I’ve been trying to put in miles on my bike this summer–at least 50 miles per week, and more if I don’t have gigs in the offiing. But this weekend, not so much. The temperatures anticipated for NYC (and most of the eastern part of the US) are in the wet bulb range. I’ve tried to explain this at the link (ably assisted by the work of Kevin Hester). Long story short, high heat accompanied by high humidity is a death sentence for humans–if your body sweat can’t evaporate, you can’t cool down in hot weather. From a purely subjective POV, this is the nastiest weather I’ve ever biked in. I suspect the high temperatures also mask a high ozone level in the air, making breathing difficult. And I’m drenched with sweat just by being outside.
Anyway, enough about me. A scientist named Sam Carana (or a bunch of different scientists collectively using the pseudonym ‘Sam Carana’–not clear) has been putting forth the issues on warming as part of the Arctic News Blogsite. I’ve already posted multiple articles from his earlier work going back to 2015–just put ‘carana’ in the search box. But he’s gone apocalyptic now. From the July newsletter:
A catastrophe of unimaginable proportions is unfolding. Life is disappearing from Earth and runaway heating could destroy all life. At 5°C heating, most life on Earth will have disappeared. When looking only at near-term human extinction, 3°C will likely suffice. Study after study is showing the severity of the threat that too many keep ignoring or denying at the peril of the world at large. Have a look at the following:
Crossing the 2°C guardrail
(from the newsletter. my Italics)
What does this mean? Since the Paris COP21 accord, the one thing everyone agreed to is that 2 C of warming was the point of no return. IOW, if we went beyond 2 C of global warming past the 1750 pre-industrial baseline, there was no longer any way of controlling global warming. Keep that 2 C number in mind as you visit the website.
I leave it to you to look up the info on the page. I don’t want to get this wrong or exaggerate (as if that’s even possible at this point). Below, a graphic of the likelihood of temperatures going over 5 C past baseline.
Something to contemplate today. New York sizzles, but not in a good way. Yesterday I saw a lot of Con Ed (the local power company) trucks out on the streets. We already had a power issue last weekend, where much of midtown NY (including Broadway) was shut down for hours due to a transformer fire. It’s too hot to get out on the bike, a condition that NY will probably see for the daylight hours of the next two days. Getting a ‘go bag’ ready in case I have to leave town. Meanwhile, a new ‘climate feedback’ loop not anticipated. Heat waves like the one the US is currently experiencing pushes up electricity demand to record levels as people run their AC. That adds tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, exacerbating greenhouse effect global warming. Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t.