Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Global Warming and the financial crisis

Remember my posts on April 2009, "Oil depletion will accelerate Global Warming", and "Changing Times"?
A reduction in oil usage (whether it is from oil depletion or a financial crisis), resulting in a reduction of particulate emission, which will make hotter summers and colder winters. This is exactly what we are seeing since Falls 2008. It may be a coincidence, but as time goes on and the pattern repeats, the probability of it being a coincidence decreases rapidly.

The Winter in 2008, Northern Hemisphere, was the coldest in a very long time. As a Master Gardener for Washington State, I volunteer for garden clinics. The most common plant diseases we were seeing in Spring: cold damage, plants that were injured or killed by unusually low temperatures.
The Southern Hemisphere Summer, happening at the same time, in Australia, was unusually hot. They had terrible forest fires.

The Summer 2009 in the Northern Hemisphere was unusually hot here in Washington state. We had 109F in my area, unseen according to locals. Here again, the damage on the vegetation is clear: a lot of dead dried trees, particularly evergreen trees in the mountains.

Now Falls has started. Although the temperatures are still warm, we have very cold nights. The day-night amplitude feels greater than usual. This also can be explained by a reduction of particulate pollution, as was measured during the 3 days following 9/11.

So we can expect the following weather patterns in the near future:
Colder Winters with higher precipitations.
Warmer Summers, heat waves, change of rain patterns, longer seasonal droughts.
Greater day/night amplitude during Spring and Falls.

Plant shade trees and super-insulate your house.

When will the American people finally accept responsibility? I suspect and fear it will take a major event, worse than the 2003 heat wave that killed 50,000 in Europe. I suspect a prolonged drought in the South, then a heat wave. Hydro dams will not have enough water, and nuclear reactors will be throttled down due to excessive heat. The stress that air conditioners will put on the grid could then overwhelm it.
A grid failure at the peak of a heat wave could be catastrophic. A large portion of the American South is unlivable without air conditioners.

It is sad that we are still debating scientists' findings.