Warming and the Snows of Yesteryear

Reposted from American Thinker

By Gregory Wrightstone

I was recently reminded of one of the most common misconceptions about our changing climate that is often accepted as fact by climate skeptics and true believers alike. Last week a commentary written by a fellow geologist and colleague lamented the less snow and cold in recent winters compared to the winters of his youth in Kentucky in the 1950s and 60s. He also related a talk he had with an octogenarian in Europe over the holidays who told him that he also recalled common snow during Christmas in Germany but alas, no longer.

This nearly universally held belief that even the most skeptical of us tend to believe is “warming by recollection.” Virtually every person from snowy climes claims that winters today are nothing like they were when they were a child. This recollection reinforces the thought that we are experiencing global warming within our own lifetime. Never mind that the slight warming of ~0.6 oF (0.3 oC) that a typical 45-year-old may have experienced since that big snowfall when he was five years old is much too slight to be recognizable by anyone.

Before I looked at the actual data on the subject, I also believed that the snow of my youth in Pennsylvania exceeded any of recent decades. My research into snowfall records for my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, showed that my memory of snowfalls past was quite flawed. Snowfall here had been on the rise, rather than in decline.

Further examination from around the country revealed that this was not the exception, but the rule, as snow has generally been on the increase dating back many decades. My colleague’s recollection was equally flawed and records indicate that five of the top ten snowiest Februarys in his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, had occurred since 1975!

This notion is not a new one.  In 1801, Thomas Jefferson expressed similar opinions about the moderating temperature and lack of snowfall.

Both heats and cold are becoming much more moderate within the memory even of the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less deep…. The rivers which then seldom failed to freeze over in the course of the winter, scearcely (sic) ever do now.

— Thomas Jefferson 1801

Just like Thomas Jefferson in 1801, we remember those times that are remarkable, while forgetting the unremarkable. Our memories are filled with the times of extreme weather conditions as opposed to the moderate.

Big snowfalls periodically happen. Just like the picture below of me and my siblings in the snow in 1961, a six or eight-inch snowfall may come well past your knees when you are only five years old and three feet tall. It is a memory indelibly etched in your brain because it was so awesomely fun. (The odd-looking fellow in the bowler hat is my younger brother).

Increasing snow is not isolated to random sites in the United States but confirmed using data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab (GSL) that reveal snow cover both in North America and across the northern hemisphere have been increasing.

The mistaken notion of decreasing snowfall in our lifetimes reinforces the idea that many people have that supposed man-made warming is more significant and impactful than it really is. Despite the evidence to the contrary we are warned regularly of the “end of snow” from warming driven by our use of fossil fuels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned us in 2001 that “milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms.”

Dr. Kathryn Hayhoe, no stranger to failed alarmist predictions, stated in 2008 that the California region would experience 70% to 90% reduction in snowfall due to warming. This was just three years before California’s snowiest winter on record of 2010/2011.

As with so many other climate fantasies the “end of snow” prediction doesn’t stand up to review of the actual data. Go ahead and buy those skis, you will be using them often in the decades to come.

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist and author of the bestselling book, Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know.

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/01/warming_and_the_snows_of_yesteryear.html#ixzz6CZZHk4Bh
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141 thoughts on “Warming and the Snows of Yesteryear

  1. what does the science say about winter snow ( your january chart) .

    Unlike spring and summer snow that is predicted to FALL under warming scenarios
    Winter snow may INCREASE in certain locations and decrease in others. understanding why is simple for most people.

      • tty,

        do you know WHY Spring Snowfall decreased since the 1980’s?

        It isn’t surprising that it happened that way, but in recent years the decline appears to have stopped, again why is that a change?

      • Spring comes earlier now, at least in Europe, I don’t know about North America. But it is odd that apparently fall does not come later.

        The trend is downward for March through August, flat for February and September and upward for October through January.

        • Spring being what exactly?

          And that’s just playing with data. Averages versus other averages, all meaningless as the data is subjective – theres no actual physical law that says when flowers should appear or birds migrate or whatever. Literally made up stuff.

        • He’s not concerned about it, he was just trying to make his overall point by calling attention to the fact that there is less summer snowfall now than there had been historically. (Why Loydo didn’t jump in and demand proof that summer snowfall is decreasing just shows how biased Loydo is.)

          But then Mosher decided to be mean&ornery and say that “understanding why is simple for most people”; which just distracts from his very cogent point about trending summer snowfall events and the very real possibility that global warming will lead some summers where we actually have no blizzards and little snow.

          • ” some summers where we actually have no blizzards and little snow.”

            And wouldn’t that be terrible…

    • Great googlymoogly, Steven, did you read what you wrote? “Winter snow may INCREASE in certain locations and decrease in others”? That’s not a scientific statement, it’s handwaving. What locations were predicted to have increased winter snow, and which were predicted to have decreased? Does the data match the prediction? Where were these predictions even made, or is this just another case of EVERYTHING has been predicted, so there’s always someone’s to point to for any scenario?

