Buffalo Bomb Cyclone and Climate Change Debate -Imran Nazir


First reaction of seeing Buffalo bomb cyclone footage left us in utter disbelief. It was commonly held that developing world is on the frontline for climatic risk and developed nations are in safer position. But the contemporary death toll in USA and Europe due to climate change showed us that none is safe from the devastation of climate change. More than 64 people have died in USA in recent bomb cyclone while millions of people are living in miserable condition. Concerns are growing that climate change is behind the problem.
Bomb cyclone is known as bombogenesis which is a fast-developing storm due to rapid atmospheric pressure drop under 24 millibars over a 24-hour period. Mixture of cold air with warm air can also cause such deadly situation. It can take place anytime but December to March is the most frequently occurred season.However, bomb cyclone may react differently considering the location and weather patterns. Broadly results inheavy winds, creates blizzard conditions causing heavy snow that can possibly decrease visibility and rainfall. Even coastal areas often witness floods due to huge precipitation. Intensive snowfall along with massive wind storm disrupt the normal lifestyle. Travelling becomes nearly impossible in such condition. Recent snow has been more than 4 feet thick in New York. 70-degree temperature dropped in few places with 24 hours. Such dramatic shift in weather patterncaught many unprepared.Even the impact of the US bomb cyclone has been felt in United Kingdom. UK has experienced windy and wet weather consequently.
Buffalo is an US city bridging Canada and USA borders. Recent bomb cyclone is not the first one rather there is a famous blizzard of 1977 which took 29 lives. But the intensity of this bomb cyclone is far more devastating and pain staking. Whole transportation and air service have collapsed shortly. 911 emergency system has been broken down despite many people asking for help. President Joe Biden has prayed with families of victims in the aftermath. Death toll is continuing to rise and likely to increase over the period of time. Within few days, the amount of snow has surpassed 100 inches which was more than the total amount of snowfall last year. Interestingly more than 60% US territories were under warning due to bad weather and many cities have recorded lowest temperature ever. Electricity outages were deadly for millions of people who could not heat their homes against the deadly weather. Even death bodies were found in cars who were travelling on streets. Overall scenario has been unprecedented for the world.
With such intensity of climatic disaster, issue of climate change has come forward. Though, politicians and environmental denials would argue that such happenings are naturally occurred and human beings are not responsible for such catastrophe. This sort of arguments often gets media attention and work as disincentive to climate consciousness. However, if we go deeper into the matter, we find a trend that bomb cyclones are getting much frequent with the rise of global temperature. Here comes the role of human beings. Deeds of people on earth during the last 150 years approximately caused almost 2 Fahrenheit increment in surface temperature. Industrial Revolution has fueled the massive use of environmentally detrimental energy fuels and substances. Earth never been this stable naturally in previous millennia but our imprudent actions are going to jeopardize the security of the earth and humans. Bomb cyclone is just the reflection of such behavior. We are seeing change in weather atmospheric circulation patterns globally. Transformation in circulation patterns also lead to extreme weather events including drought and heavy snowfall. Weather pattern of the Arctic has been disrupted due to multifaceted environmental degradation globally and we are already getting the outcome.
There may raise that question that global warming was supposed to bring more heat and rough weather but we are frequently seining extreme cold weather, especially in the western part of the world. Notably, though Bangladesh is enjoying relatively shorter winter but the sudden downfall in temperature level makes the living condition harsh. However, tracing the bomb cyclones lead us to climate change issue ultimately. It has been seen that global temperature has been increased but the winter temperature did not as scientists expected. Studies show that the average temperature in the center of the Northern continents Asia and North America cooled in the last few decades. Disruption of air flow in north pole due to global warming has been identified as the reason of this problem. Normally, cold air stays within the circle of the North Pole by its staying within its ring creating intra movement. Strong flow prevents mild-air from mixing up but the instability in circular air flow creates the expansion of air from North Pole to neighboring regions including US, Europe, and East Asia. This actually creates the collision between the local hot air with cold air coming from the North Pole. Still scientists are in search of finding correlation between the disruption in North Pole air circulation and climate change. But it is evident that the temperature of the North Pole has increased fourfold in the last 40 years. As nature is interlinked with its all components, it is not unusual to claim that global warming has connection with the frequent bomb cyclones.
It should be remembered that climate change is not a hoax and it is seriously happening around us. Scientists may not even predict the future crises since the interaction of different components of climate may bring unexpected outcomes as well. It is time we acted as global community and push leaders for better policy undertaking. Who knowns that the air circulation of the North Pole expand by breaking its ring to the other regions and create harsher climatic situation for the whole human civilization.