Top scientists from all over the world are now speaking out about climate change: that yes, the present weird weather including the El Diablo (El Nino on streroids) is linked with the increasing carbon content in our atmosphere, brought to you by our Happy Motoring!(TM) lifestyle.
|UK Floods. Source: Her Majesty's Government of the UK (Hat tip to dtlange)|
31 December 2015
Andy Lee Robinson said it all-too-well — “El Nino + Climate Change = El Diablo.”
And as the Washington Post so cogently notes — the world is now experiencing a rash of Freakish Weather from the North Pole to South America. It’s what appears to be happening as these two major record weather makers fire off simultaneously. A grim tally that includes the highest river levels ever seen in Missouri, the worst floods England has seen since the Middle Ages, the first time the North Pole has seen significantly above freezing temperatures during Winter in modern record keeping, city and region-crippling droughts spanning Central and South America, and seemingly everywhere, but especially in the North Atlantic where Greenland melt outflow has backed up the Gulf Stream, storms that seem to laugh in the face of our weather history.And it's not just Dr. Jeff Masters (two tips o' th' hat to todaysguestis). Several other scientists weighed in on the link between global warming and our weird weather, according to the UK Independent:
Dr. Jeff Masters, at Weather Underground, yesterday made this grim observation:
“This isn’t the climate I grew up with. We didn’t see this kind of weather in the 20th century. It’s just a continuation of the crazy weather we’ve seen over the course of the 21st century so far.”Attributing Single Extreme Weather Events to Climate Change
But Dr. Masters will be the first to tell you that it’s tough to scientifically prove that any one storm or weather system was altered by climate change. In essence, it’s like trying to prove that this home-run or that shut-out was caused by a baseball player taking steroids. We know that the steroids result in a changed performance by the athlete, just as we know that climate change alters the overall performance of weather. But it’s devilishly difficult for scientists to pin down the exact climate change mechanisms going into this or that monster storm or mega-drought. It doesn’t mean that climate change or steroids aren’t at work, because they are. It’s just hard to pin down exactly when.
It’s this gray area that climate change deniers and fossil fuel backers have exploited to generate doubt that climate change is happening at all. They’ve hyper-focused on this storm or that drought, rather than the larger extreme weather and temperature trend — which is clearly changing and worsening. It’s almost as if a group of baseball fans got together to defend the use of steroids in the sport and placed the burden of proof on whether or not an individual home run was caused by the stuff. A false analysis that puts both scientists and those concerned about the environment into the ridiculous position of having to prove the existence of climate change in one storm or a single drought. The ludicrous assumption being that, otherwise, climate change doesn’t exist at all.
But merchant of doubters didn’t count on one thing — the advancement of science.
“There is no doubt in my mind that climate change is partly responsible for the flooding across the north of England. These floods are in part due to greenhouse gas emissions.”
Climate scientist Professor Piers Forster, University of Leeds
“Simple physics tells us that warmer air can hold more water vapour. The global warming that we have experienced so far has increased the atmosphere’s moisture storage capacity by about seven per cent. This is undisputed science and it clearly increases the potential for extreme rainfall and flooding.”
Paul Williams, meterologist at Reading University (UK)
It is undeniably true that warmer air can hold more moisture, just as warmer oceans increase the moisture content of the atmosphere by about six per cent for every 1C warming. In simple terms, the more moisture there is in the atmosphere, the more additional energy it contains. “So from basic physical understanding of weather systems it is entirely plausible that climate change has exacerbated what has been a period of very wet and stormy weather arising from natural variability.”
Dame Julia Sligo, the chief scientist at the Met Office
"We found that global warming increased the likelihood of the heavy precipitation associated with a storm like Desmond. An event like this is now roughly 40 per cent more likely due to climate change than it was in the past, with an uncertainty range of five to 80 per cent.”
Friederike Otto of Oxford University
(Dr. Otto is a co-author of a study already submitted to a peer-reviewed journal suggesting that climate change has increased the chances of Desmond-like storms by about 40 per cent and prepared by a team of scientists from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and the University of Oxford.)
"The armchair meteorologists who continue to insist this is all just weather are starting to sound a little bit like Aunty Mabel expressing surprise at her remarkable luck in boardgames. The weather has changed, and we have changed it: get used to it. Those with more open minds are asking, ‘Is this the new normal?’ Unfortunately, the answer is ‘No’ – ‘normal weather’, unchanged over generations apart from random fluctuations, is a thing of the past."
Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University
And Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University, co-author of Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change and creator of the "infamous" hockey-stick curve weighs in on this, too, in an interview with MSNBC on the 2 January concerning El Niño, climate change and the recent extreme weather events (tip o' th' hat to dtlange).
And NASA says El Niño’s worst is yet to come!
NASA scientists are saying the warm weather cycle is expected to unload its biggest punch in early 2016.So in the words of the immortal Margo Channing (Bette Davis): "Fasten your seatbelts! It's going to be a bumpy ride."
According to its latest satellite imagery, the strong El Niño that’s been brewing in the Pacific Ocean has shown “no signs of waning” and is on pace to match or even surpass the 1997–98 El Niño event—the biggest ever recorded.“In 2014, the current El Niño teased us—wavering off and on,” Josh Willis, project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. “But in early 2015, atmospheric conditions changed, and El Niño steadily expanded in the central and eastern Pacific.”