    • The Greenland temperature is between – 5C & -40C at the moment .
      Just recently it hit a new record low of -66C , [ approx -85 F ] .
      The ice mass was lower in 2012 – 2013 , but has been increasing in the last few years & is now at , [ or just above ] , the 40 year average amount .
      http://polarportal.dk/en/greenland/surface-conditions/

      But 2 warm days last year at the end of July caused slightly above average ice melt , which sent the Green Loonies into hysterics about all of the ice melting .
      The fact was , if the ice had continued to melt at that rate , & it never got cold again in the Winter , then in 12,500 years the Greenland ice sheet would have been half gone .
      But it is now Winter again & the ice is increasing back up to the 40 year average .
      Not that that will stop the lies from the AGW crowd .

      • “The ice mas… is now at , [ or just above ] , the 40 year average amount .”
        Your link shows surface mass balance not total mass balance. Totla mass balance has trended steadily down for decades.

    • Lordy, I’m in agreement with Mr Mosher. There’s plenty of people know that colder winter weather is often dry, and vice versa.

      Much of the Antarctic interior is formally a desert, which is one more reason to doubt speculation about the ice cap shrinking. Yet only yesterday the BBC was ranting again about rising sea levels which they asserted definitely”will” happen.

      The only thing I confidently predict is that the BBC will continue breaking its charter until somebody takes their money away.

    • That’s such a cop out. Please cite evidence that certain regions have experienced increased snowfall because of higher temperatures. Don’t hand wave about “greater evaporation”. Cite something that proves that higher evaporation rates have caused higher precipitation and that those higher temperatures are responsible for the increase in snowfall.

    • Winter snow has always been variable, increasing in some places while decreasing in others, in random fashion over different periods. Understanding why is simple for most people.

  2. As I have frequently recounted, here and elsewhere, I can distinctly recall that back when I was a little kid, it used to snow so much it was up to my waist.
    But in recent years, it almost never gets above my knees.

  3. “…reinforces the idea that many people have that supposed man-made warming is more significant and impactful than it really is.”

    supposed? Gregory, if you think inaccurate memories somehow reduce AGW to a supposition, then perhaps you should be employing global temperature data instead. Here is one I find particularly edifying:
    http://andymaypetrophysicist.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/053117_1728_aholocenete1.png?w=700 , a little out of date, so that spike is now higher, but you’ll get the picture. A little more relevant than Pittsburg’s snow record don’t you think?

      • Indeed, indeed, its all just “supposition”. Might as well go by one ice-core from Greenland or better still rely purely on memory.

        • You were the one quoting Marcott. Are you now saying it was all supposition on his part? Oh Dear.

          Pity the Greenland Ice Core doesn’t agree with the Antarctic Ice Cores regards CO2.

        • Loydo, thinks it is appropriate to graft yearly temperature data onto a much lower resolution (proxy) data set that spans a much longer time frame.

          You really think so?

      • The second chart doesn’t extend far enough back in time to cover my childhood. But I’m fairly sure that there has been less snow since the mid 1980s in all seasons in the bit of Perthshire where I grew up. But according to the charts it’s gone somewhere else.

    • So statist did Gregory Wrightstone, to wit:

      The mistaken notion of decreasing snowfall in our lifetimes reinforces the idea that many people have that supposed man-made warming is more significant and impactful than it really is.

      If it was truly a “mistaken notion” due to one’s faulty “memory recall”, …. then “YES”, it would reinforce that person’s belief that supposed man-made warming is more significant than it really is.

      But the literal fact is, those persons afflicted with said “mistaken notion” are actually in the minority of all “past snowfall” commenters.

      If one doesn’t know how old a person is, then it is asinine to be claiming that said person has a “mistaken notion” about past snowfalls.

      First, Gregory makes this claim …….

      My research into snowfall records for my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, showed that my memory of snowfalls past was quite flawed. Snowfall here had been on the rise, rather than in decline.

      Then Gregory posts a graph of Pittsburgh, Pa “snowfall” totals from 1980 to 2017, followed by the statement of, to wit:

      Big snowfalls periodically happen. Just like the picture below of me and my siblings in the snow in 1961, a six or eight-inch snowfall may come well past your knees when you are only five years old and three feet tall.

      “HA”, 20 missing years of snowfall totals (1961 to 1980)

      And iffen that 61’ snowfall had been 26” deep you mommy would not have let you go outside to play.

      In 1950, we experienced a 48” snowfall in central West Virginia, a hundred miles directly south of Pittsburg.

      • Sam, check the second digit of that snowfall charge again. Look what century it starts in. And you are correct, it seems that the winter of 1950 was a high outlier. Looks like the highest recorded.

        • OOPS, ……. proofreading one’s own writing is sometimes tricky.

          One should wait a few minutes before proofreading, ….. otherwise their subconscious mind will “see” what was intended to be said, not what was written.

