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Harris-Mann Climatology Article Archive

Title: We Are Living In A Period of Global 'Extremes'

Author: Climatologist Cliff Harris
Published: 7/26/2012

Since 1968, we’ve been in a global cycle of WIDE WEATHER ‘EXTREMES’ that’s been the strongest such cycle in more than 1,000 years, since the days of Leif Ericsson, the mighty Norse Chieftain.

It remains the opinion of this climatologist that this 70-year cycle of extremes won’t peak until at least 2038. We will continue to see long-standing weather records broken worldwide on an accelerated scale.

Just this week, NASA announced that we’re seeing "unprecedented melting" of the Greenland Ice Sheet, even surpassing the melting that occurred 123 years ago in 1889. This type of sudden melting in Greenland occurs about once every 150 years and is a ‘natural cycle,’ not the result of manmade global warming.

It was caused by a huge wave of much warmer than normal air that washed across the entire continent. It started on July 8 and ended four days later on July 12. While some ice melts every summer on Greenland, the 2012 melting has been unusually widespread covering nearly 97 percent of the huge ice sheet. But, most of the thick ice remains and is still several miles deep at the center of Greenland.

About the same time that the melting peaked in mid July, a giant iceberg broke off from the huge Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland flooding the ocean with enormous chunks of sea ice.

I believe that this Greenland melting is directly related to the worst drought and heat pattern in the U.S. Midwest Corn and Soybean Belt since at least the infamous ‘Dust Bowl Days’ of the 1930s. A whopping 45 percent of the 2012 U.S. corn crop was rated "poor-to-very poor" by the U.S.D.A. on Monday, July 23. Soybeans were rated a record "33 percent poor-to-very poor."

There have been two gigantic high pressure systems parked over the Northern Hemisphere this spring and summer. One has been locked in place in an ‘Omega pattern’ over the drought-parched, heat-baked central U.S., and the second high pressure ridge has been over Greenland producing unusual warmth and abnormally rapid melting on the continent.

Ironically, between the two ridges, we’ve seen record rains, abnormally chilly temperatures and gusty straight-line winds called ‘Derechos’ that caused extensive property damage and power outages in late June and early July along the Mid-Atlantic coastline of the U.S. The Pacific Inland Northwest had an extremely wet June and early July.

There have been major floods in recent weeks in Japan, Russia, India, Bangladesh and Chile. The 20 inches of rain in a single day in Japan broke records dating back to the 1500s. Beijing, China this week had its worst flooding in 61 years. At least 77 people were killed by a downpour of more than 10 inches in 4 hours which swamped downtown Beijing.

Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, broke its all-time heat record with a 51.4 degrees Celsius (124.5 degree Fahrenheit) reading being observed at 4:10 p.m. on June 2. It was likewise extremely hot in Iraq on the same day, 50.5 degrees Celsius (122.9 degrees Fahrenheit) at Fao. On June 7, Kakinada in India broke its all-time record high with a scorching 47.3 degrees Celsius (117.3 degrees Fahrenheit). In the U.S., on June 30, Hill City, Kansas soared to 116 degrees, also an all-time high reading. Indianapolis, Indiana hit 105 degrees on July 2, likewise a new all-time record maximum.

But, for every extreme record high, there’s also a record low extreme somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere on the planet.

For example, record cold in Australia has kept plumbers busy fixing burst water pipes. Temperatures dipped to as low as -5.2 degrees Celsius this past week in Alice Springs in the ‘heart’ of this dusty continent. That’s a frigid 22 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale. For central Australia, this winter has been "the coldest since the 1970s," according to local weather observers.

Record cold winter temperatures have likewise been seen in recent weeks in both Chile and Peru in South America and in parts of South Africa, where record snows blocked some of the main highways on July 15 trapping hundreds of people in their cars. Two persons died of exposure as temperatures plunged to as low as -11 degrees Celsius, 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

I should mention that even tropical Fiji reported record low temperatures in mid July as did much of New Zealand. This has been Anchorage, Alaska’s coldest July on record as of this July 26 writing.

What’s ahead weatherwise is anyone’s guess. Expect the ‘unusual,’ and you’ll undoubtedly be right.