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Climate Change Will Wreck This Weekend and Next

Sep 9, 2008
The story goes that Newton felt an apple fall on his head and wondered why. Gravity, a theory that persists to this very day, thus came about.

It's nice to have unfortunate, apparently random, events explained in the impassive, anhydrous language of science. Often I find myself claiming that unseen patterns stir through my weeks, churning disappointment and outrage around me until I'm soured and ruined.

Why else does the bus arrive ten minutes too early three days out of five? Why else do my neighbours crank out MSTRKRFTS at four in the morning only on the nights where I've got something really, really, very important to do the next day? Why, on the mornings following such events, will my housemates have finished all the coffee before I've had my chance to get at it?

None of these patterns of grief cause as much regimented unhappiness as the persistent feeling that sunshine, which will streak through the office windows toward a desk like fingers beckoning to the outside world during the week, is nowhere to be found come the weekends. Indeed, Saturday and Sunday are more often than not days of bleak and total despair, where the week-long hope for a period of garden or beach based recreation is drowned beneath a war fleet of raindrops.

Bad luck, the roughnecks will claim. A pattern that simply does not exist and which suggests the boy's tendency for pessimism, others will diagnose over clear-rimmed spectacles.

But wait! Surely there is scientific explanation for my malaise? Science - oh conjecture so sweetly moulded into ductile fact, practical figures, accepted knowledge- what say you on this?

Well, Spanish researchers have, this week, announced that they have indeed found that there is a cycle of relatively dry weeks followed by wetter weekends. And rather than basing their judgment on the suspicions of a darkened heart, these scientists pooled 33 years of data from weather stations across Spain.

There has been anecdotal evidence from heavily industrialized countries - China, Japan and the States - that a weekly cycle of dry workdays followed by wet weekends should now be expected. The reasons for this are simple; carbon emissions and carbon footprints are higher during the week, when we drive our cars to factories and electricity guzzling offices.

The idea that such a pattern might exist in Europe has been floating around for a little while, although up to this point it has been easy for cynics to dismiss it as a green scare story.

Another, similar study from February of this year found that weather conditions in the United States were actually drier during the weekends than during the week. This study, funded by NASA, surmounted that particulate pollution causes heavier storms during the week, leaving the weekends drier and more smog-free.

Clearly, it can't be the case that both studies are right. In a sense though, that doesn't matter; what is important is the acknowledgment that climate change has the potential to disrupt systems that we have inherited from a planet that breathed quite easy millions of years ago, when humans were just the twinkle in the eye of some prehistoric fish.

Enjoy your weekend.
About the Author
Martin Gavin writes for ecoswitch
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