          • I’d say something witty, except I somehow was wanting you to check a charge instead of a chart

          • check a charge instead of a chart

            Ben, ……. now you really got me confused.

            “charge” I understand to me “claim”, ……. but what “chart” am I supposed to be “checking”?

            The author never posted any charts (proxy graphs) that included the 1940’s and 50’s.

  4. Along a similar theme, my recollections of 1950s – 1960s childhood summers in Australia were that it was hot, damn hot, so hot you could a little crotchpot cooking.

    But now the snowflake media gets the vapors if the daytime temp gets over 35C.

    And they have airconditioning everywhere now, whereas when I was a kid, not even the movie theaters had aircon.

    • Airconditioning is the problem. A body can adapt to heat or cold. But it can’t adapt to now it is winter now it is summer now it is winter again wait back to summer and high humidity. And 5 minutes later it is low humidity and cold again. Our first car had no air condition so when we stopped for a rest the shade of a tree was really cool. Now we have air conditioning you can’t really leave the car if the restaurant has no air conditioning and don’t turn of your car.

  5. For those of us “baby boomers” who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s the first graph would indicate that we did see ore snow in our childhood. 🙂

  6. The climate scammers and their scam depends on the brevity of a ~60 year old human memory versus actually looking back at human-recorded weather events of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers.
    End of snow forecasts will always be wrong. It’s just junk science to claim the 60-80 year warmer-colder cycle doesn’t exist. It completely masks the minor CO2 warming, and Dr Hansen was banking on a 30-35 year warming phase in his 1988 Senate climate scam spiel to peddle his environmental activist agenda.

    • It completely masks the minor CO2 warming,

      How can it mask something that doesn‘t exist?

  7. The rapidly increasing conversion of all kinds of energy ,hydro,nuclear, fossil fuels , wind ,solar and even batteries to heat, is all added to the sun, geothermal and pressure heat and others. This ,the urban heat island effect and other human endeavors have become an increasingly significant heat addition to the atmosphere. One that we shouldn’t ignore .I believe that cutting emissions will achieve nothing because more and more of the earths 8.6 billion will will join the heat producing party. 1/25% CO2 of the atmosphere in my book does very little anyway. If this additional heat is responsible for the late twentieth century warming, which actually corelates much better than CO2 does,it seems to me that the only recourse available to us is a enormous efficiency jump such as LED lighting.

  8. No, no, it really was colder in Alberta in the sixties than it is now. I was born in 1952, and I delivered newspapers after school starting in 1964, and it was big, honkin’ cold like it isn’t anymore. That was in Red Deer. I moved to Edmonton in the early seventies to go to the U. of A., and it was colder then in Edmonton that it is now. Swear to God.

    Right now (January 30) there is still a channel of flowing water in the North Saskatchewan River. In the early seventies, the river would be frozen clear across by mid-December. In March you could walk across it without fear that you would fall through the ice. This year the ice will probably be all gone by the beginning of March. It’s warmer now, and that’s a fact.

    Songbirds are now mostly gone. In the morning in the seventies, you would wake up with the window open, and hear the birds singing. No more. I haven’t seen a robin in years, but they were everywhere to be seen in the fifties and sixties. Also grasshoppers. We had literally millions of them around in the sixties, but you never see any today. The climate really is changing.

    Uncomfortably hot weather has always been fairly rare in Alberta. Last summer in Edmonton, the hottest day was probably about 28 degrees C. In Toronto, even in the seventies, summers wear unbearably hot, and are probably hotter today. This may be why people in Ontario tend to be more concerned about global warming than we are in Alberta.

    Incidentally, we have never had a noticeable problem with air pollution in Edmonton. Edmonton is on a prairie, and the wind blows. Nobody ever complains about bad air here.

    • Isn’t that when they thought we were going into an ice age? So, the decades before that must have been significantly warmer to think that. What’s your point?

    • Ian Coleman,
      I demand to know why you don’t deliver newspapers after school now!
      How dare you!
      Signed,
      Al Gore

      cc: Greta the garbage kid.

    • Not sure about blaming climate for your bird and insect decline — I think one of the propaganda functions of “Climate Change” is being able to blame every sort of anthropogenic environmental impact on the weather. It’s highly convenient for corporations and corporately-owned governments alike. How after all can the degrading effects of chemical pollutants, urbanization & deforestation, natural variability, etc., be parsed out of the putative effects of warming? (In Texas, anecdotally, I see far fewer moths circling streetlamps than 50 years ago, and the massive cricket invasions that occurred periodically back then seem suppressed; meanwhile, the weather’s pretty much the same as it ever was — hot as hell.)

    • It has warmed. However, I would look to see if there are other causes for the decline of grasshoppers and songbirds. For example, pesticide use or getting rid of weeds that the grasshoppers eat.

      [One letter name violates site rules. Mod]

      (He admitted his error, it is Donald L. Klipstein) SUNMOD

    • Ian Coleman – January 30, 2020 at 11:18 pm

      I haven’t seen a robin in years, but they were everywhere to be seen in the fifties and sixties. Also grasshoppers. We had literally millions of them around in the sixties, but you never see any today. The climate really is changing.

