High Pressure Systems and Dew Points
So, I’ve been thinking about the US’s recent heat wave and its implications for future climate. The heat wave was caused by a high pressure system that rose out of the Gulf of California and moved east across the country. It didn’t really hit the west coast giving some cities in the west record lows for their final days of June.
One of the things that is supposed to happen with climate change is the slowing of the Jet Stream. The Jet Stream normally moves northeast to southwest in a generally straight but slightly curved line. As it slows it starts to look more like a sine wave however a high amplitude. It moves more slowly or weather patterns stay fixed longer. The air south of the Jet Stream is hot, to the north it is cold. Since it moves slower these areas tend to sit in place for a longer period of time making the weather cycles more intense. That’s why agriculture is taking such a beating this year, the length of the heat not the singular intensity. That’s what hurts people, having to exert themselves in the heat, or at all because temporal pressures, through time.
This heat wave has surpassed that problem however. The amplitude isn’t greater, it’s non-existent. A second high pressure system has pushed up from the Gulf of California ensuring there will be no relief from this heat wave. As this second heat wave comes through I’m beginning to ask myself how much we really know about the climate, how it will shift and how we can adapt to the weather.
I’m assuming that there is enough knowledge in the world that humans can adapt to a myriad of shift in climate, including what we are seeing today. However, that knowledge is not localized. It is dispersed. Therefore I don’t believe there are going to be many successful adaptation plans from what I’ve seen thus far. Everyone seems genuinely surprised at the extent and speed with which everything is happening. The fires out West can not be contained, not that they could before. Corn crops are near death all over the country.
What worries me the most though is the thought that water is one of the most valuable resources in this situation and I, living in Michigan, am in the most abundant place for it. I just had a refresher on humidity and heat though. Large bodies of water help regulate the temperature which is why Michigan and Florida aren’t suffering as severely as the rest of the country. Humidity makes it harder for humans to cool themselves though. Humidity also makes it feel hotter than it normally would. As a result areas of North Carolina with lakes felt like they were in the mid-100s when they were only in the mid-90s.
This is making me consider where the best place to live during this would be. Of course you can’t do this forever. A report came out a while ago that said humans can survive up to a little more than a average global warming of 10 degrees Centigrade, then massive heat death would occur at 12 degrees. Of course up to that point there would be problems carrying on with daily life; failures in agriculture, losses in fresh water; transportation from place or place with any amount of exertion could be dangerous; children, the elderly, and pregnant women would be at risk much earlier. At the point of 10-12 degrees however the healthy human body simply can not endure. Some predict we could see 10 degrees by the end of the century; some predict we could see 20 degrees by the end of the century. One thing is certain though, our present models tend towards the conservative in predictions of the severity of climate change.
So, I’m wondering where in the world it would be good to live in a period like this. A place where a person could make a living without too much stress or at least less stress than other places. The first place that comes to mind is the Andes. Mountains are generally cooler. The Incas survived off of terraced agriculture in that area for a long period of time. I’m not sure how the South American monsoon affects the region but I believe that there should be a decent amount of rain for agriculture. There has to be some way of ensuring erosion isn’t severe if inundations occur. This is all speculation however.
I say this because I just learned that methane has been seeping out in quantities large enough to cause abrupt climate change since the summer of 2009. I had thought that this had just started in 2011 but I was wrong, it was 2009. Copenhagen literally was a nail in the coffin and every year after we’ve done the same retarded shit as every year before. I can’t even begin to comprehend what is going through politicians and media producers minds. This should be on the front page of the newspaper EVERY DAY just to make sure people get it.
I guess the other thing I thought was that the community working to ReSkill would have a good idea of how to use agriculture to get around the problems climate change would bring. This is not the case either though. I’ve met the two permaculturists who run the organic garden at the local university and teach classes there. The older woman got her degree from Michigan State recently, one of the largest ag colleges in the country. They do not know how whether will shift though their crops are thriving. It makes me uneasy that so much uncertainty surrounds this experiment in living.
The other problem I notice is information scarcity. I’ve learned a lot of what I know simply because I’ve read journals behind paywalls offered through Michigan State’s library system. It is not something most people can do, though most people wouldn’t do it. The option however is much better than not having it.
Stop polluting the Earth.