Sunday, February 16

Sticky jet stream and persistent weather

Back in 2012 when we last had significant amounts of flooding and weather patterns seem to be stuck for weeks on end, Jennifer Francis a professor at Rutgers University studying Arctic climate put forward the idea that the warming Arctic was forcing the jet stream South and making it stick there.

The type of weather that resulted depended on how far south the jet was pushed. But more importantly the jet was sticking in a relatively fixed position for many weeks or months.

The evidence is growing that the jet is often shifting as a result of the warming Arctic. It's interesting to note that at the time of writing the sea ice extent appears to be heading for a record winter minimum this year (see graph in right hand column).

At the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2014 meeting Jennifer Francis again presented work that shows that as the Arctic gets warmer the temperature difference between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes is reducing, making the jet stream weaker and meander more.

The result... Extreme and persistent weather. The big climate experiment continues. Do you want to continue? You don't have to.

2012 Yale article by Jennifer Francis:
Linking Weird Weather to Rapid Warming of the Arctic

Wavier jet stream means changing weather patterns

Warming Arctic May Be Causing Jet Stream To Lose Its Way

Tuesday, February 11

Ed Miliband - climate change will result in more flooding

BBC Article about Ed Milibands visit to flooded areas:

Labour has been more concerned about the high cost of energy bills than they have about climate change, the slow down in renewable energy support or the watering down of many green policies.

The flooding events have pushed out the election arguments about energy prices and tax increases or tax cuts. When is Miliband going to push climate change and carbon emissions to the front again?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to cut carbon emissions now than to deal with floods on this scale (and worse) on a regular basis in the future?

Meanwhile, globally 2014 could be the warmest on record thanks to ENSO and on Channel 4 News this evening, Nigel Farage said he has no idea if CO2 emissions are responsible for climate change. (or very similar).

Maybe he should spend some time learning about it then? It seems like an important thing for a politician to learn! Or alternatively he should take the majority of scientists support for anthropogenic climate change as fact and develop policies to reduce carbon emissions.

Sunday, February 9

New Fully Charged video - London to Edinburgh in a Nissan Leaf

Met Office Chief Scientist links current storms to climate change

Julia Slingo the Met Office chief scientist has linked current storms across Southern England to anthropogenic climate change.

Which highlights the tragic confusion caused by irresponsible policies that attack the establishment of renewable energy in favour of short term 'get rich quick' schemes involving fossil fuels.
Sadly farmers in Somerset, villagers in Hambledon, and train users in the South West (to name a few) have the idea that flooding, gale force winds and overflowing rivers can be fixed permanently with Environment Agency action and government spending.

The FACT is, these events will not only become normal in the future, but also will become more EXTREME!

In public Julia Slingo and her colleagues have to be very cautious, she knows the truth about climate change and the impacts it will have, but she has to word her public anouncements with care, hence the statement:
"There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events." 
Which is code for 'we believe and worry that climate change is responsible'.

So what can people expect?

Well the Somerset levels and Hambledon village down the road will likely flood more regularly and the flooding will probably more extreme. We either spend ever increasing amounts of money to defend against flooding rivers, rising ground water and sea level rise, or we abandon these places. We also have to cut carbon emissions, beacuse ultimately that is the only lasting solution.

Climate change is going to be hard. Even with defences, some people will have to migrate from flood risk areas and green spaces will have to be built on to accomodate those that have to migrate. If areas do flood regularly then homes should be built that can handle to flooding. People around the world build floating homes or homes on 'stilts'. In order to survive we have to change and adapt.

Blaming the Environment Agency and stirring up trouble won't achieve anything. Ye old cottages and boring boxes are the past as far as housing is concerned.

Monday, February 3

Water, water everywhere

In a time when flooding in Somerset became a 'major incident' we shouldn't forget that it was under 2 years ago that the nation was experiencing major flooding events.

The Environment Minister, Owen Paterson, claims that he is doing everything possible to help those affected by flooding. Well everything accept tackling carbon emissions, which is steadily increasing the probability of being flooded. The reason he has so many problems with flooding and his successor will have flooding and other extreme weather events to deal with in the future, is because many misinformed politicians don't want wind farms in their constituencies. Do they really believe flooded farm land and countryside is more useful than wind farms?

Inland flooding caused by rain and bloated rivers isn't the only problem. The sad fact is that at the end of this century, sea levels will be about 1 metre higher than today because of carbon emissions already in the system and carbon emissions being emitted now. The consequences of this change will be that the coastal towns battered by storms, surges and high tides in the last two months won't just have repairable sea front damage with debris thrown across roads and sea defences dislodged.
Instead, at such times at the end of the century, the sea will infiltrate the towns roads, waves will smash the sea front buildings to pieces and coastal councils will have to manage a dignified retreat. 1 metre may not sound much, but imagine 1 metre higher sea levels on top of the current spate of storm surges and extreme weather. Plus, 1 metre is just the start!

The other flooding problem and one that wasn't expected as much as other types of flooding, is ground water rising and failing to disperse because of persistent rain for weeks and months, on top of record levels of rainful accumulated in previous years. This could be a serious consequence and outcome in the UK as a result of anthropogenic climate change. A bumper UK apple crop this season doesn't compensate much for the loss of apple trees cause by the flood water logging the trees roots and trunks.

Amongst all this, the BBC has failed the nation by not mentioning climate change in the last two months in connection with the flooding and storms. Google 'Climate Change BBC' and the only articles about it since the storms began in December are about Penguins, Prince Charles attack on deniers and Camerons 'suspicions'.

Just down the road - ground water flooding in Hambledon.
Add a metre to this.