Extreme weather events Cucumber and Courgette continue on the US west coast and in England, respectively. Climate conferees agree — just barely. November global temperatures rise (Surprise!). And the weather pattern is about to change — again. Let’s go Around the World.
Extreme Weather Event Cucumber Still Going Strong
The rain, wind, snow event on the West Coast, which Decoded Science has named Cucumber, will continue for at least another week with several more blasts off the Pacific Ocean.
Though repeated flowering of the plant will not produce a blossom as large as last week’s record-breaker, wind and mudslides will accompany more drought-alleviating rain near the coast and snow in the mountains.
Cucumber produced a tornado in Los Angeles — a rare but not unheard-of phenomenon for Southern California.
This was the most powerful twister in the L.A. area in thirty-one years. The tornado was rated EF0, lowest on the Enhanced Fujita scale with winds between 65 and 85 miles per hour — but it still managed to rip roofs off houses.
Extreme Weather Event Courgette Is Dormant But Still Alive
The weather pattern that brought fierce winds to Ireland and the UK is still in place, with a powerful jet stream across the northeast Atlantic Ocean and into western Europe. As with Cucumber, the first fruit was the biggest; there is currently a respite from the bad weather, but more wind and rain are on the way for late in the week.
Climate Talks End On A Note Of Minimal Harmony
After two weeks, all that the climate talks in Peru could produce was an agreement so watered down that it is mostly water. Cross-currents of discontent swirled through the conference like low pressure centers in the atmosphere; in the end, only a last-minute change of language prevented the whole thing from being a complete flop.
Still, if nothing else was accomplished, the conference made clear the contentious matters which delegates must confront and hopefully overcome at next year’s conference in Paris, which may be the last chance to prevent an atmospheric cataclysm.
To put the main point tersely: Who will be allowed to pollute how much? On one side are the developed countries — how much will they have to cut emissions? On the other side are developing countries: How much will they be allowed to increase emissions?
The agreement reached requires — though without enforcement — each country to submit a plan for curbing emissions. There will be no comparison of the plans (this was the final stumbling block before passage), just a tally of the accumulated numbers.
Humanity has dithered about climate change since the first hopeful meeting in Kyoto in 1997.
Decoded Science’s summation of the situation is this: Everybody knows we’re headed for a climatological train wreck. Everybody has a stake in the solution, but nobody wants to sacrifice any more than the next guy. And each has his own notion of what ‘sacrifice’ should mean. It will take either a miracle or heroic acts of statesmanship for conferees to get an agreement in Paris that has any chance of preventing irreversible climate change.
Record Temperatures Reported In Much Of The US — Mostly Record High Minimums
Temperature records have been broken in the last couple of days, as warm air ahead of Cucumber invaded the plains and midwest. The records were almost exclusively new high minimum temperatures, and this is a trend that should continue.
As the earth warms, the atmosphere can hold more moisture, so cloudiness will increase. Clouds are opaque to electromagnetic radiation in both the visible and microwave portions of the spectrum. Much of the radiation is reflected back to where it came from.
At night, clouds reflect the earth’s radiation (mainly microwave) back to the ground and that keeps the temperatures warm near the surface; high minimum temperatures are the result. In the daytime, clouds block the sun’s radiation (primarily visible) and depress the daytime temperatures, so fewer maximum temperature records are set.
2014 Poised To Become The Hottest Year Ever
The National Climatic Data Center has released a summary of November global land and sea temperatures. The combined global temperature for November was the seventh warmest on record, led by a new record for sea surface temperatures. The year to date is the warmest ever recorded for combined land and sea temperature, and the full year is virtually certain to break the old record.
The full report will be released tomorrow, and Decoded Science will have a complete analysis.
The Jet Stream Pattern Changes — Again
There are now signs that the weather pattern which has produced Cucumber will change in about ten days.
The new pattern will just be same old, same old: A ridge over the west coast and a trough in the center and east of the US.
The strong jet stream over Europe looks like it will hold on a while longer, but one fold in the jet stream usually begets another, so a return to a generally warm pattern is likely.
Look around. What’s the weather like where you are?