Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Climate Change and Extreme Weather

 One effect of climate change is that violent weather will become more common and more severe.  The kind of extreme storms scouring the country right now are consistent with that.  It's not proof, but it is data and it does match the predictions.  Weather has to do with short-term and local events; climate has to do with long-term trends.  So it takes a lot of weather events to map out what the climate is doing.  

Based on my own several decades of observation in central Illinois, I can tell that the climate is changing.  It's been raining today; the fields near our house are flooding again.  That used to happen in early spring, before planting.  Now the spring rains don't come, just an occasional sprinkle -- but sometimes there is enough rain in early summer to cause flooding.  One farmer near us has already had to replant once because the corn sprouts got drowned.  After this week's rain, there will probably be more drowned crops.  This is not good.

Many of our actions as a species are making the Earth a more violent, less hospitable environment.  That means more loss of life, which people fuss over but rarely motivates any changes; and more property damage, which drives people into hysterial outrage and might actually get them off their butts eventually.  You don't like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires flattening your continent? Let's try replanting the forests we've clearcut, restoring the river and marsh systems, and cutting back on fossil fuel emissions.  The first two will restore much-needed buffers, and the latter will slow the rate at which the atmosphere is heating up (and thus fueling nastier storms).  The storms are not random.  They are results of patterns created by a system.  We are messing with it in stupid ways.  That needs to stop.
Tags: nature, news, science
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