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Climate Change, Weather Disasters: Read All About It: Noticing Bizarre Patterns

by Bruce E. Johansen

Noticing Bizarre Patterns

While the growing field of climate change contains many people and points of view, all generally agree on certain scientific basics. Traditionally a fringe of quacks has totally rejected the science or twisted it beyond recognition. Some even write books and hold conferences, sometimes partially funded by the fossil fuel industry.

However, any serious student of weather and climate can notice bizarre weather patterns, such as droughts alternating with deluges and wildfires, particularly as fires have broken out in seemingly unusual places, such as Siberia, northern Canada, and even parts of Greenland that have thawed. Several reports of these unusual occurrences have appeared in the media, and corresponding analyses have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals. For example, NASA Earth Observatory’s report “Historic Floods in New South Wales” documents record rainfall on Australia’s east coast a year after historic heat and wildfires in the spring of 2020 (fall in the northern hemisphere). As noted in the report, “persistent, heavy rain fell for several days in late summer in New South Wales, Australia, leading to the region’s worst flooding in six decades.”

Several other reports corroborate these findings, noting more intense flooding in the US, Canada, and Greenland. These include Emily Underwood’s 2015 Science essay “Models Predict Longer, Deeper U.S. Droughts”; Jane Onyanga-Omara’s 2015 article “At Least 16 Killed in French Riviera Flash Floods”; another report from NASA Earth Observatory titled “Intense Fires in Northern Canada” in 2015; a 2012 article for Nature, “The Rapid Melt of Greenland”; and Fiammetta Straneo and Patrick Heimbach’s “North Atlantic Warming and the Retreat of Greenland’s Outlet Glaciers.”