Weather Haiku: Drought
Much of the midwest United States swelters and thirsts under the oppression of the worst drought since the Dust Bowl Era of the 1930's! Fires rage, streams, lakes, ponds and swamps dry up as weeks go by without rain. Occasional showers pass through a few areas, and while this is welcome relief, it - in no way slakes the thirst of the land. The crops of corn, soybeans and livestock not only suffer, they are systematically destroyed.
Modern civilization is an amazingly advanced collection of technology and derived knowledge. We do some truly amazing things. Yet, in the face of the natural world - and it's more fickle member: weather - no amount of technology has been able to overcome the rudimentary elements of Mother Nature. We can barely predict; doing so only if the weather remains template consistent; let alone control. That is yet only in the realm of science fiction. Yet, if one thing is learned about weather, it is the inconsistency of weather.
Many are asking, "Is this [the hot weather and drought] because of global climate change?" The naysayers tell the questioning crowd, "It's nothing more than a natural cycle. We've seen them before and we've made it through. We'll weather this one, too."
Sounds good and there is a grain of truth in the statement.
These spikes/anomalies/weather variances have occurred before. As well, there are definitely cyclical components to weather events. But mankind has never just 'made it through' a weather alteration/variance/anomaly/spike. Something - or somethings - always fall subject to unexpected change. Often times it is the change that alters entire lifestyles. Not always for the better. Think potato famine in Ireland; or droughts in Africa; or even our own Dust Bowl Era. None of these occurred without seriously painful changes.
Dry land, tinder rage,
Dreams sear in summer broil: pain
Drought is manifested as land - forced to offer up changes. Once fertile areas become - if not desert - then near-desert. Water sources/ways/impoundments change and so do the life forms found within/near/dependent for their existence along their shores.
The land deals change. It has no choice. Wildlife either adjust or perish or move on to new areas that will support them. Adaptation, is a slow process, so in the interim many animals and plants are lost; extirpated from the affected area. Humans, though we have a bit more flexibility, we, too are not invincible in the face of weather disruptions.
The land suffers future changes. In the face of an extended and severe drought much of the land becomes useless for what it once provided. It's future and the future of any life depending on it, also changes. When the land changes, the weather itself changes in response. And thus a vicious cycle of pain-filled alteration begins. The last work in this is not pretty.
So, did we (humanity) have a hand in this? Can mankind be blamed for what the earth and its inhabitants are being exposed to today? Can man actually have an overall changing effect upon the surface of the earth? If so, does this 'effect-range' proctor an affect vast enough to actually change the weather? Have we erred in our assessments of human involvement? On the side of pride: regardless of the side of the table? All of these questions are hotly debated and are very much in need of answers: soon!
To err is most certainly human. But to do so deliberately, that my friend ...is colossal stupidity.
Sam Stovepipe, Sage of Gar Island, Journal #6; Slogging Through It, 1946
This is a fundamental question. Many argue their position-answer. But, as always, nature will have the last, and final, answer. That one bit of truth, you can take to the grave: the other sure thing in life.
Updated: 03:10 GMT le 13 août 2012
A A A
UPDATE: Typhoon Haikui .. churning up
-- UPDATE: Wednesday 08.08.12 --
It appears Typhoon Haikui came ashore to 'do serious typhoon business' !
According to reports from Chinese and World news agencies, Haikui came ashore with wind speeds of 110 km per hour (68mph). Yes, the speeds were barely up to hurricane force (74mph for both hurricane and typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson scale), there was widespread damage. This was the third such storm to hit China this week.
The winds may not have been terribly high-speed, but the rains have been torrential.
This is a very densely populated area. Haikui came ashore, with it's counter-clockwise winds just south of the city of Shanghai (population: over 9.8 million), 155 miles south, in Zhejiang province (popultion: over 45 million!). So any kind of wind and rain event will bring widespread trouble. And Haikui did just this.
Dumping rains; over 16 inches in downtown Shanghai alone; and many tens of inches all over the wide spread area of the storm as it came on land. As most typhoons are, Haikui was a very large storm, in terms of area, and will remain so until it diminishes over land in the coming days.
Meanwhile it is expected to dump a lot of water where ever it goes.
Typhoons are major weather events that bring a huge recharge of water to the Asian landscape, much in the same way hurricanes do here in the Western hemisphere. Water-recharge, brought in by a typhoon, is quite important to the ecological, social and natural environments. Immediate needs for water are met, as well, the long-term needs of water are redressed by the recharge of the groundwater storage. But there is a cost.
Huge amounts of rain, in populated areas equal flooding, loss-of-life and property. When the land is populated by only plants and animals .. it's not such a big deal. Humans always ad a complicated mix to the equation.
I'm glad Haikui wasn't any stronger than it is. There would have been more damage and likely a greater loss-of-life.
Until the next Weather Haiku .. stay safe, stay peaceful and stay in the know with weather - stay in touch with WUnderground!
-- Monday 08.06.12 --
I opened up the WU this morning and noticed there was a very interestingly named TYPHOON humming off the Chinese coast. The name caught my attention because it's one letter away from my favorite form of 'verse': the HAIKU.
Haiku is a Japanese form of verse - that can be written to sound like poetry, but it's more of an unfinished thought on which the writer wishes the reader to think about and finish with their heart. Yes, it's heady stuff. But fun, too.
So, wiped out from all the earthquake recordings I was doing, I'm going to work on a something a bit less tedious: writing and illustrating, a series of WEATHER HAIKU.
I stopped - about 2 months back - collecting and building maps of the daily earthquake records here on WU: just too many to record. It's surprising there's not more surface damage from all the continual rocking and shaking planet earth goes through!
I did, however, find an interesting series of correlations. I doubt that any among the community of seismology would agree with my postulations. Their community is, for the most part, very unconvinced about the theory that earthquakes beget earthquakes. But, the evidence would appear quite otherwise.
Oh, well. My weather haiku shouldn't raise any scientific hackles. I might ruffle some literary feathers .. but hey, that's the beauty of the art form.
Reaction: it's the name of the game.
If my offerings are deemed any good by y'all, I sure would appreciate a quick comment to let me know. And if you don't like 'em .. you can voice that, too.
Either way, I'm going to do -at least - one a week and post them here.
I shouldn't run out of material for a while. Eh? ".)
Take care. Stay cool (for all my fellow swelters of this horrid heat wave); stay warm for all you in the land of the Northern Cross, who have been shivering under a cooler winter than usual. Is this the new 'normal'. Oh dear sweat'n'freeze! - I hope NOT!
To all my WUfriends, be safe, at peace and enjoy life. It's far too, short to do otherwise!
Best to all -
Updated: 18:55 GMT le 08 août 2012
A A A