Toronto Train Commuters Rescued By Boat

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
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#1
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
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#2
Wow, those are some extraordinary pictures. I hope you are all keeping dry and safe.

It's funny, we had similar flooding earlier this year in Chicago as well... I don't know the numbers, but it does seem like you guys have us beat in terms of inches (or centimeters, if you must!), though I could probably look them up.

I don't have any pictures of comparable caliber to the ones you posted, but here are a few:




 

Ex_Brit

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#3
Looks eerily similar doesn't it? !!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
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#4
We had no summer in the previous 3 years.
Last year was the wettest ever recorded in UK, with scenes like those occurring in various communities between April and year-end.
Mercifully for international tourism reputation, the only 3 day "heat-wave" happened during the Olympics and the entire event was about 80-90% dry and warm. The preceding and following months were horrendous.
I'm happy to report that after the longest winter on record (to follow the wettest year), in which I wasn't able to turn off the heating till June, and consumed part of next winter's log supply (still not fully seasoned), we have finally seen the first stable anticyclonic summer weather system practically since I first joined this site, and are currently basking in blazing sun and cloudless skies and the earth is becoming parched after we thought the waterlogged ground would never be dry again.
Only trouble is it's just too hot to work outside.
You can never please an Englishman. (the only species worse, is farmers !)
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
#5
I remember some really hot summers in the UK when I was quite a few years younger. It goes in cycles, however I think it is swinging to extremes lately with the effects of global warming.
The human race just has to stop expanding....some hope of that happening.
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
The Nineties was the warmest ever decade in UK with several of the years making it into the hottest ever top 10 individual years.
I was in Wales for the summers of 89-91 in our 7 acre smallholding with its own spring-water supply. We ran out of water every summer we lived there as the spring dried up in the succession of hot dry years, and we had to hand carry drinking water from our neighbour's well and do the washing in a laundrette 10 miles away for several months each year.
After we moved back to England, I don't think the spring ever dried up again.
We did start to get the impression that UK would become Mediterranean in climate with Global Warming , but it's proving far more complex in its effects. A hot decade followed by a wet decade, dry winters causing water shortages, followed by a year so wet that floods became a normal item on every news broadcast, just the location varying day by day, winters far colder than normal and lasting longer, alternating with some so mild that the garden never stopped growing, and flowers were all blooming at crazy times of the year.
A couple of years ago, though there was no "summer" to speak of, we had blackberries in October and November, and the bushes had buds, flowers, green fruit and ripe berries all at the same time.
As a kid, all aspects of the climate and the seasons seemed unvarying and utterly predictable. Now it's a lottery.
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
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#7
A lottery indeed. I think the whole world would probably agree as it doesn't seem restricted to our locales. Everywhere is experiencing strange occurrences.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
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#8
Terry, last year was especially anomalous: while Britain was undergoing (one of?) the wettest years on record, most of the USA was breaking records for driest spells and longest droughts.

It seems no one has this weather thing figured out...
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
The Jet-Stream which wiggles its way sinusoidally round the top half of the planet, traditionally has looped over the top of Scotland during what we expect to be Summer, leaving us in a high pressure bubble of warm air.
For the last few years, especially last year, it spends long periods stalled out of phase with its historic track and instead of sitting in a protected bubble, shielded from the procession of Atlantic Fronts, we've lain directly under the stream, receiving week after week after week of low-pressure weather systems, none particularly fierce by the time they reach us (they all start as hurricanes or tropical storms down in the Caribbean), but due to the higher temperature of the Atlantic from Global Warming, they do carry enormous amounts of moisture with them, so the rain is heavy and last year almost constant.
The same phase-shift which leaves us wet, also affects every other time-zone with unseasonal weather, places expecting rain get none and those expecting sun end up with inshore rescue boats deployed.
It's all to do with the Arctic Sea Ice melting and the albedo of the region decreasing, accelerating the local temperature rise.
That all affects the routing of the Jet Stream.
Scariest of all is the prospect that the decreased salinity from all the melted fresh-water ice of the Greenland glaciers will stop the Gulf Stream from sinking and returning to the Caribbean as a cold water sub-surface current.
If the Atlantic Conveyor is "switched off" in this way, the UK will no longer sit bathed in its warmth and we'll start to get winters more in keeping with our latitude, which is North of Peter.
Canada and the northern states of the US are used to coping but we don't have the infrastructure to handle Arctic winters, so years of chaos and misery will ensue.
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
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#10
I was reading much of the same recently. Very depressing.

I'm more or less level with northern Spain here, so yes, the U.K. is further north and a cancellation or reversal of the Gulf Stream would be catastrophic.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
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#11
If I'm not mistaken, that's the source of some theories postulating minor global warming could paradoxically lead to an ice age?
 

Ex_Brit

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#12
Who knows? Not in my lifetime hopefully.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
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#13
I suppose that's a post-apocalyptic future we might actually be able to decently survive with technology, though it would certainly suck to be poor or homeless!
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
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#14
Well it's pretty obvious that we are going to eat ourselves out of house and home, for want of a better expression. I guess then mankind will have the impetus to move beyond the confines of this solar system.
But that's way in the future.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#15
It certainly implies near-arctic winters for northern Europe if the conveyor stops, but an ice-age is a different proposition.
They've historically occurred when the multiple components of orbital mechanics reach occasional phase alignment every hundred or so millennia and the Sun's received warmth drops to a critical point where winter snow fails to thaw completely and the increased albedo reflects away more energy in a vicious spiral of longer and longer winters and a southerly creeping snow-front that eventually attains permanency till the Sun-cycle reverses the warming power to the extent that it can overcome the albedo and melt the glaciers.
Global warming would counter that downward spiral if an ice-age were imminent, helping to make sure that the winter snows didn't persist into summer.
The effects would be local rather than global.
UK would stop being temperate like San Francisco, which has a similar climate for opposite reasons. They would be sweltering every summer, like LA and south, if the Pacific current didn't cool them.
We'd suddenly switch to be more like Saskatoon than SF, more or less overnight, which would be a massive culture shock.
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
#16
It's a scary thought.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
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#17
I think that was the theory I was referring to, Terry. I didn't recall that global warming would counter that un-thawed snow effect; from Googling about it would seem to depend on which parties' research one believes.

Global climate change is one of those few topics that seem to have conflicting evidence and conflicting theories being bandied about by heavy-weights in the scientific industry, when I see names like NASA coming out for the defense on one side or the other of the debate, I get the feeling that I'm simply too much of a layman to determine which series of thousands of papers is more valid than the other.

For example, this Wikipedia article can't make its mind up on whether or not those conveyor belt currents can or can't stop: Shutdown of thermohaline circulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is the summary I first read on the matter, but I'm pretty sure it's not from an objective source.