What’s Up with the Weather?
Vol: 46 Issue: 23 Saturday, July 23, 2005
What’s Up with the Weather?
It’s pretty hot in my little corner of paradise on the mid-Atlantic coast, but compared to some places around the country, its pretty comfortable.
Officials of the National Weather Service say more than 200 heat records have been broken in the West during the last two weeks.
Tuesday, Las Vegas tied its record for any date, 117 degrees. Reno and other locations in Nevada have set records with nine consecutive days of temperatures at 100 or higher.
The temperature in Denver hit 105 degrees on Thursday, shattering a record that has stood unchallenged since 1878.
At least fourteen people have died as a result of the heat in Phoenix, where daytime highs have been around 110 degrees for a week.
In Bullhead City, Arizona, the thermometer climbed to 124 on Sunday. The owner of the local Baskin Robbins claimed the heat melted a scoop of ice cream in eight seconds.
Death Valley topped out at 128 degrees Monday, a level not reached for many decades.
The utility that handles the flow of power to three-quarters of California customers declared a Stage 2 emergency Thursday and Friday, the first time in two years such a declaration has been made.
Stage 2 means that electric utilities are within 5 percent of running out of electricity and interruption of power to some customers is possible.
I talked with Hal Lindsey yesterday. In the Palm Desert community where he lives, brownouts have cut air conditioning to most homes, including his. Hal said it was 115 degrees and their only relief from the heat is a few fans and a swimming pool that feels like a hot tub.
The heatwave has forced airlines to cancel more than two dozen flights this week, remove passengers from fully loaded planes, limit the number of tickets sold on some flights and take other measures to withstand the heat.
Aircraft manufacturers customarily set temperature limits at which their planes can be safely operated. In some places, it is literally too hot to fly.
The sweltering July comes after a very warm June. The average temperature across the contiguous United States last month was 0.9 degrees above the 1895-2004 mean, according to NOAA.
Globally, 2004 was fourth warmest year ever recorded. And global climate mechanisms already in place led scientists to predict back in February that this year will likely be the warmest year in history.
In Europe so far this summer, at least thirty people have died as a result of the heat, and the past week has set even more records.
One heat wave does not prove that the world is getting hotter, but this week’s weather fits a global trend which has seen previous records shattered with increasing regularity.
In nine out of the past 12 years, average temperatures worldwide have been higher than at any time since records began in the 19th century and it is very likely that the 1990s were the warmest decade for 1000 years.
Warming in the 20th century is, according to some scientists, advancing at a faster pace than at any time during the past 400 to 600 years.
For several months now, temperatures across Europe have been, on average, five degrees warmer. Sea temperatures in the Mediterranean region are two to three degrees warmer and reached their peak a month earlier than usual.
Since 1980, the earth has experienced 19 of its 20 hottest years on record, with 1998 the hottest and 2002 and 2003 coming in second and third.
In 2003, extreme heat waves caused more than 20,000 deaths in Europe and more than 1500 deaths in India, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The Earth Policy Institute (EPI), based in Washington DC, puts the European 2003 death toll from heat waves even higher, reported 35,000 deaths.
According to NASA, the polar ice cap is now melting at the alarming rate of nine percent per decade. Arctic ice thickness has decreased 40 percent since the 1960s. The current pace of sea-level rise is three times the historical rate and appears to be accelerating.
Global sea level has already risen by four to eight inches in the past century. Scientists’ best estimate is that sea level will rise by an additional 19 inches by 2100, and perhaps by as much as 37 inches.
In addition to the heat, the 1999-2002 national drought in the US was one of the three most extensive droughts in the last 40 years. In 2002, the Western United States experienced its second worst wildfire season in the last 50 years.
And when it DOES rain, it pours. National annual precipitation has increased between 5 and 10 percent since the early 20th century.
Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts each got more than double their normal monthly rainfall in June 1998. Severe flooding in the Texas, Montana, and North Dakota during the summer of 2002 caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
Hurricane activity over the past ten years has also exhibited a dramatic increase in both frequency and intensity.
The reasons for the shifting weather patterns are plentiful and varied; some scientists claim that it is a direct result of global warming brought on by an increase in greenhouse gases.
As the planet’s surface warms, so does the ocean’s surface. The warmer the water, the more destructive the hurricane.
NOAA’s Atlantic hurricane outlook reflects an expected continuation of above-average activity that began in 1995.
Since that time all but two Atlantic hurricane seasons have been above-normal. The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends November 30.
On the other hand, there is a significant percentage of the scientific community that scoffs at the global warming argument, claiming that the unusual weather patterns we’re experiencing is just part of the normal climactic cycle.
