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Glenn's Blog: Crazy Climate Coincidences

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    A partial solar eclipse is seen as a bird flies past in Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 9, 2016.

    THE COSMIC COINCIDENCE

    I love coincidences. The best one is the fact that from our view on earth, the moon and sun appear to be exactly the same size. Actually, the sun is about 400 times wider than the moon, but it is also about 400 times farther away. This is why total solar eclipses are so spectacular. The odds of this happening are astronomical (pun intended). Yet it is purely a coincidence. 

    OTHER POPULAR COINCIDENCES

    LINCOLN AND KENNEDY

    Some of this is true, but some is urban legend:

    1. Both defeated incumbent Vice Presidents

    2. Both their Vice Presidents were Southern Democrats named Johnson

    3. Both presidents were shot in the head on a Friday, seated next to their wives

    4. Both presidents fathered 4 children, and had a son die during his presidency

    5. Each assassin committed his crime in the building where he was employed

    6. After shooting Lincoln, Booth ran from a theater to a warehouse; after shooting Kennedy, Oswald ran from a warehouse to a theater

    7. Both assassins were killed before being tried

    And more…… 

    THOMAS JEFFERSON AND JOHN ADAMS

    Both presidents died on the same day-July 4, 1826. It was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. And yet another president, James Monroe, died on the 4th of July. 

    WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CLIMATE CHANGE?

    Sometimes coincidences happen. But most times that one thing seems to cause another thing, they really are connected (unless it interferes with your pre-conceived beliefs…..) 

    It must be a coincidence that: 

    *Global temperatures have increased as carbon dioxide has increased (as expected from global warming science (GWS)……yes

     

    *Warmer oceans hold more moisture which leads to more days with downpours…..already happening

    Photo credit: Climate Central

     

    *Warmer oceans lead to higher sea levels, which lead to more days of coastal flooding….already happening

    Photo credit: Climate Central

     

    *Warmer oceans in winter lead to more moisture. If it’s cold enough, the big snowstorms get bigger….already happening 

    Photo credit: Climate Central

     

    *Warmer oceans in winter can help lead to bigger snowstorms when it is cold enough for snow (the map below from the winter of 2015-16 just before our one giant snowstorm of the winter in the Philadelphia area)….already happening

     

    *Sea level has been steadily increasing in recent decades…as expected by GWS…..already happening

     

    *As more carbon dioxide gets dissolved into the oceans, the water will become more acidic….already happening 

     

    *The amount of snow cover overall will decrease due to higher temperatures and fewer snow days…..already happening

     

    *Warmer oceans allow any given hurricane, typhoon, or cyclone to become more intense. This is true for many parts of the world…..already happening

     

    *Warmer temperatures will lead to overall less snow pack due to melting snow in addition to fewer days with snow….already happening

     

    *The poles will warm more than other areas, helping to accelerate ice melt in the Arctic….already happening (sea ice melt leads to higher temperatures, which leads to more melting, which leads to higher temperatures…etc) 

     

    *Ice melt on land directly leads to higher sea levels. Greenland is critical,

    And melting continues there…already happening 

     

    *Parts of the Antarctic Peninsula are vulnerable to quick ice melt…while sea ice is increasing in other parts of the continent, the fragile Peninsula is indeed already melting.

     

    *The great majority of glaciers around the world will have significant melting due to higher temperatures…already happening

     

    Either this is the most amazing series of coincidences I’ve ever heard of, or global warming is already having a significant impact in many ways over many areas. Are you willing to bet the future that all of these “coincidences” will stop or reverse themselves? Or do we take this seriously and do something to at least slow down these changes? 

     

    Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz

    Chief Meteorologist, NBC10 Philadelphia