Earth’s climate change regime is presently entering a new phase and evolving rapidly, conceivably even on a season-to-season basis. Overheating has caused drought in many parts of the world, and it is not clear that peripherally inhabitable deserts in North America and the Middle East are going to continue to be able to sustain their current population levels for long. At the same time, both Atlantic and Pacific extreme cyclonic events are likely to become more frequent and more powerful, including both wind and rain events. In the US “tornado alley” region, more and stronger storms are likely, as are dangerous straight-line wind events. Tornadoes are possible but will remain rare in many areas of the world that are not used to this type of storm, most notably the British Isles and Central Europe. Unstable and changing seasonal precipitation patterns in grain growing regions around the world will increase over the next few years, with dangerous consequences for food supplies. Extraordinary overheating and drought in northern latitudes will result in extensive fires. Crop yields are likely to become so diminished within a matter of years that extensive famine will be a genuine possibility.
Drought conditions will also spread to Europe at times, and there will be more and more frequent period of catastrophic drought on the European continent. Increasing air temperatures will disturb water vapor uptakes, resulting in shifts between drought and flooding in many areas. The wheat growing regions of Southern Russia and the Ukraine are particularly vulnerable to catastrophic drought because of their distance from the cooler regions to the north where their rains are generated. This is less true of the North American grain belt, but drought from the west could spread there also.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the declining strength of ocean currents and increasing heat mean reduced moisture levels in the air over land masses, with subsequent drought conditions becoming potentially catastrophic. In the Northern Hemisphere, drought in the higher latitudes where warming effects are much more pronounced are going to lead to further extension of wildfires during the summer season. Heating of the northern ocean is beginning to lead to release of methane hydrates from the sea floor. This has the potential to increase the intensity of atmospheric heating dramatically.
The northern jet stream is in jeopardy due to rising upper atmosphere temperatures. It cannot flow without sufficient temperature differential. As it weakens, it will become more erratic. If and when it stops, a profound and life threatening catastrophe will quickly develop.
Planet Earth is experiencing a climate emergency. Unfortunately leadership in the United States, Russia, China and India, the four largest countries in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, has failed to address the problem. This is also true in most of Asia, South America, the Middle East and some parts of Europe.
READING THE CLIMATE WATCH INDEX: The index checks ice, sea water warmth and current flow, and weather conditions at key points in the arctic. In general, abnormally high arctic temperatures and low Gulf Stream flow in the winter will mean that the jet stream will be looping far north and south, causing violent weather in the middle latitudes. Extreme summer heat in the arctic will result in more heat further south, and a radical temperature differential between north and south will bring heavy weather across continental areas of Europe and North America. But weather and climate are very complex, and these are never more than probabilities. Overall, the superstorm index remains unchanged, as recent scientific studies have served as confirming evidence.