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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 02/ 8/2008

Climate Corner: Acting Locally

By Steve Scolnik

100-year flood plain, from Maryland Department of the Environment. Click on image to enlarge.

A working group of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change met today in Reisterstown, as reported by AP (via Baltimore's WJZ-TV), to work on its recommendations for the state's response to global warming. Gov. O'Malley established the Commission via executive order last April to "undertake an assessment of climate change impacts, calculate Maryland's carbon footprint, and investigate climate change dynamics." In addition, the group is to make recommendations for reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change on the state, with particular emphasis on coastal hazards.

The Commission issued a preliminary report a couple of weeks ago and is scheduled to present its final recommendations in April. The Interim Report recommended "early, aggressive GHG reduction goals with specific time frames", including a 90% reduction from 2006 levels by 2050. Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University and a member of the Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Mitigation Working Group, discussed some implications of the report in a recent op-ed piece in the Hagerstown Herald.

The length of a coastline depends on how you measure it. (Geek alert: original source here and also in full text via pdf.) The Anne Arundel Conference and Visitors Bureau is a little hyperbolic when it claims that Maryland's miles of coastline are "more than any other state", but the Maryland Coastal Program figure of 7000 miles is certainly way up there, especially when compared to the total land area. About one-eighth of the state's land area is recognized as a Special Flood Hazard Area, and 69% of the coast is undergoing erosion. Maryland is fourth among states with percentage of land below 1.5 meters elevation (6.1%), behind only Louisiana, Florida, and Delaware.

By Steve Scolnik  | February 8, 2008; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Government  
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Next: Forecast: Mild, but Wind & Cold are Coming


when is the next chnce of school being closed do to snow?

Posted by: d | February 8, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff, as always Steve. Not a big fan of O'Malley and his ilk, it's one thing I don't miss since moving from MD (after being a lifelong resident) and while I can respect what appears to be a nice effort, being a government worker myself, I know what "established Commissions" end up being in the end...but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one......Still waiting for that "Steve Alert" type post from the old site from ya....why do I feel you are building slowly ;)

Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | February 8, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Mike FTBR,
Thanks for your comment. The format and content of the new site is still, shall we say, "under development." If you would like to provide more input, there is an email contact link.

Posted by: Steve, Capital Weather Gang | February 8, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse


to answer your question... Never.

Posted by: Period | February 8, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

d, probably next yr, unless u live in the snow belt. Snow chances the next 10 days, 2%, the next 14 days, 2.5%.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | February 8, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I waited 24 hrs. for clarity from the models at 120 hrs. regarding my comments last night. Confusion reigns!! But what else should we expect from the models!

They backed off, now coming back to potential mid-week. A reasonable person would probably conclude that we should be able to more accurately predict the future at this point in time. We are seemingly helpless!!

Considering La Nina and a persistently positive NAO, don't trust any winter threat.

The opposite is true from the midwest to the west coast. Some areas are having their snowiest winter in decades!!

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 8, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Steve Alert? There is (was?) a Steve Alert? How do I get Steve Alerts....

Posted by: ~sg | February 8, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

GFS models 5 days out are still all over the place with each run.Snow one day,50 degrees and rain the next, back to snow Usually these models are never skewed to this degree unless you are in 8day + dreamland.

I will not place my bets on a snow next week. I will have to agree with VaTech, our chances are very slim with La Nina in full force. Are our snow chances really 2.5? Thats pathetic. We probobly have a better shot of a balmy 80 degree day then we do of any snow.

I have never seen La Nina create so many problems as it has this winter across the country. I don't think I remember La Nina being this powerful.

What is causing such a potent La Nina pattern this winter?

Posted by: ChrisfromVA | February 8, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Though moderate to strong, this is certainly not an unprecedented La Nina.

2007 November December January.....-1.4

The persistently positive NAO has compounded the La Nina pattern this year. Other than a brief negative in December, we have been positive since mid November.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 8, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Are "range wars" about to begin over water rights as a result of the continuing drought over the southeast??

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 8, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Jim. All that is a little scary, thought of hostilities over natural resources. Ever read the book "Tapped Out"

Posted by: ChrisfromVA | February 8, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

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