Mercifully in Ottawa it’s now gone, so we’re remembering it rather than shovelling it. But only barely; we recall it falling in late April. Whereas down in Colorado children curious to learn what is this stuff of which the elders speak could have gone skiing in Vail as late as May when, the local Vail Daily reported blandly, “Vail ended its longest season on record in its usual Closing Day fashion on Sunday, with hundreds of skiers and snowboarders celebrating on top of the mountain. And even though it was a rare May closing, the weather behaved more like March, with wind and snow creating cold conditions on the slopes.” What happened to the end of winter as we know it?
If you look at some photos of the costumes people wore on closing day you may experience the end of taste as we know it. But it’s also somewhat off-putting that if a ski season were to end early we’d be told it was a sure sign of climate change, if not Armageddon, whereas if it ends late it’s just weather. And sure enough the word “climate” does not appear in the story.
We also mentioned the issue of skiing in the Austrian alps last year, noting a study by Günther Aigner of 12 mountain stations across the Alps from Switzerland and Germany to Austria. Now, again thanks to No Tricks Zone, we report that Aigner is at it again, with a study of one particular resort in Austria, Schmittenhöhe, that shows that over 50 years there’s been very little change. Now by “very little” we mean 1°C, which you might think is actually a lot, since we’re told that globally there’s been an increase of about 1.1°C since the mid-19th century that has already caused a “climate emergency” with extreme weather ravaging continents, if it goes up by another 0.4° we’re in even worse trouble and if it’s another 0.9° children won’t know what civilization is, or possibly survival. But as No Tricks Zone observes, “the upward trend is primarily due to the very cold period in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Overall there’s been little linear change over the past 35 years.”
In fact in Schmittenhöhe the winter of 2021-22 was almost exactly as warm, or cold, as that of 1974-75. What’s more, the “hottest year ever” there seems to have been 1989-90, and “Four of the top six coldest winters in fact happened in the last 16 years.” Summer on the other hand seems to have gotten warmer due to more sunshine rather than more CO2. Although possibly CO2 causes sunshine.
More likely it’s just weather, the stuff we’ve always had and always will. Including that white stuff any child call tell you is snow, or Schnee, depending where you ask.