In case you were wondering, the looming end of winter as we know it, TEOWAWKI to insiders, means forget the winter Olympics, and not because of some boring old human rights issue. On the contrary, the problem according to researchers led by University of Waterloo scholars (hooray, a Canadian angle) “if global emissions of greenhouse gases are not dramatically reduced, only one of the 21 cities that have previously hosted the Winter Olympics would be able to reliably provide fair and safe conditions for the snow sports program of the Games by the end of this century.” Of course they are saying this based on (need you ask?) RCP8.5. And of course to mark the occasion Toronto just had its 3rd-largest snowfall in 75 years, Ottawa just had its 6th-snowiest day ever (and its coldest in four years) and a winter storm in polar Virginia trapped drivers overnight.
The Virginia storm saw not just icy conditions but 14 inches of snow and trapped hundreds including a Senator, weather being no respecter of persons. Eric Worrall asked pointedly what would have happened to those Virginia drivers if they’d been in EVs rather than reliable internal combustion vehicles capable of generating warmth even when unable to move. But as you know, cold is just weather. Only heat is climate. Including heat that only ever seems to exist inside computer models, like the ones that predict an end to winter Olympics. The researchers even had the nerve to defend using RCP8.5 on the basis that it’s so darned realistic:
Two future emission scenarios are examined, including a low emission RCP 2.6 scenario, which is representative of a future consistent with success [sic] Paris Climate Agreement targets, and a high emission RCP 8.5 scenario, which is representative of a continuation of current global emission trajectory.
As we have said many times, even according to the better-informed among the climate science crowd RCP8.5 is already grossly overstated and projects a future emissions path no one in the energy business thinks is possible. The most likely path, based on the IPCC’s past track record, is the lower bound RCP2.6 scenario. But under that scenario, according to the authors, “the number of climate reliable [Olympic] hosts remains almost unchanged throughout the twenty-first century.” And we can’t have that, can we?
So winter’s got to go. But it’s not going down without a fight. As CNN put it, “Winter weather is playing havoc not only with road travel but also passenger trains in Virginia and other states.” And the Wall Street Journal noted that the disaster in Virginia was partly due to poor forecasting.
“We were prepared for the storm,” where a few inches of snow were predicted, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said in a call with reporters Tuesday afternoon. “Instead Mother Nature sent more than a foot.”
But surely if they can’t predict the snowfall to within a foot a few days in advance, they may have issues predicting it in 80 years. Especially if researchers into the future of winter sports no longer do basic research into, oh, say, snow trends (increasing cover in North America over the last 30 years, James Taylor snidely observes over at Climate Realism). And we’ll really get letters if we add Anthony Watts’ observation that alarmist predictions of unending drought in the American west somehow didn’t stop California’s Sierra Nevada from setting an all-time December snow record. Or that in Washington State the Snoqualmie Pass had its heaviest fall in 20 years. Which will perhaps end skiing because climate change brought so much snow it buried the trails and slopes. There is nothing climate change cannot do.
Indeed in December it snowed in California and Seattle, prompting NBC to shrug “Snow reported in Seattle, California as parts of U.S. get unlikely white Christmas”. Unlikely. Don’t mention the climate (they didn’t). Whereas on the same day they hollered “Rising temperatures, extreme drought and giant wildfires batter Colorado ski industry/ Experts say ski seasons could be permanently shortened in coming decades if large strides aren’t made in fighting climate change” in a story that mentioned climate seven times and predicted the weather in December 2100.
Speaking of weather forecasts, Paul Dorian predicts that “Winter will not loosen its grip anytime soon in the eastern US”. So we close this item by wondering, abstractly, just how long winter would have to last into spring before papers like the Times admitted that actually, 2022 might not be the Hottest Year EverTM or enough like it to justify panicky headlines. Or what they’d say if it snowed in the Sahara or something. Because it just did.
Correct: they labeled it a “bizarre weather event” and then, piling chutzpah on chutzpah, went “Climate change has made the wild weather more common.” Which, we must presume, they would also say if hell froze over and Satan hit the slopes.