Wednesday, February 10, 2010

East Coast blizzards and "The Purification": Global Warming?

Global warming anybody? I grew up in the DC area, and it’s amazing that Washington DC right now leads Buffalo and Syracuse for snow this winter.

The explanation is supposed to be an El Nino pattern (although usually El Nino winters are milder). This time, Pacific currents somehow drag down the jet stream over the eastern half of the country, setting it up for repeated Nor’easters when other storms hit the Atlantic. So rather than “Lake Effect” snow you get “Atlantic Effect snow”. The storms draw in so much moisture that they tend to backfill as moving away, leading to prolonged accumulations. We sit around like Noah’s kids, waiting for the sun to appear indicating the end of the flood.

Successive blizzards in a milder climate area brings up notions of The Purification. They can become positively dangerous. Remember movies like “Ice” and “The Day After Tomorrow”? If we destroy our planet, maybe some week there will be a succession of events that makes a lot of us intellectuals useless. Global warming can certainly make the storms more violent.

But there are a lot of possible calamities we can do nothing about so far. How about the Cumbre Vieja Volcano letting loose an underwater landside that sets up a 300 foot high tsunami on the East Coast? How about the Yellowstone supervolcano.

But a lot of calamities would prevent – like the California wildfires. But Dec. 21, 2012will indeed roll around, and the government has no list as to whom to save -- I hope.

ABC reported that the eastern 2/3 of the US is running way below normal temperature for February, but Greenland is way above normal, as is Vancouver.

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