‘Absolute Bedlam’

November 11, 2013

2010HanClear, but cold and chilly this way-too-early Monday here on California’s north coast — the weather is pointing in the right direction.
Winter’s on the way, or something else, more weird.

An environment that’s changing is bringing together unlikely peoples. A few days ago, two people were attacked by polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, mainly due to climate change, which is “…creating a desperate situation for the bears.”

And it should create a ‘desperate situation‘ for us humans: “There are too many people dead,” said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. “We have bodies in the water, bodies on the bridges, bodies on the side of the road.” (via CNN)
This off the horror of Typhoon Haiyan, considered the biggest storm ever, which hit the Philippines on Friday.

And a reminder life is going to get even more ‘desperate.’

(Illustration found here).

Officials figure at least 10,000 dead in one city alone with the count expected to go much higher — authorities can’t even get into some parts of the stricken areas due to the damage.
From the BBC:

A huge international relief effort is under way, but rescue workers have struggled to reach some towns and villages cut off since the storm.
“There’s an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction,” Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross, told the BBC.
“It’s absolute bedlam right now, but hopefully it will turn out better as more and more supplies get into the area.”
“The situation is bad: the devastation has been significant.
“In some cases the devastation has been total,” Secretary to the Cabinet Rene Almendras told a news conference.

Haiyan struck northern Vietnam on Sunday, but was by then down to a Category 1 storm with winds of a lowly 85 mph — winds were estimated to be near 200 mph when it smashed into the Philippines.

As if on cue, the UN’s latest round of international climate conferences starts today in Warsaw, Poland, but not much is expected this time around, again. But events on the other side of the world plays a ‘desperate‘ part:

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres told the opening session on Monday that “it is time to go the extra mile” and guarantee greater climate security for the generations to come.
She said a “sobering reality” fact came in the form of Typhoon Haiyan, which took thousands of lives when it hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Friday.

But don’t know if ‘reality’ is real to a lot of folks, but to Filipinos, it truly is true.
Via the Guardian:

“We cannot sit and stay helpless staring at this international climate stalemate. It is now time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway,” said Yeb Sano, head of the government’s delegation to the UN climate talks, in an article for the Guardian, in which he challenged climate sceptics to “get off their ivory towers” to see the impacts of climate change firsthand.
Sano, whose family comes from the devastated town of Tacloban where the typhoon Haiyan made landfall on Friday, said that countries such as the Philippines did not have time to wait for an international climate deal, which countries have agreed to reach in Paris in 2015.
“What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness,” he told delagates from 190 countries, as UN climate negotiations get underway for a fortnight today in Warsaw.
“The climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw.
Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action..
“Science tells us that simply, climate change will mean more intense tropical storms.
As the Earth warms up, that would include the oceans.
The energy that is stored in the waters off the Philippines will increase the intensity of typhoons and the trend we now see is that more destructive storms will be the new norm.”

However, even the ‘realists’ are pandering — from the same Guardian piece:

Separately, youth climate campaigners at the summit criticised Figueres for agreeing to give a speech at a coal conference that is taking place on the sidelines of the UN talks.
Sierra Student Coalition delegate Ashok Chandwaney said: “The secretary’s decision to engage with the coal industry ignores the reality that by attending their summit as a keynote speaker, she is legitimising their presence and succumbing to their far-reaching influence on the UNFCCC process.”

Coal and climate — WTF!

Despite it all, a warming earth will effect/affect future storms — can’t be helped.
Sort of, the proof is in the pudding:

A lack of data on tropical cyclones has made it difficult for scientists to determine whether global warming is already affecting major storms, with only North Atlantic data on hurricanes considered robust enough over decades to identify trends.
Research, though, indicates that while there may be fewer tropical cyclones in the future, their intensity will increase.
A peer-reviewed report in Nature Geoscience published in 2010 by a team including Australia’s Dr John McBride, found that models indicate a shift towards stronger storms in the future.
“Existing modelling studies … consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6 to 34 per cent,” the report said.
“Balanced against this, higher-resolution modelling studies typically project substantial increases in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of 20 per cent in the precipitation rate within 100 kilometres of the storm centre.”
Since the atmosphere can hold 4 to 8 per cent more water per degree of warming, scientists say rain events have the potential to get more extreme, including cyclones.
The risk is for intense rainfall and flooding when they hit land and drop their water as rainfall increases with global warming, Professor Steffen said.
“They’re packing more punch in terms of the wind and also the water vapour or rain that they are carrying.”
Much of the devastation in typhoons comes with the related storm surge.
Since climate change is already raising sea levels, the risk for severe inundation is also increasing, Dr Steffen said.

A ‘desperate‘ plea for less ‘absolute bedlam.’


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