APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

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APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:06 am

Image The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938

Explanation: Yes, but can your blizzard do this? In Upper Michigan's Storm of the Century in 1938, some snow drifts reached the level of utility poles. Nearly a meter of new and unexpected snow fell over two days in a storm that started 80 years ago this week. As snow fell and gale-force winds piled snow to surreal heights; many roads became not only impassable but unplowable; people became stranded; cars, school buses and a train became mired; and even a dangerous fire raged. Fortunately only two people were killed, although some students were forced to spend several consecutive days at school. The featured image was taken by a local resident soon after the storm. Although all of this snow eventually melted, repeated snow storms like this help build lasting glaciers in snowy regions of our planet Earth.

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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by Ann » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:01 am

Today's APOD is as impressive as it is scary!

However, in my hometown of Malmö we had a terrible blizzard in very early January of 1979. I remember that there were no buses for a couple of days, and the dairy shelves in the grocery stores were empty. Out in the countryside, houses were so buried in snow that people had to leave their homes through windows on the second floor. Helicopters transported women in labor to hospitals. Military tracked vehicles moved across the snowbound landscape to reach people in need.

Below is a youtube video showing stills from Denmark that was hit by the same blizzard as us.

The 1979 blizzard lasted 4-5 days. There was another blizzard in March that year, and teachers who commuted to a school in Trelleborg on the south coast had to spend the night in school, because there were no buses or trains out of Trelleborg, and the roads could not be used.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by RocketRon » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:19 am

Aren't all the weather recording folks reporting that less and less snow is falling. ?
Glaciers all around the world are retreating, and none are growing - anywhere.

Long term, its the Himalayas where this is going to have the most impact. ?
Meltwater from there feeds almost half the worlds population.
If the monsoon fails for even only a few years, the social disruption is going to be bigger than anything ever imagined ?
Whole empires in the past have fallen from lesser calamities....

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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by Thierry Legault » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:09 am

Impressive image...however, I don't understand why it's in Astronomy Picture of the Day :shock: Is there a shortage of astronomical pictures ? (if yes, we have solutions :D )
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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by Boomer12k » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:11 am

A report on Glacier Nation Park...

"Global warming is shrinking the glaciers for which Montana's Glacier National Park is named. Climate change threatens the park's scenic beauty, wildlife, and economic value to the state.

Of the 150 glaciers in Glacier National Park in 1850, only 25 remain. Eleven of the park's iconic named glaciers have melted away since 1966."

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isoparix

Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by isoparix » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:49 am

...of 1938? So why does the newspaper clipping (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1401/s ... n_2592.jpg) report, quite distinctly, 1939?

heehaw

Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by heehaw » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:53 am

Despite all the talk of global warming, the fact is that we are 10,000 years into the most recent interglacial. Earth has been in an ice age for 500,000 years, punctuated by about 5 brief interglacials each lasting less than 10,000 years. And ice cores show that just before each interglacial ended there was a sharp increase in atmospheric CO2. And we are having just such an increase now, augmented hugely by our own contribution. I don't know why people are predicting global warming will continue: if past is prologue, within a few hundred years all the power poles will be buried in ice!

heehaw

Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by heehaw » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:58 am

Thierry Legault wrote:Impressive image...however, I don't understand why it's in Astronomy Picture of the Day :shock: Is there a shortage of astronomical pictures ? (if yes, we have solutions :D )
regards
Earth Science Picture of the Day frequently poaches on astronomy: I'm glad that APOD strikes back occasionally! (And also, you can just think of today's APOD as merely an extreme closeup of one of the nine (oops eight) planets in the Solar System! Think Mars, Venus, Earth, ...

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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:58 pm

Just because Pluto's a dwarf; doesn't stop it from being a planet! Otherwise we have 4 planets; 4 giants; and an unknown amount of dwarfs!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by neufer » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:03 pm

.
Wow... 80 years ago... back when the U.S. still relied on utility poles :!:
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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:59 pm

heehaw wrote:Despite all the talk of global warming, the fact is that we are 10,000 years into the most recent interglacial. Earth has been in an ice age for 500,000 years, punctuated by about 5 brief interglacials each lasting less than 10,000 years. And ice cores show that just before each interglacial ended there was a sharp increase in atmospheric CO2. And we are having just such an increase now, augmented hugely by our own contribution. I don't know why people are predicting global warming will continue: if past is prologue, within a few hundred years all the power poles will be buried in ice!
But we understand most of the forcing elements involved in the long term cycles, and they're accounted for in the models. If we were looking at a return of the ice in a few hundred years, we might approach things differently. But there's no suggestion of that over any such short term. Tens of thousands of years is much more likely. And in terms of profoundly impacting our societies, all that really matters is the next decades.
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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by JohnD » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:01 pm

Even in the UK there were some bad snow years: https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2017/01/2 ... r-britain/

And, coincidentally, today's EPOD http://epod.usra.edu/ 21st January 2018 revisits the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica, and reminds that mean temperature there has fallen in the last 14 years.

