Killer tornadoes. Violent tropical storms. Devastating temperatures. Are these just the prelude to an unprecedented environmental disaster in our near future?
Two of America's leading investigators of unexplained phenomena -- Art Bell, the top-rated late-night radio talk-show host, and Whitley Strieber, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Communion and the legendary Nature's End -- have made a shocking discovery based on years of research with top scientists and archaeologists from around the world. Now, they reveal what powerful interests are trying to keep hidden: rapid changes in the atmosphere caused by greenhouse gases have set humanity on an incredibly dangerous course toward a catastrophic change in climate in the immediate future. It will begin with a massive, unprecedented storm that will devastate the Northern Hemisphere. This will be followed by floods unlike anything ever seen before -- or perhaps a new Ice Age. They also unearth evidence that this has happened in the past -- in fact, that it has occurred regularly throughout geologic history, but so infrequently that our only record of the last such storm is contained in ancient myths and flood legends.
From El Niño to the African droughts, to the shrinking of the polar ice caps, Bell and Strieber identify the warning signs to those willing to see. They point out that the Earth's regulatory system is like a rubber band: you can stretch it just so far before it snaps back -- with a vengeance. Since 1995, each successive year has set new records for violent weather. In 1999 a major climatological study predicted that the Earth will soon be warmer than it has been in millions of years. Bell and Strieber tell us why they believe a rebound is imminent -- a rapid and violent cooling that will cover the Northern Hemisphere in a sheath of choking ice and snow.
But it's not too late to reverse our destiny. No mere harbinger of an inevitable doomsday, The Coming Global Superstorm is instead a spirited call to action that offers a wealth of viable solutions to this mammoth challenge to humankind. Through a careful and impressively researched dissection of the myths and legends of ancient cultures and an insightful examination of the best of modern environmental science, Bell and Strieber guide us on an intellectual journey as dark as the murky origins of man and as bright as the promise of an interstellar future.
The message is very scary and convincing: humankind has so polluted the environment that the world's weather is about to react by taking a "ferocious" turn. But the messengers delivering this news seem a bit flaky: Strieber wrote of his own alien abduction episode in Communion; Bell, a late-night radio talk-show host, regularly covers such topics as UFOs, government conspiracies and near-death experiences. They present an imagined sequence for the catastrophic "superstorm," threatening a possible "extinction event" for humans. It's like Orson Welles's The War of the Worlds, only we're fighting the weather instead of Martians. Interspersed with this alarmist scenario are many credible facts about the effects of trapped greenhouse gasses, as well as explanations of how quickly our ecosystem has deteriorated in this century. Reading, the authors are very grave indeed, lending an otherwise dry scientific topic a heightened sense of drama and making it play as a thriller on tape. Simultaneous release with the Pocket hardcover. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 27, 2004
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Excerpt from The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell
The earliest warning sign was something so small that it was hardly noticed at all.
The National Data Buoy Center's buoy 44011, anchored off Georges Bank 170 miles east of Hyannis, Massachusetts, appeared to be sending a faulty signal. That was the only sign from any scientific instrument anywhere in the world that two billion human lives had just come into mortal jeopardy.
The warning should have come weeks earlier, could have come years earlier. There were climatologists who were concerned enough to have begun studies that would lead to the deployment of a warning system. But there was no budget. Congress, mired in its false debate about whether global warming was even happening, wouldn't pay for any studies of the flow of the North Atlantic Current, even though it is the lifeblood of our world.
What happened off Georges Bank was this: The water temperature reading from this six-meter Nomad buoy fell suddenly from 48.1 degrees Fahrenheit to 36.3 degrees. This is a huge drop in seawater temperature to happen overnight, and it caused the National Data Buoy Center to list the buoy as malfunctioning. The issue was noted, and a bulletin was distributed within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the effect that water temperature readings from this buoy were to be disregarded until after routine maintenance was next performed.
This standard notice never reached anybody who might have been concerned about its true meaning.
A few days later, another buoy appeared to malfunction. This one was part of the Global Ocean Observing System, feeding data to the Australian Oceanographic Data Centre from its station in the Southern Ocean a thousand miles from the Antarctic. Operating under the protocols of the Global Temperature-Salinity Profile Program, AODC transmitted the data to Canada's Marine Environmental Data Service. Again, the failure of a buoy was duly noted, but the maintenance bulletin didn't reach the same people who'd seen the one for the buoy off Georges Bank. Why would it? Maintenance of the Antarctic buoy would be performed by the Australians, not the Americans.
Mankind's greatest civilization now had only a few weeks to live.
Had the scientists working on the Atlantic Climate Change Experiment known what had happened, they would certainly have been alarmed. As it was, their plan to release one hundred subsurface drifting buoys to study the North Atlantic Current was still in the preparation stage, still waiting on funding.
Even though there was no source of data to sound the warning that the world's greatest ocean current had just changed its route, it wasn't long before people from Sydney to Tokyo, from Vladivostok to Dusseldorf, from London to Los Angeles, knew that something had gone terribly wrong with the weather.