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Personal comment on Billings Gaz. article on climate change in the western U.S.

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  • P. Neuman self only
    Concluding Statement ... My September 11, 2003 paper did not include the general comments on global warming that I made in a 30 Oct. 2003 National Press
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11 7:46 AM
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      Concluding Statement
      -------------------------------
      My September 11, 2003 paper did not include the general comments on
      global warming that I made in a 30 Oct. 2003 National Press Release.
      Therefore, my paper should have been approved by my employer and my work
      should have been referenced by Kelly Redmond and Steve Running in the
      article By Lorna Thackeray,
      Billings Gazette/ Business News
      April 8, 2004
      http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/national/8388980.htm
      MONTANA EXPERTS SAY CLIMATE CHANGE UNDERWAY
      IN MUCH OF WESTERN U.S.
      -----------------------------

      The April 8, 2004 article: "Montana Experts ---" is based on work by
      Steve Running at the University of Montana and Kelly Redmond, Director of
      NOAA Western Regional Climate Center in Reno, Nevada.

      I met Kelly Redmond while I was giving my poster presentation at the 2003
      NOAA combined conference (Climate Prediction Center and Desert Research
      Institute) held in Sparks, Nevada 20-23 Oct 2003. My presentation was on
      22 Oct 2003.

      I gave Mr. Redmond a copy of my paper titled: "Earlier Seasonal Snowmelt
      Runoff in the Upper Midwest-Northern Great Plains", which I completed on
      September 11, 2003 (Minnesotans For Sustainability website at:
      http://www.mnforsustain.org ).

      Mr. Redmond expressed interest and concern on the content of my poster
      presentation and my paper, and thanked me for handing him a copy of my
      paper.

      I described my paper in a 30 Oct 2003 National Press Release (excerpt
      below). I paid the $500 cost for the 30 Oct 2003 Press Release by
      personal check. Doing the Press Release personally cost me much more than
      just $500.

      The April 8, 2004 article on research by Redmond and Running follows an
      excerpt from my 30 Oct 2003 National Press Release, below.

      Additional comment is given later in this message on the reason for the
      absence of reference to my work and paper (presented 22 Oct 2003 in
      Sparks, Nevada), in the
      the article By Lorna Thackeray, Billings Gazette/ Business News,April 8,
      2004.
      See *** near the end of this message for additional explanation.

      ----- Excerpt from 30 Oct 2003 National Press Release -----

      Excerpt from the 30 Oct 2003 National Press Release
      on my paper titled: "Earlier Seasonal Snowmelt Runoff
      in the Upper Midwest-Northern Great Plains".

      "The Workshop was sponsored by the --- Climate
      Prediction Center, the Desert Research Institute, and
      the American Meteorological Society. Neuman's work
      was received with great concern by several Workshop
      participants.

      The paper with Neuman's findings is titled: "Earlier
      Seasonal Snowmelt Runoff in the Upper Midwest-Northern
      Great Plains". The area includes headwaters to Hudson
      Bay, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basin.

      Interestingly, the snowmelt runoff study was not based
      on air temperature data. Instead, daily river flows from
      the United States Geological Survey (USGS) were used
      to evaluate timing of spring snowmelt runoff over the last
      100 years.

      The study shows that the beginning dates of spring
      snowmelt runoff have been occurring two to four weeks
      earlier now than occurred historically at USGS river
      stations analyzed in the study. Most significantly, the
      study shows an increase of much earlier snowmelt
      runoff from 1980 to current. ---
      ---
      Editors note: The figures and tables that go with the
      narrative are extremely important and telling of rapid
      regional climate warming in the Upper Midwest-Great
      Plains. The narrative for the Workshop and data can be
      found at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/264
      "
      --------- end of 30 Oct 2003 press release ----------

      ------Forwarded Message ------ Billings Gaz. article on C-C in the
      western U.S.
      MONTANA EXPERTS SAY CLIMATE CHANGE UNDERWAY
      IN MUCH OF WESTERN U.S.
      By Lorna Thackeray, Billings Gazette / Mont. Knight Ridder/
      Tribune Business News
      April 8, 2004
      http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/national/8388980.htm

      Early snowmelt has become a hallmark of Montana's prolonged drought. Some
      scientists are beginning to think that it may be much more than that.

      Full-fledged climate change, which could mean shorter winters and drier
      summers, is already under way across the Western United States, said
      Steve Running at the University of Montana.

