Weathering the weather

Not too far in the distant past, we had Hurricane Harvey to deal with in the US.  At the same time, There was much worse flooding going on in Asia.  Just when you thought it was safe to go on a Caribbean vacation, Irma decided that the Caribbean needed to be redecorated.

I’m not one to delve much into climate change as I think it’s far too vast of a topic for the unknowable to discuss as though they know all the answers.  I don’t know the science, and I don’t know which “side” is right.  I recall multiple scientists coming out with the same conclusion that the changing climate wouldn’t equate to more storms and bad weather.  We would, however, see more intense and severe storms as a result of changing temperatures.  Seems logical when you consider that heat is what fuels most severe weather events.

I do have the power of observation though, and right now, I’d say that Mother Nature is a bit perturbed right now.  Just maybe we should take a second or two and consider the long-term repercussions of what some people see as the climate shifting before our very eyes.

I’ve heard the debate on the cyclic nature of how the climate changes over time, and that the temperatures rises and falls over long periods.  I know that history sometimes has a way of repeating itself too.

We’re in the middle of one of those repeats now.  The difference is that, in 2010, the US was spared as both Igor and Julia stayed out in the Atlantic and went fishing instead of wrecking coastline.  In 2017, we’re not going to be that lucky.  Irma is on her way to skull drag Florida, and we’ve already seen what she’s capable of doing.  Not only that, Jose has been working out and is now a Cat 3 following his big sister’s path.

Years ago, I recall reading something to the effect that secondary hurricanes typically didn’t develop as much because the initial hurricane would absorb all the heat from the atmosphere and water.  Heat is one of the primary fuels to strengthen a hurricane.  If Jose is a 3 now, that says the water and air is still quite warm after a Cat 5 has burned through the area.

The island of Barbuda was completely wrecked by Irma, and many other Caribbean nations sustained massive amounts of damage.  Before they really have a chance to assess their damages, they’re staring down another potential monster storm.

One possibly good thing is that Jose is expected to make a turn to the north.  At what point, however is still unknown.  My prayers go out to everyone around the world that have to live through such horrendous weather related events at this point.  People are going to need lots of assistance to recover, so I hope those who are not affected do not simply turn the television to a different channel and forget about those who need help the most.  We’re going to have to come to grips with what science is telling us so that we can adjust our ways to avoid even worse storms in the future.  If we don’t adjust now, we all may not be able to weather the weather down the road.

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14 thoughts on “Weathering the weather

  1. A well argued and balanced post, laying out all of the important points at issue.
    Around the area of Bangladesh/Nepal and Ne India the folk have suffered a worse than usual monsoon season with the death toll possibly over 1,000.
    It seems to me that Nature keeps sending us these messages
    ‘Not your planet. This is the way things are to ensure Life in general continues. Best you all adapt, and learn people…. and stop pretending you can control or defy Nature,’

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    • Nature likes balance. The further out of balance things get, the more energy nature will exert to balance things out. It doesn’t matter the cause as the effect will be the same in my view.
      We have to prepare ourselves as well as show others how to prepare and survive. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but we’re resilient enough to make it. We have to drop the arrogance though.

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        • There was an article in Scientific American for August, 2010 that said humans almost died out due to drought caused by climate change, but a small group from which all of us are descended survived in a region of coastal Africa that had abundant edible geophytes and shellfish. It also said that our ancestors needed smarts to take advantage of this. (A geophyte is an underground plant organ for energy storage such as a corm, tuber, or bulb.)

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          • That’s interesting, I’ll have to go looking for that.
            As a species we should be ok just as long as our inventiveness and capacity for doing harm doesn’t overtake those for survival and improvement. (fingers crossed)

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        • In your September 9, 2017 at 8:57 am post, why did you put inventiveness with capacity for doing harm and not with survival and improvement? Inventiveness can go either way.

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          • “just as long as our inventiveness and capacity for doing harm doesn’t overtake those for survival and improvement.”
            Yeh, taken as one phrase: the inventiveness etc for doing harm, doesn’t overtake the same ability (ie inventiveness) for survival and improvement.
            We have the two and they are conflict, sometimes doing the former in the cause of the latter- a sort of ‘to save the village we had to destroy it’ line of thinking.
            We are complicated creatures

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  2. “The mechanism by which carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere is commonly referred to as the “greenhouse effect.” Stated very simply, carbon dioxide, or CO2, is nearly transparent to the solar radiation emitted from the sun, but partially opaque to the thermal radiation emitted by the earth.”

    Hey Mr Bro this is the mechanism by which how green house gases trap the heat coming and going from the planet. Besides CO2 there are few other gases like water vapor do the same job. So more CO2 in the atm will absorb more heat and thus raise the temperature. When that happen more water vapor is soluble in the atmosphere. Like the domino effect. When the moisture level increases in the atmosphere I do not know how that affects our atmosphere.

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    • Domino effects can be positive or negative. If we’re in a negative spiral, we have to find a way to remove enough links to stop the spiral. I’m not convinced that we can do that fast enough to mitigate disastrous incidents, but I do think that we should be trying like hell.

      To top all this off, Mexico had an 8+ earthquake overnight. It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

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  3. Fast, perish that thought. The genie we unleashed cannot be fixed even in 100 years that is what I read about. Even if you stop fossil burning activity for a century or two we might walk back the atmospheric composition to say 50s or even 60s.
    Mexican earthquake is run of the mill thingie or do they a lot of fracking in Mexico. Some one will figure it out.

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    • It will take a while to return back. I agree. That, or we’ll see a new equilibrium set. Nature is all about balance, and it will do what is necessary to restore balance.

      Mexico’s earthquake was likely plate tectonics at work. Mexico sits along the ring of fire, and the southern hemisphere has been experiencing serious quakes for several years. I’m thinking that California or Alaska is due for a major quake in the near future as well.

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