Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

U.S.A. (blue) had a piece of the Polar Vortex over it
This past year brought on conditions that caused the polar vortex to lose some of itself by sending some of that cold south to the U.S.

It was like someone left the refrigerator door open and the cold leaked out over the U.S.

We will have to watch and wait to see if that increases the warming in the Arctic at a quicker pace or rate than it has been warming at in recent years:
But Noaa, a federal agency, has also floated the possibility that a reduction in summer sea ice cover caused by climate change could be a factor behind the weakening of the polar vortex. That would have the paradoxical effect that while Arctic waters are getting warmer, North America experiences much colder snaps such as the present severe weather as a result of Arctic air spilling out from the North Pole and moving south.
(The Damaged Global Climate System, emphasis in original). The massive loss of cold could mean more warming there in terms of an increase in the rate of melting of the polar ice cap.

The shedding of some of the cold to parts south caused more stable air currents in terms of tornado-causing factors, which cut down significantly on the number of tornadoes.
It has been a roller-coaster ride (Sandy)

Meanwhile, cyclones continue in southern latitudes, in fact, there have been two cyclones to hit the search area of the lost Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 during the search so far (MH370: cyclone Jack, MH370: cyclone Gillian).

Thirty years ago, in 1984, a climate scientist was warning us about what we were doing to the Earth by dumping fossil fuel waste (greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere, and also what would happen to us as a result of that abuse we were doing:
I’ve never thought of myself of a pioneer in warning about climate change, but maybe, just a little.

Back in 1984, Viking published a book I wrote with Pascal J. Imperato, titled Acceptable Risks, which examined how regulators, and individuals, choose to ignore certain hazards—such as smoking or living in earthquake-prone California—while taking action against others, often in a highly irrational way. The penultimate chapter explored an emerging danger we called “The Ultimate Risk: The Greenhouse Effect.”

This is what it was called before it was referred to as “global warming” and then more accurately and broadly, “climate change.” Back in the good old days we figured we still had plenty of time to address it. In that period, the nuclear threat was the prime concern.

On the eve of another Earth Day, I decided to check back on that chapter, which I penned myself, for the first time in a few years. What I found: there’s not much new under the ever-hotter sun. The “inconvenient truth” of global warming has been told for decades—Dr. James Hansen was even featured in our chapter—to little avail. Ironically, I had interviewed the young congressman Al Gore for my previous book on whistleblowers, related to toxic dump sites.

In fact, the chapter in Acceptable Risks opens with a warning about the Antarctic ice sheet melting, and a rising of the sea level likely to “submerge” coastal cities.
(Climate Change Warnings - 1984, emphasis added). Our civilization does not yet have a rational system of response to warnings up to and including this very Earth Day (The Exceptional American Denial).

Happy Earth Day!

Black Magic Woman, by Santana

No comments:

Post a Comment