Extreme heat, drought have ‘virtually no explanation other than climate change’


mentalfloss
+2
#1
Extreme heat, drought have ‘virtually no explanation other than climate change,’ new study says

WASHINGTON—Extremely hot and long summers and weather-related catastrophes — such as wildfire and drought — are poised to be the norm, and they are driven by climate change, according to a new research paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In an opinion piece over the weekend in the Washington Post that previewed the findings, the paper’s lead author, James E. Hansen wrote: “It is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change.

“To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.”

Hansen, the longtime director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was among the first scientists to warn about climate change and its potential effects at a 1988 Senate hearing.

He now says, however, he was mistaken in one critical way: “I was too optimistic” — namely, the effects of climate change are being felt now, not in a distant future.

“The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change,” he wrote in the Washington Post piece. “And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.”

Hansen, along with co-authors Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy, looked at the period from 1951-1980 as the “base period” with which to compare more recent seasonal temperatures and variability of temperatures, over summer and winter.

The 29-year base period was one of relatively stable global temperatures, the paper notes, and recent enough that many people, especially baby boomers, would likely remember it.

The researchers showed the chances of temperatures spiking past their normal variability — what are called “outliers” in statistics — are much greater now than during the base period.

“They found that prior to the onset of human-caused global warming, there were very few of these (anomalous) events,” said John Abraham, professor of thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas and co-founder of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, an information clearing house.

“However, with each decade, the number of these very rare events has increased significantly. Not only have the average temperatures increased around the world but so too has the variability.”

Hansen and his team also showed that while all extreme “hot events” have increased globally, “the occurrence of cold events has virtually disappeared,” Abraham wrote.

Many scientists are researching the link between climate and weather, including Kevin Trenberth, distinguished senior scientist in the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Trenberth is looking into climate change’s day-to-day effect on weather.

Trenberth said that while other scientists had already covered much of the ground that Hansen and his colleagues did, the new paper highlights that summer time is when we can expect more anomalies to occur.

“ ‘Climate dice,’ describing the chance of unusually warm or cool seasons, have become more and more ‘loaded’ in the past 30 years, coincident with rapid global warming,” Hansen and his colleagues write.

“An important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers. This hot extreme, which covered much less than 1 per cent of Earth’s surface during the base period, now typically covers about 10 per cent of the land area.”

All this, without the data for 2012 in the mix.

The team’s findings provoked an immediate split among some scientific colleagues. Some experts said he had come up with a smart new way of understanding the magnitude of the heat extremes that people around the world are noticing. But others suggested that he had presented a weak statistical case for his boldest claims and that the rest of the paper contained little that had not been observed in the scientific literature for years.

Extreme heat, drought have virtually no other explanation
 
Spade
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#2
Of course!
 
petros
#3
The Pacific off the coast of Baja will never warm up to normal again? Far out!
 
EagleSmack
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#4
NOW weather is an indicator for GW because it's hot out.

What will they say come winter?
 
skookumchuck
+1
#5
Lets tell all these climate change peeps that we are taking away their grant money because it is needed to help us adapt. Plus the money saved in electrical energy and paper would be helpful as well.
 
petros
#6
Last summer I stated this summer's drought and heat will be blamed on GW.

Boy o boy did I ever ****ing nail that one.
 
B00Mer
+1
#7
How to Parse Climate Change and Extreme Weather?



James E. Hansen, the irrepressible NASA scientist who was among the first to sound the alarm about human-caused global warming, has roiled the scientific community again with a new scientific paper explicitly linking high concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to recent severe heat waves and drought.

My colleague Justin Gillis has a detailed article in Tuesday’s Times on the study and the initial reaction to it.

In the paper, published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Hansen and two co-authors say that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – have “loaded the dice,” making extreme weather events more frequent. They go further and say that the drought in the United States and the deadly heat wave in Russia, among other recent weather extremes, were direct consequences of this phenomenon.

While the vast majority of climatologists believe that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases make harsh weather more likely, most have so far been reluctant to attribute specific weather events to higher greenhouse gas levels.

This is a question that has vexed scientists and perplexed the public for years. Was global warming responsible for Hurricane Katrina and other powerful storms? Has the burning of coal and oil caused the historic heat waves that large parts of the United States are now suffering? How much of the weird weather so much of the world is now experiencing can be attributed to global warming, and how much to the natural variability of climate?

These are questions that have not only scientific implications but political consequences as well. If one believes – as President Obama does – that human activities are contributing to climate change, then it follows that people have an obligation to take steps to slow emissions and mitigate the impact. If one believes – as Mitt Romney now appears to – that recent weather phenomena are merely cyclical events, then an aggressive government response seems like a costly and ineffective solution.

These are core political questions that the candidates and the electorate will face this fall, even though so far we have not yet heard a vigorous public debate on them. The Times hopes to kick-start that discussion through its Agenda project.

Here and here are links to more detail from the Hansen study, with some fascinating visualizations of the spreading heat.

source: How to Parse Climate Change and Extreme Weather? - NYTimes.com
 
beaker
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

NOW weather is an indicator for GW because it's hot out.

What will they say come winter?


I notice the report is the latest to make note of the fact that heat spikes have become more numerous, while cold spikes have almost disappeared. I expect the researchers will say the same in the wintertime.
 
petros
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#9
Is it a truthful report or just a report?
 
TenPenny
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Last summer I stated this summer's drought and heat will be blamed on GW.

Boy o boy did I ever ****ing nail that one.

Which, of course, doesn't mean it's not.
Doesn't mean that it is, either.

Just that you made an obvious prediction, and you're pleased that you were right.
 
beaker
+3
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Is it a truthful report or just a report?

