Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Heavy Weather

Climate change and global warming. Many people think we can look forward to more of the same only warmer, and particularly for those of us in the UK the prospect of warmer summers can’t be bad. The truth is that climate change is climate destabilisation, and the experts predict more unusual, more unseasonable and more violent weather.

Are we now seeing the evidence? Across a major part of the United States there are serious droughts. Droughts have gone on for so many years in parts of Australia that the government is planning to evacuate whole communities from areas that have become totally unviable. Then just this week, in the wine-growing Hunter Valley, another part of Australia, there have been torrential storms, flash floods, property damage and fatalities.

Last week there was a cyclone, though in the UK at least we heard little about it. It caused serious property damage and a number of people lost their lives. The scary thing about this cyclone, though, is not that it’s perhaps a bit early but that it occurred not in the US or Australia but in the Persian Gulf. They just don’t get cyclones there, but it tore through Muscat and Oman – you can see pictures of the damage in this blog.

Experts in climate change have mapped the weather over thousands of years, so it’s impossible to say whether the events of the last three or four years are evidence of a new trend. Even so, these storms are not inconsistent with the unpredictable, violent weather that climate change could bring. They may be a taste of things to come!

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