      Robins, grasshoppers and songbirds are now mostly gone. HUH?

      .britannica.com/place/Edmonton-Alberta —- “Edmonton is located within the “Fertile Belt” of the Canadian prairies, a region with optimal soil and sufficient moisture for growing grain.

      Ian, the grasshoppers were there because of the “grain growing”, ….. and the songbirds surely migrated there because of the grasshoppers.

      But in the 70’s and 80’s, “grain growing” became more scientific via use of insecticides and better grain harvesting equipment, …….. thus causing the demise of the grasshoppers and the starving of the songbirds. Robins mostly feed on fruits and earthworms, so their nesting or food source was apparently jeopardized. The summertime resident Robin population here in central WV is way down from what it was 10 years ago. Of course, as the climate warms in the higher latitudes, the migrating birds follow suite.

  9. Nice article.

    Whilst some periods can be characterised as generally warm or generally cold, that should not disguise the swings in weather as we oscillate between one climate type to another. These snippets are from an article I wrote here some 10 years ago with the relevance of the first brought right up to date. Hope many of our American Friends will be coming to nearby (for me) Plymouth to take part in the Mayflower celebrations this year

    http://www.stormfax.com/thanksgv.htm

    “The winter of 1620-’21 was “a calm winter, such as was never seen here since,” wrote Thomas Dudley of Massachusetts Bay in 1630. Edward Winslow, one of the original Pilgrims, also wrote about the “remarkable mildness” of that first winter in Good Newes from New England, published in 1624. There was testimony by others to a mild end of December, a moderate January, a brief cold spell with sleet and some snow in early February, followed by definitely mild conditions and an early spring.”

    A brief breakdown in the cold trend in Britain was also observed in the diary entry of Samuel Pepys for January 1660/61-the year the Royal Society was established- when he wrote;

    “It is strange what weather we have had all this winter; no cold at all; but the ways are dusty, and the flyes fly up and down, and the rose-bushes are full of leaves, such a time of the year as was never known in this world before here.”

    That summers could still be hot was felt during 1666 when the UK had an extremely hot dry summer (brought on by a blocking high pressure system over Scandinavia). The hot dry North easterlies helped spread the devastating Great fire of London in 1666. The following winter, however was so cold that the great oak trees of the English Midlands split. (Humidity has a great part to play in temperatures)

    The growing warmth of the early part of the 18th Century was noted here by Hubert Lamb on page 12 and 13 of this study;

    http://tinyurl.com/5vvvp9r

    “The remarkable turn of the climate of Europe towards greater warmth from soon after the beginning of the eighteenth century and affecting all seasons of the year in the 1730’s seems to have produced little comment at the time, though by then the temperatures were being observed with thermometers and entered into regularly maintained observation books in a number of places.”

    Our modern bouts of amnesia regarding previous climatic conditions can be seen to be nothing new by reading the comments from the annals of Dumfermline Scotland from 1733/4, when it recorded that wheat was first grown in the district in 1733. Lamb wryly observes that was not correct, as enough wheat had been grown further north in the early 1500’s to sustain an export trade (before the 1560’s downturn).

    The warmth in the early decades of the 1700’s could also be discerned in the author’s article here, where CET records can be matched to that of Uppsala Sweden and where observations from the Botanical gardens illustrate the growing warmth. There is also a comparison to nearby Stockholm, where the effects of UHI on urbanized stations can be seen.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/how-long-is-a-long-temperature-history/

    The following, condensed from the records of the Hudson Bay Company, also demonstrate that climate change is not a new phenomenon, and was not restricted to Europe.

    “Over the fifteen years between 1720 and 1735, the first snowfall of the year moved from the first week of September to the last. Also, the late 1700s were turbulent years. They were extremely cold but annual snow cover would vary from ‘extreme depth to no cover’. For instance, November 10th 1767 only one snowfall that quickly thawed had been recorded. June 6, 1791 many feet of snow in the post’s gardens. The entry for July 14, 1798 reads ‘…53 degrees colder today than it was yesterday”

    Tonyb

  10. Human memory is not Science. I remember my hot city summer holiday in the 60-70 playing in short pants and naked bust. Now I can’t see anyone dressed in that same fashion.

    • I can remember back in the ’70s Manchester was so hot the footpaths were melting and the local news carried a story about people frying eggs on the pavement.

      For the record, men in Manchester still walk around in T-shirts, shorts and flip flops in the middle of winter, even when the temperature has only just broken into double figures.

  11. The English Myth of Xmas snow is almost entirely derived from the writings of Charles Dickens, who had the childhood experience on Xmas snow 8 times in a row & who was born in the coldest decade of the last 210 years, including the last great frost fair on the Thames.

