Jeffrey Sachs: Warm Air From Oceans Causing Massive Blizzard In Northeast, Expect This Trend


ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC: We have been talking a lot about erratic weather patterns. We have focused on the warming of the earth. This would seem to -- for those who doubt climate change, they will point to moments like this and say, 'Oh, but it is so cold, it is historic snowfall.' How -- is there an interrelation between extreme heat and extreme cold, extremely erratic storms?

DR. JEFFREY SACHS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Certainly the scientists think so. And the scientists say that there are two big reasons why we're getting mega storms such as the big rainfalls in spring and summer and bigger snowstorms in the winter. With warmer temperature, the air holds more moisture in general and second, the oceans are really warm right now. That means that extra amount of precipitation in the warmer air over the oceans.

So the scientists are saying that while again you can never be sure of any particular storm, we should be expecting this kind of trend. And I asked one of my colleagues just now what the record is for mega snowfalls. He points out that since the records starting in 1869, of the ten biggest snowstorms, five of them have come since 2003. So that suggests that we're seeing a lot more of this kind of extreme event. That's what we expect. That's what the climate science says. While you can't say it about any particular storm, it's definitely consistent with those expectations.

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