San Diego Soliloquies

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's Too Damn Hot

Something no one with a lick of sense living here in the West should be in doubt about:

Warming Climate Plays Large Role in Western U.S. Wildfires, Scripps-led Study Shows

We who live in San Diego get little or no sympathy from the rest of the U.S., or the world, when we complain about the weather. But they should really listen to us about the climate.

Some of the major engines of weather in the world are the the currents created by ocean currents. For example, you've probably heard of the Gulf Stream which carries warm water from the tropical Atlantic into the North Atlantic, moderating the weather in northern Europe. Stop the Gulf Stream and the Arctic starts heading south through Scandinavia. Here on the west coast of the US we have the California current, carrying cold (frigid actually) water from Alaska down here to San Diego. It's a broad swath of water that is much cooler than the waters further west in the Pacific. Since warm air carries more moisture, as winds from the west traverse these cold waters we get condensation, resulting in San Francisco fog, and Southern California's "late night, early morning low clouds and fog". Until now.

It looks like the waters of San Diego are growing warmer with each season. Some species of tropical fish are being found as far north as the Bay Area and further. Meanwhile we have a fire adapted landscape that is exposed to far more heat energy (it used to be that cool and wet falls stopped anyway bad fires. Now we have had wild fires occurring in January!), while more homes and communities spring up amongst the chaparral.

It's too damn hot. It's gonna burn.

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San Diego Soliloquies