Japan BOM: Global Warming will cause Heavier Snowfall


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Japan Meteorological Agency thinks global warming will lead to heavier snowfall in Northern Japan.

According to writer Susumu Yoshida of the Asahi Shimbun, a prominent Japanese national newspaper;

Global warming will bring more heavy snow in northern Japan

Logic would tell us that continuing global warming will lead to less snowfall, but the opposite will be true in some areas of northern Japan, according to a meteorological simulation.

By the end of this century, while the country as a whole will receive a smaller amount of snow, Hokkaido and inland areas of the Hokuriku region will experience more frequent heavy snowfalls, the Meteorological Research Institute of the Japan Meteorological Agency announced Sept. 23.

The reasoning behind the prediction is that larger amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere caused by higher temperatures will make it easier for belts of snow clouds to develop above the Sea of Japan when the air pressure pattern is typical of the winter.

According to the results of the institution’s precise simulation, the Japanese archipelago will have lighter snowfall during the winter, if the mean annual temperature increases three degrees from the current level between 2080 and 2100.

Read more: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201610100004.html

Tracking original source material is a bit tricky because I don’t read or write Japanese, but the following appears to be part of an official Japanese Meteorological Report – though I am not sure if it is the source material referenced by Yoshida.

Snowfall in winter (Fig 6.1, Fig 6.2)

Snowfall in winter (December – March) is projected to decrease under both scenarios A1B and B1, in most areas except Hokkaido. The projected decrease for scenario A1B is greater than that for B1.

The projected increase in snowfall at high altitudes in Hokkaido for scenario A1B is greater than for the B1.

Heavy snowfall in winter (Fig 7.1, Table 7.1, Table 7.2)

The frequency of heavy snowfall is projected to increase at high altitudes in Hokkaido. The projected rate of increase for scenario A1B is greater than that for B1.

In most areas except Hokkaido, the frequency of heavy snowfall is projected to decrease for scenario A1B more than that for B1.

Read more: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/gwp/gwp7/html_e/summary.html

All I can say is thank goodness we are not experiencing global cooling, otherwise we might have no snowfall at all.

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October 11, 2016 9:58 pm

Japan has awesome skiing. I guess it is going to get even better.
Not an issue for skiers. Or tourists.

george e. smith
Reply to  Wayne Delbeke
October 12, 2016 7:18 am

“””””….. Logic would tell us that continuing global warming will lead to less snowfall, …..”””””
Actually, logic would tell us nothing of that sort. In fact if global warming does NOT lead to more snowfall, we need to ask for a recount.
Higher Temperatures lead to higher evaporation (7% per deg. C rise), and higher evaporation must lead to an equal increase in precipitation, which must lead to increased snowfall in regions where snowfalls occur now. Thermodynamics tends to move the warmer moist air to cooler drier regions where it can precipitate.
So nyet on the more global warming not leading to more snow.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  george e. smith
October 12, 2016 8:23 am

@ George e,

and higher evaporation must lead to an equal increase in precipitation, which must lead to increased snowfall in regions where snowfalls occur now.

Not exactly …… but you are bout 75% correct.
A continuing increase in near-surface temperatures will cause an equal increase in transpiration and/or evaporation.
And increases in transpiration and/or evaporation will cause an equal increase in precipitation.
But that equal increase in precipitation doesn’t mean there will be equal increases in both the rainfall and snowfall precipitation if measured at the surface.
The measured amount of rainfall and snowfall is determined by the elevation of the surface upon which said precipitation alights.
So, more evaporation means more snowfall precipitation in the high elevations of the mountainous terrain.

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
October 12, 2016 2:50 pm

Already covered that Sam.
“””””….. increased snowfall in regions where snowfalls occur now. …..”””””
And since increased temperatures in Tropical areas where most of the solar energy goes, must increase wind speeds (thermals) the rate of transport of moist air masses towards the poles must increase. So don’t go suggesting that snow will decline in preference to rain, unless you can prove that.

Ian L. McQueen
Reply to  george e. smith
October 12, 2016 6:27 pm

I’m just curious if this is from the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship. If so, I suspect that the 7% is the potential to hold the amount of water vapor, not the higher rate of evaporation.
Ian M

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  george e. smith
October 13, 2016 4:08 am

“””””….. increased snowfall in regions where snowfalls occur now. …..”””””

