Friday, September 20, 2019

Climate Change Keeps Up It's Dance

I have gone to great lengths to ignore he who must not be named, the Voldemort of Washington. And this post continues that purposeful directive, even though it does, tangentially, touch on the asinine decisions made by him in Washington.

But there is plenty of blame to go around. We (America, the World, you name it) have collectively screwed the pooch with our steadfast ignorance of Climate Change. But let's talk about some things that are happening right now...

Horrible, Wetter Weather

You may or may not recall that I said  Climate Change will make flooding much worse.

This is how that happens. 1st, warmer oceans increase evaporation rates. 2nd, warmer are can hold much more moisture.

So, if you combine those two items you get heavy downpours when rains come. This is happening right now in Texas, again. There is a tropical storm, which normally doesn't kill people, but in the Houston area right now feet of water is dropping as rain from a normal storm, not even a hurricane. But the sheer volume of water is killing people, destroying businesses and homes.  For those of you counting, this is the 4th "500 year storm" to hit Houston in 3 years.

But it's not just Houston.

Bermuda, which is generally out of the Hurricane Path, looks to be hit by 2 hurricanes in less than a week. Somewhere between 20 and 1,000 people were killed by a Hurricane in the Bahamas. And nearly a billion dollars of damage occurred in North Carolina. That was in the last two weeks!

This year (2019) in China monsoons resulted in over $44 billion dollars in damage and 4,000 people dead.

This year (2019)  in India, monsoons killed over 200 people and displaced approximately 10,500,000 people.

And that is just 2019. Since we last talked about this, hurricanes have hit Canada, Ireland and England! Flooding has killed people in Philippines, the Balkans and Africa.

Hotter, Drier Weather

Yes, I know it stands in contrast to the statement above, but Climate Change also brings horrible heat and drought.

You see, because the rains grow so much in wet areas, we forget that other areas, massive heat increases drought. The areas that are rainy, get REALLY rainy, and the areas that are dry can get REALLY dry.

Take the raining areas we discussed above. Since 2017 droughts have disrupted crops and cities on the West Coast and the plains in the US. Droughts have effected 56% of India this year.

If you look at the map of China, you can see the red areas where drought is horrible.   "But Scott," I hear you say, "You just said monsoons hit China hard." Yep. That is the places in blue on the map. Climate Change screws up the world.

Capetown (a city with the same climate as Los Angeles, Chile and the Mediterranean) was county down the days of water until full drought and got as low as 30 days last year before rains came. The citizens of Capetown were, at one point,  limited to less than 50 Liters of water, per household, per day. That is 25 big bottles of soda for washing, cooking AND drinking.

As for heat. in January, records feel for hottest days all over Australia. July was the hottest month on record. Ever. Since mankind has been around.

Paris hit 114. Belgium and the Netherlands  had a record of 3 heatwaves (a new record). 2019 brought the earliest readings of 100 degrees throughout America. And a city in Pakistan recorded a high of 134 degrees. And a month of temperatures were it didn't get below 100. At all.

Sea Level Rise

The hurricanes on the east coast are made worse by a sea level rise. The seas rise not just due to glacier melting but also because warmer water take up more volume than colder water.

"King Tides" occur monthly and bringing sea flooding to Miami regardless of weather. What was once an occasional event where the city flooded in a storm maybe once every few years is now a monthly event. Islands in Chesapeake Bay are being rendered uninhabitable. America is resettling entire towns in Maryland, Florida and Louisiana due to sea level rise.

Outside of the Untied States, poor countries like Bangladesh, India and Cambodia are seeing land disappear, but leaving the locals to their own devices.

Extinction Events

Climate Change is deadly for man. For plants and animals it is an apocalypse. (I tried but couldn't find out how to spell "a-proc-ra-fil".)

Birds in America have declined by almost a third. Not endangered birds, or funny looking birds, but just "birds". What. The. Fuck.

Well, it isn't a surprise. Climate is changing and birds are a (wait for it) canary in the coal mine. Birds have been coping with habitat lose to humans for thousands of years, but now they have habitat lose due to climate change as well. Why?

Well, they live mainly with plants. And plants are slow adapters to changes in climate. Plants CAN migrate when climate changes, but they cannot do it as fast as humans have changed climate recently. So the birds are losing food, nesting areas and habitat. It is exacerbated by insect declines. Insects are declining due to climate change AND insecticide, necessary as we try to feed an evolving planet where traditional growing seasons are now disrupted.

Animals from the size of pikas up to polar bears are dying due to climate change in obvious ways, now we are seeing birds dying in non-obvious ways.

Not a Future Problem

Climate Change isn't  "about to happen". It is happening now. Climate Change cannot be stopped. It has happened. But we can try to stop it from becoming too much worse.

Unfortunately in the past 3 years we have actively made it worse. Really.

The US has rolled back Clean Air and Clean Water standards. We have removed restrictions from burning coal. Now, in the US, this isn't a big deal. Coal - the dirtiest energy, is declining anyway because of costs. But since we have rolled back coal regulations, China and India have both approved massive coal plants which should be illegal under the Paris accords.

The administration has just sued California to abrogate agreements for cleaner cars that Ford, BMW, Honda and Toyota agreed to.

With our Administration's approval massive fires have been purposely set in Brazil, Indonesia and Zaire. (These fires are used to clear forests for agricultural use.)

For the first time in our history, the administration has reduced the size of National Parks and Monuments in order to increase mining. We are actively tearing up carbon sinks to create more carbon pollution.

The administration is, seriously,  trying to return our environmental laws to pre-1970s. This was Los Angeles pre-1970s.

The good news is <error: missing 4404>

1 comment:

  1. OMG, I remember LA then, not pretty or healthy, I am still dealing with the Asthma!
    As always, good explanation Scott, thank you !!
    BTW, our bird population declined by 90% this summer !! Scary.


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