Today's Paper Local News Latest News Newsletters Coronavirus Readers Choice Obits Sports Contests

'Coolest summer we'll have,' a climate update

by Bradly Gill | August 2, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

Yes, that little short phrase from a weather forecaster, when added to a stack of recent scientific facts, tells me we are reaching the crisis stage in the warming of our planet's atmosphere a lot faster than previously predicted.

The steady increase has only been a few degrees, but the weather consequences have been magnified. It seems our planet's weather systems are super sensitive to even steady, small increases in the Earth's atmospheric temperature.

I know this summer will pass and a cooler fall will make us forget how hot it was, but... what if... that's right. What if this is just the tip of the heat iceberg, and we will have scorching temperatures that are ever increasing in future summers?

Have you ever worked in heat reaching 125 up to 130 degrees? Well, I have, for 23 days in a row.

Now, let me give you an overview of what climate change and rising temperature will bring.

I spent two years in Libya, and my job was to work in the desert on drilling rigs to evaluate the possible oil and gas zones the drilling encountered. The super-hot drill-site was in the area of the Sahara Desert called the Red Desert because of the mineral content of the sand. The normal white sand desert reflects the sun's rays, but the rose colored sand soaks up the heat resulting in a near world record for extreme temperature of over 130 degrees.

In late June, I stepped off the plane into a blazing blast of hot air, and watched as a man in the base camp jumped in his Land Rover and drove out to pick me up. He was the Exxon Drilling Engineer, but what was remarkable was that we both graduated from Norphlet High School!

We drove to the on-site office trailer, and before I walked in, I glanced at an old R.C. Cola thermometer that was leaning against the trailer. It registered 120 degrees, which was the maximum.

Now let me give you an overview how difficult it is to survive in that heat. The first thing you notice is the lack of any vegetation. Not even the hardest desert plants can live in that temperature.

The drilling rig crews who worked on the rig floor were relieved numerous times during a daylight shift, even though they were used to working in the extreme heat.

On a personal basis, I wore cutoff shorts, a t-shirt, sunglasses and a Razorback baseball cap, but just walking back and forth from the air conditioned trailer to the rig and back was about all I could do, and I was used to the heat.

No, I don't think we are in for Sahara Desert heat, at least not right now, but extreme hot weather is not the only harbinger of climate change.

I recorded almost 12 inches of rain the first week in July, and just a few miles southeast near Moro Bay almost 14 inches of rain was recorded! L.A. (Lower Arkansas) is becoming sub-tropical, and New Orleans is experiencing Central American weather.

Over the past five years we have seen abnormal weather related to the increase in global temperatures not just in our country, but in Europe and even in China. In many areas the high temperatures are accompanied by extreme drought, which is reducing global food supplies.

Our west coast is suffering from an extended drought that has dropped water levels in water source lakes to low levels. Of course, high temperatures accompanied by extreme drought has sent the number of wildfires blazing across hundreds of thousands of forest acres around the world.

The ice pack on both poles is breaking up, permafrost is melting, and ocean waters are rising. Venice and other towns are on the verge of being swamped.

The Atlantic hurricane season will peak in August and September. Will the record warm water of Gulf of Mexico produce an increase in storms? Yes, says the National Hurricane Center. How many more hits can Lake Charles or Grand Isle take?

Well, if you want to get shocked, just go on the Internet and check out the consequences of just what we are experiencing right now. In my opinion, this should be a Pearl Harbor moment, but instead of banding together as a nation, we are playing politics again.

I thought making COVID-19 vaccinations political was the height of stupidity, but saying, "I don't believe in globing warming," when climate change is so obvious tops the cake.

Congress finally has a bill that could at least help solve the problem, if Democratic Senator (Mr. Coal of West Virginia) Manchin holds to his agreement to vote for it.

It seem to me that we are in a rarified atmosphere where political views are placed above credible scientific studies. We are at almost 100% agreement in the worldwide scientific community that the atmosphere of our planet is warming, and the predictions of steady increase in its temperature, if we do next to nothing, will increase until... well? If this climate response is what we get from just a few degrees of atmospheric increase, what can we expect from another 5 degrees? Or horrors 10 degrees?

According to several studies, widespread drought, increases in sea level and catastrophic events such as wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and historic flooding. The overwhelming predictions from the scientific community are very clear. Vast areas of the Earth will become uninhabitable, starvation will send millions crossing borders in search of food, and diseases will swamp the hospitals.

Will out-of-control climate change fulfill a Bible prophesy from the Book of Revelations... The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Am I an alarmist? I hope so, but as an individual who has been in a business where you rely on scientific data to make decisions, I don't think so.

But, what if we wait and do nothing?

If we sit by and let the atmosphere become warmer and warmer until the catastrophic conditions are destroying large pieces of our planet before we try to reverse the warming, we are faced with a tremendous uphill battle. We may have to go to extremes never even considered in today's effort to stop the temperature increase, and require even more strict controls to actually lower the atmospheric temperature.

An analysis by CNN's Senior Climate Editor was just published. Quote: "Two years ago, forecasters in the UK conducted an interesting thought experiment. 'What will our forecasts look like in 2050?'"

The forecasters are the official weather forecast agency for the UK. They came up with a forecast for July 2050. The actual weather in England on last Monday and Tuesday was almost identical. The 2050 forecast became a reality... 28 years early, and today, the temperature reached an all-time record of 104 degrees in England where only 1% of the homes are air conditioned.

If that's not a wake-up call, what's it going to take?

This is really a Pearl Harbor moment, and we are just acting as if nothing is happening. Are we going to continue until we have destroyed parts of the Blue Planet by playing politics?

That's what it looks like to me.

Richard Mason is an author and speaker. He can be reached at [email protected]

Print Headline: 'Coolest summer we'll have,' a climate update


Sponsor Content