But, but, but, but ….. George, that was what prompted my critique, ….. it’s too much of a “blanket” statement.
Iffen snowfall now accumulates in the “lowlands” here n’ there, …… then an increase in near-surface average temperatures will cause that high altitude snow that is falling toward the ground to become …… raindrops by the time it hits the surface …… and/or …….. to quickly melt shortly after it alights on the surface.
Here where I live in West Virginia, both the “residence-time” on the surface and the “accumulated-depth” on the surface of the Wintertime snowfalls …… have been in decline for the past 70 years ….. and I can testify to that fact (except the 20 years I was in NY and PA)
It’s been 65 years since we were subjected to a snowfall like this one.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
October 13, 2016 7:05 am

They moved to the DC area in the 80’s, we had a couple 22″+ storms, low pressure out of the gulf, arching up the east coast, getting hit by a arctic cold front out of Canada.
Where they collide(when conditions are right), they dump multiple feet of snow.
I grew up in NE Ohio in the 60’s, with what I know now, our summers were mostly canadian air, giving us of 70 and low 80’s day time temps, and likely august/sept, which was our one hot part of summer was more of a mix of tropical air out of the gulf.
Now, it’s more mixed, with maybe as much as 50% tropical air. This causes a 10 to 20 F bump in local temps, caused by the water vapor the air carries which is expressed by dew point temps. And dew points are the key to the nonlinear night time cooling regulation, not co2.
The jet stream helps define which air mass sits overhead, and it has to contour to the ocean warm/high pressure spots, especially if they live a long time. We just saw the effects of the warm el nino pool of water had on the jet stream and therefore out surface weather.
The decadal ocean cycles do the same thing.
Modern warming is just a change in distribution of surface water vapor by altered wind patterns, and the resultant change in readings of surface stations over the continents.

Mary Brown
Reply to  george e. smith
October 13, 2016 6:50 am

Samual Cogar….
Do you have any data to back up a decline in West Virginia snowfall?
At the locations i have seen in Virginia, the 1960s had the most snow by far. But other than that, there has been no trend. The 1980s had very little. Same with the 1950s. The past 20 years have been about average with some notable huge snowfall years
Everyone I talk to everywhere I go says that it snowed more when they were young. If you were a kid in Virginia in the 1960s that is probably true but for most people it’s just perception.
I would be interested in seeing long term West Virginia snowfall records

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  george e. smith
October 13, 2016 10:57 am

Mary Brown has asked me, to wit:

Samual(sic) Cogar….
Do you have any data to back up a decline in West Virginia snowfall?
If you were a kid in Virginia(sic) in the 1960s that is probably true but for most people it’s just perception.

Well now Mary Brown, I was a kid in West “by GOD” Virginia in the 1940s, ….. a teenager in West “by GOD” Virginia in the 1950s ….. and a Sophomore in College in West “by GOD” Virginia in 1960, ……. and given the fact that I have a semi-photographic memory and extremely good “recall abilities”, my memories of my adolescent years are pretty much based in fact, with little to none being attributed to “perception” of what might have occurred.
I do know for a fact, that in the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s we could go “sleigh riding” with our steel-runner sleds on the “snow and ice” accumulations on the Town’s sidewalks, streets, etc. from late November thru February, …… whereas now days, most adolescents in WV don’t even know what a “steel-runner” sled is, and most of said kids have NEVER done any “sleigh riding” simply because the snowfalls never last long enough on the ground to stage a “snowball fight”, let alone go sledding.
The Great Appalachian Storm of November 1950

Mary Brown
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
October 13, 2016 11:04 am

Purely anecdotal

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  george e. smith
October 13, 2016 11:16 am

@ micro6500
Great post, and very informative ta boot.
And the DC area had a few good snowfalls in the early to mid 60’s,
And so did Philadelphia and the Norristown area. And I know that for a fact because I was “marooned” in my Apartment Building for at least four (4) days because they didn’t have the “snow removal” equipment to clean the 20+ inches of snowfall off the “parking lot” or the main road in front of the apartment building.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
October 13, 2016 11:57 am

And the DC area had a few good snowfalls in the early to mid 60’s,
And so did Philadelphia and the Norristown area. And I know that for a fact because I was “marooned” in my Apartment Building for at least four (4) days

It’s all that tropical evaporated water being blown poleward to cool.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  george e. smith
October 13, 2016 3:24 pm

Mary Brown – October 13, 2016 at 11:04 am

Purely anecdotal

So, just as I suspected, a “brainwashed” liberal lemming who surely acquired their socialistic and “junk science” education in the late 70’s when Wacky Tobacca and other hallucinogenic pills n’ powders were being distributed by Teachers and Professors.
Mary Brown, please explain to me why …… you think that “facts and evidence” obtained via personal research of historical documents that define or describe eyewitness accounts ……… are far more true and factual than …… any and all personal eyewitness verbal accounts of the aforesaid “facts and evidence”?
Mary B, do you not realize just how stupid and asinine your “Purely anecdotal” response is/was?

