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Catastrophic Weather

Weather is created out of changing heat and cold of the landmass and the oceans during each day and with the seasons. We are now making profound modifications to these ancient systems through general warming and the imbalance between equatorial temperature rise and polar - some 3°C.

2005 was the second warmest year on record increased by accelerated melting of Arctic sea ice and Siberian permafrost. In the oceans this has been exacerbated by the disruption of the global ocean current that warms Europe and the growing permanence of the El Nino in the Pacific.

Climate models have been suggesting for years that the equatorial and southern regions will become dryer, with many areas moving into permanent drought. This includes some of the poorest lands in the world where people are least able to adapt, and some of the most populous. This is climate change in a big way!

Excessive amounts of freshwater from melting Arctic ice would alter the ocean density that drives the Gulf Stream, thus diminishing the amount of heat carried northward, and significantly cooling the northern hemisphere

Hurricanes and cyclones

Catastrophic storms and hurricanes will become more frequent and more destructive as the oceans heat up. Evidence is building up at an alarming rate as we read of more extreme weather in all parts of the world, such as Katrina.

Since the 1970s, ocean warming had made hurricanes about 50 percent more intense in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as the mid-Atlantic and the Caribbean have warmed significantly.

It is expected that the strongest hurricanes of the last few years will be upstaged by even more intense category 5 events with Katrina-intensity becoming the norm.

The trend is there: Last year 3 major hurricanes and 5 tropical storms hit the US. The last time there were eight such catastrophes in a single season was 1916. There were ten typhoons over Japan where the previous record was five. It is expected that Sydney will meet its first cyclone thundering down the coast in the near future.

 

See Meg Howe's site: Wakeup2GlobalWarming.

Jet streams

Global warming is shoving jet streams out of their normal tracks. They zip along at altitudes of about 10,000 metres at the boundary between warm, tropical air nearer the equator and cooler air closer to the poles. The temperature difference generates many of the earth's winds and storms.

Over the past 30 years these high-speed air currents have shifted about one degree toward the poles, or about 120 kilometres. This movement is evidence of massive changes to atmospheric circulation. If the jet streams continue to migrate away from the equator, wide swathes of the planet will become hotter and drier.

Earlier climate models have been too simplistic for the intricacies of nature. There has been unexpectedly rapid heating in the subtropics (at 30 degrees north and south) whereas the models predicted a more uniform warming. These regions, which already have warm climates, include north Africa and the southern regions of China, Australia and South America. This will bring widespread drought to these areas.

The consequences of weather uncertainty are hard to quantify, though here is an indicative list.

Consider how each of these outcomes would impact on you personally:

The number of humans on the planet grow in step with all the risks all these humans are creating.

YOU can change this NOW
Personally and Politically

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