The Future of Winter

Gustavus Quarterly
January 01, 2022

When Smerdon, a Pullman, Wash. native, experienced winter on the hill, it marked the first time he had ever "seen ski masks used for anything other than robbing a bank."

Whether Gusties will need ski masks to fight frigid Minnesota winds in the future is uncertain.  To know more, Smerdon, now a leading climate scientist at Columbia University, dives into the past, finding natural climate records in everything from ice cores to cave deposits.  Mapping climate across thousands of years allows Smerdon and his colleagues at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to understand natural variations in climate across history, how those variations are being disrupted by human activity, and to assemble predictive models for the future.  Read More

By far the most uncertainty about the future has nothing to do with climate models - it has to do with us.