Mary Brown
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
October 13, 2016 4:14 pm

No, i dont
Data please…

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  george e. smith
October 14, 2016 3:40 am

Mary B, click on this hyperlink to read the published data you requested.
It will explain many things to you that you never before realized.

Mary Brown
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
October 14, 2016 7:37 am

I was expecting snowfall data for West Virginia

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  george e. smith
October 15, 2016 4:54 am

I already knew what you were “expecting” ….. and it wasn’t “snowfall data for West Virginia”.
You have been hoping, praying and “expecting” to prove to yourself and the rest of the world that you are smarter and more intelligent than me …… but that ain’t gonna happen ….. except in your dreams …… or the approval of your like-minded peers that agree with your obfuscated rhetoric.
This ain’t my first rodeo, …. ya know.

Joel O’Bryan
October 11, 2016 10:03 pm

Just more climate religion hokum.
IOW, Everything that may happen with climate will be attributable to Climate Change. Colder, warmer, wetter, more snow, less snow, drier, windier, calmer, storms more severe, storms less severe.
It matters not, it’s climate change. So surrender your freedoms, your wallets. Submit to the climate borg. Resistance is futile.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 12, 2016 6:44 am

You left out the affect of Climate Change on the stock market, inflation/deflation, the Syrian civil war, the price of clarified butter in Bangladesh, Maduro’s popularity in Venezuela, the fight against ISIS, the value of the British pound post Brexit, etc., etc.
That’s why AGW skeptics get a bad rap; they always leave out stuff that should not be omitted.
Get with the program.

October 11, 2016 10:06 pm

Okay, how are they going to explain it when the WHOLE country gets more snow? Would it be okay to call it cooling then??? Or will it be some sort of weirding and “it’s not normal snow”?

October 11, 2016 10:16 pm

Never know,
The Sahara might become fertile again.

Feed all of Africa maybe:)

george e. smith
Reply to  rogerthesurf
October 12, 2016 7:20 am

Even New Zealand cannot feed all of Africa. Only Africa can do that.

October 11, 2016 10:42 pm

if the mean annual temperature increases three degrees from the current level between 2080 and 2100.
That would imply a sensitivity so high as to be between utterly absurd and completely ridiculous.

george e. smith
Reply to  davidmhoffer
October 12, 2016 7:22 am

Is utterly absurd less, or more than completely ridiculous, and how much difference is there between them ??

Reply to  george e. smith
October 12, 2016 11:04 am


October 11, 2016 10:45 pm

Melting of the world’s ice sheets is another possible effect of CO2 warming. If they melted entirely, sea level would rise – 70 m. However, their natural response time is thousands of years, and it is not certain whether CO2 warming will cause the ice sheets to shrink or grow. For example, if the ocean warms but the air above the ice sheets remains below freezing, the effect could be increased snowfall, net ice sheet growth, and thus lowering of sea level.

J. Hansen et al., “Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Science, vol. 213, no. 4511, pp. 957–966, 1981.
This is an interesting topic historically. First, amidst lots of speculation about an ice free arctic, in 1956 Ewing and Donn proposed a series of feedbacks that an ice-free Arctic could trigger the next ice age (more snowfall on the surrounding lands was the start of it).
This recognition in the 1970s and 1980s that small increases in temperature (2C or 3C) might increase the ice caps caused a problem for those proposing rising sea levels as the threat of global warming. The rising of the waves was turning out to be the aspect of AGW that had the greatest scare impact. How to maintain it? In 1981 Hansen won his first NYT front page despite the above quoted acknowledgement . How did he do it? The answer was a very smooth shift to (the previously forgotten impact of) ocean thermal expansion and a great deal of excitement about the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Cap.

george e. smith
Reply to  berniel
October 12, 2016 7:23 am

How about just ordinary common garden variety solar warming rather than CO2 warming ??

October 11, 2016 11:09 pm

Yet another computer model. It does sort of make sense in a perverse way, as warmer commonly implies wetter, and if the temperature does not rise enough, the precipitation would be more snow. Three degrees does seem very unlikely (8.5 again?).

