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California drought, Boston blizzards both attributed to global climate change says climatologist
Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil
Grants Pass, OR, March 27 – California’s ongoing worst ever drought, and the recent record breaking winter blizzards in Boston and the U.S. Northeast, are both manifestations of the same global climate change patterns. Earth warming global atmosphere is creating changes in the atmosphere’s “energy balance,” according to L. DeWayne Cecil, PhD, historical climatologist and former NASA researcher. The result is not only a warmer and dryer global climate but also greater and more frequent climatic extremes, including the recent Boston blizzards.
Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil, PhD, is a historical climatologist who worked for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in various capacities for over 30 years. He is currently employed by Global Science and Technology of Ashville, NC.
If Earth was the size of a basketball, says Cecil, the atmospheric covering would be the thickness of a sheet of paper. That thin, delicate covering makes life possible. Most importantly, the atmosphere prevents evaporated water (humidity) from floating off into outer space.
Accumulated clouds in the upper atmosphere – and airborne water vapor everywhere in the atmosphere – greatly moderate Earth’s temperatures and makes it livable. Without moderating atmospheric water vapor the Earth’s surface temperature would average +150 to +400 degrees (F) during the day and -200 at night.
Particulate air pollution such as fly ash and carbon black attract and accumulate humidity droplets, causing them to fall back to the ground before reaching the cloud ceiling. As a result, says Cecil, although humidity near the ground might be normal, upper atmospheric humidity could fall blow normal on a localized basis. Fewer clouds equal more solar radiation which causes warmer temperatures.
As air temperatures warm, Cecil explains, heat energy is created which, among other things, causes liquid water on the Earth’s surface to evaporate at a faster rate. Since warmer air is capable of holding much more moisture than colder air summer storms tend to contain more energy than winter storms. That’s why lightning is more common in summer.
However as liquid water continues to evaporate from the planet’s surface, the surface will eventually dry up, resulting in lowering humidity, more solar radiation, warmer temperatures and even greater atmospheric energy.
As the rotating Earth is alternately warmed by the sun and then cooled on the dark side warm areas move into the cold and cold areas move into the warmth. Because atmospheric temperature and pressure always seek to balance out, cool air then rushes in to fill the warm spots and vice versa. However, because of the Earth’s rotation, by the time some of the rushing cold or warm air arrives, the spot has moved. The result is lots of swirling and wind, with clouds and energy constantly accumulating, dissipating and redistributing.
With more energy in the atmosphere, this effect is exaggerated.
A long-term pattern of warming, drying, and changes in the atmospheric energy balance, according to Cecil, will result in higher temperatures and more sunshine when averaged out, but it will be accompanied by weather extreme such as extended drought and record breaking blizzards.