Mountain News: Canmore planning climate change centre 

CANMORE, Alberta – A climate change centre is being planned in Canmore, and the group is expected to key in on the idea that no matter what is done to curb greenhouse gases in the immediate future, great changes are on the way because of existing levels in the atmosphere, reports the Banff Crag & Canyon.

Climate models prepared by the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative predict average temperature increases of around 5 degrees for Alberta. “The extra precipitation will come in the winter as rain, when we don’t need it, and we’ll see less rain in the summer,” said the group’s Dr. Dave Sauchyn.

“The point we’re making with this study is that it’s important to see what the future is like, and not get surprised by it,” said Bob Sanford, who heads the Western Watershed Climate Research Collaborative.

Sandford further said that the ability to adapt to change is paramount. “Ecosystems are disassembling and reassembling in different ways,” he said.


Winter returns to Colorado

SILVERTON, Colo. – It’s probably incorrect to call the type of snow that pelted Colorado last weekend a product of global warming. Prominent climate scientists have warned that it’s difficult to ascribe any one single weather event to the greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere. Only in retrospect, they say, will the patterns be clearly discerned.

Yet the early snow — Sierra cement, not Rocky Mountain champagne powder — was unusual, perhaps even rare. In Silverton, elevation 9,300 feet, it began as a hard rain. Several thousand feet higher at the Silverton Mountain Ski Area it was snow — and plenty of it.

The warmth surprised many people. “All of the wet sloppy stuff usually comes a month earlier, and this stuff is really sloppy,” said Jim Lamont, who works in the small town of Red Cliff, near Vail.

However, by Sunday skiers at Aspen, Vail, and elsewhere were reporting surprisingly good conditions, even delightful powder.

Just a week ago, The Telluride Watch had a story, called “The Endless Summer,” with a graphic of people carrying skis set against a warm background. That was also the title of a surfing poster of the same name from about 40 years ago.

But now, the miracle of winter has returned. And winter will not go away. Speaking in Breckenridge in October, meteorologist Paul Goodloe of The Weather Channel said that even in globally warmed mountains there will be snowstorms, and probably storms that are even more epic than current ones. But there will also be longer periods of no snow.

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