Monday, September 14, 2015

If You Thought This Year Was a Scorcher, Brace Yourselves.

2015 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record and, yes, that's despite the endless winter/spring you endured in eastern Canada.  The rest of us were pretty toasty.

Then there's 2016 or, as we like to call it, next year. Apparently it's shaping up to be even toastier than 2015 which, on a mathematical basis, should make it the hottest year on record.

The world’s climate has reached a major turning point and is set to deliver record-breaking global temperatures in 2015 and 2016, according to a new report from the UK Met Office.

Natural climate cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are reversing and will amplify the strong manmade-driven global warming, the report concludes. This will change weather patterns around the world including more heatwaves, but it is possible that the UK will actually have cooler summers.

“We will look back on this period as an important turning point,” said Professor Adam Scaife, who led the Met Office analysis. “That is why we are emphasising it, because there are so many big changes happening at once. This year and next year are likely to be at, or near, record levels of warming.”

The record for the hottest year was broken in 2014, when heatwaves scorched China, Russia, Australia and parts of South America. But, despite rising greenhouse gas emissions continuing to trap more heat on Earth, the last decade has seen relatively slow warming of air temperatures, dubbed a “pause” in climate change by some.

In fact, global warming had not paused at all. Instead, natural climate cycles led to more of the trapped heat being stored in the oceans. Now, according to the Met Office report, all the signs are that the pause in rising air temperatures is over and the rate of global warming will accelerate fast in coming years.

As a Wet Coaster I don't like drought and I don't like heat waves. Everything out here, all the vegetation and all the animal life, is geared to cool and wet. That's what gives us the very thing we cannot do long without - our winter snowpack. It's that reserve of accumulated snow on the mountains that regulates and enables the cycle of life here during the summers. Those mountain streams flush with cold meltwater are what bring salmon upstream to spawn - and then die. Those biologically doomed salmon feed the bears, the eagles and, directly or indirectly, just about everything else. Why the bears, through a process we call digestion and elimination, even help fertilize the forests. Who knew?

We got by this year without many major forest fires on the island but that may have been sheer luck, dodging a bullet. Another dry, warm, snowless winter may turn the natural cycle of life on its head.  

All we can do now is just wait and see. - Oh yeah and pray for snow.


Anonymous said...

Anyong said: Perhaps we'll all have to move east.

Purple library guy said...

Hey, at least the drought and the lack of snowpack will mean higher sea levels won't cause as much flooding! The tide won't have full riverbanks to worsen if the rivers are dry!
Aren't we lucky?