Thursday, July 9, 2015

Heat, drought, and climate change.





Wow, its been sizzling in parts of the world, dry in many areas and we are caught wondering what is going on. Just like you, I would like to know what lays ahead. This is no longer a "it won't impact me issue... its already impacting us!

Well, we may have to look to the past to get a glimpse of the future. A new report issued by Scientific American, compares the last time carbon dioxide readings were at present levels and what our future may be like using the old impact data.

The last time our levels were this high was about 3 million years ago. Our earth was a lot hotter then with plenty of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

On average, our typical temps ran between three to five degrees warmer than present. This extra heat melted plenty of ice cover and thus sea levels were an impressive 20 feet higher than they are now.


Scientist would like to keep our temps in check and under that 3-5 degree bump. As a matter of fact, they have a target temp of just a 2 degree warm up. But they warn that even if they meet that target, sea levels could still rise to those past impressive heights.

The report adds that since the industrial age began last century, sea levels have risen about 8 inches. This has added to more flooding during tropical storms and on typical high tide cycles. Miami Beach and coastal Broward have seen their fair share of street flooding.

 

According to new data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if emissions stay unchecked, the oceans may rise up to 39 inches as we near the year 2100.

They urge action now, if not, estimates reveal
over 150 million people may end up underwater by the end of the century. So this isn't just our problem, but China's, Russia's, Africa, South America.... everybody! We all need to act together.

Check out the following link. It will show if your area will be underwater as we start the next century. You can use your mouse to move around and find your location. If it shows up blue, you will be 20 feet below sea level. Many will say, I'll be dead or too old by then to care. Well my children and your children will be here. Is this the kind of future you want for them?

Click on the link below: 
How South Florida may look in the Future. Hope you like snorkeling .
This map shows U.S. land less than 20 feet, or 6 meters, above the high tide line. That is the minimum amount of eventual sea level rise projected from 2 degrees Celsius (3.6°F) of global warming, according to a - See more at: http://ss6m.climatecentral.org/#12/25.6715/-80.3743
- See more at: http://ss6m.climatecentral.org/#12/25.6715/-80.3743
This map shows U.S. land less than 20 feet, or 6 meters, above the high tide line. That is the minimum amount of eventual sea level rise projected from 2 degrees Celsius (3.6°F) of global warming, according to a comprehensive review published in the journal Science.
2°C is an internationally agreed target for trying to limit warming.
The areas colored blue are the areas below 6 meters -- areas that would eventually be permanently underwater. When could the sea fully reach this height? Perhaps sooner than 200 years from now (see Table 1 in this scientific paper), or perhaps much longer (for example, see this paper). It is easier to estimate how much ice will eventually melt from a certain amount of warming, than how quickly it will melt, which involves more unknowns.
Carbon pollution casts a long shadow. When people burn fossil fuels or clear forests today, the extra carbon we put in the atmosphere stays long enough to add to global warming for thousands of years. Neither warming nor sea level rise will stop when we stop polluting.
For fuller discussion and data analysis, including what the consequences could be for American cities and global nations, explore the Related (+) menu above the map.
The methodology for building this sea level map comes from Climate Central’s peer-reviewed scientific research, updated with more accurate elevation data (laser-based lidar) and applied here to a new and higher sea level.
- See more at: http://ss6m.climatecentral.org/#12/25.6715/-80.3743

Now lets look at the present:

What a year so far. We have "El Niño" causing a very active hurricane season in the Pacific. According to arliest outbreak ever of 3 typhoons in the NW Pacific Ocean, breaking the old record set on 7/10/1972.

While this warming of the Pacific waters is bad for them...it keeps the atmosphere unfavorable in the Atlantic for hurricane formation. Forecasts indicate we could have a record hot "El Niño" event by late summer or early fall.


As a matter of fact, the present "El Niño", has already broken or tied the record for the warmest Pacific waters12 months in a row.

The record "El Niño" year was 1997 with an almost 7 degree warm up. (or 4° celcius above avg) .



What will this mean for us?:
  • Lets take a look at what is happening so far.
  • Major drought across California.
  • Record heat in the Pacific Northwest
  • Heavy flooding rains in the desert across Las Vegas
  • Now drought issues for South Florida.

Check out the rain totals since the start of the year through July 8th.


Because we are running such a huge deficit, the National Weather Service has placed the metropolitan areas of Miami-Dade and Broward counties under Extreme Drought Conditions:



You can help conserve water by following the year round water restrictions:


((Broward has a clause for those properties who re-use water for irrigation. They can water all days except between the hours of 10 am & 4 pm.))

So we can see our climate is changing. Overnight lows which typically run in the upper 70°s have been in the low 80°s for weeks. And just last week we set record highs with temps in the mid 90°s.

Its hotter and drier now, and then... we will see an over correction in winter as Boston had last year. Mother Nature is always looking to achieve a balance but it is getting harder and harder for her to do it. It really doesn't matter what side of the Climate Change argument you are on, the bottom line is we only have one earth and we need to take care of her.

Footnote:
You will find very smart and talented people on both side of this argument. Its a shame it gets politicized. The fact is the world is getting hotter... the discrepancy arises when you try to determine if its a regular earth cycle or is it a man made phenomenon. It really doesn't matter, it will impact us either way. We must stop arguing and start working together to assure, not only our planet's health but the future of our children.
 

2 comments:

  1. Excellent article about a vital global issue. Causes aside (cyclical or man-made) it is an urgent problem that needs to be a top priority. Especially coastal areas, like Florida. But politics may impede any real efforts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I couldn't have said it better myself.

    ReplyDelete