Saturday December 28th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: My Top Ten Climate Crisis Event List For The 2010s
Dear Diary. As the last few days of this decade wind down I will be presenting some top ten climate and weather lists. Usually these highlight tragedies incurred during the course of X number of years, but I have thought to include some hopeful items on my own list for the 2010s:
1. Amazon fires of 2019. Was this tipping point factor breached such that the Amazon becomes a net heat emitter due to the release of stored carbon rather than a factor that cools the climate? We will find out soon during the 2020s. Suffice it to say, beyond any one tragedy that directly took human life during the 2010s, we will look back on the destructive Amazonian fires of the 2010s as something that wrecked the climate and was indirectly responsible for more deaths in the years to come.
2. Greta Thunburg galvanizes youth from 2018 through 2019. My heart sings looking at all of the climate strike marches and protests caused by this one young Swedish woman. Greta will be a leader of her generation for years to come and perhaps be the one person that we can look back on in time when action was desperately needed to save our climate. Yes, there is hope.
3. Hurricane Sandy from 2012. This one event for the Northeast that occurred near Halloween proved that deadly organized tropical events can occur out of season and in traditional metropolitan areas not susceptible to hurricanes during cooler months in our warming world.
4. CO2 levels as measured from Mauna Loa ratchet upward from about 390 parts per million in 2010 to 413 parts per million as 2019 ends. That’s an increase of approximately 2.5 ppm per year. I don’t see any substantial decrease in this rate of rise during this decade, unfortunately.
5. The Paris Accords were ratified in 2015 giving us hope that nations can come together to mitigate carbon pollution. As the decade comes to a close the Paris Accords seem to be hanging together by a thread looking at what happened in Madrid, and will definitely hinge upon the U.S. elections of 2020.
6. Ominous decline in Arctic ice. Again, we may have crossed a tipping point here. As 2019 ends Alaska and much of the Arctic are experiencing unprecedented warmth leading to permafrost melt, yet another tipping point factor. The ice’s higher albedo is sorely needed to keep our planet cool.
7. The Australian heat wave and fires of 2019. Australia more than any other continent saw a meteoric rise in temperature during the decade. People from that country are looking to their political leadership for change, but stubbornly not much is forthcoming as the decade ends.
8. Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria from 2017. Lumped together these three monstrous hurricanes from one season in one ocean basin were an ominous sign of things to come as sea surface temperatures continue to rise.
9. The heat waves of 2010. The start of the decade saw extraordinary heat across most of the Northern Hemisphere. The most significant heat was centered over Russia and Eastern Europe. Moscow got up to 100.8°F on July 10th. In the United States there were widespread records and power grid outages that summer.
10. The European heat waves of 2019. Hundreds of people perished this summer as eye opening heat waves developed in Europe. Paris hit an all-time record of 108.7°C on July 25th.
Drop me a line if you think my writing needs revising or if I have made a big omission on this subjective list. Perhaps I should have included the rise of renewables this decade somewhere on the list giving us all more hope. If I live to see the end of 2029 I hope to put renewables at the top of my list for the 2020s. That’s something that we can all raise a glass to as the 2010s end.
Here is more climate and weather news from Saturday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)
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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”