The reason, they say, that we are seeing all the record-shattering is because we haven’t been keeping records all that long — for the most part, our records only go back to somewhere in the middle of the 19th century.
I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know if the shifting weather patterns are a result of global warming or if they are just part of some overall climatic cycle.
What I DO know is that the shift is real. It started in the mid-point of the 20th century, and the weather pattern shifts have been increasing in frequency and intensity ever since.
If global warming is the result of human activity, then the only way to reverse it is for the human activity that causes it to cease. Since global climate changes take a long time to effect, they take just as long to reverse.
And to reverse it, — assuming the global warming theory is accurate, we need to scrap ALL our cars, virtually all of our energy production sources, shut down all polluting industry, stop cutting down trees to build houses . . . and we have to do so on a GLOBAL basis.
The worst polluters, despite popular conventional wisdom, are not the Americans, but rather the emerging economies of countries like Russia and China. They would have to put the brakes on their industrial expansion and all of us, on a global basis, would have to roll back the clocks, technologically speaking, to the late 19th century.
The human population would have to stop expanding, eliminating the need to clear rainforests, die younger, or pretty much stop having babies altogether for the next ten or twenty years until all the geezers like me have all died off.
To do less than that would only slow the global warming process, not reverse it. Since that isn’t going to happen, it means that global warming, if that is what we are experiencing, will continue to get worse until the planet becomes uninhabitable. In other words, by any reasonable scientific estimate, we’re doomed.
Does it impress anybody else besides me that this is happening NOW?
At this particular point in history? In the same generation that saw the restoration of Israel, the revival of the Roman Empire, the rise of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, and the emergence of new, deadly strains of antibiotic resistant virus and disease?
“And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
In reply, Jesus warned of “wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:3,6-8)
If the 1948 generation has an historical legacy, it is that of wars and ‘rumors’ of wars. The Cold War, which lasted from 1948 until 1991, was more of a rumor of war than it was a shooting war.
Yet it was at the same time, the most potentially deadly war that mankind had faced to that point in history. Meanwhile, ethnic wars have raged, unabated, since the death of European colonialism following World War II.
Famines raged throughout the world, in tandem with the greatest creation of wealth in human history.
Earthquake activity has increased in both frequency and intensity since 1948, while many of the killer diseases that once scourged mankind were thought to be eliminated by new advancements with antibiotic drugs, only to be replaced by new, hardier strains of old diseases, accompanied by brand new ones like AIDS. Earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences.
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)
That pretty much sums up the last decade . . . indeed, Jesus prediction, made nearly two thousand years ago, reads like a 21st century scientific explanation for global warming, right down to describing mankind’s response to what would be, in about two thousand years, to the ’emerging’ threat.
The scientific projections being made as a consequence of global warming are the identical projections the Apostle John made almost two thousand years ago as the consequences of God’s judgment on a Christ-rejecting world following the end of the Church Age.
“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” (Revelation 8:7-9)
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give Him glory.” (Revelation 16:8-9)
When climatologists are not warning of impending ecological disaster, astronomers take the podium to warn of the threat of a catastrophic asteroid strike upon the earth.
Nations have invested billions in efforts to scour outer space, looking for the Big One, and are spending billions more trying to figure out how to deflect it.
A major asteroid strike somewhere in the earth’s oceans, they say, would cause a tsunami that would make last’s year’s Asian tsunami look like a minor ocean ripple in comparison.
NASA estimates such a strike (the earth is five sixths water) would create tsunami waves that would wash hundreds of miles inland everywhere along the coasts of the ocean that absorbed the impact.
Such a strike would literally kill tens of millions, either from drowning, or from the ecological impact that would follow.
All the fresh water resources within the tsunami’s impact area would be polluted by salt water, dirt and debris.
“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”(Revelation 8:11)
Disease would claim as many, if not more lives, than the tsunami itself. Those not killed outright or by disease would have to cope with the anarchy and lawlessness that would follow.
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8)
Maybe its just me, but I can’t buy the coincidence theory to explain why the prophecies of the Bible for the last days read exactly like the headlines from the paper for the last week
Jesus said that all these things would come upon the earth during a single generation, somewhere in time.
The process has already begun. Whether one ascribes it to global warming, natural climatic cycles, the unprecedented sunspot activity, or just bad luck, one can’t get around the fact that it is taking place exactly as foretold by Scripture, in pretty much the exact order, and at pretty much the exact period the Bible said it would.
“. . . and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24-25)
It is a terrifying scenario, but to those who put their faith in Jesus, it is proof positive of His soon return to fulfill His promise;
“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)
“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)