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The view from Greenland ... and snow is here!

| November 22, 2010 8:00 PM

This is an another article sent to us by Cecil Hathaway, one of our regular weather subscribers, concerning ice core drilling operations in North Green-land. It's from one of his friends in Iowa, "H," with his personal comments at the end of the article.

ICE CORE DRILLING EFFORTS WILL HELP ASSESS ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE RISKS

ScienceDaily (Aug, 3, 2010) - "An international science team involving the University of Colorado at Boulder that is working on the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling project hit bedrock July 27 after two summers of work, drilling down more than 1.5 miles in an effort to help assess the risks of abrupt future climate change on Earth.

"Led by Denmark and the United States, the team recovered ice from the Eemian interglacial period from about 115,000 to 130,000 years ago, a time when temperatures were 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above today's temperatures. During the Eemian - the most recent interglacial period on Earth - there was substantially less ice on Greenland, and sea levels were more than 15 feet higher than today.

"While three previous ice cores drilled in Greenland in the last 20 years recovered ice from the Eemian, the deepest layers were compressed and folded, making the data difficult to interpret. The new effort, known as NEEM, has allowed researchers to obtain thicker, more intact annual ice layers near the bottom of the core that are expected to contain crucial information about how Earth's climate functions, said University of Colorado-Boulder Professor Jim White, lead U.S. investigator on the project.

"Scientists from 14 countries have come together in a common effort to provide the science our leaders and policy makers need to plan for our collective future," said White, who directs CU-Boulder's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and is an internationally known ice core expert, "I hope that NEEM is a foretaste of the kind of cooperation we need for the future, because we all share the world.

"Annual ice layers formed over millennia in Greenland by compressed snow reveal information on past temperatures and precipitation levels, as well as the contents of ancient atmospheres, said White. Ice cores from previous drilling efforts revealed temperature spikes of more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 50 years in the Northern Hemisphere," White said the new NEEM ice cores will more accurately portray past changes in temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations in the Eemian, making it the best analogue for future climate Change on Earth."

Imagine that, new information from ice cores shows that the temperature of the Earth, in the Eemian interglacial period from about 115,000 to 130,000 years ago, were 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above those of today. Wasn't it just last July that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) told us that the first decade of this century was the warmest ever for the planet!

I guess all of the Earth people 115,000 to 130,000 years ago were burning lots more petroleum and coal and generating lots more greenhouse gases then what we are doing today.

I guess Congress should have passed "Cap and Trade".

"Ice cores from previous drilling efforts revealed temperature spikes of more than 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 50 years in the Northern Hemisphere." Gee whizz. Those people must really have been building some big bonfires. Twenty degree Fahrenheit spikes in just 50 years!! Sure proves that Nobel Laureate Al Gore and the United Nations know what they are talking about, doesn't it.

More and more "inconvenient 'truths" seem to be turning up all the time. - H.

As I've stated repeatedly, climate cycles, both warm and cold, have alternated in 'natural' rythmic patterns throughout the ages.

Mankind can certainly make things worse, but he doesn't CAUSE the climate changes. They come and go like 'clockwork.' Thanks, Cecil, for another interesting article. Cliff Harris.

NORTH IDAHO WEATHER REVIEW AND LONG-RANGE OUTLOOKS

It's here at last.

Residents of the lowlands of North Idaho below an elevation of 2,500 feet finally received their first measurable snow of an expected La Nina-enhanced 2010-11 winter season early Thursday morning.

Most areas reported less than an inch of the white stuff before it melted as temperatures quickly rebounded into the mid 30s. We gauged 0.7 inches on Player Drive before 7 a.m. Randy Mann had an inch at his place near Fernan Lake.

Much heavier snows were expected to arrive in the Inland Empire later this weekend. Some areas were forecast to pick up as much as 6-10 inches with more than 18 inches probable in the nearby mountains, great news indeed for skiers planning to enjoy their favorite sport during the busy Thanksgiving weekend. Let's not forget the snowboarders and snowmobilers. They're elated to say the least.

The first major coldwave of the season will bring frigid Arctic air into the region by the time one reads this article today. There will likewise be some occasional snow flurries that may hamper Thanksgiving travel a bit.

It's possible that some stations to the north and east of Coeur d'Alene may see readings below the zero mark by Wednesday morning, Nov. 24.

Make sure that one disconnects hoses from faucets. Have batteries charged for cars and flashlights. Have candles ready in case of a power outage. Bring in the pets. Water bowls will definitely freeze.

As Bill Buley said on Thursday, "winter weather catches people unaware every year." Be prepared.

Looking farther down the meteorological highway, I see at least 20 percent more snowfall, again thanks to La Nina, than normal locally in the 60-day period from late November through late January before the snows taper off in February and March of 2011. The chances of a brilliant WHITE CHRISTMAS are at least 70 percent, maybe even higher in areas to the north and east of Coeur d'Alene.

Let's hope that La Nina continues to hold its strength, at least through the rest of the year. Stay tuned.

Cliff Harris is a climatologist who writes a weekly column for The Press. His opinions are his own. E-mail sfharris@roadrunner.com

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