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Snow Falls On the Most Arid Desert On Earth

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the it's-not-the-heat,-it's-the-humidity dept.

Earth 195

crackspackle writes "The Atacama desert region, a vast expanse of land stretching 600 miles along the Pacific coast of South America from Peru to Chile, is known as the driest region on earth, receiving only .04 inches (1mm) of rain per year. Many weather stations located in the region have no recorded precipitation during their existence. Sterile from the lack of rainfall, sparsely inhabited, and virtually free from electromagnetic interference, the desert hosts several major astronomical observatories. This other-worldly location is also popular among sci-fi film makers, and is a prominent test site for NASA's planned Mars mission. This week, the Atacama received 32 inches of snow, stranding motorists along the Pan-American highway and other roads, prompting numerous rescues. Footage of the snow is available on the BBC."

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Worst Snowfall in 20 years (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699740)

So, there was a worse snowfall recorded there 20 years ago? And the story here is that snowfalls happen every 20 years there?

Did I miss something in the story?

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (-1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699776)

Yeah, another "sensationalist" headline. WOO!
Before you know it, news will be reporting... "People stopped by cops after shooting them"
People were stopped by cops after being shot with speed radar...
And so forth...

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (-1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699880)

I certainly missed the part where it had worse snowfall 20 years ago, but then I didn't listen to the sound on the BBC link. I suspect you're just making things up to troll, but who knows?

I did read the wiki though, which said this:
"Evidence suggests that the Atacama may not have had any significant rainfall from 1570 to 1971.[5]"

So, whether you're right about what happened 20 years ago (or not), I'd say that this is a storm we can happily qualify as an anomaly.

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (1)

conares (1045290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699952)

It's in the beginning of the video

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699970)

Good grief man! You didn't listen to the sound on the link, then you turn around and say you suspect he's a troll!?

The BBC link MOST CERTAINLY had that in the first 20 seconds of audio. Frankly, I'd trust the BBC before I'd trust Wikipedia -- especially since the Wikipedia relies on sources such as BBC to validate statements in its articles!

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700016)

My bad then. I apologize to AC.

However, the claim that 2 storms 20 years apart indicates a 20 year cycle is a bit outlandish, considering the 4 centuries without, eh?

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (3, Insightful)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700068)

"I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there."

McGann made a good Doctor.

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700346)

Or to put it another way:

I mean, if you eat roast beef eleven times in your life, one would hardly say that person constantly eats roast beef.

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (0)

superwiz (655733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700096)

Improbable events are not impossible events.

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700002)

Yeah, but their average number doesn't make any sense if there was a worse storm 20 years ago. 32" of snow is equivalent to ~3.2" of rain, that's 800x the quoted .04" which would throw off that number by 100% alone.

Oh, and I wonder if there's going to be a spectacular dessert bloom like there was in Death Valley in 2005 or if so long without rain means that there are no viable seeds or spores to take advantage of the moisture.

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699994)

It means:
Take that, you green treehuggers, who claim there's something like Global Warming.

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (0)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700120)

No it doesn't.
Snow is precipitation, i.e. some form of water falling from clouds.
How did the water get into the clouds?
  It evaporated from the ocean, lakes, etc.
Why did it evaporate?
Heat.
You get the picture?

The Big Picture (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700446)

Why did it evaporate?
Heat.
You get the picture?

Yes, you are claiming that since there was more snow 20 years ago, that it was hotter then than now.

Denier! Denier! Pants on DeFire!

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700070)

Did I miss something in the story?

Not in the story, but I think you missed the part where geography, geology, and climatology are interesting to some nerds.

Re:Worst Snowfall in 20 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700210)

Yep. What does it do every 200 years? Every 2000? Being able to characterize past climates over periods of 10s of thousands of years seems reasonable. Weather? Not so much.

*Hint* (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699770)

When you add more energy to a large system, you don't just get even warming. Things get mixed. It's like heating up an ice-cream cake. Some parts that were warm will get colder than they were, as other parts melt into them.

It's why the term has changed to climate change instead of just global warming.

