Eos quotes Nelson in report on winter weather whiplash

Sarah Nelson, director of the Ecology and Environmental Sciences program and associate research professor in watershed biogeochemistry at the University of Maine, spoke with Eos for an article about winter weather whiplash, or unusual and unexpected changes in weather, like a false spring in the dead of winter. Whiplash events can affect ecosystems that are seasonally covered by snow — and the people living and working in these areas, according to the article. An interdisciplinary team of researchers, including UMaine’s Nelson and Mindy Crandall, assistant professor of forest landscape management and economics, is trying to define these events to understand the ways they affect natural and human ecosystems. They hope their work will inform preparations for future events, the article states. “Sometimes people have a built-in conception that climate change is all about warming, but variability is a huge part of climate change, and these events highlight that,” Nelson said. “Just because it snows in October doesn’t mean that warming isn’t happening; it’s just very up and down.”