Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Storm climate of conflict

EPA chief on Irma: The time to talk climate change isn't now Trump admin doesn't want to talk about climate change - CNNPolitics
Melinda Barton | 17 September, 2017, 13:58

These intense hurricanes leave everyone drained, but there is more. Harvey dumped more rain on Houston - about 50 inches - than any storm in US history.

There is a lot of loose talk by some climate scientists that global warming is going to increase the intensity, size, duration and/or frequency of hurricanes.

Randy Cerveny, a climatologist and an Arizona State University President's Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, says that although these storms are huge and impressive, they are not rewriting the record books. No longer is climate change the exclusive realm of environmentalists and academics. He literally is the keeper of Earth's weather extremes, recording and verifying (or repudiating) weather extremes as they are reported around the world.

Yet, too often, our political leaders stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what nearly all reputable scientists now believe: that the atmosphere and oceans are warming, and sea levels are rising, in part as a result of human activities - and that these changes present great risks not just far away, but right here. In a news story published by The Telegraph, Allan said hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, require a set of atmospheric ingredients to form.

Answer: While Irma was without question nasty, it wasn't globally record-setting.

"Why did Irma grow so strong?"

This also is the first year where two hurricanes with wind velocities of 150 miles per hour or greater have coexisted in the Atlantic, according to Colorado State University research scientist Philip Klotzbach‏. Irma was a Category 4 storm when it made landfall. There were seven hurricanes, four of them major, through September 13, 2005, while 2017 has had six hurricanes and three major hurricanes through the same point.

But are we seeing the impact of what this theory predicted, at least in hurricanes?

Q: The hurricanes seem bigger and stronger than previous years. The awful destruction of today's hurricanes does resemble those of much earlier years. It was also the first major hurricane to land in the United States since 2005.

The back-to-back landfalls of two harrowing storms in Texas and in Florida have reignited both the scientific debate over the link between hurricanes and global warming and the political debate over what, if anything, to do to address climate change. Warm upper ocean water provides the most vital hurricane fodder-energy and water.

According to the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies and NASA, rising global temperatures and more extreme, frequent rainstorms are linked. For example, "wind shear", the variations in wind speed and direction with height, can also cause storms under certain circumstances to weaken or to intensify. Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard began its National Data Buoy Center in 1966, which dramatically expanded data collection capacity. Scientists also know how to tell the difference between the burning of those fossil fuels and the naturally released Carbon dioxide from plants and animals, according to Climate Central. Climate change is like gasoline poured on Mother Nature's fire. That causes global warming, which contributes to higher sea levels and warmer water. Climate is "long-term", while meteorology is "short-term".

Q: What types of weather are we experiencing a spike in? "The fact that the planet has been warming: surface, ocean, land, deep ocean; that ice and snow have been melting; and that sea level has been rising are much more compelling and unambiguous".

OK, he's just a comic, but New York Times writers constantly yammer about "human-caused" and "man-made" climate change, too.

Q: Is there anything else we should know about the current state of weather and how human activity might be affecting it? By changing the environment from the Florida marshlands (e.g., Everglades) to massive urban and suburban landscapes, humans have dramatically increased the damages associated with hurricanes.

You probably have a weather app on your mobile device, but this one from The Weather Channel has one main objective: tracking the path and effects of hurricanes and other severe storms.

In addition, the leveling and paving of roads and housing developments doesn't allow the rains to run off as they would in natural marshlands. For the past 300 years, since "the little ice age", the globe warmed about three degrees.