Thu May 10, 2012, 10:13 PM
MindMover (5,005 posts)
Global Warming: An Exclusive Look at James Hansen’s Scary New Math
A new analysis by the NASA climatologist for the first time ties specific weather events to human-induced climate change
How can NASA physicist and climatologist James E. Hansen, writing in the New York Times today, “say with high confidence” that recent heat waves in Texas and Russia “were not natural events” but actually “caused by human-induced climate change”?
It wasn’t all that long ago that respected MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel flatly refuted the notion that you can pinpoint global warming as the cause of an extreme weather event. “It’s statistical nonsense,” he told PBS.
In 2005, Emanuel reported that hurricane intensity, which is fed by warmth, had increased some 80 percent during the previous 50 years, a period during which temperatures had increased more dramatically than any time in at least 500 years. Nonetheless, he asserted, that didn’t mean Hurricane Katrina, the sixth strongest Atlantic storm on record, had been brought on by climate change.
(MORE: Cutting Carbon Means More than Fancy Bookkeeping)
Even with a multitude of extreme weather events in recent years — tornadoes in New York City, blizzards in Washington, D.C., 15,000 warm-temperature records shattered across the U.S. in March — each consistent with computer models of a warming world, Emanuel and many other noted scientists have been unwilling to attribute any one event to global warming. There’s just too much variability in the weather, these experts say, and their dedication to data has helped prop open the door for “denialists” to sow doubt about the reality of our warming world.
But Hansen’s shot across the bow this morning indicates that the unwillingness to point fingers may be changing. According to a peer-reviewed paper Hansen has submitted to a leading scientific journal and made available to Time.com prior to publication, scientists can now state “with a high degree of confidence” that some extremely high temperatures are in fact caused by global warming, simply because they occur much more frequently than they used to. (A preliminary draft of the article is available here.)
6 replies, 1452 views
Global Warming: An Exclusive Look at James Hansen’s Scary New Math (Original post)
Response to MindMover (Original post)
Fri May 11, 2012, 12:16 AM
napoleon_in_rags (3,989 posts)
2. Yeah, its all right there.
The anomalies should be forehead slappingly obvious to anybody paying attention. There's been a clear increase in weird weather events.
But what now? The reality is we are staring at this chaotic, non-linear system and nobody has a clue. I saw Lars Von Trier's Melancholia not too long ago, about a planet that hits the earth. But that scenario is a situation where the outcome is totally predictable by models we have, this scenario is totally unknown. For all we know, the proverbial other planet is headed for us now in the climate data, but we can't see it.
A line stuck in my head from that movie, where the depressed sister says something like "we are alone in this universe, I know that because I know things. And I know that life is evil, life must end." So many people awake now are somewhat in the same boat, they know that this status quo of unsustainable patterns is evil, and it must end. And the cosmic forces lining up to end them are absolutely clear to them, they see the whole thing coming from a mile away. But like Melancholia, where the masses delude themselves with the idea that the planet will pass, the masses here too refuse to see the forces brewing now to end this entire way of life people have been living. But not believing in it won't make it go away. The depressed sister (Dunst) was at the end, the only one prepared for the end.
Response to MindMover (Original post)
Fri May 11, 2012, 01:10 AM
Duppers (8,488 posts)
3. there are still deniers here on DU
They fought with me over this very issue just a few months ago.
We badly need folks to wake up, do what they can, and demand politicians recognize the problem - only then can there be enough political will to enact real solutions. asap.