      "We have every reason to believe that it will continue or even
      accelerate," he said. "Absolutely, we are in a multidecadinal change in
      climate."

      Running is director of UM's Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group,
      which makes software for NASA's environmental satellites. The group
      operates the Montana Climate Center, which opened last fall in Missoula.

      Evidence collected over the last 50 years suggests that rising
      temperatures have fostered a decline in springtime snowpack of 15 to 30
      percent in Montana and that springtime peak river flows now come an
      average of two weeks earlier, he said.

      The snowpack, which holds about 75 percent of the West's water supply,
      acts as a reservoir that keeps streams flowing in the summer months. If
      the melt continues to recede earlier into spring, resulting summer water
      shortages could affect everything from agriculture and hydropower to fish
      habitat, the professor said.

      It's a fear that he shares with Belgrade native Kelly Redmond, Western
      regional climatologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
      Administration Climate Center in Reno, Nev.

      The degree of change in spring melt varies, Redmond said, but the trend
      toward earlier melt is widespread across the West. Yellowstone Basin snow
      begins to melt five to 15 days earlier than it did 56 years ago.

      The trend becomes more pronounced as waters flow west. West of the Divide
      in
      Montana and into Idaho, Washington and Oregon, spring melt comes 15 to 25
      days earlier, Redmond said.

      "It's kind of taken us all aback," he said in a telephone interview.
      "It's kind of hard to see this happening right under our nose without us
      noticing."

      Only in the last few years has early snowmelt drawn much interest, he
      said, but he expects to see research and public information on the trend
      accelerate.
      Evidence for earlier melts is strong on a lot of fronts, Redmond said.

      At the top of the list are temperature statistics. Records indicate that
      America is warming, especially in the West, and especially in February,
      March and April. For most of the West, Montana included, temperatures
      during that critical period have increased a half-degree to a full degree
      every decade for the last 30 to 40 years.

      March 2004 stands out as a prime example, Redmond said. It was an
      "exceptional" month, the climatologist said.

      All across the West, it was warm and dry. For south-central Montana, 2004
      produced the fourth-warmest March since 1895. It was also among the
      driest.

      "Normally, March is a snow production month," he said. "But this year it
      was a deficit month."

      Montana wasn't alone in its lack of snowpack. Utah started the month
      expecting near average spring runoff for a change, Redmond said. By the
      end of the month, the state was bracing for one of the lowest runoffs
      ever.

      Statistics from Natural Resources and Conservation Service snow surveys
      show that snowpack declined 16 percent in Montana between March 1 and
      April 1. The losses were more severe elsewhere in the West, including
      Nevada, 54 percent; Arizona, 51 percent; New Mexico, 43 percent; Utah, 39
      percent; and Wyoming, 19 percent.

      A warm March and a warm winter worked together. In Montana, the average
      temperature from October through March was 3 degrees above normal -- the
      11th-warmest winter on record. Even winter-ravaged northeastern Montana
      surpassed its winter average by 1 degree.

      Running said that studies of the Missoula area showed the number of
      frost-free days has increased 15 days there in the last 50 years and that
      annual snowfall has fallen from an average of 55 inches to 40 inches.

      Related, but separate evidence of earlier snowmelt comes from studying
      peak spring flows for more than 1,000 streams in the Western states,
      Western Canada and Alaska over the last 50 years, Redmond said. Those
      studies show snowpack disappearing from one to three weeks earlier in the
      spring.

      What researchers measured was the "spring pulse" of all those streams.
      Snowmelt begins after the pack has ripened, Redmond said. It accumulates
      enough heat that the entire pack reaches 32 degrees, before it starts to
      melt.
      "When the snow begins to melt, it does it in a fairly abrupt fashion,"
      Redmond said.

      Scientists can go back through streamflow records and mark the date when
      the water starts to come down -- that's its spring pulse. Records show
      that the pulse happens almost simultaneously throughout the region. The
      pulses kick in usually within two or three days of each other, he said.

      Research shows that, from New Mexico to Alaska, the pulse is getting
      earlier, Redmond said. This spring a river gauge in California's Yosemite
      National Park recorded the spring pulse on March 6, the earliest ever in
      87 years of monitoring.

