Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thinking About The Weather

I get a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather...

-- Natalie Merchant, "Talk About The Weather" (1987)

The Yomiuri Shimbun is reporting that the typhoon fast approaching the Kanto Area is a "once-in-a-decade strength storm." (Link - J)

Which leaves me not entirely confident about Diet question time happening tomorrow, at least not as scheduled.

To those who argue against the reality of human agency accelerated climate change, please change your minds...or get your first one, if you have heretofore lived without.

Later - Thirteen confirmed dead; 51 missing. With all the advance notice, work stoppages, robust infrastructure and media near-hysteria one could ask for. (Link - J)

And as this is typed, a bright, warm sun shines upon the aftermath.

Image of Typhoon #26 courtesy: Japan Meteorological Agency


Ben said...

So now we're blaming any and all exceptional weather patterns on climate change? I'm just trying to keep track of the increasingly broad application of this catch-all theory.

Eamonn(not Fingleton) said...

Not that it would be good anywhere else in the world, but when I think of the densely packed towns and cities on coastal plains juxtaposed with wooded, uninhabited mountains that I'd see out the window of the Shinkansen, the implications of a sea-level rise for Japan are truly frightening. Almost all the major metropolitan areas of Japan would be flooded to some degree.

MTC said...

Ben -

Few benefits accrue to a person on the downhill side of a human lifespan and a potted plant in terms of career models. One, however, is perspective. The climate of Tokyo has changed - the summers hotter, the storms more intense, the turning of the autumn leaves later. Last night, on the main shopping street near my abode, I came across a confused Japanese common toad (Hikigaeru - Bufo japonicus). Down in Okinawa, such an appearance would be commonplace. However, here in the TMD, a toad in mid-October, out in a typhoon thinking that, after a smattering of days in the 30s, Spring had come, triggers an immense sadness.

One might wish that humans are not to blame for the changes in the rhythms of the Earth. However, to see the changes, know that they are in line with predictions of consequences of our behavior, and then argue over the indeterminacy of evidence, is to demonstrate that the snakes in the garden are indeed ourselves (that last comment being for allusive purposes only: I am inordinately fond of snakes).

MTC said...

Eamonn(not Fingleton) -

The implications are there. Japan, however, is stil rich and incredibly organized -- the latter on the local level rather than the national. The people of this blessed land will handle the rise in sea levels either through the application of technology or moving on. There are historical precedents for both.

Martin J Frid said...

Ben, the climate patterns have indeed changed. Why the need to "blame" this? If we accept that weather is no longer quite normal, we need to ask, is it due to human activities (massive emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere) or is it just random fluke?

"This catch-all theory" is science, which means a lot of people are working on it. Having 26 typhoons this year and as late as mid-October and as strong as this one, isn't just a fluke.

MTC, that toad deserve a post of its own.