Saturday, January 24, 2009

Global Warming on My Car's Windscreen

For one who has acclimatized to the Malaysian climate, Tampa seems like the next best thing if one were to choose a home away from home. The summer is just like the normal Malaysian weather but minus the sweltering heat, perhaps because of the relatively lower humidity here. Spring time and fall time are the best, with frequent breezy days that make outing that much more inviting, except for the dreaded hurricane season, officially running from June 1 to Nov 30. However, we have been here for about five years now and have yet to experience the wrath unleashed by these gigantic weather “anomalies”, which are actually Nature’s way of self cleansing, releasing pent-up energy just like humans do.

That leaves winter, which is what one can reasonably expect of a mild winter weather, and never the frigid cold that pummels the northern swath of US from the northwest to the northeast. But when a cold spell hits, like in the past few days reaching a season low two nights ago, things can get a bit unsettling, necessitating switching on the heater, even blanketing oneself while on couch potato duty.

And a rare scene presented itself yesterday morning: a thin veneer of frost on cars, even though it was already past 8am. I was on my morning routine of garbage disposal but detoured back to home to get my camera for evidence gathering. The car's windscreen was rendered translucent, hardly conducive to driving. So I emptied half of my daily ration of bottled water as part of the thawing operation, but managed only to create two irregular “holes” through which I could peer through during driving.

And the camera came in handy, capturing the progress of the meltdown over time, being bombarded by the warm morning sun rays. It is as if I was watching the phenomenon of global warming unfolding before my very eyes, only on a vastly accelerated scale. Imagine the ice sheets thawing, filling up the ocean. But here the liquid water just forms rivulets that creep off the wind screen harmlessly. In the real world, the water has no place to go but up. And that would translate into a sea level rise, with potential to inundate low-lying coastal areas. Granted the analogy is tenuous, but the mechanism is not that much dissimilar. Some would argue that the jury is still out there on whether this supposedly anthropogenically induced doomsday scenario is part of the natural cycle of change. That is, humans are not at fault. But are we really above blame, collectively, I wonder.

The thin veneer of frost visible on car tops.

My windscreen, before the thawing operation. The tea-pot and the rosary beads hanging from the rear view mirror are a lucky charm for traffic safety given to us by Connie.

While I was driving through the USF Campus, under partial thawing.

Dropping off CE at Psych Building, the view improving.

And the meltdown continues ...

Along Fowler, the remnants of the ice sheet on an epic struggle to stay in shape.

And the meltdown was now complete while cruising along I-275. This was taken at an instant when traffic came to a halt, when some days are worse than others.

14 comments:

Lee Wei Joo said...

How is everyone? And a Happy Chinese New Year full of prosperity, posterity and health!

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Kevin Petter said...

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Kevin Petter said...


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Andree Symond said...

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Stave Bentod said...

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The summer is just like the normal Malaysian weather but minus the sweltering heat, perhaps because of the relatively lower humidity here


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Madness Gabrill said...

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