Dreadful Combination of Man and Nature
Russel Mead writes, “Politics, economics, international relations, religion: Everything in our world is getting weirder, and the weirding is happening faster all the time. This change is rapidly propelling us into a century that will be radically different from everything humanity has known before. We have all been given tickets on the wildest rollercoaster ride in the history of Planet Earth. Our governing classes, our academics, our journalists, and our professionals mostly hate this and, with eyes firmly fixed in the rear view mirror, try to pretend that the world of the 20th century can never, will never break up.”
Climate catastrophes, harvest failures, droughts, dust and firestorms are raining misery on an increasingly unstable earth. What do we expect when our entire planet has shifted on its axis and unexplainable increases in gamma radiation are being detected, both affecting the weather? Everything is changing around us; even thousands of miles beneath our feet the earth is rumbling loudly with a record number of volcanoes now in various stages of eruption. Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other extreme weather have left a trail of destruction during the first half of 2011.
There were jaw-dropping heat indexes—measured as a combination of temperature and humidity—across the Midwest. It felt like 131 degrees in Knoxville, in central Iowa, and 124 in Freeport, Ill., the Weather Service said.
These “extreme weather” events will become more numerous and deadly as atmospheric conditions across the planet become more and more unstable. The sheer force of Nature is increasing (for some reason) and she is deadly, often striking without warning. In the space of hours or even minutes, in the case of tornadoes, unbridled forces of nature can obliterate everything man has created. It’s time to face the fact that the weather has changed dramatically in a very short period of time and it’s threatening to spin out of control.
In Chicago those looking for some kind of a break from the heat of the last week got it overnight—a rainstorm that dropped temperatures into the low 70s. But like the heat wave that preceded it, this rainstorm was anything but ordinary. According to ChicagoWeatherCenter.com, the total rainfall at O’Hare—6.91 inches as of about 6:50 a.m.—is the largest single-day rainfall since records began in 1871. – Chicago Tribune
Reports of these kinds of storms have been pouring in from all around the world. Some people are calling them cloudburst storms, which are very intense thunderstorms. In many instances these storms appear to come out of nowhere. Most of them develop late at night where the atmosphere has been heated by record daytime temperatures. They are characterized by very intense lightning strikes. Some unleash hailstones and monstrous amounts of rainfall that often lead to dramatic flash-flooding events like we witness in the video below where we actually see, to our horror, people getting swept away by a very sudden flood.
Climate change is dramatically increasing the scale of natural disasters threatening world security as predicted years ago by a 2007 Pentagon study. Though science cannot yet explain all the reasons behind the radical changes in the world’s climate, “a changing climate is a reality,” and one that effects all sectors of society, said Achim Steiner, director of the U.N. Environment Program.
While Chicago dealt with too much water, Arkansas was preparing for forest fires due to drought. Fires have been burning down millions of acres around the world. Some 40,000 wildfires have torched over 5.8 million in the United States alone and conditions threaten to worsen through the summer months.
The hot weather in the nation’s breadbasket also posed a threat to farmers’ top cash crop, corn, as it enters its key growth stage of pollination. The wet spring led to late planting of corn, and dry hot weather was adding concerns. “Right now we are seeing real stress in the corn plants,” said Mark White, adviser to the Missouri Corn Growers Association. Drought, unlike earthquakes, hurricanes and other rapid-moving weather, could become a permanent condition in some regions.
Temperatures in many states have spiked to more than 100 degrees for days at a stretch. And the day of dust storms is suddenly back as dryness overtakes much of the country. Dozens of wildfires raged across much of northwestern Ontario on the weekend as hot, dry weather swept the province, leaving forests tinder-dry. The provincial Ministry of Natural Resources says there are 92 active fires burning in the remote northwestern region.
Overnight rains dumped nearly seven inches of rain on Chicago early Saturday, breaking a record for the city, canceling flights, and causing parts of highways and train lines to shut down.
