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DOD 2003 Long Range Weather Forecast: An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implicati
by DOD/Pentagon 2003 Thursday, Jul. 20, 2006 at 11:58 AM 832-428-3222

By 2005 the climatic impact of the shift is felt more intensely in certain regions around the world. More severe storms and typhoons bring about higher storm surges and floods in low-lying islands such as Tarawa and Tuvalu (near New Zealand). In 2007, a particularly severe storm causes the ocean to break through levees in the Netherlands making a few key coastal cities such as The Hague unlivable.

DOD 2003 Long Range Weather Forecast: An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security

By 2005 the climatic impact of the shift is felt more intensely in certain regions around the world. More severe storms and typhoons bring about higher storm surges and floods in low-lying islands such as Tarawa and Tuvalu (near New Zealand). In 2007, a particularly severe storm causes the ocean to break through levees in the Netherlands making a few key coastal cities such as The Hague unlivable.

Warming Up to 2010
Following the most rapid century of warming experienced by modern civilization, the first ten years of the 21st century see an acceleration of atmospheric warming, as average temperatures worldwide rise by .5 degrees Fahrenheit per decade and by as much as 2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade in the harder hit regions. Such temperature changes would vary both by region and by season over the globe, with these finer scale variations being larger or smaller than the average change. What would be very clear is that the planet is continuing the warming trend of the late 20th century.
Most of North America, Europe, and parts of South America experience 30% more days with peak temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit than they did a century ago, with far fewer days below freezing. In addition to the warming, there are erratic weather patterns: more floods, particularly in mountainous regions, and prolonged droughts in grain-producing and coastal-agricultural areas. In general, the climate shift is an economic nuisance, generally affecting local areas as storms, droughts, and hot spells impact agriculture and other climate-dependent activities. (More French doctors remain on duty in August, for example.) The weather pattern, though, is not yet severe enough or widespread enough to threaten the interconnected global society or United States national security.
Warming Feedback Loops
As temperatures rise throughout the 20th century and into the early 2000s potent positive feedback loops kick-in, accelerating the warming from .2 degrees Fahrenheit, to .4 and eventually .5 degrees Fahrenheit per year in some locations. As the surface warms, the hydrologic cycle (evaporation, precipitation, and runoff) accelerates causing temperatures to rise even higher. Water vapor, the most powerful natural greenhouse gas, traps additional heat and brings average surface air temperatures up. As evaporation increases, higher surface air temperatures cause drying in forests and grasslands, where animals graze and farmers grow grain. As trees die and burn, forests absorb less carbon dioxide, again leading to higher surface air temperatures as well as fierce and uncontrollable forest fires Further, warmer temperatures melt snow cover in mountains, open fields, high-latitude tundra areas, and permafrost throughout forests in cold-weather areas. With the ground absorbing more and reflecting less of the sun’s rays, temperatures increase even higher.
By 2005 the climatic impact of the shift is felt more intensely in certain regions around the world. More severe storms and typhoons bring about higher storm surges and floods in low-lying islands such as Tarawa and Tuvalu (near New Zealand). In 2007, a particularly severe storm causes the ocean to break through levees in the Netherlands making a few key coastal cities such as The Hague unlivable. Failures of the delta island levees in the Sacramento River region in the Central Valley of California creates an inland sea and disrupts the aqueduct system transporting water from northern to southern California because salt water can no longer be kept out of the area during the dry season. Melting along the Himalayan glaciers accelerates, causing some Tibetan people to relocate. Floating ice in the northern polar seas, which had already lost 40% of its mass from 1970 to 2003, is mostly gone during summer by 2010. As glacial ice melts, sea levels rise and as wintertime sea extent decreases, ocean waves increase in intensity, damaging coastal cities. Additionally millions of people are put at risk of flooding around the globe (roughly 4 times 2003 levels), and fisheries are disrupted as water temperature changes cause fish to migrate to new locations and habitats, increasing tensions over fishing rights.
Each of these local disasters caused by severe weather impacts surrounding areas whose natural, human, and economic resources are tapped to aid in recovery. The positive feedback loops and acceleration of the warming pattern begin to trigger responses that weren’t previously imagined, as natural disasters and stormy weather occur in both developed and lesser-developed nations. Their impacts are greatest in less-resilient developing nations, which do not have the capacity built into their social, economic, and agricultural systems to absorb change.
As melting of the Greenland ice sheet exceeds the annual snowfall, and there is increasing freshwater runoff from high latitude precipitation, the freshening of waters in the North Atlantic Ocean and the seas between Greenland and Europe increases. The lower densities of these freshened waters in turn pave the way for a sharp slowing of the thermohaline circulation system.
The Period from 2010 to 2020
Thermohaline Circulation Collapse
After roughly 60 years of slow freshening, the thermohaline collapse begins in 2010, disrupting the temperate climate of Europe, which is made possible by the warm flows of the Gulf Stream (the North Atlantic arm of the global thermohaline conveyor). Ocean circulation patterns change, bringing less warm water north and causing an immediate shift in the weather in Northern Europe and eastern North America. The North Atlantic Ocean continues to be affected by fresh water coming from melting glaciers, Greenland’s ice sheet, and perhaps most importantly increased rainfall and runoff. Decades of high-latitude warming cause increased precipitation and bring additional fresh water to the salty, dense water in the North, which is normally affected mainly by warmer and saltier water from the Gulf Stream. That massive current of warm water no longer reaches far into the North Atlantic. The immediate climatic effect is cooler temperatures in Europe and throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere and a dramatic drop in rainfall in many key agricultural and populated areas. However, the effects of the collapse will be felt in fits and starts, as the traditional weather patterns re-emerge only to be disrupted again—for a full decade.
The dramatic slowing of the thermohaline circulation is anticipated by some ocean researchers, but the United States is not sufficiently prepared for its effects, timing, or intensity. Computer models of the climate and ocean systems, though improved, were unable to produce sufficiently consistent and accurate information for policymakers. As weather patterns shift in the years following the collapse, it is not clear what type of weather future years will bring. While some forecasters believe the cooling and dryness is about to end, others predict a new ice age or a global drought, leaving policy makers and the public highly uncertain about the future climate and what to do, if anything. Is this merely a "blip" of little importance or a fundamental change in the Earth’s climate, requiring an urgent massive human response?
Cooler, Drier, Windier Conditions for Continental Areas of the Northern Hemisphere
The Weather Report: 2010-2020