John

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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:06 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
heehaw wrote:Despite all the talk of global warming, the fact is that we are 10,000 years into the most recent interglacial. Earth has been in an ice age for 500,000 years, punctuated by about 5 brief interglacials each lasting less than 10,000 years. And ice cores show that just before each interglacial ended there was a sharp increase in atmospheric CO2. And we are having just such an increase now, augmented hugely by our own contribution. I don't know why people are predicting global warming will continue: if past is prologue, within a few hundred years all the power poles will be buried in ice!
But we understand most of the forcing elements involved in the long term cycles, and they're accounted for in the models. If we were looking at a return of the ice in a few hundred years, we might approach things differently. But there's no suggestion of that over any such short term. Tens of thousands of years is much more likely. And in terms of profoundly impacting our societies, all that really matters is the next decades.
I'm glad you responded to heehaw's post Chris. His rather contrarian take has personal appeal, but it undercuts very real looming disasters due to AWG, such as:
RocketRon wrote:Aren't all the weather recording folks reporting that less and less snow is falling. ?
Glaciers all around the world are retreating, and none are growing - anywhere.
Some isolated cases of a few advancing glaciers used to be pointed to, but that was a few years back. Is RocketRon's claim that all are now in retreat true? If so, yikes.
Long term, its the Himalayas where this is going to have the most impact. ?
Meltwater from there feeds almost half the worlds population.
If the monsoon fails for even only a few years, the social disruption is going to be bigger than anything ever imagined ?
Whole empires in the past have fallen from lesser calamities....
And he didn't even mention global sea level rise, or collapse of ecosystems...

Bruce

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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by RocketRon » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:06 pm

I haven't been out and personally measured that ALL the glaciers are retreating. !

If anyone can quote any glaciers that are growing, we'd all be interested to hear.
Even in Antarctica.....

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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:26 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:Some isolated cases of a few advancing glaciers used to be pointed to, but that was a few years back. Is RocketRon's claim that all are now in retreat true? If so, yikes.
I think there are still some glaciers that are growing. After all, glacier growth and retreat is only partly a function of temperature. Snowfall rates also matter, and one consequence of global warming can be increased precipitation (including snowfall).

But certainly, the overwhelming majority of glaciers around the world are shrinking.
Chris

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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by neufer » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:37 pm

RocketRon wrote:
If anyone can quote any glaciers that are growing,
we'd all be interested to hear.
A few maritime glaciers seem to have benefited from increased winter snow fall. (Warmer ocean? Meandering Jet Stream?)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850 wrote:
<<In Normay Norway, glacier studies have been performed since the early 19th century, with systematic surveys undertaken regularly since the 1990s. Inland glaciers have had a generally negative mass balance, whereby during the 1990s, maritime glaciers showed a positive mass balance and advanced.>>
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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by Alexander » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:40 pm

I was stationed at Malmstrom AFB in Montana in the '60s. My team and I were rescued by a SnoCat from the base as our vehicle could not punch through the snow drifts. We found our way back to the base by following the tops of the telephone poles that stuck out of the drifts. This was during the winter of '68 - '69 when the coldest day I had experienced was -51F. I know that is not the official reading, but many local thermometers showed that number.

BTW, the greatest views of the Milky Way were a few miles out of town where there was no light pollution whatsoever.

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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:31 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
BDanielMayfield wrote:Some isolated cases of a few advancing glaciers used to be pointed to, but that was a few years back. Is RocketRon's claim that all are now in retreat true? If so, yikes.
I think there are still some glaciers that are growing. After all, glacier growth and retreat is only partly a function of temperature. Snowfall rates also matter, and one consequence of global warming can be increased precipitation (including snowfall).

But certainly, the overwhelming majority of glaciers around the world are shrinking.
Yes, as should be expected just from sort-term regional weather variation.

The map Art provided;
shows that even in the comparatively few areas were glaciers were advancing, the advances were small compared to the many in retreat.

The map left out the biggest potential effector on sea level rise however. What is happening in Antarctica?
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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:45 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:What is happening in Antarctica?
The most recent studies suggest that the continent as a whole is losing ice mass. Overall there are regional differences, with part experiencing significant loss, part in balance, and part gaining ice mass. The latter is because even though there is overall warming, the shifting climate patterns result in more water being transported south and falling over parts of Antarctica.
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Re: APOD: The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938 (2018 Jan 21)

Post by RocketRon » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:18 am

Read up on the West Antarctic ice Sheet.

By all accounts, the clock is ticking ... ?