Re:*Hint* (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699778)

No, the change in terminology is to ensure that all possible data confirm the theory.

Re:*Hint* (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699898)

That would only make sense if you dropped the "change" part. The original marketing campaign was just myopic. Displacement of climates is far more probable given the varied geography of the earth.

Re:*Hint* (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700124)

Calling the same event as the one which occurred 20 years ago a symptom of some sort of "change" is a bit puzzling to me.

Re:*Hint* (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701094)

But since it didn't happen for 400 years before the one 20 years ago, it does seem rather indicative of "change".

Re:*Hint* (0, Flamebait)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699912)

but they still looked silly, so now they have to change the theory too. "We'd be getting warming, but we're not because of the chinese sulfur. Nevermind we already had sulfur in our models you paid us billions of dollars and euros to make, to prop up the trillions of dollars/euros cap and trade profit markets, the only thing that's changed is we're getting the warming you can't see because of the cooling our models had formerly said was insignificant but now is significant." Please pay us to make more models to justify more policies.

Re:*Hint* (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700364)

yeah rudy, you crazy old man, climate scientists are all about the bling. this is the most preposterous, disingenuous argument that has ever been made by the deniers. You do realize, that fossil fuels, specifically oil, is the largest most profitable enterprise on the face of the earth? And that in terms of financial stake/impact/bias it is probably on the order of a million to ten million times stronger than the grant-seeking motive of academics? And that academics, more than any other field have an inherent self interest to publish contrary results and show their peers wrong? Seriously, the world is going to be an amazingly beautiful place when your generation ceases to exist. We should cut medicare and social security in order to facilitate this end.

Re:*Hint* (2, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700430)

Right, cause if any scientist, ever, anywhere is wrong, then every scientist is wrong forever . Fuck your anti-intellectual bullshit. It's not even worthwhile to debunk your lies because they're so goddamn baseless. Do you even know how much a climatologist makes? Do you know how much Rush Limbaugh makes while filling your head with lies about the aforementioned scientists? Do you know how many orders of magnitude the two salaries are apart?

Stop filling your head with poison, and learn something.

Re:*Hint* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700796)

I dunno how to quote stuff on slashdot so I won't but it occurs to me that you have a lot of hate in your heart. You don't have to agree with the guy, you don't have to hate him either. I hope you don't let it bring you down man.

Re:*Hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36701000)

you have a lot of hate in your heart

What should he have there? Jesus? Things would be oh so much better if we just prayed for a solution, right? It's not like we can change the world. Only God can do that! That's what you really wanted to say, wasn't it?

Besides, he never said he hated the guy. He just told him to fuck off.

Re:*Hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700824)

Fuck your anti-intellectual bullshit.

Translation: "You've made a valid point that contradicts what I believe, so I'm just going to marginalize you and call you a name."

Re:*Hint* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700830)

Personally, I am always wary of someone who says that it's not worthwhile to debunk lies. Also of people who use strawmen, ad hominem, etc. But hey, I'm just anti-intellectual.

Re:*Hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700928)

That's the spirit! I admire how you manage to keep emotion out of this. Keep up the healthy scepticism.

I misread your comment and thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36701276)

I am altering the model. Pray I don't alter it any further.

bigger *hint* (0, Redundant)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699798)

It has snowed there before, and with even more inches. But the climate alarmists like to take advantage of people's limited memory and lack of knowledge of history.

the climate has been changing since the earth had an atmosphere. It has been hotter and colder and wetter and drier.

Re:bigger *hint* (3, Insightful)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699816)

Yes, and for most of its history, uninhabited by humans; perhaps due to the climate.

Re:bigger *hint* (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699988)

hominids have been around for 7 million years, the average global temperature has been much higher than now even as recent as 100,000 years ago. also, the primates seem to like the hot zones, hotter than global average

Re:bigger *hint* (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700186)

nice you you to overlook the fact that when natural trends happen that cause drops in temperature 1000 years ago are happening again, and yet the temperature hasn't dropped to those levels. at BEST it level out .

