Film: Stormageddon – Fellowship of Humanity    

Film: Stormageddon

Posted by Humanist Hall on December 16, 2011as , , , , , , , , , , , ,




Wednesday, January 11 at 7:30 pm


Why Extreme Weather Is Hitting Us Today

by National Geographic Channel




Historic snows and bitter cold across North America; massive floods in Australia and Pakistan; deadly mudslides in Brazil; epic drought and wildfires in Russia; 2010 was one of the most destructive years in human history — one of the worst years for extreme weather and one of the most expensive. And 2011 is following in its footsteps, or perhaps, its flood waters. National Geographic presents the dramatic images of this catastrophic weather year and introduces the people who risked their lives to capture them on film. National Geographic Channel’s program, Explorer, looks at some of the worst such weather and also the surprising cause behind much of it: water, too much water. All precipitation starts in the ocean with gaseous water vapor providing fuel for storms. The sun transforms water into vapor, which increases first heat and then evaporation, with energy building up in the atmosphere, which further increases the potential for more extreme weather. Water vapor is the most efficient transmitter of solar power, increasing energy steadily as we can see when looking back: 9 out of 10 of the hottest years on record have happened since 2002. Nineteen nations set new record high temperatures. 2010 was also the wettest year on record.

In a single hurricane, the condensation of water vapor produces 200 times the energy of the total electrical production of the entire world. Then, a storm surge brings its extra destructive power. Surge is important because of the oceans rising. Thermal expansion is what happens when the water warms. It expands, increasing evaporation and then vapor, and the ocean then rises, covering low-lying areas like Bangladesh for example. It has been a difficult decade and there is worse to come. Increased sea levels lead to increased severe storms, hurricanes, and destructive storm surges — all the result of a gradual warming of the planet, global warming. It is easy to forget that the largest amount of greenhouse gas is water vapor, not carbon dioxide, even though the latter is a big contributor as well.













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