  12. Somewhat related – the opening paragraph from an article on locusts on America Online this morning:

    East African countries are battling an invasion of locusts. This is the region’s most serious locust outbreak in 25 years, while it has been 70 years since Kenya has experienced an infestation on this level. Experts blame climate change for the unprecedented event, which threatens to decimate food supplies in the region.

    • Also being discussed over at Paul Homewood’s site:
      https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2020/01/30/telegraph-blames-biblical-plague-of-locusts-on-global-warming/#comments
      The comments from David Virgo about the effect of removing the pesticide Lindane are , I think, worth repeating and may invoke further comment here:
      -“Lindane is ideal for control of locusts since it is stable in the hot and humid conditions prevalent in east Africa. It was apparently very successful for some 75 years. Unfortunately it is a relatively persistent pesticide and does not meet current favour – it had little use in the USA and less in the EU and so EPA approval was withdrawn in 2007 and WHO approval in 2009. The consequence is the current plague. Nothing at all to do with climate or weather.”-
      Also see the comment from Nancy and John Hultquist about a serious locust plague in the USA in 1875 – surely pre AGW .

    • My favourite part of that story is how they like to describe the event as “biblical”, while lacking the awareness to understand that it obviously also happened 1000’s of years ago. So was it warmer back then, or nothing to do with temperature?

      • Plus with much of the bible being written at the height of the Roman Warm Period I think both it and Senator Inhofe’s quotes from it are likely to more accurate than Marcott et al., 2013, quoted above.

  13. Meanwhile, this may well be the first winter in my lifetime and probably on record that we have a winter without any snow at all at 50.8 degrees north in the Netherlands at an elevation of 139 meters above sea level. But then again, we had a record cold ten years ago.

  14. Whilst primary data on snowfall is in of itself accurate, there are several relevant points to make:

    1. What is the relationship between snowfall intensity and temperature?

    You will find that the heaviest snows fall around the freezing point (broadly between -5 and +3C) so a warming of temperature into that range from a cooler regimen may actually precipitate greater snowfall.

    This may pertain in parts of Siberia, where much of the winter it is too cold to snow that much and snow usually falls in mid to late Autumn and early spring.

    On the other hand, if there are places which have warmed to an extent that the limit of snowfall is regularly breached (+6C is the warmest that snow will fall at), then there will be places where snowfall will have declined considerably. As a non-evidentiary aside, the Swiss Avalanche Service noted in their multidecadal database of snowfall data that this January, 2020, their stations at altitudes less than 1000m above sea level showed the lowest overall January snowfall on record. It has been a mild January in Europe…

    2. How much snow falling is very different to how long snow remains on the ground.

    In colder regimens, the snow which falls tends to persist, whereas in warming environments or where wild jet streams induce major short-term temperature fluctuations, you may see more snow falling but less snow lasting. The Scottish mountain winter is a good place to study this as you see a lot of fluctuation in winter temperatures bringing significant mountain snowfall but also total melts.

    My memory of UK winters since 1970 is very accurate, since snow is a relatively non-annual event in NW London and we went the best part of a decade from January 1971 with barely any snow falling, comprehensively demolishing Green nonsense that we had lots of snow a generation ago but now we will never see it again. The 1980s were much snowier and colder, with very significant snow events in 1979, 1981, 1984-7. The decade ended with three very mild ones. The 1990s had a few cold ones, notably 1991 and 1996, the Noughties were pretty mild and the 2010s have once again seen a few cold snowy events.

    All the adaptation required is to decide whether things get too cold to grow pole beans and squash; too hot and dry to grow turnips and cabbage; etc etc. There are some crops which do better in the North of England than in the South – these are the ones to go to if we get cooler; some grow better in France than here, those are the ones to focus on if we get hotter.

    I cannot change solar output, how the earth manages its radiation budget, but I can control my food planting decisions.

    So can everybody else……..

    • Rhys Jaggar – January 31, 2020 at 2:15 am

      You will find that the heaviest snows fall around the freezing point (broadly between -5 and +3C) so a warming of temperature into that range from a cooler regimen may actually precipitate greater snowfall.

      Close, but no Cupie Doll prize.

      It takes great amounts of atmospheric H2O vapor precipitating out as snowfall to produce greater snowfall amounts. Now atmospheric H2O vapor, ……….. no snowfall.

      The near-surface air temperature can vary 10+F degrees above 32F ….. to 20-F degrees below 32F and massive snowfall amounts can still accumulate on the surface.

