September 27. "2010 was the worst in the history of global observations of the most destructive floods. However, only the first 3 weeks of 2011 have already shown their mega-flood as for the whole year ", — said meteorologist Jeff Masters.
All day I spent on the study of what columnist for The New York Times, Thomas Friedman calls "global meteohaosom": the destabilization of our meteosystems, shakes 3 million tons of emissions that enter the atmosphere, thanks to us the use of natural resources. So, today is a rare day when I was so shocked by a recent report from NASA about the extreme values of rainfall in the past year.
Equally all the locals were in a difficult position because of the abnormally wet and cloudy spring. Even our neighbors from Washington wore rubber boots when the fourth experienced the worst flooding since 1895.
However, we were lucky. We got off easy.
According to this incredible report by NASA, rainfall and snowfall across the planet were so extreme in many areas, with the result that all of this has caused a sharp drop in sea level.
For over a century sea levels have risen steadily since warmer than ever, the ocean water increase and cause the melting of glaciers. In comparison with previous decades the actual increase in sea levels is 2 times faster. On the chart provided by NASA shows that were both increase and decrease, but the 6-mm decrease in the level was recorded only satellite in the past year.
It would seem that 6 mm is not that big figure, but if you collect them from the ocean surface, these amount to 6 mm 26,000 gallons of water per person. (Gallon — a measure of volume approximately equal to 4.55 liters — annotated. Interpreter).
So where all this water gone?
One of the main causes of the phenomenon under discussion is the strongest in recent cyclone — La Niña. La Nina shifted and altered weather models, this cyclone has caused extremely heavy rainfall in places such as India, Pakistan, Australia and northern areas of North and South America.
The following map satellite data from NASA Graham last year the most rainy area marked in blue. In the territories, marked in dark blue, 50 mm of rain fell over the year.
GRACE shows the changes in precipitation for the period from March 2010 to March 2011
These dark blue areas — show the leaders in grand in scale flooding all over the world who are not only deprived tens of millions of people homeless and destroyed agriculture and infrastructure, but also caused a drop in sea level by 6 mm.
Year of record flooding
Last year, 182 floods affected 180 million people, which is almost 2 times more than the annual average for the past decade. Here are some of them:
One-fifth of Pakistan was under water, which is why 20 million people have been forced to move, cause flooding — abnormal in duration monsoon rains.
140 million Chinese suffered due to several weeks of severe flooding and a record landslide occurred.
"The Biblical Flood" in Australia covered area, the area of which is equal to the total size of France and Germany combined. Over the past 111 years in Australia had the wettest spring in some areas of the country the water rose to 4 feet. At one point, the level of annual rainfall of 6 inches for some half an hour, in a different city for a day has dropped 14 inches.
The unprecedented flooding in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Series of record-breaking storms — "Snow Armageddon" — brought snow part of Canada and the United States. When it all melted, the entire middle stripe U.S. was flooded. Major General Michael Walsh of the Engineering Division of the U.S. Army complains: "Who would I tell, everything from boaters, workers, scientists, engineers, and ending with the truck drivers, everyone said the same thing:" I have not even thought of, that I will be a witness so severe flooding. "
During the 300 years of observations crowded Manitoba after the rapid spring snowmelt and heavy rains led Assiniboine River to a record high floods.
For the first time in 1,000 years Tennessee caused flooding of Nashville. Only 2 days dropped 15 inches of rain (about 420 billion gallons).
Over the past 500 years, North Carolina suffered violent downpour, when 3 days dropped 19 inches of rain. Over 500 years of history this is the second such downpour, and the first was 11 years ago.
Giant hail. Seven U.S. states have set their records compared to South Dakota, which for the time was recorded maximum hail diameter: 8 inches (Inch is approximately 2.54 cm — annotated. Interpreter). This hailstone fell July 23, 2010 How much time was high energy storm that eventually fell a hail!
The worst natural disaster in the history of Brazil, occurred within 1 day. Heavy rain caused flooding in Rio de Janeiro, many landslides resulted in the deaths of residents in densely populated areas. Only a few hours hit 12 inches of rain in some parts of Brazil.
Exhausted by heavy rains Bolivia also affected by the floods and landslides.
Columbia, which is almost 11 months experienced the incessant rains, which exceeded the intensity of normal rainfall of 5-6. Millions of victims and billions of losses. The President of Colombia said it this way: "In the history of our country has not been anything like it." Managing for Regional Development of the country Gabriela Bucher assessed the incident as follows: "Some areas of the country were thrown in the development of 15-20 years ago."
The role of global warming
Could these recent extreme events occur without our CO2 emissions? NASA's chief climate scientist James Hansen says, "Almost certainly not."
