Tuesday, January 02, 2018

One Thing Climate Change Is Not - Boring

Deadly, sure. Destructive, yep. Punishing, in some ways. Scary, big time. Climate change, the early onset stuff unfolding before our eyes, is all of those things but it's almost never boring. At times it can be more like a horror movie provided, of course, that you're watching it from a safe distance. If you're in the script it's usually not so much fun. Oh, and did I mention that this is just the early onset stuff. Just getting started, so to speak.

We had a helluva summer this year on the Wet Coast. Massive forest fires from Mexico all the way up into Alaska. Smoke everywhere, even out to sea. Then there were floods here, droughts there and who can forget those impressive hurricanes in the Gulf and Eastern Seaboard. Plus those apres season wildfires that swept California.

Now it's Climate Change, Eastern-style, the dreaded Polar Vortex and hasn't it been a real Duesenberg (SJ LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton depicted here) this year? But wait, there's more. This week is bringing a "bomb cyclone" to the eastern part of North America from Florida all the way on up.

First, a monster storm will hammer coastal locations from Georgia to Maine with ice and snow. By Thursday, the exploding storm will, in many ways, resemble a winter hurricane, battering easternmost New England with potentially damaging winds in addition to blinding snow.

Forecasters are expecting the storm to become a so-called “bomb cyclone” because its pressure is predicted to fall so fast, an indicator of explosive strengthening. The storm could rank as the most intense over the waters east of New England in decades at this time of year. While blizzard conditions could paste some coastal areas, the most extreme conditions will remain well out over the ocean.

It looks like most of Nova Scotia is in for a real pummeling.

“Some computer models are projecting a minimum central air pressure of below 950 millibars at its peak, which would be nearly unheard of for this part of the world outside of a hurricane,” wrote Mashable’s Andrew Freedman. “For comparison, Hurricane Sandy had a minimum central pressure of about 946 millibars when it made its left hook into New Jersey in 2012.”

Winds will crank in response to this pressure drop, howling to at least 30 to 50 mph along the coast. Winds will be considerably stronger over the ocean — exceeding hurricane force — where enormous waves will form.

And then, behind the storm comes the cold. That means -42F in the Sault, -40F for Toronto, -30F in Montreal. As I recall it, "40 below" Fahrenheit equals minus 40 Celsius. That's cold, damned cold. That's horrible cold, deadly cold for the homeless and people who can't afford heat or just about anyone if the storms take down the power grid.

At least the authorities know it's coming. They know the storm is on its way. They know the deadly cold snap that will appear in its wake. They know the risk of power outages at this worst possible moment. They know the people who are vulnerable, their lives in peril. They know the resources they must mobilize to respond to this. Let's hope they know that leaving it until the storm hits is leaving it much too late.


Northern PoV said...

"May you live in interesting times"

the salamander said...

.. here in the somewhat central flatlands
of Ontari ario oh!
I have been thinking about the blast
that is enroute toute suite
to Nova Scotia..

Of course the beast will hammer
PEI New Brunswick..
and vent its rage upon Newfie Labrador
Hell, it always does..
but mainstream cares not

Right now its all about Andrew Scheer
the crucifying of Rachael Notely
(for the crime of trying.. & with grace)
speculations on Iran & el bankrupto de tRumpto
he of the big dick nuklear button..

I left off the unfortunate Justin
who dandled a truly unfortunate child
progeny of some a hole who vacationed
his entire family in Iran..
and Justin was was duly photographed doing so..

Meanwhile in Alberta.. or his Toronto head office
Ezra stands accused by his besty Sheila-Gunn-Reid
as not only jewish.. but a 'journalist' (the horror)

Its one of those days, Mound..
when maybe one should be carefree
avoid contact with the real world..
and ingest old Disney cartoons
or Cheers re-runs.. and suck our thumbs..

No.. I wish I owned Post Media
and could headslap other main media
to get their ass in gear..
and venture into the deep waters..
of journalism.. ..
you know..
uh, the concept of informing Canadians
re the 'good night and good luck' aspects...

The Mound of Sound said...

I had that same thought in mind when I wrote this, NPoV. We're not merely living in interesting times. We're trapped in them. This is the early onset stuff, the beginning. We've already loaded more warming into the system with our existing GHG emissions. Now nature is chipping in, adding its own once safely sequestered greenhouse gases.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hey, Sal. As I wrote this I had in mind the last "once in a hundred years" flood that struck Calgary seven years after the previous Biblical inundation and how Harper and his Alberta provincial counterparts all chimed in how "no one could have seen it coming" to absolve themselves all down the line of the slightest accountability.

Recall the 2007-2008 Great Recession. The same refrain, no one could have seen it coming. Except that, like the Calgary floods, there were plenty who saw it coming and shouted their warnings from the rooftops (Rabini, Krugman, Stiglitz among others) but were simply ignored.

Given the potential enormity of the current conditions one ought to expect the political caste to be mobilizing their resources NOW, pre-positioning personnel and supplies in the highest risk areas. The army convoys ought to be loaded, even rolling, if this hellishness is but a day or two away.

From now on any politico who utters the words "no one saw it coming" for any climate change related disaster should be driven from office at the point of the tines of a pitchfork. They're gambling with peoples' lives, usually the poorest and most vulnerable. If our society is to have any cohesive integrity these, the weakest, are those we most need to protect.