      One example, to wit:

      Lake effect snow is common across the Great Lakes region during the late fall and winter. Lake Effect snow occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere. The air rises, clouds form and grow into narrow band that produces 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour or more.
      https://www.weather.gov/safety/winter-lake-effect-snow

  15. The reason why we all believe that we had more snow when we were children than what we have now is a simple trick of the memory. It is the fact that the human mind will store memories of happy and special occasions and not store less happy moments. For example, we all remember the hot summer days of our childhood playing in the fields alongside flowing streams, going on long summer walks with our parents, playing football in the park, enjoying long summer holidays in the sun, and travelling on trains and buses to exciting places. All of these things impress on a child’s memory, whereas rainy days, stuck in the house with nothing to do and perhaps being chastised by our parents, are not considered memorable, and as such are expunged from the mind. In other words, the mind stores happy times in our memories but excludes occasions that are not worth remembering, such as rainy days and other less happy times. Hence, snowy days, no matter how few in our childhood, will be remembered as exciting and great fun and falsely become the norm in our memories of the time, whereas the many dull wet days in between the occasional snowy days will not find a place in our memories. This mental phenomena extends to adulthood with all of us. The bereavement of a close friend for example will be met with grief and sadness at the time, but the sadness and distress will wear off in time and only happy moments experienced during the deceased life will remain in the memory of family and friends. Other examples are many. We all know for example where we were and what we were doing when President Kennedy was shot, but we don’t remember where or what we were doing the days or years before or after that occasion. We all remember the day we got our degree, but forget the struggle we had to get there. We remember with great happiness when we won the World Cup or an Olympic gold medal, but we don’t remember with the same sharpness the unhappy times we lost before and after the great occasion. In short, we can all recall specific occasions in our lives that will stay with us forever, but the vast volume of what we do throughout our lifetime, probably 99.9 per cent, will be lost to our memory forever. And that’s why we all, without exception, will remember those occasional snowy days with great happiness, even though they were far fewer than our later memories try to convince us.

    • George Lawson – January 31, 2020 at 2:23 am

      …… whereas rainy days, stuck in the house with nothing to do and perhaps being chastised by our parents, are not considered memorable, and as such are expunged from the mind. In other words, the mind stores happy times in our memories but excludes occasions that are not worth remembering,

      So the per se “experts” claim ….. but tis not true.

      One’s environmental stimuli (memories) are permanently stored in the neurons of the brain and can only be “recalled via an environmental or conscious mind “trigger”. If one can figure out how to “trigger” an early childhood memory, …… it will be “recalled” and presented to your conscious mind. Like meeting an old school friend of 30/40 years ago, you both start remembering (recalling) events that you hadn’t thought of in 30/40 years.

  16. The large year to year variations in the snow fall as shown by the Pittsburgh record is very interesting. Ha anybody any ideas why this is so?

    • @ Gerald the Mole – January 31, 2020 at 2:54 am

      Gerald, Pittsburgh’s precipitation (rain, snow) is highly dependent upon the High/Low Pressure area to the West, Northwest of Pittsburg, …… the High/Low Pressure area to the South, Southeast of Pittsburg ….. and the quantity of moist air flowing North, Northeast out of the Gulf of Mexico.

      Different combinations of the above “Pressure areas” will getcha different weather results in western Pennsylvania as well as in West Virginia.

  17. In the small semi-desert area where I grew up I remember the first snowfall in living memory in the mid sixties – and I believe none since. At that time this area was really hot in the summer with many days above 100°F. Recent reports say global warming is causing the area to get even hotter. For the past ten years I have been comparing the temperatures for the town on the Accuweather website with data from our local weather station I looked at in the mid sixties. To my surprise it appears that it was hotter then than now. While those of us who are old know how unreliable memory can be there is also the issue of the reliability of data. Both of these should caution us about being so confident about the nature and extent of climate change.

  18. I live in Michigan and my birthday is April 20th. Until the 2010’s I could say that it had never snowed on or after my birthday. I looked forward to my birthday as it marked a date beyond which I could be assured of no snow. 4 times in the 2010’s, it did snow on or after my birthday. We also set a seasonal record for snowfall a few years back with more than double our average. It doesn’t feel like less snow around here.

  19. Won’t be long and Kangaroo Island will be sprouting up again and the Koalas breeding like rabbits as the rains come-
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/droughts-and-flooding-rains-australian-state-capital-records-its-highest-temperature-ever-as-severe-flash-flooding-turns-a-town-into-a-giant-swimming-pool/ar-BBZvlVZ

    Storms caused the Heywood interconnector between South Australia and Victoria to trip today just as Vic and NSW are suffering heat wave conditions cutting off surplus wind and solar and with tight supply and near record demand you get wholesale power costs rising to $14.70 /kWhr adding to power bills –
    http://www.wattclarity.com.au/articles/2020/01/fri31jan2020-whiteknuckleride-1sttake/

    The Regulator calls up every electron they possibly can in the east and for people to turn their aircon thermostats up and don’t use dishwashers etc while the aluminium smelters are cutting power to their potlines-
    “We are just seeing the lack of supply in the market,” Tomago[smelter] chief executive Matt Howell said. “We desperately need more baseload power so we’re not in this situation going forward.”

    You can say that again brother but its their looney prescriptions that will bring the climate changers down one summer heat wave as the coal power stations go one by one with their State sponsored dumping practices. Mr Musk won’t have enough spare battery capacity to save them even if power consumers could possibly afford it. Their doomsday clock is ticking.

  20. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    × 1,000,000

    If I didn’t despise “journalists” and “journalism” and the mainstream media before all this insanely superstitious dangerous anthropogenic climate change/global warming nonsense started, I sure do now.

