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Research Last Updated: Jan 27, 2023 - 5:06:37 PM


Phases and Forms of Climate Change
By AR Kalair, S. Mehdi, N. Khan, SUT, 6/1/23
Jan 7, 2023 - 2:38:13 PM

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Cold snap, heatwave, cloudburst and atmospheric river

Brr … cold out there in winter. Colder regions spray salt on roads to reduce water freezing point down to -10°C below which it starts freezing again. Experts recommend mixing sand in slush to prevent slipping and sliding.  Phew… hot out there in summer. Idea to spray sulfur dioxide in atmosphere to repel sunlight may lead to even more frigid winters. Nobody wants to transform global warming into global cooling. Our collective survival depends on moderate, neither extremely hot nor extremely cold weathers. After winter storm atmospheric rivers poured lot of water, akin to cloudburst, in California. Drought stricken state uses winter rain and snow but successive atmospheric rivers cause more damage than good [Raymond 2023]. Warm winter in Europe on new year is manifestation of climate change [Matthias 2023].

 Climate change pushes the weather pendulum to its maximum extremes in winter and summer. Texas deep freeze in 2021 and earlier polar vortex in 2017-18 had affected gas, power and water lifelines. Texas power grid machinery was weatherized to cope with arctic blasts in after deep freeze. Wind storm plunges the temperature down in winter as humidity soars feeling temperature up in summer. Winter storm knocked out power grid, crippled police rescue and fire departments. Arctic blast affected 11 GW coal and gas plant, 4 GW wind and 1.7 GW solar power [Ari 2022]. Winter storm dropped 10% gas compared to normal 100 BCF per day supply. Oil prices jumped by 2.4%, gas by 22% and electricity by 400%. North Dakota and Permian oilfields trimmed productions.

 PJM advised consumers to reduce load as Eastern Interconnection is reaching tipping point. Energy prices have surged 400% to $500 per MWh. More than 53,000 consumers are already in dark. Power demand surged to 69.8 GW during deep freeze in 2021 which has surged to 74 GW against forecast to reach 70.9 GW during looming winter storm. Consumers burnt furniture in homes to keep warm during deep freeze when power and gas grids collapsed [Brian 2022]. Demand peak in evening of 23 Dec 2022 when temperature dips below 20°F at which point bitter cold starts biting in presence of wind storms.  Major gas production drop occurred in Feb 2021 in United States, average drop in Dec 2021 and now on 22 Dec 2022 [Gerson 2022]. Solar power naturally drops during winter storms.

 A bomb cyclone hit most parts of United States before Christmas. Heavy snow and cold winds blitzed 80% of country from 22 to 24 December 2022. Waist high snowfall and strong winds chilled air temperatures from 30 to 50 degrees below normal. Gigantic winter storm has left millions of consumers without electricity cancelling 5,700 flights. Wind chill can cause frostbite within minutes. Frostbite alerts are issued when temperature plunges below -25°F. Frostbite time at 50 mph wind speed is 5 min below -52°F, 10 min below -38°F and 30 min below -24°F temperature.

 US citizens buy diesel or gasoline power grills and generators which produce odorless and colorless toxic carbon monoxide (CO) which hangs around due to cold weather. CO poisoning kills on average 430 people in United States and affects 50,000 people. Many drivers and passengers die in cars struck in snow on roads. Chest pain, headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting are symptoms of CO poisoning. More than 21 car drivers struck in heavy snowfall in Murree near Islamabad died by CO poisoning in attempt to try to survive using car heaters under snow [Salman 2022]. Great Texas Freeze in 2021 killed 246 and Polar Vortex 2017/18 killed 21 in United States.

 Open garage door to avoid CO poisoning if you want to start your car to heat up its engine. Pipelines bursting events affect water supply systems better drain off pipelines during winter storm. Meteorologists advise to stay inside homes during winter storm. Freeze avalanche overwhelmed 48 states for 48 hours from 22 to 24 Dec 2022. Temperature plunged to -50 in north, -30 in central plains and -10 degrees in south on 23 December 2022. More than over 100 daily temperature records, once in a generation, may be recorded on 23 December 2022. It will be the coldest Christmas in last three decades.

 A 2,000 km wide arctic blast replete with snow, winds and blizzards knocked down power grid from Texas to Maine. More than 1.5 million homes and business were in dark on 22 Dec 2022. A 79 mph wind storms with snow created zero visibility on roads in New York and Buffalo. More than 200 million US citizens (60% of total population) are exposed to severe winter storm. Temperature may further plunge to -50F (-45°C) to -70F (-56°C) on some places at weekend. Frostbite danger hovers in Des Moines area. Floods and ice jams in rivers may wreak a havoc for communities. More than 135 million people from Washington to Florida may be exposed to wind chill. The once in lifetime blizzard killed 57, hundreds stranded on roads and thousands on air ports in North America [Mithil 2022]. Over 49 inches snow has frozen power grids and social life in Buffalo, New York. More 29 people died trapped in their cars.

 Cold snap is usually less life threatening than heat waves which on average take lives of 13,000 people per year in United States, but heat waves killed 15,000 in 2022. Time magazine claims some 20,000 deaths in USA may be attributed to heat waves every year [Sameed 2022]. Polar vortex killed 21 in 2017 and deep freeze killed 246 in 2021 [Mahita 2019, Brian 2022]. Cooling in summer is as much important as heating in the winter. Human body warms body against cold snap with thermal radiations and heat wave by sweat to maintain body temperature around 36-38°C.

