Sunday, July 12, 2015

This is What Global Warming Looks Like

"Beautiful British Columbia," the tourist brochures call it
by Agathena, Daily Kos:

This is due to very hot weather and months without rain, in our rainforests. And higher temperatures than ever before, all part of a warming planet. This is an example of what we risk when we do not do ENOUGH to mitigate climate change. Will you hear me in Paris?

We have an air quality advisory in BC that we must stay in our homes especially the very young and the very old. The air is heavy, it burns to breath it in. Breathing as an issue trumps everything.


The West Coast rainforests are at risk.
Rainforest Fire in Washington May Be Ominous Sign
The Queets rainforest in Washington state’s Olympic National Park is the American jungle - one of the last remnants of the primeval temperate rain forests that once stretched from southern Oregon to southeast Alaska. But now, that precious ecosystem may be endangered by fires, due to climate change and a punishing drought that has affected even the normally moist Pacific Northwest. Fires have burned holes into some of the trunks of the centuries-old Sitka spruce and western hemlock trees, causing the massive trees - some of them up to 250 feet tall - to come crashing to the ground, the Seattle Times reports.

Interior Alaska fires still growing; more hot, dry weather on the way
The seven named fires grew to a total of 235,783 acres, although heavy smoke made it difficult for fire crews to map exactly where and how much some of the fires moved. In particular, the Hay Slough, Harper Bend, Bering Creek and Blind River fires all made significant runs. Crews are working to protect cabins in the area, and all miners and other landowners have been advised to leave the area. The Tozitna fire jumped fire lines near Site Road, but was still 2 miles north and 1 mile west of the closest inhabited structure. With temperatures expected to hover near 90 degrees through Monday, officials expect fire activity to increase in the Interior. A voluntary evacuation notice is still in place for Tanana, with dense smoke creating sometimes hazardous conditions in the area. As of Saturday, 299 fires were burning in Alaska, 36 of which are staffed.
West Coast temperatures
We've seen numerous daily record highs the last few days, and more are expected the next several days in Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho. Here are some of the recent daily records that have been set: - Seattle tied or set daily record highs Thursday (93 degrees), Friday (92 degrees), Saturday (92 degrees) and Sunday (91 degrees).
- Portland, Oregon, set a daily record high Sunday (96 degrees) and has seen 95-degree-plus heat the first five days of July.
- The Dalles, Oregon, tied a daily record high Sunday (103 degrees).
- Hope, British Columbia set a daily record Sunday, reaching 37.6 degrees Celsius (99.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Nineteen locations in B.C. set daily records Sunday.
The culprit in this hot setup is a blocking pattern aloft, known as a "Rex block" that is keeping cooler Pacific air from pushing much farther inland from the typically cooler areas near the immediate Northwest coast.
Some relief for the Pacific Northwest ahead - at the end of this week. One forecast predicts rain by Monday. I am going to walk in that rain, no umbrella, and get soaking wet. Let's hope it is not a dry thunderstorm where the rain does not hit the ground.

It's interesting to observe how people around me are coping, first with the heat and then with the smoke. I had never seen "SMOKE" in a weather forecast before yesterday. The record breaking heat before that was unrelenting. Almost everyone was seeking shade and cool places. I can speak for my family and friends and how they reacted.

Following the heat, the heavy polluted air made us feel tired and listless but at the same time the smoky skies provided relief from the burning sun. Under apocalyptic skies, we continued with our routines and plans as much as possible. With the feeling of utter helplessness against these conditions, it seemed the natural thing to do. We are ALL dreaming of rain on Monday.

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