It’s been four years since The New York Times ran an editorial declaring the end of snow was nigh if the developing world didn’t switch from fossil fuels to some form of green energy.
The editorial takes on an added resonance thanks to the incredible amount of snow many Americans have experienced this December. Pennsylvania, for instance, is wrestling with nearly 60 inches of snow dumped on the state on Christmas.
Americans are not taking seriously decades of snow drought, skiing enthusiast Porter Fox blared in the editorial for TheNYT in 2014. The winter of 2014 was unseasonably warm due to that year’s El Nino, a cyclical weather pattern that typically leads to warmer winters and atrocious hurricane seasons.
“What viewers might not see I the 16 million cubic feet of snow that was stored under insulated blankets last year to make sure those slopes remained white,” said Fox, a feature editor at Powder magazine.
Fox was referring to what he called an unprecedented lack of snow on the Caucus Mountains in Sochi, Russia, home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The absence of the white puffy stuff, he noted, was due in large part to high greenhouse gas levels that many scientists believe cause global warming: “If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise – they grew 41 percent between 1990 and 2008 – then snowfall, winter and skiing will no longer exist as we know them by the end of the century.”
Fox, who considers man-made global warming a “scientific fact,” offered some solutions as well. “Nothing besides a national policy shift on how we create and consume energy will keep our mountains white in the winter – and slow global warming to a safe level.”
His declarations are falling flat this year, especially after a wave of snowstorms and frigid temperatures continue to pound parts of the Northeast and the Midwest. Pennsylvania county was clobbered with 60 inches of snow in two days following Christmas day – the storm shattered records and required the national guard to help keep the roads clear and residents safe.
Northern Erie County, Penn accumulating over 60 inches of snow by late Tuesday afternoon, according to Cleveland’s National Weather Service (NWS), GoErie.com reports. Thirty-four inches of snow descended on Christmas Day, marking a single-day record snowfall in Erie.
We’ve never seen such “astronomical snow totals over the last 48 hours,” NWS Cleveland meteorologist, Zach Sefcovic, told GoErie. Pennsylvania was not the only state that received blankets of snow.
Winter storm Ethan formed in the Central Rockies, dumping snow in the mountains and over parts of the Midwest as it moved toward the Atlantic, according to The Weather Channel. Ethan’s impact was felt heaviest in the northeast, however, when blizzard conditions cut visibility to zero and shut down Boston’s Logan Airport Monday morning.
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