Monday, August 16, 2010

Poland boils and broils in climate change shocker


My old granny used to say when offered tea, or coffee: “I don’t mind…as long as it‘s warm and wet!”

She always looked at me in incomprehension when I used to double - no, quadruple - up with laughter at that. I was 16 years old, after all.

But warm and wet is what we are seemingly stuck with here in Poland, so I suppose I should be grateful [note tenuous link between early formative experience and current affairs angle.]

It’s warm - a very warm 34 degrees centigrade as I write - or for my American readers: Really Very Hot Degrees Fahrenheit. It was even hotter in July.

It’s also very wet. Recurrent floods have been a story here since May.

It’s enough to make the This Is The End Of The World freaks rush for the streets to proclaim we are burning/drowning in our own cesspool of sin.

And, on cue, here they come. Kind of. But not from a twitching religious fanatic high on too many nights alone with Revelations and four horsies of apocalypses...

No, it’s a scientist. Poland has been warm, and wet, because of global warming.

And this is not any old weather forecaster, who relies on cows having a bit of a sit down before he sees rain coming: it’s climatologist Mirosław Miętus from the Institute of Meteorology.

He says that this year will be “the warmest for 150 years”, since record began.

In the days before records began, people just used to sit around saying: “Few…it‘s hot.” But suddenly people started to record how hot they felt and apparently, in this part of the world, folks have never been so steaming.

There was also over three times more rain in May than usual and two times more than in July. Our studio workplace - which mrs. beatroot spends hours and hours in a day - was flooded for the second time a week ago. More expense, more trauma.

“This is a manifestation of global warming,” Mirosław Miętus says, comfortingly (not) with more frequent heat waves and heavier rain fall to look forward to. Atlantic storms have penetrated deeper into mainland Europe. It could get worse.

Blimey! Can anybody cheer us up? What does the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) say about this?

"One cannot conclude 100 percent that nothing like this has happened in the past 200 years, but the suspicion is there. Even if it's only a suspicion," said Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-president of the IPCC), referring to the heat wave in Russia and the floods in Pakistan, a warm and wet combo that Poland has got a taste of this summer.

Few! So there is only a “suspicion” that this could be caused by global frying, that man has brought to Earth as a form of petulance, with too many people doing just too many things.

But no! This article goes on to emphasise the suspicion, regardless of the fact that it is only “a suspicion”.

“According to the IPCC, droughts and heatwaves like those affecting Russia and 18 US states become longer and more intense in a warming planet.

"Whether in frequency or intensity, virtually every year has broken records, and sometimes several times in a week," said Omar Baddour, who tracks climate change for the World Meteorological Organization.

"In Russia, the record temperature in Moscow (38.2 degrees Celsius, 100.8 degrees Farenheit in late July) -- which had not been seen since records began 130 years ago -- was broken again at the start of August. In Pakistan, the magnitude of the floods is unheard of," he said.

"In both cases, it is an unprecedented situation. The succession of extremes
and the acceleration of records conform with IPCC projections. But one must
observe the extremes over many years to draw conclusions in terms of climate,"
he said.”

He did it again! Teasing us with doomsday then delivering the caveat.

But, of course, there are different explanations: you cannot see a trend in weather in any one event; it’s La Nina, El Nino’s inversion; it’s the beavers fault.

Beavers? , Yup: the fury dam-maker, who, up until now had had a very good PR. They even featured in Naked Gun.

As I write now, it’s evening: the wind picks up once again after a boiling hot day; trees sway in submission, the dog yaps, sirens wail and we head for the sandbags to defend the studio from the next Biblical-like flood.

And there are no beavers around this part of Warsaw.

8 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

Every scientific body including he American Association of Petroleum Geologists, support the IPCC's study. Their position is not the position of on one hand rightist talk show hosts, and on the other side the "we're all responsible" people and those against industrial progress.

The IPCC's predictions are cautious, and the scientific consensus.

700 Club Guy said...

The floods and the heat are the fault of the so-called Defenders of the Cross (who really ain't any such thing). Their politicized misuse of the cross has resulted in great consternation in heaven.

beatroot said...

I do think you are right, 700 Club Person. It's the butterly effect, of course. All that hot air produced over the cross has caused ruptions with the global climate...

Hi Comrade Eye! The scientific consensus goes like this.

1. The planet has experienced some warming over past hundred years and an increase in warming, up until 10 years ago.

2. Human activity produces CO2.

3. Some of that activity is cinnected to the rise in temps.

That's it, comrade. No mention there of hot weather and heavy rainfall in Poland.

jannowak57 said...

This all just tells us we need to go nuclear, at least four big nuclear power plants. This will be the best way to start bringing down the CO2.

beatroot said...

And Poladn has two of them planned, though this will not happen till at least 2022...

Nuclear is an obvious step forward from fossil fuels. But the developed world better get used to developing economies relying on coal and oil for a very longtime still. It's just a fact. The alternative is slowing down economic growth. And while that might make the odd middle class green in the UK and US all warm and wet thinking about it, it is not a viable option for this part of the world.

Renegade Eye said...

Beatroot: Not quite right. They did say there was going to be warming, with six different models.

I'm with you on nukes.

KONTAKT said...

Beatroot: Maybe it should be just less people on this planet? to produce less CO2? Simple as that?

beatroot said...

WhaaaaaaaaT! sounds like the Final Solution.

More people means more brains to solve problems...don;t be scared of the people...