We har high peaks during the pleistoicene, but not a higher trend.
Yuo would need to go bak millions of years to see a trend of higher temperatures.

Now you go into the Holocene, there is what maybe be the climate optimum for humans. And we are temperatures are stating to arise beyond that, even though non man made forces would dictate a cooling trend.

Man made Climate Change is real, and it's a fact.

You do bring up a good point in that article summaries like these can not be used in and of themselves as proof for or against Climate Change.

Whoa (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700376)

We har high peaks during the pleistoicene, but not a higher trend.
Yuo would need to go bak millions of years

Wow, you can just feel the spittle hitting you from that crazed lecture.

Man made Climate Change is real, and it's a fact.

I'd rather work with scientific fact than zealot proclaimed fact, thanks.

The climate is changing, that's for sure - but how much is from human input is still in open debate, and anyone that tries to slam the door on said debate is very suspect.

Re:bigger *hint* (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701164)

Man made Climate Change is real, and it's a fact.

Even if it is, so what? It's not the end of the world. Some cities get flooded...people relocate...farmlands dry up...others are created....political/economic power changes. Change is constantly happening. It's not new.

Re:bigger *hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700568)

So you're saying global warming is real, you just don't care?

Also, what about the animals that don't like the "hot zones" as much as us primates do?

Re:bigger *hint* (1)

Lunoria (1496339) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701316)

Also, what about the animals that don't like the "hot zones" as much as us primates do?

It's called extinction.

Re:bigger *hint* (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700188)

But the climate alarmists like to take advantage of people's limited memory and lack of knowledge of history.

Nice! My turn:
Whereas those who want so badly to believe climate change isn't happening prefer to take advantage of people's inability to understand complicated things.

"You mean all those coal power plants and gas guzzlers might be having unintended consequences? Oh no, I'm starting to feel guilty! Wait wait wait... no, it has to be natural because it's happened like this before. If it were unnatural, this thing would have NEVER happened before. Alright, time to start bugging my congressman to spend taxes to make gas cheaper through subsidies."

Isn't it so much fun to paint those on the other side of a disagreement as being stupid and/or evil!?! Ad homenim attacks are -so- much simpler than trying to grapple with tough issues like "is climate change actually occurring." [/sarcasm]

Re:bigger *hint* (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700436)

the climate has been changing since the earth had an atmosphere. It has been hotter and colder and wetter and drier

The 'climate alarmists' (your term) aren't concerned with the climate changing. As you rightly point out, that has been happening for millennia. The concern is with the *rate* of change, and the ability of the ecosystems to adapt to the change at the pace at which it is happening. The concerns are also around the impacts to human society as economic structures change and break down due to climate change - For example, more frequent hurricanes and tornadoes, impacts to food supply etc. These impacts may happen more rapidly than the systems can manage.

Re:*Hint* (2, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699946)

But:

The Atacama Desert region in Chile was coated with its heaviest snow cover in nearly two decades, the BBC reported. An estimated 31.5 inches (80 centimeters) piled up in the normally arid region.

If this snowfall was due to 'more energy' being added to the system, what caused the prior snowfalls? You have to include all data. Everytime you hear some claim about 'worst hurricane season in fifty years', or anything similar, you need to realize that means there was a worse event fifty years ago. By itself, that establishes no trend.

Re:*Hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700160)

The problem is that too many weird climate events have been happening in quick succession. Yes, each one individually may have happened before, but not all one after each other like is happening now.

Communication (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700334)

The problem is that too many weird climate events have been happening in quick succession.

Are you sure? Or in fact is that it's much easier to find out about them now?

Re:Communication (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700802)

You need to understand how Climate Change works. If there is a hypothetical town in Iowa that had recorded tornadoes for every day in March, although not in the same year, except march 7th. For example, they had tornadoes on March 1st 1942, March 2nd 1979, March 3rd 1983. If they get a tornado on March 7th of this year, then that proves that Global Warming exists and is caused by man. No other possible explanation will fit their models.

Re:*Hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700716)

You also have to remember that median != mean != absolutely every bloody possibility going.

