When global aware artist Shane Townley started this series in 2004 he never dreamed the paintings would come true in his lifetime. “I paint what I feel I need to paint, I just can’t stop painting these works, and it’s getting worse, Its all I can think about”, says Townley.
The artist relocated from southern California where he claimed it was getting too hot to live there in the summer. “I have never felt the heat like this near the beach where I lived. Always as a kid the temp never reached higher then a comfortable 75 degrees.” says Townley.
The temperature is expected to be 72 degrees on Christmas day in New York City where the artist lives now. It seems he cannot get away from the heat. “There is a high probability for record-setting warmth up and down the entire Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine [on Christmas Eve],” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Englund said.
In recent weeks, across the eastern half of the U.S., -nearly 6,000 as of December 18—have been broken, some by wide margins and some dating back to the 1800s. The combination of El Niño and man made global warming has pushed the global climate into a new era of rapid warming, with the 2015 year almost certain to wind up as the warmest on record of all time.”It’s warm and snow-less because of El Niño and the Arctic Oscillation AND global warming.”
Some recent coverage has muddied the connection and disseminated the idea (mainly through poorly worded headlines) that this heat is not the result of global warming. But of course the vital underlying fact is that we’ve already created a good deal of warming (1 degree C, as of these past months), globally, and so the climate phenomena that play out on the world stage today—like this Oct-Nov El Niño, the third hottest since 1950; and this fall’s warm Arctic, the highest land temperatures north of 60 degrees North since 1900—are inevitably playing out on top of, and being influenced by, these altered conditions.
The specifics of what’s happening where El Niño, Arctic dynamics, and underlying warming meet are, in a word, complex, and scientists are actively discussing how things might play out. But the collective bottom line recognizes that global warming plays a huge role.
NOAA’s Deke Arndt puts it this way, as reported by the Guardian: “Long-term climate change is like climbing a flight of stairs: over time you get higher and higher. El Niño is like standing on your tippy toes when you’re on one of those stairs. Both of those together work to create the warmest temperature on record. We would not be threatening records repeatedly if we had not climbed the stairs for decades.”
Currently the artist Shane Townley is showing his works in Mana Contemporary studio #225 in New Jersey @ 888 Newark Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306 • http://townley.nyc