Weather Wake Up Call for U.S. as Congress Keeps Pushing for More Fossil Fuel Energy

I know I’m not the only one linking greenhouse gas emissions to global climate change to all the horrendously bad weather pummeling the U.S. lately. The east coast is still without power from Hurricane Irene. A new hurricane Katia is churning up in the Atlantic along with a new tropical storm promising to drop a huge amount of rainfall on New Orleans again missing Texas for relief from the record drought there.

At the same time, it’s been a busy 24 hours for earthquake activity in the U.S. In the late morning hours today, 3 earthquakes hit Alaska’s Aleutian Island area. One was 6.8 that triggered a tsunami warning for the U.S. western coastline between 7:30 and 8:00 am while another 4.2 earthquake shook the Los Angeles area yesterday at 1:47 in the afternoon. If we look at the world map for earthquakes there was substantial seismic activity from the southern hemisphere along Australia north to the ring of fire areas of the Indian Ocean arcing around the pacific basin up to Alaska.

Worldwide earthquakes with M4.5+ located by USGS and Contributing Agencies.
(Earthquakes with M2.5+ within the United States and adjacent areas.)

If all of this challenging weather isn’t a wake up call to get moving on sustainable alternatives, then our reps in Congress and some presidential candidates pushing the filthy tar sands project that will ultimately burn 6X dirtier than usual and hawking our substantial caches of coal are representing Big Oil/Gas/Coal and not our health and welfare.

There is no denying the entire world is suffering from increasingly greater extremes of weather with summers at record highs and winters with increasing precipitation in the form of snow in places like Florida. But politics, at least in the U.S. continues to polarize viewpoints about global climate on behalf of Big Energy Industries, using jobs vs. environment as a ploy to divide U.S. citizens once again. Divide and conquer is not just a saying—it works. Because while were fighting/arguing climate change points with each other, congress is passing anti-environmental laws right under our noses. These laws are a direct affront to our clean air, water, and the EPA that is in place for our safety and welfare and have less to do with jobs than deregulation. Think about it. Jobs can be created in many industries. New jobs in new industries would be nice expanding all sorts of related jobs in engineering, science, and the technical fields for a new generation looking to the future not fearing it. On the other hand, once Mother Nature turns on us that’s it.

Are we absolutely positive human activity is not affecting climate change because I’m seeing videos of huge cesspools of plastic gyres growing in size in our oceans? Just because we can’t see pollution is no assurance it’s not there.

So as Mother Nature bears down on our east coast, the gulf, and rumbles the west coast to Alaska, maybe we should forget politics entangled with enormous lobbyist activity from the wealthiest of industries Big Oil/Gas/Coal. Maybe we should use some good ole street smarts believing what we see and experience because what we’re experiencing is advancing global climate change whether it’s politically correct to believe it or not.

To those that continue to follow a political line concerning global climate change that diss the idea that man’s pollution is a catalyst for the horrendous weather we’re experiencing, than why not apply the same 1% principle as we did to enter a war with Iraq that half our citizens never wanted. Former VP Cheney’s one percent principle as applied to global climate change would read like this:

If there is even a 1% chance that human activity such as greenhouse gas emissions is causing accelerated global climate change, then it is our duty to do all that we can to stop that activity for the welfare of mankind everywhere.

There is little argument against this principle because while deniers claim science can’t prove greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change, deniers can’t prove those greenhouse gas emission aren’t causing a problem either. This principle covers the bases. If was good enough for the U.S. to wage war in a country that had nothing to do with the U.S. terrorist attacks or WMD’s, than it’s good enough to save citizens of this country from the devastation Mother Nature can cause that can far exceed any war. Because while we were battered with fear tactics for almost a decade regarding terrorism, no one has stepped forward to churn the same fear for the wrath of Mother Nature when we can clearly see that she is indeed our greatest threat. Attacks by her are happening along our coastlines all at once right now and fewer dollars to recover from it. There may be more, increasingly worse weather if we fail to act.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/

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Hottest/Wettest Year Ever; Every Degree Warmer Leads to About 4% More Water in the Air

Floods kill 1400 and maroon 30,000 in Pakistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/01/c_13425288.htm#.

Floods kill 1072, leave 619 missing this year in China

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/05/c_13431093.htm.

