the North not only flows north, a situation that leads to spring water flowing into lower capacity iced over riverway to the north, but it has one of the smalliest gradients of any river in the world. It is F L A T.

    Not only doesn’t the water natually flow away very fast but since WWII the farmers up there have, to put it technically, gone ape shit with draining any bit of land the possibly can for farming, tiling to speed up the flow of water and digging huge ditches that quickly carry that water away from their fields and send it speeding at the Red and it’s tributaries.

    That is, in the last few decades man kind has made HUGE changes that affect the situation. Now I don’t blame the farmers for doing it. It actually makes a lot of sense. It’s just that in the context of the frequency of flooding and the size of flooding up there, we need to have a big asterick in there indicating that when we’re comparing water levels in 1997 it’s really a different situation than 1956 (or whatver year it had the big flood that prompted the canucks to build a mega diversion around the east side of Winnipeg).

  90. Nodak says:

    global warming is a farce dreamed up by middle aged liberals with not enough to do with their time. the earth has went through things before that we have control over ( ice age ) etc. yes we need to clean things up but most of what they want are stupid. the best we can do is Pray, God can do things we can’t but you have to ask him. as for the snow, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF, we can use all we have & more

  91. Dad says:

    Wich it would melt so I might see my son ????

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