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Shifting climate caused rising temperatures and more extreme weather in 2021

Shifting climate caused rising temperatures and more extreme weather in 2021

Shifting climate brought rising temperatures, increasingly extreme weather in 2021


Shifting climate brought rising temperatures, increasingly extreme weather in 2021

After August’s Dixie fire, the Pioneer Cafe on Main Street was completely destroyed. File Photo by Peter DaSilva/UPI| License Photo

Dec. 29 (UPI) —Sometimes, activists and researchers refer to global warming or climate change as “settled science.”

The overwhelming evidence that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities continue and have caused the planet to heat up and alter its climate is overwhelming. Science is not yet settled.

Each year scientists learn more about the climatic disruptions that atmospheric greenhouse gases can cause to the climate.

In 2021, scientists gained new insight into the effects of climate change on extreme weather such as wildfires and hurricanes.

Texas blackouts

The year began with one if the deadliest winter storms ever recorded.

Initial estimates indicated that 151 people died from the freezing temperatures and long, widespread power outages caused by February’s Polar Vortex. However, further investigations revealed that 700 people were killed in the disaster.

The stratospheric Polar Vortex holds a tight circle, trapping Arctic air around the top of our planet.

However, as the Arctic has warmed rapidly the temperature difference between the far northern and middle latitudes has decreased, destabilizing polar vortex and allowing the frigid Arctic occasionally to spill as far south Texas.

The following research was published in 2021 Global warming is fueling this phenomenon.

Researchers predict that extreme winter weather will increase in North America as the Arctic warms. This is despite the fact that winters are getting warmer.

This is bad news for Texas, where critics — despite the fact that they are welcome — are not happy. The state’s policy makers offer assurancesEnergy systems are still not sufficiently weatherized or regulated, according to this statement. Texas’ energy system has been highly privatized and is independent. This means it is isolated from regional grids.

“Markets can be good at allocating resources during normal operations,” Carey King (a research scientist at Texas and assistant director at Energy Institute) told UPI by email.

King stated that better regulations are needed to ensure that gas generators can channel increased revenues into grid stabilization efforts, infrastructure upgrades, and other initiatives. King also stated that he would like to see rules to prevent price gouging in emergencies.

“[Policy makers]”We can learn from the limitations of markets how to incentivize behavior which suits the public good, in terms of safety as well as financial ramifications, especially in times of emergency,” he stated. “Effective oversight will be required.”

California wildfires

California produces more green electricity than any other state, but that wasn’t enough to prevent summertime in 2021.

The threat of wildfire grew and the three largest investors-owned utilities in the state were forced to shut down thousands of homes over the summer.

While climate change may bring more precipitation to California’s parts, it could also lead to increased droughts and higher temperatures that result in larger fires across the West. Research published early in the year found that wildfires are increasing. Carbon storage capacity is being reducedThe forests of the Earth.

Even when woodlands in California avoid fire, one recent study found, the state’s most-drought-resistant tree species, the blue oak, is left vulnerable by prolonged dry periods.

The drought of nearly five years that decimated much of California between 2012-2016 caused significant tree loss and die-offs in blue oak stands. Quercus douglasiiThe Sierra Nevada foothills are home to the Sierra Nevada’s hardy trees.

UPI was told by Paul Hessburg (forest ecologist at the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station), that fire seasons in areas with an active burning regime are getting longer, snowpack has dwindled, springs are coming sooner, summers later and winter temperatures are warming.

Hessburg stated that the fire season results in fuels becoming more readily available for burning earlier and staying available to burn for longer periods of time.

Hessburg claims that the West is not suffering from a lack in trees. In fact, today there is more combustible oil than 200 years ago, when lightning-triggered wildfires regularly thinning forests, and indigenous populations routinely burned forestland in order to grow crops and attract wildlife.

Today, almost all wildfires are controlled by authorities. Fires that escape containment during wildfire season are usually when it is particularly hot and dry. They have plenty of fuel to burn.

Climate patterns are causing West’s fire deficit to worsen, making the region’s carbon storage more vulnerable.

Hessburg stated, “Research shows in all countries that an active fire season that there is a warming climate driving fire sizes, and that is annual burned area.” “Some countries are also experiencing active-fire regimes for the very first time in recent memories.”


The year’s most dramatic weather story was probably the barrage tornadoes that decimated parts of the Midwest and South in early Dec.

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Five states were affected by the outbreak that saw at least 35 confirmed twisters. It claimed the lives of 93 people. Kentucky was the worst affected, with 78 deaths.

Although the connections between extreme weather and climate change have become more apparent in recent years, it is still not clear how global warming will affect tornadoes.

Tornadoes are formed when warm, rapidly rising air meets cooler, denser atmosphere above. This creates wind shear and promotes the formation of supercells or spinning funnels.

According to some scientists, an increase in warm air due to global warming will provide more fuel for storm-producing tornadoes.

Researchers have also suggested that the same phenomenon, which is driving an increase of extreme winter weather — the Northern Hemisphere’s reduced temperature gradient — will reduce the strength and power of high-altitude winds. These winds help shape and energize tornado funnel cells.

Prepare for extremes

Hessburg stated, “We know that climate is becoming warmer and drier and until we get a grip on greenhouse gas emission, that’s still going to be the case.” “There is not going to be a new norm — these trends will continue at least through the end of this century.”

It is difficult to determine how climate change affects weather because of the complexity of Earth’s natural systems. However, numerous studies have shown a strong connection between global warming, extreme weather, and other factors.

Research suggests that the sooner carbon emissions can be reduced, the better chance humans have of avoiding the most disastrous effects of climate changes.

Experts, advocates, and officials have all suggested that governments should begin to plan more strategically to deal with the potential consequences of global climate change.

“To avoid what happened to Texas, we need to recognize that more severe and abnormal weather will be the norm in future,” said Seth Berry, a Maine state representative, to UPI earlier this year.

Berry is part a growing group policy makers who are pushing for greater public control over uses and decentralized energy solutions.

“We need to be able and prepared to deal with extreme and bizarre weather. He stated that it was important to build fortified infrastructure. This can look like taller, stronger poles. It can also be insulated treewire, which is stronger and doesn’t short out when a branch is leaning on it.

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