OA research in the news: How global warming can worsen snowfalls

Photo by Peter Eimon. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA.

Photo by Peter Eimon. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA.

In the last month, Boston has set a string of records: Most snowfall in the city in a 30-day period (90.2 inches); deepest snow in a day (37 inches); fastest six-foot snowfall (in 18 days, crushing the previous record of 45 days). The list is long. Civic pride in the achievements has run rather short.

What happened to the notion that climate change will mean more warmth and less snow?

“In some regions, fairly cold regions, you could have a decrease in the average snowfall in a year, but actually an intensification of the snowfall extremes,” atmospheric science professor Paul O’Gorman told the Boston Globe earlier this month, explaining research he published last summer.

O’Gorman cautions that it’s not easy to link global temperature changes to extreme snowfall. But, he told the Globe, Boston’s midwinter temperatures are already close to the “optimal range” for heavy snowfall, and changes in the position of storm tracks or an increase of water vapor in the atmosphere—both the result of global warming—could make the storms more frequent.

Explore Professor O’Gorman’s  research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of blog posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.