Families displaced by floods in S. Philippines reached 16,000

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/05/c_13431093.htm.

14 dead, thousands evacuated in central Europe floods

http://www.rnw.nl/africa/bulletin/ten-dead-thousands-evacuated-central-europe-floods-0.

Iowa floods

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/record-breaking-heat-brings-storms-floods-iowa-floods-thunderstorms-hot-summer-100-degree-tepretures-11398075.

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Worldwide Floods Validate Forecast; Ocean Warming Will Increase Precipitation

I’ve blogged about the predicted increase in precipitation associated with global warming. But Science Daily published an article in January of this year that stated: “Precipitation tends to increase over regions with ocean warming above the tropical mean (contours of warm colors in oC), and to decrease where ocean warming is below the tropical mean (contours of cool colors).” So there will be drought in parts of the world and more precipitation in others. So much for the idea that everyone worldwide will fry from global warming. Some will just get saturated and carried away by water. And the fact is floods kill more people than any other weather event.

The study outlined on Science Daily’s website was done by “a team of scientists headed by meteorologist Shang-Ping Xie at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa’s International Pacific Research Center that analyzed global model warming projections in models used by the IPCC.” It found that “ocean temperature patterns in the tropics and subtropics will change in ways that will lead to significant changes in rainfall patterns.” According to the article, two patterns stand out:

First, the maximum temperature rise in the Pacific is along a broad band at the equator. Already today the equatorial Pacific sets the rhythm of a global climate oscillation as shown by the world-wide impact of El Niño. This broad band of peak temperature on the equator changes the atmospheric heating in the models. By anchoring a rainband similar to that during an El Nino, it influences climate around the world through atmospheric teleconnections.

A second ocean warming pattern with major impact on rainfall occurs in the Indian Ocean and would affect the lives of billions of people. Overlayed on Indian Ocean warming for part of the year is what scientists call the Indian Ocean Dipole that occasionally occurs today once every decade or so. Thus, the models show that warming in the western Indian Ocean is amplified, reaching 1.5°C, while the eastern Indian Ocean it is dampened to around 0.5°C.

Xie predicts that if this pattern occurs, rainfall will dramatically shift over eastern Africa, India, and SE Asia, while droughts could happen in Indonesia and Australia.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226093238.htm

Well, changes in rainfall patterns are certainly evident as worldwide flash floods are all over the news lately claiming lives and leaving thousands homeless. It looks like those IPCC models are more accurate than most detractors would like to admit:

In March floods in France claimed 45 lives

In the back hills of the French Riviera, flash floods recently claimed 25 lives.

Floods also occurred elsewhere in southern France

Myanmar and Bangledesh flash floods claimed 100 lives.

Flash floods in Brazil claim over 40 lives with 600 missing and 40,000 without shelter.

Poland’s floods claim 12 lives

Hungary, Czechia, and Slovakia also flooded along with Poland

There are huge floods in more than one province of China displacing 2.4 million people, killing over 210

Singapore flooded

Floods in Spain claim 2

And major floods in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming and Arkansas in the U.S. recently claimed close to 30 lives.

Check out the pictures of flood victims worldwide:
http://blogs.sacbee.com/photos/2010/06/spring-floods-around-the-globe.html.

Brazil’s flood:
http://www.usatrends.info/brazil-flashfloods-leaves-death-over-40-and-hundreds-of-homeless-%E2%80%93-june-22-2010/2656.

Worldwide flood reports:
http://www.gdacs.org/#FL_2010_71.

France floods:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/18/2930230.htm.

China’s floods:
http://www.todayonline.com/BreakingNews/EDC100623-0000276/Death-toll-in-China-flooding-climbs-to-211,-more-torrential-rains-forecast-for-affected-areas.

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Grand Ole Opry Under Water

The worst flooding in decades from the Cumberland River caused inundating flood water to surge through downtown Nashville flooding the Grand Ole Opry and other local businesses. Flooding from the weekend storms affected 3 states, with 29 dead and that count is expected to rise as the water recedes. The 2 days of rainstorms caused the Cumberland River to rise 11 ft. above flood level. Power outages didn’t help pumping efforts either. There is also fear that a levy along the river will break even though floodwater is receding.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36891589/ns/weather.

