It is weather, but one is left wondering when does serious climate change start?

Russ Steele

I have been surfing the weather related blogs across the globe reading about record cold temperatures and snow fall around the world. Last week it was recored low temperatures and snow in Alaska, this week it is the killing cold and snow in Europe and Japan.


Germany’s no. 1 daily Bild (by circulation numbers) reports on the Killer Cold now paralyzing Europe and Asia, and calls it the worst in 25 years. The cold has hit Eastern Europe especially hard, with temperatures plummeting to -30°C throughout the Ukraine and Poland. So far the killer cold wave’s death toll now up to 220! 101 in Ukraine — 24 in Romania — 17 in Czech Republic — 11 in Slovakia — 64 in Russia – no end in sight!

On the other side of the world Japan is being buried in snow.

The prefecture of Niigata, Japan, has asked for a dispatch of troops to help in the wake of record-setting snowfalls, according to reports on Wednesday. 3 people have died in the northern part of Japan from avalanches in Akita. The Ground Self-Defense Force of Japan was expected to send troops to the town of Uonuma, where a snow depth of 4.09 meters, or 13.4 feet, has reportedly built up.

Here at home in Colorado they are dealing with One of the highest snowfall events for the month of February on record for Denver.

“This storm has the potential to be one of the highest snowfall events for the month of February on record for Denver,” says Sky View Weather. “The only problem with setting the record is that DIA has to report the snow for it to become official. The record currently stands at 14.1″. Snowfall of this type is typically confined to the fall and spring months with January and February one of the direr snow producing months of the year on average.”

Yes, we have been had warmer and drier weather than normal here in Nevada County, but be reminded that some of our deepest snow storms have come in the month of February. We could yet see some deep snow and cold weather.

When examining the ice core records, it is clear that the cold comes on much faster than the warming. These temperature plots by Climatologist Cliff Harris and Metrologist Randy Mann demonstrate the warming rose and then leveled off and then there a rapid temperature decline.  They remind us that we should remember, that the Earth’s coldest periods have usually followed excessive warmth. Such was the case when our planet moved from the Medieval Warm Period between 900 and 1300 A.D. to the sudden ‘Little Ice Age,’ which peaked in the 17th Century.

Our Modern Warm Period may be coming to an end.  The question is when will we recognize that we are on the down slope of a very steep curve?

3 thoughts on “It is weather, but one is left wondering when does serious climate change start?

  1. Russ February 3, 2012 / 10:04 pm

    Some more details: Snow falls in Rome for the first time in 26 YEARS, road are jammed with stranded cars for miles. Temperatures across eastern Europe at -36C. Capital of Italy usually has moderate temperatures but Colosseum is closed over ice fears. Military on alert in the UK as temperatures drop and heavy snow fall is predicted. Over 11,000 villagers in Serbia remain trapped by heavy snow and blizzards.

  2. Russ February 5, 2012 / 9:25 am

    According to the National Weather Service in Boulder, Denver broke the three-day snowfall record for February with 15.9 inches. The previous record was 14.1 inches in 1912.

    Denver also broke a single-day snowfall record on Friday with 12.5 inches of snow. The previous record of 9.5 inches was set eighty years ago in 1932.

  3. Russ February 5, 2012 / 9:31 am

    Canals in Venice, where temperatures fell as low as minus 5 Celsius have started freezing over. During the Little Ice Age these canals froze on a regular basis in the winter.

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