Bits and Pieces 6: Global Warming and Extreme Weather
Senator Jim Inhofe is wirting a book that he claims will disprove global warming. It will be interesting to see what research he cites and what might comprise such a proof. Last winter, after a blizzard, Sen. Jim Inhofe built an igloo for his grandchildren and claimed that the record snowfall disproved global warming. It will take more proof than that. Oklahoma is now experiencing a record drought and heat wave. Recently, Bruce Plante, a Tulsa World political cartoonist, drew a cartoon of a hot, perspiring person asking at the library if Jim inhofe’s book, disproving global warming, was out yet. Dean Jones, a supporter of Inhofe, sent a letter to the Tulsa World entitled “Global Cooling” (TW, 7/20/2011), which takes issue with the cartoon and “global warming advocates”. However, there are no advocates for global warming – but there are those who advocate that we listen to climate scientists who say that global warming is causing the weather events that occur to be more extreme.(1) Have you noticed any extreme weather lately?
There is little evidence for Mr. Jones’ claim of “global cooling”. NASA’s records of the Earth’s mean temperature show a clear trend upward with the whole Earth now being about 1.2°F warmer than a century ago. (2) A warmer Earth means water evaporates faster and that the air can hold more moisture. Areas that are normally dry, dry out faster. And, when conditions are right for precipitation, the combination of more energy and moisture in the air increases the chance of severe storms and flooding.
If you don’t believe that the weather has become more extreme, just watch your insurance bill. Insurance giants Swiss Re and Munich Re, who insure other insurance companies, have assessed the risks and found that global warming has increased the risk of insurance losses. If your insurance rates go up – blame those who have prevented effective action to mitigate global warming.
(c) 2011 J.C. Moore