Well given that other reports are saying the same thing and the deniers seem unable to come up with any facts to back up a different view I guess we can accept it as truthful.
 
petros
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Just that you made an obvious prediction, and you're pleased that you were right.

Was it a tough prediction to make? What did I base it on?

Quote: Originally Posted by beaker View Post

Well given that other reports are saying the same thing and the deniers seem unable to come up with any facts to back up a different view I guess we can accept it as truthful.

So the Pacific off the coast of Baja is back to normal and not overly cool? How does that piece of the Pacific influence Nor Am weather?
 
TenPenny
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Was it a tough prediction to make? What did I base it on?

Based on what you just wrote, you predicted that the drought would be blamed on GW. You didn't claim to predict a drought, only that it would be blamed on GW. That's not a hard prediction to make.
 
beaker
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

So the Pacific off the coast of Baja is back to normal and not overly cool? How does that piece of the Pacific influence Nor Am weather?


Your question is irrelevant unless you understand why it is cool, Do you?
 
petros
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I do. Fully.

Has it returned to normal or is it still cool and parching Nor Am? Yes or no?

What the **** is this all about?

 
Cabbagesandking
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I don't understand your obsession with the Baj, petros. It is, perhaps, one tenth of one percent of the ocean area and it has little effect on anything. Its own problems and temperature shifts are caused by currents that are thousand of miles in extent and systems that sweep across a pretty big ocean.
 
petros
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That is the piece of ocean that drives Nor Am weather and precipitation.. Would you like to know more so you CAN understand?
 
PoliticalNick
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We had bad thunderstorms over the big slo-pitch tourney this weekend. One loud thunderclap startled me and when I looked up I tripped over a tree root and twisted my ankle. I am now going to write a report that GW is causing injuries around the planet. Never mind thunderstorms are normal in Edson at this time of year or that I wasn't watching where I was stepping...It's all GW's fault.
 
TenPenny
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

That is the piece of ocean that drives Nor Am weather and precipitation.. Would you like to know more so you CAN understand?

My weather is driven by the Atlantic Ocean currents and developments. I'm pretty sure I'm in North America.
 
petros
+2
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

My weather is driven by the Atlantic Ocean currents and developments. I'm pretty sure I'm in North America.

Can they be displaced by an intense persistent high pressure system on the continent?

P.S. it's cooler than normal off of your coast too.
Last edited by petros; Aug 7th, 2012 at 11:39 AM..
 
Locutus
#21
'Cool' story, bro.
 
bobnoorduyn
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#22
Pfff... of course the climate is changing. It has been for millennia, the only constant is change, jeez. If you want a real scare, follow the money trail behind those who want to exploit it. Here's a quote:

"The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
The real enemy then, is humanity itself
."
- Club of Rome,
premier environmental think-tank,
consultants to the United Nations

Google the Club of Rome, Google David Rockefeller, whose estate it was founded on and the one who donated the land the UN building sits on. Google their who's who of past and former members Google the Earth Charter authored by Maurice Strong, (remember him, former prez of Power Corp, helped Paul Martin leverage a buyout of CSL and become PM), and Micheal Gorbachov, (Sorry poor english translation for Михаил Горбачёв, but if you don't remember him you're still a teenager) , Google Agenda 21, Google the Gaia hypothesis, Google the Green agenda...

There is a lot of stuff out there that will scare the willies out of you far more than any threat of global warming, man made or otherwise, ever will. There is a threat that is certainly man made, though, but I'll leave that to each of you to decide for yourselves. Hint, don't follow the money, follow the monied, that's where the power is, they just want more of it.

Yes, the climate is changing, both ecologically and politically, one we can't change, one we can. In the 70's, the Club of Rome sparked fears of a coming ice age, their goal is and has always been a "New World Order", and if you can't find a common foe to unite the useful idiots to follow that goal, invent one, and so they have, again. Wake up people. I'm not saying take in on my say so, but take the time to invistigate on your own, make up your own mind, I did.
 
petros
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Bob, if they admit it then a it's a conspiracy and not a theory of a conspiracy correct?
 
TenPenny
+1
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by bobnoorduyn View Post

Pfff... of course the climate is changing. It has been for millennia, the only constant is change, jeez.

Of course, that's why people who deny climate change are demonstably idiots.
 
petros
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Of course, that's why people who deny climate change are demonstably idiots.

Those would be the screwballs. Then there are those who deny the source of the change.
 
bobnoorduyn
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Bob, if they admit it then a it's a conspiracy and not a theory of a conspiracy correct?

Their vision of a New World Order is in print. The conspiracy devil is in the details, of how the want to achieve it, but that is also in print. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, they've been actually quite open about their goals, the coverup is their means of achieving them.
 
TenPenny
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Those would be the screwballs. Then there are those who deny the source of the change.

Yes, I agree that anyone who claims that changing the environment can have no impact on anything else doesn't understand how things work at all.
 
bobnoorduyn
+1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Of course, that's why people who deny climate change are demonstably idiots.

Denying climate change is like denying eclipses, they happen, with regularity and predictibility. Climate change does happen with some regularity, but over a greater span of time than can allow for accurate predicitions, kind of like earthquakes. The Majority of climate change deniers are lumped into a pidgeon hole of "deniers", much like holocaust deniers, (that's why the useful idiots, or more likely their handlers like the term because it further demonizes them), because they don't follow the orthidoxy of the zeitgeist. Mere skepticism puts you in that pidgeon hole.
 
B00Mer
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[youtube]2f6Z0_HMLo8[/youtube]
 
bobnoorduyn
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Those would be the screwballs. Then there are those who deny the source of the change.


You don't really think that we, as humans, can change something as enormous as the climate, do you? Nature will go back to nature once we stop exploiting it, I've seen it, and it really doesn't take that long.
 

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