Remember the forecast for increased precipitation due to global warming? This area received 13″ in this one weekend storm. Last year, the states in the middle of the country suffered big losses due to flooding so severe it knocked homes off their foundations.

Tennessee’s governor announced 52 counties as disaster areas. ABC news stated 12 southern states are currently under flood watch as storms move into the south again. The insurance industry takes another hit for storms that haven’t been seen for quite awhile. Unfortunately, many, many people in this area do not have flood insurance and will have to recover on their own.

A lot of people in Monroe have relatives in Tennessee. Pray they are all right and are able to recover.

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European Coast Hit by Hurricane Force Winds and Flooding for 3 Days

Increased extreme climate events are taking on new meaning lately. The Atlantic coast of Europe was hit by hurricane force winds, rain, and surge that broke through concrete walls and flooded miles of land. France was hit the worst. The storm called Xynthia killed Sixty-two people so far, and left a million people without power.

Citizens of France are furious over the state of the seawalls. Sound familiar? Looks familiar with miles of water-covered land from the aerial view in the AP video.

Read the story:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_FRANCE_DEADLY_STORM?SITE=TNKNN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Watch the AP video with aerial views:

http://video.ap.org/?f=TNKNN&pid=S8Dh1XrCPWAAge1F6SpAF2_1i2WbtGD8

The official alert of the flood:

http://www.gdacs.org/reports.asp?eventType=FL&ID=2010_23&country=France&location=&system=
asgard&alertlevel=Green&glide_no=

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Earlier Predictions Were Right; More Rain/Snow Less Insurance Coverage

I ran across an article on the Science Daily website from 2006 that predicted more precipitation both summer and winter in some parts of N. America. The article also explained that rising WARM, moist air is the cause of increased precipitation. This coincides with an older article from Mortgage News Daily website about warming ocean temps, which account for rising warm moist air that contributes to a more intense hurricane season too.

After the recent snow blasts in the U.S., the extremes of snowfall were called “hard core evidence” of global cooling instead of acknowledging that warmer moist air is actually causing it. This was an area of discussion on ABC World News recently, whether rain or snow is an indicator of global cooling. No it’s simply increased precipitation, and it was predicted by science.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006/0205-harder_rain_more_snow.htm.

Science remains adamant about increasingly severe storms due to global warming. Another article on the Science Daily website about a year ago casts the same scenario for more frequent and severe storms.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2009/0109-global_warming_causes_severe_storms.htm.

Are U.S. citizens ready to weather more and greater storms? Most of us think the housing market is bad now, if annual storms get increasingly worse insurance will not support those hit again and again. An article on Mortgage News Daily website made the point, “If you can’t find insurance you can’t get a mortgage. [] If weather-related claims continue at the pace of the last few years it is unlikely that even state and federal coverage will be sustainable.” Houses simply won’t sell because of lack of insurance. The 2007 article continued: “Victim after victim, pawing through the wreckage of their homes, told reporters that they were uninsured, either because their premiums had skyrocketed into the realm of unaffordable over the last few years or because their insurance had been cancelled outright.”

The article went on to list the insurance companies that dropped policies on states along the eastern seaboard already. Combine that with dropped policies along the California coastline and it isn’t rosy. The article acknowledged, “The effects of such warming [global] are still being debated but some estimates are that ocean temperatures will increase 1 degree or more (contributing to the nourishment of hurricanes which are expected to increase in intensity and become a threat to more northern locations than before)…” We saw that during the last hurricane season storms traveled much farther up the eastern seaboard in the Atlantic.

Read the whole article:

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/262007_Homeowners_Insurance.asp.

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Glacier Floats by Australian Coast

Glaciers that break off of the Antarctic Ice Sheet don’t usually make it as far north as Australia. So to see a huuuuuge glacier float by the Macquarie Islands off the Australian coast in November while that continent’s interior currently suffers a blistering drought is a work of irony.

According to newser.com: “The chunk of ice, 2,300 feet long and 1,000 feet deep, is floating toward New Zealand and could pose a danger to shipping when it splits into smaller chunks. Experts believe the iceberg is one of a number of icebergs, including one the size of Jamaica, that split from Antarctica in 2000 due to global warming and are slowly heading north.” One was the size of Jamaica?

See pics of this ice berg and read more: http://www.newser.com/story/73947/giant-iceberg-floats-toward-nz.html.

http://peoplemagazinedaily.com/?p=2950.

