Climate change is a huge topic at the moment. It will probably be a persistent conversation into the next decade. Aside from the difference of opinion – or the ignorance of the science – there is one thing that is undeniable. CRAZY WEATHER we’re having, huh? Well, let’s just talk about some of that crazy weather for a moment, shall we?
Let’s talk about the fires first.
It has been hot this year. 2017 has seen record high temperatures as well as record days of no rain. You’ve seen the reaction to what little rain has happened, people rejoice in it. But the truth is, a greater part of the continent is on fire, and it is hard to recall a time in living memory that it has been this bad. While our hearts go out to those attempting to stop the blaze, we can’t neglect the evidence, the weather has been hotter and dryer than what we’re used to and as such we shouldn’t be surprised that wildfires are raging.
Now, let’s discuss the hurricanes
As I type this, Irma has made its second landfall on Florida, with sustained winds up to 120 mph. Over the course of the last week it has devastated the Caribbean, including the private island of Richard Branson – the mogul behind Virgina America, Virgin Galactic, and so much more.
Irma isn’t the only hurricane in the recent past that has devastated the continent. Hurricane Harvey is still a major problem for the inhabitants of Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas. You’ve probably heard the testimonials and most likely seen the photos but let’s take a look at the aftermath just to keep the thought fresh in your mind’s eye.
A recent article posted by Time links the increasingly warm temperatures with the increasing intensity of these last two hurricanes. A warmer atmosphere means a warmer ocean, which in turn makes for a stronger hurricane due to the additional capacity for moisture. How do we end up with a warmer atmosphere? For the answer to that you have to look towards the data of the past few decades. It all points to one thing, climate change.
Yes, there is a difference between weather and climate. Weather is what’s happening right now and climate is weather data and tracking that takes decades to calculate. What we’re seeing is exactly that, a climate in flux because of humanity’s neglect over the course of decades. We need to grasp the severity of the situation and understand the truth. Hurricanes and wildfires are not always our fault, but the blame for their increasing intensity, that falls squarely on our shoulders.