Drought persists for the entire decade in critical agricultural regions and in the areas around major population centers in Europe and eastern North America.
Average annual temperatures drop by up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit over Asia and North America and up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit in Europe.
Temperatures increase by up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit in key areas throughout Australia, South America, and southern Africa.
Winter storms and winds intensify, amplifying the impact of the changes. Western Europe and the North Pacific face enhanced westerly winds.
Each of the years from 2010-2020 sees average temperature drops throughout Northern Europe, leading to as much as a 6 degree Fahrenheit drop in ten years. Average annual rainfall in this region decreases by nearly 30%; and winds are up to 15% stronger on average. The climatic conditions are more severe in the continental interior regions of northern Asia and North America.
The effects of the drought are more devastating than the unpleasantness of temperature decreases in the agricultural and populated areas. With the persistent reduction of precipitation in these areas, lakes dry-up, river flow decreases, and fresh water supply is squeezed, overwhelming available conservation options and depleting fresh water reserves. The Mega-droughts begin in key regions in Southern China and Northern Europe around 2010 and last throughout the full decade. At the same time, areas that were relatively dry over the past few decades receive persistent years of torrential rainfall, flooding rivers, and regions that traditionally relied on dryland agriculture.
In the North Atlantic region and across northern Asia, cooling is most pronounced in the heart of winter -- December, January, and February -- although its effects linger through the seasons, the cooling becomes increasingly intense and less predictable. As snow accumulates in mountain regions, the cooling spreads to summertime. In addition to cooling and summertime dryness, wind pattern velocity strengthens as the atmospheric circulation becomes more zonal.
While weather patterns are disrupted during the onset of the climatic change around the globe, the effects are far more pronounced in Northern Europe for the first five years after the thermohaline circulation collapse. By the second half of this decade, the chill and harsher conditions spread deeper into Southern Europe, North America, and beyond. Northern Europe cools as a pattern of colder weather lengthens the time that sea ice is present over the northern North Atlantic Ocean, creating a further cooling influence and extending the period of wintertime surface air temperatures. Winds pick up as the atmosphere tries to deal with the stronger pole-to-equator temperature gradient. Cold air blowing across the European continent causes especially harsh conditions for agriculture. The combination of wind and dryness causes widespread dust storms and soil loss.
Signs of incremental warming appear in the southern most areas along the Atlantic Ocean, but the dryness doesn’t let up. By the end of the decade, Europe’s climate is more like Siberia’s.
Full reports at:
Ed Ward, MD;
Independent writer/Media Liaison for The Price of Liberty;
Editor of The Daily DrEd;

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