This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

January 16, 2012

Climate Change---it's not just global warming!

If you believe that man's effects on the environment are just resulting in global warming, you are sadly mistaken. Last week we attended the annual conference of The American Meteorological Association (AMS)* and had our consciousness raised in a big way.

Climate changes have been devastating to human beings all over the planet. Besides the record-breaking air pollution in Beijing and the bush fires in Australia, there have been remarkable heat waves in the Southern Hemisphere and cold snaps across Eurasia. Here in the United States, we have had a significant increase in the severity of winter and summer storms and weather anomalies, like Hurricane Sandy and the Derecho on June 29 to 30 2012.

This Derecho was a hurricane-force, widespread windstorm that swept across the United States, wreaking havoc as it went. This phenomenon was responsible for at least 20 deaths, millions in property damage, and massive power outages in major urban areas. Brazil is also now in the grip of a disastrous heat wave, placing many of its citizens at risk.

What's happening to cause these extreme weather events? Apparently, the rise in temperature in the oceans is not only causing the melting of the sea ice in the Arctic, but also because of "misplaced" water vapor Mother Nature has the building blocks for much more serious winter storms across Europe and Russia. The rise in temperature of the oceans is also responsible for a change in the ocean currents, so that the jet stream is now flowing in different places. What we may expect to see is some of the areas that were bitter cold, during the winters, may now have relatively balmy seasons and others that did have mild winters will now feel the harsh cold in ways that they never have---a least not in recent history.

We may also expect to see more flooding/storm surge, typically associated with violent wind and rainstorms. Most people don't realize it; however flooding is responsible for 36 percent of the loss of life from weather-related events. These changes in sea temperature will also result in changes in the growing seasons across the globe, including in Africa, where the growing seasons will be extended in some areas and disappear completely in others. Whether we are looking at the extreme heat in Brazil or the temperatures down to 50 degrees below zero in Eastern Russia, clearly, the planet is in for some major changes in climate and the accompanying weather will challenge most of us.

Though the examples outlined refer mostly to the US, other countries, like Brazil , saw a similar exodus to lower-cost labor markets. We expect to see a growing tide of HomeShoring in the coming years, as companies once again recognize the value of human and other resources they possess in their home countries. Their greatest challenge will be manpower.

* This Herman Trend Alert will be the first of a number, covering information about climate changes and their effects on human beings.

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