Friday, January 13, 2012

Boise State Scientist: Don't Link Dry Spell to Global Warming

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

With no significant snow accumulation expected for the Treasure Valley anytime soon, precipitation (or the lack thereof) remains Southwest Idaho's No. 1 topic of concern.

But Boise State geoscience professor Hans-Peter Marshall urges caution before weather watchers link the dry spell to global warming.

“We have to be careful at assuming it's global warming," Marshall told Citydesk. "The recent wind, precipitation and warmer temperatures do not prove the climate is warming.”

In fact, Marshall readily points to other spots across the globe that are receiving generous amounts of snow.

“In Alaska, they are being pounded with snow," said Marshall. "And most of Europe is having an above-average year. Areas of higher elevation like [Idaho's] Sawtooths are around 50-70 percent average for snowfall.”

Marshall stressed the importance of looking at overall, long-term weather patterns.

“Last year, there was a lot of snow late in the season and a dry spell in the middle, so we came out about average,” he said. "Weather conditions are going to change, that’s a given. These types of things happen.”

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