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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/12/20

Global Warming - Past as Prologue to Future

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Author 500573
Message Arshad M Khan

(Jointly authored with Meena Miriam Yust)

If the vice-presidential debate lacked direction, hurricane Delta did not. It slammed into the Louisiana coast as a Category 2 causing widespread damage with its 100-mph winds, then continued inland as a Category 1 storm. If Delta sounds like an unusual name for a hurricane, it is.

The World Meteorological Organization has a list from A to W of 21 potential storm names. The letters Q, W, X, Y and Z are omitted. In all there are six lists meaning that the 2020 list will be repeated in 2026.

Using names for storms facilitates identification in communications when compared to the prior method using latitude and longitude particularly when the storm itself is moving.

So here we are in 2020 with 25 storms so far. The residents on the Louisiana coast have had a double whammy with hurricane Laura slamming them earlier in the last week of August. It was a deadly Category 4 with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Just 7 mph short of a Category 5 (the deadliest), Laura was only the fourth Category 4 to strike Louisiana since records were kept.

In addition to the numbers of storms, there are other climate anomalies. September this year has been the hottest on record and Death Valley reached a temperature of 130 F (54.4 C), the highest ever observed. September 2019 in turn had also been the hottest on record for our planet.

If there are storms along the coasts and flooding due to a warming ocean, inland it is not only warmer but drier. Forests are like tinder needing only a lightning spark or a downed electricity line to set them off. Thus the forest fires in southeastern Australia and California.

Europe too is warmer. Forest fires particularly in the south, and inundation are more frequent. Reading in England for example has just suffered the wettest 48 hours ever.

The south of France, usually associated with blissful weather, experienced torrential downpours with more than a half meter of rain (about 20 inches) in a day. It was an event Meteo-France noted that occurs once in a hundred years. And then it happened again. Storm Alex, the cause of this misery, hit France and also Italy and England. Floods and landslides caused serious damage north of Nice destroying roads, bridges and houses. In adjoining Italy a section of a bridge over the Sesia river collapsed in the rising waters. Affecting the Piedmont, Lombardy and Liguria regions, it dropped over 23 inches (0.63 m) of rain. The Po river rose more than 9 ft (3 m ) in 24 hours.

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Arshad M Khan is a former Professor. Educated at King's College London, Oklahoma State University and the University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. He was elected a Fellow of the (more...)
 
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