Dr. Kevin Trenberth — head of the Department on Climatic Analysis of the National Center for Atmospheric Research explains in a blog Joe Romm (Joe Romm — a member of the Clinton administration — annotated. Interpreter)
"This is not quite the right questions to ask, is the result of a storm of global warming or it is an example of natural variation. At the moment, there are reasons to take into account the fact … and more systematic influence on all of these weather events are having such a fact as the emergence of steam (or vapor) in the atmosphere, were talking about 30 years ago. This is about 4% of what is necessary for the generation of the storm, which can provide the moisture content, and unfortunately, the public does not view this as a manifestation of climate change. "
Meteorologist and longtime hunter hurricane Jeff Masters said Joe Romm:
"In my thirty years of working meteorologist I have never seen such a strange weather in 2010 overwhelmingly Those extremes I witnessed was make me worry: our climate is showing the first signs of instability."
One of the world-famous companies engaged in the secondary insurance — Munich Re (Munich Re — German reinsurance company, one of the leaders of the insurance market and the leader — the global reinsurance market in the beginning of the XXI century — annotated. Interpreter) Stated the following:
"… It would seem that the only plausible explanation of the increase in the number meteokatastrof is climate change … In general, across the planet, 2010 was the warmest year in the last 130 years of observations, the strong temperature increase was particularly noticeable in the last 12 years. A warmer atmosphere, plus the high temperature of the sea water together can have a significant effect.
Professor Peter Hoepp, head of Geo Risk Research of Munich Re: "What would happen if a change in the mechanism of formation of the weather. If you do not attach importance to the amount of carbon dioxide emissions, the future generation will have hard times. "
In a recent issue of the magazine "The Economist", a summary of the fact that the climate is changing much faster than even the gloomiest scenario, calculated by climate models, "When reality is changing faster than it should be as theory suggests, there is a concern in this case is fully justified. "
Craig Fyugeyt — the head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, put it more precisely: "The phrase" Once in a hundred years "- has lost its original meaning."
So: what do we have?
Well, according to the progress report from NASA: "… running water from the mountains and extra rain will eventually find their way to the sea. When this happens, the sea level will rise again. We heat the planet, and in the end it means even greater increase in the level of the sea. "
What happens in the environment and how quickly — depends on us. We — the people — are actually concerned about this question: Burn or not to burn?
Option 1: Leave alone forever minerals.
Option 2: Keep doing what you are doing now, dig up and burn to the latest "crumbs" all hydrocarbons.
Climatology clearly lets us know, and we are ready to understand that with the further burning of minerals, we can not count on a fairly stable weather that gives us our well-being.
In the words of Nobel Peace Prize winner and world-renowned climate scientist Andrew Weaver, in an interview with UBC, only reducing the amount of emissions we can avoid a dangerous rise in temperature by more than 2 degrees. We have to completely stop future releases.
Weaver has shown that even if humanity will cease to burn 90 percent of the minerals used today, the remaining 10 percent is enough to "warm up" the planet by 2050, more than 2 degrees. Humanity is entering a period of dangerous and abrupt climate changes that we should still be avoided, as stated by Canada, the United States and other leading nations of the world.
As summed up by Weaver: "We should be able to stop in time."
This means that in Canada, the government will have to take responsibility for avoiding the use of minerals such as coal, oil, natural gas, once and for all. It also means that we and our business will have to abandon the use of clean-burning natural resources.
What we are doing right now — it is our choice at the moment — is to burn everything. We have absolutely no restrictions, plans for any of our existing minerals. Weaver was asked to assess the current state of our politics over the state of the climate. He replied: "I will be brief. And things are there. " Instead of taking action, we have been leaders in the movement of the side more than ever unpredictable and extreme weather.
Meteorologist Masters: "I suspect that crazy weather in 2010 after 10 years to become the norm, as the climate is trying to preserve the stability, taking into account the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Forty years later, in 2010 the weather will be bearable. We have bequeathed to our children a future with a radically changed climate, where will regularly be unprecedented and highly destructive to many corners of the planet's weather patterns. This year — only the beginning. "
Hansen — expert on climate of the Earth and Venus — indicates a more convincing for us warning. In the face of continued political inaction to address the threat of climate stability, he calculated that the Earth's climate may repeat what once happened to our sister — Venus — a huge greenhouse effect will cause the "boil" the oceans and destroy life on the planet:
"I have come to warn you that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas and coal, we have a" good "chance to arrange the global greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and shale, I am fully confident in the appearance of the syndrome of Venus. "
Our Canadian government is currently using our tax dollars to the vigorous development of the tar sands under the banner of "ethical oil" (More info about the term «ethical oil» can be read
Hansen, who was arrested along with the other more than 1,200 other participants, to protest against the active mining tar sands to the market, said:
"You can avoid climate tipping points, but only when the rapid and progressive reduction in the use of mineral resources and the lack of development of non-conventional resources. If the government will continue to develop "non-traditional" (we are talking about the tar sands) resources, then either it does not understand anything, or just does not care about the future of our children. "
He has repeatedly said that if we fully utilize our unconventional tar sands, it means an end to all hopes of saving the climate.
From this point of view, climatology argues that a truly "ethical oil" — oil left in the ground forever.
Translation: Anna Krasnov