Huge storms sweep northern Europe

Global Warming and Global Climate Change. People expect to be able to go and look at their thermometers and see a gradual creeping up of the indicator.  Well, I don’t think it is going to happen so neatly as that. 

– Weather events are systems and systems are a mix of stability and chaos.  The more complex the system, the the harder it is to untangle all the factors that feed into its states.  Weather is a very complex system and as we continue to pump more and more CO2 and Methane into the atmosphere, I expects the system will grow unstable at its current resting point and as it seeks toward a new equilibrium, it will exhibit instability. 

– Weather events will exhibit wilder and wilder swings as the system seeks to incorporate the greenhouse gases we’re adding. And  I believe this instability will continue so long as we keep changing the composition of the atmosphere.  And, beneath the surface fluctuations, the average temperatures will, indeed, creep up in most places.

– Here in New Zealand this summer, it has been unusually cool.   In fact, Wellington, the capital, experienced the coldest December on record in 2006.  In the Pacific Northwest of the US, where I normally live, they’ve had an absolutely dismal winter this year.  Record floods, huge wind storms and snow on the ground for  a week or more in an area that often sees winters without any snow.  The US’s mid-west is in the vise of a huge deep-freeze and a month or so back, New York City was having record-breaking tee-shirt weather one day and snow storms the very next day. Now we’re reading about a huge storm pounding Northern Europe. 

– Yes, I know weather is variable and we’ve seen all of this before.  It is the larger patterns I’m referring to here – the trends emerging from the noise.  Keep watching.

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At least 25 people have been killed as violent storms lashed northern Europe, causing travel chaos across the region.

Britain was the worst hit with nine people killed as rain and gusts of up to 99mph (159km/h) swept the country.

Hurricane-force winds battering Germany have claimed at least seven lives. The other deaths were reported in France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

The severe weather has forced hundreds of flight, rail and ferry cancellations and prompted road and school closures.

Meteorologists at London’s Met Office said the winds reached “severe gale force” as they crossed Britain and were the highest recorded since January 1990.

They warned the weather system would intensify as it moved east across the continent – with Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany expected to be worst hit overnight.

Winds of almost 105mph (170km/h) were recorded late on Thursday in Germany, prompting the national rail company to suspend all its services, leaving passengers stranded.

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