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Author Topic: Brutal Weather  (Read 184 times)

Morituri

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Brutal Weather
« on: 07 Aug 2021, 16:42 »

I live in California.  Apocalyptic wildfires in this state have placed a pall of acrid smoke over the US.  By which I mean, the ENTIRE US.  People in Kansas City (over a thousand miles away), Chicago (two thousand miles away) and New York (damned near three thousand miles away) are smelling our smoke, coughing, getting their eyes hurt by our particles, and cursing the ill wind that brought it to them.  And it ain't so pleasant right here at ground zero, either.  Towns that got burnt out last year left a lot of people homeless, and those people went to live with family in towns that are getting burnt out this year.  Climatologists are telling us now that we are in a permanently changed climate that does not produce enough rain to maintain the existence of coastal forests, and we should expect horrible wildfires annually for the next ten to fifteen years.

What happens after ten to fifteen years?  No more trees to burn.  Say goodbye to the thousand-year-old redwoods, the whole area is expected to become grassland.

A few days ago meteorologists had to make up a new word.  These wildfires had caused unprecedented huge updrafts that sucked a whole lot of air and water and dust up into the sky and shoved it out somewhere around the stratosphere, where static electricity from the dust worked itself into a frenzy of lightning that hit everywhere around the fire and a hundred miles downwind of it, and then the water condensed around the smoke particles and started to fall as hard, torrential, and very brief cloudbursts.  That had never happened before.  What do you call something like that?  After brief debate, they decided that was a 'pyrocumulus cloud'.  A new thing!  Got to put that in all the meteorology textbooks starting this year 'cos it'll happen again and again!

Our weather is so apocalyptic and disastrous that they're having to make up new words to describe it.

The gulf stream has slowed significantly in the last two years, while the difference in temperature between the water it's moving and the surrounding water has declined.  Both things mean it's moving far less heat.  That leaves the south Atlantic hotter, meaning more hurricanes, and fails to bring wintertime warmth to Europe, leaving European winters closer in character to winters in other areas at the same latitude, like Siberia.

We are running out of names for hurricanes every year now.  We used to go through the alphabet as far as 'M' or 'Q' or something, and getting as far as 'S' would have been considered an incredible year for hurricanes.  The last three years running, the last hurricane of the season has been named for a greek letter.  At one point during the last year (in April if I remember), I looked at the satellite map of the Atlantic and saw four hurricanes, marching one after the other across the ocean.  In the last few years, Puerto Rico got hit harder than it's ever been hit before by hurricane damage. 

People who live in Island nations are starting to just plain pack it in and get out.  Australia appears to be providing resettlement for refugees from places like Tuvalu.  The US appears to be the future home of people from Tonga and the Marshall Islands.  And other islanders are heading other places.  Because the waves are eating their homes and destroying whatever shelter the trees along the shorelines provided until the trees were torn out by the roots.

Florida is sinking.  We have known for a long time that it is sinking, but it is sinking faster than people expected because more ice is melting than expected.  We have already evacuated entire towns along the gulf coast, as far north as Louisiana. Soon we will have to start evacuating Florida's Pacific and Gulf coastlines as well.  Despite the fact that their state government officials would prefer to deny that this is happening.  Denial seems to be a big part of the Florida Man cultural norm.

In 2005, hurricane Katrina wiped out much of New Orleans. About 2000 people died, and repairing the damage was estimated at 125 terabucks.   According to the climate models that were in use by the Army Corps of Engineers at the time the city's dams, levees, and breakwaters were constructed, Katrina was a once in a thousand year event.  Re-doing the calculations with data current at the time of the disaster made it a once in a hundred year event.  Re-doing the calculations with data current today, some statisticians are estimating that it's a once in fifty year event. 

The hottest 25 years between 1867 and now, from hottest to coolest.
2020, 2016, 2019, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2014, 2010, 2013, 2005,1998, 2009, 2012, 2007, 2006, 2003, 2002, 2011, 2004, 2001, 2008, 1997, 1995, 1999, 2000. 

For those who missed the obvious trend, that's all of the last 26 years, except for 1996.   And to be honest we weren't keeping reliable records before then.  There are pretty good odds that the 25 hottest years since 1867 are also the 25 hottest years since 567 or before.

I ... could go on like this for a long time.  We are living through the most brutal weather in centuries.  There has already been blood and pain and there will be more.

Ack. 

I hope everyone's given some thought to being prepared for weather.  The nature of the world today seems to be that we're going to have a lot of it.
« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2021, 17:09 by Morituri »
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