(Illustration: ‘California Redwoods3,’ by Will Borden, found here).
Bright sunshine and gusty winds this near-noon Thursday on California’s north coast as we start a decent-sized episode of clear weather, an attitude supposedly to last until at least the middle of next week — according to the WunderBlog‘s weather thingy, the precipitation percentage appears on the flat-line.
Nice time had by all, at least in my little space, and weather-wise. Yet even up here, the future is still to come.
Climate change is not pleasant, and will only get worse. Last week, an analysis by Duke University and New York University reported ‘“virtually all Americans are now experiencing the much milder winters that they typically prefer, and these mild winters have not been offset by markedly more uncomfortable summers or other negative changes,”‘ and this situation creates a ‘“poor source of motivation”‘ in the fight against climate change (the Guardian).
In many places, the creep of climate change has been subtle — however, not so in the US Midwest today with tornadoes (17 twisters reported yesterday), hail, rain, and shit-in-between rolling across a big chunk of ground, and will apparently continue weather-wise in similar fashion.
Severe is the environmental motif, supposedly — from The Conversation, also last week:
The effects of climate change are mainly manifested through changes in extremes, because the biggest impacts, loss of life and damage to property occur especially in those conditions that break records and go beyond previous experience.
But the Egan and Mullin paper does not account adequately for extremes.
Moreover, it should also be noted that people care about weather year-round, not just in January or July.
It is not the number of days with gentle showers that are of concern, but the increasing trend of torrential downpours – as witnessed just this week in Houston, where record-breaking April rains drove devastating floods.
The fact is that over the past century the U.S. has, on average, witnessed a 20 percent increase in the amount of precipitation falling in the heaviest downpours, with a 71 percent increase in the Northeast region and a 37 percent increase in the Midwest.
This surge of extreme precipitation has dramatically increased the risk of flooding, especially in the regions with the largest increases in heavy precipitation.
As detailed above, extreme weather has an outsized impact on everyday life.
Ignoring the impact of extreme weather in determining the trend in “pleasant” weather conditions is, I would argue, nonsensical.
Indeed, the trends in heat waves, drought and extreme precipitation would all seem to indicate that the weather overall has become more unpleasant and difficult to deal with.
And like a lot of shit, when the future arrives for a lot of people will depend upon ‘location, location, location….’