New Zealand’s glaciers are melting at an alarming rate also:

September 2008

The Pategonian Ice Fields in Argentina/Chile, the largest next to Greenland and Antarctica, are melting:

March 2008

Glaciers in Peru are melting causing a water shortage:

November 2009

Alpine Glaciers are melting:

November 2007
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Himalayan Glaciers melting faster than anywhere else. They supply the Ganges River

November 2009

U.S. Glacier Retreat August 2009

Glacier Retreat Worldwide June 2008

These glacier videos are from the last few years. Some say we’ve been in a cooling trend for the past decade. Odd, considering what you see isn’t consistent with that at all. Perhaps all the ice bergs floating around the ocean are acting like ice cubes in our cocktails.

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Northern Britain Hit by Worst Flood Ever

The beloved lake district of Northern Great Britain known as Cumbria was home and inspiration to many of the greatest writers of the romantic period in England like Wordsworth, Shelley, Blake, Coleridge, and Byron. Now it’s unrecognizable except as some sort of fiord. Northern Great Britain flooded in the past few days from the worst rainfall ever recorded. More than a foot of water fell, a month’s worth, in a day.

More than a thousand homes flooded and people had to be rescued by helicopter and Cost Guard boats were deployed on what is supposed to be dry land.

The same scenario happened in County Cork across the Irish Sea where the highest floodwaters in 20 years washed out stone bridges. There is little relief in sight because the weatherman is predicting more rain to come.

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=9142032.

Ditto for disastrous flooding from torrential rain in Turkey in September

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Now read an article in Science Daily: “Heavier rainstorms lie in our future. That’s the clear conclusion of a new MIT and Caltech study on the impact that global climate change will have on precipitation patterns.” Hmmm.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817190638.htm.

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Why So Many Earthquakes?

I’m curious as to why the earth is experiencing so many earthquakes? Does one trigger another? Is mankind having an impact on them in some way? I ran into some interesting articles beginning with blaming oil industry drilling to some pretty good evidence that the Indonesian earthquake of 2004 that triggered the tsunami actually weakened fault lines worldwide.

Telegraph.co.uk website posted an article that stated:

A recent US study found that the 2004 earthquake weakened fault lines around the world, including California’s San Andreas Fault.
The research, that was published in the journal Nature on the day the latest earthquake in Indonesia hit, suggested the tsunami could have caused an increase in earthquakes around the world since.

This seems to be the best explanation for an increase in earthquakes for now. My next question is do the earthquakes directly relate to typhoons because another typhoon in Indonesia is set to dump more water on the already flooded region. I do know that part of the world is experiencing an el nino that stirs up hurricanes but they come right in the midst of the earthquakes too so?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/indonesia/6250484/Asian-tsunami-could-have-made-earthquake-risk-in-Indonesia-worse.html.

Other articles relative to oil drilling and earthquakes:

Earthquakes Can Be Triggered by Drilling for Oil and Natural Gas as published in the Wall St. Journal.

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/06/25/at-fault-does-drilling-cause-earthquakes/.

Exxon Mobil Drilling Could Have Tripped 2004 Earthquake/Tsunami

http://pesn.com/2005/01/25/6900062_Exxon_Tripped_Indonesian_Tsunami/.

Doubtful oil drilling can cause huge earthquake

http://www.livescience.com/mysteries/061207_oil_earthquakes.html.

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Latest Big Weather Events Are Evenly Spaced Apart

Boy, it’s been one heck of a week. September 23, Australia witnessed a dust storm that looked like something from a Martian landscape. The dust particles illuminated red by the sun hung like a fog over Sydney’s harbor. Check out the video:

A few days later a Typhoon hit Manila bringing so much rain that 80% of that city was under water, hundreds of people were missing, and thousands of people were displaced.
Another good video follows:

Today an 8.3 earthquake beneath the ocean near the American Samoan islands generated a tsunami and warning for the Hawaiian Islands 2300 miles north. Five foot waves erupted hit Samoa following the earthquake.
Read more: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2009/2009-09-29-01.asp.

Oddly these events–a dust storm, a typhoon, and a giant undersea earthquake that generated a tsunami were each 3 days apart and severe. All we need is a volcano to erupt on October 2 to round things out.

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