It’s been several years since an El Niño development impacted our weather but that is about to change sometime late this summer. Current predictions project El Niño conditions into the Eastern Pacific as early as July and August. The confidence is very high that this event will happen. An El Niño event, incidentally, lasts from 9-12 months.
El Niño, which occurs as prevailing equatorial winds reverse direction, results in warmer water literally “piling” up along the west coasts of North and South America. Simple physics demonstrates that when you heat water it expands. Therefore, higher astronomical tides, more coastal erosion and flooding will occur as a direct result of a greater volume of warmer water which will begin affecting our weather this fall and continuing throughout the winter months.
Both sea surface temperatures and sea levels have been rising over the last several decades.
Empirical evidence and scientific data attest to global warming which can be explored through a myriad of websites including NOAA.gov and the weekly El Niño update at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/p…, the British Meteorological Office http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/… to name just a few credible sources. There is strong reason to expect heavier rainfall in some parts of the country while severe and exceptional drought conditions will continue in other areas of the U.S. and globally.
We know tornadoes have become more powerful over the past few years; Droughts are becoming more prolonged; Flooding is occurring in areas not previously hit with major storms such as the recent historical flooding in Florida, torrential rain and flooding in the Balkans and super storm Sandy in 2012 which caused massive flooding and major property damage.
In 2012 economic losses for two events, Sandy and the yearlong drought, were the big drivers in terms of costs which exceeded $60 billion according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events
But, Tea party Republicans are now the only group of Americans collectively who think the Earth is not warming, based on a 2013 poll by the Pew Research Center. Marco Rubio, according to Wikipedia, has been called “the “crown prince” of the Tea Party movement.”
Senator Rubio recently declared, “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” He added, “I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”
I guess that means we will have to destroy the environment in order to save the billionaire Koch brothers and their oligarchs. After all, who needs clean air and water if it requires imposing strict regulations on the corporate polluters who are hell-bent on eliminating the EPA and eviscerating the Clean Air Act, both which, ironically, were established during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon?
Scarier for Planet Earth is the astonishing fact that Marco Rubio sits on the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as well as the following subcommitees: Aviation Operations, Safety and Security, Communications, Technology and the Internet and Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard and Science and Space.
Senator Rubio has no formal background or education in atmospheric or marine biology science yet he can declare unequivocally that he doesn’t believe global warming is real or that it is caused by human activity. Imagine that, faith-based science! How is it that Republicans have managed to politicize the weather by claiming that global warming is a liberal hoax? When did thermometers suddenly become unreliable and untrusted instruments for measuring temperatures?
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Oklahoma Senators Tom Coburn and James Inhofe voted NO on protecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.Republican Texas Congressmen Michael McCaul and Jeb Hensarling voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution and voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity, NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy.
CO2 levels have been increasing at an accelerated rate since the beginning of the 20th Century: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence
The deck is stacked against protecting the health of the planet and over 7 billion human beings. Scientists and research climatologists as far away as Australia have been lumped together and pilloried by Republicans and their Pied Piper media siphons like Fox News, Charles Krauthammer, George Will and others in their blanket mockery and their universal denial of global warming evidence.
They continue to ignore the adverse and devastating consequences of global warming and climate change that we are experiencing today while science-illiterate Republicans like Marco Rubio, a prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidate, reject and deny it all.