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WaPo Connects the Dots from Heavy Snowfall to Global Warming

With a record 14-day total of 64.4 inches of snowfall in Boston and 69.4 inches in Worcester, the Washington Post is quoting two leading scientists to explain the connection to climate change.

“Sea surface temperatures off the coast of New England right now are at record levels, 11.5ºC (21ºF) warmer than normal in some locations,” says Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University. “This storm will be feeding off these very warm seas, producing very large amounts of snow, as spiralling winds of the storm squeeze that moisture out of the air, cool it, and deposit it as snow inland.”

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“Heavy snows mean the temperature is just below freezing. Any cooler and the amount would be a lot less,” says Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “Warmer waters off the coast help elevate winter temperatures and contribute to the greater snow amounts. This is how global warming plays a role.”