In other words, if you have a probability of 1 in a million, 1 in a trillion, etc, then it WILL happen eventually by chance alone.

If 1 in a million events start happening rather more often than once in a million, on an ongoing basis, you know that the dynamics of the system have changed. It takes a moron (Tea Partier, whatever they are called in these politically correct times) to believe that when probabilities skew that it "doesn't matter" because the event happened sometime in the past.

It's like tossing a coin and only getting tails, but believing that normal because a coin, somewhere in the world, landed on tails at some time in the past. For chrissakes, if it lands tails all the freakin' time, the coin is no longer balanced! It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that! (Ok, in America it apparently DOES take an Einstein.)

Re:*Hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36701384)

What? Less energy means all snow falling was impossible? What led you to that conclusion?

" 'worst hurricane season in fifty years' ... you need to realize that means there was a worse event fifty years ago"
No, actually it does not mean that. To illustrate, let me express the statement using mathematical concepts:
"worst hurricane season in fifty years' = There does not exist a hurricane season such that it was in the last 50 years and it was worse than this one. No mention of what happened prior to 'the last 50 years' is necessary to accurately describe the statement.

Re:*Hint* (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700074)

Another hint: low probability events happen. According the report itself they had worse or similar snow 20 years ago. This isn't "climate change(tm)." At least not anymore than normal climate change that always happens is "climate change(tm)."

Another hint (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700194)

People like you do nothing to help bolster the argument of man made climate change.

See any time something happens on a weather level that would seem to be against global warming, like an extra cold winter, if they were related shouts of "Climate is not weather! You can't take something that happened with the weather and apply it to climate!" come up in a hurry.

However when something perceived to be out of the ordinary (or something bad) happens then people like you come and say "See! Look! Strange weather, climate change must be real and it must be people causing it!"

This trying to have it both ways is something that makes the argument look flimsy because it is precisely what people like religious zealots do. When something supports their views, they point to it as evidence. When something doesn't, they claim that sort of thing doesn't matter, even if it is the same sort of thing as they were talking about earlier.

So you can't go and shout down weather as not being climate only to then point at weather when it suits your needs.

Also it shows rather profound ignorance of the Earth's climate and weather systems to think that a rare event must somehow be an indication of something wrong.

Please note, none of this is aimed at trying to disprove or prove man made climate change. It is simply pointing out that this is a stupid argument and doesn't help your position at all.

Re:Another hint (0)

WamBamBoozle (113151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700772)

> Also it shows rather profound ignorance of the Earth's climate and weather systems to think that a rare event must somehow be an indication of something wrong.

Outliers are early indicators in any process of discovery.

> Please note, none of this is aimed at trying to disprove or prove man made climate change. It is simply pointing out that this is a stupid argument and doesn't help your position at all.

Stating the obvious is hardly an argument. Saying the there is more energy in the system is only self-evident. More CO2 -> more heat = more energy. How is that spin? You wrongfully represent the AC as "arguing a position" -- anyone who thinks climate change is not man made is nuts. If there is more precipitation (energy), more winds (energy), than yeah, some places might be colder or wetter than before. This is not self-serving rationalization, it is stating obvious physics.

Just look at the melted polar ice cap.

But of course you're right. There's nothing wrong. Fossil fuels are our friend. Exxon is looking out for you!

Re:Another hint (2)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700834)

You are correct about bad arguments but the specifics are wrong. People who say humans are impacting climate change actually predicted that some areas would be colder and some areas would get more snow, the problem is when you look at global temperatures you realize that Europe and Asia were warmer while people were claiming a cold winter in Maryland as proof that there is no climate change.

Additionally, crazy weather is also predicted in the same models so in reality, all of these events are lining up with predictions made about climate change. As others have pointed out, the question isn't whether climate is changing but whether humans can do anything to slow it down or if they should which to me makes a lot of sense. Encouraging people to use resources more efficiently doesn't sound like a bad idea anyway, so the interests of human driven climate change advocates generally line up with good policy anyways.

