News Stories

Major Media Finally Gets It

After years of writing about how sudden climate change could be triggered by a change in the Gulf Stream on this website, and in The Coming Global Superstorm?and being totally ignored by the major media?the big news organizations are finally starting to "get it." This week, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times both wrote about upcoming weather changes, due to global warming.

David Stipp wrote in Fortune Magazine on Monday that "?The prospect [of global warming] has become so real that the Pentagon's strategic planners are grappling with it. The threat that has riveted their attention is this: Global warming, rather than causing gradual, centuries-spanning change, may be pushing the climate to a tipping point. Growing evidence suggests the ocean-atmosphere system that controls the world's climate can lurch from one state to another in less than a decade?like a canoe that's gradually tilted until suddenly it flips over. Scientists don't know how close the system is to a critical threshold. But abrupt climate change may well occur in the not-too-distant future. If it does, the need to rapidly adapt may overwhelm many societies?thereby upsetting the geopolitical balance of power. "Though triggered by warming, such change would probably cause cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, leading to longer, harsher winters in much of the U.S. and Europe. Worse, it would cause massive droughts, turning farmland to dust bowls and forests to ashes. Picture last fall's California wildfires as a regular thing. Or imagine similar disasters destabilizing nuclear powers such as Pakistan or Russia?it's easy to see why the Pentagon has become interested in abrupt climate change."

Paul R. Epstein wrote in the Wednesday, New York Times that "New Yorkers may be able to blame the city's current cold spell?the most severe in nearly a decade?on global warming. Global warming doesn't mean that every place on the globe gets warmer. The weather history that can be read in polar ice-core samples indicates that previous periods of warming affected North America and Europe far differently than they did the tropics?the Northern Hemisphere got a lot colder. It's far too early to say for sure, but the same processes may be at work today.

"?Normally, water circulates in the North Atlantic like this: Cold, salty water at the top sinks; that sinking water acts as a pump, pulling warm Gulf Stream water north and thus moderating winter weather. But now, fresh water from the thawing ice and heavier rain is accumulating near the ocean's surface; it's not sinking as quickly. (The tropics are faced with the opposite phenomenon. According to Dr. Ruth Curry and her colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the tropical Atlantic is becoming saltier; as warming increases, so does evaporation, which leaves behind salt.) The "freshening" in the North Atlantic may be contributing to a high-pressure system that is accelerating trans-Atlantic winds and deflecting the jet stream?changes that may be driving frigid fronts down the Eastern Seaboard. The ice-core records demonstrate that the North Atlantic can freshen to a point where the deep-water pump fails, warm water stops coming north, and the northern ocean suddenly freezes, as it did in the last Ice Age. No one can say if that is what will happen next. But since the 1950's, the best documented deep-water pump, between Iceland and Scotland, has slowed 20 percent.

"?We are entering uncharted waters. It's something for New Yorkers to ponder as they bundle up.?

Now that the Big Guys are paying attention, the government may be forced into taking action. But remember: You read it here (and here) first.

Art Bell and Whitley Strieber discuss the future of our weather (among other things) on Coast to Coast am, Saturday, Jan. 31 starting at 10 pm Pacific!

To read complete texts of Fortune and NYT articles, click here and here.

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.


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