Earlier this morning rain poured down in Bangkok as if the Gods were angry at us. Sounds of thunder roared all over Bangkok alternating with flashes of lightning. Wind gushed against the window, flowing through trees and reorganizing the branches; making them look as if they had just got out of bed. It rained so hard that it could literally be raining cats and dogs. Temperatures dropped from the mid 30’s (celsius) to the mid 20’s.
Last week, temperatures in Bangkok dropped down to 18 degrees celsius and lasted for roughly two days. It was the coldest two days I’ve ever experienced in Bangkok (since I’ve been here on a regular basis since the year 2000). It was strange. I could sleep in my room without opening windows nor turning on the air conditioning and snuggle under my blankets. Even then I was slightly cold. I had gotten used to Bangkok’s sizzling temperatures. Others wore jackets and thick coats to work. It was a chance to use all that winter wear we usually save for trips abroad.
Now, you may wonder what is so strange about all this? So we have intense high pressure from China that is making temperatures drop and the “summer thunderstorm” is a result of the confluence or convection of two air streams. This is what happens when “cold” and “warm” fronts collide. (Doesn’t this remind you of highschool science? ) In addition, from April to October thunderstorms are normal in Thailand. That is when we consider ourselves in the rainy or monsoon season.
We’ve had these thunderstorms before but according to the Thai Metereological Department which has statistics on extreme minimum temperature (only available during the “winter months” the last time temperatures in Bangkok were around 14 celsius was over 30 years ago.
Anyhow, from observing events, I believe that the world as we know it is now experiencing more “extreme” weather conditions. This past winter the western hemisphere experienced one of it’s coldest winters. Belgium, which hardly snowed when I lived there, was hit with so much snowfall flights out of the country had to be delayed. Airports ran out of their anti-ice equipment. Roads were closed and people couldn’t get to work. Now here in Bangkok, temperatures are swinging from high 30’s to mid 20’s within the span of a week. This is not talking about the earthquakes that are happening on a more frequent basis.
What is causing all this extreme weather? I believe the culprit is GLOBAL WARMING! Okay so you say what does global warming have to do with COLD weather? The name has “warming” on it. It means a general rise in the average temperature of the Earth doesn’t it?
Yes, it does, but if you read more details on global warming, it also mentions one side effect as being “more frequent and intense extreme weather events.” Now doesn’t that sound familiar?
We have the Kyoto Protocol which has countries aiming to cut emissions, but is it really enough? It’s better than nothing, but if we don’t all start cherishing this Earth a little more who knows what our lives will be like in ten, twenty years from now. I used to think that the effects of Global Warming would take so long to surface that I’d be off this world by then, but helas I am wrong. I am only mid way through life and already I am seeing drastic changes in climate. How will our children live?
Let’s all try to help this Earth a little. You don’t have to become a full fledged earth lover, but when you take a plastic bag, just think about it a little more. Do you really need it? Use a canvas bag instead or combine bags. Turn off the lights if you don’t need it. Separate your garbage and recycle. If you’re a big business, please don’t pollute even if it lowers costs.
We have but one Earth and we all live on it together. I don’t want to go live elsewhere just yet. Let’s keep the Gods happy. You and Me.