    The entire episode is a perfect example of Charles McKay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”

  21. Maybe all meteorologists, climate scientists, students and school children should all be given a printed copy of http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/chronological_listing.pdf translated to their local language. It is a chronological listing of weather events since 1AD to 1900.
    They should be advised to read at least one entry per day, and maybe then they may gain a real sense of perspective about how much our weather and climate will vary wildly.

  22. Regarding “the slight warming of ~0.6 oF (0.3 oC) that a typical 45-year-old may have experienced since that big snowfall when he was five years old is much too slight to be recognizable by anyone”: There was more warming after 1980 than that. HadCRUT4 shows warming of about .6 degree C (1.1 degrees F) since 1980.

  23. I’d expect more people around the globe don’t know what snow is then do…so I’m not really quite sure what the problem is..It’s like folks who don’t think it’s Christmas unless there’s snow and it’s cold out..For crying out loud, Jesus was born in the Middle East…

    Carry on

  24. I just had this conversation with someone, or a variation on this theme within the last few days. The person said that because of climate change he was forced to leave California. It isn’t anything at all like what he remembers it being growing up. All the droughts and floods now, and the fires. It wasn’t the time or the place to to get in a debate, much less an argument, so I just let it pass. Nonetheless, it serves as an example of how the casual observer can be mislead, or mislead themselves, into thinking there is cause and effect link to AGW. There so many complicating factors to California’s wild fires, and that drought cycles are normal climate in California.

    Another example: In conversation with a elderly woman in my home town, she mentioned that we don’t have quite the severe winters that we had in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Yep, those were years of a cooling trend that ended in 1979. She is not old enough to remember the 1930’s heat, though. That is why we keep records….. and why we don’t trust tampered with evidence.

  25. Regarding the Pittsburgh snowfall graph: This is plotted over a time period that had two changes in measurement method. The first time was when about the time the National Weather Service started putting many of their official weather stations at airports, maybe a little before. The method after this change was to measure (for climatological purposes) snowfall on a snow board that gets cleaned every six hours. Before then snow accumulation was measured once, when the accumulation has stopped increasing. In addition, an aviation method was specified, which involved another snowboard that got cleaned hourly.

    The second change was at about 2000, when the task of snowfall measurement at airports was transferred from government employees to private contractors who were allowed to measure the snow up to 2 nautical miles from the weather station. And, these contractors were only contracted and paid to measure snow by the aviation method. Sometimes the two methods disagree, and when they do the aviation method reports more.

    Notably, when greater snowfalls were reported after the ~2000 change, climate activists including some activist meteorologists and scientists blamed global warming for the reported increased snowfall.

  26. Right is wrong and wrong is right. Is that real today, or imagined? Confused and upside down thinking?

  27. This reminds me of conversations I’ve had with my husband every time he goes on about “global warming”….he says something has changed because he remembers snow before Thanksgiving and all thru the winter in his childhood. I don’t ever remember much, if any, snow before or around Thanksgiving when I was growing up. But he also never thought about other reason why that might have been the case. One of those reasons (which I called him out on) is elevation. He grew up in a tiny one stop light town in the panhandle of West Virginia, while I grew up in a suburb between Baltimore and Annapolis in Maryland.
    So I got tired of hearing him complain and I asked him what was the elevation of the town he had grown up in. He didn’t know, so I told him to look it up. He at first swore up and down that couldn’t be the reason but a quick web search showed his town was at roughly 2,600 ft above sea level. And my town was no more than about 100 feet above sea level. And I told him no wonder he recalled a lot of snow, having grown up in the Appalachian mountains! And this is still the case today – winter storms that bring rain to the Baltimore area will often bring snow to the Maryland and WV panhandle areas.
    And then there is a client of mine, 87 years old, who also goes on and on about “climate change”. But she told me where she grew up – in a coal mining town in western Pennsylvania high up in the Allegheny mountains!
    Also, she was too young to remember the roasting 30’s but old enough to recall the cold 40’s and 60’s. I told her about those cyclical variations and that yes, the climate changes and has varied up and down during her lifetime and just happens to be in a warm phase now. She had no answer to that….
    So yes, there is also this little factor known as elevation above SL that can skew perceptions of snow and cold, or lack thereof.
    As for my own memories in my low elevation, I do seem to recall some snowy winters in the late 70’s when I was a child, and some hot summers in the early 80’s. I can also see in my mind the cover of an issue of (I think) Time Magazine titled “The broiling summer of 80′”. Either my parents or grandparents subscribed to that and I would sometimes read thru issues when they were done with them. I also remember hearing something about an extreme level of sunspots in 1980 and there was an explosion of tent caterpillars in my back yard that summer. Plus, the sunsets were beautiful after Mount St. Helens erupted in 1981.

