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The Sahara Syndrome
By Ernest Stewart

"Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest." ~~~ James Lovelock

Many know the Sahara Desert is roughly the size of the United States; but did you know that once-upon-a-time it was made up of rich pastures and jungles with large lakes and rivers running through it? Do you suppose what happened to the Sahara could happen elsewhere? As you know, the Earth just recorded its hottest 12-month period ever; well, at least since we began keeping those records in 1880. Ice core samples going back several hundred thousand years pretty much tell the same story. In Southern Europe, for example, scientists find that in the last 10,000 years the region never experienced such severe droughts and heatwaves that it's facing now. In fact, if the trend continues for next 100 years, many areas of Europe will turn into a desert. This isn't in any way limited to southern Europe, but may be happening all over the world.

Since the late 19th century, the average temperature of the Mediterranean has already risen by 1.5 degrees Celsius. Researchers at the journal Science said, "Man-made climate change will likely alter ecosystems in the Mediterranean in a way that is without precedent in the past 10,000 years, unless governments quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

If remained unchecked, the estimation of such a desert area in Europe would expand up to Southern Spain, Portugal, and Sicily. This is being caused by trends of changing the Atlantic storms. These storm are moving in a northerly direction, resulting in more sunshine over the region, and less rain.

You may recall that a study in the US journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" in 2015 said there was a direct involvement of man-made climate change that aggravated the drought of 2007-10 in Syria that was a contributing factor to the civil war.

Meanwhile, in the US, Phoenix has been setting records for the last week or so with temps in the three figure range, which, while normal in July, is not so normal for the end of October and the beginning of November!

Having said that, some are predicting another polar vortex from the Midwest to the East Coast for this winter. I remember quite well our last polar vortex of 2013-2014, when at night the wind chills were hovering right around 50 below zero for about a week. You may also recall that two late mega-hurricanes ran right up the Chinese coast and through Alaska, pushing all that cold air south. So, unless we have a similar occurrences this fall, I think we'll have the same winter that we had last year, only slightly warmer.

Co-author Martyn Chipperfield, professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of Leeds, said:
"Climate change can lead to extremes; it's not like a regular change, everyone to the same extent at all times and places. Despite the overall warming, you can get in places like the Northeastern U.S. extreme cold events. That's consistent with climate change and global warming."
As I've said on many occasions, in Global Warming there are winners and losers. However, weather still works on basic principles -- for example, Sir Isaac's Three Laws of Motion and Albert's E=MC2. To have that polar vortex effect, you must have a cause! So, unless there are late fall mega-typhoons, we'll have a normal, perhaps slightly warmer, winter. Here's what NOAA said about it.

According to the U.S. Winter Outlook, published last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts "a warm, dry winter for much of the country."


01-30-1934 ~ 10-30-2016
Thanks for the film!

11-20-1930 ~ 10-30-2016
Thanks for the music!

08-20-1953 ~ 11-02-2016
Thanks for the laughs!


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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 44 (c) 11/04/2016