Browning Newsletter: You Name It: Heat, Cold, Floods and Drought!
Comment of the Day

August 20 2013

Commentary by David Fuller

Browning Newsletter: You Name It: Heat, Cold, Floods and Drought!

My thanks to Alex Seagle of for this fascinating and beautifully illustrated publication by Evelyn Browning Garriss. It is posted in the Subscriber's Area but here are two brief samples from the 'News Notes' concluding section
Temperatures are fluctuating wildly in the Arctic. Early July saw extremely cold conditions in Siberia and now the Russian Arctic in the middle of a severe heat wave. Record-breaking temperatures of 32?C (89.6?F) were recorded in the Siberian city of Norilsk on July 21. The average temperature in July in the region is 13.6?C, or 56.5?F. The heat is bad news for firefighters in the region. NASA explains that once the snow melts, the remote region is very susceptible to wildfires. According to Russia Beyond the Headlines, regional forestry officials are saying that 57 forest fires were burning across 1,919 hectares, or 7.4 square miles. Meanwhile satellite photos show over 40,000 square miles (103 599.5 sq. km.) of Siberia covered with smoke.

Canada has some similar problems. Hot, dry weather drives up forest fire risk across British Columbia. Almost the entire southern half of B.C. currently has a high or extreme fire danger rating.

Beware those rolling rivers - A new study, by Dr. David Lavers, et. al., of the University of Iowa, published in the July 24 Environmental Research Letters warns that England is facing the probability of more winter floods due to "atmospheric rivers." These are intense bands of moisture that flow through the air. The study suggests that the warmer condition over the Atlantic creates more rivers and makes them more concentrated and severe. The study showed that at their peak, these rivers can transport almost 300,000 tons of moisture every second. (By comparison, the River Thames carries about 65 tons of water through London over the same period.) If the rivers make landfall and encounter hills or mountains, the air is forced upwards where it cools and releases the moisture in the form of rain. This causes floods as we saw in Cumbria in 2009.

This is similar to the "Pineapple Express" that occasionally floods Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. This too has increased since the shift in the PDO has warmed the Northern Pacific.

David Fuller's view Browning Newsletter is certainly one of the most unusual and therefore interesting publications that I receive. My overall impression is that we should expect unusual weather conditions to occur more frequently than what we recall from decades ago. Additionally, the risk of flooding appears to be increasing, although this may have at least as much to do with the increasing global population and where people choose to live, rather than climate change.

Alex Seagle will be hosting the 51st Annual Contrary Opinion Forum at the beautiful Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vermont during October 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2013. Mrs Fuller and I loved this event, as do Eoin and Mrs Treacy and he will be speaking again this year. The Forum is easily one of the most relaxed, socially enjoyable and hassle free financial events that I have attended. If you are sporty, take your golf clubs or wetsuit, because Basin Harbor Club is nestled between the golf course and Lake Champlain. The walks are also superb.

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