Climate Chaos Casino: Another Roll of the Dice

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BuffaloNov2014MikeGrollAPFrom Collapse of Industrial Civilization

[Buffalo blizzard Nov 2014. Photo by Mike Groll/AP.]

Snow-Bombed Buffalo NY

Buffalo, NY is the latest loser of industrial civilization’s destabilization of the climate with a tally of 13 dead, 30 major roof collapses and nearly three times as many minor roof collapses, not to mention the soon-to-be flooded homes as the mountains of snow melt in next week’s wild oscillation back to unseasonably high temps.

As much as 90 inches of snow fell on the Buffalo area in just three days, prompting climatologist Paul Beckwith to tweet the following remarks:

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What Happens in the Arctic Does Not Stay in the Arctic

What caused this unusually heavy lake-effect snowstorm in Buffalo?…
Firstly, record warm Pacific waters gave birth to Super Typhoon Nuri, the second most intense tropical cyclone worldwide of 2014. Also fueling the creation of such a storm is an atmosphere over the oceans that has 5% more moisture in it than prior to 1970. From there the typhoon moved into the Bering Sea of the Arctic and transformed into an extratropical cyclone that was “the most powerful storm to ever move over the Bering Sea in recorded history in a terms of central pressure.” This cyclone caused an “Arctic outbreak” by pushing the weakened Jet Stream southward, carrying that region’s cold air down into North America. This blast of cold Arctic wind swept across the warm waters of the Great Lakes and strengthened the lake-effect snowfall. The lakes’ warm air evaporated up into the freezing atmosphere and condensed, coming down as a snow bomb on the residents of Erie county.

Clear image of lake effect snow from NASA. Clouds and snow are to the South and East of each Great Lake. :
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Decadal data proves that a warming world is making this lake-effect snowfall even more intense as humans continue their grand chemistry experiment with the planet’s atmosphere. The waters of the Great Lakes are getting warmer and losing their historic freeze point to form ice cover during winter; thus an increasing temperature differential between the warm waters of the lakes and the cold Arctic air passing overhead provides greater energy for stronger lake-effect snowfalls. The more heat energy we inject into Earth’s atmosphere, the more statistically likely that freak weather and powerful storms will occur. Fossil fuel-burning humans are continuing to load the dice of climate chaos and the big losers will most certainly be the future generations of every living thing on the planet.

Lake Erie is warming (along with the rest of the planet) by a steady but measurable amount. Since 1960 that trend has been about a half of a degree Fahrenheit per decade. More important than this, though, Lake Erie has been losing its ability to freeze over in the winter, with a decline of about one sub-freezing day per year in recent decades. – Link

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Concomitantly, lake-effect snow events are increasing in the interim as the Arctic melts away and loses its ability to regulate global weather patterns.

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Deformed Jet Stream

According to climate experts Jennifer Francis and others, Anthropogenic global warming is altering jet stream behavior and making certain weather extremes more likely to occur:

“We know that the Arctic is warming much faster than everywhere else on the planet,” Francis said. That’s important because the speed of the jet stream as it moves eastwards is driven by the temperature differential between the Arctic and areas to the south.

“Because the warming is so fast, it’s causing that temperature differential to become smaller, and as a result the winds, west-east winds, are getting weaker,” Francis said.

When the jet stream weakens, it tends to wander more north and south — instead of its usually straight circle around the Northern Hemisphere. Francis said that scientists measuring the “waviness” of the jet stream have found that it becomes wavier as the Arctic melts. Masters echoed Francis, saying, “We’ve experienced record loss of Arctic sea ice and … when that happens it can influence the jet stream to allow more frequent plunges over the eastern part of the U.S.”

“We’ve had record-breaking Arctic sea ice loss over the last 15 years, and we’ve seen a lot more of these Arctic plunges over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., starting around 2000,” Masters added. – Link

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…the evidence in her favor is mounting — she cites no fewer than five (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) scientific papers published in the last year or so that she considers supportive, and hints that more are coming. “We’ve got 5 papers that all look at that particular mechanism in different ways — different analysis, different data sets, observation and models — and they all come to the same conclusion and they all identify this mechanism independently,” she says. – Link

Anthropogenic Climate Disruption is Still Greek to Most Americans

If polling studies are any indication, all of this talk about jet streams, extreme weather, and the melting Arctic is still greek to the average American:

The survey also reveals a “misunderstanding” of climate change as only one in 10 of those polled said they know that more than 90 percent of climate scientists say humans are contributing to global warming. Just half blame human activity while even fewer are “very worried” about climate change.

“Very few Americans are aware that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is human caused,” the authors said. “This public misunderstanding of the scientific consensus — which has been found in each of our surveys since 2008 — has significant consequences.” – Link

And the politicians are still talking out of both sides of their mouths on the subject:

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As are corporations:

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And to the very end, the climate change illiterate will continue to drown out those who still have a certain level of brain activity:

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And lastly, the multiple environmental crises we face are like a multi-headed hydra. Cut one head off with a techno-fix and it grows two more. Even those who are well-read and knowledgable on climate change still hold fast to a techno-utopian future, clueless as to what is and isn’t sustainable:

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Remember… it’s the economy, stupid!

CICgraphic

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