Additionally when it comes to this specific case, prior to 1970, the region had almost 400 years without precipitation, the climate change models show tremendous change in the makeup of our atmosphere starting in the 50s and peaking in the late 70s as the clean air act and other international efforts started to take effect reversing the trends for a while until the new millenium when Bush's administration repealed many of the environmental regulations that Clinton's administration put in place.

I find it difficult to believe anyone thinks that humans don't impact our environment tremendously. I come from Vermont with family in upstate New York which was plagued with acid rain because of polluted Ohio. At the same time, about 20 years ago you also had huge problems with smog in California among many other places. Lots of small impacts add up, there are even more egregious environment threatening events happening internationally all at the same time and somehow we're not changing any of the Earth's natural cycles?

I think we should change the focus of the conversation to using our resources more efficiently which makes us less dependent on third parties and reduces our impact on the world around us. There's no reason we need to kill an economy, but there's also no reason we have to lay waste to every place we live.

Re:Another hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36701048)

Anybody who references land temperatures when talking about global warming is misinformed, at best.
The science is about heat capacity of oceans.

On land we expect to see catastrophic climate change. Snow is precipitation, and that water vapor came from somewhere.

$20 says it didn't not evaporate from the driest land on the planet, but came from a body of water that has absorbed some energy.

Re:Another hint (1)

ralphbecket (225429) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701076)

Er, the models even *hindcast* wilder weather: their variance seems to be substantially greater than what is observed (not to mention they're mostly way off base when it comes to getting absolute temperatures right). See this ensemble graph: http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/temperatures_absolute.jpg

The thing is, we've "observed" about 0.7'C of warming over a century and most of that seems to have happened in Siberia and the Arctic. Given the huge usual temperature variations over any sub-decadal time scale, there is just no way you would be able to notice that change without a lot of time and careful measurement.

Re:*Hint* (2, Informative)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700228)

*Hint* When someone changes their initial theory from something that can be quantified (ie. "global temperature will increase because of man-made greenhouse gases") to something that can't be quantified ("ie. global temperature will get both hotter and colder in different parts of the world") it means they have realized their initial theory was incorrect and they are scrambling to find another theory.

Basically, if you're telling me that the theory of climate change is now "Some places will get hotter and some places will get colder", then there is nothing that can disprove the theory, since, yes, there will be parts of the world that will get hotter and parts that will get colder. It's a meaningless, nonsensical theory at that point.

That's like saying "Greenhouse gasses will cause more humans to die in some locations, and more humans to be born in other locations." I will always be able to point to some areas of the world where the birth rate has increased, and others where the death rate has increased.

Re:*Hint* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700522)

The problem is morons interpreting "the AVERAGE global temperature will show an upward trend over decades" as "every point of the globe will register a temperature higher than they did the previous year on the same day".

Re:*Hint* (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700556)

Sorry, dude, but that's exactly what will happen. The Earth's atmosphere is a chaotic place and temperature is not defined by a simple gradient from the equator to the pole. The various ocean and air currents have a huge effect, for example letting the south of France have palm trees despite being at the same latitude as Montreal which gets to -40 in the winter.

The problem with global warming is that it will shift some of these currents which can have quite a big swing for places that used to depend on them. If you lose a source of warmth then yes global warming can cause a place to cool.

Though the biggest problem for humans is likely to be the shift in precipitation. Nevermind this single snowfall, entire civilizations (eg. Troy) have been abandoned from a change of precipitation. The total volume of precipitation is likely to rise, but some of it will shift from currently wet places to currently dry ones. Expect wars as people move to adapt.

Re:*Hint* (3, Interesting)

gum2me (723529) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700630)

Wait, so what if someone says in THESE SPECIFIC REGIONS temperatures will go up, while in THESE SPECIFIC REGIONS temperatures will go down. That seems like a disprovable theory, And it seems like an eminently reasonable claim. Now whether that claim can be borne out by the data is a different question.

