Friday, February 15, 2013

Does Global Warming Have Something to Do with This Year's Ice Ruts and Craters in Madison?

Does Global Warming Have Something to Do with This Year's Ice Ruts and Craters in Madison? It seems counter-intuitive, but I wonder whether our icy streets this winter might be the result of global warming.

It has been a weird winter. With a few exceptions, it hasn't been all that cold, but we have more ice than ever. In Madison the main thoroughfares are clear of snow and ice, but the side streets are covered with the worst ice ruts and craters I can remember. Rain followed by snow followed by icy weather, or even worse, vice versa. By the time the plows get to the side streets, the icy mush has turned to solid ice, and there's not much that can be done about it. Eventually it warms a bit, the ice melts, and then it starts all over again.

They say global warming makes the weather more variable, with more extreme events. Maybe that's why we've had so many hard freezes in conjunction with rain and snow events. Seems as if it used to happen more like once a winter. Now it seems to be a chronic condition. And, of course, if temperatures were just a bit colder, the way they used to be, most of that rain would not have fallen as rain but rather as snow, and most of it would have been plowed off the side streets.

Just wondering. And waiting eagerly for spring to come.

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