45.6" since December 1.
12" so far in January.
12" Snow on the ground at MSP International Airport.
24" The amount of additional snow that should fall if we have an "average" rest of the winter season.
3.49" Liquid precipitation since December 1, 2010. Average for that period is 1.77" (we've seen twice as much precipitation as normal since December 1, increasing the potential for river flooding in the spring).
60-80% Probability of significant flooding on the Mississippi River by April 22 in St. Paul, Hastings and Red Wing.
36 Number of minutes of additional daylight since the Winter Solstice on December 21. We're picking up over 2 minutes of additional daylight every day now.
I sent this article to Minnesota icon, explorer and educator Will Steger, and he e-mailed this reply:
"I just returned from a three day conference in DC put on by the counsel of science and the environment entitled the changing oceans. I presented on the section about the arctic ocean. There was a polar scientists that presented about the break up of the Polar Vortex this last two years and related some probability that it was connected to the recent loss of the summer sea ice. He was very emotional and choked up at times about it, which projected the seriousness of what this means more than his figures and diagrams. I read the blog and the route that we took around Baffin may not be possible this year--all in just 4 short years Let's hope 2011 will be better for us and that more understandable climate news reaches the public. What I find interesting is that the military now openly states that climate change is real and it is a very serious threat--along with our dependence to foreign oil. "
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
SUNDAY NIGHT: Light snow and flurries. Low: 6
Changing Climate Means Changing Oceans. Water has the (unfortunate) characteristic of expanding as it warms, adding to sea level rises. Computer modeling of the melting of Greenland ice is still a subject of considerable controversy (the Greenland ice cap is melting much faster than previous computer models were predicting). From Ira Flatow at NPR's All Things Considered: "When you hear the words climate change, chances are you think about its effects on the land, right, and talk about drugs and crops and glaciers. But some scientists say we shouldn't be calling it climate change. We should be calling it ocean change, because the oceans are, literally, choking, they say, on greenhouse gases. They're becoming more acidic. There are changes in ocean circulation patterns, fisheries, corals, plankton, shellfish. They are all being affected by the changing water. There's also more water in the oceans than ever before. Sea level is rising as polar ice and glaciers are melting, and even the water itself is expanding as it warms up. So what does that mean for those that live on islands or along the coast? Rising oceans? That's what we'll be talking about today."