Re: *Hint* -DUH, WARMING!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700850)

*Hint* When someone changes their initial theory from something that can be quantified (ie. "global temperature will increase because of man-made greenhouse gases") to something that can't be quantified ("ie. global temperature will get both hotter and colder in different parts of the world") it means they have realized their initial theory was incorrect and they are scrambling to find another theory.

no one has revoked or re-written the initial theory.
The average global temperature will increase.
Part of this theory includes the idea that local weather will be more extreme. But that is ancillary and not exclusive of the main theory.

Re:*Hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700498)

Actually, it changed to 'climate change' because no scientist was buying 'global warming'.

Climate ALWAYS changes. That way AGW backers could point to anything at all to "prove" their case.

Re:*Hint* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700712)

It must really suck to be so proud of how wrong and ignorant you are. I can't relate.

Snow Elsewhere Can Be Amusing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699802)

As a Canadian, I find it rather amusing watching other locales scramble desperately to deal with with, what for us, would be a rather mundane experience.

Re:Snow Elsewhere Can Be Amusing... (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699892)

Since you find snow mundane, I'll send you all of our snow fall in exchange for consistent, non-flood inducing, rain fall during the year. The only problem is that the insect population would probably explode.

Re:Snow Elsewhere Can Be Amusing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699984)

Since you find snow mundane, I'll send you all of our snow fall in exchange for consistent, non-flood inducing, rain fall during the year. The only problem is that the insect population would probably explode.

What is even better is the 6' drifts that can appear overnight, or even while one is at work.

It's all relative (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699978)

I'd love to see Canadians deal with 20 years of almost no rainfall.

Re:Snow Elsewhere Can Be Amusing... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700182)

If it dumps 80 cm of snow overnight, even locales prepared for snow and snow removal shut down all but basic services.

I don't care if it's Fort Nelson, Whitehorse, Toronto, Ottawa, or Edmonton.

Only places that always get that much snow year round, like Valdez Alaska, are prepared for giant dumping snow falls.

Valdez averages 10 meters a year, so even .8m is a large one time snow fall for them.

Re:Snow Elsewhere Can Be Amusing... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700554)

What the hell are you talking about? We have lake effect snow here in Ontario in excess of 150cm in a day. There's places where 300cm for a weekend snow fall can happen. You know what happens? Life goes on, basic services continue, and people get around doing stuff they still have to do.

In my home town, if we see 100cm overnight, major core streets will be cleared by the following afternoon, and side streets will be clear by the following day, if not sooner. The only time I've things come to a complete standstill here is when the snow is falling so heavily that clearing equipment can't remove it safely. Or someone in Toronto thinks that 25cm of snow is a reason to call out the army. Actually I laughed pretty hard when europeans were whining over 10 or 20cm of snow. That's like a light dusting where I live.

Maybe Canadians are just hardier people. Or maybe it's that we've always lived with this "extreme" weather.

Re:Snow Elsewhere Can Be Amusing... (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700964)

Why the long and predictable diatribe if you're going to arrive at the obvious conclusion in the end anyway?

Re:Snow Elsewhere Can Be Amusing... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701088)

Why the arrogant belief that all things are the same, and the obvious conclusion wasn't at the end. I'll wait for you to figure it out.

Re:Snow Elsewhere Can Be Amusing... (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701136)

I can vouch for your statement from down here in the US...

Salt Lake City (at least when I lived there) often got 'ordinary' 26-40cm deep storms that rumbled through during the winter. Sometimes, it combined with lake-effect snow (yes it's a desert... now look for that ginormous patch of blue on the map, immediately to the North and West of town) to give you 60-70cm snow with drifts that got damned impressive, especially on the 'benches'. All that said, the main roads were usually cleared by 7am, and the side streets were mostly clear by 8am. The morning routine always included driveway+snow blower, and afternoons meant the occasional tromp up to the roof to dump off any excess snow, so your roof didn't over-stress from the weight.

Contrast that with Portland, OR. The town gets a mere 20cm of snow in late 2008, and suddenly the entire Universe is paralyzed for a week.
(To be fair, up here in PDX it's all about rainfall and the occasional ice storm, so snowplows are a rare item... and not a single human being up here knows how to drive in it. Kinda fun to watch, but lousy to drive amongst).