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Tom Halla
October 11, 2016 11:44 pm

Much of the Laurentian Ice Shield mass probably came as moisture extracted by bitter Siberian-Arctic winter winds blowing across a warm, ice free Arctic Ocean, with summers too brief to thaw it all before the next winter.
The thermal inertia of the oceans relative to land ensures they lag greatly under changing climatic conditions.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 12, 2016 2:42 am

It makes sense in a non-perverse, totally normal and understandable way. This effect has been discussed for decades, as some comments above have said. There is nothing remotely surprising to anyone with a little understanding that some areas will get more snow in a warmer world.
I suspect the 3 degrees should refer to pre-industrial rather than now.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Tom Halla
October 12, 2016 5:04 am

It’s not really perverse. Increased temperature will cause increased water vapor in the air. This a far more important factor than small changes in temperature, especially since they get so much of their wind from the oceans to the south. Just by eyeballing the facts, I’d say their conclusions are fairly probably given their assumptions.

tony mcleod
Reply to  Ben of Houston
October 12, 2016 3:35 pm

What is perverse is that Eric being fully aware of this chooses to troll it as click bait.

October 11, 2016 11:36 pm

They need to take this up with Dr David Viner.

October 12, 2016 12:05 am

I think it is wonderful that snowfall in Japan does not require cold temperatures.
And by coincidence, will fall in the northern areas just like it always has.

October 12, 2016 12:17 am

If a model predicts the universality of all choice of the world, it is not a model. Models allow us to make accurate predictions. Universality of all possible states is not a model.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
October 12, 2016 2:46 am

Donald, have another look at the model output- it predicts decreased snowfall in most of the country and increased snowfall in one specific area. That is a precise and testable. That is a very, very far cry from “universality”.
If they had said that snow would either increase or decrease then that would be a problem, but that was not what they said

October 12, 2016 12:32 am

It does make some kind of sense i think but it is one of those “honey i ran the climate model” papers.

Keith Woollard
October 12, 2016 12:41 am

Aren’t they just confusing relative and absolute humidity? The absolute humidity will go up with increasing temperature, but there is no indication that worldwide relative humidity will change is there?

Reply to  Keith Woollard
October 12, 2016 2:48 am

They are almost certainly not confusing absolute with relative humidity. They almost certainly understand the difference. They are experts. That does not make them right, but it is a bit presumptuous to assume they have made a very simple and fundamental error of the type you suggest.

Reply to  seaice1
October 12, 2016 6:41 am

but it is a bit presumptuous to assume they have made a very simple and fundamental error of the type you suggest.

They allow higher than 100% relative humidity at the air water boundary, otherwise the models run cold.
That isn’t physical.

October 12, 2016 2:06 am

My Uncle Adam, a Maryknoll Missionary, was stationed on Hokkaido in the 1970s. We have a number of photos he took of people walking down snow covered…… cities. Literally: a woman walking past the TOP of a traffic light.
I don’t think they are going to care much if they get a little bit more.

October 12, 2016 2:32 am

Has Professor Viner heard about this?

October 12, 2016 2:36 am

Sounds like a negative feedback to me. It would cool the surface more than rain and would reflect more heat because it’s white.

October 12, 2016 3:52 am

If you cover enough bases, a few of them will actually occur. That ‘prediction’ will be met with great applause and fanfare, while ignoring all the misses.

October 12, 2016 4:45 am

Marvellous things computers, they can give any result you program into them.

October 12, 2016 5:12 am

Those 80 years in the future predictions are nonsensical. I doubt that any have ever come to pass.

Reply to  arthur4563
October 12, 2016 6:42 am

You mean we aren’t driving flying cars?

Reply to  MarkW
October 12, 2016 1:18 pm

Only because with our moving sidewalks and teleportation we don’t need them!

October 12, 2016 6:18 am

I believe they are clearly stating that they have no idea what will happen with global warming.

David in Cal
October 12, 2016 6:54 am

It’s plausible that increased water vapor could lead to increased precipitation of all types. The claim that bugs me is that global warming will lead to more floods AND more droughts.

Reply to  David in Cal
October 12, 2016 7:05 am

It’s plausible that increased water vapor could lead to increased precipitation of all types

But it’s not happening, here’s the linear regression of Rel humidity for all global stations (avg 2,700/year)
y=-0.0029x +69.718 R2=0.002
Dew Points
y=-0.0282x +43.483 R2=0.0735
This is from NCDC reported daily data.

Mary Brown
Reply to  micro6500
October 12, 2016 8:48 am

Precip is up globally… but I don’t have actual data handy

October 12, 2016 8:19 am

Is that part of nuclear winter in Japan?

Mary Brown
October 12, 2016 8:47 am

This same thing has already happened here in the US. Check the snowfall in Erie, PA. The average annual snowfall trendline rose from 85″ in 1977 to 105″ in 2010. Temps rose 2 deg K in that period.
Basically, warmer water temps + same old cold air outbreaks from the arctic = more lake effect snow.

