Extreme weather events
Nature is really starting to speak to mankind!
I started writing this post back on the 25th September. Why so far back? Because that day something came into my in-box that deserved the widest circulation. It’s an event being held just under a month from today, November 14th. But it seemed worthwhile to give this amount of notice. However, the reason why I wanted to start it back in September was because in the last 24 hours of that day, the 25th, the UK offered very good evidence of the significant increase in severe weather.
From the UK’s Met Office blog on the 25th September, 2012, (I have included the inches equivalent of the mm figures)
Rainfall figures: over a month’s worth of rain in two days
Rainfall totals for the past few days – from 1:00 am Sunday morning to 8:00 am this morning [Tuesday] – show some areas have already had more than twice their usual September rainfall. Ravensworth, in North Yorkshire, has seen the highest total, with 107.8 mm [4.24 in] falling, over 200 % of its average September rainfall.
The rainfall has been widespread, with many areas across the United Kingdom receiving large totals. Killylane, in Antrim Northern Ireland saw 98.2 mm [3.87 in], and high totals were also recorded in the south-west, with 72.4 mm [2.85 in] in Filton and 65.2 mm [2.57 in] at Dunkeswell Aerodrome.
Dunkeswell Aerodrome in Devon was where I used to fly our group-owned Piper Super Cub, still in military markings.
Anyway, back to the plot!
Also on that day (September 25th) the website Think Progress released this item,
Markey/Waxman Report: Carbon Pollution Creating A ‘Cocktail Of Heat And Extreme Weather’
By Climate Guest Blogger and Stephen Lacey on Sep 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm
by Katie Valentine and Stephen Lacey
Two House Democrats have released a report that aims to connect the dots on climate change and extreme weather events.
The staff report, issued by Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), outlines the past year’s record-setting temperatures, storms, droughts, water levels and wildfires, and is being circulated in an attempt to rebuild congressional momentum to address climate change.
“The evidence is overwhelming — climate change is occurring and it is occurring now,” said Rep. Waxman, a Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement.
The report outlines the stunning array of record-breaking extreme weather events throughout 2012 within five categories:
- July was the hottest month ever recorded in the continental U.S. Some areas were 8 degrees warmer than average, with the average temperature in the lower 48 states at 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.3 degrees above the 20th century average.
- Spring 2012 saw the warmest March, third-warmest April and second-warmest May in history, and was approximately 5.2 degrees Fahrenheit above average overall.
- Through late June 2011, daily record highs were outnumbering daily record lows by 9-to-1.
- As of September, 64 percent of the continental U.S. is experiencing drought, with August and September 2012 comparable to the worst months of the 1930s Dust Bowl.
- By the beginning of August, more than half the counties in the U.S. had been designated disaster zones because of drought.
- As of August, 51 percent of corn and 38 percent of soybeans grown in the U.S. were rated as poor or very poor by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some states’ corn fared worse – Indiana had 70 percent of its corn rated as poor or very poor, and Missouri had 84 percent.
- This fire season 8.6 million acres – roughly the size of Connecticut and New Jersey combined – have burned in the U.S., with fires still burning in parts of the West.
- Wildfires in Colorado have killed six people, destroyed 600 homes and caused about $500 million in property damage.
- There has been nearly a four-fold increase in large wildfires in the West in recent decades, with fires burning longer and more intensely and wildfire seasons lasting longer.
- Tropical Storm Debby caused Florida to have its wettest June on record. The storm killed at least seven people and also damaged more than 7,500 homes and businesses.
- In July, the “derecho” storm system killed at least 23 people and left more than 3.7 million people without power.
- In August, Hurricane Isaac caused storm surges of up to 15 feet in some places and contributed to Louisiana and Mississippi experiencing their second-wettest August on record and to Florida experiencing its wettest summer on record.
Extreme water levels and water temperatures
- In July, water in the Great Lakes reached temperatures of 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit – more than 10 degrees warmer than the same time last year.
- In August, water temperatures of up to 97 degrees and low water levels caused tens of thousands of fish to die in Midwestern lakes and rivers.
- Low water levels in the Mississippi watershed have caused some barge companies to reduce their loads by 25 percent and have caused harbor closures in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi.
According to the report, 2012 natural disasters (not including wildfires or drought) have caused $22 billion in insured losses and more than 220 deaths as of August. The full cost of 2012’s extreme weather events isn’t yet known, but it’s expected to rival 2011’s record-breaking $55 billion.
The document outlines what scientists following the link between extreme weather and climate change have been saying for years: more carbon pollution adds extra energy in the atmosphere, thus warming the planet and making extreme weather events more likely.
Read the full report here.
So what came into my in-box? An announcement from The Climate Reality Project: 24 HOURS OF REALITY: The Dirty Weather Report.
NOVEMBER 14-15, 2012
A lot can change in a day. This November 14, we hope you can help us make big change happen.
Join The Climate Reality Project for 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report. This will be our second annual, online event showing how global climate change is connected to the extreme weather we experience in our daily lives. The entire 24-hour event will be broadcast live over the Internet.
We’ll move between our home studio in New York City and into each region of the world, bringing voices, news and multimedia content across all 24 time zones. We’ll feature videos from around the globe, man-on-the-street reports, music, and most importantly, stories from communities moving forward with solutions.
Most of all, we’ll generate new energy and urgency around the fact that we must — and we can — work together to address the climate crisis.
Sign up today to be a part of the global community taking part in 24 Hours of Reality. RSVP on Facebook. Share this event with your friends. Submit your own video about the impacts of climate change where you live. And keep checking this page: We’ll post further details as the event draws closer.
Millions of people around the world know that the weather, their climate is changing. But if you can take some more powerful evidence of just how it’s all changing then go and read a recent report on the Grist website, entitled ‘Deadly connection: New report on extreme weather and climate change’
So one more video to close.
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