The Mid-Atlantic is yet again being blasted with snow. This current blizzard is going to add up to 16 inches to our standing snow pack of about 2-3 feet, likely making this the snowiest winter on record in the Washington, DC area (and Baltimore, and Wilmington.. you get the point). Federal government offices have been closed for several days. The mail is not going to be delivered. The bodega across the street is closed. And your devoted Carbonfund.org staff cannot make it into the office and need to work from home.But there is a perception that is held by some that these extreme blizzards contradict evidence of global warming. While one cannot argue with anecdotal evidence it is inappropriate to try and explain global climate variations with weather events. The big difference is that weather is what happens now or this coming weekend, and climate is the long-term trends that take place over years and decades. With that said, there are experts out there that create a pretty sound logic for how global warming can actually make blizzards more common in winter. Dr. Jeff Masters with Weather Underground sums it up well:
...record-breaking snowstorms are not an indication that global warming is not occurring. In fact, we can expect there may be more heavy snowstorms in regions where it is cold enough to snow, due to the extra moisture global warming has added to the atmosphere--an extra 4% since 1970. Snow is not the same as cold, and we have to look at global temperatures, not snowfall, to evaluate whether global warming is occurring.So there is actually a reasonable rationale for how global warming and blizzards can coexist. Please add your comment on this post.
- Electing to use recycled paper for necessary printed materials
- Choosing FSC and Rainforest Alliance Certified papers for product catalogs
- Creating digital and e-learning solutions to reduce waste
- Replacing direct mail with email and web promotions
- Removing petroleum-based materials from product materials
- Swapping inefficient lighting with compact fluorescent bulbs
An essential step in creating a one-planet future is measuring human impact on the Earth so we can make more informed choices. That is why the Global Footprint Network aims to accelerate the use of the Ecological Footprint — a tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what. The Ecological Footprint is a data-driven metric that measures how close we are to the goal of sustainable living. Footprint accounts work like bank statements, documenting whether we are living within our ecological budget or consuming nature’s resources faster than the planet can renew them.At Global Footprint Network, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) research organization, programs are designed to influence decision makers at all levels of society and to create a critical mass of powerful institutions using the Footprint to put an end to ecological overshoot and get our economies back into balance. Global Footprint Network's intent is that these initiatives will bring about new solutions and get people talking about the reality of ecological limits. They expect the results will redirect billions of dollars of investment toward making sustainable human development a reality.