Let me be the first to say... (2, Funny)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699810)

It's global warming's fault!

Re:Let me be the first to say... (2)

ZaphDingbat (451843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699848)

Quite likely, in a region subject to permafrost.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (0, Redundant)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699876)

Try keep up - it's called climate change now. As if our climate hasn't been doing goofy things ever since anyone can remember.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700072)

If someone can remember it, it isn't climate. It's weather.

Sorry, I keep forgetting (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700132)

I'll try to keep up with the spinmeisters from now on.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700692)

Which part of the word 'trend' do you not understand?

Which part of all the natural forces the are currently happening that historically lowered the temperature, but the global temperature not returning to those levels do you not understand?

Climate is rising even through the historic patterns would dictate a lowering. This is not opinion, it's a fact. Solid fact. It's one of the reasons their is a consensus that it is happening.

If you don't think climate change is happening, then you might as well believe the universe rotates around the earth.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36701158)

It's one of the reasons their is a consensus that it is happening.

I've heard that something like 97% of climatologists support at least some form of man-made climate change. As that is less than 100%, I'd hardly call it a "consensus".

In fact, if you were to extrapolate this over the entire 7 billion person population of the Earth, you'd find 210 million people were opposed to it! That's over half of the population of the United States, which... explains everything, come to think of it.

climate change vs global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700904)

Only the politicians call it climate change. They prefer a less alarming term.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36701114)

And it did it 20 years ago also...multiple sources could be wrong....

Re:Let me be the first to say... (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699920)

> It's global warming's fault!

Quite probably. In most really cold places, it is usally to cold to snow as cold air can carry less moisture than warm air.
Back where I grew up we had lots of -20C clear cold days. It was the "warm" days near 0C when it snowed.

Global warming is expected to create much more evaporation from the oceans and lead to more rain. (cf the flooded central US).

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700028)

(cf the flooded central US)

A single event does make a progression. It may be a symptom of warmer things on the earth.

Also they were prepared for flooding (go buy a house and ask about 10/20/100 year flooding in the areas). Why were they ready for it? Oh gee it had happened before (see 1920/1930's flooding)...

When I grew up it was 100F in the summer in july. They havent hit yet this year. Does that mean its getting colder? No, its a cool year...

Everyone pretends to be climatologists on this freeking board. From where I sit it looks like a bunch of BS not real science. Why do I say that (even though it may really be happening)? Three words, carbon tax credits. There be MONEY to be made everyone be damned who thinks opposite.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (3, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700062)

Quite probably. In most really cold places, it is usally to cold to snow as cold air can carry less moisture than warm air. Back where I grew up we had lots of -20C clear cold days. It was the "warm" days near 0C when it snowed.

While that phenomenon certainly exists, it can't be used as a justification for this snowfall. There was a heavier snowfall decades ago, so this snowfall does nothing to establish warming, cooling, change, or static climate. You would have to do an analysis of frequency of snowfalls, etc., before drawing any conclusions about it.

You can draw the conclusion that anybody using this as evidence (a) for, or (b) against, climate change is not going to be somebody you want to take too seriously.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700532)

Maybe the flooding is happening becuase they design the river water flow so there will be large amounts of water coming down the river in the spring time. This is to make the river have a more natural ecosystem to offsite the dams. What has happened becuase of this is the reservoirs upstream are full so when there is more rainfall than normal there is also bigger floods than normal. It didn't use to be this way becuase they simply didn't care about the ecosystem of the river and they kept the reservoirs much lower and there was very little flooding in the past.

But you know the same "ecofriendly" people that are claiming global warming is causing so many 100 year floods are really the people causing the flooding since they want that big water flow in spring time.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700592)

Global warming is expected to create much more evaporation from the oceans and lead to more rain. (cf the flooded central US).

Except when it's expected to create droughts.

