Weather once again shows climate change is here

February 7, 2014 

What's with all this crazy weather? In December we had record snowfalls and record (below zero) temperatures across the country's midsection. They called it a once in a lifetime polar vortex. Then the same thing happened again last week.

Meanwhile, California is having record high winter temperatures and the worst drought in history. Water reservoirs are drying up all around the state. Some areas may run out of water in as little as 60 days.

Alaska is recording unusually high temperatures in the 60s, causing record rains and an avalanche that cut off the town of Valdez.

Then there was that snowstorm that paralyzed Atlanta along with other communities across the southeastern states. They called it freakish and unprecedented.

And personally, I never remember so many overcast days in Bradenton. I thought this was the Sunshine State!

All of this is caused by an abnormality in the jet stream. The jet stream is a high altitude river of air that flows from west to east across the United States.

Normally, the jet stream flows across our nation in a relatively straight line with only minor fluctuations. But lately it has exhibited an uncharacteristic waviness, shifting weather patterns in extreme northerly and extreme southerly directions.

This "Drunken Jet Stream" is caused by a lowering of the temperature differential between the equator and the poles, a byproduct of an increase in the average global temperature. We are experiencing climate change.

So, what do we need to do? In the short term, get used to it! More records will be broken. Bigger storms are yet to come.

In the longer term, the only solution is to lower the amount of carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere. That can only be accomplished by making reductions in the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

James Frazier


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