      A third body of evidence originated more than 40 years ago when
      then-Montana
      Climatologist Joe Caprio began collecting data on the life cycles of
      lilacs and honeysuckle, Redmond said. Caprio recruited 500 observers in
      11 states to record when the plants first showed signs of life in the
      spring and when they blossomed.

      Analysis of the information indicated that the plants are blooming seven
      to 10 days earlier now than they did 40 years ago, Redmond said.

      "They all kind of give a consistent pattern," he said of the
      temperatures, spring pulses and blooming dates.

      Warmer springs and earlier melts mean a longer growing season and that
      plants will be using more water, Redmond said. It may also mean that more
      moisture will go directly into the atmosphere, he said.

      "The major thing to sort out here has been whether this is a natural
      variation in climate or if it is something else," he said. "There is
      strong evidence that a good part of it is natural."

      For Running, the debate has already been resolved. He said human activity
      is clearly playing a significant role in climate change.

      "We'd better start getting serious about energy that's not based on
      petroleum," he said.

      If the world community doesn't find some solutions, consequences will be
      dire, Running said.

      "People are going to have to face up to it head on or get used to less
      and less snowpack and more and more drought," he said.

      ---End of Forwarded Message --- Billings Gaz. article on C-C in the
      western U.S.


      ***
      *** Continuation of discussion from earlier in this message:


      As I mentioned earlier in this message, my paper was not referenced in
      the recent article on research by Redmond and Running.

      My views for my work not being referenced by Redmond and Running
      follow...

      Perhaps the reason that my paper was not considered appropriate for
      reference in the April 8, 2004 article (by Lorna Thackeray, Billings
      Gazette) was...

      My employer (not mentioned in this message - self only) failed to
      indicate whether or not the content of my Snowmelt Runoff paper was
      authorized by the agency.

      I gave my employer my final draft of my paper 8 weeks before the NOAA
      conference in Sparks, Nevada.

      Headquarters directors of my employer made it clear to my regional and
      local supervisors that it was not the content of my paper that troubled
      them, but the general comments that I had added to the 30 Oct 2003
      National Press Release.

      Furthermore, the headquarters director said that the Press Release was a
      surprise to him, and that it was especially troubling because of the
      timing... having arrived at the same time that important decisions were
      being made on climate change in Congress.

      I had included the general comment "rapid global warming happening now"
      because I felt it was important to try to help get the message on rapid
      global warming happening now out to the American people.

      Furthermore, I included general comment in the Press Release that
      anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions were primarily responsible for the
      rapid rate of global warming during the last 30 years.

      Based on my study of articles and data by NOAA and other sources I am
      convinced that
      anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have been primarily responsible
      for the rapid rate of global warming during the last 30 years.

      I did not intend that the 30 Oct 2003 National Press Release give an
      appearance to some that my agency of employment supports my general views
      on global warming.

      My work involves hydrologic modeling and prediction for the Upper Midwest
      and Northern Great Plains. The work that I did for my paper was on my
      personal time and with my personal resources, even though I consider that
      work to be serving the public in my duties involving hydrologic modeling
      and prediction.

      Concluding Statement
      -------------------------------
      My September 11, 2003 paper did not include the general comments on
      global warming that I made in a 30 Oct. 2003 National Press Release.
      Therefore, my paper should have been approved by my employer and my work
      should have been referenced by Kelly Redmond and Steve Running in the
      article By Lorna Thackeray,
      Billings Gazette/ Business News
      April 8, 2004
      http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/national/8388980.htm
      MONTANA EXPERTS SAY CLIMATE CHANGE UNDERWAY
      IN MUCH OF WESTERN U.S.
      -----------------------------

      THE WORLD IS IN CRISIS DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING!
      Hydrologist's recommended links:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/608
      Financial incentives-ConserveNow!
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClimateArchive/message/229
      Thank you for your comments to P&C. [Pat N.]
      Visit or join the P&C group, on the web, go to:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paleontology_and_Climate/

      Pat Neuman
      npat1@...
      Chanhassen, Minnesota

      --------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: NHNE <nhne@...>
      -----------
      MONTANA EXPERTS SAY CLIMATE CHANGE UNDERWAY
      IN MUCH OF WESTERN U.S.
      By Lorna Thackeray, Billings Gazette / Mont. Knight Ridder/
      Tribune Business News
      April 8, 2004
      http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/national/8388980.htm

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nhnenews/messages
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