Going to be another long night if you live below one of the burn areas. Fortunately, we don’t. It’s just going to be wet. Still a lot of evacuations up in NorCal as they’re waiting to see if the hills slide.

Image: Wunderground

As I’ve noted, California is getting clobbered for weeks now with storm after storm. The snow pack in the Sierras is at over 225% of the average. There are levees breaking and flooding and mudslides all over, especially in the mountains.

Yet we need the water, desperately. This comes after four years of massive drought. The problem is that, while all of this rain and the snowmelt runoff will go a long way to refill the reservoirs, it would take years of this to replenish the groundwater. So the drought really isn’t over, just a little bit better.

And in the bigger picture, the thing that we’re losing in climate change is stability. We used to have variations from year to year of course, but now things are getting wackier by the day.

The Arctic ice pack is at near record lows and over time is going down every year. The ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting. The jet stream and the ocean currents like the Gulf Stream are shifting and showing signs of breaking down. Which will in turn bring hot, tropical air up near the poles and “polar vortex” cold air down to the mid-latitudes. Which in turn can melt the Arctic ice faster, and the permafrost, which releases methane. Methane is a much worse greenhouse gas, so that feeds temperature increases, which melts more ice and permafrost, which destabilizes more weather systems that we’ve relied on for millenia, which in turn…

Can you say, “positive feedback loop?” Sure, I knew you could.

The big question is whether we’ve actually stumbled past a point of no return, a tipping point. That might have happened without us even knowing it and from here there’s no way to reverse the trends in time.

Other systems in our lives have similar issues. How do we know when things are irreparably broken and how do we know when to keep fighting to fix them?

I’m stubborn (otherwise known as “too stupid to know when to quit”) most of the time so I’ll keep fighting, but things are looking unpleasant for the future. Let’s hope there’s enough of us clever monkey descendants to fix what we’ve broken.

1 Comment

Filed under Weather

One response to “Stability

  1. and to think, we knew all this was going to happen twenty years ago, but the rich b****s poo-poohed it.

    Liked by 1 person

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