Weather Watch


Have you ever heard something that you knew you knew – but forgot you knew it? This seems to happen to me more frequently as I age but nonetheless it is still a bit off-putting.

The other day I was scrolling through Instagram and stopped on Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and author, talking about climate change. He has a lot of climate change comments and discussions but this one really stopped me in my scrolling tracks because of its simplicity – and the fact that I should have known this information.

“All the glaciers are fresh water – frozen rain – so when the glaciers melt where does the water go?” deGrasse Tyson asked.

Oh my goodness – had I known this? Of course I did. Did I realize what this meant? Maybe I did at one point. Do I need to look into some form of a brain supplement? Yes, I do.

The facts about melting glaciers and how they will affect our planet are something that we often don’t talk about, especially when considering the impact on coastal towns.

“This is now non-salty water going into the ocean, so you are mixing fresh water with brackish water. They occupy different places in the vertical profile of the ocean because saltwater is heavier than freshwater, so freshwater occupies the top. There are circulations in the ocean not only up and down; there is also circulation top to bottom. The combination of all these circulations create the stability of the ocean. If you disrupt that …Oh my gosh. There are animals, fishes, that can’t live anymore where they used to be because the salt level is different. Some animals might go extinct [and] weather patterns will change because the ocean affects climate,” he stated.

So not only do we have to think in terms of the water rising quickly, according to deGrasse and other scientists, the water will rise faster than we can relocate coastal cities. But the fact that the ocean water’s chemicals will be imbalanced is something that will affect us long before the floods.

It is also important to note that about three-quarters of Earth’s fresh water is stored in glaciers. Glacier ice is the second largest reservoir of water on Earth and the largest reservoir of fresh water on the planet. Once it melts is mixes with salt water, which mean we lose that reservoir. This affects us even though we are a long way from glaciers.

In many mountainous parts of the world with a seasonal rainfall, glaciers are reliable water resources. Glacier melt water and runoff contribute to and modulate downstream water flow, affecting freshwater availability for irrigation, hydropower and ecosystems, according to

Just some more information to contemplate. If all mountain glaciers melt it will raise sea levels by 1.5 feet; if all of Greenland melts the sea level will rise 24 feet and if Antarctica melts that will raise the sea level by 190 feet. Throughout the world 150 million people live within three feet of that high tide range and 13 million people live within six feet of high tide range, according to NOAA.

And so now the 1995 film “Waterworld” (which received some very mean reviews) may be truer than we want to admit. In the film all the glaciers and polar ice caps had melted into the ocean. This created mutated human/fish hybrids and, of course, brought out the worst in society as humans tried to survive.

For us here, water has been a part of our lives for some time now in the form of rain as May Gray moves into June Gloom. The rain or mist we have been experiencing is all part of the thick marine layer blanketing our area.

“Next week there will be very limited clearing in the valleys,” said Kristen Stewart, meteorologist with NOAA.

The same May Gray will be with us next week with “peeks of sunshine.”

Stewart added this thick marine layer is not unusual but what is different is how long the marine layer is lasting. The reason it has been with us so long is an ongoing trough of low pressure over the west coast.

Locally we can expect temperatures similar to those we have experienced this past week: highs in the upper 60s to low 70s and nights in the high 40s to low 50s.