Supposedly the weather catastrophes are highly likely to get a LOT worse and much closer together. All our weather is driven by moisture evaporation rates and we are turning the burner up under the sea (or over the sea?). World weather had been fairly stable for a while, except for the last 200 years.
I'm going to take it that not many people understand climate change in terms of man-made Global Warming. Here is one of the best treatises I've ever seen to help explain it. The video is over 50 minutes, but real climate science and solutions of how to fix it, are near impossible to properly explain in less time:
by Richard Alley
With a little extra luck, everybody's young kids or grandkids already know more about climate change than us old fogies do. Well, heck, they'll be the ones living (or suffering) the most with the consequences of our follies and/or victories.
When the temperature trouble just escalated south of us, we suddenly had rolling blackouts in ND, in north Bismarck (but lucky, not my neighborhood). We were told by local leadership that we were being forced to 'share' available power with the Midwest central grid corridor and especially told that renewable energy was a major fault contributor. My guess is that most people that live here, believe windmills are a bad thing. Too bad we don't embrace them, the windmills that is. We embrace our neighbors here. Offhand, North Dakota is 2nd only to Texas in wind.
There was a lot of hand-wringing too, when coal plants were forced to clean up or shut down here. Not so long ago, the local medical profession had actually gotten together in a front page newspaper article to protest the dirty emissions that followed the Missouri River Valley down through Bismarck, drifting south towards SD.
The problem showed up as the higher rate of respiratory illness. ND coal is some of the dirtiest burning coal in the world. We in ND, supplemented with cleaner burning Wyoming coal for a while, then finally just natural gas to barely meet emission standards. We even have one of the few coal plants
in the world that removes CO² and sells it. Or at least they did before natural gas got so cheap.
We have also recently become a major oil production state, I understand 2nd only to Texas again. From my point of view, it's been a regular boondoggle. The increased heavy traffic wrecked a lot of the roads in the NW part of the state (Williston Basin area) and we got hit with higher taxes to cover repairs. Roads ordinarily don't last too long up in the north anyway. Moisture in the ground freezes, swells and heaves the asphalt every year. That's why a lot of ND rural roads are made of gravel and dust. Mostly dust. We scrape it back in place regularily.
Our homes are mostly made with more expensive foundations buried at least 4 feet deep for the same reason. Freezing and heaving. So the water lines are 4+ feet deep, which only dare come up inside the warmer basement/crawl space area. And the sewer is also at 4+ feet, which would plug with ice otherwise. Sometimes 4+ feet isn't deep enough and lines freeze anyway. Being constantly ready for winter makes this an expensive place to live. And now we'll probably be helping our friendly neighbors down south too, as federal tax-payers. But it's ok because they'll be helping us sooner or later.
Sooner or later we'll get another 'perfect storm year' in the Rockies, like in 2010-11
. Then we'll get borrowed federal dollars again too. We borrow it from our grandchildren.
"The flooding was triggered by record snowfall in the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming along with near-record spring rainfall in central and eastern Montana. All six major dams along the Missouri River released record amounts of water to prevent overflow which led to flooding threatening several towns and cities along the river from Montana to Missouri; in particular Bismarck, North Dakota; Pierre, South Dakota; Dakota Dunes, South Dakota; South Sioux City, Nebraska, Sioux City, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Saint Joseph, Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri; Jefferson City, Missouri, and St. Louis, Missouri."
The more evaporation in a warmer planet climate, the more rain must drop. What would make such a flood even more horrid would be Fort Peck Dam
, the first dam on the Missouri River, washing out. Then all 6 Missouri dams would fall like dominoes down to Nebraska and then flood the Mississippi like never before. One would think this would never happen soon. We just got done fixing the darn dams back up from last time.
It just so happens that this upper-most and first-built dam, Ft Peck in Montana, was cheaply built as a Hydraulic Fill
or "sluice fill".
In the Hydraulic Fill method, dirty water is guided over an area, then slowed down so it drops "loose" sediment to gradually build up a dike, or dam. In horse-drawn days it was an efficient, natural way to build a dam with one caveat. The caveat is that such a dam is not too durable. Ft Peck even washed out once, as it was being built. The rest of the downstream Missouri dams are built with well-engineered, compacted, Rolled Earth Fill that will hold back anything... except an upstream dam breaking.
All such dirty-water-sluice-fill ancient dams in California, for instance, were taken out because of their tendency to result in liquefaction
during any jiggling... like a small earthquake for instance. We know how taxpayers hate to pay for anything extra, but they did it after just a few dams failed. OTOH, ND hasn't had a lot of earthquakes in the past. Then, again, ND may be susceptible to earthquake-swarms from oil field fracking
. But maybe that won't happen.
Maybe the next ice age will suddenly hit ND early instead. There is evidence that suggests that a too-warm climate interferes with the warm, equatorial ocean currents that flow up both American coasts. These warm flows are what keeps our current climate temperate (livable) by distributing excess equatorial oceanic heat into northern latitudes. Supposedly, without these continuous comforting flows, the entire central NA continent gets rather permanently cold. That is why it normally only really gets cold mid-continent in any average winter now. While most hot water heat warms the coasts with a bit leaking to us in the middle.
But by permanently cold, I mean that winter snow never melts any more in this case, also known as glaciation. An ice-age proper. Most all sun heat stays at the equator. But surely there would be time to leave, as one notices the local weather slowly cooling and a permanent ice build-up on the driveway. Would there not?
Except the mammoths somebody mentioned a while back had some peculiar attributes. As they now thaw out of the melting tundra up north, scientists who want to study them, have to find them before scavengers eat them. They were frozen so quick they are still edible. As a matter of fact they were frozen so quick that they were still chewing veggies in the last seconds, some having been found with April foliage frozen in their mouth. Whatever froze them, so through and through, was so cold and so quick that their stomachs did not even have time to continue to chemically digest within temporary ordinary postmortem residual warmth, as is common for slow-froze dead critters. Indigestion. I wonder if they had heartburn as they froze to death?
A possible culprit in this mystery is a type of atmospheric pole inversion, cold stratospheric air in the arctic region suddenly pouring down out of seemingly nowhere on ancient warm, grassy arctic meadows, like lake water suddenly turning over in seasons (lake inversion). Normally stratospheric air is earth's coldest air and steadily getting much colder, with global warming trapping the heat down low.
But because of the sparse, thin upper air pressure, ordinarily dense cold air is normally still lighter than the warmer polar air beneath it (troposphere) and all remains normal. But if the stratosphere gets cold enough, these upper and lower atmospheres could completely swap or invert at the poles through a giant polar vortex. The upper density layer, severely shrunken from extreme cold, could possibly increase it's density enough to become heavier than the usually more dense high-pressure sea-level air beneath it.
Voila, a huge turnover threshold emerges, an inversion invasion of very, very cold air suddenly dropped from the stratosphere in the middle of dinner. A very sudden inversion, flipped like a light switch that quick-freezes critters much bigger than me... right where they stand and chew. It was really warm yesterday and today we have an ice age.
I'm keeping our RV full of fuel and a coat handy. Please keep a light on for us in Texas... if you can.