But has there been any “global warming”?
One year after record amounts of snow fell on the Rocky Mountains, the region is coping with the worst snow drought in 30 years, putting a crimp on the ski industry and causing water managers to brace for shortages come spring.
“The ski industry needs consistency and predictability in a broad sense,” said Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Co. in Colorado. “In other words, we don’t need tons of snow every year; we need to know it’s going to get cold and have some basic consistency, and I think what we fear is this radical inconsistency.”
Schendler says activity at the ski resorts has picked up now that temperatures have dropped, but that doesn’t stop mountain managers from thinking about how this strange weather might affect the industry in the future.
“We have always taken climate change incredibly seriously, and it’s one of our number one strategic focuses,” said Schendler, whose company was the first in the ski industry to develop a climate policy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent by 2020.
Aspen Skiing Co. also hasn’t been afraid to use its high-profile status and leverage to drive larger policy on climate change. In 2006, the ski resort operator argued for the regulation of carbon dioxide pollution in the Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. U.S. EPA. Just last fall, Schendler journeyed to Washington, D.C., with a number of professional athletes to lobby Congress on the climate issue as part of the Protect Our Winters campaign…
“We still feel it’s early in the season,” said Malcolm Wilson, chief of the Water Resources Group in the Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Colorado region. “That said, December was not a very good month for snowfall and runoff, and it does cause us some concern, so we’ve started to watch it more closely.”
“Climate change models project variability, so maybe we’re just seeing more [climate] variability at this point,” he added.
Schendler of Aspen Skiing Co. says that while it’s wrong to draw any larger conclusions on climate change from this year’s funky weather, it’s also not hard to see the long-term trend. “We’re seeing that runoff is happening quicker, temperatures have risen disproportionally and spring is coming quicker,” he said.
Fred Singer recently noted:
… But I do claim that the commonly reported and accepted warming between 1978 and 2000 is based only on thermometers from land surface stations and is not supported by any other evidence that I could find. Specifically, ocean data (from 71% of the earth’s surface) and global atmospheric data (as recorded by satellites and independent balloon-borne radiosondes) do not show such a warming at all…
And Climategater Phil Jones admitted in 2010 to no significant warming since 1995.