  28. Jefferson was also known for modifying his clothing and even insulating his own following fashion changes to shorter waistcoats. January 12, 1801…

    “In the winter of 1801, in a letter to William Dunbar, he lamented, “I have no doubt but that cold is the source of more sufferance to all animal nature than hunger, thirst, sickness & all the other pains of life & of death itself put together.”

  29. I recall cold, snowy Thanksgivings from my childhood of the 1950s-1960s, but I also recall playing outside in shirtsleeves on Christmas some of those years too.

    A colleague of mine tried to tell me we now have few winter seasons where the temperature dips below -20F. So, I took “winter season” to mean December through February, and compared 1960-1975 against 2000-2015. In the earlier, notoriously cold period there were only 6 winters where the temperature failed to dip below -20F (I was surprised it was not fewer), in the current unprecedented era it was 7.

  30. Willis E. says look at the data.

    The bar chart (blue lines) shows an R^2 = 0.0796.
    While the dotted line (black) has an upward trend, neither of these things makes much of a case for weather variations, and none for “climate.”

    I’m from western PA, about 80 miles north of Pittsburgh.
    Note the tall high bar in the years 1948-1953. Which year I can’t tell, but I was there.
    Then there is the tall bar in 1961 (?). Again, I was there.
    So I remember PA as snowy. Had I been raised there in the ’84-’89 period, or if I were there the last few years, I would not think of the area as getting lots of snow.
    That being said, the last time I was there a few years ago I noted that the forests – cut down in the 1800s and sent down the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh, with Grandparents involved – had grown back with the same sorts that were removed. [American Chestnut, being the exception.]
    To me, vegetation indicates “climate.” Same trees = same climate.

  31. If you’ve maintained a diary/journal for several decades, you’d be familiar with the discrepancies between what you remember and what you wrote.

  32. Seems we are discussing weather as if it were climate. Weather is very chaotic compared to climate, and this makes sense because climate is a running average of weather. I find it difficult to believe that climate is changing so fast we can get meaningful comparisons over say, 50 years (in most places).

    I do believe, on average, the climate is warming. (GASP). I do not believe it is primarily caused by CO2. (oh the shame!) I also do not believe the ridiculous projections produced by climate modeling. Warmer air can hold more moisture – no one says it has to be a lot warmer air, just warmer – so air that is -20 C can hold less moisture than air that is -10 C. If the air warms a little, then producing more snow makes sense (assuming air patterns still deliver moisture to the region).

    I for one have seen nothing over my lifetime that suggests snowfall or rainfall amounts have changed. The worst summer I experienced in Texas was August-September 1998 – nothing has come close to that. I have lived with tornadoes all my life and the worst in my memory was somewhere around 1973, and then of course the 1998-1999 seasons. I remember those because they directly impacted me – but I have seen nothing that makes me think tornado activity is getting worse – if anything the early warning and ability to find tornadoes has improved.

    So really, historical weather is just a perception in the minds of people who experienced it. People believe things are getting worse because their TVs tell them it is. I don’t know that climate is even perceptible by the average person – at least in most cases. There could be a few extreme examples where there is a dramatic climate shift in one person’s lifetime, but those will be rare.

    • Robert, you have a lot of ‘beliefs’ (makes it sound like religion) – you should dump ‘beliefs’ & just go with the data.
      Your last 2 paragraphs are correct & there is data to back your memory…no ‘beliefs’ needed.

  33. “Just like Thomas Jefferson in 1801, we remember those times that are remarkable, while forgetting the unremarkable.”

    You don’t know that. Apologize.

  34. Growing up in Toledo I walked to school from First Grade (1945) thru the Eighth Grade (1953). I know,I know, today my parents would be charged with child neglect for letting a six year old walk to school by myself. We all did it in the “good old days”, it was fun and safe. I remember it as a long, long trek. Often deep in snow in the winter while wearing those big buckle galoshes. My mother bought me a long leather coat to keep me warm on the long, long walk. I looked like a very small version of a Nazi Feldmarshall at Stalingrad. Recently I went on Google Earth and found that my long trek thru the heinous winter was exactly ONE MILE. Faulty memory of winter indeed!

  35. Reminds me of a retired flyer (in his 60s -my age) here in Reno. Was telling us about when he was a kid, they used to get 12 – 15 feet of snow at a time. Dead serious.

    http://www.thestormking.com/Weather/Nevada_Climate_History/Reno_Records/reno_records.html shows that for the entire month of January 1916 Reno got a record 66″. For the entire month. That’s 5 foot 6 inches for the entire month – not just a single snowfall. Legend (his nickname) wasn’t alive back then.

    Memory is crap. I want to see data that was recorded in real time.

  36. On the 31st of July it snowed in Northland, New Zealand for the first time in official records but only the second time in living memory.

  37. Snowiest January in 12 years at Mt. Bachelor, OR. Base of 146 inches. And the Snowmageddons of past two yesteryears came in February.

  38. We all recognize that when we return to our places of our youth we are amazed as how much smaller they appear. I would put memories about weather in the same basket. It all seems difference than back in the day.

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