Politics of Weather

September 2, 2016

Dali-31-giants-la-jolla-jewelryFoggy and chilly this early Friday on California’s north coast — to the east, sunshine occasionally acts like it’s burning through the gray, but the little-dab of bright fades quickly away into a deep-shade of pale.

Mundane, but easy weather here, while back east in the stomping ground of my youth, Hurricane Hermine is creating havoc — weather on the boil.
And a major new analysis reveals the politics of our environment, where ‘extreme weather’ has become the norm, makes this election year a watershed moment: ‘“Whether, and how, individual Americans vote this November may well be the most consequential climate-related decision most of them will have ever taken,” the authors conclude.’

Not only are we fighting the elements, but we also have to contend with the pure-assholes fighting against reality…

The new study examined Gallup polling data on climate change — Gallup has been checking voters on the issue since 2001 — and in that year, 53 percent of Republican said global warming was caused by humans, compared with 70 percent of Democrats.
Meanwhile, 15 years later, only 43 percent of Republican voters accepts climate change is human-caused, 84-percent of Democrats.
Via DeSmogBlog last Wednesday:

The analysis is published in the respected journal Environment and comes from sociologists Associate Professor Aaron McCright of Michigan State University, Professor Riley Dunlap of Oklahoma State University, and PhD researcher Jerrod Yarosh also at Oklahoma.
The researchers found the widest gaps between Democrats and Republicans come when they are asked about the causes of climate change and if the media exaggerates the seriousness of the issue.
While virtually all climate scientists and the world’s leading scientific academies have long agreed that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change, only about half Republicans accept the science.
A Republican controlled Congress, the article says, would be a “huge step backward in our nation’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” and could also undermine international cooperation, especially if Republican nominee Donald Trump won the Presidency.

Weather patterns, however, don’t do politics.
Another study brings climate change and weather into focus — from GeoSpace yesterday:

The simultaneous occurrence of warm winters in the West and cold winters in the East has significantly increased in recent decades. The damaging and costly phenomenon is very likely attributable to human-caused climate change, according to a new study.
This past July was the hottest single month in Earth’s recorded history, but warming isn’t the only danger climate change holds in store.
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the simultaneous occurrence of extremely cold winter days in the Eastern United States and extremely warm winter days in the West.
Human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are likely driving this trend, researchers report in the new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

And even the cold is hotter:

“What we’ve found is that this particular atmospheric configuration connects the cold extremes in the East to the occurrence of warm extremes in the West,” said Deepti Singh, a former graduate student in Diffenbaugh’s research group now at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and lead author of the new study.
Despite long-term warming across most of the globe, some regions can experience colder than normal temperatures associated with anomalous circulation patterns that drive cold air from the poles to the mid-latitudes.
In fact, circulation patterns that facilitate such extremes are potentially a response to enhanced warming, the study’s authors point out.
“Although the occurrence of cold extremes is often used as evidence to dismiss the existence of human-caused global warming, our work shows that the warm West, cool East trend is actually consistent with the influence of human activities that have modified Earth’s climate in recent decades,” Singh said.

Humanity is most-likely fucked…

(Illustration above: Salvador Dali’s woodcut, ‘Hell Canto 24 – Giants,’  found here).

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