July 18, 2011 – SCOTLAND – A flash flood created havoc for residents and businesses in Perth by turning streets into rivers. About a foot of water collected in some places around East Bridge Street during the one-hour downpour. Chris McCulloch, 44, said: “I’ve never seen rain like it in Scotland. All the streets coming down off the hill turned into streams.” – BBC
July 13, 2011 – CANADA – Heavy rains in central Alberta caused flooding in the town of Eckville Monday. “People are just kind of dumbstruck,” resident Sharon Walker said. “We have had washouts of roads. Some people have got 10 to 14 inches of water in their basements … we’ve never seen anything like it.” On the same day we saw flash floods in New Brighton Minnesota burying people and cars waist-high in water.
July 12, 2011 – NIGERIA – Lagos experiences 178 mm of rain in 18 hours. It was destructive, but the rains will boost harvest. The Sunday heavy downpour that continued up until yesterday has thrown some families into mourning as no fewer than ten persons lost their lives in the accompanying floods. Last Sunday Lagos experienced a torrential downpour that literally grounded the entire city, sacking homes and paralyzing economic activities. – Business Day
July 10, 2011 – SEOUL, (Yonhap) – At least eight people were killed and four were missing after torrential rains hit southern parts of South Korea over the weekend, emergency officials said Sunday. Since Friday, as much as 40 centimeters of rain has fallen in South Gyeongsang and Jeolla provinces, leaving tens of thousands of hectares of farmland submerged and nearly 90 homes flooded. – Yonhap News
July 22, 2011 – PYONGYANG (BNO NEWS) – Heavy rains and resulting landslides last week have caused widespread damage in parts of North Korea. Some areas received more than 400 millimeters (15.7 inches) of rain. “Footage from other regions showed flooded fields and damaged crops. Landslides in Sunchon, Tokchon and Pukchang destroyed bridges and railways, scores of homes, public buildings, roads, and tens of thousands of hectares of farmland. Dozens of coalmines were also flooded throughout the country.” – Irish Weather Online
It’s not just extreme weather but changes in an areas basic climate that is concerning people. For instance lengths of winter, summer and rainy seasons in Bangladesh have increased, while spring has decreased, changes that are likely to have an adverse impact on agriculture, said a study based on farmers’ perceptions. Winter, traditionally around two-and-a-half months long, now prevails for three-and-three-quarters, while summer takes five months, almost double the past usual length. On the other hand, rainy season, normally two-and-three-quarters, prevails for around three-and-a-half months, while spring is now one-and-a-half months, nearly half a month less than before.
Record Hot and Cold
North Korea’s food shortage has reached a crisis point this year, aid workers say, largely because of shocks to the agricultural sector, including torrential rains and the coldest winter in 60 years.
Just when it is hottest and we are totally convinced that global warming is not just a hallucination we get a report urging motorists in Europe to pre-order cold-weather tires because next winter will “break all records” in terms of snowfall and freezing temperatures. Specialist long-range forecaster James Madden, of Exacta Weather, correctly predicted the harsh conditions experienced over the last two years and gave his forecast. He warns: “The U.K. is to brace itself for well-below-average temperatures and widespread heavy snowfall throughout winter 2011/2012 which will result in the fourth bad winter in succession, and will prove to be the worst of them all. “I fully expect records to be broken, with the Highlands of Scotland being once again particularly hard hit. It is vital to start preparing now.”
You might have thought not too much out of the ordinary about these super storms if you have not lived through one yet. Lightening striking down from the heavens from these storms is killing unusual numbers of people and a few days ago we had a lightning strike actually cause the derailment of a train in China. We have heard of planes having problems occasionally with lightening, but trains?
The weather has changed dramatically in a very short period of time. One has to be almost brain-dead to not get the implications to our civilization as the world’s climate careens out of control. We can’t say we did not have any warning but no one alive saw how violent the weather would turn out to be in this first half of 2011. In 2007, NASA scientists also developed a new climate model that indicated that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common.
The media has been falling all over itself denying any connection between these historic, violent storms and climate change. Most meteorologists have been claiming the storms have been due to an out-of-place jet stream. The sun has been in a low activity phase so something else has to be the cause of warming even as we suffer through cooling due to diminished solar output. So the question remains, what is causing our violent weather?