The rainfall off last weekend’s deluge, though won’t stop the drought conditions, did give California’s communities a reprieve for awhile, but the months-long high-pressure system just off the coast, which has blocked weather systems from the northern region of the state, is reportedly in the rebuilding stage after weakening the past few days.
Weather service forecaster Steve Anderson: “Any storm that is riding over that high pressure will just graze us and move to the north.”
And we’re back to where we was.
Except maybe later this year — an El Niño alarm has been sparked, which if occurred, would rain-soak California, but fuck-up the rest of the Pacific basin, and maybe the world.
(Illustration: Salvador Dali’s ‘Alice,’ found here).
During the last El Niño event in 1997-98, I was then living about half a block from the Pacific Ocean in Pismo Beach, located on California’s central coast — we had water spouts, hard-driving wind and rain, and was just a turbulent weather period. A lot of rain, though. If this one happens as predicted this year, it will most-likely make 2015 the hottest year ever.
From Climate Central:
The study, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, builds on research put forward in 2013 that first proposed a new long-range El Niño prediction method.
Although they occur in the equatorial tropical Pacific Ocean, the effects of El Niño events can reverberate around the globe, wreaking havoc with typical weather patterns.
El Niños increase the likelihood for California to be pummeled by Pacific storm systems, for example, while leaving eastern Australia at greater risk of drought.
Because they are characterized by higher than average sea surface temperatures in the equatorial tropical Pacific Ocean, and they add heat to the atmosphere, El Niño events also tend to boost global average temperatures.
By acting in concert with manmade greenhouse gases, which are also warming the planet, calendar years featuring a strong El Niño event, such as 1998, can more easily set all-time high temperature records.
Some researchers, however, are skeptical of the new study:
While the the study claims to be more definitive than other forecasts, projections derived from ocean- and statistically-based models from the National Weather Service and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at Columbia University already show increasing odds, to the tune of twice the average risk, of an El Niño starting in the late summer or early fall as well.
Another one of those ‘wait and see‘ narratives.
In climate change, though, we just ain’t got the time.
And in a related note from my post yesterday on environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book, ‘The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History‘ and how we’re in the last round-up for earth creatures, is a new report on one of those extinctions, which happened in ‘a blink of an eye, from a geologic perspective.’
Via Science 2.0:
Multiple hypotheses have tried to determine the cause of what’s now known as the end-Permian extinction, including everything from an asteroid impact to massive volcanic eruptions and a cataclysmic cascade of environmental events.
“We’ve got the extinction nailed in absolute time and duration,” says Sam Bowring, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at MIT.
“How do you kill 96 percent of everything that lived in the oceans in tens of thousands of years?
“It could be that an exceptional extinction requires an exceptional explanation.”
“It is clear that whatever triggered extinction must have acted very quickly,” says lead author and graduate student Seth Burgess, “fast enough to destabilize the biosphere before the majority of plant and animal life had time to adapt in an effort to survive.”
In my strained, bloodshot eyes, the biggest fright of global warming/climate change is that despite all the scientists and all their research, they really don’t have a grip on what’s happening to our planet — oh, yeah, temperatures are up, pole-ice melting, trees dying, animals re-locating, whatnot and whatnot. All of it shitty, but not all of it understood in its total consequences.
And how quickly the shit is approaching, and we’re standing naked in the rain.
A puzzle blowing up your ass:
Mad Hatter: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”
“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
“No, I give it up,” Alice replied: “What’s the answer?”
“I haven’t the slightest idea,” said the Hatter.
Just first, “drink me,” then “eat me,” and bingo!