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Global Warming and Extreme Weather

6/30/2011 1:32:20 PM

Tags: Global Warming, Hurricanes, Extreme Winters, Massive Floods, Richard Hilderman

Lightning StrikesOver the past few years we have seen an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, winters, massive floods, heat waves and droughts.  So far this year we have witnessed in this country an increase in devastating tornadoes, snow and floods.  This devastation causes loss of life, property and takes a tremendous emotional toll on people.  All of this costs the taxpayer millions upon millions of dollars!  The current global warming trend is responsible for some if not all of the extreme weather we have witnessed in recent years.  In this posting we will discuss how global warming has increased the frequency of hurricanes, extreme winters and massive floods.

Most hurricanes mature in the tropics but some can mature in the temperate zones. One of the keys in creating a hurricane is that the ocean temperature must be above 80 degrees Fahrenheit for a storm to reach hurricane strength. At the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season storms usually mature in the southwestern part of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. By late July the tropical ocean temperature has warmed up to allow storms to develop in the Atlantic Ocean. Global warming has not only increased the ocean temperature in the tropics but has also expanded the tropical ocean by 8.5 million square miles. This warming of ocean water has increased the frequency and strength of hurricanes. From 1995 to 2000 there was a 75 percent increase in the number of hurricanes from the previous decade. Katrina is an example of the devastation a strong hurricane can cause. Other factors such as El Nino can affect the number of hurricanes that occur in a given year. El Nino causes decreases in the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic but causes increases and severity of hurricanes in the Western Pacific. 

It may appear ironic to some people that global warming increases the frequency of severe winters. Warm air holds more moisture and is less dense than cold air.  Rising water temperature increases the rate of evaporation and warm air retains this moisture as water vapor. The water vapor laden warm air rises and is transported over land by wind where it cools and the water vapor condenses to form snow, ice, sleet and rain. Then comes spring, which generates rain along with the melting of snow and ice triggering devastating floods that we are currently witnessing in the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and in North Dakota.

If we continue to have a carbon based energy economy the extreme weather devastation will only get worst! Wouldn’t it be logical to start investing in a clean energy economy so that we can save lives, property and curtail spending taxpayer’s money to pay for the spiraling devastation caused by extreme weather?

Photo Credit: Fotolia.com/valdezrl 

 



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JOHN & VIRGINIA LEDOUX
7/21/2012 11:56:21 PM
El Nino, El Nina, jet steams,........ is the weather, not GW or CC.

Richard Hilderman, Ph.D.
7/15/2011 8:29:17 AM
greenjoe--sorry by global warming "shall not pass"! Atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a blanket to keep the planent warm by absorbing some of the sun's radiation (heat) instead of allowing the radiation to bounce back into outer space. This is not new or rocket science. This ability of carbon dioxide was discovered in the 1850s! The atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide has been increasing due to human use of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).Preindustrial revolution level of carbon dioxide was 285 ppm but in 2009 the level was 390 ppm (Keeling and Wharf, Scripps Institute of Oceanography http://scrippsCO2.ucsd.edu). Simple math! Increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxoide will absorb more radiation and thus increase the global temperature.

greenjoelinidaho
7/13/2011 6:53:33 PM
I was born in nov of 1973 and my mother kept the newspaper from that day. Headlines read "World Scientists fear Global cooling" This is all a made up fear tactic to raise money for scientific research. Mt St helens (of which i watched come over the hills of the plaouse) caused more damage to environement then humans have in the past 2,000 years. The flip side is we do need research so how do we fund it? GW reminds me of the theory of evolution and its inability to detail how cells can be formed that are irreducibly complex. Apparently the trend is to say it came here on a medeorite but that just puts off the answer until we can explore further into space... In ending this rant i want to tell you my favorite saying "This to shall pass"

Richard Hilderman, Ph.D.
7/12/2011 4:18:58 PM
t brandt--First of all I do not nor have I ever gotten funds for discussing GW. I am a retired reserch biochemist and by funding was for studying how our body regulates our blood pressure. Secondly, you are dead wrong that we are going through a cooling cycle! The planet is in an interglacial warming period. The planet is warming up! This is demonstrated by the rise in the mean sea level. There are only two ways that the sea level can rise. First--water like all liquids and gases expand when heated. Second-melting of continental ice sheets. If we were in a cooling period the water would contract and the mean sea level would decrease--also the amount of water released from ice sheets would decrease.

t brandt
6/30/2011 8:27:46 PM
We know you get your funding by insisiting there really is "GW," but we're already a third of the way thru the cooling part of the 60 yr cycle: it's been getting cooler for the past 13 years. Maybe you don't own a thermometer,but just a computer model. BTW- there have been fewer severe storms over the past two decades than the period of 1920-40. You should really try to keep up with the literature.

Richard Hilderman, Ph.D.
6/30/2011 8:25:32 PM
been there done that. I believe all the facts can be found in all my previous postings. However I have written an article for MotherEarthNews (will appear in their Aug/Sep issue) that puts a lot of the facts pertaining to global warming/climate change in one article. In terms of citation--your concern is a good point. The citations come from numerous sources and due to space limitation they could not appear in the article. I put citations in one of my first postings but stopped because of again they are to numerous. If you could give me specific area/points I would be more than happy to send you all the necessary citations. In future postings, when it is appropriate, I will attmept include a few, select citations.

been there done that
6/30/2011 7:10:46 PM
can you show us where you are getting your facts from? you make quite a few statements, but have no sources cited, or studies cited...let me correct myself, I do see 1 or 2 citations to your own posts... opinion is great, but facts speak louder. If indeed man is causing the global warming you say it it, then something must be done NOW...but we need to see the facts and the sources cited otherwise it is just your opinion. Thank you










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