Extreme Weather Events Becoming the Norm
Source: igreenhero.com

Extreme Weather Now the Norm

Extreme weather events are rocketing upwards in their frequency of occurrence, intensity, and duration and are impacting new regions that are unprepared. These events, such as torrential rains, are causing floods and damaging crops and infrastructure – roads, rail, pipelines, and buildings. Cities, states, and entire countries are being battered and inundated resulting in disruption to many peoples’ lives as well as enormous economic losses. As bad as this is, it is going to get much worse by at least 10 to 20 times. Why?

Escalation in Weather Gyrations and Weird Behavior

Greenhouse gas emissions from humans have changed the chemistry of the atmosphere. The optical absorption of infrared heat has increased in the atmosphere which raises temperature, and thus water vapour content. This fuels more intense storms. The jet streams that guide these storms are slower and wavier and more fractured and cause our weather gyrations and weird behavior. Areas far north can get very warm, while areas far south can get very cold. Some areas get persistent drought. Then, the pattern can flip. The jet streams are much wavier in the north-south direction since the Arctic temperatures have warmed 5 to 8 times faster than the global average. This reduces the temperature difference between the Arctic and equator. Basic physics then forces the jets to slow and get wavier.

Why is the Arctic warming greatly amplified?

Because the spring land-based snow cover and the Arctic sea ice cover volume are both declining exponentially, the Arctic is darkening and thus absorbing more sunlight. The white snow and ice are being replaced by dark surfaces – the ocean and the tundra. The most detailed computer model on sea ice decline is a U.S. Naval Graduate School model, and it shows the sea ice cover could be gone by late summer in 2016. If this happens, the Arctic warming will rocket upwards, the jets will distort much more, and the extreme weather events will soar upwards in frequency, amplitude, and duration. Civilization will be hammered.

Extreme Weather in February 2014

Mother Nature is a deadly force. From Flooding to Drought, Waterspouts to Snow, these are a few events that have taken place over the past week or so. (Source: video)

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Paul Beckwith

 Paul Beckwith is a part-time professor with the laboratory for paleoclimatology and climatology, Department of Geography, University of Ottawa. He teaches second year climatology/meteorology. His PhD research topic is “Abrupt climate change in the past and present.” He holds an M.Sc. in laser physics and a B.Eng. in engineering physics. You can find Paul on Facebook. 

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Editor: Rolly Montpellier

3 COMMENTS

  1. EARTH IS SICK SAVE IT
    The story started with human evolution. As long as he was living with nature there was balance and harmony with living organism. When human developed consciousness he developed the habit of accumulation. This was the reason of our present condition. The first problem started with gases.
    We used too much carbon, nitrogen and methane. Than we started emission of these gases more than atmosphere can absorb. We lost 50% of soil carbon in last hundred years due to mismanagement of agriculture. Today globally emission of carbon dioxide is 72%. That is creating Green House Effect the result is Global Warming. Most of the people in the world do not understand global warming although they are feeling the heat and change in climate. Their ignorance is unawareness of situation. In developing countries where there is great quantity of natural resources do not know how to use it. Like Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa they are running after west and polluting themselves to the extent that the biggest polluter developed countries started raising finger to them. They have shifted their big industries to developing countries to say they are developing then. But they are killing three with one stone. 1. Reducing co2 emission 2. Increasing profit by getting cheap labor 3. Putting blame for pollution on them although they are still the biggest polluter. After 2nd world war America, England, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Russia, China and Australia were became superpowers. These are the one called developed and polluted the earth in every way. They are effected by natural calamity and shouting wolf blaming others. In last decade we have felt Global Warming, Tsunami, big flood, Hurricane, People dying due to heat in Europe, Melting Glacier, Unexpected Rain and draught and Increasing Sea level. So these smart people starting debate but all debate failed due to their greed. Than here comes a statement:

    • I really like the way you have captured the human evolution or perhaps we should call it the “human devolution”. Clearly civilization has gone down the slippery slope leading to an eventual extinction. We are now in the period of “sixth extinction”.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Note: Your comment ends with “Than here comes a statement:” but I don’t see what that statement is. Please add it in your next comment.

  2. Great post, thanks for helping make it clear to understand why the weather is changing in such “weird ways.” We need make sure our elected officials understand this too and connect the dots between our energy policies and what we can do to create a carbon free future…Thanks Rolly..

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