As I mentioned in my last post, a scientific argument has been made that global warming has exacerbated the rainfall amounts leading to recent destructive flooding in Oklahoma and Texas.
Even Bill Nye, “The Science Guy,” has weighed in with this tweet, “Billion$$ in damage in Texas & Oklahoma. Still no weather-caster may utter the phrase Climate Change.” Other weather experts have discussed the issue publicly as well.
Basically, the air is warmer so it can hold more moisture. This has led to record rainfall amounts and major flooding in Oklahoma. In a more technical sense, El Niño, a part of a warm ocean band in the Pacific Ocean, is strengthening right now. Global warming exacerbates its effect, which has brought rain and misery here to Oklahoma. Global warming isn’t necessarily causing the rainfall. It’s just making it more extreme.
Many right-wingers, of course, dismiss this basic fact, but it’s really fundamental and not difficult to understand. For years, climatologists have warned that global warming will create severe weather events. What’s difficult for some to grasp is that these weather events can be dramatically oppositional. Thus, years of crop-destroying drought can be suddenly replaced with a month or two of crop-destroying rain. The POINT is the extreme swing in weather conditions.
What the global warming deniers will argue is that those of us who believe in basic science blame every major event on climate change. This generalization is simply not true. The deniers often lack a larger perspective. There’s been excessive rainfall in Oklahoma and Texas this month, but there’s also been a major heat wave in India at the same time. My point is that global warming is a planetary phenomenon and should always be considered in that context. At the same time people are suffering here because of flooding, people are suffering elsewhere in the world because of heat and lack of rainfall.
The cause of rapid and increasing global warming, according to the vast majority of climate scientists, is manmade carbon dioxide emissions created by the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and gas. This accelerates the greenhouse effect in which planet surface radiation is re-radiated back to the surface by the upper atmosphere. This acceleration heats up the planet to dangerous levels, leading to arctic ice melting and rising sea levels. This impacts weather patterns, creates weather catastrophes and threatens coastal communities through erosion.
Human inaction on significantly decreasing carbon emissions is now a given as long as politicians such as Oklahoma’s U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe have major influence on the issue, and increasingly climatologists are taking a preparedness stance. In other words, extreme weather events are obviously in our future so how do we prepare? Is it even possible to prepare?
Bill Nye gets it right. I’ve heard no real, extended discussion of global warming from our local television weather forecasters during the recent stormy weather. In a weather-extreme place like Oklahoma, this is unfortunate and tragic.