Climate Change

Global Warming, Weather Weirding, What happens above 350 ppm CO2

Melted

Water Over Mountain - March 2014

Winter feels a long way away on the cusp of summer. But sunny warm days can bring dreams of snow in the unlikeliest of seasons. Here is an update of Channing Huser's ongoing "Water Over Mountain" documentary project. Hopefully a little positive visualization will power us through the long hot months until the next snowfall.

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Water Over Mountain - March 2014

SnowCode - Water Over Mountain

The Evolution of Taos Ski Valley

Ernie Blake hiking the Ridge at Taos Ski Valley

After decades of ownership by the Blake family, Taos Ski Valley (TSV) has been purchased by Louis Bacon. This change has left many intensely loyal Taos skiers wondering what is in store for their favorite mountain. While the Taos Ski Valley 2010 Development Plan details future plans there are still unanswered questions. I interviewed Gordon Briner, C.E.O. and Peter Talty, Director of Properties to find out more about the changes in store for Taos Ski Valley.

Back in My Day...

Polar Vortex Comparison - January 5, 2014 to November 14, 2013

...We had to walk uphill, through the snow, both ways to get to school. While I usually laugh at talk like that apparently, You Kids actually don't know what it used to be like. And us older folks are forgetting how cold winter used to be.

Buddha and the Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia)

High on the list of exotic places I haven't been yet, but would love to see are Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, the countries of the Tibetan Plateau. One of the best living symbols of "The Roof of the World" is the Snow Leopard. Due to poaching, loss of prey, and habitat degradation, the snow leopard is listed as endangered by the IUCN.

Less Snow and More Blizzards?

Reduced Future Snowfall - US Map

At first this headline sounds bizarre, but the explanation is pretty simple. More CO2 leads to warmer air which holds more moisture which can produce larger rain and snow storms. While these larger blizzards are more frequent, they don't make up for reduced overall snowfall. This trend is already underway with reduced spring snow cover across the Northern Hemisphere. More blizzards in exchange for fewer snow days is a poor tradeoff whether you ski or not.

What's the Forecast?

Weather Forecast Map

As I write, the first winter storm in weeks is forecast for our area. I look up at the mountains and see only thin streaks of white where snow should cover the ground. Snow sports depend heavily on natural snowfall which is becoming less reliable. The environmental shifts from climate change are now having an economic effect.

Hey ski resort. Let's talk about CO2

Hey ski resort. Let's talk about CO2

Hey, ski resort. I know we haven't seen much of each other for a few months but the mornings have been getting cooler and I was thinking about you. I want us to be together every winter, but we need to talk. I love the great times we've had together but we can't keep going on like we used to. We could talk about the weather all the time: When will it snow? How much? Will it be light, fluffy powder or a heavy, wet blanket of snow? But things have changed and I'm worried about our future. We need to talk about CO2 and climate change.

Dust in the Wind and on the Snow

San Juan Mountains snowpack

Dust Blows! Then dust lands on snow and the snow melts off faster. Why is this a problem? Faster snowmelt leads to early spring runoff and reduced river waterflow. Dust on mountain snowpacks amplifies the problem of warmer and drier weather in the Southwestern US brought on by climate change. What can be done about it? The Center for Snow & Avalanche Studies (CSAS) needs funding to research this dusty problem.

Get Committed to Winter

Eye Heart Snow

At the risk of sounding old - Winter isn't what it used to be. Not to say that winter weather was 'dependable', but it has become less consistent recently. This winter has been unsettlingly warm from New York city where the Winter Jam Canceled Due to Lack of Winter to Ski Resorts Without Snow.

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