There is no better cartoon than this one by Stan Cross, first published in Australia in 1933, to illustrate the seriousness of our predicament and the stupidity of our leaders at present while being faced by global warming. Here we are 80 years later, still clowning around...
BASIC GUS METEOROLOGY with added pinch of global warming...
There are several weather patterns in the northern part of the northern hemisphere, not quite the same to the weather patterns in the Antarctic ocean (mostly due to the absence of land masses). But similar principles apply: A LOW usually brings rain and strong anti-clockwise winds in the Northern Hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, a low brings rain and clockwise winds. A strong low (depression) can bring not quite-hurricane force winds, though the wind can sustain for much longer than hurricane winds. Lows (called depression in the northern hemisphere) and highs (called anticyclones in the northern hemisphere) ALWAYS travel from west to east...
Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones MOSTLY travel in the opposite direction, FROM EAST TO WEST (with an away-from-the-equator tendency), yet spin in the same directions as lows — influenced by the Coriolis effect, like lows.
Hurricane, typhoon and cyclone are three names defining the SAME phenomenon in different parts of the world. They are deep weather "eddies" formed OVER tropical waters where the centre is often clear of cloudy moisture despite being of low pressure. Tropical hurricane Sandy became a LOW (depression) when it started to hug the US coast, moving north-eastwards, until it was "sucked up" by a huge cold front and moved back inland, like a hurricane does in tropical latitude, though Sandy (as a low) was already much further north than the "normal" reach of hurricanes.
About three weeks ago, after a heat wave in Europe in early October (32 degrees Celsius on the French Riviera) I was soon advised that strong glacial winds were coming in from the north. This was due to a northerly anticyclone (high pressure system) on the north Atlantic picking up warm oceanic air and dumping it on the Arctic, while in return it picked up cold polar air and dumped it on Europe, all in a clockwise fashion... Usually the dominant anticyclone in the mid northern Atlantic hovers above the Azores Islands — with variations due to the seasons.
The strong difference of weather potential started to indicate more powerful weather systems than "normal". The "St Jude storm" is one of the effect...
Presently there is a strong depression forming in the north Atlantic with very strong westerly winds between 50 and 55 degrees N. This strong low will hit Europe (London) around the 3rd of November. If you live in Europe and especially England, be prepared for a second whammy. About 95 per cent chance.
It is likely that there will be more powerful storms (storms of the century now happening every five years) in Europe around the solstice in December and around the equinox in March.
Global warming is increasing the potential of such storms. make no mistake about this. The usual exchanges between the polar regions and the tropical regions is being accelerated by steeper temperature gradients, not discounting the jet streams in this process.
In Australia, we often get the "high bubble effect" during El Nino. A high can nearly stay put above the centre and then move quickly to be replaced by a new high... with trough and low in between. The weather along the coast is also influenced by the southern ocean, which for all intent and purposes is warming up, like most oceans around the globe. Seasons of course have their own influences.
Today for example there is a string of highs north of the southern oceans while a couple of lows are sitting, "monsoon-like", above Broome and Darwin... But these lows are relatively high compare to the low above Sydney, thus the hot wind will flow along a trough from inland towards the south and east (Brisbane) to be stopped around Coffs Harbour by a cooler wind coming from the west south west brought in counter clockwise by the high in the Great Australian Bight (GAB).
Sydney:Tuesday: Partly cloudy. The chance of showers and thunderstorms until later tonight. Winds W/SW 15 to 20 km/h turning S 30 to 45 km/h later this morning then decreasing to 15 to 25 km/h in the late evening.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy. Winds S/SW 20 to 30 km/h turning E/SE 15 to 20 km/h during the day.
Thursday: Patchy morning fog.
Here we can clearly see the influence of the High in the GAB...
So where does global warming come in?
It may seem like business as usual but it is not. Extreme weather patterns are going to become (have already become) the norm. In Europe, storms of the century are now storms of the decades, and this year it is likely there will be at least four storms of the century... I could be wrong, though the indicators are there...
In Australia, global warming increases the dry and the heat. It increases the wet and the wind depending on the weather "system" (low or high) we're in. During "unsettled" weather, it has less of an impact, though it can accelerate changes.
By 2038, as calculated by some progressive scientists using many existing computer models, Sydney's weather will change DRAMATICALLY. The world weather patterns will change dramatically by 2047. Can this really happen? Can we cope? Do we understand???? There is 95 per cent chance that these scientists are CORRECT. So what do we do?
What does this mean?... my guess is as good as mine...
Most likely there will be a sudden widening of the tropical banding. Over a couple of years, Sydney's weather becomes like Brisbane's, as well as retaining its unusual Sydney unique hotter days (45 now turning into 50 degrees Celsius in the shade, by 2038). Tropical cyclones could reach as low as Woolongong. Tropical cyclones could be far more frequent. What does this really mean? From now, the damage bill will increase about 15 per cent from year to year with more bushfires, more storms damage, flash floods, long lasting floods and long lasting searing dry — this till about 2038. Then the damage bill WILL DOUBLE every year, not because of the price of fish but because of the doubling of damage... including more deaths. Water spouts in Sydney Harbour, Tornadoes like never before at the juncture of highs and lows...
You think I am kidding, don't you?...
Anyway, we need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions and the only way is to INCREASE THE CARBON PRICING on all carbon usage, not just on power stations. Cars, planes need to be severely hit. In Switzerland the cost of the carbon pricing on car fuel is around $70 per tonne of carbon. We need to hit $200 per tonnes of carbon on ALL carbon usage by 2018.
Tony Abbott is a dangerous idiot.
By the year 2047 the mean air temperature around the planet will shift completely out of the range seen in recent history. From that point on, even a cold year will be warmer than any warm year from 1860 to 2005 if nations continue to emit carbon dioxide the way they do now. And the new extreme temperatures—the new normal—will first occur not in the Arctic but in the tropics, where people, plants and wildlife are least equipped to adapt. That disquieting analysis comes from a massive new study led by Camilo Mora at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, published today in Nature. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)
The report begins with the recognition that the annual mean global air temperature fluctuates from year to year, even though it has been climbing overall since the industrial revolution began. If the world does nothing new, then the temperature by 2047 will exceed even the highest annual temperature from 1860 to 2005. If the world aggressively cuts back on emissions, then the date at which the temperature fully departs from modern history will be delayed until 2069. Mora and his colleagues crunched data from 39 different climate models that feed two future scenarios: business as usual (leading to the 2049 date) and aggressive mitigation (the 2069 date). The same two scenarios are cornerstones of the new climate assessment released two weeks ago by the International Panel on Climate Change.
This is the real McCoy. Tony Abbott is a dangerous idiot.