Reply to  Mary Brown
October 12, 2016 11:04 am

Thank you Mary……
Lake effect snow (in effect), as seen downwind of the Great Lakes.
The N Island of Japan is on the receiving end of viciously cold winter winds straight from Siberia, which convect copiously over the Sea of Japan.
If the SST’s are higher than normal, then the snowfall will be higher. It is the sea temperature that is what matters, not the air temp/humidity.

Reply to  Mary Brown
October 12, 2016 4:10 pm

Why 1977-2010?
Under temp&history ‘current week’ dropdown menu, choose ‘All’

Reply to  clipe
October 12, 2016 4:16 pm

That would be ‘history&forecast’

Mar Brown
Reply to  clipe
October 13, 2016 6:36 am

1977 was when temps bottomed. 2010 was when we did the study. We thought snowfall data was suspect before the 60’s
The period after 1977 has had generally rising temps.
So, the period 1977-2010 was a nice test case for the impact of warmer air/water on a lake effect snow area. We did the study when an Erie client wanted to know how much less snow they get now than “the good old days”. They were certain that it just “doesnt snow like it used to”. When we gave them the data, they dismissed it, saying “well, it all melts right away now”
An academic study would need to be more robust than this simple result but the findings are not at all surprising to me.

Reply to  Mary Brown
October 13, 2016 12:42 pm

That “temps rose 2 deg K in that period (1977-2010)” would come as a surprise to those acquainted with the station data for Erie, PA. See: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/stdata_show.cgi?id=425003626820&ds=5&dt=1

Mary Brown
Reply to  1sky1
October 13, 2016 2:30 pm

Should have said F not K (c)
The data we had, for winter only I believe, the trendline rose 2 deg F
What does your link show ?

Reply to  1sky1
October 13, 2016 3:25 pm

The precipitation data hardly shows any secular trend. See: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=erie,+pa+precipitation Meanwhile the linear trend for temperature rises only at .026F/yr, according to the same source. But short-term trends are highly variable, thus are not reliable in establishing physical relationships between variables, unless they’re very highly correlated. Temps and snowfall clearly are not.

Reply to  1sky1
October 13, 2016 3:31 pm

To see the annual precipitation in the Wolframalpha link, select “all” for data interval.

October 12, 2016 9:05 am

Can you believe that I, an air-conditioning mechanical engineer, brought the pyschrometric chart to the University of Hawaii in 2010. They were having trouble understanding air and impingement of clouds and vapor into mountains. Changed their entire outlook and methods. Only got one “thank you” LOL

Reply to  stock
October 13, 2016 3:47 pm

Yes, I can easily believe that air-conditioning MEs understand psychrometry far better than do “climate scientists.” After all, the entire “greenhouse-effect” paradigm was developed in abject ignorance of the keen difference between radiative and thermodynamic equilibrium.

October 12, 2016 9:29 am

Glaciations are extreme cases of global warming dontchano?

October 12, 2016 2:53 pm

By that theory, if the weather gets cold enough, then there may be no snow left at all!

Mary Brown
Reply to  ntesdorf
October 12, 2016 3:22 pm

It snows more parts of Georgia Than it does that the north and south pole

tony mcleod
Reply to  Mary Brown
October 12, 2016 6:24 pm

Antarctic average snowfall about 6.5 inches. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Antarctica
Parts of Australia get several feet.
Move along, nothing to see…

Reply to  Mary Brown
October 12, 2016 6:46 pm
tony mcleod
Reply to  Mary Brown
October 12, 2016 7:19 pm

Um, no?

October 12, 2016 4:07 pm

AGW causes more snow, and less snow.
What’s so hard to understand about that?

Mary Brown
Reply to  geran
October 13, 2016 7:03 am

I think you were being facetious but it’s true. AGW would cause more snow in cases like the one we are discussing. It would also cause less snow in more marginal climates.
The net result is that the snowfall pattern changes are just another butterfly tweak to A non-linear chaotic system. An infinite number of these butterfly tweaks to the chaotic system makes models a complete crapshoot

October 17, 2016 3:43 am

So as it continues to get colder and colder as the result of low solar activity, it gets snowier and snowier. And it becomes more obvious that global cooling is underway. All climate data is faked including the satelite data:
Then they start saying that global warming causes more snow, that’s not what they said before when they said global warming will mean almost no snow. SO now they come up with this utterbullshit that global warming is the same exact conditions as a MIA-which is what the world experienced the last time there was solar activity this low.
But how do they explain heavy snow in tropical regions like central mexico, vietnam, Lybia, Syria, Taiwan? For that the media just ignors it and tries to sweep it under the rug. How long can they keep bullshitting everyone with fake data and ridiculous theories? apparently a very long time; But 2020 is just around the corner and so is high volcanic activity to go along with low solar activity.

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