 Human body emits heat at 12 µm wavelength which mildly warms us in blanket. Heaters emit at 7 µm wavelength which causes more skin burning than mild warming. An average person has 1,506,000 kcal (6,300 kJ = 70kg x 3.6kJ/kg x 25°C) enthalpy which radiates heat from 0.75 to 1000 µm with peak emission at 12 µm wavelength. Human sensor organs, eye, skin and ear, are naturally designed for optimum response to broadband lights, thermal radiations and sounds.

 Single frequency intense signals adversely affect their performance.  Human body feels more comfortable in natural cold weather in summer than airconditioned room. Human body cools itself by evaporative effect of sweating in hot summer. Nurture is digital, but nature is analog in origin. We have digitized land by marking boundaries the animals, rivers, winds and weathers occur across countries.

 Amount of heat (enthalpy) in a cup of boiling water is 625 kcal (0.25 x 1 x 100) whereas heat in bath tub is 15,000 kcal (600 x 1 x 25).  Hot cup of boiling water radiates heat at 7.76 µm (short) wavelength whereas a warm water bath tub at 25°C radiates heat at 9.72 µm (long) wavelength. We feel more comfortable in warm bath tub in winter than with boiling cup of tea even during arctic blast.

 Your body is a natural radiator which helps you warm in winter. It is far easier to warm your bed in winter than cooling in summer. However, sleeping in icy bed is hard until it warms with our own heat. It is cheaper to heat quilt with even hair dryer, Bed Jet or electric blanket instead of heating whole room. Many people cuddle up with hot water bottle. Room temperature between 15.5 to 19.5°C helps sleep better.

 Thermostat regulated temperatures in offices and hospitals perform better where users pay no gas and electricity bills. It is seen government officials wear paint, coat and necktie in hot summer and crank up car or office AC to cool down themselves which is abject stupidity. BP patients can’t sit in government offices in winter due to overheating. You may go for duvets in winter with wool or feather tog with insulation value between 13.5 and 15.

 Heat wave and cold snaps hang heavy on fossil fuel power plants. Heat reduce efficiency and cold snap reduces output up to 68% [Josh 2022]. Thermal power plants trip after water freezing and gas supplies stop under extremely low temperatures. Extreme weather has at least a silver lining in the form of heat wave in Europe that saved billion dollars natural gas during arctic blast in North America. Blizzards was a mix of snow and rain water during the atmospheric rivers turning roads into streams. Bomb cyclone and atmospheric rivers churned in California into a perfect mayhem. Atmospheric river is a narrow band of the concentrated water vapor that acts like cloudburst.

 Switching to renewables (solar and wind) will meet hardly 70% of demand. Large scale battery banks in grid may increase capacity to 7%. How to fix the remaining 28-30% during peak hours (5-8pm) when people fire up their home devices. Experts propose 50MW nuclear modules which can be installed on site underground. They have integrated cooling system when heat spikes. They are better than simple gravity driven coolants which had failed in Japan. Pumped water storage batteries and geothermal energy sources may be considered as second back up.

 References

Raymond Z, How Climate Change Is Shaping California's Winter Storms, The New York Times, 4 January 2023. https://www.yahoo.com/news/climate-change-shaping-californias-winter-124614744.html


Matthias W and Kate A, 'Feels like summer': warm winter breaks temperature records in Europe, Reuters, 4 January 2023. https://www.yahoo.com/news/feels-summer-warm-winter-breaks-152141286.html


Ari N, US Declares Texas Grid Emergency in Arctic Blast, Bloomberg, 24 Dec 2022. https://www.yahoo .com/news/us-declares-texas-grid-emergency-180011531.html

Brian E, Texas power prices spike more than 400% in one day as bomb cyclone sends energy demand soaring, Business Insider, 23 Dec 2022. https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/texas-power-prices-spike-more-165419011.html


Salman M, Heavy Snow Kills 21 at Popular Tourist Site in Pakistan, The New York Times, 8 January 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/08/world/asia/pakistan-snow-kills-21-murree-hill-station.html#:~: text=ISLAMABAD%2C%20Pakistan%20%E2%80%94%20At%20least%2021,town%20of%20Murree%2C%20officials%20said.

Gerson F, US Natural Gas Output Drops as Winter Storm Disrupts Production, Bloomberg, 22 Dec 2022. https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/us-natural-gas-output-drops-164950822.html


Mithil Aggarwal and Melissa Chan and Colin Sheeley and Phil Helsel, Death toll rises to at least 57 as freezing temperatures and heavy snow wallop swaths of U.S., NBC News, 27 Dec 2022. https://www .yahoo.com/news/46-killed-freezing-temperatures-heavy-123926493.html

Sameed K, The Increasing Death Toll in the U.S. From Extreme Heat, Time, 20 July 2022. https://time.com/6198720/heatwave-health-death-toll/


Mahita G, 21 People Died in Weather-Related Incidents During the Polar Vortex, Time, 1 February 2019. https://time.com/5518469/21-people-died-cold-polar-vortex/


Brian D, Great Texas Freeze killed nearly 3 times more people than Hurricane Harvey, Fox Weather, 14 February 2022. https://www.foxweather.com/extreme-weather/great-texas-freeze-killed-nearly-3-times-more-people-than-hurricane-harvey


Josh Saul, Naureen S. Malik and Mark Chediak, Fossil Fuel Power Plunged Up to 68% as Blackouts Hit US South, Bloomberg, 30 Dec 2022. https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/fossil-fuel-power-plunged-68-225519417.html


Source:Ocnus.net 2023

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