Water: It’s A Problem
The earth continues its slow but accelerating decay, with distress signs visible in all of its major life-sustaining systems — its atmospheric, hydrospheric, oceanic, climate, cryospheric and soil systems. In each of these systems we can currently see disruptions, but the interesting thing is the degree to which the disruptions are linked to each other and are in many cases causal. But then, when God created the world He created everything linked and interdependent, so this should not come as a surprise. I am going to try and explain some of the more important things that are happening in our systems, but it is a little difficult because the systems overlap and interact so much that it is hard to describe them without bringing in the other systems. Still, I’ll try.
In the hydrosphere (fresh surface water anywhere on earth) we see accelerated evaporation rates due to higher temperatures. We also see that changing rainfall patterns (less frequent, more severe storms) are making the recharging of reservoirs more uncertain and the overall flooding situation a higher risk to human society.
The evaporated water goes into the atmosphere, which is itself undergoing many disruptions. We are now seeing significant changes in the jet stream, which has become much “wavier” (or “loopier” if you prefer that term), meaning that storms and other weather patterns are driven to places they would not normally go and are stronger than normal (think heat waves in the arctic, tropical floods in the mid-latitudes, droughts in tropical regions, etc.). All of this means that water is occurring in places it is not supposed to be (or at least in volumes that have not previously occurred). Or, conversely, that water that is usually predictably supplied has run dry. In addition to that, we also see high pressure systems emerge and stay put in one place, causing even more storm-steerage and thus causing or exacerbating drought in some areas and flooding in others.
One of the major things steering the jet stream in the northern hemisphere is the ice mass in the arctic. The difference in arctic and tropical temperatures acts as something of an “engine” that drives the jet stream. As the arctic warms, the temperature difference decreases and the engine that drives the jet stream delivers less and less power. The obvious result is that the jet stream slows. The less obvious result is that the jet stream also gets wavier and wavier and thus weather patterns become more and more displaced. Thus, there is a direct connection between ice loss in the arctic and long-term weather impacts such as droughts or prolonged flooding.
While all of the above has been going on, the world’s oceans have seen enormous changes, especially in the northern hemisphere. In some areas, ocean surface temps have increased dramatically (meaning 3-7 degrees centigrade) over a wide area. In other areas,
“cool pools” have developed. Specifically, they have developed in both the North Atlantic and the North Pacific and are in immediately proximity to large pools of abnormally warm water. This situation sets up a “dipole” that can generate severe storms or can dramatically ramp up existing storms into monsters. It is the dipole in the North Atlantic that seems to have played a large role in the seemingly ceaseless storms on flooding the UK has faced since last fall. Below you can see both the unusually warm and cold ocean areas.
The changes in the earth’s systems have been impacting our global soil system, which is to say our food production system has been impacted. Droughts in South America and Southern Africa have significantly decreased crop harvests and regional food prices have significantly increased. The situation is so bad in some parts of southern Africa that we are beginning to see some migration in search of water and food. In India, an epic drought is underway and the same impacts are felt, except that in India famer suicides have dramatically spiked and whole villages have emptied out as migration to areas with water and food is underway. The problem is, there are few areas that have adequate food and water in that vast nation, and none that have an excess.
Water problems are not limited to poor nations, as the epic flooding in Texas recently proved. And then there is the fact that we are shifting from an El Nino condition in the Pacific to a La Nina condition, which usually spells drought for California and the west. If this happens and we see a profound deepening and lengthening of the western drought, we may being to see drought migration in the United States as well.
Water is a problem, whether it is a matter of too little or too much. What we are seeing now is just a taste of the imbalances and disasters that are sure to come in stronger and stronger waves as the decline in the earth’s natural systems continues to accelerate.
Here is the thing: What is causing all of this is the natural corrosive and destabilizing effect that sin has man and nature. Sin is terrible and it results in death, which is exactly why God was so opposed to its entering the universe and exactly why He is willing to go to extreme measures to get rid of it. But notice also that, while God is willing to go to extreme measures, those measures do not include destroying us or stripping us of our minds and free will. God is God and He has decided that it is so important to keep us as we were created that He allows His Son to accept our punishment and eliminate sin.
Jesus, when He was on the earth, gave us a series of signs to watch for in terms of the closeness of His coming. He told us in Matthew 24 what the signs of the end-game would be. These signs are being fulfilled now. We are living out the endgame. And with each disaster, each tremor of a large earthquake, and each step that the society of man takes into deeper and more enthusiastic rebellion, these signs are being fulfilled.
What a time to be alive and proclaiming the soon coming of the Lord!