Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Arctic Shouting at Us Again

The Arctic is shouting at us again.  Pelting us. Pounding us.  Freezing us.
"As tundra-like temperatures and wind chills as cold as 70 below zero fan out across the country, everyone is blaming the "polar vortex...Polar vortexes, though, are nothing new. They occur seasonally at the North Pole, and their formation resembles that of hurricanes in more tropical regions: fast-moving winds build up around a calm center. Unlike a hurricane, these are frigid polar winds, circling the Arctic at more than 100 miles per hour...The spinning winds typically trap this cold air in the Arctic. But the problem comes when the polar vortex weakens or splits apart, essentially flinging these cold wind patterns out of the Arctic and into our backyards.NOAA scientists have suggested that warming temperatures in the Arctic may be responsible for the weakening of the polar vortex. When the vortex weakens, it's more likely to break apart and become a factor in our winter weather." Lauren Friedman, Yahoo news, 1/6/14
"So much for global warning," some folks sneered.  Not so fast you naysayers.  As Andy Borowitz said in a wonderful satiric column, "people making these remarks are being punched in the face....and better stay indoors."  (The Borowitz Report, New Yorker online, 7 Jan. 2014) http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2014/01/polar-vortex-causes-hundreds-of-injuries-as-people-making-snide-remarks-about-climate-change-are-pun.html).

Basically, "global warming is freezing us."

That frigid Arctic air, a polar hurricane, is breaking up and swirling South (yahoo photo above), and the Midwest states are feeling it now. I remember below-zero temperatures in Madison and Chicago many years ago, but this freeze is beyond that and more widespread. Heck, there are even cold warnings in the Florida Everglades.  Unheard of!   My sister and friends in Tallahassee are shivering. "Have a good fire going in my fireplace," my sister messaged me, "but worried about my plants."

I'm worrying about more than our plants.The warming of the North Pole is a global disaster in the making.  The ice is melting as temperatures creep up; new waterways are emerging; polar bears and penquins are finding it hard to survive; the seas are rising.  There is melting water where it never before existed. Meanwhile, global politics in the region are warming up too, as nations fight for their rights to the oil rich Arctic.

There are lots of us plain folks listening to the scientists and experts.  Why won't the politicians? Maybe the news that Santa Claus has moved his workshop to Mexico would make a difference.  But, oh wait.  There's a report that Mexico is chilling out, too.  What will we do when there is no place on earth that's save for human beings? When the Everglades freeze over? When the oceans rise and cover our coasts?

And we haven't even begun to talk about the melting of the polar ice caps in Antarctica. 

For info on Antarctica, here's an interesting site::

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