Subtropical Storm Ana has hit the north Atlantic Ocean off Bermuda, making this the earliest Atlantic hurricane season in memory. Ana is the first storm of 2003 and one of only two tropical or subtropical storms to form in April since record keeping began. The official six-month Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. U.S. National Hurricane Center forecaster James Franklin says, "April is the least common month for tropical or subtropical storms."
Tropical Storm Ana is upon us two months in advance of the usual hurricane seasons. Normally, the hurricane season begins in June, but now in April we are seeing the formation of storms that can lead to hurricanes.
The formation of such a storm so early in the season is an indicator that global warming is upon us. Tropical storms such an Ana require an ocean water temperature of at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit in order to form, and the ocean water gains that warmth from the Earth's atmosphere.
All warmth the Earth receives to warm its atmosphere, and thereby indirectly warming its oceans, comes from variations in the output of radiation from the Sun. We are currently entering a period over the next three to seven years where several cycles of solar variation are going to spike at the same time. Thus, during this time, we can expect the Sun to radiate more energy to the Earth, and that energy will translate into a warmer atmosphere.
A warm atmosphere is a more energetic atmosphere. We will see more storms such as Tropical Storm Ana occurring earlier and earlier into the hurricane season. What should concern many is that this addition of warmth to the Earth's atmosphere holds the potential of a global super storm as set forth in Art Bell and Whitley Shrieber's book, The Coming Global Super Storm.
Henry Willis, author of Earth's Future Climate, says, "The introduction of this energy by the Sun to warm Earth?s atmosphere also holds the potential to cause a collapse of the Atlantic Ocean?s thermohaline sinks. This fact is discussed in detail in my book. The failure of the Atlantic Ocean?s thermohaline sinks will bring on another ice age. While the advent of such an ice age will not bring about a failure of our civilizations as we know it, it will cause considerable social disruption.
"Tropical Storm Ana is a precursor of what Earth's climate holds for us in the future. The present climate stability that humankind has enjoyed for the last 11,000 years is in jeopardy. What our future holds is an unstable global climate that is brought upon us by unstabity in the output of solar variation. We will survive. But it will be at a great cost to many."
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