Does climate change cause the heat waves?

Does climate change cause the heat waves?

My dearest RockeSci,

It gives me great pleasure to write to you this short accolade according to the laws and customs of this realm of England,–my right to the labour of my own brain and pen; and docket it, among forgotten Chancery Papers, with a parody of Swift’s contemptuous labelling-I wish to write this letter to affirm my sincere prayer that by the blessing of the most High may you and yours be well and happy and not entirely cooked before this missive arrives.

OK. Yeah. Too much noise about this ‘heat wave’ thing roasting fellows in Nairobi. First of all, as all hopeless scientific advice always starts; do not panic, you ain’t alone. This thing is ‘standard’ across the equatorial regions in the world. OK. Now that this advice is out of the way, let us delve into what this thing really is, shall we? (insert a very paranoid, sardonic tone of a sadist professor).

Photo by Peter Irungu

Rather than define it, I will try to explain it.

Weather patterns are caused by temperature differences in the atmosphere. Atmospheric pressure differences combine with the rotation of the Earth to ‘force’ air to move around the Earth-winds. A special type of wind called a jet stream in the upper parts of the atmosphere (troposphere) moving at speeds of over 200 mph in a westly-eastly direction in both hemispheres causes a contrast between the cold polar air and the warm/hot tropical air. This contrast is experienced most during winter-the period when the equinox phenomenon happens.

The contrast creates a low atmospheric pressure zone thus allowing the rising of hot air and consequently the sinking of cold denser air. This phenomenon causes buckling of the stream jet thus ‘scattering it towards different directions thus as a result it controls/regulates temperatures across the globe. An extreme buckling effect may, however, block air movement thus build up of atmospheric pressures-this results in heat waves depending on the season; with reference to a point or zone.

During the equinox phenomenon, the plane of the Earth’s equator passes through the centre of the Sun, placing the jet stream in the way of the Sun. This causes build up of atmospheric pressure in the mid-sections of the atmosphere in tropical regions as there is no air movement thus creating a ‘cap’ which traps the hot air. The hot air is responsible for your roasting and it’s what they are calling a heat wave!

In the UK on the other hand, a ‘blocking high atmospheric’ pressure is responsible for what they are calling a stable weather-sunny and dry! The Easter weekend will however spoil it all when the jet stream finally starts circulating hence creating a low pressure-the weather will flush its middle section of the palm (hand) and toss to a stormy-wet-windy freakin’ weather!

Does climate change cause the heat waves or are they purely caused by natural variations?
I have the honour to be, comrades, your humble and obedient, true brother-in-solidarity and
B. M.
(BSc., MSc.)

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