That's the great thing about 'Global Warming', with a few tweaks your model can produce any result you want. Hence the predictions from a few years ago about winters with no snow magically became predictions of increased snow when reality refused to obey the model last year.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700746)

To conclude the media going off about a particular years weather as 'proof' about climate change. They report sensation. there reporting is not scientific forecast, it's random predicting. You need to look at long term models and data.

The extra energy will create dramatic and more dynamic weather patterns of all kinds.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701112)

You do realize there are probably as many models as there are scientists right? And that your "example" is probably at best two separate and completely independent models?

And you do realize that the point of science is to actually make predictions then improve your prediction ability by monitoring those predictions and adjusting your theory to match physical results?

This isn't religion, they don't know the answer, they can only make predictions then adjust their predictions as more information comes in. This doesn't make it guessing, and it doesn't make it wrong, it just makes it science. That you don't understand how that work doesn't mean anything at all. Maybe you should leave the field to the experts, instead of inserting your baseless opinion into a discussion you can't even comprehend (as it's apparent you don't even know how the scientific method works or what the purpose of science is).

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700678)

I haven't been able to find information yet but this is a very mountainous area. The mountains force the wet air up and that cools it off producing rain.. The deserts are there not because of cold but because there are big mountains in the way of the prevailing wind. This snow fall is most likely due to a temporary change in the prevailing wind which brought moist air into the region.

I live in Florida and hurricane landfalls depend on jet streams. We had a few years when those winds seemed to steer every other hurricane our way. Now those winds are back to normal and the storms go either out into the Atlantic or into the Gulf of Mexico.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701148)

(cf the flooded central US).

The flooding in the central US is a result of the Army Corps of Engineers failing to release sufficient water before the snow melt. The last time there was a winter with a similar amount of snow, they released enough water from the dams in the early spring before the snow melt started and then held most of the snow melt in the reservoirs.

What about antarctica... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36699814)

I thought Antarctica was the driest place on earth. No percipitation in the last 2,000,000 years.

Re:What about antarctica... (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699888)

Even the driest of the dry spots in Antarctica average a few inches of precipitation yearly. Not sure about the percipitation, however...you might be correct on that one.

Rain is a big emergency in North Chile! (1)

TheNarrator (200498) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699836)

They had rain a few years ago in Iquique, another town in North Chile that hardly ever gets rain. It caused quite a disruption because many poorer people have cardboard roofs on their houses, which ,obviously, do not work particularly well when it rains.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/21/tiny-drizzle-wreaks-havoc_n_242057.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:Rain is a big emergency in North Chile! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700066)

Fuck, imagine having to replace all that cardboard.

The losses must have been huge!

Easy recovery (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700398)

Fuck, imagine having to replace all that cardboard.

The losses must have been huge!

No worry, each of them ordered a $0.79 pen from Amazon, who shipped it loose in a refrigerator box.

Oblig. Drudge-dot (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36699934)

This clearly means global warming is a fraud, and it's over!

Isn't (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700046)

the Antarctica the driest place on earth?

Re:Isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700088)

Dryest continent on avg, but there are places in AQ that are quite wet, and places off AQ that are much dryer than the dryest place in AQ.

Re:Isn't (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700502)

No, it turns out it's covered in Ice, a popular form of water.

Re:Isn't (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700760)

ha. ha.

It has the lowest humidity, and the lowest moisture falling from the sky. It fact inland from the cost it gets almost not rainfall... or snowfall.

Re:Isn't (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701054)

There are areas of Antarctica where it hasn't rained for 40,000 years. It is one of the driest places on earth because very cold air can't hold much humidity at all.

This must mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700146)

Winter is coming.

Re:This must mean... (1)

Ohrion (814105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36700896)

Nice

From The Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36700164)

"the area hasn't seen this much snow in almost 20 years"

So, it's not unheard of. In fact it has snowed many times just not typically this much. From time to time it snows heavily in certain areas of the Atacam, it just doesn't happen very frequently.

Everybody can now just chill the fuck out!

Re:From The Video (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36701072)

Well, it happened now, and 20 years ago... and then 400 years back in time before anything even resembling water (frozen or otherwise) falling from the sky.

It's a pretty dry place.

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